From the Master of Kadosh (October 2019)

posted Oct 1, 2019, 1:33 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Last month I wrote about the creation of Canadian Scottish Rite,  Did you know that the French Scottish Rite share the same roots in Charleston, South Carolina?

Alexandre Francois Auguste de Grasse, known as Auguste de Grasse and Comte de Grasse-Tilly (February 14, 1765 – June 10, 1845), was a French career army officer. He was assigned to the French colony of Saint-Domingue in 1789, where he married, and acquired a plantation and 200 slaves before the Haitian Revolution. Following the Royal Navy's defeat of the French fleet in Saint-Domingue in 1793, de Grasse was allowed to resign his commission and leave with his family and in-laws for Charleston, South Carolina.

There, he and several fellow French colonial refugees joined the Freemasons in Charleston, becoming Maste.. In 1796, de Grasse was made a Director Inspector General of Freemasonry in Charleston; The eight French emigres organized a Consistory of the 25th Degree, or "Princes of the Royal Secret." By 1798, de Grasse was recorded as the Master of La Candeur Masonic Lodge in Charleston. On August 4, 1799, de Grasse demitted from Loge La Candeur. On August 10, 1799, he became a founder of Loge La Réunion Française at Charleston.

in 1801. he was among the eleven founders there of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite. He was later chosen as Grand Marshal of the South Carolina Ancient Grand Lodge.

De Grasse-Tilly returned to France in 1804, after Napoleon came to power. While he resumed his military career; he also worked to establish the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in France. He founded the first Supreme Council in France that same year.

The Grand Orient of France signed a treaty of union in December, 1804, with the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree in France; the treaty declared that "the Grand Orient united to itself.  The Supreme Council in France. This accord was applied until 1814. Thanks to this treaty, the Grand Orient of France took ownership, as it were, of the Scottish Rite.

The Suprême Conseil des Isles d'Amérique (founded in 1802 by Grasse-Tilly and revived around 1810 by his father-in-law Delahogue, who had also returned from the United States) breathed new life into the Supreme Council for the 33rd Degree in France. They merged into a single organization: the Supreme Council of France. This developed as an independent and sovereign Masonic power. It created symbolic lodges (those composed of the first three degrees, which otherwise would be federated around a Grand Lodge or a Grand Orient).

In 1894, the Supreme Council of France created the Grand Lodge of France. It became fully independent in 1904, when the Supreme Council of France ceased chartering new lodges.[53] The Supreme Council of France still considers itself the overseer of all 33 degrees of the Rite. Relations between the two structures remain close, as shown by their organizing two joint meetings a year.

France has three different and arguably legitimate Supreme Councils:

The Suprême Conseil Grand Collège du Rite écossais ancien accepté (emerging from the Supreme Council of 1804 and constituted in 1815), affiliated with the Grand Orient de France.

From 1805 to 1814, the Grand Orient of France administered the first 18 degrees of the Rite, leaving the Supreme Council of France to administer the last 15. In 1815, five of the leaders of the Supreme Council founded the Suprême Conseil des Rites within the Grand Orient of France.  However, the original Supreme Council of France fell dormant from 1815 to 1821.[52]

The Suprême Conseil de France (emerging from the Supreme Council of 1804 and restored in 1821 by the Supreme Council of the Isles d'Amérique founded in 1802 in Saint-Domingue, the modern Haiti), affiliated with the Grand Lodge of France.

The Suprême Conseil pour la France (emerging from the Supreme Council of the Netherlands, constituted in 1965), affiliated with the Grande Loge Nationale Française

he was also instrumental in founding new Scottish Rite councils in Paris and major European cities.

In 1964, the Sovereign Grand Commander Charles Riandey, along with 400 to 500 members,[54] left the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of France and joined the Grande Loge Nationale Française. Because of his resignation and withdrawal of hundreds of members, there was no longer a Supreme Council of France. Riandey then reinitiated the 33 degrees of the rite in Amsterdam.[55] With the support of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, he founded a new Supreme Council in France, called the Suprême Conseil pour la France. This was the only one to be recognized by the Supreme Councils of the United States after it was designated in 1970 as the sole authority of the Scottish Rite for France by the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction (the oldest Supreme Council in the world) at the Barranquilla conference.