Extracts from the Records: 1450-59

Pages 8-19

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

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1 December 1450.


The burges air payis for his burgesscip vj s. viij d. He that byis his burgesschip payes xl s. Ane burges be richt of his wyfe payis vj s. viij d. At this tyme many ar maid burgessis and callit postnati et postnate of thair fatheris.

Danid Admnty effectus est burgensis hereditarius ratione avunculi sui Joannis Crystesoun.

[David Admuty was made a hereditary burgess in right of his uncle John Crystesoun.]

12th January 1450–1.

[Obligation by the Skinners in favour of the Altar of St Cristopher in the Kirk of St Giles.]

Pro altari Sancti Cristoferi fundato in ecclesia parochiali Beati Egidii de Edinburgh juxta forman eiusdem ecclesie pro pellipariis artis subscriptis in instrumento sequenti dicti vero pelliparii condiderunt statuta and sustentacionem dicti altaris vt patet per eiusmodi instrumentum quiquidem pelliparii requisiuerunt instanter communem clericum notarium et scribam burgi regestare et inscribere dictum instrumentum in libro communi gilde dicti burgi, et ita fieri decretum est per prepositum Thomam de Cranstoun, et balliuos Johannem de Halkerstoun Matheum de Cammera et Richardum de Farnele, Adam Cant decanum gilde, Johannem Lamb thesaurarium, concilium et duodenam dicti burgi, tenor vero instrumenti sequitur et est talis:—

In Dei nomine Amen. Per hoc presens publicum instrumentum cunctis pateat euidenter quod anno ab incarnacione domini millesimo quadringentesimo quinquagesimo, indictione decima quarta, die vero mensis Januarij duodecimo, pontificatus sanctissimi in Christo patris ac domini nostri domini Nicholaij diuina prouidentia pape quinti anno quarto in mei notarii publici et testium

[In favour of the Altar of Saint Christopher, founded in the Parish Church of St Giles of Edinburgh, according to the rule of the said Chruch, for the Skinners of the Craft underwritten in the following instrument. The said Skinners established statutes for the maintenance of the said altar, as appears from the same instrument, which instrument the Skinners forthwith required the common clerk, notary, and scribe of the burgh to register and engross in the common book of the guild of the said burgh, and it is ordained to be so done by the provost, Thomas of Cranstoun, and by the bailies, John of Halkerstoun, Mathew of Chambers, and Richard of Farneley, Adam Cant dean of guild, John Lamb treasurer, the council and dusane of the said burgh. The tenor of the instrument truly follows, and is thus:—

In the name of God, Amen: Be it known clearly to all by this present public instrument, that in the year from the incarnation of our Lord one thousand four hundred and fifty, in the fourteenth Indiction, in the twelfth day of the month of January, in the fourth year of the pontificate of the most Holy Father in subscriptorum presentia personaliter constituti prouidi et honesti viri videlicet:—Willelmus Skynner, Gillcrist Turnebule, Hugo Tod, Alanus Skynner, Willelmus Staltt, Jacobus Harlaw, Dauid Littill, Thomas Yule, Willelmus de Camusnethane, Edmundus Skynner, Johannes Mathe, Dauid Wilky, Thomas Salman, Willelmus Lachlane, Johannes de Kympill, Willelmus Ramsay et Andreas (blank), pelliparii infra willam de Edinburgh, una cum consenssu et assensu obligati sunt in forma que sequitur videlicet:—Quod [ad] seruicium et sustentacionem vnius capellani ad celebrandum apud altare Sancti Cristoferi nouiter fundatum per supradictos infra ecclesiam Beati Egidii de Edinburgh et ad reparacionem ornamentorum dicti altaris quilibet dictorum pro toto tempore vite sue ac secundum faculatem bonorum manus adiutrices apponet. Item quilibet accipiens prenticium ad artem pelliparii soluet ad reparacionem dicti altaris quinque solidos monete tunc currentis, ac etiam quod nullus prenticius [per] quemcunque ipsorum accipietur ad dictam artem pelliparii nisi consimiliter obligatus fuit post lapsum annorum sui prenticii ad libertatem vt supra manus suas aditurices secundum facultatem bonorum ad reparacionem dicti altaris vt supradictum est apponi. Item quod quilibet prenticius antequam ad artem pelliparii recipietur jurabit et obligabitur vt quam cito venerit ad libertatem sui prenticii quod non recipiet quemcunque prenticium ad artem

Chrit and our Lord the Lord Nicholas the Fifth, by Divine Providence Pope, in presence of me notary public and the witnesses subscribing personally appeared discreet and honest men, videlicet:— William Skynner, Gillcrist Turnebule, Hugh Tod, Alan Skynner, William Staltt, James Harlaw, David Littell, Thomas Yule, William of Camusnethane, Edmund Skynner, John Mathe, David Wilky, Thomas Salman, William Lachlane, John of Kympill, William Ramasay, and Andrew (blank), skinners within the town of Edinburgh, with one consent and assent, are obliged in manner following, videlict, That for the service and support of a chaplain to celebrate at the altar of Saint Christopher, lately founded by the above written within the Church of St Giles of Edinburgh, and for the repair of the ornaments of the said altar, each of the said persons for the whole period of his life, and according to his means, shall put to helping hands; Item, every one receiving an apprentice to the craft of Skinners shall pay to the repairs of the said altar five shillings of the money then current, and also that no apprentice shall be received by any one of them to the said craft of Skinners unless he has been in like manner taken bound that, after the expiry of the years of his apprenticeship to freedom, he shall put to his pelliparii nisi ad reparacionem dicti altaris vt supradicimus soluat quinque solidos et sic de similibus imperpetuum. Item ordinatum est quod si contingat aliquam debatam discordiam ant controuersiam infra dictos pelliparios quoquomodo imposterum [exoriri] ambe partes discordes determinacioni et ordinacioni artis sociorum eorundem et decreto concilii et duodene burgi stabunt et subibunt sine quacunque contradictione aut demanda, ac vt etiam supradicta appunctuamenta inviolabilia perpetuis temporibus obseruent quilibet dictorum pellipariorum per se compari juramento obligatus est. Super quibus omnibus et singulis petiit sibi fieri dictus Willelmus Skynner nomine communi pellipariorum tunc presentium et nominatorum vnum vel plura instrumentum seu instrumenta per me notarium publicum infrascriptum. Acta fuerunt infra ecclesiam Beate Marie de Campo hora tertia post meridiem anno die indictione mense et pontificatu quibus supra presentibus probis et discretis viris dominis Alexandro Hundby, Johanne Moffat, Johanne Hendirsone, capellanis, et Thoma Broun, mercatore, cum aliis testibus ad premissa vocatis specialiter et rogatis.

(And ane Johne Hogo preist in the dyosie of Glasquow is notar heirto.—Tr.)

helping hands according to his ability to the reparation of the said altar as aforesaid; Item, that every apprentice, before he shall be admitted to the craft of Skinners, shall swear and become bound, so soon as he shall come to the freedom of his apprenticeship, not to receive any apprentice to the craft of Skinner unless he shall pay five shillings to the repair of the said altar as aforesaid, and so in like cases for ever; Item, it is ordained that if any debate, discord, or controversy among the said Skinners shall henceforth happen to arise in any manner of way, both the contending parties shall abide by and submit to the determination and judgement of said matters by the brethren of the craft, and to the decree of the council and dusane of the burgh, without any contradiction or appeal; and, moreover, that they may observe the above mentioned appointments inviolably, each of the said Skinners for himself has been taken bound by a like oath. Upon which, all and sundry, the said William Skynner, in the common name of the Skinners then present and named, asked one or more instruments to be made by me notary public subscribing. These things were done within the Church of Saint Mary in the Field, the third hour in the afternoon, of the year, day, indiction, month, and pontificate as above, in the presence of good and discreet men Sir Alexander Hundby, John Moffat, John Hendirsone, chaplains, and Thomas Broun, merchant, with other witnesses specially called and required to the premises.]


In Curia Camerarie tenta in Pretorio coram domino Jacobo de Creichtoun camerario anno jm iiijc quinquagesimo.

[In the Chamberlain Court, held in the Tolbuith, before Sir James of Creichtoun, chamberlain, in the year one thousand four hundred and fifty.]


The quhilk day it was ordanit be the chamberlane and the court and statute all men and wemen that hes swyne in the towne outwith band be removit out of the towne betuix and Sanct Androis day, or than that thai be kepit in band, and that thai be nocht fundin lowse under the payne of escheitt, and that to be applyet to the kirk wark.—(This act in the auldest buik revin.—Tr.)


Item, that na man na woman brew aile to sell derare than for vj d. or viij d. at the darrest, vnder the payne of escheitt of the aill. The vnlaw, the lede tane vp and the bodome strukkin out vnforgevin bot ony fauour.


Item, that all merchands fra hyne furth sell irne, walx and vther merchandice be wecht weiyit with the troyne and with na vther, vnder the payne of escheitt of the guidis, saif allanerlie punds maid beyond se belangand to spycerie.

Cordineris. Berkit ledder.

Item, that na cordiner fra hyne furth sal schap and bark in the craft of cordiner, vnder the pane of eschitt of the ledder barkit; na that thai by na bydes to bark, vnder the samyn payne, bot it sall be lefull to thame to red their handis of it that is in to bark betwix this and Candilmes. (Lowse leiffes.—Tr.)

12th May 1451.

Burgensis et gilde artifex.

— Aitkyne, barbi tonsor, effectus est burgensis ad instantiam domine Regine gratis datur et etiam conceditur sibi (blank) gilde pro tempore vite sue et in amplius vt possit vti libertate gilde tempore vite sue, soluendo species et vinum nusquam est sibi successurus post obitum ad libertatem gilde.—(In the auldest buik.—Tr.)

[—Aitkyne, barber, is made burgess at the instance of Our Lady the Queen, without payment, and it is also conceded to him (blank) of the guild for the period of his life, and further, that he might use the freedom of the guild for the period of his life, paying spices and wine, and no one shall succeed him in the freedom of the guild after his death.]

18th May 1451.

Burgensis hereditarius.

— Rede, tinctor, effectus est burgensis ratione patris sui quondam Joannis Rede, hereditarius, pro vino et speciebus.

[— Rede, dyer, is made burgess as in right of his father the late John Rede, hereditary for wine and spices.]

14th June 1451.

Vnlawes for occupeing the fredome.

Henryk Rafe is adiugeit be dome in the townis will xx li. for wrangous vsing the fredome, as is fundin be ane assyse; and in lyke maner Mairtyne Hope is adiugeit to the sowm of xx li. for wrangous occupeing of the fredome, as fundin is be assyse.

Secund sone.

Andreas Mowbray secundus filius patris sui effectus est burgensis ratione patris sui, et finiuit vj s. viij d. proximum festum Beati Michaelis Archangel. Plegio Jacobo de Bonkill.

[Andrew Mowbray, second son of his father, is made burgess as in right of his father, and compounded for six shillings and eightpence at the next feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, James of Bonkill being surety.]

9 November 1451.

[Exemption from customs of salt, skins, &c.]

[By a Charter granted by King James the Second, under his Great Seal, of the above date, the King, for the singular favour he bore towards his beloved merchants, burgesses and community of his Burgh of Edinburgh, in respect of the manifold free services rendered by them to His Majesty, granted and perpetually confirmed to the burgesses and community, and their heirs and successors, burgesses of the said burgh, that in all time thereafter they should be free absolved and quit from all payment of the custom of salt, and of the skins underwritten, commonly called "schorlingis, skaldingis, futefellis, lentrinwere, lamb skynnis, tod skynnis, calf skynnis, cunning skynnis, otter skynnis, and fumart skynnis." He also granted to the said burgesses and community free power and faculty to sell, barter, or exchange, as well to strangers and unfreemen as to any other persons whatever, and as well within his kingdom as without, the foresaid wares of salt and skins, without any custom to be paid by the said strangers or others whatsoever in all time coming, so that no custom should be paid by the strangers out of the said salt and skins bought and purchased from the burgesses foresaid, unless only the small custom due and in use to be paid by strangers and unfreemen to the said burgesses and community off the said salt and skins in former times.]


[Election of Officers.]

(In the Heid Court after Michaelmas 1452, electi in balliuos Thomas Prestoun, Jacobus Boncle, Joannes Cairnis, seriandi four in number, appreciatores seruisie four personis.) (This in the auldest buik.— Tr.)

30th October 1453.

Burges be his mother brother

Joannes Hiane junior effectus est burgensis hereditarius ratione Thome Spens avunculi sui, et finiuit pro libertate species et vinum, plegio Thoma Levingtoun. (This in the eldest riven buik.— Tr.)

[John Hiane, junior, is made hereditary burgess in right of his uncle Thomas Spens, and paid for the freedom spices and wine, Thomas Levington being surety.]


[Customs and Water mett of Leyth.]

(On ane lowse leiff daittit 1453, the customes of Leyth are callit:— Bolle custume de Leyth, ac parue custume de pok pak barel et hujusmodi bonorum assedantur etc.)

[The Bolle custom of Leith, and petty custom of pok pak barrel, and sicklike goods, are let, &c.]

(And on the sam leiff the watter mett of Leyth sett to Jhone Dow for ij merks.—Tr.)

4 November 1454.

[The customs of Leith granted by King James the Second to the burgesses and merchants of Edinburgh, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of date 25th September 1445, to endure during the King's pleasure, were made perpetual by Grant or Letters Patent of the same Sovereign, under the Great Seal, of the above date.]

13th September 1456. (fn. 1)

Baxters, Burgessis. Fremen.

The qubilk day it was grantet be the provest baillies and counsale of the toun in favoures of the haill craft of the baxteris that thair sall na man of that craft be maid burges or freman without the avys and consent of the maist pairt of the worthiest of the craft, and that it sall be sene that he be worthie and sufficient to labour, and that he haif cunnying and power to labour, and that thai pay their dewteis to the alter lyk as the laif of the craft dois.

Annual for repair of St V bert's Altar in St Giles.

The said day, before the provest baillies and counsale of the toun, Patrik Donald grantit and promittit that he sould gif ij. markis of annuell yeirlie to be raisit of his tenement lyand in Todrikkis Wynd to the reparation of the altare of Sanct Vbertis foundit be the craft, and till infeft it yeirlie, and gif sesing thairof to the said altare for his stane and lair place that he hes befoir the said altare, or ellis to remove the said stane and tak it away.

6th October 1456.

Electing of maiestrats.

In the Tolbuith of Edinburgh, thir personalie wnderwrittin, that is to say Alexander Naper, Williame of Cranstoun, Adame Cant, Lancelott Abernathie, Thomas of Bigholme, John of Halkerstoun, Sandie of Schele, Robert Blak, George of Pennicuik, etc.; be thair grit aith sworne, the haly Ewangellis tuitchitt, in the preseus of ane rewarend Father in Chryst George Bischop of Brichen, right honorabill and worschipfull Lord Iames of Levingtoun of the Calender Chamerlane of Scotland, and of certane lordis of our Souerane Lordis Counsall, deponit and delyuerit in manner and forme as followis: That is to say, that the auld vse and custome heyan of tymes bygane was that aye vpoun the day nixt befoir Michalmes day the dusane of the towne vsit to cheis the lytis of the officiaris of the burgh as thai now did, and thairefter ay vpoun the hede cort day the baillies war chosin of the lyttis that war new befor be the dusane, and on the morne the prowest dene and officiaris of the gild war chosin, and thai find that the auld wse thairof now at this tyme was brokin throw the chesing of a baillie that is now chosin that was na lite befoir, and thai fund that the caus of the doing thairof was throw Johne of Foulis, Thomas Butler, Will. Bonnantine and Thomas Swyft.—(This amang the auld leiffes of this daitt.—Tr.)

10 November 1457.

(In ane awld revin buik, qubilk is the first awld buik, I find the common rent sett as follows:— Tr.)

[Setting of commoun rents.]

Assedationes terrarum et annuorum reddituum burgi facte in Pretorio euisdem x Novembris 1457, a festo Beati Martini instantis anni usque ad festum.

[Tacks of the lands and annual rents of the burgh, made in the Tolbuith of the same, 10th November 1457, from the feast of St Martin of the present Martini 1458, et facte sunt hei assedationes, coram preposito et balliuis et communitate dicti burgi.

Quo die parue custume burgi assedantur Patricio Donaldsoun et Patricio Murray pro lxvij merkis, ad terminos burgi consuetos, plegio manu propria terras redditus et possessiones ac omnia bona sua mobilia et immobilia habita et habenda pro seipso et dicto Patricio.

Dicto die parue custume de Leyth de pok pak barell et hujusmodi bonorum, cum lie met syluer, assedantur Joanni Robertsoun et Joanni Lowthiane pro xxij merks, [plegio] pro Joanne Robesoun Hugone Debar, et pro Joanne Lowthiane Alexander Naper de Merchinstoun.

Item lie pittie heavin syluer de Leyth assedatur dictis Joanni et Joanni pro xxxiij merks, plegio dictis Hugone et Alexandro.

Botha prima camere pretorij assedatur Allano Broun pro xl s., plegio Adam Cant.

Secunda botha assedatur Joanni de Dalrimpill pro xl s.

Tertia botha in manibus Malcomi Baird pro xl s.

4 botha assedatur Henrico Fowles pro xlv s., plegio seipso.

year to the feast of St Martin 1458, and the following tacks were made in presence of the provost, bailies, and community of the said burgh.

Which day the petty customs of the burgh are let to Patrick Donaldson and Patrick Murray for 67 merks, at the usual terms of the burgh, pledging by his own hand his lands, rents and possessions, and all goods moveable and immoveable, had and to be had, for himself and the said Patrick.

On the same day the petty customs of Leith of pok, pak, barrel, and sicklike goods, with the "met-siller," are set in tack to John Robertson and John Lowthian for 22 merks. [Sureties] for John Robertson, Hugh Debar; and for John Lowthian, Alexander Napier of Merchiston.

Item, The petty haven siller of Leith is let to the said John and John for 33 merks. Sureties the said Hugh and Alexander.

The first booth of the chamber of the Tolbuith is let to Allan Broun for 40 s. Surety Adam Cant.

The second booth is let to John de Dalrimpill for 40 s.

The third booth in the hands of Malcolm Baird for 40 s.

The fourth booth is let to Henry Fowler for 45 s., on his own security.

5 botha assedatur Jonete sponse quondam William Scott pro xlv s., plegio Jacobo Dodds.

6 botha assedatur Thome Williamsoun pro xlv s., plegio Waltero Young.

7 botha in manibus Nicolai Spathy pro xv s.

Botha proxima in manibus Georgij Fawlau pro xlv s.

Due bothe ex parte occidentalj pretorij assedantur Roberto Mvray pro xliij s., plegio Waltero Young.

Botha orientalis ex parte australi pretorij assedatur Ioanni Law pro xx s., plegio William Lawder.

Secunda botha assedatur Ioannj Best et datur sibi gratis pro feodo suo.

Tertia botha in manibus ville.

Botha 4aassedatur Joanni Gullane pro xx s., plegio Jacobo Schele.

Bothe 5 et 6 in manibus ville.

In domo campanilj domus supra gradum assedatur Jacobo Tailzeour pro l s., plegio Alexandro Schele.

2 domus assedatur Willelmo Balfour pro xlv s., plegio seipso.

Tertia domus assedatur Thome Nort pro xviij s.

The fifth booth is let to Jonete, spouse to the late William Scott, for 45 s. Surety James Dodds.

The sixth booth is let to Thomas Williamson for 45 s. Surety Walter Young.

The seventh booth in the hands of Nicholas Spathy for 15 s.

The next booth in the hands of George Fawlau for 45 s.

The two booths on the west side of the Tolbuith are let to Robert Murray for 43 s. Surety Walter Young.

The east booth on the south side of the Tolbuith is let to John Law for 20 s. Surety William Lawder.

The second booth is let to John Best, and is given to him gratis for his fee.

The third booth in the hands of the town.

The fourth booth is let to John Gullane for 20 s. Surety James Schele.

The fifth and sixth booths in the hands of the town.

In the bell-house, the house above the stair is let to James Taylor for 50 s. Surety Alexander Schele.

The second house is let to William Balfour for 45 s., on his own security.

The third house is let to Thomas North for 18 s.

4. domus assedatur Waltero Carnis pro xx s.

Lie penteis sub gradu assedatur Ade Cant pro xix s. vj d., plegio seipso.

Supremum sollarium assedatur Malcomo Boyde pro xxx s., plegio seipso.

Botha proxima lie penteis assedatur Thome Quhytelok pro xl s., plegio seipso.

Botha proxima assedatur Willelmo Turnour pro xl s., plegio seipso.

Botha proxima assedatur Willelmo Hall pro xliiij s. v d., plegio Willelmo Turnour.

Botha proxima assedatur Harmanno Beltmaker pro xliiij s. vj d., plegio Jacobo Schele.

Botha proxima assedatur Ade Spens pro xliiij s. vj d., plegio Waltero Young decano.

Domus carnificum assedatur carnificibus pro x merk plegio quolibet pro alio.

Lie butter trone assedatur Margarete Bertrem pro iiij li. vj s., plegio Adamo de Cranstoun.

Molendini remanent in manibus ville.

The fourth house is let to Walter Carnis for 20 s.

The penthouse under the stair is to let to Adam Cant for 19 s. 6 d., on his own security.

The uppermost chamber is let to Malcolm Boyd for 30 s., on his own security.

The booth next the penthouse is let to Thomas Whitelock for 40 s., on his own security.

The next booth is let to William Turner for 40 s., on his own security.

The next booth is let to William Hall for 44 s. 5 d. Surety William Turner.

The next booth is let to Harman Beltmaker, for 44 s. 6 d. Surety James Schele.

The next booth is let to Adam Spens for 44 s. 6 d. Surety Walter Young, deacon.

The fleshhouse is let to the fleshers for 10 merks, each being cautioner for the other.

The butter trone is let to Margaret Bertrem for £4, 6 s. Surety Adam de Cranstoun.

The mills remain in the hands of the Town.]


[Election of officers.]

(In the Heid Court after Michaelmas 1458 is electet thre bailies, four seriandes, thre gustatores seruisie, twa appreciatores carninum.) (This amang the auld leiffes of this daitt.—Tr.)

[See note to extract, dated 3 October 1403, supra p. 2.]

3 October 1459.

[Gild brother.]

Edward de Boncle effectus frater gilde et datur gratis pro suo auxilio et consilio. (Gild court leiffes—this leif merket 8.—Tr.)

[Edward de Boncle is made guild brother, and it is given gratis for his aid and counsel.]


  • 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.
  • 4. In the Council Records, Vol. 1, fol. 35, this extract is dated as above, but in the volume of extracts in the Advocates' Library, fol. 42, it is dated 1466.