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The Kevan Manuscript

The Form of Giving the Mason Word

Webmaster Note:  Document left as found.

Discovered 1954 among a collection of old legal documents by Bro. P. D. Kevan and presented to the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Believed to be circa 1714-1720

The Person qo is to geet ye word is put upon his knees, & after a grate many Serimonys to frighten him they make him take up the Bible & Laying his right hand upon it, they Conjure him by Severall thretings yt if he shall brake his Oath; The Sun in ye Firmament & all ye Company there present will be witnesses agt him qh will be ye occasione of his Damnatione & yt Likewise they’l be sure to Murder him : Then after he has sworne secrsie they wille give him the Oath as Follows /

By  : God himselfe & as you shall answer to God qh you shall Stand naked befor him a ye grate day of Judgment /

you shall not reveall any poynt of what you shall see or hear at this time neither by word or writing at any time or /

draw it wt ye poynt of a Sword or any other instrument upon ye Snow, or Sand, Nor shall you Speake of it but wt /

an Entered Measone .  .  So hele me God /

After he has taken the oath he is removed out of ye Company wt ye yowngast Masone, where after he is Suffieintly frightn / ed wt a thousand Grimasses & posturs He is to Learn from ye Sd Mason ye manner of Making [the due guard] which is the Signs and Posturs (Signs Postures and words] of / his [entry] qh are a follow Here come I ye youngast & Last Entered prentise, as I am sworne by God & St. John by ye Square & Campass / & common Judge to attend my Mrs : service at ye Honourable Lodge from Munday Morning till Setturdays night to keep ye Keys thereof under no Less paine then to have my tounge cut out under my Chinn & to be buryed wtin ye flood marke wher / no man shall know /

Then he makes ye Signe again qh is by Drawing his hand under his Chin alonge his throate qh denotes it is to be Cut in case he broke his worde Then all yy Masons present whisper the word amongst emselves beginning [at the youngest] till it / come to ye Mr Masone, qo gives ye worde to the entered Prentise /

Now it is to be Marked yt all ye Signs & words as yet spoken off are only qt belongs to Entered prentises but to [be] a Mr : / Masone or fellow craft [there is more to be done as after follows] : First all ye Prentices are to be removed out of the Company & none Suffered to stay by only / Mrs  : Then [he] qo is to be admitted a member of fellowship is put again to his knees & geets ye oath administered to him anew / Afterward he most go out of the Company wt ye youngast Mr to Learne the word & Signs of fellowship yn comming / inn again he makes ye Mr Signs of fellowship & says the same words of entry [as the apprentice did] only keeping out ye Coming [Common] Judge ( i.e. a gauge or template used as a guide in cutting stones; in Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary, a Jedge is a gauge or standard.) yn ye Mrs / whisper the word among emselves beginning at ye youngest as befor, Afterwards ye younge masone advancess & puts him selfe in a posture wherein he is to receive ye word & says to them : The Honourable company ye worthy Masons & / honourable company yt I come from Greet you well, Greet you well, Greete you well /

[Then the master {Mason} gives him the word and gripes his hand after the masons way {and afterwards, all the Masons - Chetwode Crawley MS.} which is all that is to be done to make him a perfect mason. - Edinburgh Register House MS.]

Some Questions that Masons use to put to these who profess to have ye Mason word befor they wille Acknowlagde them /

 1.      Are you a Masone,   Answer  Yes endeed I am /
2.      How shall I know that  Anr : In time and place convenient Not[e] : This answer isonly to be made when there / are company present qo are not masons, Bot if there be no such company by you you should answer, by Signs & / tokens & other poynts of Entry /
3.  What is the first poynt of Entry ? 

anr : tell me the first & I’l tell thee the seacond : The first is tohear & Conseal / The Second under no Hell [less] pain (Drawing the right Hand from the Left ear to the right) yn Cutting yr Throat, [for you must make that sign when you say that] /

4.      Where way you Entred ?  Anr : Att Honowrable Lodge /
5.      What makes a true & perfect Lodge ? 

ar : 7 : Mrs : 5 Prenices & a days Jurny from a Burrowghs toun wtout / barke of Doge or crow of Cocke / 

6.      Doeth no less make a true & Perfet lodge ?

 ar : 4 Mrs 3 entered Prentices & ye rest as befor [the Edingurgh text says : “.  .  . five masons and three entered apprentices &c.”] /

7.      Dose no Less ? Ar : The Mo the Mirryer & ye fewer the better Chear /
8.      What is the name of your Lodge Ar : The Lodge of Killewinning /
9.      How Stands you Lodge ? Anr : Easte & west as the Temple of Jerusalem /
10.  Where was the first Lodge ? Ar : In the Porch of Sollomons Temple /
11.  Are there Lights in your Lodge ? Anr : Three, ye North East, Southwest, & Easters [Eastern] passages ye first / denots the Mr Masone, the Second the word {Words - Chetwode] [warden - Edinburgh] the third the fellowcraft [ffellow-Craft - Chetwode] {setter croft - Edinburgh] /
12.  Are there any Jewells in you Lodge ?

Anr : Three, a Perpendester [Perpend-ashlar] a Square Pavement & a covered Kinall [broked-mall - Chetwode - probably correct; i.e. a heavy maul for striking the chisel when the face of a stone in ‘broached’ i.e. indented or furrowed] [Broad ovall - Edinburgh] /

13.  Where Shall I find the Key of you Lodge?

Anr : Three foot & an Half from the Lodge door under a / Perpendaster [Perpend-ashlar] [and a] Green Divot /

14.  What do you mean by a Perpendester & green Divot ?

Anr : I mean not noly under a Perpendester I green / Divot, but under the Lape of my Liver where all Secrets of my Hart Lie [Edinburgh makes one question of nos. 13 and 14.] /

15.  Which is the Key of you Lodge ?  Anr : A well Hunge tounge /
16.  Where Lys yt Key ? anr : In The Bone Box /

After The Masons have Examened You by all or Some of these Questions & yt / you Have answered em Exactly [and made the sign(s)] ; they will acknowladge you as a Prenticer / But not as a Mason or Fellow Craft /

17.  So they will say We see you have been in the Kitchin but know not yt you have been in ye Hall
Anr : I have / been in the Hall as well as in the Kitchin /
18.  Are you a Fellow Craft Anr : Yes /
19.  How many Poynts of Fellowship are there

Anr : 5 : Viz: Foot to Foot, Knee to Knee, Harte to / Harte, Hand to Hand, & Ear to Eare, qh make the Signs of Fellowship ; & shake hands, & / You wille be Acknowladged to be a true Masone / The Worde is in I : Kings 7 : 21 : & in 2d : Chron 3d : Last Varse the wholl / Varse but especially the words Jachin & Boaz.

Transcribed by R\W\ Gary L. Heinmiller, Area 11 Historian, Grand Lodge of the State of New York, Feb 1998.


Knoop and Jones, The Early Masonic Catechisms, Manchester University Press, 1963;

also AQC (Photographic Reproduction) Vol. 47, page 139. 1954, with notes by Bro. G. S. Draffen.

See also the “Edinburgh Register House MS,” 1696, discovered in 1930 by Bro. Charles T. McInnes in the Old Register House Historical Dept., Edinburgh, among a number of old documents transferred in 1808 from the Court of Session.

and the “Chetwode Crawley MS,” ca. 1700, purchased ca. 1900 from a second-hand collector & found in one of the volumes of a lot purchase.  

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Last modified: March 22, 2014