Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1882.
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The baillies and counsale, assassouris, and dekynnis being convenit for chesing of the officiarris for the yeir to cum, my Lord Regenttis Grace writing being presentit before thame, thay ordane the samyn to be registrat, of the quhilk the tenour followis:—
Regens—Baillies, counsale, and dekynnis of the burgh of Edinburgh, We greit yew weill. Forsamekle as we vnderstand that now approches the tyme of the electioun of your officiaris, nocht douting bot ye ar of that mynd to cheis sic qualifeit personis to haue the places in your principale offices as ye sall think maist meit to serue oure Souerane Lord and ws vnder his Hienes the tyme of oure regiment; and we being weill willing rather to corrobrat nor thrall youre liberteis and gude myndes, haue licenced and granttit, like as be thir presentis we licence and grantt yew fre libertie to elect and chuse quhat personis ye pleis in the saidis offices for the yeir to cum, nochtwithstanding ony act of parliament or prouisioun that may be obiectit in the contrair anent the quhilk dispens be this present, and willis and declaris that ye sall incur na preiudice nor hurt in your liberteis or vtherwayis thairfor in ony tyme cuming. Subscriuit with oure hand at Dalkeyth the last day of September, the yeir of God lmvc lxxvjyeris,—James, Regent.
Be commoun voit of the baillies, dene of gyld, thesaurer, counsale, assassouris, and dekynnis, George Donglas of Parkheid, capitane of the castell of Edinburgh, is chosin prouest for the yeir to cum, and his aith taikin according to the ordour.
Robert Abircrumby, saidler, dekyn of the hammermen, for himself and remanent deyknnis, allegit that in the actis of the burrois is na mentioun maid that the assasour is sould haue voit in electing of officieris, and thairfor dissasentit to thair present vottis and in all tymes cuming, and protestit for remeid, and forther in sa fer as the roll of the names for chesing of the baillies war diuidit in threis, and out of euery thre ane to be baillie, protestit that that maner of chesing stude nocht for ane ordour in tymes cuming, and that thay may be hard to resoun forther tuiching that ordour at sic tyme as the prouest, baillies and counsale wald appoynt, and askit instrumentis, and the baillies and counsale allegeing na thing done in the premissis bot according to the auld ordour, fyndis na protestatioun to be admyttit, nochttheles thay assing to the said Robert and remanent dekynnis to be forther hard this day xv dayis vpoun thair supplicatioun, and ansuer salbe gevin thame according to ressoun.
The prouest and counsale statutis and ordanis that the tua craftismen quhilkis hes bene on the counsale the yeir past be auditouris of the townys compttis for the yeir to cum conforme to the act of parliament, and na vtheris of the craftis, because thay onlie haue the experience of the townys effaris the yeir of thair office.
The baillies and counsale eftir tryell takin diuers tymes of the monyfald offenssis committit be [blank] hangman, in oppressing of the peple for commoun tulye and for greit dettis restand awin to diuers personis, ordanis Dustyefute to be put in his place during thair willis.
James Young and Jhonne Wilkye, skynner, allegeand na officer sould be changet or chosin of new without avise of the dekynnis, and thairfor desyrit the saidis dekynnis to be hard and have voce in chesing of the hangman; and the provest, baillies, and counsall foirsaid fynding thay may impute and it onlie does appartie to thame to output officeris for thair deseruing for breking of the statutes maid be thame for the commoun weill, and as of befoir dischargis the auld hangman for his offences quhairof he is convict, and this new hangman, callit Dustefute, to haif his place with all fies and dewties perteining to him during thair willis; and James Young and Jhone Wilky, craftismen vpoun the counsall, disassents and protestit for remeid.
Comperit maister Dauid Lyndesay, minister in Leith, John Littill and maister Alexander Coustoun, baillies thair, Lourence Neilson, George Pady, George Kar, Dauid Duff, kirk maisteris in the said tovne of Leith, and presentit thair supplicatioun bering that the dewtie callit the prymegiltt, quhilk was gevin be the liberalitie of merchantis, hes vene in all tymes past vplifted and spent be the marinaris in vane and wicked vses, quhilkis marinaris now persuaded be godis wourd, granted and consented that the said dewtie in all tymes cuming suld be spendit and bestowit vpoun the reparatioun and vphald of the kirk of Leith and hospitall thairof, and support of the pure; quhairfoir thay humblie desyrit that the provest, baillies, and counsall of this burgh wald geve thair consent and interpone thair autoritie thairto, and that the rather becaus the samyn was converted to gude and godlie vses, quhilk thay granted, provyding alwayes that yeirlie compte be maid of the said prymegilt, and twa of the counsall of this burgh to be auditouris thairof, and heirvpoun the said minister, baillies, and kirk maisteris, askit instrumentis.
The provest [bailies and council] statutis and ordanis that in all tymes cuming vpoun the council dayes the haill counsall convene in the counsalhous at the hour of ten befoir none, vnder the payne of poynding for the vnlawis contenit in the auld actis, and that na billis be red befoir the commoun caussis be resonit and concluded, becaus of the disordour in resoning ordanis nane to speik bot ane at anys, and ane vther to tak the argument, and the purpois being sufficiently resonit, in absence of the provest, the baillie for that oulk to be moderator and to command silence according to his discretioun; and this ordinance to be obseruit without particular commvning, vnder the payne of thre schillingis to be taikin of ilk person that dois in the contrair, to be aplyit to be pure sa oft as thay faillie.
The baillies and counsall and maist pairt of the merchantis ordanis Alexander Guthre, dene of gild, Adame Foullerton [and five others] and dyueris vtheris of the merchantis, as thay sall think gude, to pas the morn and reson with my Lord Regentis Grace concerning the staipill menit to be transported to Bruges, and to repoirt ansuer the nixt counsall day.