Degrees and History of Knight Masonry
The Knight Mason Degrees have their
origins to the earliest records of Masonry - in fact there is some
indication that the Knight Mason Degrees may have been developed even
before the degree of Master Mason!
There are three degrees - Knight of the Sword, Knight of the East, and Knight of the East and West. These "Green" degrees are ancient and are in essence "Old Testament." The 15th, 16th, and 17th degrees of the Scottish Rite, and the Order of the Red Cross of the Commandery are to some extent similar and all are based on the legend of Zerubbabel.
Until the mid-Nineteenth Century they were worked in Ireland under the auspices of the Royal Arch Chapters and later the Commandery Preceptories.
In 1923 the Grand Council of Knight Masons was formed in Dublin, Ireland and assumed responsibility for the degrees from the Preceptories. The degrees are also worked under the authority of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland.
In 1936 a group of Masons in North Carolina brought the degrees to the United States under a Provincial Grand Superintendent. The councils in the United States formed the Grand Council of Knight Masons of the United States of America in 1967. The Grand Council in Dublin recognized this Grand Council in 1969.
Today, there are over 70 Councils of Knight Masons in the U.S.A. with more than 7000 members. The membership includes many of the leaders of Masonry in the United States. Membership is by invitation only and is considered an honor earned by service to the craft.