Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord
History and Origin
The story is that, founded upon 18th century documents housed in
the Amsterdam Masonic archives, the Royal Order of Knights of the
Scarlet Cord was developed in 1889 as a means of raising
contributions to the Fund of Benevolence of the Order of the
Secret Monitor by a leader, His Honour Judge F. A. Philbrick K.C.
Membership was restricted to Princes of the Order of the Secret
Monitor, and holders of a special Badge, showing membership of the
Fund of Benevolence of that Order.
During its relatively short life the Order consisted of one
Consistory, the Metropolitan Consistory in London, together with
four sub-Consistories in England, South Africa, India and Burma.
It worked regularly until the First World War compelled it to
enter a period of inactivity, and on being revived at the end of
hostilities it continued to operate until 1929 when the Order
again went into abeyance.
In 2006, Scarlet Cord Conclave No. 500 was consecrated, thus
reviving the Order, under the banner of the Order of the Secret
The official Inauguration of the Ancient & Masonic Order of
the Scarlet Cord took place on 21 July 2010 at Freemasons' Hall,
Great Queen Street, London. This event saw the Constitution,
Dedication and Consecration of the Grand Senatus, and the
Installation of the Grand Summus, from which time the Order has
advanced, now consisting with 132 Consistories in England and
Wales and in Switzerland, Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong,
India and Saint Lucia, Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica.
Late January 2020 the Order had 3.313 members.
The grades administered by this grand body comprise:
Ostiarius or Doorkeeper
Fellow or Healer & Exorcist
Grade 5. Keeper of the Hidden Secret
Grade 6. Prince of Jerusalem
Structure and Qualification
Admission to the Order is confined to those who are a subscribing
Prince in the Order of the Secret Monitor, with Assemblies of the
Order being termed as Consistories.
Consistories of the Order are formed into Provinces or Districts,
and it is from these senior bodies that a specially appointed team
of high ranking Companions are empowered to confer those senior
grades upon Members who are deemed to be deserving of such
recognition. The ultimate grades of the Order are conferred by the
Grand Summus personally, or by an appointed representative.
Holders of the first three grades are designated Companions, while
those prepared for a Presidency are Eminent Companions, and once
installed, Distinguished Companions; those of the Fifth and Sixth
grades are addressed as Very, or Right Distinguished. Grand
Officers are required to hold the fourth Grade of the Order,
whilst the fifth and sixth Grades are the sole prerogative of the
Grand Summus, and are only conferred upon Companions who have
rendered outstanding service to the Order.
1st Grade - Ostiarius or Doorkeeper: This ceremony relates how the
Israelites seeking access to the land of Canaan sent spies into
Jericho. They are given sanctuary from the king's men by Rahab who
assists in their escape, thus procuring for herself and her
posterity the gratitude of the Israelite nation.
The candidate is appropriately invested with a scarlet cord,
alluding to the seal of silence and circumspection.
2nd Grade - Lector: This illustrates the story of Naomi and the
unfeigned devotion of her daughter-in-law Ruth, who is
subsequently betrothed to Boaz, the great grandfather of David. In
this ceremony the applicant candidate is formally advanced as one
of the Chosen and Elect.
3rd Grade - Fellow, Healer or Exorcist: The aspirant is required
to occupy the seat of one who is destined to seek for the perfect
light, and is charged that, like the Maccabees, he will be
required to face difficulties and dangers, in order to sanctify
and strengthen his faith and to consider death and resurrection.
4th Grade - Councillor: In this narrative the Children of Israel,
transporting the Ark of the Covenant, miraculously traverse the
River Jordan, and after successfully reaching the heights of
Gilgal, the city of Jerusalem was ultimately ceded to Joshua and
his followers. Here the postulant is duly received and
acknowledged in his new calling.
5th Grade - Keeper of the Hidden Secret: In this episode within
the Masonic tradition of King Solomon's Temple, reference is made
to the ultimate failure of a united Israel, and how in spite of
oppression by the King of Babylon, the Ark of the Covenant is
safely preserved. lt inculcates the valuable lessons of faith,
ministry and perseverance.
6th Grade - Prince of Jerusalem: This ceremony illustrates the
ultimate triumph of the Jewish people who repelled against the
yoke of oppression under the inspiring leadership of the
Maccabees, the heroic deeds of whom, strengthened Judaism for all
time. This is the ne plus ultra of the Order, and exhorts an
essential belief in the everlasting power of Almighty God.
Ceremony for the Installation of a President
Ceremony of a President of a Consistory