Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1557-1571. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1875.
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The prouest baillies and counsale ordanis Andro Craig [and four others,] with all deligence, vpoun [thair] awin expenssis, to cary away the red laid be thame in the Blakfreir Kirk yaird, to the effect that wark of the hospitale may proceid without impedyment thairof; quhilkis failling, ordanis the maisteris of wark of the said hospitale to caus carye [the] samyn away vpone thair expenssis, and actis to be gevin to officeris to poynd thairfor.
[The provost, bailies and council ordained, "conform to thair auld ordinances, that na merkat nor bargane be maid of woll, byde, skyn, butter, cheis, vpoun the Sounday oppinlie nor priuatlie, vnder pane of confiscatioun to the gude townis vse."]
The prouest baillies counsale and dekynnis abone writtin, vpoun consideratioun of the greit laubouris and expenssis maid be Robert Hendersoun, cherurgeane, at the command of thame and thair predecessouris, baillies, on diuers personis hurt within this toun, and in speciall vpoun ane deid woman rasit furth of the graif efter scho had lyin tua dayis in the samyin allegit to haue bene wyrreit, curing and mending of tua fals noteris quhais handis war striken of, dressing and mending of ane man and ane woman strikin throuch the bodeis with ane suerd be the Franchmen, ordanis maister Jhonne Prestoun, thesaurer, to deliuer to the said Robert the sowne of tuentye merkis.
[The bailies and council resolved] incontinent to big the hale calsay fra the Gray Freris to the West Port and to mak the samyn (blank) futtis braider on ilk side, and to close the mouthis of all the oppin conductis quhilk cumis to the hie streit, and to charge the hale heritouris to mak gude and sufficient conductis within thair bigingis, sua that the hie passage be keipit clene, vnder the pane of x li. to be taikin of euerye ane that faillis, vnforgevin, and that this calsay be biggit vpoun the expenssis of the heritouris according to the ordour obseruit in the rest of the Cowgait.
[The treasurer ordained to pay hundred merks, being the rent of a "greit lugeing taikin be the gude toun at Witsounday 1562, at the command of the Quenys Maiestie, for seruing of the King of Swaithnis ambassadour."]
In presens of the prouest [bailies, council and deacons fo crafts,] comperit Robert Norwell burges of this burgh and producit the supplicatioun efter following:—To yow my lord prouest baillies counsale and dekynnis of this burgh of Edinburgh humlie menis and schewis your seruitour Robert Norwell, burges of the said burgh, that forsamekle as, having sure report of sum my freindis and companyconis, familier seruitouris to my lord abbot of Hallirudhous, that the said abbot wes of mynd to dispone and set in fewferme to ane seruand of his, duelland within the Cannogait, strangear fra the commoun weill of this burgh, the kirk place kirk yard and croft of the Grenesyde, with the peice grene liand besouth the samyn to your playfeild, to be haldin of him and his successouris vpoun certane conditionis and for certane yeirlie proffit and seruice to be gevin and done to him and thame, and forseing the samyn to be hurtfull to your fredome and rycht quhilk I vnderstand ye haue to the bigingis and boundis foresaid, as alsua for eschewing of querrell and dissensioun that mycht follow thairupoun betuix the said lord abbot and your wisdomes gyf he had disponit the samyn in maner abone writtin, I, be greit laubour, nocht onelie of myself bot of vtheris greit courteours, my freindis and fauoraris, hes obtenit his gyft, vnder the commoun seill, of the said place, with sesing following thairupoun, as the samyn heir present to schaw will testifie, and sen trew it is that past memor of man thair hes bene continuale debait and stryfe betuix your predecessouris and the abbottis of Hallirudhouse past for the said boundis of Grenesyde, and that my lord abbot now present is bruder to oure Souerane and great in court and may be mair trubbilsum to yow nor vtheris in case ye wald mowe questioun to this his gyft and sesing quhilk I haue obtenit, quhairfor, and for eschewing of all trublis betuix him and yow, gif it be your plesour, seing the said place of Grenesyde as it presentlie standis is bot and spelmea and den for thevis murderaris and filthie personis, to despone and gyf the samyn to me with the boundis forsaid in few ferme to be haldin of yow and your successouris I maist glaidlie desyre the samyn and sall gyf yow yeirlie proffit seruice and dewtie thairfor, and quhair the samyn wes of before bot ane den of idolatrie and abhominatioun I sall big fair houssis, yairdis, stankis, and gyf I may haue the myre to the samyn fair buttis and prik merkis, for seruing of the nychtbouris in honest and necessar pastyme within your awin boundis, in the quhilk boundis and houssis nocht onlie the nychtbouris bot all vtheris our Soueranis lieges, sa far as the samyn may serue, sall at all tymes neidfull be honestlie and weill seruit in bedding meit and drink, and sall forther gyf and transfer in your wisdomes my gyft and sessing obtenit of the said abbot, selyt and subscriuit, qubilk being done your wisdomes may be assurit to be fre of all trublis or pretence of rycht that the said abbot of his successouris had hes or may clame or haue to the said place of Grenesyde and boundis thairof. This maist humlie I desyre of your wisdomes, or vtherwise that I be nocht trublit in biging and possessing of the saidis boundis conforme to my said gyft obtenit of the said abbot; and your ansuer
The prouest baillies counsale and dekynnis foirsaid, after avisement and lang ressonyng with the supplicatioun abone mentionat, fynding the samyn maist ressonable, and for eschewing of trublis in case my lord Robert of Hallyrudhous and thay happin to cum in question tuiching the boundis abone mentionat, as alsua to bring the samyn fra the possession of the vngodlie vnto thair awin commoun proffit, and vther ressonable caussis moving thame, all in ane voce gevis granttis and disponis and to few ferme lattis to the said Robert Norvell, Agnes Sympsoun his spous, and thair airis, quhilkis failing the said Roberttis airis, all and hale the kirk, kirk yard, houssis, bigingis and croft of the Grenesyde, hale and togidder, as the samyn wes occupeit be the freris of before, viz., to the myre on the eist, the commoun passege to the Leith on the west, the aikerris and landis pertenyng to the airis of Robert Carmychaell on the north and the grene be north the play feild hard to the dik of the said croft on the south, togidder with thair myre striking south and north with the east pairt of the play feild on the west, the rod and passege vnder Craigingalt on the eist and south pairttis, and the said myre sa fer as pertenit to thame of before on the north; and ordanis ane charter of fewferme with sesing to follow thairvpoun contening the claussis and conditiones following: [First, The yearly feu-duty to be six shillings and eightpence.] Item The said Robert sall begin and big quhair the kirk and houssis now standis ane honest lugeing with hallis chalmeris sellaris and houssis necessar for seruing of the Quenys leges. Item, The inhabitaris of the saidis houssis sal be of gude lyfe, fo honest and godlie conversatioun, na dronkarttis, bordalaris, manteinaris of fylthye and vngodlie personis, na hurdaris nor resettaris of thevis, pyrattis, brigandis and tulyeouris. Item, Within the said space in the said myre salbe maid dry buttis and prik merkis, boundit and fixit within the samyn, for seruing of our Soueranis lieges to lauchfull pastyme, and sall vphald the samyn. Item, [The said Robert sall nocht [dispone the lands without the consent of the council.] Item, [The possessors and occupiers of the lands] salbe subiect to the prouest and baillies of this burgh, thair lawis and statutis, as ony vther nychtbour duelland within the wallis of the toun. Item, [The gift and sasine obtained from the abbot to be renounced and delivered up to the council.]
The baillies and counsale ordanis maister Jhonne Spens, baillie, maister Jhonne Prestoun, thesaurer, and Nychole Vddert of the counsale to pas to the Quenys Maiestie, and to ressone with hir hienes tuiching the writing purchest be the men of Leyth anent the biging of thair new tolbuth
The baillies and counsale ordanis maister Jhonne Prestoun, thesaurer, to intromet with the cornys growand in the Blakfreir Yairdis sawin thair be William Brokas, smyth, sell and dispone the samyn, and deliuer the money thairof to the maister of wark of the hospitale, to be applyit vpoun the said wark, and oblissis thame to keip him skaythles thariof.
Williame Brocas, smyth, producit ane letter of tak maid to him be freir Barnarde Stewart, prior of the Blakfreris, with consent of the convent as he allegeit, of all haill thair yarde callit Baquhannanis yarde, of the dait at Edinburgh the xvij of Merche 1558 yeris, to indure for the space of five yeris nixt thairefter, quhilk letter of tak Dauid Symmer offerit to impreif and the samyn to be fals and fenyeit be the subscriptionis thairof, and thairfore desyrit the samin to be kept in the iugeis handis.
The baillies and counsale being informyt be directioun fra my lord prouest that the Quenys Maiestie had appoyntit Setterday nixt, in Striueling, to the men of Leyth to ressoun vpoun the actioun depending betuix thame and the gude toun concernyng thari new tolbuth, thairfor thay all in ane voce appoynttis and ordanis maister Jhonn Spens, baillie, maister Jhone Prestoun, thesaurer, maister Jhone Marioribankis and Thomas Reidepeth, of the counsale, to pas to Striueling, and gevis thame full commissioun to ressoun in the said action.
The baillies counsale assessouris and dekynnis, being informyt be the report of maister Jhonne Spens, baillie, and the vtheris qubilkis laitlie war direct to the Quenis Maiestie to Striueling, that hir hienes wes movit and angrye with the nychtbouris of this burgh, and that scho refusit to gyf thame speche, the caus vnknawin to thame, heirfor all in ane voce decernis and ordanis the personis following to ryde vpoun Momunday nixt to Striueling to hir grace, taiking with thame the townis billis of credence, to hir hienes and to my lordis of Murray and Lethingtoun, and forther gevis the saidis personis full commissioun to ressoun in all caissis with hir hienes in all sic caussis quhairwith scho may burdein the gude toun or nychtbouris, and sic vther thingis till do as for the commoun weill sall appeir.
The baillies and counsale, vnderstanding be the complaynt of Thomas Alexander, burges of this burgh, that he had obteint ane decreit before thame aganis Jhonn Scott, prenter, extending to ix li., and that the said Jhonne had na vtheris guddis saifing his prenting irnis and letteris quhilk war in the townis handis, and without the samyn wer deliuerit to him he war nocht able to get payment of his said decreit, and thairfor desyrit thari lordschippis to deliuer him the saidis irnis and letteris for the caussis forsaid and he sould bind and obliss him, vnder the pane of xl li. that the saidis letteris and irnis sould neuir cum in the possessioun of the said Jhonn Scott nor be applyit to ony vngodlie wark as they haue bene of before, quhilk complaynt the baillies and counsale foresaid thocht ressonabill and ordanis the saidis letteris and irnis to be deliuerit to the officeris to be comprisit as vse is, and gyf the said Thomas offerit maist tharifor to be deliuerit to him, and the said Thomas oblissis him be thir presenttis to fulfill the premissis vnder the panis abone written.
Note.— In the original the foregoing act is delete, and the following written on the margin:—"xxj Martii 1564. The irnis, at command of the baillies and counsale, deliuerit to Thomas Bassenden, and the said Thomas oblist as Thomas Alexander, and forthari that thair sall nathing be print quhill the samyn be first schewin to the baillies and counsale and thair licence had and obtenit thairto, vnder the pane contenit in this present act,"
[In an action at the instance of the procurator-fiscal against David Wans, in Leith, for having "groundit ane wall of asler extending in lenth to tuentie elnis and in breid to sex elnis, be the space of sex elnis or thairby within the flude mark of the port and hevin" of Leith, "vpoun the west syde thairof tending thariby to appropriat the samin to him and mak ane bulwork thairof and to spuilye" the provost bailies and community of Edinburgh of theri possession of the port and haven of Leith, the provost and bailies decerned Wans to desist from building of the wall, and ordered that it should be demolished and taken down.]
[The dean of guild was ordained "to tak of the beir samekle fyne Frenche blak as will staik the samin, and to the vthir beir samekill groffer claith as will suffice for ane vther beir." The neighbours were ordained to pay " to Patie Govane for making of ilk graue xij d., and for careing of the beir to the hous fo the deid vj d., as alssua for vertesing of the bretherne with the bell iiij d."]
The baillies and counsale ordanis maisteris Richard Strang and Jhonne Moscrop and maister Jhonne Spens, baillie, to tak inspectioun of the persoun of Pennecukis euidentis of the prouestrie of the Kifk of Feild, and to mak sic vther euidentis to be exped at our Soueranis hand, the handis of the abbat of Halierudehous, and the said persoun, as salbe maist sure for the gude toun tuiching the alienatioun and dispositioun to thame of the said Kirk of Feild, houssis, begingis and yaridis thairof, and to produce the samin before the saidis prouest baillies and counsale, and this to be done with all diligence sua that the said persoun haue no forder caus to complene of delay.
It is statute and ordanit that in all tymes cuming quhen it salhappin ony mater or questioun to be proponit the proponar to be harde without impediment to the end of his purpois, and thairefter that nane of the said counsale nor vtheris tak vpoun hand to speik or ressoun without leif impetrat of the iugeis than present, and that nane speik bot ane at anis vnder the pane of xij d.
The baillies and counsale ordanis maister Robert Glen, baillie, and maister Richard Strang, assessour, to ride to Striueling to ressoun with the Quenis maiestie tuiching hir hienes writingis send to thame in fauouris of the baillies of Leith and Dauid Wans.
The baillies and counsale ordanis to convene the deikins on Fryday nixt for thair consent to be had anent the disponing of the benefices vacaud in their hand be deceis of Sir Henry Mow, Sir William Gray and Sir Symoun Blyth.
[The treasurer ordained, "with all deligence, to caus wryt the townis leterris in the foure formes quhilk thay haue obtenit aganis the inhabitantis of Leyth, in parchment, and get the samyn exped vnder the quarter seill."
[The water bailie of Leith and his successors ordained not to "mak thair remaning or duelling in tyme cuming within the said toun of Leith, nor that he or thai hald or fens ony courtis within the said toun of Leith without the assistence of ane of the baillies of this burgh the commoun clerk or ane of his deputtis with him."
Nicholl Vdward, bailie, discharged of his office and decerned in an unlaw of £20, "becaus he departit of the realme in his perticular besynes without licence had or obteinit of the prouest baillies and counsale." The council resolved that another bailie should be elected; and ordained that no person bearing office should leave the town for twenty days withour licence, under the penalty of £20, and that those leaving the realm should be also discharged of their office.
[The bailies council and deacons of crafts] decernis and ordanis the dikis, wallis and bigingis, veseit be thame vpoun Alhallow evin last, and biggit vpon thair commontie be the laird of Haltonis tennentis of Brounfeild, maister Archibald Grahame, Thomas Cant, and vtheris duelland vpoun thair said commontie, to be castin doun vpoun Thruisday nixt, and ordanis the saidis baillies to convene certane nychtbouris and to hyre certane pyonaris for doun casting of the samyn.
The prouest baillies counsale and dekynnis, vnderstanding that the entres to the hie kirk be the stoppis callit our Ladie stoppis vpoun the south part thairof is commonlie abusit with filth, and the samin sa odious that the pepill ar compellit to leve the said passage, for rameid quhairof and vpoun respect of polacey for avoiding of the said filth, as alsua for the commoun proffeit [agreed that the space should be set for the erection of two shops thereon].
[The provost bailies and council] ordanis Alexander Guthrie, dene of gild, with all diligence possibill, to tak doun the saittis within the traveis befoir the pulpat, and in the palce thairof he caus big and set up ane sait and dask in honest maner for the prouest baillies and counsale.
The prouest baillies and counsale foirsaid ordanis that fra this furth all men that salbe apprehendit in adulterie or fornicatioun to be impresanet in the presoun hous abone the northwest kirk dur callit the preistis presounn, and thair to be fed apoun breid and watter induring thari willis, but preiudice of ferther pvneisment, and to wemen apprehendit be like wice efter the samin ordoure to be impresonit in the woltis abone the kirk beside the stepill induring thair willis as said is.
[The bailies council and deacons of crafts,] efter lang ressonyng and gude avisement taikin for sustenyng of the ministeris reder and vtheris officeris of the kirk, fyndis concludis and decernis that induring thair wilis, or quhill it sall pleis God that better occasioun of releif sall be had, that of euerye fyre hous within this burgh, and of the inhabitaris and possessouris thairof, salbe vplift gadderit and inbrocht be the baillies and officeris present and to cum foure schillingis in the yeir yeirlie at Candylmes and Lammes, for sustenyng of the saidis ministeris redaris and offiveris ad said is; and for thr first and begyning of ordour in this caus, ordanis the baillies of this present yeir to pas throuch thair quarteris and tak deligent inquisitioun of euery houshalder and fyr kendler within thair quarteris, put thair names and nwmer in roll and present the samyn befori the prouest baillies counsale and dekynnis foresaid vpoun Wednisday nixt, to the effect that calculatioun may be maid and knawlege had quhat the laif will extend to; and this to be done with all diligence because the saidis ministeris and redaris wanttis thair stipend for the maist pairt of ane yeir past.
The prouest baillies [and council,] vnderstanding that thay ar to be callit the morne before the Quenis Maiestie and lordis of secreit counsale, at the instance of the abbot of Hallirudhous, tuiching thair libertie of the port and havind of Leyth, and thairfor fyndis gude and ordanis that thair evidenttis concernyng the samyn be brocht furth of the charter hous, and the assassouris convenit to consult thairupoun.
The prouest baillies and counsale abone writtin statutis and ordanis that na burgesschip nor gildrie be gevin gratis for ane yeir to cum, vnder the pane of then pound to be tane of the consentar and gevar, bur favour.
The prouest baillies and counsale befoir writtin, vnderstanding that the generale counsale of the kirk is to be haldin at this present within the tolbuith of this burgh and the nobilitie for that purpois convenit, and bacaus thai haue sum materis to propone tuiching the glorie of God and thair commoun weill in the said conventioun, thai constitute and ordanit James Barroun, maister Clement Littill and maister Johne Merioribankis to compeir for thame to ressone and propone in thari caussis and sik vtheris as sall occur, and geifis thame full commissioun sa to do, and siclike ordanis Richart Trolhope and the gild officeris to wait on the keiping of the tolbuith dure induring the tyme of the said assemblie and conventioun, and that the dene of gild see thame furneist in candill fire and vther necessaris vpoun the tounnis expenssis.