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Freemasonry in Edinburgh
Becoming a Freemason in Edinburgh
Becoming a Freemason
The Masonic lodge is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. The Lodge meets regularly and conducts the usual formal business of any small organisation (approve minutes, elect new members, appoint officers and take their reports, consider correspondence, bills and annual accounts, organise social and charitable events, etc.). In addition to such business, the meeting may perform a ceremony to confer a Masonic degree or receive a lecture, which is usually on some aspect of Masonic history or ritual. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Lodge may hold a formal dinner, or festive board, sometimes involving toasting and song.
The bulk of Masonic ritual consists of degree ceremonies conferred in meetings guarded by a "Tyler" outside the door with a drawn sword to keep out unqualified intruders to Masonry. (This officer, the Tyler, is necessarily senior because at the door he may hear the highest degree ceremonies, and often a less affluent elderly Mason is offered the office to relieve his need for Masonic company, refreshments and/or fees, without having to pay a subscription. He takes minor parts at the door of all meetings and ceremonies.) Candidates for Freemasonry are progressively initiated into Freemasonry, first in the degree of Entered Apprentice. At some later time, in separate ceremonies, they will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft; and then raised to the degree of Master Mason. In each of these ceremonies, the candidate must first take the new obligations of the degree, and is then entrusted with secret knowledge including passwords, signs and grips (secret handshakes) confined to his new rank.
Another ceremony is the annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his appointed or elected officers. In some jurisdictions an Installed Master elected, obligated and invested to preside over a Lodge, is valued as a separate rank with its own secrets and distinctive title and attributes; after each full year in the Chair the Master invests his elected successor and becomes a Past Master with privileges in the Lodge and Grand Lodge. In other jurisdictions, the grade is not recognised, and no inner ceremony conveys new secrets during the installation of a new Master of the Lodge.
Most Lodges have some sort of social functions, allowing members, their partners and non-Masonic guests to meet openly. Often coupled with these events is the discharge of every Mason's and Lodge's collective obligation to contribute to charity. This occurs at many levels, including in annual dues, subscriptions, fundraising events, Lodges and Grand Lodges. Masons and their charities contribute for the relief of need in many fields, such as education, health and old age.
Private Lodges form the backbone of Freemasonry, with the sole right to elect their own candidates for initiation as Masons or admission as joining Masons, and sometimes with exclusive rights over residents local to their premises. There are non-local Lodges where Masons meet for wider or narrower purposes, such or in association with some hobby, sport, Masonic research, business, profession, regiment or college. The rank of Master Mason also entitles a Freemason to explore Masonry further through other degrees, administered separately from the basic Craft or "Blue Lodge" degrees described here, but generally having a similar structure and meetings.
There is much diversity and little consistency in Freemasonry, because each Masonic jurisdiction is independent and sets its own rules and procedures while Grand Lodges have limited jurisdiction over their constituent member Lodges, which are ultimately private clubs. The wording of the ritual, the number of officers present, the layout of the meeting room, etc. varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
The earliest masonic texts each contain some sort of a history of the craft of Masonry. The oldest known work of this type, The Halliwell Manuscript, also known as Regius Poem, dates from between 1390 and 1425. This document has a brief history in its introduction, stating that the "craft of Masonry" began with Euclid in Egypt, and came to England in the reign of King Athelstan (born about 894, died 27 October 939). Shortly afterwards, the Cooke Manuscript traces Masonry to Jabal, son of Lamech (Genesis 4: 20–22), and tells how this knowledge came to Euclid, from him to the Children of Israel (while they were in Egypt), and so on through an elaborate path to Athelstan. This myth formed the basis for subsequent manuscript constitutions, all tracing Masonry back to biblical times, and fixing its institutional establishment in England during the reign of Athelstan (927–939).
Shortly after the formation of the Premier Grand Lodge of England, James Anderson was commissioned to digest these "Gothic Constitutions" in a palatable, modern form. The resulting constitutions are prefaced by a history more extensive than any before, again tracing the history of what was now Freemasonry back to biblical roots, again forging Euclid into the chain. True to his material, Anderson fixes the first grand assembly of English Masons at York, under Athelstan's son, Edwin, who is otherwise unknown to history. Expanded, revised, and republished, Anderson's 1738 constitutions listed the Grand Masters since Augustine of Canterbury, listed as Austin the Monk. William Preston's Illustrations of Freemasonry enlarged and expanded on this masonic creation myth.
In France, the 1737 lecture of Chevalier Ramsay added the crusaders to the lineage. He maintained that Crusader Masons had revived the craft with secrets recovered in the Holy Land, under the patronage of the Knights Hospitaller. At this point, the history of the craft in Continental Freemasonry diverged from that in England.
Edinburgh Scots: Edinburgh; Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann [ˈt̪uːn ˈeːtʲən̪ˠ]) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore. Edinburgh is Scotland's second-most populous city and the seventh-most populous city in the United Kingdom.
Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the highest courts in Scotland. The city's Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland. The city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, philosophy, the sciences and engineering. After London, it is the second-largest financial centre in the United Kingdom, and the city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the UK's second-most visited tourist destination, again after London, attracting 4.9 million visits, including 2.4 million from overseas in 2018.
Edinburgh's official population estimates are 488,050 (mid-2016) for the Edinburgh locality, 518,500 (mid-2019) for the City of Edinburgh council area, and 1,339,380 (2014) for the wider city region. Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region comprising East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian.
The city is the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. It is home to national cultural institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of three in the city, is placed 20th in the QS World University Rankings for 2020. The city is also known for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town built in the 18th/19th centuries. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999.
"Edin", the root of the city's name, derives from Eidyn, the name for this region in Cumbric, the Brittonic Celtic language formerly spoken there. The name's meaning is unknown. The district of Eidyn centred on the stronghold Din Eidyn, the dun or hillfort of Eidyn. This stronghold is believed to have been located at Castle Rock, now the site of Edinburgh Castle. Eidyn was conquered by the Angles of Bernicia in the 7th century and later by the Scots in the 10th century. As the language shifted to Old English, and subsequently to Scots, the Brittonic din in Din Eidyn was replaced by burh, producing Edinburgh. Similarly, din became dùn in Scottish Gaelic, producing Dùn Èideann. The city is affectionately nicknamed Auld Reekie, Scots for Old Smoky, for the views from the country of the smoke-covered Old Town. A remark on a poem in an 1800 collection of the poems of Allan Ramsay said, "Auld Reeky. A name the country people give Edinburgh from the cloud of smoke or reek that is always impending over it."
Thomas Carlyle said, "Smoke cloud hangs over old Edinburgh,—for, ever since Aeneas Silvius's time and earlier, the people have the art, very strange to Aeneas, of burning a certain sort of black stones, and Edinburgh with its chimneys is called 'Auld Reekie' by the country people." A character in Walter Scott's The Abbot says "... yonder stands Auld Reekie—you may see the smoke hover over her at twenty miles' distance." Robert Chambers who said that the sobriquet could not be traced before the reign of Charles II attributed the name to a Fife laird, Durham of Largo, who regulated the bedtime of his children by the smoke rising above Edinburgh from the fires of the tenements. "It's time now bairns, to tak' the beuks, and gang to our beds, for yonder's Auld Reekie, I see, putting on her nicht -cap!"
Some have called Edinburgh the Athens of the North for a variety of reasons. The earliest comparison between the two cities showed that they had a similar topography, with the Castle Rock of Edinburgh performing a similar role to the Athenian Acropolis. Both of them had flatter, fertile agricultural land sloping down to a port several miles away (respectively Leith and Piraeus). Although this arrangement is common in Southern Europe, it is rare in Northern Europe. The 18th-century intellectual life, referred to as the Scottish Enlightenment, was a key influence in gaining the name. Such luminaries as David Hume and Adam Smith shone during this period. As Edinburgh lost most of its political importance after the Union, some hoped that the city could gain a similar influence on London as Athens had on Rome. Also a contributing factor was the later neoclassical architecture, particularly that of William Henry Playfair, and the National Monument. Tom Stoppard's character Archie, of Jumpers, said, perhaps playing on Reykjavík meaning "smoky bay", that the "Reykjavík of the South" would be more appropriate. The city has also been known by several Latin names such as Edinburgum while the adjectival forms Edinburgensis and Edinensis are used in educational and scientific contexts. Edina is a late 18th century poetical form used by the Scots poets Robert Fergusson and Robert Burns. "Embra" or "Embro" are colloquialisms from the same time, as in Robert Garioch's Embro to the Ploy. Ben Jonson described it as "Britaine's other eye", and Sir Walter Scott referred to it as "yon Empress of the North". Robert Louis Stevenson, also a son of the city, wrote that Edinburgh "is what Paris ought to be."
Becoming a Freemason in United Kingdom
Becoming a Freemason in Scotland Scotland
Council area City of Edinburgh
Lieutenancy area Edinburgh
Founded Before 7th century AD
Burgh Charter 1125
City status 1633
• Type Unitary authority
• Governing body City of Edinburgh Council
• Lord Provost of Edinburgh Frank Ross
• Capital city and council area 264 km2 (102 sq mi)
• Urban 119 km2 (46 sq mi)
Elevation 47 m (154 ft)
Population (mid-2016 est.)
• Capital city and council area 488,050 (City)
518,500 (Council area)
• Density 1,828/km2 (4,730/sq mi)
• Urban 512,150
• Metro 901,455
• Language(s) English
Time zone UTC±0 (GMT)
• Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
Area code(s) 0131
ISO 3166-2 GB-EDH
ONS code S12000036
OS grid reference NT275735
NUTS 3 UKM25
Primary Airport Edinburgh Airport
GDP $33 billion
GDP per capita $58,000