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Calendars, Masonic

The calendars given on page 172 ff. are in use by modern bodies of Speculative Freemasonry, and the datings are self-confessedly of modern origin. They are based on the date of the Creation as 4004 B.C. as written into the margin of the Authorized Version of the Bible by Archbishop Usher in 1611. This date had been nowhere in general use prior to that time, and afterwards was never accepted by many chronologists. A work of encyclopedic informativeness on the calendars in use during the whole of the Operative and the Transition Periods of Freemasonry is Mediaeval Kalendarium, by R. F. Hampton, two volumes; London; 1841. It covers the Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries. In a period before calendars and almanacs came into general use it was widely employed as a handbook on matters of many kinds which have to do with the calendar. It contains much folklore; many pages on the Sts. John, lists of Saints' Days; and, as illustrative of what was said above, gives in one chapter a long list of the estimates of the date of Creation as computed by authorities at different times, among them being: Scaliger, 3950 B.C.; Petavius, 3984 B.C.; Ricciola, 4063 B.C.; Eusebius, 5200 B.C.; Alphonsine Tables, 6934 B.C.

There is no evidence to show that Operative Masons ever adopted a given date, or ever found use for one; moreover they had scarcely any conception of such a thing as a calendar, but fixed dates by reference to Saints' Days, Church festivals, the reign of Kings, and memorable local events-a flood, a fire, a battle, etc.

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