by William R. Fischer



In London 1717 the Grand Lodge of England was organized. In Masonic history this was known as the "Revival of Masonry".

In 1738 William Preston explained the events. In February of 1717 at the Apple-Tree Tavern the Grand Lodge of England was formed by the four lodges in the south of England. On St. Johns day Anthony Sayer was elected Grand Master of Masons. This was the beginning of Speculative Masonry. There were some speculative masons before this time but they were not widely accepted.

Masonry was faltering at that time, mainly due to Pagan architecture and a lack of Operative Masons. The knowledge that there were good men who were not workers in stone, but had the quality of Masonic thinking made Speculative Masonry a clear need.

The constitution and charges were changed so that Speculative Masonry was more acceptable and a split in the order occurred in 1751 because of these changes. A faction calling themselves the Ancients abandoned the order over these changes made by what they called the Moderns.

This caused the formation of two Grand Lodges the Moderns and the Ancients. This split spread through out the world and in America you could find both Ancients and Moderns in the same community, sometimes in the same building.

In 1813 they reconciled their differences and merged but the two different forms are still being taught today.


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