Statement at York

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“York being the established Place of Masonic Government, the whole fraternity successively paid Allegiance to its Authority, and whereas the Sacred Art flourished so much, that masonry in the South came to require some Nominal Patron to Superintend its Government. A person under the Title of Grand Master for the South was appointed, with the Approbation of the Grand Lodge at York, to which the whole fraternity at large were still bound, as they were before, to pay Tribute and acknowledge Subjection. And thus Masonry flourished for many years in the South, as well as in the North, but afterwards became again at so low a Ebb in the South that in the year 1717, only four Lodges remained extant in those parts, but those Lodges ever glorified in Originating from the Ancient York Masons, which they constantly testified. And whereas those very lodges cemented under a new Grand Master for the South, and hence arose what is now called the Nominal Grand Lodge in London, whose meetings have been by some considered as General Meetings, but without any Constitutional Authority to give such Meetings a Sanction to that Title.

“And whereas the Grand Lodge of All England, still existing at York, is the Supreme Legislature of Masonry in this kingdom. And hath, with Lamentations. beheld that the Nominal Grand Lodge, in London, have not only forgotten the Allegiance due to this Parent State of Masonry in England, but have proceeded to insult its Dignity, and depart from every ancient Landmark of the Order, assuming such arbitrary and unmasonic Measures, as ought not to be found among Maceons.

“Besides, which, many Masters and Lodges under their Sanction have been struck off their Books on trifling occasions, and particularly on Pecuniary ones, Motives which Masons ought to blush at, and, in fine, they have adopted Measures altogether arbitrary and repugnant to the principles of the Masonic Institution, whereby the true Spirit of Free Masonry in the South of England hath been subverted, and if not timely supported by the Masonic Legislature might become totally destroyed.

“Hence however, the Grand Lodge in London, from its Situation, being encouraged by some of the Principal Nobility of the Nation, arose at Great Power, and began to despise the origin from whence it sprang. In an unbrotherly manner, wishing the Gr. Lodge at York annihilated, which appears by one of their Almanacks, insinuating, that although there are some Brethren remaining, who act under the Old Constitution of York, yet that they are few in number, and will soon be annihilated.

“Upon the whole, let every dispassionate Mason but weigh impartially the several Facts here stated, and he must spurn at the daring Innovation offered by the Nominal Grand Lodge in London, to so sacred and Institution.

“If he wishes to partake of Masonry in its Original Purity, he will turn his attention to that source, where it hath been Inviolably maintained and continued for Successive Ages to this Day, and where the Legislature of Masonry for this Kingdom stands fixed by its true Title ‘The Grand Lodge of All England, Established at the City of York.’ ”

YORK 1779.

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