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Papers Relating to the Scots in Poland (1576 - 1798)
The original records of those Scots in Poland known as the Scottish Brotherhood at Lublin (2)

Transcription of a volume, touching the Scottish Brotherhood at Lublin, and at present in the Archives of the Evangelical Reformed Church at Leszno, Warsaw.

This volume, in a green leather binding, bears on the fly-leaf the following inscription:--

Anno 1680.
20 Octobris
w Lublinie

[The words ‘w Lublinie’ are Polish and mean ‘in Lublin.’ It is interesting to notice how the brotherhood in Lublin gradually lost their knowledge of English, and lapsed altogether into the language of their adopted country before the book is filled up. Lublin, the capital of the province of that name, one of the most fertile parts of Poland, is an ancient town, and, in the seventeenth century, was a very important trade centre, being on the high road from Dantzig to Hungary, and, therefore, to the near East.]

On the next are the following entries:

In the name of the Blessed and ewer Glorious Trinitie.

Anno Christi 1680. Adij 20: Obris In Lublin.

Beeing Conweened a Certain Number of our Countriemen whose names are under specified, and Calling to mind that our Ordinaire Poore Boxe hath been by Negligent Collectors and other owerseers greatlie wronged by unordered depurshments without consent of the other Brethren and is so exhausted that to this date as aforesaid nothing doth remain in Cassa, Therefore to prevent such disorder in future tyme we hawe conferred together seriouslie and seriouslie consulted thereabout, and that all may be conveniently acted we haue unaminously consented to those pointes following—

First. . . . Anenst the Order of the Collectors

1 We have In generall chosen and apointed to be Collectors and Overseers of the ordinairie Poore Box for the space of two years from the aforsd datte by name Mr Allexander Innes [There are traces of the Innes family at Gryzmala, near Cracow, where the register for the year 1640 records the death of one Andrew Innes on August 20th of that year. He was a merchant.] and Mr William Thomsone to have and Carie the charge thereof dureing the aforsd time, and in the said space of two years nothing is to be depurshd thereout either to distressed poor or anie other Casualities whatsover, onlie a generall gathering to be used for such Redresses at the beginning of the fornominate two years The Cassa list is only to be given to those the Breethren In generall will allow and none to be chosen collectors onlie those may be esteemed worthie for Conserwation of all gathered moneys that the same being collected with dilligence may not in grouth of tyme be forfeited as heretofore examplies warneth us, onlie most Conscionablie preserved for the use of distressed Brethren.

Second. . . . Sundayes ordinarie gathering

2 Wee haue unanimouslie condiscendet and at present ordained that the silver plate or ordinarie box should everie sunday be sent through our whole Countrieman and others of our beliefs. In exacting moneys for assistance of distressed poor, the said moneys being ordained to be delyvered Mr. Innes and Mr. Thomson and they to keepe and exact accompt dureing the aboue specified tyme.

Thirde . . . Penalties for quarrelers.

3. If, whiche God forbid, anie quarrels or Controversies should befall amongst our Countrieman either by beating or oprobious and Malitious words, for the which Cause they are to be censured, and in agriement the pairtes having giuen provocations to striffe (or both if guiltie) they are to be refined to giue some certaine moneys being justlie exacted by them and the same to be giuen in to the poor boxe for helpe of distressed breethren.

Fourthe . . . Those that taketh Journey from home.

4. When it shall please God that anie from our beloued breethren from this plase shall accomplish anie Journey to forruign in safetie, the same journey being god-willing for riping of benefit and gains, he is by vertue of this Convention Intreatted to giue Liberallie to the Common poore box for assistans of the needie and poor.

Fyft. . . . Anenst Marriage.

5. If by divine Prowedence anie person from this place may engadge himselfe in that lawfull and inviolable bond of matrimonie and his nuptialls be celebrated within this our Diocessis then by consent of this wee apointe he may giue some competent portions accordinglie Considered to the Common Casse for distressed poor, that God of his Infinite goodness may further prosper him in his accomplished matrimonie.

Sixt . Straungers arrivall in selling of goods.

6. And now by vertue of this Convention wee here hathe unanimouslie Condiscendet seeing theur arriueth heer severall of our breethren and Countriemen in selling of goodes and ripeing of gains and benefite, Therefore wee determine and Lawfullie require those our Countriemen and brethren if they desire to live in unitie, peace and Tranquilitie with us they should be liable to a certaine portione at ilke and everie tyme of theire safe arrivall here in selling of goods: but withall nothing usuryed, onlie a conscionable exactione of them for the helpe of the distressed and needie of our brethren.

Seawenthe . for sojourners.

7. Wee have in generalle Condiscendet also that seeing frequentlie seuerall of our Worthie Countriemen and beloued breethren from else in their sojourneyeing further through this Citie and diociossie, those not having goodes in selling, Therefore it is to be requested of their Charitable liberalitie they may bestow once in the yeare onlie some portion or benefite for the aide of the Indigent, and suppose of their frequent arrival nothing more as once in the yeare as aforesaid exacted of them.

Eight. . . . Those that Remouves their Residence to

8. There happeneth that of our freinds and Lowing breethren there may be some who under God taketh resolutione to Transport himself further from here and choose elsewhere a more Convenient residence and dwelling for himself and familie, Therefore wee have apointed that all suche accomplishing suche resolutione before his departure and Journeyeing from hence they may be liouble to dealle bountifullie towards the poor and distressed remaineng, the same exactions to be given to the Collectors at such tyme ordained that all things may be wele ordered for the distributione to the needfull.

Ninethe . . . anenst Legacies of anie departed Countriemen.

9. Sometimes it falleth out that perhaps anie of our beloued Countrieman doth depart this vale of teares and before deathe aproacheth bequeatheth by legacie some small portione (plus minus) mantainance of poor and distressed Countriemen, Therefore by this our unanimous conuentione wee apointe that whensoeuer anie such legacies may happen within this our diocissie, that they may be diligentlie and exactlie required and the same given and delyuered to the Common box for preservatione to the necessitus.

Tenthe . . . Uniformitie towards one another.

10. Aessil is consented that the bond of uniformitie and Brotherhood may continue of further tymes inviolated or broken and consequientlie for the maintenance of the same we thought expedient that everie Collectione begathered aparte for all tymes to come whereby in growth of tyme it may Increase to ous Competent soume, not onlie for this tyme and use but for maintenance of poor and Redressing of Injuries done to persons who are not able to vindicate their owne wronges.

Elewenthe . . Collected moneys disposal.

11. When it shall pleas God that suche Collections may arise to anie soume that it may be sufficientlie employed yearlie and rent taken but withall not disponed to none without ane Convenient Silver Pand worthie of much more value as the moneyes lent thereon as also nothing out of the Cassa disponed without consent of our Worthie breethren our two chosen elders, to witt Mr. George Jung and Mr. Patrick Gawdyn and the two Collectors who shall happen at that tyme of anie neenfull disponeing.

Twelft . . For dissobedient persons.

12. Touching Refractious Persons, if anie shall be fond whiche wee will not expect sined (?) by past ewills may be argument sufficient to leade ye most arrogant to a credible remedie, wee haue thought expedient if such be not usurping Prehiminence and Authoritie that they be not onlie unworthie of our felloship but likewaise delated to the Churches which they either for the present or may hereafter frequent; that they may be esteemed as Persons Reiterated untill they be Reconciled to their Breethren and submitt theselues to obedience and good order, for Wee being armed with unitie amongst ourselves wee may be, through God’s guard the more able and in Equitie to manage and Resist all daungers and oprobies of our enemies:--

N.B. It is Enacted by the Consent of the whole Breethren that at the calling of anie Conventione, the night before notice is to be giuen, either from the Elders or Collectors at what hour on the morrow the meeting is to be holden and those that apear not at determined tyme, having no lawfull reasons to produce of their absence, are by this Convention alotted to pay 45 g to the poor.

N.B. The Breethren being Conveened anie there amonngst may be fond to divulge in publiq what is Priwatelie

Treatted in generall amongst our whole breethren; The Relator is to be Censured with penalties accordinglie.

JOHN RITCHIE, Collector.

In the next page, in a different hand, is the following:—

In name of the glorious and ever Blessed God the father sone and hollie gost.

[1 Records of the Chalmers family are to be found both in Cracow and in Warsaw. In Cracow, according to the registers of the Protestant Church at Wielkanoc, whither the assembly moved to escape the annoyances of their Catholic neighbours, one Caspar Czamer (Polish rendering of Chalmers) married Susan Peterson, in 1638. In 1641 Jacob Czamer married Elisabeth Orem. Under the date of A.D. 1642 is this entry: ‘I baptised Jacob, son of Jacob Czamers. The mother was born Elisabeth Orem.’ On another page we find, ‘July 20th, 1666, William Czamer was buried.’ Wengierski, in his Kronika, or Chronicles, under date of 1656, says: ‘Shortly afterwards (referring to the burial of a Polish member), on September 30th, we buried Thomas Czamer, the little son of Jacob Czamer, merchant, of Cracow.’

In 1648, a Jacob Czamer is registered as living at Warsaw. It is possible that the whole family migrated there, for Cracow records are silent about them after William’s death, and one Alexander Czamer was a citizen of Warsaw in 1672. Alexander Czamer, of whom mention is made in another part of the present book, was four times Burgomaster of Warsaw. But he died a Roman Catholic in 1703. He was buried in the Cathedral of St. John in that city.

As wejt, or burgomaster, Alexander Chalmers was the most important person in the city. He levied taxes, collected rents accruing from magisterial property, tried and sentenced offending burghers. In criminal cases, appeal could be made from his judgment to the Assessional Tribunal, over which the King’s Chancellor presided. The nobility did not come under the wejt’s jurisdiction, but were tried by the Grand Marshal for offences committed within a three-mile radius of the city. Warsaw city enjoyed the Magdeburg Law from about 1413; but the troubles caused by the Swedish Wars, and the Plague so impoverished the burghers that they were unable to withstand the jealousy of the nobility, who gradually curtailed their rights.

Alexander Chalmers married Christina Lang, who owed money to Alexander Ross in 1702 and again in 1712. The burgomaster’s house still stands in the Market Place of Warsaw (Number 28). He was one of the trustees of the hospital of the Holy Ghost in that city. Others of that name who are mentioned in local records include: William ‘Czamer,’ who married a Polish woman, Anne Klinkiewicz, somewhere before 1698. He was a town councillor in 1708, when he sold a house in Warsaw. His name appears, in connection with municipal business, as late as 1728. I have been unable to find any traces of the family now living. Gomulicki, in his book on ‘Old Warsaw,’ supposes that Alexander’s descendants went back to Scotland, like most of their countrymen who came to Poland. Some items about this Chalmers family will be found in Appendix II.

2 The Forbes family was also known in Cracow, for the register of the Cracow Assembly of Protestants of various nations in that city contains the following entries:

1633. ‘Mrs Susan Forbes died.’

1634. ‘Thomas Forbes married Anne Hamar.’ Thomas Forbes was an elder of the congregation in 1633 and 1637. These entries are in Polish, and probably made by a Polish pastor. ‘Mr. Thomas Forbes’ was buried by a pastor of the same assembly, who writes:—’ Anno 1642, October 16th. I buried Mr. Thomas Forbes, merchant and citizen of Cracow, aetatis 56 Anno. Vir probus, pius, rectus ac modestus.’ In the reports, in Polish, of the Synodical meetings held at Cracow in 1644, mention is made of a legacy bequeathed by ‘Mr. Forbes.’ The amount is not stated. The Cracow registers also contain the following entries, in Polish:

‘1676 I buried Mr. Carmichael’s youth, Alexander Forbes, who, falling out of a window, was killed, April 16th.’

‘1702. October 13th. Anne Forbes was buried under the chapel.’

‘1700. Robert Forbes lent the Assembly two sums of money, of 12,406 and 6038 Polish zloty.’ ]

Condescended be the wholle Congregatione or Conuentione of thee Natione of Scotes Protestant Ewangelicall religion and brethren, that ane Charitable Portion shall be bestowed and collected to thee maintenance of thomas Argyll elder acording ane Petition from him by reasone of his unabillitie, to the soume yearlie of curant monie in this countrie to witt florens on hundreth I say f 100, naimlie the same to be delywered each quarter to his aieen hands to f 25 be our present ellected collectors or overseeres of the poores box as Alex Innes and william thamsone or thair orders, and with god’s asistance we promist to Continue the same to him Dureing his lyfetime beginning from newyeare nixt ensuing which portione of f 100 as aforesaid we oblige to collect amoungst our Selues willinglie for the first two ensuing yeares till our forder adwyssement beginning from neweyeare next ensuing by reasone that Chist or poore box being exhausted and readie monie nor monie worth thairin till god of his goodness forder Prowyde. This aforsaid unanimouslie Condescended and acted in George Young his dwelling or house in Lublin this 20th October Anno 1680.

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