The vast majority of the ‘additional’ Degrees worked in England in the early part of the nineteenth century originally came under the patronage of Warrants granted by the ‘Antients’, who held that Craft Warrants entitled Lodges to work any Masonic Degree to which they had knowledge and members available who could work it. Upon the formation of the United Grand Lodge various groups of Degrees were gradually organised into separate Orders each with their own governing body.
By the end of that century a large number of unrelated Degrees of no direct interest to any grand body was still being worked in different parts of the country. In the late 1870’s it was agreed by the then Grand Secretaries of the Craft, Mark, and Ancient and Accepted Rite to establish a ‘Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees in England and Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown’. The headquarters would be at Mark Masons’ Hall.
The Order has five Degrees; the Degree of St Lawrence the Martyr; the Degree of the Knights of Constantinople; the Degree of Grand Tilers of Solomon; The Red Cross of Babylon and The Holy Order of the Grand High Priest. Every Candidate must be a Mark Master Mason and a Companion of The Holy Royal Arch.