Freemasonry Start Date


Freemasonry is an ancient fraternal organization that has been in existence since the late 1600s. It is a worldwide organization, with members from all walks of life and from all religions. Freemasonry began in the British Isles, but is now found in countries around the world. It is a brotherhood based on shared principles of brotherly love, charity, and personal growth. Throughout its history, Freemasonry has been a source of fellowship and philanthropy, as well as a platform for the exchange of ideas. The exact start date of Freemasonry is not known, but it is generally accepted that it began sometime in the late 1600s.

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that traces its origins to the fraternity of stonemasons who built the great cathedrals and castles of medieval Europe. It is believed that Freemasonry originated in the late 16th and early 17th centuries when stonemasons formed local organizations, or lodges, to look after their members’ interests and to provide assistance to those in need. These lodges gradually evolved into a fraternity with shared rituals, symbols, and beliefs.

Ancient Roots and Evolution

Freemasonry has a long and complex history that is difficult to trace. Its roots go back centuries, with many sources pointing to the Middle Ages as a likely period of origin. During this time, guilds of stonemasons created a fraternity-like organization to protect their trade secrets and advance the craft. From there, Freemasonry evolved into an organization devoted to the study of moral philosophy and ethical behavior.

The first known document to mention Freemasonry is the Regius Poem, which dates back to 1390 and is believed to be a compilation of Masonic rituals from earlier times. It is also believed that the Knights Templar had some influence on the development of modern Freemasonry. In 1717, four London lodges joined together as the Grand Lodge of England, marking the beginning of organized Freemasonry in its modern form.

Symbols and Rituals

Freemasons use various symbols and rituals as part of their beliefs and practices. These include such things as handshakes, passwords, symbols such as the square and compass, aprons, banners, jewelry and more. The symbolism often has multiple layers of meaning which represent different aspects of morality or virtue that members are encouraged to strive for.

The most visible symbol used by Freemasons is the square and compass design seen on many buildings or monuments associated with Freemasonry. This symbol represents two key principles: brotherly love (the square) and truth (the compass). Other symbols used by Masons have specific meanings related to morality or virtues such as loyalty, justice, charity or wisdom.

Masonic Lodges

Masonic lodges serve as places where members can meet for fellowship or business purposes as well as conduct initiation ceremonies for new members. The typical lodge consists of three main sections: an Entered Apprentice Lodge (for new members), a Fellow Craft Lodge (for experienced members) and a Master Mason Lodge (for advanced members). Each lodge also has its own officers such as a Worshipful Master who presides over meetings.

Lodges are also responsible for ensuring that members adhere to certain principles such as honesty, integrity and brotherly love. They also hold events such as dinners or other social gatherings where members can get together in a relaxed setting outside of regular meetings.

Modern Practices

Today Freemasonry still exists all over the world in various forms. Many Lodges still follow traditional rituals while others have adopted more modern approaches or adapted their practices for different cultures or religions. Despite these differences all Masons share common goals such as improving society through charitable works, promoting education through scholarships or helping those in need.

In addition to charitable activities many Lodges also engage in social activities such as hosting events like dinners or dances where members can relax in an informal setting outside of regular meetings and engage with one another on topics not related to Masonic business.

Masonry in the Middle Ages

Freemasonry has a long history, with roots in the Middle Ages. During this period, it was a craft that focused on building cathedrals and other religious structures. Masons worked mostly in stone, creating intricate and beautiful structures for churches and other buildings. Many of these have survived to this day, testifying to the skill of the medieval masons.

The masonic guilds of the Middle Ages had a strong hierarchical structure, with a master mason at the top. He would be responsible for assigning tasks to his apprentices and journeymen and ensuring that they were completed correctly. In addition to this, he would be responsible for teaching them the skills they needed to become master masons themselves.

The tools used by medieval masons were simple but effective – chisels, hammers, trowels and levels were all used to create the intricate carvings and designs found in so many ancient buildings. It was not until later that more sophisticated tools such as saws and drills were introduced.

In addition to their technical skills, medieval masons also had a strong knowledge of geometry and mathematics which enabled them to create complex patterns in their stonework. This knowledge was passed down from one generation of masons to another – it is still used today by modern architects when designing buildings.

The Freemasonry of today has evolved considerably from its medieval roots but there are still some similarities between them – especially when it comes to principles such as brotherhood, loyalty and charity. While modern Freemasonry may not be involved in building physical structures like its predecessors were, its members still strive to improve their lives and those around them through charitable works.

Early Modern Freemasonry

The history of Freemasonry dates back to the late 1600s and early 1700s, with the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. The term “Freemasonry” is derived from the medieval stonemasons who worked on the construction of castles and cathedrals throughout Europe. These masons formed guilds to protect their secrets and traditions. Over time, these guilds evolved into what we know today as Freemasonry.


Freemasonry is believed to have originated from a variety of sources, including medieval stonemasons, the Knights Templar, and other fraternal organizations. It is unclear exactly when or how it began, but it is likely that it drew on elements from each of these sources. The first Grand Lodge was established in London in 1717 and marked the beginning of modern Freemasonry.

Rituals & Symbols

Freemasons use a variety of rituals and symbols to recognize one another as members of their fraternity. These rituals involve secret handshakes, passwords, codes, and other symbolic gestures that identify a Mason as part of this ancient fraternity. Additionally, Masons often wear rings or aprons with special emblems that signify their membership in this organization.

Goals & Beliefs

The primary goal of Freemasonry is to promote brotherhood among its members. Masons are encouraged to practice moral virtues such as honesty, charity, respect for others, and self-improvement. They also believe in a Supreme Being or Creator who created all things equal and good; however they do not focus on any particular religion or doctrine beyond this belief in one God.

Modern Freemasonry

Today, Freemasonry continues to exist around the world with a membership estimated at over five million people worldwide. Its goals remain focused on promoting brotherhood among its members while also striving for moral excellence among them all. It has been influential in many aspects of society throughout history including politics, science, literature, art and architecture – just to name a few!

The Origin of the Grand Lodge

The Grand Lodge of England, also known as the Premier Grand Lodge, is the oldest and most influential Masonic Grand Lodge in the world. Founded in 1717, it is credited with laying down the foundations of modern Freemasonry. It was established by a group of four men: Anthony Sayer, George Payne, John Theophilus Desaguliers and John Fludd.

Purpose of the Grand Lodge

The purpose of the Premier Grand Lodge was to establish a central authority to regulate and oversee all Freemasonry lodges in England. Although other lodges had existed before this date, there was little in terms of organized regulation or structure. The four founders wanted to create a standard form of ritual and procedure that would be followed by all lodges in order to ensure uniformity among them.

Structure and Governance

The structure set out by the founders was based on an hierarchical system with each lodge having its own officers such as a Worshipful Master, Junior Warden and Senior Warden. The Grand Lodge had its own officers as well including a Grand Master who was responsible for overseeing all other lodges. This system was designed to ensure that all lodges were following the same rituals and procedures.

Influence of the Premier Grand Lodge

The establishment of the Premier Grand Lodge had far reaching consequences throughout England and beyond. It provided a standard form for Freemasonry that allowed it to become an organized movement rather than just an informal group of individuals meeting together for social purposes. It also helped to legitimize Freemasonry which had previously been viewed with some suspicion by religious authorities due to its secretive nature.

Legacy of the First Grand Lodge

Today, more than 300 years after its establishment, the Premier Grand Lodge continues to influence Freemasonry around the world. Its rituals and procedures are still used as models for other Masonic lodges and its hierarchical structure is still seen as being important for ensuring uniformity among lodges. The legacy of this first grand lodge will continue long into the future as Freemasonry remains an important part of many people’s lives.

first freemason

The Origins of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE)

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the oldest Masonic Grand Lodge in the world, founded in 1717. It has long been considered the mother lodge of Freemasonry and many other Grand Lodges have since been established from it. The UGLE has played a major role in the history of Freemasonry and was instrumental in its spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

The origins of UGLE can be traced back to London in 1717 when four lodges gathered at The Goose & Gridiron Ale-house, St Paul’s Churchyard, to form what became known as the London or Premier Grand Lodge. This was done with a view to bring some order to English Freemasonry which had become increasingly chaotic due to a number of rival lodges that had emerged over recent years.

The first Grand Master was Anthony Sayer, who was elected on 24 June 1717 at the same meeting that established this first Grand Lodge. His successor, George Payne, served from 1718-20 and was succeeded by George Payne’s Deputy followed by John Theophilus Desaguliers who served from 1721-25.

In 1723, UGLE obtained a Royal Charter from King George I which began a period of growth for Freemasonry within Britain and Ireland. This led to an increase in membership as many more lodges were formed throughout Britain and Ireland. By 1813, there were over 800 lodges registered with UGLE – an increase from only around 60 lodges at its formation in 1717.

UGLE has played an important role in preserving and developing Freemasonry over the years, including introducing regulations for initiation ceremonies and specifying qualifications for memberships. It has also been responsible for keeping records of all ceremonies performed by its members as well as maintaining a library containing books on Freemasonry which are available to members only.

Today, UGLE continues to play an important role in promoting Freemasonry around the world through its network of affiliated lodges across England and Wales as well as overseas branches such as those in Australia, New Zealand and India. It is also responsible for providing educational materials on topics related to Freemasonry such as lectures on history or philosophy which are made available to all members via its website or app. It also organizes events such as conferences or dinners throughout England each year which provide opportunities for members to gather together and share their experiences with each other.

The United Grand Lodge of England has come a long way since its humble beginnings in London back in 1717 – becoming one of the most influential organizations dedicated to preserving and promoting Freemasonry around the world today.

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization with a long and colorful history that dates back centuries. It has evolved over the years to become one of the most widely recognized organizations in the world, with thousands of lodges in countries across the globe. This article will explore the history and evolution of modern Freemasonry, looking at its origins, tenets, and influence on society today.

Origins of Freemasonry

The exact origins of Freemasonry are not known, though it is believed to have its roots in the Middle Ages. The craft guilds of medieval Europe were likely an early precursor to Freemasonry, providing members with professional support and social networks. Over time, these guilds developed into what we now know as Masonic lodges.

Tenets of Freemasonry

The primary focus of Freemasonry is self-improvement through moral instruction and philosophy. Its members adhere to a set of core principles known as “the tenets of Freemasonry” that include brotherly love, charity, tolerance for others’ beliefs, and truthfulness. These values are often manifested in the form of charitable works with a strong emphasis on education and philanthropy.

Evolution Over Time

Freemasonry has changed significantly over the years as new generations have taken up its principles and adapted them to fit their own needs and values. In recent decades, women have become increasingly involved in Freemasonry; many lodges now accept both male and female members for full membership rights. Additionally, technology has made it easier than ever before for people from different countries to communicate with each other through websites and other online forums dedicated to Masonic topics.

Modern Impact

Today, Freemasonry remains an influential force within society at large, though it is often misunderstood by those who are unfamiliar with it or its history. Despite this misunderstanding or lack of awareness about its teachings, many famous figures throughout history have been Masons – including prominent politicians such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin – which speaks to the importance that Masonry has had on world events over time. Furthermore, modern technology has allowed Masonry to spread its message more widely than ever before; there are now international Grand Lodges which allow members from around the world to stay connected via online forums and websites dedicated to Masonic topics.

Exploring the Impact of Freemasonry on the Enlightenment

Freemasonry has been a powerful influence in the global history, and its impact on the Enlightenment period is particularly noteworthy. This period of history saw immense changes in philosophy, science, and politics, with many thinkers inspired by Freemasonry working to move society forward. In this article we explore how Freemasonry shaped the Enlightenment by examining the following points:

The Rise of Freemasonry

Freemasonry had its beginnings in the late 17th century, when members of various secret societies such as Rosicrucianism began to form lodges across Europe. These lodges were based on shared values such as equality and brotherhood, and sought to promote intellectual progress and social reform. Freemasons played an important role in establishing networks between enlightened thinkers from different countries, allowing them to share ideas and collaborate on projects. This helped to spread Enlightenment ideals throughout Europe.

Freemasonry’s Role in Philosophy and Politics

During the Enlightenment period, many ideas about individual rights and freedoms were being explored by philosophers such as Voltaire and Rousseau. These thinkers were influenced by Masonic ideals such as liberty, equality, fraternity, which helped to shape their thinking on these issues. Additionally, many politicians during this period were Masons themselves or had strong ties to Masonic lodges; for example, George Washington was a prominent Mason who used his influence to promote freedom of religion in America. Thus, it can be seen that Freemasonry played an important role in shaping both philosophy and politics during this time.

The Decline of Freemasonry

By the end of the 18th century, however, interest in Freemasonry had begun to wane due to increasing criticism from religious authorities who viewed it as a threat to their power. The French Revolution further damaged its reputation as it was associated with some of its worst excesses. Although interest in Masonry has revived somewhat since then, it has never returned to its former level of influence over society or politics.

In Reflection On Freemasonry Start Date

Freemasonry has a long and storied history dating back centuries. Despite its murky origins and lack of written records, it is a tradition that has survived and continues to thrive in modern times. Its members have included some of the most influential people in history, as well as everyday people who use its principles of brotherhood, charity, and community to make positive differences in their lives. Freemasonry’s start date is unknown, but it is thought to have first taken shape in 1717 with the formation of the first Grand Lodge in England. From that point on, its influence spread across Europe and then to other parts of the world. Despite being shrouded in mystery and often criticized by outsiders, Freemasonry continues to empower individuals and bring them together for the common good.

Freemasonry’s lasting legacy can be seen today in lodges all over the world that are devoted to helping individuals achieve their full potential while at the same time becoming better citizens of society. Through their charitable work and commitment to education, they strive to make positive changes for themselves and for those around them. By embracing its values of fellowship, integrity, respect, and service they help create a more just and equitable world for everyone.

In reflection, Freemasonry is an ancient tradition whose roots trace back centuries ago. While its exact start date may never be known for certain, its influence on individuals’ lives can still be seen today as members come together to better themselves while also helping others around them reach their goals. With strong principles of brotherhood and charity at its core, Freemasonry will continue making an impact on society far into the future.

Esoteric Freemasons