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The unknown author (poses sibly William Preston), or authors who wrote the Dionitorial Lectures of the Felloweraft Degree used the Liberal Arts and Sciences as a symbol of the kind of education which grown men need, and which is trepresented by college and university; he gave the traditional list of them (see page 590 this Encyclopedia) which had been current in the Middle Ages:
grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy.
The extraordinary fact about this list is that though it is supposed to contain the sciences as well as the arts it includes only one science, astronomy, and does not include the fundamental sciences of physics and chemistry. The number of "arts" is equally incomplete, and equally confused. The list has no worth as a list of the subjects on the curriculum (and never did!) but it serves well enough as a symbol, or rather as an emblem, of education. It is unfortunate that in our Masonic literature the great number of commentators on the symbol have given their attention almost exclusively to the "arts" in the list, and almost none to the "sciences," because there is one whole side of Freemasonry and its history which comes under that head. Among the many things which we must have in order to keep alive are those which belong to the two sciences of physics and chemistry.
As organized sciences, carried on in laboratories by specialists, physics and chemistry are not many centuries old; but the materials used by them, and for sake of which the specialists work, have been used by men from the earliest beginnings because there never has been a way to have food, clothing, shelter, tools, weapons, and medicines without them. If by "science" is meant these materials instead of the specialists and their modern, technical methods, then science is as old as man, and the most primitive peoples had the sciences, just as at the present time tribes in the still uncivilized areas of the world have them, and always have.
There are thousands of things in the sciences, and new ones are evermore being discovered, and they differ widely among themselves; but they together have one property in common, that they can be found, used, worked on, and worked with, only by technical methods; and these techniques can be used on all of them.
First, the materials themselves are useless lentil made over or modified or manufactured, are very difficult to know and understand, or are poisonous, explosive, rare, costly, or dangerous—thus, sulphur may turn into a poison in ignorant hands, and ordinary cotton can turn into an explosive.
Second, the materials are such that units of them are interchangeable, so that what is true of any one is true for any other unit of the same material; it is because of this that physical and chemical formulas are possible.
Third, since the units are interchangeable (any gram of mercury can be used when "gram of mercury" is called for) the materials are mathematizable; and mathematics are so necessary, in fact, that without them there could be no science.
Fourth, the materials require technical treatment, Scientific instruments, and technical knowledge; guesswork is ruled out.
Fifth, the materials are used universally; salt, sulphur, mercury, steam, electricity, the pulley, the cog, force, weight, etc., are not only found and used everywhere but are made or manufactured everywhere by the same methods—the formula for sulphuric acid is the same in every country, and in every period of time.
Whatever the above is true of, belongs to science; if the above is not true of a thing it does not belong to science; since the only things of which it is true are the materials used in physics and chemistry and their sum divisions, they are the only sciences. If the Word "scientific" were used exclusively of the materials and methods of physics and chemistry it would clear up a mass of confusion in thought, especially in "popular " thought; if men, careless of accuracy in speech, insist upon using "scientific" for other fields and methods and materials the fact remains that physics and chem istry (with their subdivisions) remain unique, and stand apart, and do not admit of being mixed with anything else.
In countries and periods of time in Europe and America many names have been used for what is noxr called science, such as wisdom, philosophy, natural philosophy, etc.; the word "science" itself has had a similarly checkered history; it has meant at different times knowledge, dialectics, medicine, philosophy, ethics, etc. In the present stage of the English language it should be used exclusively of physics and chemistry.
Biology, botany, ethnology, zoology, etc. are Systems of Observation.
They are not sciences because their units are not interchangeable, and the units do not continue to maintain their identity without change—what is today an ounce of alcohol will next week be the same ounce of alcohol, but what is a seed today may be a plant next week an egg today will be a chicken in ten days.
Mathematies, logic, statistics, etc., are Disciplines; they are composed of rigorously accurate formulas which must never vary (they are indifferent to the mathematician's feelings) and must be learned by heart.
History, economics, sociology, psychology, etc., are subjects; each man working in them can work where he wishes, as much or as little as he wishes, for any purpose he desires, and can make use of any method he finds will work; they occupy "fields."
Music, architecture, oratory, literature, drama, dancing, sculpture, etc., are Fine Arts. Pottery making, silver and gold work, engravings, carving, etc., belong to the Skilled Crafts. Theology, in its subdivisions, and philosophy, divided into its eight subdivisions, are together describable by no other word than Thought.
In addition there are a number of fields of study and endeavor which are sui generis, unique, and not to be classified; they cannot be described in terms of anything else but must be described in terms of themselves; scholarship is one, antiquarianism is another; Freemasonry itself belongs to this last category; it is not, as Dr. Hemming tried to have us believe, "a system"—scarcely anything could be less a system, but is merely itself, and In a rigorous use of words it would not be a tautology to define it as: "Freemasonry is freemasonry."
When Dr. Hemming defined Freemasonry as "a system of morality" he forgot or else he had never known, that ethics is a sub-division of philosophy, and is wholly unconnected, even remotely, with either of the two sciences. Like many commentators who have followed him he had no eye for anything in Freemasonry except the religion in it; this is especially true of American Masonic writers because from the time of the Rev. George Oliver they have written about that side of the Craft as if it were the only side it had. 'This has been a misfortune because it has given millions of American Masons a distorted, miss shapen picture of Freemasonry, and because it has ignored the salient role of the sciences in Freemasonry from the first Operative Masonry until now.
The Operative Freemasons had to know and use more science than any other men in the Middle Ages; they made tools, understood engineering and constructed engines such as elevators, cranes, etc., used chemicals in staining of glass, knew mechanics, and had to employ mathematics, geometry especially, at every step in their work. The sciences were forbidden; the populace dreaded them as something supernatural, or miraculous, and they believed that chemistry was of the devil because they had the superstition that hell is a place filled with living chemicals. The Freemasons ignored these notions; and though they kept their sciences to themselves they continued to use them against fulminations from either lords or bishops. This use of science was as much a part of Freemasonry as was either morality or brotherhood, and to omit it is to leave us with a falsified picture of the Operative Craft.
In the beginning of Speculative Fraternity under the Grand Lodge system the Masons avowed their devotion to the sciences more boldly, and even almost dramatically. The Royal Society was in the British public mind synonymous with science, and for more than a century it, and its offshoots, were the only exponents and practitioners of science in Britain.
It began in 1660 A.D. and took its first organized form at a meeting of scholars in Gresham College who had assembled to hear a lecture by Bro. Sir Christopher Wren. Sir Robert Moray was elected its first president, March 6, 1661 A.D.; he is supposed to have been matte a Mason in 1640 A.D.
Dr. Desaguliers, who later became its secretary for a long period of years, was the "father of the Grand Lodge system," and was one of Sir Isaac Newton's closest friends.
A Lodge largely composed of Royal Society members met in a room belonging to the Royal Society Club in London. At a time when preachers thundered against these scientists, when newspapers thundered against them, street crowds hooted at them, and neither Oxford nor Cambridge would admit science courses, Masonic Lodges invited Royal Society members in for lectures, many of which were accompanied by scientific demonstrations; and it was these scientific lectures which became the pattern for the Monitorial Lectures of the next generation. The enthusiasm for science spread from England to France, and from there to Austria, and Russia; Masons and Lodges had an extraordinarily large and important part in spreading it. The fraternity had an historical justification as well as a symbolic need to set in the midst of the Fellowcraft degree (the Master Masons Degree at that time) the symbol of the Liberal Arts and it would rectify the general conception of Freemasonry and its history if Masonic writers were to cease to drop the and Sciences from that phrase.
(For references see any standard history of science. For the history of Masonry and the sciences see titles on Masonic history, etc., in the General Index to this supplement; in conjunction with them read histories of architecture. A work of especial usefulness to Masonic students is Books and Thezr Makers Durtng the Mid'dle Ages, by Geo. Haven Putnam; II Vol.; G. P. Putnam's Sons; Isew York; 1896. As one of the countless proofs that the Tomes of the Liberal Arts and Sciences were never taken at their face value Putnam cites De Artibus ac Disciplints Liberalium Litterarum, by Ca9sidorus, in which that teacher of St. Benedict divides the "Mathematics" in the list into Astronomy, Arithmetic, Music, and Geometry. The book was written about 570 A.D.)
SCHLEY, WINFIELD SCOTT.
American Admiral, born October 9, 1839, and died in 1911. On July 3, 1898, Admiral Cervera's fleet was destroyed at Santiago by the American fleet under the command of Admiral Sampson and Admiral Schley. Admiral Schley was a Thirty-third Degree Freemason (see New Age, July, 1924).
SCHNEIDER, JOHANN AUGUST.
A zealous and learned Freemason of Altenburg, in Germany, where he was born May 22, 1755, and died August 13, 1816. Besides contributing many valuable articles to various Masonic journals, he was the compiler of the Constitutions-Buch of the Lodge Archimedes zu den drei Reissbretten, or Archimedes of the Three Tracing-boards, at Altenburg, in which he had been initiated, and of which he was a member; an important but scarce work, containing a history of Freemasonry, and other valuable essays.
None of the charities of Freemasonry have been more important or more worthy of approbation than those which have been directed to the establishment of schools for the education of the orphan children of Freemasons; and it is a very proud feature of the Order, that institutions of this kind are to be found in every country where Freemasonry has made a lodgment as an organized society.
In England, the Royal Freemasons Girls School was established in 1788. In 1798, a similar one for boys was founded. At a very early period charity schools were erected by the Lodges in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. The Freemasons of Holland instituted a school for the blind in 1808. In the United States much attention has been paid to this subject and particularly in the promotion of the Public Sehools. In 1842, the Grand Lodge of Missouri instituted a Masonic college, and the example was followed by several other Grand Lodges. But colleges have been found too unwieldly and complicated in their management for a successful experiment, and the scheme has generally been abandoned. But there are numerous schools in the United States which are supported in whole or in part by Masonic Lodges.
SCHOOLS OF THE PROPHETS.
Doctor Oliver (Historical Landmarks ii, page 374) speaks of "the secret institution of the Nabiim" as existing in the time of Solomon, and says they were established by Samuel "to counteract the progress of the Spurious Freemasonry which was introduced into Palestine before his time." This claim of a Masonic character for these institutions has been gratuitallsly assumed by the venerable author. He referred to the well-known Schools of the Prophets, which were first organized by Samuel, which lasted from his time to the closing of the canon of the Old Testament. They were scattered all over Palestine, and consisted of Scholars who devoted themselves to the study of both the written and the oral law, to the religious rites, and to the interpretation of Scripture. Their teaching of what they had learned was public, not secret, nor did they in any way resemble, as Doctor Oliver suggests, the Masonic Lodges of the later day. They were, in their organizational rather like our modern theological colleges, though their range of studies was very different..
The Hebrew , the Latin Albus Bos, meaning White ox, or morally, Innocence or Candor. Sometimes written, as in the old French manuscripts, Charlaban. The name of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
SCHREPFER, JOHANN GEORG.
The keeper of a coffee-house in Leipsic, where, having obtained a quantity of Masonic, Rosierucian, and magical books, he opened, in 1768, what he called a Scottish Lodge, and pretended that he had been commissioned by Masonic superiors to destroy the system of Strict Observance, whose adherents he abused and openly insulted. He boasted that he alone possessed the great secret of Freemasonry, and that nearly all the German Freemasons were utterly ignorant of anything about it except its external forms. He declared that he was an Anointed Priest, having power over spirits, who were compelled to appear at his will and obey his commands, by which means he beeame aequainted not only with the past and the present, but esen faith the future.
It was in thus pretending to evoke spirits that his freemasonry principally consisted. Many persons became his dupes; and although they soon discovered the imposture, shame at being themselves deceived prevented them from revealing the truth to others, and thus his initiations continued for a considerable period, and he was enabled to make some money, the only real object of his system. He has himself asserted, in a letter to a Prussian clergyman, that he was an emissary of the Jesuits; but of the truth of this we nave only his own unreliable testimony. He left Leipsic at one time and traveled abroad, leaving his Deputy to act for him during his absence. On his return he asserted that he was the natural son of one of the French princes, and assumed the title of Baron Von Steinbach.
But at length there was an end to his practices of jugglery. Seeing that he was beginning to be detected, fearing exposure, and embarrassed by debt, he invited some of his disciples to accompany him to a wood near Leipsic called the Rosenthal, where, on the morning of October 8, 1774, having retired to a little distance from the crowd, he blew out his brains with a pistol Clavel has thought it worth while to preserve the memory of this incident by inserting an engraving representing the scene in his Histoire Pittoresque de la Franc-Maçonnerie (page 183). Schrepfer had much low cunning but was devoid of education. Lenning sums up his character in saying that he was one of the coarsest and most impudent swindlers who ever chose the Masorlic Brotherhood for his stage of action.
SCHROEDER, FRIEDRICH JOSEPH WILHELM
A. Doctor and Professor of Pharmacology in Marburg; wa born at Bielefeld, in Prussia, March 19, 1733, and died October 27, 1778. Of an infirm constitution from his youth, he still further impaired his bodily health and his mental faculties by his devotion to chemie, alchemical, and theosophic pursuits.
He established at Marburg, in 1766, a Chapter of True and Ancient Rose Croix Masons, and in 1779 he organized in a Lodge of Sarreburg a School or Rite founded on Magic, Theosophy, and Alchemy, which consisted of seven Degrees, four advanced Degrees founded on these occult sciences being superadded to the original three Symbolic Degrees. This Rite, called the Rectifed Rose Croix, was only practiced by two Lodges under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Hamburg, Clavel (Histoire Pittoresque, or Picturesque second step of the Mystic Ladder of Kadosh of the History, page 183) calls him the Cagliostro of Germany, Ancient and Acccpted Scottish Rite.because it was in his sehool that the Italian charlatan learned his first lessons of magic and theosophy.
Doctor Oliver, misunderstanding Clavel, styles him an adventurer (Mistorical Landmarks ii, page 710).
But it is perhaps more just that ne should attribute to him a diseased imagination and misdirected studies than a had heart or impure practices. He must not he confounded with Fried. Ludwig Schroeder, who was a man of a very different character.
SCHROEDER, FRIEDRICH LUDWIG.
An actor and a dramatic and Masonic writer, born at Schwerin, November 3, 1744, and died near Hamburg, September 3, 1816. He commenced life as an actor at Vienna, and was so distinguished in his profession that Hoffmann says "he was incontestably the greatest actor that Germany ever had, and equally eminent in tragedy and comedy." As an active, zealous Freemason, he acquired a high character. Bode himself, a well-known Freemason, was his intimate friend.
Through his influence, he was initiated into Freemasonry, in 1774, in the Lodge Emanuel zur Maienblume. He soon after, himself, established a new Lodge working in the system of Zinnendorf, but which did not long remain in existence. Schroeder then went to Vienna, where he remained until 1785, when he returned to Hamburg. On his return, he was elected by his old friends the Master of the Lodge Emanuel, which office he retained until 1799.
In 1794 he was elected Deputy Grand Master of the English Provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Saxony, and in 1814, in the seventieth year of his life, he was induced to accept the Grand Mastership.
It was after his election, in 1787, as Master of the Lodge Emanuel at Hamburg, that he first resolved to devote himself to a thorough reformation of the Masonic system, which had been much corrupted on the continent by the invention of almost innumerable advanced Degrees, many of which found their origin in the fantasies often credited to Alchemy, Rosierucianism, and Hermetic Philosophy. It is to this resolution, thoroughly executed, that we owe the Masonic scheme known as Schroeder's Rite, which, whatever may be its defects in the estimation of others, has become very popular among many German Freemasons. He started out w ith the theory that, as Freemasonry had proceeded from England to the Continent, in the English Book of Constitutions and the Primitive English Ritual we must look for the pure unadulterated fountain of Freemasonry.
He accordingly selected the well-known English Exposition entitled Jachim and Boaz as presenting, in his opinion, the best formula of the old initiation. He therefore translated it into the German language, and, remodeling it, presented it to the Provineial Grand Lodge in 1801, by whom it was accepted and established. It was soon after accepted by many other German Lodges on account of its simplicity. The system of Schroeder thus adopted consisted of the three Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry, all the higher Degrees being rejected.
But Schroeder found it necessary to enlarge his system, so as to give to Brethren who desired it an opportunity of further investigation into the philosophy of Masonry. He, therefore, established an Engbund, or Select Historical Union, which should be composed entirely of Master Masons, who were to be engaged in the study of the different systems and Degrees of Freemasonry. The Hamburg Lodges constituted the Mutterbund, or Central Body, to which all the other Lodges were to be united by correspondence.
Of this system, the error seems to be that, by going back to a primitive ritual, which recognizes nothing higher than the Master's Degree, it rejects all the developments that have resulted from the labors of the philosophic minds of a century. Doubtless in the soladvanced degrees of the eighteenth century there was an abundance of chaff, but there was also much nourishing wheat. Schroeder, with the former, has thrown away the latter. He has committed the logical blunder of arguing from the abuse against the use. His system, however, has some merit, and is still practised by the Grand Lodge of Hamburg.
See Schroeder, Friedrich Joseph Wilhelm.
See Schroeder, Friedrich Ludwig.
SCHULTZ, EDWARD T.
Born August 23, 1827; died March 11, 1913, at Baltimore, Maryland. Initiated on June 3, 1854, in Concordia Lodge No. 13, and for five years was elected Master. He became Senior Grand Warden of Maryland in 1884. From 1880 to 1887 he was engaged upon an authoritative work, The History of Freemasonry in Maryland. For twenty-six years he wrote the reports on Foreign Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Maryland and for thirty-six years also prepared similar reports for the Grand Chapter of his State. He was totally blind for more than fifteen years and his industry and saerifiee in bringing to a successful issue his many literary labors were truly splendid achievements.
See Aberal Arts and Sciences.
SCIENTIFIC MASONIC ASSOCIATION.
The German title is Scientifischer Freimaurer Bund. A society founded in 1803 by Fessler, Mossdorf, Fischer, and other distinguished Freemasons, the object being, by the united efforts of its members, to draw up, with the greatest accuracy and care, and from the most authentic sources, a full and complete history of Freemasonry, of its origin and objects, from its first formation to the present day, and also of the various systems or methods of working that have been introduced into the Craft. Such history, together with the evidence upon which it was founded, was to be communicated to worthy and zealous Brethren The members had no peculiar ritual, clothing, or ceremonies; neither were they subjected to any fresh obligation; every just and upright Freemason who had received a liberal education, who was capable of feeling the truth, and desirous of investigating the mys teries of the Order, could become a member of this Society, provided the ballot was unanimous, let him belong to what Grand Lodge he might. But those whose education had not been sufficiently liberal to enable them to assist in those researches were only permitted to attend the meetings as trusty Brethren to receive instruction.
A genus of Arachnida, of numerous species, with an elongated body, but no marked division between the thorax and abdomen. Those of the south of Europe and on the borders of the Mediterranean have six eyes. This reptile, dreaded by the Egyptian, was sacred to the goddess Selk, and was solemnly cursed in all temples once a year.
SCOTLAND, ROYAL ORDER OF.
SCOTTISH PROV. C. L'S.
SCOTTISH RITE SCHOLARSHIPS.
The tradition of the Scotch Freemasons is that Freemasonry was introduced into Scotland by the architects who built the Abbey of Kil winning; and the village of that name bears, therefore, the same relation to Scotch Freemasonry that the city of York does to English. "That Freemasonry was introduced into Scotland," says Laurie ( History, page 89) "by those architects who built the Abbey of Kilwinning, is manifest not only from those authentic documents by which the Kilwinning Lodge has been traced back as far as the end of the fifteenth century, but by other collateral arguments which amount almost to a demonstration."
In Sir John Sinclair's Satistical Account of Scotland, the same statement is made in the following words: "A number of Freemasons came from the Continent to build a monastery there, and with them an architect or Masier Mason to superintend and carry on the work. This architect resided at Kilwinning, and being a good and true Mason, intimately acquainted with all the arts and parts of Masonry known on the continent, was chosen Master of the meetings of the Brethren all over Scotland. He gave rules for the conduct of the Brethren at these meetings and decided finally in appeals from all the other meetings or Lodges in Scotland." His statement amounts to about this: that the Brethren assembled at Kilwinning elected a Grand Master, as we should now call him, for Scotland, and that the Lodge of Kilwinning be came the Mother Lodge, a title which it has always assumed. Manuscripts preserved in the Advocates Library of Edinburgh, which were first published by Laurie, furnish further records of the early progress of Freemasonry in Scotland.
It is said that in the reign of James II, the office of Grand Patron of Scotland was granted to William Saint Clair, Earl of Orkney and Caithness and Baroll of Roslin, "his heirs and Successors," by the King's Charter. But, in 1736, the Saint Clair who then exercised the Grand Mastership, "taking into consideration that his holding or claiming any such jurisdictions right, or privilege might be prejudicial to the Craft and vocation of Masonry," renounced his claims, and empowered the Freemasons to choose their Grand Master. The consequence of this act of resignation was the immediate organization of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, over whom, for ol)vious reasons, the hereditary Grand Master or Patron was unanimously called to preside.
Brother A. M. Mackey, Past Master and Historian, Lodge Saint David sends us this information of old customs. In the early days of "Canongate Kilwing from Leith," now Lodge Saint David, Edinburg, number 36, it was the usual custom to confer Degrees at Special or Emergency Meetings, and to reserve the Monthly Meetings for the transaction of ordinary business and—more especially—for the reception and entertainment of Deputations from the Sister Lodges in and about the town. On these occasions the evening was devoted to "Harmony." The following Minute of the Monthly Meeting held in April 1740 is not only typical of others of the period, but is also of more than usual interest in the references it contains to matters Masonic and Military:
Canongate Killlvinning from Leith 9th Aprile 1740.
Year of Masonry 5740.
The Right Worshipfull being necessarly absent, The Senior Warden Brother Collin Mitchell assumed the Chair. Brother Calender appointed Senior Warden, Brother Aitkine Junior Warden, Then the Lodge being mett and duly formed conform to adjournment Wee were upon this occassion Visited from the following Lodges, from Leith Killwinning by Brother Dickson, from Canongate Leith, Leith and Canongate by Br Hall and Brother Smith. It was moved by Brother Aitkine, Junior Warden pro tempore that Brother David Buchanan his health should be drunk, whom wee had in the last Mundays news to have been the man who first gott in at the Iron port of Portobello when taken, and did place the British Collours there, which was unanimously agreed to by the Lodge, and his health drunk with three Claps and three Hussa's. Thereafter the Right Worshipfull toasted and drunk the useswall healths upon this occasion, and the Lodge was clossed by their proper officers, and adjourned till the fourteen day of May One thousand Sevven hundred and fourty years. ARCH SMART. Master
COLLIN MITCHELL S:W:
The episode referred to in the Minute is obviously an ineident in the war declared in Oetober 1739, between the forces of George II, and of Philip V of Spain. In those days news necessarily traveled slowly, and it was only on March 13, 1740, that word reached England of a victory achieved in the previous November.
Additional interest attaches to the Minute quoted in respect that it acquaints us with the form in toast drinking which obtained in the Lodge. The "three Claps and three Hussa's" constitute the earliest known record in Scottish Freemasonry of a custom which bears a curious resemblance to a form of "Masonic Firing" not unknown to the Fratemity at the present time (see also Squaremen, Corporation of).
SCOTLAND, ROYAL ORDER OF.
See Royal Order of Scotland.
SCOTT, CAPTAIN ROBERT FALCON.
Explorer, born 1868 at Outlands, Devenport, England. Initiated into Freemasonry at the beginning of the twentieth century in Drury Lane Lodge, No. 2127, London, England, and received his Master Mason Degree in Saint Alban's Lodge, Christchurch, New Zealand, on his return from the National Antarctic expedition of 1901-4 which he commanded. In 1910 he headed the British Antarctic Expedition and reached the South Pole on January 18, 1912. Brother Scott and the four men who accompanied him perished on the return trip (see Drury Lane Lodge, No. 2127, Its Founding and Record from 1886 to 1918, by E. T. Pryor, page 5).
American author of The Analogy of Ancient Craft Masonry to Natural and Revealed Religion, 1850, and The Keystone of the Masonic Arch; a Commentary on the Universal Laws and Principles of Ancient Masonry, 1856.
Published Pocket Companion and History of Freemasonry, 1754, London.
Famous novelist and poet. Initiated at thirty years of age. Born at the College Wynd, Edinburgh, Scotland, August 15, 1771, and educated at the High School. Previous to entering the University in November, 1783 he spent some weeks at Kelso attending daily the Public Schools At fifteen he was indentured an apprentice to his father, an attorney. On December 16, 1799, he was appointed to the Sheriffdom of Selkirkshire. At an emergency meeting held on Monday, March 2, 1801, Walter Scott was Initiated, Passed and Raised in Lodge Saint David, No. 36, Edinburgh. The father and the son of Brother Scott were Freemasons, the former Initiated in Lodge Saint David, January, 1754, the latter in Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No. 2, November 29, 1826.
June 4, 1816, Scott, in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master of the district, the most Noble the Marquis of Lothian, laid the foundation of a new Lodge-room at Selkirk and was elected and Honorary Member of the Lodge there, Saint John, now No. 32, on the Grand Lodge roll. Scott was announced as a Baronet in the Gazette on April 1, 1820, the first Baronet made by King George IV. The reference to the Oblong Square of the tournament field in his romance Ivanhoe is familiar, and the Lay of the Last Minstrel by Scott is inscribed to the Earl of Dalkeith, a member of the same Lodge and then Grand Master. Scott was in 1823 offered the Grand Mastership of the Royal Grand Conclave of Knights Templar of Scotland.
He declined because of his "age and health not permitting me to undertake the duties which whether convivial or charitable, a person undertaking such an office ought to be in readiness to perform when called upon." His reasons are all she more impressive when referred to his noble diligence in satisfying a debt not wholly his own, a labor that surely shortened his life.
The failure of the printing house of Ballentyne & Company occurred in 1826. Scott's liabilities as a partner amounted to nearly 150,000 pounds. Determined that all his creditors should be paid, he refused to be a party to a compromise or to accept any discharge. He pledged himself to devote the whole labor of his subsequent life to the payment of his debts and he fulfilled this promise. In the course of four years his literary works yielded nearly 70,000 pounds and ultimately his creditors received every penny of their claims. He paid, indeed. In February, 1830, he had an apoplectic seizure and never thoroughly recovered. After another severe shock in April, 1831, he was persuaded to abandon literary work. He died at Abbotsford, on September 21, 1832, in his sixty-second year. Five days later the remains of Sir Walter Scott were laid in the sepulcher of his ancestors in the old Abbey of Dryburgh. (These details furnished by the late Brother A. M. Mackay, Past Master, Lodge Saint David. See also Treasury of Masonic Thought, George M. Martin-John W. Callaghan, 1924, page 93.)
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