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Churchill, Oscar Wilde and Jack the Ripper? Freemasons from throughout history to be revealed

The list is being published online by the genealogy company, Ancestry

Ian Johnston
Monday 23 November 2015 01:00 GMT
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According to a list published online, Oscar Wilde was a member of the Freemasons
According to a list published online, Oscar Wilde was a member of the Freemasons (Getty)

A once highly secret list containing the identities of two million Freemasons throughout history is to be published online, revealing the extent of the organisation’s influence in the upper echelons of society.

Everyone from Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling to the Duke of Wellington and Lord Kitchener were members, The Daily Telegraph reported.

There are even claims that a singer suspected of being Jack the Ripper was protected from prosecution because he was a mason.

Other members include Sir Winston Churchill, Edward VII, George VI, Edward VIII, explorers Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Falcon Scott, scientists Edward Jenner and Sir Alexander Fleming, engineer Thomas Telford, businessman Harry Selfridge and social reformer Thomas Barnardo, as well as both Gilbert and Sullivan.

The list is being published online by the genealogy company, Ancestry.

Miriam Silverman, senior UK content manager at Ancestry, told the Telegraph: “We’re delighted to be able to offer people an online window into a relatively unknown organisation.”

Meanwhile a new book by the director and screenwriter of the film Withnail and I, Bruce Robinson, claims that Jack the Ripper was a singer called Michael Maybrick.

The book, The All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper, claims that all the murders had elements of masonic ritual. The symbol of a pair of compasses, for example, was carved into the face of one victim.

Maybrick and his brother James, also a suspect, were both masons, as were two senior police officers, three police doctors and two coroners involved in the case. Maybrick was a member of the “Supreme Grand Council of Freemasons”.

Robinson told the Telegraph: “It was endemic in the way England ran itself. At the time of Jack the Ripper, there were something like 360 Tory MPs, 330 of which I can identify as Masons.

The identity of Jack the Ripper

“The whole of the ruling class was Masonic, from the heir to the throne down. It was part of being in the club.

“Part of the whole ethic of Freemasonry is whatever it is, however it’s done, you protect the brotherhood – and that’s what happened.

“They weren’t protecting Jack the Ripper, they were protecting the system that Jack the Ripper was threatening. And to protect the system, they had to protect him. And the Ripper knew it.”

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