Title: The Early History of Freemasonry in England
Publisher: John Russell Smith, London
Publication Date: 1844
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket
Edition: Second Edition.
Nice original condition. Spine faded. Some rubbing to boards. Sprinkle of foxing to endpapers.; A scarce title. 52 pages + frontispiece + 16 pages advertisements. Original cloth boards with printed paper label on front board. Page dimensions: 198 x 118mm. Owner's signature dated 1858 of "R B Willis" on front endpaper. Halliwell is best known as a Shakespearian scholar, and was not himself a mason. "The curious early poem on masonry, which was printed in this work for the first time, has been again compared with the original manuscript for the present edition; and a popular glossary of the obsolete words in it has been added [.]" - from the preface to this new edition. The poem "is on the constitutions of Freemasonry, and is taken from a very small quarto manuscript on vellum, written not later than the latter part of the fourteenth century, preserved in the Old Royal Library at the British Museum." - pp.10-11. "As this is admitted to be the oldest Masonic document extant, and as some very important conclusions in respect to the early history of the Craft are about to be deduced from it, a detailed account of it will not be deemed unnecessary." - from Mackey, Albert. History of Freemasonry, Chapter Five. ; 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 6327
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