Extracts from the Records: 1583, Oct-Dec

Pages 292-314

Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1882.

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1583, Oct-Dec

1 October 1583.

Electioun of provost, baillies, deyne of gyld, and thesaurer.

The prouest, baillies, dene of gild, thesaurer, and counsall, awld and new, and haill deykins of craftis, being convenit for electing of the provost, baillies, dene of gild, and thesaurer for the yeir to cum, comperit William Harvy, tailyeour, quha wes admittet on the new counsale, and acceptit the said office vpoun him, and gaif his ayth for administratioun thairof. Thairefter comperit Rychert Bynning, messinger, and producet our Souerane Lordis letteres, vnder his graces subscriptioun and signett, and thairwithall chairget the said provest, baillies, and counsell, awld and new, and the said deykins of crafts, to convene, elect, and cheise the persouns of the new counsall, and siclyk the provest, baillies dene of gild, and thesaurer mentionat in his Graces former letteres missiues, and thai beand electit that thai suld accept the said offices and rowmes, and gif thair aythis, and exerce the said office within xxiiij houris, vnder the payne of rebellioun, and gif thai failyeit to putt thame to the horne, as at lenth is contenit in the saidis letteres, of the daitt att Falkand the xxiiij of September last. For obedience of the quhilk letteres, the saidis provest, baillies, and counsall and deykins, for the maist pairt of thair votes, enterit and chuse the lyttes of the provest, baillies, dene of gild, and thesaurer as followes, to witt, for the prouest, maister Jhonn Prestoun, James Adamsoun and the awld provest; for the baillies William Littill, Henry Nesbet, James Nicoll, Thomas Aikinheid, Michaell Gilbert, Jhonn Robertsoun, Alexander Vddert, Robert Bog, Patrik Cochraine, Jhonn Mayne, William Mawle, Jhonn Fischear; for the dene of gild James Adamsoun, maister Michaell Chisholm and the awld dene of gild; for the theasurer James Ros, Patrik Cochraue and the awld thesaurer. And Jhonn Jhonestoun, Jhonn Robertsoun protestit that thai committet the governament of the town to the persouns contenit in the Kings grace lettre; and Robert Henrysoun disassentit to ony electioun bot allanerly to admitt the said persouns; and heirvpoun the saidis persons askit instrumentis. Thairafter the said provest, baillies, dene of gild, thesaurer, counsall, and deykins of crafts, be thair seuerall votes, for the maist pairt, electit furth of the said lytts as followes, to witt, Alexander Clerk, provest, William Littill, James Nicoll, Henry Nesbet, Thomas Aikinheid, baillies, James Adamsoun, deyne of gild, and James Ros thesaurer. And the said Alexander Clerk, provest, acceptit the said office vpoun him.

2 October 1583.

Anent the electioun of the new counsale.

[The provost, bailies and council,] in consideration that it appertenis to the liberteis of this burgh that the counsall and maiestrats suld be yeirlie creat be electioun, and that thai wer chairget be the Kings Maiestie to cheise the persouns nominat be his grace, quhilk ordour thai followet in creating of the maiestrats, and wes omittet at the making of the new counsall, thairfore to satisfie sic as thinkis thame selffis interest thairby, ordanit that the admissioun suld stand as gif it had past be way of electioun, and the act to beir that thai wer electit and chosin.

Electio, Jhonestoun, counsalour.

For compleitting of the number of the counsall, electit, nominat, creat and chuse Jhonn Jhonestoun, collectour to be of the counsall, in place of the awld provest, be ressoun he wes electit of new provest.

Convening of the counsall.

For keping ane guid ordour in convening of the counsall vpoun the ordiner dayes of Wedinsday and Fryday ilk owlk, it is statute and ordanit that thai sall convene immediatlie after the sermon, and the bell to ring to the counsall for the space of ane quarter of ane hour, and quha sall be absent without ane lawful excuis maid to the provest, ane of the baillies, or dene of gild, he that cumis after the ceissing of the said bell to pay to the counsall boxe xviij d., the persouns absent at x houris to pay ij s., at xj houris to pay iij s., and absents the haill day to pay vj s. viij d. Siclyke, quha sall be personally warnet to ony extraordiner dayes and beis absent, without ane lawfull excuis maid as said is, to pay to the said boxe xl d.; and that the baillies caus the said vnlawes be tayne and putt in the said boxe with all rigour.

4 October 1583.

Wilsoun, St Pawlis Wark.

Comperit Roger Wilsoun, maister of hospitale at Saynct Pawlis Wark, and declairit that he red the prayers in the hospitall conform to the iniunctiouns gevin to him, and now is discharget be the kirk, and thairfore protestit that the falt be nocht imputt to him.

College, Kirk of Feild.

Ordanis Mungo Russell, thesaurer, to pay and delyuer to William Fairlie the sowm of allevin pund, to be gevin for owtredding of the twa privie seillis, ane of the lettere of the erectioun of the College and ane vther of ane lettere concerning the provestrie of the Kirk of Feild.

Bailies of Leyth, assessouris, collectouris.

[The provost, bailies, council and deacons of crafts elected Johnn Thomsoun and Dauid Quhyte to be bailies within the town of Leith; and Mr. Johnn Scherp, Mr. Thomas Craig, and Mr. Johnn Prestoun, younger, "assessouris to the guid toun for the yeir to cum;" and the provost, bailies, and council elected Johnn Watt, smith, and James Merchell, merchant, "collectouris of the entres syluer, owlklie penneis, vpsetts, and vnlawes, conform to the decreitt arbitrall."]

Convening of the deykins.

The foresaid provest, bailyies, counsall and deykins, statute and ordanet that the rest of the deykins of craftis quha ar nocht of the counsall, beand warnet personallie to compeir before thame vpoun the ordiner counsall dayes, and absents thame selff without ane lawfull excuis, and comperis nocht before xj houris, sall pay ane vnlaw of xviij d., and gif thai be absent the haill tyme to pay xl d., and beand warnet to extraordiner dayes and nocht comperand sall pay the said vnlaw of xl d.; provyding that quhen thai haif ane lawfull excuis that thai cause ane of thair brether quha wes on the lyte of the dekinship with thame this yeir to supplie thair rowme, or ells thai sall pay the said vnlawes.

7 October 1583.

Nicht watche.

[The provost, bailies, council, and deacons of crafts], in consideratioun that the nicht growis lang, the parliament approcheis, and confluence of pepill in this burgh will incres, thairfore fynds guid that ane nichtlie watche be sett of xxx persouns, nychtbouris of this burgh, habill and weill airmet, and referris the ordoring thairof to the baillies, ordaning thame to owersie the sam, pvneis the absents, and to se that nane be fund in the gaitt after the watche sett.

Statute anent iniuris, trublance, strykking, invaiding, wawpuns, drawin bluid.; Statute anent iniuris, trublance, etc.; Statute anent iniuris, trublance, &c.

Having be lang experience thir tymes bypast perfytelie considerit the multitude of insolent and seditious persouns, tuilyairs and trubleris of the quyett estaitt of this burgh, iniurious and contumelious to thair nichtboures be sclanderous spechis, daylie growing to sic inconvenient at dyuers tymes the maiestratsand officiaris of this burgh thameselffis hes bene offendit, violat, and disobeyit, to thair greitt daynger, the raire pvnisement and small penalteis appoynetet for greitt offences being for the maist pairt the caus thairof; thairfore the saidis provest, bailyeis, counsall and deykins of crafts, with deliberat mynd and full consent, for contening of the inhabitants of the said burgh and vthers his Hienes subiects repayring thairvnto in thair dew obedience to his Maiestie and lawes, and having of his Hienes predicessoures of maist ancient memorie full authoritie and power to mak statuts and constitutiouns seming vnto thame maist convenient for quyetting of the estaitt of the said burgh, and to putt the sam to dew executioun with all rigour vpoun the offendares according to thair merites, haif statute and ordanet that na convocatioun be maid within the said burgh be quhatsumeuir persoun or persouns resident within the sam to the hurt and preiudice of the commoun law, vnder the paynis contenit in the acts of parliament maid be our Souerane Lord and his predicessoures thairvpoun before to be execuit with all rigour. It is alswa statute and ordanit that gif ony persoun sclander, blaspheyme, or iniure his nychtbour be malicious and vndecent wourds importing sclander and offence, salbe summerlie tryet be twa or ma famous witnessis, the persoun being convict sall pay to the towne ane vnlaw of twenty schillings, or ellis sall stand in the jogs at the mercat croce be the space of thre houris. As als gif ony persoun invaid ane vther or stryk with thair hands, feitt, or with stayne, battoun, sworde, quhyngear, knyfe, or ony vther kynd of wawpoun, howbeit he thairby draw na bluid, the striker sall pay to the towne ane vnlaw of sex pund threttein schillings foure penneis; gif bluid be drawin of him that is strikken, the drawer of the said blude sall pay to the towne ane vnlaw of ten pund; and gif ony persoun minace, brag, or bost ane vther swa that trublance thairby aryse, howbeit na bluid nor straiks follow, the said persoun minaceing and bosting sall pay ane vnlaw of fyve pund. And for the better executioun of this statute, it is ordanet that with all diligence the persouns suspect of the saidis offences and trubillances sall be putt in wairde, furth of the quhilk thai sall nocht be fred till tryell be taikin of the saidis offences; and for payment of the saidis vnlawes the persouns convict sall remayne in warde till thai satisfie the samyn, and forder quhill thai mak ane amends to the persouns offendit according to the qualitie of the fawlt, at the discretioun of the juges; and siclyke ay and quhill thai fynd cawtioun sufficient to absteyne fra the lyke offence in tyme cuming vnder sic paynes as the juges sall think maist expedient. It is alwayes vnderstand that the awld acts of this burgh, be the quhilks the persouns that are notit and convict of commoun tuilyie be baneist the liberty thairof, sall be putt to dew executioun in all poynts. And gif ony of the persouns quhilkis sall be convict of the said offences be nocht responsall for the vnlawes, and for the amendment of the pairteis, thay sall remayne in presoun fed with breid and watter be the space of ten dayes langer or schorter according to the wecht of the cryme. And nochtwithstanding the saidis speciall penalteis, it sall be lefull to the provest and bailyeis of the said burgh, with avyse of the counsale, vpoun wechtie consideratiouns be the circumstances of the falt to aggravat the payne thairof be gritter pvnisement of the offendaris in thair bodeis and guids. It is alwayes provydet that this present statute and ordinance be on na wayes extendet to slawchteris, mutilatiouns and demembrings, quhilk sall happin to be committet within the said burgh, bot that the samyn sall be pvneist according to the lawes of this realme; and als that the samyn statute be vnderstand but preiudice of our Souerane lords actioun competent to his hienes aganis quhatsumeuir transgressour quhair the transgressiouns may nocht be pvneist be the power and authoritie of the said proueist and baillies. Mairower thair is dyuers and sindrie notabill actis of parliament sett furth for the pvnisement of convocatiouns, raising and stirring vp of seditioun within burgh, and for the bereris, havears vpoun thame and wearers of hagbuts, dags and pestilots, and shuiteis thairwith, as is in the 57 act of King James the Ferd, (fn. 1) in the 19 chapter of the acts of our Souerane Lords darrest mother, (fn. 2) and in the 21 cap. of the acts of our Souerane Lord in the parliament holdin at [blank] in [blank]. (fn. 3) quhilkis the said provest, bailyies, counsell and deykins for dischairgeing of thair dewtie to our Souerane Lord intendis to putt to dew executioun in all poynts. And lest ony suld pretend ignorance of the said acts of parliament, the saidis provest, bailyies, counsall and deykins hes ordanet the samyn to be proclamet, publist, and red, with this present act, at the mercat croce.

9 October 1583.

Apprehending persons in private houssis.

The provest, bailyies, and counsell fyndes and declairis that quhair ony persoun is in debt, or mak trublance, disobedience, or ony offences within burgh, and fraudfullie contenis thame selffis in private houssis, that [it] is lesum to enter in the saidis houssis, seise thair persouns and apprehend and bring thame to the howse of justice, quhilk is nor sall be na offence to the maiestrats or officeris doares thairof.

Proclamatio, middings, swyne, priveis.

Ordanis proclamatioun to be maid throw this burgh that all middings, red, fuilyie and swyne cruvis be putt of the hie streitts and venellis within xxiiij houris, vnder the payne of xviij s. swa oft as thai failyie; that na swyne be fund in oppin streitts vnder the payne of escheitt and slawchter of thame, and that na priveis rin throw the streitts, vnder the said payne for the first falt, and fra thine vnlawing, imprysoning, or pvneissing at the will of the maiestrats.

Commissio, Rex.

It was fund guid and concludet that Henry Nesbet, baillie, and William Harvy sall pas to the Kings grace in certance effairis of the town, specially anent Robert Balfour, the College and Sanct Androis, anent the laitt proclamatioun in Bervik anent the coillis and quheit careit furth of the cuntrey, and that his informatioun and instructiouns, with a lettre to the Kings Maiestie, be gevin to him in writt.

11 October 1583.

Proclamatio, scholers, college.

The provest, bailyies, and maist pairt of the counsall beand convenit, ordanit proclamatioun to be maid wairning all scholers and students that war to enter them selffis to be instrucete in the College, that thai cum to ane bailyie and gif vp thair names, quha sall tak ordour for thair placeing and instructing.

Buriale place.

Gevis power and commissioun to William Littill, bailyie, and the dene of gild, deputand thame to putt ordour and reformatioun to the making of the gravis and brekking of the grund in the buriale place, and keiping of the sam and treyis and planting thairinto.

Making of the statutes.

Gevis thair power and commissioun to the bailyeis [and eight others] to sitt and revew the statutes of the last yeir vpoun breid, aill, malt, cadill, and siclyk with the vther awld statutes, and to caus mak the pryces for this yeir and sett furth the new statutes.


Gevis power and commissioun to the bailyies ilk merket day to sett the pryces vpoun the butter, cheise, fische, and pultrie cumand to be sawld in the merket, and to se the sam sawld to the nychtbouris of the said pryce and pvneis the transgressouris.

12 October 1583.

Ane lettere fra the Kings grace anent guid ordour in the toun.

The provest, bailyies, and counsall beand convenit for the maist pairt, comperit Jhonn Androw, writter and clerk deputt of the secreitt counsall, quha producet ane lettre sent be the Kings grace to the guid town, quhilk thai ordanet to be insert in this buik ad perpetuam rei memoriam, off the quhilk the tennour followes:—Trest freynds, we greitt yow weill. Beying myndet to disappoynt the privie practices of sum bissie persouns travelland be all meanes to interteny factiouns and seditioun within that our burgh, and for this purpose vnderstanding nathing to be mair requisit nor the executioun of our lawes and paynis prescryuet thairin vpoun the transgressours thairof, we haif thairfore thocht guid to signifie sumquhat of our intenioun to yow in this behalf, quhilk is that we ar na wayes myndet to beir with sic tumultuous forme of doings as wes attemptit this last yeir be certane inhabitants of that our burgh, and cheifly aganis the maiestrats thairof for the tyme, steirit vp we dowt nocht be sum factious persouns takand thair avantage of the tyme, swa vpoun all persouns preissing to attempt the lyke forme of doing heirafter mynd we to vse that extremitie that possiblie we may, sen vtherwayes our lenitie and owersicht of things past can nocht move thame to do thair dewty, being deliberat to haif that towne anes brocht to that poynt as it may be voyde of all suspicious and indirect deilling, quhairvnto seying your travellis and diligence may work guid effect, we will desyre yow effectuouslie that ye will nocht faill to vse your offices as becumis yow, als weill in rewling and governing of that our burgh and inhabitants thairof vnder our obedience, as in repressing, withstanding, and pvneissing of quhatsumeuir persouns, contraveners of our lawes, moveris or authores of seditioun or vtherwayes disobedient to ws and our authoritie, quhairinto we assuir yow be this our lettere of our assistance and concurrance, swa that quhasaeuir sall withstand yow be word or died sall haif the pruif of our indignatioun, to the terrour of vtheris to do the lyke heirafter. Forther, becaus before our cuming thair we wald wische all occasiouns of trubill sule be removit, ye sall thairfore traivell that the laitt vnhappie accident quhilk happinit to fall owt betuix certane of your nichtboures may be componit and taikin vp, willing ather of thame in our name to yeild to that thing that is resonabill, and assuring the refusar of our mislyking, and that we can na vtherwayes esteme of him bot ane trubler of the guid and quyett estaitt of that our burgh, quhilk we man withstand. In this doing, as we ar cairfull of your weill and to haif vnitie and concord interteneit amangs yow, swa we dowt nocht of your diligence and willing mynde to satisfie our desyres, quhairin ye sall do ws acceptabill plesure and guid seruice. Thus for the present we committ yow to God. From Falkland the vij day of October 1583. Subscribitur: James, R.

16. October 1583.


In respect of this wynter seasoun at hand, dischairges all forther wynning of staynes in the querrells owtwith the Grayfreir port, and ordanis the staynes win to be led and kepit fra steilling.

Kowgaitt port, town wall.

Ordanis James Nicoll, bailyie, and with him any twa of the counsall, to pas and visie the falts in the Kowgaitt port and the decayet places in the town wall fornent the Grammer Schole, and to report the sam the nixt counsall day that ordour may be tayne thairwith.

Precept collectouris.

Ordanis the collectouris of the vnlawis to pay owlklie to Androw Thomsoun the sowm of sextein schillings of the reddiest of the vnlawes, and that for keping of the maister full and sturdy beggaris of the Hie-gaitt at all tymes, and that ay and quhill the collectouris be dischargit thairof.

Anent the seik infants.

Ordanis James Ros and Robert Henrysoun to pas to the sessioun of the kirk the morn, with sic of the baillies as beis thair, and to schaw thame of the multitude of young infants and bairnis quhilk or aft tymes left in the streitts and layet at the bailyies durris ourgane with seiknes and infirmiteis, and to desyr thair avyse for putting ordour thairto and helping of tham, and to report the sam to the counsall on Fryday nixt.


Ordanis William Littill and Henry Nesbet to assemble and convene togidder vpoun Sonday nixt afternone the persouns quha wes nominatt to sett downe and devyse the ordour of teacheing with the discypline to be keipit in the College now erecit, and to se that this mater be putt to ane guid poynt.

Annual statutes.

[Here follow "the actis and statuts of the burgh of Edinburgh, maid and sett furth be the prouest, baillies, and counsell of the samyn, xvj Octobris 1583, and proclamit at the mercatt croce the xxj day of ther said moneth." The acts refer to baxteris, malt, aill, browsteris, meill, quheit, beir, corne, fische, pultrie, flescheores, talloun, candilmakeris, staibleris, woll, hydis, skynnes, Leith, huiksteris, middings, scheildis, furrouris, walkeris, red, swyne, weaponis, assisis, witnessis, craymes, aithis, bairdis, fornicatioun, vnlawes, vagabundes, actiounes. The following prices were fixed: bread, the sixpence loaf baked by baxters within burgh to weigh seventeen ounces, and that baked by outland baxters to weigh twenty-one ounces; malt, 9 firlots, £5, 10s.; ale, 6d. the pint; tallow, 20s. the stone; the pound of candles "for xviij d. the rag weik and xvij d. the hard weik."]

18 October 1583.

Toun wall.

The bailyeis, dene of gild, and counsall, ordanis Mungo Russell, thesaurer of the yeir past, and James Nicoll and Hew Lawder to visie the town wall at the Blakfreir kirk yaird and Kowgait port, and the said thesaurer be thair avyse to caus beitt, mend, and repair the samyn.

21 October 1583.

Villa, Hadingtoun.

The bailyeis dene of gild, and maist pairt of the counsall, being convenit, at the requeist of certane nichtbouris of Hadingtoun, be quhome it was meanet that thai wer maist enormly handlit and chairget, vnder payne of horning, to cheise thair prouest, bailyies, and counsall, of new ordanit Henry Nesbet, bailyie, and William Harvie, quha wes direct of before to pas to the Kings Maiestie in certane effairis of the towne and passit nocht, yitt as of before to pas to his Maiestie and travell in the said commoun effairis and help and assist the said nichtboures.

23 October 1583.

Tabill of customes.

Gevis power and commissioun to Henry Nesbet, baillie, [and five others] to convene and sett downe ane perfyte taibill of the customes of this burgh at thair port of Leyth, conform to thair ancient chartour of the sam and rycht consuetude to be vsit thairinto.

25 October 1583.

Precept, maister of the college.

[The bailies, council, and deacons of crafts,] vnderstanding that Jhonn Jhonestoun hes agreit with the maister of the College, for himselff and his seruand, to haif daylie for thair buirding the sowme of sex schillings aucht penneis, and fynding the said sowm to be resonabill, thairfore ordanis thair thesaureris present and to cum to pay to the said maister Robert Rollok, maister of the said College, for him and his seruand, the said sowm of sex schilling aucht penneis for the caus foresaid, daylie and ilk day quhill forther ordour be tayne thairanent. And als ordanis the thesaurer to by and furneis to the said College ane sufficient skellet bell about the wecht of [blank].

30 October 1583.

Rex, burrowes letteres.

The provest, bailyeis, dene of gild, thesaurer, and maist pairt of the counsall, and of the remanent deykins of craftis, anent the lettre sent be the Kings grace to the town, toward Andro Lambs schip to pas to France with the Lord Seytoun, and anent the effairis of the customes, Henry Nesbet and the provest, ordanis lettres to be sent to ellevin of the maist principall burrowes to convene in this burgh the xij of Nouember nixt for ordour to be tayne thairanent, and siclyk that ane answer to be sent the Kings Grace ansuering to the said lettere.


It is thocht expedient, statute and ordanet that in the College foundit be the guid town in the Kirk of Feyld, that the students thairof beand strayngers and na burges bairnis of this burgh quha sall occupy any chalmers within the sam, that thai be twa in ilk bed, and thai to pay of chalmer maill yeirlie fourty shillings ilk persoun; and gif ane will haif ane bed be him selff that he pay four pund for his chalmer maill; and the said maill to be payet at thair first entrie, ane yeiris maill in hand; and that Androw Sclater maister of wark resaue this yeiris maillis gif ony beis, and to be comptabill thairfore; quhilkis maill sall be imployet vpoun the beitting, vphalding, and reparaling of the place; for the quhilk maills the guid town sall furneis the said strayngers chalmers with the treyne beds, buirds, and skelffis. And anent the students quha ar burges bairnis that thai sall pay na maill; and thairfore thai to sett vp thair beds, buirds, and skelffis vpoun thair awn proper chairges, for the quhilk thai sall haif power to tak the sam away at thair depairting or dispone thairvpoun at thair plesure. Attour, power and commissioun is gevin to Henry Nesbet, bailyie, [and five others,] with the maister of wark, to tak ordour for plaiceing and situatioun of the saidis beds, buirds, and skelffis, and siclyk for feying of the wrichts now in the wynter seasoun to the rest of the wark.

2 November 1583.

Court held at shore of Leith.

Curia burgi de Edinburgh, tenta super lie Schore de Leyth, per honorabilem virum, Jacobum Nicoll, vnium balliuarum dicti burgi.

Leith, stingmen, polkmen and metters.

The said bailyie, sittand in jugement for taiking ordour with the stingmen and polkmen vpoun the said schore in admitting the persouns maist worthie and dischairgeing all vthers, gevin of thame thair instructiouns and pryces, and taikand souerteis to keip the sam, conforme to the commission gevin to him and James Ros, maister Michaell Chisholm, and Mungo Russell, be the provest, bailyies, and counsall thairanent, the said baillie, with avyse of the said persouns, admittet and resauet the persouns vnderwrittin to be polkmen and stingmen and metters vpoun the said schoir, for serving the nychtbouris of this burgh and all the Kings Graces lieges, and discharget all thairto quhilk seruet of before; for the quhilk thai sall be oblist to obserue and keip the iniunctiouns following, vnder the payne of fourty schillings swa oft as thai failyie, besyde the payne of deprivatioun at the will of the guid town, to witt, that thai sall be leill, trew, and faythfull in thair seruice, that thai sall be diligent and reddie to serue at all tymes convenient, and first the friemen of this burgh before ony vthers, vpoun the pryces following, and in the tyme of thrang and greit seruice that thai sall fynd and furneis vthers guid faythfull and qualifeit persouns vpoun the said pryces for quhome thai sall ansuer, that thai sall carie nor beir na vnforbiddin guidis bot incontinent reveill the sam to the maiestrats, thesaurer, sercheouris or officeris of the guid town, that thai sall be ansuerabill to refound all damnage and skayth that sall fall in their defalt to the guidis careit or handlit be thame or committit to thair credite. The pryces of thair wark and seruice is:— First, for the stingmen, viz., off ilk twn of wyne, for bering on schore, houssing and sellaring thairof, far or neir, twa schilling; and for cairting and taking owt of the sam, far or neir, twa schillings; off ilk last of salmond, for careing, yairding, or sellaring, far or neir, twa schillings; off ilk last of heiring, pik, tar, or saip, twenty penneis; off ilk last of osmond irne, sellaring twa schillings; off ilk tun wad, twelf penneis; of ilk last drinking beir, twa schillings; of ilk pak of lynt or vther geir of the quantitie of ane cairts laidning, for cairting thairof aucht penneis. Anent the polkmen:—off ilk boll of quheitt, beir, or salt, for setting on the schoir, ane penny; for bering throw Leyth to the sellares, far or neir, ilk boll, thre penneis; of ilk chalder meill, threttie penneis. Anent the metteris, thai to haif for metting off ilk chalder victuall within the cuntrie aucht penneis, and of the scoir of owtlands victuall and of salt twelf penneis. Followes the names of the saidis persouns quha wer admittet and sworn to obserue the premissis and fand cawtioun thairvpoun as followes: [twelve stingmen, eight polkmen and two metters.] It is specially inioynit to the said metteris that thai sall be leill and trew, bot falsett, as equall bayth to the byers and to the sellaris vnder the paynes foresaids.

6 November 1583.

Rowping of the commoun guid.

In consideratioun that Mairtymes evin nixttocum will fall on ane Sonday, thairfore ordanis the commoun guid to be rowpet on Setterday nixt, and proclamatioun to be maid heirvpoun throw the town.

8 November 1583.

Proclamatio, merchants, preicheing.

Ordanis proclamatioun to be maid that na merchants hald thair buithis oppin fra the ceissing of the greitt bell to the preicheing nor be fund in the streitts in tyme of sermoun, or yitt depairt furth of the kirk quhill the end of the last prayer, vnder the payne of xviij s. swa oft as thai failyie.

Precept, decreit arbitral.

Comperit maister Michaell Chisholm and William Fairly, quha produceit twa extracts in parchement, vnder the subscriptioun of Alexander Hay, clerk of register, of the decreitt arbitrall betuix the merchants and craftismen of this burgh. registrat in the buikis of the sessioun, and declairit that thai payet the sowm of twelf punds for the extracting of the samyn, quhilk sowm thai ordanet Mungo Russell, thesaurer, to refound and pay to thame, quhilk sall be allowet in his compts; off the quhilk extracts the ane wes delyuerit, with consent of the said deykins, to Robert Henrysoun, chirurgiane, in name of the haill crafts, the vther ordanet to remane with the towne and to be copeit and insert in this present buik. [Here follows copy of the decreet arbitral. Vide antea, pp. 265–75.]

Merchants, pettie customs of Leyth.

The foresaids provest, bailyeis, and counsall and deykins of craftis fyndis that it hes bene hurtfull and preiudiciall to the commoun rent that the particular merchants, burgessis of this burgh, in tymes past hes nocht payet friemenis custome at the port of Leyth, thair being na privelege of exemptioun grantet vnto thame, and seying the sam pertenis to the commoun guids and suld nocht redound to a particular proffeitt, thairfore, with avyse of thair assessouris, after lang resoning heirinto, hes concludet, thocht expedient, and ordanet that, in augmentatioun of the commoun rent, the merchants, burgessis and friemen of this burgh, sall in all tymes cuming pay to the fermorers of the pittie customes of the said burgh friemenis custom of thair guids at the said port of Leyth, according to the townis infeftment and custom rollis contenit thairintill, and that intimatioun be maid heirof at the setting and rowping of the said customes.

Nairne, college.

Agreit and consentit that maister Duncane Nairn be resauet for the present secund maister in thair College, and to gif to him for his burding quhill Candilmes the sowm of twenty pund, and to haif for his stipend the sowm of fourty merks yeirlie.

Precept, thesaurer, Scherp.

Ordanis Mungo Russell, thesaurer of the yeir past, to delyner to maister Jhonn Scherp, assessour, twa crownis of the sone, for his travellis to libell the summondis of reductioun of the infeftments of the Erle of Arrane of the Dyngwallis hous besyde the Kirk of Feild, callit the Duks Lugeing, now the towns College, and for devysing the ordour of perambulatioun of the townis acres at the Seynis.


It is thocht expedient and ordanit that all the students of the townis College sall nichtlie ly and remayne in thair chalmeris within the sam, and that thai all haif and weir gownis daylie, and sic as wantis gownis and will nocht ly thairin to be putt furth thairof, and deputes Jhon Jhonestoun to se and tak cuir that the premissis be keipit, and the brekkares to dilaitt to the baillyes.

Counsal disiunes.

Ordanis Jhonn Watt and James Merchell, collectoures of the vnlawes, vpsetts, and owklie penneis, with the reddiest of the said vnlawes, to pay to Jokandrow the disioynis of the counsale avanceit be him sen Michaelmes last, and siclyk to pay to him the counsall disunes to be furnist be him heirafter induring thair offices.

9 November 1583.

Mylnis, baxteris.

[The provost, bailies, council and deacons of crafts,] for augmentatioun of the commoun rent, reformatioun of the abusis at the commoun mylnis quhilk hes rissin throw the negligence of the fermorers thairof in tymes past, and for keping guid rewle within the said mylnis in tymes cuming, hes thocht expedient and als statute and ordanet that na quheitt be cassin on to be grund at the said mylnis except the sam be first mett and mesurit at the said mylnis, and the town to haif for the multure thairof the auchtein coirn, and gif ony persoun refuis to cast on his quheitt in maner foresaid, as his rowne sall fall to him, beand lawfully wairnit thairto as vse is, he sall tyne his rowme for the space of fourtene dayes, and als swa lang as thair is ony to cast on that nane grynd mair at anes bot as efferis to his half boll of multure, and gif he brek mayne meill to grynd na mair bot as cumis to his furlett of multure; and gif ony that ar thirlet to the said mylnis, baxteris or vthers, sall grynd at owt mylnis, without license askit and gevin be thame that hes power thairto, that the stufe grund owt or valour thairof with the hers sall be escheitt, the ane half to the hospitall and the vther half to the fermoreris, besyde the payment of ane vnlaw of fyve pund to the guid town, and to remayne in waird quhill the sam be payet.

Decreitt arbitrall.

In presens of the provest, bailyeis, counsall and deykins of crafts, the decreitt arbitrall gevin betuix the merchants and craftismen of this burgh, registrat in this present buik on Fryday last, beand red and considerit, they all with ane consent ratefeit and approvit the sam and haill contents thairof in all poynts.

Prenteissis, gildrie.

After lang resoning vpoun the richts and priveleges of the prenteissis to burgessis and friemen of this burgh, vpoun consideratioun of the consuetude of burgh, certane acts and statutes maid heirtofoir, and of the effect and meyning of the decreitt arbitrall, and for gude ressonis moving thame, they haif declairit, statute and ordanet that quhen any maner of persoun sall be lawfullie bund prenteis to ane burges and frieman of this burgh, and sall compleitt his prenteisschip, and fulfill the poynts of his indentour, and beand fund qualefeit and worthie in honesty and substance to be admittet in the societie of the gild brether of this burgh, quhidder his maister wes gild brother or nocht, yitt he sall pay na mair to the dene of gild for his gildrie bot the sowm of ten pund allanerlie, for the quhilk he sall be maid gild brother, and this likewayes to be extendet to thame that wes prenteissis befor the making of this present act.

13 November 1583.


Ordanis James Ros, thesaurer, to pay for a drwm or swesche to serue the guid town, quhilk Jhonn Bayne in Leyth hes to sell, the sowme of aucht pund, and to resaue and putt the sam with the townis trumpett in thair munitioun hous.

15 November 1583.

Skynis to Flanderis.

The provest, bailyeis, and ane part of the counsall, in consideratioun that the merchants of vther burrowes hes past to Flanders with thair skynnis as thai ar crediblie informet, contrar to the ordour tayne thairanent, thairfore licentiats and permits the merchants of this burgh to pas lykwayes with thair skynnis to the saidis pairts.

19 November 1583.

Proclamatio, lugeing straingeris.

The provest, bailyeis, and counsall ordanis proclamatioun to be maid that nane harberie, ressett, or ludge ony strayngers, gentilmen or cuntrey pepill, bot incontinent cum and gif vp thair names to the bailyie of the quarter, vnder the payne of v li. and imprysonment of thair persouns during the counsales will.

Burrowes, Lamb.

Dyoneis Conquerour, commissioner for Perth, and Alexander Scrymgeour and [blank] Fynlawsoun, commissioners for Dundie and Abirdene, hes willinglie of thair awin consents, in name of the said burrowes, accordet and agreitt that the said burrowes sall pay thair pairt, according to the taxt roll of the burrowes, of all sowmes to be avanceit be this burgh for the owtredding of Andrew Lambs schip in the taking afeild and bringing hame of the Lord Seytoun to and fra France, togidder with the interest of the said sowmes, provyding alwayes that ane act of Secreitt Counsall be gottin for allowance of the said sowme in the first end of the burrowes pairt of the first taxt to be grantet to the Kings Maiestie.

20 November 1583.

Lord Seytoun, Lamb.

My Lord Seytoun produceit ane lettere sent fra the Kings Maiestie desyring the guid town to mak ane end with Androw Lamb for his schip to transport to France and hame agane the said lord, and siclyke to depute ane sufficient man to pas with him to inform and travell in the maitter of the customes, quhilk writting wes delyuerit to Henry Nesbet.

Burrowes, custome in France.

The sam day, at afternone, the foresaid provest, bailyeis, and counsall, and the commissioners of burrowes [for Perth, Dundie, and Abirdene,] hes thocht it maist necessar and expedient that ane qualefeit persoun be directit vpoun the burrowes chairges to pas to France with the Lord Seytoun, and thair to procure and attend vpoun the downgetting of the new customes.

21 November 1583.

Lamb, Lord Seytoun.

The provest, bailyeis, [council and deacons of crafts,] at the airnist desyre and requeist of the Kings Maiestie, hes thocht expedient, condiscendit and agreit for thame selffis and in name of the rest of the burrowes, for the transporting to France and hame bringing agane of George Lord Seytoun, his Maiesties imbassadour, direct thair in dyuers his Maiesties effairis, and particularlie for the downgetting of the new greitt customes rayset vpoun all Scottis merchants and thair merchandice, als weill brocht in France as had furth thairof, to gif and delyuer in frawcht to Androw Lamb, in Leyth, quhais schip is appoyntet to carie hame and afeild the said Lord Seytoun, the sowm of twa thowsand merk, the ane half at his depairting and the vther half at the hame bringing of the said lord, as wes agreit be the commissioners of the burrowes of Perth, Dundie and Abirdene, be thair act maid yisterday; provyding that ane act of Secreitt Counsall be obtenit of the Kings Maiestie that the said sowm sall be allowet to the burrowes in thair nixt generall extent; and appoyntis Henry Nesbet and William Fairlie and Alexander Owsteane to cause devyse and mak the said act of Secreitt Counsall in maist sikker and suir form. Als thai haif condiscendit to avance for thame selffs and in name of the said burrowes the sowm of ane thowsand merk, by the sowm foresaid, to mak the chairges of the persoun quha sall be appoyntit to pas with the said lord, and attend and awaitt vpoun the downgetting of the said customes, he alwayes makand compt of the samyn. Quhilk sowmes, makand in the haill the sowm of thre thowsand merk, becaus the commoun guid is far behind the hand, thay ar content and consentis to be tane fra sic as may be movet to avance the sam vpoun thair commone mylnis for annuell for ane yeir allanerly.

22 November 1583.

Statute, schereff gluiffis.

Anent the dewteis and customes of the Alhallow and Trinitie fairs callit the schereffis gluiffis, perteining to the provests of this burgh as schereffis principall within the sam, quhilk awcht to pay the pryce of the provests oxe at the Alhallow fair, and hes bene swa negligentlie gadderit and owersene in tymes past that of laitt the town hes bene putt to extraordiner chairges in making furth of the pryce of the said oxe, swa far as inlaiket of the said customes; for remeid thairof it is statute and ordanet that in all tyme cuming thair be tayne for the said schereff gluiffes of custome, for the ky, oxin, horsis, or siclyk, cumand to the said fair to be sawld, at thair West Port, of ilk heid foure penneis, and for the scheip of ilk sowm, quhilk extendis to ten scheip, foure penneis; and my lord provest for the tyme, for the payment of his oxe, to caus collect and inbring the sam to him selff be sic as he plesis, and to tak the guid and evill thairof in his awin hand, swa the commoun guid be na forther burthenit with the payment of any pairt of the pryce of the said oxe in tyme to cum; and that the commoun clerk mak intimatioun of this act at the nixt fair to the town that thai may se the sam be keipit.

Precept, proveste oxe.

Ordanis to be allowet to James Ros. thesaurer, in his nixt compts, the sowm of sextein pund deburset be him for completing of the pryce of the provest oxeat Alhallow fair last wes, by and attour the sowm of sex pund resauet be Jhonn Mwre, porter, of the customes of the said fair callit the schereff gluiffes.


Fyndes, with avyse of thair assessouris, that of richt and law the haill burgessis of this burgh and possessouris of thair commoun landis in the commoun mwre ar thirlet to thair commoun mylnis, and thairfore ordanis James Ros, thesaurer, to call the burgessis of this burgh, makers of malt, and the saidis possessouris, quha hes nocht repairet to thair common mylnis, for thair dry multure in tymes past, and to heir thame decernit thirle to the said mylnis in tyme cuming; and speciallie to call the possessouris of the xix pairts of the mwre and maister Archibald Grahame and Johnn Wilsoun in Plesance.

West Links of Leyth.

It is thocht expedient that ane bailyie or twa sall pas twyse in the owlk to the West Lynkis and vesy the sam, and caus poynd sic guidis as thai may find pasturing thairvpoun, and that thai avyse with the assessouris quhat ordour sall be vset in the sam.

Tabill of the customes.

Ordanis James Ros, thesaurer, vpoun the townis chairges, to caus mak ane perfyte tabill in parchement of the townis customes in Leyth, and to brode the sam, and affixe it in the clerkis chalmer of this burgh, and ane vther to be affixit in the clerkis chalmer in Leyth.


Ordanis the dene of gild to repair the kirk yaird dykes, inclose the said kirk yaird, swa that na persouns haif entres in or owtt at the sam bot at the greitt yett thairof.

Price of breid.

In respect the pryce of the quheitt is cum down, thay ordane the vj d. laif to wey xviij vnce.

26 November 1583.

Watche in the abbay.

The provest, bailyeis, [council and deacons of crafts,] in consideratioun of the Kings Maiesteis lettere produceit before thame, desyring and commanding that ane gaird, daylie and nichtlie, for ane certane space, of ane hundreth men of the burgh, weill airmet, micht be send to the Abbay to attend vpoun his Maiesteis persoun, quhilk number is gritter nor the town may spair in respect of the greitt chairges thai ar put to and of the watche keipit in the town, thairfore agreit that thai sall pas down to his Maiestie and desyre ather the said lettere discharget, or els the said number diminishet.

4 December 1583.

Precept, belmen.

Ordanis James Adamsoun, dene of gild, to pay fourty schillings to the twa belmen, quha lyes, at the townis command, nichtlie, in the assyse hous to attend vpoun the steipill gif the town haif ado, and this for thair coill and candill in the said hous.

Statute, visitatioun of the mwre, Trinitie fair.

For the better ordour to be tayne in visitatioun of the mairches of thair commoun lands, and reformatioun of the wrangs done vpoun the sam, it is thocht expedient, statute and ordanet that in all tyme cuming, vpoun the Trinitie fair evin, yeirly, the provest, bailyeis and counsall, takand with thame the commounitie of the town, sall pas, visy and reform the said mairches vpoun fute, and to that effect intimatioun to be maid the day before to all the nichtbouris to convene with thame, vnder the payne of xviij s.

College, kirk annuells.

William Fairlie producet twa charters maid to the guid town vnder the greitt seill, the ane of the fundatioun of the College, the vther of the gift of the kirk annuellis; quhilk letteres wes at thair command delyuerit to Jhonn Jhonestoun, collectour, and he ordanet to be chairget thairwith.

6 December 1583.

Archedene of Lowthiane.

Ordainet that Jhonn Jhonestoun, collectour, inform James Guthre to travell with the archdene of Lowthiane anent his benefice to be dimittet in favouris of the College, and agreis to ratifie and appreive all things to be done be the said James in the said caus according to the said Jhones informatioun.

Precept. college.

Ordanis Androw Sclater, maister of wark in the Townis College, to caus sett vp the students beds in the chalmers quhilk payis maill, and siclyke to by the skellett bell to the said College, and to hing vp the sam be the avyse of the bailyeis, Jhonn Jhonestoun, and the theasurer. Als ordanis maister Jhonn Prestoun, last dene of gild, to delyuer to the said Androw, for the vse of the said College, the tymmer quhilk the said maister Jhonn bocht for skaffalding to the beitting and repairing of the stepill.

Pryce of wynis.

[After receiving the depositions of certain persons "quha hes wynes laitlie arryvet fra Burdealx," the provost, bailies, and council "declaris that thai may sell the said wynes ourheid for lxviij li. the twn;" and "na new wynes be toppet and sawld of hiear pryces nor xxxij d. the pynt."]

Fewing howse on the town wall.

The provest, bailyeis, and counsall and .. deykyns of crafts, in respect that the howse on the town wall at the fute of Halkerstouns Wynd is becum ruinous and gevis na proffeitt, thairfore thinks it meitt and expedient that the sam be sett in few to sic as will bid maist thairfor, with the lyme hoills thairof, with provisioun that in tyme of necessitie and trublis the vpmest hous be patent to the town to serue for ane watchehous, and that the sam haif na ma lichts into the north bot that quhilk is presently thairin, and it to be staynchonit; and that thai be bund to vphald the said hous or ellis to forefalt thair few, by and attour the commoun claussis of payment of thair few maillis.

Donatio, beidmanschip.

Grants, gevis, and disponis, induring thair willis allanerlie, the beidmanschip in Sanct Pawles Wark, vacand be deceis of Jhonn Hopper, last possessour thairof, to Thomas Symsoun, wricht, with all dewteis and casualiteis belanging thairto. And in consideratioun that James Myller. cordiner, and Thomas Philp, bonetmaker, ar awld burgessis, faillet and decayet in body and substance, thairfore be thir presents promissis vnto thame the nixt beidmanschips that sall vaik in thair hands before ony vthers.

Villa, Lamb.

The foresaidis provest, bailyeis, counsall and deykins of craftis, in consideratioun that the guid town, in name of the burrowes, hes condiscendit at the desyre of the Kings Maiestie to avance the sowm of twa thowsand merk for transporting to France and hame agane of George Lord Seytoun, his graces imbassadour, as at lenth is contenit in ane act of secreitt counsall maid thairanent, off the quhilk sowm thair is payet in hand to Androw Lamb, quhais schip is conduceit to the effect foresaid, the sowm of ane thowsand merk, and swa thair restis awand to him the sowm of ane vther thowsand merks, thairfore the saidis provest, bailyeis, counsall and deykins of craftis, be thir presents promissis, binds and obleissis thame and thair successoures, in name of the saidis burrowes, to content and pay to the said Androw Lamb the said sowm of ane thowsand merkis, within ane moneth after the hamebringing of the said Lord Seytoun fra France in his said schip; and failyeing of his hamebringing within ane moneth next after, that the said Andro be him selff or vthers in his name sall produce and delyuer vnto thame ane sufficient and autentik acquittance, subscryuet be the said lord bak agane owt of France, conteining ane dischairge of his hamebringing and remayning vpoun him, with ane command to thame to ansuer the said Androw of the said sowm, and als the said Andro delyuerand ane command of the Kings Maiestie in writt to ansuer him of the said sowm, with his Graces dischairge of the said haill twa thowsand merk, conform to the said act of Secreitt Counsall.

11 December 1583.


Ordanis the bailyeis to caus the candilmakeris dwelland in St. Mary Wynd to withdraw thame selffis, houshald and famileis, and dwell within the wallis of the town, becaus the place quhair thai dwell is ane suspect pairt for randing of talloun and sending the sam away furth of the realm, to the greitt hurt of the Kings Graces lieges; and siclyke ordanis Jhonn Dugeoun for the sam caus to be removet furth of the place quhair he dwellis vpoun the town wall in Leyth Wynd, and that all the kandilmakers be putt to the knawlege of ane assyse for breking the towns statuts.

Precept, Hie Schole.

Ordanis James Ros, thesaurer, to caus stop and close vp the stop in the dykes at James Pyots land besyde the Hie Schole, and siclyke ordanis the scholehous bell to be hung in ane mair commodious place, be avyse of Robert Henrysoun, chirurgeane, and the thesaurer to furneis skaffalds and twa corbellis thairto.

12 December 1583.

Commissioneris, cvngyie.

The provest, bailyeis, and maist pairt of the counsall, maid and constitute my lord provest, Henry Nesbet, bailyie, and Robert Henrysoun, chirurgeane, thair commissioners, to compeir before the Kings Majestie and Secreitt Counsall, or sic as ar depute to ressoun concerning the incalling of the balbeis, nonsunts, and awld plakis, and down breking of thame, and thairvpoun to intreatt, ressoun and conclude, as wes desyret in the missiue direct be the Kings Maiestie to the guid town.

13 December 1583.

Students in the College.

At the desyre of the kirk, appointis and designis the loft in the eist end of the Hie Kirk for the place to the students of the College and thair maisters to heir the preicheins into, and ordanis the key thairof to be delyuerit to thame, and this induring the townis will quhill forther ordour be tayne allanerlie.

18 December 1583.


Vnderstanding be thair commissioneris that thair is ane new layet cvngyie in devysing to be sett furth, and after resoning thairvpoun fyndis that it will be to the vtter hurt of the realme, and thairfore ordanis thair commissioneris to dissent thairto and protest for remeid gif it be lyk to gang fordwart.

25 December 1583.

Anent Dury, minister.

The provest, bailyeis, [and council,] vnderstanding that Jhonn Dury, minister, hes removet fra the town, at command of the Kings Grace, quhairby the Eist Kirk is left destitute of ane minister to preiche thairin on the Sonday, quhairvpoun the kirk hes desyret that ordour micht be tane for ane to preiche thairin, and for visiting his quarter and taking vp the falts thairof in his absence, thairfore hes thocht expedient that thai sall all pas to the Kings Grace to knaw his graces mynd gif it be his will that the said Jhonn sall returne or nocht, to the effect that thai may provyde for ane vther, and gif it be nocht his graces will that the said Jhonn returne, in that case to requeist his grace to provyde the said Jhonn ane leving, and as it beis ansuerit be his Maiestie appoynts Henry Nesbet, James Nicoll, Andro Sclater, Robert Henrysoun to report the sam to the kirk, and to ressoun and confer with the said kirk for provyding ane vther in the said Jhones rowme.

27 December 1583.

Hospital in St. Mary Wynd.

Ordanit tryell to be tayne for fynding and sercheing of the fundatioun of the Hospitall in St. Mary Wynd that ordour may be tayne thairwith, and ordanet maister Michaell Chisholm to trye and inquyre James Hendysoun, maister of the Sang Schole, gif he hes the sam.

Donatio Hospital.

Gevis and disponis to Katherein Blyth, dochter to vmquhill Jhonn Blyce, the place in the Hospitale in Sanct Mary Wynd vacand be deceis of Jonet Harvy his mother.

27 December 1583.

Dayis throw the toun.

For guid consideratiouns moving thame, specially for avoyding the confusioun of the number of the dayes grantet throw the town vpoun the Monondayes to dyuers importune persouns, thairfore hes thocht expedient and concludet that na ma dayes be grantet quhill Candilmes nixt, and betuix and than ordour to be tayne for reformatioun of the abusis thairof.


  • 1. 1491. c. 17, Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, Vol. II., p. 226.
  • 2. 1563, c. 21, Ibid., Vol. II., p. 543.
  • 3. 1567, c. 23, Ibid., Vol. III., p. 29; Act of Convention, 5 March 1574, Ibid., Vol. III., p. 84 1579, c. 25, Ibid., p. 146; 1581, c. 30, Ibid., p. 225.