Master Mason Certificate, 1756
William Shute, Worshipful Master of Philadelphia Lodge No. 2 signed this hand-written certificate, noting James Harding as a Master Mason. In the 1700s certificates were generally issued on request. Not everyone needed one, but a Masonic brother planning to travel or undertaking a move might decide to pay a fee and receive his certificate. This document would help him prove his membership in a town where he was a stranger.