Introducing the Online Masonic SPEAKER Series


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Beginning in late April, the Masons of California will host an exciting and entirely digital speakers’ series featuring lectures and talks from Masonic experts on a range of topics. All events are totally free—to attend, simply register through On24 by clicking on the green button below. Spread the word about these informative online events.

If you’ve missed one, catch up on past lectures on our archives page.

August 5
7 p.m.

Dr. Hans Schwartz: Freemasonry in Revolutionary New England

The bonds of brotherhood were tested beyond measure during the American Revolutionary War. Learn about the interconnectivity and complexity that Freemasonry played such a role in late 18th century New England, and more about some of those famous names that have become so associated with it in this lecture, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Dr. Hans Schwartz is an expert on Freemasonry and political organizing during the colonial period and the American Revolution. He has published several papers on trans-Atlantic Freemasonry as a cultural, political, and intellectual network, and has extensive teaching experience in the United States and Japan in history, science, and English, and is presently a lecturer at Northeastern University. He is a past master of Mount Carmel Lodge in Lynn, Mass.

August 12
7 p.m.

Dr. Mike Kearsley: Rob Morris, the Conservators, and the Failure to Establish a Grand Lodge of the United States

Who was Rob Morris? Masonic dreamer and innovator? Or a self-serving charlatan? A man whose legacy has had such an effect on the American Masonic “family” is clearly a multifaceted individual worth studying. This lecture is presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Mike Kearsley is a prolific researcher and author, and a past Provincial Grand Orator for Middlesex. In 2011, he was awarded the Norman Spencer Prize. He was appointed Prestonian Lecturer in 2014 and ANZMRC lecturer in 2019.

Kearsley was initiated into Freemasonry in Hawera Lodge in Taranaki, New Zealand, and passed and raised in Mairehau Lodge in Christchurch. He later joined David Bonner Lodge, the musicians’ lodge of  Middlesex, becoming master in 2010 and thereafter secretary. He is a member of the Temple of Athene Research Lodge, Feltham Lodge, and Quatuor Coronati.

August 19
7 p.m.

Dr. S. Brent Morris: The High Degrees in the USA, 1730-1830

Degrees beyond the Craft have played an integral role in American Freemasonry since the early 18th century. Learn about the timeline of events and degrees that gave rise to the progressive Masonic Orders in America in this illuminating lecture from one of the country’s leading Masonic experts, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

S. Brent Morris is a prolific Masonic researcher and writer. He was the founder of the Scottish Rite Research Society in 1991, editor of Heredom’s first 14 volumes, and is the managing editor of the Scottish Rite Journal of the Supreme Council 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, USA.

He retired as a mathematician from the US federal government with 25 years’ service, having also taught at Duke, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington Universities and given invited lectures at over 100 universities.

He was initiated in Highland Park (now Louis G. Priester) Lodge, No. 1150 in Dallas, Texas in 1971. In 1979 and 2000 he served as master of Patmos Lodge, No. 70, Ellicott City, Maryland, and in 1980 was the grand director of ceremonies of the Grand Lodge of Maryland. He is high priest (first principal) of Zeredathah Royal Arch Chapter, No. 35, in Laurel, Maryland, and a member of many other Masonic orders.

August 26
7 p.m.

Ben Williams: Freemasonry in the Territory of Colorado: Masons, Miners, and the Rush to Statehood

Learn about Freemasonry in the Centennial State, an overview of the role of Freemasonry in the Kansas Territory gold country, and the emergence of the statehood of Colorado in this lecture on Masonry in the West, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Ben Williams is a highly decorated Colorado Mason. In 2015, he was named Mason of the Year in the state; and served as grand orator in 2018. He is a past master of Norwood Lodge No. 111 and Telluride Lodge No. 56. He has served in numerous leadership capacities within both the Scottish Rite and York Rite, and in 2017 served as the grand commander for the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar of Colorado. 

September 9
7 p.m.

Mark Tabbert: American Freemasonry: Three Centuries of Building Communities 

Explore how generations of American have been exposed to the tenets of Freemasonry, practiced them in private and in public, and why people today continue to join this centuries-old fraternity. This lecture is presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Mark A. Tabbert is the director of collections at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, and the former curator of Masonic and Fraternal Collections at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in The Northern Light, Heredom, and American Studies.

September 23
12 p.m.

Dr. Ric Berman: The Antient Grand Lodge and the Foundations of American Freemasonry

The influence of the Irish in America is identified today with the more than four million Southern Irish immigrants, mainly Catholic, who dominated 19th and 20th century migration. But the pattern in the 18th century was different—and fundamentally so. 

In this presentation, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research, Dr. Ric Berman tracks the impact of the 350,000 Scots-Irish and London Irish who migrated to America between 1730 and 1800, settling in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, the Piedmont (the western parts of North and South Carolina), and the emergent states of Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 

This wave of migration was instrumental in introducing Antients Freemasonry to America and blending it with English—or “Moderns”—Freemasonry to create a new form of American Masonry.

Dr. Berman is a widely published author and Masonic expert. His books include The Foundations of Modern FreemasonrySchism: A study of Antients FreemasonryLoyalists & Malcontents; Espionage, Diplomacy and the Lodge; and From Roanoke to Raleigh. He is currently working on a history of America’s Grand Lodge of England-appointed colonial Grand Masters.

Dr. Berman is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Life Fellow of the Huguenot Society, and a visiting research fellow at Oxford Brookes University. In addition to his books, he has written numerous journal articles and delivered lectures at Masonic conferences and academic symposia globally. A Freemason for over 40 years, he holds grand rank in the United Grand Lodge of England and is a past master of Quatuor Coronati. He is also a DC Freemason and a member of Fiat Lux No. 1717.


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