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
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.