History of Scottish Rite

During the early 1730''s many Scottish, Irish and English Masons moved to the Bordeaux region of France to escape the civil strife in England. They became known as the "Ecossais" or Scottish Masons. The following is the development of the advanced degrees, beginning with the 25 Rite of Perfection degrees and evolving into the Scottish Rite 33 degrees known today.
1732 - Loge L''Anglaise, the first Ecossais Lodge organized in Bordeaux, Capt. Martin Kelly was Master. They adhered to the 3 symbolic degrees.
1738 - Advanced degrees may have been used.
1750 - Bordeaux Ecossais Constitutions were issued.
1761 - Steven Morin granted a patent to carry the advanced degrees to the New World.
1767 - Henry Francken deputized by Morin to establish a Lodge of Perfection in Albany, NY. It spread south from there to Charleston, SC. 25 Rite of Perfection degrees.
1783 - Morin established degrees in French West Indies. 25 Rite of Perfection degrees. Eventually more degrees were added.
1801 - Supreme Council of 33rd degree established in Charleston. 11 Grand Inspectors.

The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is one of two branches of Freemasonry to which a Master Mason may proceed after he has completed the first three degrees of the Symbolic or "Blue" Lodge. The Scottish Rite includes the degrees from the 4th through the 32nd . Although there are many Scottish Rite members of Scottish ancestry, the Scottish Rite actually originated in France in the early 18th century. During the 18th century, lodges were organized in the United States with the first Scottish Rite Supreme Council founded in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1801.

The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction was formed in 1867 and includes the 15 states east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mason-Dixon Line and the Ohio River, including Delaware. The Southern Jurisdiction encompasses the 35 remaining states, the District of Columbia and the United States territories and possessions.

The Northern Jurisdiction officially recognizes and enjoys friendly relations with many other jurisdictions around the world. Scottish Rite shares the same belief of all Masonic organizations that there is no higher degree than that of Master Mason. The Supreme Council and its subordinate bodies acknowledge the Masonic supremacy of the Symbolic Grand Lodges and Grand Masters within their jurisdictions. Scottish Rite degrees are in no way higher than the degrees of the Symbolic lodges. The work of the Scottish Rite serves to elaborate on and amplify that of the Symbolic lodge.

The Scottish Rite degrees are lessons taught through allegory in the form of plays. The lessons are taken from Biblical as well as more modern historical events. Cast members use costumes and makeup to look like the characters who they represent. Candidates learn the lessons by observing the presentation. Memorization of material presented is not required. The Scottish Rite is open to all Master Masons in good standing.

The 33rd is conferred annually, at the meeting of the Supreme Council, upon a select number of 32° Scottish Rite Masons who have contributed outstanding service to Freemasonry or Scottish Rite or who have exemplified, in their daily lives, the true meaning of the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God. A recipient must be at least 33 years of age and may not apply for the degree.
Scottish Rite members meet in local or regional "Valleys" and are organized into four parts; Lodge of Perfection, 4th - 14th;Council of Princes of Jerusalem, 15th - 16th; Chapter of Rose Croix, 17th - 18th and Consistory, 19th - 32nd. Some individual Valleys do not contain all four parts.