Rediscovered Rituals of English Freemasonry
This in-depth work examines a compendium of Masonic rituals found in Richard Carlile’s once popular Manual of Freemasonry,some of the exotic high degrees displayed in his exposé being regularly practiced in England during the early nineteenth century. For the first time, Carlile’s work is fully discussed, degree by degree, to not only reveal the full Masonic story, but to examine the eclectic sources of these degrees and the writers who influenced his work. Indeed, these writers, such as Thomas Paine, William Finch and Godfrey Higgins will also be observed, along with an examination of the radical, free thinking ideas that Carlile projected in his exposé. We will see how a rich array of Masonic high grades were practiced at a time of much development and profound change for English Freemasonry; the idea of the complete Masonic story being revealed via these high grades was, to certain English Freemasons, deeply attractive, especially to those who were found wanting after the union of 1813. Carlile’s exposé, as we shall see,served these needs, his work revealing a rich fusion of radicalism along with an opulent collection of Masonic rituals that emerged from a variety of sources, such as Peter Lambert de Lintot’s Rite of Seven Degrees and the French exposé Les Plus Secrets Mystéres. In short, Carlile’s work is a highly valued piece of Masonic literature and gives an important insight into what can be seen as a very English practice of high degree Masonry during the time. This new examination of The Manual of Freemasonry is a much overdue rediscovery of the significance of his work on English Masonry and published in 2020, commemorates the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, an event that was witnessed by Carlile.
143 Printed Pages
Have you for example ever heard of the Architects Degree or The Intimate Secretary or English Masters Degree? This book offers a very interesting insight into these rituals and many more that you may not be aware of as well as a great degree of background on the order that you do know and may even be a member of. With may illustrations and a very readable style this work is really worth having in your collection. – The Square Magazine