THE FIRST RECORDED THIRD DEGREE
The earliest record of the Third Degree being conferred in a Lodge is in Lodge Dumbarton Kilwinning, No.18.
The first minute book of Dumbarton Kilwinning Lodge No 18 begins:
"At the Lodge meeting of Dunbritton [Dumbarton] 20 January 1726. The which day being the first meeting of the Masons there after their constitution, there were present John Hamilton, Grand Master, accompanied with seven Master Masons, six Fellows of Craft and three Entered Apprentices"
The individuals present are named in the minute book, with Charles Kirkpatrick being recorded as absent.
1. RWM John Hamilton
2. MM John Campbell
3. MM James Brock
4. MM George McGee
5. MM James Nicoll
6. MM William Wallace
7. MM James McFarland
8. MM Walter Williamson
9. FC John McLauchlan
10. FC James Wallace
11. FC James Colquhoun
12. FC William Mitchell
13. FC Gabriel Portefield
14 FC Robert Fleming
15 EA James McArthur
16 EA John McNicoll
17 EA George Ritchie
18 EA Charles Kirkpatrick (Absent)
The minute for the next meeting of the Lodge, 25 March 1726, reads as follows:
"The said day Gabriel Porterfield by unanimous consent of the Masters was admitted and received a Master of the Fraternity, who renewed his oath and gave in his entry money in terms of the Constitution".
Brother Porterfield was one of the Fellows of Craft named in the minute of 20 January 1726
This is the earliest record in Scotland (and the world) of the raising of a Master Mason. There is no earlier LODGE record of the conferral of the Third Degree.
The first meeting of the Lodge of Dumbarton Kilwinning, No.18, as written in the Lodge's Minute Book shows that there were three 'types' of Freemason: Entered Apprentice, Fellow of Craft and Master.
Reference: The History of Dumbarton Kilwinning Lodge No.18 : David A. L. Wilson 1998