« PreviousContinue »
heidis of baith kirkis, and speciallie the pend heidis and pillar heidis abone the Counsall sait, and all uther placis neidfull, quhair the kirk officeris cannot win to.” Some notion of the extent, and even an outline, of the streets may be had from the election of constables for the year 1631. The proportion was arranged as follows :—“Abone the Wynd heid, 5; fra the Wynd heid to the Cros, on baith sydis of the gait, 7; Gallowgait, on baith the sydis and outwith the port, 5; Trongait on baith the sydis, 3; out of the West Port, on baith sydis, 3; Stockwallgait, 3; Briggait, 3; Saltmercat, 4; Waster Wynd, 2; New Wynd and Maynis Wynd, 2."
Regarding national events, the first low breathings of the coming storm with the King may be traced in an order regarding drilling of 24th August, 1633, a few weeks after Charles had paid his ill-starred visit to Edinburgh in company with Laud. On that date the trcasurer is instructed to give "to James Aitchisoun, dreil maister, for allevin scoir buikes, ane less, send be him to this burghe, beiring the forme of dreilling, fourtie pund; and ordanes ilk young man of ane mid and guid qualitie that hapins to be ressavit burgessis heirefter ressave ane of them for four schilling to the treasurer, and he to be compatabill theirfoir.” The day after the King's execution the Magistrates were busy negotiating with Sir Robert Douglas for the purchase of Gorbals, at the price of 110,000 merks, “with some little moir befoir the bargane give up." On 15th July, 1650, the day when Charles II., having previously accepted the Covenants, was proclaimed King at Edinburgh, it was appointed that a levy of 150 men be "presentlie outreikit," and public intimation made that “quhasoever hes ane mind willinglie to offer themselfis for defence and saftie of the Covenantis, King and Kingdomes, to go out, aither upone horse or filt, that they wuld come presentlie to the laich Tolbaithe, and give up their names, certifieing all suche quha sall not come betwixt and twa efternoone that besyde they will be layable to the fynes contenit in the Actis of Parliament that they will be appoyntit to goe out and to furneis men in thair rowmes with thirittie dayes provisioun. Lykas, it is heirby declarit that quaha so offeris themselfis to go out that they sall be frie of the putting out of the proportioune of the 150 futt appoynted presentlie to goe out.” On 12th August, 1650, when Cromwell was moving northward by way of Berwick, “it being showne the danger that the countrey stands in fra the Inglis, and that thair is ane ongoeing of the shyres of Air, Lanerick, Galloway, and Ranfrew to associat thair forces for thair continuall saiftie, it was thairfor resolvit to joyne with them thairin, and that the Proveist (George Porterfield) and the Clerk goe the morne to attend the meiting at Kilmarnock for that effect, with ample commissioune." September 2 (same year, and the day before the cause of the Covenant was shattered by Cromwell's Ironsides at Dunbar), it was appointed that 1200 “bisket breid be sent east to the sojouris that were outreikit be the toune,” and then serving under General David Leslie. Towards the close of the month, when Cromwell was advancing on Glasgow, one portion of the town's bonds and Hutcheson Hospital bonds were sent for safety to Avondale Castle, and later in the year another portion were conveyed to Carrick Castle. When the English garrisoned Hamilton in December a weekly cess was fixed on Glasgow of “threttie bollis meill, threttie bollis horse corne, ten bollis malt, and that by and besyde great quantiteis of cheis, candlle, salt, and breid, certefeing that if they wer not thankfullie payed and readilie answerit therof they wuld plunder the toune and give it over to the mercie of insolent sojouris; and these wha were Magistratis and Counsellouris of the poore toune for that tyme haveing left and desarted the same in so sad condition, and many poore and uther honest people wha remained crying out for help in so distressed estate and condition, it pleased God of His goodness to stir upe the harts of ane certane number of young men, burgessis and burgessis sones, wha teuk upone them in name of the communalitie to find out meanes and wayes to get the Inglisch satisfeit, and so the toune thairby preservit from outer ruine, and haveing nothing quhairwith to do the same bot ane voluntary collection quhilk was uplifted weiklie be their severall mylnes," &c., &c. Account of charge and discharge to be entered. Pressed on by the King for supplies, the Provost, on April, 1651, read a new demand of another kind, contained in letters from the Lieutenant-General and Major Montgomery, with two Acts, "one appoynting to give the publict quhat pistollis the towne hes, and the other to give Ritmaster Buntein ane thowsand merkis. To the first it was desyret to wryt that the towne knew not of ony pistollis in the place, and for the nixt it was fund that the towne had no money to give, but committit to the magistrates to doe their best with the Ritmaster to put him by, on easie terms if possible.” In May, King Charles writes from his Court at Stirling, desiring that the Magistrates, Council, and community of Glasgow would advance in loan £500 sterling, a portion of which was raised from the teinds and by advances from four private burgesses-William Home, James Armour, Thomas Campbell, and James Kincaid. The sad shifts to which the burgh was reduced between the exactions of Charles and Cromwell is brought out with much simple pathos in a resolution come to, we may well believe, reluctantly, to close Hutchesons' Hospital, completed only two years previously, “for the entertainment of poor, aged, and decripit men to be placed therein." On June 3, 1652, “the Proveist, Balyeis, and Counsell, haveing seriouslie takine to their consideratioune the present estaite and conditioune of the foiresaid Hospitall, and finding that the haill sowmes of money now awine to the house will scairce pay the debt awine for its pairt of the Gorballis boght, and that there is no rent quhairwith to keep the boyes in the house or to hold the scoolmaister as he hes bein heirtofoir, seeing the haill rent, almost that the said Hospitoll hes to susteine any of these consistis most of the lands of Gorballis, quhilk has now beine eattine upe and destroyed these twa yeiris bygane. It is thairfor resolvit that the fyve poor boyes that is presentlie in the house be put home to thair parentis, and the maister of the hous to pay thair parents for thair enterteinment as he and they best can agree.” In like manner the DeaconConvener of the Trades' House, Manasses Lyle, made an appeal to the Council in November of the same year regarding the “poore decayit brethrein" impoverished through the wasting of Gorbals lands belonging to the Crafts. On Christmas Day certain skilled men were instructed to be chosen to divide the Gorbals barony among the three purchasing bodies--the Council, the Hospital, and the Trades House. Matters would appear to have mended with the town a little before the Restoration, as in June, 1660, high public rejoicings were held in celebration of the event, and two hogsheads of wine provided for the use of the soldiers in
Next to exactions by Cromwell, Glasgow suffered grievously from pestilence and fire during the period embraced in the new volume of “Minutes," and referred to in many common histories of the City. The pestilence would appear to have been most virulent in the summer of 1648, quartermasters being appointed on 22nd July to inspect the town, to discharge the inhabitants from repairing to wine or alehouses, and to refrain from wandering about the streets.
On 5th August the pestilence is described as “growne hotter nor hes beine seene heirtofoire," and ten ne: persons were appointed special inspectors, with magisterial power. Seven days later, when travelling to Edinburgh was prohibited, the disease is described as still increasing “in ane more hot maner than hes beine seene and knowne heirtofor to any now liveing, quhairby manie familees are removeit out to the Muir.” Two thousand merks were at this time voted by the Council for relief of the poor sufferers. Later in the season an additional surgeon was introduced into the City, “Becaus of the neid the towne stands in of some qualified chirurgeonne, and that thair is ain large commendatioune gevine to Arthour Tempill, ane of that professione, tharfor ordaines the Deene of Gild and his brethrein to receave him burges and gild brother in hopes of his good service." Under date 22nd June, 1652, it is recorded, “Forsameikill as it has pleased God to raise on Thuirsday last was the 17 of this instant, ane suddent fyre in the house of Mr. James Hamiltoune above the Croce, quhilk has consumet that close, the haill close on both sydes belonging to William Stewart, Thomas Norvell, and others,
the haill housis bak and foir upon bothe syds of the Saltmercat," with houses on the west of Gallowgate and north side of Briggate, “quhairby efter compt it is fund that thair will be neir four scoir closses all burnt, estimat to about ane thowsand punds, so that unless spedie remidie be useit and help sought out fra such as hes power and whois hartis God sall move, it is lyklie that the towne sall come to outer ruein.” Commissioners were at once
sent over the country for contributions in aid of the distressed; tradesmen were permitted to be drawn from any quarter they could be got, and in September Parliament made the welcome grant of £1,000 sterling, from the treasury of sequestra:ions in Scotland, for relief of the sufferers.
Among the more miscellaneous entries, several of great interest (only to be mentioned briefly here) will be found, relating to Hutchesons' Hospital and School, to Zachray Boyd and his “Mortisications,” to the University, to Principal Robert Baillie, translated from Kilwinning to Glasgow, and to nearly every craft incorporated within the burgh, the latter frequently complaining of the interference of non-freemen, and the injury of their patrimony by the English. Some notices also occur of the Grammar-school and Library-house, James Colquhoun receiving on 3rd January, 1634, one hundred and ten pounds for completing the latter, “casting the town's arms thairon, gilting of the Bischop's armis, for the pains taken be him at Robiestoun Loche, and in making ane of the lyoun's mouthis at the spoutis of the Tolbuith.” Sharp steps would appear to have been taken November, 1635, for raising the status of the Water Bailie, the Council having then considered “the great contempt the place of watter bailyearie within this burgh is fallen in be the admissioun thairto of divers decayed and depauperat persounes, quhilk tendis greatly to the prejudice of the haill inhabitants of this burgh and river, and thairfor they being most willeing to raise the same into the old worthie and laudable estait quhairin it once wes, they haif concluidet ane of the best sort and rank of the Counsell to be electit and choysen for dischargeing of the said place, and his electione, with the forme thairof, and his jurisdictionn to be set down on Settirday next.” The Fleshers are censured July, 1647, in so far as they had slighted the town by sending in no flesh to the market, and “becaus it is verie needfull that the towne be servit with vivers,” it is ordained, &c., "lo grant licence and libertie to all men in the countrey to bring in flesche, or Leif and muttonne, and all other sort of flesche, all the dayes in the weik, and they sall have libertie to sell the same at all occasionnes frie of payment of any excyis till Lambes nixt." In January, 1651, attendance at Council came to be regulated