Freemasonry’s Earliest “Tracing Board”?
A look at the “Form of the Lodge” in the Carmick MS
This drawing dates from c.1727 and was included in a handwritten copy of the “Old Charges” known as the Carmick MS, rediscovered in the early 1900s with the title “Constitutions of St. John’s Lodge” and signed by Bro. Thomas Carmick. Unfortunately we know little of Bro. Carmick, however it is likely that he copied it from older source, possibly belonging to his lodge and probably for the purpose of study or education.
The caption that accompanies the drawing at the top of the page is “This figure represents the Lodge”.
Drawing the Lodge
In the early 18th Century and prior, it was common place for “The Lodge” to be drawn upon the floor usually in chalk or charcoal by the Tyler of the Lodge. Brethren and Office Bearers would assemble around the floor diagram, and within it symbols of the Craft would be either drawn or placed with thin silver or tin reproductions.
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