Freemasonry evolved from the guilds of stonemasons and cathedral builders of the Middle Ages. With the decline of cathedral building, some lodges of operative (working) masons began to accept honorary members to bolster their declining membership. From a few of these lodges developed modern symbolic or speculative Freemasonry, which particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries adopted the rites and trappings of ancient religious orders and of chivalric brotherhoods. In 1717 the first Grand Lodge, an association of lodges, was founded in England.
FREEMASONRY IN SPAIN
In Spain, Freemasonry started to take a hold during the early 18th century, but it was frowned upon, if not condemned by the Catholic church It is claimed that the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera ordered the abolition of Freemasonry in Spain.
In September 1928, one of the two Grand Lodges in Spain was closed and approximately two-hundred masons, most notably the Grand Master of the Grand Orient, were imprisoned for allegedly plotting against the government.
After the victory of dictator General Fransico Franco. Freemasonry was officially outlawed in Spain on 2nd March 1940. Being a mason was automatically punishable by a minimum jail term of 12 years. Masons of the 18º and above were deemed guilty of ‘Aggravated Circumstances’, and usually faced the death penalty.
Following the death of General Franco in 1975, the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, in conjunction with senior Francoist politicians put in motion a return to democracy and this presented the opportunity for the Gran Oriente Espanol to re-establish itself on Spanish soil.
On 2nd November 1977, the Grande Oriente Espanol set up a Board of Administration chaired by the Grand Master and consisting of 6 other most senior officers of the Order. This Board commenced negotiations with various ministers of the Spanish government ending with a meeting with the Minister of the Interior, concerning the formal legalization of Freemasonry in Spain.
The Grand National French Lodge also commenced chartering Lodges in Spain resulting with the constituting of the Grand Lodge of Spain on 6th November 1982.
THE MASONIC PROVINCE OF MURCIA
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Murcia was reformed on 5th December 2009, constitutionally part of the Grand Lodge of Spain, and currently consists of seven Regular Lodges which are Spanish or English speaking. Three of the Lodges work in Emulation and three work in Scottish rite, working throughout the Province from the coast extending as far as Albacete in the North, San Pedro Del Pinitar in the East and Mazarron in the West