Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1882.
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Fynds it maist expedient for mayntenance of the liberteis of this burgh that the guids of the men of Air presentlie in Leyth be brocht up and pakkit within this burgh and nocht in Leyth, and als hes agreit all to pas doun to Leyth for staying of the merkets haldin thair on Mononday nixt.
For guid ordour in the mwre, staying of the infectioun, and keping of the clene fra the fowle, fynds it maist expedient that all the fowle lugeis, fowle folk, and fowle geir be placeit be eist the greitt fowle luge, quhilk is at Purvessis Acres, and the clene folk, thair lugeis and geir to be west the samyn; and swa sone as any infectioun aryses in the clene mwre the separatioun to be maid incontinent, the seik and thair guids to be had to the fowle mwre, the haill with thair luge to be clengeit immediatlie. Attour, fynds expedient inrespect of the greit charges that the town is put to in the drynk quhilk is of les necessitie, that the samyn be browin thynner as cumis to threttie twa gallouns the boll, and according thairto agreit presentlie with James Scot, Patrik Thomsoun and Issobell Ry for brewing of the samyn to the said quantite, and thai to haif of the town ten schillings for the brewing of ilk boll.
The foresaids bailyeis, counsall and deykins, calling to mynd the greitt expenssis and chairges maid be thame vpon thair College besyde the Kirk of Feild, as alswa foirseing the greitt commoditie and proffeitt that be Gods grace sall insew of that guid wark, nocht onelie to the inhabitants of this burgh bot alswa to the haill kingdome, be the flwrissing of lettres and instructioun of the yowth, now far decayet within the rest of this realme, thinks it mete and maist necessar thairfore that sum honest, wyse, and discreitt nichtbour of this burgh be appoyntit maister of wark and owersear of the effairis of the said College, quha sall be comptabill to the provest, bailyeis, counsall and deykins of this burgh for the dewteis and proffeits that is or sall happin heirafter be fund pertening to the said College; and thairfore all in ane voice names and appoynts Androw Sclater, burges of this burgh, to the said office during all the dayes of his lyfetyme, for the quhilks paynis and travellis he sall haif yeirlie ane pensioun of the sowme of ane hundreth merks . . . . provyding alwayes it sall nocht be lesum to the said Androw to refuse any vther office or burding laid to his chairge be the guid toun for the glorie of God, the Kings Maiesties seruice and the weilfair of this burgh.
Ordanis lettres to be sent to my lord provest, to Alexander Clerk, and to the towne of Dundie to travell that for the weill of the estait of burrowes and honour of the realme the imbassadouris of Denmark may be mair honerablie interteneit and better luiket vpoun.
Forswamekill as it appertenis properlie to the priveleges of frie burghis to haif the topping, selling, and vseing and exerceing of merchandice and to nane vtheris, lykeas it is speciallie be acts of parliament and speciall priveleges of this burgh provydet that na maner of staipill guids suld be howset, pakket, peillet, ventit, toppit or sawld within the vnfrie tonn of Leyth, nochttheles dyuers persouns, burgessis of this burgh, inhabitants of Leyth and vthers, vnder cullour of the present visitatioun and seiknes, hes tayne vpoun thame to do and attempt incontrar the saidis acts and priveleges, thairfore ordanis proclamatioun to be maid throw this schore and toun of Leyth inhibiting and dischairgeing all maner of persouns, burgessis of this burgh, or vtheris, frie or vnfrie, to tak vpoun hand to howse, pak, peill top, vent or sell any maner of staipill guids and merchandice within the said toun of Leyth, or vse the liberteis belanging to ane frie burgh, or vsing of any handie craft or tred preiudiciall to the liberties of this burgh, vnder the payne of escheitt of the guids and pvnisement of the persouns awners thairof at the will and discretioun of the provest, bailyeis, and counsell of this burgh.
For the offences committet be Smythtie, fowle hangman, ordanis him to be layet in the irins in the mwre and bund to the gibbet thairof quhill forther ordour be tayne with him, and appoyntis William Harvie, bailyie, William Fairly, George Smyth and the dene of gild, to pas and sie the samyn done; and als to discharge all the rest of the seruands in the mwre that will nocht serue as thai ar commandet be the bailyeis, and ordanis that na stipend be payet thame quhill compt be tayne of thair bygane seruice gif thai haif meritet the samyn.
Ordanis William Fairly to caus send to Henry Nesbet, bailyie to Saynctandrois the procuratioun for dimissioun of the provestrie of the Trinitie college in favouris of the guid town, that the said Henry may gett the rychtis thairof past and owtred; and ordanis James Ros, thesaurer, to pay to the said maister Robert Pont the sowme of thrie hundreth merkis promittet to him for the said dimissioun according to the contract maid betuix him and the guid towne.
Fynds it expedient, statutes and ordanes that quhen any persoun is brocht in of the mwre and resaues the key of his howse that he sall remayne thairin amangs his geir and handill the samyn the space of xv dayes befoir he haif libertie to pas in the hie streits.
The foresaid bailyeis and a pairt of the counsall ordanis proclamatioun to be maid throw this burgh chairgeing that na maner of persouns induring the tyme of this present pestilence, aither men or wemen, tak vpoun hand to hald any conventiouns at the close heids, Kowgaitt, and hie streits, be evin or be day, as thai commonelie do, quhairby infectioun daylie aryses, dischairgeing all conventioun of huseis and wemen in speciall and all sic vther idill persouns quha hes nocht chairge or licence of the bailyeis, bot onelie to convene at kirk and merket and to na vthair places and tymes, vnder the payne to be incloset in thair howssis vpoun thair awin charges for the space of ane moneth and forther pvnist in thair boddis and guids at the will of the magestrats.
Ordanis James Ros, thesaurer, to caus sett vp the ruif of the beidmenis howse of the Trinitie College, repair and theik the samyn and intromett with the daillis being thairin quhilk ar xxvij in number, as the said thesaurer declairet, and with all vther materialles and to put in fir geists within the samyn.
Patrik Robiesoun and Allane Flemyng, fleschoures, accuset for selling of suspect flesche and misvsing ane honest woman quha fand falt with thair evill flesche, com in will thairof, and thairfoir ar ordanet to put to the croce and a paper in thair heid and oblist nocht to do the lyke vnder the payne of banisement.
Grantis that it sall be lesum to any honest nychtbour quha is habill to mak guid for his guid behaviour to transport himselff to ane vnsuspect and clene howse careing nathing with thame, the seik and suspect guids alwayes passand to the mwre.
Fynds it expedient that Thomas Myller and Dauid Williamsoun be direct to the Kings Grace to impetrat lettres for calling in of the counsall and deykins agane the tyme of the electioun of the new counsall and magestrats.
Fynds it expedient that the boxe of the clerkis chalmer be oppinit and sichtit, and inrespect of the necessitie of the puir in the hospitall that the money thairof be tayne furth and imployet for thair support, and appoyntis William Harvie, bailyie, and Androw Sclater to pas to the same, and the said bailyie to resaue the money thairof and gif ane pairt thairof owlklie to Jhonn Stevinsoun, wobster, to be distributet to the bedrellis quhilk had the kirks almous.
The foresaid bailyeis and counsall, with the dene of gild and thesaurer, and Thomas Bruce, deykin of the cordiners, Jhonn Stevinsoun, deykin of the wobsteris, being convenit, considerand the evill bruit of ane misbehaviour toward the deid committet daylie be the buriares, quhome the bailyies can nocht owersie without greitt daynger, thairfore the maist pairt fynds that the buriall be transportet to the nether yaird of the Hie Kirk for a seasoun, and ordanis the dene of gild to caus mak ane dure and entres in the kirkhewch to the samyn.
Henry Nesbet and William Nesbet, bailyeis, Nicoll Vddert, dene of gild, James Ros, thesaurer, William Littill, Androw Sclater, George Smyth, tailyeour, of the counsall, and Jhonn Stevinsoun, deykin of the wobsteris, remembring that sen the begynning of this present pestilence thay haif remanet within this burgh constantlie, sustenand the burding of the offices laid vpoun thame vnto this hour, with the lose and deyth for the maist pairt of dyuers of thair childrein, seruands, and familie, and nocht without the extreyme daynger of thair awin lyffes, maist eminentlie knawin vnto all men, the rest of thair brether of the counsall and deykins, quha wer na les astrictet, oblist, and sworne to assist and tak cair of this commoun weill, having desertet thair places and forsaikin thair offices, contrair to thair aythis and allegeance maid and gevin, and yitt continuand hes nocht repairet to this burgh at this maist necessar tyme approcheand and appoyntit to convene and surrogat vtheris in thair rowm, quhairby the haill estaitt of this burgh is apperand to fall in confusioun, thairfore the said bailyeis, dene of gild, thesaurer and counsall, considerand that this day is appoyntet to the nominatioun of the lytes of the deykins of crafts for the yeir to cum, fynds it maist expedient, nochtwithstanding the absence of the rest of the counsall and deykins, to obserue the tyme appoyntet, and for thair pairt to dischairge thair dewteis and proceed to the said nominatioun, and thairfore hes nominatet and electit the persouns followand to be lytes of the deykins of crafts, to witt, . . .
Fynds it expedient that the foure Flemyngs clengeoures and cureris of the pest sall be sustenit vpoun the townis expenssis for the space of xv dayes, begynnand yisterday, to gif pruif of thair knawlege and airt, to the effect the towne may be forther perswadet of thair help and support of this contagious seiknes, and ordanis Henry Nesbet to deburse thair necessars during that tyme, and James Aikman to be caitour and furnesar to thame, and the towne to consider him for his paynis, and Mungo Braidies howse to be maid patent to thame with the guids thairin and oppin duris to be maid to that effect.
The said bailyeis and counsall and deykins quha were present, vnderstanding that Robert Fairlie of Braid, for the favour and luif he beris to the guid toun and of his awin guid will, hes frelie grantet and consentit to len his howssis callit Littill Egipt besyde the commoun mwre for brewing thairin of the drink to the folkis in the mwre and sic necessar vsis as the toun hes found guid to imploy the samyn, thairfore the said bailyeis, counsall and deykins, acknawlegeing this his guid will as ane singulare guid benefite schawin and done to the commoun weill in tyme of necessitie, amangs many vther stedabill plesures, freindschips and guid nychtbourheids, and willing that this sall nocht turn to his hurt and preiudice, hes promist, bund and oblist, lykeas thai be thir presents promissis and faythfullie binds and oblissis thame and thair successoures to thankfullie rander and delyuer to the said Robert Fairly of Braid, his aires and successoures, the saidis howssis at quhat tyme soeuir he or thai sall requyre the same, in als guid estaitt and conditioun as thai wer at the resaving of thame.
For the guid and thankfull seruice done and schawin to the guid towne be James Henrysoun, chirurgeane, at this tyme of pestilence, in visitatioun of the seik at all tymes be day or be nycht, and geving his guid counsall, assistance and fortificatioun thairinto, in samekill that throw his guid care and diligence he spairet nocht the hasard of his awin lyfe and contracted the said seiknes in his awin body with the lose and deyth of his wyfe in the sam diseise of pestilence, and to the effect that he may haif the better occasioun to continew in schawin of his guid will and seruice to the guid towne in tymes cuming, and that vthers by his guid exampill may be provoket to do the lyke heirafter, thay ar mouet to be thankfull vnto him, and thairfore be thir presents thai haif exemit and exemis him for all the dayes of his lyfe fra all payment of any pairt of the extents, taxatiouns, impositiouns, or contributiouns to be sett, imposet, or rayset vpoun this burgh and the inhabitants thairof any maner of way.
Maister Alexander Guthre, commoun clerk of this burgh, with avyse and consent of the said bailyeis and counsall, namet and constitute maister Dauid Guthre his depute in the said office quhill he be dischairget, and dischairget all vther deputes maid of before except William Stewart, younger, and the said maister Dauid acceptet and gaf his ayth.