Extracts from the Records: 1558, Jan-June

Pages 15-26

Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1557-1571. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1875.

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1558, Jan-June

19 January 1557


The quhilk day, being convenit within the ovir counsale hous, the prouest baillies counsale and hale dekynnis of craftis, my said lord prouest desyring thame to call to thair remembrance his haistye departing towert the pairttis of France as ane of the lordis ordanit to pas thair for completing of our Souerane Ladeis mariage, and how necessar it wes for thame and commoun weill of this burgh to haue ane honest and qualefeit man to be thair president induring the tyme of his absence, and presentlie to name certane honest men of this burgh and vtheris as thay thocht expedient to the nowmer of viij or xij personis, and amangis thame as vse hes bene to voit and elect ane to haue the said office as said is, at quhais desyre and vpoun consideratioun foresaid diners personis being put in wryt and thair names being red to my said lord prouest baillies and counsale and dekynnis foresaid, all in ane voce names vottis and electis Robert Maitland of Leithingtoun to be thair president induring the tyme of the said proyestis absence and forther induring the said counsalis will.

21 January 1557.

Magdalene brig.

It being menit to the prouest baillies and counsall of this burgh of Edinburgh be Joseph Rammage and George Notman, masonis, that the Magdalene brig betwix and Mussilburgh is dekeyit and at the falling down, and for support and help of the samin desyrit ane day throw the town for obtening of almous and guid ded of honest men, quhilk desyir my said lord prouest baillies and counsall thocht ressonable and for the commoun weill, and heirfor grantis and gevis licence to the saidis personis to cheis quhat day thai pleis quhat personis thai may haif for obtening of the said almous, provyding alwayis the almous obtenit be presentit to the saidis prouest baillies and counsall and cautioun fund that the samin salbe bestowit vpoun the said brig and na vtherwyis.

9 February 1557.


My lordis presidenttis and counsale foresaidis ordanis James Adamsoun thesaurer to deliuer and pay to John Wauchlott officer and chirurgeane the sowme of thre pundis for curing and mending of James Hendersonis leg in the townys seruice at the taiking of Ramsay ane theif quha wes slane in the taiking, etc.

Clayth mercat.

The quhilk day, the forsaidis president baillies counsall and dekynnis forsaid, convenit in the counsalhous, anent the supplication gevin in be the awneris of diuers and sindrie landis and tenementis liand within this burgh be west the tolbuith thairof, and the drapperis of lynning clayth, cottane, quhite, gray, and all vtheris within sex quarteris breid, inhabitouris of diuers of the saidis landis liand as saidis, [which supplication refers to the act of the council confirmed by King James III., on 3rd October 1477 (Vol. I., p. 34), ordaining the clothmarket to be held "betwix Libertownis Wynd heid and the traveis bewest the tolbuith," and to the change introduced by the act dated 24th April 1555 (Vol. II., p. 214,) when, at the "solistatioun and persuasioun of diuers nychtbouris remanand be eist the said tolbuith," the market was appointed to be held "betuix the Nether Bow and Freir Wynd,"] be ressoun quhairof the said mercate wes haldin in that pairt sensyne, and the saidis compleneris nocht sufferit to hald the samin be west the said tolbuith in the pairt befoir expremit, nochtwithstanding the ordinance act and privelege foirsaid maid in thair favouris with the confirmatioun following thairupoun, contenand diuers panis contrair the brekaris thariof, to thair grite dampnage and skayth, that hes maid grite biggingis in the foirsaidis pairtis bewest the said tolbuith for respect and commoditie of the said mercate thair to be haldin, and of the saidis drapperis and inhabitouris foirsaidis that hes preparit thame thairto and maid thair inhabitationes within the saidis boundis for the samin respect, and als contrair the commoun weill of the said burgh, gevand occassioun thairby that ane grite pairt of the inhabitouris thairof to remoif furth of the samin and remane in the Cannogaitt and to mak biggingis within thai pairtis and to leif this town vnbiggit, as at mair lenth is contenit in the said supplicatioun gevin in thairupoun, the richtis ressones and allegationes of bayth the saidis pairtiis hard sene vnderstand and at lenth considderit, bayth the saidis pairtiis comperand in the counsalhous of this burgh, the saidis presidentis baillies counsale and dekynnis foirsaid decernis and ordanis the said clayth merkat to be restoirit and brocht vpe agane abone the tolbuthe of this burgh, thair to be vsit and haldin in the samyn place quhairintill it was of befoir vpone all merkat dayis vsit and wount according to the foirsaidis aulde statutis and ordinancis confermit thairvpone, as said is, and ay and quhill the samyn [be re]ducit and all parteis callit thairto havand enteressis, and [als] dischargis the new act foirsaid maid for moving and [handling] of the said merkat be eist the towbuithe and de[cernis the ] effect thairof to ceis and expyre in all tyme cuming.

11 February 1557.

Mow, candylmakar.

My lordis presidentis baillies and counsall decernis and ordanis Thomas Mow, candilmaker, and Elezabeth Nudry his spous, to abstene desist and ceis in all tyme cuming fra all melting of ony crakkingis of talloun within thair bak hous or ony vthir houssis liand in William Huchesonis clos sa lang as maister Henrie Sinclair dene of Glasgow, president of oure Souerane Ladeis counsall and sessioun, remanis within this burgh, for avoyding of the corrupt and vnhalsum air cumand thairthrow to my said lord presidentis hous, and that in respect of the saidis personis consentis gevin to the premissisl; and gif thai failye thairintill to pay to the commoun guid of this burgh for the first falt xl s. with the escheting of the stuff; for the nixt, banissing of the toun but fauouris.

Markett of skynnis.

The presidentis baillies haill counsall and dekynnis foirsaidis, all with ane consent, ordanis the merkett of hydis and skynnis in tymes cuming to be brocht doun frome the place abone the tolbuith quhair it presentlie remanis, and be sett and haldin beneth the salt trone, betuix Walter Scottis close and Nudreis Wynd on bayth sydis, induring the townis will allanerlie, and that for guid caussis considerationis and motives moving thaim thairto at this instant tyme, and that officeris put this present act to executioun with all diligens.

6 March 1557.

Lindesay, Makdougall.

My lordis presidentis baillies and counsale forsaid ordanis maister James Lindesay baillie, and Sir William M'Dougall maister of werk, to contract and aggre with the lyme men of Cousland for furnessing of lyme to the wallis of the toun, and thay to be the price makaris thairof allanerlie.

Precept, Lytstar.

My lordis presidenttis baillies and counsale foresaid ordanis James Adamsoun, thesaurer, to deliuer to Dauid Lytstar in Leyth xl s., for pulder and bullet furnist be him at thair command to certane artailye quhilk thay sould haue bocht fra him and shott to assay the saymn.

16 April 1558

For paying of extent.

The president baillies and counsale forsaid ordanis in all tymes cuming, quhen ony taxtis stenttis or otheris portabill chargis sall happin to cum vpoun this burgh, that all maner of personis that hanttis vsis or exersis the libertie and privielege of merchandis or fre burgessis of the same, that is to say the venting of wyne or onye other kynd of merchandice, quhat sumeuer stait thai be, men of law scribe or other priueliegit persoun, nochtwithstanding thair saidis priueliegis, in all tymes cumming thay stent scait lott and beir chargis walk and waird with the saidis merchandis sa lang as thai vse thair libertie or onye pairt thairof.

9 May 1558.

Concerning the superiour defence of the burgh.

The presidenttis baillies counsale and dekynnis, with ane greit nowmer of merchandis craftismen and vtheris of the commvnite of this burgh, being convenit within the tolbuth of the same, quhair it wes proponit to thame be maister Thomas M'Calyeane, president, the present apperance of weris and invasioun of inimeis, and how that this said burgh wes desolait of ane superiour of jugement knawledge and habilite to haue the charge caire and reull of the samyn in case of invasioun as said is, quhairfor he according to his dewitie towert this said burgh and fauour he bair to the commoun weill of the samyn exhortit thame amang the bonillis and greit baronys of this realme to nominat certane. and put the samyn in wryt, and to pas to the Quenis grace and lordis of Secreit Counsale desyring hir grace to gyf to thame ane of the saidis nobill men to haue the charge our thame and thair said toun, vnto the tyme of the returne of my lord Seytoun, prouest, now in the pairttis of France; quhilk propositioun being hard be the vther president baillies counsale dekynnis burgessis craftismen and ane pairt of the commvnite as said is thay all in ane voce thocht the saymn gude, and ordanit James Carmychell dene of gild, maister Jhonn Spens baillie, James Adamsoun thesaurer, maister Jhonn Prestoun, James Young cutler, David Kynloch baxter, Robert Hendersoun barbour, and Alexander Guthre commoun Clerk, to pas to the abbay to the Quenys grace Marye Quene Dowrear Regent of this realme, and lordis of secreit counsale being thair and gyf in the supplicatioun of the quhilk the tenour followis: Madame, the presidenttis baillies counsale and commonite of this burgh of Edinburgh maist humlie exhorttis your grace and lordis of secreit counsale to haue remembrance of oure complayne gevin in to yow of before and, conforme to the desyre of the samyn, grant we ane of the nobill men quhais names followis to haue the cure and charge our ws and our said toun vnto the returne of my lord Seytoun our prouest, etc,; and your grace's ansuer. The names of the nobill men:—My Lord erle Boith uell, my lord erle of Mortoun, my lord erle of Glencarne, the lord Erskyn, the lord Sempill and the lord Ruthven. With the quhilk writing conforme to the said ordinance the personis aboue writtin deput to pas thairwith past to the abbay and deliuerit the samyn to the Quenys Grace and lordis of secreit counsale foirsaid

11 May 1558

Concerning extentoris.

The presidenttis, maister James Lindesay, maister Jhonn Spens, William Lausoun baillies, James Adamsoun thesaurer, maister Jhonne Prestoun, Alexander Barroun, William Kar, James Curle of the counsale, ordanis that in all tymes cuming quhen it salhappin ony extenttis to be laid vpoun this burgh that the extentouris sall be taxt and thair extent sett be the baillies and counsale and nocht be thame selfis as vse hes bene, for eschewing of mwrmur of the pepill; and siclike that Andro Murray of Blakbaronye, Jhonn Carkettill of Fynglen, Thomas Kantt of Sanct Gelys Grange and vtheris gentill men heritouris within this burgh that vssis na marchandice nor exchange within the samyn be mair gentillie handillit in tymes cuming nor thay haue bene of before, and to that effect ordanis thame to be alsua taxt be the said counsale and nocht be the extentouris for the caus foresaid,

21 May 1558.


The presidenttis baillies dene of gild and hale counsale, with auise of the maist pairt of the dekynnis and certane vtheris honest nychtbouris of of this burgh, fyndis necessar that certane gunneris men of experience be byrit for handling graithing and shutting of the townyis monitioun in case of invasioun, and to that effect hes presentlie hyrit Robert Caldour and William Kelle gunneris for thre monethis, thair begynning to be vpoun Sounday xxij day of Maii instant, and euerye ane of thame to haue monethlie v li. to be payit be the thesaurer of this burgh, and Gilbert Balfour souertie for the said Calder, and Gilbert Balfour to be maister of the townys artailye.

Close futtis.

The presidenttis baillies and counsale foresaid fyndis gude and necessar that all the close futtis on bayth syddis of the Hie Streit of this burgh be closyt and bigit vp with stane and lyme or vtherwayis sufficient be the occupearis of the landis within the samyn vpoun the expenssis of the heritouris in case of invasioun of inimeis, and the wynde futtis onle to be oppin, quhilk the forsaidis ordanis to be done.

But, port.

The foresaidis ordanis James Adamsoun, thesaurer, to big ane but of fale at James Bassendennis hous abone the Nether Bow quhair the samyn wes of before, vpoun the townys expenssis, and siclike to big vp the eist port of the Cougait callit Sanct Marye port vpoun the townys expensses quhilk salbe allowit to him; and siclike ordanis the said James to caus mak tua hundreth small creillis for be[ring] of eird, and to by half hundreth schod schullis with tua dosane matokis, quhilk sall alsua be allowit to him, and put the samin in the monitioun hous of the toun.

[Preparations for defence of the burgh.]

The presidenttis baillies and counsale foresaid ordanis proclamatioun to be maid through the toun chairgeing all inhabitanttis of this burgh to convene before thame the morne at thre houris efter none, thair to declair how monye men euerye man will sustene for defence of this burgh in case of invasioun, with certificatioun and thay failye to convene at the hour appoynttit to the effect foresaid that the counsale will extent and set euerye man according to thair knaulege, and siclike ordanis that euerye honest man within burgh haue ane schod schule spaid and mattok within his hous to be in radynes in case the gude toun haue ado.


The presidenttis baillies and counsale ordanis maister Jhonn Spens baillie, Dauid Forster and Gilbert Balfoure of counsale, and Alexander Guthre commoun clerk, to await continuallie vpoun the Quenys grace and lordis of secreit counsale in the abbay vpoun the ansuer of the gude townys desyre twiching ane greit man to haue the steir reull and gouernance of the toun vnto the returne of my lord Seytoun provost.


The presidenttis baillies and counsale foresaid ordainis James Adamsoun, thesaurer, to by fra Dauid Bell in Leyth vj cutthrottis with thair chalmeris and calmes, and to pay to the said Dauid xiiij s. for euerye stane wecht of the samyn.

27 May 1558.

The townys evidenttis.

The presidenttis baillies counsale and dekynnis, beand convenit in the tolbuith of this burgh, is content granttis consenttis and als commandis James Carmychaell dene of gyld, James Adamsoun thesaurar of this burgh and James Barroun burges, that gif it salhappin our ald inemyis of Ingland to cum fordwhat for persute of this toun, to convoy and transport the haill evidenttis and wryttingis now beand in the thesaurar hous of this burgh to the castell and to put the samyn in the thesaurar hous of the said castell thair to remane in sure keping; and siclike ordanis the said dene of gyld to haif the reliquis syluer chandlaris with the rest of the syluer wark capis and ornamentis of the kirk of Sanct Geill to the said thesaurar hous of the castell thair to be kepit in lyke maner, quhairupoun the said James Carmichaell dene of gild askit instrumentis.


The saidis presidentis baillies and counsale ordanis the officiaris to pas and charge the dekynis of ilk craft to consult and awys with the remanent of the fremen of his occupatioun to se quhat nomer of men thai may be furnising thame self for resistance of our ald inemeis of Ingland in cais thai persew this burgh, and that euery dekyn be himself gif in the nomer that thai may be in. roll to the baillies and counsall vpoun Thurisday nixtocum, to the effect that thai may knaw quhat the haill toun may do.

30 May 1558.

Ordnance for defence of the town.

The presidenttis baillies and counsale ordanis proclamatioun to be maid at the mercat croce of this burgh, in our Souerane Ladeis name and thairis, commandand and chargeand all and sindry the inhabitanttis of this burgh, merchanttis craftismen and all vtheris occupearis and induellaris within the samyn, that in case this burgh happin to be invadit with inimeis, nane of thame tak vpoun hand to remove or pas furth of the samyn the tyme of the invasioun, bot remane thairintill weill and sufficientlie furnist with all maner of armour and wappinnis according to thair power for defence of this said burgh, certefeing all and sindry the personis foresaid that gyf ony of thame absenttis thame selffis or beis away the samin tyme thair landis and guddis salbe escheit and confiscat disponit and deltt to the wyffis and bairnys of thame that salhappin to remane quhilkis beis hurt mutilat or slane in the defence of this said burgh, and the vtheris personis fremen quhilkis hes na landis nor guddis, and absenttis thame selffis as said is, to be dischargit thair fredome and banyst this toun for evir; and this to be done without ony fauour, efter the jugement and discretioun of the prouest presidentis and baillies for the tyme.

5 June 1558.

Anent the hyring of thair seruandis.

It is statute and ordanit be the presidentis baillies counsale and hale dekynnis that na maner of persoun, burges craftisman nor vther inhabiter within this burgh, contract or hyre ane vther mannis seruand now in tyme of weyr, bot that euerye man to be haldin to ansuer for his awin seruand and haue him sufficientlie prouidit for defence of this burgh in case the samyn be invadyt be our auld inimeis, certefeing him that hyris or gevis wage to his nychtbouris seruand as said is the said wage salbe tynt to the gever tane and applyit to the commoun proffit to this burgh, and the seruand that passis fra his maister pvnist in his persoun and be compellit to enter agane to his said maister and serue him and nane vtheris during all tyme he is detbound till do the samyn.

[Men to be furnished for defence of the town.]

The presidenttis baillies dekynnis and counsale foirsaid, for the commoun weill and defence of this burgh in case of invasioun as said is, ordanis all nychtbouris merchanttis craftismen and vtheris to be convenit within the tolbuth of the samyn, and thair be thair awin avise counsale and consent to heir and se euerye ane of thame to be set to samonye men as his substance may sustene, weill prouidit in armour and wappynnis, for the defence of this burgh in case of invasioun, [and] to be waigit and sustenyt be thame to serue vnder captanes as salbe chosin be the presidenttis baillies and counsale [and that] induring the said invasioun or langer as salbe necessarie.

[Men to be furnished by merchants.]

The samyn day, the merchanttis of this burgh beand convenit as said is, of thair awin fre willis, consenttis euerye man to furnys the nowmer following, weill prouidit in armour and wappinnis, and ma gyf neid beis, induring the tyme foresaid: [Here follows the roll of names, the numbers being for the north-west quarter, two hundred and nineteen men; for the south-east quarter one hundred and ninety-five; for the south-west quarter, three hundred and twenty-two—in all, seven hundred and thirty-six men.]

10 June 1558.

Dekyn of the masounis

The saidis president baillies and counsale ordanis Dauid Grahame dekyn of the masouns, of his awyn consent, to gif in the roll of the maisteris and habill men seruandis of the said craft on Wednisday nixtocum, vnder the pane of wardyn.

[Skinner craft.]

The president baillies and counsale sittand in judgement, haifand considderatioun of the havie complaint maid to thame be the brethir and maisteris of the skynnar craft anent the gret skayth thai incur throu vnfremen that cumis furth of Sanct Johnstoun and otheris partis, that daylie vsis to vent and sell thair pursis gluffis panttis and otheris maid wark pertening to the said craft, nocht onlie in fuill grossis bot alssua in smallis, daylie and oppinlie vpon the Quenis streit of this burgh, quhilk thai aucht nocht to do bot on Monunday and the tyme of proclamit fairis, vsurpand thairthrow als gret priuelegis as thai that ar fremen, quhairby [ar] put to sic preiudice that thai are nocht abill to taxt stent [walk and waird] without remeid be put thairto; thairfoir ordanis the officiaris of this burgh to pas and discharge all vnfremen, vsand to vent or sell sic wark pertening to the said craft, that nane of thame tak vpoun hand fra Monunday nixtocum furth to sell the same bot vpoun the merket day vsit and wont, that is to say Monunday, or in proclamit fairis, vnder the pane of eschaeting, [and they to find surety to comply with this act]; and for the secund falt, or sa oft as thai failye efter the fynding of the said souerte, his souerte to be pvnist at the townis will, and the saidis purssis gluffis panttis or otheris maid wark fund selland be thame to be eschaet and applyit to the commoun wirkis of the burgh.

[Men to be furnished by crafts.]

The quhilk day the craftis of this burgh being convenit within the tolbuyth of this burgh, of thair awin fre willis [consentis] euerye man to furneis the number following weill prouydit men and waippinis, and ma gif neid beis, induring the tyme forsaid: [Here follows a roll of the names, of which the following is an abstract:—Skinners, 42 masters, 21 servants, together 63; Furriers, 9; Websters, 13 masters, 13 servants, together 26; Tailors, 81 "freemen," 72 servants, "the names of thame in merchant houssis and vp and doun the in hole and bore," 25, together 178; Bonnet-makers, 14 masters, 39 servants, together 53; Barbers, 25; Hammermen, 66 masters, 85 servants, together 151; Goldsmiths, 14 masters, 6 servants, together 20; Walkers, masters and servants' within town, 24, outwith the West Port, 19, together 43; Baxters, 45 masters, 55 servants, together 100; Cordiners, 49; "summa of the hale nowmer of the maisteris and seruandis abill men of craftis for defence of the toun," 717.]

17 June 1558.

Divers privilegeis obtenit be the town of Edinburgh aganis Leyth.

The indwellaris of Leyth may on na wayis buy woll hyde claith skin salmound wyne walx victuellis, or ony maner of stapill gudis, fra unfremen in the countrie, bot all sic merchandice sould first cum and be presentit to the burgh of Edinburgh, and thairefter sould be bocht fra the fremen thairof. Item, the indwellaris, nor na uther unfremen, may pack and peill the saidis gudis in the town of Leyth, quhilk is ane unfre town, nor yit in ony uther place within the fredome of Edinburgh, bot all sic merchandice and gudis aucht and sould be brocht to the said burgh, as principall stapill thairof, and thair to pack and peill the samin, and pay thair customis and dewteis thairfor as effeiris.

23 June 1558.


The presidenttis baillies and counsale, efter consideratioun and avisement with the complaynt gevin in before thaim be the dekyn and brether of the bonet makaris, makand mentioun that the outlandis men of Sanct Jonistoun and vtheris vnfremen vpoun all dayis in commoun pas throuch this toun with thair bonettis and commounlie and oppinlie sauld the samyn to all our soueranis lieges, to thair greit hurt and contrair to the priuelegis granttit to thame in thair gyft vnder the seill of caus of this gude toun, as at mair lenth is contenit in thair said complaynt, the saidis presidenttis ballies and counsale foresaid having regaird to thair said letter of gyft granttit to the said craft, the priueleges and liberteis contenit in the samyn, togidder with the greit charges sustenit be thame in stent ing and wairding, statutis and ordanis that it sall nocht be lesum to na outland man nor vtheris vnfremen to sell thair bonettis within this toun vpon the Hie Gait, nor vpoun crames vtouth buthis, bot vpon merkat dayis [vsit and wount] and fre fairis …