posted on Oct, 8 2008 @ 01:37 PM
Originally posted by bigred1000
I recently began studying the structur of York Rite Masonry and have found that the 3rd degree and the Royal Arch degrees have not always existed in
there present form, some theories place there origin in the 19th century sometime, can anyone shed some light on this subject?
At the time the Premiere Grand Lodge was founded in 1717, the fraternity had only 2 degrees, Apprentice and Journeyman. It seems that the Third Degree
popped up somewhere around 1721, but it's hard to say for sure, or who it originated with.
By that time there were two Grand Lodges: the "Moderns" a/k/a "Free and Accepted Masons" (Premiere Grand Lodge), and the "Antinets", a/k/a
"Antient York Masons".
Mackey seems to have believed that the Antients re-wrote the Third Degree, removed the ending, and put it in the Royal Arch degree. Ever since, this
has been a common theory, but there's really no evidence to support it.
Instead, it seems as if both the Antients and Moderns had more or less the same Third Degree, and since the Antients weren't satisfied with the Third
Degree cliffhanger, they invented the Royal Arch.
The Antients conferred the Royal Arch on Past Masters only. When the Antients and Moderns merged to form the United Grand Lodge of England, it was
decided that only the first three degrees be worked in the Lodge, with the Royal Arch being moved to the Chapter.
Also Where dod the Knights Templar Degrees originate?
In the 1720's a French Mason named Michael Ramsay delived a speech in which he claimed that the Freemasons were not successors of the medieval
stonemason guilds, but instead had their origins in the Crusades. It has been suggested that since French Masonry was aristocratic (as opposed to
English and Irish Masonry, which was predominantly working-class), the French simply wanted to pretend the fraternity had a more glorious past than
that of mere day laborers.
While Ramsay never actually mentioned the Templars by name, new chivalric degrees began popping up all over France almost immediately, and were
eventually carried over to Masonry in the English-speaking world.