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Where did Freemasonry come from?

Henry Wilson Coil, entries from whose Encyclopedia are often quoted out of context, has written: "The origin of Freemasonry, it's early development and character, are unknown, and are likely to remain so. As we go backward in time, illiteracy increases until reading and writing were almost wholly confined to the clergy. Laws were promulgated orally; news traveled by rumor; and even in the retracement of such notorious and public matters as the judicial system, the courts, the magistrates, and legal procedure of medieval England, we are in great perplexity to understand their nature or fis the time when one custom succeeded another."

In short, nobody has a real clue!

Up until the latter half of the 19th century, writers seem to have had great sport inventing origins for Freemasonry, each more bizarre than the rest. And while it is true that vague connections can be shown whereby a further antiquity than that of the early 1700s is observable, tracing back further than that time is a murky proposition.

 

 

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