Some historians trace Freemasonry to the 10th Century B.C. during the building of King Solomon’s Temple. Records reveal that Freemasonry was introduced into England in 926 A.D.
Many other historians believe that Freemasonry is directly descended from the association of operative masons, the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages, who traveled through Europe employing the secrets and skills of their crafts.
In the 17th Century, when cathedral building was on the decline, many guilds of stone-masons, known as “operative Masons” or “Free Masons,” started to accept as members those who were not members of the masons’ craft, calling them “speculative Masons” or “Accepted Masons.”
It was from these groups, comprised mostly of “Adopted or Accepted Masons,” that Symbolic Masonry or Freemasonry, as we know it today, had its beginning.
A more recent theory suggests that Freemasonry grew out of the survivors of the destruction of the Order of the Temple in 1314 by King Philip The Fair of France. Many Templars fled France and hid in England, Scotland and Ireland. To maintain their Order, they developed another organization, giving it a legendary ancient history to contribute to its cover from the authorities who wished it destroyed. John Robinson’s book, “Born in Blood,” is an excellent text describing this theory in detail.