from the book Encylcopedia of Freemasonry & its Kindred Sciences
by Albert C. Mackey M. D.
This book is in the public domain.
Sword, Tilers - In modern times the implement used by the Tiler is a sword of the ordinary form. This is incorrect. Formerly, and indeed up to a comparatively recent period, the Tiler's sword was wavy in shape, and so made in allusion to the "flaming sword which was placed at the east of the garden of Eden, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life." It was, of course, without a scabbard, because the Tiler's sword should ever be drawn and ready for the defense of his post.
The Taunton Lodge in 1850 buried Brother Davey, their Tiler, and at the conclusion of the Church burial Service, the Provincial Grand Secretary broke his wand and the Worshipful Master broke the sword of the deceased Tiler, casting the same into the grave with the customary exclamation on such occasions, "Alas, our Brother." This is the editorial answer to a question in the Freemasons Magazine and Masonic Mirror (August 2(), 1863, page 1).