The Additional Degrees By Bernard Jones With additional information supplied by Mike Lawrence

Organised speculative masonry had not long emerged into the dim light of the early eighteenth century and begun to see itself as a system of three Craft degrees before Brethren were tempted to add ceremonies which sought to explain and extend those they already had. The lively, fertile mind of the French mason, who had received speculative masonry from England and was to return it with many elaborations, was soon at work devising rites, which, when introduced to the freemasons of Great Britain (as degrees of allegedly Scottish origin, it is thought) were welcomed in many quarters as amplifications of the ancient ceremonies with which they were now familiar.

It may help to restate very briefly the suggested explanation of how it came about that the earlier and more important of these innovations came to be widely accepted. Some of the innovations were of considerable interest, told an attractive story, exemplified a highly developed symbolism, or reintroduced a definitely Christian motif.

Royal & Seclect

Curiously, they were given the warmest encouragement by those who one might have thought would have been the most obstinate in refusing to have anything to do with them, for whereas the Premier Grand Lodge officially looked askance at this particular kind of innovation and continued to do so all through the eighteenth century, the “Antients”, who derided their opponents as being “Moderns”, were-paradoxically enough – the chief agents in the spread of the invented degrees.

Such authorities as W. J. Songhurst and J. Heron Lepper agree on this point. “I see in every British Knight Templar or Chevalier Rose Croix”, says the second of these writers, “a probable scion of “Antient” craft masonry.”

The additional degrees are often called the “higher degrees”, but the term seems hardly fair to “pure, ancient masonry.” The “highest” degrees must always remain those which authentic masonic history proves to be the oldest. They are the three Craft degrees. Other degrees may be designated by higher numbers, but in no sense other than, in some cases, that of a more highly developed symbolism, can they be said to be higher a statement which does not in any way detract from their value or beauty.

RAM_Logo-298x300

The Grand Lodges of England and of all English-speaking countries acknowledge the Craft degrees and, to a varying extent, Royal Arch masonry and Mark masonry. All other degrees are “additional” or “side” degrees, and among them the Rose Croix and the Knights Templar occupy honoured and exceptional places.

It would be unfair to conceal that there have been masonic students of great merit who would not agree with this judgment. For example, J. E. S. Tuckett contributed to A.Q.C., vol. xxxii, a learned paper inquiring into the development of the separate exclusive degrees, and in the course of it he expounded the theory that these degrees were founded on freemasonry’s pre-1717 “store of legend, tradition and symbolism of wide extent”, of which from 1717 the Grand Lodge, selecting only a portion of this store, gradually evolved the three Craft degrees and the Royal Arch. His views, highly controversial, received little support.

KTP

Experienced Brethren, whose opinions matter, agree that the better known and more important of the additional degrees possess special and peculiar value, and that in them is much that serves to throw a revealing light upon the symbolic content of the fundamental Craft degrees. But the words of W. J. Hughan in his small but valued work The English Rite should not be forgotten. He says:

“It is much to be regretted that after a lapse of over a hundred and fifty years [he was writing in, say, 1884] the inordinate craving to amplify, distort, and sometimes misrepresent the beautiful ceremonies of the Craft, which were, doubtless, in part adapted and continued from the older organization, has not yet exhausted itself.”

It will be understood that it is no part of the purpose of this chapter to enter into detailed explanation or discussion of the additional degrees. Instead is appended a list (by no means exhaustive) based upon one in C. Walton Rippon’s paper in the Transactions of the Merseyside Association for Masonic Research (vol. viii (1930), with addition information from Mike Lawrence.

A & A Rite

Each Order has its own entry criteria based on one or more of the following: 1) Belief in the Trinity, 2) Subscribing member of other specified Orders, 3) By invitation only.

(Note: The list is as complete as I could prepare at this time and the following Orders are compatible with the United Grand Lodge of England. I would be grateful for any amendments, corrections or additional Orders practised outside the English Constitution under other jurisdictions. Mike Lawrence)

The Holy Royal Arch

The Order of Mark Master Masons

The Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners

The Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees

  • St Lawrence the Martyr
  • Knight of Constantinople
  • Grand Tilers of King Solomon
  • Red Cross of Babylon
  • Grand High Priest

The Order of the Secret Monitor

  • Secret Monitor
  • Prince
  • Supreme Ruler

The Order of the Scarlet Cord

The Royal and Select Masters

  • Select Master
  • Royal Master
  • Most Excellent Master
  • Super Excellent Master
  • Thrice Illustrious Master Degree (The Order of the Silver Trowel)

The Ancient and Accepted Rite

  • 1o-3o Craft Degrees
  • 4o Secret Master
  • 5o Perfect Master
  • 6o Intimate Secretary
  • 7o Provost and judge
  • 8o Intendant of the Buildings
  • 9o Elect of Nine
  • 10o Elect of Fifteen
  • 11o Sublime Elect
  • 12o Grand Master Architect
  • 13o Royal Arch (of Enoch)
  • 14o Scotch Knight of Perfection
  • 15o Knight of the Sword or of the East
  • 16o Prince of Jerusalem
  • 17o Knight of the East and West
  • 18o Knight of the Pelican and Eagle and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of H.R.D.M.
  • 19o Grand Pontiff
  • 20o Venerable Grand Master
  • 21o Patriarch Noachite
  • 22o Prince of Libanus
  • 23o Chief of the Tabernacle
  • 24o Prince of the Tabernacle
  • 25o Knight of the Brazen Serpent
  • 26o Prince of Mercy
  • 27o Commander of the Temple
  • 28o Knight of the Sun
  • 29o Knight of St Andrew
  • 30o Grand Elected Knight K.H., Knight of the Black and White Eagle
  • 31o Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander
  • 32o Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret
  • 33o Sovereign Grand Inspector General

The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and St John the Evangelist

  • Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine
  • Knight of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Knight of St John the Evangelist

The United Religious Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta

  • Knight Templar
  • Knight of St Paul or Mediterranean Pass
  • Knight of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta

The Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests

The Order of the Holy Wisdom

The Royal Order of Scotland

  • The Heredon of Kilwinning
  • Knight of the Rosy Cross

The Rite of Baldwyn of Seven Degrees Time Immemorial at Bristol

  • Craft Degrees
  • Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch
  • Knights of the Nine Elected Masters
  • Scots Knights Grand Architect and Scots Knights of Kilwinning
  • Knights of the East, the Sword and Eagle
  • Knight of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, and Knights Templar
  • Knights of the Rose Croix of Mount Carmel

The Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Walkers, Slaters, Paviours, Plaisterer’s and Bricklayers

  • Io Indentured Apprentice
  • IIo Fellow of the Craft
  • IIIo Super-Fellow, Fitter & Marker
  • IVo Super-Fellow, Setter Erector
  • Vo Intendent, Overseer, Superintendent & Warden
  • VIo Passed Master
  • VIIo Passed Grand Master Mason

The Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (S.R.I.A)

  • Io Zelator
  • IIo Theoricus
  • IIIo Practicus
  • IVo Philosophus
  • Vo Adeptus Minor
  • VIo Adeptus Major
  • VIIo Adeptus Exemtus
  • VIIIo Magister
  • IXo Magus

The August Order of Light

  • First Degree
  • Passing Degree
  • Second Degree

The Order of Eri

  • Man-at-Arms
  • Esquire
  • Knight

The Holy Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City

  • Scottish Master of St Andrew
  • Perfect Master of St Andrew
  • Squire Novice
  • Knight Beneficent of the Holy City

The Order of Knight Masons

  • Knight of the Sword
  • Knight of the East
  • Knight of the East and West

The Order of Athelstan

The Order of St Thomas of Acon

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Freemasonry, Higher Degrees, Masonic, Masonic Traditions, Side Degrees

One response to “The Additional Degrees By Bernard Jones With additional information supplied by Mike Lawrence

  1. Dawn Rushton

    Dear Brothers,
    I’m a member of the Grand Orient de France, my Lodge is Paris where I live. This last year I translated rituals from the higher degrees of the French Rite into English for the GOdF. I am from Yorkshire and I occasionally visit Sheffield. I believe that our obediences don’t have any official contact but I would be very pleased to meet and correspond with you. Ihabebeen a Mason for 25 years in France and meet with other obediences in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Ireland to name a few.
    Fraternally, Dawn Rushton

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