This is the oldest of all the Rites, and consisted originally of only three Degrees:
1. Entered Apprentice
2. Fellow Craft
3. Master Mason
The last included a part which contained the True Word, but which in Brother Mackey’s opinion was disrupted from it by Dunckerley in the latter part of the eighteenth century, and has never been restored. The Rite in its purity does not now exist Id anywhere. The nearest approach to it is the Saint w John’s Freemasonry of Scotland, but the Master’s Degree of the Grand Lodge of Scotland is not the Master’s Degree of the York Rite.
When Dunckerley dismembered the Third Degree, as Brother Mackey believed, he destroyed the identity of the Rite. In 1813, it was apparently recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England, when it defined the “pure Ancient Masonry to consist of three degrees, and no more: namely, those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch” Had Grand Lodge abolished the Royal Arch Degree, which was then practiced as an independent Order in England, and reincorporated its secrets in the Degree of Master Mason, the York Rite would have been revived. But by recognizing the Royal Arch as a separate Degree, and retaining the Master’s Degree in its mutilated form, they to that extent repudiated the York Rite.
In the United States it has been the almost universal usage to call the Freemasonry there practiced the York Rite. But Brother Mackey believed it has no better claim to this designation than it has to be called the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, or the French Rite, or the Rite of Schr