HISTORY
 
SOCIAL CONTEXT - A BRIEF OUTLINE 1841 to 1901.
The population of England and Wales in 1841 was 15.9 million, in 1901 32.5 million.
Over the same period the railway network increased from 2,236 to more than
18,500 miles.
From the end of Peel's Conservative government in 1846 to the end of Salisbury's 3rd Conservative administration in 1902 there were 14 changes of Government.
Britain fought wars in the Crimea, China, and South Africa, and also faced the Indian Mutiny.
In 1859 Darwin published his book "The Origin of Species"
After these upheavals mid Victorian England presented a rare spectacle - a state of equilibrium, achieved in the face of the rapid movement of a country in full growth.
The perpetuation of a liberal and in egalitarian society became an objective that was shared by all.
19th century England is totally incomprehensible if one does not take into account the power of the Bible and its constant presence in men's hearts.
Why did the extra Craft Degrees and Orders develop so strongly in the second half of the 19th century? Were the freemasons whom they attracted looking for something more esoteric or romantic, or less oligarchic, monolithic or expensive than the ancient Craft?


IN CONCLUSION
Between 1856 and 1875 a small Group of powerful enthusiastic, youthful and - in the main -aristocratic freemasons took control of Grand Lodge and shook it out of its torpor.

A BRIEF OUTLINE OF THE ALLIED MASONIC DEGREES
The Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees, which can be said to have emanated from the Grand Mark Lodge of England and Wales, was formed in 1879 to bring under its direction all Lodges of various orders who recognised no central authority, and were not regulated by the other major governing bodies.

Initially the Degrees of Grand High Priest, St. Lawrence the Martyr, The Red Cross of Babylon, and the Knights of Constantinople placed themselves under the control of this body. By 1897 the degrees of Grand Tilers of Solomon, one degree of the Secret Monitor, and the Order of Holy Wisdom (Knight Templar Priest grades) had also been included, (the latter forming their own Grand College in 1923). In 1931 the Allied Masonic Degrees ceased working the single degree of the Secret Monitor. In 1972 the title was changed to "The Grand Council of the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees.


Following an understanding reached in 1931, the Grand Council has been responsible for five Masonic Degrees, namely:

ST LAWRENCE THE MARTYR
This teaches especially the lessons of fortitude and humility and is the firstdegree to be taken by all candidates.
(The remaining lour may be taken in any sequence)

KNIGHTS OF CONSTANTINOPLE
Preaches the virtues of humility and universal equality.

GRAND TYLERS OF SOLOMON
Warns of the great danger of carelessness and of hasty judgment and teaches the importance of careful tiling.

RED CROSS OF BABYLON

Associated with the Royal Arch during the reigns of Cyrus and Darius.

GRAND HIGH PRIEST

The Blessing of Abraham and the consecration of the Patriarch Aaron.

Candidates for the Order must be both Royal Arch Companions and Mark Master Masons.
The Order was Constituted in 1879.
Since then the Constitution has been extensively revised and the title of the Order is known as

"The Grand Council of the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees of Englandand Walesand Districts and Councils Overseas."