Our Province came into being at the GL Quarterly Communication on the 5th of August 1816 . An extract from the minutes of that meeting reads as follows,
“… That it would lend much to the interests of Masonry in that part of the County were the Upper Ward of Lanarkshire (which is very widely extended) divided into two districts viz.:- into the Upper and Middle Wards of Lanarkshire …”.
Lord Archibald Hamilton (PGM Upper Ward) transferred to the New Province and became its first PGM bringing with him eleven lodges (nine of which are still active in the province).
There are very few records of the transactions over the first 40 years, the major point of note being that upon the death of the 3rd PGM (Lord William Alexander -11th Duke of Hamilton) in 1863 the PGL went into dormancy. The dormancy was ended by the actions of the Senior Lodge in the Province (Hamilton Killwinning No7) calling a meeting on the 10th of April 1866 to discuss the raising of the PGL from its slumbers. Within six months James Merry of Belladrum, MP., was installed as the 4th PGM.
The records of the province show steady progress from this date forward, in fact almost a boom ensued between 1901-23 with a further 12 lodges being consecrated. These years of expansion into the twentieth century were presided over by two men (father and son) whose names would become synonymous with Freemasonry throughout the length and breadth of Scotland , Sir Robert King Stewart of Murdostoun (PGM 1892-1930) and Captain John Christie Stewart of Murdostoun (PGM 1931-1966) a total of 74 years service to the province, indeed during their terms as PGM they both also served as Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason (1913-16 & 1942-45).
During this time world history was overshadowed by two Great Wars in both of which at home and overseas the Freemasons of the Middle Ward played their part. Now as the fourth largest province in Scotland (41 Lodges) and under the leadership of our 17th PGM we are ready to face all the challenges the New Millennium will bring for Freemasonry.