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Merchant and Craft Guilds
A History of the Aberdeen Incorporated Trades
Appendix - Decreet
of Declaration


AFFECTING TRADES HOSPITAL CHARTER
(PRONOUNCED 10TH MARCH, 1803).

AT Edinburgh, the tenth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and three years, Anent the Summons and Action of Declarator, raised and pursued before the Lords of Council and Session, at the instance of the Reverend Dr. James Sheriffs, first minister of the City of Aberdeen, patron ; John Leslie, Goldsmith, present Convener of the Trades ; John Baron, Master of the Trades, Hospital; and the following persons, Deacons of the Seven Incorporated Trades, all of the said City of Aberdeen, viz., John Leslie, Robert Spring, William Bartlet, Andrew Mennie, John Fraser, George Lawrance, and Alexander Harrow; as also the following other persons, being the remaining members of the Convener Court of the Incorporated Trades of the foresaid City of Aberdeen, viz., William Cowie, George Smith, George Angus, William Roger, John Blaikie, Robert Watson, William Donald, Thomas Greig, Alexander Cooper, John Gordon, Roderick Macdonald, John Keith, David Wyllie, William Reid, George Taylor, Arthur Farquhar, James Farquhar, James Coutts, William Hendry, Junior, Joseph Berry, Andrew Hall, Robert Donaldson, and William Spark: Against the following persons, being the whole present Members of the Seven Incorporated Trades of the City of Aberdeen, viz., Here follows a list of the various Members of the different Trades, consisting of :—C3 Hammermen, 38 Bakers, 50 Wrights and Coopers, 40 Tailors, 63 Shoemakers, 33 Fleshers, and 34 Weavers—in all 320 Members. Which Summons maketh mention, That, whereas, on or about the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-three, Dr. William Guild, then one of the Ministers of the City of Aberdeen, by a Deed of Mortification, dated in that year, mortified to the poor Tradesmen of the City of Aberdeen, the place or Monastery of the Holey Trinity of the Burgh of Aberdeen, and certain other subjects therein described, to be an Hospital for the poor old Tradesmen of the said Burgh, who were to be kept and maintained in the said house under certain conditions and regulations therein expressed. And, whereas, by a certain other Deed of Mortification executed by the said Doctor William Guild, upon the fifteenth September, one thousand six hundred and fifty-five, he obliged him and his heirs to pay Five thousand Dierks, or in the option of his heirs to mortify a house in the Castlegate of Aberdeen, for the purpose of entertaining three poor boys, Craftsmen's sons, as Bursars in the New College of Aberdeen. And he appointed the said Mortifications to be placed under the management of the first Minister of Aberdeen, as patron, the Deacon-Convener and Deacons, and a master of Hospital to be named by them. And to be managed according to certain rules and regulations therein set down. As the said Deeds of Mortification in themselves more fully bear. And, whereas, the subjects contained in the first Deed of Mortification, before recited, do now consist of the Trinity Hospital, and the whole grounds contiguous thereto, as now possessed by the pursuers. The Causewaymen's Croft. The price of Thorneybaulkridge, sold in the year seventeen hundred and forty-two, amounting to one hundred pounds sterling. The few duty of Ferryhill, payable by the Master of Mortifications of Aberdeen. The few duty of Potwater, payable by the Treasurer of Aberdeen. The few duty of William Smith's house in the Exchequer Rowe of Aberdeen, and a few duty of the Lands of Craigbowie, payable by . . . . Horne. And, whereas, after the date of said Deeds of Mortification, John Turner, of Dantzig, mortified an annuity of Eight pounds six shillings and eight-pence Sterling, payable out of the Rents of the Estate of Turnerhall, and Dr. Patrick Sibbald mortified the sum of Three hundred Merks both for the maintenance of Depauperate Freemen of the Incorporated Trades in the said Hospital, and that the subjects and funds of the second of said Mortifications do now consist of the foresaid House in the Castlegate of Aberdeen, called the Bursar's house, which is now under lease for a term of years. And whereas various other donations and Mortifications were made to the Incorporated Trades of the said City of Aberdeen, and a variety of funds do now belong to them separate and distinct from the said Mortifications before specially recited, and, Whereas, for sometime the funds of the first Mortification before recited were applied to the maintenance and support of Depauperate Tradesmen of the said city, who lived and resided in the said Hospital, and were guided by the rules and regulations laid down in the foresaid Deeds of Mortification. But for some considerable time, owing to the chancre of the times and manners of the people, many of the regulations stipulated in the original Deeds of Mortification have been found inexpedient and in many instances impracticable. In so much that no one person entitled to the benefit of those charitable Institutions has come forward to claim or will accept thereof according to the literal conditions of the mortifications. On which account the Managers for a long time by gone have been in the custom of distributing the proceeds of said Mortifications amongst the poor Tradesmen of the City, living out of the house, along with the other funds belonging to the said Incorporated Trades, and under the management of the pursuers as the Convener Court thereof. And, Whereas, this mode of distribution and management has been followed for many years without interruption or challenge, and has been attended with much use and benefit to all parties till lately That some of the Tradesmen of the City made application to the Magistrates of Aberdeen praying to have the pursuers prohibited from any further application of these funds, except according to the express and most strict Interpretation of the regulations laid down in the original Deeds of Mortifications before specified, and that the Interference of the said parties to Challenge the present system of management of the foresaid funds has been attended with the most hurtful consequences. Insomuch That for a year past the different poor Tradesmen of the City of Aberdeen, who are entitled to aid from their Poors funds, have received little or nothing, and no distribution whatever of these funds, has, during that space taken place, and whereas It is not only inexpedient, but in so far as no person will accept of the foresaid Charitable Institutions on the conditions specified in the original Deeds of Mortification, It is impracticable literally to follow all the rules and regulations therein laid down. Therefore the pursuers as managers of the several Mortifications and funds before mentioned are desirous to have it ascertained by Decreet of the Lords of Council and Session, what course, in the circumstances of the case they ought to follow, and to have the extent of their powers Regularly adjusted and defined. Therefore the foresaid persons being the whole present members of the seven Incorporated Trades of the City of Aberdeen, Ought and Should be called and conveened before the said Lords of Council and Session to hear and see the nature and extent of the power of the pursuers, and their successors in Office Managers of the said funds, and the rules and regulations which are to be observed thereanent specially ascertained and defined. And it Ought and Should be found and Declared That so far as any of the conditions and regulations specified in the original Deeds of Mortification have become impracticable That the same should be held pro non scripto. And more particularly The following Regulations which have been unanimously agreed to and adopted by the pursuers as managers of said Mortifications ought to be Ratified and confirmed by the said Lords, and it Ought and Should be Found and declared in terms of said regulations, that the whole of the subjects and funds therein before specially described as included under the first Deed of Mortification of the said Dr. William Guild with the annuity mortified by John Turner of Dantzig, and the sum of Three hundred merks mortified by Dr. Patrick Sibbald for the maintenance of Depauperate Freemen of Trades of Aberdeen, should in all time coming be kept separate and distinct in the Master of Hospital's accounts from all the other funds under his Administration. That they should be constantly under the sole management and direction of the patron, Conveener, Master of Hospital, and seven Deacons of the Incorporated Trades, and be applied to the uses and purposes and in the manner mentioned in Dr. Guild's deed of Mortification so far as is now practicable. That when there is room or accomodation in the Hospital for any depauperate Freemen, Every person of unexceptional moral character entitled to and applying for the benefit of the Hospital funds shall be apprised that he will be received into the Hospital under the conditions specified in the said original Deed of Mortification. And as for some years past no person has been found willing to live as a Beedman in the Hospital, In case persons properly qualified and desirous of admission into the said Hospital shall not be found after every endeavour has been used for that purpose for the space of two years, Then the managers shall have it in their power to distribute the revenue or profits of the aforesaid funds in such way and manner as they may Judge most beneficial to the poor tradesmen of the whole Incorporated Trades, they being always persons of the description and character required by the original Deed of foundation. But that the funds should never be applied but for the support of Beedmen in the Hospital when such can be found. It being also understood that the Trades should still have right to hold their meetings in the Hospital as they have hitherto done. And with respect to the other funds under the administration of the Master of the Trades Hospital, It ought and should be found and declared That they should continue under the management and direction of the patron and others Members of the Conveener Court as formerly and be distributed among the poor of the Trades as they shall think proper and expedient, But with and under these express conditions, viz.:—That all sums paid to, or expended in maintaining a House Keeper in the Hospital shall be charged against these funds, except when there are Beedmen in the house, in which case a part of the expense shall be charged against the funds mortified by Doctor Guild, That the Conveener Court shall not be obliged to admit every person to the benefit of the Hospital funds who has been admitted to the benefit of the funds of the separate Trades, but shall have the sole power of Judging and determining what persons Ought to be so admitted, and every person applying to be settled on the funds of the hospital shall be obliged, along with his petition, to produce a certificate of his moral character to the satisfaction of the said Conveener Court, And Finally That in case at any time the revenue of the funds mortified by Dr. Guild, John Turner, and Dr. Patrick Sibbald shall be insufficient for the maintenance of the Beedmen that may happen to be in the Hospital, and the other necessary expenses, then the deficiency shall be made up from the other funds under the Master of Hospital's Administration. And Lastly, In regard to the Bursars house mortified by Dr. Guild's second Deed of Mortification before mentioned It Ought and Should be Found and Declared That after the expiry of the present Lease thereof, It should in future be always let by public roup, for a space not exceeding seven years at a time, after three consecutive advertisements in the Aberdeen Journal. That no person shall be admitted to the benefit of that foundation unless he produce proper certificates of his answering the description therein, That two months previous to each sitting of the College due intimation shall be given by the Master of the Hospital to the Deacons of the several Trades to be by them communicated to their respective corporations what burses on this foundation are open for Candidates, and that when no candidates properly qualified do claim the benefit of these burses, the free rent of the house shall be applied for extinguishing the debts affecting the house and for increasing the fund ; and in case of a proper observance of the rules and regulations above set down, the said haill Defenders, and all others, their successors or those claiming in their right, Ought and Should be Prohibited and Discharged in all time coming from further challenging, troubling, or molesting the pursuers and their successors in Office there anent. And anent the charge given the Defenders in virtue of the foresaid Summons, by Messengers-at-Arms, to have compeared before the said Lords upon two certain days, now by gone, to have answered at the instance of the Pursuers in the said matter, and to have heard and seen the premises verified and proven, and Decreet and sentence given furth and pronounced therein in manner to the effect and with certification lybeIled. As in the said Summons and Executions thereof at length is contained. The Pursuers compearing by Mr. Adam Gillies, Advocate, their Procurator, and Alexander Barron, one of the members of the Conveener Court of Aberdeen, and as such inserted in the Summons as a Pursuer, Compearing by Mr. Robert Craigie, Advocate, his Procurator, who for him produced in presence of the said Lords, a Disclamation by him as a Pursuer of said action, and requesting his name to be delete from the list of Prosecutors, addressed to Alex. Youngson, Esq., Writer to the Signet, and dated at Aberdeen, the Third day of February, Eighteen hundred and three. And the Defenders being by virtue of the foresaid Summons lawfully summoned to said action in manner foresaid oft-times called, but failing to appear. The which foresaid Summons, Executions thereof, Compearance made for the Pursuers, and desire of their Pror after insert, Compearance made for Alexander Barron. Together with the absence of the Defenders and haill other steps and circumstances of the said matter, being all at length read, heard, seen, and considered by the said Lords, and they therewith well and ripely advised: The Lords of Council and Session aforesaid have Found and Declared and hereby Find and Declare, That so far as any of the conditions and regulations specified in the original Deeds of Mortification by Dr. Will— Guild have become impracticable, they are to be held pro non scripto. Ratified and Confirmed, and hereby Ratify and Confirm the following regulations which have been unanimously agreed to and adopted by the Pursuers as managers of said Mortification; and Found and Declared, and hereby Find and Declare that in terms of said regulations that the whole of the subjects and funds herein before specially described, as included under the first Deed of Mortification of the said Dr. William Guild, with the annuity mortified by John Turner, of Dantzig, and the sum of Three hundred merks mortified by Dr. Patrick Sibbald for the maintenance of depauperate Freemen of the Trades of Aberdeen, shall in all time coming be kept separate and distinct in the Master of Hospital's accounts from all the other funds under his administration. That they shall be constantly under the sole management and direction of the patron, Conveener, Master of Hospital, and seven Deacons of the Incorporated Trades, and be applied to the uses and purposes and in the manner mentioned in Dr. Guild's deed of Mortification so far as is row practicable. That when there is room or accommodation in the Hospital for any depauperate Freemen, Every person of exceptionable moral character entitled to and applying for the benefit of the Hospital funds shall be apprised that he will be received into the Hospital under the conditions specified in the said original Deed of Mortification, And as for some years past no person has been found willing to live as a Beedman in the Hospital, in case persons properly qualified and desirous of admission into the said Hospital, shall not be found after every endeavour has been used for that purpose for the space of two years, Then the managers shall have it in their power to distribute the revenue or profits of the foresaid funds in such way and manner as they may Judge most beneficial to the poor Tradesmen of the whole Incorporated Trades, they being always of the description and character required by the Original Deed of Foundation, But that the funds shall never be applied but for the support of Beedmen in the Hospital when such can be found. It being also understood that the Trades shall still have right to hold their meetings in the Hospital as they have hitherto done. And with respect to the other funds under the administration of the Master of the Trades Hospital Found and Declared and hereby Find and Declare, That they shall continue under the management and direction of the patron and other members of the Conveener Court as formerly and be distributed among the poor of the Trades as they shall think proper and expedient. But with and under these express conditions, viz., That all sums paid to, or expended in maintaining a house keeper in the Hospital shall be charged against these funds except when there are Beedmen in the house, in which case a part of the expense shall be charged against the funds mortified by Doctor Guild. That the Conveener Court shall not be obliged to admit every person to the benefit of the Hospital funds who has been admitted to the benefit of the funds of the separate Trades but shall have the sole power of Judging and determining what persons Ought to be so admitted, and every person applying to be settled on the funds of the Hospital shall be obliged, along with his petition to produce a certificate of his moral character to the satisfaction of the said Conveener Court. And Finally That in case at any time the revenue of the funds mortified by Dr. Guild, John Turner, and Dr. Patrick Sibbald shall be insufficient for the maintenance of the Beedmen that may happen to be in the Hospital, and the other necessary expenses, Then the deficiency shall be made up from the other funds under the Master of Hospital's Administrations. And Lastly in regard to the Bursars house mortified by Dr. Guild's second deed of Mortification before mentioned Found and Declared, and hereby Find and Declare That after the expiry of the present Lease thereof It shall in future be always let by public roue for a space not exceeding seven years at a time, after three consecutive advertisements in the Aberdeen Journal. That no person shall be admitted to the benefit of that foundation unless he produce proper certificates of his answering the description therein. That two months previous to each sitting of the College due intimation shall be given by the master of the Hospital to the Deacons of the several Trades, to be by them communicated to their respective Corporations what burses on this foundation are open for candidates, and that when no Candidates properly qualified do claim the benefit of these burses, the free rent of the house shall be applied for extinguishing the debts affecting the house and for increasing the fund ; And in case of a proper observance of the rules and regulations above set down: Prohibited and Discharged and hereby Prohibits and Discharges the haill Defenders and all others their successors or those claiming their right in time coming from further challenging, troubling, or molesting the pursuers and their successors in office thereanent. Because after Elapsing of the diets of compearance contained in the foresaid Summons the same was called in common form, and in regard there was no appearance then made for the Defenders the Summons was Ordained to be inrolled in the Regulation Roll, which having been done accordingly the same in course thereof was called in presence of the Lord Woodhouselee Ordinary in the Outer House upon the said Tenth day of March One thousand eight hundred and three years the date hereof, when Mr. Robert Craigie Advocate Procurator for the said Alexander Baron Represented, That the present process had been raised in his name without his consent or approbation. That on the contrary he highly disapproved of the procedure and then produced a signed disclaimation. To which Mr. Adam Gillies Advocate the Pursuers Procurator answered That altho Mr. Baron had thought proper to disclaim the process yet the other Pursuers were entitled to proceed therewith so far as they were interested, and repeated the Libel and Craved Decreet at their instance in terms thereof. And the Defenders being not only lawfully Summoned to said Action in manner fore-said, but also the said day several times called by a Nacer from the Barr, as use is to have compeared and defended, but being still absent and failing to appear, The Lord Ordinary Allowed the name of Alexander Baron as a Pursuer to be withdrawn from the Process; And Decerned at the instance of the other Pursuers conform to the conclusions of the Libel. And so the said Lord Ordinary and by him the Lords of Council and Session aforesaid Gave and Pronounced Decreet and Sentence in the said matter, Finding, Declaring, Ratifying, Confirming, Prohibiting and Discharging in manner foresaid, and ordain Letters of Horning on fifteen days charge and all other Execution necessary and competent to pass and be direct hereon inform as Effeirs. Extracted upon this and the Twenty three preceding pages By this for the Record. (Signed) Ja. Colquhoun, 6th April, 1803. Clerk's fees marked paid and Dect. compared. (Signed) John Alexander. Extracted on this and the Thirty two preceding pages, by me, Deputy Keeper of the Records of Scotland. Declaring that the word "which" on the seventh line counting from the top of page eleven hereof was delete before authentication.

(Signed) JOHN C. CHRISTIE.
 


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