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Thomas Smith Webb (October 30, 1771 –July 6, 1819) was the author of Freemason’s Monitor or Illustrations of Masonry, a book which had a significant impact on the development of Masonic Ritual in America, and especially that of the York Rite. Webb has been called the "Founding Father of the York or American Rite" for his efforts to promote those Masonic bodies.
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. Historian Jasper Ridley argues that it is, "the World's Most Powerful Secret Society."
The York Rite is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. The York Rite specifically is a collection of separate Masonic Bodies and associated Degrees that would otherwise operate independently. The three primary bodies in the York Rite are the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Council of Royal & Select Masters or Council of Cryptic Masons, and the Commandery of Knights Templar, each of which are governed independently but are all considered to be a part of the York Rite. There are also other organizations that are considered to be directly associated with the York Rite, or require York Rite membership to join such as the York Rite Sovereign College but in general the York Rite is considered to be made up of the aforementioned three. The Rite's name is derived from the city of York, where, according to a Masonic legend, the first meetings of Masons in England took place, although only the lectures of the York Rite Sovereign College make reference to that legend.
Webb was born in Boston, Massachusetts. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to a printer in Boston, and he afterward moved to Keene, New Hampshire, where he worked for some time at his trade. Here the three degrees of ancient craft Masonry were conferred upon him by Rising Sun Lodge. In 1793 he moved to Albany, New York and established a paper staining factory. On 14 September 1797, as appears from the copyright, he published The Freemason's Monitor, or Illustrations of Masonry. This small volume, which is now very rare, consisted of two parts, the second part containing an account of the "Ineffable Degrees of Masonry" together with several Masonic songs by the author. The publication of this work was followed by successively enlarged and improved editions in 1802, 1805, 1808, 1816, 1818, and by numerous editions after the author's death.
Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States.
Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.
Keene is a city in and the seat of Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 23,409 at the 2010 census.
Thomas Smith Webb presided over a convention of committees in Boston in October, 1797, for the formation of a general Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, and at a meeting in Providence in January, 1799, he presented, as chairman of a committee, a constitution which was adopted. The formation of the Grand Encampment of the United States was the result of his Masonic work. The original draft of the constitution, with all the changes, additions, and interlineations in his own handwriting, is in the archives of St. John's Commandery, Providence, Rhode Island. In 1799 he moved with his family to Providence, where he spent the greater part of his remaining years.
Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a Reformed Baptist theologian and religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.
His musical attainments were considerable, and he was the first president of the Psallonian Society, an organization for the improvement of its members in sacred melody. In 1815, having changed his residence to Boston, he instituted, in connection with others, the Handel and Haydn Society, of which he was the first president.
The Handel and Haydn Society, familiarly known as H+H, is an American chorus and period instrument orchestra based in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1815, it is the third oldest musical organization in the United States after the Stoughton Musical Society and the U.S. Marine Band, and the oldest continually performing arts organization in the United States.
He also served as the first Grand Commander of what is now the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and the Appendant Orders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island in 1813-14.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a progressive series of degrees conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council.
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.
William Morgan was a resident of Batavia, New York, whose disappearance and presumed murder in 1826 ignited a powerful movement against the Freemasons, a fraternal society that had become influential in the United States. After Morgan announced his intention to publish a book exposing Freemasonry's secrets, he was arrested on trumped-up charges. He disappeared soon after, and was believed to have been kidnapped and killed by Masons from western New York.
The Eye of Providence is a symbol, having its origin in Christian iconography, showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light or a glory and usually enclosed by a triangle. It represents the eye of God watching over humanity. In the modern era, a notable depiction of the eye is the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, which appears on the United States one-dollar bill.
William Preston was a Scottish author, editor and lecturer, born in Edinburgh. After attending school and college he became secretary to the linguist Thomas Ruddiman, who became his guardian on the death of his father. On the death of Thomas, Preston became a printer for Walter Ruddiman, Thomas' brother. In 1760 he moved to London and started a distinguished career with the printer William Strahan. He became a Freemason, instituting a system of lectures of instruction, and publishing Illustrations of Masonry, which ran to several editions. It was under Preston that the Lodge of Antiquity seceded from the Moderns Grand Lodge to become "The Grand Lodge of All England South of the River Trent" for ten years. He died on 1 April 1818, after a long illness, and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral.
The relationship between Mormonism and Freemasonry began early in the life Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, as his older brother Hyrum and possibly his father were Freemasons while the family lived near Palmyra, New York. Nevertheless, in the late 1820s, the western New York region was swept with anti-Masonic fervor.
Prince Hall Freemasonry is a branch of North American Freemasonry founded by Prince Hall on September 29, 1784 and composed predominantly of African Americans. There are two main branches of Prince Hall Freemasonry: the independent State Prince Hall Grand Lodges, most of which are recognized by Regular Masonic jurisdictions, and those under the jurisdiction of the National Grand Lodge.
Co-Freemasonry is a form of Freemasonry which admits both men and women. It began in France in the 1890s with the forming of Le Droit Humain, and is now an international movement represented by several Co-Freemasonic administrations throughout the world. Most male-only Masonic Lodges do not recognise Co-Freemasonry, holding it to be irregular, or clandestine.
The Knights Templar, full name The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, is a fraternal order affiliated with Freemasonry. Unlike the initial degrees conferred in a regular Masonic Lodge, which only require a belief in a Supreme Being regardless of religious affiliation, the Knights Templar is one of several additional Masonic Orders in which membership is open only to Freemasons who profess a belief in Christianity. One of the obligations entrants to the order are required to declare is to protect and defend the Christian faith. The word "United" in its full title indicates that more than one historical tradition and more than one actual order are jointly controlled within this system. The individual orders 'united' within this system are principally the Knights of the Temple, the Knights of Malta, the Knights of St Paul, and only within the York Rite, the Knights of the Red Cross.
There are many organisations and Orders which form part of the widespread fraternity of Freemasonry, each having its own structure and terminology. Collectively these may be referred to as Masonic bodies, Masonic orders or appendant bodies of Freemasonry.
Born in New Hampton, New Hampshire, on February 19, 1792, Simon Wiggin Robinson was the son of Captain Noah Robinson, who served honorably in the American Revolution. Young Robinson served his country, also, in the War of 1812 when he was stationed at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as an Adjutant.
Freemasonry and women have a complex relationship, which can be readily divided into many phases with no demonstrable relationship to each other until the 20th century. A few women were involved in Freemasonry before the 18th century; however the first printed constitutions of the Premier Grand Lodge of England appeared to bar them from the Craft forever.
Freemasonry in Denmark was first established in 1743 and is today represented by a number of Grand Lodges. The oldest and biggest Masonic Grand Lodge in Denmark is the Danish Order of Freemasons, in English also known as the Grand Lodge of Denmark.
Robert Macoy was born in Armagh, Ulster County, Ireland, but moved to the United States at the age of 4 months. He was a prominent Freemason, and was instrumental in the founding of the Order of the Eastern Star and the Order of the Amaranth. He also founded what may be the largest Masonic publishing, regalia, and supply house currently active, Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Company.
Continental Freemasonry includes the Masonic lodges, mainly on the continent of Europe, that recognise the Grand Orient de France (GOdF) or belong to CLIPSAS or SIMPA. The majority of Freemasons belong to lodges that recognise the United Grand Lodge of England and do not recognise Continental Freemasons, regarding them as "irregular".
Royal Arch Masonry is the first part of the York Rite system of the Masonic degrees. Royal Arch Masons meet as a Chapter, and the Royal Arch Chapter confers four degrees: Mark Master Mason, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason.
The history of Freemasonry in Mexico can be traced to at least 1806 when the first Masonic lodge was formally established in the nation.
Paul Dean (1789–1860) was an American 19th-century universalist minister. He was pastor in Boston, Massachusetts, of the First Universalist Church on Hanover Street (ca.1813) and the Central Universalist Church on Bulfinch Street (1823–1840).