Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Edinburgh, 1882.
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8 July 1586.
William Littill, provest, the bailyeis, and ane pairt of the counsale being convenit, George Scott, in Leyth, beand tryet and provin to haif laitlie iniureit the guid town with dyuers nichtbouris that past to Leyth with the provest and bailyeis in the townes seruice, nocht onelie in calling the said nichtbouris evill wordis bot sayand that the towne had tayne fra him twa schips of tymmer and wissand that the pest wer in the town as it wes this tyme tolmowth, with dyuers vthers owtragious and intollerabill speiches, quhilk wes gevin aganis him, thairfore he asket the towne forgifnes, and he and Jhonn Harlaw, saidler, as souerty for him, oblist thame selffis coniunctlie and seuerally that he sall nocht committ the lyke falt heirafter vnder the payne of ten pund.
Paris of breid.
Ordanis the town breid to wey fyftein vnce the auchtpenny laif and the owtlands breid xxiij vnce.
15 July 1586.
For eschewing of the vncowth and new tred begwn amangs the flescheoures, be regraiting of flesche for vphalding of derth, contrair all guid ordour, thairfoir ordanis proclamatioun to be maid commanding that na maner of flescheouris, frie or vnfrie, to burgh or to land, tak vpoun hand to regraitt, bye and cowpe, ane fra ane vther, any sort of guids and flesche, slayne or vnslayne, to by and sell the samyn agane in merket or vpoun quhatsumeuir vther collour, vnder the payne of escheitt of the said guids and flesche swa bocht to the byer, or valour thairof, and of escheit of the pryce agreit vpoun to the sellare, the ane halff heirof, to be imployet to the behuif of the persouns delatouris and reveleris of the said falt and the vther half to the guid toun and thair collectoures in name of the puir, with all rigour.
Cairnis, minister, stipend.
Anent the supplicatioun gevin in be Jhonn Cairnis, ane of the ordiner ministers of this burgh, makand mentioun that be occasioun of the laitt trublis, quhen as the ministers of Gods word wes banist and put in exile, as als be ressoun of the present derth quhilk hes putt him far behind, compellis and movis him at this present to meyne his estaitt to thair lordschips, praying heirfore that thay wald discreitly wey and consider his stipend quhilk he hes of thair lordschips and how far it is habill to sustene his adois in this present derth and skarsenes, for the sustentatioun of him his wyfe and famely gif he merits the sam or nocht, that thairfore it wald pleis thair lordships to augment his stipend to sic quantitie as thai think guid, swa that he may leif honestly thairvpoun, vnchargebill to ony persoun, or yitt contract himselff in forther dett, or at the leist as thai think his seruice deserues swa recompans him. With the quhilk the said provest, bailyeis, counsale and deykins of crafts being avyset, they all agreitt and consentet to augment the said Jhonnes stipend in the sowme of fiftie merks yeirlie fra the term of Alhallomes last bypast inclusiue, swa the said Jhonns stipend to extend in the haill to the sowme of twa hundreth fyftie merks … and ordanis the collectouris of the kirkrent present and to cum to mak the said Jhonn thankfull payment thairof.
19 July 1586.
Anent schips tane in to Flanders.
Vnderstanding that thair is certane Scots schips apprehendet and tayne in to Flanders be certane Inglismen and Flischeners, as thai wer in thair vayage to Depe with salmond and vther guids, fynds it expedient to meyne the sam to the Kings Grace, and thairfore gevis commissioun to Jhonn Robertsoun and William Huchesoun to pas to his Grace to that effect.
20 July 1586.
Commissioners, Lord Hammiltoun.
Appoyntis and nominats William Fairlie, bailyie, [and six vthers,] to convene and confer with the commissioners of the Lord Hammiltoun anent his allegit rycht to the towns College in the Kirk of Feyld sumtyme callit the Duiks Lugeing.
Setting of the mwre.
The maner, forme, and conditiouns of the setting furth in few of the arabill pairts of bayth the commoun mures, sett down in writt be the persouns nominat thairto, with the forme of the proclamatioun of the rowping thairof, contening the quantiteis and entres syluer of euery pairt, being presentet vnto thame, red, and considerit, thay ratifeit and approvet the samyn … of the quhilk proclamatioun the tenour followes:—I do yow to witt that the provest, bailyeis, counsale, and deykins of craftis, for dyuers guid caussis and consideratiouns moving thame, but specially for augmentatioun of thair commoun rent, owtredding of the townis detts, making of pollicie and bigging of commoun warks, hes thocht expedient to sett in few to the burgessis of this burgh, thair aires and successouris, burgessis thairof, and na vtheris, the waist lands of the Wester Mure of the said burgh, be seuerall pairts following, for the maist yeirlie ferme beir that may be gotten thairfore, and payand the entres syluer respectiue vnderwrittin, that is to say, [8½ acres "lyand dew eist fra the new yaird of Merchinstoun" for 300 merks "of entres syluer"; 16 acres "lyand dew eist fra the Standand Stane" 600 merks; 8 acres "lyand betuixt the Quhytehous and Brownefeyld bewest the samyn" 300 merks; 15 acres "callet the Baglap, lyand incloset betuix the lands of Brounfeyld and Quhyttehous," 500 merks; and "ane pece land bewest the Standand Stane toward Typperlin betuix the lands of Merchinstoun and the burne" 600 merks.] Quhairfore I warne all persouns that lykes to bid for the saidis lands to pas, view, and consider the samyn betuix this and the secund day of August nixttocum, and at the said day that thai compeir befoir the provest, bailyeis, counsall and deykins vpoun the grund of the saidis landis, be aucht houris in the morning, quhair the samyn sall be rowpett to the best availl, and he that biddis maist ferme beire yeirly with the said entres sall haif the samyn. Followes the articles contening the maner and conditiouns of setting in few of the townis waist land and acres of the commoun mwre. First, That the said acres sall nocht be sett to any maner of persouns butt to ane burges of the said burgh and his aires quha sall actuallie remayne and dwell in the towne with hous and familie, scatt and lott and beir all portabill chairges with the inhabitants thairof, with provisioun to be contenit in the few chairtour that gif the air will nocht be ane burges, remayne in the burgh, scat and lott as said is, he sall be oblist to sell and dispone the said acres be avyse of the towne to any burges that will gif maist thairfore, kepand the conditioun foresaid. Item, the said acres to be tailyeitt to the aires maill quhilks failyeing to the eldest famele but diuisioun. Item, at the entrie of ilk air the air to pay of entres syluer to the towne for ilk acre in the wester mwre twa merk and in the eister mwre fourty schillings. Item, gif the wedow, coniunct fear, mareis any persoun that is nocht burges and nocht kepand the first conditioun scho to tyne hir coniunct fie or lyfrent. Item, it sall nocht be lesum to the fewares to annalie, wedsett in all or in pairt the said acres, or tak any annuell thairvpoun, without the speciall consent of the provest, bailyeis, counsale and deykins, vpoun payne of tynsall of the few. Item, quhen the said acres sall be sawld fra ane hand to ane vther with consent foresaid the new tennent to pay to the towne at his entrie the dowbill of the entres of ane air.
23 July 1586.
Rex, lettre missive, ships takin.
Ordanet the lettre missiue vnderwrittin brocht fra the Kings Grace be Jhonn Robertsoun, quha wes direct to his Maiestie according to ane act daittet the xix of this instant, to be registrat ad futuram rei memoriam; off the quhilk the tenour followis:—Richt trest freynds, we greitt yow hartlie weill. Be your lettre and the bereris discowrs we haif vnderstand at lenth bayth the publicatioun of ane laitt edict, at Fluscheing, greitlie preiudiciall to the frie intercowrs and trafficque of our burrowes in the pairts of France quhair thair cheife steipill is establischet and the executioun thairof laitly begwn vpoun sum of your nichtbouris going thither in thair vsuall and lefull tred. The iniquitie of bayth we haif reasonet at greitt lenth with our dearest sisters imbassadour, and fyndis him weill myndet to leve nathing of his best vndone bayth to the restitutioun of the confiscat guids gif thai be yitt in place, or the availl thairof incais of failyie, and the indempnitie of our merchants in that edict or ony vther in tyme to cum, swa being thai be nocht tryet meaning to thair enemeis; for our awin pairt we can hardlie yitt beleve that any sic thing can be publist be the privicie of our said darrest sister of any minister that scho hes thair, and as euir it be as it wes neuir meanet be ws that this laitt league contractet with hir suld any wayes preiuge the amitie we haif with France or the libertie of the frie trafficque of our peapill in any pairt pertening to that crowne, sa sall thair nathing in guid airnist be attempted to the thraldome and restraynte thairof be that peopill or ony vther quhairin, failyeing of guid and spedy reparatioun, we vtter nocht that dewty that becumes a naturall prince to his afflictet subiects, quhairanent quhow far we haif bene playne with thir beareris we will remitt to thair sufficiencie, and committs yow to the protectioun of the Almichty. Frome Falkland this xxij of July 1586. Sic subscribitur: James, R.
29 July 1586.
Statute, fische mvngeris, westland heiring.
William Littill, provest, the baillies, dene of gild, thesaurar, and maist pairt of the counsall being convenit, considerand the greitt multitude of forestalleris and regraiteris of all sorts of fische, speciallie of the heiring, quhilk is pairtly coft be thame be the way cumand to the oppin merket fra Glasgow and the west pairts, pairtly bocht in the sam market in greitt fra the cuntrie men inbringers thairof and regratet and sawld in smallis in the sam merket of new be the said fische mvngares; for remeid thairof statutes and ordanis that na fischemvnger dwelland within this burgh be sufferit to sell any of the said wastland heiring bot that quhilk is brocht be thame selffis or thair houshald seruands with thair awin proper horssis frome the saidis pairts, vnder the payne of escheitt thairof.
Ordanis lettres missives to be direct to the burrowes of Kirkealdy, Dysart, Pittinweyme, Carraill, Sanctandrois, Cowper, to send thair commissioners to this burgh agane Mononday nixtt, sufficiently instructet, with power to fynd owt sum guid ordour for remeid of the staying of the Scotts schips passand to Deip be the Flischeingers and Inglismen, and for redres of the schips taikin, and makis and constitutes Jhonn Robertsoun [and five others] to convene in name of the towne with the saidis commissioneris.
2 August 1586.
Setting of Wester Muir.
[The following parts of the Wester Muir were feued by public roup, conform to the act dated 20 July:—Baglap, containing 14 acres, to John Young, tailor, and Agnes Sword his spouse, yearly feu-duty 20 bolls bear, entry money 500 merks; 3 acres 1 rood to Thomas Patersoun, merchant, and Christian Nicolsoun his spouse, yearly feu-duty 6½ bolls bear, entry money 123 merks; 3 acres 3 roods to William Rig, merchant, and Katherein Row his spouse, yearly feu-duty 7 bolls bear; 20 acres to Andrew Naper, merchant, and Jonet Kyle his spouse in liferent and Archibald Naper their son in fee, yearly feu-duty 22½ bolls bear, entry money 500 merks; 8 acres and other two small pieces to Thomas Aikinheid, merchant, and Marioun Bannatyne his spouse in liferent and James Aikinheid his son in fee; yearly feu-duty 11 bolls 3 firlots bear and 13s. 4d.; entry money 318 merks 10 shillings; 18 acres to Andrew Stevinsoun, merchant, in liferent and Andro Stevinsoun his son in fee, yearly feu-duty 30 bolls 3 firlots bear, entry money £432, 10s].
3 August 1586.
Setting of Eister Mure.
[Proclamation made that the waste lands of the Easter Muir are to be sett in feu to the burgesses of this burgh by roup on Tuesday next.]
5 August 1586.
New impositioun, burrowis, Gourlaw.
Forswamekill as the commissioners of burrowes laitlie convenit in this burgh hes fund necessar to direct maister George Hakket, conseruatour, and Jhonn Gourlaw, toward Ingland and Flanders for obtening the proclamatioun maid in Flanders to stay all schips passand to France, and for redres of the schips and guid apprehendet passing thair, and that are impositioun of viijc li. be rayset vpoun all guids passand furth of the realme for making thair charges, quhilk sowme it behovet the guid towne to purches and avance and obtene the sam ramburset of the said custome and impositioun, as at lenth is contenit in ane act of the said burrowes maid thairanent; and seying that the said provest, bailyeis, and counsall hes desyret Robert Gourlaw, customer, to be oblist to the persouns fra quhome the said money is to be resauet, as als for the annuell thairof, thairfore thai oblis thame selffis to releif the said Robert Gourlaw of the samyn.
9 August 1586.
Setting of the Eister Mwre.
William Littill, provest, with the bailyeis, dene of gild, thesaurer and counsall, for the maist pairt being convenit in the Eister Mure of this burgh, for rowping and setting of the waist pairt thairof according to the proclamatioun maid the iij of August instant. First, anent the divisioun thairof in pairts and anent the reserving of the hie gaitts, fynds it expedient be the avyse of the persouns nominat for setting downe the platt heirof that thair be twa hie commoun gaits reservet, the ane toward the eist leidand fra Dalkeyth, the vther towart the west ledand fra Libertoun, the eister gaitt to contene in breid foure fall quhilk is twenty four elne, the waster gaitt to contene auchtein elne in breid. Als that thair be twa shorter passages ledand eist and west to the said hie gaits, the ane passage at the north besyde the laird of Lugtowns lands and the vther at the sowth besyde the heid of the awld pairts of the said mure, and ilk passage to contene nyne elnis of breid. Swa the body of the said mure lyand betuix the said hie gaits and passages to be devydet in sex seuerall pairts to be seuerallie rowpet and sett and ilk pairt to contene aucht acre and ane half of the lairger mesure be ressoun the samyn is waist and vnteillet lands, and ilk pairt to haif ane half elne for thair balk; and the twa dykes to be biggett, to witt, the eister and wester dykes to haif ilk ane ane elne for the said dyke and the pece waist land with the myre lyand besowth the southmest passage toward the Powburne to contene aucht aiker or thairby and to mak ane pairt be it selff; and the twa gvschats, the ane lyand besyde the Preistisfeyld and the vther besyde the Cameroun, estimatt to foure aiker or thairby, to be rowpet and sett be thame selffis.
Setting of the Eister Mwre.
[The "body of the mure" was disposed of in six parts consisting of 8½ acres each, the first part to William Stewart, clerk depute, yearly duty 14 bolls 3 firlots 2 pecks bear; the second part to John Robertsoun, yearly duty 18 bolls 1 peck; the third part to William Stewart, yearly duty 14 bolls 3 firlots 2 pecks bear; the fourth part to John Huchesoun, merchant, 17 bolls meal yearly; the fifth part to Alexander Slowman in name of David Williamsoun, 18 bolls 1 peck meal yearly; and the sixth part to Alexander Slowman, 18 bolls 1 peck bear yearly. The part at the Powburne extending to 8 acres set to Androw Stevinsoun for 14 bolls bear yearly, and "the twa gvschatts in the said eister mvre," containing 4 acres, set to William Stewart, clerk depute, for six bolls bear yearly. In addition to the yearly duty 50 merks per acre of entry money was payable in each case.]
17 August 1586.
Naper, mure, Merchinstown.
Ordanis that in designatioun of the bounds of the pairt of the Wester Mure sett in few to Androw Naper that thair be left furth thairof and reseruet for ane passage the quantitie of ane fall of breid fra Merchinstownis Buts to the Tipperlyn quhill it cum to the hiegaitt besyde the Brighous callit Browms of the Brigs.
Teynds of the Mwre.
[On the supplication of the feuars of the Easter and Wester Mures, the provost, bailies, and council set to them a tack of the teinds of their lands.]
24 August 1586.
Minister of Wemyss.
William Littill, provost, with ane pairt of the bailyeis and counsall being convenit, thay of thair benevolence and pitie grantes and frelie gevis to maister Jhonn Tullois, minister of the Wemyes, the sowme of twenty pund, and ordanis James Henrysoun, collectour, of the reddiest of the beidmenis dewteis quha ar deceist of the Trinity College, to pay vnto him the said sowme.
Bigging of the new gallowis.
Inrespect that the awld gallowis in the Burrow Mure is faillet and decayand, bayth in the tymmer wark and the wallis, and that the sam stands vpoun the grund quhilk is now sett in few, thairfore ordanis the sam to be removet and tayne downe, and ane new gallows of pillers of stayne with wallis to be bigget and rayset narrer the towne in the place devyset thairfore and pottet be my lord provest, and als consents to contract with ane masoun for doing thairof for the sowme of twa hundreth mark, and the masoun to furneis all necessars of stayne, lyme, and warkmanschip, and the said sowme to be payet furth of the entres syluer of the said mwre.
31 August 1586.
For guid caussis and consideratiouns moving thame, fynds it expedient that the privelege and vacancie be gevin to the students of the townis College for ane moneth nixttocum.
9 September 1586.
Cordiners, hyde markett.
William Littill, provest, with the bailyeis and ane pairt of the counsall, at the desyre and supplicatioun of the deykin and brether of the cordiner craft of this burgh, meaning that thai ar heavely preiugeit be the vnfrie cordiners dwelland without this burgh quha rayses the derth, the hyde merkett prevening thair hour appoyntet and owerbyand the said friemen, be ressoun the said merkett is in ane oppin place, thairfore grantes vnto the said deykin ane place in the nether kirk yaird for the said merkett, induring the townis will allanerly, thay payand the maill of the cordiner chop at the entres thairof and removing quhen the towne plesis, and at thair removing makand the said chop als guid as it wes of before, with the quhilk William Huchesoun, deykin of the cordiners, stude content and oblist himselff and his successouris thairto.
21 September 1586.
William Littill, provest, with the bailyeis, counsall, and deykins of crafts being convenet, ordanet William Fairly, William Naper, and Jhonn Bannatyne to pas to the Kings Grace and rander to his Grace thankis for the guid favour schawin to the town be his lettre permitting thame to elect thair maiestrats of thair awin number according to the ancient privileges of this burgh.
23 September 1586.
Kings Maiesteis customes.
[The provost, bailies, council, and deacons of the crafts,] after lang resoning vpoun the master of the Kings Maiesteis custome, and that the taks thairof is to expyre in October nixtt, for dyuers grave and wechtie caussis and consideratiouns moving thame, thay for the maist pairt fyndis it expedient that the taks thairof be renewet in maner as thai wer sett before, and as the rest of the commissioners of burrowes sall agrie thairvpoun.