Lodge St John Stow No 216  


No 216

The Stow Lodge St John

(chartered 8th December 1806)


1806 - 2006

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 way

The Lodge was originally Issued with a Charter granted to a "Cumberland Kilwinning" Lodge No 55 in 1746 and based in Peebles? (1)

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 1807

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 Lodge.

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.  (1)

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.  (1)

 (1)  (Scottish Masonic Records - GS Draffen)

All Meetings held in the Town Hall - Earlston Road Stow


Copyright 2003 - 21
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