Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1882.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
5 April 1581.
[The provost, bailies, and council] ordanis the said thesaurer to appoynt, agrie, and mak pryce, the best cheip he can, with the smythis and workmen for banding with irne of the new furlettis within and without and in the boddomes, gevand him thair full power and commissioun thairto.
7 April 1581.
For collecting the almis.
[The provost, bailies, and council] vnderstanding that the nichtbouris of this burgh ar become negligent, wilfull, and disobedient to pas with the pece thair wolk about, for collecting at the kirk durris of the puiris almous vpoun the Sondayes, Wednisdayes, and Frydayes, and sum sending thair boyes in thair place quhairby the publict almis is neglectit and the puir havely damnefeit; for remedy quhairof thai ordane Jhone Smyth, gild officiar, to chairge sic of the nichtbouris as ar of honest reputatioun to pas with the said pece, thair wolk about, the dayes foresaidis, and be thame selffis in proper persounis and na vtheris to collect and gadder the said almous, vnder the payne of xl s. to be tane of ilk ane of thame that sall be absent or refuissis, with all rigour, and in thair place to warne the nixt in roll, and gif vp the names of the saidis persounis absent or refusand to the baillie of the quarter to be poyndit for the said vnlawes.
Precept, thesaurer, Fowlseyis, anseyngyie.
Ordanis the sowm of twenty sewin schillingis as for the pryce of ane bukrome anseyngyie maid and furnist be the thesaurer at the baillies command to the persounis that cuist at the Fowseis of Leyth.
Precept, thesaurer, Conventioun buik.
Ordanis Jhonn Robertsoun, thesaurer, to pay to Henry Chairteris the sowm of twenty schillingis for ane pay buik furnist and delyuerit be him to Jhone Guthre quha suld writt and register thairin the haill actis of the burrowes and thair conventiounis bypast.
12 April 1581.
Ordanis Jhone Sym, baillie of the sowthwest quarter, to chairge the nychtbouris thairof to repair the calsayes fornent thair landis, speciallie in the straitt leding fra the stray merket to the buriale, and the expenssis thairof to be allowet in thair mailles.
14 April 1581.
Bying of the staynes of Sanct Colmes Inche.
Appoyntis and nominatis Alexander Vddert, baillie, Jhone Harwod, dene of gild, and Henry Nesbet to agre and mak pryce with Archibald Stewart in the Quenis Ferry for bying fra him of the asler and thak staynis of the Abbay in Sanct Colmes Inche to the townes wark, swa mony as sall be thocht neidfull, and to repoirt the sam to the counsale.
Meillmen of Leyth.
Ordanis Jhone Sym, baillie, to pas to Leyth on Tysday nixt, and hald court thair vpoun the meilmen, and dischairge thame of all haldin of oppin mercat thair of meill, or topping of the sam, in hurt and preiudice of the liberty of this burgh, vnder the payne of ane vnlaw.
Fowseis of Leyth.
Ordanis the baillies in thair quarteris to discharge the nychtbouris and thaire seruandis vurking att the fowseis of Leyth to cum throw the town at ewin, in companeis with pypis and handsenyeis in sic dissolut maner of wontones, becaus the sam is found be the kirk to be offencif and sclanderus.
26 April 1581.
Alexander, puiris dewty
In consideratioun of ane Act of Parliament maid anenttis the vplifting of twelf penneis of ilk pound of all sic personis as sould happin to tyne thair actiones within burgh to the support of the puire, and to the effect that the samyn may be execute with all rigour, ordanis the officiaris of this burgh present and to cum to waird the personis or poynd the guidis of all sic personis quhome aganis decreittis is gewin or thair souerteis afore the proueist and bailleis of the said burgh for the saidis puiris dewty, and mak payment to Thomas Alexander to quhome the same is sett at the rowping of the commoun guid, they being sic as the Act of Parliament may strik vpoun, to wit, wilfull and obstinat pleyeris, and gif ony persoun enter within the bar quhome aganis decreitis is gewin that the said officiar detein thame thairintill quhill the dewtie aboue writtin be payit, and incais thai mak nocht payment thairof, or tuelf houris pas, that the said officiar putt them in the tolbuithe quhill thai mak payment of the same, and incais ony deforcement be maid to the saidis officiaris in poynding or vairding for the said dewtie, and the said Thomas Alexander gevand in and produceand the same dewly led, execute, and indorsate, and the samyn beand found of werity, the said prouest, baillies, and counsale hes agreit and ar content to accept the same in pairt of payment of the sowme quhilk the said Thomas aucht to pay for the saidis dewty.
28 April 1581.
Towne wallis, precept, thesaurer.
The provost, baillies, and counsale ordanis William Napier, baillie, Jhone Robertsoun, thesaurer, William Littill, and Robert Bog to pas and visy the faltis and decayet places of the towne wall in speciall at the Kowgaitt port, and the said thesaurer to caus repair the samyn.
3 May 1581.
Impost on clayth in France.
[The provost, bailies, and council] hes aggreit and appoyntit that the said lord prouest, with the saidis thesaurer, William Littill, Johne Adamesoun, Henrie Nesbett, and Alexander Owsteane sall pas to the Kingis Grace, be thair supplicatioun trawaill with his Hienes for remeid to be had aganis the impost laitlie raessit in France vpoun all scottis claithe, quhat way the samyn may be gottin dischairgit for the bettir eis of our merchantis and mentinens of priuelege of oure natioun.
Thesaurer, towne wall.
Vnderstanding the town wall is altogidder falteis and ruinous frome the new vall at the Blackfreiris to the Cowgaitt poirtt, thairfoire hes fund it maist necessar and expedient for strenthein of the towne that ane new substantius vall be raessit in that place, and that becaus the querrell and stane in the croft pertening to the justice clerk is maist commodius and nerrest for vynning of stanes thairto, thairfoire ordanis Alexander Vddart, baillie, the thesaurer, Henry Nesbett, Jhone Adamesoun to speik the said justice clerk and obtein his gude will and licence to this effect; and siclyk efter lang ressoning with Hew Broun, masoun, for bigging of the said wall, quhilk he alledgit vald extend to tuelff rude of work, continewis the appointment with him anent the said biggin till Frayday nixt.
Birning of baynis.
Ordanis Jhone Syme, baillie, to discharge the birning of baynis within this burgh for seruing the cungyiehous, in consideratioun of the pestiferous savour and vther incommoditeis arrysand thairthrew.
10 May 1581.
Toun wall, justice clerk.
Alexander Wddart, baillie, conform to the commissioun gewin to him declarit that he had spokin the justice clerk anent his quorrell for seruing, of the town wall at the Blakfreiris, quha was content and granttit the samyng to that effect.
Ordanis proclamatioun to be maid discharging all hostilleris, commoun cuikis, and tawerouneris to dress or to prepaire within thaire houssis ony maner of flesche vpoun the Fraydayes and Setterday is in tymes cumming, vnder the pane of ten pound sua oft as thai failzie.
12 May 1581.
New firlettis, chairge, elder.
Comperit Johne Elder, fermemorer of the musuris of this burgh, and confest and grantit him to haiwe resawit fra the handis of Johne Robertsone, thesaurer, in name of the guid toun, fouretie new firlettis banddit with [blank] irne girthis, quhairof twa at the mouth, ane within, and ane vther without, and the thrid girth in the boddum togidder with ane corsband of irne athort the said boddum outwithe, and als tuentie new pekis banddit with twa girthis of irne, ane in the mouthe and ane vther in the boddum, togidder with ane corsband athort the said boddum without; quhairvpoun the said thesaurer askit instrumentis.
17 May 1581.
Precept, thesaurer, calsay at the Grayfreiris.
Fyndis the wark of the calsay at the Grayfreir port to extend to allevin ruid and ane half, and the ruid at fiftie s. in making and repayring thairof extending in the haill to twenty aucht pund, fiftein s., quhilk calsay wes repairit be Johne Robertsoun, thesaurer, at thair command, conforme to the actis maid thairvpoun of before, and suld haif bene payit of the vnlawes, bot becaus the sam ar nocht gottin nor collectit be the baillies, or delyuerit to the said thesaurer, ordanis the said sowm of xxviij li., xv s. to be allowit to the said thesaurer in his comptis.
Precept, thesaurer, mesoures of Leyth, and half boll mett.
Ordanis Jhonn Robertsoun, thesaurer, to caus mak aucht new furlettis of the just messour, for to be mesour for seruing the wyld auentoures of Leyth, and to delyuer the sam to the fermoreris thairof, and siclyke ordanis him to caus mak ane just new mesour of the half boll mett to be straiket and conform to the new furlettis, and the sam be mett and judgeit in presens of ane pairt of the counsale.
19 May 1581.
Proclamatioun, hedder stakis.
[The provost, bailies, and council] ordanis proclamatioun to be maid dischargeing the baxteris and all vtheris to big and mak any hedder stakis in vinellis or clossis or neir to any bigget land bot allanerly att ane owtsyde, vnder the payne of x li. and escheitt of the stak conform to the auld actis maid thairanent of before; and the baillies to putt this proclamatioun to executioun in thair quarteris.
Repairing of the hospitale.
Becaus it wes meanit be certane eldares of the kirk that the ruif of the hospitale in the Trinity College is failland and habill to decay gif remeid be nocht haistely fund thairto, fyndis it guid that the nychtbouris and inhabiteris of this burgh be requyrit and travellet with for thair help to the reparatioun thairof, and thairfoir appoyntis and nominatis Alexander Owsteane and Edward Galbrayth to speik the deykinis and thair craftis, Jhone Adamesoun and Jhone Dury, minister, to speik the men of law, and Alexander Vddert and William Littill to speik the merchantis, and to report thair ansuer the nixt counsale day.
Precept, thesaurer, coillis.
Ordanis Jhone Robertsoun, thesaurer, to pay to Androw Lyndsay, javelour, the sowm of fourty schilling is in full contentatioun of the coillis and fyre furnist be him to the guid town attour the ordinare tyme throw continuance of the cauld wedder.
24 May 1581.
Villa, girnallis in Leyth.
The foresaidis prouest, baillies, and counsale hes accordit that my lord prouest with sum of the baillies and nichtbouris of this burgh, sall pas the morn to Leyth and viseit the girnaris of victuall, and quhair any beis fundin closet and victuall to be huirdit, that thai mak oppin durris and execute the paynis contenit in the townis statutes maid thairvpoun.
26 May 1581.
Pudden mercat, beir mercat.
The prouest, baillies, and counsale for policie and honesty of the towne vpoun the Sabbaith day, ordanis the pudden mercat and beir mercatt to be remouit of the calsay and placeit in the flesche mercat placis, and that the baillies caus thair officiaris to see the said place be in the meane tyme kepit clene from filth.
31 May 1581.
Reid, gildbrother, owersicht.
[The provost, bailies, and council] at the desyre and requeist of James, Erle of Arrane, grantis thair licence and owersicht to Jhone Reid, seruitour to the said Erle, to exerce the tred of ane gild brother within the fredome of this burgh, nochtwithstanding that he be nocht admittit bot onelie frie burges, and forther promesis swa sone as he sall be mareit to admitt him frie gild brother for the requeist of the said Erle.
2 June 1581.
Precept, thesaurer, lokman.
The prouest, baillies, and counsale vnderstanding that James, Erle of Mortoun, is to be execut to the deid afternone for certane crymes of lese maiesty, ordanis Androw Steuinsoun for honour of the towne to caus mak ane new garment and stand of claythis of the townis liveray to thair lokman with expeditioun, and Johne Robertsoun, thesaurer, to refound to him the expenssis.
7 June 1581.
Calsayes at the West port.
Appoyntis and nominatis William Littill, Andro Steuinsoun, and Alexander Scott to intreatt with the nichtbouris and gentilmen to landwert for laying to of staynis for repairing of the calsayes at the West port, according to the promeis and desyre of the Laird of Reidhall.
9 June 1581.
Baillie comptis of the xm merk.
Becaus the baillies hes avanceit dyuers sowmes of thair awin purs for completing the xm merkis lent to the Kingis Grace, quhairof thai haif gottin na payment of the nichtboures, and that it is vncertan quhat will be restand vnvpliftit, thairfore hes agreit that the baillies and counsale sall convene the morne at vj houris in the morning in the counsale hous, the baillies to bring and mak thair comptis, the counsale to be auditouris thairto that forther ordour may be tane for completing and perfyting of the said taxt of the lent money, and quha swa beis absent to be vnlawet in ane vnlaw of vj s. viij d. but favouris.
13 June 1581.
Anent the bigging of the awld tolbuith.
Vnderstanding that the auld tolbuith now lyand waist is altogidder inproffitabill, quhairas gif the sam wer biggett and repairit suld greitly incres the commoun rent, and the buithis on ilk syde thairof suld gif maill quhair now thai gif nane, and that opportune occassioun is offerit of staynes and aisleris in Sanct Colmes Inche, and vther materialles may now be had quhilkis heirafter sall nocht be gottin, thairfore ordanis the rentalleris of the buithis to be wairnit to compeir before thame the morne that ordour may be tane with thame for downtaking of the saidis buithis and vpbigging thairof for thair pairt and siclyke that the dekyinis of craftis be wairnit to the said day to gif thair avyse and vote heir anent the premissis.
14 June 1581.
Spens, Bairnisfather dischairget merchandice.
Dischairgis Johne Spens and George Bairnisfather, crameris, of all vsing the tred of merchandice or liberty of ane frie burges ay and quhill thai be frie with the gude towne, vnder the payne of escheitt of thair guidis quhaireuir the same may be apprehendit, becaus the said personis comperand culd schaw na resonabill caus in the contrair.
16 June 1581.
Watter yett oppining.
Grantis and consentis that the watter yett be maid patent and oppin fra v houris in the morning quhill vij houris at evin to the nychtbouris of this burgh for leding furth of thair muk, thai fyndand ane sufficient man to awaitt on the said yett for the space of [blank] dayes nixt heirafter.
21 June 1581.
Anent the payment to the nichtbouris of the xm merkis.
[The provost, bailies, and council] being convenit in the counsalhous of this burgh, comperit dyuers of the nychtbouris of this burgh quha hes avancet and lent of the xm merk grantit to the Kingis Grace and desyrit thair sowmes to [be] refoundit and payit agane to thame or ellis that thai mycht haif infeftment of ane annuell of the mylnis, conforme to the act maid thairvpoun the [blank] day of Marche last, to quhome it wes ansuerit be the saidis prouest, baillies, and counsall that the saidis nychtbouris sall resaue ather payment or infeftment, conforme to the said Act, the xx day of July nixt, desyring thame to continew the same only to the said day; to the quhilk the saidis nychtbouris consentit and askit instrumentis.
23 June 1581.
Ordanis James Nicoll, baillie, the dene of gild, William Littill, Edward Galbrayth and Thomas Aikinheid to pas on Sonday nixt at afternone to the hospitale and visy the decayet pairtis thairof in the ruif and cuppillis, and to report quhair the same neidis to [be] repairit and beittit, that ordour may be tane thairanent.
Robertsoun dischairgeit weying in Leyth.
Adame Robertsoun in Leyth oblist himself nocht to wey any maner of irne, lynt, or hemp, or ony wey guidis at any tyme heirafter within the vnfrie towne of Leyth, vnder the payne of ten li. to the puir swa oft as he beis tryit to haif done the samyn.
30 June 1581.
Nichtboures in Bervik, new custome in France, the lent money.
Becaus thai ar informit that dyuers of thair nichtboures ar detenit as prisoneris in Bervik be the Lord Lumisdaill without any just caus, appoyntis Alexander Vddert and Henry Nesbet, with George Wawchop and certane of the counsale and honest nychtboures, to pas to Dalkyth to the Kingis Grace on the townes chairges to gif in thair supplicatioun for releving of the saidis nychtbouris, and als to remember the mater anent the new custome of clayth in France, and for ordour to be tane that the towne may be payit of xm merk lent to the Kingis Grace.
Act of the deykinis anent the auld tolbuith.
The deykinis of craftis vnderwrittin, viz:—Gilbert Primrose, chirurgeane, Dauid Danielstoun, goldsmyth, Jhone Nicolsoun, cordiner, Patrik Broun, skynner, Jhone Henrysoun, Flescheour, William Fiddes, baxter, in name of the haill craftis beand requyret for thair avyse and consent to the reparatioun of the auld tolbuith, ansuerit that it wes mair necessar to releif the commoun guid quhair it is thirlet, and that thai wer payet of the money lent on the superiority of Leyth.
Proclamatioun, tar barrellis.
Ordanis proclamatioun to be maid throw this burgh that na tar barrellis be placeit in the hie streittis or oppin vinellis of the samyn, bot onely to be layit at the Grayfreir port betuix the port and Robert Abircrummeis land as the place appoyntit thairto, vnder the payne of xviij s. to be tane of ilk barrell sua oft as the sam beis fund owtwith the said place in the hie streitt and vinellis foresaidis.