Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1882.
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7 January 1585–6.
Maisteris of the hospitall.
The foresaid provest, bailyeis, dene of gild, thesaurer and ane pairt of the counsall being convenit, with James Baxter, wrycht, Cudbert Cranstoun, furrour, of the remanent deykins of craftis, electet furth of the lytes presentet on the behalff of the ministers, elderis and deaconis of the kirk, William Inglis, merchant, and James Henrysoun, chirurgeane, to be maisteris of the hospitall for the yeir to cum.
Fynds it maist expedient that the bailyeis renew the ordour obseruet before in pvnesing of sic as blasphemys and bannis ather be ane pecuniare sowme or be putting of thame in the jogs, according to the persoun, place, and trespas, bayth thame quhom thai sall happin to find swa doing or that sall be delaittet be the eldares or deaconis.
12 January 1585–6.
Calling to mynd that James Nicoll, merchant, beand ane of the bailyeis of this burgh the tyme of the greitt pestilence, awaittet and attendit vpoun his office att all tymes, leving nathing vndone that micht pertene to ane guid magestrat in sic ane dayngerous tyme, putting himselff in continuall jeopardy and hasard of his lyfe, lyke as he be his said care and vigilancie contractet the said seiknes and wes maist grievously vexit thairwith, to the greitt regraitt of the commoun pepill, and at length be the mercie of God convalesteit, yitt nocht without the lose and demembring of his rycht eye, to his greitt hynder and skayth perpetuall, and considerand that he hes resauet the samyn throw the townis seruice that it is thair dewtie to be thankfull to him that he be nocht discuraget bot that vthers by his exampill, in howpe of thair benevolence and guid remembrance, may be steirit vp to guid seruice and to putt thame selffis in the lyke or gritter hasart for this commoun weill gif neid sall requyre, thairfore ordanis ane lettre to be maid in maist ampill form, vnder thair seill of caus, with the subscriptioun of the provest and bailyeis and commoun clerk, exemand, exonerand and dischairgeand the said James fra the payment of any maner of taxatiouns impositiouns, contributiouns, emprunts, subsideis and siclyke chairges and burdings to be layet, sett, rayset and vpliftet vpoun this burgh and inhabitants thairof for any caus or occasioun bygane or to cum, declarand and decernand him to be frie of the samyn for all the dayes of his lyfetime.
19 January 1585–6.
Ordanis Alexander Fraynche, fowle clenger, to be clengeit and ane vther conducet in his rowme als guid cheip as can be.
Protest, seill of caus, seill of Leyth.
William Stewart, writter, delyuerit to my lord provest the seill of caus of this burgh with the seill of Leyth, and thairvpoun asket acts and instruments.
Proclamatio, rowping the commoun guid.; College.; Swine.; Selling.
Ordanis proclamatioun to be maid throw this burgh that forswamekill as be occasioun of the pestilence the commoun guid of this burgh wes nocht sett on Mairtymes evin as vse is, and now the said seiknes beand removet, in the mercie of God, the provest, bailyeis, counsall and deykins hes thocht expedient that the sam be rowpet on Candilmes evin nixttocum and sett for the thre termes followand, thairfore wairning all persouns that lykes to bid for the said commoun guid that thai compeir the said day in the Over Tolbuith at v houris at evin, bringand with thame thair souerteis, and thai that bids maist thairfore sall haif the samyn. Siclyke that all the rentalleris of the townis landis compeir and answer the said day as thai vset to do on Mairtymes evin, vnder the payne of tynsell of thair rentellis. Siclyk that the said provest, bailyeis, and counsall hes thocht expedient that the maisters of the Townis College enter and begyn and renew thair ordinare doctryne quhair thai left, vpoun the thrid day of Februar nixt, thairfore wairning all the scholeris and students thairof that thai compeir in the College the said day and enter to thair maisteris and classis as sall be appoyntet to thame, for sic as compeiris the said day will be resauet. Als chairgeing that na maner of persouns tak vpoun hand to haif or hald any swyne gangand throw the hie streits and commoun vinellis vnder the payne of escheitt thairof and pvnesing of the awneris in thair awin persouns be imprysonment or vtherwayes at the will of the maiestrats. Last, that na persouns men or wemen be fund passand vp and downe the streits selland any vngyeouns, hering, fruit, or siclyk stufe, vnder the payne of escheitt of the said stufe and banesing of the sellares furth of the towne.
21 January 1585–6.
Gift of the Trinitie College.
Ordanet the gift of the Trinitie College to be delyuerit to Jhonn Jhonestoun, collectour, and he to raise lettres thairvpoun befor the lords, and according heirto maister Alexander Guthrie delyuerit to the said Jhonn the said gift.
28 January 1585–6.
Balcanquell, minister, his stipend augmentit.
[The provest, bailies, council, and deacons of crafts,] for the guid and thankfull seruice done and to be done to the guid towne be maister Walter Balcanquell, ane of the ministeris thairof, in his vocatioun, and that he hes wyfe, chylderin and famylie, quhilk he is nocht habill to sustene vpoun the meane and small stipend of thre hundreth merks quhilk wes gevin and assignet to him in tymes past, thairfore and for dyuers vther guid caussis and consideratiouns moving thame, frielie grantis to the augmentatioun of his stipend in the sowme of ane hundreth merks yeirly, swa that the stipend gevin and assignet to him sall extend in the haill to the sowm of foure hundreth merkis yeirlie … and ordanis thair collectouris of the kirkrent present and to cum to reddelie ansuer and mak thankfull payment to him of the sam.
9 February 1585–6.
Euidents of the Trinitie College.
Gevis commissioun to Androw Sclater, Alexander Vddert, Jhonn Jhonestoun, Henry Chairters, maister Alexander Guthre, to pas, visy and mak inventour of the euidents in the charter kist of the Trinitie College quhilk is in the hands of Maister Robert Pont, and to present the sam the nixt counsall day.
Rollock, maister of the college.
Maid and constitute maister Robert Rollok, first and principall maister of the Townis College in the Kirk of Feild, conform to the lettre maid thairvpoun with the provisiouns contenit thairintill presently red in thair audience, and ordanet the samyn to be subscryuet be the provest, bailyeis and commoun clerk, with the seill of the caus to be appendet thairto, and the said lettre to be registrat in the charter buik.
Maid and constitute James Henrysoun, notar, collectoure of the rent of the provestrie of the Trinitie College and beidmen thairof.
11 February 1585–6.
Statute, Sabboth day.
Fynds it expedient, statutes and ordanis, for better obseruatioun of the Sabboth day, that na warkmanis buithis be haldin oppin or any wark wrocht at any tyme the said day, and that nane hald market or be found hanting or repairing thairto fra nyne houris in the morning quhill four houris afternone, and that nane hald oppin tavernis of wyne or aill, and na commoun cuiks be selling thair meits in tyme of preacheing and prayers within or without thair howssis, and that nane be fund in the caitchepulles or at the ailay bowlis or exerceand any playes or pastyme the said tyme. Siclyke, on the owlk dayes, Wednisday and Fryday, fra the greitt bell ring quhill the preacheing and prayeris be endet, that na merchants haif thair buithis oppin; als that the butter merket be nocht haldin or strukkin vp on the Wednisdayes and Frydayes quhill the preacheing and prayeris be endet. And all thir to be kepit vnder the payne of aucht schillings to be tayne of ilk persoun contravenand any of the poynts before rehersit and pvnesing of thair persouns at the will of the magestrats swa oft as thai failyie; and ordanis proclamatioun to be maid heirof throw this burgh.
16 Feburary 1585–6.
Pont, euidents of the Trinity College.
[The provest, bailies, council and deacons of crafts] grantet and confest thame to haif resauet fra maister Robert Pont, sumtyme provest of the Trinity College, the commoun euidents of the said college and commoun kist thairof, according to ane inventour maid thairof and subscryuet be the said maister Robert and Androw Sclater, bailyie, and thairfore exonerat and dischairget the said maister Robert of the samyn; quhilk kist, euidents and inventour wes delyuerit to Jhone Jhonestoun, collectour, to be sichtit and ordoret be him that forther ordour may be tayne thairwith agayne this day aucht dayes.
25 February 1585–6.
For the guid and thankfull seruice done to the guid town be Gilbert Henrysoun, sone to vmquhill Sir Edward Henrysoun, and speciallie in taking vp of the psalmes this tyme bygane sen the returning of Jhonn Cairnis, reidare, ordanis the collectoures of the vnlawes, vpsets and oweklie penneis, to pay to him the sowme of ten marks, and the sam sall be allowet to thame in thair compts; and siclyk grantis and gevis vnto the said Gilbert thair licence and authoritie for teaching of ane vulgare schole of reiding, writting and singing, within the liberties of this burgh, induring thair willis allanerlie.
Cvming, maister of the sang schole.
Makis, creats and constitutis Dauid Cvming maister of the principall sang schole of this burgh for teacheing of the yowth to sing and for taking vp of the psalmes in tyme of preacheing and prayeris in the Hie Kirk and Eist Kirk, gevand and disponand to him the office thairof induring the townis will allanerlie as now vacand be deceis of vmquhill James Henrysoun last maister thairof.
Proclamatio, excommunicat persouns.
Ordanis proclamatioun to be maid throw this burgh dischargeing all maner of persouns indwelleris of the samyn to hows, harbery, resset or enterteine any persouns excommunicat and curset be the censures of the kirk fra this day furth, vnder the payne of ane vnlaw of ten pund swa oft as thai failyie.
4 March 1585–6.
Anent the bairnis of vmquhill maister James Lowsoun, minister.
Anent the supplicatioun gevin in before thame be Jonet Guthrie, relict of vmquhill maister James Lowsoun, laitt minister of this burgh, of guid memory, and James and Elizabeth Lowsoun, thair bairnis, makand mentioun that quhair it hes plesit God to call the said vmquhill maister James to beir charge of the ministrie within this burgh, in the quhilk he walket dewtiefully and faythfullie, dischairgeing his calling in that vocatioun bayth to the avancement of the kingdome of God and edificatioun of thame his faythfull flok (as thai dowt nocht thair awin consciences and the approvit testimoneis of all the zealous, godlie, and leirnit men of this realme can beir witnes) till the moneth of May in anno jm vc foure score foure yeiris, abowt the quhilk tyme the said maister James for saiftie of his awin conscience and keiping of thair lordships owt of dyuers inconvenients that his tayreing micht haif drawin thame in, quhilkis thai remits to thair lordships selffis to considder and lay in ballance with the estaitt of that tyme, he withdrew him selff to the pairts of Ingland, quhair he in the moneth of October the yeir foresaid depairtit this mortall lyfe, leving hir his wyfe and bairnis in hard and pittiefull estaitt, destitute of confort except that thai luik for thair lordships clemencie, movet be guid affectioun thair lordships buir to him and the guid offices and faythfull walking of the said maister James amangs thame, desyring thairfore thair lordships to wey and considder the necessity of his withdrawing himselff, thair present estaitt, the faythfull and paynfull lawbouris of the said maister James, and that his absence betuix his removing and depairture wes vpoun ane forceit necessitie importing bayth aue quyetnes to thair lordships and ane peace to his conscience, and that during this tyme of his absence he had in conscience guid ressoun of seiking his stipend, yitt nochttheles thai nocht questioun with thair lordships of rycht, bot recommending thair estaitt to thair lordships, maist humelie besocht thair lordships to help and support thame in sic sort as thair lordships godliezeill may appeir vpoun the leving for the deids saik, provoking in this exampill vtheris that ar callit to beir publict offices within thair commoun welth to paynfull and faythfull walking in thair calling, as the said supplicatioun proportit. With the quhilk the said provest bailyeis and counsall being avyset thay all in ane voice for the caussis and consideratiouns mentionat thairinto, grantis, gevis and disponis to the said Jonet in lyferent and to the said James and Elizabeth, the langest levare of thame twa in fie and heretage, and the airis to be gottin of thair bodeis allanerlie, quhilkis failyeing to returne agane to the commoun weill of the said burgh, all and haill ane annuelrent of fourty pund vsuall money of this realme yeirlie [furth of the common mills]. Provyding alwayes that gif it sall happin the said bairnis to cum to the aige of fourtene yeiris, that the said Jonet sall renunce and gif ower hir lyferent of the said annuell in thair favouris and for thair help and support to sum honest industrie.
Sclater, tymmer, lugeis.
Ordanis Androw Sclater, bailyie, of his awin consent, to caus the tymmer of the luges of the mure be brocht in, transporter, and putt in ane volt of the townis college and with all diligence that the sam be nocht stollin away considerand the towne hes maid greitt charges thairvpoun.
Statute, small kirk annuellis selling.
Considerand the number of small annuellis within this burgh quhilk sumtyme pertenit to the prebendareis, freirs or kirks of this burgh, and now pertenand to the guid town, to witt, of v s., x s., ane merk, ij merk, xx s., xxx s., xl s., and siclyke, quhilk for the smalnes thairof, number of the samyn, and for the diuersitie of the lands addetit thairinto and of the heretouris of the said lands, is na les paynfull than costlie to be collectet and als nocht without greitt lose in the keping compt of the samyn, for remeid thairof fynds it maist expedient, consents and agreis that all the said annuellis quhilk ar within the sowme of ten merk be sawld and disponet to the heretouris of the said lands addettet thairinto, and that for the sowme of twenty merk for ilk merk annuell and proportionallie according thairto, to the effect that the money gottin for the said annuellis, quhilk will gif mair annuell nor the principall wes, may be haillie and togidder imployet vpoun annuelrent quhair the sam sall be fund maist commodious to be had; and that the money gottin for the said annuellis may the better be collectit in ane sowme vnspent or gevin furth to ony vthers vses, makis and constitutes Alexander Vddert, merchant, collectour, resaver, and kepare thairof as the same sall happin to cum in, and swa sone as the said money sall cum to ane resonabill sowme, meitt to be imployet at aynes, that the said Alexander mak the towne aduertisement thairof, to the effect that the sam may be imployet as said is in dew tyme.
9 March 1585–6.
Ordanis Jhonn Broun, collectour of the kirkrent, for dyuers caussis moving thame, to ansuer and mak thankfull payment to Jhonn Cairnis, minister, of his stipend of all yeiris and termes bygane sen his last acquittance, nochtwithstanding of his absence furth of this burgh in the meynetyme.
Freir land at the Hie Schole.
Vnderstanding the daynger and inconvenient that may fall out in the somer seasoun be slawchter of bestiall in the land and tenement quhilk sum tyme pertenit to vmquhill William Andersoun, be gathering of filth and ingenering corruptioun swa neir thair Grammer Schole, quhair the maist pairt of thair yowth man resort; and als vnderstanding that it is nocht lefull to the heretouris of the saids lands for the caus foresaid to sett any pairt thairof to flescheoures for slaying of flesche, bot ar expresly forbiddin to do the samyn be claus irritant contenit in thair infeftment, thairfore thay ordane the tennents and possessouris of the said land and tenement to be persewet for thair said contraventioun.
11 March 1585–6.
Proclamation, maisteris of scholes.
Ordanis proclamatioun to be maid inhibiting and dischairgeing all maisters of lecture scholes, as reiding and writting, to tak vp or hald ony scholes or resave scholers within the libertie of this burgh without speciall licence of the sessioun of the kirk and of the counsall, that thair knawlege and conversatioun may be first tryet, vnder the payne of banesing the towne induring the townes will and of perpetuall deprivatioun.
18 March 1585–6.
Proclamatio for guid ordour in tyme of the publict fast.
William Littill, provest, with ane pairt of the bailyeis and counsell being convenit, and considerand that thair is ane publict fast appoyntet to begyn the morne at evin and to indure conforme to the ordour vset in tymes past, thairfore ordanis proclamatioun to be maid with command that na maner of merkats be haldin vpoun the Sondayes induring the tyme of the said fast, vnder the payne of escheitt of the guids to the sellare and payment of ane vnlaw of xviij s. be the persouns fund byand in the said merkatt. Siclyke that at na tyme vpoun the haill Sondayes, and in tyme of precheing and prayeris in the owlk dayes of the said fast, that na handy lawboring and working be vset, nor na gammyng or playing, passing to tavernis and aill howssis, or selling of meitt and drink, or wilfull remayning fra the said sermoun and prayeris, vnder the paynes following, that is to say, of the workeris and lawborers x s.; for gemming, playing, passing to tavernis and aill howssis, selling of meitt and drink and wilfull remaning fra the kirk twenty schillings; and incais of refuis or povertie of the offender thai sall be tayne and putt in waird, thair to remayne for the space of xxiiij houris, and forther to be pvnist in thair bodeis and guids at the will of the maiestrats.
23 March 1585–6.
Ordanis Thomas Bryntoun, son to Dauid Brentoun in Laynrik, and [blank] Aikman, apprehendet in harletry and convict thairof, to be putt to the croce, and scho to be banist the towne and dowket. Siclyk [blank] apprehendet with James Flemyng, flescheour, and convict of harlotrie, to be banist.
Feyet watche brokin.
Fynds it expedient that the feyet watchemen be discharget and brokin in respect the town is weill at this tyme, (prayset be God!) clene frome all suspicioun of infectioun and sufficiently replenessit with inhabitants, and thairfore the nichtbouris to keip thair nychtly watche be thair quarteris as vse wes of before.
25 March 1586.
Teynds of the mure.
[The provost, bailies and council ratified and approved of an agreement "with James Cairnecors of Comislie, takkisman principall of the teynds of the commoun mure to the abbacie of Halieruidhous, for assignatioun of his rycht thairof, quhilk wes red and schawin vnto thame, and that for the sowme of twa hundreth pund with ane burgesschip gratis to his seruand."]
Balcanquell, stipend bygane.
Anent the supplicatioun gevin in before thame be maister Walter Balcanquell, ane of the ordinare ministers of this burgh, makand mentioun that quhair in the moneth of Maij 1584 yeiris his yokfallow lawborer and he wes forceit and compellit (sic wes the malice of that tyme and the raige of men aganis thame and vtheris thair brether that withstude the wisdome of men, preferit to the wisdom of God in governing his Kirk) to leif thair awin chairge and seik refuge in ane forayne realme, awaitting Gods appoyntet tyme of delyuerance fra tha violent courses, in the quhilk vayage and dolorous jornay of thair banisement it pleaset God to call his yokfallow laborer to his rest and reserue him, howbeit maist vnworthie, alyve now agane to discharge his calling amangs ws as of before, in the quhilk he hes bayth sensyne and of before swa faythfullie walket that he dar appeill thair awin consciences to haif bene blaymeles bayth of his departure frome ws and of any vther infamy that may steingyie or sclander his vocatioun, as be Gods grace he intendis to continew till God call him quhair his yokfallow lawborer is gane of before, desyrand thairfore that thai wald gif command to Jhonn Broun, collectour appoyntet to pay the ministers, to compt with him of the termes of his absence and pay to him the samyn for his releif of the chairges and expenssis that he hes sustenit during the tyme of his absence and releif of his dett that he hes bene forceit to contract, having na thing to susteyne him, his wyfe, childrein, and family in ane forrayne and deir realme, and sen he hes nocht meritet worse at thair lordschips hands then vtheris that hes bene confortit of thair lordschips clemencie, and also all vther thair lordschips officemen quha haif na thing impairet to thame of thair stipends or feyis for any trubill that hes intervenit, he will nocht meyne his estaitt to thair lordschips in ma wordis, becaus he dowtis nocht of thair lordschips discretioun that weyis the sam discreitlie anewch; and quhairas sum perchance may think that thair lordschips augmentatioun of his stipend in ane hundreth merkis mair than it wes of awld suld serue for ane sufficient recompance of his losses he dowtes nocht bot quhen thair lordschips consideris that the estaitt of ane singill man in thair lordschips ministrie can nocht honestlie be intertenit vnder iijc merkis, that his estaitt that hes wyfe, bairnis and famelie, will hardlie be sustenit with ane hundreth merk mair; as the said supplicatioun proportis. The said provest, bailyeis and counsell and deykins, being rypelie avyset, for the resouns mentionat in the desyre thairof, and for dyuers vthers caussis and consideratiouns moving thame, grantis and gevis vnto the said maister Walter his stipend induring the tyme of his absence; and ordanis the said Jhonn Brown to compt and rekin with him and to mak him thankfull payment of the samyn fra his last acquittance last preceding his departure vnto the tyme of his returning as gif he had nocht bene absent.