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The first appearance of Templar Masonry on the American continent, or elsewhere as far as any written evidence at present shows, was at Boston, Massachusetts, when St. Andrew’s Royal Arch Lodge, working under a warrant from the Grand Lodge of Scotland as a Chapter, conferred the Order of Knight Templar on Brother William Davis (a captain in the Massachusetts militia) on August 28, 1769.   

The record of this meeting contains the first account of the conferring of the Order of the Temple that has yet been discovered in manuscript or print.

How the ceremonial was obtained or whence it cane does not appear but it is almost certain that the Degree of Knight Templar, as then conferred, had its origin in Ireland.

On October 1, 1768, several regiments of British soldiers arrived in Boston. Among them were the 14th Regiment (Irish), in which Army Lodge No. 581 was held, and the 29th Regiment (Irish) in which Army Lodge No. 322 was held. In the second week of November 1768 the 64th Regiment (Irish) in which was held an Army Lodge also arrived. These Army Lodges Brought to Boston a Knowledge of the Order of the Temple

At a meeting of St. Andrew’s Royal Arch Lodge of August 12, 1769, four members of Army Lodge No. 322 were present, and in all probability assisted in conferring the Order of Knighthood on August 28, 1769, when Captain William Davis, Past Master, received the four steps of Excellent , Royal Arch and Knight Templar.

On December 11, 1769, St. Andrew’s R.A. Lodge conferred the Order of the Temple on Paul Revere, and on May 14, 1770 the Order was conferred on General Joseph Warren, Past Grand Master of Masons, who lost his life in the Battle of Bunker Hill

The earliest record in England of conferring the Knight Templar Degree was 1779, ten years later than Boston. In Great Britain, as in America, the Degree was conferred in Lodges, or Chapters working Lodge warrants.

In "Highlights of Templar History," by the Late William Moseley Brown, P.G.C., Virginia, the following events are dated:

February 7, 1779, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Thomas Proctor is Designated as a Knight Templar in a public address.

Sometime during 1780, Charleston, South Carolina: An Encampment o Knights Templar is organized.

March 3, 1782, Charleston, South Carolina: Lodge No. 190 issues a certificate to Donald McPherson, station that he had been dubbed a Knight Templar. This is the oldest K.T. certificate know to be in existence.

In Boston, St. Andrew’s Royal Arch Lodge continued to confer the Templar Degree until November 12, 1794, when it was taken over by a Council of Red Cross Knights which had been organized by Benjamin Hurd Shortly before that date. In the History of the Grand Encampment" by Francis J. Scully, P.G.C., Arkansas, the following appears: There are no remaining records of that Council, but in the minutes of St. Andrew’s Royal Arch Chapter on February 3, 1797, there is the following note:

"Voted: That the Knights of the Red Cross by Benjamin Hrud, Jr., be, and they hereby are, permitted to make their records in the books of their Chapter."

Source: Masonic Americana

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