St. John’s Lodge of Haughfoot has the distinction of being the first ‘Speculative’ Lodge of gentlemen Freemasons, as opposed to an ‘Operative’ Lodge of stonemasons, in Scotland and the World! The first recorded minute of the Lodge dates from 22nd December 1702.
The founding members were:
- John Hoppringle of that ilk (Laird of Torsonce the ‘Master Mason’ or ‘Preses’)
- Andrew Thomson (a local lawyer and Lodge ‘Boxmaster’)
- James Pringle (Brother of the Laird of Torsonce)
The first to be entered (‘Admitted to the Society of apprentice and fellowcraft’) were:
- Sir James Scott of Gala M.P. (Laird of Galashiels) [Torsonce was married to Gala’s sister].
- Thomas Scott (his brother)
- David Murray (in Philiphaugh)
- James Pringle (in Haughfoot)
- Robert Lourie (in Stowtounhead)
- John Pringle (a wright)
William Pringle in Burnhouse was admitted on 27 December 1706, and James Pringle of Torwoodlee was admitted in 1709.
John Hoppringle of Torsonce (Haughfoot was located on his estate) died in Edinburgh on 21st December 1737, and the last time the lodge met at Haughfoot was on the 27th December 1738. They next met at Galashiels on the 6th January the next year, and after that they agreed to meet on St Johns day at Stow and then thereafter to meet alternately at Galashiels and Stow. However due to bad weather and the distance needed to travel, the lodge split into two, and became:
The minutes (of the Haughfoot lodge) record: ‘Galashiels Jany 20 1742, The Masons of Galashiels seperat from the brethren at Stow being met day forsd and rols made and marked as follows.’
The Lodge of Galashiels met many times in Selkirk between 1753 and 1763, which was year of the last entry in the Minute Book of the Lodge of Haughfoot. The book became a possession of the Lodge of St John, Selkirk, No. 32.
In 1898-99, James L Pringle was Master of Galashiels Lodge No 262.
For more information visit: The Pringle’s Lodge - Lodge of Haughfoot, No. 1824 - Haughfoot.co.uk
Other Lodges with Pringle connections
The Lodge of Edinburgh, St. Mary’s Chapel, No. 1:Walter Pringle of Graycrook [Craigcrook Castle, Edinburgh] (an Advocate, and uncle of Sir John Pringle of Stitchill, 2nd Bart.) was initiated on the 24 June 1670, into of the Lodge of Edinburgh, St. Marys Chapel, No.1. The Lodge of Melrose, St. John, No. 1 bis:From the minutes of the Lodge of Melrose, No. 1 bis, dated 1675, we see that James and Robert Pringle were members. Andrew Pringle was Master of Melrose Lodge in 1755. The Lodge of Kelso No. 58 (founded before 1701):According to the minute dated 2 June 1702, Sir John Pringle of Stitchel, 2nd Bart., was elected as the second recorded Master of the Lodge of Kelso. Robert Pringle of Clifton was also Master of this lodge in 1707. Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2:On the 13th December 1843, James Pringle Esq. of Stichell (eldest son of the 5th Baronet; predeceased his father in 1865) was initiated into Canongate Kliwinning lodge. William Pringle served as Poet-Laureate of the lodge from 1854 until 1859 (a role that Robert Burns had from 1787 until 1796). [William Pringle - this is probably the Rev. William Pringle of Auchterarder] Moria Lodge, No. 92, London, E.C.:Colonel Sir Norman Pringle of Newhall, 7th Baronet of Stitchill, was a Past Master of this lodge, according to ‘Ars Quatuor Coronatorum’ volume 6 and 10. He joined the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research in May 1887, and was No. 78 on their numerical register. Brandon Lodge, No. 19, in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada:Sir Norman Robert Pringle, 8th Baronet of Stitchill, was a member of this lodge, according to ‘Ars Quatuor Coronatorum’ volume 10. Pringles and other Masonic Orders
The Minute of 27th March 1813 records the admittance (exaltation) to the Chapter [Edinburgh RAC, No. 1] of Brother Murray Pringle, Master Mason of the Lodge New Edinburgh Kilwinning, and Scribe E (Secretary) of the Chapter, and he became the first Grand Recorder of the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland.
Murray Pringle was also the Grand Treasurer of the Royal Grand Conclave (now the Great Priory) of Knights Templars of Scotland from 1825 until 1830. William Pringle was the Chancellor of the Canongate-Kilwinning Priory, No 8.
From “Ars Quatuor Coronatorum” -Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, volume 10, page 162.
Sir Norman William Drummond Pringle, seventh baronet, who died in London on July 21st, was born at Edinburgh on April 17th, 1837, and entered the Army as Ensign in the 38th Foot now the first battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment on September 10th, 1858. He became Lieutenant-Colonel in 1882, Colonel in 1885 and retired from the Army on the pension of his rank in 1888. Sir Norman served through the Egyptian War of 1882, commanding the outposts during the reconnaissance from Alexandria, and receiving the medal and Khedive's Star. In 1885 he was with the Soudan Frontier Field Force, being commandant of the base at Wady Haifa, and in 1886 took part in the operations on the Upper Nile. Sir Norman was initiated (October 18th, 1880), passed and raised in the Moira Lodge, No. 92. After which, being stationed with his regiment at Malta, he was admitted to the Royal Arch, the Mark, and the Rose Croix degrees, in 1881. He was the W.M. of his mother Lodge in 1890, and at the time of his lamented disease, I.P.Z., and Scribe E. of the Moira Chapter. As an exponent of the ritual, both in Lodge and Chapter, he probably had no superior. He was a ready and incisive speaker, and perhaps never so eloquent as when obliged to address his brethren or companions on the spur of the occasion. Among the ancestors of the deceased direct or collateral may be mentioned Walter Pringle, Advocate, who together with the Right Hon.William Murray and Sir John Harper, was admitted and received as a Fellow Craft in the Lodge of Edinburgh, on June 24th, 1670.
The second baronet, Sir John (nephew of Walter) Pringle, was elected Master of the Lodge of Kelso in June, and again in December, 1702. A later Walter Pringle, the next brother of Sir John, and also Robert Pringle, their nephew, were raised to the Scottish Bench by the titles of Lords Newhall and Edgefield respectively.
John, the fourth son of the second baronet, was Physician-General to the allied army in Germany. He was afterwards created a baronet, and served for many years as President of the Royal Society. At his death, without issue, his nephew, Sir James Pringle, of Stitchill, the fourth holder of the original title, also succeeded to his uncle's baronetcy, according to the terms of the patent.
To the Haughfoot Lodge (now extinct), the Pringle family seems to have been what the Meins were to the Melrose Lodge the very head and front of the Society. At a meeting on St. John's day (in Winter), 1707, there were four Pringles present out of a total of fifteen. One of these was John Hop-Pringle, a former Master, of Torsonce. There were two races of Pringles or Hop-Pringles. The Pringles of Torsonce were the head of one race, and on the failure of direct issue, the estate ultimately came to Sir James Pringle, of Stitchill, the fourth baronet.
Sir James Pringle served for many years in the Army. He held the office of King's Master of Works for Scotland, and represented Berwickshire in four Parliaments. At his death in 1809, his two surviving sons, John and Norman (father of the deceased baronet) inherited Stitchil and Torsonce respectively, but these estates have now passed out of this family.
Sir Norman Pringle joined our Circle in May 1887, and was No. 78 on our numerical register. In the proceedings of the Lodge he took a deep interest, and was a frequent attendant at its meetings. His pleasing manners and genial disposition had greatly endeared him to us all, and the intelligence of his death, conveyed in this column, will cast a painful gloom over the current number of our Transactions.
Our deceased brother, who was a member of the Royal Body Guard of Scotland, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a J.P. for Selkirkshire, is succeeded by his only son, Norman Robert Pringle, now the eighth baronet, a former member of the Brandon Lodge, in Manitoba, born in 1871.
Colonel James Pringle of Stitchill, 4th Baronet, in 1768–1809 was the Master of Works to the Crown of Scotland, and was responsible for the construction, repair and maintenance of royal palaces, castles and other crown property in Scotland. Note that William Schaw, the first Master of Works, is largely considered to be the father of Freemasonry in Scotland.
Memorials of the Haughfoot Lodge, by Brother Harry Carr.
The First Freemasons: Scotland’s Early Lodges And Their Members, by Professor David Stevenson. Edinburgh 2001.
The Origins Of Freemasonry, by Professor David Stevenson. Cambridge University Press 2005.
History of Freemasonry in the Province of Roxburgh, Peebles and Selkirkshires, from 1674 to the present. by Brother W. Fred Vernon. London 1893.
Freemasonry in Scotland: The History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) No. 1. - Embracing an account of the rise and progress of Freemasonry in Scotland. By David Murray Lyon. Edinburgh 1873.
The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) No. 1.: Quatercentenary of Minutes 1599-1999. By Brother Joseph Ewart McArthur.
Historical Sketch of the Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland 1736-1986. By the G. L. of Scotland.
The constitution and laws of the grand lodge of Scotland (1881)
The laws and constitutions of the Supreme grand royal arch chapter (1878)
The history of Free Masonry and the Grand Lodge of Scotland, with chapters on the Knight Templars, Knights of St. John, Mark Masonry, and R.A. Degree. (1859) by William Alexander Laurie
History of The Antient Mother Ludge of Scotland: Mother Kilwinning No. 0. By Brother John A. Ness. Glasgow 1995.
History of the Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, No. 2. Compiled from the records, 1677-1888. By Brother Allan MacKenzie. Edinburgh 1888.
Freemasonry in Inverness: being an account of the ancient lodges of St John’s Old Kilwinning, No 6 of Scotland, and St Andrew’s Kilwinning, No 31 of Scotland. Compiled from minute books of the lodges, by Alexander Ross. Inverness, 1877.
Sketch of the Incorporation of Masons; and the Lodge of Glasgow St John [No. 3bis]; with much curious useful information regarding the Trades’ House, and Glasgow past & present. Compiled by James Cruikshank. Glasgow, 1879.
Speculative masonry, its mission, its evolution, and its landmarks. Being a series of lectures delivered at the Lodge of Instruction in connection with Lodge Progress, Glasgow, no. 873. By A.S. McBride
The Scottish Mason and the Mason Word. By Brothers Professor Douglas Knoop and G.P. Jones. Manchester University Press 1939.
Cracking the Freemasons Code, the truth about Solomon’s key and the brotherhood, By Robert L.D. Cooper
The Rosslyn Hoax? Viewing Rosslyn Chapel from a new perspective, by Robert L.D. Cooper
The Story of the Royal Arch, by Brother William Harvey. Dundee, 1919.
The Triple Tau: An outline of the History of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland. By Brother George S. Draffen. Edinburgh 1956.
History of the Edinburgh Royal Arch Chapter, No. 1, as extracted from the records of its minutes, from the date of its foundation in 1778 to the present time. By Brother William A. Davis, Scribe E. Edinburgh 1911.
Sketch of the history of the Knights Templars (1840), by the Chevalier James Burnes K.H.
Pour La Foy: A short history of the Great Priory of Scotland. By Brother George S. Draffen. Dundee 1949.
Brethren in Chivalry: A celebration of the two hundred years of the Great Priory of the...Orders of the Temple and of St John...of England and Wales...1791-1991. By Brother Frederick Smyth.
The Royal Order of Scotland. By Brother Robert Strathern Lindsay. Scotland 1971.
The Royal Order of Scotland: The Second Hundred Years. By Brother George Draffen of Newington. Edinburgh 1977.
Rose Croix: The history of the Ancient and Accepted Rite for England and Wales. By Brother Brig. A.C.F. Jackson, 33°.
The Scottish Rite for Scotland. By Brother R.S. Lindsay, 33°. Published for the Supreme Council for Scotland Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Edinburgh 1958.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Illustrations of the Emblems of the Thirty-Three Degrees: with a short description of each, as worked under the Supreme Council of Scotland. By Brother J. T. Loth, 30°. Edinburgh 1875.
A few Scottish Lodges:
Lodge of St. John, Haughfoot, No. 1824 - The Pringle’s Lodge - Haughfoot.co.uk
Lodge of St. John, Stow, No. 216.
Lodge of St. John, Galashiels, No. 262 - Galashiels262.co.uk
Lodge of St. John, Selkirk, No. 32.
Mother Kilwinning, No. 0, the Mother Lodge of Scotland - www.MK0.com
Lodge of Edinburgh (St. Mary’s Chapel), No. 1 - LodgeOfEdinburgh.org.uk
The Lodge of Melrose, St. John, No. 12 (bis) - 1bis.co.uk
The Lodge of Aberdeen, No. 13 (ter) - AberdeenNo1ter.com
Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2 - Lck2.co.uk
Dalkeith Kilwinning Lodge, No. x - No10lodge.fsnet.co.uk
Dumbarton Kilwinning Lodge, No. 18 - Dkl18.co.uk
Operative Lodge, Dundee, No 47 - Lodge47.co.uk
Lodge St Ebbe, Eyemouth, No. 70 - StEbbe70.co.uk
Lodge Stirling Royal Arch, No.76 - Lodge76.co.uk
Robert Burns’ Lodge - Lodge Tarbolton Kilwinning St James, No. 135. - Thefreemasons.org.uk/tarbolton135
Provincial Grand Lodges in the Lothians and Borders
Provincial Grand Lodge of Roxburgh, Peebles and Selkirk Shires - Pglrpss.co.uk
Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lothian and Berwickshire - Pglelb.org.uk
Provincial Grand Lodge of Midlothian - Pglm.co.uk
Provincial Grand Lodge of Edinburgh - Pgle.org
Grand Masonic Bodies in Scotland:
GrandLodgeScotland.com - Scottish Craft Freemasonry - The Grand Lodge of Scotland
RoyalOrderScotland.org - The Grand Lodge of the Royal Order of Scotland
Supgrac.com - The Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland
GreatPrioryOfScotland.com - The Knights Templar of Scotland
SupremeCouncilForScotland.org - The Supreme Council for Scotland A. & A. S. R.
Strive to Live with Love and Care, on the Level, by the Square.