Thursday, May 19, 2011

Clermont Degrees

After the organization of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, Free-Masonry became very popular. It passed over the Channel to France in 1721 where numerous "side degrees" were developed. In 1740, Chevalier Ramsey, a Scottish nobleman, gave some famous lectures in Paris and Bordeaux on the origin and objects of Free-Masonry. He subdivided the "Three Degrees" and explained by his philosophic lectures. He established a Lodge which he called Harodim, but the French styled it Scotchman's Lodge Masonry.
The Scottish Rite had its beginning in France. In 1744, the Chevalier de Bonneville established in the Rite of Clermont in Paris a chapter of twenty-five "High Degrees" known as the Rite of Perfection.
This Rite was a refuge for the Stuarts of Scotland, which in fact may have had some bearing on the name Scottish Rite. The body established by Bonneville, including the three symbolic degrees, was called the Rite of Perfection. In 1754, these Degrees were taken by Marquis de Lernais to Berlin where they in the following year were placed under a body called the Council of the Emperors of the East and West, which was formed at Paris from the ruins of the Clermont Chapter.

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