Its characters may be dimmed with time, but it shines brightly with masonic lustre
The Lodge Charter was granted by The Grand Lodge Of Scotland on 7th February 1750 (although the Lodge had been working for more than 150 years prior to this under a charter from Lodge Mother Kilwinning No.0). The charter cost the Lodge 1.5 guineas, with half a crown extra to be paid for every new initiate since Grand Lodge's inception in 1736. The Lodge was originally known as "The Old Lodge" until 1755, when the present title of "Kilwinning" was adopted. Doubtless the formation of the "Journeymen" (now Lodge Thistle No. 62), in 1754 made them desirous of departing from this vague, though in some respects, unique title they had previously held.
The wording from this ancient document is reproduced below.
“To all and Sundry. To whom these presents shall come Greeting in God Everlasting. Whereas upon a petition and Supplication given in to the Grand Lodge of ffree and accepted Masons for the Kingdom of Scotland By the worshipfull Brethren after-named, viz: Robert Corsan of Meikle Knox, Esquire, present Master; William Edgar, Writter in Dumfries; and James Harley, late Deacon of the Squaremen in the said Burgh, Senior and Junior Wardens; William Waddell, Mason, there, Theasurer; and James Coupland, Writter, there, Clerk for themselves, in name of and as representing the whole other worshipfull Brethren belonging to the Mason Lodge of Dumfries Kilwinning in Scotland Humbly Shewing that Whereas the said Lodge of Dumfries having been constitute in a just and perfect Mason Lodge as a pendicle of the Ancient Mother Lodge of Kilwinning about the number one hundred and seventy-five years agoe., since which time they had been in use to admitt entered apprentices pass fellows of Craft and raise Master Masons upon payment of some small Compositions for the use of their poor and to Keep Regular Records of their meetings, minutes and proceedings -and being desireous to come under the Authority and Protection of the Grand Lodge Promiseing to Comply with and obey the Laws and Statutes thereof as becomes the Honour and harmony of masonry. And therefore craving to the effect aftermentioned. Which being considered by the Grand Lodge who being therewith well and ripely advised Have Ratified, approven and Confirmed, and by the Tenor hereof Ratifies, approves and confirms the foresaid Erection and Constitution in favours of the Right Worshipfull the Brethren above-named and other Brethren of their said Lodges and their successors and Have of New hereby Erected, Constituted and appointed them and their successors a True Regular Lodge of ffree and accepted Masons by the title and Denomination of the Lodge of Dumfries and hereby appoint and ordain all Regular Mason Lodges in Scotland to hold, own and respect them as such in all time coming. Hereby giving granting and committing To them and their successors full and ample power to meet assemble and conveen as a Regular Mason Lodge and to admit and receive entered apprentices pass ffellows of Craft and raise Master Masons upon payment of such Compositions for the use and support of their Lodge as they shall see proper and convenient and to Elect and make choice of Masters, Wardens and other office-bearers annually or otherways as they shall have occasion. Recommending To the Brethren aforesaid to Reverence and obey their superiors in all things lawfull and Honest as becomes the Honour and Harmony of Masonry. And shall faithfully become Bound and engaged not to Desert their Lodge, and that none of them upon any pretest whatsomever Do make any separate of Schismaticall meetings without the consent of the Master and Wardens for the time, nor yet shall they collect money of other ffunds separate from the Common Stock of their Lodge To the hurt and prejudice of the poor thereof. The said Brethren and their successors being allways by their acceptation hereof Bound and Obliged in all time coming To obtemper obey and fullfill the whole Acts Statutes and Regulations of the Grand Lodge, as well these already made as hereafter to be made for the utility wellfare and prosperity of Masonry in generall and to pay and perform whatever is stipulated or demanded from them for support of the Dignity of the Grand Lodge and shall Record in their books this present patent of Confirmation with their own Regulations, By Laws, and procedure had by them whether as concerning the Craft or otherways from time to time as they shall happen, To the effect the same may be the more readily seen and observed by the Brethren (subject nevertheless to the review of the Grand Lodge). And also the Brethren aforesaid and their Successors are hereby Required punctually to attend the whole meetings and quarterly Communications of the Grand Lodge by their Representatives, viz: By their Masters and Wardens for the time being or by lawfull proxies in their places Providing the said Proxies be Master Masons or ffellow Crafts belonging to some Established Lodge owning the Grand Lodge.
To the end the Brethren aforesaid and their successors may act and vote in the affairs of the Grand Lodge and so have the Knowledge of the proceedings therein. Declareing their precedency in the Grand Lodge to be and commence from the day and date hereof. And to the effect that these presents may be the more effectually keept and preserved The Grand Lodge have appointed the Samen to be recorded in the Books Conform to the Regulatons made thereanent. Given at the Grand Lodge held in Mary’s Chappell in Edinburgh the Seventh Day of ffrebuary one thousand seven hundred and ftifty years By the Right Worshipfull John Douglas, Esquire, Chyrurgeon in Edinburgh, present Grand Master Substitute of the free and accepted Mason in Scotland; The Right Worshipfull Andrew Hay, Esquire, and Mr Charles Mack, Mason and late Deacon of the Masons in Edinburgh, present Senior and Junior Grand Wardens; The Right Worshipfull Thomas Milne, late Deacon of the Masons in Edinburgh, present Theasurer to the Grand Lodge; and John McDougall, Esquire, Grand Secretary thereto, being written by David Marshall, Writter in Edinburgh for Robert Alisone, senior, Writter there, present Clerk to the Grand Lodge, Before these witnesses John Ross,Writter in Edinburgh, and James Caldler, Mason there, Walter CoIviIl Baxter there, John Gray, Pewtheror, in South Leith, and the said Robert Alisone.
(Signed) JOHN DOUGLAS, M. Sub.
witnesses (as above) -
ANDREW HAY,G.W. Sen.
EDINBURGH the 7th February 1750. Recorded in the Books of the Grand Lodge by me Clerk to and Keeper of the Records thereof.
Lodge Dumfries Kilwinning No.53
25th October 2016
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