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 treasurer ordained to pay to "the elimosinaris of the Trinetie College the sowme of fyve poundis, for the Wytsounday terme the yeir of God jm ve lxvj, qubilk the gud towne gevis thame in almis."]
[The treasurer ordained to pay four officers "auchtene schilling, .for feing of ane boitt and thair laubouris tane in convoying of ane Heiland man, at our Souveranis command and the provest and baillies of this burgh."]
[The bailies and council,] hawing consideratioun of the diligent cure laubouris expenssis and solistatioun that Sir Symoun Prestoun of Craigmillar knycht, provest of this burgh, hes tane this yeir bypast, and as yit takis in setting fordwart of the commoun weill of this burgh and effaris of the samyn, newer being recompansit as yit, and for wther caussis mowing thame, gevis and disponis to the said provest, his airis and assignasis, the escheit of all gold, sylwer, cunyeit or unchunyeit, merchandys, claything, or wtheris gudis quhatsumewer, pertening to wmquhill Thomas Hoppringill, merchand and burges of this burgh, and now to the guid toune as escheit for his being convict affoir thame for the slauchter of wmquhill Robert Andersoun, with power to the said Sir Symoun to intromett thairwith, to dispone thairvpoun at his plesour, to call and persew thairfoir, and all wtheris thingis to do that the guid towne mycht haife done thairselfis affoir the dispositioun heirof, and transferris thair rycht and kyndnes thairof in the said provest his airis and assignais, in recompance of his laubouris and expenssis as said is.
The baillies and counsall ordanis Johnne Westoun, thesaurer, to pay to Patrik Barroun, officer, the soume of fyftene schillingis sexpenneis debursit be him for making of the skaffald quharvpoun Thomas Hoppringill wes heidit.
[In presence of the bailies and council,] compeirit maister Johnne Craig, minister, and presentit to thame our Soveranis writting wnderwrittin, and desyrit the same to be registrat in the buikis of this burgh, the principall to be gewin to him agane; quhilkis the saidis baillies and counsall thocht ressonabill, ordanit the same to be registrat, and the principall to be delyverit to the foirsaid minister, off the quhilk writting the tennour followis: Regina. Forsamekell as we ar informit be faithfull personis that adultre, furnecastioun, oppin harlatrie, and vtheris sic filthe lustis of the flesche, ar committit and sufferit in Edinburgh without ony pvneisment, to the gret dishonoure of oure God, to the sklander of the haill realme, to the manifest contempt of oure lawis and authorite, thairfor we charge and commandis the provest baillies and counsall of our said burgh that ye with all diligence frome tyme to tyme inquyre serch oute and tak all sic publict sklanderaris and filthy personis and pvnische thame according to the act of our last parliament without ony exceptioun of personis, as ye will ansuer to your God and to our lawis. At Striviling. Gevin vnder our signet, and subscryvet with our hand, the last day of August and of oure regne the twenty foure yeir. Et sic subscribitur: Marie, R.
Sir Symoun Prestoun of that ilk, knycht, provest, [the bailies and council,] being conuenit in the counsalhous of the samyn, compeirit Johnne Sym, ane of the baillies thairof, and desyrit the saidis provest baillies and counsall that thai wald grant and geve to him the vs commoditie proffeit and (fn. 1) the keiping of the vmaist yeard quhilk wes sumtyme the Gray Freris of this burgh, for the space of four yeiris nixt and immediatly followand the Feist of Mertymes in the yeir of God jm ve thre scoir and sex yeiris, quhilk geve thai plesit to do, he promeist wpoun his awin expenssis to caus big and reparall the myd dyk now cassin downe and dekayit, siclyk as it wes of befoir, and of als greit heicht betuix the buriall place and the said yeard, and als wpoun his awin expensis to strek furth and caus big ane dur and entrie to this yeard in the eist syde wall of the same, quhilk dur salbe patent to all the nychtbouris of this burgh to periurnie gang rest and pas thair tyme in the yeard foirsaid gratis, and ewery baillie and counsallar, with ony wther honest man of this burgh, that plessis to mak ane key wpoun thair expenssis, to hawe ane key thairof to the effect foirsaid, and the guid towne to hald thair wappinschawin or ony wther conventionis in the same to be appointit be the provest and baillies of this burgh, and als it salbe lesome to mak thair buriall thairinto geve necessitie requyre, and als promessis to mak na subtennent wnder him to the said yeard nor to sett the same to wtheris bot to use it be himself and to his proffeit (fn. 1) [he to haif the kepyn thairof allanerlie (fn. 2)] allanerly, and als promeist that at the ische of the saidis four yeiris it salbe lesome to the guid toune to enter to the said yeard, dispone and occupy the same at thair plesour, als frely as thai mycht hawe done afore the gewin of the same in keiping to the foirsaid Johnne, but ony stop impedinent or troubill to be maid be the said Johne, or ony wtheris in his name in the contrair, and that he sould purches na maner of lordschipe for obtening of langer possessioun nor perwerting of thair rycht thairto, and desyrit thair lordschip ansuer heirinto. Quha, efter consultatioun and awysement takyn heiranent, hes gewin and grantit and be thir presentis gewis and grantis to the said Johnne Sym the keiping vs and commoditie (fn. 1) of the said yeard for the space of four yeiris forsaidis wpoun the conditiounis abone writtin, quhairwpoun the foirsaid Johnne askit actis and instrumentis.
The prouest baillies and counsall ordanis Jhone Westoun, thesaurer, to content and pay to James Nicoll, baillie, the sowme of ten pundis for his punscheoun of wyne run at the croce the tyme of the Princes birth.
The prouest [bailies and council,] being convenit for chesing of the new counsall, compeirit Jhone Johnstoun, writer, declarand that Johne Knox, minister, had writtin to him that he wes craiffit, at the leist sutit, for his Mertymes termes maill, in the yeir of God jm ve and lxv be Robert Scottis spous, desyrit thair wisdomes outher to caus the samyn be payit, other wayis it behuifit him to find the way to satiffie the samyn. [The treasurer ordained to make payment of the sum craved.]
The prouest, baillies, counsall, new and auld, being convenit in the tolbuith of this burgh, as at the day of thair heid court, for chesing of thair prouest, baillies, dene of gild, and thesaurer for the yeir in to cum furth of the lytis chosin vpoun Fryday last wes, comperit Jhone Chesholme, commissar of our Soucranis artalyere, and producit hir graces writing efter specifeit, of the quhilk the tenour followis: Baillies counsall and dekinis of craftis of our burghe of Edinburghe. It is oure will, and we require and pray yow, that ye continew oure weilbelouite Sir Symoun Prestoun of Craigmillar knychat in provest of oure said burghe for the yeir to cum, and of thir personis vnder writtin, being alsua of your awin lites, that ye alsua cheis foure in baillies, viz., Duncane Levingstoun, Eduard Litill, maister Thomas Fleming, maister Robert Glen, Alexander Clarke, and Alexander Vddart; as likuis that ye continew maister Johne Prestoun in dene of gild and Johne Westoun in thesaurar of oure said burghe for the yeir to cum, as ye will do ws acceptabill plesour, and gif ws occasioun to think that oure requeist is weill acceptit and regardit be yow. Subscriuit with our hand, at Edinburghe, the first day October 1566. Et sic subscribitur: Marie, R. Quhilk writing being red in presens of thair lordschippis, thai thinkand the samin to be prejudicial to thair previlegis, thocht best to continew the chesing of thair officiaris quhill the Quenis grace wer of new spokin, to se gif thai mycht, be hir graces plesour, cheis thair officiaris conforme to the actis of parliament and auld ordoure.
Quhairof na ansuer wes gottin quhill the thrid day of October, at the quhilk tyme the writting efter following wes producit, and the counsall convenit efter none, and the proveist, [dean of] gild, and thesaurer continewit in thair offices, and the baillies chosyn conform to the writting.
Heir followis the Quenis grace writting mentionat in the act affoir specefeit: Baillies counsall and dekynis of craftis of our burgh of Edinburgh, we greit yow weill. Forsamekill as we wreit to yow of befoir, requyring and desyring yow to elect to your provest baillies dene of gild and thesaurer certan persones nominat and contenit amangis your awyn lytis, as in our wther letter mair largely is exprest; quhilk our requeist ye postponit to obey quhill ye knew our plesour, quhilk yisterday in the audience of our counsall be our awyng mouth we declarit to yow, and now can nocht bot merwell wpon quhat motioun ye sould defer and nocht proceid to the electioun according to oure requeist, considdering the personis nominat be ws wer na strangearis bot of thame ye yourself haid schosin in lytis. Quharfoir we hawe thocht guid to writt to yow agane, desyring and requyring yow as of befoir to proceid to the electioun of your officiaris this afternone, according to the tennour of our said wther letter without forther drift of tyme. Geve ye failyie we man luke to that amangis wtheris your proceidingis done in our contempt. Subscrywit with our hand, at Edinburgh, the yeir of God jm ve lxvj. Et sic subscribitur: Marie R.
[The provost bailies and council,] being conuenit in the counsalhous of this burgh for cheising of thre merchandis of this burgh to be thre of the counsall in place of my lord provest, maister Johne Prestoun, dene of gild, and Johne Westoun, thesaurer, wes continewit in thair office be wertew of our Soueranis writting foirsaid, and namit Dauid Foster, Alexander Park, or Arthur Grangear to be Counsallouris for this present yeir in place of the personis foirsaid and geve thair aythis to vse the office of counsallschip for this yeir intocum as vs is.
The provest bailles and counsall foirsaid ordanis Patrik Gowane, belman, Johnne Symsoun and Robert Drummound, keiparis of the kirk of this burgh, to caus soupe and dicht the said kirk ilk oulk anis and to paint it ilk moneth anis, and to keipe the durris thairof the tyme of sermound prayaris and exercys, as vs hes bene in tymes past, and to oppin the durris of the said kirk at sevin houris in the mornyng in wynter and fyve in somer, and to steik the saidis durris at four houris in wynter and sex in somer and the said Patrik and Robert to a wait wpoun the counsall in counsall dayis and keipe the counsal hous dur owtwith the samyn.
The provest baillies and counsall forsaid ordanis Jhone Westoun, thesaurer, to caus mak ane dur to the gallois of the Burrow Mvre, and to caus mend and heicht the dykis thairof, sua that doggis sall nocht be abill to cary the carionnis furth of the samyn as thai had done in tymes past.
The prouest baillies and counsall statutis and ordanis that in tyme of court the officiaris lat na persoun enter within bar except the prouest, baillies, counsall, thair clerkis, officeris, and the partie, pursewar and defender, instantlie callit vpoun, quha hes thair mater in ressoning, with sic vther honest men of this burgh as sall be commandit to be lattin in be the saidis prouest and baillies and nane vtheris.
The statuttis dewisit and proclamit at the command of Sir Symone prestoun of that ilk, knicht, prouest, maister Robert Glen, Eduard Littill, Alexander Vddart, and Alexander Clark, baillies, with awise of thair counsall. [Here follow acts as to baxters, farmers of the mills, malt, ale, measures, meal, wheat, fish, poultry, flesh, tallow, candle, stablers, corn market, regraters, vagabonds, middings, swine, removal of "red" or stones from the street, assizes, stands at booth doors and on the High Street, officers and putting of decreets to execution, keeping weapons in booths, blasphemers and slanderers, paying of unlaws, wool, goods weighed at the over trone, keeping neighbourhood in building houses, burgesses remaining in burgh, and convening of the council. These acts are in similar terms to those of previous years already printed.]
Item, it is statute and ordanit that all personis that hes scheildis clenge the samin or euer thai be full, sua that thai brek nocht furth and rin in the streit, vnder the pane of xviij s. to be tane of thame quhome to the scheild pertenis; and attour, gif ony personis happynnis to oppin thair closattis in ane greit weit sua that thair scheildis ryn alangis the streit the tenement salbe poindit for ane vnlaw of xviij s. vnforgevin, and that na maner of persoun hald thair closettis oppin sypeand and rynnand furth bot honestlie couerit, vnder the said pane of xviij s. vnforgevin; and quhen ony scheildis is clengit that the clenger carie the samin honestlie and quietlie in the nycht and nocht to file the striet thairwith.
Item, it is statute and ordanit that na furrouris duelland within this burgh steip thair skynnis in foir houssis nor hing thame in foir stairis nor yit ding thame on the hie gait nor stairis, vnder the pane of xviij s.
Item, it is statute and ordanit that na maner of walkeris duelland within this burgh hing thair claiths on foir stairis, nor wesche thame in foir houssis, foirstairis on the Hie Gait, Cowgait, or commoun vynnellis, tyme cuming, vnder the pane of xviij s. to be tane of ilk ane of thame sa oft as thai failye, and that thair be nane of thair watter careit throw the gait on the day licht vnder the said pane.
Item, foirsamekill as the filthie vyce and cryme of adultrie and fornicatioun hes been wickitle vsit within this burgh in the houssis of syndre inhabitantis thairof, of thair knawlege, be diuers personis quhilk thai hald in thair houssis without regarde of the commandiment of God or man, only for thair awin avantage; for eschewing quhairof in tymes cuming it is statute and ordanit that na maner of man nor woman, indueller within this burgh, hurd hald or ressaue ony sic as committis the forsaid filthie crymes within thair houssis in tymes cuming, of thair knawlege, bot that thai incontinent thairefter cum to the prouest and baillies of this burgh and declair to thame the man or woman committer of the samyn that thai may be pvneist conform to the actis and statutis maid thairanent, wnder the pane of x li. for the first falt, twenty pund for the secund, to be vpliftit of the maister of the hous quhair the foirsaid filthines is committit or sic personis ressauit hurdit or haldin of his or hir knawlege, and banesing of the toun for ewer the thrid falt; and geve maister or maistres of the saidis houssis be nocht abill to pay the said vnlaw, to be imprisonat xx dayis within the tolbuith of this burgh and thairefter pvneist at the will of the magistret.
The provest baillies and counsall namis the personis efter specifeit to be stentouris of the nychtbouris of this burgh, for the sovme of four hundreth merkis, to be payit be the merchandis, of the sovme of fyve hundreth merkis quhilk this townes pairt extendis to of the sovme of twelf thousand poundis raisit vpoun this realme, and grantit to our Soveranis for setting fordwart of the babtisme of our Soveran the Prince, that is to say:—[four persons for each of the four quarters;] and ordanis the officeris to warne thame to compeir on Wedinsday nixtocum to geve thair aythis to taxt the nychtbouris efter thair conscience and knawlege.
It is statut and ordanit be the provest baillies and counsall of this burgh that thai sall convene ilk Fryday at twa efternone in the counsal hous of this burgh, and thair to ressawe awld billis of nychtbourheidis to be gewin in befoir thame, and thairefter to pas and wesey the samyn wpoun the groundis of the land contenit in the clames and geve decreit thairanent for reformatioun conforme to justice, wnder the pane of thre schillingis to be tane of the provest baillie and counsallour being absent and within this burgh without he hawe leife of the provest or baillies, and this without preiudice of the weseing of nychtbourheidis that stoppis men wark instantly bigging quhilk thai ordane to be weseyit as necessitie sall requyre.
[Six persons ordered to appear before the council "to ansuer for breking of thair commoun mvir and hoking of the same, making midding thairof to guid thair land, casting of divett and scherettis, thai beand na fremen of this burgh nor hawand entrie thairto."]
In presens of the baillies and counsall, comperit Robert Wans, in Leith, and presenttit our Soueranis writting vnderwrittin to thame, off the quhilk the tennour followis: Prouest baillies counsall and communitie of the burgh of Edinburgh, we greit yow weill. In our necessitie we annaliit to yow the superioritie of our toun of Leith, and yit at our desire and requeist ye haif superseidit the putting of your selfis in possessioun of it. It is nocht vnknawin to yow quhat we haue ado, and yit with the first we purpois, God willing, to redeme that thing that we esteme precious and mekill wourth. We ar assurit yit as of befoir ye will nocht spair to gratifie ws samekill as to suspend the possessioun and intromissioun with oure said Loun quhill the last day of December nixttocum, quhairinto we pray yow and requeistis yow ernestlie and effectuouslie, as ye will do verray thankfull and exceptabill plesour. This is sufficient gif ye mynde to schaw ony benevolence at oure desire, and gif ye do nocht we man thoill it and provide the nixt best, bot we trest suirlie ye will nocht stand with ws in sic ane mater; quhairupoun we require your ansuer. Subscriuit with oure hand, at Edinburgh, the sevint day of October jm ve thre scoir sax yeiris. Et sic subscribitur: Marie, R. Of the quhilk writting the principall wes deliuerit to maister Johne Prestoun in the thesaurer hous.
The prouest baillies and counsall ordanis Johne Westoun, thesaurer, to caus mend and reparrell thair bekin beyound thair hevin of Leithe, betuix the hous of Jhone Wardlaw vpoun the southe and the see vpoun the northe.
[The provost, bailies, and council being convened,] comperit Hectour Trohop, masour, and brocht in the townis mais, quhilk wes weyit in presens of the saidis prouest baillies and counsall, and wes of wecht, silwer, tre, irne and all, twa pund fourtene vnce and ane half.
The prouest baillies and counsall ordanis maister Jhone Prestoun, dene of gild, to caus mend the prik of the sone orlege on the south syde of the kirk in the kirk yard and draw the letteris thairof of new.
Forsameikill as it is humlie menit to the prouest baillies and counsall of this burgh be the haill merchandis of the samyn that it hes bene inviolablie obserwit in all tymes bygane past memour of man, lyke as it is yit in dyvers cuntreis, and specialy in France, Flanderis, and Ingland, and hes bene observit within this realme of Scotland alsua, that all scheip war flane throuche to the luggis, sua that na pairt of the skynnis thairof wer diminischit wnto the luggis, nochttheles the flescheouris of this burgh cuttis thair skynnis hard by the craig, at the leist in the mid craig, quhairthrow the saidis merchandis wantis samekill of the said skynne at the craig, with the best portioun of the woll thairof, quhilk is the fynest woll of the skyn callit the halslok, and als the saidis flescheouris pullis the haill skyn fra the hals doun to the taill throw all the wambe thairof and cuttis ane tarledder of the skyn thairwith, diminisching thairby bayth the skynnis and the woll in lenth and breid, quhairby the saidis merchandis ar nocht only grytly damnefeit and skaythit, but alsua ar sair mvrmerit be all strangearis quhair thai travell with the saidis skynnis, layand as it wer the falt thairof wpoun the saidis merchandis, quhilk the foirsaidis provest baillies and counsall wnderstandis nocht to be the deid nor will of the honest men of the said occupatioun as thai haife declarit being callit thairto: For remeid quhairof the saidis prouest baillies and counsall hes statut and ordanit [that all fleshers within the burgh or resorting thereto] flay all thair scheipe in tyme cuming wp throw the haill craig to the luggis, sua that the lug steik with the skyn and neuyer pull the woll os the hals, wambe, not na wther pairt thairof, nor yit to diminische the samyn be cutting of ony sic pairt as thai call the tarledder wnder the pane of confyscatioun of [the skins, and punishing of the owners and sellers in their bodies and goods.]
[Persons bringing animals to the market to sell, ordained "to bring with thame in all tymes cuming the hyd stikkand with the karkages, and the skynnis with the boukis or laid hard by the samyn quhair the samyn hingis or lyis."]
[Edwerd Lytill, bailie of the north-west quarter, ordained to pay to Archiebald Forman, cook, and Agnes Broun,£5, 10s., "for meit and drink furneist to the extentouris of this last taxt be the space of thre dayis quhilk thai wer inclosit in the tolbuith of this burgh the tyme of the setting of the said taxt."]
[The council appointed "James Barroun, merchand, and maister Richert Strang, lawer, thair commissaris and procuratouris to compeir in the townis name in the generall assemble of the kirk presentlie convenit within this burgh."]
[The council and deacons of crafts gave to "Williame Couttis, officer, the beidmanschip of Sanct Paulis Wark, vacand be the deceis of Jhone Wauchlot, officer." David Robertsoun, barber, got the promise of the next vacant bedrelship "becaus he is disapoyntit of this present."]