ISSUE 11, October 2004
Elias Ashmole: Masonic Icon
Travel: The magical beauty of Scotland
Honoured: By the Glovers' livery company
The Theatre: Strong links between Craft and stage
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Mauritius: Fascinating Masonic history
Rochester Cathedral: Kent Masons' magnificent fresco
Clerkenwell: 25 years of Masonry
  Bravery award: One Mason's heroism is honoured
Christmas shopping: What to buy in London's West End
High flight: Helping terminally ill children
Jewels of the Craft: An essential part of Masonry
Library & Museum: John Pine exhibition and Library & Museum Trust report
Masonic education: Events for Masons; Quatuor Coronati Lodge; Mentors for new Masons
Charities: Masons provide emergency aid for flood victims; Charity news; Demelza gives voice
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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The first ten editions of the Transactions contained a coloured plate, known as a St John's card


They have also provided a reservoir from which speakers – and many subsequent full members of the Lodge – have been drawn, and they have regularly provided peer review of delivered papers with both verbal and written comments ranging from the informed to the incendiary.
    And that work goes on, maintaining the standard of excellence that began with the founders, and ensuring that QC continues to inspire the many Masonic research bodies that have sprung up in its wake.
    The early members of the Lodge were largely, but not exclusively, concerned with investigating the origins of Masonry and ‘Masonic archaeology’: parallels with ancient and primitive initiatic societies, and the curiosities of Masonic custom and usage.
    Such papers generally reflected the views of the ‘authentic’ school, and some early members wished to take a different approach. In 1893 Dr. Westcott urged his fellow members to pay attention ‘to the mystical rather than the material; to the allegorical rather than the historic aspect’, but he received scant support and comparatively few speculative papers of this nature have been delivered and published.
    But some of those few have been of great importance: one of them altered the very direction of the Craft. This was J.R. Rylands’ 1964 paper on ‘The Masonic Penalties’ which started the debate that led eventually to their removal from the Obligations in the Craft Degrees.
    Others have been concerned with setting the growth and development of the Craft in its social context, and with exploring the art and literature of Freemasonry and the curious byways that lie beyond the Craft. Some of our most recent papers have reflected a significant change in the whole field of Masonic research. Today the majority of scholars engaged in this are non-Masons, many of them being women, and QC now includes papers by established non-Masonic scholars in its programme.
    With this shift in approach we not only face up to an admittedly uncomfortable reality, but we also encourage Freemasons in their scholarly labours, and thus ensure that research conducted within the Craft is maintained at a high standard and receives due recognition from the academic community.
    QC is not, however, an academic institution. It is a private Lodge like any other, composed of regular Masons and conducting regular Masonic work. Lodge members may disagree over controversial issues, but all of them can be justly described as experienced and ‘well-informed Masons’, and it is not surprising that a large proportion of Prestonian Lecturers have been drawn from their number. Many of the members have also had distinguished careers in the Craft: the M.W. the Pro Grand Master is an honorary member, and two Grand Secretaries have been members, as have almost all of the librarians and curators for Grand Lodge.
    Brethren are encouraged to support our work by joining the Correspondence Circle.
    On 20 October, at Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street, QC is hosting the official delivery to a London Lodge of the 2004 Prestonian Lecture: English Speculative Freemasonry: some possible Origins, Themes and Developments, by Trevor Stewart, PM of QC. The Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton, will be present and all Master Masons are welcome.
    As there will be a necessary limit on numbers, they should contact the office (details in the box) of QCCC Ltd. Preference will be given to members of the Correspondence Circle – so, if you are not yet a member, join now!

Robert A. Gilbert is a Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076
Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle is administered by QCCC Ltd. on behalf of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 – the Premier Lodge of Masonic Research

Membership is open to all Master Masons in good standing under the United Grand Lodge of England or other Grand Lodges in amity with it.
    Corporate membership is available to Lodges, chapters and all other regular Masonic bodies. The privileges of membership include receipt of the annual volume of AQC, the Lodge transactions, and the informative Lodge summonses.
    Members are entitled to attend all meetings of the Lodge, to participate in discussions, and – provided advance notice is given – to dine with members of the Lodge after meetings.
    Regular meeting dates are the third Thursday in February, the second Thursday in May, the fourth Thursday in June, the second Thursday in September and November (Installation).
    In addition, members may submit questions on all aspects of Masonry to the secretary, who will arrange for authoritative replies to be made, and may purchase publications of QCCC Ltd and all types of regalia at advantageous prices.
    Applications for membership and all other enquiries may be sent to:
The Secretary, Q.C. Correspondence Circle Limited, 20 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5BE.
T. 020 7405 7340. Fax: 020 7404 813.