History of Lodge St Clair 427

Cambusnethan, before and after.

As a forerunner to the history of Lodge St Clair, let us consider what kind of place the village of Cambusnethan was in 1863, 1 year prior to the formation of Lodge St Clair No 427.

The name Cambusnethan means Nethan's Bend Cambus a being Celtic prefix signifying the land enclosed by a bend in a rivers course.  It was in the year 706 AD that the parish took the name of Cambusnethan, Nethan being a Pictish King of the time.

Known locally as Cam'nethan the parish had a population of 8,621.  The principal town in the parish was Wishawtown which had a population of 4,000, so it can be assumed from these figures that the village itself had only a few hundred inhabitants.

Cambusnethan consisted of one street, which in effect was only a cart-track, stretching from the cemetery gates on the west to what is now known as as the Burgh Boundary on the east.  The only industries in the village in those days were weaving and the cutting of peats in the Greenhead Moss.

A preserved body found buried in the peat bogs of Greenhead Moss for 300 years or more is believed to be that of a young male Covenanter who having signed the covenant was murdered for his beliefs in wishing to maintain the Scottish Presbyterian Religion.

Local Councillor Bro. Sam Love wrote to the local council on the 15th August 1997 requesting some bone fragments be brought back to the Greenhead Moss for a proper Christian re-interment in a sealed container and laid to rest in a special cairn on the site in keeping with local Covenanting tradition.

The famous Covenanting Ministers Cameron and Renwick preached in the north east corner of Cambusnethan.

1863 The creation of Lodge St Clair

In 1863 a number of Freemasons from this part of the province assembled, and it was considered requisite to start a Freemasons Lodge in Cambusnethan.

It was decided by the brethren that the Lodge would be called St. Clair, they no doubt wishing to be associated with William St. Clair of Roslin.  A petition for a Charter was duly sent to Grand Lodge on November 2nd 1863, and the Charter granted in February,1864, giving St. Clair Cambusnethan the number 427. 


The petition was sponsored by St. Mary Coltness, No. 31, St. John Carluke, No. 187, and Woodhall St. Johns Bellshill No. 305.

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Who was William St. Clair of Roslin? >>>