Address by Wor. Bro. E. J. E. McLagan, member of the Hobart Lodge of Research, 21st. July, 1967.
I now address the issue of the Great Dissension, which occurred in the 18th Century, culminating in Freemasonry in England being divided into two factions bitterly opposed to each other.
These rivals became known as the “Antients” who formed a rival Grand Lodge in 1751, and the “Moderns”, who loyally adhered to the original Grand Lodge constituted in 1717.
Until comparatively recently the “Antients” have been apt to be described as “Seceders” or “Schismatics”, but both terms are quite unjustified seeing that not one of the first dissidents belonged to any lodge under the jurisdiction of the Premier Grand Lodge, and also that their ritual and customs differed scarcely at all from those of their Scottish and Irish Brethren, whose Grand Lodges, as we shall see later, were to recognize the so-called “Antients” as the Grand Lodge of England.