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Quatuor Coronati, The

The fame of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research has made many Masons familiar with the old legend of the Four Crowned Ones who would never have encountered it through the very limited public which reads the Regius MS. (or Poem)--about which see sundry articles and paragraphs as listed in the Index. The long and excellent article by Bro. Robert I. Clegg which begins on page 365 can now be carried farther by a number of special treatises and books published since, of which 3 number are in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research. Bros. Knoop, Jones, and Hamer have given a bibliography of those studies beginning on page 44 of their The Two Earless Masonic MSS. (Manchester University Press; 1938.), and at the same time have condensed the findings (including their own) into a six-page digest.

Their conclusion is given at the end of the section: "It thus appears probable that such recognition as was accorded to the Quatuor Coronati by English Masons commenced only in the Fifteenth Century, and the existing evidence hardly justifies us in saying that at any period in England were they venerated as the patron saints of the Masons." Readers must take this to mean that they were never venerated as the Patron Saints; if so, the point is not of much importance because in the Operative periods a number of Saints were venerated; the Craft did not settle down to the selection of the two Sts. John until after the Speculative Period had begun. The Quatuor Ceronati received some veneration because as the authors themselves show Masons kept their day as a holiday in a few instances; furthermore the Regius MS proves that they were venerated because it venerates them itself. (Ars Quatuor Coronatorum is used as a name of the Craft of Masons in the Regtus MS.; see lines 497-534.)

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