When Did Freemasons Begin

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that has its roots in the late 16th century. It is believed to have originated in London, England and has since grown to become a worldwide organization with millions of members and chapters spanning the globe. The primary goals of Freemasonry are to promote brotherly love, relief, and truth. Freemasonry has been one of the world’s most influential organizations for centuries and continues to be a powerful force for good in society today. The exact origin of Freemasonry is not known, but it is generally accepted that it began around the late 16th century. The origins of Freemasonry are unknown. It is believed that the fraternity first appeared in England in the early 1700s, but there is evidence to suggest that similar organizations existed long before this time. Freemasonry was likely influenced by the medieval stonemason guilds, which were responsible for building many of Europe’s grand cathedrals and castles. The rituals of Freemasonry are steeped in symbolism derived from these guilds, as well as from sources such as ancient mythology and philosophy. Masonic lodges have long been a source of friendship and fellowship for their members, and the organization has also been involved in many charitable activities throughout its history.

Who Were the First Freemasons?

The origins of the Freemasonry movement are shrouded in mystery. Though it is generally accepted that the movement began in Britain during the early 1700s, it is unclear which individual or individuals founded it. Some believe that it was a group of stonemasons who were brought together by a common interest in their craft and the desire to create an association that would protect their trade secrets. Others suggest that it was an amalgamation of various religious and philosophical groups with a shared interest in spiritual development and moral improvement. Whatever its origins, Freemasonry quickly grew in popularity throughout Europe and North America, eventually becoming one of the largest fraternal organizations in the world.

Today, there are many theories as to who were the first Freemasons and when exactly they began to practice their craft. It is clear, however, that by 1717, four London lodges had united to form what is known as the Grand Lodge of England – this event marks the official beginning of modern Freemasonry as we know it today. In addition to these four lodges, there are records from Scotland which indicate that there were active Masonic lodges operating before 1717. It is believed by some historians that these Scottish lodges may have played an important role in influencing the development of modern Freemasonry.

Though we may never know who were the first Freemasons or exactly when they began practicing their art, one thing is certain – Freemasonry has had a profound impact on society over hundreds of years and continues to do so today. The values of brotherly love, relief and truth remain at its core and serve as a reminder for all men who enter its doors to strive for moral excellence no matter what path they choose in life.

The Early History of Freemasonry

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that has been around for centuries. It is believed to have originated in the Middle Ages, and its members have included some of the most influential people in history. The exact origins of Freemasonry are uncertain, but it is believed to have evolved from medieval stonemason guilds. As it evolved, Freemasonry incorporated elements from many different philosophical and religious traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, and ancient Egyptian mystery schools.

The oldest known Masonic document is the Regius Poem, which dates back to 1390. This poem describes the symbolic tools used by masons when building a structure and outlines a code of conduct for members of the craft. The poem also references the legend of King Solomon’s Temple and suggests that Freemasonry was born out of this mythic structure.

Freemasonry spread throughout Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. During this time, lodges were established in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and other parts of Europe. By 1717 the Grand Lodge of England had been founded and began unifying all existing lodges in Britain under its banner. This would set off a series of events that would eventually lead to the growth of Freemasonry around the world.

By the 18th century Freemasonry had become an international organization with members from all walks of life coming together to share ideas and explore spiritual truths. Members were committed to helping their fellow man through charity work and educational programs which promoted knowledge and enlightenment for all people regardless of race or religion.

Today Freemasonry continues its mission to promote harmony among men through education and charitable works while maintaining its core values such as integrity, respect for all people, brotherly love and self-improvement. While much about its history remains shrouded in mystery there is no denying that Freemasonry has had a profound influence on society over hundreds of years.

When Did Freemasonry Begin in Europe?

Freemasonry began in Europe during the late 17th century. It is believed that the first Masonic lodges began to appear around 1650, shortly after the formation of the first Grand Lodge in London in 1717. The earliest known Masonic lodges were located in England and Scotland, although there is evidence of lodges existing elsewhere in Europe as well. The precise origins of Freemasonry are unknown, though some theories suggest that it originated from medieval guilds or from the traditions of stonemasons.

The principles and rituals of Freemasonry have evolved over time, but its core beliefs remain largely unchanged. Freemasons strive to lead lives based on moral values such as integrity, charity and brotherly love. They also believe that all people are equal regardless of race, religion or social class.

Freemasonry has spread throughout Europe since its inception. During the 18th century, it became increasingly popular across the continent and many lodges were established in countries such as France, Germany and Italy. By the 19th century, Freemasonry was well established in most parts of Europe and had become a major cultural force. Today there are Freemasons all over the world and their influence continues to be felt in many aspects of society.

Despite its long history, many aspects of Freemasonry remain mysterious as much is shrouded in secrecy due to its traditional oaths and rituals. However, there is still much to learn about this fascinating institution which has had a profound impact on European culture over the centuries.


The Grand Lodge of England is the first Grand Lodge in the world, and was founded in 1717. It is the oldest Masonic Grand Lodge and the original governing body of Freemasonry in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The Grand Lodge was established to regulate and oversee all Masonic lodges within its jurisdiction. It has since grown to become a global institution, with independent Grand Lodges in countries around the world.


The Grand Lodge of England is divided into four administrative divisions known as Provinces: London, West Lancashire, East Lancashire and Warwickshire. Each Province has its own Provincial Grand Master who oversees and regulates all activities within their respective Provinces. The Provinces are further divided into Districts, each overseen by a District Grand Master who has authority over all lodges within their Districts.


The Grand Lodge of England holds an annual meeting known as the Annual Communication at which members from all over the world gather to discuss matters pertaining to Freemasonry. Other activities include visits by members from other jurisdictions and social events such as dinners and banquets. The Grand Lodge also publishes a quarterly journal called The Freemason which contains updates on current events in Freemasonry as well as articles about Masonic history and philosophy.


Membership in the Grand Lodge of England is open to any man who professes a belief in a Supreme Being of any faith or denomination. To be accepted into membership one must be proposed by two existing members who will vouch for his character and moral standing. Once accepted he can then progress through three degrees – Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason – before becoming a full member of the fraternity.

How Did the Grand Lodge of England Start?

The Grand Lodge of England was founded in 1717, when four London-based Lodges met for a joint dinner and established the first Grand Lodge. This event is now known as the “Agency of the Four Old Lodges,” as it was the first documented formation of a Masonic Grand Lodge. The four lodges included The Goose and Gridiron Ale-house in St. Paul’s Churchyard, The Crown Ale-house in Parker’s Lane near Drury Lane, The Apple Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden and The Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel Row near Westminster Bridge.

The formation of the Grand Lodge was seen as an opportunity to create a unified and regulated form of Freemasonry that could be practiced throughout England. This new organization would set standards for Masonic ritual and practice that could be followed by all Masonic lodges across the country. It also provided a means for resolving disputes between lodges, something which had been difficult to do before. The first meeting also saw the election of Anthony Sayer as Grand Master, who would lead the new organization until 1718.

Since its formation, the Grand Lodge has become one of the most influential organizations in Freemasonry globally, setting standards for practice that are followed by many other Masonic organizations around the world. It is still active today, with hundreds of thousands of members across England and Wales.

What Was the Influence of Speculative Masonry?

Speculative Masonry, or Freemasonry, has had a significant influence on the development of modern society. It is an organization that has been in existence since the early 1700s and has since spread to many nations around the world. The main purpose of Speculative Masonry is to promote brotherhood and morality among its members, and it has been successful in doing so.

The influence of speculative masonry can be seen throughout history, from its founding in England to its spread throughout Europe and eventually to America. In England, Speculative Masonry was instrumental in helping to establish the Grand Lodge of England, which was an important factor in the development of modern Freemasonry. In Europe, Speculative Masonry helped create a sense of unity between different countries and provided a platform for discussion between different cultures.

In America, Speculative Masonry helped shape much of our founding fathers’ beliefs on democracy and freedom as well as how people should relate to one another. This was especially true during the American Revolution when Masonic lodges provided a meeting ground for people from all walks of life to come together and discuss their ideas for a new nation.

Speculative Masonry also helped create fraternal organizations such as The Order of the Eastern Star and The Order of DeMolay International, both of which are still active today. These organizations have provided meaningful social services to their members and have been important influences on our society’s values.

In addition to these positive influences, Speculative Masonry has also been associated with some controversial activities over its history such as secret societies and conspiracy theories. However, these activities are not officially endorsed by any legitimate Masonic organization or individual member.

Overall, Speculative Masonry has had a significant impact on modern society both positively and negatively. It is a tradition that is still practiced today by millions around the world who embrace its values as well as its potential for social good.

The Evolution of Freemasonry in America

Freemasonry has a long and rich history in America, dating back to the 18th century. The first known Masonic lodge in the United States was established in Philadelphia in 1730. Since then, Freemasonry has grown to become one of the most influential fraternal organizations in the country.

Freemasonry began as an offshoot of British Masonry, which had its origins in the medieval stonemason guilds. By the 17th century, British Freemasons had begun to organize themselves into lodges and meetings. The American revolution gave rise to a new wave of Masonry that was independent from Britain and tailored to fit with American ideals and values.

Since then, Freemasonry has grown and evolved in many ways throughout its history. It has been used as a platform for social change, political discourse, and philanthropic activities. During the 19th century, Freemasons played a major role in the abolition of slavery and helped shape civil rights legislation. In addition, Masonic lodges were instrumental in establishing public education systems throughout the United States.

Freemasonry also played an important role during both World Wars by raising funds for soldiers’ families and war-related charities. In modern times, Masons have been actively involved with numerous charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Today, there are more than two million Masons worldwide with over two hundred thousand members belonging to Masonic lodges across North America alone. Despite its declining numbers over recent years, Freemasonry remains an influential society with a strong network of members that work together to promote good values and charitable causes around the world.

Last Thoughts

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that was established in the 16th century in Britain as a way for stone masons to practice their craft. The organization evolved over time and became a global organization with millions of members around the world. Freemasonry is an ancient and mysterious organization that has existed for centuries, and it continues to thrive today. Its rituals, symbols, and teachings have been used to foster brotherhood, charity, and understanding among its members. While Freemasonry’s exact origins may never be known, its legacy is one of mutual aid, fellowship, and dedication to higher ideals.

By studying the history of Freemasonry, we can gain insight into how this remarkable organization has developed over time. From its humble beginnings as an obscure craft guild to its modern-day status as an influential international society, Freemasonry has remained true to its core principles of brotherly love and charity while adapting to changing times. Its long history of service and commitment continues to inspire new generations of members worldwide.

Your local lodge is your resource to understanding what is freemasonry?.

1 thought on “When Did Freemasons Begin”

  1. The Grand Lodge of England holds an annual meeting known as the Annual Communication at which members from all over the world gather to discuss matters pertaining to Freemasonry. Other activities include visits by members from other jurisdictions and social events such as dinners and banquets. The Grand Lodge also publishes a quarterly journal called The Freemason which contains updates on current events in Freemasonry as well as articles about Masonic history and philosophy.


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