Allied Masonic Degrees

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In the Nineteenth Century there were a number of degrees outside Craft Masonry worked by Lodges under warrants issued to them by the Antients, these were often known as additional or side degrees. Following the establishment of United Grand Lodge many degrees were grouped into various orders each with their own governing body. However in the 1870’s there were a number of degrees in which no existing Grand Body had any interest that were being worked in various parts of the country. In order to prevent the wasting away of these historical degrees and to ensure the use of standardised rituals it was decided by the Grand Secretaries of the Craft, the Mark and the Grand Secretary General of the Ancient and Accepted Rite to form a “Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees in England and Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown” based at Mark Masons Hall, London. The Grand Council began to issue warrants in 1880, firstly as warrants of confirmation to existing lodges these being lettered rather than numbered. In this District St. Paul Council was first warranted in 1884, but fell into disuse and was reponed in 2013. The first warrant was issued to Portal Council on the 1/01/1880 which still meets to this day in Liverpool. Councils were warranted in Calcutta (1881), Brisbane (1900) and many areas of England and Wales. At this time there are approximately 130 active councils in England and Wales grouped into a number of Districts and 24 councils in other areas of the world under the government of this Grand Council. Originally Councils were warranted to work four Orders, namely the Grand High Priest, St Lawrence the Martyr, the Red Cross of Babylon and the Knights of Constantinople. In 1893 the Order of the Grand Tilers of Solomon was added to the list. Other orders once under the governance of the Grand Council are now independent orders i.e. the Degree of Secret Monitor and the Order of Holy Wisdom otherwise known as the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests.