Robert Burns the  Freemason

Freemasonry : Robert Burns


Robert Burns:
Who was he?

Short biography:
Early life
Farm Life
Later life

Background to the man:
His poetry
His women
His politics
His Freemasonry

His celebration:
Burns Night
Celebration running order
Auld lang syne

Burns home page

Robert Burns: Freemasonry

It may come as a surprise to know that Freemasonry in the 1700s was a bastion of religious tolerance. While it was seen as the preserve of the status quo and the Middle and Upper classes, it accepted Jews, Roman Catholics and Dissenter Protestants into its ranks. This was rather unlike the world in which it existed which was rife with religious intolerance and bigotry.

The successful publication of Burns’ first book was due, in part, to the fact that it was printed by one of his brother Freemasons, and all 350 members of the Lodge buying a copy.

Burns became a Freemason in June 1781. When he moved to Edinburgh he was introduced to the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge which, not so surprisingly, had some very influential members.

At a meeting of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the master’s toast was: “Caledonia, and Caledonia’s Bard, Bro. Robt. Burns”. He was made Poet Laureate of the Lodge in 1787.