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Scotland’s Freemasonry

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William St.Clair

Scottish Freemasonry started with the building of Rosslyn Chapel to the south of Edinburgh.

The Evidence:

  • Rosslyn has links to the Jewish Temple through the Knights Templar and Freemasonry.
  • If one looks at the ground plan of Rosslyn Chapel, it is a copy of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem.
  • Within Rosslyn Chapel, there exists a stone document showing a First Degree Ceremony conducted by a Knights Templar.

Carvings within Rosslyn Chapel, were cut first from wood, await inspection by the Master of the Works, then cut in stone.

The lower window located in the chapel’s south-west corner, depicts a Freemasonic First Degree.  The figure shown be of a blind man kneeling between two pillars, with a noose around his neck, and a bible in his left hand.  The rope is held by another wearing the mantle of a Knights Templar.

The Seven Points… A Masonic Ceremony:

  • The man be blindfolded, an unusual form of blind justice.
  • The man kneels down.
  • The man holds a bible, many other figures holding books or scrolls can be found in Rosslyn Chapel.
  • The man has a noose about his neck, the only other figure within the chapel with a noose, is the angel Shemhazai wearing one about his feet.The sins of Shemhazai, caused God to send in the flood.  Shemhazai unable to face God hung himself between heaven and earth.
  • The man placed his feet in the posture used by Masonic candidates.
  • The ceremony takes place between two pillars of Masonic Lodge.
  • The noose being held by a knights Templar.

In 1440 William St. Clair renowned as one of the most powerful men in Scotland.

The building of Rosslyn Chapel was to house the treasures he had inherited from the Templars and establish a seat of spiritual authority to rival King James II who was dabbling in English politics and killed during the War of the Roses.

Formation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland:

1440 Masons given the Mason word by William to preserve the secret of the Templars.

1483 Masonry is starting to spread out as lodges initiate Candidates and give the ‘Mason Word.’

1599 Earliest surviving lodge just minutes from Edinburgh.

1601 James VI made a Mason at Lodge of Scoon and Perth.

1602 William Schaw sets up the modern lodge system in Scotland upon the instructions of James VI.

The Lodges of Scotland affirm William St. Clair of Roslin as hereditary Grand Master Mason of Scotland.

1603 James VI takes Freemasonry to England where he becomes King James I of England.

1641 Sir Robert Moray becomes the first Mason recorded to be born on English soil.

1715 First Jacobite Rising, lodges begin to disclaim their Scottish roots.

1717 Formation of Grand Lodge of London denies Jacobite heritage.

1725 First National Grand Lodge formed in Ireland.

1736 Grand Lodge of Scotland formed as a counter measure to London’s expansion.

William St. Clair of Roslin made First Grand Master Mason of Scotland and signs away his hereditary rights in favour of elected officers.

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