James VII And II and the Jacobite-Masonic Diaspora


Marsha Keith Schuchard, Ph.D.

And after many days Charles did reign in ye land and lo his blood was spilled upon ye earth even by ye traitor Cromwell. Behold now ye return of pleasant [illegible] for doth not ye Son of ye Blessed Martyr rule over ye whole land . . . Long may he reign in ye land and govern ye Craft. Is it not written ye shall not hurt ye Lords anointed.

— Thomas Treloar, “Ye History of Masonry” (MS. 1665).

The Mason Word . . . its like a Rabbinical tradition in a way of comment on Jachin and Boaz the two pillars erected in Solomon’s Temple; with an addition of some secret signe delivered from hand to hand, by which they know, and become familiar with one another.

— Robert Kirk, The Secret Commonwealth (1691).

In January 1685 James Stuart, Duke of York, was on the point of leaving London and returning to Edinburgh to head another Scottish Parliament, but he soon learned that he needed support from the northern kingdom for his disputed claim to the English throne. 1The death of his brother, King Charles II, on 6 February, intensified anti-Catholic and Whig agitation to deprive James, a Catholic convert, of the hereditary succession. In March he appealed to his Scottish friends to travel to London, which provoked them to publish a bizarre manifesto of Masonic support for his rightful claim. Hugh Ouston argues that the versified broadside, entitled Caledonia’s Farewell to the most Honourable James, Duke of Perth, etc. Lord High Chancellor, and William, Duke of Queensbury, etc. Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, When Called up by the King, was published by the Edinburgh Freemasons.2 According to Drummond family tradition, James Drummond, 1st Duke of Perth, and his brother, John, 4th Earl of Melfort, were Freemasons.3 William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensbury, was currently working closely with royalist architects and operative Masons on the re-building of Drumlanrig Castle, which became one of Scotland’s greatest examples of castellar, Baroque palace design. Thus, there was a tightly-knit Masonic context for the unusual manifesto.4

The tract targeted James’s opponents in England, and its author utilized mystical Masonic mathematics to prove the antiquity and legitimacy of his claim to the throne:

Go on, My Lords, and prosper; Go, repair
To Court; and Kiss the Hands of the TRUE HEIR
Of Fivescore Kings and Ten, Four Diadems,
And Kingdoms Three: an Heir, whose Royal Stems
From British, Saxon, Danish, Norman Blood;
With Scots and Irish, makes His Title good
’Gainst all Seclusion. And whose Entry’s blest
With an auspicious Peace, and he possest
O’ th’ Thrones of His Ancestors, without stirr
From any discontented snarling Curr,
An Heir refus’d (but by no Builders) strange
Is now Chief Corner-Stone! O happy change,
And ne’r a Sword Unsheath’d! Lo, Slighted He,
Seems strangely by the Fates, ordain’d to be
The Basis of Our Rest: Let those go pry,
Who hidden Virtus say, in Numbers ly,
Who speaks th * HUNDREDTH and ELEVENTH, since He
Stands such from FERGUS, in the Royal Tree.

Consult but Euclid, take the Architect
Alongst; try, what One Figure doth direct
those Arts of Kind; see, what Support the All

Of the Cementing Trade . . .5

The asterisk pointed to a lengthy footnote which demonstrated James’s legitimacy by mathematical and architectural proofs:

* The number of an hundredth and eleven, when Ciphered, is but the first Figure in Arithmetick, by position thus thrice repeated (111) and which, by advancing the middlemost, after this manner disposed .’. Makes, when handsomly in right angles conjoyned, a straight aequilateral Triangle △ and such is reckoned to be the first Figure in Geometrie (parallel Lines without some closing Ligament, never being lookt upon as any denominated Figure) and this Triangle is said to be in Architecture, of all aedificial Superstructures, the first truest and firmest Basis whence the Grecians denominated a King...

Later Jacobite Masons utilized the emblem of three dots forming a triangle ( ∴ ) as a sign of their membership in the fraternity.

The Scottish poet produced further convoluted calculations, coupled with historic and dynastic claims, which would throw all exclusionist arguments “out of doors”:

if you can but in this cryptick way of compting, allow the three ticks to pass for Crowns, see then but, reflect and consider, by what strange and mysterious Algebra, this our Hundredth and eleventh KING, may be said, and is found to Basis Tou Laou [in Greek letters: “Base of the People”].

At the conclusion of the footnote, an emblem of an equilateral triangle with number 111 inside rested on the base of SCOTLAND, while ENGLAND and IRELAND lay on the upper angles. Perth and Queensbury were urged to inform the English that this “Riddle, open’d with a thinking Skill,/ Might well have made the COMMONS cast their Bill.” The Scottish Freemasons evidently hoped to influence their brethren in the south. The main text continued with a peroration that “CALEDONIA loves the STUARTS well” and prophesied the intensification of ties of loyalty between the Scottish mother and royal father of Great Britain.

James, as Duke of York, had earned the respect of royalists and Freemasons in Scotland, when he resided in Edinburgh in 1679-82 and took a keen interest in architectural projects. While he encouraged the architectural work of William Bruce, Robert Mylne, and James Smith (all allegedly Masonic initiates), he “led an artistic renaissance with the rebuilding of much of Holyrood Palace.”6 Remembering the epithet applied to his grandfather, James VI and I, as not only Scotland’s but Great Britain’s Solomon, York determined to revive the Stuart image of Solomonic architecture and learning. He had been sent to Scotland by Charles II to keep him out of the way of an English Commons inflamed by the phony “Popish Plot” and Whig attempts to exclude him from the succession. The anti-Catholic hostility he experienced from radical Dissenters and Whigs reinforced his belief in “liberty of conscience,” and while in Scotland he encouraged a policy of religious toleration, which included law-abiding Catholics, Presbyterians, Quakers, and Jews. As he associated with architects and operative Masons, the Scottish lodges increased their openness to multi-class, multi-religious members. For example, surviving lodge records from Aberdeen, written circa 1679-80, indicate the presence of Quakers, as well as “landowners, merchants, and craftsmen,” among the operative Masons.7 In the portraits of two members of the Aberdeen lodge there appear in the background the pillars of Jachin and Boaz, suggesting their Masonic initiation into Solomon’s Temple.8

Given his Masonically-related activities and friendships in Edinburgh, new questions need to be raised about the long-held assumption among Masonic historians that James VII and II was the first Stuart king in four reigns who did not become a Freemason. According to the first official Masonic historian, the Reverend James Anderson (an anti-Jacobite, Presbyterian Whig), James VII and II’s grandfather, father, and brother were all “Mason Kings, “but he was not “a Brother Mason.”9 Anderson further claimed that “the Art was much neglected, and People of all Sorts were otherwise engag’d in this Reign.” Later in the eighteenth century, the Scottish Mason and Newtonian mathematician John Robison lamented the “heap of rubbish with which Anderson disgraced his Constitutions of Free Masonry,” which had unfortunately become “the basis of Masonic history.” Robison then made an ambiguous statement about James II’s Masonic affiliation:

We also know that Charles II. was made a Mason, and frequented the Lodges... His

brother and successor James II. was of a more serious and manly cast of mind, and had

little pleasure in the frivolous ceremonies of Masonry. He did not frequent the Lodges.10

Rather than repeating Anderson’s claim that James was not a “Brother Mason,” Robison implied that he did not attend often or enjoy lodge meetings. Moreover, Robison added that the lodges

had become the rendezvous of “accepted” Masons who had no association with actual building projects--which suggests that James did not “frequent” English lodges. In Scotland and Ireland, the lodges continued to be closely associated with “craft” stonemasonry and practical architecture.

Thus, it is certainly possible that James, as Duke of York, had carried on the Stuart tradition of Masonic affiliation. After all, he had long experience with military Masonry, especially during the Interregnum in the 1650s, when he frequently worked with Scottish and Irish engineers serving with him in the French army.11 The military positions of engineers, fortification experts, and quartermasters were part of Scottish and Irish “operative” Masonry. His Scottish royalist colleagues, Sir Robert Moray, and Alexander Bruce, 2nd Earl of Kincardine, were involved in not only military but mystical Masonry.12 When James arrived in Edinburgh, Kincardine was instrumental in bringing factions together to welcome him as the first Stuart prince since 1603 to establish a royal court in Scotland. During the 1670s, James as Duke of York collaborated with the 1st Duke of Perth in the colonization of New Jersey, and the historian R.W.D. Magregor argues that both men were Freemasons.13 David Stevenson acknowledges that various Aberdeen Masons immigrated to New Jersey, but notes that MacGregor does not provide documentation for this claim.14 However, Stevenson was evidently unaware of the Masonic publication of Caledonia’s Farewell. Thus, it is plausible (though not provable) that James was initiated in a military field lodge on the Continent or while working with architects and Masons in Scotland, but not in England, which led James Anderson to eliminate him from his Anglicized, anti-Jacobite version of Masonic history. If true, this would explain the oral tradition voiced by Jonathan Swift and later members of Franco-Scottish (Écossais) rites that “all the Kings of Scotland have been from time to time Grand Masters without Interruption.”15

The Scottish Masons were not the only supporters who valued the Stuarts’ Solomonic traditions, for the Jewish community in London was determined that James II would continue his brother’s tolerant policies. Moreover, the Jews remembered that Charles II had welcomed the Jewish architect, Jacob Jehudah Leon, when the Dutch rabbi visited London in 1675 to exhibit his famous models of the Tabernacle and Temple. In preparation for his journey, Leon prepared a booklet in English, entitled A Relation of the Most Memorable Things in the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Salomon, which was printed in Amsterdam in early 1675. The title-page included the coat of arms of the Stuart kings, thus signifying royal approval and patronage. The preface was dedicated to Charles II and included suggestively Masonic terms:

the love of the Divine Worship, that imparalleld Pietie of your Majestie, ...call for the Protection, not of the most magnificent structure of this World, but of a building, though

made with hands, yet that hath God Himself for the Architect thereof; Vouchsafe, therefore, most Potent Prince... to cast a Benign eye upon what is here represented to your Sacred Majestice, it being the Exact form of the Tabernacle, so as it was in the

Wilderness, with the struction of Salomon’s Temple, the Holy Vessels, Garments and Utensils... The which was graciously owned [acknowledged] with devoted affection 30 years ago and upwards by the Serene Queen, your Majesties Mother..16

Unfortunately, no records survive of Leon’s experiences in England, but in 1788 the Jewish author David Franco Mendes published an account, in Hebrew, of his visit:

In the year 1675 he [Leon] made his way with the model of the Temple... He was received at the King’s palace with honour and showed him the Model of the Temple and the utensils and the King was very glad to see them and hear about their quality and use. He also gave him a letter sealed and signed that permission is given to him alone and no one else to show the work in all the Kingdom.17

Mendes did not mention a Masonic connection, which had earlier been published by Laurence Dermott, an Irish Mason from a mixed Protestant-Catholic family, who examined Leon’s papers in 1759-60, when Leon’s grandson exhibited the model in London. In Ahiman Rezon (1764), Dermott described Rabbi Jacob Jehudah Leon as a Masonic “brother.”18 Though some English Masonic historians question the veracity of Dermott, most Jewish scholars see no reason to dispute the tradition of Leon’s Masonic influence in London. Richard Popkin asserts that he addressed Charles II “as if he and the monarch were part of co-equal worlds” and that their meeting was significant for the development of Freemasonry. 19 Lucien Wolf argues that the Masonic coat of arms “is entirely composed of Jewish symbols” and belongs to the highest and most mystical domain of Hebrew symbolism.20 He also reports a version of Leon’s design on a seventeenth-century Masonic panel.

During Leon’s visit, Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren were immersed in major building projects, and they perceived Leon’s work as relevant to their own. In 1675 Wren wrote but did not publish a tract entitled “Of Architecture; and Observations on Antique Temples,” which linked Jewish Temple traditions with Stuart political concerns:

Architecture has its political use, publick buildings being the ornament of a country...

The obstinate valour of the Jews, occasioned by the love of their Temple, was a

cement that held together that people, for many ages, through infinite changes...

Architecture aims at eternity.21

He concluded that the craft of architecture was rooted in nature and primeval Hebrew traditions. Vaughn Hart stresses that Wren drew upon the Solomonic traditions of operative Masonry for his Hiramic-Tyrean notions.22 Though Rabbi Leon returned to Holland and soon died, his son Solomon Jehudah Leon continued to display the Temple model and explanatory treatises; a document in Wells Cathdral refers to this exhibit in 1680. Leon’s coat of arms was subsequently adopted by Irish Masons, evidently in the seventeenth century, and Dermott’s account of “brother” Leon served his effort to revive “Antient” traditions of Scots-Irish Freemasonry.

Ten years after Rabbi Leon’s visit, the Jews perhaps sensed a common cause with the Scottish and royalist Masons. In 1685, during the first two months of James II’s reign, Jewish representatives presented to him a loyal address on parchment and visited his palace five times.23 Their actions would long be remembered and resented by anti-Jacobites, who preserved an odd tradition about the Jews’ claim of heavenly support for James’s succession. Writing in 1748, in the wake of the recently crushed Jacobite rebellion, the Whig propagandist and novelist Henry Fielding attacked the insidious combination of Jacobites, Jews, and Freemasons. In passing, he referred to the Jews’ loyalty to James II, as expressed on the day of his brother’s death:

the Jacobite rabbins tell us, that on Friday, Feb. 6, 1684/5, one of the Angels, I forget

which, came to Whitehall at Noon-day, without being perceived by anyone, and brought with him a Commission from Heaven, which he delivered to the then Duke of York, by which the said duke was indefeasibly created King of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

And as there is so great an Analogy between the Jews and Jacobites, so hath there been

the same likeness between their Kings.24

In May 1685 the Jews were forced to petition for protection, when a group of City merchants argued that Charles II’s endenizations of Jews were no longer valid and that they should now pay customs duty. The Jews were supported by Sir Peter Killigrew, who ordered the arrest of the complaining customs officials. His kinsman, Sir Thomas Killigrew, had earlier signed Charles II’s statements of toleration for the Jews and Rabbi Leon’s patent to exhibit the Temple model. Over the next months, further attacks on the community were mounted, so the Jewish leaders were enormously relieved in November when James II followed his brother’s example and issued an order to stop all proceedings against the Hebrew community: “His Majesty’s Intention being that they should not be troubled upon this account, but quietly enjoy the free exercise of their Religion, whilst they behave themselves dutifully and obediently to his Government.”25 R.D. Barnett stresses the historical importance of James’s order: “Here was a clear statement of toleration, well in line with, or even ahead of, the most advanced notions in Europe.” David Katz agrees that James “gave the Jews of England what amounted to a Declaration of Indulgence,” but he also notes that it was inextricably linked with the disputed issue of the king’s prerogative.26 Thus, the Jews realized that their rights were closely connected with Catholic rights, which partially explains the later loyalty of the Jacobite Jews to the Stuart cause. Moreover, the most famous Jacobite Jew, Francis Francia, would reportedly use his Masonic connections for that cause.27

Despite the opposition of parliamentary Whigs to royal and ecclesiastical building projects, James II always supported Christopher Wren, who, according to Anderson, was elected Grand Master of the Free Masons in July 1685.28 As anti-Catholic political turmoil threatened his architectural agenda, Wren selected certain craftsmen to form a loyal corps around him.29 Perhaps sensing the growing significance of Freemasonry in the royalist cause, the antiquarian John Aubrey recorded in his manuscript “Natural History of Wiltshire” (1686) information about Masonry that he had earlier received from Wren and William Dugdale. The brackets enclose Aubrey’s corrections:

about Henry the third’s time, the Pope gave a Bull or diploma [patent] to a company

of Italian architects [Freemasons] to travell up and downe all over Europe to build Churches. From those are derived the Fraternity of Free-Masons [Accepted Masons].

They are known to one another by certayn Signes and Marks [scratched out] and Watch-

Words; it continues to this day. They have Severall Lodges in severall Counties for their

reception; and when any of them fall into decay, the brotherhood is to relieve him, etc.

The manner of their Adoption is very formall, and with an Oath of Secrecy.30

Like his Masonic friends Elias Ashmole and the late Robert Moray, who attempted similar research into the fraternity’s history, Aubrey merged occult with Masonic studies. While writing the “Natural History,” he also made notes on the Cabalistic significance of the Jewish pentalpha (used by Moray as a Mason’s Mark), on Rosicrucian recipes for “Invisibility,” and on the fertility and sexual rituals supposedly carried out by the Knights Templar and visitors to the Temple Church in London.31

Aubrey and Ashmole may have urged their friend Dr. Robert Plot to investigate further the role of Masonry in England. Plot’s interest in architecture and operative Masonry had first been expressed in his book, The Natural History of Oxfordshire (1677), dedicated to Charles II, in which he described the architectural designs of the Gothic buildings of the university and methods of cutting and setting freestone.32 Citing many Hebraic and Hermetic writings, he perceived architecture as part of a Christian-Cabalistic tradition of natural history.33 For his Natural History of Staffordshire (1686), he revived the Solomonic tributes to the Stuart kings, praising James II as “Israel’s King,” for “tis by you/ That we enjoy a happy Canaan too.” What Plot found in England was a tradition that differed significantly from the ancient, nationalistic, and occasionally politicized Freemasonry of Scotland. He noted that the fraternity had spread all over England, but it was particularly strong in the moorlands in the south. This regional concentration of operative Masons was associated with the location of stone quarries which, as Howard Colvin notes, served as “nurseries of masons” during this period.34

Plot recognized the value of the secret signs used by Accepted Masons for regulating and improving the skills, integrity, and prestige of the craft, but he suspected that some of the Masons’ secrets (“to which they are sworn after their fashion”) were much worse than hand signs or giving of gloves. He warned that it is “still to be feared these Chapters of Freemasons do as much mischeif as before, which if one may examine the penalty, was anciently so great, that perhaps it might be useful to examin them now.”35 His concern was based mainly on the combinations of craftsmen who could raise prices--the point of the fourteenth- and sixteenth-century penalties against them. However, some readers of his book thought he hinted at potential conspiracies against the state. The moorland sites suggested the Scottish practice of meetings in isolated places, which evoked memories of the field conventicles of radical Covenanters, who included Masons among their leaders in 1638.36

As a Catholic loyal to James II, his patron and friend, Plot possibly influenced the king to firm up Masonic support in England, for a royalist Masonic initiative was subsequently undertaken. In 1686 a London Freemason made an elaborate, five-foot long transcript on parchment of the traditional constitutions of the Company of Accepted Masons.37 Featuring the coats of arms of the royal family, the City of London, and the Masons’ Company, it charged the initiated brother to keep truly all the “Counsells that ought to be kept by way of Masonrye,” to be “true to God and holy Church,” to be a “true liege man to the King of England without Treason or any Falsehood,” and to “warne the King or his Counsell” if he hears any treason. The stress on loyalty and worry about sedition were probably provoked by James’s toleration policies, which roused intensifying anti-Catholic opposition. As Whig opposition blocked his agenda, his supporters sought alternative methods for funding his policies. At Oxford, Plot tried to convince James that he could finance his government by “an inexhaustible supply of gold from alchemical transmutations which would make parliaments permanently unnecessary.”38 Plot counted on help from Ashmole, for the Hermetic gold factory would be located in the Ashmolean Museum, where it would be protected by Oxford’s royalist officials.

Encouraged by the support his moderate policies received earlier in Scotland, James issued a Declaration of Indulgence for the northern kingdom in February 1687. His action provoked a wave of anti-Catholic propaganda, which claimed that the toleration policy was a Jesuitical plot.39 Even more alarming to the opposition was the Indulgence issued in England in April, when the king suspended the penal laws against Catholics and Dissenters. As F.M. Higham observes,

Political equality between men of all religions was to be accompanied by freedom of

worship. Unfortunately, James, though he accomplished much, had only been able to

do so by stretching his prerogative to the utmost. The legality of his piecemeal preferments was at best questionable. He set his heart on the Parliamentary repeal of the Test and the Penal Laws which should give substance to what he had achieved in

skeleton form.40

The belief in “political equality between men of all religions” (within the lodges) would become the public creed of eighteenth-century Freemasonry. Thus, it is relevant that the lodge of Aberdeen recorded an egalitarian statement about this time (circa 1687). In its surviving Mark Book, a list of names and Mason’s Marks for its eclectic membership--ranging from noblemen to artisans--emphasized the equality maintained within the lodge: “we entreat all our good successors in the mason craft to follow our Rule as your patterns and not to strive for place, for here you may see above [on the list] wherein and amongst the rest of our names, persons of a mean degree are inserted by great persons of quality.”41

Meanwhile in England, despite anti-Catholic agitation, the king’s policy was popular among artisans and merchants. On 12 June officials from Coventry presented a large parchment address, signed by over a thousand citizens, in appreciation of James’s “granting a liberty of conscience.”42 The presenters claimed that “this was not the application of one party only, but the unanimous address of Church of England men, Presbyterians, Independents, and Anabaptists.” By removing “all dissensions and animosities,” the policy of toleration would enable them to improve trade and develop future industry. A delighted James promised to establish toleration “by law, that it should never be altered by his successors.”

In May 1688, when James issued a second Declaration of Indulgence, the anti-Catholic campaign accelerated in England and Scotland. Against this background, the publication by the English royalist Randle Holme of An Academie of Armoury (1688), with its praise of Freemasonry, suggests an infusion of Scottish-style Masonry into the lodge at Chester, located on the northwest border between England and Wales. A strategically important garrison town from which troops passed from England to Ireland, Chester was home to many royalists and Catholics.43 Thus, there was possibly an infusion of military Masonry from Scots-Irish visitors. Holmes wrote that “I cannot but Honour the Fellowship of the Masons, because of its Antiquity; and the more, as a Member of that Society, called Free-Masons.”44 Among Holmes’s papers was a membership list and a copy of the Old Charges, which revealed a similarity to Scottish lodges in which “the first members who were not operative masons were drawn from the other building crafts.”45

Meanwhile in Scotland, despite troubling divisions within some lodges, James launched an ambitious charter to the Edinburgh Town Council for the building of new streets and bridges. He continued his support of virtuoso scientific culture by founding a new university in Edinburgh, in order to make the city a fitting capital for the royalist aristocracy. Hugh Ouston observes, “Although these intentions were not fulfilled, the initiative which they represented was to contribute through individuals and institutions to the society of eighteenth-century Edinburgh in which the Enlightenment took root.”46 Unfortunately, the heavy-handed actions of several Catholics whom James appointed to official positions disrupted these promising projects, just when the Whigs became most threatened by an unexpected royal birth.

On 10 June 1688 James’s queen, Mary of Modena, delivered a baby boy, James, Prince of Wales--an event that shocked the anti-Catholic opposition into a radical new course. Bishop Gilbert Burnet, once a royalist friend of Sir Robert Moray but now a supporter of the exclusionist Whigs, spread false stories that there was no Stuart birth but that an infant was brought from outside in a warming pan. Radical Protestants then published broadsheets accusing Edward Petre, James’s Jesuit confidant, of practicing black magic and fathering the infant on a nun.47 Of such fables are revolutions made! At The Hague, Burnet convinced James’s daughters, the Protestant princesses Mary and Anne, that the birth was fraudulent. The controversy about the legitimacy of the king’s own succession was thus heightened, and various Whigs and Anglican bishops secretly communicated to Prince William of Orange, Mary’s husband and James’s nephew, their desire for him to replace James on the throne. These turbulent events provide the context for a comical account of Freemasonry presented at Trinity College, Dublin, soon after Prince James’s birth. That Jonathan Swift contributed to the satire lends it a special significance in Masonic literary history.


As a witty and irreverent student at Trinity, Swift contributed to a satirical Tripos composed by his friends for the Commencement ceremonies on 11 July 1688.48 The Tripos was named for the three-legged stool upon which the university jester sat in medieval times, and it furnished comic relief during the scholastic disquisitions delivered by candidates for degrees. At Trinity the satire was written by a group or club of students, in “a hideous mixture of dog Latin and bog English.”49 The occasion drew a large audience of university officials, military officers, and fashionable ladies and gentlemen. In 1688 the authors especially aimed their satire at the virtuosos of the Dublin Philosophical Society, whose supposedly useless and manic experiments were mocked via references to Samuel Butler’s Hudibras, the Duke of Buckingham’s The Rehearsal, and Thomas Shadwell’s The Virtuoso.50 More explicitly than their English models, Swift and his fellow comics linked the New Science to Freemasonry, which was portrayed as a contributor to the eager innovations and frenetic activities characteristic of scientific-virtuoso culture.

The students drew upon their observations of the Masonic lodge at Trinity College, which had been established some years earlier during a period of active college building.51 Designed by the craftsman-architect Thomas Lucas, the main front and central portion of Trinity reflected recent trends in Parisian architecture.52 According to the student authors,

It was lately ordered, that, for the honour and dignity of the University, there should

be introduced a society of Freemasons, consisting of gentlemen, mechanics, porters, parsons, ragmen, hucksters, coblers, poets, justices, drawers, beggars, aldermen, paviours, sculls, freshmen, bachelors, scavingers, masters, sow-gelders, doctors, ditchers, pimps, lords, butchers, tailors, who shall bind themselves by an oath, never to discover their mighty no-secret; and to relieve whatsoever strolling distressed brethren they meet with, after the example of the fraternity of Freemasons in and about Trinity College...53

While some benefactors gave a pair of old shoes, a bundle of godly ballads, or a slice of Cheshire cheese, Sir Warren gave five shillings “for being freemasonized the new way.” Irish Masonic historians consider this a reference to speculative rituals that went beyond the basic requirements of Masonic initiation. Hinting at a Caledonian Masonic influence on the “new” Masonry, the Tripos described a Scots-Irish gentleman—“Sir Fitzsimmons, who always dropt after, (as our town of Berwick-upon Tweed) into a thistle, which still retains its primitive roughness”--and quoted the Scottish Presbyterian historian George Buchanan.54 James II’s recent revival of the Order of the Thistle, which included Scottish Freemasons among its knights, may be relevant.55 There were striking similarities between the oaths and rituals of the Thistle and Freemasonry.56

Swift and his club exploited the sinister rumors about Masonry in their portrayal of “the admirable Ridley” as an initiated brother. Notorious as a spy and informer who made his living “by betraying Catholic priests to their doom under the inhuman penal laws,” Ridley was embalmed and stuffed after his death.57 His body was hung in the Trinity College library, where the medical students examined it and noticed that “the Freemasons’ mark” was branded on his buttocks. In “An Elegy Upon Ridley,” the Tripos authors lamented:

Unhappy brother, what can be

In wretchedness compared to thee,

Though grief and shame of our society!

Had we in due time understood

That thou were of the brotherhood,

By fraud or force thou had’st got loose

From shameful tree and dismal noose:

An now perhaps with life been blest,

A comely brother as the best,

Not thus exposed to monumental jest;

When lady longs for college beer,

Or little dame or country squire

Walk out an afternoon, to look

On thee, and devil-raising book;

Who kindly rather chose to die,

Than blemish our fraternity;

The first of us e’er hang’d for modesty.58

The sly hints at magical practices among the Freemasons were followed by the narrator’s hint at sexual horseplay, when he concluded good-naturedly that “the Freemasons will banish me their lodge, and bar me the happiness of kissing long Lawrence.”

The references to Masonry appeared within a context of political satire upon the polarized politics of Trinity and Dublin in 1688. Despite composing the vast majority of the Irish population, Catholics were not allowed to attend Trinity, which was controlled by the Anglican church. Some Protestants protested the attempt of the royal government to force the university to accept “the infamous Bernard Doyle” as a Fellow, merely “on the merit of conforming to the religion of James II.”59 When Doyle refused to take the Anglican religious oath, his critics charged him with debauchery, drunkenness, and theft. The university then resisted the king’s order, and Doyle spread slanders about the Trinity authorities. In the Tripos, the students made obscene allusions to Doyle’s mistress Nelly, who was said to like a man “on the prick of preferment” and who has “mandrakes from the King.” Doyle’s tattered and filthy breeches were given Masonic associations: “By their shreds of all nations, you would have thought they belonged to one of the Freemasons who built Babel.”

The satirists also hinted at larger targets. While under attack, Doyle petitioned Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, for support. Though James had maintained Protestants in the role of Lord Lieutenant for two years, in 1687 he appointed Tyrconnell, an Irish Catholic, to the post, and the latter’s opening up of positions for native Catholics intensified the fears of the more militant Anglicans and Presbyterians.60 From London, James repeatedly sent orders that his Irish Protestant subjects should be treated fairly and that no one should be deprived of office because of religion. However, bitter grudges on all sides frustrated this attempt at enlightened royal policy--a policy opposed by Swift as undermining the Anglican hegemony. The Trinity students were also aware of Tyrconnell’s great interest in Palladian architecture, which he expressed in ambitious building projects.61 Edward Corp suggests that the 3rd Earl of Tyrconnell’s membership in the Jacobite lodge in Paris in 1725-26 was based on family tradition.62 Thus, the Tripos authors may have indirectly targeted Tyrconnell among their eclectic Masonic crew.

Further jibes were directed at Sir Michael Creagh, the mayor of Dublin and an outspoken supporter of King James. Opponents complained that he was “foisted upon Dublin by Tyrconnell.”63 Creagh boasted to a rival alderman about the birth of the Prince of Wales: “We have a brave young prince, and the world’s our own.” In order to silence rumors about the warming-pan substitution, Creagh had ordered a day of general celebration for the royal birth, which included the distribution of wine to the citizens of Dublin.64 In the Tripos, the alderman accepts the drink but raises questions about Creagh’s own legitimacy. The narrator recognized that he was treading on dangerous ground, and he followed this scene with a defensive explanation that he brought all these characters out “for nothing at all, as Bayes did his beasts” (in Buckingham’s satiric Rehearsal). Just what Swift’s attitude was to Freemasonry is difficult to determine, given the comic license and public performance of the skit. At the end, the narrator announced regretfully that “If I take myself to the library, Ridley’s ghost will haunt me, for scandalizing him with the name of free-mason,” and the brothers “will banish me their lodge.”

Despite his plea of comic tradition, the narrator--John Jones, a close friend of Swift--was punished by Trinity authorities “for false and scandalous reflections in his Tripos.” John Barrett, who first discovered the manuscript of the Tripos in Trinity archives, argued that Swift was the major contributor, if not the sole author, of the satire.65 He concluded that Swift was also punished and forced to leave the university in January 1689. However, Hugh Ormsby-Lennon disputes this, noting that though the officials disapproved, their punishments were not severe nor long-lasting.66 Nevertheless, the experience was instructive for Swift, who tried to cover up the affair. While still at Trinity, he began writing A Tale of a Tub, which further satirized religious sectarians and Rosicrucian virtuosos, but he refined and developed the techniques of the Tripos in order to more carefully conceal his encoded political allusions.


In the seven months between the rollicking Tripos and Swift’s exit from Trinity, the fate of James II’s government underwent dramatic changes. Reinforcing the radical Presbyterians in Scotland, a secret coalition of Whigs and Anglicans urged William of Orange to come to London and take over the government. Hoping to gain England’s assistance in his war against Louis XIV, William issued a manifesto which catalogued James’s alleged misdeeds and questioned the legitimacy of the Prince of Wales. James was shocked and incredulous at the disloyalty of his daughter and son-in-law, and he was ill-prepared to deal with William’s invasion of England in November 1688. Despite William’s public claims that he had no designs on the throne and was only interested in protecting Protestantism, he had long planned the invasion--with a powerful army in which his Catholic mercenaries outnumbered James’s Catholic troops.67

In Scotland rebellious Whigs, inflamed by anti-Catholic propaganda, went on iconoclastic rampages, in which they especially targeted monuments of “Papist” architecture. In November the “rabble” attacked Roslin Castle and Chapel, where they defaced many of the Gothic sculptures so admired by Freemasons.68 The St. Clair family, keepers of Roslin castle, embodied Stuart Masonic traditions from the sixteenth into the eighteenth centuries. In 1697, when the English Jacobite, George Hickes, was hiding in Scotland from the Whig government, he studied the history and practices of operative Masons:

I went to Halbertshire. This is a strong, high tower house built by the Laird of Roslin in

King James the 5th time. The Lairds of Roslin have been great architects and patrons of building for many generations. They are obliged to receive the mason’s word, which is a

secret signall masons have thro’ out the world to know one another by. They alledge `tis as old as Babel when they could not understand one another and they conversed by signs.

Others would have it no older than Solomon. However it is, he that hath it will bring his

mason to him without calling to him or your perceiving the sign.69

From his earlier experience in Scotland, when he served as chaplain to the Duke if Lauderdale in 1678, Hickes came to be considered an expert on Highland lore about second sight, which was traditionally associated with Freemasonry. In 1700 he answered inquiries about the phenomenon from Samuel Pepys, and recounted his questioning of a second-sighted teenage girl: “I asked . . . to know whether the second sight was by outward representation; which I call apparition, or by inward representation on the theater of the imagination caused by some spirit, or . . . whether these second-sight folks were seers or visionists.”70 From his continuing inquiries, Hickes learned that some “visionists” claimed that they could teach an initiate how to achieve the visionary state, which perhaps explains the linkage with Masonic rituals and training.

In November 1688, not content with rabbling Roslin Castle and Chapel, radical Presbyterians overpowered the royalist guard at Holyrood Palace, where they desecrated the tombs of the Scottish kings and sacked the chapel. They were especially determined to destroy “all the curious workmanship” of fine wood and stone sculpture that James had commissioned for the chapel to honor the Order of the Thistle, and “several parcels of these Pieces of work” were burned at the Cross of Edinburgh.71

Despite the political divisions within some lodges, the Masonic veterans of Charles II’s restoration campaign remained loyal and urged the king to mount an armed resistance against the Dutch “usurper.”72 But James, who seems to have suffered a minor stroke, became confused and fearing for his life, tried to escape from London.73 He was captured and placed under Dutch guard, but in December managed to flee to France and the protection of Louis XIV. His flight, inaccurately called his abdication by his enemies, launched the international Jacobite movement. According to eighteenth-century Scottish-French-Swedish-German traditions, his flight also planted the seeds for the later growth of Écossais Freemasonry, which developed Cabalistic, Rosicrucian, and chivalric high degrees, as well as international networks of support for the Jacobite cause.

Though there is no surviving contemporary documentation, references to a lodge formed by Jacobite partisans at St. Germain in 1688-89 appeared frequently in eighteenth-century writings.74 Gustave Bord argues further that the Jacobites in France revived the political-military Masonic strategy utilized earlier by the exiled Charles II--i.e., they introduced Masonic organization and formed a political party within each regiment.75 The Scots-Irish regiments then became “les agents exécutifs” and their lodges “le pouvoir directeur” of the Stuart cause. In 1772 the French lodge Parfaite Égalité in the Regiment of Walsh succeeded in securing recognition of its claim to date its constitution from 1688:

This regiment was formerly called the Royal Irish, and went into exile in France following the Jacobite defeat of 1691. It was renamed the Regiment of Walsh after 1770, in reference to its commander Antoine Joseph Phillipe Walsh...member of a family prominent for its support of Jacobitism.76

One of James’s most ardent supporters was the Irish officer James Walsh, who reportedly established a lodge within his regiment on 25 March 1688.77 A new regiment was raised by Theobald Dillon, 7th Viscount Dillon, who agreed to send it to France in exchange for Louis XIV’s troops bound for Ireland. Led by the viscount’s son, Arthur Dillon, the troops arrived in France in May 1690, and Dillon allegedly established a regimental lodge at St. Germain.78 Like the Fitzjameses, the Walsh and Dillon families would play active roles in the lodges of the Stuart diaspora.

In Scotland, while strong resistance was led by the architect Sir William Bruce (the Grand Master, according to James Anderson), and John Graham of Claverhouse (Viscount Dundee), the anti-Jacobites pressured enough nobles in the Scottish Convention to accept William and Mary on 11 April 1689. Despite the heroism of the charismatic Dundee, who led a furious Highland charge at the precipitous pass of Killiecrankie, the Williamite forces were victorious and Dundee was killed, “only to live on in Jacobite song and poetry as ‘Bonnie Dundee.’” According to later (and controversial) traditions, he wore a Templar cross, emblematic of his role in chivalric Masonry.79 John Graham was an expert in military mathematics, and his surviving brother David served as quartermaster in John’s regiment, which makes plausible their association with military Masonry. Moreover, the city of Dundee was an ancient stronghold of royalist Masonry. David Stevenson points out that during Viscount Dundee’s residence, there were two levels of Masonry-- the public Society of Masons and the secret lodge of Dundee, which were different aspects of the same organization.80

Adding some degree of plausibility to the Templar claims was John Graham’s acknowledged fascination with chivalric orders, which he perhaps infused into the rituals of the secret lodge in Dundee. Moreover, in a 1745 lodge history, the Dundee Masons claimed to have been founded by medieval veterans of the crusades.81 After David Graham escaped to France, the exiled James II honored the family’s chivalric ideals by making him a Knight of the Thistle.82 James obviously believed that the continuance or revival of chivalric orders was important for building morale and fraternity among his embattled supporters. Like Elias Ashmole, the royalist Freemason, James probably saw the Templars and Knights of Malta as brothers, and he now took a renewed interest in the latter order.83 While he was in Dublin and attempting to link his Irish campaign with Dundee’s in Scotland, he wrote the Grand Master of Malta and obtained permission to revive in Britain the Grand Priory of the Knights of Malta.84 His efforts were supported by Tyrconnell, who since 1687 had worked on plans to restore to the Knights Hospitallers their ancient Priory at Kilmainham, which currently housed a royal military hospital.85 James had sent his natural son, Henry Fitzjames, to Malta in 1687, where he visited the Grand Master, who conferred upon him the diamond cross of the order. James now named him Grand Prior of Britain and gave him command of an Irish regiment. Fitzjames was befriended by the Scottish Earl of Melfort, a Freemason and Thistle knight, and the two men possibly collaborated in an infusion of chivalric ideals into the Jacobite field lodges.86As we shall see, Jonathan Swift would later refer to Masonic “lodges” of “the Knights of St. John of Jersualem” and “the Knights of Maltha,” and Fitzjames continued to serve as Grand Prior until 1701.87 His exiled family would subsequently play a leading role in Écossais Freemasonry in France.88

As William’s seasoned troops defeated the Jacobites in Scotland and James’s army at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland, Gaelic bards and Latin poets extolled the heroism of the defeated Jacobites. Dr. Archibald Pitcairne, a royalist physician, published an eloquent Latin epitaph upon Dundee, as the last protector of the authentic “Temple” of Stuart governance. It was then “English’d” by John Dryden under the title, “Upon the Death of the Earl of Dundee”:

O last and best of Scots! who dids’t maintain

Thy Country’s freedom from a Foreign Reign;

New People fill the Land now thou art gone,

New Gods the Temples, and new Kings the Throne.

Scotland and thou did each in other live,

Thou wouldst not her, nor could she survive;

Farewell! who living didst support the State,

And couldst not fall but with thy Country’s Fate.89


While the structure of the Stuarts’ Solomonic kingship crumbled before the Dutch conqueror, the Jewish community in London was placed in a precarious position. Would new Gods fill their Temples, their synagogues protected by the later Stuart kings? Thus, they waited anxiously to see if William III would extend traditional Dutch toleration to his new kingdom.

It was well known that William had long relied on Jewish military suppliers in Holland, who contributed to his successful invasion of England. However, to the dismay of the London Jews, William implemented policies that greatly worsened their condition. His Toleration Act of 1689 exempted “Their Majesties’ Protestant subjects, dissenting from the Church of England, from the penalties of certain laws,” but the Jews were not exempted.90 Even worse, the seventeenth clause of the Act expressly excluded from its benefits “any person that shall deny in his preaching or writing the doctrine of the blessed Trinity.” Thus, the royal protection of liberty of conscience--including the Jews--enacted by James II was now abandoned in the newly-titled “Glorious Revolution.”

As William prepared to invade Ireland, his English Protestant partisans determined to impose an exorbitant tax on the Jewish community in London in order to finance the campaign. The Jews struggled to defend themselves, even vowing in November that they would “remove their effects into Holland” rather than pay the “imposition which Parliament has designed to lay upon them.” Their resistance to William’s war tax was remembered in anti-Jacobite propaganda in 1748, when Henry Fielding cited the tradition of the “Jacobite Rabbins” who claimed that the same angel who announced James II’s legitimate succession made “a second Appearance” in December 1688 and “convey’d away the King, together with his divine Commission, to another Country,” where the Stuarts’ divine rights were preserved for his heirs.91

This “rabbinical” controversy provides a provocative context for a Masonic discussion, which took place in London on 6 October 1689, between a Scottish Presbyterian minister, Robert Kirk, and a Williamite Anglican bishop, Dr. Edward Stillingfleet. As a student of Gaelic and Scottish folklore, Kirk had gathered much rare and secret information about Scottish traditions. At the London dinner, Stillingfleet quizzed him about “the 2nd Sight, only heard of in the highlands of Scotland.”92 When Stillingfleet expressed skepticism about the reality or permissibility of second sight, Kirk affirmed its reality but suggested that it might be “an extended form of natural eyesight,” like that of cats or lynxes at night or telescope-aided human sight. Despite Kirk’s semi-scientific argument, Stillingfleet maintained that the devil was involved. Kirk then gave a partial explanation of the Mason Word, which moved the bishop to declare it “a Rabbinical mystery.”

Perhaps provoked by this discussion, Kirk visited the Bevis Marks Synagogue on 25 January 1690 in order to observe the ceremonies. He probably learned that the officiating rabbi, Solomon Allyon, came from Safed, “the centre of cabbalistic studies in Palestine and arguably in the entire Jewish world.”93 Also present in London at the time was Solomon Jehudah Leon Templo, son of the Masonic Rabbi Leon. Unfortunately, we do not know if Kirk met Templo, but his subsequent writing makes the possibility relevant. After returning to Scotland, Kirk published in 1691 the result of his Jewish-Masonic investigation:

The Mason-Word, which tho some make a Misterie of it, I will not conceal a little of what I know; its like a Rabbinical tradition in a way of comment on Jachin and Boaz the

two pillars erected in Solomon’s Temple; with an addition of some secret signe delivered

from hand to hand, by which they know, and become familiar with another. This Second Sight so largely treated of before.94

Kirk had written extensively on second sight in the pages leading up to his explication of the Mason Word, and he evidently connected it to Masonry.

David Stevenson observes that the Scottish antiquarian hinted at Jewish mystical associations for the Mason Word:

Kirk does not actually identify them [Jachin and Boaz] as words that were part of the Word, but the masonic catechisms reveal that Boaz was the word given to the entered

apprentice, Jachin that given to the fellow craft. When Kirk explained this to Stillingfleet

the latter called it a “Rabbinical mystery”; as the words of the Mason Word were connected with Solomon’s Temple it was natural to connect their use with Jewish tradition, and Stillingfleet probably had in mind the Cabbala...95

These words should be remembered when we read Swift’s reference to “the Cabala, as Masonry was call’d in those Days.”96

Though the influence of Rabbi Leon on Restoration Freemasonry disappeared from contemporary records in England, it may have been carried to Ireland by royalist Masons who appreciated his loyalty to the Stuart cause. Leon Huehner notes that in the 1660s, when Irish genealogists published the characteristics of different nationalities, they “strangely enough” represented the Jews “as being pre-eminent as builders.”97 Given this popular Irish belief that “For building the noble Jews are found,” an interest in Leon’s architectural and heraldic designs would be natural for royalist Masons in Ireland. There is a hazy tradition that “ancient” Irish Masons secretly used Leon’s Masonic coat of arms in the 1680s.98

Meanwhile in England, a new wave of propaganda emerged, aimed at converting the Jews. Bishop Stillingfleet and other Williamite churchmen talked excitedly of Protestant victories against the Papacy, which they linked with an outburst of millenarian prophecies about the imminent conversion of the Jews. 99 After William defeated the Jacobite armies at the Battle of the Boyne (July 1690), he returned to London determined to make the English Jews contribute financially to his military campaign, which now included war against France. Pressured by English merchants, the king in October levied customs duties on all English exports effected by foreign merchants, including Jews previously naturalized under the Stuarts. By December the negative effect on trade led Parliament to abolish the increased alien duties.

Though David Katz initially defines William’s actions as “a deliberate policy of near persecution,” he later concludes that the king had no ideological reason for his attacks on the London Jews, whom he merely regarded “as a dormant financial asset which might be tapped in this, the Crown’s hour of need.”100 Norman Roth goes further, however, and views the Williamites’ attempt to prohibit the Jews from trading in gold and silver as dangerously discriminatory:

unlike the legal issues involving oaths, where the distinction was made between those

who would swear an oath as Christians on the Christian Bible and those who would not,

this is the first case of clear discrimination against the Jews simply for being Jews in a

situation that applied without distinction to all subjects of the realm. In vain did the Jews

point out in their petition , which...was not even allowed a hearing (contrary to the procedure under Stuart kings when all Jewish petitions were at least considered), their contributions to trade and the economy...101

By judicious bribery, the London Jews were able to alleviate some of these attacks, but it is small wonder that many of them remained privately sympathetic to the Jacobite cause. Moreover, as discontent with the Williamite settlement simmered in Scotland, anti-Jacobite propaganda increasingly characterized the Scots as Jews. In 1691, when a reader inquired of the popular Athenian Mercury, “Why do Scotch-men hate swines flesh?” the London editor replied that it was a borrowing from the Jews.102 In September, when the Williamite Dean of Guild in Edinburgh tried to deny trading privileges to David Brown, “a profess’d Jew,” the old treasurer Hugh Blair successfully argued for Brown’s legal rights and for the historical importance of the Jews to Scottish Protestantism. Arthur Levy notes that this decision “may be regarded as the Charter of Liberty for the Jews of Seventeenth Century Edinburgh.”103


In 1690 a Presbyterian minister, William Geddes, printed in Edinburgh “An Encomiastick Epigram Upon the Antient and Honourable Trade of MASONS,” a poem which summed up the Hebrew and royalist traditions of Scottish Freemasonry. David Stevenson observes that it “adds to the evidence of the interest taken by non-Masons in Scotland in the myths and organization of the mason craft that were giving birth to freemasonry.” In the text,

The legend of the two antediluvian pillars in which human knowledge was preserved is repeated, the importance of symbolism to masons stressed, reference made to the secrets

secrets relating to identification that masons had, and it is emphasized how it is masons who provide the settings for the grandeur and pomp of great courts. A rather more unusual touch is the claim that God himself was a stonemason, for with mallet and chisel He engraved the Ten Commandments on stone for Moses.104

The broadside was headed by a woodcut of the Scottish royal coat of arms, commonly used to head official acts and proclamations. Because the poem so clearly expresses the essence of Stuart Masonry, which influenced the fraternity’s eighteenth-century development, it is worth quoting at length:

Among Mechanicks, MASONS I extoll

And with best I doubte not to Enroll.

Before the Flood Antiquity they Claime,

The MASON then must have an antient Name.

When Godly Enoch by his Divine Art,

He did foretell how that the World should smart

By Fire and Water, he two Pillars made,

The one with Brick, and one with Stone was laid:

He wrote thereon all Sciences and Arts,

Some knowledge to Diffuse in all Men’s hearts.

If water came, the Stone might it endure;

The Brick the Fire; so all continue sure.

The Moral-Law, in writ none could it have,

Till GOD himself in Stone he must it Grave.

For Hewing Stone, none can put to shame,

The Corner Stone, to JESUS is a Name:

For this I think the MASON must be Blest,

From antient times he hath a Divine Crest.

A Character whereby they know each other,

And yet so Secret, none knows but a Brother.

All Temples, Turrets, Pallaces of Kings,

All Castles, Steeples, and such other things:

Do owe all what they have to Masons cure.

All Courts great Grandeur, and Magnifick State,

What Pomp they have, from MASONS they do get:

The strictest Laws they have for Common-well,

The greatest Charity when BRETHREN fail.

Symbols Divine, Pomp, Dwelling, Law, and Love;

Few are the Men who do such Tradsmen prove.105

The fate of Stuart Freemasonry during the early Williamite regime is difficult to piece together, because of destruction of documents and increasing secrecy maintained by Jacobite resisters and exiles. In 1738 James Anderson noted that “many of the Fraternity’s records” from Charles II’s reign were lost during James II’s reign and “at the Revolution.” William III was preoccupied with European war plans and paid little attention to architecture in his new kingdom. After a hiatus in 1689, Christopher Wren managed to resume his rebuilding projects. However, as John Summerson observes, during the next decade, “this vacant interval,” few churches were built in England.106 French and Continental historians argue that Wren maintained his private Jacobite sympathies, while he worked discretely and cautiously under the new regime.107 Paul Jeffrey suggests that the lack of written documents about Wren’s work during these years was deliberate:

his tracks are usually well-hidden. His early brushes with authority had taught him to be

wary of committing himself to paper and of exposing his ideas to public criticism and debate... he may just have carried on, unwilling to record decisions on paper, but secure in the knowledge that he had the support of the Commissioners [of Building], even though their attention was largely diverted elsewhere..108

Wren soon realized that William III deliberately avoided the monumental stone construction beloved by his Stuart predecessors. However, when Queen Mary, James’s daughter, requested a rebuilding of Hampton Court Palace, Wren began a set of ambitious designs. Then, in summer 1689 William appointed a triumvirate of his supporters--William Talman, George London, and William Bentinck, Earl of Portland (his Dutch favorite) to oversee the building work. Their collaboration “was close and often inimical to Wren’s own plans.”109 Talman especially tried to undermine Wren, even accusing him of causing the deaths of workmen in a collapsed building at Hampton Court. “A man of colic and irritability,” Talman developed “a peculiarly intimate relationship with the king.”110 Covetous of Wren’s position, he hoped to replace him. In later years, Talman become the confidential friend of John Theophilus Desaguliers, who with James Anderson, would help to develop the anti-Jacobite Grand Lodge of England.

In December 1689, when William and Mary moved into Kensington Palace, extensive renovations were required, but Wren was not allowed to carry out the expensive stonework that he favored. John Harris explains that Williamite “court architecture was brick ornamented with stone,” because “stone architecture required the expensive talents of sculptors to make it effective. ”111 He then laments that “the best of baroque architecture is built of stone, not brick.” The neglect of the highest quality skills of operative Masons, which frustrated Wren, sheds some light on a note made by John Aubrey on 18 May 1691, which has long provoked controversy among Masonic historians:

MDM, this day...is a great convention at St. Paul’s church of the Fraternity of the

Accepted [“Free” being struck out] Masons where Sr. Christopher Wren is to be

adopted a Brother; and Sr. Henry Goodric...of ye Tower, & divers [“sev’l” being struck out] others, there have been Kings, that have been of this Sodalitie.112

Aubrey added this “Memorandum” to his MS. “Natural History of Wiltshire,” which was then being transcribed for the archives of the Royal Society. B.G. Cramer, clerk to the society, copied the note with one possibly significant change--i.e., writing “Adopted” instead of Aubrey’s “Accepted” Masons. John Evelyn also recorded the ceremony of 18 May, noting that “Sr Christopher Wren (Architect of St Paules) was at a Convention...of Free-masons, adopted a brother of that Society, shore have Kings ben of this sodality.”113

By participating in this unusual public ceremony, did the privately Jacobite Wren hope to allay suspicion that he maintained an inner circle of Accepted Masons, who worked with him on earlier Stuart projects. Perhaps Wren hoped to give Acception a more public and thus acceptable status. Aubrey first wrote “Free” and then inserted “Accepted” in his more public transcript. Wren’s companion in adoption, Sir Henry Goodricke, had secured the city of York for William at the Revolution and was subsequently rewarded with the position of Lieutenant-General of the Ordinance and Privy Councillor. Thus, he would certainly lend respectability to Wren and his craftsmen.

Goodricke was also interested in architecture and operative Masonry, for he had supervised the demolishing and rebuilding of the ancient stone edifice at Ribston (“Tympill Ribstayne”), originally constructed by the Knights Templar and later sold to Goodricke’s ancestors by the Knights Hospitallers.114 Goodricke had been a royalist before William’s actual arrival in England, and he was then friendly with various architecturally-interested Jacobites. In 1691, after his shift of loyalty, he enjoyed enormous powers of patronage and rewarded court supporters with jobs, money, favors.115 The Freemasons who performed the public ceremony probably hoped to gain aristocratic and popular support for Wren’s ambitious agenda and for their craft. Disappointingly, over the next years, the use of stone for building material would be largely superseded by brick: “This resulted in a decline in the Mason trade” in England, while “stone remained the main building material in Scotland.”116

In his pro-Williamite history of Freemasonry, James Anderson initially ignored this decline and tried, unconvincingly, to provide the Dutch king with an English Masonic role. Writing in 1722-23, at a time of Jacobite-Hanoverian struggles for control of Masonry, Anderson asserted:

after the Revolution, Anno 1688, King William, though a war-like Prince, having a good

Taste of Architecture, carried on the aforesaid two famous Hospitals of Greenwich and Chelsea, built the fine part of his royal Palace of Hampton Court, and founded and finish’d his incomparable Palace at Loo in Holland, & the bright Example of that glorious Prince, (who by most is reckon’d a Free-Mason) did influence the Nobility, the Gentry, the Wealthy and the Learned of Great-Britain, to affect much of the Augustan Style.117

In terms of architectural history, this purported influence of William is erroneous. Moreover, according to Aubrey and Evelyn, the Masonic affiliation of kings was in the past. In his 1738 edition, Anderson admitted the decline in the craft during the Williamite years (“Particular lodges were not so frequent and mostly occasional in the South”).118 But with Wren then dead and unable to contradict him, Anderson now claimed that King William was “privately made a Free Mason, approved of their Choice of G. Master Wren, and encourag’d him.” No other source speaks of this or grants William architectural importance in England. Of course, it is possible that he was initiated into a military field lodge, for he worked closely with his personal regiment of Dutch and Huguenot engineers. As the Williamite revolution gained the title of the “Glorious Revolution,” the Jacobites at home and abroad developed secret networks of communication as they struggled against the victorious Whigs, and some found that Freemasonry provided a valuable vehicle for their cause, which soon began to emerge in literary expression

  1. This introductory chapter recapitulates some material given in the concluding chapter of M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple of Vision.↩︎

  2. Hugh Ouston, “York in Edinburgh: James VII and the Patronage of Learning in Scotland, 1679-1688,” in John Dwyer, Roger Mason, and Alexander Murdoch, eds., New Perspectives on the Politics and Culture of Early Modern Scotland (Edinburgh, 1983), 153-54. Rare copy of broadside in National Library of Scotland.↩︎

  3. J. Yarker, “Drummond—Earls of Perth,” AQC, 14 (1901),138. Also, Edward Corp, “Melfort: a Jacobite Connoisseur,” History Today (October 1995), 46.↩︎

  4. Miles Glendenning, Ranald Macinnes, and Aonghus Mackechnie, eds., A History of Scottish Architecture (Edinburgh, 1996), 85. For more details on the Masonic context, see M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, 740-42.↩︎

  5. Caledonia’s Farewell (Edinburgh, 1685).↩︎

  6. For their Masonic affiliation see M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, Index; for York’s architectural accomplishments, see E. Cruickshanks, The Glorious Revolution (London, 2000), 47.↩︎

  7. D. Stevenson, First Freemasons, 136-39, 142.↩︎

  8. D. Stevenson, Origins of Freemasonry, 147.↩︎

  9. James Anderson, The Constitutions of the Freemasons (1723) and (1738), facs. rpt (Abingdon, 1976), 105-06.↩︎

  10. John Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy Against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, 3rd. rev. ed. (1797; Philadelphia, 1798), 27.↩︎

  11. F.M.G. Higham, King James the Second (London, 1934), 44.↩︎

  12. David Stevenson, “Masonry, Symbolism and Ethics in the Life of Sir Robert Moray, FRS,” Proceedings of Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 114 (1984), 405-31.↩︎

  13. R.W.D. Macgregor, “Contributions to the Early History of Freemasonry in New Jersey,” The Master Mason, 1 (1925-27), 98-100.↩︎

  14. D. Stevenson, First Freemasons, 138-43, 79 n.59.↩︎

  15. Jonathan Swift, Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis (Oxford, 1962), v, 329.↩︎

  16. Arthure Shane, “Jacob Jehudah Leon of Amsterdam (1602-1675) and His Models of the Temple of Solomon and the Tabernacle,” AQC. 96 (1983), 146-69.↩︎

  17. David Franco Mendes, Ha-measef [Hebrew] (Berlin-Koenigsberg, 1788), IV, 297-301; translated in A. Shane, “Jacob Jehudah Leon,” 161.↩︎

  18. Ibid., 146. Sean Murphy argues that Dermott had Jacobite connections in “Irish Jacobitism and Freemasonry,” Eighteenth-Century Ireland, 9 (1994), 82. However, Ric Berman argues that while other members of the Dermott family were Catholics, he was almost certainly a Protestant and not a Jacobte; see his Schism, 22-23, 27-28.↩︎

  19. Richard Popkin,, “Some Aspects of Jewish-Christian Theological Interchange in Holland and England, 1640-1700,” in J. Van den Berg and E.G.E. Van der Wall, eds., Jewish-Christian Relations in the Seventeenth Century (Dordrecht, 1988), 24.↩︎

  20. Lucien Wolf, “Anglo-Jewish Coats of Arms,” Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England (1894-95), 153-57, 156-57. Henceforth cited as TJHSE.↩︎

  21. Christopher Wren, Parentalia (London, 1750), 351.↩︎

  22. Vaughan Hart, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Christopher Wren (London, 1995), 9, 24n.25.↩︎

  23. David Katz, The Jews in the History of England (Oxford, 1994), 146-52.↩︎

  24. Henry Fielding, The Jacobite’s Journal and Related Writings, ed. W.B. Coley (Middletown, 1975), 282, 285.↩︎

  25. R.D. Barnell, “Mr. Pepys’ Contacts with the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in London,” TJHSE, 29 (1986), 31.↩︎

  26. David Katz, “The Jews of England and 1688,” in Olle Grell, Jonathan Israel, and Nicholas Tyacke, eds., From Persecution to Toleration: The Glorious Revolution and Religion in England (Cambridge, 1994), 223-24.↩︎

  27. See ahead, Chapter Six.↩︎

  28. J. Anderson, Constitutions (1738), 106.↩︎

  29. Bryan Little, Sir Christopher Wren: A Historical Biography (London, 1979), 137.↩︎

  30. The work remained in MS. unti 1847; see Robert Freke Gould, History and Antiquities of Freemasonry , 3rd rev. ed. (1882-87; New York, 1951), II, 128-31.↩︎

  31. John Aubrey, Remains of Genitlisme and Judaisme (London, 1688), 48, 51, 97. The MS. was completed by February 1687.↩︎

  32. Robert Plot, The Natural History of Oxfordshire (Oxford, 1677), 75-109, 268.↩︎

  33. Ibid., 229-32, 282, 343.↩︎

  34. Howard Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 3rd. ed. (New Haven, 1955), 22.↩︎

  35. Robert Plot, The Natural History of Staffordshire (Oxford, 1686), 316-18.↩︎

  36. D. Stevenson, Origins, 199, and First Freemasons, 15; also, M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, 439-40↩︎

  37. Edward Conder, Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons , eds. Louis Williams and Robin Carr (1894; facs. rpt. Bloomington, 1988), 207, 215.↩︎

  38. Michale Hunter, Science and the Shape of Orthodoxy (Woodbridge, 1995), 129.↩︎

  39. John Evelyn, The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. E.S. De Beer (Oxford, 1955), IV, 535-36.↩︎

  40. F. Higham, James II, 257.↩︎

  41. R. Gould, History, II, 55 (spelling modernized). For the dating, see D. Stevenson, First Freemasons, 126-30.↩︎

  42. J. Evelyn, Diary, IV, 553-54.↩︎

  43. Eveline Cruickshanks, ed., By Force or Default? The Revolution of 1688-89 (Edinburgh, 1989), 35-37, and Glorious Revolution, 29.↩︎

  44. Douglas Knoop, G.P. Jones, and Douglas Hamer, Early Masonic Pamphlets (London, 1978), 34f. Henceforth cited as EMP.↩︎

  45. D. Stevenson, Origins, 224-25.↩︎

  46. H. Ouston, “York in Edinburgh,” 153.↩︎

  47. David Mitchell, The Jesuits: A History (London, 1980), 165.↩︎

  48. The case for Swift’s contribution is presented persuasively by George Mayhew, “Swift and the Tripos Tradition,” Philological Quarterly, 45 (1966), 85-101; and Katsumi Hashinuma, “Jonathan Swift and Freemasonry,” Hitotsubashi Journal of Arts and Sciences, 38 (1997), 13-22.↩︎

  49. R.E. Parkinson, “The Lodge in Trinity College, Dublin, 1688,” AQC, 54 (1941), 96-107.↩︎

  50. The Tripos manuscript was discovered in the archives of Trinity College, Dublin, by John Barrett, and published by him in An Essay on the Earlier Part of the Life of Swift (London, 1808). It was included in Sir Walter Scott’s edition, The Works of Jonathan Swift (Edinburgh, 1824), VI, 240-59.↩︎

  51. John Heron Lepper and Philip Crossle, History of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland (Dublin, 1925), I, 36-37.↩︎

  52. Rolf Loeber, “Early Classicism in Ireland before the Georgian Era,” Architectural History, 22 (1979), 58.↩︎

  53. J. Swift, Works, ed. Scott, VI, 242-43.↩︎

  54. Ibid., VI, 247-48.↩︎

  55. Matthew Glozier, “The Earl of Melfort, the Catholic Party, and the Foundation of the Order of the Thistle,” Scottish Historical Review, 79 (2000), 233-38.↩︎

  56. N.H. Nicholas, The Statutes of the Order of the Thistle (London, 1828), [ii].↩︎

  57. J.E.S. Tuckett, “The French-Irish Family of Walsh,” AQC, 38 (1925), 190.↩︎

  58. J. Swift, Works, ed. Scott, VI, 244-45.↩︎

  59. Ibid., VI, 248-52.↩︎

  60. E. Cruickshanks, Glorious Revolution, 54-55.↩︎

  61. R. Loeber, “Early Classicism,” 56-57.↩︎

  62. Edward Corp, ed., Lord Burlington—The Man and His Politics (Lewiston, 1998), 11, 20. The 3rd Earl was Richard Talbot, great-great nephew of the 1st Earl; he became a prominent military officer in France.↩︎

  63. Hugh Ormsby-Lennon, Hey Presto! Swift and the Quacks (Newark, 2011), 291.↩︎

  64. G. Mayhew, “Swift and the Tripos,” 95.↩︎

  65. J. Barrett, Essay, 13, 20-21.↩︎

  66. H. Ormsby-Lennon, Hey Presto!, 278-99.↩︎

  67. E. Cruickshanks, Glorious Revolution, 23-25; Jonathan Israel, The Anglo-Dutch Moment: Essays on the Glorious Revolution and Its World Impact (Cambridge, 1991), 1-13.↩︎

  68. Richard Hay, A Genealogie of the Saintclaires of Rosslyn (Edinburgh, 1835), 107.↩︎

  69. Historical Manuscripts Commission 29: 13th Report. Portland MSS., appendix ii (1893-94), II, 56. Henceforth cited as HMC.↩︎

  70. M. Hunter, Occult Laboratory, 177.↩︎

  71. Alexander Nisbet, A System of Heraldry, Speculative and Practical (Edinburgh, 1722), II, 123.↩︎

  72. For details of the Scottish resistance and Masonic context, see M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, 762-70, 775-81.↩︎

  73. His sudden nosebleed and subsequent languor suggested not only stress but a minor stroke.↩︎

  74. Pierre Chevallier, Histoire de la Franc-Maçonnerie (Paris, 1974), I, 4-5; Phillipe Morbach, “Les regiments écossais et irlandais à St. Germain-en-Laye: mythe ou réalité maçonnique?,” in Edward Corp, ed., L’Autre Exil: Les Jacobites en France au Début de XVIII-Siècle (Montpellier, 1993), 143-55.↩︎

  75. Gustave Bord, La Franc-Maçonnerie en France de Origines à 1815 (1908; facs. rpt. Paris, 1985), I, 51.↩︎

  76. S. Murphy, “Irish Jacobitism,” 77.↩︎

  77. J. Tuckett, “French-Irish Family,” 189-96.↩︎

  78. P. Chevallier, Histoire, I, 5; P. Morbach, “Les regiments,” 143-44; Albert Lantoine, Histoire de la Franc-Maçonnerie Française (Genève, 1982), 105, 127, 132.↩︎

  79. For the Dundee-Templar controversies, see Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge 1989; London, 1993) 228-34, 376-77; M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, 767-70.↩︎

  80. D. Stevenson, Origins, 195.↩︎

  81. R. Gould, History, II, 61.↩︎

  82. R. Corp, Burlington, 23.↩︎

  83. Elias Ashmole, The Institution, Laws, and Ceremonies of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (1672; facs. rpt. London, 1971), 47; M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, 767.↩︎

  84. H.J.A. Sire, The Knights of Malta (New Haven, 1994), 125-26, 187-88.↩︎

  85. E.J. King and the Earl of Scarborough, The Grand Priory of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England (London, 1924), 65.↩︎

  86. On Fitzjames and Melfort, see The Journal of John Stevens, ed. Robert H. Murray (Oxford, 1912), 72-73.↩︎

  87. J. Swift, Works, V, 328-29.↩︎

  88. E. Corp, Burlington, 10-11, 20-21.↩︎

  89. John Dryden, The Works of John Dryden, eds. E.N. Hooker and H.T. Swedenberg (Berkeley, 1956), III, 222.↩︎

  90. D. Katz, Jews in History, 161-65.↩︎

  91. H. Fielding, Jacobite’s Journal, 282-83.↩︎

  92. See account in D. Stevenson, Origins, 132-33.↩︎

  93. D . Katz, Jews in History, 161-62.↩︎

  94. Robert Kirk, The Secret Commonwealth and a Short Treatise of Charms and Spirits, ed. Sanderson (1691; London, 1976), 88-89.↩︎

  95. D. Stevenson, Origins, 133-34.↩︎

  96. J. Swift, Works, V, 328-29.↩︎

  97. Leon Huehner, “The Jews of Ireland: an Historical Sketch,” TJHSE, 5 (1902-05), 232. The characterization was documented in MacFirbis’s Book of Genealogies, finished in 1666.↩︎

  98. A. Shane, “Jacob Jehudah Leon,” 164-65.↩︎

  99. D. Katz, Jews in History, 161-62.↩︎

  100. Ibid., 173; D. Katz, “Jews . . . and 1688,” 242.↩︎

  101. Norman Roth, “Social and Intellectual Currents in England in the Century Preceding the Jew Bill of 1753” (Ph.D. Dissertation: Cornell University, 1978), 189-90.↩︎

  102. Arthur Williamson, “`A Pil for Pork-Eaters’: Ethnic Identity, Apocalypic Premises, and the Strange Creation of the Judeo-Scots,” in R.B. Waddington and Arthur Williamson, eds., The Expulsion of the Jews: 1492 and After (New York, 1994), 249, 257n.34.↩︎

  103. Arthur Levy, “The Origins of Scottish Jewry,” TJHSE, 20 (1959-61), 136.↩︎

  104. D. Stevenson, First Freemasons, 206.↩︎

  105. Ibid., 207-08. The poem was discovered in 1999, and a single copy is in the Scottish National Library.↩︎

  106. John Summerson, Architecture in Britain, 1530-1830 (London, 1935), 184.↩︎

  107. G. Bord, Franc-Maçonnerie, 55-57; M. Jacob, Living the Enlightenment, 92.↩︎

  108. Paul Jeffrey, The City Churches of Christopher Wren (London, 1996), 28-29.↩︎

  109. John Harris, “The Architecture of the Williamite Court,” in R.P. Maccubin and M. Hamilton-Phillips, eds., The Age of William III and Mary II: Power, Politics, and Patronage, 1688-1702 (Williamsburg, 1989), 227.↩︎

  110. H. Colvin, Biographical Dictionary, 949; John Harris, William Talman: Maverick Architect (London, 1982), 20-32.↩︎

  111. J. Harris, “Architecture,” 231.↩︎

  112. Quoted in Michael Baigent and Bernard Williamson, “Sir Christopher Wren and Freemasonry: New Evidence,” AQC, 109 (1996), 88-89.↩︎

  113. British Library: Evelyn MS. 173.f.9 [Henceforth cited as BL].↩︎

  114. Charles A. Goodricke, Ribston . . . Seat of the Goodricke Family (London, 1902), 69-79.↩︎

  115. E. Cruickshanks, Glorious Revolution, 62. For the Whig-Masonic diplomatic activities of his descendant, Sir John Goodricke, in Sweden in the 1760-70s, see M. Schuchard, Emanuel Swedenborg, chapters 17 to 21.↩︎

  116. George Draffen, “Freemasonry in Scotland in 1717,” AQC, 83 (1979), 366.↩︎

  117. J. Anderson, Constitutions (1723), 42-43.↩︎

  118. J. Anderson, Constitutions (1738), 106-07.↩︎