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Founding of Lodge St. John Operative No 193 Rothes

 

It was on the 3rd August, 1795, that the Grand Lodge of Scotland chartered “The Rothes Lodge No. 257” following the sponsorship of the Lodge by the Brethren of Lodge St. Lawrence No. 190 (now 144) Forres, and the Lodge Trinity No.196 (now 148) Elgin.

 

From 1766, the pioneers of Freemasonry in Rothes had been engaged in converting the old tiny hamlet at the base of the castle hill into a larger and more modern village, taking stones from their extensive building programme from the heap of rubble which had adorned the hill for a century, following the destruction of the “House of Rothayes” by fire in 1662.

 

Those operative Masons had come from the western area of the county, hence the interest shown in the erection of a Freemasons Lodge in Rothes by the Brethren in Forres.

 

“The Rothes Lodge No. 257” on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, was the sixth largest Lodge to be founded in Morayshire, in 1816, it changed from “The Rothes Lodge No.257” to “The Operative Masons Lodge No. 189 Rothes”. The No.257 still remains dormant. In 1862, the name and number were again changed to “St. John’s Operative Lodge Rothes No.193”. (“189” is now held by Lodge St. John Castle Douglas).

 

Prior to 27th December, 1864, the officer of Master, Depute Master, Senior Warden, Treasurer, Secretary, Second Steward, and Tyler were only open to Operative Masons, the other offices could be filled by any other Master Masons in good standing.

 

By the Lodges’ Special Bye-Laws of 1902, we find the name “St. John’s” changed to “St. John”.

 

The sword now used by the Tyler was presented to the Lodge in 1893, by Bro. Robert Dick (the first Provost of Rothes)