Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1882.
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It is statute be the baillies and counsall that vpoun all counsall dayes efter Alhaloumes nixt, the baillies and counsallouris, dene of gild, thesaurer, enter in the counsalhous euery Wadnisday and Fryday be ten houris befoir none for resonyng vpoun the commoun effaires, ilk persoun vnder the payne of xviij d. to the pure, and that thay bring with thame syde govnis of blak, ilk persoun vnder the payne of ten lib.
The baillies and counsall foirsaidis statutis and ordanis that fra this day furth thair be na schippis frauchtit bot in the counsalhous or clarkis chalmer, and that thair be present at the frauchting of euery schip ane baillie, the dene of gild, ane of the counsall, at leist, with the clark, and that na vtheris be present bot thay alanerlie, without vther merchant, vnder the payne of fyve pundis; and siclike that na privie frauchting be betuix merchant and merinar vnder the payne foirsaid, and that na merinar resave ony persoun with thair schip bot as sal delyuer to him the baillies tikket, or clarkis, subscryvit at thair command, vnder the payne foirsaid; and this without preiudice of our Souerane Lordis and the Regentis Grace actioun aganis the saidis skippouris or merinaris in cais thay carry away ony rebellis or wicked personeis quhilkis ar forbiddin to be ressett among the kingis gude lieges, and that nane lose, laid, nor fraucht in Bryntiland vnder pane of confiscatioun of thair guddis and tynsale of thair fredome.
The baillies and counsall, vnderstanding the ministeris luging in the kirk yaird to be desolat of certain greitt tymmer, quhilk can nocht be had for this present for money, and knawing that siclike tymmer is rottand and consumand vpon the heid of the Kirk of Feild steipill, thay ordane Dauid Kynloche, baxter, to tak doon the said tymmer, and bestow it vpoun the said wark with all diligence, and this present ordinance to be his releif.
The baillies and counsall, vnderstanding maister Walter Mackanquhell, minister, to be desyrit of vther tovnes to be with thame, and lairge stepend promeist, and knawing the penuritie of ministeris within this burgh, the daylie incres of the pepill zelous of Godis glorie, they ordane Henry Neisbitt, maister Michell Chesholme, Alexander Vddart, and Dauid Kynloche, to travell with the said maister Walter to remane within this tovne for the releif and help of vther ministeris, and to feill his mynde concernyng his stepend, and to repoirt his ansuer the nixt counsall day.
[The bailies, council, and deacons of craft] vnderstanding be repoirt of the nychtbouris laitlie direct to maister Walter Mackanquhall, minister, that the said maister Walter wald glaidlie and with gude will serue this tovne be his vocatioun of ministrie accepted glaidlie quhat stepend thay plesit appoynt him: Quhairfoir thay all in ane voce ordanit thair collectouris of the ministrie, present and tocum, to delyuer yeirlie to the said maister Walter for his stepend, during thair willis, the sovme of ane hundreth pundis of the radiest of the rentis and dewties of the said ministrie, the first termes payment to be and begyn at Martymes nixt, and fra thyne furth to indure, as said is.
The baillies and counsall vnderstanding the pest to be vehement in Londoun, and that a Frenche man laitlie cum thairfra, arryvit att Leith, lugit in Robert Wilsonis hous thair, is presentlie seik, quhairfoir thay command the said Robert with his hail famelie to keip thame clois within thair housis be the space of aucht dayes, or langer quhil thay be tryit quhat followis vpon the said seiknes.
The baillies and counsall ordanis the act for frauchting of schippis, of the dait the aucht day of October instant, be obseruit; eikand thairto, that at the frauchting of schippis the frauchtaris sall geve na hear pryces for lycht gudes or more chairge nor sevin frankis ourheid frie of avarice and all vther chairgis; and that catioun sal be taikin of the maister, awner, or skipper that na merchant be resauit at the portis of France of Flanderis quhil farther ordour be takin.
The baillies and counsall vnderstanding the pest to incres in Kirkcaldie and Leith, ordanis proclamatioun to be maid throu this tovne, and vpoun the peir and hawin of Leith, that na maner of persoun, inhabitant of this burgh, nor vtheris resoirtand to and fra the samyn, vse ony kynde of trafficque with the induellaris of the said tovne of Leith or Kirkcaldie, nor nane of the saidis tovnis resoirt to this tovne, nouther ony boitis or pepill of the said tovne of Kirkcaldie, thair gudes or geir, to be resauit or resett in the said tovne of Leith, quhil this present proclamatioun be dischairgit and new license grantit, vnder the payne of deid.
The baillies and counsall ordanis proclamatioun to be maid through the toun discharging all maner of wed wyffis, and vther personis vsing that kynd of trafique, of vsing thairof vnder the pane of birning in the cheik and banissing of the toun for the first, and vnder the pane of deid for the nixt, but favouris.
The baillies and counsall ordanis proclamatioun to be maid charging all maner of personis within this burgh that sa sone as ony fallis seik within thair housis, quhatsoevir seiknes that euir it be, without exceptioun of personis, that thay incontinent inclois thame selfis, keip thame clois, and vse na trafique with thair nychtbouris, and with all diligence aduerteis the baillies thairof, and keip the order that salbe appoyntit be the saidis baillies, vnder the pane of deid.
The baillies and counsall ordanis that all the portis of this burgh be closit during the tyme of this seiknes, except the Netherbow and West port alanerly, and that thay be not oppinnit befoir sax houris in the morning, and closit at sax houris at evin, and that every day thair be a watch of sax men of the nychtbouris, or vpoun thair chargis, as the baillies sall think best.
The baillies and counsale ordanis proclamatioun to be maid chargeing all vagabondis and idill personis to remove thame selffis of this toun and boundis thairof, within xlviij howris, vnder the pane of scourging and birning on the cheik.
The baillies and counsale ordanis officiaris to certifie Henry Kincaid pretendit possessouris, that gyf the seiknes incres, as God forbyd, thay will according to thair richt and auld possessioun place their seik folkis in the said Senys, and thairfor that he remove him self, his seruandis and guddis, in tyme, gyf he ony hes within the said place.
In presens of the baillies and counsale, maister Jhonne Abircrumbye, aduocat, is admyttit and suorne assessour to the gude toun for the yeir to cum, and ordanis the thesaurer to ansuer him of his pentioun of x lib.
The baillies and counsale electis and cheissis Jhonne Forrest, cordinar, to maister clenger of the folkis mendit of the pest, and to haue the charge of thair guddis and of the tovne mure, and to have monethlie for himself and his seruand, sa lang as thay serue vpoun the said mure, sax pundis; and ordanis the thesaurer to gyf him ane monethis wages in hand, for the quhilk he sal be haldin to keip the peple vnder his charge fra the company of the infect personis, clenge thair gudes in sufficient maner; and gyf ony infectioun salhappin efter, through insufficient clengeing of the saidis guddis, he to suffer the deith thairfor.
The baillies and counsale ordanis James Ros, thesaurer, to by ane caldroun for clenging of the foull guddis, and to furnys all vther neces saries for the clene and foull mwre; and the expenssis debursit thairvpoun sall be allowit in his compttis.
In presens of [the bailies and council,] Robert Hendersoun, cherurgeane, for himself and in name of the hale craftis and dekynnis of craftis, [appeared] and protestyt that in sa fer as he and James Inglis, skynner, being tua of the counsale were nocht maid priue to the electioun of the commissaris lait send to Striueling to the conventioun of burrois, for remeid, and dissassentit to all things done in the said conventioun and heirupoun askit actis.
The baillies and counsale foresaid, vnderstanding that the Abbot of Hallyrude hous is bigand and closand vp the passages in the Abbay kirkyaird, quhilk may be impedyment to oure Soueraine Lordis lieges to resort to the toun, quhairfore they ordane Alexander Vddert, Henry Nisbet, of the counsale, and James Young, cutler, dekyn of the smythis, to pass to the said Abbot in the Abbay, and desyr him to mak the saidis passages patent of the auld maner, betuix and thre efternone, failling thairof thay wald cum and reforme the samyn: and to report his ansuer incontinent. Quhilk personis, efter commvnyng with the said Abbot and agane returnyt, declarit that thair willis sould be obeyit according to thair desyre, quhilk wes done.
The baillies and counsale ordanis xl bollis of meill to be bocht in this merket and send to Leyth, to be distributit be the baillies thairof amangis the pure and seik personis vpoun the linkis; and ordanis the baillies of this toun, of the radeast of thair vnlawis, to refound the prices thairof to James Ros.
The baillies and counsale ordanis Nichole Vddert, James Ros, Robert Abircromby, Thomas Aikinheid, maister Mychaell Chisholme, and James Dalzell, to pass the morne to Dalkeyth to my Lord Regenttis Grace, and aggre with his Grace for the salt to be careit furth of the realme.
[The bailies and council] efter lang reasonyng in the cause of the bulzeoun, movit be my Lord Regenttis Grace to thame, ordanis the said Nycholace Vddert, Jhonn Arnot, James Ros, Henry Nysbet, Robert Abircromby, and Thomas Aikinheid, to pass the morne to my Lord Regenttis in Dalkeyth, and forther to reasoun and conclude with him anent the said bulzeoun.
Followis the articlis producit be the dekynnis of craftis before the baillies and counsale foresaid, quhilk thay ordane to be registrat. The articles to be proponit and gevin in be the dekynis and craftismen to my loird provest baillies and counsale of this burgh desyring the samyn articles to be considerit for ane gude ordour to be obseruit in this commoun weill in tyme cumyng.
In the first, that the act and ordinance to be maid anent the burgessis toward the rasing of thair burgeschip to xx lib. and gildry to xl libris, that it be maid be ane minute to be gevin be the deaconis as the saidis provest and counsall desyrit thame to do, the quhilk minute was gevin in to Alexander Guthre, commoun clark, twa syndry tymes desyring thairfoir that the act to be maid heirefter thairanent be maid according to the minute vtherwayes that na burgesschippis nor gildrie be raisit heichar nor thay war of befoir.
Secundlie, desyris that thair be na vote nor electioun in the chesing of the provest, baillies, dene of gild, thesaurer, nor vther officiar and member of court bot sa mony as is ordanit be the act of parliament as alsua be the act and ordinance maid be the commissionaris of burrowis thairanent, haldin at Edinburgh the feird day of Aprile the yeir of God 1m ve fyfty twa zeris, and we to have ane vote ilk ane of us alsweill in the electing as in the lyting according to the act of parliament maid be King James the second or at the leist ane of euery craft quhilk wil be ma in nomber nor the dekynis swa that your assissouris be na law nor resoun that is knawin aucht to haif ony vote thairin.
Thridlie, quhairas euery zeir thair is chosin twelf lytes to be baillies and thairefter ar devydit in foure pairtis quhilk is thrie in euery pairt of foure, desyris that they may be chosin as apperandlie aucht to be, that is of the haill twelf ane off aleven ane vther off ten the thrid and of the nynt and rest the feird and nocht ane of euery thrie be the quhilk ordour thay wil be gottin maist qualefeitt and abill in that maner.
Feirdlie, desyris that at the nominatioun and electing of the commissionaris of this burgh in tyme cuming, that we may be wairnit and have vote thairintill sen we are ane pairt of the commoun weill of this burgh, and mon sustene oure pairt of the burding and all portatill chargis thairintill as vtheris nyctbouris dois, and that thairby we may knaw the cause quhairfoir the commissioun is gevin alsweill in the begynning as quhat succedis and happynis to be done thairefter.
Fifthly, that thair be na officiaris within this burgh nor na collectour chosin for ingaddering of the anuelles quhilkis pertenit to the freiris, chaiplanis, and vtheris commoun rentis within this burgh, bot the advyse and consent of the counsall and ws had thairto, and we to haif vote thairintill and to be wairnit be the officer of counsall to that effect lyke as has bene vsit towardis vtheris officiaris, quhilk ordour as we vnderstand hes nocht bene obseruit, alsua that as quhen ony office or benefice happynis to vaik, that oure votis may be haid towardis the dispositioun thairof.
Sextlie, desyris thair be na dispositioun nor away putting of ony the commoun gude of the tovne without the avyse and consent of ws, and that the compte of the same commoun gude be sene and considerit zeirlie that it may be knawin gif the samyn be bestouit for the commoun weill of the burgh or nocht, and to that effect wairnyng to be made zeirlie that all they that plesis and aucht to cum for examenying of the saidis comptes may be present at the hering thairof that thay may resoun thairvpoun and as neid beis to impugne and obiect aganis the samyn that thairby all murmour and occasioun thairof may ceis, and gude ordour continew for the commoun weill of this burgh in tyme cuming, alsua desyris that the comptes of the thesaurary of this burgh the zeiris lxxij and lxxiij as alsua of all vtheris restand awand to the tovne may be veseit sene and examinat and perfyte compte to be haid thairof as efferis.
And that the ordour quhilk sould haif bene maid anent the premissis may be resonit and put in forme, subscryvit, and registrat, and we to haif the authentik copy thairof subscryvit with us in keping in respect your wisdomes ar ane pairt of the contractaris and we the vther.
Desyring your wisdomes richt hertlie to considder the articlis foirsaidis aggreabill to resoun and gude conscience and to geve ansueir thairto in sic maner as ane gude ordour may be obseruit in this commoun weill and all murmour and ocasioun thairof stayitt in tyme cumyng.
The samyn day the baillies and counsall foirsaidis promesis to geve ansuer to the saidis articles betuix and Candilmes nixt or Fasteranis evin nixt thairefter at the ferrest, and James Young and Dauid Kynloche, dekynis, askit instrumentis.
The baillies and counsall ordanis proclamatioun to be maid as of befoir throuch this tovne, be sound of bell, and charge that na wyne sek be sauld darrer nor fyve schillingis sax penneis; and ordanis the tavern durris to be haldin oppin, and the said wyne sauld commounlie to all oure Souerane Loirdis liegis, vnder the payne of ten lib. sa oft as they faill.