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Borrowstounness and District
Chapter VI. Regality—the Register of Deeds

1. Court Book Continued: Statutes Against Ignoring Jurisdiction and Receiving Strangers Without Character Certificates—2. Inhabitants "Thirled" to Mills of Kinneil; Regulations for Sale of Fish—3. A Peculiar Jury—4. Perambulations of Marches—5. The Register of "Bands": Arbitration Regarding Wages of Coalhewers—6. Shipmasters' Will and Testament: Duchess Anne's Grant for Communion Elements—7. More Arbitration : Seamen's Box and Fleshers' Box: Writers and Notaries—8. Examples of Surnames and Employments: Regality abolished.


The Court was troubled by persons declining its jurisdiction, and on 7th November, 1670, this is dealt with as follows:— "The samen day the said bally upon severale complents made to him be severall off the inhabitants mentioning that ther are severall persones residing within the bounds who doth call and persew divers and sundrie of the said inhabitants before the Commissers of Edinbrugh and other inferior judicatories at ane great distance from the said inhabitants.

For remeed wherof and for preventing of prejudicies and inconveniencies for the futur, enacts and ordeanes, that no persone or persones whatsomever leaving (living) and reseiding within the said brught of regallitie and haill bounds forsaid take upon hand under whatsomever cullar or pretext in any tyme coming, to ceit, charge, call, or persew, any of the saids inhabitants and residenters within the forsaid bounds, for any civill debt, or any other cause or occasione whatsomever befor any other inferior judicatorie within this kingdome bot allenarllie1 befor the said regallitie court of Borroustounes, and that under the paine of tuentie pounds Scots money to be payed to the procurator fiscall of court be ilk persone who shall happen to contraveine the premiss. Ordeanes thir presentts to be publictlie published to the inhabitants at the publict head court ensewing, that non pretend ignorance heir of."

A statute was passed on 14th February, 1671, against resetting of fugitives and strangers—

"Enacts and ordeans that no heritor, tennant, or any other persone quhatsomevir inhabitant within the said brught of regalitie and hail bounds of the lands and barounies annexed to the samen, presum or tak upon hand, at any tyme heirafter directlie or indirectlie upon whatsomevir cullor or pretext to harbour, receave, or resset any subtennants, craters, servants, or other persones whatsomever without sufficient and valid testimonialls from the pairtes and places they last reseided duellie subscrivit be the minister, elders, and session-clarks of the saids pairtes and places, and alls be the magistrat or justice of peace thairof, bearing and conteaning them to be frie of any knowen or publict scandell, and that the heritors and others abovewritten within the said brught of regallities befor the harboring, resetting, or recaveing of any of the saids persones, with their saids testimonialls, in the first place acquent the said Major Robert Hamilton, baillie foirsaid, or his baillie deput therwith; and procure and obtaine the names of the saids persones insert and recorded in the particular book appointed for that effect, under the dark of the said brught his hand; and that under the paine of tuentie pounds Scots money to be payed be ilk persone, heritor, master, tennant, or others, who shall happen to contravein any pairt of the premiss and that for ilk falzie."


Statutes were passed on 9th May, 1671, with relation to thirlage and forestalling of fish as under—

"Act Compelling the Inhabitants of Kinneil Barony to take their Grindable Corns and other Grain to the Mills of Kinneil only.—The whilk day the said bally in corroboration of the haill former acts of court and acts of thirlage made bo whatsomever baillie within the foirsaids bounds of Kinneill and brught of regallitie of Borroustounes anent comeing with grindable corines, malt, and other graine to my Lord Duke of Hamilton his Graces mylnes of Kinneill to be ground thereat according to use and wont, statuts, enacts, and ordeanes that no persone or persones whatsomevir within the said baronie and brught of regallitie foirsaid goe by the said mylnes in any tyme comeing with any of ther grindable corines or other grain bot come convenientlie with the samen therunto to be ground therat and to pay multor and knavship therfoir according to use and wont and as was in use to be payed in the lyfetyme of the deceist Dame Anna Cunynghame, Lady Marques of Hamilton, of worthie memorie; and ordaines ilke persone contraveiner to pay for the first fault fyve pounds Scots, and to the fermeror of the mylnes dowble multor for what quantatie can be made appear is abstracted from the said mylnes; and for the second fault ten pounds money foirsaid, and to the said fermeror dowble multor; and sua furth dowbling thairof alls oft and sua oft as they shall happen to contra vein the premiss."

"Act enacting that Fresh and Salt Fish shall not be Sold in the District until the Inhabitants be first served.—The said baillie statuts, enacts, and ordaines that no persone or persones; whatsomevir resorting to this brughe at any tyme heirafter with any kynd of fish, aither fresh or salt, shall make sale and offer the samen to any persone or persones quhatsomevir untill such tyme that they send throw the bell therfoir and serve the haill inhabitants of the said brught with the samen and sua continow the selling thairof for the spaces following— to witt, the said fresh fish for the space of six hours, and the dry fish for the space of eight hours, to the effect the saids inhabitants may be then sufficientlie served thereof; and that under the paine of fyve pounds Scots money to be payed be ilk persone contraveinen for ilk falzie toties quoties ; and sicklyke statuts, enacts, and ordeans that no persone, dreipster, or other persones quhatsomever attempt presum or take upon hand in any tyme comeing to medle or bargane with such persone-or persones who shall happen to resort to the said brught with such fishes as are befoir mentioned heirafter whill and untill advertizment beis made of the samen as said is be the publict. bellman of the said brught, and alls whill the saids spaces-respective foirsaids be fhllie expvred; and that under the paine of fyve pundes money foirsaid to be payed be ilk contraveiner of the premiss."


These statutes were always passed at the Head Courts, and" it is noticeable that it was also a practice at this Head Court to empanel a jury of inquest. The object of this was not to-deal with the cases of persons brought before them, but, like-the elders of the kirk session, each member of the jury was called upon to delate offenders. Here is a record of this procedure on the foresaid day—

"Compeared Robert Cunyngham, in Bonhard; Allexander-Watson, in Little Carriddin; Thomas Faupe, in Murrayes; William Drysdaill, in Bonhardpanes; John Davisone, salter there; John Hairt, in Redding; James Goffe, there; Hendry-Hardie, in Whysyd; Thomas Whyt, in Gilstoune; Allexander Hardie, there; James Dobbie, in Kinneill; Alexander Gibb, in; Inneraven; James Thomson, in Over Kinneill; James. Thomsone, in Rousland; John Glen, in Inneraven; and John Ritchie, in Borroustounes. Whilks persones of inqueist being-all lawfully sumond, suorn, receaved, and admitted and' includit be themselves, and having be plurality of voyces-choysen the said Hendry Hardie Chancellar, and being-interrogatt be him be vertes of his office of chancellarie whither or not they knew any faultes, wronges, or injuries doen or committed within the foirsaids bounds undelaited, they delaite-and declair as follows : —

"The said Allexander Hardie declaires that he saw John-Cuthell, in Carsiebank, careing ane gun within this fournight,. and lykewayes did sie him shoot with the samen, bot did kill nothing; as also saw John Shaw in Gilston shoot with ane gun.

"The said Thomas Whyt declaires that he saw Allexander Cowie and the said John Cuthell careing gunes within the barouny.

"The said John Ritchie declaires he saw Allexander Randie, Thomas Padyeon, John, James, and Allexander Gibbs also carieing gunes; and alse James Cowan in Corbiehall and James Maither carieing gunes.

"The said John Heart declaires that ther is ane yew in his custodie whilk does not belong to him, both declaires the samen does belong to John Johnston, his hird, and that James Goffe gifted the samen to him; as also declaires that there was ane rugh sheip in sommer last goeing amongest John Cloggie in Midlerig his sheip.

"The said John Glen declaires that upon the saboth day last, the 13 of February, he saw James Burn shoot ane gun in Clarkstoun bounds, lykeas depones that ther was some persones shotte dowes besyd Kinneill kerse, but knowes not what they wer; saw James Mungal in Borroustounes with them, and that he took up the dowes that wer shotte; and farder declaires that upon Yooles evin he saw the said James Burn goeing with ane gun in his hand and shot dowes in his other hand.

"The said James Dobbie declaired he saw James and Allexander Gibbs, Thomas Padzeon, and William Gibb, tuentie dayes since carieing guns bot saw them shoote non.

"The said William Drysdaill declaires he saw Thomas Gillespie cary a gun.

"The said Robert Cunyngham declaires that he saw James Robertson, in Bonhard, shoote ane dove bot alledges that he had ane order from the shirref-deput to shoot al suck doves he could find in respect they prejudged his dovecott.

"And the remayent persones of the said inqueist being lykewayes posed and interrogatt be the said Henry Hardie, chancellor, declared that they knew of no wrongs nor injuries doen or committed within the haill foirsaids bounds."

Among other business done by the Regality Court was the appointment of curators to persons under age. There is at least one instance of this. On 19th April, 1670, at the instance of William Jaupe, who was a minor, but past the years of pupillarity and tutory, charge is given to John Robertson, in Muiredge, and another Robertson, in Bonhard, who are his nearest of kin on the father's side, and to Alexander and Thomas Smith, sailors in Grangepans, who are the nearest of kin to him on the mother's side, to attend and see and hear curators chosen for the said minor for the management of his affairs until he attain the age of twenty-one years. They did not compear, but evidence having been given of their being lawfully cited, the Bailie asked the minor whom he wished, and he chose John Fod and Duncan Alan, both in Bonhard, to be his curators. They accepted the office, gave their oaths, and became cautioners each for the other for the faithful discharge of the duty.


The Court also dealt with the perambulation of properties, of which there are several instances in the volume. The first is on 27th June, 1670, and is occasioned by the complaint on the part of John Meldrum, tailor in Bo'ness, against William Horn, skipper there, and Agnes Hardie, his spouse, who in building a shop on the east side of their house had encroached upon the pursuer's property, especially in appropriating a stone gable which was mutual between them. For determining the matter an inquest of fifteen persons was sworn, and inspection made not only of the properties, but of the pursuer's and defender's titles, the pursuer producing a disposition by Alexander Law, tailor in Bo'ness, to the pursuer and Marion Law, his spouse, dated 15th March, 1642, showing forth the bounds of the subjects disponed. There also compeared William Fumertoun, in Nether Kinneill, in right of an apprising led at the instance of his deceased father, James Fumertoun, in Kinneill, against the said Alexander Law, of the foresaid house, protesting that he might not be wronged by the new building, and especially that his stair on the north side of his house might not be encroached upon nor made use of by the said Agnes Hardie. The judgment of the Court conserved the said stair to William Fumertoun, but the jury declared they could not determine as to the property of the mutual gable, and in the end the judge declared that it should be mutual to both parties.

Another case occurred on 23rd November the same year, in which the Court was asked to declare the meiths and marches and to set up march stones between the properties of Richard Thomson, maltman in Bo'ness, son of the deceased William Thomson, maltman there, and Andrew Burnsyde, skipper in Bo'ness, for Andrew Burnsyde, younger, his eldest lawful son. This was done by means of empanelling a jury of inquest, who determined the bounds between the properties.

On 16th March, 1671, there were no fewer than four cases of perambulation on hand. In the first William Horn, skipper in Bo'ness, wished to build a shop on his own ground there, and desired that the same might be defined. The jury having considered the whole circumstances, ordained him to build his shop between the vennel and the east side of his own house, with certain restrictions, among which was that he was not to injure the lights of other houses.

The second was a dispute between John Paterson, sailor in Bo'ness, and Marjory Cassillis, spouse to Andrew Burnsyde, elder, in Bo'ness, and Eupheme Cassillis, spouse to James Cassillis, elder, skipper there, and their said husbands. It was found that the properties were divided by a mutual dyke, but that Paterson had right to his own gable, and the road for horses and carts to his kiln and barns in the close. Within the close there was a spring well. It was to be public for the inhabitants of the burgh who might require to make use of it. The said properties were upon the High Street, and in building both parties were enjoined to keep that street " sufficiently broad, fully large, wide, and spacious."

The third case was the settlement of a march between the property of Alexander Grintoun, in Grange, in that part of the burgh called the Boig, and that of Robert Mitchell, skipper in Bo'ness.

The fourth dealt with a public right of way which had been stopped to the south-west of the house and yard belonging to the heirs of David Thomson, skipper in Bo'ness, and led from the High Street to some fields on the south. The jury decided it should be re-opened for the use of the inhabitants, with horses and creels, as it had formerly been past memory of man.

. The last case in the volume is on 9th January, 1673, when a Court of perambulation was held to decide a dispute as to the boundaries between the houses and yard of Alexander Gibb, skipper in Bo'ness, and the glebe of the minister, which lay to the south of Gibb's property; also the boundary between the said glebe and the Paundiker, belonging to Robert Mitchell, skipper in Bo'ness. The jury found that Alexander Gibb had built a wall too far south, which encroached on the property belonging to the minister; ordered him to have it removed and rebuilt where the old marchstone was still standing. Further, declared that the minister's glebe "marches to the south-side wall of John Johnstone, maltman in Bo'ness, his kiln and barn, and the said Pandiker belonging to the said Robert Mitchell on the north."

(End of " Liber Curiarurn.)


Besides the "Liber Curiarum" there is another register Of the Court which gives us interesting glimpses in other directions of the life of the inhabitants more than two centuries ago. This book is inscribed " Register of Bandes and Uther Wryttes of the Burgh of Regality of Borrowstounes, Landes & Baronies thereto anexit; Begun the 2nd day of Appryll 1669." The volume is in a fairly good state of preservation. Registration seems to have gone on until the end of July, 1673. There is then a break until 1st November, 1692—nearly twenty years—when it is resumed, and goes on until the end of May, 1695. There is then another break of about twenty years until October, 1713, when the book is turned upside down and a fresh beginning made. From then registration goes on until 20th November, 1722, where the two sections meet in the middle of the volume. It is more than likely that there would be another volume running on to the extinction of the Regality in 1748, but we have not found it.

The deeds recorded in this register are heritable bonds and other obligations, agreements, discharges, tacks, marriage contracts, and, so far as we have observed, one testamentary settlement. Submissions and decrees-arbitral and protested bills occupy a considerable portion of the book, the protested bills being especially numerous after 1713. To make a selection from such a mass in order to enable the reader to form a reasonable picture of the business life of the district at that period has been no easy matter. It is hoped the following will prove illustrative : —

Discharge by "Maister John Waugh, Minister at Borrowstouness" to the representatives for "compleat payment and full satisfaction of all stipend due." This is the first document recorded.

Commission by Duke William and Duchess Anne of Hamilton to John Mayne, writer in Linlithgow, to be procurator-fiscal of the Burgh of Regality of Borrowstounness, during pleasure, dated at Kinneil, 2nd April, 1669, recorded 14th April. This was presumably in addition to Rudolph Weir referred to in the "Liber" as being appointed fiscal on the opening day.

Submission and decree-arbitral relating to a dispute over the "platform" of a house in Grangepans. The parties concerned were Flor. Gairdner, "bally of the Baronie of Grange," on the one part; and Thomas Smith, wright in Borrowstounness, on the other part. The judge-arbitratora were Thomas Edgar, in Grange, and Robert Forest, in Borrowstounness. Recorded 9th October, 1669.

Gairdner was, we understand, a near relative of Colonel James Gairdner, who was born at Burnfoot, Carriden.

Contract of marriage, dated at Linlithgow 6th April, 1655, between William Kerse in Falconhous, with consent of Richard Kerse in Bo'ness, his eldest lawful brother, and Helen Tennent, lawful daughter of the deceased John Tennent of Burncheid. She has a brother William Tennent, of Wester Dykeheid, who is due her 500 merks, and this debt, with another 1000 merks due by Mr. George Dundas of Maner, she presents to her husband as tocher. Among the witnesses are David Tennent and Mr. William Crawfurd, son of William Crawfurd, of Dean. Recorded 23rd May, 1670.

Commission by William and Anna, Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, to Robert Ballenden of Parkend, to uplift the rents of the baronies of Kinneil, Polmont, Carriden, and Kettlestoun, dated at Hamilton, 16th November, 1670.

Submission and decreet arbitral between John Mayne, writer in Linlithgow and tacksman of the coal works of Balderston, and William Rae and George and William Robertson, his coal hewers, as to the prices to be paid to the latter and their bearers and servants. The judges were John Fod and James Mitchell in Bonhard, John Robertson there, and Robert Cornwall in Kinglass. The submission is dated at Bo'ness and Bonhard, 5th and 9th December, 1672, and until the decision is given the hewers agree to proceed with their work diligently and truly as other coal hewers, and have found cautioners that they will do so. The decreet is dated at Bonhard 10th December, 1672, and in it the judges ordain the said coal hewers and their bearers and the said servants to attend dutifully their work at the coal heugh of Balderstone and not absent themselves without consent any working day, health and strength permitting, and continue, not by starts but for nine hours each day at least, and if they absent themselves without leave they shall forfeit 20s. Scots for each day they do so, with a corresponding part from their yearly bonus. Sixteenpence Scots is the price presently paid per load for the coals won, but as the owner is willing to augment this, it is agreed that the third part of what is obtained by the sale of the coals shall be the share belonging to the coal hewers, and the owner is to increase the price of the coal to 5s. and 7s. Scots per mett. The coal hewers also agree to relieve the owner of the labour of making the levels, &c., and working the coal, under certain conditions, provision being specially made in the case of "troble." Further, the coal hewers being in the habit of carrying home as many coals as they require to burn in their own houses nightly, they in return for these are to deliver a load of coals weekly to the master as formerly upon the coal hill, and this they are not to sell or part with to their neighbours under a penalty of 30s. Scots per load.


6th January, 1693.—Contract of marriage dated at Bo'ness, 23rd February, 1691, between Robert M'Kindley, merchant in Bo'ness, and Katherine Esplin, lawful daughter of the deceased John Esplin, maltman there, with consent of Lvbra Smyth, her mother, and Thomas Padgen, maltman there, now her spouse. Her tocher is 600 merks. There is also a deed by Lybra Smyth to Robert M'Kindley.

Will and Testament of a Borrowstounness Shipmaster.— This is recorded 13th January, 1714, and is very interesting. The introduction runs—" To all and sundry whom it effeirs, or to whose knowledge these presents shall come : Be it known

that I, ....................., being for the present infirm in my body, though perfect in memorie and judgment, blessed be God; and considering the frailty of this short and transitory life, with the certainty of death and uncertainty as to the time and manner thereof (that being referred to the Omniscient wisdom of God): Therefore to the effect I may the better prepare against the time of my transmutation when the samen att the pleasure of God shall happen, I have thought fit to make my Latter Will and Testament as follows: —Imprimus I recommen and entirely resign myself soul and body to the hands of God Almighty my great and bountiful Creatour and Redeemer ; and declare that I am a Protestant professing the true religion by God's mercy presently professed and taught in the reformed Churches of Christ according to the written word of God and summarly contained in the Confession of faith in this Church, and ratified and approved be ye Statutes of Parliament of Scotland; and declares that my hope of Salvation depends only upon the free love and mercy of God and the merits and intercession of Jesus Christ my only Saviour and Mediatour:" Like the prophet of old, he gave commandment concerning his bones thus : Ordains and wills that when it pleased God to separate his soul and body, his body should be interred amongst his friends, decently in a Christian manner. Then comes the disposal of his estate to his wife and daughter. We have an impression that the declaration that he was a Protestant, if not absolutely necessary, was at that time safe and desirable in view of the disabilities which affected Roman Catholics.

Factory and commission by John Cassils-, skipper, in Borrowstounness, in favour of Jean Melvin, his well-beloved wife. He narrates that "for as much as I am necessarily called abroad furth of this kingdome in pursuance of my employment, and being desirous that my business at home be not neglected, and having in tire trust and confidence in the fitness and integrity of the said Jean Melvin," he appointed her his sole acting factrix and commissioner for him with full powers. This document is recorded 22nd May, 1714.

Obligement.—The Duchess of Hamilton to the Kirk Session of Bo'ness for paying Communion elements; recorded 31st October, 1717. It runs—" We, Ann Dutches of Hamilton and Chatlerault, considering that we have been in use those many years bygone to pay to the Ministers and Kirk Session of Bo'ness the soume of Five pounds Sterling yearly for defraying the expense of the Communion elements att the celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper att the Kirk of Bo'ness, for the payment of which the said Kirk Session has no security but our use of payment; and we being willing to grant to them the security underwritten for payment thereof; Therefore we hereby bind and oblige us, our heirs and successors to make good and thankful payment to the Minister or Kirk Session of said Kirk of Bo'ness and to their successors in office the soume of five pounds Sterline yearly for defraying the expenoes of the Communion elements at celebrating the Sacrament in the said Kirk, and that within ten days after the celebration of the said Sacrament yearly, beginning the first year's payment of the said soume for this instant year 1713 and so forth yearly thereafter in all time coming: And, in case it shall happen by the troubles of the times or by any other accident it shall happen that the Sacrament shall not be celebrat yearly, we oblige us and our foresaids to pay the said soume of five pounds Sterline yearly during the years the said Sacrament shall not happen to be celebrat att the said Kirk to the Minister or Kirk Sessione of the said paroch for the use and behoove of the poor thereof: In Witness Whereof we have subscribed thir presents att our Palace of Hamilton the twenty-eight day of Aprile 1713 years, before these witnesses, James Hamilton of Pencaitland, one of the Senators of the Colledge of Justice; and David Crawford, our Secretary; and Alexander Hamilton, Writer to the Signet, Wryter hereof."


Submission and decree arbitral in a succession dispute between John Brice, merchant in Bo'ness, only son then in life to the deceased William Brice, weaver in Muiredge, on the one part, and Thomas Knox, in Muirhouse of Grange, for himself and Elizabeth Brice, his spouse, daughter to the said William and sister to the said John Brice, on the other part. John Hardie, maltman in Borrowstounness, was the arbiter chosen by John Brice; and James Stephen, schoolmaster of Carriden, was chosen by the said Thomas Knox for himself and spouse. It was decided that John Brice should succeed to the just and equal half of the houses in Muiredge with the lands and " aker" of land pertaining and belonging to the deceased weaver, his father; also to a half of the household plenishing,

and sole right to the deceased's "wearing" clothes. The other half of the heritable and movable subjects were to be divided, one-half to Thomas Knox and his spouse, and the other equal half of foresaid half to belong to Agnes Knox, their daughter, in liferent, "and the heirs to be lawfully procreat of a suitable marriage to be entered into by her, whom failing, to the said John Brice his heirs." In the squaring up, the one-half of the value of an iron chimney and; a piece of "cloath," value £17 Scots (both taken by John Brice) was to be accounted in part payment of the funeral and other expenses disbursed by him, he to give credit for the equal half thereof in his accounts. The deed is recorded 1st March, 1719.

Submission and decree-arbitral in dispute between John Guthrie, officer of Excise at Bo'ness, on the one hand, and George* Galbrath, tacksman of the milns of Kinneill, on the other part. The arbiter for Guthrie was Thomas Buchanan, officer of Excise at Grangepans, and for Galbrath one John Burn, in Parkhead, of Linlithgow. Duncan Glasford, shipmaster in Bo'ness, was the oversman chosen by the arbiters. We have not noted the precise nature of the dispute, but the result was that Guthrie-had to content and pay Galbrath the sum of five pounds in full satisfaction of his claim. This submission is recorded 20th November, 1722.

To take a few more examples we find recorded on 14th September, 1694, an agreement amongst the seamen of" Borrowstounness about a box, one Walter Nimmo being boxmaster. About the same time appears a bond by a maltman for 50 merks Scots borrowed from Gilbert Marshall, "Boxmaster of the Fleshers' Box of Borrowstounness." And' on 17th June, 1714, there is a tack recorded betwixt John Mairtoun, chirurgeon in Borrowstounness, and John Egglinton, fiesher there, whereby the doctor sets " two aikers " of land of the lands of Deanfield belonging to him. We find also-commission by the Dowager Duchess Elizabeth of Hamilton in favour of Archibald Grosert, merchant in Bo'ness, her factor and chamberlain in her lands of Kinneil, Carriden, and others '

Also factory by John Edmonston, writer in Edinburgh, as factor in Scotland for the said Dowager Elizabeth in favour of Archibald Grosert, merchant in Bo'ness, her factor in virtue of factory, dated 20th July, 1725, whereby he constituted John Hay, of Balbethan, his depute, to uplift and receive all rents, profits, and duties due and belonging to said Duchess iurth of the lands and barony of Kinneil and others liferented by her. Mention is also made in a document in 1721 of a John Main, manager of His Grace the Duke of Hamilton's coal works at Kinglass.

Writers and notaries flourished in the seaport during the Regality period. In addition to Rudolph Weir, we frequently come across James Tailfer, John Wilson, Andrew Wilson, William Wilson, David Jervay, and William Keir, "wrytter in Grangepans." These were the procurators and conveyancers :about the place from time to time, and are not to be confused with the mere "servitors," i.e., the clerks or apprentices. -One Donald Blair, described for years as a "servitor" to Weir, in time blossoms into a procurator on his own account, and similarly a Robert Blair, some time " servitor" to Andrew Wilson.


The following are examples of common surnames to be found in this register:—Baird, Bell, Blair, Callender, Drysdail, Downie, Gairdner, Gray, Grinlay, Hardie, Hendry, Johnston, Kincaid, Marshall, Mitchell, Muir, Paterson, Ramsay, Rankine. Shepherd, Smith, Snadden, Stewart, and Thomson. There are also to be found a Richard Maltman, maltster in Bo'ness. .and a James Watchman, merchant there.

As for employments, there are many maltmen, skippers, boatmen, sailors, fleshers, wrights, baxters (bakers), and some coal-hewers.

A sample or two of the wording of the bills in those days .may also interest—

"Pay to myself or order at my dwellinghouse in Bo'ness two hundred and eightie seven pounds six shillings Scots money, the value in your hands and oblige your friend."

"Sir, Be pleased to pay to me or order upon the............ at my dwellinghouse in Grangepans the soume of............... Scots value in your own hands. Make thankfull payment-and oblidge. Sir, Your most humble Servant."

"Please to pay or between the............... at his own dwellinghouse the soume of...............Scots value in your own hand. Make thankfull payment and oblidge. Your humble Servant."

The following entries appear on one of the back pages of the volume:—"The 28 of August. 1728.—Then the whole warrands of all Registers in this Regality were revised and seen by Hew Markaill, Deput to Ventris Columbine, Inspector Generall of the Stamp-duties."

Wednesday, the 25th of September, 1728.—David Rennie, Merchant, Admitted Quarter-Master of this Town by the Baillier and sworne de fideli."

"Tuesday, the 18th Feb., 1729.—John Cram, Maltman, Admitted Conjunct Quarter-Master with Robert Main in room of David Rennie deceast, and sworne de fideli.''

We close these two old books reluctantly. They are full of local interest to those who care about conjuring up the past from the facts they set forth. In great contrast to many other places the government of this district during the period of Regality appears to have been in every way efficient and beneficial. But in the north especially, the heads of clans and feudal lords were said to have obtained complete sway over their vassals and retainers by the unjust and terrifying exercise of their powers of criminal and other jurisdiction. These lords, in the knowledge of the support they could thus depend on became frequently rebellious against the Government, even to armed insurrection. The Rebellion of 1745 brought matters to a crisis. After passing an Act vesting in the Crown the estates of the insurgent lords of the '45, it was followed up in 1747 by a general Act abolishing all these heritable jurisdictions. Henceforth all jurisdictions, powers, and authorities were vested in the Court of Session and its inferior Courts. "So ended," says a writer on the subject, "a system which had been part of the national life since the dawn of history, and which only perished when it had become quite incompatible with the •conditions of modern life."

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