KNIGHT OF CONSTANTINOPLE
This Degree is an authentic ‘side degree’, where it was customary for one brother to confer it on another and while it is known to have been working in the United States in 1831, its actual origin is unknown. The ritual attempts to connect the legendary Constantine with the Masonic fraternity and teaches a fine lesson in universal equality and humility; it also incorporates a suggestion of operative influence in an extensive lecture that also imbues the lesson of justice.
In 1865, Major F. G. Irwin introduced this Grade to several English brethren in Devonport, England. Amongst those who received the ceremony at that time was Brother W. J. Hughan, the noted Masonic writer. Hughan states that Brother Irwin received the Grade in Malta and organized it in Devonport and Plymouth, in both of which places it was worked many years after the England Grand Council A.M.D., was formed. In the United States, organized records are available as early as January 14, 1892.
There is a bare possibility that the Knight of Constantinople is traceable, in legend, to the same source as, or directly from, the Red Cross of Constantine. This is stated in face of the fact that the two Grades have nothing in common save the characters found in each. Yet, it appears likely that knowledge of these two characters in a Masonic setting would be necessary for the invention of the Knight of Constantinople.
As stated earlier, the Ritual of this Grade teaches a beautiful lesson in humility and should be carefully studied by every Brother of the Allied Masonic Degrees. The Ritual used is identical in the United States and England.
The Jewel of the Grade is a Maltese Cross, surmounted by a Crescent, in gold, suspended from a green ribbon, on which are three poignards, in gold. This jewel, like the others, is to be worn as a breast jewel.
The Apron of the Grade is white, trimmed with green, having a Maltese Cross surmounted by a Crescent in the center; while on the flap appears the three poignards, all of which is in green.