ROYAL ORDER OF SCOTLAND
SCOTLAND is a country which possesses a romantic history, and is rich in legendary
lore, and both romance and legend are found in the story of the ROYAL ORDER OF
SCOTLAND, the most popular of the added degrees worked by the Craft. It was difficult
to obtain any reliable information as to its true history till D. Murray Lyon, Grand
Secretary of Scotland, in his History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, gave, in 1873, a sketch
of the order. It embraces two degrees, one the "Heredom of Kilwinning," which,
according to one fable, was founded in the time of David I. of Scotland; the other, "The
Rosy Cross," which, according to another fable, was instituted by King Robert Bruce as
a reward for the aid given to him by some Templars who fought on his side at
Bannockburn. As the Order of the Templars had been suppressed by Papal Bulls in
1312, some late members may have been present in Bruce's army in 1314, but we must
always remember that, to quote Lyon's remark, "the fabulous stories about the early
origin and royal patronage of the Royal Order must be taken for what they are worth,
which, to those who value accuracy, means notating." The fable that the Hautes
Grades had their source in the "Mother Lodge, Kilwinning, is totally erroneous and
based on ignorance or fraud, for that ancient lodge, as is shown by its records, never
warranted or worked any degrees beyond the well-known " three degrees." It is true
that the "Mother Kilwinning" did, in 1779, grant to some Masons in Dublin authority to
form a regular lodge or society, and that the lodge so formed assumed the title of "High
Knights Templars of Ireland, Kilwinning Lodge;" but all the evidence collected by Lyon
and the Masonic historian, W.J. Hughan, proves that the Mother Kilwinning never
claimed any authority beyond the three degrees, and is neither more nor less than a
regular Masonic lodge, and that the ceremony was unknown prior to the last century. In
fact, when the Dublin Brethren, after conferring, in 1782, Royal Arch, Knight Templar,
and Rose Croix degrees, petitioned the Mother Lodge for documents to establish
beyond doubt the "authority and regularity of their warrant as High Knights Templars,"
the request was never granted, because impossible. Moreover, the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, instituted in 1736, never officially countenanced any degrees beyond that of
Master Mason, and has repeatedly objected to lending any support to ceremonies
worked by authority of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland. The Grand
Lodge, although toleration has succeeded to opposition, still recognizes only three
degrees, the only change being the adoption of the Mark as a portion of the Fellow-
Craft degree. As regards the claim that the "Mother Kilwinning" possessed other
degrees of Masonry, careful examination shows that it is utterly baseless, and devoid of
any corroborative evidence.
There is no authority for the statement of Dr. Arnot that the Royal Order is so called
because it is "the highest and most sublime degree in Masonry." He likewise stated that
the "Rose Croix was got up by the adherents of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, and only
received the name of Rose Croix (a translation of the R.S.Y.C.S. Of the Royal Order) in
1746 or 1747. It was intended to be a Roman Catholic version, or rather perversion, of
the Royal Order, this last being deemed for the French too bigoted; in other words, it
was too purely religious and Protestant, although it is Christianity which it really
promulgates." The Royal Order in France is said to have been established by the
Pretender Charles Edward Stuart, and to be sanctioned by the Grand Orient under the
title of Rose Croix de Heredom de Kilwinning, and Dr. Arnot states that the Lodge of
Constance at Arras preserves the original Charter signed by the Prince in 1747. Bro.
Hughan, in his valuable history, informs us that he possesses a catalogue of books
advertised for sale in Paris in 1860, in which the following extract occurs.
" 9. Charles Edward Stuart, roy d'Angleterre, de France, d'Ecosse et d'Irlande . . .
voulant temoigner aux macons artesiens combien nous sommes reconnaissant envers
eux des preuves de bienfaisance qu'ils nous ont prodigues, etc., creons et erigeons par
la presente bulle en la dite ville d'Arras un souv. chap. primatial de R.C.X., sous le titre
distinctif d' Ecosse Jacobite, qui serra regi par les chevaliers Lagneau, de Robespierre,
avocats. An de l'incarnation 5745."
A note is appended that "Le document authentique, sur VELIN, est revetu du grand
sceau, de sept timbres et d'un grand nombre de signatures. C'est l'expedition originale
pour le chapitre metropolitan de Paris."
The date, 5745, on this authentic document must be wrong, as that year, the era of the
Incarnation, is still some four thousand years away, and if it is an error for Anno Mundi,
it may be remarked that Charles Edward Stuart did not succeed to the empty titles
enumerated above till the death of his father in 1766. All trace, however, of these
documents escaped the research of such a diligent inquirer as Bro. Hughan, who
comes to the conclusion that it is an error to connect the Royal Order with the Rose
Croix, as the ceremonies differ essentially, the former possessing a very peculiar and
quaintly rhythmic ritual.
With regard to the name Heredom of Kilwinning, many derivations of the word have
been given. Some give it a Greek origin and interpret it as Holy House, others go to the
Hebrew, and, as it is plural in form, translate it by "Rulers," others derive it from
"Heroden, a mountain in Scotland," without assigning any reason; Bro. Hughan takes
the safe course of concluding that as the rituals of both degrees do not reveal the
secret, the subject can not be definitely decided one way or another. The word occurs
under the form Harodim as well as Heredom, the latter seeming to be a Saxon term of
the same form as Kingdom, which might be represented in modern German by
Herrthum or Heerthum.
The earliest records, strangely enough, relate to England, not to Scotland, as may be
seen from the following list of regular chapo ters, according to seniority:
Seniority. List, etc. Date.
1. Grand Lodge at the Thistle and Crown,Chandos Street. . Time Immemorial.
2. Grand Chapter at the Thistle and Crown, Chandos Street. "
3. Coach and Horses, Welbeck Street "
4. White Boar's Head, Exeter Road "
5. Golden Horse Shoe, in Cannon Street, Southwark December 11, 1743.
6. The Griffin, in Deptford, in Kent December 20, 1774;
7. Grand Chapter at The Hague, empowered to act as
Grand Lodge July 22, 1750.
8. October 12,1752
9. (1) Grand Chapter at Rouen in Normandy, empowered
to act as a Grand Lodge May 1, 1782.
10. (2) Choix A Paris October 4, 1786.
11. (3) Strasburg January 4,1787.
12. (4) L'Union Lavall January 4, 1787.
13. (5) October 4, 1787.
14. (6) Grand Lodge, Chambery April 4,1788.
15. (7) Grand Chapter at Chambery in Saxony, empowered
to act as a Grand Lodge in the Dominion of
King of Sardinia April 4,1788.
16. (8) At Martinique (?) July 4, __
17. (9) At St. Domingo July 4, __
18. (10) At Brest July 4, __
Here we find in London a Grand Lodge and a Grand Chapter, evidently the governing
body of the order; two other subordinate bodies also described as " immemorial." and
two, Nos. 5 and 6, of an earlier date than the Scottish Grand Ledge of Edinburgh which
was originally No. 7 on the above list, the Grand Chapter at The Hague. The record-
book gotten up for "The Brethren of H.R.D.M., belonging to the Hague," is stated to
belong to the Grand Chapter termed the "Grand Lodge of the Royal Order at Edinburgh
constituted July 22, 1750." Other records show that the Royal Order of Scotland (in
England) existed much earlier than any of the other degrees in the United Kingdom
except the "first three." The Royal Arch is alluded to in print in 1744, but is not again
mentioned till 1752, and the minutes do not begin till ten years later. In both, the
evidence of the existence and activity of the Royal Order during the early part of the
last century gives it a position superior to ail additional degrees, and thus it can claim a
very respectable antiquity. The notion that it was fabricated by the Chevalier Ramsey
has been perfectly refuted by Bro. Gould in his history, and may be dismissed from
consideration. Bro. Lyon seems to incline to the opinion that it is not of Scotch origin,
alleging the fact that certain privileges were allowed to No. 7 in the list of chapters "on
an acknowledgment once a year to the Grand Lodge from whom it derived its title at a
quarterly Grand Lodge meeting which is always held at London on the fifth Sunday in
the months having so many," and arguing therefrom that a body of Scotch origin would
not so far desert its religious principles as to hold constitutional meetings on the
Sunday. There is evidence, however, that in England "Masters' " lodges did meet on
Sunday. To sum up the whole matter in the words of Brother Hughan, "we cannot get
farther back than the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter in London with three
subordinates of 'time immemorial antiquity (so called), and the first dated constitution of
December 11, 1743."
With regard to the first offshoot of the London Grand Lodge (No. 7 in the list of
chapters given above), doubts arose respecting the meaning of the contraction is
Prov." in the signature of the Charter constituting the new lodge. Scotland had for a
long series of years been in very close relation with the United Provinces of the
Netherlands. In 1444 a contract was made between the royal burghers of Scotland and
the latter power by which Scotch traders were freed from several duties and governed
by the law of Scotland. Among the Scots residing in Holland at the beginning of the
18th century was William Mitchell, a teacher of languages. It is stated that he had been
admitted to the Royal Order in France in 1749, and in London in 1750. In this latter
year Mitchell and a Brother, Jonas Kluck, of the Netherlands, presented a petition to
the Pro. G. M. in South Britain, asking the London Grand Lodge for authority to enable
them and other residents at The Hague to found a Prov. Grand Lodge there. The
petition was duly granted, and Brother William Mitchell was appointed Prov. G. M., and
the Prov. Grand Lodge was duly constituted at London, July 22, 1750. The official
register is as follows:
"I did this day attend at the house of Brother Louis, S.N.C.R.T.Y., the sign of the
Golden Horse Shoe, in Cannon Street, in Southwark, and did then and there constitute
the following brethren residing at The Hague into a regular Chapter in full form, and did
constitute and appoint our Right Worshipful and highly honored Brother William M
itchell, known and distinguished among the Brethren of the Order by the sublime title
and characteristic F.D.L.T.Y., and Knight of the R.Y.C.S., etc., T.R.S.T.A., by delivering
the patent, etc., in due form, as usual, for the constitution of Chapters in foreign parts,
and did, by virtue of my authority, exchange his characteristic, etc., for that of R.L.F."
The place mentioned, the Golden Horse Shoe, was the house where the No. 5 chapters
and lodges were accustomed to assemble. The seal on the diploma appointing Brother
Mitchell Prov. G. M. has been destroyed, but that on the Charter of the Prov. Grand
Lodge and Chapter exists. The design represents a bridge of five arches, and above it
is displayed the letter Z. and recalls to mind the bridge with the letters L.O.P., well
known to members of the 16th Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite." The difficulty,
as we have said, is connected with the signature. The presiding officer signed by his
characteristic, and as may be seen in the fac-simile in Lyon's history the words " Provl.
Grad. Masr." stand above, and the words "In. So. B." below, the seal. Does the
contraction Provl. mean "Provincial" or "Provisional?" If the former meaning is assigned
to it, it is difficult to see how it could be applied to the President of the original Grand
Lodge and Grand Chapter, and therefore it is safer to assume that it means
"Provisional" and that the President for the time being was Grand Master pro tempore.
The Royal Order, it may here be added, has always been and still is Christian in
character, and the following prayer resembles, in its opening lines, the Old Charges of
the Freemasons of the 16th century before they were changed and adopted as the
"The might of the Blessed Father of Heaven, the wisdom of His Glorious Son, and the
fellowship of the Holy Ghost, being the glorious and undivided Trinity, three persons in
one God, be with us at this our beginning, and so guide and govern our actions in this
life, that at the final conflagration, when the world, and all things therein, shall be
destroyed, we may be received with joy and gladness into eternal happiness, in that
Glorious, Everlasting, Heavenly Kingdom, which shall never have an end."
The regular minutes of the Royal Order at Edinburgh date from October 31, 1766.
Down to 1763 the register contains only fifteen names, including Brother Mitchell, but
between that date and the commencement of the regular minutes fifty were admitted,
and it is recorded in the minutes of July 28, 1769, that "after much trouble and a great
deal of expense they had been able to revive and establish the Ancient Order of Scots
Masonry in the metropolis of their native country, which would be attested by several
members of the Honorable Council." In the same year by permission of the Provost and
Baillies of the city, a room was fitted up at the expense of the Grand Lodge, in a
"centrical" situation. From the commencement of those regular minutes the sequence of
the high officials can be traced. Down to July 4, 1776, Brother William Mitchell was the
Grand Master or Governor of the "Royal Order." He was succeeded by Brother Jas.
"Secresy " Kerr. He resigned in 1776, and was succeeded by Brother William "Honor"
Baillie, Advocate (afterward Lord Polkemmet). When he resigned in 1778, Brother
William Charles "Eloquence" Little, Advocate, succeeded him. The chair of Deputy
Grand Master was filled in 1786 by Brother William "Worship" Mason, who was
admitted to the degree at Edinburgh A.D. 1754. When he resigned in 1789 there was
elected Dr. Thomas "Activity" Hay, who died in 1816. In 1805 he was Grand Master, but
there does not appear to have been any minutes recorded from that date to 1813.
During the period from 1770 to 1780 the office of Deputy Grand Master was filled by
General Oughton, Brother Little, the Earl of Leven, and Lord Westhall. Of the four of
these high officials, three were Grand Masters of Scotland, showing that at this period
the Craft showed great favor to the Royal Order. But as may be seen from the fact that
no minutes were made between 1805 and 1813, the order was becoming dormant, and
it continued so in Scotland till the revival in 1839.
Abroad, the Royal Order spread and flourished. In Brother Hughan's catalogue of
books mentioned in the preceding page, there is the entry: "No. 945, of the year 1808,
"Tableau general des officiers et membres, composant le R. chapitre du grand et
sublime ordre de H-d-m de Kilwinning, sous le titre distinctif du Chozx, constitute par la
grande loge de l'ordre seante a Edinbourg, le 4 Octobre, 1786. Sous les auspices de
Mgr. Ie Prince de Cambaceres, grand maltre d'honneur en France."
Nos. 946 and 953 contain "tableaux" of the officers of the foregoing, of November 30,
1808, and A.D. 1810, the latter having another list " du meme ordre seant a Rouen,"
1810, in the same volume.
Prince Cambaceres, Arch Chancellor of the French Empire, was succeeded in his
office of Provincial Grand Master by the head of the Ducal house of Choiseul.
The above-mentioned Charter, for the Chapter de Choix, from the Grand Lodge of
Edinburgh in 1786, was addressed to Nicholas Chadouille, Avocat en Parlament, and
other Brethren. A few months previously a Charter dated Edinburgh, May 1, 1786, had
established a Provincial Grand Lodge of Heredom of Kilwinning, constituting John
Matthews, a merchant of Rouen, Provincial Chief, with powers to disseminate the order.
Both these documents are signed by William Charles Little, Deputy Grand Master,
William Mason, and William Gibb. To commemorate the event the Chapter du Choix
struck a medal which is engraved in the Tresor Numismatique Napoldon. It represents
between a draw-bridge open, sinister and a ladder dexter, a tower enbattled supporting
a pillar on which is an open book. On the front of the tower are two square stones, one
exhibiting the square and compasses, the other the letter R. The medal is inscribed
with the following legend:
Obverse, L ORDRE DE H-D-M. INTRODUIT EN FR. PAR J. MATHEUS, G. M. P.,
" Reverse, in eleven lines, (1) T-R-S-T-A. N. CHADOUILLE, 1786. (2) T-R-S-T-A. L.T.
DORBAN, 1789. (3) T-R-S-T-A. A.C. DURIN, 1806. (4) T-R-S-T-A. C. A. THORY,
1807. DEPUTE T-R-S-T-A. J. P. ROUYER.
In exergue, in three lines, the last curving, CHAP.'. DE H-D-M. Du CHOIX A PARIS,
1809, JALEY FECIT L.'. A-P-HT-N."
Jaley being the artist's name. The Medal is of copper.
A short time after the establishment of the order in France, a Provincial Grand Master
was appointed for Spain, Mr. James Gordon, a merchant of Xeres de la Frontera,
whose commission was signed by Deputy Grand Master Dr. Thomas Hay, and Messrs.
Charles Moor and John Brown. The Provincial Grand Lodge in France had jurisdiction
over twenty-six Chapters of Heredom, including some in Belgium and Italy, but as
fourteen of these chapters were not ratified by the Grand Lodge of Edinburgh from
January 10, 1809, to October 4, 1811, they may have been irregular.
Coming down to our own times, we find that the following Provincial Grand Lodges and
Chapters have been authorized during the last half century. Those in italics are
The Netherlands, at Amsterdam July 4, 1843.
Eastern Provinces, at Calcutta, India July 4, 1845.
North of France 1847.
Sweden and Norway Jan. 5, 1852.
New Brunswick, at St. John ?
Province of Quebec ?
Glasgow and Neighboring Counties or Isles Jan. 4, 1859.
London (and "Royal Bruce" Chapter) 1872.
Western India, at Bombay ?
China, at Shanghai ?
United States, at Washington, D. C. Oct. 4, 1877.
Lancashire and Cheshire, at Manchester ?
County of Yorkshire, at York 1886.
South-east Africa, at Durban ?
ROYAL ORDER IN THE UNITED STATES.
As early as 1752 a chapter was formed in Virginia, but seems soon to have ceased all
activity. We must come down to the year 1877 for the foundation of the Provincial
Grand Lodge in the United States. The Warrant signed at Edinburgh October 4, 1877,
is as follows:
CHARTER FOR ROYAL ORDER IN THE UNITED STATES.
IN THE NAME OF THE HOLY AND UNDIVIDED TRINITY.
We, Sir John Whyte, W. D. M., President of the Judges and Council of the Great
S.N.D.R.M.: Warder of the T.W.R. of R.F.R.S.M.N.T.: Deputy Grand Master and
Governor of the High and Honourable Orders of H.R.M. of K.L.W.N.G. and the
R.S.Y.C.S.: Sir Alexander, S.T.N.T.H., Senior Grand Warden, Sir William, B.T.Y.,
Junior Grand Warden, and the Remanent Knights Companions of the Royal Order of
R.S.Y.C.S. in Grand Lodge assembled -
Sir Albert V.G.R. (Pike), Knight of the Order of the R.S.Y.C.S., send greeting in God
By virtue of the authority vested in US from time immemorial WE do hereby grant unto
you and the rest of the Right Worthy and Worshipful Brethren of the Royal Order of
H.R.M. and of the R.S.Y.C.S. in the United States of America, full power, warrant and
authority to hold a Chapter of the order of H.R.M. in WASHINTON, or elsewhere within
the United States of America, so long as you and they shall behave becometh as
Worthy Brethren of the said Order, or until the powers hereby conferred shall be
withdrawn, which the Grand Lodge of our Order reserves full power and authority to do
when they consider proper, with full power to you to remove the same from place to
place, but always within the United States of America, as occasion shall offer for the
good and glory of the Order, you and they conforming to the laws and regulations of the
Grand Lodge transmitted to you now or afterwards, and we do hereby appoint you
T.R.S.T.A. of the said Chapter and grant you full power, warrant and authority to
appoint proper officers to assist you therein, viz.: a Deputy T.R.S.T.A., a Senior
Guardian, a Junior Guardian, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Marischal, a Deputy
Marischal, and a Guarder, who shall act as Examiner and Introducer.
AND FURTHER, know you that for the good and promotion of the Order of H.R.M. in
general we do hereby empower you to form a PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE of the
said Order, and to nominate, constitute and appoint you, the said Sir Albert V.G.R., to
preside and rule over and govern the same and the Brethren thereunto belonging, so
long as you shall act conformably to the Laws and Rules of our Grand Lodge, and so
long as this Charter and the powers therein conferred shall continue unrecalled, and
we do hereby authorize, empower and charge you to take upon yourself, the title of
PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER of the Order of H.R.M. for the United States of
America, being the Province hereby placed under your superintendence; and we do
hereby grant you full power, warrant and authority to appoint proper officers to assist
you in the high office hereby on you conferred, to consist of the following number and
denominations: one Deputy Provincial Grand Master, a Senior Provincial Grand
Warden, a Junior Provincial Grand Warden, a Provincial Grand Sword-bearer, a
Provincial Grand Secretary, a Provincial Grand Treasurer, two Provincial Grand
Marischals, a Senior Provincial Grand Steward, and three other Provincial Grand
Stewards, and a Provincial Grand Guarder.
AND FURTHER BE IT KNOWN to all and every one of the Brethren that we hereby
invest you with full power, warrant and authority to appoint such persons to be your
officers as you shall think are most proper and fit for each respective post either in your
Chapter or Provincial Grand Lodge, without consulting or asking the consent or
approbation of any Brother of the Order whatsoever, unless of your own free will you
shall think proper to pay such compliment, which we deem expedient and therefore
AND FURTHER, we hereby invest you with full power, warrant and authority to depose
or displace from his or their offices any officer or officers, who have been guilty of
improper conduct or dignity to your Worship, or to fine, mulct or amerce them, or any of
them, for the same, without being obliged to bring them to a formal trial, or asking the
consent or approbation of the Brethren for so doing, unless you shall of your own free
will think proper so to do. But be it also known that if it shall appear to your Provincial
Grand Lodge to be for the good of the Order in your Province that you should
relinquish, or restrict your privilege of appointing or displacing your office-bearers,
either in your Chapter or Provincial Grand Lodge, or in both, and if you see proper to
consent to the same, it shall be in your power so to do, notwithstanding any existing
general law of our Grand Lodge appearing to the contrary, and to cause a resolution or
law to that effect specifying how and Where the elections are to be in future conducted,
to be endorsed upon or annexed to this Charter, and which when signed by you and
registered in the Minute Book of your Provincial Grand Lodge, and a copy thereof,
certified by your Provincial Grand Secretary, transmitted to and approved by our Grand
Lodge, shall thereafter be as good and valid a law, so far as regards your Chapter and
Provincial Grand Lodge, as if it had been made by our Grand Lodge of the R.S.Y.C.S.;
and being entered in our Record Book shall be irrevocable by you and your successors
in office unless by application to and with the approval of our Grand Lodge; it being,
however, declared that nothing shall affect your right as Provincial Grand Master or the
rights of your successors in office to appoint your or their Deputy.
AND WE FURTHER strictly require of the Brethren in general, your Provincial Grand
Officers as well as others, to respect, acknowledge and obey you, the said Sir Albert
V.G.R., and pay you due respect as HEAD RULER and GOVERNOR over them and
their Chapter or Chapters in your said Province: And we do hereby appoint you to hold
quarterly meetings of your Provincial Grand Lodge for regulating the affairs of the
Order of H.R.M. in your Province.
AND FURTHER, we hereby empower you and your Chapter to advance to the Royal
Order of H.R.M. (on paying a fee not less than two guineas, of which ten shillings and
sixpence shall be transmitted to our Grand Lodge), such Master Masons as are
companions of the Royal Arch Chapter and as are well-known to you and your Brethren
to be worthy of that High Honor, but with this proviso, that you shall not have it in your
power within your Provincial Grand Lodge or elsewhere to promote any Brethren of
H.R.M. to the Sublime Order of the R.S.Y.C.S., without special authority obtained from
our Grand Lodge for that purpose, nor even then, unless on payment of a fee of at least
one guinea (of which ten shillings and sixpence shall be transmitted to our Grand
AND FURTHER, be it known to you that we prohibit and discharge you and your
Provincial Grand Lodge or Chapter from granting any PATENTS or LETTERS OF
CONSTITUTION to Chapters, or Diplomas to the Brethren or Knights, under any
pretence whatever, all such things being issued by us alone, and diplomas being so
issued free of charge, on payment of the fees above mentioned, payable to us on
advancement to the Order of H.R.M. and promotion to the Sublime Order of R.S.Y.C.S.
AND FURTHER, be itknown to the Brethren in general that it is not, nor can it be, in
their power to depose or displace you or your successors in office from the high office
hereby on you conferred, except for high or enormous crimes tending to the scandal
and detriment of the Order, and not then without bringing you to a regular trial, and an
account of the proceedings therein, with the crime and sentence of the Council, being
first sent to and approved by our Grand Lodge at Edinburgh.
AND FURTHER, we empower you to relinquish, give up, or resign your said office with
the powers and privileges attached thereto as aforesaid, in case you shall think proper
or be desirous so to do, to any worthy qualified Knight of the Order of the R.S.Y.C.S.,
and to no person whatsoever, under that degree, but your successor or successors, in
office, before he or they shall exercise any of the powers connected with said office
must be approved by our Grand Lodge.
AND FURTHER, be it known to you, that if you or your successors in office are guilty of
acting contrary to our will and pleasure or any of the Laws, Rules and Regulations now
appointed by us, or which may hereafter be appointed for your observance by authority
of our Grand Lodge, from which you hold this Constitution or Charter, These Presents
and all power thereunder shall forthwith cease and determine without any formal
revocation on our part, and you and they shall be rendered incapable of holding any
Grand Office or authority in the Royal Order, and also be liable to be extruded for
contempt and disobedience.
That all companions of the Royal Order admitted in your Provincial Grand Lodge or
Chapter may be duly enrolled in our Record Book, we do particularly direct your
attention to the Twenty-sixth Article of our Constitution and Laws as revised and
approved on Sixth January, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.
And for every Authority, Power and Privilege herein above mentioned, this shall be your
sufficient Warrant, Patent and Charter.
In testimony whereof, this, our Charter, written by Alexander Blues Wyllie, clerk to our
Grand Secretary, is subscribed by JOHN WHYTE-MELVILLE, of Bennochie and
Strathkinnes, our Deputy Grand Master and Governor; ALEXANDER HAY, our Senior
Grand Warden; WILLIAM MANN, our Junior Grand Warden; GEORGE MURRAY, our
Grand Treasurer, and JOHN BROWN DOUGLAS, our Grand Secretary; all Knights of
the R.S.Y.C.S., duly sealed and thereupon approved and issued by our Grand Lodge of
the Royal Order, at Edinburgh, this fourth day of October, in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven, and of the Restoration of the Order 564.
J. WHYTE-MELVILLE, W.D.M.
ALEX. HAY, S.T.N.T.H.
W. MANN, B.T.Y.
GEORGE MURRAY, G.T.
J. B. DOUGLAS, G.S.
The "charter members" were thirteen in number, including several well-known and
eminent Brethren (whose labors for the Craft and deep interest in its welfare are as
familiar to English Masonic students as to those in America), all of whom became
members of the Grand Lodge at Edinburgh.
FOUNDERS NAMES, A.D. 1877.
Brother Albert Pike, Washington, D. C.
" John Robin McDaniel, Lynchburg, Va.
" Henry L. Palmer, Milwaukee, Wis.
" Brother Jas. C. Bachelor, New Orleans, La.
" Vincent L. Hurlbut, Chicago, Ill.
" Josiah H. Drummond, Portland, Maine
" William M. Ireland, Washington, D. C.
" Robert McC. Graham, New York, N. Y.
" Albert G. Mackey, Washington, D. C.
" Enoch Terry Carson, Cincinnati, Ohio.
" Charles Roome, New York, N. Y.
" Charles Eugene Meyer, Philadelphia, Pa
" Samuel C. Lawrence, Boston, Mass.
The number of members in the order was divided equally between the Southern and
Northern Masonic Jurisdictions of the United States; the total number was fixed at one
hundred and fifty, with a margin of twenty-five. (1) Election is by ballot, which must be
unanimous. At present, September, 1900, there are two hundred and fifty-seven
members. There are no by-laws for the regulation of proceedings in the United States
except the rules of the order, and the series of standing resolutions.
The Provincial Grand Lodge meets alternately at Washington, in the District of
Columbia, and in New York, holding their annual meetings "on the Monday nearest the
day fixed for the meetings of the Supreme Council." The only special regalia worn on
these occasions are the "star and garter," the aprons and cordons not being obligatory.
The archives of the Provincial Grand Lodge preserve sketches and portraits of each
member. Since 1883 the ladies of the Knights Companions have been admitted to their
annual gatherings and banquets.
The proceedings on these occasions include an "allocution" delivered by the Provincial
Grand Master. The addresses of the first Provincial Grand Master, the late General
Albert Pike, have been printed in published proceedings, and from them the following
extracts are taken:
Antiquity of the Royal Order. - "I value the Ancient Order, for it is eminently Masonic. It
has close kinship with the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry. Its quaint old Ritual
has throughout the old-fashioned simplicity of the Masonry of the
(1) Several years ago the Constitution was changed and the number is no longer
seventeenth century, when it and those degrees were all the Freemasonry that existed
in the world. We read it and breathe the air of the old days. After having been long
conversant with the elaborate ones of the present day, it is like going from the pomp
and show of cities into the forest and prairie, to live among the frank hunters and sturdy
husbandmen who have been the builders of the States, to enjoy the long days of
October in the woods, and sleep at night under the protecting stars." (October 16,
Primary Aim of the Rite. - "We represent, not altogether unworthily, I hope, the intellect
and the scholarship of the Freemasonry of the United States: Our Father who is in
Heaven has given us the opportunity to serve Masonry worthily, and make it the debtor
of the Royal Order, by leading the Masons of the 'Blue' Lodges to the living springs of
truth, making known to them the true meaning and profound significance of their most
ancient symbols, and teaching them to set a higher value upon their Freemasonry, and
to elevate it, in the estimation of the world." (September 24, 1883.)
"To see united into a Provincial Grand Lodge of our old and venerable Order a certain
limited number of good men and Masons, residing in all our States and Territories,
between whom the new ties of a more perfect Brotherhood might be created, and year
by year grow stronger and more enduring." (October 20, 1884.)
Historical Bases of the Order. - "It was established, our Ritual declares, 'to correct the
errors and reform the abuses which had crept in among the three degrees of St. John's
Masonry.' It is ' for the preservation in its purity of St. John's Masonry.' One who comes
to seek admission here declares that he is 'a Mason from a Lodge dedicated to St.
John;' and he comes to seek a word which was lost, and which by our assistance he
hopes to find.
"The Royal Order has also the early symbolism of the 'Blue' degrees, and not that
borrowed from the Alchemical and Hermetic books. The column of the Tower of
Refreshment has a square base of pedestal, intended to be a cube or perfect ashlar.
The shaft of the column has nine windows looking East, one for each flight of seven (7)
steps. On the column is a triangular entablature; on this a book and under the letters
upon its face a square, a level, and a plumb rule; over these a pair of compasses
extended to a right angle. The stairway has three landing-places and the lowest flight of
stairs is of seven steps, the second of five, and the 'apex' of three."
"It was an innovation to make the possession of the Degree of the Royal Arch a
necessary qualification for admission into the Order; for it was at first open to Master
Masons." (October 15, 1888.)
The present Provincial Grand Master is Brother Josiah H. Drummond, of Maine;
nominated to succeed General Albert Pike. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master is
Thomas H. Caswell of California.
The remaining officers duly appointed forming the tableau to date are:
Prov. Senior Grand Warden - George M. Moulton, of Illinois.
Prov. Junior Grand Warden - Charles H. Fisk, of Kentucky.
Prov. Grand Secretary - W. Oscar Roome, of District of Columbia.
Prov. Grand Treasurer - Thomas J. Shyrock, of Maryland.
Prov. Grand Sword Bearer - F. M. Highley, of Pennsylvania.
Prov. Grand Banner Bearer - Nicholas Coulson, of Michigan.
Prov. Grand Chaplain - Rev. M. Carmichael, of Virginia.
Prov. First Grand Marischal - G. E. Corson, of District of Columbia.
Prov. Second Grand Marischal - J. H. Olcott, of District of Columbia.
Prov. Grand Guarder - James Hays Trimble, of District of Columbia.
Prov. Grand Stewards - Allison Nailor, Jr., of District of Columbia; William Bromwell
Melish, of Ohio; Harrison Dingman; H. H. Williams, of Hawaii.
The constitutions and laws of the Royal Order, as drawn up in London at the foundation
of the order in 1742, remained unchanged till January 5, 1767. By one of these laws,
Rule 19, fees are to be paid to the Grand Lodge of Edinburgh by members in England,
and the Constitution declares that the King of Scotland is Perpetual Grand Master, and
therefor not an elective officer.
By the statutes, the Grand Lodge of R.S.Y.C.S. and Grand Chapter of H.R.M. can only
be held in Scotland, and the former reserves to itself the right to promote to the honor
of Knighthood of the R.S.Y.C.S., but usually delegates the power to that effect to the
Provincial Grand Masters, by personal patents.
The Grand Lodge officers are similar to those already noted for the Provincial Grand
Lodge, only the Brother who rules that body, until a king of Scotland (called of Great
Britain and Ireland) is able to become Grand Master, is termed "Deputy Grand Master
and Governor," a Deputy Governor being also appointed, all having corresponding rank
in the Grand Chapter of H.D.M. The D.G.M. (and Governor) and Deputy Governor of
the Grand Lodge are ex-officiis Warder and Deputy Grand Warder of the T.W.R. of
R.F.R.S.M.N.T., and the Provincial Grand Master enjoys a similar status in his
Province; as also T.R.S.T.A. of his own chapter.
The 4th of July is election-day for the Grand Officers and also for subordinate chapters
out of Scotland, or first following lawful day, if the 4th shall be a Saturday or Sunday.
The other stated meetings of Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodges are October
4th, January 4th, and April 4th, with the same exceptions.
Members acting as Grand Officers pro fem. have power to sign diplomas, charters,
patents, etc. A copy of a certificate issued to William James Hughan, the historian,
under the seal of the Royal Order at Edinburgh, dated March 6, 1867, is annexed:
COPY OF THE ROYAL ORDER CERTIFICATE, A.O. 553.
IN THE NAME OF THE HOLY AND UNDIVIDED TRINITY.
We, Sir John Whyte, W.D.M., President of the Judges and Council of the Great
S.N.D.R.M., and Warder of the T.W.R. of R.F.R.S.M.N.T., Deputy Grand Master and
Governor of the High and Honourable Order of H.R.M. of K.L.W.N.G. and the
R.S.Y.C.S.; Sir Alexander, S.T.N.T.H., Senior Grand Warden, and Sir William, B.T.Y.,
Junior Grand Warden, and the remanent Knights Companions of the ROYAL ORDER
of the R.S.Y.C.S. in Grand Lodge assembled.
We do hereby certify and declare that our Trusty and well Beloved Brother William
Master Mason of the Lodge Number 594, holding of the Grand Lodge of England, and
Companion Royal Arch Chapter, Number 50 in Scotland, whose signature is on the
margin, having been advanced to the Order of H.R.M. of K.L.W.N.G. at Glasgow, in the
Chapter of the Provincial Grand Master for the County of Lanark, and others, on the
twenty-eighth day of February, one thousand and eight hundred and sixty-seven, by the
characteristic of Geometry, and promoted on the said twenty-fifth day of February, one
thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven, to the Honourable Order of the R.S.Y.C.S. in
the Provincial Grand Lodge for the County of Lanark, and others, has been recorded in
the Books of our Grand Lodge here, and therefore we recommend him as a lawful
member of the ROYAL ORDER, Brother of H.R.M. and Knight of the R.S.Y.C.S., to all
Knights and Brethren of the Order wherever found and established.
Given under our hands and seals of the Royal Order at Edinbzgrgh, this sixth day of
March, A.D. One thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven, and of the Restoration of the
Gustavus K. Flindt, P.T.W.D.M.
T.D. Porteous, Prov. Grand Sy. David Sutherland, P.T., S.T.N.F.H.
J. B. Douglas, Grand Sec'y, G. L. Brodie, P.T., B.T.Y.
The minimum fee for the H.D.M. and Knighthood is three guineas; subject in all cases
to the approval of the presiding oflicer as respects promotion to the " R.S.Y.C.S."
Conviction of crime by any court of justice involves permanent extrusion.
On the 4th of April, 1855, the Supreme Council 33d Degree of Scotland, and on the
11th of May following, the Grand Lodge of the Royal Order agreed to a reciprocal
treaty, by which only members of the Royal Order can be admitted to the 18th Degree,
and all Knights of the Royal Order, provided they are Royal Arch Masons, have special
privileges as to fees in joining the A.'.A.'.S.'. Rite.
M. W. Brother John Whyte-Melville was the Deputy Grand Master and Governor for
many years, and on his decease was succeeded by the Right Honorable, the Earl of
Rosslyn, in 1885, who died September 6, 1890, and was succeeded by _____ The
Grand Secretary is the Scottish Masonic historian, Brother D. Murray Lyon.
The Year of the Restoration of the Order" dates from 1314, so that A.D. 1900 or A.L.
4900 would be "Anno Ordinis 576 to St. John the Baptist Day; but after that festival it
would be 577. A similar mode had long been followed by the Knights Templars (which,
doubtless, refers to De Molay's martyrdom), in relation to the same year, only termed
"Anno Caedis," thus suggesting an intimate connection between the two bodies
THE OLDEST MASONIC MINUTE IN EXISTENCE.
FAC-SIMILE OF THE OLDEST MINUTE OF THE LODGE OF EDINBURGH (MARY'S
VLTIMO JULY 1599.
The qlk day George Patoun maissoun grenttit & confessit that he had offendit agane
the dekin & mrs for placeing of ane cox ane to wirk at ane chymnay heid for tua dayis
and ane half day, for the qlk offenss he submittit him self in the dekin & mrs guds willis
for qt vnlaw they pless to lay to his charge, and thay having respect to the said
Georges humill submissioun & of his estait, they remittit him the said offenss, Providing
alwayis that gif ather he [or] ony vther brother comitt the Iyke offenss heirefter that the
law sall stryke vpoun thame indiscreta wtout exceptioun of personis. This wes done in
prcs of Paull Maissoun dekin, Thoas Weir warden, Thoas Watt, Johne Broun, Henrie
Tailzefeir, the said George Patoun, & Adanz Walkar
Ita est Adamus Gibsone norius
Paull Maissottn dekin
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