Another branch of Freemasonry which existed in Stewarton from 1827 till around 1900 was A Knight Templar Encampment. The enthusiasm for the Craft must have been great to justify the need for an Encampment in the Town.
The following article was found in the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald of November 1st, 1873. It is of the utmost importance to all members of the Preceptory as it is, as far as I am aware, the only account of this Order working in Stewarton.
"FREEMASONRY. The Brotherhood of St. John's Thistle Lodge, Stewarton, 127, received and holds a Chapter from the early Grand Master and officers of the early Grand Encampment of Ireland, given in Dublin in the year of Masonry, 1827, and of grace 1827; name of Encampment. Stewarton, Dunlop, Caledonian, No.63. Being in a state of harmony for the last thirty years, the brethren here resolved to extend and progress in the higher degrees of Freemasonry, as far as the Sir Knights of Malta. They have fought with their weapons, Unity, Love, and Concord; by these they have surmounted difficulties and removed obstacles, and now have gained the prize, by giving glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill toward men. The companions of Loudoun Encampment, No.60, came as a deputation from Newmilns on Saturday, 25th ult. They were recieved here by the brethren with open hands, and supplied with an excellent dinner in the Masons' Hall. Afterwards they opened the Encampment in the most brilliant style, and raised nineteen of the brethren here to the very high and exalted degree of Knight Templars, and by consent of the companions the grand worthy Commander of No.50 Encampment empowered Alexander Pollock, G.W.Commander of this Encampment, with power to establish, elect, and regulate all matters connected with the Encampment. The Loudoun Encampment had handed over a very handsome donation to the Stewarton Encampment, as a start in their new undertaking. The Grand Worthy Commander gave a loving reply, and the Encampment closed."
I am indebted to M.E.Comp.John Mitchell, Past Provo Grand Suptd., for the following extract from his Chapters' Minutes:-
NEWMILNS, 25th OCTOBER, 1873.
The Sir Knights of Loudoun Early Grand Encampment No.60 met in the Black Bull Inn according to arrangements for the purpose of going to Stewarton to get the Early Grand Encampment there in working order. A Deputation of 24 left Newmilns and Galston for that purpose. Having arrived at Stewarton a sumptious dinner was ready on our arrival and after having done full justice to the good things of this life the Sir Knights repaired to the Masonic Hall and 'exalted' 19 to the Sublime Degree of HOLY ROYAL ARCH and 'dubbed and created' 18 to the Degree of Sir Knights Templars. After which the Most Noble Commander of Newmilns Encampment Sir Knight James Pollock Installed Sir Knight Alexander Pollock to the Commander of Stewarton Encampment No.53 with all due, and after partaking of a refreshment we started for home in good order.
Signed John Pollock, Scribe "E".