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Stukely, Doctor

In accordance with the Doctor's diary, he "was made a Mason, January 6, 1721, at the Salutation Tavern, Tavistock street, London, with Mr. Collins and Captain Rowe, who made the famous diving engine." The Doctor adds: "I was the first person in London made a free mason in that city for many years. We had great difficulty to find members enough to perform the ceremony. Immediately upon that it took a run, and ran itself out of breath through the folly of its members." The Stukely papers containing the Doctor's diary are of continuous interest; and according to Rev. W. C. Lukis, P.M., F.lS.A., "Pain (or Payne) had been reelected Grand Master in 1720, and Doctor Desaguliers was the Immediate Past Grand Master." The last mentioned Brother pronouncing the Oration on June 24, 1721, at Stationers' Hall; on the following Saint John's Day (Evangelist), December 27, 1721, "We met at the Fountain Tavern, Strand, and by consent of the Grand Mr. present, Doctor Beal constituted a new Lodge, where I was chosen Mr."

A trite remark of Doctor Stukely as to symbolism, was: "The first learning of the world consisted chiefly of symbols, the wisdom of the Chaldeans, Phenicians, Egyptians, Jews, of Zoroaster, Sanchoniathon, Pherecydes, Syrus, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, of all the ancients that have come to our hand, is symbolic"

Doctor Stukely has a curious reference in his diary, noted by Dudley Wright in England's Masonic Pioneers, page 114, to the Order of the Book. Whatever this Order may have been was not made clear but mentioned along with the Masonic activities of Doctor Stukely there is some interest for us in the items:

3rd Nov. 1722. The Duke of Wharton & Td. Dalkeith visited our Lodge at the Fountain.

7th Nov. 1722. Order of the book Instituted.

28th Dec. 1722. I dined with Ld. Hertford introduced by Ld. Winchelsea. I made them both members of the Order of the Book or Roman Knighthood.

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