Archibald George Montgomerie, 18th Earl of Eglinton and 6th Earl of Winton, Past Assistant Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, died on Thursday 14 June 2018, aged 78

Born on 27 August 1939, he was the son of Archibald William Alexander Montgomerie, 17th Earl of Eglinton and 5th Earl of Winton, who served as Grand Master Mason of Scotland from 1957 to 1961, and his wife Ursula (née Watson).

Educated at Eton, he married Marion Carolina Dunn-Yarker on 7 February 1964, with whom he had four sons. On the death of his father on 21 April 1966, he succeeded as 18th Earl of Eglinton, 6th Earl of Winton, 7th Baron Ardrossan, 19th Lord Montgomerie and Chief of Clan Montgomerie.

He was a member of the London Stock Exchange, Managing Director of Gerrard Holdings from 1972 to 1992 and subsequently, Chairman of Gerrard Vivian Gray from 1992 to 1994 and the Edinburgh Investment Trust in 1994.

Lord Eglinton was initiated in Mother Kilwinning Lodge No. 0, under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, before joining United Lodge of Prudence No. 83 in 1961 and serving as their Worshipful Master in 1968. He was also a member of Royal Alpha Lodge No. 16, Bard of Avon Lodge No. 778, Christ’s Hospital Lodge No. 2650, Old Etonian Lodge No. 4500 and Methuen Lodge No. 631.

He served as Chairman of the Board of Management of the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys and also the General Committee of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, and later served as the first President of the Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (subsequently, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys) from 1982 until 1988. He also served as a Trustee of the Prestonian Fund and the Grand Lodge 250th Anniversary Fund.

In the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), Lord Eglinton was appointed Senior Grand Warden in 1971 and was appointed Assistant Grand Master in 1989, serving until 1995. He was also the representative of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in UGLE.

He was exalted in Westminster and Keystone Chapter No. 10 in 1981 serving as MEZ in 1990. He was appointed Grand Scribe N in 1991 and promoted to Past Third Grand Principal in 1992.

Published in UGLE
Monday, 14 March 2011 15:00

The King's Freemasonry

There is no mention of Freemasonry in the Oscar-winning film about King George VI. Paul Hooley puts us right

The King’s Speech has been critically acclaimed as one of the finest motion pictures of recent years and has renewed the public’s interest in, and aff ection for, King George VI, who reigned from 1936 to 1952.
The film, which chronicles the constitutional crisis created by Edward VIII’s abdication and George’s struggle to overcome his pronounced stammer, focuses on the moving relationship between the King and speech therapist Lionel Logue, which had such a happy ending.
What the film does not mention, however, is that both men were members of the Craft; or that the King believed Freemasonry had also helped him overcome his disability – which rarely surfaced whenever he performed masonic ritual. Logue, who had been the Master of St George’s Lodge, Western Australia, was also speech therapist to the Royal Masonic School.

Following service with the Royal Navy in the First World War, he was initiated in December 1919 into Navy Lodge, No. 2612, of which his grandfather King Edward VII had been founding Master. On that occasion he noted: ‘I have always wished to become a Freemason, but owing to the war I have had no opportunity before this of joining the Craft’. From that moment he became a most dedicated and active Freemason. He was invested as Duke of York in 1920 and the following year installed as permanent Master of Navy Lodge. He joined other lodges and degrees and was appointed Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge in 1923.
George V died in January 1936 and was succeeded by his eldest son Edward, who had been initiated (also in 1919) into the Household Brigade Lodge, No. 2614. But before the year was out Edward had abdicated. Of the moment of change King George VI wrote, ‘On entering the room I bowed to him as King… when [he] and I said goodbye we kissed, parted as Freemasons and he bowed to me as his King.’
Protocol required George to resign his masonic affiliations, however when it was suggested a new position of Past Grand Master be created especially for him, he immediately accepted, declaring, ‘Today the pinnacle of my masonic life has been reached.’

After the Second World War, King George wrote that ‘Freemasonry has been one of the strongest influences on my life’ and in collaboration with engraver Reynolds Stone helped create a postage stamp, part of the ‘1946 Victory Issue,’ which is filled with masonic symbolism.
The 3d Victory Stamp was widely praised for the ‘strength and simplicity of the design’. It depicts the King’s head in the East, his eyes firmly fixed on illustrations of a dove carrying an olive branch (representing peace and guidance), the square and compasses (in the second degree configuration) and a trowel and bricks (the sign of a Master spreading the cement that binds mankind in brotherly love).
On the stamp the images appear in white, the colour of purity, out of purple, the colour of divinity. the three coupled illustrations are surrounded by a scrolled ribbon made up of five figure threes – sacred numbers in Freemasonry – and was the unusual positioning of the wording meant to represent two great pillars? By its name and intention, the stamp proclaimed victory over evil, yet by its appearance it expressed compassion and hope.
King George VI once stated, ‘ the world today does require spiritual and moral regeneration. I have no doubt, after many years as a member of our Order, that Freemasonry can play a most important part in this vital need.’
The Victory Stamp captured those words in a graphic representation that also expressed the King’s belief that the building of a new and better world could best be achieved by adhering to the principles of the square and compasses.

He reinforced those thoughts in 1948 in an address he gave to Grand Lodge: ‘I believe that a determination to maintain the values which have been the rock upon which the masonic structure has stood firm against the storms of the past is the only policy which can be pursued in the future. I think that warning needs emphasising today, when men, sometimes swayed by sentimentality or an indiscriminate tolerance, are apt to overlook the lessons of the past. I cannot better impress this upon you than by quoting from the book on which we have all taken our masonic obligations: “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set".

Published in UGLE

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