Midlothian’s 100 Objects - Gorebridge Masonic certificate

An affiliation certificate for Lodge St John Kilwinning, No. 57 and Lodge Gorebridge Dundas, No. 1039. Photo: c/o Rena Hepburn, Pencaitland Day Centre/Scran
An affiliation certificate for Lodge St John Kilwinning, No. 57 and Lodge Gorebridge Dundas, No. 1039. Photo: c/o Rena Hepburn, Pencaitland Day Centre/Scran

This week’s object is an affiliation certificate for Lodge St John Kilwinning, No. 57 and Lodge Gorebridge Dundas, No. 1039.

Members of the Freemasons, as with other orders, were free to affiliate themselves with more than one lodge.

Other organisations followed suit and this was an especially common occurrence amongst the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.

This certificate shows that John Fraser has affiliated himself with lodges in Haddington and Gorebridge.

Much of its symbolism is distinctly Scottish, with St Andrew flanked by two unicorns; the plinth also bears a saltire.

The first Freemason incorporations emerged around the 15th-century to protect the craft against merchants and town councils. A virtual trade monopoly was created.

Ritualism and symbolism became a central part of lodge ceremony, used initially to stop imposters and journeymen passing themselves off as trained masons.

The Grand Lodge of Scotland was set up in 1736 to oversee the workings of the lodges.

We’d love to feature your favourite Midlothian object.

You can email a photo and details to midlothianadvertiser@jnlothian.co.uk