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York Manuscript No.1 (ca 1600)

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MessagePosté le: Mar 21 Oct - 05:12 (2008)    Sujet du message: York Manuscript No.1 (ca 1600) Répondre en citant

YORK MS. No. 1
About A.D. 1600.

An exact Transcript of the original, by William. James Hughan, published in his book "Old Charges of British Freemasons" (1872)


An Anagraime upon the name of Masonrie
William Kay to his friend Rob[er]t Preston
upon his Artt of Masonrie as followeth.

M- Much might be said of the noble Artt
A - Crafts thats worth estieming in each part
S - Sundry Nations Noobles & their Kings also
O - Oh how they sought its worth to know
N - Nimrod & Solomon the wisest of all men
R - Reason saw to love this Science then
I - Ile say noe more lest by my shallow verses I
E - Endeavouring to praise should blemish Masonrie.


THE might of the Father of heaven with wisedome of ye blessed Sonne through
X ye grace of God & goodnesse of ye holy ghost yt be three psons in one godhead
be with vs at our beginning & give vs grace soe to governe vs here in this
life yt we may come to his blessing yt nevr shall have ending : And good brethren
& fellows our purpose is to tell yu how and in what manner this worty Science
of Masonrie was begun & afterward how it was found by worty Kings & Prim es
& by many other Worshipfull men, And also to them yt be here we will declare
ye charges yt belonge to every Free Mason to keep sure in good faith. And
therefore take good heed hereto it is well worthy to be kept well for yt ye Science
is ancient for there be vij liberall Sciences of ye wch it is one & ye names of ya
seven Sciences be these. first Grammer wch teacheth a man to speak truly &
write truly. And ye second is Rhetoricke &: teacheth a man to speak faire plaine
in subtile termes & ye third is Dielectick or I.odgick yt teacheth a man to discern
truth from falshood. And ye fourth is Arithmetick & that teacheth a man to reckon
& to accompt all mann* of numb"- And ye fifth is called Geomatrie &• teacheth
all measure of grounds of all other things of ye \v<* Science is grounded Masonrie :
& ye fifth Science is called Musicke & yt teacheth a man ye Science of Song &
violl of tongue & organ harp trumpett. And ye seventh Science is called Astronomic
& yt teacheth a man to know ye course of ye Sonne Moone & Starrs.

These be ye vij liberall Sciences ye wch Seven be all grounded by one yt is to say
Geometrie for by this may a man pve ye Essence of worke as founded by Geometric
so Geomatrie teacheth meat measure ponderation & weight of all manner of
things on earth for there is noe man yt worketh any Science but he worketh by
some measure or weight & all this is Geomatrie, & Marchants & all crafts men &

all other of ye vij Sciences & espetially ye plower & tiller of all manner of
graines & seeds planters of vinyeards sell* of fruits, for in Grammer retorick nor
astronome nor in any of all ye liberell Sciences can any man finde meat or measure
without Geomatrie, me thinks yt this Science Geomatrie is most worthy & foundeth
all others. How these worty Sciences was first begotten I shall yn tell viz. Before
Noah flood there was a man called Lamech as is written in the Scripture in ye 4th
Chaptr of Genesis And this Lamech had two wives ye one named Adah by whome
he had two Sons ye one named Jabell ye other named Jubell. And his other wife
was called Zillah by whome he had one sone named Tubelcaine & one daughter
named Naamah & these four children founded ye beginning of all ye Sciences in ye
world v\z Jabell ye eldest Sone found out ye Science of Geomatre he was a keepr of
flocks of sheep & Lands in the Fields as it is noted in ye Chapf before sd And his
brothr Juball fonnd ye Science of Musicke Song of Tongue harpe & organ And
ye third Brother Tuball Caine found ye Science called Smith Craft of Gold Silv
Iron Coppr & Steele & ye Daughf found ye ara of Weaving And these persons
knowing right well yt God would take vengeance for sinne either by fire or water,
wherefore they writt their severall Sciences yt they had found in two Fillers of
stone yt they might be found aftr Noah his Flood And ye one stone was Marble
because it would not burne wth fire & ye othr called Lternes because it would not
dround wth watr now our intent is to tell yu how & in what manner these Stones
were found in wch these Sciences were written the ancient Hermarines was a Cube
his Son ye which Cub was Sem yt was Noahs Son ; these Hermarines was after
called ye fathr of wise men. he found one of ye two pillers of Stone & he found
ye Sciences written therein & he tought yt to other men, And at ye makeing of ye
Toure of Babell there was Masonrie first much esteemed of & the King of Babilon
yt was called Nimrod was A mason himselfe £ loved well Masons & yt Science as
it is said amonge Masters of Histories. And when ye city of Ninevie & othr
cities of ye East should be builded Nimrod ye King of Babylon sent thither sy
Masons at ye request of ye King of Ninevie his Cousen and when he sent them
forth he gave them a charge on this mann' yt they should be true each one of
them to othr & yt they should love well one anothr & yt they should serve their
Lord truly for their pay soe yt ye mash- may have pay & all that belongeth unto
him & othr moe charges he gave them & this was ye first time yt ever any Masons
had any charge of his Craft. Moreover Abraham & Sarah his wife went into Egypt
And there he tought ye vij Sciences to ye egyptians & and he had a worty Scholler
named Euclide & he learned right well & was Mr. of all ye vij Sciences liberall
& in his dayes it befell yt ye Lordes & States of ye Lands had soe many Sons
some by their wives & some by their concubines for yt land is a hott land &
plentious of Genration & they had not a competent p portion of estate wherewith
to maintaine their sd Children, wherefore they tooke much care & the King
of yt land caused a great counsell&sumaned a parliament to consult how they mighte
pvide for their children whereon they mighte live honestly as Gentlemen & they
could finde noe mannr of good way And then they made a pclamation throughout
all ye Realme yt if there any yt could informe them therein yt he should come to
ym & he should be well rewarded for his travaile so yt he should hould himselfe
sattisfied. After this p clamation was made came this worthy Clarke Euclide &
said to ye litlHj & to his /:lolili'<3 if yu will except of me to teach instruct
& governe yr children in ye vij Sciences whereby they might live honestly
as Gentlemen I shall do it upon condition yt you will grant me & them a
Comission yt I may have power to rule them after ye manner ye Sciences ought to
be ruled wch ye King & all ye Counsell granted him & Sealed ye Comsssion And
then this worthy Doctor tooke to himselfe Lords Sonnes & tought them y« Science
of Geomatrie & practise to worke in Stones all manner of worthy work yt belongelh
to buildings Churches Temples Castles Toures manno" & all manner of Buildings
& gave them in Charge on this mannor- First yt they should be trae to ye Lord
yt they serve & yt they should love well on another & yt they should be true one
to anothr & yt they should call each other his Fellow or his Brother & not his
Servt or Knave or othr foule names & yt they should truly deserve their pay of
their Lord or ye Mr yt they serve ft yt they should ordaine ye wisest of them to be
Mr of ye worke & neithr to chuse for Love nor efection nor great nor riches to
sett any yt hath nor sufficient Knowledge and cunning in ye worke to be Mr of ye
worke whereby ye Mr should be evill served & they disgraced or ashamed & also
yt they should call ye gov nor of ye worke Mr dureing ye time yt they worke with
him & other more charges yt is to long here to tell # to all these Charges he made
them to sweare a great Oath that men used in yt time & ordained for them reasonable
pay or Wages yt they might live honestly thereby & also yt they should come
& assemble themselves together once every yeare and consult how they might best
worke for their Lords pfitt & their own credit & to correct within themselves him
yt trespassed agt ye Science & thus was ye Science grounded there & yt worthy Mr-
Euclid was ye first yt gave it ye name of Geomatrie the w<=h is now called Masonrie
throughout all this nation And after yt when ye children of Israell were coma into
ye land of Behest which is now called among us ye Countrie of June King David
begun ye Temple yt is now called Temple Dom & is named with us ye Temple of
Jerusalem & ye sd King David loved well Masons & cherished them much & he
gave them good wages & he gave them both ye charges & mannr" as he had learned
in Egypt given formerly by Euclid and other moe charges yt yu shall hear afterwards
after ye decease of King David Solomon his Son finished out ye sd Temple
yt his father had begun & he sent for Masons into divers countreys of divers Lands
& gathered them together soe yt he had four score thousand workers of stone &
were all named Masons he chose out of them three thousand yt was ordained to
be M>""- & govnors of his worke And furthermore there was A King of anothr
Region yt men called Hieram & he loved King Sollomon well & he gave him
Timbr to his worke And he had a Sonne named Amon & he was a Mr of Geomatrie
& he was chief Mr of all his graveings. Carvings ft all of his Masons & Masonrie
as appeares in Scrip« in Liliro primo Regnj & Chapf ye 5th. And this Sollomon
Confirmed both Charge & mann" yt his Father had given to Masons & thus was
yt worthy Science of Masonrie confirmed in yt Country of Jurie & at ye City of
Jerusalem And in many othr Kingdomes Curious Craftsmen walked ab>t out full
wide & spred themselves into divers Countryes some to Learne moe craft & cunning
& some to teach them yt had little skill & cunning And yt befell yt there was one
Curious Mason called Namus Grecas yt had beiue at ye building of Sollomons
Temple & he came into France & there he taught yc Science of Masonrie to rntn
of France & there was one of Royall line of France called Charles Slartall & he
was a man yt loved well such a Craft & he drue to this Namus Grecas above said
& he learned of him ye Craft & tooke upon him ye charge & mann" & aftwards
by ye Providence ot God he was elected King of France <$ when he was in ye
Estate he tooke & helped to make men Masons w<* before were none & gave
them both ye charge & ye mann" & good pay as he had learned of othr Masons
&. also confirmed a Chartr from yeare to yeare to hold their Assembly where they
would And cherished them right much thus came this famous Craft into France.
England in all this time stood void of Masonrie espetialy for any Charge imposed
upon yt Science tmtill St. Albons time & in his days y° King of England yt was
then A pagan did wall ye Towne of St. Albons about & St. Albons was a worthy K>
Jit Steward of ye King's Household & had Governaute of ye Realme & also had
ye ordering of ye sd Town Walls & he Loved well Masons & cherished them right
much & made their pay right good considering how wages & other things stood
then for he gave them ij" — vid a week & iijd for their nonfinch & before yt time
through out all this Land a mason tooke but a Peny a day untill St. Albons advanced
it as above sd & pcured them a Chart' of ye King & his Counsell whereby
for to hold a general counsell & gave it ye name of Assembly & there at he was
himself & helped to make men Masons & gave them a charge as yu shall here aftr
hear. But it happened shortly after ye death of St. Albone yt there arose grea'
warrs in England \v<* came out of divers nations soe that ye good ordr of Masonrie
was destroyed untill ye days of King Athelston who was a worthy King ot England
& brought this land in good rest and peace & builded many great workes as Abbeys
Tounes & othr mann" ot Buildings & loved well masons & he had a Son named
Edwin & he loved Masons much more then his Father & he was a great practionr
in Geomatrie & he delited much to talke & comune with Masons & to learn of them
skill & cunning & afterward for love he bore to masons & to their Science he was
made a mason & he pcured for them of ye King his father a charf & Commission
to hold every yeare an Assembly wheresoeV they would within ye Realm of England
& to correct within themselves defaults & trespasses yt were done within ye
craft & he himself held an Assembly at York & there he made masons & gave
them the charges & taught them ye manners & comanded yt rule to be kept ever
after & also tooke for them ye charter to keep & also gave ord' yt it should be
renued from King to King. And when ye Assembly was gathered together he
made pclamation yt all old masons or young yt had any writeings or undrstanding
of ye charge & ye mann" concerning ye sd Science yt were made before in this
Land or any othr yt they should bring them forth & when they had viewed & examined
there found some in French, some in Greek, some in English & some in othr
Languages & ye intent & meaning of them was found all out & he had made a
book thereof how ye Craft was founded & he himself gave comand yt it should be
read or told when yt any Masons should be made & to give them ye Charge And
from yt day to this day, Man" of Masons have been kept & observed in yt forme
as well as men might Observe & governe it. And furthermore at divese Assem-
blyes an Adition of certaine things in ye charges ordained by ye lest advice of
Masters & Fellows — Tune unus ex senioribus teneat Librum vt tile vellilli potiat vd
potiant matuts Sup Librum et tnnc precpta dcberent Legi- — Everyman yt is a Mason
take right good heed to these Charges & if any man find himself guilty in any of
these charges yt he amend himselfe before God & in pticulary yee yt are to be
charged take good heed yt yee may keep these charges right well for it is prillous
& great danger for a man to forsweare himself upon ye holy Scripture. The first
Charge is that he or thou be true man to God & ye holy church & yt yn use neithr
erour nor heresie according to yor own undrstanding or discreet & wise mens
teaching & also yt he shall be truly lege man & bear true Allegiance to ye King
of England without any treason or any othr falshood & if they know of any treason
or treachery yt you amend it privily if ye may or else warne ye King or his counsell
of it by declareing it to ye Magistrates. And alsoe yee shall be true one to
anothr yt is to say to every Mason of ye Craft of Masonrie yt be allowed Masons
yu shall doe to them as yu would they should doe to yu And yt yu keep truely all
ye counsell of Lodge & chamber & all other counsell yt ought to be kept by way
of Masonrie & also yt yu use noe theeverie but keep yorselves true. And also
y» shall be true to ye Lord or Mast* y» serve & truly see his pfitt & advantage
pmoted & furthred. And also you shall call Masons yor Brethren or Fellows
but not any other foul name. And yu shall not take in villany yor Fellows wife
nor unlawfully desire his daughf or serv* nor put him to any discredit. And also
yt yu pay truly for yor meat & drink where yu goe to table & yt yu doe not any
thing whereby ye craft may be Scandalized or whereby it may receive disgrace.
These be ye charges in generall that belongeth every Mason to keep both Mast"
& Fellows. Now come I to rehearse certain othr charges singularly for Mastrs &
Fellows viz That noe Mr take upon him any Lords Work or any other mens
work except he know himself to be of suficient skill & Cuning to pform & finish
ye same soe yt ye Craft thereby receive noe slander or discredit but yt ye Lord
be wel served & have his work truly & suficiently done And also yt noe Mr- take
any work at unreasonable rates but so Reasonably yt ye Lord or ownr may be true
served wth his own goods & ye Mr to live honestly thereby & to pay his fellows
truly their wages as ye mannr is. And also yt no Mr or Fellow shall suplant anothr
of his work yt is to say if any Mr or Fellow have taken any work to doe & therefore
stand as Mr of ye sd work yee shall not put him out of it unless he be unable of
skill & Cuning to pforme ye same to ye end & also yt noe Mr or Fellow take any
apprentice undr ye terme of Seven years & yet such aprntice suficiently able of
body & sound of lymbs & also of good birth free born noe Alian but descended
of a true & honest kindred & noe bondman & also yt noe mason take any aprntice
unless he have suficient occupation whereon to employ two or three Fellows at ye
least And also y* noe Mr or Fellow put any to take any Lords work yt was wont
to work Journey work And also yt every Mr shall give wages to his Fellowes
according to his worke doth deserve yt he be not deceived by false work. And
also yi none shall slandr anothr behinde his back whereby he may loose his good
name or wordly riches. Also yt no fellow within ye Lodge or without shall mis
answer or reprove unlawfully anothr without cause. And also yt every Mason
shall reverence his Eldr brothr & put him to honour. Also yt noe Mason shall be
a comon player att cards or dice or any othr unlawfull game or games whereby ye
Science may be slandered & disgraced & also yt noe fellow at any time goe
from his fellowes of ye Lodge into any towne adjoining except he have a fellow
with him to witness yt he was in honest place & civill company. And also yt every
Mr & fellow shall come to ye Assemblie of Masons if it be within 1 : mile about
him if he have any warning of ye same. And if he or they have trespassed or
offended against ye craft all such soe trespassing shall stand there at ye award
& Arbitration of ye Mast" & Fellowes there & they to make them accord if they
can or may & if they cannot agree them then to goe to ye comon Law & also
yt no Mr or Fellow make any mould rule or square of any Layer nor set any
Layer or without to hew any mould stones. And that every Mason shall
cherish strange fellowes when they come out of othr Countreys & set them on
worke if he can as ye manr is viz. if he have no Stones nor moulds in yt place
he shall refresh him wth money to suply his necesityes untill he come at ye next
Lodge. And also yt every Mason shall pforme his work truly & not sleightily for
his pay but serve his Lord truly for his wages & also yt every Mr shall truly make
an end of his work whether it be by Tax or by Jorney viz by measure or by dayes
if he have his pay & all othr covents pformed to him by ye Lord of ye work according
to ye bargaine. These Charges yt we have now rehearsed to yu & to all oths
here prsent w<* belongeth to Masons yu shall well & truly keep to yor powr so
help you God & by ye contents of yt booke — Amen.

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