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Partick St Mary's Lodge No 117
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Partick St Mary's Lodge No 117
Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland.
Within the Province of Glasgow

Partick St Mary's Lodge No 117

The History of Partick St Mary's Lodge No 117

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close up of the outside wall on Dumbarton Road

The History of Masonry in Partick, as would be expected in so small a community, is closely associated with the history of Partick itself. The first active signs, however, seem to have become associated traditionally with one William Miller, a building contractor of Glasgow and Partick, originally from that home of Freemasonry, Kilwinning. It must be assumed that Miller brought with him some skilled Operative Masons, and we first hear of him in connection with a contract for the building of a house in Partick for one George Hutcheson of Lambhill, one of the Hutcheson brothers famed for their philanthropy and (later) being the founders of the Hutcheson's Hospital and, of course, still connected with the school of that name in Glasgow.

Diagram of Partick St Mary's Lodge History

The actual date of Miller's contract is dated 9th and 14th July 1611, and it is certain that Masonry was practised from some time around that date: a Lodge without a charter must have been in being, probably with the members being all Operative Masons. At what stage Speculative Masons were accepted, history does not inform us but, whether as a prelude to their acceptance or a result of their acceptance, a Charter was applied for to the Mother Lodge of Kilwinning in 1756. This was granted on 24th May 1759, the Lodge being given the title of Partick Kilwinning Lodge No 64.

There is a certain amount of dispute about the name and number of the Lodge. In his book entitled "Notes and Reminiscences relating to Partick" published 1873, James Napier FCS, the author, gives the name as "Partick Kilwinning St John's Lodge No 77", claiming that the true date of this Lodge cannot be established, as the books of the old Lodge of Kilwinning were destroyed by fire, and the Lodge of Partick St John has been extinct since 1837.

In the book "The History of Partick" by William Greenholme, MAFETS, published in 1928, the number is given as 77. It is possible, of course, that Greenholme merely took his information from Napier.

In his book "The History of Partick St Mary's No 117", Thomas A Bell, Master of the Lodge in 1946, may have used Napier's book for the earlier history of the Lodge, for they are in complete agreement but he is quite emphatic that the title was "Partick Kilwinning Lodge No 64", stating that in the publication, "The History of Mother Kilwinning Lodge No 0". In Napier's book (1873) there is a copy of the original Charter granted to a Partick Lodge under the number 77, the Lodge granting this number was Paisley St Andrews Lodge. It is possible that both Napier and Greeholme were mistaken, since neither of them were intent on compiling a history of Masonry, whereas Bell was, and it might be assumed that his research was more through.

All are agreed, however, that at its inception the Lodge was Operative in the fact that all the leading Office Bearers were Operative Masons. At some stage, Speculative Masons had been admitted, and in the light of the fact that the Disruption Meeting occurred in 1763, only four years after the Charter had been granted, it would be fair to assume that Speculatives had been admitted before 1759, for how otherwise could their numbers have been enough to outvote the Operatives as did happen at the meeting held on St John's Day, December 27th 1763?

The cause of the dispute was simply that the Speculatives wished to have a say in the management of the Lodge by becoming eligible for office.  In the open dispute that followed, the Operatives, finding themselves outvoted, retired from the meeting in protest.  The majority of Speculatives left at the meeting proceeded with the elections, one Thomas Miller being elected the RWM. They continued to meet and act as a Lodge, without a Charter according to Bell, but as "Partick St John" according to Napier. What the Operatives did was appoint a committee of five to bring the Speculative dissenters to account. This in turn led to an appeal being made to the Sheriff, but the prospect of interminable discussion becoming increasingly apparent, it was finally agreed to settle the matter by arbitration, a committee of Brethren chosen from each of the Glasgow Lodges being set up for that purpose.

Agreement was reached on the 10th May 1765 whereby the Operatives, or 'Dissenting Brethren', were to retain the Charter, Register, Chairs, Jewels etc, at a valuation, which, with such money, bills and so on belonging to the Lodge, were to be equally divided between the parties. The Speculatives were to retain the Old Lodge Room.

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Lodge Syllabus
  • 5th September

    TBC
  • 19th September

    TBC
  • 3rd October

    TBC
  • 17th October

    Nomination & Election
  • 7th November

    TBC
  • 21st November

    A.G.M. & Memorial Service
  • 5th December

    Installation at 6.45pm
  • 19th December

    TBC
  • 2nd January

    TBC
  • 16th January

    TBC


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