500. The theory has been advanced by Leader Scott (Mrs. Lucy Baxter) that upon the fall of Rome certain skilled workmen retired to the Isle of Como and preserved the Stone Masons' art; that they later emerged and came to the continent to erect the many cathedrals built in the middle ages. The theory was urged with great skill and energy for many years by Ravsenscroft. It was accepted by many as the missing link between the associations of the ancient world and the modern world. It is a highly debatable subject.
926. In a number of ancient manuscripts ins the legend that in this year Prince Edwin, son of King Athelstan, presided over a meeting of Masons at York.
1080. There existed in Germany about this time a group of stone masons known as the Steinmetzen. They were well organized operative workmen with rules, ceremonies, and titles that have caused some to clam that they are the ancestors of the Craft.
1136. Melrose Abbey Church being built. Traveling Masons placed their marks on some of the stones.
1147. Companies of Norman Masons emigrated to Chartres to help build the Cathedral there.
1187. Jerusalem falls to the Saracens. A formal separation came between the Order of Sion and the Knights Templar. This separation was marked by a ceremony at Gisors, France, referred to as the "cutting of the elm." Henceforth the Knights Templar operated autonomously.
1189. Following the death of his father Henry II, Richard Plantagenet (the Lionheart) was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey in London on September 3. While King of England he spent the vast majority of his ten-year reign abroad, devoting himself to the Crusades. Richard's constant companions were knights from the Order of Knights Templar who participated in his Crusade to recover Jerusalem. (Source: Holy Blood Holy Grail (Dell) )
1271. The Compagnonnage of France was in existence in France for several hundred years; many enthusiastic Masons have tired to see in it elements of the Craft.
1278. Earliest knows use of the word "lodge" in the records of Vale Royal Abbey.
1306. In June, Pope Clement V wrote to Jacques De Molay that he wished to confer with him.
1307. Jacques De Molay arrived in Paris, Friday, October 13, every Templar found in France was arrested and put in chains on King Philip's orders. They were tortured until they confessed heresy. The Knights who managed to escape were men without a country or religion.
1314. Jacques De Molay was burned at the stake on March 18. He had been imprisoned in 1307 as a result of the treachery of the King of France and Pole Clement V.
June 24, in what became known as the "Battle of Bannockburn," Scottish troops, assisted by Knights Templar fugitives from France, under the command of Robert the Bruce, defeated English troops under the command of Edward II. This battle, in which the Scotts were outnumbered four to one, was decisive in securing Scotland's independence from England 13 years later.
1327. Scotland gains independence from England.
1350. Statute of Laborers passed. It confirmed and made harsher the ordinance of the preceding year. It regulated the wages of workmen. The law was justified on the ground that wages were getting out of hand because of the lack of skilled workers and the large amount of work that was necessary to be done in England. In this law the word "mason" and the word "freestone" appears.
1360. Thirteen sheriffs were ordered by the Crown to send 568 Masons to Windsor.
1370. York Minster Masons' Ordinance passed. It was written in English and used the word "Mason," or "Masoun."
1375. The Mason's Company of London was represented at the Court of Common Council. It had no doubt been in existence for many years in order to be entitled to this representation.
1376. The Freemason and Mason Company of London was in existence. It was probably a craft guild.
First known use of the word "Freemason" in the City of London Letter Book H of August 9. The word was then stricken off and replaced with the word "Masons."
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