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1723 Constitutions frontispiece
CONSTITUTIONS HISTORY
JAMES ANDERSON
HISTORY INDEX
1734 EDITION
1734 PDF
"...the fact that since R. F. Gould, Anderson's work and Masonic record have been scrutinized with merciless severity, one of the results being that his attempt at writing a Masonic history has almost been discounted to the vanishing point.
"Yet it would be difficult to estimate its influence on the history of the Craft. Notwithstanding the way in which Grand Lodge received the work after its publication, it took its place as the official manual, so that the fact that it was not official but essentially a private affair was entirely lost sight of. It was taken by the Grand Lodge of Ireland as the model for their
Book of Constitutions in 1730. It was reprinted verbatim for use in America by Franklin in 1734. It was pirated in London and later in Dublin by Smith in 1735. And its author's reputation was great enough to carry off the History he wrote for his second edition of 1738, and led the Craft for a century and a half to accept it and reprint it as a serious contribution to the subject. Today we value the Doctor's labours less highly, but the Constitutions of 1723 is nevertheless one of the most important records of the Craft."
Index to Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723

Until a full transcription of the 1723 edition is completed, researchers are directed to the text of the 1734 edition, transcribed by Paul Royster, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, February 14, 2006. The text of the 1723 edition was reset and published in Philadelphia by M.W. Bro. Benjamin Franklin in 1734. It omitted only the musical scores for some of the songs, the engraved frontispiece and coat of arms of the Duke of Montagu, and the Hebrew type occurring in the note to page 15. A number of additions were also made, such as, on page 90, a new verse numbered VI was inserted in the Enter'd 'Prentices Song, found on page 84 of the 1723 edtion.
FrontispieceEngraved by John Pine in Aldersgate Street London.
[i-iv]Dedication "to His Grace the DUKE of MONTAGU."
[1] - 48"History, Laws, Charges, Orders, Regulations, and Usages"
49 - 56"The CHARGES of a FREE-MASON"
57Postscript "upon the Act against Masons, 3 Hen. VI. Cap. I."
58 - 70General Regulations
71-72Postscript "the Manner of constituting a New Lodge"
73 - 74Approbation, Philip Duke of Wharton
75-79The Master’s Song
80- 82The Warden’s Song
83The Fellow-Crafts Song
84The Enter'd 'Prentices Song
85 - 90Music to the Third Part of the Master’s Song
91Order to publish by Philip Duke of Wharton
[92]Some books printed for J. Senex and J. Hooke.

[Titlepage] The CONSTITUTIONS OF THE FREE-MASONS. Containing the History, Charges, Regulations, &c. of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful FRATERNITY. For the Use of the LODGES. LONDON : Printed by William Hunter, for John Senex at the Globe, and John Hooke at the Flower-de-luce over-against St. Dunstan’s Church, in Fleet-street. In the Year of Masonry - 5723 Anno Domini -- 1723. 96p. plus frontispiece, 20 cm x 24.5 cm.
Frontispiece Engraved by John Pine in Aldersgate Street London.
Digital page images of the 1734 edition can be accessed online in the Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800, no. 3744, which is derived from microfilm of the copy held in the Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California. The London edition of 1723 is available online as digital page images in the Eighteenth Century Collections Online series.

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