Scarlet Cord

The Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord


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The current Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord is based on an earlier Order, The Royal Order of Knights of the Scarlet Cord, developed in the British Isles in 1889, which was itself derived from 18th Century documents from the Amsterdam Masonic archives.

The rituals and ceremonies were rewritten and enriched by His Honour Judge Fredrick Adolphus Philbrick, KC, and were performed as appendant grades to the Order of the Secret Monitor. The rituals of the Order are taken from Old Testament times, commencing at the period of Joshua, the fall of Jericho and the story of Rahab. The main purpose was to raise considerable sums of money for the Secret Monitor Benevolent Fund, which still plays a significant role in Masonic welfare provision today. The Order ceased working in 1929.

A paper on the original Order written and delivered in 2001 by Peter Glyn Williams, the then Grand Supreme Ruler of the Secret Monitor, stimulated interest in the long-forgotten rituals. In 2006 a Secret Monitor Conclave was Consecrated with the sole purpose of reviving the old Order and conferring updated versions of the original six grades, some of which only remained in fragmented form. A huge appetite for the grades among Secret Monitors led to the Order being inaugurated as a separate Sovereign body in a magnificent ceremony in the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall on 21 July 2010.

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The ancient town and port of Barnstaple, Devon, on the River Taw, received its charter from the Anglo-Saxon King Æthelstan in 930 A.D. Over a millennium later another Ruler, Grand Summus of the Scarlet Cord, M.Dist.Comp. Ian Currans arrived on Monday 4 November 2019 with a new Charter or Warrant.

This was for the Consecration of the newest Consistory in the newly named Province - Valley of the Rocks Consistory, No.133 in the Provincial Grand Senatus of Devon and Cornwall. Grand Summus, M.Dist.Comp. Ian Currans and his team conducted proceedings with the usual panache, not dampened by the inclement weather. "Let's consecrate a new Scarlet Cord consistory in 'sunny' Devon, and to make it interesting let's choose November as the preferred date" was perhaps the thinking?


M.Dist.Comp. Ian S. Currans
Grand Summus

R.Dist.Comp. Francis C. Spencer
Deputy Grand Summus

R.Dist.Comp. Howard S. Markham
Assistant Grand Summus


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