Monday, May 23, 2011
Lineage of the Scottish Rite
The lineage of the Scottish Rite can be traced to a period from 1726, although some of its rituals may have a legacy dating to the 1600’s. There are early allusions to “Scottish” Masonry, i.e., degrees with a “Scottish” title, in manuscripts dating back to 1733. But the most likely beginning of the Scottish Rite can be traced to Bordeaux and Paris, France where the ritual basis for the second temple degrees can be dated to 1743. The establishment of the Chapter of Clermont in 1754 outside of Paris, by Chevalier de Bonneville, honoring the Duc de Clermont, then Grand Master of the English Grand Lodge of France, may have worked as many as 25 degrees during its four year period of existence.
The Chapter of Clermont was replaced by the Knights of the East and Emperors of the East and West, the latter becoming known in France as the Rite of Heredom during the 1750’s. This Rite organized the Rite of Perfection, comprising of 25 degrees, 22 of which were called the haut grades, or high degrees, with the three degrees of the symbolic lodge added.