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Carausius

A Roman emperor, who assumed the purple 287 A.D. Of him Preston gives the following account, which may or may not be deemed apocryphal, according to the taste and inclination of the reader: "By assuming the character of a Freemason, he acquired the love and esteem of the most enlightened part of his subjects.

He possessed real merit, encouraged learning and learned men, and improved the country in the civil arts. In order to establish an empire in Britain, he brought into his dominions the best workmen and artificers from all parts ; all of whom, under his auspices, enjoyed peace and tranquillity. Among the first class of his favorites he enrolled the Freemasons: for their tenets he professed the highest veneration, and appointed Albanus, his steward, the principal superintendent of their assemblies. Under his patronage, Lodges and Conventions of the Fraternity were formed, and the rites of Freemasonry regularly practiced. To enable the Freemasons to hold a general council, to establish their own government and correct errors among themselves, he granted to them a charter, and commanded Albanus to preside over them in person as Grand Master" (see Illustrations, edition of 1812, page 142).

Anderson also gives the legend of Carausius in the second edition of his Constitutions, and adds that "this is asserted by all the old copies of the Constitutions, and the old English Masons firmly believed it" (Constitutions, 1738, page 57). But the fact is that Anderson himself does not mention the tradition in his first edition, published in 1723 nor is any reference to Carausius to be found in any of the old manuscripts now extant. The legend is, it is true, inserted in Krause's Manuscript ; but this document is of Very little authority, having been, most probably, a production of the early part of the eighteenth century, and of a contemporary of Anderson, written perhaps between 1723 and 1738, which would account for the omission of it in the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, and its insertion in the second.

The reader may hence determine for himself what authenticity is to be given to the Carausian legend.

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