The Earls of Dalhousie


The following is taken from Bro. Lewis E. Binney's 1910 History of Dalhousie Lodge.

At the first meeting, June 25, 1860, Brother Adin B. Underwood proposed the name " Dalhousie," in honor of Lord Dalhousie, of Scotland, and it was voted that the Lodge be called " Dalhousie Lodge of Newton."

The Freemason's Monthly of October, 1860, referring to the new Lodge, said:

In the selection of a name the brethren have sought to honor the memory of the Grand Master of Scotland, whose term of office continued from November 30, 1767, to November 30, 1769, and who, on the 30th of May, 1769, granted letters of deputation to General Joseph Warren by which he became Grand Master of Masons in Boston, New England, and within one hundred miles of the same.

George, the eighth Earl of Dalhousie, the Grand Master referred to, was a descendant of the illustrious family of Ramseys, which came from Germany and settled in Scotland as early as the reign of King David I. Sir William Ramsay, in 1295, was the first designated by the title of Dalhousie. George, the eighth Earl, succeeded his brother Charles, the seventh Earl, on the 29th of January, 1764, and died in 1787. [Note: This appears to be the only record or document having reference to the title of the Lodge whieh has been preserved, and a possible doubt exists as to its correctness. That the Lodge sought to honor the eleventh Earl of Dalhousie, Grand Master of Scotland and Deputy Grand Master of England, at the time the Lodge was established seems probable.]

The following is from the record of October 21, 1863:

Worshipful Brother W. D. Coolidge presented to the lodge a likeness of the present Lord Dalhousie, which he had solicited of him for us.

This portrait of the eleventh Earl of Dalhousie was hung over the Master's chair in the Lodge room for many years, and is still preserved by the Lodge.

The Eleventh Earl of Dalhousie

At the meeting of the Lodge on October 21, 1874, Right Worshipful Wm. D. Coolidge, Past Grand Master of Masons of Massachusetts, offered the following resolutions:

Whereas, the sad news has reached us as announced by the Acting Grand Master of Freemasons in England, at a meeting of the Grand Lodge in London on the 2d of September, 1874, of the death of the Earl of Dalhousie, late Deputy Grand Master of England, and late Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and whereas:

We hold the name of Dalhousie in the highest reverence and respect for the exemplification of the highest Masonic and manly virtues, Therefore,

Resolved, that the announcement and remarks of the MostWorshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, and also those of Mr. Hugh D. Sandeman, District Deputy Grand Master of Bombay, who seconded the same, be entered at length on the records of Dalhousie Lodge of Newton, Massachusetts, as expressive of our own sentiments and feelings in this great bereavement. [NOTE: The remarks referred to, however, were not entered upon the records, reference oulv being noted to the New England Freemason, Vol. I, No. 9 containing a full account of the proceedings.]

Resolved, that the picture hanging in our Lodge room of the late Earl of Dalhousie be draped in mourning for the space of three months.

Resolved, that a copy of these proceedings be sent to the Grand Secretaries of the Grand Lodges of England and Scotland, with the assurance of our fraternal love and regard.

These resolutions were seconded by Worshipful Brother S. W. Trowbridge, Master of the Lodge, and were adopted by a unanimous vote.

The death of Lord Dalhousie occurred July 6, 1874, and the following newspaper clipping referring to his life and character is inserted in the records:

The Earl of Dalhousie died a few days since, at the age of seventythree. Most readers will recollect him best as Mr. Fox Maule, or as Lord Panmure, his hereditary title, which he made prominent by his holding the post of War Minister during most of the Russian war, in Lord Palmerston's first ministry. Then it was 'Panmure and gallant Harry,' as the Jacobite song has it; Harry Temple being Palmerston's name.... He became Earl of Dalhousie in 1860, on the death of his cousin, the Marquis of Dalhousie, the famous Governor General of India, whose action precipitated the Sepoy rebellion, and who was one of the ablest and most arrogant of men.

Another account, however, says of this Marquis that he left a name behind him that ranks among the highest in the roll of Indian Viceroys for statesmanship, administrative vigor, and the faculty of inspiring confidence among the millions subjected to his sway.

Dalhousie Castle in Scotland

This Indian Viceroy, the tenth Earl of Dalhousie, was made a Knight of the Scottish Order of the Thistle in 1848; the Marquisate he received in 1849 for his zeal and ability in his administration of British India was in the peerage of England, and non-descendible to the heir presumptive to his Scottish titles, also dying without male issue, his title of " Marquis " became extinct on his death, which accounts for Lord Panmure, his cousin and heir presumptive to the tenth Earl, having become eleventh " Earl " of Dalhousie.

Dalhousie is one of the most eminent of Scottish titles, the earldom dating from 1633 (temp. Car. 1), and the name of Ramsay, which is borne by those who hold the title, is eminent in arts and in arms, in letters and statesmanship and in war.

October 10, 1900, the Lodge was presented with another portrait of the eleventh Earl of Dalhousie, accompanied by a bunch of Scotch heather, in behalf of the widow of our late Brother William Gray Webster, who died at Arbroath, Scotland, August 31, 1900. [NOTE: This excellent pieture in the parlor of our apartments was taken, evidently, at a later period in the Earl's life than that presented to the Lodge in 1863, and a reproduetion of this portrait upon the notices of the Lodge is familiar to the brethren.]

The Dalhousie coat of arms of 1769, together with the motto, " Ora et Labora," was adopted June 19, 1861, as the seal of the Lodge, and the banner which was presented to the I odge on the occasion of the public installation of the officers by Right Worshipful William Parkman of Boston, June 22,1869, has emblazoned upon it this coat of arms displayed in proper colors.

The original seal as adopted bore in the margin of the circle the words, " Dalhousie Lodge, Newton, Mass. Instituted A. L. 5861," but by vote of the Lodge April 23,1892, the by-laws were amended so that the title and date should read " Dalhousie Lodge F. & A. M. Newton, Mass. Instituted A. L. 5860."