The Honorable Fraternity of the Amici
The Honorable Fraternity of the Amici is a secret society based in Marlborough College, England. The Fraternity has lodges in most of the larger private schools, the most significant lodges being in Wellington, Eton and Radley, but has always been based in Marlborough.
The Honorable Fraternity of Amici was created in 1851 by a group the more academically able pupils of the school, who, confronted by the atmosphere of time, decided that in order to excerpt some influence over their peers and the shape the school into a more accepting environment, it was necessary for a secret society to be formed.
Soon, the society took shape and, after seemingly remarkable success, began to excerpt quite extensive influence over the prefectships and other high positions within the school. Where once the secrecy of the society was more of a schoolboy joke, it now became vital to the survival of the Fraternity and the masters of the time began to shape the meetings and customs of the brothers into a more established code of practice, basing their ideas on the numerous secret societies of the time. Gradually peers from other schools began to adopt a similar practice, looking to the masters of the Marlborough College chapter for guidance.
Meetings took shape and, based around the Masonic rituals of the time, began to adopt practices continued up to the present day. Brothers (both women and men are referred to as 'brothers') meet twice a week, on a Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon, perform the ceremonies and discuss matters pertaining to the advancement of the brotherhoods original aims.
The Secrecy of the fraternity has provided ideal ground for numerous rumors and speculation about the nature of the ceremonies and meetings. The "Amicic Agenda's" are also subject to much unrest within the colleges. These agenda's are believed to be issued by the masters, under much pageant and ceremony at the beginning of each school year. They are said to contain the plans for the workings of the brothers for that year, aims and ways of achieving them.
The ceremonies themselves are believed to be based mainly around a form of secular Masonic ceremonies, and, as well as a form of ceremony to be used weekly, provide for ceremonies of four degrees (through which the brothers advance in their times at the various colleges), as well as numerous other ceremonies to be used for special occasions
The symbols of the Fraternity is where the Masonic influences can be seen well. The 'all seeing eye', normally used in Masonic culture to reference the Supreme Being, is here used to donate the influence of the Amici over the proceedings of the colleges.
The entrance requirements for the Amici are relatively simple. One needs to be of sufficient intelligence (the Amici distinguish between 'Intelligence' and 'Cleverness') to reflect honor and influence back onto the fraternity. Brothers are invited, normally by being sent notes, instructing them to attend their initiation ceremony at a given place and time.
Amicic brothers generally hold the prefectships, prominent positions within the college's societies and religious communities, and establish long successions of appointments to be the head prefect of their various schools.
The brothers stay well connected after their schooldays, and many people believe that they continue to excerpt a significant influence in the world of business.
Knowledge of the society, its customs and ways, are really limited to those attending the respective colleges. Little or no publication has been made about the society or its history, probably more as a result of the fact that it is simply not perceived as a threat (such as other more prominent societies such as "skull and bones"), as opposed to any efforts of secrecy on the part of the society itself.
The major source of knowledge comes from histories of the various schools themselves, which, though giving an accurate portrait of the society, are brief nonetheless. This lack of information has, of course, prompted much speculation and rumor.