On 24th April
1860 the first recorded meeting of the Lodge was
held after having been dormant for about 23
years, and on 6th June of the same year, a
letter was received from the Grand Lodge
intimating that the petition from the Hawick
Lodge praying for the old charter to be
returned, had been before the Grand committee
and would come up for discussion before Grand
Lodge in August, the letter gave the Lodge
temporary permission (and interim dispensation)
to work the degrees, and stated the number of
the Lodge was 407.
An entry in the minute
book dated 22nd July records that a brother was
fined one shilling for neglecting to address the
Master in the proper manner, one candidate was
proposed but failed to get a seconder and
another was unworthy.
A petition was sent to the
Duke of Buccleuch, requesting use of the school
in Orrock Place, which was due to become vacant.
There is no record of a reply and on 18th
February 1861, it was decided to hold all the
meetings in the Industrial School (Ragged
School), now Drumlanrig, kindly granted by the
Reverend John McRae, where all the meetings were
afterwards held until the brethren moved to the
Masonic Hall in 1874.
The Reverend John
Thompson, minister of St Mary’s received the
first, second, and third degrees and afterwards
elected an office bearer in one evening, the
only instance of this ever happening.
On 16th July
1861, the meeting was held on a Friday night for
the first time and it was decided for the future
the meeting should be held on Friday nights
instead of Tuesdays, as formerly. Candidates
could be proposed by Fellow Crafts, which is
rather unusual, and the celebration of St Johns
Festival, the dinner was first, and the
procession held afterwards.
An unusual occurrence is
recorded in the minutes of 7th February 1862. It
was proposed that a brother be re-entered owing
to the irregularity, which had occurred on a
former occasion, this brother enjoyed the unique
distinction of receiving the degree for the
It is recorded in the
minute of 20th September 1861,that Brother
Thompson reported reading in" The "Times"
newspaper that during the present struggle in
America (Civil War) no notice was taken of the
sign of distress given by a prostrate brother
soldier to another brother "but was killed
after the sign was given" and
remonstrance should he made to the authorities.
A donation of £1 was given
to the Ragged School and 10 shillings to a
brother (not Hawick) who had been in prison for
A meeting was held on 3rd
July 1860 to approve the rules briefly" no
meetings to be held except 5 members being
present and in a Lodge room". Any person
wishing to join had to be approved, the proposer
to deposit 5 shillings and 16 shillings on the
night of initiation plus 4/6 for passing and 4/6
for raising. Every member to pay 3d quarterly to
lodge funds and shall attend the annual meeting
in December or he fined 1/-.
A letter was sent to
Galashiels Lodge intimating the Lodge was now
holding regular meetings and Brother Davidson
was fined 1/- for failing to give the sign.
Two swords engraved “St.
John’s Hawick” were purchased for the Tyler and
A proposal that an effort
to make a fund for widows and orphans and to use
the ballot box for applicants was made.
Grand Lodge was petitioned
on 4th April 1862 to have the
original number 111 returned.
In 1859 a volunteer
movement was formed, due to the menace of a
French Invasion, in most towns country companies
of volunteers were formed, and Hawick was no
exception. A meeting was held in the Town Hall,
where several local dignitaries, manufacturers,
farmers etc met together, presided over by
Baillie Fraser and it was agreed to form a rifle
corps, which was named the Upper Teviotdale
Rifle Corps. Some disagreement immediately arose
with regard to the commissioned office bearers,
and lively and stormy meetings followed. It was
resolved that another company be formed to be
known as the Hawick Volunteer Corps, 5th
Roxburgh Company with Baillie Fraser as
Lieutenant. There existed a friendly rivalry
between the two companies until New Year's
morning of 1863. A ball was held the previous
evening in the Tower Hotel, to which a number of
officers and N.C.O.s had received an invitation,
but for one reason or another no invitation was
sent to Baillie Fraser. On being asked next
morning if he had attended the ball, his reply
was that "he did not care to be mixed up
in any way with the dirty 4th", which
consequently caused great upheaval, not only in
Hawick but throughout the Country and widely
reported in National newspapers. Asked to resign
his commission he refused and was dismissed, the
result being the resignation of several members
and within a year the corps was disbanded.
Another incident, widely
reported in the Lodge minutes of 18th May 1863,
charge made by a Brother Fraser against Br.
McBean that "he had screwed Ensign
Dickson’s nose around and made reference to the
dirty 4th". McBean admitted the charge
and made full apology to Br. Fraser and to the
Lodge but afterwards withdrew his apology. This
dispute lasted from February 6th
until 28th December 1863.
These disputes caused
considerable ill feeling in Masonic circles and
were generally attributed to the breakaway of
some brethren to form another Lodge in the town.
In August 1863 Grand Lodge granted a Charter for
the establishment of Lodge St James, BURA 424.
Whether deliberate or not,
no reference is made in the Lodge minutes to the
breakaway. The first reference (as far as 111 is
concerned) to Lodge 424 is an entry in the
minute book January mid 1864 of a letter sent
from 424 to 111 alleging that" Lodge St
John 111 used undue means of getting
Both Lodges worked
together in harmony and in August 1865, P.M. Br.
Milligan opened the Lodge in 111 and P.M. Br.
Melrose presided, 424 invited 111 to a ball and
also asked them to cooperate in laying the
foundation stone at the Corn Exchange.
September 22nd 1865 was a
"Red Letter day "in the history of the Lodge as
well as the town of Hawick. The foundation stone
of the Corn Exchange was laid with full Masonic
honours by the Grand Master Mason of Scotland,
John White Melville of Bennochy. Grand Lodge
assembled in the Town Hall where 20 lodges were
represented, 310 Masons being present. The
brethren took part in the procession then dined
together, presided over by the Provincial Grand
Master. On the same day the Allan Water Works
was opened by the Duke of Buccleuch.
At a special meeting on
7th March 1865, Brother Beattie was inititiated,
passed and raised in one evening.
The Festival of St. John
was celebrated on 27th December 1865
and was honoured by the presence of Br Henry
Scott Riddell, Bard of the Lodge and author of
On 15th March
1868 the 100th anniversary of the
granting of the Lodge Charter was celebrated.
The Brethren marched through the streets in
procession to St Mary’s church (assembling in
St. Mary’s church was an ancient custom) where
the service was conducted by the Prov Grand
Chaplain, Br. David Waddle of Stow, the brethren
then proceeded to the Exchange hall where 132
Masons sat down to dinner, presided over by
Brother Henry Ingles Substitute Grand Master
Mason of Scotland and Prov. Grand Master of
Peebles and Selkirkshire.
The Centenary celebration
was brought to a close by a Grand Ball held in
the Exchange buildings in the evening.