WE have already intimated that with Queen Elizabeth the royal family of Tudors lost all claim to the crown of England. Soon after Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded, a question arose as to whom Elizabeth's successor would be. The Infanta of Spain had a party ready to urge her claims, as had Arabella Stuart, but the nobility, with but few exceptions, turned their eye to King James VI, of Scotland. Nor is it remarkable that the far seeing Britons should quietly acquiesce in the reign of the Stuarts, when we remember that it had long been a favorite project with the Kings and Parliaments of England, to bring Wales, Scotland, and Ireland under the government of England; and thus far having failed to consummate their wishes by means of the sword, recourse was had to diplomatic policy.
While we do not question the right which James derived by royal descent, we very much doubt whether the English would have submitted quietly to be governed by a Scotchman, had it not been for the grasping propensity of the Saxon race to extend their dominion. James had not been idle; on the contrary, he instructed his ambassador at the English Court, Edward Bruce, to use all his efforts to obtain from the Queen, a promise to name him as her successor. This, however, at the time, she declined doing; when Bruce was instructed to sound the nobility, which he did, with so much effect as to gain the promise of nearly all the prominent men that James should have their preference against all pretenders, which may have had some effect upon the mind of the Queen, as she did, shortly before her death, and when she was most probably deranged, name her cousin as her successor. His claims being thus settled, immediately on the death of the Queen, 1604, the lords of   the council declared James King of England and Scotland, and Sir Charles Perry and Thomas Somerset, were dispatched to bear the tidings to him, having a letter of congratulation, etc., signed by all the peers and privy councilmen then in London, which had the effect to suppress all further efforts in behalf of the Infanta, Arabella Stuart, and the Earl of Hertford. Thus did James I commence his reign, without serious opposition. Here we date the beginning of Scotland's downfall. That noble love of independence and martial spirit, which so eminently characterized that people, was swallowed up in a spirit of rejoicing at having the opportunity of furnishing their ancient enemies with a king; and along with this, the opinion prevailed that the effect would be to enlarge the commerce and greatly increase the prosperity of Scotland; but, instead of reaping the advantages expected, a depression succeeded, and Scotland was soon regarded as only an appendage of England. We will, however, better instruct our readers, by making the following extract from Dr. Robertson, the able historian. He says: " The Scots, dazzled with the glory of giving a sovereign to their powerful enemy, relying on the partiality of their native prince, and in full expectation of sharing in the wealth and honors which he would now be able to bestow, attended little to the most obvious consequences of that great event, and rejoiced at his accession to the throne of England, as if it had been no less beneficial to the kingdom than honorable to the King." By his accession, James acquired such an immense increase of wealth, power, and splendor, that the nobles, astonished and intimidated, thought it vain to struggle for privileges which they were now unable to defend. Nor was it from fear alone they submitted to the yoke; James, partial to his countrymen, and willing that they should partake in his good fortune, loaded them with riches and honors; and the hope of his favor, concurred with the dread of his power in taming their fierce and independent spirits. The will of the Prince became the supreme law in Scotland, and the nobles strove with emulation who should most implicitly obey commands which they had formerly been accustomed to contemn. The extensive rights, vested in  a feudal chief, became, in their hands, dreadful instruments, and the military ideas on which these rights were founded, being gradually lost or disregarded, nothing remained to correct or mitigate the rigor with which they were exercised; for the King, satisfied with having subjected the nobles to the crown, left them in full possession of their ancient jurisdiction over their own vassals. The nobles, exhausting their fortunes by the expense of frequent attendance upon the English court, and by attempts to imitate the manners and luxury of their more wealthy neighbors, multiplied exactions upon the people, who durst hardly utter complaints which they knew would never reach the ear of their sovereign, nor move him to grant them redress. "From the union of the crowns, to the revolution of 1688, Scotland was placed in a political situation, of all others the most singular and unhappy; subjected at once to the absolute will of a monarch, and to the oppressive jurisdiction of an aristocracy, it suffered all the miseries peculiar to both these forms of government. Its kings were despotic, its nobles were slaves and tyrants, and the people governed under the rigorous domination of both."
We have said that James omitted to appoint a Grand Master in Scotland, which may have been owing to the fact that, by his elevation to the throne of England, he became, by prerogative, Grand Master of England, and therefore left to the Grand Lodge of Scotland to choose a Grand Master; for we find him yielding the same right to the Grand Lodge of England, and approved of their choice of Inigo Jones. The King ordered him to draw a plan of a palace at Whitehall, whereupon the old banqueting house was pulled down, and the King, with Grand Master Jones, his Warden, William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and Nicholas Stone (Master Mason to His Majesty), together with many of the Fraternity, proceeded in ample form to lay the corner stone of a new banqueting house. The ceremony of laying the corner stone was the same then that it is now, except that it was then customary to hear the sound of trumpets and the huzzas of the spectators when the Grand Master used his gavel upon the stone. It was also customary to find on the stone a large purse of gold, either presented  by the King, or contributed by the people, for the benefit of the Masons. Now, we are not disposed to quarrel with our brethren of the present day for dispensing with much of the noise and parade formerly used, but we much regret that the good old custom of taking up a collection on such occasions for the benefit of infirm brothers, or the widows and orphans, has been done away with. Almost all other benevolent societies appeal frequently to those who are not members to contribute to their associations, and we can see no good reason why Masons should not do the same.
While we may not so far violate the venerated custom of our Order as to furnish any statistics of benefits bestowed or relief afforded, nor publish to the world the manner or the amount of alms annually given, we do feel at liberty to say that the Masons expend more in benevolence, in proportion to their numbers, than any other society in the world; and the only reason why this fact is not generally known is, that the rules of our Order require us to act, in this particular, under the instructions of the Bible giving all alms in secret. But to return.
The new banqueting hall was supposed to be the finest specimen of pure architecture in the world; since the days of Augustus. The room set apart as the banqueting hall was thought to be the largest in the world.
In a manuscript of Nicholas Stone, which was burned in 1720, it is said that " the best Craftsmen from all parts resorted to Grand Master Jones, who always allowed good wages, and seasonable times for instructions in the Lodges, which he constituted with excellent By Laws, and made them like the schools and academies of the designers of Italy. He also held the quarterly communications of the Grand Lodge of Masters and Wardens, and the annual general assembly and feast on St. John's day, when he was annually re-chosen until A.D. 1618, in which year William, Earl of Pembroke, was chosen Grand Master, and being approved by the King, he appointed Inigo Jones his Deputy Grand Master."
Historians tell us that Masonry flourished in this reign. The King, being a Mason, was qualified to judge of the great merit  of patronizing the Society, and he did do all he could, under the circumstances, but his extravagant manner of living, and the mean and niggardly supplies voted him by Parliament, prevented him from carrying on any extensive improvements. Indeed, such was the jealousy of the English Parliament to anything Scottish, they even withheld a decent supply for fear the King would lavish a portion of it upon some of his brothel Scotchmen.
The King died A.D. 1625, and was succeeded by his son, Charles I, aged twenty five years, who had been previously made a Mason, and waiving his right to Solomon's chair, the Earl of Pembroke continued to fill that office until he resigned in 1630.
The King was well skilled in the arts, and a lover and encourager of the sciences. He encouraged foreign painters, sculptors, and statuaries; but, justly regarding Inigo Jones the ablest and best architect in the world, he permitted no foreigner to furnish a design for any public building.
Upon the resignation of the Earl of Pembroke, the Grand Lodge made choice of Henry Danvers, Earl of Danby, which selection was approved by the King. This Grand Master made Inigo Jones his deputy, who drew the plans of all public buildings. In A.D. 1633, Thomas Howard was chosen Grand Master, and was succeeded in A.D. 1635, by Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford, who soon after resigned, and Inigo Jones was again chosen to fill Solomon's chair. During the government of this distinguished architect and able Grand Master, civil war broke out which almost set at naught all statutory laws, and introduced a destructive anarchy. The Puritans had, within a few years, become so numerous as to furnish Parliament with scores of fanatics, and, as is generally the case, that party which clamored loudest for tolerance, no sooner possessed the power than it became far more intolerant than the party it opposed. The Roundheads, or Puritans, so far succeeded as to get the control of all the measures of state policy. About this time the Roman Catholics of Ireland rose en masse, and massacred forty thousand Protestants without regard to sex or age. This inhuman and fiendish butchery, perpetrated in the name of the holy religion, caused the King  who was a warm churchman, to convene the Parliament, and again ask for supplies; but the Puritans, being in the majority, and feeling almost as much hatred for churchmen as Catholics, refused to furnish the money necessary to preserve peace in the kingdom, and even insinuated that the King was at the bottom of the massacre. Charles pursued a vacillating course toward his enemies, sometimes threatening the severest and most summary punishment, and next conceding all that was asked, until, emboldened by this advantage, Parliament threw off all disguise, and raised an army for the avowed purpose of protecting the liberties of the people, but in reality with no other design than to establish their fanaticisms and jargon, as the religion of the kingdom. In repeated battles, the Royalists and Roundheads were alternately victorious, until the gambling brewer, Oliver Cromwell, made his appearance, and became the great leader of the rebellion. This illiterate street brawler soon acquired more unlimited power than had been exercised by any king of England for centuries before; nor did he fail to exercise that power in such manner as tended most certainly to his own elevation.
Cromwell was not only brave and daring, but if nature ever designed men to lead armies to bloodshed and slaughter, Cromwell and Napoleon were of the number. The immortal Washington was not better fitted to lead a little band of patriots in defense of their liberties than was Cromwell to direct the wild enthusiasm of a bigoted, besotted, and ignorant multitude. Who, for example, but Cromwell could have sent five hundred men under the command of a journeyman tailor, remarkable only for his ignorance and brutality, to take the person of the King from his palace, and convey him as a prisoner to the camp, and thus lay the foundation of his overthrow and death. After retaining the King as long as he thought good policy required, Cromwell instituted a mock tribunal, and giving him a mock trial, had him condemned and beheaded, A.D. 1649.
In no country has Masonry flourished while that country was cursed with civil commotions. The genius and spirit of the Institution, covet the shades of retirement and the gentle smile  of peace and quietness; love the strong bond of union can not bloom in its wonted freshness and vigor while civil wars are turning neighbor against neighbor, and father against son; but now, as ever, though its light burned but dimly, still did it continue to burn. Its altars were much neglected, but not forsaken. Masons occasionally held their meetings and practiced their sacred rites. Partly to prove this fact, and partly to indulge our fondness for the preservation of old documents, we here insert an extract from the manuscripts of Elias Ashmole. He says: "I was made a Freemason at Warrington, Lancashire, with Colonel Henry Mainwaring, of Kenthingham, in Cheshire, by Mr. Richard Penkle, the Warden, and the Fellow Crafts (whose names he gives), on the 16th of October, A.D. 1646."
From the best light we have, this was about five years before the death of Inigo Jones, though Preston says lie died in this year; but as Hume, Anderson, and others agree in stating this event as happening in A.D. 1651, we infer that Preston is mistaken. Indeed, we are tempted to believe that Preston's statement of the time is an error in print, for we can not believe that historians should differ about the time of the decease of the most distinguished architect the world probably ever produced. He it was, that introduced the Augustan style of architecture into England, and, if we may believe some of the most judicious and unprejudiced writers, there are specimens of his skill still to be seen, that amply prove the merit of his great fame.
On the restoration of Charles II, in 1660, who had suffered much in exile, and knew the value of Masonry, he now embraced the earliest opportunity to restore the ancient Order to its wonted prosperity. On the 27th of December, 1663, a general assembly of Masons was held under the following authority of the King: "Whereas, amongst our regal hereditary titles (to which, by Divine Providence, and the loyalty of our good subjects we are now happily restored), nothing appears to us more august, or more suitable to our pious disposition, than that of Father of our Country, a name of indulgence as well as dominion, wherein we would imitate the benignity of Heaven,  which, in the same shower, yields thunder and violets, and no sooner shakes the cedars, but, dissolving the clouds, drops fatness. We, therefore, out of a paternal care of our people, resolve, together with those laws which tend to the well administration of government, and the people's allegiance to us, inseparably to join the supreme law of salus populi, that obedience may be manifestly, not only to the public, but private felicity of every subject, and the great concern of his satisfactions and enjoyments in this life. The way to so happy a government, we are sensible, is in no manner more facilitated than by the promoting of the useful arts and sciences, which, upon mature inspection, are found to be the basis of civil communities and free governments, and which gather multitudes by an orphan charm, into cities, and connect them in companies; that so, by laying in a stock; as it were, of several arts and methods of industry, the whole body may be supplied by a mutual convenience of each other's peculiar faculties, and, consequently, that the various miseries and toils of this frail life may, by as many various expedients ready at hand, be remedied or alleviated, and wealth and plenty diffused in just proportion to one's industry; that is, to every one's deserts. And there is no question, but the same policy that founds a city, doth nourish and increase it; since these mentioned allurements to a desire of cohabitation do not only occasion populosity of a country, but render it more potent and wealthy than a more populous, but more barbarous nation; it being the same thing to add more hands, or by the assistance of art to facilitate labor and bring it within the power of the few.
"Wherefore, our reason has suggested to us, and our own experience in our travels in foreign kingdoms and states, hath abundantly confirmed that we prosecute effectually the advancement of natural experimental philosophy, especially those parts of it which concern the increase of commerce, by the addition of useful inventions tending to the ease, profit, or health of our subjects; which will best be accomplished by a company of ingenious and learned persons, well qualified for this sort of knowledge, to make it their principal care and study, and to be constituted a regular Society for this purpose,  endowed with all proper privileges and immunities. Not that herein we would withdraw the least ray of our influence from the present established nurseries of good literature and education, founded by the piety of our royal ancestors and others, to be perpetual fountains of religion and laws that religion and those laws, which, as we are obliged to defend, so the holy blood of our martyred father hath inseparably endeared to us; but that we purpose to make further provision for this branch of knowledge, likewise, natural experimental philosophy which comprehends all that is required towards those intentions we have recited; taking care in the first place for religion, so next for the riches and ornament of our kingdoms: as we wear an imperial crown in which flowers are alternately intermixed with the ensigns of Christianity.
"And whereas, we are well informed that a competent number of persons of eminent learning, ingenuity, and honor, concording in their inclinations and studies towards this employment, have for some time accustomed themselves to meet weekly, and orderly to confer about the hidden causes of things, with a design to establish certain, and correct uncertain, theories in philosophy; and by their labors in the disquisition of nature to approve themselves real benefactors of mankind: and that they have already made considerable progress by divers useful and remarkable discoveries, inventions, and experiments in the improvement of mathematics, mechanics, astronomy, navigation, physic, and chemistry we have determined to grant our royal favor, patronage, and all due encouragement to this illustrious assembly, and so beneficial and laudable an enterprise."
How many of our readers will be able to discover in this singularly worded document, a warrant authorizing the Masons to hold an assembly, we can not divine; for we confess, if we had found it disconnected with the subject of Masonry, we never should have suspected its connection with the Society. But we find it recorded by Dr. Anderson" who says it was drawn by Dr. Christopher Wren, father of the celebrated Sir Christopher Wren. Of one thing we feel satisfied, that if this charier is to be regarded as a fair specimen of the legal  instruments of that day, men must have possessed a much keener penetration then than now; for it is to be presumed that no document of the kind would emanate from the King which did not admit of being understood by others than the writer.
At the assembly held under and by the authority of this, charter, Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans, was chosen Grand Master, who appointed Sir John Denham Surveyor General of the Royal Marks. Mr. Christopher Wren and Mr. John Webb were appointed Grand Wardens. On December 27, 1663, this Grand Master held a general assembly and feast, when the following regulations were adopted:
"1. That no person of what degree soever, be made or accepted a Freemason, unless in a regular Lodge, whereof one to be a Mason or 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.
"3. That no person hereafter who shall be accepted a Freemason shall be admitted into a 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 enroll the same in a roll of parchment, to be kept for that purpose, 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 that 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. 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."
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