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The Secret Freemasonry References and Allusions in the Shakespeare First Folio


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The secret Freemasonry References and Allusions in the Shakespeare First Folio

 

        Speculative Freemasonry was born in the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare took an active part in its genesis.      

     The story is told in the Great Shakespeare Folio of 1623 the greatest Masonic Book in the world.

 

[Alfred Dodd, Shakespeare Creator of Freemasonry (London: Rider & Co, 1937), pp. 9-10]

 

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The Secret Freemasonry References and Allusions in the Shakespeare First Folio

the Shakespeare plays and poems bear abundant evidence of Masonic knowledge of Masonic customs, terms and teachings that could only have been known to a Mason of high degree. Indeed, the whole canon of Shakespeare plays and poems embodies both the philosophy and the degrees of initiation of Freemasonry, expressed in various allegories that are akin to and hint at the Masonic allegories.

                                    [Peter Dawkins, ‘Shakespeare and Freemasonry’, The Francis Bacon Research Trust, 1997), p. 1]

 

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The Secret Freemasonry References and Allusions in the Shakespeare First Folio

A point was reached where there was no avoiding the conclusion that the teachings and purpose of Shakespeare and Freemasonry are identical; that their origin was coincident, or nearly so, the Order being designed to prepare a special body of men to exemplify in actual life the principles embodied in the plays; and reciprocally, the plays being intended to supply, with concrete illustrations, correct rules of conduct and life; and that both are parts of the grand and comprehensive philosophical scheme of Francis Bacon to regenerate the world and unite mankind into a universal brotherhood.

 [William N. McDaniel ‘Shakespeare and Freemasonry’ in Masonic Symbolism in Shakespeare, (Lamp of Trismegistus, 2020), pp. 27-28]

 

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The Secret Freemasonry References and Allusions in the Shakespeare First Folio

The Order of Freemasonry truly parallels the life and writings of Bacon in that it is filled to saturation with mysteries and hidden significances. His was not only a life of mystery but also one of potent significance. Freemasonry-Bacon’s legacy to his living fellow men and to unborn generations-has immeasurably furthered and enriched the advancement of learning throughout the world wherever the desire to know has led men to search. Now, after three hundred and fifty years, Bacon’s part in this great human service is being brought slowly to light.

 [George V. Tudhope, Bacons Masonry…With Evidence Showing Francis Bacon to be the Original Designer of Speculative Freemasonry (Howell-North Press, 1954), p. 2]

 

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7 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

The Secret Freemasonry References and Allusions in the Shakespeare First Folio

The Order of Freemasonry truly parallels the life and writings of Bacon in that it is filled to saturation with mysteries and hidden significances. His was not only a life of mystery but also one of potent significance. Freemasonry-Bacon’s legacy to his living fellow men and to unborn generations-has immeasurably furthered and enriched the advancement of learning throughout the world wherever the desire to know has led men to search. Now, after three hundred and fifty years, Bacon’s part in this great human service is being brought slowly to light.

 [George V. Tudhope, Bacons Masonry…With Evidence Showing Francis Bacon to be the Original Designer of Speculative Freemasonry (Howell-North Press, 1954), p. 2]

 

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Freemasony itself rejects this notion, and it is comical to suggest that there's been an organized cover up hiding this within Freemasonry. The "evidence" is that people have been making up stories all along. There isn't even one history of Freemasonry. There are multiple lineages. None of them originate with Bacon. The first British Freemason is not recognized to be Francis Bacon. Secrecy is only being used to imply that you should not expect to find historical records that support this. Believe that at it at your own peril. Everything that isn't true can hide in Ancient secrets. 

The ease with which one can create a narrative that has the ability to convince is a problem, not an asset. Freemasonry was not even well formed in Bacon's time. All that existed at this time were Acception groups trying to model themselves on operative Freemasonry structures. 

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8 hours ago, RoyalCraftiness said:

Freemasony itself rejects this notion, and it is comical to suggest that there's been an organized cover up hiding this within Freemasonry. The "evidence" is that people have been making up stories all along.

There are and have been Freemason's who disagree with you. But you, CJ, are not a Freemason, correct? 😉

 

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10 hours ago, Light-of-Truth said:

There are and have been Freemason's who disagree with you. But you, CJ, are not a Freemason, correct? 😉

 

Richard Wagner, a Freemason, has an easy to read chapter in his book, "The Lost Secret of William Shakespeare".

Website: http://thelostsecretofwilliamshakespeare.com/

PDF Book: /downloads/The LOST SECRET of William Shakespeare.pdf

Here is the first page of the chapter:

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THE SECRECY SURROUNDING FRANCIS BACON AND FREEMASONRY

Outside of a very few Freemasons and Masonic writers the links between Francis Bacon, his 1623 Shakespeare First Folio and the Freemasonry Brotherhood are little known to the rest of the world. In the edited editions of the Shakespeare works, the orthodox biographies of Bacon and Shakespeare (i.e., William Shakspere of Stratford), the criticism and commentaries of the Bacon and Shakespeare works, and the conventional Elizabethan and Jacobean histories, the fact that the Shakespeare First Folio is saturated with Freemasonic language, imagery and symbolism is not explored or discussed and is instead surrounded by a conspiracy of silence.

That the inextricable links between Freemasonry and the First Folio has effectively been kept secret and screened out from the rest of the world is all the more remarkable because it should  have been fairly obvious to all Freemasons (whether most of them know little or nothing about Shakespeare or not) and to any educated non-Freemason who are to read and discern what is in front of their very eyes, some or most of which, is barely hidden in plain sight.    

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THE SHAKESPEARE FIRST FOLIO A FREEMASONIC CRYPTOGRAM

Several Baconians including Alfred Dodd, himself a Freemason and voluminous Baconian writer, have maintained that the initials for the Twin Pillars of Freemasonry ‘B’ and ‘J’ standing for Boaz and Jachin, representing the pillars that stood in front of Solomon’s Temple and which are now part of the modern Masonic Lodge Room, appear on its first page underneath the verse To the Reader, acting as a symbolic entrance to the Freemasonic Temple of the Shakespeare First Folio. In the dedication to Grand Master of England William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke and Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery it says that ‘things are made more precious, when they are dedicated to Temples’, this the First Folio being a Masonic Temple a Freemasonry repository for secretly embodying Masonic ethics and principles in the fabric of the Shakespeare plays. Above this in the epistle dedicatory we read ‘So worthy a Friend, & Fellow aliue, as was our SHAKESPEARE, by humble offer of his playes, to your noble patronage.’ In Masonry, a Worthy Fellow refers or alludes to a Worthy Freemason and after passing through the Second Degree a Brother becomes a Fellow of the Craft.

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On 11/23/2023 at 9:05 PM, Light-of-Truth said:

There are and have been Freemason's who disagree with you. But you, CJ, are not a Freemason, correct? 😉

 

I fear that you have hunted them down and lapped up what agendas they represent with confidence. To be honest and fair, there are very, very few of the people you are referring to. The most obvious one is a fellow you have mentioned by name before who has kept a visible internet presence. These individuals have their own ideas which they recruit for. The ideas themselves are elaborations based on older ideas that have found them. Freemasonry (the institution) does not recognize their contributions because they cannot be substantiated. When things cannot be substantiated there's no need to talk of there being opinions. An opinion means nothing, and that is why each man can have one simply by waking up in the morning.  The belief that some know is contradicted by the fact that some clearly do not know. We either all know, or we all do not know. That's how it works with certainties. Why don't you simply recognize that you are not dealing in certainties instead of talking as if some know something that is hidden to everyone but the ones who accept the necessary suggestions. To know is to have eliminated the uncertainties. Good luck with that. It is almost impossible to know.  You will not go to your death bed knowing anything about Bacon that isn't presented to you. You may go there full of beliefs, or opinions. We don't even know ourselves well enough to speak of our motivations.

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In february (2023) Kate shared with us a very interesting link with one part of a masonic song mentioning Shakespeare ...

 

In the following book, can be found the complete song LX (pages 61 and 62).

"Masonic Miscellanies in poetry and prose" by Stephen Jones (1797) 

https://www.google.fr/books/edition/Masonic_Miscellanies_in_poetry_and_prose/wkNfAAAAcAAJ?hl=fr&gbpv=1

There is another song about "Shakespear", the song LI (pages 54 and 55).

Notice that LX(60) + LI(51) = 111 = FREE = BACON ( KAY CIPHER ).

Here is my take on one interesting part of Song LI from a Baconian point of view ...

image.png.2247ea4029ef5253507a4a47ac890b27.png

 

 

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7 hours ago, RoyalCraftiness said:

I fear that you have hunted them down and lapped up what agendas they represent with confidence. To be honest and fair, there are very, very few of the people you are referring to. The most obvious one is a fellow you have mentioned by name before who has kept a visible internet presence.

I never met Alfred Dodd, but his books were my first intro into anything Freemason. I have enjoyed hundreds of hours of conversation with my friend Richard Wagner over maybe ten years. I have never met him in person and it's been a year or so since we have talked. I think he was focusing on day-job work last time we spoke.

R.E. Kretz is a Freemason I have spent time over email discussing fascinating concepts.

And I've known and had friendships with a few Freemasons who had never heard of Bacon, and Shakespeare was of no interest to them. I knew a Freemason who seemed to only care about making connections in the Lodge.

I am not a Freemason so cannot speak as any kind of authority on Freemasony.

7 hours ago, RoyalCraftiness said:

These individuals have their own ideas which they recruit for.

Why are you so obsessed about cults and recruitment? I never once felt Richard Wagner was trying to recruit me into some kind of Ricky Club. I remember our conversations being two reasonably intelligent human beings sharing what we know and discover about a mutually exciting topic for us.

Here's the truth, CJ:

No two Freemason members will ever agree on everything, nor with every Baconian agree on everything. And then we have you pop up, who implies you know it all while appearing a little foolish. You preach to not believe anyone, and you want us to believe you? 😉

I feel like you are trying recruit me into a very dull cult with denial as the first sacrament. LOL

 

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4 hours ago, Allisnum2er said:

In february (2023) Kate shared with us a very interesting link with one part of a masonic song mentioning Shakespeare ...

 

In the following book, can be found the complete song LX (pages 61 and 62).

"Masonic Miscellanies in poetry and prose" by Stephen Jones (1797) 

https://www.google.fr/books/edition/Masonic_Miscellanies_in_poetry_and_prose/wkNfAAAAcAAJ?hl=fr&gbpv=1

There is another song about "Shakespear", the song LI (pages 54 and 55).

Notice that LX(60) + LI(51) = 111 = FREE = BACON ( KAY CIPHER ).

Here is my take on one interesting part of Song LI from a Baconian point of view ...

image.png.2247ea4029ef5253507a4a47ac890b27.png

 

 

Ah yes, the SHA (<--1881-->) connecting Eternity again. 🙂

To make it immortal, they gave it a name,
And call'd it Shakespeare

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GRAND MASTER BACON-SHAKESPEARE

From the first instance underneath the Baconian AA headpiece we have three examples of when our poet is referred to in three verses as ‘Master WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’ by Hugh Holland, ‘Maister W. SHAKESPEARE’ by Leonard Digges and ‘M. W. Shake-speare’ by James Mabbe, the third hyphenated and italicised denoting a pseudonym, intimating that Bacon, the man behind the pseudonym, is the Supreme Grand Master of the Freemasonry Brotherhood. This is reinforced by the first word in the first play The Tempest ‘Master’, above the ornamental woodblock containing the letter B standing for Bacon, which when magnified reveals the name of Francis Bacon hidden in the decorative scroll, with the Christian name Francis appearing across the top and down at the bottom, with the surname Bacon appearing down the right side.

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GRAND MASTER BACON-SHAKESPEARE

Across the address by Ben Jonson in the First Folio ‘To the memory of my beloued, The AVTHOR Mr. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: AND what he hath left vs’, written during the period he was living with Bacon at Gorhambury, appears the Freemasonic Seven Set Squares headpiece indicating to other members of the Brotherhood that he Bacon concealed behind his pseudonym Shakespeare is the secret Grand Master of all Freemasons who rules by the Square, with ‘what he has left vs’, alluding to the secret Freemasonic system left to the world for the future benefit of humankind. For the Baconian Freemasonry Brotherhood the number seven is of profound significance. It represents the Grand Architect and the geometrical laws on which Freemasonic symbolism is founded upon. Embodying the seven principles of Truth, Justice, Balance, Order, Compassion, Harmony and Reciprocity and the seven Liberal Arts and Sciences of Geometry, Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Music and Astronomy. From the earliest of times seven Brethren were required to open and work a Lodge: three Master Masons, two Fellowcraft and two Entered Apprentices to make it perfect and there are seven tassels found on Master Mason aprons. Seven is the perfect number because it is made up of the numbers 3 and 4 representing the triangle and the square which are the two perfect figures and symbolically it represents the divine human consciousness or macrocosm reflected in the macrocosm of the universe.

    Beyond the fact that the Freemasonic Seven Set Squares appears over the address in the First Folio by Ben Jonson somewhat surprisingly (as far as the present writer is aware) it has hitherto not been made known that the same headpiece appears numerous times throughout the volume over the following Shakespeare plays: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Nights Dream, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, King John, I Henry IV, 2 Henry IV, Richard III, Henry VIII, Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens and Hamlet.

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GRAND MASTER BACON-SHAKESPEARE

Excepting Timon of Athens the Freemasonic Seven Set Squares headpiece appears over the first page of the plays enumerated above. In the case of Timon of Athens the headpiece appears after the end of the tragedy above the page designated ‘THE ACTORS NAMES’ providing the dramatis personae for the play. For more than a century many Baconian scholars have rightly claimed that Bacon the author of Timon of Athens, is dramatically portrayed in its eponymous character Timon, as well as suggesting a more appropriate title for the play, Bacon of London. Timon is 67 in simple cipher the same as Francis. It is also maintained the play if not first written was heavily revised after his fall in 1621 prior to its first appearance in the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio. At the bottom of the page is a woodcut bearing in the centre of it the Tudor Arms with two cupids which had previously appeared on the first page of the 1604 edition of Hamlet printed by James Roberts for Nicholas Lang, and on the title page of the 1606 edition of Bacon’s Essays printed for John Jaggard, and title pages of the Part I and Part II editions of Bacon’s Essays printed for John Jaggard in 1612. A woodcut bearing the Tudor Arms at its centre also appeared above the first page of the 1619 Quarto edition of The Merchant of Venice (with a false date and imprint) as part of the Pavier/ William Jaggard so-called False Folio. Over the Tudor arms rests a crown with a female and male either side reaching for it and to the far left and right appear two children, representing Queen Elizabeth and her secret husband Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and their two royal children Francis Tudor Bacon and Robert Tudor Devereux, second Earl of Essex.

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14 hours ago, Allisnum2er said:

In february (2023) Kate shared with us a very interesting link with one part of a masonic song mentioning Shakespeare ...

 

In the following book, can be found the complete song LX (pages 61 and 62).

"Masonic Miscellanies in poetry and prose" by Stephen Jones (1797) 

https://www.google.fr/books/edition/Masonic_Miscellanies_in_poetry_and_prose/wkNfAAAAcAAJ?hl=fr&gbpv=1

There is another song about "Shakespear", the song LI (pages 54 and 55).

Notice that LX(60) + LI(51) = 111 = FREE = BACON ( KAY CIPHER ).

Here is my take on one interesting part of Song LI from a Baconian point of view ...

 

 

 

ScreenShot2023-11-26at6_09_03pm.png.f9228b2633d208632519a52b860d809f.png

It seems that there's no such lodge as "St Albans Lodge", but there IS a "ST ALBAN" lodge in Birmingham as I'm sure some of you would know.

What a difference one letter makes: a reference not to a place, but to a 4th-century saint and the founder of Rosicrucianism.

Edited by Eric Roberts
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6 minutes ago, Eric Roberts said:

ScreenShot2023-11-26at6_09_03pm.png.f9228b2633d208632519a52b860d809f.png

It seems that there no such lodge as "St Albans Lodge", but there IS a "ST ALBAN" lodge in Birmingham as I'm sure some of your would know.

What a difference one letter makes: a reference not to a place, but to a 4th-century saint and the founder of Rosicrucianism.

Thanks Yann. Great find!

ScreenShot2023-11-26at6_22_39pm.png.c08af5cc71b66915e96b356177af7fac.png

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5 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

GRAND MASTER BACON-SHAKESPEARE

Excepting Timon of Athens the Freemasonic Seven Set Squares headpiece appears over the first page of the plays enumerated above. In the case of Timon of Athens the headpiece appears after the end of the tragedy above the page designated ‘THE ACTORS NAMES’ providing the dramatis personae for the play. For more than a century many Baconian scholars have rightly claimed that Bacon the author of Timon of Athens, is dramatically portrayed in its eponymous character Timon, as well as suggesting a more appropriate title for the play, Bacon of London. Timon is 67 in simple cipher the same as Francis. It is also maintained the play if not first written was heavily revised after his fall in 1621 prior to its first appearance in the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio. At the bottom of the page is a woodcut bearing in the centre of it the Tudor Arms with two cupids which had previously appeared on the first page of the 1604 edition of Hamlet printed by James Roberts for Nicholas Lang, and on the title page of the 1606 edition of Bacon’s Essays printed for John Jaggard, and title pages of the Part I and Part II editions of Bacon’s Essays printed for John Jaggard in 1612. A woodcut bearing the Tudor Arms at its centre also appeared above the first page of the 1619 Quarto edition of The Merchant of Venice (with a false date and imprint) as part of the Pavier/ William Jaggard so-called False Folio. Over the Tudor arms rests a crown with a female and male either side reaching for it and to the far left and right appear two children, representing Queen Elizabeth and her secret husband Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and their two royal children Francis Tudor Bacon and Robert Tudor Devereux, second Earl of Essex.

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Hi A Phoenix,

First of all, thank you for all your insightful posts revealing billiantly the links between Shakespeare/Bacon, the First Folio and the Freemasonry. ❤️

Reading your last great post something jumped out at me, the two elongated Capital Letters C of Churlish and Captaine.

CC # 33 = BACON

And the fact is that , by counting from "Tymon", Churlish is the 12th word and Captaine is the 21st word.

12 + 21 = 33 = BACON

Here is, I think, a possible secret message hidden by Master Bacon ...

A Poet (33), Athenian Philosopher (33), Churlish Captaine (33) 

image.png.3830012446c8f7dd1ae25358efc52a90.png

Bacon, was a hidden Poet, he was a known Philosopher and his Muse was Athena (the Spear- shaker) thus, he was an Athenian Philosopher.

It remains the reference to a Churlish Captaine.

Interestingly enough, in Shakespeare's Work , the word "Churlish" is linked to two animals

 "O, be advised: thou knowst not what it is with javelin's point a churlish swine to gore"

Venus and Adonis (1593)

This man, lady, hath robbed many
beasts of their particular additions; he is as
valiant as the lion, churlish as the bear, slow
as the elephant: a man into whom nature hath
so crowded humors that his valour is crushed
into folly, his folly sauced with discretion

Troylus and Cressida ( 1609)

"Churlish"  (Bear) could be a hidden reference to  Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, his true father.

https://armorial.library.utoronto.ca/ordinaries/bear?page=1

"Captaine" could be a hidden reference to  Queen Elizabeth,  his true mother.

image.png.d26871d8227a5cb6127859ed9bf2f221.png

https://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/facsimile/book/Bran_F1/249/index.html%3Fzoom=1200.html

One last thought ...

From "Tymon" to "Attendants" there are 62 words.

62 # F.B.

If we take in count the 3 words in "THE ACTORS NAMES" and the 2 emblems it give us 67 = FRANCIS (Simple cipher)

Thus, by counting from the first Emblem (1), the last emblem is number 67.

And the 33rd word is ... MASKERS !

 

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HI

Perhaps you can move this post Rob as not sure where to put it. I just came across a couple of things  in the Calendar of Patent Rolls. These are great records on Archive.org to skim through to get a feel for who was in her Court at that time and what was going on.

One observation is that Gorhambury was also known by several other names that perhaps we should be on the lookout for.  These are Goram, Gorham, Gorhams.

Gorhambury.jpg.5caad4b478c6664e07f91233e7042b32.jpg

The other is this entry. This backs up what we know that QE1  had particular interest in FB.  

Bacon2023.png.2ec563f2c08c992a35da01fe6f5de255.png

 

I was looking to see what entries there were for around Jan 1561 but thinking about it maybe I should be looking at 1560? What dating system were they using in these records?

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FRANCIS BACON, THE SHAKESPEARE FIRST FOLIO, AND FREEMASONRY

The 1623 Baconian-Shakespeare First Folio is saturated with Freemasonic language, imagery, and symbolism throughout the canon from the earliest plays dating from the 1580s to the last written, revised and enlarged up to the early 1620s, over a period of some four decades. Here are some of the references and allusions to Freemasonry in the Shakespeare First Folio:  

                                               I wil visit thee at the Lodge.

                                               That’s hereby.

                                               I know where it is situate.

                                               Lord, how wise you are!

                                               Come Iaquenetta, away.

                                                [Loves Labours Lost] 

                                Your oathes are past, and now subscribe your names:                                      

                                That this owne hand may strike honour downe,

                                That violates the smallest branch heerein:

                                If you are arm’d to doe, as sworn to do,

                                Subscribe to your deepe oathes and keepe it to.

                                                  [Love’s Labour’s Lost]                 

                                      But this is a worshipfull society,

                                      And fits the mounting spirit like my selfe;

                                                            [King John]

                                And whisper one another in the eare.

                                And he that speakes, doth gripe the hearers wrist,

                                                        [King John]

                                       Here Robin, and if I dye, I giue thee my Aporne [Apron];

                                       And Will thou shall haue my Hammer…

                                       And God in Iustice hath reueal’d to vs

                                          The truth and innocence of this poore fellow,

                                                               [2 Henry VI    

                                    The Nobilitie thinke scorne to goe in Leather Aprons.  

                                                               [2 Henry VI]      

                                                 What my old worshipfull master?

                                                       [The Taming of a Shrew]

                                         And from the Crosse-row pluckes the letter G:

                                                               [Richard III    

                                               Doth any particular name particular belong

                                          Vnto the Lodging, where I first did swoon’d?

                                               ‘Tis called Ierusalem, my Noble Lord.

                                                                  [2 Henry IV]

                                                Put on two leather Jerkins, and Aprons,

                                                                  [2 Henry IV]

                                                        Hee is not his Crafts-master.

                                                                  [2 Henry IV]

                                                        I thanke thee good Tuball.

                                                         [The Merchant of Venice]

                                           Who is this companion now? He hath

                                            euery month a new sworne brother.

                                                                            Is there no young

                                           squarer now that will make a voyage

                                           with him…?

                                                       [Much Ado About Nothing]

                                         The singing Masons building roofes of Gold

                                                                 [Henry V]

                                            Where is thy Leather Apron, and thy Rule?

                                                              [Julius Caesar]

                                                                                  I will finde

                                         Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeede

                                         Within the centre.

                                                                  [Hamlet]

                                                  Who builds stronger than a Mason…?

                                                                   [Hamlet]

                                             Like to the Garters-Compass, in a ring,

                                                     [The Merry Wives of Windsor]

                                     I shall stay here the fore-horse to a smocke,

                                     Creeking my shooes on the plaine Masonry,

                                                      [Alls Well That Ends Well]

                                                                             I am a brother

                                     Of gracious Order, late come from the Sea,

                                                     [Measure for Measure]

                                     I will, as ’twere a brother of your Order,

                                     Visit both Prince, and People:

                                                    [Measure for Measure]

                                    His necke shall come to your waist, a Cord Sir.

                                                    [Measure for Measure]

                                    Come guard the doore without, let him not passe,

                                    But kill him rather.

                                                                 [Othello]

                                       I haue not kept my square, but that to come

                                       Shall all be done by th’ Rule:

                                                     [Antony and Cleopatra]                   

                                                 You have made good worke,

                                                 You and your Apron Men:

                                                            [Coriolanus]

                                                                      O that euer haue I

                                          had squar’d me to thy Councell:

                                                      [The Winters Tale]

                                                                      being then appointed

                                          Master of this designe.

                                                             [The Tempest]

                                                                          And set it downe

                                          With gold on lasting Pillers.

                                                             [The Tempest]

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   FRANCIS BACON, THE SHAKESPEARE FIRST FOLIO, AND FREEMASONRY

 In his ground-breaking and revelatory work Shakespeare Creator of Freemasonry Being a Remarkable Examination of the Plays and Poems, which proves incontestably that these works were saturated in Masonry, that Shakespeare was a Freemason and the Founder of the Fraternity the Baconian Alfred Dodd, himself a Freemason, and a world authority on Bacon, Shakespeare and Freemasonry, devotes chapters to the two most important Freemasonic plays in the canon, Loves Labours Lost and The Tempest. On account that this little-known and less read work is now long out of print and not widely available I have thought it best to reproduce some of his observations on these two Freemasonic plays to a modern audience. His chapter ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost The Comedy In Which is Hidden The Genesis Of The Craft’, as its title indicates, reveals that the play incorporates the secret beginnings of the modern Freemasonry Brotherhood.

The play is set in the kingdom of Navarre where the king and 3 friends vow to forego the company of women and turn the court into a little academy and devote 3 years (33 Bacon in simple cipher) to the study of philosophy and knowledge. The hidden meaning of its opening scene is described and revealed by Dodd under a series of headings:

             ‘THE URGE TO CREATE AN ETHICAL SYSTEM’

                                       Let Fame, that all hunt after in their liues,

                                       Liue registered vpon our brazen Tombes,

                                       And then grace vs in the disgrace of death:

                                       when spight of cormorant deuouring Time,

                                       Th’ endeuour of this present breath may buy:

                                       That honour which shall bate his scythes keene edge,

                                       And make vs heyres of all eternitie [my italics].1

                               ‘THE AIMS Of FREEMASONRY’     

                                        [To] warre against your owne affections [passions]

                                        And the huge Armie of the worlds desires.2

                                  ‘THE CONCEPTION OF THE LODGE’

                                        Our Court shall be a little Achademe,

                                        Still and contemplatiue in liuing Art.3

                                              ‘THE THREE WHO RULE’

                                         You three, Berowne, Dumaine, and Longauill,

                                         Haue sworne for three yeeres terme, to liue with me:

                                         My fellow Schollers, and to keepe those statutes

                                         That are recorded in his scedule heere.4

                                                ‘THE VOW’

                                          Your oathes are past, and now subscribe your names:

                                          That his owne hand may strike his honour downe,

                                          That violates the smallest branch heerein:

                                           If you are arm’d to doe, as sworne to do,

                                           Subscribe to your deepe oathes and keepe it to.5

                                                             ‘THE OBJECT’

                                                         To seeke the light of truth.6

                                      ‘A FIRST VAGUE HINT’

                                           Light seeking light, doth light beguile:

                                           So ere you finde where light in darknesse lies,

                                           Your light growes darke by losing of your eyes.7

1. Shakespeares Comedies Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies (London: printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Edward Blount, 1623), Comedies, p. 122.

2. Ibid., Comedies, p. 122.

3. Ibid., Comedies, p. 122.

4. Ibid., Comedies, p. 122.

5. Ibid., Comedies, p. 122.

6. Ibid., Comedies, p. 122.

7. Ibid., Comedies, p. 122. For Notes 2-7 see Alfred Dodd, Shakespeare Creator of Freemasonry Being a Remarkable Examination of the Plays and Poems, which proves incontestably that these works were saturated in Masonry, that Shakespeare was a Freemason and the Founder of the Fraternity (London: Rider & Co, 1937), pp. 78-79.

 

 

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