Dr Richard (Ric) Berman, FRHistSoc, is the author of 'The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry', first published in 2011 and now in its second edition; 'Schism' (2013), a look at the origins of Antients Freemasonry; and 'Loyalists & Malcontents' (2015), which tracks the origins of freemasonry in the American Deep South. Ric holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a Doctorate in History from the University of Exeter. He continued his research at the University of Oxford's Modern European History Research Centre and is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University. Ric's main areas of study are eighteenth-century Britain, Ireland and North America. He was the Prestonian Lecturer for 2016 and his lecture - now published and in its second edition - sets the context for the 300th anniversary of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Born in London, Ric lives with his family in Oxfordshire. He has just completed 'Espionage, Diplomacy & the Lodge' (June, 2017) and is presently working on a history of freemasonry in North Carolina.