Chapter 7

The Cooke Manuscript (1410)


Ranked second in seniority on the long list of the Old Charges of Craft Masonry the Cooke Manuscript, bearing the name of the London publisher, Matthew Cooke, who published its first transcription (1) in 1861, differs in several ways from its predecessor, the Regius. 

This is despite the fact that it was written in the same region of the Midlands, in the same language, and only a few years later. It has long been stated that the Regius was written between 1370 and 1450, so that the Cooke is dated, but without formal assurance, around the year 1410 to 1475.

The Context - From 1390 (Regius) to 1410 (Cooke), many political and military upheavals affected the lives of England and France. In England, King Richard II (1367-1400) was deposed in 1399 by his cousin Henry, who reigned under the name of Henry IV (1363-1413). 

In France, Charles VI still reigned (1368-1422) but, Charles the Beloved (his original nickname), became Charles the Mad. Following the assassination of Louis of Orleans, brother of the King, the Kingdom of France was plunged into a bloody civil war pitting the Armagnacs against the Burgundians. 

To fulfill the ambitions of their Lords and Nobles, England and France battled each other during a Hundred Years War, causing similar pain on both sides of the Channel.

The document - The Cooke Manuscript, unlike the Regius Ms, is presented in the form of a long prose narrative: the original, which is held by the British Library in London, is a collection of 68 pages of vellum and of 3.32 x 4.68 inches in size. If we take into account its structure, content, and style, we can say it was written by several people - presumably religious clerks - and has incorporated large parts of older documents. While preparing the initial copy of his Book of Constitutions Reverend James Anderson was undoubtedly inspired by the Cooke Manuscript, which also influenced all the Old Charges which came after. 

Modern transcription from Medieval English.

The Text

THANKS be to God, our glorious Father, the founder and creator of heaven and earth and of all things that are in them, because he has granted, by his glorious Divinity, to make so many things of various kinds for the use of mankind. For he made all things to be subject and obedient to man. 

All things edible of a wholesome nature he ordered to be for man’s sustenance. Moreover, he has given to man understanding and the knowledge of various things and crafts, by which we may work in this world, in order to earn our livelihood and fashion many objects, pleasant in the sight of God, and also for our own ease and profit. 

To go over all these matters here would take too long in the writing or telling, so I will refrain; but I will, nevertheless, tell you some; for instance, how and in what manner the Science of Geometry was first invented, and who were the founders of it, as well as of several other Crafts, as is told in the Bible, and other histories. 

How, and in what manner this worthy Science of Geometry began, I will tell you, as I said before. You should know that there are seven liberal Sciences, from which seven all other Sciences and Crafts in the world were first found out; but especially Geometry, which is the first cause of all the others that are called the seven Sciences 

These seven Sciences are as follows:

• The first, which is called the foundation of all Sciences, is Grammar, which teaches us to write and speak correctly. 

• The second is Rhetoric, which teaches us to speak elegantly. 

• The third is Dialectic, which teaches us to discern the true from the false, and is usually called Art or Logic. 

• The fourth is Arithmetic, which instructs us in the Science of numbers, to calculate, and to make accounts. 

• The fifth is Geometry, which teaches us all about methods of measuring, measures and weights, of all kinds of handicrafts. 

• The sixth is Music, which teaches us the Art of song by notes for voice, and on the organ, trumpet, and harp, and of all things pertaining to them. 

• The seventh is Astronomy, which teaches us the course of the sun and of the moon and of the other stars and planets of heaven. 

Our intent is principally to treat of the first foundation of the worthy Science of Geometry and who its founders were. As I said before, there are seven liberal Sciences, that is to say, seven Sciences or Crafts that are free in themselves, which seven exist only through Geometry. And Geometry may be described as earth-measuring: “Et sic dici a geo q n R ter a latine & metro quod e men ura. U Gemetria. i, mens r terre uel terra rum” (2). Which is to say in English, that the word Geometry is derived from “geo,” which is Greek for earth, and “metron” or measure. That is how the word Geometry is compounded and means the measure of the earth.

Don’t be surprised because I said that all Sciences exist only through the Science of Geometry. For there is no Art or handicraft made by one’s hands that is not made through Geometry, which is a main factor in it. For if one works with his hands he uses some sort of tool, and there is no instrument of any material in this world which is not formed of some sort of earth, and to earth it will return. And there is no instrument or tool to work with that does not have some proportion, more or less. And proportion is measure, and the instrument or tool is earth. And Geometry is earth-measuring, therefore I affirm that all men live by Geometry. For all men in this world live by the work of their hands. I could give you many more proofs that Geometry is the Science by which all reasoning men live, but I refrain at this time because the writing of it would be too long a process

And now I will proceed further into the matter. You should understand that among all the Crafts followed by man in this world, Masonry has the greatest renown and the largest share of this Science of Geometry, as is stated in history, such as the Bible, and in the Master of history (3). In the Polychronicon (4), a trustworthy chronicle, and in the histories that are called Beda [Bede] (5); De Imagine Mundi (6); Isodorus [Isidore] of Seville’s Ethemologiarum [Etymologiae]; Methodius (7), bishop and martyr; and many others, it is said that Masonry is the chief part of Geometry, as I think it may well be said, for it was the first  one founded, as is stated in the Bible, in the first book, Genesis, in the fourth chapter. Moreover, all the learned authors named above agree in this. And some of them affirm it more openly and plainly, precisely as in Genesis in the Bible.

In direct descent from Adam, in the seventh generation, there lived a man named Lameth [Lamech], who had two wives named Adah and Zillah. By the first wife, Adah, he fathered two sons, named Jobel [Jabal] and Juball. The elder son, Jabal, was the first man that ever discovered Geometry and Masonry, and he made houses, and is called in the Bible “Pater habitancium in tentoris atque pastorum,” that is to say, the father of all men who live in tents, that is, dwelling houses. He was Cayin’s [Cain’s] Master Mason and governor of all his works when he built the city of Enoch, which was the first city ever made and was built by Cain, Adam’s son, who gave it to his own son Enoch. 

He gave the city the name of his son and called it Enoch. Now it is known as Effraym [Ephraim], and at that place the Science of Geometry and Masonry was first carried out and contrived as a Science and as a Craft. So we may well say that it is the first cause and foundation of all Crafts and Sciences. This man Jabal was also called Pater Pastorum, the Father of shepherds. 

The Master of History says, and Bede, De Imagine Mundi and the Polychronicon, and many others also say, that he was the first one who partitioned lands, in order that every man might know his own land and work on it for himself. He also divided flocks of sheep, so that every man might know his own sheep, and so we may say that he was the inventor of that Science. 

His brother Jubal, or Tubal, was the inventor of music and song, as Pictogoras [Pythagoras] states in the Polychronicon, and Isidore of Seville says the same thing. In his Etymologiae, in the sixth book, he says that he was the first founder of music and song, and of the organ and trumpet; and he discovered that Science by the sound of pounding of his brother Tubalcayin’s [Tubal-Cain’s] hammers. Truly, as the Bible says, in the fourth chapter of Ge­nesis, Lamech fathered by his other wife Zillah a son and a daughter, and their names were Tubal-Cain, that was the son, and the daughter was called Naamah. 

According to the Polychronicon, some men say that she was Noah’s wife; but whether this was so or not, we will not affirm. You should understand that this son Tubal-Cain was the founder of the smith’s craft and of other handicrafts dealing with metals, such as iron, brass, gold and silver, as some learned writers say; and his sister Naamah discovered the craft of weaving, for before that time no cloth was woven, but they spun yarn and knit it and made such clothing as they could, but because this woman Naamah invented the craft of weaving it was called woman’s craft. 

These three brothers knew that God would take vengeance for sin, either by fire or water. They were very concerned about what they could do to save the Sciences they had discovered. They took counsel together and exercised all their wits. They said there were two kinds of stone of such virtue that the one would never burn, called marble (8), and the other, called Latrus (9), would not sink in water. So they devised a plan to write all the Sciences they had found on these two stones, so that if God took vengeance by fire the marble would not burn, and if God sent vengeance by water the other would not drown. 

They asked their elder brother Jabal to make two pillars of these two stones, that is of marble and of Latrus, and to write on the two pillars all the Sciences and Crafts which they had found, and he did so. Therefore we may say that he was the wisest in Science, for he first began and carried out their purpose before Noah’s flood, 

Although fortunately knowing of the vengeance that God would send, the brothers did not know whether it would be by fire or water. They knew by a sort of prophecy that God would send one or the other and therefore they wrote their Sciences on the two pillars of stone. Some men say that they wrote on the stones all the seven Sciences, as they had it in mind that a vengeance would come. So it was, that God did send vengeance, and there came such a flood that all the world was drowned and everyone died except eight persons. 

These were Noes [Noah] and his wife and his three sons and their wives, from which sons all the world is descended. They were named in this manner: Sem [Shem], Cam [Ham] and Japhet. This flood is called Noah’s Flood, because he and his children were saved in it. Many years after the flood, according to the chronicle, these two pillars were found, and the Polychronicon says that a great clerk, named Pythagoras, found one, and Hermes (10) the philosopher found the other, and they taught the Sciences that they found written on them. 

Every chronicle and history, and many other writers and the Bible in particular, relate the building of the tower of Babilon (11). It is written in the Bible, Genesis, chapter 10, how Ham, Noah’s son, fathered Nembrothe [Nimrod], who grew to be a mighty man upon the earth and became strong, like a giant. He was a great King and the beginning of his kingdom was the kingdom of Babylon proper, and Erech and Accad and Calneh and the land of Shinar. This same Nimrod began the tower of Babylon and taught his workmen the Craft of Masonry. He had with him many masons, more than 40,000, and he loved and cherished them well. 

It is written in the Polychronicon and in the Master of History, and in other histories, and in part the Bible witnesses in the same 10th chapter, where it says, that Assur [Asshur], who was closely related to Nimrod, went forth from the land of Shinar and built the City of Nunyve [Nineveh] and Plateas and many more. For it is written “De terra illa egressus est Assur, et aedificavit Niniven, et plateas civitatis, et Chale, Resen quoque inter Ninevet et Chale: haec est civitas magna” (12). 

It is only reasonable that we should plainly say how and in what manner the Charges of the Mason’s Craft were first founded, and who first gave it the name of Masonry. You should know that it is stated and written in the Polychronicon and in Methodius bishop and martyr, that Asure [Asshur], who was a worthy lord of Shinar, sent a message to Nimrod the King, asking him to send him Masons and workmen of the Craft, so that they might help him build his city, which he desired to make. 

Nimrod sent him 30 hundred [3,000] masons. As they were about to depart and go forth, he called them before him and said to them, “You must go to my cousin Asshur to help him build a city, but see to it, that you are well governed, and I will give you a Charge that will be profitable to both you and me. 

“When you come to that lord, see that you are true to him, just as you would be to me, work at your Craft honestly, and take a reasonable payment for it, whatever you may deserve. Love each other as though you were brothers and hold together staunchly. Let whoever has the most skill teach his fellow, and be careful that your conduct among yourselves and towards your lord may be to my credit, so that I may have thanks for sending you and teaching you the Craft.” 

So they received the charge from him, who was their lord and Master, and went forth to Asshur and built the city of Nineveh in the country of Plateas, and other cities also, that are called Cale and Jesen, which is a great city between Cale and Nineveh. It was in this way that the Craft of Masonry was first instituted and charged as a Science. 

Elders of Masons before our times had these charges written for them, as we have now in our Charges the story of Euclid, and as we have seen them written both in Latin and in French (13).

But it is only reasonable that we should tell you how Euclid came to have the knowledge of Geometry, as stated in the Bible and in other histories. In the twelfth chapter of Genesis it is told how Abraham came to the land of Canaan, and our Lord appeared to him and said, “I will give this land to your seed.” But a great famine took place in that land, and Abraham took Sarah, his wife, with him and made a journey into Egypt to live there while the famine lasted. And Abraham, so says the chronicle, was a wise and learned man. He knew all the seven Sciences and taught the Egyptians the Science of Geometry. 

The worthy clerk Euclyd [Euclid] was his pupil and learned from him, and he was the first to give it the name of Geometry; although it was practiced before his time, it had not acquired the name of Geometry. But it is said by Isidore of Seville in the fifth Book and first Chapter of the Ethemologiarum that Euclid was one of the first founders of Geometry and gave it that name. 

For in his time the river of Egypt, which is called the Nile, so overflowed the land that no one could live there. Then the worthy clerk Euclid taught them to make great walls and ditches to keep back the water and by Geometry he measured the land and divided it out into sections and caused every man to enclose his own portion with walls and ditches and thus it became a country abounding in all kinds of produce and of young people, of men and women, so that the youthful population increased so much as to render earning a livelihood difficult. 

So the lords of the country drew together and took counsel how they might help their children who had no livelihood, in order to provide for themselves and their children, because they had so many. Among them at the council was this worthy Clerk Euclid. 

When he saw that none of them could devise a remedy in the matter, he said to them “Lay your orders upon your sons and I will teach them a Science by which they may live as gentlemen, under the condition that they shall be sworn to me to uphold the regulations that I shall lay upon both them and you.” The King of the country and all the lords agreed to this with one accord. 

It is only reasonable that every man would agree to that which was profitable to himself, and so they took their sons to Euclid to be governed by him. He taught them the Craft of Masonry and gave it the name of Geometry because of the dividing of the ground which he had taught the people at the time of making the walls and ditches, as was said before, to keep out the water. Isidore of Seville says in his Etymologiae that Euclid called the Craft Geometry.

This worthy clerk Euclid gave it a name and taught it to the sons of the lords of that land whom he had been teaching. He gave them a charge that they should call each other fellow and nothing else, because they were all of one Craft and of the same gentle birth, lords’ sons. Also, that the most skillful one should be governor of the work and should be called Master; and other charges as well, which are written in the Book of Charges. And so they worked for the lords of the land and built cities and towns, castles and temples and lords’ palaces.

During the time that the Children of Israel lived in Egypt they learned the Craft of Masonry. And after they were driven out of Egypt they came into the promised land, which is now called Jerusalem, and they occupied that land and the charges were observed there. At the building of Solomon’s Temple, which King David began, King David loved Masons well, and gave them wages nearly as they are now. 

At the building of the Temple in Solomon’s time, as stated in the Bible in the third book of Kings (14), the fifth chapter, Solomon had eighty thousand masons at work. The son of the King of Tyre was his Master Mason. In other chronicles and in old books of Masonry, it is said that Solomon confirmed the charges that his father David had given to masons. Solomon himself taught them their usages, differing but slightly from the customs now in use.

From there, this worthy Science was brought into France and into many other regions. At one time there was a worthy King in France called Carolus Secundus (15), that is to say Charles the Second. This Charles was elected King of France by the grace of God and also by right of descent. Some men say he was elected by good fortune, which is false, because according to the chronicles he was of royal blood. This same King Charles was a Mason before he became King. After he became King he loved masons and cherished them and gave them charges and usages of his own devising, some of which are still in force in France; and he ordered that they should have an assembly once a year and come and speak together, in order that the Masters and fellows might rule on anything that was amiss.

Soon after that St. Adhabell (16) came into England and converted St. Albon (17) to Christianity. St. Alban loved masons very much, and he was the first to give them charges and customs in England, and he ordered adequate wages to pay for their toil. After that there was a worthy King in England, called Athelstone [Athelstan], and his youngest son loved the Science of Geometry very much; and he knew, as well as the masons themselves, that their handicraft was the practice of the Science of Geometry. 

Therefore he took counsel from them and learned the practical part of that Science in addition to his theoretical knowledge, because of the speculative part he was a Master. He loved Masonry and Masons very much. He became a Mason himself, and he give them charges and usages such as are now customary in England and in other countries. 

He ordered that they should have reasonable pay. Also, he purchased a free patent from the King so that they could hold an assembly at whatever time they thought was reasonable and come together to consult. About those charges, usages and assembly it is written and taught in our Book of Charges; so I will leave it for the present.

Good men! for this reason and in this way Masonry first arose. It happened, a long time ago, that great lords had so many children that their possessions were not great enough to provide for their future. Therefore they took counsel how to provide for their children and find them all honest livelihood. So they sent for wise Masters of the worthy Science of Geometry, that through their wisdom they might provide them with some honest living. Then one of them, who was called Englet [Euclid], a very clever and wise inventor, organized that Art and called it Masonry. 

Then he honestly taught the children of the great lords about this Art of his, according to the desire of the fathers and the free consent of their children. Having taught them with great care for a certain time, they were not all equally able to perform this Art, so the said Master Euclid ordered that those who were more capable should be more honored and for them to instruct the less skillful. 

These Masters were called Masters of nobility, of knowledge and skill in that Art. Nevertheless they commanded that those who were of less knowledge should not be called servants or subjects, but fellows, on account of the nobility of their gentle blood. That is how the Art was begun in the land of Egypt by the Master Euclid, and then it spread from country to country and from kingdom to kingdom. 

Many years later, in the time of King Athelstan, who was then the King of England, by the common agreement of his Council and other great lords of the land, on account of great defects found among the masons, a certain rule was ordered for them: 

Once a year, or every three years, as might seem necessary to the King and great lords of the land and the whole community, from province to province and from country to country, congregations should be made of all Master masons and fellows in the aforesaid Art, and at those congregations those who were Masters should be examined in the following articles, and be tested whether they are able and skillful, to the profit of the lords they serve and to the honor of the Art. Moreover, they shall be charged to well and truly use the goods of their lords, the lowest as well as the highest; for they are their lords’ for the time being, from whom they take their pay for their service and toil.

The first Article is this. That every Master of this Art should be wise, and true to the lord who employs him, expending his goods as carefully as he would want his own to be expended; and not give more pay to any Mason than he knows him to have earned, according to the price of grain and other food in the country, and this without favoritism, for every man is to be rewarded according to his work.

The second Article is this. That every Master of the Art shall be notified beforehand to come to his congregation, so that he may duly come there, unless he is excused for some reason. Nevertheless, if he is found to be rebellious at such congregations, or at fault in any way, to his employer’s harm or the reproach of this Art, he shall not be excused unless he is in danger of death, and even if he is in danger of death, he must give notice of his illness to the Master who is the president of the gathering.

The third Article is this. That no Master shall take an apprentice for a shorter term than seven years at the least, because those who have been bound a shorter time can not adequately learn their Art, nor be able to serve their employer properly and earn the pay that a Mason should.

The fourth Article is this. That no Master shall for any reward take as an apprentice one who is born as a bondsman, because the lord to whom he is a bondsman might take him, as he is entitled to do, away from his Art and lead him away with him out of the Lodge, or out of the place where they are working and because his fellows might help him and take his part, and manslaughter could happen; therefore it is forbidden. And there is another reason; because this Art was begun by the free-born children of great lords, as previously said.

The fifth Article is this. That no Master shall pay more to his apprentice during the time of his apprenticeship, whatever profit he may take from it, than he knows him to have deserved from the lord that employs him; and not even quite so much, in order that the lord of the works where he is taught may have some profit because of his being taught there.

The sixth Article is this. That no Master, from greed or for gain, shall accept an apprentice who is imperfect; that is, having any defect by reason of which he is incapable of working as he ought to do.

The seventh Article is this. That no Master shall knowingly help, or cause to be maintained and sustained, any common night walker to rob, by which night walking they may be rendered incapable of doing a fair day’s work and toil: a condition of things by which their fellows might be made angry.

The eighth Article is this. Should it happen that a competent and skillful Mason come seeking work and find one working who is incompetent and unskillful, the Master of the place shall hire the skillful one and discharge the incompetent one, to the profit of the employer.

The ninth Article is this. That no Master shall supplant another. For it is said in the Art of Masonry that no man can so well complete work begun by someone else, to the advantage of the lord, as the one who began it, intending to end it in accordance with his own plans, or one to whom he has shown his plans.

These regulations are made by many lords and Masters of many provinces and many congregations of Masonry, and, therefore, those who want to come to the state of this Art should do the following:

First, principally, to love God and the holy Church and all the Saints; and his Master and fellows as his own brothers.

The second Point. He must give a fair day’s work for his pay.

The third Point. He shall keep secret the counsel of his fellows in lodge and in chamber (18), and wherever masons meet.

The fourth Point. That he shall be no traitor to the Art and do it no harm, nor conform to any enactments against the Art or against the members thereof; but he shall maintain it in all honor to the best of his ability.

The fifth Point. When he receives his pay he shall take it without murmuring, as may be arranged at the time by the Master; and he shall fulfill the agreement regarding the hours of work and rest, as ordered and set by the Master.

The sixth Point. In case of disagreement between him and his fellows, he shall unquestioningly obey the Master and be silent about it at the bidding of his Master, or of his Master’s warden in his Master’s absence, until the next following holiday and shall then settle the matter according to the verdict of his fellows; and not upon a work day because of the hindrance to the work and to the lord’s interests.

The seventh Point. He shall not covet the wife or the daughter of his Master or of his fellows unless it is in marriage; nor shall he hold concubines, on account of the discord this might create among them.

The eighth Point. Should it happen that he becomes his Master’s warden, he shall be a true mediator between his Master and his fellows; and he shall be busy in his Master’s absence, to the honor of his Master and the profit of the lord who employs him.

The ninth Point. If he is more capable and skillful than his fellow working with him in the Lodge, or in any other place, and he sees that because of lack of skill, his fellow is about to spoil the stone upon which he is working, and he can teach him how to improve the stone, he shall instruct and help him; so that love may increase among them and so that the work of the employer is not lost.

When the Master and fellows are informed of and come to such congregations, the Sheriff of the country, or the Mayor of the city, or the Alderman of the town in which the congregation is held, shall, if necessary, be fellow and associate of the Master of the congregation, to help him against disobedient members and to uphold the rights of the realm.

At the commencement of the proceedings, new men who have never been charged before, are to be charged in this manner: You shall never be thieves nor supporters of thieves; and shall do a fair day’s work and toil for your pay that you take from the lord; and shall give true accounts to your fellows in all matters which should be accounted for to them, and love them as yourselves; and you shall be true to the King of England and to the realm; and you shall keep with all your might all of these articles.

After that it shall be asked whether any Master or fellow summoned to the meeting, has broken any of the preceding articles; and if they have done so, it shall be then and there adjudicated upon.

Therefore be it known: if any Master or fellow who is notified to come to the congregation, is disobedient and does not appear, or has violated any of the preceding articles, if it is proven; he shall forswear his Masonry and shall no longer exercise the Craft; and if he presumes so to do, the Sheriff of the country in which he may be found at work shall put him in prison and take all his goods for the use of the King until the King’s pardon is granted to him. For this reason, principally, these congregations were ordered: that the lowest as well as the highest might be well and truly served in the aforesaid Art throughout all the kingdom of England.

Amen. So mote it be.


1. - Matthew Cooke - The History and Articles of Masonry, by Richard Spencer, London (1861). The Cooke manuscript was reproduced in facsimile: 68 pages, 960 lines.

2. - Latin definition somewhat corrupted, the Geometry derived from Etymologiae (Etymologies), a work of twenty volumes containing all the knowledge of Isidore of Seville’s time (c.560-636): “Et sic dicitur a geo graece quod est terra latinae et metron quod est mensura, unde Geometria, id est mensura terrae vel terrarum.”

3. - This is Petrus (Peter) Comestor (c.1110-1179), a French theologian, author of var­ious commentaries on the Gospels, including a widely circulated book in the medieval era, Historia scholastica super Novum Testamentum, also called Bible historiale.

4. - Polychronicon - A Universal History, established by the English monk Ranulf Higden (c.1280-1364), of the Abbey of Saint-Werburg Chester. The book is divided into seven books corresponding to the seven days of Genesis.

5. - Bede or the Venerable Bede (c.673-735), was a monk of the abbey of St. Peter Monkwearmouth, and author of a History of the English people called Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.

6. - De Imagine Mundi - Title of various treaties of the medieval era, including one written by Honorius of Autun (c.1080-1157), a monk who lived in an abbey near Regensburg - it intended to explain the whole of human knowledge.

7. - Methodius of Olympus was a Greek writer, priest and martyr of the fourth century; he wrote a treatise entitled The Banquet of the Ten Virgins.

8. - Marble is a noble stone, though fragile; it is reserved for monumental buildings and religious ornaments.

9. - Latrus, latres - Deformations of Latin words Lateres and Later meaning: brick (s) of dried clay. It is found later as: Laterus (Watson Ms), Laterns (Grand Lodge Manuscript), Lternes (York Ms), without forgetting Laternes (Inigo Jones Manuscript); we may wonder if the pillar was not made from terracotta or volcanic stone rather than brick...

10. - It is likely Hermes Trismegistus, the Thrice Great, described here as a Philosopher; this mythical Greco-Egyptian character is the supposed author of texts entitled Hermetica, in which may be found the Emerald Tablet.

11. - The Tower of Babel, cited above, here becomes the Tower of Babylon.

12. - Quoting two Latin verses of Genesis (10: 11-12): “De terra illa egressus est Assur et aedificavit Nineven et plateas civitatis et Chale Resen quoque inter Nineven et Chale haec est civitas magna”: Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city of Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city (King James Version).

13. - Norman-French was the official language of England until 1361.

14. - The group of books of the Bible dealing with the establishment and history of the Jewish monarchy has been given various names: in the King James Version, they are called 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Kings. In the Latin Vulgate they are called 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 3 Kings and 4 Kings. The text, however, is the same.

15. - Charles II, known as the Bald (823-877), was grandson of Charlemagne; he was King of the Franks and Emperor of the West.

16. - Saint Adhabelle is a deformation of St. Amphiballe (Amphibalus); a Christian priest, saved from death by St. Alban (see note 17), but finally beheaded along with him.

17. - Saint Albon, deformation of St. Alban. The life of this saint is a real legend. The facts are supposed to have happened in the fourth century: an officer of the Roman imperial army, and a citizen of the English city of Verulamium (now St Albans), was converted to Christianity after having hosted a Christian priest; then he performed various miracles before being beheaded. In another life he (or another saint of the same name) was a Benedictine monk and theologian during the thirteenth century.

18. - A Lodge may be, in operative Masonry, a small house or a construction site, but a chamber, as indicated here, cannot be anything but a closed meeting place.

© Guy Chassagnard 2016