Robert Burns' Masonic Apron – Edinburgh, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Edinburgh, Scotland

Robert Burns' Masonic Apron

The beloved bard's garb is proudly displayed within a Freemason's hall. 

Freemasons are notoriously good record keepers. So much so that The Grand Lodge of Scotland in Edinburgh can vouch for the very plain apron on display it says “almost certainly” once belonged to celebrated bard Robert Burns. You can ask to see their minute books for his signature to prove it. 

Burns was an active member of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons in Scotland. One of his more well-known works, “Auld Lang Syne,” is said to be about the spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood that the secret society is founded on. You hear it on New Year’s Eve and think of your friends, but according to this theory, Burns was thinking of his clandestine fraternity of brothers.

Burns made quite the impact on the Scottish lodge–don’t let his plain apron fool you. He joined one of the smaller lodges, Lodge St Andrew, No.179, on December 27, 1791, and last paid it a visit only three months before he died in 1796. The lodge was declared dormant within a decade after he passed. 

Know Before You Go

Tours are strictly at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Guides are active members of the lodge and are extremely knowledgeable about Masonic history.