Ye Corporation O' Squaremen
Ritual of Work
Worthy Deacon (W.D); Sub Deacon (S.D); Boxmaister, Treasurer; Captain o' The Gaird (C.G); Physician; Apothceary, Musician; Almoner; Limmer; Steward; Drummer and Janitor.
All Brethren must wear the lapel badge and be properly clothed with Brat, having rough side outward. The Worthy Deacon is seated behind a lectern with Charter there-on, in the centre of a dais, or platform, at one end of the Shed. The Immediate Past (or Auld Deacon) and Sub-Deacon are seated respectively on his right and left. The Boxmaister and Treasurer, together with a number of the Auld Deacons are also seated on the platform, whilst the Captain O' the Gaird is seated alone, at the opposite end of the Shed.
Before him is a pedestal bearing his Implements and collecting box for fines.
The door to the Shed is closed, and guarded by the Janitor, stationed outside. The Volume of the Sacred Law must be placed unopened, on the Altar, in front of the Worthy Deacon's Lectern. All other Brethren are seated round perimeter of the Shed.
W.D: Brither C.G. Rap the Shed.
C.G, cudgel in hand, salutes the W.D, approaches door, delivers knocks (three long, seven short, three long) in no uncertain manner.
The Janitor replies, in similar fashion.
C.G: W.D, the Shed is rappit.
C.G salutes, and this is acknowledged by the W.D.
W.D: Thank ye. Brither C.G.
Visitors are welcomed, all apologies announced, and obituaries accorded reverence.
W.D: Brither Boxmaister, Wull ye guid eneuch tae read oot the Meenits o' oor last Meetin?
The Boxmaister complies with this request.
W.D: Wull some Brither wha wis praisint at the Meetin, move the adoption o' thae Meenits?
Brither A...: W.D, I haêe muckle pleesure in movin' adoption o' the Meenits as read.
W.D: Wull some ither Brither, wha wis likewyse praisint at that Meetin, second this motion fur adoption o’ the Meenits?
Brither B...: W.O, I ha'e muckle pleesure in secondin' the motion pitten furrit by Brither A.
M.O: Brithers. I noo deelare the Heenits passit.
Boxmaister advances to the lectern, and deposits Minute Book for signature of W.D.
W.D: Brither Boxmaister. Is there ony business arisin' oot o' thae meenits?
This business is disposed of in suitable fashion.
W.D: Brither Boxmaister. Dae we ha'e ony Candidates fur Ineetiation the nicht?
Boxmaister reads out names and relevant qualifications of Candidates, as quoted on their Application Forms.
W.D: Brithers. Is it your wish that we aloo thae Candidates tae jine oor Corporation?
Brethren signify assent, where after, Application Forms are passed to the Sub-Deacon.
W.D: Brither S.D. Tak' an able Assistant alang wi' ye an bring in a' oor Candidates.
Sub-Deacon and his Assistant put on fancy head-gear, salute W.D, and retire.
Whilst Candidates are being prepared for entry, the W.D disposes of other business.
At any time during the proceedings, latecomers may request admission by approaching the Janitor, who alarms Brethren by delivering the Knocks.
C.G, saluting: W.D. There's somebody ootside wha wants tae git in.
W.D, saluting: Brither C.G. Find oot wha it is that's makin sic a noise, if weel kent, let them inbye, but be shair tae tak' a fine affen ilka ane.
C.G unbolts door and admits Brethren on payment of fines.
Candidates are briefed, collectively as follows, before entry Into Shed.
S.D: In jinin' the Corporation o' Squaremen ye are becomin' a member o' a gey auld an' historic body. This Corporation is the praisint day coonter-pairt o' the auld Craft Guilds, that ai nee flourished ower the hale o' Scotland, In the seven-teenth: echt-teenth; an nine-teenth centuries. Thae Guilds lookit efter the weelfare o' the workmen in the mony Trades an Crafts o' the auld days, an' an important occasions they rallied a boot the Blue Blanket. On the wa', in the auld Mither Shed, ye can still see a pentin' o' Mary Queen o' Scots, ridin' doon the Canongait, tae the Palace o' Holy Rude, an' this Blue Blanket is gey prominent in the pictur.
The Corporation o' Squaremen is faur aulder than the Grand Lodge o' Scotland as ye wull find oot, gin ye read the Sanct Clair Charter, whilk, as nae doobt ken, wis the foondation. o' Grand Lodge, in the year 1736. Ane o' the signatories tae the drawin' up o' that Charter, wis the Corporation o' Squaremen.
Oor Ceremony is dividit intil twa pairts. In the furst pairt, ye wull be askit tae dae certain tasks, tae prove yer abeelity as a Craftsman. The Tests are maistly o' a licht-hertit nature, but represent the Tests that were set tae Apprentices, afore they were acceptit as Journeymen, an' admittit intil their Craft Guild, as f u' Members.
Bein' in this lichter vein, jist tak' then a' in guid pairt. an dinna be feart tae reply in seemilar fashion. When returnin' tae this room, ye wull be sultably prepairt fur the second, an' mair serious pairt o' oor Ceremony. In this pairt, ye wull be teachit mony valuable lessons, whilk, whan applied, should gi'e ye muckle pride an pleesure in havin' jitied oor Corporation, whaurin we like tae think that there is a faur greater speerit o' true Britherhood, than in ony ither Order.
An alarm is now communicated to Shed, by the Janitor. This is dealt with in similar fashion to that previously described.
C. G, saluting: W.D. There 's somebody else at the door.
W.D: Brither C.G. See whit a' the steer's aboot.
C.G unlocks door, and addresses a similar request to the Janitor.
Janitor: Brither C.G, it's the S.D alang wi' a wheen o' Life Members o' the Labour Exchange.
This Information having been conveyed to the W.D, the party is permitted to enter,
Each Candidate is halted on the threshold by the C.G, who taps him gently on the forehead with his slapstick. The Candidates are then ranged before the W.O, who addresses them, as follows:
W.D: Candidates. Afore ye can be admittit intil the Corporation, ye maun show tae the Brithers that ye are a' qualified Craftsman, by submittin' tae them an Assay Piece, indicatin' yer physical skill, or mental abeelity.
Brither S.O tak' chairge o' oor Candidates, test them weel, an' see if they are fit tae become true Squaremen.
S. D, to Candidates: Noo then. Ha'e a guid look aroon' ye. This is a Squareman's Shed. Yon auld yin, sittin' on the centre is the Worthy Deacon. The wan on his richt is the Auld Deacon, an' thae ither objects beside him, are Auld, Auld Deacons.
The sleepy lookin' ane, in the corner is the Boxmaister, an alangside him is the Treasurer.
Noo turn richt roon' aboot. The puir lookin' sowl, sittin' by his lane, is the Captain o' the Gaird. He's the man that keeps us a' in order, wi the help o' his implements, 'specially that big yin, the Slapstick.
'He'll fine ye whan ye're sober, He'll fine ye whan ye're drunk
But if he tak's that Slapstick up, Ye had better dae a bunk'.
Next, there's masel' , the S.D, an' this cr'ator, ningin' aboot like a loose threid, the Sub-Deacon's Sub-Assistant. Finally tak' a look at a' the Brithers sittin' roon' aboot the Shed. They are the Intelligentia.
Bow low three times, tae greet the Intelligentia.
The Candidates watches are collected and deposited in the custody of the most honest looking Auld Deacon.
S.D: Weel noo Candidates. We are aboot tae pit ye through a wheen o' Tests. Which wad ye prefer? Pheesical, or Mental?
Having indicated their preference, the two groups are arranged on opposite sides of the Shed.
A straight line, about three yards long with a twenty-four inch circle at each end, having been chalked on the floor previously, two victims are chosen, for a sea journey. They are placed one in the centre of each circle, facing inwards along the straight line. They must grasp the lobe of the right ear, between forefinger and thumb of the left hand, push right hand through elbow loop thus formed, bend forward, and place right hand on left knee. In tnis posture, they are spun round several times, then straightened up sharply, and commanded to advance along the straight line, and greet each other with a hearty handshake.
Another Candidate is asked if he is a teetotaller, and after removing jacket, is given a mallet, a few lead chisels, and placed before a whinstone set on a pedestal. He is instructed to cut his mark upon the stone, and, after some unsuccessful attempts to do so, is supplied with fresh tools, namely tubular steel trick chisels, containing an explosive charge which detonates on impact. Finally, in exasperation, the Sub-Deacon calls for his Sub Assistant, who rushes forward from the fireplace, grasping a pair of tongs in the jaws of which, is a peculiarly twisted chisel.
The poor Candidate is naturally reluctant to touch this latter tool, whereupon the Sub-Deacon grabs it impatiently, and hands it to the Candidate.
S.D, angrily: Tak' haud o' the damned thing man. lts stane cauld.
Once more, an attempt is made to mark the stone, but, finally the candidate is relieved of all tools.
S.D, scathingly: Man!, I've seen mony a dug mak' a faur better mark at the fuit o' a lamp post.
Further discomfiture is experienced by the poor Craftsman on receipt of his jacket, which is found to have an empty beer bottle in each pocket.
One candidate is placed in the centre of the Shed and given a piece of chalk.
S.D: Draw a Square on the flair.
Most probably, the result will be a rectangle, and if so the Brethren shout abuse. The culprit is reminded that a Square is the fourth part of a Circle, or an angle of ninety degrees, then asked if he is proud of his work. Naturally he replies in the negative, and is told that his work must be removed. He is instructed to stand over his drawing, heels on any two adjoining corners and warned to lean over backwards, when so requested. Several Brethren grasp him by the arms and legs, then, to a very slow musical accompaniment, he is swung to and fro whilst the seat of his pants removes all trace of his work.
S.D: Noo. If ever ye want tae see a true Square, jist look on the behind o' yer breeks.
Should a particularly observant Candidate produce the required figure, he must be given some award, preferably in humorous vein.
The most handsome Candidate may be given the opportunity of having a photograph taken. The camera is set up, operator positioned behind, under a black cloth. The victim is seated a few paces from the camera and the Sub-Assistant stands behind, fingers well coated with lamp-black, or soot.
On instructions from the photographer, the Sub-Assistant moves the subjects head up, or down, and from side to side, at the same time taking care to apply a liberal coating of black spots on the sitters face. Apparently satisfied at last, the photographer makes the exposure, withdraws plate, and, with a few swift rubs, smartly holds up a little mirror in front of the expectant subject.
A Candidate is placed in the centre of the Shed, facing towards the Worthy Deacon, and a handerkerchief is tucked into his collar, napkin fashion. His arms are stretched forward, hands bent inwards, and tips of middle fingers touching. The head is inclined backwards, mouth open, left eye closed, and right eye concentrated on some ceiling ornament.
The Sub-Deacon produces a glass of spirits and holds it under the victim's nose, then informs him that in this Test of Mind over Matter, he must concentrate to the utmost degree. If he can drink this in his present position, without parting fingers or shifting gaze, he will be richly rewarded indeed. However, the Sub-Deacon speedily drinks the dram himself, with evident and audible relish, after which the following dialogue and mime is enacted.
W.D: Brither S.D. Has the Candidate gotten hls refreshment?
S.D: No Sir, but his Conductor has ta'en it for him.
S.D makes an elaborate task of wiping the Candidates lips. Finally, all Candidates are lined up before the W.D, and their attention directed to the cornice ornamentations.
S.D: Noo gentlemen. He ha'e a lot o' gey orra ornaments up there, there's ane, awa in the corner, whilk naebody kens onythin' aboot. Tak' a guid look noo, an' if ye can read ony inscription on it, ye staun' a guid chance o' gettin' yer Initlation Fee returnit, free o' tax. Jist as a wee bit help, I wad tell ye that a' the ornaments are inseegnia o' the auld Trade Guilds.
The Initiates peer closely, and intently, but with no success, and are then given small telescopes, to assist vision. However, the eye-pieces are literally coated with larapblack, and the victims suffer accordingly.
The S.D now instructs his Assistant to fetch the Candidates watches. He carries them very carefully, in a shallow container, but is seen to stumble, and scatters numerous watch parts across the floor. This causes some consternation but after severe reprimand, the Assistant collects the pieces and hands them to an Auld Deacon, who undertakes the necessary repair work. A fierce amount of hammering ensues, and eventually the anxious owners have their watches restored.
This completes the Tests and the Candidates are again lined up, before the W.D.
W.D: Brithers. Are ye satisfied that a' thae Candidates ha'e passit oor Tests satisfactorily an' are worthy o' becomin' Brither Squaremen?
Brethren signify approval, whereupon all the Candidates are provided with comical head gear, sundry musical Instruments, and are marched round the Shed, three times, with Drummer In the lead, and providing a very robust orchestral accompaniment. Finally they retire from Shed with the Sub-Deacon and his Sub-Assistant.
Return of Candidates
Alarm is given and acknowledged, as previously. Candidates are blindfolded, and each is accompanied by a Conductor. On entering the Shed, they are lifted over a stream, 1-1½ yards wide, by one long leap, or jump. They are then placed in the centre of the Shed.
W.D: Brither S.D. Wha' comes here?
S.D: A man, free born at birth, a mason by occupation, an' a Member o' this Corporation.
W.D: Hoo dae I ken ye tae be such?
S.D: I ha'e aften been tried, never been denied, an' I'm wullin' tae be tried agen.
W.D: Whaur war ye made?
S.D: In a cellar, dark an drear
Whaur ye couldna' see. An' ye couldna' hear
Whaur the sun never shone.Sae, the time wis unknown
Whaur the cock never crew, An' the wund never blew
Nor the voice o' a cowan wis heard
W.D: Wha dae ye brlng alang wi' ye?
S.D: A wheen o' Candidates, wishin' tae avail themsels o' yer knowledge, an' desirous o' jinin' the Corporation.
W.D: Are they soond in mind an' body?
S.D: I dinna ken, but wull ascertain an' report.
The Sub-Deacon taps Candidates on forehead and taps their abdomens, at the same time emitting squeaks and whistles.
S.D: They appear tae be soond in body, but had they been soond in mind, they wad never ha'e cam' alang here this nicht.
W.D: In wha' dae they pit their trust?
S.D: They say tae me, they pit their trust in God
W.D: Then, bein' such as ye describe them tae be, ye may proceed on a journey, which if they happily survive, ye may then place them at the Altar, ready tae tak', an Obligation, as a Squareman.
The Candidates are marched round the Shed, the W.D knocks, and a hullabaloo ensues, whilst Candidates are bumped against each other. The W.D knocks again and order is restored.
The Candidates are now placed round the Altar, with the right elbow resting on the V.S.L.
S.D: Efter fu' conseederation
An' muckle meditation
He're here, on approbation
Tae tak' oor Obligation
Frae ootside information
There's every indication
That tae drink in moderation
Is a Squareman's occupation
Sae, we ha'e nae hesitation
Fur we've a' the inclination
Tae tak' a sma' libation
An' jine yer Corporation
W.D, approaching Altar: Pit on the chains o' office.
An exceptionally heavy steel chain is draped across the shoulders of the Candidates assembled, whilst Brethren rise at Fidelity.
W.D: Candidates, Repeat efter me, usin' yer name, whaur I use mine.
I, ..., in the presence of this Corporation o' Squaremen, duly convenit an' assembled, dae hereby, an' here on, solemnly promise an' swear. that I wull always hide, conceal, an' never improperly reveal, ony o' the Ceremonies or Secrets, belongin' tae this Corporation, tae ony yin, unless he is already a Member, or in the process o' becomin' such.
I further promise, that I winna write thae Secrets, carve, engrave or otherwise them delineate. I further engage masel', that I winna be a pairty, tae the admeetion o' ony yin, as a Member. wha' isnae' in the fu' possession, o' his senses, such as an auld man in his dottage, a young man in his nonnage, a wumman, or ony ither man, wha' is unfit, or unwullin', if need be, tae work fur his dally breid.
I engage masel', tae be obedient, tae the Deacon, an' the Office Bearers o' this Corporation, an' tae assist them in their duties, as faur as lies in my po'er, as weel as tae support, an' abide by, the Laws, an' Constitutlon o' the Grand Shed, o' the Corporation o' Squaremen, as noo established in Scotland.
I further promise, that I wull aye be ready, tae haud oot a helpin' haun', tae a Brither Squareman, in time o' need, if in my po'er, an' withoot detriment tae masel’, an' my conscience.
A' this, I promise tae abide by, under penalty o' a' my Masonic obligations, an' by my word o' honour, as an honourable man.
W.D: Remove the chains o' office.
The chains are removed and dropped with a clash on the floor. Then the Candidates are arranged in a semi-circle before the W.D.
W.D: I wull noo instruct ye in the Secrets, but, afore dain' this, ye maun ha'e yer Aprons washit.
Aprons are placed on the Candidates, jacket lapels raised, and loop shortened, to protect shirt front, and tie. Lower part of Apron is gathered by Conductor, to form a shallow bowl. Candidates are given abundant supplies of highly spiced gingerbread, whilst enquiry is made concerning nature of drink preferred. Water is poured into bowl of apron.
W.D: As the wandering Arabs, in the desert, show their freendship by tastin' saut tri' each ither, sae we, at this stage, partake o' cake an' wine. Therefore, Drink puppy Drink.
The Conductors throw contents of Aprons over the heads of Candidates, then remove blindfolds, and restore Aprons to proper position.
W.D: This Ceremony is kent as the Washin' o' the Apron, an' alang wi' the adventurous journey ye ha'e jist passit through. typifies admission o' the young Craftsman intil the Shed, that is, efter his Apprenticeship.
In actual operational practice, his posterior wis bumpit agin' the Bankers an' he suffered sundry ither indignities, until he had the sense tae offer yill tae his companions. Then, his sufferin's cam' tae an end, an' his Apron wis said tae be wull an' truly washit.
The Candidates are now instructed in the Sign.
W.D: The Sign is gi'en in this fashion. Wi' yer left haun', pick up the richt, lower corner o' yer Apron, rest yer haun' on the left hip. Yer airm is then in the form o' a Square. Noo raise yer richt haun' tae yer broo, an draw it across, as if wipin' awa' swait. Yer richt airm is noo likewyse in the form o' a Square.
Whan latecomers enter the Shed, they maun tak' the centre o' the flair, an' gi'e the W.D this sign. Brithers wantin' tae leave the Shed, maun come tae the centre o' the flair, attract attention frae the W.D., then gi'e the Sign an' retire.
Finally, agen spakin' o' the Washin' o' the Apron, the follyin' dialogue is gaen through.
A number of Brethren assist the Worthy Deacon.
W.D, grasping corner of Candidates Apron: Yer Apron stinks!
Candidate: No, it smells.
W.D: It smells o' what?
Candidate: It smells o' the Rose o' Sharon
The grip is now demonstrated, again with assistance from the Brethren.
W.D, taking Candidate's right hand: The grip is kent as the Grip o' the Plane. Pull each ithers haun', back an' furrit, three times by the thumb, as if clutchin' a plane, an' dressin' wud.
The Words of a Squareman
W.D: The Words o' a Squareman wull be fund in the Second Epistle o' Sanct Peter.
'Fear God. Obey the King. Honour a' men. Love the Britherhood’.
The Test Phrase
W.D: There's also a phrase, fameeliar tae Squaremen, ower the hale warld. Whan ye are in company, an' desirous o' identifyin' a Brither, jist say, 'There's a drap i' the ruif'. This means, there's a drop from the roof. A true Squareman winna lift his e'en, but the uninitiated wull
imnediately look up. By this means, ye'll be enabled tae recognise a Brither.
The newly made Squaremen are now seated in the centre of the Shed, facing the W.D.
W.D: Brither C.G., Wull ye deleever the Lecture on the Implements o' yer Office?
C.G advances to the Altar, and produces his Implements.
C.G: Brithers. By conmand o' oor W.D, I wull noo explain tae ye, the Implements o' the Captain o' the Gaird, but furst, wull introduce tae ye, the Square, an' thereafter describe the wan-time uniform or livery o' the Corporation o' Squaremen.
The Square is oor Maister, an', whan no in use, should aye be hung up on twa nails. No jist ane, as it wad fa' an' be damaged. Mind noo, aye twa nails. Ye wull find it sae depictit on a' Squareman correspondence.
The import o' the Square, it's uses, an' a' ready knowledge o' whit a Square stands fur, has already been fully explained tae ye, by the Sub-Deacon, but, if ony o' ye wish tae see a Square, jist ask Brither ... an' he wull tell ye whaur tae look fur it, on that pairt o' his anatomy which sae effectively removit the Square, frae aff the flair.
Here, Captain o' the Gaird indicates the unhappy Brither who failed to draw a Test Square.
C.G: The wan-time uniform or livery o' the Corporation o' Squaremen, consisted o' a broon coat, wi' yellow buttons, yellow vest, an' blue pantaloons. Noo, thae colours, broon, yellow, an' blue are emblematic o' the Square, on whilk we find the stock o' broon wud, hence the broon coat. The blade o' steel gi'es us the blue pants, which maun aye be worn turned up, tae remind us tae turn up at a' oor Meetins, whanever possible.
The edges o' the Square are strengthened wi' brass, frae which we tak' the yellow vest, whilk the studs, or rivets likewyse o' brass, are representit on the sult, by the brass buttons. The style o' the coat an' vest belong tae an early date, whilk that o' the pants is mair modern, thus formin' a link 'atween 1830, an' the praisint day, jist as oor Meetins here, recall the auld Trade Guilds, an' honour the memory o' oor Illustrious predecessors.
The Implements o' the C.G are various an' numerous. He has a Band-Maisters Baton, a High Constable's Baton, a Beau Brummel walkin' stick, a Shillelagh, several swords, an' mony ither Implements.
Hoosomever, the anes which chiefly concern us the nicht, are the Cudgel, the Collectin' Box an' the Slapstick. The Cudgel is used by the C.G, tae keep order in the Shed, tae help him impose the fines, tae gi'e the knocks an' tae Rap the Shed, whan commandit by the W.D.
The Box is used fur collectin' the fines, which gang intil oor Benevolent Fund. Noo. thae fines are likewyse various an' numerous. Ye can be fined fur comin' in late, fur gi'en the wrang Sign, fur wearin' yer Apron wrang side oot, or fur smokin' cigarettes, but ye wull be fined double fur smookin' ceegars, or sneakin' in, at the wrang door. Hoosomever, ye wull ha'e this consolation, that havin' aince peyed yer fine, ye gain exemption fur the rest o' the nicht.
The Slapstick is the Implement which greeted ye, whan ye furst entered the Shed. Dae ye mind noo? Ye receivit a wee tap on the foreheild, an' although it didna' raise a bump on yer Rapper, it wis intendit tae knock intil yer heid, what micht happen, should ye at ony time be temptit tae
violate yer Obligation. It is therefore wyse tae keep this Slapstick aye in yer minds e'e whan the vision o' i t's micht wull prove an ever praisint po'er tae repel evil.
Tae sun up, we Squaremen like tae show up weel, tae brag a wee bit, tae crow gently whan in luck, tae own up, an' tae shut up, whan beaten. Thae are the virtues of a Squareman, fur it's a puir hert that never rejoices an' a puir man indeed, wha' fails tae find the spirit o' true Britherhood that prevails in the Squaremen's Shed.
W.D: Auld Deacon .... Wull ye gi'e the Lecture on the Wurkin' Tools?'
A.D: It gi'es me great pleesure tae explain tae, ye the Wurkin' Tools o' a Squareman, which are necessarily, fower in number.
Furst, we ha'e the Tammy White, which in thae days o' keen cuttin' competeetion has been abbreviated an' curtailled tae simply 'T.W'.
Noo the T.W is the precursor, or figurative feyther o' the ornary common or gairden cutty, still used by operative masons, tae mak' things appear busy, whan they're no verra thrang, but, we are no a' operative, but raither, free, or speculative masons, sae, we pit it tae a nair noble use, by reversin' the process, an' no' havin' a draw until oor wark is dune.
Although no' a direct lineal descendant, the T.W is nevertheless o' the saae oreeginal stock, an' a branch o' that same tribe as the tradeetional Pipes o' Pan. Pan, ye wull mind, wis a shepherd, in ancient Attica, wha' kept goats, fur the purpose o' skinnin' them tae mak' aprons fur the Squaremen, wha' wurkit in the quarries. at Zeradatha.
Noo there's something wrang wi' the Ritual here. Shairly, a man wha' keeps hats. is a hatter, a man wha' keeps slates, is a slater, a man wha' keeps plums, is a plumber, an' a man wha' keeps bugs, is a ....
Here, the Brethren create an oral disturbarce.
A.D: Weel. He's no a Squareman. But, seriously, if Pan kept goats, he couldna' hae been a shepherd, he maun hae been a goatherd. Noo, I want ye tae imagine Pan, on a fine spring mornin' tunin' up his pipes. Brethren whistle. Then ye can hear the lambs, bleatin' on the braes.
Brethren provide low bleites. Ye can hear the coos, as they wander alang the leafy lanes. Brethren accompaniment increases in tempo. They're callin' the bulls. Noo. Listen tae the bul is reply. Brethren now reach crescerdo, with really derisive noise.
Afore I feenish wi' the T.W hoosomever, I maun tell ye that it has wan distinct advantage ower ony ither pipe in existence, in thi's, that should ye, by accident or design, let it fa' on the flair, an' be smashed tae bits, man, ye needna’ worry aboot It. Ye dinna' need tae wrax yer back, pickin' it up. Jist grab the ane nearest tae ye, an' slip it in yer pooch.
The Auld Deacon now lifts a numter of T.W's approaches the Candidates, and presents one to each individual.
A.D: Sae, wi' the compliments o' the Corporation o' Squaremen, I noo present ye wi' ane o' oor T.W's. Tak' my advice, look efter it weel, an' get yer mark on it, afore ony o' the Brithers tak' it awa' frae ye.
Brither ... here, wull be feil plaised tae lend ye a' the tools.
At this juncture, the Auld Deacon indicates the Candidate who failed to cut his mark, during the Test.
Returning to the Altar, the Auld Deacon produces a tin pipe-lid and resumes Lecture.
A.D: Follyin' the licht o' Masonic tradeetion, we neist come tae the Tin Tamray, or ancient Kilmamock Tappie Toorie, o' which this is but a humble, modern, representative.
It was furst mentioned in the Annals o' Ayrshire, an' wis bracht tae imnortal faroe, by mae less eminent a Mason, than oor National Bard, Brither Robbie Burns wha wis declarit Bard o' Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, No 2. on the Roll o' the Grand Lodge o' Scotland, an' wis also declarit
Caledonia's National Bard. In the Lodge o' Edinburgh St Andrew No 48, on the Roll o' the Grand Lodge o' Scotland.
Here the Brethren Interrupt and endeavour to shout down the Auld Deacon, who ignores them, advances again towards the Candidates and presents each one with a tin pipe-lid. He then returns to the Altar, lifts a tray, on which is a pile of tabacco, and resumes.
A.D: An noo, Brithers, still guidin' oor steps by the flickerin' licht o' further Masonic tradeetion. we come tae the Toorie o' Tabaccy, which, at wan period o' it's former existence resemblit that muckle emblem, the Pyramids o' Egypt, but havin' been left tae the tender cares o' Brither Squareman, an' the Chancellor o' the Exchequer, it has lost a' it's former glory, or semblance, an' noo only serves tae remind us o' the fleetin' nature o' a' earthly things.
Here, another Auld Deacon comes forward, with a pipe, having a bowl like a tea-cup and starts filling it from the pile, amidst loud protests.
A.D, resuming: But, whan we ken that the corrodin' tooth o' time alang wi' the speculative fingers o' oppertunity micht owertake us, it behoves us tae tak' oor pleesures while we may, fur man, like baccy reek. sune passes awa.
The Auld Deacon approaches the Candidates once again, and requests them to charge their clay pipes from his supply of tobacco. He then returns to the Altar, ignites a long match, before concluding the Lecture.
A.D: An' noo, Brithers, Fourthly, lastly, an' finally, as the Meenister said twenty meenits afore the end o' his sermon, we come tae wan o' the lesser lichts, which though yin o' the laist o' lichts, is a licht nevertheless. An' as a' Masonic emblems should dae, even this has a lesson fur us. Should yer opportunities in life be few an' yer chances sma'. Aye, though yer peep be wee, man, it a' depends on yersel' whether ye haud it up high, an' licht the gloom, or let it fa', an' be dune.
That, Brithers, is an explanation o' the Wurkin’ Tools o' the Corporation o' Squaremen, an', efter a' yer engrossin' attention, an' yer colossal brain po'er, if ye hae derivit ony benefit frae it, then I maist heartily congratulate ye.
Lecture on the Tracing Board
W.D: Brither .... Wull ye deliver the Lecture on the Tracin' Board.
The chosen Brither approaches the Altar, places Tracing Board there-on, and conceals the stone beneath his apron.
Brither ...: Weel Brithers. This Lecture on oor Tracin' Board is a fell elaborate affair. The oreeginal form gangs intil aboot three hunner an saxty five pages o' close't written Rabbinical Hebrew, but at this late 'oor, I dinna feel equal tae da'en the hale thing, sae I'll jist dae my best tae gi'e ye a resume o' it.
Shortly efter they got stertit tae build King Solomon's Temple, it wis fund necessary tae erect a wheen o' sma'er biggins, fur the convenience o' the wurkers employed aroon' this subline edifice. They were in the shape o' oothooses, like washhooses, coal-hooses, hot-hooses, hen-hooses an'─
Interruption from Brethren: S-S-S.
Brither, resuming: ─several ither kinds o' hooses.
Fur this purpose, the services o' a munter o' operative Masons wis required, such as Fellowcrafts, Mark Maisters, an' Giblim or Squaremen, frae Zeredatha. Noo, it so happened that wan o' the Squaremen, wha' had been wurkin' in the quarries fur a lang time, wis peyed aff, an' he decidit tae tak' a trip tae Jerusalem, in order tae view the Great Temple, which he, by his efforts had helpit tae build. Havin' satisifed himsel' in this direction, he wis restin' under an auld chestnut tree, whan he noticed the Senior Warden erectin' his wicket, an' makin' ready tae pey oot the wages. As he'd aye ta'en a keen interest in onybody that wis gi'en awa' siller, he edged ower a bit closer, syne, cara' on a group o' Fellowcraft, wha' were argyin' amang themsels' concernin' the raerits o' wan o' their ain kind.
Noo. whan wurkin' in the quarries, this auld lad had aye made it his business tae promote concord, an' suppress jealously, sae, he lost nae time in gettin' his word in here.
The matter under discussion, wis the raerilt o' the wark, an' the extent o' the reward gained by the famous Fellowcraft. wha' cuttit oot the Keystane o' the Airch, fur the Sacred Vault o' King Solomon's Temple. Some said that even though the wurkin’ plans had been lost, anither set could ha'e been drawn up. Ithers thocht the reward wis ower rauckle, an' that ony wan o' them could ha'e dune the same job as the Fellowcraft, had they only kent aboot it. Ah, but ye see, ye didna' ken, said the auld man, an' that mak's a difference. The Fellowcraft were na' in the laist bit impressed wi' this interference, an' askit the auld yin if there wis onything he could dae, that they couldna' dae. Aye, said the auld lad, efter some thocht, I'll tell ye whit I'll dae. Dae ye see that wicket, ower there, an' he pintit across tae the Senior Warden. Weel I'll tak' in haun' tae cut oot a stane, a stane that'll gang richt an ticht, fair an square, intil a' thae three holes. Ach awa' ye go man, they a' said, it's no' possible. Hoosomever, true tae his word, on the fifth 'oor, o' the saxth day, o' the neist week, the auld lad cam' back, an' frae the faulds o' his weel-worn leather apron, he drew forth a stane, o' which this is a humble replica. The Brither produces the stane. Syne, havin' gotton permeesion frae the Senior Warden, he used his wicket fur a demonstration.
A demonstration is now given, showing the stone passing through each of the three apertures.
Brither, resuming: Here we ha'e the hole o' a Fellowcraft, an' ye see the Stane fits richt an' ticht, an' passes through. Next til't, we ha'e the hole o' a Mark Maister an' agen, the Stane fits richt an' ticht, an' passes through. Noo, the hindmaist is the hole o' a Squareman, an' aince mair, this verra same stane fits richt an' ticht, an passes through, an here's the stane, fur ye a' tae ha'e a look at.
Sae, ye see frae this Brithers, that knowledge is po'er, an' amang a' yer gettin', get knowledge, fur it's a' fine da'en a thing, but it's faur better whan ye ken hoo.
Weel Brithers. This Lecture wis deleevered in the vernacular o' oor ain country, sae as tae provide a mair intelligible appreciation, than if it had been in the language o' the province whaurin' the auld lad had sojourned.
Furthermair, this auld Mason's lesson demonstrates tae us again, that the hale world is indebted tae oor science, fur the solution, even at this late 'oor, o' that great Pythagorean puzzle, the Squarin' o' the Circle. Sae, we find that by constant application o' the principles involved, such as, the perseverence o' the Chisel, the industry o' the Mallet, the asistance o' the Square, an' the hale lang span o' the Compasses, we can, at a' times an' under a' circumstances, wi' faith in oor Omni potent Ruler, fit a roon' stane intil a square hole.
Lecture on Charity
W.D: Brither S.D, Wull ye deleever the Chairge on Charity?
S.D: Brithers, on behalf o' every wan praisint, alloo me tae congratulate ye on the mainner in which ye ha'e gaen through oor Ceremony this far.
Ye ha'e ta'en oor fun an' frivolity in guid sportin' speerit, an' havna' let the Sub-Deacon an his Sub-Assistant ha'e a'thing a' their ain way. Noo, the nonsense is o' ower, an' I wad ask ye tae pit fun an frivolity intirely oot o' yer thochts, fur we ha'e come tae the serious pairt o' the Ceremony, an' in this connection, the W.D has commandit me tae gi'e the Squareman's Lecture on Charity. I wad ask ye at this parteeclar moment, tae tak' a retrospective view o' yer career as a Freemason, an' tak' yer thochts back tae the evenin', whan ye were furst admittit intil Freemasonry.
This may ha'e been a lang time ago, or, comparatively recent, but, whichever it is, I beg tae suggest that nary a wan o' ye has ever forgotten the North East Corner o' yer Mither Lodge. Ye wull mind whan ye stood there, the Deacon askit ye fur a donation tae Charity, an' ye replied that ye werena' able tae gi'e, itherwyse ye wad ha'e gi'en freely. This nicht, in oor Squaremen's Shed we wish tae ascertain if the speerit o' Charity still burns brichtly within yer bosom. Noo, dinna be alarmed, as I'm no gaun' tae ask fur a golden collection, fur I ken ye havna' ony gold, an' I winna tak' a silver collection. In this respect, I'm kinda like the Irishman, wha had been spoilin' fur a fecht a' day at wark, but couldna' get yin, sae as he waulkit name, he said tae himsel'. If Bridget hasna' got tatties fur my supper, there wull be a deevil o' a row, an' if she has got tatties, I jist winna tak' them. Sae, I winna tak' a silver collection.
Noo, in the Squaremen, oor collection is kinda peculiar, a' we ask frae each Craftsman, is twa copper coins. Gin ye are very generous, ye wull gi'e me twa pennies, if moderately generous, then a penny an' a ha' penny wull dae, but if ye are only charitable, I'll accept twa ha'pennies. Ane or twa Meetin's ago, we had a wee cr'atur ca'ed McSporran, frae Aberdeen, wha spiered at me, what I wis efter, sae I teil't him jist twa copper coins. Syne efter serchin' through a' his pockets an' sporran, he said, Hiv' ye got chynge fur a bawbee? Weel, here we are. He ha'e chynge fur a bawbee. Holds up two farthings. Noo Brithers jist twa copper coins in the sweet cause o' Charity.
The Sub-Deacon holds out a small alms bowl, and is immediatety showered with coins from every direction. These are collected and the Sub-Deacon piles them into his bowl whilst order is restored.
S.D, resuming: Believe me. Brithers this trial wisna' made tae sport wi' yer feelln's. Faur be it frae us, ony sich intention. It wis made, as in the former instance, fur three special reasons. Furstly, tae pit yer principles tae the test, an' richt gled are we tae ken that the speerit o' charity still burns brichtly within ye. Secondly, tae evince tae the Brithers praisint that ye had money aboot ye, as the Traisurer usually tak's the last copper coin frae ilka Candidate. I expect he askit ye tae tak' oot a Life Membership? The Candidates acquieses. I thocht sae, ye ken, that man wad tak' a wurm frae affen a blind hen. Thurdly, as a warnin' tae yer ain hert, that ye should never gi'e ony siller awa', unless ye ken whaur it's gaun', but this nicht, ye ha'e made nae mistake.
This siller is gaun' tae a very worthy object, or wan that looks like an object. It's gaun' tae a Brither wha has wurkit lang an' hard in the interests o' his Brither Squaremen, an' at this meenit, he is sufferin' frae the pangs o' thirst. Sae, I'll jist awa' an' ha'e a bottle o' Bass, at yer expense. I thenk ye. I thenk ye, ane an' a' fur yer kindness an' generosity.
The S.D now lifts the alms bowl containing collection, produces a sign, marked, To the Bar, from under his apron, bows to the Brethren and retires, smiling complacently.
Some minutes later, he re-enters the Shed, a glass of ale in his hand, and prepares to toast his benefactors. However, an Auld Deacon accuses him of neglecting his duties. After some argument, the Sub-Deacon is ordered to instruct the Initiates concerning the Knocks of the Shed, whilst the Auld Deacon promises to look after the liquor.
S.D: Weel Brithers. I ha'e been ordered by my superior Office Bearer, tae gi'e ye the Knocks o' the Shed. We dinna look on this place as a Lodge. It's a Shed an' represents the auld Operative Sheds, whaur oor ancient Craftsmen cuttit oot thelr wark, by haun'.
It wis a three-si dit wudden Shed, wi' a wudden ruif an' wha n the rain cam' on, the "Drap i' the Ruif" wis affen found. The wudden wa's o' the Shed were buildit on Banken o' earth. The word Bunker means a Banker.
The warkmen used tae sit on the Bankers an' eat their chitties, or pieces, smoke their cutty pipes, an' pass awa' the time, whan things we re no verra thrang in the buildin' trade. Noo, In thae auld times, there were nae sirens or hooters, tae regulate the times o' stertin' or feenishin' wark sae, the Overseer, or Gaffer, in the Shed, used tae Knock On or Knock Aff, a' the warkmen.
At mealtimes an' at the end o' the day, he wad tak' a mallet or a batten o' wud, an knock three lang, seeven short, an' three lang, at the same time, shoutin' 'Stop, Stop, Stop'. Whan ye hear the Mason's knock. Stop, Stop, Stop Gives knocks.
He wad likewyse stert the days wark by the same method, but shoutin' 'Stert, Stert, Stert'. A' the Mason's in the Shed. 'Stert, Stert, Stert Repeats knocks.
Having carried out his orders, the S.D looks towards the A.D, who is now consuming the beer, with apparent relish.
The S.D appeals to the C.G, requesting him to keep order in the Shed, but he supports the A.D's action and maintains that he was told to Stert, Stert, Stert.
Some heated words ensue, and the A.D now informs the Candidates that they will have a better understanding of the Knocks, by his version.
'Drink, Drink, Drink. A' the Gaffers in the Shed. Drink, Drink, Drink'.
The S.D now produces a glass of spirits from his breast pocket and flaunts it before his fellow Office Bearers.
The C.G borrows the gJass and requests all Candidates to smell it. He quietly instructs the unfortunate Candidate who lost his drink, during the Mind Over Matter Test. This Candidate speedily consumes the dram despite protests from the S.D.
W.D: Brither C.G. Has the S.D had his refreshment?
C.G: No Sir, but the Candidate has ta'en it fur him.
The C.G carefully wipes the S.O's lips.
The S.D now produces a special receptacle, such as a hollow cane, or hip flask, pours himself another drink, and hastily consumes it, makes a facetious remark and retires.
W.D: Brithers. That concludes the Ceremony o' Ineetiation, an' gi'es me verra great pleesure indeed, tae come tae the flair o' the Shed, an' welcome ye as oor youngest Squaremen.
The new Members arise, and the W.D greets each one, with the Grip af a Squareman.
W.D: Brithers. I present tae ye, oor youngest Brither Squaremen, an' ask ye tae gï'e them a herty welcome intil oor Shed.
The W.D returns to the dais, and resumes his seat.
W.D: Brithers. A' that ye ha'e tae dae noo, is tae sign the Roll.
Jist come forrit tae the Brither Boxmaister an' sign oor Roll.
The new entrants advance to the Boxmaister, sign the Roll Book and are presented with Badges and Diplomas. Thereafter, they take a seat beside the Brethren.
W.D: Brither Boxmaister. Ha'e we ony further business requirin' attention, afore we close the Shed?
Business, if forthcoming, is dealt with, in the normal fashion.
W.D: Brither C.G. an' Brithers. The nichts' wark is feenished. Ye ha'e my command tae close the Shed. Unclothe, an' untyle, an' may God preserve the Order.
At the praisint day, an' for mony years past, there has existed, twa distinct schules o' thocht on the origin o' the current pattern o' Freemasonry, as practised in oor Lodges under the different Constitutions.
On the wan haun', there is the schule wha' can trace back mony o' the points in oor existin' ritualism an' symbolism, tae the ancient Egyptian Mysteries, an' a similarity in oor signs an' ceremonies, tae forms o' ceremonial among the natives o' different widespread countries. This study o' the similarity o' the ceremonies an' signs wi' ritualism an' symbolist, is very interestin' but it is purely academie an' no' ony practical value tae the Craft.
The ither schule o' thocht, is that concerned wi' tracin' the praisint day Masonry, as a survival o' the ancient Craft Guilds existin' a' ower the warld.
Withoot enterin' intil the merits o' a discussion as tae which schule micht be richt, we, in the Corporation o' Squaremen canna' but conclude that frae the nature an' forra o' oor ceremonies we are carryin' on the auld tradeetions o' the ancient Craft Guilds. Afore discussin' thae Guilds as existin' in Scotland, let me say, at the ootset, that ane o' the principal purposes o' the ancient Craft Guilds, was tae assist their Members whan in need. Ither purposes of course existed such as, regulatin' wages, condeetions o' employment, an' the like. Tak' fur example the Mason's trade in the auld days, some centuries ago, whan many great biggins were bein' erectit throughoot the land. Traivellin' in maist cases, by skilled workmen, wis necessary, an' it wis done mainly on fuit. Nae trains or 'buses in thae days. On arrival at his destination the Mason wad probably be short o' siller, an wad apply tae a Shed fur 'Sub', no' Charity. He wad prove himsel' tae be a Craftsman by an exhibition o' his skill as such, by carving, fur example, a lintel, or ither stane, ca'ed in thae days an "Assay" or "Essay Piece".
Returnin' tae the subject o' Craft Guilds, we had, in Scotland, a fell number, fur which records are still in existence. A description o' maist o' them is gi'en in the history o' the Blue Blanket, by Alexander Penicuik, published in 1870. Aroon' the Nither Shed, are the rest o' some o' them which can be explainit in detail, but the point I wish tae mak' at this stage, is the connection atween the Guilds an' praisint day Masonry.
The Squaremen prescribe as a necessary qualification fur admeesion tae membership o' the Corporation o' Squaremen, that the applicant maun be attachit tae the Masonic Craft.
There were twa Guilds in existence in Edinburgh fur mony years, the Wrights an' the Masons. The crest o' the Hrights had on it, the Square an' Compasses, whereas, the Masons had only a Square, an' the twa Guilds were incorporated in 1475, under the name o' the United Incorporatit o' Hary's Chapel.
Whan we realise that the crest o' the Masons Craft noo, is the Square an' Compasses combinit, is it no' natural tae conclude that this symbol was derivit frae the respective crests o' the Masons an' Wrights?
There were operative Masonic Lodges in existence in Scotland, as weel as in the Sooth o' England, for mony centuries, but it wisna' until the stert o' the echteenth century, that fowk, ither than operattves, were admittit. They were kent as speculative Masons an' frae the time o' admeetion o' thae speculative Masons, the ceremonies o' Initiation, Passin' an Raisin' were Instituted fur the furst time. The Ritualism in its sequence, bein' classified on beliefs held by maist religieus bodies.
The auld operative nature o' the ceremonies took second place. There were nae furst, second an' thurd degrees, as such, under operative Masonry.
In the Corporation o' Squaremen, we attach muckle importante tae the ancient operative natuire o' Masonry, an' combine this wi' the moral aspects o' the new, speculative, Masonic ritualism. We believe that we are the only body in the warld, tae dae this, an' consequently, ony yin jinin' this Corporation can congratulate himsel' on bein' attachit tae the survivors o' a very ancient body indeed. The Corporation has only wan Grip, which is characteristic o' an operative action, an' oor words contain pairt o' the inscription on the Blue Blanket or Ensign o' the Trades:
'Fear God, an' honour the King
With a long life, an' prosperous reign
And we, the Trades, shall ever pray'
As the history o' the Blue Blanket is, in itsel, a maist interestin’ study, it becomes muckle mair sae, whan we realise that Knowledge o' that history leads us tae a study o' the ancient Craft Guilds, in which we tak' a great interest. The fowerteen Incorporations referrit tae in the Preface, were:-
The Royal College o' Surgeons, Goldsmiths. Skinners, Furriers, Hamraemen, Wrights, Masons, Tailors, Baxters, Fleshers, Gardiners, Websters, Waulers, an' Bunnet Makers.
Noo, it may be askit whit connection ha'e thae Crafts, wi' the Blue Blanket?
Whan vast numbers o' Scots mechanics went tae the Crusades, or Holy War, they took wi' them, a Banner, an' on their return, they dedicatit this Banner, which they styled, the Banner o' the Holy Ghost. Frae it's colour, it wis ca'ed the Blue Blanket. This was in the eleeventh century, an' it should be mindit that maist o' the releegious Brethren takin' pairt in the Crusades, were skilled Craftsmen.
Further maitter, dealin' wii the history o' the Blue Blanket, wull be found in a supplementary address, on this subject alane.
Study o' the Blue Blanket history, raak's gey convincin' proof that this view o' the origin o' praisint day Freemasonry, is the correct ane. It is unfortunate that oor records ha'e disappeared, but they were in existence, if the historian o' Hary's Chapel, Lodge No. 1, is tae be relied on. He states therein:-
'Squaremen were represented in the St Clair Charter of 1628'.
'In ratifying their ancient statutes in 1660, the Ayr Squaremen Incorporation, wha's Deacon had been a party to the St Clair Charter of 1628'.
It is recordit in the Squaremens Minutes that steps were ta'en by the Office-Bearers through a sub-conmittee, tae trace the ancient records, but, the conclusion they reachit, was that the Corporation records had unfortunately been pulped alang wi' ither maitter whan the history o' No. 1 Lodge wis completit. Unfortunate as this micht be, we can ne'ertheless pride oorsel's that we ha'e a distinct connection wi' a' the ancient Crafts.
The Ceremony o' Admeesion, which ye ha'e jist passit through, maun be fresh in yer minds. The Test o' pheesical, or mental abeelity, tak's ye back tae the submeesion o' Assay Pieces, in the auld days o' Trade Guilds, an' operative Masonry. The terms o' the Obleegation dinna need ony elaboration here, but the words used maun remind ye o' yer praisint day Masonic Obleegations. The Washin' o' the Apron no' only refers tae the actual incidents that happened at the feenish o' an apprenticeship in the Mason's Shed, but agen reminds ye o' the Apprentice Apron in the First Degree o' Freemasonry, wi' the moral lessons attachit. Oor Words are significant as representin' the views o' a' loyal subjects, an' reminds ye o' the Charge in modern Masonry, an' the exhortations o' ancient Craft Masonry.
Oor sign agen, is o' an operative character, an' reminds ye o' the lessons attachin' tae the explanations o' the Warkin' Tools in speculative Masonry. Wan could proceed in detail, on mony ither points o' connection atween the Squaremen an' the operative Crafts, but eneuch ha s been said, tae show that oor ceremonies contain the essence o' operative Masonry, an' likwyse, a close connection wi' speculative Masonry, containin', as that does, mony o' the points in ancient operative Masonry.