Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1403-1528. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1869.
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It is be the said provest baillies counsale and honorabill persouns avysit Town rent. and thocht expedient for the commoun proffeitt of the towne, that quhat persoun or personis that ar fermoureris of ony of the commoun rents of the towne or that hes ony of the commoun guidis in thair handis, that thai be chairgeit in warde be the provest or baillies thair to remayne vpoun thair awin expenssis quhill thai mak payment of the said sowmes and guidis.
The quhilk day this assys fand and delyuerit that the best quheit in the merket the last Mononday was sauld for vj s. viij d., and the secundare for vj s., quhairfor the court avysit and thocht expedient that the pais be gevin according to the saidis pryces.
Robert Scott, Thomas Hommill, Williame Persoun, Matho Blak, Willie Thomesoun, Bartilmo Ker, Alane Cokkye, Williame Ley, Jhone Scot, Dauid Clerk, Rob Roger, Andro Culydaf, Adam Suord, James Cartar, Martene Hunter, Williame Spens, Symoun Thomesoun, Jhone Gordoun, Rob Clerk, Jhone King, Jhone Ewin, Williame Cliddisdaill. All this persones baxteris war convict be ane assys of the bying of Franche flour and selling and regraiting of it agane vpoun the nychtbouris and the Kingis liegis, quhairfore thai war adiugit to be punyst at the discretioun of the provest baillies and counsall according to the lawis, and thai ar wairnit apud acta till compeir on Fryday till vnderly the said punissionis that was gevin for dome.
It is auisit thocht expedient statute and ordanit that quha sa takis the wyld auentouris sall do on this wyse, that at the entres of all schippis and euerye ane of thame the entre thairof salbe takin commounlie in the Tolbuith, and that nane be tane bot thair and in presens of the thesaurer that salhappin to be for the tyme, to the intent that the nychtbouris may heir the samyn openlie, and gif ony guidis beis onenterit that it may be considerit vpoun the escheit be the thesaurer quhilk pertenis to the tovne to be apprisit to thair vse efter the auld reul and consuetude, and the customes to be to the thesaurer of the guidis that beis enterit and na mair.
The quhilk day, it is thocht expedient statute and ordanit be the provest baillies and counsall, that quha sa takis the commoun rentis sall do on this ways, viz., that the fermoraris thairof sall pay away a monethis payment befoir for the payment of the tovnis dettis that thay ar awand, and for the keping of thair credence thairintill, and as for the mylnis thay to be delyuerit with gangand graith and watter tycht, and sa to be delyuerit agane be the fermorar but ony clame or questioun.
The quhilk day, it is auisit thocht expedient statute and ordanit be the prouest baillies and counsale of the toun, becaus of the greit diuisioun and variance betwix the toun and fermoraris of the mylnis in tyme bigane anent the vphalding of the mylnis and dammys and the vther thingis thairof, that quha sa takis the saidis mylnis in tyme to cum sall fulfill and do on this wyse, viz., to tak thame with all aventouris of deid and weir, spait and watter, and all vther aventours and caissis of fortoun or casualiteis, and to resaif thame at the Mertymes day at none as they salhappin to be at the tyme, and sall that yeir vphald the saidis mylnis in all maner of gangand grayth bigingis and vtheris, and in ledys and dammys as thay will be seruit, vpoun thair awin expens, and deliuer thame at the nixt Mertymes in siclyke wyse as he resauis thame, and to pay the males that beis promittit at the taiking of thame; and quhidder that mylnis and dammys be brokin and had away be tempest of wedder, spait or vtherwyse, nathing to be defalkit nor allowit thairfor, bot to be delyuerit in sic stait and kynde as thay ressauit thame with the myln males as said is. Item, that na mannis pennye be tane for the assedatioun of the commoun rentis that aw onye sowmes to the toun. Item, gif ony flour meil or victuallis cummis in the mercat and happinis to be allegit be the fermoraris that thai ar hurt thairthrow, nathing to be defalkit thairfoir. Item, at ilk assedatioun that this statute be red that in tyme cumming ignorance be nocht allegit. Item, that the provest strike to till na man that biddis for the commoun rentis, bot that he tak souretie thairfoir as he will ansuer to the toun as dettour for the samyn, and at ilk xl dayis end the fermoraris pay thair ferme according to the rait of the assedatioun, and gif it beis nocht payit than the provest to charge the fermorar and his souerteis in waird thair to remane quhill it be payit, and quha that relevis thame that they be put in waird and remane thair quhill the said ferme be payit.
It is our Soueraine Lordis will, and the command of the lordis of his counsale send to the provest and baillies within this burgh, that this proclamatioun followand be put till executioun for the eschewing of the greit appearand dainger of the infectioun of his liegis fra this contagius seiknes callit the grandgor, and the greit vther skayth that may occure to his legeis and inhabitouris within this burgh, that is to say: We charge straitlie and commandis be the authorite aboue writtin, that all maner of personis, being within the fredome of this burgh, quhilkis ar infectit or hes bene infectit vncurit with this said contagious plage callit the grandgor, devoyd red and pas furth of this toun and compeir vpoun the sandis of Leith at x houris befoir none, and thair sall thai haue and fynd botis reddie in the havin ordanit to thame be the officeris of this burgh reddely furneist with victuallis to have thame to the Inche, and thair to remane quhill God prouyde for thair health; and that all vther personis the quhilkis takis vpoun thame to hale the said contagious infirmitie, and takis the cure thairof, that thay devoyd and pas with thame, sua that nane of thir personis quhilkis takis sic cure vpoun thame vse the samyn cure within this burgh in presens nor peirt ony maner of way; and quha sa beis fundin infectit and nocht passand to the Inche as said is be Monounday at the sone ganging to, and in lykwayis the saidis personis that takis the said cure of sanitie vpoun thame gif thai will vse the samyn, thai and ilk of thame salbe brynt on the cheik with the marking irne that thai may be kennit in tyme to cum, and thairefter gif ony of thame remainis that tha salbe banist but favouris.
Androw Bertam frauchtet for xxj and xxij[s?] he fulfilland the acts of parliament and the statute of the towne, and hes fundin souerty Th Chisholme for the fulfilling of the said statute, and specially for the tun fraucht to St. Gele. (Lowse leffis.—Tr.)
The baillies and counsall ordanis the officeris to pas to Jhone Cant, induellar of Leith, and command and charge him in the Kingis name and the townis to tak doun his corbell he hes furth for a stare to be biggit vpoun thair commoun streitt towart thair havin, with certificatioun that he do nocht that the said officeris tak thame doun incontinent, and he is wairnit heirto in jugement be the baillies.
It is avysit and thocht expedient be the provest baillies and counsale, forswamekill as thai ar sikkerly informit that Swanstoun, the parochin of Curry, Vnder Crawmound, Gratale, Degarne, and the parochin of Hailles are infectit with this contagious infirmity of pestilence, quhairfore we chairge straitly and commandis in our Souerane Lord the Kingis name and ours, that na manner of personis dwelland within the saidis boundis addres thame to cum to this toun and enter within the samyn under the payne of deid; and at na indwelleris within this burgh and boundis thairof howse harbery or resett ony of the said personis, or thair guidis, [or] ony vtheris of suspect places, according to the first acts, vnder the payne of byrning of all thair moveabil gudis and banesing of this toune for all the dayes of their lyffes, bot gif thai haif first licence heirvpoun be the provest and baillies.
It is avisit thocht expedient statute and ordanit be the provest, Sir Thomas Tod, Williame carmichaell, Thomas Chishlome, and James Aikmen, baillies, [and] the hale counsall with the avise and consent of the haill bodye of the toun, for the honour of our Souerane Lord the King, the honestie and proffeit of this burgh, to the intent and to eschew at thair guidlie power the diuers and mony barganis and tulyeis in tyme to cum that hes bene committit, in tymes bygane vpoun the hie streittis within this toun, and vther pairtis thairof, throw the quhilkis syndrie slauchteris and vther violenses hese bene committit, that heirfor all and syndrie nichtbouris and inhabitantis of this toun in all pairtis thairof haue redy in thair buithis, baith merchandmen and craftismen, fra this tyme furth besyde thame thair defensabill geri, sic as jak, sellet, burgandynis, glufis of plait, and ane hand ax or sword, or at the leist the said ax or sword, with sellit and glufis of plait, to releif thairwith and cum to thair provest and baillies and quarter maisteris incontinent quhane ony sic thingis occurris, and to pas with thair said officiaris thus bodin quhair it sall be thocht expedient to thame, for the Kingis honour and defens of the heretage and priuilege of the toun als oft as neid beis, that heir throw guid reull may be had into the toun bayth day and nycht, and the ordour and priuileges thairof obseruit and kepit; and quhat nychtbour that aperis nocht to his said officeris thus bodin as said is, he beand present in the toun, he sall pay xx li. to the kirk werk als oft as it hapinis; and quhat nychtbour or indeueller that faltis and is nocht of substance to pay this xx li., he to be set on the goif and thair haldin thrie dayis, and the caus of his goving descriuit in writt besyde him, and thairefter banneist the toun and boundis thairof endurand the will of the provest baillies and counsall for the tyme; and that ilk nychtbour and indueller foirsaid haue this said furneist geir beside him in his buith, sic as he may furneis to, as accordis for his substance to haue, within viij dayis nyxttocum; certifeand thame that the officeris will gar serche the samyn, and quha sa beis ouertane, nocht haifand the samyn geir, sal pay the vnlaw of viij s. als oft as it hapinis, and thir vnlawis and the said sowmes of xx li. quhan thai happin to fall to be tane rasit and inbrocht to the kirkwark, but fauouris.
It is avysit statute and ordanit be the provest baillies and counsale, be the grace of Almychtie God, in als far as thai may be diligence till eschew the daynger of perilous seiknes of pestilence now rissin in the eist pairts and lairgelie spreid, that heirfore in tyme to cum thai charge and commandis in our Souerane Lord the Kingis name and thairis, that ony persoun dwelland within this burgh and bounds thairof tak vpoun hand till hous harbery or ressett ony maner of persoun on hors bak or on fute within thair hous place or stabils, riche or pure, les than thai cum first to the baillies of the toun and mak it knawin to thame and that the said baillies give theme licence thairto, vnder the payne to thame that brekis heirinto of banesing of this towne and confiscation of all thair guids to the vse of the commoun warkis of the toune but favouris; and in lykewayes that nane pas to Glasquow but licence, vnder payne of haldin furth for xl dayes.
Item, in lykewys, because thai haif devysit and ordanit a watche to be within the said toune and thairabout, that ony persoun thairfore that sall happin to be chosin on the said watche, other for nycht or day, tak vpoun hand to resave or latt in the said toune ony of the said persouns aboue expremit, les than thai schaw it first to the said officeris vnder the said payne; and that na maner of persoun presume or tak vpoun hand to cum within the said towne at bak postrouns or heid dykes or ony vther priuate places bot at the principall entries of the said towne, vnder the payne of corporate pvnitioun to be imputt to thame fundin doand the contrair heirof, sic as cutting of thair eiris, byrning of thair cheiks, and banesing of the towne.
Item, it is statute in lykewyis and forbidden that ony manner of persoun Inglis or Scottis or ony vtheris tak vpoun hand to bring ony Inglis clayth to this towne in ony pairts vnder the payne of byrning; and gif ony Inglis clayth to be brocht to this towne or within this towne within thir viij dayes bygane, that incontinent it be had away furth of the toune and bounds thairof, vnder the payne of byrning the same incontinent but favouris. Alswa, it is statut, eikand to the first statutes, that na maner of bairnis be sene vagand on the gaitt nor yitt in the kirkis, vnder the payne of xl s. to be payit to the commoun werkis be the parents of the barnis within xiij yeris of aige, and vtheris that hes na parents to pay that thai be putt in the netherholl.
Item, that na maner of persouns be fund walkand on the gaitt fra x houris furth of the nycht, vnder the payne of putting in the netherhole incontinent, exceptand folkis of honesty passand thair leifull airands, and at thai haif bowetts or candillis within thair [hands?], in taikin thairof.
Item, that all tavernis and ailhous be closit in fra the said hour furth; and als that all scuillis scail and nane to be haldin; and at the childer dwelland to landwart remoue to thair friends incontinent, and thair to remayne quhill God provyde remeid.
(The haill browsters wer in vse to [be] callit in and convict for breking the statutes, as at 8 January 1498 thair is callit and convict at anes to the nummer of fyftie wyffes. The xj of January the said yeir the nummer of sixty wyffes.— Tr.)
It is avysit and statute, in augmentatioun of the first statute, (fn. 1) that na maner of persoun pas furth of this toune to bye or bring in within this towne ony maner of merchandise, sic as woll, skynnis, hyds, or clayth, bot gif thai haif licence of the baillies and counsale, and with that that thai bring sufficient testimonialls that thai ar cum in furth of clene places, vnder the payne of byrning of the stufe and halding furth of the persouns brekares of this statute furth of the town.
It is statute and forbidden that ony persouns dwelling within this towne howse harbery or resett ony persouns of Hadingtoun [or] Kelso, considering the seikness is largelie spred thair, vnder the payne of deid, and als that nane of thame cum within this towne vnder payne of byrning on thair cheiks with hett yrne and banesing furth of the same.
Item, that na maner of persoun indwellare of this towne pas till Peblis for ony maner of airands without leif askit and obtenit fra the officeris, provest or baillies, vnder the payne of withalding furth of the town and banesing but favouris.
It is statute and ordanit that all maner of persouns within this burgh, haffand dogs or swyne, sall observe and keip thame in hous and band, swa that quhair thai may be fundin in the contrair within this burgh, in hie streits or venellis, thai to be slayne be the persouns limit thairto.
Item, that na maner of bairnis within xv yeirs of aige be fundin on the gaitt or in streitts or in the kirk, vagand, vnder the payne to the said bairnis of putting of thame in the stoks and scurgeing of thame with wands.
Item, it is forbidden that ony maner of buithes be oppin to mak merchandice into, or that ony merkett be maid at the ports of this burgh or thairabout, vnder the payne of escheitt of the guidis quhair it may be fundin, bot favouris.
Item, that all persouns of this towne haiffand ony vittales of corn wyne and floure in Leyth, that thai bring up the samyn to this towne in all guidlie and possibill haist, for thai heif declairit to the keperis and rewlares of Leyth that thai latt in na persouns thairin to by ony maner of vittales.
The quhilk day, the provest baillies and cousale hes statute and ordanit that thair be tane of ilk man of substance that hes thair howse to clenge, x s. to the clengers and berares thairof, and of vtheris v.s., and of the puir according to the faculty of thair substance.
Thir to be clengeares of all guids beand within infectit places or presumit swa, and till haif vtheris vnder thame and with thame to sufficient nummer, ma or feware as sall be thocht expedient be the provest baillies and counsale, and ilk ane of thame to haif for their wadges xij d. in the day, becaus thair lawbouris ar heavy and dayngerous, viz., Will Rae, George Stewart, James Galoway, Alexander Stobo.
(Followes ane number of persouns quha hes drawin and oblist them selffis lands and guidis that thair houssis and guidis sum ar clengeit [and] sum to be clengeit as thai will answer to the King and towne, and sum fyndes souerties. (Lowe leiffis—Tr.)