An Historical Sketch
Brothers Alexander Whitehead & Philip Maley
The Formation of Provincial Grand Lodge
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire did not however, become a separate entity until 6th February 1745, when a Commission was granted by the Grand Master Mason to the first Provincial Grand Master.
The Commission appointing the first Provincial Grand Master of Stirlingshire states “John Callendar of Craigforth is appointed Provincial Grand Master of Stirlingshire and other Lodges in that part of the country for the ensuing year and thereafter until another be named in his place with ordinary powers ”. The powers were those of “holding general meetings and of taking cognisance of everything relating to Freemasonry within the bounds of the District”.
The four Lodges under the jurisdiction of the first Provincial Grand Master of Stirlingshire were:-
Lodge Torphicen Kilwinning No. 13, Bathgate
Lodge St. John No. 16, Falkirk
Lodge Ancient Brazen No. 17, Linlithgow
Lodge Ancient No. 30, Stirling
Brother John Callander was matriculated to Lodge Ancient Stirling on 27th December, 1744, and elected Right Worshipful Master on the same date. Shortly after Brother John Callander was admitted to Lodge Ancient Stirling, Hugh Smith, a Brother of the Lodge of Bolougne, was matriculated to the Lodge.
On marriage, Brother Hugh Smith assumed his wife’s surname of Seton. He was elected Master of the Lodge for 1746-1747 and 1748 and as Hugh Seton of Touch was Grand Master Mason of Scotland in 1748-1749.
Brother Hugh Seton of Touch was not, however, the first member of a Stirlingshire Lodge to be elected Grand Master Mason. On 29th January, 1740, a petition was presented by Brother William, 4th and last Earl of Kilmarnock, then Master of the Kilmarnock Lodge, craving to be admitted a member of the Lodge of Falkirk and the petition was unanimously agreed.
In the absence of the Master, the Earl presided over a meeting of the Lodge on 5th March, 1740, and was chosen as Master on the 27th December of that year. He was elected Grand Master Mason for 1742-1743 and presided over his last meeting in the Falkirk Lodge on 27th December, 1744.
The middle of this decade saw the Jacobite Rebellion and Kilmarnock embraced the Jacobite cause. Kilmarnock fought at Culloden, where he was wounded and fell into the hands of King George II’s army. He was taken to London, tried at Westminster Hall on 28th July, 1746, sentenced to death on 30th July, 1746, and beheaded at the Tower of London on 18th August, 1746. The title was attainted. On 13th August, 1747, Brother John Callander of Craigforth was succeeded as Provincial Grand Master by Brother Sir Alexander Dalmahoy of that Ilk. His Commission added the Lodge of Dunblane No. IX to the list of Lodges to come under his supervision.
The third Provincial Grand Master was Brother Sir Alexander Hope, last Baronet of Kerse. Sir Alexander Hope, like his predecessor as Provincial Grand Master, had been present at the establishment of Grand Lodge.
On 27th December, 1749, three sons of the late Earl of Kilmarnock were elected to office in Lodge St. John, No. 16. Brother James, Lord Boyd afterwards 15th Earl of Errol and tenant of Callendar, was Master from 1749-1753, Brother Hon. Charles Boyd was Senior Warden and Hon. William Boyd, Junior Warden. William Boyd was admitted to the Lodge on 27th December 1750, one year after his appointment as Junior Warden.
Brother Lord Boyd, who had fought in King George’s army at Culloden and consequently, against his father, became Grand Master Mason in 1751-1752.
Brother Thomas, Lord Erskine, only son of John, 6th Earl of Mar, had been initiated in Lodge Kilwinning, Scots Arms in 1736 and became Grand Master Mason in 1749-1750.
The fact that the Grand Master Mason could so readily be identified with the locality led to a substantial increase in Freemasonry in the Alloa area and the Lodge of Alloa, which had operated as a satellite Lodge of Ancient Stirling, No. 30, was Chartered on 14th November, 1757.