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The History of Glasgow
Volume 2 - Chapter XVI - Life in the Burgh in the Reign of James VI.


JOHN LESLEY, Bishop of Ross, and confidential agent of Queen Mary, in his History published in 1578, gives an interesting description of Glasgow in his time. As translated by Father Dalrymple in 1596 this runs: "Beyond the water of Clyd is a noble toune, to wit, of Glasgwe, quhair is ane archibischopes sait. Surelie Glasgw is the most renouned market in all the west, honorable and celebrat. Afor the heresie began thair was ane academie, nocht obscure, nather infrequent or of ane small number, in respect baith of philosophie and grammar and politick studie. It is sa frequent [The market is so popular.] and of sick renoune that it sendes to the easte countreyes verie fatt kye, herring lykewyse and salmonte, oxne-hydes, wole and skinis, buttir lykewyse that nane better, and cheise. Bot, contrare, to the west (quhair is a peple verie numerable in respect of the commoditie of the sey cost) by [Besides.] uther merchandise, all kynd of corne to them sendes. Bot till Argyle, in the Hilande Iles, and lykewise to the outmost Iles in Irland it sendes baith wine and ale and sik kynde of drink as thir natiouns have plesure off, to wit, maid of ale, of honie, anat seide and sum uthires spices (this drink the commone peple commonlie callis Brogat). In this cuntrie thay lykewyse sell aqua vitce, quhilke heir in place of wine thay commonlie use. It is a very fair situatioune and plesand, abundant in gairdine herbes, aple trees, and orchardis. Farther, it hes a verie commodius seyporte, quhairin little schipis, ten myles from the sey, restis besyde the brig, quhilke brig having 8 bowis, [Arches.] is ane Bret delectatione to the lukeris upon it. The landes rounde about, the space of 4 or 5 myles, perteines to the Archibischope: of quhilkis the renter [Occupation.] hes nocht bene takne from the heires thir thousand yeris and mair. Mairover that, in the same heritage, ilke hes rychteouslie from age to age, succeidet till uther, that worthilie they may be called perpetual heires." [Lesley's History of Scotland (Scottish Text Society), i. pp. 16, 17.]

The extant Burgh Records of Glasgow for 1573 downwards afford a fairly comprehensive view of the kind of life led by the inhabitants of the little city, about the size of a moderate village of to-day, which lay pleasantly taking the morning sun on the high western bank of the Molendinar.

The head court of the burgh and city—what is now known as the town council—consisted in the earliest of these records of a provost, two or often three bailies, fourteen to seventeen councillors, five "lynars," and a water bailie, with four officers. From among the members were appointed a treasurer, a master of works, and a common procurator, as well as keepers of the separate keys of the two locks and padlock of the strongroom, the two locks of the "little kist" inside, and the key of the box containing the common seal. [Burgh Records, i. 24.] The court sat in the tolbooth at the foot of High Street, and it included in its functions not only those of the town council of later times, but also those of a parochial board or parish council, those of a police court, and some of those of a sheriff court.

With primitive simplicity the council carefully ordained the prices to be charged for various goods, in the fashion that has been followed in more recent times during a great war. The best ale—"king's ale"—was to be no more than sixpence the pint, while the fourpenny loaf must weigh fourteen ounces, and be well-baked, of good stuff, with the name of the baker printed on it, so that any deficiency might be brought home to him. No blown mutton was to be exposed for sale, and no tallow exported out of the town in wholesale quantities till after Fastern's Even. Fleshers were not allowed to buy tallow or dead meat to sell again, and all flesh and fish brought into the town had to be taken to the market for sale at once, without holding back part for a better price. Tallow was to be no more than seventeen shillings the stone, and candles no more than twelve pence the pound. None of these commodities was to be sold or made for sale by others than freemen of the burgh. The bailies were required to visit the markets, one of the council attended by an officer was deputed to attend the meal market, and tasters were appointed to the various districts to make sure that all the ale brewed was of sufficient quality. Nothing is said as to what should happen if bakers, brewers, and tallow-makers should find that the prices ordained for their commodities resulted in loss, and the effects of the laws of supply and demand were evidently unknown. The wheels of life in the burgh must have run somewhat grittily when every detail of existence was subject to the supervision and interference of some meddlesome bailie or councillor.

Some notion of the habits of the time and of the slow rate at which life progressed may be gathered from the order that no middens were to be made on the front street or on the green, and that stones and timber were not allowed to lie in the street for more than a year and a day. A wholesome ordinance was that made to enforce the acts of parliament against banning, swearing, and blaspheming God's name, and one may draw conclusions as to certain social customs from a remit to the minister and kirk-session to take action for the discouragement of riotous banqueting at bridals, baptisms, and house-warmings. [Burgh Records, i, 25, 93.]

A bailie was a man of very real authority in those days.

A frequently recurring trouble in those times was the outbreak of the pest or plague in various parts of the kingdom. On 29th October, 1574, the provost, bailies, and council, "understanding that the contageous sickness called the pest " had newly broken out in the realm, take strenuous measures to protect their "gud town thairfra." No persons coming from Leith, Kirkcaldy, Dysart, or Burntisland were to be admitted within the burgh or traded with, and in the case of Edinburgh, where the outbreak was so far confined to Bell's Wynd, only such persons as brought certificates from the magistrates of the capital were to be admitted. Further, no person was to bring goods from these or other infected places on pain of death. No pipers, fiddlers, minstrels, or other vagabonds were to remain in the town without special permit from the provost All beggars not born in the burgh were to depart within twenty-four hours on pain of burning in the cheek. If any person in the town fell sick the master of the house was to report the occurrence at once, and every dead body was to be inspected by an appointed officer before being placed in the winding sheet. Searchers were appointed for the different districts to visit each house morning and evening, and make sure that the regulations were enforced. Any neglect was to be punished by banishment. At the same time, watchers were appointed for the bridge, the river fords, and the four main ports or gates of the burgh at the Stablegreen, Gallowgate, Trongate, and South Port, or Nether Ban-as Yett. At the same time, the Rottenrow, Drygateand Greyfriar ports were to remain locked, while the Schoolhouse Wynd and all the vennels were to be "simpliciter condampnit and stekit up." [Burgh Records, i. 27.]

The action of the council was prompt, energetic, and comprehensive, and it appears to have been effective, for there is no record of the plague having touched the city at that time.

Ten years later, in 1584, when the pest was increasing in Fife, two persons, chosen from among the townsmen, were ordered to keep each of the ports and exits, the hours being from six in the morning till six at night, while a considerable number of "quartermasters" were chosen to keep watch on the yard ends, back gates, and private entries to the town. These last—there were forty-one of them—had evidently to quarter, or march to and fro, each on his own beat. [Burgh Records, ii i.] As the plague on that occasion lasted for more than four years, and came as near as Paisley, the tax entailed upon the time of the citizens may be understood. [Ibid., Y 19.]

As a head court of the burgh and city, the provost and bailies, sitting in the tolbooth, dealt with a large variety of causes. Amongst the most frequent during the reign of James VI. were those of poor creatures adjudged to be lepers. These were forthwith either banished altogether from the community or ordered to take up their abode in the lepers' hospital on the farther side of the river. Sometimes when the leper could be kept at home without danger to others he was ordered to confine himself to his own house. On two days in the week the lepers were allowed to come into the town quietly and visit their friends. The disease was evidently very common and a serious danger to the community. [Ibid., i. 34, 36, 91, 93.]

Debtors were confined in the tolbooth, and failing the payment of their debt could only obtain their discharge by "swearing themselves bare." The process made matters public enough. Thus, on 4th March, 1574-5, a certain Mathew Hamilton supplicates the court that he has been confined in the tolbooth for four weeks for the non-fulfilment of an order to pay Alexander Rhynd a debt of twelve merks for a hogshead of herring. He declares that during his confinement he has had nothing to sustain him but the alms of the citizens, and he offers to swear that he has no goods of any kind worth five shillings, and is unable to procure any to pay the debt. The magistrates thereupon order proclamation of the facts to be made at the cross, warning all who may have claims against the debtor. Then as none came forward to object, and no one offered to sustain him in prison, and as Hamilton instantly gave his oath, "swearing himself bare, as the saying is," they discharged him from the tolbooth.

We have already seen how the government of the country, when it came into possession of a third of the land of Scotland through the disestablishment of the Catholic Church, found it more convenient and remunerative to hand over these lands to private ownership for a fixed annual payment or feu duty, than to manage them directly by means of State officials or factors. In the same way the burgh found it less troublesome and more profitable to let the fees of its markets and the toll of its bridge to private individuals for a definite sum annually, than to levy these fees and tolls by the hands of salaried officers. Thus on 25th May, 1575, appears the entry, "The casualties of the market, called 'the ladle,' set to John Wilson, pewterer, for 170 merks; and the new gift given to the brig, and small casualties granted thereto, set to John Snype for forty pounds." [Burgh Records, i. 37.]

The magistrates were keenly alive to infringements of the burgess privileges. Free trade was anathema in their eyes. On 31st May, 1575, certain skinners in Pollok and Carmyle were "found in the wrong" and fined for buying skins within the bounds of the burgh, "they being unfree," otherwise non-burgesses, and they were warned to abstain from the practice in time coming on pain of forfeiting the goods thus acquired.

The cutting of turf and peat on the common lands of the burgh was a privilege of the freemen of the city which the magistrates might be expected to safeguard with even greater jealousy. Outsiders were only allowed the liberty at a price. On 14th June, 1575, James Fleming, the common procurator of the burgh, brought a charge against Christian Paul, widow of the late Robert Crawford, and her son John, dwelling in Wester Craigs, "another lord's ground," that they had cut and carried away turf and peat that year without a licence. The defence was that the accused had done the same thing under licence in previous years, but had neglected to procure a permit for the current season. [Burgh Records, i. 38.]

The existence of the original cross of Glasgow at the intersection of Drygate and Rottenrow with High Street and Castle Street [Old Glasgow, by A. Macgeorge, 121.] has frequently been questioned. But a case decided before the magistrates' court on 11th October, 1575, would appear to place the existence of this early cross beyond doubt. On that date James Rankin was found guilty and fined for removing "ane greit croce liand in Rattounraw pertenyng to the toun." [Burgh Records, i. 42.]

In those days as in late times there were "conscientious objectors" against measures of warlike defence, who found their religious or political views in curious agreement with their personal convenience and inclinations. In this category would appear to have been John Wilson and James Anderson, fleshers and burgesses, who were convicted and fined for absenting themselves from the general weaponschawing held on the Green on 10th October of the same year, and "contemptuslie abydand thairfra," though they were in the town at the time. [Burgh Records, i. 42.]

There were, of course, the common police court cases of assault and battery. It is clear, too, that the "cornerman" was not more chivalrous in his treatment of women then than now. John Wilson, tailor, for example, is convicted of casting Elizabeth Brokas down on the ground at the cross, dumping her with his knees, and scattering her syboes. By way of amends, which must have been very galling to him and gratifying to her, he was ordered to appear at the cross on the following Monday, and there, upon his knees ask God and her for forgiveness. Ninian Swan, again, was "fund in the wrang" for striking Marion Simson with "ane tangis" and throwing her to the ground. In this affair the lady had retaliated by "spitting upon the said Ninian's face," so both parties were held to be in fault. [Burgh Records, i. 42, 43.]

More curious is a case of blood payment, or compensation for manslaughter, to which the court interponed its authority on 29th November, 1575. A certain burgess, Ninian M`Lister, had been slain by one Ninian Syar, also a burgess, how long previously is not stated, and the representatives of the two parties, having composed the matter, bring their agreement to the magistrates' court, to have it inserted in the burgh books, and obtain the strength of a decree of the provost and bailies. The compact bears that Margaret Cairns, relict or widow of the slain man, and William his son and heir, for themselves and the other children, kin, and friends, have made agreement with David Syar, son and heir-apparent of Ninian Syar, the slayer, acting for his father, brethren, kin, and friends, to remit and forgive all malice and hatred of their hearts for the slaughter, and to forgo any action, criminal or otherwise, which they might have taken against the slayer, his kin, friends, assisters, or partakers, to hold themselves towards the latter without rancour, as they were before the slaughter, and as if it had never been committed, and to subscribe a sufficient Letter of Slayanes, in due and cornpetent form, conform to usage in such cases. For these concessions David Syar undertakes that his father shall appear in the High Kirk on a certain date, and there make homage and repentance for the slaughter with such ceremonies and circumstances as should be ordained and devised by two Glasgow burgesses chosen by both parties for the purpose ; and he also undertook to pay the widow and her children the sum of three hundred merks in name of kynbute for the slaughter. The names of three burgesses are given as security for the payment, George Elphinstone of Blythswood and John Stewart of Bowhouse undertaking to relieve these burgesses of responsibility, and Ninian and David Syar undertaking to "relieve and keep scatheless" all their cautioners for the payment. The sitting magistrate, William Cunninghame, considered the agreement reasonable, and ordered it to be registered in the books of the burgh, and to have the strength of a decree of the court. Thus was the slaughter of a burgess compounded for in Glasgow in the year 1575. [Burgh Records, i. 43.]

An action which throws light on the jurisdictions of the time is recorded on 6th December of the same year. One David Morison had granted Thomas Hutchinson a wadset or bond over a property in the Stockwellgate, and had failed for five years to pay the yearly interest of five merks. On the case coming up, both parties were present, but there also appeared Robert Lindsay of Dunrod as bailie to Lord St. John, owner of the whole Temple lands. Lindsay claimed that as David Morison was Lord St. John's tenant in these Temple lands the case must be referred to his lordship's jurisdiction, and he offered caution of colraytht to that effect. Morison was accordingly repledged to the bailie of Temple-lands court; Lindsay as Temple bailie appointed a day when the court should sit in Morison's house in the Stockwell, and David Lindsay, elder, became caution of colraytht for the administration of justice in the case. [Burgh Records, i. 45.]

By way of correction to the common idea that Sunday was always observed in Scotland with the rigours that have earned the name Sabbatarianism, it is interesting to find that only so late as 3rd October, 1577, was a regulation made by the magistrates that no markets should be held on the Sundays, and that only in the previous July was it resolved that the Fair Day, which fell on the Sunday, should be postponed, and that no merchants should be allowed to open their booths or to erect "crames" or stalls on the streets on that day. This was followed in the same year by prosecutions for "slaying of flesche and wirking on the Sondaye" and the like, in which fines and poindings were imposed as punishment. [Ibid. i. 60, 62, 65.]

Even as late as 1608 the magistrates are found issuing ordinances against the buying and selling of timber in the market at the bridge on Sunday afternoons, but the objection on that occasion was as much to the fact that the trade carried on upon that day was by wholesale merchants, to the prejudice of retail trade, as to the fact that it was an invasion of Sunday observance. [Ibid. i. 282.]

On 19th November, 1577, appears the earliest record of causewaying the streets of the burgh. At that date the provost, bailics, and council, with the deacons of crafts, finding that there was nothing of the "commowne guddis" or "common good" available for the purpose, agreed to impose a tax of two hundred pounds on the inhabitants to pay a contract they had concluded for two years to come. The tax was payable in two instalments, at the first of January following and "at Beltane nixt." The ancient festival of Baal-fire Day, the second of May, was evidently not yet forgotten in Glasgow. [Ibid. i. 64.]

Neither was the last authentic relic of Glasgow's patron saint, for on the same day the city fathers purchased from John Muir and Andrew Lang, for the sum of ten pounds and a burgess ticket to the latter, "the auld bell that yed throw the towne of auld at the buriall of the deid," in other words, as named in the rubric to the entry, St. Mungo's bell, and they ordained the bell to remain in all time coming the common dead-bell of the burgh. [Burgh Records, i. 64.]

The causeway-maker was evidently a piece of precious goods, if he was not, indeed, a serf or chattel like the colliers and salt-makers. The provost, Thomas Crawford of Jordan-hill, and his bailies solemnly obliged themselves to restore and deliver to the provost and bailies of Dundee at the following Michaelmas, without fraud or colour of any sort, Walter Brown, the causeway-maker, whom they had borrowed for their work. [Ibid. i. 69.]

Proceedings which would startle the trade unions of today were the actions brought by deacons and brethren of crafts against the inefficiency of certain workmen. Thus in March, 1577, the deacons and craftsmen of the masons brought a complaint to the provost and council desiring to have John and William Ritchie interdicted from work, on the assertion that they were unable to hew. The city fathers took a less rigorous course. In case the Ritchies should require to build higher than a single storey of hewn work their efficiency was to be tested by a committee of craftsmen and councillors. With this provision they were licensed to work, and, should the deacon be agreeable, to pay their fees and be admitted to the craft. [Ibid. i. 66.]

As one of the obligations of their citizenship the burgesses were, of course, liable to be called out to fight; every man of substance was required to keep himself furnished with a hagbut, powder, and bullets; the less prosperous were to have each a long spear, and all were to possess jack, steel bonnet, sword, and buckler. The annual review or wapinschaw at the Summerhill must have been a sight to see. The town had its own ensign or battle flag, which was carefully kept by the bailies in office. [Burgh Records, i. 67, 96.]

Tradesmen's contracts, again, were more solemn affairs in those days than now. In the summer of 1577, for instance, the town council recorded in its court book a contract between the Earl of Eglinton and George Elphinston, glass-wright, by which the latter undertook to renew and keep in repair, all the days of his life, the glass-work at the earl's houses of Ardrossan, Eglinton, Polnoon, Glasgow, Irvine, and Cumbrae, the earl to furnish the material and transport, with two bolls of meal and a stone of cheese per annum, as well as his meat on occasion, and the blown-down glass and lead. [Ibid. i. 67.]

The perambulation of the burgh marches each year at Whitsun Tuesday was an ancient ceremony which the burgesses were beginning to neglect, and in June, 1578, the provost and bailies issued an order that all the councillors and deacons should accompany them on the occasion on penalty of a fine of eight shillings. [Ibid. ii. 69.]

While this early custom has long fallen into desuetude, another has grown into greater consequence with time—the conferring of the freedom of the burgh upon notable persons as a mark of honour. In Glasgow, as early as 6th October, 1579, a "reverend father," John, bishop of the Isles, and Alan M'Cowle of Ragary, were in this way made burgesses and freemen of the city "gratis." [Ibid. i. 76.] Twenty years later Fletcher, Shakespeare's future partner at the Globe, was, while visiting Aberdeen with his company, made a freeman of that city.

On the other hand, with persons of objectionable reputation the city fathers had a way that was no doubt equally impressive. Bessie Brown and Marion Young, for example, having confessed to being mansworn, were ordered to "abstract" themselves from the burgh and barony in all time coming, and they gave their consent that, if found within its bounds, they should, without more ado, be drowned. [Burgh Records, i. 77.]

Mention has already been made in these pages of the feud between the Stewart party and the Elphinstone party in the government of the burgh. The chief mover in the matter. was Mathew Stewart of Minto, who on 4th October, 1580, produced letters from the king and the archbishop appointing the king's cousin, Esme Stewart, Earl of Lennox, Lord Darnley and Aubigne, to be provost. At the same time Mathew Stewart had himself made a member of the town council. A fortnight later he produced a letter from the Secret Council stating that George Elphinstone, William Cunningham, and Robert Rowat had demitted office as bailies at the king's request, and that Robert Stewart, Hector Stewart, and John Graham had been nominated in their room. Next day Elphinstone recorded a protest, which of course effected nothing, and the Stewart party settled down to enjoy the sweets of office. That these sweets were not entirely unsubstantial is shown by the fact that on 28th January following the three prebends of St. Andrew, St. Martin, and Trium Puerorum in the Tron Kirk, which had fallen into the hands of the town council through the death of the incumbent, Sir Robert Watson, were given to the son of John Graham, one of the new bailies, "for his sustentatioun at the scholes." The prebends were worth twenty pounds yearly, and the whole business appears as an example of the art of "wire-pulling" from which bodies entrusted with the management of public affairs were not even then exempt. [Ibid. i. 79, 81, 83.]

On coming into power, the Stewart faction apparently proceed to purge the roll of burgesses in drastic fashion. At the instance of the common procurator a number of individuals were summoned to answer the charge that, though they were freemen and burgesses, they neither dwelt nor had houses in the city, and took no part in scat and lot, walking and warding, and underlying the other duties required by the oath. Eighteen of those challenged found security for the due performance of the required services, but other three, who lived at Cathcart, failed to appear, though summoned at the cross, and were accordingly declared to have forfeited their burgess-ship. [Burgh Records, i. 83.]

The Stewart party also proceeded to appoint a new town clerk, Archibald Hegate, who duly inscribes himself in the minutes as "presented and admitted thereto by a noble and potent lord, Esme, Earl of Lennox, Lord Darnley, Dalkeith, Aubigne, etc., provost, and with authority and command of the King's majesty to that effect." [Infra, p. 183.]

Alas! under this complaisant entry there appears interpolated another, dated nine years later, when the city fathers felt themselves in a less subservient mood, to the effect that the act was deleted by command of the provost, bailies, and whole council, who were absolutely entitled to elect their own town clerk. [Burgh Records, i. 84, 146; infra, p. 184.]

Meanwhile the new party in power proceeded actively to reverse the acts of its predecessors. It rescinded the ordinance that the burgesses should pay milling charges to the town's mills for the grinding of all their grain, whether ground at these mills or not; and, to make the matter doubly sure, it declared that in all time coming it would be unlawful to thirl the freemen and burgesses of the city in such fashion. [Burgh Records, i. 87.]

No notice is contained in the burgh records of the traditional episode in which the townsmen are said to have clamoured for the destruction of the cathedral, and the prudent provost, Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill, to have replied that he quite agreed with the suggestion, but would defer the carrying of it out till a new kirk had been built in its place. The first actual notice of the cathedral occurs on 10th December, 1581, when the superintendent and kirk members bring the ruinous and decaying conditions of the edifice to the notice of the council. As a result, on 27th February, 1582-3 the provost, bailies, council, and deacons resolved, without binding themselves in any way for the future, to undertake the complete repair of the building. It seems clear that from first to last the citizens of Glasgow had an enlightened pride in their ancient cathedral, and were less moved by the iconoclastic ideas of the Reformation than the eastern communities of Scotland. [Burgh Records, i. 92.]

Curious light upon the perils of the seas with which the Scottish commerce of the days of James VI. had to contend is thrown by an application made to the magistrates of Glasgow I in August, 1583. A burgess of Renfrew and two merchants, it would appear, had complained to the king that their bark, on its way to the fishing in Loch Foyle, had been attacked off the Irish coast by a birlinn and "great boat " belonging to the prior of Colonsay and manned by fifty or more robbers, broken men, and sorners. In the attack Somerville, the burgess, had been shot through the arm with "ane flukit arrow," while one of his crew had been shot in the thigh with a dart, another had been struck in the mouth with a sword, another had been shot through the hand and "metulat of his formest fingare, etc." The pirates had further plundered the ship of a somewhat curious cargo for a fishing vessel— seven puncheons of wine, value £80, three score gallons of aquavito at 40s. per gallon, six pounds of saffron at Rio, two barrels of madder and two of alum worth £40, £6, and 14s. sterling, twelve pieces of ordnance worth £40, powder and bullets worth £16, seventeen single-handed and two double-handed swords, a dozen steel bonnets price £40, a habergeon price £20, four hogsheads of drinking beer worth altogether 20 merks, four hogsheads of salt of the same value, and clothing worth £40. Complaint had been made to the king and the Privy Council, who had ordered the provosts and bailies of burghs within the shires of Lanark, Renfrew, Dunbarton, Ayr, and Stirling to arrest the bodies and goods of the reivers should they appear within their bounds. The prior, Malcolm Macilfie, with his boat and crew, were actually lying, it seems, at the bridge at Glasgow, and complainers and defenders together appeared before the bailies of Glasgow. Their method of deciding the case was, with the consent of both parties, to refer the whole matter to the "great oath" of the said Malcolm Macilfie. Thereupon this individual upon his "great oath" declared that he had neither art nor part in the act of piracy complained of, nor so much as knew anything about it. The bailies thereupon absolved him from the claim for ever. Implicit, evidently, was the trust reposed in the "great oath" of the Prior of Colonsay. [Burgh Records, i. 105.]

It would be interesting to know whether some of the bylaws made by the town council at the close of the sixteenth century remain in force at the present hour. One of these decreed that if any member of the council transgressed the town's statutes he should incur double the ordinary penalty. Another declared that no bridal within the burgh should cost more than a penny, and that any person who attended a more costly wedding, or countenanced such surfeit, should pay a fine of eight shillings. [Ibid. i. 106.]

In the records of the burgh court there is a remarkable infrequency of petty crimes. Some reason for this probably lay in the fact that the punishments were of the personal kind which at all periods have been most disliked by criminals. Imprisonment in the tolbooth was probably a much more disagreeable experience than the hydropathic holiday afforded in the city's prisons in the twentieth century, but the worthy bailies of the sixteenth century did not evidently care to burden the community with the support of lawbreakers even in the tolbooth. They preferred to take their punishment out of the offender's own skin and be done with it. Thus a certain John Hunter convicted of cutting purses at Ayr and Glasgow was considerately dealt with. In view of his youth, and the possibility that he might amend his ways, he was ordered to be burnt on the shoulder with a hot iron, scourged through the town, and then banished from burgh and barony. The experience probably convinced him, as the lash has convinced the garotter in more recent times, that the pursuit of crime as a profession was unattractive. [Burgh Records, i. 91.]

Imprisonment was at that date a really dreadful experience, very different from what it has become in recent times ; and imprisonment in the tolbooth of Glasgow was no exception to the rule. Both sexes and all sorts of misdemeanants were herded together in cold and filth, and while those who had means might purchase better fare from the jailor, the ordinary prisoners were forced to sustain life on the coarsest viands. Still more wretched than the cells of the tolbooth at the cross appears to have been the prison in the upper part of the town mentioned as the "heich tolbooth" in the records of 1574. In 1605 a certain John Greenlees had been warded in the latter at the instance of Alexander Dunlop for a debt of a hundred merks and ten merks expenses. By way of relief his brother James appeared before the magistrates and secured his transference to the "laich tolbooth," becoming security at the same time that the prisoner would remain in ward till he had paid his debt. [Ibid., 228.] The old tolbooth was evidently

becoming frail and insecure. As a matter of fact, a prisoner shortly afterwards did escape from it. One Thomas Neill, cordiner, was fined for breaking ward, coming down the tolbooth stair, and severely wounding John Tours on the head with a whinger. [Burgh Records, i, 230, 234.]

Some of the punishments inflicted at that time were of singularly disagreeable and mortifying sort. Thus, for a serious slander upon Margaret Fleming one Janet Foreside was ordered to have the gyves put on her hands and the branks in her mouth, and in this condition to stand as long as Margaret Fleming chose, then on the following Sunday to sit on the stool of repentance in the High Kirk, publicly confess that her words were entirely false, and ask the forgiveness of God, the congregation, and the injured Margaret. [Ibid. i. 109.] For further control of evil-tongued women the town council ordered a pair of jougs to be set up in 1589. [Ibid. 138.] Even more dreadful, probably, was the "pit," or bottle dungeon of the castle, from which the bailies, council, and deacons in 1584, by a sort of Habeas Corpus ordinance, rescued a certain townsman, John Park, who had been laid by the heels there without their authority. [Ibid. At Cathcart Castle, near Glasgow, there still exists a bottle dungeon into which prisoners were lowered from the first floor of the stronghold.] Convicted thieves, again, were liable to be marked in unmistakable fashion. On 24th August, 1599, George Mitchell, confessing theft, was banished from the town, and sentenced if ever he should return, to be burnt on the shoulder and cheek, "and to want ane lug out of his heid." [Ibid. 349.]

Provision against the plague from which Scotland suffered from 1584 till 1588 ran the city into debt. This with other expenses which had gone before amounted to six hundred pounds. Being unable otherwise to find the money, the council resolved to feu out as much of the common land to the east and west of the city as would realize that amount. The necessary land was accordingly measured off, stobbed, and disposed of by roup or auction to the highest bidders. [Burgh Records, i. 121, 124, 126, 127.]

At the same time, the town continued to extend, and on the west-port becoming ruinous, in 1588, it was with very evident satisfaction that the council unanimously agreed to remove it further west to the head of the Stockwell, so as to include an entirely new street and houses extending in that direction. [Ibid. 125.] In the following year, in laying off a plot of ground twenty-four feet wide and three roods deep, abutting on the new gateway, which had been sold to Robert Chirneside, the bailies stipulated that the tenement to be erected should have no windows below the level of the first floor joists, except slits six inches wide, which were to be stanchioned. The need for defence was clearly still a consideration. [Ibid. 151.]

That such precautions were not without reason was shown by a requisition made to the town council shortly afterwards. It was the year after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the Government of England was still apprehensive of attack by the Catholic Powers. It was known that the Catholic nobles of the north of Scotland, Huntly and Errol, were restless, and Elizabeth's minister sent to the Scottish king what purported to be copies of letters addressed by these earls to Philip of Spain acknowledging subsidies and asking the loan of troops to overthrow the Scottish Government. The whole north of Scotland was rumoured to be on the eve of revolt, and in the south the turbulent Earl of Bothwell was said to have threatened to ravage the lowlands if the king moved to attack Huntly. In this emergency James, then twenty-two years of age, acted with the same promptitude as his mother had shown in similar circumstances. He instantly assembled an army, marched by Perth and Brechin to Aberdeen, and brought Huntly back a prisoner in his train. [Tytler's History of Scotland under date 1589.] In this expedition Glasgow played a part. The king asked for three score of hagbutters from the town, and the council, pleading poverty, sent fifty, and taxed the citizens five hundred pounds for the expense. [Burgh Records, i. 131.] It is pleasant to know that the warriors sent by the town did well, and were commended to the provost by the king. Each man was paid ten shillings per day for his services, and on the return of the contingent a hundred merks were voted for their gratification, while their officers, William Stewart and Thomas Pettigrew, were to be "gratified" separately at the discretion of the provost and bailies. [Ibid. i. 135.] On another requisition being made in the month of June, however, a deputation was sent to the king at Hamilton to endeavour to secure exemption for the town. [Ibid. 283-287.]

Nearly twenty years later, in the summer of z6o8, the warlike abilities of the citizens were again put to the test. For the expedition to the Isles under Lord Ochiltree, Glasgow contributed a ship full of provisions and liquor, along with thirty hagbutters under command of John Stirling, deacon of the hammermen. Each soldier on this occasion was paid fifteen pounds Scots per month, and the captain forty pounds. [Ibid. 139.]

Bankruptcy proceedings were, on occasion, conducted by the town council in most orderly fashion. A merchant, Guthrie Howie, having been challenged and arrested by his creditors, appeared before the city fathers in 1589. He duly acknowledged the debts, and declared his inability to pay, but craved that two honest merchants, with two of the bailies and the clerk of the court should visit his booth or shop and value his goods and book debts, and he offered to pay every creditor at once half the amount owing, and the other half as soon as God should send him goods. To this arrangement the creditors agreed, and the provost and bailies interponed their authority. [Ibid. i. 134.]

An interesting feature of Glasgow at that time must have been the dovecots belonging to the citizens. The upholding of these was considered to be for the public good, and there were Acts of Parliament in existence for the protection of dovecots throughout the country. In 1589, however, certain evil-disposed persons had taken to shooting the pigeons and raiding the dovecots round the city, and one on the Green, belonging to Marion Scott and Robert Chirnside, had suffered especially. So great was the damage that the council sent the drum round the town, forbidding the shooting of the birds and breaking of the dovecots, under severe penalties. [Burgh Records, i. 143.]

Even in those Reformation times the city was not without its recreations. The playing of football was so far countenanced by the authorities that on 31st January, 1589, they made a bargain with a certain John Neill, cordiner, to supply six footballs every Fastern's Even during his lifetime, for which he was made a burgess without payment of fees. [Ibid. 149.] Nor were the ancient festivals of pre-Reformation and even pre-Christian times altogether forgotten. In June, 1590, the mort and skellat bells and the puntership were let for a year to George Johnston for the sum of sixty pounds, payable one-third at once, one-third at Luke's-mass, and one-third at Beltane. [Ibid. 153.] Still more significant was an order of the town council in February, 1600, in accordance with a royal proclamation prohibiting the fleshers of the city from killing or selling any flesh in time of Lent. Any flesh thus sold was to be escheated, and the user of it banished from the town. []Ibid. 203.

In 1594 for the first time, for the purpose of administering the town's statutes, the city was divided into four quarters and a bailie appointed to each. The quarters were divided by the line of High Street and Saltmarket, and the line of Gallowgate and Trongate. [Ibid. 157.]

In curious contrast to the spirit of more modern times, the representation of the city in Parliament received only very slight consideration. Thus on 8th March, 1594-5, the town council ordained Robert Rowat, bailie, and James Bell, to attend the Convention of Burghs to be held in Edinburgh on the 11th of that month, and the parliament to be held on the 17th. A commission was made out for them, and a daily payment was allowed of 26s. 8d. to the bailie and 20S. to "the said James" for the time they should remain away. [Ibid. 162.]

The city fathers evidently felt that, while affairs of State hardly touched them, the matter of real importance was the keeping of order within their own bounds. Thus a few days later, to put down a plague of night walkers, who prevented people going about their lawful business, it was ordained that eight citizens should watch nightly from eleven till three in the morning or longer. The watchers were to provide themselves with sufficient armour, and non-appearance entailed a fine of twenty shillings. [Ibid. 163.]

At the same time they were a loyal folk, the citizens of that day, and for bringing the "glaid tydens" of the birth of a prince on 18th June, 1595, they made a worthy blacksmith, John Duncan, a burgess gratis. John had bruised his horse in his strenuous endeavour to be first with the news. [Ibid. 167.]

Another event which about the same time made a considerable stir in the city was the procuring or recasting of the great bell for the cathedral. For this a special "extent" or tax, amounting to seven hundred pounds, was levied on all the inhabitants. Including the metal of the old bell the town paid Arthur Allan altogether for the new possession the sum of £1,002 0s. 4d. [Ibid. 165, 169, 182.]

At times the town seems to have been apprehensive of becoming burdened with an inflow of beggars. In 1595 the town council passed a by-law ordering all beggars who had not been five years in the place to remove within forty-eight hours, under pain of scourging through the town and burning on the cheek. At the same time the inhabitants were forbidden to receive or lodge any stranger beggar on pain of banishment for a year and a day. [Burgh Records, i. 174.]

A vast difference might have been made in the character and fortunes of Glasgow if a proposal made in 1596 had been carried out. This was nothing less than a suggestion from the Government that the Court of Session and College of Justice might be transplanted to the western city. The Corporation was asked to state what it was prepared to offer for the transference. The council unanimously declared that the city could make no contribution in money, but was prepared to offer its services. These services, whatever they might be worth, proved an insufficient inducement, and the courts of law remained in Edinburgh. [Ibid. 183.]

Even before the end of the sixteenth century the shipping of Glasgow was by no means inconsiderable. On 28th April, 1597, there were entered eight vessels of twenty-one and a half to three score tons, from places as far away as Pittenweem, Aberdeen, and Dundee. Most of the vessels belonged to Glasgow itself, and on 22nd May was entered the largest of these, of ninety-two tons. [Ibid. 187.]

Scarcity of provisions and the fear of actual famine were naturally not infrequent in days when most of the land of the country was unreclaimed and so much of what remained was common pasture. On these occasions the city fathers took peremptory measures against forestalling and hoarding of foodstuffs. Buying and selling of foodstuffs were forbidden, except in the open market, all export of provisions was declared unlawful, and no one was allowed to purchase more than sufficed for the immediate needs of his household. [Ibid. 189.]

Salt was then a valuable commodity, being mostly obtained by the evaporation of sea-water in open pans. Upon occasion the town council seems to have bought it in quantity and allotted his portion to each citizen. On these occasions the drum was sent round, and those who did not come to claim and pay for their portions were liable to imprisonment. [Ibid. 189.]

One of the most active movers in the affairs of the city at that time was Thomas Pettigrew. We have seen how he came into notice first as one of the officers who commanded the small Glasgow levy sent to join the king's army in its expedition against Huntly and Errol in the north. His efficiency on that occasion was rewarded with a "gratification" in the shape of a burgess' fine. In the years that followed he took a more and more prominent, and always practical, part in the city's business, both as master of works and as an enterprising private citizen, acting on many committees and commissions of trust. One of his most interesting speculations took place in 1599. At that time the granting of burgess privileges gratis had become a serious abuse. While it meant a serious loss to the town it was a proceeding which the provost and bailies found difficult to resist. In this emergency Thomas Pettigrew saw at once a means of relief for the magistrates and a source of profit for himself. No doubt at his initiative the council agreed to lease the revenue from burgess fees to the highest bidder. This was done in the tolbooth, and the fees were leased to Pettigrew for three years for two hundred and sixty merks yearly. At the same time it was declared unlawful either for the magistrates or the tacksman to admit burgesses gratis or at a lower fee than was ordained by the bylaws. [Ibid. 197, 198.] It would be interesting to know what profit Pettigrew made on his speculation. In view of his evident shrewdness it may be concluded that the sum he offered was considerably less than the actual receipts of the town from burgess fees.

Dunbarton, holding the gateway of Glasgow's sea-going trade, remained a serious menace to the city's mercantile development. In December, 1599, some of the merchants who had salmon to export to France and other foreign ports, appealed to the town council for protection against the Captain of Dunbarton, who had placed a new impost of twenty pounds on each last of the cured fish shipped from the river. Recognizing the hurt to the city's trade which this would cause, the council appointed a commissioner to ride to Edinburgh with one of the merchants, to interview the Duke of Lennox and the provost, Sir Matthew Stewart of Minto, on the subj ect. [Burgh Records, i. 200.]

A great work of the last years of the sixteenth century was the causewaying of the streets of the city. Constantly extra revenue of all sorts was devoted to this purpose, and the work was pushed steadily forward. The townsfolk were prohibited from leaving middens on the newly paved streets, and labour was even commandeered for certain thoroughfares. On 28th March, 1600, every householder in the town was warned by sound of drum to send one person to the work of causewaying the thoroughfare at the Green under pain of a fine of 6s. 8d. Thus apparently was the present Great Clyde Street laid down. [Ibid. 204.]

Among minor matters, the minstrels of the town appear to have given fairly constant trouble. A drummer and a piper were officially employed and provided with uniform, [Ibid. 50, 194, 454, 458.] and injunctions are again and again recorded in the council records, ordering them to refrain from misbehaviour of various kinds. Sometimes they neglected their duties by going out of town to play at weddings and other festivities, and at home they were apt to be objectionable in various ways. Apparently they lived pretty much at large upon the townsmen, and were inclined to presume upon their privileges. [The citizens were only relieved of the duty of feeding the "menstralis" in 1605, as amends for the levying of a tax of ten shillings each for payment of the causeway builders (Records, i. 240).] They had to be warned to take neither boy nor dog with them when they were entertained to "ordiner" or dinner, to refrain from soliciting silver from their hosts, and to make no complaints as to the fare. They were also to refrain from "extraordinar" drinking, and to work twenty days at causewaying. It is clear that in their hands, in the days of James VI., the minstrel art had fallen to very low repute. [Burgh Records, i. 207, 208.]

Another city official of questionable repute was the common hangman. Evidently there was no competition for his post. In January, 1605, one John M'Clelland was banished from the town on suspicion of theft, and on the understanding, agreed to by himself, that if found again in Glasgow he should be hanged. In September, however, he returned, took again to theft, and was caught. The town at this moment, fortunately for him, was "desolat of ane executour," and instead of putting the rascal to death, as they might justly have done, the council appointed him to the post, with the stipulation that if ever he forsook office he should himself be hanged without further trial. Evidently the hangman was an object of common obloquy, for at the time of M'Clelland's appointment the council ordained that if any one, young or old, "abuisis the said John, ather be word or deid," he should be liable to a fine of five pounds. [Ibid. i. 234.]

The musical reputation and culture of Glasgow at that time, however, happily did not depend entirely upon disreputable individuals. Among the elaborate preparations for the king's visit to the city on 1st September, 1600, appears an instruction to John Buchanan to be present on the cross with all his singers. [Ibid.211.]

On that great occasion the inhabitants were ordered to clear all their middens, timber, and stones off the streets on pain of a fine of five pounds. All men were to hold themselves ready to turn out to meet the king in sufficient armour, with hagbuts, jacks, spears, and steel bonnets, and otherwise in best array. In particular, no man was to wear such an unceremonious head-dress as a blue bonnet. The council and deacons were to accompany the bailies, and there were to be bonfires in the evening. The occasion was further celebrated by the conferring of the freedom of the burgh upon seven of His Majesty's attendants, and upon a number of local notables who graced the proceedings with their presence. [Burgh Records, i. 211.] It was only some three weeks since the king had escaped from the hands of the conspirators at Gowrie House, and the welcome given to him in Glasgow was no doubt all the more enthusiastic on that account. The same thing was done on the occasion of the king's visit on 1st September in the following year, no fewer than forty-three persons receiving the freedom at that time. [Ibid. 225.]

The methods of taxation in those times may have been somewhat clumsier and more difficult of adjustment than the methods of the present day, but they had the merit of bringing home to each citizen the actual cost of State enterprises. As a result, we find no record of demands that expensive works and ventures should be undertaken by the Government. If they called any such tune the burgesses were well aware that they themselves would be called upon to pay the piper. The fact had a salutary restraining effect which is absent when people have reason to believe that the cost of the enterprises they advocate will be taken out of the pocket of someone else. The plan followed in James VI.'s time was for Parliament to vote a sum of money, and to assign to each burgh and county the amount it must contribute. The whole proceeding is made clear by an entry in the Glasgow council records of 14th March, 1601. The provost, bailies, and council on that occasion ordered certain persons to be apprised of a taxation of "VIII° lib " (£40. stg.) as their part, in a levy of one hundred thousand merks made at the last convention of Parliament and a sum required for repairing the Grammar School, and their part also of a sum of one thousand merks required from the burghs for a certain mission to Flanders and elsewhere. [Burgh Records, i. 218, 273. ] Naturally enough, the stenter or tax-gatherer was no more popular then than now, and special injunctions for his protection from slander and ill-usage had to be made from time to time. [Ibid. 273.]

On at least one occasion an attempt was made by certain individuals to evade taxation. In 1605, in compliance with the king's desire to effect a union of the Parliaments of Scotland and England, commissioners were appointed by the Scottish Government to proceed to England to treat on the matter. For their expenses the burghs were "stented" or taxed. In Glasgow, however, the two "stenters" complained to the council that certain persons refused to pay and pretended to be exempt. These included "medicineris, chirurgiounis, barbouris, procuratouris, messingeris, notteris, and sic vtheris." On that occasion the council took prompt action, declared that all who enjoyed the freedom of the burgh must pay, and that in case of refusal they be "hornit, poindit, or wairdit thairfor." [Ibid. 241.]

Another entry in the council records of that year shows the dim beginning of a consciousness that it would be better for the different burghs of the kingdom to forgo mutually their fiscal war one against another. The entry runs that, with a view to improving friendliness between Glasgow and Dunbarton, the burgesses of Dunbarton resorting to Glasgow to sell goods should not be required to pay customs dues, provided the Dunbarton authorities granted the same privilege to the burgesses and other inhabitants of Glasgow. [Burgh Records, i. 223.]

A few days after the passing of this amicable resolution, in June, 16oi, a serious fire broke out among the wooden houses and thatched roofs of the city. On that occasion an example was afforded of the public spirit which has from the first been an outstanding characteristic of Glasgow. A public meeting was forthwith convened, and the bailies, council, deacons, and minister organized a house-to-house collection throughout the town for funds to help the sufferers. At the same time a public enquiry was made regarding the origin of the fire, which had started in the smiddy of one James Leishman. After careful examination, however, it was concluded that neither Leishman nor his servants were to blame, but that the fire had proceeded from the providence of God. [Ibid. 224.]

The provost of that time, Sir George Elphinstone of Blythswood, was a persona grata at court. On his appointment by the Duke of Lennox in the previous year he had brought with him a letter from the king recommending him to the council. In consequence, he appears to have lived a good deal in Edinburgh. A pleasant incident was the invitation he sent to the council for one or two of them "to be gossips to him" at his daughter's baptism there on 22nd September. The council accordingly deputed William Wallace to ride thither, and gave him ten pounds (10s.) for his expenses, one eight merk piece for the nurse, and forty shillings (3s. 4d.) for the hire of a horse. [Ibid. 225.]

In those days men were as tolerant of physical horrors as they were intolerant in matters of opinion, religious and otherwise—an attitude exactly the opposite of that of the twentieth century. Down to the year 1605 it was one of the ordinary sights of Glasgow to watch the butchers "hough kye on the causeway and slay cattle on the front street." In that year, however, the indecency and brutalizing effects of such operations in public seem to have occurred to the city fathers, and the butchers were forbidden to do these things except in houses or back yards. [Burgh Records, i. 230, 253.]

Among other amenities which the town had to protect and preserve for itself were the old rights-of-way and means of access. Again and again these were encroached upon by aggressive members of the community. Thus, in November, 1607, the bailies and council held a special meeting by the side of the Gallowgate Burn to deal with encroachments made by Gabriel Liston and James Pollok, cooper. The former had removed from the burn certain large boulders used as steppingstones by men leading horses and carts across the water on the south side of the footbridge, and had narrowed the passage so that one cart could not pass another at the spot, while Pollok had taken away the steps and built up the passage by which the neighbours descended to the burn to draw water. Needless to say, the city fathers ordered the two worthies to restore stepping-stones and passages at once to their former condition. [Ibid. 272.]

In 1608 the penalty of that extravagance in money matters which is so common among public bodies came upon the town. The council had managed to pile up a debt of thirteen thousand merks. Already there had been threats of putting the magistrates to the horn, and attempts had been made to borrow money in Edinburgh. [Ibid. i. 264.] On the trouble becoming acute the council made an offer to one of the city merchants, "John Bornis," to lease to him for a period of years the town mills, the customs of the ladles and bridge, and the revenue from burgess dues and common fines, in return for a payment of nine thousand merks, to be applied to the relief of the debt of the burgh. Burns proposed to accept this offer, the period to be eight years, or, without the mills, eleven years. Thereupon other two suggestions were made by councillors, one that the ladles and burgess dues be leased for a term of years for four thousand merks, the town's common land for other four thousand, and the town taxed for five thousand ; fhe other that the common land be leased for four thousand merks, to be used as ordinary income for the town's expenses, the burgesses being taxed for any deficiency, while the burgess dues and common fines should be handed over for a period of years to anyone who would relieve the town of its whole debt. After much debate none of these suggestions was adopted. Instead, the town secured a lease for ten years of the archbishop's mill at Partick, and of the water mills and man mill belonging to Stewart of Minto. The council decreed that all the inhabitants of Glasgow be suckened, thirled, or bound to these mills, to have all their victual ground at them alone. The mills—"the Auld Milne of Partick, the New Milne, the Auld Toun Milne, and the milnes perteaning to the Laird of Minto callit the Subdeanis Milnes (twa wattir milnes and ane man milne"—were then leased to George Anderson of Woodside and James Lightbody, visitor of the maltmen and mealmen, for a yearly payment of 4400 merks. [Burgh Records, i. 274-281.]

It was this arrangement which, as already mentioned, was disputed by Sir George Elphinstone and led to considerable litigation and trouble. [Ibid. 282, etc.] Strangely enough, it was directly contrary to the ordinance made by the same Stewart party in the town council in July 1581. [Ibid. 87.]

In the winter of 1607 a great frost bound up the River Clyde and the harbour of Glasgow for sixteen weeks, so that no vessels could come up to the bridge. In consideration of this fact, and of the complete stoppage of the trade in herring, which was the only source of revenue to the lessee of the customs, the council agreed to remit the sum of forty pounds from the rent payable by him. [Ibid. 290.]

An outstanding public act of that time was the printing of the Regiana Majestatem, or collection of laws said to have been compiled by order of David I., King of Scotland, though its authenticity has been questioned in more recent times, and it has been characterised as merely an artifice of Edward I. in his endeavour to assimilate Scots law to the law of England. For that publication Glasgow was charged a hundred pounds by the Clerk Register. Because of their delay in raising this money by a tax the magistrates were in danger of horning, and to avoid that unpleasant experience they borrowed a hundred and six pounds in silver from William Burn, a merchant of the city, and settled the debt. [Burgh Records, i. 200.]

Two months later another money difficulty threatened the town. The ministers of the burgh drew the attention of the magistrates to the dilapidation and threatening ruin of the cathedral. The council had no money in hand to devote to repairs. Among other resources an appeal to the king was suggested, also a levy upon the ancient common lands of the kirk, now owned by private gentlemen, but as the readiest means of securing funds it was resolved to appeal for voluntary subscriptions, at any rate until the return of "my lord of Glasgow," the archbishop, when other means might be considered. [Ibid. 301.] It was probably as a means of solving this difficulty that Archbishop Spottiswood, as already mentioned, granted a lease of the teinds of the parsonage and vicarage of Glasgow to the Master of Blantyre for an annual rent of 300 merks, and the cost of repairing the kirks, etc. [Charters and Documents, i.; Abstract, p. 62.] Further, as we have also seen, in 1611, the archbishop himself began the roofing of the cathedral with lead. [Supra, page 136.]

Still another kind of emergency which the magistrates and burgesses had to meet is exemplified by an incident which occurred in 1609. On a Friday, the 19th of May, the magistrates learned that, by an order of the Privy Council, the Earl of Glencairn and Lord Sempill, with their friends, were to meet in Glasgow on the Monday for the reconciliation of their deadly feud. Meetings of such a kind were notoriously apt to result in anything rather than the object proposed, and . the magistrates were evidently determined to take no risks of an outbreak of hostilities in their burgh. Calling the council together at once, they arranged that a body of forty men armed with spears and swords, should be placed under the command of the provost, while the two bailies, each with a body of three score men similarly armed, should attend at the lodgings of the respective noblemen, and accompany them and their friends to and fro in their interviews with each other. At the same time the drum was sent through the town to warn all the inhabitants to hold their arms in readiness for any emergencies, and to meet the provost on the green on the Monday morning at seven o'clock. [Burgh Records, i. 302.] As no more is heard of the matter, the precautions appear to have been effectual.

No record remains of the actual ceremony on such occasions as the celebration of the king's birthday, but the magistrates did not let the occasion pass without some sort of hospitality. The conviviality was evidently an out-of-door affair, for one comes upon such accounts as a sum of £16 10s. "for expenses of wyne and confeitis at the Croce vpone the fyfte of Julj, the Kingis day, my Lord of Glasgu being present with sindrie vthir honorabil men. [Ibid. i. 303.] Disapproval of such hospitalities, and the grimmer view of life and religious observances, seem to have been a growth of a later day, of the time of Cromwell and the Puritan invasion.

In 1609 an important change took place in the personality of the chief hief magistrate of the burgh. Till that year it had been customary for the archbishop to nominate and the council to elect to the provostship some neighbouring laird or person of consequence, like Stewart of Minto or Houston of that Ilk

or Elphinstone of Blythswood. An Act of Parliament now, however, ordained that within all burghs the office of provost should be held by "an actual resident burgess and trafficker." Following this Act, in 16og, James Inglis, merchant, was recommended by the archbishop and elected provost by the council, [Burgh Records, i. 304.] and to the present day the rule has been followed. In the face of this Act, it seems doubtful whether the attempt which has been made in recent years, at places like Rothesay and Kirkcaldy, to revive the old custom by electing some magnate of the neighbourhood to the provostship, is a strictly legal proceeding.

Another proceeding on the strict legality of which an ordinance of that time might be taken to throw some doubt is the conferring of "the freedom of the city" without charge on persons whom the magistrates may wish to honour. In 1609 the attention of the council was drawn to the loss suffered by the community from the increasing habit of admitting burgesses gratis, and of making grants to individuals, by way of honoraria, for services done, of the fees of one or more new burgesses. To stop this abuse it was declared that no more burgesses were to be admitted without payment of the full fees to the city treasurer in public in the ordinary Dean of Guild Court. For these fees the Dean of Guild himself was made responsible, as well as for the five merks payable out of each new burgess' fee to the two hospitals. At the same time the provost, bailies, and council gave up the rights of themselves and their successors in office to certain of these fees, and agreed that instead, in all time coming, money payments should be made of £40 to the provost, £20 to each bailie, and £15 each to the clerk, master of works, and treasurer. If any burgess was admitted otherwise his admission was to be null and void. [Ibid. i. 305.]

Constantly in the town council records and the Acts of Parliament of those years one comes upon ordinances against trading "in great," or by wholesale. From these Acts and ordinances it is evident that modern ideas as to the ultimate benefit to the community of liberty to buy in the cheapest and to sell in the dearest market were not understood. All exports from the burgh seem to have been considered a loss, and one has difficulty in understanding how the merchants of Glasgow ever managed to develop a foreign trade. An instance of this short-sighted policy was an Act of the Scottish Parliament forbidding the export of tallow. This Act certain merchants of the city found means of circumventing, under colour of their freedom as burgesses to trade in the burgh, and they were evidently in the way of establishing a thriving business when the town council stepped in. It was pointed out that while the merchants were exporting tallow their neighbours were in need of it for household use. It does not seem to have occurred to the city fathers that these neighbours could secure the tallow for themselves by paying a better price, and that the merchants who exported it were doing the country a service by securing a higher price for it abroad. Accordingly, it was "statut and ordanit" that no one in the town should buy tallow wholesale to render or melt, on pain of a hundred pound fine, and that no one should export it on pain of confiscation. [Burgh Records, i. 306.] No doubt that settled the business.

More rational was an ordinance made against abuse of the river. The shipmasters who brought their vessels up to the Broomielaw for cargoes of coal, herring, and salmon, had developed a habit of unceremoniously throwing their ballast overboard. This proceeding threatened in course of time to render navigation impossible. The council therefore made a by-law forbidding the dumping of ballast in the waterway, and ordering that it be laid forty feet above flood-mark, on pain of a fine of five pounds and such other punishment as the council might inflict. [Ibid. 307.] This is one of the earliest evidences of interest taken by the magistrates in maintaining the navigable channel of the Clyde. An earlier occasion was that of the year 1600, when the magistrates procured an order of the Privy Council permitting them to apply certain river and bridge dues to uphold the High Kirk, repair the bridge, make causeways on the green, and remove sand from the harbour channel. [Privy Coun. Reg. xiv. 387-8.]

But the interest of Glasgow in the river was to be quickened almost immediately by action from another quarter. On 13th December, 1609, the burgh of Dunbarton obtained from King James a charter which it proceeded to interpret as giving it a complete monopoly of trade on the river. On 5th March following, Glasgow town council discussed the situation and resolved to fight the question. It instructed the provost, James Inglis, and the common procurator, George Hutcheson, to consult 'counsel in Edinburgh, and lay before them an array of documents, from the charter of King Alexander downwards, proving the right of Glasgow to free navigation of the river. [Burgh Records, i. 309.]

In twelve days the provost was back with his evidents. [Ibid. i. 310.] Apparently the men of law advised a friendly settlement, for successive meetings of representatives of the two burghs were arranged to be held on 11th April and 16th June. [Ibid. i. 311, 315.] These meetings failed to effect their purpose, and Dunbarton tried to compel certain merchants and shipmasters to diseharge and load their vessels at that port, thus practically closing the river to Glasgow. The matter was then taken before the Lords of Council and Session, and they on 25th July, 1611, decided the case against Dunbarton. [Charters and Documents, i. pt, ii. 464.]

In this emergency the city was still further helped by the archbishop, who in person carried the affair to London and placed the plight of his burgh before King James. [Burgh Records, i. 319.] As a result His Majesty granted a new charter to Glasgow, confirming all its ancient privileges, raising it to the position of a royal burgh, conferring its possession, with all its rights and privileges, upon the provost, magistrates, and community themselves, to be held directly of the king, and only reserving to the archbishop the right of nominating the magistrates. [Reg. Mag. Sig. xlvi. no. 314; Charters and Documents, i. pt. ii. 278.] This charter, which was dated 8th April, 1611, gave the community for the first time a written title to the common lands and other possessions, which had been held originally merely by tolerance of the archbishops, and latterly by virtue of various Acts of Parliament dealing with the ancient possessions of the Church. It also expressly conveyed to the burgh community the privilege of the River Clyde "from the Clochstane to the brig of Glasgow," and thus freed the city for ever from interference with its trade by burghs like Dunbarton situated lower on the stream.

Immediately they had secured this definite grant of jurisdiction over the river, the magistrates proceeded to take active measures for clearing and improving the channel. The provost, James Inglis, having occasion to ride to Culross on the Firth of Forth, was requested to bring back with him, at the town's expense, a certain Henry Crawfurd, to inspect the waterway and advise as to how it might be improved. [Burgh Records, i. 320.]

Culross was at that time probably the greatest coal-shipping port in the kingdom. Through the energy of Sir George Bruce the mines there had been pushed far under the firth, and among other engineering works a wonderful mole had excited the admiration of James VI. when he paid a visit to his "courtly collier" at the spot. Crawfurd was probably the engineer of these works, and the chief expert of the time in undertakings of the kind, and it says much for the shrewdness and enterprise of the Glasgow magistrates that they set out by taking the best advice available in their time. Nor did the matter end with the taking of advice. The engineer had evidently struck upon certain great stones in the river bed at Dumbuck ford as the chief hindrance to navigation, and in the following June, when the water would be getting to its lowest, the town council took action by directing the master of works and certain others to prepare chains, ropes, hogsheads, and other apparatus for removing those stones. [Ibid. i. 329.] For the actual work the merchants of the city were ordered to furnish twenty men, and the crafts other twenty. [Ibid. i. 329.] Ten of these forty failed to appear, or to send substitutes. Labour on the river at a point twelve miles below the city did not perhaps appeal to them. But the magistrates took a more serious view of the matter. For their disobedience, "in sa necessar and notabill ane werk of this commoun weill" the recalcitrants were fined six pounds each, [Ibid. i. 330.] and the work went on.

The stout magistrates of Glasgow were up against a bigger task than they knew—something like a tearing up of the actual ribs of the world. The final clearing away of the "grit stanis" in the bed of the river at Dumbuck and at Elderslie was not to be accomplished for something like two centuries and a half. But the active improvement of the Clyde had been begun, and the great artery was being opened through which the life-blood of commerce was to flow in ever-increasing volume, for the growth of the greatness of Glasgow at a later day.

As if a new spirit of enterprise and development had begun to awaken in the city about that time, in the year following the promotion of Glasgow to the dignity and privileges of a royal burgh, the community made the first extension of its borders. Since the magistrates in 1609 had resolved to appeal to the king for help to repair the cathedral, several references had been made to the matter, along with provision for repair of Glasgow bridge. In December, 1613, however, His Majesty came to the rescue in right royal fashion. A charter was passed under the Great Seal, which, after reciting the expense to which the city had been put in repairing the bridge and kirk, "two great ornaments to the kingdom," conveyed to the burgh a considerable extent of property which had formerly belonged to the sub-deans of Glasgow, but had come into possession of the crown by virtue of the Act of Annexation of Church lands. The property thus conveyed comprised several acres of land and buildings outside the Rottenrow port, eight acres in Deanside, three in Crubbis, and thirty in Provanside. These possessions were to be held and applied for the benefit and advantage of the burgh for payment to the crown of thirty-six shillings and eightpence, and to the College and Crafts Hospital of the duties used and wont. They were incorporated into a single holding to be called the Tenandry of Rottenrow, and were united to the burgh. [Charters and Documents, i. pt. ii. no. xciv.] Thus was the extension of the City of Glasgow hanselled by James VI.

An interesting characteristic of the public life of Scotland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was the readiness with which municipalities, kirk-sessions, and the like came to the help of each other on occasions of urgent need. In such generosities Glasgow was at least equal to the other communities of the country. Thus on loth November, 1612, a certain David Ochterlonie, one of the bailies of Arbroath, then known as Aberbrothock, was received by the provost and council in full meeting. The harbour and pier of Arbroath had fallen into disrepair, and as harbours were few on that part of the wild east coast, the Convention of Burghs at its meeting in the previous June had passed an act ordering repairs to be made. Arbroath itself had not resources sufficient, and the worthy bailie was sent forth as a commissioner to ask help. The corporation of Glasgow was at that time itself hard pressed, and driven to various resources to find money for its own needs, but it made a grant of a hundred merks, to be paid at the Whitsunday following. [Burgh Records, i. 332.] From that day to this, Glasgow, whether as a corporation, or by the hands of its private citizens, has never failed to respond to the need of stricken communities, suffering from famine, earthquake, mine explosion, or other disaster.

Not less characteristic of the city was the series of efforts which it made to free its actions in the appointment of its officials. We have seen how, after the flight to France of Archbishop Beaton at the Reformation, the, town council made a valiant effort to assert powers of nominating its own provost and bailies. The freedom in this respect which it enjoyed for a time was lost when the king again proceeded to appoint archbishops. A similar fate appears to have attended the town council's effort to exercise the power of appointing a town clerk. To begin with, this appointment was made annually, and in 1574, and for a number of years afterwards, Henry Gibson, who, from his denomination of "maister," was a university graduate, was placed in the office by the council, with no outside interference. One of the candidates in 1574 was a certain William Hegate, and he appears to have tried for the post in succeeding years, [Ibid. i. 15, 75.] without success. In 1581, however, there appeared upon the scene, as already mentioned, Archibald Hegate, probably a son of William. [Supra, p. 157.] The entry in the record is made by himself, and bears that, bringing a letter from Esme, Earl of Lennox, as provost, and with authority and command of the king, he took the oath before one of the bailies, who delivered to him a scroll minute of the proceedings of the previous meeting of council. [Burgh Records, i. 84, 85.] For several years he enjoyed the office, and was annually appointed. [Ibid. i. 100, 107.] From 27th April, 1586, to 22nd October, 1588, the records are awanting. Between these dates, under another provost, Sir William Livingstone of Kilsyth, the town council had asserted itself, and appointed Mr. John Ross to be clerk. In May, 1589, at the annual appointment of officials, William Hegate appeared with a letter from the Duke of Lennox, "commanding and charging" the council to appoint James Hegate, his son, to be town clerk. The attempted dictation was resisted, at the instance of Adam Wallace, the town's procurator, who cited an act of the council itself of 19th October, 1588, declaring no such nomination competent; and John Ross was appointed for the year. On 9th September the council went further and ordered the deletion of the entry of 23rd May, 1581, by which Archibald Hegate had taken office, as repugnant and maist prejudiciall to the libertie of the toun, they haifand electioun in their awin handis of the said office in all tyme bygane. [Burgh Records, i. 135, 146.] John Ross was reappointed in 1590, and in 1597 "Maister Henry Gibsone standis conforme to his gift," and continued in the office till 1600. Several further gaps occur in the records, and nothing more is heard of the appointment of a clerk till January, 1613. It then transpired that another of the Hegate family had been occupying the position of Town Clerk. This Archibald Hegate, however, had by his "departour and absence" left the office vacant. Further, the provost, bailies, and council had taken advice, and understood that Hegate had left the election of a successor absolutely in their power. Accordingly they proceeded to "admit, elect, and choose" John Thomson, writer, to fill the post. At the same time they safeguarded themselves for the future by making acceptance of the office conditional upon Thomson renouncing any pretension to a right to the appointment through any agreement with Archibald Hegate; also that he should conform to the regulations of the council in his charges for sasines and other services. Further conditions were an admission by Thomson that the office was subject to yearly election by the Town Council, and that any contravention of the stipulations entailed immediate dismissal. The new arrangement apparently brought to an end some claim of the Hegates to a vested interest in the Town Clerkship, and to a right of the Town Clerk to exact fees at his own discretion [Burgh Records, i. 335.]


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