The origins of Freemasonry are shrouded in mystery. Some say it began with the ancient Egyptians, while others believe that it has its roots in the Knights Templar. What is known for sure is that Freemasonry has been around for centuries, and its principles have inspired many famous figures throughout history.
Despite its long history and efforts towards public awareness, Freemasonry is still shrouded in secrecy. Even today, the inner workings of the fraternity are largely unknown to outsiders. This secrecy has led to a lot of speculation about what goes on inside Masonic lodges, and there are many myths and legends surrounding this enigmatic organization.
But regardless of speculations and fear about secrets Freemasonry may hold, its principles remain unchanged. The fraternity is dedicated to promoting brotherhood and charity among its members, and it has helped countless people over the years. Thanks to Freemasons like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, America was founded on strong moral values that continue to influence our society today.
With the Grand Lodge system of Freemasonry founded in the early 18th century, it has since grown to become one of the largest fraternal organizations in the world. Though its membership has always been diverse, Freemasonry is united by its core principles of brotherhood, charity, and truth. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the history of Freemasonry and how it has evolved over the years.
The Early Years
While the system of Masonry has uncertain historical roots, the Grand Lodge system and modern Masonry as we know it was established in 1717, when four pre existing London-based lodges decided to form a grand lodge. At the time, London was home to many different lodges, each with its own customs and traditions. The four lodges that formed the grand lodge were known as “time immemorial” lodges because they could trace their origins back to before the formation of the grand lodge.
Over the next few decades, Freemasonry slowly began to spread across Europe. It arrived in North America in 1731, when a lodge was established in Philadelphia. In 1733, another lodge was founded in Boston. These two lodges would eventually go on to form the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, which is now the oldest continuously operating grand lodge in the world.
The 19th Century
The 19th century was a period of growth and expansion for Freemasonry. Lodges were established all over Europe and North America, and Freemasonry began to spread to other parts of the world as well. In 1801, for example, lodges were established in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) and Jamaica; in 1811, lodges were founded in New South Wales (now Australia); and in 1844, lodges were set up in New Zealand.
The 20th Century and Beyond
As Freemasonry entered the 20th century, it continued to grow and expand worldwide. Today, there are an estimated six million Freemasons worldwide—with nearly two million active members—and Lodges can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
Freemasonry is a fraternity with a long and fascinating history. What started as a small group of London-based lodges has grown into a global organization with millions of members worldwide. Though it has undergone some changes over the years—particularly with regard to its membership requirements—Freemasonry continues to be united by its core principles of brotherhood, charity, and truth.