The Origins of Scotland: An Alternative Historical Outlook of the Origins of Freemasonry Part Two of Three
Submitted by Illustrious Companion Kevin A. Wheeler, District Inspector 4th District, Grand Council of Illinois
IC Kevin A. Wheeler
Thus far, I have provided a somewhat detailed history of Scotland, however as the title reads, we are going to look at an alternative historical outlook. In addition, in regards to this new found information and perspective, what if any connotation does this have for Freemasonry. Before discussing this alternative history regarding the origins of Scotland, let us first take a look at what the current history could mean for Masonry. From examining the current history of Scotland as presented I can see at least five instances that are paramount in the formulization of Freemasonry. For the purposes of this paper, I will discuss these events in reverse chronological order, beginning with the year 1813.
In 1813 the United Grand Lodge of England was consecrated. In 1736 the Grand Lodge of Scotland was formed. In 1717 the United Grand Lodge of England was formed. In 1390 the Regius Poem also known as the Regius Manuscript was discovered, was a document which seemingly established the rules of Freemasonry. In 1314 following the dissolution of the Order of the Temple, approximately 80 Knights wearing what appeared to be Knights Templar regalia, causing the English to flee the battlefield and victory by King Robert the Bruce. Following this battle, Robert the Bruce rewarded the Knights by affording them the right to make Masons as well as giving them the title Knight or Herodom. Lastly, there is information that can be researched further that suggests that it was the Romans who in fact along with their annexation of the various countries they conquered, brought with them Freemasonry. But I have another theory as to the origins of Freemasonry, one that somewhat coincides with the alternative history of the origins of Scotland we are about to discuss.
Since ancient times, humans have been constantly on the run to find a better abode for the dwelling. Many factors have caused mass migration across the world such as famine, finding another better place, natural disasters, and most of all wars and invasions forced people to leave their hearth and home in search of peaceful living. Some of these mass exoduses of people have been recorded but many of these have been lost to the dust of history that creates gaps in lineages. It’s human instinct to find one’s ancestral lineage and to relate himself to the ancient great nations and people who built great empires but over time, time eroded their identities.
“On January 28, 2022, we know of a Scotland firmly entrenched in the broader United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and previously a major member of the British Empire, but of course before 1707 when Scotland became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland had been an independent kingdom since the 9th Century. With recent rumblings in Scotland of a return to independent status, increased interest in the origins of this great country and its people become relevant as modern scholars must know where you have been to determine where you are going. One bizarre theory of Scottish origins holds that Ancient Egyptians or other North Africans were the original founders of Scotland, and this account dates back to at least 1320” (Dan,p. 1).
The story of Queen Scotia is one such story that happened in a time of pre-history. However, her life has been well recorded in oral and written traditions that come down to us through various sources. (Irish History). “According to Bower, the Scottish people were not an amalgam of Picts, Scots and other European peoples, but were in fact Egyptians, who could trace their ancestry directly back to a pharaoh’s daughter and her husband, a Greek king.The queen’s name was Scota – from where comes the name Scotland. The Greek king was Gaythelos – hence Gaelic, and their son was known as Hiber – which gives us Hibernia” (Rogers, 2017). Before I continue I think it’s necessary to say that it is impossible to give the ancient history of Scotland without mentioning Ireland.
Found in both Irish and Scottish mythology, Queen Scotia was said to have invaded Scotland and later Ireland, and established her Kingdom along with her husband Gaythelos. Thus, it is said that Scotland got her name from Queen Scotia and the Gales from Gaythelos. Until now, however, the story of Scotia remained shrouded in fantastical legends. (Irish History) The legend begins thus, Scota, an Egyptian princess who fled from Egypt with a large group of followers, arrived in Ireland in 1700 BC. “It is believed Scota, whose descendants are said to have become high kings of Ireland, was killed in battle by the Tuatha De Danann (the tribe of Danu who are said to have established the site of Tara)” (Irish History).
Historian Malcolm Hutton became interested in the possibility of a link by studying ancient myths and stories which appeared to reference Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs and gods. (Rodgers, 2017) “Mr Hutton claims to have unearthed evidence in England – and also Ireland – which shows there is truth in the myths and stories. He told Express.co.uk: “The Ancient Egyptian finds in both Ireland and England leave no doubt as to their presence in the British Isles, thus bearing out all the old mythical stories” (Rogers, p. 2).
In 1939 the hulls of two ancient ships were discovered in Ferriby in the Humber Estuary but because of the outbreak of World War Two, they were examined and raised but no research conducted on them. (Rogers, 2017)
“In 1955, archaeologist Dr Sean O’Riordan of Trinity College found skeletal remains of a young boy, carbon-dated to around 1350 BC, at the Mound of Hostages at Tara. A necklace found with the skeleton was made of faience beads, matching the design and manufacture of Egyptian beads. The collar matched the collar laid around the neck of Tutankhaum, who lived during the same time as the boy found in Ireland, according to Ancient Origins” (Irish History). “Mr Hutton indicates that this would fit in with the story of Princess Scota, who is said to be the ancestor of the Gaels who settled in Argyll and Caledonia” (Rogers, p. 7). In 2015, researchers from Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast found evidence of massive migration from the Middle East to Ireland after sequencing the genomes of ancient Irish humans, The Irish Times reports” (Rogers, 2017). There are also several burial sites across Europe, including the Newgrange Barrow in Ireland, that are full of Ancient Egyptian depictions.