Ozymandias! The Rite of Misraïm in Scotland.

Between the formation of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Scotland on the 4th August 1846 and the present day, a total of thirteen eminent Scottish freemasons have led the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Scotland, the first of these Sovereign Grand Commanders was Dr Charles Morison of Greenfield (d. 1849), a physician in the British Army. It is not known where exactly Dr Morison first entered the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, but in his article ‘The Scottish Rite for Scotland’, R.S Lindsay suggests it was in Spain with one Comte de Grasse Tilly (1765–1845) during the Peninsular War (1807–1814), where he served with the Prince of Wales’ 10th Hussars (Edinburgh, 1958). If this is true, Morison obtained his 33˚ then in 1813 from a Supreme Council for Spain founded on the 11th July 1811 by de Grasse Tilly in alliance with the Grand Orient of Spain. In any case, his rank as ‘Sovereign Grand Inspector General’ was accepted by the Supreme Council of France who issued him a 33˚ diploma (in exchange for his original) along with a Patent dated 15th November 1814 to form A&ASR Chapters & Councils in Scotland (Lindsay). Thirty-three years later, in 1846, alongside the other founding members, he forms the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for Scotland and thereby becomes the order’s first Sovereign Grand Commander. Recent archival research suggests that during the intervening years this most eminent of Scottish freemasons enjoyed a rather more ‘exotic’ taste in masonry beyond the confines of the A&ASR, namely his admission and active participation in the egyptian and deeply esoteric Rite of Misraïm. In the following post, I explore the early history of the order as it existed in Scotland and its place within the larger masonic landscape of nineteenth-century ‘Egyptosophy’.

Doctor Charles Morison of Greenfield (d. 1849). First Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for Scotland. 90˚ Rite of Misraïm.

In his article in the Year Book of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1992) on the Grand Lodge’s ‘Morison Collection’, Lt. Cdr. David Currie explains that Charles Morison was born on the estate of Greenfield, near Alloa, the son of James and Jane Morison, on 1st January 1780. He became a freemason on 27th November 1797, in the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) No. 1, when he was entered, passed and raised at the age of seventeen. Almost exactly a year later, on 26th November 1798, Morison (who was a medical student in Edinburgh) received a string of degrees at a meeting of the Knight Templars ‘Encampment’ held under the auspices of St Stephen’s Lodge in Edinburgh. In 1802, Morison graduated as doctor of medicine and joined the army, becoming a medical officer. He served with distinction in Spain where, in 1810, he met a French prisoner of war, Alexandre Francois Auguste de Grasse, known as Comte de Grasse-Tilly. The Comte was a member of the Supreme Council of the West Indies, which was then working from Paris, and he conferred upon Morison the 32˚ of the Rite Ecossais (Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite). In 1801, de Grasse was among the eleven founders of the first Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite in Charleston, South Carolina. Around 1813 Morison received the 33˚ and by 1814 he was semi-retired from the army, being placed on half-pay, and entering the household of HRH Augustus Frederick (1773–1843), Duke of Sussex, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, from 1813 to 1843, as his personal physician. During 1822 Morison took up residence in Paris, which became his permanent home until he died in 1849. His Misraïm diploma, discovered by the author in a Dutch archive, shows he was initiated in the 1˚- 77˚ of the egyptian rite whilst visiting Paris in 1820.

Dr Charles Morison of Greenfield’s 77˚ Rite of Misraïm diploma dated 1820. Found in a Dutch archive by the author. Documents held in the Grand Lodge of Scotland show he eventually held the 90˚ – the highest degree of the Order. (Kl.MS:XXXIX.2).

Egyptomania

Dr Morison’s egyptian interests mark him out as very much a man of his time. From the late eighteenth-century a certain ‘Egyptomania’ had flourished right across Europe. Antiquities brought from Egypt to Europe in the aftermath of Napoleon’s invasion of 1798–1801 caused a great deal of awed excitement. Indeed, as Egypt began the nineteenth-century under Napoleonic rule, it would end under the British Empire, and their respective masonic orders, in true colonial style, made use of Egyptian imagery and philosophy as a way of setting out their own legitimacy and inventing an unbroken sense of heritage. Influencing Continental freemasonry more especially, the most famous of all the subsequent ‘egyptian’ masonic rites was the order to which our own deeply conservative Dr Morison’s was a member, the Rite of Misraïm.

Popular interest was already high in 1798 when Napoleon invaded Egypt with scientists as well as soldiers, and by 1820 Dr Morrison was by no means the only Scottish freemason indulging in fashionable egyptian mystique. The 53rd Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (1820-1822), the 10th Duke of Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton, (1767-1852) had been an ardent supporter of Napoleon and his expedition, as well as a famously obsessive collector of ancient Egyptian artefacts. The Duke funded the expedition and its monumental Description de l’Égypte, which began appearing in 1809, leading to yet another wave of ‘Egyptomania’. Added impetus was provided by Jean-Franƈois Champollion’s (1790-1832), deciphering of hieroglyphs (1822), proving them to be a language, not mystic symbols, and by the installation of an obelisk in Paris (1836).

Alexander Douglas-Hamilton, later 10th Duke of Hamilton and 7th Duke of Brandon (1767 – 1852). 1782. By Sir Joshua Reynolds.

As Grand Master Mason of Scotland, Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton, was immensely proud of his family dynasty. The Duke’s ancestor, the 1st Lord Hamilton married a daughter of King James II in the 15th century, making the 2nd Earl of Arran, the heir presumptive to the Scottish throne. Alexander was the 10th Duke of Hamilton, the 7th Duke of Brandon, and following the death of Cardinal Henry, Duke of York, the last of the male Stuart line, in 1807, Hamilton began to promote himself as the legitimate heir to the throne. Imbued then with the blood of kings, divine right and manifest destiny, the Grand Master Mason became popularly known for his own sense of grandeur, and for his life long fixation with the process of Egyptian mummification. Such was his fascination, that on his death in 1852, the surgeon and antiquarian Thomas Pettigrew (1791–1865) was engaged to embalm the body of His Grace the Grand Master in strict recreation of Ancient Egyptian methods. The Duke’s mummified remains were placed in an ancient Ptolemaic period (305–30 BC) Egyptian sarcophagus he had purchased some 30 years earlier in Paris in 1836 for the British Museum, where he had been a Trustee since 1834. His Grace was then entombed in a vast Roman-style mausoleum on the grounds of his Scottish estate, described by The Times as ‘The most costly and magnificent temple for the reception of the dead in the world – always excepting the pyramids.

The ‘Pharaohic’ Grand Master: The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (1820 – 1822), 10th Duke of Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton’s sarcophagus. Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2254—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 15, 1882, p.76.

Visitors to the Grand Master’s mausoleum found themselves in a space that was both a Temple and a Masonic Lodge. Entering through an ‘Egyptian’ door, which alluded to the popular belief that Freemasonry originated or was practised in Egypt, and which was placed in the western position as an entrance to a Lodge. The mausoleum was marbled with a ‘Mosaic Pavement” with Masonic symbolism, including the point within a circle, Sun, Blazing Star, steps, ladders, degrees and processional circuits, and directly opposite a black marble ‘pedestal’ behind which the Right Worshipful Master might be expected to sit. But, placed in the east, on a plinth was, in fact, an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus containing the mummified body of the former Grand Master Mason of Scotland and premier peer of Scotland. The sarcophagus had actually been made for a lady called Maaru. It was much too small for the Duke and there are gruesome tales about how he was ‘made to fit’. Later, the word ‘Mose’ (child) on the sarcophagus was interpreted as a reference to the Old Testament Moses – Hamilton, as Masonic patriarch and royal initiate most certainly led his chosen people out from egypt.

Misraïm: Arcana Arcanorum

It is no coincidence then that Dr Morison was initiated into the ‘egyptian’ Rite of Misraïm in 1820, the first year of the Duke Hamilton’s reign as Grand Master. In his article ‘An Introduction to the High Degrees of Freemasonry‘ (2006), Henrik Bodgan explains the order was known as Misraïm in reference to a legend about the son of the biblical Ham, Misraïm. According to this legend, Misraïm had a profound part to play in shaping ancient Egypt religion. It was Misraïm who began the secret tradition of Isis and Osiris. Bodgan states, ‘the wisdom preserved within the sanctuary of the rite was claimed to derive from Adam, who had received it directly from God‘. According to the order then, it was Adam himself, with his children, who created the first masonic lodge. Seth succeeded his father, Noah saved it from the flood and Sham established it in Egypt – it is from Egypt then that the true secret tradition must stem. On its symbolic horizon, Egypt had always been a sacred repository of esoteric lore for masons. From some of the high-degrees, however, it became a nexus. Influenced by widespread European fascination with the remains of Pharaonic civilisations, the founders of these rites clothed them with references and symbols taken from the Pharaonic iconography.

The Egyptian Rite founded in 1784 by the Giuseppe Balsamo (1743 – 1795), known as Alessandro Count of Cagliostro, appointed himself Gran Cofto and claimed to be in possession of a unknown mysterium magnum, as well as of the Philosopher’s Stone. Cagliostro’s order was the main source of the masonic Rite of Misraïm. However, according to order the esoteric tradition of Misraïm descended from Egyptian mysteries through a jumbled trail including, among others, Adam, the occultist Balaam, Solomon, the Etruscans, the crusaders and Saladin. The tradition was supposedly handed down to Marc’s father, Gad Bédarride, who in 1782, it was claimed, in Cavaillon, received initiation at the hands of the “wise patriarch Ananiah Egyptian Great Conservator”. As the last link then in this uninterrupted chain (prisca theologia), Gad was a mason initiated in 1771 in Avignon; a centre of esoteric masonry, and suggested by some to be a member of Martinez de Pasqually‘s  (1727?–1774) l’Ordre de Chevaliers Maçons Élus Coëns de l’Univers.

In reality however, and from as early as 1738, traces of what would become the Misraïm can be found throughout Europe filled with alchemical, occult and Egyptian references, and with a structure of 90 degrees. Cagliostro, gave the Rite the impulse necessary for its development. Cagliostro founded the Rite of High Egyptian Masonry in 1784. Between 1767 and 1775 it is believed that he received the ‘Arcana Arcanorum‘, which are three very high hermetic degrees, from Sir Knight Luigi d’Aquino, the brother of the national Grand Master of Masonry in Naples. In 1788, he introduced them into the Rite of Misraïm and gave a patent to this Rite. It developed quickly in Milan, Geneva and Naples.

Marc Bédarride (4 February 1776 – April 1846) 
1815-1820 diagram of the 90˚ of the Misraïm Rite: The four series were called Symbolic, Philosophic, Mystic, and Kabbalistic. (Kl.MS:XXXIX.2).

A few years later the order came into the hands of three brothers from Avignon, Marc, Michael, and Joseph Bedarride, the three ‘wolf cubs’ sons of Gad. It was under their leadership that the order was introduced in France in 1815. The Bedarride version of the rite consisted of a total of ninety degrees, divided into four series, which were further subdivided into seventeen classes. The four series were called Symbolic, Philosophic, Mystic, and Kabbalistic.

Today, this Misraïm Rite is commonly considered a kind of fringe masonic order with additional egyptian content, for example Hiram returns to be Osiris, and every lodge officer has names derived from the Alexandrian Greek-Egyptian tradition. However, by 1820’s the rite had legitimately made its way to Scotland, as the Edinburgh 1824-25 Post-Office Annual Directory proudly advertises: ‘Supreme Council of the Masonic Order of Mizraim, in its 4 series and 90 degrees for Scotland, Duke of Athole, Hylerien Raux, Grand Secretary, Waterloo Place Meets quarterly.

Post-Office Annual Directory 1824-25. Describes the Duke of Atholl as the head of the order in Scotland. Likely, John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl , Grand Master Masons of Scotland 1778–1780 and Grand Master of the English ‘Ancients’ in 1775–81 and in 1791-1813.

Far from fringe, the Scottish membership of the Misraïm Rite seems eminent indeed. In addition to Dr Morison, the 1824-25 Post-Office Annual Directory describes the Duke of Atholl as the head of the order in Scotland. The exact ‘Duke of Atholl’ is a puzzle. Strictly speaking this should refer to John, 5th Duke of Atholl, who died insane in 1845, and was never made a mason. In all likelihood then it is his father, John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl (1755 – 1830), Grand Master Mason of Scotland 1778–1780 and Grand Master of the English ‘Ancients’ in 1775–81 and in 1791-1813. Evidence suggests therefore, that at one point during the early nineteenth-century this fringe masonic order was in fact populated not just by the elite of the Scottish Masonic establishment, but the elite of Scottish aristocracy!

‘Divine Worship’ At The National Monument of Scotland

The National Monument of Scotland, on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, is Scotland’s national memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. It was intended, according to the inscription, to be “A Memorial of the Past and Incentive to the Future Heroism of the Men of Scotland”. In January 1822, a proposal was put forward to ‘erect a facsimile of the Parthenon’ at a cost of some £42,000. The appeal found support amongst many prominent Edinburgh residents such as Sir Walter Scott, Henry, Lord Cockburn and Francis, Lord Jeffrey. The foundation stone was laid, amid great pomp and ceremony, the following month.

On 27th August 1822 the foundation stone of Scotland’s ‘Parthenon’ was laid in full masonic ceremonial. The Duke of Hamilton, royal Masonic patriarch and ‘Pharaohic’ Grand Master Mason, led a procession of masonic lodges, royal commissioners and other dignitaries from Parliament Square to the top of Calton Hill. At his side, His Grace, 4th Duke of Atholl 90˚, Sovereign Grand Master Absolute and Grand President of the Supreme Power of Order of Misraïm. The occasion is detailed most elaborately within the pages Lodge Cannogate Kilwining’s minute book:

The Duke of Hamilton then delivered a long and brilliant speech […] “I must beg now to offer my thanks to the different Masters, Wardens, Officers, and Brethren for their numerous attendance upon this solemn occasion. Having concluded the duty of the day, let them return home, and animated with new zeal for the spirit of masonry, let them encourage in their respective situations the sacred and mysterious ceremonies of our august institution […] “Upon the whole, it may be said that this was the most splendid Masonic ceremony and procession ever witnessed in this country.’

[MackenzieAllan1888History of the Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No.2compiled from the records1677-1888, p. 184-187].

Originally, the building was planned to have extensive catacombs in the area supporting the main structure, to provide a burial place for significant figures, intended as a “Scottish Valhalla” – perhaps planting a seed in the mind of Duke of Hamilton for his Masonic Mausoleum. A minute of the Royal Association in 1826 stated that the building was:

To adopt the Temple of Minerva or Parthenon of Athens, as the model of the Monument, and to restore to the civilised world that celebrated and justly admired edifice, without any deviation whatever, excepting the adaptation of the sculpture to the events and achievements of the Scottish Heroes, whose prowess and glory it is destined to commemorate and perpetuate, and part of which monument or building must, in terms of the said Act, be appropriated as a church or place of Divine worship, to be maintained in all time coming’

[Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (23 January 1888). “Donations to the Museum and Library”Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. XXII. Edinburgh: Neill and Company ]

As a Goddess, Minerva has long been been associated with the Egyptian Goddess, Isis – a figure present throughout the rituals of the Misraïm Rite. Witnessing this ritual at the ‘Temple of Isis’, was renowned artist J.M.W Turner (1775–1851). In a series of eight brief sketches he recorded the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone of the National Monument on 27 August 1822 in a sketchbook entitled ‘King’s Visit to Edinburgh Sketchbook‘ (D17552), now residing in the Tate Gallery.

Although difficult to make out Turner’s sketches capture particular and significants moments in the rite. After the stone was lowered into the pit by a crane, Hamilton, began a series of rituals, first checking the position with a set square and plumb line and then knocking the stone three times with a mallet .The Grand Master then receives, a cornucopia containing corn, and two cups containing wine and oil; and having poured them upon the stone, said, “Praise be to the Lord immortal and eternal…(Robert Mudie, An Historical Account of His Majesty’s Visit to Scotland, Edinburgh 1822, p.264)

Turner’s sketches appear to show Hamilton standing with his back to us holding what appears to be a cup. Beneath this is another sketch of two figures which appears to depict a specific moment of significance. The figure at the left, who wears a gown and elaborate headgear appears to bow on one knee, while the other – his back to us – holds out his arms. At the bottom right is a figure in a flowing ‘blue’ gown and what looks like a crown. Whoever he was Turner evidently regarded him as important enough to depict here.

High Degrees in Scotland: 1849

To better understand the Scottish context of the Rite of Misraïm it is important we take at least a cursory look at the masonic landscape existing in Scotland during the first half of the nineteenth-century. When Dr Morison established the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Scotland in 1849, thirty-three years after receiving his own 33˚, the ‘high degrees’ of freemasonry were already represented in Scotland by a confusing array of different grades, orders and systems – all of which were governed (in theory) by at least five other authorised ruling bodies over and above the Grand Lodge of Scotland. These include;

The Royal Grand Conclave of Scotland (Knight Templars). A warrant dated 1810 from the Duke of Kent as Grand Master of the Templar Order in England created this Edinburgh based body. The charter also allowed them to work a string of different degrees and other orders which they interpret to include authority over the 18˚- 30˚ Rite Ancient and Accepted (Rite Ecossais), 25˚ Rite (Heredom) of Perfection (Prussian Masonry) and the Priestly Order of the Temple. A further set of another twenty degrees, later to become associated with the Royal Arch, were worked by many Knight Templar ‘Encampments’ culminating in the ‘Knight Templar’ degree. The majority of the ‘Encampments’ in Scotland recognised the authority of the Royal Grand Conclave and gave it their allegiance. A few, mainly based in Ayrshire, however, declined to recognise the Royal Grand Conclave, which they regarded as an upstart body. These ‘Encampments’ continued to regard the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland as their governing body until 1822, when a Charter was granted to them setting up the Early Grand Encampment of Scotland. From 1811 until 1836 the Royal Grand Conclave of Scotland had a difficult existence under its Grand Master Alexander Deuchar (1777 – 1844). By 1830 the Royal Grand Conclave is essentially dead due to internal disputes. It is ‘revived’ in 1836, the prefix ‘Royal’ was dropped and Admiral Sir David Milne was elected Grand Master. In the early 1840’s the title was changed to The Chapter General of the Religious and Military Order of the Temple in Scotland, and that title remained in use until 1907.

The Supreme Grand Royal Arch of Chapter of Scotland. This body was founded in 1817 as a division of the Royal Grand Conclave. Informal arrangements were made to take charge of the ‘non Christian’ degrees, with the Royal Grand Conclave remaining focused on the Christian and Templar grades – this seems to have been more an aspiration on Deuchar’s part than an actual rule.

The Early Grand Encampment of Scotland (Knight Templars). Based in Kilmarnock, this body was founded in 1822 as a rival to The Royal Grand Conclave and retained that title until the 1880’s, when it was changed to The Grand Encampment of the Temple and Malta in Scotland. The change was carried out under the Grand Mastership of Mathew McB. Thomson, who made a number of changes in the organisation of the Grand Encampment. Around 1880’s The Early Grand Royal Arch Chapter and The Scottish Grand Council of Rites were formed from the body of the Grand Encampment and given an independent existence.

Supreme Council of the Masonic Order of Misraïm. Established in Edinburgh in 1820 as an independent body, the Misraïm goes on to become both an umbrella order for the other ‘high degrees’ previously centred around the Royal Grand Conclave, as well as an appendage order to a number of different related masonic bodies. By 1845 the Mizraim is included with the 25˚ Rite (Heredom) of Perfection, Rite Ancient and Accepted (Rite Ecossais), and the newly introduced Rite Primitive de Namours, under a new governing body called The Supreme Grand Council of Rites sometime around 1842 to 1845, but possibly as early the the 1830’s.

The Royal Order of Scotland.The date of foundation is about 1760. It was in abeyance for many years and ‘revived’ in 1839.

1810 Glammis Minute Book: Detailing the set of twenty degrees being worked by the ‘Strathmore Encampment of Knights Templars’ under the authority of Deuchar’s Royal Grand Conclave of Scotland.

These degrees later become associated with The Supreme Grand Royal Arch of Chapter of Scotland in 1819, but were worked by many Knight Templar ‘Encampments’ ultimately culminating with the ‘Knight Templar’ degree.

Printed Membership Lists 1818-1825

Dr Morison, as personal physician to the son of King George III (1738- 1820,) HRH Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, lived in the Duke’s household from 1814. Newly discovered printed French membership lists show both men were active members of the Mother Lodge Helvetica of the Rite of Misraïm, under the Orient of Geneva. Indeed, the two actually appear to have founded a Misraïm Lodge of their own: Médiateurs de la Nature. Boasting at least two British Dukes amongst their membership, both of whom were former Grand Master Masons, one royalty, the Rite of Misraïm was clearly a prestigious and accepted order of masonry in the 1820s.

1825 Printed Membership Lists: the Mother Lodge Helvetica, under the Orient of Geneva, of the Rite of Misraïm. (Kl.MS:XXXIX.2)
Active Membership list of the Mother Lodge Helvetica: HRH Augustus Frederick (1773–1843), Duke of Sussex, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England (1813 to 1843), and his personal physician, Dr Charles Morison of Greenfield (d. 1849), first Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Scotland, are both shown as ‘active members’ of the Mother Lodge Helvetica of the Rite of Misraïm. (Kl.MS:XXXIX.2)
1825 Honorary Membership List of ‘Médiateurs de la Nature’, Orient of Lausanne showing the Scottish ‘Valley of Edinburgh’. (Kl.MS:XXXIX.2)

Alongside Dr Morison and the Duke of Sussex, the French membership lists show several honorary Scottish members of the Mother Lodge Helvetica (Geneva) along with details of their lodge or rather ‘Valley’. His Grace, the Duke of Atholl is shown as holding the 90˚ and a member of the ‘Valley of Edinburgh’. He is also listed as an honorary member of Helvetica Mother Lodge (Geneva). In an earlier 1821 printed list, the Duke of Atholl is shown as an honorary member, but not in 1818. It appears yet again that Atholl’s association with the egyptian rite dates from circa. 1820, the same year as the Duke of Hamilton’s Grand Mastership of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. When the Rite of Misraïm appeared in Scotland it was from clearly French, rather than Egyptian roots, and His Grace, The Grand Master, does very little to stop its arrival in an already crowded masonic landscape. 

1825 Honorary Membership list of Mother Lodge Helvetica. (Kl.MS:XXXIX.2)

Other eminent members of the ‘Valley of Edinburgh’ are mentioned in the membership lists. For example, Sir Patrick Walker of Coates, Bart. 90˚ (1790-1835), an Advocate living in the Drumsheugh area of Edinburgh in 1828-1830, Master of St David’s Lodge, and the very First Grand Principle (Grand Z) of The Supreme Grand Royal Arch of Chapter of Scotland in 1817. As a member of no less than three continental Misraïm Lodges, Walker seems something of an enthusiast. Alexander Deuchar 90˚, Grand Master of The Royal Grand Conclave of Scotland is also listed as entering the Misraïm in 1820, alongside his Depute Grand Master Captain John Donaldson Boswell 87˚. In the 18th June 1870 issue of The Freemason magazine, a copy of a 1823 certificate issued by Deuchar as Grand Master of the Royal Grand Conclave is printed. Here we see Deuchar signing himself off as ‘R[oyal] G[rand] Con[clave] of Scot[land]. 90˚. Order of Misraïm’. Given the Royal Grand Conclave were chartered to work a number of ‘high degrees’ alongside that of Knight Templar, Deuchar interest in the Misraïm seems natural. Importantly though, we see in Deuchar’s masonic designations evidence of the Misraïm’s independent status outside the series of degrees worked by Royal Grand Conclave, to the extent it required separate post nominals.

“The Freemason: 1870-06-18, Page 1” Masonic Periodicals Online, Library and Museum of Freemasonry, 4 Jan. 2021, masonicperiodicals.org/periodicals/fvl/issues/fvl_18061870/page/1/.

With a base in Edinburgh, the Misraïm also appears to have a ‘Valley of Glasgow’, with its sole representative, ‘Ratteray 77˚, listed as a honorary member of the Helvetica Mother Lodge. Beyond this there are no other Misraïm lodges in Scotland, at least at this time. It’s legitimacy in Scotland, however, seems without doubt given three out of the four sovereign ‘high-degree’ Grand Masters were members. Yet, with so many other degrees on offer, the question remains – was this burst of interest in the Misraïm amongst Scotland’s most eminent freemasons an attempt to enter into the sphere of His Grace, the Duke of Hamilton as his loyal masonic ‘neophytes’ ? Courting, perhaps, ‘Pharaoh’s’ favour in the process of his eventual mummified apotheosis?

In any case, the following ten years of the 1830s are a blank in regards to the Scottish Misraïm. We can only assume this is the result of either the death of its head, the Duke of Atholl in 1830, or perhaps more likely, the disastrous implosion happening during this time within the ranks of The Royal Grand Conclave. Whatever the reason no documentary evidence seems to exist from this period.

Sussex and Morison’s Misraïm Lodge

1825 Honorary Membership List of ‘Médiateurs de la Nature’, Orient of Lausanne: Dr Charles Morison of Greenfield – the Veritable Founder. (Kl.MS:XXXIX.2)

As we have seen both Dr Morison and Duke of Sussex were ‘active’ members of the Mother Lodge Helvetica of the Rite of Misraïm, under the Orient of Geneva. Indeed, the two actually founded a Misraïm Lodge of their own: Médiateurs de la Nature. A billet from which is included above. In the traditionally published ‘ lodge comments’ attached to Ellic Howe’s 1972 Ars Quatuor Coronatorum‘s paper ‘Fringe Masonry in England 1870-85’, Harry Mendoza writes:

“Songhurst seems to indicate  that […] no less a person than the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England – the Duke of Sussex – was admitted by Ragon into the Rite on 14th February 1817 and invested with ‘full powers for England, Scotland and Ireland’ [Songhurst] goes on to say:

‘A document in the Library of the Grand Lodge of England dated 17th November, 1819, and addressed to the Duke by the members of the governing body in Paris gives a little more information concerning the connection of His Royal Highness with the Rite. The document informs him that at a meeting held in the previous month he had been appointed a Member of Honour of the Fourth Chamber. It asks for his protection and assistance in putting the order on a proper footing in England, as certain unauthorised Masons were endeavouring to work the degrees clandestinely, and states that Michel Bedarride, who was then in London, was the only person who could givcehim authentic particulars about the Order.’

Mendoza then states, ‘it is not clear (a) whether the Duke of Sussex sought membership or whether membership was thrust upon him – I suspect the latter; (b) whether the ‘admission’ occurred in England or France; I suspect it was in the form of a ‘communication’ from France to England, and (c) to what extent the Duke of Sussex could use his powers for ’scotland and Ireland’, even if he had desired to do so.

Mendoza is clearly wrong on almost all counts.

Summary of known Scottish members of the Rite of Misraïm 1820’s based on Printed French Membership Lists.

His Grace, the Duke of Atholl, John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl 90˚ (Valley of Edinburgh). Honorary Member of Médiateurs de la Nature under Orient of Lausanne (Valley of Cavaillon). Originator of the order in Scotland.

Sir Patrick Walker of Coates, Bart. 90˚ (Valley of Edinburgh). Honorary Member of Mother Lodge Helvetica, under Orient of Geneva. Honorary Member of Médiateurs de la Nature under Orient of Lausanne (Valley of Cavaillon). Honorary Member of Forez et Beaujolais (Valley of Lyon)

Dr Charles Morison of Greenfield 90˚ (Valley of London), Mother Lodge Helvetica (Valley of Geneva), Veritable Founder ‘Médiateurs de la Nature’ under Orient of Lausanne (Valley of Cavaillon),

Alexander Deuchar 90˚ (Valley of Edinburgh). Honorary Member of Médiateurs de la Nature under Orient of Lausanne (Valley of Cavaillon)

Ratteray 77˚ (Valley of Glasgow). Honorary Member of Mother Lodge Helvetica, under Orient of Geneva.

Hylerien R. Raux 90˚ (Valley of Edinburgh). Grand Secretary of the Supreme Council of the Masonic Order of Mizraim, in its 4 series and 90 degrees for Scotland. He was described by Dr. George Arnott Walker Arnott of ones of the heads of the Order during in the 1820s.

Captain John Donaldson Boswell 87˚ .

Original Ritual Manuscript of the ‘Arcana Arcanorum‘ – the highest degrees of the order (Kl.MS:XXXIX.2)

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