Robert Wentworth Little (1840 – April 11, 1878) was a clerk and cashier of the secretary’s office at the United Grand Lodge of England and later secretary of the Royal Institution for Girls. He is credited with the structural design of the S.R.I.A. with the rituals acquired from the store room of Freemasons Hall. He was also a founder of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Misraim in England.
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body for the majority of freemasons within England and Wales along with lodges in other, predominantly ex-British Empire and Commonwealth, countries outside the United Kingdom. It claims to be the oldest Grand Lodge in the world, by descent from the first Grand Lodge formed by four Lodges meeting in the Goose & Gridiron Tavern, London on St John's Day, 24 June 1717. Together with the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of Ireland they are often referred to, by their members, as "the home Grand Lodges" or "the Home Constitutions".
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia is a Masonic esoteric Christian order formed by Robert Wentworth Little in 1865, although some sources acknowledge the date to be 1866-67. Members are confirmed from the ranks of subscribing Master Masons of a Grand Lodge in amity with United Grand Lodge of England.
Various controversy around the origins of the S.R.I.A. seem to be resolved in a paper given at the General Assembly of the S.R.I.S. at Perth, 3 May 1947 and thereafter at the Metropolitan Study Group, S.R.I.A. on May 10, 1947 by the author, R.W. Frater H.C. Bruce Wilson, VIII°, 9°,and printed in Proceedings of General Assembly held at Perth, 3 and 4 May 1947. It was printed for Private Circulation by the S.R.I.S. at Edinburgh, 1947 on pages 10–24.
The paper concludes that especially the opening and closing S.R.I.A. (funded 1866) rituals were adopted from a body of the S.R.I.S. (Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia), which was in operation in 1830. The other parts of the ritual were adopted with changes, for instance to the number of Ancients. It also concludes that the lineage of the S.R.I.A. is derived from the German Golden Rosy Cross of 1776.
Robert Wentworth Little's grave has recently been recovered at the Camberwell Old Cemetery on common ground and is now being restored.
Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, and Master Mason. The candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, and entrusted with grips, signs and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegorical morality play and part lecture. The three degrees are offered by Craft Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, and are usually administered by their own bodies.
Rosicrucianism is a spiritual and cultural movement which arose in Europe in the early 17th century after the publication of several texts which purported to announce the existence of a hitherto unknown esoteric order to the world and made seeking its knowledge attractive to many. The mysterious doctrine of the order is allegedly "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe, and the spiritual realm." The manifestos do not elaborate extensively on the matter, but clearly combine references to Kabbalah, Hermeticism, alchemy, and mystical Christianity.
The history of Freemasonry encompasses the origins, evolution and defining events of the fraternal organisation known as Freemasonry. It covers three phases. Firstly, the emergence of organised lodges of operative masons during the Middle Ages, then the admission of lay members as "accepted" masons or speculative masons, and finally the evolution of purely speculative lodges, and the emergence of Grand Lodges to govern them. The watershed in this process is generally taken to be the formation of the first Grand Lodge in London in 1717. The two difficulties facing historians are the paucity of written material, even down to the 19th century, and the misinformation generated by masons and non-masons alike from the earliest years.
The Ancient and Mystical Order Rosæ Crucis (AMORC), also known as the Rosicrucian Order, is the largest Rosicrucian organization in the world. It has various lodges, chapters and other affiliated bodies throughout the globe, operating in 19 different languages.
Ralph Maxwell Lewis born the son of Harvey Spencer Lewis, was the Imperator of Rosicrucian organisation; Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) from 1939 to 1987. He is the author of a number of books regarding mysticism, most of them are available from the AMORC. Ralph Maxwell Lewis was born in New York City. His father, Harvey Spencer Lewis, whom was the first Imperator of AMORC for North and South America was born in New Jersey and was of Gallic origin, being descended from Sir Robert Lewis, former American colonizers.
Harvey Spencer Lewis F.R.C., S:::I:::I:::, 33° 66° 95°, PhD, a noted Rosicrucian author, occultist, and mystic, was the founder in the USA and the first Imperator of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC), from 1915 until 1939.
William Wynn Westcott was a coroner, ceremonial magician, theosophist and Freemason born in Leamington, Warwickshire, England. He was a Supreme Magus (chief) of the S.R.I.A and went on to co-found the Golden Dawn.
The Rose Cross is a symbol largely associated with the semi-mythical Christian Rosenkreuz, Qabbalist and alchemist and founder of the Rosicrucian Order. The Rose Cross is said to be a cross with a red, golden or white rose at its centre and symbolizes the teachings of a western esoteric tradition formed within the Christian tenets, albeit a Christianity not yet conspicuously in evidence:
What think you, loving people, and how seem you affected, seeing that you now understand and know, that we acknowledge ourselves truly and sincerely to profess Christ, condemn the Pope, addict ourselves to the true Philosophy, lead a Christian life, and daily call, entreat and invite many more unto our Fraternity, unto whom the same Light of God likewise appeareth?
The Cipher Manuscripts are a collection of 60 folios containing the structural outline of a series of magical initiation rituals corresponding to the spiritual elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The "occult" materials in the Manuscripts are a compendium of the classical magical theory and symbolism known in the Western world up until the middle of the 19th century, combined to create an encompassing model of the Western mystery tradition, and arranged into a syllabus of a graded course of instruction in magical symbolism. It was used as the structure for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
While many Christian denominations take no stance on or openly acknowledge and allow Freemasonry, some are outwardly opposed to it, and either discourage or outright prohibit their members from joining the fraternity.
Dr. William Robert Woodman, one of three co-founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
The Illuminati is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically, the name usually refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on 1 May 1776. The society's goals were to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power. "The order of the day," they wrote in their general statutes, "is to put an end to the machinations of the purveyors of injustice, to control them without dominating them." The Illuminati—along with Freemasonry and other secret societies—were outlawed through edict by the Bavarian ruler Charles Theodore with the encouragement of the Catholic Church, in 1784, 1785, 1787, and 1790. In the following several years, the group was vilified by conservative and religious critics who claimed that they continued underground and were responsible for the French Revolution.
There are a number of masonic manuscripts that are important in the study of the emergence of Freemasonry. Most numerous are the Old Charges or Constitutions. These documents outlined a "history" of masonry, tracing its origins to a biblical or classical root, followed by the regulations of the organisation, and the responsibilities of its different grades. More rare are old hand-written copies of ritual, affording a limited understanding of early masonic rites. All of those which pre-date the formation of Grand Lodges are found in Scotland and Ireland, and show such similarity that the Irish rituals are usually assumed to be of Scottish origin. The earliest Minutes of lodges formed before the first Grand Lodge are also located in Scotland. Early records of the first Grand Lodge in 1717 allow an elementary understanding of the immediate pre-Grand Lodge era and some insight into the personalities and events that shaped early 18th century Freemasonry in Britain.
The Ancient Grand Lodge of England, as it is known today, or The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons as they described themselves on their warrants, was a rival Grand Lodge to the Premier Grand Lodge of England. It existed from 1751 until 1813 when the United Grand Lodge of England was created from the two Grand Lodges. They are now called the Antients, in contrast to the Moderns, the original Grand Lodge who had moved away from the ritual of Scotland, Ireland, and now the Antient Grand Lodge. This Grand Lodge was also informally called the Atholl Grand Lodge because the Third and Fourth Dukes of Atholl presided over it as Grand Masters for half of its 62-year existence.
The organisation known as the Premier Grand Lodge of England was founded on 24 June 1717 as the 'Grand Lodge of London and Westminster'. Originally concerned with the practice of Freemasonry in London and Westminster, it soon became known as the Grand Lodge of England. Because it was the first Masonic Grand Lodge to be created, convention calls it the Premier Grand Lodge of England in order to distinguish it from the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons according to the Old Constitutions, more usually referred to as the Ancient Grand Lodge of England, and the Grand Lodge of All England Meeting at York. It existed until 1813, when it united with the Ancient Grand Lodge of England to create the United Grand Lodge of England.
Kenneth Robert Henderson Mackenzie was an English linguist, orientalist and autodidact.
Freemasonry in Scotland in Lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland comprises the Scottish Masonic Constitution as regular Masonic jurisdiction for the majority of freemasons in Scotland. There are also Lodges operating under the Scottish Masonic Constitution in countries outside of Scotland. Many of these are countries linked to Scotland and the United Kingdom through the Commonwealth of Nations and prior colonies and other settlements of the British Empire although there are several lodges in countries such as Lebanon, Belgium, Chile and Peru, which do not have such connections.
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