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Lodge, Latin

In the year 1785, the Grand Lodge of Scotland granted a Warrant for the establishment of Roman Eagle Lodge at Edinburgh; the whole of whose work was conducted in the Latin language. Of this Lodge, the celebrated and learned Dr. John Brown was the founder and Master. He had himself translated the ritual into the classical language of Rome, and the Minutes were written in Latin (see Lyon's History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, page 257). The Lodge is No. 160 on the Scotch Roll, but ceased to work in Latin in 1794. An article in the Builder, September, 1926 (page 275), by Brother Robert I. Clegg, mentions a peculiar use of Latin in a Lodge. An extract was copied for him by Brother A. H. Mackey from the records of Lodge Saint David, No. 36, at Edinburgh, Scotland. The famous novelist, Sir Walter Scott, was a member of this Lodge. The item from the Minutes of an emergency meeting on September 13, 1783, is as follows:

The Lodge being convened on an Emergency and the Right Worshipful being in the Country, Brother W. Ferguson took the chair and represented, That Fabian Gordons Esqr., Colonel of Horse, Carolus Gordon. Esqr., Maior of Foot; Stefanus Dziembowskie, Esqr., Captain of Foot. all in his Polish Majesty s Service, and Joseph Bukaty, Esqr., Secretary to the Polish Embassy at London has applied to him to be made Masons and Members of this Lodge, and as he is particularly acquainted with them all, he recommends to his Brethren to grant their requested which being unanimously agreed to, they were introduced in the order above mentioned, when the ceremony was performed by the Right Reverend Brother John Maclure, Grand Chaplain, and translated into Latin by Brother John Brown, M.D., as none of them understood English. The Brethren were entertained in the most Elegant Manner by Voeal and Instrumental Music particularly by the whole Band of the 21st Regiment with French Corns, Cor-de-Chasse Trumpets, Hautboys and bassoons.

At a later meeting, September 18, 1783, a Masters' Lodge was convened and the Minutes read: That the four Polish Brethren had been extremely diligent in learning the apprentices' part, and as their time in this Country was to be short, they were anxious to be promoted to the higher Degrees, and for that purpose he had ordered this Masters' Lodge to be convened and hoped their request would be granted and their Entries having proved tedious, first giving it in English and then translating it into Latin so the Most Worshipful Charles Wm. Little Esqr. Substitute Grand Master of Scotland had voluntarily offered to assist Brother John Brown, M.D., and Brother Clark, of Saint Andrews Lodge, and accordingly the Ceremony which took up above three hours was performed in very Elegant Latin.

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