The Friendly Society Rules of the late 18th and early 19th Century

The Associated Free and Accepted Ancient Mason Lodge Dundee.

(This part of the Lodge - the Friendly Society part dissolved around the middle of the 19th Century.)

Some of the finest feelings of humanity, and noblest principles of morality, are contained in the system of Freemasonry, it has flourished equally pure and unsullied amid the darkness of superstition, and the more enlightened periods of modern times – from its establishment in the firs of ages, to the present day, and having survived the lapse of so many years, will it not bid defiance to the destroying sway of time, and exist till that period when the ages shall be numbered, and the Grand Lodge of the Universe be shut forever.

In the morning of life, when health and prosperity gild the horizon, it betokens wisdom to prepare all human means for alleviating that dark and lowering evening of adversity, which men of the race of man can say he will be exempt, to meet poverty and old age and in the hour of distress, as an accumulation of evil that aught to be avoided by ever prudent precaution, that aught to stimulate to industry, and encourage to economy, it is at that time, in the day of suffering alone, that the benevolent spirit of Freemasonry shines with the brightest lustre and the value of its philanthropic principles can be duly appreciated.

Actuated by these considerations and guided by these principles, equally honourably, as men and as Brethren the members of the Dundee Associated, Free and Accepted Ancient Mason Lodge, have formed themselves into a Friendly Society for their mutual support and relief, and after mature deliberation, agreed upon the following Rules and Regulations, as the standard by which their object in view may be best attained and the Society rendered useful and respectable.

1st

This Society shall be named the Associated Free and Accepted Ancient Mason Lodge Dundee.

2nd

The government of this Society shall be vested in a committee consisting of the Master, Depute and Passed Masters, Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, the Five Stewards and Three other Brethren, to be chosen by vote or ballot on St. Andrew's Day, or the 1st December, when that festival falls upon a Sunday, the Master and Depute Master, with any five of the members of the committee should be sufficient to form a quorum, and to transact business, with the same powers as a full meeting, and these, absent, fifteen minutes beyond the hour appointed, must pay sixpence of fine or give a satisfactory reason for their delay.

3rd

Of the five Stewards, one shall be named the Grand Steward, who shall have a charge of keep in order, and become accountable for all the property belonging the Lodge, of which an inventory which will be delivered him on entry into office – other two of the stewards, shall be appointed his assistants and the duty of the remaining two shall be to visit the sick and distressed among the brethren, and to report their several cases to the committee should they be satisfied, the Treasurer shall pay the applicants the requisite sum and obtain their receipts for the same, but he must give, no more that one weeks allowance at a time without an additional order from the Visiting Stewards  

4th

The duty of the Visiting Stewards, shall not extend beyond the town and suburbs of Dundee distressed members, at a distance, must send a certificate of their case signed by the Minister and two of the elders belonging to the parish in which they reside, it a surgeon is in attendance his signature will also be necessary, together with a statement of the patients case, how long he has been under his charge and the nature of his disease, upon the Committee or Lodge, being properly satisfied, the amount due, shall be paid to any person in Dundee who may be authorised by the applicant to receive the same. The Visiting Steward must wait upon the sick members, in the Town and suburbs within twenty four hours after they are informed of their distress, and a Physician may be called in, where any doubt may arise, as to the cause or nature of the same, Stewards refusing to accept of their office when duly elected, shall pay 2/6 which together with all other fines shall go towards the funds of the Society, No member shall have right to vote in the election of office bearers while he remains in the large indebted to the Lodge, in quarter accounts or otherwise.     

5th

The Treasurer must find as security for his intromissions, two persons totally unconnected with the Lodge, who shall sign a bond along with him in the Sederunt book of the Society, when possessed of a balance of Ten Pounds, Stg. or upwards belonging the Lodge, he shall only be charged with 4 per cent interest for the same, but when in advance a like sum, he shall be allowed 5 per cent, the fine for non acceptance of this office shall be five Shillings, but when this occurs the member so refusing cannot be again balloted for during four years thereafter.

6th

A committee to consist of two or more members shall be chosen eight days previous to the festival of St. John for the purpose of auditing and examining the Treasurer's accounts and preparing a statement of the same for laying before a general meeting, the balance (if any) shall at the time, be paid to his successors in office, where receipts for which shall be sufficient discharge to the retiring Treasurer.

7th

The committee shall have power to admit members, to purchase property on account of the Lodge, uplift the rent, and lend out money belonging the Society, but not to dispose of any thing whatever without a majority of the members specifically called for that purpose.

8th

When money is lent on personal security, two or more persons, not members of the Lodge must be given as cautioners when on heritable property the like security will be required for payment of the interest, and a clause must be introduced into the writings, empowering the Treasurer to collect the rents in case the same be not regularly settled, such property as the Lodge has money upon, must be insured against fire by the proprietor, and the annual receipt therefore produced to the committee, the tenants of such subjects as belong to the Lodge must find sufficient cautioners for payment of the rent, and all securities must be payable to the Treasurer, or his successors in office for the use and behoof of the associated Free and Accepted Ancient Mason Lodge, Dundee. The state of the funds shall also form part of the business of the committee, who shall occasionally report the same, and when a deficiency, to answer charitable purposes take place, they shall propose such remedy as they may deem competent for raising them, and submit it to the consideration of the next general meeting then next ensuing.

9th

The Lodge shall met twice in the year (Viz.) on the first Wednesday of April and the first Wednesday of October, at both which periods each member shall pay Three Shillings, sterling, in name of Quarter Accounts, should any be in arrears twelve months, they shall pay sixpence of fine, and Three pence for each month thereafter till the second year, when they shall be deprived of all privileges as a member of the Society, & should the same remain unpaid, but such Brethren as may have occasion to go out of Great Britain, must be continued for four years on the roll of members, and those in His Majesty's service as Soldiers or Sailors, shall be readmitted on paying up their arrears within two months after their return.

10th

The committee shall meet on the first Wednesday of every month and after reading the Sederunt of the former meeting, transact such business as may come before them, noting all their proceedings in the Sederunt book, and the Master signing each report of the same.

11th

Persons admitted members of this Lodge, must pay as entry money according to the annexed table exclusive of Secretary and Tyler's dues and the charge for a copy of the articles.

12th

Twenty Five Pounds Stg. a year shall be appropriated towards raising a capital stock and continue till the same amount to One Thousand Pounds Sterling, under which sum it must never afterwards be reduced, should the funds in any one year become insufficient for the necessary expenditure of the Lodge, sixpence shall be collected from each of the members along with the quarter accounts, in the event of this collection being still unable to answer the demand, the remainder shall be deducted from the annuities and benefits paid by the Society.

13th

Members must be five years Brethren of the Lodge, and clear of all arrears, before they can receive any benefit from the funds, and none from any other Lodge, can do so, without producing a diploma or certificate and afterwards paying the same dues for admission as other members.

14th

Before the capital stock of the Lodge amounts to one Thousand Pounds sterling, no member can receive more than four shillings weekly, but when it has amounted to that sum applicants shall receive as follows, if a member five years to receive Four Shillings per week, if six years 4/3. if 7 years 4/6, if 8 years 4/9, if 9 years 5/-, if 10 years 5/3, if 11 years 5/6 and if 12 years and upwards to receive Six Shillings weekly.

15th

Upon the death of a member entitled to the benefit of the Society, two pounds sterling shall be allowed for his funeral charges, and his widow (if he leaves one) to Thirty Shillings per annum – but in the event of her husband being fifteen years a member, she shall receive Two Pounds yearly as long as she remains virtuous and unmarried – an orphan shall be entitled to a widows annuity, and when there are more than one the same shall be continued till the youngest attain the age of ten years. When a brother dies, sixpence shall be collected from each member along with the next quarter accounts, which shall also go to the funds of the Society.  

16th

Such as may be proposed for admission into this Lodge must be recommended by two or more Brethren and be persons of fair character, no fraudulent bankrupt, habitual swearer, drunkard or liar nor any persons labouring under a chronical disorder can be initiated a member and should any of the brethren after their admission fall into there, or similar immoralities – be found guilty of any riot, or be convicted of any crime in a court of Justice shall be expelled from the Lodge, and deprived forever of all its benefits.

17th

Members speaking disrespectfully or behaving disorderly in the Lodge, swearing or attending in a state of intoxication shall pay a fine of 1/- for each time any of these offences are committed, and such of the Brethren as may reproach his neighbours with receiving benefit from the funds of the Society shall be fined 2/6 in the first case, 5/- in the second and for the third time be expelled the Lodge, and deprived of any claim on the funds of the same.

18th

When it is discovered that any member receiving support from the Lodge has by his own irregularities, brought the disease upon himself, the supply shall not only be immediately stopped, but the money previously received, instantly refunded, under penalty of being expelled the Society.

19th

A majority of the Lodge shall settle all differences relative to the Affairs of the Society that cannot be decided by the rules thereof, and their verdict shall be final, a fine of 2/6 shall be exacted from each member who may oppose their determination, 5/- if guilty of the same offence a second time, and if a third such refractory, member shall be expelled the society at large

20th

In case of the bankrupt of any person or persons in whose hands the money or property of the Lodge, may be, the loss thereby incurred shall be sustained by the Society at large.

21st

These rules and regulations shall continue in full force and efficacy from and after the 30th day of November 1813, unless altered by the determination of two successive general meetings, called expressly for the purpose, which shall also have power to add such other articles as may have become necessary from the then state of the Society, but, agreeable to Act of Parliament, it shall not, be in the power of any of the members to dissolve the same, unless agreed to by five sixths of the whole brethren and it is expressly stipulated, and this article shall be deemed competent to infer an absolution with costs against the offending member or members, that non shall have in their power, on any pretence whatever, to institute an action at law against this Society, or any of the individuals thereof, for any dispute or misunderstanding relative to the business of the Lodge, but, on the contrary, must agree and submit to the decision of the committee or general meeting under the penalty of expulsion as previously mentioned.   

 

 

 

We the subscribers, members of the Associated Free and Accepted Ancient Masons Lodge of Dundee, hereby declare our approbation of and satisfactions with all and every one of the preceding articles, and regulations, which until altered as before mentioned we obliged ourselves faithfully to fulfil in all points, and consider binding, upon us, as well in our persons, as those of the present members and such as may hereafter be admitted Brethren of the Lodge in witness thereof, per table referred to in the 11th regulation.

 

At Forfar the Twenty Second day of December One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirteen Years. Adjourned Quarter Sessions of the Peace, County of Forfar. Patrick Orr Esq. Of Bridgeton, Preses.
The within Rules and Regulations consisting of Twenty One Articles or number having been laid before, read to, and considered by the meeting, they not only approve of, and confirm the same, but interpone their authority thereto in terms of the Statute.

Signed Patrick Orr, Preses
John Nicoll. D. C.

A.L. Urquhart Secretary

 

 

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