"In the beginning of Speculative (Masonic) Fraternity under the Grand Lodge system the Masons avowed their devotion to the sciences more boldly, and even almost dramatically. The Royal Society was in the British public mind synonymous with science, and for more than a century it, and its offshoots, were the only exponents and practitioners of science in Britain.
It began in 1660 A.D. and took its first organized form at a meeting of scholars in Gresham College who had assembled to hear a lecture by Bro. Sir Christopher Wren. Sir Robert Moray was elected its first president, March 6, 1661 A.D.... (Initiated As a Mason, 26 May 1641, L. of Edinburgh, ‘Mary’s Chapel’, now No. 1 )
...Dr. Desaguliers, who later became its secretary for a long period of years, was the "father of the Grand Lodge system," and was one of Sir Isaac Newton's closest friends.
A Lodge largely composed of Royal Society members met in a room belonging to the Royal Society Club in London. At a time when preachers thundered against these scientists, when newspapers thundered against them, street crowds hooted at them, and neither Oxford nor Cambridge would admit science courses, Masonic Lodges invited Royal Society members in for lectures, many of which were accompanied by scientific demonstrations; and it was these scientific lectures which became the pattern for the Monitorial Lectures of the next generation. The enthusiasm for science spread from England to France, and from there to Austria, and Russia; Masons and Lodges had an extraordinarily large and important part in spreading it. The fraternity had an historical justification as well as a symbolic need to set in the midst of the Fellowcraft degree (the Master Masons Degree at that time) the symbol of the Liberal Arts and it would rectify the general conception of Freemasonry and its history if Masonic writers were to cease to drop the and Sciences from that phrase" - Encyclopedia Of Freemasonry And Its Kindred Sciences by Dr. Albert G. Mackey
"Sir Francis Bacon served as England's grand chancellor under King James I and was described by author Marie Bauer Hall (Manly P hall's wife) as "the founder of [English] Freemasonry... the guiding light of the Rosicrucian Order, the members of which kept the torch of true universal knowledge, the Secret Doctrine of the ages, alive during the dark night of the Middle Ages."British author Icke said Bacon was "a Grand Commander of the Brotherhood Order called the Rosecrusians, and very much involved in the under ground operations of the Knights Templar traditions."
Bacon indeed was a fascinating figure, largely ignored in history except for bis scientific work. Despite his attacks on scholastic orthodoxy, Bacon gained renown as a scientist and philosopher. Twenty years after Bacon's death in 1626, his "Invisible College" of followers formed a society of learned men,which in 1660 became the Royal Society of London for the Promotion of Natural Knowledge. According to Masonic historian Albert Mackey, many members of the original society were also members of the Company of Masons."This was the reason of their holding their [Society] meetings at Mason's Hall, in Masons' Alley, Basinghall Street," wrote Mackey. "They all entered the Company and assumed the name of Free and Accepted Masons ... [which] gave birth to that denomination of Freemasons which afterward became so famous.""In Stuart England, the early Freemasons of Charles I and Charles II were men of philosophy, astronomy, physics, architecture, chemistry and generally advanced learning. Many were members of the country's most important scientific academy, the Royal Society, which had been styled the invisible College after it was forced underground during the Cromwellian Protectorate. .. . Early members included Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren and Samuel Pepys," wrote author Laurence Gardner. He noted of the men of the Royal Society that "like the early Templars, they were endowed with very special knowledge."For nearly three decades, according to authors Michael Baigent and Richard Prince, "'Rosicrucianism,' Freemasonry and the Royal Society were not just to overlap, but virtually to be indistinguishable from one another." According to some Masonic writers, the only meaningful difference between the Freemasons and the Royal Society was that the latter conducted open meetings.England's first recorded Masonic initiation was for Sir Robert Moray in 1641. Moray also was one of the founders of the Royal Society and said to be its "soul" and "guiding spirit." He also was said to be a chemist and a patron of the Rosicrucians, yet another example of that sect's penetration of Freemasonry." - Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs
"Bacon then prophesies the "Invisible College" of scientific Masons who founded the Royal Society, and whose first "known" meeting took place in 1645, although this story suggests that it may have been before that. In recounting the history of the secret island, the official tells of a great and ancient king who had provided wise laws for his people: "'Ye shall understand (my dear friends) that amongst the excellent acts of that king, one above all hath pre-eminence. It was the erection and institution of an Order or Society, which we call Salomon's House; the noblest ,·foundation. (as we think) that ever was upon the earth; and the lanthorn of this kingdom. It is dedicated to the study of the works and creatures of God. Some think the founder's name to be a little corrupted.... But the records write it as it is spoken. So I take it to be a denominate of the king of the Hebrews, which is famous to you, and no stranger to us.'".
It is further explained that every twelve years (reminding us of the twelve 'Fellows that Solomon sent, in parties of three, to search for Hiram Abiff) two ships sail out into the world in search of learning:, 'That in either of these ships there should be a mission of three of the Fellows or Brethren of Salomon's House whose errand was only to give us knowledge. of the affairs and state of those countries to which they were designed, and especially of the sciences, arts, manufactures and inventions of all the world; and withal to bring us books, instruments and patterns in every kind. . . .",
Then Bacon puts it all squarely into a Masonic summary: "'But thus you see we maintain a trade not for gold, silver or jewels; nor for silks; nor for spices; nor of another commodity of matter;but only for God's first creature, which was Light.'" Born In Blood The Lost Secrets Of Freemasonry by John J. Robinson pg. 285-286
"One of Sir John Dee's principle disciples was Robert Fludd. Fludd and Francis Bacon spread esoteric thought through the Rosicrucian channels. This esoteric thought came the full circle back to England when Johann Valentin Andrea created the lodge system to protect the Rosicrucians, and some of these lodges emigrated to England.These later became the "Invisible College of the Rosicrucians", and later became the famous Royal Society. " Be Wise As Serpents By Fritz Springmeier
"Robert Boyle, Bacon’s heir, was one of the founder members of the Royal Society, the oldest scientific society in Britain, which was instituted in 1660. In fact, Boyle also belonged to that small group of people who had met together regularly over a period of about 15 years prior to 1660, and whose meetings led to the formal foundation. Boyle, like the 17th-century reformer and Rosicrucian, Comenius, 33 had referred to this earlier group as an ‘Invisible College’. This phrase indicates that the roots of the Society lay in the Rosicrucian endeavours of the first half of that century." The Zelator by MARK HEDSEL
"Robert Boyle, member of Bacon’s "Invisible College" who reportedly taught alchemy to Sir Isaac Newton, served between 1654 and 1691; while the famous Freemason Newton reportedly replaced Boyle as Grand Master of Sion from 1691to 1727." - Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs
"He (Boyle) declares, for example, that ‘the cornerstones of the Invisible or (as they term themselves) the Philosophical College, do now and then honour me with their company.”By 1654 Boyle was at Oxford, where he consorted with John Wilkin, former chaplain to Frederick of the Palatinate. In 1660 Boyle was among the first public figures to offer allegiance to the newly restored Stuarts, and Charles II became patron of the Royal Society." Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln
Boyle speaks repeatedly of the "Invisible College," which appears to be a secret code name for the Priory of Sion, or at least for the Grand Master's activity.
"The Grand Masters of the Prieure de Sion during those times were Robert Fludd (1595-1637), J. Valentin Andrea (1637-1654), and Robert Boyle (1654-1691). The driving force behind what became the Royal Society, the British scientific society, were Robert Fludd, Robert Boyle, Wren, Ashmole, Locke, and Sir Thomas Moray. Interestingly, all of these men were both Freemasons and Rosicrucians. When King Charles II raised the Academie (which had gone through various names, the Gresham College, The Invisible College of Scientists) to its present status of the Royal Society, Francis Bacon was honored as the "Moses" who had led the Invisible College through its "wilderness." Be Wise As Serpents By Fritz Springmeier pg. 87
"Other men of science saw the point but would not abandon their scientific curiosity and so there was a new source of recruits for the Freemasons in Britain, men who had reason to meet to share their ideas and findings in secret, away from the eyes and ears of the church. Men of science in London, Oxford, and Cambridge met in secret in what has been termed an "invisible college," which now appears to have existed in secret Masonic lodges in those areas. Their first known secret meeting was held in 1645, just three years. after the death of Galileo. The man destined to become their most famous member, Sir Christopher Wren, was just thirteen years old at the time. By 1660, the group felt secure enough in the apparently Protestant reign of Charles II to petition the crown for a royal charter, which was granted in 1662. The name they chose was The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, but they were known simply as the Royal Society and are still so called today.When Freemasonry came public in 1717, just fifty-five years later, it appeared that the Royal Society was virtually a Masonic subsidiary, with almost every member and every founding member of the Royal Society a Freemason." Born In Blood The Lost Secrets Of Freemasonry by John J. Robinson pg. 243-244
"During Cromwell’s Protectorate, these dynamic minds, both English and European, formed what Boyle in a deliberate echo of the “Rosicrucian’ manifestos called an ‘invisible college’. And with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the ‘invisible college’ became the Royal Society” with the Stuart ruler, Charles II, as its patron and sponsor.Virtually all the Royal Society’s founder members were Freemasons. One could reasonably argue that the Royal Society itself, at least in its inception, was a Masonic institution derived, through Andrea’s Christian Unions, from the ‘invisible Rosicrucian brotherhood’. But this was not to be the culmination of the ‘underground stream’. On the contrary, it was to flow from Boyle to Sir Isaac Newton, listed as Sion’s next Grand Master, and thence into the complex tributaries of eighteenth-century Freemasonry." Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln
"There was to be one further current of influences before Freemasonry crystallized into its modern form. On the Continent, as we have noted,‘esoteric’ teaching was now being promoted by Protestant princes,especially in Germany, and was being used as an instrument of propaganda against the twin bastions of Catholicism, the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire. It had, by now, begun to call itself ‘Rosicrucianism’, and Frances Yates has labelled this phase of its dissemination ‘the Rosicrucian Enlightenment’. Anonymous pamphlets began to appear, extolling an ‘Invisible College’ or clandestine confraternity allegedly derived from a mythical founder, Christian Rosenkreuz. These pamphlets militantly attacked the new Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope; they extolled the spectrum of ‘esoteric’ teaching;they forecast the imminent advent of a new Golden Age, in which all social and political institutions were to be regenerated and an epoch of Utopian harmony was to begin, free of the tyranny, both secular and spiritual, of the past." The Temple and the Lodge by Michael Baigent Richard Leigh pg 163
"In the years that followed, developments proceeded on two fronts.The lodge system consolidated itself and proliferated further, so that Freemasonry became an established and recognized institution. At the same time, certain of the individuals most active in it formed themselves into an English version of the ‘Invisible College’ of the ‘Rosicrucians’ — a conclave of scientists, philosophers and ‘esotericists’in the vanguard of progressive ideas. During the English Civil War and Cromwell’s Protectorate, the ‘Invisible College’ — now including such luminaries as Robert Boyle and John Locke — remained invisible. In 1660, however, with the restoration of the monarchy, the ‘Invisible College’ became, under Stuart patronage, the Royal Society. For the next twenty-eight years, ‘Rosicrucianism’, Freemasonry and the Royal Society were not just to overlap, but virtually to be indistinguishable from one another." The Temple and the Lodge by Michael Baigent Richard Leigh
"Ashmole was born in Lichfield in 1617. During the Civil War, he was active on the royalist side, then, in 1644, retired to his native town,where the deposed Charles I had appointed him commissioner of excise.His official duties brought him frequently to Oxford. Here, he came under the influence of Captain (later Sir) George Wharton, who instilled in him a lifelong fervor for alchemy and astrology. By 1646, Ashmole was moving in London’s astrological circles, but he maintained close contacts with the ‘Invisible College’, which began, in 1648, to meet in Oxford. It included at that time Robert Boyle, Christopher Wren and Dr John Wilkins (another founder member of the Royal Society). Ashmole had in his possession at least five original manuscripts by John Dee, and in 1650 edited one of them, a treatise on alchemy, for publication under the anagrammatic pseudonym of James Hasolle.Other Hermetic and alchemical works followed, which influenced both Boyle and later Newton, while Ashmole himself became a well-known frequenter of ‘Rosicrucian’ circles. In 1656, an English translation of an important German ‘Rosicrucian’ text was published with a dedication:‘To . . . the only Philosopher in the present age: . . . Elias Ashmole’." The Temple and the Lodge by Michael Baigent Richard Leigh
"the members of the ‘Invisible College’ which eventually became visible in the form of the Royal Society." The Temple and the Lodge by Michael Baigent Richard Leigh
"The most important figure in this context was, of course, Sir Christopher Wren. Wren, as we have seen, was an habitué of the ‘Invisible College’ that met at Oxford and subsequently became a founding member of the Royal Society. He is alleged to have become Grand Master of Freemasonry in England in1685." The Temple and the Lodge by Michael Baigent Richard Leigh
"...as one can see from the formation of the Royal Society in England in 1662, which was and is concerned with the gathering and promulgating of scientific knowledge. It was the official establishment of the original “Invisible College” of the Freemasons that had been formed in 1645. (And just as in Leonardo’s day, occult and scientific knowledge – far from being antithetical – were seen as one and the same.)" THE ORIGINS OF FREEMASONRY By W.Bro.Don Barry Lodge Mentor Camp Hill Lodge No.388, UGLQ
Tavistock is governed by what it calls an invisible college.