Grand Lodge of Scotland
The Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland is the governing body of Freemasonry in Scotland. It was founded in 1736 – although only a third of all lodges were represented at the foundation meeting of the Grand Lodge.
Arms of the Grand Lodge of Scotland A.F. & A.M.
|English motto||In the Lord is all our trust|
The oldest records held within the Grand Lodge are meeting minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No.1 which date from 1599. The connection between the craft of stonemasonry and modern Freemasonry can be readily established in Scotland. This direct connection can be traced from the oldest Masonic written records in the world and which are the property of the Grand Lodge.
Scottish Freemasonry has a distinct and unique character. For example, the Grand Lodge of Scotland does not have a Grand Master but a Grand Master Mason. Lodges under the Scottish Constitution are sovereign bodies in their own right, with a considerable degree of control of their own affairs. Many Lodges pre-existed Grand Lodge, all jealously guarding their traditions, and were permitted to retain their own procedures, regalia, and distinctive rituals. Having established the principle of independence to the old Lodges, it was impossible to deny Lodges founded after 1736 the same level of privilege. Of course the rituals contain the principal points of each degree, but the scope for elaboration is considerable, with numerous interesting additions. Since Scottish Lodges have the right to choose the colours of the Lodge regalia, meetings are very colourful – especially if visitors from other Lodges are present.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland has 32 Provincial Grand Lodges in Scotland itself, and 26 District Grand Lodges overseas. In 1953, the Grand Lodge of Scotland chartered the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel.
According to an article featuring in The Sunday Herald, in July 2006, the Grand Lodge of Scotland had been infiltrated by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and subsequently several lodges (particularly in the West of Scotland) were placed under anti-terror surveillance. UDA member Steven Moffat had been found to have been using the St Kenneth Lodge in Kennoway, Fife for fund-raising and operational planning. Moffat was subsequently jailed for five years under the Terrorism Act 2000 after a Browning 9mm automatic pistol and ammunition was found at his home. Provincial Grand Master in Fife and Kinross, David Wishart, stated that Moffat had been using the Masonic Hall for UDA purposes for 18 months and that he was "horrified", when he found out, the unnamed Mason and Orangeman who assisted Moffat was forced to resign from the lodge.
- The History of Grand Lodge The Origins (UGLE) Accessed 20 January 2007 Archived 13 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Stevenson, David (2001). The First Freemasons - Scotland's Early Lodges and their Members. Edinburgh: The Grand Lodge of Scotland. ISBN 0902324659.
- Lyon, David Murray (1873). History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) no.1. Embracing an account of the rise and progress of freemasonry in Scotland. William Blackwood and sons. p. 6.
One leaf contains minutes of meetings in 1599, 1621, 1624, and 1641,each in the handwriting of a different scribe; upon another leaf are engrossed minutes of date 1601, 1615, and 1616; and on a third sheet are notes dated 1602, 1606, 1609, and 1619 ; and so on.
- Dr David Stevenson, Review of The Origins of Freemasonry Facts and Fictions, (review no. 517) accessed 6 December 2013
- Stevenson, David (2001). The First Freemasons - Scotland's Early Lodges and their Members. Edinburgh, Scotland: The Grand Lodge of Scotland. p. 194. ISBN 0902324659.
- Cooper, Robert L D (2003). Scottish Masonic Aprons - Operative to Speculative. Edinburgh, Scotland: The Grand Lodge of Scotland. p. 57. ISBN 0902324705.
- "Grand Lodge of Israel: Jerusalem Ceremony". Glasgow Herald. 19 October 1953. p. 6.
- "Masons under anti-terror surveillance after UDA infiltrates Scottish lodges". The Sunday Herald. 2 July 2006.
- "Top Mason's Horror at Police Probe". Fife Today. 30 May 2006.