Lodge-Shettleston-Saint-John 128

Lodge History

Lodge Shettleston Saint John No128

History Page

note: all lodge history has been extracted from the book Historical & Biographical Sketches by Bro David Willox PM.

Also, thanks to Brother Ian G Paul P.M of Lodge St Andrew 465 for his very fine address to the lodge which some extracts have been used.

The Lodge Shettleston St John story begins in 1771.

A number of major historical events took place in 1771 and these included:

January 22  : Spain cedes the Falkland Islands to Britain

February 12 : Gustav III becomes King of Sweden

May 7         : Samuel Hearne explores the Copper Mine of Canada

July 12        : James Cook sails Endeavour back to Downs England

Aug 15        : Sir Walter Scott born in Edinburgh. Scott wrote a number of books including Ivanhoe, Rob Roy and The Heart of Midlothian. Scott who was the son of a solicitor was a Freemason who was initiated into Lodge St David (currently No 36 on the role of the GLS) on 2 March 1801

Nov 16        : West Indian Company and Amsterdam divide up Suriname

Dec 19        : Charter granted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland to Lodge Shettleston St John No128

The Lodge Charter is recorded in the books of the Grand Lodge, given at the Grand Lodge held in the City of Edinburgh the nineteenth day of December in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-One, and of Light, Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-five years.

Meeting Places

The 1st Meeting Place of the Lodge was in the upstairs rooms of the Kirkhouse hostelry in Shettleston Glasgow. Lodge Shettleston St John has travelled a journey which has seen it located at a several different premises; The Old Kirkhouse, the Masonic Hall in Wellshot Road, the Parkhead Upper Town Hall which was situated in New Road now called Duke Street, the Masonic Hall at Ewing Place Parkhead, Quarryknowe Street and Causewayside Street.

The founder members of the Lodge were:

Peter Kinniburgh

Alexander Merrylees

William Russell

John Shanks

William Russell

Robert Moffat

Robert Moffat

The first office bearers were

Master  : Peter Kinniburgh, he served the Lodge as master for 10 years

Wardens : Alexander Merrylees and William Russell

Treasurer   : Robert Moffat

Secretary   : Robert Moffat

Stewards   : John Shanks and William Russell

Lodge Shettleston St John has been in existence for almost 250 years and during its lifespan there have been numerous historical events, discoveries and inventions. These include the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, the discovery of Penicillin (it should be noted that Sir Alexander Fleming who played a prominent role in discovering Penicillin was a Freemason), the invention of the telephone, the invention of the television and the invention of the internet.

On the 19th December 2021 Lodge Shettleston Saint John 128, will celebrate becoming 250 years old.

This indicates just how long this Lodge has been in existence, so it is only right and proper that we pay tribute to the Founder Members who had the foresight to form this Lodge. Sadly, though there is very little information available about these distinguished brethren because of the passage of time.

I would, however, like to pay tribute to several brethren who have contributed greatly to this Lodge particularly in its early and formative years:


He was a spirit merchant in Shettleston and it is thought that he was the license holder of the Kirkhouse where the Lodge met for many years. He was held in high esteem by the brethren of lodge and was Master again in 1840


As a freemason few men can boast of a more distinguished career. Brother George took an active part in running Lodge Shettleston St John and was also a member of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow in which he held important offices. He was also a representative to the Grand Lodge of Scotland and was at one time appointed Proxy Junior Warden for a lodge in South Africa. He was connected with the spirit trade and had the reputation of being an excellent degree worker.

BROTHER JOHN REID. RWM 1869, 1872-73  

Brother Reid was a Master Tailor in Parkhead and a large part of his business consisted of a credit system which caused him some financial problems because some of his customers did not pay him for the services he performed

Brother Reid was the Master of the Lodge and also the Treasurer for many years

Brother Reid was an American by birth and actually returned to America where he died. He should be noted that he was a distinguished brother who was greatly respected by the brethren of the Lodge


Brother John who occupied the chair for two years was an Englishman who was originally a boiler plate roller in the Parkhead Forge but he drifted into the spirit trade having purchased the business and the buildings owned by Brother

John Murray who was Master in 1870

He came originally from Derbyshire and a reputation as a hard and dedicated worker. It was Brother Warton who built the hall at Ewing Place

Brother John when he died left an estate valued in the region of £40,000


One of the most popular Masters that Shettleston St John ever had

He was an engineer to trade but drifted into that of spirit salesman having managed his father’s business in Marquis Street Bridgeton

He was initiated into the Lodge in February 1868 and had three successful years in the chair and on his retirement from office he was presented with a silver tea and coffee service by the brethren of a lodge as a token of appreciation and esteem


Brother Willox was initiated into the Lodge in February 1868.

It is worthy of note that his grandfather was initiated into the Lodge in 1821

In the early part of his Masonic career he was not a regular attender of Lodge meetings but that changed when he was elected as Secretary. For a period of 30 years he never missed any meeting of the Lodge

He also wrote the history of the early years of the Lodge. This is an excellent book and I would urge all brethren to borrow a copy from one of the members of Shettleston St John as it is very informative and gives a clear indication of what the craft was like in the 1800s and early part of the 20th century  


Brother McEwan was the Master in the year that the Lodge celebrated its 150th anniversary

He was initiated on 6 August 1913, passed on 3 September 1913 and raised to the high and sublime degree of a Master Mason on 17 September 1913

Brother McEwan served as Junior Deacon, Senior Deacon, Senior Warden and was installed as RWM on 7 December 1921 at the Masonic Hall at Quarryknowe Street in Parkhead

His installing masters were Brothers James Gunn and William Brown

As part of the 150 anniversary celebration a poem was written and I now share a few verses with you

Her log book tells of stress and storm

Through which she’s proudly past

With buoyant prow in stately form

Defiant of the blast

With skillful pilots at the helm

To guide her safely through

The surging waves could never overwhelm.

Her manly loyal crew

What these few verses mean for the Lodge is the importance of team work.


This was true in 1771 and is also true in the Lodge today and long may it forever be the case.