Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1403-1528. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1869.
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19 February 1499–1500.
The provest baillies and counsale hes statute and ordanit that yitt as befor, for the commoun weill and proffeitt of the towne, that all the pairts of the toune be clengeit of all infect guidis and presumit to be infect, in this wyse,— that every person inhabitare within this towne presumit dangerous, as said is, that within viij dayes next following this day thai and ilk ane of thame purge and clenge thair said hous and all maner of stufe being thairintill be watter and fyre as hes bene vsit in tyme bygane, vnder the payne of destructioun and byrning of thair guids infect or suspect, and banesing thame selffis the towne for all the dayes of thair lyfes but favouris, and quhat persoun that beis convict be ane inqueist slewthfaa a heirintill and doand in the coutrare heirof, nocht fulfilland this statute within the said time, sall be pvnist as said is to the rigour; and this clengeing to be maid at the rynnand Watter of Leyth, and na vther place, nother wellis, nor yitt at the Sowth Loch, nor yitt the North Loch, vnder the said payne.
Item, thai haif devysit to haif fyve persouns, viz. Dauid Halis and iiij young habill persouns with him, to be berares and clengearis within this toune, to do and execute their lawbouris thairintill quhen ony sic aventures or cais occurris and happinis, and thir persouns to haif a signe and taikin, viz a littill quhyte wand iij quarteris lang with a hupe of quhyte irne at the end, and that wand to be born in thair hands opinly at thai may be kend, and at thai hald thame be thameself togidder, and nocht to cum nor vse amangs vther folks quhill God provyde remeid; and thai to heir mes in the hospitile of St Mary Wynd; and thir persouns to haif ilk ane of thame in standand waidges vj d. ilk day; and quhen thai mak ony erding of cors or clengeing of hous thai sall haif rewaird thairfor at the discretioun of the provest baillies and counsale; and quhen thair ar vacand for eirding and clenging thai to lawbour vpoun the covering and casting of the kirk yairds quhair neid is and vther places, considering thai laif a standard wage.
25 February 1499–1500.
Item. that na servand bye nor tak na maner of stufe of clething nor habilyementis without the maister or husy or bayth haif knawlege thairof, vnder the payne of byrning and banesing the toune.
Marketts; Harberyng; Leyth.
It is statute and ordanit be the provest baillies and counsale, for certane causes concerning the common weill and proffeitt of this toune, conformand to dyuers statutes maid of before, that na maner of persoun tak vpoun hand to bring ony merkett stufe, woll, hyde, clayth, or skin, nor nane vther maner of stufe except vittalis allanerly, and that they cum furth of vnsupect places of seiknes to sell and mak merkett of, or till hous it within the toune, vnder the payne of escheitt; and for that intent thai crye downe the markets nane to be halden quhill St Geillis day next to cum, and that na nychtboures within this toune house harbery nor ressett na manner of persoun nor thair guidis cummand fra the landwart without leiff of the officeris, provest and baillies, vnder the payne to the men of strikkin throw the hand and banesing the toune, and to the woman of byrning on the cheik and banesing; and that na nychtbour nor indwellare of this toune, seruands nor vthers, pas to Leyth without leiff of the officeris foresaidis vnder said paynis; nor that nane of Leyth cum nor repair in this tound quhill the said terme but leif vnder the said paynes; and in likewayes this statute teill extend vpoun all perouns dwelland in suspect places quhatsomever, and till indure quhill the said feist of St. Geillis.
Anent frauchting of schippis.
It is ordanit be the provest and counsall of the tound, for the commouns guid of mechandis, at thir persons vnder writtem, that is to say, Patrick Baroun, William Rynd, James Achesoum, William Dunsyare, James Towris, Will Thomesoun, Jhone Makcellane be frauchtismen of the toun for hits yeir, the quhilkis sall fraucht all schippis that sall laid at the port of Leith; and qubane ony shippis ar to be frauchtit, the saidis frauchtsmen all or four of thame at the leist, with the commoun clerk and ane baillie, sitt down with the skipper and na ma merchandis and do thair diligence and cair to fraucht all bring ony merkett stufe, woll,hyde,clayth,or skin,nor nane vther maner of seiknes to sell and mak merkett of, or till hous it within the tune, vnder the payne of schippis of the leist and maist resonable pryces to the commoun proffeitt of all merchandis, and vpoun the conditioun and frauchting of silk schip the clerk sal mak ane charter partie vnder his signe manuell, the merchandis haiffand the ane half the skipper the vther half, contenand in it the pointtis contenit in our Souerane Lordis act of parliament of frauchting of schippis. (fn. 1) and that the watter baillie suffer no schip to saill efter he be frauchitt quhill the maister schaw his charter pairtie vnder the clerkis hand, and failyeand thairof to tak and pain quhill he bring it; and that the merchandis pay na fraucht nother heir nor beyound the way quhill the chartour pairtie be schawin and the day lemmit thairto be obseruit and keipit; and that na merchandis sit with the frauchtismen vnder the pane of viij s.
Anent the bedrentis of Sanct Mary's Wynd.
It is ordanit be the counsall of the toun that all the almois oblatiouns and revenewis that cummis [or] may be purchest to the pure bedrentis in the hospital of Sancht Marye Wynd sall be dispoint and wairit vpoun the said bedrentis; and the chapellane to haif for his fe to serue thame of mess and sacramenti of halie kirk x li. of the commoun purs, and to serue thairfore in the queir as the laif of the college dois; and for helping of the pure bedrentis to thair sustentatioun, ilk nychtbour of the toun, honest persouns, sall pas his day about in the toun and procure almois to thame, and the chapellane to gif compt of his expenssis and waring to the dene of gild ilk xl dayis anys, and to be written be the dene in his buke; and quha that refusses to pas and procuris nocht the almois sall pay xl d to thair sustentatioun, and heirvpoun the chapellane sall begyne at Witsunday nixttocum to his service, and to gif his bodelye ayth to the fulfilling of thir poynttis.
(In the lowse leiffis of the daitt the (blank) day of Aprile 1500 is contenit as followes.—Tr.):
Assisa capitalis curiae:—Johanne Williamsoun, William Bothuele, Jhone of Burgoun, Johne of Glen, Will Lokart, Jhone,Jhone Cowpland,Bartilmo Ward law, Alexander Gally, Walter Young, Alexander Aldoth, Jhone Symsoun, Jhone Blakstok, Robert Jossy, Thom Otterburne, Jhone of Dey.
The assyse fand the boll of quheitt vj s. viij d. the boll.
Item the pryce of malt, the laid xx s.
20 August 1500.
Seal of Cause to Walkers.
Till all and syndry quhais knowlege thir present letteres sall tocum, the provest ballies and counsall of the burgh of Edinburgh greting in the sone of the glorious Virgine, Sene it efferis till ws of our officis to declair the verite of all thingis pronuncit desyrit and ordanit befor ws in jugement, heirfor it is that to youre vniuersiteis we mak it knawin that thare comperit befor ws sittand counsaly gaderit in to the Tolbuthe of the said burgh the masteris and craftismen of the Walkaris and Scheraris of claith within the burgh, that is to say, Williame Steill dekin, Patrik Frry, the spous of vmquhile Johne Balfour, the spous of vmquhile Johne Yule, James Hog, Johne Gray, Robert Costrall, Robert Bard and George Weir, for thame self and in the name and behalf of the haill brethir of the said craft, the quhilkis present till ws thare supplicatioun desyrand for the lovage of God, worschip and polece of this burgh and commoun proffit of the nichtbouris thairof and all vtheris reparand thairto, and for Godis seruice to be done at thare altare of Sanctis Mark, Philip, and Jacob, foundit and biggit be thame in oure College Kirk of Sanct Geill of the said burgh, and for the anornyng and reperalling of the samyn, that we wald graunt to thame thir diuisis priuelegis statutis and reulis vndirwrittin, conformand and syklyke as vthir faculteis and craftis has within this burgh accordand for thame, and we wald cause the samyn to be obseruit and kepit amangis thame of the said craft, and autorist be ws insafer as we haue autorite and powere:— The tenour of the quhilk suplicatioun followis in this maner, that is to say. In the first that we may haue faculte and powere yeirlie to cheis our kirkmaister of the said altar as vthir craftis dois; and at euery freman of our saidis craftis pay for the vpsett of his buthe five croonis vsuall mony of Scotland, and or he sett wp buthe that he be examit be foure maisteris of the said craft quhether he be abill and worthy thairto or nocht to serue the nichtbouris of the toone and vtheris reparand thairto, and gif he be fundin abill to sett vp buthe that he be worth of his awin substance thre pair of scheris and of powere to pay ane steik of hewit claith, swa that gif ony falt standis in him he to satefy the pairty sustenand the scaith; and at euery master of our saidis craftis that takis ane prenteis to pay at his entre ten schillingis to the sustentatioun of Godis seruice to be done at the said alter; and gif it sall happin ony maister of the saidis craftis to tak or ressave ane vthir masteris prenteis, seruand or wagit man, he sall pay tuenty schillingis Scottis mony to the said alter; and gif ony personis of the saidis craftis beis ouertane wyrkand with cardis notit or previt apone him he sall pay for ilk tyme he beis ouertane or tayntit thairwith fivetene schillingis Scottis mony, to be distribuit in this wys, five schillingis to Sanct Gelis werk, five schillingis to our said alter, and five schillingis to the findar quhat euir he be, and at the kirkmaister for the tyme and ane honest man of the saidis craftis with him may pas to the nichbouris tharof in sobir wys for the ingathering of thir dewiteis and sowmes aboue expremit to the vphald of Godis seruice at our said alter and the ornamentis of the samyn, buke, challice, vestimentis and siklike neidfull thingis, and gif neid beis tharfor till poynd and distrenye with ane officiar of the tovne as efferis; and now becaus the communite of our craft Walkaris and Scheraris within this tovne walkis wardis extentis and beris all vthir commoun chargis within this tovne, and the outland walkaris and scheraris duelland vtouth the fredome of this burgh takkis the werk of the nichtbouris and wynnyn tharof and beris na portable chargis within this tovne, that thairfor ilk out walkar or scherar of claith to landward cumand within this tovne and takand the stuf thairof till wyrk sall pay ilk oulk ane penny, quhilk is bot small valour, till vphald the devyne seruice at the said altar of Sanct Mark, Philip, and Jacob, to be ingatherit be the dekin and kirkmasteris of the saidis craftis for the tyme; the quhilkis desiris statutis diuisis and reulis was thocht expedient and conuenient for the lovage of God, honour and polecy for the said kirk and this burgh, and for the commoun proffitt of the samyn and of all our Souerane Lordis liegis, we be thir our present letteres ratifiis and apprevis, and alslang as it salbe thocht expedient till ws and our successouris, provest ballies aud counsale of this said burgh, for the commoun wele and proffitt of the samyn confirmis, interponand our autorite for the obseruyng and keping of the premissis safer as we haue powar according to the desyre of the saidis craftismen: And this to all and sundry quham it efferis or may effeir we mak it knawin be thir our present letteres, writtin vndir our commoun seill of cause of the said burgh, at Edinburgh the tuenty day of the moneth of August the yeir of God ane thousand five hundreth.
26 August 1500.
[Seal of cause to Taylors.]
Till all and sindry to quahais knawlege thir present letters sall cum. The provost, baillies, and counsall of Edinburgh, greting in God evirlesting. Witt zour Universitie, that the day and dait of the making of thir present lettres, comperit before us in counsall gatherit, John Steill, kirkmaster; George Bell, William Hockburne, Johne Quhyte, Robert Richartsoun, Johne of Lauder, William Lamb, Thomas Foulare, William Dick, Morice Slenny, and the laife of the maisteris of the talzors craft within this burgh, and put till us thare suplicatioun, contenandt certane statutis and rewles devisit be thame, to be affirmit be us, for the loving of God Almichty, the honour of the realme, the worschip and profit of this gude toune, and the profit of all our soverane lordis, lieges, and utheris reparand thareto; of the quhilk suplicatioun, the tenore followis:—My Lordis Provest, baillies, and worthie counsale of this nobill toune, unto zoure honorable discrationis, richt humily menis and schawis the kirk-mastir, and the laife of the masteris of the talzour craft within this burgh, that first for the loving (praise) of Almichty God, the honore of the realme, the worschip and profitt of this gude toune, and the profitt of all oure severane lordis leigis, and utheris reparand thareto, and in exempill of utheris, and for the augmentatioun of Divine service at the altar of Sanct An, oure matrone of the samen, situate within the College Kirk of Sanct Geils of the said burgh. We desyre that we micht have thir statutis, articulis, and rewlis followand, grantit and gevin till us be zour autoritie, quarethrow gude rewle and gyding may be had amangis us of the said craft, baith masteris and servandis, and oure successoris; considering it is saide be comone auctorite, that multitude but reull maks confusion, and to eschew the vice thereof, and be estimit in tyme to cum, thir followand ar oure rationable desyris:—In the first, That for the several encresments of vertue, practick and knawledge, standis in gude begyning and foundment, and fra thine furth to continew in vertue, and persevere to final end: That fra thine furth, all manir of prentice to be tane at the said craft, sall stand in prenteischip for the space and termes of sevin zeirs, and na less, without dispensatioun of the principall master of the said craft, and specialie favour of the sonnys of the said craft; and ilk prentice to pay at his entrie, to the reparatioun and uphalding of Divine service and oure said altar, ten schillings; and that nouther thir prenticis, nor nane othyr persoun of the said craft, be sufferit to set up buth within this said burgh, without he be fundin sufficient, habill and worthy thairto, in practick and utherwayis, and admittit thareto, first be the sworne masters of the craft, and maid freman and burgess of the said burgh; and for his upsett, to pay forty schillings to the reparatioun and uphalding Divine service at oure said altar. And that na maner of master of the said craft to houss, harber or resett any uther master's prentice or servand; and gif he dow, he sall pay ane contribution and taxt to oure said altare, at the discratioun of oure said sworn masteris principall of the saids craft, and the causs thereof to be reformit be thame: And that ilk master haldane buth within this said burgh of the said craft sall pay his wolkly penny to the reparatioun of the adhornementis of our saids altare, and to sustene the preistis mete thereof, as it cummys about; and that the said kirkmaster and certane of the principall masteris of the said craft, that sall happin to be for the tyme, may have full facultie, leife and privilege, with ane officare of the toune, to pas with thame for to poind and distrenzie, gif neid be, for the taking, raising and inbringing of thir dewities forsaid, to the sustentatioun and uphalding of Goddis service, as said is, but danger, stop or impediment. Quharfore, as this our rationable and simpil desyris and petition is conform to equitie, and ar consonant to honore and pollecey, according to the usis and consuetudis of great antiquitie in uther realmys and provincis; that ze wald grant till us thame ratifyit, approvit and confirmit be zow under zowr sele of causs, in perpetuall memorial of gude rewle to be had in tyme to cum, with zowr answere hereupon we humily beseik. The quhilks articulis, statutis and rewlis, beand red, hard and understandin, and diligently considrit be us, that they ar for the lovage, first of Almichty God and sustentatioun of Divine service, and for gude rewlis to be had in tym to cum amangis thame of the said craft, in augmentatioun and suple of the comone profitt, and for till eschew misgydit wayis, that has bene usit in tyme begane; we have ratifyt, approvit and confirmit; and be thir presents for us and our successors, ratifys, approvis and confirmis the samin in all poyntis and articlis to the said masteris and their successoris of the saide craft, in perpetuall memoriale in tyme to cum for evirmair; and this to all quham it efferis, we mak knawin by the tenore of thir our lettres. In witness of the quhilk thing, to thir oure present lettres oure comone sele of causs of oure said burgh we have gart append, at Edinburgh, the 26th day of the moneth of August, in the yere ane thousand and five hundreth zeres.
11 October 1500.
Careing of guids to schip in Leyth.
The provest baillies and counsall statutes and ordanis, anent the furnesing and laiding of the schips that ar laidand, that in tyme to cum na maner of persoun fra Tyisday furth nixt to cum pas with ony guids to Leyth or send, becaus of the daynger of seiknes that is in Leyth, but at thai carie thair guids with karteris of this towne to Leyth hill besyde the Abbay, and discharge the guds thair, that the cairteris of Leyth may thair resaue the samyn to the port, to be had to the schips, and this laiding to be maid in the haistiest wyse for to eschew daynger; and at na persoun indwellare within this towne pas to Leyth be na maner of way without leif askit and obteint fra the provest and baillies, vnder the payne of byrning and banesing, siclyke as is imputt to thame now dwelland in Leyth that thai cum nocht heir within this towne quhill God provyde remeid.
14 October 1500.
It is statute and ordanit be the provest baillies and counsale, for the commoun weill and proffeitt, that all maner of persons that hes ony guidis closit in hous within this towne quhilkis hes bene infect or presumit infect, that thai pas to the Powburne to morne, and clenge thair guids and geir be fyre and watter at the rynand burne, with intimatioun that gif thai compeir nocht the saids provest and baillies will caus the said hous be oppinit, and the said guids thairintill to be brynt and destroyit; and at na persoun tak vpoun hand priuatlie be him self to mak ony sic clengeing, bot at thai first schaw it to the baillies, and at be done be avyse command and ordinance of thame; and at thair be na geir had fra ane hous to ane vther nor flittet without licence of the baillies, vnder payne of byrning of the geir and banesing of the persoun berare thairof.
Clenging; Seik or died.
It is avysit and thocht expedient statute and ordaint be the provest baillies and counsale, for swamekill as it wes statute of before twicheing the clenging of the towne of infect guids, or swa presumit, the quhilk sall be on this wayes, that the baillies convoy and caus be convoyit the saidis guids to the rynnand water of Leyth and thair purgeit with fyre and watter, and to remane furth for the space of aucht dayes quhill thai be dryit thairfurth or thai cum in the towne agane and thair howse to be singit in lykewyis as wont was; and quhair thair is persouns of greitt honour and fame that will tak vpoun thame that thair guidis ar clengeit and clene, that he that hes nocht bene seik, handill all his guidis be him self and his wyfe, and gif he hes bene seik that he caws ane honest persoun that hes nocht bene seik to handill the samyn; and quhair thai will nocht that thair guids he clengeit as said is, and this handling to be done in presens of the baillies, and gif ony perell happinis, as God forbid, throw the said guids thus handlit, and beis convict thairof be ane inqueist, thai guids to be brynt and destroyit but favoures; and quhair ony persoun happinis seik, at thai keip thame quyett for iiij dayes quhill it be vnderstandin quhairto it turnis, or that ony deceissis, that the persouns of that place observe and keip thame quyett for xij dayes, and nocht to repair amangs vtheris nor nane with thame vnder payne of banesing.
Item, it is statute and ordanit that thair be nichtlie ane watche of vj sufficient persouns for the keiping of the toun and guid rewle to be had thairintill, and quhat persoun chairget heirto that will nocht waik nor furnis a sufficient persoun sall pay to the baillies viij s. but favouris.
It is avysit and thocht expedient twicheing the clengeing of the towne of infect guidis with infectioun of pestilence, eikand to the acts and statutes maid thairvpoun of before, that quhair it wes limit the time of xv dayes to all persouns als weill dwelland vtowth the towne as within, haiffand sic guidis closit in hous, that thai suld haif clengeit the samyn, or to haif gart clenge within the said terme, nochtwithstanding, in favouris of the persouns absent, the provest baillies and counsale hes limit to thame or thair factouris in thair name gif ony will appear Fryday at nixtt cummis, quhill the day lestis, for clengeing of the said guidis after the forme of the statutes maid thairvpoun abefore as said is, vnder the paynis thairintill contenit; certefeand to thame and till all vtheris nichtboures and inhabitaries within this towne and boundes thairof that gif thai clenge nocht thair said guidis swa infectit, or swa presumit, be the said Fryday thairafter, the provest and baillies will tak diligent inquisitioun, swa that gif it beis fundin that ony infectioun or danger thairof happinis to ryse, as God forbid, throw the nocht clengeing of the saidis guids and purgeing thairof, thai will mak the persouns thus faltand to recompance the haill skayth that happines thairthrow, and thai and thair guids to be punist after the forme of the said statutes maid obefore but favouris.
16 October 1500.
(Siclyke is heir contenit ane statue dischargeing the nychtboures of certane towness about to cum to the Alhallow fair quhill afterwards, and that nane in this towne ressett or harbery, or pas furth to bye thair guids.—Tr.)
20 October 1500.
Curia vicecomitatis de Edinburgh tenta coram preposito et balliuis.
[The court of the Sheriffdom of Edinburgh, held before the provost and bailies.]
Disprysing and invayding aboide.
The quhilk day William Paterson [and] Patrick Lowiesoun convict be ane assyse vpoun the disprysing of William Todrig, baillie, invadand him with cruell wawpouns and drawin swordis, for the quhilk caus thai sall be had to the trone and thair hands to be straken throch, and that is gevin for dome. (This contenit in a lowse leif, and in the buik begynand the yeir 1518.—Tr.)
10 November 1500.
Curia parliamenti quatuor burgorum tenta apud Edinburgum, in Pretorio eiusdem, decimo die mensis Noumbris, anno Domini j m vc., coram nobili et prepotenti domino Alexandro domino Home, magno camreario Scotie, secta vocata curia affirmata.
[The Court of the Parliament of Four Burghs held at Edinburgh, in the Tolbooth of the same, on the tenth day of the month of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred, before a noble and potent lord, Alexander Lord Home, Great Chamberlain of Scotland, the suits called, and the Court fenced.]
That na craftismen vse marchandice.
The quhilk day, it is thocht expedient and als statute and ordanit in this court of parliament of Four Borrowis, be my Lord Chalmerlane, and with avys of his assessouris and commissaris of borrowis, that because all borrowis hes been greitly hourt in tymes bygane be craftismen vsand merchandice within the borrowis, that thairfore the actis of parliament maid in our Souverane Lordis tyme that last decessit of gude mynd, quhome God assolye, sallbe obseruit and kepit in all poyntis in tyme tocum, anent craftismen sall vse ony maner of merchandice within the burgh, bot occupy his awin craft, vnder the pains contenit in the said actis of parliament, (fn. 2) quhilk is x li., and that thair be serchouris chosin within ilk burgh, sic as provest eldermen baillies and custumaris, to serche and seik the personis brekeris of the saidis actis of parliament, and to rais the painis contenit vpoun thame, and to mak compt therof in the Chakker. And als it is thocht expedient statute and ordanit be my Lord Chalmerlane and the saidis commissaris of burrowis, that na persoun pas in Flanders nor France with merchandice bot he that is burges and induellare within the burgh, nor that na personis out burgessis occupy the fredome of the burgh, nor haunt merchandice, without he mak continuall residence within the burgh and pay his dewiteis that accordis him to do thairfore, as vtheris nychtbouris dois within the burgh, vnder the pane of x li. to be raisit vpoun the persoun or personis brekaris of this act and statute; and that the said pane be raisit vpon thame be the serchouris, and to mak compt thairof in lykwayis in the chekker. And ordanis that ilk burgh tak the copy of this act authentikly vnder the clerkis signe and subscriptioun manuell, and that thai put the samyn to dew executioun as thai will answer to the Kingis Hienes thairvpoun. Extractum e libro actorum curie parliamenti quatuor burgorum per me Jacobum Petello clericum dicte curie, sub meis signo et subscriptione manualibus.
4 December 1500.
Statute. Skyneris vse na merchandice.
The provest in the Kingis name chairgit the hale Skynneris craft that thai occupie na merchandice and thair craft after the act.
8 December 1500.
It was avisit and thocht expedient be Alexander Lauder, provest, Johnne Williamsoun, Johne Adamsoun, Stevin of Borthwik and William Todrik, baillies and counsale for the tyme, that the burgessis folowand sude be maid for the reparing of the toune, the honour and profit of the kirk, in making of jowelry, siclike as the siluer candilstekis, siluer crowatis and vther anornamentis for the kirk; and in likwis that in al tymes to cum the toune be serchit of the personis induelland thairintil that may bere burgesry or gild, that thai be maid in the profit thairof to be warit apon the honour of the kirk; quhilk was done at the Mychelmis efter the greit deid.