Early Hand Carved Worshipful
Here is an early hand
carved Worshipful Masters Chair depicting many of the symbols of Freemasonry.
The Worshipful Master is stationed in the East of the Lodge room where he
rules and governs the Brethren of the Craft. This chair was made by
Benjamin Bucktrout (?-1813) and was probably used by Peyton Randolph (1721-75)
while he was Provincial Grand Master of Virginia in the 1770s. Randolph
was president of the First and Second Continental Congresses in 1774 and 1775.
During the Revolution, the chair was moved to Unanimity Lodge No. 7, Edenton,
North Carolina. It was returned to Williamsburg in 1983.
Photo courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
He who has
attained the third degree in Freemasonry is a Master; and hence they do not
work in the so-called high degrees, has attained the summit of his
profession. None but Fellow Crafts who have been found worthy can obtain this
degree. As a Master Mason he has a voice in all the consultations of the
officers of the lodge, and he may, if possessed of sufficient Masonic skill,
be appointed to any office in the Lodge, even that of Worshipful Master. This
is the highest preferment a Mason can obtain in St. John's Masonry, through
the three degrees of which every candidate for the Past Master's degree must
have passed. If there are any members in the lodge who have the higher
degrees, they can also be elected Worshipful Master, but although it is by no
means necessary to possess those degrees to enable a brother to be elected by
his brother Master Masons for one year. The greatest care and caution ought
to be used by the brethren at this election to prevent the lodge being injured
by the election of an improper person. He must also be well acquainted with
the Order, its doctrines, its secrets, its history, and constitution, and must
possess the power of communicating his own reflection upon all these subjects,
in a clear, comprehensive form, to the brethren.