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Rome, a Lodge At

The Jacobite Lodge at Rome came without announcement, worked a few years, vanished and left scarcely a trace, and was always small enough to meet in a private room; yet, like the Rosetta Stone, it has a significance out of proportion to its age or its size because of a number of unique features in its organization and its work; so much so, that William James Hughan, and at the request of the Grand Master of Masons in Scotland, wrote a book about it: The Jacobite Lodge at Rome: 1736-7; Torquay; printed for Lodge of Research, No. 2429, Leicester, England; 1910.

The Lodge met at the Three Kings, Strada Paolina, Rome. Its by-laws were written in Latin, and consisted of twelve rules, each of one sentence. The earliest date in the still-existing Minutes is August 16, 1735; the last is August 20, 1737; including first and last there are Minutes of twelve meetings. John Cotton was Master to and including March 19, 1736; from then on the Right Honorable the Earl of Winton (also spelled Wintown) was Master. The title of the Master is variously given as Master, Maitre, Great Master, Grand Master. In a list of founding members written by hand in the Minute Book William Howard is named as Master; his name is followed by two Wardens, and thirteen members; this means that the Lodge had held at least one meeting before Aug. 16, 1735.

Andrew Lumisden made a gift of the Minute Book to the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1799. In a memorandum which he wrote to accompany the gift he said, among other things: "Pope Clement XII, having published a most severe edict la Bull] against Masonry, the last Lodge held at Rome was on the 20th August, 1737, when the Earl of Wintown was Master. [The Bull was dated in 1738.] The Officer of the Lodge [sometimes used as title for the Tiler], who was a servant of Dr. James Irvin, u as sent, as a terror to others prisoner to the Inquisition, but was soon released (This exemplary, or token, punishment was doubtless visited on the servant, instead of on the responsible head of the Lodge, because he was a servant, which is an interesting commentary on the morals of the Vatican.)

Bro. Hughan proves that Prince Charles Stuart the Roman Catholic pretender to the English throne, w as not in this Lodge, and that there is no trace of any connection with him. After having studied the biography of each member Bro. Hughan BTote: "Evidently the membership of the Lodge was mainly, if not exclusively, composed of Jacobites...." He believes that the founders were members of Scottish Lodges. Bro. Wintown was Master before he had taken the Third Degree, but it is very significant that he became a Master Mason in 1736; it may indicate that the Lodge at Rome had three Degrees at that period.

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