Saturday, January 16, 2010


I couldn't help myself.  I just received this from the good brethren of R. Lodge Star in the East (GLNF).  They periodically review the meaning of words found in Masonry.  Its always interesting, but this one was particularly good.

EAVESDROPPER: This term is associated with Cowans in the familiar part, Cowans and Eavesdroppers, but the two words have nothing in common, except that both were objectionable to the Fraternity. In "Commentaries on the Laws of England, IV:13" - defined it as follows: "Eavesdropppers or such as listen under walls, or windows, or the eaves of a house, to harken after discourse, and thereupon to frame slanderous or mischievous tales, are a common nuisance, and presentable at the court leet; or are indictible at the sessions and punishable by fine or finding sureties for their good behariour." 

Eavesdroppers were despised by the Freemasons, for the obvious reason that the secrets were menaced and likely to get in the hands of Cowans and others not entitled thereto. 

In the lectures used at the revival of Masonry in 171, the following punishement was inflicted on a Cowan: "To be placed under the eaves of the house in rainy weather, till the water runs in at his shoulders and out at his shoes." The French rather extend this punishment. "On le met sous une gouttière, une pompe, ou une fontaine, jusqu'à ce qu'il sit mouillé depuis la tête jusqu'aux pieds."

Very best regards,



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