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John Yarker Passes Away

Today in Masonic History John Yarker passes away in 1913.

John Yarker was a British author and occultist.

Yarker was born in Lancashire, England on April 17th, 1833. His family moved to Manchester when Yarker was 16.

Yarker became a mason in 1855 when he was raised in Integrity Lodge No. 189 in Manchester. In 1862 he demitted from Masonry after being asked to leave the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.

Yarker continued on with masonry though in a global sense. Some records indicate he was a member of various Grand Lodges around the world, some clandestine under the framework of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), others recognized.

In 1872, Yarker started the Soverign Sanctuary of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry for England. A clandestine organization under the UGLE. Yarker claimed a global membership, although actual members are estimated at only 300. Yarker claimed the Primitive Rite traced it's origins to Napolean Boanpartes armies in Egypt. Of the order, sometimes called Yarker's Rite, Yarker said:

"Its Rituals embrace all Masonry, and are based on those of the Craft universal; they explain its symbols, develope [sic] its mystic philosophy, exemplify its morality, examine its legends, tracing them to their primitive source, and dealing fairly and truthfully with the historical features of Symbolical Masonry. They contain nothing in their teaching but what Mahommedan, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Brahmin, or Parsee may alike acknowledge"

In Yarkers lifetime he wrote many works regarding Masonry. From articles which appeard in The Kneph the official publication of the Primitive Rite, to books on Masonic charges and lectures, and books on Rosicruscianism.

Yarkers final work was The Arcane Schools: A Review of their Origin and Antiquity with a History of Freemasonry and its Relation to the Theosophic, Scientific, and Philosophic Mysteries. In the forward of the book Yarker expressed his displeasure with the craft, stating many seemed willing to take what was written down about the fraternity by the founders of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. He felt more needed to be done to further research the past of Freemasonry.

The Arcane Schools was 566 pages long and was reviewed by Aleister Crowley. Crowley complimented Yarker on his research and the fact, despite the length of the book, he didn't ramble on about any one topic.

Yarker passed away on March 20th, 1913.

Yarker's affiliation with Freemasonry is not clear. If it did exist, it is claimed it was terminated sometime around 1870. Any affiliation he may have had was damaged by his affiliation with organizations like the Ancient and Primitive Rite or Order of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Mizraim. The Ancient and Primitive Rite is considered Clandestine under the United Grand Lodge of England system.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.