Provincial Grand Lodge of
Provincial Grand Master Brother Neil Fraser
In early 1739 The Grand Lodge of Scotland decided that for the better management of the lodges in the “West Country“, a Provincial Grand Master should be appointed. The Grand Master Mason at that time , Bro. John Keith , 3rd Earl of Kintore (and later to become Grand Master of England 1740 – 41) on 7th February 1739 , appointed and commissioned Bro. Alexander Drummond , Collector of Customs in Greenock and RWM of Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No.15 (now No.12) as the first Provincial Grand Master in the Scottish Craft.
The newly appointed PGM`s wide remit included the lodges in the Counties of Renfrew , Argyll , Stirling , Dumbarton , Clydesdale and Inverness.
In the years that followed it became clear that the geographical size of the Province required to be reviewed and subsequently in 1745 the separate PGL of Stirlingshire was created followed in 1747 by the PGL of Inverness – shire.
In 1801 a new PGL for Argyllshire was created and at that time a new PGM , Bro. William McDowell , was appointed in the Province of Renfrew and Dumbarton.
Prior to 1826, the PGL of Dunbartonshire was created leaving the number of lodges in Renfrewshire at 24. This number was considered to be “very numerous“ and as a result of a petition to Grand Lodge by the then PGM Bro. Sir Michael Stewart 6th Bart. the shire of Renfrew was divided into East and West
The Grand Lodge minute of 6th February 1826 records; “The lodges in the Province were now very numerous and extended and that to divide this extensive and populous District into two portions would not only be more convenient for the lodges themselves but more agreeable to the Provincial Grand Master.”
Thus Renfrewshire East came into being as a separate and distinct Province on 6th February 1826 with 16 lodges , the new Renfrewshire West then having 8 lodges.
The Province of Renfrewshire East can therefore trace its roots back to 1739 as part of an enlarged Province and more recently to 1826 when Sir John Maxwell, Bart. of Pollok was appointed as the first PGM of the then new Province.
Today the Province of Renfrewshire East has 37 lodges including 7 lodges who have been part of the Province since 1826;
Rutherglen Royal Arch No. 116 Chartered 21st March 1769
Paisley St. Mirrins No. 129 Chartered 1st April 1772
Pollokshaws Royal Arch No. 153 Chartered 3rd February 1783
St. Barchan No. 156 Chartered 1st November 1784
Garthland St Winnoch No. 205 Chartered 6th August 1799
Houstoun St. Johnstone No. 242 Chartered 5th August 1811
Union & Crown No. 307 Chartered 2nd April 1824