Ahiman Rezon, Or a help to all that are, or would be, Free and Accepted Masons, containing the Quintessence of all that has been Publish'd on the Subject of Free Masonry with many Additions, which Renders this Work more Usefull, than any other Book of Constituion, now Extant
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First edition 1756 Printing of Laurence Dermott's Ahiman Rezon, the constitutions of the "Ancients" Grand Lodge that grew in the early 1750s in opposition to the Grand Lodge of England, who they termed "the Moderns". The Book of Constitutions of this Grand Lodge or Ahiman Rezon was a constitution written by Laurence Dermott for the Antient Grand Lodge of England which was formed in 1751. The formation of the Antient Grand Lodge brought together lodges and Masons who, believing themselves to be part of an older, original Masonic tradition, had chosen not to ally themselves with the previously formed Moderns Grand Lodge of 1717. The first edition of the Ahiman Rezon was published in 1756, a second one in 1764. By the union of Antients and Moderns in 1813, eight editions had been published. The original edition, written by Laurence Dermott, Grand Secretary of the Antient Grand Lodge, contains a parody of the histories of Freemasonry such as that in Anderson's 'Constitutions', in which Dermott resolves to write a history of the Craft by purchasing all the previous histories and then throwing them 'under the table'. He then describes a fabled meeting with four 'sojourners from Jerusalem' who were present at the building of Solomon's temple, making them at least two thousand years old, whose 'memories' were possibly failing them. This satire continues the tradition of the Scald Miserable Masons who staged mock processions and disrupted the Grand Lodge's annual procession. The satire also pays reference to the stones used in the temple including 'sardine' and 'beryl', clearly not real precious jewels. Dermott's political purpose in writing the Ahiman Rezon is revealed in his short history of famous leaders of the ancient world who were of 'mean extraction, that is poor, such as Tamerlane the son of a herdsman, and on the cover which shows the arms of the Worshipful Company of Masons as well as those of the Freemasons, possibly in an attempt to re-connect Freemasonry to its operative and artisan roots.
Laurence Dermott Dermott Constitutions Charges Regulations Lodge Books Records History Ancient and Honourable Free and Accepted Masons James Anderson Ahiman Rezon Ancients Moderns