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|The picture shows a view of all (7) 1961 - 1967 Windsor Vermont Chapter No. 8 Royal & Select Masters Mason Advertising Membership Cards in this lot. These were all issued to the same man, Frank Usin, who was a Photographer for various Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire newspapers. The cards are all dated, filled in, signed, bear the Royal Arches Masonic symbol, and they each have an embossed seal. The cards are dated January 1st of 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1967. The membership cards each measure 3-7/8'' x 2-1/4''. They appear to be in excellent condition as pictured. Below here, for reference, is some additional background information that was found on The Royal Master and Select Master:|
The Cryptic Rite
''This is one of the smallest but one of the most important and certainly one of the most curious of all the rites. It might well be called the rite of Aeneas, because of its long wanderings. One of its oddities is that the two degrees of Royal Master and Select Master have associated with them a ceremony known as Super Excellent Master, which is not considered a degree, yet it is more dramatic than most Masonic degrees. Another peculiarity is that there has long been a difference of opinion as to which of the two degrees should be conferred on the candidate first. They should both precede the Royal Arch, yet, in early days were often limited to Royal Arch Masons. The Super Excellent is the dramatization of an incident mentioned in the lecture of the Principal Sojourner in the Royal Arch Degree. Both the Royal and the Select are of the type known as French Ecossais, Ninth Arch, or Secret Vault degrees and the name Cryptic was given them by Rob Morris as derived from the Greek crupe or the Latin crypta, meaning vault.
The assumption, often indulged, that the Royal and the Select were always associated is incorrect, for the Select, under the name Select Masons of 27, was contained in the rituals brought to this country by Stephen Morin about 1762 as a side degree of the Rite of Perfection, while Royal Master was not so included and is not mentioned in any preserved record until a much later date. Hughan stated that Cryptic Masonry was worked in England from about 1760 but died out, though it continued in Scotland under one branch of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. It evidently died out there also.
Attempts to fix the origin and trace the course of these degrees in the United States is rather baffling, not only because of the shifting control over them and sometimes the absence of any control, but particularly by the tendency of writers upon the subject to refer to the two degrees jointly as though they had always constituted a pair. The latter association of the degrees and the frequent reference to them as Royal and Select Masters naturally led careless writers into the anachronism of supposing their present relationship always to have existed. Writers also, instead of examining closely upon finding one degree mentioned, have used the term ''degrees'' or ''Cryptic Rite'' to cover up lack of definition.
Philip C. Tucker, Grand Master of Vermont (1847 - 1861) and Grand High Priest (1852 - 1857), said , ''We have good authority for saying that as early as 1766 they were conferred in the city of Albany''. He referred to the Royal and Select degrees and proceeded to state that they came from France and were soon introduced into Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maryland and that the Grand Councils, Grand Chapters, General Grand Chapter, Lodges of Perfection, Councils of Princes of Rose Croix, and Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite, all at different times, claimed control over them. A committee of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Vermont found in 1850 that the two Cryptic degrees were conferred in that state before Royal Arch Masonry was established there.
E. F. Schulz in History of Freemasonry in Maryland , Vol I, p.344, stated, ''It is said that the Royal and Select degrees were conferred by Andrew Francken in Albany in 1769.'' No evidence has ever been discovered that either of the degrees was conferred at Albany until long after that year.''
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