Appendix: Tables of tolls and customs

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

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'Appendix: Tables of tolls and customs', in Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1403-1528, (Edinburgh, 1869) pp. 235-243. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

In this section



[The words within parentheses are not in the Assisa de Tolloneis.]

[The following Table of Customs is engrossed in the volume numbered as the first of the series of Council Records, (fn. 1) and which consists mainly of extracts from old records of the burgh not now extant. No date is there assigned to the table. It appears likewise in the volume of extracts preserved in the Advocates' Library, (fn. 2) and bears to have been transcribed from " ane lowse leiff quhair is the daitt 15 February 1468," under which date it is entered. It is also engrossed, with little variation, in the Charter of Customs granted by King James the Third, of date 16th November 1482, under the title of "Greit customes and dewties that the thesaurare of the toune ressaues and takes of strangearis and vnfremen, of schips and guidis cummand in at the port of Leyth, and enterit in the tounis buikis, togidder with the escheit of the samen quhair it beis found vnenterit of ony vnfremen."]

[The duties of customes of this Burgh of auld.]

The duties of the customes of this burgh of auld.
Item of ilk last barrell guidis, meill, pik, tar, or sic lyke xvj d.
Item of ilk toun wyne xvj d.
Of ilk bot malvesy xij d.
Item of Rynche wyne becaus of greitt steiks of ilk croun ij d.
Item of jm irne ij s.
Item of jcsaill canves ij s.
Item of gretare (fn. 3) of the crowne ij d.
Item of mirsory or merchandice dry or costly guidis to custome it be the trowne.
Item of ane barrell of oley, saip, butter, vynager, flesche, and siclyke guidis vj d.
Item of ilk barrell vnyeonis or apillis iiij d.
Item of ane pak of lynt contenand ane last v s. iiij d.
Item of ane hundredth tymmer greit and small xvj d.
Item of jc bowstringis xvj d.
Item of ilk tun wad xiij s. iiij d.
Item of ane pok wald xij d.
Item of ilk girnaill corne guidis, ij bollis ane behind the mast and ane befoir, and siclyke of all girnell guidis to Sanct Gelis wark.
Item the anchorage to be payit efter the tenour of the chairtour of the hevin siluer maid thairvpoun. (fn. 4)
Off custome outwart of fremmit men vsit and vnfremen.
Item of ilk chalder salt viij d.
Item of ilk chalder smethy colis viij d.
Item of ilk last hydis xxxij d.
Item of ilk sek woll and skynnis xvj d.
Item of a pak of claith viij d.
Item of a pak of cunnyng skynnis, lambskynnis, otteris, folmartis, and siclyk viij d.
Item of all guidis outward, doubland the pety custome of Leith to the thesaurare of the toun, siclyke as it is tane in Leith.

[A Table of Tolls and Customs, bearing the title "Noua Custume," is given in the first volume of the Council Records, (fn. 5) and also in the volume of Extracts preserved in the Advocates' Library. (fn. 6) In the former, it immediately follows the table of duties of the customs given above. In the latter, it stands unconnected with any other tariff. In neither is any date assigned to this Table, which seems to be a not very accurate transcript, with some variation, of the greater part of the Table of "Petty Customs called Toll," printed under the title "Assisa de Tolloneis," in the Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, (fn. 7) and in the Ancient Laws and Customs of the Burghs of Scotland. (fn. 8) The Assisa de Tolloneis there given bears to be the "assize of King David, King of Scots, make at Newcastle-upon-Tyne by his whole community of Scotland, barons, burgesses and others, concerning the Tolls and Customs of Burghs," and Professor Cosmo Innes is of opinion that it can be traced back, on good evidence, to that reign, "when Lothian and Northumberland were subject to the same law and government, and when the tariff of Newscastle-upon-Tyne was identical with that of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and collected by the same authority—that of the good King David." (fn. 9) The opinion thus expressed is confirmed and illustrated by the comparison which he was instituted in his perface to the first volume of the Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland between the toll or custon of Newcastle, as given in the Northumberland Chartulary, with the tariff established for Berwick and the Scotch ports, as set forth in the Assisa de Tolloneis.

Some of the customs given in the Edinburgh table are different from those specified in the Assisa, de Tolloneis, which also contains several articles not given in the Edinburgh table. The points of difference, so far as material, and the additional article, are shown in the Table here given. Those portions printed in italics are not in the Edinburgh Table, but are taken from the Assia.

Sections, x., xi., and xii. of the Assisa de Tolloneis, as given in the Ancient Laws and Customs of the Burghs, (fn. 10) are entirely left out.]

De Noua Custuma.

[Noua Custuma.]

Off toll and custome.
Off ane wayn of iiij oxin j d.
Of ane wayne of iiij hors ij d.
Of tursaill behind a sadill j ob.
Of a tursaill in a sadill j d.
Of a tursaill befoir a man iiij d.
Of a feather bed iiij d.
Of a pillow j ob.
(Of ane fardell j obl.)
Off custome of skynnis.
Of a tymyr of skins of toddis, quhitredys, martrikkis, cattis, beueris, sable, firrettis or siclyk vthyr, of ilk tymyr at the outpassing iiij d.
And the tymyr of scurell ij d.
Item jc gray grese or scurell dicht and letherit viij d.
Of ilk otyr skyn j ob.
Off corne, meill, and salt.
Off ilk chalder of corne, meill, or salt j d.
(Item of viij bollis, ane boll j ob.)
Of half a chaldre j ob.
Item of ane quarter j quadrant.
Of ilk sek corn, meill, or salt, or malt, and it excede ane boll it sall gif at the outganging j quadrant.
And gif it excedis nocht it sall pay nocht.
And sua it salbe of benys and pese.
Of a sowme of lekis on a hors j ob.
Of a birding of breid or lekis on a mannis bak j quadrant.
And gif he beiris thame on his heid he sall pay nocht.
Of a soume of pottis on a hors j ob.
Of a birthin of pottis on a mannis bak j quadrant.
For a burding of butter or cheese on a hors at the outpassage j ob.
Of a birdin of cheis or butter on a mannis bak j quadrant.
Of a some of irne on a mannis bak j d.
Of a some of mader or wald on a hors j d.
Of a birdin of wald or mader to sel j ob.
Of a birdin of mustard [mercery] j quadrant.
And gif onything thereof is sauld j ob.
And gif he opinis his birding in the merket to sell, and nocht sellis, he sall give j quadrant
Of a piece of claith sauld in the merket it sall gif nathing to custome, bot and the claith be schorne throw the Eldermannis leif, and be sauld be elnys, the sellar sall gif j ob. to the borrow-seriand.
Off toll of beistis
Of ane ox bocht in the market j ob.
Of a kow j ob.
Of ane hors j d.
Of ilk hors bocht and nocht riddin gangand out of the toun but a sadill j ob.
Of ilk hors (fn. 11) or cow gangand quhair custome sould be gevin j quadrant.
Of ten scheip gaitt or swyne j d.
(Of lxxx. or vxx scheip, gait, or swyne j ob.)
(Of iiij ij. gait, scheip, or swyne j quadrant.)
Of iiij or v gait, schepe, or swine j ob.
Of ij or iij gayt schepe or swine j quad.
And gif thir bestis be (ony frehalderis, furth duelland, to mak seruice) (fn. 12) to his awin vse, thai sall gif na thing.
And gif he will sell thame thai aucht custome on this wys.
Off custome of woll, hydis and skynnis.
Item of ane last of hydis viij d.
Of half a last iiij d.
(Of a quarter of a last ij d.)
Of a daker of hydis sauld in daker j d.
Of half a daker or iiij or [or] ij hydis j ob.
Of ane (or ij hydis tannyt) at the outpassing j quadrant.
Of a last hart hydis viij d.
Item of ane daker of calf hydis (fn. 13) iij ob
Item of a last woll, that is to say ten sekkis gadderit togidder viij d.
Item of a sek of woll iiij d.
Of a waw of woll that is to say half a sek ij d.
(Of a poke woll ij d.)
Of viiij. vij. or vj. stane of woll j ob.
Of v. iiij. iij. ij or j stane of woll j ob.
Item of a stane of littit woll j ob.
Off jc woll skynnis iiij d.
Of lx ij d.
Of a binde of skynnis of schorlingis, that is to say xxxiiij j d.
(And of als mony woll skynnis ij d.)
Of ane hundreth hog skynnis [iij. ob.] ij d.
Of jc lam skynnis iij ob.
Of jc gait skynnis or (toddis) har skynnys iij ob.
Off custome of heryng and fisches.
Item of a last of hering iiij d.
Of jm heryng j d.
Of jc salmond at the entryng nathyng, but at the furth passing. iiij d.
Of ilk jc fisch kelyng leyng or hadok at the entryng nocht, bot at the oute passing iiij d.
Of jm haddockes or whytinges or codlyng j d.
Of a hors lade of salmonde at the entry j d.
Of a hors soume of ony other maner of fysch or heryng dry, at the furth passing j d.
Of a hors lad of kelyngis haddokis whytyngs or codlyngis or oysteris, of sik maner of fysch put to sel for the stallage j d.
(Of a hors sowme of sik fische as said is, or dry hering, at the furth passing j d.)
(Of ilk jm haddokis, quhityng, or codlyngis, oisteris, or sic maner of fische put to sell for the stalling j d.)
Of a hors soume led out of the toun of sic maner of fisch j d.
Out tane colmouth j ob.
Of a birdin of fische on a mannis bak at the furth passing j ob.
Of jm hering led on a hors j d.
For ilk birding for the stallange of the market j ob.
And for ixc viijc or vijc hering j d.
(For vjc iiijc vijc hering j d.)
For vjc vc iiijc iijc ijc or jc hering j quadrant.
Item for a last of fresch hering iiij d.
And of half a last ij d.
And gif thai be led throw the byair that byis thame, bot gif thai be led to the havin with the fischear he sall gif na thing for hering, bot for his set.
[Off custome of merchandise.]
Brasell at the entryng aw nathyng, but at the outgang ilk hundredth of brasyl sall pay ii d.
Wax at the enterying aw na thing, bot of ilk waw at the outpassing gif it be wayit be wawys; and gif it be wayit be stanys, at the furth passing, of ilk stane viij d.
j d.
For the custome of carkis or ballis of pepper, cummyn, alome, gynger, granys, (fn. 14) almondis, ris. feggis, rasyngs and vther sic thyngis at the entire aw nathing, bot of ilk ball at the furth (cummying) passing iiij d.
Of ilk hundreth pund pepper or sic thingis foirsaid ij d.
Of a poke of alome at the furth passing ij d.
(Of jc pund weicht of sic maner of thing or vther of ilk jcbeit of alome ij d. at the furth ganging, and for ilk j c gif it be sauld for custome of the merket.) ij d.)
Of all maner of thingis of awyr de pais of ilk c pund at the outgang ij d.
And for ilk c gif it be sald of custome ij d.
And for the custome of the market ij d.
Of jc irne ij d.
Item of a wayne weicht of leid, that is to say, xxiiij futemellis iiij d.
Of ane waw of cheis (fn. 15) or olye j d.
Off the custome of canves, kellis, thredis, and knyffis.
Of jc canves j d.
Item of jc carkis of kellis at the entrie, ij d. and at the furthpassing ij d.
Item of jc li. thred to mak kellis j ob.
Item of jc li. of lynning threid j ob.
Item for jc burdis of tymmer iiij d.
Of jc cheueronis iiij d.
Of jc knyffis j ob.
Off the custome of cordwan, baterie.
Of a dusane cordwan skynnys at the entrying nocht, bot at the furth passing iiij d.
Of iiij or iij cordwane skynnys j d.
(Item of ij dussoun of cordwane skynnis j d.)
Of ij j ob.
Of ane nathing
Of ij dossoun (fn. 16) of pannis of battry at the furth passing and at the entrie nocht. ij d.
Item of ij dossoun (fn. 17) of lokkis j ob.
Of ij dussoun (fn. 18) of caldronis at the outgang iij d. iij ob.
Of half a dusane of caldronis iij ob.
Of iij caldronis j d.
Of twa and at the entrie na thing. i ob.
Of ij dussoun (fn. 19) of brasyn pottis at the furth passing and at the entrie na thing. iij d. ijd.

[The following Table of the Petty Customs of Leith is engrossed, without any date being affixed to it, in the volume numbered as the first of the series of Council Records, (fn. 20) and also in the volume of Extracts preserved in the Advocates' Library. (fn. 21) It immediately follows the Noua Custuma given above.]

[The petie customes of Leyth.]

The petie customes of Leyth.
In primis of ilk barell of ter sauld to vnfremen ij d.
And swa in likewys of all barrell guidis.
Item of ilk laid of vnyeonis, apillis, corne, and vther guidis that is sauld to vnfremen and met in Leith j d.
Item of ilk laid unmet j ob.
Item of ilk laid of quheit fische of herying j d
Item of ilk hundreth greit fische, as keeling, stok-fische, salmound, vnbarralit And swa of sic lyke fische. iiij d.
Item of ilk chalder of corne that cummys out of the north or vther pairtis of the countrie, of vnfremen viij d.
Item of ilk boit that cummis within the hevin with colis or with lyme j ob.
Item of ilk jc buirdis that cummys furth of the northlandis viij d.
Item of ilk pak of claith of vnfremennis that payis nocht custome in the toun iiij d.
Item of ilk laid salt that cummis j d.
And swa of ilk laid butter cheis and vther guidis ansuerand thairto.
Item of ilk greit dormond j ob.
Of xij geistis iiij d.
Of ilk jc sparris viij d.
Of ilk jc widde of irne, of vnfremennis viij d.
Item of ilk daker of hydis of vnfremennis that cummis furth of the north pairtis of the cuntrie ij d.
Item of ilk jc skynnis, baith woll skynnis, gait skynnis, calfe, kyde, or cunnyng skynnis of vnfremennis that cummis nocht to the toun iiij d.


  • 1. Fol. 20–21.
  • 2. Fol. 94.
  • 3. In the Charter of Customs of 16th November ber 1482, this is termed "The grete canves of the crovne."
  • 4. See tables of customes granted by the Royal Charters, dated 31 December 1428, 25 September 1445, 4 November 1454, and 16 November 1471, and given antea, pp. 3, 7, 14, and 25.
  • 5. Fol. 21–22.
  • 6. Fol. 99–100.
  • 7. Volume I., pp. 303–306.
  • 8. Fol. 100–108.
  • 9. Preface to the Ledger of Andrew Halyburton, p.lxxxviii.
  • 10. Fol. 107 and 108.
  • 11. Instead of "hors" the Assisa has it "ox."
  • 12. Instead of "ony frehalderis furth duelland to mak seruice," the Assisa de Tolloneis has it, "of ony frehaldand man with charter."
  • 13. Instead of "calf hydis," the Assisa has "hynd calwis."
  • 14. For "granys" the Assisa gives "setwell."
  • 15. For "cheis" the Assisa gives "grese sayme."
  • 16. The Assisa gives "a dozen."
  • 17. The Asissa gives "a dusane."
  • 18. The Assisa gives "a dusane."
  • 19. Ibid.
  • 20. Fol. 22.
  • 21. Fol. 100.