The History of Free Masonry, Drawn from Authentic Sources of Information
The Scottish natural philosopher and historian of science Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), best remembered as a friend of Sir Walter Scott and the inventor of the kaleidoscope, contributed reviews and articles on a huge variety of subjects to such periodicals as the Edinburgh Review and Fraser's Magazine. (His Letters on Natural Magic Addressed to Sir Walter Scott and his two-volume life of Isaac Newton are also reissued in this series). In this work, published in 1804, Brewster is determined to refute the allegations often directed against the Freemasons, as representing 'caverns of darkness, in which the most detestable schemes have been hatched'. He does so by tracing the history of the 'peaceful institution' of Freemasonry from antiquity until the end of the eighteenth century. He then describes the history of the Grand Lodge of Scotland from its institution in 1736, basing his account on the records of the Lodge.