by William R. Fischer



Before tiles and shingles were used on roofs, they used thatch straw. This is straw woven together and held in place with rope. Because of this London just about burnt to the ground, several times.

An ordinance was issued that roofs were to be covered with tiles, lead, shingles, or plastered straw. This was the first fire law ever imposed by any government.

The occupation of Tiler became quite lucrative because of this new law. Tilers became the highest paid profession of that time. They demanded so high a wage, that the government had to step in and set their fees.

Tilers were entered into Masonry around 1738 and was responsible for the drawing of the Lodge, delivery of the summonses (for which they were paid) and various assets. Until this time the Tilers guarded the door of the Lodge but were not members.

The emblem of the Tilers office is the sword, originally it was the trowel. It was sharp, pointed, and about three feet long. You can see how a man of that profession could swing something like that with quite a bit of power.

The term "drawing of the lodge" was done by the Tiler and was exactly what it implies. In those days they did not have the furnishings that we have today. The Lodge would meet in homes of brothers, pubs, churches or where-ever they could find a place. Before the meeting would start the Tiler would take a piece of chalk and draw the different steps, stations, and places for the officers. The better artist the Tiler was the more elaborate the drawings and the more prestige the Lodge received.


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