Fringe Masonry in England


Bro. Ellic Howe


[1] See Ellic Howe, The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order, 1887-1923, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972.

[2] See A, E. Waite, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, 1924, pp. 568ff.

[3] These included a still uncompleted study of the Germanen Order in relation to the prehistory of German National Socialism. The G.O. (.fl. 1911-c. 22) was a pseudo-Masonic (and anti-Masonic!) secret society with a psychopathic anti-semitic bias. By 19I4 it had a dozen 'lodges' scattered throughout Germany.

[4] Irwin died on 26 July 1893. There is no reference in his will to the disposal of his books and papers, but his widow presented them to Grand Lodge in March 1894. Apart from the letters, which are preserved in three small boxes, other documents from this source are in 'special subject' folders under such headings as 'sat B'hai' and 'swedenborg Rite'. There is also an interesting collection of MS. rituals, all for pseudo-Masonic rites, in Irwin's handwriting or copied for him by his friend Benjamin Cox. For a check list of Irwin's correspondents see Appendix 1.

[5] In 1902 the Grand Council extended its authority and claimed 'the superintendence of all such Degrees or Orders as may hereafter be established in England and Wales with, and by consent of, The Supreme Council 33 degree, Great Priory, Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, Grand Council of Roval and Select Masters and Grand Imperial Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine, but not under the superintendence of such governing bodies'. By this time there was little or no interest in the creation of additional rites.

[6] Mackenzie and Invin were discussing the formation of a Council of Side Degrees as early as 1875. On 11 June Mackenzie informed Irwin that 'I have put the question as to a Council of Side Degrees to my uncle Bro. Hervey [Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England] and if he sees nothing improper in the matter I shall have no hesitation in acting conjointly with yourself in putting such a plan forward. It would in one way regulate the conferring of these degrees', of which there are some 270 in existence and thus prevent a good deal of imposture. . . . ' A later letter (4 February 1876) explains what Mackenzie had in mind. Groups of these degrees would be successively available to Mark Masters, R. A. Companions, and, according to seniority, to members of the A. & A. Rite. Their projected Council was never formed.

[7] Here I have mainly used Albert Lantoine, Histoire de la franc-maçonnerie francaise, Paris, 1925, pp. 287-97; articles or references in The Freemason, 1869-72; Albert Mackey, An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, Philadelphia, 1875 (not in Wolfstieg but probably a more or less exact reprint of the first 1874 edition); and the 'historical' article on John Yarker's Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry in his periodical The Kneph, Vol. 1, No. 8, August 1881. The latter contains many misrepresentations.

[8] The certificate, with parallel texts in French and English, was undoubtedly designed and printed in France. It is headed: 'Au Nom du G ∴ Conseil Gen ∴ de l'Ordre Mac ∴ Reformé de Memphis, sous les auspices de la Gr ∴ Loge des Philadelphes'. The signatures of the seven lodge officers (Le Ven[erable] de la L[oge], Le Ier Surveillant) etc. were all of Englishmen. The signatures of three 'Grand Officers' were those of Frenchmen.

[9] The analysis and discussion of various documents relating to the Rite of Memphis in France and England, 1850-70, are reserved for a separate article.

[10] There was a Memphis lodge at Ballarat, Australia, during the 1860s.

[11] Felice Orsini (1819-58), Italian conspirator who attempted to assassinate Napoleon III on 14 January 1858. He was guillotined. The Memphis Freemasons were meeting at the Eclectic Hall, Soho, in 1871 (article on the Rites of Mismaim and Memphis signed R.E.X. in The Freemason, 15 April 1871).

[12] See S. Posener, Adolphe Crémieux (1796-1880), 2 vols., Paris, 1934, which is the standard biography. Posener reprinted the text of a telegram despatched by Crémieux from Bordeaux to Paris on 28 December. See Vol. II, p. 215.

[13] It will be noted that Montagu wrote to Thévenot at the Grand Orient rather than to his own opposite number at the French Supreme Council 33 °, or even to Crémieux. The latter had been the Supreme Council's Sovereign-Grand Commander (i.e. head) since 1869. Here we encounter part of an extremely complex chapter in the history of French Freemasonry - it concerns the current relationships between the Grand Orient and the Supreme Council - which cannot be discussed here. For Crémieux's Masonic career see Posener, op. cit., Vol.II, pp. 164-7; A. Lantoine, La Franc-Maçonnerie écossaise en France, Paris, 1931; and the biographical note in Lenhoff and Posner, Internationales Freimaurer Lexikon, 1932.

[14] According to Little's obituary in The Rosicrucian and Masonic Record, April 1878, he 'edited the earlier numbers of The Freemason'. The date when he relinquished the editorship is not known.

[15] The Supreme Council may have had an obscure claim to the rite. See Arnold Whitaker Oxford, The Origin and Progress of the Supreme Council 33 &$176; of the Ancient and Accepted (Scottish) Rite for England etc., Oxford University Press, 1933) PP- 37-40. Oxford briefly mentioned the rite in connection with the Rose Croix members of the Antiquity Encampment of Knights Templar at Bath in 1866.

[16] R.W. Little (1840-78) was initiated in the Royal Union Lodge No. 382 at Uxbridge in May 1861 and was a founder of the Rose of Denmark Lodge No. 975 (1863), Villiers Lodge No. 1194 (1867) and Burdett Lodge No. 1293 (1869). He was also a joining member of Royal Albert Lodge No. 907 (1862) and Whittington Lodge No. 862 (1867). In Royal Arch he was exalted in Domatic Chapter No. 177 in 1863 and was a member of other R.A. Chapters. These details account for his career in Craft Masonry up to 1871. By 1878, when he died, he was an honorary member of about ninety Lodges and Chapters.

[17] The Imperial Ecclesiastical and Military Order of the Knights of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, now the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, was 'revived' by Little in 1865 when he was only twenty-six years old. The Order achieved an immediate popularity. Between May 1865 and September 1871 sixty-two Conclaves were chartered. Of these fourteen were in Canada, eighteen in the U.S.A. and eight in India. The anonymous author of a pamphlet recently published under the authority of the Order's Grand Imperial Conclave in London refuted Little's proposition that he had resuscitated an Order with a lengthy previous history. See The History and Origin of the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, London, privately printed 1971.

[18] In November 1872 Little was elected Secretary of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls. It is possible that a lobby was organised on his behalf because he polled 305 votes, the other three candidates sharing only fifteen between them. His departure from the Grand Secretary's office clearly removed a source of embarrassment.

[19] Dr. W. R. Woodman (1828-91), a physician, was initiated in 1857 in St. George's Lodge No. 129 (now 112) at Exeter. He was successively Grand Recorder and Grand Treasurer of the Red Cross Order of Rome and Constantine. There was some overlapping of membership between the two bodies.

[20] W. Wynn Westcott, History of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, London, privately printed, 1900, p. 31.

[21] Between March and August 1888 about forty people were initiated in the G.D., which was open to members of both sexes. Of the twenty-eight males who joined at that time no less than eighteen were already members of the S.R.I.A. During the G.D.'s early period (1888-92) it was a perfectly innocent little secret society which worked half a dozen rituals composed by MacGregor Mathers, and whose members studied the elements of so-called occultism. In 1892 Mathers began to teach the theory and practice of Ritual Magic to a carefully selected minority. These thaumaturgic activities were supposed to be most secret. There must have been leakages of information because some highly respectable and senior members of the S.R.I.A. resigned at this time.

[22] It is conceivable that the papers referred to the late eighteenth-century German 'Gold-und Rosenkreuzer Orden', an offshoot of the Strict Observance. The Rosicrucian Society adopted the latter's grade scheme and nomenclature, i.e. Zelator, Theoricus, Practicus, Philosophus, etc. The grade names will be found in the extraordinary table of so-called Rosicrucian degrees in Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, 1877. Mackenzie wrote that this information 'had never before been published ... and the statements therein are derived from many sources of an authentic character, but have never been collected before.' This was a barefaced lie. He translated the complete table directly from Magister Pianco (i.e. Hans Heinrich von Ecker und Eckhoffen), Der Rosenkreuzer in seiner Blösse, 1781.

[23] W. Wynn Westcort, op. cit., p. 6.

[24] W. Wvnn Westcott, op. cit., p. 6.

[25] ibid., Data of the History of the Rosicrucians, London, J.M. Watkins for the S.R.I.A., 1916, p.8.

[26] A. E. Waite, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, 1924, p. 566.

[27] When R. W. Little died in April 1878, Dr. W. R. Woodman succeeded him as Supreme Magus of the Rosicrucian Society. Westcott followed Woodman as S.M. when the latter died in December 1891. William Wynn Westcott (1848-1925) was initiated in the Parrett and Axe Lodge, No. 814, at Crewkerne, Somersetshire, in 1871, soon after he qualified as a physician. He was then a partner in an uncle's medical practice at nearby Martock. He was invested as P.A.G.D.C. on 26 November 1877. In c. 1879 he moved to London and 'went into retirement at Hendon for two years, which were entirely devoted to the study of Kabalistic philosophy, the works of Hermetic writers, and the remains of the Alchymists and Rosicrucians' (AQC 38, 1925, p. 224).

[28] W. Wynn Westcott, History of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, London, 1900, p. 7.

[29] Gould's information concerning Irwin's military career is not always accurate, hence a few corrections have been made.

[30] See T. W. J. Connally, The History of the Corps of Sappers and Miners, 2 vols., 1855. About two hundred Sappers and Miners were employed at the Great Exhibition, e.g. on maintenance work.

[31] When Q.C. Lodge was consecrated on 12 March 1886, Lieut.-Gen. Sir Charles Warren, G.C.M.G., F.R.S., was its first W.M. R.F. Gould, whose famous History of Freemasonry, 6 vols., 1882-7, was nearing completion, was another of the lodge's nine founder members. On 7 April 1886 Irwin was one of the first six joining members to be elected. He and Gould met one another for the first time since i858 at the Q.C. Lodge meeting on 3 June 1886.

[32] The following is from F. L. Pick and G. Norman Knight, The Pocket History of Freemasonry, 5th edition, 1969, p. 249: 'This is a real "side" degree in the sense that, many years ago, it was customary for one Brother to confer it on another. He would take him aside at the end of a Lodge meeting, for instance, administer a simple obligation and entrust him with the secrets. The origin of the degree is not known .... It first came to England in 1865, brought to Plymouth from Malta by a military Brother, and three Councils were erected there to work it in full form.' W. Hearder's pamphlet Past Illustrious Sovereign of Knight of Constantinople Jewel, 1916, records that 'on the 17th of January, 1865 ... the Eminent and Perfect Illustrious Brother F. G. Irwin formed the first Council at the St. Aubyn Lodge, Devonport, and several eminent Masons were entrusted with the secrets of the Order, and were elevated to the degree of Knights of Constantinople....'

[33] The only evidence for the date and place of his birth are the marginal notes made by Christopher Cooke on the same pages of two interleaved and heavily annotated copies (Mrs. P.I. Naylor's and my own) of his extraordinary autobiographical work Curiosities of Occult Literature, London, privately printed, 1863. (This book's title is misleading. It contains a detailed account of its author's unsatisfactory relationship with Lieut. R. J. Morrison, R.N. retd., a well-known contemporary professional astrologer and promoter of dud companies. Under the pseudonym Zadkiel he edited a widely-read annual prophetic almanac. See Ellic Howe, Urania's Children: The Strange World of the Astrologers 1967, PP- 33-47.) Cooke was acquainted with Mackenzie and both were enthusiastic astrologers. Hence when Cooke wrote that Mackenzie was born in London on 31 October 1833 at 10 a.m. the date is likely to be correct since he would have learned it from Mackenzie himself.

[34] I have not been able to discover when and where Mackenzie gained his first medical qualification. According to the London Medical Directory for 1845 he was M.D. Vienna in 1834 and M.R.C.S. England on 31 August 1840. This source reveals that he was 'Assistant Surgeon in the Imperial Hospital, Vienna (containing 4,000 beds), Midwifery Department'.

[35] On 23 May 1840 the Athenaeum published his translation of a communication by his friend Professor Berres, of Vienna, on 'A method of permanently fixing, engraving and printing from Daguerrotype plates'. This may have been written at Vienna. An article in the Lancet (9 January 1841) on 'statistics of Multiple Births' was completed at 21 College Street, Chelsea, on 9 December 1840. This was based on Vienna hospital records for the period July 1839-July 1840 and was probably written just before he became M.R.C.S. England. Thus the available evidence suggests that he was in London from the summer of 1840 onwards.

[36] During 1851 Notes and Queries published communications from him on such diverse topics as the location of a fragment of an oration against Demosthenes, the presumed textual connections between certain works by Sallust and Tacitus, observations on the works of Homer, comments on a translation of Apulcius, and particulars of the manuscripts of hitherto unpublished English seventeenth century poems which he had discovered at the British Museum.

[37] Julin was an ancient Wendish trading post and mentioned in 1075 as being the largest town in Europe. Mackenzie had visited Wollin, which was assumed by archaeologists to be the probable location of Julin. It was not far from Swinemund, later a popular Baltic seaside resort and now in Polish territory.

[38] K. R. Lepsius was a renowned scholar and at that time had the chair for Egyptology at the University of Berlin. In the German edition the author's Preface is dated 2 June 1852, Mackenzie's translation was reviewed in the Athenaeum as early as 21 August 1852. It appeared so soon after the original German text was published that it is likely that Mackenzie had a copy of Lepsius's manuscript long before 2 June 1852. Since Bentley would hardly have conimissioned a youth still in his teens to translate such an important work, my hypothesis is that Mackenzie, who was already an enthusiastic Egyptologist, had attended Lepsius's lectures and had persuaded him to allow him to translate the book.

[39] See the Society's Proceedings, first series, iii, PP- 48, 58, 98, 101, 111, 174 for details of his communications and exhibits in 854.

[40] See R. H. Super, Walter Savage Landor, New York, 1954, passim.

[41] The only known run of this periodical in Great Britain is at the Birmingham Public Library. The City Librarian informed me that he was unable to trace any contributions signed by Mackenzie or with his initials.

[42] He wrote to Irwin on 4 February 1876: 'I wish that I could learn that Mrs. Irwin's health was reestablished on a firm basis. If I knew the particulars of the complaint perhaps I could suggest some thing as I cure everyone who chooses to consult me. I have a peculiar knowledge of the properties of Sympathia - and I find them rather increase in power than otherwise. I was brought up to medicine under Dr. Hassall at St. George's Hospital, Hyde Park - but I do not practice as I never took an English degree, although I am "licensed to kill" anywhere out of England.' There is no evidence in the registers at St. George's Hospital Medical School that he ever registered as a student there. Perhaps he merely 'walked the wards' there as a matter of interest. His claim that he had a foreign medical qualification was obviously the product of an excessively lively imagination.

[43] Mr. Gerald Yorke possesses a manuscript version in Mackenzie's handwriting: 'An account of what passed between Eliphas Lévi Zahed (Abbe Constant), Occult Philosopher, and Baphometus (Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie), Astrologer and Spiritualist, in the City of Paris, December 1861'. On the last page Mackenzie wrote: 'The foregoing was committed to paper on Monday 10th December 1861 and was transcribed by the undersigned on the 9th and 10th May 1863.' This fair copy was written at 3 Victoria Street, Westminster. For the significance of this address see footnote 46.

[44] There is a reference to Mackenzie's visit in Paul Chacornac, Eliphas Lévi, renovateur de l'occultisme en France, 1926, pp- 201-3. Lévi's works were being read by members of the Rosicrucian Society long before they were translated into English. See William Carpenter's article in The Rosicrucian, January 1870, in which he mentioned that Lévi's books were 'very little known even among the members of our mystic and secret orders' (p. 83). Carpenter may be the source for the first printed reference in the English language to the alleged occult significance of the Tarot cards (ibid., p. 81).

[45] The Royal College of Surgeons membership lists, published annually in mid-July, locate Dr. Mackenzie at Paris from 1858 until as late as 1900. He was probably already dead by the late 1870s since his son's letters to Irwin indicate that his aged mother was a member of his household.

[46] MEMBERSHIP OF LEARNED SOCIETIES - The Preface to The Life of Bismarck was written at 4 St. Martin's Court, Trafalgar Square, on 6 December 1869. This was the address ofthe Ethnographical Society of London, which merged with the Anthropological Society of London in 1871- Mackenzie joined the latter on 19 April 1864 and was an active member until May 1870, although he paid no subscriptions after 1868. In a letter to Irwin (24 September 1875) he referred to the period when he 'was editing the Anthropological Review', but his name cannot be found in any editorial capacity in contemporary volumes of that journal. His connection with the Society of Antiquaries also ceased in 1870 when his membership was cancelled because his subscription was in arrears. He was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1855-61. Long after 1870 he was still using the initials F.S.A. and M.R.A.S. after his name.
BOGUS ACADEMIC DISTINCTIONS - His claim to doctorates of philosophy and law can hardly be genuine. His Preface to the translation of J. M. Wolf's Fairy Tales, 1855, was signed by 'Kenneth R.H. Mackenzie, Ph.D., F.S.A., M.R.A.S.' He also appears as a Ph.D. in the 1856-7 Post Office directories. Thereafter he ceased to be a Ph.D. and by c. 1873 had become a doctor of laws. The first six issues of John Yarker's periodical The Kneph: Official Journal of the Antient and Primitive Rite were edited by 'Bro. Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, IX degree, L.L.D. [sic], 32 °'.
AT THE SAME ADDRESS AS JOHN HERVEY - His name appears intermittently in the Post Office directories during the period 1857-64. His whereabouts would be only of passing interest except for the fact that he was sometimes at the same address as his uncle John Hervey (Grand Secretary, of the United Grand Lodge of England (1868-79). Thus they were together at 35 Bernard Street, Russell Square, in 1859 and at 3 Victoria Street, Westminster in 1864. Hervey was listed as the Secretary of the Para Gas Company Ltd. at that address in 1863-4.

[47] cf. his article in The Rosicrucian and Masonic Record, April 1877, on 'Evenings with the Indwellers of the World of the Spirits: being a paper read at a Meeting of the Bristol Rosicrucian College'. Westcott incorrectly attributed this to Irwin in his History of the Societes Rosicruciana in Anglia, 1900, p. 18. Hockley mentioned that in 1854 after working for thirty years with crystals and mirrors he had prepared and consecrated a large mirror 'dedicated to a spirit known to me as C.A. [Chief Adept?], for the purpose of receiving visions and responses to metaphysical questions....' The inference is that Hockley was trying his hand at scrying as early as 1824, when he was only sixteen years old. This was long before the beginning of the spiritualist movement.

[48] Hockley was initiated in the British Lodge No. 8 in March 1864. He joined Emulation Lodge of Improvement some weeks later and attended its meetings with exemplary regularity until 1868. He was elected to the Emulation committee in October 1866 but resigned after his year as Master of British Lodge in 1868. He was J.W. of Grand Stewards' Lodge in 1875 and its Secretary from 1877 until his death in 1885.

[49] The 'last issue of The Freemason' did not refer to Mackenzie's impending marriage. It had taken place the previous June.

[50] John Hogg, who was to publish Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia in 1875-7, came to London from Edinburgh in c. 1868. He was initiated in Oak Lodge on 4 August 1869 but resigned in March 1871. He published the Perfect Ceremonies of Craft Masonry, which purported to give the Emulation Working, in 1870. Thereafter he specialised in Masonic publications.

[51] I know nothing about his earlier life except that he was the author of A Compilation of Various Interesting Historical Facts ... principally relating, to the Country of Somersetshire, published at Weston-super-Mare in 1852.

[52] I have not been able to identify either Bro. Parfitt or his 'Rosi Crucis'.

[53] R.T. Cross (1850-1923), then a young professional astrologer. He edited Raphael's Prophetic Messenger Almanack from 1875 until his death.

[54] I have not been able to discuss Yarker's Masonic career and 'fringe' promotions in this paper, largely because of lack of time to examine the available material. Today it is customary in Masonic circles - and not least in QC Lodge - to raise a disapproving eyebrow when Yarker's name is mentioned. However, he deserves further study in a historical context. He was the joker in the Masonic pack, an engaging maverick who fought impartially with all-comers. The heterodox activities of Irwin, Mackenzie, and after 1880 Westcott, escaped public criticism because they were discreet. Yarker was a noisy fellow and therefore attracted attention. It should be recorded that he was an early and enthusiastic supporter of QC Lodge. In a letter to Irwin (5 May 1888) written soon after the Lodge's consecration, he declared; 'It is a treat to me and a pleasure to find that there are still Masons in existence who are above prejudices and I am very much interested in Lodge 2076. It amounts almost to a revolution in Masonry.' AQC contains no fewer than twenty-six articles contributed by him: the first in 1886 and the last in 1912, shortly before his death in 1913.

[55] Cox stated that he was 'A Past Master in the Craft, a Principal in the Royal Arch; and W. Master in Mark Masonry. Fellow of the Masonic Archaeological Society. Member of the seventh grade of the Rosicrucian Society of England. Past M.P. Sovr of the Red Cross of [Rome and] Constantine and Knt of the Holy Sepulchre. Knt of the Black Eagle and Knt of the Hermetic Cross. Member of the 18 ° of the Ancient and Accepted Rite and Commander of Royal Ark Mariners. Member of the Royal Ark Council of Advice to the Most W. the Gd Mark Master for England, Wales and the Dependencies of the British Crown. Past Provincial Grand Steward in Craft Masonry. Provincial Senior Gd Mark Warden for Somerset, a Grand Steward of the Grand Mark Lodge of England etc.' The Masonic Archaeological Society was founded during the summer of 1868 with W. Hyde Pullen as honorary secretary. The members of this precursor of QC Lodge were not identified with 'Rejected Knowledge.'

[56] There was no conceivable connection between Irwin's 'Brothers of Light' and the eighteenth-century Fratres Lucis. See A. E. Waite's The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, 1924, PP. 503-28.

[57] Westcott apparently did not serve his 'magical apprenticeship' in the Fratres Lucis. In a letter written during the late 1950s to Mr. Gerald Yorke the late Captain E. J. Langford Garstin, who was active in one of the Golden Dawn's successor Orders after c. 1920, mentioned that 'Hockley, Mackenzie and Irwin all disliked and mistrusted S[apere] A[ude - i.e. Westcott], which is why he was refused admission to the Fratres Lucis.' Something that calls itself the Fratres Lucis still exists today. According to the Aquarian Guide to Occult, Mystical, Religious, Magical London & Around, London, The Aquarian Press, 1970, p. 19, 'this Order was established in Florence in 1498, by representatives of many of the religions and philosophies suppressed by the Roman Church'. Irwin mentioned Florence in connection with the 'early history' ofthe F.L. and it is extraordinary how this Florentine archetype has survived to this day. 'The Brothers will find you when you are ready, but it is no good looking for them,' the guide-book states, and then provides a British Monomark accommodation address in London.

[58] The letter is in the Lytton Knebworth Papers on loan to the Hertfordshire County Record Office at Hertford. Miss Sibylla Jane Flower, who is writing a biography of Lytton, told me that there are no other papers of Masonic interest there.

[59] See 'The Hermetic Cross of Praise' (February 1873), 'The Aims of Rosicrucian Science' (April 1874) and 'Roscrucianism: Religious and Scientific' (November 1874).

[60] Some of Mackenzie's letters to Irwin of this period were written on the heading of the Order of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, whose office was at 17 Great James Street, Bedford Row. Mackenzie was assisting Little, who was the Order's Grand Recorder. Mackenzie retired from the scene in January 1875. 'I have had so much trouble with Little and his arbitrary arrangements ... I was glad when he proposed to have a clerk at 8/- a week (more than he paid me) to be there.'

[61] Nor was Mackenzie prepared to reveal the allegedly arcane secrets contained in the Tarot cards. In a letter to Westcott about the Tarot (7 August 1879) he said: 'I am not disposed to communicate the Tarot system indiscriminately although I am acquainted with it. To do so would put a most dangerous weapon into the hands of persons less scrupulous than I am.'

[62] He was referring to Hargrave Jennings's eccentric book The Rosicrucians; Their Rites and Mysteries, 1870, which is nonsense from start to finish. If Mackenzie supposed that Jennings knew anything about the 'Rosicrucians' he was capable of believing anything.

[63] Bulwer-Lytton's famous 'Rosicrucian' novel Zanoni, 1842, was required reading for nineteenth century occultists. Cf. S.L. MacGregor Mathers's reference to it in his Introduction to The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage, 1898.

[64] It can be inferred that he drew heavily upon J. C. Gädicke, Freimaurer Lexikon, 1818, 2nd edit. 1831; G. B. Kloss, Geschichte der Freimaurerei in England, Schottland und Ireland, 1847, and Geschichte der Freimauerei in Frankreich, 2 VOLS., 1852-3; R. Macoy, General History, Cyclopaedia and Dictionary, of Freemasonry, New York, 1867, later editions 1869, 1872. His reliance on Mackey is very obvious.

[65] The correspondence contains a number of references to Mackenzie's and Irwin's involvement in spiritualism. The quotations are from Mackenzie's letters. 'My mother is a very good writing medium and my wife has the faculty but in a lesser degree . . . ' (1 March 1875). Irwin's son Herbert, a medical student at Bristol, died of an overdose of laudanum on 8 January 1879. Thereafter there were frequent attempts to establish contact with him. Irwin did not succeed and Mackenzie fared no better. 'With reference to crystal-gazing I can only say it is a long and weary business to develop the sight - even if the power exists ... my wife has been too ill for any attempts on our part but we will try from time to time to get news of poor Herbert' (28 February 1879). Later, in 1882-3, Mackenzie was trying to contact him with the help of an amateur medium. On 24 February 1883 he returned Herbert's necktie and locket, which Irwin had sent to him for mediumistic purposes, and wrote: 'The visions in the C[rystal] and Mirror through her [the medium] took a widely different form from those our friend Hockley [they were reconciled in 1878] and myself had obtained and although interesting did not permit of departed persons being summoned.' Finally on 4 February 1876 Mackenzie mentioned that his house at 2 Chiswick Square - he and his wife had recently moved from Chiswick Mall - was haunted. ' . . . not that either of us care for that. She has no fear, and I am too much accustomed to the ultra-mundane world.'

[66] See Die Bauhütte, Vol. XIX, 22 January, p. 29, and 19 February 1876, pp. 62-3.

[67] Mackenzie had been IX degree in the Rosicrucian Society, but this was not a 'higher degree' in the accepted sense of the term. According to the title-page he was 'Hon. Member of the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2, in Scotland', i.e. Edinburgh, where the Cyclopaedia was printed by the consider the Commercial Printing Company. In November 1876 the Lodge formed a committee to possibility of publishing a bi-centenary history. The Lodge resolved to offer Mackenzie honorary membership on 13 December. Bro. P.A. Rae, its present Secretary, suggested in a letter to me that this may have been the first rather crafty step in a move to persuade Mackenzie to undertake the work.' If the commission was ever offered to him he did not accept it.

[68] See Die Bauhütte, Vol. XXI, 5 June 1878.

(1=69) Lévi died a few months later and could no longer be consulted. Mackenzie referred to his death on 11 June 1875; 'I am sorry to hear Eliphaz Lévi has left us but I presume he would not be difficult to find [i.e. at a spiritualist seance] as he was so well known to those who preceded him and his contemporaries. I don't know whether I can get at him through my wife, who is a medium, but I will try.' The possibility of contacting Lévi was mentioned as casually as if, in a later day and age, Mackenzie hoped to telephone him if he could find his number.

[70] This information is from a late and condensed recension of the ritual (August 1907) formerly in Yarker's possession but not in his handwriting. Grand Lodge Library has recently acquired (F.E. Gould Bequest) an apparently complete text which was copied for Irwin by Benjamin Cox. Mackenzie's introductory 'History' and notes, dated 26 May 1872, describe him as 'Representative for Grand Patron'. The ritual is unbelievably turgid.

[71] Grand Lodge Museum has four Order of Ishmael jewels which once belonged to Irwin. According to the engraved legends he was advanced to Guardian of the Temple IX ° on 20 June, Elevated to Auxiliator 18 ° on 8 October, and Exalted to Providentia 27 ° on 8 November 1875. Finally on 8 January 1879 he was Perfected to Chevalier of Darius, Prince of Ishmael 36 °, on 8 January 1879.

[72] Alexander Mackenzie (b. 28 January 1822 at Logierat, Perthshire, d. 1892 at Toronto) emigrated to Canada in 1842. He was elected a member of the first Dominion House of Commons in 1867 and was prime minister of Canada 1871-8.

[73] On 1 June 1887 he wrote: 'I have a method [astrological or numerological?] of pitching on the right animals. Look at the enclosed. It is not 12 o'clock yet, but I wrote these three names down three days ago: Oaks, June 1, 1877. Three hours before the race. Note whether I am right. 1. Muscatel, 2 Lady Golightly, 3 Placida.' Placida won the race, Muscatel came third and Lady Golightly fourth.

[74] 74) Cf. Mackenzie's letter to Irwin of 23 October 1874 quoted on p. 265 above, in which he described the Order of Ishmael's ceremonies as being 'of a most august nature'.

[75] See John Yorker's biographical article in The Kneph, Vol. II, April 1882, p. 13O- I am indebted to Miss E. Talbot Rice, Research Assistant to the Director of the National Army Museum, London, for detailed particulars of Archer's military career.

[76] Lack of time has prevented me from inspecting Archer's books. His Idone: or, Incidents in the Life of a Dreamer, 1852, published when he was twenty-nine, might repay study.

[77] See the certificate in Grand Lodge Library dated the 'first day of Winter Solstice 1874'. Irwin was given the 'spiritual and mystic name Kartikeya'.

[78] This letter includes a reference to R. W. Lirde's Ancient and Archaeological Society of Druids: 'Don't have anything to do with the Druids. It is only Little in another form and what information he has, he obtained from me. I paid some fees to the precious order and have never heard anything more of it,' Mackenzie wrote. According to the Cyclopaedia it was 'a quasi-Masonic body, reconstituted by Bro. R. Wenrworth Little in October 1874 ... Master Masons alone are admissible to this body which, it is to be hoped, will show signs of vitality at some time not far distant.' Mackenzie mentioned it again on 26 February 1877: 'I know I paid a subscription and I was told the money was spent on a feed but I had none of it.'

[79] Samuel Petty Leather was a close friend of John Yarker, who lived nearby at Manchester, and active in all the latter's fringe-Masonic promotions. In 1882 he was second in the hierarchy of Yarker's 'Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, inclusive of Memphis and Misraim'. On 22 February 1875 when Irwin was already doubtful about the Apex project he wrote: 'I indeed feel grieved to hear you have had much trouble through "Apex" and think you will do well to let it rest a while. There is one point in your letter. You call it "The Rite of Apex". I have not looked upon "Apex" as a rite. If I were to do so I should at once stop. I am not quite clear on this point. There are already too many Rites in Masonry - my rude objection to the introduction of ceremonial observances was the fear that it might become a rite.'

[80] David Fearon Ranking was a member of the Rosicrucian Society in 1879. He joined Westcott's Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in June 1892 but resigned soon after when he was made a bankrupt.

[81] The Osiris Temple had a short life. Cox initiated eight male members, all of them Freemasons, in 1888 and two more in 1890.

[82] Grand Lodge Library has a more or less contemporary MS. copy of the charter.

[83] William Stainton Moses (1840-92) took Holy Orders in c. 1868 but resigned from a chaplaincy in the Isle of Man in 1872 when he became interested in spiritualism and returned to London, where he taught English at University College School. He was a founder of the London Spiritualist Alliance, a frequent contributor to the spiritualist press and for some years editor of Light. He was also a well known private medium. When the Rosicrucian Society's Burdett (London) College was founded in December 1867 its Fratres included Stainton Moses and R. Palmer Thomas. The latter was later to be a prominent member of the Golden Dawn.

[84] In 1877 the Theosophical Society, which was inaugurated in New York in November 1875 was still hardly known in Great Britain. However, there is evidence to show that H. P. Blavatsky's first important book, Isis Unveiled, 1877, was being read in Rosicrucian Society circles soon after its publication. The Society's remarkable expansion did not begin until May 1887 when Madame Blavatsky settled permanently in London. Stainton Moses was a Fellow of the New York Theosophical Society in 1878 and one of the few Englishmen to have any connection with it. He immediately procured honorary membership for Mackenzie. Yarker met H.P. Blavatsky when she was briefly in England at the end of 1878 and appears to have given her what purported to be a Masonic initiation. The history of 'Co-Masonry' in this country began with Yarker and continued under Theosophical Society auspices.

[85] William Alexander Ayton (1816-1909), Vicar of Chacombe, Northamptonshire. He had an alchemical laboratory in his cellar and was afraid that his Bishop would learn of its existence. He was among the first to join the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1888. W. B. Yeats, who met him in the G. D. milieu in 1890, described him as 'an old white-haired clergyman, the most panic-stricken person I have ever known' (Autobiographies, 1926, pp. 227-8). S. L. MacGregor Mathers introduced him to Yeats at a G.D. ceremony with the words: 'He unites us to the great adepts of the past.' Ayton was invested as Provincial Grand Chaplain for Oxfordshire in 1875.

[86] Edward Smith Nunn was not a physician but the headmaster of a school at Weston-super-Aare called 'The College'. In spite of his lack of enthusiasm for occultism he was initiated in the Golden Dawn in April 1888. He died before September 1893.

[87] See Yarker's letters to Irwin of 10 July and 16 October 1890 (Grand Lodge Library), also his The Arcane Schools, 1909, p. 492.

[88] See W. W. Westcott, Data of the History of the Rosicrucians, 1916, p. 12.

[89] My supposition is that fringe-Masonry had previously been almost non-existent in Germany. Kellner died in 1905 and Theodor Reuss - perhaps this century's most fascinating pseudo-Masonic adventurer - became the great German protagonist of irregular Masonic promotions until his death at Munich in c. 1924. Reuss, who was born at Augsburg in 1855, was initiated in London in the Pilgrim Lodge No. 238 which, then as now, worked in the German language. Most of the 'occult lodges' which proliferated in Germany between 1920-33 - some were revived after 1945 - were off-shoots of Reuss's Order of the Templars of the Orient (O.T.O.), which was founded in c. 1906. For Reuss see, for example, his periodical Oriflamme, 1902-15+; M. Kully, Die Wahrheir uber die Theo Anthroposophie als Kultur-Verfallserscheinung, Basle, 1926; Robert Landmann (i.e. Ackermann), Monte Verita Ascona, 1934 (for Reuss's connection with Ida Hofmann's and Henri Oedenkoven's extra-ordinary vegetarian colony at Ascona, a 'hippy commune' prototype); and Dr. Adolf Hemberger, Organisationsformen, Ritziale, Lehren und Magische [!] Thematik der Freimaurerischen und Freimaurerartigen Bunde im Deutschen Sprachraum Mitteleuropas, privately printed by the author (typewriter facsimile), Frankfurt am Main, 1971. This compilation reflects regular Masonry's ultimate polarity. One cannot conceivably travel further away from our conception of what the Craft means and represents.

[90] His will, a copy of which has recently been deposited in Grand Lodge Library, is a typically abrasive document. He had £25 worth of shares in the Manchester Masonic Hall 'which pays 2% per annum usually much of the earnings being swallowed by a Board of Directors for salaries badly earned in the end no doubt the company will be wound up and the building sold'. Then, 'in case [his daughter] Edith or any of the others [i.e. daughters] should join the Universal Co-Masons she is to take the choice of my many valuable Masonic rituals'. A daughter-in-law was described as 'a troublesome and greedy person', and elsewhere as 'an unmannerly and ill-regulated woman'.