RED BRANCH of ERI
This remote Order is said to be derived from a very ancient Order in Ireland, consisting of freemasons and said to have been erected and patronized by the Kings of Ireland, for it is claimed that in early times Erin (Ireland) possessed a literature and history equal to that of the most highly developed of ancient nations. While it is generally accepted that Bro. John Yarker (1833-1913) was at one time the head of the ‘English Revived Order of the Red Branch of Eri’; certain records relate that Bro. F. G. Irwin, while Worshipful Master of the Inhabitants Lodge, No. 178 at Gibraltar in 1858, received the Order at the hands of the captain of an American trading vessel, to whom it had been transmitted from father to son, dating back to 1757, when his Irish forbear emigrated to New York while a District Grand Master of the Order. Major Irwin is then purported to have restored and reorganized the degree in England under the aegis of the Grand Mur-Ollamham. The Order possessed two Psalters, the Major Psalter being basically the rituals or the degrees and the Minor Psalter comprising the laws and rules of the Order. The degrees embodied in the Order are (1) Man-at-Arms, (2) Esquire, (3) Knight, (4) Knight Commander, and (5) Grand Cross.
The English body languished for quite some time, starting during the latter part of Bro. John Yarker’s tenure as Master, and was worked only upon rare occasions with long periods of inactivity in between. It was revived sometime after the turn of the 20th Century, and attached in nature to the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, with restrictions that the Order could only be conferred upon invited SRIA members of VIº or higher. This modification of what is in the United States viewed as an American Order led to a schism between the English and American branches, the former refusing to extend recognition to the American knights of the Order.
The American body uses the rituals as used by the English body under the stewardship of Bro. John Yarker. The degrees of Knight Commander and Grand Cross are not exemplified or practiced as there are no subordinate bodies of this Order in the United States. The Minor Psalter of the English body is not used either as it pertains to peculiarities of English Freemasonry and their Order. The Red Branch of Eri may be conferred upon any member of the Allied Masonic Degrees, by the unanimous decision of the member’s Council, for outstanding and meritorious service to the Allied Masonic Degrees. It is limited to no more than two members per Council per year.
The Jewel of the Order is a white Salem Cross having a red branch in leaf superimposed thereon, suspended by a green ribbon. The Jewel is worn suspended from the throat.
The Sash of the Order is composed of blue, white, green, and yellow stripes, worn from the right shoulder and resting on the left hip.
“Man-at Arms” of the Red Branch of Eri (ARBE) = Associate, Red Branch of Eri
- Constituent Councils may confer upon any member who has not held or is not presently holding an elected office “for exceptional service to the Council,” the Rank of: “Man-at-Arms” of the Red Branch of Eri. The Brethren of this Rank shall be designated as “Associate Members” of the Red Branch of Eri.
“Esquire” of the Red Branch of Eri (MRBE) = Member, Red Branch of Eri
- A Constituent Council may recommend to the Grand Council each year, two Brethren currently holding office in a Subordinate Council for the rank of “Esquire” of the Red Branch of Eri. The Brethren of this Rank shall be formally designated as “Members” of the Red Branch of Eri.
“Knight” of the Red Branch of Eri (KRBE) = Knight Red Branch of Eri
- Prior to February 12, 2005, every Constituent Council had the priviledge of honoring their members for distinguished service to the Allied Masonic Degrees, not exceeding two members per anum, by investing them as a Knight of the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri and Appendant Orders. On and after February 12, 2005, a Constituent Council may recommend to the Grand Council each year one Brother for the award of “Knight” of the Red Branch of Eri. This Brother must have been a member of the Allied Masonic Degrees for a minimum of seven years.
Knight Commander Red Branch of Eri
- A Constituent Council may recommend to the Grand Council each year, one Venerable Brother (the present presiding Sovereign Master), for the award of “Knight Commander” of the Red Branch of Eri. All Past Sovereign Masters shall be elevated to the Rank and Title of: “Knight Commander” of the Red Branch of Eri effective February 12, 2005.
Knight Grand Cross Red Branch of Eri
- All Present and Past Grand Officers of the Allied Masonic Degrees, including those currently holding the Rank and Title of “Past Sovereign Grand Master,” shall be elevated to the Rank and Title of: “Knight Grand Cross” of the Red Branch of Eri, effective February 12, 2005.
Knight Supreme Grand Cross Red Branch of Eri
- All Present and Past Sovereign Grand Masters of the Allied Masonic Degrees shall be elevated to the Rank and Title of: “Knight Supreme Grand Cross,” Red Branch of Eri, effective February 12, 2005.