The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Misraïm is a masonic rite founded in Naples, Italy in September 1881 by the merger of two older rites; the Rite of Misraïm and the Rite of Memphis. Although founded in 1881, its predecessors have their origins in the 18th century. The system is sometimes known as “Egyptian Freemasonry” due to the invocation of hermetic-derived esoteric symbolism referencing Ancient Egypt in its system of degrees. The rite is noted for its high number of degrees in it’s system; it has 99 degrees, though some modern French variations practice only 33 degrees.
Memphis-Misraïm was governed internationally under a Grand Hierophant from 1881 until 1923. This first of these was Giuseppe Garibaldi, the famous military leader of the Risorgimento, who had also been Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy. After his death, there was factionalism within the organisation, until eventually, the English freemason John Yarker ermerged as Grand Hierophant in 1902. He was succeded by Theodor Reuss in 1913 and upon his death in 1923 there was no longer an international leadership.
The group in France, later renamed the Grande Loge Française du Rite ancien et primitif de Memphis-Misraïm continued to exist, despite the cessassion of activities from the international governance after Reuss’ death. Charles Detré (Tedé), Jean Bricaud, Constant Chevillon, Charles-Henry Dupont, Robert Ambelain and Gérard Kloppel were Grand Masters of the French organisation. In particular, Ambelain played a significant role in reforming the rituals of Memphis-Misraïm in 1960. Since then many different people across the world have founded their own organisations claiming descent from the Kloppel lineage.