Panel 6 Armorial Panel

Because the main image takes in the larger part of this panel, I have only cut out some details for further ‘inspection’.

“There can be no doubt as to the object of the designer so far as this panel is concerned, and that is to indicate a definite degree-the R.A.” writes Day. Only the most central symbol is out of place (the one that I suggest is a plumb hanging from a collar). Every arch has to be a Royal Arch, right? Perhaps there are other elements that I’m unaware of that indeed indicate that there is Royal Arch symbolism in this panel? A fact remains that the Stirling lodge from which the Kirkwall lodge seems to have been founded, knew Royal Arch degrees in the 1740’ies, so the Kirkwall lodge may have inherited these from it.
Alternatively, the Royal Arch was popular among the Antients, so Graeme may have known the degree from his London area lodge.

On the face of the altar we have the arms of the Grand Lodge of the Antients. Bro. Songllurst has informed me that these first appeared in Ahiman-Rezon of 1764. Consequently it is reasonable to assume that the Scroll is of later date than that, especially as there are other traces of Antient influence.

Here we have the image referred to:

It is better executed than on the Kirkwall Scroll. The first images on the seal (lion, ox, eagle, man, also see panel 4) are in the same order. After the union of 1813, the two cherubs also became part of the coat of arms of the United Grand Lodge of England. This is indeed an indication of the age of the scroll. I must say that the Grand Lodge of Ireland also has two cherubs in its coat of arms and that Grand Lodge has existed since 1725. That coat of arms has the same symbols in the same order on the seal in the middle. More about the coat of arms / seals here.

Cooper writes about the coat of arms at length. In the Ahiman-Rezon Dermott gives the source for his image: Rabbi Jacob Leon (1602-1675), who, in the Netherlands, made a scale model of King Solomon’s Temple in extreme detail. That model was exhibited in London in 1759/60 where Dermott saw it.
After several pages about the history of the “Antients”, the “Moderns”, the Royal Arch, etc. Cooper concludes:

It should not, therefor, be assumed that this panel is mere someone else’s version of Dermott’s drawing. His was a design of a coat of arms for the Ancients Grand Lodge whereas the panel contains additional material which relates to the Royal Arch; the panel therefor relates to the whole ‘system’ of Freemasonry, with particular reference to the Royal Arch, as practiced by the Ancients Grand Lodge.

If the drawing on the Kirkwall Scroll was indeed (and not unlikely) based on an “Antient” source, that would make it younger than 1764 at the latest. I have looked into some other options, but the Ahiman Rezon option makes the most sense.

The right hand pillar with the foliage is compared to the famous Apprentice Pillar in the Rosslyn chapel by Jackson.
Cooper has an interesting remark about the pillars. He says that they refer to the “craft” degrees and they are connected by the Royal Arch, a connection that is only made in the Ancients Grand Lodge. The connection is also made by showing the symbols of the main officers in a craft lodge combined with the Royal Arch.

Day is extensive about this panel. The cypher on the altar supposedly means “Holiness To The Lord”, which is the same text as on the “Antients” coat of arms. Day goes on and on about the cipher. If you are interested, go to “literature” and download the AQC with his text.

There are symbols that nowadays we associate with officers, such as the square, the plumb, the crossed keys and the level, but what about this rope and a shovel and the strange squares at the bottom of the altar? Are these elements that make Day so sure about the Royal Arch?

Symbols on this panel:

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