BRIEF HISTORY OF SPANISH FREEMASONRY AND IN PARTICULAR IN ANDALUCIA
Author: R.H. José Carrasco y Ferrando.
We commence the history of Spanish Freemasonry by the “hand” of ex professor of the University of Zaragoza, José A. Ferrer Benimeli, President of the Historical Study Center of Spanish Freemasonry (C.E.H.M.E.) with its headquarters in the mentioned University and Coordinator of the X International Symposium of History of Spanish Freemasonry, held in Carlos III University of Madrid from 2nd to 6th September 2003. At the opening of this Symposium we transcribe the summary of interest, the text of the Presentation the mentioned organiser exposed the following: “With this X International Symposium of the History of Spanish Freemasonry we inaugurate today at the Carlos III University we wish to commemorate the 275 of the foundation in Madrid on 15th February 1728, of the first recognised Spanish lodge and legalised by the Grand Lodge of England. Precisely the Minute Book of such Grand Lodge shows Spain as being the first nation of the continent to request the foundation of a regular lodge. This is admitted, amongst many others, historians such as Begeman, Jones, Lenmhof, etc. Lane himself, in the supplement to his Masonic Records 1717-1886, also agrees to this fact, reason for which the lodge of Madrid appears in the Pine´s engraved List of Lodges of 1729 and number 50. The title assigned to this lodge is French Arms and its headquarters based in St. Bernard Street in Madrid”.
“In the edition of Prichard in 1730 this lodge appears with the name with which is normally quoted: Three Flower de Luces (sic), actually The Three Flowers of Lys. The reason of this duplicity of name is due to the lodge was established in a hotel called Three Flowers of Lys. However for those who have been working on Spanish Freemasonry, this first lodge is only and exclusively known as Matritense. Finally it was the wish of its founders who had requested by letter dated 15th February 1728 that the Grand Lodge of England would register the lodge in the Registry Book under the name of Lodge of Madrid”.
“In summary three are the ideas we can gather of this group of English Masons in the constitution of the lodge in Madrid: the union amongst them, the charity to the poor and the belief in Almighty God. Three basic elements and of course far away of certain comments out of context, such as Navarro in his History of Spanish Freemasonry”.
“This Matrinense Lodge in its foundation was only formed by five English Masons residents in Spain in those days. In that period it was enough with five Masons to constitute a Lodge and for new Initiations. Afterwards, as is well known, it was a requisite for a minimum of seven”.
“The initiative of these English was carried out by who ended up being their first Worshipful Master, Mr Labeyle, a Swiss engineer settled in England and educated man. Mr Labeyle requested for the foundation of the lodge of Madrid the good office and sponsorship of the duke of Wharton who acted as a delegate of the Grand Lodge of England and signed the attendance book as 2nd Deputy Grand Master. Although at the time did not hold such office, however some years earlier was elected as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England on 24th June 1722, in the San Juan de Verano, but was not enthroned as such until 17th Januay 1723, date in which in his capacity of Grand Master signed the warrant of publication of the Book of Constitutions of Freemasons (popularly known as Anderson), reason for which in the frontispiece of such Constitutions appear John, 2nd duke of Montagu, his predecessor as Grand Master, handing over the manuscript of the Constitutions to Philip, duke of Wharton”.
“I will not talk about the controversy, unknown and very manipulated figure of the duke of Wharton who in 1726 was already in Madrid to ensure as candidate Charles Edward Stuart, son of James II, to the offices of the king of Spain Philip V”.
It should be stated that the duke of Wharton, that year, remarriage with the Spanish noble María Teresa O´Neil, lady in waiting of the queen, entering into the services of the king of Spain as a serviceman being and sent to the regiment of Lérida.
“Although the life of the lodge founded in Madrid in 1728 was really brief, as from 1731 there are no news due to the founders returning back to England and the death of the duke of Wharton in the monastery of Poblet, however despite the later prohibitions and persecution the Matrinense from 275 years ago was the source and genesis of the lodges which, especially as from the revolution in September 1868, will set the complicated and not easy masonic history in Madrid in which even up to 1938 we find not less than 155 lodges only in the capital, not taking into count those established in other cities nearby…”
We will make a resume of the history of contemporary Spanish Freemasonry based on the essential Volumes 1 and 2 of Professor José A. Ferrer Benimeli, “Twenty-first Century Spanish Editors”, 1987, and will draw upon to some of the Minutes of C.E.H.M.E. on the International Symposiums held by the referred center.
The first contemporary Spanish lodge, called “The Spanish Meeting” which was constituted outside Spain by a group of officers of the Spanish navy, in the French city sport of Brest in 1801.
Freemasonry during XVIII century was in Spain very poor, and not at all organised. However, it is documented of the existence of foreign masons in our country, generally civilians and servicemen at the service of the king of Spain, initiated in foreign countries but knowing that Freemasonry was forbidden in our country many of them abstained from participating in masonic assemblies. To understand this situation, we refer to the information of the state advisor and governor of the police of Paris, who according to his report dated 11.09.1824 in which he was investigating the origins of secret societies in Spain, affirms that Freemasonry in Spain dates from the period of the French invasion, and unknown before. This is confirmed by a mason called Figueroa Rios who says “after the prohibition of freemasonry by the Spanish inquisition in 1738 and by Decree of Fernando VI in 1751, the degradation and death penalty caused a tremendous panic amongst masons and the institution disappeared in Spain without there being any records until the French invasion of 1808”. Therefore, according to professor José A. Ferrer Benimeli there was no masonry in this century with the exception of sporadic meetings. So up to the nineteenth century there was not an installed and regular freemasonry in Spanish territory.
The first lodge in the time of Bonaparte was a Spanish-French lodge called “La Double Alliance”, founded in Cádiz in 1807, just before the French invasion under the hospices of the Grand Lodge of France. There is a reference in the Grand Lodge of France of the existence of another lodge called “The Triple Harmony” during the same period.
There is constance of a Scottish lodge called Desired Reunion, founded by the Grand Lodge of Scotland on 3rd August 1807 in Balboz, Andalucía and of another English lodge called Lodge of Hope, founded by the United Grand Lodge of England in 1815 in Cádiz.
The first Grand National Lodge of Spain was in Madrid in 1809, during the Inquisition, it was the installation of a Grand Orient of Spain, established by the grand duke of Berg, under the auspices of king Joseph I, ex Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France.
Early part of 1811 the marquis of Clermont-Tonnerre, as member of the Supreme Council of France, formed in Spain the philosophical bodies which worked up to degree 32 of the Scottish Rites. On 4th July 1811 with warrants issued by the Supreme Council of Charleston who´s one of the founder members was Count of Grasse-Tilly, regularly constituted the Supreme Council of degree 33 for Spain and its dependencies, which continues in place.
According to yearbooks from the Grand Orient of France from 1813 and 1814 there are records of a lodge called “The Friends of Honor” in Sevilla sometime during 1812.
With the return of Fernando VII in 1814 the Inquisition was reestablished in the kingdom of Spain and worsened the actions against Freemasonry. The general inquisitor, Francisco Xavier Campillo, published an edict of prohibition and condemn of Freemasonry. This prohibition was already contemplated on the official documents published by the Vatican by Popes Clement XII and Benedict XIV.
The confrontation between the catholic church and freemasonry occurs during the pontificates Pío IX and León XIII. During this period the dominant church opposed the Italian unification causing and important social agitation, stimulated by the patriotic and secret societies, against the Pontifical State, causing that in 1848 Pope Pío IX had to run away to Naples and Rome is proclaimed as a Republic.
The first condemn against secret societies is from Pope Pío XI 1846-1878, with the encyclical titled “Qui pluribus”, dated 09.11.1846, accusing freemasonry for being the responsible of the loss of Pontifical States. On the speech “Multiplices inter” on 25.09.1865 he reproves and condemns the masonic society as like others of the same genre. And on 12.10.1869 he launches the famous “Apostolicae sedis”, one year before the troops of Garibaldi occupied Rome with the excommunication “latae sententiae” for the members of masonry, coalyards, and other similar secret societies.
This situation results in 1870 with the march of the French troops, who supported the Pope, to the franco-prusian war, of which the Italian troops took advantage of invaded the eternal city and forcing the Pope to stay inside the Vatican and the Italian government settles for definite in the Pope´s palace of Quirinal in Rome.
With the pontificate of Pope León XIII, the Vatican issued over two hundred documents condemning masonry, the coalyards and the rest of secret societies. With his encyclical “Humanum genus” dated 20.04.1884 which includes all condemns of Popes Clement XII, Benedict XIV, Pío VII, León XII, Pío VIII, Gregory XVI and Pío IX, and other issued by some princes and heads of states, such as: Austria, Bavaria, Spain, Holland, Italy, Savoy, Switzerland, etc .. which is considered the most extent and direct against freemasonry identifying it as naturalism.
With the Spanish revolution in 1868 and the social change, Spanish freemasonry is no longer persuaded enabling it to organizes and revive after many years of persecution and extreme repression of the government. Forming, within a short time, five groups: the Grand National Orient of Spain (formed by the United Grand Lusitanian Orient); the Grand Orient of Spain (formed by Lodges of the United Grand Lusitanian Orient; the Grand Oriente of Spain; in Seville some of the Lodges of Andalucía and other regions of Spain who formed an Independent Spanish Grand Lodge; in Catalunya was created the Catalán Grand Chapter; and in other parts of the nation groups of independent masons where created who motivated the restoration of some French Lodges, such as: the lodge “Sons of Hiram” in Cartajena in 1870, and “The Friends of Nature and Humanity” in Gijón in 1871.
Eventually these groups were reduced to two: the Grand Orient of Spain and the National Grand Orient. And finally the Grand Orient of Spain obtained the superiority and replacing the other and proclaiming on 21 July 1870, Manuel Zorrilla, who happened to be the president of the Spanish government, as Grand Master of the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Spain. There was an official communication of such investiture sent to the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England for its acknowledgment.
The first Lodges constituted in Almeria occurred during the political revolution of 1868 and the liberties originated from the Constitution of 1869. The Lodges who promoted freemasonry in Almería where: Love and Science Lodge Nº76 founded in 1872, the Grand Orient of Spain; and Union and Justice, supposedly constituted in 1870 under the Lusitanian United Orient Grand Lodge and in 1881 it becomes to be part of the Grand Orient of Spain.
Late century XIX the following Lodges are under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Spain:
Love and Science Lodge Nº76, Science and Union Lodge Nº70, Sons of Abdera Lodge Nº241, Salmeroniana Lodge Nº296, Light of Overa Lodge Nº363, Almanzora Lodge Nº209, Esencia Lodge, Live and Love Lodge Nº343, Charity and Abnegation Lodge Nº310, Antita Lodge Nº88 and the sovereign Pausanias chapter Lodge Nº23, Leara Crossed Rose Nº77 and Love Lodge Nº8.
And under the Obedience of the Grand National Orient of Spain are:
Constance Lodge nº77, Argentina Lodge nº172, Light of Filabres Lodge nº236, Perfection Lodge nº168 and Protection Lodge nº195.
Many Lodges, particularly in Andalucía and the Canary Islands adhered, in 1869, to the Grand Chapter of Madrid, under the jurisdiction of the United Lusitanian United Grand Lodge, with its headquarters in Lisbon.
In 1880 was constituted in Seville the Independent Symbolic Grand Lodge of Spain, feeding itself of the Lodges which previously belonged to the United Lusitanian Grand Orient.
In 1882 the Lodge América nº27 in Ubrique (Cádiz) is created, belonging the Grand Orient of Spain. The members of this Lodge where very heterogeneous and had a doctrinal character and philosophical. The Lodge interrupted its activity in 1923 with the arrival of the Dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera.
As similarly occurred in England, the United States of America and Germany with regarding the grand regional autonomic lodges there created in August 1886 is constituted the federation of the Symbolic Grand Lodge Catalan-Balear. Some years later and emulating the Catalan-Balear Grand Lodge, is founded, in 1889 the Symbolic Grand Lodge Galaica with the headquarters based in Santiago de Compostela; in 1891, the Provincial Symbolic Grand Lodge of Málaga with its headquarters based in Málaga; in 1893, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Murcia; in 1889, the Regional Grand Lodge of Andalucía with its headquarters in Córdoba, etc.
In 1888 the two mentioned Grand Lodges merge, creating the National Grand Lodge of Spain but due to disagreements in electing the new Grand Master this brief union fails and the majority of the members end up by constituting, on 21 May of the same year, the Grand Lodge of Spain, being elected as Grand Master Miguel Morayta y Sagrario.
According to the Historical Files of Documentary Services over Freemasonry in Salamanca, only in the province of Cádiz 112 Lodges exist of which 28 correspond to the capital and the rest to the province. And in Seville there are 58 Lodges of which 42 correspond to the capital and the rest to the province.
In 1889 is founded the Spanish Symbolic Grand Lodge of the old Rite and Primitive Orient of Memphis and Mizraim.
This brief history over Spanish Freemasonry, does not allow us to make a more extensive exposure covering in a more concrete manner the development of Freemasonry in each of the eight Provinces of Andalucía, Therefore we will highlight the most significant information of some of them.
According to the Minutes of professor José A. Ferrer Benimeli, III Symposium of Applied Methodology to the History of Spanish Freemasonry, Córdoba 15.2.1987. “The Lodges of the Spanish Grand Orient (1900-1936), since its foundation on 21 May 1889 up to the final century it reached a total of 248 Lodges, according to its own records and official list, although in reality there were many more.
On the other side, from the 248 lodges mentioned, we know that at least 107 where situated outside of the country, the majority in Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico (89 lodges) and the rest in Morocco, Argentina, Dominican Republic and the United Stated. In the metropolis the area with major influence of the Spanish Grand Orient was Andalucía with 45 Lodges, followed by Cataluña with 26, Valencia with 19 and Madrid with 15.
The geographic distribution of the Spanish Grand Orient in Andalucía between 1900-1922 was the following:
– Evolution Lodge nº403 founded on 4th March 1919.
– Spain Lodge nº259 founded on 25th January 1902.
– Spain Democratic Lodge nº341 founded on 7th November 1912.
– Sons of Hiram Lodge nº431 founded on 13th August 1912.
La Línea (Cádiz):
– Regeneration Lodge nº324 founded on 14th March 1911.
– Resurrection Lodge nº329 founded on 12th February 1911.
– Turditania Lodge nº390 founded on 31st August 1917.
Palma del Río (Córdoba):
– Light and Prosperity Lodge nº369 founded on 12th December 1911.
– April Lodge founded on 9th November 1902.
Pueblo Nuevo del Terrible (Córdoba):
– Crysanthema Lodge nº267 founded on 26th November 1902.
– Virtue Lodge nº385 founded on 15th September 1915.
– Faith Lodge nº261 founded on 22nd February 1902.
– Second of May Lodge nº303 founded on 24th October 1908.
– Germinal Lodge nº306 founded on 2nd November 1908.
– Justice and Liberty Lodge nº321 founded on 23rd May 1914.
– Young Andalucía Lodge nº349 founded on 1st May 1914.
– Isis Lodge nº350 founded on 1st May 1914.
– Light and Democracy Lodge nº351 founded on 25th November 1914.
– Faith and Perseverance Lodge nº370 founded on 25th November 1914.
– Isis and Osiris Lodge nº377 founded on 1st April 1915.
– Faith and Democracy Lodge founded on 19th August 1915.
– Thirteen April Lodge nº378 founded in May 1915.
La Campana (Seville):
– Ferrer Lodge nº342 founded on 7th December 1912.
– Themis Lodge nº389 founded on 16th April 1917.
We present the existence of the following lodges, according to the records of the Symbolic Regional Grand Lodge of Midday belonging to the Obedience of the Grand Orient of Spain:
– Isis and Osiris Lodge nº6 active from 1915 to 1936.
– Faith and Democracy Lodege nº10 active from 1916 to 1936.
– Work Lodge nº12 active from 1924 to 192.
– Pi and Margall Lodge nº13 active from 1924 to 1925.
– Spain Lodge nº22 active from 1925 to 1927.
– Andalucía Lodge nº29 active from 1925 to 1928.
– Occident Lodge nº38 active from 1927 to .
– Spain and Work Lodge nº42 active from 1927 to 1936.
– Colón/Sánchez José Lodge nº70 active from 1925 to 1936.
– Coria Lodge nº35 no documents available.
– Philippina Lodge nº40 (Alcalá de Guadaira) active from 1927 to 1936.
– Martyrs of Duty Lodge nº41 (Lora del Río) active from 1924 to 1936.
– Thirsteen April Lodge nº37 (Carmona) active from 1915 to 1922.
– Themis Lodge nº37 (Peñaflor) active from 1917 to 1922.
– Ferrer Lodge njº15 (Campana) active from 1910 to 1936.
– Germinal Lodge nº34 (Constantina) active from 1927 to 1936.
– Brethren of Triangle Lodge nº1 (Fuentas A.) active from 1914 to 1936.
– Triangle of New Life Lodge nº6 (Carmona) active from 1924 to 1933.
– Fraternal Union Triangle Lodge nº8 (Osuna) no documents.
– Astigis Triangle Lodge nº22 (Ecija) active from 1915 to 1936.
– Rizal Triangle Lodge (Utrera) active from 1926 to 1934.
– Kaueh Triangle Lodge nº61 (Utrera) no documents.
With the arrival of the dictator general Primo de Rivera on 13th September 1923 Spanish Masonry found itself again in inconvenient situation as it was not officially recognized but unofficially tolerated.
During the period of this dictatorship Freemasonry had a big influence in the Spanish army, particularly in the actions of Cuba and North Africa. The seven Regional Grand Lodges took over the legislative power from the Spanish Grand Orient, within the symbolic degrees of the Scottish Rites. In 1926 in Alicante were approved in extraordinary assembly the bases of the federal by-laws, reorganizing the Regional Grand Lodges through a Symbolic Federal Council in Seville. This geographical reorganization was established in what corresponds to Midday as: Andalucía, Badajoz and Canaries.
The United Grand Lodge, in disagreement with the Grand Lodge of Spain, had various lodges distributed between: Alcazarquivir, Barcelona, Cádiz, Cartagena, Ibiza, La Linea, Larache, Málaga and Valencia.
Freemasonry during the second republic hosted significant politician personalities of the government. And the members of the army constituted during this period a numerous number of Masonic Lodges.
In the republican period there are in Granada five Lodge and one Triangle, of which four are under the Obedience of the Grand Orient of Spain and two belong to the Grand Lodge of Spain.
These are the following:
Ribera del Genil Lodge nº91. Belonging to the G.L.E. Was consecrated in 1927. In 1934 the W.M. was Antonio Mendoza de la Fuente.
Gavinet Lodge nº83. Belonging to the G.L.E. Was consecrated in 1924. Brother Francisco Galán Moral was one of the most significant members of the Lodge. True Lodge nº32. Belonging to the G.O.S. was consacrated in 1924-1925 in Albuñol. In the Alpujarras in Granada, Generalife Lodge nº2. Belonging to the G.O.S. Was consecrated in 1924. Alhambra Lodge nº39. Belonging to the G.O.S. Was consecrated in 1927. And in 1933 is changed to a Triangle with the name of Alhambra II number 39. Alhambra Lodge nº69. Belonging to the G.O.S. Consecrated by the petitioners of the Triangle and is the most important Lodge in Granada by the number of its members and due to these members being political personalities, members of the republican government and important businessmen.
With the military revolt on 18th July 1936, emulating the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini, Spanish Freemasonry is persecuted, demolished and assassinated. The first Decree against Freemasonry issued by general Francisco Franco Bahamonte, dated 15th September 1936 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, declares Freemasonry outlaw, punished as criminal rebellion the payment of quotes in its favor, confiscates its properties and its belongings, etc. That year a large number of masons where executed in Andalucía. According to documented data in the Special Services Files in Salamanca only in 1936 the following Brethren where shot: from Trafalgar Lodge in Algeciras 24 masons; of the Resurrection Lodge in La Linea 9 masons; of the Fiat Lux Lodge in La Linea 3 masons; of the Sons of the Widow Lodge in Ceuta 17 masons, condemned to force labor 7 and 17 masons took refuge in Gibraltar (two brother of an affiliated member called José Clavijo where shot and his house destroyed); all those of Lodges in Cádiz unable to escape were murdered; all members of the Lodges in Granada, up to a total of 54 masons were shot amongst them was the illustrious ophthalmologist Rafael Duarte, professor of University of Medicine and his son who was also a doctor. Likewise all masons from various Lodges in Seville where assassinated amongst whom was Fermín Zayas, illustrious military, member of the Supreme Council and his son. The list continues in other Provinces of Almería, Melilla, Tetuán, etc. with a large number of masons exterminated.
Special mention has to be made of the tragedy occurred in Granada, as was published by ABC newspaper of Madrid on 23 September 1936 under the headline “In Granada all masons have been shot”, explained by an evaded mason: “after shooting all masons in mass, the fascists took all the files of the masonic lodges that existed in the capital (supposedly the loges Alonso Quijano, Alhambra) and arrested all active and non-active masons. They put them in lorries and took them to the village of Viznar where they forced to dig their own graves and where afterwards shot”.
In October 1937 in Málaga 80 politicians where shot under the only penalty of being considered as masons.
The mere fact of being a masons at the beginning of the civil war was considered as an offensive crime of “lesa Patria”, so published on the official press of the “Movement”. Therefore without a trial thousands of persons where executed.
Special corps were created, integrated by the Police and Guardia Civil who having taken all files and editorials of various Lodges carried out a brutal repression against freemasonry during 1937, 1938 and 1939.
The headquarters where all the masonic material was collected: files, editorials, libraries, documents, objects, etc. was known as the Spanish Masonic Secret Files, located in Salamanca, which originally was a dependent body of the private Secretariat of general Franco, afterwards of the Presidency of the Government and finally of the Ministry of Culture. From many years ago these records, which have a social-political section and another masonic is opened to investigators, historians, journalist and writers.
On 9th February 1939 the Law of Political Responsibility is promulgated, considering out-law all political parties and masonic lodges. On 1st March 1940 repression law against freemasonry, communism and rest of clandestine societies is issued.
There is documental evidence the Repression Court against Freemasonry issued thousands of sentences, not only against Masons in Spain as the significant case of the Chief Air Force Commander, Manuel Presa Álamo, but also distinguished personalities exiled in foreign countries, such as: Martínez Barrio, Luis Jiménez de Asúa, Augusto Barcias, Santiago Casares Quiroga, Ángel Galarza, Álvaro de Albornoz, Julio Álvarez Vayo and other masons.
As stated by the cousin of Franco, general lieutenant Franco Salgado-Araujo, in his book “Mi private conversations with Franco”, he mentions Franco had an obsessive concern against Freemasonry and in his speeches he always talked about the jewish-communist-masonic conspiracy. He published a book titled “Freemasonry” under the name of Jacking Boor. His obsession reach to an extreme that when General Franco visited the Royal Monastery of Santa María in Poblet (Tarragona) in 1952 for the occasion of the restoration of the monastery, he requested the general abbot of the Cistercian Order to move the tomb of duke of Wharton buried since 1731 in the atrium of the church; which by the way did not contain the remains as was desecrated, together with others, by the French troops when they looted the monastery. However, some years later, the tomb was placed on the exterior of the building which surrounds the apse of the abbey. According to the chronicles of the monastery and as written on the tombstone of the duke of Wharton he died in the faith of the Catholic Church. In 1991 the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Poblet was declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.
According to various testimonies, amongst them the one from lieutenant colonel, Joaquín Morlanes, firmly states that Francisco Franco, when he was lieutenant colonel, requested to be admitted in Lixus Lodge in 1926 in Larache (Morocco – at the time Spanish territory), in which there were civilians and militaries. It was the military brethren who opposed to his admission into this Lodge. During the Republic in 1932 a member of the army named Morlanes affirms that Franco, for the second time, tries to join Freemasonry in a Lodge in Madrid. Once again it was the military brethren who opposed his admission, amongst these brethren was his own brother, Air Force Commander, Ramón Franco who was initiated in Plus Ultra Lodge, a Spanish speaking Lodge in Paris.
Regarding the exile of the Spanish Freemasons in 1938, many members of the Grand Orient of Spain and of the Grand Lodge of Spain, likewise the Supreme Grand Council of Degree 33 for Spain, exiled to France and with the beginning of Second World War, after the invasion of France by the German troops, the members of the mentioned institutions where forced, once again, to exile to México, Venezuela, Argentina and other Latin American countries. In Mexico, three Lodges are consecrated: President Azaña Lodge, President Cardenas Lodge and President Companys Lodge, dependents from the Grand Lodge of Mexico, Valley of Mexico.
On the return of Spanish Freemasonry to homeland, it should be mentioned the statements from the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Spain, Jaime Fernández Gil de Terradillos, on 10th January 1976 in which he officially and publicly presents himself supporting the constitutional and monarchical State as State of Rights. Commencing all necessary requirements to the Ministry of Government to obtain the legalization of Freemasonry in Spain. This was supported by the European Council of Strasbourg. Steps were made towards the Spanish Episcopal authorities expressing the wish of harmony and collaboration, after the Second Vatican Council and the authorization of the ancient Saint Office of Rome so that Catholics could be masons, thus abolishing the prohibition and excommunication that for such a long time had condemned Freemasonry. Likewise reclaimed the Masonic patrimony requisitioned during the dictatorship which to date has not been returned. It was declared dissolved the masonic organizations in exile, informing of the creation of a Grand Orient of Spain and proclaiming himself as Grand Master Jaime Fernández Gil de Terradillos, Assistant Grand Master Antonio Villar Massó and Grand Orador Antonio García Borrajo.
The Grand Assembly of Master Masons of the Grand Orient of Spain, in the exile, did not recognize such appointment and naming as Grand Master Francisco Espinar Lafuente and as Grand Orador José Torrente Duran, creating in Mexico a committee responsible for the repatriation of all the belongings, records, etc. of the Grand Orient of Spain.
However the Grand Orient of Spain, recognized and promoted by Mexico was unable to obtain from the Spanish Home Office the change of identity of the petitioners of the registration in the registry for the expulsion of the three self-appointed mentioned Brethren, for listed as first signatories. Francisco Espinar, as Grand Master elect, chose by requesting the inscription in the Order with the name of United Grand Orient of Spain. The request for the legalization of the United Grand Orient of Spain experienced many administrative difficulties, particularly by the then Home Office Minister, Martín Villa (*old member of the Falange*). But thanks to a sentence issued by the High Court dated 3rd July 1979 the Home Office finally legalized it.
Therefore by 21st November 1979 the two Orders of Grand Orient of Spain and the United Grand Orient of Spain were fully legal and inscribed in the National Registry of Cultural Associations, non-profitable. Both are declared heir of Spanish traditional Freemasonry of direct continuity of the G.O.S. founded in 1889.
During 1978 and 1979 the symbolic freemasonry represented by the United Grand Orient of Spain and the philosophic Supreme Grand Council of degree 33 of Spain continued to be recognized; thus continuing relations with other Obedience and foreign Supreme Councils, commencing with the Interamerican Masonic Confederation.
The Grand Lodge of Spain (heir of the Spanish traditional masonry of direct continuity of the United Grand Lodge of Spain founded in 1889) was legally constituted by Administrative Resolution of its inscription in the Associations Registry of the Home Office (number 37.256) dated 16th October 1980 as an Obedience or Regular Masonic Order non profitable and for indefinite period.
The jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Spain covers the whole territory of the Spanish State. And it was masonic born to the Regularity by Decree numbers 656 and 657 of the Grande Lodge National Francaise, who consecrated on 6th November 1982 being its first Grand Master Luis Salat Gusils. Its registered office is in Barcelona in Gran Vía de las Cortes Catalanas nº617 and can constitute delegations and headquarters in other parts of the Spanish State.
The Extraordinary General Grand Assembly of the Grand Lodge of Spain held in Madrid on 31st May 2001, unanimously agreed that the historical Grand Orient of Spain (G.O.E.) would unite to the Grand Lodge of Spain, forming both institutions a one and only Obedience, but conserving each one its legal personality. Therefore, since then all Lodges under the (G.O.E.) lowered their columns and their members integrated in Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Spain.
Professor, José A. Ferrer Benimeli (coordinator), Masonry in Madrid and Spain from XVIII to XXI Century. X International Symposium of History of Spain Masonry. Leganés (Madrid), from 2nd to 6th September 2003. Presentation.
Professor, José A. Ferrer Benimeli, contemporary Spanish Masonry, Vol. 1.1 18001868, Edit. Siglo XXI of España Editores S.A. Madrid, 1980.
Professor, José A. Ferrer Benimeli (coordinator), Politic Masonry and Society, Politic Masonry and Society III, Symposium of Applied Methodology to the History of Spanish Masonry, Córdoba 15.06.1987, Publication Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía. Masonry, Politic and Society II. Lodges of the Spanish Grand Orient (1900-1936).
Politic Masonry and Society, Politic Masonry and Society III, Symposium of Applied Methodology to the History of Spanish Masonry, Córdoba 15.06.1987, Publication Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía. Masonry and politic parties in Seville during the 2nd Republic (1931-1936). Leandro Álvarez Rey. Politic Masonry and Society, Politic Masonry and Society III, Symposium of Applied Methodology to the History of Spanish Masonry, Córdoba 15.06.1987, Publication Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía. Politic and masonry in contemporary Almería. Fernando Martín López.
Summer Courses University of Málaga. Ronda, Mondragón Palace, VIII edition, from8th to 12th June 2002 “The Masonry”. Director José Carrasco y Ferrando.
SOME OF THE MOST NOTABLE SPANISH THAT BELONGED TO MASONRY
Juan Martínez Díaz (1775-1825). Known as the “stubborn”. General of the Spanish Army in the Independence war.
Isidoro Maiquez (1768-1820). Famous stage actor.
Francisco Milans del Bosch (1769-1829). General of the Spanish Army.
Alberto Lista (1775-1848). Liberal political priest, writer. Exilted by Fernando VII.
Francisco Javier de Isturiz (1790-1870). President of the Parliament in 1825 and President of the government Council in 1836 and 1846.
Ventura de la Vega (1807-1865). Secretary of queen Elisabeth II. Director of the Conservatory of Music. Poet.
Julián Romea (1813-1868). Poet and famous actor.
José Mateo Sagasta Práxedes (1825-1903). Held various ministries in the Revolution of 1868 and with King Amadeo I. He was President of the Council.
Antonio Romero Alpuente (1822-1884). Politician and Lawyer. Minister of Justice.
Manuel Becerra (1832-1896). Minister with Kind Amadeo de Saboya to the regency of Alfonso XIII.
Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla (1833-1895). Minister of Development and Justice. As President of the government Council abolished slavery in Puerto Rico.
Francisco Ferrer Guardia (1849-1909). Educator and founder of the rationalist schools.
Tomas Breton (1850-1923). Composer of operettas.
Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934). Professor of Medicine in Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid. Nobel in Medicine in 1906.
Alejandro Lerroux (1864-1946). Minister of State and President of the Council in the Republic. Founder of the Republic Union, the Radical Party and the Republican Alliance.
Fernando de los Rios Urruti (1879-1949). Writer. Minister of Justice & Public Instruction during the 2nd Republic.
Álvaro de Albornoz (1879-1954). Minister of Development and Justice; President of the Court of Constitutional Guarantees; President of the Republic in exile.
José Giral (1879-1962). Pharmacist. Rector of the University of Madrid, Minister of State. President of the Republic government in exile.
Manuel Azaña (1880-1940). Minister of War during the Republic and President of the Republic.
Augusto Barcia (1881-1961). Deputy, minister and ambassador during the Republic.
Luis Companys Jover (1882-1940). President of the Parliament of Cataluña, minister during the Republic and President of the Generalitat de Cataluña.
Diego Martínez Barrio (1883-1962). Politician. Provisional President of the Republic 1936-1939 in exile.
Luis Araquistain (1886-1959). Journalist and politician.
Marcelino Domingo (1884-1939). Minister of Public Instruction and of Agriculture in the Republic.
Luis Jiménez de Asúa (1889-1970). Professor of Penal Law in the University of Madrid. President of the drafting of the Constitution from 1931. President of the Republic in exile.
Fermín Galán (1889-1930). Captain of Spanish Army.
Ramón Gómez de la Serna (1891-1963). Writer.
Ramón Franco Bahamonte (1896-1938). Military aviator. Hero of the “Plus Ultra” flight, deputy in Courts.
Rafael Duarte ( – 1936). Ophthalmologist. Professor in Medicine in Granada University.
Fermín Zayas ( – 1936). Illustrious Military in Granada.
Ángel de Torres (1826-1898). Minister of Justice.
Luis Salat Gusils (1913-1996). First Grand Master of the regular obedience Grand Lodge of Spain (G.L.A.), in the Social Spanish State and Democratic Law.