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without great pressing and very lasting causes have retrocessed and reponed them in their ancient and intire state in all things; and for certain other just and reasonable causes moying us, our own proper motione and knowledge, have dispenced, and hereby dispence with the said tradsmen of our burgh of Perth anent the foresaid act of parliament, and all particles and clauses therein contained ; and we repone them to the using and having of deacons of crafts, who may have suffrages and votes in electing, and may elect officers of burghs, and that the said tradsmen who are most skillfull, honest, and opulent in their own trade, within the burgh, may be elected for choising the said of. ficers equally with the said merchants within the burghi, and that they shall be elected and created officers within the said burgh, equall in number with the merchands themselves at the time of the electione thereof; and that these offices which usually are granted to one, the merchands and tradesmen of the said burgh shall have the same, and shall be chosen yearly by turns; and that the saids tradsmen shall be admitted to the privileges of the gildry for payment of their dues to the dean of gild for the time; and if they be rejected by him from the same, that the provest, or any one of the bailies of the said burgh, shall reccive him therto, as was before used and wont; and that the said tradsmen shall be chosen and made commissioners, equal in number with the merchands themselves at all occasions, and that they shall be equal auditors of the compts of the common good of our said burgh; and that they shall use and have equall privileges, offices, and liberty within our said burgh, with the merchands therof, notwithstanding our said act of parliament, or any other acts, statutes, constitutions, letters, mandats, or proclamations whatsomever made, or to be made in the contrare, or any pains therin contained ; wheranent we, by thir presents, dispence with the said tradsmen, present and X 3
to come. Moreover we, by these presents, ratify and approve all other privileges, libertys, and facultys, given and granted by our noble progenitors to the said tradsmen, in times bygone. In testimony whereof, we command our great seall to be appended to thir presents, at Edinburgh, the twenty-eight day of May, and year of our Lord one thousand five hundred and fifty-six, and fourteen of our reign.
KING JAMES VI's CHARTER, IN FAVOUR OF
THE CRAFTSMEN OF BURROWS.
James, by the grace of God, King of Scots, to all and sundry our leiges and subjects, to whose presence thir presents shall come, greeting. Witt ye, because we understanding that our noble progenitors, kings of Scotland, having ane good minde and respect to the common well of our realm ; and that without honest craftsmen the common policy well composed could not stand long : Therefore they gave and granted many and diverse privileges to the craftsmen of our borrows of Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, and all other borrows and citys of our realm; and namely, That they might elect and choice principally of every craft in superiors, and deacons to visite and expede their own crafts, to the effect that no extortione might be brought in use to the leiges of our realm ; but that every craftsman should work and labour honestly in his own craft, without fraud, or guile, or malice, and to make statutes and pains upon their own crafts, and the same to put to execution, and to keep every one upon their own, according to equity and reasone, that thereby they may reimpensate of all damage or skaiths. Attour, they granted privileges and power to honest craftsmen that are free bur
gesses of borrows, to sail and merchandise, as other mer. chands of our realm uses, with other diverse and sundry privileges and facultys granted to them under the great seal of our most noble progenitors, be us seen and considered, whilks not the less be our act of parliament holden at - the
day of June 1555, for certain causes exprest and declared in the said parliament, it was statute and ordained, That no deacon from that time furth should be chosen within burgh ; but that the provost, bailies, and counsellors of every burgh, should choice a craftsman most honest and conning in his own craft, and that the persons shall be called visitors of crafts, and yearly to be chosen at the feast of Michaelmas; and that no crafts. men bear office in burgh in time coming, except two to be chosen yearly upon the counsell of burgh, witif diverse other restrictions, as at more length is contained in the said act of parliament; and we acknowledging that the time of the making of the said act, there was no reasonable cause wherefore the same should have been done to the ef. feet it was deduced, and thereby many of the said crafts being more slack than 'of before : Therefore, we, most willing to dirogate our privileges granted by our predeces. sors, (without a great, urgent, and weighty 'cause), granted off before according to equity and reason, and therefore repones them in their former state. And sicklike, we desiring that no publick nor private dissentions, hatred, and contentions should occur amongst our merchants and craftsmen dwelling within our borrows; and for certain other seasonable causes moving us of our own proper motione and knowledge, with advice of the Lords of our Secret Counsell, have dispensed, likeas we, be the tenor hereof, dispences with all and slindry craftsinen of our said borrows of Edinburgh, Perth, Dandee, Aberdeen, and remanent borrow's and cities of our realm, anent 'the said act of parliament, and all the articles and clauses therein contained, unto the whilk privileges and libertys granted by our most
noble progenitors of before to them, whereof they have been in a long and continual possession, be virtue of the samé. We
repone them to use, and have deacons of crafts who shall have vote in choising of officers of borrows, and shall elect and admit all kinds of craftsmen within burgh, to use and exercise their crafts if they be found able therefore ; and they shall sicklyke hear the compts of the common good, and be parts of the auditors thereof; and they shall conveen and make privileges, statutes, and ordinances, above the said craftsmen, for keeping of good order amongst them, and sustentatione and entertainment of God's service, and shall use and exercise all manner of merchandize within our said realm, and out with the same, as they shall think most expedient to their greatest commodity, with all and sundry privileges, liberties, and faculties, granted to them be our most noble progenitors, or whereof they have been in possession in times past, notwithstanding the said act of parliament, or whatsomever pains contained therein ; anent the whilks, we, by thir presents, dispence : Attour we, by thir presents, ratifys and approves all privileges and libertys given and granted by our most noble progenitors to the saids craftsmen in all time bypast, to be used and exercised by them in the same form, force, and effect, in all time coming, as they possest the same of before, without impediment or contradiction. Wherefore we command and charge you, all and sundry our lieges and subjects, that ye, nor none of you presume in the contrare of thir presents, nor make
any pediment, molestation, or obstacle, in time coming, to the saids craftsmen, in the brooking, possessing, and using of the privileges, libertys, and facultys, above written, notwithstanding whatsomever letters, statutes, commands, or proclamations made, or to be made, in the contrare, or any pains contained therein, under all pain, peril, and of. fence, whilk ye or any of you may incur or commit against