AN ONLINE TOUR OF THE LODGE RELICS
The Lodge is proud to present images and details of some of the relics in our possession that date back to the time of Robert Burns. Some of these have never previously been photographed or displayed to the public. Visitors are reminded that express Copyright of these images is retained by the Lodge. Requests to visit the Lodge in person should be directed to the Lodge Secretary.
Still in our possession today is the original Charter from Lodge Mother Kilwinning dating to 17 May 1771.
Burns was unable to attend a meeting of the lodge. In this letter, written in Edinburgh on 23 August 1787, Burns apologises for his absence, and intercedes on behalf of loan defaulters who were due to be prosecuted at the meeting. The ending of the letter has become famous, and is shown. The letter was addressed to: " The Right Worshipful St Jame's Lodge, Tarbolton. Care of James Manson, Innkeeper, Tarbolton" The lodge used to meet at Manson's Inn, hence the addressee.
"Men and Brethren I am truly sorry it is not in my power to be at your quarterly meeting - If I must be absent in body, believe me I shall be present in spirit. I suppose those who owe us monies by bill or otherwise will appear; I mean those we summoned. If you please, I wish you would delay prosecuting defaulters till I come home. The court is up and I will be home before it sits down."
"Within your dear Mansion may wayward contention Or withered Envy ne'er enter May Secrecy round be the mystical bound And brotherly love be the center. Robt Burns"
This plate was used to invite brethren to meetings of the Lodge. All newly entered brethren are given a print using the plate as a momento.
Print given to all newly entered brethren up to this day on day of admission to the Lodge.
This famous entry in the minute book of July 4th 1781 reads as follows: "Sederunt for July 4th Robt Burns in Lochly was entered an apprentice."
Burns signed the minute book on many occasions. The one shown here dates to July 20 1785. It should be noted that Burns used to use the name Burness.
This is the first recorded minute where Burns drops the "es" from Burness. It dates to 25 May 1786