1723 Book of Constitutions

1723 Constitutions| United Grand Lodge of England (ugle.org.uk) 

The Constitutions contained leading-edge Enlightenment principles including:

  • religious tolerance, something wholly radical in a world characterised by religious conflict;
  • meritocracy, at a time when birth and wealth determined success;
  • high standards of interpersonal civility;
  • scientific and artistic education; and
  • societal and personal self-improvement.

The 1723 Constitution's overall ideology was based on equality, aspiration and merit.

'This identity did not prevent the lodges from being hierarchical and everywhere eager for aristocratic patronage, but it did ultimately tilt the lodges in the direction of being schools for government, inculcating principles for a more republican politics. It was a social atmosphere within which the new ideas of the age, religious toleration, scientific literacy, and intellect rather than birth as the criterion of excellence, could flourish'. 

Professor Margaret C. Jacob - Historian 

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