So where does the name "Scottish Rite"

come from?

An engraved list of lodges includes an early reference to Scotts Masons Lodge #115 in London A vague reference to it can be found in a manuscript dating back to 1733: a Lodge #115 meeting at the Devil Tavern near Temple Bar in London was described as a Scotts Masons Lodge. The exact origin of the name, however, remains a mystery to this day.

 

A plausible explanation might be found in late 17-century European history. When the British Isles were torn by political and religious conflicts, many Scots from the nobility,The Royal Chapel, Versailles particularly from the Stuart dynasty, fled to France to seek King Louis XIV’s protection. A few of them were already Freemasons. They resumed their Masonic activities in St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, and at Versailles, the seat of the French royal court. There, the exiled Scots created more Masonic degrees to expand upon the original three. The French nobility had a fascination for prestigious and grandiloquent titles, so to gain acceptance and attract French members to the Craft, the Scots glamorized their new rituals with impressive names such as Prince of Jerusalem, Prince of the Royal Axe, and Knight of the White and Black Eagle, to name a few. Their influence may have contributed to the use of their name for the degrees that eventually became known as the Scottish Rite or “higher” degrees of Freemasonry.

 

Sources from the 18th century also attest to the existence of a Scottish Rite being practiced in the port of Bordeaux, France, as early as 1743. In 1761, the French Masonic authorities in Paris granted Brother Stephen Morin — a winePort of Bordeaux merchant from that region — a patent naming him Grand Inspector and “authorizing and empowering him to establish perfect and sublime Masonry in all parts of the world.” Morin traveled to America, taking the advance degrees with him, first to the West Indies, one of the most important French colonies at the time, where he disseminated their lessons.  Shortly thereafter, Morin met Henry Francken — a French-speaking Dutch Mason — a Deputy Inspector, who authorized him to spread the Rite into continental America. In 1767, he created a Lodge of Perfection in Albany, New York, which most historians agree was the seed that became the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the United States of America in 1801. The Scottish Rite is now well-established throughout much of the world.