The Ancient and Accepted (Scottish) Rite

Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Canada

The Ancient and Accepted (and frequently termed ‘Scottish’) Rite is a large collection of philosophical degrees collated into a single progressive rite, with expression internationally. There is much history to the Rite, and much variation within the practice of this across the world.1

Scottish or ‘Eccossais’ Masonry

The first mention of ‘Scotch’ masonry appears to be in 1733. The association between a Scottish origin of this more philosophic and Kabbalistic theme in masonry appears to be based in the Jacobite politics of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and most especially in the masonry that was practiced in France in the first half of the 18th century.2 3 Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsey, a Jacobite exile, tutor to the children of the nobility and royalty, is considered to have been the most instrumental in the early development of this movement, and is believed to be the author of a number of these earliest degrees.4 5 By 1740, Ramsey has developed an initial rite of 7 degrees.6 7 8 It has been suggested that a number were politically motivated against the English, and in support of Roman Catholicism.9 This is a complex historical area of research involving political and theological disagreement, and most especially ideological dissent, and is a subject I can only briefly touch upon here.10

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