The Edinburgh Number One Royal Arch Chapter was established in Scotland by Lodge St Stephens in 1778 in the Canongate. We do not profess or claim to be the oldest Chapter in Scotland, that claim rests with our good friends and Companions Stirling Rock No.2 where the earliest reference to Royal Arch Masonry in Scotland in 1743 rests. Indeed there are several Chapters in Scotland who predate the Formation of ours; Enoch No.3 (Perth & Scoon) and Stirling Rock being but a few of them. Indeed Perth & Scoon aided St Stephens in the establishment of our Chapter in 1778. Yes our Chapter was the first to be chartered by the newly formed Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland in 1817. Edinburgh Royal Arch Chapter was given No.1 on the Supreme roll for its endeavours and assistance in the formation of a Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter in Scotland. It is however only a number and whilst it is an honour to receive such an accolade it does not in effect have any bearing on when we were founded nor does it maintain that we were the earliest known Chapter in Scotland.
Royal Arch Masonry is a world apart from Lodge Masonry and It has been said that “The Royal Arch stands as the rainbow of promise in the Ritual; it stands as the promise of the resurrecton; of that which was lost and that which shall be recovered.”
The value of Royal Arch Masonry will be justly appreciated by all who are Exalted to that Most Sublime Degree, particularly by those who are seeking ·to complete their Masonic education.
It reveals the full light of Ancient Craft masonry presents it as a complete system, in accordance with the original plan, and confers at last the rights and light of a Master Mason in fact as well as in name. It truly leads to a fuller understanding of the purposes and spirit of Freemasonry, for standing upon this towering summit we are able for the first time to perceive the completeness of the Ancient Craft and to understand how all its forms and ceremonies, from the Entered Apprentice to the Master Mason’s Degree, are the preparation for the final goal, the Most Sublime Degree of Royal Arch Mason.
The Edinburgh Number One Royal Arch Chapter strives to achieve a continued enlightenment and companionship for those brethren who wish to join our Chapter. Our members range from many members of Lodges within and outwith the Province, and indeed outwith the Country.
Historically our founding First Principal David McLaren, was the Master of Lodge St Stephen No.145 on the Role of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Significantly a large proportion of our members at the beginning of the 20th century were members of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) No.1 although, at that time, we had some members from most of the other Lodges in the Province. Nowadays we are more diversified and our membership is wide and varied.
As an old and long established Chapter our history is a mine of informa>on and many famous characters have crossed our doorstep. Many of our First Principals are famous both Historically and Masonically (see Roll of First Principals). Our history is certainly extensive and we will endeavour to enhance that section of our website with exerts from our History Book written by William A Davis, published in 1911.
Undoubtedly there will be members of your Lodge who are members of a Royal Arch Chapter, perhaps even this one, and if Royal Arch Masonry is of interest to you I am sure they will be happy to apprise you of Royal Arch Masonry. If you wish to become a member and do not know any existing members of our Chapter simply contact our Scribe E through this website and he will assist you further.
Patrick James Givan PZ Scribe N