RWM Bro. Peter J Brown
 

 

  VIRTUAL MUSEUM -
AN ONLINE TOUR OF THE LODGE RELICS
 
     
  The Lodge is proud to present images and details of some of the relics in our possession that date back to the time of Robert Burns. Some of these have never previously been photographed or displayed to the public. Visitors are reminded that express Copyright of these images is retained by the Lodge. Requests to visit the Lodge in person should be directed to the Lodge Secretary.  
       

Robert Burns as Depute Master
 

CONTENTS

The Kilwinning Charter
A Letter written by Burns to the Lodge
The Copperplate used to send invitations out to the brethren
Minute Book - Burns becoming a Freemason
Minute Book Entry - Robert Burness, Depute Master
Minute Book Entry - Robert Burns - First record of when he changed his name from Burness to Burns
The Bible purchased by Burns for the Lodge
The Master's jewel worn by Burns as Depute Master
The Mallet used by Burns when presiding over meetings
Candlesticks used during meetings when Burns was DM
Burns' Apron
The Master's Chair used by Burn
s

 

 
 

THE KILWINNING CHARTER

Still in our possession today is the original Charter from Lodge Mother Kilwinning dating to 17 May 1771.


The Kilwinning Charter




LETTER WRITTEN BY BURNS TO THE LODGE

Burns was unable to attend a meeting of the lodge.

In this letter, written in Edinburgh on 23 August 1787, Burns apologises for his absence, and intercedes on behalf of loan defaulters who were due to be prosecuted at the meeting.

The ending of the letter has become famous, and is shown below.


The letter was addressed to:

" The Right Worshipful St Jame's Lodge, Tarbolton.
Care of James Manson, Innkeeper, Tarbolton"

The lodge used to meet at Manson's Inn, hence the addressee.

 

The beginning of the letter is thus:

Men and Brethren

I am truly sorry it is not in my power to be at your quarterly meeting - If I must be absent in body, believe me I shall be present in spirit. I suppose those who owe us monies by bill or otherwise will appear; I mean those we summoned. If you please, I wish you would delay prosecuting defaulters till I come home. The court is up and I will be home before it sits down. In the mean time, to take a note of who appear and who do not of our faulty debtors will be the right in my humble opinion; and those who confess debt and crave days, I think we should spare them.

Farewell

Within your dear Mansion may wayward contention
Or withered Envy ne'er enter
May Secrecy round be the mystical bound
And brotherly love be the center.

Robt Burns

 


The famous ending to Burns' letter


 

THE COPPERPLATE USED TO PRODUCE INVITATIONS TO THE BRETHREN

This plate was used to invite brethren to meetings of the Lodge. All newly entered brethren are given a print using the plate as a momento.


The original copperplate

 


Print given to all newly entered brethren up to this day on day of admission to the Lodge.

 


 
MINUTE BOOK - THE ENTRY WHERE BURNS IS MADE A FREEMASON

This famous entry in the minute book of July 4th 1781 reads as follows:

Sederunt for July 4th
Robt Burns in Lochly was entered an apprentice.

 
Burns is entered into the Lodge

 
MINUTE BOOK ENTRY - BURNESS AS DEPUTE MASTER

 

Burns signed the minute book on many occasions. The one shown here dates to July 20 1785.

It should be noted that Burns used to use the name Burness.

 


Burns signs the book, "Robt Burness, D.M" when he was Depute Master

 
MINUTE BOOK ENTRY - BURNESS CHANGES HIS NAME TO BURNS

 

This is the first recorded minute where Burns drops the "es" from Burness. It dates to 25 May 1786


Robert Burns' new signature - without the "es" in Burness


 
THE BIBLE PURCHASED BY ROBERT BURNS

 

This is the first page of the Bible purchased for the Lodge by Robert Burns.


The Bible purchased by Burns

 

 


 
MASTER'S JEWEL FROM BURNS PERIOD

 

This is the actual Master's jewel worn by Robert Burns when he was Depute Master. Burns makes referrence to the, "highest badge" in his Farewell poem to the brethren of the lodge.


Masters jewel worn by Burns as Depute Master

 


 
THE MALLET USED BY BURNS DURING MEETINGS

The Master's mallet that was used by Robert Burns when he presided over the Lodge is still in use today.

Visiting Lodges also take great pleasure in using the mallet during meetings.

 


The Master's Mallet


 
CANDLESTICKS

 

Used at the time of Burns, these candlesticks are still in use today at every meeting.

 

 

 
BURNS' APRON

 

The apron worn by Robert Burns is proudly framed and hung on the North wall of the Lodge and is visible to all on entering via the South doorway.


The apron worn by Robert Burns

 


 
THE MASTER'S CHAIR

 

Ever since Robert Burns sat in this chair, it has been used by all subsequent brethren who have presided over the Lodge.

Still situated in the East, the RWM of today's Lodge presides over the Lodge as Burns himself did.


The Master's Chair and Footstool

 

 

 


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