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
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
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.
Web site created by Mark Griffin