This sheet begins: 'An ENCOMIASTICK EPIGRAM / Upon the most ANTIENT and HONOURABLE TRADE / OF / MASONS. / By Mr. WILLIAM GEDDES, Late Minister of Urquhart'. The poem begins: 'Among Mechanicks, MASONS I extoll, / And with the best I doubt not to Enroll.' A decorative woodcut depicting a coat of arms has been included above the title.
This poem includes many Masonic pointers such as references to the brethern of charity, the cornerstone of Christ, and pillars and temples. There are a few other poems held in the National Library of Scotland's collection which were written on Masonic topics, and one or two of them even describe Masonic ceremonies. It is quite unusual to find this rather elusive and reclusive society advertising themselves so openly.
Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.
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Probable date published:
1690- shelfmark: APS.4.83.24
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