Difference between revisions of "MassachusettsEdicts"

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Page V-217, 12/27/1848: By order of the Grand Master, a ''Form of Summons'' was adopted and ordered to be printed. This summons was directed to be used by subordinate Lodges when issuing summons to Brothers, per the provision in the [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MassachusettsGC1843#Section_7_7 1843 Grand Constitutions].
Page V-217, 12/27/1848: By order of the Grand Master, a ''Form of Summons'' was adopted and ordered to be printed. This summons was directed to be used by subordinate Lodges when issuing summons to Brothers, per the provision in the [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MassachusettsGC1843#Section_7_7 1843 Grand Constitutions].
=== 1851=1875 ===
=== 1851-1875 ===
''[http://www.masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MassachusettsYear1858 1858]'' <br>
''[http://www.masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MassachusettsYear1858 1858]'' <br>
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=== 1876-1900 ===
=== 1876-1900 ===
=== 1901=1925 ===
=== 1901-1925 ===
''[http://www.masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MassachusettsYear1904 1904]'' <br>
''[http://www.masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MassachusettsYear1904 1904]'' <br>

Revision as of 19:37, 6 October 2010



The Grand Masters of Masons in Massachusetts have frequently offered opinions and made declarations from the Oriental Chair of Grand Lodge which have the force of Masonic law within the jurisdiction. This page lists those that appear in the pages of the Proceedings.

John Cutler, Grand Master

Page II-59, 09/10/1794: In response to requests and petitions from outside of Massachusetts where Grand Lodges had been erected, the Grand Master directed a letter to be sent to the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island in particular "informing them that it is the intention and full determination of this Grand Lodge, not to grant any charter of erection to any Lodge out of this commonwealth, where another Grand Lodge has jurisdiction: hinting to them the absolute necessity of the measure, and requesting them to join in a plan so likely to operate to the benefit of Masonry in General." (This ruling was confirmed on 03/08/1802, Page II-197, by Grand Master Samuel Dunn, in response to a petition from Columbian Lodge in Norwich, Connecticut; the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts resigned authority of this lodge when the Grand Lodge of Connecticut was erected. A similar petition from Masons in New Brunswick was withdrawn in 1807; Page II-352.)


Timothy Bigelow, Grand Master

Page II-328, 03/10/1806: "It was moved by the Most Worshipful Timothy Bigelow to know the opinion of this Grand Lodge, if a blind man can, or cannot, be made a Mason, such an one having applied for admission to King Solomon's Lodge in Charlestown; and on motion, Voted, That it is inconsistent and incompatible with the Constitutions of Masonry." (This was reconsidered in the 1843 Grand Constitutions, with the following text: "where the deformity does not amount to an inability honestly to acquire the means of subsistence, it constitutes no hindrance to initiation." (Part 4, Article 3, Section 4. )

Page II-345, 12/08/1806: "In pursuance of a vote of the Grand Lodge at the last Quarterly Communication, submitting the question to his decision, it pleased the Most Worshipful Grand Master to give his opinion, that with respect to such candidates for initiation and other degrees, as have conscientious scruples about taking an oath, the act of affirmation is equally valid as swearing in receiving the obligations of Masonry."

Isaiah Thomas, Grand Master

Page II-410, 06/12/1809: "On motion, Voted, that the jewels and regalia of this Grand Lodge be entrusted in future to the Grand Stewards, for the time being, and that they be answerable for the same." (This was enshrined in the By-Laws in 1819; see Chapter 4, Section 3; the Senior Grand Steward was given charge of these items.)


Augustus Peabody, Grand Master

Page IV-587, 03/09/1843: "The Most Worshipful Grand Master stated that he had been called upon for his opinion as to the propriety of the Lodges conferring more than one degree on the Same individual at one and the same meeting, and that he had expressed his conviction that the practice was irregular and injudicious, and ought not to be resorted to except in cases of pressing emergency, and then only by dispensation. Whereupon the Recording Grand Secretary offered the following order:

"Ordered. That from and after the passage of this order, it shall not be regular for any Lodge to give more than one degree to a Brother on the same day, nor at a less interval than one month from his receiving a previous degree, unless a dispensation shall be obtained therefor." (Adopted 06/14/1843, Page IV-598; referred to the committee on the Grand Constitutions, but this ruling was not included in the 1843 edition, and therefore should be considered as an edict in force. Note that a motion was proposed in March 1845, on Page V-22, to rescind this order and to reduce the month of elapsed time between degrees; this was not adopted.)

Augustus Peabody, Grand Master

Page V-51, 12/10/1845: "Brethren of eminence out of this State, who have rendered important services to the Craft, may, by a vote of this Grand Lodge duly confirmed, be constituted honorary members thereof, with such rank as the vote constituting them members shall designate." (This order was first applied at the December 27 meeting of that year, when Rt. Wor. George Oliver, D.D. was elected with the rank of Past Deputy Grand Master, and Rt. Wor. Robert Thomas Crucefix, M.D., was elected with the rank of Past Senior Grand Warden.)

Simon W. Robinson, Grand Master

Page V-217, 12/27/1848: By order of the Grand Master, a Form of Summons was adopted and ordered to be printed. This summons was directed to be used by subordinate Lodges when issuing summons to Brothers, per the provision in the 1843 Grand Constitutions.


John T. Heard, Grand Master

Page VI-196, 09/08/1858: Resolution based on the Grand Master's 1857 Address. "Resolved: That the fee for a restoration of a Charter shall be the same, as that required for issuing a new Charter unless otherwise ordered by a vote of this Grand Lodge."

Page VI-212, 12/08/1858: By order of the Grand Master, District Deputies were directed to meet. "Ordered: That the District Deputy Grand Masters be authorized to hold Quarterly meetings for the purpose of consulting upon any questions that may arise in the several districts for the discussion or action of the several District Deputy Grand Masters, and that the expenses of such meetings and of the officers attending the same shall be paid by the Grand Lodge."

William Parkman, Grand Master

Page VI-486, 12/10/1863: "Ordered: That it shall not be regular hereafter for any Lodge, which does not usually issue written or printed notification of its meetings to ballot upon any application for the degrees where there is a dispensation therefor, at any but stated monthly meetings without written or printed notifications to the members of the Lodge, with the name of their Candidate borne thereon."

William Sewall Gardner, Grand Master

Page 1870-228, 12/14/1870: "Resolved, That it is the privilege of every affiliated Mason, in good and regular standing, to visit any Lodge, when not engaged in the transaction of private business; but that it is also the right of a sitting member of the Lodge, to object to the admission of a visitor, giving his reasons therefor, if required by a majority-vote of the members to do so; or, as the alternative, declaring, upon his honor as a Masons, that his reasons are such that he cannot with propriety disclose them to the Lodge."

William Sewall Gardner, Grand Master

Page 1871-72, 06/14/1871: "Ordered, That any Lodge neglecting to present its returns and Grand Lodge dues to the District Deputy Grand Master, at the time of his official visit to such Lodge, when demanded by him, shall not be permitted to work in any of the degrees of Masonry until such returns and dues are placed in the hands of the District Deputy Grand Master." (This order was developed as a result of the dispute between Grand Lodge and Star in the East Lodge the previous year, which resulted in the revocation of that Lodge's charter for several months.)

Page 1871-75, 06/14/1871: "Voted, That a fee of fifteen dollars be hereafter required from every candidate for healing, the same to be applied toward the extinguishing of the debt of the Grand Lodge."

Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Master

Page 1872-19, 03/13/1872: "It is hereby ordered that no one be admitted into any of our Lodges who is not known to be a Mason in good and regular standing, unless he is vouched for by some well known Brother, or produces the Certificate of some Grand Lodge and passes a strict examination."



Baalis Sanford, Grand Master

Page 1904-109, 09/14/1904: "Voted, That no Lodge within the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge shall admit any visitor to any of its meetings, unless said visitor shall first produce a Grand Lodge Certificate, or his original diploma, and then be vouched for by some Brother present, or pass a strict examination." This was in response to concerns about clandestine soi-disant "Masonic" bodies communicating Masonic secrets for a small fixed fee, and because of the work of the Cerneau rite in establishing a spurious Grand Lodge in Ohio. The committee also expressed concern regarding laxity of brethren vouching for visitors.

Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master

Page 1914-153, 06/10/1914: "While a Lodge is at labor, every one who enters must approach to the West of the Altar and there salute the Master. The only exception is when the entrant acts by or under the authority of the Grand Master, i.e. the Grand Master, himself, or a Deputy acting under his warrant; their Marshals and suite, while in actual attendance. . . It applies not only to visiting Lodge delegations, but must be strictly observed also at "Military Nights," so-called, and other similar occasions. There is no objection to visitors being received in procession provided proper formation and halt is made West of the Altar for Masonic salute."

Page 1914-154, 06/10/1914: "Under no circumstances, whatever, must any visitor (save only the Grand Master or his Deputy) be covered while in the Lodge."

Page 1914-154, 06/10/1914: "The wearing of side-arms (save only by Sword-Bearer and Tyler) is forbidden. It is not Masonic to carry weapons of offense or defense into the Lodge."

Page 1914-155, 06/10/1914: "Dispensations to confer degrees in less than the constitutional interval of four weeks should be granted only in cases of necessity or extraordinary emergency. They should not be granted merely for convenience, either of the candidate or of the Lodge." The Grand Master noted that a number of dispensations had been declined, "though in some cases such declination has not been pleasantly received." He further noted that no dispensation would be granted without the approval of the District Deputy Grand Master, nor "to receive the third degree upon the same day as the second."

Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master

Page 1915-112, 06/09/1915: "Instances have recently been brought to my attention where a Lodge has worked two different degrees simultaneously in separate halls, or where a portion of the degree has been omitted and given to the candidate at a sodality. Such practices are absolutely forbidden."

Page 1915-218, 09/08/1915: "The Master of a particular Lodge cannot resign his office. If the Master dies or demits, or is suspended, deposed, disabled or absent, the Senior Warden forthwith fills the Master's Chair.

"No dispensation will issue to fill the vacancy. A new election of Master must await the next annual meeting of the Lodge. The Senior Warden does not become Master. He is 'Senior Warden, Acting Master.' He appoints Wardens and other officers, if necessary, to fill the vacancies created by his occupancy of the Oriental Chair and by the appointments so made. Such appointments are not made, however, for the balance of the year, but merely from meeting to meeting, and should be recorded each meeting by the Secretary.

"If the Senior Warden also be disqualified, the Junior Warden becomes acting Master with like powers.

"In the event of a Lodge being without any one of these three officers the facts should forthwith be made known to the District Deputy Grand Master for the District, who will fill the chair himself or, if that be impossible, the Grand Master will preside or commission a special deputy for the purpose."

Page 1915-221, 09/08/1915: Recommendations of the passage to which the Holy Bible should be opened. "I recommend that when the Lodge is opened upon the First Degree the Holy Bible should be displayed at Psalm 133, or as an alternative at Ruth 4:7. When opened upon the Second Degree, at Judges 12:6, or as alternatives 1 Kings 6:8 or 2 Chronicles 3:17. When opened upon the Third Degree at Ecclesiastes 12:1-7, or as an alternative 1 Kings 7:13 and 14."

Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master

Page 1916-17, 03/08/1916: On chain letters. "The attention of the Brethren is called to the unwritten law that no attention whatever should be paid to chain letters or circular appeals except such as bear the official approval of the Grand Lodge or the Grand Master of the jurisdiction." The Grand Master gave the example of the so-called 'McKinley chain letter' to raise funds for a memorial for the late President. "The proper place for chain letters and all other unapproved circular appeals for Masonic aid is the waste basket."