Prior to Lodge St. Andrew (1872) we have 3 lodges, one of which was closed and re-opened another of which was renumbered. Thus leading to some confusion as to just how many lodges we did have before 1872.
From copies of two extracts of the Minutes of Mother Kilwinning kindly presented by Bro. T. Bell P.M./117 and from one of the Minutes of Rutherglen Royal Arch No. 116, in the possession of Bro. J. Parkhill P.M./524 we have information we have information of our early lodges. To which we are able to add details found in the Rev. J. D. Ure's History of East Kilbride & Rutherglen (1793) and that of East Kilbride by Thos. Eric Niven, written in 1965.
The extracts tell us that a petition, signed by Maxwell, Master; Joe Maxwell, Warden and John Wilson, Warden dated Jan. 18th 1738 was sent out from Calderwood to the Grand Master of Lodge Mother Kilwinning - Sir D. Cunningham of Corshill - craving a charter. This was granted on Feb. 8th of that year and covered the area of "Easter Kilbride, Cambuslang, Carmunnock and Blantyre".
The Annual Payment to Mother Kilwinning to be One Merk Scots. The Rev. J. D. Ure refers to the Lodge as Kilbride Operatives. It seems to have worked steadily until 1759 when it closed after Dissension within. It is said to have resumed soon thereafter (1760) and to have worked again between 1790 and 1802.
On April 14th 1803 Mother Kilwinning (Robert Glasgow - Grand Master) again had a petition before them from "....a number of respectable masons in the town of East Kilbride" craving a Charter.
This petition was signed by Bros. William Lindsay, William Lawson and Robert Pollock. It was supported by Bros. Faulds, Montgomery and Gemmill of Lodge Eaglesham. The charter was granted and the Lodge named "Montgomery - Cunningham, East Kilbride, Kilwinning" and numbered 79. The annual fee being One Merk Scots. This Lodge is known to have worked until 1808.
East Kilbride's third Lodge - The Kilbride St. Andrew Kilwinning Lodge - dates from March 1831. This lodge, chartered by The Grand Lodge of Scotland was, at first, numbered 400. It was later re-numbered 329. The first master was Bro. D. Brown and amongst its members was James Watt, Painter/Poet and father of Alexander Watt. The minutes of Lodge Rutherglen Royal Arch No.116 dated 18th March 1831 tell us that the lodge, at the invitation of East Kilbride Masons, walked in procession to East Kilbride, headed by a band and with colours flying, and there Consecrated the New Lodge. The Consecration was carried out by Bro. A. Freebairn, Secretary, and the Installation of the Office Bearers by Bro. J. Cross, R.W.M.
The Lodge worked for some 12 - 13 years when, due to Trade recession, it was unable to pay its fees to Grand Lodge and closed in 1843.
These then were East Kilbrides earlier Lodges extending over a period of 100 years and more - all before the Erection of Lodge St. Andrew No. 524.