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The RWM and Brethren of the Celtic Lodge E & L 291 would like wish everyone the very best in 2017.
The Brethren of the Celtic Lodge 291 would like to wish all who visit our Web Page a Hundred Thousand Welcomes and we encourage all enquiries.
if your are looking for a Father, Grand Father, or Family Member, who may have been a Member of the Celtic Lodge E & L 291 or if you would like to join the Celtic Lodge 291 or have an interest in  Freemasonry please Email us and we will try to help your enquiry to Bill Boland PM Lodge Historian at
When we will be welcoming all our usual Brethren and Invited Guests and afterwards to a Harmony in our Thistle Room at Brodie's Close Lawnmarket Edinburgh.

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Francis and William Brodie

Decon Brodie’s Close No 2-304 Lawnmarket –

The name was originally named Lord Cullen’s Close until 1688-1726 Sir Francis Grant of Cullen-Little’s Close William Little of Liberton 1570- Long before the Close became Brodie's Close it was owned by one John Mauchan and it was called Mauchan's Close in 1511. It is on Record that his Land adjoined the Hospice of the Cambuskenneth Monks. Who carried out their Charitable Work on this Site in the 14th Century.

Although difficult to ascertain, it is very likely that the Restored Arch and Vault Dates back to between 1300-1400.

Brodie’s Close - the land originally belonged to Robert Brown Burgess of House  Canongate-

Original feuar was Francis Brodie and Brodie’s Close in 1773 was named after Francis Brodie Wright-Glass Grinder and Burgess Brodie and Son Wrights and Undertakers in the  Lawnmarket 1773 Francis Cabinet Maker father and Partner of William Brodie-

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The Brodie family tree Alexander Brodie 10th of  Brodie died 1540 1 Child Thomas Brodie 11th of Brodie fought in the Battle of Pinkie died 1547 1 Child Alexander Brodie 12th of Brodie  Married Marjory Dunbar in 1553 1 Child David Brodie Alexander also married Margaret Hay 9 Children George-Henry-Thomas- Majory-Elspeth-Janet-Catherine-Margaret and John-David 1st Son of Alexander became the  13th of Brodie  Married Jannet Hay in 1584 Died 1627 also held position of 13th Chief of the Clan Brodie 1583 7 Children-William-John-Francis-Ninian-David-Alexander-Joseph-David Brodie 5th Child of David and Jannet became the 14th of Brodie married Katherine Dunbar 7 Children Joseph-William-Grizel-Janet-Elizabeth-Alexander-and David-Francis Brodie of Milton and Inverlochtie Son of David Brodie 13th of Brodie Francis Married Barbara Johnstone- Margaret Hay and Lilias Dunbar-Children of Francis and Margaret-Margaret-Jane-Catherine-Lilias-Ludvick-David- Ludvick was Ludvick Brodie of Whytfield-Children John-Francis-Francis Brodie Wright Glass Grinder and Furniture Maker-

An eagle-borne table featured, beneath a sconce candle-branch mirror, in the 1739 trade-sheet issued by the Edinburgh. Francis Brodie a Palladian Furniture and Cabinet-Maker. Francis made and supplied the Duke of Gordon with  A marble table supported by an eagle gilt burnished with gold. Ref-(F. Bamford, 'Dictionary of Edinburgh Wrights and Furniture Makers', Furniture History, vol. XIX, 1983,

Above Francis work shop 304 The Lawnmarket where three rooms that he converted into one large hall and possible used as a show room named the Roman Eagle Hall after the Roman Eagle Table, now named the Thistle room by the Celtic Lodge Edinburgh and Leith No 291-1963-

1741 Francis Brodie’s Son and partner William Brodie(Deacon Brodie)                                     

1st October 1788 William was made Cabinet Maker Deacon of trades and President of Incorporation of Wrights and Masons an Edinburgh City Councillor he also served on a Jury - he was also given the freedom of the City-William socialise in highest circles including the Gentry of Edinburgh and a member of most clubs including the Edinburgh Cape Society William was known as Sir Llud. The Cape Society was founded on 15th March 1733 not formally constituted until 1764 meeting at The Isle of Man Arms Craigs Close Old Town Edinburgh and a Member of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge No2. William helped  to support a Scottish Militia Known as the Edinburgh Cape Club first established 18th Century and one of the many Convivial Edinburgh Societies some of its members including Robert Fergusson Poet also wrote the poem Auld Reekie-Thomas Lancashire first Sovereign of the club-David Herd Club Secretary-Jacob More Scottish Landscape Painter-Alexander Runciman Scottish Painter-Sir Henry Raeburn Scottish Portrait Painter- Brodie also associated with our own Robert (Rabbie) Burns Poet and well loved Bard Born 25th January 1759-21st July 1796 Robert Burns was Initiated into the Freemasons at St David’s Lodge Tarbolton on 4th July 1781 22 Years Old-

William Brodie City Councillor- at night among his many talents was the repair of locks and security mechanical devices- he made copies of his clients keys using wax or putty impressions which included many of his Rich clients, William kept a black smith’s  shop in the Lawnmarket were William and his fellow burgular George Smith a English black Smith would forge exact copies of the keys-Then William would return in the midst of night to steal their most sacred possessions. He then used his ill gotten gains to maintain his new life style including two mistresses and five children and the gambling habit, now out of control William recruited three additional members to help in the wave of his crime included Mr Brown-Mr George Smith an English Lock Smith and Mr Ainslie among their many exploits was that of an armed raid on the Excise office Chessel’s  Court Canongate. The plan failed when Ainslie was Captured he turned King’s evidence to avoid transportation, Ainslie also informed on the gang.

William escaped to the Netherlands with the intent to board ship to the America-United States of America but was arrested in Amsterdam and escorted back to Edinburgh by ship.

William Brodie and George Smith’s  trial started on 27th August 1788 and with no real evidence against William until the tools of his trade were found in his house  ie:- copied keys disguises and fire arms, no money or Jewellery items  were found even the silver mace stolen from the University of Edinburgh.

 Mr Henry Erskine Brodie’s counsel spoke highly of William and said he was well known in the community where he grew up as a child, and was respected and incapable or be guilty of such skulduggery.

 William was still found guilty and sentenced to death along with his accomplice George Smith, At the trial William was dressed in a very fine suit with tails white silk cravat and black tri-pointed hat. The same way he carried out his day to day business as a well to do gentleman of the time.

William Brodie and George Smith were hanged at the tollbooth on 1st October 1788 using the gallows supposed to be designed by William himself.  But according to a story William’s closest friend made a steel collar to put around his neck. It is said that the hangman was bribed and his doctor friend was on hand to pronounce William dead. There is an extended story that William’s Close Friend from one of his clubs a French socialite possible Dr Pierre Degraver some say a French Quack Doctor brought William’s body back to his resident in the Lawnmarket.

And laid William's body on the kitchen floor revived him and escaped to London then France thereafter the next available sail ship to the USA. William’s family joined him latter. The official storey was that William’s body is buried in an unmarked grave at the Parish Church in Buccleuch and it would not be untrue to say William Brodie has stirred many a story in the annals of Edinburgh history.

We at the Celtic Lodge of Edinburgh and Leith No 291 have the very premises that were once owned by the Brodie Family and we have a few stories of our very own.

That in our main hall once called the Roman Eagle Hall now the Thistle Room have a very large mirror on the right hand side entrance, One night a past master on locking up our possessions in a safe and secure manor noticed a shadow a mist a figure in the mirror of William Brodie the Deacon with his Tri Pointed Hat and Tails Dressed in his finest, and our Lady cleaner will not go into our Thistle room or our Temple on her own.

 In true Scottish tridition we meet to tell the Truth and to reminisce in our Celtic Folklore on our Harmony evenings and close our mystic nights with Stories of William Deacon Brodie-Robert Burns-Sir Walter Scott, Robert The Bruce-William Wallace and our very own Lodge History since 7th May 1821 See our History Section.

Celtic Lodge would like to say Ceud Mile Failte a Hundred Thousand Welcomes to all visitor who have looked at our site and those who have still to see for themselves and maybe enlighten us to something  we don’t know.

-Email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Bro William John Ross Boland PM Lodge Historian. Lodge Almoner.