Early Royal Arch Masonic 

Apron and Collar

    

    

This Royal Arch Apron and Collar Jewel is hand embroidered with real gold and silver thread on a scarlet velvet cloth and pictures the Holy Royal Arch.  The Keystone is at its apex and the Ark of the Covenant within the Sanctum Sanctorum, which is Latin for Holy of Holies.  It is most certainly an officers apron because the jewel of office is suspended from the collar.  The scarf, or collar, once universally used, has been very much abandoned.  The peculiar color of the Royal Arch Degree is red or scarlet, which is symbolic of fervency and zeal, the characteristics of the Degree.  The earliest known mention of this Degree occurs in a contemporary account of the meeting of a Lodge, No. 21, at Youghal, in Ireland, in 1743, when the members walked in procession and the Master was preceded by "the Royal Arch carried by two Excellent Masters".  At one time in England only Past Masters were eligible for the Degree, and this led to a system called Passing the Chair, by which a sort of Degree of Past Master was conferred upon Brethren who had never really served in the chair of the Lodge.  The earliest known record of the Degree being actually conferred in North America is in the Minutes of Fredericksburg Lodge, Virginia, stating that on December 22, 1753, three Brethren were raised to the Degree of Royal Arch Mason (a facsimile of this entry is in the Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, volume iv, page 222), while the earliest records traced in England are of the year 1758, during which year several Brethren were "raised to the Degree of Royal Arch" in a Lodge meeting at the Crown at Bristol.

 

         

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