900 Years of Freemasonry

April 7, 2007

Born in Blood A few people recommended that I read “Born in Blood, The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry”.  I realize that this book has probably been talked about and debated by Masons in the last 18 years since it was first published, but it was new to me and it was a very interesting read.

One of the first Masons that I met, mentioned that Freemasonry had been around for 900 hundred years.  I was confused at the time because I had read that the first Grand Lodge was created in 1717.  “Born in Blood” by John J. Robinson gives a compelling argument for the notion that modern Freemasonry evolved out of the historical Knights Templar and not out of the medieval stone mason guilds.  The author is not actually a Freemason, but a historian and based his argument on historical evidence and research.  His theory isn’t a simple unsupported supposition, but is a multifaceted approach that looks at everything from Masonry’s rituals, language, symbols to religious and cultural factors. 

On Friday October 13, 1307 King Philip of France unleashed a secret plan to arrest every Knight of the Temple at dawn.  (This is possibly the origin to “Friday the thirteenth” as an unlucky day.) He was in serious financial debt to the Knights Templar for previous Crusades and saw this as a way of clearing all of his debts.   Immediately, every Knight was tortured and mutilated until a “confession of hersey” or other blasphemys could be extracted. 

The Pope also agreed and wrote several Papal Bulls condemning the Knights and a few years later officially disbanded their order.  Now with Church and State both searching for any remaining Knights Templar to complete the extermination, any surviving Templars would have to go underground or flee France.

The Knights Templar who were outside of France actually had months of notice of their impending doom.  In England, they had over 3 months warning at had plenty of time to organize and hide.  The blood oaths taken in Freemasonry, the secret modes of recognition and even the fact that the Tyler stands outside of the lodge room with a drawn sword, seems to make more sense for a persecuted and hunted group of men on the run than a Stonemason’s Guild.

Coincidentally, yesterday I caught a documentary on the National Geographic channel on the History of the Knights Templar called “Knights Templar, Warriors of God”.  In this documentary, it also discusses the belief of many that the Knights Templar evolved into modern Freemasonry.  I found it interesting to see how Rossyln Chapel has so much Templar and Masonic symbolism throughout, yet it was build hundreds of years after the Templars and hundreds of years before Masonry came out in 1717.

I have no idea as to the acceptance or rejection of this theory by the Masonic community as a whole, and as a Fellowcraft I only have skimmed the surface in my Masonic knowledge, so I am in no position to speak for this theory’s validity.  I do find it very interesting and cool to be associated with group that potentially has a 900 year history though.  If anything, reading this book has sparked more of a desire to look more into the history of Freemasonry myself.

This is my 19th post on Freemasonry and my experiences as a Freemason.  Here is the Table of Contents of my Masonic Journey.



  1. My Brother, I also suggest you read The Knights Templar Revealed by Bros. Alan Butler and Stephen Dafoe!!!

  2. Actually, John Robbin’s book is pretty well researched, but unfortunately, there really is nothing but circumstantial evidence for any of the possible origins of the Fraternity.

  3. I Loved this book. After finishing it I petitioned my local Lodge. I am finishing up my Entered Apprentice hopefully this May.

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