The de Grainville Manuscripts 


Pierre-André de Grainville (1728-1794) was an initiate of Martinez (Martinés) de Pasqually (c.1727 - 1774), the enigmatic founder of an ascetic order of Catholic mystics and exorcists known as l'Order des Chevaliers Maçons Élus Coëns de l'Univers (the Élus Coëns). Having progressed through the Order's ranks, de Grainville kept handwritten records of his theurgical operations.

De Grainville's notes, known as 'les manuscrits de Granville' ('The de Grainville Manuscripts' otherwise known as 'The Manuscript of Algiers'), are referenced as FM4 1282 and FM4 1282A by the Bibliotheque nationale de France (BnF). They are not a complete Coën grimoire and collection of catechisms, but a snapshot of the original rituals in a state of rapid development. Foreword by Matt Fletcher





The de Grainville Manuscripts

Élus Coëns Ritual and Instruction from the 18th Century

This work is of the most significant importance to practising Coëns, and this translation transliteration beautifully reproduces both the original manuscript and a direct representation of what de Grainville wrote (and, most valuably, deleted). 

When an incomplete document is translated and/or reproduced, it is highly tempting to complete or fabricate (no pejorative implied) the missing parts to create a fulsome and finished version. This is to be expected, as incompleteness is a bugbear to those with an eye for detail, which is a defining trait for many translators. However, doing so introduces the opinions (and, let us be truthful, the guesses) of another, which may or may not be accurate.

There has been much interest in the Coën in recent years, with many books and exposés published on the subject of varying scholarship. Let us be clear: the path of the Coën is a most obscure one, recruiting as it does from a tiny percentage of members of the myriad Martinist Orders. The apparent cachet associated with the Order belies that the work is arduous, time-consuming, and solitary. It is seen by some as just another grade to add to the panoply of a professional degree collector. Having recently had sight of a book which had been translated using an artificial intelligence algorithm by an ‘author' who was unable to either verify the quality of the translation due to lack of linguistic ability nor ask for assistance, it is heartening to see that actual unbiased and talented scholarship still exists in a world where many now feel they can put a book together simply because they possess source material.

This version of les Manuscrits is incomplete. Necessarily so, as the source document is incomplete. The contents have been faithfully reproduced and directly translated, including the many deletions and annotations of the specific numbers referred to throughout the document. This is the most ‘completely incomplete' version achievable. Why is this so important?  The well-intentioned ‘revival' or ‘reconstitution' of the Élus Coën by Robert Ambelain was assembled from incomplete source documents, using the spiritual transmission and lineage passed on via the secret Chevalier Profès and Grand-Profès grades of the Rite Écossais Rectifé of Willermoz, which continue to be preserved within the varied Martinist traditions, as well as under some of the regular masonic iterations of the RER. Ambelain is arguably guilty of having ‘filled in the gaps', borrowing material from associated esoteric traditions.

Pierre-André de Grainville (1728-1794) was an initiate of Martinez (Martinés) de Pasqually, the enigmatic founder of an ascetic order of Catholic mystics and exorcists known as the Élus Coëns (or Elect Priests). Having progressed through the Order's ranks, de Grainville kept handwritten records of his theurgical operations. His journals are known as The de Grainville Manuscripts (or The Manuscript of Algiers), and the originals are held at the Bibliotheque nationale de France (BnF). They are not a complete Coën grimoire and collection of catechisms but a snapshot of the original rituals in rapid development. This English translation was published in 2024 and is available for purchase from Watkins Books in-store or online.

De Grainville served in the marine Régiment de Foix during the Seven Years War of 1756–1763, rising to Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1757, the regiment distinguished itself at the capture of Lippstadt and refused to capitulate at the Siege of Dusseldorf. In 1760, it departed for Saint-Domingue, where yellow fever tore through its ranks. The regiment later returned to the garrison at Bordeaux in 1765. Upon the intervention of France in the American Revolutionary War in 1778, the Régiment de Foix fought in Grenada and skirmishes in South Carolina. Thus, it may be said with a high degree of confidence that de Grainville and his contemporaries in the French army were familiar with the proximity of death and the dangers of soldiery. He was a member of Joshua's Lodge, a travelling military Freemasonic lodge popular with officers of the Régiment de Foix. Through these masonic connections, de Grainville met and eventually became Pasqually's personal secretary. In 1769, de Grainville established the Sovereign Travelling Tribunal of the Regiment de Foix and was a close friend of fellow the Powerful Master de Champollion, another officer in the Régiment de Foix with whom he had served and who also acted as one of Pasqually's secretaries. In 1768, he came to live with Pasqually and his family in Bordeaux and rapidly progressed through the Order's ranks under the master's careful guidance. Along with the Abbé Fournié, Saint-Martin and Champollion, de Grainville assisted in copying Pasqually's seminal Treatise on the Reintegration of Beings until Pasqually departed for Saint-Domingue in 1772. Throughout this period, de Grainville kept written records of his personalised ritual. Thus, the manuscripts in this volume present to the reader a fascinating insight into the mind and progress of a founding member of the Order.  

The Élus Coëns reflected upon the goal of returning humanity to its original, glorified state prior to the Fall of Adam, and Pasqually introduced de Grainville to a system of prayer, moral asceticism and ritual intended to replicate, as closely as possible, what he regarded as the primaeval religion of the first man.  In his manuscripts, de Grainville clarifies his experiences with, and practical comments upon, the ritual work incumbent upon the Élus Coëns practitioner, along with hidden references that are only recognisable to a true Coën. This is of the greatest value to a practitioner, as the writings of de Grainville bridge the years between the original iteration and the reconstructed Coën order Robert Ambelain established in the 1940s. Thus, it is immediately apparent that Ambelain heavily utilised de Grainville's manuscripts in his reconstitution, for the language is the same. What also becomes clear are the number of gaps that have been filled, and reflecting upon these, one comes to a different interpretation of the substituted material. Indeed, for these reasons neither the Recuil d'hiéroglyphes nor the Table alphabétique des 2400 noms of the Fonds Prunelle de Lière have been included in this book. The path and training of a Coën is necessarily long, and requires guidance, personal devotion and instruction.

The opening letter On the Relationship of Harmonies and Numbers evinces de Grainville's profound Martinezist understanding of the theophilosophy of numbers and music. His knowledge of the Pythagorean basis of vibration, ratio and number demonstrates that he is no mere dilettante but a true adept. Even 250 years later, our understanding has advanced only a little further. This further confirms the validity of what he wrote. De Grainville's reputation as un homme de désir is evident in his writings, not least in his efforts to invoke the mysterious entity known to the Coëns as la Chose. The Coëns understood La Chose (the Thing) as a bridge between this reality and another. Its appearance was understood to demonstrate that the operator's regeneration was underway. Significant omissions from earlier translations of de Grainville's journals include a sketch of an unidentified woman. The image of the woman could be a female initiate or, perhaps, an image of la Chose as the late Robert Amadou suggested. A clue that La Chose is indicated by de Grainville's sketch is shown by her lifted veil, which reminds us of the curtains in the Holy of Holies, symbolising the barrier that separated man from God. It follows that the source of the regenerative power of La Chose resides in the intimacy of man's spirit (or minor) with the Spirit of Christ since to know the Spirit is to understand God and to know God is to be at one with him. Experiencing the presence of La Chose was consequently the culmination of the theurgy and strict moral and religious regimen of the Order, and few were as advanced as de Grainville.

In summary, this edition of les Manuscrit de Grainville stands alone in its most genuine value and greatest utility to understanding the Élus Coën. The series of primary Coën documents that this completes reflects the devotion given to this most verifiably accurate edition of extant EC material, which is of the greatest value to the practising Coën.


          Author selling Books on Rosicrucianism and Books on Secret Traditions


"Massively useful for understanding the Élus Coën"

'Custos in Ordine', Great Sovereign, Ordre des Chevaliers Maçons Élus Coëns de l'Univers, O.O.E.C.