Section. 11- History of the most remarkable Events in the Society from 1779
to 1791 inclusive
Amidst these disagreeable altercations, intelligence arrived of the rapid
progress of the Society in India, where many new lodges had been constituted,
which were amply supported by the first characters in the East. Omdit-ul-Omrah
Bahauder, eldest son of the nabob of the Carnatic, had been initiated into
masonry in the lodge of Trichinopoly near Madras; and had expressed the highest
veneration for the institution. This news having been transmitted to England
officially, the Grand Lodge determined to send a congratulatory letter to
his highness on the occasion, accompanied with a blue apron elegantly decorated,
and a copy of the Book of Constitutions superbly bound. To sir John Day,
advocate general of Bengal, the execution of the commission was entrusted.
[At the grand feast in 1792, Sir John was honoured with a blue apron
and the rank of a Grand Officer, as a compliment for his meritorious
services on this occasion]
In the beginning of 1780, an answer was received from his highness, acknowledging
the receipt of the present , and expressing the warmest attachment and
benevolence to his brethren in England. This letter, which is written in
the Persian language, was enclosed in an elegant cover of cloth of gold,
and addressed To the Grand Master and Grand Lodge of England.
This flattering mark of attention from so distinguished a personage abroad,was
peculiarly grateful to the Grand Lodge; who immediately resolved, that a
letter should be prepared and transmitted to his highness, expressing the
high opinion which the brethren in England entertained of his merits, and
requesting the continuance of his friendship and protection to the masonic
institution in the East. the thanks of the Grand Lodge were voted to sir
John Day; and a translation of his highness's Letter * was ordered to be
copied on vellum, and, with the original, elegantly framed and glazed, hung
up in the hall at every public meeting of the Society.
[As this letter is replete with genuine good sense and warm
benevolence, we shall here insert the translation for the
gratification of our brethren.
To the right worshipful his Grace the Duke of Manchester, Grand
Master of the illustrious and benevolent Society of Free and
Accepted Masons, under the Constitution of England, and the Grand
Much honoured SIR, and BRETHREN
An early knowledge and participation of the benefits arising to
our house, from its intimate union of councils and interests with
the British nation, and a deep veneration for the laws,
constitutions and manners of the latter, have, for many of my life,
led me to seize every opportunity of drawing the ties between us
still closer and closer.
By account which have reached me, of the principles and practices
of your fraternity, nothing can be more pleasing to the sovereign Ruler
of the universe, whom we all, though in different ways, adore, or
more honourable to his creatures; for they stand upon the broad
basis of indiscriminate and universal benevolence.
Under this conviction, I had long wished to be admitted of your
fraternity, and now that am initiated, I consider the title of an
English mason, as one of the most honourable that I possess; for it
is at once a cement of the friendship between your nation and me,
the friend of mankind.
I have received from the advocate general of Bengal, Sir John
Day, the very acceptable mark of attention and esteem with which you
have favoured me, it has been resented with every circumstance of
deference and respect that situation of things here, and the temper
of the times, would admit of; and I do assure your grace, and the
brethren at large, that he has done ample justice to the commission
you have confided to him and executed it in such manner as to do
honour to himself and me.
I shall avail myself of a proper opportunity, to convince your
grace, and the rest of the brethren, that Omdit-ul-Omrah is not an
unfeeling brother, or heedless of the precepts he has imbibed; and
that, while he testifies his love and esteem for his brethren, by
strengthening the bonds of humanity, he means to minister to the
wants of the distressed.
May the common Father of All, the one omnipotent and merciful God,
take you into his holy keepingl and give you health, peace, and
length of years, prays your highly honoured and affectionate
OMDIT UL BAHAUDER]
Under the auspices of this celebrated chief, there is every reason to expect
that masonry will flourish in the East; and it cannot fail of giving pleasure
to every zealous brother, to find that the venerable principles of the
institution pervade the most distant regions.
The first test testimony which Odmit-ul-Omrah gave of his regard to
the institution, was by the initiation of his brother Omur-ul-Omrah, who
seems equally attached with himself to promote the welfare of the Society.
Another event has also taken place at Madras, which must be very
satisfactory to the brethren of England. The division and secessions, which
had originated in London in 1738, having unfortunately reached India, by
the intervention of brigadier general Horne, who had been appointed, by patent
from the duke of Cumberland, Provincial Grand Master on the Coast of Cormomandel,
an union of the brethren in that part of the world has been affected, and
the lodge No. 152, styling themselves Ancient York Masons, joined a lodge
under his auspices and voluntarily surrendered the constitution under which
they had formerly acted. This desirable object being accomplished, and the
wishes of the brethren fulfilled, the General requested their assistance
to form a Grand Lodge, when the following Officers were appointed, and installed
in due form.
Brigadier gen. Horne, Prov. Grand Master.
Ter. Gahagan esq. Deputy Grand Master.
Jof. Du Pre Porcher esq, Acting Grand Master.
Lieut. col. Rofs. Grand Architect.
Lieut. col. J Campbell, Sen, Grand Warden.
Lieut. col. Hamilton esq, Junior Grand Warden.
James Grierson esq, Grand Secretary.
James Amos esq, Grand Treasurer.
Lieutenant-colonel Moorhouse, and colonel L Lucas esq. Grand Stewards.
Major Maule, Grand Orator.
Charles Bromley esq, Grand Sword Bearer.
The Grand Lodge having been regularly established, a proposal was made, that
a new lodge should be formed in Madras, under the name of Perfect Unanimity,
No. 1. This being unanimously agreed to, the Provincial Grand Master gave
notice, that he should perform the ceremony of consecration on Saturday the
7th of October 1787, in commemoration of the union which had been so amicably
formed that day; and requested the proper officers to attend the occasion.
Accordingly, on the morning of the day appointed upwards of fifty brethren
assembled at the house of Choulty Plain, in which the public rooms are held
, and at half past eleven o'clock the ceremony commenced, After the preparatory
business had been gone through in Grand Lodge, a procession was formed
and marched three times round the lodge; after which the business of consecration
was entered on, and completed in a manner suitable to the solemnity of the
[ Here follows the ORDER of the PROCESSION
Two Tylers with drawn swords.
Brothers Elpinston and Moorhouse, Grand Stewards
with white wands.
Bro. Gillespie, as youngest apprentice, carrying
the rough stone.
Apprentices, two by two.
Fellow-crafts, two by two.
Master Masons, two by two.
Brothers Latharn and Robson, as Secretary and
Treasurer of the new lodge.
PAST-MASTER Brother Taner, carrying a silver pitcher with
Brothers Gomond and Goree, carrying pitchers,
containing Wine and oil.
Brothers Home and Horsmanm carrying two great
Brother Ross, Grand Architect, carrying the
Brother Donaldson, (26th regiment as Grand
Sword-Bearer, carrying the Sword of State.
The Lodge, covered with white satin, carried by
The worshipful brother Lucas, as Master of the new
lodge, carrying the Bible, compasses and square, on a crimson velvet cushion, supported by brothers Dalrymple and
Brother Sir George Keith, carrying the silver
Brother Maule, Grand Orator.
Third great light carried by brother Gregory.
Brothers Campbell and Hamilton, Senior and Junior
Grand Wardens, with their columns and truncheons.
Brother Porcher, Acting Grand Master.
Brother Sadler, as Chief Magistrate.
Brother Sir Henry Colby, carrying the Book of
Brigadier General Horne, Provincial Grand Master,
supported by Brothers Howley and Harris Assistant Stewards.]
Several old masons who were present, declared they never saw a
ceremony conducted with more dignity and propriety.
The following brethren were installed as Officers of this new lodge, viz,
Colly Lyons Lucas esq. Master; Pullier Spencer esq. Senior Warden; George
Robert Latham esq, Junior Warden; George Maule esq. Secretary; John Robins
At two o'clock, the brethren sat down at an excellent dinner, provided by
the Grand Lodge; after which many masonic and loyal toasts were drank; and
the day was concluded with that pleasing festivity, harmony, and good fellowship,
which has always distinguished the Society of Free and Accepted Masons.
During the presidency of the duke of Manchester, new lodges were constituted
in different parts of the kingdom, and considerable additions made to the
general funds of the Society. The sums voted to distressed brethren far exceeded
those of any former period; and among other instances of liberality may be
specified, a very generous contribution, of one hundred pounds, toward the
relief of the brethren in America, who had suffered great losses in consequence
of the rebellion there, and whose situation was very feelingly described
in a letter from the lodge No. 1 at Halifax Nova Scotia.
A singular proposition was made in Grand Lodge on the 8th of April 1778,
that the Grand Master and his Officers should be distinguished in future
at all public meetings by robes. to be provided at their own expense; and
that Past Grand Officers should have the privilege of being distinguished
in a similar manner. This measure was at first favourably received; but,
on further investigation in the Hall Committee, to whom it was referred,
it was found to be so diametrically opposite to the original plan of the
institution, that it was very properly laid aside.
The finances of the Society occupied great part of the proceedings of the
Committees and communications during his grace's administration. The debts
due on account of the hall appearing to be very considerable, it was determined
to make an application to the lodges to raise £2,000 to pay them off.
For this purpose in consequence of a plan offered to the consideration of
the Grand Lodge in June 1779, it was resolved, that a subscription
should be opened, to raise money by loan, without interest, at the discretion
of the subscribers; that £25 should be the sum limited for each subscriber,
and the number of subscribers to be one hundred; and that the monnies so
subscribed should be repaid, in equal proportions, among the subscribers,
at such times as the hall fund would admit. It was also determined, that
an honorary medal should be presented to every subscriber, as a mark of
distinction for the service which he had rendered the Society; and that the
bearer of such medal, if a master mason, should have the privilege of being
present at, and voting in, all the future meetings of the Grand Lodge. This
mark of attention prompted some lodges, as well as individuals, to contribute
and the greatest part of the money was speedily raised and applied for the
The Stewards Lodge, finding their finances much reduced be several members
having withdrawn the annual subscriptions, applied to the Grand Lodge for
relief; upon which it was resolved, that in future no Grand Officer should
be appointed, who was not at the time a subscribing member of the Stewards
A measure of more importance attracted the attention of the Society at this
period. It had been observed with regret, that a number of worthy brethren
in distress had been subjected to much inconvenience and disappointment from
a want of relief during the long summer recess, as there was seldom any Committee
of Charity held from the beginning of April to the end of October. To remedy
this complaint, the Grand Lodge unanimously resolved, that an Extraordinary
Committee should meet annually in the last week of August, to administer
temporary relief to such distressed objects as might regularly apply, not
exceeding five pounds to one person.
This increase in the business of the Society induced the Grand Lodge to appoint
pro tempore, an assistant to the Grand Secretary, who should hold equal rank
and power with himself in Grand Lodge.
[The business is now conducted by one person as heretofore, who finds
an assistant to act as Deputy; and a salary of £100 per annum from
the Charity and Hall funds jointly has been voted for that purpose.]
Among many regulations which were now established, it was determined, that in future no person should hold
two offices at the same time in Grand Lodge.
The Grand Lodge of Germany applied for liberty to send a representative to
the Grand Lodge of England, in order more effectively to cement the union
and friendship of the brethren of both countries, and brother John Leonhardi
was appointed to the office. This request being complied with, a resolution
passed, that, in compliment to the Grand Lodge of Germany brother Leonhardi
should wear the clothing of a Grand Officer, and rank next to the Past Grand
Officers in all public meetings of the Society.
This additional cement was highly pleasing; and led the brethren to regret,
that no intercourse or correspondence should have subsisted nearer home,
between the Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland,
thought all the members were subjects of the same sovereign. At the communication
in April 1782, this important business came under consideration; when, after
a variety of opinions had been delivered, it was unanimously resolved, that
the Grand Master should be requested to adopt such means as his wisdom might
suggest, to promote a good understanding among the brethren of the three
united kingdoms. Notwithstanding this resolution, the wished for union has
not yet been accomplished; we trust, however, that the event is not far distant.
At this meeting also, the pleasing intelligence was communicated, of the
duke of Cumberland's intention to accept the government of the Society. This
having been regularly stated in Grand Lodge, his highness was proposed Grand
Master elect; and it was resolved, in compliment to him, that he should have
the privilege of nominating a peer of the realm as Acting Grand Master, who
should be empowered to superintend the Society in his absence; and that,
at any future period, when the fraternity might be honoured with a Prince
of the blood at their head, the same privilege should be granted.
At the annual grand feast on the 1st of May 1782, the duke of Cumberland
was unanimously elected Grand Master; and it being signified to the Society
that his highness meant to appoint the earl of Effingham Acting Grand Master,
that the appointment was confirmed, and his lordship presided as proxy for
his royal highness during the feast.
On the 8th of January 1783, a very singular motion was made in Grand Lodge,
and afterward confirmed, that the interest of five percent on £1,000
which had been advanced for the purposes of the hall from the charity fund,
should cease to be paid; and further, that the principal should be annihilated,
and sunk into the hall fund. However extraordinary it may appear, this event
took place; and the money has been regularly brought to account in the hall
expendititures. A number of other regulations were confirmed at this meeting,
to render the hall fund more productive, and to enforce obedience to the
laws respecting it.
[The regulations established at this meeting were as follows:
1. That no brother initiated since October 29, 1768, shall be
appointed to the honour of wearing a blue or red apron, unless the
Grand Secretary certifies that his name has been registered and the
2. That no brother initiated since that time, shall be appointed
Master of Warden of a lodge, or be permitted to attend any committee
of charity, or grand lodge, unless his name has been registered and
the fees paid.
3. That every petitioner for charity, initiated since that time,
shall set forth in his position, the lodge in which, and the time
when, he was made a mason; in order that the Grand Secretary may
certify, by endorsement on the back of the petition whether his name
has been registered and the fees paid.
4. That every lodge shall transmit to the Grand Secretary, on or
before the grand feast in every year, a list of all persons
initiated, or members admitted together with the registering fees;
or notice that have not initiated or admitted any, that their
silence may not be imputed to contempt.
5. That to prevent the plea of ignorance or forgetfulness, a
blank form shall be printed, and sent to each lodge, to be filled
up, and returned to the Grand Secretary.
6. That the Grand Secretary shall lay before the first quarterly
communication after each grand feast, an account of such lodges as
have not registered their members within the proceeding year, that
they may be erased from the list of lodges, or be otherwise dealt
with as the Grand Lodge may think expedient.
7. That to prevent any injury to individuals, by being excluded
from the privileges of the Society, through of their lodges, in
their names not having been duly registered, any brethren on
producing sufficient proofs that they have paid the due fees to
their lodges, shall be capable of enjoying all the privileges of the
Society; but the offending lodges shall be rigorously proceeded
against, for detaining fees that are the property of the Society.
On the 20th March 1788, an additional regulation was made
"That ten shillings and six-pence be paid to the Grand Lodge
for registering the name of every mason, initiated in any lodge
under the constitution after the 5th of May 1788"
And at this meeting a very extraordinary resolution passed,
"That no lodge should be permitted to attend or vote in Grand
Lodge, which had not complied with this regulation."]
How far some of the regulations are consistent with
the original plan of the masonic institution must be left to abler judges
to determine.In earlier periods of our history, such compulsory regulations
At the Grand Lodge held on the 23rd of November 1783, an addition was made
to the Grand Officers, by the appointment of a Grand Portrait Painter; and,
at the request of the duke of Manchester, that honor was conferred on the
rev. William Peters, in testimony of the service which he had rendered to
the Society, by his elegant portrait of lord Petre.
During the remainder of the year, there was scarcely any further business
of importance transacted. On the 19th of November, information was given
in Grand Lodge, that two brethren, under sanction of the Royal Military lodge
at Woolwich, which claimed the privilege of an itinerant lodge, had lately
held an irregular meeting in the King's Bench prison, and had there
unwarrentbly initiated sundry person into masonry. The Grand Lodge, conceiving
this to be a violent infringement of the privileges of every regular constituted
lodge, ordered the said lodge to be erased from the list; and determined,
that it was inconsistent with th purposes of making, passing and raising
masons, in a prison or place of confinement.
At this Grand Lodge also, it was resolved, to enact certain regulations,
subjecting the Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens to fines, in case of
non-attendance on the public meetings of the Society; and these regulations
were confirmed on the 11th February following.
While those proceedings were carrying on in England, the brethren in Scotland
were prosecuting their labours also for the good of the craft. The vast
improvements made in the city of Edinburgh, afforded ample room for ingenious
architects to display their masonic talent and abilities; and there the operative
part of the fraternity were fully occupied, in rearing stately mansions,
and planning elegant squares.
On the 1st of August 1785, a very pleasing sight was exhibited to every
well-wisher to the embellishment of that city, in the ceremony of laying
the foundation stone of the South Bridge, being the first step to farther
improvement. In the morning of that day, the right hon. the Lord Provost
and Magistrates, attended by the Grand Master Mason of Scotland, and a number
of nobility and gentry, with the masters, office-bearers, and brethren of
the several lodges; walked from the parliament-house to the bridge in procession.
[The following Order of Procession was observed:
The proper Officers, bearing the city insignia,
The Right Hon. Lord Provost and Magistrates,
Band of Instrumental Music
A band of singers.
The Lodges according to seniority, the brethren
walking three and three.
Lodge of Grand Stewards.
Nobility and Gentry, three and three.
Office-bearers of the Grand Lodge, in their badges
Officers of the Grand Lodge, with insignia.
Deputy, Grand Master, GRAND MASTER, Substitute
The streets were lined by the 58th regiment and the city guard.
Lord Haddo, Grand Master, having arrived at the place, laid the foundation
stone with the usual solemnities. His lordship standing on the east, with
the Substitute on his right hand, and the Grand Wardens on the west, the
square, the plumb, the level, and the mallet, were successively delivered
by an operative mason to the Substitute, and by him to the Grand Master,
who applied the square to that part of the stone which was square, the plumb
to the level edges, the level above the stone in several positions, and then
with the mallet gave three knocks, saying' "May the Grand Architect of the
Universe grant a blessing on this foundation stone, which we have now laid;
and by his providence enable us to finish this, and every other work which
may be undertaken for the embellishment and advantage of this city." On this
the brethren gave the honours.
The cornucopia and two silver vessels were then brought from the table, and
delivered, the cornucopia to the Substitute, and the two vessels to the Wardens,
which were successively presented to the Grand Master, who, according to
ancient form, scattered the corn, and poured the wine and oil, which they
contained, on the stone saying, "May the All-bounteous Author of Nature bless
this city with an abundance of corn, wine and oil; and with all the
necessaries, conveniences, and comforts of life! and may the same Almighty
power preserve this city from ruin and decay to the latest posterity!"
The Grand Master, being supported on the right hand by the duke of Buccleugh,
and on the left by the earl of Balcarras, addressed himself to the Lord Provost
and the Magistrates in a suitable speech for the occasion. The coins of the
present reign, and a silver plater, with the following inscription, was deposited
within the stone.
ANNUETE DEO OPTIMO MAXIMO,
REGNANTE GEORGIO III, PATRE PATRIA,
QUO VICI EXTRA MOENIA EDINBURGH,
URBI COMMODE ADJUNGERENTUR,
ADITUMQUE NON INDIGNUM TANTA
PRIMUM LAPIDEM POSUIT
NOBLIS VIR GEORGIUS DOMINUS HADDO,
ANTIQUISSIMI SODALITH ARCHITECTONICI
APUD SCOTOS CURIO MAXIMUS,
PLAUDENTE AMPLISSIMA FRATRUM CORONA,
IMMEMSAQUE POPULI FREQUENTIA
UTILE CIVIBUS GRATUM ADVENIS,
URBI DECORUM PATRIAE HONESTUM,
CONSULE JACOBO HUNTER BLAIR,
INCEPTI AUCTORE INDEFESSO,
SANCCIENTE REEGE, SENATUQUE BRITANNIAE,
TANDEM INCHOATUM EST
IPSIS KALENDIS AUGUSTI
AERAE ARCHITECTONICAE 5785
"By the blessing of Almighty God, in the reign of George the Third, the Father
of his country, the right hon. George, Lord Haddo, Grand Master of the Most
ancient Fraternity of Free Masons in Scotland, amidst the acclamation of
a Grand Assembly of the brethren, and a vast concourse of people, laid the
first stone of this bridge, intended to form a convenient communication between
the city of Edinburgh and its suburbs, and an access not unworthy of such
This work, so useful to the inhabitants, so pleasing and convenient to strangers,
so ornamental to the city, so creditable to the country, so long and much
wanted and wished for, was at last begun, with the sanction of the king and
parliament of Great Britain, and with universal approbation, in the provestship
of James Hunter Blair, teh author and indefatigable promoter of the undertaking,
August the 1st, in the year of our Lord, 1785, and of the era of Masonry
5785. which may God prosper."
An anthem was then sung , and the procession returned, reversed, to the
Parliament-house. After which the Lord Provost and Magistrates gave an elegant
entertainment at Dunn's rooms to the Grand Lodge, and the nobility and gentry
who had assisted in the ceremony.
The net public ceremony in which the society bore a principal share, was
in laying the foundation stone of that valuable seminary of learning , the
new College of Edinburgh. this University has for many years been esteemed
one of the most celebrated in Europe, and has attracted a great number of
students of physic and other branches of science, from all parts of the world.
The eminence of its professors in every branch of learning is universally
admitted; and it is most fervently so be wished, for the honour of the kingdom,
that the whole plan may be completely executed agreeably to the intention
of the original promoters. as this is an event worth of record in the annals
of masonry, I shall describe minutely the ceremony observed on that remarkable
On the 13th of October 1789, Mr Robert Adam, architect, presented the plans
of the intended building, at a public breakfast given by the Lord Provost,
to the Magistrates, the Principal and the Professors of the University, of
Edinburgh, on the occasion; and explained their uses for the various schools,
halls, and houses. The whole company expressed the highest satisfaction at
the design; and it was immediately resolved, that a subscription should be
opened to carry the plan into execution. Monday the 16th of November was
then fixed for laying the foundation stone of the new structure.
On the morning of the day appointed for performing the ceremony, the brethren
assembled at eleven o'clock in the Parliament-house, to meet lord Napier,
at that time Grand Master of Scotland. When the lodges were arranged, the
Grand Master sent notice to the Lord Provost and Magistrates, who had assembled
in the Council-chamber; and to the Principal, Professors and Student of the
University, who had met in the High Church. At half past twelve, the procession
began to move in the following order:
1st. The Principal, Professors, and Students of the University, with their
mace carried before them. Principal Robertson being supported on the right
hand by the rev. Dr Hunter, professor of divinity; and on the left, by Dr
Handy, professor of church history. The Professors were all robed, and each
of the Students had a sprig of laurel in his hat.
2nd. The Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Council, in their robes, preceded
by the sword, mace, etc. The Lord Provost being supported on the right and
left by the two eldest Baillies.
3rd. A complete choir of Singers, under the direction of signor Scherky,
singing anthems as the procession moved.
4th. The Lodges, according to seniority, juniors preceding, with their different
5th. A complete band of instrumental music.
6th. The Grand Stewards, properly clothed, with white rods.
7th. The Noblemen and Gentlemen attending the Grand Master.
8th. A large drawing of the East Front of the New College, carried by two
9th. The grand jewels, borne by Past Masters of lodges.
10th. Officers of the Grand Lodge, properly clothed.
11th. Past Grand Masters.
12th. Lord Napier, present Grand Master, supported on the right hand by sir
William Forbes bart. Past Grand Master; and on the left, by the duke of
A detachment of the 35th regiment from the castle, together with the city
guard, lined the streets.
At one o'clock, the Grand Master reached the site of the College, when the
foundation stone was laid with the usual ceremononies.
[The particulars of this part of the ceremony were exactly similar to
that observed at laying the foundation stone of the South Bridge.]
After which the Grand Master addressed himself to the Lord Provost and Magistrates as follows:
"My Lord Provost, and Magistrates, of the City of Edinburgh.
In compliance with your request, I have now had the honour, in the capacity
of Grand Master Mason of Scotland, to lend my aid towards laying that stone
on which it is your intention to erect a new College. I must ever consider
it a sign of the fortunate events in my life, that the Craft of Free and
Accepted Masons should be called forth, to assist at an undertaking so laudable;
and so glorious, during the time that, from their affections, I have the
honour of sitting in the chair of the Grand Lodge.
The attention to the improvement of this city, manifested by the Magistrates,
your predecessors in office, has for many years, excited the admiration of
their fellow-citizens. The particular exertions of your Lordship and your
Colleagues have merited, and it give me infinite satistfaction to say, have
obtained, the universal approbation of all ranks of men.
The business of, this day, equally to be remembered in the annals of this
city and of masonry, will transmit your name with lustre to posterity. Thousands
yet unborn, learning to admire your virtues, will thereby be stimulated to
follow the great example you have set them, of steady patriotism, love of
your country, and anxious desire to advance the welfare, and increase the
fame of the city of Edinburgh.
In the name of the Craft of Free and Accepted Masons, and in my own, I sincerely
implore the protection of the Supreme Architect of the Universe on your lordship
and your brethren in the Magistracy! May you long continue here the ornaments
of civil society; and may you hereafter be received into those mansions,
those lodges, prepared in heaven for the blessed."
To this address the Lord Provost, in the name of the Magistrates and Town
Council of the City of Edinburgh, mad a suitable reply.
The Grand Master next addressed the Principal as representing the University
of Edinburgh, as follows:
Permit me to congratulate you, as Principal, and your brethren, as Professors,
of the University of Edinburgh, on the work which we have this day been engaged.
-- A work, worthy of your Patrons, who (ever considering the public good)
will not permit the seat of learning, established in this ancient metropolis,
to bear the appearance of decay, at a time when so much attention is bestowed
on the elegance and convenience both of public and private edifices.
Permit me, likewise, to congratulate my country, on the probability of seeing
the different chairs of the magnificent structure now to be erected, filled
by men so distinguished for their piety, so eminent for their learning, and
so celebrated for their abilities, as those to whom I now have the honour
to address myself.
Any panegyric that I can pronounce, must fall so far short of what is due
to you, Sir, and your honourable and learned brethren, that it would be
presumption in me to attempt to express my sense of your deserts. Suffice
it to say that the Grand Lodge of Scotland, nd the lodges depending on it,
are most happy, in having this opportunity of assisting at, and witnessing,
the laying of the foundation, whence it is their earnest wish a building
may arise, which, in future ages may be renowned for the excellence of its
teachers, and as much respected for the propriety of conduct in its students,
as the University now is, over which you have the peculiar satisfaction of
May the Almighty Architect, the Sovereign Disposer of all events, grant,
that the Principal and Professors of this College may continue to deliver
their instructions, and the Students to receive their admonitions, in such
a manner as may rebound to the glory of God, the promoting of science, and
the extension of all useful learning."
To which the rev. Principal made the following reply:-
From very humble beginnings, the University of Edinburgh has attained to
such eminence, as entitles it to be ranked among the most celebrated seminaries
of learning. Indebted to the bounty of several of our Sovereigns -distinguished
particularly by the gracious Prince now seated on the British throne, whom
with gratitude, we reckon among the most munificent of our royal benefactors
- and cherished by the continued attention and good offices of our honourable
Patrons, this University can no boast of the number and variety of its
institutions for the instruction of youth in all the branches of literature
With what integrity and discernment persons have been chosen to preside in
each of these departments, the character of my learned colleagues affords
the most satisfying evidence. From confidence in their abilities, and assiduity
in discharging the duties of their respective offices, the University of
Edinburgh has become a seat of education, not only to the youth in every
part of the British dominions, but, to the honour of our country, students
have been attracted to it from almost every nation in Europe, and every state
One thing still was wanting, The apartments appropriate for the accommodation
of Professors and Students were so extremely unsuitable to the flourishing
state of the University, that it has long been the general wish to
have buildings more decent and convenient erected. What your lordship has
now done, gives a near prospect of having this wish accomplished; and we
consider it as a most auspicious circumstance, that the foundation stone
of this new mansion of science is laid by your lordship, who, among your
ancestors, reckon a man, whose original and universal genius places him high
among the illustrious persons who have contributed most eminently to enlarge
the boundaries of human knowledge
Permit me to add, what I regard as my own peculiar felicity, that of having
remained in my present station much longer than any of my predecessors, I
have lived to witness an event so beneficial to this University, the prosperity
of which is near to my heart, and has ever been the object of my warmest
May Almighty God, without invocation of whom no action of importance should
be begun, bless this undertaking, and enable us to carry it on with success!
May he continue to protect our University, the object of whose institution
is to instill into the minds of youth, principles of sound knowledge; to
inspire them with the love of religion and virtue; and to prepare them for
filling the various situations in society, with honour to themselves, and
with benefit to their country!
All this we ask, in the name of Christ; and unto the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit, we ascribe the kingdom, power and glory! Amen!"
After the Principal had finished his speech, the brethren again gave the
honours, which concluded th ceremony.
Tow crystal bottles, cast on purpose at teh glass-house of Leith, were deposited
in the foundation-stone. In one of these were put different coins of the
present reign, each of which were previously enveloped in crystal, in such
an ingenious manner that the legend on the coins could be distinctly read
without breaking the crystal., In the other bottle were deposited seven rolls
of vellum, containing a short account of the original foundation and present
state of the University, together with several other papers; in particular,
the different newspapers, containing advertisements relative to the college,
Etc, and a list of the names of the present Lord Provost and Magistrates,
and Officer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The bottles being carefully sealed
up, were covered with a plate of copper wrapt in block-tin; and, upon the
under side of the copper, were engraven the arms of the city of Edinburgh,
and of the University; likewise the arms of the right hon. lord Napier, Grand
Master Mason of Scotland. Upon the upper side, a Latin inscription, of which
the following is a copy:
ANNUENTE DEO OPT. MAX
REGNANTE GEORGIO III, PRINCIPE MUNIFICER
INITO QUIDEM HUMILLIMIS
ET JAM, POST DUO SECLA, PENE RUINOS
NOVI HUJUS /EDIFICH,
UBI COMMODITATI SIMEL ET ELGANTI/E
TANTODUCTINARUM DOMICILIO DIGN/E,
PRIMUM LAPIDEM POSUIT
FLAUDENTE INGENTI OMNIUM ORDIUNIUM FREQUENTIA
VIR NOBILISSIUMUS FRANCISCUS DOMINUS NAPIER,
REIPUB ARCHITECTONIC/E APUD SCOTOS
XVI KAL DECEMB
ANNO SALUTIS HUMAN /E MDCCLXXXIX
/ER/E ARCHITECTIONIC/E IOOIDCCLXXIX
CONSULE THOMA ELDER,
ADAMIE/E PR/EFECTO GULIELMO ROBERTSON
ARCHITECTO ROBERTO ADAM
"By the Blessing of Almighty God, In the reign of the most munificent Prince
George III, The buildings of the Univeristy of Edinburgh, being originally
very mean, And now, after two centuries, almost a ruin. The Right Hon. Francis
Lord Napier, Grand Master of the Fraternity of Free Masons of Scotland, Amidst
the acclamations of the people, laid the foundation stone of this new fabric,
In which an union of elegance with conveniences, suitable to the dignity
of learning, Has been studied; On the 16th day of November in the year of
our Lord 1789 And in the era of Masonry 5789
Thomas Elder being the Lord Provost of the City; William Robertson, the Principal
of the University; and Robert Adam the Architect.
May the undertaking prosper and be crowned with success.
An anthem having been sung, the brethren returned, the whole procession being
reversed, and when the junior lodge arrived at the door of the Parliament-house,
it fell back to the right and left, within the lines of soldiers; when the
Principal, Professors and Students; the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Town
Council; and the Grand Lodge; passed though, with their hats off.
The procession on this occasion was one of the most brilliant and numerous
that ever was exhibited in the city of Edinburgh. The Provost and Magistrates
had very properly invited many of the Nobility and Gentry from all parts
of the country, to witness the solemnity of laying the foundation-stone of
a college, the architecture of which, it is agreed by all who have seen the
plan, will not only do honour to the city, but to the nation of Europe. But
the number of persons invited was far exceeded by the immense multitude of
all ranks, who, desirous of viewing so magnificent a spectacle, filled the
streets, windows, and even roofs of the houses, all the way from the
Parliament-close, down the High-street and Bridge-street, near the fourth
end of which the foundation-stone was laid. above 20,000 were supposed to
be witnesses of this ceremony. It is, however, worthy of notice, that,
notwithstanding so immense a crowd, the greatest order and decency were observed;
nor did the smallest accident happen.
On the 7th of January 1795, the brethren in Scotland had another opportunity
of exemplifying their skill in the practical rules of the Art, at opening
the new bridge for carriages at Montrose. This undertaking had been long
deeded impracticable, on account of the extent being near half a mile across
a rapid influx and reflux of the sea. The important work, however, was happily
accomplished under the superintendence of the fraternity, and the great post
road from the fourth to the north of Scotland is now united. A public procession
was formed on this occasion when the Grand Master, amidst an immense concourse
of people, critically eaminined the work and declared it well built and ably
Having described the principal works in which the brethren in Scotland have
been employed, we shall now resume the history of masonry in England, and
trace the occurrences that have taken place there, under the auspices of
the duke of Cumberland, and his successor the prince of Wales.
On the 4th of January 1787, was opened in London, the grand chapter of Harodim.
Though this order is of ancient date, and had been patronised in different
parts of Europe, previous to this period there appears not on record the
regular establishment of such an association in England. For some years it
was faintly encouraged, but since its merit has been further investigated,
it has receiveded the patronage of the most exalted masonic characters; and,
under the patronage of lord Macdonald, meets regularly at Free-Masons tavern
on the 3rd Monday of January, February, March, April, October, November,
and December; at which meetings any member of a regular lodge may be admitted
by ticket as a visitor, to hear the lectures of masonry judiciously illustrated.
The mysteries of this order are peculiar to the institution itself, while
the lectures of the Chapter include every branch of the masonic system, and
represent the art of masonry in a finished and complete form.
Different classes are established, and particular lectures restricted to
each class. the lectures are divided into sections, and the sections into
clauses. the sections are annually assigned by the Chief Harod, to a certain
number of is skillful companions in each class, who are denominated SECTIONISTS;
and they are empowered to distribute the clauses of their respective sections,
with the approbation of the Chief Harod and General Director, among certain
private companions of the Chapter, who are denominated CLAUSE-HOLDERS. Such
companions as by assiduity become possessed of all the sections in the lecture,
are called LECTURERS; and out of these the General Director is always chosen.
Every Clauseholder, on his appointment, is presented with a ticket, signed
by the Chief Harod, specifying the clause allotted to him. This ticket entitles
him to enjoy the rank and privileges of a Clause-holder of the Chapter; and
no Clause-holder can transfer his ticket to the another Companion, unless
the consent of the Council has been obtained for that purpose, and the Director
General shall have approved the Companion to whom it is to be transferred,
as qualified to hold it. In case of the death, sickness, or non-residence
in London, of any Lecturer, Sectionist or Clause-holder, another Companion
is immediately appointed to fill up the vacancy, that the lectures may be
always complete; and once in every month, during the session, a public lecture
is delivered, in a masterly manner, in open Chapter.
The Grand-Chapter is governed by a Grand Patron, two Vice Patrons, a Chief
Ruler, and two Assistants, with a Council of twelve respectable Companions,
chosen annually at the Chapter nearest to the festival of St John the Evangelist.
On the 25th of March 1788, another event worthy of notice in the annals of
masonry took place, by the institution of the Royal Cumberland Free-mason
school, for maintaining, clothing and educating female orphans, the children
of indigent brethren. To the benevolent exertions of chevalier Bartholomew
Ruspini, the fraternity were first indebted for this establishment. Under
the patronage of her royal highness the duchess of Cumberland, the school
was originally formed; and to her softening hand is owning its present
flourishing state, by here recommendation of it to the Royal Family,m as
well as to many of the nobility and gentry of both sexes. On the 1st of January
1789, fifteen children were taken into the house provided for the purpose
at Somers Town, St Pancras; but since that time, by the liberal encouragement
which the Charity has received from the fraternity in India as well as in
England, the Governors have been enabled to augment the number of children
at different periods to thirty-four.
The object of this Charity is to train up children in the knowledge of virtue
and religion; in an early detestation of vice, and its unhappy consequences,
in industry, as necessary to their condition; and to impress strongly on
their minds, a due sense of subordination, true humility, and obedience to
In 1793, the Governors, anxious still farther to extend the benefits of this
Institution, hired on lease a piece of ground in St George's Fields belonging
to the City of London, on which they have erected as commodious and spacious
school-house at the expense of upwards of £2500 into which the children
are now removed. This building is sufficiently extensive to accommodate an
hundred children; and from the exertions of the fraternity at home an abroad,
there is every reason to hope that the Governors will soon have it in their
power to provide for that number.
the following are some of the general regulations for the management of the
Every child who is admitted in to the school must be the daughter of a mason
who has been initiated into the Society three years, and registered in the
books of the Grand Lodge; and such child, at the time of application; must
be between the age of five and nine years; not weak, sickly, or afflicted
with any disorder or infirmity; must have had the smallpox, and be free from
any defect in her eyes or limbs. There is no restriction as to her parochial
settlement, whether it be in town or country.
Children continue in the school till they attain the age of fifteen years,
during which time they are carefully instructed in every domestic employment;
and when they quit the school, are placed out as apprentices, either to trades,
or as domestic servants, as may be found mist suitable to their respective
A quarterly General Court of the Governors is held on the second Thursday
in January, April, July, and October, to receive the reports of the General
Committee, order all payments admit and discharge children, and transact
all general business relative to the Charity.
A General Committee, consisting of perpetual and life Governors, and thirty
annual Governors, meet on the last Friday in every month, to receive the
reports of the Sub-Committee, and give such directions as they judge proper,
subject to the confirmation or rejection of the succeeding Quarterly Court.
A House Committee, consisting of twelve members of the General Committee,
meet on the Friday preceding each meeting of that Committee, (or oftener,
if any matter require their attendance,) to whom the internal management
is specially delegated; for which purpose they visit the school in weekly
rotation, examine the provision and stores sent in for the use of the Charity,
and see that the several regulations are strictly complied with, and report
their proceedings to the General Committee.
A Committee of Auditors, consisting of twelve members of the General Committee,
meet previous to every Quarterly Court, to examine the vouchers and accounts
of the Treasurer and Collector, see that the same are properly entered by
the Secretary, and prevent any payments being made, which have not been approved
and by the House and General Committees.
This Charity is under the immediate supervision of her royal highness the
duchess of Cumberland, the patroness; their royal highnesses the prince of
Wales, the duke of York, and the duke of Gloucester, the Patrons; Chevalier
Bartholomew Ruspini, the Institutor; the right hon. lord Macdonald, James
Heseltine, James Galloway, William Birch, William Addington esqs. the Trustees;
and sir Peter Parker, bart. the Treasurer.
[Aspects of the general Principle upon which this Charity is
conducted, and the Qualification and Privileges of a Governor.
1. Every person subscribing one guinea annually; is deemed a
Governor, or Governess, during the time such subscription is continued.
2. Every subscriber of ten guineas, or upwards , is deemed a
Governor, or Governess for life; and such Governor is a member of
the General Committee.
3. The Master for the time being of any lodge subscribing one
guinea annually is deemed a Governor during that time.
4. The Master for the time being of any lodge subscribing ten
guineas, is a member of the Committee for fifteen years; and on such
lodge paying the further sum of ten guineas within the space of ten
years, such Master for the time being is a Governor, and member of
the Committee, so long as such lodge exists.
5. The Master for the time being of any lodge subscribing twenty
guineas, is a perpetual Governor, so long as such lodge exists.
6. Any subscriber who has already made a benefaction of ten
guineas, and chooses to repeat such donation, is entitled to the
privilege of a second vote on all questions relative to the Charity.
7. The executor of any person paying a legacy of one hundred
pounds for the use of the Charity; is deemed a Governor for life;
and is case a legacy of two hundred pounds, or upwards, be paid for
the use of the Charity, then all the executors proving the will are
deemed Governors for life.
8. Every Governor has a right to vote at all Quarterly and
Special Courts; and every Nobleman, Member of Parliament, Lady,
Master of a country lodge, and Governor not residing with the bills
of mortality, have a right to vote by proxy, at all ballots, and
elections; but no person, being an annual Governor, can be permitted
to vote in any election until the subscription for the current year
(and arrears, if any) are paid to the Treasurer.
9. Any Governor supplying this Institution with any article,
wherefrom any emolument may arise, shall not vote on any question
relative thereon, nor can such Governor be member of any
Committee, whatever, during the time he serves the Charity.]
To the benevolent and indefatigable exertion of William Forsteen, Anthony
Ten Broeke, Adam Gordon, Henry Spicer, esqs. and a few other respectable
brethren, the Society are principally indebted for the complete establishment
if this truly laudable Institution; and such have been the care and pains
bestowed on the education of the children, that the sum arising from their
work for the last year has exceeded £200.
On the 10th of February 1790, the Grand Lodge voted a subscription to this
Charity, and particularly recommended it to the lodges as deserving
encouragement; in consequence of which considerable sums have been raised
for its support, and the annual contributions have of late years so increased,
that an Institution, which reflects so much honour on the fraternity, promise
fair to have a permenant establishment.
The duke of Cumberland continued in the office of Grand Master till his death
in September, 1790; and it may be truly said, that such a valuable acquistion
was made to the Society during his highness's administration, as is almost
unparalleled in the annals of masonry.
On Thursday the 9th of March 1786, his royal highness prince William Henry,
now duke of Clarence, was initiated into masonry at the lodge No. 86, held
a the Prince George inn at Plymouth.
On Thursday the 6th of February 1787, his royal highness the Prince of Wales
was made a mason, at an occasional lodge convened for the purpose at the
Star and Garter, Pall-Mall, over which the duke of Cumberland presided in
On Friday the 21st of November following, his royal highness the Duke of
York was initiated into masonry, at a special lodge convened for the purpose
at the same place, over which the Grand Master presided in person. His highness
was introduced by his royal brother the Prince of Wales, who was present
on the occasion and assisted at the ceremony.
On the 10th of February 1790, regular notice was given in Grand Lodge, that
his royal highness Prince Edward, while on his travels had been regularly
initiated into masonry in the Union Lodge of Geneva.
The Grand Lodge, highly sensible of the great honour conferred on the Society
by the initiation of so many royal personages, unanimously resolved,
that each of them should be presented with an apron, lined with blue silk,
the clothing of a Grand Officer, and that they should be placed, in all public
meetings of the Society, on the right hand of the Grand Master, and rank
in the processions as Past Grand Masters.
On the 2nd of May 1790, the grand feast was honoured with the presence of
the duke of Cumberland, the Grand Master in the chair; attended by his royal
nephews , the Prince of Wales, and the dukes of York and Clarence, with about
five hundred other brethren. This Grand Assembly confirmed the re-instatment
of the members of the lodge of Antiquity in all their masonic privilages,
after an unfortunate separation of ten years; and among those who were
re-instated, the Author of this treatise had the honour to be included.
On the 2nd of November 1790, his royal highness the Prince of Wales was elected
to the high and important office of Grand Master of Masons, and was pleased
to appoint lord Rawdon (now earl Moria) Acting Grand Master, who had previously
filled that office under his late royal uncle, on the resignation of the
earl of Effingham, who had gone abroad, having accepted the governorship
On the 9th of February 1791, the Grand Lodge resolved, on the motion of lord
Petre, that, in testimony of the high sense of the fraternity entertained
of the honour done to the Society by his royal highness the Prince of Wales's
acceptance of the office of Grand Master, three elegant chairs and candlesticks
should be provided for the use of the Grand Lodge; and at the grand feast
in May following, these elegant chairs and candlesticks were presented to
public view; but unfortunately the Grand Master's indisposition at that time
prevented him from honouring the Society with his presence. Lord Rawdon,
however, officiated as proxy for his royal highness, who was re-elected with
the most joyful acclamations.