Lodge St. John No. 187, Carluke.

The First 200 Years - Part Two



              Part Two of Three  


              LODGE ST. JOHN NO. 187,




The First Burns Supper

The first Burns Supper held by our ancient Brethren, was on the 25th
January, 1861, when a goodly number of Brethren sung a selection of Burns
songs at their meeting place, the Black Bull Inn.

When the R.W.M. of one of our sponsor Lodges, Hamilton No. 7, laid the foundation
stone at the Motherwell Lodge No. 406, on the 22nd April, 1861, asuitable deputation
was again in attendance. However this occasion was latersurpassed on 24th June
of that year. Having been asked by Grand Lodge if they would attend at the laying
of the foundation stone of the National Wallace Monument, the Brethren asked
the Caledonian Railway Co. if they would provide a special train.

The Secretary of the Caledonian Railway Co. informed the Lodge that he could not send    
a special train owing to the small number going, however, Motherwell Lodge had a  
special train organised. A meeting with Motherwell Lodge resulted in them sending  
their train to Carluke Station to take the St. John Members and the Band to Stirling  
and back for the sum of 2/9d. The Lodge also gave £1 towards paying for the Band
who had said they would go if their train fares were paid. The deputation assembled 
at Carluke Lodge at 5 a.m. and paraded to the station accompanied by music, where 
they were on their journey at 7a.m. arriving in Stirling at 9.30 a.m. After assembling 
at Queens Park the Grand Master Mason, His Grace the 6th Duke of Atholl, on a signal    
gun being fired from the castle, led off the procession. At Abbey Craig the stone was laid.  
Our Brethren arrived back at Carluke at 8 p.m.
On the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the Princess Alexandra of
Denmark on 10th March, 1863, the Lodge invited the (Late Odd Fellows) Friendly
Society and the other Societies connected with Carluke, to join them on that day,
in a parade around the town. The Rifle Volunteers acted as a Guard of Honour
and both the Instrumental and Flute Bands were in attendance. 

The first honorarium in the Lodge was set up in 1863, when it was agreed
that the secretary receive £1 annually. At the same meeting it was agreed that at
each death of a Brother, when funeral expenses required to be paid, a levy of
sixpence should be paid by each member towards the cost.  

Having received on 9th November, 1863, a request from some of the
Brethren belonging to St. Mary, Coltness No. 31 and St. John, Carluke No. 187,
residing at Cambusnethan, requesting a Lodge be erected at Cambusnethan under
the name of St. Clair, no objection was made and the petition was duly signed
and agreed by the KW.M. and the Wardens and forwarded to Grand Lodge. 

The newly formed Lodge St. Clair, Cambusnethan No. 427 sent their first
deputation to Carluke on the 24th May, 1864. This meeting was followed a month
later by a sizeable deputation from Carluke to St. Clair to join in on their
consecrating of the new Lodge. The Newmains Instrumental Band led the parade
and on the return to Carluke they were met on the road by the Carluke
Instrumental Band who escorted them to the Lodge Room. 

The Wardens Columns    

The two handsome columns which are used by the Wardens in the Lodge,
one in the "IONIC' order of architecture, and the other in "CORINTHIAN",
were donated to the Lodge by Bro Thomas Marshall residing at Uddingston on
the 24th March, 1864.

The Masters Column    

In keeping with the two Wardens Columns earlier presented to the Lodge,
Bro. Thomas Marshall donated on the 24th October, 1864, a matching third column
in the "DORIC" style to be used at the Master's chair.

The Charter which is on display in front of the Master's chair, was framed
in November of that year for the cost of two guineas. 

The love our Ancient Brethren had for parades, is demonstrated by a typical
procession in the summer of 1865. The Carluke Band had intimated that their fee
for playing for the Lodge on that day would be 4/- per member being 14 in the
Band. This total sum of £2:16/ =, was no small sum, but it was agreed to hire them
for the march. The procession proceeded to the grounds of Bro. Brown Esq. of
Orchard, situated on the banks of the Clyde, where they were warmly received
and spent a few hours. They then continued on to Gilfoot the property of James
Gilchrist Esq., where they likewise received a cordial welcome. The parade finally
arrived back at Carluke in the evening, where a meal and harmony concluded
the day.

Tree years later, the Lodge returned to the home of Bro. Brown at his
request, to lay the foundation stone to his New Farm Steading.  

 The Working Tools  

 A beautifully engraved box containing a full set of Silver Working Tools, 
 with an explanation of said Tools enclosed, was presented to the Lodge by Bro.
Thomas Marshall in 1866.

The Brethren, as a mark of their esteem for Bro. Marshall, and in some way as a 
thank you for the valuable presents he had given the Lodge, agreed to purchase a 
Masonic Jewel and Gold Albert Chain with appendages, to be presented to him at a       
special meeting on the 24th August, 1866.

At the meeting, Bro. Marshall was accompanied by a deputation from Alexandria and  
Bonhill St. Andrews Royal Arch Lodge No. 321. The presentation was made with eloquent
address, to which Bro. Marshall replied. To everyone's surprise, the Brethren of Alexandria
and Bonhill St. Andrews Royal Arch Lodge, then presented to St. John No. 187  one pair of
beautifully finished swords, on one of which was the inscription, viz:- 
 "Presented by the Brethren of St. Andrews Royal Arch Lodge No. 321, to 
 St.John’s Lodge, Carluke No. 187, as a Mark of Remembrance." 

The festive board then met and continued into the early hours.

 By 1867 the explanation of the working tools, in the form of a lecture, was
added to the instruction given to the candidates at their initiation.

The Lodge Colours 

The first full set of Office Regalia, emblazoned with Green Silk, Lambskin
Fronts, and Flaps in Velvet, were ordered in 1868 with the colours as we have
them today. It was with much pleasure that the quotation from a local merchant,
Mr Pillans, to supply the clothing for the sum of £25 was accepted. The Lodge
did not at that time have anything like this amount of money in their regalia
fund, and they decided to borrow from other funds to pay for the full set. 

These colours were first worn in May, 1868, at the Installation of the P.G.M.
of Lanarkshire Upper Ward, Bro. Hector F. McLean, where the Brethren of St.
John paraded around Lanark with much pride. 

On their return to Carluke, they opened the Lodge, but it is recorded in the
minutes that it would have been better kept shut as good order did not prevail.                      

The Laying of Foundation Stones 

Such was the enthusiasm and support given by our Ancient Brethren on
special occasions, their presence was requested at many historical events. Over
the next ten year period, the Lodge sent large deputations to:-  

 May 1866 

Laying the Foundation Stone of the new parish church called
Greyfriars in Dumfries.  

 April 1869 

Laying the Foundation Stone of the new Museum and Free Library
at Paisley by the M.W.G.M., The Right Honourable the Earl of

(19 Brethren in the deputation).  

June 1870 

Laying the Foundation Stone of the new Albert Bridge across the
Clyde by the M.W.G.M., The Right Honourable the Earl of

(12 Brethren in the deputation).  

Aug. 1872

Laying the Foundation Stone of St. Andrews Lodge New Hall at  Drybridge.  

Oct. 1872  

Laying the Foundation Stone at the Watt Institute, Edinburgh by the
M.W.G.M.,The Earl of Rosslyn.  

(11 Brethren in the deputation).  

Oct. 1876  

Laying the Foundation Stone at the New Post Office, Glasgow, by His Royal
Highness The Prince of Wales.

(27 Brethren in the deputation). 


The Balance Sheet presented to the Lodge at year end 1870 was simple and to
the point and gives an insight into the finances at that time.

          INCOME                                              EXPENDITURE

 Balance on hand  £68: 2: 0                                   Sick Aliment      £44: 2: 0          

 Society Income     17:10: 6                                  Postage,etc.              1: 4 

 Interest                 1: 5:11                                  Regalia                10:18:10

 Regalia                  8: 9: 6                                   In Bank                 11:11: 6 

                          £95: 7:11                                  Treasurers hands  £95: 7:11

To increase the funds of the Lodge, the Societies Subscriptions were raised in July, 1871 to one shilling and four pence per month for monthly members, and three shillings per quarter for quarterly members. 

 Shortly after this was passed, a Grand Lodge circular was read out requiring every member in the Craft to pay 2/- per annum (or more if he was able) to Grand Lodge to allow them to payoff the large debt accrued by the erection of Freemasons Hall, and thus allow the funds to be better spent on benevolence instead of bank interest charges. There were now 387 Lodges on the Grand Lodge roll, with a total membership of 24,140 brothers.  

Among the many visiting Lodges which frequented St. Johns, a very strong friendship was established with Lodge St. Andrew No. 380 Drybridge, and it was not uncommon for the Brethren of both Lodges to meet somewhere, for instance on the Banks of the Clyde, for a days pleasure in each others company.  

Candidates were plentiful and 20 to 25 initiates per year were being
introduced to the Lodge.

  The First Sporting Day

On December, 1974, it was agreed that the Brethren meet the Brethren of
Old St. Johns, Lanark "on" Lanark Loch to play a friendly game. The game to be
played is not minuted, but one can only surmise that the Loch was frozen over
at the time.

In keeping with the proud image of St. John No. 187, in June, 1875, a new
flag in the colours and design of the old one, was purchased for the sum of 13
guineas to enhance the processions of the Lodge.

A motion that the Lodge monthly meetings be held on the fourth Friday of
every month, instead of the 24th day of the month, was passed by a majority and
due notice of this decision was placed in the Hamilton Advertiser in January,

New Public School, Carluke

Following several discussions with the School Board of the New Public
School being erected in Carluke (Old Carluke High), the final arrangements were
agreed for the laying of the foundation stone on 3rd June, 1876. Lodge St. John
No. 187 had arranged for the Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Hector F. Mcl.ean,
Esq., of Lanarkshire Upper Ward to lay the stone. They had also invited all the
other societies and all the musical bands in the parish to take part. A further
twenty Lodges were invited to attend and join in the celebrations. The Lodge
appointed a 12-man committee to organise the entire proceedings, and many
small but nevertheless important matters were resolved, viz: The Volunteer Band
had agreed to play only on condition that they be placed among the masons
during the march, and the Flute Band agreed to play only on condition that no
other band was paid for. Agreement was also reached on all of the artefacts
which would be placed into the foundation at the ceremony. These were: A
document containing some details of the population, etc., of the parish, some
details of Carluke St. John Lodge No. 187, a copy of the Hamilton Advertiser,
Weekly Scotsman, Airdrie Advertiser and Clydesdale News all of date 17th June,
1876, the Daily Herald of date 23rd June, 1876. There was also a one half sovereign
(gold), one five shilling piece (silver), one half crown (silver), one florin (silver),
one shilling (silver), one sixpenny piece (silver), one fourpenny piece (silver), one
threepenny piece (silver), one penny (copper), one halfpenny (copper), one farthing

The parade and ceremony went without a hitch, and to conclude the day,
the School Board returned to the Lodge Room with the Masons and sat down to

A change in the form of the meetings, was adopted at the Installation
meeting on December, 1876, when the custom of reading all the year's previous
minutes before the opening of the Installation was changed in favour of a motion
that the minutes of each meeting be read out every night at the opening of the
Lodge. A custom which has stood the test of time and is still continued. The
stubborn refusal of the Brethren of the Lodge to raise the subscription and dues
when motions were put forward by the Treasurer and Office Bearers, had the net
result in the balance sheet year ending 1877, showing the Lodge in deficit of
6/6d. However action was then taken to correct the deficit, and by the end of
1879 a quotation of £10:13/- for the supply of the remaining Office Bearers'
jewels, in hall marked silver was accepted, and the monies put aside to pay the


In June 1881 the Lodge meeting place was moved back to the Crown Hotel,
only to be changed again four years later to the Black Bull Inn.

The Dry Year

When a Bro. Andrew Pearson was elected to the Office of Chaplain for the
year 1886, he did so on the condition that no drink be allowed in the Lodge
during that year. His wish was granted, and he was duly elected. It is noticed
that this was the only year this Brother held this Office.

The First Mark Degree

Efforts were made by the Brethren to have the Mark Degree carried out in
the year 1885, and after many meetings between Lodges St. Clair and St. Marys
(both of whom were proficient in this degree), our own Mark Degree was
eventually carried out in the Lodge in early 1890.

The format of the meetings was very different to that with which we are
now accustomed. An example can be seen from a typical minute of that era;
"March 1889 Two Brethren received 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree, the Lodge was then reduced
when Two Brethren received the 1st degree. As it was getting late, the meeting was

In December, 1890, the Lodge Room was moved to the Clydesdale Hotel,
only to be again moved in August, 1892, back to the Crown Hotel. At the insistence
of Bro. James Hozier, M.P., Provincial Grand Master of Lanarkshire Upper Ward,
the new Lodge Room on this occasion would be consecrated by himself in a
particular manner, and all expenses on the occasion would be met by him. The
Ceremony was carried out on the 1st December, 1892.

When a man claiming to be a Mason, and seeking help, arrived at the
Lodge Room one September meeting night, a P.M. was delegated to test him, and
on his return intimated that the visitor could not prove himself to be a Brother.
The lodge however agreed to help him as a man to the extent of 1/-.

The balance in the Lodge funds at the end of this year, 1893, was £8:17:2p.   

The prospect of any lavish festivities during the next, and their Centenary Year
were laid to rest. 

Centenary Celebrations

The arrangements for the festival of the Centenary Celebration took place
on March, 1894, when it was agreed that the Master and Wardens of Wood hall
Lodge Hamilton, and St. Marys Coltness Wishaw, be invited to the supper and
ball being held to mark the event. At the next meeting, it was proposed and
adopted that the ball be cancelled, and the ladies not invited, as it was considered
that it would take all the Brethren's time entertaining the Provincial Deputation
and the other guests.

The occasion was recorded as viz:-

"This Lodge, which was founded on 5th May, 1794, celebrated the hundredth
anniversary of its institution on Friday last, 4th inst., by a supper. The event was
celebrated in the Lodge Room, Crown Hotel, Bro. Moffat occupied the chair. The Lodge
was duly opened and received a large deputation from Lanarkshire Upper Ward, headed
by Bro. lames Hozier, Esq.. M.P. Provincial Grand Master. Six other deputations were
present from Nos. 7, 21, 31, 18,406 and 573. An excellent supper was served and after
ample justice had been done to it, a long list of toasts were duly honoured. Excellent
songs were sung during the evening and the visitors contributed greatly to the enjoyment."

The Provincial Grand Master later donated £5 to defray the expenses of the
Lodge due to the large number of guests.

On the 10th August, 1895, a special and well recorded event took place in
Carluke. The Village of Carluke had a fresh and attractive appearance that 
Saturday as visitors came trooping in from Glasgow, Cambuslang, Strathaven,
Airdrie, Motherwell, Coatbridge, Hamilton, etc., considerably increasing the 4000
or more inhabitants of which Carluke could boast. It is needless to say that the
importations were Freemasons from Lodges whose Nos. were 20, 31,62,87,114,
118,166, 169, 172,201,215,236,244,248,302,305,406,427,455,510,524,544,556,
557,581 and 1426 (England), and numbered in excess of 300. Their presence was
in response to invitations from St. Johns No. 187, and in honour to the Provincial
Grand Master Bro. James H. Hozier, M.P., who had been asked to lay the memorial
stone, D Company, 9th L.R Volunteer Drill Hall.

The Lodge of St. John was opened in Crown Hotel by Bro. Dr. Robert
Paterson, RW.M. After the introduction of Bro. Hozier, who was received with
honours befitting his rank, a young member of the Lodge presented the Lodge
with a sword of the time of George IV. The Brethren were then marshalled in
processional order. The procession was composed principally of members of the
craft, but included the Volunteers, the pipe band of D Company, the Carluke
Brass Band, and the members of the Rankin Memorial Lodge of Ancient Shepherds

The procession had an imposing appearance as it wended its way through
the principal streets from the Market Place to the Market Road, where the Drill
Hall was in course of erection. Bro. Hozier was presented with a handsome
trowel, suitably inscribed, with which to lay the stone and was duly assisted in
the duty of adjusting the stone by the Master, Wardens, Treasurer, and Secretary
of 187. Those taking part in the procession were afterwards entertained at a cake
and wine banquet in the Rankin Memorial Hall. The entrance of Sir William
Hozier, who took a seat in the gallery, was the signal for repeated cheers, which
together with the ovation accorded to his son, Bro. Hozier, was gratifying and
sufficient evidence of the popularity of the family in this part of Lanarkshire.

The cornucopia and cups containing the consecrating elements, were the property of
the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and were under the charge of the Grand Janitor.
The vessels were greatly admired by those who had not previously had an
opportunity of seeing them. A Past Master from the Great City Lodge, London,
was with his array of jewels and his venerable appearance, the centre of interest
among the members of the country lodges, and many were the conjectures of
"who is yon wae a they medals".

To mark the occasion, the Lodge presented the Carluke Volunteers with a
suitable clock for their new building.

The earliest record of a visiting Past Master carrying out an installation
ceremony in 187, was on 27th December, 1895, when Bro. Crawford of No. 62
Dumfries and an honorary member of 187, carried out the business in a very
instructive manner.

When the Lodge Bye-Laws were approved by Provincial Grand Lodge at
the end of 1895, they were at once formally adopted by the Lodge and a copy of
them has been presented to every entrant into 187 ever since January 1896.

The new ruling by Grand Lodge that 14 clear days should elapse between
degrees, would from that day create fundamental changes to the format of the
Lodge meetings. Until this time, it was more likely than not, that several, if not
all of the degrees would be carried out at the same meeting.

The annual Installation and Festival of St. John, was almost without
exception, held on St. Johns Day, which was the 27th December, however if this
date fell upon the Sabbath, it was as in the year 1903, celebrated on the 25th

At the laying of the Foundation Stone of Good Templars Institute in Carluke,
8 local Lodges paraded accompanied by the Friendly Societies of the Shepherds,
Gardeners, Rechabites - Sons of Temperance, and Good Templars. The procession
through the streets was accompanied by the Overtown Brass Band and the Carluke
Pipe Band.

Around the turn of the century, and after many proposals by the Brethren
to consider the building of a new Lodge Room, a committee was formed to
investigate the establishment of such a meeting place. Their first estimate with
sketches for the works, which would cost approximately £850, was rejected, and
put off for a one year period to enable the fund raising measures to be considered.
Some five years later, feelings were beginning to get frayed as the Hall Committee
had still not found an acceptable solution, and a new Hall Committee was formed
to try and raise in excess of the £1000 which would be needed to build suitable
premises. The committee were also delegated to interview every Lodge member,
and ascertain who if any were prepared to do some work towards the ultimate
goal of having their own Masonic Hall.

A Building Fund was set up in 1908, the first monies being raised were
from the proceeds of a concert, where 650 tickets were on sale. A fund box was
handed round at the close of each meeting and further concerts were arranged.
Despite the Lodge's own fund raising enterprises, they were continually faced
with requests for benevolence from their members or dependants. The continual
string of appeals from other Lodges to assist in their own particular projects, was
also catered for. Most of these appeals and requests were accommodated, and
with the help of many other "novel" ventures, progress was made.

When two of our Brethren went visiting to Bro. The Right Hon. Lord Newlands
(James H. Hozier, Esq.), to discuss the arrangements for the Grand Fund Raising
Bazaar, Lord Newlands advised them that the Lodge should not proceed with the
purchase of a site in Clyde Street for the sum of £240, as he himself would donate
a free site for the erection of the building. His further donation of £100 added to
the proceeds from the Bazaar, which took place on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th
December,1910, totalling £700 and the remaining Lodge Funds, realised the
princely sum of £1100.

An Architect was appointed and instructed to go ahead with plans for a
building which should be budgeted on £1300. 

In typical and traditional fashion, subsequent meetings where the plans
were discussed, failed to get agreement with the Brethren, and it was finally decided to submit the plans for the three chosen alternatives, to the W. Grand Architect in Edinburgh for his recommendations. His recommendations were accepted and it was further moved that the building schedules be restricted to companies within the parish.

The accepted tenders were:- 

Masonry Work.                         £481: 6: 1  

Joiner Work.                              517: 6: 5

Slater & Plaster Work.                 169: 8:8

Plumber Work.                            210: 3; 9 

Painter Work .                              49: 1: 1

Architects Fees.                            70 :0: 0    

Inspector for Building.                   10: 0: 0         

Warehouses & Coalhouses.            28: 0: 0


The recommendation of the Lodge, was that the building be constructed in Auchenheath Stone, and should include the addition of Moorish Arches above the Wardens chairs. The wish of the Brethren that the new premises be called the Lady Newlands Masonic Temple, was considered by Grand Lodge to be inappropriate, and the name Newlands Masonic Temple was adopted and approved by Lord and Lady Newlands.

On the 23rd September, 1911, the Foundation Stone of the new building
was laid by Lord Newlands using a Silver Trowel gifted to him by the Lodge.

Just less than one year later, on the 14th September, 1912, the new building
was opened.

The Opening Ceremony

Some 118 years after receiving its Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland,
and having met in many establishments throughout the town, the Freemasons in
Carluke now had their own premises.

The proceedings opened with a procession of the Brethren through the
principal streets of the town. Meeting at the Old Lodge Room, they were joined
by deputations from all the neighbouring Lodges, the Brethren wearing their
regalia and accompanied by the Carluke Silver Band. All along the route, large
crowds witnessed the procession and the weather was favourable.

Owing to the fact that Lord Newlands was indisposed, the ceremony of
presenting him with an inscribed Gold Key as a souvenir from the Lodge of the
happy occasion, was carried out inside the building. (This gold key now lies in
the Museum in Grand Lodge). In his reply to the Lodge, Lord Newlands
congratulated the Lodge on its achievements and the Honour of naming the
Temple "The Newlands Masonic Temple".

As a little token of affection, Lady Newlands proposed to present to the Lodge,      
an oil painting of himself, painted when he was Grand Master Mason of Scotland. 
It was painted for, and given to, the Masonic Club in Edinburgh. When the club   
ended its days, the picture came into his possession, and if they cared to have it, 
Lady Newlands would be very pleased to give it.

            The Lodge building, to the right, from across the Marketplace. 



To continue to the final part please click here