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 bailies and council,] vnderstanding that thair North Loche is dry and passable bayth be man and hors at the west end thairof; for remeid quhairof thay ordanit Jhonn Harwod, thesaurer, to fie xxiiij werkmen with spaid, schule, and matok, for casting of the fowseis at the heid of the said loch, and to geve to everilk ane of the said werkmen ij s. in the day, to be vplifted of the nychtbouris conforme to the stent roll, passand be ordour throw all the quarteris of the toun, geve neid sall requyre, viz., everilk nychtbour to furneis ane man for ane day, and makis Eduard Hendersoun maister of wark induring thair will.
The baillies and counsall ordanis the thesaurer to caus theik and cover the Stok wall, Muse wall, and Sanct Michaellis wall, and ordanis the kepar of the West port to keip the said Stok wall, the portar of the Greyfreir port the Muse wall, the porter of the Kirk of Feild the new wall, and the porter of the Cowgait port Sanct Michaellis wall; and thes wallis tilbe oppinit for seruing of the nychtbouris at fyve houris in the mornyng and tua efter none in somer, to be closit at xij houris opinit at tua and cloisit at four for all nycht.
The prouest baillies counsale and dekynnis, being convenit in the counsale hous, eftir lang ressonyng vpoun the apperand troublis to be maid be the lordis of the south and north and west countreis betuix and the nixt parliament, and hering that thay pretend with all thair forces to cum to this toun, ordanis Johnn Harwod, thesaurer, with all possabill deligence, to caus ranforce the blokhoussis of the toun wallis, byg and mend quhair myster is at the saidis wallis, and to big ane stane wall at the eist end of the North Loch, cast fowseis, and repair all vther thingis neidfull for strenthing of this toun.
The prouest baillies and counsale ordanis the hale dekynnis, being personallie present, to convene thair craftis, bayth maister, taskman, prentise and seruand, and tak inquisitioun be thair aithis quhat will be thair pairttis in this present troublis, to enroll thair names and report thair depositionis the morne efternon, as they will ansuer vpoun thair vtermaist charge.
The prouest baillies and counsale ordanis ane Strang wache to be set nychtlie for keiping of the toun, and that euerye man walk be his awin persoun without exceptioun bot of sic as ar aigit or seik, vnder the pane of xviij s. vnforgevin, and this wache be ordour throuch the toun to indure quhill the end of the parliament.
[The provost, bailies, and council,] efter lang ressonyng with maister Thomas Buchquhennane concernyng the instructing of the youth of this toun, knawing him to be maist abill and qualifeit thairfor, for thame selffis and in name and behalfe of the hale counsale and dekynnis, havand thair command and consent thairto, appoynttis and aggreis with the said maister Thomas in maner following, that is to say: for the first yeir, in case it be knawin to thame that the said maister Thomas, with the fiftie merk thay haue grantit him of yeirle pensioun, with the dewite of the barnis, quhilk is iiij s. of ewerie barne, be nocht worth thre hundreth merkis for the said first yeir or thairby, thay sall caus thair thesaurer, present or for the tyme, to gif vnto him vther fifte merkis quhilk salbe jc merkis for the samyn first yeir, and yeirle thairefter according to thair appointment to be maid fifte merkis as said is.
The baillies and counsall ordanis writingis to be direct to the haill borrowis for thair consent to ane taxt to be maid for satisfeing of Nicholl Vddart of the sowmes debursit be him in doungetting of the x siluer deneris of ilk tun wine in Burdeaux, and to register thair ansuer with deligence.
The prouest baillies and counsale ordanis Alexander Guthre and Jhonn Inglis, masoun, to ryde to Dunbar and vesy the stanys thairof laitlie castin doun, and gyf thai be found meit and convenient for the wark of the schore of Leyth to by the samyn.
The copye of my lord Regenttis writing producit be Capitane Mailuill :—Counsale and dekynnis of the burgh of Edinburgh, we greit yow hartlie weill. Being, as ye knaw, in radynes to pas in Ingland for that commoun caus that is sa deyr to ws all, we haue had speciall thocht and consideratioun of tua thingis belanging your toun, that is of the electioun of the magistratis the appoyntit tyme now approching, and of the publict ordour to be obseruit anent the plaige quhairwith God hes presentlie veseyit the samyn, that in sa fer as mannis pairt and dewtie is the occasioun of forther infectioun may be cuttit of be all gude menys, amangis quhilk we fynd na mene mair apperant to proffit nor that tha samyn magistratis that hes begvn the ordour, and presentlie takis cair for the preseruatioun thairof, remane and be continewit in thair offices, be ressoun vtheris to be electit, perauenture refusing to accept, or at leist delaying, the leist tyme protractit may be the occatioun of rycht greit skayth, or than sic as salhappin to tak the office vpoun thame throuch laik of experience may omyt the maist necessar thingis that in sa strait ane tyme ar requisit to be done. Ye ar nocht ignorant of the cair deligence and gude will of your present prouest, and of Alexander Clerk and Adam Foullertoun, baillies, in all commoun seruices sen thay war placet be yow in that charge, and thairfor it is best, be oure aduise and openioun, and we will effectuallie desyre and pray yow in your electioun now approching to continew the prouest and the tua baillies abone writtin for the yeir to cum, quhairin we dout nocht bot ye sall greitlie avance and further your commoun weill in monye respectis, and thairwithall we will think that in this as diuers vtheris wayis ye do ws werray thankfull and acceptable plesour. God in this your present actioun and all vtheris comfort and conduct yow. At Temptalloun, the xxvj of September 1568. Your rycht assurit freind, James, Regent. Quhilk writing, in presens of the baillies and hale counsale, being red and considerit, thay all in ane voce granttis consenttis and obeyis the samyn, bot, for obseruing of the ordour, willis the said prouest and baillies to be electit of new and to be continewit for the yeir to cum, vnder protestatioun this be nocht preiudiciall to the priuelegis grantit in the act of parliament concernyng the electing of officeris within burgh.
The baillies and counsall ordanis proclamatioun to be maid that na maner of persoun tak vpon hand to pas to the Borrow Muir for veseing of the seik, or quhatsumeuer vther caus, befor xj houris afore none, at quhilk time euerie day thair salbe ane officiar appointit to remane at the West Port for convoying of thame that hes ado on the said muir, and of all sic as sall pas with him do thair besines in his presens and return agane with him; and siclike na maner of persoun tak vpoun thame the charge of keping of seik without licence had and obtenit of the baillie of thair quarter, wnder the pane of deid.
Item, in the first, for ordouring of the said mure and pepill infectit thairvpoun, for clenging of thair claythis and clengeing of houssis within the toun, that Jhone Steuart, wobster, and Robert Fleming, cordiner, be electit baillies of the said muir and suorne for doing of thair office treulie, conforme to the statutes vnderwrittin and panis contenit in the samyn, [they receiving for their labours £8 monthly].
Item, that Jhone Leggat and Alexander Frencshe haue the charge of of the bureing of the deid, and with thame Jonet Wylie and Agnes Broun, and thay to haue the monethly wages following:—[John Leggat and Alexander Frensche, £5 each; and Jonet Wylie and Agnes Broun, £3 each].
Item, that the thesaurer caus mak, with all deligence, for euerie ane of the baillies, clengeris, and the burearis of the deid, ane goun of gray with Sanct Androis cors, quhite, behind and before, and to euerie ane of thame ane stalf with ane quhite clayth on the end, quhairby thai may be knawin quhaireuer thay pas.
The baillies, counsale and dekynnis, vnderstanding the greit necessite in this troublis tyme of pest requyris deligent and expert men to tak panys, and seing Adam Foullartoun, baillie the tua yeris past, nochtwithstanding my lord Regentis graces writing for continewing of him, refussis to tak ony forth er burding or pane, and will nocht accept the office of baillierie for the yeir to cum, nochtwithstanding he be electit thairto, thay all in ane voce, vpoun the sure experience of the said Adameis habelite and gude seruice, maist ernistlie requeistis and desyris him to accept the said office of baillierie for the yeir to cum as saidis, and faythfulie promissis that thay sall recompance and rewarde him, bayth for his laubouris past and tocum, quhilk promyst the said Adam acceptit and askit instrumentis.
Item, it is statute and ordanit that how sone ony maner of persoun fallis seik within this burgh, in quhatsumeuir kynde of seiknes that euer it be, the awneris of the hous inclose thame selffis and cum nocht furth of thair houssis, nowther suffer ony to resort to thame vnto the tyme thai aduertice the baillie of the quarter and ordour be taikin be him, vnder the pane of deid.
Item, that with all deligence posseble, sa sone as ony hous salbe infect, the hale houshald with thair guddis be depeschit towert the mwre, the deid bureit, and with the like deligence the houssis clengit.
Item, that the clengerris cum nocht within the toun quhill ane officiar pas for thame, and all the tyme of thair besynes the said officer await vpoun thame and gyf attendance that thay haue na commonyng with ony personis be the way, nother interchanging of ony guddis, vnder all hieast pane may be imput to thame.
Item, that na persoun clengit enter within the toun with[out] licence of the baillie, and be convoyit with ane officer to the place appoyntit for thame, vnder the pane of deid; and that thay cum nocht furth of thair houssis for the space of xx dayis efter thair entre within the toun, vnder the said pane; and in the menetyme that [thai] keip cumpany with na clene personis nor thay with thame, vnder the said pane.
The Prouest baillies and counsale granttis that commissioun be gevin be the lordis of Sessious to maisteris Thomas Makcalyeane, Clement Litille, Alexander Mauchane and James Barroun, makand thame baillies deput induring thair willis to juge vpoun the annuall and dewiteis of the kirk of auld, to the vtilite of the ministrie and hospitale.
[The treasurer ordained to pay to Adam Foullertoun and six others, "energy ane of thame v li, avancit be thame at thair command to ane man of Hamburgh for certane lang pikis bocht be the counsale fra him."]
[Proclamatioun to be made, charging "all sic as ar burgesses, and hes nocht stob and staik within this toun, to cum and mak thair remanyng within the samyn within xl dayis nixt heirefter, vnder pane of tynsale of thair fredome."]
The baillies and counsale ordanis Jhonn Forrest, cordiner, to tak vpoun [him] the charge of all pepill that salhappin to be clengit of the pest, and appoynttis him the west pairt of thair Borrow Mwre for clenging of thame and thair guddis, with this conditioun gyf falt be found in his clengeing and the pepill clengit infect agane in his defalt that he sall incur the deid thairfor.
Jhone Lausoun of Hie Riggis produceit befor the baillies and counsall the supplicatioun vnderwrittin, bering, as he wes informit, thair wisdomes had causit big ane heid dike vpoun his ground and landis of Hie Rigis and thairthrough stoppit the watter passege of thair South Loch passing throuch his landis in all times past, quhilk will nocht faill be proces of time mak the said loch to enter at vther partis vpoun his saidis landis and distroy the samyn to his greit hurt, quhairfore he desireit thair wisdomeis to caus reforme the said dike, sua that the watter mycht haue passege as it had of before, and thair ansuer. To the quhilik it wes ansuerit be the prouest baillies and counsall forsaid, thay fand thai had done na wrang in rasing and biging of thair awin dike, vpoun thair awin ground of thair awin South Loch, for halding in of the watter thairof, for seruing of the wellis of the Kowgaitt to the furnesing of haill pepill of thair taun and vtheris our Souerane Lorids lieges resortand thairto, and thairfore certefeis the compleneris that thai will proceid according to thair rycht.
The baillies counsale and dekynnis, efter consideratioun of the greit injurie and wrang done to thame be Jhonn Lawsoun of Hierigis and his complices, vpoun Sounday at evin last, within silence of nycht, in the destroying, doun casting, and braik of thair new dike bigit vpoun thair awin ground at the end of the arrabill landis callit Hierigis for inhalding of the watter of thair South Loch for seruing of the haill wellis in the Cowgait, etc., ordanis proclamation to be maid chargeing all the inhabitanttis of theis burgh, merchant, craftismen, and all vtheris without exceptioun, with all deligence possebil, with schole and mattok and spaid, to pas with the baillies to the said South Loch for reformyng of the said wrang, the occasioun thairof, and all vther wrangis within thair boundis and fredome, ilk persoun vnder the pane of xl s. vnforgevin.
The baillies counsale and dekynnis grantis and consenttis that thair be lystit xviij men of the maist abill within this burgh, with culvering, to await vpoun the baillies at all tymes neidfull and to keip wache within the toun for saiftie of the nychtbouris houssis and guddis that ar furth of the samyn, and ordanis euerye ane of thame to haue iij li. x s. monethlie to be taikin of the hale nychtbouris at the discretioun of the baillies induring the said counsale and dekynnis willis.
The baillies counsale and dekynnis ordanis to demolische and cast doun all houssis jonyt to the toun wallis vtouth and inwith the samyn, sua that the pepill may haue fre passage in the tyme of neid for defence of the toun.
The baillies and counsall ordanis the calsay from the Ower Trone to the Castelhill to be maid of new, vpoun the expenssis of the heritouris of the landis on bayth sideis of the gait and within clossis adiacent thairto, viz., euerie pund maill the annuell xij d., and gif neid beis ordanis officeris to poind thairfor.
[The treasurer ordained "to caus mend and repair the necessaris of Jhone Knox dwelling hous, vpoun the expenssis of Johne Adamsoun and Bessie Otterburne his spous, coniunct fear thairof, and deduce the samyn of thair hous maill, becaus thai haif bene oft tymes requyrit to do the samyn and refussit."]
The baillies counsell and dekynnis, vnderstanding the greit necessite of the pvir infectit of the pest vpoun thair borrow mvir for laik of victuallis quhilk can nocht be had becaus thair is na market kepit within this toun, ordanis Alexander Guthre to furnis and delyuer to James Wod,boxter, of the reddiest of the quheit of the commoun mylnis being in his possessioun, and the pryces thairof, viz., fourtie four s. the boll, to be payit to him be the baillies or the said James Wod of the reddiest of the extent grantit for susteining of the pvir.
The baillies and counsale ordanis ane nychtlie wache of xxiiij men, and quha that comperis nocht, being warnyt, to pay ij s. to ane vther to be put in his place, and quha sa evir beis set vpoun the wache and departis before vj howris to pay xviij s. vnlaw.
The baillies and counsale, seing that God of his mercye and gudnes hes metigat the raige of the pest within this toun, and vnderstanding the monethlie wages payit to the officeris of the mwre to be lairge, thairfor fyndis and deliueris that frome the xxv day of this instant December Johnn Stewert, [Alexander] Franche, and the tua wemen with thame, salbe dischargit.