A previously top secret list stating the identities of two million Freemasons throughout history is going to be published online, disclosing the extent of the organization’s influence in the upper tiers of society.
According to the Daily Telegraph, everyone from the Duke of Wellington and Lord Kitchener to Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling were members.
Apparently, a singer suspected of being Jack the Ripper was secured from prosecution because he was one of the freemasons.
Other members include the theatrical partnership of Gilbert and Sullivan, social reformer Thomas Barnardo, businessman Harry Selfridge, engineer Thomas Telford, scientists Sir Alexander Fleming and Edward Jenner, explorers Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, Edward VIII, George VI, Edward VII and Sir Winston Churchill.
Ancestry, the genealogy company is publishing the list containing the names of freemason, online.
Senior UK content manager at Ancestry, Miriam Silverman, told the Telegraph that they are excited to be able to provide people with an online window into quite an unknown organization.
At the same time, a new book by Bruce Robinson, the screenwriter and director of the film Withnail and I, claims that a singer called Michael Maybrick was actually Jack the Ripper.