Celebrating 300 years
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 12:13

1717 and all that

Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge, is hosting an exciting and historic event at Freemasons’ Hall on Thursday 15 February 2018 to discuss differing perspectives on the foundation of the world’s first Grand Lodge

A debate, chaired by Professor Aubrey Newman, will commence at 2pm between UGLE’s Deputy Grand Chancellor John Hamill and Dr Ric Berman on the one hand, and Professors Andrew Prescott and Susan Sommers on the other.

The former will argue that the first Grand Lodge came into formal existence on 24 June 1717, while the latter will challenge the established view by arguing that recently examined evidence puts that date four years later on 24 June 1721 and that further professional research needs to be carried out.

The members of each team will have defined time slots during which to present their respective arguments, followed by an open discussion for the fielding of questions from the audience.

This unique event is expected to attract an exciting mix of attendees from around the world to enjoy the historic revelations on both sides.

Attendance at the Symposium is free and to register your interest, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – stating your name, number of seats, constitution, lodge name and number or 'none'.

Foundations: new light and early years

Zetland and Hong Kong Lodge No. 7665 have kindly extended an invitation to Friends of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry to attend one of the official deliveries of the 2016 Prestonian lecture, the only official Craft lecture sanctioned by the United Grand Lodge of England. 

The lecture will be held at Freemasons’ Hall on Monday 25th April 2016, 5.00pm.

Please register your attendance by 1st April 2016 via the Library and Museum: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The Prestonian Lecturer is Dr Ric Berman and the chosen subject is: Foundations: new light on the formation and early years of the Grand Lodge of England.

The 2016 Prestonian Lecture explores the evolution of Freemasonry, queries long-standing myths, and explains the step change that occurred with the creation of the first Grand Lodge of England in 1717.

Dr Ric Berman outlines the connections between Freemasonry and the British establishment in the eighteenth century, and how and why its leaders positioned Grand Lodge as a bastion of support for the government. He also touches on how Freemasonry was used to advance Britain’s diplomatic objectives and for espionage.

The lecture marks the upcoming 300th anniversary of the formation of the first Grand Lodge and sets a context for 2017’s celebration.

The Prestonian Lecturer is appointed by the United Grand Lodge of England. This year’s lecturer, Ric Berman, is the author of Foundations of Modern Freemasonry first published in 2011 and now in its second edition; Schism (2013), which explains the real conflict between Moderns and Antients; and Loyalists & Malcontents (2015), a history of colonial and post-colonial Freemasonry in America's Deep South.

Published in More News
Monday, 14 May 2012 01:00

The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry

Dr Ric Berman will talk about his new publication "The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry" (Sussex Academic Press 2012) on Wednesday 20 June at The Library and Museum of Freemasonry, Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ.

Using largely unexplored original sources, many of which have recently become available in digital form, Dr Berman highlights how freemasonry expanded from its London hub using a range of networks and associations.

Some, such as the Royal Society, are familiar to Masonic researchers; others including the London and provincial scientific lecture circuit and the London magistracy, are investigated for the first time.

Dr Berman will also consider what implications this research has for the development of freemasonry after 1750, which is his current area of research.

 The event starts at 6pm and is free - places may be booked by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in UGLE & SGC

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