Pages 125-6  (Italy, Egypt and the Grand Hierophancy)


Again, once more has arisen another complication, and the reader will see that every one of these difficulties arises from the unprincipled character of individual masons led by vanity, egotism, and love of money and fancied powers. The Sovereign Sanctuary of Great Britain and Ireland, America, Roumania and Italy, combined to elect Guiseppe Garibaldi as S.G.M. of the Confederate Powers, and which the General formally accepted. There existed at the time in Italy a body called the Reformed Egyptian Rite of 33 degree, led by Ill\ Bro\ Pessina, as G.M.; it was a reduction of the Rite of Mizraim of 90 degree, and has never been acknowledged by any Masonic power in the Craft degrees, and moreover bears a bad character with the Grand Orient of Rome. Bro\ Lord’s assertion that the Rite of Mizraim dates from 1747, is nonsense, as every one knows it was not created until 1805. Its patrons, the Brothers Bedaride, asserted that the Italians were legitimate only to the 86 degree, and the spurious from that point, and refuse to recognized them; moreover, it has been asserted that Bro\ Pessina has no legitimate authority as successor of the Neapolitan Mizraim body.

However, everywhere Mizraim had been brought into contempt by the grasping avarice of the Bedarides, and we ourselves only practise it, because at the commencement of our Sovereign Sanctuary in 1872, a few of our Members had it from old date. To get over this difficulty, and make a valuable colleague of Italy, we exchanged charters with them and constituted them a legitimate Sovereign Sanctuary of our Rite. As such all the powers hold relations with them at the present time, Except Egypt.

But, Egypt, with whom we have held, and we hope always shall hold, the most amicable relations, refused to concur either in the election of General Garibaldi, with the title of Grand Hierophant, or in the recognition of Bro\ Pessina, on the grounds that since the death of the last Grand Hierophant, J.E. Marconis, the same had appertained to Egypt by transmission trough the Marquis De Bauregard, S.A. Zola, and lastly Professor F.F. Oddi. We are inclined to think that this claim is a valid one, provided their patent as a Sovereign Sanctuary is older than that of America (1862), but on this point we think no proof has been offered and it would be very easy for Egypt to make it. At any rate Egypt as a valid and acknowledged conservative power of the Rite, deserves our best support. However, on the death of General Garibaldi, Bro\ Pessina, contrary to the wish of the leading members of the Confederation, who desired to see a worthy successor to Garibaldi, put himself forward for the election as Grand Master of the entire Confederation, and his Grand Secretary issued circulars requesting each Grand Master to vote for Bro\ Pessina. In spite of the objection of the made to this step, (for although Pessina was a good individual member of the Confederation, yet he was considered a very unsuitable man for its head) by the leading and legitimate powers of the Rite, Bro\Pessina, with the consent of Canada, caused himself to be proclaimed Grand Hierophant of the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim. Upon this, the Grand Masters of Great Britain and Ireland, America and Egypt, whilst maintaining the Treaty of Confederation, issued notices to the various powers of the Rite that they repudiated Bro\ Pessina as Grand Hierophant of the Confederation. In revenge Bro\ Pessina tried unsuccessfully to break up into three parts the Sov. Sanct. of Great Britain and Ireland, and is said with childish egotism to have expelled G.M. Mott from the Confederation, and received W.B. Lord. We can only say that Pessina never had any authority given him by any one either to charter new Sovereign Sanctuaries, break up old ones, or to expel any power from the Confederation, and that if he has done any such foolish thing it proves that he is, both morally and masonically quite unfit for the post he has taken upon himself. Any powers he may have in our Rite he derives recently from this country.




It is clearly the duty of the respectable bodies of our Rite to keep themselves together, leaving the outsiders, if they will not listen to reason, to fight it out together. Our own Sovereign Sanctuary, with those of America and Roumania, might probably agree to recognize the Egyptian leadership and allow them to posses the Grand Hierophant, letting Canada go her own way.




Page 160 - EGYPT

Valley of Paris, June 5th, 1866. To Thrice Ill\ And Thrice Enlightened Bro\ Henry J. Seymour, 96, Patriarch Grand Commander of the Masonic Rite of Memphis; Member of the Alidee, decorated with the Star of Sirius, with the Lybic Chain; Grand Commander of the three series of the Order; Grand Master of the Sovereign Sanctuary, and Representative of the Order in the U.S.A.

Thrice Ill\Bro\- I take pleasure in informing you that we have recently re-established in Egypt, upon a firm basis, the ancient venerated Rite of Memphis. The banner is upheld by vigorous arms who will retrieve the time already lost. We hope that soon their acts will prove that the origin of our Masonry has given birth to all Rites. I also ask you, Thrice Ill\ Bro\, that you enter into fraternal relations with the Masonic power which has just been installed, and which will be happy to cultivate your friendship. You can obtain today all the Masonic documents which are necessary to propagate the principles of our sublime institution. Nothing which can be useful to you will be denied you. Below is the address to the Grand Chancellor of the Order, to whom you should address yourself, - Monsieur Felix Helouis, Merchant, Alexandria, Egypt.

I desire also to inform you that Bro\ Lucca, Grand Master of the Orient of Italy, and Bro\ Frapolli, Adjunct Grand Master of the same Orient, to whom you have patents, which have been submitted to me, intend to establish a Sovereign Sanctuary, 95, in the Valley of Florence. I shall send documents which I have promised them. This is for your personal edification. I ought also to tell you, Thrice Ill\ Bro\, that I am going to publish two new Masonic books, The Masonic Tribune, The Sublime Master of the Great Work (complete ritual of the 90 degrees). The first is a collection of lectures, and has been recommended and approved by the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France, Bro\ General Mellinet. The second is a complete ritual, and contains all the secrets of the Rite as universally practised.

I close this letter, Thrice ill\ Bro\, in asking you to receive favourably Bro\ Marcelon, 90°, of the Rite of Memphis an active and worthy member of the lodge, the Sectarians of Menes, located at Paris. The Brother is worthy of your respect and favours, and I pray you to have him participate in the work of his degree.

Assuring you, Thrice Ill\ Brother, of my fraternal regards, I am your most devoted,


J. Et. Marconis de Negre, 97

Grand Hierophant





To the Glory of the Sublime Architect of the Universe

Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, in and for the United Kingdom of the Great Britain and Ireland, and its Dependencies.

Sovereign Sanctuary, 35 – 95


To all Illustrious and Enlightened Masons throughout the world.

Union, Prosperity, Friendship, Fraternity

The system of High Grade Masonry, from which our Ancient and Primitive Rite derives its origin, had birth in this country before the establishment of the Grand Lodges. In France it had developed early last century, into several Rites which were distinguished as Primitive – notably the Rites of Primitives Philadelphes and Philalethes, which were the offspring of those of Martinez Paschalis, and Marquis de St. Martin, and which, with others, worked side by side with the Rites of Perfection and knights of the Orient. The army of Bounaparte carried these High Grade Rites to Egypt in 1798, and a Grand Lodge was then established at Cairo, when Buonaparteand Kleber received investiture with a ring at the Great Pyramid of Cheops, at the hands of an Egyptian Sage, as a symbol of their union with the ancient occult Masonry of Egypt. Under this Grand Lodge of Cairo Brother Samuel Honis was initiated, and afterwards removed to France. Mohemet Ali Pacha patronised Masonry in Egypt until his death, and the Rite maintained a correspondence with its confreres in Europe by means of our well-known secret ciphers.

The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, Disciples of Memphis, was founded as a Grand Lodge at Montauban, France, in the year 1814, by the Illustrious Brothers Gabriel Mathieu Marconis de Negre; Samuel Honis of Cairo; Baron Dumas; Hypolite Labrunie; Marquis de Laroque; J. Pettitte, and others. The basis if this system was the Primitive Rites, in which the degrees were not absolutely defined, as each principal grade had the power to confer others of like nature. The seven classes into which our Order is divided are schools for the study of Masonic knowledge, physics and philosophy; and embodies rituals, the production of more than a quarter of century of assiduous labour and research, concerning all known Masonic Rites.

The Grand Lodge of Osiris, or Disciples of Memphis, after an interval of sleep, recommenced work at Brussels, in 1838, and at Paris in 1839, when it published its statutes; but, in 1841, the Grand Master Hierophant, the Illustrious and enlightened  Brother Jacques Ettiene Marconnis, 33. 97, son and Initiate of the first Grand Hierophant, was forced by civil politics to put all the Lodges in France asleep. In 1848 our Order revived its work at the Orient of Paris, and continued to prosper; and in 1856 had established itself in Egypt, America, Roumania, and other countries.

In 1862, the Illustrious Grand Hierophant united our Ancient and Primitive Rite with thee Grand Orient of France, and the High Grades continued to be conferred by the recognised Grand Council of the Rites of the Grand Orient.

A formal Concordat was promulgated by the said Grand Orient, and the Ill\ Grand Hierophant, J. E. Marconis, 33-97, which arranged the relative values of the 33 leading degrees of our Rite with those of the Ancient and Accepted, Mizraim, and other Rites recognised by the said Grand Council of Rites; also giving power to the 33 principal degrees to confer the minor ones.

Upon this, in the year 1862, the Illustrious Grand Hierophant J.E. Marconis, 33, 97, acting on concern with Marshal Magnan, 33, the Grand Master of the Grand Orient, formally constituted the Sovereign Sanctuary of America, 33-95. Shortly after the degrees of the Rite were, nominally, and temporarily, reduced from 95 degrees to 33 ceremonies, by omitting the rest of those conferred only by name. The Grand Orient of France continued to exchange Representatives with the Sov. Sanct. of America, and list thereof will be found in the French Official Calendar, until 1869, when in consequence of the invasion of American territory by the recognition of certain spurious Lodges of the Scottish Rite, the Americans withdrew from representation.

France then abandoned the Rite, and the Ill\ Gd\ Hierophant, J.E. Marconis, 33,97 having died in 1868, Egypt took full possession. The Craft Gd\ Lodge, our Ancient and Primitive Rite, and the Ancient and Accepted Rite, executed a Tripartite Treaty to render mutual aid, and restored the Sov. Gd. Mystic Temple- Imp. Council Gen. 96, presided over by a Gd. Hierophant, 97.

In the year 1872 several Illustrious Brethren who had previously received the 33-95, obtained a Charter for the establishment of a Sovereign Sanctuary in and for Great Britain and Ireland, with Ill\ Bro\ John Yarker as Grand Master General, 33-96, and in the same year received many Brethren, members of the Royal Grand Council of  Ancient Rites, time immemorial, which was adopted the Rite of Perfection last century, and had met under H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex, Grand Master; and in 1874 the Jerusalem Chapter of Antiquity, H.R.M.- K.D.S.H., formally amalgamated with the Palatine Chapter, No2, and  Senate No2, of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry thus giving the Rite the prestige of a time immemorial association in the United Kingdom.

One of the earliest resolutions passed by the new Sov. Sanct. was for the establishment of an Order of Merit, of three classes, 1st, for Saving Life; 2nd, Literary Merit, 3rd, General Merit. Besides this, the Rite possesses five Decorations; 1st, the Grand Star of Sirius, or Wisdom; 2nd, the Cross of Alidee, or Truth; 3rd, the Alidee of the Third Series, or Justice; 4th, the Lybic Chain, or Hope; 5th, The Golden Branch of Eleusis, or Charity. These decorations are exclusively the reward of Merit, and are conferred in a Grand Chancery, one in consecutive order every year.

A full history of the Rite, with the narrative of its early struggles, may be obtained from the Grand Secretary General, and as a contribution to Masonic history, is well worth perusal. Few, indeed, could rise from the study of its straightforward narrative of events, easily proved by the references given, without the conviction that our Rite had a legitimate Masonic standing, second to none in the world, and also the far higher claim to universal Masonic recognition, and the zealous support of the Craft.

To strengthen its position and carry out its principles - the toleration of all the Rites, the Sov. Sanct. has since obtained Charters for the practice of the Mizraim and Scottish Rites, and is thus enabled to afford opportunity for its members to work any of theses Rites, and obtain certificates of corresponding degrees, which carry their due weight in all countries. The Grand Master General being a member of the 96 degree in Egypt, the system becomes assimilated to the Memphis Rite in Egypt.

The principles of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry we may summarize as follows:

It is universal and open to every Master Mason who is in good standing under some constitutional Grand Lodge; it teaches the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.

The qualification of a neophyte is probity and honour, it esteems Masonic worth and learning above social and personal distinctions, seeking by means of its comprehensive ceremonials to extend Masonic Knowledge, Morality and Justice, and enforce all those great principles which have distinguished true Masons in all time.

Its Rituals embrace all Masonry, and are based upon those of the Craft universal; they explain its symbols, develop its mystic philosophy, exemplify its morality, examine its legends, tracing them to their primitive source, and dealing fairly and truthfully with the historical features of symbolical Masonry.

The government of the Rite is elective, and it extends the hand of brotherhood to all legitimate Rites. It is in cordial union with a number of grand bodies of its own or similar Rites, with whom it has representatives established, and its influence is silently extending over the face whole globe.

The Degrees of the Rite are divided into three Series, and the Masters of each section receive the 31-91 and 32-93, and constitute the Judicial Tribunal, 31-91, and the Mystic Temple, 32-93, of which the President or Gd\ Master of Light, receives the 33-95, to represent his Province in the Sovereign Sanctuary, 33-95.



The Ancient and Primitive Rite

"Preserving the ancient mysteries of masonry"

For additional information on the Regular Masonic Body of the Rite:

E-mail: ssanctuary@gmail.com