The Stow Lodge of Freemasons was 200
years old in December 2006. The Charter Date of 1806 refers to
the Original Charter Granted to the Lodge at Stow by the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, and although masonic activity in Stow can be proven
prior to the consecration date of 1806 the present celebration
relates to modern day freemasonry and facts related to the Masons
Lodge at Stow chartered by the Grand Lodge.
At the time that the Stow Masons petitioned the Grand Lodge of
Scotland for a Charter for a "New" Lodge in Stow - The Secret
Societies Act 1799 prevailed. This Act expressly exempted Lodges
of Freemasons, however, The Grand Lodges thought it prudent not to
issue New Charters to Lodges until clarification had been
sought. During that uncertain period no new charters were issued
by The Grand Lodge of Scotland.
To get round this older Charters which had been returned to the
Grand Lodge by Lodges which had become "Dormant" were re-issued.
Stow Lodge was one of a small number of lodges chartered in this
The Lodge was originally Issued with a Charter granted to a
"Cumberland Kilwinning" Lodge No 55 in 1746 and based in
This Lodge became Dormant in 1785 and was "erased" in 1809.
In referring to Cumberland Kilwinning Lodge with the
Charter No 55 - I should mention that another Lodge of the same
name exists to this day on the Roll - and that Lodge's number
217! Is this more than a co-incidence? I think the two
must be connected - This Lodge was originally Chartered by
Mother Kilwinning - the date - 4th February 1747 - quite close
to the date shown for Lodge No 55. Also the present day
Cumberland Kilwinning Lodge joined the Grand Lodge 2 February
Up to this date Mother Kilwinning continued to grant Charters to
Lodges and following a reconciliation in 1807 which stated:-
i. That the Mother Lodge Kilwinning shall
renounce all right to granting Charters, and come in along with
all the Lodges holding under her, to the bosom of the Grand
ii. That all the Lodges holding of the
Mother Lodge shall be obliged to obtain from the Grand Lodge,
confirmation of their respective charters, for which a fee of
three guineas only shall be exigible.
iii. The Mother Kilwinning shall be
placed at the head of the Roll of the Grand Lodge under the
denomination of Mother Kilwinning; and her Daughter Lodges
shall, in the meantime, be placed at the end of the said Roll,
and as they shall apply for confirmation; but under this express
declaration, that so soon as the roll shall be arranged and
corrected, which is in present contemplation, the Lodges holding
of Mother Kilwinning shall be entitled to be ranked according to
the dates of their original charters, and of those granted by
the Grand Lodge.
The fact that the present day Cumberland Kilwinning remains
with the number 217 suggests to me that this Lodge had lost -
handed over or in some other way disposed of it's original
Charter - This requires further investigation but it does seem
likely that the Charter which was issued to The Stow Lodge was
connected to the present day Cumberland Kilwinning Lodge No 217.
The two sponsor Lodges of the Stow Lodge were Dalkeith
Kilwinning No 10 and St Luke (Lauder) No 132
The Stow Lodge Number has changed over the years. It was
numbered 284 in 1807 - changed to 211 in 1816 - re-numbered 215
in 1822 and given the number 216 in 1826.
The Stow Lodge Regalia Colour has also changed over the years.
From Blue in 1848 - to Light Blue in 1896 - and then Light
Blue and Silver in 1923.
(Scottish Masonic Records
- GS Draffen)