The Transformation of Freemasonry is the eagerly awaited second book on the history of Freemasonry by Dr. David Harrison, continuing his work which appeared in The Genesis of Freemasonry. This new book looks at how Freemasonry in England and Wales adapted after the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799, and how the Craft became tinted with the stigma of Revolution. Harrison delves into Masonic links with the slave trade, especially in Liverpool and the Trans-Atlantic links with the USA, and discusses the mysterious Liverpool Masonic Rebellion and the Wigan Grand Lodge. Harrison also looks at how Freemasonry transformed itself during the 19th century, and how the Craft began to appeal to Victorian Occultists.
This fascinating new book is a must for any reader who enjoyed Harrison’s first book The Genesis of Freemasonry, and will be enjoyed by both Freemasons and general readers alike.‘This book gives us a thorough and sound view of how Freemasonry transformed itself, adapted and greatly influenced social history in the 18th and 19th centuries.’ – Fred Lomax, writer and Masonic historian, The Square
‘An excellent read and a worthy follow on from Harrison’s first book The Genesis of Freemasonry.’ – Mike Chapple, reviewer and writer, formerly of The Daily Post
‘David has set about trying to paint a picture of Freemasonry in the first half of the nineteenth century, and chose to do so not at Grand and formal level but at a lodge and individual brother level.’ – John Belton, writer and Masonic historian
‘Dr. Harrison’s work represents an important scholarly contribution to the study of the Masonic fraternity’s many philosophical, educational and scientific influences, particularly as they have affected the development of the modern world.’ – Shawn Eyer, Editor, Philalethes: The Journal of Masonic Research and Letters
‘Although the history of Freemasonry is “to a great extent obscure”, Dr. David Harrison has produced a detailed historical work which might well be used as a reference for the serious student of Masonic history during the two hundred years after the formation of the first Grand Lodge. From the makeup of its membership to the “revolt” which occurred after the United Grand Lodge was formed, this book is a wealth of difficult to obtain information!’ – John L. Palmer, Managing Editor, Knight Templar magazine
‘Dr. David Harrison has produced a deeply researched and thoroughly engrossing follow-up to ‘The Genesis of Freemasonry’ which gives an insight into the changes that Freemasonry underwent in nineteenth century England. Amongst its many accomplishments, the book demonstrates that in an ever-changing society, certain charismatic and energetic individuals were able to save their lodges from near-extinction. This will resonate with many modern Masons, and is something that modern Freemasonry can take heart from.’ – Kenneth C. Jack, Writer: – ‘The Ashlar’, ‘Masonic Magazine’, ‘Scottish Rite Journal’.
This article reports on a book signing event which I did at the famous Curiosity Book shop in Runcorn, Cheshire, which specialises in local history. The event included the local press, members of the local Ellesmere Lodge which used to meet in The Masonic Pub there in the later part of the 19th century, and members of the public. The books sold out in the end so the signing went well! Here is the online link: http://www.runcornandwidnesweeklynews.co.uk/runcorn-widnes-news/runcorn-widnes-local-news/2009/06/18/dr-david-harrison-of-liverpool-university-signs-copies-of-the-genesis-of-freemasonry-at-the-curiosity-bookshop-55368-23900848/
This feature is from the Runcorn Weekly News and Chester Chronicle, and discusses how a pub in Runcorn, Cheshire, called The Masonic, was an early example of a Masonic Hall in the area and was visited by a number of high ranking Freemasons during the later 19th century such as Lord De Tabley when he was Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire. This is also explored in the new book ‘The Transformation of Freemasonry’. Here is the online link to the feature: http://blogs.chesterchronicle.co.uk/cheshire-memories/2009/05/runcorn-memories-new-book-tell.html
A feature in the Daily Post which mentions the Liverpool Masonic Rebellion of 1823, a subject which is discussed in my second book ‘The Transformation of Freemasonry’. The gravestone in the picture, which shows the mysterious Masonic symbols of the ‘All-seeing Eye’ and the Compass and Set-Square, can be found in St. James’ cemetery in Liverpool below the Anglican Cathedral. The gravestone has its own unique Masonic story which is retold in the new book.
Here is the online link to the feature in the Daily Post:
Here are a few recent press features relating to my recently published book ‘The Transformation of Freemasonry’ (Arima Publishing) – the follow-on from the best selling ‘The Genesis of Freemasonry’ (Lewis Masonic).
The article to the left was featured in the recent edition of the Warrington Guardian. The Guardian office in Warrington is based in the old Dissenting Academy building, an 18th century educational centre which was supported by Freemasons from the Warrington based Lodge of Lights. Two Academy tutors; John Reinhold Forster and Jacob Bright, were members of the lodge, and a number of other Freemasons, such as French Revolutionary Jean Paul Marat and the radical free thinker Dr. Richard Price, became linked to the Academy. John Reinhold Forster left the Academy to accompany Captain Cook on his second voyage. The photograph was taken in the Academy boardroom next to the marble fireplace which is an original feature of the 18th century Academy building.
The following link is another feature which appeared in the recent Oldham Chronicle, and discusses how the Oldham based Lodge of Friendship – in a similar fashion to the Warrington based Lodge of Lights – supported local education and charity. The Lodge of Friendship openly supported the Oldham Lyceum in the 19th century, and like the Warrington based lodge, the Oldham lodge also supplied evidence for labouring men entering into Freemasonry in the early 19th century. The minutes of the lodge also mentioned the Peterloo Massacre of 1819: http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/8/news-headlines/47275/lodged-in-a-secret-past
Another feature in the Daily Post can be seen through the following link, and features an interview in which I discuss the Liverpool Masonic Rebellion, which is also discussed in my new book: http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2009/01/14/freemasons-origins-unearthed-by-liverpool-university-academic-64375-22688133/
The new book can be purchased from: http://www.arimapublishing.co.uk/