Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe

By Margaret C. Jacob | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

The historian who works in many countries incurs more than the usual number of debts. Although mine mounted by the day through the late 1980s, first and foremost remained the Guggenheim Foundation and the New School for Social Research, both of which provided the financial support for a year of leave time. Also at the New School my assistant, Ursula Levelt, provided superb linguistic skills, patience, and care.

Because I am writing here about a private society that is still very much alive, particularly in Continental Europe, I have been unusually dependent upon private archives and archivists. By far my greatest debt is to the members of La Bien Aimée, the lodge in Amsterdam with its extraordinary set of records. None of the chapters that depend on those archives would have been possible without the gracious assistance of Hilco Rodermond, who photocopied the entire eighteenth-century archive for me; and J. Kistemaker, who provided conversation and wisdom. Not least, I have been helped by the earlier historical studies of the Dutch historian Willem Kat. Of course the history of European freemasonry in the eighteenth century could barely be written without the splendid library of the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands and its librarian emeritus, B. C. van Uchelen. Readers wishing to consult that collection, which is strong in French and German freemasonry, as well as Dutch, should know that at this time ( 1990) efforts are being made to relocate it at the Royal Library in The Hague. Wherever it is housed, scholars can only be assisted by its enormous and rich collection and the willingness of the Grand Lodge to help and encourage them. In Belgium, L. Verlee provided gracious assistance in locating private archives, which, due to local circumstances, are not automatically available to the general public.

At the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris the librarian of the masonic collection, Florence de Lussy, gave assistance far above the call of duty. At the Central Library, Dundee, Scotland, I was assisted with bibliographical material, and I also want to thank Iain Fleet, archivist, Archive and Record Centre, City Chambers, Dundee. Permission to use the primary source material at Dundee came from B. N. Bowman, clerk to the Three United Trades, Dundee; they hold the copyright on GD/GRW/M 1/1, Sederunt book 1736-1807; GD/GRW/M2/1 Boxmaster's account book 1706 1760; and GD/GRW/M3/1 Register of entries of masters and journeymen 1659- 1779. The Lockit Book, still in use, is in the possession of the clerk.

-vii-

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