Canongate Lodge’s Master Artisan Robert Scot, of Edinburgh, Scotland
Robert J. Silverstein
I was able to identify the Master Artisan engraver of the George Washington inaugural buttons as Robert Scot of Edinburgh, Scotland. His father was George Scot who was known to have planned several projects in colonial New Jersey, as well as published a book in 1685 called, “The Model of the Government of the Province of East New Jersey, in America; and Encouragement for such as design to be concerned there.” The Scot’s family can trace their heritage back to the ancient Scottish Normans who were intermarried with the Royal Celts, which made up all of Crown Land of Ireland, Scotland, and England. George Scot was the founder of Canongate lodge, which was formed by the most gifted Royal family artisans for engraved objects throughout the world. The founding members of this Masonic lodge were the most gifted and talented artisans of the time. These members were actually the rightful heirs by their bloodlines to be educated in ancient cultures, and would have been taught from an early age the skill sets needed in the arts including engraving. All of these artisans in one way or another can trace their genealogy back to the the Ancient Kings of Scotland; and then to the prior confederation of Kelt Tribes that settled throughout Gaul, Spain, Norway and France; hence this can even go back earlier to the Crusaders who went into the holy lands and ruled those various European thrones. It is key to understand who these artisans were, and understanding they were the only ones with the rights by the King to be schooled in the knowledge and taught the skills to produce works in arts reflect that Royal heritage motifs.
Robert Scot would have been one of only a few people working in America who would have had the correct bloodline ties to the Royal families in Scotland and England. This tie gave him the rights to do this kind of commission art work with symbols reserved for Royalty and country. Scot would have studied all the ancient symbolism associated with Royal Scottish linage and depicted it through his art work. Robert Scot was also the beneficiary of the highest level of education in the secret meanings of the symbolism for two reasons. First, he was apprenticed under Robert Strange who was the Royal engraver of Scotland and the Prince Bonnie. Second, Robert Scot’s father was George Scot who was the founder of Canongate lodge. This lodge was known to have the most gifted master artisans in Scotland, England, and France as members. So, Robert Scot knew engravers operating in England’s guilds where some of the inaugural buttons were made. One should also note that George Scot was a Grand Master Mason, and Robert was privy from a young age to Mason degrees of knowledge. This training and elevated status of family lineage would have given robert the rights & authority he needed to produce special engraved art like official seals, and currency plates for money. With George Washington inaugurals and New Nation Tribute buttons, he skillfully crafted Scottish depictions along with Roman and Egyptian symbols that would not be obvious to the common American patriot onlooker. These symbols are on a subcutaneous level geared for an undercurrent segment of the American population that were loyal to the Scottish Royals. So, only other guild artisans or Jacobites with an understanding of both Scottish Royal lineage and ancient cultures would recognized these hidden symbols.
In the illustrated depiction comparisons below, I give clear cut evidence that Robert Scot’s original copper plate, “Mason Eagle” hand drawing was the template to illustrate heraldry for the United States. As with the George Washington inaugural buttons, I believe he operated within the shadows of society without wanting or needing public acknowledgment of his work. His elevated stature and position limited his circles of friends and associates. Through the use of engraved artifacts, I will be able to make a bridge to the George Washington inaugurals and New Nation Tribute buttons which bear his maker marks.
1783 Ahiman Rezon
The 1st American Edition
The Coat of Arms & Motifs of Freemasonry
This was the first Masonic book to be published in the colonies by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1783. Robert Scot is directly accredited for making the hand-engraved copper frontispiece which depicts two Masonic Coat of Arms. The first is the Coat of Arms for the “Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons.” The second is the Coat of Arms for the “Operative or Stone Masons Guild.” Robert Scot was also noted for the important abridged text, as well as the warm dedication to George Washington (“In testimony, as well as his exalted services to his country, as of that noble Philanthropy which distinguishes him along Masons…”). This book was printed about 10 years prior to George Washington appointing him as the Chief Engraver of The United States Mint.
Fig.1-A: Scot’s Eagle Drawing.
The First Official Seal of the US
This is the 1st official Seal that gave General George Washington the full power divested by Congress to negotiate with the British, and sign an agreement for the exchange, subsistence, and better treatment of prisoners of war. The first brass die was cut in September 1782, from an earlier approved drawing from a congressional committee. On July 4th 1776, Congress choose a committee to produce a seal for the United Colonies of America. The committee included Dr. Franklin, Mr. John Adams, and Mr. Thomas Jefferson. Unfortunately, the committee members knew little of heraldry, so they asked a well known portrait artist Pierre Eugene Du Simitiere to join the committee. He was accredited at the time for his design work of the state seal of Delaware and New Jersey. Pierre’s original sketch rendition in 1776 used a German two headed eagle to denote heraldry. I believe that this was rejected for various reasons, and Du Simitiere who was an apprentice of Robert Scot ended up using a variation of Scot’s 1778 Eagle which was depicted in the Masonic Coat of Arms in the Ahiman Rezon. This Masonic depiction would also be unbiased toward any religion or foreign government while promoting heraldry. If we look at simple comparisons, we see the eagle in Robert Scot’s Masonic plate is almost identical to the official one chosen for the 1st US Seal.
On another note, we also know through other associated engraved government seals and copper engravings that proves Robert Scot was the true introducer, designer, and engraver of the all Seeing Eye and Phrygian cap in certain metals.
This paper is still in Draft Form and incomplete. Please be Patient.