(20221127) Canada: GL Manitoba: News

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(20221127) Canada: GL Manitoba: News

 

Volume 35 | 2022

 

 
 

 

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That’s a good question ?

 

What were the Wages ?
WAGES OF THE WORKMEN AT THE TEMPLE

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Neither the Seriptures, nor Josephus, give us any definite statement of the amount of wages paid, nor the manner in which they were paid, to the workmen who were engaged in the erection of King Solomon’s Temple. The cost of its construction, however, must have been immense, since it has been estimated that the edifice alone consumed more gold and silver than at present exists upon the whole earth; so that Josephus very justly says that “Solomon made all these things for the honor of God, with great variety and magnificence, sparing no cost, but using all possible liberality in adorning the Temple.”

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We learn, as one instance of this liberality, from the Second Book of Chronicles, that Solomon paid annually to the Tyrian Freemasons, the servants of Hiram, “twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.” The bath was a measure equal to seven and a half gallons wine measure; and the cor or chomer, which we translate by the indefinite word measures contained ten baths; so that the corn, wine, and oil furnished by King Solomon, as wages to the servants of Hiram of Tyre, amounted to one hundred and ninety thousand bushels of the first and one hundred and fifty thousand gallons each of the second and third. The sacred records do not inform us what further wages they received, but we elsewhere learn that King Solomon gave them as a free gift a sum equal to more than thirty-two millions of dollars. The whole amount of wages paid to the Craft is stated to have been about six hundred and seventy-two millions of dollars; but we have no means of knowing how that amount was distributed; though it is natural to suppose that those of the most skill and experience received the highest wages.

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The Harodim, or chiefs of the workmen, must have been better paid than the Ish Cabal, or mere laborers. The legend-makers of Freemasonry have not been idle in their invention of facts and circumstances in relation to this Subject, the whole of which have little more for a foundation than the imaginations of the inventors. They form, however, a part of the legendary history of Freemasonry, and are interesting for their ingenuity, and sometimes even for their absurdity.

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WAGES OF OPERATIVE MASONS

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In all the Old Constitutions praise is given to Saint Alban because he raised the wages of the Freemasons. Thus the Edinburgh-Kilwinning Manuscript says: “Saint Albans loved Masons well and cherished them much, and made their pay right good, standing by as the realm, did, for he gave them iis. a week, and 3d. to their cheer; for before that time, through all the land, a Mason had but a penny a day and his meat, until Saint Alban amended it.”

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We may compare this rate of wages in the third century with that of the fifteenth, and we will be surprised at the little advance that was made.

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In Grosse and Astle’s Antiquarian Repertory (iii, page 58), will be found an extract from the Rolls of Parliament, which contains a Petition, in the year 1443, to Parliament to regulate the price of labor. In it are the following items:

And from the Fest of Mighelmasse unto Ester, a free Mason and a maister carpenter by the day iiiid. with mete and drynk, withoute mete and drink iiid., ob.

Tyler or Sclatter, rough mason and meen carpenter, and other artificers concernyng beldyng, by the day iiid., with mete and drynk, and withoute mete and drynke, iiid., ob. And from the Fest of Mighelmasse unto Sister, a free Mason and a maister carpenter by the day iiid with mete and drynk, without mete and drink, iiid., ob.

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Tyler, meen carpenter, rough mason, and other artificers aforesaid, by the day iid., ob, with mete and drynk, withoute mete and drynk iiid.., and every other werkeman and laborer by the day id., ob, with mete and drynk and withoute mete and drink iiid., and who that lasse deserveth, to take lasse.

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~Mackey

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

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The Guillotine and Freemasonry

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Sources: Wikipedia and History Today

It has been edited and compiled by VW Bro. Barry D. Thom,

St.Clair Lodge # 577, GL of Canada in the Prov. of ON

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Worshipful Brother Joseph Guillotin was initiated into “La Parfaite Union” lodge, France. He was a very active Mason, joining several other lodges. He was a deputy of the Grand Lodge from 1772-1790, taking part in the birth of the Grand Orient of France. In 1773, he became Worshipful Master of lodge “La Concorde Fraternelle” in Paris. In 1776, he founded the “La Vérité” lodge. 

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      Guillotin’s early education was by the Jesuits in Bordeaux and he earned a Master of Arts degree at the College of Aquitaine of the University of Bordeaux, in 1761. The essay that he wrote to earn the degree impressed the Jesuits so much that they invited him to become a professor of literature at the Irish College, in Bordeaux. However, he left after a few years and travelled to Paris to study medicine. He gained a diploma from the faculty at Reims, in 1768, and his doctorate at the School of Medicine in Paris in 1770, where he became a well-known physician. By 1775, he was concerned with issues of torture and death. 

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     At the same time, he was also concerned with criminal law reform. His experiences as a doctor had led him to oppose capital punishment. At first, he attempted to abolish it, but was unsuccessful.

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     At that time, beheading in France was typically by axe or sword, which did not always cause immediate death. Additionally, beheading was reserved for the nobility, while commoners were typically hanged, which could take a long time, as the techniques whereby the victim’s neck was broken by the noose had not yet been invented, so in fact the person was strangled to death. Other methods included burning at the stake, the breaking wheel, death by boiling, and dismemberment. Guillotin realised that, if he could not eliminate executions, he could at least make them more humane.

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The breaking wheel or execution wheel, was a torture method used for public execution primarily in Europe. The wheel was used to break all of the major bones in a person’s body, starting with the shin bones and working up to the head. Not everybody died the same day, some lasted for 3 or 4 days. The last known execution by the “Wheel” took place in Prussia in 1841.

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     In 1789, Bro. Guillotin proposed that “the criminal shall be decapitated; this will be done solely by means of a simple mechanism.” The “mechanism” was defined as “a machine that beheads painlessly.

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Guillotin proposed six articles: 

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1. All punishments for the same class of crime shall be the same, regardless of the criminal (i.e., there would be no privilege for the nobility)

2. When the death sentence is applied, it will be by decapitation, carried out by a machine

3. The family of the guilty party will not suffer any legal discrimination

4. It will be illegal to anyone to reproach the guilty party’s family about his/her punishment

5. The property of the convicted shall not be confiscated

6. The bodies of those executed shall be returned to the family if so requested

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Guillotin assumed that, if a fair system was established where the only method of capital punishment was by mechanical decapitation, then the public would feel more appreciative of their rights. Despite this proposal, Guillotin was opposed to the death penalty, and hoped that a more humane and less painful method of execution would be the first step towards total abolition. He also hoped that, as the decapitation machine would kill quickly without prolonged suffering, this would reduce the size and enthusiasm of crowds that often witnessed executions.

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     The guillotine gained fame during the French Revolution. Guillotin and his supporters viewed this device as more humane than other execution techniques, such as hanging or firing squad. A French decapitating machine was built and tested on cadavers and in 1792, a highwayman became the first person in Revolutionary France to be executed by this method.

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     In 1977 at Baumetes Prison in Marseille, France, Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant convicted of murder, became the last person in France to be executed by guillotine, and in 1981 capital punishment, was abolished.

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     There is evidence that as early as 400 B.C there was a pre-guillotine device commonly used. Later during the Middle Ages a beheading device called the “planke” was used in Germany, and Flanders. The English had a sliding axe known as the Halifax Gibbet, which may have been lopping off heads all the way back to antiquity. The French guillotine was likely inspired two earlier machines: the Renaissance-era “Mandara” from Italy, and the notorious “Scottish Maiden,” which claimed the lives of some 120 people between the 16th and 18th centuries. 

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     Bro. Guillotine helped oversee the development of the first prototype, by improving the blade, and adding a circular collar that held the neck of the victim in place with a basket to catch the head.

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The machine was designed by French doctor Antoine Louis, and built by a German harpsichord maker named Tobias Schmidt, it quickly became known as the “guillotine”, much to the horror of its supposed inventor. More than 10,000 people lost their heads by guillotine during the Revolution, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the former king and queen of France.

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     Guillotine executions were major spectator events. During the Reign of Terror of the mid-1790s, thousands of “enemies of the French revolution” met their end by the guillotine’s blade. Some members of the public initially complained that the machine was too quick and clinical, but before long the process had evolved into high entertainment.

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      People came to the ‘Place de la Revolution’ in droves to watch the guillotine do its grisly work, and the machine was honoured in countless songs, jokes and poems. Spectators could buy souvenirs, read a program listing the names of the victims, or even grab a quick bite to eat at a nearby restaurant called “Cabaret de la Guillotine.” Some people attended on a daily basis, most famously the “Tricoteuses,” a group of morbid women who supposedly sat beside the scaffold and knitted in between beheadings. 

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      From the very beginning of its use, speculation abounded over whether the heads of the guillotined remained conscious after being cut off. The debate reached new heights in 1793, when an assistant executioner slapped the face of one of his victims’ heads, and spectators claimed to see its cheeks flush in anger. Doctors later asked the condemned to try to blink or leave one eye open after their execution to prove they could still move, and others yelled the deceased’s name or exposed their heads to candle flames and ammonia to see if they would react. In 1880, a doctor named Dassy de Lignieres even had blood pumped into the head of a guillotined child murderer to find out if it would come back to life and speak. The ghastly experiments were put to a stop in the 20th century, but studies on rats have since found that brain activity may continue for around four seconds after decapitation.

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     While the guillotine is most famously associated with revolutionary France, it claimed a higher number of lives, in Germany, during the Third Reich. Adolf Hitler made the guillotine a state method of execution in the 1930s, and ordered that 20 of the machines be placed in cities across Germany. According to Nazi records, the guillotine was eventually used to execute some 16,500 people between 1933 and 1945, many of them resistance fighters and political dissidents. 

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A Final Word

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     The association with the guillotine so embarrassed Brother Guillotin’s family that they petitioned the French government to rename it; when the government refused, they instead changed their own family name. By coincidence, a person named Guillotin was executed by the guillotine – he was J.M.V. Guillotin, a doctor of Lyon. This coincidence may have contributed to erroneous statements that J.I. Guillotin was put to death on the machine that bears his name; however, in reality, Guillotin died at home in Paris in 1814 of natural causes, at age 75.

 

 
 

 

 

 

Thought for Today

By Brother Sandy MacMillan

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

A Famous Freemason

 

The Right Reverend Edward Bass was an American Episcopal Bishop born on November 23rd, 1726. He was educated at Harvard University graduating in 1744. After graduating he taught and preached at Congregationalist churches.

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In 1749 Bass was appointed assistant at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newburyport, Massachusetts by the new head of the parish (rector) Mathias Plant. In 1753 Bass became rector himself and held the position until his death in 1803.

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The year before Bass was appointed rector at St. Paul’s, Bass traveled to England to be ordained as a Bishop in the Episcopal Church, becoming the first American Episcopal Bishop.

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During the Revolutionary War Bass considered himself neutral. In all of his services he did omit references to the royal family and the British Government. When this reached England the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (later renamed to United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel), a pastoral care organization, cut off all funding to Bass.

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In 1789 the first convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts was held in Salem, Massachusetts. Bass was elected Bishop of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Bass’s parish rejected the election because lay delegates did not participate. In 1796 in Boston Bass was elected Bishop of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine, this time with lay delegates participating. Bass was consecrated the following year in Philadelphia. Bass was the 7th Bishop consecrated in the Episcopal Church.

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Bass passed away on September 10th, 1803.

Bass was a member of St. John’s lodge No. 1 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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Source: MasonryToday

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

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Articles published in this newsletter are not necessarily the opinion of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba or any of its officers or members, but are solely those of the writer…

Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest fraternity. It is comprised of adult men (18+) of good character from every country, religion, race, age, income, education, and opinion. Its body of knowledge and system of ethics is based on the belief that each man has a responsibility to improve himself while being devoted to his family, his faith, his country, and his fraternity.

 

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