masonry in France in the eighteenth centur

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Aug 9, 2020, 11:36:40 AM8/9/20
,+*%Q*%%$ influences of various $*>% &$$ctia $ *a9.+* ,e kinds that contributed to $*.P g,..," . ?>,".!& the establishment of
+-c -v **%'.a masonry in France in the
eighteenth century-some authorities even
maintain that it was introduced there by
Irish Jacobites. The cult was apparently
non-existent in France until 1721. In that
year, an English Catholic nobleman, Lord
Derwentwater, and an Irishman,
O'Hegarty, a prominent shipowner,
established at Dunkirk the first civil
lodge in that country. Four years later,
they established a similar one at Paris,
while, in 1732, 'one Martin Kelly'
Regiment functioning at St Germain-enLaye which was made up of Lallys,
Lynches, Burkes, O'Neills, Dillons,
MacDonnells, Fitzgeralds. . . . And at
this time, too, Jacobite influences in
various French masonic clubs were
shown by the names given to new
degrees-'Irish Master' 'Perfect Irish
Master', 'Puissant Irish Master,' &c.
In his interesting work, La Francmaconnerie en France des origines a 1815,
the Catholic writer, Gustave Bord, states:
And Louis Madelin . . . perhaps the most
dispassionate historian of the Revolution,
in his analysis of political and social
conditions in France immediately before
that event, writes in La Revolution
Franqaise (1911) that the army, which was
the cradle in France of freemasonry,
introduced by the Irish regiments from
England, continued to be its favourite
For some time before the outbreak of
the Revolution, the masonic clubs, under
the sinister influence of German
Illuminism, were undoubtedly active
centres of intrigue against the Monarchy
and the Church. The majority of the
founded the first lodge at
Bordeaux. The lodges
were largely composed of
Jacobite exiles and their
main object was the
restoration of the Stuarts
to the English throne.
At that period, it was,
however, in the French
army that the chief
strength of masonry lay,
and this continued right
up to the Revolution, in
the causation of which it
is now seen more and
more clearly, as has been
stated elsewhere, that
masonic influences played
a large part. The number
of lodges in the various
regiments increased from
the year 1750 to the
outbreak of the Revolution in 1789, and various
dates during that interval
mark the years of their
constitution. In the official
list of French lodges, that
of Walsh's ~risk~e~iment (La Loge
Parfaite Egalite') always took premier
place. In 1772, the Grand Lodge of
France definitely recognised it as the
senior Field Lodge of the French army
and, in addition, admitted its claim to
date its constitution from the year 1688.
This was confirmed by the Grand Orient
in 1777. (The regiment, which was
originally that of Roth, did not leave
Ireland until 1691). In the middle of the
eighteenth century we find the military
lodge of this regiment composed of
MacCarthys, Butlers, Nagles,
O'Callaghans, Husseys, Keatings,
FitzPatricks and othe~representatives of
old Irish Catholic fatiiilies. At the same
period there was a lodge in Dillon's
After the battle of Fontenoy.
For more than a hundred years French nobles had been members, but on
historians and economists are asking seeing the trend of opinion in their circles
why a country so fundamentally they began to leave the clubs during the
monarchical and Catholic as France years immediately previous to 1789.
could have suddenly chariged its ideals In the first year of the Revolution
and faith . . . France was sick at the end there was a well known masonic club in
of the eighteenth century and that Paris, the Club de la Propagande, whose
sickness was due largely to masonry and object was not only to consolidate the
pnrticularly to the masonic spirit. It is Revolution in France but to spread its
there we must look for the real causes principles to other countries. The leading
and logical explanation of the Revolution figures of the time were among its
. . . . In 1689, the Irish regiments members-Robespierre, Lafayette, Conembarked for France with their military dorcet, Danton, Abbe Gregoire and
rolls and their masonic rolls-the form-em &hers. The names of its Irish members
were executive agents, the latter the are given in the records as 'Boyle, Okard
directive power. It was through the and O'Konnor.'
Jacobites, who followed James the Second
into France, that masonry was (Reprinted from Ireland and Irishmen
introduced into the French army. in the French Revolution, London, 1932)
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