Page 18 - Montana Freemason Magazine November 2013
P. 18

A.F. & A.M; F. & A.M.; A.F.M.; and F.A.A.M.

    Grand Lodges in the United States are                              for the Craft, the Ancient Grand Lodge added much
designated as “Free and Accepted” or “Ancient,                         vitality to Freemasonry and many stirring parts to the
Free and Accepted.” In addition, the Grand Lodge                       ritual. In the year 1813 the two Grand Lodges joined in
of the District of Columbia is designated F.A.A.M.                     a Lodge Reconciliation and became the United Grand
interpreted “Free And Accepted Masons.” The Grand                      Lodge of England.
Lodge of South Carolina likewise, is written A.F.M.,
meaning “Ancient Free Masons.” There are, then, but                        In those states where the Lodges are called “Ancient,
four proper titles used by the Grand Lodges of the                     Free and Accepted” they are calling attention to their
United States - A.F.&A.M.; F.&A.M.; F.A.A.M., and                      historic connection with the Ancient Grand Lodge of
A.F.M. Of the 51 Grand Jurisdictions in the United                     England, to the Operative Masons of the past and to
States, 25 have Ancient descent in their title and 26                  the Accepted Masons that were the link between the
Modern descent. Of these it is clear that 4 have their                 Craft and the Operative Craft of yesteryear. In those
origins from the Ancient Grand Lodge of England                        states where the word “Ancient” does not appear
and 1 from the Moderns. The other 46 are of mixed                      the lodges are linked historically with the “Modern”
origin.                                                                Grand Lodge.

    This word is noAt unsteidentot doaryAtoncdieennotte the antiquity      What was Wthehocawuesreeothf ethAenircipeanntns ing a separate
of the Craft. It has special reference to the Antient                  Grand Lodge? This question is answered briefly above
or Ancient Grand Lodge of England which existed                        but the following is a more detailed description:
from the year 1751 to 1813. Many Masonic historians                    (a) Throughout the latter half of the 18th century
have called this event a “schism” but most modern                      Freemasonry in England was divided into two
Masonic scholars do not accept this view. A “schism”                   camps bitterly opposed to one another. These were
denotes a break or withdrawal. For many years it was                   the Moderns (so called) who loyally adhered to the
believed that a group of Masons who were members                       original Grand Lodge and the Ancients who formed
of the 1717 Grand Lodge had withdrawn from it and                      a rival Grand Lodge in 1751. Until recently it was
formed a rival Grand Lodge. But in 1887 Henry Sadler                   customary to refer to the Ancients as “Seceders” and
in his book “Masonic Facts and Fictions” proved                        “Schismatics” but investigation has shown that none of
conclusively that this event was not a “schism.”                       the founders belonged to any Lodge owing allegiance
                                                                       to the Premier Grand Lodge. They were mostly Irish
    Various reasons have been advanced for the                         Brethren resident in London.
organization of this new Grand Lodge. It appears that                  (b) The causes of the break were rooted partly in the
a number of Irish Masons residing in London were                       slackness and weak administration of the Premier
not permitted to visit the Lodges of London by the                     Grand Lodge at the time and partly in certain changes
snobbish and aristocratic members of that city. These                  in custom and ritual which had been deliberately made
Irish members claimed that the London members                          for the purpose of excluding imposters (following the
were making innovations in the ritual and ceremonies                   publication of the “exposures”).
of the Craft. It is likely that changes were being made                These changes can be stated as probably including the
in the modes of recognition to prevent visitation                      following:
by Masons from Irish Lodges. At any rate, the new                      (1) The dechristianization of Freemasonry which had
Grand Lodge used these innovations as an excuse                        started as early as 1723.
for organizing stating that it wanted to preserve the                  (2) Neglect of the days of the St. Johns (the Baptist and
ancient usages of the Craft. As a term of derision                     the Evangelist) as special Masonic festivals.
members of the 1717 Grand Lodge were called the                        (3) A transposition of the modes of recognition in the
Moderns and the members of the other Grand Lodge                       E.A. and F.C. Degrees. This apparently was the
were called the Ancients. At one time the Ancients                     principal cause of offence.
were known as Atholl Masons after the third Duke of                    (4) Abandonment of the esoteric (secret) part in the
Atholl who became Grand Master in 1771 (See Atholl                     Installation of Masters.

    As a result of these two Grand Lodges in England,
the Lodges in Colonial America were not united
because some Lodges received charters from one
Grand Lodge and other Lodges from the other Grand
PLaogdeg1e8. While the rivalry that existed was not healthy
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