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Aix-la-chapelle

The French name of what is called in German, Aachen. A city of Germany, remarkable in Masonic history for a persecution which took place in the eighteenth century, and of which Gadicke, in his Freimaurer Lexicon, 1818 and 183l, gives the following account:

In the year 1779, Ludwig Grienemann, a Dominican monk, a follower of Dominic de Guzman, who founded an Order whose violent zeal led to the atrocities of the Inquisition in Spain and elsewhere, delivered a course of Lenten sermons, in which he attempted to prove that the Jews who crucified Christ were Freemasons, that Pilate and Herod were Wardens in a Freemason's Lodge, that Judas, previous to his betrayal of his Master, was initiated into the Order, and that the thirty, pieces of silver, which he is said to have returned, was only the fee which he paid for his initiation. Aix-1a-Chapelle being a Roman Catholic city, the magistrates were induced, by the influence of Grienemann, to issue a decree, in which they declared that anyone who should permit a meeting of the Freemasons in his house should, for the first offense, be fined 100 florins, for the second 200, and for the third, be banished from the city. The mob became highly incensed against the Freemasons, and insulted all whom they suspected to be members of the Order.

At length Peter Schuff, a Capuchin, so called from the capuche, or pointed hood, worn by the monks of this Order, jealous of the influence which the Dominican Grienemann was exerting, began also, with augmented fervor, to preach against Freemasonry, and still more to excite the popular commotion.

In this state of affairs, the Lodge at Aix-la-Chapelle applied to the princes and Masonic Lodges in the neighboring territories for assistance and protection, which were immediately rendered. A letter in French was received by both priests, in which the Writer, who stated that he was one of the former dignitaries of the Order, strongly, reminded them of their duties, and, among other things, said that "Many priests, a pope, several cardinals, bishops, and even Dominican and Capuchin monks, had been, and still were, members of the Order." Although this remonstrance had some effect, peace was not altogether restored until the neighboring free imperial states threatened that they would prohibit the monks from collecting alms in their territories unless they ceased to excite the popular commotion against the Freemasons.

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