Initiating Women in Freemasonry: The Adoption Rite

Initiating Women in Freemasonry: The Adoption Rite
From the Preface:
Freemasonry has the reputation of being a male thing.
Probably, this is mainly based on the fact that in reality the large majority of the Freemasons was and is male. Yet, it is often concluded as something logical, that the initiation of women was ‘always’ interdicted. And that is not the case at all. At the end of the 16th century, the lodges of Edinburgh and of Kilwinning – both of them still existing under the Grand Lodge of Scotland – quarrelled about which one of them was the oldest one. We must,
therefore, assume that Freemasonry existed at least in the middle of the 16th century, and thus that it is at least four and a half centuries old today.
Yet, Anderson’s famous interdiction of 1723 to initiate women seems to have no precedent. If my assumption, which I shall try to defend in this
book, that the initiation of women in Adoption lodges started no later than in 1744, is correct, then there is a gap of only 21 years between these
two events. And there seems to exist no serious study about whether or not there were women initiated during this interval...