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.

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