Adoptive Masonry

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Adoptive Masonry

Masonic societies that adopted women as members. Early in the eighteenth century such societies were established in France, and they spread speedily to other countries. One of the first to "adopt" women was the Mopses. The Felicitaries existed in 1742. The Fendeurs, or Woodcutters, were instituted in 1763 by Bauchaine, Master of a Parisian lodge. It was modeled on the Carbonari, and its popularity led to the establishment of other lodges, notably the Fidelity and the Hatchet.

In 1774 the Grand Orient Lodge of France established a system of three degrees called the Rite of Adoption and elected the duchess of Bourbon as Grand Mistress of France.

The rite has been generally adopted into Freemasonry, and various degrees were added from time to time to the number of about twelve in all. Latin and Greek mysteries were added to the rite by the Ladies' Hospitallers of Mount Tabor. The greatest ladies in France joined the French lodges of adoption.

The Rite of Mizraim created lodges for both sexes in 1819, 1821, 1838, and 1853, and the Rite of Memphis in 1839. America founded the Rite of the Eastern Star in five points. In these systems, admission was generally confined to the female relations of Masons. The Order of the Eastern Star and that of Adoptive Masonry were attempted in Scotland but without success.