OUR PREDECESSORS - SCOTTISH MASONS OF ABOUT 1660.

 by

A. C. F. JACKSON, C.V.O., C.B.E., A.D.C.
P. M., Lodge No. 2076 (E. C.)

 

THE SCOTTISH MASON

The second half of the sixteenth and the undisturbed parts of the seventeenth centuries were periods of exceptional activity in Scottish building. There was much domestic work and many elaborate buildings were erected. The output of trained masons from the few Lodges known to have been in existence was inadequate for this volume of work. Qualified masons could have used the gang system with a team of "servants" to help them. This had been the medieval custom before apprenticeship became normal, and it was from such unskilled workers that masons were drawn. It may also have been the source of the many unqualified masons who seem to have been available in Scotland in the seventeenth century. It is certain, from the constant efforts made from the sixteenth century on to thwart them, that the Lodges and Incorporations were powerless to prevent such men (who were known as "rowans") from working, except within the burghs and their liberties – and not always then. Outside these areas there were no enforceable rules.

It is, however, with the orthodox masons who came from the Lodges that this paper is primarily concerned and, by the sixteenth century, there were two distinct types, the operatives and the non-operatives.

Operative Masons. The Edinburgh Apprentices' Register indicates the origin of opera­tive masons. It shows that "An amazingly high proportion of apprentices were drawn from the outside [of the Burgh of Edinburgh]. We would naturally expect to find that youngsters who lived within easy reach of the capital would go there in search of a career but in fact they journeyed from far and wide in spite of the difficulties of travel in those days. More­over, they often travelled from such places as Glasgow, Kelso, Dumfries and Stirling where there was ample scope for them to get both training and a livelihood."[i]

Until more research is done it is not possible to trace the origins of masons in other towns, but it seems reasonable that what happened in Edinburgh was typical and that the Scottish operative masons of 1660 were drawn from all parts of the country, even if the majority came from among the Lowland artisans.

The Edinburgh records show that there could be as many as five stages in the career of an operative mason. Edinburgh had a powerful Burgh Council and an Incorporation for the Masons and Wrights; in other places, advancement may have been less strictly organised. The complete stages in Edinburgh were as follows:

(a) Indentures. There were no age limits for an operative. Usually he was about 12 to 14 years old when he was apprenticed by very strict rules to a Master Mason for about seven years. He could, if an adult, indenture himself; a minor could be indentured by his parent or guardian or, in the case of an orphan, by a poor-law authority. A youthful apprentice's life was a hard one as he was little more than a slave and, like a slave, if he ran away no one could employ him legally. If he was caught he was returned to his master who would certainly beat him. An apprentice under indentures was at best paid a pittance. His master could hire him out and collect his wages but he was responsible for the appren­tice's housing, clothing and instruction. All this was the general law of the land and was not restricted to the mason craft. Much of the law affecting apprenticeship in England and Scotland had provisions to protect apprentices from masters who ill-treated them. As the working hours for adults, who could to some extent protect themselves, were seventy a week the need to protect juveniles was obvious. Reasonable control of child labour did not in fact become law in Britain for another two centuries.

(b) Booking. When an apprentice took his indentures his name had to be entered in the register of burgh apprentices. This was the first step towards becoming a burgess. Booking was the responsibility of the master, who had to pay a small fee, but it was the apprentice who might suffer in his subsequent advancement if this registration was not made.

(c) Entered Apprentices. At some time during the indentures, the special rules of the local masonic custom came into operation. The apprentice went through a ceremony and received some masonic secrets of recognition. He was then entered on the Lodge books and given his mason's mark. The timing of this ceremony varied. In the case of youths it was some two or three years after the start of indentures, when the apprentice was not less than about 15 years old. He was now known as an "Entered Apprentice" and this he remained until – if ever – he was made a "Fellow Craft or Master". One assumes that his treatment improved.

The Entered Apprentice had to pay for his promotion. If he had not the money he might be called on to serve extra years in his indentures. The Lodge of Aberdeen is quite specific about such dues. In 1670: "No Entering prenteise shall be received in this our Honourable Lodge, but shall pay four rex dollars of composition, ane linen aprons, ane pair of good gloves to every person concerned in the forsaid Lodge, or if the Entering Prenteise have not whereupon to furnish aprones and gloves, he must pay two rex dollars for then which make up six in all, with ane dinner, ane speaking pynt, and his controbution to the Box as wee payed before him, with ane merk peice for his masons merk, ane merk for our Officer [Tyler] for calling a Lodge, this is the least we take for Entered Prentises."

The operative apprentices of the mason trade, and probably of other trades in Scotland at this time, can be divided into two types. On the one hand there was the boy of poor parents or the orphan who, from lack of influence, education or money, could never hope to rise far; on the other there was the young man of a family of burgesses who could expect to rise quickly and, in due course, become one of the burgh's rulers. Obviously there were some boys in the first category who reached the top of their profession by hard work and ability, but the easiest way to pass from the inferior type to the privileged one was to marry a Master Mason's daughter. This automatically reduced the fees and produced the necessary backing.

(d) Fellow Craft or Master. The statistics of Edinburgh Masonry, examined by Brother H. Carr show that some 50 per cent of the Entered Apprentices progressed no further. There is no reason why this should have been peculiar to Edinburgh. Apprentices who had completed their indentures provided the backbone of the building industry – the wage-earning journeymen.

For those who did wish to progress further the Schaw Statutes had laid down certain rules. One was that Entered Apprentices had to remain as journeymen for seven years after the end of their indentures. This may have been obeyed when the Statutes were promulgated but, by mid-century, the time varied among Lodges and the usual was more likely to be a year or so.

There had to be a trade test. In theory this was a formidable affair which, in the case of Lodge Kilwinning, was to be carried out by "six experienced Masons" but the lack of evidence in Lodge minutes about tests suggests that they were of less importance. Obviously the recommendation from the Master Mason employer would be a far better guide to proficiency. The candidate then went through a second and equally serious Ceremony, with a further and possibly more important esoteric content, to become a "Fellow Craft and Master". He was not, however, a Master Mason. In most burghs he was now allowed to do small jobs on his own, could employ one or two men and, in some places, have an apprentice.

(e) Master Mason. The Schaw Statutes lay down no rules for Fellow Craft and Masters becoming Master Masons entitled to employ labour without restrictions. Where there was an Incorporation the whole matter was between the Incorporation and the burgh council; where there was no Incorporation presumably the Lodge applied direct to the council. In either case it was the council who decided whether to accept the candidate as a burgess and so as an employer of labour. The way to burgess status differed in various burghs but the crux of the matter was the payment of fees. These fees were heavy, except for the sons or sons-in-law of burgesses, and this effectively prevented the majority of masons obtaining burgess status. In practice the right to employ labour seems to have been carefully controlled for the benefit of those already allowed to do so.[ii] As a result local government in Scotland was reserved for a limited circle into which it was difficult to penetrate, and which was often corrupt.

Non-operative Masons. The non-operatives in a masonic Lodge were variously known as "Gentlemen-Masons", "Theoretical-Masons", "Geomatic-Masons", "Architect-Masons" or "Honorary Masons". They were originally invited to join the Lodges to ensure the patronage of the local gentry, but the custom was extended during the seventeenth century to include town dignitaries and members of other professions. The first – and not very conclusive – mention of non-operatives in Lodge minutes is in 1599 but, as they were really no more than the descendants of the great lord or abbot who patronised the medieval masons and attended their annual feasts, they had probably always been part of the masonic organisation. Usually they had no knowledge of the mason craft though some were connected with architecture, even if only in an amateur way. Unlike their medieval predecessors, non-operatives, by the seventeenth century, were forced to pass through approximately the same ceremonies as their operative brothers. Thus they were complete masons with a voice in Lodge business and, if sufficiently distinguished, elected to office. This was to have a profound effect on Scottish Masonry as it was only a few decades later before non-operatives were able to take control of many of the Lodges. In about 1660 the policy differed among the Lodges. In some they were accepted as the equals of operatives and attained office quickly. For example, by 1670 the non-operatives were in the majority in the Lodge of Aberdeen and in Lodge Kilwinning the Earl of Cassilis was Deacon – though an ineffective one – in 1672. These cases may have been exceptional. By 1660 non-operatives were few in most Lodges and restricted still perhaps to the local lord, his family and one or more influential members of the burgh. Such non-operatives had as yet no powers in the Lodge though, by reason of their eminence, they probably influenced its proceedings if they wished to do so.

It appears to have also been the custom to have the church represented by inviting the minister of the local kirk to join.

For the non-operatives there were only two steps in masonic progress to Entered Apprentice and then to Fellow Craft and Master. There were naturally no trade tests and it was usual during the seventeenth century to have both ceremonies – perhaps in modified form – on the same night or very soon after each other. Non-operatives paid fees which were often higher than those paid by operatives.[iii] If they wished to obtain burgess status they could usually do so by purchase or, if they were distinguished, be granted it gratis by the council.

Scottish Lodges must have been a curious mixture of social types. The gentry and the merchants in Scotland differed little in habit and customs from their English counterparts, even though the English were inclined to look down upon them. The Scottish peasants and artisans, from whom so many of the masons were drawn, had a much lower standard of living than the corresponding classes in England.

THE LODGE AND ITS FURNISHINGS

The number of times when Scottish Lodges met varied. The formal meeting of the year was the annual assembly, usually on St John's Day in winter (27th December),[iv] but most Lodges met more often. The statutes of the Lodge of Aberdeen laid down, in 1670, that "No Lodge be holden within a dwelling house when there is people living in it but in the open fields except it be ill weather, and then Let they be a house chosen that no person shall heir or Sie”[v] and also ruled that apprentices were to be made "In the antient outfield lodge, in the Mearnes of the parish of negg [Nigg], at the scounces [earthworks] of the poynt of the ness."[vi]

There is evidence that this Lodge owned a succession of buildings before this date. The Edinburgh Register House MS of 1696, which probably reflected masonic custom in a number of Lodges in the previous decades, states that the Lodge should be "A day's journey from a borough town without barking of dog or crow of cock."

The annual assembly can hardly have been held in the open in December, particularly if it was followed by a feast. The Lodge of Aberdeen may have made their apprentices out of doors in this century, but it is the only Lodge that I have found with by-laws to this effect. It seems reasonable that the holding of meetings outside was, by this time, little more than a tradition which, for most Lodges, had died out – even if it ever existed. It is, however, from this tradition that presumably comes the Scottish custom of Lodges being "fenced" rather than "tyled".

The degree ceremonies were often worked "by commission", i.e. in the presence of the Master or his proxy and some other members of the Lodge, specially appointed. Such small meetings are noted in the minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh; and the minutes of the Lodge of Haughfoot show that it was a settled practice by the end of the century. Further confirmation comes from the Edinburgh Register House MS which refers to "a true and perfect lodge" being "7 Masters and 5 Entered Apprentices", but that four or five Masters and three Entered Apprentices "no less make a true and perfect lodge". Such ad hoc assemblies had the power to make masons when and where they liked, provided that the proper dues were paid and the proceedings reported at the annual assembly. There is no reason why these small meetings should not have been held in the open if that was the Lodge custom. But there is no evidence that this was so in 1660, except possibly at Aberdeen.

Meetings of some of the Incorporations were held in the aisle of the local church– the Incorporation being responsible for its upkeep. When this happened the Lodge could also hold its meetings there. In due course, most Incorporations acquired their own premises. Edinburgh in 1616 bought a disused chapel dedicated to St Mary and converted it to its own use. The Lodge also used the building and thereby assumed the name. Lodge Kilwinning met for many years in the upper room of a private house; other Lodges owned or hired premises, possibly in taverns.

Information about the equipment used by Lodges at this period is lacking but, if it was similar to that used in the ceremonies described in the Edinburgh Register House MS, it was simple and portable enough to be suitable in any large room.

MASONIC CEREMONIES

The esoteric part of the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft or Master ceremonies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries can have been little more than the communication of the "Mason Word". Research into what this was is outside the scope of this paper but a summarised explanation in D. Murray Lyon's History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) gives detail to make it understandable: ". . . the Mason Word was wont occasionally to be imparted by individual brethren in a ceremony extemporized according to the skill of the initiator. The Word is the only secret that is alluded to in the minutes of Mary's Chapel, or those of Kilwinning, Acheson's Haven or Dunblane, or any other we have examined of a date prior to the erection of Grand Lodge (1736) ... But that this talisman consisted of more than one Word is obvious from the 'secrets of the Mason Word' being referred to in the minute-book of the Lodge of Dunblane, and from further informa¬tion from that of Haughfoot, i.e. that, in 1707, the Word was accompanied by a Grip."

That the word consisted of several parts was later confirmed by the discovery of the Edinburgh Register House MS and later MSS of the Edinburgh group.

It is hard to determine what were the other ceremonies used in Scottish Lodges about 1660. The first mention is in the Schaw Statutes of 1598. Statute No. 13 lays down that six Masters and two Apprentices are to be present at the making of a Fellow Craft or Master. The ceremony was to include and record the "booking" of the candidate's name, the mark given to him and the names of those present. There is no suggestion that this took place at an "assemblie or meitting". In Statute 20 a more formal ceremony is also referred to in which all the Masters present were ordered to take a great oath: ". . . that they shall neither hide or conceal any faults or wrongs done by one to the other, nor conceal the faults or wrongs that any man has done to the owners of the work that they have in hand, as far as they know."

The Statutes of 1599 (No. 11) lay down a different oath which equally implies a formal ceremony of some sort: "and it is ordered that the warden and deacons of the second lodge of Scotland, present at Kilwinning, shall take the oath, fidelity and truth of all masters and fellows of craft, within the whole boundary of the area committed to their charge, that they shall not go with Cowans, nor work with them, nor any of their servants or apprentices."[vii]

The Lodge of Aberdeen ordered that its bye-laws were to be read at the making of every Entered Apprentice. It seems likely that Lodge bye-laws, or "Contracts of Mutual Agreement" as they were usually called by most Lodges,[viii] and some form of the Schaw oath, were the basis of the ceremonies at masonic meetings at this era.

During the second half of the seventeenth century, copies of the English Old Manu¬script Charges came into the possession of some of the Scottish Lodges:

(a) Grand Lodge MS No. I of 1583 was held by the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) in the middle of the century who, in about 1665, supplied a copy to Lodge Kilwinning. The latter then introduced the custom of selling copies of this version to any Lodge receiving a Kilwinning charter.

(b) In 1666 a version somewhat similar to the Grand Lodge MS No. I was inscribed in the minute-book of the Lodge of Aitchieson's Haven.

(c) In 1658 the Lodge of Scoon and Perth made its own version of the Old Charges based on its own traditional history and ending with a code of conduct. The form of their version is so similar to that of the Old Charges generally that the lodge must have had a copy, or have borrowed one, to work from.

(d) The Lodge of Melrose, in about 1670, had an Old Charges, probably a copy of one a century older.

(e) In 1670 the Lodge of Aberdeen copied one of the Old Charges into its mark book: this book of Laws to be kept in our box fast locked, except at such times it is to be taken out and carried to the place appointed when there is an Entered Apprentice to be received ... these our Laws to be read at the entering of every Entered Apprentice that none declare ignorance.

With the gradual adoption of versions of the English Old Charges, the presumption is that they were used instead of, or in addition to, the Contracts of Mutual Agreement. What is certain is that there were also ceremonies for communicating the mason word. The Edinburgh Register House MS gives a version of such a ceremony; no doubt there were others.

The presence of Entered Apprentices at the suggested ceremonies of 1598 for the passing of Fellow Craft and Master used to be accepted by earlier masonic students as proof that it had no esoteric content. Recent facts prove this deduction incorrect. Lodges provided masonic tutors or "intenders" for all candidates. These were of the same rank as the candidate and their duties included showing the esoteric parts of the ceremonies to their pupils, both outside the door of the Lodge-room and in private, until they were perfect in them. Intenders had a heavy responsibility and were punished if they failed in their duties. For example, no one was allowed even to question candidates of the Aberdeen Lodge as to their knowledge until their instruction was complete. After that, if their knowledge was faulty the intenders were fined.[ix]

MASONS AT THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLY

It was an impressive sight when a Lodge of 1660 met for its annual assembly. Presiding was the "Master". His title varied and in some Lodges he was called "Deacon", "Warden" or "Preses". In some burghs the Deacon of the Incorporation was ex-officio "Master of the Lodge", thus wielding a dual power which tended to make him a dictator over the building trades. He would be a burgess and a nominee for the burgh council and, except when a non-operative was appointed for prestige reasons, a Master Mason employing labour. In burghs where there was less direct control by a council or Incorporation, the "Master" could be freely elected by the members of the Lodge entitled to vote and was presumably less of an autocrat.

Most Lodges had one or two Wardens to assist the "Master" or to act for him in his absence. Wardens were elected annually, except apparently at Aberdeen, where the Warden was appointed and was always an operative in this predominantly non-operative Lodge. There was also a Secretary or Clerk, an office ordered by the Schaw Statutes (No. 8 of 1598). He had to be a "skilled notary who was elected for life".[x] There is no doubt that we owe our extensive knowledge of Scottish Masonry at this period to the conscientious documentation of Lodge proceedings, where Lodges obeyed this statute. There were also one or more "Box Masters" who kept the keys of the box into which all fees and fines were dropped through a slit. These officers could hardly be called "Treasurers" as they had no control over the money and could not even open the box without the "Master" who was also a key holder. The Lodge boxes were big enough to be used as storage places for the minute and mark books, and possibly other property. One further appointment was the "Officer", who combined the duties of Tyler and Inner Guard, and was usually the most junior member of the Lodge, holding his appointment until another Entered Apprentice was made. In some Lodges, the "Officer" was a permanent appointment, similar to the English Tyler, and he got small fees from candidates.

The election of officers took place in most Lodges in accordance with the Schaw Statutes (No. 1 of 1590) on St John's Day in winter; many Scottish Lodges still install their office-bearers on this day. The election of the "Master", though often no more than a formality, could not be omitted. Where burghs had strict control Lodges had little say in the matter. On one occasion, the Burgh Council of Edinburgh imprisoned the officers of the Incorporation when they refused to elect their nominee for Deacon, a nominee who would automatically also be "Master" of the Lodge.

There is no direct evidence about the seating at an annual assembly. The presiding officer, flanked by the Master Masons, presumably sat in the East. For convenience no doubt the Clerk and Box Masters were near and the "Officer" would be at the door when needed.

There is evidence in the Edinburgh Register House MS about what took place at a making and when an Entered Apprentice became a Fellow Craft or Master. The Fellow Crafts formed the south column in strict order of seniority from East to West. Seniority was important."[xi] Facing them, in the reverse order of seniority, was the north column of Entered Apprentices.

In some Lodges the proceedings were very autocratic and the only members with actual authority, i.e. the power to vote, were the comparatively few Master Masons. Others present were, however, allowed to speak. This centralisation of power in Scottish Lodges dated from the sixteenth century, but it was somewhat modified in the smaller Lodges. Nevertheless, it was the general rule until the end of the seventeenth century when the Incorporations began to be forced to yield more power to the more junior members of the Lodges.

Such oppression was not necessarily accepted with equanimity. Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts could and did protest vigorously:

Dec 1671. The deacons, maisters and brethren present perceiving the great abuse and disorder caused by some of the brethren through their unmannerly carriage in the face of the deacons and brethren, therefore they ordain that no person shall speak but one at once, and he shall come and stand before the deacon at the ordinary place, and also that none speak without let or licence asked and obtained. Also that none may strike upon the table before the deacons within the convening house, under penalty and pain of forty shillings Scots ... that thereby good peace and manner may be kept amongst all and everyone off the brethren ...

Dec 1690. It is unanimously stated and ordained that at every meeting every member take his seat as he comes in, and that no person or persons walk or discourse together in the time of the meeting, nor stand up unless they be called upon or spoken to, and that only one person at once shall stand up and speak in the house and he shall direct his discourse to the Preses for the time only.[xii]

If the ceremony at the annual assembly included the reading of the Old Charges it would automatically start with a prayer. In other cases, no doubt, the Minister said a prayer during the opening and closing. It is known that the Incorporation of Edinburgh was using prayers in this way in 1660 and that these prayers were in a fixed form. In the earlier part of the century prayers at masonic meetings may have been extempore, conforming more with Presbyterian usage.

The reading of the Contract of Mutual Agreement or the Old Charges would be followed by routine business. During the meeting the Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts made during the year had to be reported and their fees paid into the box. It is possible that they had to take some sort of oath. If this were so, and their names were recorded in the Lodge minute-book, this would account for the impression sometimes gained that actual making ceremonies took place. My opinion is that this was not normal. Distinguished non-operatives were possibly made at an assembly or at special meetings convened for that purpose. The dignified, semi-legal proceedings of a Lodge assembly were quite incompatible with the type of horse-play described in the Edinburgh Register House MS and other later documents. Occasional Lodges, perhaps in the open or more likely in taverns or private houses, seem far more appropriate for the younger members of the Lodge to enjoy themselves at the expense of operative newcomers of their own class of society.

Master Masons, when they were burgesses, presumably wore their long robes of office in Lodge and possibly wore chains of office as well. Were these the forerunners of collar jewels? There is no doubt that gloves were formal masonic dress by this time. The Schaw Statutes (No. 9 of 1599) directed that all new Fellow Crafts should provide ten shillings "worth of gluffis" and the wearing of gloves is also mentioned in the minute-book of the Lodge of Aitchieson's Haven of the same year. Murray Lyon refers to Lodge Kilwinning's wearing gloves about 1650 and there are other references.[xiii] There is less evidence about aprons. The Lodge of Aberdeen, in 1670, directed that all Entered Apprentices on entry should provide "ane linen Aprone and ane pair of good gloves to everie person concerned in the forsaid lodge". Operative masons at this period wore long leather aprons as their ordinary daily dress and it may be that the linen ones referred to were a sort of light substitute for wear in Lodge, as well as providing masonic clothing for the many non-operatives in the Lodge.

The annual feast was usually held after the assembly and every mason was expected to attend, those absent being fined. It was "a day of rejoysing and feasting" to which many had already contributed. In some Lodges, the whole banquet was paid for by new entrants who may also have had to provide "a pynt of wine or what the will of the company pleases".

There is no information whether Scottish masonic feasts at the period immediately after the Restoration ended with toasts and singing. Toasts were possibly drunk but singing, so soon after the Puritan occupation, seems unlikely. No songs or ballads have come down to us; in fact few songs, other than hymns or metrical psalms, would be known to the majority. It is more probable that there may have been music from the pipes, particularly in the north. Piping, as we know it today, was developed during the second half of the seventeenth century and quickly became popular.

CONCLUSION

Scottish Masonry in the middle of the seventeenth century was much influenced by outside events. Many in Scotland had backed the Stuarts in the Civil War and the Scottish Army had been completely defeated. Two days before the defeat at Worcester, Cromwell's General Monk had sacked Dundee with massacre and plunder as bad as any of Cromwell's own excesses in Ireland. In the distribution of spoils which followed many of the Parliamentarians were awarded the estates of supporters of the Stuarts, and as promptly lost there at the Restoration of 1660. Thus the period is one of turmoil when building would be much interfered with and when many masons, having been forcibly recruited into one army or another, would be drifting homewards. Here much work awaited them. Some Lodges, such as the one at Dundee, must have been in abeyance and, generally, Masonry after 1660 may be considered to have been settling down after two to three decades of disorder

There is little doubt that the masons of the Restoration were a tough body of men, resentful of the civil and religious restrictions imposed upon their way of livelihood. During the next half century they were to break these shackles but, in the meanwhile, they were united in protecting their own interests by making life as difficult as possible for those who did not belong to their "closed shop". On the other hand they were quite prepared to adapt existing rules, as far as they could, in their own interests.

However, in spite of all the difficulties of the period it must be remembered that the second half of the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries can rightly be called the golden age of Scottish building. Many of the houses erected were in replacement of the castles which troubled earlier days had made necessary. The result was the style now known as "Scottish baronial". Such houses can still be seen all over Scotland as fine examples of the mason craft. Some of the finest are in the "Royal Mile" at Edinburgh and these must be attributed to the masons of Edinburgh.[xiv] The art of building to these high standards continued until the end of the seventeenth century and then deteriorated. Is it a coincidence that this was also the date when the non-operatives were gaining control of most Scottish Lodges and the actual tradesmen, with their strict rules of apprenticeship and their complicated statutes for ensuring good work, had lost their authority?


[i] The Mason and the Burgh (1954), by H. Carr. The details of the career structure of the Edinburgh mason in this section come from this book.

[ii] The Lodge at Aberdeen seems to have been a special case. The local masons worked as they wished without burgess status, and no member of the Lodge became a burgess between 1541 and 1700. There was a Seal of Cause as early as 1527 which allowed the masons to regulate late their own trade and this they appear to have done differently from other burghs.

[iii] Some Lodges, like Kilwinning on one occasion, set their fees so high for non-operatives that they got no candidates. The majority appear to have been more sensible.

[iv] Lodge Kilwinning always met on 20th December.

[v] Notes the Lodge of Aberdeen I ter, op. cit.

[vi] op. cit.

[vii] Put into modern English (ACFJ).

[viii] Known to have been in the possession of Lodges of Scoon and Perth (1658), Melrose (1675), Aberdeen (1670) and Kilwinning (as early as in 1642).

[ix] Aberdeen Lodge Laws and Statutes, No. 7.

[x] Again the Lodge of Aberdeen differed. Its clerk was elected annually. The writer of the 1670 Statutes and Charter was a glazier by profession who wrote a most attractive hand, though his spelling was unorthodox.

[xi] “It is votted that everie meason that takes his place in kirk before his elder brother is a grail ase.” Minute of the Lodge of Melrose, 27th December 1690.

[xii] Extracts from the minute-book of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel).

[xiii] Lodge of Scone and Perth, 1658; Lodge of Melrose, 1675, etc.

[xiv] The Burgh of Canongate enclosed part of the "Royal Mile". It was a Burgh of Regality, independent of Edinburgh and could have had its own Lodge if it had wanted. Lodge Canongate Kilwinning was chartered in 1677 but may have existed before that date. Thus two Lodges may have done this fine work.

This Article first appeared in Volume 91 for 1978 of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, and has been adapted for the website by the Webmaster.

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