Freemasons, Rosicrucians, and Radical Clubs


Marsha Keith Schuchard, Ph.D.

Divertissements: these are to give notice, that the Modern Green-Ribbond Caball, together with the Ancient Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross; the Hermetick Adepti; and the Company of Accepted Masons, intend all to dine together . . . Having already given order for great store of Black-swan Pies, Poach’d Phoenix Eggs, Haunches of Unicorns, etc.

Poor Robin’s Intelligencer (10 October 1676).

Having thought it needful to warn you of the Mischiefs and Evils practiced In the sight of God by those called Freed Masons, I say take care lest their secret Swearings take hold of you . . . For this devilish Sect of Men are Meeters in Secret which swear against all without their Following. They are the Anti Christ which was to come leading Men from Fear of God.

— M. Winter, To All godly People, in the Citie of London (1698).

While James II and his supporters continued to plot his restoration to the British throne, Jacobite Freemasonry went largely underground in the British Isles. However, according to eighteenth-century traditions, the exiles took their Masonic organization to France, from where their dispersed brothers established clandestine networks of fraternally-bonded initiates. In 1737 the French Mason Bertin de Rocheret wrote that Freemasonry was brought to France in 1689 by supporters of James II. 1 In 1797 the Scottish Mason John Robison wrote that the “most zealous supporters” of James II “took Free Masonry with them to the continent, where it was immediately received by the French,” and “All the Brethren on the Continent agree in saying, that Freemasonry was imported from Great Britain about the beginning of this century [ca. 1700] and this in the form of a mystical society.”2 The mysticism consisted of the traditional Cabalistic and Hermetic symbolism of the Scottish lodges, but Robison also described a special chivalric degree created by the Jacobites at St. Germain, with an emblem alluding “to the dethronement, the captivity, the escape and asylum of James II. and his hopes of re-establishment by the help of the loyal Brethren.” Robison was not sure whether this degree of Chevalier Maçon Écossais was added “immediately after King James’s abdication, or about the time of the attempt to set his son on the British throne.”

These claims of chivalric developments within Jacobite Masonry continue to provoke arguments among historians, because of the dearth of contemporary documents until the 1730s. However, an oblique reinforcement comes from Jonathan Swift, who drew upon his experiences in Dublin in 1688 and Ulster in 1695-96 to later describe the chivalric (as well as Cabalistic, Lullist, and Rosicrucian) interests of Scots-Irish Freemasonry. In A Letter from the Grand Mistress of the Female Freemasons (Dublin, 1724), Swift’s comical summary of “Celtic” traditions in “a Lodge of Free-Masons at O——h in U——r” (Omagh in Ulster) throws a retrospective light on developments in the fraternity in the 1690s.3

In 1689 Swift fled the political turmoil in Dublin and moved to England, where he became amanuensis to the retired diplomat Sir William Temple at Moor Park. Temple shared Swift’s skeptical interest in Rosicrucianism, which he had encountered in its radical form in Ireland during the 1650s.4 He also dealt with operative Masons there, who drew on Scots-Irish traditions. After the Restoration, Temple was employed on delicate secret missions for Charles II and Lord Arlington, both allegedly Masons, and he was kept abreast of Scottish affairs while serving at The Hague. In 1668 Arlington sent Temple a paper written by the prominent Mason Sir Robert Moray and praised the Scot’s expertise in chemistry (which included Moray’s alchemical experiments).5 Two years later Temple met Moray, who sought his assistance for the export to Holland of building stone quarried by his Scottish Masonic brother, Alexander Bruce, Second Earl of Kincardine. The enterprise also involved Sir William Bruce, the architect, who had utilized his Masonic connections to help General Monk organize the restoration of Charles II, and Sir William Davidson, who had handled the exiled king’s overture to the Jews.6 Thus, when Temple discussed with Swift the secret diplomacy of Charles II, he may have revealed the role of Freemasonry in Stuart politics.

Swift was disappointed that Temple could not secure him a clerical position in England, and he grudgingly agreed to take over the Anglican ministry at Kilroot in northern Ireland, where he immediately faced political and Masonic problems. During this period, economic conditions in Scotland deteriorated so badly that thousands of Scottish Presbyterians migrated to Ulster, where they were soon at loggerheads with the Episcopal establishment, which felt increasingly betrayed by William’s concessions to the non-conformists. Into this volatile situation, riven by bitter theological and political disputes, the newly-ordained Anglican priest was sent in January 1695. In the parish of Kilroot, Scots-Irish Presbyterians were a majority, while the struggling Episcopal churches suffered from negligent and corrupt ministers.7 Swift expected to take over the ministry of Robert Mylne, who had been charged with non-residence, intemperance, and incontinence. But Mylne had supporters who petitioned the bishop to sustain his position. Though little is known about Swift’s year in Ulster, he gained more knowledge about Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry during his residence—knowledge which he incorporated into A Tale of a Tub (1704) and A Letter from the Grand Mistress of the Female Free-Masons (1724), both published anonymously.

The influence of Scottish Freemasonry had long been felt in Ulster, where William St. Clair of Roslin, hereditary patron of the Scottish Masons, had emigrated in 1617 and died in 1650.8 The remaining St. Clairs in Scotland were still considered the heads of Scottish Masonry, and there were many ties between Masons in Scotland and northern Ireland. Swift’s predecessor in Ulster, Robert Mylne, was kinned to the famous Scottish family of Master Masons, who claimed to have initiated James VI and I and then served his Stuart successors.9 Robert emigrated to Ireland in 1657, where he initially served as a Presbyterian minister.10 Between 1657 and 1660, the Mylnes in Scotland participated in important Masonic activity, including assistance to General Monk’s restoration scheme.11 In 1660 the Anglican priest Jeremy Taylor hurried from Ireland to London to support Monk in his final campaign.12 On Taylor’s return to Dublin, he was instrumental in converting Robert Mylne to Anglicanism, and he ordained the new priest in 1662. While serving in Kilroot, Mylne maintained contact with Scots who were privy to their native Masonic traditions. When Mylne’s supporters contested Swift’s appointment, the new priest had to work to develop good relationships with his parishioners. From Swift’s later allusion to a lodge of Freemasons at Omagh, it seems likely that he gained access to “Celtic” Masonic traditions or even participated in a lodge during his residence.

In A Letter from the Grand Mistress, Swift revealed an “ancient” Scots-Irish Masonic tradition that included Cabalistic, Rosicrucian, and chivalric themes, which he had learned about in 1695-96 and which foreshadowed the emergence of Écossais higher degrees in the 1740s. Though his letter was quoted in the Introduction, it is worth repeating its salient points:

The Branch of the Lodge of Solomon’s Temple, afterwards call’d the Lodge of St. John of Jerusalem . . . is . . . the Antientest and Purest now on Earth. The famous old Scottish lodge of Kilwinnin of which all the Kings of Scotland have been from Time to Time Grand Masters without Interruption, down from the days of Fergus, who Reign’d there more than 2000 Years ago, long before the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem or the Knights of Maltha, to which two Lodges I must nevertheless allow the Honour of having adorn’d the Antient Jewish and Pagan Masonry with many Religious and Christian Rules.

Fergus being the eldest Son to the chief King of Ireland, was carefully instructed in all the Arts and Sciences, especially in the natural Magick, and the Caballistical Philosophy (afterwards called the Rosecrution) . . . 13

Swift added that the printer Mr. Harding, if duly encouraged by subscribers, will publish also “a Key to Raymundus Lullius, without whose help . . . it’s impossible to came at the Quintessence of Freemasonry.”14

Swift’s burlesque of the operative Masons’ craft histories written in various Old Charges drew on specific Scots-Irish traditions in Omagh and Carrickfergus. Moreover, during his frequent visits to Carrickfergus, he would have seen in St. Nicholas’ Church the engraved tablet in praise of the restoration of the edifice: “This worke was begune 1614 . . . and wrought by Thomas Paps free-mason . . . Vivat Rex Jacobus.” Philip Crossle argues that Swift had this tablet in mind when writing his Letter from the Grand Mistress.15 Also displayed in the church was a Mason’s chair, which featured elaborate Masonic carvings (including an Irish harp with square and compasses), the mysterious initials A.J.R.K.C.B., and date 1685.16 The chair was an Irish version of a Scottish chair from Berwick-on-Tweed, a Masonic location Swift and his friends mentioned earlier in the Trinity Tripos.

Disgusted by the sectarian hostilities he encountered in his parish, Swift worked on the draft of A Tale of a Tub, which he had started writing at Trinity College, when he also contributed to the Masonic satire of the Tripos.17 The earliest part of A Tale was the allegory of a dying father who bequeaths to each of his sons a new coat, with instructions to care for it and to “live together in one House like Brethren and Friends, for then you will be sure to thrive, and not otherwise.”18 The allegory drew on earlier versions of the story of three rings, which represented the Jewish, Christian, and Moslem religions. Swift made the three brothers and their coats represent the current factions of the Christian church—i.e., the Papist (Peter), Episcopalian (Martyn), and Presbyterian-Dissenter (Jack). Having experienced the Jacobite-Williamite struggles in Dublin while still at Trinity, he was further provoked in Ulster to satirize the bitter sectarian hostilities that undermined church and state in the British Isles. When he targeted the enthusiastic, zealous, bigoted, and “Illuminated” Jack, he connected radical Presbyterian-Dissenter beliefs with the original Continental Rosicrucian movement.19 The sub-title, “Written for the Universal Improvement of Mankind,” was taken from Triano Boccalini’s Ragguagli di Parnaso, which was printed together with the Allgemeine und General Reformation der gantzen weiten Welt. Beneben der Fama Fraternitatis, dess Löblichen Ordens des Rosenkreutzer (1614).20

From Swift’s later statements (in Letter from the Grand Mistress) about the importance of Cabala to Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, it is significant that he already held that opinion when writing A Tale of a Tub. He wrote mockingly about Cabalistic letter-number manipulations which were used as an aid to prayerful meditation”

And First, I have couched a very profound Mystery in the Number of O’s multiplied by Seven and divided by Nine. Also, if a devout Brother of the Rosy Cross will pray fervently for sixty three Mornings, with a lively Faith, and then transpose certain Letters and Syllable according to the Prescription . . . they will certainly reveal into a full Receit of the Opus Magnum.21

Even more absurd to Swift were the claims that this Cabalistic technique would produce the ultimate Rosicrucian “illumination”:

Lastly, Whoever will be at the Pains to calculate the whole Number of each Letter in this Treatise, and sum up the Difference exactly between the several Numbers, assigning the true natural Cause for every such Difference; the Discoveries in the Product, will plentifully reward his Labour. But then he must beware of Bythus and Sigé, and be sure not to forget the Qualities of Acamoth . . . wherein Eugenius Philalethes that committed an unpardonable Mistake.22

Swift would later assume the pseudonym “Phil-Alethes” when writing another satire on irrationality and corruption.23

As we shall see from John Toland’s experiences in Ulster, Swift could well have met Rosicrucians or Freemasons who were interested in the occult sciences and radical reform. The earliest parts of A Tale that seem most likely to have been written in Kilroot describe scathingly the Scots who made grandiose claims for their ancient lineage (drawing upon the founding myth of the marriage of the Egyptian Scota to the Greek Gathelus).24 These radical Scots preached seditiously against the Episcopal church and English regime, while they claimed Cabalistic and Rosicrucian illumination.25 He even got in jabs against the Order of the Thistle and the Judaized Scots’aversion to pork (hinting at anti-Stuart propaganda that claimed the Scots were descended

from the Jews).26 The current heirs of the radical Presbyterianism of John Knox (“Knocking Jack of the North”) could only organize their “Epidemick Sect of Aeolists” because the Anglican church (Martyn) “at this time happened to be extremely flegmatick and sedate.” Certainly, this was the case in Kilroot, where the Episcopal ministers were so negligent or absent that their parishioners had to attend Presbyterian services if they wanted any Protestant church experience at all.

Swift read widely in Hermetic and Rosicrucian literature, including Paracelsus, Boehme, Sendivogius, Heydon, the Comte de Gabalis, and Thomas Vaughan (Eugenius Philalethes), as well as the parodists of that literature, Buckingham, Shadwell, and Butler.27 When he left Kilroot in 1696 and returned to Sir William Temple’s employment at Moor Park, the two men must have discussed their mutual experience with Scots-Irish “illuminists.” In 1690 Temple had written sardonically of abandoned libertines, extravagant debauchees, and dabblers in chemistry, characters he observed during his service in Ireland. Even worse, while there he had known in the family of some friends “a keeper deep in the Rosicrucian principles.”28

Though Swift drew upon occultist literary publications, his precise description of the seditious Presbyterian Jack suggests his observation of actual Scottish Rosicrucians and/or Freemasons in Ulster. With traditional Stuart-Jacobite Freemasonry driven underground, various quasi-Masonic societies were organized, which preserved in some cases older Rosicrucian themes and in others encouraged newer deistic trends. The restless explorers of this shadowy Masonic world sometimes crossed political lines to pursue their researches and experiments. And Swift seemed to point to the flamboyant Ulsterman, John Toland, who embodied these shifting boundaries, as he moved from Catholicism to Episcopalianism to Presbyterianism to Pantheism. Swift would later view Toland’s works as dangerous expressions of the occultist-radicalism of the “Knocking Jacks of the North.” In her important but controversial book, The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons, and Republicans (1981), Margaret Jacob argued that Toland was involved in 1710 in a “private Masonic lodge” at The Hague, known as “the Knights of Jubilation,” but she did not examine his earlier experiences in Ireland and Scotland that stimulated his interest in secret societies.29

Baptized as Johannes Eugenius (Sean Owen) in 1670 in northern Ireland and raised as a Gaelic-speaking Catholic, Toland converted to Anglicanism in 1686, became a protégé of the bishop of Derry, and entered Glasgow University in 1687.30 According to Dr. Edmund Gibson, who knew Toland in 1694, he soon became a controversial figure:

wanting a Competent he apply’d himself to the Archbishop of Glasgow, under pretence of being a great admirer of Church Government and Episcopacy. But not meeting with the encouragement he expected (for his Grace had been armed with a Character of him, tho something he did get) he struck in very zealously with the Presbyterians, went to their meetings, and was very liberal in his abuses not only of the Arch Bp, but of the whole Order. He got a rabble together, and at the Head of them in the Market place burn’t the Pope; upon which occasion he made a formal Speech against the then Magistrates o' the Town for being Episcopal . . . He fail’d not to cast in his mite when the Episcopal Clergy were rabbled . . . He pretended to work wonders by some secret arts, and so seduced a number of young students.31

Toland remained in Glasgow until late 1689, where he “may have dabbled in some occult arts (and later would be referred to as a Rosicrucian).”32 Toland scholars have been puzzled by these occultist activities, for they were unaware of the long Rosicrucian-Masonic tradition in Scotland (and among the Scottish enclaves in Ulster). Many of the radical Presbyterians who opposed James II remembered the militant Protestant crusade of the early Continental Rosicrucians. Among those who favored a return to Covenanting ideals was Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, who accompanied William’s invasion force to England and then returned to Scotland in spring 1689. Fletcher and other anti-monarchists organized “the Club,” an eclectic nationalist group that struggled for constitutional reform.33 According to his 1798 biographer, the radical Freemason Robert Watson, Fletcher drew upon the quasi-Masonic organizing tactics of late seventeenth-century Covenanters in Glasgow:

the people took an oath, called the solemn league and covenant, not unlike the oath of the united irishmen [in 1798], by which they bound themselves to support one another, and persevere until they obtained a redress of grievances.*


*[Footnote]. It is worth remarking, that the Scots, in the neighborhood of Glasgow, were the first people who took a secret oath to counteract the encroachments of despotism . . . 34

A.T.Q. Stewart argues that there was a strong Masonic component in the United Irishmen.35 As we shall see, Fletcher was interested in architecture and operative Masonry, as well as occult phenomenon and clairvoyance. If Toland met Fletcher or his Glasgow network, it would explain his own fusion of Covenanting, Rosicrucian, and Masonic ideas.

Toland received a certificate from the Glasgow magistrates that he had behaved himself as “ane trew protestant and loyal subject.”36 He then transferred to Edinburgh University in late 1689, during the period of Fletcher’s radical campaign. Dr. Gibson, in a follow-up letter, reported on Toland’s occult activities in Edinburgh:

he mov’d to Edinburrow, and set up there for a Rosacrucian: gave them the nice name of Sages, and printed a Book in French and English, with this Title, The Sage of the Time. He had contriv’d that there should be some appearance of a flame in a closet near a Street, and no harm done. When all was safe and the House not burnt down or injur’d, as the Neighbours expected, his reputation grew upon it quickly, but whether under the name of Conjuror, or what other title, I know not. An acquaintance of his tells me, he has heard him express a very favourable opinion of Popery.37

Toland’s movement between different political and religious camps was not unusual during this period, when many Scots became so disillusioned with William III’s policies that radical Whigs began to collaborate with Jacobites. Robert Sullivan notes that Toland’s “introduction to the world of secret societies, which fascinated him throughout his life,” probably took place in Scotland.38 His later comments (in 1721) on Scottish operative Masonry reveal his access to the local craft fraternity.39 We will return to Toland’s esoteric and exoteric activities when he becomes a target of Swift’s wrath from 1696 onward.

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In England William III’s preoccupation with European war plans meant that he paid little attention to architecture. When James Anderson noted the decline in Freemasonry under the Williamite regime, he made an exception for lodges formed “in or near the Places where great Works were carried on”:

Thus Sir Robert Claytor [Clayton] got an Occasional Lodge of his Brother Masters to meet at St. Thomas’s Hospital Southwark, A.D. 1693, and to advise the Governours about the best Design of rebuilding that Hospital as it now stands most beautiful; near which a stated Lodge continued long afterwards.40

Clayton, a wealthy City financier, was the son of a carpenter, who spurred his lifelong interest in practical building projects and architectural design. On 12-15 October 1677 Clayton invited John Evelyn to visit him in order to examine his expensive new house.41 Evelyn then tried to persuade Clayton to rebuild the dilapidated church on his property. Perhaps influenced by Evelyn, on 20 October Clayton used his political influence as a London alderman to recommend to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen that the “present charter” of the Company of Masons be extended seven miles around the city as “an advantage” to it.42 Throughout 1679 Clayton consulted with the Robert Hooke on various architectural projects.43 In 1695, two years after the Masonic meeting at St. Thomas’s, he helped Evelyn and Wren survey the construction of Greenwich Hospital.44

That Clayton was an activist Whig, who campaigned against James II’s accession, has led some scholars to assume that the “Occasional Lodge of his Brother Masters” had radical associations.45 That assumption seems untenable, for Clayton maintained Masonic friendships with many royalists who shared an interest in architecture. For example, he collaborated with Hooke, who worked closely with Wren, throughout the Exclusion Crisis, when he and they were on opposite political sides. However, Clayton may have utilized what he learned about Masonic organization to further his political agenda. He had earlier participated in the Green Ribbon Club, which was lumped together with Freemasons and Rosicrucians in a satirical article in Poor Robin’s Intelligencer (10 October 1676):

Divertissements: these are to give notice, that the Modern Green-Ribbond Caball, together with the Ancient Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross; the Hermetick Adepti; and the Company of Accepted Masons, intend all to dine together on the 31 of November . . . having already given order for great store of Black-swan Pies, Poach’d Phoenix Eggs, Haunches of Unicorns, etc. To be provided for that occasion; All idle people can spare so much time from the Cone-house, may prepare to be Spectators of the Solemnity. But are advised to provide themselves Spectacles of Malleable Glass; for otherwise `tis thought the said Societies will (as hitherto) make their Appearance Invisible.46

Though Clayton remained a lifelong supporter of free-thinkers, he soon became disillusioned with the Williamite regime. Within a year of the “Glorious Revolution,” he was criticized for not representing strongly the court’s interest in the City.47 A religious moderate, he was further criticized by Daniel Defoe for failing to lead the Non-conformist cause. Thus, his Masonic affiliation seems motivated by his architectural interests rather than radical political beliefs. He was a principled Whig, who maintained non-partisan architectural friendships, while sympathizing with the young deists and pantheists who dared to think unconventionally. Thus, when Toland returned from Holland to London in 1693-94, Clayton befriended him, and both men attended the radical Calves' Head Club, which celebrated the beheading of Charles I. Toland would subsequently be accused of participating in a “secret Club, who set themselves with a great deal of Industry to destroy all Reveal’d Religion.”48 This must have been too radical for Clayton, who eventually joined the Anglican church.

Christopher Wren continued his cautious career, but Robert Hooke’s architectural activities evidently ended in 1693, when he made his last surveying visits to City churches.49 At the same time, Hooke was dismayed at the decline of the Royal Society, which was accelerated by William’s lack of interest in science and failure to support virtuoso enterprises.50 Under a series of non-scientist presidents, the control of the society passed to the secretaries, who were responsible for publishing the Transactions. As in the early days of the society, there were still some activist Masonic members. Sir Hans Sloane, who became secretary in 1693, was a Mason, though the date of his initiation is unknown. Born to a Scottish landholder in Ulster, Sloane was a moderate Whig who maintained friendships with many Jacobites. He was also an inveterate collector, who amassed bizarre specimens and rare manuscripts, which included many Cabalistic, Rosicrucian, and Masonic works.51

Working and quarreling with Sloane was Dr. John Woodward, who evidently became a Mason in the 1690s.52 Woodward’s Masonic affiliation was linked with his investigations of stone quarries, where he collected fossil shells, and of Roman antiquities, which were discovered during the rebuilding of St. Paul’s and other churches.53 In 1691 he planned to tour Europe, in order to prepare a book on architecture, antiquities, museums, and libraries. In 1693 he was nominated to the Royal Society by his friend Hooke, who shared his multifarious “Masonic” interests, which included Athanasius Kircher’s writings on the hieroglyphs. As Hooke noted, fossil shells were “Records of Antiquity,” just like the ancient monuments and hieroglyphics.54 Woodward studied reports from travellers to Egypt, and he began a lifelong effort to prove that the Egyptians borrowed not only their magical religion but their architectural prowess from the Jews. In his eclectic scientific career, Woodward represented a continuing virtuoso-Masonic tradition rooted in Moray’s early tenure in the Royal Society. He would later become the target of Swift’s satire.

For Jacobite Masons, their situation became increasingly vulnerable, which necessitated even more scrupulous secrecy. Eveline Cruickshanks observes that the persistent tradition of a Masonic lodge at St. Germain perhaps explains the Jacobite capacity to maintain clandestine communication, despite the proliferation of Williamite spies: “If there was indeed a masonic lodge at the exiled Stuart court, its existence was the best-kept secret of all. It could have provided an additional means of contacting secret supporters in both England and Scotland.”55

As Jacobite Masons went underground and acted in the shadows, there was growing interest among virtuosos in the esoteric as well as architectural traditions of the craftsmen. While Swift endured his residency in Ulster, John Aubrey enthusiastically corresponded with Scottish and English students of the occultist and architectural sciences. Though no record has been found documenting Masonic membership for Aubrey, he had long been in contact with operative Masons; was close to Moray, Ashmole, and Evelyn; and was familiar with Wren’s role in the fraternity. In the 1690's Aubrey drafted “an unfinished Piece, Entitled Architectonica Sacra, which treats of the Manner of our Church-Building in England for Several Ages.”56 He also planned to publish Monumenta Britannica, which included “Chronologia Architectonica,” a pioneering study of English architecture from the Dark Ages to his own time, and he devised a broadsheet expounding Elements of Architecture, which he hop’d that young men might “relish & like, and so fall to the study.”57 At the same time, he planned to write a “Treatise of Hermetique Philosophie” and allowed Evelyn to make notes from the manuscript.

In January 1694 Aubrey’s Scottish correspondent Dr. James Garden sent from Aberdeen an account of the Highlanders' gift of second sight, which he connected with rumors of Rosicrucian activities in England: “as strange things are reported with you of 2d sighted men in Scotland so with us here of ye Rosicruzians in England.”58 Garden then told the story of David Williamson, a Scottish schoolmaster, who was invited to London by an English friend, who took him to a stately house in the country where a company of Rosicrucians asked him to join the society. When Williamson refused, his host boxed his ears and the scene disappeared. Garden advised Aubrey to question Williamson’s son James, who now served as an Anglican minister near Canterbury and who could give him more details. In May Garden wrote Aubrey: “Its likely your book of hermetick philosophie (which I conceive will be very diverting to the reader) may contain some account of the Rosicrucians; if not, pray, let me know if there be any persons in England that goe under that name & what may be beleeved concerning them.”59

Curiously, at Oxford Aubrey had recently met Toland, whose Rosicrucian activities in Scotland were described by their mutual acquaintance, the Oxford fellow Edmund Gibson, in June 1694.60 Toland agreed with Aubrey’s and Garden’s theories on the Druidic origins of Stonehenge, and he may have recounted his own Rosicrucian experiences to Aubrey. In March 1695 Garden reminded Aubrey of his request for an account of the Rosicrucians, while in April John Archer complained after seeing the list of contents of Aubrey’s proposed Miscellanies, “You see what a Volume of Rosicrusian philosophy we may expect.”61 In May Aubrey solicited information about the origins and nature of the Rosicrucians from his friend William Holder, Dean of Windsor, who evidently shared his interest in occult phenomenon.62

Another friend of Aubrey, the physician and philosopher John Locke, was also curious about the Rosicrucians and second sight, and Aubrey allowed him to copy Garden’s letter on both phenomena. With Wren and Boyle, Locke had earlier studied under the Rosicrucian chemist Peter Sthael, but Locke’s “turbulent spirit, clamorous, and never contented" caused complaint.63 Nevertheless, Locke did collaborate with Sthael in preparing chemical medicines, which he preserved in a cabinet.64 In 1679, while traveling in France, Locke recorded an account of Rosicrucian deception given to him by his friend Nicolas Toinard:

About the year 1618 or 20 . . . they produced their paper which was the draught of a program to be posted up in Paris to tell the people that there were certain persons of a brotherhood come to town to cure all diseases . . . That which put them first upon doeing this was to play a trick to Lullyists who were then in vogue at Paris & cried up as men that had more then ordinary skill in the secrets of nature . . . 65

Though Locke recorded the trickery involved in this Rosicrucian affair, he also took notes on the dissection of Cardinal Richelieu, which revealed that the Frenchman’s incredible powers of sight and hearing were made possible by an extraordinary double number of optic and auditory nerves.66 In 1690, when Locke published An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, he argued against the “romance way of physick,” but he continued to privately investigate reports of extraordinary powers of vision.

Perhaps Locke read Reverend Kirk’s treatise of 1691, which explained the Scottish capacity for second sight as a natural extension of the optical capacity. As Locke transcribed Garden’s letter, he read that second sight relates only to things which will shortly come to pass (within six years), and that the adepts see everything visibly before their eyes.67 The seers do not know where the gift comes from, but some have offered to teach it upon certain conditions. This offer perhaps explains the Scottish Freemasons' claim to possess (or acquire through instruction) the gift of second sight. From his Cabalistic studies, Locke may have recognized the similarities between Scottish clairvoyance and Cabalistic vision. In 1679 he not only discussed with Toinard the Rosicrucians but also the Zoharists, while both men tried to get copies of the Kabbala Denudata (1677-84), the Latin translation of thirteenth-century Jewish mystical texts.68 By 1688 Locke was in touch with the editors Frances Mercurius Van Helmont and Knorr von Rosenroth, and the latter sent him a Cabalistic commentary on the Abrégé of Locke’s forthcoming Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In his fascinating critique of Locke’s theories, Rosenroth argued:

That the understanding is a tabula rasa was not the teaching of the ancient Hebrews or of those philosophers who built on their foundations, namely Pythagoras and Plato. For they that the source of knowledge was reminiscence . . . God, being infinitely luminous . . . at the same moment produced all souls, which in the single body of the Messiah constituted a single luminous mass with one understanding and one will, by means of which faculties they were fashioned by the Messiah in the contemplation and love of God in order to obtain union with God . . . . By this argument the understanding could be called a tabula rasa, since it contained nothing that was not printed on it by divine light.

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The source of ideas here is said to be twofold: sensation and reflection. Rightly indeed if (1) the sixth sense is acknowledged or (counting the internal ones) the eighth or ninth, that is, internal vision. It may, on the one hand, be passive, i.e. perception of things communicated internally either divinely (through a dream, vision, trance, etc.) or by other spirits . . . or by another soul, whether through an embryo (Ibbur in Hebrew) concealed within us, or a Maggid, i.e., a voice expounding something to us, to which also infused feelings are relevant . . . 69

Rosenroth’s commentary must have fueled Locke’s curiosity about Cabalistic notions of cognition and vision, and in October 1693 he was joined by Van Helmont, who stayed with him at Lady Masham’s until February 1694.70 At this time, Van Helmont was considered a Judaizing Rosicrucian by his critics.

During Van Helmont’s Continental travels, he had also become friendly with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and other mathematicians who utilized Cabala as they developed the arte combinatoria. Moreover, Van Helmont and Leibniz dreamed of establishing Rosicrucian-style societies of polymathia and pansophia.71 Locke shared with Van Helmont a desire to inaugurate a tolerant, ecumenical society of “Pacifick Christians,” and he sketched out possible rules for such a brotherhood.72 Since the publication of Adrien Baillet’s Vie de Monsieur Descartes in 1691, questions about the early Rosicrucian fraternity and its alleged contemporary disciples circulated in the scholarly and scientific world. Locke, an early reader of Descartes, was always interested in information about him.73 Adrien Auzout, who knew Descartes in Paris, and Leibniz, who possessed original communications, assisted Baillet, which rendered the latter’s Rosicrucian account uncomfortably plausible. That Auzout and Leibniz were foreign Fellows of the Royal Society also placed Rosicrucianism in a virtuoso context. Baillet demonstrated the conformity of Descartes’s ideas with those of Francis Bacon, godfather of British natural science.

On the first plate of Vie de Descartes, “Earthly Truth" holds a wand with the All-Seeing Eye, a symbol that soon gained Masonic as well as Rosicrucian connotation. According to Baillet, Descartes wanted to meet and converse with the brothers of the Rose Cross, for it was claimed that their society had only a view to research the truth of natural things and the true science.74 Baillet then gave a history of the original Rosicrucians and recounted Descartes’s attempt to contact them in Germany, which led to charges when he returned to Paris that he was an initiate of the fraternity. Given the current debate about the reality or validity of Rosicrucian science, Locke’s investigations of supra-natural perceptual phenomena were à la mode.

By 1694 Locke was also friendly with Fletcher of Saltoun, who shared his radical political ideas and interest in second sight. While Locke advised Fletcher about his family’s medical problems, the Scot informed Locke about his researches in Egyptian history and religion. Evidently unaware of the Scottish origin myth of the Greek Gathelus and his Egyptian wife Scota, Locke was surprised that Fletcher could find the “footsteps" of Egyptian mysteries and priestcraft while ensconced in his northern study.75 Fletcher would later recommend to Locke a Scottish friend, Martin Martin, who planned to publish A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland, which included “A Particular Account of the Second Sight, or Faculty of foreseeing things to come, by way of vision, common among them.” Fletcher assured Locke that he would be “mightyly pleased with his account concerning that which is called the Second, but more properly the first or prophetick sight; as well as smell and hearing.”76

In 1694-95 Locke was in contact with Sir Edward Harley, who had been a Masonic friend of the late Moray, and with Harley’s son Robert, who would become a Mason and maintain secretive bonds with certain Scottish Masons.77 He was friendly with other Freemasons, such as Sloane and Woodward, and he met Toland, who showed Locke his manuscript of Christianity Not Mysterious before its publication in late 1695.78 As Toland compared the early Jewish and Greek mystery religions to Christianity, he utilized terms that would later surface in the higher degrees of Masonry: “All the Excluded were . . . stil’d the PROFANE, as those not in Orders with us the LAITY. But the cunning PRIESTS . . . thought fit to initiate or instruct certain Persons in the meaning of their Rites.”79 The initiates were sworn to secrecy, passed through degrees, and were assured that ultimately they would dwell with the gods: “The Heathens had five degrees necessary to Perfection. First, common Purgation; Secondly, more private Purgation; Thirdly, a liberty of standing among the initiated; Fourthly, Initiation; and, Lastly, the right of seeing everything, or being Epopts.”80 Arguing that early Christians copied these Jewish and Pythagorean rites, Toland quoted the church fathers on the Christian “mystery": “Clemens Alexandrinus tell us that . . . the Christian Discipline was called Illumination, because it brought hidden things to light, the Master (CHRIST) alone removing the Cover of the Ark, that is, the Mosaick Vail.81

Locke’s network of reformist political and scientific thinkers included the Molyneux brothers in Dublin, whose family had a long history of Masonic interests. Their father Samuel served as Irish Clerk of the Works and master gunner, and he subsequently gained fame as “an experimentalist in the science of gunnery.”82 His sons William and Thomas were enthusiastic virtuosos who maintained interests in mathematics, mechanics, medicine, and architecture. William Molyneux translated Descartes’s Meditations in 1680, helped found the Dublin Philosophical Society in 1683, and was elected FRS in 1685. For three years, he served as chief engineer and surveyor-general of the king’s buildings and works, in which capacity he rebuilt Dublin Castle. Through his brother Thomas, who met Locke in Holland when both were studying medicine, he became an enthusiastic disciple of Lockean philosophy.

The Molyneux family amassed a rare and extensive collection of architectural pattern books, from Palladio to Evelyn, including materials on domestic building and military fortification. In February 1711, while Thomas designed a large townhouse in Dublin, he recorded or copied a Masonic catechism, with a memorandum about signs and words. Douglas Knoop suggests that it was “a mason’s aide de mémoire" and represents “a link between the operative masonry of the seventeenth century and the speculative masonry of the eighteenth century.”83 Thomas was probably a member of the Trinity College lodge, well-known since 1688, and his manuscript was deposited in the college library. This “Trinity College, Dublin MS.” drew on Scottish traditions, and it closely resembled the “Edinburgh Register House MS.” of 1696, which was titled “Some Questions Anent the Mason Word.” We will return to the Scottish document when we deal with secret Jacobite-Masonic activities in 1696. Knoop suggests further that Molyneux’s document had a non-operative origin:

Whereas operative masonry, so far as the Mason Word was concerned, apparently recognized only two classes of masons, viz., either entered apprentices and fellowcrafts, or fellow-crafts and masters, this MS. distinguishes three classes, viz., entered apprentices, fellow craftsmen, and masters, each with its own secrets. It is the earliest-known MS. to make such a distinction.84

This context of a Lockean circle or network with known Masonic interests raises new questions about a letter of 1696, attributed (controversially) to Locke, in which he asserted his desire to become a Freemason. The letter was first published as Ein Brief Von dem Berüchtigt herrn Johann Locke, betressend die Frey-Maureren (Frankfurt, 1748); it was then reprinted in the Gentleman’s Magazine (September 1753). In summer 1754 it was published in A Masons’ Creed, to Which will be Subjoin’d, a Curious Letter from Brother Locke, Author of the Essay on Human Understanding.85 Locke’s early biographer H.R. Fox Bourne accepts the letter as Locke’s but guesses that it is satirical, while adding that “Locke’s learned historical and philosophical notes sufficiently attest his curiosity.”86 Locke’s later editor E.S. de Beer notes that “it is more likely to be spurious" and does not reprint it in Locke’s Correspondence.87 However, neither of these scholars examined the context of Locke’s Masonic friends and his interest in Scottish second-sight, which lend new plausibility to his authorship of the letter, though not to the authenticity of the old manuscript itself.88 The Masonic historian Ric Berman keeps the question open, noting that the letter, “if genuine,” provides “an example of early scholarly interest in Freemasonry.”89 In the following discussion, I will accept Locke as the possible author.

Dated 6 May 1696 and written to “the Rt Hon*** Earl of ****,” Locke recounted his study of a sixteenth-century Masonic manuscript:

My Lord,

I have at length by the help of Mr. C——ns procured a Copy of that MS. in the Bodleian Library, which you were so curious to see . . . Most of the Notes annex’d to it, are what I made Yesterday for the Reading of my Lady MASHAM, who is become so fond of masonry, as to say, that she now more than ever wishes herself a Man, that she might be capable of Admission into the Fraternity . . . the Original is said to have been in the Hand-writing of K.H.VI [King Henry VI] Where that Prince had it is at present an Uncertainty: But it seems to me to be an Examination (taken perhaps before the king) of some one of the Brotherhood of MASONS: among whom he entered himself, as 'tis said, when he came out of his Minority, and thenceforth put a Stop to a Persecution that had been raised against them . . . 90

After making comments on the manuscript, Locke concluded:

I know not what effect the sight of this old paper may have upon your LORDSHIP; but for my own part I cannot deny, that it has so much raised my curiosity; as to induce me to enter myself into the fraternity; which I am determined to do (if I may be admitted) the next time I go to LONDON, (and that will be shortly).91

Fox Bourne identifies the recipient as Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke, who had befriended Locke in 1676, when both were on the Continent. Playing “the ambiguous role of a moderate Tory,” Pembroke was subsequently employed by the Stuart and Williamite regimes.92 He was a generous patron of Locke, who dedicated his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) to him. A mathematician and virtuoso, he was elected an FRS in 1685 and served as the society’s president in 1689-90. According to Fox Bourne, “it would seem that the Earl of Pembroke was anxious for information on freemasonry, and especially anxious to know the contents of an old document” in the Bodleian.93 His curiosity may have been piqued by a family history of Masonic affiliation, for James Anderson listed William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, as Grand Master in 1618.94 Moreover, the 8th earl’s son, Henry Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembrok, was “later a prominent Freemason.”95 Fox Bourne then speculates that Locke’s assistant was Anthony Collins but admits that he cannot trace the connection.96 Margaret Jacob mistakenly states that the recipient was the freethinker Anthony Collins and assumes that the “Mr C——-s” mentioned was the same man.97 However, Anthony Collins did not correspond with or meet the philosopher until 1703; from that date, over the next eighteen months, he visited Locke five times at Oates and acted as his agent in the city, buying books, contacting friends, and reporting news. 98 Thus, Locke could not have referred to Anthony Collins in the Masonic letter.

However, in 1696, when the letter was written, Locke may have been assisted by William Collins, a prominent operative Mason, who was then working as the partner of Edward Strong, an Oxfordshire Mason and Master of the Masons' Company in London.99 Through Strong, who worked closely with Wren and other architecturally-minded Fellows of the Royal Society (such as Evelyn and Hooke), Collins may well have met Locke and assisted him in finding the old Masonic manuscript. At that time, many manuscripts in the Bodleian were still uncatalogued, and a request from a prominent aristocrat like Pembroke to borrow one would probably be fulfilled. More importantly, Collins certainly could have sponsored Locke for “acception" or “adoption” in the London Masons' Company, for non-stonemasons and gentlemen were permitted to join if they paid a higher fee.100 Berman suggests that the “fraternity” mentioned in the letter was “the `Acception,’ an inner circle among the London Company of Masons.”101

Claude Jones observes that while “there is no incontrovertible proof" that Locke’s letter and the manuscript were genuine, the antiquarian pieces in the Gentleman’s Magazine were “published in good faith.”102 Moreover, “the editors were conscious of their Masonic readers,” for they carried reports of current Masonic activities in the same issue. In the November 1753 issue, a Masonic reader in Norwich wrote about the great interest in Locke’s letter among local brethren.

It subsequently appeared in Jonathan Scott’s Pocket Companion and History of Free-Masons (1759); in William Preston’s Illustrations of Masonry (1772); in William Hutchinson’s The Spirit of Masonry in Moral and Elucidatory Lectures (1775); in Laurence Dermott Ahiman Rezon (1778), the official handbook of the Grand Lodge of the “Antients.” In 1804 Alexander Lawrie, a rationalist Scottish Mason, reinforced the argument: “The style of the letter . . . and the acuteness of the annotations, resemble so much that philosopher’s manner of writing, and the letter is so descriptive of Mr. Locke’s real situation at the time when it was written, that it is almost impossible to deny their authenticity.”103 Thus, for five decades after its publication, the letter was accepted as genuine. Margaret Jacob notes that “throughout the eighteenth century, English Masons claimed Locke as one of their own, and the 18th-century portrait gallery of the Grand Lodge includes him”;

nevertheless, she characterizes the 1696 letter as “of very dubious origin.”104 Given the continuing controversy about Locke’s alleged Masonic affiliation, it is worth examining his real situation at the time and what he may have found attractive and provocative in the Masonic manuscript (whether genuine, spurious, or a credulously mis-dated copy).

To the question, “What mote ytt be,” Locke annotated “that is, what may this mystery of MASONRY be?”

The answer imports, that it consists in natural, mathematical, and mechanical knowledge, some part of which (as appears by what follows) the masons pretend to have taught the rest of mankind, and some part they still conceal.105

The question, “Howe comede ytt yn Engelonde?” was answered by “Peter Gower a Grecian,” who “journeyedde ffor kunnynge yn Egypte, . . . where fromme, yn Processe of Tyme, the Arte passed yn Engelonde.” Locke enjoyed teasing out this one:

I was puzzled at first to guess who Peter Gower should be, the name being perfectly English . . . but as soon as I thought of Pythagoras, I could scarce forebear smiling, to find that Philosopher had undergone a Metempsychosis he never dreamt of. We need only consider the French pronunciation of his Name Pythagore, that is, Petagore, to conceive how easily such a mistake might be made by an unlearned clerk. That Pythagoras travelled for knowledge into Egypt is known to all the learned, and that he was initiated into several different orders of Priests, who in those days kept all their learning secret from the vulgar, is as well known. Pythagoras also, made every Geometrical theorem a secret, and admitted only such to the knowledge of them, as had undergone a five years silence . . . 106

Locke was intrigued by the answer to “Do the Maconnes descover here Artes unto Others?” He noted:

This Paragraph hath something remarkable in it. It contains a justification of the secrecy so much boasted of by Masons, and so much blamed by others; asserting that they have in all ages discover’d things as might be useful, and that they conceal such only as would be hurtful either to the world or themselves. What these secrets are, we see afterwards.107

The Masons claimed to teach “the Artes Agricultura, Architectura, Astronomia, Geometria, Numeres, Musica, Poesie, Kymistrye, Governmente, and Relygyonne.” Morevoer, they themselves “haveth allein the Arte of fyndynge neue Artes, which Arte the ffyrste Maconnes receaved from Godde; by the whyche they fyndethe whatte Artes” they please. Locke commented:

The art of inventing arts, must certainly be a most useful art. My Lord Bacon’s Novum Organum, is an attempt towards somewhat of the same kind. But I must doubt, that if ever the Masons had it, they have now lost it; since so few new arts have been lately invented, and so many are wanted. The Idea I have of such an art is, that it must be something proper to be apply’d in all the sciences generally, as Algebra is in numbers, by the help of which new rules of arithmetic are and may be found.108

Locke’s guess came strikingly close to the Lullist Ars Magna, which Swift would later claim provided the key to Freemasonry.109 Did Thomas Molyneux also learn this in the Trinity College lodge?

"Whatt do the the Maconnes concele, and hyde?” The answer further piqued Locke’s curiosity:

They concelethe the Arte of ffyndynge neue Artes, and thattys for here owne Proffytte, and Preise; they concelethe the Arte of kepynge Secrettes, that soe the World mayethe nothinge concele from them. Thay concelethe the arte of Wunderwerckynge, and of fore sayinge thynges to comme, thatt so thay same artes may not be usedde of the wyckedde to evylle Ende; they also concelethe the Arte of chaunges, the Wey of Wynnynge the Facultye of Abrac, the Skylle of becommynge gude and parfyghte wythouten the Holpynges of Fere, and Hope; and the Universelle Longage of Maconnes.110

Locke suggested that the “Arte of chaunges" referred to “the transmutation of metals,” but he was “utterly in the dark" about the “Facultye of Abrac.” A reader of Locke’s comment wrote to the Gentleman’s Magazine (November 1753) “that by the Facultye of Abrac is meant the chimerical virtues ascribed to the magical term ABRACADABRA,” where it appears in the seventh row of the usual triangular writing.

Locke indeed travelled to London in late May, but it is unknown if he pursued his Masonic inquiries. Thus, the question of his alleged Masonic affiliation remains open. Soon after he supposedly wrote the letter to Pembroke, his association with Toland placed him in a vulnerable position, especially concerning any charges of affiliation with a secret society. Though Toland anonymously published Christianity Not Mysterious in December 1695, by summer 1696 his vanity provoked him into “allowing his name to be attached to what was proving to be a succès de scandale.”111 Already attacked as a participant in “a Club of Prophane Wits,” he was now suspected of organizing a Socinian sect. Boldly placing his name on the title-page of a second edition, Toland learned that his book was presented by the Grand Jury of Middlesex, and he prepared to flee England for Ireland. At the same time, Locke learned about the arrest of a student in Edinburgh for espousing essentially Tolandian beliefs. He followed the Scottish trial with great interest and perhaps fear, for the accusations against Thomas Aikenhead “the Atheist" threatened to tar Locke as well as Toland.

Aikenhead was the son of an apothecary ("chirurgeon"), who had earlier been accused of “selling poisonous and amorous drugs and philters to provoke lust,” resulting in the near death of one woman.112 That the son may have learned something of chemistry and even alchemy from his father’s craft became relevant to the later charges against Thomas. As a student at the University of Edinburgh in 1693-96, Thomas fearlessly and recklessly explored the writings of “free thinkers" such as Vanini, Hobbes, Blount, Spinoza, Locke and, almost certainly, Toland (his Christianity Not Mysterious). Like Toland, he was accused of trying to recruit young men to his radical beliefs and of setting up as a magician.113 Michael Graham suggests that Toland’s earlier Rosicrucian activity influenced Aikenhead, but he also notes that Freemasonry was more prevalent than Rosicrucianism in Scotland.114 However, it is certainly possible that both Toland and Aikenhead had some kind of contact with Masons interested in Rosicrucianism, for such combined interests were traditional in Scotland throughout the seventeenth-century.115

The four student accusers of Aikenhead charged that he was familiar with theories (and possibly techniques) of natural magic. He allegedly called the New Testament “the History of the Impostor Christ,” who had learned magic in Egypt:

returning from Egypt into Judea, he picked up a few blockish ignorant fisher-fellows, whom he knew by his [magical] skill and phisiognomie, had strong imaginations, and that by the help of exalted imaginatione he play’d his pranks as you blasphemously terme the working of his miracles. Lyke as you affirmed Moses, if ever you say ther was such a man, to have also learned magick in Egypt, but that he was both the better artist and better politician than Jesus . . . 116

Aikenhead also asserted that “baptisme was a magicall ceremony,” that “the Revelations was ane alchimy book for finding out the philosopher’s stone,” and that “he could make himself immortal.”

Merging his deist-pantheist notions with magical theories of the imagination, he declared:

that God-man was as great a contradictione as quadratum rotundum, . . . that God, the world, and nature, were all one thing, and that the world was from eternitie; . . . that man’s imaginatione duely exalted by airt and industry might create a world, and produce any thing produceable . . . 117

From his prison cell, Aikenhead defended himself by claiming that many students shared his skeptical opinions, but when he faced the guilty verdict from the privy council, he recanted and offered himself as a martyr to the battle against deism: “it is my earnest desire [to the Lord] that my blood may give a stop to that rageing spirit of atheism which hath taken such footing in Britain, both in practice and profession. And of his infinite mercy recover those who are deluded with these pernicious principles.”118 Despite his petitions for mercy and the support of moderate clergymen, the Presbyterian General Assembly wanted him dead. Thus, the Privy Council sustained the order for his execution by hanging on 18 January 1697.

Despite the harangues of Covenanting preachers against him, Aikenhead did have enough supporters to make the authorities fear disturbances, and they ordered two troops of armed guards to escort him to the gallows. One significant sympathizer was Robert Mylne, the prominent architect and Master Mason, who wrote that the young student had “acknowledged God, father, son, and Holy Ghost and sang a psalm. But some Presbyterian ministers followed him to death.”119 Michael Graham suggests that Aikenhead knew Mylne earlier, for he acquired a flat in a new stone townhouse constructed by Mylne, and they were close neighbors.120 If so, Aikenhead may have learned that Robert Mylne’s Masonic forebears were praised in The Muses Threnodie (1638), the Scottish poem that linked Masonry, Rosicrucianism, and second sight.121 In February 1697, a Scottish opponent of Aikenhead’s execution, James Johnston, sent to his friend Locke ("to satisfie your curiositie") a packet of materials on Aikenhead’s case, including a manuscript copy of the prisoner’s personally drafted Cygnea Cantio ("Swan Song").122

Michael Graham observes that in his troubled testimony, Aikenhead proclaimed the need for free inquiry “in the style of a Galileo or many of the philosophes who people the intellectual histories of the Enlightenment.”123 He described “a deistic God, entirely bound by logic, and only minimally related to the God of the Christian and Hebrew scriptures,” and he rejected the charge that he practiced magic and conversed with devils. Locke was intrigued and disturbed by Aikenhead’s “Swan Song,” and he asked for a transcript of the trial, which his Scottish friend promised to send on 20 March. Johnston lamented the death of the twenty year-old student, believing that he should have been reprieved on grounds of “youth, levity, docility, and no designe upon others.” The last qualification, which was not believed by his judges, was especially relevant to Locke’s relationship with Toland, who would soon be compared to Aikenhead by his critics.124

While Locke collected materials on the executed Aikenhead (and the related burning of seven Scottish witches), his protégé Toland returned to Ireland in early l697.125 He was initially welcomed by William Molyneux, who wrote Locke that he admired Toland as a “candid Free-Thinker, and a good scholar,” but especially for his “Acquaintance and Friendship to you.” However, by May, both Molyneux and Locke were apprehensive about the intense hostility aroused by Toland in Ireland. That month Peter Browne, an Anglican clergyman in Trinity College, published A Letter in Answer to a Book, Entitl’d Christianity Not Mysterious; as Also to All Those Who Set Up for Reason and Evidence in Opposition to Revelation and Mysteries (Dublin, 1697). Browne claimed to have traced Toland’s background “from the time he first gave out he wou’d be Head of a Sect before he was thirty years of age,” until he became an author, and from thence to “his coming into this Kingdom to spread his Heresies and put his designs in execution.”126 Through his knowledge of magic and his skeptical attitude, Toland implies that we cannot distinguish the delusions of the devil, feats of goblins and witches, and those “conjurers which he speaks of,” from those supernatural phenomena produced by “the finger of God.”127 Further suggesting that Toland exploited the occult sciences for seditious purposes, Browne scorned his quotation from Clemens Alexandrinus that the Christian discipline consisted of “Illumination,” charging that “we may call this New Old Sect of his, the Gnosticks of our Age.” Browne was a fellow student and friend of Swift at Trinity, though Swift sometimes made fun of his character, noting that Browne “is a capricious gentleman,” who must be flattered “monstrously upon his learning”; you must tell him that that “you have read his book against Toland a hundred times.”128

Locke wrote William Molyneux about his regret that Toland had not visited him to receive advice about his behavior before he left for Dublin. William replied that Toland was bandying Locke’s name around while he irritated all parties. The Molyneuxs and their political allies—who now resented William III’s repressive policies towards Ireland—also suspected Toland of acting as a secret agent for the new Lord Chancellor, the strong Whig John Methuen, who arrived from London in June.129 After the Irish Commons ordered that Christianity Not Mysterious be burned by the common hangman, Toland returned to England in September, where he found that Locke wanted nothing more to do with him.

When Locke complained (in his alleged letter to Pembroke) that the Masonic art of finding new arts, which he speculated was a mathematical technique, was evidently now lost, he pointed to a problem caused by the anti-Catholic biases that excluded many areas of inquiry from English students. Under the Stuart king James VI, training in the Art and Science of Memory—a visualization and mnemonic technique based on architectural imaging—had been required of Scottish operative Masons.130 Among radical English Protestants, the Art of Memory—developed by Lull and Bruno as a key to all arts and sciences—was condemned as a Catholic image-making superstition.131 Nevertheless, on the Continent innovative thinkers like Leibniz were willing to utilize the techniques of the Lullist Ars Magna in mathematical, philosophical, and theological speculations.

In order to appease English iconoclastic opposition but still utilize the mnemonic technique, a Huguenot refugee in London, Marius d’Assigny, published a Protestant, word-oriented Art of Memory (1697), dedicated to young students at Cambridge and Oxford and designed to improve their speaking and preaching skills. D’Assigny admitted that the Art of Memory could be used in studying all manner of sciences, but he scorned that application as awkwardly Catholic:

The Fancies of some Ingenious Men, and a Method which they lay down, and which may sometimes be useful I confess for the assistance of an Artificial Memory . . .

It Consists in Places and Images, etc. Now some prescribe the Imagination of a fair and regular Building, divided into many Rooms and Galleries . . . which the Party must fancy to stand before him as so many Repositories where he is to place the Things or Ideas which he desires to remember . . . But this method of remembering things is cumbersome and fantastical, and perhaps may not be suitable to every Temper and Person.132

Throughout his treatise, d’Assigny hid his sources (Lull, Bruno, etc.) and hedged his instructions, in order to avoid charges that his publication was crypto-Papist. He cited Calvin and Luther as experts in the Art and urged Protestant students to learn it in order to convert audiences through “pulpit efficacy.”

D’Assigny’s version of the Art of Memory was the opposite of that traditionally taught by Scottish Freemasons. Thus, it is curious that the “Edinburgh Register House MS.” of 1696, drafted while D’Assigny worked on his treatise, was prepared for a symbolic “lodge of the mind, a temple of memory.”133 In the manuscript, according to David Stevenson, “Certainly we have a building visualised in the mind in which features and objects are associated with concepts to be remembered"; more striking is “the general avoidance of overtly religious references":

To have peopled the lodge of the mind with human images might seem to smack of idolatry, both to the Calvinist masons themselves and to the censorious ministers of the Church of Scotland. However crude and limited the lodge and its symbolism as described in the early catechisms may seem when compared to the classical art of memory, it may nonetheless have its origins in the concept of a temple of memory illustrating eternal truths and moral principles through images appropriate to the mason craft.134

As we shall see, D’Assigny’s iconoclastic Protestant version of the Art found readers among Dissenters, and it was no coincidence that the prolific writer Daniel Defoe—who probably became a Freemason in Scotland in 1706—acquired a copy of the work.135 Fifield D’Assigny, a descendant, would later become a prominent Whig Freemason in Ireland.136

After Aikenhead was executed in the last auto da fé in the British isles, an unrepentant Toland found a kindred spirit in Giordano Bruno, who was burned for heresy in 1600. In 1698 Toland acquired Queen Elizabeth’s copy of Bruno’s Spaccio della bestia trionfante ("The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast"), which he enthusiastically circulated among his friends.137 Bruno disguised his universalist pantheism in allegorical form, while he urged his readers to be guided by the “intellectual sun" and to recognize “an element of truth in all religions.” He then satirized the contradictions and sectarian divisions within Christianity and revealed his admiration for the Hermetic mystery religion of Egypt. In the process, Bruno denigrated the Jews as mere inheritors of the superior traditions of the Egyptians. While in Paris, Bruno attended and admired the preaching of Jewish rabbis, whom he considered superior to their Christian contemporaries, but he scorned the ancient Jews as ancestors of the Christianity he was determined to transcend. However, Bruno did respect Cabala and recognized its importance to his hero Lull. As Arthur Imerti notes, “Since Bruno was attracted not only by the Pythagorean belief in metempsychosis but also, to a lesser extent, by its employment of numbers as symbols, we can readily understand the philosopher’s interest in the numerical symbolism of the Cabala.”138

In the Spaccio, Bruno argued that the “Cabala of the Jews (whatever wisdom may be found in its genus) has proceeded from the Egyptians, among whom Moses was instructed”; furthermore, let no one infer that “the sufficiency of the Chaldaean magic has come out of, and is derived from, the Jewish Cabala; because the Jews have been proved to be the excrement of Egypt, and there is no one who could have imagined that Egyptians have taken some worthy or unworthy principle from them.”139 For Toland, this was heady stuff, because the establishment theologians of his day credited the Jews with priority over the Egyptians. As Toland immersed himself in Bruno’s writings, he learned more about the master’s admiration for Pythagorean initiation and Lullist mnemonics. When Bruno boasted of being able to teach the Art of Memory in one hour, Toland may have seen possiblities for similar instruction among his secret sectarians. If he was aware of the Scottish Masons' instruction in the Art of Memory, he would have found Bruno’s linkage of the mnemonic arts with invention and geometry relevant to a contemporary secret fraternity.140

In 1698 Toland reinforced his image as a seditious heretic when he published his Life of Milton. Claiming that Charles I did not write Eikon Basilike, a widely revered royalist apologia, Toland suggested that the books of the New Testament were perhaps equally pseudonymous. Critics promptly compared his ideas to those of the recently executed Aikenhead, and Toland found himself shunned by many of his previous friends. As earlier, he found refuge among the radical Presbyterians in the Scottish enclaves of London, and he solicited the protection of Sir Robert Clayton, a Freemason and fellow Whig. Within this context, in which Toland was charged with Rosicrucianism and other secret society affiliations, an anti-Masonic leaflet issued in 1698 seemed to target him and his fellow free-thinkers. Entitled To All Godly People, in the Citie of London, the anonymous author charged the Freemasons with heretical activities:

Having thought it needful to warn you of the Mischiefs and Evils practised in the sight of God by those called Freed Masons, I say take care lest their Ceremonies and secret Swearings take hold of you; and be wary that none cause you to err from Godliness. For this devilish Sect of Men are Meeters in Secret which swear against all without their Following.

They are the Anti Christ which was to come leading Men from Fear of God. For how should Men meet in secret Places and with secret Signs taking care that none observe them to do the Work of God; are not these the Ways of Evil-doers?

Knowing how that God observeth privily them that sit in Darkness they shall be smitten and the Secrets of their Hearts layed bare. Mingle not among this corrupt People lest you be found so at the World’s Conflagration.141

These shadowy stirrings of eclectic activities within Freemasonry suggest the emergence of political and religious polarizations within the formerly operative fraternity in England. As radical Whigs became increasingly disenchanted with the limitations of William III’s reforms, they were sometimes willing to cooperate with opposition Tories and even Jacobites. As knowledge about Freemasonry leaked out in antiquarian and journalistic sources, the oaths, rituals, and symbols that protected the brothers’ secrets evidently proved attractive to a variety of men disaffected from the current government. Moreover, as the Jacobites became more aggressive in their efforts to overturn the Williamite regime, the government’s surveillance over its critics made secrecy increasingly important for the motley crew of opposition.

  1. Quoted in André Kervella, Aux Origines de la Franc-maçonnerie Française (1689-1750)(Rouvray,1996), 31 n. 19.↩︎

  2. J. Robison, Proofs, 27-28, 541. Though historians rightfully scoff at Robison’s sweeping charges of radical Masonic conspiracy in the 1790s, they have not examined his accounts of his personal experiences in Écossais lodges on the Continent in the 1770s, when he collected documents on the esoteric and chivalric higher degrees. The latter material is important for its rare “British” insight into the Scottish-Jacobite traditions preserved in various European Masonic rites.↩︎

  3. J. Swift, Works, V, 324. The dismissal by some modern critics of Swift as the author is puzzling, given the publishing history of the pamphlet. After anonymous publication by Harding and his widow in 1724 and 1730, it was advertised and reprinted in 1731 by George Faulkner, Swifts’ good friend and publisher, with himself as dedicatee rather than the late Harding. Swift was identified as the author by Faulkner’s London agents, who reprinted it in Miscellanies by Dr. Swift (London, 1746),XI, 173-86. Faulkner himself included it in his “great edition” of Swift’s complete works in 1762. It was also featured in the collections issued at London (1755), Hamburg (1760), and London (1774). Paul Monod notes that “Swift is now acknowledged to have been the author”; see his Solomon’s Secret Arts (New Haven, 2013),381n.16.↩︎

  4. William Temple, Miscellaneous Essays, ed. Samuel Holt (Ann Arbor, 1963), 200-01; “Sir William Temple,” ODNB.↩︎

  5. Arlington, Henry Bennett, Earl of, The Right Honourable Earl of Arlington’s Letters to Sir William Temple, ed. Thomas Babington (London, 1701), 450.↩︎

  6. See M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, 529-51, 575-87.↩︎

  7. Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age (London, 1962), I, 159-62.↩︎

  8. Lepper and Crossle, Freemasonry, I, 37-38, 115.↩︎

  9. Robert S. Mylne, The Master Masons to the Crown of Scotland and their Works (Edinburgh, 1893), 128-29.↩︎

  10. Louis Landa, Swift and the Church of Ireland (Oxford, 1954), 12-21.↩︎

  11. For details, see M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, 573-90.↩︎

  12. C.J. Stranks, The Life and Writings of Jeremy Taylor (London, 1952), 201, 233, 245.↩︎

  13. J. Swift, Works, V, 328-29.↩︎

  14. For the influence of Lull on early Scottish Freemasonry, see M.K. Schuchard, Masonic Esotericism and Politics: The “Ancient” Stuart Roots of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Role as Hidden Grand Master. Le Règle d’Abraham, Hors-série no. III, Juin 2017 (Columbia, 2017).↩︎

  15. Philip Crossle, “Freemasonry in Ireland, circa 1725-31,” The Lodge of Research, No. CC. Ireland. Transactions for the Year 1924 (Dublin, 1931), 94; also, Terence de Vere White, “The Freemasons,” in T. Desmond Williams, ed., Secret Societies in Ireland (New York, 1973), 48.↩︎

  16. Lepper and Crossle, History, I, 33, 38.↩︎

  17. For the important connection of Tripos and Tub, see H. Ormsby-Lennon, Hey Presto!, 278-309.↩︎

  18. Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub, eds. A.C. Guthkelch and D. Nichol Smith, 2nd. ed. (Oxford, 1958), 74.↩︎

  19. Philip Pinkus, “A Tale of a Tub and the Rosy Cross,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 59 (1960), 669-79.↩︎

  20. 17. J. Swift, Tale of a Tub, 353.↩︎

  21. Ibid., 187.↩︎

  22. Ibid., 187.↩︎

  23. See ahead, Chapter Eleven.↩︎

  24. See William Matthews, “The Egyptians in Scotland: The Political History of a Myth,” Viator, 1970), 291-92.↩︎

  25. J. Swift, Tale of a Tub, 58, 99, 138-39, 153-54.↩︎

  26. Ibid., 48, 50; plus, A. Williamson, “Pil for Pork-Eaters”, 237-58.↩︎

  27. J. Swift, Tale of a Tub, 353-60, the “Notes on Dark Authors.”↩︎

  28. W.Temple, “Of Poetry,” in Miscellaneous Essays, 200-01.↩︎

  29. M. Jacob, Radical Enlightenment, xv, 233.↩︎

  30. J.G. Simms, “John Toland (1670-1722), a Donegal Heretic,” Irish Historical Studies, 16 (l969), 304-20.↩︎

  31. Bodleian: Rawlinson MSS.D.923, f.317 (Dr. Edmund Gibson to Rev. Dr. Charlett); quoted in F.H. Heinemann, “John Toland and the Age of Enlightenment,” Review of English Studies, 20 (l944), 127-28.↩︎

  32. Stephen Daniel, John Toland: His Methods, Manners, and Mind (Montreal, 1984), 6.↩︎

  33. James Halliday, “The Club and the Revolution in Scotland,” Scottish Historical Review, 45 (l966), 143-59.↩︎

  34. R. Watson, Political Works, 39.↩︎

  35. A.T.Q. Stewart, A Deeper Silence: The Hidden Roots of the United Irishmen (London, 1993), 156-57,163-78, 184-85.↩︎

  36. J. Simms, “Toland,” 305.↩︎

  37. Bodleian: Ballard MS. v.27 (Dr. Gibson to Dr. Charlett); in F.H. Heinemann, “John Toland, France, Holland, and Dr. Williams,” Review of English Studies, 25 (l949), 347. Gibson also heard that he was born in France of Franco-Irish parents.↩︎

  38. Robert Sullivan, John Toland and the Deist Controversy: A
    Study in Adaptations
    (Cambridge, 1982), 3.↩︎

  39. See ahead, Chapter Seven.↩︎

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

  41. J. Evelyn, Diary, III, 9-10.↩︎

  42. M. Jacob, Living, 70, 241n.80.↩︎

  43. Robert Hooke, The Diary of Robert Hooke, eds. H.W. Robinson and W. Adams (London, 1935), 399, 415, 425, 430.↩︎

  44. J. Evelyn, Diary, III, 317.↩︎

  45. M. Goldie, “Roots,” 205; M. Jacob, Radical, 88-89. For criticism of Jacob’s argument, see S. Daniel, Toland, 218-19; D. Stevenson, Origins, 226-27.↩︎

  46. EMP, 30-31.↩︎

  47. Perry Gauci, “Sir Robert Clayton,” in Eveline Cruickshanks, Stuart Handley, and D.W. Hayton, The House of Commons, 1690-1715(Cambridge, 2002), III, 606-1715.↩︎

  48. R. Sullivan, Toland, 14-16.↩︎

  49. Paul Jeffery, The City Churches of Christopher Wren (London, 1996), 36; H. Colvin, Biographical Dictionary, 507.↩︎

  50. M. Hunter, Science and Shape, 154.↩︎

  51. Arthur Mac Gregor, ed., Sir Hans Sloane (London, l994), 263-77; E. St. John Brooks, Sir Hans Sloane (London, l954).↩︎

  52. Michael Spurr, “William Stukeley: Antiquarian and Freemason,” AQC, 100 (l987), 118.↩︎

  53. Joseph Levine, Dr. Woodward’s Shield (Berkeley, l977), 23-30, 151.↩︎

  54. Ibid., 32, 75-77.↩︎

  55. E. Cruickshanks, “Introduction,” Stuart Court, xxiii.↩︎

  56. John Aubrey, Miscellanies,2nd rev. ed. (London, 1721), ix.↩︎

  57. Michael Hunter, John Aubrey and the Realm of Learning (London, 1975), 162, 218.↩︎

  58. John Locke’s transcription of Garden’s letter; in Bodleian: MS. Locke, C.31, f.122. See also M. Hunter, Occult Laboratory, 42-43,, 151↩︎

  59. M. Hunter, Aubrey, 140; also 103-04, 141-47.↩︎

  60. Ibid., 205; F. Heinemann, “John Toland,” 126.↩︎

  61. M. Hunter, Aubrey, 140.↩︎

  62. Ibid., 123.↩︎

  63. Anthony à Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, 3rd rev. ed., ed. Philip Bliss (London, 1813), I, lii-liii.↩︎

  64. Maurice Cranston, John Locke: A Biography (1957; London, l966), 76.↩︎

  65. Patrick Romanell, “Locke’s Medico-Philosophical Papers,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 25 (l964), 110.↩︎

  66. Ibid., 112.↩︎

  67. Bodleian: Locke MS. c. 31, 111-18.↩︎

  68. John Locke, The Correspondence of John Locke, ed. E.S. de Beer(Oxford, 1976), II, 30, 46.↩︎

  69. Ibid., III, 400-03.↩︎

  70. Ibid., IV, 730; V, 7. For Locke’s friendship with Van Helmont, see Allison Coudert, The Impact of the Kabbalah in the Seventeenth Century: The Life and Thought of Francis Mercurius Van Helmont (Leiden, 1999).↩︎

  71. Allison Coudert, Leibniz and the Kabbalah (Dordrecht, l995); also, M. K. Schuchard, “Leibniz, Benzelius, and Swedenborg: The Cabalistic Roots of Swedish Illuminism,” in Richard Popkin and Gordon Weiner, eds., Leibniz, Mysticism, and Religion (Dordrecht, l998).↩︎

  72. J. Locke, Correspondence, V, 3-4; Bodleian: MS. Locke, c.17.f.80; see A. Coudert, Van Helmont.↩︎

  73. H.R. Fox Bourne, The Life of John Locke (New York, l876), I, 63-71.↩︎

  74. Adrien Baillet, La vie de Monsieur Descartes (Paris, 1691), I, 87.↩︎

  75. J. Locke, Correspondence, V, 81, 275; VIII, 436. For the Gathelus and Scota tradition, see William Matthews, “The Egyptians in Scotland: The Political History of a Myth,” Viator, 1970), 289-306.↩︎

  76. J. Locke, Correspondence, VII, 471.↩︎

  77. J. Locke, Correspondence, V, 59, 148. For the Masonic relationship between Edward Harley and Robert Moray, see M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, 640-43,660-61. For evidence that Edward’s son Robert was considered “an honest mason,” see Paula Backsheider, Daniel Defoe (Baltimore, l989), 214.↩︎

  78. J. Locke, Correspondence, V, 114, 127, 737, 506; VI, 35, 320; S. Daniel, Toland, 8.↩︎

  79. John Toland, Christianity Not Mysterious, 2nd ed. (London, l702), 68.↩︎

  80. Ibid., 161.↩︎

  81. Ibid., 114.↩︎

  82. R. Loeber, “Early Classicism,” 51-52; “Thomas and William Molyneux,” DNB.↩︎

  83. Douglas Knoop, “The Mason Word,” AQC, 51 (l938), 210.↩︎

  84. Ibid., 210.↩︎

  85. R. Peters, British Freemasonry, I, xlv, n.90. The Masons’ Creed was advertised in the Public Advertiser (26 June and 8 July 1754), and in The Monthly Review (July 1754).↩︎

  86. Fox Bourne, Locke, II, 307-08.↩︎

  87. J. Locke, Correspondence, V, 631. See also J.R. Clarke, “John Locke and Freemasonry,” AQC, 78 (1965), 168-71.↩︎

  88. In “The Philologist and the Forger,” The Bodleian Quarterly, 26 (1920), 27, the supposed 15th century Leland MS. is deemed a forgery, for no such MS. has “ever come to light and Mr. Madan, in his Summary Catalogue, refers to it as mythical.” Another librarian points out that the word “kymistrye” (chemistry) is not found in English until around 1600; see N.W.J. Haydon, “Lelande-Locke MS.,” AQC, 50 (1940), 128. However, they do not go further to deem Locke’s letter itself a forgery.↩︎

  89. R. Berman, Foundations, 14.↩︎

  90. "Ancient MS. on Free Masonry,” Gentleman’s Magazine, 23 (September 1753), 417.↩︎

  91. Ibid., 420.↩︎

  92. “Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke,” ODNB.↩︎

  93. Fox Bourne, Locke, II, 307-08.↩︎

  94. J. Anderson, Constitutions (1738), 99.↩︎

  95. R. Berman, Foundations, 243 n.42. Robert Peter notes that the term Grand Master probably pre-dates the Grand Lodge phase and was used to address the Master of a lodge, before it became reserved for the Master of the Grand Lodge; see British Freemasonry, IV, 397 n.7.↩︎

  96. Fox Bourne, Locke, I, 518.↩︎

  97. M. Jacob, Living, 63.↩︎

  98. James O’Higgins, Anthony Collins: The Man and His Works (The Hague, 1970), 3-4.↩︎

  99. E. Conder, Hole Craft, 239-40; H. Colvin, Biographical Dictionary, 936.↩︎

  100. Henrik Bogdan and Jan Snoek, eds., Handbook of Freemasonry (Leiden, 2014), 75.↩︎

  101. R. Berman, Foundations, 14.↩︎

  102. Claude Jones, “Locke and Masonry,” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 67 (l966), 72-78.↩︎

  103. M. Jacob, Living, 239n.50; Alexander Lawrie, The History of Masonry (Edinburgh, l804), 97.↩︎

  104. M. Jacob, Radical, 88. She later asserts that the letter was “a forgery,” but that was “not known in the eighteenth century”; see Living the Enlightenment, 63.↩︎

  105. Gentleman’s Magazine (1753), 418.↩︎

  106. Ibid., 77.↩︎

  107. Ibid., 78.↩︎

  108. Ibid., 79.↩︎

  109. J. Swift, Prose, V, 328.↩︎

  110. Gentleman’s Magazine (1753), 80.↩︎

  111. R. Sullivan, Toland, 7.↩︎

  112. T.B. Howell, A Complete Collection of State Trials (London, 1809-28), XIII, 918.↩︎

  113. Michael Hunter, “‘Aikenhead the Atheist’: The Context and Consequences of Articulate Irreligion in the Late Seventeenth Century,” in Michael Hunter and David Wooton, eds., Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment (Oxford, l992), 221-54.↩︎

  114. Michael Graham, The Blasphemies of Thomas Aikenhead: Boundaries of Belief on the Eve of the Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 2008), 27.↩︎

  115. See Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, chapter 7.↩︎

  116. T. Howell, State Trials, XIII, 919.↩︎

  117. Ibid., XIII, 926.↩︎

  118. Ibid., XIII, 930.↩︎

  119. Mylne’s annotations to Mungo Craig’s attack on Aikenhead in his Satyr Against Atheistical Deism (1606); notes in copies of the work in the National Library of Scotland and British Library. See M. Graham, Blasphemies, 11, 122, 125n.39.↩︎

  120. Michael Graham (private communication, March 2012).↩︎

  121. For the Master Mason John Mylne (d. 1621) and the poem, see M. Schuchard, Restoring the Temple, 320-22.↩︎

  122. J. Locke, Correspondence, VI, 17-19, 56-57. The Aikenhead documents now comprise MS. Locke, b.4.fos.86-106 (Bodleian Library).↩︎

  123. M. Graham, Blasphemies, 118-20.↩︎

  124. R. Sullivan, Toland, 10-11, 44.↩︎

  125. M. Hunter, “Aikenhead,” 236-37.↩︎

  126. See Peter Browne, A Letter in Answer to . . . Christianity Not Mysterious (Dublin, 1697), 148, 199.↩︎

  127. Ibid., 185, 204, 214, 228.↩︎

  128. I. Ehrenpreis, Swift, I, 75.↩︎

  129. R. Sullivan, Toland, 8-10.↩︎

  130. D. Stevenson, Origin, 45, 49-50, 87-96.↩︎

  131. Francis Yates, The Art of Memory (London, 1966), 278; and “The Art of Ramon Lull,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institute, 17 (1954), 115-68.↩︎

  132. Marius d’Assigny, The Art of Memory (London, 1697), 81-84.↩︎

  133. D. Stevenson, Origins, 140.↩︎

  134. Ibid., 142-43.↩︎

  135. The Bodleian copy of D’Assigny’s Art of Memory is from Defoe’s library.↩︎

  136. See ahead, Chapter Nineteen.↩︎

  137. James Jacob says Toland purchased a copy of the Spaccio in 1690; see his “Newtonian Theology and the Defense of the Glorious Revolution,” in Age of William and Mary, 163; however, the acquisition is dated 1698 by R. Sullivan, Toland, 198, and S. Daniel, Toland, 200.↩︎

  138. Giordano Bruno, The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, trans. and ed. Arthur Imerti (New Brunswick, l964), 306n.27.↩︎

  139. Ibid., 240, 251.↩︎

  140. Ibid., 6, 12, 17.↩︎

  141. Anon., To All Godly People, in the Citie of London (London, 1698); also, EMP, 35.↩︎