“John Leylande was appointed by King Henry VIII to go through the archives of the various religious institutions dissolved by the king and remove for preservation any books or manuscripts of an important character.
Among the documents copied by Leylande was a series of questions and answers concerning the mystery of Masonry written by King Henry VI.
In answer to the question, “How came Masonry into England?” the document States that Peter Gower, a Grecian, traveled for knowledge in Egypt, Syria, and every land where the Phœnicians had planted Masonry; winning entrance in all lodges of Masons, he learned much, and returning, dwelt in Greater Greece.
He became renowned for his wisdom, formed a great lodge at Groton, and made many Masons, some of whom journeyed in France, spreading Masonry there; from France in the course of time the order passed into England.
To even the superficial student of the subject it must be evident that the name of Peter Gower, the Grecian, is merely an Anglicized form of Pythagoras; consequently Groton, where he formed his lodge, is easily identified with Crotona.
A link is thus established between the philosophic Mysteries of Greece and mediæval Freemasonry.
In his notes on King Henry’s questions and answers, William Preston enlarges upon the vow of secrecy as it was practiced by the ancient initiates.
On the authority of Pliny he describes how Anaxarchus, having been imprisoned in order to extort from him some of the secrets with which he had been entrusted, bit out his own tongue and threw it in the face of Nicocreon, the tyrant of Cyprus.
Preston adds that the Athenians revered a brazen statue that was represented without a tongue to denote the sanctity with which they regarded their oath-bound secrets.
It is also noteworthy that, according to King Henry’s manuscript, Masonry had its origin in the East and was the carrier of the arts and sciences of civilization to the primitive humanity of the western nations.”
~ Manly P. Hall – The Secret Teachings of All Ages
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.