Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

Scots in Eastern and Western Prussia
Part I – The Scottish Trader (2)


The Scottish Pedlar and Settler in Prussia in the XVIth and XVIIth Centuries

It is well to remember that a distinction has always to be made between the itinerant trader, the "institor circumforaneus," as the Latin documents call him, or the "umbfahrende Schotte" of the German, and between those of his countrymen, who had settled in the towns as "foreign guests," as smaller or larger tradesmen, some of them having even succeeded in obtaining civil rights. The life of the latter was much less burdensome; nay, their hardihood and energy often gained for them the highest distinctions, both in the governing body of the city, and within the sacred precincts of the guilds.

The itinerant trader was the successor and companion of the Jew, the true Ishmael whose hands were against everybody while everybody’s hands were against him. He was greeted by the jealous tradesmen with a general howl of execration; he was driven from village to village, the gates of the towns were closed against him except on fair-days; laws and edicts innumerable were issued against him; he was accused of being a spy, a cheat, an Arian; even his own countrymen disdained him. His life was so fenced in with prohibitions that he could hardly take a step without coming into conflict with the authorities.

His difficulties commenced with his arrival in the foreign port. We have a very eloquent proof of this in a Petition addressed to the Magistrates of Danzig by some Scotch merchants in the year 1597. It runs:

"Edle, ehrenfeste, hoch achtbare und wohiweise Herren! [Modes of addressing; literally: noble, honorable, highly estimable and wise gentlemen.] We, the undersigned strangers offer you our willing services after wishing you the strength of God’s spirit to rule for the welfare of all, and we notify to you, the ruling authority of this famous seaport of Danzig, that we have arrived here with our ship and goods through God’s grace for the coming Dominik’s Fair, like other strangers to attend to our trade and gain our modest profit. But as soon as we left our ship we encountered the difficulty of finding suitable lodgings, we having first sent to the honorable John Kilfauns, one of our own nation, who has been here for some years, but he excused himself as being a widower. After that Hans Gelletlie did the same on the plea of the pressure of business. Others to whom we had introductions explained that they had no citizen’s rights and were therefore prohibited from taking us in; so that we wonder how different we find everything in this famous city from what we were told by our countrymen in our own country. Now we know indeed that we must comply with the customs and rules of every place, nevertheless we think that the Magistrates of Danzig in their free-trading port should meet the arriving tradesman and sailor according to their well known friendliness with humanity and good favour just as it is done in other countries.

"We understand that those indwellers belonging to foreign nations have been forbidden the other day to receive lodgers, whereby we feel aggrieved on this account, that whilst other strangers from the Netherlands or other places can use their own language with the German citizen, we that come from Scotland cannot talk German and find very few here of our own nation who are citizens, whilst those that enjoy this privilege partly excuse themselves, partly have no accommodation. Nor is it convenient for everybody to accommodate strangers not of their own race and tongue, especially when these must take their crew without distinction with them for their meals, that they also may enjoy a fresh morsel sometimes, our meals being very uncertain indeed. Some of us do our own ship’s cooking in the houses of the innkeepers where we can find lodgings; others ordering sometimes breakfast, dinner and supper at our own expense, returning on board ship again after meal-time, so that very few sleep away from their ship.

"Now, as every stranger likes best to stay with his countrymen if possible, and as experience taught us that the Germans don’t like to take so much trouble with us, therefore we must humbly pray and look to the magistrates of this goodly town that they would grant us during the little time of the fair until we sail away again, the liberty of lodging with our fellow-countrymen. We also promise, as honest people, that we do not want to carry on forbidden trade—for we hear that the new ordinance arose out of this—but that we will behave orderly and duly like strangers and guests. We hope that the authorities of this town will grant us our request for the sake of our most gracious Lord, the King His Majesty of Scotland, and that they will likewise grant citizens’ rights to some of our countrymen who have been dwelling here for long years past, so that they might have the right to harbour us, and that the difficulties some of our nation suffer under when they sail to this town might be removed, certain lodgings being provided for them and their necessities. This will not only add to the praise and honor of you, wise and noble sirs, but we shall also duly proclaim it before our most gracious master, the King’s Majesty, and throughout the whole of our native country. Ever ready to deserve well of this glorious town, we sign in the expectation of a favourable answer:--

John Trotter David Carnegie
Gilbert Dick Thos. Greiff.
Robt. Traquair Robt. Luikup
Gilbert Dickson Robt. Broun
Adam Lindsay Will. Weir
Robt. Stark David Gilbert
Alex. Ramsay James Hamilton

from Scotland, traders, skippers, for themselves and crew, and others of their countrymen arriving after them." [Kgl. St. Archiv, Danzig. Handschriften (M.S.) I. Bb, 32.]

Now this law, according to which no Scotsman was allowed to harbour a Scotsman, issued for fear of illicit trading, was one of the chief complaints of the Scottish settler and trader and remained so for long years afterwards. The city of Danzig, however, more liberal in her treatment of strangers, especially of the Scots to whom she owed much in times of war, and remembering that the present case was one of occasional visitors only, resolved to investigate the matter. The Scotch interpreter, one Michael Kock, was commissioned to inquire who among the Scots at Danzig were willing to take lodgers. He draws up the following list, headed by the remark: "The following are the names of those who got the freedom of the city but are not willing to keep lodgers (" gest zu halten"), as much as I have been able to gather: Hans Kilfauns, Jurgen Patherson, Hans Gelletlie, Jacob Gelletlie, William Roan, Hans Wolson, Andreas Hardy, Jacob Broun, Andreas Liddell, Jurgen Kittrigk and Andreas Thomson. Four other citizens: Hillebrant Shorbrand, Jacob Konningk (King or Cumming?), Andreas Teller and William Shorbrant keep lodgers and are still willing to do so, as far as I could ascertain, but they only take merchants."

He then continues: "The following are those that possess no citizens’ rights, but are willing to take honest lodgers if the magistrates would only relent: Thomas Griffith’s widow,’ who has kept a house here for over thirty years, is an old woman, has nothing else to live upon, and is well suited for it; Jacob Griffith, who married her daughter; Andreas Harvie, David Ardus (Allardyce), Thomas Carstairs and Jacob Schmert (Smart)."

The list concludes with the names of William Duncken and Alexander Ramisa (Ramsay), "who do not care much for lodgers, but take in their friends from Scotland as they arrive during the year."

Prejudice, however, proved too strong even for Danzig, the petition was refused, and the Scots were referred to German citizens.

The Scotch Pedlar was well received by the country folk, who, living many miles away from any town, were glad to have the shop brought to their doors. The "Schotte" on his yearly rounds became quite a familiar figure with them and entered into their proverbial speech. A proverb in East Prussia in days not long gone by, said, "Warte bis der Schotte kornmt," i.e. wait till the Scot comes, as a term of encouragement or maybe a threat for naughty children.

Yet his life was full of danger. Countless numbers of these poor travellers must have succumbed to the rigour of an almost Russian winter. Dense forests covered the land, few and bad were the roads and wolves abounded. Thus a Scot is "miserably murdered on the open road" in the district of Tapian with the Scotsman’s own knife, by a peasant who afterwards perished by the hand of the executioner, 1609; the widow of Thomas Eland (Allan), a tailor by trade, declared before the court, in a case of succession, that Hans Eland was dead, "being miserably slain on the road when he travelled in foreign parts" (1612); thus a fine Scottish lad, Hans Rylands, was murdered at Rummelsburg, a small place in Pomerania, "by a wicked citizen" (1626); thus William Kyth (Keith), perished on his road to Jaroslaw (1636); and young Alec Forbes was killed on his journey in Poland in 1644.

Or take the case of Gottfried Burnet, son of Jacob Burnet, who, according to the testimony of two Scottish merchants at Danzig, was sent by his master, Robert Brown, a citizen of Zamosc in Poland, to Lemberg on business. On the road, near a small town, he was shot in a wood, and miserably killed together with his servant. The next day his body was brought to Janowitz and buried at a small village about sixteen miles off Lemberg (1692). [Kgl. St. Archiv, Danzig.]

Another very serious grievance of these Pedlars was the frequent abuse of power on the part of the over zealous bailiffs or other authorities in the country districts. The Burggraf (governor) of Rossitten, for instance, confiscates the goods of one Daniel Henderson of Memel. They are, however, released by the Duke’s order because Henderson not only proves that he did not want to hawk them about, but also that the Governor himself owes him the price of goods bought for the last four years (1589).

Particularly severe was the so-called "Strandknecht," i.e. the official whose duty it was to watch the strand of Samland, the peninsula north of Konigsberg, on account of its amber. Jacob Stien, a Scotsman and burgess of Fischhausen complains of one of them, who confiscated his wares at Lockstedt "under the lime-trees in front of the Castle whilst I had gone inside to report myself to the Governor." The Duke commands the bailiff to restore his goods at once to the plaintiff if found innocent (1592). A similar complaint is addressed to Albrecht the Elder, Duke of Prussia, in 1557 by a Scotsman with the name of Thomas Gepson (Gibson?) He writes: "When I, last Christmas, like other small merchants went to the Fair at the small town of Rastenburg and spread my wares there, as in a free and public fair, and when I had already taken some money, there comes the Governor together with some of the magistrates, in order to examine my yard-measure and my weights, according to an old custom. After he had found everything right he turns to me, and asks: ‘What are you doing here?’ to which I replied, that I should like to make some money. Then he commenced: ‘You know very well that this Duchy is closed and forbidden to you; because you have acted against this decree all your goods are forfeited.’ When I answered, I knew well that it was forbidden to travel about from village to village and to sell my goods to the peasant, but that we should be prohibited from going to the free Fairs in the towns, of that I knew nothing, he flew at me in a rage, took everything I possessed to the value of four hundred marks from me, struck me, and cast me into a loathsome prison, where I was kept a fortnight in durance and almost on the point of starvation. At last I had to stretch out my fingers through a hole in the tower-wall and swear an oath before the bailies, whom he had ordered to be present, that I would straightways leave the country and never come back to it. How unwillingly I consented to do this everybody will understand. The Governor kept my goods and my money, and I was obliged to leave the land begging my bread in the most miserable and pitiful manner. Moreover, I am owing both in Danzig and in Königsberg for my confiscated wares. . . Now since it has come to my knowledge that the above-named Governor lives at the present moment at Marienwerder under the immediate rule of your Serene Highness, I pray you, my most gracious sovereign, for the sake of eternal justice, to listen to my grievance and to order a restitution of my goods and due compensation for this uncalled for violence." [Kgl. St. Archiv, Konigsberg.]

The Duke wrote to one of his most trusted servants, the Bishop Paulus Speratus, asking him for a written report on this incident. At the same time, he expressed astonishment that so young a Scotsman should possess so costly a stall. He also appointed a commission to look into the matter, and it is to be hoped that poor Gibson was indemnified for the harsh treatment he underwent.

Another very serious complaint of the Scots was touched upon in a petition drawn up by Thomas Stien, Zander Donasson, William Lockerbie, Hans Rains (?), Hans Nemen (Newman?), Hans Hunter and Hans Morray, in the year 1581, for the magistrates of Danzig. It arose from the fact that these men having visited the fair at Elbing, had been asked to pay taxes there, a demand which was accentuated by the arrest of their goods. Now, it was obviously and grossly unjust to make those pay over again that had already satisfied their duties as citizens in Danzig. Petitioners also lay stress on the fact that they were not pedlars (Paudelkramer) but given to honourable trade and dealing. [William Lockerbie hailed from Dumfries. (Kgl. St. A. D.)]

The worst enemy, however, of the Scot was the German tradesman and guild brother. Fair competition in business being then unknown he was eaten up with jealousy and. envy, [Cp. Dr Fr. Schulz, Chronik der Stadt Jastrow, 1896.] and ousted by the superior skill and the shrewd and very likely not always scrupulous activity of the stranger. He was at the bottom of the numberless edicts and decrees that for more than two hundred years by every king, prince, bishop, and magistrates were hurled against the Scot. It would obviously be impossible to cite all these letters of complaint or even to enumerate them all. They were issued by the guilds of merchants, of clothmakers, of small traders, of tailors in nearly all the important towns of Prussia at that time. We can only mention some of them as specimens of the rest.

The clothiers of Marienburg in 1531 write to the Duke complaining of the "vagrant Scots" (die losen Schotten), who are of no fixed abode nor pay the taxes or dues of any town, are getting so common with their cloths in the country that they are to be found and their presence felt in all the fairs in great numbers, carrying their cloth to the villages and into houses and selling it to the great detriment of the King’s resident subjects. [G. Lengenich, Geschichte Preussens, ii. 97.]

The retail merchants of Thorn address a petition to the members of the governing Board of Prussia in 1556. They remind the crown of former prohibitions against Jews, Scots and pedlars who roam about the country to the ruin of the whole country, and they continue: "These prohibitions are not obeyed. Much adulterated merchandise both in cloths and in silks and groceries is being carried into this land by the Jews and the Scots. They are also objectionable on account of their obstinacy, and their ways of selling. When they travel about the country and perchance arrive at a gentleman’s estate, they sell to the steward or his wife not only pepper and saffron, and especially cloth, linen and macheier, [A kind of coarse woollen stuff.] but talk them into buying all sorts of groceries. Now when it so happens, and it does happen frequently, that the steward or the stewardess have no money, they accept not only whey-cheese [The word is "twarge Kase = Quark = whey.] and butter and especially oats and barley, but all sorts of skins and furs which are secretly purloined from the owner of the estate and given to the Scots for their spurious goods, their false weight and. measures. Everybody knows, moreover, how much of what has been spun by our honest womenfolk is pawned to the Scot."

Finally, the letter complains that the Scots have more than one booth at the Fair and always in the best place, and that they are masters in hiding their fraud. [Original in the Episcopal Archives at Frauenburg. (See of Ermeland.)]

Here we have not only the deceitful dealing of the Scots attacked, but also their mode of dealing, their giving and taking in exchange, perhaps even on credit.

The grievances of the Krämers of Königsberg are dealt with at the Prussian Diet of 1566. They draw attention to the fact that the Scots, because they know all the passes and roads in the country, might do great harm to the country in times of war. [Kgl. St. Archiv, Konigsberg.]

Similarly the whole guild of retail merchants of Prussia in a petition dated November 16th, 1569, complain of the laws against the Scots not being obeyed. "There is, for instance," the document continues, "a Scot at Fischhausen [A small place to the West of Konigsberg. Samland was and is the name of the country round Konigsberg, bordered in the N. and W. by the Baltic Sea, in the S. by the river Pregel and in the E. by the Dieme river. There are famous amber pits on its coast.] who maintains that he has the privilege of hawking about in every corner of the sea coast. The country folk no longer want to make their purchases in the towns. Another Scot lives at Zinten [A small place to the South of Konigsberg.] who says he is a citizen of that place, but he does not live as such, but keeps a number of unmarried young fellows, who in his name travel up and down the whole of Samlandt. And as if this were not enough, he himself hawks his goods about. And withal these Scots are obstinate and arrogant, not friendly spoken to anybody, not performing any civil duties, but buying beaver-skins and marten-skins and amber at PiIlau, selling it afterwards at Lublin or Thorn. [That is to say smuggling it out of Prussia into Poland.] They betray the country." [Kgl. St. Archiv, Konigsberg.]

To understand the above properly we must bear in mind that it went against the laws of the guilds to sell from house to house or to sell on commission. The trade in amber was a Government monopoly as it is now; it was the same with the trade in furs. To this long list of crimes, we have to add the buying up of old silver and copper, whereby the trade privileges of the silver and coppersmiths were infringed. [Ibidem.]

Very frequently in this connection the buying up of grain on the part of the Scottish trader forestalling is mentioned and in consequence of it the artificial rise in the price of corn. Thus in 1596 in a letter of the citizens and bailies of Marienwerder. [Ibidem.]The clothmakers blame the Scots for buying the wool on the back of the sheep cheaply, "so that in course of time nobody will be safe against their tricks, since they seek everywhere their own profit and the discomfiture of the native trader. To those that cannot work the wool up the buying of wool is forbidden by law; let them be lords or commons, priests or peasants, Jews or Scots, Poles or Masures. [Ibidem.]Moreover the interloper’s hands are strengthened by the Scots, to whom they sell for a trifle their false cloths only to be sold again to the ignorant peasant on public fairs (1612)." [Kgl. St. Archiv, Konigsberg.]

When all these reasons for resenting the intrusion of the Scot had been exhausted others presented themselves, some of a very amusing character. Thus in a petition of the guild of merchants at Konigsberg towards the close of the XVIIth Century it is said that the Scots skim the cream off the milk of the country, usurp the whole trade and are so bold and so smart withal that nothing can happen in a nobleman’s or a common citizen’s house, be it even a case of death, without the Scot being there at the very moment offering to supply his goods.

The same petition contains the following list of Scotsmen who carry on illegal traffic at Königsberg, or travel all over the country "fairs or no fairs."

IN THE OLD TOWN.

Collins, an Englishman, lives on the Market Square, takes in lodgers, "raises his own smoke," ["Seinen eigenen Rauch halten" for to own a house is one of the many picturesque legal expressions of old German documents; derived from the immemorial custom of lighting a fire on the hearth as a symbolic token of taking possession.] lets his rooms and sends out his "bad servants during the summer to sell stockings publicly."

2

Robert Walker, a Scot, dwelling near the Market Place, has likewise his own house, keeps lodgers, lets rooms, has his store and an open shop near the castle as well, buys all his goods from strangers and nothing from citizens.

3

Robert Schwentor (?) is an unmarried fellow, lives at the wig-maker’s house near the castle, travels about the country to Memel, Tilsit, Insterburg, and to other places.

4

Gilbert Morra (Murray), an unmarried fellow, lives also at the wig-maker’s, has an open shop between the castle gates, buys all his goods from strangers, and boldly fetches the buyers away from the towns and the bridges and leads them to his shop.

5

The whole of the horse-market near the Steinthor is full of Scottish people, among them is one Morrisson, who keeps four carts and sends them up and down the country continually carrying cloth, smallwares, etc.

6

One with the name of Walker has one store at Fischhausen and another at Pillau, and visits all the estates and villages in the Samland district

KNEIPHOF.

Robert Mill, a Scot, not only keeps lodgers, but as soon as any English or Scotch arrive, he takes their goods and divides them again among his countrymen; visits the country, fair or no fair, and is guilty of all kinds of embezzlement.

2

Fullert, a Scot, has two fellows to scour the small towns.

3

Andreas Marshall, a Scot, has many young fellows who travel for him throughout the country.

4

Jacob Wass (?), from Elbing, is a Scot, lives in Prusitzki’s house, deals as much with strangers as with natives.

5

The Ramit’sche, a Scottish widow, has two shops with cloth and other wares.

6

John Krehe [See about him further down.]is well known for his knavery, having a store in his house and an open shop near the castle; he sells by the piece and by the yard cloth, silk, buttons and other things, he also trades with scythes and never neglects an opportunity where he can injure the town.

7

John Malkan (Malcolm), an unmarried fellow, and a Scot, keeps an open shop near the castle with cloth and dry goods, is now in the camp before Stettin, [Served in the war against the Swedes.]but left a boy behind to look after his goods.

8

Peter Bewy, a Scot, dwells in Löbenicht, has an open shop near the mill with various goods.

9

Robert Marshall, a Scot, lives near the mill gate, keeps a store as well as a shop, travels about, buys and orders all his goods from strangers, and not "one thread" from the citizens.

10

Thomas Hervie, has no less than three shops, and wherever he espies an opportunity for doing business, he buys everything from and through strangers lest the citizens should get a chance, and so noblemen are obliged to buy of him, as happened the other day when the Governor died and he bought up all the black cloth in the face of his fellow-citizens. He also in the summer time buys up the wool.

Another amusing addition occurs in a similar petition of the end of the XVIth Century. "The wily Scots," the petitioners say, "have hit upon a new trick Whenever there is a Fair in sight in a town, they scour the whole country for miles around, about a week previous, selling their goods. So that we, when we arrive in due time to turn an honest penny, find that the Scot has ‘bagged’ everything before us. Our dear wives often come home weeping." No less amusing is the charge preferred by the municipal authorities of Bartenstein against the vagrant Scots, that they "aspire to barons’ and earls’ estates and to high offices in the State" (1590).

Looking over these long and formidable charges, it would be unfair to deny that in some cases there may have been good reasons for them. Even now, to the moral sense of the uneducated Scot, it seems manifestly unjust that what he calls fishing should be spelt poaching by the judge; and as to smuggling, a hundred or two hundred years ago, every reader of Sir Walter will know that the prevalent Scottish ideas were. In the letters of Francis Craw, [See Scots in Germany, pp. 250-255.]the youth of sixteen, who emigrated to Prussia in 1671, he carefully inquires after the price of amber at home and the fashion of wearing the beads. Moreover, it was natural, that when the emigration was at its height, that is, from about 1590 to 1630, a great many undesirable elements must have crossed the Baltic. Of this there is no better proof than the petition of the Scots at Danzig, addressed to the magistrates, against their own countrymen in 1592, a most remarkable document, which we here give in its entirety :—

"Herr Burgermeister, Gestrenge, Ehrenfeste, Ehrbare, etc. etc. [Modes of addressing the mayor and bailies.]

"Whilst offering to you our ever-ready services, we cannot refrain from bringing to your notice, that among other evils from without and within, this also must be numbered, that many of our nation now arrived in this city sit with their baskets on the bridges among the warehouses, or go to the strangers in the public-houses, and, if they do not find them there, into the court-yards of the Langemarkt, [Not a market-place properly speaking, but the widening of the chief street of Danzig, the Langgasse, in the centre of the town.] or into the very houses of citizens, up one lane down the other; but they especially crowd the bridges exhibiting and selling their wares, not being satisfied with the space before their houses. They have not obtained any privileges. Their interloping and forestalling trade is now carried on not by the fellows themselves or their young assistants, but by lazy women and loose servants, who, whilst they refuse to serve honest people or to do well, allow themselves to be used for such unlawful trade. And yet did we formerly assist them with our alms, because they pretended to be crooked or lame. Such a state of things must, as we now see with our own eyes, of necessity be very detrimental to the citizens and to other small merchants, who gained their citizenship through the Favour of the magistrates, owing them not only the greatest gratitude, but having also taken all sorts of burdensome duties upon them as citizens; to say nothing of the disgrace to our nation when such people, lazy and unwilling to work as they are, crowd the streets. This is the reason why we see, with a sorrow past telling, how every year many an honest Citizen gets into debt, whilst we must be told that we ourselves are to blame for it. And although the aid of the police and the night watches has often been called in, no energetic steps have hitherto been taken. Numbers of citizens have approached us concerning this matter, and begged of us to declare ourselves openly against such a prevalent abuse.

"We consider further that not only single citizens, but the whole of this city suffers great injury from this state of affairs, especially since great numbers are required for the common statute-labour in the fortifications, and yet this loose servant-pack refuse to work. We therefore approve of the proposal of some good citizens to appoint men among ourselves—being most willing to mend matters according to our simple minds—who are to work together with the already appointed public servants, keeping an eye on these traders, reporting to the magistrates, and making daily seizures, the profit of which is to go to poor churches, schools, or the fortification works.["Wallgebande," i.e. the office for the fortification-works of the city.]

"This we thought fit to bring before you. Hoping you will not blame us for it, and expecting a favourable answer in this case of urgent necessity, we remain,

"HANS KILFAUNS, HANS GELLETLIE,
"GEO. PATTERSON, THOS. STEEN,
"GEO. MAGOTTRY (?), ANDR. EDDEL (LIDDEL),
"ANDR. HARDY, HANS BROWN,
"JACOB GELLETLIE, H. VORBRANT (SHORBRANT).

"Citizens of Danzig, for themselves and in the name of the whole Scottish nation dwelling there."

The decision of the magistrates was to take down the names of the transgressors; whereupon an order to seize the goods would be given if necessary, and the seizures brought to the police offices (April 15th, 1592). [Kgl. St. Archiv, Danzig.]

A similar case happened in Konigsberg in the year 1620. There some small Scottish traders had received the privilege of living upon the so-called Ducal "Freiheiten," i.e. "liberties," or the ground surrounding the Castle, where most of the Duke’s retainers had their dwellings. They were under the immediate jurisdiction of the Duke and the proud citizen of Königsberg despised them. Four Scotsmen, Jacob From, Andreas and Heinrich Wricht (Wright), and Jacob Koch, write to the magistrates as follows: "We cannot hide from you that from time immemorial, when the Fairs in the small towns occurred, we have been in the habit of drawing lots about our stands with those Scots who have settled in those towns. We have also been permitted hitherto to visit the weekly markets unhindered by them, and the magistrates have willingly conceded us these rights, as we always bring good, fresh goods to the market of every description so as to please everybody, which goods cannot easily be procured from the Scottish inhabitants. But now we are to be deprived of this privilege, not, indeed, by the authorities of the small towns, but by our own countrymen who dwell in them. They call us and our gracious master names, maintaining that we were but ‘Ga,rtner,’ [Gartner is a peasant without a field, a word denoting the lowest member of a community. It occurs in this sense in Luther.]and refusing not only to draw lots, but to admit us to the markets, whilst they suffer those of the Scots who hawk their goods about from house to house; a thing which we would not do. We are indeed not ‘Gartner,’ but settled inhabitants here at Konigsberg, paying taxes and dues to our sovereign and sharing in all other burdens that have to be borne by all the dwellers on the Liberties, as pay for the watch service, for fortification work, and assisting at the harvest time. We therefore pray you to let us have an open letter, so that we, being settled inhabitants, may earn our living as well as those vagrant traders."


Return to book index page

privacy policy