Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1882.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
3 October 1580.
Pest, merchantis of the flie boitt and thair guidis.
[The provost, bailies, and council] for avoyding of all suspitioun of pest and vther inconvientis that may fall thairthrow anent the merchantis of the fley boitt quhilk ar cum frome Dauskyne, and place infectit with the said pest, ordanis the saidis merchantis to be sikkerlie actit, bound, and oblist that na maner of skayth sall cum be thame nor thair guidis before thai be sufferit to resort amangis the Kingis lieges, vnder na les payne nor the tynsale of thair lyffes, landis, and guidis; and siclyke anent the thre sey kistis and remanent baggage and claythis being in the said schip per tening to Jhone Peblis, Alexander Young, and Alexander Bawty, quhilk thai transportet furth of the schip callit the William and now defylet with the said pest, gif the saidis merchantis will resaue thair said kistis, baggage, and claythis, ordanis thame to ressaue the samyn at the new heavin, and ayther remayne thairwith be the space of fyftein dayes handling and wering the same, or ellis to send the samyn to the clene cleugeris in Sanct Colmes Inche, and gif thai will nocht be content heirwith, ordanis the saidis guidis and kistis to be brynt and destroyet.
Henry colleges incloset, and iniuring the baillie.
The saidis prouest, baillies, and counsale vnderstanding that James Henry and the rest of his company quha come furth of the schip callit the William at [blank], and cuming to this burgh wes chairget to keip thair lugeing, and that na persounis suld repair to thame, hes be thair word speking iniuret William Littil, baillie, calling him ane tyrand, vsing tyranny and cruelty ower thame, quhairas the said baillie did nathing bvt his office and be command of the prouest, baillies, and counsale; thairfore ordanis the saidis persounis to remayne and keip thair lugeing and nocht to resort furth thairof ay and quhill thai obtene licence to cum before the provest, baillies, and counsale, acknawlege thair offence, asking God and the said baillie forgifnes, and saying thai haif leyet of him, and this vnder the payne of deyth.
Anent the Bark Winde and persounis thairin suspect of pest.
Becaus the schip callit the Bark Wynden quhairof Robert Luking is maister, is come frome Birges in Flanderis ane toun greitly infectit with the pest, having in hir thrie wemen greitt with chyld, and certane sowldiouris, ordanis the said wemen and sowldiouris to be cawsit repair to the new heavin with thair haill baggage, to remayne at the townis plesour, handling, vsing, and wering thair said baggage in presens of ane baillie, the schip and company to pas to the heavin of Inuerkeithing thair to remayne at the townis plesour, or vtherwayes to remayne on the sayes. As to the vther passangeris and merchantis, thai to haif the priuelege grantet to the saidis sowldiouris or to remayne with the schip at thair optioun, and that euery ane of the said wemen, sowldiouris, and passingeris fynd responsale souerty to keip all our Souerane Lordis lieges skaythles of any infectioun to cum be thame or thair guidis, vnder the payne of jc li. and for thair remanyng in the said new heavin during the space foresaid, and the skipper to fynd the lyke cautioun vnder the payne of ane thousand li.
5 October 1580.
Peblis, Young, Henry colleges putt to liberty; Chairge Littill in thair vnlawes.
Ordanis Jhone Peblis, Alexander Young, and James Henry, and the remanent persounis quha wer incloset with thame in thair lugeing vpoun suspitioun as come frome places suspect of the pest, to be relaxet and putt to liberty furth of thair said lugeing, becaus thai haif been incloset for sic tyme as wes sufficient for thair tryell, and ar fund to be clene; and ordanis forther the saidis Jhone Peblis, Alexander Young, and James Henry, for thair iniuring of William Littill the tyme of his office, to pay euery ane of thame ane amand and penalty of thre li. to William Littill [blank] to be imployer on mending the calsayes, for thair falt, and to ask the said William forgifenes, and the said William to be chairget with the said sowm.
7 October 1580.
Precept, gild, lampis, trumpett.
Ordanis Jhonn Harwod, dene of gild, to bye thre greitt lampis for sering the kirk the wynter seasoun with lychtis, and als to bye ane trumpett to the townes vse.
14 October 1580.
[The provost, bailies, and council] vnderstanding that the contagion and seiknes of the pest is maist vehement in the pairtis of Flanderis, and speciallie in the toun of Mayine, and ane greitt nummer of the Scottis companeis deceissit thairof in the toun, nochttheles certane of thame in lyffe intendis to transport thame selffis and thair guidis to this countrey, and has alreddy brocht thair wyffes, cofferis, and guidis furth of the said toun of Maine to the Campheir to that effect, of the quhilk greitt inconvenientis may aryse to this realm, gif remeid be nocht provydet thairto; thairfore ordanis letters to be direct to maister George Hakket, conseruatour, desyring him to gif attendence thairto and to take sic ordour that the saidis persounis and thair guidis may be stayet, and to certifie all of our natioun that nane of thame cumand fra the said toun or furth of the said town, or frome any suspect place, presume to draw thame selffis hameward, quhilk gif thai do bayth thai and the schipis and guidis will be debarret from landing, and vtherwayes intreatet as persounis infectit with that seiknes, with all rigour; and to this effect ordanis proclamatioun to be maid throw the peir and schore of Leyth, prohibiting the schipis quhilkis ar to pas in Flanderis to ressaitt the saidis men of weir, thair wyffes, cofferis, or guidis, to transport the same to this realme, and siclyke that the merchantis, skipperis, nor thair companies resort to any suspect place, with certificatioun that at thair returne, knawlege being had thairof, thai sall be intreattet in maner foresaid.
Statute nycht bourheid, vnlawes, chairge gild.
Forsamekill as dyueris nychtbouris of this burgh hes in tymes past of verray malice and euill mynd, causet stay the warkis of sic as wer biggand and repairand thair landis, and makand policy vnder collour as gif hurt wer done to thame thairby, and yitt hes nocht followit furth the same bot cawsit thair nychtbouris wark to lye idill, to thair greitt hurt and skayth; for remeid thairof, as als for staying of the manyfauld complayntis arrysing at every bigging of landis, and for correctioun of sic as passis the boundis of guid nychtbourheid, statutes and ordains that at the visitatioun of the saidis nychtbourheidis the pairty that sall be fund in the wrang, quhidder it be he that causit the nychtbourheid to stay, or that is in bigging and passis his auin boundis, or dois hurt to his nychtbour, sall pay to the dene of gild ane vnlaw of xviij s. but favouris; and ordanis the denes of gild present and to cum to se that the saidis vnlawes be vpliftet, and thai to be chairget thairwith in thair comptis be the nychtbourheid buik, and gif the said denes of gild be negligent in vplifting thairof, ordanis thame to be alwayes chairgert thairwith as gif thai had resauet the same; and for better vplifting and ingaddering of the saidis vnlawes, ordanis na wark to be stayet quhill the sowme be consignit in the dene of gild or his officiaris hand be the pairty complenand, and gif the vther pairty be fund in the wrang the sam to be tane of him at the visitatioun befor the saidis provest, baillies, dene of gild, and counsale sall pas of the grund.
Villa, new librare, Littill.
Comperit Williame Littill, burges of this burgh, brother and onlie executour constitut be vmquhill and rycht honorabill maister Clement Littill, adwocat, and ane of the commissaris thairof, and declaret quhow that his said vmquhill brother vpoun the day of his deceis, being of perfyte mind and considdering with himself that he wes to be callit frome this lyff to the mercies off God, and be the luiffing effectioun and gret zeal borne be him to the kirk off God and to the advancement off His Word, wes justlie mouit and maist cairfull that the buikis and workis off Halie Scripturis in gret nummer conquiest be him in his tyme suld nocht perische or be separatet, left with ane luiffing hart and mynd his haill buikis and warkis of theologie to the rycht honorabill and his native town off Edinburgh, and to the kirk of God thairin, to the effect and purpois that sic personis knawin off honest conversatioun and guid lyff (and na utheris) quhilkis ar and salbe willing to trauell and be exercesit in the seruice and vocatioun off ministrie or wtherwayis of dewetie desyrous, and in especiall to sic personis as ar or salbe of bluide to the said vmquhill maister Clement, for the aduancement to the glorie off God and His trew and sinceir wordis prechit and presentlie professit within the realme off Scotland, sall, at the pleasore and will onlie off maister James Lousoun, now present minister off the said burgh, or quhatsumeuir wther minister that sall happin to haue the chairge of the ministre and off the saidis buik efter him, and in his place for the tyme, haue fre acces and ingres at all sic convenient tymes heirefter as the said minister present or to cum sall think guid and expedient and na utherwayes, for reding and collecting the frutefull knawledge be the said buikis as it sall pleis God to distribut his grace to the reidaris, and ernestlie desyret his said brother for the performance heirof and delyuerence off the saidis buikis; conforme to the quhilk latter will the said William Littill committet the delyerence thairof, and has presentlie delyeret to the saidis provest, baillies, and counsall of the said burgh the saidis buikis haill together intituled according to the particular catholog following, and as euerie ane off thame hes prented the armes off the said vmquhill maister Clement with thir wordis, I am givin to Edinburgh and kirk of God be maister Clement Littill thair to remaine. Sequitur cathologis. [Here follows a list of volumes.]
Vills new lib-rare, Littill.
The quhilkis buikis the saidis provest, baillies, and counsall hes presentlie resauit fra the said Williame, and promitted faythfullie and oblesis thame and thair successouris, provest, baillies, and counsall of the said burgh of Edenburgh for the tyme, to the airis of the said vmquhill maister Clement, for the cairfull and faythfull obseruing and keping of euery ane of thame, and that at an tyme heirefter ony of the saidis buikis to be distributed, gevin, putt away, or [blank], aither be credit or vtherwayes, furthe of the duelling hous of the said maister James Lowsoun as place appoynted for thame to remane, nor that nane of the saidis buikis sall be nawayis lentt furthe of the said hous quhair they ar presentlie put in keping bot vpoun the conditioun contenit in the act of the delyuerance of thame to the said maister James Lousoun be the saidis provest, baillies, and counsall, and thatt compte quarterlie sall be tane of the saidis buikis as efferis, sua thatt they may and sall remane together in the said place appoynted thairto to the effect foirsaid, and in perpetuall memorie of the guid affectioned mynde of the said vmquhill maister Clement to the singular confort of the kirk of God and to all his faythfull seruandis, vpoun the quhilkis promissis the said William askitt instrumentis. And thairefter the said day in presens of the foirsaidis provest, baillies, and counsall, comperit maister James Lowsoun, minister, and granted him to have receaved reallie and with effect the particular buikis aboue written as is contenit in the cathollog fra Williame Littill in name of the saidis provest, baillies, and counsall, and to have presentlie put ordour and layit the saymn in the hous and librar maid and appoynted to that effect, and thairfoir actit, band, obleist himself, for releife of the tovne and discharging of his deutie committed vnto him, to preserue and keip the saidis buikis diligentlie and faythfullie vnlent, vndisponit, or putt away to any maner of persoun according as the saidis provest, baillies, and counsall hes bund and obleist thameselues to the airis of the said vmquhill maister Clement, and to be ansuerabill for the saidis buikis, and mak the samyn furth cumand to the saidis provest, baillies, and counsall sua oft as he salbe requyrit thairto.
20 October 1580.
Visitour of the calsay at burrow loch.
Ordanis James Nicoll, baillie [and three others], to pas and visy the calsay on the eist syde of the burrow loch quhilk is alleget to be apperand to decay throw haldin in of the said loch this wynter, and to report the estaitt thairof to the counsale the nixt counsale day.
25 October 1580.
[The provost, bailies, and council] ordanis proclamatioun to be maid chargeing all persounis that hes any complaynt to mak on the officiaris, to compeir before thame the morn at afternone, and gif in thair complaynt, with certificatioun thai sall nocht be hard heirafter; and sic as ar willing to beir the office of seriandis, quha can reid and writtis, to gif in thair billis the said tyme, and thai sall be hard.
Pryces of aill, breid, talloun, candill, stray, stabill fare.
[Ordained that no higher prices than the following be charged:—ale, 6d. the pint; 16-ounce loaf, 6d.; tallow, 18s. the stone; candle, 1s. 4d. the pound; best oats, 2s. the peck; secondary, 1s. 8d.; straw and stable fare, 8d. for every 24 hours.]
28 October 1580.
Lamb in Leyth discharget from melting talloun, etc.
Thomas Lamb, candilmaker in Leyth, being callit and accuset for moltein of talloun in the vnfrie toun of Leyth and selling and topping of cramery waires, and of cheis, hem, butter and siclyke, thai dischairge him of all making and melteing of talloun within the said toun, and of topping and selling of the saidis waires heirafter vnder the payne of escheting thairof sua oft as the sam sall be apprehendit, and dischairges him of all dwelling and remayning within the said toun fra Mairtymes nixt furth, ordaning him ather to repair to this burgh or to leif the said toun of Leyth, under the payne of pvnischeing him in his body and guidis at thair plesouris.
Ordanis proclamatioun to be maid throw this burgh commanding all nichtbouris, of this burgh, substantious houshalderis, to haif ane bybill in thair houssis vnder the paynes contenit in the actes of parliament maid thairanent, and aduertesing thame that the saidis bybillis ar to be sawld in the merchant buith of Andro Williamsoun on the north syde of this burgh, besyde the meill mercat.
Precept, thesaurer, Boyd banist.
Ordanis Androw Steuinsoun, thesaurer, to delyuer to Margaret Boyde, the spous of Munster M'Linte, the sowm of fourty s. and sche oblist to depairt furth of this toun and nocht to be fund within the sam nor suburbis thairof, Canongaitt or Leyth, fra Mononday nixt, vnder the payne of scurgeing and byrning hir on the cheik.
2 November 1580.
[The provost, bailies, and council] for keping of better ordour in tyme cuming anent the nycht watche of this burgh, fyndes that the baillies in thair quarteris sall nychtlie sett the watche thame selfis, and place ane sufficient man of the nummer that mychtis watche to attend on the rest and se that thai do thair dewteis as sall be prescryuet be the baillies, and als that the saidis baillies resaue na maner of persoun on the nycht watche to walk for ane vther, bot sufficient habill men with sufficient airmour, and fynally caus vnlaw the absentis, but fauouris.
Precept thesaurer, havellouris hous.
Ordanis Androw Steuinsoun, thesaure, to caus mak sufficient thorter barris of irne, and infix thame in the window of the mid hous of the javelouris hous for strenthening of the said wyndow.
4 November 1580.
Taverneris Rochell wynes.
It is ordanit that the baillies in thair quarteris caus poynd all the taverneris of this burgh quha hes nocht onelie sawld the Rochell wynes and siclyke small wynes of the pryce of Burdeaulis wynes, bot hes alswa mixet the Burdeawlis wynes thairwith, dissaving thairby the Kingis lieges, and this for the payne and vnlaw of ten pund for times bygane, and to discharge thame of that tred in tyme cuming, vnder the paynes of xx li.
Many buythis and tavernes in anes handis dischairgeit.
Becaus dyueris avericious persounis haldis ma tavernes and buithis than ane, contrair all guid ciuile ordour, and to the hurt of the rest of thair nichtbouris, thairfore discharges all sic burgessis and gild brether of this burgh to held or haif any ma tavernes and buithis than ane allanerlie in tyme cuming, vnder the payne of xx li. for the first falt, and the nixt xl li.; and the thrid the tynsale of thair fredome.
9 November 1580.
Hous on the toun wall, Cok.; Chairge, thesaurer.
[The provost, bailies, and council] vnderstanding that Thomas Cok hes had this lang tyme bygane the townes hous on the town wall at the fute of Halkerstounis Wynd for ane small dewty, and that the sam wes induring thair willis allanerly, conforme to the act in the counsale buik grantet to him thairvpon, of the daite the xxiiij of Januar 1564, quhilk hes bene hurtfull to the common guid; thairfore thai dischairge the said Thomas, being present, of all forther melling thairwith, and ordanis thair thesaurer to intromett with the mailles thairof, and that the sam be rowpett in the Mairtymes evin, to be sett to sic as sall bid maist thairfore: and this thai declair for thair willis thairanent.
Peblis, kist to Pel lis.
Grantis and gevis licence to Jhone Peblis, merchant, to cary and transport to the toun of Peblis his merchant kist with the guidis and clething thairin, vpoun cawtioun that he sall remayne with his said guidis and kist handling the sam be himself allanerly and keping the hous thairwith during the townis will, vnder the payne of v li., and he himself to be oblist vnder the payne of lyfe, land, and guidis, that na infectioun, damnage, or skayth sall cum thairthrow to any of our Souerane Lordis liegis, with prouissioun that the said Jhone suld report ane testimoniall of the placeing and resaving of the said kist in the said town of Peblis before the key be delyuerit to him; and James Niclis become souertie for the said Johne vnder the payne foisaid, and the said Jhone to releif him.
Stewart, Aitkyn, soueteis anent the act of wemen taverneris.
Comperit William Stewart, younger, writter, and actit himself as cawtioner and souerty for Margaret Aitkyne his mother, and Katherein Stewart his syster, that thai sall nocht violatt nor brek in tyme cuming the law and staute of this burgh maid anent wemen taverneris, vnder the payne of xl li. to be payet to the guid town swa oft as thai sall do the same; and the said Margaret and Katherein oblist thame selffis to releif the said William heirof.
11 November 1580.
For calling anent the bybles, etc.
[The provost, bailies, and council] for better executioun of the laitt act of Parliament maid anent the having of bybles and psalmes buikis, ordanis the haill nychtbouris of this burgh to [be] callit in before the baillies be thair quarteris, for nocht keping of the said act, to be adiugeit in the vnlaw thairin contenit; and for eschewing of all fraude ordanis sic as sall bring thair bybilles and psalm buikis to hafe thair names writtin and subscryuet be the clerk, and thairafter the buikis delyuerit to thame.
Proclamatioun anent the filth of the foirlandis.
Becaus that the inhabiteris of the foirlandis and foirbuythis of this burgh maist filthely castes furth and tomes thair closettis and pottis on the hie gaitt and heidis of the vinellis, doing thair ease at the said close heidis as is maist vncomely to be sene; thairfore ordanis proclamatioun to be maid dischairgeing thame thairof in tyme cuming, vnder the payne of x li. swa oft as thai failye.
16 November 1580.
For staying of tumultis and cummeris that may aryse betuix the greitt pairteris now leuing within this burgh, and for obedience of the Kingis Grace wrytting, ordanis twa crosegairdis to be sett betuix the trone and croce in the awld places, the nychtbouris to be wairnit to keip the sam be thair quarteris in thair armour, and the baillies to amerciat the absentis but favour.
Collectouris of the paynes for nocht having bybillies, —chairge, maisteris of hospitall.
Names and constitutes Androw Slater and Thomas Aikinheid, maisteris of the hospitall, and ilk ane of thame coniunctly and seuerally thair procuratouris fiscalles, and collectouris for the puir in that pairt, to call and persew all persounis that hes incurret the payne of the actis of parliament for nocht haveing ane bybill and psalme buik within yeir and day, conforme to the said act, with power to vplift the said paynes.
30 November 1580.
Precept, Steuinsoun in absence of the thesaurer, propyne to Hay, clerk of register.
[The provost, bailies, and council] calling to mynd the singular guid will, favour, and fortherance schawin to the guid toun at all tymes requisite be the rycht honourabill Alexander Hay, clerk of register, bayth in thair caussis before the secreitt counsale, and lordis of sessioun, quhairin his lordship hes bene als weill ane aduertisen as ane counsallour, and wald resaue na syluer dew vnto his lordship be rycht of his office; for the quhilkis it is nocht thair dewty to be vnthankfull, and thairfoir willing to leif with his lordship ane remembrance of thair guid will, and to gif him and all vtheris the better occasioun to favour the guid town and thair guid caussis, hes ordanit ane propyne to be maid and delyuerit vnto the said clerk of register, of twa syluer peces with thair coveris of the townes fynnes, and to wey sextein vnce ilk pece, and thairefter his lordshipis names to be ingravet in the same, and thai to be maid of the best and maist comely fassioun at the devyse of Alexander Vddert, baillie, and Edward Galbrayth, as thai can agre in devyse with ane goldsmyth thairanent, to quhom is committit the cuir and fortherance of the making of the said propyne, and ordanis Androw Steuinsoun, thesaurer of the yeir past, now in absence of Jhone Robertsoun, thesaurer of this present yeir, to caus furneis the syluer for making of the saidis peces and to satisfie and pay the makeris thairof, quhilk being done the same sall be refoundet and bak payet agane to the said Androw be the said Jhone Robertsoun, thesaurer, of the townis chairges and expenssis.
2 December 1580.
Precept, thesaurer, Hayes propyne.
The foresaidis provest, baillies, and counsale fyndes guid that the act and ordinance maid anent the propyne to Alexander Hay, clerk of register, be reformet in this maner, that the twa peces haif na coveris, and wey ilk ane of thame fyftein vnce, and be pairtiall owergilt, and ordanis Androw Steuinsoun nocht onely to furneis and avance the syluer thairof bot als to caus mak caissis thairto.
Ordanis ane nichtly watche to be keipit within this burgh of xxv persounis, habill men, and weill airmet, and na boyes or lades to be resauet thairin, the watche to begyn afore ix houris at evin and to continew quhill [blank] houris in the morning, the baillies to sett the watche nichtly be thair quarteris, and deput ane officiar with twa of the maist honest of the watche to se the sam be trewly keipit, that nane depairt bot keip the ordour prescryuet vnto thame; and sic persounis as insufficient man, to be vnlawet for the payne and vnlaw of vj s. viij d. swa oft as thai failye; and fynallie fyndes that ilk fremanis wyfe in absence of thair husbandis and ilk wedow be haldin to furneis ane habill and weill airmet man, as it sall thame be cours to watche vnder the said vnlaw and payne.
6 December 1580.
Kerris to liberty, Adamsoun, souerty.
Ordanis William and George Kerris, sones to my Lord of Newbottell, presentlie in waird for the troublance committit on Mononday last betuix thame and William Fowler, to be putt to liberty for obedience of the Kingis Grace lettre commanding the sam to be done; and James Adamesoun, merchant, is become souerty for thair entrie quhen the town sall chairge, and that thai sall nocht trubill nor molest the said William within the fredome and jurisdictioun of this burgh, vnder the payne of jm li., and als to enter thame as law will at the said Williams instance; and the saidis persounis renunceand, oblis thame to releif thair said souerty.
7 December 1580.
Sammell, Bischop to liberty, pest.
Vnderstanding that Michaell Sammell and Frances Bischop, burges of this burgh, hes induret sufficient tryellis vpoun the sey in Inche Keyth, and the new heavin, and last in thair houssis within this burgh, for thair purgatioun of the pest, ordanis thame to be putt to liberty vpoun cawtioun that na infectioun or skayth sall cum be thame nor thair guidis, vnder the payne of vc merkis ilk persoun.
Treaty of Peace.
Alexander Vddert, baillie, exhibit and produceit the copy of the pece betuix Charles the Fyft, Emperour and King of Spayne, and our Souerane Lordis darrest mother, vnder the subscriptioun of Alexander Hay, clerk of register, quhilk the saidis baillies and counsale ordanit to [be] copeit, insert, and registratt in thair counsale buik ad perpetuam rei memorian, and that the sam may be in reddynes quhen thai sall haif ado thairwith, and the said copy to be putt vp in thair chairterhous; off the quhilk lettre the tenour followes. [Here follows the Treaty of Peace referred to] (fn. 1)
14 December 1580.
Precept, Steuinsoun, maister of the sang schole.
[Ordained the treasurer to pay to "Androw Buchane, maister of the sang schole, the sowm of twenty merkis for his fie and schole maill of the Mairtymes terme last bypast."]
16 December 1580.
[Ordanied the 6d. loaf weigh 12½ ounces.]
Precept, theasurer, standing of the mylnes.
[Ordained the treasurer allow the farmers of the mills of the past year "fourty merkis for the standing of the mylnes in the townes defalt."]
28 December 1580.
Hie schole, bairnis souerteis.; Chairge, Sym, baillie.
The persounis vnderwrittin become souerteis respectiue for the scholeris following quha was put in waird for hadding of the hie schoill, that thai and everie ane of thame sall pay to the toun the sowme of fourtie schillingis in racumpans of the skayth done in braking of ane of the durris of the said schoill at thair taking, and of sext pound [blank] schillingis les quhilk Dauid Arthoune, scholar, wantit furth of his kyst in the said schoill and scrubbin vp be thame, viz. [here follow the names of the sureties for the several "bairnis,"] and thairfore the saidis scholeris wes ordanit to be put to liberty, and for obedience of the Kingis Grace command gevin heirto, and ordanit Johne Sym, baillie, to collect the saidis sowmes and to be chairget thairwith.