History of the SRIA

History of the Rosicrucian Society of England 1867
Two of our members were admitted into the non-masonic Rosicrucian Society of Scotia, by their Magus Maximus, Anthony Oneal Haye IX in 1866. Having both progressed through the Scottish nine grades, it was proposed at the London Rosicrucians second meeting; “that the Scottish ritual be adopted, subject to certain verbal alterations and omissions at the discretion of the Celebrant.”

These changes not being forthcoming the London Rosicrucians reverted back to the four rituals found by Robert Wentworth Little in Freemasons Hall, probably in 1855 when he worked as cashier for the Grand Secretary William Henry White. Our Zelator and Theoricus rituals are quite different from the Scottish rituals and make up half the first order rituals today. The Adeptus Minor and Adeptus Major rituals of our second order were copied in R.W. Little’s own hand writing and also remain little changed to this day. It is interesting to note that both the Rosicrucian ‘Ne Plus Ultra’, based on the Rose Croix and the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine rituals found by R.W. Little both existed before 1825, when Richard Carlile used them in his expose published in the Republican Magazine.

The result was that it took eighteen months to advance the members through all the London nine grades, by R.W. Little as their Master General or Celebrant as he is known today. Finally on 14th January 1869 the Master General having previously declared the 9o being complete, installed his successor William James Hughan as Master General and he assumed the role of Supreme Magus for the first time.

The society founded four new colleges and then in 1874 split the managing of the society in general, from the running of the mother college, by forming the Metropolitan College and then the High Council of the ‘Rosicrucian Society of England or Brethren of the Rosy Cross.’ The name was not Latinised to ‘Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia’ until 1885 when William Wynn Westcott used it for the first time as secretary of Metropolitan College, the whole society did not using the term until 1889 when W.W. Westcott was Secretary General and Celebrant of Metropolitan College.