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Borrowstounness and District
Chapter V. Regality Court Book


1. Unsuccessful Attempt to Form Royal Burgh : Regality Charter to Duchess Anne: Opening Ceremonies of Regality Court—2. The Burgh Tolbooth: Terms of Regality Charter—3. Roll of Heritors and Vassals from Kinneil and Carriden—4. Statutes Enacted by Bailie: Acts Against Shooting Wild Fowl: "Anent the Toun Well": Regarding Pasturage in Kerse Lands: And "Anent Profane Language"—5. Acts Anent Exaction of Town's Custom Dues, Damaging Trees and "Yeards," and against "Flytting and Scolding"—6. Acts Anent Building of Houses, Pasturage of Cattle, and Harbouring Sturdie Beggars : The Various Sittings and Magistrates —7. Illustration of a Day's Work in Court—8. Protection against Accusation of Witchcraft: Tariff for "Penny Brydells."

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Borrowstounness was erected into a Burgh of Regality by a charter of Charles the Second, dated 8th January, 1668, and remained such until the passing of the Heritable Jurisdictions Act, 1747.

In early days great ambition prevailed among the inhabitants of the populous and thriving places in Scotland to obtain Royal charters of incorporation, or, in other words, to have their towns made into Royal burghs. These Royal burghs were superior to the other orders of burgh of the time, and were not afterwards abolished by the Jurisdictions Act, like the burghs of regality and burghs of barony. The Royal burgh had by its constitution its Provost, Bailie, Dean of Guild, Treasurer, and Common Council, and the general dignity attaching to it was greatly valued. A perusal of the Old Scots Acts, where we find many enactments regulating the trade in Royal Burghs and defining the privileges of the magistrates and burgesses, gives us an idea of their importance.

We are glad to find evidence that some years before 1668. namely, in October, 1661, "Deuk Hamilton" put forth an effort to get "the village of Borrowstounness" erected into a Burgh Royal, or, failing that, a Burgh of Barony or of Regality. Linlithgow Council strongly opposed this, and the Convention of Burghs supported the protest. The opposition did not prevail, however, as regards the Regality. In a Burgh of Regality there was neither Provost nor Council. The Corporation, so to speak, consisted of the inhabitants of a certain determined area which comprised the Regality, and these inhabitants were subjected to the government of a magistrate or magistrates. The right of electing these was vested by the Charter of Erection, sometimes in the Lord of Regality (as superior of the land), and sometimes in the inhabitants themselves. Our Regality Charter conferred the right of election of a bailie or magistrate on the Duchess Anne, in whose favour it was granted.

The day of the formal constitution of the Regality Court was an historic one indeed in the annals of the town and district. Among the many notable personages then assembled were the Duke William, his lawyer, James Johnstone, Writer to the Signet, Edinburgh, and the bailie-elect. We have referred in another place to the Hamiltons and the lands and barony of Kinneil, and we have seen from the Privy Council registers that Major Robert Hamilton of Dechmont was the Duke's bailie of the barony, and resided at Kinneil. His duties as such appear from these registers to have been many and varied, and he was factor or chamberlain as well. With the opening of the Regality Court, however, more important duties and enlarged responsibilities awaited him. He was then made Bailie of the newly erected Regality, and thus became not only our first local judge in nearly all matters, civil and criminal, but the framer of the laws for his Court as well. Some indication of what took place on this historic day is to be found in the opening pages of the Book of the Regality Court. It is inscribed, "Liber Guriarum Burgi Regalitatis de Borrowstounness. Begun the 2nd April, 1669."

II

The place of meeting was the Tolbooth1 of the Burgh, and as will be seen from the subjoined lists, there was a large gathering of vassals and tenants. These were obliged to give suit and presence thereat personally, or by proxy. After the heading, wherein it is stated that the Court was solemnly fenced in name of the King and the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, comes the legal narrative, which reads, "The whilk day the said Noble Prince William Duke of Hamiltoune being personally present, and for himself and in name and on behalf of his said lady, produced ane Chairtour under his Majesty's Seill of the date at Whythall, the 8th day of January, 1668 years, granted to and in favours of the said Noble Princess Anna, Duchess of Hamiltoune, and her airs of all and haill the lands, lordship, and regalitie of Polmonte; the lands and baronnies of Kinneil, Carriden, and Ketlestoune, with the pertinents thereof, and with divers and sundrie other lands, lordships, and baronies, erecting the same in the foresaid Dukedom, Lordship, and Regalitie of Hammiltoune and the said town of Borrowstounness in ane burghe of Regalitie, and naming samen to be the head burghe for the said lands and lordship of Polmonte and the said lands and barronies of Kinneil, Carriden, and Kettlestoune, with power to the said Duches to make and constitute Bailys, Clarks, Officers, Pror fiscolls, dempsters, and all other members necessary. Which Chairtour the said William Duke of Hammiltounne caused James Johnstone, Writer to his Majesties Signet, to read in presence of the haill vassells and other persons assembled. Thereafter the said Noble Prince for himself and his lady created Major Robert Hammiltoun of Dechmont, their Graces Baily of the Burgh of Borrowstounness haill lands and baronies thereof, and created and admitted Rodolph Weir, Notary, to be procurator fiscal, and Robert Bellenden, John Bryce, John Bantan, and Thomas Eastoun, Officers of the foresaid bounds and............... dempster of said Court, and caused the oath de fideli administratione to be administered to the same. Lyk-as the said Noble Prince William Duke of Hammiltounne produced ane Commissione subscribed be him and the said Noble Dutches to the said Major Robert Hamiltoune for being their Graces Baillie within the foresaid bounds, and caused the said James Johnstone lykwayes read the samen publicklie in presence of the said vassels and others then present, after reading whairof the said Major Robert Hamiltoune asked and took instruments upon the public reading and intimation thereof, and desyred the samen commissione might be recordit in the Court Books of ye said regalitie. Whilk the said Noble Prince for himself and in name of ye said Noble Dutches, his said lady, ordeaned to be doon."

The Commission in favour of the Bailie is then recorded, and from it we learn he had full power to make and appoint all members of Court needful, and to determine in all cases, civil and criminal, competent within the foresaid bounds, and to do all things required thereanent.

The document was signed "at our Castell of Kinneill," and the witnesses were Mr. John Hairpour, Cambus, advocate; John Hamiltoun, yr. of Kinglass; James Johnstone, W.S.; and Rudolph Weir.

III.

The place of meeting was the Tolbooth of the Burgh, and as will be seen from the subjoined lists, there was a large gathering of vassals and tenants. These were obliged to give suit and presence thereat personally, or by proxy. After the heading, wherein it is stated that the Court was solemnly fenced in name of the King and the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, comes the legal narrative, which reads, "The whilk day the said Noble Prince William Duke of Hamiltoune being personally present, and for himself and in name and on behalf of his said lady, produced ane Chairtour under his Majesty's Seill of the date at Whythall, the 8th day of January, 1668 years, granted to and in favours of the said Noble Princess Anna, Duchess of Hamiltoune, and her airs of all and haill the lands, lordship, and regalitie of Polmonte; the lands and baronnies of Kinneil, Carriden, and Ketlestoune, with the pertinents thereof, and with divers and sundrie other lands, lordships, and baronies, erecting the same in the foresaid Dukedom, Lordship, and Regalitie of Hammiltoune and the said town of Borrowstounness in ane burghe of Regalitie, and naming samen to be the head burghe for the said lands and lordship of Polmonte and the said lands and barronies of Kinneil, Carriden, and Kettlestoune, with power to the said Duches to make and constitute Bailys, Clarks, Officers, Pror fiscolls, dempsters, and all other members necessary. Which Chairtour the said William Duke of Hammiltounne cansp.rl. -T«m°° t_i—dempster of said Court, and caused the oath de fideli administratione to be administered to the same. Lyk-as the said Noble Prince William Duke of Hammiltounne produced ane Commissione subscribed be him and the said Noble Dutches to the said Major Robert Hamiltoune for being their Graces Baillie within the foresaid bounds, and caused the said James Johnstone lykwayes read the samen publicklie in presence of the said vassels and others then present, after reading whairof the said Major Robert Hamiltoune asked and took instruments upon the public reading and intimation thereof, and desyred the samen commissione might be recordit in the Court Books of ye said regalitie. Whilk the said Noble Prince for himself and in name of ye said Noble Dutches, his said lady, ordeaned to be doon."

The Commission in favour of the Bailie is then recorded, and from it we learn he had full power to make and appoint all members of Court needful, and to determine in all cases, civil and criminal, competent within the foresaid bounds, and to do all things required thereanent.

The document was signed " at our Castell of Kinneill," and the witnesses were Mr. John Hairpour, Cambus, advocate; John Hamiltoun, yr. of Kinglass; James Johnstone, W.S.; and Rudolph Weir.

After this ceremony there was the further and lengthy one of calling the roll of the vassals and tenants. We reproduce the lists so that some idea of the names and number of the chief residenters in Kinneil and Carriden at that date may be gathered. Kinneil Barony, it must be remembered, then included Balderston, Murehouse, Borrowstoun, and Borrowstounness. Lists of the heritors and vassals from Kettleston and Polmont also appear in the book, but their reproduction here is unnecessary. We must not forget, however, that the vassals from these districts were as often in and about Borrowstounness in those days as the other vassals and tenants within the Regality. Head Courts at which all the vassals had to give their presence were frequently held.

From the barony of KinneiJ the following heritors and vassals were present:—Alexander Lord Almond, for the lands of Whytrig and a part of the Mumrells (present by attorney); James Hamiltoun of Balderstoun; James Monteath of Auldcathie, for his lands thereof; the said Laird of Balderstoune, and minister of Borrowstounness, for the lands of Muirehouse; Robert Forrest, for his part of the lands of Rousland; Margaret Hamilton, widoe of William Levrance, liferentrix of the Gawes (compearing by James Sandie, her son-in-law); James Thomsone, for his lands in Borrowstoune; the relict of David Langlands, for certain acres of land in Deanefield, as liferentrix thereof; the relict of David Thomson, for certain acres there, as liferentrix thereof; Thomas Dounie, for his lands there; the relict of John Huttone, for certain lands there, as liferentrix thereof; Duncan Mure, for his lands there; Andrew Burnsyd, for the lands of Wairdes (by attorney); Robert Mitchell, for his lands there and houses in Bo'ness (by attorney); Alexander Hardie, elder, for his lands and houses in and about Bo'ness; William Carss, for his houses and lands there; Mr. David Adinstoun, for the Pann acre (by John Johnstoun, as attorney for him); the relict of George Allan, for certain houses and lands in Bo'ness, as liferentrix thereof; the relict of Alexander Allan, for certain lands there, as liferentrix thereof; Alexander Ritchie, skipper, for certain houses and lands there; John Ritchie, " called Leivetennent," for two acres of land there; Richard Hardie, Maltman, for certain houses and lands there. Also for certain houses in Bo'ness.— John Paterson; John Hunter; Margaret Mitchell; Alexander Grintoun; the heirs of the deceased John Harper (by John Dunmore, skipper, son-in-law of the defunct, for himself and as attorney for the remanent heirs-portioners); James M'Kinnlay; Elizabeth Allan, as liferentrix; John Gib (present by Richard Dawling, his attorney); Alexander Cornwall; Thomas Mitchell, Alexander Law, John Meldrum, and the heirs of James Fumertoun; William Home and the heirs of Patrick Dunckane; James Thomsone, in Rowsland; the relict of John Hendersone, as liferentrix; John Gray; Mr. William

Hendersone (present by attorney); William Baird; Alexander Walker; John Drysdaill (by attorney); John Burne; Richard Hamiltoun; John Ritchie, skipper; John Monteith (as liferenter); Richard Hardie, "Laird"; the heirs of Alexander Robiesone (present by attorney); James Gib, in Kinneill Carse ; John Maistertoun (by William Wallace); John Maither, smith; Alexander Gib; John Aitkine; Janet Cornwall, as liferentrix; the widow of Duncan Bennet (as liferentrix); John Mairschell; Thomas Aitkinheid; the heirs of Alexander Simpsone (present by attorney); Janet Baveritch; Thomas Dunmure; John Stevin; Richard Thomsone; Andrew Saidler (by attorney); John Campbell; Janet Edward; James Wawghe; George Bennet; James Hunter "(present by Robert Forrest as attorney for him); James Slush; William Beattie; John Short; James Turnbull; Isobel Carstoun; Andrew Bennet, younger; Walter Andersone; Thomas Smyth; Andrew Bennet, elder; Elizabeth Wilsone; the heirs of George Gib (present by Robert Forrest, their attorney); James Robb; Alexander Drysdaill; Margaret Reid; Thomas Eastoun; Eupham Andersone; the heirs of Patrick Harper (present by attorney); John Dunmure; Andrew Cowie; David Wallwood; Marion Falkoner and John Hendersone, her husband, for his interest; Robert Learmont; and Patrick Smyth.

The following heritors and vassals from Kinneil barony were absent: —The Earl of Callander, for the lands of Lairber and Brumadge; David Gawdie, for his lands in Bo'ness; James Cassilles, for his lands there; the heirs of the deceased Thomas Smyth; the relict or heirs of James Gib, skipper; Mr. Andrew Ker; the relict and heirs of the deceased John Dick; James Crawfaird; Robert Broun; William Willsone, all for certain houses there.

From the barony of Cariddin there were present—John, Lord Bargany, for the lands of Cariddin (by Thomas Dick, his attorney); John Hamiltoun of Grainge, for the lands of Lyttill Cariddin ; Dame Christian Forrester, Lady Grainge, liferentrix thereof, and Mr. John Wawghe, her husband, for his interest ; the Laird of Bonhard, for the lands of Bonhard; the heirs of Thomas Drummond of Rickartoun, for his part of the lands of Murrayes (present by attorney); Sir Colin Campbell, for the-lands of Walltoun; Thomas Edward, for the Lochmylne; Christian Mylne, for the lands of Stackes, liferentrix thereof. Heritors absent—None mentioned.

"Doome given upon the absents—The bally amerciats and. fynes ilk absent heritor from the said head court in the sowme of fiftie pounds Scots money, and ilk absent tennent in fyve pounds money foiresaid."

IV.

On 11th May, 1669, the Court again met. The roll of vassals is again entered, and the following statutes are enacted: —

"Act anent Shooting of Wyld Foules.—The whilk day the said Major Robert Hammiltoun of Dechmont, bally forisaid, sitteand in judgement, statuts, enactes, and ordeanes, That no persoun or persounes whatsomever at any tyme heirafter shoot or kill within any place or pairt of the haill bounds and jurisdictione of the said regalitie, any land foule, wyld beast, and others within the samen whilkes are prohibet to be killed or shott be the actes of Parliament, lawes, and statutes of this kingdome, and especially all and sundrie peatricks, dowes, plovers, haires, duik and draik, and others of that natour resaiding within the foirsaid bounds, without speciall libertie and licence of the lord of the said regalitie or his substitut be first had and obtained in the favours of those personnes who shall happen to medle with the wyld foule and others above-written, and that under the paine of ten pounds Scotis money of liquidat expenss to be payed be ilk persounes contraveiner to the bally of the said regalitie for ilk falzie of the premiss or ony pairt thairof. And sickelyk that no countrieman be found walking or goeing within the feilds of the bounds foirsaid with musketts, yagbutts, grewens, or any shooting instrument, without libertie foirsaid had and obtained under the lyk penal tie."

"Act anent Compeiring of Witnesses and Assisting of Officers.—Item, statuts and ordeans that ilk persoun within the hounds foirsaid who shall happen to be ceited as ane witnes befoir the court of the said regalitie for proving of whatsomever actione and cause depending befoir the said court in relatione to ryots, shall compear befoir the said court at the peremptor day and houre wherto they shall happen to be lawfully ceited, under the pain of fourtie shilling Scotis for the first tyme and thrie pound for the secound tyme; and sicklyke ordeanes that no persoun or persounes presum to refuise to assist any of the officers within the said bounds'in the execution of their offices whensoever they shall be desyred thereto, and that under the paine of tuentie pounds to be payed be ilk persoun contraveiner for ilk falzie."

"Act anent Welles and Funtanes.—Ordeanes that no persoun or persounes, in any tyme heirafter, hinder or stope any of the running wells, watters, or fountains within the said haill bounds in prejudice of their neighboure, but that they shall have their full course and frie passage of running according to old use and wont; and that there be no bleitching therat bot at such pleaces allenarlly (only) wher they were in use and wont to bleitch; and that under the paine of ten pounds Scotis."

"Act anent the Toune Well.—Statuts and ordeanes that no person wash any cloathes within six ells of the comone toune well of the said brught of regalitie of Borroustounes, and that under the paine of fyve pounds Scotis."

"Act for Bestiall Passing upon ther Maisters Head Bourne to ther Pasturage.—Enactes and ordeanes the haill tennants within the baronie of Kinneill who have land in the Kerse feild, to cause ther goods and bestiall go to and from the samen upon ther awen head rowmes and not upon ther neighbours, when they resolve to cause ther bestiall pasture upon the severall proportiones of gress in the said Carse feild, except such passages and wayes as are comone to them; and that under the paine of fyve pounds.

"Act anent Profane Language.—Statuts, enactes, and ordeanes that no persoun or persounes within the haill foirsaids bounds speike any profaine langwage in any tyme coming, or yet be found to vent any calumnies or reproatches on others» and that under the lyk penaltie."

V.

"Act for Paying the Gustomes of Eggs and Others, and for Weighting Vendahle Goods at the Weight-house.—Enactes and ordeanes that all and sundrie persounes whatsomever who shall happen heirafter to bring butter, eggs, meill, or any other comoditie to the town of Borroustounes to be sold there shall, in the first place befoir they sell the samen or any pairt thairof, pay the ordinar customes dew to be payed therfoir to-the customers of the said brught of regalitie; and that they tak such of the saids commodities as are to be weighted to the comone weght-house of the said brughe, ther to be weighted with the weghtes of the said weight-house and with no other weghtes whatsomever, and that under the paine of fyve pounds money foirsaid."

"Act anent Brecking of Yeards, Pulling of Peise, Eating and Spoyling of Grase.—Enacts that no persoune or persounes within the said brughe, lands, and barrounies of Polmont, Kinneill, Carrideine, and Ketlestoune, presum nor tak upon hand at any tyme after the daite heirof to breck any yeard or yeards by pulling of the fruit of the trees thereof, or spoiling any of the trees in any manner of way whatsomever, or wronging or damnifieing any yeard or yeards within the haill bounds-foirsaids in any sort; and specially, but (without) prejudice of the generallitie foirsaid, of ane noble and potent Prince and Princess William and Anna, Duke and Dutches of Hamiltoune, ther haill yeards, woods, pairkes, and others perteaning to them within the said barounie of Kinneill. And that no persone or persounes make any wayes or passadges throw any pairt of the-samen woods and others foirsaids more then is allowed be the-awners thereof; or yet gather any fallin timber or cutt broom or whins therein, without speciall libertie of the awners foirsaids-of the samen; And sickelyke that no persounes whatsomever,.

upon whatsomever cullar or pretext, pull or spoyle any of their neighbours peise, aither be codd or ruite, when the samen shall happen to be growing, or yet eat, tramp, or trade (tread) any of thair neighebours cornes or grase with their bestiall or goods, under the paine of fyve pounds Scotis money, to be payed be ilk persoun contraveiner of any pairt of the premiss for ilk falzie; and that by and attour (over and above) satisfactione be given be them for the skaith to the partie or parties who shall happen to be damnified by them."

"Act against Flytting.—Statuts, enactes, and ordeanes that no persoun or persounes whatsomever within the haill foirsaids bounds in any tyme coming flyt or scold one with another or misbehave themselves anywayes uncivilie towards uthers, or mak any disturbance within the saids bounds under the lyke penaltie of fyve pounds to be payed be each contraveiner; and enactes in lyke mainer that ilk persoune who shall happen to give in any complent to the court against any other persounes whatsomever for flyting, scolding, or any other sclanderous cariadge and misbehaviour shall, befoir they be heard anent the said complent, consigne in the clerk of court his hands threttie shillings monney forisaid, therein to remayne ay and quhill they make out and prove the haill artacles they shall happen to lybell against the contrair partie; and ordaines the samen to be given to the poore in caise it be not delivred up again to the saids complainers bot be losed be them throw their falzie in order to the premiss.

VI.

Act anent Building of Mouse.—It is statut and ordeaned that no persoun or persounes whatsomever presum or tak upon hand to build any house or any other building within the said brughe of regalitie of Borroustounes without acquenting my Lord Duke of Hamiltoun his Graces bally thereof and obtaining his libertie thereto: to the effect that no persoun or persounes may any wayes be prejudged therintill; and that under the paine of ane hundreth pounds Scots money of penaltie for ilk falzie."

"Act against the Bringing of Horse with Cairts or Sledds bot throw the ordinar passadge wayes.—The said bally enactes and ordeanes that no persounes bring any horss with cairts, sledds, or any other instruments quherin coalls uses to be brought from the respective coalle-hughes within the baronie of Kinneill, and specially throw or allongs thes aikers of land in Deanfield and other aikers lyand within the said bounds neir Borrowstounes, and that under the penaltie of ten pundes, except allenarlly (only) throw the ordinar and patent passadge wayes used and wont."

"Act anent Pasturing upon Others' Ground.—Enactes and ordeanes that no persoun or persounes pastour upon others' ground with their bestiall, aither outfeild or infeild, aither in seed tyme, sommer, or harvest, or to trowble or molest them in their sykes, bogs, or any other pleace belonging to their neighboure in any manner of way whatsomever in tyme coming, under the paine of ten pounds."

"Act anent Encrotching upon Hie Wayes.—Enacts and ordeanes that no persoune or persounes incrotch upon any hie wayes and passadges within the haill bounds foirsaids by delving and spayling thereof or casting divotts therupon in any pairt neir unto the samen, nor yet to delve or cast up any ground or mak any ditches or shankes, or anything whatsomever without their awen proper lands and heritadges, and that under the paine of tuelf pounds money foirsaid."

"Act againest Besseting of Sturdie Beggars.—Enactes and ordeanes that no persoun or persounes within any pairt of the foirsaids bounds lodge, harbour, haunt, or ressett within any of their possessiounes any sturdie beggers, tincklers, or any suchlyk persounes in any tyme heirafter, and that under the paine of fyve pound Scotis for ilk fault."

A case of debt came up on the day when these statutes were enacted. It was disposed of, and resulted in William Thomson, maltman in Bo'ness, being ordained to pay to

Gravestones in Kinneil Churchyard (No. i). See pa e o (From sketches by the Rev. T. Ratcliffe Barnett, F.S.A. Scot., Bo'ness.)

Margaret Hamilton, widow of David Thomson, skipper, £75 Scots as the price of some "bear."

Another Court was held on the 25th of May, six Courts were held in June, four in July, three in August, and two in September, all in 1669, and all presided over by Major .Hamilton. On two subsequent occasions, 11th and 12th October, 1669, they were presided over by Alexander Gibb, .skipper in Bo'ness, bailie-depute, whose letter of deputation is duly recorded, bearing date at Kinneil, 11th October, 1669. Hamilton presided on 23rd October; Gibb on 2nd November and 16th November; and Hamilton again on other five occasions in November and December of that year.

The volume records the proceedings of the Court with regularity until June, 1673, when there is a hiatus until October,

1680. From then it records proceedings until March, 1681, when there is another blank until October, 1692. From that •date it goes on until 17th April, 1693, which is the latest date of the Court proceedings. The Bailie, Major Hamilton, presided in Court most frequently. During 1670, when the average was three to four sessions each month, Gibb only presided three times, in 1671 twice, in 1672 ten times, and in 1673 twice. He does not again appear as Bailie-depute after 25th May of that year. Hamilton was still Bailie in 1680-1681. James Nisbet, writer in Bo'ness, now became his depute, but presided in Court only on 3rd and 10th January and 14th February,

1681. After the lapse between March, 1681, and October, 1692, Walter Cornwall, of Bonhard, appears as Bailie, and ho depute is noticed.

There must have been another "Liber" coming down to .about the middle of the eighteenth century, when Regalities were abolished, but we have not discovered it. When we come to examine the " Register of Bandes " we will see that it continues, with breaks now and again, until 1722, and discloses William Bell, of Avontoun, Robert Gregorie, and others as the Bailies of Regality between 1693 and 1722.

At the three Head Courts held respectively in February, .May, and October of each year, lists are given of the heritors and vassals present, and also of those absent, the latter being as usual fined.

VII.

The following is an illustration of a day's work in Court as recorded in the "Liber" :—

On 29th June, 1669, the Court of Regality was held in the Tolbooth of the Burgh of Regality of Bo'ness, by Robert Hamilton, of Dechmont, bailie; and the Court having been lawfully fenced, decreet is given against Matthew Robertson, salter in Snab, to pay to Janet Bow, spouse of Thomas Devine in Borroustounes, and the said Thomas for his interest, £8 8s. Scots as the price of certain ale purchased from her by him, and also to pay expenses of Court. The defender did not compear although personally cited by John Buntein, officer.

Fines Janet Konochie, spouse to James Brucklay, cooper, a rex dollar for "stryking, beating, and abusing of" Elizabeth Archbald, spouse to James M'Kennall, on Wednesday last, the evidence being proven by witnesses. She is not to " goe forth of prisone until shoe mak payment thairof."

Action of removal being intended at the instance of William and Anna, Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, against John Hamilton, elder, of Kinglass, and Alexander Cornwale, in. Bo'ness, as "pretendit" tenants and possessors of "ane great ludging" at the east end of Bo'ness and yards thereof, as-also of lands called the Park with the "braes and links adjacent therto lying on the south-east of the said great ludging," and a considerable number of others who are-tenants thereabouts, for their removing from these landsy decreet is given against them for this purpose.

Decreet is given against John Dick, in Woodhead, to pay Agnes Gibb, spouse of Alexander Hardie, in Nether Kineill, and her said husband £8 Scots " as buit and niffer promised be him to the said Alexander in the exchynging of ane horse-of the said John Dickis with ane horse of his ten years since-or thereby"; also £5 8s. received in borrowing by him from: the said pursuer, and four merks for ale furnished to him at several times since then. The defender, being summoned to give his oath anent the foregoing, failed to appear, and decreet was given in absence, with expenses.

William Hunter, in North Kinneill, is sued by Robert Brash, in Kingcavil, for £18 Scots as the balance of the price of ten bolls of oats purchased by him from the pursuer in the end of March last. Compearing along with John Graham, writer in Linlithgow, his procurator, and being put on oath, he deponed that he only received six bolls and two pecks of "Clurttie oattes " at £4 the boll from the pursuer, and paid £21 10s. of the price thereof, and he now produced £3 1s. 4d., which he consigned in the hands of the clerk of Court as the balance of the price. He is therefore assoilzied.

VIII.

Complaint was made by Janet Conochie, spouse to James Brucklay, cooper in Bo'ness, that several persons in the said burgh did daily and continually " asperse, reproatch, and callummniat hir good name with the name of ane witch and divers other opprobrious and scandallous speitches." For remeid whereof the bailie ordains that no person hereafter call the said Janet Conochie a witch or otherwise abuse her good name under the penalty of £5 Scots. Janet has, as we have just seen, been fined this day for fighting. This poor woman, as we will find in another place, was afterwards among three tried here for witchcraft, found guilty, and burned at Corbiehall. It will be noted that mostly all the names we have yet referred to are Lowland names. Janet, however, judging from her maiden surname of Conochie, seems to have been of Highland origin, and very probably possessing in a considerable degree the mysticism and superstition of the Highlander, she was soon marked out in this community' as a " witch."

Some of the statutes already recorded were afterwards re-enacted, and others were added from time to time. One such relates to the curious marriage custom of " penny brydells," and it was made on 8th February, 1670, and reads as follows: —

"The samen day complent given in be severall persones within the foirsaid brughe of regality and barounie of Kinneill anent the hudge and exorbitent pryces of penny brydells made and sett within the foirsaid bounds whilks are exacted and collected from the persones who comes therto be those who maks and setts the samen, contrair to equity, reasone, and justice, and to just legall and orderlie customes used and observed in other places of the contrie theranent. Said bally for remeid and redres of quhilk abuise for the futur, and after matur deliberatioun and serious consideratioun had be him in order to the premises, heirby statuts, enacts, and ordeanes that no persone or persones whatsomever within the said brughe or regality and barounie above writtin under whatsomever cullar or pretext presum or tak upon hand at any tyme heirafter to exact or receave any more from ilk persone who comes to the said penny brydell for the brydell denner then the pryces respective underwrittin, to wit—Ten shilling Scots money at the brydells within the said brughe of regality, .and nyne shilling money foirsaid at the brydells within the said barounie, and those persones who maks and affoords the saids penny brydells are to furnish to ilk mease consisting of four persones for the foirsaids raites and pryces the particular victwalls following—to witt, two plaitts full of broath, ane «oddin of beife, ane rost of mutton or veill, according to the season of the year; four wheat loaffes, and ane quart of ale, with sufficient trunchers, servitors, and spoones: provyding nevertheles, in caise the setters and makers of the saids penny brydells provyd and affoord to ilk mease ane sufficient henn by and attour the victwalls above specifeit then and in that caise it is heirby declaired that it shall be leisum for them to exact and receave tua shillings money foirsaid from ilk person who comes to the said denner over and above the raites and pryces above specifeit: And the said bally ordeanes thir presents to be punctwally observed be the haill inhabitants of the foirsaid brughe of regality and barony foirsaid in all tyme coming under the paine of ten pounds Scots money foirsaid to be payed be ilk person contraveiner of the premiss for ilk falzie; also ordaines thir presents to be affixed upon the mercat place of the said brughe of regality that non pretend ignorance heirof."


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