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 baillies and counsale makis constitutis and ordanis Dauid Forster, baillie, and Adam Foullertoun, of the counsale, thair procuratouris and commissouris, gevand thame power for thame and in thair names to compeir in this present conventioun of the nobelitie for the Kingis pairt appoyntit at this burgh xijo instantis Julij, for electing of ane Regent, etc.
The baillies and counsall of the burgh of Edinburgh, sittand in jugement, in the actioun and caus persewit be Thomas Hendersoun, thesaurare of the said burgh, makand mentioun that quhair the said burgh being of auld past memorie of man erected in ane fre burgh of ryaltie, and thairby haveand all prevelegis of ane fre burgh within the boundis thairof, quhilk extendis to the boundis of the fredome of Hathingtoun on the eist, quhilk parte is Edgebukling Bray, and on the west to Almound Watter, on the north to the sey, and on the south safar as the boundis of the scherefdome of Edinburgh principall extendis to, and yit the burgessis and communitie of the said burgh of Edinburgh, for amplefeing of thair awin prevelegis in the moneth of Maij jm thre hundreth four scoir xviij yeiris, haifand than the hewin and schoir of Leyth annexit to the said burgh within the fredome and commoditeis thairof, obtenit be dispositioun maid to thame be Robert Logane of Restalrig, knycht, diuers and syndrie previleges for thair eis in bigging of the said port and havin of Leyth, togidder with the haill wayis passages and trans of the toun of Leyth and barronie of Restalrig, for transporting of thair guidis to and fra the samyn, quha alswa for him his airis and assignayis perpetuallie ventit the taverning and selling of wyne, the bakyng of breid to sell, the halding and keiping of marchand buithis, girnelling of quheit, and all vther thingis that wer contrair the libertie and consuetude of the said fre burgh of Edinburgh, swa that nother he his airis nor assignais nor na vtheris in his name or on his pairt sould hald venting and selling of wyne, baking of breid to sell, marchand buithis, girnellis of quheit, be thameselfis nor na vtheris within the toun and landis of Leyth or thairabout, nor yit thole the samyn in ony tyme thairefter to be haldin, as at mair lenth is contenit in the prevelege and rycht maid to the saidis burgessis and commonitie thairvpoun; and albeit it be of veritie that the cheif libertie and fredome of ane fre burgh of ryaltie consistes in twa thingis, the ane in vsing of marchandice, the vther in vsing of craftes, resaving of fremen thairto, chesing of dekynnis of craftis, for examinatioun of thame that ar admitted thairto that thai be qualifeit, swa that the leigis of the realme be nocht dissauit of thair occupationes; and that the said burgh of Edinburgh, be vertew of thair previlegis and erectioun of thair burgh as said is and liberteis foirsaidis obtenit of the said laird of Restalrig, hes bene and yit is in possessioun, of thair liberteis and fredomes foirsaidis vsand all thingis concernand ane fre burgh, nochttheles as the said thesaurare is informet and it is of veritie that certane persones induellaris of the said toun of Leyth hes wrangouslie at thair awin hand vsurpet the acceptatioun vpoun thame of the offices of dekynnis of Craftes, quhilk is contrair the prevelege and fredome of the said burgh of Edinburgh and rycht maid be the said laird of Restalrig for him his airis and assignais, that is to say: [Here follow the names of the deacons of the smiths, coopers, tailors, baxters, cordiners, fleshers, and websters;] and will nocht desist and ceis thairfra without thai be compellit, as at mair lenth is contenit in the clame gevin in thairvpoun: The richtis ressonis and allegationis of bayth the saidis pairteis, togidder with the depositionis of diuers famous witnes and vther probatioun led and takyne in the said mater at lenth hard sene and vnderstand, and thairwith being ryple avysit, the said thesaurair comperand be Alexander King his procuratour, and the saidis defenderis alswa comperand in jugement to heir sentence gewin, the saidis baillies and counsall, with awys of thair assessouris, decernis and ordanis the saidis persones and euerye ane of thame to desist and ceis fra the vsurping of the saidis names and offices and vsing thairof in ony tyme cuming within the said toun of Leyth or barronye of Restalrig, becaus the said clame being admitted to the said thesauraris probatioun he previt the samyn sufficientlie as efferit, as wes clerlie vnderstand and knawin to the saidis baillies and counsall and thair assessouris.
[A contract entered into between the council, on behalf of the whole burghs, and Captain Ninian Cokburne, whereby the latter was commissioned to obtain the discharge of "ane proclamatioun obtenit and proclamit at the handis of the maist mychti King of France dischargeing all maner of Scottismen with thair schippis gudis or merchandice of all hant resort or trafique within the see townis or vtheris pairtis of his dominionis except sic as sall bring with thame the certificate of our Souerane the Kingis moder or hir lewtennentis to acknawledge only hir and thair authoritie in hir name and nane vtheris."] (fn. 1)
Forsamekle as the prouest baillies and counsale of this burgh ar certefeit that thair is certane Franche men of weyr arrivit in the raid of Leyth with certane prissis chargit with the guddis of Hollandis, and vtheris freindis to oure Souerane Lord his lieges and realme, of mynd to mak mercatt of thair saidis prissis and guddis in thir pairttis, without onye lauchfull declaratioun of the admarall gyf the schippis and guddis be lauchfull prissis or nocht, quhilk may engender greit inconvenienttis, and alter the freindschip standand with the saidis Hollandis to the greit hurt of oure said Soueranys liegis gyf mair haistye remeid be nocht providit, heirfoir I command and charge in our said Souerane Lordis name, my lord Regenttis, and in name and behalf of my lord prouest and baillies of this burgh, that na maner of persoun induellar within the fredome boundis and jurisdictioun of Edinburgh and Leyth trafique by or sell with the saidis Franche men of weyr, or by onye of thair weirfair guddis, vnder the pane of tynsale of all thair guddis movable and banischit the fredome foresaid for evir.
The commissaris of burrois vnderwrittin, convenit at this present conventioun for electing of my lord erle of Levinax Regent, viz. [the commissaris of Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth, Stirling, Glasgow, Ayr, Irvine, Jedburgh, and Haddington], it is statute that in the nixt conventioun the saidis commissaris, or vther that salbe chosin, bring with thame commissioun to propone ressoun and conclude vpoun the commoun weill of burrois and statutis thairfor to mak, and in the menetyme to put in writt sic thingis quhairby thay ar hurt.
The bailles and counsale ordanis Thomas Hendersoun, thesaurare, to len to [blank] Rutherfourd, baillie of Jedburgh, twa cutthrottis with thair chalmeris and furnessing in support of the said toun of Jedburgh aganis the theifis, takand the said baillies obligatioun vpoun the ressait and deliuerance thairof.
The baillies and counsale ordanis ane watche to be maid the tyme during my lord Regentis absence, and that na portis be oppin on the day bot the West Port and the Nether Bow, and that thair be put to keip euerie ane of thame on the day by licht thre men, and the baillies to keip the keis in the nycht.
The baillies dene of gyld and counsall ordanis the dekynis to be wairnit to convene the morne at sevin houris in the tolbuith for ressonyng vpoun the commoun afferis and for provisioun to be maid for maister Jhone Craig, minister.
The baillies and counsall, efter the ressait of my lord Regenttis writting, ordanis proclamatioun to be maid chairging ane stark watch to be nychtlie induring his gracis absence, ilk man to watche in his proper persoun, vnder the pane of fyve pund; and siclyke that all maner of persoun, induellar within this burgh, without exceptioun, be in reddines in armes and wappounis at the sound of the commoun bell and resort to the baillie of thair quarter and follow sic ordour as he sall appoint for thame, as thai will ansuer to the Kingis grace and my lord Regentis, and vnder the pane foirsaid; that all hostlaris aduerteis the baillie of thair quarter quhat straingeris resortis to thair houssis, vnder the pane of deid.
The baillies and counsall decernis and ordanis Patrik Portuous, duelland in the Ovir Bow, to pay fourtie schillingis for brekin of the Sabboth in kairting of twa polkis of woll send to Leyth on Sounday last, and gyf the said vnlaw to the puir woman in the Seynis, quhilk vnlaw was incontinent payit and deliuerit. Ordanis the cairter to be put in waird induring the counsalis will.
[The bailies, council, and deacons of crafts,] efter lang ressoning vpoun the ministeris stipend and how and quhairvpoun thai sall be sustenit, it is thocht guid be the baillies and counsall foirsaid that the auld dewtye quhilk wes payit be the inhabitantis of this burgh to the prouest vicare and clerk of the paroche kirk be collectit of new and appoyntit vpoun the said ministrie, and the saidis dekynis desyrit till awys with this quhill the morne, quhilk wes grantit.
The baillies and counsale ordanis the auld hoillis of the Mwse well to be oppin, that the watter may haue passege sua that the nychtbouris landis adiacent be harmeles of the vnder walter rissin be closin of the saidis hoillis,
[The deacons of crafts having given in a "tiket" containing the names of craftsmen from which two were to be elected councillors, the bailies and council objected to the list "becaus thay had bot alterit the saidis tikettis in the changeing of ane name allenarlie, and thairfor ordanis thame to gif in ane vther new tiket and vther names nor wer given in of before." The deacons thereupon gave in another list, from which two names were selected.]
The counsel ordanis the baillies and dene of gild to discharge the cramis of the calsay and place quhair thay presentlie stand befoir the northeist dur of the parosche kirk, and to appoint thame the kirk yaird vpoun the souith syde of the said kirk alanerlie and na vther place.
The samyn day, thay ordane the said dene of gild to cloise vp the buith durris of all sic as ar nocht gild brether vsing onye merchandrise vther nor cramerye, ay and quhill the counsale be farther avysitt.
Efter lang suting of maister James M'Gill to acceptt vpoun him the office of provestrie to the quhilk he was electit on Mychaelmes last, efter mony resonis schawin be him quhy he could nocht accept the said office, at leist gif he acceptit the samyn, for the vther charges quhilk lay on him, he culd [nocht] be able at all tymes to do sic seruice to the gude toun as his hert was willing to do, and thairfoir incace he war burdenitt with vther greter actiouns it mycht be the occasioun that he micht [nocht] auaitt on the said office, desyritt that he mycht haif ane president to serue vnder him; to the quhilk it was ansueritt that quhen the tyme or neid suld requyre, he acceptand the said office, thrie suld be nominatt, off the quhilkis ane suld be chosin to support him in his place, and the said maister James askit instrumentis and acceptit the said office.
[The bailies, council, and deacons of crafts] grantis and consentis that the nixt stent of vc pundis be lifted of the nychtbouris of this burgh, as for the feird pairt of the haill borrowis pairt of the xijm pundis granttit be the thrie estaitt for furnesing of certane embassadouris to pas in England.
[The bailies and council] ordanis the deaconis of craftis, presentlie convenit, to convene thair brethrene the morn and inquyre of thair benevolence quhat thai will geve to the support of the ministeris, and to report the ansuer vpoun Fryday nixt.
The baillies and counsall fyndis guid that Henry Nisbett pas in Ingland with the abbot of Dymfermeling for lowsing of the arrestmentis of the schippis in France, and ordanis the said Henrye to mak him reddie.
Comperit the dekynis of the craftis, and gaif ansuer to the provest baillies and counsall quhat ilk craft wald perfurnis and gif to the sustentatioun of the ministrie, in maner following:—Skynneris, XX li.; Wrychtis and Masonis, x li.; Tailyeouris, xvj li.; Goldsmythis, vj li. xiij s. iiij d.; Barbouris, iij li. Jhone Wilsoun smyth, xx merkis; Baxteris, xx merkis; Cordineris, viij li.; Fleschouris, x li.; Wobstaris, xx s,; Bonat-makaris, xx s,; Furrouris (blank.)
The baillies and counsale, vnderstanding that na apperance is to luikitt for be the laubouris of Capitane Cokburn for the libertie of oure schippis in the pairtis of France, quhairfoir, according to the ordinance maid with the consent of the commissaris of the maist part of the haill burrois of this realme in the moneth of October last, ordanis as of befoir that Henrie Nesbett depairt with all diligence possible with the tovnis wrytingis in name of the haill borrois foirsaid to the king of France, quhaireuir he may be found within his hienes dominiounis, and thair, conforme to the saidis wrytingis and articlis gevin him in writ, to crave and desyre the ancient libertie to be grantit to our natioun inuiolablie obseruitt for our pairtis of new.
The baillies and counsale nominatis collectouris for procuring of the beneuolence of the godlie to the support of the ministaris stepend, thir personis vnderwrittin, viz.:—Jhon Harwod and Symoun Marioribankis for the northwest, Adame Foullertoun and Patrik Rig for the northeist, Mr Michaell Chesholme and Nicoll Vddart for the southeist, Mr Jhonn Prestoun and Dauid Forester for the southwest.
The maist pairt of the maisteris and principallis of schippis within the toun of Leyth, being convenit within the counsalhous of this burgh, quhair it wes schawin vnto thame the waiknes of the schoir peir and bulwarkis of Leyth on bayth the sydis of the walter, quhilkis sould suddanlie decay be all apperance forevir gif the samyn wer nocht the mair haistelie helpit and remedit, and quhow thai war myndit to caus thair nychtbouris the merchanttis and all vtheris resortand with merchandice to the said port of Leyth to pay ane certane dewitye of euerye tvn of guidis for the space of thre yeiris nixt heirefter, quhilk thai dowtit nocht sould be frelie grantit to the helpe of sa guid and godlie avtioun, and thairfore sen the master concernit thair wellis als hielye as ony vtheris, desyrit thame till convene thame selfis and avys quhat thay wald grant of everye tun fraucht for the said space and report thair ansuer vpoun Fryday nixt.
In presens of the baillies and counsall, comperit the maist pairt of the maisteris maryneris of schippis in Leyth, and frelie of thair awin consentis grantit to gif of euerye tun fraucht at the out passing, and siclyk at the incuming, during the space of thre yeiris, xij d., to the reparatioun and support and bigging of the peir and hevin of Leyth; prouyding that this thair consent induce nocht the preperative in tymes cuming, nother thai be compellit heirby to consent to the lyk, nor that efter the ische of the saidis thre yeiris thai be forther chairgit with the said dewtye, and protestit that this thair consent sould nocht hourt vtheris quhilkis had nocht consentit as yit, quhilk offer the provest baillies and counsall forsaid acceptit and grantit thair said protestatioun.
[The provest, bailies, council, and deacons of crafts,] with consent and assent of the maist pairtt of the maisteris skipperis and marinaris of the said toun of Leith, hes statute and ordanitt that for the space of thrie yeris nixt [there shall be collected] tua schillingis of euery tun of gudis enterand within the said portt and hawin of Leith, at the entrie thairof, tua s. of ilk tun at the outpassing, baith of merchanttis friemen and vnfremen and strangeris, and siclike of euerye of tunnis fraucht at the incuming xij d. and at the outpassing xij d.; off the schippis cumand frome Noroway and vther pairtis, laidnit with tymmer, of euerie hundreth geistis ane, of euerye hundreth corbellis ane, of euerye hundreth wanescott ane, off euerye hundreth daillis ane, of euerye hundreth rauchteris ane, and siclike of euerye sort of tymmer cumand to the said port and hawin ane, or the availl and price thairof as the remanent salbe sald; item, of euerye chalder victuall that salbe sauld in the said port and haivin of Leith, of the merchat xvj d., and fo the skipper and maister aucht penneis, and siclyke of all vther kynd of gudis qubilk ar vsitt to be disponett be chalderis, induring the said space of thrie yeiris alanerlie.
In presens of the provest baillies and counsall, sittand in jugement, in the actionan and caus intentit be Thomas Hendersoun, thesaurare and procuratour fiscall, aganis the craftismen and vnfremen occupyaris and induellaris within the vnfre toun of Leyth, . . . the saidis baillies and counsall, with avys of thaair assessoris, dischagis the saidis persones of all vsing of the said artificiall craftis in tyme cuming within the said vnfre toun of Leyth, and gif ony of thame will vse the samyn to draw thame to ane fre toun and burghe to the vsing thariof to beir portabill chargis as the rest of the vsaris of thai craftis dois.
The baillies and counsall, vnderstanding that Thomas Cant and Harbert Maxwell, fermoraris of thair commoun mvre the yeir past, quha wer actit to gif the sowme of ane hundreth markis thairfor the said yeir, quha gat na proffeit of the samyn be resone the samyn wes flayne be the capitane of the castell for making of gabionis and strenthing of the said castell, quhairfore thai discharge the saidis fermoreris of the said sowme of ane hundreth markis, payand alanerlye for the said yeir [twenty four pounds].
The baillies and counsall ordanis ane nychtlie wache to be sett of thre scoir of men, and the baillie of the quarter to se the wache sett according to the ordour, and in case the nychtbouris present vnhable personis to the said wache ordanis the officeris to hyre hable men and put in thair places, and to Poynd the saidis nychtbouris for thair waigeis; and siclyke, ordanis the belman and his bruther to ly nychtlie in the steipill and attend to the commoun bell, and the baillie of the wache to deliuer nychtlie to thame of the vnlawis of the wache iij s.; and siclyke, ordanis the portis of the toun to be all closit, except the Wast Port and Nether Bow; and the keyis thairof nychtlie to be deliuerit to the baillie of the wache and him to ansuer thairfore.