St. Edoüard & the Origins of Masonry

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Ever wondered what it was like to be one of the first Freemasons in Europe? Thanks to the new publication by Brother Kamel Oussayef, 33°, MSA, DSA, you now have a chance to feel as though you were there during the genesis of 32° Scottish Rite Freemasonry. We’re proud to introduce his new annotated translation of “Saint Edoüard: A 1748 Masonic Scottish Lodge During the French Enlightenment.”

Oussayef’s work, which was commissioned by The Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, is a translation of the important Masonic manuscript of Saint Edoüard, an early Scottish Rite Lodge located in Paris. It is a rare historic document which illuminates what is was like to be a part of one of the embryos of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

Through prosopography, a tool used by historians to identify and relate a group of persons in a particular historical context, Brother Kamel sublimely guides readers back to mid-18th century France, when philosophers such as Voltaire, Rousseau and John Locke were part of the intellectual and philosophical era of enlightenment.

His translation allows readers to observe the members of St. Edouard Lodge in their environment, taking into consideration their personal lives and human characteristics rather than scrutinizing the society in which they lived. Observing individuals, rather than a society, makes the reading of the document more personal, pleasant and livelier. As you read about the fascinating members of St. Edouard Lodge, you get the feeling that each of them is introducing himself to you.

The descriptions of their members’ places of work and lodging, their avocations, careers, or for some, the lack of any occupations, all serve to illustrate the connection that existed between the Scottish Rite and the social life of these men.

Above all, “St. Edouard” unveils the connections between Freemasonry and the political, cultural and social life of 18th Century Europe during the era of the enlightenment. This abundance of uninhibited, uncommon and sometimes-astonishing ideas would inexorably ignite the French Revolution of 1789, a cataclysmic upheaval of universal proportion, in which some of the members of St. Edouard Lodge were definitely involved.

It is likely that the Brothers of St. Edouard Lodge were aware that anything could happen, and everything was possible. Some members of the lodge eventually joined the Revolution, others sided with the royalist counter-revolution, and others went into exile to protect their lives, wealth or freedom. Others still fell victim to the infamous guillotine. Purchase yourself a copy and enjoy a journey back to a period in the story of Freemasonry like no other.

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About the Author

Illustrious Brother Kamel Oussayef, 33°, is a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America. He was born in Sétif, Algeria and attended school in France, where he resided for many years. Oussayef holds an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and an MS from the School of Public Communications at Boston University.

Brother Kamel is associated with several Masonic organizations, including Symbolic Blue Lodge Masonry in which he is a Past Master of William Parkman Lodge and Converse Lodge. He has been awarded the prestigious Henry Price and Joseph Warren medals for distinguished service to Freemasonry in Massachusetts.

In the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, he is an Assistant Master of Ceremonies with the Massachusetts Consistory of the Valley of Boston. He is the proud recipient of both the Meritorious and the Sovereign Grand Commander Distinguished Service awards.

Saint Edoüard: A 1748 Masonic Scottish Lodge During the French Enlightenment is now available for purchase online in paperback in the Masonic Marketplace and electronically on Kindle.