Haughfoot Lodge Founder Members Jewel   The Haughfoot Lodge No 1824

Haughfoot Lodge Founder Members Jewel

No 1824

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The Haughfoot Lodge Box - now over 279 years old

Lodge St John Stow No 216

Vist to Lodge Rothesay St John No 292

 

Origins of The Haughfoot Lodge

"On December 22nd, 1702, in the little Scottish hamlet of Haughfoot, a Lodge of Masons was founded. It flourished for 61 years until 1763, and apparently disappeared into thin air." So wrote Bro. H. Carr in his history of the Lodge at Haughfoot (Trans. Ars Quatuor Coronati Lodge No 2076 (E.C.), vol. Lxiii, 1950, pp 255-303).

Although nothing now remains of the Hamlet of Haughfoot, the minute book of the Lodge is still in existence. It records some of the most important events in early the history of Freemasonry. In the first minute, the names of the three founding members are recorded here for posterity:-

John Hoppringle of Torsonce (Laird of Torsonce)

James Pringle (Torsonce's Brother)

Andrew Thomson (probably a local lawyer in Galashiels)

The First Initiates:-

 

Sir James Scott of Gala (Laird of Gala)

Thomas Scott – Gala's Brother

David Murray in Philiphaugh

James Pringle in Haughfoot

Robert Lourie in Stowtounhead

John Pringle – Wright

Haughfoot Picture

A View of the area looking North from Haughfoot towards Torsonce House just South of Stow

Why is the Haughfoot minute book so important? well none of the founding members was an operative mason thus we have the first ever record in the world of a purely speculative lodge. The Haughfoot Lodge is therefore the earliest link between operative and speculative lodges but its importance does not rest there.
View of Haughfoot area from A7 looking North

This view taken from the main A7 looking North shows the area of Haughfoot - Torsonce House is just visible in the trees to the right

 

At the beginning of the minute book is the ‘Haughfoot Fragment’, a piece of ritual, presumably written by the first secretary and hence undoubtedly was the ritual performed by the brethren. This ritual is a series of questions and answers and it overlaps with what is known as the Edinburgh Register House MS of 1696. There is nothing in the Edinburgh Register House MS to identify it conclusively as having Masonic origins but the Haughfoot fragment provides the critical evidence to link speculative ritual to its operative origins.

The Haughfoot Lodge thus occupies a uniquely important place in the history of Freemasonry and its ter-centenary was celebrated in December 2002 following the consecration of the new lodge in August 2002.

Brother Harry Carr states in his book about the Haughfoot Lodge that it ‘apparently disappeared into thin air’ but this is not quite true. The Lodge as a collective entity ceased, however, there is sufficient evidence to show the remaining members continued as separate "Societies" in Galashiels and Stow - with the remainder being integrated into the Lodge at Selkirk. Those three daughter lodges were the three sponsor lodges of the New Haughfoot Lodge No 1824

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