Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1882.
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13 January 1579–80.
Fyndis and delyueris that James Moncreif, induellar within this burgh, is subiect to pay extent and beir all portabill chargis thairin, insafar as his wyfe haldis ane oppin tavern and hostlery and thairby bruikis the privilege of ane freman.
27 January 1579–80.
Key, hous abone the kirk dur, calk.
The baillies and counsall foirsaidis ordanis William Littill, baillie, to delyuer to Lucas Wilsoun, dene of gild, the key of the hous abone the wester kirk due for inputting of the tovnis calk thairin bocht be the said dene of gild at thair command for spairganing the kirk.
Court buikis, collectour.
It being schawin to the provest, baillies and counsall foirsaid, be John Johnstoun, collector of the tovnis annuellis, thatt thair is dyneris actis and decreitis in thair court buikis, and in speciall sen the yeir of Pinky, very necessar to him for recouery of the saidis anneullis, quhilkis at all tymes quhen occasioun seruis, the clarkis laisour mycht nocht serue to luke outt to him, quhairby he was greitlie hinderit except remeid war found; fyndis and delyueris and als ordanis that the clarkis, keparis of the saidis buikis, sal geve to him the samyn, ane efter ane vther, for outluking of the saidis actis and decreitis, to be tane with him to his duelling, and after the luking over thairof to delyuer the samyn agane to the said clark delyuerar thairof.
29 January 1579–80.
Act anentis sic as tynis thair pley within burgh.
The provest, baillies, and counsall foirsaid settis and disponis to Robert Kar, youngar, ane of thair baillies, all and sindrie the dewties of all sic as tynis thair actiounis in the tolbuith befoir thame in jugement or befoir the jugis of the annuellis pertening to the gude tovne, vnto the feist of Michaelmes nixt, for the sovme of ane hundreth merkis, gude and vsuall money of this realme, to be bestowit on the puir be thair aduyse, quhilk sovme he byndis and obleissis him to pay to thame and thair successouris at the said feist of Michaelmes or to ony vtheris in thair names quhome they pleis depute to resave the samyn; provyding alwyes that the sovmes of money unrecouerit or resauit be him, quhairvpoun he gevis in deforcement or sufficient diligence aganis the persouns dettbund thairin, salbe allowit to the said Robert Kar in the formest end of the said sovme tobe payit be him in maner abone expremit; and that conforme to the tennour of the act of parliament laitlie maid be our Souerane Lord King James the saxt, with avyse of his Hienes thrie estaitis, in the parliament haldin at Edinburgh the [10 day of November] last bypast, off the quhilk act the tennour followis:—For pvneisment of thame thatt tynis the pley within burgh, cap. xxv. Item, our Souerane Lord and thre estaitis, vnderstanding that dyueris and syndrie his lieges, namelie within burgh, ar becumin sa wilfull, obstinat, and malicious, that they will nocht be content to pay and satefie thair nichtbouris and creditouris of sic debttis as ar justlie awand to thame without calling and compulsion of the law and extremitie thairof: thairfoir statutis and ordanis that the pairty agane quhome decreit beis gevin within burgh sall pay to the support of the pure tuelf penneis of euery pund efferand to that quhilk beis recouerit and obtenit befoir the juges, and alsua the expenssis of the pairty obtenar of the decreit, at the modificatioun of the saidis juges; and gif ony pairtie allegis, producis or gevis in befoir the juges within burgh any defence or exception quhilk hes bene of befoir proponit to the dilay of his pairty, the producar or proponar thairof sall pay the sovme and payne of tuenty s. to be employit to the help of the pure, and that so oft as failye beis maid; and this to extend alsweill to the procuratour as principall pairtie in tyme cuming, etc. With expres power to the said Robert to cawse poynde or waird the personis, refusaris to pay the sovmes of money quhilk thay salbe decernit to pay, conforme to the termis of the act of parliament, vnto the feist of Michaelmes nixt as said is.
5 February 1579–80.
[The provost, bailies and council,] being convenit in the counsalhous for resoning vpon the common effaires, comperit Rychert Bynning, messinger and officer to the constable and his deputes, presented the Kingis Maiesties charge, charging thame to concur and assist with the said constabill and his deputis in executioun of his office, as alsua to mak oppin warde to thame for inputting and detening of sic as sallbe fund culpabill and conuict be the said constabill thairin; quhilk thai accepted and war willing to obey as the samyn is consauit; quhairvpon the said Rychert, in name of the constabill depute, askit instrumentis.
9 February 1579–80.
Dimissioun of office of commoun clarkship be Guthre.
Comperit Alexander Guthre, commoun clark, quha acknawleging his awin inhabilitie to do the tovne seruice as becumis, inrespect of his aige and infirmitie and seiknes fallin vnto him, for the quhilkis occasionis he frelie renuncit, remittit, and ourgaif the office of commoun clarkship … [and] delyueris presentlie in thair handis thair haill counsall buikis and dyett buikis pertening to the gude tovne, and sall delyuer all vther wrytis or buikis quhilkis ar in his hands or sall cum to his knawlege in ony tyme heirefter, to be vsit at thair plesouris, his awin porthogollis, quhilkis of rycht pertenis to him, onlie exceptit. And the said Alexander binds and obleissis him, his airis and assignayis, to mak patent all his saidis prothogollis for outdrawing of all sic instrumentis or vther writis contenit thairin as salbe to the furtherance of the commoun weill of this burgh, ministrie and pure thairof, vpon the tovnis resonabill expenssis.
10 February 1579–80.
Villa, Guthre, principall clark.
[The provost, bailies, counsall and deacons of crafts granted to Mr. Alexander Guthre, eldest son of the previous town clerk, the office of common clerkship of the burgh,] and thatt onlie induring the provest, baillies, counsall, and dekynnis willis, or ay and quhill itt salbe knawin to thame or thair successouris that the said maister Alexander be found disobedient or contrarious to the magistratis of this burgh, or omittis and beis negligent to performe his office and dewtie in ony poynt, or do ony thing incontrair the liberties, privilegis or immunities thairof . . . .
Statutis to the commoun clark and his deputes.
Certain actis, statutis and articules, quhilk maister Alexander Guthre, commoun clark of this burgh, and his deputes, ar bund to obserue, keip, and fullelie obey.
Item, that Williame Stewart and Jhonn Guthre, brother to the said maister Alexander, salbe appointed deputes to the said commoun clark induring the tovnis gude will and the said maister Alexander Guthreis, vpoun thair gude behaviour; and the said William Stewart to subscryve all actis, decreitis, sesingis, and all vtheis materis necessar and requisit for the tovnis seruice at all tymes quhen the said maister Alexander salbe seik or out of the tovne, provyding that the proffeit cum to the common clark; and the saidis deputis, present and tocum, aither to be satefeit and contentit be the common clark for their seruice, and incais of variance to be at the jugement and determination of the provest, baillies, counsall and dekynnis, to quhilk jugement they submit thame; and incais the said common clark or principall depute, William Stewart, be seik or out of the tovne, the said Jhonn Guthre sall subscryve, quhilk salbe be sufficient.
Item, that na chairtour of Leith be aprovit bot sic as salbe subscryuit be the provest and twa of the baillies of this burgh, or at the leist twa of the baillies.
Item, that the common clark, nor his deputis, pretend nocht to resave ony in rentall or geve sesing of ony pairt or portioun of the commoun landis of this burgh, ather within or without the samyn, without ane speciall ordinance of the counsall, contening thair compositioun, and that they pretend nocht to buke or resave or assist to mak ony burgessis bot in presens of the counsall, according to the act of parliament, vnder the payn of disobedience.
Item, that all thingis pertening to the gude tovne be dewlie and honestlie done without delay, at the command of the provest, baillies and counsall, and na dewtie nor payment be tane nor cravit for ony evidentis, wrytis, or ony vther thingis pertening to the commoun effaires.
Item, that the said maister Alexander salbe subiect to pas himself or furneis ane sufficient clark to pas vpoun the tovnis expenssis to the conuentioun of borrowis gif the counsall sall requyre the samyn or think it neidfull.
Item, it is statute and ordanit be the provest, baillies, counsall and dekyns, that the commoun clark nor his deputis pretend nocht to produce ony prosces to the avysing bot be the aduyse and command of the provest and baillies present for the tyme and sic as they sall think maist neidfull and expedient, vnder the payne of disobedience.
Item, be reson it has plesit the Kingis Maiestie and his Hienes estaitis to grant the act of parliament that tuelf penneis of euery pund salbe collected of euery persoun thatt tynts ane action befoir the provest and baillies of burrowis, to be employit to the pure within the samyn, as mair at lenth is contenit in the said act, that thairfore the said commoun clark and his deputes salbe bund and obleist and be this present act and ordinance ar bound and obleist to mak patent all the decreit buikis to him or thame that salbe appoynted to be collectouris or fermoraris thairof …
Item, it is statute and ordanit be the provest, baillies, counsall and dekynis, that presentlie thair salbe ane rentall maid of all sic thingis as appertenis to the gude tovne, and that be maister Alexander Guthre, thair commoun clerk, as alsua ane outdraucht of all sic actis and statutis as ar maist necessar for the commoun proffeit of this burgh and liberties thairof, viz., sic is for frauchting of schippis, making of friemen, vsing of nychtbourheidis, convening of the counsall, common statutis of the burgh, and all sic as ar commonlie to be sene and considerit on the counsall dayis, to the effect that the ordinances being collectit in ane buke may be brocht daylie to the counsall to be veseit, sene, and considerit as occasioun sall serue, and that na thing be done be the said commoun clark without ane speciall warrand of the counsall inactit in their counsall buke, vnder the payne of tynsell of his office.
Item, becaus that yeirlie the magistratis of this burgh ar electit and chosin of new at Michaelmes for the gude government of the tovne, that thairfoir it is thocht gude, statute and ordanit be the saidis provest, baillies, counsall and dekynis, that in all tymes cuming, at the saidis tyme of Michaelmes, at the electioun of the magistratis, in presens of the provest, baillies, counsall and dekynis, the commoun clark and his deputes present and tocum sall geve thair aith of new to thame, for gude, trew and obedient seruice, in forme as followis:—We salbe leill and trew to our Souerane Lord and his successouris, to the provest, baillies, counsall, dekynnis and communitie of this burgh of Edinburgh and thair successouris, sall serue lelelie and trewlie in the office of commoun clarkschip, without feid or favour of ony persoun, sall nocht geve counsall nor consent to the dispositioun of ony pairt of the tovnis property nor common gude or ony thing that may be hurtfull to the commoun weill of the said burgh bot for ane common proffeit, and sall, with all reuerence, obey the magistratis of this burgh, in all thingis godelie, honest, and resonabill, sall obserue the iniunctions and euery poynt thairof appoynted to ws presentlie or that salbe appoynted or commandit vnto ws be the provest, baillies, counsall, and dekyns and their successouris, for the welfair of this burgh and nychtbouris thairof, and sall geve our just and trew counsall to the magistratis present and to cum in all maner of causes, and sall informe thame according to our jugement and knawlege of all actis, statutis, lawis, and ordinances for the welfair of this burgh. Sua help ws God, and be our partis of hevin.
24 February 1579–80.
Anent the payment of the annuelrent of xvij merk yeirlie awand to the guid toun furth of the landis of Agnes Bellenden, lyferenter thairof, and William Adamesoun, heretour of the samyn, als weill byruns as in tyme cuming, referrit in thair willes be the saidis persouns vpoun the xix of Februar instant, fyndis and decernis inrespect the said land wes brynt at the byrning of Ingland, and sen syne ane greitt pairt demolist thir last trublis, quhairby the same gevis littill maill as yit, as als that Sir William Makkie, last chaiplen thairof, wes onelie in possessioun of xij merkis of the said annuell, and for better payment to be maid to thame in tyme cuming, that thairfor the saidis persouns sall pay for the byruns thairof sen the deceis of the said chaiplen, quhilk wes in anno 1571, the sowme of fyftie merkis, and to pay in tyme cuming the sowme of twelf merkis of yeirlie annuell thairfore.
30 March 1580.
Removing, kirk lands.
Ordanis all the occupeares and possessoures of quhatsumevir landis lyand within the fredome of this burgh quhilk pertenit of before to quhatsumeuir freiris or chaiplanes within the same and now pertening to the guid toun and thair hospitall to be lawfullie wairnit to flytt and remoue thairfra.
6 April 1580.
Precept, thesaurer, cruvis.
Fyndis be just compt that the expenssis and hyre of the wrychtis and warkmen sent be the guid toun to the demolescheing and down casting of the cruvis and yairis on the watter of Forth, conforme to the acts of parliament and chairges maid and gevin to the guid toun conforme thairto, extends, during thair remaning thairvpoun, passing and returning thairfra, to the sowme of thre scoir foure pund threttein s. iiij d.
20 April 1580.
Commissioners to Blyth, prebendare.
Gevis full power and commissioun to Jhonn Adamesoun, baillie, and Jhone Jhonestoun, thair collectour, to commoun, intreatt and agrie with Jhone Blyth, prebendare of the Kirk of Feild, and his procuratouris deputt be him anent the said Jhones prebendary anent the fruits and rents of the said Kirk of Feild and all vtheris things concerning the weill of the toun and hospitall.
Gift of the Trinitie College.
James Inglis, skynner, exhibit and producet the gift maid to the guid toun under the greitt seill of the Hospitall and Trinitie College quhilk wes instantlie deliueret to Jhone Jhonestoun, collectour, for the quhilk he sall be haldin to ansuer.
29 April 1580.
Act anent aikeris in the mwre.
Ordanis that in all infeftments to be gevin in tyme cuming of any aikeris of the borrow muir, it be speciallie provydet and insert in the infeftment that the resaver of the sesing sall mak the kill and barn with the aikeris wourth yeirlie to the commoun mylnes of this burgh the sowme of fyve li., that he sall nocht separat the killis and barn fra the aikeris, and sall fynd security to that effect.
3 June 1580.
Preceptorie of St Paules Wark.
Giffis, granttis, and disponis to Patrik Vernour, sone and apperand air to Jhonn Vernour, writter, the office of preceptorie of the hospitall of Sanct Pawles wark at Leyth Wynd fute, with all proffeits and casualiteis belanging thairto, to be peaceblie bruiket and joyset be him during the townis will allanerlie, quhilk office wes vacand at the guid townes dispositioun be deceis of vmquhill Sir William M'Dowgall, last possessour thairof. And the said Patrik gaif his ayth for lawfull administratioun of the said office conforme to the fundatioun sa far as is nocht repugnant to the trew relligioun now oppinly professit within this realme and conforme to the articles and iniunctiouns to be gevin to him thairpoun be the guid toun; and gif neid beis ordanis ane baillie and ane clerk to pas to the said hospitall and gif the said Patrik institutioun of the said office as vse is in sic caissis.
10 June 1580.
Precept, thesaurer, Fowler.
Ordanis Andro Steuinsoun, thesaurer, to content and pay to Issobell Fowler, seruand to Robert Key, eldare, the sowm of twenty schillings, and that for the prouest, baillies and ane pairt of the counsales disune furnist be hir at the Kings Maiesteis entry within this burgh.
8 July 1580.
Ministers lugeings. Frainsche schole.
[Ordained the treasurer to pay to the "collectoures appoyntet for payment of the nychtbouris that furnist and lent money to the bigging of the ministers lugeings" 50 merks,—and to Alexander Vddert £10 "for the Witsunday termes maill last of hous and schole of the maister of the Frainsche schole, Nicolas Anglois."]
14 October 1580.
Hislope, kepare of the kirk yaird.
Makis and constitutes Thomas Hislope thair porter of the kirk yaird for clengeing of the same, preseruatioun of the glas wyndowes, redding and taiking away of the filth and mwk about the kirk and tolbuith, for the quhilk caus thai haif sett and settis to him the chope or littil hous bigget at the entry of the said Hie Kirk yaird on the eist pairt thairof, and grants vnto him ane yeirlie fie of thre pund.
4 November 1580.
Muir and freirs lands.
Statutes and ordanis that na baillie nor clerk of this burgh sall gif sesing heirafter to any maner of persoun of any aikers of the burrow muir but speciallie licence and command of the prouest, baillies and counsale, be thair act or precepts direct to that effect, and rychtswa of the freiris landis.
Becaus the tennents and fewares of the aikers of the common muir and freires lands fraudfullie abstracts thair awld euidents, that the seruice and dewteis awcht to the toun sall nocht be knawin, and that it hes bene the custome of vthers to mak ane regester of the infeftments and landis gevin furth be thame, quhilk hes bene neglectit within this burgh in tymes past, for remeid thairof ordanis ane register buik to be maid be the thesaurer and the clerk, vpoun the pairteis expenssis, to insert thairin all the chairters, precepts of sesing, and vther euidents maid to any maner of persoun of the said landis and aikers as thai sall come in hand, togidder with all charters, precepts of sesings, and siclyke, to be maid heirafter of the samyn.
7 December 1580.
Anent the entering of aires be hesp and staipell
After consideratioun of the manifold inconvenients that may follow throw entering of any persoun air to the landis quhilk pertenit to thair predicessouris be hesp and staipell, without any forther cognitioun tayne gif thai be narrest air or nocht, be generall breiffis, and siclyke guid ordour as may serue to eschew all defraude and be the better security to the pairty, as alswa sall agrie with the honesty of the gever of the sesings, thairfore hes statute, ordanit and commandit, in all tyme cuming, that nane of the baillies of this burgh, present or to cum, gif sesing to any maner of persouns of the lands quhilk pertenit to thair predicessouris, be entering thame as aires be hesp and staipell, before thai be first seruet generall aires be ane condigne inqueist chosin and sworne thairto.
30 December 1580.
Admissioun of Guthre, clerk of Leyth.
[The provost, bailies, council, and deacons of crafts granted to Jhonn Guthre "the office of clerkship of the towne of Leyth on the sowth syde of the watter thairof, pertening to the prouest, baillies, counsale and deikins and community of this burgh as lordis superiouris of the same."]