Welcome to the official Blog of The Grand Lodge of All England at York, the Ancient and Honourable Society and Fraternity of Freemasons meeting since time immemorial in the City of York. The Grand Lodge at York is the original exponent of genuine Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry. In the year A.D. 926 the Grand Lodge at York was established by Royal warrant of King Athelstan, granted in perpetuity to the Grand Assembly of Masons at York. Prince Edwin of York was appointed its first Grand Master.

This Blog is used as a vehicle to make available published Articles in their full and unedited form, items of interest and statements issued by the Grand Lodge at York.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Prince Edwin of York is Found

The Grand Lodge at York formally announces that it has traced the final resting place of King Athelstan's brother, Prince Edwin of York, the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of All England (AD926).

King Athelstan

Prince Edwin of York is chronicled in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People where it is recorded that he ordered the construction of a church on the former Roman fortress site of Eboracum (York).

Prince Edwin is also chronicled immediately after "Exemptus" King Athelstan in the Rosicrucian Chronology for the year AD925.

In one of Symeon of Durham's Northumbrian Annals dated AD933, which he used as material for his Historia regum Anglorum et Dacorum, he states that: "King Ethelstan ordered his brother Edwin to be drowned in the sea".

William of Malmesbury expressed grave doubt about this story "on account of the extraordinary affection he [Athelstan] manifested towards the rest of his brothers".

Records of the Abbey of St Bertin in Flandres, a few miles from Ushant, make note of King Athelstan's expressions of gratitude for their burial of Edwin, who had drowned in a storm escaping from England during a period of turmoil (AD933).

In the Cartulaire de l'abbaye de S. Bertin it records the favour Athelstan heaped on the monastery "because the king's brother, King [sic] Edwin, had been buried in the monastery of St. Bertin."

The cartulary version dates the incident to 932, "In the year of the Incarnate Word". It describes how the same King [sic] Edwin, when, because of some perturbation in his kingdom, got into a ship and tried to reach this side of the sea, but the winds rose and the ship foundered in the storms and he was "swallowed down" in the midst of the waves. When his body was brought to the shore Count Adalolf received it with honour because he was a close kinsman and brought it to Saint Bertin for burial. Adalolf was also the Abbot of Saint Bertin and a cousin to both Athelstan and Edwin.

The William of Malmesbury version in his Gesta regum suggests ingenuity and perseverance in an armour-bearer who found and fished out his master's body and swam a ship to land.

This incident is confirmed by the entry in the Anglo-Saxon chronicles for the year 933: "This year died Bishop Frithestan; and Edwin the atheling was drowned in the sea".

Milton Abbey in Blandford Forum, Dorset, England was founded by King Athelstan to commemorate the death at sea of his brother Edwin.

Representations have been made to the relevant authorities and a further statement will be released after a formal visit to l'Abbeye Saint-Bertin by representatives of the Grand Lodge at York.

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