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PRENTICE PILLAR

In the southeast part of the Chapel of Roslyn Castle, in Scotland, is the celebrated column which goes by this name, and with which a Masonic legend is connected. The pillar is a plain fluted shaft, having a floral garland twined around it, all carved out of the solid stone.

The legend is, that when the plans of the chapel were sent from Rome, the master builder did not clearly understand about this pillar, or, as another account states, had lost this particular portion of the plans, and, in consequence, had to go to Rome for further instructions or to procure a fresh copy.

During his absence, a clever apprentice, the only son of a widow, either from memory or from his own invention, carved and completed the beautiful pillar. When the master returned and found the work completed, furious with jealous rage, he killed the apprentice, by striking him a frightful blow on the forehead with a heavy setting maul. In testimony of the truth of the legend, the visitor is shown three heads in the west part of the chapel-the master's, the apprentice's, with the gash on his forehead, and the widows There can be but little doubt that this legend referred to that of the Third Degree, which is thus shown to have existed, at least substantially, at that early period.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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