Freemasonry was a major cultural and social phenomenon and a key element of the Enlightenment. It was to have an international influence across the globe. This primary resource collection charts a key period in the development of organized Freemasonry culminating in the formation of a single United Grand Lodge of England.
The secrecy that has surrounded Freemasonry has made it difficult to access information and documents about the organization and its adherents in the past. This collection is the result of extensive archival research and transcription and highlights the most significant themes associated with Freemasonry.
The documents are drawn from masonic collections, private archives and libraries worldwide. The majority of these texts have never before been republished. Documents include rituals (some written in code), funeral services, sermons, songs, certificates, an engraved list of lodges, letters, pamphlets, theatrical prologues and epilogues, and articles from newspapers and periodicals.
This collection will enable researchers to identify many key masons for the first time. It will be of interest to students of Freemasonry, the Enlightenment and researchers in eighteenth-century studies.
Table of Contents
William Smith, The Book M: Or, Masonry Triumphant (1736)
The Rite ancien de Bouillon (1740?)
Womens Masonry or Masonry by Adoption (1765)
The ‘Sheffield’ Royal Arch Ritual (c. 1780–5)
The ‘Flather’ MS (1780–1800)
Alexander Dalziel’s Manuscripts of [William Preston’s?] ‘Old Harodim Lectures’ or ‘Old York Ritual/Lectures’ [c. 1790?]
William Finch’s MS: ‘Royal Arch A.D. 1804’
William Finch, Freemasons Guide 1807
G. N. Drinkwater’s and I. H. Drinkwater’s 1955 transcript of William Waples’s 1951 transcript of John Yarker’s 1896 [?] transcript of the Rituals (not the Lectures) of the Craft degrees of Alexander Dalziel’s c. 1823 Manuscript
Excerpts from the Texts by Ferdinand Fritz Schnitger
Alexander Dalziel’s 1830 MSS
Freemasonry. A Word to the Wise 
The ‘Sheffield’ Knight Templar Ritual (c. 1800)
The ‘Deptford’ MS (1814–19)
High Knights Templar Rituals, Dublin (1795 and 1804)
Knight of the Red Cross Ritual, Ireland (1806)
List of Sources
General Editor: Róbert Péter (volumes 4–5) is at the University of Szeged, Hungary
Volume Editors: Cécile Revauger (volume 1) is at the University Bordeaux Montaigne
Jan A. M. Snoek (volume 2–3) is at Heidelberg University, Germany