The above hand written note - written by Brother Robert Sanderson, a Past Master of Lodge St John Stow No 216 (RWM from 1882-1885) was attached to the box. It says:-
"This Oak Chest belonged to the Old Lodge of Freemasons which met at Haughfoot on the estate of Torsonce Stow as early as the year 1702 From the Old Records it appears this chest was ordered to replace one used as the Lodge Box since 1704 and was made in 1727 by Brother William Murray. It cost for wood and work £1-10/- Scots equal to 8/6 Sterling in all. The chest is therefore 161 years old"
Clearly, as the note was penned in 1888 it makes the box now over 295 years old and the note over 130 years old!
The box is mentioned in Haughfoot Minute Book, firstly, in a Minute dated 27th Dec 1725 when Wm Murray is appointed "to have a box ready betwixt and that day ffor keeping off the Book"
Murray is again requested in 27th Dec 1726 to have a box ready "for keeping the Book" and in the Minute dated 3 February 1727, where the Treasurer is ordered to pay Murray £1.10s. Scots for the Chest and £4.4s Scots as the "price of the ironwork belonging to the chest", and when the papers and register come into his hands he is "to loge them in the chist and give the Inner Kye to Walter Scott and to keep the outer Kye himself during the Lodges pleasure".
In common with many such organisations - see Dalkeith No 10 Strong Box which gives an interesting account and insight into that Lodge's Box.