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 counsal ordanis the kirk durris to be kepit clois all tymes of the day except the tyme of preching and prayer, for stopping of the conventionis in the said kirk during the tyme of thir trublis.
[The provost, bailies, and council], ordanis Jhonne Fergusoun to be send to Stirueling for the Kingis leceance to tak the Inglis piratis wpon his Hienes wateris, quhilk was obtenit and delyuerit to the prowest; and ordanis James Ros, thesaurer, to gif him sewin li. for his expenssis.
The prowest, ballie, and counsall forsaid, ordanis maister James Lawsoun, Jhonne Adamsoune, and Jhonne Jhonstoun of Elphinstoun, to be send to Striueling to the Kyng and his Hienes counsall with their supplicatioun for ordour to be teakin tuiching the controuersie depending amongis the lordis of the nobilitie; and ordanes James Ros, thesaurer, to gif tham twentie li. for bering of their charges.
Jhonne Robertsoun, Henrie Chartouris, baillies, efter their returning from Stirweling, declaris the Kyngis will and command that are hundreth of the maist abill young men in the toune be send with possibill dilligence, prouydit with hagbut and culwering, to await wpon the Kyngis grace then for serwyng of his Hienes the tym of his present perliament for the space of fyweten dayis; that they be in Stirweling the xiiij of this instant prowydit wpon their awin charges.
The prowest, baillies, counsall, and deaconis concludis and delyweris that ane extent sall be set of ane thousand li. and wpliftit commounlie for furnising of the maist abill men throch all the towne, out of quchom the said hundrethe men sall be wylit furnist as said is of merchantis and craftis men furnising the fyft thairof to [be] wnder the charge of Robert Ker, ballie, elected captane of our commoun consent as said is.
The prowest, ballies, and counsale, wnderstanding that it is the Kyngis Maiesteis will that the young men in this towne being in Stirweling mak his Hienes ane scarmeish their, quhairfor thei ordane James Ros to send tham with all dilligence possible fourtie pound wycht of pulder.
The prowest being send for be the Kyngis wrytting to cum to his Hienes to Stirweling with all dilligence, it is concludit that he sall hawe with him in company sex men wpone the townes charges, and ewerie ane of tham in the day twentie schillingis; and ordanes James Ros to gif in hand four dayis wages extending to twentie four li.
The ballies and counsall being send for be the Erlis of Atholl, Argyll, and Montrois, and the caus of their conuentioun in this towne being declarit, quhilk was only that thei desyrit the Kyngis libertie furthe of the Castell of Stirweling, quhair thei allegit he was detenit contrar the common weill, etc., and therfor desyrit the assistance and concurrence of this towne, to quhom it wes ansuerit neidfull it wes to tham to adwyse with the counsale of the towne, and thei suld gif their ansuer the morn.
The ballies, counsall, and deakynnis being convenit in the counsalhous quhair the dissyris of the Lordis aboue wrytin war proponit, quhilk hard and considderit thei, all in ane voce, ordanes Henreis Chartouris and Jhonne Robertsoun, ballies, maister Jhonne Prestoun, Alexander Clerk, Alexander Guthre, and Dauid Damelstoun of the counsall to pas to their lordshipis efter nown and to schawe that this is the Kyngis fre towne, in the quhilk all the Kyngis fre leges salbe welcum indifferentlie, and as to the pairteis contendan, thei hawe to do with nather of tham, nother will thei jiune with tham in their particularis, bot only serwe the Kyng to quhom thei ar only subiect, and to nan wtheris, and therfor maist humblie desyris their lordshipis to keip guid rewll within this towne, and gif it pleis tham to discharge their suldartis, this towne salbe their gard sa lang as the Kyng is nocht in the contrare.
The prowest, ballies and counsall ordanes that their be ane daylie watche at ewerie ane of the twa portis, viz., the West Port and Nether Bow, of twentie persones of the substantius nychtbouris, ilk man in his awin propir persoun, vnder the pain of fourtie schillingis, and the portis be closit daylie at four houris efter nown, and that nychtlie ther be ane stark wetche of ane haill quarter of the towne, quhill farder ordour be teakin.
The prowest, ballies and counsall ordanes James Ros, and James Guthre to be send to the Kyng and to the Erll of Mortoun with their supplicatioun crawing that sum dress may be teakin with the lordis heir and wtheris of the nobilitie for securitie and quietnes of this towne.
The prouest, baillies, counsale, and dekynnis seing the variance dalie to incres betuix the lordis, thay ordane ane writing to be maid in thair names to the Kingis Maiestie and his counsale, and to send maister James Lowsoun, maister Dauid Lindesay, Alexander Vddert, and James Ros, thesaurer, with thame, togidder with Thomas Aikinheid, to perswaid and exhort for peace and quyetnes in this apperant trublis, dalie incresand amangis the nobelitie; and ordanis Ros to pay thair expenssis.
The baillies and counsale ordanis write to the prouest in the Castell of Doun in Monteth ansuerand to his bill quhair he desyris siluer to be send for furnissing of his seruandis grauttis, that in case he be wairdyt for the townys cause, thair expenssis sal be payit; vtherwise thay dar nocht quhill the cause be forther knawin.
The baillies and counsall fyndis that Jhonne Thomesoun, gatherar of the almouis for the pvre at the hospitall is ane drunkard, and awaitis nocht on his office, and sua the pure ar defraudit, quhairfoir they discharge the said Jhonne, and ordanis the maisteris of the hospitall to reseve Stevin Forrest in his place.
The baillies and counsall appoyntis maister Jhonne Gordoun, wrycht, for ruiffing of the Hie Scole in the Blakfreir Kirkyaird, and grantis that he sal have for his laubouris for euery ilk kippill thairof aucht schillingis.
In presens of the baillies, counsall, and dekynnis, comperit my Lord Lyndesay, the laird of Cesfurde and Coldenknollis, and efter componing the action at lenth quhilk they the Erles of Atholl, Argile, &c., quhilk as they allegit was onlie the Kingis libertie quhilk they maist desyrit, to the effect that all his lieges mycht have frie acces to him, and thairfoir desyrit quhat assistance the tovne wald mak to thame in this effect. To the quhilk it was ansuerit they beand few of nomber at that tyme, desyrit that they mycht be spairit quhill the morn, quhill they mycht convene thair nychtbouris, dekynnis, and vtheris quha suld haif thair voit with thame; quhairwith the saidis loirdis stude content, and desyrit thame to report the morn efter none.
The provest, baillies, counsall, and dekynnis, with certan vtheris honest nychtbouris being convenit and of new demandit quhat assistance they wald mak to the lordis in the action concerning the Kingis libertie, efter lang resonyng it is concludit that Alexander Vduart and Jhonne Robertson, baillies, James Ros, maister Jhonne Preston, James Guthre, James Inglis, and Patrick Sandelandis, suld pas to the saidis lordis efter none, and schaw thame that they war the Kingis frie lieges, occupearis and inhabitaris of this his frie burgh and subiect to his Maiestie onlie, of quhome they held thair landis, and wald joyne with na vther persones in thair particularis, bot wald keip thair tovne frie till all the Kingis frie lieges quha suld be welcum heir at all tymes; and this ansuer they ordane thame to geve to the said lordis, and forther to desyre thame that they mak na trubill within this tovne, and they suld have all vther lawfull plesour in thair power.
It is concludit, statute, and ordanit that fra this nycht furth thair sal be ane watche nychtlie of ane haill quarter of the tovne, and to watche for the space of xxiiij houris, begynnand at vj houris at evin, and to endure quhill the morn at the samyn hour, and that bayth of merchant and craftismen and vtheris, but exception of personis, to walk in thair awin person with sufficient armour and waponis, vnder the payne of viij s. vnforgevin, to be disponit to the keparis of the corsgaird and keparis of the poirtis on the daylicht, and this ordour to be kepit induring the tyme of thir trubilis, or quhill vther ordour be taikin.
The expenssis maid and debursit be Alexander Vddert and Henry Nysbet, commissaris in the parliament at Striueling, hard, sene, and considderat be [the bailies and council] thay fynd the samyn extendis to the sowme of thrie score tuelf pundis vi s. viij d., quhilk thay ordane James Ros to refund and pay to thame.
[The provost and council] ordanis ten sulderttis to be rasyt and gevin vnder the charge of Jhonne Anstruther, and put in the stepill of this burgh, for keiping of the samyn during the prouest, baillies, and counsalis [wills] and that thay be burges men induellaris; and euery ane of thame to haue xx d. on the day, induring thair willis, as said is; and that because of the brute of the men of weyr to be rasit be capitane Strauchane; and ordanis the thesaurer to mak thame payment.
The Kingis Maiesties writing resauit frome capitane Thomas Strauchane, to suffer him to strik his drum throuch this toun for lyfting of tua hundreth men of weyr; quhilk being thocht to be the occatioun of trublis in this tyme of variance amongis the nobelitie, and thairfor nocht meit to haue bandis of men within this toun.
The prowest, baillies, and counsale ordanis officiaris to chairge capitane Strachone to remowe him self and his cumpaneis of this towne betuixt and Fryday nixt, with certificatioun and he failye thai will tak ordour thairanent as thai sall fynd maist meit for thair commoun weill.
The prowest, baillies, counsale, and dekynis efter reasonyng with the suldartis of the stepill, thai fynd restand awand to thame the fourtene day of September instant exclusiue, allowand to euery ane of thame in the day fourtie penneis and to Johne Anstruther, thair principall, daylie the same space, quhilk is tuentie dayis, fyve s., togidder with tua s. daylie and nychtlie for coill and candill, extending in the haill to threttie sewin pund, quhilk thai ordane James Ros, thesaurer, to pay with diligence.
Pleis your Maiestie. Efter the ressait of your wryting, yesterday, quhairby we vnderstude that your vther wrytingis send of befoir be the laird of Cleische war nocht sufficientlie ansuerit, that ye vnderstude nocht our menyng, and thairfoir willit ws that our provest, twa of our baillies, twa of our counsall, and twa of our dekynnis suld be send to yow this day to knaw your mynde out of your awin mouth, and thay suld be instructed with the myndes of the haill body of this towne twiching the electioun of our magistrates at the ordinar tym therof nowe approching. According to your Maiesteis will, we commandit ane generall assemblie conuentioun of the haill multitud of merchandis, craftismen, and maist of wtheris the inhabitantis of this your Maiesteis burgh, quhilk syndill hes bein sein heirtofoir, in quhas presence your wrytting resauit fra the lord of Clishe, withe the wrytting resauit yesterday being red, all in ane voce, calling God to their witnessis of their lauchfull and obedient seruice toward your Maiestie at all tymes past, in the quhilk thei mynd lowinglie to contenowe and culd nocht be persuadit that ye wald tak from tham ony libertie or fredome that your predicessouris had grantit and giwin in tymes past, and in the last Parliament haldin at Stirweling ratifeit be your Maiestie self. Therefore hes directit thir beraris to declair and wtter their myndis that thei cane nocht graunt to the diminutioun of ony pairt of their fredomes being trewe subiectis as thei ar and thinkis euir to be, and in speciall to want the free electioun of their magistrates at the tymes appointet, conforme to your lawis, actis of Parliament, and infeftmentis past thairupone, als auncient as their hes bein burous and of the thre estaitis of your realme. Quhairfor be the commoun voce, as said is, thei direct the said beraris gewand tham full commissioun humblie to craiwe the mantenance of their auncient liberteis, and to disasent to quhatsumeuir thing sall be socht or desyrit in preiudice therof, certifeing your Maiestie thei neuir mein to refuis ony thing that sall concerne the weill of your awin persoun, of commoun weill of your realme, ather in body or guidis, and becaus tua of our ballies ar furth of the realme, the thrid aving his wyfe rady to depairt furth of this warld, we could nocht leif oure toun desolait of the hale maiestratis in this troublesum tyme, and in speciall of oure prouest having your commandment bayth in word and wryt, chargeing ws to keip this your toun surelie at your obedience, quhilk, God willing, we mynde till do in sa fer as may ly in oure power, to quhais protectioun we commyt your Maiestie for now and evir. Off Edinburgh, this xx day of September 1578. Your Maiesteis humbill subiectis, the prouest, baillies, counsale, and dekynnis of Edinburgh.
The prouest, baillies, counsale, and deakynis be common voic findis the prowest may nocht be sparit to ryd to Stirweling in this present danger, and therfor ordanis James Ros, thesaurer, Henrie Chartouris, ballie, Robert Ker of the counsall, James Wod, deakin of the baksteris, and William Huchesoun, deakin of the Cordineris to pas with the wrytting aboue wryttin, and present and delywer the samyn to the Kingis Maiestie and his counsall and allutterlie disasent to the alteratione of ony of thair priueleges and in speciall to the alteratione of the electioun of the magistratis of this burgh by the auncient and commoun ordour.
This wrytting delyuerit to the Kingis Maiestie and in presence of his Hienes counsall the beraris remanit the maist pairt of twa dayis and returnit but ansuer, and vpoun the morne Hewe Tod presentis the Kingis wrytting desyring to elect Alexander Clerk, prowest. Jhonne Arnot, Androwe Sclatter, maister Michael Chisholme and Jhone Robertsoun, ballies, and Lucas Wilsoun, dene of gild, and James Ros. thesaurer, for the yeir to cum. Quhilk wrytting was refusit and the persones efter following lytit and wotit to beir office as followis:—[Here are given the names of the persons elected.]
In presens of the provest. baillies and counsall. Thomes Aikinheid, for himself and in name of the remanent craftis as he allegit, disassentit that the thre assissouris suld haif voit in electing and voting of the magistratis for the yeir to cum, and siclike that the rollis of the names of the counsall and baillies suld be voitit efter the ordour following as he desyrit, that is to say, of xij ane as they stand in roll, of xj ane, of x ane, and sua forduat throw the rollis; to the quhilk it was ansuerit that it was ane ordour of thame newlie inuented and desyrit, quhilk neuir was vsit heirtofoir, quhairfoir they disassented to the said Thomas desyres becaus they fand the samyn mair for thair commoditie than for the commoun weill, and forder nouther durst they nor wald they consent to the alteratioun to the auld ordour euir obseruit in sic caissis; and Robert Abircrumby protested for remeid.