Dr Begemann considers that possibly during the decade from 1720 to 1730 a kind of Rosicrucian or Hermetic influence took place in the lodges of London, some additions to the ritual of that period not having been derived from operative masonry; but in the previous century no such influence is traceable.
According to one story, it was founded by the Egyptian god Hermes (Thoth), the reputed inventor of the arts and sciences, to whom, under the appellation Hermes Trismegistus, Tertullian refers as the master of those who occupy themselves with nature; after him later alchemists called their work the " hermetic art," and the seal of Hermes, which they placed upon their vessels, is the origin of the common phrase " hermetically sealed."
Thoth was " the scribe of the gods," " Lord of divine words," and to Hermes was attributed the authorship of all the strictly sacred books generally called by Greek authors Hermetic. These, according to Clemens Alexandrinus, our sole ancient authority (Strom.
Of these pseudepigraphic Hermetic writings some have come down to us in the original Greek; others survive in Latin or Arabic translations; but the majority appear to have perished.
In the leisure thus gained he wished to "recruit his spirits, range his papers," and prepare some important chemical investigations which he proposed to leave "as a kind of Hermetic legacy to the studious disciples of that art," but of which he did not make known the nature.