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For a large majority of UK Freemasons, the efforts put into a good Craft ceremony
and a fraternal festive board, offers a satisfying alternative to the rigours of post-millennium pressures and many prefer to remain oblivious to historic opinion. The continued advancement through a wide range of Masonic side-degrees can offer similarities to other concepts, which we hope will be well represented through this page.

The establishment of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, during the age of reason, formalised a precept that had existed for an undetermined time before and since that time there have been many attempts to locate the origins of our noble Fraternity.

While documents such as the Fama fraternitatis, The New Atlantis and the allegoric Pilgrim's Progress provide 17th century background thoughts, the Legend, Regius Poem and Rubayyat show the existence of ancient fraternal writings which, when coupled with the building of exotic stoneworks such as Rosslyn Chapel and the Rennes-le-Chateau, have caused many efforts at deciphering our hidden past. Recent interpretations of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic Nag Hammadi Library have provided similar questions requiring more light on events of a couple of millennia ago.

The evolution of the Established Church, as the selector of which ancient writings precluded those that were not included in the definitive collection of the true word of the Creator, has always had to contend with the views of other witnesses to a remarkable event. The writings of Enoch and Thomas, among many others, provide a different viewpoint, while the Kabbalah and the Sefer Yezirah offer a different insight into our spiritual well being. Many learned concepts have been passed down through the ages in Gnostic writings while Alchemy and the Rosy Cross encompassed Metaphysics and Mysticism in Rosicrucianism.

The Canonbury Masonic Research Centre now provides an opportunity to study the ambiguous evolution of our Fraternity.

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Last updated Friday September 07, 2001
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