תמונות בעמוד

Sir John Denharo, knt. his deputy, and Mr. (afterwards Sir) Christopher Wren,* and John Webb, his wardens. Several useful regulations-!* were

* He was the only son of Dr. Christopher Wren, dean of Windsor, and was born in 1632. His genius for arts and sciences appeared early. At the age of thirteen, he invented a new astronomical instrument, by the name of Pan-organum, and wrote a treatise on the origin of rivers. He invented a new pneumatic engine, and a peculiar instrument of use in gnomonics, to solve this problem, viz. * On a known plane, in a known elevation, to describe such lines with the expedite turning of candles to certain divisions, as by the shadow the style may show the equal hours of the day.' In 1646, at the age of fourteen, he was admitted a gentleman commoner in Wadham-college, Oxon, where he greatly improved under the instructions and friendship of Dr. John Wilkins and Dr. Seth Ward, who were gentlemen of great learning, and afterwards promoted by King Charles II. to the mitre. His other numerous juvenile productions in mathematics prove him to be a scholar of the highest eminence. He assisted Dr. Scarborough in anatomical preparations, and experiments upon the muscles of the human body; whence are dated the first introduction of geometrical and mechanical speculations in anatomy. He wrote discourses on the longitude; on the variations of the magnetical needle ; tie re uautica veterum; how to find the velocity of a ship in sailing; of the improvements of gallics; and how to recover wrecks. Beside these, he treated on the convenient way of using artillery on shipboard ; how to build on deep water; how to build a mole into the sea, without Puzzolan dust, or cisterns ; and of the improvement of river navigation, by the joining of rivers. In short, the works of this excellent genius appear to be rather the united efforts of a whole century, than the production of one man.

t Among other regulations made at this assembly were the following:

1. That no person, of what degree soever, be made or accepted a Freemason unless in a regular Lodge, whereof one to be a Master or a Warden in that limit or division where such Lodge is kept, and another to be a craftsman in the trade of Freemasonry.

2. That no person hereafter shall be accepted a Freemason, but such as are of able body, honest parentage, good reputation, and an observer of the laws of the land.

S. That no person hereafter who shall be accepted a Freemason, shall be admitted into any Lodge or assembly, until he has brought a certificate of the time and place of his acceptation from the Lodge that accepted him, unto the Master of that limit or division where such Lodge is kept. And the said Master shall enrol the same in a roll of parchment to be kept for that purpose,

made at this assembly, for the better government of the Lodges, and the greatest harmony prevailed among the Brethren at their various meetings.

Thomas Savage, Earl of Rivers, having succeeded the Earl of St. Alban's in the office of Grand Master in June, 1666, Sir Christopher Wren was appointed deputy under his lordship; in which office he distinguished himself more than any of his predecessors in promoting the prosperity of the few Lodges that occasionally met at this time, particularly the old Lodge at St. Paul's,* now the Lodge of Antiquity, which he patronised upwards of eighteen years. The honours which this celebrated character afterwards received in the Society, are evident proofs of the attachment of the Fraternity towards him.

and shall give an account of all such acceptations at every general assembly.

4. That every person who is now a Freemason, shall bring to the Master a note of the time of his acceptation, to the end the same may be enrolled in such priority of place as the Brother deserves; and that the whole company and fellows may the better know each other.

5. That for the future the said Fraternity of Freemasons shall be regulated and governed by one Grand Master, and as many Wardens as the said Society shall think fit to appoint at every annual general assembly.

6. That no person shall be accepted, unless he be twenty-one years old, or more.

Several records of the Society of this and the preceding reign were lost at the Revolution; and not a few were too hastily burnt in our own times by some scrupulous Brothers, from a fear of making discoveries prejudicial to the interests of the Order.

* It appears from the records of the Lodge of Antiquity, that Mr. Wren at this time attended the meetings regularly ; and that, during his presidency, he presented to that Lodge three mahogany candlesticks, which are still preserved, and highly prized, as a memento of the esteem of the honourable donor.


The History of Masonry in England from the Fire of London' to the Accession of George I.

The year 1666 afforded a singular and awful occasion for the utmost exertion of Masonic abilities. The city of London, which had been visited in the preceding year by the plague, to whose ravages, it is computed, above I0O,UOO of its inhabitants fell a sacrifice,-!- had scarcely recovered from the alarm of that dreadful contagion, when a general conflagration reduced the greatest part of the city within the walls to ashes. This dreadful fire broke out on the 2d of September, at the house of a baker in Pudding-lane, a wooden building, pitched on the outside, as were also all the rest of the houses in that narrow lane. The house being filled with fagots and brushwood, soon added to the rapidity of the flames, which raged with such fury as to spread four ways at once.

Jonas Moore and Ralph Gatrix, who were appointed surveyors on this occasion to examine the ruins, reported, that the fire over-ran 373 acres within the walls,' and burnt 13,000 houses, 89 pa

* For many of the particulars contained in this section, I am indebted to Mr. Noorthouck's edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in 1784; which, much to the honour of that gentleman, is executed in a masterly manner, and interspersed with several judicious remarks.

+ The streets were at this time narrow, crooked, and incommodious; the houses built chiefly of wood, close, dark, and ill-contrived ; with several stories projecting beyond each other as they rose, over the contracted streets. Thus the free circulation of air was obstructed, the people breathed a stagnant and unwholesome element, replete with foul effluvia, sufficient of itself to generate putrid disorders. From this circumstance, the inhabitants were continually exposed to contagious disorders, and the buildings to the ravages of fire.

rish churches, besides chapels, leaving only 11 parishes standing. The Royal Exchange, Customhouse, Guildhall, Black well-hall, St. Paul's cathedral, Bridewell, the two compters, fifty-two city companies' halls, and three city gates, were all demolished. The damage was computed at 10,000,0001. sterling*

After so sudden and extensive a calamity, it became necessary to adopt some regulations to guard against any such catastrophe in future. It was therefore determined, that in all the new buildings to be erected, stone and brick should be substituted in the room of timber. The King and the Grand Master immediately ordered Deputy Wren to draw up the plan of a new city, with broad and regular streets. He was also appointed surveyor-general and principal architect for rebuilding the city, the cathedral of St. Paul, and all the parochial churches enacted by parliament, in lieu of those that were destroyed, with other public structures. This gentleman, conceiving the charge too important for a single person, selected Mr. Robert Hook, professor of geometry in Greshamcollege, to assist him; who was immediately employed in measuring, adjusting, and setting out the ground of the private streets to the several proprietors. Dr. Wren's model and plan were laid before the King and the House of Commons, and the practicability of the whole scheme, without the infringement of property, clearly demonstrated: it unfortunately happened, however, that the greater part of the citizens were absolutely averse to alter their old possessions, and to recede from building their houses again on the old foundations. Many were unwilling to give up their properties into the hands of public trustees, till they should receive an

* Anderson's History of Commerce, vol, ii. p. 130.

equivalent of more advantage; while others expressed distrust. All means were tried to convince the citizens, that by removing all the church-yards, gardens, &c, to the outskirts of the city, sufficient room would be given to augment the streets, and properly to dispose of the churches, halls, and other public buildings, to the perfect satisfaction of every proprietor; but the representation of all these improvements had no weight. The citizens chose to have their old city again, under all its disadvantages, rather than a new one, the principles of which they were unwilling to understand, and considered as innovations. Thus an opportunity was lost, of making the new city the most magnificent, as well as the most commodious for health and trade, of any in Europe. The architect, cramped in the execution of his plan, was obliged to abridge his scheme, and exert his utmost labour, skill, and ingenuity, to model the city in the manner in which it has since appeared.

On the 23d of October 1667. the King in person levelled in form the foundation-stone of the new Royal Exchange, now allowed to be the finest in Europe; and on the 28th of September 1669, it was opened by the lord mayor and aldermen. Round the inside of the square, above the arcades, and between the windows, are the statues of the sovereigns of England. In the centre of the square, is erected the King's statue to the life, in a Cesarean habit of white marble, executed in a masterly manner by Mr. Gibbons, then Grand Warden of the Society.

In 1668, the Custom-house for the port of London, situated on the south side of Thames-street, was built, adorned with an upper and lower order of architecture. In the latter, are stone columns and an entablement of the Tuscan order; and in the former, are pilasters, entablature, and five pedi

« הקודםהמשך »