Extracts from the Records: 1403-45

Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1403-1528. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1869.

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'Extracts from the Records: 1403-45', in Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1403-1528, (Edinburgh, 1869) pp. 1-8. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/edinburgh-burgh-records/1403-1528/pp1-8 [accessed 25 April 2024]


3rd October 1403.

[Election of officers of the guild.]

Prima Gilda Capitalis post festum Beati Michaelis tenta in Pretorio burgi de Edinburgh, conuocatis confratribus gilde et comparentibus, 3 Octobris 1403. Electi sunt officiarij gilde prout sequitur:—

[The first Head Guild, held after the Feast of Saint Michael, in the Tolbuith of the Burgh of Edinburgh, the brethren of the Guild being called, and compearing, 3d October 1403. The officers of the Guild were elected as follows:—]

Prepositus—Alexander Naper.

Decanus gilde et custoditor operis Ecclesie—Symon de Schele.

Balliuus de Leyth—Joannes Robertsoun.

Thesaurarius—Joannes Lamb.

Seriandi gilde—Willelmus Talzefer, Willelmus Dauidsoun.

Appreciatores carnium—Willelmus Rynweh, Hugo Tod, Matheus Cloig.

Appreciatores vinj.—Willelmus Layng, Jacobus Robertsoun.

Duodene burgi.—William of Cranstoun, William of Libertoun, George of Fawlow, William Cameroun, Adame Cant, William Bully, Th. of Prestoun, Sanders of Stanely, Adam of Carkettill, James of Boncle, Jh.of Cairnis, °Thom. Johnestoun, °Jh. Lamb, Rychert of Fairnly, °Laurence of Elphinstoun, °Watt Young, James of Lawder, Henry Diksoun, Nicol Spathy, °Thom. Smyth, °Jh. Wade, °Robyn Michelsoun, °Malcome Boyde, °James of Touris, °Androw Crawfurd, °David Lanerok, °William Rynd, °James of Schele, °Robyn of Prestoun, Jh. of Harlaw, °Will. Skynner, Sanders of Wod, °Jh. Howden, Will. of Sydeserfe, Th. Williamsoun, Jh. Hayne, James of Fyndguid, °Th. Quhyteloke, °Will. of Lawder, Jh. of Farnly of Irwyn, °Rot. Merchell, °Robyn Blak, °Robyn of Wintoun, °James of Fowlfurde, °Will. of Carkettill. 45.

(This amang the lowse leiffes of gild courtes, and this leiff merket with (3.) I think thir (°) stands for thame that comperit and wes sworne.

Nota 1458. I fynd siclyke on the leiff merket with this nummer (4) amangs the lowse leiffes of gild courts, bot duodene ar bot 38.—Transcriber.)

17 March 1406–7.

Woman gilde.

Item eodem die Alisona de Duscoull facta est soror gilde tanquam heres quondam Roberti Duscoull fratris sui. (Gild court leiffis merket with 7.—Tr.)

[Item, on the same day Alison de Duscoull is made sister of the guild, as heir of the late Robert Duscoull, her brother.

15 November 1407.

[Admission of gild brether.]

Dyuers persouns maid gild brether for the dewty of x s. (This amang the leiffis of the gild court.—Tr.)

October 1416.

[Officers of the guild.]

(In October 1416 the leif merket with (6) beris—aldermannus pro presenti anno, one dene of gild, two appreciatores vinj, two seriandi gilde, four appreciatores carnium, one bursator, thirty two of lie dusane.—Tr.)

October 1418.

[The Dusane.]

(In October 1418, on the leiffes of the gild courts merket with (9), the dusane is callit "duodecim consules et limitatores."—Tr.)

October 1426.

[The Dusane.]

(In October 1426 ane lowse leif merket with (5) beris and callis the dusane "duodene et limitatores terrarum burgi." —Tr.)

31 December 1428.

[In an Inventory of Writs removed from the Charter House to the Town Clerk's Office in 1653, reference is made (p. 94) to a Charter, granted by King James the First, under his Great Seal, whereby the King, with the consent of the burgesses and merchants of Edinburgh, statuted and ordained that "in augmentatioun of the fabrik and reparatioun of the port or herberie of Leith, thair sould be vplifted ane certane tax or toll of all schippes and boites entering thairin." The Charter is said to have been granted at Dunfermline of the above date. It is not now, however, in the archives of the City; it does not appear in the Register of the Great Seal; nor does it seem to be referred to in any of the other Inventories of the Charters of the Burgh.

The taxes or tolls granted by this Charter, and specified in the Inventory, are as follow:—]

[Toll of ships and boats at Leith.]

For ilk serplare of woll and skynes, of friemen of the Kingis burrowes iiij d.
And of strangers and vnfriemen viij d.
Of ilk tun, of friemen iiij d.
And of strangers and vnfriemen viij d.
And of all vther thingis, pock pack and barrell, proportionallie ansuerand to the serplare and to the tun
Of ilk last of hydes, of friemen xvj d.
And of strangers and vnfriemen xxxij d.
Of ilk chalder of corne malt or salt iiij d.
Of the chalder of collis j d.
Of ilk tune of girnale guidis, of friemen iiij d.
And of strangers viij d.
Of ilk last of beare, meall, and hering viij d.
Of the last of tarr iiij d.
Of the hundreth burdis viij d.
Of the hundred bowstaves iiij d.
Of the last of maid irne viij d.
Of the hundred plankis viij d.
And sua of vther lyke guidis
Item of hulkis and foircastellit schippis that comes in the heavin x s.
Of ilk creare busche berge and ballinger v s.
Item of ilk farcost xij d.
Of ilk greate boate with victuall or vther goodis vj d.
Item of ilk small boate ij d.
And sua of vther lyke thingis

1 October 1431.

Counsale convening

Ordinatum est et assensum pro communi vtilitate quod si quis dicte duodene premunitus ad comparendum et non comparuerit nec licentiatus soluet preposito iiij d. pro absentia sua a consilio, leuandos per prepositum, et si non leuant prepositus et decani, persoluent pro illis iiij den. consortibus consilii ad vinum; et ista ordinatio stabit tantum pro anno. (Amang the leaffes of the gild courts.—Tr.)

[It is ordained and agreed, for the common advantage, that if any one of the said dusane be premonished to compear, and fail to compear, without leave of absence, he shall pay to the provost fourpence for his absence from the council, to be levied by the provost, and if the provost and deans do not levy it, they shall pay to their colleagues of the council for them fourpence for wine; and this ordinance shall stand for the year only.]

16 March 1431.

[See note by the original transcriber to the ordinance, dated 24th February 1436–7.]

18 December 1436.

Distributioun and byeing of the victuall command in at Leyth.

In the Tolbuith of Edinburgh xviij day of December the yeir of God jm iiijc xxxvj, It is ordainit for commoun proffitt of the burgh that, after the cumming in of ony schip enteret in the tolbuith with quheit mele rye malt beir or any vitailes or viuouris, the alderman baillies and the counsale by this vitaile of rationable pryce as thai may, and syne distribute be twa distributaris sufficient to ansuer for thair deid to the commouns of the town, and gif ony takkis on hand to bye this vitaile of derrere pryce na is bidden for it in the tolbuith, without consent of the alderman bailyeis and counsale, the commouns sall haif it for the price competent as thai bye that tyme vther als guid, and as wes biddin thairfor in the tolbuith, and thai byares sall pay the merchant as thai haif bocht at, and tyne thair fredome for a yeir. (Amang the lowse leiffes.—Tr.)

24 February 1436–7.

Closing of the commoun venell.

At Edinburgh in the Tolbuith the xxiiij day of Februar the yeir of God [jmiiijc] xxxvj, Be the counsale and communitie of this burch it is appointit consentit and ordanit that, for the commoun proffite of this towne, for till eschew apperand greitt skaith, that the commoune venell of the burgh be stekit and closit for a time on the commoun coste to be tane of the commoun purse; and ilka tenement sallbe closit behind and on his coste and their cost that awe the land, and thairto sall contribute ilk ane man dwelland in the tenement as effeiris till him for his dwelling place. And this sall be done at the sicht and devyse of xij discrete men of the burch thairto chosin, and quha beis obstinate or inobedient to the fulfilling of this ordnance salbe compellit be thair guids to fulfil be the alderman baillies and counsale of the towne. Thir are the names of the men that ar ordanit to see the venell makin of the towne, Will. Gray, etc. (This amang the lowse leiffes. Se the lyke act in the auldest revin buik, 16 Martij 1431.—Tr.)

22 January 1437–8.

Frauchting of ships. That na guidis be spaikit.

In the Tolbuith of Edinburgh the xxij day of the moneth of Januare the yeir of God jmiiijc xxxvij, before the aldirman baillies counsale and mony of the commouns, be thame wes statute and ordanit for commoun proffitte of the towne that quhat men frauchtis ony schippis of Edinburgh to cum hamewart or furthwart, the frauchtismen sall specifie in the frauchting of the schip and in the chartour pairtie that thair be na gude woll nor skynnis spakit no schorne, na hyddis kippit to be schorne vp, no [blank]. And quhat maister dois or tholes the contrer to be done sall tyne the fraucht of tha gudis and amend the skayth to the merchant at the sicht of merchants; and that na schip be frauchtit bot that thar conditionis be contenit in the chartour pairtie baith on this syde the sey and beyound; and gif ony frauchtis other on this syde the see or beyound, ony schip and specifieis nocht thir conditiouns in the chairtour pairtie [he] sall pay to the kirk wark v nobles but forgeving. Item, it is statute that quhat persouns frauchtis a ship owtewart sall give a sek fraucht to Sanct Rynanes Ile in Brugis, and quhat persouns frauchtis ane schip hame wart thai sall gif a twn fraucht to St Geillis wark. (This amang the lowse leiffs.— Tr.)

1 June 1439.

Regrating of victuals cum in at Leyth.

The first day of June the yeir of God jm iiijc xxxix. In the Tolbuith, before the Chancelare, be the alderman the baillies and the counsale of the town and sundrie of the communitie, it is statute and ordanit for commoun proffitt that quhasa brings victuale to Leyth sall be welcum to sell thair victuale as thai best may and house it gif thai list, bot the sercheour sall se quhat guids of victuall cumis in the heaven, and quha dressis thame to bye that victuall sall sweir that thai sall nocht bye mair than may suffice to the dispenssis of thair househald, and that thairof thai sall nocht sell agane for wynning, and the schersuris sall ilk day certiefie the gouernance in Leyth, and ane of the thre baillies sall laboure heirpoun in Leith, and quhome thai find trespassand agains this ordinance efter the statute thairvpoun maid thai salbe pvnist and the gudes eschetit anent the byare, and the schersuris sall haue the lone of the escheitt thai find to be made after the nature of the statutes. (Amang the lowse leiffes.—Tr.)

24 November 1442.


In the Tolbuith be the dusane and the counsale of the town and be the haill deliuerance of thame, It is ordanit that the towne be waket ilk nicht with sex persouns watches this winter, and that the watchemen be tain and sett be the baillies at the croce as thai wer wont to be.

Yettis closing.

Alswa, It is ordanit that the yettis of the towne be closit be twa seriandes ilk nicht, that is to say, Jhone Scheyare and James Cartar, and that the saidis yettis be steiket be thane ilk nicht at couerfure tyme, and oppinit be fyve houris in the morning, and that the said twa seriandes sall haif to thir fie of ilk fyre hous and of the best of the towne ij d. and of the simplare, folk, j d. Item that the towne be closit as it wes wont to be. (Lowse leffes of this daitt.—Tr.)

4 December 1442.

Custome of ilk boitt.

Item it is ordanit that Oswald Gilmoreson baillie of Leyth sall raise ij d. of custome of like boitt that cummis in the havin, efter the tenour of the Kings lettres, gif the boite bringis any gudes within the heavin, and Thome of Prestoun hcs tane on hand to assist to the said Oswald in the raising of the said custome and to ger it be payet to him; for the quhilk caus the counsale has grantit to the said Thome of Prestoun the proffitt that cummis of the said ij d. of custome of this instant yeir that cummis and for na langer. (Amang the auld leiffes of this daitt.—Tr.)

9 April 1443.

Baxters. Mayne breid.

It is statute and ordainit that a baxter baik na mayne breid to sell fra hine furthwart, saiffing allenarly at Witsounday, Sanct Geillis messe, Yule, and Pasche; and that the said breid sall nocht be sauld at nane of the said festivall tymes bot endurand aucht days, that is to say begynnand at the evin of ilk ane of the said feists and endurand quhill that day awcht dayes, and gif any mayne breid be sauld any vther tyme it sall be chete, and the said baxteris sall nocht bake the said mayne forowtyn pase to be given to thame be the baillies. (Amang the auld leiffes.—Tr.)

25 September 1445.

[By Letters Patent granted by King James the Second, under his Great Seal, of the above date, the King, for the common good and public service, and also for the preservation and security of ships and goods coming in at the Port of Leith, the want of repairing whereof had occasioned great damages through shipwreck, statuted and ordained, with consent of the burgesses and merchants of Edinburgh, for enlarging and repairing of the said Port, that they should take and uplift the following customs during his pleasure.

In the Inventory of Writs removed from the Charter House to the Town Clerk's Office in 1653, before alluded to, these Letters Patent are described as a Charter for uplifting of the tax or toll of the Port of Leith, for the use and in manner specified in the charter of date 31st December 1428. The following Table, it will be observed, is nearly the same with that given under date 1428.]

[Custom of ships and boats at Leith.]

Customs from every ship, bark, and boat entering the Port of Leith, viz:—

Of ilk serplare of woll and skynis:—
Of freimen of the Kingis burowis iiij d.
And of strangearis and vnfremen viij d.
Of ilk tone:—
Of freemen iiij d.
Of strangearis and vnfremen viij d.
And of all vther things, pok, pak, and barel, proportionably ansuarand to the serplare and to the tone
Of ilk last of hides:—
Of freemen xvj d.
Of strangearis and vnfremen xxxij d.
Of ilk chaldir of corne, malt, or salt iiij d.
Of ilk chaldir of colys j d.
Of ilk tune of grynnale gudis
Of freemen iiij d.
Of strangearis viij d.
Of ilk last of bere, meal, and hering viij d.
Of ilk last of terr iiij d.
Of the hundir burdis viij d.
Of the hundir bow-stàafis iiij d.
Of the last of esmounde irne (fn. 1) viij d.
Of the hundir plankis and treyis (fn. 2) viij d.
Of the chaldir of lime ij d. (fn. 3)
And sua of other like gudis Item, of hulkis and forecastellit shipps that commys in the havin or in the raide x s.
Of ilk crayer, bushe, barge, and balingare v s.
For ilk fercost xij d.
For ilk grete bait with victale, or othir gudis vj d.
For ilk small boat ij d.
And sua of othir lik thingis. ij d.


  • 1. In the table given under date 31 December 1428, this is termed "maid irne"
  • 2. The words "and treyis" are not in the table of 1428.
  • 3. This article is not given in the 1428 table