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E.2.3 Accepted

Members of the London Company of Freemasons and of the old City Companies were “accepted on the livery”. Men becoming Freemasons in the lodge that existed within the London Company of Freemasons were admitted to the “acceptation”. In England the accepted, or adopted, masons of the seventeenth century were different from the non-operative members. In the Mason Company there were operative and non-operative masons, generally gentlemen who had to pay their way in. The “accepted mason” was, by definition, a man accepted as an operative mason. To distinguish the two categories the non-operative masons were said to be “accepted” in symbolic Masonry. Freemasons, known also as accepted masons, became well known and numerous by the end of the seventeenth century. In Scotland non-operative masons, mainly members of the gentry, were also accepted in normally operative lodges, although there was nothing esoteric in these lodges.