The first Masonic lodges
Russian free masons conduct the family tree from Peter the Great whom, according to the legend, Christopher Ren, the master of the Great English logde has entered into a freemasonry.
There was during the well-known Great embassy of the tsar to Europe. Having come back home, Peter, according to the same legend, has created together with the nearest friends-foreigners Swiss Frant Lefort and Scot Patrick Gordon the lodge, first in Russia.
In one of manuscripts it is told that Peter have accepted in Sacred Andrey's Scottish degree, and he "has given the obligation that this orden will restore in Russia, as has executed". (Sacred Andrey Pervozvannogo's Award have founded in 1698.)
Is, to tell the truth, a version that the first Russian Masonic lodge has arisen even earlier, in Alexey Mihajlovich's reign, but data on it is unreliable.
It is impossible neither to confirm, nor to deny all these legends, however it is both well-known and documentary confirmed that the Tzar-Reformer used huge respect at Russian free masons and many Masonic hymns are devoted to him.
Thus, ideological and spiritual links of Russian masons with Peter thre Great reforms is obvious.
It is significant that Russian masons have preferred to conduct the family tree from Peter the Great, instead of from someone another. Meanwhile the choice was. The world Masonic mythology is rich with exotic so at desire Russian masons (the same as their foreign brothers) could extend the family tree and conduct it though for instance from Prophetic Oleg, or even from tsar Solomon.
In the Russian history similar precedents were. Ivan III asserted that he is relatives to the Roman emperor August, and Ekaterina by means of Voltaire, tried to build the fragile bridge from Petersburg to Athenes.
The first authentic data on Masonic lodges in Russia carry to Elizabeth Petrovna's reign. In 1731 there was a news about appointment of captain J. Philips to the provincial great master of Russia.
Exactly in ten years was the new message that general James Kate, the Scot consisting on Russian service is appointed to the Russian provincial great master. From the very beginning names of visible Russian grandees, representatives of noble families flashing as a part of lodges in official reports.
In 1747 count N.Golovin in interrogation to a question on the communications with masons has frankly declared: "I, admit, veins in this orden and I know that counts Zahar and Ivan Chernyshevy are in this lodge".
The head of foreign board, the instructor of the future Russian emperor count Nikita Panin, and Pavel I all were the known mason.
The historical encyclopaedia "the Freemasonry and masons: three centuries in Russia".