The Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland is the governing body of Freemasonry in Scotland. It was founded in 1736. About one third of Scotland's lodges were represented at the foundation meeting of the Grand Lodge.
Scottish Freemasonry has developed a distinct and unique character, even by comparison with the other British Grand Lodges. The Grand Master of the constitution bears the unique title Grand Master Mason, an office which has been held by many distinguished members of Scottish society. Unlike other Regular Masonic jurisdictions all members, of whatever rank, are addressed simply as "Brother". The usual and more complex masonic titles are used in Scotland, but attach to the office, not the individual.
Lodges under the Scottish Constitution are sovereign bodies in their own right, with a considerable degree of control of their own affairs. Many Lodges pre-existed Grand Lodge, all zealously guarding their traditions, and were permitted to retain their own procedures, regalia, and distinctive rituals. Having accepted the principle of independence of old Lodges, it was impossible to deny Lodges founded after 1736 the same level of independence. Of course the rituals must contain the principal points of each degree, but the scope for elaboration is considerable, with numerous interesting additions. Since Scottish Lodges have the right to choose the colours of the Lodge regalia, meetings are very colourful, especially if visitors from other Lodges are present.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland has 32 Provincial Grand Lodges in Scotland itself, and 26 District Grand Lodges overseas, each headed by a Provincial Grand Master or District Grand Master. Private lodges belong to a Province or District, through which they report to the Grand Lodge in Edinburgh.
Current Grand Office-bearers
The Grand Secretary is Brother William M. S. Semple.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland, together with the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of Ireland, is one of the three senior Regular Masonic jurisdictions, commonly known as the Home Grand Lodges.
In many parts of the world local lodges operate under all three of the Home constitutions (Scottish, English, and Irish). By Masonic convention, no Lodges are ever founded in an overseas jurisdiction once it possesses its own Grand Lodge, although lodges which pre-date the local Grand Lodge may continue to operate under their original constitution. In 1953 the Grand Lodge of Scotland chartered the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel as a sovereign Grand Lodge.
- Stevenson, David (2001). The First Freemasons - Scotland's Early Lodges and their Members. Edinburgh: The Grand Lodge of Scotland. ISBN 0902324659.
- Lyon, David Murray (1873). History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) no.1. Embracing an account of the rise and progress of freemasonry in Scotland. William Blackwood and sons. p. 6.
One leaf contains minutes of meetings in 1599, 1621, 1624, and 1641,each in the handwriting of a different scribe; upon another leaf are engrossed minutes of date 1601, 1615, and 1616; and on a third sheet are notes dated 1602, 1606, 1609, and 1619 ; and so on.
- Dr David Stevenson, Review of The Origins of Freemasonry Facts and Fictions, (review no. 517) accessed 6 December 2013
- Stevenson, David (2001). The First Freemasons - Scotland's Early Lodges and their Members. Edinburgh, Scotland: The Grand Lodge of Scotland. p. 194. ISBN 0902324659.
- Cooper, Robert L D (2003). Scottish Masonic Aprons - Operative to Speculative. Edinburgh, Scotland: The Grand Lodge of Scotland. p. 57. ISBN 0902324705.
- "Grand Office Bearers". The Grand Lodge of Scotland.
- "Black Isle former police officer is new top mason". 30 November 2018.
- "Grand Office Bearers".
- "Grand Lodge of Israel: Jerusalem Ceremony". Glasgow Herald. 19 October 1953. p. 6.
- Grand Lodge of the State of Israel: https://freemasonry-israel.org.il/masonic-lodges-in-israel