Many worthy brethren have been offended on account of the discredit done to the Masonic Order by the assertion, which is now often and confidently made, that the whole system of Freemasonry is of very recent origin-some saying that it was invented by Elias Ashmole and a few of his learned and ingenious friends in the seventeenth century,-others, more numerous, that it derives existence from the year 1717, and was devised, promulgated, and palmed upon the world by Dr Desaguliers, Dr Anderson, and others, who then founded the Grand Lodge of England. Some of these brethren have asked me, as a brother believed to take a deep interest in every question of this kind, and supposed to have opportunity for investigation, to bestow a little attention upon this subject-to inquire what grounds there are for the Ashmole theory, and what for the 1717 theory-or if they are not both utterly groundless. I have gladly endeavoured to comply with their request, and hope the result may be satisfactory to them.

Download The Origin Of Freemasonry-Brother Chalmers I Paton-1871