Saturday, October 18, 2014

Masonic ships off our coasts

At least two ships have had masonic names.

Two sailing ships of interest operated off the U.S. Eastern seaboard between 1737 and 1779. They were the "Freemason" and the "Master Mason"
The brigantine "Freemason" is recorded on voyage in late 1772 while in Shipwrecks North of Boston: Vol. 1: Salem Bay a note is made of a "... storm, killing ten (1773); The explosion at anchor in Marblehead of the privateer brigantine Freemason" in 1779.

In sailing, a brigantine is a vessel with two masts, at least one of which is square rigged. In modern parlance, a brigantine is a principally fore-and-aft rig with a square rigged foremast, as opposed to a brig which is square rigged on both masts. In the late 17th century, the Royal Navy used the term brigantine (often contracted to brig) to refer to small two-masted vessels designed to be rowed as well as to sail, rigged with square sails on both masts.