was a Scottish author
, born in Edinburgh
, on the 7 August 1742. He died on April 1, 1818. With the death of his father, Preston left college and found a job as a secretary to Thomas Ruddiman
, with whom he carried out extensive research, required by the same in his classical and linguistic studies. With the death of Ruddiman, Preston became a printer for Walter Ruddiman
, Thomas' brother, to whom he had been apprenticed.
After working in the printing office for about a year, he set out for London
in 1760, intent upon making a name for himself as an author. One of his references was addressed to William Stranhan
, the King's Printer
, with whom Preston secured a position, which he retained for many years.
The exact date of Preston's initiation into Freemasonry
is not known, but is thought to have been between 1762 and 1763, in London. His experiences from this point on made a deep impression upon him, inducing Preston to undertake a major study of Freemasonry, its origin and its teachings, and this effort was intensified when he was elected a Worshipful Master
He discovered a vast body of traditional and historical lore in the old documents of the Craft, and begun modernizing the format of group meetings in such a way as to make ritual accessible, bringing a rudimentary knowledge of the arts and sciences to members of the Fraternity. Preston embarked upon detailed communication with Masons worldwide, so developing extensive knowledge of the Craft, and collecting... Read More