The Independent Magazine for Freemasons
By: Professor Charles C. Lawrence
Do not be put off by the sheer size and quantity of information in this weighty 484 page insight into the roots of our Masonic past.
Professor Lawrence has called upon his many years in Freemasonry and his professional work as a scientist to produce what can be truly described as a scientist’s approach to the history of Freemasonry.
He investigates the close links between men of science, including Fellows of the Royal Society, and Premier Grand Lodge at the time of its founding. He gives a detailed Royal history going back 130 years before the founding of Grand Lodge in 1717, and explains the Sociological climate and contemporary issues and politics etc affecting the structure of Premier Grand Lodge, and the background of the key figures in its formation. There is a fascinating insight of the early Grand Masters.
The Liberal Arts and Sciences are the basis of his book, in which he has brought together information from numerous presentations that he has given over the years. He has gone to great pains in his presentations not to make the “science” overwhelming, though still of interest to the scientific minded individual; and he has made the same approach in this book. Those with a mathematical background will find his various statistical and geometric explanations fascinating, though, if like me, you have forgotten more than you ever knew of your school or college maths and science, this can be skipped over, without any detraction from the value of the book.
Included is an in-depth look at Royal Arch and its link with Craft Freemasonry. The Symbolical Lecture in particular is approached through the eyes of a scientist.
To quote Professor Lawrence, “… the general conclusion of this work paints a less than glamorous picture of the circumstances surrounding the individuals involved in the founding of Grand Lodge…” This may well be true, but it makes a fascinating read, and will I am sure lead to a lot of debate and encourage future research based on his findings.