Edited by: Michael R. Poll
I’ve read several books on Masonry in general and several with a specific focus on the York Rite of Freemasonry. Anyone doing extensive masonic reading will find frequent references to “The Old Charges” and this book is a convenient, highly educational compilation of several of those documents.
The book is a fairly straight forward compilation of the ancient manuscripts, but the first chapter provides a very good discussion of what the Old Charges are and provides some very interesting background.
“Ancient Manuscripts of the Freemasons” is an important book for any Master Mason who wants to learn more about the origins of our fraternity. My favorite manuscript- The Torgau Chronicles- will be of particular interest to York Rite Masons who have completed up to and including the R.A.M. degree. This manuscript specifically discusses masters pledging their mark and really helps put the Mark Master Degree in an easy-to-understand context with the Fellowcraft degree and illustrates the relationship of the mark to fellowcraft masons and master masons.
I would recommend this book for all master masons and especially those continuing on and finishing their York degrees. It’s an excellent reference book for the library of anyone studying the history of the fraternity with an eye towards the transistion from operative masonry to speculative masonry.
Review by Companion Bill Boyd