John Theophilus Desaguliers

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Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers

France / England 1683 - 1744

Comments: Important Freemason, Grand Master 1719; Hugonaut refugee from France; inventor of the planetarium ; Newton's assistant; may have changed the 3rd degree setting from the legend of Noah to the legend of Solomon’s Temple; 1722 he was elected to a committee of the “Fourteen Learned Brethren” to draft a Constitution for the Premier Grand Lodge; Worked on revising Freemasonry with Dr. James Anderson, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, and also a member of the Royal Society; originator of the designation "The Great Artificer and Creator of the Universe"; despite great fame, respect and royal friends, he died in poverty; Creator of the Modern Freemasonry Masonic Rites with James Anderson;

Teachers: Isaac Newton; Stephen Gray; Elias Ashmole; John Neill; Grand Master George Payne; Grand Master Inigo Jones, architect; Grand Master Sir Thomas Gresham, founder of Gresham College, where the Royal Society began; Rev. John D. Desaguliers , father; J. Roberts, 1722; Mårten Triewald aka Marten Triewald the Younger, 1691 – 1747;

Students: James Anderson; Christopher Wren; James Cawthorne, poet ; Laurence Gardiner; Chaplain to James Brydes, the 1st Duke of Chandos; Jordan D. Marche; Walther Bauersfeld; Rudolf Straubel; Peter Volz; Neil deGrasse Tyson, of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium; Carl Sagan;

Friends: Thomas Savery, steam engine designer; James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos; George Frideric Handel, composer - he designed and supervised the fireworks for the first performance of Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks in Green Park; Joanna Pudsey, wife; Dr. William Smith, author of The Book of M. aka Masonry Triumphant, 1736 & a Dutch translation of The Freemasons’ Pocket Companion, 1740 ; Baron Carl Magnus Wasenberg;

Enemies: Samuel Prichard, author of Masonry Dissected, 1730;

Organizations: Freemasonry, 3rd MWGM of Premier Grand Lodge of England, 1719-20; Rummer and Grapes Lodge; last commoner before Aristocrats related to the Royals began becoming Grand Master, like the Duke of Montague and Duke of Wharton; Royal Society, where he received the Copley Medal, in 1734, 1736 and 1741; The Order of Toboso aka Knights of Toboso — brought from Spain to Italy by Field Marshall George Keith, the exiled Earl Marischal of Scotland, 1726 - Bonnie Prince Charlie, Charles Edward and his young brother Henry in Paris, 1725; imatated in Sweden as Awazu och Wallasis of Olof von Dalin; Chaplain to the Duke of Chandos;

Author: A Course of Experimental Philosophy; translation of Edme Mariotte's treatise on the motion of water; Dissertation on Electricity, @ 1742 or 1744; The Newtonian System of the World, The Best Model of Government: An Allegorical Poem, 1728; lecture Experimental Course of Astronomy, 1725;

Quotes: “His Pow’r,coerc’d by Laws, still leaves them (the planets) free, Directs but not Destroys, their Liberty...

(about him) "How poor, neglected Desaguliers fell; How he who taught two gracious kings to view All Boyle ennobled and all Bacon knew, Died, in a cell without a friend to save. Without a guinea, and without a grave." .... Cawthorn aka James Cawthorne

Resources:; Graham MS, dating from 1726;; The Father of Modern Speculative Masonry.” by Right Worshipful Bro. William L Hutchinson P.G.W., who called both Hiraim Abif and Jesus the Christ the "Smitten Builder" ;; ; The Mason's Words - the history and evolution of the American Masonic Ritual by Robert G. Davis, 2013; Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers and The Newtonian System of the World by David Harrison, 2018