Grand Lodge of Latvia
otrdiena, 18. jūnijs, 2024
History of Freemasonry

Regarding that Freemasonry takes roots in ancient past, precise data on when and how it originated are not available. A widely accepted theory is that it arose from the stonemasons’ guilds (fraternities) in the 17th century England. This theory is supported also by the United Grand Lodge of England and leading organizations of Masonic scholars.

Foundation of the first Grand Lodge
The first Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge of England was founded on 24 June 1717 (renovated according to some scholars), when 4 Masonic Lodges operating in England met together and declared their supremacy and the leading role in undertaking control of freemasonry in England. This evidently spontaneous foundation of a regulatory body created certain restraint among other Lodges and lead to a chism in English Freemasonry which remained open until 1813 when the two co-existing branches established the United Grand Lodge of England operating until this day and coordinating English Freemasonry.

In the meantime, Freemasonry had started to spread internationally. In 1725, the Grand Lodge of Ireland was constituted, followed in 1736 by the grand Lodge of Scotland. By thirties of the 18th century, Freemasonry had been introduced in the British colonies of North America where after the War of Independence Masonic Lodges were established in every state of the USA.