The Anderson’s 1723 Constitutions transformed Freemasonry. By establishing new principles that supported Enlightenment ideas, they marked a departure from the “Old Charges” that governed mediaeval stonemasons’ lodges. Tolerance of other faiths, individualism, respect in relationships, and learning and development were all mentioned.
“The Constitutions of the Freemasons, published in 1723 on behalf of a young Grand Lodge of England contained key philosophical principles to which Freemasons were expected to adhere: religious tolerance, constitutional government, civic responsibility, meritocracy, education, courtesy and benevolence. They were accompanied by General Regulations, which set out an administrative structure for Freemasonry that contained radical principles, including the election of Lodge officers, with every member wielding one vote, and democratic accountability….the Constitutions were based on Enlightenment principles that provide the philosophical foundations of modern Freemasonry.”
– United Grand of England
Many Freemasons, perhaps the vast majority, are unaware of the Enlightenment philosophy upon which Masonic ritual is founded, or of the role Freemasons played in driving scientific, political, and social change not only in Britain but across the globe. Three hundred years after the adoption of the Anderson’s Constitutions in 1723, Freemasons should not be ashamed of their heritage.
The series of articles published in the Square Magazine examines various related historical masonic events that took pace leading up to 1723 and the years that followed.
The Genesis of the 1723 Book of Constitutions
2023, marks the three hundredth anniversary of the publication of the first printed Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge formally established in London two years previously. This is an anniversary whose significance extends beyond freemasonry. A paper by Andrew Prescott
Sankey Lectures 2016
Searching for the Apple Tree: What Happened in 1716?
A video presentation by Andrew Prescott
Roberts’ Constitutions of Freemasonry 1722
Published a year before Anderson’s Constitutions, The Old Constitutions Belonging to the Ancient and Honourable SOCIETY OF Free and Accepted MASONS. Originally printed in London England; Sold by J. Roberts, in Warwick-Lane, MDCCXXII.(1722)
Origins and Links to English Freemasonry – Part 1
Unexpected links between the Freemasonry of today with the original Operative builders.
Hugh O’Neill’s regular chippings whilst smoothing the ashlar:- Tercentenary of United Grand Lodge of England – 1721-2021 season 2
Will the real James Anderson please stand up?
Book Review – Anderson’s Constitutions – 1723This book contains a faithful reproduction of the first edition of the Constitutions of the Free-Masons, printed in London in 1723. The text, word spelling and paragraph size has been maintained, original restored decorations have been used, and font and character typesets have been carefully replicated.
Masonic Blogs – 1723 constitutions
1723constitutions.com/ masonic blog marks the tercentenary of the publication in London of The Constitutions of the Freemasons – the ‘1723 Constitutions’
Book Review – Inventing the Future
This book sets out those principles, considers the people involved and explores the framework within which their ideas were formed. And it discusses how the Constitutions evolved. – By Ric Berman
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