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Jews in English Regular Freemasonry, 1717-1860

John M. Shaftesley

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jews in English Regular Freemasonry, 1717?1860* JOHN M. SHAFTESLEY, O.B.E.,B.A. My earliest contact with Freemasonry came about specifically because I was a Jew. I came home from the grammar school where I was a scholarship boy one Friday in mid-term to find that I was not to go back on the Mon? day. My father had decided, for economic reasons, that I was to go to work and he had already fixed up an interview with a prospec? tive employer. So the rest of my formal educa? tion had to be postponed until I could make my own decisions. The employer was at the time reputed to be the biggest newspaper and general printing business in the country, Hulton's, in Withy Grove, Manchester, later Allied Newspapers, and now part of the Thomson Organisation. I was at once engaged as a copy-boy on the Manchester Evening Chronicle. The works manager was a quiet-spoken, neatly dressed, solid looking Scot named Mackay. One day Mr. Mackay sought me out from among the several boys around the departments. He told me he would like me to go an errand for him to a gentleman?whose name was Jewish?in Northumberland Street, Higher Broughton, a good-class residential street. I was to give him a parcel of Masonic jewels to repair and call for them when the job was done. The sole unusual addition to Mr. Mackay's command, beside the fact that I didn't know what Masonic jewels were, was T know I can trust a Jewish boy.' What he called 'jewels' seemed to me to be attractive enamelled medals, some set with precious stones. I carried them very carefully. Many years later friends who knew I had studied art asked me to design some crests for Masonic lodges, or redesign others, and these were duly translated into similar Masonic jewels. One of them incorporated the word Ernunah (Faith) in Hebrew,1 another the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, London.2 Then I noticed in my reading that Anglo Jewish historians, including Lucien Wolf, Cecil Roth, Albert Hyamson, and others, were prone to remark on Jews, whether in London or the Provinces, who were known to be con? nected with Freemasonry. They obviously believed that this was a matter of importance, even if only peripheral, but they never seemed to explain why. This piqued me and I began to make my own inquiries on the subject. I found that there is a vast literature on Freemasonry,3 including official or friendly Masonic publica? tions and unofficial and very often highly antagonistic works. Some of these last are of a pathological nature reminiscent of notorious anti-Jewish writings, and I soon discovered that frequently these vicious authors linked 'Freemasons and Jews' as twin conspirators in some frightful plot to subdue the world to their own unspecified ends, in this way resembling the infamous forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Some of the most modern have been on the very extreme end of the right wing politic? ally, Nazi and fascist in sympathy.4 One inimical publication in the 1960s included in its bibliography of 'Masonic writings' Paul Goodman's B'nai B'rith (1936). Histories of Freemasonry are numerous and run into many editions. Those that one may consider legitimate for their part rarely omit to mention the question of the admission of Jews to what is known as the Craft, usually in order to emphasise the point that Masonry is not itself a religion but a true brotherhood in which men of all honourable revealed religions can meet as equals?a form of'social compact,' one might say, where religion and politics are * Paper delivered to the Jewish Historical Society of England on 4 June 1975. 1 The Lodge of Faith and Friendship, No. 7326. 2 The Fraternity Lodge, No. 3222. 3 A Masonic writer estimated that by the late 1920s there had been 54,000 books, etc., published on Freemasonry and allied subjects. 4 Mr. Benjamin de Winter was kind enough to lend me, as a modern example, a copy of a French World War II monthly published in Paris, Les Documents Maconniques, No. 2, 2nd year, Nov. 1942, full of rancorous anti-Masonic and antisemitic material, on the Nazi model. 150</page><page sequence="2">Jews in English Regular Freemasonry 151 not discussed. Also, accepted Masonic histories do not hide the fact that some regrettable lapses have occurred where lodges?even, in some cases abroad, Grand Lodges, the central bodies?have adopted or actively pursued anti-Jewish resolutions. One of the most recent of specialised Masonic histories, by a non Mason, was published in 1970 by the Harvard University Press, translated from the Hebrew of Professor Jacob Katz, Professor of Sociology and Rector of the Hebrew University of Jeru? salem. Entitled Jews and Freemasons in Europe 1723-1939, it devotes a rather small portion of its ample space, considering that the English Grand Lodge is the forerunner of all other Grand Lodges,5 to English Freemasonry, on which incidentally it contains some errors, but deals extensively with the heavily documented antisemitic episodes or periods of certain German Grand Lodges and individual lodges, and some others on the Continent, especially during the nineteenth century. Professor Katz thus tends, in my opinion, to apply a bias to Free? masonry as a whole, sometimes by an almost inverted formulation, which is far from justified. It is not necessary on this occasion to delve deeply into the history of Freemasonry, traditional, mythological, legendary, and real ? all these adjectives are applicable and any good encyclopedia, including Jewish, will mention this?but a brief outline will explain why I have chosen 1717 as my starting date. The founding figures of Masonry, according to legend, and with some references back to Enoch and Noah, are Abraham, Moses, and King Solomon? the first 'Grand Masters', in fact. Solomon is particularly notable because of the building of the Temple, the central object of Masonic interest, and with him are combined the names of King Hiram of Tyre, who helped the Temple with materials, and a certain highly expert craftsman, sent by King Hiram and appointed the overseer, Hiram Abif. Masonic and other writers, including Jewish scholars, have teased themselves (I think needlessly) about the identity of Hiram Abif.6 As Masonic lore revolves around the Temple, it necessarily follows that much of it involves familiar Biblical figures and situations, and these in turn include the introduction of some Hebrew words and phrases, sometimes clear, sometimes distorted, as Masons were not normally Hebrew scholars. No one can trace the origins of these Biblical adoptions, but it may be assumed that there was an upsurge of 5 Professor Katz explains that as an outsider he could not gain access to the private archives of the United Grand Lodge of England; op. cit., p. 7, note 6. h The misunderstanding centres on the word 'Abif,' which was fancifully and anachronistically accepted by the Rev. James Anderson, who wrote the first Book of Constitutions in 1723 and 1738 for the first Grand Lodge, as a 'surname' (ie Huram Abhi'|&gt;3N DlinV ? ? ?]&gt; jl Chron. ii, 12) of Hiram, the great craftsman sent by Hiram King of Tyre to help King Solomon to build the Temple in Jeru? salem. Verse 13 goes on to refer to 'his [Hiram's] father' (y^X) 'Abif', as it is transliterated. (The verse numbers here given are those in the Jewish Publication Society of America's scholarly trans? lation, published in 1917 but begun in 1892; in the non-Jewish English translation they are vv. 13, 14.) Chronicles is regarded as a very difficult book to translate. The usual English version of 'le'Huram Abhi' is f a cunning man] of'Huram my father's', written by King Hiram to King Solomon, but the J.P.S.A. version translates it as 'Huram my master craftsman', much more acceptable. In the Soncino Books of the Bible series (London), which follows the J.P.S.A. translations, the Rev. Dr I. W. Slotki, editing and annotating Chronicles (1952), notes (p. 165): imy master craftsman. The Hebrew abi is literally "my father"; but the noun ab also signifies "chief, master".' Ab, in fact, has several meanings, of similar or related import. C. W. Adam, in The Story of the Two Hirams (Cornish Brothers, Birming? ham, 1931), gets near to it (p. 31) when he con? cludes that we should 'bear in mind that the sig? nificance of the word Abif is the trusted assistant, the right-hand man of King Hiram.' A non Masonic commentator, and President of the J.H.S.E. in 1907-1909, the Rev. Solomon Levy, M.A. (1872-1957), wrote that, in connection with the legends of Hiram Abif, Arthur Edward Waite, in his A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry (William Rider &amp; Son, 1921), 'does not make it clear that Abif is a misunderstanding of "his father," in 2 Chronicles, ii, 13' ('Jewish Elements in Freemasonry', The Jewish Annual, 5709 (1948- 1949),Vol. XI,Williams, Lea &amp; Co., London, 1948, p. 112; reprint of reviews by S. Levy in Jewish Chronicle (hereinafter JC), 5 Aug. and 2 Sep. 1921). Mgr. Ronald A. Knox, the distinguished Roman Catholic scholar, in his translation of the Latin Vulgate into modern English, gives it as Hiram, 'a master of his craft' (The Holy Bible? The Old Testament, Vol. I [Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 1949], p. 597).</page><page sequence="3">152 John M. Shaftesley interest after the attractive English translations of the Bible and the Reformation. Nor was there any doubt, on the other hand, that oper? ative masons and allied skilled craftsmen, carpenters and suchlike, engaged on the great buildings from medieval times onwards, did form guilds that, because of the conditions of their work and closeness of contact, and build? ing sites often far from home, compelled a form of communal lodging?hence the Masonic noun 'lodge'?in huts erected at the various jobs. To this was added a concomitant expansion in the study of Hebrew by scholars and others among the dilettanti. The two things together, the opening of the Bible to common knowledge and the examination and study of Hebrew, no doubt helped considerably to activate the enthusiasm and excitement that greeted the exhibition in the seventeenth century and later of the model of the Temple made by Rabbi Judah Jacob Leon Templo, as explained at length by Mr. A. L. Shane in his paper on that picturesque personage delivered earlier to this Society.7 Scholarship and big building invited the attention of patrons, and so the third element, the gentry and the nobility, including Royalty, entered into the mould that was to form Free? masonry, as distinct from the operative Masons' Company, which evolved as a City Guild. The City Guilds took a rather different path, in? heritors of the theories of mercantilism and jealously safeguarding their positions. It was many years before a Jew, ev en after the loosen? ing of the restrictions in the City on 'Jew brokers,' reached eminence in a City Livery Company?a press report as late as 18738 spoke of D. H. Jacobs [David Henry Jacobs], Past Master of the Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers' Company, and said that he was the first Jew to be elected Master of a City Company. This election was in 1871.9 From the three bases described, therefore, the structure arose of what are called 'non operative' or 'speculative' (in the philo? sophical sense) lodges, some of whose members would hardly know one end of a trowel or maul from the other but who would enjoy an opportunity of regular convivial eating and drinking and talking in congenial company? and with no ladies present to distract them. Before the regularising of the speculative Craft there is a documented instance, the first such discovered, of making an English Mason. Elias Ashmole, founder of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, mentions in his diary that he was 'made a Freemason' in October 1646 at Warrington in Lancashire and adds the names of several present who were men of good social position.10 It occurred to some Masons very early in the eighteenth century that it would be helpful if some kind of central organisation were set up to co-ordinate the movement and four lodges in London and Westminster founded a Grand Lodge, under a Grand Master, in 1717, which had extended its jurisdiction by 1723. Their leading members made some 'modernising' alterations to what had been long-standing oral traditions in the ritual of making Masons, but many other Freemasons, including Irish? men, objected to this and formed a rival Grand Lodge in 1751, purporting to adhere to the old and purer traditions. Paradoxically and confusingly, the second Grand Lodge be? came known, because of this reversion, as the 'Antients' and the first Grand Lodge as the 'Moderns'. The rivalry continued until, after long negotiations, the two Grand Lodges became reconciled?a 'Lodge of Reconciliation' was formed?and amalgamated in 1813 as the United Grand Lodge of England with, as Grand Master, the sixth son of King George III, the Duke of Sussex, well known, among his other virtues, as has been mentioned in various papers delivered to this Society, as a friend to the Jews and in favour of their political emancipation. The Duke was interested in Hebrew, and his 'Oriental tutor' was Dr. Louis 7 Mr. Shane's paper on Leon Templo is also published in this volume of Transactions. s JC, 14 Feb. 1873, p. 649. 0 I am much indebted for this date and the full name of D. H.Jacobs to Mr. P. H. Creswell, Clerk to the Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers' Company, London. 10 Elias Ashmole, Diary, dated '1646 Oct: 16. 4.30 P.M.' He makes another reference to Freemasonry in his Diary 35 years later, when he was at a lodge in London in March 1682. He was not a Jew.</page><page sequence="4">Jews in English Regular Freemasonry 153 Loewe.11 It is not necessary in this paper to differentiate between the two former Grand Lodges in referring to Jewish members, as I have given this only to establish the date of the beginning, and my terminal date, 1860, is near enough to the founding in 1864 of a 'Jewish' lodge, the Montefiore, to which a great number of communal worthies became attached in the course of time. The number of Jewish Free? masons increased as Freemasonry itself ex? panded. By the 1820s the records show that during the previous century several hundreds of Jews had been members of various lodges. Many Jewish ministers have been and are today Freemasons, and some of them have lectured at times upon the Biblical connections of Masonic history, their lectures occasionally being published for general as well as Masonic reading. Thus, we have a pamphlet entitled The Evidence of Free-Masonry from Ancient Hebrew Records, by Rabbi J. H. M. Chumaceiro (then of Augusta, Georgia), first published by the Bloch Publishing Co., New York, in 1896. Its popularity is attested by the number of editions it ran through, and the edition I have consulted is the sixth, published in 1921. To quote only the first sentence in Rabbi Chu maceiro's Introduction: 'It is impossible to separate the history and teachings of Masonry from those of the Bible, whose principal author ?Moses?devotes over twelve chapters in the Book of Exodus to the construction of the Tabernacle, which served King Solomon partly for a plan in building the temple.'12 Another minister, much nearer home, the Rev. Dr. Abraham Cohen, well known for his long tenure of office with the Birmingham Hebrew Congregation and his Presidency of the Board of Deputies, and translator of Lessing's Masonic Dialogues, wrote a pamphlet, among several, incorporating two lectures he gave on The Religion, Politics and Ethics of Free masonry. Dr Cohen reached high office in the Craft and his pamphlet was published in 1938 by Cornish Brothers, of Birmingham, at the instance of the Library and Museum Com? mittee of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. Their intention was that it should reach a general public, for its Foreword, by 'J.H.', said that the booklet was submitted 'in full confidence that it will be received by the Masonic Brethren, and will prove to non Masonic readers that the principles on which Freemasonry is founded are noble and praise? worthy'. Dr. Cohen sets out to show that 'speculative' Freemasonry has four dogmas, Belief in God, Belief in Revelation, Belief in Reward and Punishment, and Belief in Immortality, and that once it was organised it moved quickly out of certain Christian confines into a universal attitude so that all men who believed in those four dogmas?Christians, Jews, Moslems, and so on?could sincerely subscribe to it. He refers to the fact that a famous Grand Secretary of the 'Antient' Freemasons, Laurence Dermott, an Irishman, in his book Ahiman Rezon, in 1764, which sets out the Constitutions of Free? masonry (also quoted by Mr. Shane in his lecture on Templo), gives not only 'A Prayer which is most general at Making [i.e., initiat? ing] or Opening [a lodge]', with Christian references, but also includes 'A Prayer used at Opening the Lodge, or making a new Brother; used by Jewish Freemasons'. There were several editions, the first in 1756, whose title-page has, among several sub-headings, 'Likewise the Prayers used in Jewish and Christian Lodges,' the word 'Jewish' surprisingly coming first. This is pretty firm evidence that by Dermott's time there were not only enough Jews in English Freemasonry to be noticeable in individual lodges but that there were probably lodges composed if not wholly then largely of Jews who would want to express themselves in ritual form in a Jewish manner. Tychsen, in Germany, in 1769, wrote13 that it was common 11 Dr. Loewe (often mentioned in Trans. JHSE) was a noted scholar and linguist, who, among other public services, accompanied Sir Moses Monte fiore on a number of his famous pilgrimages abroad. He was the great-grandfather of Mr. Raphael Loewe, M.C., the current President of the Jewish Historical Society of England. 12 Dr. George Webber most kindly drew my attention to this pamphlet. "Olaus Gerhard Tychsen (1734-1815), B?tzo wische Nebenstunden, vol. 5, pp. 75-77 (1769), quoted by Katz. Tychsen was a Christian who studied rabbinics and Hebrew and was the anti hero in an attempt to convert Jews which failed.</page><page sequence="5">154 John M. Shaftesley knowledge that Jews in England were admitted freely to Freemasonry, although not in Ger? many, and there was a 'Jewish Lodge' in London, so called because of the nature of its membership. This I assume to be Lodge No. 145, noted in the index to an official Masonic register in about 1766 as 'Jews Lodge', but there was also the Lebeck's Head Lodge, in the Strand, constituted 24 August 1759, thirteen of whose petitioners had 'unmistakably Jewish names', in the words of one writer in 1887.14 The founders and officers included Jacob Moses, Lazarus Levy, Edward Morley, Solo? mon Levy, Jacob Arons, Yoel (Senior Warden), Henry Lyon (Secretary), Ross (Treasurer), and Moses Levy (Past Master). The Lodge No. 84 at Daniel's Coffee House, Lombard Street, founded 23 December 1731, included several Jewish brethren, among them Solomon Men dez, Abraham Ximenez, Jacob Alvarez, Abraham de Medina, Benjamin Adolphus, and Isaac Baruch.15 The meaning of the supposedly Hebrew words 'Ahiman Rezon' has been often debated. Dermott's subtitle in 1756 reads: 'Or A Help to a Brother', and various Masonic scholars and others have offered ideas on the derivation, including one, by Dr. Albert G. Mackey, a masonic encyclopedist in America, 'from the Hebrew ahim, brothers, manah, to prepare, and ratzon, the will or law; and signifies therefore literally "the law of prepared brothers".' Another version claims the derivation as iachi man ratzon, "the opinions of a true and faithful brother".' Whether debate on the subject affected Dermott or not, the second edition, in 1764, has the altered title of Ahiman Rezon, Or a help to all that are (or would be) Free and Accepted Masons.u" A most promising solution to this puzzle has been offered to me by Mr. A. Schischa: it should be tmK [Ahim mi'Ratzori] = 'Brethren by volition'. While speaking of Hebrew connections, one might here comment on the fact that the design of the original coat of arms of the Antients, which was incorporated into the combined coat of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813, with the arms of the London Masons' Company (not itself a Masonic organisation of the 'speculative' category), is attributed to Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon Templo, and it bore the Hebrew motto Kodesh VAdonai, later trans? lated as 'Holiness to the Lord'. Again, Mr. Shane referred to this in his paper on Templo, but I take my own line here. This coat of arms was also described in detail by Lucien Wolf in this Society's Transactions, Vol. II (1895 ses? sion),17 and it was accompanied by a full-page 14 Henry Sadler, Masonic Facts and Fictions, London, 1887. 15 See Matthias Levy, 'Jews as Freemasons', JC, 16 Sept. 1898, p. 11. Mr. Harry Carr, in a com? ment in 1968, pointed out that this made six Jewish members out of 29 members of the lodge. 10 Robert Freke Gould, The History of Free? masonry, 3 vols. (Thomas C. Jack, London, 1884 1887), Vol. II, p. 346, notes Dermott's wide linguistic attainments and quotes a minute from the Stewards' Lodge of March 1764, 'an "Arabian Mason having petitioned for relief, the Grand Secretary [Dermott] conversed with him in the Hebrew language", after which, he was voted z:i,is.' 17 Pp. 156-157. In discussion and correspondence with me, Mr. Edgar Samuel, in common with some others, has argued that the figures in the coat of arms, man, lion, ox, and eagle, are representative of the four Christian evangelists and therefore not of Jewish significance (which would of course mean that Leon Templo would not be the author of the design, or at least that possibility would be very remote). It has likewise been argued in some Masonic quarters that the point about the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, is supported by the description of John's vision in Revelation of four 'beasts' bearing separately the fac es of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, whereas Ezekiel in his vision saw four beasts each with four laces, on four sides, of man, lion, ox, and eagle. Revelation was written probably about 700 years after Ezekiel, and I do not have to depend on my own observation to remark on the similarities and adaptation of the former from the latter, besides the fact that throughout cultural history borrowings, sometimes unconscious, from earlier authors are very common. In the description of his vision, in fact, John's attention at one point is directed, in his own words, to the 'Lion of Judah'. (There are other Christological suggestions of some age that the four figures represent the four arc hangels, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel, or even the four Greater Prophets, Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.) Mr. Samuel supports his contention with the additional argument that the reproduction, as seen by Lucien Wolf, has the quarters separated by a cross, gules (red) and purpure (purple) counter? charged: gules represents martyrdom and purpure kingship, thus it symbolises the crucifixion. As against this, however, I have pointed out, another</page><page sequence="6">Jews in English Regular Freemasonry 155 coloured version of it, with its four Jewish Biblical symbols, Man, Lion, Ox, and Eagle, on a seventeenth-century panel, shown at the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition of 1887. copy in the possession of the Lodge of York, circa 1776, has the quarters in different colours and the dividing cross not of red and purple but of light green. Both are reproduced side by side and both have Ezekiel's winged cherubim as supporters and with the Ark of the Covenant as a crest in Gould, op. cit., facing p. 444?the York version has the motto in Hebrew and the other has it in English translation. (Another non-Jewish description I have seen describes the Ark of the Covenant, perhaps because of the angle of the painting, as the High Priest's Chair.) Wolf also mentions Leon Templo's reference, in hisTratado de los Cherubim (p. 25), to the four traditional standards in the wilderness, the Lion of Judah, the Man of Reuben, the Eagle of Dan, and the Ox of Ephraim (derivations suggested by Jacob's dying address to his sons; Genesis xlix). I have myself seen a Masonic banner bearing a representation of a lion which is obviously in? tended lor Judah, as it is ornamented also with a crown and sceptre. The late Lewis Edwards, who had approached me for references when he was working on a paper on the Duke of Sussex, showed me, among items in his Masonic collection, a tin (or silver?) repousse badge bearing this same coat of arms and an inscription of 1828, presented to a J. Lawrance. The supporters were not included and the crest was changed into three items, two esoteric and the third, at the right-hand side, being the Two Tablets of the Law. The motto had a spelling mistake, 'KODES LA ADONIA'. I feel that the introduction of all this extra supporting Hebrew symbolism hardly conforms with the evangelist theory. Well before Lucien Wolf, there was acceptance of the 'Jewish' symbolism of the four figures. When the scholarly Dr. Abraham Benisch (who, as I have mentioned above, became a Freemason in 1841) was editing the Jewish Chronicle, he published a paragraph under 'Literary Notes' (24 Dec. 1857, p. 627), as follows: 'MAS? ONRY.?As the standard or banner of Free? masonry is made up of and derived from the ban? ners of the four leading tribes of Israel, it may be interesting to learn what was the symbolic meaning given by the Hebrews to these ensigns. Vatablus quotes a Jewish writer as saying, "that the man in the banner of Reuben signified religion and reason; the lion in that of Judah denoted power; the ox in that of Ephraim represented patience and toilsome labour; and the eagle in that of Dan, betokened wisdom, agility and sublimity." But although such may have been the emblematic meaning of these devices among the Israelites, the combination of them in the Masonic banner is only intended to indicate the Jewish origin of our institution from Solomon, who was the last King of Israel under whom the twelve tribes were united.' Wolf says that Dermott saw the coat of arms in 1759, with the motto 'Kodes la Adonai', and quotes Dermott on 'the collection in which this design was found of the famous and learned Hebrewist, architect and brother, Rabi Jacob Jehudah Leon'. 'Brother' in this context quite possibly postulates 'Freemason', but there is no proof of this, especially as no written records were kept until much later, after the 'regularis? ing' (note the fortunate accident of Elias Ashmole and his Diary). The very same version, in colour, dated circa 1680, appears in Volume II of R. F. Gould's great three-volume History of Freemasonry (edition published 1884-1887), and in the same plate appears a differently coloured version, this one with the motto in Hebrew, on a banner in the possession of the Lodge of York, circa 1776. Two other coats of Jewish interest have since found their way into English Freemasonry, that of Sir Moses Monte fiore, which was adopted as the lodge badge at the founding of the Montefiore Lodge No. 1017 in London in 1864 in honour of his 80th birth? day, and the other that of Sir Henry Isaacs, which forms the basis of the head girl's jewel at the school, the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, which has been worn by Head Girls since 1891. The Grand Lodge motto brings me to an? other point which might solve a mystery put forward in this Society's Miscellanies Part I (1925).is The writer, F. C. Burkitt, in a brief essay of 1915 on 'The Netherbury Tombstone', discusses the mystery of an inscription in ancient Hebrew letters, 'Kodesh l'Adonai' (reproduced with the essay as a drawing) on the tombstone of Bettey Symes, died 1819, and her husband, Daniel Symes, died 1824, in Netherbury Churchyard, Dorset, 'a remote nook of rural England'. I suggest simply that Daniel Symes borrowed the text as a Free? mason, especially as Mr. Burkitt stresses that there is no known local scholar who might have composed it for him. Reverting to Dermott's Constitutions, writ? ten for the Antients, it is proper also to draw attention to the older Book of Constitutions, written in 1723 and republished in 1738 for the Moderns Grand Lodge, by the Rev. James 18 Pp. xxxiv-xxxvi.</page><page sequence="7">156 John M. Shaftesley Anderson, especially as Katz?in common with several writers before him?makes great play on this publication in relation to the admission of Jews to Freemasonry.19 Admittedly, the old charges, regulations referring to conduct and ceremonials, in Freemasonry were permeated with Christian concepts and symbols?but one would scarcely expect otherwise in a country with a Christian tradition over a thousand years old and where the most eye-catching witness to operative masons' work had been great cathedrals and churches. Anderson rebuts the idea that 'a stupid Atheist' can be a Freemason (whatever shade of meaning the eighteenth century gave to the word 'stupid') and says that in ancient times 'Masons were charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that country or Nation . . . yet it's now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves.' 'That religion in which all Men agree' is 'to be good men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty,' so that they could all meet in true friendship. Katz apparently accepts the still-argued rela? tion of this to eighteenth-century Deism?a well-known movement of the time, allied to the ideas of Rationalism?but admits that there is no proof that the author thought of this. However, he goes on to argue that the revised wording of the second edition evidences doubts on the Deistic basis, for the words relating to ancient times, 'the Religion of that country', are now changed to 'the Christian usages of each country', which referred to Christian Masons in those days, while regarding the adherents of all religions as being subject to the moral law, subscribing to the common con? cepts of the Noachide Laws. Katz suggests that Christians generally did not know of the Talmudic and medieval Judaic references to obedience to the Commandments of Noah as constituting grounds for tolerance of righteous Gentiles and supports German opponents of Freemasonry of the nineteenth century who argued that the term was derived by Anderson from John Seiden (1584-1654) in his De jure naturali et gentium juxta disciplinam Ebraeorum.2(i In later editions Anderson restored his original text. As it happens, this question of Deism has long been debated by Masonic writers, for and against. One of those in favour of the idea of Deism was our late Council member Lewis Edwards, who wrote a good deal on general Masonic history. I myself, in adding a short written contribution to one of these discussions in 1967,21 pointed out that Deism, with its denial of revelation, was hardly consonant with the requirement in lodges to concentrate on the Bible or other holy book according to the members' religion. Nor need there be any mystery about the Noachide Laws in view of the contacts then developing between Christian scholars and Jews and Jewish learning and the Europe-wide discussions on them in the seven? teenth century. And anyway, as I also implied, why should the Rev. James Anderson, as a practising Christian minister, wish to discard his own belief in revelation ? There have been other Jewish ministers who have written on the Jewish elements in Free? masonry?indeed, those few words form the title of a long two-part review by the Rev. Solomon Levy22 of A New Encyclopaedia of Free? masonry, by Arthur Edward Waite, in the Jewish Chronicle of 5 August and 2 September 1921, and reprinted by Mr. Levy in his own Jewish Annual of 1948.23 In this review, Mr. Levy, who stated that he was not a Mason, wrote appreciatively of the Biblical and other Jewish elements in Freemasonry, and inci? dentally referred to the work on Masonic lore of his contemporary, the Rev. Morris Rosen baurn,24 who had been minister of the New? castle upon Tyne congregation for some years and then, for many more years, of the Borough Synagogue, London. Mr. Rosenbaum, who became a prominent Freemason, made the study of the Order almost a life's work and had an unrivalled collection of material on the subject, especially in its Jewish aspects, including numerous lectures of his own. I was quite unaware of his work when io See Katz, op. cit., pp. 1 3ff. 20 Ibid., chap. 1, footnote 7. 21 See Ars Qiiatuor Coronatorum, Vol. 80, 1967, pp. 271-3. (AQC). 22 See also note 6. 23 Vol. XI, pp. 105-112. 24 B. 1871-d. 1947.</page><page sequence="8">Jews in English Regular Freemasonry 157 my own interest was aroused especially in Jews in the Masonic movement as distinct from Jewish elements in it. As I pursued Jewish names in the Craft I came across many refer? ences to Rosenbaum, and in fact Cecil Roth told me that Rosenbaum should have been rated much higher as a historian than he actually was, a sentiment I can now endorse. Another Masonic mystery surrounds the fate of Rosenbaum's collection, part of which appears to have been dispersed piecemeal but the bulk of which was specially bought from the widow by members of the Montefiore Lodge to present as a gift to the new Grand Lodge of Israel, which was founded in 1951 and was officially recognised by the Grand Lodge of England in 1957. The collection was packed and shipped out, I am informed by Mr. Sam Fox, Treasurer of the Montefiore Lodge, but seems to have disappeared en route. Friends had a few items before this as mementoes, but an extraordinary coincidence occurred some years ago when Dr. Richard Barnett brought out a box of index cards in the Society's own collection in the Mocatta Library, placed there by the late Wilfred Samuel, a former President of this Society, which turned out to be part of Rosenbaum's Masonic work. It was then typed out and I examined it; it is very valuable for information, despite a need for corrections and additions (it is attached as an Appendix to this paper). My own researches have overlapped it and besides noting a large number of its names myself I probably have as many more names to add as this list contains. But those must await further publication. A commentator of some weight, who was not a Mason, is Herbert Loewe, grandson of Louis Loewe. Herbert Loewe was Lecturer in Rabbinic Hebrew at the University of Oxford and Lecturer in Oriental Languages at Exeter College, Oxford.25 He was proposing the toast of the Montefiore Lodge at its Ladies' Night in 1927?non-Masons are invited to these festive occasions?and he praised Free masonry and the 'amazing affinity' between it and Judaism on moral principles; 'in three important principles [they] resemble one another: in theory, in practice, and in cere? monial ... if there is anything that Judaism and Freemasonry emphasise, it is universalism ... It is your great achievement that you have made possible at your gatherings for all who believe in God to worship Him together with? out in any way abating each man the fidelity due to his own particular creed.' Drawing on some remarkable parallels, Mr. Loewe pointed to a paragraph from the first chapter of the Midrash: 'The Torah says, "I have been God's plan for the creation of the world." It is a com? mon occurrence that an architect who builds a palace does not do so from his own mind, but he has parchments and measuring lines and plans in order to know how to set up halls and rooms and how to make wicket-gates of scrutiny; so The Great Architect looked at the Law and created the world.' That one paragraph en? capsulates Masonic belief. Well before this, in 1898, it was reported26 that a lecture to a small group of Masons by the Rev. I. Myers on 'The Talmud and Free? masonry' was so successful that the lodge con? cerned was obliged to hire a large hall so that it could be repeated to a larger audience. Among many other pamphlets, there have been several by the Rev. Morris Rosenbaum on specific Jewish references (including one on 'Ahiman Rezon'), and two other pamphlets deserve special mention for their informative contents: Hebraic Influences on Masonic Symbolism, by Bernard Shillman (1929), and The Jew and Freemasonry, by Dudley Wright (undated, ? 1929-1930), both published by Masonic News Ltd., London. What no local writer on Jews in English Freemasonry has yet attempted, to my know? ledge, however, is a full evaluation of the sociological, demographic, economic, political, or religious implications that might be found or assumed in this connection. A certain amount is discussed, especially on social and religious aspects, as I mentioned initially, by Professor 25 Herbert Loewe was the father of Mr. Raphael Loewe (see note 11), to whom I am indebted for the loan of a copy of the Masonic News, Vol. 1, No. 1. 7 Jan. 1928 (London), carrying a report of his father's address, pp. 14-15. 26 See report on Israel Lodge of Instruction (which was reissued as a leaflet) in AQC, Vol. XII, Pt. I (1899).</page><page sequence="9">158 John M. Shaftesley Katz, but his book concentrates particularly on nineteenth-century European Masonic antisemitism, not greatly counterbalanced in the other direction. Well before his book ap? peared I had already touched on possible reasons for the attraction to Freemasonry of Jews in a brief section of a book I wrote by invitation, published in 1968 by the lodge concerned, The Lodge of Israel No. 205, 1793 1968. This book was produced to mark that lodge's 175th anniversary. I put forward the idea that Jews were drawn to the Craft by, among other things, its emphasis on the equal dignity of man, irrespective of creed, race, or colour, under the protection of the Creator, which appealed to men whose own Faith taught the same profound principles but who had nowhere yet?until theoretically in the France of the Revolution of 1789?been granted political equality; by the idea of rachmanut (charity) in Masonry's practical approach to distress?Masonic charities were established quite early on, and penurious strangers who visited lodges were often given sums of money; by the ceremonials built round the Old Testa? ment and Biblical figures; and by more mun? dane commercial considerations, because many Jews were in business as jewellers and embroid? erers, two trades made much use of by Masonic lodges in their furnishings and regalia. Free? masonry, in fact, provided an opening for much-desired friendliness and integration denied in virtually all other fields. On the Masonic side there were, I think, cor? related factors. Freemasonry could not, if it were honest to its declared beliefs and aims, forbid the entry of Jews or other strangers. As it was later put, in August 1794, in a letter in the periodical The Free Mason,11 attacking an anonymous French 'exposure' of 1792 which equated Freemasonry with Deism and the French Revolution (dragging in also an 'exposition' of some alleged 'Rabbinical tales'), and which had been printed in, among other places, the June 1794 Gentleman's Magazine and the St. James's Chronicle,2* 'is it necessary that this admirable system of union [Freemasonry] for the best of pur? poses should be destroyed, by the introduc? tion in a Christian lodge of the doctrine of redemption, which must offend the Turk [ = Moslem]; or the holy name of the Messiah, which offends the prejudices of the Jew; or in a Turkish Lodge of the name of Mahomet, which must offend both Jew and Christian, and thereby defeat the uni? versality of an excellent institution? No; we are brethren; the Godhead has taught us so to call each other; the innate principle persuades us we are so . . In modern times immigrant absorption has been quite a feature of Freemasonry, for besides Jewish there are many Huguenot and other foreign names in the early lodge lists (it would be interesting, for example, to explore the trade and other factors involved in the initi? ation of numbers of Swedish ships' captains in the eighteenth century in London lodges, in? cluding the 'Jewish'). In the 1850s, the Lodge of Israel appointed an 'interpreter,' Bro. Wolf Littaur, presumably to explain to Yiddish speaking entrants.29 One of the earliest Moslems to enter English Freemasonry must have been His Excellency Mirza Abdul Khan, the Persian Ambassador to England, who was initiated in, but did not become a member of, the Lodge of Friendship No. 6 in June 1810.30 Then I venture to put forward the idea that in fact in the early days, especially before and during the Resettlement of 1656, Jews were not looked on in quite the same way as later Jews were who came under quite different conditions. They bore, many of them, noble Spanish and Portuguese names which retained the Christian rather than Jewish impression and made them more acceptable socially, many were encour? aged to come by English rulers and Govern? ments for commercial and political reasons in rivalry to their former countries and those countries' friends who were England's enemies, and they did bring valuable trade and foreign 27 Pp. 85ff. By 'S.J.' See also letter by 'S.J.' in Free Mason, 12 July 1794, p. 1, and letter by Chap? man Ives, same journal, 28 July 1794, pp. 94-95. 28 8 July 1794. 29 See John M. Shaftesley, The Lodge of Israel No. 205, 1793-1968 (London, 1968), p. 42*. 30 See C. D. Rotch, History of the Lodge of Friend? ship No. 6, 1947, p. 148.</page><page sequence="10">Jews in English Regular Freemasonry 159 information to England, besides being wealthy themselves. Nor were they considered a danger as potential traitors to England if they went abroad on business or family affairs, as is shown by the pretty free issue to them of passes to travel in the war atmosphere which developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries?they had the sympathy of a Protest? ant country uneasy at Jacobean pretensions which had French support, and occasionally at the excesses of the Catholic Inquisition. Some prominent Freemasons fell foul of the Inquisi? tion. One was Hyppolito Joseph da Costa, initiated in Philadelphia but detained for Masonic activities by the Inquisition in Portugal for over three years, when he escaped to England. He joined the Lodge of Antiquity in London in 1808 and published an account of his experiences three years later.31 He be? came a Provincial Grand Master and was friendly with the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Leinster. One who was claimed as a member of his family, Ben da Costa, was a Past Master of the Friars Lodge in the 1890s and also taught Masonic subjects to members of the Lodge of Israel.32 Another famous case concerns John Coustos, a diamond cutter, son of Isaac Coustos, who was said to be a refugee Protestant in Switzer? land who came to England. John Coustos (whose case is well documented in modern Masonic research) was initiated a Freemason about 1728 or 1729 in London, but in about 1740 he settled in his trade in Lisbon, where he soon helped to found a lodge. He was really on his way to Brazil, but was prevented from going by the Portuguese. He was im? prisoned and tortured by the Inquisition for practising Freemasonry but was ultimately rescued by English warships in the River Tagus under Admiral Matthews. The name?which is suspiciously close to Costa?the occupation, and the Lisbon connections at that particular period tend to create the feeling that it was a crypto-Jewish family.33 Quite recently I came across a brief MS note of Rosenbaum's also, querying the name of Coustos as possibly Jewish. In spite of the willing issue of travel passes to Jews, it was nevertheless a time of great xenophobia in England, and that is a passion that often leads to excesses, as we see from the furore that built up about the emancipatory Jew Bill of 1753 which under popular pressure had to be repealed. There was one case also of which I had a note of the famous trial at the Old Bailey in 1716 of Francis Lewis Francia (b. 1675), for high treason in allegedly furnishing the Old Pretender with supplies, but fortun? ately he was acquitted;34 the note I had de? scribed him as a Freemason.35 I return to my theory about the attitude to the Jews of the Resettlement period of the seven? teenth century. Jews in the flesh would still be a quaint conception to the multitude, possibly made quainter even by the opposing philo semitic and anti-Jewish polemics of Church? men and others, to which this Society's Transactions have borne frequent witness, but I think that these Spanish and Portuguese new 31 Da Costa 's Narrative of his Persecution in Lisbon for the Pretended Crime of Freemasonry (London, 1811). One or two historians question whether he was a Jew, but an undoubted Jew, Ben da Costa, in 1898, was claimed as a member of the same family (reference note 26). 32 See note 31. 33 Dr. Richard D. Barnett, CBE, to whom I am grateful, found the official reference for me in his Inquisition Listos, under the Lista of 21 June 1744 at Lisbon: 'no. 2 [idade 40]. Joao Custon, Herege protestante, Lapidario, natural do Canta? de Bazilea e morador neste cidade; por introduzir e praticar nesta Corte a Seita dos Pedreiros livres, condenada pela Se Apostolica.?4 annos para gales' [aged 40, John Coustos, protestant heretic, lapidary, born in the Canton of Basel and resident in this city; for introducing and practising in this Court the sect of Freemasons, condemned by the Apostolic See?4 years in the galleys]. The case has frequently been commented on in Masonic publi? cations. Coustos wrote his own story of his ordeal (two editions, 1746 and 1790), but it differs from the official Inquisition records (translation in AQC, LXVI). The whole account of Coustos and the Portuguese Inquisition is related by Dr. S. Vatcher, O.B.E., in AQC, Vol. 81, 1968, pp. 9-87. The fact that at that period Jews were forbidden to live in most of Switzerland (Diet edict of 1622) strengthens my idea, I think, and people like the Coustos family would have, as the Marranos did in Iberia, to appear under a Christian guise to be there. 34 For a full description of the trial, see Marcus Lipton, 'Francis Francia?the Jacobite Jew', Trans. JHSE, Vol. XI, 1924-1927. pp. 190-205. 35 See JC, 22 April 1887, p. 7.</page><page sequence="11">160 John M. Shaftesley comers might rather have appeared in the sympathetic role of 'dissenting Catholics', worthy of encouragement. The earliest and for a time most prominent Jewish names in Free? masonry were those of Sephardim. I find it hard to follow Professor Katz's dictum about 'a new type of Jew emerging' at this period, making his 'first appearance' 'among the Sephardim of England, Holland and France', 'aspiring to full membership' in Western society.36 These former 'New Christians' and crypto-Jews and their immediate descendants born here, world-wide traders, cannot have been other than Western in style and upbring? ing for a few hundred years, differing from the repressed East European Jews who followed them. And when he goes on to interrelate the 'direct, reciprocal influence' exerted by Masonry and the Jewish Reform Movement, I do not understand how this phenomenon, as he calls it,37 can have occurred with active 'Jew? ish' lodges opened in London in the eighteenth century when 'Reform Judaism' had not yet reached the Jewish vocabulary and Jewish Reform not really manifesting itself until the early nineteenth century, even allowing for such 'early warnings' as the coincidence of Haskalah and the Enlightenment movement.38 The pressures on Jews in the later German Masonic lodges are a different matter, native to that country and its attitudes. Roman Catholics could not normally be? come Freemasons, owing to Papal opposition to the Movement, although there were some very distinguished Catholics among the high officers in the early days.39 Only in very recent times has there been some indication (reported, for instance, in The Times40) of a softening of this attitude by the Papal authorities, in a negative rather than positive way, based on the potential Catholic Freemason's own conscience. The hostility to Freemasonry, expressed officially in Papal Bulls in 1738 and 1751, was largely founded on the sometimes justified fears of political 'secret societies,' with which Freemasonry was in many minds uncritically lumped, and religious misgivings over sup? posed opposition or rivalry to received religious doctrine. Similar fears have been expressed on the Jewish behalf by some Rabbis, who in addition have thought that Freemasonry is another road to conversion. I have a recollec? tion of a Rabbinic anti-Masonic responsum which I read as from the London Beth Din records, and another responsum recorded in the Hebrew journal Or Hamizrach, of New York, in April 1955, leaves no doubt about the exces? sive concern of some Rabbis on the subject. The article is by Professor Arthur Hyman, son of a former Rosh Hashochetim in London, from a manuscript in his possession.41 The author of the responsum, Rabbi Eliezer Berg? mann, one of the earliest German settlers in the 36 See Katz, op. cit., pp. 2-3. 37 Ibid., pp. 93-95, where Katz expands his reference to the supposed correlation between Freemasonry and Reform Judaism. He begins by noting that the founder of the Frankfort Morgen r?the Lodge (formed because of the implacable opposition of German Christian lodges), 'Sigmund Geisenheimer . . . was also the founder of Philan? thropin, an exemplary school of the Reform move? ment,' and, to strengthen this thesis, adds the names of other well-known Philanthropin founders, such as Hess, Creizenach, and Jost, who influenced the local community towards Reform. But all this took place from 1804, about ninety years after the regularising of English Freemasonry. 38 Ibid., pp. 4-5. 39 The first anti-Masonic Papal Bull was that of Clement XII, In Eminente, 1738; Benedict XIV issued his Providas in 1751; and the nineteenth century saw several other such Papal edicts. Lord Petre (1742 -1801), a Roman Catholic?but rather a wayward one, it is true--became a Freemason in March 1771 and was elected Grand Master in May 1772. 40 See, e.g., report from Rome in foreign news of The Times, 19 Oct. 1974, headed 'Vatican eases ban on Freemasons'. 41 I am most grateful to Mr. A. Schischa for a photocopy of this article and a synopsis. Since delivering this paper I have traced my reference to the London Beth Din, and Mr. Schischa has kindly confirmed it for me and enlarged the information from his copy of the relevant volume, the late David S. Sassoon's catalogue of his collection, Ohel Dawid, Vol. 1 (Oxford, 1932), p. 376. The item occurs in MS. No. 618, a calendar and diary of Eleazar b. Aaron b. Saadia Iraki Hacohen, who was a well-known printer of Hebrew and Aramaic books in Calcutta, where he was teacher, shochet, etc. Referring to Eleazar's diary of between 1840 and 1860, the Sassoon catalogue states: 'We learn . . . from page 5a that the London Beth Din prohibited Jews from becoming Freemasons. The entry reads: p D^KIP *U ??TlOKhrulK</page><page sequence="12">Jews in English Regular Freemasonry 161 Holy Land and a friend of the London Chief Rabbi, Dr. Nathan Adler, was replying to a question put to him by Rabbi Nathan Katz, of Philadelphia, on behalf of an unnamed Jew who, after being severely rebuked for this 'contamination', now had qualms about having become a Freemason. Rabbi Katz said they knew the form of this 'contamination,' having been informed by Rabbi Benjamin Lilienthal (an early nineteenth-century German Rabbi who went to Cincinnati, U.S.A., and then in 1847 to Palestine). Freemasonry was 'anti? social,' 'lawless' (from a Jewish point of view), 'secretive,' 'treasonable,' practising the Hellen? istic vices from drinking to wife-swapping, he thought. It was justifiable to snatch back one of our brethren into the shelter of the Shechinah (Godhead), especially as the sins committed en? tailed not keeping the Sabbath or other mitzvot (holy commands) and also led Jews into Christian paths. He added that he had heard that the late Rabbi Eliakim of Hebron (d. 1846) had refused to allow a Cohen (priest, descendant of Aaron) who became a Free? mason to duchan (bless the congregation). Another authority consulted by Rabbi Berg? mann was the old Rav of Jerusalem, Rabbi Zundle of Salant, who had said that it was well known that Freemasons were complete un? believers and a man he knew had left them in great fear of their possible reprisals. Rabbi Bergmann advises Rabbi Katz that he must use his own judgment in imposing terms for the return of the sinner to the fold?the ways of repentance included a promise to abjure Free? masonry completely, to fast on the anniversary of leaving, and afterwards to make a sort of minor Tomtov (festival) of thanksgiving, with only a token meal, and offer tsedakah (charity) for the deserving poor. Only thus would he become a baal teshuvah (repentant). It depended on the Rabbi's judgment?these Jewish Free? masons could still be saved, because after all they were not really outside the bounds of Judaism. Alas for these good Rabbis, who had been undoubtedly influenced by and had magnified the attitudes of some German 'Freemasons' whose antisemitism was a byword. On the other side was the support for Freemasonry manifested by the former Chief Rabbi, the Very Rev. Dr. J. H. Hertz, Past District Grand Chaplain (Transvaal), who officiated, to? gether with Dayan Harris M. Lazarus, of the London Beth Din, the Rev. S. Frampton, Past Provincial Grand Chaplain, West Lancashire, of Liverpool, and the Revs. Harris Cohen, W. Levin, E. Spero, and Isaac Aarons, with the Rev. Morris Rosenbaum, Past Provincial Grand Chaplain, Northumberland, as the preacher, at the first Masonic Service held at a synagogue in England, the Brondesbury Synagogue, on Sunday, 28 October 1923. The service was arranged in aid of the funds of the Jewish Orphanage and of the Masonic Hospital by the Lodge of Tranquillity in con? junction with several other lodges.42 If we add that the Emeritus Chief Rabbi, Sir Israel Brodie, is a Past Grand Chaplain of the Order, Dr. Solomon Gaon, the Haham (chief Rabbi) of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation, is a Past Master, and that a member interested in Masonic research was Elkan Adler (d. 1946), the son of one Chief Rabbi, Dr. Nathan Adler, and the brother of another, Dr. Her? mann Adler, we do not need to emphasise further the attitude of so many present-day Jewish religious leaders. There are, strictly speaking, only three recognised degrees in regular Freemasonry, leading to Master Mason. These degrees do not have a Christological signification. Much has been said and written vaguely of 'Christian degrees,' but such things are exotic outgrowths, unknown to most Masons?and they have in very recent times been matched by what I suppose should by analogy be called 'Jewish degrees' invented by some enthusiastic Israeli Freemasons. It would be unreal, nevertheless, to give the impression that all was always sweetness and light in Freemasonry vis-a-vis Jews. A few lodges in early days did pass resolutions ex? cluding Jews from membership, one historian explaining this, or excusing it, by saying that 'In many lodges . . . until the time of the Union 42 I express my gratitude to Mr. Marcus Carr, Clerk to the Chief Rabbi's Court, London, for a photocopy of the combined Jewish and Masonic Order of Service.</page><page sequence="13">162 John M. Shaftesley [1813] there is evidence that Christian allusions were frequently used . . . The presence there? fore of Jews in such lodges would not have been seemly.'43 The first such resolution that I have found is from the minutes of the Lodge of Friendship in November 1752.44 It arose out of the proposal of a Jew as a member, the name of the proposer being Oliver Newman, who had himself been initiated in January of the same year, and among his contemporaries was Israel Millman, who was initiated in the same month as the resolution and who went on to occupy various offices, being elected Master of the lodge in December 1755. In August 1793 the Lodge of Tranquillity and in August 1796 the Mount Moriah Lodge passed similar resolutions,45 but there was an ironic 'revenge' in 1849, when the Lodge of Tranquillity was in very low water and the infusion of 15 Jewish Masons from the Lodge of Joppa revived it (they left Joppa because of a dispute over the election of new officers). All these resolutions, incidentally, soon became dead letters. Tranquillity for long considered itself the oldest 'Jewish' lodge, founded in 1787;46 Joppa, founded in 1789, is also con sidered a 'Jewish' lodge, but it too did not begin as such. There were one or two Jewish sounding names in Tranquillity in 1795, but the influx of Jews began only in 1800. (Katz has a note in which he relies on Matthias Levy, writing on 'Jews as Freemasons' in the Jewish Chronicle in 1898,47 but wrongly concludes that the Lodge of Joppa was 'founded after 1799' and was a 'Jewish' lodge. The facts are as I have just given them.) I should explain what is meant by a 'Jewish' lodge. There is actually no such thing in the official sense, as no lodge is divided off accord? ing to religion and it may, and many do, con? tain members of various religions and sects. It is a shorthand way of describing a lodge which has decided, as it has the right to, to adopt by? laws providing, for instance, for a Jewish dietary for its meals, the use, if wished, of the Hebrew Grace before and after meals, apart from the neutral Grace common to most, and an avoidance of meetings on the Jewish Sabbath and other holy days. There are paral? lels in other lodges, which may be even more confining by accepting members from a certain school, university, regiment, etc.; in fact, Jewish lodges have non-Jewish members among them and always have had. But all gladly receive visitors from other lodges. Under these criteria the Lodge of Israel, London, founded in 1793, is the oldest 'Jewish' lodge extant. It has the good fortune to possess almost all its records from that date, which show that its founders and members came largely from Ashkenazi Jewish tradesmen in the Plast End area. It even has some financial details of an unfinalised deposit account with the New Synagogue in the early period, which I guess was really a burial fund for members of the lodge and their families. As the lists unfold into Victorian times?and this is equally true for the other 'Jewish' lodges?one sees a gradual trend into a more middle-class element, with a sprinkling of intellectuals and professional men, reflecting the economic pro? gress of the successive generations. In many respects the same observation holds good for other lodges besides the 'Jewish', because the cost of belonging rose as the Industrial Age 43 See Rotch, op. cit., p. 80. 44 Ibid., from a minute of 2 Nov. 1752: 'Br. Newman proposed a Jew to be made a Mason; the question being put for and against, it was by order of ye Master to be decided by a holding up of hands, which was carried in ye negative, and concluded that for ye future no Jew should be recommended or admitted in ye Lodge.' The author goes on with the extenuation mentioned above (note 43). The resolution seems soon to have been forgotten, judging by the apparently Jewish names of several members afterwards. 45 Several writers on Masonic affairs have related the story of these two resolutions, but unaccountably they seem to have missed the earlier one noted by the historian of the Lodge of Friendship (see note 44). 46 Immediately after my paper was delivered, three prominent members of the Lodge of Tran? quillity, at least one of them an officer of the lodge, who had been in the audience, told me that the lodge no longer considered itself as Jewish'. As mentioned above, the Lodge of Tranquillity took a leading part in arranging the first Masonic service ever to be held in a British synagogue, in 1923, and as recently as 1972 the Lodge of Tranquillity sponsored the founding of the Ajex Lodge?'Ajex', as is well known, means Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men (and Women). 47 See Katz, op. cit., c. 1, note 15.</page><page sequence="14">Jews in English Regular Freemasonry 163 advanced and living standards were raised. It is true, as I remarked early on, that the nobility found Freemasonry a congenial area for their patronage and some of their lodges dined in style, but the average lodge gave itself a modest meal?usually bread and cheese, beer and tobacco?during the course of the proceedings. This simple fare was suited to the venue of the meeting, normally a tavern, and from the records of the Lodge of Israel we can draw some names of Jewish tavern owners occasion? ally, who were the caterers as well as members. There is one amusingly disgraceful episode recorded in the minutes in December 1796, when some of the brethren deliberately created a disturbance and a Brother Keys 'took a pott and drank, turn'd round &amp; blew a mouthful of beer over Br. Barnett's head'. The unfortunate Br. Barnett was a butcher from Middlesex Street and, who knows, he may very likely have been the progenitor of the later famous meat firm ofthat name and that address. Later, meals became richer and were taken separately from the routine business of the lodge. The advance in status is mirrored in minutes of April 1856 describing the resolve to move the place of meeting to Bro. Seyd's Family Hotel, Finsbury Square, a well-known kosher hotel. There was also a Bro. Silver who was proposed in 1859 as 'Inspector-General' to the lodge, which, as Bro. Silver was a caterer, I take to mean shomer (supervisor) for the kosher meals, especially as not long after his son Michael became a member and their firm became the leading caterers to the Jewish community, operating from banqueting rooms at 117 Gower Street.48 English Freemasonry spread far abroad, partly by the establishment of military, naval, and colonial lodges and partly through ex? ample. There were lodges in Germany which, modelled on th