Saturday, 14 January 2017

14th January 2017 - Provincial Senatus - Carmarthen

Thought for the day: "Parachute for sale. Like new, never opened. Small stain."

Excellent day out at Carmarthen today - for the meeting of the West Wales Provincial Grand Senatus of the Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord in the British Isles and its Districts and Consistories Overseas...

The 21st of July 2010 marked a historic and significant date in the history of British Freemasonry. On that day the Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord was Inaugurated at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London, the first Masonic order to be inaugurated in the British Isles in almost three quarters of a century.

The Scarlet Cord was originally set up in the early part of the 20th Century and its roots lie in the provision of Charity.

The Order developed in the British Isles in 1889 which was founded upon ancient 18th Century documents from the Amsterdam Masonic archives. The rituals and ceremonies were rewritten and enriched by one of the authors of the three rituals currently used in our Secret Monitor ceremonies. I refer, of course, to His Honour Judge Frederick Adolphus Philbrick, K.C., and the Royal Order of Knights of the Scarlet Cord.

Candidates for membership of The Royal Order of Knights of the Scarlet Cord were required to be Princes of the Order of the Secret Monitor, and holders of a special Badge showing membership of the Fund of Benevolence of that Order. Further than this there was no bar to admission, except the usual ballot.

The rituals were based on incidents in the Wars of the Maccabees, and the ceremonies were elaborate with high-sounding titles for the High Officers. The Metropolitan Consistory worked regularly until 1914, went into abeyance for the period 1914-1918, was revived in 1919 but ceased operations in 1929. In that year it was resolved that “All ceremonial work in connection with the Royal Order of Knights of the Scarlet Cord should cease...

This however left a large fund available as the early Order seems to have been mainly to develop the membership of the Benevolent Fund. In early discussion, it was suggested that promotion within the order was mainly as a result of the amount of money placed into the fund - a laudable result but one that is not really part of modern Freemasonry. My experience is that greater Charitable giving is rewarded by various "gongs" or badges, but do not primarily affect position and rank. 

More recently it appears that when clearing a section of Mark Mason's Hall a while set of the old documents were discovered, the Order having lapsed into disuse.

As a result, the Order was brought back as an "Appendant Order" of the Secret Monitor. The early stages threatened to follow the earlier criteria, as all members were required to make a one off payment to the Benevolent Fund - providing a Secret Monitor style medal. However this soon changed... and a number of changes occurred.

Finally, in 2010, it became a sovereign Order in its own right and split from the Order of the Secret Monitor, though still very closely linked.

Today I discovered an interesting fact that I was not aware of before. The Secret Monitor, with its Appendant Order was very popular in Scotland as well as elsewhere in the world. However, Masonry in Scotland is administered from the Grand Lodge of Scotland and not the United Grand Lodge of England.  In Scotland, it has been decided that they would not have any more Sovereign Orders in Scotland for any reason. As a result, when the two orders split, the Order of the Scarlet Cord could no longer exist in Scotland. And now - there are no Consistories north of the border.

Learn something new every day - a daily advancement of Masonic Knowledge.

On other matters..

Long time since I looked at statistics..

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