PRUSSIA. Freemasonry was in troduced into Prussia by Frederick IL, surnamed the Great. Having been secretly initiated, while crown prince, at Brunswick, he soon after organized a Lodge in the castle of Rheinsberg; and when, in 1740, he ascended the throne he himself wielded the gavel, and conducted the first work with his own hand at the castle in Charlottenburg, June 20. The distinctive title of this Lodge was " The First Lodge," or " The Lodge of the King, our Grand Master." In the same year, Sept. 13, at his instigation, a new Lodge was established in Berlin, which was called "The Three Globes." This I Lodge was principally composed the members of " The First Lodge," which had but a brief existence. In 1744 "the Lodge of the Three Globes" assumed the title of Royal Grand Mother Lodge of the Three Globes, and constituted subordi nate lodges at Meiningen, Frank fort, Breslau, Halle, etc. The king assumed the office of Grand Master, and continued to bear the title, although during the seven years war, and the cares that government entailed on him, he was prevented from attending to his Masonic duties. In 1747, he appointed the Duke of Holstein-Beck as Vice Grand Master, when the statutes were revised, and Masonry, which had somewhat declined, again re vived. Soon afterward a new Lodge, "La Petite Concorde," was estab lished at Berlin, and, in 1760, a third, " The Three Doves;" the latter being founded by Tilley de Lerney and a number of French prisoners of war. Dissensions soon
broke out between these lodges; and then began in Berlin and throughout Germany that lamenta ble period of Masonry, when the introduction of the French degrees, and the admixture of various sys tems and new rites, caused such confusion among the Fraternity that the original tendency of the institu tion was almost extinguished. (To follow the history of Masonry in Prussia through this period,with its thousand changes, systems,schisms, etc., in an intelligible manner, would require too long an article.) In 1765 Zinnendorf became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes, but the following year abandoned it, and in 1770 instituted at Berlin a new Grand Lodge, called the Grand National Lodge of Ger many, for which he obtained royal sanction, and also a constitution from the Grand Lodge of England. In 1772 the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes assumed the title of the "National Grand Mother Lodge for the Prussian States." In the meantime, the Lodge of the Threc Doves, which had been founded at Berlin in 1760, and subsequently added to its original title that of "Friendship," separated from its Mother Lodge (the Three Globes) in 1765, and assumed the title of "Royal York of Friendship." In 1798, a royal edict was issued, which, while strictly prohibiting all secret societies, especially excepted the three existing Grand Lodges with their subordinates.