Worshipful Society of Freemasons, Rough Masons,
Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers
III° Super Fellow Fitter and Marker
Preamble to the III°
In olden times a III° Lodge
was entered by a porchway from the II° Lodge. The porchway was guarded by the
O.G and the III° was guarded by the I.G. Therefore, ideally there should be
three rooms but, if only two are available, then the outside room must divided
by some artificial means.
The Candidate must have with him his jewel and certificate as a Fellow of
the Craft, form W, complete except for signature and be wearing a Fellow of the
Craft’s apron. Any other Candidates must complete form W, including
signature1 and hand these to the Clerk before the start of the
ceremony. A perfect ashlar stone of the proportions 3 x 1 x 1 should be
conveniently available for the S.W’s.D. later in the ceremony.
The Assemblage has been previously opened and necessary business has been
D.M.M.: I must now ask all Apprentices to retire. done.
And I close the doors to the I° Lodge. No
adjustment need be made to the H.B.
Examining and Entrusting the Candidate in the II°
D.M.M.: Any Fellow of the Craft deeming himself
qualified and desiring promotion may now make his application. Only
the representative Candidate rises.
S.W’s.D. conducts Cand. to the Clerk’s table to sign form W.
S.W’s.D. conducts Cand. to S.I.W. to whom, on being prompted by the
S.W’s Deacon, he hands form W.
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D.: I desire promotion to the grade of Super Fellow. Will you vouch
for my good character?
S.I.W. signs form W and returns it to the Cand.
S.W’s.D conducts Cand., carrying his Certificate and form W, to the
S.E.Corner where he stands facing the D.M.M.. His feet are not in any
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D. shows II° sign which is answered by D.M.M.
Cand.: W.D.M.M., I request permission to read my
D.M.M.: Pray read it. Done.
D M.M.: Your application will receive attention.
D.M.M.: Worthy S.I.W., pray examine the candidate.
S.I.W. approaches the Cand.
carrying two-armed square and a II° rule.
S.I.W.: Show me your certificate as a Fellow of the Craft.
Cand. hands his certificate to the S.I.W., who examines and returns it.
S.I.W. to Cand.: Are you a Fellow of the Craft?
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D.: I am, try me and prove
S.I.W. to Cand.: By what will you be proved?
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D.: By the Perfect Ashlar
S.I.W. to Cand.: What is this square?
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D.: It has four sides and
four right angles.
S.J.W. to Cand.: How do you prove the correctness
of this square?
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D.: By measuring the two
diameters. (Used with its ancient meaning of diagonals).
S.I.W. to Cand.: Show me a specimen of your work.
S.W’s.D. hands Cand. a 3 x 1 x 1 perfect ashlar stone.
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D. hands the stone to the S.I.W.
S.I.W. examines stone by square and rule and, being satisfied, takes
candidate’s certificate and form W.
S.I.W. to D.M.M.: The candidate is well qualified
W.D.M.M. and his work is excellent.
S.I.W. places ashlar stone to the N. of the centre column, hands
candidate’s certificate and form W to the Clerk and returns to his seat.
S.I.W. conducts other candidates to the D.M.M. who stand equally on either
side of the representative candidate.
D.M.M.: Are you willing to take an Obligation of
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D.: I am.
D.M.M.: Do you promise that you will steadily persevere
through the ceremony of advancement to Super Fellow Fitter and Marker?
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D.: I do.
D.M.M.: Do you promise to continue to respect your
Obligation as Fellow of the Craft?
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D.: I do and will.
D.M.M.: Do you promise to conceal what I am now about to
impart to you?
Cand., prompted by S.W’s.D.: I do.
D.M.M.: Then I will entrust you with a passing grip and
passing word to enable you to enter a Lodge of Fitters and Markers.
In olden times these would have been communicated
to you privately, therefore, I must ask all below the degree of Fitter and
Marker, with the exception of the Candidates, to retire. (done).
D.M.M.: The passing grip is …, the passing word is B…i.
As you have proved your ability to produce perfect ashlar stones you would now
be entitled to another sign and word. That sign I am permitted to communicate to
you. It is raising the right arm vertically, hand with fingers and thumb
together in line with the arm; at the same time raise the left arm to the
horizontal position to the side, hand, with fingers and thumb together, in line
with the arm, both palms forward. In giving this sign you represent, at the same time, the
square, the level (drop R. arm) and the plumb-rule (drop L. arm and raise R. arm), the
three working tools of a Fellow of the Craft. The word which, in operative days
would have been communicated to you now, has been adopted by speculative
and may not in these days be communicated to you until you achieve the VI° of
D.M.M.: You will now retire.
Cand. retires, under the direction of the S.W’s.D., and followed by all
the other Candidates.
Opening of the IIILodge by Power
D.M.M. kns. *., all rise: By the power deputed to
me by the G.M.Ms. at my appointment to rule over this Assemblage I open a
Lodge for work in the III° and
close the doors to all other Lodges. I demand the hailing sign of a Fitter and
Marker. Held until
discharged by D.M.M. giving the p.s.
D.M.M., Dep.J., Dep.B. & S.I.W. proceed to Altar, change H.B. to Job
33, v. 31 and return.
D.M.M. gives knocks * *
**, repeated by S.W., J.W., I.G. and O.G. (All sit).
S.I.W., D.M.M’s.D. & J.W’s.D. lay down carpet strips 10”/12”
wide to form a rectangle on the floor with “internal” dimensions of
12’ x 4’.
The rectangle represents a template or pattern of the wall plan of the
Temple. The template should be continuous with no spaces left for doors nor
Gauge is placed on the floor to the East of the centre column with
a kneeling stool within it. The gauge should not overlap the carpet strips and
there should be room between the west end of the template and the D.M.M’s.
column for the gauge to be placed there later in the ceremony.
Within the II° Lodge
When the S.W’s.D. and the Candidates retire they pass through the Porch
or Preparation room to the Outer room which now represents the II° Lodge.
S.W’s.D. prepares the Cand. by clothing him in a white cloak with the
Fellow of the Craft’s apron bound over it. His ankles are roped, to limit his
step to one cubit or 21 7/8 inches. All the Cands. must see this preparation.
Within the Preparation Room
S.W’a.D. Knocks * *
** on the outer door - or on the floor with his foot - and is admitted
with all the Candidates by the O.G.
S.W’s.D. to Cand.: As you previously have been
informed, in all the rites of this Society the Candidate represents a “living
stone” which is being wrought from the rough to a state of perfection. In the
III° Lodge you represent a perfect ashlar stone which has to be fitted to its
neighbours, marked and numbered, and approved as ready for erection on the
site of the Holy Temple. It was in this Lodge that every stone was made ready
before it was brought to the site as explained in verse seven of chapter six in
the First Book of Kings (reads). “And the house, when It was in building, was
built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was
neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house while in was In
S.W’s.D. to Cand.: Were you given the passing grip
and passing word by the D.M.M. of your Fellows Lodge?
Cand., prompted by O.G.: I was.
S.W’s.D.: Then you will follow me.
S.W’s.D. knocks * *
** on Inner Door.
I.G. opens door: Who comes?
S.W’s.D.: The Fellow Mason … (name) who has duly and truly served
his time as a Fellow of the Craft, has prepared work which has entitled him to
receive the passing grip and passing word and who desires to become a Super
Fellow Fitter and Marker that he may be able to work in a III°
Lodge, fitting and marking the stones before they are sent to the site of
the Temple for erection.
I.G. to Cand.: Give me the passing grip and
passing word. Done.
I.G.: Wait while I report. Closes
I.G.: W.D.M.M., the Fellow Mason … (name of Cand.) who has given me the
passing grip and passing word.
D.M.M.: Let him be admitted in due form.
I.G. opens door to Cand.: Enter on the chisel at
your head. I.G.
places chisel near Cand’s. head and gives it one blow with a mallet. All other
Cands. are received in the same manner.
S.I.W. conducts other Cands. to seats in the S.E.
S.W’s.D. places Cand. in the S.E. Corner facing the D.M.M.
D.M.Ms.D. places a kneeling stool in front of the Cand. and takes charge
S.Ws.D. Returns to his seat.
D.M.M. to Cand.: You will kneel while the
blessing of heaven is invoked on our proceedings. done.
D.M.M. Knocks *. All stand with sign.
Dep.J.: We supplicate the continuance of Thy blessing O El
Shaddai on behalf of ourselves and of our Brother and Fellow who kneels before
Thee. Pour down on our Assemblage the continual dew of Thy blessing; and grant
that this Candidate, and all of us, whether footing atones, running stones or
headstones, may be marked with Thy emblem of approbation as fitted to form part
of Thy heavenly Temple where peace, order and harmony eternally reign. Amen.
Omnes: So Mote It Be.
D.M.M. to Cand.:
Rise. Let him be led round the Template. All
S.W’s.D. removes kneeling stool and places it to E. of Centre column.
D.M.M’s.D. to Cand.: Walk round the Template and at
the end you will know how many cubits it is. Step off with your left
foot to the full length of the cubit cord and make your other paces of
the same length.
D.M.M’s.D. conducts the Cand. once around the rectangle, representing
the Template of the wall plan, keeping on the strips of carpet which he should
D.M.M’s.D. stops Cand. in the centre of the E. wall in front of the S.W.
and turns him to face the D.M.M. in
D.M.M.: In operative days you would have been required to
walk three times round the Lodge on the template. You would then have chosen
your mark which would have been duly registered, As you already have a mark the
ceremony will not be repeated. You must, however, register your mark with the
Clerk in due course.
D.M.M.: Before I can advance you to the rank you seek I
must point out to you that in every degree of our Worshipful Society the secret
tokens of membership as well as our methods of work, whether In rites or in the
working of stone in the yards, must be kept separate and distinct, therefore
another oath is required of you.
Are you prepared to take it?
Cand., prompted by D.M.M’s.D.:
D.M.M’s.D. leads Cand. to the Centre column.
S.I.W. leads other Cands. via the E. to stand behind Rep. Cand.
D.M.M. knocks *. All stand with sign.
D.M.M. moves to Centre column and says:
Then you will kneel, symbolically with both knees bare, on the perfect ashlar
S.I.W. provides the H.B. open
at Job 33, v. 31.
D.M.M.: Support the H.B. on your left hand and place your
right hand on it. The other Cands. will each place his left hand on the shoulder of the
Fellow in front and give the sign of F. with the right hand.
D.M.M.: State your names at length and mentally assent to
the oath I shall now read to you. I, ..., in
the presence of El Shaddai and of this Worthy and Worshipful Lodge of Super
Fellow Fitters and Markers, do hereby and hereon, solemnly confirm my former
obligation as a Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason and do further swear that I
will never divulge the secrets of my reception, nor the instruction which I am
about to receive, to anyone in
the world, unless it be to a free and regularly passed Super Fellow of the said
Craft, whom I have sufficient reason to believe has come by them as regularly as
I am now about to do, or in the body of a Regular Lodge of Super Fellows
consisting of three or more, presided over by the D.M.M., the S.I.W. or a duly
Passed Master VI°. I will acknowledge my own Mark and cut it only on stones
which I have carefully prepared. I will strictly respect the Marks of all
Super Fellow Fitters and Markers and keep my former obligation to give aid in
time of need.
D.M.M.: If you accept this obligation you will now repeat
after me: All these points I solemnly swear to observe under no less a penalty
than that of having my right hand struck off that I may no longer be able to
give the grip. So help me El Shaddai and keep me steadfast in this my obligation
of a Super Fellow Fitter and Marker.
D.M.M.: As a pledge of your sincerity you will seal that
obligation thrice with your, lips on the H.B. (done).
S.I.W. offers another H.B. for each of the other Cands. to seal his
D.M.M.: The Book is open at the verse which reads: “Mark
well, O Job; harken unto me; hold thy peace and I will speak”.
S.I.W. takes H.B. from Cand.
D.M.M.: Rise, accepted Super Fellow Fitter and Marker.
D.M.M. returns to his seat and all sit.
S.I.W. returns supernumerary Cands. to the S.E.
D.M.M’s.D. conducts Cand. to a position in the E. outside the template
and facing W.
D.M.M. to Cand.: For the better elucidation of
the methods of work in this Lodge it is desirable that you proceed to the Second
Degree yard to prepare a specimen of your work under the guidance of at least
three Super Fellow Fitters and Markers of the present Lodge.
D.M.M’s.D., S.W’s.D., J.W’s.D. & Others (not more than seven)
retire with the Cand(s). to the Porch.
S.I.W. nominates four members
to act as corner stones later in the ceremony.
D.M.M’s.D. removes cubit cord from Cand.
D.M.M’s.D., after idling for a short time says to Cand.: Though you are sent to prepare stones for the building, you have already
been informed that you, yourself, are a stone already wrought from the rough to
the perfect ashlar. Let us therefore re-enter the Lodge for the time is at
hand when the first course of stones must be fitted.
All who went out now re-enter the Lodge and take their seats. No knocks
are required as all are known to the I.G.
D.M.M.: When King Solomon laid the foundation of the
Temple on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, he declared it holy
ground and forbade all noise of tools of iron under pain of death. Therefore it
becomes necessary that, before erection on the site, every stone must. be fitted
and marked in the III° yard in which there is a full size template or wall plan
of the Temple. In the forthcoming ceremony the Fellows represent a course of
stones to be fitted and marked.
D.M.M.: Worthy S.I.W., let the first course be placed in
position on the Temple template, 60 by 20 cubits, and let the stones be
tested, fitted and marked ready for conveyance to the site.
S.I.W., loudly: Every stone to his place!
All, except D.M.M., Dep.J., Dep.B., S.I.W. and Wardens, speedily arrange
themselves on the “carpet strips”, shoulder to shoulder, facing inwards. The
nominated “corner stones” take up their positions (right foot in hollow of
left, right foot pointing to right along the template).
D.M.M’s.D. places Cand. on the North side of the template adjacent to
the N.E. corner stone. The representative Candidate moves to the right to make
room for other Cands. on his left, the last Candidate being adjacent to the
D.M.M’s.D. places himself on the right of the Candidate(s).
the first course of stones is ready to be sent to the Temple site.
D.M.M. to S.I.W.:
Are they complete and are they all perfectly fitted and marked for the Super
Fellow Setter Erectors?
S.I.W.: They are W.D.M.M.
D.M.M.: Then I will examine them.
D.M.M. goes to N.E.Corner and takes III° grip
(Lewis covered by challenged) and word (J…A) from that member. Moving
clockwise he examines each stone with grip and word until he arrives at the Cand.
S.I.W. follows the D.M.M.
carrying a chisel and small maul.
D.M.M. to S.I.W. and pointing to Cand.:
Here is a stone which has not been fitted to the one at its side and is not
How comes it here?
Cand., prompted by D.M.M’s.D.:
I entered with the others.
D.M.M. to Cand., still angrily: This must be enquired into. The penalty is a serious one for allowing an
unmarked stone to enter here. What say you?
D.M.M’s.D. to D.M.M.: We are all equally guilty and to
blame for this serious fault, W.D.M.M. We beg you will pardon the omission and
allow him to be fitted and marked for we can vouch that he has been well and
truly prepared. We will answer for his fidelity to Cand.: is this not so? Will you
pledge your fidelity?
Cand., prompted by D.M.M’s.D.:
I pledge myself. Prompted
by D.M.M’s.D. gives sign of Secrecy.
D.M.M., after a short pause for consideration: You have gone too far to withdraw. Nevertheless, as you have made the
sign of secrecy, I will remit the usual penalty of having your right hand struck
off and I will accede to the request and proceed to mark you.
S.I.W. hands chisel and maul to D.M.M.
D.M.M. marks Cand. on breast by symbolically cutting an equilateral
triangle with maul and chisel.
Single taps only with maul. Other Cands. are marked in the same way and
the maul and chisel are returned to the S.I.W.
D.M.M.: In olden times the Cand. was
marked indelibly in blue.
D.M.M. & S.I.W. return to their seats.
D.M.M.: The course is now complete and will be sent to the
site. All sit.
D.M.M’s.D. places Cand(s) before D.M.M. in W.
D.M.M.: I will now instruct you in the grip, word and
signs. of a Super Fellow Fitter and Marker. The grip is a Lewis. This must
always be covered by the Fellow who is challenged. It is never complete without
the word nor can the w. be given without the grip The word is J…A. The D.G. or
Hailing Sign which must be given when entering or leaving a III° Lodge or when
addressing the D.M.M. thereof is given thus, extending the right hand, index
finger and second finger extended, third and fourth fingers closed over the palm
of your hand and, as always must be maintained until it is answered by the Penal
Sign. The Emblematical sign is given by striking both thighs with both hands in
allusion to the two pillars at the Porch Entrance of King Solomon’s Temple.
The signs of secrecy and distress are the same as for Apprentices and Fellows
and throughout the Society.
D.M.M.: You must now pass the test of the running stone
gauge as a living stone.
S.I.W. places the R.S.G. on the floor behind the Cand.
S.W. & J.W. take position at each end of the gauge.
S.I.W. instructs Cand(s). to step backwards into the frame.
S.W. and J.W. raise the frame over the Candidates’ head.
S.I.W. reports: The Cand. passes the test. With
more than one Cand. “The Candidates pass the test”.
D.M.M.: Thus we receive you as (a) Super Fellow Fitter(s)
S.W. & J.W. resume their seats.
S.I.W. removes R.S.G. to a convenient place.
D.M.M’s.D. removes Candidate’s II° apron.
invest you with the apron of a Super Fellow Fitter and Marker which bears a
representation of the working tools of the Degree. I also invest you with the
jewel of a Fitter and Marker, the running stone gauge. done.
D.M.M.: I present to you the working tools of a Super
Fellow, the mallet and chisel.
D.M.M. receives working tools from the S.I.W., shows them
to the Cand. and returns them to the S.I.W.
D.M.M.: We symbolise your advancement by representing the
cubic ashlar in this form.
D.M.M. shows the cube both open and closed and says: “This is the second development of the cube.
D.M.M.: The rule is twelve units long with two hinges
dividing it into lengths of three, five and four units.
D.M.M.: The knocks are *
* ** and the H.B. is
open at Job 33, v. 31.
Dep.J. reads Job 33, v. 31.
D.M.M.: You will now sign the roll of Super Fellow Fitters
and Markers and register your mark at the Clerk’s table. (Done
by all Candidates).
S.I.W. conducts supernumerary Cands. to their seats.
D.M.M’s.D. conducts Cand. to the S.W. corner where he stands facing
D.M.M. to Cand.:
This completes the operative part of the ceremony. Those points which are dealt
with in speculative Mark Masonry have been omitted as you are already aware of
them. At this point, in operative days, practical Instruction was given on the
testing and fitting of stones and a lecture was delivered dealing with various
traditions connected with the construction of the Temple at Jerusalem. We wish
D.M.M’s.D. conducts Cand. to his seat.
Orator or Clerk or some member of the VI° reads the lecture.
The charges which follow the I°
and the II° date from the 17th century and possibly quite earlier.
Nothing comparable has come down to us to indicate the wording of the charges to
be given after the III° and IV°, but it seems likely that charges in one form
or another were given.
The III° and
IV° were more closely connected
than the others and one account - possibly in error - shows them as a single
degree. Brother Stretton states that the full working took 8everal hours and
hints that details may have been Included of parts of what we now know as the
Royal Arch, Cryptic and Allied Degrees.
In the I° the
Apprentices were taught their work and in practice shaped the stones, as
received from the quarries, by truing them fairly accurately to size. When Sir
Christopher Wren ordered stones from the quarries at Portland, the stones were
“scrabbled” before leaving the quarries. Stretton says that, in his time,
stones were delivered “scrabbled” from the quarries so as to
be approximately 2” over-size. The scrabbling was done with gavels -
that is with hammers with one flat face and one chisel edge. Scrabblers were
considered to be cowans and not true members of the Craft of Free Mason. Gavels
of this form likewise were not included among the working tools of a true Free
In the II°
the Fellows of the Craft of Free Mason shaped the stones received from
the Apprentices true to the size required. Their labours were considerably
reduced by already having the stone roughly prepared, firstly by the scrabblers
in the quarry, and secondly by the Apprentices in the I° yard.
Before he could be promoted from the II° to the
III° a Fellow had to give proof
of his proficiency by preparing a “masterpiece”, which may have been a
cubical stone true to size and shape, and smoothed or even polished on all its
To spoil such a stone, by cutting too deeply, quite
evidently would have been a serious matter. To raise such a stone to its
position on the walls was also quite an undertaking to be sure that, having
raised it there, every care had to be taken previously to ensure that it would
fit its neighbours on each side and beneath it. The work of the Fitter and
Marker was to fit the stones one to another. This was done by laying out the
stones for each course on the ground according to a template or pattern
provided, and by making such minor adjustments as might be required.
The template itself is said to have been in the
form of a series of diamonds or lozenge shapes; each diamond being formed by
four 3x4x5 triangles. If so, it would look very much like the pattern on a Royal
Arch sash. It may account for the traditional “indented” border of the
speculative Lodge carpet. It is probable that the preparation of the template
was the province of the V° or
One of our members, a Purbeck “marbler” has
stated that his father when making, for example, a column of Purbeck marble,
would assemble and, if necessary, adjust the individual stones in his workshop
before transporting the stones to the
building site for erection.
To fit the stones in this manner meant that each
course for the building had to be completed at one time. It also meant that the
stones, having been fitted one to another had to be in the same position in the
actual building. To ensure this, it was nece8sary to mark the stones so
that intended positions would be known to the Setter Erectors. The
method of marking will be described in the lecture that follows the IV°.
We have no satisfactory account of the development
of the cube. It has been stated, however, that the Apprentice started on the
side opposite the “bed mark” followed by the “bed marked” side, then by
the other sides, though in what order these were worked is not now known.
Perhaps in the II° and III° the faces were worked in a different order and the
various developments of the cube were used as an aid to memory.
In the III° yard, stones would be tested for their
soundness and each would be inspected and marked by three independent
The III° gives practical explanation of the
Scriptures — 1 Kings, VI v7 —
“And the House when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before
it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer, nor ax, nor any tool
of iron heard in the House when it was in building”.
D.M.M’s.D. assists the Cand. to disrobe.
S.I.W. assisted by the other Deacons clears the template and perfect
ashlar from the floor.
Closing the III° Lodge by Power
D.M.M., knocks *. All stand.
D.M.M.: By the power deputed to me by the Grand Master
Masons at my appointment to rule over an Assemblage I close this III° Lodge and
open the doors to all Lodges IV°. to I°.
D.M.M., Dep.J., Dep.B. & S.I.W. proceed to the central
column, change the H.B. to Ruth IV, v. 7 and return to their places.
D.M.M. knocks * *
**, followed by S.W., J.W., I.G. and O.G.. All sit.
D.M.M. Asks I.G. to admit any members of the lower