The Orders of Free Gardeners in Edinburgh and the Lothians
Information about the various orders of free gardeners has been compiled during the SHELF Project. Information was collated from the Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directories, which from 1875-1974 had a separate Friendly Societies list.
Publications by individual lodges sometimes neglect to mention the order to which they affiliated. At other times they provide detailed information about the grand lodge of their affiliated order. If a district organisation is mentioned, care must be taken to ensure the correct order is traced - there appears to have been at least three parallel bodies named 'East of Scotland District No 2', operating at the same time, in different organisations (Ancient, St Andrew and British). Additionally, in the early 20th century, a lodge might be affiliated to one order for 'craft' purposes but another for the operation of the National Insurance Act.
Where an order had characteristic insignia these have been indicated. They provide a means of identifying the provenance of artefacts and can sometimes help the identification of the affiliation of a lodge.
- The British Order of Ancient Free Gardeners (founded before 1817)
- The Ancient Order of Free Gardeners (founded 1849)
- The St Andrew Order of Ancient Free Gardeners Friendly Society or Western Order (founded 1859; refounded 1878-9)
- Gardeners reborn