The Online Masonic SPEAKER Series

NEW SPEAKERS SERIES BRINGS MASONIC EXPERTS ONLINE

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Join the Masons of California for an exciting and entirely digital speakers’ series featuring lectures and talks from Masonic experts on a range of topics. All events are totally free—to attend, simply register through On24 by clicking on the green button below. Spread the word about these informative online events.

If you’ve missed one, catch up on past lectures on our archives page.

August 5
7 p.m.

Dr. Hans Schwartz: Freemasonry in Revolutionary New England

The bonds of brotherhood were tested beyond measure during the American Revolutionary War. Learn the various interconnectivity and complexities that Freemasonry played in late 18th-century New England, and more about some of those famous names that have become so associated with it.

Hans Schwartz was awarded his MA in history at Salem State University and his doctorate in Atlantic and Early American History at Clark University. His research focuses on Freemasonry in trans-Atlantic networking in the Atlantic colonial period, and in political organizing in the American Revolutionary period. 

Hans has presented and published several papers on trans-Atlantic Freemasonry as a cultural, political, and intellectual network, notably at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, the German Historical Institute, and the QC Conference. His dissertation will be published next year.

Dr. Schwartz has extensive teaching experience in the United States and Japan in history, science and English, and is presently a lecturer at Northeastern University. Masonically, he is a PM of Mount Carmel Lodge, Lynn, Massachusetts.

This presentation is part of a collaboration between Quatuor Coronati, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge and the Grand Lodge of California. 

August 12
7 p.m.

Dr. Mike Kearsley: Rob Morris, The Conservators, and the failure to establish a Grand Lodge of the United States

Who was Rob Morris? Masonic dreamer and innovator? Or a self-serving charlatan? A man whose legacy has had such an effect on the American Masonic “family” is clearly a multifaceted individual worth studying. This lecture is presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Mike Kearsley is a prolific researcher and author, and a past Provincial Grand Orator for Middlesex. In 2011, he was awarded the Norman Spencer Prize. He was appointed Prestonian Lecturer in 2014 and ANZMRC lecturer in 2019.

Kearsley was initiated into Freemasonry in Hawera Lodge in Taranaki, New Zealand, and passed and raised in Mairehau Lodge in Christchurch. He later joined David Bonner Lodge, the musicians’ lodge of  Middlesex, becoming master in 2010 and thereafter secretary. He is a member of the Temple of Athene Research Lodge, Feltham Lodge, and Quatuor Coronati.

August 19
7 p.m.

Dr. S. Brent Morris – The High Degrees in the USA, 1730-1830

Degrees beyond the Craft have played an integral role in American Freemasonry since the early 18th-century. Come and learn the timeline of events and degrees that gave rise to the progressive Masonic Orders in America.

S. Brent Morris is the Managing Editor of the Scottish Rite Journal of the Supreme Council 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, USA. He retired as a mathematician from the US federal government with 25 years’ service, having also taught at Duke, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington Universities and given invited lectures at over 100 universities.

He was initiated in Highland Park (now Louis G. Priester) Lodge, No.1150 in Dallas, Texas in 1971. In 1979 and 2000 he served as Master of Patmos Lodge, No. 70, Ellicott City, Maryland, and in 1980 was the Grand Director of Ceremonies of the Grand Lodge of Maryland. He is High Priest (First Principal) of Zeredathah Royal Arch Chapter, No. 35, Laurel, Maryland, and a member of other Masonic orders.

Brent’s main love is Masonic research and writing, and he was the founder of the Scottish Rite Research Society in 1991 and editor of Heredom’s first 14 volumes.

This presentation is part of a collaboration between Quatuor Coronati, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge and the Grand Lodge of California. 

August 26
7 p.m.

Ben Williams: Freemasonry in the Territory of Colorado – Masons, Miners, and the rush to Statehood

Learn more about Freemasonry and the Centennial State, an overview of the role of Freemasonry in the Kansas Territory gold country, and the emergence of Colorado.

Ben Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management with a focus on pedology from the University of Maryland at College Park. In 2012 he passed the Patent Bar and became a registered Patent Agent, and currently runs a boutique patent firm in Littleton, Colorado representing various inventors and a number of corporate clients.
 
Masonically, Ben is a Past Master of Norwood Lodge No. 111 and Telluride Lodge No. 56. Having served the Grand Lodge of Colorado as Grand Orator in 2018, he additionally served as Education Committee Chair from 2014 – 2019. In 2015 he was voted Colorado Mason of the Year. Ben has served in numerous leadership capacities within both the Scottish Rite and York Rite, and in 2017 served as the Grand Commander for the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Colorado.
 
This presentation is part of a collaboration between Quatuor Coronati, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge and the Grand Lodge of California. 

September 9
7 p.m.

Mark Tabbert: A Deserving Brother: George Washington and Freemasonry

Learn about George Washington’s membership in, and support of, Freemasonry and explore its role in the context of his life’s greatest achievements.

Mark A. Tabbert is Director of the Library and Museum Collections at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association, a past president of the Masonic Library and Museum Association, a Fellow and past board member of The Masonic Society, and past secretary of the Masonic Restoration Foundation.

He is the author of four books American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities, Museum and Memorial: Ten Years of Masonic Writings and with Prof. William D. Moore, Secret Societies in America: Foundational Studies of Fraternalism. His most recent book is George Washington’s Rule for Freemasons in Life and Lodge.

His current book will document George Washington’s membership in, and relationship with, Freemasonry. Titled ‘A Deserving Brother’: George Washington and Freemasonry, it will be published by the University of Virginia Press next year. 

This presentation is part of a collaboration between Quatuor Coronati, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge and the Grand Lodge of California. 

September 23
12 p.m.

Dr. Ric Berman: The Antient Grand Lodge and the Foundations of American Freemasonry

The influence of the Irish in America is identified today with the more than four million Southern Irish immigrants, mainly Catholic, who dominated nineteenth and twentieth-century migration.  But the pattern in the eighteenth-century was different – and fundamentally so. 

Dr Ric Berman tracks the impact of the c. 350,000 Scots-Irish and London Irish who migrated to America between 1730 and 1800, settling in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, the Piedmont (western North & South Carolina), and the emergent states of Ohio, Kentucky & Tennessee. 

This wave of migration was instrumental in introducing Antients Freemasonry to America and blending it with English – ‘Moderns’ – Freemasonry.  And the influence of the Irish remains in place today.

Ric is the author of The Foundations of Modern FreemasonrySchism, a study of Antients Freemasonry; Loyalists & Malcontents, which details the history of Freemasonry in Georgia and South Carolina; Espionage, Diplomacy and the Lodge, which does what it says on the tin; and From Roanoke to Raleigh, a history of North Carolina Feemasonry. His 2016 Prestonian Lecture, Foundations: new light on the formation and early years of the Grand Lodge of England, sets a context for the 300th anniversary of the formation of the first Grand Lodge. He is currently working on The Grand Lodge of England & Colonial America: America’’s Grand Masters’, to be published this year.

Ric holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a Doctorate in History from the University of Exeter. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Life Fellow of the Huguenot Society, and a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University. In addition to his books, Ric has written numerous journal articles and delivered plenary lectures at Masonic conferences and academic symposia globally, travelling over 300,000 miles in the process.  A Freemason for over forty years, he holds Grand Rank in the United Grand Lodge of England and is a PM of Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research. He is also a DC freemason, a member of Fiat Lux, No. 1717.

This presentation is part of a collaboration between Quatuor Coronati, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge and the Grand Lodge of California. 

October 6
12 p.m.

Dr. David Harrison – The Lost Rites of Freemasonry

This presentation examines some of the Lost Rites of Freemasonry, in particular the mysterious and influential Rites created on continental Europe during the eighteenth-century.

Dr. David Harrison is a Masonic historian who has written many books on the history of Freemasonry, including such works as The Genesis of FreemasonryThe Transformation of Freemasonry, and The Lost Rites and Rituals of Freemasonry, and has contributed many papers and articles on various related subjects to PhilalethesFreemasonry TodayMQThe Square, and Heredom. Harrison has also appeared on TV and radio providing expertise and insight into the subject of Freemasonry and fraternal societies.

This presentation is part of a collaboration between Quatuor Coronati, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge and the Grand Lodge of California. 

October 21
12 p.m.

Dr. Christopher McIntosh –  Freemasonry and the Rosicrucian Stream

Separating fact from fiction, this presentation examines the long relationship between the Rosicrucian furor of the seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries with early speculative Freemasonry, and beyond.

Dr. Christopher McIntosh is a world authority concerning the Rosicrucian furor and has written such books as The Rose Cross and the Age of Reason: Eighteenth-Century Rosicrucianism in Central Europe and its Relationship to the Enlightenment, and The Rosicrucians: The History, Mythology and Rituals of an Esoteric Order. Additionally, McIntosh has written, translated and edited numerous works on a variety of related subjects, including the most recent translations of the Fama FraternitatisConfessio Fraternitatis and Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz.

This presentation is part of a collaboration between Quatuor Coronati, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge and the Grand Lodge of California. 

December 27
7 p.m.

Dr. John L. Cooper  –  St. John the Evangelist in Freemasonry

Exploring the history of St. John the Evangelist’s place as one of the two most prominent patron saints of the Craft, and the symbolism found therein.

John L. Cooper III served the Masonic Grand Lodge of California as Grand Master in 2014.  He had previously served as Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge for seventeen years, retiring in 2008.  Before becoming Grand Secretary he had pursued a career in public education as a high school teacher and administrator, including service as a superintendent of schools for a district in San Diego County.

John had served as Senior Councilor of the Southern California DeMolay Association in 1962, and holds the Degree of Chevalier and the DeMolay Legion of Honor.  He is also an honorary member of the International Supreme Council. Much of his Masonic career has involved researching and writing on the history and symbolism of Freemasonry.  He, and his wife Heather, live in Lincoln, California, where he continues to be active locally in Freemasonry.

This presentation is part of a collaboration between Quatuor Coronati, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge and the Grand Lodge of California.