The Comacines, Their Predecessors and their Successors, by W. Ravenscroft, F.S.A., F.R.I.B.A. Published in London in 1910. (104 pages)
This book also contains 24 pictures which are included at the end of the book.
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Notes from Wikipedia:
.....The early medieval Lombard Comacine masters (magistri comacini) were stonemasons working in a region of excellent building stone who gave to Lombardy its preeminence in the stone architecture that preceded Romanesque style.
.....The name comacini Romantic historians of the nineteenth century traced to the location where they supposedly had their headquarters, the minute Isola Comacina in Lake Como.
.....In the Middle Ages, artists did not customarily sign their work, so to detect the work of this corporation, historians look to masons' marks inscribed in the stonework; in this way historians have traced comacine master's influence as far as Sweden and Syria.
.....Freemasons claimed descent from the guilds of comacini
.....This small volume is an attempt to trace in outline only the story of what, in some respects at least, may be regarded as the most remarkable guild of builders which Europe has produced, and is the outcome first of a lecture and then of articles in the Antiquary and the Transactions of the Leeds Installed Masters' Association.
.....Part of what I have written is theoretical and part historical, and, in order to avoid destroying the value of the latter, I have endeavored to keep the two things quite distinct.
.....I hope my venture has an appeal to the Architect, the Antiquary, the Freemason, and the Traveller.
.....For help in the illustrations I am indebted to the Proprietors of the Antiquary, and of the Transactions of the Leeds Installed Masters' Association, who have kindly lent me blocks,
.....I have also to thank the Lodge of Quatuor Coronati for the loan of their valuable picture of the Four Crowned Martyrs.
.....I am indebted to Professor Santo Monti for his contribution on the Island of Comacine, and to Mrs. Aubrey le Blond for help in the way of photographs and notes; also to Mr. Albin White, of Reading, for assistance in photography.
Chapter I. The Origins of Freemasonry and the Temple Builders — Chapter II. The Roman College and the Quatuor Coronati — Chapter III. Isola Comacina — Chapter IV. Isola Comacina and the Comacines — Chapter V. The Comacine Lodges — Chapter VI. Comacine Influence in the British Isles — Chapter VII. Conclusion
.....Some few years ago an extremely interesting book was written by a lady under the nom de plume of, "Leader Scott," and having for its title The Cathedral Builders. The reading of that book awakened in me a great desire to know more of its subject, and this was both gratified and stimulated by an unexpected visit to Italy in the spring of 1906. Then followed the collecting of notes and drawings, etc., and a second visit to Italy in the following year, with the further result that one was tempted to set down the outcome of the whole experience.
.....Perhaps it will be convenient to say what I have to say in regular order, first as to the antecedents of the "Cathedral Builders"— or, as I shall call them, the "Comacines"— then as to their own body, and then as to their successors.
.....Who and what the Comacines were will appear as I go on; but it will be well just to state here that they were originally the community of builders who, at the downfall of Rome, left that city, and settled on the Lake of Como.
.....In order, however, to get back to the antecedents of the Comacines, it is necessary here to make a passing reference to their successors, because one of the most important traditions of the latter takes us back to the point from which we start. Most people are aware that, according to Masonic traditions, the ancient rite was associated with the building of King Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem, and that, if Freemasonry did not originate there, it was from that association, that it derived much of its subsequent form. But perhaps it is not so well known that there have been a host of theories as to the origin of Speculative Masonry. By Speculative Masonry I wish it to be quite understood I mean that system of morals inculcated in the lodges of Freemasons at the present day, and which, largely put into shape in England in the year 1717, has spread well nigh over this globe of ours.....