Born August 7th, 1742
Initiated c. 1763
William Preston was born on August 7th, 1742 in Edinburg. At the age of 28, Preston moved to London and began working as a printer. Three years after moving to London, Preston became a Freemason and began extensively researching the craft. He began conducting interviews and establishing a wide network of connections to Freemasons around the world. Preston began to put together lectures about the three degrees of Freemasonry, and organized a gala to introduce the Grand Officers to his network of friends and to give his oration. The success of his oration at the gala lead to his publication "Illustrations of Masonry". During his lifetime, the publication ran 12 editions in English and was translated into others. Preston later became Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Antiquity, and in 1769, became "Printer to the Society", and Assistant Grand Secretary. Preston was called from labor in 1818 after battling a long illness. Preston is credited with giving Freemasonry a scholarly public perception, and for moving lodge meetings from taverns and restaurants to dedicated Masonic buildings.
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