YORK RITE BODIES
The York Rite, or more correctly, the American Rite, is based on the early remnants of Craft Masonry that were practiced in the early 1700’s. The formation of the first Grand Lodge of England in 1717 specified that the lodges were to confer only the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason, all other degrees being considered spurious. However, many lodges had been conferring other degrees that they considered an integral part of Masonry, in particular that of the Royal Arch, and formed their own Grand Lodge in 1751, terming themselves the “Antients” and the other Grand Lodge members the “Moderns.” With the merger of the two Grand Lodges in 1813 into the United Grand Lodge of England, the lodges agreed that only the three accepted degrees of Masonry would be used by the lodges, but the degree of the Royal Arch would be attached to Chapters allied directly to these lodges and bearing the same number as the lodge, though as a separate body. Thus, unlike the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which claims to hold the power of conferring the first three degrees of Masonry in addition to those under its jurisdiction, those found in the York Rite have rightfully acknowledged the fact that they are considered appendant to those of Ancient Craft Masonry. It is still the practice in English Masonry that a Masonic member is not considered to be in possession of all the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry until he has been exalted to the Royal Arch.
Early American Lodges operated in a similar manner until the establishment of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. For a period in US history, the Cryptic degrees were controlled by various state Grand Chapter jurisdictions, until the establishment of the General Grand Council. The Chivalric Orders have been controlled by the Grand Encampment since the early 19th century in the United States. All three bodies are technically autonomous Masonic entities, only the requirement of membership in the Royal Arch connecting the Cryptic degrees and Chivalric Orders together.
Appendant to the York Rite Bodies are several additional Masonic bodies, most of which are invitational in nature. Membership in many of them is predicated on membership in the Royal Arch, though some have memberships predicated on other bodies of the York Rite, or membership in all of the York Rite bodies. Many are found in other jurisdictions outside of the United States, but several are uniquely American in their origin.
PLANTAGENET COMMANDERY NO. 12
~ CHARTER ~
To All Whom it May Concern, Greeting:
Be it Known, That, Whereas, a Petition has been received from Sundry Sir Knights, to wit: George Daniel Case, Rufus Winston Roberts, Joseph Staley, John Conn, James Edwards Kidd, Julius Furman Bell, Edward Everett Bell, Louis Harris Andrews, Ansel Brewster Cook, Theophilos Powell, Henry Goodman, Atticus Haygood Marchant, Robert Lee Day, Denton William Brannan, Stephen Willis Thornton, Thomas Marshall Hall, John Scott Stovall, William Harris Hunter, William Edward Reynolds, Kennedy Cornelius Bullard, Andrew Jackson Wall, William Hicks Burrell, Daniel Ashley Jewell, Albert Sidney Bowen, Jeptha Benjamin Cody, Jacob Tobias Snider, Elisha Wheeler, Richard Tally Dozier, William Hansel Hall, William Brookins, William Larkin Davis, William Daniel Chapman, John Andrew Callaway, Addiel Moncrief Jackson, John Martin Edwards, George Bradley, Thomas Redmon Thornton, George Hurt Tunnell, Benjamin Allen Ethridge, John Allen and Henry Dawson Allen, all true and courteous Knights of the Temple, praying for authority to institute a Commandery of KNIGHTS TEMPLAR in the city of Milledgeville, County of Baldwin and State aforesaid; and whereas, said Petition is accompanied with such vouchers and recommendations as the Grand Constitution in like cases requires.
Now Know Ye by these Presents, That we, the GRAND COMMANDERY OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA, by virtue of the power and authority in us vested, do authorize and empower the said Sir Knights and their successors to form, open and hold a Commandery of KNIGHTS TEMPLAR in the said city of Milledgeville, and which shall be known and designated by the name, style and title of
Plantagenet Commandery, No. 12,
and the said Commandery is hereby invested with full and adequate power to assemble together on all proper and lawful occasions, and to confer upon Royal Arch Masons the order of Knights of the Red Cross, Knights Templar, and Knights of Malta of the order of St. John of Jerusalem; to make Rules for their government; to make choice of an Eminent Commander, Generalissimo, Captain General and other officers annually, and generally to do and transact all such matters and things as may and ought to be done and transacted consistently with the customs and usages of the Order.
Provided, Nevertheless, That the officers and members of said Commandery, and their successors, conform to and pay due respect to the Constitution, Statues and Edicts of the Grand Encampment of the United States of America and the Constitution, Statutes and Regulations of the Grand Commandery of the State of Georgia, and in no way or form remove the Ancient Land Marks of the Order, otherwise this Charter and the Powers herein granted and contained, to be void and of no effect.
In Witness Whereof, We, the presiding officers of the Grand Commandery, have hereunto subscribed our names and caused the seal of the GRAND COMMANDERY OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA to be affixed at Savannah, this Fifteenth day of May, Anno Domini, Nineteen Hundred and Two, Anno Ordinis, Seven Hundred and Eighty- Four.
* This document was transcribed as it was originally created.