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Latest News.

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Yet again a very warm welcome to Rev. Steven Manders and Jamie Scott Colquhoun, on being made the last Brithers of the year in the Mither Shed.

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Graham Ludar - Smith is warmly welcomed as the newest Brither of the Mither Shed.

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A very warm welcome to Brithers George Scott and Gordon Leitch on becoming the newest members of the magnificent Corporation!  

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A very warm welcome to Brither John McIlvean, Lodge Callendar No.588 on joining the Mither Shed. He was a bit twitchy at the medical though!

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The following Brithers joined the ranks of the Mither Shed at a special meeting at Polmont, a very warm welcome to:
Alan Yates, Alex (Thomas) Alex Croy, and Thomas Hardie.

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In Edinburgh the other day and I took a walk down Blackfriars Street where Lodge Journeyman Masons is situated and took a photo of the facade.
The Squaremen met in this building at one time.

Here's an interesting extract from an article by Bro. Jan P. Watson P.M.

The Lodge of Journeymen Masons is a most unusual Lodge which has a unique place in Masonic history.
There are many interesting and unique aspects connected with The Lodge of Journeymen Masons and its history.
Probably none more so than in the fact that it has never, at any time, been granted a charter.
The story begins centuries before the actual formation of the Lodge.

The forefathers of the City of Edinburgh were far sighted enough throughout the
centuries to keep detailed written records -Acts of Parliament, Royal Charters, etc.
In one of these Acts of Parliament, dated 1424, we find reference to the "crafts".
It is ordained that in ilke (each) Towne of the Realm of ilk sindrie Craft used therein,
be chosen a wise man of that craft...Shall be halden Deakon or Maister-man....to
govern and assat akk warjes that beis maid be the Craftes-men of that craft."

(In modern English, it would read, "It is decreed that in each town of the realm, each
craft employed in that town shall choose a wise man of that craft and install him as
Deacon or Master to govern and evaluate all work made by the craftsmen of that craft.)

" In 1469 the Town Council of Edinburgh began granting Charters of Incorporation or
Seals of Cause to various craft bodies so that the craftsmen could have some say in
the election of magistrates. At the head of each Incorporation was a Deacon.
The mason trade organization began, in Edinburgh, with the issuing of a Seal of cause
to the Wrights and Masons on the 15th October 1475. This Incorporation wad also known
later as The Incorporation of Mary's Chapel-from the building in which it met.
Later, The Lodge of Edinburgh would also meet there and was known as the Lodge
of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel). Many of the craftsmen were members of both organizations.
The Incorporation was the link between the crafts and the community.
In the very early years of the l8th century a serious rift began to appear which
would affect both the Incorporation and the Lodge of Edinburgh. Several members
of these bodies thought that funds, which they had contributed to, had been misappropriated.

The exact date of No. 8's formation is uncertain but moves were certainly being
made prior to 1707 which is the accepted date. A minuted meeting was definitely
held in 1708. On the 27th December that year a petition was received by the
Lodge of Edinburgh from the unhappy fellowcrafts complaining that they did not
have access to the accounts of the lodge. This matter was resolved in a manner
agreeable to both sides until 1712 when more problems arose.
This came to a head at one meeting, held on St. John's Day 1712, when all
of the fellowcrafts, except two, walked out, led by Bro. James Watson (Deacon of the Incorporation).

During the following year the fellowcrafts, or Journeymen, entered (initiated)
apprentices and passed fellowcrafts in a public house which caused an uproar in
The Lodge of Edinburgh. Following this, the Incorporation and The Lodge of Edinburgh
obtained a warrant from the courts to inspect the books of the Journeymen.
Also, at this time, they pushed for, and were successful in having two of the
Journey men leaders (William Brodie and Robert Winram) arrested and put in
prison for using foul language. These latest incidents caused the Journeymen to be outraged.
The proceedings had, by now, come to a crossroads and decisions had to be made.
Should the Journeymen give up or should they take the only course of action left
open to them-go to the courts. Since the incorporation was the legal authority
of the craft it was decided to target it.
The Journeymen took out actions for wrongful imprisonment and unlawful abstraction
of books against James Brownhill (Deacon of the Wrights) and William Smellie
(Deacon of the Masons). The manuscript which contains the list of grievances was
known as The Deed of Submission. The court decided that arbitration was the best
solution to the problem. The Deacons of the Goldsmiths and the Surgeons, with the
governor of the Incorporated Crafts as oversaw, were appointed as the arbiters.
On the 8th January 1715 the arbiters presented their Decreed Arbitral.
This Decreed Arbitral can be regarded as the equivalent to a charter for our lodge.

Among the decisions the arbiters reached were:
1. The two Journeymen had been rightly imprisoned then proceeded to award them
damages of 100 Scots against the Deacons!
2. The books of the Journeymen were to be returned to them. However, these books
must be presented to the Incorporation each half year for inspection. But most importantly...
3. The Journeymen were given authority to meet as a separate Masonic Lodge.
This was still not the end of the matter since the Deacons refused to pay the damages
and return the books. Legal documents, entitled 'Letters of Horning', were served
upon them On the l3th July 1715.
When a reasonable conclusion had been arrived at, the Lords of Session presented
The Lodge of Journeymen Masons with a red silk purse which is still in the Lodge's possession today.
The Lodge of Journeymen Masons has worked as a legal lodge since 1715
(the completion of the legal processes) but it is recognized by everyone,
including the Grand Lodge of Scotland, that the true date of formation is 1707.
It is recorded as such in Grand Lodge. Instead of a charter being present in our
Lodge we have The Deeds of Submission (including the Decreed Arbitral) and the
Letter of Horning hanging on our walls. The new initiates are given a short
lecture on our rights to charge fees and confer degrees in which these documents are referred to.
The Lodge of Journeymen Masons may be the Only lodge in the world which is allowed
to charge fees and confer degrees and does not require a charter from a Grand Lodge.
Many lodges which were formed before the founding of the respective Grand Lodges
received charters retrospectively. In Scotland we call these Charters of Confirmation.
The Lodge of Journeymen Masons does not even have one of these we have our authority
from the Court of Session of Edinburgh.

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Very warm welcome to Paul Gilhooley on becoming a Squareman in the Mither shed.

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Tank

The following is an extract from,"The Corporation of Squaremen by J. Stewart Seggie", written in 1947.
Many thanks to Bill Brand for sending me his copy of the book in PDF format.

"The billet dated the 25th January (year was 1946), contains the usual summons to a meeting on the 2nd of February,
but it is illustrated on this occasion with a drawing of the entrance to the Shed, the Clock and the steeple of St Giles.

The new Deacon, Brother Charles. R. Gerrad is shown at the centre of the billet dressed in the uniform of an Officer of the Special Police.
At the side of the photo, with an arrow pointing to his head, are these words: "It's not what's on yer heid that counts, it's what's in it."
The fines Tank is depicted with this motto: "Roll on Squaremen"."

I will endeavour to locate the actual billet if it still exists.
The motto is now complete on the Tank.

The history of the Tank has yet to be unearthed but it looks as though it was modelled on the Britsh Mark V tank shown below.
They were in service from 1918 (last known)1941 and were used in the First World War, Russian Civil War and the Second World War (minimal).

Mark V

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The Mither Shed has relocated and forthwith the meetings shall be held at:

Guards Club (Scots Guards Association Club Ltd.)

2 Clifton Terrace

Edinburgh

EH12 5DR

Tel: 0131 337 1084

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The puir cratur that was Craig Drysdale managed to satisfy the Intelligentsia that he was a worthy candidate to be inculcated in the antient mysteries of the Corporation. His skill in the assay test and answering of the questions was exemplary.

Welcome Craig as the newest member of the Mither Shed.

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Callum Shanks has kindly agreed to take up the office of Boxie. Thanks Callum, we wish you all the best in your new post.

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Those members of a more curious disposition may have looked at their certificate of membership and pondered on the meaning of the letters surrounding the small pipe-smoking man in the upper left corner and other images, some will never have looked and won't care, but for those that do here's the explanation of some of them:

This is the motto, Festina lente or (speûde bradés) it is a classical adage and oxymoron meaning "make haste slowly" (usually rendered in English as "more haste, less speed"). It has been adopted as a motto numerous times, particularly by the emperors Augustus and Titus, the Medicis, the Onslows and the Squaremen.
The original form of the saying is Classical Greek, of which festina lente is the Latin translation.

The constructive intent of the phrase is that activities should be performed with a proper balance of urgency and diligence. If tasks are overly rushed, mistakes are made and good long-term results are not achieved. Work is best done in a state of flow in which one is fully engaged by the task and there is no sense of time passing.
One extrapolation is "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast."

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Stag image

The stag's head with cross in the right upper corner of the certificate.

Tradition has it that it was at the foot of Arthur's Seat, covered by the forest of Drumselch, that Scotland's 12th-century king David I encountered a stag (hart) while out hunting. Having fallen from his horse and about to be gored, he had a vision of a cross appearing between the animal's antlers, before it inexplicably turned away, leaving him unharmed.

That night he dreamt that a great religious house would be established at the place of his miraculous escape. David, believing his life had been spared through divine intervention, founded Holyrood Abbey on the spot.

That same year the establishment of a monastery was approved which was to become the Augustine Holyrood Abbey. He also granted a charter to the adjacent burgh which was to become Canongate.
On the death of Queen Margaret in 1093 she bequeathed a casket of holy relicts to her sons which was later given to the Abbey.

The walk between the Abbey and the walled town of Edinburgh around Castle Rock became known as 'Canon's Gait' or Canongate.

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Cannongate image

Burgh arms of the Canongate on the Mercat Cross of Edinburgh.
"Sic itur ad Astra; This is the path to heaven. Such is the ancient motto attached to the armorial bearings of the Canongate

The Palace of Holyrood was started in 1501 and completed by Charles II.
The Burgh of Canongate grew up around the Abbey and Palace and was separate from Edinburgh until the 19th century.

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I am certainly not an expert on the history of Ye Corporation O'Squaremen but I do like to indulge myself in some research when possible.
As far as I can ascertain (with evidence to back it up) the first mention of the Corporation is in 1903 -04 in this interesting clip from Post-Office Edinburgh & Leith directory.

The previous Post Office Directory (1902-1903) has no mention at all but this is most likely due to the organization being reformed in Edinburgh at that time by Brothers Philip and William Murray. (see "History" page for further information) which makes the Mither Shed 111 years old at the time of writing article.

There are also some other interesting orders listed alongside.

The first "lawful day of the month" as far as I can discern, means the first working day. The closest reference I can find is this:
"Arrested and kept in a Police cell to appear "the next lawful day" at Court. This means that if you are arrested on a Tuesday you will appear at Court on the Wednesday morning, but if you are arrested on a Friday you will remain in a Police cell until Monday morning."

1903 to 1904 Post Office Directory

1903 to 1904 Post Office Directory extract

1903 to 1904 Post Office Directory extract

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