The origins of the term are unclear and a number of hypotheses have been presented over time. The name may simply come from the occupation of tyler -- a person who lays roof and floor tiles, perhaps because he had failed to qualify for more skilled work as a mason. More fanciful suggestions include:
The Tyler is appointed by the Worshipful Master or elected by the members of the Lodge. He is charged with examining the Masonic credentials of anyone wishing to enter the Lodge and keeping unqualified persons from infiltrating Masonic meetings, and admitting only those qualified.
The Tyler is required to be outside the Lodge door for large portions of the meeting, although often in a position to overhear the proceedings. There are proper rituals for admission to the Lodge, and for maintaining security; and at the end of the proceedings a Tyler's Toast, immortalised in Rudyard Kipling's poetry, in which the Tyler represents poor and distressed freemasons. The position has often been given to a deserving Mason who has fallen on hard times, such as the original Grand Master Anthony Sayer, or to a senior Lodge member who can help and advise those kept waiting outside.
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