Dating from time immemorial

With this order the lodge refused to comply, the members conceiving themselves competent and sole judges in the choice of their own private members.

The privileges of the Lodge of Antiquity, acting by immemorial constitution, began to be set up, in opposition to the supposed uncontrollable authority of the Grand Lodge established by themselves in 1717; and in the investigation of this point the original cause of the dispute was totally forgotten. The Lodge of Antiquity, on one hand, notified its separation from the Grand Lodge, and avowed an alliance with the Grand Lodge of All England, held in the city of York, and every lodge and Mason who wished to act in conformity to the original constitutions.

, the Lodge of Antiquity must have admitted the resolution of the Grand Lodge in its full force; but as no such circumstance appeared on record, the members of the Lodge of Antiquity were justified in considering their immemorial constitution sacred, while they chose to exist as a lodge, and act in obedience to the ancient Constitutions.

The words in italics were aimed at the three other Time Immemorial Lodges, which assisted in the formation of the Grand Lodge.

Anything that occurred before that date was thereby deemed to be beyond living memory, or, in legal parlance at least, time immemorial.

This definition remained in force in England and Wales right through to 1832, when it was finally figured out that being compelled to demonstrate ancestral ownership of something for 643 years could prove somewhat tricky.

, the chances of such an outcome are probably slim, to say the least, and the only bene Y=ciaries will continue to be our enthusiastic newshounds who will, without fail, have nice juicy stories on which to report.

But the During his 35 year reign from 1272-1307, Edward I oversaw the institution of three so-called Statutes of Westminster, a set of formal legal documents that attempted to codify all the laws of England and thereby establish a new and fully comprehensive English legal system.In English law and its derivatives, time immemorial means the same as time out of mind, Since that date, proof of unbroken possession or use of any right made it unnecessary to establish the original grant under certain circumstances., observes with regard to the early history of the "Fortitude and Old Cumberland" Lodge, No. Gould in his statement that 'of these three living lodges who now share the glory of having founded and established the Premier Grand Lodge of the world, .' The "Lodge of Antiquity" has never been off the roll any more than the original No. I shall not, however, quote from the editions of the "Illustrations of Masonry" which appeared while the members of the "Lodge of Antiquity" were divided in sentiment and allegiance, but from those published the happy reunion of the brethren of the premier English Lodge, in 1790. ." Another circumstance tended still further to widen this breach. The majority of its members left the Grand Lodge 1779-89; but the minority remained, and not only continued as a lodge, but duly made the requisite payments to 'Charity' and 'Hall' Funds during that period." William Preston, the famous author of the "Illustrations of Masonry" — one of the "majority" on the above occasion — has written at great length on the unhappy difference between the Grand Lodge and the "Lodge of Antiquity." With these writings most students of the Craft are familiar, but among the readers of the there are probably many to whom the argument of the greatest Masonic writer of his time, on the inherent rights of the Four Old Lodges, will be new — which must serve as my excuse for proceeding with a summary of it in the present article."An unfortunate dispute," says Preston, "having arisen among the members of the Lodge of Antiquity, the complaint was introduced into the Grand Lodge. The Lodge of Antiquity having expelled three of its members for misbehaviour, the Grand Lodge interfered, and, as was thought, without proper investigation, ordered them to be reinstated.

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