Contents Page 2, ‘The Wardens Columns’ This month’s cover story looks at the wardens columns and their history and usage.
Page 5, ‘The Auld Lodge’ A poem about moving into a new Lodge.
Page 6, ‘The Keith Lodge of Peterhead No.56’ A short Historical sketch about this old Scottish Lodge.
Page 8, ‘Tiler or Tyler?’ Is there a correct way of spelling?
Page 10, ‘The Tyler’s Toast’ The Tyler’s Toast in Scots!
Page 11, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’, “Shooting the Masonic Gun”, the thirteenth in the series from Carl Claudy’s ‘Old Tiler Talks.’
Page 13, ‘More honourable than the Order of the Garter’. A look at how this order was founded.
Page 14, ‘Famous Freemasons’ Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes.
Page 18, ‘Coming to Terms with Freemasonry’ Mystery. In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Golden Fleece, The Roman Eagle and the Order of the Garter’ and how they came about.[link]
The Wardens Columns One of the most frequently corrected errors in lodge procedure is the failure of a Warden to raise or lower his column appropriately. Let an absentminded Junior Warden forget to lower his column when the lodge is called from refreshment to labour, and many a frantic gesture from the side lines will remind him of his dereliction! Almost every Brother sitting in the lodge room knows the proper position of the Wardens' columns during labour or at refreshment, and will hasten to signal a Warden if the emblem of his office is awry. "Up in the West during labour; down in the West at refreshment. Down in the South during labour; up in the South at refreshment." Every Brother knows that simple rule for positioning the Wardens' columns. It is generally believed, as stated in Mackey's Encyclopaedia, that the Senior Warden's column represents the pillar J*****, while the Junior Warden's column represents the pillar B***, those having been impressive adornments on the Porch of King Solomon's Temple. Their names signify Establishment and Strength. If asked for a symbolic explanation of these pieces of furniture, the average Craftsman will reply that the Junior Warden's column represents the pillar of beauty, the Senior Warden's, the pillar of strength. But what has become of the Worshipful Master's column'? He represents the pillar of wisdom, "because it is necessary that there should be wisdom to contrive, strength
to support, and beauty to adorn all great and important undertakings." Some Brethren will explain further that the Wardens' columns are miniature representations of the pillars usually stationed in the West, where at one time both Wardens sat, one in the shade of B***, the other in the shade of J*****. Such an arrangement of the Wardens' positions may still be found in some European lodges whose rituals have come from Continental sources. There is no simple explanation of the origin of the Wardens' columns nor of what they represent. Like much in Masonic ritual, they are the result of some interesting changes; yet all wellinformed Brethren will agree that today they are emblematical of the offices of the two Wardens, and represent their authority, of the Senior during labour, and of the Junior while the lodge is at refreshment. As a matter of fact, the raising and lowering of the Wardens' columns made their first appearance in Masonic ritual as late as 1760, well into the period known as Speculative Masonry. The Three Distinct Knocks, a well-known expose of Masonic ritual published in London that year, contains the first description of the Wardens' use of their columns. An almost identical description of the Wardens' raising and lowering their columns appears in another expose, J***** and B***, published in 1762. Unfortunately, there has been comparatively little written about the Wardens' columns and their uses to show when they were allocated to those officers, or how and when the raising and lowering of these miniature pillars became a part of the proper procedure in
Masonic lodges. It is only from such exposes as those noted above that one can assign an approximate date to the beginning of the practice. Curiously, William Preston in various editions of his Illustrations of Freemasonry (1792-1804), in the section dealing with Installation, assigns the columns to the Deacons. Since the columns had belonged to the Wardens for at least thirty years earlier, and since many of the Craft lodges in England did not appoint Deacons at all, Preston must have been in error, or was introducing an innovation, which the passage of time has shown to have failed. Preston also taught that the Senior Deacon's column was to be raised during labour, and the Junior Deacon's at refreshment. To those who like Masonic traditions neat and historically logical, it may be disconcerting to learn that in some lodges the Wardens did not have columns on their pedestals. They had truncheons, whose modern function is to serve as billy clubs for policemen. An Irish lodge in the 18th century had a bylaw reading: "there is to be silence at the first chap of the Master's haler, and likewise at the first stroke of each Trenchen struck by the Senr and Junr Wardens." The Rev. George Oliver (1782-1867), a prolific writer about Freemasonry, quotes an inventory of a lodge at Chester, England, in 1761, which includes "two truncheons for the Wardens." There are still lodges today which denominate the Wardens' emblems of authority as truncheons, not columns. There can be no doubt that the Wardens' columns are the result of Freemasonry's interest in the art of building, of architecture and its allied skills and
sciences. The operative masons devoted much time and thought to the design, construction, and ornamentation of columns and pillars. The orders of architecture were an important body of knowledge with which they were continuously concerned. The mediaeval cathedral builders, however, attached greater significance to the ancient pillars erected by the children of Lamech than to those on the porch of King Solomon's Temple. On these ancient pillars were engraved all the then known sciences to preserve them from destruction by fire or inundation. As such, they symbolized the esoteric importance of the knowledge of the builder's art to be guarded and preserved by faithful craftsmen. In many of the earliest documents of the Craft, the so-called "Old Charges" or "manuscript constitutions", some of which antedate the period, of Speculative Freemasonry by at least 300 years, those primitive pillars of the sons of Lamech are a part of the "history" of the operative Craft. The Temple of Solomon is inconspicuously mentioned, but the two pillars on the porch of that temple do not appear at all. It was not until approximately 1700 that King Solomon's Pillars began to appear in Masonic writing and ritual documents. The Dumfries, No. 4 MS, usually dated 1700-1725, mentions those pillars and gives them a strong Christian symbolism. It also answers two test questions about pillars as follows: "How many pillars is in your Lodge'? Three. What are these? Ye square, the Compas and ye bible." Because of the secrecy maintained by Masons about ritualistic matters, it is on the ritual texts of 18th century exposes
that we depend for knowledge of the part played by pillars in the development of the Craft's rituals and ceremonies. The Grand Mystery of Freemasons Discovered, 1724, mentions the pillars of Solomon's Temple, but gives them this significance: they represent the "Strength and Stability of the Church in all ages." Samuel Prichard's Masonry Dissected, 1730, the first expose to reveal a third degree in Masonic ritual, refers to "Three Pillars" that "support the Lodge . . . Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty." This seems to be the earliest mention of those three virtues symbolized by pillars, which of course had no reference to those in the "Old Charges" or to those on the Porch of Solomon's Temple. They were purely symbolic; they had not yet become a part of the lodge furniture. In those early days of Speculative Masonry, the Wardens' duties were probably different from those they have now. Some writers believe they had duties similar to those of the Deacons today. They had no pedestals or pillars, because the latter were usually drawn on the floor, or "floor cloth", to be referred to during ritualistic instruction, but were certainly not then a part of the Wardens' equipment. The other interpretation of the Wardens' Columns as representations of J***** and B***, the two pillars of Solomon's Temple, was also introduced into Masonic ritual at an early period of Speculative Masonry. Again, it is in the exposes of the early rituals that this development can be traced.
In A Mason's Examination, 1723, appears this test question: "Where was the first Lodge kept? In Solomon's Porch; the two Pillars were called J***** and B***." Nothing, however, establishes a connection between the pillars and the Wardens. The Grand Mystery, etc. mentioned above also names the two pillars J***** and B***. A number of other such publications in the 1720's and 1730's also identify them by those names. How miniature representations of J***** and B*** came to the pedestals of the Senior and Junior Wardens is still a matter for speculation; obviously it is a part of the variegated development of Masonic ritual in the 18th century. As symbols of the pillars on the Porch of King Solomon's Temple, or as representations of the three principal orders of architecture which the three principal officers of a lodge symbolize, they are to be found in the earliest catechisms and lectures of Speculative Freemasonry. Undoubtedly, as suggested by contemporary references and illustrations, the pillars soon became artistically designed pieces of furniture to stand in the lodge room as objects for study. There was probably no uniformity of practice in this development. Some lodges had large columns, some small, some drew them on the floor cloth. Some had no pillars at all. From the creation of such pillars, and from their association with the three principal officers of the lodge undoubtedly came the columns of the Wardens. They are relics of those earlier larger pieces of lodge furniture. From the traditions of operative craft lodges
had lingered the conception of the Senior Warden as the officer in charge of the workmen; his column naturally represented his authority and superintendence. To give the Junior Warden some similar authority, an imaginative speculative ritualist probably hit on the idea of putting him in charge of the Craft during refreshment. That idea had been foreshadowed in Anderson's 1723 Constitutions; Regulation XXIII put the Grand Wardens in charge of the annual Feast. By 1760, as suggested by the publication of Three Distinct Knocks, the Wardens of a lodge had acquired miniature columns representing the pillars, J***** and B***, which they carried in processions and raised or lowered on their pedestals to indicate whether the lodge was at labour or refreshment. That procedure was apparently confirmed by the Lodge of Promulgation which paved the way for the union in 1813 of the "Modern" and "Ancient" Grand Lodges in England. Thus the raising and lowering of the Wardens' columns became sanctioned by custom and Grand Lodge approval. It is not a complicated or mysterious symbolic act; it is a simple means to indicate silently to entering Brethren the status of the lodge. Since the Junior Warden's column is erect during refreshment, logic suggests that it be similarly arranged when the lodge is closed, i.e., not at labour. Generally, however, the Wardens' columns are left just as they happen to be placed at the time of closing, except in those Jurisdictions whose official
ritual has decreed a proper positioning of the Wardens' columns at closing. This article sourced from the 1959 Short Talk Bulletin.
The Auld Lodge The auld lodge, the auld lodge, Auld, auld, though you may be, There ne'er can be a new lodge E'en half sae dear tae me, Oh soon, oh soon, ye'll be nae mair, The house I lo'ed sae dear, And naething left tae tell us then The place where once you were. Oh, weel I mind when I was young, My memory still retains O' brithers that are noo awa' Tae their lang, lanely hame. And when I think on former years, My heart seems tae get foo, Tae leave yo noo in your auld age â€” Na mair tae meet in you. But we maun leave you, auld lodge, For ane that's granner noo, Nae mair tae meet within your wa's, Nor homage pay tae you. Sae, fare you weel noo, auld lodge, Tae you I bid adieu, Till this life ends on earth below I will remember you.
Written by Bro. George Jack, D.M., of Mother Kilwinning Lodge No. 0, of Kilwinning, Scotland, in 1893, on moving into the new lodge hall.
The Keith Lodge of Peterhead No.56 The Keith lodge of Peterhead received its charter from The Grand Lodge of Scotland on the 6th February 1754, Although evidence indicates that the lodge may have been founded on the 13th April 1739 and named after the Earl Marshall - (Earl Marischal) George Keith. It is also stated that in 1740, George Gray was elected R.W.M when the lodge was first formed. According to Peter Buchan, the local historian, in his 'Annals of Peterhead' of 1819 he wrote:- "Upon this rocky island the Keith Freemasons of Peterhead, prior to the building of their lodge, used to hold their meetings, particularly when members were to be initiated into this honourable order, and introduced to the insignia of the Compass & Square." The Keith Lodge purchased a 'Feu' from the Town Superiors and thereon commenced to build a Lodge. On the Earl of Errol's Plan of a Feu in Peterhead of 1771. The Lodge is shown as a two storey building on road level. The foundations of the Lodge (the seaward wall of which is still standing today) were actually on the rocks of the foreshore a few yards from the 'High Water' mark. This building was to be the home of the Keith Lodge for the next 160 years ! Around 1761, Peterhead was rapidly becoming famous as a "watering place" and distinguished visitors from all over
Europe came to partake of the medicinal waters of the Wine Well which was located next to the old Lodge. The Freemasons built a small bath house on the West gable of the Lodge which contained one bath for the exclusive use of Gentlemen. Permission was given by the Freemasons for the daily use of a ground floor room in the Lodge for visitors and "respectable inhabitants who desired to partake of the health giving waters." In time the water or pump room in the Lodge became the rendezvous of beauty, wit and fashion. The Freemasons demolished the bath house around 1775 and the lodge was extended and reconstructed, The reconstructed building contained two baths and four dressing rooms for the gentlemen below: a ladies bath and three dressing rooms on the lower floor beside the room for drinking the water. At the same time the well was enclosed by a small stone building, with the Keith coat of arms cut in freestone over the doorway. The lodge again altered and extended their premises in 1793, 1795 & 1799 by which time there were two large warm baths, a large room for dancing, and a room for billiards, all erected by the Keith lodge. In 1816 the Keith lodge was placed number 55 on the roll of Lodges, Prior to this time the lodge held the number 412 and shared the number with the now extinct Lodge of Edinburgh from Dunfermline which held the number 411. The latter Lodge received its charter in 1739. At that time many operative lodges throughout Scotland still holding aloof and independence of the Grand Lodge, were granted the privilege of merely paying the fees of a
constitution for their Patents of Erection and Constitution. Was Keith Lodge one of those lodges? Was it placed No. 412 on the Roll of Lodges in 1739 under these circumstances? 1822 - In the Grand Lodge enumeration of this year The Keith lodge was Number 52 on the Roll of Lodges. 1826 - In the Grand Lodge enumeration of this year The Keith lodge was Number 56 on the Roll of Lodges, which it still retains today.
Prior to 1922 The Keith and St. James Lodges occupied the Old Lodge Buildings in Lodge Walk, the former occupying the downstairs premises and the latter the room above. The premises of neither lodge was very suitable, and the accommodation in view of the growing membership, was extremely limited. The Lodges Vacated their premises in Lodge Walk and took up temporary residence elsewhere until they secured their current premises in Broad street which is owned jointly by The Keith Lodge of Peterhead No. 56 & by the St. James Lodge No. 256.
At a meeting on the 5th January 1891a document came into circulation which contained a request from a number of Keith Lodge members to consider the resuscitation of the dormant St. James Lodge. The St. James Lodge was eventually reconstituted, and the nine petitioners on its charter from Grand Lodge are, the recently elected R.W.M, the Depute master, the Senior Warden, a Past Master & five other members of the Keith Lodge. A Granite plaque was placed in the remaining wall of the Lodge Building and was unveiled by brother the Rt. Hon. Lord Saltoun. The Plaque bore the inscription:" On 6th February, 1954, The occasion of their Bi-Centenary, The Freemasons of The Keith Lodge of Peterhead, No. 56, Erected this stone in the seaward wall of the old Lodge building which was built in 1759 and demolished in 1937"
The Temple today is one of the finest and most commodious Masonic buildings in the North of Scotland. The ground floor consists of the meeting hall measuring 62 Feet by 24 Feet, two large cloakrooms and the preparation room. The First and Second Floor houses the Masonic Social club and the Third Floor now lies unused, but in the past was used as a rifle range for the Peterhead Rifle Club.
This History of the Keith Lodge No.56 was extracted by the Editor from the Website of Lodge 56. Many thanks go to the Lodge for allowing me to use it in the newsletter. The full history along with pictures can be seen on their website.
Tiler or Tyler? "So he drove out the man, and he placed at the east of tale Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the wary of tee tree of life." - Gen. 4, 24. THUS DID the Lord conceal from man forever, the secrets of life. What was His purpose ? It seems to us that He replaced the original knowledge, or the Word, with curiosity - that ever-burning desire to surge ahead in the search for Light and Truth. Satisfied, man dies, but as long as the search continues he grows and lives. Dr. Albert Mackey states that "Tyler" is the "old and now obsolete spelling of the word," but a survey of Masonic publications all over the country places the use of Tiler and Tyler on about equal basis. However, the spelling of the word is of little consequence but the office, one of utmost importance, and like those of Master and Wardens "owes its existence, not to any conventional regulations but to the very landmarks of the Order." The word is derived from the operative art - "finishes and covers a building with roof (or tiles)," and so when a Lodge is duly assembled, the Tyler closes the door and covers it from intrusion. But the office of the Tiler extends far, far beyond these mere physical requirements. The California ceremony of installation cautions the Tiler in no uncertain words:
"As the sword is placed in the hands of the Tiler, to enable him to effectually guard against the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers, and suffer none to pass or repass, but such as are duly qualified, so should it admonish us to set a guard over our thoughts, a watch at our lips, and post a sentinel over our actions; thereby preventing the approach of every unworthy thought and deed, and preserving consciences void of offence toward God and man." And so the Tiler accepts the responsibility from all of us to "hele," "conceal" and "tile"; words of the same meaning with the single purpose to cherish and protect that which is precious. This charge is the poetic form and mixes symbol with implement, but could the responsibilities of the office be more inclusive and demanding. It places the office of Tiler as the most important in the Lodge when assembled. Often, too little consideration is given to the appointment to this office. A Tiler should be a brother of pleasing and gracious personality. He should be well versed in the ceremonies and etiquette of the Fraternity and practice them to the letter. In his room, decorum and quiet should reign at all times, for there under his guidance, the "first impressions" are received. Visitors judge the Lodge by their reception at the threshold, and regardless of the fine quality of the "work" or excellence of the "refreshments," that first impression goes with them when the meeting is closed. And so, how important it is that the filer should always have a sentinel posted over his every action. In the Tiler's room the visitor is challenged and examined as to his rights
to enter the Lodge. Formerly an oath was administered by the Tiler and it was therefore called the Tiler's Oath. Still administered, by a committee nominally appointed by the Master, it is the Tiler's duty to satisfy himself that the visitor is indeed a Master Mason, speaking the same language and able to pronounce the word aright. "The Book of Constitutions guarded by the Tiler's Sword" and "The Sword Pointing to a Naked Heart" are not the same words, nor is the symbology the same. Mackey, under "Sword-Tiler's," does not clarify the symbology, for he states: "In modern times the implement used by the Tiler is of the ordinary form. This is incorrect - up to a comparatively recent period it was wavy in shape made in allusion to the flaming sword which was placed at the East of the Garden of Eden" etc. And the symbology is further mixed by the statement: "without scabbard, ever ready in defense." Symbolically the Tiler's Sword is not an implement of defense, nor is the Tiler a defender. They are both "keepers" or preservers of Truth - the one, physically because of the things entrusted to his care and the other because behind its dazzling blade of light lie the great secrets of life everlasting. Man is always confused and blinded by the light of Truth and it is only after long and intimate contact that his inner eyes can penetrate the protecting veil to the beauties of the hidden "way of the tree of life." Yours is a great responsibility, brother Tiler. The sword which is placed in your
hands is not a plaything; it is a constant reminder of the duties you are expected to perform, and it should never be handled carelessly. If its symbolic meanings are clear to you, you will never grasp its blade, for that flaming part can be touched only by the heart which has been purified by its light. You will note that it was placed into your hands, not one hand. Here again we have the poetic form, for hands means in your care or keeping. ln the Holy Writings we find Paul, writing to the Christians at Ephesus, calling it "The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." And again in the Apocalypse - "I will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." These are the sword of the Tiler by which he weighs in the balance every applicant for admission to the Lodge when at work, and permits only those who are properly clad (mentally, as well as physically), and vouched for, to enter. How great, then, is his responsibility to know all the laws, rules and regulations appertaining to every Degree. At ceremonies of installation we see the sword handled in every conceivable manner. The Master of Ceremonies grasps it by the blade, places it over his arm and at once destroys the symbology. The Tiler takes it and probably gives a military salute (or something similar), and he further destroys the symbology. A sword should never be handled by the blade. That, at best, would be an act of surrender or challenge and not of presentation. Foils may be offered over the arm, for that is a challenge, but swords - NEVER!
Even when a vanquished foe "surrenders" his sword, it is delivered in the scabbard, if at all, historical inaccuracies notwithstanding to the contrary. When an officer is "stripped" he salutes with his sword, returns it to the scabbard, unfastens it from the belt and surrenders the whole thing. No one touches the blade. In this practice, even to the handling of the conventional sword, lies the deeper symbology of the Tiler's Sword. Tiler or Tyler, either is correct my brother, if you are ! This article was sourced Philalethes magazine.
Masonic Quotes “If you want to know where the future of Freemasonry will grow and prosper it's simple in the heart, in your heart, in my heart, and in the hearts of those who follow us.” “Let us endeavour so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
The Tyler’s Toast The Craftsmen’s work the day is dun’ the Brithren noo must pert. “The Tyler’s Toast” oor Maister cries, “tae warm each faithful hert.” Fur tho wur gaun oor seperit wye’s, oor bond is ever strang. Thon magic o’ the mystic tie wull draw us back er’ lang. Until then, think! Ony time ye meet a brither that’s doon upon hiz luck, Wha’s life is merked be poverty, perhaps, wi’ illness stuck. Then, “If no fur the Grace o’ Goad, A’ micht walk in his shoes, A’ winder whit a’ kin spare, tae help him mak his dues.” An’ spare a wish fur Brithers, wha, fae nae faut o’ thur ain, Micht fund themsels in foreign lands, an’ labourin’ alane. Thit yince the day wull come, when they dinnae need tae roam, May each enjoy a swift n’ happy journey tae thur home. Lang may oor Ludges welcome Brithers, travellin’ tae the East, An’ may oor secrets guide guid herts, until each sowl’s release Tae wing its wye Heav’nwurd, these hertfelt wurds ingrain, Wur happy tae meet, wur sorry tae pert bit wur happy tae meet again. In February I received an email from one of readers, asking if I knew of a tyler’s toast in’Auld Scots,’as a Brother from a London Lodge was asked if he could recite one. I didn’t know of one, but I took an old tyler’s toast and converted it for him. The result is above, the editor. Does anyone out there know of one?
money and the children need shoes, and this mistaken brother is spending his money on horse racing when he ought to be spending it on his family. The boy knew me and knew his father belonged to the fraternity. So he asked me to use the influence of Masonry to make him behave. That's what I am going to do." "You grow more interesting every minute." The Old Tiler hitched his chair against the wall and leaned back. "Tell me what you are going to do in the performance of this important Masonic mission." "I am going to explain to Brother Smith that his conduct is unbecoming that of a Mason, and to get him to reform."
Shooting the Masonic Gun "Going so soon?" asked the Old Tiler, as the New Brother reached for his hat and coat. "I have a most important Masonic mission to perform," answered the New Brother, importantly. "That's interesting," answered the Old Tiler. "I like to see new brethren so interested they are trusted with important Masonic missions. Care to tell me about it?" "It can wait a few minutes," answered the New Brother. "It's a family matter. The young son of one of the members of our sister lodge came to me today to explain that his father wasn't doing right. He doesn't give the mother any
"And if he refuses?" "I shall then threaten him with proceedings against him." "Such as?" inquired the Old Tiler. "Why, one prefers charges, doesn't one? The lodge tries him and inflicts what punishment is necessary. In this case the punishment would be to support his family!" "And while you are thus engaging in conduct unbecoming a Mason, explaining to him how unbecoming his conduct is, who will come and explain your unbecoming conduct to you?" "My unbecoming conduct! Why, I am going to do nothing unbecoming a Mason!" "Oh, yes, you are!" answered the Old Tiler, emphatically. "In fact, you are trying to do several un-Masonic things all at once. Even with the best of intentions, for which I give you credit, you can't succeed in getting any results
but being shown the door, and, maybe, having charges preferred against you!" "Why, you amaze me!" countered the New Brother. "I thought that one of the things Masonry was for was to make men act as they should!" "You thought wrong!" answered the Old Tiler, "Masonry exists to *teach* men to act as they should, *persuade* them to do right, *encourage* them to be honest and upright, and thoughtful and kindly. But Masonry *makes* no man do as he should. Masonry does not attempt to usurp the law's work. A man who will not support his family can be reached through the law. Masonry can reach him only through his heart. Charges can be preferred against him in his lodge, but with small prospects of results unless the law has first found him guilty. Masons try Masons for unMasonic conduct. If the un-Masonic conduct is a legal matter, the law usually must first have taken its course. It is not for us to judge the legal aspects of his conduct, only the Masonic angles. And if he can say, 'I have done nothing; I am free before the law; my record is clear;' on what will you convict him?" "Again, my friend, if this mission of yours is to be performed at all, it must be accomplished by the lodge, not the individual. If the brother were a member of this lodge, and son or wife complained to the Master about a brother's conduct, the Master could appoint a committee to investigate and report to the lodge. But for you, an individual, to go butting into the family affairs of a man not even a brother of your own lodge, would be to subject
you to insult. Personally, I think he would be justified in adding to his insults a swift kick which would land you in the middle of the pavement. He would well say he kicked you in defense of his family! "The way to reach this brother, supposing he is doing the wrong thing, is through Masons he knows and respects. Let the son or wife go to the Master of his own lodge and say that the man is neglecting them. Let the Master of that lodge reason with him. Perhaps he needs help. The lodge will give it. Perhaps he is slipping for want of a friendly hand and sympathetic understanding. His own brethren will give it. It is not for you, any more than it is for them, to judge this man on one complaint until an investigation has shown what is the fact. "You have no moral, legal, or fraternal right to 'whisper good counsel in his ear' until you know it is needed. By arrogating to yourself the powers of a Master and appointing yourself a committee of one to investigate, try, convict, admonish, and threaten with punishment a brother Master Mason, however good your intentions, you show yourself guilty of un-Masonic conduct and a decidedly un-Masonic ignorance. Where are you going now?" "Back into the lodge!" The New Brother hung up his hat. "To see if I can learn something about this Masonic gun before I attempt to fire it!" This is the thirteenth article in this regular feature, â€˜The Old Tiler Talks,â€™ each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy
More honourable than the Order of the Garter Edward III was King of England for half a century from 1327 to 1377. It was the time of the Black Plague and the early years of the Hundred Years War. Edward was the father of 12 legitimate children, the first of whom was the Legendary Black Prince, born in 1330. Another son was John of Gaunt, father of Henry IV. Edward was only 25 when he started what turned out to become the Hundred Years War. He was over 6 feet tall, lithe and athletic. With his red-gold hair and beard, he was said to have the presence of the God of War.
dedicated, for it was called the Order of St. George of the Garter Popular tradition tells us that the motto of the Order, "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense," derives from this story: At court, Edward had picked up a garter from the floor that had fallen from the stocking of the Countess of Salisbury, a fabulous beauty with whom he was said to have been in love. To save her from embarrassment, he put it on his own hose. When his companions began to laugh and jeer, the king said that in a little while the same garter would be held in the highest esteem. As the king tied the garter around his own leg, he said, "Honi soit qui mal y pense" - shame on him who thinks ill of it.
On St. George's Day, April 23, 1348, Edward caused a great feast to be held at Windsor Castle, where he established a chantry of 12 priests and set up a hostel for impoverished knights who could not support themselves as knights. Others promised their support for this foundation. These included the Black Prince and several earls. All were true gentlemen blessed with great wealth. Including the king, there were 26 founding members of the new order. All these men were dressed in robes of russet and wore garters of blue on their right legs. Blue mantles embroidered with the arms of St. George completed the robes of the order. After a great and highly formal ceremony, they attended the feast where they all ate at a common table in honour of the blessed martyr to whom this noble brotherhood was
In the 17th century, Elias Ashmole suggested that the motto referred to Edward's claim to be the rightful ruler across the Channel. The colour of the Order is blue lined with gold - the colours of France. Sourced from El Camino Research Lodge.
Famous Freemasons Arthur Conan Doyle In Beeton's Christmas Annual of 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle presented to the public A Study in Scarlet, his first Sherlock Holmes story. From this beginning there followed fifty-six short stories and three novels with Sherlock Holmes and his 'Boswell,' John H. Watson, M.D., as the principal characters. From the 'canon', as the short stories and novels are referred to by Sherlockians, there have emerged 'writings upon writings' upon every topic imaginable, including references to Freemasonry. Arthur Charles Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 at Picardy Place, Edinburgh, the son of Charles Doyle and Mary Foley. He was the first in a family which included three sisters and a brother. The father, Charles Doyle, was a civil servant and an artist who was unworldly and impracticable, and his family suffered because of it. His mother was the guiding force in the family and in Conan Doyle's life. Of his boyhood, Conan Doyle recalls that it was spartan. At the age of I0 he was sent to Hodder, where boys were prepared for entry to Stonyhurst, a prominent public school in Lancashire. When he was ready to pursue his higher education it was decided that he should enter medical school at Edinburgh University. He entered in 1876 and graduated with the degree of Bachelor
of Medicine in 1881. As part of his medical studies, he spent seven months as surgeon on the whaling ship Hope in the Arctic in 1880. After taking his medical degree Doyle sailed to South Africa for four months as ship's doctor on board the Mayumba. Conan Doyle married Louise Hawkins in 1885. From that union were born two children. His wife, whom he called 'Touie' died of tuberculosis in 1906 after a thirteen-year illness and despite recuperative treatment at several locations. In 1907, he married Jean Leckie and there were three children of that marriage. Conan Doyle is reported to have been able to write his stories in a variety of situations and circumstances, for example, while riding on a train or in a room full of people, and his handwritten manuscripts indicate that they required very little revision. Although he is best-known for the Holmes canon, Conan Doyle considered himself to be an historical novelist and that is where his primary interest lay. Among many such works from his pen were Micah Clark, The Firm of Girdlestone, The White Company, and The Refugees. He also wrote many short stories, including those about Brigadier Gerard and Sir Nigel and others on the themes of mystery and terror. There is a further collection entitled Round the Red Lamp which relates to his medical practice and The Stark Munro Letters which are autobiographical in character. But his real autobiography was Memories and Ad ventures.
He was quite irritated that his detective stories received more attention than his other work. In 1923 he wrote: 'I believe that if I had never touched Holmes, who tended to obscure my higher work, my position in literature would at the present moment be a more commanding one.' Indeed Conan Doyle became so disenchanted with Sherlock Holmes that in 'The Final Problem', written in 1893, Holmes was killed in a fall over the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland while in deadly combat with Professor Moriarty, the 'Napoleon' of crime and his archenemy. Holmes's death dismayed readers so much that letters of complaint poured in. In one, a lady addressed the author as 'you brute' and even his mother begged him not to kill Holmes. Some men wore black armbands in mourning! In 1903, Holmes was restored to life in 'The Adventure of the Empty House'. From August 1901 to April 1902, The Hound of the Baskervilles appeared in serial form in The Strand Magazine, but Conan Doyle remained adamant that Holmes was dead and this was a previously unchronicled case. He was also a prolific writer on various topics of current interest and wrote innumerable letters to the Press. He was responsible for introducing downhill skiing into Switzerland, the introduction of metal helmets for combat soldiers and the inflatable life-preserver for sailors. He was also an energetic champion of divorce reform and was one of the first proponents of a tunnel connecting England and France. Although he was too old for active service in World War 1, he was actively
engaged in the war effort on the home front and wrote and spoke about the hostilities. Arthur Conan Doyle was initiated on 26 January 1887 at the age of 27, passed on 23 February 1887 and raised on 23 March 1887 in Phoenix Lodge No. 257, Southsea, Hampshire. He resigned in 1889 and rejoined in 1902 but finally withdrew in 1911 without having made further progress in the Craft. The records of the United Grand Lodge of England contain no indication of his having affiliated with any other lodge. The October 1901 edition of Masonic Illustrated, page 29, indicates that Conan Doyle attended a lodge at Bloemfontein with Rudyard Kipling during the Boer War. Upon his return home in the same year he was made an honorary member of The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary' s Chapel) No. I in Edinburgh. This membership was conferred upon him when he accepted an invitation to speak at a Bums' Night Dinner. In this speech he confirmed the many reports which had been received of the value of Freemasonry on the battlefield. Prisoners on both sides, when found to be freemasons, were invariably treated with more courtesy and consideration than would otherwise have been the case. We will use two examples of references to Freemasonry in Conan Doyle's work: THE ADVENTURE OF THE MUSGRAVE RITUAL (The Strand, 1893)
Reginald Musgrave, an acquaintance of Holmes, asked him to apply 'those powers with which you used to amaze us' to something strange and inexplicable in his ancestral home in Sussex. The butler who had been given his notice of dismissal for prying into family affairs had disappeared without a trace and Holmes was retained to find him. During the investigation Holmes took possession of a ritual which had been in the Musgrave family for generations. He used it to locate both the missing butler and an ancient crown of the King of England (Charles 1). The document which Holmes took into his possession was described by its owner as 'the strange catechism to which each Musgrave had to .submit when he came to man's estate'. He read out the questions and answers: Whose was it? His who is gone. Who shall have it? He who will come. Where was the sun? Over the oak. Where was the shadow? Under the elm. How was it stepped? North by ten and by ten, east by five and by five, south by two and by two, west by one and by one, and so under. What shall we give for it? All that is ours. Why should we give it? For the sake of the trust. Professor Jay MacPherson of the University of Toronto is of the opinion that this catechism had its origins in Freemasonry. Barrett G. Potter, in his
'Sherlock Holmes and the Masonic Connection' also believes that the ritual had its roots in masonic catechisms used for the instruction of the brethren. THE VALLEY OF FEAR (The Strand, 1914) This full-length novel was written by Conan Doyle three years after he resigned his membership of Phoenix Lodge. In it Holmes was called in to investigate the death of John Douglas and his wife at Birlstone Manor, Sussex. Among the clues were a card with the symbol V.V.341 scrawled upon it and a brand mark on the deceased's arm. The V.V.341 referred to the Ancient Order of Freemen, the 'Scowrers' of Vemmissa Lodge No. 341. In the course of the story lodge proceedings are discussed and the following ensues with reference to Birdy Edwards (alias John McMurdo): 'John McMurdo', said the voice, 'are you already a member of the Ancient Order of Freemen?' He bowed in assent. 'Is your lodge No. 29, Chicago?' He bowed again. "Dark nights are unpleasant', said the voice. 'Yes, for answered.
'The clouds are heavy.'
'Yes, a storm is approaching.' 'Are the brethren satisfied?' asked the Bodymaster. There was a general murmur of assent. 'We know, Brother, by your sign and by your countersign that you are indeed one of us', said McGinty. 'We would have you know, however, that in this country and in other countries of these parts we have certain rites, and also certain duties of our own which call for good men. Are you ready to be tested'?' This is a catechism somewhat similar to that in 'The Musgrave Ritual'. Other stories with Masonic references are: A STUDY IN SCARLET ( 1887) A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA (The Str (md, 1891) THE ADVENTURES OF THE REDHEADED LEAGUE (The Strand, 1891 ) THE STOCKBROKERS CLERK (The Strand, 1893) THE ADVENTURE OF THE YELLOW FACE (The Strand, 1893) THE ADVENTURE OF THE NORWOOD BUILDER (The Strand, 1903) THE ADVENTURE OF THE RETIRED COLOURMAN (The Strand, 1927)
The name Sherlock Holmes conjures up images of Victorian England, swirling fog and a tall thin detective with a deerstalker hat, magnifying glass and a pipe with a curved stem. For Sherlockians he lives and their writings have produced voluminous comments upon the man. Vincent Starrett, a leading Sherlockian, in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, observed that 'The existence of Sherlock Holmes is, however, something more than a matter of mere faith. That he emerged from the pages of a book may be a concern for scholarly regard, but it can hardly be denied that he has taken his place in the living world.' It is reported that the French General Humbert, famous in World War 1, asked of Conan Doyle: 'Sherlock Holmes, est-ce qu'il est un soldat dans l'arme'e anglaise?' [Is Sherlock Holmes a soldier in the English army?] There was an embarrassing moment and then Doyle replied: 'Mais, mon gene'ral, il est trop vieux pour le service' [But, General, he is too old for active service]. Conan Doyle died on 7 July 1930 at Crowborough in Sussex and was buried in the garden of the family home at Windlesham in Surrey. The headstone was of British oak and is inscribed only with his name, his date of birth and the four words 'Steel True, Blade Straight.' Eighteen years earlier, without realizing it, he had written his own epitaph: 'I have wrought my simple plan, if I give one hour of joy to the boy who's half a man or the man who's half a boy. This article came from the Masonic Trowel.
The term ‘mystery’ can be seen in many document and records of masonry and other crafts and guilds, but this does not always imply secrecy. In earlier times any trade was ‘an art and mystery’, not because the craft secrets may have been communicated to them by any particular mode of recognition, but merely because of the language which was brought to England by William the Conqueror. Any trade or calling was termed a ‘mestiere’, - and can still be found in the Oxford dictionary as metier. Therefore when ancient writings termed masonry a ‘mystery’ it does not mean that masons of the time possessed any particular secrets, but it does mean that masonry was a trade or a craft. In the Address to the Brethren at the end of the Installation ceremony reference is made to “the tenets of our profession”. In 1508 there was a dispute that was referred to “the maisters of the mystery or craft of Masons”. It is easy to see that a word implying nothing more than a craft came to mean a secret craft and just as a trade keeps its secrets from the public gaze so the senior workers in that trade would tend to keep their secrets from the juniors until such time as it was thought expedient to communicate them. Besides Masons, other fraternities and Guilds had Deacons, Wardens, Masters and a ‘Box Meister’ – known today as Treasurers -. Hidden away within some of the craft or guild mysteries was sometimes a religious mystery or ‘secret cell’, which might attract a double meaning. The word – ‘mystery’ was, as far as the church is concerned, means, “to close the lips”. The Pope when making a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church closes his lips to remind him of the discretion required of his office and later opens then to indicate the fearlessness in proclaiming truth and justice. The Obligation taken by the Initiate closes his lips but not in the same way, there is absolutely no suggestion that these are connected. Freemasonry is not a secret society. Instead it is a society with private modes of recognition between its members, a distinctive difference. Other ‘secrets’ are the lawful secrets of a brother entrusted to us as brethren, which may be entrusted to us. Freemasonry makes no secret of the principles it teaches, since we publish names of Members and officials and the details of out Constitution. There are ritual books, which collectively disclose our modes of recognition for any serious researcher to see. Sourced from Why? ‘Coming to Terms with Freemasonry’ by Bro. John Cane PPG Supt Wks (Surrey)
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.
Published on May 31, 2012