Skip to main content

Full text of "The history of Paisley, from the Roman period down to 1884"

See other formats






V(3L. I. 



ic* -• ••.■ :i- f - -^ 






ROBERT BROWN, F. S. A., Scot., 


"the history of the paisley grammar school and academy, 

AND of the other TOVVn's SCHOOLS," ETC., ETC. 








C O N 1^ E N T S 



Preface, 9 

Paisley in the Roman Period, 17-20 

Saint Mirin, 21-26 


The Founding of the Monastery, 27-30 

The High Stewards of Scotland, 3i-34 

The Priors of the Monastery, 35-36 

The Abbots of the Monastery, 37-68 

The Commendators of the Monastery, 69-73 

The Abbey under Protestant Rule, 74-"9 


The Buildings of the Abbey, 120-130 


Paisley from the Close of the Roman Period till 1560, ... 131-158 


Paisley from 1560 till 1600, 159-186 

Paisley from 1600 till 1650, 187-256 


Paisley from 1650 till 1700, 257-366 

Paisley from 1700 till 1750, 367-413 

Index, 415-425 



1. The Abbey Restored, or as what it was when completed, Frontispiece. 


2. Abl)ot Lithgow's Memorial Stone, 47 

3. Abbot Schaw's Memorial Stone, < 53 

4. Seal of Abbot George Schaw, 55 

5. Seal of Abbot Robert Schaw, 60 

6. Seal of the Monastery, 67 

7. Monogram — Andrew Knox, 77 

8. Memorial Stone on Old Abbey Manse, 82 

9. Medal struck on the Completion of the Renovation of the Abbey in 1 7S8, 98 

10. Map of Paisley, 1490 and 1545, 148 

11. Memorial Stones in the "House of All Saints" in High Street, 150 

12. Fac-similc of the first preserved Minute of the Town Council, loth 

September, 1 594, 161 

1 3. Stocks and Whipping- Post, 182 

14. Lord Sempill's House, 94 High Street, 183 

15. Coat-of-Arms in Lord Sempill's House, 184 

16. Memorial Stones in the Plouse of Cochran of Craigmuir, 185 

17. Jedburgh Axe or Jeddart Staff, , 190 

18. Jug or Jougs, 195 

19. Tablet Stone on Meal Market, 220 

20. Silver Bells — Paisley Races, 248 

21. Fac-siDiile o{ \>7ixK. of the Deposition of Elizabeth Anderson before Lord 

Blantyre, and his Lordship's Signature, 356 

22. View of Paisley, taken from Captain John Slezer's I'hcalntm Scoticr, 

published in 1693, but believed to have been drawn about 1680,... 364 

23. Coat of Arms used in connection with the sale of Bargarran Se\\ing 

Thread, 396 

24. Fac-similc u{ the Signature of Jcjhn Murray of liroughton, Secretary to 

Prince Charles Stuart, commonly called "The Pretender,"... 406, 40S 


A LTHOUGH much has been written relating to the 
annals of Paisley, by many able and talented 
Authors, yet there is still experienced the want of a 
continuous history of the town, in mediaeval and modern 
times. No one can put his hand on a book that 
traces the records of everything regarding Paisley from 
its earliest existence till the present time. In these 
pages, I have, after much labour, endeavoured to meet 
this recognised deficiency ; and I hope the work will be 
found to accomplish the ideal I have set before me. 

I have to convey my thanks to those possessing im- 
portant records of local matters for having given me 
free access to them. 


Underwood P.'Vrk, 
Paisley, Decetnher, i88s. 




URING the Roman occupation of Britain, the province 
of Valentia, extending from the ramparts of Severus in 
the north of F^ngland to the wall of Antonine between 
the rivers Clyde and Forth, was inhabited by five 
native Celtic tribes called the Otadeni, the Gadeni, the 
Selgovae, the Novantes, and the Damnii or Uamnonii. The last- 
named tribe inhabited almost the whole country which stretches 
from the ridge of hills between Galloway and Ayrshire on the south 
to the river Earn on the north, including Strathclyde, the shires of 
Ayr, Renfrew,^ and Stirling, with a small part of Dumbartonshire 
and Perthshire, and half the peninsula of Fife. Their principal 
towns were Colonia near the sources of the Clyde ; Coria at Car- 
stairs ; Vanduara or Vandogara at Paisley ; Alauna at the junction of 
the Allan and Forth ; Lindum at Ardoch ; and Victoria at Loch Orr 
in the west of Fife. 

Forts, garrisons, and stations were planted throughout the province 
to overawe the native tribes, and roads were constructed to give 
easy access to the chief centres of population. The main western 
highway traversing the country from Carlisle to the northern wall, 
passed Lockerbie, Moffat, Carstairs, Carluke, Wishaw, Motherwell, 
and Glasgow, ran thence along the right bank of the Clyde, and 
terminated at the wall of Antoninus near Old Kilpatrick. From 
Carstairs a branch road diverged into Ayrshire to the Camp at 
Loudon Hill ; and from Carluke another led to the northern wall 
at Castlecary. Another road leading from Glasgow to the west 
passed Langside and Rosshill, and entered Paisley by way of 

At important points on or near these military roads, forts were 
erected, and outlook stations were planted on prominent elevations 
that commanded a view of the surrounding country. Such a fort 
or encampment was erected at Paisley on the high ground of Oak- 
shawhead, with out-works extending to the river Cart on the east, 
and to Castlehead and Woodside on the south and west. Indeed, our 

^ Renfrew was originally called Strathgryfe, and was included in Strathclyde. 
It was afterwards designated the Barony of Renfrew, and in the reign of 
Robert III. it was erected into a shire in 1404. 



earlier writers identified this camp as the Vanduara of Ptolemy. 
Chalmers's statement runs thus :— " No one has ever denied to 
Paisley the honour of a Roman station at Vanduara, a town of the 
Damnii. The British name of the Damnian town seems obviously 
to have been derived from the vicinity of the White Cart, to which 
the station extended ; Wendur signifying, in the British language, 
the white water, and this Celtic appellation was easily Latinised by 
the Romans into Vanduara" (Chalmers's Caledonia, vol. i. p. 156). 
Sir R. Sibbald, also, quoting from the manuscript of Principal Dunlop 
of the University of Glasgow, who wrote a description of the Shire 
of Renfrew about the middle of the seventeenth century, says, — "At 
Paisley there is a large Roman Camp to be seen. The Prjetorium'^ 
or inmost part of the camp is on the west end of the rising ground 
or little hill called Oakshawhead, on the soutli-east descent of which 
stands the town of Paisley. The Prcetorium^ is not very large, but 
hath been well fortified with three fausces and dykes of earth, which 
must have been large, when to this day their vestiges are so great 
that men on horseback will not see over them. The camp itself hath 
been great and large, it comprehending the whole hill. There are 
vestiges on the north side of the fausces and dyke, whereby it appears 
that the camp reached the river Cart. On the north side the dyke 
goeth alongst the foot of the hill, and if we allow it to have gone 
so far on the other side, it hath enclosed all the space of ground 
on which the town of Paisley stands, and it may be judged to be 
about a mile in compass. Its situation was both strange and 
pleasant, overlooking the whole country." Almost the same account 
is given by Crawfurd in his History of Renfrewshire, p. 5, but his 
references to Sibbald and Principal Dunlop show that it was obtained 
from the same sources. 

In a more extended form, Stuart in his Caledonia Romana, p. 18, 
says, referring to Paisley, — "The authority cannot well be disputed 
which places on its site the Vanduara of Ptolemy's map.- The 
somewhat extensive remains of ancient military works, which in one 
quarter almost encircled the town, and in another crowned the hill 
on which the entire Paisley of the seventeenth century stood, had early 
attracted the attention of the curious, and imparted a sort of classic 
interest to a spot already rendered famous by the royal and the 
noble. In modern times the area of the Roman citadel was turned 
into a bowling green, which the ancient ramparts partly served to 
enclose ; but with the extension of the town almost every other 
vestige of its defences has disappeared. Besides the ramparts on 
the rising ground at Oakshawhead which formed the citadel of the 
station, the vestiges of two other encampments of a similar de- 
scription exist at Paisley. The one is situated on the west, the other 

^ On this site now stands the John Neilson Educational Institution. 

^Claudius Ptolemy, a famous geographer, astronomer, and mathematician of 
antiquity, was born at Pelusium in Egypt, about the year 70, and flourished in 
the reigns of Adrian and Marcus Antoninus. — Watt's Bibliotheca Britannica. 


on the south. Placed at ahnost equi-distance from each other, the 
three formed the sahent points of an equilateral triangle, from one 
or other of which the various districts around might be kept in 

One of the highways leading into the town is called Causeyside, 
a name which Blean's map of 1654 gives to a village outside of 
Paisley on that same highway ; this name it may have got from its 
being built near the paved Roman road already mentioned. 

When Pennant visited Paisley in 1774, these Roman remains 
had almost entirely disappeared. His statement is — " The vestiges 
of the Roman Camp at Paisley are almost annihilated. Of the 
outer works mentioned by Camden there are no traces except one ; 
for at Castlehead are still a few marks, but nothing entire " 
( Peiinanf s Tours in Scotland, vol. ii. p. 172). 

When the Roman station was planted on Oakshawhead, there 
was most probably a native town or village, nestled in the skirts of 
the woods, — on the lower ground near the banks of the river. That 
its situation was not only sheltered and convenient, but was pos- 
sessed of many attractions and advantages, may be accepted from 
the fact that many centuries after, when the native tribes had been 
swept away, and Christianity was attesting its conquests and giving 
pledges for a much higher civilisation, this old Damnian village 
was chosen as the most suitable locality for one of the most 
honoured and richly endowed of religious houses — the Abbey of 
Paisley. The origin of that native village, even at the time of the 
Roman conquest of Valentia, may have been a mere tradition of a 
long forgotten past ; but in any case it must have been exceedingly 
humble. In all probability " a Damnian hunter was the father of 
Paisley's existence. His experienced eye saw at once the value of 
its site ; to the swelling height above, the tidal stream below, and 
the undulating woods around, there was awanting only the smoke 
of his rude hut to form a perfect whole in his esteem ; nor when he 
thus found an abiding place to his wish, were many hours required 
ere the fire blazed on his sheltered hearth, and his young barbarians 
were sheltered from the storm. As time rolled on, others of his 
clansmen might gather around the spot, new habitations would 
probably arise on the margin of the white river, and the ancient 
solitude of the forest be gradually invaded, until a populous colony 
became established by its side" (Caledonia Roniana, p. 142-145). 

During the Roman occupation, and probably long after it, the 
country around Paisley was extensively covered with woods, as far 
as the Clyde on the north, and south-eastward as far as Blackball 
and Fereneze,- where great forests existed as late as the thirteenth 
century. But under the Roman dominion a deep and lasting effect 

^ " There was an ancient Roman Camp at Paisley, distant about six miles, 
and of the site of the camp, this mount (at Camphill near Langside) commands 
a full view. It may perhaps have been an outpost belonging to the camp at 
Paisley." — Forsyth^ s Beauties of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 21. 

* Fereneze ^ fir ness, the promontory or upland of firs. 


was produced on the native population. The wild hunters of the 
woods gradually became tillers of the soil, and were taught the 
rudiments of trade and commerce ; and each new step in civilisa- 
tion would bring increased comfort to the villagers through the 
improvement and extension of the village. As the poet has well 
expressed it — 

" Learning and Rome alike in empire grew, 
And arts still flourished where the eagles flew." 

In proportion to the profit they had derived and the improvements 
they had made under the Roman government, would the natives 
regret the departure of the Imperial troops from the district about 
the year 409. During the previous ten years, the wild tribes north 
of Antonine's wall had made various incursions into Valentia to 
plunder and destroy the towns and villages that remained subject 
to Roman rule. To what extent the native settlement at Paisley 
suffered on these occasions we have no means of knowing ; but 
long before the close of the fifth century, every vestige of Roman 
rule had been blotted out of Valentia ; and the only testimony that 
it had ever existed in the district, was to be read in the broken, 
crumbling walls that bounded it ; in the dismantled forts and half 
obliterated camps that marked the centres of that rule, and in the 
highways and branch roads by which they were connected. 

It is rather remarkable that very few remains of Roman antiquity 
have been found either in Paisley or its neighbourhood. Mr. 
Charles Ross of Greenlaw, Paisley, in his work. The Traveller's 
Guide to Lochlomond, published in 1792, states that at the farm of 
Knock, on the road leading from Paisley to Renfrew, " six Roman 
urns were dug up in 1751." Mr. Ross does not state who found 
these urns ; but Mr. Semple, in his History of the Shire of Renfrew, 
p. 249, remarks that it was Mr. Ross himself " who dug up many 
Roman urns in the Knock hill." It is very unfortunate that both of 
these gentlemen have given us so little information regarding these 
urns, and what became of them. 

A small brass medal, commemorative of the Roman conquest of 
Judea in a.d. 70, was found in March, 1829, by a person who was 
delving a piece of ground near Stanely Castle, and shortly after 
that date, it was in the possession of Mr. William Wilson, Younger 
of Thornlie. 



HRISTIANITY is said to have been introduced into 
Strathclyde by missionaries from Rome about the 
beginning of the third century. About a century later, 
according to one legend, St. Mirin took up his abode in 
Paisley, and, by his holy example and instructions, 
guided the people into nobler ways of life, and spread throughout 
the district the knowledge of the Christian faith. According to 
another legend, this work of St. Mirin belongs to the sixth century ; 
but both accounts are so mixed up with fables as to be utterly un- 
worthy of credence ; and no authentic record of the life or work of 
this saint has ever been given. That he was adopted as the patron 
saint of Paisley is attested by charters and deeds of gift of a very 
early date ; but why he was adopted, when or where he was born, 
how he lived or laboured, or when he died, there is no authentic 
record to inform us, and even tradition is silent. 

The earlier legend of St. Mirin, which is founded on the narrative 
of Fordun, has been recounted with considerable effect by the Poet 
Motherwell. The following is his statement, slightly abridged : — 
" Meagre and unsatisfactory are the annals which time hath spared 
of this holy man ; his name alone may be said to live in history, for 
the praiseworthy actions of his long and well-spent life have long 
since sunk into silent forgetfulness, and the remotest tradition hath 
preserved no echo, however faint, of that fame which at one time, 
no doubt, filled the land with the odour of his sanctity. The king- 
dom of Strathclyde was the field of Saint Mirin's labours, and the 
destruction of that kingdom in the year 972, in the time of Kenneth 
III., and the flight of a great portion of its inhabitants to Wales 
about the year 872 may account for the non-existence of any native 
records regarding the saint. Mirinus was a monk of Greece, and in 
all probability he was a native of Patras in Achaia, where he first 
distinguished himself for his piety and love of letters, and where he 
resided until he left that city in company with Saint Regulus and 
other holy men ; yet still the place of his nativity must remain in 
doubt, and sorry am I to say, that of his parentage nothing is 
known, and of the era of his birth equally little. This is the more 
to be regretted, because the ancient document which furnishes the 
first notice of the venerable Confessor has been impugned on the 
score of its chronological accuracy by the acute historian who gave 
it to the public. The document referred to is part of the Register 
of the Priory of St. Andrews, written about the year 1140, and is 


entitled ' Historia Beati Reguli et fundacionis ecclesiae Sancti 
Andreae.' From it we learn that Mirinus was one of the holy men 
who, under the conduct of St. Regulus, imported the sacred reliques 
of the apostle St. Andrew into Scotland. In the year 345 an angel 
appeared to the holy men who guarded the reliques of the Saint, 
and ordered their bishop, St. Regulus, to visit the sarcophagus 
where these were hid, and abstract therefrom three fingers of the 
Saint's right hand, his arm from the elbow to the shoulder, his 
knee-pan, and one of his teeth. This St. Regulus did, and secreted 
the precious bones. An angel again appeared to St. Regulus, and 
commanded him to embark with his companions, taking with them 
the bones of the Saint, and to steer their course northward. St. 
Regulus obeyed the injunctions of the heavenly messenger, but as 
it is not our purpose to follow him in his wanderings by sea or 
wayfarings by land, which occupied the period of a year and half, 
we shall only mention that, after many perils, he at length arrived 
in Scotland ; and his arrival having been announced by the Apostle 
himself, he was kindly and hospitably entertained by King Hungus 
and his people. The grateful king likewise made large grants of 
land to the holy pilgrims, who founded a church at Chilrymont, 
and dedicated it to the Martyr of Patras, and therein they, with 
fitting solemnities, deposited his osseous remains — namely, the three 
fingers of his right hand, his arm from the elbow to the shoulder 
joint, the pan of his knee, and the only tooth which had escaped 
the keen search of the relique-hunting Constantine. According to 
Boece, Lesly, Holinshed, Spottiswood, M'Readie, and others, the 
memorable event above recited, occurred in the reign of Hogustus, 
and, as will be observed, these historians vary in the date they 
assign to this transaction, though all concur in placing it in the 
fourth century. When Regulus had established himself at St. 
Andrews, those of his followers most eminent for their piety and 
gift of speech, were sent on missions to divers parts of Scotland to 
preach the gospel. Saint Mirin was appointed to the West, and 
after long travail he arrived at the place where Paisley now stands. 
It had recently been abandoned by the Romans, and was then in 
the possession of a potent chief whose name hath not descended to 
posterity, but who, being much captivated by the winning manner 
of the Saint, allotted him a small field on the south side of the 
town, by the bank of a clear and pleasant rivulet, which field, 
though now built on, was known by the name of St. Mirin's croft, 
and which rivulet still bears the name of the devotee who lived on 
its banks. Here St. Mirin passed his latter days, distinguished for 
his innocency and piety, working many miracles, and enlightening 
the natives wonderfully by his conversation. It is reported, that 
of all those who flocked to his cell, none more frequently came than 
Merlin the pro])het, or showed more delight in his company. 
Merlin then lived betwixt Renfrew and Govan, on the banks of the 
Clyde, at that spot which is still called Merlin's ford ; but notwith- 
standing the singular pains which the Confessor took with the 


visionary, it is believed that he died wedded to all his superstitions 
and heathen idolatry. There were, however, four holy men who 
became his disciples, namely, Barchanus, Malcolmus, Petrus, and 
Alanus ; these throve wonderfully under his care, increasing in all 
manner of profitable and pious knowledge ; and after his death 
they erected the chapels of Kilbarchan, Kilmalcolm, Kilpeter (now 
Houstoun), and Kilallan, where they respectively abode, to the 
great comfort and commodity of the people of these parts. 'Ihough 
marriage, in these primitive days of the Church, was not forbidden 
to ecclesiastics, it does not appear that Mirinus ever united himself 
to a wife, nor does it appear that he much affected the society of 
Saintly Virgins, like St. Patrick and St. Cuthbert. It appears that 
he was a man of universal acquirements, and well skilled in sundry 
languages, — of rare eloquence, singular industry, and profound and 
various erudition. When he departed this life it is hard to say, and 
where his bones are deposited it would require a second Sir 
Thomas Browne to discover."' — Renfrciushire Characters and Scenery^ 
p. 42-48. 

The other and later legend representing St. Mirin as a Confessor 
of the sixth and seventh centuries, is recorded in the Breviary of 
Aberdeen, first printed in 1457. It has been gracefully stated by 
the late Cosmo Innes in his preface to the Chartulary of the Abbey 
of Paisley, which he edited for the Maitland Club in 1832. The 
legend is as follows : — " Saint Mirinus, Bishop and Confessor. This 
other peculiar patron saint of Paisley was educated, says the 
Scottish Breviary, under Saint Congallus in the Abbey of Bangour. 
Resisting the temptations of wealth and rank to which he was born, 
he devoted himself to a monastic life, and became Prior to the 
Monastery of Bangour, under Abbot Congallus. Nothing more of 
his life is added by the apocryphal chronicle, except the details of 
a few of his miracles, which are not in general distinguished by 
much originality. At one time a holy guest in the Abbey, requir- 
ing milk propter molliorcm sui coiporis qualitaietn, when there was 
none in the monastery, it was miraculously supplied by the inter- 
vention of Mirinus. On another occasion he restored, by his 
prayers, one of his brethren who had fallen down, from extreme 
labour and thirst, after he had lain lifeless for many hours. A third 
exertion of the Saint's miraculous powers is somewhat more singular. 
Travelling on a religious mission, he arrived at the castle of the 
King of Ireland, and prayed to be admitted. It happened that the 
Queen was then in the pains of childbirth, and on that or for other 
reasons the Saint was denied admittance and treated with dis- 
respect, upon which, departing in indignation, he entreated of 
heaven that the King might suffer the pains of labour instead of his 
wife. This fearful malediction was immediately fulfilled, so that 
for three days and nights the miserable monarch was heard by all 
the subjects of his kingdom to cry incessantly like a woman in 
travail, until at length, finding all remedies of physicians vain, he 
took means to appease the Saint, and was by him delivered from 


liis sufferings. We are not informed when Mirinus became a 
Bishop, nor even at what time he Uved, but the venerable Breviary 
states that, full of miracles and sanctity, he fell asleep in the Lord 
at Paisley, and the Church there was dedicated to his honour.'' 

Although these legends are quite unworthy of credence, there 
are many and weighty reasons for believing that such a holy 
man, in long past times, lived and laboured and died in the 
neighbourhood of Paisley. The various charters, relative to the 
founding of the Monastery by Walter the High Steward of Scotland 
and his successors, invariably mention St. ISIirin as one of the 
notable Saints in whose honour the house was established. There 
are, besides, several places in Paisley that have certainly been 
named after its patron saint ; but it does not follow that they were 
so named during his lifetime, or even shortly after his death. St. 
Mirin's Burn is not referred to either in the charter of James IV., 
dated 1488, or in that of Abbot George Schaw, dated 1490 ; but in 
the latter there is reference to " the rivulet of Espedair." This, 
however, is easily accounted for. The Espedair burn formed part 
of the eastern boundary of the new Burgh, created by these charters; 
whereas St. Mirin's Burn formed no boundary line, and its whole 
course lay within the Burgh. 

The street leading from the Cross to St. Mirin's Burn was first 
called St. Mirin's Vennel, and it is so named in a deed of 1505 
connected with the conveyance of property situated in that street. 
It was afterwards known as St. Mirin's Wynd, Burngait, AVatergait, 
Water Wynd, and St. Mirin's Street. 

In the charter by which James IV., advised no doubt by Abbot 
George Schaw, erected Paisley into a Burgh, he gives as his reason 
for this act of kindness, " the singular respect we have for the 
glorious Confessor Saint Mirin and our Monastery at Paisley, 
founded by our illustrious progenitors." And in the same charter 
he grants " to the Provost, bailies, burgesses, and community of 
Paisley to have two public fairs yearly — one, namely, on the day of 
St. Mirin, and the other on the day of St. Marnock.'' St. Mirin's 
Fair was held on 15th September, St. Marnock's on 25th October. 

Although there is no authentic record of the life or work of this 
famous saint, we know that his tomb existed at the close of the 
fifteenth century, and that the highest honours of the Romish 
Church were then conferred upon it. By a charter dated 21st May, 
1491, Abbot George Schaw conveyed to the Town Council "all 
and whole that house commonly called the heyt house,'' ^ burdened 

^ The building thus granted to the Bailies and Council appears to have been 
the Court-house belonging to the Convent, but it was no longer required by the 
Abbot and Monks after the village had, in the previous year, been created a 
Burgh, ^\ith BaiHes and Councillors to conduct its civil and criminal affairs. It 
was situated at the north-west corner of Moss Street and High Street, and, 
having undergone at different periods considerable alterations, it contained the 
Council Chambers, Cleric's Chamber, and Tolbooth of the Burgh till 1S21, when 
all these were removed to the present County Buildings. 


with " four pennies as Burgess farm, and nine shillings and eight 
pennies Scots at ^M■litsunday and Martinmas, in name of annual 
feu-farm, and for sustaining the lights of the altar of St. Mirin and 
the tomb of the Saint, declaring that it shall not be competent to 
the said Bailies to sell any part of the said tenement excepting to 
their own heirs and successors, Avithout special leave of the Abbot, 
under certification of nullity of the charter." The original charter 
is in the charter chest of the Town Council. 

The reference in this charter to the tomb of St. Mirin is^^of con- 
siderable importance. No doubt the tomb was situated within the 
Abbey, and was reverently tended till the time of the Reformation ; 
but just because it was an object of such reverence, and the tomb 
of the patron saint, it no doubt fell under the special ban of the 
infuriated reformers, and, along with the eight altars which then 
adorned that noble building, it was by them completely demolished. 
One of these altars, we know, was dedicated to St. Mirin. And it 
is quite possible that the first monks who came to settle on the 
banks of the Cart selected as the site of their Monastery the ground 
which, to them, was consecrated by the dust of the great and good 
Confessor ; and centuries after, when the foundations of the stately 
Abbey came to be marked off, their lines would be so drawn as to 
surround the tomb of the patron saint, which, after the noble fabric 
was completed, was to be honoured by many a way-worn pilgrim as 
the shrine of St. Mirin. Or it may have been that, in order to 
increase the dignity and the sanctity of the building, the ashes of 
this holy man were transferred from their original resting place to 
the place of honour within the Abbey, and a splendid shrine was 
erected to commemorate his name. Be that as it may, although 
we now know nothing regarding the date of its erection, the form 
of its construction, or even the position it occupied, we do know 
that the tomb of St. Mirin existed within the Abbey of Paisley, that 
perpetual lights burned before it till the eve of the Reformation, 
and that not the slightest traces of it have survived that era. 

That portion of the Abbey buildings commonly known as the 
Sounding Aisle, but sometimes called St. Mirin's Aisle, was origin- 
ally dedicated in honour of this saint and of Saint Columba. The 
original charter of its foundation, dated 15th July, 1499, 'which is 
in the town's charter chest, states that James Crawfurd of Kilwynnet, 
and burgess of Paisley, and his wife Elizabeth, " animated with a 
divine charity, and for the salvation of their souls, founded a chapel 
in the Parish Church of Paisley, in honour of Saints Mirin and 
Columba, confessors." A description of this chapel will be given 

The seal used by the Abbot and Monks of Paisley also con> 
memorated the greatness of their patron saint. On one of its sides 
St. Mirin is represented in the robes of a bishop, and around his 
figure is the following supplication — " O Mirin ! pray to Christ for 
the souls of thy servants." But his fame was not confined to 
Paisley; for we find his name connected with places and objects in 


various parts of Scotland; ist, Inchmurrin, an island in Loch- 
lomond ; 2nd, Inchmaryne, one of the manors of the Lennox 
family. The latter instance is recorded in a charter given by 
Isabella, Countess of Lennox, granting the lands of Kilmaronock 
to the preaching Friars of Glasgow ; it is dated at " our manor of 
Inchmaryne, i8th May, 145 1" ( Irving' s History of Dumbartonshire, 
p. 374). We know also that the Lennox family made extensive 
grants to the Monastery of Paisley, and this they may have been 
induced to do because some of their possessions bore the name of 
its patron saint ; 3rd, Kilmaronock, on the shore of Lochlomond, 
according to one derivation, means the cell or church of St. Mirin 
( Irving s History of Dumbartonshire, p. 365); 4th, near Woodend, 
in the parish of Kilsyth, there is a well called St. Mirin's Well 
(Stat. Act. of Scot., vol. 8, p. 147) ; 5th, in the parish of Kelton, in 
Kirkcudbrightshire, there is an old neglected churchyard with the 
remains of an ancient chapel called Kirkmirren (Stat. Act. of Scot., 
vol. 4, p. 171); and 6th, in the parish of Coylton, in Ayrshire, is a 
hill called Knock Mirren. 

In various instances St. Mirin is called Confessor \ and this 
occurs most frequently in the older records. The charter granted 
by Robert III. in 1396 to the Abbot and Monks of Paisley, which 
is in the Town's charter chest, runs thus — " to God and the blessed 
Virgin Mary, and James the Apostle, and Saint Mirin the Confessor."' 
Also, in a charter granted by James II., in 145 1, he is named 
" Saint jSIirin the Confessor ; " and the same style is adopted in 
other charters and deeds of uift. 



HE old Celtic or Monastic Church of Scotland came to 
an end partly through internal decay and partly by 
external change. The internal decay began with the 
introduction of the lay element, which gradually en- 
croached upon the ecclesiastic, and latterly completely 
absorbed it. This process was greatly aided and extended by the 
devastation wrought during the Danish invasions, which completely 
disorganised the Church by reducing its establishment and trans- 
ferring its possessions into the hands of laymen. The external 
change began by the introduction of the religious orders of the 
Church of Rome, and was carried on by the foundation of great 
Monasteries as centres of the Romish power, whereby the decaying 
Culdee Church was entirely crushed or absorbed. The period 
when this change was mainly effected was during the reigns of 
Alexander I. and David I. ; for it was during this period that the 
great and wealthy ecclesiastic establishments of Scotland were 
founded and endowed. 

The donations of Alexander I. to the monastic institutions were 
very considerable. He gave extensive grants of land to the church 
of St. Andrews and the Monastery of Dunfermline. In 1123 he 
built and endowed a monastery on Inchcolm, an island in the Firth 
of Forth ; and inn 24, he established at Scone a colony of monks 
whom he brought from England. 

David I., however, was the most munificent in founding and 
endowing monastic buildings. In 11 27 he converted the ancient 
Monastery of Culdees, at Dunkeld, into a Cathedral church, and 
founded the Bishoprics of Ross, Dunfermline, and Brechin. About 
the same time he translated the see of Mortlach to Old Aberdeen, 
and increased its revenues. In 11 28 he founded an abbey of 
Canons at Holyrood, Edinburgh; in 1136, an abbey of the Cister- 
tian order at Melrose ; in 1140, an abbey of the Cistertian order at 
Newbattle upon the South Esk, in Lothian; in 1147, a priory at 
Lesmahagow, and an abbey of Canons at Cambuskenneth ; in 
1 147, an abbey of Cistertians at Kinloss, in Moray; in 11 50, an 
abbey of Praemonstrates at Dryburgh, near the junction of the 
Tweed and Leader ; and an abbey of Canons-regular at Jedburgh. 

He also brought Knights Templars and Knights of St. John of 
Jerusalem into Scotland, giving to the former a residence at Temple 
upon the South Esk, in Lothian, and to the latter a house at 
Torphichen, in the county of Linlithgow. In addition to all these, 


he founded and endowed a convent of nuns at Berwick-upon- 
Tweed ; he converted the Monastery of DunfermUne into an abbey, 
and annexed to it the priory of Urquhart, in Moray. 

This seeming extravagance of David I., in bestowing so much 
weahh upon ecclesiastical establishments, caused his successor, 
James I., to state that " he was a sair Sanct for the Croun." But 
David I. was a wise as well as a pious monarch ; and in founding 
those great monastic houses, he had ends to serve besides those of 
the Church and of religion. He no doubt intended they should 
become great centres of social and political influence, and should 
be a sure and powerful agency for promoting the civilisation and 
the welfare of his people. 

Walter the High Steward of Scotland was undoubtedly influenced 
by similar motives when he founded and endowed the Monastery 
of Paisley. In several charters of the reign of David L, he is 
designated Walter the son of Alan ; and as owning the burgh lands 
of Renfrew, along with the lands of Paisley and other extensive 
possessions. David I. conferred on him the important, oflice of 
High Steward of Scotland ; and his successor, Malcolm IV., con- 
flrmed this appointment, and made the oflfice hereditary. At that 
time Walter assumed the surname of Stewart,^ and this was con- 
tinued by his descendants. While the High Steward resided at the 
castle on his lands at Renfrew, he made many gifts to the Abbeys 
of Melrose, Kelso, Dunfermline, and Kinloss, but his munificence 
in founding and endowing the Monastery of Paisley was his great 
achievement. The foundation charter, as recorded in the Abbey 
chartulary, was signed at Fotheringay Castle,- in Northamptonshire; 
and although without a date, is believed to have been granted in 
1 163. The following is a copy of this important document : — 

" Know all present and to come that I, Walter, son of Alan, Steward of the 
King of Scotland, for the soul of King David, of King Henry, and of Earl 
Henry, and for the souls of all of my parents and benefactors, and for the salva- 
tion of the body and soul of King Malcolm and of myself, to the honour of God 
and by the power of his grace, shall establish a certain house of devotion on my 
lands of Paisley, according to the order of the brethren of Wenlock, that is 
according to the order of the monks of Clugny,^ with the universal consent and 
assent of the Priory of Wenlock. And for forming that house I have received 

^ This name has been written in three different ways — Stewart, Steuart, and 
Stuart. The last was used by Queen Mary, in France ; the French alphabet 
having no letter "w. " 

- The spot where, four hundred and twenty-four years after, the beautiful but 
unfortunate (^ueen Mary, heiress to his house, was beheaded by order of her 
cousin, Queen Elizabeth. 

•' They were so called, as they first came from the Abbacy of Cluny in Bur- 
gundy, four leagues from Ma^on, in France, to the Priory of Wenlock in Shrop- 
shire, and the patron saint was Milburga, grand-daughter of Penda, Saxon King 
of Mercia. 


thirteen brethren from the house of Wenlock ; and who shall be preferred from 
among these thirteen to the rule of the foresaid house, shall be chosen through 
me and through my appointment ; and if it shall happen that the prior is deposed 
from his priorate, either from death or by criminally betraying his trust, he shall 
be deposed by me and by my appointment ; and he who shall succeed him in 
the priorate shall be chosen through me and through my appointment, and that 
from among the brethren of the house which I shall found, if there can be got 
therein a person of prudence and suitable for receiving such a dignity ; but if 
not, I shall choose for governing the house which I shall establish whoever I 
will from among the brethren of the said house of Wenlock, the prior himself 
excepted ; so as that house shall not be dependent in any way upon the house of 
Wenlock, except only as to recognition of this order. Which privileges for the 
use of that house which I shall found, the prior and convent of Wenlock shall 
obtain for me from the Abbot of the Monks of Clugny, and from the Prior of La 
Charitie, who shall confirm these privileges to religion in Paisley by their 
charters ; and for obtaining these privileges I shall give to the foresaid house of 
Wenlock, in perpetual alms, one full measure of land in my Burgh of Renfrew, 
and one fishing net for taking salmon in my waters, and six nets for catching 
herrings, and one boat. And these privileges shall be preserved uninjured be- 
tween me and the brethren of Wenlock and others of the Clugniac order, and 
after my decease, between my heirs and the brethren foresaid present and to 
come. Before these witnesses, — Ingelram, chancellor of the King of Scotland ; 
the Abbot of Rievall, by name Ailred ; Simon, cellarer of Warden ; Richard, 
chaplain of the King of Scotland ; Simon, brother of Ingelram the chancellor ; 
Robert of Costentin ; Simon, brother of Walter the son of Alan. At 
Fotheringay. " 

A few years afterwards, Walter the High Steward also granted a 
charter for endowment of the Monastery in the following terms : — 


" Gift of the Churches of Ennerwic and Legerwode and the carucate of 
Hastinden, and all the churches in Stragrif. " 
" Walter the son of Alan, Steward of the King of Scotland, to all the sons of 
the Holy Mother Church greeting. Know that I have given and conceded, and 
by this charter have confirmed to God and Holy Mary, and to the church of 
Saint James,! and Saint Mirin,^ and Saint Milburga,^of Passelet, and to the Prior 
and Monks of that place, serving God according to the order of Clugny, for the 
souls of King David, Earl Henry, and of my departed ancestors ; and for the salva- 
tion of my Lord King William, and David, his brother, and of myself and my wife, 
and my heirs in perpetual charity, and free from all temporal servitude, the church 
of Ennyrwic (Innerwick, Haddingtonshire), with all its belongings, and the 
whole mill, except a mark of silver in it which I have given to Radulph of Kent, 
and a carucate* of land between the sea and the church of Ennyrwic assigned to 

^ St. James was the patron saint of the Stewarts. ^ St. Mirin was the patron 
saint of Paisley. ^ St. Milburga was the patron saint of Wenloc. 

•* A carucate is the quantity of land which a pair of horses could fairly work 
in one year. 


them for their support ; and the church of Legerdwode (Berwickshire) with all 
its belongings, and the carucate of land in Hastenden (Hassenden, Roxburgh- 
shire) which Walter the chaplain held by these marches by which he held it ; and 
the church of Ketkert (Cathcart) with all its belongings ; and all the churches of 
Stragrif (Strath Gryfe) with all their belongings, except the church of Inchinnan. 
Besides this I give, and by this charter confirm, to them a tenth j^ienny of all the 
rents of my whole land, excepting Kyle. I Avish and command that the said 
Monks should hold and possess the aforesaid as quietly, freely, and peacefully as 
any Abbey in the Kingdom of Scotland holds and possesses the charities on it. 
In presence of these witnesses : Richard, Bish. of Glasgow ; Robert, Abbot of 
Jedburgh ; Master Mark Saloman, deacon ; Alan, my son ; Baldwin de Bignes ; 
Robert de Montgumbri ; Robert de Costentin ; Robert the son of Fulbert ; 
Ewan the son of Dovenald, and many others. " 

In 1 172, these charters were confirmed by a bull of Pope 
Alexander III. ; but it is probable that the Monastery was not 
erected, or at least was not fit for the reception of the monks, till 
some years later ; for when its founder retired from active hfe and 
assumed the monastic habit, he entered the Abbey of Melrose, 
spent there his latter days, and died there in 11 7 7. His remains, 
however, were deposited within the Monastery at Paisley, which his 
munificence had so shortly before both founded and endowed. 



ALTER the High Steward of Scotland, founder of the 
Convent of Paisley, and his descendants, who held the 
same office, took an active and patriotic interest in the 
affairs of the Scottish nation ; and when Robert, the 
seventh Steward, succeeded to the crown in 137 1, that 
royal line of Stuarts began which is now represented in the gracious 
person of Queen Victoria. From their close connection with 
Paisley Abbey, it will be interesting to trace their history till they 
became a royal dynasty. Some historians state that the High 
Stewards of Scotland are descended from Banquo, thane of Loch- 
aber; while others endeavour to show that Walter was of a Norman 
family, which came into Scotland after the Norman conquest, and 
that his father was Alan, who called himself the son of Flaud, and 
owned the barony of Oswestry, in Shropshire, which had been given 
to him by William the Conqueror. We incline, however, to the 
opinion of Lord Hailes on this point, — that " in the reign of King 
David L, before the middle of the twelfth century, the family of 
Stuarts was opulent and powerful. It may therefore have subsisted 
for many ages previous to that time, but when and what was its 
commencement, we cannot determine " ( Antials of Scotland, vol. i., 
p. 458). The historians who hold the opinion that Walter was of 
Norman descent, state that he came to Scotland with King David I. 
about forty years before the founding of Paisley Monastery. We can- 
not perceive how he could have acquired, within that short period, 
so much wealth as to be able to endow Paisley Monastery, besides 
bestowing considerable grants on several other monastic institutions. 
Walter, the founder of the Convent of Paisley, as already stated, 
assumed the monastic habit, and passed his latter days in the Abbey 
of Melrose, where he died in 1177.^ His name appears as witness 
to many charters, as Walterius filius Alani ; for instance, it appears 
in a charter by David I. in favour of the church of Glasgow, dated 
at Cadzow, and in other two charters granted by King David to St. 
Mungo's church at Glasgow. In several charters in which his name 
appears as a witness, and especially in two that were granted by 
Malcolm IV., which are now in the Scotch College at Paris, he is 
designated Dapifer. (Master of the King's household). He was 
interred in the church of his foundation at Paisley, which continued 

^Chronic: de Melross, 1 177, obiit Walteriis Filius Alani, Dapifer Regis 
Scotire, qui fundavit Pasleto, cujus beata anima vivit in Gloria. 


to be the burying place of the Stuarts till they became kings of 

Alan, son and heir of Walter, succeeded his father as second 
High Steward of Scotland, and died in 1204. (Fordun's MS.) He 
was buried before the high altar at Paisley, and was succeeded in 
office by his son, Walter. 

This Walter (third Steward), son of Alan, was appointed to the 
high office of Justiciary of Scotland in 1230 ; and after the death of 
King Alexander H.'s first Queen, on the 4th March, 1239, he was 
sent to France as ambassador, and there successfully negotiated the 
marriage of the Scottish King to Mary, daughter of Ingelram, Lord 
of Coucy. His numerous and valuable bequests to the Convent 
at Paisley, founded by his grandfather, will afterwards be described. 
He died in 1246, leaving several sons, and was buried in the abbey 
( Chalmers s Caledonia, vol. ii., p. 779). 

Alexander, eldest son of the preceding Walter, succeeded his 
father as fourth High Steward of Scotland, and deservedly stood in 
great favour with King Alexander HI. In 1255 he was one of his 
counsellors, and was also appointed one of the regents of the king- 
dom ( Dairy mples Annals, vol. i., p. 168). He was likewise a 
valiant soldier, and at the battle of Largs, on 2nd October, 1263, he 
commanded the Scottish army, and completely routed the invading 
forces led by Haco, King of Norway. Li the same year Alexander 
HL granted to him the barony of Garlies in the Stewartry of Kirk- 
cudbright, probably as a reward for his services. It was this High 
Steward who invaded and subjected the Isle of Man, and annexed 
it to the crown of Scotland. He died in 1283, in the 69th year of 
his age, and was buried at Paisley, within the foundation of his 
ancestor, to which he himself had been a noted benefactor. 

James succeeded his father, Alexander, as fifth High Steward of 
Scotland, and at the death of Alexander III. in 1286, he was ap- 
pointed one of the six regents during the infancy of Queen Margaret, 
the grand-daughter of that monarch. Unfortunately, this young 
Queen died at Orkney in 1290, when on her way to Scotland, and 
James, the High Steward, was retained as one of the governors of 
the kingdom. In 1291 he was one of the auditors on the part of 
Robert the Bruce in presence of I^dward King of England ; and in 
1297 he was associated with Sir William Wallace in the struggles 
against English supremacy in Scotland. In 1302 he was one of 
the seven ambassadors sent to France to seek assistance from King 
Philip ; and in 1309 he was one of the Scottish nobles who signed 
the spirited notice to that monarch recognising Robert Bruce's right 
to the crown. He died on i6th July, 1309, in the sixty-sixth year 
of his age, and was buried at Paisley. His son and heir, Walter, 
succeeded him as High Steward (History of the Stezcarts, by 
Andrew Stewart, p. 16). 

This Walter, the sixth High Steward, was born in 1293, and was 
therefore only twenty-one years of age when the battle of Bannock- 
burn was fought. On that great day {24th June, 13 14.) the Scottish 


forces were formed into four divisions, and Bruce appointed the 
third one to be commanded by Walter the High Steward along with 
Sir James Douglas. In 13 15 Bruce gave his daughter, Marjory, in 
marriage to this High Steward ; but in the following year she died 
and left one son, who afterwards became King of Scotland. This 
death and birth on 2nd March, 13 16, are said to have occured in a 
very extraordinary manner. While Marjory Bruce was hunting on 
the lands of Knock, half-way between Paisley and Renfrew, she 
was thrown from her horse and killed. Being far advanced in 
pregnancy at the time, she was subjected to the Caesarean operation 
and the life of the child was saved ; but through misadventure one 
of his eyes was injured by the instrument of the operator. From 
this cause the future King Robert H. was called King Blear-eye or 
Blearie. Another account is that there were disturbances in the 
country at that time, and while Princess Marjory rode from Renfrew 
towards Paisley, intending to take refuge in the convent there, she 
was thrown from her horse and died soon afterwards. In con- 
firmation of the tradition — for it is only a tradition — it is well known 
that an octagonal stone, ten feet high, but without any inscription, 
was erected on the spot where Lady Marjory was killed. This stone 
pillar, called " Queen Blearie's cross (although she never was a 
queen), remained there till the middle of last century, when it was 
taken down and used, it is alleged, in the building of an adjoining 
farm steading. Marjory Bruce was buried at Paisley, and a tomb 
was erected there to her memory, which will be referred to more 
fully hereafter.^ 

At a parliament held at Scone, on 3rd December, 13 18, it was 
enacted in the presence of King Robert the Bruce, that in the event 
of his death without male issue, Robert, the son of Marjory Bruce 
and Walter the High Steward, should succeed to the throne. 

This Walter was one of the leaders of the Scottish army that 
besieged and captured Berwick in 13 18 ( Craivfiird' s History of 
the Stewarts, p. 14) ; and in various other engagements he displayed 
the highest skill and valour. He died in 1326, aged thirty-three 
years, and was succeeded by his son, Robert. 

King Robert the Bruce died on 7th June, 1329, and the right of 

^ In November, 1869, when cligging some foundations of a building, near the 
mound where Queen Blearie met her death, twelve gold nobles of the reign of 
Edward III. of England were found. Probably they had been hid there during 
troublous times. 1 wo of them were in beautiful condition ; and one of the best 
had on the obverse the legend, — Edward . Dei . Gratia . Rex . Angl . Z . Franc . 
D.Hyb. The other figure is the king armed and crowned, standing in a 
ship that has a streamer at the mast head, with a St. George's cross ; in his right 
hand a sword, and in his left a spade shield, bearing the arms of England and 
France quartered. On the reverse there is the legend, — Ich. Aotem . Francieur. 
P . Medium . Illorvm . Iba ., with a cross in a tressure of eight arches with Jtcmr 
de lis and the lion of England under a crown. In the centre is the letter E. As 
no coin of a later date was among them, they had probably been hid there during 
the reign of Edward III. (1327-1377) or of Richard II. The first gold coinage 
in England was struck in the reign of Edward III. 



succession devolved upon his son, who was then only six years of 
age. During the regency of the young king, Scotland was frequently 
and seriously engaged in unsuccessful wars with England, but the 
crowning defeat was at the battle of Halidon hill. The second divi- 
sion of the Scottish army, according to Stewarfs History of the 
Stewarts, was on that day led by Robert, the High Steward of Scot- 
land, then only sixteen years of age. After this disaster the young 
king was taken to France for safety, and the High Steward concealed 
himself in the island of Bute. At Newcastle on Tyne, in 1334, Baliol, 
by a solemn instrument, surrendered a great part of the Scottish king- 
dom to Edward IH., and soon after the whole estates of Robert, 
the High Steward, were conferred upon David Hastings, the Duke 
of Athole. In the same year, the High Steward, assisted by others, 
secured many of the strongholds in the kingdom, and the Scots 
acknowledged him and John, Earl of Moray, as Regents under 
King David. Many severe contests with the English followed, and 
Robert became commander of the Scottish forces on the death of 
Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell. He captured the garrisons of 
Perth and Stirling castles ; and after dislodging the enemy from all 
the strongholds north of the Firth of Forth, he made a progress 
through Scotland, administering justice, redressing grievances, and 
establishing good order. In 1341 David II. returned from his exile 
in France. At the battle of Neville's Cross, near Durham, on 17th 
October, 1346, the centre division was commanded by King David 
II., and the left by Robert the Steward and the Earl of March. 
The Scotch army was vanquished, and the king was made prisoner 
and taken to the Tower of London. Robert the Steward most 
disinterestedly exerted himself to recover his sovereign from capti- 
vity, but did not succeed till a period of eleven years had elapsed. 
The Scotch representatives, at Newcastle, in July, 1354, agreed to 
pay a ransom of 100,000 pounds, equivalent to the sum of 12,000 
pounds of modern money, to be paid in yearly instalments of ;^4ooo, 
and gave twenty young men of quality as hostages, till the money 
should be paid (Tyt/er's History of Scotland). Among these was 
the eldest son of the Steward. King David II. died in the Castle 
of P^dinburgh, on 22nd February, 1370, in the forty-seventh year of 
his age, and the forty-second of his reign. Upon his death, the 
Steward of Scotland was, in accordance with the settlement of 
Robert the Bruce and several Acts of Parliament, declared heir 
to the crown of Scotland. His title of King Robert II. was 
acknowledged in the most solemn and most cordial manner, at 
his coronation at Scone, on 26th March, 137 1. It was at the same 
time declared that his eldest son, John, if he survived his father, 
should become King of Scotland. Thus the line of hereditary High 
Stewards of Scotland became that famous Stewart line of Scottish 
kings which, within three centuries, claimed the proud distinction 
of sovereignty over England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. This 
came about in 1390, when Robert II. died, and his son, John, 
was crowned king under the more auspicious title of Robert III. 



-^^IHE thirteen monks referred to in Walter Fitz Alan's 
|^l|)| charter, took up their abode at first in Renfi-ew. Thus 
the list of grants in the first foundation charter includes 
" the land where the monks first dwelt." But it is not 
exactly known when the building of the convent at 
Paisley was commenced, nor when it was completed, nor at what 
period the monks began to occupy it. The first prior, however, 
was named 


His name is referred to at page 408 of the printed register or 
chartulary of the Abbey, under date nth April, 1172, in a deed 
of confirmation by Pope Alexander HI., regarding churches and 
lands. The second and last prior was 


This we learn from the following incident in the early history of the 
Abbey. Robert Croc, one of the vassals of the first Stuart, founded 
a hospital for infirm men, about 1180, at the place where he lived, 
to which he had given the name of Crocs-ton or Croocs-town ; after- 
wards called Cruickston. This hospital he endowed ; then he built 
a chapel, and endowed the chaplaincy for the performance of divine 
service for behoof of those in the hospital. Prior Roger and monks 
granted a license to Robert Croc and Henry de Nes, friends of the 
convent, to have private chapels for the celebration of divine service; 
but the oblations received at these chapels were to be delivered to 
the mother church of Paisley (Abbey Chartulary, p. 77, 78). 

" Nigellus, Abbas de Kilwinning, is witness to a charter of Walter 
the second Steward of Scotland, dated 12 10, granting to Paisley his 
lands lying betwixt Hauld Patrick and Espadare. The same is 
witness to a charter Herberti Decani et Capituli Glasgow, con- 
firming to Passelet several churches granted thereto by Florentius 
Electus, Glasgow " (Ayr and IVig/on ArchcEological Collections, 
vol. i., p. 117). 

" The Abbot of Kilwinning being appointed judge by the Pope of 
the debate betwixt Paisley and Malmor Hobelau, perpetual Vicar 
of Kyllinan, sub-delegats Richard de Lanark subdecanus Ecclesis, 
Glasgow, and Robertus de Edinburgh Ejusdem Ecclesi?e canonicus, 
who adjudg'd to Paisley numatam Terrae de Kylma apud Ken- 
lochgilp ; Et Capellam Beatse Mariae in eadam terra 1268. Which 


made the subject of their contestations" (Ayr and IVigton Archce- 
logical Collections, vol. i., p. xi8). 

Prior Roger and the monks, by a charter granted between 1223 
and 1238, resigned to the second Waher the island near the town 
of Renfrew, afterwards called the " King's Inch " ; and in tlie early- 
part of the thirteenth century, the chapter of Glasgow acquired the 
church of Daliel as a common church, from the Abbey of Paisley 
(Sketches of Early Scotch History, by Cosmo Innes, p. 39). 

The lands lying on both sides of St. Mirin's Burn, and extending 
from Causeyside to Lady Lane, known at present as the Priors- 
croft, were no doubt cultivated under the direction of the priors, 
and, being the croft land connected with the monastery, received 
their special attention. And whether through their influence or 
otherwise, certainly during the period of their government, many 
important and valuable grants were made to their mstitution.^ Gifts 
were received from Eschina, the wife of Walter the founder ; from 
Alan, the son of Walter ; from Walter the third Steward ; from 
Walter Hose ; from Peter, the son of Fulbert ; from William de 
Hurtford, and other vassals of the Stewards ; from King William ; 
from King Henry ; from the son of Anselm. And in Dumbarton- 
shire the priors and monks obtained extensive properties from 
Maldowen, Earl of Lennox, and his three brothers. Angelic, Havel, 
and Dufgal. The convent also acquired several churches, with 
some lands and revenues in Argyleshire, from the Lord of the Isles ; 
and from his wife Foma, the tenth of all their goods ; for which grants 
they obtained the privilege of being a brother and sister of the 
order. Dovenald, the son of Reginald, granted to the monks eight 
cows, and from every house on his lands one penny yearly. Angus 
the son of DOvenald granted to the convent half a merk of silver 
from his own house, and one penny from each house on his estate.- 
Angus also granted to the monks the church of Kilkeran in Kintyre. 
Duncan, the son of Ferchard, and Loemman, the son of Malcolm, 
granted the church of Kilfinan in Cowal ; also the numata of land 
of Kilmarie on Lochgilp, with St. Mary's Chapel on the same land; 
also three half numatas of land at Kilmun, with the fishings. 
Dufgal, the son of Fyfin, granted the church of Kilcolmonel in 
Knapdale, and the chapel of St. Columba, near his castle of 
Schepinche. Dovenald Macgilchrist of Tarbert granted the 
privilege of cutting all kinds of wood. 

^ It is unnecessary to describe these grants minutely here ; they are included 
in the complete list of the possessions of the Monastery in 1265, to be given 

* It Avas in imitation of the hearth tax called Peter's Pence, or Romfeoh, in 
Saxon England. — Cosmo Innes's Sketches of Early Scotch History, p. 172. 



HROUGH the influence of King Alexander II. with 
Pope Honorius III., the Monastery in 1220 was raised 
to the rank of an Abbacy, and the monks were author- 
ised to elect an abbot as their superior. 

William, i 225-1 272. 

William, whose name appears in the Abbey chartulary on thirteen 
different occasions, was the first abbot. He is witness in an agree- 
ment, dated 1225, with Hugh, son of Reginald, as to the lands of 
Auchenloss (Houston — that is, Hugh's town). In 1235 he is 
witness to another agreement, dated at Blackball, between the Earl 
of Lennox and Gilbert, the son of Samud, regarding the lands of 
Monachkeneran. Walter the third Steward resided at Blackball. 

The abbot was under the necessity of raising legal proceedings 
against Gilbert, son of Samuel of Renfrew, to recover the lands of 
Monachkeneran, belonging to the church of Kilpatrick, of which 
he had taken possession. The Abbot obtained a commission from 
the Pope to three persons, the Deans of Carrick and Cunningham, 
and the Master of the Schools of Ayr, to make enquiry into this 
matter. In 1233 the trial commenced, and the Papal Commission 
sat first at Irvine, and afterwards in the Parish Church at Ayr, to 
suit the convenience of the Commissioners. The Abbot and monks 
appeared for their interest, and led proof at great length to the 
effect that the lands of Monachkeneran belonged to the church of 
Kilpatrick, and that Gilbert should be ejected therefrom. Gilbert 
did not appear. At the conclusion of the trial, the Commissioners 
reported to the Bishop of Glasgow that the Abbot had satisfactorily 
proved his case, and they had adjudged to the convent the disputed 
land, and condemned Gilbert to pay ;^3o of expenses. They 
further enjoined the Bishop, to put their sentence nito execution, 
and compel obedience by Church censure. As Gilbert, however, 
paid no attention to the sentence, the Pope's delegates supplicated 
King Alexander II. to extend the secular arm against him, until the 
sentence was obeyed ; but with what success we do not know. 
Cosmo Innes says, regarding this case, " It is the earliest I know 
which consists of a definite and carefully recorded declaration, and 
of evidence given by a large number of witnesses, strictly confined 
to its proof with a relevancy worthy of a more advanced age " 
(Scotch Legal Antiquities, p. 221). 

38 history of paisley. 

Stephen, 1272-1296. 

Stephen succeeded William as Abbot about 1272 ; for a charter 
is granted him in that year by Thomas de Fulton and Matilda, his 
spouse, of their lands of Fulton. 

The following confirmation by Pope Clement IV. in 1265 is 
authentic, and describes so minutely the extensive and valuable 
possessions of the Monastery at that time, that, notwithstanding its 
great length, it cannot be omitted. The information it supplies is 
most important, and gives the best idea possible of the enormous 
wealth of this institution : — 

"Clemens Bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved sons, the 
Abbot of the Monastery of Paisley, and St. Mirin, Confessor of Paisley, 
and the brethren there, and in all time coming, following the Monastic life. 

" It is proper that the Apostolic protection be given to those choosing a 
religious life, lest, perchance, any indiscretion either draw them off from their 
purpose, or — which heaven forbid — impair the strength of their sacred vows. 
"Wherefore beloved sons in the Lord, we mercifully assent to your just demands, 
and secure the Monastery of St. James the Apostle and St. Mirin the Confessor 
of Paisley, in the diocese of Glasgow, in which you are vowed to divine obedience 
under the protection of St. Peter, and our own, and fortify this ordinance by the 
present writing. In the first place, we ordain that the Monastic order which, it 
is known, was instituted in that Monastery according to God, the rule of St. 
Benedict, and of the Cluniac brethren, be observed there inviolably in all time 
coming. Moreover, let whatever property and whatever goods the said Monast- 
ery may at present justly and canonically possess, or can in future acquire by 
the concession of Popes, the bounty of Kings or Princes, the oblation of the 
faithful, or in other just methods, by the favour of God, remain sure and inalien- 
able to you and to your successors, of which things we have reckoned the fol- 
lowing worthy of express mention : — The place in which the said Monastery is 
situated, with all its pertinents, and the chapel of Lochwynoc, with its pertinents ; 
the churches of Innerwyc, of Lygadwod, of Katcart, of Rughglen, of Curmanoc, 
of PoUoc, of Merness, of Neilston, of Kylberhan, of Hestwood, of Howston, of 
Kylhelan, of Harskyn, of Kylmacolm, of Innerkyp, of Largyss, of Prestwic- 
burgh, of the other (in the Monks) Prestwic, of Cragyn, of Turneberry, of 
Uundonald, of Schanher, of Haucynlec, of Kylpatrik, of Neyt (Roseneath), of 
Kyllynan, of Kylkeran, of St. Colmanel, of Scybinche, with chapels, lands, and 
pertinents ; the chapels of Kylmor at Kenlochgilpe, with its pertinents ; and the 
land which Duncan, son of Ferchard, and Lamman, his cousin gave to the 
Monastery there ; and that whole land lying on both sides of the Kert, as the 
late Walter Fitz-Alan, Steward of the King of Scotland, founder of the Monastery 
himself bestowed it ; and the carucate of land which formerly Grimketil held, 
and which is now Arkylliston, and the carucate of land which they possessed 
between the Kert and Grif, which is now called the Island ; and the whole land 
of Drumloy and Swynschawis, and the Graynis, which is now called Drumgrane, 
and the whole land of Hakhyncog of Dalmulyn, and the land which they had in 
the manor of Polloc ; and the whole land of Drepss, which the late William, 
son of Maduse, held at ferm of the Monastery ; and a carucate of land at 


Huntely which the late King William of Scotland excambed with lands which 
they had in the manor of Hastanisden ; and the carucate of land which the late 
Eschena de MoUa bestowed on them in that place, and the fishing which they 
had upon the water of Clude between Perthec and the island which is commonly 
called the Island of Renfrw, and an annual of half a merk of silver from the 
ferm of the burgh of Renfi-w, and the Mill which they had in the tenement of 
that burgh, with the water courses and all its pertinents, and a plenary loft in 
the town of Renfrw, and one net for salmon in the River Clude at Renfrw, 
and the land which they possessed near their Mill, and the lands of Hyllington 
and Castleside, and the whole Mill of Innerwyc, with the water courses and all 
the pertinents ; and the whole lands of Prestwic which is now called Monkstoun, 
and the land of Moinabroc, and the land of Cnoc, and the Mill of Paisley with 
its sequel which they held by the gift of their founder, and half the fishing at the 
issue of Lochwinoc, with that liberty of fishing in the lake itself, which Walter 
the founder granted ; and the whole land of Penuld which is called Fulton, as 
Henry de St. Martin, with the consent of his overlord, conferred it ; and the 
land situated between the Mach and Caldouer, and that part of the land where 
the Mill of Paisley is situated, which W'alter the Steward conceded by certain 
boundaries ; and the land beyond Kert, bet\\een the Espedar and Aldpatrick, as 
the said Steward gave it, with all their liberties and easements in the forests of 
Paisley and the Seneschathir ; and the land at Carnebro which they had fi'om 
the gift of the late Uctred, son of Paganus ; and the land at the Orde which the 
late Walter called Murdhac, bestowed on the Monastery ; and the annual rent of 
a chalder of wheat which they received from the late Patrick, Earl of Dunbar ; 
and the annual rent of a chalder of wheat and half a mark of silver which they 
possessed at Cadiou by the gift of Robert de Loundoniis, brother of the late 
King of Scotland ; and an annual mark of silver from Kelbride by the gift of the 
late Philip de Valoinis, and by the gift of the late Earl of Maldoven of Lennox, 
and that fishing upon the water of Lev\'yn which is called Linbren, with the land 
between it and the highway leading to Dumbarton ; and the lands which they 
had in the county of Lennox which are commonly called Linbren, with the land 
between it and the highway leading to Dunnberton ; and the lands which they 
had in the county of Lennox, which are commonly called Coupmanach, Edinber- 
nan, Bacchan, P'inbelach, Cragbrectalach, Druncrene, Dallenneach, Drumtocher, 
Drumteyglunan, Drumdeynains, Cultbwy, and Reynfod ; and the land which 
they had in the place called Monachkenran, with its pertinents ; and the land 
which Thomas the son of Tankard conferred at Moydirual ; and the land called 
Garyn received from the late Rodulfus de Cler ; and the whole land of Crosrag- 
uel and Sutheblan by the gift of Duncan, Earl of Karric ; and two chalders of 
meal received from Alexander, the patron of their Monastery, in exchange for 
the multure of the Rass ; and an annual rent of two marks of silver for the Mill 
of Thornton, with lands, vineyards, woods, customs, and pastures, thickets and 
open grounds, water, mills, roads, and pathways, and all other liberties and 
immunities. Let no one presume to demand or extort from you tithes of your 
newly reclaimed lands which you cultivate with your own hands or at your own 
charges, of which no one has hitherto received tithes, nor from your animals' 
food. It shall be lawful also for you to receive as converts, free and unfettered, 
clerical or lay, persons fleeing from the world, and to retain them without any 


contradiction. However, we forbid any of your brethren, after making his pro- 
fession in your Monastery, to depart thence without leave of his Abbot, unless 
he joins a stricter order. But let no one dare to detain a person departing 
without authority of your common letters. It shall also be lawful for you when 
a general interdict is laid on the land, provided that you yourselves do not give 
cause of interdict, to perform Divine services with shut doors, and having ex- 
cluded excommunicated and interdicted persons, but with suppressed voice and 
without ringing of bells. You will receive also chrism, holy oil, consecration of 
your altars and churches, the ordination of priests for administering rites, from 
the Bishop of the diocese, if he is Catholic and has the favour and communion 
of the Holy Roman See, and is willing honestly to give them to you. We 
forbid anyone to dare to build chapel or oratory within the bounds of your 
parishes without your consent and that of the Bishop of the diocese, resemng 
the privileges of the Roman Pontiffs. We prohibit entirely to be made against 
you all new and unjust exactions by archbishops, bishops, archdeacons, deans, 
and all ecclesiastical or secular persons. We decree also the burial of those 
who, in their devotion, or by their last will, have desired to be buried there, 
unless they are interdicted or excommunicated or publick usurers, saving the 
just rights of those churches by whom the bodies of the dead are claimed. You 
are also permitted, by our authority, to recall to the use of the churches to whom 
they belong, the tythes and possessions pertaining to your churches which are 
detained by laymen, and to redeem and lawfully to free them from their hands. 
And when you. Abbot of this place, or any of your successors go away, no one 
shall be placed there by cunning or by violence except by consent of the majority 
of the brethren, or wiser part, according as the election is provided by God and 
the rules of St. Benedict. We, wishing with paternal solicitude for the future to 
provide also for your peace and tranquility, prohibit by Apostolic authority, 
within the enclosures of your places or granges, all rapine or theft, fire-raising, 
blood-.shedding, rash seizure or slaying of men, or exercise of violence. More- 
over, we confirm all the liberties and immunities made to your Monasteries by 
our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs ; also liberties and exemptions from secular 
exactions granted you for good reason by Kings or Princes, or by others of the 
faithful, and we fortify this privilege by this writing. We therefore decree that 
it shall not be lawful for anyone soever rashly to disturb the said Monastery, or 
to take away any of its possessions, or to retain them when taken away, to 
diminish them, or to annoy it by any vexatious arts ; but that all things which 
have been granted for any future purpose whatsoever shall be preserved entire 
for the discipline and maintenance of its inmates, reserving the authority of the 
Holy See and the Bishop of the diocese. If therefore, in future, any secular or 
ecclesiastical person, knowing this writ of our constitution, shall attempt rashly 
to contravene it, let him, after being twice or thrice admonished (unless he shall 
alone for his fault by a suitable satisfaction), be deprived of the dignity of his 
power and honour ; and let him know that he stands charged by Divine justice 
with the iniquity so committed ; and let him be cut off from the most sacred 
Body and Blood of our God and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, and let him 
lie under His severe vengeance at the last judgement. But on all who shall 
preserve for the said place its rights, let the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ rest, 
so that here they may receive the fruit of their good deeds, and obtain at the 
hands of the Righteous Judge the rewards of eternal peace. Amen." 

the abbots. 4 1 

Walter, i 296-131 2. 

Walter succeeded Stephen as Abbot about 1 296. The Monastery 
and its possessions suffered severely during the wars which were 
waged at that time between Scotland and England, and the conten- 
tions of the competitors for the throne of Scotland. The monks 
and their people were severely oppressed and their property was 
much injured. Of Abbot Walter, however, we know but little. His 
name is found in the list of those who, in 1296, made submission 
to Edward I., King of England, and he was present in Queen 
Margaret's Parliament at Briggenham. 

James the Lord High Steward at his death, in 1294, did not leave 
any land to the Abbot and monks. All he did was to confirm the 
gifts of his ancestors, and to give to them the church of Largs. 
But along therewith he gave them power of travelling through his 
whole forest within the barony of Renfrew ; of quarrying both build- 
ing stones and limestone for burning, whether at Blackball, within 
the said forest, or elsewhere ; of digging coal for the use of their 
Monastery, its granges, smithies, and brew-houses ; of making char- 
coal of dead wood, and of cutting turf for covering in the charcoal ; 
greenwood for their Monastery and grange buildings within the 
barony, and for all operations of agriculture and fishery ; and dead 
wood for fuel without restriction, saving always his park and pre- 
served forest. He gave them a right of carriage for all these 
necessaries through the forest, whether on wains, or on oxen, or 
horses, except through his manors, orchards, gardens, corn ground, 
and preserved forest, which land is described by its marches, "as 
the Rattan burn falls into Laveran, and ascending by the Laveran 
to the Black burn, and by the Black burn ascending to a certain 
ditch between Lochleboside and the Cockplays, and by that ditch 
going up to the Loch of Lochlebo, and by the said Loch westward 
to the marches of Caldwell, and by the marches of Caldwell north- 
ward ascending by a certain ditch on the west of Curmelcolm 
between the Langsan and Dangelsmore, and from that ditch across 
the moss to the head of the Auldpatrick, and descending that stream 
to the march of Stanley, and by the march of Stanley descending 
between Stanley and the Cockplays to the Rattan burn, and so 
by Rattan burn to Laveran." These boundaries comprehended 
apparently a district in the west of Neilston Parish, with a small 
part to the south of Paisley. The ways by which the monks and 
their servants were allowed to pass were the roads of Arlaw, Con- 
waran, the Rass, and Stockbrig, and the customary tracks of the 
husbandmen. They were allowed to go armed with swords, bows 
and arrows, and other necessary weapons, and to lead with them 
greyhounds and other dogs ; but if they passed through the preserved 
forest, they must lead their hounds in the leash and unstring their 
bows. They had a right to hunt and hawk within their own land, 
and of fishing in all the streams of the forest, and in the whole 
rivers of Cart -Paisley, and Cart-Lochwinnoch, below the yard of 


Auchindonnan ; but the Steward reserved to himself birds of game, 
hawk, and falcon. The High Steward gave the monks the right of 
watercourses for their mills from the water of Espedare, both within 
and without his park of Blackhall, on condition of being allowed the 
use of their mills for his own corn at his own expense ( Afonasticon, 
by Dr. Gordon, vol. iii., p. 557). 

Sir William Wallace, the Scottish patriot, whose heroic character 
is so well known, came forward in Walter's time as the avenger of 
Scottish wrongs and the defender of her rights. Some authors state 
that as the knight of Elderslie's father lived only a short distance 
from the Monastery, he must have received his education there. 
But this supposition we think is a mistake, for nearly all his early 
biographers state that he was educated in Stirlingshire, where in his 
youth he resided with his uncle. Undoubtedly, however, while 
visiting his father's house at Elderslie, he would frequently be a 
visitor at the venerable Abbey. 

At an early period of the war that prevailed at the end of the 
thirteenth century and beginning of the fourteenth, the Abbot and 
monks obtained from Pope Boniface a bull prohibiting all persons 
from invading or injuring the lands and possessions belonging to the 
Monastery (Abbey C/iarti/Iary, No. 150). But this did not protect 
them; for in 1307 the English, under Aymer de Valence, burned 
the Monastery and destroyed much of its surroundings. 

At a Parliament held at Berwick at the end of the thirteenth 
century, Walter the Abbot of Paisley, along with many others, made 
oath that they would be true and loyal, and keep faith and act 
legally, to the King of England and to his heirs ; and that they 
would never bear arms for any one, or give advice or aid, against 
him or his heirs in any case which could happen. 

It was during this Abbot's reign that the name of Milburga, the 
English Saint, patroness of Wenlock, mentioned in the foundation 
charter, ceased to be used in the charters and deeds of the Convent 
of Paisley. 

After Robert the Bruce stabbed the Red Comyn in the church of 
the Franciscan Friars at Dumfries, his conscience sorely troubled 
him on account of the deed. In his distress he applied for pardon 
to Pope Clement V., who took pity on him ; agreed to grant 
absolution, and sent a commission to the Abbot of Paisley to carry 
the concession into effect. The commission states that Robert the 
Bruce, " layman of Carrick, being inspired by the Devil, slew John 
and Robert Comyn, knights, who provoked him very much, in the 
church of the Minorite brothers of Dumfries." The commission 
further requires the Abbot after " Robert and his accomplices have 
made proper satisfaction to that church and done salutary penances, 
to absolve him and them from the excommunication which they had 

Roger, 1312-1327. 

Roger was the Abbot who succeeded Walter about 131 2. Not 


much is known of him, and his name seldom appears in the Abbey 
chartulary. Indeed, almost the only case is in connection with a 
controversy which arose in 13 13 between the monks and John 
Bride, a burgess of Renfrew, who had been annoying them, and 
this case is referred to but briefly (Abbey Chartulary^ p. 376). 

It was during Roger's Abbacy that the death of Marjory Bruce, 
already noted, took place. The High Steward, her husband, had 
prayers offered in the Monastery for the repose of her soul ; and as 
he says, " inspired by love and fear for the salvation of my Marjorie, 
formerly my wife, and for the salvation of my ancestors and of all 
the faithful departed " (Abbey Chartulary, p. 237). He gave to the 
Monastery the church of Largs, in Ayrshire, along with the tithes 
and possessions of every kind belonging thereto.^ 

John, 1327-1346. 

John succeeded Abbot Roger about 1327. To aid the Monastery 
in its impoverished state Brother Andrew of Argyle gave to the 
Abbot and monks the tithes and dues of the parishes of Kilfinan, 
Kilkeran, and Kilcolmduel. Bishop John Lindsay of Glasgow also 
granted to the Monastery the chapel of Cumbrae, with the whole of 
the dues belonging to it (Abbey Chartulary, pp. 239, 241, 242). 
Earl Malcolm of Lennox in 1330 also secured to the Monastery the 
possessions of Monachkeneran Baskan, with all their rites, churches, 
and fishings, regarding which there had been during a long period 
many troublesome and costly contentions (Abbey Chartulary, 
p. 205). These lands, however, were subjected to some burdens 
due to the crown and to the Constable of Tarbet (Exchequer Rolls 
of Scotland, vol i., pp. 52, 129). The Earl at the same time gave 
the Abbot and monks power to hold courts ; but when any one was 
condemned to death, he reserved the power of hanging such a one 
at his own gallows. 

Although the buildings of the Monastery, according to every 
account, were almost in ruins, and the condition of the monks greatly 
impoverished. Abbot John was nevertheless sufficiently ambitious 
to have his own position exalted. In answer to a petition from him 
in 1327, Pope Benedict XL permitted him and his successors to 
have the honour of wearing the mitre, ring, and other pontificals 
(Abbey Chartulary, p. 429). 

James, 1346-1361. 

James succeeded Abbot John about 1346. Robert the Steward, 
born on 2nd March, 13 16, of the marriage between Walter the 
Steward and Marjory, daughter of King Robert de Bruce, succeeded 

^ "While the Bishop of Glasgow was residing (about 1322) at his manor of 
the lake maiio7-inin de lacu, no doubt the house at what is now called the Bishop's 
Loch, his seal had been lost by Robert del Barkour near the chapel of St. Mary 
of Dumbreton, and found and restored to him by James of Irwyn, a monk of 
Paselet." — M 'George's Armorial Insignia of Glasgcno, p. 26. 


to the estates and possesions of the Stewards of Scotland in 1326, 
upon the death of his father, Walter; and on the death of his uncle, 
King David de Bruce, son of King Robert I., inherited the crown 
of Scotland, 26th March, 1371. He confirmed all the grants made 
to the Monastery by his ancestors, but gave no additional ones. 

In 1 36 1 the Abbot and Convent had a serious dispute with 
David Martin, Bishop of Argyle, the successor to Brother Andrew, 
who alleged that the churches of St. Queran, St. Finan, and St. 
Colmanell were not kept in proper repair, and therefore took pos- 
session of the revenues. After much discussion the matter 'was 

John, 1361-1384. 

Abbot John was elected by the monks, successor to Abbot James 
about 1 36 1. The Abbot was present at the Parliament held at 
Perth in 1364 to decide as to paying to England the ransom of 
King David II. 

Crosraguel Abbey, about two miles from the village of Maybole, 
in Ayrshire, was founded by Duncan, First Earl of Carrick, who 
died about 1 240. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, constituted 
a dependency of Paisley Monastery, and filled with monks from 
that establishment ; but a difference of opinion soon arose between 
the two institutions. Duncan had granted to the Abbot and monks 
at Paisley several churches and some lands in Carrick, upon the 
condition that they should establish in that county a Monastery of 
their order ; but as they failed to do this, he founded the Abbey of 
Crosraguel for Cluniac monks, and transferred to it the churches 
and lands which he had granted conditionally to Paisley Mon- 
astery. The Abbot and monks of Paisley considered the endow- 
ment to be for themselves and for the establishment only of an 
oratory or separate cell. After a controversy which continued for 
some time, the Bishop of Glasgow, to whom the matter in dis- 
pute was referred, decided that the Abbot and monks of Crosraguel 
should be independent, and subject only to the right of an annual 
visitation on the part of the Abbot of Paisley ; he further appointed 
that the lands held by Paisley Abbey in Carrick should belong 
to Crosraguel Abbey, but should pay to Paisley ten silver merks 
sterling, yearly (Abbey Chartulai-y, No. 74). Abbot John, in his 
visitation to Crosraguel in 1370, found many defects in the manage- 
ment of its affairs, and summoned the Abbot and monks to appear 
before him. The Abbot, attended by his monks, appeared on the 
day cited and resigned his powers into the hands of the Abbot of 
Paisley. He gave as his reason for doing so that, in consequence 
of his age and bodily infirmities, he was unable to attend to either 
the temporal or spiritual interests of the establishment. He was 
then relieved of his office and its duties, and the monks were 
required to fix a day for the election of another Abbot (Abbey 
Chartidary, p. 425). 

While Abbot John and the monks managed the affairs of Paisley 


Monastery with great ability, they had a very serious disagreement 
with Sir WilHam More of Abercorn. The Monastery, at a former 
period, came under obHgation to pay forty merks annually to the 
English house of Sempringham ; but the predecessors of the Abbot 
objected to pay the money. The canons of Sempringham, for some 
consideration, transferred their rights to Reginald More, who was 
succeeded by his son. Sir William More of Abercorn, who, before 
matters were finally disposed of, plundered the lands of the 
Monastery and violently entered the Abbey itself. John, the High 
Steward of Scotland, and other friends of the Convent, interfered 
and got the whole affair settled by the Convent becoming bound to 
pay three hundred merks, in three equal instalments, in lieu of the 
annual payment of forty merks. 

In the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland (vol. ii., p. 394), we find King 
Robert II. bestowing a gift of 14/2 upon Alexander of Stirling, a 
monk of Paisley. The same King, in 1380, erected all the lands 
of Lennox into a barony, the Abbot and monks being bound to 
offer prayers for the King, and to pay five chalders of oatmeal to 
the watchman of the Castle of Dumbarton. 

John de Lithgow, 1384-1433. 

John de Lithgow succeeded John as Abbot about 1384, and his 
name is recorded eight times in the Abbey Chartulary. He held 
the Abbacy for upwards of half-a-century, and many stirring national 
events occurred during that long perioJ. Shortly after his appoint- 
ment he was summoned by the Bishop of Glasgow to be confirmed 
by him ; but the Abbot declined, alleging that the Bishop possessed 
no such jurisdiction. In 1385, John of Auchinleck ill-used one of 
the monks belonging to the Monastery, and was sentenced to pay a 
fine of 20/- yearly during his lifetime. 

On the 13th of May, 1390, King Robert II. died in Dundonald 
Castle, Ayrshire, and was interred at Scone, though his first wife, 
Elizabeth More, and Euphemia Ross his Queen, were buried in the 
Convent of Paisley. 

King Robert III. ascended the throne on 14th August, 1390, and 
in 1396 he erected all the lands of the Monastery into a free barony 
of regality. The Charter, in an abridged form, is as follows : — 

" Charter of Confirmation by Robert III., King of Scotland, in favor of the 

Abbot and Monks of Paisley. 
" For the salvation of his own soul, and for the salvation of the souls of his 
Ancestors and successors, Kings and Stewards of Scotland. To God and the 
blessed Virgin Mary, and James the Apostle and St. Mirin the Confessor. Also 
to the Abbot and monks of Paisley now and to come, all and whole their lands, 
rents, and possessions in the Barony of Renfrew, situated within the county of 
Lanark. Also all their lands, rents, and possessions in the Barony of Kyle, 
Stewart and Shire of Ayr, and their five merk lands of Mole and Huntlaw in the 
land of Hassenden, within the shire of Roxburgh ; and their lands of Orde, 
within the shire of Peebles, in one entire and free Barony, and in pure and per- 


petual Regality. To be held by the said Religieux and their successors for ever 
of the King and his heirs, the said lands and pertinents, with Courts and power 
of holding Courts, &c., outfang infang. All other proprietors of Regalities, &c., 
are prohibited from interfering with the Jurisdiction of the Granters ; the said 
Religieux offering up prayers for the Granters and their successors. 

" Witnesses. Walter, Bishop of St. Andrews ; Mathew, Bishop of Glasgow; 
Robert, Earl of Fife and Monteith, the King's brother ; 
Archibald, Earl of Douglas ; Lord Galloway ; Mr. Duncan 
Petit, Archdeacon of Glasgow, the Chancellor ; James 
Douglas ; Lord Dalkeith, and Thomas Erskine, Knight. 
" Dated at Linlithgow, the 5th April, in the 
6th year of the King's Reign." 

This charter is the oldest among the valuable and ancient papers 
in the archives of the Burgh of Paisley, and although nearly 500 
years have passed since it was executed, it is in excellent preserva- 

At this period Hugh Boyle granted to the Monastery half a stone 
of wax at the feast of Saint Mirin. In 1403 Sir Hugh Wallace a 
descendant of the patriot, and one of the esquires, gave, with consent 
of his brother, the thirteen merk land of Thornlie, lying within the 
barony of Renfrew, for the safety of Robert King of the Scots, of 
good memory deceased, and the souls of his ancestors ; and for the 
safety of our Lord the King, and of all his successors ; and for the 
safety of the donator's own soul, and all his ancestors and successors ; 
and for the glory of God, the Virgin, St. Mirin, St. James of Passelet, 
and for the monks there. The confirmation of these grants was 
executed by the King at Rothesay, three years before his death. 
The charter is written by Robert Duke of Albany, and James 
Douglas (Abbey Chartidary, p. 79). 

King Robert HI. died at Rothesay, i8th March, 1405, and his 
body was laid in front of the high altar in the Abbey Church of 
Paisley. It is not known whether his funeral ceremonies were 
costly and pompous or not, but a sum of 40s. for white wax was paid 
eighteen years later by James I. to the Abbot of Paisley for perform- 
ing his obsequies (Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. iv., p. 391). 

Abbot Lithgow in his old age had, it appears, first, William de 
Chisholme as a colleague, who received his appointment about 
1408. His name appears in 141 4 in an indenture between the 
Burgesses of Renfrew and himself, the Abbot, and the convent of 
Paisley, concerning some land and mill of Renfrew, near the chapel 
of St. Mary at Renfrew.^ He was one of the monks of the Monas- 

1 This indenture, dated Thursday, ist May, 1414, entered into between Mr. 
William Chisholme, Abbot of Paisley and the Convent thereof, on the one part, 
and the Burgesses of Renfrew on the other part, is as follows : — The Abbot and 
Convent "of their free will have assigned and in feu farm let to the said 
Burgesses and Community and their successors for ever that their mill of Ren- 
frew situated near the chapel of the Virgin on the north side thereof, to be 
holden by the Burgesses &c. of the Abbot and Convent with the pertinents «S:c., 



tery, and was very likely raised to his important position on account 
of his energy in the management of the temporal concerns of the 
Monastery. Probably he died before Abbot Lithgow. The 
Abbot had afterwards Thomas Morwe or Murray as an assistant 
or colleague in the Abbacy. But the Abbot must still have been 
a hale old man, for he passed over to France to pay his respects to 
James L, who was then in that country under keeping of Henry IV. 
of England. This incident we learn from the records of passports 
granted in October, 1421, and February, 1421-22, to Lord Gordon, 
Sir Alex. Forbes, the Abbot of Paisley, and others (Rotuli Scotiic, 
vol. ii., pp. 230,331, and Exchequer Rolls, vol iv., p. 84). 

John de Lithgow died on 20th January, 1433, and as he had 
previously directed, was buried in the north porch of the Monastery, 
where he had caused to be erected a stone tablet with the following 
inscription : — 

"John of Lithgow, Abbot of this Monastery, 20th day of the month of 
January, year of our Lord 1433, selected to be made his sepulchre." 

The above tablet is on the east wall of the portico, and the first 
line has the appearance of having been renovated. The Abbot's 
name also appears twice on Queen Marjory's tomb. Of no other 
Abbot is the name recorded on the monumental stones of the Abbey 

Abbot Lithgow, during the period of his Abbacy, must have 

with the liberty of seeking stones and mill stones for the said mill in those places 
where the Abbot and Convent seek mill stones for their mill of Paisley. Render- 
ing the said Burgesses and Community to the Abbot and Convent and their 
successors at two terms, Whitsunday and Martinmas, at Renfrew, by equal 
portions, one mark of gold or of silver of the current lawful money of .Scotland." 
The seal of the Burgh of Renfrew is declared to be appended to this part of the 
indenture remaining in the possession of the Abbot and Convent, and the seal of 
the Convent appended to the other part remaining with the Burgh. Then 
follow the obligations by the bailies and burgesses of Renfrew to pay this money. 
And the deed gives powers to the Abbot and Convent to distrain the movable 
and immovable goods of the Burgh for payment of the merk, and for all damages 
and expenses occasioned by non-payment of it. Dated at Renfrew, at the feast 
of the apostles Philip and James, 1414. The original of this deed is in the 
Paisley charter chest. 


endeavoured to restore the buildings of the Monastery, which had 
been wantonly destroyed, as already mentioned, by the English 
forces in 1307, and in these exertions he appears to have been 
favoured and encouraged by King Robert II. ; for in 1389-90 we 
find, in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland^ vol. iii.. No. 102, the entry 
of a payment of ^30 — for glass for the Abbey of Paisley. Windows 
of glass were at this time in use only in a few of the houses of the 

Thomas, 1433-1444. 

Thomas Morwe or Murray, the second assistant or colleague to 
Abbot Lithgow, was the Abbot who succeeded him. At the Privy 
Council held at Stirling in 1440 by King Robert II., to consult as 
to the unfortunate condition of the nation. Abbot Morwe was among 
the number. 

Richard, 1444-1445. 

Richard de Bodwell or BothwelP was Abbot in 1444, but nothing 
is known regarding his rule in the Monastery. In the following 
year he was promoted to the Abbacy of Dunfermline, where he 
appears to have ruled till 14th May, 1468. 

Thomas, 1445-1459. 

Thomas de Tervas, monk in Arbroath, was elected to succeed 
Richard de Bodwell in 1445, and paid, under rather suspicious cir- 
cumstances, a considerable amount of money into the Pope's 
treasury. The Abbots and monks subsequent to the year 1307, 
when the Monastery was burned in the wars of Edward I. of 
England, as already mentioned, had done much for its restoration, 
but Abbot Tervas surpassed them all, and at his death the buildings 
were nearly completed. His name occurs in several charters in the 
Abbey chartulary ; and under the date 1450 his name appears in 
an action against Robert Boyd for molesting the monks and keep- 
ing back the fruits of the church at Largs ( Mofiasticon, vol. iii., 
p. 568). King James II. highly appreciated the efforts made to 
restore the Abbey, and by a charter dated 15th January, 1451, con- 
ferred upon the Abbots and monks of Paisley important powers and 
privileges, including the trials of the four points of law belonging to 
the Crown, viz., — Rape, Rapine, Murder, and Fire-Raising. This 
charter recites the lands, &c., specified in King Robert's charter, 
and confirms that charter, and further confirms certain letters 
of confirmation made and granted by the late Malcom, Earl of 
Lennox, to the Blessed Saint Mirin and the Abbot and Convent 
of the Monastery, of the lands of Kilpatrick of Cocynanach, 
Edynbernune of Barker of Tymbalane of Drynycrene of Crag, 
Brectholane of Monar, Kenran, Drumsleyghmane of Cultebuyne of 
Dallefenane of Drumthover of Beymfoyde and of Drumdeynanys, 

^ He is so named in Scotichronicon, p. 423, vol. iii. 


with the pertinents lying in the Earldom of Lennox, within the 
Sherififdom of Uumbertane, into free Barony : — 

" The whole said lands, &c., in a free Barony, to be thereafter called the 
Barony of Paisley, by the Abbot and Monastery, with the four pleas of the 
Crown, viz., — Rape, Rapine, Murder, and Fire-Raising, which four pleas of the 
Crown King Robert had reserved. Declaring that the lands and Barony of Kil- 
patrick before mentioned should be held by the Abbot, &c., in free Regality. 
Prayers for the King and his successors. 

" Witnesses. William and Thomas, of the churches of Glasgow and Candida 
casa (supposed Whitehouse), Bishops; the Earl of Douglas, 
ofWigton, and of Annandale ; Lord of Galloway ; William, 
Lord Crichton, the Chancellor ; William, Lord Somyrvile ; 
Andrew Lord Le Grey ; Mr. John Arons, Archdeacon 
of Glasgow ; and George Schereswod, Rector of Culter. 
Dated at Edinburgh the 13th January, 145 1, and the 15th 
year of the reign. 

This charter is also in the charter chest of the Town Council of 

Regarding the privilege given by the King to the Abbot of selling 
wines within the gates of the Monastery, we think that Dr. Lees, in 
his History of the Abbey, (p. 129) draws very questionable inferences 
in his reference to the charter (Abbey Chartulary, p. 258. 
Potestatem plenariam tabernandi et vendendi vina infra portas 
dicti monasterii). Perhaps he has been misled by our modern 
derivation from the Low Latin word taber?ia?idi. The Abbot is to 
have power of storing and selling wines on account of causes 
already set forth in the charter, that is, because he is to have the 
right of trying causes judicially, and, therefore, of bringing together 
to the Abbey many persons from different parts of the country for 
protracted proceedings in law. There is no proof, so far as we are 
aware, that the Abbey reaped from this concession of storing and 
selling wines any harvest of gold. We require only to remember 
1st, the sacredness of its shrines; 2nd, its connection with the royal 
family ; and 3rd, its being a place of pilgrimage for pious devotees 
from all quarters, bringing rich gifts, in order to see the sources of 
its beautiful architecture, without tracing it in any way, as Dr. Lees 
has done, to the "tavern keeping of Thomas Tervas." 

The buildings of the Monastery were completed about this time, and 
also a portion of the steeple (Chalmers's Caledonia, vol. iii., p. 825). 

On 22nd January, 145 1, King Henry VL of England presented 
letters of safe conduct for several Bishops and Abbots to travel in 
England and visit Canterbury Cathedral, and among these was 
Thomas, Abbot of Paisley. When the period of that safe conduct 
expired, the Abbot on 6th June, 1452, obtained a continuation of 
it for four months longer. The party crossed to the continent of 
Europe and visited Rome. On 25th May, 1452, King Henry VL 
again gave a letter of safeguard to the venerable father Thomas, 
Abbot of Paisley, to travel in England. 



On 25th September, 1452, Robert, Lord Lyle, granted to the 
Convent the fishing of Crookatshot. and ordered WiHiam Sempill of 
Elyoetson, BaiHe of the Barony of Renfrew, to give infeftment. 

Of Abbot Tervas we know very httle after this date ; the only 
information that remains is contained in two records, one of date 
October, 1456, noting his presence in ParHament, and one of 5th 
June, 1459, noting his death. 

The following account of Abbot Tervas, from the Auchinleck 
Chronicle^ written at that time, is the best and most satisfactory 
statement that can be quoted regarding the great energy and ability 
of this " richt gud man " in the rebuilding of the Monastery of 
Paisley. From this record we learn that among other things he 
" biggit the body of the kirk frae the bricht stair up and put on the 
ruf " He likewise " thekit it with sclait and riggit it with stane 
and biggit ane great portion of the steeple and ane stoutlie yet- 
hous." His visit to the Continent and to Rome enabled him also 
to provide "mony gud jowellis and claiths of gold, silver, and silk, 
and mony gud buks." 

" The yer of God 1459 the penult clay of Junii, decessit at Paslay Thomas 
Tarvas Abbot of Paslay, the quhilk was a richt gud man and helplyk to the 
place of ony that ever was. For he did mony notable thingis and held ane 
noble hous and was ay well purvait. He fand the place all out of gud rewle, 
and destitut of leving, and all the kirkis in lordis handis, and the kirk unbiggit. 
He biggit the body of the kirk fra the bricht stair up, and put on the ruf. He 
biggit and thekit it with sclait, and riggit it with stane, and biggit ane gret 
portioun of the steple and ane staitlie yethous, and brocht hame mony gud 
jowellis and clathis of gold, silver, and silk, and mony gud bukis, and maid 
staitly stallis and glasynnit mekle of all the kirk, and brocht hame the statliest 
tabernakle that was in all Scotland, and the most costlie. And schortlie he 
brocht all the place to fredome, and fra nocht till ane mychtie place, and left it 
out of all kynd of det, and at all fredome till dispone as thaim lykit, and left ane 
of the best myteris that was in Scotland, and chandillaris of silver and lettren of 
bras, with mony uthir gud jowellis." 

Henry Crichton, 1459-147 2. 

At the death of Thomas Tervas, Pope Pius W. usurped the 
authority of the monks of Paisley Monastery by appointing Henry 
Crichton, a monk of Dunfermline, as Commendator, to collect the 
revenues, and to pay 300 florins to the Cardinal of St. Mark's. 
After a time, Henry having failed to carry out this arrangement, and 
retained to himself all the revenues belonging to the Abbey, the Pope 
organised a plan to prosecute Henry Crichton, but he died. His 
successor, however, Paul H., deposed Henry and appointed Patrick 
Graham, Archbishop of St. Andrews, to be Commendator, who 
exercised the duties for three years. The Pope then (27th February, 
1469) conferred the Abbacy on Henry Crichton. It was fortunate 
that the two Abbots preceding him had taken such a deep interest 
in the restoration of the Abbey, for he did little of importance in 


that way. He devoted much of his time to getting certified copies 
made of deeds connected with the x\bbey. He also, on 20th 
April, 1460, caused a rental book of the Abbey to be commenced, 
which was continued down to the period of the Reformation. ^ In 
1466 he obtained from Lamond of that ilk a confirmation of the 
patronage of the Kirk of Kilfinan, in the diocese of Argyle ; and in 
1470 his name appears in the charter of confirmation of the churches 
of Paisley (Monasiicon, vol. iii., p. 568). Abbot Henry, in 1464, 
was chosen to attend the Court of Berwick, in order to negotiate a 
peace with England. He was in Parliament in 1464, 1469, 147 1, 
and 1472. 

The Abbot must have directed some of his attention to the 
restoration of the Abbey, for the King gave him a quantity of lead 
from his castle at Rothesay for the roof of the church at Paisley 
(Lennox Papers, vol. ii). 

Sir John Mouss was at this time chamberlain to the Monastery, 
and the house in which he resided was at the north-east corner of 
St. Mirin's Wynd. 

Abbot Henry Crichton was translated to the Abbacy of Dun- 
fermline in 1472. Bishop Leslie states that, on the occasion of the 
vacancy, the Convent selected Mr. Alexander Thomson, one of 
their number ; but the Pope, in answer to the supplication of King 
James HI., made choice of Henry Crichton. Monastic establish- 
ments had originally the power to elect their superiors, but at this 
time the right was almost universally kept in abeyance. Then 
followed the more corrupt practice of granting the superiorities of 
religious houses to Bishops and secular priests, who, not having 
taken the Monastic vows, were not duly qualified to preside in a 
Monastery. Out of this grew the still greater abuse of committing 
charges of this nature to laymen, and even to infants. All these 
things were done with the sanction of the Papal authority, and the 
Monasteries thus disposed of were said to be held "in commendam" 
or in trust, until it should be found convenient to appoint a regular 
superior (Morton's Annals, p. 95). Henry continued Abbot at 
Dunfermline till 6th May, 1482. 

George, 1472-1498. 

Abbot George Schaw, the successor to Henry Crichton, appointed 
on 29th June, 1472, was, both as a statesman and as a promoter of 
the best interests of the Monastery and town of Paisley, the most able 
and successful abbot that ever ruled in that institution. He was 
not, as in the cases we have referred to, elected by the monks to fill 
that important position, but he received his appointment from the 
king. The new abbot was a younger son of John Schaw of Sauchey, 
in Stirlingshire, and was born in 1434. After receiving a good 
education, he entered into holy orders, and was elected rector of 

^ At present this interesting and valuable book is in the Advocates' Library, 


the Parish Church of Minto, in the diocese of Glasgow. On the 
promotion of Abbot Crichton to the see of DunfermHne, George 
Schavv was, from the fame of his piety and abihty, marked out for 
the Abbacy of Paisley. His high character and qualifications gained 
him the appointment of tutor to Prince James Duke of Rosse, second 
son of King James III. The Duke, after completing his education 
under the abbot in the Monastery of Paisley, was appointed Arch- 
bishop of St. Andrews, in 1497 (Account of Lord High Treasurer, 
p. Ixiv. preface). Abbot Schaw was a Privy Councillor, and, rising 
into great favour at court, was on 28th April, 1494, promoted to be 
Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, when the Abbot of Cambusken- 
eth was removed from that office ( Account of Lord High Treasurer, 
p. xxxii. preface). The first of his accounts is described thus : — 
" The compt. of ane venerable fader in God Geo. Abbot of Paslay, 
Thesaurare till our Souverane Lord fra xxix day of Junis in the 
yere of God m 1111 c Ixxxiv. yeirs " (Accounts Lord High Treasurer, 
p. 209). The Abbot attended punctually to his parliamentary duties 
between 1478 and 1482. 

During his Abbacy he made extensive improvements and additions 
to the Monastery. He erected a refectory and other buildings to 
accommodate the monks, and a massive tower over the large 
entrance gate to the Abbey. He also caused the extensive build- 
ings of the Monastery, its large orchards and gardens, and small 
park for fallow deer, to be surrounded by a magnificent wall of hewn 
stone, upwards of a mile in circumference. This wall commenced 
at the northern transept of the church, went along what is the 
present line of Lawn Street, formerly called Fisher's Row, to 
Wallneuk, where it turned east and ran along the line of what is 
now called Incle Street ; it there turned southward, skirting the Mill 
Road, till it terminated at the Columbarum or Dovecot, which 
stood close to the brink of the Cart opposite the waterfall at 
Seedhill Mills. This wall was embellished with statues. One of 
the statues, according to Spottiswood,^ represented the Virgin Mary, 
and was placed in a niche at one of the corners of the wall towards 
the outer side, with this distich engraved under her feet : — 

Hac ne vade via nisi dixeris ave Maria 

Sit semper sine via qui non tibi dicet ave. 

Pass not this way unless you shall say, " Hail Mary." 

May he who blesseth not be always without prosperity. 

This stately wall" was erected by Abbot Schaw in the year 1483, as 
shown by the inscription on a large tablet stone which was placed 
somewhere in it, and for about a hundred years formed the lintel 
of the northmost house No. 18 Lawn Street, at the corner of Incle 

^ AtcoiDtt of Religious Houses subjoined to Hope's Minor Practicks, p. 449. 
^ A part of the wall is yet to be seen enclosing the right bank of the river Cart 
to the north of the Abbey Bridge. 

■'In July, 1S77, the owner of the property took down this stone, when con- 


The following is a reduced /ac-si/mVe of Abbot George Schaw's Inscription :— 

This stone tablet is five feet three inches in length, and two feet 
six inches in breadth. The first line terminates with a shield con- 
taining three covered cups, the armorial bearings of Abbot Schaw. 
The second and third terminate with an ornament, and tlie fifth line 
has the figure of a sprig. All the letters are three-and-a-half inches 
long, in Saxon character, and cut in a//o relievo. The fifth line has 
been erased, very likely by excited enthusiasts at the Reforma- 
tion, but the rendering which has generally been adopted by 
historians, is — " Pray for his soul's salvation." Another stone 
which belonged to the wall was built into the front of a house on 
the south side of Incle Street, No. i6. It bears the royal arms of 
Scotland, sculptured in bold relief, but has no inscription.^ Like 
Abbot Schaw's valuable stone relic, it was also handed over to the 

The abbots and monks had evidently the command of a secret 
underground connection between the Monastery and the outside 
world. In June, 1829, a subterranean passage, vaulted with hewn 
freestone, was found to intersect the garden behind the house of the 
late Mr. John Crawford, situated in Abbey Street. It was thought 
at that time to run in a line from the Abbey to the river. On digging 
a drain in Abbey Street, at the north end of Bridge Street, within 
fifty yards of the Abbey buildings, in February, 1879, the workmen 
came upon apparently the same stone -covered passage about fotir 
feet beneath the surface of the street. Mr. King, the contractor for 
the work then in progress at the Abbey Bridge, on removing some 
of the stones covering the passage and descending into it, found it 

verting a loom shop into a sale shop, and presented it to Paisley Free Museum, 
where it is now to be seen fixed upon the gable of the building east of the 
entrance to the library. 

^ On the shield is a lion rampant, within a double tressure, flowered and 
counter flowered ; crest a crown, supporters two unicorns, and under the shield 
a bouquet of thistles, the royal badge of Scotland. 


to be constructed of solid stonework. The dimensions were four 
feet in width and five feet in height. The side walls are constructed 
of dressed ashlar blocks, closely built without mortar, and the roof 
is in the Gothic pointed-arch style of architecture. At short distances 
the sides are strengthened by buttresses about a foot in width, and 
the masonry nowhere shows any signs of decay. Mr. King and 
some other adventurous friends attempted to explore this subter- 
raneous passage, but were stopped a few yards farther on in the 
direction they went by what appeared to be a falling in of the roof. 
In the westward direction, however, the party succeeded in advanc- 
ing about 150 yards, when they were stopped by the accumulation 
of mud at the bottom of the passage. It is very likely this road was 
made to enable the abbots and monks to have command of the 
water in the river, and also when necessary to give them a private 
means of ingress and egress in connection with the Monastery. No 
further attempts have since been made to explore the passage. 

During the erection of the extensive works at the Monastery, 
King James IV. visited Abbot Schavv on several occasions. The 
first of these was on 15th May, 1489. 

" Item xi day of May in PaSlay takin by the King furth o Tresaurer's purse 
V demyss, a ducat and a Fransche crown v li. iijs-" (Lord High Treasurer' s 
Accounts, p. 112). 

There is another entry in the Treasurer's accounts, which no 
doubt is connected with the King's visits to the Monastery. It is 
as follows : — 

" Item xxiiij May 1491 to Gybbe Brown to ryd to Paysia for James Leyche to 
Andro Wod. xs-" (Accounts, Lord High Treasurer, p. 177). 

In November 1491 the King, in returning from a pilgrimage to 
St. Ninian's at Whithorn, stopped at the Monastery to visit Abbot 
Schaw, and gave a gratuity to the masons who were engaged at the 
building operations. 

"Item the xxj nouenibris to the massonis of Paysia xs " ( Lord High Treasurer s 
Accounts, p. 183). 

Abbot George Schaw obtained from King James IV. a charter 
erecting the village of Paisley into a burgh. This charter is dated 
19th August, 1488, and was granted by the King, as narrated in 
the deed itself, 

" In consideration of the singular respect we have for the glorious Confessor 
Saint Mirin, and our Monastery of Paisley, founded by our most glorious pro- 
genitors, where very many of the bodies of our ancestors are buried, and are at 
rest, and for the singular favour and love which we bear to the venerable Father 
in Christ, George Schaw, present Abbot of the said Monastery, our very dear 
Counsellor, and for the faithful service rendered to us in a variety of ways by 
the said venerable father in times past, and in a particular manner for the 
virtuous education and upbringing of our dearest brother, James, Duke of Ross, 
in his tender age." 

Two years afterwards, on the 2nd June, 1490, there followed a 


feu charter with confirmation of numerous privileges, granted by 
the Abbot and Convent in favour of the Bailies, Burgesses, and 
community of Paisley. We shall have occasion hereafter to refer 
to these and other charters which conferred important rights upon 
the town of Paisley. 

Abbot Schaw received from King James IV. most extensive 
privileges. He obtained from the King ]:)ovver and rights of juris- 
diction in the four points of the Crown — rapine, rape, murder, and 
fire-raising, with power to imprison and execute offenders. 

Abbot Schaw gave to the monks of the Convent certain pittances 
within the Burgh, amounting to ;£,2 2s. 8d., in " support of a solemn 
anniversary." These, after the Reformation, became part of the 
endowment of the Grammar School, assigned by King James VI. 

In attending to the best interests of the Convent, the Abbot had, 
among other matters, the marches at Arkleston, on which the 
neighbouring burgh of Renfrew had been encroaching, properly 
defined. At a future stage of our history, the proceedings connected 
with these will be minutely described. Abbot Schaw did not always 
reside at the Monastery. He erected for himself a manor place on 
the lands of Blackstone belonging to the Convent, on the banks of 
the Black Cart. In 1498 this good Abbot resolved to retire from 
active hfe to his newly-erected residence, and to demit the govern- 
ment of the Monastery to his nephew, Robert Schaw, who was 
canonically elected Abbot of Paisley, and obtained the Royal assent 
by letters patent under the great seal dated 14th March in that 
year. The retiring Abbot reserved to himself one third of the 
revenues of the Monastery. Abbot George Schaw died in 1504, 
and was buried in the aisle adjoining the Abbey Church, where his 
monument may yet be seen. The veracity and the wisdom of the 
Abbot won, during his long life-time, universal esteem. Nor has 
posterity allowed all traces of them to die. It is a common saying 
in Paisley to the present day, when any one is suspected of not 
speaking the truth, that the statement " would require a line from 


A Priest before an Altar, oir which is a cross and a chalice ; behind the altar 
a crosier ; above the Priest a hand points downwards. Cir . A.D. 1490. 

56 history of paisley. 

Abbot Robert, 1498-1525. 

Robert Schaw, nephew of and successor to Abbot George Schaw 
in 1498, was a son of John Schaw, Laird of Sauchie. Robert was a 
wortliy successor to his uncle, and managed the affairs of the 
Monastery with great prudence and abihty. He hkewise continued, 
with much spirit, the building operations at the Abbey, which had 
been commenced by his predecessors. 

In the first year of his Abbacy, John Earl of Ross, the last Lord 
of the Isles, ended his turbulent days in the Monastery, to which 
he had retired some time previously. Before his death he gave 
instructions that he should be buried beside King Robert III. 
before the high altar ( P)-eface to printed editmi of Abbey Chartulary, 
p. 15, and The Dean of Listnore's Book, p. 149). 

In 1503 the Abbot raised an action against John, Lord Ross of 
Halkhead and others, for cultivating the lands of Thornlie without 
permission, and also for not paying the teinds of Halkhead, amount- 
ing to 16 bolls of meal at 6/8 per boll, 4 bolls of flour at 8/- per 
boll, and 12 bolls of meal. As no further proceedings followed, the 
claims of the Abbot must have been settled in an amicable way. 

In 1507 the Abbot presented the celebrated Patrick Pandar, 
secretary of James IV. and author of Epistola ad Regent Scotonun, 
to the vacant vicarage of Eastwood, and Alexander Schaw, princi- 
pal chanter of the Royal Chapel of Holyrood, to the vacant vicarage 
of Eastwood. The Primate of Scotland declined to confirm these 
appointments, and must have succeeded in his opposition ; for a 
month later, Archd. Layng is named as vicar of Eastwood. Patrick 
Pandar was afterwards appointed Abbot of Cambuskenneth (Diocesan 
Register of Glasgoiu, vol. ii., p. t6). 

To settle some differences that had arisen between Abbot Robert 
and the Abbot of Crosraguel, James, the Archbishop of Glasgow, 
before the President and Chapter, on the 3rd September 1509, 
declared that he was content that Robert and David, Abbots of 
Paisley and Crosraguel, and their successors of the Cluniac order 
in the diocese of Glasgow, should continue in the same liberty and 
enjoy the same privileges, exemptions, and immunities in time to 
come as they enjoyed in the time of Archbishop Robert and Bishop 
Andrew and their predecessors (Diocesan Register of Glasgoia, vol. 
ii., p. 448). 

The greatest endowment bestowed on the Abbey during the 
reign of Abbot Robert Schaw was by a Burgess of Paisley, James 
Crawford, of Kilwynet, and his wife, Elizabeth Galbreath. They 
built and endowed the chapel on the south side of the Monastery, 
known now by the name of the Sounding Aisle, to the altar of St. 
Mirin and Columba, Confessors, in honour of the Trinity, the Virgin 
Mary, St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Apostles ; also for the salvation 
of James III. and James IV., and their predecessors and successors, 
and for the salvation of the Granters and Mr. Archibald Crawford, 
vicar of Erskine, and their relations, ancestors, and successors. For 


the support of this chapel, they gave the whole of the lands of Seed- 
hills, extending to about twenty-five acres, and also the lands of 
Wellmeadow, about seven acres.^ The presentation to the chapel 
was reserved to the granters during their life, and after their death 
to the Bailies and community of Paisley. There was a further con- 
dition, that the chaplain should reside constantly at the chapel to 
perform mass for the souls of those named in the charter. When a 
vacancy occurred, the Bailies were directed to give a preference to 
a Burgess of Paisley. This munificent endowment is dated 15th 
July, 1499. 

King James IV. continued as firm and constant a friend to Abbot 
Robert as he had been to his uncle. Abbot George Schaw, and 
never failed to visit the Monastery when an opportunity offered 
itself On returning from a pilgrimage to Whithorn in 1504, he 
appears to have made such a visit, and to have enjoyed it. John 
Haislet, harper to Sir John Semple, hereditary Sheriff" of the County 
of Renfrew, and Bailie of the Regality of Paisley, was present, and so 
pleased the King with his musical performances that he was presented 
with some money. The record in the Treasurer's account runs 
thus: "1504 Item the last day of Juniz in Paisley to Lord Sempillis 
harper xiiij s."" In 1507 the King, accompanied by his consort, 
Queen Margaret, again staid at the Monastery when on their way 
to Whithorn. Of this visit there is a record in the Treasurer's 
accounts as follows : — • 

" 1507 Item ix day of July to ane man to pass fra Paisley to Dumbartone 

with ane letter to Andro Bertoun, ij s. " 

" Item to the maissonnis in drink silver, xxiij s." 

Nearly a fortnight afterwards, the King and Queen, on their return 
from Whithorn, again sojourned at the Monastery, partaking for 
eight days of the Abbot's hospitality. At this time several dis- 
bursements were made by the King as follows : — 

" 1507 Item the xxi day of Julij in Pasley, to the offerand to the 

reliques, xiij s. 

" Item that day to the Kingis offerand to ane priests first mes in Paisley, xxiiij s. 
" Item to the Kingis offerand at the high mes, xiiij s. 

^ These lands were assigned by King James VI. in 1566, for the endowment 
of the Paisley Grammar School. 

* Accounts of the Lord High Treastirei- of Scotland, preface cclix. "Three 
English pipers received at Linlithgow £"] 4s., and other English pipers that 
' com to the castell yet and playt to the King ' (James IV.) were rewarded with 
;^8 8s. — incidents showing that the bagpipe was then, at least, as much identified 
with England as with Scotland. A man that ' playit on the clarscha ' in Perth 
received 7/-, another in Dumfries 14/-, and an English harper in Stirling 13/4. 
Vocal performers were rewarded with equal generosity. ' A man and woman 
that sang to the King ' received 10/-, two women 14/-, two fiddlers ' that sang 
Graysteil ' to him received 9/-, and ' the women that met the King in Seytoun 
and sang to him that tyme he passit to Dunbar,' had 18'. Henry of Haddington, 
'the sangstare,' received a reward of ;^3 6s. 8d. ; to ' Cunninghame the singar,' 
there is a payment of ;i^io ; and a similar sum was given to Wilyeam, sangstar 
of Lythgow, for a sang buke." 


" Item xxiiij day of Julij to the workmen in Paisley in drink silver, xiiij s. 

" Item the xxvi day of Julij in Paisley to Schir Andro Makbrek to dispone, iij s. 
" Item that day, Saint Annes day, to the King's offerand at the mes, ... xiiij s. 
" Item to the Kingis offerand on the bred to Sanct Annes lycht, xiiij s." 

St. Anne's altar was one of the seven altars in the Monastery, and 
her festival was held on 26th July. Sir Andrew Makbrek was 
probably the priest who officiated at the altar on that day and 
received the money from the King. 

Abbot Robert took much interest in the Burgh created by his 
immediate predecessor and relative, and gave charters to many of 
the vassals. In 1490 he granted a charter to Andrew Poynter of 
the property called the Unhouse, situated on the south side of the 
market at the Cross, and extending to St. Mirin's burn. In 1503 
he granted a charter to Andrew Ross, his beloved buckler, of the 
tenement called the Black Hole, in Causeyside, immediately south 
of St. Mirin's burn. In 151 1 he feued out the piece of ground 
known by the name of the Barn-yard, fronting Moss-street and lying 
between Meeting-house Lane and School ^^^ynd. He bought from 
Robert Stewart, cook, a property at the bridge on the south side of the 
High Street, called Bridge-end, and gave it in exchange for the tene- 
ment called the Lady House, on the west side of St. Mirin's Wynd. 

In 1525 the Abbey had two tenants in Sneddon, one in Slater's 
Bank, ten in Oxshawside, fourteen in Prior's Croft, nine in the town 
of Paisley, fifteen in Causeyside, two in Castlehead, three in 
Quarrel, eight in Broomlands, two in Oxshawhead — sixty-six in all ; 
besides those in Sedyill, Wellmeadow, Wardmeadow, and the 
Waulkmill, all within the territories of the Burgh — from the whole 
of which they received annually ;^69 17s. 8d. ( Orig. Paroch. Scoi.y 
vol. i., pp. 68-73). 

After the disastrous defeat of the Scottish army at Flodden, on 9th 
September, 1515, the Abbot was called to Parliament to give his 
advice in the unfortunate situation in which the nation was then 
placed. This shows he was a man of recognised wisdom and 
virtue. He also held a high position at Court, and became tutor 
to the young King James V. 

At Edinburgh, on loth March, 1521, Robert, Abbot of Paisley, 
was one of the witnesses to a precept in favour of Hugh Cawdor, 
Sheriff of Nairn ( T/ic TJuvies of Cawdor, p. 142). 

In December, 1524, Abbot Robert learned that the Monastery 
was to be visited by the Earls of Angus and Lennox, who intended 
to hold their Christmas there, with a retinue of two hundred men 
and as many horses. By the intercession, however, of Cardinal 
Wolsey, who had been written to by a friend of the Abbot's, the 
Monastery was saved from so great annoyance and expense. 

Through the influence mainly of King James V., Abbot Robert 
Schaw, on 15th October, 1525, obtained the important Bishopric 
of Moray. He filled this new position, however, for only two years, 
dying in 1527. 

In the management of the varied and extensive properties be- 


longing to the Monastery, the Abbot and monks had their tenants 
and dependants subject to a series of minute and stringent rules, ^ 
which are recorded in the rental book. They are as follow : — • 

" First, that no man taking land, or tenant within the Abbot's land, make tenant, 
or set, or make interchange of land under him, without leave of the Abbot, 
asked and obtained, under the penalty of one hundred shillings and for- 
feiture of his liolding and removal from it without mercy. 

" Also, that he purchase no lordship to speak or to plead against his Lord the 
Abbot, nor against his neighbours, under the penalty aforesaid. 

" Also, whoever he be that receives not the Abbot's servants when on his 
service, shall be fined in forty shillings, and unforgiven for his default. 

" Also, that he shall be no man's man, but only the Abbot's, and that he take 
service with no man without special leave of the Abbot, or whom the Abbot 
deputes or gives him liberty to serve with, under the penalty foresaid. 

" Also, that he shall set no crop land to any one without leave of the Abbot, 
under the penalty of forfeiting his holding. 

" Also, that no man purchase lordship against the Abbot in any way to his hurt 
or that of the common profit of the house, or slander him or his monks in 
word or deed, under penalty of one hundred shillings and forfeiture of his 
holding and removal from it without mercy, as it is before written. 

" Also, he that dirties his land with guld, and does not clean it by Lammas, 
shall pay a merk without mercy, and if the land be afterwards found dirty, 
all his goods shall be escheated. 

" Also, whoever he be that makes wrongous landniers, or consels them, or suffers 
men to occupy them, shall certify the Abbot and the Convent within sufficient 
time — that is to say, within the space of six months following from the time 
that he has knowledge thereof — under the penalty before written. 

" Also, whosoever has goods to be sold — whether marts, wedders, or fed swine — 
shall offer their goods at usual and compatable prices to the Abbot's officers, 
before they go to any market, under the penalty aforesaid. 

" Also, that no man be found by an inquest a common brawler or an unlawful 
neighbour ; but each tenant act towards the other neighbourly, under pain 
of law. 

" Also, that each tenant be ready, without obstacle or debate, to compear at 
Court, or at Whitsunday, when they are warned by the sergeant on the day 
before, to come on the morrow, as lawful day and lawful warning, under 
pain of fine by Court. 

" Also, that no man go with their corn or their multure from the Abbot's mill, 
under the penalty of forfeiting his holding, and a punishment of an hundred 

" Also, whatsoever tenant belonging to the sakin of the mill of Dalmulin, or to the 
sakin of any other mill of the Abbot and Convent, wherever it be within the 
Abbot's land, who upholds not his part of the dam sufficiently, or does not 
come when he is warned by the farmer to mend and repair, if anything be in 

' Cosmo Innes, in his Sketches of Early Scotch History, p. 445, gives an inter- 
esting agreement between a Baron of Kilravock and a Paisley gardener. " One 
of the Barons of Kilravock while confined in Dumbarton Castle for having seized 
the Abbot of Kinloss, procured the services of a gardener, a burgess of Paisley, 
who had, no doubt, learnt the gentle craft in the Abbey gardens, and who entered 
into a formal contract as follows : 'At the Castell of Dumbarton II June 1536 — 
Thom Daueson and ane servand man with him is comyn man and servand for 
all his life to the said Hurhose (Hugh Rose) and sail werk and lawbour his 
gardis, gardingis, orchardis, ayles, heggins and staukis, and werkis pertening to 
ane gardner of the fassoun may be devisit. He and his man are to have such 
wages as may susten them honestlye, as use is to be gevin for sic craftismen. ' " 



need, for the first fault he shall pay five shillings, and the second ten shillings, 
and the third time shall suffer forfeiture of his holding without mercy. 

" Also, that no man be found by an inquest a common destroyer of the Abbot's 
wood, under the pain of forfeiting his holding, and the fine namely 

" Also, that no tenant, man or woman, be found an adulterer by an inquest of 
their neighbours, under pain of forfeiting their holding without mercy. 

" Also, whatever tenant or farmer that pays not his rent and farm with service, 
forfeits his holding, and shall not presume to occupy it in time to come. 

" Also, that whenever they are charged with their Invnys in harvest and other 
times of the year in the service which they owe, if they come not on the day 
on which they chance to be summoned, the sergeant shall take from each 
defaulter a wcddei-, and the second time two wedders, and the third time an 
ox or a cow, for the Abbot's behoof without remission. 

" Also, that no one be found an unlawful neighbour or brawler with the Abbot's 
servants of his house, or of his retinue, nor strike them or any of his tenants, 
under penalty of five pounds and forfeiture of his holding. 

" Also, that any tenant on the Abbot's land, in the lands of Kilpatrick in the 
Lennox, who, without the Abbot's leave specially asked and obtained, shall 
lialdin tiychbiiris and plow to his neighbour after the old stent, as use and 
custom requires, shall forfeit his holding. 

" Also, the other payments of the defaulters of the aforesaid points, is one 
hundred shillings to the Abbot, unrecoverable, to be raised, and the holdings 
of the defaulters to be in the Abbot's — (sic) 

" Also, in addition to these, all other statutes and styles, use and wont, anent 
greenwood, guld, and swine, and other matters of neighbourship, shall be 
held binding as required by law. 

" Also, it is ordered that each tenant dwelling on the Abbot's lands of the 
Lennox, or any other lands of the Abbot's, shall help and assist each other 
to pound strange cattle and goods that intrude to destroy or occupy the 
Abbot's land, and he that does not come to help his neighbour when he is 
warned, and does not assist him to pound strange cattle, his holding shall 
be in the Abbot's hand " (Abbey of Paisley, by Rev. Dr. Lees, p. 171). 


St. James with nimbus, and with staff in his right hand ; above his left 
shoulder is an escallop shell. The shield, which is supported by a crozier, bears 
three covered cups, the paternal arms of Schaw. Cir . A. D. 1498. 

the abbots. 6 1 

Abbot John, i 525-1 571. 

Abbot John Hamilton, a monk at Kilwinning, succeeded Abbot 
Robert Schaw on the iSth May, 1525. He was one of the three 
natural sons of James Lord Hamilton, first Earl of Arran, by Mrs. 
Boyd, a gentlewoman of a respectable family in Ayrshire. The 
Abbot's father obtained for him this appointment to the rich Abbacy 
of Paisley, and Pope Clement XH. confirmed it. He was the last 
Abbot of Paisley Monastery, and the last Primate of Scotland. He 
had received a good education, attending classes first in the 
University of Glasgow, and afterwards completing his studies at 
Paris. Some time after his appointment, he directed his attention 
to the building of the tower of the Monastery, which he finished at 
immense expense. The tower was not inferior to any in Scotland. 
It was forty feet square at the base. Although the spire is said to 
have been 300 feet high, yet there is no authentic evidence of 
its being so. Most unfortunately it fell shortly after being erected, 
from the insufficiency of the foundations, and destroyed the roof 
and a portion of the walls of the choir in its fall. A vague tradition 
ascribes the fall of the tower to the fierce fury of the reforming 
Protestants in 1560, but Principal Dunlop, Avho wrote at the end 
of the seventeenth century, states that about 100 years ago the 
steeple fell, from its own weight, and with it the choir of the 
church (Appendix to Hamilton's History of Renfrezvshire, p. 147). 
The stones of the steeple were used in building the present gable, 
which is seven feet thick at the east end of the nave. 

The Abbot sat in the Parliaments of 1535 and 1540, and was at 
St. Andrews on 28th May, 1540, when Sir John Borthwick was 
condemned for heresy (Keith's History, Appendix, p. 6). 

In 1543 the Abbot, in returning through England from France, 
where he had been visiting for some time, was treated kindly by 
King Henry VIII., who endeavoured to secure him and his brother, 
the Governor of Scotland, as partisans. But the English King was 
unsuccessful in this, for the Abbot induced his brother to withdraw 
from the English party and to join that of France, headed by 
Cardinal Beaton. In the same year he had conferred on him by 
the Cardinal the Privy Seal, and immediately afterwards he was 
appointed Treasurer in place of Sir James Kirkcaldy of Grange. In 
the sederunt of the Court of Session, on 5th November, 1544, the 
Abbot's name appears as a judge (Historical Account of the Senators 
of the College of Justice, p. 73). Between 7th June, 1545, and 5th 
July, 1546, the Abbot attended seventeen meetings of the Privy 
Council. In the sederunt of these meetings, he is most frequently 
entered as Abbot of Paisley (Register of the Privy Council, pp. 1-3 1). 
At one of these meetings he is, however, described as " My Lord of 
Paslay," and at another meeting " My Lord Paslay "' (Historical 
Account of the Senators of the College of Justice, p. 34). In the 
beginning of 1545 he was recommended as a successor to Bishop 
George Crichton in the See of Dunkeld, but in consequence of the 


opposition of William Crichton, Provost of St. Giles, Edinburgh, he 
was not admitted Bishop till 1546. His name first appears as 
Bishop of Dunkeld in the sederunt of the Privy Council, held on 
1 6th August, 1546 ( Register of the Privy Council, vol. i, p. 35). 

In 1545 the Abbot, for the better protection and management of 
the property belonging to the Abbacy, in his absence from Paisley, 
appointed Robert, then Master of Sempill, to be Justiciar and Bailie. 
The terms of this appointment are very striking, and ominous of the 
troublous times of the Reformation, so near at hand. 

The deed of his appointment states : — 

" In these days the wickedness of men so encreases that nothing gives them 
greater delight than to invade the possessions of the monks, and to overturn 
their monasteries, nor had we ourselves been saved from that disaster but by the 
aid and assistance of that noble man, Robert Sempill, Master of the same, son 
and apparent heir to Lord William Sempill. The same master bravely defended 
us not only from the madness of heretics, but also from the insults of most 
powerful tyrants, and unless he continues to defend us by his arms, friends, 
counsel, and assistance, without doubt nothing will soon be saved to us. But 
so far as we are concerned, nothing must be omitted which tends to our gi-eatest 
safety, for, according to the old proverb, it is not less a virtue to preserve what 
we have than to acquire what we have not." (Reg. de Pas., Appendix, p. 2.) 

The Abbot, in this deed, grants to Robert for his trouble, three 
chalders of oatmeal yearly from " our granary," and forty-three 
shillings and fourpence from the lands of Glen. 

Dissolute conduct was too general among the clergy at this time, 
and Abbot John Hamilton was among the number of those who 
disgraced their sacred calling. He lived in open concubinage with 
Lady Gilston, the eldest daughter of Robert third Lord Sempill. 
She was the second wife of James Hamilton, Laird of Stenhouse, 
Provost of Edinburgh, and Captain of the Castle of Edinburgh, 
who was killed in the Canongate in attempting to quell a tumult 
between some troops and the inhabitants.^ 

When David Beaton, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Primate of 
the Church of Scotland, was murdered on 29th May, 1549, and 
Abbot Hamilton was nominated by his brother, the Governor of 
Scotland, to succeed him, the Pope readily confirmed the appoint- 
ment. From his great abilities, and the exalted position which he 
now filled, he became in reality, more than his vacillating brother, 
the Governor of Scotland, ruler in both ecclesiastical and political 
matters throughout Scotland. 

In 1549 he was cured of a severe attack of asthma by an astro- 
loger and physician named Cardan, from Milan, who lived with the 
Primate for eleven weeks at his country residence at Monimail. 

In 1 55 1 the Primate sanctioned the burning, for heresy, of Adam 

1 Amid the troubles of 1547, when the English invaded the country, the Abbot 
was ordained to accommodate the religious men of St. Colin's Inch (Register 
of ttie Pn-y Council of Scotland). 


Hamilton on Calton Hill, Edinburgh ; and in the following year, 
for the same alleged crime, of Walter Mill, in front of the gate at the 
Priory. Mill was a poor decrepit man of eighty-two years of age. 
These shameful acts tended to hasten and intensify the Reformation 
more than anything that had taken place. 

In 1552 the Archbishop published a catechism in the Scottish 
dialect, containing a summary of Christian faith, and the curates 
were ordered to read parts of it on Sabbaths and holidays when 
there were no sermons. The object of this publication was to 
counteract the opinions that were now prevailing so strongly against 
the Roman Catholic religion. 

Archibald Hamilton, out of his own revenues, completed St. 
Mary's College, St. Andrews, which had been commenced by his 
two predecessors. Archbishops James and David Beaton. To gratify 
his taste for improvements still further, he built fourteen bridges, of 
which there were, one over the Eden at .Daissie, two over the Orr (the 
upper and nether), one over the Loch tie, one at Cameron, one at 
Kemback, one at Leuchars, the two bow-bridges at St. Andrews, 
and he completed the Guard bridge. He also built the house 
of Monimail, a Mensal Kirk of the See of St. Andrews, and the wall 
about the garden, and planted the most of the garden with fruit 
trees from France. When the works were completed, he presented 
tlie place to James V., then in his minority, that the King might 
have a commodious lodge when hunting in Stratheden. He also 
built the whole fore\vork of the Castle of St. Andrews, and several 
other works there. Besides, he built the Church of S. Serf, called 
Newburn (Dr. Gordons Ecclesiastical CJironicle of Scotland, vol. i., 
p. 291). 

In December, 1553, his nephew Lord Claud Hamilton, third son 
of the Duke of Chatelherault, a boy of ten years of age, was with 
the Queen's consent appointed his successor in the Abbey of 
Paisley ; but the rule and the revenues of the Monastery were 
reserved to Archibald Hamilton during his lifetime. The Arch- 
bishop continued in possession of this valuable benefice as Com- 
mendator, and retained his title of Abbot, as shown by a charter of 
the lands of Cloak, in the parish of Lochwinnoch, dated 15th 
January, 1558, granted by him not only as Abbot of Paisley but 
also as " Archbishop of St. Andrews, primate of the whole kingdom 
of Scotland and legate." His signature is " Joannes Archieps 
Sancti Andrese " (Ra/nsays Reiifrcwshire, p. 37). 

As Abbot of Paisley, and having control over all the property and 
lands belonging to the Monastery, he granted a number of charters 
to his vassals. In 1528, he gave permission to James Pan ton to 
sell an acre of land in Prior's Croft to Andrew Paynter. On 9th 
February, 1529, he granted a charter to James Porter, Burgess of 
Paisley, of the subjects called the Paisley Tak, at the west corner 
of St. Mirin's Wynd and High Street. On 28th April, 1541, he 
granted a charter of the property at present No. 29 High Street, 
and recently the Salutation Inn, in favour of William Steward de 


Blaskill, in Causeyside. On nth August, 1543, he granted a 
charter to John Wilson, of the lands of Castleheid. On 13th 
October, 1544, he granted a charter to Patrick Lowre, Burgess of 
Paisley, of a tenement on the south side of St. Mirin's Wynd, called 
the Lady House, that was formerly conveyed by Abbot Lyth^ow to 
John Shields. In 1545, Margaret Hamilton acquired the lands of 
Ferguslie from Abbot John Hamilton. In 1548 Robert, Master of 
Semple, Bailie of the Regality of Paisley, bought from Abbot 
Hamilton the Chamberlain's house, biggit by Sir John Mouss in 
1 47 1, already referred to, forming the west house in Bridgend and 
fronting St. Mirin's Wynd. On 15th March, 1554, John, Archbishop 
of St. Andrews, Abbot of Paslaye, granted a charter to John Dow- 
hill, of "the hous at gaite heid." In 1557, "John Hamilton, 
Archbishop of St. Andrews, legate of the whole kingdom of Scot- 
land, Abbot of the Monastery of Paslay," granted to William 
Stewart a licence to feu to James Bard, a piece of land called his 
tenement of Blackhoill, in Causeyside, to the south of and adjoin- 
ing St. Mirin's burn. On i8th July, 1559, Abbot Hamilton granted 
a charter of the lands of Gallowhill to Elizabeth M'Ghie, relict of 
the deceased William Stewart. 

But meanwhile a movement was afoot among the people of Scot- 
land that neither the Archbishop, with all his ability, nor all the 
machinery of Popish power, could check or resist. Indeed, the 
means of persecution adopted by the Romish Church only kindled 
the enthusiasm of the Reformers to an intenser pitch ; and after the 
execution of the Protestant, Walter Mill, the Archbishop found him- 
self unable to stay the fury of the Reformers. In August, 1560, he 
attended a meeting of Estates, when the Papal power in Scotland 
was completely destroyed, and Roman Catholic services prohibited. 
Along with the Bishops of Dunkeld and Dunblane, he opposed the 
confession of faith that was then adopted, but in vain. A mani- 
festo signed by the rulers Argyle, James Stewart, and Ruthven, for 
the destruction of the places of worship, was then issued. It is as 
follows : — 

" Traist Friends. After maist hartey commendation, we pray you faill not 
till pass incontinent to ye Kirk of ( such as Paisley ) and tak doun ye haill images 
yrof, and bring furth till ye kirkyard and birn thym oppingly, and syklic cast 
down the altris and picturis, and purge ye sayd Kyrk o' a' kynds o' monuments 
of Idolatrie ; and this ye fail not till doe, as ye will doe us singidar empleasance, 
and sae committis you till ye protection of God. From Edinburgh ye xii. of 
August, MDLX." 

The populace at once adopted the method of procedure thus 
recommended to them, and commenced the work of destruction 
which has had such disastrous results throughout Scotland. It 
appears that the Archbishop was at the Monastery of Paisley when 
it was attacked, and had with him many assistants to defend it ; 
but they were overpowered by the destroyers from the adjoining 
counties, for the people of Paisley had themselves no hand in the 


wanton work of destruction. John Knox refers to this event in the 
following terms : — " The Lords of the secret Council made an act 
that all places and monuments should be destroyed, and for that 
purpose were directed to the west, the Earl of Arran having joined 
with him the Earl of Glencairn, together with the Protestants of the 
west, who burned Paisley. The Bishop of St. Andrews, Abbot 
thereof, narrowly escaped " (Kfiox's History of the Refortnatmi^ 
p. 294, edition 1644). Those zealot Protestants made thorough 
work in this attempt to cleanse the Abbey of idolatry. They 
demolished, or rather burned, the eight altars it contained, which 
were dedicated to the Virgin Mary, St. Mirin, St. Columba, St. Ninian, 
St. Nicholas, St. Peter, St. Catherine, and St. Anne. And among the 
many and costly furnishings which were then destroyed no doubt 
were " the claiths of gold, silver, and silk, and mony gud books," 
which had been so reverently provided by the good Abbot Tervas.^ 
At the meeting of Estates in 1560 it was decreed that no one 
should perform mass under the pain of death.- Abbot Hamilton 
must have returned to Paisley Abbey and rallied his old friends; for 
on 2ist March, 1563, he and thirteen others were charged before 
the Court of Session " with the crimes of celebrating mass and 
attempting to restore popery in the previous month in the town of 
Paisley, kirkyard, and Abbey place thereof, and taking auricular 
confession in the kirk, toune, kirkyard, chahneris, barns, middings, 
and killogees thereof" (Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, vol. 2, p. 429). 
They were found guilty and imprisoned ; but on the 26th July fol- 
lowing, William Sempill of Thirdpart and Michael Naysmith of 
Passo became cautioners for the Abbot, and he was thereupon lib- 
erated. In 1566 he was, through the intercession of Queen Mary, 
appointed a member of the Privy Council, and on 15th December 
in that year baptised her son the Prince in Stirling Castle. On that 
occasion he administered all the ceremonies of the Church of Rome 
except the " spittle," which the Queen had forbidden. In the same 
month he was restored to his consistorial jurisdictions, in order, it 
is alleged, to facilitate the divorcing by Bothwell of his wife (KeitJis 
History, p. 241). According to Buchanan, the servants of the 
Abbot were the perpetrators of the murder of Darnley, and waited 
at his window for the report of the explosion, and when that took 
place the lights were suddenly extinguished (Buc/ia?ian's Opera, 

^ In a letter dated 23id June, 1559, John Knox says — "We (the Protestants 
under the name of the congregation) came to the Abbey of Lindores, a place of 
Black Monkes, distant from St. Andrews twelve miles, we reformed them, their 
altars overthrew we, their idols, vestments of idolatrie and mass, we burnt in 
their presence." 

^ " In the moneth of May (1569), the Regent (Murray) maid progres to Sterline 
quhair four priestes of Dunblane were condemit to the death for saying of mas 
againes the Act of Parliament ; bot he remittit their lyves and causit thame be 
bunde to mercat croce with their vestmentis and chalices in dirisioun, quhair the 
people caist eggis and uther villany at thair faces be the space of an hor and 
thairefter their vestiments and chalices were brunt to ashes." — The Historic of 
Kiiig fames t/ie Sexf, p. 65. 



I app., p. 90). The Archbishop afterwards denied all this on the 
scaffold. He was, however, at the Court at the time, and was one 
of those who signed the account of the murder which was sent to 
the French Court on the following day. He was one of those who 
are said to have signed the bond by which Bothwell was encouraged 
to seize and marry the Queen ; and to have granted a commission 
to certain judges who pronounced sentence of divorce between 
Bothwell and his wife. During Queen Marys imprisonment in 
Lochleven Castle, he appears to have acted as the head of her 
party, and was present with her at the battle of Langside on 13th 
May, 1568. He was along with Queen Mary, and stood by her Ma- 
jesty on a little eminence near to the castle of Cathcart to advise her 
Majesty and council of war. When the Queen's army was defeated, 
he was one of the party that fled with her to Dundrennan Abbey. 
He afterwards went with her as far as the Solway, but on seeing that 
she was determined, contrary to his advice, to leave Scotland and 
to throw herself into the power of her rival, the Queen of England, 
he waded knee-deep into the water, held back the boat with his 
hands, and conjured her by every argument which his agitated mind 
could suggest, not to trust herself in England (Dr. Gordo7is Scoti- 
chronicon, vol. i., p. 288. Lyon's History of St. Andrews., vol. i., p. 360.) 

The Queen's party was now completely broken up, and the Earl 
of Lennox, on becoming Regent, declared several of the leaders 
traitors ; and chief among them was the Archbishop. With some 
of his most trusted supporters, he now returned to Paisley, and im- 
prisoned Lord Semple, who, after the battle of Langside, had 
received from the Regent the lands belonging to the Monastery. 

Regent Lennox besieged the Place of Paisley ; and the defenders, 
with the exception of the Archbishop, his son Claud Hamilton, and 
some others, capitulated on condition of their lives being saved. 
But the stipulation was not carried out, as thirty of them were 
hanged on the Borough Muir of Glasgow. On retaking the Abbey 
and Place of Paisley, Regent Lennox gave it in keeping to Allan, 
fourth Lord Cathcart. That knight's heraldic coat of arms, a 
sculpture of the 14th century, is on one of the south columns that 
support the clere storey of the Abbey. 

During the civil war that raged in Scotland after the death of 
Regent Murray, the Archbishop retired to Dumbarton Castle, then 
believed to be impregnable. The castle was, however, taken by 
surprise on 2nd April, 157 1, and the long-existing hatred of the 
Lennox faction was not to be satisfied with less than the blood of 
Archbishop Hamilton. He was hurriedly taken to Stirling to be 
tried, and was accused of conspiring against the person of the 
infant King, and planning to surprise him in the castle of Stirling 
after the murder of Regent Murray ; of knowing or being partici- 
pant in the murder of Darnley ; and of lying in wait at the 
wood of Callander to kill the Earl of Lennox. The first, second, 
and last charges he denied. To the third he pleaded guilty thus 
far, that he knew the deed was intended, and he had not prevented 



but rather had furthered the same ; but for this he expressed his 
repentance, and asked God's mercy. His accusers were Lord 
Ruthven, the Justice-Clerk, and George Buchanan, the celebrated 
historian. The judge found the Archbishop guilty, and ordered 
him to be hanged on a sentence of forfeiture which had been pro- 
nounced against him after the battle of Langside, and this sentence 
was immediately carried into execution. Dressed in pontificals, by 
way of derision, he was hurried to the battlements of Stirhng Castle, 
and was there hanged on a gibbet on 6th April, 157 1 (History of 
James VI., p. 117). The following distich was affixed to the gallows 
on which he suffered : — 

Cresce cliii felix arbor semper que vireto frondihiis, ut nobis talia poma ferat. 
"Long may'st thou grow, happy tree, and continually flourish, that beareth 
for us such happy fruits" (Tytler's History of Scotland, vol. iii., p. 337). 

His body was afterwards quartered, but no further indignity was 
inflicted ; and it is believed that his remains were soon after col- 
lected and secretly interred in the Monastery of Paisley. There 
certainly is a tablet in the Abbey Church bearing his initials, 
" J. H.," and his motto, Misericordia et pax (" mercy and peace "), 
and on another stone are the arms of the Hamilton family. At the 
renovation of the Abbey Church in i860, this tablet stone was taken 
from the outside of the building, and put into its present place at 
the west end of the north aisle. 

Thus passed away the last Abbot of the Monastery of Paisley, 
of whom we may say that in his irregular life, so full of vice and 
crime, we see too faithful a picture of that degeneracy of the 
Romish Church which was the most certain precursor and cause of 
her utter downfall. 


The inscription round the margin is, "The Seal of The inscription round the margin is, "O .Mirin '. 
Saint James and Saint Mirin of Passelath." Pray to Christ for thy servants." 


On the seal is a fij^nre of St. James, with pilgrim's staff and scrip. At each 
side is a shield, the dexter bearing a fess cheque for Stuart ; the sinister a saltire 
cantoned with four roses for Lennox. Above the dexter shield is a saltire, a 
crescent, and a star ; and above the sinister shield is a saltire and star. The 
back ground is ornamented -H-ith foliage, intersper.^efl with crosses fieury and 

On the counter-seal is a figure of a Bishop vested, his right hand raised and 
his left holding the crosier. The shields on each side are charged the same as 
on the seal. Above the dexter shield is a saltire and crescent ; and above the 
sinister a saltire and star. At the dexter side of the Bishop's head is a fleur-de- 
lis, and at his feet two sprigs and foliage, a.d. 1520. 

The seal of the Abbey is lost, and what is given on the preceding 
page is taken from impressions on the wax fixed to old charters. 



the Reformation in 1560, the rental of the Monastery, 
according to a report made to Government in January, 
1 56 1, was as follows : — 

Money, £2d,(y'] 19s. 

Meal, 72 chalders 3 bolls 37^ firlots. 

Bear, 40 chalders 1 1 bolls. 

Oats, 43 chalders i boll i firlot. 

Cheese, five hundred five score and six stones. 

Among the items of deductions stated are seven chalders of meal 
yearly for the almoners weekly doles to the poor ; for the main- 
tenance of the convent in kitchen expenses and clothes yearly, 
according to the accounts of the cellarer and granitar, ;Ca1Z ^s. 4d.; 
for the fees of the granitar and cellarer and their under-servants, 
;^38 ; for the Archbishop's claim of procurations, now converted 
into money, ^13 6s. 8d.; for the contribution to the Lords of 
Session and pensions settled on the Abbey, ;!^55o 2s. 8d. In 
December, 1561, the Privy Council decreed that the holders of 
ecclesiastical benefices should give up one-third of the revenues 
derived from them for the public service, and for the maintenance 
of the ministers of the Reformed Church. To carry out this enact- 
ment, they were required to supply rentals of their various benefices, 
and collectors were appointed by Government to uplift the rents of 
the Abbeys. As the third part of their revenues was thus appro- 
priated, the accounts are known by the name of the " Assumption 
of the Thirds." Six years after this, we find Master Michael 
Chisholm described as the new^ collector in connection with Paisley 

There belonged to this opulent Monastery at that time twenty- 
nine parish churches. Eleven of them were in Renfrewshire. They 
were Cathcart, Eastwood, Erskine, Inverkip, Killellan, Kilbarchan, 
Lochwinnoch, Mearns, Neilston, Paisley, and Houston. The other 
churches were jNIonktown, Riccarton, St. Revocks, Carmunnock, 
Kilfinan, Cumbra, Prestwick, Dundonald, Largs, Kilpatrick, Kil- 
kerran, Inverwick, Craigie, Auchinleck, Rutherglen, Roseneath, 
Kilcolmonell, and Legerwood. 

On 23rd December, 1565, the Privy Council decreed that a part 
of the revenues of Paisley Abbey, along with those of Kilwinning, 
Kelso, Jedburgh, and Newbattle, should be set apart for the Royal 
charges. Two years afterwards, Beatrice Pennyton complained to 


the Privy Council that the sum of forty merks, which had been 
assigned to her out of the thirds of the fruits of the Abbey of Paisley, 
had not been regularly paid to her. The Council ordered Master 
Michael Chisholm, the new collector, to pay the same regularly to 
her during Iier lifetime (Register of the Privy Council^ vol. i, pp. 
412, 601, 602, 612). 

It appears the collectors were very backward in delivering the 
money they had received, and the Lord Regent and Lords of the 
Secret Council passed a very sharp resolution of the following 
tenor — to compear " befoir the Lordis Auditouris of the Chekker, 
and there mak comp't of their intromissions of the fruits of Ixvii 
year, to the effect foirsaid within uther sex dayis next eftir thai be 
chargeit thairto, under the pane of rebellioun ; and gif thai failye, 
the saide six dayis being bipast, to denunce thame rebellis and put 
them to the home, because thai war chargeit heirto of befoir, 
under the said pane and disobeyit." At this same sederunt it was 
reported that " Sir John Stewart of Minto, knicht, collectour of 
Striveling, Lanark, Renfrew, and Uunbartane, had paid of the third 
of the Abbay of Pasley ane thousand poundis " (Register of the 
Privy Council^ vol. i, p. 610). 

Although the battle of Langside, on Thursday, 13th May, 1568, 
was not on an extensive scale in respect of the number engaged, it 
was nevertheless fraught with momentous issues to Scotland and to 
the parties who were represented in the conflict. We have seen 
that in 1560 the papal power was constitutionally overthrown by 
the Estates of Parliament ; but on this battlefield that power was, in 
addition, vanquished by the force of arms. To Queen Mary, the 
success of the army under Regent Murray was the means ultimately 
of causing her chequered life to terminate on the scaffold ; and the 
life of the Abbot of Paisley, as we have shown, ended not less 
tragically in the town of Stirling. 

One of the first acts of Regent Murray, after the battle of Lang- 
side, was to proclaim Lord Claud Hamilton a traitor, thereby 
rendering him liable, as in the case of his uncle the Abbot, to the 
punishment of death. His estates also were forfeited on loth 
November, 1569. If Lord Claud had not been outlawed, he would, 
according to his appointment in 1553, have succeeded to the 
Monastery as Commendator, for he had been infeft in its tem- 
poralities on 29th July, 1567. Appointments of this kind, when 
first introduced, were honestly carried out. When a benefice be- 
came vacant, a qualified layman was commended to the charge 
temporarily, until a permanent pastor was appointed. Latterly, 
this system became one of the great abuses of the Church • for too 
frequently appointments of this kind became permanent, and simply 
meant that the Commendator drew the revenues without performing 
any of the pastoral duties of his ofhce. 

Robert Lord Semple, notwithstanding his connection with Lord 
Claud Hamilton, strongly supported the cause of Regent Murray, 
and helped him at the battle of Langside. In return for his good 


services, the Reeent bestowed upon him the temporaUties, /// coin- 
mendaiii, of the Monastery. Lord Claud, however, soon returned, 
and did not allow Lord Semple to enjoy his new possessions at 
Paisley in peace. He retook the Abbey by force of arms, and ex- 
pelled Lord Semple's men.^ When the Regent Lennox heard of 
this, he assembled at Glasgow a number of gentlemen and soldiers, 
with whom he attacked the Abbey, and after some resistance the 
besieged capitulated, and placed themselves at the mercy of the 
Regent. Lord Claud in turn captured some men who were coming 
and going between the Abbey and the Regent, and put them in the 
castle of Drafifan, that they might be a means of relief to the other 
captives. " Notwithstanding whereof, thais of Paisley war brought 
to Edinburgh, and thair upon the common gallows, without the 
toun, war all hangit '"' (History of King James VI., p. 112). 

Lord Claud Hamilton, George Earl of Huntly, the Laird of 
Buccleuch, and the Laird of Wormiston, with three hundred chosen 
horsemen and fourscore chosen men, left Edinburgh stealthily at 
night on 3rd September, 1571, and went to Stirling. Among other 
assaults, they set fire to the house of the Earl of Morton, who in 
trying to escape was made prisoner ; and Captain Calder, who had 
charge of the Regent Lennox, brutally shot him. This expedition 
and murder, it is alleged, was planned and conducted by Lord 
Claud in revenge for the murder of his uncle the Abbot of 
Paisley (History of King James VI., p. 146). These contentions 
did not end here, for " Lord Claud Hamilton being reft of his 
living and rents be the Lord Semple, wha then possest the 
Abbay of Paislay be strong hand, as he was upon the tent day 
of July, 1572, passing furth to have reft sum pure tennents, 
Lord Claud set an chaist him bak, slew fourtie two of his soldiers, 
and tuik fyfteen of thayme as preasoners, and thereafter layd men 

^ Upone Weddinsday, xvii. of Januar (i 570-1) instant, Claud Hamilton, accom- 
paneit with Johnne Hamiltoun of Drumry, soune to the Bishope of Sandandrois, 
Arthur Hamiltoun of Myrretoim, and utheris of that name, with a nowmer of 
souldiouris, come and be force enterit in the Abbay and Place of Paisley, per- 
teining to the Lord Sempill, now being captive in thair handis ; and lies taken 
sum of his freindis and servandis presoneris, and reft, spoilzeit, and away takin 
his horsis and uther guidis being thair, and put a garrysoun in the samin Place 
and Abbay, intending to retene and keip it be force ; the same being and con- 
tinuing in the possession of the said Lord Sempill, sen the dispositioune maid to 
him thairof, efter the foirfaltore orderlie led, als weill aganis the said Bischope 
of Sandandrois usufmctuar and lyfrentar of the benefice, as aganis the said Claud 
Hammiltoun, nominat successor to the same ; and sensyn the said Bischope in 
persoun hes cum to the said Abbay, and thair fensit and haldin courtis in name 
of the queue, the Kingis moder, minassing the tenentis that he will be payit of 
thrie zeirs rentis bigane, and has alredie begune and spoilled and reft diverse 
horsis and guids furth of the grund of my awin propir landis of Dernlie and 
Cancklystoun (Craickstoun) ( Baniiatyne Meinoriales, appendix, printed by the 
Bannatyne Club, p. 82). Regent Lennox's "letter of instructions to Pitcairn, 
Commendator of Dunfermline, Secretary of State." In the reply l-)y the Queen 
to this complaint of Lennox, it is stated that Sempill had consented to the sur- 
render of Paisley, " quilk being ane place of sic strenth, culd not easselie be 
takin gif himself had not consentit to the same " (IlnJ, p. 362. ) 


about the house sa lang, till a greater power was cum furth of 
another part to rescue the Lord Semple " (History of King James 

r/., p. 176). 

At this period the Regent Mar and the leading noblemen became 
tired of the civil war that had prevailed for some time in the 
country, and were anxious to come to some peaceful arrangement. 
" When they had lang talkit of this Godlie gud purpose," they 
resolved to meet at Perth on 23rd February, 1572. By the treaty 
agreed to at that place, Lord Claud was restored to his former 
rights in the Monastery (History of King /a?nes VI., p. 211). 

Lord Claud after this lived in peace at the Abbey of Paisley, and 
in 1574 married a daughter of Lord Seton. During the whole 
minority of the King the country was in a very unsettled state. In 
1575 a gentleman called Johnstone of Wastrans was slain by the 
Hamiltons, and as he was one of the dependants of the Earl of 
Angus, Lord John and Lord Claud made satisfaction for the same 
at Holyrood Palace to the Earl of Angus, by delivering to him 
a sword by the point, according to ancient custom (History of 
King James VI., p. 152). 

Regent Morton held the Hamiltons in great enmity, and in 1579 
he got the Earl of Mar and some more of his friends to inform the 
King that the " hous of Hamilton ar, and has bene, his pernicious 
enemies, who had slayne twa of his Regents before tyme (Murray 
and Lennox), wha had not obtenit perdon as yet for the sayme " 
(History of King James VI. , p. 174). They advised the King 
therefore to bring to justice the chief lords of the house of Hamilton. 
As the young King readily assented to this proposal, the Regent 
assembled a number of soldiers, with cannons, to attack the Hamil- 
tons, who having heard of these warlike proceedings, made their 
escape both " sudanlie and prevelie." Lord John, the Abbot of 
Arbroath, went to England, and Lord Claud, after he had " lurkit a 
while in Scotland, passed into England also," where he was first 
entertained by the gentlemen in Northumberland, and afterwards by 
Queen Elizabeth. The Earl of Angus, with his army, besieged the 
castle of Hamilton, which with the furniture was much damaged, 
and the defenders surrendered themselves to the King's will. By 
the orders of the Regent, they were brought to Stirling Castle, 
where Arthur Hamilton of Merton, their captain, was hanged, and 
upon the rest great cruelty was exercised, either by imprisonment 
or by the exacting from them of large sums of money (History of 
Ki?ig James VI., p. 176). 

After the second outlawry of Lord Claud Hamilton, William 
Erskine of Balgonie, parson of Campsie, a nephew of the Earl 
of Mar, was appointed by the Regent Morton Commendator of 
Paisley Abbey. ^ He, along with the other opponents of Lennox 

^ While at the Abbey he caused a well to be sunk in it there, which is known 
at this day by the name of " Balgonie Well." Upwards of half-a-century ago 
the water in this well was considered best for making tea of any in Paisley, and 
was therefore greatly used for that pui-pose in all parts of the town. 


and Arran, was present at the well-known historical event known 
by the name of the " Raid of Ruthven," in August, 1582, and is 
called by the recorder the Abbot of Paisley. In the following year 
those who had been present at that gathering, on asking the pardon 
of the King, were sentenced to different degrees of punishment, and 
" the thre Abbots past into Ireland." These were the Abbots of 
Paisley, Cambuskenneth, and Dryburgh (History of King James VI., 
p. 199). 

Erskine did not remain long in Ireland, for when Mr. Robert 
Montgomery resigned his Archbishopric of Glasgow, in 1585, the 
title and revenue were given to him. He was never in orders, and 
was only a titular bishop. Two years afterwards the King took the 
Archbishopric from him, and gave it to Walter, Commendator of 
Blantyre (Keiths Scottish Bishops, p. 262). 

In 1584 Lord Claud wrote to King James VI. and Earl of 
Arran, asking permission to return to Scotland. The King sent 
him a passport, and welcomed him back to his native country, but 
the Earl of Arran, although a relative, became his enemy. Lord 
Claud's forfeiture was, however, recalled in 1585, and the whole estates 
and revenues belonging to the Abbey were again given to him. 
The Abbey lands were likewise erected into a temporal lordship, 
and he was in 1587 created Lord of Paisley. In 1606 his son was 
created Earl of Abercorn. In 1598 Lord Claud, then Lord of 
Paisley, granted a commission to his son — the Master of Paisley — 
to act for him ; and of the son we shall hereafter have a good deal 
to say in connection with the management of the affairs of the 
Burgh of Paisley ( Council Records, 2nd October, 1598). 

In 1 62 1, after a life of strange vicissitudes, in a period when few 
men of action came to a natural end, Lord Claud died peacefully at 
the age of seventy-eight. 



R. PATRICK ADAMSON was the first minister in 
Abbey Parish after the suppression in 1560 of the 
Papal power in Scotland. He was appointed to this 
important position in 1572, through the influence of 
Lord Morton. We need not wonder that an earlier 
appointment was not made, if we consider the civil war and the 
unsettled period that followed the epoch of the Reformation. But 
it is quite possible that at this early stage of the Church, when 
ministers were scarce, a " reader," as in many other new charges, 
may at first have performed the clerical duties in the Abbey of 

At the beginning of the century, and at the period of the 
Reformation, fairs were held in churchyards, and even in churches.^ 
Mr. Adamson was born in the town of Perth on 15th March, 
1536. His father was a baker by trade. Patrick first attended the 
Grammar School in Perth, and afterwards studied at the University 
of St. Andrews, where he obtained the degree of Master of Arts. 
His parents being too poor to maintain him there, he went to the 
village of Ceres, in Fifeshire, and taught a school with great success. 
After being there for four years. Sir James M'Gill of Rankeillor, one 
of the Senators of Justice, intending to send his eldest son into 
France to study the civil law, selected Mr. Adamson to be his tutor. 
With young M'Gill he studied law for nearly three years at the 
University of Bourges. While there, he published the tragedy of 
" Herod,' in Latin verse. This production was well received. He 
also published a Latin translation of the Scottish " Confession of 
Faith." Returning to Scotland in 1569, he married the daughter 
of an advocate in Edinburgh, and practised for a time as a lawyer, 

1 By Act of Parliament, 1503, c. 28, ii. 252, "It is statute and ordainit that 
ther be na maicat nor faires haldin on haly dais, nor yit within kirkis nor kirk 
yairdis on haly dais, nor ony uther dais, under the pain of escheit of gudis " 
( Register of Privy Co7incil, p. 296). 

This Act was renewed in 1566, and again in 1569, when it is farther stated 
"that albeit God of his mercie has grantit the lycht and knawledge of his Word 
in this last aige, yet be malice and obstinacy of the people continewis in thair 
wonted disordour, and wilfullie violattis Sabaoth day, usand the same prophanelie 
in marcat making and utheris wardlie effairs ; as alsand jn-ophanand and abusand 
the kirkis and kirkyairdis quhair the people of God auch to convene to heir the 
Word of God and ressave the Saccramentis. " This Act gives powers to Sheriffs 
and Provosts and Bailies of Burghs to punish those who disobey this statute 
(Register of Privy Couneil, p. 688). 


but not succeeding in that profession, he turned his attention to the 
Church, and, being found quaHfied, was admitted to the ministerial 
office. In T 5 70 he was preacher to the Regent, who obtained for him, 
as already stated, the incumbency of Paisley Abbey. In 1 574 " Neil- 
stoun, Kilbarchan, and jNIernys" were also in the charge. Although 
he remained there about three years, little is known of his ministry. 
His stipend was very small, being only ^200 5s. Scots money yearly. 
In 1575 he was appointed by the General Assembly one of the 
commissioners to confer as to settling the jurisdiction and policy of 
the Church, and in the following year he and David Lindsay were 
requested to report the proceedings of the commission to Regent 
Morton. In 1576 that nobleman appointed him one of his chap- 
lains, and on the death of Archbishop Douglas raised him to the 
Archbishopric of St. Andrews, the privileges and emoluments of 
that high office having previously been secured to himself. This 
dignity of a Tulchan Bishop, as it was called, brought him nothing 
but trouble and unhappiness.^ His clerical brethren were somehow 
almost always opposed to him, and this must have embittered his 
life. One of the charges raised against him was that, when unwell, 
an old woman of St. Andrews, named Allison Pearson, who was 
believed to be a witch, gave him some simple medicine which 
cured him. According to the belief prevalent at the time, the 
woman transferred the Bishop's illness to a white palfrey, which died 
in consequence. This woman was accused by her Presbytery of 
being a witch, and was condemned by them to be executed, but she 
managed, as was alleged, through the connivance of the Bishop, to 
escape from St. Andrews prison. She was, however, apprehended 
upon the same charge three years afterwards, and executed at Edin- 
burgh (Lyon's History of St. AndrrLUS, vol. i., p. 394). 

The Bishop was a great favourite with the King, who sent him as 
his ambassador to Queen Elizabeth, to inform her how matters 
were progressing in Scotland, and to assure her of his continued 
adherence to the Protestant faith. When in London, he preached 
frequently, and by his eloquence drew a great concourse of people 
to hear him. 

In 1584 Bishop Adamson was recalled from London, and sat in 
the Parliament which met in that year. The charge again brought 
against him by his Calvanistic brethren was that he favoured the 
Episcopalian party. In 1590 he published a paraphrase of the 
Lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah, in Latin verse. This work 
he dedicated to the King, at the same time complaining sadly of 
the hard usage he had met with. 

The troubled life of Patrick Adamson, the first Protestant minister 
of the Abbey Church, and afterwards of St. Andrews, was brought 

^ These Bishops, introduced in 1572, were by way of ridicule, but justly, 
called Tulchan Bishops. A tulchan is the skin of a dead calf stretched on a 
frame of wood and placed under a cow, to make her give milk. Those Bishops 
had the name, but by a private agieement they were allowed only a small stipend, 
that the dioceses might yield their milk or revenue to the nobility. 


to a close on 19th February, 1592. Mr. Wilson, his son-in-law, pub- 
lished his works, twelve in number, at London in 1619 ; they are in 
Latin ; and the editor thus speaks of the author, — He was " an in- 
comparable poet, an eloquent orator, well seen in the Greek and 
Latin languages ; a prelate of great prudence, experience, and 
wisdom in the management of affairs ; skilful in the civil and canon 
law ; and of so happy a memory that he did not know what it was 
to forget anything that he had either heard or read ; so that the 
death of such a person, who was the glory of his country and of the 
republic of letters, can never be too much lamented." 

Andrew Polwart succeeded Patrick Adamson in 1576, and re- 
mained in the pastorate about two years only. Nothing is known 
about him during the time he remained in Paisley. He left the 
Abbey Church in 1578, and became sub-dean of Glasgow.^ 

Thomas Smeaton was appointed successor to Andrew Polwart in 
1578. He was born near Perth in 1536, and studied at Glasgow 
University. In private life he was of a most kindly disposition. 
This secured for him the admiration of everyone. He was, besides, 
a man of great learning, and was considered one of the most erudite 
men of the time. He held the pastorate of the Abbey Church for 
only two years ; and in 1580, when the celebrated Andrew Melville 
was removed to St. Andrews, Smeaton succeeded him as Principal 
of the University of Glasgow. He died 13th December, 1583, in 
the forty-seventh year of his age. Mr. James Melville, in his diary, 
gives the following striking account of Mr. Smeaton : — 

" Mr. Thomas was very wacriff and peanful], and scarslie tuk tym to refresh 
nature. I haiff seen him oft find fault with lang dinners and supers at general 
assembhes ; and when uthers were thereat he wald abstain, and be abut the 
penning of things (wherein he excellit, bathe in langage and form of letter), and 
yit was noch rustic, auster, but sweit and affable in companie, with a modest and 
naive graivite ; very frugale in fude and rayment, and walked maist on fut ; 
whom I was very glad to accompanie whylis to Sterling, and now and then to 
his kirk, for my instruction and comfort. He lovit me exceeding well, and wald 
at parting thnist my head into his bosom and kiss me " ( Melville^ s Diary, 
p. 56-58). 

Another author thus writes of him (Baillics Letters and Journals, 
vol. iii-, p. 402), — " Mr. Thomas Smeaton died our principall, one of 

^ Before the Refomiation, monks were entitled "Dene" or Dean, and secular 
clergy had Seuir or Sir prefixed to their names. Those who had attained the 
academical degree M.A. were styled "Master." This last designation was 
afterwards bestowed on the ministers of the Presbyterian Church whether they 
had graduated or not. 

In this early period ^of the Church's history, it appears that ministers were 
sometimes permitted to add to their clerical duties the selling of lieer and wine. 
In the records of the General Assembly of 1576, the following deliverance is 
given, apparently in answer to a question proposed whether the keeping of a 
tavern was allowable for a minister or reader : — " Ane minister or reader that 
taps ale, beir, or wine, and keeps ane open taverne, sauld be exortit be the 
Commissioners to keep decorum" (Belmerino and its Abbey, p. 167). 



the learnedst men of the nation, as his book against Jesuit Hamil- 
tone doeth shew " (Smeaton's work, dedicated to James the Sixth, 
entitled " Ad Virulentnm Archibaldi HaDiiltonii Apostatce Dialogum, 
c^c." Edinburgh, 1579, 4to). 

Andrew Knox, second son of John Knox of RanfurUe, in the 
parish of Kilbarchan, a scion of the family of the celebrated 
reformer, John Knox, was the successor to Thomas Smeaton. 
Knox studied at the University of Glasgow, where he graduated 
A.M. in 1579. After receiving license to preach, he was inducted 
to the pastorate of the parish church of Lochwinnoch in 1580. In 
1585 he was translated to the Abbey church. Paisley. His disposi- 
tion appears to have been very impulsive, leading him into several 
difficulties with his parishioners and his fellow-members of Presby- 
tery. In 1594 he and his wife, a daughter of William Knox of 
Selvieland, built a house in Paisley, which at present is No. 25 High 
Street. On an oak panel above the mantelpiece of the principal 
room their monogram was carved. It is now in the Paisley 
Museum, and the following is a xtdi\xcQ.di facsimile : — 

M.A.E.K. stands for Master Andrew and Elizabeth Knox. In the 
mutual gable of this house he put a window overlooking the house 
on the west, belonging to John Maxwell of Stanely, a minor. In 
1599, when John Maxwell became major, he presented a complaint 
to the Burgh Court of Paisley against the minister to have him 
ordained to build up the window, and the Court, after hearing 
parties, decided against Andrew Knox. This procedure caused a 
bad feeling to arise between the two parties ; and on i6th September, 
1602, a complaint was brought before the Presbytery by the minister 
against Maxwell for refusing to communicate at the Sacrament. At 
the next meeting of Presbytery, held on the 14th October, John 
Maxwell explained to the reverend court that he had not left the 
parish church from any disrespect to the Church, but because of the 
" deadly feud " existing between him and the minister. He, how- 
ever, expressed penitence, and promised to attend the parish church 
of Renfrew. With this they were satisfied, and found Thomas 
Inglis, burgess of Paisley, cautioner in 500 merks (MS. Records of 
the Presbytery of Paisley). 


Mr. Knox had a difiference also with Gavin Stewart, a burgess of 
Paisley, whom at the Burgh Court held on ist October, 1604, he 
caused to find security not to molest him. But immediately there- 
after, and before leaving the court, the minister, " in the counsell- 
hous of the tollbuthe, in the presence of ane noble lord, James 
Lord of Abercorn, Maister of Paisley, as proveist thereof, and of 
the baillies and counsell of the samyn," struck Gavin Stewart " with 
ane box upon the heid, to the effusion of his blood." On 9th 
November following, "in presence of the bailies and council, compeirit 
Mr. Andro Knox, minister at Paisley, and confessit the offence done 
by him in presence of ane nobil lord, James Lord of Abercorne, 
bailies and counsell of the said bghe, to Gawn Stewart, burgess 
thairof, qrof he clairit himself not only penitent, but als referit him- 
self in the will of the said nobil lord, bailies, and counsell, for repa- 
ration thereof, in sa far as the sam offendit them. Ilk ane of the 
said bailies and counsell acceptit and continuet the declaration 
thereof to the returne of the said nobil lord to this burghe." When 
this assault was reported to the Presbytery the 4th October follow- 
ing, Mr. Knox having acknowledged what he had done, they sus- 
pended him from his duties; and on i6th November thereafter 
decided that he " sal sit in the maist patent place of the kirk of 
Paisley, upon Sounday next to cum, befoir noone, being the 19th 
day of November instant, and thereafter that Mr. Jon Hay, 
appoyntit by the brethren to supply the place that day, hes delaitit 
the fault and offence of the said Mr. Andro to the people ; the said 
Mr. Andro, in all humility, sail confess his offence to God, his 
brethren, and the pairtie offendit, and sail sit doun upoun his knees 
and ask God's mercie for the same. The same being done, the 
bailies and some of the honest men of the paroch sail receive him 
by the hand '" (MS. Records of the Presbytery of Paisley). 

During the incumbency of Andrew Knox there were two things 
which particularly engaged his attention and that of the Presbytery 
of Paisley. One was the suppressing of Sunday desecration, and in 
carrying out this aim they were much assisted by the Town Council. 
The other was the complete suppression of the Romish religion. 
True liberty and toleration were not at that time understood by the 
Protestants. They were of opinion that, as their religion was now 
established by law, those professing the Romish faith should either 
be compelled to embrace Protestantism or suffer, at least, the penal- 
ties of excommunication. Mr. Knox's efforts to suppress popery and 
popish plots were in more than one instance very successful. In 
1592 George Kerr, a doctor of laws in Haddington, was excom- 
municated by the parish minister there, for not abstaining from 
popish practices after having been duly warned to do so. He fled 
to Ayr, and afterwards went on board of a vessel lying at Cumbrae, 
with the purpose of leaving the country. Mr. Knox having heard 
of this, and believing he intended going to Spain on a treasonable 
mission, went to the ship, accompanied by twenty-four men, 
brought Mr. Kerr back to Ayr, and delivered him and his servant 


over to Lord Ross. On afterwards searching the vessel, he found 
important treasonable papers, addressed by Jesuits and others in 
Scotland to parties in Spain and France, along with letters in blank 
to the King of Spain, to be filled up afterwards by Kerr, and signed 
by the popish lords, as they were called, the Earls of Huntlie, 
Angus, and Errol, and by Auchindown, knight, uncle to Huntlie. 
The affair is generally known as the Spanish conspiracy (History of 
King James VI., p. 259). In 1597 Mr. Knox accomplished another 
daring feat. James Gordon, a relative of Huntlie's, came to this 
country and arranged a plan to fortify the Isle of Ailsa, in order to 
receive a Spanish force. This rock was taken possession of by 
Hugh Barclay of Ladyland, who (having some time previously 
escaped from Glasgow Castle, where he was confined, fled to Spain, 
and returned as an agent) was employed in victualling the strong- 
hold. All this having come to the ears of Mr. Knox, he, at the 
head of a small party, attacked and defeated Barclay and his armed 
men ; but Barclay, rather than allow himself to be taken prisoner, 
rushed into the sea and drowned himself (Aikinan's History of 
Scotland, vol. 3, p. 244). On i6th December, in the same year, 
an Act was passed by the Estates of Parliament, declaring that 
Andrew Knox and those along with him by their intrepid achieve- 
ment had. done " louell and gude service to his Majestic and the 
country" (Acta Pari. Scot., iv. 148). 

It was on loth February, 1604, during the incumbency of Mr. 
Knox, that Thomas Bell was appointed by the Town Council to be 
the teacher in the Grammar School, and one of the additional 
duties he had to perform was " to read prayers in the kirk daily." 
The terms of the appointment of his predecessor, Mr. Henderson, 
in 1596, are not preserved, but very likely they were the same. 
There was no special salary attached to the fulfilling of this obliga- 
tion. The duties of this oflicial in the early days of the Church, 
after the Reformation, will be best understood by the following 
extract : — 

"The bell having rung an hour before, was rung the second time at 8 o'clock 
for the reader's service. The congi-egation then assembled, and engaged for a 
little in private devotion. So reverential were they, that it was the custom for 
the people entering to uncover their heads, and to put up a short prayer to God, 
some kneeling, some standing. The reader took his place at the 'lectern,' 
read the Common Prayers, and in some churches the Decalogue and Creed. He 
then gave out large portions of the Psalter, the singing of which was concluded 
with the Gloria Patri, and the next chapters of Scripture from the Old and New 
Testaments, going through in order any book that was begun, as required by the 
first book of Discipline. After an hour thus spent, the bell rang the third time, 
and the minister entered the pulpit and conducted the remainder of the service, 
according to the usage of the time. The afternoon service was begun by the 
reader in the same way. These usages continued with more or less uniformity 
till 1638 or 1640" ( Book of Common Order, Edition 1868, pp. 33,4). 

In subsequent appointments of teachers in the Grammar School, 
the duty of "reader " in the church is not mentioned. 


When James VI., along with the Parhament, restored the estates 
of the bishops in Scotland, Mr. Knox was nominated Bishop of the 
Isles, by writ of the Privy Seal, and on 4th July, 1605, was allowed 
by the Presbytery to go to the diocese " for four or five weeks." 
He did not, however, return to discharge his duties in the Abbey 
Church at the time thus fixed ; for on 20th February, 1606, about 
seven months afterwards, " the baillies and counsel, with sundrie 
uther honest men of the toun and parochen of Paisley, compeared 
judiciallie before the brethren (Presbytery), and very heavily lament- 
ing the desolation of the congregation, of preaching, of administra- 
tion of the sacraments, and other necessary poynts of the office of a 
minister, and that by the frequent absence of Mr. Andro Knox 
since the time of his acceptation of the Bishopric of the Isles, 
craved earnestly at the brethren that they might be provydit with a 
sufficient pastor" (MS. Records of the Presbytery of Paisley). From 
the record of the numerous meetings of the Presbytery on tliis 
matter, it appears to have been the intention of Mr. Knox to hold, 
if allowed, both of the benefices ; and it was not till 12th November, 
1607, that he demitted his charge in the Abbey Church. 

The Bishop was not so successful in his attempt to capture the 
castle of Dunivaig in Islay as he was with Ailsa Craig. In 16 14 
the notorious left-handed Coll of Islay took possession of that castle, 
then under the keeping of Bishop Knox, who afterwards at the head 
of seventy men tried to retake it, but failed in the attempt (Book of 
the Thanes of Cawdor, Spalding Club, 1859, pp. 231-233). 

On 26th June, i6ti, the Bishop was, by letters patent, preferred 
to the Bishopric of Raphoe, in Ireland, and both bishoprics were 
held by him till 22nd September, 16 19, when he resigned that of 
the Isles. The Priory of Ardchattan and Abbey of Icolmkill were 
added to the Bishopric of the Isles in 161 5. 

Bishop Knox died on 27th March, 1633, about the age of 
seventy-four. His three sons all took orders, and Thomas suc- 
ceeded his father in the Bishopric of the Isles in February, 1619. 

It was in 1590 that all the parishes in Renfrewshire, with the 
exception of Eaglesham and Cathcart, were formed into a Presby- 
tery, and had their place of meeting in Paisley. This arrangement 
continued down to 1834, when by a deed of the General Assembly 
a Presbytery was established for the lower ward of the county, 
having their place of meeting in Greenock, and adding to the seven 
parishes taken from the Paisley Presbytery those of Largs in Ayr- 
shire and of Cumbray in Buteshire, formerly connected with the 
Presbytery of Irvine. The Presbytery of Paisley was left by this 
decision with twelve parishes and thirteen ministers, the Abbey 
parish being collegiate. In consequence of the erection subse- 
quently of many new parishes, the number of ministers in the two 
Presbyteries are much increased. During the period of the pest in 
Paisley, the Presbytery held their meetings in Houston from 6th 
November, 1645, till the 26th March in the following year. Be- 
tween 26th July, 1676, and 5th March, 1684, the Presbytery meet- 


ings were held at Renfrew. By the orders of the Archbishop, tlie 
meetings at Renfrew were discontinued, and the first meeting after- 
wards was held at Paisley on 5th March, 1684. At the introduc- 
tion of Episcopacy in 1661, the Presbytery ceased to meet, but was 
reconstructed in 1663 by an Act of the Archbishop and Synod. 
The first meeting under the new regulations was held on 29th 
October, 1663, and was attended by only five members. At the 
Revolution, the Presbyteries of Glasgow, Paisley, and Dumbarton, 
having few members, formed themselves into one Presbytery, and 
held their meetings in Glasgow, but this continued only a few 
months. The Presbytery records commence i6th September, 1602, 
and are complete down to the present time, with the exception of 
the period between 24th December, 1607, and 20th April, 1626. 
The three first volumes have suffered a little from damp. 

Mr. Patrick Hamilton was the successor to Mr. Andrew Knox in 
the Abbey Church. He was inducted to the parish church of 
Lochwinnoch in 1602, succeeding Mr. Andrew Knox in that 
pastorate, and thus again he became his successor in the Abbey 
Church in December, 1607. Mr. Hamilton discharged his minis- 
terial duties in Lochwinnoch in a most faithful manner. In the 
Paisley Presbytery, on 19th January, 1604, he reported to the 
reverend body certain occurrences that had taken place in the 
parish of a very peculiar and extraordinary kind. These were as 
follows : — 

"The Presbytery being informed by their brother, Mr. Patrick Hamilton, 
that Robert Aitken and Robert Millar, parochiners of Lochquinnoche, super- 
stitiouslie behaved yameselves be ringing of girdilles ye day of Januare ; as also 
that Hendrie Paslay, Robert Paslay, Robert Patoun, and James King, in Muir- 
dykes, efter ane profane and godless manner behaivit yamselves, in disagyissing 
yamselfis, quhilk is nathing less than abominaon in ye eyes of ye Lord ; as also 
being informit be thair brother, Gavin Hamilton, vicar of Kilbarchan, that 
James Andrew, &c., usit superstitious playis a little before Yuill, in the day 
called Yuill evening — came through ye clachan of Kilbarchan, making open 
proclamaon, and giving open libertie to all men to tak pastyme for the space of 
auch days, as also usit superstitious playis upon the 26th of December at ye 
Corsefeind, and gave yameselfis to strolling and drinking. The brethren ordaint 
all the forsaid persons to be summoned to ye next Presbitrie day be thair 
brither, Mr. Patrick Hamilton (of Lochwinnoch), and Gavand Hamiltoun, vicar 
of Kilbarchan " (AIS. Records of the Presbytery 0/ Paisley). 

It is supposed these plays were meant to throw ridicule on old 
popish usages that had formerly taken place at this season of the 
year, by proclaiming an indulgence to everyone to do what they 
chose for eight days. 

Very little is known regarding Mr. Hamilton's proceedings in the 
parish during his incumbency, his name not being associated with 
any incidents of importance. 

It appears that cattle were frequently allowed to go into the 
churchyard to pasture, and the Town Council, we presume, with 




the consent of the heritors, took the initiative in passing some very 
strict regulations to suppress this practice. On 6th April, 1599, 
they enacted " that whatever horse, ky, or other besteel be appre- 
hended in the kirkyard," the owner should be fined 13s. 4d. But 
on 15th October, 1607, they passed a much more severe resolution, 
very likely because this trespassing had not ceased. 

" Item, it is statute and ordained that ilk horse or cow that shall happen to 
be apprehended in the kirk yaird in time coming, the owner thereof being 
burgess or indweller of this burgh shall pay 40s. of nulan toties quoties. And if 
the horse or cow be apprehended within the same oftener than once, the persons 
owners thereof shall be punished in their persons in the stocks, by the bailies 
discretion, l^ye and attour the said nulan. " 

Baillie relates an amusing incident regarding Mr. Patrick Hamil- 
ton, that occurred at the General Assembly in July, 1648. "We 
are fashed with the opening of the mouths of deposed ministers. 
Poor Mr. Patrick Hamiltone, in the very nick when the Assembly 
was to grant all his desire, was rejected by his own unhappiness. 
He had let fall out of his pocket a poem too invective against the 
Church's proceedings. This, by mere accident, had come in the 
hands of Mr. Mungo Law, who gave it to Mr. James Guthrie, and 
he did read it in the face of the Assemblie, to Mr. Patrick's confu- 
sion" (Baillie's Letters and Journals, vol. iii., p. 60). 

Archibald Hamilton succeeded Patrick Hamilton in 1610 ; but 
as the Presbytery records are avvanting between 1607 and 1626, it 
is not known when he entered upon his pastorate. During his 


ministry several Acts were passed, very likely at his suggestion, by 
the Bailies and Council, relating to Sunday observance and Church 

For example, on 26th January, 1622, they ordained that no 
houses be let to persons who are excommunicated, and that none 
entertain them in their own houses, under the penalty of 10 punds. 

Mr. Archibald Hamilton appears to have possessed some means, 
for on 4th January, 16 17, the Town Council state in their records 
that they had received from him 1000 merks, no doubt as a loan, 
which was put into the common chest. It was during his pastor- 
ship that the manse for the ministers in the Abbey was erected in 
161 2, on the west side of Wallneuk Street, a short distance from 
the head of ^South Croft Street. We give 2^ fa: simile of the shield 
(p. 82), along with the letters and date that surround it, which are 
at the present time inscribed on a stone in the front of that build- 
ing. We believe the letters M A H represent Master Archibald 
Hamilton, and that the letters A L are the initials of his wife's name. 
He was appointed Bishop of KiUaloe, 21st May; consecrated at 
St. Peter's, Dublin, 29th June, 1623 ; had the Bishopric of Achonry 
in commendam from Charles I., 20th April, 1630 ; was translated to 
the Archbishopric of Cashel and Emly of same date ; and died at 
Stockholm in 1659, aged 80 years. 

Alexander Hamilton was the successor to Archibald Hamilton. 
At anyrate, he was, according to the Presbytery records, the prede- 
cessor of Robert Boyd of Trochrigg, who was ordained in 1626 to 
the Abbey Church, — Mr. Alexander Hamilton having resigned his 
charge at that time. 

Robert Boyd of Trochrigg, in the county of Ayr, succeeded 
Alexander Hamilton on ist January, 1626. His father, James 
Boyd of Trochrigg, when a young man, fought in the Queen's army 
at the battle of Langside. Some time afterwards he entered the 
ministry, and was first settled at Kirkoswald. In 1572 he was ap- 
pointed Archbishop of Glasgow, and died in June, 1581. His 
eldest son, Robert Boyd, the subject of this memoir, after the com- 
pletion of his education, was for some time professor of philosophy 
in the college of Montauban, afterwards minister of the gospel in 
the church of Vertuile, and next pastor and professor of theology in 
the University of Saumur, in France. In consequence of the fame 
of his piety, ability, and learning, he was called by King James VI. 
to be principal of the College of Glasgow, where he remained for a 
time ; and was afterwards called by the ministry of Edinburgh to be 
primar of their college. Being a staunch Presbyterian, his conduct 
did not give satisfaction to the Court, whose tendencies were 
decidedly Episcopalian. 

Through the influence of Lord Boyd, a brother of Lady Aber- 
corn, Robert Boyd was admitted a minister of the parish of Paisley, 
as already Siated, in 1626. Mr. Boyd was a cousin of Lord Aber- 
corn, and, according to his journal, had been in 1615-18 a frequent 
visitor at the " Place of Paisley." He lived in the " fore house of 


the Abbey," into which he put his furniture and books. The iVber- 
corn family, although his relations, gave him a very cold reception, 
particularly Lady Abercorn. In a letter to Mrs. Boyd at Trochrigg 
in the month of March of that year, he states, — " I am just now 
come from Blackstoun, where I found the Lady Abercorn.^ She is 
so coldly disposed towards me, that I expect no friendship or 
courtesy on her part." From what afterwards took place, it appears 
the Abercorns did not wish to give any countenance to the Pro- 
testant cause, as they were Papists, — the term then applied, — and 
subjected the new minister to the grossest ill usage, as the sequel 
will show. Wodrow states that, on a Sunday afternoon in April, 
the Master of Paisley, brother to the Earl of Abercorn, with several 
others, forcibly entered the minister's house while he was preaching, 
no one being therein at the time, threw down all his books on the 
floor, and afterwards locked the door. This offence being com- 
plained of to the Secret Council, the Master of Paisley and the 
Baihes were summoned to appear before them. At the intercession 
of Mr. Boyd, and on the Master of Paisley expressing sorrow for the 
injury he had done, the complaint was departed from. The Bailies 
thereafter endeavoured to put Mr. Boyd in possession of his house, 
but the locks of the doors were found to be filled with stones and 
other things, and they refused to break open the doors. On Mr. 
Boyd going away, he was grossly assaulted by the Avomen with 
opprobrious words, the men having purposely absented themselves. 
They threw dirt and stones at him, compelling him to leave Paisley 
and retire to Glasgow. The Bishop of Glasgow complained to the 
Secret Council of the injustice done to Mr. Boyd by the Master of 
Paisley and his mother, who was suspected of being the instigator 
of these lawless proceedings. But no compensation was awarded 
to him, the aggressors being allowed to go away on promising to 
allow him peaceful possession of his house. Even the " rascally 
women," as Wodrow calls them, escaped without being punished. 
In consequence of these troubles and an impaired constitution, he 
never again officiated m the Abbey Church. He died at Edinburgh, 
on the 5th January, 1627, in the forty-ninth year of his age. 
Wodrow states that Boyd " was more eloquent in the French than 
in his mother tongue, more eloquent in the Latin than in the French, 
and more eloquent in Greek than in Latin." He was the author of 
a Conwientary ofi the Epistle to the Ephesiatis. His other literary 
works w'txe Jfecatoinb ad Christum Servatorem, Edin., 1627; Monita 
defilii sui Primogenita Institiitione ; Cole D. Georgia Sibaldo, M.D.; 
Verses to King James (Muses Welcome) ; and other works left in 
MS. Mr. Ure, in his History of Glasgow, says he was " highly 
esteemed by men of all ])ersuasions for the solidity of his thoughts 
and great learning and judgment." 

Mr. John Hay was translated from Killallan to succeed Mr. Boyd 

' The Abercorn family sometimes resided at the " Place of Paisley," and at 
other times at Blackstone. 


in the Abbey Church, and was inducted on 21st May, 1627. It 
was during his incumbency and that of his predecessor that the 
Paisley Presbytery commenced proceedings, in April, 1626, against 
Thomas Algie, John Naismith, Isobel Mowat, and James Crawford, 
because " they did neither frequent the house of God for hearing 
the Word preached, neither did communicate with others of the 
congregation at occasions offered, whereby they gave just occasion 
for suspicion of their apostacy and defection from the true religion." 
The Presbytery, in short, believed they were Papists, as well as the 
Countess of Abercorn herself The proceedings connected with 
the prosecution of these persons are long, and extend over a con- 
siderable length of time, exhibiting an amount of clerical tyranny 
and intolerance that could scarcely be conceived.^ These persons 
were brought before the Presbytery several times, and they were all 
excommunicated, except John Naismith, who agreed to return to 
the church. But the most odious prosecution was directed against 
the Countess of Abercorn and her son, the Earl of Abercorn. 
On the 1 8th May in that year, the Countess was summoned to 
appear before the Presbytery; but, as the Earl was from home, they 
delayed proceedings, at the request of the Lord Archbishop of 
Glasgow, till the Earl should return. He declared himself a 
Catholic when he came home; and the Presbytery, on 19th April, 
1627, ordained him to appear before them to answer for his apos- 
tacy and defection from the true religion. He preferred, however, to 
leave the country. But the Countess, who remained, was most cruelly 
punished. After many meetings with her Ladyship, the Presbytery 
excommunicated her ; and, on going to Edinburgh, she was appre- 
hended and thrown into prison. She was first confined for several 
months in the Tolbooth, and afterwards for six months in the 
Canongate Jail. After her health was destroyed in these abominable 
places of confinement, she was permitted to live in a private 
dwelling-house, under certain severe restrictions. Ultimately, she 
was allowed to go to Paisley ; but, being quite exhausted by the 
three years of wretched treatment to which she had been subjected, 
she died on arriving there. 

The kirk at Paisley was at this time the scene where severe 
punishments were inflicted by the incumbent and his co-Presbyters. 
In a case of immorality, the Presbytery, on i6th November, 1626, 
passed the following sentence : — 

" The which day compeared John Robesoune, and in all humilitie confessed 
his guiltiness of the sin of adulterie. The brethren therefore ordained that he 
shuld remove the said slander so far as laye in him in this manner, namely, that 
the said John, being not only convict but confessing his guilt, shuld, according 
to the acts and lawes of the kirk, stand and abyde six Sabbaths barefooted and 
barelegged at the kirk door of Paisley between the second and third bell ringing, 
and thereafter to goe to the place of public repentance during the said space of 

1 See the able History of the Paisley Abbey, by the Rev. Dr. James C. Lees, 
where the proceedings are given at length. 


six Sabbaths, and further, ay, and until it should evidentlie be kythed by tokens 
of unfeened repentance that he was truelie penitent " (Records of the Presbytery of 

There is a case of a similar kind on 24th December, 1626. 

"The (luilk day compeared William Stcuard, in Woodsyde, and in presence 
of the moderator and remanent brethren, in hairclothe, barefooted and bare 
legged, in all humilitie, with signes and tokens of unfeigned repentance, con- 
fessed his guiltiness, wherefore the saids brethren ordained William to extract 
his injunctions, namely, that he shuld stand six Sabbaths in the said hairclothes 
upon the place of publick repentance within the kirk of Paisley." 

In May, 1628, Mr. Hay was translated to Renfrew, to succeed 
his father there. 

John Crichton, who was called Parson of Campsie, and received 
a license from the Archbishop of Glasgow, became the successor of 
John Hay, on ist September, 1529. He was a cousin of Robert 
Baillie, Principal of the University of Glasgow. He was very 
eccentric in his manner. A serious complaint was brought against 
him for holding erroneous doctrines, and he was also charged with 
drunkenness.^ The Presbytery did not dispose of the many charges 
brought against him, but allowed the whole matter to be decided 
by the General Assembly, which met at Glasgow on 21st November, 
1638. Mr. Crichton did not appear there to answer to the charges 
brought against him, and the Assembly deposed him. His cousin, 
the Principal, who was present at the Assembly, states that " he 
was the first minister we deposed. A number of uglie doctrines 
were laid to his charge. I held off his sentence for some days ; for 
I fand him, after his return from the Court of England, a much- 
dejected man,- and willing to clear himself of many things laid to 
his charge, — to confess his errors and be divested by the Assemblie 
for all tyme to come, on condition he might brook his place." The 
Principal further states that "Mr. John Crichton was justly deposed 
from Paisley" ( Baillie' s Letters, vol. iii., p. 434). 

Henry Calvert succeeded John Crichton. He was presented by 
James Earl of Abercorn, and ordained 1st July, 1641. By birth a 
native of England, he was ordained a minister at Oldstane, in 
Ireland, but was dismissed because he would not subscribe the 
canons. It was during his incumbency in Paisley that he made 
arrangements to have a colleague minister in the Abbey Church, 
generously assigning five chalders of grain out of his own stipend, 
and on 8th March in the following year had the stipend ratified by Par- 
liament. This laid the foundation for establishing a second charge. 
Alexander Dunlop, the additional minister selected, was ordained 
in October, 1644. During the early part of Henry Calvert's 

^ These charges are given at great length by the Rev. Dr. Lees in his History 
of the Abbey, p. 288. 

- He had gone to the Court to ask the King to intercede for liim, but was 
unsuccessful in his application. 


ministry, the severe and tyrannical measures formerly adopted 
against suspected Papists were renewed by the Covenanters with 
equal harshness. Margaret Hamilton, best known by the name of 
the "guidwife of Ferguslie," was the wife of John Wallace, son of 
William Wallace, of Ellerslie, the second Earl's chamberlain, who 
lived in Blackstone House. She absented herself from the Abbey 
Church, and did not communicate. She was therefore thought to 
be favourable to the Roman Catholic religion, and Mr. Calvert re- 
ported her case to the Presbytery. The proceedings of that body 
against her commenced in 1642, and were not finished till 1647. 
She pled inability, from bad health, to come to the church, and 
therefore received many visits from Mr. Calvert to converse with 
her, and to convert her from Popery. Through severe pressure and 
threatenings, she did ultimately take the oath to renounce Popery. 
But she still persisted in absenting herself from church, and it w-as 
only after much persuasion and menacing that Mr. Calvert got her 
to agree to go to church. To accomplish this, as she was unable 
to walk, she was carried to the Abbey — a distance of two miles — 
" on ane wand bed." Mrs. Wallace had a sister called Bessie 
Hamilton, who was likewise in favour of Popery, and Mr. Calvert 
was instructed by the Presbytery to deal with her also. But this 
female was more contumacious than her sister, and, notwithstanding 
all the clerical threatenings to which she was subjected, she refused 
obedience, and was at last excommunicated. But Mr. Calvert had 
a more important parishioner than the bedridden " guidwife of 
Ferguslie " to look after ; for the Earl of Abercorn also was a sus- 
pected Papist. The Earl was frequently visited by ]\Ir. Calvert, on 
behalf of the Presbytery, regarding his alleged leanings to Popery. 
After being harassed by the minister and Presbytery, the case of the 
Earl was referred to the General Assembly, who excommunicated 
him in 1649, ^^^ ordered him to leave the country. This he did, 
and three years afterwards he sold the Lordship of Paisley to the 
Earl of Angus. 

Mr. Alexander Dunlop, the first minister in the second charge, 
was a man of great ability. He was of the house of Dunlop, in 
Ayrshire, — a branch of the Dunlops of Auchenskeith. He married 
Jean, daughter of William Mure of Glanderston, and their son was 
the celebrated Wihiam Dunlop, Principal of the College of Glas- 
gow\ Wodrow thus writes of him — " He had also great grace, 
great learning, and a great gift of disputing and arguing, and a great 
painfulness in reading and staying, and in all his ministerial work. 
In the whole week, he lay but three whole nights in his bed. This 
and to all these great gifts he added a great ornament to them all, 
that he was clothed with great humility, so that he thought highly 
of his honest brethren that were far inferior to him. He had but 
few words ; he had but just so much as seemed to express his 
matter that he was to deliver. He had a strange gift and faculty in 
making very difficult things plain even to the common people's 
capacity" (Analccta, vol. iii., p. 21). The ability and qualifications 


of Mr. Dunlop must also have been held in high estimation by the 
Bailies and Council, for on nth December, 1645, "they commis- 
sioned him to go and petition the Parliament at St. Andrews for 
some supply to the poor of the town, accompanied with Mr. John 
Wilson, Arkleston, to attend to him." The Council records do not 
state, however, whether he was successful in this mission. The 
Council, on 27th April, 1647, P^id the rent of his house for one 
year and three-quarters, amounting to ^33 6s. 8d. Scots, or j[,2 
15s. 6d. sterling.; and on 15th November in the same year they 
agreed that " three acres of land should be measured off for a glebe 
to Mr. Alexander Dunlop, the minister." Two years thereafter, 
they further resolved that " the Bailies, five Councillors, and Clerk 
be chosen to collect money to help to buy a manse to Mr. Alexander 
Dunlop, minister ; and after same is collected, he to be dealt with 
for concurrence, as the town, in seeking relief of the price of the 
glebe given him by the town, and that of the heritors in the parish." 
The praiseworthy aim of the Town Council appears to have been 
to secure a glebe and manse to the minister of the second charge. 
This matter is not referred to afterwards. 

During 1649, Mr. Calvert fell into bad health, and Mr. John 
Drysdale, who came from Ireland, was appointed to be his assistant, 
with a stipend of 700 merks ; and the Council, on nth February, 
1650, promised "anent ane to Mr. Alexander Dunlop, in respect of 
Mr. Calvert's infirmities, 100 pounds money yearly, to aid the con- 
gregation." Mr. Calvert died in 1652, having been " suddenlie 
overtaken with a palsie " (Baillic's Letters and Journal, vol. iii., 

P- 43)- 

Mr. Alexander Dunlop was removed from the second to the first 
charge on 28th December, 1653. ^^- James Stirling, and not Mr. 
Drysdale, was ordained to the second charge on 26th June, 1654. 
The Bailies, continuing their interest in all matters relating to the 
Abbey Church, " paid from the mortcloth money to Nicola Stewart, 
for the expense made by BaiHe John Vans and the Council in 
giving a supper to the ministers of the Presbytery and their fol- 
lowers at the ordination of Mr. James Stirling to be minister of 
Paisley, per preceptum dated 26th June, 1654, 12 punds." In 
1 56 1, Mr. Dunlop must have been suffering from bad health, for 
Baillie states (vol. iii., p. 435), that he "was so gone with the scrubie 
that he is not like to live long." 

Presbyterianism and the Covenant were in full vigour from 1638 
to 1662, but at the latter date Episcopacy was made the form of 
church government, and Bishops were restored by the Royal prero- 
gative, and confirmed by Parliament. Then followed a train of 
severities and prosecutions almost without a parallel against the 
ministers and laity who would not conform. The two ministers in 
the Abbey Church were severe sufferers. They were, indeed, com- 
pelled to leave their incumbencies. On 6th January, 1663, Mr. 
I)un]op was brought before the Council, and, as he refused to take 
and subscribe the usual oath, " the Lords of Council ordain him 


to be banished forth of His Majesty's dominions, reserve to them- 
selves to prefix the time of his removal, and, in the meantime, 
ordain him to confine himself within the bounds of the dioceses of 
Aberdeen, Brechin, Caithness, or Dunkeld, and allow him the space 
of ten days to go home and order his business and affairs " ( IVod- 
7'ow's Church History, vol. i., p. 318). Mr. Dunlop was to have 
been sent to Holland along with some others ; but the King's 
physician, Sir Robert Cunningham, " told the Chancellor that they 
might as well execute him on a scaffold as send him to the sea, for 
he could not be twenty-four hours upon the sea but it would be his 
death, for, by his extraordinary study and labour at Paisley, he had 
brought his very strong body so low that he could not live on the 
sea for a very short time" ( lVodro7u's Analeda, vol. iv., p. 19). He 
died at Borrowstouness in 1667, and was then about forty seven 
years of age. Wodrow states that " he was a person of eminent 
piety and extraordinary diligence and learning and singular pru- 
dence and sweetness of temper. He has left behind him, among 
other valuable papers, collections towards a system of divinity in 
English, which, had he been able to have put in order, would have 
been one of the most valuable bodies of divinity which hath been 
drawn up" (vol. i., p. 318). 

Mr. James Stirling, on the introduction of Prelacy, was also com- 
pelled, as we have said, to abandon his charge in the Abbey Church. 
Indeed, out of the sixteen ministers of the Paisley Presbytery, only 
two — Mr. Taylor, of Greenock, and Mr. John Hamilton, of Inver- 
kip — submitted to the new regulations. Mr. Stirling, some time 
after leaving the Abbey, went to the East Indies, and died at 
Bombay from injuries sustained in falling from a horse while riding. 
Wodrow (vol. i., p. 281), says " he was very acute, learned, and 
pious, and had a very polite and accurate way of preaching. He 
was mighty familiar and well acquaint with our great noblemen, 
such as the Marquis of Argyle and others, for he was well-bred and 
behaved. He was to have been settled at Erskine, but Mr. Dunlop 
enticed him to Paisley. Mr. Stirling wrote the first or historical 
part of that famous book, Naphtali, or the, Wrestlings of the Church 
of Scotland. The remaining part was written by the Solicitor- 
General of Scotland, Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees. The work 
was first published in 1667. It was ordered to be publicly burned, 
and any person found thereafter with a copy was ordained to pay a 
fine of ;^ 1 0,000 Scots. 

William Pierson was the first minister in the Abbey under the 
Episcopal form of government. His name is in the sederunt at 
the first meeting of Presbytery, held on 29th October, 1663. The 
attention of the new ministers was mainly directed to those who 
refused to take the usual oaths, to the punishing of those who 
objected to being elders, to the compelling of all to take the tests, 
and the putting down of conventicles. 

At this time, the laws against the non-complying Presbyterians 
were very severe. To preach at a conventicle was punishable with 


death, and any person who attended one was subject to a heavy 
fine. Mr. Pierson left the Abbey Church, on 6th February, 
1666, for DunfermUne. 

Mr. James Chahners, from Dumfries, an indulged minister, suc- 
ceeded Mr. Pierson in 1667. The Town Council, besides many of 
the lieges, being displeased with the new minister, appointed, on 
26th July, 1669, two of their body to go to Edinburgh to arrange, 
if possible, with Lord Dundonald to get another minister in Mr. 
Stirling's place. On 26th August following, " the Council conde- 
scended that they agree with Mr. Chalmers in as easy a way as they 
can, he giving the said demission." On 4th April in the following 
year, the Council agreed that 200 merks shall be paid by the town 
of Paisley to Mr. James Chalmers for the procuring of his demis- 
sion ; and he gave up his charge. He died in August, 1675. 
Two of the members of Council were sent to Edinburgh for " Mr. 
Matthew Ramsay to come unto this place, and had like were dealt 
with my Lord Dundonald, and diverse of the Secret Council had 
pitched upon the said Mr. Matthew, and ordered him to come 
here " (Council Records). 

Mr. Matthew Ramsay became thereby successor to Mr. Chalmers 
on 22nd September, 1669. He had been at one time minister of 
Wester Kilpatrick, but had been deposed in 1665. Wodrow, in 
his Church History^ vol. i., p. 427, states that he was a " person of 
the most shining piety, stayed gravity, of the greatest eminence of 
gifts, extraordinary sweetness of temper, and of a most peaceable 
behaviour ; but was by the Bishop in Synod deposed at Glasgow, 
without any other cause, so much as alleged, but his not attending 
their Prelatical Synods and Presbyteries." Along with several 
deposed and non-conforming ministers who accepted the indul- 
gence, he was reinstated, when he was appointed by an Act of the 
Privy Council.^ 

Mr. John Baird, on i6th December, 1669, was, in consequence 
of the delicate health of Mr. Ramsay, appointed his assistant by the 
Lords of His Majesty's Privy Council. The patron and Mr. 
Ramsay also concurred in this arrangement. Mr. Baird studied at 
the University of St. Andrews, and obtained his degree there in 
1648. In 1653, he was called both to Remback, in Fife, and 
Innerwick, in East Lothian, but, preferring the latter, was ordained 

^ The Council appear to have had in their possession a number of articles 
belonging to the Abbey Session, which they ordered to be "delivered to such 
persons as the Session shall commission. Four silver goblets. The Session box 
yountill three l)aeds, — ane of them by Hugh and Gilbert Scott, containing 225 
merks of inincl. ; another of them, by Gabriel Wilson, in JNIuirhead Street, 
cautioner, contg. 100 merks of princl.; and the tliird, a precept, with inhibition 
thereupon agt. Andw. Wilson, weaver, containing loo punds of principal, 
thirty-nine punds ten shillings, with the communion tickets, together with the 
church bibles, two long communion table-cloths, one okl long one, a cloth for 
the head table at the communion, and receive from them the Session's receipt and 
discharge thereof. And of an green table-cloth, a green pulpit-cloth, two water 
or basin cloths, with a tin cettle basin" (Toivn Coiiiuil Records, 17th March, 


there on 26th January, 1654. He discharged his duties there with 
zeal and fideUty till 1662, when an Act of the Privy Council was 
passed at Glasgow (ist October) which banished from their parishes 
all the ministers who had entered upon their charges since 1649, unless 
by the ist November following they procured presentations from 
the patrons and collation from the Bishops. Between 300 and 
400 ministers had thereby to abandon their charges, and Mr. Baird 
was among the number. On 7th June, 1669, the first indulgence 
was granted by the King to forty-two ministers, of whom I\Ir. 
Baird was one, permitting them, on certain conditions, to be settled 
in vacant parishes. 

It was during the incumbency of these two ministers, in 1670, 
that Archbishop Leighton of Glasgow proposed his scheme to re- 
concile Presbyterianism and Episcopacy. He first had a meeting 
at Edinburgh ; and subsequently in the Abbey Church, Paisley, on 
14th December, 1670, of the principal ministers in the west of Scot- 
land. The two Abbey ministers took a leading part in the discus- 
sion, but the Presbyterians would not listen to any compromise, 
and nothing therefore came out of the conference. Mr. Ramsay 
died in May, 167 1, aged forty-eight years. ^ 

Mr. John Baird, on the death of Mr. Ramsay, was appointed his 
successor in the first charge, and had as his colleague in the second 
charge William Eccles, an indulged minister. While Mr. Baird 
exercised his ministerial duties in after years, the strong covenanting 
proclivities he displayed sometimes brought him into difficulties. 
For not observing the anniversary of King Charles H.'s restoration 
on 29th May, he was brought before the Privy Council on the 8th 
July, 1673, and fined in the half of his stipend and the crop for the 
year.- On the 6th of March, 1684, when the persecution of indulged 
ministers was at its height, Mr. Baird was cited to appear before 
the Privy Council for breaking the indulgence accorded to him. 
On the nth April he was "deprived from the exercise of the 
ministry in all time coming, and in regard that his wife is sick, [we] 
give him until first May, to live regularly, otherwise to undertake 
banishment, and he and his family to remove out of the kingdom." 
In the end of that year, his wife, Margaret Bruce, who was a 
daughter of Mr. James Bruce, minister of Kingsbarns, Fifeshire, 
died at Inverkeithing; and in the beginning of the following year 
Mr. Baird also died, aged fifty-seven years. Wodrow states that 
"he was a minister of great learning and piety, and singular skill in 
medicine." He was the author of Violant the Review, and Babnfrom 

^ " Disbursed to Maiy Padie, relict of umquile Mr. Mathew Ramsay, minister, 
the sum of one hundred pounds money." (Tmun Council Records, 19th October, 

- In this period lofts were put into the Abbey to accommodate the increase in 
the population. The loft of Lord Ross of Hawkhead was in the north side, and 
the entrance to it was by a stair on the east side of the north porch, being carried 
through a window into the aisle. The entrance to the lofts above the south aisle 
was in the south-west angle of the transept at the east end of the south aisle. 


Gikad : or. The Differences about the I/idn/gence Stated and Impleaded 
(London, 1681, 8vo); besides leaving in manuscript a work, De 
Afagistratii, several sermons, and a treatise on " Hearing the 

Mr. William Eccles, formerly of Ayr (second charge), was ap- 
pointed to the second charge at the end of 1672.^ Like Mr. 
Baird, he was a keen Presbyterian and Covenanter, and was there- 
fore strictly watched by the Government. On 30th January, 1684, 
Mr. Eccles was summoned before the Privy Council, who " declared 
his license void, and ordain him to find caution, either not to preach 
or remove off the kingdom " ( ll^odroiu's Church History, vol. iv., 
p. 38). He returned to Ayr in 16S7. 

John Fullarton succeeded John Baird in the first charge in 1684, 
and his name first appears in the Presbytery Records on the 12th 
November in that year. He was an Episcopalian ; and, when 
ejected at the Revolution in 1688, he became chaplain to Lord 
Dundonald. He afterwards went to Edinburgli, and when Mr. 
Sage was elected Bishop of Edinburgh, Mr. Fullarton was conse- 
crated at the same time. On the death of Mr. Sage in 1720, Mr. 
Fullarton was chosen to be his successor. Mr. Fullarton died at 
his estate of Greenhall, in Glendorinal, 27th April, 1727, aged 
about eighty-two years, in the fifty-eighth of his ministry (Keith's 
Scottish Bishops, p. 524). 

James Taylor, minister of Mearns, was the successor, in 1684, of 
William Eccles in the second charge. A difference of opinion arose 
between him and the Town Council. He informed Bailie Pirrie 
that he was going to cultivate four acres of the land in Common- 
side, alleging that it was glebe land, and belonged to the former 
ministers. The Council, at their meeting on 9th March, 1686, were 
very indignant at this proposal, because they knew " perfectly that 
the same never belonged to the former ministers as glebe land, and 
was never in use or wont to till the same, but that the same was 
always rouped amongst the rest of the common land, therefore they 
have concludit that the Bailie and two of the Council and Clerk 
intimate to the minister, Mr. Tailleor, the morrow, that in case he 
till that land without their consent, that he may be liable for a riot 
to them for cost and damage and for remedying law, and in the 
meantime will also stop the plough in case he presumes to till." 
The firm attitude assumed by the Council very likely caused him to 
reconsider his proposal, as the matter is not again mentioned. Like 
his colleague, he was obliged to leave the Abbey Church at the 
Revolution. It is not now known what became of him thereafter. 

Anthony Murray was inducted minister of the first charge on 2nd 
April, 1688. At the Presbytery meeting on that day, " the brethren 
gave him the right hand of fellowship, having been an old actual 
minister." He was a relation of the Duchess of Lauderdale, and in 

^ " Letters sent by my Lord Dundonald to Mr. John Baird to Carrick to write 
to William Eccles to be minister \\.qx^" (Council Records, 14th November, 1672). 


1677 was desired by the Presbyterian ministers to use his interest 
in their behalf with the Duke. He did so, and pressed him par- 
ticularly for the relief of the imprisoned ministers from the Bass 
Rock. Lauderdale sternly refused, " the party," as he said, being 
" unworthy of any favour " ( Wodrow's Church History^ vol. ii., 
p. 348). Mr. Murray was himself put into prison on 13th October, 
1684, because he would not quit his ministry. When his brother, 
the Laird of Glendoich, was dying, the Council only allowed him 
to pay a visit, upon a bond to re-enter the prison by 20th November 
following, under a penalty of ^5000 ( Wodroios Church History, 
vol. iv., p. 39). Mr. Murray did not live long to enjoy his liberty 
and new position, as he died in the year following his induction. 

William Leggat was the successor to Anthony Murray, on 22 nd 
August, 1689. He belonged to Ireland, and had for some time 
previous to his induction in the Abbey been residing in Femaich. 
His continuance in the Abbey was of very short duration, as he 
returned to Ireland in 1691. 

Thomas Blackwell, a minister in Edinburgh, succeeded William 
Leggat in the first charge, and was inducted on 28th August, 1694, 
the Abbey having been without a stated minister for nearly three 
years. He suffered severely at the hands of the Episcopalian 
government. In 1676, he, along with some others in Glasgow, 
was " denounced for alleged harbour, reset, and supply of inter- 
communed persons, and having corresponded with some who had 
been denounced" (Wodroiifs Church History, vol. ii., p. 333). In 
the following year he was, at the instance of Mr. Ross, parson, 
Glasgow, committed to prison. One night the jailor, while intoxi- 
cated, left the prison door open, and Mr. Blackwell, along with 
another prisoner, escaped. The Privy Council fined the Glasgow 
Bailies in 10,000 merks, which was afterwards commuted to 2000 
merks, for dereliction of duty. Afterwards the cautioners for the 
jailer put Mr. Blackwell into prison, and did not let him out till he 
paid 7000 merks to his pursuers. In 1679 Mr Blackwell's house 
and goods were taken possession of by the Baihes of Glasgow, to 
recompense themselves for the fine they had paid to the Privy 
Council (Wodroiii's Church History, vol. iii., p. 5). 

At this time, and for several years afterwards, the Abbey had no 
minister to discharge the duties of the second charge. But on 4th 
May, 1698, Mr Thomas Brown, a young minister who belonged to 
Glasgow, was ordained to that charge. 

It was during Mr Blackwell's ministry that the persons alleged to 
be witches were executed and afterwards burned on the Gallow- 
green. Paisley. It does not appear from the Presbytery records 
and other authentic documents that he took a prominent part in 
this melancholy affair. It was Mr. Turner, minister of Erskine, 
who first brought before the Presbytery the case of Christian Schaw 
on 30th December, 1796. On 3rd February following, Mr Black- 
well was api)ointed, with other two members of Presbytery, to wait 
upon the Court who were to try the prisoners ; and on 17 th March 


following, he, along with other four members of that body, 
was appointed to meet with the commissioners. On 15th April 
following, Mr Blackwell and two members of Presbytery were 
desired " frequently to wait upon and deal with the consciences of 
those that were in Paisley Tolbooth." Clergymen attended 
Christian Schaw and the family of Eargarran, in rotation, to assist 
the parish minister in fasting and prayer, and Mr. Blackwell was 
one of these. It was David Brown of Neilston, a brother of 
Thomas Brown of the second charge in the Abbey, who preached 
before the convicted prisoners on 9th June, 1697, the day before 
they were executed. Of the thirteen times the case of these unfor- 
tunate prisoners was brought before the Presbytery, Mr. BlackwelFs 
name is only five times mentioned. He was a man of great ability 
and learning, and the author of Schema Sacrum and an Essay 
on the preaching of the Gospel. He was translated to Aberdeen 
on 9th October, 1700, and was afterwards professor of divinity in 
the University there. He must have been a great favourite with 
the Town Council and the inhabitants generally, for they did every- 
thing in their power to prevent his translation to Aberdeen. Bailie 
Dunlop was appointed on 23rd June, 1699, to go to Edinburgh to 
attend the Commission of the General Assembly, to use his influence 
in that court against the translation of Mr. Blackwell. The Council 
also sent Robert Paisley to St. Johnstone (Perth) to confer with the 
Earl of Dundonald regarding Mr. Blackwell's " transportation." 
The same gentleman afterwards went to P^dinburgh on the same 

According to the Council records of 21st August, 1732, "Mr. 
George Blackwell, preacher of the gospel, was made burgess gratis." 
This son of Mr. Blackwell, who was a minister in Aberdeen, must 
have been visiting Paisley when this honour was conferred on him. 

Thomas Brown of the second charge succeeded Mr. Blackwell 
in the first on 5th March, 1700. Robert Millar was, on 28th 
December, 1700, translated from Port-Glasgow — where he had been 
minister for thirteen years — to the second charge. In the latter 
end of 1708 Mr Brown died. On the 28th January in the follow- 
ing year, the Town Council did a very handsome thing to Mr. 
Brown's widow. 

* ' Having taken to their consideration that Mr. Thomas Brown, their late 
minister, is lately dead and left a wife and several children behind him, and that 
their circumstances are not so very good as they would wish, have therefore 
unanimously agreed to give to Mary Erskine, relict of the said Mr. Thomas, five 
pounds sterling in ane compliment." 

Mr. Robert Millar thereafter discharged all the ministerial duties 
in the Abbey for the next twelve years. This was a fortunate ap- 
pointment for the Abbey Church. His benevolence and Christian 
example greatly abounded, and had a most beneficial influence on 
every one around him. He was also eminent for his learning and 
piety. On 22nd September, 1722, Robert Mitchell was ordained 


to the pastorate of the second charge, but in 1739 he was translated 
to the Low Parish Church of Paisley, then newly opened. On 26th 
June in the following year, Mr. Mitchell was succeeded by William 
Fleming, who was translated from Kirkintilloch. Mr. Fleming died 
on 2nd January, 1747. There was no successor appointed to Mr. 
Fleming till 1751, when James Hamilton was admitted to the 
second charge.^ 

Mr. Millar, after a faithful ministry of about forty-three years, 
died in the eightieth year of his age, on i6th December, 1752. 
His widow, Elizabeth Kelso, survived him seven years. Although 
for some years prior to his death he was nearly blind, yet he per- 
formed his pastoral duties most efficiently. He was the author of 
the History of the Propagation of Christianity and Overthrow of 
Paganism, Edinburgh: 1723, 2 vols., 8vo ; also History of the 
Church tinder the Old Testament from the Creation of the World. 
Edinburgh: 1730, fol.- Seven years after his death, one of his 
sons, Andrew Millar, an eminent bookseller in London, erected a 
monument in the Abbey churchyard to his memory, with an appro- 
priate inscription. 

James Hamilton was promoted from the second to the first 
charge loth June, 1753. John Rae succeeded James Hamilton 
in the second charge 24th January, 1754, and died 4th September, 
1757. Archibald Davidson was the successor to John Rae in the 
second charge on 7th September, 1758. On 20th October, 1761, 
he was translated to the parish of Inchinnan, and afterwards re- 
ceived the important appointment of Principal of the College of 
Glasgow. Alexander Kennedy succeeded Archibald Davidson on 
loth June, 1762, and died on 12th July, 1773, aged 39. 

Robert Boog, a native of Edinburgh, was ordained to the second 
charge on 21st April, 1774, and on the death of his esteemed col- 
league, James Hamilton, on 14th March, 1782, in the sixty-first 
year of his age and thirty-first of his ministry, was admitted to the 
first charge on 29th August, 1782.-^ For the long space of half a 
century the Rev. Dr. Boog discharged his numerous and important 
pastoral duties conscientiously and with great ability. He also took 

^ In 1730 a belfry, eight feet high, was erected on the top of the present east 
gable, and a bell was hung in it bearing the following inscription, — "Johannes 
Specht, Rotterdam, A.n. 1730. It was a common saying that the tone of this 
bell when rung was, " Spin lint and tow." Seven years afterwards the session 
obtained the consent of patron and heritors to repair and enlarge the west loft in 
the church, the front seat of which was to be retained for the elders, and the 
other seats to be common. The expense of these alterations was to be defrayed 
from money collected in the parish for the purpose. At the renovation of the 
Abbey in 1861, this bell and belfry were taken down." 

^ The whole of these works were afterwards published in eight volumes by 
Robert Reid, and printed by John Neilson, Paisley, 1789. 

*Mr. Francis Douglas, author of the Description of the East Coast of Scotland, 
wrote a curious and elaborate epitaph on this clergyman, which appeared in the 
Scots Magazine of 1783, and was reprinted in the Weavers' Magazine, Paisley, 
vol. ii., p. 92. 


an active part in every public matter in the town of Paisley and 
Abbey parish, which tended to ameliorate the condition of the 
people. When a Dispensary was first established in 1786, followed, 
in addition, by a House of Recovery in 1803, his name appears 
among the first of the promoters of these useful institutions. 

At this time, and indeed since the Reformation, the accommoda- 
tion for the great body of the worshippers in the Abbey Church was 
very unsatisfactory. The Bailies and Councillors, along with a few 
of the heritors, had comfortable pews, but the greater part of the 
area was unseated. On this matter the Town Council records of 
25th January, 1672, supply us with some information, — "The 
Bailies and Council have concludit that there sail be pews buildit in 
the church upon the town's expenses, and then rouped and sett 
yeirhe, and Bailie Paisley and John Park, younger, are appointed to 
oversie the work and to agree with workmen for making thereof."^ 
And we further learn from the Council records of 6th June, 1672, 
that " it is concludit that the old Council seat in the church sail be 
this way disposed of as follows, viz., that the Sheriff Deput sail have 
the seat that sometime wis the Bailies' seat, and that heritors and 
old Councillors sail sit in the rest thereof, without prejudice to the 
ministers' wives." On the 6th October in the following year, we 
learn from the Council records that there was " paid out towards 
the expenses made in building the town's new seat in the church for 
timber and workmanship two hundreth punds money and;^53 los. 
4d. be the treasurer." 

The vacant spaces in the area of the church were generally occu- 
pied by those who brought stools along with them upon which to 
sit. When the Abbey Church was the only place of worship in and 
for many miles around Paisley, there would be seen, on Sundays, 
men and women going to the church carrying their stools, and their 
bibles folded in a white handkerchief - 

This occupation of a part of the Abbey Church by those who 
used stools in this way caused at times differences of opinion and 
even assaults to arise, as in the following case that came before the 
Sheriff, — Agnes Young, relict of William Roger, wright in Paisley, 
and the Fiscal against John Reid, son to William Reid, waker at 
Hawkhead Wakemills. The libel was as follows : " That the 

^ " For a long time there were no pews in the churches in Glasgow, and when 
seats came to be provided they were free. They were first let in 1667, and one 
of the Bailies and the Master of Works was appointed ' to visit the haill seats 
and lay on the quantities of mailles thairon' " (0/t/ G/asgo7v, by A. Macgeorge, 
p. 214). 

^ We have this from a gentleman at present upwards of 80 years of age, who 
was so informed by his mother. 

Except on the " kirking day," when the bride and bridegroom were accom- 
modated on a form in front of the pulpit, all "married women and maidens " 
were enjoined to "sit laigh," that is, on the church floor. In reference to this 
practice, the Kirk-session of Glasgow in 1597 expressly forbade "women to sit 
upon forms men should occupy," and further decreed "that all women sit together 
mihcVw^i" (Scotland : Social and Domestic, by Charles Rogers, LL.D., p. 350). 


violent dispossession of any person from that which they were 
accustomed to possess, and the beating, bruising, and violent thrusting 
such persons therefrom, aggravated as being committed in a kirk after 
the sacrament, is a crime severely punishable. Yet nevertheless, 
on the 17th July, 1722, the complainer Agnes Young, being in the 
kirk of Paisley after the sacrament ordering or sitting in ane chair 
or stool where, for several years bygone, she used to sit, the said 
defender coming upon her where she was sitting upon the said seat, 
bid her begone, therewith violently dragging the seat from under 
her, occasioning thereby ane violent fall to her ; and not satisfied 
therewith, when the complainer getting up and getting hold of ane 
post, he did there rugg and ryve her, driving her head and other 
pairts violently against the said post, whereby she hath been indis- 
posed and braised that she is not capable for any exercise, and 
thereby not able to earn her daily bread, which her circumstances 
doth not otherwise allow her but by labouring with her hands ; 
which being verified the defender ought and should be fined in the 
sum of fifty pounds Scots, and deserned to pay the soum of thirty 
punds Scots of dammage and assythment to her as the party ill- 
used, in terrour of others to do or commit the like in time coming" 
(Judicial Records of Renfrewshire^ by W. Hector, vol. i., p. 103). 

In 1788 the Abbey Church was in a very bad condition, and the 
Countess-Dowager of Glasgow wrote to the Rev. Mr. Boog on nth 
February in that year, desiring him to call a meeting of heritors to 
consider the propriety of putting it in complete repair. The meet- 
ing was immediately held, and the heritors appointed a committee 
to desire tradesmen to report as to what should be done. These 
tradesmen reported that the roof of the body of the church and side 
aisles, both couples and sarking, were so much decayed that they 
could not be repaired, and recommended a new roof The heritors' 
committee also recommended the door in the south side of the 
church to be built up if not required for a window, and the whole 
church above and below to be seated with new seats ; new doors to 
be placed at the north and east entries ; the main lights in the great 
west windows — No. i to be opened and glazed from top to 
bottom ^ ; No. 2 to be opened and glazed ; No. 3 to be bayed on 
each side and glazed as a window ; Nos. 4 and 5 to be completely 
opened if there shall be no gallery before them ; Nos. 6 and 7 to be 
opened where not covered by a gallery ; No. 8 may be built up ; 
Nos. 9 and 10, the one to be opened and the other shut ; Nos. 11, 
12, 13, and 14 to be open as at present, or so much as not covered 
by the gallery ; the west door to be opened and the house lately 
built before it to be purchased. The committee subsequently 
recommended the opening and glazing of four of the high double 
windows on the south side, and the high north windows to be built 
up with solid stone. The high west window, which had been shut, 

^ At the Reformation in 1560 the clerestory windows of the nave were broken. 
Afterwards those on the south side were built up with stone, and those on the 
north side were filled with wood. 




was opened and glazed ; and the spaces at the top of the high north 
windows were all opened and glazed. The plan of the galleries was 
prepared by the Rev. Mr. Boog. The access to them was by 
a stair at each corner of the building. The pulpit was placed at 
the middle column on the north side. The family seats of the 
principal heritors were in the front of the galleries. On the east 
side of the pulpit was the pew of Lord Blantyre, for Cardonald. In 
the east front were those of William Maxwell, for Brediland ; of Sir 
John Maxwell, for Crocston ; of the Town Council of Paisley, for 
the Burgh of Paisley ; and of Robert Fulton, for Hartfield. In the 
south front were those of the Marquis of Abercorn, the patron of 
the parish, and the Earl of Glasgow, for Hawkhead. In the west 
front those of James Dunlop, for Househill • Robert Orr, for 
Ralston ; Ludovic Houstoun, for Johnstone ; and Lord Douglas, 
for Abbotsinch. And on the west of the pulpit that of Alexander 
Speirs, for Arkleston and Newton. The armorial bearings of these 
heritors were placed in front of their respective pews. The repairs 
were commenced on iSth April, 1788, and completed on 28th April, 
1789. These improvements were considered to be of so much im- 
portance that a medal was obtained to commemorate the event. 
We give a view of this beautiful and rare medal, which has on the 
one side a representation of the exterior of the Abbey, and on 
the other side the interior. 

The Latin word Auspicio, with R.B. under it, means that this work has been 
done under the auspices of Robert Boog. 

When the proposal to make these extensive renovations on the 
church came before the Council on 4th March, 1788, they readily 
agreed " to join the other heritors of the Abbey to make a thorough 
repair of the Abbey Church, and to pay a proportional part of the 
expense conform to their valuation." 

James Mylne was the successor to Mr. Boog in the second 
charge on 27th March, 1783, and resigned his pastorate on 4th 
October, 1797, having then been elected to the chair of Moral 
Philosophy in Glasgow College. While minister in the Abbey he 
farmed 150 acres of land, which he leased from the Earl of 

James Smith succeeded Mr. Mylne in the second charge, and 
was ordained to the pastorate on 26th January, 1798, 


In 18 1 5 a marble monument, from a design by Flaxman of Lon- 
don, was by the consent of the heritors erected inside of the east 
gable, having the following inscription thereon : " To the memory 
" of William M'Dowall, of Castlesemple and Garthland, his Majesty's 
" Lieutenant, and in five parliaments the representative for Renfrew- 
" shire, erected by the County. A memorial of esteem for his private 
" virtues, and gratitude for his pubhc services." 

On 4th June, 1817, the eightieth birthday of King George IIL, a 
grand performance of vocal devotional music, accompanied with 
appropriate instruments, took place in the Abbey Church with the 
consent of the heritors and the enlightened pastor. We believe this 
was the first musical performance of the kind that took place within 
the walls of the Abbey, and it proved the prelude to many more in 
successive years. This sacred concert was under the patronage of 
the Earl of Glasgow and the most of the noblemen in the county. 
Mr. R. A. Smith, so deservedly celebrated for his exquisite skill in 
all that belonged to melody and harmony, was the composer of much 
of the music and leader of the choir on this occasion.^ The charge 
for admission was 5s. to the gallery and 3s. to the area, and the per- 
formance continued from one till four o'clock in the afternoon. In 
every respect it was a great success." 

James Smith preached a sermon on 13th January, 181 4, on the 
occasion of a national thanksgiving " for the evidences 'of a special 
Divine Providence attending the late successes obtained over the 
enemy." This sermon was afterwards published by request, and 
was dedicated by the author " to his most obliging and much 
esteemed colleague and friend the Rev. Robert Boog, D.D., and to 

^Robert Archibald Smith was born in Reading, Berkshire, i6th November, 
1780. His father, Robert Smith, a native of East Kilbride, was a silk weaver 
in Paisley, but he left in consequence of bad trade, and went to Reading. In 
1800 he returned to Paisley with his family. In 1802 R. A. Smith married Mary 
Nicol, a native of Arran. He shortly afterwards commenced to teach music, 
and in 1807 was appointed the conductor of the choir in the Abbey Church. 
This choir after a time had not an equal in any of our Presbyterian churches. 
Mr. Smith was a warm and intimate friend of Tannahill. In 1810 he published 
Devotional Music, and in 1819 Antliems, in four parts. He afterwards, between 
1821 and 1824, published his great work in six volumes, entitled The Scottish 
Minstrel. In 1823 he removed from Paisley to Edinburgh, to become the con- 
ductor of the choir of St. George's Church. In 1825 he published the Irish 
Minstrel, in two volumes ; and in 1826 a work entitled An Introduction to Sing- 
ing, &c. In 1827 appeared the first part of his new work, c?i\\ed Select Melodies, 
&c. At the end of 1828 his health, which had not been good for some time, 
gave way in a serious manner, and after a fortnight's severe illness he died on 
3rd January, 1829, in the 49th year of his age. 

^ "During his residence in Glenmill my father attended an oratorio in the 
Abbey Church, Paisley, the first important musical occasion that had taken place 
in the West of Scotland, and which excited intense interest amongst all amateurs 
resident in the surrounding districts. Of this oratorio my father writes, — 'There 
was an orchestra with an organ, all novelties to me. An organ I had never 
heard. There was a large choir of R. A. Smith's training. Several of his own 
anthems were sung — the Hallelujah Chorus, and the chorus of Angels from 
Beethoven's Mount of Olives, with some other classical choruses. I had never 
heard sacred music other than simple psalm tunes. The effect on me was trans- 


the congregation at large of the Abbey Church, Paisley, in testi- 
mony of his regard and esteem." This, we believe, was Mr. Smith's 
only publication. He died on 28th January, 1817.^ His successor 
in the second charge was Patrick Brewster, who was ordained loth 
April, 1818. 

Robert Boog died on 24th July, 1823, in the 74th year of his age 
and 50th of his ministry. The degree of doctor of divinity was con- 
ferred on him by the Glasgow College on ist May, 181 2. Mr. 
Boog wrote a history of the Abbey, but it was never published. 
The MS., in his own handwriting, is in the Paisley Free Reference 
Library.- Mr. Boog was the author of a poem of twelve printed 
pages, without the date of publication, entitled Excursions through 
the Starry Heavens, and printed by J. Neilson, printer, Paisley. 
The managers of the House of Recovery, with most becoming pro- 
priety, at a meeting held on 4th October, 1823, recorded in their 
minutes that they " take this opportunity of expressing their sincere 
and deep regret for the loss of that eminent and excellent man. 
He was the parent and uniform friend of these charities, whose 
time, talents, and influence were ever cheerfully and successfully 
devoted to promote the prosperity of the establishment. To his 
humane and benevolent exertions may justly be ascribed that 
degree of usefulness and respectability to which it has attained." 
In the year following Dr. Boog's death a volume of his discourses 
was published, selected from his MSB. and edited by Professor 
Mylne, of Glasgow. In the preface the Professor pays a high 
tribute to the memory of his late colleague, and states that the 
publication of the discourses is " in compliance with the wishes, 
strongly expressed by a great number of his regular hearers and 
many of his friends in different parts of the country." 

Robert M'Nair succeeded Robert Boog in the first charge 

cendently overpowering. I was in an agony of delight. My whole nervous 
system was trembling and thrilling with emotions no language could describe. 
Feeling often sets language at defiance. That was a revelation of heavenly 
music entirely new to me. It was a day and a feast everlastingly to be remem- 
bered, and so it is ; but the experiment was highly dangerous to a temperament 
like mine, so sensitive to the power of music. On returning to my charming 
Glenmill, sleep there was none to close my eyes the first night. The music con- 
tinued to peal, thrill, and penetrate evei7 fibre of my heart. The nerves so 
affected refused repose. This state continued more or less for two weeks ' " 
(Memoir of John Fraser, of Neufeld, Johnstone, by his son, James Roy Fraser, 
p. 14). 

^ One of his sons is the Rev. James Smith, presently of Cathcart parish, who 
has for a long period been clerk to the Presbytei-y of Glasgow, the laborious and 
important duties of which office he discharges with great ability. On being fifty 
years a minister, he was entertained at a jubilee by his brethren of the Glasgow 
Presbytery and other friends in M 'Lean's Hotel, St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, on 
30th April, IS78. 

^ He possessed the original MS. rental book of a folio volume kept by the 
chamberlain of the Abbots, commencing 20th April, 1460, by Sir Wm. Seniple, 
Bailie of the regality of Paisley, in his own handwriting, and ending 1540. This 
MS. volume was sold in Edinburgh at a public sale of Mr. Boog's books on 19th 
December, 1823, and was bought for the Advocates' Librar)', where it now is. 


Having studied at the University of Glasgow, he was ordained 
minister of the parish of Ballantrae in 1815, and was translated 
from that pastorate to the Abbey of Paisley on 9th April, 1824. 
]\Ir. M'Nair possessed a kind and affable manner. In the year 
after his induction, the old manse and garden ground adjoining, at 
Wallneuk Street, was sold, and a new manse (the present one) 
erected beside the Glebe, additional ground being bought to give 
an entrance to the same from the Glasgow Road. In the first personal 
visit he made to the parishioners, immediately after his induction, 
he was well received, and at once secured a strong impression in 
his favour. This he retained to the end of his ministry. During 
the period of his pastorate, several important events occurred in 
which his patience was severely tried, but he always conducted 
himself in a calm and dignified manner. In the times of the 
Voluntary controversy, which extended over several years, although 
holding firmly his own opinions, he always expressed them tem- 
perately, and abstained from throwing uncalled-for obloquy on those 
with whom he differed. He took a deep interest in the Church of 
Scotland extension schemes that were promoted at that time. 
Near the end of 1836 he published a pamphlet of twenty-eight 
pages on this subject, entitled " An Address to the Heritors, 
Parishioners, and Congregation of the Abbey Parish of Paisley, 
showing the want of Church accommodation and pastoral superin- 
tendence in the parish, and suggesting a plan by which the evils 
thence arising may in part be remedied." In this brochure the 
village of Elderslie was particularly pointed out as in this defective 
condition, and it was through his efforts and influence that some 
time afterwards the present beautiful little church was erected there. 
When the secession in the Established Church in 1S43 occurred, 
he held, we believe, non-intrusion principles, and was one of the 
famous forty who signed a declaration embodying their opinions ; 
but like many others, he disapproved of seceding from the Church. 
At that time (1843) he came before the public as an author on two 
separate occasions. The first was a pamphlet of nineteen 
pages, entitled " An Address to the Parishioners, especially the 
Congregation of the Abbey, their duty in the present circumstances 
of the Church of Scotland." The other was a discourse which he 
first delivered in the Abbey Church in May, 1843, ^^^ '^^^s entitled 
" Separation between Paul and Barnabas," in which he states that 
" the train of thought was suggested in a great manner by the cir- 
cumstances in which the Church of Scotland is at present placed." Dr. 
M'Nair also jointly with the Rev. Dr. Burns wrote for the " New Sta- 
tistical Account" a description of the Town and Parishes of Paisley. 
In the Presbytery Court, after the secession, his wise counsels 
were of great service to his brethren. He likewise exerted himself 
much both in officiating in churches that had been vacated, and in 
procuring clergymen to preach where they were required. On 
12th April, 1842, the degree of D.D. was conferred on him 
by the University of Glasgow. 


In 1845, ^ number of gentlemen in Paisley and neighbourhood, 
who appreciated Dr. M'Nair's labours which followed the secession 
from the Church, resolved to present him with a substantial mark 
of their gratitude and esteem. This was carried out on the 24th 
October of that year, when the subscribers to the gift, through Mr. 
William Bissland, presented the reverend gentleman, in the Presby- 
tery House, with a gold watch, gold chain and appendages, a 
silver jug, and silver salver. On the latter was the following 
inscri])tion : — " The Rev. Robert M'Nair, D.D. From the friends 
of the Church of Scotland in Scotland. A testimonial of personal 
esteem and grateful acknowledgment for his valuable services 
during a period of difficulty occasioned by the late secession from 
the Church." In a most praiseworthy manner he devoted much of 
his valuable time to the fostering of Sabbath schools and to 
education generally in the parish. With the numerous calls that 
were made upon him to attend the sick, he was at all times most 
ready to comply, exhibiting invariably at the same time his urbanity 
and kindness. 

Dr. AI'Nair died on 22nd July, 1851. For thirty-seven years he 
was an ordained minister, eight years at Ballantrae and twenty-nine 
years in the Paisley Abbey. At the period of the death of this 
good divine, he may be said to have been without an enemy. He 
was married to a daughter of the late Principal Hill, who survived 
him, and died at Leith on first March, 1871. 

Patrick Brewster was presented by Lord Aberdeen, who acted 
for the INIarquis of Abercorn, to the second charge, as already 
mentioned, on the loth of April, 181 8. He was born at Jedburgh 
on 2oth December, 1788, and received his elementary education 
under his father, who held the Rectorship of the Grammar School 
in that town, and afterwards completed his course of study at the 
University of Edinburgh. During the early years of his ministry 
he took little interest in either political or public affairs. At the 
death of Dr. Boog, in 1823, he applied for the first charge to Lord 
Aberdeen, who expressed himself as willing to comply with his 
wish. Mr. Brewster afterwards, however, declined to take it, unless 
he got a new manse, which could not be promised. 

It was not till 1835 that ]\Ir. Brewster's political career began, 
and did not cease in any way till his death. On 22nd September 
in that year, a public dinner was given to Daniel O'Connell, M.P., in 
Glasgow, and Air. Brewster attended, acting as one of the chaplains 
by returning thanks. On the following day he drove out with INIr. 
O'Connell in his private carriage to Paisley, and attended, in the 
Old Low Church, a public meeting summoned to do honour to that 
gentleman. At a meeting of the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr held 
on the following month, Mr. Brewster's conduct in this matter was 
severely commented on by several of the reverend gentlemen. 
The Paisley Presbytery, at a meeting on the 4th November follow- 
ing, on the motion of Dr. Bums resolved, by ten to three votes, 
" to record their marked disapprobation of INIr. Brewster's conduct 


in having attended a public dinner given to Mr. O'Connell, M.P., 
in Glasgow, on 22nd September, as unseemly and disrespectful to 
the principles of the Church of Scotland." On the 12th May in 
the following year, the friends of Mr. Brewster held a meeting in 
the Abbey Church, which was well attended, for the purpose of 
voting an address to him, " expressive of the sense the heritors, 
members of congregation, and seat-holders entertain of his eminent 
talents as a minister of the Church of Scotland, and of the respect 
and esteem in which he is held by his congregation and by the 
parishioners at large.'"' Mr. Matthew Robertson, of Foxbar, was in 
the chair, and Mr. John Wilson, ofThornly, was the leading speaker 
in moving the adoption of the address. On 12th November, 1838, 
more honours were conferred on Mr. Brewster, for he was enter- 
tained at a public soiree in the Exchange Rooms, and presented 
with an address, " for his noble and patriotic exertions in the cause 
of civil and religious liberty." Provost Robert Bisset presided. 

Mr. Brewster, like almost every one else at that time, was in 
favour of the abolition of slavery. He delivered a powerful sermon 
on the subject, in the Abbey Church, which was afterwards 
published as a pamphlet in August, 1838. 

In the beginning of 1839 Feargus O'Connor visited Edinburgh and 
Glasgow to advocate the People's Charter. Mr. Brewster, although 
holding all the extreme Chartist views promulgated at that time, 
was opposed to the physical force opinions, held by Mr. O'Connor 
and others, and in favour only of moral force. At a meeting in the 
bazaar of Glasgow, which Mr. Brewster attended, Mr. O Connor 
challenged him to discuss the merits of their respective views either in 
Paisley, Glasgow, Edinburgh, or on the mountain top. When Mr. 
Brewster was leaving this meeting Mr. O'Connor was irritated at his 
conduct, and addressed him in language which we would be ashamed 
to repeat. Mr. O'Connor did come to Paisley at a late hour on the 
following night, but Mr. Brewster declined to discuss the force 
question then. He agreed, however, to do so on an early day, 
after proper arrangements had been made. This meeting did 
afterwards take place in a field at the north end of Abercorn 
Street, where temporary hustings were erected. The two champions 
entered the grounds accompanied by their respective friends. 
Each of the parties had a chairman, Mr. O'Connor having John 
M'Crae, Kilbarchan, and Mr. Brewster having Dougald M'Ausland, 
Paisley. It was arranged that the subject to be discussed should 
be " the best method of conducting the movement for obtaining the 
Charter." It was also agreed that Mr. O'Connor should open the 
debate, and that half an hour should be allowed to each speaker, 
after which their replies were to be confined to fifteen minutes. 
Several replies followed the first addresses, and a good deal of 
vituperative language was indulged in on both sides. To test the 
strength of the two parties assembled, Mr. Brewster proposed as a 
resolution the Calton Hill or moral force views, and ]\Ir. O'Connor 
proposed as an amendment the opposite physical force view. 


When these motions were put to the vote, both parties claimed the 
majority. The supporters of the two propositions divided them- 
selves on the field and Mr. O'Connor climbed up a tree to have a 
better view of the crowd. After much wrangling, both parties 
claimed that they had a majority of two thirds over the other, and 
left the field well pleased with the result. The respectable portion 
of the inhabitants looked upon this exhibition as a degrading 
position for a minister of the Gospel to place himself in, as he was 
opposing a mere itinerant quack. ^ 

The next crisis in Mr. Brewster's life was in July, 1841, 
when the Glasgow Presbytery informed the Paisley Presbytery 
that he had preached two sermons in a Chartist Church in Glasgow, 
and that they were of opinion the tendency of these discourses was 
hurtful, and would have the effect of irritating the poor against the 
rich. This matter engrossed the attention of the Presbytery for a 
long time afterwards, and they consulted first the Synod and 
ultimately the General Assembly, who instructed them to cause Mr. 
Brewster to deliver up the manuscripts of these discourses. This 
when asked he declined to do, and he preached them over again in 
the Abbey Church. At this time the soldiers stationed in the 
Barracks attended divine service in the Abbey Church. Passages 
in these sermons were regarded by the officers as very insulting to 
the soldiers, as when looking up to them he spoke of a brutal 
soldiery. Thereafter they were not sent to the Abbey Church, 
but to the Episcopal Chapel instead. In June, 1842, Mr. 
Brewster's conduct was brought before the Commission of the 
General Assembly, who found ground for a libel, and suspended 
him from his ministerial duties for a year. 

In February of the following year Mr. Brewster was served with 
a libel at the instance of the Marquis of Abercorn, Earl of Glasgow, 

^ The Chartist agitation continued to rage fiercely for several years after this. 
Not satisfied with speaking and petitioning Parliament in favour of the charter, the 
Chartists at the meetings held for a repeal of the duty on the importation of corn 
and jjrovisions, carried resolutions in favour of the charter. Their views may be 
gathered from the following placard which they issued in February, 1840 : — " To 
the uncompromising Reformers in Paisley. I3eware of the present anti-corn law 
humbug. It is a mere trick of the Whigs to divide the people and to acquire 
popularity, by holding forth a hope which the)' never intend to realize. Sign no 
petitions but for an extension of the suffrage, which alone can secure to the 
people the benefits arising from a repeal of the corn laws and every other 
monopoly. Be firm in that resolve, which is now becoming general, and the 
charier will speedily be the law of the land. Issued by a number of Electors 
and non-Electors who are desirous to counteract the machinations of the enemies 
of the people." On 21st April, 1848, the Chartists of Renfrewshire had a gi-eat 
out-door demonstration. They met at Caledonia Street, and, numbering about 
5000, afterwards processed through the town to a meeting they held at Colinslie. 
Those assembled were addressed by Ernest Jones and others, and the foi"mer 
advised them to procure fire arms and load them openly in order to frighten and 
intimidate the Government. Mr. Brewster, who was present, in condemning 
the seditious language used, was received by those assembled with yells of 
disapprobation. Their violent and unconstitutional conduct had two effects. 
It tended to injure the trade and commerce of the country and to retard the 
progress of good political measures. 


Col. Fulton of Hartfield, and W. M. Alexander of Southbar. 
There were thirteen counts in the libel, which extended to ninety- 
three pages of manuscript. Besides many other things, he was 
charged with introducing secular and worldly politics into his ser- 
mons on Sunday, — with representing the great body of the working 
classes as the subjects of grinding tyranny and oppression by the 
rulers of the country, — with calling the military forces of the several 
sovereigns of Europe, including Queen Victoria, human tigers, 
hired assassins, beasts of prey, and instruments of oppression, — 
with preaching these political sermons to the exclusion of the 
doctrines of the gospel, and that these were calculated to create 
insubordination among the troops present in the church, and also 
to excite the poorer classes to discontent and to hatred and revenge 
against their rulers. The libel concluded by craving that Mr. 
Brewster should be censured and punished according to the rules 
and procedure of the Church. The greatest opponents of Mr. 
Brewster in the Presbytery seceded from the Church of Scotland in 
that year, and the remaining members, wishing to have their hands 
relieved of this troublesome libel, decided in December of that 
year to the effect that Mr. Brewster be assoilzied from the charges. 
After the libel was served on Mr. Brewster, his friends, who were 
numerous among the working classes, held meetings in the Exchange 
Rooms, and carried resolutions highly laudatory of his conduct, and 
condemnatory of the Church Courts. At that time also a number 
of the inhabitants residing in Charleston district presented him 
with a walking staff, having a silver plate on it bearing a suitable 

In the beginning of 1845 ^ '^^^ unpleasant circumstance oc- 
curred in Mr. Brewster's family — the conversion of Miss Brewster 
to the Roman Catholic faith, and her becoming a member of that 
body. At that time Mr. Brewster sent a challenge to Bishop 
Murdoch of Glasgow to discuss, for the benefit of his daughter, 
whether the Church of Rome is the only true Church. On 22nd 
February, 1845, the Bishop sent a letter to Mr. Brewster, declining 
to accept the challenge, on the ground that he held in the Church 
of Rome a higher rank than Mr. Brewster did in the Church of 
Scotland, but referred him to ]\Ir. Bremner, the Catholic priest in 
Paisley. There the matter stopped. 

A meeting of the General Assembly's Committee for the liquida- 
tion of the debt on quoad sacra churches was held in the Exchange 
Rooms on 9th November, 1847. The Marquis of Bute presided, 
and was supported by Lord Blantyre, Colonel Mure of Caldwell, 
and other leading men in the county and town. After some able 
and appropriate speeches were delivered in favour of the object of 
the meeting, Mr. Brewster moved an amendment that the com- 
mittee appointed to raise subscriptions be instructed to take such 
measures as may seem best to render available the unappropriated 
tiends which are the patrimony of the Church. As the noble chair- 
man held this amendment to be incompetent, Mr. Brewster moved 


instead that, as there is great destitution in the country, and as the 
poor are not receiving sufficient support, it is inexpedient to ask 
for subscriptions. This amendment was also objected to, where- 
upon Colonel Mure moved a vote of thanks to the chairman, and 
all the gentlemen on the platform, along with others, left the meet- 
ing. Those that remained called Mr. Brewster to the chair and 
passed a vote of want of confidence in the former chairman. Fol- 
lowing this meeting a long correspondence took place between 
Mr. William Barr, writer, and Mr. Brewster relating to the tiends, in 
which the former accused the latter of a desire to spoil this meeting. 

In November in this year the Free Church party in Paisley held 
a meeting in the Old Low Church to condemn the Paisley Presby- 
tery for taking possession of the quoad sacra churches. Mr. 
Brewster attended this meeting, boldly denied the accusations 
made, and challenged his opponents to bring down their best 
leaders from Edinburgh, and he would on fair terms debate this 
matter with them. There was some correspondence afterwards be- 
tween him and Mr. Macnaughtan of the Free High Church on the 
subject, but nothing further was done. 

In 1849 the Presbytery was engaged in prosecuting the minister 
of Renfrew for intemperance. In the meantime the Rev. Mr. Kirk 
was inducted minister of the Middle Church, and there followed on 
the same day the usual induction dinner, which was attended by 
most of the members of Presbytery. The Scottish Toiiperance 
Reviciu^ in an article afterwards, accused those present at the dinner 
of having drunk to excess. At a subsequent meeting of Presbytery 
Mr. Brewster argued that so long as that charge of intemperance 
was held over the heads of the members of Presbytery, it was 
neither fair nor decent that they should come forward as the prosecu- 
tors of another person forthe selfsameofifenceof which they were guilty. 

A vacancy took place in the chair of Church History in the 
Glasgow University in 1841 and also in 1851, and on both occa- 
sions Mr. Brewster was an unsuccessful candidate. The Paisley 
Town Council, when Mr. Bisset was Provost in 1841, and again 
when Mr. Phillips held that position in 1851, granted strong testi- 
monials in his favour. 

At the death of Mr. M'Nair, Mr. Brewster applied to the Marquis 
of Abercorn to be promoted to the first charge, and although the 
majority of the congregation memorialised the patron in his favour, 
yet Dr. John M'Leod of Morven received the appointment. While 
the committee who acted for the congregation in Mr. Brewster's 
behalf were conducting their business, an extraordinary occurrence 
took place. Mr. John Crawford, writer, who was secretary to that 
committee, called on Mr. Brewster on the morning of the 8th 
August, 1 85 1, about a memorial that required to be sent to the 
patron. Some words arose between them of a violent nature, which 
resulted in Mr. Crawford striking Mr. Brewster severely on the face. 
Mr. Crawford was afterwards, on the 22nd October following, tried 
before Sheriff Glasgow and a jury, and the indictment charged him 


with the crime of assauk, having wickedly and feloniously struck 
Mr. Brewster several severe blows on the face and head, to the effu- 
sion of his blood and severe injury of his person. The jury, by a 
majority of eight to seven, returned a verdict of not guilty. Mr. W. 
Edmondstone Ayton, Edinburgh, acted as counsel for Mr. Craw- 
ford. The trial and the whole circumstances connected with this 
assault caused great excitement in the town at the time, and on loth 
November following a crowded meeting of the admirers of Mr. 
Brewster was held in the Exchange Rooms, and voted to him a 
flattering address. Dr. M'Leod did not accept the call, and the 
power of election having passed to the Presbytery, they ascertained 
that the patron had sent a presentation to Mr. Andrew Wilson, 
Falkland, and they confirmed that appointment. 

After Mr. Brewster thus failed to obtain the first charge he ceased 
to take much interest in public affairs. At the same time his 
health began to give way, and this was probably the cause of his 
partially renouncing public engagements. In 1857 the Presbytery 
relieved him from the performance of his pastoral duties for some 
time, but without his obtaining any beneficial result. He died very 
suddenly on 26th March, 1859. Mr. Brewster was twice married. 
His first wife was a daughter of Colonel Stafford of Main, in Ire- 
land, and the second was a daughter of Mr. James Smith, his im- 
mediate predecessor in the second charge in the Abbey. Mr. 
Brewster abstained from taking intoxicating liquors, and for many 
years was an oftice-bearer of the Total Abstinence Society. In the 
early years of his ministry he lived at Hillhead, and farmed the land 
belonging to that place ; afterwards he lived at Craigielinn, a resi- 
dence he built on the top of Glenififer Braes, and there he died. 
During his incumbency there were frequent complaints against him, 
on the part of the parishioners, for living at places so distant from 
the town, particularly CraigieHnn, which could not be easily ap- 
proached. " How could he perform his numerous pastoral duties 
satisfactorily," the parishioners said, " by living at such an inac- 
cessible place as Craigielinn ? " Immediately after his death his 
admirers resolved to have a monument to his memory, and this 
project they carried out by the erection of the stone statue at present 
in the Paisley Cemetery. 

Mr. Brewster possessed very considerable talents and ability. 
His style of preaching and composition were terse and vigorous. 
He was also a very good debater on the public platform and at 
church courts. The pertinacity and stubbornness, however, with 
which he asserted his views, greatly injured his influence. His life 
was a succession of disputes, either on public aftairs, or with the 
heritors, or in the church courts. In addition to his many speeches 
he frequently appeared as an author.^ 

^The following list comprises, we think, all his publications : — 

Sermon — Heroism of the Christian Spiiit, ... ... ... ... ... 1833 

Ser///on — The ClaiiKS of the Church of Scotland on tlie support and affection 

of the people, ]}XQSLc\\cd in the Abbey Church, 23RI July, ... ... 1835 


Mr. James Cameron Lees, of Carnock parish, in the Presbytery 
of Dingwall, succeeded Mr. Brewster, and was inducted to the 
pastorate on ist September, 1859. 

Mr. Andrew Wilson, minister of the parish of Falkland, succeeded 
Dr. Robert M'Nair in the first charge. The Presbytery, upon whom 
the right of presentation had devolved, offered, as already stated, 
the vacant benefice to Mr. Wilson in February, 1852, and he was 
inducted on 19th August following. Mr. Wilson was a native of 
Lauder, and there and at the University of Edinburgh received his 
education. Falkland, where he ofticiated for about nine years, was 
the first field of his labours. After his appointment he was sub- 
jected to much opposition and annoyance by Mr. Brewster of the 
second charge. Objections were raised at Mr. Brewster's instance, 
before the Presbytery, against Mr. Wilson's trial sermons — as being 
in many places heretical. The Presbytery held that the objections 
were not well founded, and dismissed them. Mr. Brewster then ap- 
pealed to the General Assembly, who, after hearing Mr. Brewster 
in a speech of three hours' duration, dismissed the appeal and in- 
structed the Presbytery to induct Mr. Wilson into the pastorate. 
On the induction day Mr. Brewster protested against the reverend 
court proceeding with the business ; and at the meeting in February 
following, he along with three members of the congregation pre- 
sented, by the hands of a solicitor from Glasgow, a libel charging 
Mr. Wilson with heresy. The Presbytery decided that it was in- 
competent for the court to entertain it, as the matter had already 
been disposed of by the highest court of the Church.^ 

This appointment of Mr. Wilson was a most fortunate one for 
the Abbey parish and the town of Paisley. In Sabbath-school and 
Bible-class instruction, in the superintendence of day-schools, and 
in the discharge of all the various important duties of a minister of 

Reply to the attacks made on Mr. Brnvster in the Synod of Glasgow -and 

Ayr for attending the O^Connell dinner, ... ... 1 835 

An Essay on Passive Obedience, ... .. ... ... ... ... 1 836 

Report of Speeches at Soiree given in Mr. Bre^vster^s honour, 1 2th Nov., ... 1838 
Sermon relating to the liberation of the slaves, ... ... ... ... 1838 

The Seven Chartist and Military Sermons, ... ... ... ... ... 1 843 

rhe Legal Rights of the Boor, 1843 

Mr. Brezvste^^s .Statements in the Assault Case, ... ... ... ... 1 85 1 

Wellington weighed in the balance ; or, War and Crime, ... ... ... 1853 

The Perils and Duties of the IVar: European Freedo7n and Popish Conspiracy, 1854 
Report of the Speech at the Paisley Presbytery in the case of Mr. J. G. Wood, 1856 
The Indian Revolt : its duties and dangers, an address delivered in the 

Abbey Church, 1857 

The Plague of Patronage, ... ... ... ... ... ... ••■ 1858 

^ Mr. Brewster, in conducting these proceedings against Mr. Wilson, incurred 
some expenses, and preached a sermon in the Abbey Church with the intention 
of applying the church-door collections to the paying off the debt. The session, 
in a small-debt action in the Sheriff Court to obtain the money thus collected, 
secured a decreet in their favour, for it was decided that the money belonged to 
them. The Abbey session also applied to the Sheriff to interdict Mr. Brewster 
from retaining church-door collections under any circumstances. The Sheriff 
granted this interdict, deciding that the church-session is the only party entitled 
to fix collections at church doors and the purposes to which they are applicable. 


the gospel, he was all that could be desired. He undoubtedly was 
endowed with great talents, and possessing the powers of an 
effective orator, knew how to exercise these qualifications for the 
benefit of all around him. His sermons were carefully prepared, 
and he delivered them, without reading, in a graceful and eloquent 
manner. The congregation worshipping in the venerable Abbey 
increased rapidly in numbers ; so much so, that every sitting was 
occupied. In whatever churches, besides, he preached, he always 
drew an admiring and attentive audience. The other congregations 
in the Established churches in Paisley had been, since the secession 
in 1843, gradually on the increase, but now, from Mr. Wilson's able 
ministrations and those of Mr. M'Gregor in the High Church, the 
progress became very marked and decided. 

In 1859 Mr. Wilson turned his attention to the improvement of 
the accommodation of the congregation, and, indeed, the renovation 
of much of the Abbey itself A meeting of heritors, at his request, 
was held. Mr. Salmon, Glasgow, was selected as the architect, 
and he afterwards supplied a report, dated 15th June, i860, with 
plans, recommending what should be done. The important im- 
provement and restoration work carried out comprised the removal 
of the accumulations of soil, to the extent of about ten feet in some 
places, above the original levels, some of the most beautiful and 
characteristic features of the building being thereby buried, such as 
the fine moulded bases of the internal pillars, and of both sides of 
the external walls. The whole of the church was re-seated, and the 
pulpit shifted from the centre of the north side to the centre of the 
east end ; and instead of heavy galleries all round the church, a 
neat gallery was placed in the west end only. Although the former 
seating was sufficiently substantial, it was neither in harmony with 
the character of the building nor did it afford the accommodation 
and comfort obtained in a modern church. The excavations inside 
of the building, where the accumulations of earth were from three to 
four feet deep, were made sufficient to leave a vacant space under 
the floor for the admission of air, and the accommodation of hot 
water pipes to heat the church.^ All the windows were re-glazed, 

^ During the excavations in the buiying-ground adjoining the north side of the 
church, it was alleged that the place of interment belonging to the heirs of Mr. 
Robertson, gardener, Greenlaw, was interfered with. Dr. Robertson, Glasgow, 
one of the heirs, brought the case before the Sheriff and applied for interim 
interdict, which was granted. After a long proof, the Sheriff held that although 
earth had been removed, the remains of the pursuer's relatives had not been dis- 
turbed by the operations ; that although the lair was in an unsightly state, it was 
still capable of being put right ; and that the heritors had the power of regulating 
the churchyard, consistently with Mr. Robertson's right of maintaining inviolate 
the remains of his relatives. On appeal, the Sheriff Principal adhered to this 
judgment. The case, however, was next taken to the Court of Session, when 
the judges in 1868 adhered, and held it to be quite clear that the churchyard 
was the property of the heritors, subject, no doubt, to certain uses by the 
pari-shioners. In the present case, looking to the accumulation of earth both 
inside and outside the church, these operations were quite proper in their nature. 
The court condemned the long, expensive, and unnecessary proof that had been 
led, for which the pursuer was mostly to blame. This case, it will be seen, was 
before the law courts for six years. 


except those in the west and east gables. The stone \vork that 
filled up the windows in the south clerestory and south-east gallery- 
was taken away, and was replaced with glass similarly to the others. 
The stone work in the door in the south wall was removed and 
formed into a window. Over the north porch there was an 
unseemly building used as a vestry, which was entirely taken down, 
and all the turrets and pinnacles restored, and thereby a most 
pleasing effect was given to the external appearance of the Abbey. 
The north transept window, one of the most beautiful features of 
the building, was restored, and the gable secured so as to prevent 
future decay. By these operations the comfort of the congregation 
was increased, and the nave externally made to appear some- 
what like what it must have been in the days of its greatness. Of 
the expenditure incurred, the heritors contributed ^600, the con- 
gregation ;;/^4oo, and the general public the balance. Application 
was made to the Board of Works for some assistance, but this was 
declined, for the reason that the Abbey did not belong to the 
Crown. The Queen and the Prince of Wales were also solicited 
for subscriptions, the latter as Baron of Renfrew, and he gave 

When the work of restoring the Abbey, which extended over a 
year, was completed, it was opened for public worship on Sunday, 
14th April, 1 86 1. On the Thursday evening preceding, the build- 
ing was crowded with a brilliant assemblage, on the occasion of a 
grand performance of sacred music by the Paisley Musical Associa- 
tion, under the guidance of Mr. John Lorimer. 

The committee, before terminating their labours in connection 
with the restoration of the Abbey, purchased and razed to the 
ground a number of houses fronting Old Smithhills Street and 
Abbey Close, to afford a better view of the Abbey. This improve- 
ment was afterwards completed by the Town Council in 1873, 
when they bought and cleared away the remaining old and un- 
seemly buildings on the east side of the Abbey Close, changing it 
from a wretched lane into a handsome thoroughfare. 

In 1863, Mr. Wilson and his colleague, Mr. Lees, applied for an 
augmentation of stipend ; and the Court of Tiends, on i6th March, 
1864, raised the amount from twenty-two to twenty-seven chalders. 
In 1808 the stipend for the first charge had been fixed at eighteen 
chalders, half in meal and half in barley, with ;£io in money; and 
in 1829 the stipend had been raised to twenty-two chalders meal 
and barley equally, with ;^2o as money stipend. There is besides 
for the minister of the first charge a manse and glebe. In 181 6 the 
second charge stipend was fixed at twenty-two chalders meal and 
barley equally, with ;^ 1 5 in money, but without manse or glebe. 

^ The committee under whom the renovation was conducted were the Provost 
of Paisley, Rev. A. Wilson, Rev. J. C. Lees, H. E. Crum Ewing, M.P., John 
M'Innes (convener), Thomas Richardson of Ralston, Peter Coats, Thomas 
Coats, RolDert Brown, John Hutchison, David Semple, Dr. Richmond, James 
A. MacKean, and William Fulton. 


To the universal regret of his parishioners and townsmen, Mr. 
Wilson, after a short illness, died on the 5th March, 1865, in his 
forty-eighth year. On the preceding Sunday he preaclied and con- 
ducted the usual services, and intimated the district he intended to 
visit on the following Monday and Tuesday. On the Monday he 
carried out these arrangements in his usual health, but at his class 
in the evening he felt unwell, and went home at an early hour. 
The best advice was obtained from medical men, who pronounced 
the disease to be rheumatism of the heart. All the congregational 
and parochial machinery were left by him in a most efficient state. 
Mr. Wilson possessed a high order of intellectual power, and was 
large-minded in his views. He lived in perfect harmony with the 
brethren in his own and other churches. His death was a severe 
stroke not only to his own congregation, but to everyone in the 
community. Jie was universally beloved, and his memory is 
cherished to the present day. The printed literature contributed 
by Mr. Wilson was not extensive. It consisted of three sermons, 
preached by presbyterial appointment in the Abbey in March, 
1852, which Mr. Brewster held in some parts to be heretical : and 
also a /^;-<?(:////r^' in 1856 on the Scottish Education Question. The 
funeral was on the 19th of March. The company, after the 
funeral cortege, extended four abreast from the Abbey gate 
past the Cross steeple, and numbered about five hundred, including 
a large number of the most respectable gentlemen in town of all 
religious denominations, and most of his warmly-attached friends of 
the Abbey congregation. 

Mr. J. C. Lees, after the death of Mr. Wilson, was advanced to 
the first charge. Being fond of travel, he made arrangements in 
the beginning of 1870 for a tour of several months in Palestine and 
the East. In the following year the degree of D.D. was conferred 
upon him by the University of Glasgow. Mr. Lees was deservedly a 
great favourite with the members of the congregation ; and when the 
honour was bestowed upon him, upwards of fifty ladies belonging 
to the church, on i8th May in that year, entertained the reverend 
gentleman at tea in the Abbey session-house, and presented him 
with the robes frequently used by a Doctor of Divinity, Psalm- 
book, pulpit Bible, and a purse containing a sum of money suffi- 
cient to pay his expenses in connection with the obtaining of the 
degree. It was a good deal through his efforts and encouragement 
that a powerful and excellent organ was in 1874 erected at the east 
gable of the Abbey, behind the pulpit.^ During his ministry, also, 
the first stained -glass window was, on 12th March, 1873, erected by 
Mr. John White of Grougar, in memory of his grandfather and 
father. This noble example was followed by many others soon 
afterwards. Dr. Lees applied to the heritors to have the manse, 

^ The builder of the organ was Mons. A. Cavaille-Coll, of Paris, justly cele- 
brated for the reed stops of his instruments ; and the cost, including the fitting-up, 
was close on ^2000. On 26th February, 1874, the organ was first used, at a 
concert of sacred music given by the Paisley Musical Association. 


which was alleged to be in a bad state of repair, improved and also 
enlarged. As they declined, or at anyrate delayed to do what was 
wanted, Dr. Lees applied to the Presbytery for redress. That 
court sanctioned repairs and additions estimated to cost about 
;^i8oo ; and as some of the heritors objected to this expenditure, 
the case was transferred by them to the Sheriff Court.^ The case 
was under litigation there when Dr. Lees received a call — which he 
accepted — to the pastorate of the church and parish of St. Giles, Edin- 
burgh. Before leaving Paisley, the Abbey branch of the Young 
Men's Christian Association, at a social meeting, held on loth 
October in that year, in the Mission Hall, Lawn Street, presented 
Dr. Lees with a photograph of all the members of the Society, and 
also an enlarged one of himself. He did not, as is usually the 
case with clergymen, leaving one pastorate for another, preach a 
farewell sermon to the Abbey congregation. At the conclusion, 
however, of the communion services, without any previous intima- 
tion, he informed those present of his departure, and took farewell 
with them. On leaving the manse at the end of October, 1877, 
he sent the keys of the manse to the Clerk of the heritors, and 
as a parting rebuke to them for refusing to repair the manse, he 
wrote, ist November, 1877: — "In closing my connection with 
" your clients, I venture to express the hope that they may show 
" more kindness to my successor than they have done to me after 
" my long service in their" 

While residing in Paisley the contributions by Dr. Lees to 
literature, although not numerous, were nevertheless most impor- 
tant. They were as follows : — " An Election Sermon," preached 
in the Abbey Church of Paisley, 8th November, 1868. In 1874, 
Leaves from 7iiy Log, or a Trip to Scandinavia. In 1875, Visitation 
of the Sick. But his great work was completed just before leaving 
Paisley, his LListory of the Abbey of Paisley, from its foundation till 
its dissolution, which is a most accurate and interesting work, and 
must, from the research it so fully exhibits, have cost him immense 
labour. Dr. Lees, when he left Paisley, was a member of the 
Paisley School Board, having been elected in 1876. 

Mr. James Dodds succeeded Dr. Lees in the second charge, 
and was inducted on 21st December, 1865. Mr. Dodds, 
whose father was parish school-master at Roseneath, was first 
ordained at Alloa, was afterwards pastor at Melville, Dundee, and 
latterly at St. Stephens, Glasgow. He took an active part in many 
public matters, and was elected a member of the first Paisley 
School Board in 1873. Mr. Dodds was an effective and pleasant 
speaker at public meetings, and among other measures advocated 
the better observance of the Sabbath, the continuance of Bible 
teaching in the public schools, and the diminishing of the liquor 
traffic. He was himself an abstainer from the use of into.xicating 

^ The objecting heritors were the Duke of Abercom, Lord Blantyre, and the 
guardians of A. A. Speirs, Esq., ofElderslie. 


liquors. Although holding his opinions strongly, and advocating 
them boldly, he was never dogmatic, but always treated the 
opinions of his opponents with the utmost respect. In 1875 he 
accepted a call from the congregation of St. George's Church and 
Parish, Glasgow, and preached his farewell sermon to the Abbey 
congregation on 27th June in that year. During the general 
Parliamentary election in 1868, he published a pamphlet entitled 
An Address to Members of the Chureh of Scotland. ^Vhile in 
Glasgow the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by the 
University of Glasgow.^ 

Mr. James Mitford Mitchell was translated from the parish of 
Kirkmichael, Dumfriesshire, as the successor of Mr. Dodds in the 
second charge. As patronage was abolished by an act of the 
Legislature in 1874, the members of the congregation, for the first 
time, held the right of electing their minister."-^' The election, 
which was a most harmonious one, took place on 17th May, 1875, 
and he was inducted into his new charge on i6th September 
following. He did not remain long in the Abbey, however, but 
accepted a call to the pastorate of the West Parish Church of 
Aberdeen. On Sunday, 13th February, 1878, he preached his 
farewell sermon. It was thought to be Mr. Mitchell's desire to 
receive the first charge, but believing he would not obtain it, and 
unwilling to continue to fill the second charge with a new minister 
as his superior, he accepted the call from Aberdeen. Mr. Mitchell 
discharged all his pastoral duties, during the short time he was in 
the Abbey, in a most efficient and acceptable manner. 

At this time, by the translation of Dr. Lees to Edinburgh and of 
Mr. Mitchell to Aberdeen, both charges in the Abbey were vacant. 
The congregation succeeded in electing a minister to fill the second 
charge, but the one they chose for the first charge declined to 
accept it, and thereby they lost their right of presentation. The 
Presbytery, on whom it now devolved, disregarded the recommen- 
dation of the Abbey congregation, and made the appointment 

Mr. Thomas Gentles, of the Trinity College Church, Edinburgh, 
was the clergyman selected by the Presbytery to succeed Dr. Lees 
in the first charge. He was inducted on 20th December, 1878. 
Before entering the manse, he presented an application to the 
Sheriff to have it repaired and enlarged, and to assess the real rent 
heritors to defray the expenses that would be incurred. Some of 
the heritors opposed the application, on the ground that the 
minister was asking more to be done than was necessary, and the 
real rent heritors opposed Mr. Gentles's petition, not with any 
reference to the repairs and additions wanted, but on the ground 

^ In December, 1S81, he resigned his charge in Glasgow, and accepted a 
unanimous call from the congregation of Corstorphine Church and Parish. 

- The Sheriff fixed the compensation to be paid to the Patron, the Duke of 
Abercorn, for the second charge at ;[f 47 7 lis. gd., but the noble Patron after- 
wards declined to take any compensation for either of the charges. 



that the expense, whatever it might be, should be borne as 
hitherto by the valued rent heritors. The Sheriff, however, granted 
nearly all the repairs and additions that were asked, and held that 
the expenses of the same should be paid by the real rent heritors, 
both in the Abbey Parish and in the Burgh of Paisley. During the 
collection of this assessment, which amounted to twopence halfpenny 
per ^ of the rent-roll of the feuars, great dissatisfaction was created, 
and many bitter things were stated against the Church of Scotland. 

Mr. J. B. Dalgety was elected on i8th August in this year, by 
the congregation, to succeed Mr. Mitchell in the second charge. 
They heard seven candidates preach in the Abbey Church, and the 
voting, which was by ballot, took place on five of these. Mr. J. B. 
Dalgety, of the M'Leod Memorial Church, Glasgow, having the 
greatest number of votes, was declared duly elected. He was 
inducted into the second charge on 20th December, 1878, along 
with his colleague, ]\Ir. Gentles. 

Shortly after the renovation of the venerable Abbey church, the 
happy thought arose among those who interested themselves 
in its improvement, that it would be very appropriate and 
greatly to the adornment of the interior of the ancient structure, to 
have the lower windows filled with painted glass representing 
biblical subjects, and executed in designs of the highest class. 
The first proposal of this kind came, as already stated, from Mr. 
John White of Andarrach and Grougar, in a letter from Mr. Heath 
Wilson, Glasgow, of i8th January, 1866, who offered to present a 
window of figured glass, to be fitted into the east gable of the 
church behind the pulpit. In describing the painted windows 
erected in the church, we shall commence with the north window 
in the east gable, which, for the sake of regularity and reference, 
we call No. i ; and afterwards, applying a number to each window, 
we shall go round the church till we arrive at No. i, where we 

No. I, North Window, in the east gable, opposite the east end 
of the north aisle. 

The subject in this window is the Crucifixion of our Saviour, 
which occupies the lower or principal part of the window, while the 
Resurrection fills in the arch above the window ; is in memory of 
Joseph Whitehead of Kilnside, who died 17th September, 1872, 
aged sixty years ; and was presented by his sister, Mrs. Mary 
Whitehead or Philips. The artists were D. Cottier & Co., London. 

No. 2, High Centre Window, in the east gable. 

The subject in this window is the Ascension. In the centre and 
upper portions of the window is the principal figure, viz., the risen 
Redeemer, who is represented as in the act of ascending, and is 
surrounded by the Hosts of Heaven, among whom appear Moses, 
Aaron, and the Prophets, including John the Baptist in the fore- 
ground. The eleven apostles are represented as spectators of the 


event, and with action characteristic of the individual and of the 
wondrous scene of which they are the witnesses. The lower part 
of the window is divided into three panels, in the centre one of 
which Mr. White's arms are displayed, and the following inscrip- 
tion : " Erected by John White of Grougar, 1870." The panels on 
either side are filled with ornamental scrolls, with the following in- 
scriptions : — Left hand, " In memory of John Whyte, physician, 
Paisley, died 1830;" and on right hand, "In memory of John 
Whyte, chemist, Glasgow, died i860." The window was handed 
over to the heritors and unveiled in a public manner, 13th March, 
1873. 1'he artist employed to design this window and make the 
glass was Franc. Fries, of Munich and Vienna. 

No. 3, Lotv South JVindow, in the east gable at the east end of 
the south aisle. 

The subject of the upper portion of the window is the unbelief of 
the Apostle Thomas, and bears the inscription, " And Thomas 
answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God " (John xx. t,t,). 
The lower part of the window represents the baptism of Christ by 
John the Baptist, and bears the inscription, " And Jesus when He 
was baptised went straightway out of the water" (Matt. iii. 16); 
" And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from 
heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him" (John i. 32). Mr. 
Thomas Coats of Ferguslie presented this window in memory of his 
father, Mr. James Coats, senr. The window is a copy of a painting 
in the possession of Mr. Coats's family. The artists were Messrs. D. 
Cottier & Co., London. 

No. 4, South Aisle. 

The subject is the virtuous woman. " She layeth her hands to 
the spindle ; she stretcheth out her hands to the poor ; she maketh 
herself coverings of tapestr}^ and her household is clothed in scarlet ; 
and with the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard " (Proverbs 
xxxi. 16-19, 20, 21, 22). The rest of the window is filled with 
green foliage on a white ground, with bars of texts in the upper 
parts of two side lights. This window is erected in memory of 
Jean, who died 1862, aged 94; Mary, who died 1840, aged 70; 
Margaret, who died i860, aged 77 — daughters of James Stevenson, 
silk gauze manufacturer. Paisley — by William Stevenson, Glasgow. 
The artists w'ere Messrs. INIorris & Co., London. 

No. 5, South Aisle, is not yet filled in with painted glass. 

No. 6, South Aisle. 

The subjects in this window are — David in triumph before Saul ; 
incident in the life of Gideon, viz., the sign respecting the dewy 
fleece ; Joshua commanding the sun to stand still ; incident in the 
life of Caleb, viz., the two faithful spies, with grapes. This window 
was erected by the Earl of Cathcart. The artists were Messrs. 
Clayton & Bell, London. 


No. 7, South Aisle. 

The three lights in this window are filled with figures of Enoch, 
Abraham, and David, one in each light. Enoch is represented holding 
a palm in his hand, emblematical of his excellence and victory over 
sin. Abraham has a staff in his hand, emblematical of his wander- 
ings. David is represented as praising God on his harp. The 
three panels formed by the tracery are filled with adoring angels, 
one in each panel. The inscription on the brass plate placed 
beneath the window is as follows : — " To the dearly-loved memory 
of Archibald Alexander Speirs of EldersHe, M.P. for Renfrewshire, 
who died at Elderslie, December 30th, 1868, in his 29th year. 
' By faith ye are saved.' This window is placed by his Widow 
and his Mother." 

No. 8, in West Gable., opposite west end of south aisle, is 


The centre figure represents Samson as after conflict he utters 
thanks to the God of battles. " Thou hast given this great deliver- 
ance into the hand of Thy servant" (Judges xv. 18), is the passage 
inscribed underneath. The base of the design contains the shield 
of Wallace, wreathed with Scottish thistle, and supported by swords 
of his time, upon a ground work of the St. Andrew's Cross. In 
the upper arched part of the Avindow is an ascending angel, em- 
blematical of Freedom rending asunder the chain and shackles 
of bondage. The window bears the following inscription : — " To 
the memory of the Knight of Elderslie, in this parish. Erected 
by the Glasgow St. Andrew's Society." Artists — James Ballantine 
& Son, Edinburgh. ]\Ir. Ballantine, sen., at the presentation and 
unveiling on nth September, 1873, recited an appropriate and 
able poem, which he had himself written for the occasion, from 
which the following is an extract : — 

" To-day, St. Andrew's sons assemble here, 
To honour one to Scotland ever dear ; 
The glorious Wallace, Knight of Elderslie, 
Whose patriot valour set his country free 
From cunning snares by crafty Edward set — 
To smother Scotsmen in his rasping net ; 
And but for Wallace Scotland would have ceased 
To be aught but a croft for England leased. 

*' Unmatched in ancient or in modem days, 
Dear Wallace merits all our grateful praise ; 
His every action and his every aim 
Was ever to maintain his country's fame. 
And with an arm strong as a mountain rock 
He kept her free from foreign nile or yoke ; 
And we should ne'er forget the debt we owe 
To him who laid our stern oppressors low. 


" And hence the grateful tribute that we pay 
To his great name on this eventful day ; 
And hence the Wallace monuments that rise 
To cheer and charm all freemen's hearts and eyes. 
And now St. Andrew's sons have placed up here 
A hero's image who ne'er had a peer, 
That all who Paisley Abbey come to see 
May ne'er forget the Knight of Elderslie. " 

Southern half of Great West Windoiv. 

This window is in three Hghts, and is divided into two storeys by- 
bands, so as to allow of the introduction of six subjects. These 
are illustrations of Christ's miracles of mercy, and are arranged in 
the following order :— 

1. Upper storey, left side — The cleansing of the leper (Matt. 
ix. 29). 

2. Upper storey, centre — The sending forth of the Apostles to 
preach the Gospel (Matt, xxviii. 19). 

3. Upper storey, right — The raising of Lazarus (John xi. 43). 

4. Lower storey, left — The restoration of speech to the deaf and 
dumb (Matt. vii. 34). 

5. Lower storey, centre — The feeding of the five thousand 
(Matt. xiv. 21). 

6. Lower storey, right — The opening of the eyes of the blind 
(Matt. ix. 29). 

The window was designed by M. Franz Fries, and executed 
under his superintendence in Munich — much of the glass being 
wrought by his own hand. 

This window is in memory of James Carr Boyle, Earl of Glasgow, 
Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Renfrew. 
Born loth April, 1792. 
Died nth March, 1869. 
Erected by Georgina Anne, Countess of Glasgow, his widow. 

No. 9, West Windoza in North Aisle. 

This window is divided into four panels, on which are represented 
the figures of Salome, Mary, Elizabeth, and Eunice. Under the 
figures are pictures showing Eunice teaching Timothy when a child, 
Elizabeth and her son John the Baptist, Joseph and Mary with the 
Saviour, and St. John and Eunice ; and in the tracery are a number 
of angels and cherubs. The other spaces are filled in with leaf 
work of a light shade. This window is in memory of William James 
Houstoun ; born 25th October, 1848; died 6th September, 1866. 
Erected by his brother, Mr. George L. Houstoun of Johnstone Castle. 


No. 10, Window in North Aisle. 

This is a four-light window. The subjects symbolise the pro- 
clamation of the Gospel. In the first light the figure of John the 
Forerunner, with a representation underneath of his baptising in the 
wilderness, symbolises the gospel of repentance. In the second 
light the figure of the Apostle Peter, with a group underneath 
representing the threefold charge given to him, symbolises the pro- 
clamation of the Gospel. In the third light the figure of the 
Apostle Paul, with the incident of his preaching at Athens repre- 
sented below, symbolises the preaching of the Gospel to the 
Gentiles. In the fourth light is the figure of the Apostle John, 
with the apocalyptic representation of Him who walketh amidst the 
seven golden candlesticks, symbolising the prophetic revelation of 
the future history of the church. This window is in memory of 
William Carlile, deceased 20th October, 1829, aged 83 years; and 
his brother, James Carlile, deceased 28th October, 1835, aged 83 
years. The window was presented by James Stevenson, Glasgow, 
and the artists were Morris & Coy., London, from drawings by Watts. 

No. II, Windotu in North Aisle. 

In the middle spaces of the lights are illustrations of the parables 
of the Labourers in the Vineyard and the Talents, one in each 
light. Above and below are represented the eight virtues — Truth, 
Chastity, Modesty, Patience, Courage, Industry, Temperance, and 
Charity ; and the top space in each window is occupied by an 
angel holding a scroll. In the tracery are two angels adoring, and 
one praising ; and at the bottom of the window is the inscription — 
As a memorial of Thomas Richardson, Esq. of Ralston, who died 
at Pesth, 26th June, 1872. This window is presented to the Abbey 
by his widow, his brother David, and his son Robert. The artists 
were Cottier & Co., London. 

No. 1 2, or Eastmost Windo7V in North Aisle, is not yet filled in 
with stained or figured glass. 

The Great East IVindotv in the chapel of Saint Mirin, or Sound- 
ing Aisle. 

This window has four lights, and in the first next the Abbey 
Church is a shield with the arms of the Lordship of Arran sur- 
mounted by a baronial crown. In the next light is the shield of 
Hamilton and Arran quarterly, surrounded with the Garter, and sur- 
mounted by a ducal coronet. In the third light the shield of 
Hamilton and Arran quarterly, with an escutcheon of pretence 
for Chatelherault within a scroll, with the motto, sola nobilitas 
virtus. In the fourth light is a shield with the coat of Hamilton 
only, and surmounted by a baronial crown. In the body of the 
window are A. for Abercorn : H. for Hamilton, and fleur-de-lis 
for Chatelherault ; and other heraldic badges. The inscription 
underneath is as follows : — " For the better adorning of the house 


of God and the sepulchre of Lord Claud Hamilton, commendator 
of the Abbey of Paisley, first Lord Paisley ; and of his son James, 
first Earl of Abercorn, and other members of his family, this window 
has been placed by James Duke of Abercorn and Chatelherault, 
Marquis of Hamilton, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the 
Garter, a.d. 1879." 

Thus has all that is left of the Abbey been renovated and im- 
proved according to the best skill of our day. But less than half of 
the ancient church has been dealt with thus. The choir and the 
transept and great tower are awanting ; and there is much need for 
another church to accommodate the Abbey congregation, whose 
members considerably outnumber their present sittings. There is 
good opportunity here for private munificence, or for public spirit, 
among the sons of the Church of Scotland. 



HE Abbey buildings, situated on the right bank of the 
river Cart in Paisley, form a cruciform structure, con- 
sisting of what is termed, in ecclesiastical architecture, 
nave, north transept, and choir, with an additional 
chapel adjoining on the south, taking the place of a 
south transept, and called " Saint Mirin's Aisle," or more com- 
monly the " Sounding Aisle." The nave, which has been used 
since the Reformation as the parish church, is 93 feet long within 
the walls, and S9/4 feet broad, including the aisles; the north aisle 
being i^}^ feet wide, the south aisle 12 3^ feet wide, and the nave 
proper or centre part 33^ feet wide. The height from the floor to 
the ceiling is 82 feet. An eminent architect^ who visited and 
minutely examined the venerable edifice in 1852, and took several 
views of it, says : — 

"The first feature that demands attention is the western doorway.* It is 
broad and deep, with large bold mouldings, exhibiting, though the style in 
general is the early English, some remnants of the toothed decorations of the 
Norman period. On either side of the pointed arch of the doorway there is a 
narrower archway of the same character, faced with stone. Above the doorway 
there are three windows, generally speaking of the same period of architecture ; 
but while the single window in the highest department is of a more decorated 
character, the two othei\s occupying the compartment between it and the door 
are somewhat remarkable for the breadth and simplicity of the mullions. Owing 
to this feature in the interior, when the sun is setting, or there happens to be 
otherwise a strong light from the west, the outlines of the details of these windows 
are conveyed to the eye by a strong contrast between the light and the opaque 
masses by which it is obstructed ; and the spectator is reminded more forcibly 
than he usually is by ecclesiastical windows, that he is looking through the de- 
partments of a strong stone structure which admits the light only in fragments. 
" But there are other objects of more interest in the interior, which consists 
merely of the nave. The triforium and the clerestory rise majestically above the 
tops of the pillars, and are marked by peculiarities of more than usual interest. 
Corresponding in breadth with each arch between the body of the church and 
the aisles, there is a semi-circular arch in the triforium. These arches are of 
very unusual breadth in comparison with their height ; but this effect is modified 

^ T/ie Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland, by Robert William 
Billings, vol. iv. 

^ The Rev. Mr. Graham in his Description of Perthshire, p. 14, states that the 
main door of the Priory Inchmahone, Lake of Alonteith, is the same as the west 
door of the Paisley Abbey. 


by the depth and richness of the chistered mouldings, and by each being divided 
by a slender column into two narrow pointed arches, richly cusped, having be- 
tween a quatrefoil in the enclosing arch. Again, above this department and over 
each pillar, a large corbel or bracket projects forward, springing from the effigy 
of a beast, and stretching so far from the wall, in a series of segmental mouldings, 
as to become broad enough to contain a passage between it and the wall. Be- 
tween the space occupied by each broad arch of the triforium there are two 
clerestory windows. A gallery passes along the clerestory, and in that division 
between each window, which is above the keystone of the arch below, it passes 
through the department, while in passing each alternate division, above the 
pillars and the separations of the triforium arches, the gallery passes round the 
exterior, and is supported by the corbels. The object of these peculiarities is 
clearly to give the roof the full support of solid masonry above each pillar, with- 
out its being weakened by a perforation. As there is no balustrade on the 
corbels, a walk along this gallery is a somewhat nei"vous operation. The clere- 
story windows have pointed arches, each divided into two departments, with tri- 
foliate tops and a quatrefoil between them in the enclosing arch." 

The internal measurement of the north transept is 92 }4 feet by 
35 feet. The northern window, which measures 35 feet in height 
by 18 feet in breadth, and was restored along with the gable in 
1 86 1, is a splendid specimen of ecclesiastical architecture. It is 
formed within an arch of beautiful proportions. The centre mullion 
divides the window into two great lights, pointed and richly cusped. 
The space between them and the great arch has been filled in with 
flowing tracery exhibiting great beauty in its details. The transept 
is otherwise ruinous, but the remains of the strong clustered pillars 
that supported the tower which started from the centre of the whole 
buildings are still to be seen. The gable dividing the nave from 
the transept, which is 5}4 feet thick, must have been built after the 
tower fell. 

The choir measures internally 123^4 feet by 32 feet. The walls, 
upon which there are many curious pieces of sculpture, are in a 
ruinous condition, and only about 10 feet in height. On the south 
side, near the east end, where the high altar stood, are the graceful 
and highly decorated remains of the sedilia, used as stalls or seats. 
Near them is also a small plain piscina or font. 

The whole edifice of the once famous Monastery, which stands, 
as usual with ancient churches, east and west, was 265 feet in 
length, measuring over the walls. 

It would have been very interesting to know who was the archi- 
tect that designed in such beautiful proportions and symmetry, both 
internally and externally, the church of the old Paisley Monastery. 
Upon a stone in the wall of the south transept of Melrose Abbey 
there appears the following inscription : — 

" John Murdo sum tyme callyt was I, 
And born in Parysse certainly, 
And had in keeping all mase werk 
Of Sanctaudroys, hye kirk 


Of Glasgow, Melros and Paslay, 

Of Nyddysdall, and Galway ; 

I pray to God and Mary bathe 

And sweet sanct John keep 

This holy kirk fra skaith. " 
Some writers, from the terms of this inscription, have alleged that 
John Murdo was the architect who furnished the designs for Paisley 
Monastery. This, however, could scarcely be the case, for the edi- 
fices here referred to were not all erected at the same period, and 
we are therefore inclined to believe simply that he had something 
to do with these buildings in the way of superintending repairs or 
additions, and from the position he held managed to get this rather 
pompous inscription, which has no date, placed on the walls of 
Melrose Abbey. 

The entrance to the chapel of St. Mirin and Columba, or the 
Sounding Aisle, as it is generally called, situated on the south side 
of the church, is approached through the cloister court. The chapel 
is 48 feet in length, 24 feet in breadth, and 33 feet in height. In 
the north side wall there was a communication with the transept of the 
Monastery by two arches each 11 feet broad by 18 feet, but these 
Avere long ago built up. The chapel is entered on the west side by 
a flight of four steps, and about fifteen feet of the floor, at the east 
end, is raised by a flight of four steps to give space for a burying 
vault below. In the west gable is an arched window 1 7 feet high 
by 9}^ feet broad, and divided by three mullions. In the east 
gable there is also a beautiful Gothic window 24 feet high by 1 2 
feet broad, with three mullions having four trefoil-headed lights and 
arches filled with tracery, composed mainly of quatrefoils. Under- 
neath this window there are groups of figures which are supposed 
to represent the seven sacraments of the Church of Rome, viz. : 
(i) communion, (2) extreme unction, (3) baptism, (4) matrimony, 
(5) penance, (6) ordination, (7) confirmation. 

" A piscina and some other of the adjuncts of the chapel as a 
place of worship, still remain. The windows belonging to the 
decorated period are not without merit " (Bi/lings's Antiqinties of 
Scot/and). The inside of the walls are all ashlar stone, and the 
roof is beautifully groined and arched. Above the chapel there is 
a dormitory, 12 feet in breadth by 10 feet in height, arched with 
stone, lighted by a window in the two gables, and having a stair in 
the west gable leading to it. This chapel is much visited for the 
sake of the wonderful echo that it has. When the door is shut 
firmly after a visitor enters, the reverberating sound is very remark- 
able. Pennant, who visited this chapel in 1772, states that it "has 
the finest echo perhaps in the world " (Pennanfs Tour in Scotland, 
vol. ii., p. 168), but this is either exaggerated, or matters have 
changed much since that time. 

The first interment in this vault in this chapel, which is seven 
feet deep, and was constructed by Lord Claud Hamilton, commen- 
dator of the Abbey, was that of his own daughter Margaret, three 


months old. When other two of his children were interred therein, 
he erected a tombstone. The inscription on it is in Latin, but the 
following is a translation into English : — 

God the best and greatest. 

To the pious memory of the infants 

Margaret, Henry, and Alexander Hamilton, 

the beloved children of 

Claud Hamilton, Lord Paisley, and Margaret Seton, 

his wife. 

They died much lamented. 

Margaret, 23rd Januaiy, 1577, 

aged three months and twenty-one days. 

Henry, 15th March, 1585, 

aged three months and two days. 

Alexander, 22nd December, 1587, 

aged eight months and three days. 

Happy souls, your parents pay the last rites to you, which 

you ought to pay to them. 

James, Earl of Abercorn, eldest son of Lord Claud Hamilton, 
died in the parish of Monktown, i6th March, 1618, and in 
his settlement gave directions for his funeral and place of 
interment — " qlk heir I leif to sleip and be bureit, gif so it pleis 
God, in ye sepulcher qr my breither, my sisters and bairnes lyis in 
ye lyll callit St. Mirreinis lyll at ye south heid of ye croce church 
of Paisley." In 1621, his father, Claud, first Lord Paisley, died, 
aged 78 years, and was likewise buried in that vault. There are, 
however, no mural tablets erected to the memory of any of these. 
The Earl of Abercorn who died in 1789 was interred in this vault, 
and a marble tablet having the following inscription was placed in 
the north wall of the chapel : — 

(Abercorn Arms.) 

The Right Honourable 
James Earl of Abercorn, 

Viscount Hamilton, 

Viscount Strabane, and 

Duke of Chatelherault in France. 

Obiit. October 9th, 


^tat 76 years. 

In this vault " there are two lead coffins lying on the south side, 
apparently very old and much decayed, and the other on the north 
side is a wood shell, and the velvet covering is completely rotten. 
There is no name nor inscription on the former, and it may be the 
coffin of Lord Paisley or the first Earl of Abercorn. On the latter 
coffin there is a metal plate containing the arms of Hamilton, and 
the same inscription that is on the marble tablet above noticed to 


the eighth Earl of Abercorn. In the centre of the east wall a lead 
medal is affixed containing the Hamilton arms with the words 
' obiit. 29th Augt, 1632/ engraved thereon. I think the date of the 
death there referred to is that of the demise of Dame Margaret Boyd, 
dowager of James first Earl of Abercorn. There are no tablets 
nor any other inscriptions whatever in the vault " (David SempMs 
Supplement to St. Mir in, p. 29.) 

The buildings known by the name of the " Place of Paisley"^ 
were all erected since the Reformation, and were the baronial 
residences of Lord Paisley and of the Earls of Abercorn and 
Dundonald. This fabric extended from the south side of the 
Abbey Church along the east side of Abbey Close to Abbey 
Street, and thence along Abbey Street to Balgonie well, thus 
forming the west and south sides of what was at one time the 
Cloister Court of the Monastery. In 1S73, the Town Council 
resolved to complete the widening and improving of Abbey Close, 
which had been so successfully commenced in 1861 by the com- 
mittee who had charge of the renovation of the Abbey Church, 
llie Town Council purchased and removed the remaining miserable 
dwelling houses on the east side of Abbey Close, between 
Smithhills Street and the Abbey Church. They also bought from 
the Earl of Abercorn that part of the " Place of Paisley" on the 
same side of that street, extending from the Church to Abbey 
Street, and when removing the same a rumour was raised that a 
portion of the old Abbey buildings was being taken down. Some 
persons wrote to the Marquis of Bute on the subject, knowing that 
he took a warm interest in the preservation and renovation of the 
ancient Abbey. He promptly appointed the eminent firm of 
Messrs. David Bryce, Anderson, & Bryce, Edinburgh, to make the 
necessary enquiries and report on the whole matter. They 
supplied the Marquis with an exhaustive report of date 4th June, 
1873, with plans and numerous photographic views, and stated 
that " the cloister court of Paisley Abbey is enclosed on the north 
by the aisle wall of the Abbey Church ; on the east by St. Mirren's 
Chapel, and a building sometimes called the Chapter house, but 
evidently a domestic building of a later period ; on the south by 
portions of the original Abbey buildings and later additions ; and 
on the west by a range of vaulted cellars, with buildings of a later 
period above. The work on the east side of the cloister is the 
oldest, the doorway to church at north-east of cloister being 
transitional in character, and part of the original building founded 
in 1 1 63. The doorway at north-west corner, same side of cloister, 
is more advanced in character, and belongs to the fully-developed 
Lancet period ; the ground storey of the west side of cloister belongs 
to this period, as may be seen by comparing the mason work of the 

^ In a charter granted by the Town Council to Hugh Crawford, of date 4th 
June, 1497, it is described as the " Palace of Paisley," which sounds a great 
deal better. The Abbey buildings of Arbroath were frequently called the 
"place" ( History of Arbroath, by George Hay, p. 1 14). 


inner wall with the wall of aisle, and the mason work of the outer 
wall with the mason work of the gable of church ; and the small 
windows with the staircase windows of west gable. The vaults are 
also original."' Notwithstanding this report, clearly showing that 
the lower part of the buildings on the east side of Abbey Close 
formed the west side of the ancient cloister court, they were taken 
down and irretrievably destroyed.^ 

The original chartulary in manuscript kept by the monks, con- 
taining the deeds and muniments of the monastery, is very interest- 
ing, and consists of two volumes. The first volume, commencing 
with the foundation of the monastery and ending in the year 1529, 
is in the library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh. The 
other volume, extending down to the Reformation, is in the archives 
of the Town Council of Paisley, along with the many other ancient 
and curious documents which they possess.'^ 

The book in manuscript, written by the monks of the monastery, 
known by the name of the Black Book of Paisley, has been con- 
siderably commented upon by several authors. It is, however, only 
a copy of Fordun's ScoticJironicon? That work, upon which almost 
the w hole of the early history of Scotland is founded, was so much 
admired, that copies of it were made by the monks in Paisley and 
in several other monasteries. General Fairfax, a collector of manu- 
scripts, in some way got possession of the Black Book of Paisley. 
It was subsequently bought by King Charles II. for ^j^ioo, and 
King George II. took it from the library of St. James's Palace and 
presented it to the British Museum, London, where it now is.* 

There are a number of interesting monumental stones in the nave 
and choirs of the church. The inscriptions on them are mostly in 
basso-relievo, and generally begin at the one corner of the stone, go 
round the edge of it, and terminate in the centre. Sometimes the 
centre is filled up with a coat of arms ; on the left hand side is 
often found the initial of the person's Christian name, and on the 
right hand side of the arms the initial of the person's surname, and 
sometimes a sentence from Scripture of the nature of a prayer sur- 
rounds the coat of arms. 

The monument of James Crawford, who founded the chapel of 

^ A part of these buildings was, in 1829, converted into a handsome hall by the 
Philosophical Societ)', who held their meetings therein. This hall was used also 
for public meetings of every description. In the stirring Reform period of 
1831, 1832, and 1833, the Renfrewshire Political Union met regularly in this 

" In 1832 the chartulary was printed at the expense of the Earl of Glasgow, 
president of the Maitland Club, along with an excellent preface by the editor, 
Mr. Cosmo Innes, advocate. At public auctions the volume brought a very high 
price — sometimes as much as /"15. In 1877 Mr. Gardner, bookseller. Paisley, 
published a handsome reprint of this work. 

^ John de Fordun was a priest in the church of Fordun in 1377. 

■* In 1756 there was published in Edinburgh a book of 159 pages, entitled 
A Siiiuiiiary of the Scottish Chronicle ; or, an Abridgment of the Black Book oj 


St. Mirin and Columba, better known as the Sounding Aisle, is a 
little south from the east door inside of the Abbey Church. The 
inscription is in Latin, but the following is an English translation: 

" Here lies James Crawford of Kihvynet, who died the 20th ... in the 
year of our Lord 1499. Pray ye for his salvation." 

In the centre of the stone are a sword, a flag, &c. The name of 
the month and the letters "mo." for millesimo have been defaced, 
but as the year at that time terminated on 24th March, he may 
have lived a month or two longer than is generally supposed. It 
will be observed that there is not any record of the death of his 
wife, Elizabeth Calbreath. This tombstone formerly lay on the 
floor of the nave, and was placed in the east gable (where it is still) 
when the repairs were made in 1789. James Crawford was ap- 
pointed a Bailie of Paisley by Abbot George Schaw in 1492. 

On a stone in the north wall of the north aisle is the inscription : 

"Here lyes Thomas Inglis, Bailze of Paslay, quha decessit ye 1502, and 
David Inglis, his sone, 1533. Johne Inglis, sone to David, 1559, Thomas Inglis, 
sone to Johne, Balliis of ye Burgh for ye tyme, and Isabel Mor, spouse to ye 
said Thomas." 

Two of the Inglis family were notaries-public to the monastery, and 
the last Thomas was Town Clerk of the Burgh of Paisley. The 
first Thomas Inglis was appointed a Bailie of Paisley by Abbot 
George Schaw. His son David Inglis was appointed one of the 
Bailies of Paisley in 1530, 1531, and 1533 by Abbot Hamilton. 
His son John Inglis was appointed one of the Bailies of Paisley in 
1538 and 1544 by Abbot Hamilton, and in 1559 by Abbot Hamil- 
ton, Archbishop of St. Andrews. His son Thomas Inglis was ap- 
pointed Bailie of Paisley at various periods from 1576 to 1617 by 
William Erskine of Balgonie, and Lord Claud Hamilton, Com- 
mendators of Paisley. The Inglis family were proprietors of Nos. 
I, 2, and 3 High Street, and of several other properties in Paisley. 
A stone in the east gable has the following inscription : — 

" Here lyis ane honorabill man, Captane Robert Crawfurd, granter of Paisley, 
i ye sepultur of James Crawfurd of Sedil 9th deceased ye fourt of Julii, ye zeir 

of 1575- 

Quha nevir resevit honors 

Of na man, and lies maid to 

I\Iony sundry." 

This tombstone was also lifted in 1789 from the floor of the nave 
and placed in the east gable. The two words " honorabill man " in 
the inscription are defaced. Captain Crawfurd was probably a 
nephew of James Crawfurd of Kylwynet and Seedhill, and held the 
appointment of granary keeper of the monastery. 

On a stone in the east gable of the north aisle is inscribed, — 

" Here lyis ane honorabill man James Stevart of Cardonald. Somtyme 
Capitane of ye Card of Scotland of france cjuha decessit ye .\v day of Januar ano 


dom. 1584. O Lord I comend mySavl into thihandis qlk thou hes Redemit by 

thi precious blud." 

In 1569 Margaret Stewart, a daughter of Captain Stewart, was 
married to Sir John Stewart of Mynto, Provost of Glasgow, and 
Walter Stewart, the eldest son of that marriage, was appointed Com 
mendator of Blantyre in 1580, and created Lord Blantyre in 1606. 
The present Lord Blantyre is lineally descended from the Com- 

On the south wall inside of the Abbey Church is found this 
inscription, — 

" William Pyrre quha died on ye first day of Juni ye yer of God 1509 yers. 

The corner of the stone where the word " died " occurred has been 
defaced. The Latin word " orate " was a direction to the faithful 
to pray for his soul. The Pyres were an opulent family in Paisley 
for a century. William's sons (William and John) in 15 10, 1511, 
and 1 5 13 obtained from Abbot Robert Schaw charters for several 
properties in Paisley. William, the son, was appointed a Bailie of 
Paisley in 151 1, and his son John was appointed a Bailie of Paisley 
in 1540 by Abbot Hamilton. 

When the great tower fell, about the time of the Reformation, 
destroying the roofs and part of the walls of the transept and choir, 
both of these places were made use of for interments. The follow- 
ing are some of the inscriptions on the tombstones : — 

Mrs. Marion Montgomerie, relict of Patrick Peebles, Provost of 

" Here . lyes . a . faithful . sister . Marion . Montgomerie . spoos . to . vmqll 
Patrick . Peblis . of. Bromelands . Provost . of. Irvine . and . mother . in . law . to 
Thomas . Inglis . of. Corsflet , Bailie . of. Paislay." 

Thomas Inglis is commemorated thus : — 

" Heir lyes a faithful broher Thomas Inglis of Corsflat qoha decisit the 27 of 
May 1622 etatis sve 78." 

Thomas Inglis inherited from his ancestors several properties in 
Paisley, and in 1578 he and his first wife, Isobel Muir, purchased 
the lands of Corsflat, adjoining the Abbey garden. In 161 2 he 
gave his property situated at the west part of Paisley for an hospital 
for the maintenance of " sax puir men." 

A monument to Allan Lockhart of Hindschelwood is inscribed 
as follows : — 

" Heir lyes ane worthie. gentleman. Allan Lockhart of Hindschelwood lait 
bailie of Paslay quha decisit 10 of Apryl . ano. 1635 etatis 42. I have fought a 
good fight I have finished my couvrse . I . have . Kepit . the . faith. 2 : Tim 4:7." 

Allan Lockhart was son of Allan Lockhart of Cleghorn, Parish 
of Lanark, and was born in 1593. He married Marion Peebles, 


widow of Thomas Inglis of Corsflat. Inglis had expressed a wish 
that his only daughter, Anna, should be married to Montgomerie 
of Hesilhead, a relation by her mother's side. In direct contraven- 
tion of this desire, Lockhart, on marrying Inglis's widow, caused 
tlie daughter, then under twelve years of age, to accept as her 
husband William Cunningham, younger of Aitket, who fell into 
dissipated habits, and maltreated his young wife. In the Court of 
Session, Ana Inglis raised an action of reduction of her marriage, 
on the plea of minority and lesion, and the court found the action 
competent. Her husband died in 1645. 

A monument to John Hutchison, a magistrate of Paisley, and 
factor for Lord Paisley, is inscribed thus : — 

" Here lyeth ana faithful . brother . called Johne Hutchesone Eaillie of Paislay 
who decessit the 22 of Februar, 1625." 

An inscription thus records two members of the old family of 
Henderson : — 

" Heir lyeth Robert Henderson Magdalen Houstoune 1629 ; Thomas 
Henderson and Malie Cochrane." 

The wife of David Maxwell is thus commemorated : — 

" Heir lyeth Jonete . Delop . spous . to . David Maxwal, merchand . burges of 
Paislay, wha decesed 1643." 

David Maxwell was chosen treasurer of the burgh in 1635 and 
died before 1658. 

A flat stone, with the date 1648, is inscribed with the initials of 
Robert Alexander of Blackhouse, Ayrshire, and with the initials of 
his two wives, and their respective shields. Robert Alexander was 
born in 1604. He had a long and successful career as a solicitor 
in Paisley. He was also town clerk, and was elected a Bailie in 
1647-8. He purchased Blackhouse in 1648. His first wife was 
Marion Hamilton, daughter of Claud Hamilton of Blackhole. 
His second wife was Janet Henderson, daughter of David 
Henderson, Paisley. His tombstone was placed there by himself 
to show his right of property. 

In the Abbey Church burying ground there is, amongst others, a 
stone in good preservation with the following inscription on it, in 
alto-relievo : — 

" Heir . Lyis . Johne . Alexander . Cordovner . Burges . of . Paslay . and . 
Bessie . Carswall . His . spous. J. A." 

The shoemakers' arms are also cut on the stone, being the crescent 
knife of the craft ; and above is the crown of King Crispin. John 
Alexander's eldest son, Robert, became Town Clerk of Paisley in 
1636, and a very successful man of business. He was appointed 
clerk of the Presbytery of Paisley on 27th March, 1645. ^^ 1646-7 
he was elected a member of Council, and in 1648, and on three 


subsequent occasions, he was appointed one of the BaiHes. From 
him are descended the Newton, Southbar, and Ballochmyle families. 

The stone of WiUiam Algeo, in the same place, is thus inscribed •' 
" Heir . lyis . ane . faithful . brother . called . William . Algeo . Burges . of. 

Paslay . & . Cirstin . Keibiil . his . spous . quha . descisit . ye . zeir . of . God . 


The Algeo family came from Italy with one of the Abbots, and were 
connected with the monastery. John Algeo or Aldjoy was pro- 
proprietor of Blado yard in 1490. One of his descendants, Peter 
Algeo, married Margaret Morton, heiress of Easter Walkinshaw, 
about the end of the sixteenth century. 

The following inscriptions are also on tombstones in the Abbey 
churchyard : — 

" Heir lyis ane honest man callit Thomas Piter, Bailzie of Paslay, quha 
decissit ye 10 of Nov. anno 1609 & Jonet Vrie his spoos ; and John Piter thair 
sone and Margaret Craig his spoos, qvha deceissit ye 30 of Octob. anno 1617." 

Thomas Peter was a Bailie of Paisley in 1605, and was one of the 
first interred in the Abbey churchyard. One of his descendants 
went to Glasgow and became a successful merchant in that city, of 
which he was elected dean of guild. He presented to the Magis- 
trates of Paisley 3000 merles Scots, the annual income of which 
was to be applied to the maintenance of decayed burgesses. This 
donation is known at the present time as " Peter's Charity." 

The tombstone of William Skeoch, cordwainer, and his wife, 
Marion Kerlie, bears the following inscription : — 

" Remember . all . that . come . this . rod 
How . your . meeting . will . be . with . God 
If . it . be . sweet . you . may . be . shour 
That . Christ . been . the . opening, door." 

Skeoch was one of the twenty founders of the Cordiners' or Shoe- 
makers' Society of Paisley, formed on i6th December, 1701. The 
motto of the society was — " God's providence is our inheritance." 
William Skeoch was the first deacon of the craft. His grandson, 
Alexander Skeoch, was town-clerk of Paisley and laird of Gockston. 
When the High Church was opened in 1754, he presented the con- 
gregation with two silver communion cups. 

Built in the wall of the churchyard are stones with the following 
inscriptions : — - 

" Heir lyis ane faithful brother callit Johne Calbraithe of Crawstob and his 
spouse Margrat Cochrane." 

" In memory of John Orr, who was one of the Paisley Militia, and fell at the 
battle of Falkirk 3 of January 1 746. John Robertson his grandson. " 



" This stone is placed in memory of John Love, smith and farrier in Paisley, 
and Isabel Orr his spouse, by John Love, weaver in Paisley, their son, ist 
March, 1790. 

' Time flies, eternity approaches, men pass away, but Go . . remaineth for 
ever.' " 

"John Love, merchant in Paisley, late proprietor and now occupier of this 
spot, was born in April 1747 and died in the 8ist year of his age on the 1st day 
of Dec. 1827. 

" Frail as the leaves which quiver on the sprays, 
Like them man flourishes, like them decays.' " 

It was John Loyc thus commemorated who formed Hope-Temple 
Gardens, now transformed into the Fountain Gardens. 

The Editor of the Paisley Repository, in No. 6 of the year 181 2, 
stated that " near the centre of the Abbey Church yard a stone 
stands on its end, about two feet high, the east side of it contains a 
considerable inscription, but it was very much filled up with moss ; 
however we made out that it had been the burying place of George 
Matthie, taylzovr. The west side contains the date 1704, G. M., 
and his coat of arms in bas relief: which consists of a large pair of 
shears with their blades turned towards the top of the stone, and 
half open, in the act of clipping a louse in two, which is also cut 
out of the solid stone in bas relief, between the blades of the 
shears, with its face and breast turned toward the spectators. Under 
the head of the handles of the shears, is a tailors goose." The 
worthy editor has, in recording this popular belief, committed a 
great mistake, for the scissors are placed saltier, in the shape of a 
sandglass, and the supposed louse is a fleur-de-lis, the emblem of 
faith. This stone has attracted the attention of an immense num- 
ber of people. 

The reader of this chapter has, we hope, obtained some idea ot 
the leading architectural features of Paisley Abbe)', and his atten- 
tion has been called to the more interesting and curious monu- 
mental inscriptions that form in all such hoary buildings a most 
interesting link of the present with the mighty past. 



ROM the time when the Roman armies left this country, 
in 416, down to the beginning of the twelfth century, 
Paisley, it may be said, is unknown in history. Even 
its former name of Vanduara, by which it was recog- 
nised while occupied by the Romans, entirely dis- 
appears. This, however, should not cause any great surprise 
when we contemplate the unsettled condition of the country, arising 
from many causes, during seven centuries. In the charters granted 
by the first Steward of Scodand in the middle of the twelfth century 
in founding the Convent of Paisley, there first appears the name 
Passeletti, or Passelet, or Passelay, and when Latinised, Pasletum. 
Much ingenuity has been exercised and much discussion occasioned 
among our various historians in seeking to discover or to prove why 
such a name has been adopted. One author holds that the name 
is derived from Prresidiam, a Roman station ( IVi/Iiam Baxter's 
Glossonim Aiitiqiiitatum Britainiiarin)i,i^. 199). Another authority 
is of opinion that Paislight is the original name, being the Gffilic for 
the brow or the face of a rock, and referring to the ledge of rock 
that crosses the river Cart at Seedhill, that being the most striking 
object in the locality.-^ On the other hand. Dr. Jamieson thinks 
that, as Paisley was in the kingdom of the Strathclyde Welsh, 
the origin should perhaps be sought in their language. It may be 
from "Fasietty, a pass or exit, and llety, letty, a house or lodging, 
at first given to some habitation on the brink of the river where it 
used to be crossed." This derivation is fortified by the fact that, 
before any bridge was built, the river was always fordable below the 
fall at Seedhill, so that this spot would in early times be an im- 
portant place, whether for defence in war or for the trading communi- 
cation of peaceful times. The celebrated antiquarian, George 
Chalmers, thought that Passeleth may be derived from the British 
Pasgel-laith, signifying " the moist pasture land." He admits, how- 
ever, " that it had been supposed that a remarkable ledge of rock 
which runs across the channel of the river White Cart has given rise 
to the name of this place ; Pas-lech in the British, and Pas-leac in 
the Gffilic, signify the flat stone shoal " ( Chalmers' s Caledonia, 
vol. iii., p. 819). In the Netv Statistical Account of Scotland, pub- 
lished in 1845, two ingenious suggestions are given — the one etymon 
being " the lea of peace," on the ground that a peace was at one 

^ Rev. Dr. Boog, in Old Statistical Account, vol. vii., p. 74, wherein it is 
further stated that "a church did stand there, called Ecclesia de Passelet." 


time determined here ; and the other, " Peas-lea," as pease were 
grown in this locaUty.^ There is still another derivation to be added 
to the foregoing. It is alleged that Paisley was the place of execu- 
tion for the kingdom of Strathcyle, and that the name may be traced 
from the Gselic word, " Pas-lay," a place of execution — the words 
has or bais meaning death, and the letters /; and / being inter- 
changeable in that language, — the aboriginal inhabitants pronounc- 
ing the word pas, — a place of death, — the Romans would naturally 
add their own words for death — lethum or letum ; and thus, by 
using the word/<;?i' and letum, or lethiiin, originate the name Pasle- 
tum " (Paisley Wallet, p. 24). We are inclined to believe that the 
etymology propounded by Dr. Jamieson is the most feasible. 
Although the Abbots in their deeds and charters always used the 
Latin form Pasletum, yet in many other cases Pasly, Pasle, Paslay, 
Paisleye were used, in addition to those already mentioned, until 
the present name of Paisley was finally adopted. 

The town of Paisley is pleasantly situated on the White Cart, 
about three miles above the junction of that river with the Clyde, 
and is in 55 degrees 48 minutes north latitude, and 4 degrees 
8 minutes west longitude. The ground towards the south, west, 
and east of the town is diversified by gracefully rising hills, with 
intervening valleys. On the south-east of Paisley is Hunterhill, 
which is believed to have derived its name from being the habita- 
tion of the Ranger of the forest of Paisley, belonging to the Lord 
High Steward, who lived at Blackball. In 1296 John le Hunter de 
la Foreste de Passalay swore fealty to the King of England. The 
adjoining and higher range of rising ground west from Hunterhill is 
Saucel hill, which in ancient times, and even down to the end of the 
last century, was called the Sacer lands. Sacer being the Latin for 
holy, the name may have arisen either from a Druidical place of 
worship having been on this hill, or from its proximity to Thrush- 
craig, for that locality is thought to derive its name from the 
Druidical god Thor, and from crag, a rock, so that the Druids in 
all probability had a place of worship here. Another explanation 
of the name " Saucel hill" is, that it" is derived from the Latin word 
Sacellum, a chapel, which stood at the east base of the hill, near to 
the present Blackball toll at Blackball ; and this account receives 
confirmation from the fact that there were at this spot within the 
last half century a few old houses known by the name of the 
Chapel. The north-east part of Saucel hill has long been known 
by the name of Chapelhill, and it is very probable that a chapel was 
built upon it for the convenience of the High Steward and those 
residing near Blackball, when it was dangerous to cross the river 
owing to high floods at the ford. 

In 1294 a charter of Sauserland, or holy land, was granted in 
favour of Thomas, called the Brewer, by James the High Steward 

' Understood to lie from the pen of Dr. William Kerr, a native of Paisley, at 
present residing in Canada. 


of Scotland. Thomas the Brewer, besides receiving this donation 
of Sauserland/ had also a right to graze four cows and two calves in 
the Park of Blackhall, and it was provided that if he put more 
cattle into the park he was to pay a fine of twopence for parcage. He 
had also a right to pasture twelve head of oxen or cows in the com- 
mon pasturage of Rase, with the liberty of making sealingas or shiels 
for the cattle, and a fine of one penny for parcage or penning was to 
be imposed if they were found in the forest or prohibited ground. 
The lands of Rase form a tract of ground known as Stewart^s Raiss 
and Logan Raiss. The Brewer had also right to a common in the 
Peatery for making and drying peats. He was also taken bound in 
his charter to perform Serviliiiin forcnsicuiu^ or service from home, 
by furnishing a master mason one day in the year at the Castle of 
Renfrew, the manor place of the High Steward of Scotland. This 
charter was signed by seven witnesses, — Sir John of Soulis, Reginald 
Crawford (the maternal uncle of Sir William Wallace), Sir Arthur of 
Dunoon, Goldfrid of Goldcotis, John Priden (Burgess of Renfrew), 
Gilbert de Cunigburg, and William of the Schaw. In swearing 
fealty to King Edward in 1296, Thomas the Brewer is designed as 
of the county of Lanark. There were two persons of the name of 
Thomas in the service of the Steward at that time. The one was 
called the Brewer, and the other the \Vright. In the Ragman Roll 
of 1296 their names will be found among those swearing fealty to 
King Edward I. as " Thomas the Brewster of the forest of 
Passlleye " and " Thomas the W^right of the Blakehalle." Hunter- 
hill and Saucel hill are now parts of the estate of Blackhall, belong- 
ing to Sir M. R. S. Stewart of Ardgowan, whose ancestors acquired 
the former from Robert Stewart of Barscube in 1623. 

Espedair burn and ravine separates Saucel hill from a continuation 
of the range of rising ground which, with a smaller elevation, trends 
away to the west to Camphill and terminates at Castlehead, already 
mentioned as a spot where the Romans had one of their outposts 
for the guards in connection with the camp at Oakshaw. A part of 
this hill was called Quarelhill or Quarryhill, from the circumstance 
that a quarry was worked there from which large quantities of 
stones were taken. Very likely the stones used for the additions 
to the Abbey and the extensive garden walls in Abbot Schaw's time 
were taken from this quarry. In the rental book of the Abbey of 
Paisley it is mentioned thus — "The Quarel 3 tenants" (Paisley 
Magazine, p. 529). That part of the lands of Quarelhill, now form- 
ing the church and churchyard there, was feued from the monastery 
in 1490 by Sir Henry Mous, vicar of Kilbarchan, and another part, 
extending east and west, was also feued from the monastery in the 
same year by John Whiteford, the first bailie of Paisley. The title- 
deeds pertaining to these properties sometimes describe the land as 
Quarel, sometimes Quarry land. The feu-duty on two acres of 
land there amounted to 13s. 4d. yearly, and was for the support of 

^ This is the oldest charter which exhibits the name. 


St. Mirin's altar (Paisley Magazine, p. 526). In the formation of 
the Glasgow, Paisley, and Johnstone Canal in 1807, a part of the 
canal passed through this rock to the west of the church. A portion 
of the north-western side of this hill was called Gallowhill. The 
place upon which the gallows stood, where malefactors down to a 
recent period were executed, was Gallovv Green, forming the low 
ground near, and very likely this Gallowhill was so named as it 
commanded the best view of the place of execution. 

To the north of the broad valley that bounds Castlehead are the 
gently rising grounds of Woodside, adding further to the beauty of 
the scenery in this part of the town. The western portion of this 
hill forms part of the lands of Ferguslie, and on the highest part 
there was in the Roman period, as already stated, a station or out- 
post for the guards. These lands belonged to the monastery till 
14th November, 1545, when Abbot John Hamilton granted a 
charter conveying them to John Stewart " for his good, faithful, 
and gratuitous services rendered to us in many ways and in many 
places, and for a certain sum of money freely and frankly paid down 
to us by the said John for our benefit and for the reparation of our 
monastery." The Abbot was a man of taste, and fond of improve- 
ments. He therefore bound John Stewart " to adorn the grounds 
with genteel buildings, plantations of trees, forming policies and 
others of the kind " (Abbey Chartidary). 

The most extensive and important elevation, however, within the 
town is that now known as Oakshaw hill. This rising ground is 
bounded on the east by the river Cart, on the south by St. Mirin's 
burn, on the west by the valley which separates it from Woodside 
hill, and on the north by the " torrente de Snadoun," sometimes 
called Underwood burn or Underwood gote. The western termina- 
tion of this hill was, as formerly stated, the site of the Prsetorium of 
the Roman Camp. The extreme western part of this hill was 
known by the name of Oakschaw head, the southern side Oakschaw 
side, and the part west of Stoney Brae, which at one time formed 
the passage to the common of the burgh, Oakschaw wood. 

In furtherance of our design to give some account of the topo- 
graphy of Paisley, we shall advert shortly to the river Cart and its 
tributaries within the town. Although the water in the river Cart — 
called Kert in ancient times, and Cartha — is at present, from the 
numerous works on its banks, greatly polluted, yet there is no doubt 
that in the period of which we write it was perfectly pure. The 
Cart, entering the town at Seedhill, from the east, after falling over 
the rocks there and forming a beautiful cascade, suddenly bends its 
course to the north, and flowing down the east side of the ancient 
village, would, independently of its great importance to the inhabi- 
tants in many ways, add a fine feature to the landscape. Salmon 
and trout abounded in the river, and during the spawning season 
it was an interesting sight to see the former endeavouring to mount 
the rocks at Seedhill, to get to their spawning beds farther up the 
stream. James the Lord High Steward, in confirming by charter 


in 1296 the grants of his ancestors and father to the monastery, also 
gave the monks permission to fish in the streams of the forest and 
in the river of Kert, Paisley, and Kert, Lochwinnoch, below the 
yare of Auchindoeran. Pearls, also, of great value and in consi- 
derable abundance, "were found in the river above the town. They 
were so fine that they may compare with many Oriental pearls, 
and have been taken notice of by some of the most famous jewel- 
lers in Europe ; they are found in the ground of the river among 
the sand in a shell larger than that of the mussel. The proper 
season for fishing them is in the summer."^ These pearls disap- 
peared a long time since. It is alleged that the name Cart or Kert 
is derived from Cuairt (Gaelic), a whirl or eddy, so that it means 
the river of whirlpools or eddies. 

The largest and most important tributary of the Cart, within the 
town, is the Espedair Bum, called in the charter by King James IV. 
to Abbot Schaw the " Torrente de Espedair." In a charter granted 
by Abbot George Schaw in 1497 of certain properties in Mustard 
yard adjoining, it is called " Esdair Burn." This rivulet has been 
of great value to the town and neighbourhood. Alihough the water 
is now excessively polluted, it was in former times quite pure, and 
was much used for bleaching purposes. In 1296 the monks of the 
monastery, on applying to x\lexander, fourth High Steward of Scot- 
land, obtained permission to draw water from this rivulet within his 
park at Blackball to a mill they were about to erect ( Chart idary of 
the Abbey, p. 88). It is supposed they intended to construct a corn 
mill. The monks also had a similar mill, higher up the stream at 
Blackland Mill — hence that name. The monks likewise erected a 
waulk mill on the side of the Espedair, near its junction with the 
river Cart. In 1497 the occupier of this mill was John Sclater, 
fuller. He feued the property on 2nd December, 1488, and this 
was the first feu granted by Abbot George Schaw in the new Burgh 
of Paisley. These three mills were in operation for a long period 
afterwards. The Espedair, it is thought, derives its name from the 
Celtic Es, water, and dair, the oak wood. 

Saint Mirin's Burn, or, as it was called in ancient times, "Torrentis 
de Sancto Mirino," is another of the tributaries of the river Cart. 
Its source is in the lands of Wellmeadow and west Over Common, 
and it flows down the valley lying between Castlehead and Camp- 
hill on the south and Oakschawside on the north, entering the river 
Cart at the foot of St. Mirin's Wynd. The extent of ground which 
is therefore drained into it is very considerable. In ancient times 
the water was quite pure, and was used for domestic purposes, and 
at the end of the last century it was frequented by trout in consi- 
derable numbers. The late Mr. David Semple states that his father 
repeatedly mentioned to him that the burn (St. Mirin's) was fre- 

^ Crawfurd^s History of the Shire of Renfrrd', published in 1710, p. 2. See 
also Dunlop's description in Appendix of //<7;/n7/c«Vy?f;{/;-^t'j-/n';r, p. 143. Also, 
sec Camdeii's Britannia, p. 923, edition of 1695, and first published in 1586. 


quented by shoals of minnows, and occasionally by the speckled 
ixont (Saint Mir 171, p. 27). 

Underwood Burn, sometimes called, as shown in the old map, 
" The Torrenti de Snaudon," rises in the lands of Woodside, and 
drains the district on the north side of Oakschawside along with the 
lands under the wood, and enters the Cart a short distance above 
the Abercorn Bridge. 

There are other two rivulets lower down that enter the Cart from 
the west. The one is the Bullfauld Burn, having its source in 
Paisley Moss, and entering the river at Shortroods. In the map of 
old Paisley it is called "Fossa de Northholme." The other rivulet, 
liaving its source in the same place, is Merksworth Burn, which 
forms, for a considerable distance, the north boundary of the old 

On the east bank a small rivulet enters the Cart north of the 
Hammils, at the Laigh linn. On the map, and also in the charter of 
Jas. Crawfurd of Kilwynet, it is called " Crossflat Burne," but it is 
best known by the name of Lady Burn. 

That there were extensive forests surrounding Paisley in the 
Roman period, is confirmed by the reference made to them in the 
charters relating to the founding of the Monastery of Paisley, by 
Walter the Lord High Steward of Scotland. In his first charter of 
endowments granted to the monastery in 1163, the High Steward 
gives the monks, along with other donations, "that land beyond the 
Kert out of part of the wood which I and my son perambulated " ; 
and in the same charter states — " I have given likewise and con- 
firmed a full tenth of my hunting with the skins ; and all the skins 
of the deer which I slay in my forest of Fereneze." In the same 
charter the High Steward further declares — " I have given to them, 
and by this charter have confirmed to them, a full tenth of all my 
waste lands, and of all lands in my forest which have or will be re- 
claimed ; and all the privileges of my forest of Passelet, and the 
same right of pasture in it for the cattle and swine of their house as 
belongs to me and my men. But if it should happen that I or any 
of my heirs wish to have our swine below the forest, part of the 
forest sufficient for their animals shall be provided for them." By 
the Bull of Pope Clement IV., in 1265, already quoted, a complete 
and condensed narrative is given of all the possessions of the Con- 
vent of Paisley at that period ; and among these are " the land 
beyond the Espedair and Aldpatrick, as the said Steward gave it ; 
with all their liberties and easements in the forests of Paisley." The 
timber in the forest of Paisley appears to have been very abundant, 
for Walter, the grandson of the founder of the convent, and the son 
of Alan, in 1 208 gave to the monks, along with other grants, what 
wood they required in erecting houses, and also dead wood for fuel, 
along with grass there for too swine. Although they thus granted 
numerous valuable privileges to the monks, the High stewards were 
at the same time very exacting in their regulations regarding the 
preservation and non-disturbance of the game in their forests of 


Paisley and Fereneze. The monks and servants were allowed to 
go armed with swords, bows and arrows, and other necessary 
weapons, and to lead with them greyhounds and other dogs ; but 
if they passed through the preserved forest, they were commanded 
to lead their hounds in the leash and unstring their bows. They 
had a right to hunt and hawk within their own land, but the 
Stewards reserved to themselves birds of game, hawk, and falcon. 
The forest of Paisley appears, from the different accounts given in 
the Abbey chartulary, to have been very extensive, commencing 
about Blackball, covering the lands of Hunterhill, Fereneze, 
GlenifTer, and Thornly, and extending to Elderslie on the west side 
of the Patrick Burn. 

Besides that great range of wood, the vast expanse of moss in the 
level lands, lying to the north and north-west of Paisley, testifies 
plainly to the primeval forests that once existed there. In ancient 
times, as an eminent historian and antiquarian ( Chalmers s Caledonia, 
vol. iii., p. 798) goes the length of stating, the shire of Renfrew was 
covered with wood. In the plain to which we have referred, during 
a long period of time, the trees falling was the cause of the brush- 
wood and vegetable matter becoming decomposed, and thereby 
covering the surface with moss, which, about the commencement of 
the sixteenth century, embraced an area upwards of twenty miles in 
circumference. Many of these trees, oak and beech, of great size, 
have been, during the reclaiming of Paisley Moss within the last 
fifty years, taken up from where they had been lying for centuries. 

In 1525 Dunsketh wood, referred to in the charter of Abbot John 
Hamilton which conveyed to John Stewart the lands of Woodside, 
and lying to the west of that place, appears in the rental book of 
the Abbey. The tenant was bound to maintain the ditches around 
the wood ; but no part of it now remains. 

In and around Paisley the names of Woodside, Oakshaw (shaw 
means wood). Underwood, Stanely Shaw, testify to the former 
abundance of woodland. In other parts of the county similar 
names appear, such as Linwood, Fulwood, Walkinshaw, Birkenshaw, 
Blythswood, &c. 

At the close of last century and the beginning of the present one, 
there were also the Ferguslie woods. They were of considerable 
extent, and different parts were known by the names of Darkwood, 
Braid Forks, Whinnie knowcs, and the Craigs. This last portion is 
more pleasingly named by Tannahill in one of his beautiful and 
well-known songs. One of the verses expresses his rapturous 
opinion of the scenery, — 

" The broom, the brier, the birken bush. 
Bloom Ijonnie o'er thy flow'ry lea. 
An' a' the sweets that ane can wish 
Frae Nature's han' are strew'd on thee." 

When in possession of the Burgh they were a favourite resort of 
many of the inhabitants for amusement, during holidays and at 


Other times. On the Monday afternoon following the summer 
Sacrament, hundreds of the young went there for recreation, and to 
obtain curds and cream, gooseberries, cherries, &c., from Mary 
Spreul. Tannahill was a very frequent visitor there, and has thus 
sung of the beauty and the influence these places had upon him : 

" Sweet Ferguslie, hail ! thou'rt the dear sacred grove 
Where first my young Muse spread her wing ; 
Here Nature first waked me to rapture and love, 
And taught me her beauties to sing. " 

Two questions very naturally arise in relation to the antiquity 
of Paisley. Was there a church or place of worship at Paisley 
at the time the monastery was founded ? and was there a village of 
Paisley, or group of houses of any extent, at that period? The 
charters of the Lord High Steward connected with the founding of 
the monastery, throw some important light on the first of these 
queries. His first charter of endowment says — " I have given and 
granted, and by this charter have confirmed, to God and Saint 
Mary, the church of Saint James, Saint Mirin, and Saint Myldburge 
de Passelet." It will here be observed that he establishes the 
church in the name of these last three saints. Afterwards fol- 
lows the endowment or perpetual alms bestowed on this church, 
consisting of a number of churches, with their possessions, such as 
Ennyrwec, Ledgerwood, Kathkert, and others, along with " the 
church of Passelet, with all its possessions and two carucates of 
land measured and perambulated about the river Kert, beside the 
church, and that land beyond Kert, and of part of the wood which 
I and my son Alan perambulated, according to those boundaries 
which are perambulated with honest men, and that portion of land 
which is below the dormitory of the monks." Now, this church of 
Passelet here mentioned is not the monastery he founded, for, as 
already shown, he called it " the church of St. James, St. Mirin, and 
St. Myldburge," but is the church that was at Paisley before he 
established that " house of devotion below his lands of Paisley," as 
noticed in the original charter. We see that at this time there were 
churches at such places as Cathcart, and why should there not be 
one near the site of ancient Vanduara ? In this charter he likewise 
gives to the prior and monks " four shillings from the mill at 
Passelet for the churcli ; and that they may grind there without 
multure, next to him whom they may find grinding there, except 
when I myself am grinding the corn which comes from my own 
granary ; and besides this a full tenth of that mill of Passelet." 
This mill at Seedhill was in existence, therefore, like the church of 
Paisley, before the founding of the monastery was thought of. In 
the second charter of endowment, also granted at this time by the 
High Steward, the same language is used. The foundation is called 
"the church of St. James, St. Mirin, and St. Myldburge of Passelet." 
For some centuries after the monastery was founded, the only 
way of crossing the river Cart was by a ford immediately below the 


linn at Seedhill, which was called the Black Ford, to distinguish it 
from another ford near Hawkhead Mill, called the White Ford. 
The lands of Whiteford bounded the river Cart on the north at 
Hawkhead. It is very probable that the church of Paisley referred 
to in the first charter of endowment by the Lord High Steward, was 
near to the north end of the Black Ford, where Lady Burn enters 
the river Cart, and it was known by the name of Lady Kirk. This 
name implies that it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It will be 
observed that the Steward dedicated his house of devotion "to God 
and Saint Mary," no doubt with the view of absorbing for his own 
foundation what sanctity attached to the church that already existed 
at Passelet. 

In the Town Council records of 31st January, 16 18, reference is 
made to a building in Seedhill " which pertained of old to the 
chaplains of St. Mirin and Columba " ; and on 21st April, 1620, 
the same records allude " to the laich house in the Seedhill, with an 
auld grave yard attached thereto, which was set for a year to John 
Greenlees, son natural of Thomas Greenlees in Blackland Mill, for 
four pounds " (6s. 8d.). All traces of this burial ground have 
entirely disappeared, but it is very likely it and the " laich house " 
formed part of the ancient church of Paisley before the monks left 
England at the call of Walter Fitz-Alan. 

Under the graceful Gothic window of the east gable of St. Mirin's 
aisle, as already stated, there are various sculptured figures, which 
have always greatly attracted the attention of the numerous intelli- 
gent visitors to that chapel. The figures are brought out by the 
stone being cut away around them, and are on a frieze one foot 
eight inches high, between two cornices eight inches deep. At the 
north side of the gable are three compartments, measuring four 
feet ; and at the south side are seven compartments, measuring ten 
feet — all of which are filled with these sculptured figures. The 
Rev. Dr. Boog, Avho was thoroughly conversant 'i\'ith every matter 
connected with the Abbey buildings, states that the figures evidently 
relate to religious subjects, and are quite diff'erent from anything else 
about the church. He does not venture to allege what they are. 
They belong, he believes, to a period prior to that of the present 
buildings ; "and it is certain, from the foundation charter of 1163, 
that a church existed at Paisley before that time " (Transactions of 
the Antiquarian Society, Scotland, vol. ii., p. 457). 

The acute and well-informed antiquarian, Mr. Billings, when he 
visited that chapel, paid particular attention to that range of sculp- 
tured figures. He states that "along a portion of the upper end of 
the Sounding Aisle there is a series of sculptured groups in com- 
partments. They are the work of an ancient and rude age — 
probably they existed before the chapel itself, and were fragments 
of an earlier edifice. The ingenuity of antiquaries has failed to dis- 
cover the subjects they represent " ( Billings s Antiquities of Scotland, 
vol. iv.). 

The Rev. Dr. Lees, in his History of Paisley Abbey, p. 211, refers 


to these figures, and thinks it is " clear beyond all doubt " that they 
relate to the legends of St. Mirin. He states further (p. 212) that, 
as they are evidently earlier than the date of the erection of the 
chapel, they have probably been transferred with the relics of the 
Saint from an older shrine. It is the popular belief that these 
figures represent the seven sacraments of the Church of Rome, and 
they are therefore called the " Seven Sacraments.'' 

These statements and explanations force us to the conclusion 
that there was a church at Paisley before the monastery was 
founded, and there is every likelihood that the sculptured stones 
formed a part of the fabric ; it may even have been the church 
established by the pious St. Mirin, wherein he passed the greater 
part of his holy life. 

As regards other actual proof that there was a village at Paisley 
before the founding of the monastery by the High Steward, the facts 
that enable us to arrive at such a conclusion are very scanty. The 
tradition is that there was a village or hamlet near to the church at 
Seedhill. We know from the terms of the foundation-charter by 
the Steward, as already mentioned, that there was a mill in opera- 
tion at Seedhill before the monks came to Paisley. It is therefore 
very likely that the church and the mill were both connected with 
the village. The rock that crosses the river at the mill is known 
by the name of the Hammills, or, as it is more frequently called, 
the Hammills Head. This expression, it is thought, does not 
apply to the rock in the river, but is understood to designate a 
hamlet ; so that Hammills Head would mean the head of the 
hamlet — the ancient hamlet of Paisley. The narrow, irregular lanes 
which not long since intersected Seedhill, show that that part of 
Paisley is really of great antiquity. We have also pointed out that, 
according to the Council records, there was a burying-place there, 
although such cannot now be traced. The charter of James Craw- 
furd also informs us that on " the Seedhill lands there were build- 
ings, gardens, and orchards, which had been anciently inhabited by 
the chaplains of the Altar of St. jSIirin." The ford crossing the river 
there in ancient times would also make the locality of no ordinary 
importance for communication. 

If we are correct in our supposition — and we think we are — 
that the eastern bank of the river, immediately below the waterfall 
at Seedhill, was the site of ancient Paisley, our forefathers made a 
happy selection. At that period the surroundings of the position 
would be grand and picturesque. The waterfall and flowing river 
adjoining, with Hunter hill and Saser hill hemming it in imme- 
diately to the south, and Oakshaw hill on the west, combined with 
the rivulets of Espedair and St. Mirin — beautiful then — entering the 
Cart on the opposite side — these would all tend to make the little 
village picturesque and interesting. Although the monks settled 
down as near to this lovely hamlet as they could, yet they gave no 
encouragement to its growth and prosperity — for the good reason, 
we suppose, that it was too near, and they wished to absorb the 


site for themselves. Hence followed the commencement of the 
new village — the future town of Paisley — -on the west bank of the 
river, nearly opposite the monastery ; and its prosperity was first 
ensured by the protecting care of the abbot and his monks. While 
the difterent priors, abbots, and monks of the monastery, after their 
settlement at Paisley, were no doubt not only friendly to the little 
village on the opposite side of the river, but its supporters and protec- 
tors, it was not till George Schaw became Abbot, as already stated, 
that it was raised to the important position of a burgh. By that 
time the village had extended so as to attain importance, and the 
population might then be about 500. The Abbot obtained from 
King James IV. a charter, sealed 19th August, 1488, constituting 
Paisley a Burgh of Barony, and granting important privileges to the 
inhabitants ; but the lordship remained with the Abbot and his 
successors, on whom was conferred the power of appointing a pro- 
vost, bailies, and other office-bearers. The following is a copy of 
this charter : — 

JAMES, by the grace of God, king of the Scots ; Be it known, that, for the 
singular respect we have for the glorious confessor, .St. Mirin, and our 
monastery of Paisley, founded by our most illustrious progenitors, where very 
many of the bodies of our ancestors are buried, and are at rest, and for the 
singular favour and love which we bear to the venerable father in Christ, George 
Schaw, present abbot of said monastery, our very dear counsellor, and for the 
faithful service rendered us in a variety of ways by the said venerable father, in 
times past, and in a particular manner for the virtuous education and nourishment 
of our dearest brother, James duke of Ross, in his tender age, we have made, 
constituted, erected, and, by the tenor of our present charter, make, constitute, 
erect, and create, the village of Paisley, lying within the sheriffdom of Renfrew, 
a free burgh in barony. We have granted also to the present and future inhabit- 
ants of said burgh, the full and free liberty of buying and selling in said burgh, 
wine, wax, woollen and linen cloths, wholesale or retail, and all other goods and 
wares coming to it ; with power and liberty of having and holding in the same 
place, bakers, brewers, butchers, and sellers both of flesh and fish, and workmen 
in the several crafts, tending in any respect to the liberty of the burgh in barony: 
We have granted likewise to the burgesses and inhabitants of said burgh of 
Paisley, therein to have and possess a cross and market-place for ever, every 
week, on Monday, and two public fairs yearly, for ever ; one, namely, on the 
day of St. Mirin, and the other on the day of St. Marnock, with tolls and other 
liberties pertaining to fairs of this kind ; of holding and having, for the future, 
the said village of Paisley a real and free burgh in barony, M'ith the foresaid 
privileges, grants, and all other liberties, as freely, quietly, fully, entirely, 
honourably, and well, in peace, in every time, circumstance, and condition, as 
the burgh of Dumfermline, Newburgh, and Aberbrothick, or any other burgh in 
barony in our kingdom, in any time past, is more largely endowed and held : 
And we have granted besides to the said venerable father, and to his successors, 
the abbots of Paisley, the right and power of chusing annually the provost, 
bailies, and other officers of said burgh, and of removing the same as need shall 
be, and of chusing others anew in their room, &c. In testimony whereof, we 


have caused our great seal to be put to this our present charter, these reverend 
fathers in Christ being witnesses, Robert bishop of Glasgow, George bishop of 
Dunkeld, our beloved blood relations Colin earl of Argyle, Lord Campbell 
our chancellor, Archibald earl of Angus, Lord Douglas, Patrick Lord Hailes 
master of our household, Robert Lord Lyle our justice, Andrew Lord Gray, 
Laurence Lord Oliphant, John Lord Drummond. At Stirling, on the 19th day 
of the month of August, 14S8, and in the first year of our reign. 

Two years afterwards, on 2nd June, 1490, Abbot Schaw confirmed 
the royal grant of King James IV. by a charter in more special 
terms, and containing various additions both in respect of grants of 
territory and of municipal privileges. The following is a translated 
copy of this charter : — 


To all and sundry who may see or hear this Indented Charter, George Schaw, 
Abbot of the Monastery of Paisley and Convent of the said place, of the 
Cluniascensian Order, and Diocese of Glasgow, wisheth safety in God 

BE it known to your university. That for as much as we have the village of 
Paisley made and created, by our most Excellent Lord the King, into a 
free Burgh, to us and our successors, as is fully contained in a charter granted 
thereupon under his majesty's great seal : Therefore, we having diligently con- 
sidered the premises, always providing for and wishing the utility of our said 
monastery, with advice and consent of our whole chapter chapterly convened, to 
have given, granted, set, and in feu-farm let, and by this our present charter to 
have confirmed, and hereby give, grant, set, and in feu-farm let, and by this our 
present charter to have confirmed to our Lovites, the Provost, Bailies, Burgesses, 
and Community of our Burgh of Paisley, all and whole our said Burgh in 
Barony, with the pertinents lying in our regality of Paisley, within the sheriffdom 
of Renfrew, within the bounds and limits underwritten, to wit, Beginning at the 
end of the bridge of Paisley upon the water of Cart, and so extending by the 
king's highway towards the west to the vinnel opposite to the Wellmeadow, and 
from thence equally ascending towards the north by the ditch of the lands of 
Oakshawside to the wood of Oakshaw betwixt the said wood, as also the pas- 
sage to the common of the said Burgh and the Broomdyke, which extends by 
the lands of Sneddon, from the common of said Burgh to the water of Cart on 
the north parts, and the said water of Cart, as also the torrent of Espedair on the 
east part, and the Mustard-yard and way extending on the south part of the 
house of John Murray, and so by the hedge extending above the west end of the 
Whitefauld on the south part and the said Whitefauld, as also a part of the com- 
mon of the said Burgh and said Wellmeadow, and ditch of the said lands of 
Oakshawside on the west part upon the one side and other for edifying and build- 
ing of tenements, mansions, and yards to the said provost, bailies, burgesses and 
community, as is specially assigned, or hereafter shall be assigned, to every one 
of them by us and our said convent, by our said convent, by our charters of feu- 
farm, together with certain acres of the nearest lands, lying within the limits and 
bounds aforesaid, assigned or to b.e assigned to every tenement, mansion and 
yard, according to the tenor of our said charters made or to be made thereupon. 


Moreover, we annex aud incorporate the tofts, houses, buildings, mansions, 
yards, and lands of Seedhill, to the liberty and privilege of our said Burgh in 
barony of Paisley, to be possessed perpetually in all time hereafter. As also, we 
have given, granted, set, and in feu-farm let, and sicklike give, grant, set, and 
in feu-farm let to the said provost, bailies, burgesses, and community of our said 
burgh of Paisley and their successors for the time being, our lands underwritten, 
whereof one part of the said lands lie at the west end of our said Burgh towards 
the south, betwixt the lands of Causeyside, and the lands of Thomas Leitch, 
called the Bank, on the east part, and the lands of Castlehead ; as also the 
lands of Sir Henry Muir, John Whitefoord, and the Stobs of Riccarsbar on the 
south parts, and the bottom of the Ward on the west part, and the tail of 
Broomlands ; as also the Wellmeadow and Prior's Croft on the north part : 
and the other part of the said lands lie on the north part of the said Burgh, 
betwixt the lands of Oakshawhead and the wood of Oakshaw ; as also the croft 

of Robert , called the Sclatebank, on the south part, and the lands of 

Sneddon, and water of Cart ; as also the holm of Wardmeadow on the east part, 
and the march dyke of Inch and the Moss of Paisley on the north parts, and the 
said Moss on the west parts upon the one side and other for the convenience of 
said Burgh, or for ever to be possessed for the common pasturage of the cattle of 
the said provost, bailies, burgesses, and community ; and sicklike, we have given 
and granted free licence and power to the said provost, bailies, burgesses, and 
community, and their successors for the time being, for gaining and taking their 
fuel in whatsomever our peat Mosses of Paisley for sustaining the said provost, 
bailies, burgesses, and community, and their successors for ever, and for gaining 
and taking stones out of our stone-quarries, for erecting and building of the said 
Burgh ; as oft and so oft it shall be lawful for you for the future, providing that 
we have what may be necessary for us, where we please, in the said Mosses and 
quarries. And in case the said provost, bailies, burgesses, or community of the 
said Burgh, shall find or gain a coal-heugh, or coal-heughs, in their said com- 
mon of the said Burgh, we will and ordain. That we and our successors shall 
thence have our necessaries, we paying our part of the expences for the gaining 
of the said coal-heugh, or coal-heughs, as the said provost, bailies, burgesses, 
and community of the said Burgh pay for their part thereof or shall be willing to 
pay. And further, we give and grant to the said provost, bailies, burgesses, and 
community of the said Burgh, a common passage of the breadth of twelve ells, 
on the north side of St. Mirin's croft, extending from the said part of the fore- 
said common lands, even to the other part thereof, having and holding all and 
whole the foresaid Burgh of Paisley in a barony, with the tenements, mansions, 
yards, acres of land, bounds and limits thereof, assigned or to be assigned by us 
to them, with the common pasturage of their cattle upon our Moss of Paisley, 
and licence in our peat mosses and quarries aforesaid, as the same lie in length 
and breadth, to the said provost, bailies, burgesses, and community of the fore- 
said Burgh, and their successors, in feu-farm heritably for ever, by all right 
meiths thereof, used and divided, limited, or to be limited by us to them ; with 
power of buying and selling within the said Burgh, wine, wax, cloth, woollen 
and linen, arls or crafts, and other goods and merchandize coming thereto ; with 
the ancient customs and tolls, and with all and sundry other liberties, com- 
modities, profits, and easements, and righteous pertinents whatsoever, belonging, 
or which may be justly understood hereafter to belong to the said Burgh in 


Barony ; with power of choosing and making Burgesses or Stallingers, according 
to the customs, and laws, and statutes of burghs made thereanent : which 
Burgesses and Stallingers, and every one of them shall, at their entry, swear that 
they shall be faithful to our sovereign Lord the King and his successors, kings of 
Scotland ; as also to the steward of Scotland, and his heirs and successors ; and 
to us the abbot and convent and our successors ; and to the said bailies and com- 
munity, and common utility of the said Burgh, in the same manner as burgesses 
in other burghs do, or have been in use to do. Moreover, we give and grant to 
the provost and bailies of the said Burgh, to be elected by us for the time, and 
their successors, full and free power of holding, convening, and fencing of Burgh 
courts of the said Burgh, and of continuing the same how oft it shall be found 
needful, and of uplifting the issues and amerciaments of the said courts, and of 
fining the absents, and punishing transgi-essors and delinquents according to the 
statutes and laws of burghs ; and to choice Serjeants, officers, ministers, tasters 
of ale and wine, and appretiators of flesh, and other servants whomsoever neces- 
sary for a burgh, and as it is statuted and ordained in other burghs, according to 
the strength, form, and tenor, so far as concerns the extension of the foresaid 
liberties, as is at length contained in the Charter of the said Burgh in barony, 
and privileges thereof granted by our Sovereign Lord the King, to us and our 
successors. And further, we give and grant to the bailies of the said Burgh, to 
be chosen by us and our successors, full power and faculty of taking and receiv- 
ing resignations of all and sundry lands, acres, and tenements, lying within the 
said Burgh, and to give and deliver heritable state and seasin, as is the use in 
burghs, to the wives of the possessors, or their true heirs ; providing they give 
seasin to no other persons, neither receive resignations without our consent and 
assent had and obtained thereto. It is also our will, that the said provost and 
bailies of the said Burgh be annually chosen by advice of us and our successors, 
at the term and court limited by law within burghs, and that they shall be de- 
prived as oft and how oft as need beis, without any obstacle whatsoever. And 
further, we will and grant that the said provost, bailies, burgesses, and commun- 
ity of the said Burgh, shall for ever have, for sustaining their Burgh, and profits 
of the said Burgh, the fines of all burgesses and stallingers of the said Burgh, to 
be made in all time coming, together with the ancient customs and tolls of the 
said Burgh, as is the custom in other burghs ; rendering yearly the foresaid pro- 
vost, bailies, and community of the said Burgh and their heirs and successors, to 
us and our successors, forth of the said tenements, mansions, yards, and acres 
of land within the bounds and limits of the Burgh before-written, the burgh-farm 
and service of courts, used and wont with the yearly rents due forth thereof, 
according to the tenor of our rental and register, and as is at more length con- 
tained in our foresaid charters made and granted, or to be made and granted, 
upon the feu-farm tacks of the said tenements, mansions, yards, and acres ; and 
that the said provost, bailies, burgesses, and community of the said Burgh, and 
their successors, shall come with ther grain, whatsoever, in so far as they shall 
grind, to our miln of Paisley, and not to any other miln whatsoever, paying 
therefore to us multure, to the thirty-one dish only, as men abiding forth of our 
lands ; for all other burden, exaction, question, demand, or secular service, 
which can any manner of way be justly exacted or required by any manner of 
persons forth of the said Burgh in barony, tenements, mansions, yards, and 
acres, lying within the said Burgh, w'nh the pertinents. In witness whereof, the 


common seal of the chapter of our said monastery is appended to this present 
indented Charter, remaining with the said provost, bailies, burgesses, and com- 
munity of the said Burgh ; and the common seal of the said Burgh of Paisley is 
appended to the said present indented Charter, remaining with the said Abbot 
and Convent at the Monastery and Burgh aforesaid, the second day of June, one 
thousand four hundred and ninety, before these witnesses, to icit, James Schaw 
of Sawchy, David Schaw his son, Thomas Stewart of Craigenfeoch, Robert 
Semple, John Ralston of that Ilk, John Schaw, Sir Alexander Clugston and 
James Young, Nottars public, with many others. 

After the assassination of King James III., and the accession of 
his son, James IV., on 26th June, 1488, Lord Lyle, who occupied 
Dumbarton Castle, and the Earl of Lennox, who had the command 
of Duchal Castle and his own castle of Crookston, broke into revolt, 
being disappointed, it is supposed, with the division of the rewards 
given to the abettors of the revolution. These strongholds having 
been garrisoned and put into a position of defence, the insurgents 
set the Government at defiance. As they disregarded a summons 
to surrender, active preparations were made by the Government for 
taking the field against them. At the Parliament held on 26th June 
in the following year, decree of forfeiture was passed against Lord 
Lyle, the Earl of Lennox and his eldest son, Matthew Stewart, and 
their accomplices. It was further resolved that for recovery of the 
castles held by the rebels, the King should go in person to Crook- 
ston and Duchal, on the 19th July, along with all the barons, gentle- 
men, and freeholders south of the Forth, who should be summoned 
to attend. It was likewise arranged that Argyle the chancellor, on 
the King's arrival at Glasgow, should proceed to besiege Dumbarton 
Castle, with the men of Argyle, Lennox, Menteith, Strathearn, and 
other parts of the north. From a series of entries in the Accounts 
of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland at that time, some reliable 
information is obtained regarding that expedition. The great 
cannon known by the name of Mons Meg was taken from Edin- 
burgh Castle to form part of the artillery, and xviii^ was " given the 
gunneris to drinksileur quhen thai cartit Mons be the Kingis com- 
mande " (Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, p. 115). 
The transport of heavy artillery over even the best roads at that 
time, was a serious undertaking, and sheriffs of counties through 
which they passed were ordered to provide horses to draw the guns. 
On this occasion, the " saim xviii dae of Juliy, when the King past 
furth of Lythgow to Glasgow," there was paid " x^ to the men that 
kent the gayt at the Barwod to the gunnis at the King's commande, 
to the drink '"' (Accounts of the Lord High LVcasurer of Scotland, 
p. 116). On the King's arrival " the saim da at evin in Glasgow " 
the sum of v^ was given to " a man to pass to Edinburgh to haist 
the guns west." Further arrangements were made for the protection 
of the guns, and iij^ was given to " jNIussche to pass to the Schirra 
off Renfru to gar him get oussing to the gunnis." Another regula- 
tion to that prepared fur the King's departure to Paisley and Duchal 



was the payment of xviij'' " to the Larde of HiUus to go to Paslay 
to get werkmen with spaides and schuilUs " (Accounts of the Lord 
High Treasurer of Scotland, p. 117) for the siege operations. The 
siege, however, was of short duration, for both Duchal and Crook- 
ston speedily surrendered to the King.^ On the 27th July the sum 
of xxiiij li xij^ was given to John Hepburn " quhen the King com 
away fra Duchale and levit him to spend." From an entry made 

•^ MoNS Meg.- — This ancient national relic, which is curiously constructed of 
iron staves and hoops, was removed to the Tower of London in 1754, in conse- 
quence of an order from the Board of Ordnance to the governor of Edinburgh 
Castle to send thither all unserviceable cannon therein. It lay in the Tower for 
seventy years, until it was restored to Scotland by George IV. in 1829, mainly 
in consequence of the intercessions of Sir Walter Scott. The form of its ancient 
wooden carriage is represented on the sculptured stone over the entrance of the 
Ordnance Office, but that having broken down shortly after its return to Scot- 
land, it has since been mounted on an elegant modern carriage of cast iron. On 
this a series of inscriptions have been introduced, embodying the usually received 
traditions as to its history, which derive the name from its supposed construction 
at Mons, in Flanders. There is good reason, however, for believing that local 
repute has erred on this point, and that this famous piece of artillery is a native 
of the land to which all its traditions belong. The evidence for this interesting 
fact was first communicated in a letter from that diligent antiquary, Mr. Train, to 
Sir Walter Scott, and atfords proof, from the local traditions of Galloway, that 
this large piece of ordnance was presented to James II. in 1455 by the M'Lellans, 
when he arrived with an army at Carlingwark to besiege William, Earl of 
Douglas, in the castle of Threave. We have compressed into a note the main 
facts of this interesting communication respecting the pedigree of Mons Meg, 
which Sir Walter thus unhesitatingly attests in his reply : " Vou have traced her 
propinquity so clearly, as henceforth to set all conjecture aside " (Memorials of 
Edi)ibitroh in the Olden Time, by Daniel Wilson, p. 129). The compressed note 
here referred to is to this effect. The first discharge of this gun at the siege of 
Threave Castle is said to have consisted of a peck of powder and a granite ball 
nearly as heavy as a Galloway cow. As a recompence for the present of this 
extraordinary engine of war, and for the loyalty of the M'Lellans, the King, 
before leaving Galloway, erected the town of Kirkcudbright into a royal burgh, 
and granted to Brawny Kirn, the smith who made the cannon, the lands of Mol- 
lance, in the neighbourhood of Threave Castle. Hence the smith was called 
Mollance, and his wife's name being Meg, the cannon, in honour of her, received 
the appellation of " Mollance Meg." 

"The whole country rose to assist the King ; the Sheriff and his neighbours 
mustered strongly round the royal standard. The Burgesses of Kirkcudbright 
raised a subscription amongst themselves and bought metal with which, to their 
order, a blacksmith of their town, named M'Kerin, manufactured the famous 
monster gun, Mons Meg. Meg's first discharge consisted of a peck of powder 
and a stone ball ' of the weight of a Carsphairn cow ' ; and her first discharge 
went right through Threave Castle, on which the besieged instantly surrendered. 
The only source of regret on this happy occasion was that the cannon ball, in 
passing through the castle, carried off an arm from the Fair Maid of Galloway as 
she sat in the dining-hall " (History of the Hereditary Slieriffs of Galhnvay, by 
Sir Andrew Agnew, Bart. , p. 82). 

" About fifty years ago Threave Castle was partially repaired with a view to 
making it answer for a barrack for French prisoners. On clearing out the 
rubbish the workmen discovered a massive gold ring, with ' Margareta de 
Douglas ' engraved on it. It is supposed to have been upon the lady's hand 
when blown off, and was preserved by Sir Alexander Gordon " ( ]\1' Kenzie' s 
History of Gallo^uay, vol. i., p. 384). 

At Londonderry there is a gun called " Roaring Meg," a relic of the famous 
defence in 1689. 


on the 4th August following, we learn that the guns were at Kirkin- 
tilloch, and ij li was paid " to Barcar and ane odir gunnar to help 
hame with the gmim?," (Accounts of Lord High Treasure?; p. 117). 
It would thus appear from these disbursements on behalf of the 
King that he and his army passed through Paisley to Duchal, and the 
far-famed cannon called Mons Meg formed part of the train of artillery. 
Every one in the community of Paisley would naturally be elated 
at the village being raised to the proud position of equality with a 
Royal Burgh, which in those times was regarded as of the greatest 
importance. They were justified in being proud of their advance- 
ment, but unfortunately it brought upon them the jealousy of, and 
afterwards ill usage from, the inhabitants of the neighbouring burgh 
of Renfrew, with whom apparently they had always lived hitherto at 
peace. Prior to the erection of Paisley into a Burgh of Barony, the 
Royal Burgh of Renfrew possessed the exclusive privilege of buying 
and selling, and levying toll and custom, in the whole of Renfrew- 
shire. After the community of Paisley obtained their charter, their 
Bailies disputed the right of the Bailies of Renfrew to continue 
these exactions, and this caused violent contests to take place 
between them. Ultimately the wrangling became so fierce that the 
Bailies and burgesses of Renfrew came in a mob to Paisley, threw 
down the market-cross that had been newly erected there, and made 
an effort to levy custom as formerly upon goods sold at the market- 
place. This extortionate demand not being complied with, the 
ofircers from Renfrew " forcibly seized a quarter of beif for a penny 
of custum, ane cabock of chiess for a half pennie of custum, and a 
wynd of quhite claith for a pennie of custum " (Records of Parlia- 
ment — Hamilton' s Renfrezvshire, p. 274) — these being the only kinds 
of goods exhibited for sale in the market on that day. BaiHe 
Whiteford and other burgesses of Paisley did not, however, submit 
quietly to this high-handed outrage, but asserted their undoubted 
rights by rescuing from the ofiiicers and burgesses of Renfrew all the 
goods they had so illegally seized. The dispute was not allowed to 
rest here, however, for on loth February, 1491, "the bailzeis, 
burges and communite of the burgh of Renfreu " raised an action 
before the Lords of Parliament " aganis Johne of Quhiteford, bailze 
to the Abbot of Paistlay, for the wrangwis spoliatioun and takin fra 
thaim of certane poyndis and stufifis fra the ofticiaris of the said 
burgh of Renfrew, whilk is thai haid takin for our soverane Lordis 
custume of certaine gudis as is contenit in the summondis." It was, 
on the other hand, " allegit by the said John of Whiteford that the 
Abbot and convent of Pastlay suld werrand him anent the takin of the 
said gudis because he did it as bailze to thaim, the Lordis Auditouris; 
tharfore [the Court] assigns to the said John the xviii day of Junii 
nixt to cum, with continuation of dais, to call his said werrand, and 
to charge the said Abbot and convent to bring sicrightis and evidentis 
as thai will use thame for in said mater " (Records of Parliament — 
Hamiltoiis Renfrewshire, p. 273). At this court, on the same day, 
" comperit George Abbot of Pastlay and protestit that sen the 


burges and communite of Renfru hadsummond him unordourly and 
causit him to male gret expenss and costis, that thairfore thai suid 
refound and pay his costis and expenss or thai war hard in judge- 
ment againis him " (Records of Parliament — Hamilton's Renfrew- 
shire, p. 273). This request of the Abbot's does not appear to 
have been comphed with by the court. He and Baihe Whiteford 
attended the court at the time fixed by the Judges, and submitted 
their charters. After all the parties interested had been heard, the 
Lord Auditors decided that " the said Bailie [of Paisley] has done 
na fraud nor usurpit upoun the privileg of the Burgh of Renfrew in 
takin fra the officers of the said Burgh of the said poends, because 
the said town and lands of Pastlay were create in ane fre barony and 
regality as wes provit by a charter under King Robertis grate sele of 
the date precedand the infeftment maid to the said toun of Renfrew "' 
(Records of Parliament 14^3 — Hamilton s Renfreivs/iire, p. 274). 
This favourable decision delivered the Burgh of Paisley from their 
difiiculties with the neighbouring Burgh of Renfrew, and the judg- 
ment was deemed of so much importance that Abbot George Schaw 
sought and obtained a confirmation of it by King James IV. on 
22nd June, 1493. 

Abbot Schaw next proceeded to raise an action on 2nd December, 
1495, against the Bailies of Renfrew, before Parliament, " for the 
wrangous takin the customs within the regalitie and barony of 
Paisley, for an hundred years, at the rate of a merk annually." 
Damages were also claimed " for the wrangous destruction and 
casten doune of ane market cros of that toun of Paslay,'" and for 
several other illegal acts. The injury done to the market-cross was 
valued at six merks. It does not appear that the Abbot was suc- 
cessful in this prosecution. 

During the epoch we are writing of, the population, as already 
mentioned, was still small, and the town itself being of very 
limited extent, was intersected by only a few streets. The accom- 
panying map of Paisley relates to the time between 1490 and 1545. 
It was prepared during the third decade of the nineteenth century, at 
the instance of William Chalmers and others, pursuers in an action 
against the Provost and Magistrates of Paisley in relation to the 
casualties of non-entry payable by the town's vassals.^ This plan, 
it is alleged, was drawn under the advice and direction of the late 
Mr. William Motherwell and Bailie Robert Patison, who, besides 

^ The first paper in this process is dated 23rd January, 1824, and the final 
decision of the Judges is dated 9th June, 1829. It was as follows: — "The 
Lords find and declare that in the case of lands held by the tenure of booking, 
the pursuers and their heirs and singular successors are entitled to be entered by 
the form of booking in terms of their investitures, in payment of the casualties in 
use to be paid from time immemorial as specified in the regidations of 7th May, 
1756, and that the Magistrates have no right, without the consent of the vassals, 
to convert bookings into charters and sasines, or to introduce any alteration or 
innovation in the form of entering than by booking. Find further, that when 
any of the vassals apply to the Magistrates for entries in lands held by charter 
and sasine, the latter are entitled to exact such casualty as shall be fixed by the 
Regulations of the Burgh, providing the same do not exceed the usual feudal 
casualties, and that the said casualties are not restricted to one-eight of a year's rent. " 

PLAN OF PAISLEY— i4go till about 1343. 

Reduced from Plan based on the Abbott Cfmrtulary. 


their own personal knowledge, which was very considerable, espe- 
cially in the case of the latter, studied very carefully the Abbey 
chartulary and other reliable sources of information. The outlines 
of the map, in so far as the streets and ancient names of the 
different lands surrounding the town are concerned, we believe to 
be generally correct. One of the chief movers in that action was 
Bailie Patison, who held strong views as to the extent of land held 
under the booking tenure ; and if there is a bias in any way, it will 
be in that direction, but that does not interfere with the general 
merits of the map, which are great. 

To carry out our topographical account of the ancient position of 
Paisley, we shall now refer to the principal streets and roads within 
the Burgh, along with the more important and historical houses and 
places in connection with them. The following may be said to be a 
complete list of the streets and roads within the Burgh at that time : 
— High Street, St. Mirin's Wynd, the Vennel (Lady Lane), Lone- 
wells, Under the Wood and Sneddoun to the river ; Causeyside, 
Longait (Water Brae, Gordon's Lane, and Canal Street), Moss Street, 
Barnyard (School Wynd), Oakshaw, and Watergait (Dyer's Wynd). 

Publica via j'cgia, the King's highway, now called High Street. 

This street, commencing at the bridge, extended to Wellmeadow 
and Broomlands. The part from the bridge to Saint Mirin's Wynd 
was called Bridgend. The corner building, fronting Bridgend and 
Saint Mirin's Wynd, belonged to the chamberlain of the convent, 
and Avas built in 147 1 by Sir John Mouss, who was chamberlain at 
that time (Abbey Chartulary). The house to the east of this was 
called Saint Catherine's Tile tenement (Abbey Chai'tuhwy). The 
house at the opposite corner from the chamberlain's, fronting High 
Street and Saint Mirin's Wynd, — being No. 6 High Street before it 
was taken down in connection with the recent widening of Saint 
Mirin Street, — was called in ancient times the " Paisley Tak." It 
was feued by Abbot Robert Schaw on 21st April, 1500, to Richard 
Brigton, " our beloved Buckler, for his many good services to us 
and also to our predecessors (Abbey Chartulary). It is not known 
why this house was called the " Paisley Tak," unless it was the place 
where the town's customs and taxes were paid. The market-place 
in these days was of the same dimensions nearly as the space called 
the " Cross " at the present day. The cross that was erected at 
the market-place when Paisley obtained her burghal honours is 
believed to have been nearly opposite the end of Moss Street, 
where it would be well seen from the different streets converging on 
that point. The corner building, fronting the north side of High 
Street and the west side of Moss Street, at the market-place, was 
the most important in the httle village — being the prsetorium or 
common hall in the days of the monastery prior to 1490, when it 
was granted to the Burgh, and was afterwards the court-house, 
council-chamber, and tolbooth of the town for several centuries.^ 

^ This building is more particularly noticed in the chapter on " Saint Mirin." 



The building adjoining the pr?etorium on the v/est side was in 
ancient times known by the name of the " House of all Saints."^ 
This religious house was established by the monastery of Paisley to 
commemorate the festival of All Saints, but the date of its founda- 
tion is not preserved. Abbot Robert vSchaw, for some unknown 
reason, suppressed this religious house; and on ist March, 1521, 
feued it to Patrick ISIossman for payment of an annual feu-duty of 
26s. 8d (Abbey Chartidary). This property, in some of its title- 
deeds called "the all hallow tenement," was No. loi High Street, 
and was taken down in 1880 when that street was widened. In the 
property adjoining to the west there were several old stones with 
inscriptions upon them. In the east gable, for instance, there was 
a stone which formed the fourth part of a circle, and in the west 
gable was another of the same dimensions. Putting these two stones 
together, they formed a half circle, and had this inscription on them : 


On another stone in the west gable, forming the fourth part of a 

circle, there was the annexed inscrip- 
tion : — 

The other part of this stone was 
not found. As these stones were not 
placed with any care in the building, 
it is very likely they belonged to the 
" House of All Saints."^ 

On the south side of High Street, 
and nearly opposite the building we 
have been describing, there stood 
the Lady Altar. In " the rentall 
of all the Dewties that perteins 
zeirlie to the haill altaris within the 

1 All Saints festival is held on ist November, and was at first called All 
Halloween mass. It was instituted by Pope Boniface IV., about 620, when he 
was allowed to convert the Pantheon of Rome into a Christian church. It was 
instituted to be kept in memory of all martyrs. All saints was afterwards sub- 
stituted for "all martyrs," as, on account of the number of saints, special days 
could not be set apart for each of them. 

2 This property was No. 100 High Street, and belonged to Mr. John Andrews. 
It was taken down in iSSo wlicn that street was being widened, but these stones 
were, we understand, unfortunately not preserved. 


Paroche Kirk of Paslay," it is entered as follows: — "Hes of propertie 
13'and thereto, ane tenement of land, lyand on the south side 
of the hie street, that anis was heritabilhe umqll Sir Robert Wanis, 
he beand Lady Priest, foundit it, and doted it to our Lady Altar 
for euir, as ane instrument in Mr. Walter Steuards, protliogall bulk 
beeris, dated 8th August, 151 1, now devydit into three tenements, 
ane occupiet be umqll Wm. Alexanders wyifif, the second be Eliza- 
beth Burneheid, and the third be Thomas Peter " (Town Council 
Records). In the rental of the Pittances there is the following : — 
" Our Lady hous, occupeit of auld be our lady priest, and now be 
sundrie tenants" (Town Council Records)} 

Paisley, like all other ancient towns, was provided with ports or 
gates at the different approaches leading to the town, and these 
were under the control of the Bailies and Town Council. They 
were regarded as boundaries within which no one should enter with- 
out becoming amenable to the burghal authorities, and were deemed 
essential to the protection of the inhabitants. Between what is at 
present No. 34 on the south side of High Street and No. Zt^ 011 the 
north side of that street, stood the " \\' est Port." No walls other- 
wise surrounded the little town, but it was left to those whose 
gardens and grounds formed the outer boundary of the town to 
have them always well fenced and protected. There was a port on 
the bridge itself at the east end of this street, called the " Brig Port." 

At the part of the highway called Wellmeadow there was a stone 
monument about eight feet high. W. Semple saw this monument 
before it was taken down in 1764, and declares, most remarkably, 
that he can give no information about its origin ( Crawfurd and W. 
Semple s History of Renfrecushire, p. 318). On the south side of 
this street, a little to the east of Castle Street, there stood a chapel 
dedicated to Saint Rock, a French saint, sometimes called Saint 
Roque and Saint RoUock, with a small burying-ground and seven 
roods of land attached to it. By whom it was erected and endowed 
is not now known. The chapel and grounds belonged to the 
monastery of Paisley, and formed part of the endowment of the 
Grammar School. 

Saint Mirin's Wynd, first known by the name of the Common 
Vennel, was very narrow and steep. It went from the market-place 
down to Saint Mirin's burn, and was crossed by a ford to Calsasyde. 
On the west side of the street was the Lady House, known also by 
the name of the land of the chaplain. Abbot John Lithgow, in 
1432, granted it by a charter to John de Schelis (Abbey Chartulary). 
At this time the chaplain of the Lady Altar was Sir John Wann, 
who transferred this religious house to the site in the High Street 
which corresponds with Nos. 14, 15, and 16. This Common 
Vennel was afterwards known by the names of Saint Mirin's Wynd, 
the Burngait, and Water Wynd. Its present name is Saint Mirin's 

^ There is in the back wall of the house No. I4 High Street an ancient sculp- 
tured stone with an indistinct figure on it. 


Street. Being the main entrance to the town from the south, it 
was guarded at the extreme south end by a port or gate, which was 
variously called Burn Port, South Port, and Saint Mirin's Port. 

The street at present called Causeyside is named in the old map 
Venella, but it was more generally known as Calsaysyde. It com- 
menced at Saint Mirin's Burn, and terminated where one road 
branched off to Lylis land and Faryness, and another to Lochlibo 
side. Faryness and Lochlibo side are names frequently mentioned 
in the old charters of the Stewards of Scodand. On the east side 
of Calsaysyde was first a tenement known by the name of Hezelden, 
and farther on was the Orchart, extending to about six and a-half 
acres, which once belonged to the convent. Beyond this was 
Mustard Yard, referred to in Abbot Schaw's charter of 1450. On 
the west side of the street, at Saint Mirin's Burn, were the ancient 
properties called the Blackhole, Nether Bailze, and the village of 
Causeyside, extending from about Brown's Lane to Canal Street. 
In the angle at the south, and where the two roads already referred 
to branch off, stood the St. Ninian's Cross. One of the earliest and 
most successful preachers of Christianity to our heathen forefathers 
in the south of Scotland was Saint Ninian, a.d. 1398-1432. He 
spent the greater part of his life at Whithorn, where he died and was 
buried. The shrine of Saint Ninian at Whithorn was visited by 
pilgrims from the most remote parts of the country ; and the relics 
of the saint, even to the Reformation period, were believed to work 
miracles. The first reference made to this cross is in the charter of 
Abbot George Schaw, of 2nd June, 1490, wherein is defined the 
boundary of the newly-created burgh. It states — " And, farther, 
we give and grant to the said Provost, Bailies, Burgesses, and com- 
munity of the said Burgh a common passage,^ of the breadth of twelve 
ells, on the north side of St. Ninian's Cross,- extending from the said 
part of the foresaid common lands even to the other part thereof." 
The house and ground south of St. Ninian's Cross, containing about 
two and a half acres, was called Murray's ^Mailing. Abbot George 
Schaw feued it on 12th June, 1490 (Abbey Chartidary). It was 
afterwards called Cross House, from being near to St. Ninian's Cross, 
and it is so described in the title-deeds of the present time. In the 
rental of Pittances paid to the monks of Paisley, it is called " ye 
Corshous in Calsasyd occupied by John Sclater, heritor." One 
of the altars in the monastery, as already stated, was dedicated to 
Saint Ninian, and had from these pittances an income of viii lib 
viii^- It is not now known what became of this ancient religious 
monument. There were other religious crosses in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the town. On Auldbar farm, near Hawkhead, 
there was a cross called the '" stead stone cross." W. Semple 

^ This passage was first called Longait, thereafter the Vennel, Common Lone, 
and now Canal Street. 

- In most of the printed translations of this charter it is spoken of as St. 
Mirin's croft, which is a mistake, as there is no such place. The words in the 
original charter are " crucis Sancti Niniam. " 


states — " It is now about four feet and a half long, sixteen inches 
broad, and eight inches thick, standing upon a pedestal about one 
foot and a half high, four feet and a half long, and three feet broad; 
which stone had been lying in a gravel pit for some years, and was 
lately erected by Mr. Charles Ross of Greenlaw : he remembers 
withia these forty years past, to have seen the cross piece on the top 
like Barrochan Cross ; no figures of either men, horses or armour 
has ever been on it, only wreathed work " ( W. Seinples Renfrew- 
shire). There was also the cross at Crossflat, or " Corssletts," as 
the suburb is frequently called ; but no one, unfortunately, has 
supplied any account of it. 

Longait, as properly understood, commenced at Calsasyd, and 
extended to the important common lying west from that point, but 
the name was applicable also to the same line of street going east- 
ward from Calsaysyd. It may therefore be assumed that Longait 
commenced at the foot of Saint Mirin's Wynd, went along the side 
of the river Cart to Espedair Burn and Blada Zarde, then bending 
to the west, by the south side of the Orchart, went over what was 
originally the old highway, connected with the ford and the mill of 
Paislet, now called Gordon's Lane. After crossing Calsasyd, 
Longait ran westward to Common Hill, Laigh Common, east and 
west Overcommon, Quarrel Hills, Castlehead, Stobs of Riccartsbar, 
and the bottom of the ward on the south side of Broomlands. 

Lady Lane led from the highway at Wellmeadow along the west 
boundary of Prior's Croft, and through Laigh Common and Over- 
common to Longait, now Canal Street. This lane, in the charter of 
Abbot George Schaw of 1490, is called " the vinnel opposite the 
Wellmeadow," and it is difficult to state correctly how and when the 
change of name took place. " The Lady," " Lady," and " Our 
Lady " are expressions used to mean the Virgin. It is quite pos- 
sible there may have been on the banks of Saint Mirin's Burn at 
this place a chapel or place of worship of some kind dedicated to 
the Virgin Mary,^and hence might arise the name of " Lady Lane." 

The road, now called Well Street, leading from the highway at 
Wellmeadow to Under the wood and Moss Raw, was at this period 
mainly a connecting link for the lands through which it passed, 
there being few, if any, houses adjoining it. 

The ]\Ioss Raw went north from the market-place to Snadown, 
and was the main thoroughfare to the extensive stretch of ground 
known as the Moss of Paisley. It was also known by the name of 
Mossgate, AVangate End, and at present Moss Street. Opposite 
No. 14, or thereby, this street was protected by a port, which was 
called the Moss Raw Port. 

The passage of Oakshaw led from the Moss Raw to the south of 
the port in that street, — first by the Barn Yard now called School 
Wynd, and afterwards along the summit of Oakshaw Hill, to the 
Prsetorium and Wellmeadow. At the west end of the Barn Yard 
stood a port called the Barn Yard Port. 

To complete our outline of the topography of Paisley about the 



period when it acquired important burghal rights and privileges, we 
shall close this chapter by giving a list of the original feuars of the 
Burgh after its erection in 1488. The orthography of the names of 
the streets, and also of the different feuars, is given as these ap- 
peared at the time. The intelligent local reader, however, will 
not, we believe, find it difficult to recognise in them the forms at 
present in use. 

The land was divided into three kinds : — 

I. Terra Burgalis — Burgal land for building tenements. 
II. Terra Campestris — Outfield land for raising crop. 
III. Terra Communis —Common land for pasturage. 

The Burgal land was again divided into three parts : — • 

1st. The west part, comprehending Oxschawsyde, Village of Pasley, and 

Pryors Croft. 
2nd. The south part, comprehending the Vennell, Calsasyde, Quhitfald, 

Mustardzarde, Myldam, Orchart, liladozarde, and part of .Sedhill. 
3rd. The north part, comprehending the Mossgait, Bamzarde, Sclat Bank, 

part of Snawdoun and Kelso Land. 





extending from No. 58 to 93 High Street, inclusive. 
Jacobi Vrry. Roberti Quhit. Malcolmi Barde. 

Roberti Smychth. Johannis Maknellus. Johannis Quarriour. 

Vilelmi Bulla. dni Roberti Vans. Vilelmi Symsone. 

Johannis Quhitfurde. 


from No. 93 High Street to the Merkat Cross. 

Johannis Hannakyn, Semple House. 

Jacobi Bulle. I Vilelmi Scott. | Johannis Glowar. 

Vilelmi Brown. | dni Alex. Vilson. | Patricii Mosman. 

Provost, Baillies, and Burgesses of Pasley — Tolbooth. 


pryor's croft, 
from the Common Vennell to the Cross. 

Thome Ilectour. 
Thome Mathy. 
Roberti Snodgrass. 
Patricii Vilsone. 
Johannis Fiff. 
David Alexandri. 
Vilelmi Vode. 
Johannis Landalis. 
Johannis Luffe. 

ViHelmi Scot. 
Johannis Brownsid. 
Thome Landalis. 
dni Henrici Mouss. 
Andree Payntour. 
Roberti Caveris. 
Johannis Quhitfurde. 
Roberti Quhit. 
Johannis Vane. 


Vilelmi Vode. 
Valteri Strathy. 
Johannis Alexander. 
Roberti Muiyr. 
Vilelmi Steward. 
Johannis Wischard. 
David Alexander. 
Ricardi Brigton. 

Vilelmi Muiyr. 



Vilelmi Muiyr. 

Johannis Steward. 



Vilelmi Muiyr. I Johannis Steward. I John Schelis. 

The Abbot's Houss. | Lady Priest's Houss. | Andree Payntour. 


from Saint Mirren's burne to the Longail. 

Andree Ross or Payntour. 
Johannis Logane. 
Hugonis Merchell. 

Hugonis Forrest. 

dui CowvalliAchynneade. 

Vilehni Veyr. 

Johannis Hector, senioris. 
Johannis Allanson. 
Joliannis Hector, junioris. 

LOXGAIT — now called Canal Street, 

from Caiiseyside to Storie Street, east side. 

Johannis Allanson. | Johannis Hector, junioris. | Johannis Hectour, senioris. 

From the Longait to the outfield land. 
Alexandri Tornor. I Johannis Luffe. I Johannis Sclater, junioris. 
Thome Quhit. | David Sclater. | Andreae Murray. 



from the outfield land to No. 37 Causeyside. 
Johannis Ray. | Andree Murray. | Johannis Sclater, jun. | Johannis Sclater, sen. 


from No. 37 to 28, inclusive. 

Gilchristo Lech. 


from No. 28 to No. 8, inclusive. 

Allani Stewart 


from No. 8 to the common passage. 

Robert! Modervell. | Johannis Logane. 

COMMON PASSAGE, on Kert Banks, 
from foot of Causeyside to Sedhill ford and Bladozarde. 
Jacobi Modervell. | Valkmyll. 


Jacobo Algeo. 


Jacobi Crawfurde de Kylwynnet. 



West Side, 

from the Cross to No. 15. 

Stephani Vess. | Johannis Alexandri. j Allani Sundyrland. | Roberti Caveris. 



from Meeting House Brae to Snawdoun burn, and to Stony Brae, 

and to Moss Street. 

Robert! Caveris. 

East Side. 


from llie north side of Old Snawdon Street to Snavvdon Burn. 
Allani Sutherland. | Nigelli Luff. 


from Snawdoun Bum to No. 41 Moss Street. 
Johannis Tyningance. 


from No. 41 to the Cross. 
M ichaelis Pasley. | Alexander Bellus. | Robert! Sympill. | Johannis Morsone. 


along Kert side to Snawdon Burn, 
dni Convalli Achynmaid. | Ricardi Brigtone. | Galviny Talzeour. 


School Wynd, south side. 
Saint Nicolas Chappel. | dni Convallie Achynmaid. 

North side, called barnzarde. 

Andree Wallass. I Johannis Anderson. I Johannis Arthur. 

Johannis Alexanderson. | Vilielmi Smyth. | Vilelmi Pirry. 

//. _ o UT FIELD LA ND. 


is bounded by the Brume dyk on the south, by the ditch of North holme on the 
north, river Kert on the east, and the road leading to Ynsh on the west, that is, 
the south side of Old Sneddon Street, Bullfauld burn on the north, and Back 
Sneddon Street on the east. 

Allani Sutherland. | Nigelli Luff. 


Bounded by Oxschawsyde on the east, Wellmeadow Street on the south, and the 
foss or ditch on the north. 
Johannis Quhitfurdc. | Vilelmi Quhit. 


Bounded by the Vennell on the east, Brumelands on the west, the pasturage on 

the south, and the Royal way on the north. 

Jacobi Crawfurde de Kylwynnet. 

This is the gentleman that founded Saint Rochis Chappel, and amply endowed 
it and the altars of Saint Mirin and Saint Columb from his lands of Seedhill 
and Wellmeadow. 



Bounded by Welmeadow on the east, Fergusly on the west, the Pasturage on 

the south, and the Royal way on the north. 

Roberti Quhit. I Thome LandaHs. I Johannis Landalis. 

Andree Payntour. | Johannis Maknelhis. | Roberti Smytcht. 
Ricardi Brigtone. 
The rising ground near llie west part of Broomlands was called DrxKAiTH 


On the south part of the town, and well known. The name is derived from the 
Romans having built a castellum. The road to it appears to have been the Ven- 
nell, the Calsasyd, and the Long Gait, as these streets were causeyed. 
Johannis Quhitfurde. | Thome Mathy. 


Lyes to the north of Castelheide, and now forms part of Castlehead grounds. 
Johannis Quarriour. 


Lyes to the north of Gallowhill, bounded by the Long Gait on the north, the 
Stobbis of Rycardisbar on the west, and Quharrel hill on the east. It is now 
included in Castlehead lands. 

Johannis Quhitfurde. 


The West Relief church, churchyard, and manse occupy the whole of this feu, 

and it was feued by 

Dni Henrici Mouss, vicar de Kilbarchan. 


Lyes to the east of Castelheid, bounded by Carriagehill on the south, the road 
on the east, and the Burgal land on the north. 

Malcolmi Gardenyere. 
Johannis Sclater, yc. 
Johannis Sclater, sen. 

David Sclater. I Malcolmi Gardenyere. 
Johannis Fifif. Alexandri Tornor. 

Andree Murray. | 


This property fronts the head of Causeyside, and is described in the charter as 

bounded by Lilysland on the south, and leading therefrom to the place where 

the road divides into two, the one leading to the Furyness and the other to 


Johannis Hannykin. 


Bounded by Lilysland on the south, Espedair on the east, the road on the west, 

and the Mustardzarde on the north. 

Johannis Ray. 


Jacobi Crawfurde de Kylwynnet. 



The common lands were never specially assigned to any persons until the Town 
Council granted bookings, as commissioners of the abbots, the lords of erection, 
or the Crown, similar to the burgage holdings of royal burghs. These lands 
were named, — The Eist Over Common on the east side of Lady Lone to the 
lands of Causeyside. West Over Common, on the west of Lady Lone to the 
Bottom of the Ward. The Bottom of the Ward, to the west boundary of the 
burgh. Commonhill, on the south side of Canal Street. Under the Wood, on 
the south side of the Greenhill road. Fynness Bog, on the west side of Lone- 
wells Street. The Long and Short Ruids of Greenhill. The Sneddon dyke. 
The 24 akers from Saint James Street to the Bulfauld, and the Long and Short 
Ruids of Nethercommon. 

The only piece of ground in the Burgh of Paisley that is neither described as 
Burgal Outfield or Common land is the 


on which the Romans constructed a Pretorium. 


1560 TILL 1600. 

MOST important change in the ecclesiastical history of 
Jfs\^ the town of Paisley and the nation took place in 1560. 
//?>V^xl A new era, which has secured great advantages to the 
inhabitants, was then inaugurated. The Romish 
hierarchy, which had exercised so much power for 
several centuries without interruption, was entirely overthrown, and 
a new system established in its place. Several matters relating to 
these momentous changes have already been glanced at in the 
chapters on the Abbey. We shall now notice some others. 

After the Reformation in 1560, only a small portion of the 
immense revenues and property belonging to the opulent Monastery 
of Paisley was obtained by the Bailies and Council of the Burgh for 
public purposes connected with the community of Paisley. In 1576 
King James VI. granted a part of the revenues of the Abbey to 
establish a school " to be called our foundation of the Grammar 
School of Paisley," that " the poor within our burgh may be in- 
structed in good morals and the knowledge of letters and virtue, 
and may be qualified not only for serving God in the ministry of 
the word, but also for being useful members of the community in 
our said burgh" ( Charter of James VI.). That endowment con- 
sisted of the lands of Seedhill, extending, so far as can now be 
ascertained, to about twenty-five acres ; and also the lands of Well- 
meadow, measuring about seven acres, bounded by the King's 
highway on the north. Lady Lane on the east, St. Mirin's Burn on 
the south, and the lands of Broomlands on the west. These two 
portions of land were, as already stated, given by James Crawfurd 
and his wife in 1499 to endow the altar of St. INIirin and St. Columba. 
In the charter of endowment of the Grammar School is given " the 
rental of all the Duties that pertain yearly to the whole altars within 
the Parish Kirk of Paisley." I'hey were as follows, stated in ster- 
ling money : — 

Altar of .Saint Xinian, ... ... ... ... £0 12 4 

Saint I^Iary the Virgin, 



Saint Nicholas, 



Saint Peter, 



Saint Catherine, 



Saint Anne's Altar, ... 



The pittances of money and obit silver and com- 

mons formerly possessed and lifted by the monks 

of the Jilonastery of Paisley, 





Besides these lands and feu-duties,^ there were the chapel dedi- 
cated to Saint Rock, or, as sometimes called. Saint Roque or Saint 
Rollock, with seven roods of land, and a small burial-ground 
attached to it. The chapel and lands were situated near to the 
head of Castle Street. All these grants for the foundation of the 
Grammar School were very valuable. Unfortunately, however, the 
Bailies and Council did not form these endowments into a separate 
trust, as they should have done, in order to show how much money 
they received and how it was disbursed, but disposed of them with- 
out any distinction from other corporation property. 

The first minister in the Abbey Church under Protestant rule — 
after the monks were ejected and dispersed — was, as has already 
been mentioned, the Rev. Patrick Adamson. He was appointed in 
1572, and was afterwards chaplain to the Regent ; and we believe 
it was through his influence at Court that Paisley obtained the valu- 
able charter by which the Grammar School was established. The 
first Grammar School buildings were erected in 1586, ten years after 
endowment, on the south side of the present School Wynd, then a 
passage leading to the Barnyard Port and Huthead, on the site of 
what was formerly the chapel of Saint Nicholas. - 

In the summer of 1563, after Parliament rose, Queen !Mary, with 
a numerous retinue, made an extensive excursion for two months 
through Argyleshire and the west of Scotland. On 29th June in 
that year, she left Edinburgh for Linlithgow, and having stayed a 
night, she went on to Dunypace. On the ist July, as stated in the 
Queen's Household Book, she rode from Dunypace to Glasgow, near 
which she remained till the 13th of that month. While residing 
there, she visited Hamilton and other places in the vicinity, and 
also came to Paisley, no doubt to visit Lord Claud Hamilton at the 
monastery, where he at that time resided (Life of Alary Queen of 
Scots by Geo. Chalmers, vol. i., p. 166). 

When Queen Mary and Lord Darnley were married at Holyrood 
House, Edinburgh, on 29th Jul}^, 1565, many of the nobles, headed 
by Argyle, Murray, and Glencairn, were in open rebellion against 
her authority. As they were, however, unable to meet the numerous 
forces of the Queen in the open field, they retired to their several 
castles, advising the people at the same time to resist her authority. 
On the 15th August of that year, the rebel nobles, with their fol- 
lowers, met at Ayr, and the Queen and Darnley, having resolved to 
meet them in the west country, proceeded to Stirling, and after- 
wards to Glasgow. There they arrived on the 29th of that month, 
their forces having greatly increased during the march. On the day 
of their arrival, the rebels entered Paisley with 1000 horsemen, but, 
learning they were not of sufiicient strength to oppose the loyalist 

^ The names of the different feuars, with the annual amount payable by each 
of them, along with the situation of each of the feus, are to be found in the ToMn 
Council records, and are given in the History of the PaisUy Gratnniar School, 
pp. 19 to 28. 

* The reader is referred to the History of the Gram mar School and Toivn Schools 
for all matters relatintr to these institutions. 

(n.vio\<n /eciit 

CX I* '^ "^^0 

Fac-Simile of Minute of Meeting of the Town Council, held ioth Septemblr, 1594. 

1560 TILL 1600. 161 

army, they marched on the following day to Hamilton, and arrived 
in Edinburgh on the 31st August. Not receiving the support they 
expected there, they ultimately returned to Dumfriesshire, and 
Paisley was thereby relieved of the presence of both the opposing 
armies (Geo. Crim'funi's Life of Queen Mary, vol. ii., p. 500). 

Although the town of Paisley, as already stated, was raised to the 
important position of a Burgh in 1490, with two bailies for conduct- 
ing civil and criminal cases, and councillors to aid them in managing 
the general affairs of the community, yet it is doubtful whether at 
the commencement they kept books in which their proceedings 
were regularly recorded. The first volume of the Council records, 
preserved to the present day, begins at the loth of September, 1594, 
but we know that their records commenced not later than the 25th 
February, 1507. From that period till loth September, 1594, there 
were six volumes of these records, but most unfortunately these can- 
not now be found. That they did exist we know from the minute 
of the Town Council dated Sth April, 1606, wherein it is stated that 
" Thomas Inglis and Robert Algie were appointed fiscals, and to 
have the production of the head court books thereof, the inventory 
whereof follows — Constantine Stewart's Court clerk his book begin- 
ning 25th Feby. 1507 and ending 1548 ; the second beginning then 
and ending 1561; the third book beginning then and ending 1566; 
the fourth book beginning then and ending 1569 ; the fifth ending 
158S ; and the sixth ending 1594." This description, so minute 
and precise, leaves no doubt that these court books, which con- 
tained also a record of the proceedings of the Baihes and Coun- 
cillors, were then extant. How they afterwards disappeared, we do 
not know. If they had been preserved to the present time, what a 
flood of interesting and invaluable light they would have thrown 
upon the history of Paisley before, during, and after the Reformation ! 
It is painful to know that such a loss is irreparable. The first pre- 
served volume commences with the election of the Bailies, and as 
the record is a model of its kind, and the same form was followed 
by succeeding town-clerks down to a recent period, we give it 
entire : — 

Curia elegendi ballivos et Consilium burgi Pasletonsis tenta in pre- 
torio ejus d p honorabiles viros Joanem Cochrane et Joannem 
Algeo ballivos dicti burgi decimo Septembris 1594. Sect voc, 
curia legitima confirmata. 
Selecta noia secreti consilii dicti burgi Jurati. 

Johnne Cochrane Robert Kirlie eldr Johne Baird t 

Johnne Algeo David Aitkin Stein Cumig o 

Thomas Inglis Thomas Petir Robert Mwdie t 

"Robert Semple Thomas qfurd extra ordo 

Johne Vaus John Vaus elder Niniane Sempl 

Patrik Mossman Thos Andersoun 

Robert Hendirson Robert Craig 

The quhilk day Johnne Cochrane wes electit & choissin bailie of the said burgh 



be lord Claud Ilaniiltoun lord of paslay' — And Johnne Vauselectit bailze of the 
said burgh be ye C sail yr of Quha acceptit the said office in & upon yame and 
wes sworne for faithfull administratioun yr of for ye zeir to cum in pns. of ye 
foresaid C sail & haill c munitie coforme to ye comoun order maid yr anent.^ 

Of the foregoing first minute of the Town Council that has been 
preserved, we give an \n\.exQS\.\x\g fac-siuiiie. 

All the customs, and the shops or buildings, which were called 
" buiths," were let at the same time for a year, and consisted only 
of the following : — 

" The custom with the northe but set of befoir to Wm Hutchison now set to 
him againe for seventeen merks fourtie pennies.^ John Hutchisoun his sone 
sou'tie for the same. 

"The mid but set to Johne Vaus M'chand for nyne merks tens. James 
Cochran Merchand sou'tie for ye same. 

"The south but set to Mathew Fische for ten punds twelf schillings. John 
Baird m'chand sou'tie. 

"The new eist but set to Robert Fork tailr. for four pund x s. Archibald 
Arthar sou'tie. 

" The new west but set to John Urie, cordiner for four mks. John Qt sou'tie. 

"The brig but set to Rot Hamiltoun officiar for xxviij s- Wm Stewart of 
Cavrsbank sou'tie. 

"The new chalmer set to Archbald Dewar for fourtie s Wm Greinlees 

" The common myne [probably some bog at the Moss] set to Johne Algeo for 
xs- Thomas Inglis sou'tie." 

^ At the following annual election the two Bailies were elected by the Town 
Council, and neither Lord Claud Hamilton's name nor that of his son, James, 
Master of Paisley, appears in the sederunt. 

2 In the old records of the Town Council, and in similar documents, the ortho- 
graphy used seems to us of the present day, in many instances, very peculiar. 
Qz> or qti was used for our tc ; little distinction was made between i andy, u and 
V ; y was used where we use i ; sometimes y instead of our th, especially 
where it begins a word, as yai, yat, ye, yis, yo7\ for they, that, the or thy, this, 
ihoH, often z' for w, and z for j)/ and z. Contractions both in words and letters 
were much used. Contracted words were indicated by a curve put over the word; 
at present we put a full stop at the end of the letters of a contracted word. The 
following are some of the words frequently found in contracted form : — Aia, 
aiiinici, soul ; an or ano, anno, year ; Dm, doniini, lord ; I, in ; Jacob, Jacobus, 
James ; kalen, kalendioe, kalends ; lachr., lachrimcc, tears ; mesis, mensis, 
month ; P., pro, for ; poss, posse, to be able ; Q., qui, who ; qlk, qnhilk, which; 
Sal, salvatori. Saviour ; umqll, uviquhill, the late. 

^ Scots money is a twelfth part of sterling money, thus (Jamieson^s Ety7uo- 
logical Dictionajy ) : — 

Scots Sterlins;. 

A Doyt, or penny, 
A Bodle, or two pence, is ... 
A Plack, groat or four pence, is 
A Shilling is ... 

A Merk or 13s. 4d., or two-thirds of a pound, is .. 
A Pound is 










1560 TILL 1600. 163 

These records till the end of the sixteenth century relate for the 
most part to decisions given by the Bailies in civil cases, in which 
sellers pursue buyers for payment of money due for goods sold. 
There are also a number of resolutions by the Bailies and Council, 
which they called Acts, regarding the general management of the 
sanitary affairs of the town. Of brawls and cases of assault there was 
a considerable number. These instances of " troublance," as they 
were termed, ended sometimes in serious injuries to the person. It 
appears to have been the custom for almost every man to carry a 
sword or whinger; and when disputes arose these weapons were 
freely, sometimes recklessly, used. Some extracts from the records 
of the Town Council, in their own quaint diction, besides illus- 
trating the state of society at that time, will best describe the nature 
of these brawls, and will show the punishments inflicted by the 
Bailies on those concerned in them : — 

6th July, 1596. — "James Stewart, son of Robert Stewart of Carswell, and 
John Gilchrist of Sandefurd, on the one part, and Robert Stewart of Southbar, 
on the other part, stated that, upon Sunday the 25th day of July, in the dwelling- 
house and close of Robert Semple, clerk, with pistolats, whingers, and various 
weapons which were prohibit to be worn, whereby they and ilk ane of them 
committed troublance in the burgh. The first parties compeired personally, the 
said complaint was referred simpliciter to their oaths. James Stewart deponed 
by his oath that he was na trublance, but that he was persued by the said John 
Gilchrist with ane pestolat, and he the said James Stewart with ane dirk. The 
.said James Stewart and John Gilchrist refused to give their oaths thereupon the 
contents of the said complaint, and became in the Bailies' will for the same, wha 
absolved. The said Robert Stewart relieved simpliciter from the said complaint, 
and decreed the said James Stewart and John Gilchrist in ane unlaw often punds 
for the wrangous invading of the said James Stewart in the manner foresaid." 

"In pretorio burgi de Pasleto, tertio Febniarii 1597, sat in judgement 
Thomas Whytfurd and John Vaus, Bailies.^ 
"The quilk day, anent the complaint given in be John Hector, flesher, upon 
Patrick Stewart, brother-gennan to John Stewart of Blackball, making mention 
that whereas the said Patrick, upon the xxv day of December last, upon the hi 
gait of the said burgh, came sydling behind the said John and strak him with 
ane quinger upon the heid, where with he woundit him in the heid to the effusion 
of his bluid, and in great quantities, without occasion. Compeared the said 
Patrick, and alleged that the said John had offended him, and granted that he 
had wounded John Hector. The Bailies, in respect of Patrick's confession, de- 
cerned him an unlaw of five punds. " 

loth October, 1597. — "John Hamilton, son of Robert Hamilton, officer, was 
decerned in ane unlaw of ten punds for invasion of Robert Aitken with ane 
drawn quhinger upon the sixt day of October last, being the fair day of this 

^ This was generally the fonn of the sederunt when the two Bailies were hold- 
ing a court for the trial of cases, whether civil or criminal, that were brought 
before them. 


5th November, 1597. — "John Vaus, elder, Matthew Wilson, his servant, on 
the one part. Mr. Stewart of Caversbank, Robert Hamilton, officer, John and 
Charles Hamilton, his sons, on the other part. That upon the xxiii day of 
November either of the said parties invaded within the said John Vaus house, 
with swords and such weapons, like as the John Hamilton hurt and wounded the 
said Matthew Wilson. John Hamilton granted the hurting and wounding of 
Matthew Wilson, as also the said Robert Hamilton and Charles Hamilton 
granted the drawing of their swords. Robert Hamilton and John Hamilton 
were put in ane unlaw of ten punds, and absolved John Vaus and Matthew 

9th January, 1598. — " Gilbert Cochran and Peter Sunderland of Sarshill were 
charged by John Henderson, procurator-fiscal, with useing their whingers and 
wounding ane another, and were both decerned in an unlaw of five punds." 

8th July, 1598. — "William Semple, burgess of Dumbarton, and John Semple 
in Middleton, were charged with having on the xx day of June invadit with 
drawn swords and caused a turbulance. John Semple appeared personally. 
Gavin .Stewart, cautioner, for guarantee of William Semple. Both of the parties 
were found in ane unlaw of x punds for trublance. " 

loth August, 1598. — " Robert Paton, servitor to James Master of Paisley, and 
John Ewing in Hawkhead, were charged by John Vaus, procurator-fiscal, with 
having used their whingers or other weapons within the burgh, and that Robert 
Paton hurt and wounded John Ewing with ane whinger in the face. Robert 
Paton was decerned in an unlaw of five punds, and John Ewing M^as absolved. 
Steven Forgie became bound as cautioner that John Ewing should be kept 
harmless and skaithless by Robert Paton in any way, under the pain of forty 

8th June, 1599. — "William Stewart of Caversbank was decreet an unlaw of 
five punds money for wounding of John Greenlees on the head with aneqhinger. " 

14th August, 1599. — "John Allanson in Stanlie compeared before the Bailies, 
at the instance of John Vaus, procurator, was charged with drawing of ane 
sword upon the xv day of July last, being Sunday, and invading John Baird, 
merchant. John Allanson became in the Bailies' wull, therefore, decerned him 
to pay v punds." 

loth April, 1596. — "The qlk day anent the complaint given in be Bessie 
Knox, spous of John Kible, upon Margret Sympson, spouse of Rt. Mudie, 
tailzor, makand mention that whereupon fursday, the aucht day of Apryle, the 
said complainer being at the water syde doand hir business, beleifing na injurie 
to be done to hir, the said Margret hit hir with ane stane on the foirheid, and 
woundid hir therewith, to the effusion of hir bluid in grit quantitie, as at mair 
lenth is contained in the said complaint the parties baith put, as also John Vaus, 
procurator fischell for the said burgh, decerns the said Margret Symson to half 
done wrang in committing and drawing of the said bluid, and woundit the 
defender in the held in manner foresaid, and therefore decernt her in an unlaw 
of fyve punds, without prejudice of the satisfactione of the persewar. Because 
the said John Vaus, prosecutor foresaid, desynit the said Margret to gif hir aith 
a calumnia, upon the complaint, but she refusit gif the same, and became in the 
Bailies' will for the said unlaw wha dcclairing the will decernt hir to pay the 

1560 TILL 1600. 165 

same instantlie, also because the said complaint was sufficientlie proven be 
certain famous witness adjacent and sworn like as the John Kible, son to the 
said Bessie, was decernit in an unlaw of xvis for invasion of the said Margret 
Symson hir bruther thereafter as was lykways sufficientlie proven and clearlie 
understood to the said Baillies and siclyk. The said Bailies ordaint everie ane 
of the said parties to find caution to the others hinc iiidc that other of thame sal 
be harmless in all tyme cuming in the sum of fourtie punds money, to be peyit 
to the Baillies and Counsall to the commonweill of the burgh for obedience of 
the burgh. Compeirit personallie Wm. Mudie and Andrew Park, burgesses of 
the said burgh, and become caution and sourtie conjointlie and severallie that the 
said Margret suld nawayis truble nor molest the said Bessie Knox, nor the said 
John Kible in any ways, nor be order of law in all tyme cuming, under the said 
pane of fourtie punds, and the said Margret to releif the said cautionar of the 
said sourtie toties quoties. As also comperit Rt. Fork, burges of the said burgh, 
and become actit as cautionar and sourtie for John Kible that he sail not truble 
the said Margret Symson, under the said pain of fourtie punds money, and the 
said John became actit to relief the said Rt. Fork of the said cautionarie, where- 
upon other of the said petitioners askit acts." 

In this period the principal fuel used by the inhabitants was 
peats, which were obtained in the town's moss, and the following 
are two acts by the Bailies relating thereto. The first of these is 
curious, and although apparently arbitrary in its nature, may never- 
theless have been necessary. 

loth October, 1594. — "Act anent Peit Steillaris. — The qlk day the BaillieS 
and Co'sall of the said burgh understanding that there are divers persons, in- 
dwellaris within this burgh, that nather casts nor byis peits, and yet are furneist 
as well as them wha casts or byis peits, qlk is evident to be stollen, to the gret 
hurt and damage of sic as casts and byis peits. For remeid thereof it is statute 
and ordained that in all tymis coming the houses of sic persons as are suspected 
of peit steilling to be rypit, and gif onie peits be funde thairin the owners thereof 
to declare how they purchased the same, otherwayis the said peits to be haulden 
as stollen, and to be intromitted with and disponit be the Bailies, and the per- 
soun or persouns haivan of thame in their houses to be punischit be the discre- 
tion of the Baillies according to the auld acts made thereanent. " 

7th April, 1598. — " The Baillies and Counsall farther ordaint that whatsoever 
persons being apprehendit casting peits beneith the heid bink, or that spreads the 
peits forgains any men's spredfields in the toun's mos, shall pay fourtie s toties 

It may have been already observed from the map of old Paisley, 
and from what we have stated, that on the south and south-west 
sides of the town there were extensive pieces of common land, 
known by the name of — 

The Bottom of the Wood. 


Over Common on the West. 

Over Common on the East. 

Laigh Common, and 

Common Hill. 


To the north of the town there were also tracts of common land, 
called — 

Under the Wood. 

Long and Short Roods. 

Common Foot. 


Snadon Dyke, and 

Nether Common. 

It was upon these common lands that the burgesses had their 
cattle and horses pastured. It was at times somewhat difficult to 
regulate the conduct of the burgesses in using this pasturage, and 
the Bailies and Council were frequently passing acts of a stringent 
nature to enforce good order and secure justice to all. The perusal 
of some of these acts or resolutions by the local rulers, which we 
shall quote, will enable the reader to understand in many ways the 
social position of the inhabitants three hundred years ago. 

8th May, 1595. — " Act anent the Gallowgrein. — It is statut and ordaint that 
na ky, stirks, nor other heists, except hors, be pastured upon the Gallowgrein, 
which the haill of the said burgh be first put thereupon be the hirds ; and that 
all hors shall be tederit with ane sufficient tedder, or ellis ane keipar with thame ; 
and gif any beis fundin be the pundars for the tyme and keepit aye and until 
they pay an unlaw of sixteen s, all so oft and how oft this act beis contravenit." 

9th April, 1596. — "Act anent hors being funden ather teddart or lous in the 
common lands or in furrows or dyk baks. — Also it is statut that na hors be suf- 
ferit, ather in tedder or out of tedder, upon the said common fra beltane while 
the come be ripit, under the pain of xs toties quoties ; and sik lyke gif ony per- 
sons beis fundin with his hors or kow amangst his nybors come or eitting his 
nybors gers in the furrows or on baks of dyks, sail pay of unlaw xxs toties quoties, 
and to the owner of the gers or come that they be fund amang ten s toties 
quoties, and the pundars to half the third of the unlaw. " 

1st April, 1597. — "Act anent the carrying of ky lous to the pasture place 
throu the common.- — Item it is statut be the said Bailies and Counsall that it sail 
not be leissum to any burgess within the said burgh or ways haifing come or gers 
within the same to caiTy the guids to pasture thereupon except they be in teddir 
and led be the hand throu the common or the common loans, or gif ony be 
funden dryfing the ky beists to the gers forsaid throu the said common or pas- 
touring be the gait, the ownars of the said kow or hors, or whatsomever their 
beist, to pay an unlaw of xxs toties quoties." 

A rather curious case was brought before Bailie Semple on 8th 
December, 1595, wherein it was alleged that the fowls belonging to 
certain persons had been eating Robert Kerr's com. The charge 
being clearly proven, the Bailie administered a very severe sentence, 
which is thus stated : — 

"The qlk day comperit in presence of Robert Semple, Bailie, Wm. Hendr- 
soun, John Gemmill, and Elizabeth Finlaysoun, and because they and others of 

1560 TILL 1600. 167 

them had skailhed Robert Ker of certain of his corne by citing thereof with 
fowls, as was clearly proven, qlk the said Robert had forgiven them in tymes 
past. Herefoir they and ilk ane of them become actit of their own proper con- 
fessions to collect and pay the said Robert the sum of xs money for ilk fowl that 
he shall apprehend citing his corne in Calsayside partaining to any of them, toties 
quoties being sufficientlie tryt. " 

In 1598 the Bailies and Council adopted, apparently for the first 
time, a new plan in connection with the pasturing of the cattle of 
the burgesses on the common land belonging to the community. 
On the 7th April in that year, they appointed two herds to take the 
charge of the cows. The herds received the cattle from the dif- 
ferent owners in the morning, and brought them back again in the 
evening. The sum paid by the burgesses for this important privi- 
lege is not stated, but the following are the terms upon which the 
herds were elected :— 

7th April, 1598.— " Hirdis. — The quhilk day Robert Wilson and Gawand 
Corss wer fiet hirdis be the Baillies and Counsall to keep the toun ky fra beltane 
next untill Lamas next thereafter, for threttie-four merks money, with ane sowme 
to be peyit to thame at thre times, viz.. Beltane, Candlemas, and Lamas, be 
equal proportions, and the said guids to be keipt fra pot and myre, and gif they 
be apprehendit to receive ony mair ky upon the common nor were sowmit and 
show not the Baillies thereof, thair sould be allowit for ilk kow apprehendit in 
the feis the sowme of xxvis viid and sic lyke that thay suffir na hors to be pas- 
tured at ony common, nor na foalze to be tane of the common, and to that effeet 
and keeping of the premisses Robert Bowie become caution for the said Gawand 
Corss, and the said hirdis become actit to relief the said cautionars of the said 
cautionarie thereof. 

7th April, 1598. — " Anent ky in hairvest. — The qlk day the Baillies and 
Counsall of the said burgh, understanding the gi'et destruction of come in tyme 
of hairvest be teddring ky upon stibles and keeping thame thereupon before the 
cornes be innit, and for remeid thereof, it is statut and ordainit that nane be suf- 
ferit to haif ky lous in hairvest, either with ane keepar or without ane keepar, 
amang any mens cornes, except they be teddeirt upon their awn lands, and that 
ay and until the haill cornes be innit, under the pane of xs toties quoties." 

7th April, 1598. — " Anent horse keiping upon the Gallowgrein. — And sic lyk 
that na hors be suffirit to be upon the Gallowgrein in teddirit or not without ane 
keipar, under the pane of x^- " 

7th April, 1598. — " Anent scheip. — The qlk day it is statut be the Baillies 
and Counsall of the said burgh that whatsoever scheip beis funden after Beltane 
upon the mens cornes, the same sal be escheit to the Baillies of the said burgh 
for the tjTne." 

In the following year two herds were engaged upon nearly the 
same terms, but with this addition — " that they haif the ky on the 
common befoir four hours in the morning, and remane furlh at even 
until aucht." 


At this time other acts were passed relating to the proper guiding 
of cattle and horse, as follows : — 

7th April, 1598. — " Anent putting of ky to the Common. — And that sic per- 
souns haifing ky that sends the same to the Common befoir the home blaw,^ 
whereby they gang in mens corne and sic lyk that putts not the ky to the birds 
in deu tyme, sal be pundit for viijs as oft and how oft they be apprehendit there- 

"Act anent Foulze. — The qlk day the Baillies and Counsall understanding 
that the we'san act maid of befoir that it would not be leissum to na persons that 
eits na fodder within the said burgh, to by ony fulzie to be transportit furth of 
the same, qlk act the said Baillies and Counsall ratifies and approves, with this 
addition, that gif ony breks or contravenes the said act the officers of the burgh 
sail stop and mak impediment to the same, and the fulzie to be escheit, and the 
byer thereof to tyne the sowme that he has given for the same. " 

The Bailies and Council, in acting as they believed for the welfare 
of the inhabitants, not only exercised a surveillance over the quality 
of the provisions sold in the town, but they also fixed the prices at 
which these should be disposed of The following acts relate to ale, 
bread, and candle : — 

I2th October, 1598. — "Anent Aill, Breid, and Candill. — "The qlk day the 
Baillies and Counsall of said burgh, in respect that God of his goodness has in- 
creassit the fruitts of the ground, and that thereby the victuall is cum in to be of 
les price, thairfoir has statut and ordaint that na osier within the fredome of the 
said burgh sell ony aill derer nor xijd the pint, the quarter kaik six pennies, till 
furder order be tane, under the pane of aucht s [aiicht in the original is cancel- 
led], and that the pund of candill be sauld for three s, and that penny candills be 
maid. " 

8th November, 1598. — " Anent Aill.— It is statut be the Baillies and Coun- 
sall that na osier within the freedome of the said burgh sell ony aill derer until 
the next heid court nor xiiijd the pint, under the pane of xxs for the first fault, 
fourtie s for the nixt, and for the third fault five pund money. " 

loth October, 1597. — " Act anent the Selling of Breid, Aill, and Candill. — 
The qlk day it is statut and ordaint be the Baillies and Counsall of the said 
burgh that osiers sell the aill deirer nor xvjd and the kaik for aucht qll firder 
ordr be tane, and that na candelmaker sell the candill deirer nor iijs the pund 
wecht, under the pane of ane unlaw of ." 

A number of fleshers were brought before the Baillies for contra- 
vening the act of the Bailies and Council of 13th October, 1596, 
" wha decernt every ane of thame to pay ane unlaw of ten punds 

The fleshers in the town appear at different times, both as a body 
and individually, to have given the Bailies and Council no little 
trouble and annoyance. The extracts which we shall give from the 

^ This is the first time mention is made of the hom used by the herds in col- 
lecting the cows in the morning. 

1560 TILL 1600. 169 

Council records will iu several instances fully explain these matters. 
According to the first of these extracts, it will be seen that the 
butchers entered into a curious combination to secure high, if not 
exorbitant, prices for the food they sold ; but the Bailies, with the 
arbitrary powers they possessed, were able to frustrate their inten- 

13th October, 1596. — " Anent Fleshers. — The qlk day the BailHes and Coun- 
sall haifing consideration that the haill fleshers of this burgh has maid ane 
mutuall band and confederation to by all bestiall for the slauchter upon the equall 
expens, and to slay the same in the buths, and thereafter being slain the same 
shall not be sauld be ony of thame without a division of the rest, and the effect 
thereof to be equallie dividit amongst thame, whereby the haill inhabitants of the 
said burgh and sic ways that are constraint to by any flesh fra the said fleshers 
are hevelie damnifiet, and in ane manir disjaset be reason they man either gif sic 
prices for the saim as the fleshers has concludit and appointed, or thay constraint 
to leif the bying thereof and travell to Glasgow for bying of all kynd of flesh, to 
the grit prejedice of the common weill of the said burgh. For remeid thereof, 
it is statut and ordaint that the foresaid fleshers sal mak na sic bands of fieschip 
in tyme coming, but that eithar of them sail contein himself with his awne buth 
and use his awne flesh, selling without ony fellowship of the rest, and not to 
mak the said merchandise common, under the pane of eschetting of all sic guids 
as beis so funden sauld. " 

2nd October, 1598. — "Anent Dismembring Mutton and Beif — Item, they 
ratifie the act maid of before anent the cuting and dismembring of flesh, under 
the panes containt thereuntill, and that na uncut be maid thereof, nor of meil, 
butter, nor cheis, in the winter season until ten hours, under the pane of 
20s money to be payit to the Baillies of the said burgh." 

1 2th October, 1599. — "Anent Flesh-Bying be Fleshers to every Flesher. — 
It is statut that gif ony flesher byis flesh to ony person or persons, that he de- 
clares to the Baillies whom to he byis the same. Neither shall it be leissum to 
ane flesher to by ony fleshe to other fleshers, and gif they be apprehendit so 
doing to be pundit for an unlaw of xxs toties quoties. " 

I2th October, 1599. — "Anent the Bying of Vivers befoir the Tyme of 
Market. — Item for as mekil as sundrie persons collectively byis and sells and 
suffers their victual sauld remaine in the sellars hands until the hours appointit 
for selling thereof, to the grit hurt of the inhabitants of this burgh, quha for 
keiping of guid order abyds the tyme of mercat appointit. For remid thereof it 
is statut and ordaint that the aithis of all sic persons as are suspectit sal be tane, 
and they being funden giltie, the guids apprehendit swa sailld to be escheit. " 

William Stewart of Caversbank, who was seven different times 
before the Bailies for being involved in disputes with other persons, 
used on one occasion offensive language to BaiHe Vaus, and being 
brought before the two Bailies and the Master of Paisley, was fined 
according to the following decision : — 

8th May, 1595. — " Vaus, Bailzie. — The quhilk day anent the complaint given 
in be John Vaus, the younger Bailie of the said burgh, upon William Stewart, 


Caversbank, makaiid mention that whereupon the six of May instant the said 
John haifing caused put some foulzie furth of his bame, and had scailled the same 
togidder besyd his said barne be his servand in quiet manner lifing for na injuiy 
to haif been done thereto. The said William Stewart upon envy and malice 
with his servants and injury to the said John Vaus with crewell words thereto, 
and enterit be way of deed in quarelling him and his servands, and being com- 
mandit be the said John Vaus in ward for the foresaid offence, be the mouth of 
Robert Hamilton, officer, the said William descrybit contrair of his aith, and 
therefoir ought to be punischlt. In respect he neglected his dewtie to the said 
John Vaus, being Bailzie as said is, as the said complaint at mair length is con- 
tained. Baith the said is crime personallie put, and the reasons and allega- 
tions being heard and considerit by the Master of Paisley, John Cochran the 
senior Baillie, and Counsall of the said burgh, has found and finds that the said 
William Stewart has done wrang in the wrangos trubling of the said John Vaus 
in manner foresaid, and therefore decerns him to cum in the power of the said Mr. 
John Cochran bailzie, and Counsall foresaid, and grant his said offence and crave 
the said John Vaus pardoun therefore, qlk he did publicli, as also decerns the 
said William in an unlaw often pund to be pay it to the Treasurer." 

The houses that were erected during this period, we believe, 
were thatched with sti-aw or heather, and the ridges were covered 
with earthen turves. Slates, if used at all, were only put on the 
mansions of the wealthiest in the country. The Grammar School, 
which was erected in 1586, had only a covering of thatch (Council 
Records, nth October, 1610). The turves used for the ridges of 
new houses and the repairing of old ones were therefore in consider- 
able demand, and the Bailies and Council, as will be seen, had to 
pass more than one Act regarding the cutting of them in the town's 

loth September, 1594. — "Act anent Rigging- Turves Cutting. — Item, foras- 
mekil as it is manifest to the said Baillies and Counsall that the hail comon is 
oftentimes be extraordinar casting of riging turves thereupon as well be unfremen 
as fremen, and that riging turves are employit and applyit to sundrie others ne- 
cessaries nor for riging of their houses, to the great hurt and prejudice of the 
common weill of the said burgh. Therefore, for remeid thereof it is statut and 
ordaint that there be na riging turves casten in tyme cuming without leif be 
granted thereto be baith the Baillies, under the pains containet in the auld act 
maid thereanent, and the casters thereof to be punishit according to the Baillies 
descretion, and also that it shall not be liesum to ony non fremen of the said 
burgh haifing houses without the freedom thereof to cast ony rigging turves upon 
the said common without lief obtainit of baith the said Baillies and maist part of 
the Counsall, under the paines foresaid, and in caise the Bailies grant lief thereto 
without orders foresaid of the said Baillies to be punischit therefore be the sicht 
of the Counsall toties quoties." 

2nd October, 1598. — "Anent Rigging Turvis Cast. — It is statut and ordaint 
be the said Baillies and Counsall that na turvis be cast upon the common thereof 
in tyme cuming but fra the first day of August to the first day of Februar, except 
to new bigit houses, and that libertie be socht and apprehendit to the Baillies, 

1560 TILL 1600. 171 

and that the said turvis be piiiit upon the Wodesyd, and sic persons that leiffs 
the said turvis unpinit to be pundit for ane unlaw of xiijs iiijd toties quoties, 
lyk as it is statut be the said Baillies and Counsall that all unfreemen haifing 
house within the said fredome of the said burgh sail pay for everie riging turf 
that they sail cast to rig the houses with viijd money to the Treasurer of the said 
burgh, ony way is na libertie to be granted to thame to cast ony turvis upon the 
said common in tyme cuming, and befoir ony libertie be granted the said unfre- 
men that pay what maills and pittances restane owand be thame to the Trea- 
surer of the said burgh, and sic persons as casts turvis and leeds not the same 
away to pay unlaw of xxs toties quoties. " 

The Bailies and Council, in the management of the municipal 
affairs of the Burgh, passed many other Acts in the period we are 
considering, which are of more or less importance. Of these the 
following, besides being full of interest, will, we think, still further 
elucidate the social condition of the people of Paisley in the latter 
half of the sixteenth century : — 

loth September, 1594. — "Act anent Lymit Hydis. — Item, it is statut and 
ordanit be the said Baillies and Counsall that no person or persouns lay any 
lymit hydis in the water of Cairt abuif William Lang's duir, and gif any person 
be apprehended to do in the contrair they be poindit of xxs unlaw toties quoties. " 

13th December, 1594. — " Act anent Warning within Burgh. — The quilk day 
the Baillies and Counsall of the said burgh haifing consideration of the negligence 
of the officers of the said burgh anent warning and removing making be thame 
within the said burgh albeit they make the day, being without eny day or dait 
nor these, nir. personall or with the dwelling place nor witness being they at 
qlk movit great plie and debait ; For remeid it is statut and ordainit in all tyme 
cuming the said officers sail make no warning to persons without they first pay 
to thame xijd to be given to the Clerk, qlk the Clerk sail buik the said warning 
the day and dait thereof, and whas instance and in what manner and before what 
witnesses, qlk he sail extract to the person gif he be requirit or they to produce 
the buick wherein the same is noted the time of the present thereof, and the 
warning not being buikit be the said Clerk in manner foresaid to be of nain 
availl, force, nor effect in all tyme cuming, so that na execution sail pass there- 
upon, providing always in cais the Clerk be absent and cannot be apprehendit to 
buik the said warning, in that case it sal be lasso to onie or not, to gif write 
thereupon, qlk sal be also sufficient and na otherwise." 

5th January, 1595. — " Law Borrower. — The qlk day comperit personallie 
John Gemmell and swore that he dreded Peter Erskine bodilie harm, and thair 
for desyrit caution and surety of the said Peter he sould be harmless and skaith- 
less of him in his body, wha being present found John Stewart, younger of Bars- 
cub and William Erskine burgess of the said burgh, conjointly and severally, 
wha was likewais present, wha became actit to the effect under the pane of 
fourtie punds toties quoties, the ane half to the petiitoner, the other to the 
Bailie, and the said William Stewart is actit renounseand thereof. To releif the 
said William Erskine of the said cautionari and also the said Peter become actit 
gif he contravent the said declaration, I renounce all and whatsoever and pos- 
session he had has or micht claim in and to the water mylne of Saushill, with 


the houses pertaining thereto possessit bi him, in favour of the said John Stewart 
without any warning or order of law." 

8th May, 1595. — "Act anent Young Women remaining without Mrs. — The 
c)ulk day it is statut and ordainit be the Baillies and Counsall of the said burgh 
that na young womane wanting father or mother remane within the same fra 
Whitsunday first unfeit with Mrs., and gif they be apprehended within the said 
burgh unfeit after the said time thay shall be put in ward, and thereafter banished 
the town. Nather sail it be leissum to ony man to set sic persons houses." 

On 4th November, 1596, the Bailies decerned Peter Wilson, 
piper, " of his ane free confession, to pay Janet Aitken ixs xd for 
meat and drink." 

loth October, 1595. — "Act — Suppliment of the Calsaysyde Calsay Bigging. 
— The qlk day the Baillies and Counsall halting considered of the dekey of the 
Calsaysyde calsay, thinks it expedient that the saim be bigit the next symer, and 
has ordaint all in one voce to support the biging thereof, fourtie merks money of 
the common guid of the said burgh to be ingatherit fra the several persouns 
addettit in ony common guid befoir the election of John Algeo treasurer." 

9th April, 1596. — "Act anent Complaints maid to the Master of Paisley. — ■ 
The qlk day the Baillies and Counsall haifing oft times bein heavilie reprovit be 
the Master of Paisley that they sufiferit sundrie persons, beggars, indwellers 
within the said burgh, to truble and molest him with their complaints, qlk thay 
upon the first report had caussit Master understand to be in default of the said 
Baillies wha wold not minister justice to thame thereanent, howbeit the said per- 
sons never complainet to the said Baillies. For remeid thereof in tyme coming 
it is statut and ordaint be the said Baillies and Counsall that whatsoever beggars 
or others within the jurisdiction whomsoever to ony offence is done, and makis 
the complaint thereof to the Master of Paisley before giving complaint to the 
Baillies, quha aucht and sould be readie to minister justice to thame, and the 
said Baillies not refusand to minister justice to thame, the persons contravenors 
theirof to pay to the said Baillies and Counsall five punds money toties quoties." 

8th July, 1596. — "Act anent Milne Stanes Carrying. — The quhilk day the 
Baillies and Counsall haifing consideration of the act maid of befoir touching 
the leiding of milne stanes throu the toun, and that the same at that 
time sould not be carryit throu with ane wane thereuntil and nou the calsay 
thereof being neu bigit upon the grit expense of and charges of the town. There- 
fore it was of new statut and ordainit that in all tyme cuming that na millstanes 
be led through the calsay upon the edge, but how som the same cumeth to the 
port that should be led upon ane slyp and drawn throu the toun be hors or men, 
and gif the awnars of the stane pleis to half help of the toun to that effect that 
the officers of the toun sail warn ane number of the inhabitants thereof to help to 
draw the same throu the calsayis, qlk the Baillies and Counsall ordains thame to 
do, and gif any persons leid the millstanes any ways throu the toun nor on ane 
slyps the comittars thereof sail pey ten punds to the comon wants of the toune." 

4th April, 1597. — "Act anent sic persons as has na guids pundable. — It is 
statut and ordaint be the Baillies and Counsa'll of the said burgh that all sic 
persons wliom upon decreits ar granted before the Baillies of the said burgh, 

1560 TILL 1600. 173 

by gane or to cum, and has na giiids streingzable, at the least there upon na guids 
can be apprehendit pertaining to them strainzable for satisfaction of the petitioner 
quhas favor the said decreits are obtenit : That sic persons be put in ward and 
the tolll)uith duir cloissit upon them, and they to remain upon their awin ex- 
penssis, ay and till they satisfy the partie at quhas instance they are chargit 
thereof, and sic of them brak ward to tyne the freedome gif they ony haif." 

6th January, 1598. — "Act anent Wardors. — The qlk day it is statut and 
ordaint be the Baillies and Counsall of the said burgh that all sic persons being 
put in ward for debt, be put in the ouir loft and the duir lokit upon thame, and 
be keepit be the officers, and gif ony persons, being wardit as said is, breks ward 
in negligence of the officer, the officer to be punischit therefore as the Baillies 
and Counsall shall think expedient." 

I2th March, 1597. — "The quhilk day John Morton was decernt to pay to the 
said Baillies and Counsall ane unlaw of five punds money, for disobedience of 
him in not entering in Waird within the toUbooth, being chargit be the officers 
thereto at the instance of John Vaus for certain det actit to the said John Vaus. 
Becaus the said Jone Mortoun grantit he had offendit in not entering in Waird 
and become in the Baillies and Counsall's will in the sam, quha decernt in man- 
ner foirsaid." 

5th December, 1599. — " Qhilk day it is statut and ordainit be the Baillies 
and Counsall of the said burgh that gif ony burgess within the same beis chargit 
in waird be ony of the officers of the said burgh haifing ane sufficient warrand, 
and disobeys the same, that immediatelie thereafter the persones disobey and sal 
be pundit for ane unlaw of fourtie s tryell, being tane toties quoties, and that with- 
out detriment of the acts maid thereanent of befoir." 

King James IV., in his charter of 1488, granted to the inhabitants 
of the Burgh " the full and free liberty of buying and selling in said 
burgh wine, wax, woollen and linen cloths wholesale and retail, and 
all other goods and wares coming to it, with power and liberty of 
having and holding in the same place bakers, brewers, butchers and 
sellers of flesh and fish, and workmen in the several crafts tending 
in any respect to the liberty of the burgh." By the acts, however, 
of the Bailies and Council no inhabitant was, in this period, entitled 
to enjoy the important privilege of a burgess or freeman within the 
Burgh without first paying certain fees or dues to the Burgh funds, 
or, in lieu of advancing any entry-money, to pay annually what was 
called a "stallinger" fine. The amount of that entry-money and 
fine was from time to time fixed by the Bailies and Council. Fre- 
quently, however, the Bailies, when they wished to confer an honour 
upon any one, created him a burgess of the Burgli without charging 
any sum. On 10th September, 1594, the Bailies and Council 
" statut that in all tyme cuming the burgess fynes of sic persouns 
that beis created burgesses of the burgh be xx merks money, with 
if to be payd at the creation." 

Before any one was created a burgess, he had to make a very 
strict and formal oath in relation to his future conduct as a member 
of the community. We do not know what were the terms of the 


oath in the sixteenth century, but we find from the Council records 
that in the next century it was as follows : — 

" The form of the Oath swor?t by the Burgesses of this Burgh at their creation. 

"I shall maintain and defend the true Protestant religion presently professed 
within this realm. I shall be loyal and true to our sovereign Lord and Lady and 
his successors. To the Provost and Bailies of this burgh and their successors, I 
shall be obedient to them and their officers in all leisome [lawful] causes. I shall 
purchase no outtentoun's [a person not living within a particular town] lordships 
against the freedom of this burgh. I shall not colour my gear with unfree men's 
gear. I shall maintain and set forward the common weal and liberty of this 
burgh to the utmost of my power, and this I shall do by God himself, and as I 
shall answer to him upon the day of judgment " (Tou<n Council Records). 

The first entry of the creation of an honorary burgess in the 
Council records was on 13th December, 1594, in the following 
terms : — " The qlk day Andrew Crawfurd, servant to my Lord of 
Paslay, was creat and maid burges of the said burgh gratis, at his 
Lordship's request." In the following year Robert Gilmour was 
likewise created a burgess at the request of the Master of Paisley. 

The Bailies and Council on loth October, 1595, created the town 
drummer a burgess, in very peculiar terms, which we give as stated 
in the Council records : — 

loth October, 1595. — " Burges, Richie, Town Drummer. — The qlk day James 
Richie, drummer, was elected burges of the said burgh and sworn conform to the 
acts maid thereanent, and for satisfaction of his burges fynes the said James as 
principal, and Thos. Quyt, burges of the said burgh, as cautioner and suretie for 
the said James, become actict, bunden, and obleist that the said James either 
sauld make his residence within the said burgh and awayt his service accustomat 
in stricking the drum throu the said burgh during all the dayis of his lifetyme, sa 
lang as he remainit abl to serve the said office, provyding gif he left the said toun 
or service for sa lang as he wer able to serve the same, in that cais he and his 
said cautionar foresaid become actit of thair awin proper confessions conjunctlie 
and severally to pay to the said Baillies and Counsall of the said burgh, or their 
Treasurer, the sum of thretin merks money immediately thereafter." 

At this date the Bailies and Council resolved " that stallingers be 
suft'erit to use the liberty of the said burgh in tyme cuming, and for 
using change in tymes past, to pay therefore as sail be thought guid 
to the Baillies and Counsall " ; and they also agreed " that na 
burgess be maid in tyme cuming without caution be fund for the 
residence and armour, under the pane of fourteen punds, conform 
to the auld acts maid thereanent.'' It would appear that all the 
burgesses were obliged to perform watch and ward, and to give 
security that they would return the armour with which they were 
supplied, when required by the Bailies to do so. 

On the 24th July, 1597, Lord Claud Hamilton and the Master 
of Paisley were honoured, at the mansion attached to the Abbey, 
with a visit from Anne of Denmark, the consort of King James VI. 

1560 TILL 1600. 175 

The Baillies and Council were put into quite a flutter of excitement. 
They were anxious to make the Kirk and the Ports appear to her 
Majesty in as favourable a light as possible. AVe learn this from 
the following resolution, which they carried at a meeting held on 
the 8th of July in that year : — 

"The which day the said Baillies and Counsall, understanding perfectly that 
the Queen's Majesty is to be shortly in the Place of Paisley, and in respect 
thereof for decoration of the kirk and ports of the said burgh in such sort as may 
be goodlie done for the present : They have conchided that there be ane painter 
sent for to Glasgow for drawing of some draughts in the kirk as shall be thought 
most necessary for the present. Secondly, that ane wright be conducit with for 
biging, mending, and repairing of the ports of the said burgh." 

No further notice appears in the Council records of the visit of 
Queen Anne. 

In 1598 Lord Claud Hamilton ceased to take any part in the 
management of the affairs of Paisley, or of his lands and revenue ; 
and on the 2nd of October in that year, a factory and commission, 
signed by him in favour of his son, James, Master of Paisley, is 
entered at length in the Council records. This deed, which was 
signed at the Place of Paisley on the 2nd April, 1598, declares that 
" for sundrie guid notions and considerations moving me, tending 
to the advancement of Godis glorie, the comfort of his kirk, and to 
my own salvation, I haif this sundrie years by past abstained myself 
for the maist part from the cairful guiding and administration of my 
lands and other earthli commodities, to the effect I myt be the mair 
able to exerceis myself in the service of God and in hevenlie and 
spiritual meditations." For the better management of his affairs 
and property, he therefore constituted and ordained " his eldest 
son, James, Maister of Paisley," to be his factor and commissioner. 
Lord Claud, among other matters, empowered his son " to elect, 
nominate, and chews yeirlie ane of the Bailies of the said Burgh of 

In the collecting of the materials for a history of Paisley, it is a 
remarkable circumstance that we have been unable to discover any 
document that states when the old bridge over the river Cart at 
Paisley was erected, and at whose expense such a noble work was 
executed. The first reference made to this bridge is in the im- 
portant charter of Abbot George Schaw, of 2nd June, 1490, in 
favour of the Burgh of Paisley, already quoted. In this charter, 
wherein the boundaries of the Burgh are described, it is stated that 
we " have confirmed to our Lovites, the Provost, Bailies, burgesses, 
and community of our Burgh of Paisley, all and whole our said 
Burgh of Barony, with the pertinents lying in our regality of Paisley 
within the sheriffdom of Renfrew, within the bounds and limits 
underwritten, to wit, beginning at the end of the bridge of Paisley 
upon the water of Cart and so extending by the King's high way 
towards the west to the vinnel opposite to Wellmeadow." This is 
the first intimation we have of a bridge over the river, which would 


give a safe and ready communication between the village of Paisley 
and the monastery, and to those travelling otherwise. It could not 
have been erected by the Bailies and Town Council of Paisley, as 
they did not possess enough of funds to enable them to accomplish 
such an important undertaking. Bishop Rae of Glasgow Cathedral, 
in 1345, built the old bridge of eight arches over the Clyde at 
Glasgow at his own expense ; and it is very probable that one of 
the Abbots of the Monastery of Paisley, under the influence of this 
good example, erected the bridge of Paisley, with two arches, over 
the river Cart, on the site occupied by the present bridge. Who 
this Abbot was, we do not know; but there was sufficient enterprise 
and energy in Abbot Schaw himself, or in any of his immediate 
predecessors, to commence and successfully to complete a great 
undertaking of this kind. When this bridge was rebuilt in 1782, it 
was ascertained that one of the arches was ribbed beneath like the 
arch of the entrance to the cloister court of the convent, this being 
a style of architecture characteristic of the fifteenth century. At the 
end of the sixteenth century the bridge " became ruinous," and as 
the Bailies and Council had not sufficient funds to make the neces- 
sary repairs thereon, they applied for assistance to King James VI., 
who gave them a charter, dated 16th January, 159S, empowering 
them to levy a custom or toll upon every horse, cow, and sheep 
that passed along the bridge. It does not appear from the charter 
that any custom had been previously exacted at the bridge. The 
tollage payable by a burgess for a horse ladened was one penny, 
and by unfreemen twopence ; for a horse, cow, and sheep passing 
to the market, four pennies. And this custom was to continue for 
nineteen years. In October, 1599, the custom of the bridge was 
let for a year to William Greenlees, for the sum of nineteen merks. 
As this charter has not hitherto been published, and is somewhat 
interesting, we give a copy of it here : — 

" We, with advice of the Lords of Secret Council, having intelligence that the 
brig of Pasley^ is passed along fra the haill west country, and be the quilk all 
the leiges of our realmers and divers passengers to our burgh of Edinburgh and 
other places of the east country now pass and repass, is now in monie partis 
decayit, and becum ruynous, so that gif remeid be not providit in tyme will fall 
alluterlie [wholly] to decay. And we understanding that the inhabitants of our 
said burgh of Pasley are unable be thair common guidis to entertein repair, and 
uphald theer Kirk which is ane greit wark and also ruynous, with thair tolbuith, 
common Calsayis streitis, and other warks adjacent to the said burgh, Albeit 
that upon thair greit gudewill and willingness they have alredie bestowit and 
employit greit, large, and sumptuous expensis thairupon, makilles ar thae able 
to uphald the said brig, whilk is ane work so necessar and common to all the 
lieges of our haill cuntrie. Thairfore we, with advise foresaid, for support and 
help to the uphalding, bigging, and repairing of the said brig, have by these our 
letters ordaint ane common custome of twa pennies for everie hors laident per- 

1 We thus see that nearly 300 years ago this bridge was called " the brig of 
Paisley. " 

1560 TILL 1600. 177 

teining to ane unfreeman, and ane penny for everie hors laident perteining to ane 
burges and freman. And for everie kow or hors or sheep gangand or cumand 
to or fra mercatts, passand and repassand to the said brig of Paslay, foure 
pennyis. To be tane and upliftit be the Bailleis and Counsall of the said burgh, 
thair customeres and deputis to be appointit be thame for ingaddering thairof> 
and that during all the space and tyme of nynteine yeiris next after the dait heir 
of. Quhilk custome forsaid we and the said Lordis ordane to be employit, be 
the bailleis of the said burgh, present and to cum, thair deputis, customaris, and 
officiairs, in maner above written, to be nomineat be thame for uplifting thairof, 
to the reparation, bigging, and uphalding of the said brig of Pasley and other 
common calsayis and public streittis quhilk ar ruynous and decayit, at the sight 
and discretioun of the Counsall of the said burgh, quha sail have power to tak 
account thairof so oft as thai sail think meit and expedient. With power to the 
said Baillies, present and to cum, thair deputis, customaris, and officiaris, to 
poind and distreinze for the said custome all passengeris with hors laidit, nott 
fremen and others, ilk ane according to thair awn partis as is above devidit, and 
gif neid beiz, to sequestrat and arreist the hors and giids thairfore, ay and untill 
thai mak payment of the same as said is, during the haill tyme and space above 
written, as frelie in all respects as onie IMagistratis, customaris, or officer has done 
or may do in the like cais. Ordaining that publication be direct theirupon in 
form as effeiris. Given under our privee seill at Haliruidhous the saxteene day 
of Januar, the yeir of God one thousand five hundred (I m vc ) fourscore auchtene 
yeiris, and of our reignne ye threttie twa yeir." This charter is in the charter 
chest of the Town Council. 

Visitors were first appointed by the Bailies and Council at the 
term in October, 1597, but no indication is given at that date of the 
duties they were expected to perform. Two years afterwards, how- 
ever, on 12th October, 1599, we find the business they required to 
execute clearly pointed out in the Council records. The work Avas 
of a very important kind, and reflects the greatest credit upon the 
civic rulers at that period in their eftbrts to prevent the burgesses 
from being imposed upon. In the Council records of that date 
" Thomas Qwheyt, Thomas Petir, John Hutchison, and Thomas 
Brown wer electit visitors of the meat, to pas with the Baillies everie 
meat day to visit kynd of vivers, and that the sam be sufficient stuff, 
and that na beif nor mutton be cuttit, carvit, nor spoilzeit, except 
ane cut athint the shoulderis of the mutton, and that na muttoun be 
blawin, and that na meat be maid thereof, nather of butter nor 
cheis, until nyne hours, and to noit the contravenars heirof, and sa 
mekeil of the guids as sail be apprehendit to be escheit. Qulk 
visitors were sworne for faithful administratoun of the office."' 

Still further to illustrate the social condition of the inhabitants, 
and the wonderfully just decisions of the Bailies 300 years ago, we 
have selected a number of the civil cases brought before the Court, 
as described in the Council minutes, where all the business of the 
Bailies and Council is believed to be recorded. Like the criminal 
and other cases, they are disposed of with a firmness, an imparti- 
ality, and at the same time a moderation and judgment, worthy of 



our admiration. We think the perusal of these, along with the 
other burgh records, will be found to be interesting : — 

I2th December, 1594. — "The qlk day Christiene Colquhoune and Ths. 
Hendersoun were decreet to rander to Wm- Ralston two young henis tane by ye sd. 
Christiene off the hie gait at Sanct James day last, price thereof vis viiid. Becaus 
sche and hir said spous for his intrest were lawfully warnet to gif the aith there- 
upon, yesterday compeirit not ; qlk foulles pertainit to the sd- Wm., qH^ being 
referit to his aith, deponit the same to be of veritie." 

I2th December, 1594. — ■" Removing Knox. — The qlk day Thomas Greinleis 
and John Kar being arrested at the instance of Johne Knox, heritor of the lands 
underwritten, and Wm- Knox of Delviel, and his brother and administrator, for 
his entrest compeirit of thair ain fre motyve willis, were decernit to remove them- 
selfs, thair servants, and sub-tennents furth and fra, viz., the said Thomas 
Greenleis frae ane barne and rigland adjacent thereto in Priors croft, and frae ane 
aker land in brumelands, by and within the tenth territor of the said burgh, and 
the said Johne Knox to remove himself furth and fra ane hous and yaird and land 
adjacent thereto in Oxshawsyd, within the said burgh, at the term of Whitsunday 
next. In favor the said John and the said W^- Entries, to the effect that they 
may enter thereto at the said time. " 

6th March, 1595. — " The qlk day Johne Kerswell was decernt to pay Steven 
Alexander, cordinar, viijs iid for the price of ane pair of schone coft in July last, 
becaus the said Johne wes warnit to gif his aith thereupon and comperit not." 

4th December, 1595. — The qlk day Archibald Hamilton was decernt to pey 
to John Gibb, cordinar, xii^ viiid borrowed siluir ane yeir syne or thereby, be the 
aith of the persewar." 

4th December, 1595. — " The qlk day John Kersell was decernt to pey to Mar- 
gret Symsoun, spous to Robert Mudie, xixs for meit and drink tane be him at 
sundrie tymes about Sanct Mirren's day was ane yeir or thereby decernt him by 
aith of parsuar in absence of the defendar warnt thereto." 

2nd February, 1596. — "The qlk day John Hall, wabster, was decernit of his 
awin confession to deliver to Patrick Ralston ane boll whyte seid corn, the said 
Patrick peyand him therefor five mks presentlie and seven mks at Beltane next. 

26th February, 1596. — "The qlk day anent the claime given in be Andro 
Crawfurd, bges of the said bgh, waiting Jone Paisley, wabster in hutheid, auch 
punds ten s money for the price of sex qrtres yorkshyre claith and certain flening 
coft and ressavit be him fra the said Andro upon the tent day of Apryle last, de- 
cerns and ordains the said Andro becaus he was lawfullie warnt be Rt Hamilton, 
officer, to gif his aith simpliciter thereupon and compeirit not." 

The following is the first notice of wheat being used that we have 
fallen in with : — 

6th May, 1596.— " The qlk day Alex. Nivir in thruscraig was decernt to pay to 
Thomas Wilsoun in blackball sex pects quheyt corne eitten be the said Alexr. 
in the month of July, 1593 yrs, and compryssit be Jone Jamieson and Ronald 
Luif, quha being admitted and sworne in presence of the said Alexr., with his 
consent, deponit the corne eitten to the quantatie foirsaide." 

1560 TILL 1600. 179 

Bessie Knox, in the following case, appears to have been a 
respectable practitioner in the healing art in the little town, and 
very likely was well known to the worthy Bailie, who had no diffi- 
culty or hesitation in admitting her just charge of xxx^ : — 

24th June, 1596. — "The qlk day Margrt. Symson and Robert Moodie, her 
spous, for his interest, wer decernit to pay to Bessie Knox xxxs money, as for 
expenses depurssit be her for saw and heiling of his heid, hurt by the said 
defender Rob'-, as the said expenses were referit to the said Bessie's aith, wha, 
being sworne in his presence, deponit the same to be of veritie. " 

4th November, 1596. — "The quhilk day Peter Wilson, pyper, wes decernit 
of his awin ppir. confession to pay to Janet Aitken nine s \d for meit and drink 
tane be him one." 

4th November, 1596.— "The quhilk day compeirit personallie John Kar, he 
being convict be ane inquest and become in the Baillies and Counsals will for the 
offence committit be him of pykry in intmixing of certain beir of Elizabeth Inglis 
with his qr in, he confessit he had done wrang, craiving the said Baillies and 
Counsal pardon therefoir, and offerit to become actit of his awin free will for 
amends, that in cais he wer fundit or apprehendit with ony theft or pykerie 
[petty theft] in time cuming, it being tryit, to be banescht the toun perpetuallie, 
his fredome to be cryit doun and he to tyne his comon land, and thereupon to be 
at the Baillies and Counsall's disposition, as they sail please them thereafter, qlk 
the said Baillies accepted, and supercedit all furdir punishment for the past." 

3rd February, 1597. — "The qlk day Henry Locheid was decernit to pay to 
Robert Hamilton auch s tend as fooryn price of two liundreth peirs and twa 
hundreth ploums coft in September last. " 

5th March, 1597. — "The qlk day Henry Henderson, burgess of the said 
burgh, was decernit of his awin proper confession to remove himself, his wife, 
and family furth and fra the houses and yaird presently occupyit be him by and 
within the said burgh, viz., fra the yaird presently, and fra the houses at Whit- 
sunday next, at the instance of William Stewart, heritor thereof, and that conform 
to the warning dewlie maid to him and use of the said burgh. " 

5th July, 1597. — "The qlk day Allan Lochheid, wabster in townheid, was 
decernt of his awin proper confession to deliver to John Mudie, fleshor, four ells 
fine lyning claith wolevin sufficiently, or than to pay to the said John Mudie for 
ilk ell thereof six punds vi* viiid ressavit be him i penny and penny for the weif- 
ing thereof" 

7th February, 1598. — "The qlk day W"^- Stewart of Gallowhill was decernit 
be aith of petitioner to pay to John Whyte, fleshor, xxvis viid money for mutton 
and quheyt corne, coft and ressavit by the said W^. and his servants in his 
name in the month of March last." 

4th December, 1599. — " The qlk day John Boyd, wricht, was decernit be aith 
of petitioner to pay to John Stewart, wricht, xvis for the making of ane leddir to 
John Vaus, ane of the Baillies foresaid, twa years syne or thereby, together with 
five punds money, as for the price of ane pair of briks of brown plading intro- 
mittit with by the said Jo"e Boyd twa years syne or thereby, deducand thereof 
xxxs of ny compts. Because the said clame was referit be the said defender to 


these persewars aith simpliciter, wha, being sworne in his presence, deponit the 
same to be of veritie. And absolvit baith the said parties hinc inde of all myes 
compts be the"decIaratioune of Rt- Pull, wricht, whome to the said parties referit 
the same simpliciter." 

4th December, 1599. — "The qlk day Janet Peding was decernt of her awin 
proper confession to pay to Andero Hendersoun vi^ viiid for ilk hen of twa hennis 
of the said Andro, his hous maill in tounheid of this instant yeir of God 1599." 

14th December, 1599. — " The which day Robert Kirlie and Cautioner were 
decerned to pay the Session 40 punds for committing adultry with Helen Stewart. 
John White, CoreslDar, Avas fined 20 punds for committing adultry with Isobel 

The Bailies and Council in the present period, and during the 
greater part of the next century, passed several rigorous acts for the 
suppression of Sunday desecration. Before the Reformation, Sun- 
day was not kept as a day of rest as it now is, but was devoted to 
almost every kind of pastime and amusement. Both magistrates of 
burghs and ecclesiastical courts exerted themselves to put down this 
great evil, but it was a difficult matter to overcome habits which had 
been so long indulged. Frequently, as might be expected, they 
went to extremes of intolerance.^ 

^ On Sunday fairs and markets were commonly held, sometimes in the kirk- 
yards, and even in the kirks themselves (1469, c. 10, Acts of Parliament, 11.95; 
1503, c. 28, ibid., 11.252) ; shops, hostelries, and places of amusement were kept 
open ; weaponshawings took place ; and it appears that the law courts occa- 
sionally sat for the transaction of business ( Cunningliani s Church History, p. 9). 
It was indeed usually appropriated to mirth and revelry ; the people practised 
archery at the bow marks placed near parish churches for the purpose (1424, 
c. 9, Acts of Parliament of Scotland, 1 1.6), engaged in the games of Robin Hood 
and Littlejohn, gambled, drank, danced, and indulged in all kinds of amuse- 
ments. To some extent, no doubt, an effort was made to limit this desecration. 
The Act 1469, c. 10, prohiljited the holding of fairs on holidays, and the prohi- 
bition was renewed and extended by the Act 1 503, c. 8, which enacted that mar- 
kets and fairs should not be held on holidays or within kirks or kirkyards. In 
Edinburgh, however, the holding of markets for the sale of flesh on .Sunday was 
expressly authorised by the Act I540> c. 43. The practice, with many other 
forms of desecration alluded to, nevertheless continued long after the Reforma- 
tion, and it is abundantly obvious, from the habits of legislation of the reformers, 
that they did not entertain the stricter notions of the sanctity of the day which 
subsequently prevailed in Scotland. " It v/as on a Sunday," says Dr. Joseph 
Robertson (Preface to the In^'cntories of Queen Rlat-y^s Jnvels, Bannatyne Club, 
p. Ixxix), " that the reformed commendators of Holryroodand Coldingham, both 
of them lords of the congregation, rode at the ring in women's clothes. It was on 
a Sunday that the reformed municipality of Edinburgh gave its grand banquet to 
the King's French kinsfolks. Knox travelled on a .Sunday, wrote letters on Sunday, 
and had the Duke of Chatelherault and the English ambassador to sup with him 
on a .Sunday. The Gaelic translator of Knox's Forms of Prayer, the Reformed 
Superintendent of Argyle and Bishop of the Isles, feasted the Queen and the 
Ambassador of Savoy on a Sunday. For more than twenty years after Knox 
was in his grave, Robin Hood plays were acted on Sundays, and the King of 
May held his gambols on Sundays in .Scotland, as in England masques and inter- 
ludes continued to be performed before the Court on Sundays throughout the 
reigns of Elizabeth and James." It was on a .Sunday also that the Queen of 
Tames VI. was crowned, the reformed ministers assisting at the ceremony 
(Caldenvood's Church History, p. 95), and on a Sunday the City of Edinburgh 

1560 TILL 1600. 181 

27th January, 1596. — "Act anent sic persons as that wilfully remain fra the 
Parish Kirk. — The whilk day it is statute and ordanit be the Baillies and Coun- 
sell of the said burgh that all sic persouns that beis apprehendit playing, passing 
to tavernis and ailhouses, or selling meit or drink, or wilfull remaining fra the 
parish kirk in tyme of sermon on the Sunday, be pundit for xxs toties quoties ; 
and in caise of refuis or inhabilie of any person apprehended offending in the pre- 
mises to pay the said penalty presentlie upon their apprehension or conviction 
after lawful trial, he or she sal be put and haldin in the stnks be the space of 
XX hours, and for trial to be taken herein the said Baillies and Counsel has 
appointed that the Clerk of the said burgh, accompanied with ane of the baillies, 
ane of the officers, with some other elders of the parish, the day that it shall fall 
them to pass upon, so that the said Clerk shall go his Sonday about accompanied 
as said is, and the Clerk of the Session his Sonday about accompanied in like 
manner, who shall not call such persons whom they apprehend in manner fore- 
said, and shall either cause the officers of the said burgh pund them presentlie 
for the said penaltie or upon the morne thereafter, and the said punds to be 
pryssit and applied be the Baillies of the said burgh on pios uses as best shall 
please them, and for the Clerks pains to be takun therein there sal be ane honest 
hell appointed for him yearlie be the minister and session." 

The stocks referred to in the foregoing Act of the Council were 
frequently used as an instrument of punishment by the Bailies of 
Paisley. They were a wooden machine for securing the legs of the 
culprits while in a sitting or reclining posture, and were much used 
in England. It is not known when they were first adopted in Eng- 
land, but there is sufficient evidence to show that it was at an 

gave a sumptuous and costly banquet to Charles I., the afternoon service in all 
the town churches being dispensed with in consequence (Memorials of the 
Troubles in Scotland, Spalding Club, I-39). Dr. Gairdner has shown that for 
nearly a century after the Reformation the Incorporation of Surgeons in Edin- 
burgh held various meetings on Sundays for the transaction of business, the ad- 
mission of members, the election of office-bearers, the exercise of discipline, &c. 
(Sketch of the Early History of the Medical Profession in Edinburgh, 1864, p. 8). 
The accounts of the Treasurer of the City of Edinburgh also prove that it was not 
uncommon to pay accounts on that day (26th April 1590, 12th June, l6th August, 
4-11-18 October). So late as 1574 the practice of performing comedies of a 
somewhat religious character on Sunday had not been altogether discontinued, and 
even occasionally received the countenance and approbation of some of the 
Church Courts ( Principal Lees' s Evidence before Sir Andre-iV Agnezv's Committee 
in 1832). About the same time also ministers were to be found who accom- 
panied their people to the bow butts on Sunday evenings, and shot with bows 
and arrows (Dr. Cook's History of the Church of Scotland, 1815, II-43). Shortly 
afterwards, however, the Act of Parliament, 1579, c. 8, prohibited the holding 
of markets and fairs on " Sundays," and enacted " that na handy lauboring or 
working be used on the Sunday, nor na gamying and playing, passing to tavernis 
and ail houses, and selling of meitt or drink, and wilfull remanying fra their 
paroch kirk in tyme of sermone or prayers on the Sunday be used, under the 
panes therein prescribed" (Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, iii., 138). This 
Act proceeds on the narrative that the "Sabbath days were then commonlie 
violat and brokin, alsweill within burgh as to landwart, to the great dishonor of 
God," by the practices against which it was directed. Subsequently the Act 
1594, c. 8, subjected all who should "profane the Sabbath day by selling or 
presenting and offering for sale any goods to be forfeited " (High Constables of 
Edinburgh, by James D. Marwick, p. xxi.). 




early period. In the second Statute of Labourers, 25 Edward III., 
1350, stocks are mentioned ; and in the reign of Henry IV., 
in the year 1405, it was resolved by the Commons that every vil- 
lage and town should have a 
pair of stocks. In 1606 it 
was enacted that every per- 
son convicted of drunkenness 
should be fined 5s. or remain 
six hours in the stocks. The 
last Act was confirmed by 
James VI., 1623. In King 
Lear, act ii., sc. 2, Shakspere 
has introduced the stocks upon 
the stage. Farmer, comment- 
ing upon the passage, says : — 
"It should be remembered 
that formerly in great houses, 
as still in some colleges, there 
were movable stocks for the 
correction of the servants." 
The stocks are still to be seen in some country places in England. 
We give a sketch of the whipping post and stocks used at Stokesley. 

During the two last decades of the sixteenth century, the town of 
Paisley rose to greater importance than in any previous period. 
We have shown by the extracts from the Town Council records 
that in this early period its civil rulers were fully alive to the protec- 
tion of life and property, and the suppression, amongst all classes, 
of vice and lawlessness. These records, in most cases, exhibit 
moderation and good sense ; and it is worthy of note that for the 
language and forms used in the judicial courts of the Bailies at this 
early period, a qualified procurator-fiscal and town-clerk were re- 
sponsible, and their forms of procedure and terms of expression do 
not greatly vary from those of the present day. 

The Town Council also appear to have been fully alive to the 
importance of having a public school for the education of the youth 
in the community. In 1576 they received, as already stated, from 
James VI. funds to found a school, and within ten years thereafter 
a schoolhouse was erected and a teacher appointed. The esta- 
blishment of this educational institution, combined with the good 
order and firm government maintained by the Bailies, would very 
likely be the main cause of inducing some of the wealthy land- 
owners in the neighbourhood to have town houses erected within 
the burgh boundary. 

In 1580 the handsome and commodious town house of Lord 
Sempill, heritable sheriff of the regality, was erected on the north 
side of High Street, a short distance west from the Cross. 
I'he length of front to the street was forty-three feet two inches. 
This mansion house was in the possession of the Sempill family 

1560 TILL 1600. 


till 1650, when the great-grandson of the founder sold it to Lord 
Cochran. The ceiling of the ground floor was arched with stone, 
and this flat was latterly turned into shops. We give a view of this 
building as it appeared before being taken down in 1861. Its 

successor was 
taken down in 
1882, at the time 
High Street was 
widened and im- 
proved. The site 
is now No. 95 
High Street, and 
the graceful 
structure erected 
thereon is owned 
by Mr. Robert 
M'Nish, shoe 

There was a 
tablet stone in 
front of the man- 
sion house con- 
taining Lord 
S e m p i ITs ar- 
morial bearings, 
beautifully exe- 
cuted. Above the 
centre of the 
shield is the letter 
M, and on the 
sides of the shield 
A S, which ap- 
pear to be An- 
drew, Master of 
Semple. We give 
a view of this ex- 
quisitely - execut- 
ed coat of arms, 
which occupies a 
conspicuous posi- 
tion above one of 

LORD SEMPILL'S HOUSE, NO. 94 HIGH STREET. ^-^Q hio-hest win- 

dows in Mr. M'Nish's tenement, and which will be found on the 
next page. 

The second house west from the head of New Street, which for 
many years was known as the Salutation Inn, occupied the site of 
the town house of Cochran of Craigmuir, and was first erected in 
1608. When taken down recently and rebuilt by Mr. Isaac 
Richardson, there were some memorial stones in the building, which 

1 84 



are now placed in the back walls of the present tenement. Of these 
we give three illustrations. The house No. 25 High Street, long 
known as the King's Arms Inn, was, as already stated, originally- 
erected by Mr. Knox, one of the Abbey ministers, and was after- 
wards the town house of the Ferguslie family ( W. Semple's History, 
p. 331). These families and others of consequence residing within 
the little burgh would undoubtedly tend greatly to ameliorate its 
social position and to increase its importance. 

1560 TILL 1600. 


At that time considerable attention was paid by the Bailies and 
Council to the condition of the principal streets of the town. From 
several instances in the Council records it may have been observed 
that they were causewayed. On 8th July, 1596, an Act was passed 
to prevent mill stones from being taken through the town on their 
edge, because they injured the causey in the streets. On loth 
October, 1595, it was agreed to repair the causey in Causeyside 
Street, and a portion of the bridge custom allowed to be levied was 
to repair the causewaying of the streets. 

Of the trade carried on in the town during this period there is not 
much to be said that can be verified as authentic. The weaving 
trade, which afterwards rose to such importance, must have been in 
operation in Paisley from a very early period. When the bailies, 
burgesses, and officers of Renfrew, in 1491, invaded the market 
cross of Paisley, as already mentioned, and took possession of " a 
quarter of beif for a penny of custom," they at the same time seized 
" a wynde of white cloth for a penny of custom."^ It would there- 
fore appear that white cloth was produced in such quantities at that 

^ Wynde — " a certain length of clotli that cannot now be determined, as the 
term is obsolete " (Jainieson). 


early period of tlie history of Paisley that it was exposed for sale in 
the public market ; and there is every reason for believing that it 
was manufactured in the town. We would further note as import- 
ant the frequency with which, in the records of the Town Council 
during the last decade of the sixteenth century, the trade of 
" wobster " is mentioned. We find in these records not only that 
w'obsters were burgesses, but that in numerous instances they ap- 
peared in the civil courts of the Bailies both as pursuers and de- 
fenders in cases where money was involved.^ Of the kind of cloth 
they were engaged in weaving we have not discovered any intima- 
tion that would enable us to speak with any confidence. Very 
likely, however, it was either the same kind of cloth which was 
produced at the end of the following century, called Bengals, imi- 
tations of striped muslins or coarse linen checks. 

During the five years at the end of the sixteenth century many 
cases were brought before the Bailies wherein they had to determine 
the value of what was sued for. We have selected a few of these 
from the Council records, as follows : — • 

For 4 days and han^owing with a horse xvis (1/4). 

Ane laid of meill xs (lod). 

3 bolls malt six punds (10/). 

Price of ane cow xxxs {2/6), 

Twa bolls malt 15 merks (16/8). 

Ane blue banat xiis (i/). 

Ane boll of beans xix mks (2i/iX)- 

14 pmids for 6 fat sheep (23/4). 

16 mks for ilk boll of beer (17/9). 

vSeed oats per boll 10 punds (16/8). 

Side of beef 3 punds 13/4 {6ji}(). 

Leg of veil 3/6 Scots {3^d). 

Syde of mutton los (lofl-)- 

Threshing 3 bolls aits i8s (i;6). 

I day's shearing 2s (2d). 

New pleuch 2 punds I3'4 (4;'5/4 )• 

Hen 5s (5d). 

I lb. cheis 2/6 (2^d). 

Night banat 13/4 (i/iX)- 

Quhinger 2 punds (3/4). 

I elne harne 4s (4d). 

I elne linen claith 13s (i/i). 

48 ells linen 42 punds (70/). 

1 " The qlk day John Urie, wobsf Int : changit his ruid common land abune 
Greinhill with Rt Craig's ruid land in fynniesbog, with the qlk excambion baith 
the said parties were content, and thereupon askit acts of court." 

" The qlk day Ranald Luif, wobster, burgess of the said burgh, was decemit 
of awin proper confession to pay to Rt Greenleis fyve punds fyves vd money " 
(Council Records, 7th January, 1597). 


1600 TO 1650. 

N our Burgh the first two years of the seventeenth century 
unfortunately ushered it in with a threatened attack of 
the dreadful malady of the plague or pest, known for 
several centuries both on the continent of Europe and 
in this country.! At different periods in the sixteenth 
century, several of the towns in Scotland had been visited with this 
loathsome disease ; indeed there was scarcely a town, however 
small the number of the inhabitants, that was not subjected, less or 
more, to its desolating ravages. In Edinburgh the plague broke 
out in 1 5 14, and the Town Council agreed that "for the eschewing 
of this contagious sickness of pestilence be Goddis grace," the town 
should be divided into four quarters, to be superintended by the 
four Bailies and their quarter-masters (Martuick's Hio;h Constables, 
p. 30). In 1545 the pestilence again prevailed in Edinburgh, and 
the Queen and Lords of Council, " understanding that because of 
the fere of the pest that is lately reigning in the town of Edinburgh," 
ordained the President and Lords of Session to meet in Linlithgow 
(Register of the Privy Council, vol. i., p. 5). And in 1564, the 
Queen and Council having learned that the plague or pestilence 
raged vehemently in Danskin, with which place there was much 
communication by vessels, ordered letters to be sent to the provosts 
and bailies of every burgh, to warn all persons, under severe penal- 
ties, coming from that place, "to continue themselffis and thaer 
guidis within schiphind or at least to pas to sic quiet places thair- 
with by the way, fre burrowis and common portis as nane of oure 
Soverane Ladiis liegis have traffique, company, or melling with 
thame" (Register of the Privy Council, vol. i., p. 279). Again, in 
1585 and in 15S7, the plague returned with great virulence to 
Edinburgh, and the Town Council, along with other precautionary 
measures, appointed visitors with full authority for " outputting of 
the foul folk " (Mai'ivick's High Constables, p. 31). 

The inhabitants of Paisley, like those of other towns in Scotland, 
experienced the baneful effects of this distemper. In 1588 the 
plague must have been in Paisley to some extent, although such is 

^ Iia 1348 a third part of the population of Scotland was carried off by the 
great plague, which fell most severely on the working classes; but in 1361 the 
rich and the noble in the land were seized with the disease equally with the 
labourers, and in most instances fell victims to its^ (Tytter's History of 
Scotland, vol. ii. , p. 80). 


not noticed afterwards in the records of the Town Council. 
On the 2nd October in that year the Glasgow Town Council 
resolved, " in consideration of the danger of the pest now in 
Paisley," to adopt a great many precautionary measures to prevent 
that disease from entering the city. On the 26th of the same 
month, " the Bailies and Council having consideration of the pre- 
sent peril of the pest, now being in the town of Paisley" (Council 
Records), made further regulations thereanent. And on the last 
day of that month, they agreed that, " having forseen the great 
apparent danger of pest like to ensue through infection from Paisley- 
and other places thereabouts, and being most careful to see the 
same prevented," adopted further resolutions "to carry that dHo-c- 
iwQ^Y ow\.'^ ( Glasgoiu Totun Council Records, 31st October, 1588). 
We have not been able to discover anything further regarding the 
pest in Paisley at that time, either as to its severity or duration. If 
we may judge, however, from the very strict and numerous regula- 
tions that were adopted by the Bailies and Council when the 
inhabitants were threatened with another visitation of the plague in 
1602, we may safely conclude that their sufferings were great, and 
they dreaded its return. On the 8th January in that year the 
Bailies and Council passed the following remarkable and business- 
like resolutions regarding the threatened attack of the plague : — 

" Anent the Pest. — In the first that the haill burgesses and 
inhabitants of this burgh come mair frequentlie to the kirk for 
heiring of the Word of God, preiching, and prayars nor they haif 
bein accustomed to do heirtofoir, and sic as beis absent upon the 
Sabbath day fra the sermont in the foirnoun and efternoun to be 
pundit for an unlaw of xx^ [is. 8d. stg.], conforme to the Acts of Par- 
liament, and the sam to be employitto pious uses, and that the said 
guid ordination be set doun anent the cuming to the prayars morn- 
ing and evening upon the week dayis. Ite?n, that all persons 
haifand waist lands adjacent to the ports of this burgh big up the 
foir wallis thereof suflicientlie and braid the same with thornis that 
nane clyme over, within the space of four dayis after they be chargit 
by officers, under the pane of fyve punds. Item, that the Barne 
yaird fort be biggit up, and sa remam during the hail tyme of the 
continuation of the pest in the cuntrie. Item, that nane of the 
inhabitants of this burgh suffir or receive ony persons to cum in 
throw their yairds or baksyds, under the pane of fyve punds. Item, 
that the eist and west ports be diligentlie keipit fra fyve hours in 
the morning unto aucht hours at evin, and that the ceipars thereof 
be sufficient persouns, haitiing ane sword and Jedburgh staff, and 
that thay be not absent fra the said port the space of three scoir 
falls the ports oppin nor that fand in housses, under the pane of ane 
unlaw of xiij^ iiij'^ [is. i^d.] toties quoties. Item, that the burne 
port and mossraw be simpliciter closit except the burne port allan- 
arlie to be keipit be Robert Algeo and Robert Hendersoun, onelie 
to be openit betwix viij hours and ix hours befoir noun and four 

l6oo TILL 1650. 189 

hours and fyve hours afternoun. Item, that the keepers of the said 
ports receive na testimoniaUls of ony persouns cumin. from suspectit 
places, but that they signifie the same to one of the Bailhes or some 
others of the persouns after mentioned wha sal be appointed. And 
that the persons having the said testimonials be na wayis receivit 
within the said burgh, but onelie to pas thair throu. Item, that na 
persouns wha ar not sufficientlie knowin be the Bailies and visitors 
of the said ports not haifand testimony not to be allowed within the 
said burgh to remane nather short nor lang space, under the pane 
of fyve punds. Item, that na persouns, inhabitants of the said 
burgh, receive ony travellers or creilmen, nor gif thame ludgings, 
without licence of ane of the Bailies had thereto, under the pane of 
fyve punds. Item, that na persoun dwelling within the space of ane 
myle of the infection of the pest be receivit within the hous for the 
space of fyve weeks, that it may be knawin whidder they may be 
clein or foull thereof. Item, becaus therefor sundry persouns that 
for feir of the pest and eschewing thereof, transport thamselffs with 
thair families furth of the citie of Glasgow to land wort in sundrie 
parts neir to this burgh, that nane of the said persouns be receivit 
within the same for the space of six weeks, and after thair trans- 
porting and sic like, gif they be not keipit be thameselves the said 
space, that nane of the receivers nor repairars in company with 
thame be admitted within the said burgh during the same space. 
Item, that James Riskie, Drummar, pas throw the toun ilk day at 
four hours in the morning as he was accustomed, and at aucht 
hours at evin, except the Sabboth day ; and albeit the wedder be 
foull, that he stryke the drum ane certane space upon the brig and 
at the cors. Item, that said orders be tane concerning the puir, and 
that nane puir remane within the toun but they wha are borne 
therein or tham has had their residence and remaining therein be 
the space of [blank] years, and that na puir in the landwort be re- 
ceived in the toun. Item, that na indweller within the burgh pas 
furth thereof, except to their labour about the town, without libertie 
of ane of the Bailies had and obtained, under the pain of fyve 
punds. Item, that na testimony will be given by the clerk without 
comand of ane of the Bailies to na persoun nor persouns, under the 
pain of xi= (i id). Item, outwith the west port to the toun end, John 
Algeo and Patrick Ralstoun. Item, fra John Sclater's cors house in 
the Calsaysyd to the port about the orchyaird, Thomas Wyteford 
and Robert Hendersoun ; and for the eist of the Calsaysyd and 
Sershill, William Hendersoun and John Sunderland. Iton, for the 
Seidhill, William Stewart and John Park. Item, within the burgh for 
the west port, Andro Stewart and John Hendersoun. Item, for 
Moss raw and Barne yaird, John Vaus and Gavin Stewart. Item, 
for the brig port, John Hutchisoun and Robert Urie, with the burne 
gait. Item, for the Watter raw, Robert Semple, clerk. Item, it is 
appointed be the Bailies that whatsoever persouns within the .said 
burgh, or sworn of the saim, refuses to keip the said ports the days 
about, as effeirs to be pundit for vi^ viij''" 



The war-axe — of the form known as the Jedburgh axe or Jeddart 
staff, with a semi-circular blade, long neck, and spike at the back, 
and the shank of the socket prolonged into a spear-pointed blade — 
to be used by those watching at the east and west ports at this 

time, was a very for- 
midable weapon. The 
name was derived from 
the tradesmen in Jed- 
burgh being celebrated 
in making them. We 
give a drawing of this 
warlike instrument used 
by our ancestors, taken 
from James Drum- 
mond's Book of Ancient 
Scottish Weapons, &c., 
plate number xxxiv. 

Although the Town 
Council records are 
thus minute in describ- 
ing the precautions 
taken to prevent the 
entrance of the plague 
into the Burgh, they are 
unfortunately silent as 
to the success that at- 
tended the eiforts that 
were made. The dis- 
ease, indeed, is not 
mentioned thereafter as 
having been in the town, 
and we are therefore in- 
clined to believe that 
the inhabitants were, 
happily, not attacked 
by the pest of which 
they were so much 
afraid. In October, 
however, in the follow- 
ing year, the pest again 
made its appearance in 
some parts of the sur- 
Council were at once 
from the town, 
following mea- 


rounding country, and the Bailies and 
on the alert to make arrangements for averting it 
On the 14th October, 1603, they adopted the 
sures : — 

C " Act for the Keiping of the Portis. — Certane actis and statutis for 
preservatione and keiping of the said burghe, gif it be the plesour of 

l6oo TILL 1650. 191 

God, fra the pest. — The qlk day the BaiUes and Counsell of the 
said burgh, understanding the contageus sickness of the pest is 
within this realme and has infectit sundrie pairtis of the sam, swa 
that it is necessary the portis of the said burgh be keepit and that 
na persounes be admitted nor receavit within this burghe repairing 
fra onie pairtis of this reahiie quhair the contageus seikness of the 
pest is presenthe, without sufficient testimonial! of thair healths. As 
lykewayes that na vagabondis, Strang and idle beggers, be onie 
wayes sufferit to enter within this burgh, and gif ony of the foirsaidis 
persounes forbidden beis fundin within this burghe, the keipers of 
the ports for the tyme where the persoune or persounis forbidden 
enter is efter tryall tane thairof be the Bailies and ethers of that 
quarter, sail pay an unlaw of x punds money, toties quoties ; and 
for the better observing of this order, John Vaus, Bailie Johne 
Algie, Johne Henrysoune, William Ewing, and William Huchesoune 
sail oversee and visit dailie the West and Mossraw portis and keip- 
eris thairof- Andrew Craufurd the other Bailie, Thomas Inglis, 
clerk, John Huchesoune, Robert Urie, and John Alexander, ^cor- 
diner, sail dailie visit and oversee the brig and burne gait ports, and 
gif neid beis ma persounis to be choisin and joynt with the fornameit 
persounis to the effect foirsaid. Item, that all the portis of this 
burghe be lockit at nyne houris at even nichtlie, and opened dailie 
at fyve houris in the morning, until farder order be taken.'"' 

As no farther allusion is made in the Council records to the 
plague, the inhabitants apparently were not, at that time, attacked 
by this contagious trouble. But in August of the following year, 
when the pest broke out in Glasgow and in Rutherglen, the guard- 
ing of the town against the admission of persons suspected of 
labouring under this disease was resumed, and the Bailies and 
Council resolved as follows : — 

" Apud Paslay, nth August, 1604. — Anetit the Pest. — The qlk 
day the Bailies and Council of this burghe, understanding the con- 
tagious seikness of the plague of pest has infectit divers parties of 
this realme, alsweill in Burgh as Landwart and baith the touns of 
Glasgow and Rutherglen, swa that it is necessar and expedient for 
preserving of this burgh and inhabitants hereof fra the said plague 
of pest (gif it be the plesour of God) that not only all the ports of 
this burgh be weill keipit, and that the be yets hung upon the Mos- 
raw port and barneyaird ports, and the said barne yard port to remane 
lockit during the will of the saides Bailies and Counsell, but also it 
is statute and ordained that nane of the inhabitants of this burghe 
pas furthe thairof to onie other burgh or pairt suspect furder nor the 
bounds and libertie of the said burghe and land pertaining thereto 
without special license of the said Bailies had and obtenit, under the 
pane of banisching them the said burgh for ever. And siclyke that 
nane of the inhabitants of this burgh suffer onie person or persones 
repairing or cuming fra onie aither part or parts thereto to enter 


throu their yairds and houses within this burgh, under the pane of 
fyve punds money (8s. 4d.), toties quoties. And lykewayis that all 
the inhabitants within tlie burgh having dogs, kiep them bund 
Avithin thair awin houses fra the xiij day of this instant, induring the 
will of the saids Bailies and Counsel, and that under the said pane 
of fyve punds money foirsaid. And gif onie dogis beis fundin upon 
the said gait efter the said day until libertie be grantit be the saids 
Bailies and Counsell, the said dogs to be fellit and the awner to find 
na folt therewith." 

On the 8th September, 1604, in consequence of the continuance 
of the pest and its near approach to the town, the Bailies and 
Council passed further resolutions thereanent : — 

" The qlk day the Bailies and Counsell, having consultation of 
the continuance and daylie encreasing and spreiding of plague of 
pest, and that the same draws neir to this burgh, and therefoir for 
preservation thairof gif it be the plesour of God : And seeing it is 
lesum to use all secand measures : It is statut and ordained be the 
Bailies and Counsell that the haill burgesses and inhabitants of this 
burgh sail keip the portis as they sal be warnit be the officers the 
day preceding, conform to the roll to be given to thame thereupon. 
And the said persounes being warnit be onie of the officers sail 
oppin the saiddis ports at fyve hours in the morning, and lok the 
same at nyne houris at even. And sail remane at the saidis portis 
betwix the saidis hours, under the pane of twentie •^' toties quoties, 
gif they sail happin to contravene the same. 

'■'■ Keiping of t/ie Forts. — Itetn, it is ordainit that nane of the 
keipers of the said portis let in onie thereat unknowing to them out- 
with this burgh without they advertees ane of the Bailies, at the leist 
ane of the quarter maisteris afternamit for visiting of the saidis ports, 
causing keip the same in manner under mentioned, viz. : at the eist 
])ort on the brig, Thomas Inglis, Robert Algie, Thornas Whytfurd, 
Robert Urie, Thomas Peter, John Hucheson, and Robert Sem[)le, 
wha also sail attend upon the keiping of the burne port ; and for 
the awaiting and keiping of the west port, John Algie, Andro 
Stewart, William Ewing, Johne Henderson, Robert Craig, David 
Henderson, and John Whyte, merchand."' 

Fortunately for the inhabitants, this ailment did not come among 
them, and there were no more alarming reports regarding its ap- 
proach to the town till about two years afterwards. On iSth May, 
1606, when it was announced that the pest infested Ayr, Kyle, 
Cunningham, Stirling, and other parts in the east, the former acts 
for protecting the town from this distemper were revised by the 
Bailies and Council, and the inhabitants ordered to attend to them. 
As on the two former occasions, no one, however, was attacked by 
the dreaded trouble. At this time, also, the pest happily disap- 

l600 TILL 1650. 193 

peared altogether from this part of the country, and did not return 
for many years. ^ 

Another serious malady — that of leprosy — made its appearance in 
the town in the second year of the seventeenth century, and although 
it did not prevail to any great extent, yet a curious Act, dated i8th 
October, 1601, was passed by the Bailies and Council to guard 
against its being spread. The Act was very arbitrary, and allowed 
leprous persons only to make calls during two hours twice a week ; 
they were not to go into any house, but to use clappers to bring 
the inmates out, under the pain of banishment ; any one admitting 
a leper into his house was to be fined, and no one was to let such 
one a house under a penalty of five punds.^ But we give the Act 
entire : — 

" Anent Leprous Folks. — The qlk day the Bailies and Counsall 
of the said burghe, understanding that there is sundrie leprous folks 
wha repairs within this burghe and usis thameselves in company at 
butt and every wayis with the inhabitants thereof without respect to 
their diseis or danger thereof — howbeit the said the same be most 
dangerous whair company is always to be forborne for eschewing 
thereof, baith in the laws set down thereanent in holy scripture as 

^ The Bailies of Dumbarton, in consequence of the approach of the pest, agreed 
that " In regard of the bruit and rumour of the plaig of pestilence, the Bailies 
and Counsall inhibit and discharges that no lint nor tow be bro'- in hereafter to 
this burgh till the plaig ceiss, as also discharges all persouns within this burgh 
noways to reset or receave strangers till the magistrattis be acquaint thair- 
with, under the paine to be punischt and censurit with all rigor. And ordaine 
publicatioun to be maid be sound of drum thairof as the baillies causit do befoir, 
and ordaine all uncuth beggers and uthir strangers to be removit out of the burgh 
and the Baillies to tak tryall thairof and cause the same to be dune. And 
because personnes and travellers use to cum to the mercat on better days weiklie, 
ordanis twa to stand on Fryday afternoone and on Setterday all day, ilk weik as 
they sail be warnit, twa at the brig and twa at the colledge, ilk personne undir 
the paine of xis that beis warnit and failles, that gif straingers cumin they may 
be stayit till the magistraies be aquent " (Dituibarton Biirgli Records, " sevint 
Oct., 1635"). 

The Town Council of Peebles, in the following year, "statute and ordanit 
that in respect of the appeirance of the plaige, that na persone within this burgh 
pas furtli theirof to na forane pairt without speciall license of the provost and 
bailzeis, or ane sufficient testimonial! subscryvit be the clerk at thair command. 
And sichlyk that nane resett any stranger quhatsumever till they adverteis the 
proveist and baillies and obtene thair licence, under the pane of banishment or 
xl li. And for that effect, ordanes the portis to be precisle kepit in the day tyme, 
and the town to be watchit in the nict tyme, and the constables, with ane of the 
baillies in thair quarteris, to set the saids watches and they to check the saids 
watches, and the unlattaris of this act in ony point thairof to be wardit till they 
mak satisfactioun " (Burgh of Peebles Records, 14th November, 1636). 

^ In Glasgow a leper hospital was founded by Marjory Stewart, daughter of 
Robert, Duke of Albany, son of King Robert II. On 7th October, 1589, there 
were six lepers in that hospital (Glasgow CoiDicil Records). One of the regula- 
tions of the Glasgow Town Council, as fixed on 6th October, 1610, was that "the 
lipper of the hospital sail gang only upon the calsie syde near the gutter, and sail 
half clapperis and ane claith upon their mouth and face, and sail stand afar off 
qll they resaif amous, or answer under the payne of banicshing thame the toun 
and hospital." 



also in the laws of this realme : Therefore it is statut and ordaint 
be the said Bailies and Counsall that no leprous persons be sufferit 
to repair commonlie in mannir foirsaid within the said burghe, nor 
be sufifirit to use ony common merchandise within the same or 
hauld open bathes of merchandise within the same, quhilk movis 
folks to repair to thame and be in company with thame, and to that 
effect ordains the said leprous persouns that whomsoever that are 
not to be leprous to be warnit to desist fra all company, beiring, re- 
pairing, aud drinking in the houses of the said burghe, and in oppin 
buthis haulking and merchandise making, and in all onie societie 
with the inhabitants of the said burghe, except sa money of the 
leprous folks as of necessitie behuiffis to craif support to haif access 
twice in the week, viz., Friday and Wednesday, betwixt xi hours 
and ane afternoon allanarlie, and that day haif clappers and stand 
without the duirs, and that they call the people out, under the pane 
of banishment of the said leprous persouns of the burgh. And lyke- 
ways discharge the said inhabitants to receive thame within the 
house to sit, drink, or beir company with thame, under the pane of 
xxx^ (2s. 6d.) toties quoties. And farder discharges the said inhabitants 
and others whomsoever haifing houses within the said burgh to set 
ony of the houses for lang or short taks to ony of the said leprous 
persouns under the pain of fyve punds money." 

It appears that in 1624 John Kerr became leprous, and the 
Bailies on 24th October in that year ordained the proclamation to 
be sent throughout the town against him. As he still continued 
on 25th January, 1625, to be affected with the disease, the Bailies 
caused the Act to be put in execution against any one who received 
him. The only other case of leprosy reported in this period, was 
that of Robert Urie and his wife whom the Bailies prohibited from 
keeping a change-house as she was sick, and " specially as they 
kept a scandalous house" ( Council Rcavds, 14th February, 1648). 
Instead of passing persecuting Acts against these poor unfortunate 
persons who were suffering in so many ways so severely from this 
disease, it would have been a more charitable and praiseworthy 
proceeding of the BaiUes and Council, had they, as in several other 
towns in Scotland, provided some place in which theymight live apart.^ 

The last case of leprosy in the town was that of Robert Urie's 
wife, who is thus referred to in the Council records. 

January 31st, 1650 : — "The qlk day it is statute and ordaint that 
Robert Urie, fleschour, his wife, who is leper, sail with all diligence 
be removed ont of the towne, and that the said Robert sail be 
discharged all slaying or selling of fleshe until he remove her." 

^ It was ordained by Parliament that lepers should not sit and beg in kirks or 
kirk-yards within burghs, "but at their own hospital and at the port of the 
town" (Ads of the Parliament of Scot/and, vol. ii., p. 16). 

At Stirling, the leper hospital was at the west-end. It received yearly 8 bolls 
of oatmeal from the King ( ExcJiequer Rolls, No. 314). 

At Linlithgow, the leper hospital was at the Magdalen, outside of the burgh on 
the east side (Accounts of Lord High Trcastircr of Scotland, Preface, ccxxxvi). 

l600 TILL 1650. 


14th April, 1 65 1 : — " The qlk day, in respect that Janet Wilson, 
spouse to Robert Urie, flesher, is very leprous, her husband is 
ordained to remove her out of the towne or to put her in some 
secret place where no harme sail be put to her nor that he sail 
haunt her company himself. And that he doe this betwixt and 
Beltane next, and from that time he to have no exercese of his 
calling swa being as the samyne is undone." 

The stealing of peats still continued to prevail to a considerable 
extent, and the Bailies and Council enacted some very severe laws 
to stop the practice. Delinquents were threatened with the punish- 
ment of a whole day in the jugs, and for a second oftence with 
banishment from the town. 

24th January, 1600 : — " Item, ratifies and approves the Act maid 
of befoir anent peat steillars with this addition, that the person or 
personis convicted of peit steilling sail be put in jogs for the space 
of ane haill day, and if ony be twice apprehendit and convicted of 
peit steilling to be banished the toun." 

This is the first time that the jugs as a means of punishment are 
alluded to in the Council records. The orthography of the word 
varied very much — jugs, jogs, juggs, jougs, jogges, joigs, joggis, are 
all found in the old writers. The word is believed to be derived 
from the Latin woxdji/gum, the English of which is "yoke." When 
used in connection with ecclesiastical discipline, which was often 
the case, although not in Paisley, they were attached to the porch 
of the village church, to a tree in the churchyard, or to the wall of 
the church itself. The jug consisted of a flat iron 
collar, which was put round the neck of the offender 
and securely fastened to the pillar or wall against 
which they were placed. In Paisley the criminals 
stood on the head of the tollbooth stair, and the 
jug was fastened to the steeple by a padlock. In 
this conspicuous position they were subjected to the 
gaze of those in the street, and sometimes, when 
the crime they had committed provoked the popular 
feeling, they were much abused by having offensive 
things thrown at them. Although the jugs used at 
the Paisley Tollbooth are unfortunately not preserved, 
specimens are still to be seen in several other 
places. The jugs used at Galashiels are in the 
Abbotsford armoury ; and they are still to be seen 
fixed on the wall of the church at Merton, Ber- 
wickshire, and of the church at Duddingston, Mid- 
lothian. The jugs used in Edinburgh were attached 
to the ancient cross at the tollbooth, and the staple 
still remains to which the culprit was secured. A jug was found 
in a tree that was blown down some time ago near the church at 
Applegarth, Dumfriesshire, and is represented in the accompanying 
sketch (ArcJiceoIogy of Scotland, by Daniel "Wilson, p. 691). Mr. 



Gabriel Neil states that "the jugs or jougs might, not much 
later than twenty years ago, be found dangling on the Glasgow 
Tollbooth steeple near the ' houf door/ A pair were sus- 
pended from the wall by an iron chain of about sixteen inches in 
length, and at the end of each chain was attached an iron collar for 
encircling the neck " (Transactions of the Glasgow Aj'chceological 
Society : Paper read at meeting held 2nd November, 1857 ; subject, 
" A few brief notices of the old Tollbooth at the Cross of Glasgow, 
removed 1814." Part i., p. 22.) The last time the jugs were used 
in Newburgh, Fifeshire, was on 20th July, 1757. There is a jug 
attached to the round tower at Abernethy ( Lindores Abbey ^ p. 255). 
An old man, now (1864) alive, says Sir Andrew Agnew in his 
History of the Hereditary Sheriffs ofGal/oway, " distinctly remembers 
having seen the jougs or gorgets at the old castle of Innernessan." 

15th October, 1607. — "To prevent stealing of peats and elding 
[fuel of any kind], no person to carry thereof from the Moss till 
first they informed the Bailies, on pain of 20^ and the bearer put in 
the jogs." 

1 6th April, 1646. — The inhabitants of the town were prohibited 
from casting peats in any other moss except that belonging to the 

The bridge over the Cart, so necessary for the good accommoda- 
tion of the passenger and other traffic between the two sides of the 
river, continued to receive the attention of the Bailies and Council, 
after the charter was granted to them by King James VI. at the 
end of the preceding century. Several resolutions, in this period, 
were passed relating to the watching of the bridge. But the roup- 
ing of the bridge customs, and the repairing of the bridge itself, 
which follow, may be found interesting : — 

14th October, 1603. — ^^ Act; Ropcijig of the Brig Buthe. — Theqlk 
day the brig buthe of the said burghe presentlie occupiet be W™- 
Hectour, tailzeur, being ropit and litel bidden therefoir, and the 
saids Bailies and Counsell understanding the contageous sickness of 
the pest is partlie within this realme and is infestit in sindrie partis 
thereof, and that the portis of the said burghe must be keepit, 
speciall the brig port, for keiping whereof the said buthe is very 
necessary, they thairfoir continuat the setting thairof to farther 
advertysment." In 1608 the brig custom was let for x punds ; in 
1 6 10 for X punds ; in 1621 for 39 merks. 

14th October, 1603. — ■'■''Act; coaming of persoiines to the Keiping 
of the Ports. — Item, it is statute and ordaint that whasoever beis 
warnt be the officers to keip ane of the ports at even and enters not 
on the morne in manner above specified sail pay ane unlaw of 
viii^ (8d.), and ane person put be the Bailies upon his expenses to 
keip the same for that day." 

14th October, 1603. — " Act ; entry to the Keiping of the Ports. — 
Item, it is statute and ordaint that the entere to the keiping of the 

l6oO TILL 1650. 197 

ports of this burghe begin the fyfteine day of this instant, and that 
the officers warne the haill inhabitants of this burghe, burgesses, and 
others as they sail be commendit be the Bailies, and roll given to 
charge to that effect, and that ilk keiper have ane sword with ane 
staff" in his hand at the keiping of the said ports ilke persoune under 
the paine of five pounds." 

^^ Act ; John Vans agt. Maxwell. — In the Counsel hous of the 
Burgh of Paisley, the tvventie-five day of October, 1603, sittand in 
judgement, Andrew Crawfurd, ane of the BaiHes of the said burghe, 
with certane of the Counsel theirof — The qlk day in presence of 
the same Andrew Crawford and certane of the Counsell of the said 
burghe, comperit John Vaus, the other Bailie, of the samin, and 
complaint upon Robert Maxwell, burgess thereof, for not keiping of 
the brig port of the said burghe the twenty-foure day of this said 
instant, being warned to that effect be ane of the officers the night 
preceding, for his misbehaviour in word and countenance to the 
said John Vaus, Bailie, being reprovit be him for not keiping of the 
said port, and lykewayis for the said Robert's disobedience, being 
chargit him to enter in ward within the tolbuithes of the said burghe. 
The said Robert compeir and personallie confessit that he refusit 
to keip the said port. The said John Vaus, Bailie, having chargit 
him therewithe and his misbehaviour in word and countenance 
to the said Bailie was sufficiently proven, and theirfoure the said 
Andro Crawfurd, Bailie, and the Counsell desernt and commandit 
the said Robert to remain in ward upon his own expenses ay and 
qle he acknowledget his offence to the said Bailies and Counsell, 
and speciallie to the said John Vaus, Bailie, and also to pay 40s. of 
unlaw to Robert Craig, theasuser of the said burghe." 

26th January, 1614. — " And sichlyk it is concluded that the brig 
be poynted in deu tyme of the year and the staiges thereof helpet 
fra the brig porte to the catchpeull newik, in sa far as the Bailies 
and six of the best skelled persons of the Counsall think guid and 

15th October, 1635. — "An act made to shut the bridge port 
except the wicket, to prevent carriers carriying on the Sabbath 

The property held by the Town Council and let to tenants was 
very trifling. The " rouping of the customs of the burghe common 
and others" on 12th October, 1604, was as follows : — 

1. Custom of the burgh with the north buith to Wm. Greenleis 
for 17 pnds 13^ 4 pennies {£^\ 9s. 5^d.) 

2. Custom of the brig to Wm. Greenleis, four punds money 
(6s. 8d.)i 

3. Mid buith under the toUbuith to John Whyte for four pnds 
money (6s. 8d.) 

^ On 15th October, 1601, "The custom of the brig was set to Wm. Greenlees 
for auch punds. John Fyff, sourtie. " 


4. East buith to Wm. Fisher for four pnds money (6s. 8d.) 

5. The heich buithe, tollbuith stair, for thrie pnds to Alexr. 

6. Laigh eist buithe set to John Baird, elder, tailzeour, for thrie 
pnds money. 

7. West laigh buith rouped and let to Wm. Urie, cordiner, for 
four pnds (6s. 8d.) 

8. Comon myre set to John Algie for thretie-thrie shillings four 
pennies (6s. 8d.) 

9. Half aiker land in over comon above the goat set to John 
Whyte, flasher, for tvva years, for thrie pnds money of mail yeirlie." 

In the beginning of the seventeenth century the condition of the 
streets in the town frequently engaged the attention of the Bailies 
and Council, and it is interesting to notice how they sometimes 
went about that business. The market cross, it appears, was in 
need of being repaired, and on the 14th October, 1603, they 
ordained as follows : — 

" That onie ma be free to gadder and lay togidder calsay stanes 
whenever the same may be had neirist to this burghe, and the same 
to be led thairto at sik tymes as the said Bailies and Counsall sail 
think maist meit and expedient, for bigging of ane calsay about the 
mercat croce of the said burghe and other places needful for the 

On the 1 2th October in the following year, the Council elected 
Robert Algie to be master of works, and passed an " Act anent the 
bigging of the calseyis in this burgh " as follows : — 

" The Bailies and Counsell of this burghe, for the furtherance 
and forwardt setting of the common affairs of this burghe, haif 
electit and choisin Robert Algie master of work, to the effect foir- 
said, for the space of ane yeir next to cum, quha sail be satisfiet be 
the consideration of the said Bailies and Counsell for his travel to 
be tane. And first it is statute and ordained be thame that the 
calsie about the croce of this burghe be buildit with possibill dili- 
gence, and to that effect that thair twa men presentlie set togidder 
stane for leiding, of the qlk the said master of work sail have power 
to charge the inhabitants of this burghe be the officers, and to poind 
the disobedients for ane unlaw, and the fynest calsay biggar can be 
gotten be feit to cut thereto efter Candlemas next. And siclyke it 
is ordaint that the calsay outwith the west port of this burghe with 
all possibill diligence be buildit, beginin quhair it left and to be 
buildit to Johne Fyffs kill, and the rcddiest meins of the common 
guide that can be gotten to furneis the said work.'"' 

On 5th November, 1606, the Council agreed that the causey 
forward to the Wellmeadow should be causeyed, and the heritors to 
gather and lead stanes as they shall be desired, for laying opposite 
their own properties. 

It appears also that the town had something to do with the 
keeping in repair of the road betwixt Paisley and Glasgow, for on 

l6oo TILL 1650. 199 

the 27th March, 1607, the Bailies and Council passed an "Act for 
mending of the gait (road) betwixt and Glasgow." 

On 6th October, 16 10, the Council ordered the Master of Works 
" That ane calsay be maid betwixt the Abbey yet and the kirk 

14th April, 1608. — "The Bailies and Council entered into an 
agreement with James Miller, mason, to take down the north syde 
of the west port together with the haill pen, and sail build the same 
six feet higher than it is at present." ^ 

Anent the calsays the Council agreed " one be maid in the 
Scoole Wynd, and causeyed foment the Blackhoill, with the causey 
in Moss raw head." 

On 28th January, 1619, further causeying work was ordered to be 
executed, and it was " from James Pow's house to the Wallneuk, 
and where John Mathie dwells by the wallside, 3 ells broad ; and 
from the Lady Kirk to the Seedhill mill so far as thought need full 
of the breadth fore said ; and that the haill burgesses, in dwellers 
and stallingers within the burgh, be taxed for leading of the stanes 
to the said causey." - 

In regulating the sanitary condition of the streets in the town 
three hundred years ago, the Bailies and Council had many diffi- 
culties to contend with and much opposition to overcome in carry- 
ing out the little they attempted to do. At that time, and long 
afterwards, the inhabitants were so uncleanly in their habits, that 
they persisted in converting a portion of the streets in front of their 
dwellings into dungsteads, or, as they are called in the old records, 
" middings." Every kind of filthy nuisance, it appears, was thrown 
upon the streets from the doors leading into their houses to save 
themselves the trouble of carrying it to a proper place prepared for 
the purpose ; and several stringent Acts, as will be seen, were 
passed by the Bailies at different times to modify, or to prevent, 
these unbecoming irregularities. 

On 15th October, 1601, the Bailies and Council ordained, not 
that there should be no middings on the street, but only that all 
offal should be removed every Saturday. The Act was as follows: — 

" Itan, for sa mekil as the calsay forgains the cors and other 
parts of the said burghe ar maid midding stedis be sundrie inhabi- 
tants, to the grit injury of the said burghe, therefoir it is statut 

■■ We learn from a case that was brought before the court of the Bailies on 
I5lh February, 161 1, that the lime used for mortar in the erection of houses in 
the town was "burnt at BlackhaD," and that the price for "four score sax 
laids " was 53s. 4d. (4s. 5>^d. ) each chalder." 

^ In 1577 the Glasgow Town Council appointed " a calsaj'e maker " for two 
years. It would appear, however, that no one of sufficient skill could be 
obtained in the city, and there is an entry in the Burgh records in the following 
year authorising "a calsaye maker" to be brought from Dundee. In 1662, 
when some causeying work was ordered to be done, the Council " recommends 
to the Master of Works to send for the calsaye layer in Rutherglen to do the 
work " (Old Glasgow, by Macgeorge, p. 290). 


that ilk Satterday the sam be removit as is acustomit in other bor- 
rowis, under the pane of eschet thereof." 

Two years afterwards, on the 14th October, 1603, the BaiHes and 
Council " ordaint that na middings of fulzie be maid without the 
common gutter upon the calsay, conform to the acts maid thairupon 
of befoir, under the pane of xx^" (is. 8d.), and that " the red and 
bigging of all houses laid upon the calsay be transported and led 
away be the heritouris thairof within the space of ane month next 
efter the bigging be endit, thay being warnit thereto be an officer at 
commands of the Bailies, under the pane of v lb." And on 29th 
January, 1607, they further ordained that no fulzie nor middings be 
allowed to " ly on the calsays langer than forty-eight hours." These 
and similar resolutions were passed from time to time, and on 13th 
October, 1603, " anent raiddingsteads upon the causey, and the 
same with middings at fleshers' doors, be clenzed every Friday." 

In this period the arrangements formerly made for pasturing the 
cows belonging to the burgesses upon the common land, and the 
engagement of herds, were continued with little variation. In 1606 
a bull is first mentioned. 

The Bailies and Council, as the land surrounding the town Avas 
not sufficiently fenced, were frequently under the necessity of pass- 
ing laws relating to the protection of the crops of the burgesses from 
horses, cows, sheep, and fowls, and from being stolen. Some of 
these Acts follow, and will no doubt be found more interesting in 
the quaint language of that period than in a more modern form of 
description : — 

15th October, 1601. — "For as mekil as dyvers years bygane 
there his bein grit slouth in hervest of feilds of corne, beir, and any 
other stuff within and about the bounds of this burghe pertaining to 
the inhabitants of the same, and little orra tryall tane thereof for 
remeid, whereof in tyme cuming it is statut, ordaint, and concludit 
be the Bailies and Counsall of the said burgh that certain watchmen 
be appointit for keiping of the said cornes being stollen fra the last 
day of August until the same be innit, in sic sort as the said Bailies 
and Counsall think meit and convenient to direct." 

15th October, 1601. — " Fykars. — It is statut that the act maid of 
befoir anent pykars and steillars of corn, peits, kail, and fouUis, be 
put to execution with all rigour." 

On 25th May, 1604, the Council "ordained that na person 
within this burgh, neither be themselves nor their servands, scheir 
ony other men's grass betwixt the furs of land, bak of dykes, nor na 
other parts, under ane unlaw of viij^" 

9th January, 1607. — An Act was passed prohibiting any person 
from keeping tame doves within this burgh — very likely because 
they consumed so much of the growing corn.^ 

•• Dovecots were anciently built on small holdings, but in 161 7 a statute was 
passed restricting the privilege of possessing them to those who owned lands 

l6oO TILL 1650. 201 

i8th April, 1605. — "The qlk day the BaiUes and Counsall rati- 
fies and approves this act maid of befoir anent the keiping of horse 
and kye, as well in symer as in hervest, and that na person or per- 
sons, burgesses or indwellers of this burgh, haif the hors or kye 
tedderit or loust on other men's stibbils, but on owners awin lands 
or stibbills quhill the corne be of the samen. And wha contra- 
venes, the owners to be poindit for xx^ of unlaw, toties quoties, and 
siclyke that na hors nor kye within the said burghe be funden 
pasturand on lones nor dykes until the corne be inwith and shorne, 
under the said pane of xx^ of unlaw, toties quoties, and the twa 
pairts of the said unlaw to apertein to the Bailies, third pairt to the 
officer and poindars." 

In this period the houses were mostly one storey in height, and 
covered with straw or heather. Fowls would therefore readily go 
upon the roofs of the houses and injure them very much. The 
Bailies, to check this evil, in a very summary and no doubt effectual 
way, passed an Act, 28th January, 1608, " anent fowls scraping on 
the houses," and gave permission " unto those who apprehended 
the fowls to slay and dispose of them at pleasure." 

14th April, 1608. — " Act anent foul horse. — Item, it is statute and 
ordained that no scabbed or foul horse remaine nor be holden 
within the said Burgh nor territory thereof, under the pain of ten 
pounds of unlaw, toties quoties." 

14th April, 1608, " Ordains all sheip to be expelled furth of the 
said burgh, freedom, and territory thereof presently under the pains 
contained under the acts maid thereanent of before." 

On 30th April, 16 12, " The Bailies and Counsall having con- 
sideration of the great disorder, skaith, and oppression done be ane 
great number having horse within this burgh to honest men in their 
corns and gers, ordain no person to keep horse without it is known 
to the Bailies that they have grass of their own to feed them on." 

23rd April, 1618.— " Persons guilty of stealing pease, parents to 
be answerable for their children and masters for their servants, for 
a fine of 20s. which the masters are to retain out of their servants' 

nth October, 1621. — ''Item, no person to bring any sheaves of 
corn into his house or stable after sun setting under the pain of 
xi^' and that no stabler receive any sheaves of corn within their house 
or stable from any person or stranger under the like penalty." 

On 26th January, 1636, "The Council ordained that no sheep 
to be kept on common or heritable lands from St. Patrick's day till 
the haill corn be put in, under a fine of five pounds (8s. 4d.)" 

which might produce twelve chalders of victual. By an Act passed in 1567 
owners of dovecots were protected, inasmuch as the destruction of a pigeon was 
made punishable with forty days' imprisonment, and for the second offence with 
deprivation of the right hand (Social Lije in Scotland, by Rev. Charles Rogers, 
vol. i., p. 243). 


I St February, 1649. — ''''Item, they renew and ratify the act that 
whatsoever person has corn eaten by their neighbour's bestiall in 
time coming, that they shall persew the same within year and day 
thereafter, and what skaith beis found due by the party offended 
that the Bailies shall have as much by the offender." 

In one chapter devoted to the latter half of the preceding century 
we narrated a number of cases of assault, which are described in a 
rather graphic way in the Council records, in order to show to some 
extent the state of society at that time. We now propose to give 
some of a similar kind belonging to the succeeding half century, 
and have selected a few of the most important and interesting. It 
will be seen that the whinger or sword continued to be generally 
carried, and was frequently used in brawls and disputes in a very 
dangerous manner. 

25th June, 1600. — " Robert Snodgrass, wabster, was decernt in 
an unlaw of fyve punds money for wounding of Wm. Aitken on 
the heid, grantit done be him upon the xiij day of this instant, and 
also decreed to satisfy the said Wm. be the sicht and descretion of 
the said Bailies for the wounding of him to the effusion of blude. 
John Henderson, cautioner for the said Wm. and Gawand Stewart 
for the said Robert, that they sail not invaid again in tyme coming 
under the pane of x pund (i6s. 8d.)'' 

John Wilson was charged with the very serious offence of trying 
to put Bailie Vaus into a moss got. 

6th June, 1601. — "John Wilson, calsysyde, desernt in an unlaw 
of 40s. (3s. 4d.) for injuring of John Vaus, bailie, being upon the 
moss the second of June instant swa tryit to haif merit gritter 
punish be the major part of the Counsall they convenit for the 

6th February, 1601. — "The qlk day anent the complaint given 
in be John Henderson, procurator liscal, upon Patrick Quhyt 
and Paul Fleming in Gaitsid, mak and mention that quhain the 
sex Januar last either of them invaidit one another with wapoun 
invasive and woundit one another to the effusion of their blude, 
thereby they and either of them committat trublance of the said 
burgh and therefoir ought to be decreet in an unlaw of ten punds. 
Patrick Quhyt, compeared be John Hector his cautioner, is decernt 
in ane unlaw of ten punds (i6s. 8s.) because it was sufficientlie 
verefit that he had woundit the same Paul in the heid and the said 
Patrick comperit not to object, in the contrairhe and the said Johne 
Hector his cautionar decernt in manir foir said." 

3rd April, 1 60 1. — " Triihlaucc. — The qlk day anent the complent 
givin in John Hutchisoun, procurator fiscal of the said burgh, upon 
Gavan Ralstoun, younger of that ilk, and Mr. John Gilchrist, mak- 
and mentioun that upon the xxv day of March last, bypast either 
of the said parties at the market cors of the said burgh invadit one 
another with drawn swords, thereby thay and either of thame ought 

l6oo TILL 1650. 203 

and sould be decernt in ane unlaw of five punds money, confornie 
to the acts and statutes maid thereanent, the charge givin to the 
said persons, and the cautionars for the defenders to haif comperit 
this day, the said Mr. John Gilchrist compeired personallie, denyit 
ane trublance comitit be him, the said Gawand Ralstoun oft times 
callit and compeirit, the said John Hutchisoune offerit to prove the 
said trublance, and for persuing thereof produced certain famous 
witnesses, quha having been admitted and sworne and examined, 
proved the said Gawand Ralstoun invadit the said Mr. John Gil- 
christ with ane sword, and therefore decernt the said Gawand 
Ralstoun and Patrick Mossman, cautioner foresaid, in an unlaw of 
fyve pounds." 

1 8th May, 1604. — " The qlk day Gawin Stewart, burgess of the 
said burgh, as principal, and David Henderson, cautioner and 
sourtie for his enterie, was decernit in fourtie shillings of unlaw for 
trublance comittat within the said burgh the 15th day of May in- 
stant, in the striking and persewing of Ro'- Urie with ane sword 
and scabbart, whereupon qlk the said Gawin confessit, and come in 
the said Bailies will of the said unlaw, swa in manner foresaid. 
Lykeas the said Rob^- Urie being callit and persewit for trubling of 
the said burghe, and persute of the said Gawin was assoilzeit, 
because the same being referit to the said Robert's aithe of veritie, 
he denyit that he wis one persewar of the said Gawin, but onlie 
defendit himself. And the Bailie ordaint to poind for the said 

On 1 6th October, 1604, Thomas, William, and John Jamieson, 
three brothers, wabsters in Cardonald, were charged by Robert Urie, 
procurator-fiscal, with having on the 14th of that month " persued 
John Park, younger in Househill, in the burngait of Paisley, with 
drawn swords and other weapons, and thereby hurt and wounded 
John Park in different parts in the held, to the effusion of his blood 
in great quantities." Thomas and William Jamieson admitted the 
" trublance," and came in the will of the Bailies. John Jamieson 
denied the charge, but the court found him " airt, part, and coad- 
jutor with his other twa brothers." " The Bailies therefore, with 
consent of the maist part of the Counsell," desernt the brothers to 
pay fifteen punds {^£1 5s.) to the treasurer." 

William Gilmour put in the stoks for insulting Bailie Vans. 
1 2th October, 1604. — " The qlk day Wm. Gilmour, burgess of the 
said burgh, for his misbehaviour in language and disobedience 
given to Johne Vaus, ane of the Bailies of the said burgh, in wrang- 
ous complaining upon him to ane nobill Lord, James of Abercorne, 
Provost of the said burgh. Efter triall tane of the said complaint 
given in be the said William, and the said Johne Vaus's answer 
thereto, the said nobill Lord, the other Baillie, and Counsall of the 
said burghe, hes fundin the said Wm. to have not onlie misbehavit 
himself in language and disobedience to the said Bailie, but also in 
the wrangous compleining on him to the said nobill Lord, and 


thereupon the said nobill Lord, other BailUe, and Counsell ordaint 
the said Wm. Gilmour to be put in the stoks and to remain therein, 
ay and until he be releisit therefra be the said John Vaus, Bailie, 
and Counsell, his ofifence publischt, and crave the said Bailie and 
Counsell forgiveness thereoff. ^Vhereupon the said John Vaus, 
Bailie, askit actis." 

9th November, 1604. — "Jone Wilson, portioner of Hutheid, 
being doing his lesum affairs and business within this burghe in 
quyet maner, beleivand na hurt nor injurie to have been done to 
him be onie person bot to have livit under God's peace and our 
soverane lord, Avas attacked by James Spreul and Jone Spreul, 
along with other five accomplices, with swords and gauntelats in the 
king's street, who maist cruellie struck and feUit him to the earth, 
where he fell in ane guttar, so that for ane greit space thereafter he 
wist not where he wis. Theirafter they maist violentlie brak the 
south port and also uttered irreverent words, until be force they 
were compellit to enter in the toUbuith and find baile accordingly. 
The Bailie decerned the said James and Jone Spreul to pay to the 
treasurer of the burgh five pounds of money." 

17th January, 1605. — "The qlk day, anent the claim given in 
and persewit be George Ramsay and Robert Urie, procurator-fiscal 
for this burgh, for his enterest, against Patrick IMossman of Sande- 
furd, burgess thereof, bearing that upon the xxvi day of Januar 
instant the said George, being keipand the brig port of this burghe, 
thinkand for na harm nor injurie to have been done to him, never- 
theless the said Patrick came to him and struk him with ane batoun 
divers straikis on the heid and airm, to show his contempt of the 
Bailies and Counsale of this burgh, and thereby has comittit trub- 
lance within the saim, and therefoir aucht and sould be decernit in 
an unlaw of fyve punds, conforme to the Acts maid thereanent. 
And farder, to be puneisit in his person for his contempt, according 
to the Bailies and Counsale's will, as the said clame in itself at mair 
lenthe beirs. The said persewaris compeir and personallie, and 
the said Patrick Mossman lykwyse compeir, and personallie con- 
fesset the striking of the said George Ramsay with ane stalf wepoun, 
upon just occasioun maid be him to the said Patrick, mentioned, 
sworne, and therefoir become in the will of the saids Bailies for the 
wrang and off"ence done and comittit be him tuching the trublance 
of the said burgh, whereupon the said Robert Urie, for fischall, 
askit actis." 

17th January, 1605. — "The qlk day, in presence of the said 
Bailies and Counsill, comperit personallie Thomas Quhytfurd, 
burgess of the said burgh, and compleinit upon Walter Fordyce and 
Janet Mathie, his spous, for slandering of the said Thomas, allegand 
and avowing that he, upon the saxtein day of this instant, stoU twa 
of the hennis being within his stabill. The said Walter and his 
spous compeirand, bathe personallie declairit be the aithis that the 
said Thomas had tane their said two hens tyme and place foirsaid, 

l600 TILL 1650. 205 

and that the said Walter Fordyce saw the said Thomas tak the 
same. Of the qlk slander the said Thomas, be his greit aithe tane 
in the presence of the said Bailies and Counsale, purgeit himself. 
And lykewise declairit befoir the saids Bailies and Counsell that the 
said Walter was adjudget and convict of theft at ane certane tyme 
be the Bailies of the said burgh for the tyme, and therefoir ought to 
haif bein scurgit and banist the toun, as is notor to the saids Bailies 
and Counsell, qlk act he desyrs the said Bailies and Counsell to 
put to execution. The said Bailies and Counsalers, advyseand upon 
the said complaint, findand the said Thomas to be innocent of the 
sklander, in respect of his greit aithe gevin thereupon. Therefoir 
the said Bailies and Counsale decerns the said Walter Fordyce to 
be put in the stocks publiclie, and the said Janet Mathie, his spous, 
in the joggis, and to be baithe banist furthe of this burgh within the 
space of fiftein days nex to cum, and that he cum not within the 
freedom thereof hereafter under pain of scurgeing and burning." 

1 2th jNIarch, 1605. — "The qlk day, anent the claim given in and 
persewit be Jone Henrysone and John Park, procurator fiscal of 
this burgh, against Wm. Sempill, servitor to Robert Sempill of 
Fulwood, and Constantine Mortoun, servitor to Wm. Sted, capitane 
of Dunbrettane, beiring that qr. upon the day in Mche instant, 
the said Wm. Sempill and Constantine Mortoun, without onie just 
occasion offert to thame, not only manassit invadit and coistit the 
said Jone Henrysone with more injurious words in presence of the 
said Jone Vaus, Baillie, but also invadit and persewit the said Jone 
Henrysone, the said John Vaus, Bailye, w' the officers and haill 
comunitie of this burgh being convenit for the tyme with drawn 
swords and other wapounes, invasive and comittit trublance w' in 
the said burgh, and therefoir they and ilk ane of thame aucht and 
sould be decernt in an unlaw of ten punds. Lykeas, the said 
Wm. Sempill upon this instant day maist wrangouslie and violentlie 
persewit Robert INIaxwell, burgess of this burgh, with ane drawn 
sword, and has comittet another trublance, and therefoir aucht and 
sould be decernt in ane other unlaw of ten punds, as the said 
claim in itself at mair lenthe beirs. Baith the parties pst. The 
Baillies decerns and decreits ilk ane of the saids Wm. Sempills 
and Constantine Mortoun in an unlaw of ten punds, for the first 
trublance comittet be thame in maner above rehersit, and siclyke 
decerns the said Wm. Sempill in ane other unlaw of ten punds for 
the said last trublance comittit be him in persewing the said Robert 
Maxwell. Because the said claim being referit to the said psewars 
probation and certaine terme assignit to thame for pvog yrof, 
yay provit the samin sufficientlie as was cleirlie understand unto 
the said Baillies, quha yrfoir decerns in manner foirsaid for the 
payment of the qlk thrie unlaws to be payit be the said Wm. and 
Constantine, rescive ilk an for the y"" awin pts in maner above 
rehersit, John Algie, elder burges of the said burgh, is become actit 
of his awin proper confession as cautioner and sourtie for thame. 


Lykeas ye said Wm. and Constantine renunceand their awin juris- 
diction and submittand thameselfis to the jurisdiction of the said 
Baillies in this cais, actit thameselfis conjuncthe and answerabHe to 
warrand frethe reUef, and skaithliss keip the said Jone Aigie, the 
cautioner, yr anent qrupon the said psewar, and the said Jone Algie 
askit actis.'' 

23rd April, 1605. — "The qlk day anent the complaint given in 
be Jone Henrysone, and remanent p"" fischall of this burgh agains 
John Fynlayson, burgess yrof, Jone Ste\vart, his broyer natural!, and 
Jone Steinston, for trublance of this burgh and sundrie of the 
inhabitants of the sam, upon Sundaye last the xxi of this instant, 
within clud of nicht, as in the clame yranent at mair lenthe is 
contenit. Baithe pties present. The Baillies decerns the said 
Jone Fynlayson in an unlaw of ten punds, to be payit to the thes""- 
Because the said clame being referit to the said persewars probation, 
and ane certain tyme assignit for proving yrof, decerns in maner 

3rd ]May, 1605. — "The qlk day anent the clame persewit be 
James Miller, mason, indweller of this burgh, and Robert Sempill, 
pror. fischall of the same, for his enterest beiring qrupon, the xx 
day of Apryle last, the said James being workand his labour of 
mason-craft to Jone Hutcheson, ane of the Baillies of this burgh, 
belevand na evil to have been done to him be na person nor 
psones, but to have leivit under God's peace and o"" sourane Lord's, 
netheless, Wm. Elphinstoune, glaisewricht, being movit be ane evil 
spreit as apperit come furth of the said Jone Hutcheson's hous, and 
desyrit the said James, cpliner, to haif spock nane word to him, 
without ony furder straik the said James with his nief upon the 
chiek, and then maist unhonestlie hurt his cheik, qlk he wald 
not half sufferit nor susteint for xx£ money, and yfoir the said 
Wm. and Andro Stewart of Woodsyde, burges of this burgh, 
cautioner and sourtie for his entrance, suld not onlie be decernt 
to pay to the said James the foirsaid sowme, bot also ane unlaw of 
fyve punds to the thes""- of this burgh, conforme to the acts and 
statutes maid yanent as at mair lenthe is conteint in the said claim. 
Baith the parties present. The said Wm. confessit the trublance 
comittet be him in maner claimit, and yfoir come in the will of the 
said Baillies for the unlaw, and in satisfaction yof acted himself as 
principall in the bulks of this burgh, renounceand his awin juris- 
diction in this cais and the said Andro Stewart, as cautioner 
for him. To wyre the meikill foir window in the tolbuthe betwix 
and Whitsonday nex, provyding he be farder satisfiet, yfoir be the 
syt of the saids twa Baillies, Thomas IngUs and Robert Algie." 

3rd May, 1605. — "The qlk day, anent the clame given in and 
psewit by Alexr. Snodgrass in Cragenfeoch, and Robert Sempill, 
pr. fischall of this burgh, for his interes, agains Jone Adam in Craigs 
and David Henryson, burges of the said burgh, cawner for his 
enteres, beiring that qrupon the xxviij day of Apryle last, being 

l6oo TILI, 1650. 207 

Sondayi, the said Alexr., being within this burgh doing his leisum 
busyness, and yrafter being gagai)d upo the hiegaite, myndg to 
gang haime, beleving na evil to have bene done to him by na pson 
nor psones, bot to have leivit under God's peace «Sc o""- sowane 
Lords : netheless the said Jone Adam, be instigation of the evil 
spirit & of set purpois, set upon the said Alexr. Snodgrass on the 
hie street of the said burgh, straik at him w'- his sword, and hit 
him ywith on his mowth and nees to the great effusion of his 
bluid, and yrfoir the said Jone aucht not onlie to be decernt to con- 
tent & paye to the said Alexr. the sowme of xx£ money as for the 
skaithe susteinit be the said Alexr. in hurtg of him in maner foir- 
said, but als aucht and suld be decernt in ane unlaw of ten punds 
for the said bluid and trublance of this burgh, to be peyit to the 
thes""- of the sam, as baithe the said pties pst. The said Jone 
Adam confessit the trublance comittit be him in maner containt in 
clame, and yrfoir come in will of the saids Baillies for the said 
unlaw, quha decerns & ordains the said Jone Adam and David 
Henryson, his cauner, to pay the sum of ten punds of unlaw to the 
thes''- of this burgh, and the said Jone Adam is decernt of his awin 
consent to relief his said cawner, qrupon the said pr. fischall and 
cauner askit actis." 

14th May, 1605. — "The qlk day, anent the clame given in be 
and psewit be Jone Davidson, burges of this burgh, and Agnes 
Hart, his spouse, agains James Pull, wricht, craving him ye sowme 
of nyne mks money, qrof fyve mks furneischit be ye said psewar to 
the said defender in meit and drink, and foure mks borrowit 
be ye said James fra ye said spouse's persewaris, half ane yeir 
syne, qlk sowmes he refuises to pay w' out he be compeUit, as 
the said clame at lenthe pportis. The said persewaris compeirand 
personallie, and the said defender being lawfullie warnit to this 
court, oftymes callit, and not comperit, the said Baillie decerns and 
decreits the said defender to content and pay to the said psewar 
the sowme of money above spe' - w' v^ for expenses. Because the 
said clame being referit be the said psewar to the said defenders 
aith of veritie, quha being laulie warnit to this court be Robert 
Hamilton, ofticer, to ye effect foirsaid w' certification, comperit not, 
and the said clame being referit to the said psewaris' aithes of 
veritie, quha being sworne, deponit in maner foirsaid ; and ordanes 
the officers to poind for ressounes forsaid gif neid beis. Q""- upon 
the said psewar askit actis." 

27th May, 1605. — "Comperit personallie Wm. Gumming and 
Mall Gochran, his spous, and for the wrang and oftence comittit 
and done this day be the said Mall in breaking of Jone Young's 
held, servitour to Mr. Andro Knox, minister of Paslaye, to the effu- 
sion of his bluid, confessit be the said Mall, the Bailzie decerns her 
in an unlaw of fyve punds, qlk soume the said Wm. acht himself to 

27th July, 1605. — " The qlk day NicoU Ralstone, fleschour, com- 


plenit upon Peter Walkinshaw in Bornehill for ye wrgous dinging 
and striking of him upon the xxv day of July instant, being the fair 
of this burghe, and yrthrow trubling ye sam efter ye proclamation 
yrof, and yrfoir aucht and sould be dent to pay to the thesaurer of 
the said burgh the sum of ten punds of unlaw, and ane sufficient 
amends to the said Nicoll for the offence done to him. Baith the 
said pties personallie compeirand, the said Peter Walkinshaw cfessit 
he straik the said Nicoll w"^ his feet on the neck ye said day, qlk 
confession ye said Nicoll acceptit, in respect qrof the said Bailies 
decnt him to pay to the thes''- of the said burgh ye said sowme of 
ten punds, for pay'- qrof to the said thesaurer Robert Urie, burges 
of the said burgh, become actit, cauner, and sourtie for ye said 
Peter. Lykeas ye said Peter renunceand his awin jurisdiction, actit 
him of his awin proper consent and confession to warrand fre the 
relief and skaithless keip ye said Robert of his said caurie, qrupon 
the said Nicoll askit actis." 

27th July, 1605. — "The qlk day Nicoll Ralstoun being com- 
pleinit upon by Robert Urie, p""- fiscall of the said burgh, for trubling 
of the sam w' in proclamation of the fair, in sa far as the said 
Nicoll come with ane steill bonet and sword in the said Robert's 
house, seiking Peter Walkinshaw in Bornehill, to haif persewit him 
as the said compleint at mair lenthe beiris. Baith ye pties psnt. 
Ye said Nicoll Ralstoun alle' y' the said Peter struk him upon ye 
xxv day of this month upon the tolbuith stair of the said burgh. 
Lykeas ye said Nicoll confessit that he wore the said steill bonet 
and sword that day, to haif persewit the said Peter and tane ane 
amends of him gif he suld have apprehendit him, qlk confession ye 
said p""- fiscall acceptit, in respect qrof the said Baillies decernet the 
said NicouU Ralstoun to pay to the thesaurer of the said burgh the 
sowme of ten punds for ane unlaw, qrupon the said p""- fiscal askit 

" In the tolbuthe of ye burghe of Paslay, the sevent day of 
August, 1605. Sittand in judgment: James, Lord of Abercorn, 
Provost of ye said burghe ; Jone Vaus and Jone Hucheson, Bailies 
yrof — Unlaw : Mersheli, Andro ; Dougall et Hair. — " The qlk day, 
anent the clame givin in and persewit be Patrik Mosman and 
Robert Urie, pror. fiscalls of this burghe, agains Mersheli, younger 
in Kilbarchan, John Hair, Wm. Dougald, and Wm. Andro, yo""- 
Alexr. Houstoune, servitor to Wm. Poterfield of y' ilk, and John 
Wallace, bgis of the said bghe, cautioner for yr entres, makand 
mention that qrupon the xxv day of July last, being the fair day of 
this bghe, and eftir ye pclamation of ye said fair that na psounis 
suld invade nor persew ozrs nor trubill this bghe for auld debt or 
for new, under the pane of ane unlaw of ten punds money, during 
the tyme of ye said fair, qlk was pclamit for aucht dayis : netheles 
the said Johne Me'shell ye said day invadit and strik Thomas 
Snodgrs in Middiltoun, and hit him upon ye mouth and neis to ye 
effusion of his blude, and lykewayis the said John Hair invadit and 

l600 TILL 1650. 209 

Strike Jon Baird, wabsf> indwellar of yis burgh, qrupon he then 
cplenit to your wf q^^- thair eftir apprehendit the said Jo"^ Mershell 
and Jo" Hair, to haif brocht thame to ye tolbuthe of yis burghe qle 
caut" had been funden for payment of ye said unlaw, and in the 
meintim they seeing ye said Wm. Dougald, Wm. Andro, Alexr. and 
Patrik Houstounis, not onhe be yameselfs ressisted ye Baillies and 
officers of yis burghe, and drew yair swords and quhingers, strak 
yw' at thame. Bot als ye said Wm. Andro being on horsbak, and 
ye said Wm. Dugald being on fut w' sundrie uzis, and said 
Wm. Andro. Lykeas he w' ye said W"- Dougald drew yr 
swords and assisted ye said Jo"- Marshall, and Jo"- Hair invadit and 
psewit ye said Baillies and officers. Lykeas they being apprehendit 
be ye said Baillies and officers, quha were bringand them to the 
tolbuth to have fund caution for trublance of the said bghe, in the 
mein tyme ye said Patrik and Alexr. Houstounis maid a new inva- 
sion, drew yr swords, strak yr w' at them, ressisted ye said Bailies 
and offis in execution of yr office, and assistit ye said psounes, and 
at ye sam tyme Jo"- Hucheson, ane of the Bailies of this burgh, was 
hurt in his face to the effusione of his blud, and w"^ monie injurious 
words given, be ye said psounis. Lykeas be yr occasion in resist- 
ing ye said Baillies and yr officers, sundrie stanes of ye tolbuth stair 
wes dung doune throw the occasion, qrthrow sundrie of the inhabi- 
tants of this burgh were cruellie hurt and lameit, and ye said Wm. 
Andro strak Robert Pull on his face to the effusion of his blude, 
qrthrow ilk ane of the said psounis his comittit trublance w' in yis 
bghe, and yrfoir everie ane of thame aucht and sould be decernt in 
an unlaw of ten punds mo'=>', to be payit to the thes""- of ye said 
bghe, as the said clame at mair lenthe beiris. The said psewaris 
compeirand psonallie, as lykewayis the said defenders cpierad 
psonallie, qrupon the said John Wallace, caun""- for yr entrie, askit 
acts, the said pror. fiscall, w' consent of ye Baillies, past fra ye 
psute of the said Patrik Houstoun pro loco et tempore salva acm. 
As lykewayis ye said Pveist and Bailies, w' consent of ye pror. 
fiscall and Alexr. Houstoun, continewit ye said action for ye said 
Alexr. 's pairt, gafain ye said Jo" Wallace caune""- for his entrie, 
being persewit for said trublance ane tyme befoir the term of Mer- 
times next to cum, and ye said Jo"'= as cauner for him warnit befoir 
ye said terme, and the said Jo"- Mershell, Jo"- Hair, W"^- Dougald, 
and W"^- Andro, efter ye denyall of ye said trublance, cfessit ye sam 
and com in will of ye said Proveist and Baillies for yr unlaw, and 
ye said Proveist and Baillies n' w^ standing of yr being in will, qlk 
ye said p"" fiscall acceptis, ordainit ye p""- fiscall to produce witness 
warnit be them to this court for bettir tryall of ye said trublance, 
Q^ producit ctain witness, quha wer sworne and admittit in pnce of 
ye said defenders, and renuncit furder pbat"-- and y""- w' ye said 
Proveist and Bailies, being fully advyssit, decern and decreit 
ye said Jo"- Mershell, Jo"- Hair, W">- Dougald, and W™- Andro to 
pay to the thes""- of the said bhe the sowmes eftir specifiet, viz., the 
said John Mershell the sowme of ten merks, Jo"- Hair fyve mks, W™ 



Andro ten mks, and W'"- Dougald ten punds, of unlaw, for payment 
qrof ye said Jo"- \\'allace becom can''- and actit himself to pay the 
sam to Andro Stewart, thes""- Lykeas Alex""- Cu'ighame of Craigends, 
being pnt, renounceand his awin jurisdiction and submittand him to 
the jurisdiction of the Baillies of the said burghe, in this cais becom 
actit of his awin pper cfession to warrand relief and skaythless keip 
the said Jo"- Wallace a'et the pay'- of the said sowmes. Because 
the foirnamit persones, defenders, not onlie cfessit the said trub- 
lance and com in will for ye said unlaw, but also becaus everie ane 
of ye pts and deeds wes clerlie pvit to the said Pvest and Bailies 
and yrfoir yey decernt in man above written ; qrupon ye said 
Jo"- Wallace and pror. fiscall askit actis." 

15th October, 1607. — ^^ Act anent the use of the Unlatvs. — The 
which day it is statute and ordained by the said Bailies and 
Counsel, that all kind of small unlaws (except the outlaws for 
troublance and bluids allanerlie, which and shall be employed 
wholly for the common weal of this burgh), shall be ingathered and 
uplifted by the treasurer of the said burgh for the time, yearly in 
time coming, who shall be accountable to the Bailies and Counsel 
for the two parts thereof, to the common weal of the said burgh, 
and to the Bailies, with the visitors and others, their assessors, for 
the third part of the same to be employed by tliem to their own 
particular use, for their pains, travells, and expenses. And to the 
effect the Bailies of the said burgh may take the greater travel and 
pains in execution of their office, specially in trying of the trans- 
gressors and breakers of laws, statues, and ordinances of the same, 
decerning of the unlaws for the same, and causing the officers uplift 
the same yearly hereafter. It is statute and ordained by the said 
Bailies thereof, shall have yearly in all time coming twenty punds 
money for their feal equally betwixt them." 

23rd December, 1607. — "John Whiteford having spoken in- 
juriously of Bailie Vans while sitting in judgement, upon asking 
the Bailie's pardon he was forgiven, under certification if he again 
offend he is to loss his freedom of the burgh." 

31st January, 1608. — " Confession of trublance by John Wallace 
by drawing a quhinger and striking Wm. Hector, taulzor, fined in 
;^5 Scots, and paid to the treasurer." 

2ist October, 1609. — "John Hannay was fined in 40s. for 
trublance and pursuing John Wilson with quhinger." 

4th May, 161 1. — " Patrick Whyte, Gateside, and his wife being 
found drunk on the street, and being challenged by the Bailies 
uttered malicious speeches, were therefore laid in the stocks at the 
cross and fined in five punds, and if they were again found drunk in 
the streets, they become bound to pay to the said Bailies, Counsel, 
and community, or their treasurer the sum of twenty punds 
(^i 13s. 4d.)" 

14th Februar}^, 1613. — " Jone Symson, an unlaw, fined 40s. for 

l600 TILL 1650. 211 

injuring Eliz. Wallace, and to set down on kneyis and crave God 
pardone, and Elizabeth Wallace." 

To regulate the proceedings connected with the poinding of 
goods, the Baillies and Council passed at different periods some 
strict laws. 

loth April, 1600. — '■'■Item, it is statut and ordaint that whatso- 
ever guids become poindit within burghe in time coming, sal be 
ropit three several market dayis, conforme to the auld act maid 
thereanent of befoir in all points." 

14th October, 1603. — ^'^ Act poindiin::; of guids and gcir. — Item, 
is statute and ordaint that the guids and geir that sail happin to be 
poindit in onie tyme coming be the officers of this burghe or onie 
of them, be virtue of decreitis given be the Bailies of this burgh for 
the tyme, and ropit be the saids officials, that the same be buiket 
before they delyver onie thairof of the officers hand to onie persoun 
or persounis upon the expenses of the owners thairof in the court 
bulks of the said burghe, under the pane of ane unlaw of viij^ to be 
upliftit frae the officer contravener hereof." 

25th May, 1604. — '■'■Ad, Election of Poinders. — The qlk day 
the Bailies and Counsell electit and choisit Wm. Huchison burges 
of the said burghe, John Wilson and Cuthbert Dickie, officers, 
poinders, and Robert Craig there oversman, unto the terme of 
Alhallowday next, to come for poinding and apprehending of all 
hors, ky, and other bestiall eitting onie other man's corn or grass 
nor thair owner's, and the poinder to have twa^of every beist 
apprehendit eitting onie other men's corn or gress nor thair owner's, 
and gif they be apprehendit in cornis the samin to be pryset and 
the skaithe thereof payit be the owner togidder with viij^ to the 
Bailie, viij^ to the parties skaitheit besyde the avail of the skaith, 
and lykewayis the owners of onie hors, kow, or other beist, they 
being a]Tprendit citing other men's gmss sail pay the Bailie viij^'to 
the partie skaithit viij*' twa^ to the poinder, toties quoties.'' 

The duties to be performed by the Treasurer are thus described: — 

1 8th April, 1605. — ^^ Act, Treasurer. — The qlk day the Bailies 
and Counsale electit and choisit Andro Stewart burgess of the said 
burgh, thesaurer thereof, for the space of ane year at the leist, unto 
the held court next following, the feist of Paische next to cum, in 
the yeir of God, 1606 yeirs. Quhilk office of thesaurer the said 
Andro Stewart acceptit in and upon him and becomes actit and 
obleist to mak compt reckoning and payment to the Bailies, 
Counsale, and communitie of the said burgh, of the comon guids, 
geir, maills, fermes, dewties, annels, unlaws, and others pertaining, 
or that sail happin to pertein to the said Bailies, Counsale, and 
communitie the said yeir. Whereupon the said Bailie askit actis, 
for the qlk the saids Bailies appoyntit to the said Andro Stewart 
fyve punds of feall." 


Several severe acts were ratified by the Bailies and Council 
against swearers, blasphemers against God's name, and scolders, in 
accordance with similar laws previously agreed to by Parliament.^ 

1 2th October, 1604. — "The qlk day the Bailies and Council, 
haifing considerit the great abuse and blasphemie agains God's halie 
name comonlie usit be the maist part of the inhabitants of this 
burghe, in sweiring and blaspheming his haly and blessit name, 
quare throw the heavie wraith of God is procurit to light upon the 
haill burghe : thairfoir and for eschewing of the said vyce in tyme 
cuming, it is statut and ordaint that whatsoever person or persons 
happen to be apprehendit banand swereand or blasphemand God's 
halie name, or speikand filthilie, sail be immediately poindit for an 
unlaw of [ ] toties quoties, and gif they half not giere, to be 

furneist in their persons, conform to the Acts of Parliament and 
Acts of the said burgh maid thereanent of befoir. As also of all 
skolds and flyittars within this burgh being tryit culpablie of the 
said offence, sail not only stand in thejoggs induring the will of the 
said Bailies and Counsel, but also shall be poindat for ane unlaw of 
twenty shillings, toties quoties." 

13th June, 1608. — " The which day compeared personally Eliza- 
beth Burnhead and John Baird, her spouse, for his interest, and 
complained upon Agnes Nesbit that where the said Agnes, with- 
out any just occasion aforesaid by the said Elizabeth to her, yester- 
day morning, being the Sabbath day, most shamefully slandered and 
blasphemed the said Elizabeth upon the high king's street of the 
said burgh, uttering the following words, to Avit, ' Thou art ane tryd 
Lurdane, a blind Lurdane, and messel Lurdane, unwordie to be 
haldin not honest companie, that she wold prive the said Elizabeth 
ane Lurdane,' and siclyk. The said Agnes complaned upon the 
said Elizabeth of the said Agnes with her cuftls upon the face and 
heid the time foresaid within the said Elizabeth's own house. Both 
the parties present. The said Agnes denied the complaint, and re- 
ferred the same to the said EUzabeth's probation. The Bailie and 
Counsel have taken sufficient trial and probation upon the said 

^ The first of these acts agreed on was in 1551 c. 7, the preamble of which 
stated : — " Notwithstanding the oft and frequent prechingis in detestation of the 
grevaus and abominabill aithis, sweiring, execratiounis, and blasphematioun of 
the name of God, sweirand in same be Ids precious blude, bodie, passion, and 
woundis, devill stick, cummer, gor, roist or ryfe theme, and sic uthers ugsum 
aithis and execretionis agains the command of God, yet the samin is cum in sic 
ane ungodlie use amangis the pepil of this realme baith of greit and small 
estatis, that daylie and hourlie may be hard amangis thame, ofifin blasphemation 
of Godis name and majestic to the greit contemptioun thairof, and bringing the 
ire and wraith of God upon the pepill." And enacted that whoever should 
swear such oaths should be fined for each offence according to his rank. The 
second act, 158 1, c. 5, ratified the previous statute, the penalty being fixed at the 
highest scale prescribed by the act 1551, c. 7. For the better execution of these 
acts censors were ordered to be appointed in the market places of all burghs and 
other public fairs, with power to imprison swearers till they paid the prescribed 
fines and found surety to abstain in future. 

l6oO TIT>L 1650. 213 

complaint maid by the said Elizabeth, find the said Agnes to have 
injured and blasphemed her in manner contained in the said com- 
plaint, and decerns and ordaines the said Agnes to transport herself 
furth of this burghe betwixt and the morne at even without langer 
delay, and never to come within the same hereafter, under the paine 
of scourging and joging of her. And siclyk finds the said Elizabeth 
to have done wrong in striking of the said Agnes on scholder, and 
therefore decerns her and her said spouse to pay an unlaw of 40^-" 

8th March, 1618. — "All flyters, scalders, and tuilzeoures for the 
first and second faultes hes got to pay the unlaws put in the stockis 
or peggis, and for the third banischat the said burgh." 

nth October, 1627. — " Said day the Bailies and Counsel ordain 
the act made of before against flyters and backbitters to be put in 

25th November, 1645. — ''The Bailies and Counsel ratifies the 
acts against cursers and swearers or speakers of filthy and profane 
language, to be put in execution." 

The town appears, like all other places in the country, to have 
been infested at times with vagabonds and strong beggars, who 
would not work, and wished to live an idle life at the expense of 
the well-behaved. The Bailies and Council, at different periods, 
adopted strong measures for the suppression and punishment of 
this class of persons. These measures were not, however, directed 
against the necessitous, aged, and infirm poor belonging to the 

29th January, 1607. — "The Bailies and Council passed an act 
anent debarring of vagabond men and women from the town." 

nth October, 1610. — " Na beggars except sic as are borne 
within the toun and parochin be ludget within the same in time 
coming, under the paine of xl^ money." 

t5th October, 1635. — Again "ratified the act against beggars and 
orray women," the punishment being expulsion from the town. 

In the letting of houses in the town, and the feeing of servants, 

1 The old Acts of Parliament against " sturdy beggars and rogues " were most 
stringent. In the reign of James I. tn 1424 (Far. i , cap. 25), all betwixt 
"fourteene and three score ten yeirs" were prohibited from begging without per- 
mission, "under the paine of burning on the cheike and banishing of the 
countrie." In 1579 (James VI., Par. 6, cap. 74) a still more severe law was 
passed "for the suppressing of Strang and idle beggrs, to have committed in 
waird in the common prison, stokkes or irons. And gif the happen to be con- 
victed, to be adjudged to be scourged and burnt throw the eare with ane hot 
iron, except sum hone^t and responsible man will of his charitie be contented to 
act himself before the judge to take and keip the offender in his service for ane 
haill year nixt following . . . but gif hee be founden to be fallen againe in 
his id'le and vagabond trade of life, then being apprehended of new, he sail be 
adjudged and suffer the paines of death as a theif." The Bluegowns were, how- 
ever, exempted from all these penalties. 


the Bailies and Council exercised very considerable control over 
owners and masters, and in some cases showed what we might call 
unreasonable severity. Of course the object of the civic rulers was 
to keep the town clear of unworthy inhabitants. 

29th January, 1607. — An act passed " against any person setting 
a house to a stranger till they advertised the Bailies and Council 
and have their liberty, and also the proprietors of houses to warn 
away every person suspected of pickery and whoredom, and young 
women who have no mistresses, and to clean the street opposite 
their properties, under the pains of five pounds of a fine." 

12th April, i6ri. — "The which day it is statute and ordained 
that no orray person, man nor woman servants, abide nor be suffered 
to remain in the town unfeid nor convene in houses spinning work 
of their own, but that they be feid and work for meat and fee, 
under the pain of banishing of them the town, and siclyk nae 
manner of persons set their houses so to remain unto for mail nor 
otherwayis, under the penalty of ten punds." 

1 2th October, 1620. — "It was enacted that whatsoever servant 
goes forthwith of their master's house without liberty, their masters 
were empowered to keep 3s. 4d. of their fee." 

24th January, 1622. — "Ordained that no houses be set to persons 
who are excommunicated, and that none entertain them in their 
houses, under the pain of ten punds." 

loth June, 1646. — The Bailies ordered a house to be burned and 
a new one to be built in its place. 

The important matter of better Sunday observance and church 
attendance by the inhabitants, was frequently under the considera- 
tion of the Bailies and Council, as at the end of the preceding 
century. Several acts which we now give bearing on this subject, 
were passed by them. 

On 28th January, 1602, the Council passed a resolution urging a 
more regular attendance at church under a penalty of 20s., in terms 
of act of Parliament. Also a more regular attendance at morning 
and evening prayers on week days. On loth February, 1604, they 
obliged merchants to shut their doors every Tuesday during prayers, 
and to attend the church for hearing the word, under the pain of 8s. 

loth February, 1604. — " The qlk day it is statu t and ordainet be 
the Bailies and Counsell that the merchants within this burghe 
steek their buith doors ilk Tysday, the tyme of preaching, frae the 
beginning thereof to the evening, and that they pas themselves to 
the kirk for heiring of the word. And likewayis that the masters of 
all crafts within the said burghe pas to the kirk to the preching ilk 
Tysday and heir the word of God prechit, under the paine of an 
unlaw of aucht shillings of ilk absent, toties quoties." 

1 2th October, 1604. — " Act ancnt Keiping of the Sabbath days.— 
The qlk day it is statute and ordained be the Bailies and Counsell 

l6oO TILL 1650. 215 

that the haill inhabitants of this burghe keep the Sabbath days, 
under the panes contennit in the Act of Parliament and acts of the 
said burghe maid therenant of befoir, with this condition, that gif it 
happin onie person or persons dwelland in landwart being addebtit 
to onie inhabitant of the said burghe, to be apprehendit within the 
same bulying, drinkand, vag'and, or doand onie turns upon the 
Sabbath in tyme of preichings, it sal be lesum to the person or per- 
sons to quham they are indebted to challange thame as gif it wer 
not on the Sabbath." 

25th October, 1612. — "The Bailies and Counsall ratify the acts 
made of before anent the keeping of the kirk in tyme of preaching, 
and anent aill sellers and drinkers the time thereof And farder 
statuts and ordaines that there be ane person, ather guidman or 
gudewyfe, furth of every hous within the burgh ilk Tyisday at the 
preiching, and every Sonday afternoon, under the pane of vj ^ viij<^ 
(Gyid.), toties quoties. And the same to be usit for the help of the 

8th March, 16 18.- — " If cm, that all disobedients to the kirk within 
the said burgh be put in ward till they find caution to compear 
before the Session." 

8th March, 1618. — " //^v//, that no burgesses nor other inhabi- 
tants of the said burgh disobey the Magistrates thereof, being law- 
fully commanded, and if any disobey, being commanded as said is, 
for the first fault pay ten punds money, the second fault twenty 
punds, and the third fault their freedoms to be cried down and 
their persons warded during the Bailies' will ; and if the disobeyer 
be an unfreeman, that he be apprehended and put in ward, therein 
to remain upon his own expenses, ay and till he make amends by 
the sight of the Bailies and Council, and if they have any goods or 
gear, that they be punished therein by the discretion of the said 

nth October, 1621. — " Ratifies the Act that no market of fruit, 
herrings, nor other viviers be openly made before the afternoon 
preaching be ended, under the pain of 40/ " (3s. 4d.) 

loth October, 1622. — " The said Bailies and Counsel ordain that 
no notar write nor make any kind of security on the Sabbath day, 
under the pain of 40/, toties quoties." 

5th May, 1636. — Acts ratified as to keeping the church on Sab- 
bath and Tuesday, against the drinking and selling of ale on Sabbath, 
and drinkers and sellers of ale after ten o'clock at night through 
the week.^ 

1 nth October, 1665. — "This day it is ordained that the several ministers 
within the boundis of the diocese put the acts of the Synod in execution for 
repression of the prevailing vices of drunkenness and swearing and cursing and 
fikhie speaking and all profanness. Ordained that ministers within this diocese 
shall in all companies abstain from drinking of healthes themselves, and also dis- 
countenance and dissuade it in others." 24th April, 1668. — "For preventing 
tippling and drinking in all houses upon the Lord's day, it is ordained that the 


Tliose of the inhabitants who became burgesses and freemen 
were important members of the communitiy. They were generally 
the owners of at least one acre of land, and had the privilege of 
pasturing their cows on the extensive common lands within the 
burgh. While their rights were important their obligations were 
considerable.^ One of their duties was to attend the Bailies at the 
different head courts and at the two fairs held annually. Those 
absent at such times, and there were always some so situated that 
they could not attend, were fined at the commencement of the 
century in 8s., but before the middle of it, the fine was increased to 
20S. On these occasions, we learn from the Town Council records, 
they were bound by the Bailies to appear in their armour. We 
quote some of these acts on this and kindred subjects, which serve 
to show that the inhabitants were all well supplied with different 
kinds of warlike weapons. 

8th May, 1606. — ^^ Ancnt Musters. — The which day it is statute 
and ordained by the Bailies and Counsell that the whole burgesses 
and freemen of this burgh prepare themselves in their armour in 
their best arraye, to make their musters on Whitson Tuesday next 
to come without longer delay, every person under the pain of 40s. 
money. And that no person nor persons be admitted nor created 
burgess hereafter till first they produce and show their armour before 
the said Bailies and Counsel of the said burgh for the time, and 
declare the same to be their own by their conscience." 

17th June, 1608. — ^^ Aci Aneiit Musters. — Ordaint be my Lord 
Proveist, Bailies, and Counsell that the haill burgesses and inhabi- 
tants, especially burgesses, sail give their musters sufficientlie armit 
with jack, steill-banat, plet sleivis, speir, and halbert, and ilk person 
to give their oaths that the same is their own proper armour, under 
the pain of ten punds of an unlaw, unforgiven." 

nth October, 16 10. — ^'' Aet anent Wapoiies. — That in all time 
coming every burgess and inhabitant shall have in his house ane 
halbert and Jedwart staff or lance, and that when any troublance 
falls out in the burgh (gif they be at hame), that they bring forth 
ane of the said weapons for redding or defence, and gif they be 
otherwise fund they shall pay an unlaw of 40^" 

When St. James Fair was held on 27th July, 16 19, a great many 

bells of the paroch church be range about half vane houre after afternoone's ser- 
mone, and if that they sal be found in aile houses after the said bell, then those 
persones are to be censured by the minister and session ; lykewise hyring of 
servants on the Lord's day to be curbed" {Registe}- of the Diocesan Synod of 
Dunblane, pp. 28-58). 

^ The Town Council of Peebles at one time appointed women as burgesses. 
" Item, that ilk day was mayd burgess Eby Scot, and sal pay for hir fredoume 
xs" (Records of the Burgh of Peebles, 15th November, 1456. 

By an act of the Edinburgh Town Council of 17th May, 1555, bachelors were 
not permitted to be freemen, for they ordained that none be received burgesses 
but "honest haliet qualfyt men, and that they be maryit indwellers within the 
brucli, haiffand sufficient substance with stob and staik." 

l600 TILL 1650. 217 

of the burgesses who had been warned but did not attend were 
fined. So, too, were several who attended without their armour. 
And on 28th October in the same year the burgesses were warned 
to attend in their armour, and those absent were fined. 

13th October, 1636. — "It is enacted that the unlaws of all absent 
from the head courts and keeping of the fairs of the burgh shall be 
20/ for each person absent, and that none want armour carried by 
himself or a sufficient substitute." 

From the Council records on 20th November, 164S, it appears 
that the community then and formerly kept a store of arms, which 
they delivered to soldiers and received back when these were dis- 

The Bailies and Council were sometimes subjected to much 
trouble by burgesses who owned common land within the Burgh but 
resided outside of its boundary, and thereby became unable to dis- 
charge their duties properly. To correct what was considered to 
be an abuse, they passed a severe act on tlie subject, of which the 
following is a copy : — 

15th October, 1601. — ^'- Anent Burgesses not divcUhig within the 
Burghe. — Itevi^ for as mekil as sundrie burgesses of this burgh haif- 
ing comon land within the sam hes transported thamcselfis and 
famihs and guids furth of the sam, and dos not mak their resi- 
dence in the burgh, whereby they ar not abl to discharge themselffs 
of the aithe of burgess-ship maid the tyme of their creatioun of 
burgess of the said burghe, to the hurt and prejudice of the said 
burgh and contrair to the comon weill of the sam, therefoir it is 
statut and ordaint all sic persouns dwelling in such parts for the 
present, repair to the said burghe and mak their residence within 
the sam betwix and the first day of Januar nixt." 

15th October, 1601. — At the meeting of Council at this date 
" it was statute and ordaint that all sic persons desyring to be maid 
burgesses of this burgh presentlie and in tyme cuming whas prede- 
cessors were not burgesses thereof befoir, sal pay for the burgess 
fynes twentie punds twa ^ money, togidder with the dews, use and 
wont, to the clerk and officer." 

At this date a further important act was passed regarding the 
creation of burgesses, to the effect " that na person be creat burges 
except he produce ane jak and steil-bonnet, ane pair of plait slevis, 
and sword, ane bandit staff or halbert of his awin" (Council Records, 
6th October, 16 10). 

1 2th October, 1620. — On this date the following inhabitants, 
instead of entering as burgesses of the burgh, paid the stallinger 
fine, which, it will be observed, was of various amounts : — 

Robert Cunningham, turner, 26s. 8d. (2s. 2^3d.) 

Thomas Spreul, Webster, 13s. 4d. (is. i^sd.) 

William Hector, tailor, 13s. 4d. (is. if/jd.) 


John Stewart in Orchard, 13s. 4d. (is. i^id.) 

Thomas Wilson, webster, los. od. (os. lod.) 

WilHam Hutchison, cordiner, 13s. 46.. (is. i^id.) 

Two of tlie foregoing were weavers ; thus we see that the weaving 
trade was carried on to some extent at this early period in the 

It does not appear that weapon-shawings were much indulged in 
by the inhabitants, although these meetings were very popular in 
many other places in the country, both burghal and rural. This 
could scarcely arise from the burgesses not possessing weapons of 
various kinds, for it will have been observed how very strict the 
Bailies were in enforcing that all should be well provided with arms. 
It is quite likely the burgesses thought they had enough to do with 
military matters when they were obliged to appear fully armed at 
the head courts and fairs in the Burgh. In this period we have 
only fallen in with one reference to the gatherings called weapon- 
shawings. ^ 

8th May, 161 7. — "Ad, Wapoiin Schawing. — Item, that the haill 
burgesses keep Whitsund Thursday in all time coming, for their 
wapoun schawing." - 

The Bailies and Council give every evidence of taking great 
care in fixing, at different periods, the price of food and other 
articles of domestic use. Ale and wine particularly engaged their 
attention, not only as regards the price but also the manner of 
selling them. During the period we are considering, and long 
afterwards, ale was the almost universal beverage of the inhabitants ; 
and the numerous kilns, malt barns, and maltmen referred to in 
the Council records, testify plainly to the great extent of the ale 
trade. We shall quote some of the acts of the Bailies and Council 
relating to ale and wine, as illustrative of the customs of the inha- 
bitants. Whisky at this time w-as unknown, and wine was used, 
as at present, only by the upper classes. 

14th October, 1603. — "Item, it is statute and ordaint be the said 

^ In the reign of Robert I., 1318, c. 27, weapon-shawings were first appointed 
to be held in the sight of sherifis and barons. Subsequently several acts of the 
same kind were passed ; and the Act 1457, c. 6, ordered weapon-shawings to be 
held four times in the year, prohibited football and golf, as likely to interfere 
with the practice of archery, which was enjoined, and ordered a bowmaker and 
fledger or arrowmaker to be established in the head town of every shire, and to 
be furnished by the town with the materials of their trade, that all persons be- 
tween twelve and fifty years of age might be provided with weapons and might 
practice shooting. Afterwards other similar Acts of Parliament were passed, 
and the Convention of Estates on 30th June, 1598, required every burgess dwell- 
ing in town "worth 500 pounds of free geir to be l"urnished with a complete light 
corslet, a pike, a halbert or two-headed sword, or else a musket with forcut, 
bendrole, and headpiece " (Mar7vick's History of the IligJi Constables of Edin- 
burgh, p. 86.87). 

2 In connection with Knockhill, it may be added that on the side nearest 
Renfrew the lower edge of the hill is to this day called the "butts" most 
probably as marking a place of exercise for the practice of archery (Statistical 
Account if Scotlajid — Rciifrt-iv, p. 17). 

l6oO TILL 1650. 219 

Bailies and Counsell that no oistlars, brewsteris, noxteris, nor others 
sellars of aill within this burghe, fra the xviij of this instant dearer 
nor ij*^ iijd (2 ^^^d) the gallowne, under the paine of five punds money 
of unlaw to be tane frae the contraveneirs of this act, toties quoties." 

nth October, 1610. — " The Bailies and Counsell ordaint the aill 
to be made guid and sufficient, and sauld for xij'^(id.) the pint, 
and that na hostler refuse honest men and neighbours the same 
in reasonable quantity at the price foresaid, under the pain of 
V pund" (8s. 4d.) 

25th November, 1645. — "The BaiHes and Counsel appoint the 
price of aill until the next head court to be is. 4d. the pint, of beir 
ane plack dearer." 

9th May, 1605. — " Sentence of Wyne Selling. — The qlk day it is 
statute and ordaint be the Bailies and Counsell of this burgh that 
the taverners and vyners of wyne within the sam sail sell the wyne 
na dearer fra this daye furth nor sax^ viijd(6^id.) the pynt, under 
the pane of an unlaw of fyve punds, to be poyndit and tane up frae 
the contravenars thereof, toties quoties." 

In connection with the regulation of the price of ale, the Bailies 
and Council naturally fixed the price of malt also. The first of their 
acts, which we give in this matter, is very important and interesting, 
and shows how carefully they discharged their duties. Before 
determining the rate at which the malt should be sold, they con- 
sulted with those engaged in making it. Altogether the record is 

nth December, 1601. — ^^ Anent the JMuIt. — The qlk day the 
Bailies and Counsall heving convenit for ordor taking with the price 
of the malt to be brocht and sauld within this burgh, fra the dait 
hereof till Candlemes next, for making of the said price, callet to 
compeir befoir thame John Algeo, Robert Craig, David Hendersoun, 
John Hector, John Cochrane, Stevin Alexander, John Alexander 
(younger), John Davidson, Wm. Hendersoun, Adam Lochheid, 
Wm. Cumming, Wm. Symesoun, and remanent maltment within the 
said burghe, of the qlk the maist part comperit and agreit that the 
Bailies and Counsall of the said burghe with the said John Algeo 
electit for their part and Robert Kirlie for the part of the said 
Bailies and Counsall, that whatever price they liquidat upon the 
said malt, the same to be sauld till the term of Michaelmes to the 
indwellers of the said burghe, the said maltmen actit thameselffs to 
sell the sam for the said price, under the pane of fyve punds, toties 

Meal was another commodity of which the Bailies and Council 
took surveillance. The market for meal prior to 1635 was held at 
the cross and was regularly visited by members of Council appointed 
for that purpose. On 5th October in that year this market " on 
account of the throng and straightness of the street was removed to 
the High Street, on the east side of the west port " (Town Council 



Records). A tablet stone, a sketch of which we annex, was placed in 
the front of the building. This stone, 26 inches high and 25 inches 
broad, is now in the Free Museum. Unfortunately one of the 
corners upon which was a part of the date is broken of as shown in 
the drawing. W. Semple in his History of the Shire of Renfrew, 
p. 313, states that "at the corner of New Street stands the meal 
market, fronting Main street, bearing date 1665." Although the 
market was removed from the Cross to High Street in 1635, yet it 

is quite possible the building connected with the market was not 
completed till 1665, or this inscription stone may not have been 
put into the building till 1665. On this memorial stone is the 
" Paisley coat of arms," which is a shield with a fess cheque and 
three roses — one in dexter chief, a second in sinister chief, and the 
third in middle base. When the first Grammar School was erected 
in 1586, the memorial stone placed over the entrance had on it the 
Paisley coat of arms, similar to that now shown on the memorial 
stone on the meal market, the outline of the shield only varying a 
little. The original memorial stone with coat of arms thereon is 
now over the main entrance to the Grammar School in Oakshaw 
Street. The site of the meal market is now No. 26 High Street. 

On 23rd July, 1647, the weekly market day was changed from 
Saturday to Friday ; and on 27th January in the following year 

l6oO TILL 1650. 221 

there was " sermon in the forenoon during which no business to^be 
done, under the paine of five punds, and every person warned to go 
to the kirk." 

14th October, 1601. — ''■ Aiicnt Mcill Seliiiig. — Item, ratifies the 
act maid of befoir anent the selHng of meill, with this addition, that 
gif ony meill selling in the mercat be found near in the ground of 
the sek, nor in the mouth thereof, or raixit with beir meill, the sani 
sail be apprehendit, and sail be eschet to the Bailies and Counsall." 

14th October, 1603. — '■^ Item, it is statute and ordaint that Thomas 
Peter, Robert Craig, and Thomas Whyte be visitouris of the flesh 
and meill mercattis." 

The markets for " flesh, fowl, fish, butter, cheese, and bread " 
were, according to the Council records, ordained to begin every day 
at nine o'clock, and no sooner, and the meal market at ten o'clock ; 
and no person was allowed to sell " any gear before the times fore- 
said, under the pains of confiscation." The kind of bread used by 
the inhabitants and exposed for sale was oatcakes, the price of 
which was frequently fixed by the Bailies and Council. 

14th October, 1603. — '''■ Act anent Breid. — Item, it is statute and 
ordaint that the quarter kaik of gude and sufficient aettmeil, whereof 
there sail be onlie fyve kaiks in the peck, and in ilk kaik thrie 
quarters allenarlie, be sauld for vi pennies (^d.) the quarter to all 
our soveraine Lordis leiges, under the pane of xx^ (is. 8d.) of 
unlaw, toties quoties." 

nth October, 1610. — "That the kaiks be sufficient and sauld 
for vj'^ (/^d.) the quarter, under the pane of xl* " (3s. 4d.) 

25th November, 1645. — "The cake of bread was fixed at 

The Bailies and Council likewise took under their cognizance the 

^ The Guildry of Glasgow ordained, 6th February, 1605, that "if any cake- 
bakers be found buying meal before eleven of the clock, conform to town's acts, 
shall pay an unlaw of sixteen shillings to the Bailies and six shillings and eight 
pennies to the visitor, toties quoties, being tryed that they have contravened " 
(History of the Merchants' House, G/asgozo, p. 77). 

Dumbarton Burgh records, 2nd October, 1627. — '■'■ Item, that the kaiks be 
sauld for auct pennies the kaik, and that thair be onlie four kaiks in the pek and 
thrie ferdalls in ilk kaik onlie, and that they be sufficient be the sight of the 
visiters, undir the paine of viijs for the first fait, xvjs for the second fait, and 
xxiiijs for the third fait, and sau furth, to be applyit as said is. " 

Ibid., 5th January, 1636. — "The qlk day, in respect thair is not now ae baxter 
in the burgh, seeing Johne Morisoun is faillit, thairfor they concluid that ane be 
socht with diligence, and for the better obtaining of a gud baxter thay concluid 
to cans big the baxter ae sufficient ovne on the toun's charges, and to pay the first 
yeir's maill of his baikhous, and to be maid burgess also gratis." On the 24th 
October following, James Watson from Stirling, who had been appointed baker, 
complained " that notwithstanding he provydes flour and bakes wheat bread and 
uther bread to serve the toun," yet bakers from other burghs bring bread into 
the toun. To remedy this, the Council agreed that other sellers of bread should 
not be suffered to sell bread in the burgh except on the market day, betwixt ten 
o'clock forenoon and two o'clock afternoon. 


price of candles, and directed what sizes should be made. They 
also fixed the price of tallow. 

14th October, 1603. — " Act anent the Candle. — Item, it is statute 
and ordaint that fra this day furth the pund of candle be sauld for 
iij^ iiij'*' and the candle maker is to make and sell pennie candles, 
under the pane of xx^ of unlaw." 

loth October, 1604. — '■'■Act an cut the Price of CandcC and Lichf. 
— Item, it is statute that all night licht within this burghe be sauld 
to all his soverane Lord's lieges for xlvj^ viij^ the stane weight, and 
the pound wecht of maid candle be sauld for iij^ iiij^ the pound, and 
that the sellars thereof have hail just wechts mare or less for selling 
thereof ; and them contravening hereof be poyndit for an unlaw of 
xls toties quoties." 

6th October, 1610. — ^^ Anent Tallow. — It is statute and ordaint 
that tallow is to be sold for xliij'^ and iiij^ the stane, and 
the pound weight of made candell be sauld for iij ^ and iiij ^ 
(3^d.) And that every candilmaker make and have ready for 
every inhabitant ij'^ candel for thair awn money, and that the 
iiijd (^d.) or iij^ (^d.) candel be tane for the ij^ (J6d.) candel." 

It is stated in the Council records of 4th August, 16 12, that the 
Justices of Peace having made an act regulating the price of boots 
and shoes, the Bailies and Council convened the cordiners before 
them, and they agreed to abide by the Justices' appointment. 

As in the latter end of the previous century the butchers in this 
period gave the Bailies and Council a good deal of trouble, and 
stringent measures were again adopted to keep them under proper 

14th October, 1603, — '■^ Item, the sadis Bailies and Counsell 
ratifies and approves the acts maid of befoir discharging the 
marrowing of the fleshouris, and that they pairt and deill thair 
mairtis quick against the steilleris and pyckers of fowllis, kaill, 
pettis, and casting of rigging turfis on the common, and that the 
saidis actis be observit and keepit under the pains." 

loth February, 1604. — "The qlk day Johne Thomsoune, hedger, 
fleschour, was be the said Bailies and Counsell decernt to pay four 
merks money of unlaw, for blawing of ane viell against the acts and 
statuts maid thereanent." 

1 2th October, 1604. — ^^ Item, the Bailies and Council ratify the 
act maid of befoir tuching the discharging of the marrowing of 
fleshers within the said burghe." 

8th June, 161 1. — "Arthur Laing, flesher, was fined in ten punds 
for killing a cow having the mure evil, and the selling the beef to 
the inhabitants and discharged from killing cattle till he has the 
Bailies' license." 

27th January, 1620. — ^^ Item, that all fleshers within the said 
burghe be warned to compear before the said Bailies and Counsell 

l6oO TILL 1650. 223 

this day eight days, the 3rd day of February next to come, to hear 
and see the act anent their marrowing deserved to be put to 
execution against the contraveners thereof." 

nth October, 1621. — "Ratifies the act that nae fleshers or 
merchants open their buths on Sabbath." 

On loth October, 16 16, The BaiUes and Council for some 
unexplained reason ordained that no manner of person or persons 
within the burgh pass to the market of Renfrew on any Saturday to 
sell any kind of viviers in any time hereafter. 

In this half century a variety of cases including theft were brought 
by the procurator-fiscal before the Bailies to adjudicate upon. Of 
these we shall give a few in the language used in the Council 

i6th July, 1600. — "The qlk day George Wilson being tried for 
stealing of ane pair of black sattin brieks brought and sauld in this 
toun for 43s. 8d. was delivered to the owner, and after the humble 
suit of the said George for God's sake, the Baillies finding no other 
crime in him spairit his present punishment upon condition that he 
sould not onlie never do the like bot also be his aith promised 
never to make residence within the Sheriffdom of Renfrew in any 
tyme coming, and in cais he be sein or fand within the same he is 
content and contented to be punished to the deed without any 

17th October, 1603. — " Robert Sympson, pyper, wha by the act 
of Counsell of this burgh for his misbehaviour and certane oftences, 
injuries, and wrongs oft and diverse tymes done and comitted be 
him to the inhabitants thereof in their own houses within the same, 
was banishit furthe thairof, and notwithstanding thereof, and in con- 
tempt of the said Bailies and Counsell, the said Robert privately 
repairit within the said burghe, upon the xxvi day of this 
instant publiclie, whan he Avas apprehendit and put in the stocks, 
and as yet remains therein, for his contempt and injuries." The 
Bailies obtained security from William Ewing to the effect that if 
the pyper entered the burgh again without permission he was to pay 
" ten punds for each time he so contravened." 

1 8th May, 1606. — "Thomas Stevenson and Catherine Boyd, 
vagabonds, for lying together openly day and night in the filthy sin 
of fornication, are ordered to be taken to the west port and carted 
together east through the high street and through the water of Cart, 
and banished, with Helen Campbell, Thomas Mather, with certifica- 
tion if they are found in the burgh they are to be scourged and 
burned." ^ 

^ This cruel and barbarous punishment, which was frequently adopted, was 
performed in different ways. Sometimes the prisoner was burned with a hot 
iron on the hand ; at other times on the face ; and occasionally the ear was 
pierced with a hot iron. 

By an Act passed by the Queen's Majesty and the Lords of the Secret Council 
in December, 1564, they " ordanis lettres to be direct, chargeing all hir Hienes' 


i6tli September, 1606. — Several persons were brought before 
the Earl of Abercorn and the Baihes charged with breaking into 
the gardens of Whyteford, of John Jamieson, cordiner in Causeyside, 
and of William Stewart of Caversbank. The court decerned that 
six of these yard breakers " should be punished in their persons and 
goods, conform to the Act of Parliament, with this mitigation, 
because they and ilk ane of them declared it was their first fault, 
and that they never brock yards before, therefore they and ilk ane 
of them to pay to the party offended five punds money (8s. 4d.), 
and to be taken by the officers of the said burgh and laid in the 
stocks at the market cross thereof on the day next, from ten hours 
to twelve hours to remain therein ; and ordains the remanent eight 
persons, malefactors, to be taken by their parents and presented at 
the said market cross the day foresaid, there to stand and ane paper 
on their head the space foresaid, and thereafter to be scourged by 
the said parents to the effusion of their blood." 

We learn from the Council records that at the commencement of 
the seventeenth century there was in connection with the tollbooth 
at the Cross a spire with a bell and clock to indicate upon dials 
the hours of the day. Slezer's view of Paisley, taken near the end 
of this century — which will afterwards be given — shows a spire there 
of goodly dimensions. We do not know, however, when this spire 
was erected. A most minute agreement was made in 1603 by the 
Bailies and Council with John Wallace, smith, to take charge of 
the clock and to ring the bell. This contract is so minutely and 
correctly stated that it is really a curiosity, and we therefore give it 
in full. The bell, it will be observed, was rung at ten o'clock at 
night only — one of the hours at which the town bell is rung in our 
own day : — 

"Apud Paislay, 22nd die Mensis Nov., 1603. — Act a7unt Keipiug 
of the Knock. — 'I'he qlk day it is aggreit betwix the Baihes and 
Counsell of the Burghe of Paisley on the ane part, John Wallace, 
smythe, and Thomas Quhytfuird, cautioner for him, on the other 
pairt, viz., the said John Wallace and Thomas Quhytfuird, cautioner 
for him, has actit thameselves conjunctlie and severallie that the 
said Johne Wallace sail not onlie keip and oyill the knock, and gif onie 
pairt thereof brecks that sicklyke nieds mending, he shall mak and 
mend the sam, using his awn expenses, and also sail ring and knell 
the sam in ilk night at ten houris at evin for the space of ane yeir 
next efter the dait hereof, for the qlk causes, and for the said Johne 

lieges that na maner of personis, nowther to burgh nor to land, within this realme 
tak upoun hand to hald or manteine ane bordell, privatlie or opinlte. And quha 
that evir beis convict thairof be the ordinar judge, that thai be puneist as follows: 
that is to say, for the first fait to be aucht dayis imprisonit, with breid and watter, 
and scourgit throw the toun or parrochin quair thai hald the saidis broddillis and 
beis apprehendit ; and for the second fait, that thai be brint on the cheik with 
ane hot irne, and banneist the toun or parrocliin for evir " {Register of the Privy 
Cou)iciI 0/ Scotland, vol. i., p. 297). 

l6oO TILL 1650. 225 

Wallace making of ane wheel qlk was broken of the said knock, 
mending and greathing of her and keiping of the same in order for 
the said space of ane yeir, and for making of ane iron band or clasp 
to the brig port, the Bailies and Counsell actit and obleist thame to 
caus thair thesaurer pay to the said Johne Wallace the sovvme of 
ten merks fyve shillings usual money of this realme for his wark, 
expense, travel and painis in mending and keiping of the said bell 
during the said space of ane yier as said is next, efter the dait 
herof. And gif the said Johne Wallace awaits dilligentlie and keips 
the said knock in gude ordour, and knells the bell nichtlie at ten 
hours at even, and behaves himself honestlie during the space above 
specifiet, the said Bailies and Counsell sail have farder consultane 
of his said office at the ishue and outrunning of the said yier. And 
sicklyke the said Johne actit himself to relieve the said Thomas of 
the said cautionrie, and hereupon the saidis BaiUes and Counsell 
and the said Johne askit actis." 

In 1609 the Tollbooth "was for the most part in a ruinous state," 
and as the Council had no funds to enable them to put it in a good 
condition, they, on 30th September in that year, sold " the new 
raids above the Greenhill."^ It is stated that the inhabitants were 
warned to the sale, and " the ground was to be laid off in ruids." 
Although contrary to former acts, on this occasion " it is conde- 
scendit by the Baillies and Counsell that every inhabitant burgess 
shall be allowed to possess six ruids." This land was therefore sold 
by public roup on ist February, 1610, in lots of one rood each, and 
it is described as being situated above " the Greenhill, betwixt the 
Raw brig and the march of Ferguslie and the Lone road." The 
following are the names of the purchasers, with the price of each lot 
in Scotch and sterling money : — ■ 


Robert Urie, £t,t, 

John Wallace, ... ... 32 

John Wallace, ... ... 30 

Wm. Huchison, ... ... 32 

Robert Algie, ... ... 32 

Ths. King, ... ... 30 

Wm. Dunlope, ... ... 30 

Robert Fork, ... ... 30 

^ Near the end of this century the Convention of Royal Burghs advanced con- 
siderable sums of money to the Burgh of Renfrew, for the rebuilding and repair 
of their tollbooth. On 7th July, 1687, they "agreed to advance to the Burgh of 
Renfrew 500 merks Scots (^^27 15s. 6%d. ) towards rebuilding their tollbooth, 
and appointed a committee to report on the condition of the burgh " (Rtxords of 
the Convention of Royal Burghs, 1677-1711, p. 70). 

4th July, 1689. — " The agent having been appointed to pay to the Burgh of 
Renfrew 1000 merks (^^55 lis. 173d.) for repairing of the tollbooth, the Con- 
vention instructed him to retain one half of the sum till the commissioners of 
Glasgow and Dumbarton ascertain that the first 5(X) merks wes reallie applyed 
towards the repairing of the said tollbooth and that the work is advanced " 
(Ibid., p. 90). 






•-^2 15 (^Yz 


2 14 2 

2 10 



... 2 14 5>^ 



... 2 13 4 
... 2 II I^ 

... 2 10 6^ 





James Pow, 




...£2 10 6^ 

John Algie, 

... 28 


John Baird. 

... 25 



2 2 2^ 

John Luif,... 

... 26 


John Ker, ... 

... 25 



... 222^ 

Symon Hamilton,... 

... 25 


8 , 

2 2 2^ 

John Huchison, ... 

... 29 


John Alexander, ... 

... 27 



... 2 5 62/3 

Andrew Urie, 

... 25 


John Algie, 

... 32 

... 2 13 4 

John Hamilton, ... 

... 26 



... 2 4 5>^ 

Robert Craig, 

... 25 


Four years afterwards — on 26th January, 16 14 — the Jail was 
again in a state of disrepair, and at that time "the Council agreed 
that six of the best skilled persons of Council convene with the 
Bailies for the reparation of the toUbuith so far as necessar." No 
doubt, with so many good advisers, the repairs would be satisfac- 
torily carried out. 

The " knock " which John Wallace in 1603 undertook to keep in 
good order had, notwithstanding his attention, become useless, for 
on 24th May, 1647 — forty-four years afterwards — the Council 
ordered a new clock to be bought, the price of which was four hun- 
dred merks (;^2 2 4s. 5 ^d.) At that time the bell must have become 
useless also, as at a meeting of Council held on the 29th of that 
month they agreed " that a prick is to be builded in the tollbuith for 
a new bell. And they agreed with John Caldwell, his son, and 
servant to build the stone-work of the prick on the tollbuith, he to 
have six punds (los.) per week, and his son and servant live punds 
(8s.) per week, without morning and evening drink." It must have 
been the custom at that time to give drink twice daily to tradesmen, 
when a positive arrangement of this kind required to be made to 
the contrary. 

The Bailies and Council established, at some period unknown, a 
very curious method of recovering those rents and dues that re- 
mained too long unpaid. The key of the tollbooth door was sent 
to them by the Treasurer, that they might enter into ward and 
remain therein till the money was paid. If they failed to enter the 
tollbooth of their own accord within twenty-four hours after the key 
was sent to them, the town officers were commanded to apprehend 
and put them in the tollbooth, where they remained till the 
Treasurer received payment of the sum due to him. The Town 
Clerk at this time, and long afterwards, in preparing leases for 
tenants, held them and their cautioner " subject to the act anent 
the key of the tollbooth door." 

The first time the key of the tollbooth door is referred to in this 
way, is on 20th November, 1648, when Robert Alexander, ex-Bailie, 
for refusing to deliver up the town's papers in his hands anent teinds, 

l600 TILL 1650. 227 

being repeatedly charged, and fined forty pounds without ever ap- 
pearing, and for disobeying the Act anent the tollbooth key, was 
ordained to have his freedom cried down. 

24th July, 1649. — "The qlk day the said BaiHes and Counsell 
has appointed the keye of the tollbooth doore to be given to John 
Hamilton, maltman, for entering in ward till he paye the hole of 
his treasurer complete." 

The Bailies and Council took particular pains to protect the in- 
habitants from being imposed upon by any one using unjust weights 
and measures. In the tron a supply of just weights and measures 
was kept, and certain days were appointed on which to " sicht " those 
used by the dealers. It is doubtful if they had at first a standard, but 
such is referred to in the Council record of 1648. Besides measures 
for dry goods and stoups for ale, they had also what they called met- 
lomes (metluymes), instruments for measuring. In the record of 26th 
October, 16 12, which follows, will be observed a curious and minute 
inventory of all the different measures and weights in their possession 
in the tron. 

4th April, 1600. — "The qlk day the said Baillies and Counsall hes 
condescendit and ordaint that all furlats, pects, half pects and quarter- 
pects and other messours within the said burgh or that forme, be met 
and messorit, and thereafter of new seillit and siclyk, that all manner 
of stoipis within the said burghe wherewith aill is sauld or bought, be 
also met and messorit according to the messour and quantitie of the 
just messour." 

1 2th October, 1604. — " Item it is statut and ordanit that all messors 
and wechts within this burghe be sichtit, and ane day appointit be 
the Bailies to that effect." 

26th October, 161 2. — " Compearit William Greinleis, customer the 
year preceding. And grant him to have in his hands and keeping the 
common metlomes and wechts under written, viz. : — Twenty-two 
pects, thereof twa girthit with iron ; three firlots, whereof twa girthit 
with iron and ane with tymer ; ane stane of thrie stane wecht ; ane 
of twa stane wecht ; ane of ane stane ane half stane wecht ; ane 
quarter wecht ; ane twa pund wecht of leid ; ane stane of ane pund 
wecht ; ane half pund v/echt ; ane quarter pund ; ane pair of weyis, 
with the brod sufficientlie hung with ane pund wecht and half; ane 
pund wecht of leid ; quhllk metlomes^ and wechts with the weyis 
sufficientlie hung as said is. The said W™- in presence of the Bailies 
has delivered to the said W""- Aiken, now customer, and quhilk the 
said W'"- and Gabriel Henrystone, ane of his customers, are become 
astet to render and deliver againe in presence of the said Bailies to 
the next customer." 

loth February, 1648. — The number of measures belonging to the 
^ An instrument for measuring — an elwand. 


community, forty-five in all, were delivered to the new customer, be- 
sides the standard. 

14th February, 1648. — Merchants, and all dealers of wares, were 
ordered to provide themselves with lead weights. 

We cannot discover how the Bailies and Council came, at first, to 
have the management of the mortcloths required in this town and 
neighbourhood. It was a business that did not naturally belong to 
them, but should have been, as in most other places, in the hands of 
the members of Session connected with the parish. Very probably 
the town Council originally undertook this matter at the request of 
the Abbey Session. A separate account, generally entrusted to a 
member of Council, was kept, and the surplus funds derived from 
keeping mortcloths and letting them out for hire, were given to assist 
the poor. 'J'he Town Council had a monopoly in the supply of 
mortcloths, and accordingly charged whatever they thought fit, and 
it is not therefore to be wondered at that they derived a very con- 
siderable revenue from this source. The first reference made in the 
Council records to mortcloths (though it is possibly not the first 
time this subject was before that body), is dated 14th April, 1608, 
and is as follows : — 

" Itcm^ it is concluded that there be ane mortclaith of the finest 
black that can be gotten, and another mortclaith of substantious 
black for the common sort, and that be the Bailies an craftsman to 
be chosen be them who can wail the same. On the 13th October, 
in this year, the Bailies and Council appointed Th^ Peter to be 
mortcloth keeper, and to lend to honest gentlemen in the country, 
upon warrant from the Bailies, for xl^ (3s 4d), and to those in the 
town for xiijs \\\]^ (is. ig^d.), and the dues to be given to the poor." 
On i6th November, 1610, the mortcloth was put, by the Bailies and 
Council," into the hands of John Baird, tailor, with the monie alreadie 
received therefor; and it was ordaint that John Baird be answerable 
to the Bailies and Counsall for the money received for the claith, 
which was directed not to be given furth nor lent, neither within nor 
without the town, but by command of ane of the Bailies." 

19th April, 1621. — ^"The which day the said Bailies and Counsall 
condescends and agrees that there be ane velvit mortclaith bought, 
and that the old mortclaith be twined and dicht betwixt and 
Lammas next." 

9th May, 1622. — "The which day the said Bailies and Counsell 
has ordained that freemen their wives and bairns have the velvet 
mortclaith for forty shillings. And that they get it not but within 
the space of three hours before the corps be brought furth. And 
that the keeper have the Bailies warrand." 

It is mentioned in the Council records of 30th October, 1648, 
that the new cloth to the tutor of Montgrenan is charged three 

l60O TILL 1650. 229 

The honourable James, Master of Paisley, eldest son of Lord 
Claud Hamilton, was, in 1604, created Lord Abercorn, and on loth 
July, 1606, he was raised to the dignity of Earl of Abercorn. As 
already stated, Lord Claud, in 1598, empowered the Master of Pais- 
ley to act as his commissioner in every matter relating to his estates 
at Paisley, and thereby, as successor to the Abbots, to elect an- 
nually one of the Bailies of Paisley. James, Master of Paisley, took 
an active interest in the affairs of the town, and frequently acted 
with the Bailies and Councillors. His first appearance at the Coun- 
cil Board was at the election of the Bailies and Councillors on 6th 
October, 1599, the year after receiving his commission, when 
" Johne Algie and Johne Vans were electit and choisson Bailies of 
of the said burghe, wha wer sworne for the faithful administration of 
thair office for the year to cum, in the presence of the right honor- 
able James, Master of Paisley, and communitie of the said burghe.' 

On 4th October, 1600, James, the Master of Paisley, was again 
present at the election of the two Bailies. 

On 17th September, 1601 "Bailie Inglis and John Henderson 
Procurator Fiscal brought serious charges against William Stewart 
of Caversbank. As he drew his whinger and offered to strike the 
Bailie, he was threatened with having his common land and free- 
dom taken from him, and only escaped by going down on his knees 
and asking the pardon of the Provost, Bailies, and Councillors. 
As this is the first time James, Master of Paisley, is called Lord 
Provost, and Provost, and also because this case is somewhat curious, 
we give the record entire. 

" The qlk day anent the complaint given in be Thomas Inglis 
ane of the Bailies of the said burghe and John Hendersoune procur- 
ator fischall upon W""- Stewart of Cavirsbank burgess thereof, mak- 
and mention that whereupon the (blank) day of June past Helin 
Maxwell, relict of umquile W""- Stewart of Cavirsbank, burgess 
of the said burgh, obtenit decreit of court befoir the said 
Baihe deserning and decreiting him to extent to pay to the said 
Helin certane soumes of money claimt in the said decreit, and for 
the causes therein specifeit conforme to the qlk decreit Arch''- Ar- 
thor and Ro*- Hamiltoune, officers at comand of the said Baihes 
first serchit and sought the said W"^'^ guids and geir to have pundit 
the same for the soume claimt in the said decreit and payment to 
haif bein maid thereof to the said Helin and because thay could 
not apprehend the said W™'* guids and geir pundable for the said 
soums. Thairfoir the said Bailies ordaint the said officers to pas 
and charge the said W™- to enter his persoun in ward within the 
tolbut of the said burghe, therein to remain upon his awin expenses 
aye and until he had maid payment of the said soume to the said 
Helin lyk as the said officers chargit the same W'"- personallie to 
enter the said '\V™- in ward within the said tolbut for the causes 
above written. Qlk the said W"^- contemptuouslie disobeyit, and 
thereupon the said Thomas Inglis upon the third day of September 


instant of new comandit the said W""- personallie to enter in ward 
for the causes above written within the said tolbut wha not onlie 
disobeyit the said comand contemptuosHe but also maist plainUe 
and injurioushe drew ane quhinger and therewith struck at him the 
said Thomas and therefoir the said W""- has vioht the aith of his 
obedience maid be him the tyme of his creatioune of burgess of the 
said burghe in his contempt of our Soverane, Lord Provest, and 
Bailies of this burghe, and therefore ought and sould be decernit to 
tyne and to have tent his fredome of the said burghe, and conse- 
quentlie his common land ought and sould be decernit vacant in 
the said Bailies and counsall's lands to be disponit and roipit be 
tham to sic as will gif maist therefoire and furder to be punischit in 
his lands and guids be ane act of Parliament lawis of borrows and 
Justice. Compeirit the said William Stewart and grantit the offence 
above written ; for mending and satisfaction thereof referit him sim- 
pliciter in the will of the R'- Honorable James, M''- of Paisley, 
Provist, Bailies, and Counsall of the said burghe, viz. : John Vaus, 
young Bailie of the said burghe, and whatsoever they decernit the 
said W""- Stewart actit himself to obey the sam. AVhereupon the 
said persuar and procurator fiscal askit acts and thereafter the said 
Richt Honourable James, M''- of Paisley, Provist, Bailies, and 
Counsall of the said burghe Declarit thair will that the said W""- 
Stewart sail ask the said Provist, Bailies, and Counsallars pardon 
upon his knees, and likewise the said Th^- Inglis whom he had 
offendit for his said offence. Quhilk he further did lyk as thay re- 
mit the sam upon condition that gif the said W™- comittid dis- 
obedience to the Provist and Bailies of the said burghe in tyme 
cuming the sam being tryit, in that cais his fredome to be cryd 
doun and his comon land to be declarit vacant and at the dis- 
positioun of the said Bailies and Counsall^ and that conforme to the 
said claime in all pairts." 

The annual election of the Bailies and Council, on 15th Oct., 1601, 
was likewise conducted in presence of the Right Honorable James, 
Master of Paisley. On this occasion four procurator-fiscals were 
elected, — Johne Vaus, Johne Huchisoun, John Hendersoune, 
and Robert Urie. It appears that the Councillors for some time 
previous to this had been very negligent in attending the meetings 
of Council, and at this meeting it was enacted " that whosoever, 
Bailie for the tyme being, warned the nicht preceding the day 
appointit of Counsall to be in the Tolbuth, to the effect foirsaid, 
and beis absent without libertie grantit, ilk person of Counsall so 
apprehendit absent shall pay se.v^ viij, and the Bailies so warnit, 
without ane lawfuU excuse and libertie, to pay xiij= iiij'^' qulk unlaw 
sal be partlie pundit for and usit and distributitt be the advyce of 
the remanent of the Counsall convenit for the tyme." Another 
resolution was passed at this meeting of Council regarding those 
who were in the habit of disturbing the business by talking among 
themselves. " Act anent sic persons that in time of voting speak 

l60O TILL 1650. 231 

unspeared. The Bailies and Councillors having a custom of getting 
into small committes and speaking of other matters than those 
before them, and particularly in time of voting. It is enacted that 
all sic persons Bailies or others quhile the time of voting speaks un- 
speared or above their voice shall pay eight pence." 

In the following year {Council Records, qth March, 1602) there 
appeared, by appointment, in the Council room "in ])resence of the 
R'- Honourable James, M""- of Paislay, Provist of the sam and the 
BaiUes," Sir James Semple of " Baltrees," who produced a com- 
mission, from Lord Robert Semple, Sheriff Principal of Renfrew- 
shire, appointing him " his Sheriff and Bailie Depute of the Sheriff- 
dome and regaUtie of Paislay." The commission was dated at 
Leith the 22nd day of February, 1602. Sir James Semple at the 
same time, " gave his aith for the full and trew administratioun of 
justice in the said office and for ministering justice therein during 
the haill years and space therein contained." ^ At this meeting, and 
immediately after these proceedings. Sir James Semple appointed 
John Vaus, formerly one of the Bailies of Paisley, to be Sheriff 

There is a blank in the Town Council records from 9th March, 
1602, till 14th October, 1603, when the election of the Bailies took 
place. The record of the latter date states that Andro Crawfurd 
and John Vaus were elected Bailies by " the auld and new Coun- 
sall thairof and others. Quhais voit in the said electione conforme 
to the Act of Parliament with speciall advyce of counsall and con- 
sent of the said James, M""- of Paislay, for the space of ane yeir." 
No reference is made to the election of Procurator Fiscals. At 
this time there were fifteen members of Council. 

When the Bailies and Council were elected on 12th October, 
1604, the name of the noble Lord James, Lord of Abercorn, Magis- 
trate of Paisley, Commissioner for the noble Lord Claud Hamilton 
of Paisley, his father, appears in the sederunt. At this meeting the 
Council passed the following " Act anent trubulance within the 
burghe," apparently as a guide to the Bailies in their decisions when 
cases of that kind came before them. " The qlk day it is statut 
and ordaint by the Bailies and Council of this burghe that what- 
sumever person or persons shall happen to injure others in word or 
deed, in manner following, to wit, he that sail happin to gif his 
neighbour a lee sail paye xl^' the giffer of a drye cuff fyve punds, and 
the committer of bluid ten punds, and to be poindit therfoir, toties 

At the annual election of the Bailies there were always a number 

^ Sir James Sempill, younger of Beltrees, grandson of Lord Sempill, was born 
in 1563. He was the author of the Packman's Paternoster, Sacrilige Sacredly 
Handled, and other works, along with several Latin poems. Sir James Sempill 
received his education under George Buchanan, the tutor of King James VL, and 
acted as the King's amanuensis. In 1599 Sir James Sempill ^as appointed am- 
bassador of King James VL to London, and was sent as ambassador to France 
in 1601. He died in February, 1625. Robert Sempill of Beltrees, the author 
of the elegy of Habbie Simson and other poems, was the son of Sir James Sempill. 


of persons who were entered as burgesses and freemen of the 
burgh. The following may be taken as a specimen of the mode 
of entry in the sederunt book : — " The qlk day, Alexander Cochran, 
tailzeour, sone and apperand air to William Cochran, tailzeour, 
Burgess of Paisley, was, be the Bailies of the said burghe, creat and 
maid Freiman and Burgess of the sam, to use the freedom and libertie 
thereof and gaif his aithe of fidelitie thereupon as use is, and has pre- 
sentlie payit to John Whyte, thes'- thrie punds viij= viij^-" (5s. Sfjd.) 

On loth October, 1605, "The election of Bailies was in the 
presence of James, Lord Abercorn, Master of Paisley and Provost, 
commissioner of his father." 

On 23d December, 1607, "John Whiteford having spoken in- 
juriously of Bailie Vaus while sitting in judgement, upon asking the 
Bailie's pardon he was forgiven under certification if he again offend 
he is to loss his freedom of the burghe." 

A further regulation relating to cases brought into the Burgh 
Court, of date 14th April, 1608, was that in actions for debts before 
the Bailies, if the matter were referred to the defender's oath, the 
pursuer should lodge 8s., and if it were referred to the pursuer's 
oath, the defender should lodge 8s., this money to be applied to the 
Bailie's use. 

The election of Bailies and Councillors for the few foregoing years 
was without any particular feature, but at this time a rather peculiar 
circumstance took place (Council Rixords, 8th October, 1608). 
One of the Bailies, Thomas Hughes, was chosen by Lord Abercorn 
and the other by the old and new Council. The latter produced 
an exemption from the King under his Privy Seal, not only from all 
raids, hoists, waponschawing, hostilities, and assise, but also from 
bearing of office within the burghe, and specially of Bailieary, but at 
his own pleasure. " He accepted under protest and on the con- 
dition that his acceptance should not injure his right of refusing in 
time coming thereafter. Thereupon, the two Bailies were sworn-in 
by the Council." 

At the head Court on loth October, 16 16, Lyners were first 

On 14th October, 1617, an Act was passed by the Bailies and 
Council, decreeing that they should wear hats when they came to 
the meetings of Council and when they went to the kirk. The 
Act is in the following terms : — " The which day it is statute and 
ordained that none of the Counsellors within the burgh come to the 
Counsall nor enter in the town dasse in the kirk without hatts,^ nor 

^ Records of the Burgh of Peebles, 1st December, 1609. — "It is oidainit that 
nana of the Counsall want ane hat ; and to be providit therewith baith in kirk, 
Counsall, and Court days betwixt and the 25th December instant, under the pane 
of ane unlaw." 

Ibid.- — 22nd December, 1623. — "Ordains if any come to the Counsell without 
a hat he shall pay twenty shillings." 

Ibid. — 26th RIarch, 1632. — The Council ratified the former Acts about the 
liats, and prohibited any from coming to Council meetings " witli blewbonnettis." 

Ibid. — 1 2th October, 1646. — Ordained that whomsoer did not come im- 

l6oO TILL 1650. 2^^ 

yet that none presume to enter in the said dasse in the kirk but 
those that are presently upon the Counsall or has been thereupon." 
On 12th October, 1649, they ratified this Act with these additions, 
" Nor come to head Courts and fairs without a hat, under the pain 
of xxs" 1 

The Earl of Abercorn, and Lord Provost of Paisley, died at 
Monktoun on the 23rd March, 1618. In his settlement he stated, 
" I commit my saul in the holie handes of my guid God and merci- 
ful father, fra quhome, throu the richteous meritis of Chryst Jesus, I 
luik to ressave it again at the glorious resurrectioune, joynit with 
this same body, qlk heir I leif to sleip and be bureit, gif so it plis 
God, in the sepulcher where my brethir, my sesteris, and bairnes lyis, 
in the lyll callit St. Mirinis lyll, at the south heid of the crose 
churche of Paslay, trusting assuredlie to rys at the blessit resurrec- 
tioune to lyf eternall. I desyr that there be no vaine nor glorious 
seremonie usit at my buriell, raysing (crying) honouris; but that my 
corps be kareyit to the grave be sum of my most honorabill and 
nerrest freindis, with my bairnes," &c. 

The Earl of Abercorn possessed great abilities, and was held in 
much esteem by King James VI., who made him one of the Lords 
of the Privy Council, and in 1600 gave him, by charter, the office of 
High Sheriff of the county of Linlithgow, with all the fees belonging 
thereto; and by another charter in 1601, the lands and manour of 
Abercorn, Broadmeadows, &c. The King likewise conferred on 

mediately after the bell ringing "sail pay foure shillings," and those absent "sail 
pay ten shillings," and that " nane come without hattis, bot be in decent forme 
as becommeth Councallors, under the lyk pane often shillings." 

Diunlhij-ton Burgh Records, 3rd October, 1663. — "The qlk day conforme to 
the laudable practice of this burghe, in reading ane prayer in Counsall ilk 
Counsall day, praying that the Lord wold be present with the Magistrates and 
Counsall, and give them directions from himself in all their affairs, qlk hes bein 
this long time neglected, thairfor it is statut and ordanit that in all tyme coming 
the prayer be said ilk meeting of Counsall be the Clerk, and ordains that ilk 
member of Counsall who shall not be present at the saying of the prayers, being 
within the burghe and not having libertie from the Magistrates, sail pay ane 
unlaw of six shillings Scots, toties quoties, and ordains the bell for conveening 
of the Counsall to be rung precisely at nyn hours in the morning, and if any 
Magistrate be not present at or immediately after the ringing of the bell, he sail 
pay twelve shillings Scots, toties quoties. And lykas in respect that several 
members of Counsall hes conveined in Counsall in ane very undesent mainer, by 
coming without hats, thairfor ilk persone that sail come to Counsall without his 
hat sail pay ane unlaw of sex shillings money, foirsaid toties quoties, and ordains 
that this Act be put in execution in all tyme coming." 

1 The members of the Convention of Royal Burghs agreed, on 25th July, 1681, 
to uphold their dignity and "reputation" in a different way, viz., by " ryding 
with their best horses, furniture, and apparel." Their resolution was that " the 
Convention, taking to their consideration how much it is for the honour and 
reputation of the Royal Burrows that their Commissioners shall ryde at the 
down-sitting of the Parliament with their best horses, furniture, and apparel : 
therefoir they ordaine ilk Commissioner that do not ryde as afoirsaid shall be liable 
in ane penaltie of ten punds sterling, to be paid to the agent, which he is hereby 
empowered to exact from the burghs said deficient in their duetie." (Records of 
Convention of Royal Burghs, vol. 1677 to 1711, p. 25.) 


him the title of Baron of Mountcastle and Kilpatrick. He obtained 
also a large grant of lands in the barony of Strabane, in Ireland, 
upon which he built a castle and a church. He was succeeded in 
his estates by his eldest son James, second Earl of Abercorn. 

The Council were somewhat irregular as to the time of day at 
which they held some of their meetings. These were sometimes 
held early in the morning, as the following resolution of 8th January, 
1619, will show. "Item — That the counsallors convene in the 
counsel house of the said burgh with the Bailies upon Friday, the 
fifth of February next, at seven hours in the morning, for hearing 
of John Algeo, younger, treasurer, his account; and that the whole 
persons that are indebted in any pittances be warned to compear 
before the Bailies and Counsel the said day and place. On 30th 
August, 1647, 3- Council meeting was appointed to be held on the 
I St of September following, betwixt seven and eight o'clock in the 
morning, for settling some accounts. And on 30th October, 1648, 
" It is statute and ordained by the Council that the meeting of the 
Bailies and Council, at their Council meeting, shall be in "the time 
of winter at nine o'clock morning each Monday, and in the 
summer at eight o'clock, and that none without a very necessary 
and an extraordinary occasion and excuse be absent under the pain 

When the Council wished to attend in Edinburgh to any of the 
town's business, which was always of a legal kind, one of their num- 
ber, or the town clerk, or one along with the clerk, went personally, 
and riding was always their mode of travelling. On 15th April, 
161 9, Bailie Hutchison was appointed to ride to Edinburgh to 
attend the calling of the suspension before the secret Council, which 
is purchased and obtained to be the Bailie and Council of the town 
of Lanark anent the weights. 

At the election of the Bailies on 4th October, 1619, the proceed- 
ings were conducted in the same way as formerly, with this excep- 
tion, that the Earl of Abercorn allowed the Council to appoint the 
first Bailie, while he made choice of the second Bailie. 

At the court held on 27th January, 1620, the Bailies and Council 
enacted, without giving any reason, "that na person or persons carry 
any fire furth of their houses within this burghe except in close 
vessels, under the pain of xi=- toties quoties." 

At the meeting at which the Bailies and Council established a 
horse race in the town, they voted a sum in aid of some kind of 
theatrical performance, the record regarding which is as follows : — 
13th May, 1620 — "Which day the Bailies and Council, by a great 
majority, voted twenty punds from the common gude for help and 
supply to a pleasant invention and play to be played in the said 

It would appear from the Council records that Paisley merchants 
were molested by some persons in Glasgow, when they went to that 
city to dispose of their goods, and had complained to the Bailies of 
Glasgow thereanent. On ist May, 1623, "Item — Ordains the 

l6oo TILT, 1650. 235 

Bailies, with three or four of the Council, to ride to Glasgow to speak 
to the Provost and Bailies thereof anent troubling the merchants of 
this burgh in using of their calling and trade of merchandice." 

At the election of the Bailies on the 24th October, 1624, a very 
curious circumstance occurred. In the absence of the Earl of Aber- 
corn, his mother attended and made choice of one of the Bailies. 
At the annual election on 4th October, 1630, one of the two Bailies 
was chosen by Lord Abercorn the Provost, and fifteen members of 
Council were elected. This was the usual number for a long time 
both previously and afterwards. 

At the head court held 9th May, 1633, "the Bailies and Council 
have statute and ordained that because there are many small 
matters and actions pursued before the said Bailies not worth to 
be filled up in the books, therefore that all men extract their 
decreets within fifteen days, otherwise the Clerk not to be answer- 
able for the proof, but to call the same over again." 

The Bailies and Council on loth October, 1633, in order to pre- 
vent Avhat they considered abuses, viz., Bailies holding office too 
long at one time, and a Councillor being elected a Bailie too soon 
after entering the Council for the first time, passed a stringent act 
on the subject. They ordained that any man being Bailie for two 
years together shall not be on the leet of nomination to be a Bailie 
for the third year, and that no new Councillor shall be on the leet 
of nomination to be a Bailie for the first year in which he is 
chosen a Councillor. 

The Council minutes are not recorded from 24th April, 1634, till 
29th January, 1 635, the paper in the volume being left blank and clean. 

At the annual election of Bailies and Councillors on 30th Sep- 
tember, 1637, it is stated in the Council records that Lord Aber- 
corn, the Lord Provost, was elected one of the Bailies. It appears 
strange that he should hold both of these offices, but we believe 
this arrangement must have been made at his own request.^ 

Another blank, but a much larger one, now takes place in these 
records of the Town Council, which have been of so much service 
to us. All the records are awanting between 25th January, 163S, 
and 19th November, 1645. 

^ "The qlk day it is thought meit and expedient that at all the ordinar meet- 
ings of the Magistrates and Counsall of this burgh thay sail begyn with prayer 
and invocation to God, and to that do set doun a common prayer, and insert the 
same in part of the bulk, and to be red by the clerk at ilk meeting " (DiiDtlhuion 
Burgh Records, 7th August, 1637), This resolution must have been soon after- 
wards ignored, for in 1663 the records state that prayer " hes bein this long time 
neglected," and the Council agreed that it should be resumed " in all tyme 
coming." Councillors who are absent from the meetings without permission are 
to be fined in six shillings, and magistrates not present when the bell is rung at 
nine morning or immediately thereafter are to pay 12s Scots. And those coming 
to the meetings " in ane very undecent manner without hats to pay ane unlaw of 
six shillings money." "William Dennistoun being found guilty of revealing the 
secrets of the Council, contrair to his aith, was sentenced to ane unlaw of 40 
punds, and if the offence is repeated his freedf))n is to l>e cried doun" (Ibid., 
19th March, 1670. 


At the head court, held on 12th October, 1648, '"'the hail acts 
were read and published in face of the court, that none should pre- 
tend ignorance." 

At this court also the important statement was made regarding 
the Earl of Abercorn, that he was claiming a portion of the town's 
moss lands. It is as follows : — 

" The which day in respect that it is concurred and perceived by 
diverse of the Town affecting the weil thereof that the Earl 
of Abercorn intends to encroach on the town's liberties, and in par- 
ticular in impeding them to win, cut, and labour their moss land, 
and for that purpose the said Earl and his Lordship's factors have 
begun to assume to them the rooms alledged to be the monks' 
rooms in the moss, thinking thereby to get possession of the moss 
and land thereof, therefore the Council for some speedy preventing 
thereof have referred to the two Bailies the way how the same may 
be prevented and his Lordship incroaching in possession inter- 

On the 9th July following the Council appointed Bailie Fork and 
the Clerk their commissioners to go to Edinburgh to defend the 
town's moss rooms wanted by the Earl of Abercorn, and agreed 
" to give ilk ane of them for their own and horse charges xxxiij^ iiij^ 
(2s. 9^d.) in ordinar money per diem, attour the payment of their 

A rather severe sentence was passed on William Love for con- 
tempt of court. 

25th ^lay, 1646. — " W"- Love for declaring that the Bailies had 
given a false decreet against him was sentenced to pay four punds 
money. Also to stand in the tolbuith till it be paid, and lye in the 
stocks at the Cross during the Bailies' will." 

On 9th November, 1646, a Council meeting was appointed to be 
held every Monday. 

5th April, 1647. — "John Dickie, wright, for striking Bailie Wal- 
lace, was sentenced to lye in the stocks till he paid twenty punds of 
fine, and lye in the stocks on Saturday next till his freedom be cried 
down. ' 

The Bailies and Council must have considered it part of their 
duty to protect the fish in the river Cart, for at the head court held 
on 6th May, 1647, the Act was ratified against fishers of smolt — the 
fry of salmon. 

At the annual election of Bailies in October, 1647, a rather 
serious difterence arose between Lord Abercorn and the Town 
Council regarding the election of the Bailies. Conferences of the 
parties were held on the subject, and lawyers were consulted, with- 
out any arrangement being arrived at. This difterence continued 
till the period of election in the following year, when Lord Abercorn 
made choice of both the Bailies. The Council protested against 

l600 TILL 1650. 237 

this, holding that he possessed the privilege of electing only one 

During this dispute Robert Park, the clerk, was sent to Edin- 
burgh to consult the lawyers thereanent. On returning, he reported 
his diligence, and gave in a statement of his expenses, which were 
as follows : — " Robert Park's expenses in going to Edinburgh for 
himself and horse, 7 days at 30s., £10 los. (17s. 6d.); for his 
extraordinairs, 7 merks (7s. 9^d.) ; paid three lawyers, ;z^5o os. 2d. 
(;^4 3s. 4j5d.), with 58^ more for his horse wages " (4s. lod.) 

On 19th March, 1648, a deputation, consisting of John Spreul 
and Robert Park, clerk, was sent to Edinburgh to consult the 
lawyers about the ratification of the town's charter, along with some 
other matters. They received 100 punds (^5 iis. i^d.), whereof 
about 20 punds {;£i 13s. 4d.) is light money, to be sold to the best 

At the election of Bailies and Councillors on 6th October, 1648, 
there was produced by William Muir of Glanderston, who very 
likely was one of the town's lawyers in Edinburgh, an Act of the 
Committee of States, dated 22nd September, 1648, anent the elec- 
tion of Bailies and Councillors. It was agreed at this meeting, 
after the ratifying of some Acts, that the Bailies have no charge of 
receipt or disbursement of the common goods, meaning no doubt 
thereby that the Treasurer alone should have such charge. 

At this meeting they also ratified an Act agreed to on the 25th 
April, 1645, which, it will be seen, belongs to one of the volumes of 
the Council records now awanting, that all " unlaws exceeding 
xP money shall be payed to the Treasurer, and he to be charged 
therewith, and that the Clerk enroll the said unlaws as he will 
answer upon his peril." 

" Item, they ratify the act that no unfreeman shall break common 
land under pain of confiscation of their crops, and that no outen- 
touns burgess nor unfreeman shall have liberty to transport fulzie 
out of the town nor buy any within the same." 

Bailie John Spreul and Robert Park, clerk, who had been sent 
to Edinburgh on important business, as already stated, gave to the 
Council, on 6th November, 1648, an account of their expenditure, 
and as it is full of interest, we give it in its entirety : — 

" Which day the Bailie, Robert Fork, and haill Counsell present 
having heard, seen, and considered the compt of extraordinary de- 
bursements made by John Spreul, present Bailie, and Robert Park, 
clerk, the tyme of their being in Edinburgh anent the town's busi- 
ness, in giving ane supplication (conform to the Bailies and 
Counsell's commission) against the Lords of erection, and in pro- 
curing the town's charters ratified, they find their compt of 
extraordinary disbursements to clerks and lawyers to be ane hun- 
dred forty and ane pounds xi^ iiij^ . And their being and 
remaining to have been threescore ten days, for every day whereof 
they allow to them xx^ (is. 8d. stg.), ilk ane for their own charges, 


ordinary and extraordinary, and for their two horses the space of 
eight days, eight pounds {13s. 4d. stg.) money, extending in all to 
two hundred nineteen punds xi** iiij'i- Whereof they find that the 
said John and Robert received out of the common purse at their 
away going, viz., fourscore punds money and twenty punds of light 
money to sell, for the which they got forteen punds vi^ iiij''' extend- 
ing to fourscore fourteen pounds vi^ iiij''- so there rests to the said 
John and Robert the sum of ane hundred twenty-five punds five 
shillings money, the which sum the said Bailies and Counsel 
promise to allow to the said John Spreul, alburser thereof, and 
does hereby allow to him in his treasurers accounts." 

At this time the Town Council were possessed of surplus funds, 
for we find from their records that on 28th January, 1649, they had 
2000 merks (;^iii 2s. 2^^3d.) lent to the Laird of IJuchal, who 
paid them ;^io6 13s. 4d. Scots annually of interest, being at the 
rate of yj^ per cent.^ 

The Procurator's feal at this time was " five punds " annually 
(8s. 4d.) 

The Council ordained that no burgess nor indweller should 
prosecute any person before any judge except the Bailies, under 
the pain of a fine of ten punds, unless in cases consistorial. 

At a meeting of Council held on the ist February, 1649, ^ great 
many of the " auld acts " were ratified, of which we quote the fol- 
lowing : — 

" Item, the saids Baillies and Counsell renew, ratifie, and approve 
the act made that all burger airs gotten of their own bodies and 
creat burgesses, sail immediately after the decease of the father have 
so meikell of their father's common land as the Bailies and Counsell, 
efter consideration, sail think expedient, and his mother sail have 
the remainder, and after the decease of his mother the said air sail 
have the rest." 

They ratified the acts providing that " gif any widow having 
common land mary, she shall tyne the ane half; or commit fornica- 
tion either with ane freedman or ane unfreedman, that she sail tyne 
the said half common land. And the said land sail returne to the 
Bailies and Counsell, and be at their disposition." 

" Item, they ratifie, approve, and renew the acts made that gif 
any burgess having comon land sail happen to marie ane widow 
having comon land, that the said \\idow's comon land sail return to 
the Bailies and Counsell, and the haill, or sa meikell thereof as they 
sail think expedient, to be given to the air gotten betwixt her and 
her former husband, if there be any, and if there be nane, the same 
to be rouped." 

1 2000 merks Scots is £\i\ 2s. 2%d. stg.; ;^io6 13s. 40!. Scots is £Z 17s. 
9_^d. stg., or 7;^ per cent. In the Caldwell papers, part 1, page 128, the 
ordinary rate of interest, or "annual," as it was called, was, in 1647, 1648, and 
1649, from six to seven per cent. 

l600 TILL 1650. 239 

" Item, the saids Bailies and Counsell renew, ratifie, and approve 
the former acts made that na burgess creat gratus, nor for half 
fynes, sail lease or breack any common land." 

" Item, they ratifie and approve the former acts made that na 
burgess within this burgh sail have or brock any more common land 
nor twa aikers, and gif ony sail happen to breck any more, the same 
to be rouped and applied to the common purse." 

" Item, the saids Bailies and Counsell ratifies and approves the 
act made that all burgesses and freedmen of the said burghe havand 
common land and makand their residence furth of the samyne, sail 
tyne their said common land whatsoever they have within the said 
burghe, and the samyn to be decerned vacand." 

" Item, the saids Bailies and Counsell renews and ratifies the act 
made that na meillmaster resorting to this burghe, nor dwelling 
within the samyn, doe sell their meill within houses nor boothes, 
but that the samen be public to the common mercat place, there to 
be sold to all our Soveraigne Lord's leidges, or upon reasonable and 
competent pryce. And that no meillmaker sell his meill dearer on 
the oulk day nor they doe upon the mercat day preceding, under 
the pane of escheeting of the same. And siclyk that na meillmakers 
in this burghe refuse to sell meill to their neighbours (if they have 
any) when they sail be required, under the pain of escheeting of sa 
meikell as sail be fund within their house. And their bodyes to be 
punisht at the Bailies' will." 

" Item, the said Bailies and Counsell ratifies the Acts made that 
na unsene freeman's biere be received be freeman to be made in 
their kills to the said's unfreemen in prejudice of the saids freemen, 
under the paine of xP for the first fault, fyve punds for second, and 
crying downe their friedom the third." 

'■'■Item, they renew ratifie and approve the acts made that the 
officers sail put all decreits obtaint before the judges of the burghe 
to dew execution within fifteine days after they receive the same but 
furder delays. And make the partie payand of the sowm as con- 
teined thereuntill within the saids fifteen days (except payment be 
delayed with consent of parties,) under the paine of deprevation of 
their office. And payment of the principal dew to the partie or 
satisfyand the partie therefor. And that all goods poinded be 
the officers be prysit be them without rouping." 

" Item, they renew and ratifie the act that if ony of the officers 
bees funden absent when they have to do many common offices of 
the said burgh and does not their diligence according to their 
office, that incontinent efter tryell be taine they be depryvit ipso 

" Item, they ratifie, renew, and approve the act made that what- 
somever persons within this burghe beis thryce given up for pyckers 
or resetters of pyckerie or theft, syk es kaill, beire, corne, pease, 
hens, caponnes, peits, comitis whoordome or other vicious crimes, 


and beis fund guiltie thereof, either in thrie heid courts or before 
the BaiHes and Counsell, they sail be banished off this burghe, and 
gif the man's wyffe be convened the man to answer for his wyffe 
and to be baith banished aff the towne. And gif the man be ane 
burgess his friedom to be cryit downe at the second fault, whether 
it be himself or his wyffe. And they that resetts ony of the said 
persons, committers of the said crymes, to underlye the same 

" Item, the saids Bailies and Counsell renews, ratifies, and ap- 
proves the acts made, that no manner of persoune nor persounes 
who are not burgesses, inhabitants within the said burghe, sail 
brooke any manner of freedome or privilege within the same nor 
communitie thereof, especially in pasturage of goods, carting of 
rigging turves or devitis thereupon in tyme coming under the paine 
of fyve punds toties quoties sa aft as they contravene, and that it 
sail not be leisam to the Bailies thereof at ony time to grant or 
give license for that effect, qlk in case they to be answerable to the 
Counsal for the unlaw foresaid, and the said act to have full effect 
in the self notwithstanding that the contravener thereof have heri- 
tage within the burghe and be Burgess and not inhabitant, or other 
ways be inhabitant and not Burgess, swa that the priviledge sail only 
be extendit to Burgesses, inhabitants who stentes and leives within 
the towne and watches and wards when neid is." 

"Item, they ratifie and approve the Acts made that in all tyme 
coming the unlaws of all absents from heid courts of the said 
burghe, and from keeping of fairs of the samyne sail pay xx^ money 
ilk absence toties quoties." 

" Item, they ratifie and approve the Acts made that whatsomever 
Burgess of the said burghe beis charged in ward for nonpayment 
making of any common goods and disobeyes the said ward, that 
he sail be called to ane particular court to heir and sie him desernt 
to have forfault his friedome, and the samyne to be cryed downe 
incontinent at the mercat croce for his disobedience, and siclyke 
he that enters in ward and breaks the samyne." 

The bad practice was still continued of allowing feuars to en- 
croach upon the street on payment of a yearly sum. On 29th 
February in this year, John Love was permitted " to build ane 
hanging foir stair with pallars under it upon the gavell of the tene- 
ment that was Th^- Mylnes foirgainst the showe mercat at the cross, 
for the yearly payment of vi^ viii^ " 

At this date " William Grenleis, Treasurer, is appointed to goe 
to Glasgow and buy ane hundreth daills with twa tries for to be 
ane caise to the knock, to be caises to the steipill windows and ane 
dure in the kirk, to the entrie of the town's clerk." 

When the charter of erection was granted to the town of Paisley 
by Abbot George Schaw in 1490, he must have known that there 

l6oO TILL 1650. 241 

was coal in the Burgh lands, as will be seen in the copy of his 
charter given at page 143.^ 

The first reference in the Council records to the town having 
anything to do with coal workings, is on the 26th March, 1649, — 
" Qlk day it was concludet be the Baihes and Counsell that James 
Cunninghame goe to Riccarton and bring ane man reported to have 
greit skill of coale, to try if there be anie coale within the boundes 
of the towne." The Council must have received a favourable 
report from the person at Riccarton, for we find from their records 
that workmen had been employed to carry on operations connected 
therewith, as on 3rd June following it is recorded, — "Qlk day James 
Alexander, late Bailie, is appointed to oversee the workers at the 
heuche for the space of eight days, that they work constantlie and 
leiv off at dew tym only, for the qlk they appoint the said James to 
have xiijp per diem." On the 29th November following, the 
Council agreed that the " heuch be deserted, in respect of the 
shortness of the day, till spring time next." 

The following record is the first indication of the civil war into 
which the country was about to be plunged, — in which, too, the 
town of Paisley was seriously involved : — 

2nd April, 1649. — " Q}^ day it is concludit be the Bailies and 
Counsell that all inhabitants within the towne sail be restraint in 
tyme coming during the tym of levying to tak on to be sodjours 
with any bot for the towne, and that lest some husbands who have 
alreadie taken on with gentlemen outwith the towne, their wyves 
and bairnes sould be burdensome to the towne, it is concluded that 
they sail presentlie goe out of the towne and dwell on the lands for 
the qlk the husbands are gone furth. And that this be intimat be 
tuck of drum." 

This resolution is followed by another, at the same meeting, 
showing that the arrangements for the coming conflict of arms had 
extended to Paisley itself, — " Qlk day it is appointed that twa hun- 
dred punds for the outrick of ane troup horse sail be imposted on 
the burgesses, heritors, and inhabitants of the towne." But the 
further history of the connection of our town with the civil war 
belongs to the next chapter. 

William Greenleis, the treasurer, was charged to make up his 
accounts, but as he pleaded that he was unwell, the Bailies and 
Council ordained him to compear before them " on Wednesday 
next, at vii hours in the morning, under paine of disobedience " 
(Cotmcil Records, 28th May, 1649). The treasurer having failed to 

^ Mr. R. W. Cochran Patrick in his able and interesting work on the Early 
Records relating to Mining in Scotland, page xxiv, states that in 1294 James, 
High Steward of Scotland, gave to the Abbey of Paisley the right " carbones 
marinos fodiendi " to dig sea coal. 

That coal was just beginning to be used at this time in Europe may be seen 
from the letters of /Eneas Sylvius, afterwards Pope Pius II, who says that in 
Scotland a "sulphurous stone was dug up which was used for firing" (Piiikerton, 
vol. ii, page 150). 



appear, was two days afterwards fined in forty punds, and, as it was 
reported he was about to leave the country, the Council agreed that 
he should be imprisoned till caution was found by him for the sum 
owing. The Council "punded" the treasurer's effects for the fine, 
but on receiving a petition from his wife, they agreed to restore 
these on the payment of five punds. 

6th August, 1649. — "License was granted by the Bailies and 
Council to Lord Ros to cause cast in the common of Paisley fyve 
score threttene riging turves for riging of his dwelling house in 
Calseesyde and kitchen thereof." 

John Hamilton, who succeeded William Greenlees in the treasurer- 
ship, appears to have failed to account for his intromissions, as the 
Bailies and Council appointed the " keye of the tollbuith " to be 
given to him to enter into ward till he paid the whole of his 
accounts (Council Records, 24th July, 1649). Everything must 
have been satisfactorily arranged, for on i8th October following, 
being the end of the financial year, w-e find the following entry : — 
" John Hamilton, treasurer's, compt footed and closed." 

The following extract from the Council records of ist October, 
1649, gives a precise account of the manner in which the Bailies 
and Council were elected at this period : — 

ist October, 1649. — "Sederunt: Robert Fork, bailie; James 
Alexander, INIr. Hew Fork, Hew Blair, Johne Carswell, James 
Cunninghame, Hew Paterson, Johne Wilson, Robert Parkhill, 
William Mathie, Robert Peiter, Wm. Greinleis, John Wallace, 
Andro Wilson, Johne Baird, Counsellors who have elected and 
chosen to be on the new Counsell for the year to come, Johne 
Wilsoune in Smiddiehills ; William Henderson, merchand ; John 
Kelso, merchand; Peiter Fleyming, tailzeour; Alex. INIilne, merchand; 
John Stewart, merchand; and John Greinlees, cordiner; who, having 
all made faith as use is, and the said Bailie and old Counsell being 
removed, the said sevene of the new Counsell did elect out of the 
said auld Counsell, to be lykwise on the Counsell for the year 
to come, Robert Fork and John Spreule, late Bailies ; James 
Alexander, Mr. Hew Fork, Hew Blair, John Carswell, Hew 
Patersoune, Johne Wilsoune, y''-' maltman; Robert Parkhill, cor- 
diner; and Andro Wilsoune, in Calssisyde; who all lykwise re- 
turning and having made faith as use is, Did out of the number of 
the said old and new Counsell elect to be on the lite of Bailies the 
said Robert Fork, y''' John Spreule, late Bailies; John Carswell, 
M''- Hew Fork, James Alexander, and Neill Blair, whilk sexe being 
put in voting who sould be Bailies, be pluralitie of voyces the said 
Robert Fork, y""- and the said Johne Carswell are nominat and 
chosen to be Bailies for the year to come, who gave their solemn 
aiths defidcli admifiistraiiotie." 

At the election of Bailies and Councillors on loth October, 1649, 
there was passed without any explanation the following severe- 

l6oo TILL 1650. 243 

looking Act regarding the PJailies, if they did not discharge their 
duties properly : — " It is statut and ordained that the Bailies see all 
the acts of the Council put in due execution, under the pain of ten 
punds to be paid to the Treasurer, they being tirst warned by two 
of the Council." 

26th November, 1649. — " ^<^^ ancnt ane Charter of the Bur^he. — 
The qlk day it is concludit be the Bailies and Counsell that with all 
possible diligence there sail be ane means and endeavour used for 
obtaining ane new charter of the burghe, with ane other new charter 
of all the tenements that are holden be the towne of the Erie of 
Abercorne formerlie, with the teinds includit, to be now holden of 
the King's Majestie." 

And on 20th December thereafter, Robert Clark was appointed to 
go to Edinburgh to Robert Fork, the other Bailie, who was there 
at that time, " who both sail have power and commission sub- 
scribed and deliverat to them for consulting with lawyers and 
obtaining ane new charter," as described. 

30th November, 1649. — " Sir George Maxwell of Nether Pollok, 
Knight, along with five others, were admitted burgesses of the burgh 
by the Bailies and Counsell." 

The Bailies and Council had two town officers, or, as they were 
called, officers and " sergeands " (in Abbot Shaiv's Charter of 1490). 
Their duties in the little burgh were very multifarious and onerous, 
as they required to apprehend persons both for civil and criminal 
causes, execute poindings, and carry into effect the decisions of the 
Bailies in the burgh court, and to attend to them at all times when 
officially engaged. They were from time to time supplied with a 
suit of official clothes, which they always used when on duty 
(Council Records, 23rd October, 1607, and 25th January, 1625). 
The halberds which they carried in those times were meant for 
defence, and not — as they latterly became — merely for official show. 
Having therefore important business to perform, the town's officers 
required to find caution that they would " exerce their office leillie 
and trewlie, under a penaltie of xx punds." 

In those days the town drummer was also an official of some con- 
sequence, as it was through him alone the Bailies and Council com- 
municated to the inhabitants their various intimations. He, also, 
like the officers, received his clothes from the Council. No security 
was asked from him for the proper performance of his duties, but 
when appointed he was obliged to come under some peculiar obli- 
gations. A single instance will show the terms under which this 
official was elected. 

" The qulk day the Bailies and Counsale electit and choisit 
Andro. Stewart, sone lawfull of umquile Alex. Stewart in Barodgear, 
drummer of this burgh for the space of ane yeir next following the 
feist of Beltane next to cum. Quha acceptit the said office upon 
him for the yeirlie dewtie usit and wont to be payit be the inha- 


bitants of this biirghe to the Drummer of befoir. Quha became 
actit that he sail nawyse strick the drum within this burgh nor 
outinwith the sam, but at the ordinar tymes usit and wont, by the 
special license of the said Bailies, and gif he do in the contrair he 
is content to be dischargit simpliciter of his office " (Council Records, 
i8th April, 1605). 

It may be safely stated that horse-racing in Scotland — at least, 
sport worthy of that name — commenced at Paisley. Among the 
ancient nations, neither the Greeks nor the Romans indulged in 
horse-racing. The first authentic account of that sport in Britain 
is of races at Smithfield in the reign of Henry II. (1154 to 1189), 
and it was more for the purpose of showing the speed and qualities 
of horses to purchasers, as there were no rewards for the winners 
( Histof-y of Horse-Racing, l^ondon, 1863). The chief amusements 
of King Henry VIII. " were shooting at the round, hunting, and 
horse-racing " (Privy-Purse Expenses of Henry VIII., by N. H. 
Nicolson, p. 24 to 204). 

In 1552 a horse race was estabfished at Haddington for a silver 
bell ( Iladdington Burgh Records, lotli May, 1552,) but it was 
through the patronage of King James VI. of Scotland and I. of 
England that horse racing became a permanent institution. Indeed, 
the people of Scotland became so fond of the sport of horse racing 
and of betting upon it, that in 162 1 the Scottish Parliament passed 
an act to restrain this passion (Acta Pari. Jac. VI., vol. iv., p. 613). 
The preamble of this act runs :— 

" Considering the monyfold evillis and inconvenientis whiche 
enseu upoun carding and dyceing and horse races, whiche ar now 
over much frequented in this countrey to the gryt prejudice of the 
leigis, and because honest men ought not expect that anye wynning 
hade at anye of the games above writtin can do thame guid or 
prosper," &c. The statute farther says, " And if it shall happen 
any man to winne any summes of money at carding or dyeing 
attour the summe of an hundreth merks within the space of twenty 
four houres, or to gaine at wagers upon horse races any summe 
attour the said summe of an hundreth merks, the surplus shall be 
consigned within twenty four houres thereafter in the hands of the 
Treasurer of the kirk if it be in Edinburgh, or in the hands of the 
kirk session in the countrey parochines," &c. 

The first allusion to horse racing in the records of the Town 
Council of Paisley is of date 27th April, 1608, in these terms : — 

" Act ajient the Silver Bell. — Item, it is concluded that ane silver 
bell be made of 40Z. weight with all diligence for ane horse race 
yearly, to be appointed within the burgh bounds, and day for run- 
ning thereof to be set down by advice of my Lord Earl of Abercorn, 
Lord Paisley and Kilpatrick." 

It would appear the two bells had also a silver chain, which is 
not now attached to them, for on 8th May, 161 7, mention is made 

l6oO TILL 1650. 245 

of " the hand chenyie and silver bells made for the horse race." 
Full sized drawings are given of the two ancient bells, and a blue 
silk ribbon is now generally used to bind them together. 

It was not, however, till 1620 that the first race took place. The 
act of this date referring to that of 1608 merely says " qlk was of 
old set downe and not affectuat." Very likely the first Earl of 
Abercorn, who died in 16 18, was opposed to the act of 1608, and 
his eldest son, then Lord Paisley, succeeding his father as second 
Earl of Abercorn, revived the matter in 1620. The following is a 
copy of this curious and important act of 13th May, 1620 :^ 

''^ Aci setting downe ane hors Raiss, apud Pais slay, decimo tertio 
die mensis May, 1620. — The quhilk day Andro Crauforde and 
Jo"- Algeo, zounger baillies of ye burghe thairof, with the counselle 
of the samyn, being convenit in the tolbuith of the said bur'- with 
advyse of ane nobill and potent erle, James erle of Abercorn, &c., 
proveist of the said burghe, for ordour taking with sundrie thingis 
concerning the commoune weill of the samyn, and namelie, anent 
the conclusioune of thair bell race and efterschot, quhilk was of 
auld set doune and not effectuat. Thairfoir it is now concludit and 
ordanit be the saidis Baillies and Counsell with advyse and consent 
foirsaid, that zeirlie in tyme cuming, thair bell race sal be rwne on 
the saxt day of Maij, in manner following, viz., to be start at ye gray 
stane callit St. Conuallis (pronounced Convallis) stane and fra that 
richt eist to the lytill house at the calsayend of Renfrew, and fra that 
the hie kingis way to the vvalnuik of Paslaye, and quhat horse first 
comes over a scoir at [ ] Renfrew, sail have ane dowbill 

aingell, and the horse and maister yairof that first comes over the scoir^ 
at the said Walnuik of Paislay, sail have the said bell with the said 
burghe's airmes yairupon for yat zeir. Togidder with the rest of the 
gold that sal be given in with the said bell, in manner following, 
except ane dowbill aingell that sal be given to the second horse 
and his maister yat comes nixt over the scoir to the foirmest, and 
to that effect the saidis Baillies and Counsell present and to come, 
with advyse of their said Lord Proveist, obleist thame to give in 
zeirlie with the said silver bell, the pieces of gold following, viz., 
the said Lord Provost ane dowbill aingell, the saidis Bailleis and 
Counsell ane other dowbill aingell. Lyikas the noblemen haifand 
landis within the parochin of Paislay, as my Lord Sempill, ane 
singell aingell, my Lord Rose, my Lord of Blantyre [ ] 

everie ane of thame ar willing for the upholding of the said bell 
race, zeirlie to give in ane single aingell yairunto and everie awner 
of the horse that rwnes to produce ane singell aingell of gold 
to the said Baillies befoir the foir the horse be drawen out 
lyikas all the awnneris of the horses that sail happen to ryne 
zeirlie sal be obleist to be present within the bur' of Paislaye 
[ ] dayes at leist befoir the said raice day, and 

^ The termination of the race at Wallneuk must afterwards have been trans- 
ferred to St. James Street, which, fifty years ago, was generally called the "Scoir." 


thair to be reddie with thair ryderis befoir ten houris befoir nowne, 
and the ryderis to be weyit at the trone of the said Bur"^ of Paislay, 
[ ] stane wecht ; quhair the maisteris or otheris haifand 

power of thame sal be present with the rydaris in the tolbuithe of 
the said burghe for gifing up thair names, casting of the dyce for 
their places in outleiding and the wandhandis. And because this 
present zeir is so far spent, it is concludit be the said Lord Proveist 
and other noblemen, with advyse of the saidis Bailleis and Councell 
of yis bur' that the said bell raice be rune the first day of Junij nix 
to cum, fra the gray stane callit St. Conuallis' stane to the said 
lytill house, and fra that to the Walneuk of Paislaye, as said is, 
haifand thair horse alwayis dyetit in the said bur' in manner foirsaid. 
And quha happens to wone the said bell, keipand thair wecht in 
manner above written, being weyit again e at the said trone, sail 
have the said silver bell hung at his horse heid and ye gold foirsaid. 
With this provisioune, that the maister of the horse, or onie others 
haifing power of him, sal be actit as principall, with ane sufficient 
burgess man as cautioner for him, conjunctlie and severallie, for 
productioune of the said bell to the saidis Bailleis of Paislaye, als 
gude as he sail resave the samin, with what augmentatioune pleist 
him to add yairto zeirlie, apoun the said saxt day of May, befoir nyne 
houris in the morning ; and quhatever hors beis not keepit and 
dyettit within the said burghe the space foirsaid before the said day, 
and led fra Paislaye to the starting place, they sail not be sufferit 
to runne in tyme cuming, and quhatevir horss winnis the said silver 
bell three zieris togither, the maister owner yairof sail have the said 
silver bell to himself, conforme to the manner of other burrowes." 

"//fw, it is concludit be the saidis Bailleis and Counsall of the 
said bur' with advyse of my Lord Proveist, that ane efterschot raiss 
sail be runne zeirlie in all tyme cuming, fra ane scoir at the Sclaittis 
of Ellirslie to ane other scoir at the Calsayheid of the said bur' of 
Paislaye, be horse of the price of ane hundreth merks, ryddand 
with the wecht foirsaid, for ane furnischeit sadill, quhilk sal be zeirlie 
presentit be the saidis Bailleis of Paislaye, present and to cum, at 
the scoir at the said Calsayheid. And quhilkis of the saidis horses 
that sail happen to cum first over the said scoir at the said Calsay- 
heid, the awner yairof sail have the said sadill, stok yairof, and 
covering ; and the awner of the secund horse that sail happin to 
cum secundlie over the said scoir sail have the furnischeing of the 
said sadill then presentit. The ryders allwayis of the saidis horses 
keipand thair wechtis they war weyit of befoir thair furthdrawing, 
and na other wyse." 

It will he observed from the foregoing Act that the horses were 
to start " at ye gray stane callit Saint Conuallis stane,'"' at Inchinnan.^ 

^ Iiichinnan acquired its name from a long narrow island in Cart water, where 
it joins Gryfe, opposite the church of Inchinnan. }'j/ys (Welsh) or i>/f/is (Gaelic) an 
island, likewise a peninsula. 1 lie adjunct may be derived from Saint Innan, who 
is said to have been a ccnfcfsor at Irvirc wlicre he died in 839 ( I'mshv Mo^nziin; 
P- 637). 

l6oo TILL 1650. 247 

This stone at the present day is situated a few yards north of the 
road leading from the bridge over the canal to Renfrew, and about 
half-way between the towing-path and the west porter's lodge of the 
avenue leading to Blythswood House. There is a well-formed foot- 
path leading to the stone immediately north of the porter lodge, and 
free access is granted to all by Sir Archibald C. Campbell, Bart. 
This stone is about 32 inches high, 48 inches thick at the base, and 
34 inches at the top ; and in breadth is about 32 inches at the base 
and 24 inches at the top. The stone probably weighs about two 
tons. Saint Conuallis, who died i8th May, 612, was one of the 
two disciples of Saint Kentigern or IMungo. According to the 
Scottish breviaries, he was the first Archdeacon of Glasgow, and his 
festival was celebrated on the 18th of Md-y. Conuallis resided at 
Inchinnan, where a monument or cross was erected to his memory, 
which was visited by pious pilgrims. The cell in which he lived 
was near the cross, of which it is supposed this stone formed the 
base. St. Conval's stone is now generally called Argyle's stone, 
from the belief that the Earl of Argyle was taken prisoner here on 
30th June, 1685. In the parish church of Renfrew there was a 
chapel founded in memory of Saint Conuallis and Saint Ninian 
(Diocesan Jicgistcr of Glasgozv, vol. i., p. 403). In 1507 Sir John 
Alanson, the then chaplain, was bound to reside at his ministry, and 
to perform service in terms of the foundation, and to maintain the 
building. At that time he had deserted his charge, and the prebendary 
of Renfrew admonished him to return to his duties, and to repair 
the buildings. 

This Act of the Bailies and Council is otherwise so fully and 
minutely stated, that further explanations are unnecessary. We 
give a full-sized drawing of these ancient and interesting relics, the 
two silver bells, on the next page. 

As determined by the Act of the Bailies and Council of Paisley, 
which we have quoted, the first horse race for the silver bells was 
run in 1620, and was won by Hew Crawford of Cloberhill, who 
found James Maxwell cautioner for producing the bells on 6th May 
next, under a penalty of " one hundred punds ' (_;^8 6s. 8d.) 
The Council records supply this information, but, unfortunately, 
without giving any more particulars. 

The records of the Council are silent as to whether there were 
any races on 6th May in the following year — the period at which 
the winner of the previous year was required to deliver up the bells. 
If there were no races at Paisley in 162 1, the Earl of Abercorn (who 
appears to have been the grand promoter of these races, rather than 
the Bailies and Councillors) had his relish for horse-racing gratified 
in that year in another place. Lords Mortoun, Abercorn, and Boyd 
entered into an engagement or wager to run, at Cupar-Fife, a horse 
each, the stakes to be a double gold angel for every horse This agree- 
ment or indenture, as it is called, is somewhat curious. It runs thus : — 

" Ane Indentour of ane Horse Race betiuixt my Lords Mortoun, 
Abercorne, and Boyd. — The Erie of Mortoun obleissis himself to 


produce George Rutherfuirde's barb naig, the Erie of Abercorne 
obleissis him to produce gray naig, my Lord Boyd obleissis him to 
produce his bay horse. Upon the conditions following : Thay ar 
to run the first Thuirsday of November nixt to cum, thrie mett 
myleis of Cowper raise in Fyff, the waidger to be for every horse 
ten dowbill angellis, the foirmest horse to win the haill thretty. 
Ilk rydare to be aucht Scottis stane wecht. And the pairtie not 


comperand or refussand to consigne the waidger sail undergo the 
foirfaltour of this soume, and that foirfaltour sal be addit to the staik 
to be tane away be the wynner. Forder, we declair it to be lesume 
to ony gentleman to produce ane horse and the lyke waidger, and 
thay sal be walcum. Subscryvitt with all our handis at Hamiltoune 

l6oO TILL 1650. 249 

the fyfteine day off August, 162 1. — Morton, Abercorn, Boyd" 
(Printed in Book Form for Private Distribution). 

We are, however, unable to give the name of the winner in this 

On 8th May, 1622, according to the Council records, "the race 
and cup were run and won by Robert, Lord Boyd." On this occa- 
sion, John, Earl of Cassilis ; John, Earl of Wigton ; John, Lord 
Lindsay ; Robert, Lord Boyd ; Mr. James Hamilton of Westport, 
commissair of Glasgow ; and James Hamilton of Aitkenhead, were 
made burgesses by the Bailies and Council, and George, servant to 
my Lord of Abercorn, was made burgess ; and all of these, no 
doubt, honoured the races with their presence on that day. 

The Bailies and Council, on 9th May, 1633, agreed that "a 
saddle race be proclaimed on the 22nd May annually." No further 
reference is made to horse racing, during the period embraced in 
this chapter, in the Council records. They may nevertheless have 
been continued annually, although not under the special direction 
of the Town Council. 

In 1613 the Bailies and Council erected, at the west port in the 
High Street, a hospital or almshouse, and the stones with which it 
was built were taken from St. RoUoc's Kirk, then falling into decay. 
This chapel has been already referred to as standing near the head 
of Castle Street. The foundation charter of the institution, dated 
30th September, 1618, provides that "in this hospital six poor, 
weak, old men, unable for work, or more if it may happen, belong- 
ing to the Burgh, shall be supported, and clothed with gowns down 
to the heels, tunics and caps, black or blue according as the Bailies 
should prescribe. For the support of whom in all necessaries they 
give and grant as follows, viz.: the said house and place or hospital 
already built, and all its pertinents, together with the annual pay- 
ments after-mentioned, viz., to each of the said old men 40 merks 
(^2 4s. StV^-) annually to be paid by the Bailies and their suc- 
cessors, by such portions daily, weekly, or monthly at the Bailies' 
option, from the first and readiest of the rents, customs, and fruits 
or common good of the Burgh. Also, give and grant to the said six 
old men and their successors in the said hospital, si.xty loads of peats 
and thirty loads of coals, to be annually delivered at the hospital by 
the Bailies and their successors in the said Burgh for fuel, when 
necessary ; declaring the said old men praying day and night to 
God for the defence of His universal Church, and for King James 
and his Queen and their posterity, for Lord Claud, Lord of Paisley, 
James, Earl of Abercorn, and his grandson, and his heirs male. 
Lords of Paisley — the granters superior — for the property of the 
Burgh, and for the eternal salvation and daily prosperity of the 
Magistrates, Council, and inhabitants. Likewise ringing the bell of 
the hospital daily at five in the morning and ten at night, and the 
last bell on days of preaching and prayer, and as occasion shall 
require and as shall be appointed by the Bailies. Also, keeping the 


hospital clean, the garden well cultivated and planted with flowers, 
herbs, and i^ot herbs, in all time coming." The original charter is 
in the charter chest of the Council. 

The Council, by the direction of the Earl of Abercorn — so the 
record states— ordained " that the annuals and obit silver which 
were paid of old to the priests in the kirk of the said Burgh be 
annexed to the funds of the hospital " (Council Records^ 8th March, 
16 1 8). "J'his obit silver was part of the grant to endow the 
Grammar Scliool, and such application of it was therefore a viola- 
tion of the charter. 

The hospital consisted of two storeys in height, and the second 
storey, or " loft," as it was called, was annually let. On one side 
of the little spire, which contained the bell, attached to the hospital 
was this inscription, — 

" Quha gives the puir, to God he lends, 
And God, again, mair grace him sends " ; 

and on another side the following, — 

" He that has pitie on the por 
Of grace and mercy sal be sor. " 

These inscriptions apparently influenced more than one charitable 
person to aid the funds of the hospital. In January, 1629, Mr. 
Thomas Inglis, by his will, left 500 merks (^27 15s. (i^^^.) as an 
endowment to the hospital ; and on 22nd September, 1632, "Peter 
Algie, writer in Edinburgh — the town's agent there- — mortified for 
the use of the poor in the hospital at the west port 100 merks 
money" (^5 us. ijVd). 

In 1 62 1 the Council ordered "the hospital bell to be taken down 
and sent to Edinburgh, and get a new one of four or five stones, as 
the bell-house will not carry more." 

When King James VI. left Scotland on 5th April, 1603, to 
ascend the throne of England, left vacant by the death of Queen 
Elizabeth on 24th March in that year, he promised to revisit his 
native country every three years. It was not, however, till 161 7, 
fourteen years after he had left, that he came from England to fulfil 
his promise. He arrived at Edinburgh on i6th May, 161 7, and 
was met at the west port by the Magistrates and Council in their 
robes of office, and the other priticipal inhabitants arrayed in black 
velvet. The King received an enthusiastic reception, and the 
deputy town-clerk addressed him for nearly an hour in a most 
bombastic strain, as the following short extract may show : — 

" This is that happy day of our new birth, ever to be retained in 
fresh memorie, wherein our eyes behold the greatest human felicity 
our hearts could wish, which is to feed upon the royal countenance 
of our true phoenix, the bright star of our northern firmament, the 
ornament of our age wherein we are refreshed, yea revived, with 
the heat and beams of our sun — the powerful adamant of our 

l6oO TILL 1650. 251 

wealth — by wliose removal from our hemisphere, we were darkened, 
deep fear and sorrow had possessed our hearts. The very hills and 
groves, accustomed before to be refreshed with the dew of your 
Majesty's presence, not putting on their wonted apparel, but with 
pale looks representing their grief for the departure of their 
King. Receive, then, dread Sovereign, from your Majesty's faith- 
ful and loyal subjects, the Magistrates and citizens of your High- 
ness's good town of Edinburgh, such welcome as is due from those 
who, with thankful hearts, do acknowledge the infinite blessings 
plenteously flowing to them from the paradise of your Majesty's 
unspotted goodness and virtue. Wishing your Majesty's eyes 
might pierce into their very hearts, there to behold the excessive 
joy inwardly conceived of the first messenger of your Majesty's 
princely resolution to visit this your Majesty's good town." 

The King then commenced a " progress " through the principal 
counties in the kingdom, and at every town and mansion of the 
nobility which he visited he was received with the utmost joy and 
respect. He arrived at the Place of Paisley on 24th July, 1617, as 
the guest of the Earl of Abercorn. In the records of the Town 
Council there is no reference made to this visit of the King, but it 
has been alleged by some writers, without any authority being given, 
that the Bailies and Council petitioned his Majesty not to visit the 
town, as they were too poor to entertain him. 

This cannot have been the case, for the Earl of Abercorn being, 
as already mentioned, highly esteemed by the King, was Provost, 
or rather Lord Provost, of Paisley, and, in assisting the Bailies and 
Council to manage the affairs of the town, would certainly be no 
party to send such a communication to the King. Nor would the 
Bailies and Council, without consulting the Earl, forward on their 
own account such a petition to the King. 

King James was welcomed to Paisley, and entertained by the 
Earl of Abercorn in the large hall. On this occasion — where, no 
no doubt, the nobility and gentry of the county, along with the 
Bailies and Councillors of the town of Paisley, were assembled — an 
oration, partaking largely of the inflated style of the deputy town- 
clerk of Edinburgh, was delivered by a pretty boy of nine years of 
age, son of Sir James Semple of Belltrees, then Sheriff of the 
county. This address was as follows : — 

" A graver orator (sir) would better become so great an action as 
to welcome our great and most gratious Soveraine ; and a bashfull 
silence were a boye's best eloquence. But seeing wee read that in 
the salutations of that Romane, Caesar, a sillie Pye amongst the rest 
cryed ave Csesar to : Pardon mee (sir), your M. owne old Parret, to 
put furth a few words, as witnesses of the fervent affections of your 
most faithfull subjects in these parts ; who all by my tongue, as 
birds of one cage, crye with me, Ave C^sar, ^^'elcome most 
gratious King. Welcome, then, is the word, and welcome the work 
wee all aime at. A verball welcome were base, trivial, and for 


everie body ; and a Real or Royal Welcome answering either our 
harts' desires, or your H. deservings, ad haec quis sufficiensl Actions 
can never gequall affections. Saying, then, is nothing ; shall I 
sweare your M. welcome ? I dare ; but it becommeth not a boy to 
touch the Bible ; and yet because an oath taken by nothing, is but 
nothing, I sweare by the Black Book of Paisley, your M. is most 
dearlie Welcome. 

Thus have I said (sir), and tlius have I swome : 
Performance tak from Noble Abercorne. 

Welcome then (sir) every where, but more welcome here than any 
where. This seemeth a Paradox, but if I prove it, your M., I hope, 
will approve it. Three pillars of my proof I find in our old poet, 
Phoebus, his Clytia, and his Leucothoe ; whose fabulous allegorie 
if I can applie to our selves by true historic, all is well. Phoebus 
(sir), you knowe, is knowne to all, because scene of all : that sunne, 
that eye by which the world seeth, shining alike both on good 
and bad. And are not you (sir) our Royal Phoebus ? are not you 
as ane eye of the world, seeing upon you are the eyes of the world, 
some for good, others for evil, according to their minds. And as 
that sunne in his course compasseth and passeth by the whole 
world, so hath your M. since you beganne to shine in your royal 
sphere inhanced a good part of the world, but passed by, and buried 
all the Princes as well of the Heathen as Christian world. O shine 
still, then, our Royall Phoebus. Now that your M. is the pecuhar 
Phoebus of our westerne world, if any did doubt, then Ex ore 
duoriim ant triu?}i, your three kingdomes are three witnesses. Still 
shine, then, our Royall Phoebus. Now (sir), Clytia and Leucothoe 
were Phoebus' mistresses ; Clytia the daughter of the ocean, Phoebus' 
first love. Hence did the poets faine that the sunne, rising in the 
East, holdeth his course westward for visiting his love, and accord- 
ing to their long or short embracements aryse our long or short 
dayes and nights. And are not wee, then (sir), of Scotland your 
M. owne old kindlie Clytia? are not you (sir) our Phoebus, comming 
from the East with glorious displayed beames, to embrace us in the 
mouth of the ocean ? And is not this verie place now (sir) your 
westermost period ? ergo {?,\x), yo\xr kindliest Clytia? Your Clytia 
(sir) is of many goodlie members. Your M. hath past alreddie her 
head, neck, and armes, your greater townes and cities ; but till now 
came you never to her hart. Why ? because in this verie parish is 
that auncient seat of William Wallas, that worthie warrior, to whome 
(under God) we owe that you are ours, and Britanne yours. In 
this very parish is that noble house of Dairnley-Lennox, whence 
sprung your M. most famous progenitors. In the citie you came 
from, the bed that bred you. In the next you go to, that noble 
race of Hamilton, wherein your M. most royall stemme distilled 
some droppes of their dearest blood. And in this verie house is 
your M. owne noble Abercorne, a cheefe sprigge of the same roote, 
removed only a little by tyme, but nothing by nature. And there- 
fore are you in the verie hart of your Clytia, and so welcomer 

l6oo TILL 1650. 253 

to her hart than to any other part, and so I hope, your M., Parret 
hath proved his paradox. Now (sir), Leucothoe, that fairest Ladye, 
Phoebus' second love, she is even your M. owne glorious England, 
most worthy of all love. When that Phoebus first wowed that 
Leucothoe, he was faine to transforme himselfe in the shape of her 
Mother, and so to shift her hand-maids for a more privat accesse. 
But when your M. went first to your English Leucothoe, you went 
lik yourselfe, busked with your owne beames and backed with the 
best of your Clytia ; so were both you and wee welcome, and em- 
braced of your Leucothoe. And returning now to your Clytia, you 
bring with you againe the verie lyfe (as it were) of your Leu- 
cothoe, these Nobles and Gentrie which accompany you, and should 
not both bee — ^nay, are not both most dearlie welcome to your 
Clytia. That Phoebus in his love to his Leucothoe forgot his Clytia ; 
he came no more at her, her nightes grewe long, her winters tedious, 
whereupon Clytia both revealed and reviled their loves. And so 
Leucothoe was buried quickly, her own furious father and Clytia 
cast out for ever of Phoebus' favour. But, your M., in your most 
inward embracements of your Leucothoe, then were you most mind- 
ful of your old Clytia. Indeed, our nights have been long, a four- 
tein yeeres' winter, if we weigh but your persone ; but yet the beames 
of your Royall hart (the onlie lyfe of Love) were ever awarming us. 
The onelie remedie were that these two Ladyes, as their loves are 
both fixed on one, so themselves become both one ; and what will 
not true love unite ? As they have alreadie taken on one name for 
their deare Phoebus' sake, let them put on also one nature for the 
same sake. So shall our Phoebus shine alike on both, be still pre- 
sent with both ; our nights shall be turned to day, and our winter 
in ane endlesse sommer ; and one beame shall launce alike on both 
sides of our bound-rod, and our Phoebus no more need to streach 
out his armes on both sides of it, devyding as it were his Royall 
body for embracing at once too divided Ladyes. Hee that con- 
spireth not to this Union, let never Phoebus shine more on him. 
Lastly (sir), that poore Clytia, thogh she lost her Phoebus' favour, 
yet left shee never of to love him, but still whether his chariot went 
thither followed her eyes, till in end by her endlesse observance 
she was turned in that floure called Heliotropion or Solsequium. 
And how much more (sir) sheuld wee, who grow daylie in your grace 
and favour, bee all turned in a ^aaiXior^omov with a faithfull obse- 
quium. Our eyes shall ever be fixed on your Royall chariot, and 
our harts on your Sacred Person. 

" O Royal Phoebus, keepe this course for ever. 
And from thy deare Britannia never sever ; 
But if the Fates will rather frame it so 
That Phoebus now must come and then must goe, 
Long may thy selfe ; Thy race mot ever ring 
Thus without end : We end. God Save our King. Amen." ^ 

1 The Muses' Welcome to the High and Mighty Prince James, by the Grace 
of God King of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c., 


We do not know if King James at this visit passed through the 
Bridge Port and visited the Grammar School, which he founded 
forty-two years before. We believe he would. It is supposed that 
the population of Paisley at this period was a little under looo. 

We have narrated the alarm caused to the inhabitants of Paisley 
at the beginning of the seventeenth century by the appearance 
of the pest or plague in this part of the country, and the great pre- 
cautions that were taken by the Bailies and Council to prevent its 
entrance into the town. Their efforts at that time were successful, 
but this was not the case wlien the malady again returned, near the 
end of 1645, ^1"'^ continued with great violence till the middle of 
the following year.^ The sufferings of the inhabitants were great, 
not only from the pestilence, but also from the scarcity and dearth 
of provisions of every kind. Infected persons and houses were, at 
much labour and expense, cleaned under the superintendence of a 
committee of the Town Council, who also obtained contributions of 
meal and money from the different parishes in the county (Council 
Records, 25th and 30th November, 1645). The inhabitants had 
come to such straits that the Council appointed two of their number 
"to go on the ist December to Glasgow and supplicate the Town 
Council thereof for help and supply to the poor of the town of 
Paisley." The Glasgow Town Council at once responded to this 
solicitation, and agreed, " in consequence of the lamentable estate 
and condition of the poor people within the town of Paisley, and 
the hard straits they are brought to by God's visitation of the plague 
of pestilence lying upon them now this long time," to grant 
them twenty bolls of meal (Glasgow Council Records, 6th Decem- 
ber, 1645). For some time Council meetings and courts ceased, 
from some unexplained cause, to be held in the Tollbooth, 
and were held at the Cross, in Smithhills, and on one occasion the 
election of the Bailies took place in the kirkyard. Cleaners to 
attend to those suffering from the plague required to be brought 
from Borrowstowness, as no one apparently in the town of Paisley 
could be got to do that work. Some of those infected were sent 
outside of the town to a place called " The Moor," which probably 

at His Majestie's happy retunie to his old and native Kingdome of Scotland after 
14 years' absence, in anno 161 7. Digeslia according to the order of His 
Majestie's progress, by John Adamson. Imprinted at Edinburgh, 1618. 

^ At this time Renfrew was a place of much greater relative importance than 
it now is, and the inhabitants of Paisley were then, it would appear, accustomed 
to make purchases in it. During the time of the plague they were refused, as 
tradition says, admission into the burgh ; and to accommodate both parties a 
kind of exchange was established at the head of "Hairst Loan," the way leading 
to Paisley. A large fire was kept burning, with a pot suspended over it, con- 
taining water and a ladle in it. The Renfrew merchant having grasped the 
ladle, stretched it towards his Paisley customer, who deposited in it the price of 
his jnirchases ; it was then immersed in the boiling pot, and brought out purified 
from all infection, and declared current (Note in Statistical Account of Reiifrciv, 
p. 4). 

l600 TILL 1650. 255 

was some part of the moss lands, where very Hkely some temporary 
houses would be erected (Paisley Council Records, iStli November 
and 6th December, 1645). 

A few of these unfortunate persons returned from the moor too 
soon, and after being fined were sent back again (Council Records, 
8th December, 1645). i'he BaiUes and Council in the midst of 
their troubles appointed the Reverend Alex. Dunlop of the Abbey 
Church, along with John ^Vilson of Arkleston to go to Parliament, 
then sitting at St. Andrews, for aid to the poor of Paisley (Council 
Records, 15th December, 1645), but the result of this application is 
not stated. During the spring of 1646 the plague began to abate, 
and by the month of June in that year it had entirely disappeared. 
This distemper never attacked the inhabitants of Paisley again. 

At this time also the plague was raging with great severity in 
Glasgow ^ and several other places. 

The Town Council of Paisley on an application from the Town 

^ Robert Bailie, Principal of the University of Glasgow, in his published 
letters and journals states, 26th January, 1647, vol. iii, p. 5. — "The pest in- 
creases in Glasgow ; my heart pities that much misguided place." On 2nd June 
following, — " The pest hes dissipate the colledges of St. Andrews and kills many 
in the north." On ist September, — "The pest for the time vexes us. Great 
merrie Edinburgh and Leith, and all about which lately were afflicted with more 
of this evil than ever was heard of in Scotland are free ; some few infections now 
and then but they spread not. Aberdeen, Brechin, and other parts of the north 
are miserablie wasted." On 27th March, 1648, he states — " The colledge was 
almost totally dissolved for fear of the plague. My little daty was extremely 
sicke, of a sudden, so I found great appearance of the pest in my house ; yet 
against the morrow, the Lord, on as great a sudden restored my child to her full 
health." On 23rd August following, — " Our condition for the time is sadd ; the 
pestilence in Glasgow, Aberdeen also. ... at this time I was grieved for the 
state of Glasgow. The pest did encrease. My brother's son's house was in- 
fected ; my brother's house enclosed many in danger ; one night near a dozen 
dyed of the sickness." 

The plague at this time broke out with great severity in the city of Perth, and 
the inhabitants appear to have suffered more severely than in any other place in 
Scotland. The magistrates to prevent it from spreading ordered a house in the 
Castle Gable to be burned because a person from Edinburgh, infected with the 
disease, had lodged there. Notwithstanding all their precautions it made its 
appearance in July, 1646, and according to a contemporary account 3000 of the 
inhabitants were carried off, so that the town was almost depopulated — whole 
streets being entirely forsaken. The church doors were closed from 22nd August 
to 3rd January, 1647. It was at this time that " Bessey Bell and Mary Gray," 
who have been celebrated in song by Ramsay, died of the plague. The tradition 
concerning them is as follows : — While Miss Bell was on a visit to Miss Gray 
the plague broke out in 1646. In order to avoid it, they built themselves a 
bower about three quarters of a mile west from Lynedoch house, in a very re- 
tired and romantic place, called Burn-braes, on the side of Brachieburn. There 
they lived for some time, but the plague raging with great fury, they caught the 
infection, it is said from a young gentleman who was in love with them both, 
who could not refrain sending messages to them, and here they died. They 
were buried in another part of Mr. Gray's grounds, called Dronacuhaugh, at the 
foot of, and near 'the bank of the river Almond. The burial place lies about 
half a mile west from the present house of Lynedoch. Lord Lynedoch, the pro- 
prietor of the ground, a1)out the year 1837, enclosed with an iron railing the se- 
cluded and romantic spot where "Bessey Bell and Mary Gray" were interred 
( The History of Perth, by William Gray Marshall, p. 364). 


Council of Glasgow agreed that " forty men are to go to Glasgow 
with spades and mattocks and shovels to-morrow morning and work 
four days at the Ports, and that each man get two merks from those 
that do not go" (Council Records, 15th June, 1646). The plague 
must have continued for a long time in Glasgow, for according to 
the Council records of 7th October, 1647, the Provost of Glasgow 
applied to the Bailies and Council of Paisley to have the college 
accommodated in Paisley during the plague, which was agreed to. 


1650 TILL 1700. 

HE civil war, which had begun in England in 1642, 
extended to Scotland before the middle of the century. 
On the throne of England becoming vacant by the cruel 
and unjust execution of King Charles I. on 30th January, 
1649, the Scottish nation, then under the guidance of 
the Covenanters, headed by the Duke of Argyll, immediately pro- 
claimed his son, Charles II., as his successor, on condition of his 
strict observance of the Covenant. In consequence of this pro- 
cedure, the English Parliament resolved to make war upon Scotland, 
and despatched Cromwell, with an army of 16,000 men, to invade 
that country. It was at this crisis that the Bailies and Council of 
Paisley, on 2nd April, 1649, ^s already noticed, agreed that 200 
pounds (^16 13s. 4d.) should be raised "for the outreik of a troop 
of horse," who very likely were present at the battle of Dunbar, 
which ended in such disaster to the Scotch army on 3rd September, 
1650. Shortly after his victory, Cromwell and his army came to 
Glasgow, where they remained for some time. This proximity of 
the English army did not, however, diminish the patriotic and 
martial spirit of the inhabitants of Paisley, nor stop their efforts in 
favour of the cause of the newly-appointed King. We have the 
best proof of this when in the most spirited manner the Town 
Council, who were no doubt supported by the warlike burgesses, 
agreed along with other burghs in Clydesdale, Galloway, and the 
counties of Renfrew and Ayr, that " the twa Bailies, James Alex- 
ander, M""- Hew Fork, and Johne Wilson, elder, are appointed this 
day to convene and to consider Avhat expenses will befall to outreik 
twa horse for the towne to their present levy, with the town's part 
of xxxvij footmen ; and to proportion and cast the samyne upon the 
inhabitants of the towne with all diligence ; and Johne Kelsoe, Hew 
Patersoune, and Alex""- Miln are appointed to uplift and_ exact im- 
mediatlie from the inhabitants what sail happen to be imposed " 
(Council Records, 8th July, 1650). At a subsequent meeting of the 
Bailies and Council held in that month, the warlike feeHng was still 
further manifested, when they resolved to " appoint the town pre- 
sently to be put into a position of war ; that one of the Baihes shall 
stay at home, to wit, Robert Fork, the other going to the army ; 
that James Alexander and Hugh Blair shall be guardmasters, to see 
the town drilled ; and that Robert Kerbe and Thomas Hall be 
sergeants, to drill them " ( Couticil Records, 29th July, 1650). These 
troops were to be under the command of Colonels Strachan and 



Kerr. At this time a part of the Scottish army was at Stirnng under 
King Charles II., and another part was encamped at Dumfries. 
A few weeks afterwards the continued activity of the Council is 
marked by their stating " that the persons after-named have conde- 
scended and undertaken to go forth for the town in the present ex- 
pedition of the association, viz., Thomas Campbell and John Park, 
merchants ; William Mathie, Thomas Reid, Steven Alexander, and 
James Wallace" ( Coimcil Records, loth September, 1650). At this 
meeting the Council further agreed " that the best horse within the 
town shall be taken and appraised for going out in the present 
expedition, and that the Bailies and Council shall give their bond 
for payment." 

Colonel Kerr, with his troops, resolved to attack the English 
army lying at Hamilton, and carried out his design on ist Decem- 
ber, 1650, at four o'clock in the morning; but by treachery, as is 
supposed, the enemy were fully prepared for the assault. Colonel 
Kerr was unsuccessful in the attack, was wounded, and taken 
prisoner ; his troops retreated, and were pursued as far as Paisley 
and Kilmarnock. It is very hkely this is the " expedition " referred 
to in the Council records. This misfortune to the Royalists in- 
creased the power of Cromwell, whose troops overspread the 
country without opposition, subjecting Glasgow and other places to 
heavy contributions. 

During this year the inhabitants of Paisley were compelled to pay 
considerable assessments to provide for the support of their soldiers. 
They had, first of all, to pay for the " outreik " of the troops ; and 
they had also to pay their proportion of the expense of those raised 
by the associated counties. In addition to these, the inhabitants 
had to pay for the maintenance of the soldiers quartered on the 
town, and likewise to pay their proportion of the expenditure of the 
Royalist soldiers quartered at Dumbarton. The nature of the dif- 
ferent assessments and their amount will be best understood from 
the resolutions of the Town Council on this subject, which are sub- 
joined : — 

"The Council concluded that the town's part of the disburse- 
ments of the outreik of the five shires' association, extending to 959 
pounds 8 shillings money (^79 19s. 8d.), shall be imposed upon 
the inhabitants of the town, for imposition of which a committee is 
appointed" ( Council Records, 23rd September, 1650). 

" Qlk day it is concludit that the quartering of ane part of 
Colonel Kerr's regiment that was on the towne the last week being 
fourescore pounds money, sail be laid upon the inhabitants of the 
towne, with the former expenses of the outreik of sexe trowp horse " 
( Coimcil Records, 7th October, 1650). 

"The Bailies concluded that 300 merks (^16 13s. 4d.) of money 
for Colonel Kennedy's quartering of his regiment shall be imposed 
upon the inhabitants, and for the equal onlaying of which a com- 
mittee is appointed, and a collector who is to have eight pounds 

1650 TILL 1700. 259 

(15s. 4d.) of salary, to be levied in the same manner" (Council 
Records, i6th December, 1650). 

It appears that the ammunition belonging to the town was in 
danger of being seized by the English, for we find the Council 
(Council Records, nth November, 1650), "in obedience of the 
letters and acts of the committee of association, have appointed the 
powder, match, and balls in Paisley to be carried to the castle of 
Avondale." ^ In the following month, the Council further resolved 
" that the shire arms that are in the Tollbuith shall this night be 
transferred forthwith thereof and carried to some convenient place, 
where the same may be hid from the enemy" (Council Records, 
8th December, 1650). It never afterwards transpired where these 
arms were deposited. 

These frequent and heavy assessments were not submitted to by 
all the burgesses without complaint. We have an instance of this 
in the case of W'"- Greenleis, who expressed his mind to one of 
the Councillors in too offensive a manner, and for this he was 
severely punished. The case is thus laid before us. 

"The Procurator-Fiscal brought a complaint against W"^- Greenleis 
for saying to ane of the town Counsel, viz., to John Wilson, y- 'ye 
have put me and my sone in fyve merks (5s. d^.^^.) outreik ; ye are 
but flatterers ; ye have put the money off yourselffs and lay it 
upon me, — Meaning the Bailies and Counsell had done it." His 
freedom was appointed be the Bailies to be cried down" (Council 
Records, 15th July, 1650). 

About the month of April, 165 1, a number of English soldiers 
must have been in Paisley for some time. They did not, however, 
oppress the town in any respect, but having plenty of money we 
find that the inhabitants rather took advantage of them in more 
than one way. The Bailies and Council seem to have been so 
ashamed and indignant at the conduct of some of the shopkeepers, 
that they passed the following resolution : — 

" The qlk day in respect there is diverse enormities and covetous 
practices done be severall in this towne, the enemy lately laye 
thereon in taking from their neighbors at the tyme exorbitant 
pryces for their drink and refusing to receive money at the rule 
thereunto, it is cryed up be laws of the kingdome notwithstanding 
the samyne bes a whyle preceding past at the new rates, and in 
retaining cuntrie men's victualls and goods broucht unto the towne 
be the enemye notwithstanding the owners thereof be knowne. 
Therefore it is ordained that intimation sail be made threw the 
towne be towk of drum, that all neighbours sail be rejjaired of 
the saids enormities be them that hurt them either in taking of 
exorbitant pryces for drink or in taking of money at ane lower rate 
nor the law provydes. And that all who have victualls or goods 

^ A stronghold at Strathaven belonging to the Duchess Anne of Hamilton, 
which the English had been unable to take. 


sail restore them to the owners if they know them ; and if they 
know them not that they keep them some weiks till they sie if the 
same be owned, under the paine of restoiring the double attour ane 
unlaw" (Council Records, 5 th May, 165 1). 

The Bailies and Council being dissatisfied with the way in which 
the inhabitants were charged with the assessment required by the 
Committee at Dumbarton, for the support of the troops there, 
appointed Bailie Spreule to obtain redress if possible, and from the 
following Council records he appears to have been successful in his 
mission : — 

" The qlk day it is concluded that John Spreule, Bailie, sail the 
morn goe with all possible diligence to the Comittee of Dunbritane 
or to the Comanders of the regiment of dragouns lyand at Dun- 
britane shyre to whom the shyre of Renfrew pays assisting quarters, 
and there to travell and deal with them or either of them for ane 
ease to the towne of its proportion of foure score nyne merks 
money located to be payed per diem furth of the Paroch of Pasley 
to the said regiment of dragouns under comand of (blank) for the 
space of ane month, for the qlk end there is a concession given 
to John Spreule (Council Records, 14th May, 165 1). "The qlk 
day John Spreule, Bailie, reports that conform to his comission 
he went and he agreed at Erskine with Colonel Campbell, his 
regiment for to pay to him the sowme of (blank) money for 20 days 
assissting guards, viz. — from 1 2 of May instant till the second of 
June next thereunto. The Council does approve him" (Council 
Records, i6th May, 1651). 

Farther numerous and heavy assessments were laid on the 
inhabitants during the early part of this year (1651), to meet the 
expenditure connected with the support and maintenance of his 
Majesty the King and the Royalist army. The Town Council as 
well as the people must have had the Royalist and Covenanting 
cause thoroughly at heart when they so unanimously submitted to 
such numerous exactions. Indeed, the greater part of the time of 
the Baihes and Council must have been absorbed in the imposing 
and collecting of these assessments. The subjoined extracts from 
the Council records will best explain the purposes for which all this 
money was required, and will besides give some insight into the 
workings of the Civil war as it affected our town in that period : — 

" It is concludit that the to\ATi's part of assisting quarters ap- 
pointed be the Parliament to be payed be the shire to the shire of 
Dunbritane for the company of dragouns lyand on them the 
moneths of Januar and Februar last, the town's part extending to 
twa hundreth fourtie punds money, sail be laid upon the heritors 
and inhabitants of the towne" (Council Records, 30th Januar}^, 165 1). 

" Qlk day there is ane hundred fyftie punds (^^i 2 6s. yd.) money as 
the town's part of assisting quarter to the company of dragouns lyand 
in the shire of Dunbritane is appointed to be casten and laid upon 

1650 TILL 1700. 261 

the towne with all diligence for the moneth of IMarch last and half 
of Aprile instant. And for taxing thereof there is elected John 
Wilson, James Alex""' Rob. Fork, younger, Hew Blair, Johne Wallace, 
not, Rob. Fork, younger. Hew Blair, John Wallace, not., Robert 
Park" (Council Records^ 14th April, 1651). 

" The qlk day the quarterings of threttie-foure sodjours of the 
Laird of Prestouns troupe ane nicht and of fyve gentlemen of his 
troupe foure nichts and the price of 5 f^- iii p''^- of aits bocht and 
furnishit to him for the quarterings of xii of Dunbritane men (that 
come to get assissting guards to the towne and paroche of Dun- 
britane) ane nicht with the towne's part of assisting quarters payed to 
the regiment of dragouns, from the 1 2 of May instant to the 2 of 
June next. And the town's part of assisting guardes to the towne 
and paroche of Dunbritane for Prestouns troup assigned to them 
from the 5 of INIay instant till 20 thereof, with the expenses of 
severall comissions sent be the towne to Dunbritane and Frskine, 
extending now to two hundrethe ten punds v^- viii^- (^17 10 Sy^-) 
appointed to be taxed and imposed upon the towne and inhabitants 
thereof be James Alex""-' elder, Hew Blair, Robert Parkhill, Johne 
Wallace, John Patison, elder, maltman, chosen and elected tax- 
masters thereof, who are ordained to impose the same with diligence " 
( Council Records, 26th May, 1651). 

" The qlk day it is concludit be the Bailies and Counsell present 
unanimously that the towne's part of the present levye furthe of the 
shyre of Renfrew being twa horse and nerehand half an horse, sail 
be outreiked with all diligence. And that for that effect sexe hun- 
dredth punds (^50) for the outreik and fourtie auch merks for ane 
month's (^2 13s. 4d.) mentenance to the King's Majestic sail be 
presentlie imposed upon the burgesses and inhabitants of the towne. 
And for imposition thereof the saids BaiHes and Counsell have 
elected John Wilson in Smiddiehills, Hew Blair, James Cunning- 
hame, R'- Parkliill, John Kelso, Johne Paterson, elder, Maltman, 
John Wallace, not, and W"'- Greinlees, cordoner, and James 
Alex""- to be collector, who is to have for his pains aucht merks 
(8s. lo-f . 2d.) ( Council Rcco)-ds, 1 6th June, 165 1). 

" The qlk day the said Bailies and Counsell taking to their con- 
sideration that the last cast for the outreik of twa horse and the pay- 
ment of ane month's mentenance to the King's Majestic is short in 
the sowme of fyvtie-twa punds {^£4. 6s. 8d.) money. Wherefor 
they have concludit to cast on the samyne of new, together with 
ane hundreth punds (^8 6s. 8d.) money for to utreik two bagadge 
horse. Item, sexteen punds {;£x 6s. 8d.) more for the town's part 
of money payed be the shyre to Prestoun's regiment for one of 
sevenscore-ten volunteers and twenty-six balls, and (blank) of 
rent payed to them. And threttie-two punds {;£2 13s. 4d.) money 
for the town's part of fortie nolt, 160 sheep, and (blank) stones of 
cheise, to be sent furth of the shire presentlie to the armye. Item, 
fourtie punds money (^3 6s. 8d.) for quartering of JNIajor Crook's 


transport with some seike men. And threttie-twa punds money for 
another month's mentenance to the King's Majestie, extending in 
all to the sowme 05943 punds ii^ vi^ {£l'^ 12s. 2d.) money. And 
for imposing thereof their is appointed Johne Patison, elder, and 
Robert Mackinan, John Wallace, notar, John Kelsoe, Hew Blair, 
James Alex""-' and John Wilsone in Smiddiehills, to be taxers " 
(Coimcil Records, 25th June, 165 1). 

" The Qlk day John Snodgrass and Hew Paterson are appointed 
with all expedition to go this day and provyde the town's part of 
kye and scheip to the armye" (Council Records, 21st July, 1651). 

" Qlk day their is appointed to be imposed upon the inhabitants 
of the towne of Paislay the sowme of money for the causes after- 
specified, viz., that is payed to M''- John Crooks the sowme of 
threttie-six punds (^3) money, being xxx^ for ilk hundredth merks 
of valuation for the town's part of the outreik of thrie horse, and 
thrie punds (5s.) to each souldier, Generall-Major Montgomerie's 
regiment. Item, fourteine punds viij^ (^i 4s.) to Andro Sempill 
for eight days' mentenance of Prestoun's regiment. Item, foure- 
score punds (^6 13s. 4d.) for quarterings about the 28th of June 
to 34 of Prestoun's troupers and 48 of Generall-Major Montgomerie's 
troupers, ilk ane of them ane nicht. Item, seven punds money 
(its. 8d.) to transient quarters to thretteine of My Lord Mont- 
gomerie's regiment. Item, thriescore thretteine punds (;^6 is. 8d.) 
money for ane kou and xij sheip for the towne's part of the second 
outreik of kye and sheipe to the armye. Item, aucht score punds 
money (^13 6s. 8d.) for the town's part of a trowp of horse to the 
second outreik to the armye, to be made on the first of Augt. 
Item, thriescore twelve punds (^6) money, as being assessment 
upon ilk hundreth merks of valuation of the paroche for armes, ane 
month's mentenance to the inferior officers, ane for eight days' 
mentenance to the sodjours, and for tents and pans. And twa 
hundreth aucht punds {£,12 6s. 8d.) for to outreik fourteine foote 
sodjours, extending in all to the sowme of seven hundreth fyvtie 
punds eight shillings f^£,(i2 los. o^Vd.) With twelve punds (^i) 
to ane collector to ingather the same. John Wallace is appointed 
collector"' ( Council Records, 30th July, 1651). 

These assessments had become so numerous and oppressive upon 
the inhabitants, that Bailie Spreule was again deputed by the 
Council to go to Stirling to appeal to the King and Parliament for 
some abatement of them. In this resolution, which we also give, 
it will be seen that the Council state their case in a very respectful 
way, and simply wish the payments of these burdens to be delayed 
till they are better able to make them. Although the Bailie did not 
obtain any redress, he was nevertheless thanked for his diligence. 

" The qlk day John Spreule, Bailie, hes made his report of his 
diligence done at Stirling with the King's Majestie and Parliament 
for to have had ane exoncrationc from publick burdens upon the 

1650 TILL 1700. 263 

towne in respect of the poverty that the towne of Paisley is brought 
unto be the enemy, till the said towne recover somewhat of its 
former abilitie. And albeit the said Johne has not come speed, the 
Council does approve his ^\!^\^twzQ''' (Council Records, i6th June, 

A burgess named William Greenleis, already noticed, refused to 
pay the assessments for maintaining the Royalist army, and the 
Bailies and Council dealt with him in a very summary and severe 
manner, as will be seen from what follows : — 

"The qlk day William Greenleis, elder, merchand, being con- 
vened for refusing to bcare his burding with the towne as ane inha- 
bitant, notwithstanding that he has beine oversiene in using the 
liberties of ane freeman since his freedome wes cryd downe. They 
therefore have instanter discharged him the brooking of common 
land and making of any charge or trading therein. And ordains 
him to pay presentlie the part of the public burdings put upon him 
for his tenement and common land the tyme bygaine, and to pay 
for his tenement in tyme coming as ane inhabitant, otherways to 
depart the towne, seeing that for the present publick burdings he 
hes beine found twyse disobedient to the Magistrates since his 
refusall of payment" (Council Records^ 14th April, 1651). 

On the 29th January in the following year he presented a suppli- 
cation to the Bailies and Council to be forgiven, and they " par- 
doned him all bygaine escaips, received him into their favour, and 
restored him to his freidome, upon hope of his good cariage in 
tyme coming." 

As the supplies of both money and food for the support of the 
King's soldiers had become very scant, his Majesty, with an army 
of 16,000 men, left Scotland for England, and arrived in Carlisle 
on 6th August, 165 1, with the view of living upon the enemy. The 
contingent of soldiers belonging to Paisley left the town en route for 
the same country some time previously, as the following minute of 
Council very clearly indicates : — 

" Qlk day there is ane list of twelve sodgours designed to goe 
furth for the towne. And notwithstanding ane bombardier is ap- 
pointed to goe throw the towne presentlie for all voluntiers to repair 
to the tollbuith this day at twa hours in the afternoon, where they 
are to receive their conditions" (Council Records, 30th July, 1651). 

Every reader of history knows that Cromwell left Scotland to 
pursue the Scotch army, and that at Worcester he overtook and 
defeated it on the 3rd September, 1651. King Charles II. after 
many difficulties escaped to France. There is every likelihood 
that the soldiers belonging to Paisley were present at that battle 
which was so disastrous to the Scotch army. Immediately after- 
wards every place in Scotland was taken possession of by the 
English, and we know from the subjoined records of the Town 


Council, that the enemy occupied Paisley on the 20th and 21st 
September of that year : — 

" Qlk day the Bailies and Counsell taking to their consideration 
that upon the 20 and 21 of September instant, when the Englishers 
were ordered to be quartered upon the towne, some caused their 
neighbours to be oppressed by giving money to those that were 
quartered on themselves to go upon their neighbours and others 
moved the Englishers that were quartered upon them to bring in 
their neighbours corn into their houses for their horses, and some 
were oversein in the quarterings. Therefore they have ordained 
that all w'ho have been oppressed or unjustlie hurt sail come to the 
tollbuith to-morrow, the 25 of this instant at fyve hours afternoon, 
and declaire and give up the same that rectification may be made 
as accords. And ordains this to be intimat the morne before 
noone be touk of drum" (Council Records, 25th September, 165 1), 

Although the inhabitants were now relieved from the payment of 
taxes to maintain the Royalist army, as such no longer existed, yet 
they had to contribute to the support of Cromw^ell's troops. It 
appears the town was owing a half-year's cess, and on 4th October 
in this year, the Council wishing to get clear of this obligation 
appointed John Spreull, Merchant, " to go to Stirling to the 
English Commanders to capitulat with them anent six months 
bygane cess demanded be them off the towne." He did not 
succeed in this mission, and three days afterwards the Council 
resolved as follows : — 

" Item, it is condescendit that the said sex months cess sail be 
emposed upon the burgesses and inhabitants of the towne with 
divers other expenses made be Commissioners sent to them of 
before and for meit and drink sent downe to them in the shire of 
Renfrew, they came last and laye on the towne extending to thrie 
hundreth punds money (^25 os. od.) or thereby, for imposition 
thereof, there is chosen John Carswell, Robert Fork, John Wallace, 
John Wilson, in Smeddiehills, and John Pateson, elder, Maltman, 
to impose the samyne on Monday next, the sext of this instant, at 
vi. hours in the morning. And Johne Wilson, yo""-' Maltman, is 
chosen to collect the samyne" (Council Records, 7th October, 165 1). 

The attendance of members at the Council meetings, at this time, 
appears to have been far from satisfactory, for the Council on the 
9th October, 165 1, ordained, that " whosoever of the Council shall 
not precisely keep the Council meeting at the hour whereunto they 
shall be warned, that they shall be immediately thereafter punded 
for 20s. (is. 8d.) of unlaw, toties quoties, and the Bailies to be 
punded for the unlaw in case they neglect to cause pund them. 
Ititerim, John Wallace, notar, for himself, protests against this act 
in respect of his common employments." 

As in every other town in Scotland there was stationed in Paisley 
a guard of Cromwell's soldiers, who were under the command of 

1650 TILL 1700. 265 

Capt"- Robeson. While the presence of these soldiers was a sad 
oppression to the inhabitants, there were besides other burdens to 
which they were subjected. In their difficulties, the Council 
resolved to send the never failing John Spreull to General- Major 
Deans, then at Dumbarton, to submit to him the state of the town 
and to supplicate for relief. But we shall allow the Bailies and 
Council to tell their own story. 

" The qlk day John Spreull is appointed to go to Dunbritane to 
Generall- Major Deans, and there to represent to him the many 
burdings that the towne of Paisleye have borne beyond the Shire of 
Renfrew within the whilk it lies. And that now albeit that they 
beare common burding with the said shire in the payment of assess- 
ment, that yet notwithstanding Captane Robeson's trowpe now 
keiping a guard on them, the said towne doth burding them with 
coill and candle both day and nicht to the said guard, nevertheless 
that all the burdings that the said town doth beare besyde on 
sending of posts guyds and horses] to send. And to labour for 
remedie with the said Major- Generall " (Council Records, 13th 
February, 1652. 

At this time Cromwell's commander having abolished all 
courts, the Council agreed " that upon Thursday next, the 
penult of this instant, which should be the heid court day, that 
they sail meet in James Alexander, Bailie, his heich hall, and there 
sail elect ane new Thesrar for the efifeirs of the town, sail create any 
burgesses that sail happen to be, and to receive resignations if any 
beis, and book those having richt to common lands" (Council 
Records, 26th April, 1652). 

On the 4th of the following month the Bailies and Council im- 
posed a tax on the inhabitants to provide for the English assess- 
ment of April and May, extending to fourscore sixteen pounds 
(;^8), "with aucht merks (8s. lo^^^^^-) for the town's part of Capt"- 
Robeson's his Cornett's losses within the parish of Cathcart, laid on 
upon the shire, and aucht punds (13s. 4d.) for collector's fees." 

Although the soldiers under the command of Captain Robeson 
were quartered in Paisley, yet it appears that he, along with some 
other officers, preferred to live at the commodious mansion of 
Castlesemple. As the beds there were not, however, equal to those 
they had been accustomed to have in their own homes in the south, 
they applied to the Paisley Bailies and Council for a supply of 
feather beds, which the latter declined to give, as the following re- 
cord of theirs of 4th June will show : — 

" In respect that Captain Robeson doth require three feather 
beds furnished to be sent to Castlesemple for him and some of his 
officers to lye upon, the said Bailies and Council having taken the 
matter to consideration, that the demand is without orders, and that 
they have borne coal and candle to their guard all the last winter, 
besides their bearing of their proportional part of burdens with the 
shire, and divers other burthens beyond them ; therefore they have 


resolved that they will furnish none of the said beds ; but if Captain 
Robeson and his officers will at their own hands oppress and take 
furnished beds at their own hands from any person or persons, one 
or more, within the town, in that case it is concluded that the whole 
town shall bear the burden thereof, and be taxed therefor, but pre- 
judice of remedy whenever it may be had. And this is to be 
reported to the said Captain in the best way." 

As there is no further record on this subject, we are left to con- 
clude that the English commander did not further insist on his 
intended and somewhat unsoldierlike luxury. 

In consequence of the presence of the English soldiers, and the 
unsettled state of the town and country, the BaiHes and Council 
encountered great difficulties in getting burgesses to act as council- 
lors after they were elected. At a head court, held on 12th 
October in this year, two burgesses who were chosen members of 
Council refused to accept of office, and they were each fined in five 
pounds (8s. 4d.) As the soldiers were in possession of the Toll- 
booth at this time, the election took place in the house of James 

By the end of this year the English soldiers quartered in the 
town became more and more arrogant and oppressive. They took 
possession of the whole of the keys belonging to the Tollbooth, 
with the exception of the charter chest, and as it was at this time, 
through some cause which is not explained, locked with only one 
key, the BaiUes and Council were greatly concerned regarding the 
safety of its valuable contents (Council Records, 13th December, 
1652). Three months afterwards, "the evidents in the common 
chest M'ere sighted " by the Council, and as their records are silent 
as to any of them being awanting, we may conclude that none of 
them had been taken away ( Coimcil Records, 14th March, 1653). 

The authority and power of the Bailies and Council were entirely 
ignored and, indeed, abrogated by the military, for the court of the 
Bailies, in which so many civil cases arising among the inhabitants 
had hitherto been satisfactorily disposed of, was abolished. Even 
the election of the Councillors and Bailies themselves ceased to be 
carried out. On 29th September their election was postponed till 
the 22nd November, and when that day arrived the election was 
further delayed till i6th January, 1654. But as there is not any- 
thing afterwards stated about this election, it cannot have taken 
place. On 9th November following, to extricate themselves from 
the unfortunate dilemma in which they and the inhabitants were 
placed, the Council wrote to John Spreull, at that time engaged on 
other business in Edinburgh connected with the burgh of Renfrew, 
"to apply to the General Major and Judges, and to seek to Sir 
George Maxwell, who is now gone east, and there to supplicate 
them for liberty to choose another Bailie to hold courts and ad- 
minister justice, this town being a considerable corporation, the 
sums that are ordinarily persued but petty, and poor people have 

1650 TILL 1700. 267 

to pay treble charges before the Sheriff." This appHcation appears 
to have failed of success, for on the 30th of that month " the Coun- 
cil appointed John Kelso and Robert Park to go to the Laird of 
Nether Pollock and deal with him for his assistance or letter of re- 
commendation to the Judges and General Monk for liberty to them 
to choose new Magistrates, in respect that the ane Bailie is removed 
by death, and the other Bailie to be very shortly removed." Nothing 
further is stated regarding this representation to the Laird of Nether 
Pollock, but it is perfectly apparent that the town was in a most 
unfortunate position, with one Bailie dead and the other unable to 
act. On 4th January, 1655, however, the Council made another 
effort to obtain from the military authorities power to appoint 
Baihes, and " nominated John Wallace, notar, one of their number, 
to go with all expedition to Edinburgh or Dalkeith to General 
Monk, and to supplicate him for liberty to choose their own Magis- 
trates and to administer justice, and do others of the town's neces- 
sary affairs, in respect that the ane of the Bailies is deceased, the 
other in all. appearance at the point of death, and they like to have 
no obedience of the inhabitants." This application was successful, 
for John Wallace, on his return from Edinburgh, reported to the 
Council on the 17 th of that month that he had obtained for the 
town from General Monk " a liberty and license to choose a Bailie 
in place of umquile James Alexander, Bailie, with power to admini- 
ster justice and use regular uplifting of the cess and other burdens." 
Having this authority from General Monk, the principal repre- 
sentative of Cromwell in Scotland, who was no doubt desirous to 
have a legal local constituted authority in Paisley for collecting 
" the cess and other burdens," which he was always in need of, the 
Council, on the 22nd of this month, elected George SpreuU one of 
the Bailies. Three days afterwards, they " ratified all the Acts 
made or ratified in the head court of date the nth Oct., 1649, ^"^'^ 
ordained the same to be publicly read" (Council Records^ 25th 
January, 1655). On the 29th of this month, they also passed an 
" Act ordering meetings of Council to be held each Monday at two 
o'clock. Councillors late to pay sixpence, and, if absent, the 
double. Bailies not keeping the hour exactly to pay twall pennies, 
and the Clerk being advertised that a quorum is met, and keeps not 
time, to pay sixpence." On the 26th of the following month, the 
Council, in consequence of the " demise of Bailie Vans, appointed 
a deputation to be sent to General Monk, commander-in-chief of 
this nation, for permission to elect a Bailie in his stead, it being 
customary to have twa, and Bailie Spreull, the other magistrate, 
being occasionally elsewhere in his trade of merchandise." John 
Wallace, on 2nd March following, " reported that he had waited on 
General Monk, and produced his authority for electing an able, 
faithful, and godly man to be Bailie in the place of Bailie Vans, de- 
ceased ; and this to be done in the advice of Sir Geo. Maxwell of 
Nether Pollock, knight." The election took place on the 7th May, 
in presence of the Knight of Nether Pollock, who, while friendly to 


the town, also stood in high favour with General Monk, and the 
Council unanimously made choice of John Kelso to be Bailie till 
the next election. 

The town by this time was relieved from the presence of the 
military guard which kept the inhabitants in so much subjection, 
the civil war — which had thrown the country into such an unsettled 
state, causini? great poverty and distress — was at an end, and 
the Bailies and Council had again fairly resumed the management 
of the affairs of the community with their usual firmness and pru- 
dence. Having confidence in the future prosperity of the town, 
and possessing funds, notwithstanding all that had taken place, 
they purchased for 5550 merks (^308 6s. Sd.) the extensive and 
valuable lands of Snawdoun, of which we shall have occasion after- 
wards to speak. 

At the beginning of the latter half of the seventeenth century, the 
Town Council, under the guidance of an intelligent judgment and 
animated by the desire of adding to the prosperity of the burgh, 
concluded that the interests of the community would in the future 
be greatly benefited by making certain purchases of valuable pro- 
perties and privileges. One of these was the acquiring of the 
superiority of the burgh, and along with it the right of electing all 
the Bailies. In 1652, the second Earl of Abercorn, as already 
mentioned, sold the rich Lordship of Paisley to the Earl of Angus 
for the sum of ^160,000 Scots {^£13,333 6s. 8d.), and from the 
latter the greater part of it was purchased in the following year by 
Lord Cochrane, who was shortly afterwards created Earl of Dun- 
donald.^ In the beginning of 1656, negotiations were opened by 
the Town Council with the Earl of Dundonald and his eldest son, 
William, master of Cochrane, for the purchase of these possessions 
and rights; and these continued without interruption for about two 
years. During that period, many deputations were sent by the 
Bailies and Council to Edinburgh to advise and consult with their 
legal agents and advocates there, regarding the furtherance of what 
they so ardently wished to see consummated. The agreement 
entered into between the two parties is a very long one. It was 
completed and signed on 3rd May, 1658. This contract is 
embraced in the charter granted to the Burgh by King Charles II. 
in 1666, which will be given at length. 

The contract between the Earl of Dundonald and the Town 
Council " was written be Robert Alexander of Blackhouse, wrytter 
in Paslaye," and the witnesses to the signatures were " Colonel 
Alexander and Gavin Cochrane, brother-german to the said William 
Lord Cochran, Francis Dunloppe of Househill, James Freland, fiar 
of that ilke, servant to the said ^^'illiam Lord Cochrane, wrytter, 

' The Cochrane.s are a very ancient family, and possessed the Barony of 
Cochrane, in the County of Renfrew, for more than 500 years. They are a 
branch of the family of Blair of Blair, and adopted the name of Cochrane in 
consequence of a marriage with Alexander, son of John Blair of Blair, at the end 
of the sixteenth century. 

1650 TILL 1700. 269 

and Jon M'Kerrel, brother to Hillhouse." It was signed as follows : 
— John Park, bailie ; John Spreull, baiHe ; John Kelso, John Cars- 
well, Jo. Wallace, William Grienleis, William Adam, William Love 
(thesaurer), William Henderson, John Wilson, Rot. Parkhill, Andro 
Wilsone, Thomas Justice, councillors. Cochrane, W. Cochrane, 
Ga. Cochrane, Ja. Dunlop, Ja. Frieland, John M'Kerrel, and Ro. 
Wallace, witnesses. Then follows a declaration by Robert Alex- 
ander, N.P., that William Grien, bailie, and John Snodgrass, 
Patrick Baird, William and John Paterson, councillors, cannot write. 

It will thus be observed that at the subscribing of this most im- 
portant deed the lamentable fact is divulged that one of the Bailies 
and four of the Councillors could not write their names. This con- 
tract does not state what amount of money was payable by the 
Council to the Earl for these properties and privileges, but on 3rd 
December, 1659, the following statement appears in the Council 
records, which throws some light upon the subject : — " This day 
there is a precept direct to William Love, treasurer, for payment 
making to William Greinleis, present treasurer, of the sum of 300 
punds money (^25), wherewith to make up and pay to Robert 
Alexander, writer, the sum of 554 merks money (^30 15s. 6fd.) 
in part payment to him of the sum of 900 merks (^50) money, 
with an year's annual rent thereof resting owing of the Master of 
Cochrane's bond." 

The Council on 22nd December, 1660, testified their gratitude 
to two of the King's advocates, who appear to have done good ser- 
vice to the town — to have been " the town's friends " — in the com- 
pleting of the contract with the Earl of Dundonald. On that day 
they " concluded that there shall be four dozen of trounchers and 
one dozen new cups sent to Sir John Gilmour and Sir John 
Fletcher, the King's advocates, to move them to continue the 
town's friends." ^ On the 7th of the following month. Bailie 
Alexander, then in Edinburgh, and William Hamilton, the town's 
agent there, were directed by the Council " to the eftect that if any- 
thing could be done in the present Parliament anent the advance- 
ment of the town's business, they should do it," thereby im- 
plying they should get the contract ratified with the Earl of 

In the meantime, the Council on 8th April, i66r, resolved that 
the agreement with the Earl should be submitted to the heritors and 
inhabitants of the town, for their opinion thereon. On the 14th 
May following a most encouraging reply was delivered to the Coun- 
cil, through " John Spreul, James Maxwell, and Robert Wallace, 
who were commissioned by the heritors of the town to thank the 

^ In this period Paisley was famed for the ingenuity and taste displayed in the 
making or turning of wooden trenchers and cups, which were extensively used 
before the introduction of those made of earthenware. The trenchers were in 
use, particularly in the country farm-houses, down to the first and second 
decades of the nineteenth century. We have seen these trenchers. They were 
about eighteen inches in diameter, and were used for holding oat-cakes. 


Bailies and Council for their care and pains in defending the town's 
liberty," and declaring that " they were satisfied be the proposals 
drawn up betwixt them and Lord Cochran." 

Much delay occurred afterwards before the so-much-desired Act 
of Parliament was obtained, and several deputations and many 
communications were sent to Edinburgh, to urge forward the com- 
pletion of the business. Very likely, the unsetded state of the 
country at that time was to a considerable degree the cause of all 
this delay. On 24th February, 1666, the Council "concluded that 
a boy shall be sent to Edinburgh with a sharp letter to Mr. Gavin 
Loudon, the town's agent, to know whether or not the King's Advo- 
cate has made his report to the Lords of Exchequer anent the town's 
signature." What reply Mr. Loudon made, or what course he ad- 
vised them to adopt, we do not know ; but the Bailies and Council, 
in their records of the 7th of the following month, state that his 
report had been received, and it is very significantly added, " that 
against the beginning of April next four dozen of new trounchers 
shall be sent to my Lord Warriston and two dozen to Judge 
Kerr, and that against that term one of the members shall be sent 
to expede the town's charter." ^ The perseverance of the Bailies 
and Council was, after this long delay and annoyance, crowned with 

^ At this time and earlier it was a common practice for Town Councils to send 
presents to their legal agents in Edinburgh, and also to advocates there who 
acted for them, nor did the system stop short in this case of the judges of the 

Peebles Town Council Records, 6th February, 1567. — The Counsale ordains the 
Thesaurar to by xij hennes on the toun expens, and to cause vi of thame to be 
delyverit to David Magill, thair advocat, and uthir sax to Alexander Hay, scryb 
to the Secret Counsall. 

Glasgoiu To7(Jtt Council Records, 19th December, 1612. — The qlk day the 
Provost, Baillies, and Counsall, for the guid and thankful service dune be John 
Nicoll, wryter, Edinburgh, to the toun, speciallie in advertiesing the toun of the 
action persewit be ane Jon. Livingstoun against thame for suffering David 
Anderstoun, tailzour, to eskaip ward, being committit to ward be virtue of cap- 
tioun, and for the expectatioun qlk they half of his service to the toun, hes 
ordanit the Thesawrer and Mr- of Werk to send ane half-barrel of herring to him, 
for this yeir only, with twa half-barrelis to M^- Alex. King, twa to M""- Thomas 
liendersoun, ane to Mr- Wm- Hay, and ane to James Winrame, with 10 lb. to 
ilk ane of thair clerkis. 

Ibid. — 14th December, 1641. — Ileni, ane uther letter to Mr. Web (servand to 
the Duik of Lennox), with a propyne of Ix elnes of lining cloathe, twa gallounes 
of aquavytie, and four half-barrels of herring, and twa pair of plydes. 

Ibid. — 27th December, 1641. — Item, ordains the Maister of Wark to send 
east to the toune's advocattis and thair agents thair fies and thair herring ; and 
to Robert Bruce, the Duik of Lennox his agent, twa half-barrels of herring. 

Diunbarton Burgh Records, 22nd November, 1662. — Ten barrels of herring to 
be sent into Edinburgh to the advocates of the burgh, viz., twa to Sir Peter 
Weaderburne, twa to William Maxwell, ane to Lochie Mattias, ane to Thomas 
Wallace, ane to John Cunninghame, ane to James Rose, ane to Walter Ewing, 
ane to Alexander Maxwell, ane to Alexander Watson, merchant in Glasgow. 

Ibid. — 22nd November, 1677. — Herring sent to the toun's advocates — Twa 
half-barrels to Sir George M'Kenzie, his Majestie's advocate, and a quarter- 
barrel to .Sir Robert Sinclair. 

1650 TILL 1700. 271 

success. 1 A charter of resignation and confirmation, dated 8th 
December, 1655, and afterwards sealed with the Great Seal on 
28th July, 1666, was obtained from King Charles II. Adam 
Paterson, one of the Bailies who had been in Edinburgh attending 
to the forwarding of this great measure, on 31st July, 1666, returned 
to the Council some of their old charters. 

The following is a translated copy of this charter of King Charles 
II. which is regarded as the Magna Charta of the rights and liberties 
of Paisley : — 

" CHARLES, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, 
France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, To all honest men of 
his whole country, Clergy and Laity, Greeting : Know ye, that we, 
with the express advice, consent and assent of our right trusty 
Cousin and Counsellor, John, Earl of Rothes, Lord Leslie of Balin- 
breich, our High Commissioner, Comptroller, Collector- General, 
and Treasurer of our new augmentations within our Kingdom of 
Scotland ; and also with consent of our well-beloved Cousin and 
Counsellor, Lord Ballenden of Broughton, our Depute in said 
offices, and remanent Lords Commissioners of our Exchequer of 
our said Kingdom, have given, granted, and disponed, and by this 
present Charter of ours confirmed, and by the tenor hereof, give, 
grant, and dispone, and for ourselves and our successors, for ever 
confirm to our Lovites the Bailies, Treasurer, Council, and Com- 
munity of the Burgh of Paisley, and their successors, all and 
whole the Burgh and Town of Paisley, with Burgh Acres, Crofts, 
Tenements, Houses, Burgh Mails and Lands of Seedhills, annexed 
thereto, within the boundaries after- mentioned, and territory of the 
same, (excepting the Mills, called the Seedhill Mills, corn -kilns 
thereof, mill-hills or shilling-milns of the same, and astricted mul- 
tures of the said Burgh of Paisley, and knaveship thereof, according 
to use and wont, and of the lands after-mentioned, within the 
territory of the same): All and Whole the Feu Duties of old 
addebted, obliged, and usual to be paid to the Abbot and Convent 
of the Abbacy of Paisley, for the time being, and now to the Lords 
of Erection of Paisley, their Factors and Chamberlains, in their 
names, of and for said Burgh of Paisley, houses, biggings, yards, 
tenements, acres, portions and parcels of land thereof, westward 
frae the east end of the Bridge of Paisley, and Mustard -dyke, 

^ Council Records, 1st September, 1690. — The Council, "in consideration of 
the pains and trouble M^- Robert Alexander, advocate, has been at in procuring 
a right to Cavershouse be an Act of Parliament, together with the extract of two 
new fairs by ane other Act, and in fending other of the town's affairs, therefore 
they allow him ten dollars by and attour four dollars he has formerly received. 
Itevi, they ordain Alex. Finlayson, writer in Edinburgh, be paid of the sum of 
forty-nine punds 14s 6<i scots money, disbursed by him upon the town's accounts, 
and at their direction sent to the Clerks of Council and others for extracting the 
foresaid right to Cavershouse and the Act of the two fairs. Item, three dollarss 
with ane dollar he formerly received, makes up four dollars for his own pain, 
as agent for the town in the said two Acts and other affairs." 


including and comprehending the lands of Calseside, Orchard, 
Bladoyard, Sneddon, Huthead, Wellmeadow, Broomlands and 
others, within the bounds, territory, and limits of the said Burgh of 
Paisley, property and commonty of the same, (excluding the Feu 
Duties of the Lands called Oxshaw-wood and Wardmeadow, which 
are noways comprehended in this present Charter) with the former 
and accustomed privileges and liberties of that part of the Moss of 
Paisley, bounded betwixt the marches of the Lands of Ferguslie 
and Merksworth, according to the ancient rights and titles thereof, 
granted to the said Bailies, Treasurer, Council, and Community 
of the said Burgh of Paisley, and their predecessors, and their 
possession used and wont ; together with fairs, markets, and their 
privileges, and whole other pertinents whatsoever, belonging to 
said Burgh ; with power to elect, chuse, change, and continue the 
Provost, Bailies, Burgesses, Officers, and other members of the said 
Burgh of Paisley, and of having and keeping there a free market, on 
the Friday of each week, in all time coming; and also of holding there 
two public fairs yearly, one thereof, on twenty-fifth June, commonly 
called St. James the Apostle's Day, and the other on twenty-sixth 
October, commonly called St. Marnoch's Day, each year in all 
time coming ; with the tolls, customs, privileges, jurisdictions, 
advantages, and immunities whatsoever, belonging, or that may be 
justly understood to belong, to the said Burgh of Paisley ; and 
particularly without prejudice to the said Generality, with the 
privilege, liberty, and power of buying and selling within the said 
Burgh, wine, wax, cloth, woollen and linen, broad and narrow, and 
all other goods and merchandise, brought thereto, with the power 
and liberty of having therein, bakers, brewers, fleshers, and sellers of 
fish as well as flesh, and craftsmen of all the crafts belonging 
to said Burgh and Liberties thereof ; which Burgh and Town 
of Paisley, Burgh acres, crofts, tenements, houses, Burgh maills, 
and lands of Seedhills annexed thereto, within the bounds and 
territories above mentioned, (excepting as is above excepted) 
said Feu Duties and casualties of old addebted, obliged, and 
usual to be paid now and formerly to the persons respectively 
above mentioned, forth of and for the said Burgh of Paisley, houses, 
biggings, yards, tenements, acres, roods, and parcels of lands thereof, 
within the bounds above-mentioned, including and comprehending, 
as is above included and comprehended, and excepting and 
secluding, as is above excepted and secluded, with the ancient 
and accustomed privileges of the Moss of Paisley, bounded and 
described as above specified, and rights granted to the said Bailies, 
Treasurer, Council, and Community of the said burgh, and their 
predecessors, and powers, rights, and privileges above more fully 
narrated, formerly belonging heritably to William Lord Cochran, 
William Master of Cochran, his eldest son, and the said Bailies, 
Treasurer, Council, and Community of the said Burgh of Paisley, 
or one or other of them, and were by them, or their Procurators, 
in their names, in virtue of patent letters, and procuratories of 

T650 TILL 1700. 273 

resignation, resigned purely and simply by staff and baton, as use 
is, into the hands of the Commissioners of our Exchequer, having 
power of receiving resignations in our name, and of granting new 
Infeftments conform thereto, in favour of, and for this our new 
Infeftment, to be made and granted by us and our Commissioners 
of Exchequer in our name, to said Bailies, Treasurer, Council, and 
Community of said Burgh, and their successors in said offices, 
at Edinburgh, 24th November last past, as in the authentic instru- 
ments of resignation respectively above written, taken in the hands 
of Mr. Robert Wallace, N. P., is more fully expressed. Moreover, 
we, with the advice and consent foresaid, have ratified, approved, 
and by this present Charter confirmed, and by the tenor hereof 
ratify, approve, and for ourselves and our successors, for ever 
confirm a Contract of alienation, entered into, made and perfected, 
between saids William Lord Cochran, William Master of Cochran, 
both with one consent and assent, on the one part, and William 
Greenlees and John Park, Merchants, at that time Bailies of said 
Burgh of Paisley, William Love, then Treasurer, and the other 
Councillors for the time, of the said Burgh thereto, subscribing for 
themselves, and as taking burden for the Community of said Burgh, 
on the other part, dated 3d May, 1658, by virtue of which contract, 
the saids William Lord Cochran, and William Master of Cochran, 
his eldest Son, renounced, resigned, and discharged all right of 
Superiority over the said Burgh of Paisley, within the bounds 
specially above-mentioned, excepting, as above excepted, to the 
effect expressed in the said contract. Moreover, said William 
Lord Cochran, and William Master of Cochran, his son, both with 
one consent, as said is, by virtue of the said contract, renounced, 
upgave simply, and resigned from them, their heirs and successors, 
to and in favour of said Bailies, Council, Treasurer, Community, 
and Inhabitants of said Burgh of Paisley, and their successors, all 
right of property and magistracy of said Burgh, and election of 
Bailies, Council, Clerks, Burgesses, Officers, and other members of 
the same, in all time coming, and of the tenements, lands, and 
others within the said Burgh, and lands of Seedhills thereto annexed, 
within the bounds and territories of the same above-mentioned, 
(excepting as is before excepted) to the effect said Bailies, Council, 
and Community of said Burgh, and their successors, may bruick, 
enjoy, and possess the same conform to their respective rights, and 
may be in capacity to elect, remove, and continue their Magistrates, 
Bailies, Councillors, Treasurer, Clerks, Officers, Burgesses, and all 
other members usual and necessary, within the said Burgh, as to 
them shall seem expedient. As also, the saids William Lord 
Cochran, and William his Son, both with one consent and assent, for 
themselves and their foresaids, sold, disponed, renounced, assigned 
and overgave from them and their foresaids, to and in favours of 
saids Bailies, Council, Treasurer, and Community of said Burgh, 
and their successors, for the public use of the said Burgh, all and 
whole the feu-duties above written, of old addebted, obliged, and 


usual to be paid to the Abbot and Convent of the Abbacy of 
Paisley, and since that time, to the persons respectively above- 
named, forth of, and for the said Burgh of Paisley, houses, biggings, 
yards, tenements, acres, roods, and parcels of land thereof, bounded, 
comprehending and excluding, as said is, with the former and 
accustomed privileges of that part of the Moss of said Burgh of 
Paisley, bounded as above expressed, in all the heads, articles, and 
circumstances of the same whatsoever, in so far as said contract 
can afford a title, and support, corroborate, and fortify the said 
resignation, made in the hands of our said Commissioners of 
Exchequer ; and especially this present Charter of ours and Infeft- 
ments, and rights to be expede and granted hereon to the saids 
Bailies, Treasurer, Council and Community of the said Burgh of 
Paisley, and their successors, to be holden and to hold, all and 
whole said burgh and town of Paisley, Burgh-acres, crofts, tene- 
ments, houses. Burgh-mails, and lands of Seedhills thereto annexed, 
the said feu-duties and Moss, lying bounded and excepted as 
above-written, and powers and privileges of the same specially 
above-mentioned, by saids Bailies, Council, Treasurer, and Com- 
munity of said Burgh, and their successors, of us and our successors, 
as Princes and Stewards of Scotland, in free blench and heritage for 
ever, by all righteous meiths, old and devised, as the same lie, in 
breadth and length, houses, biggings, bosses, plains, muirs, marshes, 
ways, paths, waters, pools, rivers, fields, meadows, pastures, mills, 
multures, and sequels thereof, hawkings, huntings, fishings, peats 
and turf, cunnings, cunningars, doves, dove-cotes, smithies, kilns, 
breweries, whins, woods, groves, plantings, trees and bushes, stone 
and lime quarries, with courts and their issues, herezelds and 

with pit and gallows, sock, sack 
Avrack, wair, waif or [at the blanks the words can- 

not be deciphered] with the common pasturage, and free ish and 
entry, and with all the other liberties, advantages, profits, easements, 
and just pertinents whatsoever, as well not named as named, both 
above and below the ground, far and near, belonging, or that may be 
justly understood to belong in future to said lands and pertinents 
in any manner of way, freely, quietly, fully, wholly, honourably, well 
and in peace, without any revocation, contradiction, impediment, or 
obstacle whatever ; paying from thence yearly, said Bailies, Council, 
Treasurer, and Community of the said Burgla of Paisley, and their 
successors, to us and our successors, as Princes and Stewards of 
Scotland, the sum of seven pounds money of Scotland yearly, at 
the feast of Pentecost, as a proportional part of the blench-duty of 
the lordship of Paisley, for all other burden, exaction, question, 
demand, or secular service which can be required or exacted by 
any person, in any manner of way, from said Burgh of Paisley, 
duties, feu-duties, privileges and others specially before expressed. 
Moreover, we will, and grant, and for ourselves and successors 
decern and ordain, that one seisin to be taken at the market-cross 
of said Burgh of Paisley, or within any other part of the same, by 

1650 TILL 1700. 275 

the Bailies, Council, Treasurer, and Community foresaid, sliall be 
held a sufficient seisin for all and whole the said Burgh and town of 
Paisley, Burgh-Acres, crofts, tenements, Burgh-Mails, and lands of 
Seedhill thereto annexed, feu-duties and moss, lying, bounded and 
excepted, as said is, with the powers and privileges of tlie same, 
specially above-mentioned, in all time coming, notwithstanding the 
same lie discontiguous, and in different parts, and with which we 
for ourselves and our successors, have dispensed, and by the tenor 
hereof dispense with for ever ; declairing always this our Charter, 
to be granted without prejudice to the right of superiority, and 
others belonging to us, by the act of annexation, made in the year 
1633. In witness whereof, we have commanded our Great Seal to 
be appended to this our Charter, before these witnesses, our well- 
beloved cousins and Counsellors, William Earl Marischal, Lord 
Keith and Altrie our Marshal and Keeper of our Privy Seal, 
John Earl of Lauderdale, Viscount Maitland, Lord Thirlestane and 
Hatton, our Secretary, our Lovite Privy-Counsellors, Sir Archibald 
Primrose of Dummany, keeper of the Rolls, Clerk of Council and 
Session, Exchequer and Parliament, Sir John Home of Renton, our 
Justice Clerk, Knights, and Sir William Ker of Haddin, Knight, 
Director of our Chancery, at Edinburgh, 8th December, 1665, and 
17th year of our reign. 

(L.S.) Sealed, at Edinburgh, 28th July, 1666. (Signed) 
F. Bonicin, written to the Great Seal, 27th July, 1666. 
(Signed) F. Achesone, Dep. 

The Bailies and Council ten years afterwards further purchased 
from the Earl of Dundonald, for 500 merks {£,21 15s. 6Y^ijd.), "the 
land of Oxeshawside '"' (Council Records, loth June, 1676). 

Another of the extensive and important purchases effected by the 
Bailies and Council at this time was, as already stated, that of the 
lands of Snawdoun. A proposal to this effect first appears in 
the records of the Council on ist March, 1655, although, judging 
from the language of the records, it must often have been seriously 
considered by them in private : — 

" ist March, 1655. — The whilk day John Spreule, Bailie John 
Kelso, and John Wilson, elder, maltman, reported that they had 
communed with Robert Fork of Merksworth, finding him willing to 
sell the lands of Snawdaine, and, according as they were ordained 
(after several meetings with him), they had drivan him to the lowest 
price they could possible bring him unto, viz., 5550 (^^308 6s. 8d.) 
merks Scots money, and the town's entry to be thereto at Candle- 
mas last and Beltane next respectively for the crop instant and 
required, the Councell answer thereanent, who have approved 
therein, and appoints them to conclude with him the bargain and 
the manner of payment of the sum.'' 

The members thus appointed by the Town Council lost no time 
in seeing Mr. Fork, the proprietor of the estate of Snawdoun. On 


the day following, they reported to a meeting of Council, which had 
apparently been called together for this special purpose, that " they 
had closed a bargain with Robert Fork, elder, for the Snaddoun, 
and that they have concluditt that the said Robert Fork shall 
dispone to them the lands of Snaddoun, and their entry shall be 
presently, whereof he is to give to them sufficient security, and they 
are to pay to him the sum of 5550 merks money (^308 6s. 8d.), 
and the flesh stocks to be removed. Which price they are to pay 
to the said Robert, 550 merks (^30 us. ix^d.) in hand, an 1000 
merks at Whitsunday next, and the rest at Martinmas next, or 
sufficient security therefore. The Councell approves of the bar- 
gain, and appoints to give him arles, viz., two dollars." 

The lands of Snawdoun and Merksworth, which adjoin, both 
belonged to Robert Fork. A difficulty arose as to the valuation of 
them separately in regulating the amount of assessments for public 
purposes, and the Council and Mr. Fork agreed " to refer the 
valuation to Gawin Walkinshaw of that ilk, James Wallace of 
Burdren, and Robert Alexander of Blackstoune, at whose sub- 
division they faithfully promise to abide" ( Council Records, 9th 
July, 1655). Three months afterwards, the Council "appointed 
John Kelso, Bailie Robert Fork, younger, John Carswell, Hugh 
Blair, and John Wallace to go to the lands of Snawdoun, and there 
in theirs and the community's name to receive and take infeftment 
of the lands of Snawdoun upon the several charters of Robert 
Semple of Belltrees, who was the last infeft therein, still to be 
holden of the immediate superior siciit antca " ( Council Records, 
9th July, 1655). 

This estate of Snawdoun, according to the map of old Paisley, 
already noticed, must have been of considerable extent. Its 
southern boundary was the torrente (rivulet) de Snawdon, known 
more recently as the Underwood Burn or Got, entering the river at 
the north end of the present Prison buildings, and it extended 
northward for a considerable distance, along the western bank of 
the river Cart. The Council Records, so far as we can discover, 
do not at this time make any allusion to any mansion-house as 
being on the estate; but afterwards, on loth October, 1682, we find 
the following: — "The Sneddon house and yard set to John Fork, 
writer, for seven years to come, for payment yearly of twenty-three 
punds money — Robert Landes, maltman, cautioner for him." On 
loth October, 1689, they set and rouped their Sneddon house and 
yard, for the space of seven years, to John Adam, merchant, late 
Bailie, for the yearlie payment of fifty merks Scots money 
— RolDert Park, maltman, his cautioner. In the following year 
Robert Park, " for himself and burden, takes in and upon him for 
John Adam," asigned, with consent of the Council, the remaining 
years of the lease to William Caldwell, weaver. On 15th October, 
1696, " the Sneddon house and yard was rouped and set, for seven 
years to come, to W'"- ^Vallace, merchant, for the yearlie payment 
of fourtie punds Scots money [66s. 8d.]. The tenant was loound 

1650 TILL 1700. 277 

" to maintain the dykes and leave them in good condition, and the 
town are obhged to maintain the house in a sufficient condition, 
with Uberty to them to plant straight therein as they please."^ 

On 8th December, 1657, "the Treasurer is appointed to uphft 
from the Drummer the sum of sixteen punds for the fruit of Snaw- 
doun yard, set to him by Baihe Kelso." In the following month 
five apple trees were bought, by the orders of the Council, for the 
Snawdoun yard, and the price of them was ten shillings (lod.). 
The Snawdoun Dovecot, placed very likely beside the mansion-house, 
must have been of considerable size, for we find that it was first set 
to Ths- Davidson for three years at the yearly rent of eighteen punds 
six shillings (^2 15s. 6^\d.) (Council Records, 30th January, 1658), 
and it was, two years afterwards, set for six years at the reduced 
rent of "twelve punds money {^\ os. od.) yearly, and to be left at 
the end of the tack as good as it is at present" (Council Records^ 
8th March, 1660). In the following month two members of Council, 
who had been appointed for that purpose, reported " that they 
sighted the dovecot, and found therein of old and young dooes 
forty-five pairs" (Council Records, 9th April, 1660). On 23rd 
January, 1690, "theSnadoun Doucat rouped and set for seven years, 
after Candlemas instant, to Robert Pow, bailie, for twenty punds 
(33s. 4d.), and is not to intermitt with any dooes till May Day next, 
and the old Tacksman is to have the dung till that time — James 
Crawford, cautioner." At the end of this lease, "the Sneddon 
Doucat rouped and set for seven years" to Alexander Miller, 
shoemaker, for twenty punds Scots (33s. 4d.) 

On the lands of Snawdoun, as already mentioned, there was a 
goodly number of forest trees, which probably adorned, in these 
days, the banks of the river. In the year in which these lands were 
purchased, the Council "sold to John Cunninghame, turner, twenty- 
three plain trees in the Snawdoun of the best that for the present 
are there for the sum of fifty merks money (^2 15s. 6^^), to be 
paid at Martinmas next ; and he has two years' time from this day 
to cut the same" (Council Records, ist November, 1655). It also 
appears that a quantity of the timber grown on Snawdoun was used 
at the erection of the church at Neilston, as the Council "appointed 
Robert Park, younger, to perseu Kirkton and James Dunlope for 

^ Sneddon, fonning part of the town, is probably Anglo-Saxon Snidcit, a por- 
tion cut off, from Sneddan (Statistical Account, 1845, vol. vii., p. 138). 

Sneddon has also been considered as a corruption of Snaudon or Snowdon, 
and as furnishing a title to the Prince of Wales, as being Prince of Scotland. 
" The titles are themselves Scottish," says the writer of the article " Paisley" in 
the Edinburgh Encyclopcedia, speaking of the Prince as Baron of Snowdon, 
Snaudon, and Renfrew. " Now, as the Stewart family had long their chief seat 
in Renfrewshire, and the lands of Snaudoun, near Paisley, formed in all proba- 
bility a part of the patrimonial inheritance of that illustrious house, it does not 
seem at all improbable that the baronial title of Snowdon, actually coupled with 
that'uf Renfrew, was derived from the very lands in question" Encyclopccdia, 
vol. xvi., p. 270), 


the rest of the price of the town's timber they got to Neilstoun 
YJixY" (Council Records, nth October, 1677). 

In these days, all shops of every kind were called buithes, and 
the few that the Council held were generally let annually. On loth 
October, 1650, the letting of these buithes, along with some 
chambers, is recorded as follows : — 

North buithe on the brig, set for a year for 5 punds xvi^- viij<^- 
South buithe on the brig, four punds iij^- iiij''- (6s. ii-j^d). 
Laich buithe, under Tolbuithe stair, thirty-one punds {£^2 us. 

Heich buithe, on the Tolbuithe stair, ten punds iij^- iij^- (i6s. 

East laich buithe, ten punds (i6s. 8d.). 
West laich buithe, thirteen punds xiij^- iiij'^- (^i 2s. 9i\d). 
Heich house, eighteen punds (^2 los. od.). 
Aiker of land rouped and sold for eleven score eight punds 

xiij^- \\\]^' 
The chamber that was formerly the Clerk's chamber, appointed 

for Robert Park, clerk, upon condition he set it not. 
Heich chamber, possest be Janet Pow, continued for a year to 

Chamber, possest by John Baird, dnimmer, to be continued to 

him for four pounds of maill. 

In this period the Bailies and Council did not interfere so much 
as formerly in regulating the prices of ale, food, and other com- 
modities. The brewers of ale, however, appear to have greatly 
exceeded, in the eyes of the civic rulers, the bounds of fair charges 
for that beverage, as they often brought down upon themselves 
the indignation of the Bailies and Council, who passed a firm 
resolution regarding the price it should not exceed. 

15th September, 165 1. — "The whilk day the Bailies and Counsell, 
taking to their consideration that the brewers of the towne (by the 
said Bailies and Counsells oversight, and by reason of the dearth) 
have brocht the drinking beire and ale to ane verie heich rate and 
price, such as has not beine seine heretofore in the place ; and that 
now, by the blessing of God, the victuall is coming downe. Therfor 
they have ordained intimation to be made to all the said brewers 
be touk of drum, that none of them, from Sabbath next, the 7th of 
this instant, sail sell the drinking beire deirer than ij^- iij^- (2^d.), 
and the ale then ij^' under the pane of fyve punds moneys, to be 
payed be the contravener, als oft and how oft they shall contraveine." 

Fifteen years afterwards the Bailies and Council adopted the very 
reasonable sliding scale, fixed by Act of Parliament, for regulating 
the price of ale and beer, as described in the following record : — 

1 2th February, 1666. — " It is appointed that ane officer sail goe 
through the town this day discharging all the brewers to tak more 

1650 TILL 1700. 279 

for the pynt of their ale and biere than his majesties act of counsell 
prescribes, quhilk is i2'J- when the boll of rough biere is vi punds 
(los.), 2od. when the boll of rough biere is viij punds 
(13s. 4d.) and ij^- money (2d.), when the boll of rough biere is x 
punds (i6s. 8d.), and ilk pynt to pay ij"^- of excise." 

It does not appear that the coal workings in the Gallow green 
were successful, for the Bailies and Council agreed that they should 
be closed, and that one of them should be filled with " moss stocks, 
fail and timber" (Council Records, 26th January, 1652). About two 
years afterwards they agreed that the " heugh tows should be lent to 
James Dunlop, of Househill, for the space of eight days" (Council 
Records, 12th April, 1654). As the inhabitants had been long 
accustomed to the use of peats for fuel, and as moss was so abun- 
dant and close at hand, it is very likely they gave it a preference. 
Very probably, also, the coal was bad. 

A son of Hugh Fork, sheriff-clerk, appears to have shot pigeons 
at the Snawdoun Dovecot, and the sherift-clerk came under an 
obligation, as follows, that such conduct should not be repeated. 

2ist July, 1675. — "This day Mr. Hew Fork, sheriff clerk of Ren- 
frew, becomes acted and obleist for Robert Fork, his eldest sone, 
that he in tym heirafter, his said sone sail shoot no doves conform 
to the Act of Parliament during his tym of authoritie over him, under 
the pain of fourtie punds money. And also the said Mr. Hew 
obliges him, that he sail pay to the town's fischall such ane sum of 
money as the two present Bailies sail modifie for his by gane 

Another considerable piece of land purchased by the Town 
Council, was the estate of Caversbank. This property extends 
from the present Stoney Brae to Moss Street, and according to the 
map of old Paisley already noticed, was called Sclatbank. In 1489 
it was owned by Robert Cavers, one of the Bailies of Paisley, and 
hence, we believe, the name is to be accounted for by which it is 
now known. The ground was owned in one period by Gilbert 
Fork, who received 2000 merks (;^iii 2s. 2d.) from the Council for 
it ; and the following record will explain the conditions connected 
with the purchase. 

i3rh March, 1675. — "This day there is six hundreth merks 
(;^33 6s. 8d.) money taken out of the councell kist, qulk is given 
to Gilbert Fork, with two distinct bonds, containing in both 
fourtine hundreth merks (;^77 15s. 6d.), to two blank persons, 
being in whole two thousand merks (^m 2s. z^^d.), for the price 
of Caversbank, now resigned be him in the Bailies and Councells 
hand, ad perpetuam renianentiam. And regard that he has made 
disposition to Robert Carsewell of ane farmstead for the sum of 
twentie-four punds {j[^2 6s. 6d.) moneys, and that the said Robert 
Carsewell has obliged him to build ane stone dyk all alongst the 
head of Caversbank, conform to ane agriement made and subscrivit 


betwixt the said Gilbert and him for the sum therein contaned ; and 
hes given ane discharge of the said twentie-four punds (^i 13s. 4d.) 
money, with twenty shilHngs further, in part payment of the price of 
the said dyik. The quhilks sums the BaiUes and Councell sail 
allow the said Robert Carsewell securitie for building of the dyik, 
and the said Gilbert making assignation to the agriement ; and in 
the mean-tym the said Gilbert has given up the said discharge with 
the said agriement." 

The Council had also under their consideration the purchasing of 
three acres of land at Broomlands, belonging to William Paterson, 
but parties appear not to have been able to agree about the price. 
The owner of the ground wished 1045 "lerks (^58 is. i^^d.) for 
it, but the Council resolved that they would not give more than 600 
punds (^50 OS. od.), "and 20 punds (^i 13s. 4d.) to his wife to 
buy a pair of plaids" ( Council Records, 21st February, 1660). 

The Bailies and Council were particularly jealous of the rights 
and privileges of the burgesses,^ and always endeavoured to protect 
these when any attempt was made to encroach upon them. They 
did so because the burgesses were bound together for mutual 
protection, and contributed alike towards the support of the general 
community. \\'hereas over those who resided without the burgh 
boundary — or as they were frequently named the "outentown 
men" — the Baihes had no authority, excepting that they subjected 
them to the payment of higher customs at the burgal markets and 
fairs. Otherwise the outentown men did not enjoy equal privileges 
with the burgesses. The acts of the Bailies and Council, which we 
are about to quote, will, we think, be read with surprise, and it will 
not be without interest to compare the arbitrary local government 
of that century with the freedom which has now supplanted it. 

9th October, 165 1. — " The qlk day it is statute and ordaint that 
no unfrieeman sail have libertie to buy any lining cloth, skins, or 
hydes, broucht into the mercat to sell, before ane afternoon. And 
gif any does in the contrair, the friemen to have libertie to take the 
samyne aff the unfrieman's hands upon such rate and pryce as the 
same sail be bocht for be them." 

13th January, 1661. — "The BaiHes and Counsel ratify the act 
that no outentown burgess, unless they come and make their 
resideen, shall bruck booths or shop within the town, excepting 
such as has present possession. And also, that all outentown's 
burgesses, who presently bruck booths, shall bear and pay their 
proportionat parts of public burdens with the rest of the town." 

nth October, 1666.- — " This day it is statute and enacted be the 

^ "The word In-ock ho\h in England and lowland Scotland, meant one \vho 
pledged himself for another, or became bail for him. The 'brough' or 'burgh,' 
was, therefore, a community united together in a common lot or cause, 
giving pledges and securities for each other " (Burton's History of Scotland, vol. 
ii., p. 170). 

1650 TILL 1700. 281 

Bailies and Councell that in all tyme coming after this day and 
head court, all burgesses to be made sail pay, ilk ane of them, 
fourtie punds (66s. 8d.) for their libertie." 

nth October, 1666. — "//^w, it is statute and ordained and 
enacted that in all tyme coming any that sail happin to marie ane 
indwelling burgess dauchter, himself being ane stranger before, sail 
onlie pay of burgess fine ten punds money (i6s. 8d.), secluding 
from the benefit of this act all burgess dauchters whoes father 
dwells not within the town and that does not beare their part of the 
publick burdens thereof and keeps not their virginitie still." 

nth October, 1666. — ^^ Item, it is enacted and statute that in 
tyme comming all landward burgesses, their eldest son at his entrie 
and becoming burgess, sail pay. twentie punds {jQi 13s. 4d.) of 
burgess fyne, unless their father come in and enact himself to bear 
his proportionatt part of publick burdens from this day furth, and 
that they come in and enact themselves to the effect foresaid be- 
twixt and the next head court at Candilmes, and that the burgess 
to be made find the like and the same cautioune, bearand their part 
of publick burdens." 

13th October, 1670.— "They ratifie the act anent outentown's 
men, find caution to answer as law will, at the instance of anie 
burgess to whom they are owing debt not exceiding fourtie punds 
money" (^3 6s. 8d.) 

nth May, 167 1. — "They ratifie the act that no burgess made 
gratis, their sons sail have benefit efter their father's decease." 

22nd December, 1681. — "Robert Park, wryter in Paisley, be- 
comes acted and cautioner for John Houston, of Wester Southbar, 
that he sail either creat himself burgess of this burgh at Candlemas, 
1682, or else sail come and inhabit within the town of Paisley or 
else sail sell the aiker of land whereintill he is now bulked belonging 
to Allan Stewart, maltman, in favour of a burgess or inhabitant 
of the burgh, under the penaltie of twenty punds scots money 
{£,1 13s. 4d.), in case of faillie by and attour performance of the 

Although the use of whingers, or weapons of any kind, was, in dis- 
putes and street brawls at this time, gradually disappearing, yet there 
were many cases of assault brought before the Bailies wherein the 
parties engaged committed considerable personal injuries by their 
use. The perusal of the extracts we give regarding some of these 
cases will afford some further insight into the social condition of the 

13th March, 1652.— "The qlk day Johne Love, fleshour, being 
convened before the said Counsell for shamefullie abusing the Bailie, 
John Vaus, the said nicht; disobeying him, strecking of John 
Greinleis, cordiner, his wyfe, drunkines, strecking of Thoma|S Hall, 
officer, quhen he was sent to charge him to compeire before the 
Bailie, And thereafter, coming to the said John Vaus, Bailie, at 


his awn stairefoote, he having dismissed him before. And when 
both BaiUes being together, the said John Vaus desirand the said 
John Love to goe his way, he was drunk as a beast, he did call the 
said Baihe many tymes a drmiken beast and himself wes a man. 
And the Bailie biding take him to the toUbuith, he answered he 
scorned the Bailie, or all his power or government could put him in 
the toUbuith, and thereupon put his hand to the said Bailie, saying 
he would put him in the toUbuith, and thought either to doe it or 
to cast the Bailie to the ground ; and thereafter, while he was in 
taking to the toUbuith, he did calumneat the Bailie to the malicious 
and labored to incense them, saying, it was for their sakes he was so 
handled. The said Johne Love being put before the said Bailies and 
Counsell, did confess all the particulars of the complaint given in 
against him. The qlk gross cariage and misbehaviour being taken 
into consideration be the said Bailies and Counsell, they have there- 
fore unlawed him in twentie punds money, and ordained him to 
return to work till he pays the said sowme to the Treasurer ; and 
thereafter to confess and humbillie acknowledge his fault to the said 
Bailie Johne Vaus, whom he had wronged." 

2nd March, 1663. — "The quhUk day the BaiUes and Counsell 
commisionat Mr. Robert Wallace and Robert Park to compear and 
defend in the action persued be the common procurator of Renfrew 
against John Park, maltman, in Seedhill, Robert and William 
Greinleis, there, from blooding one another. In respect that they 
are not within his jurisdiction, and is alreadie judged be the Bailies 
of Pasleye ; and if the depute sail wilfuUie decerne, with power to 
them to suspend, for the quilk the Bailies and Counsell promise 

23rd June, 1670.— "This day, John Kerr, younger, in SacerhiU, 
being conveined for clandestine marriage — goeingin to England after 
his proclamations beene, is fyned in liftie punds money, reserving 
the other fiftie punds for the King's unlaw, if the King's advocate 
sail perseu therefor; and also, he being conveined for striking of his 
father, confesses he rugged his fathers hair, but denying strakes. 
It is proven be witnesses that he pulled his father to the ground 
and strooke him, for the quilk he is fyned in twentie punds, and to 
stand two merkat days on the croce and two merkat days to lye in 
the stocks, ilk day from ellevin hours till one hour eftirnoone, and 
to stand in prison till these be fulfilled." 

2ist May, 1674. — "This day, William Ker, messenger, becomes 
acted and obUged that, beginning this day and from this furth, he 
sal make payment to the town treasurer of the sum xxvi^- vijj*^- 
money (2s. 2d.) for the payment of ane guard to watch John 
MaxweU, merchand, now in prison for wounding of WiUiam 
Uennistoun of Colgraine, and that nightlie and for ilk night, aye and 
whill the commands and letters execute against him at the instance 
of Colgraine, the King's advocate for his entres be discussed, and 
for the expenses of his carieing to Edinburgh." 

1650 TILL 1700. 283 

William Dennistoun, in 1674, was engaged in a scuffle with John 
Maxwell of Blakstoun, in Paisley, and having been wounded, the 
matter was brought before the High Court of Justiciary, but the diet 
was deserted of consent, the case having been apparently com- 

When the almshouse or hospital was erected at the 'West Port, it 
was made to accommodate six men, but it does not appear that so 
many ever occupied it at any one time. A duty which one of the 
hospital men required to perform was the ringing of the dead bell, 
and in 1652 such an appointment was made in these terms: — 
" John Miller sail have the ringing of the dead bell and making of 
the graves until beltane next, that his fitness may be in the space 
tryed gif he sail be furder continued in the office" (Council Records, 
29th January, 1652). John Mitchell, one of our eminent local 
poets, states, in a note to his poem entitled The Wee Steeple' s G/iaist, 
that the bell in this steeple was called " Yaumer Yowl," from its 
being rung when a burial was passing. One of the hospital men at 
the same time came out to the street, with hat in hand, to solicit 
" an awmous," and generally received threepence from some one in 
the funeral procession (The Wee Steeple's Ghaist, p. 49). If this 
was the dead bell referred to in the record of appointment just 
quoted, quite a different practice prevailed in Paisley from that 
of other places where dead bells were used. In Newburgh, for 
example, the custom was for the beadle to walk before the coffin, 
ringing a hand-bell, all the way to the churchyard.- This practice 
was discontinued about 1780, but it continued in the neighbouring 
parish of Aldie to a more recent period (Lindores Abbey, p. 381). 
When Ray wrote his account of the city of Glasgow in 1 661, he 
states — " Their manner of burial is when one dies, the sexton or 
bellman goeth about the streets with a small bell, which he tinkleth 
all along as he goeth, and now and then he makes a stand and pro- 
claims who is dead, and invites the people to come to the funeral 
at such an hour." Seventeen years after this, the inmates of the 
hospital, who were three in number, solicited new clothes from 
the Council, " who condescendit that ilk ane of them have ane new 
gowne of blew clothe, and ilk ane of them ane pair of hose " 
(Council Records, 6th September, 1659). In addition to the dona- 
tions formerly given to the Council for the maintenance of the 
hospital, they also " received from George Scrapie's foundation for 
the poor and needy of the burgh, forty punds annually " f' C(?//';/^// 

1 William Dennistoun was the son of Arcliibald Dennistoun, minister of 
Campsie, and wlien a boy, was appointed provisional heir of the Colgraine estates 
by the settlement of John Dennistoun of Colgraine. —Joseph I)-iings History of 
Dumbartonshire, vol. ii. p. 333, edition, 1879. 

^ Traditions of Perth, p. 33. — The bellman went round the town, ringing his 
bell, and occasionally halting to make some such announcement as the following : 
— "Men and brethren, I let you to wot that our brother A. B. departed this life 

on Thursday last, and is to be interred on Sunday evening at , when the 

company of all his brethren is expected." 


Records, 6th November, 1660). On 28th April, 1699, the Council 
" nominated William Greinleis, elder, and Robert Urie, hospital men, 
and allotted to them the ordinary salary and other benefits, upon 
condition that they abide in the house themselves and keep fire 
therein, and ordains the Clerk to draw precept therefor." 

The Bailies, as formerly, had in the discharge of their magisterial 
duties in the burgh court-house almost every type of cases brought 
before them by the procurator-fiscal. We abstain from making 
remarks upon the separate cases, allowing the reader to form his 
own opinion regarding them. The decisions in the most of these 
cases are, as usual, described in very quaint and yet intelligible 
language, and further tend to throw light on the social condition of 
the inhabitants upwards of two hundred years ago. It will be ob- 
served that both in former periods and in this, although the Bailies 
administered the law, several of the Councillors were also present in 
many cases in the court, to advise and aid them in their decisions. 

28th March, 1653. — ■" Isobel Greenleis is appointed to stand two 
hours in the jugs, or pay forty shillings (SrV^-) for cursing the 

2ist February, 1657. — "The which day at command of John 
Spreul, Robert Kirlie, officer, has arrested Hugh Campbell, being 
now in captivity within the tolbuith of Paisley, upon caption 
(liberate by John Kelso, the other Bailie, to go at libertie for some 
itw days within the town, and to return to prison upon assurance 
given to that effect), to remain under sure arrestment in the said 
captivity, at the instance of Archibald M'Culloch, merchant, 
burgesses of Paisley, ay and till sufficient caution be found for the 
said Hew, the which arrestment the said officer intimate to John 
Kelso, Bailie. Witnesses Hew Maxwell, Brediland, and George 
Galbreath, in Paisley, with W™- Johnstone, in Candren." 

loth May, 1665. — "This meeting being appointed for trying of 
the complaint given in yesterday be the Bailies against Allan 
Wallace, for saying that he would have als much of the Bailie's flesh 
as he wanted for the two sojours 24 hours quarters, publicklie 
uttered be him, compears the said Allan Wallace, and confesses 
that he said he sould be either payed be the town or be the Bailies, 
or sould have als much of their flesh. The Council, considering the 
business, and finding that be the Acts of the town that the said 
Allan deserves to have his freedome cryed doune, in lieu and place 
thereof, they fyne the said Allan in twentie punds money, withall 
referring the said fyne to the Bailies' will, to give the said Allan 
down thereof, whether all or anie part thereof, as they sail find him 
sensibill of his fault." 

ist October, 1668. — "Janet Ker ordained to stand half an hour 
in the jogs for resett of stollen yairn, and to find caution for her 
future conduct." 

Sth October, 1669. — "The quhilk day William Kerr becomes 

1650 Til. I, 1700. 285 

acted and obleist that in no tyme hereafter he sail weare ane 
whinger within the fiyve merle land of Paisley, bot at such a tyme, 
and in that interim when he is straight goeing forth into, or straight 
coming from his lawful! occasions, under the pain of fyve punds." 

3tst May, 1670. — " Elisone Lochhead, relict of umquile John 
Houston, in Allans, becomes acted that in no tym heirafter shall 
trouble Margaret Stewart, spous to the laird of Polmais, the said 
laird, nor none of their tenents, nether be execretions nor violence, 
under the greitest pain that may ensue be the laws of this realme. 
Witnesses, Archibald Anderson, merchand, Robert Kirlie, officer, 
and Walter Cochran, cordoner." 

TSt November, 1671. — "The quilk day Robert Erskine, wiver, 
becomes acted and obleist as cautioner and souertie for Robert 
Adam, tailzeour, that he shall produce him before the Bailies at 
anie tyme heireafter, when he sail be required to answer for his 
profaining the Lord's day, and be punished therefore ; and that he 
sail behave himself rightlie on it, as becomes in tyme coming, under 
the pain of ten punds (i6s. 8d.), and the said Robert Adam 
becomes obleist for the said Robert Erskine's releise." 

2nd November, 1671. — "The whilk day William Jamieson, 
^^Tight, becomes cautioner and souertie acted for John Robeson, 
servitor to John Park, younger, merchand, that he shall produce 
him at any tym heirafter, when he sail be required, before the 
Bailies to answer and be punished for his misdemeanours, and that 
heirefter he sail keepe the Sabbath day, sail not play at cairds nor 
dyce, and behave himself well and honestlie, under the pain of ten 
punds (i6s. 8d.) money." 

20th January, 1672. — "Patrick Wilson, for horrid swearing in 
presence of one of the Bailies, and for menacing speeches against 
the other, ordained to lye at the croce, in the stocks, from twelve 
till two in the afternoon." 

27th June, 1674. — John Maxwell, merchant, prosecutes the 
Bailies, before the Commissioners of His Majesty's Justiciary, for 
\\Tongous imprisonment. Both Bailies (in whose absence two old 
Bailies were elected) are charged to appear before these Com- 
missioners, and considerable sums are expended upon the occasion. 

The Bailies and Council had sometimes three, but never less than 
two, town officers to perform the various duties connected with the 
Court-room and the burgh generally. In those days, when there 
was no pohce establishment, their office was of considerable im- 
portance and somewhat difficult to fill in a proper manner. The 
subject of the renewal of their dress came frequently under the 
consideration of the Council. Sometimes money was voted to them 
to buy their own clothes, and on other occasions the cloth was 
provided by the Council. On loth February, 1651, "they appoint 
the officers' and drummer's cloath to be bought to them timeously 
against the fair. Fifteen ells of kersey to be the three officers' and 


drummer's cloathes — forty-fiYC punds" (^3 15s. od.). On nth 
July, 1653, "the drummer got five punds (8s. 4d.) in lieu of a suit 
of clothes,' but no reference is made to the officers till the 13th 
August in the following year, when "the Bailies and Council having 
considered ane supplication of the two officers and drummer for five 
punds of fiel to ilk ane of them, conform to former use-and-wont, 
they find that it is but ane late practice, and was only granted to 
them in the English time, when they had meikle pains and little 
gain, and therefore ordains them to have the same fiel for this year 
but not hereafter." 

It appears that two of the officers had a disagreement, and one of 
them, " John Stewart, officer, was incarcerated within the tolbooth 
till he pay four punds (6s. 8d.), for wranging of William Orr, town 
officer, both in words and deeds, proven against him, until he finds 
the said William caution of lawborrows." From being long in office, 
and meeting very frequently with the Bailies and Councillors, the 
town officers, as well as the drummer, were sometimes presumptuous 
in their conduct, believing, apparently, that such behaviour would 
be readily condoned. The following case very likely arose from 
that cause : — 

" Anent Baird, drummer, 9th October, 165 1. — Item, the Bailies 
and Counsell, taking to consideration that Johne Baird, drummer, 
by the suggestioun of some vaine persons, did beat the drum throu 
the towne, and did give the keye for ringing the steipill bell, on the 
nicht latelie, in which they biged on baills, and danced throu the 
toune, and that without license had or soucht of the Bailies. 
Therefor they have instantlie depryved him of his office of drumarie 
and of his ringing of the said steipill bell and keiping of the knock, 
from all hallow-day nixt, untell the qlk tyme they only continue the 
knock keiping and bell ringing." The drummer must have been 
pardoned,^ for we find him afterwards occupying his former situation. 

The Bailies and Council had generally more than one procurator 

nth October, 1655. — John Wallace, notar, and John Wilson, 
younger, are appointed procurator fiscals, and are to have ten merks 
(lis. ij^d.) betwixt them, they doing their duty." 

^ "James Hutton, one of the town officers of Brechin, and William M'Arthur, 
another of them, trespassed so far on the good nature of the magistrates of that 
town, as to dictate the sentences to be pronounced both in civil and criminal 
matters. ^Vhcn any of the Bailies ventured to differ in opinion from Hutton, he 
would say, ' Well, Bailie, you may do as you like, but what / state is the law.' 
M'Arthur again, when gently reprimanded by the Provost for some misde- 
meanour, pulled off his coat and tossed it in the magistrate's face, desiring him 
to wear the livery and be his own officer. So difficult was it found to procure 
officers in the eighteenth century, and so demoralising was the situation considered 
to be, that one of the chief magistrates declared, 'he redily believed if the senior 
Bailie were made a town officer, he would become a blackguard in a month ' " 
( History 0/ Biechjri, by D. D. Black, p. 174). 

1650 TILL 1700. 287 

On 29th March, i 


seven half 

acres of land were 

sold by 

blic roup at north-east of Greenhill 

as follows : — 



Half an acre for 



8 ...£8 12 



95 nierks 

••• 5 5 



96 do. 





151 do. 

... 8 7 



140 do. 

••• 7 15 



128 do. 


4 ... 7 2 



140 do. 

••• 7 15 


In the middle of the 15th century, as already fully described, an 
attempt was made by the burgesses of Renfrew to compel the bur- 
gesses of Paisley to pay custom to them for goods sold at the Cross 
of Paisley, but it proved signally unsuccessful. Whatever private 
jealousies may have aftenvards existed between the inhabitants of 
the two towns, there were no open differences exhibited till the 
middle of this century. Such arose not now, as formerly, from any 
attempt to levy custom on the goods exposed for sale at the Cross 
of Paisley, but on an attempt being made to exact custom at the 
" craft gait of Paisley " from two boats of herring. This was done 
by John Porterfield, a burgess of Renfrew. As it is not alleged he 
was instructed by the Bailies of Renfrew to claim this custom, it is 
quite possible that he was the collector of customs at that burgh, 
and made this attempt on his own account. At the same time 
looking to the procedure shortly thereafter of the Magistrates of 
Renfrew, it is very probable he adopted this course, conscious of 
their sympathy. But whatever was the stimulating cause, the 
Bailies and Council of Paisley acted promptly in the matter, and 
not only stopped John Porterfield, but compelled him to give 
security that he would make no more attacks thereafter in such a 
" sinistruously way." 

About two years afterwards, the burgh of Renfrew made a serious 
and sudden attack upon the burgesses of Paisley to compel them to 
" cease from trading and merchandise," and a vehement legal con- 
test in the Court of Session, which continued for nearly two years, 
ensued between the two towns. The following extracts from the 
Town Council records at that time, although rather long, will best 
explain the great annoyance and expense to which the town of 
Paisley was subjected by this agressive action on the part of the 
burgh of Renfrew. 

2nd October, 1654. — This day John Spreul is appointed by the 
Bailies and Council to go east to Edinburgh with all convenient 
haste, and there to use his exact diligence for purchasing ane sus- 
pension against the burgh of Renfrew, who have charged the bur- 
gesses of this burgh to desist and cease from trading and mer- 
chandize using, and for purchasing the same the better there is 
delivered to him a charter of the burgh of Paisley, granted by King 
James the Fourth to Abbot Geo. Schaw. /fem, the indented 


charter granted by the said Abbot to the Baihes, Council, and com- 
munity of Paisley of the burgh thereof Item, the copy of the 
indenture betwixt the Abbot of Dunfermline and the town thereof. 
Item, the copy of the first infeftment of the town of Dunfermline. 
Item, the Parliament's ratification of the town of Paisley charter, 
1648. Item, an Act of Parliament upon the decreit obtained by 
the town of Paisley against the town of Renfrew before the said 
auditor of causes, and an endenture betwixt the Burgh of Renfrew 
and Paisley." 

30th October, 1654. — "John Spreul and Robert Park appointed 
to go to Edinburgh and fee two advocates to defend the action 
raised by the town of Renfrew. 100 merks given them to pay their 
expenses and fee counsel." 

9th November, 1654. — "It is ordained that the evidents needful 
to send east for defence of the town's liberty pursued by the town 
of Renfrew shall be described, and these to be subscribed by tvva 
notars, and sent east to Mr. Andrew Kerr." 

3rd May, 1655. — " Bailie Spreul has returned the six pieces of 
evidents delivered to him on the 2nd October, 1654, wherewith to 
go to Edinburgh anent the town of Renfrew, together with a sus- 
pension against the said town, and the resolutions of Mr. John 
Gilmour and Mr. Andrew Kerr, advocates." 

26th January, 1656. — " Bailie Spreul and Robert Park appointed 
to go to Edinburgh about the town of Renfrew and other matters. 
They to have 40s. (3s. 4d.) for ordinary expenses, and their extra- 
ordinary expenses paid." 

28th January, 1656. — " The which day there is delivered to John 
Spreull, bailie, and Robert Park, clerk, wherewith to go to Edin- 
burgh against the town of Renfrew, who is calling their suspension, 
the same charters as on 2nd October, 1654." 

20th March, 1656. — " It is reported by John Spreul, bailie, and 
Robert Park, clerk, anent their diligence done in Edinburgh against 
the town of Renfrew, that they did advise the town's evidents with 
Sir John Gilmour and Mr. James Dalrymple, advocates, and that 
the said advocates drew up their grounds and reasons of dispute in 
defence of the town of Paisley's liberties against the town of 
Renfrew, and had undertaken for the town of Paisley." 

It will be seen that this legal contest continued so long, and was, 
besides, attended with so much expense, that the Bailies and 
Council were obliged to dispose of some land at Greenhill to enable 
them to meet the heavy outlay. 

24th April, 1656. — "The Bailies and Councel considering that 
they have much to do in defence of their liberties against the town 
of Renfrew, for defraying thereof have appointed 3 acres and 3 roods 
of land of Greenhill to be rouped and sold on Saturday, 3rd May 
next, and intimation thereof to be made this day." 

I St July, 1656. — " Bailie Spreul commissioned to go to Edin- 

1650 TILL 1700. 289 

burgh, and there to act and do what shall be found necessary in the 
town's defence against the town of Renfrew.'"' 

i6th December, 1656. — "This day a letter read to the Council 
directed from the town's agent signifying that the town of Renfrew 
and burgh has again called their suspension, whereupon they have 
appointed Robert Park, their clerk, to write the said agent to attend 
the next call and to get the Council timeously advised." 

8th December, 1657. — "Bailie Park reported his diligence at 
Edinburgh anent the Town's process with the town of Renfrew 
and the free boroughs." 

This litigation between the two neighbouring towns appears to 
have been terminated at that time by the Burgh of Renfrew 
abandoning the claims they had made. But four years thereafter, 
a number of the burgesses of Renfrew committed in Paisley some 
offences which are not described, and " the Bailies and Counsel 
concludit that ane letter sail be written to the Bailies and Counsell 
of Renfrew to signifie to them the misdemeanour of some of their 
burgesses committed be them within the Burgh, to represent the 
manner thereof, and to require answer thereanent, and whether they 
own it or not, and to report" (Council Records, 25th May, 1671). 
This matter, which likely related also to the trade of the town, must 
have been amicably disposed of, for no further allusion is made to it 
in the records. 

The Bailies continued their exertions to suppress begging in 
the town, and with that view appointed the " town -officers to go 
timeously through the town and take up ane roll of all orray women 
in the town, and of those that set houses to them and to report " 
(Council Records, i6th April, 1655). Another very moderate but 
likely an effective course the Baihes and Council adopted to check 
the begging system. It is shown in the following records : — 

" William Greinlees, meilman, hereby enacts himself as cautioner 
for Marion King, widow, that she shall not harbour, set, or entertain 
any tinkers, beggars, or vagrant persons within her dwelling-house 
in time coming, which if she does, that she shall not reside within 
this burgh thereafter, but be banished outwith thereof in all time 
coming" ( Council Records, 9th July, 1690). 

At the end of this century the number of beggars and vagabonds 
of every class, including numerous tribes of gipsies in Scotland, was 
enormous, and their condition was most deplorable, as is de- 
picted in the following extract : — 

" There are at this day in Scotland (besides a great many poor 
families very meanly provided for by the church-boxes, with others 
who, by living upon bad food, fall into various diseases) 200,000 
people begging from door to door. These are not only no way 
advantageous but a very grievious burden to so poor a country ; 
and though the number of them be perhaps double to what it was 
formerly, by reason of this present great distress, yet in all times 



there have been about 100,000 of these vagabonds, who have Uved 
without any regard or subjection, either to the laws of the land or 
even those of God and nature. No Magistrate could ever discover 
or be informed, which way ane in a hundred of these wretches died, 
or that even they were baptised. Many murders have been dis- 
covered among them ; and they are not only a most unspeakable 
oppression to poor tenants, but they rob many poor people who live 
in houses distant from any neighljourhood. In years of plenty, 
many thousands of them meet together in mountains, where they 
feast and riot for many days ; and at country weddings, markets, 
and burials, and other like public occasions, they are to be seen, 
both men and women, perpetually drunk, cursing, blaspheming, and 
fighting together " (Political Works of Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, 
Glasgow, 1749, p. 100). 

Beggars and vagrants were sometimes punished with the greatest 
severity — even cruelly — particularly by Sheriffs, when caught com- 
mitting any act of theft. In September, 1700, George Park, ane 
vagrant, and Robert Kerr, ane other, were found in Kilbarchan. 
Park had gone into the house of James Houstoun there, and was 
caught with small goods, belonging to Houstoun, a little from the 
house. Kerr confessed to several pickerings and small thefts, such 
as meal and other small goods, and that he had been guilty of the 
lyke and whipt and banished the shyre therefor. The Procurator, 
on 26th of that month, complained to the Sheriff against them, and 
they were then examined, and having confessed, were sentenced 
" to be taken to the tolbooth stairhead of Paisley, and there tyed 
to the pillar thereof, and to be brount in the face with ane burning 
iron, and then and there receive each sex whipps, and then with 
took of drum taken to the townhead and receive other sex. The 
third att the next post ; and als many at the mealmarkett, als many 
att the cross, and other sex at the Abay yait, and lastly seven att the 
Walnook ; and discharges all the leiges within this shyre to harbour 
or receive any of the sds two persones, under the paine of being 
guilty of recepter of thieves, and the samen to be published, and 
thereafter banished the shyre, not to return thereto under the paine 
of death " (Judicial Accords of Henfreius/iire, by \\. Hector, vol. i., 
p. 187). 

The Bailies and Council still continued to take the management 
of the mortcloths required for funerals in the town. They also 
hired them out, at a higher rate, for funerals without the burgh. 
The following are some of the charges that were made for the use 
of the mortcloths : — 

i6th April, 1657. Scots. Sterling. 

The laird of Kelburne's brother,... ^4 o o jQo 6 8 

John Dunsmuir, Neilston, ...300 050 

Maigor Montgomerie, Lochwinnah, 300 050 

The Master of Cochran's child,... 300 050 

John Orr, Drygate, Kilbarchan, ... 300 050 

1650 TILL 1700. 


i6th April, 1657. 
Alex. Pollock, Meiklebog, 
John Caldwell, Kirk, 
The youngestgoodman,Duchal, 
Clothoderick's wife, 
Robert Peebles' wife, in Beith, 

■ 3 
• 4 




The following are some further records of the Town Council, 
relating to the mortcloths : — 

8th March, 1660. — "The Bailies and Council agreed to expend 
200 punds (^16 13s. 4d.) to buy a velvet mortcloth." 

9th April, 1660. — "John Park, BaiUe, reported that, as he was 
appointed, he went to Edinburgh, and sought all the booths where 
there is any velvet, and found none three piled, and that the two 
piled was so bad and thin that he could not buy it for a mortcloth." 

nth October, 1666. — "They ratify the act that the mortcloth 
sail not be given out to any person whatsomever, but upon their 
present payment of the hire fixed." In other words, no credit was 
to be given. 

14th September, 1668. — ^' Ac^ aneiit the Bairns Mortcloth." — 
" The quhilk day the new velvet mortclothe, bought and made for 
childrene, is apointed to be let out to burgesses for their childrene 
that exceids not twelve yeirs of age, and they to pay, therefore, 
sextein shillings scots (is. 4d.) money; and that none in the town 
sail let out any mortclothe to any other within the town, in prejudice 
thereof, under the pain of fyve punds (8s. 4d.) of unlaw toties 
quoties. And that no burgess nor inhabitant sail bring in any 
other mortclothe, or make use of any, except the town's mortcloth, 
under the same pain." 

The material required for a mortcloth, and the price of the same, 
were as under : — 

20th June, 1671. Scots. 

834^ ells of velvet for a mortcloth, at 20 merks the ell,^iio o o 

17 ells of black searge, at 24s. he ell, ... ... ... 20 8 o 

3 lb., 3 oz., 4 drops of black silk, to be passes at 12 punds 
the ell, with 1 2 drops of black silk to make the new 

and mend the old, ... ... ... ... ... 39 o 

For making the passes, ... ... ... ... ... 6 o 

Making the new clothe, and mending and lining the old, 4 o 

Black thread to sow the lining, ... ... ... o 4 

Black baise to make the knots, ... ... ... o 4 

For a leather wallet to keep it, ... ... ...012 

Expense with A. Cochrane and J. Stewart, ... ... o 8 

To a boy for bringing the frienzies from Renfrew, ... o 4 


' The Bailies and Councill apoints the price to be given be the 


burgesses for the clothe xi^- (iid.) Item, for the second cloth 
xx^- (is. 8d.), and the third clothe ane merk, and the fourth clothe, 
quhilk is the Bairns cloth, to be ane merk, attoure ij^- {2d.) to the 
cloth for ilk ane of the two first clothes, and to him i6^- afif ilk 
merk foresaid, so that the town's part thereof is xii^- (is.)."^ 

The following is a very particular and interesting statement of the 
custom charged at the bridge, as fixed by the Bailies and Council : — 

25th January, 1677. — Ane Table of the Bridge Custome. 

For ilk pack of merchand wair or load of butter or cheis, ... 8d. 
For ilk load of vittal that comes to the mercat to be sold, ... 4d. 
For ilk load of vittal going from the west or coming from the 

east, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 8d. 

For ilk draught of timber, . . , ... ... ... ... 8d. 

For ilk kairt coming through the water, to a stranger, ... 8d. 

For ilk kow going or coming in the tyme of the fair or any 

other day, ... ... ... ... ... ... 8d. 

But if returning in the owner's hand unsold, or if it be ane 

horse returning unsold, to pay nothing. 
For ilk kow or horse coming to the grassing or fodder, . . . 4d. 

For ilk lamb, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 2d. 

For whyte or green webs coming alongst the bridge in the 

time of the fair, ... ... ... .. ... ... 8d. 

And in the week day, ... ... ... ... ... ... 4d. 

For ilk sheip or veil for slaughter, ... ... ... ... 4d. 

For ilk sheip or veil going alongst the bridge on foot, ... 4d. 

For ilk burden of lint yairn or merchand wair going or coming 

alongst the bridge, ... ... ... ... ... 2d. 

And if it goes back unsold, ... ... ... ... ... od. 

Ane packman or creilman coming to the mercat to pay 

nothing, in respect that they pay gate custom. 
No herring coming from our own wateris to pay anything except 

in loads. In the quhilk case they ar to pay for the loads, 8d. 
Ilk kow or horse that comes to the two fairs to pay in the 

mercat, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 8d. 

Ane Table of the Gate Custom. 

Ilk pund of lint, not exceeding six punds in a polk, is to pay, 2d. 
And if the polk exceid 6 punds of lint, ilk polk to pay a 

nock and not be customed again till it be sold, nor any 

wages eeked or augmented. 
The load of shave lint is to pay, ... ... ... ... 1 2d. 

Ilk green or whyt web of plyding of freir gray web or of 

covering, to pay, ... ... ... ... ... ... 8d. 

If the web exceed not 8 ells, to pay only ... ... ... 2d. 

^ One of the sources of revenue of the Merchants' House of Glasgow, was 
derived from the hiring out of mortcloths, or palls, to the members. In 1661 
the sum received was ^311 7s. od. (^^24 5s. 7d.). 

1650 TILL 1700. 293 

Ilk web to pay in the time of the fair ... ... ... 1 2d. 

Ilk polk of yairn that exceeds not 4 spennels, to pay ... 4d. 

Ilk polk exceeding 4 spennels, to pay ... ... ... 8d. 

All webs, lint, yairn, or other guids having once payed the custom 
thereof be the owner, they are not to pay custom again, if 
the guids remain within the town till the next mercat day, un- 
altered, varied, or exchangit ; but if the same be altered, 
varied, or exchangit, then to pay the next tyme. 

It would appear from the following record of the Bailies and 
Council, that, in addition to the bridge custom, there was also a 
bridge tax levied from the heritors of the County.^ 

nth October, 1677. — " Robert Park, younger, is appointed to goe 
to ilk gentleman's house in the shyre and require payment of their 
part of the imposition for the bridge, and to give them certification." 

25th April, 1682. — " Compeared Patrick Campbell, dean of guild 
of the burgh of Dumbarton, and W""- Burton, clerk of the said 
burgh, and presented to the Bishop and Synod ane act of his 
Majestie's Privy Council in favoure of the said burgh of Dumbar- 
ton, granting warrand for a voluntarie contribution to be collected 
throughout the whole kingdom, towards the building of ane stone 
bridge upon the river of Leven, recommending to the Archbishops 
and Bishops to cause the ministers, in their respective diocesses, 
make intimation of the said voluntarie contribution and to see the 
same charitablie performed " {Register of the Synod of Dunblane^ by 
Rev. John Wilson, D.D., p. 186). 

1 2th April, 1687. — "This day the Bishop caused give to each 
brother ane printed act of Council for a voluntarie contribution for 
repairing the bridge of Newmilns " (Ibid, p. 229). 

19th January, 1684. — "The Session minutes state that there were 
collected at the church of Brechin ;^3i 13s. scots, to help to repair 
the bridge of Brechin ; while the Presbytery records of the same 
year bear that the Clerk was instructed to deliver to the town 
treasurer of Brechin, the money collected by the several ministers 
and sessions for repair of the bridge " (History of Brechin, by 
D. D. Black, p. 98). 

The custom of the bridge was generally let by public roup for 
one year, and at the dates stated were as follows : — 

25th January, 1683. — Three score and 7 merks {^2> i4S- 5^.) 
24th February, 1684. — Three score punds (^3 6s. 8d.) 
24th January, 1689. — Fifty punds five shillings (^4 3s. 9d.) 
23rd January, 1690. — Thirty-six punds 20 pennies {^2 los. id.) 
29th January, 1691. — Thirty-six punds 20 pennies (;^2 los. id.) 

^ In some parts of Scotland collections were frequently made by orders of 
ecclesiastical authorities at church doors for the repairs and maintenance of 
bridges, as it was held that this burden should not be borne alone by those in 
whose lands they were situated. 


On 15th October, 1685, " They ratify the act that the customers 
of the bridge shall weekly cleanse the same of foulzie and keep the 
waterspouts thereof clear, under the pain of five punds " (8s. 4d.) 

On 25th January, 1694, "They have concluded that the custom 
of the bridge shall be restand, to wit, each horse-load four pennies, 
and every other, two pennies, conform to use and wont." 

20th May, 1695. — " The said day the Council have ordered the 
Bailies to repair the bridge that was damaged by the last winter's 
ice, and to give in account of expence thereof." 

When the bridge w^as conveyed to the To\\ti Council in 1598, 
the tollage authorised to be levied by King James VI. was only, as 
already stated, to continue for nineteen years. It would appear, 
however, that the Council obtained powers from the Privy Council, 
from time to time, for the continuance of the custom. The 
following curious minute shows one of these applications : — 

" Considering the great burden and expense they have been 
lately at in the great quartering, both local and transeant quarter, of 
the King's forces of Argyle's rebellion, and several times before and 
since then, they have therefore concludit as a recompense thereof to 
apply to the Privy Council for a bill for continuing of the brig cus- 
tom at the same prices and custom which is now presently exacted, 
because the town's liberty in uplifting the same is nearly expired, 
and for that effect they have nominated Bailie Perrie to go east and 
bill the said Privy Council, and employ advocates, clerks, and 
agents for throughing of the said bill, and has ordained him a sum 
each day for bearing of his expense, conform to use and wont ; and 
to pay his horse hire and his extraordinary expense that he shall 
happen to disburse in the town's affair during his abode at Edin- 
burgh, and ordains him to keep a particular account thereof ; and 
ordains W""- Whyte, treasurer, to advance him twelve full dollars 
in hand for which he is to be accountable to the town at his home 
coming" (Council Records, 4th January, 1687). 

According to the charter of erection of the Burgh, by King 
James IV., in 1488, as already noticed, the market days were to be 
held every Monday. But by the charter of King Charles II., of 
1655, the weekly market day was fixed to be Friday. On 30th 
January, 1697, the Bailies and Council changed the market day 
from Friday to Thursday, and it has continued so down to the 
present time. Their reason for making this change was, " in consi- 
deration that the market day being on Friday, is deteriorated and 
made worse by the market day at Beith being upon the same day, 
so that both places are prejudiced thereby, and parties hindered 
from keeping both markets" (Coimcil Records, 30th January, 1687). 

The area at the cross where most of the markets were held is 
178 feet long, 74 feet broad at the east end, and 50 feet broad at 
the west end. What was called the " plain stanes " was a space 
on a part of the north side of the market-place raised a little higher 

1650 TILL 1700. 295 

than the adjoining causey, 72 feet long by 22 feet broad, and pro- 
tected with eighteen stone pillars. It was here that the burgesses 
met to transact business, discuss the news of the day, and to have 
an agreeable promenade. 

In addition to the markets for meal, flesh, fish, fowls, eggs, cheese, 
butter, salt, lint, wool, linen, cloth, and shoes, the Council had under 
their consideration a proposal to establish " a beer market in the 
High-street, near the Alms-house" (Council Records^ 13th July, 
1658). Although a considerable business must have been trans- 
acted in this commodity, which was partaken of by nearly all classes, 
it does not appear that this suggestion of the Council's was carried 
into effect, as the matter is not again mentioned. 

The meal market was of very great importance to the inhabitants, 
and the following are some interesting records of the Town Council 
relating to it : — 

24th January, 1647.^ — " The Bailies and Counsell apoints the 
meill market to be roped, and the meill men in to^^^l and landward to 
pay for ilk peck as formerly, and both town and landward to pay for 
ilk seek ilk day xii'^- (id.) by and attoure the ordinarie price for the 
pecks, and the entries to be on the first Fryday ensewing Candlemes 
nixt, and so yeirlie thereafter, and they apoint the yaird to be roped 
with the mercat. And it is declaired that in the said meill mercat 
there sail only be sold meill, groats, beins, and pease ; and the 
customer of the custome booth is to have four pecks, two half pecks, 
with four parts conform, and to lend the same to none but to those 
that have salt, lintseed, or such like to sell, the which are to remain 
within the custome booth." 

24th January, 1667. — "The meill mercat roped and sett to 
Alexander Cochrane, tailzeour, for the yeir to come, for payment of 
two hundreth merks iij^- iiij'^- ^^'illiam Carswell and Alexander 
Clerk, cautioners." 

4th February, 1667. — " The quhilk day by Adam Paterson, Bailie, 
there is delyvered to Alex. Cochran and Alexander Clerk, takmen 
of the meill mercat, all and haill threttie pecks, four half pecks, 
and ane firlot received from Archibald Anderson. And the said 
Archibald Anderson has yit in his hands not delyvered fiyve pecks. 
And there is continowed with him two half pecks and the bart 

ist Februar}^, 1672. — "Delivered to the taksman of the meill 
market forty whole pecks and half pecks with fourt parts in the 
bottom, and a meal firlot." 

25th April, 1672. — "This day the Baihes and Council have 
enacted, statute, and ordained that none heirafter sail be hindered 
to sell staple wair on ane mercat day without better consideration 
sail be had be Counsell thereanent. Bailies Greinlies and Paislay 
protest contrar this act." 

31st January, 1673. — " ^^ is concludit that the keeper of the 


meill mercat ladder sail have from everie ane that borrows the same 
vi''- (3^d.) per diem, so long as the borrower does keip it, that none 
sail get the said ladder, without they borrow the same from the 
Bailies, both or ane of them ; and that the borrower, when he 
receavs the ladder, sail give ane pawn of the value of the ladder, for 
the saiff return thereof" 

ist February, 1676. — "In presence of Mr. Robert Wallace, 
Bailie, John Baird, customer, hes delyvered to James Craig, elder, 
wiver, now customer, two weys balks, two brods, called weys brods, 
the trone cheinzie, another cheinzie in the booth, two four stone 
weights, two two stone weights, two single stone weights, two half 
stone weights, two quarter weights, two two pund weights, ane single 
pund, ane half pund, ane quarter pund, ane two ounce weights, ane 
bark sev, ane firlot, ane whole peck, two half pecks, two keys to the 
custome booth door." 

For a long time prior to 1658, the annual cattle market, at St. 
James's Day Fair, was held at Greenhill; but on the 13th July in 
that year, the Bailies and Council " concluded that the horse and 
kye market, that used to be holden on the Greenhill yearly, at St. 
James's Day, shall yearly, in time coming, be holden on St. Rollock's 
Kirk lands, and on the high ways about the same, and this to be 
intimate the next market day." This site cannot have been consi- 
dered sufficiently central and convenient, as on the nth March, 
1 66 1, they " concludit to buy from William Greinleis that fauld of 
land at the Calsiend, called Gilmoufs fauld, for the inlargeing of 
the commountie of the said burgh, and for holding of St. James's 
Fair there, for horse and nolt ; and having conveined the said 
William before them, he condescends to sell the samyne to the 
towne, and they have agreid the price to be auchteine score ten 
merks, and to bulk the said William therein frie, as air to his father, 
to the effect he may reseigne the samyne, in the town's hand, ad 
perpetuarn reinaiietitiam. This is apointed to be perfited at the 
Beltane head court nixt to come. And he hes libertie to remove 
the foulzie that lyes on the samyne, with the stanes that lyes in the 
slap in the hinderend of the fauld." 

On 2nd May, thereafter, they further agreed, " that St. James's 
Fair this yeir, and in tym coming, sail be holden at the Calsiend, 
betwixt the lones, and on Gilmour's fauld ; and that the way there 
sould be mendit to that effect ; and that the horse mercat, if neid 
be, may come in to the moss raw port." As the surface of the 
grounds where the cattle market was in future to be held was 
unequal, the Council concluded in that year that it " shall be made 
even and level by hired men, and that the Bailies shall furthwith 
put them to work." The places thus indicated are now called St. 
James Place and St. James Street ; and this market, for " horse and 
nolt," continues to be held there at the present time. 

The days for fairs, by the charter of erection, granted by King 
James IV., in 1488, as already stated, were Saint Mirin's day, that 

1650 TILL 1700. 297 

is 15th September, and Saint Mamock's day, that is 25th October. 
Afterwards the Town Council appointed St. James's day to be 
observed on 25th July, instead of Saint Mirin's day. According to 
the charter granted by King Charles II., in 1666, it provided for 
the "holding there two public fairs yearly, — one thereof on 25th 
June, commonly called St. James the Apostle's day, and the other 
on 26th October, commonly called St. Marnock's day, each year, 
in all time coming." 

The Bailies and Council finding the two fairs to be insufficient, 
agreed to apply to Parliament for power to appoint two more fairs 
( Cotmcil Records, 4th January, 1687); and three years afterwards 
an act was passed to hold a fair "upon the first Thursday of 
February yearly, and another on the first Tuesday of May." The 
Council ordained these "fairs to be proclaimed custom free for 
seven years time, after February next, being the first fair, and any 
horse to be sold upon the market days in time coming, to be free 
of all custom" (Council Records, 25th September, 1690). The days 
for holding these fairs were afterwards changed to the third 
Thursday of February, called Candlemas fair ; the third Thursday 
of May, called Beltane ^ or Whitsunday fair ; the second Thursday 
of August, called St. James day fair ; and the second Thursday of 
November, called Martinmas fair. 

Although fairs could now be fixed by any corporation, to be held 
at such times and as often as might be determined, yet in olden 
times they could only be established by charter. Fairs in those 
days also had several special privileges attached to them. During 
the fair days every one enjoyed perfect freedom. The bondsman 
was free, and his owner could neither " chase nor take him " (Leges 
BurgorufH, p. 88). Only the outlaw, traitor, or malefactor of the 
deepest dye could be laid hold of during these days (Leges Burgoriim, 
p. 86). Another important privilege enjoyed by every trader, whether 
residing in the town where the fair was held, or out of it, was that 
he could expose his goods for sale as freely as it he were a resident 
burgess. Fairs, besides, were the principal terms at which people 
from the surrounding country attended for the transaction of 
business. The best attended of these fairs, with their markets for 
catde and horse, was the Saint James day fair. Another great 
attraction at this fair was the races, which were apparently 
continued annually, and were, besides, very popular. On 18th 
July, 1659, the Council agreed to have " thrie raices," and their 
record on that occasion was as follows : — 

" The qhilk day the BaiHes and Councell taking to their con- 
sideration and thoughts, ane desire presented unto them be William 
Greinleis, Merchand, from diverse burgesses and heritoris of the 
town, and in their names, desireing the libertie of ane horse raise, 

1 Bel is the name of the sun in Gaelic,— to';/ in the same language signifying 
fire. The festival observances of Belieiii — the first clay of May — have ceased to 
be held. 


and that the BaiHes and Councell would be pleased either to buy 
ane sadill and graith thereof, or to permit them to doe it. They 
have concludit that there sail be two hors raises (if any will be 
pleased to run) upon the morning efter the fair day, called Saint 
James fair, the first to be for the sadill and graith, the expenses of 
all not exceeding vi. punds money (los.) and ilk man that runs to 
give in his xij'- (is.) to be the second raiss, and that none sail run 
at the first rais of hors that sail exceid the price of ane hundreth 
merks money. And that efter both there sail be ane foot raise 
for ane pair of small white hose, run from the bull fauld bridge, 
about the common, be the lone well, to the town hed." 

On the loth July in the following year, the Bailies and Council 
" appointed that there shall be three races, all horse of 100 punds 
price and under to have liberty to run ; the winner of the first 
race to have a gude saddle and furniture, with ten punds ; the 
winner of the aftershot race to have the stakes of the runners of 
the first race ; and the winner of the foot raice to have an ell of 
kersy worth xi^- (nd.) This to be proclaimed at Glasgow, Kil- 
barchan, Kilmalcolm, Beith, and Dairy." 

On 20th July, 1661, the Council "appointed a well-mounted 
saddle for the race to be made, and that the fair and race be 
timeously intimate." And two weeks afterwards the Council agreed 
that " six quarters of good kersey be bought for the foot race." 

On 8th July, 1663, the Baihes and Council " concluded that the 
horse race shall be run this year about the 24 acres land." This piece 
of land may now be described as bounded by St. James Street on 
the south, Caledonia Street on the west. Shambles Road on the 
north, and Inchinnan Road and Love Street on the east. 

nth July, 1668. — " The Bailies and Council does continue the 
fayre on the days quheron the same falls (the Saboth excepted), 
and the race to be on the ordinar day, and ane saddle to be bought 
not exceeding ten merks money." 

For some reason which is not stated, the Council, on 3rd July, 
1676, resolved not to have any races during that year. This is 
shown in the following record : — 

" The Bailies and Counsell find it convenient and doe conclude 
that there shall be no hors race within this burgh for this yeir." 

This decision of the Bailies and Council was strongly objected to 
by a number of the inhabitants, who appointed a deputation to wait 
on them to urge the continuance of the races as formerly. This 
remonstrance on the part of the deputation had the effect of causing 
the Bailies and Council to bend to the popular will, for they agreed, 
as follows : — 

nth July, 1676. — "The quhilk day compears William Simson 
and John Hamilton, writers, John Pickie and Allan Stewart, malt- 
men, alledging themselves to be commissionat be the rest of the 

1650 TILL 1700. 299 

burgesses of the burgh, and in their names, to show that for a long 
tyme the town of Paslay has been in use to have ane horse and 
foot race, and now they are informed that the Baihes and Councell 
have decryed the same. And therefor they, as Commissionars 
forsaid, for themselves and in the name of the rest of the burgesses, 
desired that the said race sould be continued as formerlie, and 
thereupon they require the said Bailies aud Councell their answer. 
The quhilk Bailies and Councell taking the said desire to their 
consideratioune. In regard that at the last Michaelmas head 
court, 1675, it was determined that there sauld not be ane race 
this year, and that the same was intim.ate at the said court, none 
of the burgesses making any repugnance nor contradiction, and 
that accordinglie it was this yeir so concludit, yet now finding that 
the burgesses doe resent the same as being to the town's prejudice 
and hurt. Therefore, they concede to permit the said race to be 
run this yeir as formerlie," 

This record establishes the fact, " that for a long time the town 
of Paisley has been in use to have ane horse and foot race," with- 
out interruption. 

24th June, 1680. — " The Bailies and Council appoynt ane race as 
formerlie, and Bailie Pasley and Bailie Park to buye sadle, furniture, 
and hose." 

1 2th July, 1682. — "Act anent the race. Who have ordained 
ane race for this instant for sadale, after shott and hose, and have 
appointed the Bailies to speak to John Patoun to make ane prize 
the sadle, and to buy the furniture from Robert Alexander, Bailie 
thereto, with cloath for the hose." 

13th January, 1683. — "Who have appointed a race sadle, after- 
shot and hose, to be run as formerly, and have ordained the Bailies 
to see the race put out conform to use and wont, and have 
nominated and appointed William Fyfe and William Whyte, meill- 
man, ride about with the three racers who have a shilling allowed 
them for their horse." 

13th July, 1685. — "Who have appointed ane race for sadle, 
aftershot and hose, at the next fair, conform to use and wont, and 
ordanis the Bailies to employ the saddler for making of the saddle, 
and buy furniture thereto and hose for the foot race. Item, they 
have appointed and ordained James Patoun, messenger, to return 
back the town's horse and furniture to Robert Kirlie, ofhcer." In 
the month of July, in 16S6, 1688, 1689, and 1694, resolutions 
similar to those quoted, were passed by the Town Council, regarding 
the annual races. 

In the management of the affairs of the burgh, the Bailies and 
Council passed a number of acts on various subjects, having relation 
to the good government of the inhabitants. Some of these are 
entirely new, while others are re-enactments of older resolutions, 
with additions and amendments intended to meet the altered cir- 


cumstances of the times. Some of these acts or resolutions follow, 
and will be found, we think, interesting and worthy of perusal. 

9th October, 1656. — "It is statute and ordained that no owners 
of moss rooms themselves, their heirs, nor their tutors or curators, 
shall set any of the said moss rooms to any outentown persons, 
whether they be burgess or not, under the pains of ten punds (los.) 
money, attour the confiscation of the peats." 

The rooms here referred to are the parts of the moss where peats 
were cast or cut. 

9th October, 1656. — "The Bailies and Council statute and 
ordain, that if any burgess inhabitant within the burgh shall here- 
after be lawfully warned to be on the Council, and comes not to 
attend the election, whether they be elected or not ; or being 
elected, does not accept, shall, for their fault, pay ten punds (i6s. 8d.) 

2ist April, 1659. — "The Bailies and Council statute and ordain, 
that in time coming none shall be on the lete of Bailies till first 
they have been Treasurer." 

ist April, 1661. — "It is concluded by the Bailies and Council 
that are present, that, hereafter, whosoever of their number shall be 
absent from the Council ordinary meetings, being lawfully warned 
thereto, and in health and liberty, shall pay each absence forty 
shillings money, and this to be intimate to them of the Council that 
are now absent, that they pretend not ignorance." 

ist June, 1661. — "The officers are appointed to exclude all 
women furth of the old Council seat (in the kirk), and to keep them 
furth thereof" 

loth May, 1660. — "The which day it is statute and ordained by 
the Bailies and Council, that in no time hereafter young or old 
shall keip their horse on common lands on the Sabbath day ; but 
that on each Sabbath day the horse shall be tethered with sufficient 
tethers all the day on their own grass, so that the Lord's day be not 
profaned by persons abiding out of the church in time of sermon, 
and in gathering together and using profaness after sermon, and 
who does in the contravene, shall pay xi^- money (iid.) as oft and 
how oft, besides what shall be found due to poinders and ofticers." 

nth October, 1660. — " It is statute and ordained, that no women 
sail washe and tramp clothes in any place of the town within the 
sight of walkers on the Hie streit, under the pain of xi^- (nd.) 
toties quoties." 

22nd January, 1662. — "This day it is statut and ordained be the 
Bailies and Council, that in all time coming all sums consisting of 
xi^- scots, or under, shall be judged by the Bailies on the streets or 
in the tolbooth, if they please; and that all sums under twenty 
merks money, shall be decerned and discust upon the second 
citation, the second citation being literal ; and the defender per- 

1650 TILL 1700. 301 

sonally apprehended, he can, if none compearance at the second 
diet, and in case of compearance, their defences, if they any, have 
to be heard." 

13th October, 1664.— "The Baihes and Council statute and 
ordains, that in all time coming, all persons liable in payment of feu 
duties, common land mails, altarages, and pittances, which ought 
and should be paid to the treasurer yearly, at Whitsunday and 
Martinmas, shall be paid to the treasurer present and yearly to 
come, within the toUbooth of Paisley on the three days following, 
without any further craving, viz., on the first Tuesday of February, 
the first Tuesday of March, and the first day of April, under the 
pain of xi^- money, to be paid by ilk party that fails to the treasurer, 
attour present execution to be made for payment if the money 
liable to be paid, they alway being lawfully warned twenty-four 
hours of before." 

13th October, 1664. — "The which day it is statute and ordained 
by the Bailies and Council, that whatsoever person hereafter, burgess 
or inhabitant, liable in payment of any of the town's goods, and 
shifting and delaying to do the same, shall have the key of the 
tollbooth door sent to them by the treasurer, for entering in ward, 
and remaining therein, till ay and while they pay that which they 
shall be liable unto, and that within the space of twenty-four hours 
after the sending to them of the said key, that then and in that case 
the officers, as they shall answer upon their peril, shall upon their 
first sight of them, put that person in ward, thereunto remain in 
close ward, ay and while they satisfy the debt." 

nth October, 1666. — "The BaiHes and Council ratifies the act, 
that no petition sail be heard for mitigatione or remission of unlaws, 
where the parties unlawed gives not in their petition to the Council 
tymouslie, or at least within sexe weeks nixt after that the unlaw be 
inflicted, and that also the process be shown to the Council, 
provided there be ane Council in that interim." 

9th April, 1668. — "The Bailies and Council statuts and ordains, 
that in all tym coming, before the Bailies give libertie to cast onie 
riging turvs, more or fewer, they sail sight the hous quherunto the 
same wes craved, whither or not the samyn hes bein pinned ; and if 
the same has not bein pinned or tries thereon, and beis raised with 
force of storme, in that caise they may grant some riging, and where 
the same had not bein pinned with pins and tries, that the Bailies 
sail have no libertie to grant any till seven yeirs be expired, conform 
to the old acts." 

14th October, 1669. — "It is concludit that there sail be no 
elwands used herefter within the town of Pasley be any person 
whatsomever bot such as are sealed with the stock of Pasley e, and 
that no other elwands sail be used such as Irwein elwand, unless 
special pactioun be made betwixt the saids parties, that the measures 
shall be with Irwein elwand ; and if bargains sail be so made, to be 
measured with Irwein elwand, that none sail have such ane elwand 


but the common metster, who sail measure for both parties ; the 
bargain always, and no otherways, being made at Irwein, or at some 
place considerable distant from Paisley, or otherwayes the clothe 
at the tym of the bargain not being within the libertie of the town. 
And if, therefter, it sail be found that any sail buy or sell clothe 
within the town of Pasleye, with any other elwand than the town's 
sealed elwand (under there be ane paction made for the measure 
with Irwein elwand), or if any elwand not sealed with the town's 
seall sail be keiped or used be any other person or persons, that 
the person so contraveining sail pay toties quoties the sum of ten 
punds moneye" (los.). 

2ist April, 1670. — "The Bailies and Councell conform to the 
Act of Parliament, apoints statutes and ordanis that ilk person 
heirafter that sail be fund to swear ane oath or to take God's name 
in vain, sail pay twentie shillings (is. 8d.) Scots als oft and how 
oft." 1 

13th October, 1670. — " They ratifie the act that no houses sail be 
set to strangers without the Bailies their license, under the paine of 
ten punds money (i6s. 8d.), and that no inhabitants sail receive 
strangers into their houses to be servants without their exhibiting 
to the Bailies of sufficient testimonialls when they came, and of their 
former good behaviour, under the pain of fyve punds money ''(8s. 4d.) 

20th October, 1692. — " //^;//, they have concluditall in one voice 
to maintain their own town's poor within themselves." 

26th January, 1693. — "//cw, that none keep fowls to their 
neighbours' hurt, in time coming, under the pane of forty shillings " 
(3s. 6d.) 

" The Bailies and Council statutes and ordains, and in all time 
coming prohibits all the officers, whoever keep the mid door of the 
Council seat, where the Baihes and Council sit, to suffer or permit 
any person to come within the door till such ane time the 
Councillors be served of their seats, and to keep out the Council 
themselves, if they presume to repair to the kirk without a hat, and 
discharged to suffer any person to sit in the first seat with the 
magistrates, except the old magistrates, and such who shall have 
the Bailies permission ; and the door of the new loft ordained to be 
kept closed at skeilling of the preaching, both forenoon and after- 
noon, till the Bailies and Council be first out of the Church " 
(Coimcil Records, 25th January, 1683). 

7th May, 1683. — ^'- Act aneiit Dogs. — Who upon complaint given 
in to them by certain of the inhabitants of this burgh against several 

^ The Act of Parliament here referred to is that of Charles II., a.d. 1661, 
chap, xix., which imposed a fine of twenty pounds on a nobleman for cursing 
or swearing ; on a baron, twenty merks ; gentleman, heritor, or burgess, ten 
merks ; a yeoman, forty shillings ; a servant, twenty shillings ; and a minister, 
the fifth part of his stipend. Any judge or magistrate refusing to put the law in 
force, " shall be liable and subject to a fine of one hundred pounds Scots, for the 
poor of the parish where the scandal happened." 

1650 TILL 1700, 303 

Other inhabitants, for keeping of mad dogs, who had bitten several 
other dogs, whereby the whole inhabitants and residenters within 
the said burgh are likely to come by great hurt ; therefore for reme- 
dying thereof, and for preventing of all further hurt, they have statute 
and ordained that the whole dogs, both great and small, after inti- 
mation by ane band, to be bate through the town for that effect, be 
either instantly hanged or kept close and secured during the Bailies 
and Council's pleasure, that the veritie thereof may be known with 
certification to the contraveners and disobeyers, their dogs being 
found vaging after due intimation foresaid, it shall be leissome and 
lawful to any within this burgh to hang or kill the same." 

6th November, 1684. — Item, they ratify the act made against 
keepers of mastif dogs, that they muzzle their mastifs all day, and 
house them all night, and secure them from wronging of burgesses, 
under the pain of five punds scots money, besides killing of the 
dogs, and the same act to be extended against keepers of mastifs, 
to be kept in the time that they are hot." 

" Who, in obedience to their acts made for payment of the 
Council's expence who were summoned to Edinburgh, either as 
parties or witnesses in whatsomever bygane actions persued against 
the town, they have allowed ilk ane of them twenty -four shillings 
the day, for the space of eight days, and are to pay their horse hires 
in the first ane thereof Item, conform to their last act made for 
enscribing of the treasurer's account of disbursements at Edinburgh 
for the town, upon his giving his oath on the veritie thereof, they 
have accordingly taken his oath, who has deponed positively on the 
veritie thereof, and therefore has allowed the same, and ordains ane 
precept to be subscribed to him for that effect, and for the Coun- 
sillors' expense, the treasurer's precept and account to be allowed 
the first end of the town's rents. Item, for taking away all former 
debates, they have allowed and ordained ane precept to be drawn 
on the treasurer for twenty-one punds three shillings four pennies, 
due by the town to Robert Fork, of an old account for the town, 
conform to ane account thereof given in. Item, ordain and allow 
five punds for the Bailie's horse hire to Edinburgh, five merks 
for the treasurer's horse hire, and five merks for Bailie Maxwell's " 
(Council Records, 9th August, 1683). 

ist May, 1690. — "They act and statute that no burgess nor 
inhabitant feed their horse, kyne, or other bestial, in common lone 
or marches, and especially upon the Sabbath day, under the pain of 
five punds (8s. 4d.) toties quoties, and that none in any time feed 
within the Sneddon or Seedhill burn, under the like penalty." 

5th May, 1690. — "Robert Campbell, horse merchant, hereby 
enacts himself not to grass, pasture, or feed his horse, kyne, or other 
bestial, upon any other men's grass, either this year or in any other 
year hereafter, under the pane of five punds (8s. 4d.) scots, toties 

The mode of electing the Councillors and Bailies annually, was 


somewliat peculiar and difficult to understand ; but the following 
extract from the Council Records explains very minutely how it was 
gone about at that period : — 

30th September, 1661. — "Sederunt the said Robert Alexander 
and John Vans, Bailies ; Robert Fork, elder; John Hamilton, John 
Paterson ; James Alexander, elder ; William Greenlees, younger ; 
Master W"- Fork; John Wallace, notar; Adam Paterson, Thomas 
Henderson, John Snodgrass, Robert Love, younger; John Glen, 
W™- Love, John Fyfif, James Alexander, younger, who have elected 
to be on the new Council for the year to come, viz., W"- Greenlees, 
elder ; James Maxwell, merchant ; John Paterson, elder, maltman ; 
Mr. Robert Wallace, John Lyne, David M'Hortor, W-"- Robertson, 
merchant, who being all seven solemnly sworn, and having made 
faith as use is ; and the said Bailies and Council being all removed, 
the said seven of the new Council did elect furth of the said former 
Council to be with them on the new Council for the year to come, 
viz., the said Robert Alexander and John Vause (last Bailies), 
Robert Fork, elder ; John Hamilton, W""- Greenlees, younger, 
merchant ; John and Adam Patersons ; James Alexander, elder ; 
W"- and Robert Love, younger, who all returning and being 
solemnly sworn as use is, the whole Councillors, both old and new, 
did chuse to be on the lete of Bailies, viz., the said Robert 
Alexander and John Vans (prior Bailies), Robert Fork, elder; 
■yVm- Greenlees, elder; John Hamilton and John Paterson, who 
being all removed, the said old and new Council did chuse out 
of the said lete the said Robert Alexander and John Vaus to be 
Bailies for the year to come, who gave their oaths de jideli adminis- 
tratione during the said space." 

In the Council Records the River Cart, whether as regards its 
condition or the trade upon it, is very seldom referred to, but the 
following notices are interesting exceptions :— 

20th July, 1661. — "Two men and two horse are appointed to 
wade and gather calsie stanes out of the water, and to bair the same." 

25th January, 1677. — "The quilk day the Bailies and Counsell 
statute and ordain, that in all tym comming, each gavert landing on 
the Snawdoun sail pay vi^- viij'^- of an charge, and ilk small or litle 
boat iij^- iiij'^' and burgesses to pay the equal half thereof" 

iSth June, 1677. — "This day it is concludit that the town, with 
the concurrence of others, sail weed the water from the Kirk foot 
of Inchinan, up to the Snawdoun yaird head." 

25th September, 1690. — ^^ Item, they have concluded to stop 
Dundonald in tyme coming for receiving any tiend or anchorage 
in the Sneddon, from any boat which shall harbour there in time 
coming, and if there be violence therein to instrument him there- 
upon. ' 

7th July, 1692. — "The Bailies and Council have concluded to 
lay stepping stones thro' the water, from St. Mirin's Wynd foot to 

1650 TILL 1700. 305 

the green, and have appointed William Love and Robert Park to 
see the same done." There is a tradition that many of the people 
residing in the south part of the town, in going to and returning 
from the Abbey Church, in the summer time on Sunday, crossed 
the river there by these stepping stones, instead of going by the 
bridge. These stepping stones were more recently known by the 
name of " Trail's dipping." Mr. Traill had a dye work adjoining, 
and his men stood on these stones when washing yarn in the river. 

In December, 1653, Cromwell was declared Lord Protector. 
During his usurpation, the country was ruled very strictly, but it 
enjoyed peace. No sovereign did more for the general prosperity 
of the nation than Cromwell. At home, his government was up- 
right and impartial, and he caused the laws to be respected ; 
abroad, he exalted the military and naval power and glory of 
Britain.^ Scotland was divided into twenty-eight garrison districts, 
with 9000 soldiers to keep it in subjection. The expenditure of 
the government amounted annually to ^286,458, while the revenue 
was only ;;^i43,642, and the balance being remitted from England 
{Laing, vol. i., p. 445), Scotland benefited thereby to the extent of 
its whole revenue. The greater number of Cromwell's soldiers 
consisted of tradesmen and small farmers, and were the means, in 
many places in Scotland, of bringing agriculture and the arts to a 
perfection till then unknown. Commerce with the English was 
also encouraged, and many merchants from the south formed 
establishments in Scotland. 

Cromwell died on 3rd September, 1658, and, by enactment of 
Parliament in 1653, was succeeded in the protectorate by his son, 
Richard. He, however, did not possess the abilities and quali- 
fications for government which his father so signally displayed. 
Within the short period of one year, the Avhole nation be- 
came weary of him, and the restoration of Charles II. was pro- 
jected and carried out with safety by General Monk. The King 
was invited to ascend the throne of his forefathers, and on the 25th 
May, 1660, he arrived at Dover, where he was cordially received 
and welcomed by Monk. On the 29th of that month, Charles 
made his entry into London, amidst the universal congratulations of 
the people. Parliament was overjoyed, and he was immediately 
proclaimed King. Throughout the country, the same joy every- 
where prevailed. In Paisley, there were also manifestations of 
rejoicing at the restoration of Charles, and the Bailies and Council, 
at the suggestion of Lord Cochran, agreed, at a meeting held on 
the 15th May, 1660, to have King Charles II. proclaimed at the 
cross as the righteous heir of the throne. 

^ Of the uprightness and impartiality of the judges appointed by Cromwell, 
Sir Walter Scott, in the "Tales of a Grandfather," states that on the peculiar 
rectitude of the men employed by Cromwell being pointed out to a learned 
judge in the beginning of the next century, his lordship composedly answered, 
*' Deil tak them for their impartiality ! a pack of kinless loons ; for my part, I 
can never see a cousin or friend in the wrong." 



King Charles, immediately after his restoration, ignoring the fact 
that he had subscribed the covenant, adopted his father's absurd notion, 
that prelacy and monarchy were inseparably connected, and there- 
fore took measures for the establishment of Episcopacy in Scotland. 
The Council of Scotland issued a proclamation, intimating " his 
majesty's pleasure to restore the government of the Church by 
Archbishops and Bishops as it stood in the year 1637." At the 
Session of Parliament on the 8th May, 1662, the restora- 
tion of Episcopacy was confirmed. The Solemn League and 
Covenant was burned in Edinburgh by the hangman, and the 
Scottish Parliament passed an act to cause all persons in office to 
sign a declaration repudiating the Covenant as an unlawful bond. 
With the establishment of Episcopacy, persecution commenced. 
About 400 clergymen, mainly in the western counties, were put out 
of their livings for adhering to the Covenant and objecting to 
Episcopacy, and their places were soon filled by others more pliant, 
coming from all parts of the kingdom. The people, however, were 
disgusted with the new incumbents ; they followed their former 
ministers and attended meetings in the open fields. 

By an Act of Parliament passed in 1662, fines were imposed upon 
a great many of the nobility, gentry, merchants, and monied 
people of Scotland, to whom the benefit of an act of indemnity was 
denied. The reason given for imposing these fines was, that the 
money might be given for the relief of the king's good subjects who 
had suffered in the late troubles. About 900 persons in all were 
fined, in sums to the amount of ;^i,oi7,353 6s. 6d. Scots 
(^84,821 2S. 2d). Of these thirty-nine were in the county of Ren- 
frew, and those in Paisley were as follows : — 

Scots. Sig. 

John Kelso, Bailie , - - ;^5oo — ^41 13 4 
John Spreul, Bailie,-^ . . _ jgo — 30 o o 
John Park, Bailie, - - - 480 — 40 o o 

In November, 1665, the Earl of Rothes, Commissioner, an 
officer equal to vice-king {Aihnan's History of Scot/and, vol. iv., 
p. 428) in Scotland, made a tour to the west country "in 
great pomp and splendour, with the King's guards waiting on 
him, and a train of attendants " ( IVodrow's Church History, vol. i., 
p. 428). The object of this demonstration was to overawe, if 

^Bailie John Spreul was a merchant in Paisley, and between 1648 and 1658 
was frequently elected senior Bailie. He paid one half of this fine, and be- 
cause he refused to pay the other half he had to leave the countiy. His son, 
James Spreul, afterwards an apothecary in Glasgow, was seized in Paisley by a 
party of soldiers, sent from Kilmarnock by General Dalziel, and suffered 
greatly because he would not discover where his father was. After threatenings 
of being shot, roasted at a fire, and after being confined for a short time, he was 
dismissed. James Spreul underwent many sufferings afterwards at the hands of 
the government ; was put to the torture, tried before the Justiciary, and, libel not 
being proven, was tried again before the Privy Council for attending conventicles, 
and sentenced to the Bass Rock, where he was imprisoned about six years before 
being liberated ( ll'oitro7os C/uircti History). 

1650 TILL 1700. 307 

possible, those who were not complying with the ecclesiastical 
arrangements. Lord Rothes and his numerous and distinguished 
attendants, in this tour, visited Paisley, and were the guests of 
Lord Cochran, in his hospitable mansion at the Abbey. On this 
occasion the Bailies and Council endeavoured to make matters as 
agreeable as possible, by entertaining them, and also creating them 
burgesses of the town. We have no means of knowing how the 
Bailies and Council managed to entertain the illustrious visitors, 
but we know that they resolved to send to Glasgow for the con- 
fections stated in their records : — 

8th November, 1665. — The which day it is concluded by the said 
Bailies and Council that, in respect the Earl of Rothes, His 
Majesty's Commissioner, is to be in the Abbey of Paisley this night, 
that therefore he shall be invited to have the courtesy of the town 
from the Bailies and Council, and for effectuating thereof they have 
appointed the said John Ewing to go to Glasgow and buy 

4lbs. raisins. 

lib. confected cinnamon. 

lib. confected almonds. 

lib. corriander. 

lib. carvy. 

lib. annise. 

lib. rough almonds. 

i^lb. cordisidron, and 

6 ells of silver ribbon. 
"The quhilk ane noble and mightie Lord, John Erie of Rothes, 
Lord Leslis, &c.. His Majestie's sole commissioner within the 
kingdoms of Scotland, WiUiam Duke Hamilton, James Marquise of 
Montrose, Alexander Erie of Glencairn, James Lord Ogilvie, 
Thomas Lord Dundee, Lord Montgomerie, Francis Montgomerie 
his brother german, Captain Andrew Paterson, Henrie M'Kie 
servant to my Lord Commissioner, John Park of Dubs attendar on 
the Earl of Eglinton, four servants of the Commissioner, one 
servant to Major Buntein, were be the Baihes and Councell creat 
and made burgesses, also ane servant of Lord Cochrane " (Cotincil 
Records, 9th November, 1665). 

AVith such an illustrious gathering of the nobility, the little town 
of Paisley must have been in a state of considerable excitement. 
The Council Chambers would, no doubt, be taxed to the utmost to 
accommodate such a large company. 

To prevent conventicles from being held, and to overawe the 
Covenanters, a considerable number of soldiers were stationed in 
Paisley and neighbourhood. These were maintained at the expense 
of the inhabitants, and the Council had also to contribute money to 
the same fund, as is shown by their records of 13th December, 1665. 

" W'"- Greinleis, Bailie, and M'- Robert Wallace, the town's Com- 
missioners at Edinburgh, sent a letter to the BaiUes and Councell 
enclosing an order from the King's Commissioner to the Committee 


of Excise for conveining the shire and appointing of corn and 
straw to the life-guard, with locaHty of coal and candle, to the which 
letter the Bailies and Council has returned to the said Commis- 
sioners their answer, with 200 merles (^16 13s. 4d.) further sent to 
them, with Patrick Baird, Drummer, carrier thereof, and they have 
sent the Commissioners' orders to the Laird of Craigends with Bailie 
Vaus and one of the Life Guards to require his answer." 

In the following year, the Presbyterians — whose only crime was 
their refusal to comply with the commands of the Episcopalians — 
found their oppressions so unbearable that they rose in arms to 
vindicate their rights ; but they were defeated among the Pentland 
hills by General Dalziel on the 28th November in this year. The 
measures of the Government afterwards became still more severe, 
and the military were stationed at different places all over the West 
of Scotland. In Paisley were quartered twenty-four of Lord 
Carnegie's troops, "and the Council agreed that not more than one 
should be in the same house" ( Council Records, 28th May, 1667). 
On 12th November following, the Baihes and Council agreed that 
120 punds (;^io) of locality money should be imposed "on 
the town's people for payment to those upon whom these troops 
had been quartered." It appears that the Council, besides pro- 
viding a trooper, had also to pay their proportion of the expense 
connected with the militia in the county. The following are the 
records of the Council : — 

7th November, 1668. — "The Council ordains the Baihes to agree 
with David Maxwell, in Smiddiehills, to be their trooper, for nine 
score punds of money (;^i5) to buy his horse and arms, and 
his proportion of oats and pay with the other troopers of the shire." 

loth December, 1668. — "The Bailies and Council have con- 
cluded that their part of the outreik of the militia, extending to nine 
scores punds money (;^i5), shall be forthwith imposed on the 
town by a committee of the Council." 

2ist September, 1672. — "The Bailies and Council impose upon 
the inhabitants the sum of six score punds money for payment of 
the locality of a squad of the Chancellor the Erie of Rothes, his 
troops that last time lay in the town." 

It seems that two of the burgesses in the to^vn made to the Privy 
Council some complaint, which unfortunately is not described, 
against the Bailies and Council, who were all, therefore, under the 
necessity of travelling on horseback to Edinburgh to answer to the 
charge. The following record of the Council brings out the circum- 
stance : — 

7th May, 1677. — "Thewhilk day the Bailies and Counsell, take- 
ing to their consideratioune the vast expenses that they have beine 
at for thair hors waiges and for their own and their horses' charges 
in ryding all of them to Edinburgh for answering to the complaint 
givin in before the Privie Counsell be John Maxwell and John 

1650 TILL 1700. 309 

Fork, two of the burgess, doe find it just and right that the town's 
common goods sould bear the burthen thereof, and that the thea- 
saurer sould make payment to them of the samyne, and doe so 

Instead of improving under the severe repressive measures that 
were being adopted, the condition of the country was gradually be- 
coming worse. In their extremity the Government addressed a 
letter, dated 17th October, 1677, to the Earls of Glencairn and 
Dundonald and Lord Ross, and the heritors of the shires of Renfrew 
and Ayr, requesting them to assemble and devise some measures 
for suppressing the "extraordinary insolences committed, not only 
against the present orthodox clergy, by usurping their pulpits, 
threatening and abusing their persons, and setting up conventicles 
in houses, and keeping scandalous and seditious conventicles in the 
fields, the great seminaries of rebellion," &c. The BaiHes and 
Council were desired to send a deputation to attend this meeting, 
and on ist November, 1677, "they appointed Bailie Greenleis and 
John Wilson, maltman, to goe to Irving, and to keepe the meeting 
there that is apointed be his Majestie's Privie Council to be kept 
there, by the Erles of Glencairn and Dundonald and Lord Ross, 
with the heritors of the Sherefdome of Renfrew and Air, for consult- 
ing anent securing the peace of the kingdome." This meeting took 
place on the following day, and resolved that, as it was out of their 
power to suppress conventicles, the best course to pursue was to 
grant toleration to the Presbyterians. 

In the following year the Council Records shew that further sums 
of money had to be paid by the inhabitants in consequence of the 
presence of the mihtary in the town. The first of these minutes 
refers to treats given to the officers and men, by the BaiHes and 
Councillors, on more than one occasion, and very likely the money 
was well spent in helping to keep matters smooth in these troublous 

28th February, 1678. — "This day it is found that the Bailies and 
diverse of the Counsell did spend on the 25th of this instant, with the 
Master of Ros and the Livetenant-CoUonell to Athoill's regiment 
and their followers, in Thomas Henderson's house, and with the 
rest of the officers in Bailie Greinleis', and for diverse barrells of ale to 
the souldirs, threttie six punds 9s. 4d. (60s. gd.), and upon the same 
day givin to the quarter-master and officers, to put the regiment by 
from quartering thirtie days, extending to eighty-five punds v*- (^7 2s. 
id.), and givin for furnishing of baggage horse to them, nine punds 
xixs(i6s. 7d.). //t7«, spent in a treat with the Marquis of Athol, 
the Erie of Perth, Lord Murray and Lord Charles Murray, and 
diverse other gentlemen and their followers, in Bailie Greinleis' 
house, on the 26th of this instant, ^26 5s. 4d. {£\ 3s. gd.), extend- 
ing in all to p^ 1 58 3s. 8d. (^13 3s. 7d.) The qulk sum of ;^i58 
3s. 8d. is taken out of the common purse and givin to Bailie Grein- 
leis to defraye these debts." 


28th February, 1678. — " Acommittee of Council appointed tomeet 
at tollbooth door, and the town to be warned that payment may be 
made to those who had furnished provisions to the Erles of Airley, 
Strathmore, and Angus troops, and a tax to be imposed upon such 
burgesses as had been at no expense, that the burthens might be 

24th March, 1678. — "A meUtiaman agreed with to have two 
years of advance money wherewith to buy a horse — and to be bound 
to refund the same if he does not serve — and to do all things 
incumbent upon the rest of the melitia of the shire, and as they shall 
be appointed by the committee of the shire to do." 

27th March, 1678. — "•Item, ^^56 2s. (;^4 17s. 6d.) for the ex- 
penses of two of the Bailies, four of the Council, &c., for two days' 
attendance upon the committee of the Privie Council at Glasgow." 

8th June, 1678. — "The examination of a melitiaman's furniture 
when given back was to be made by one of the Bailies and some 
assistants appointed by the Council." 

1 2th June, 1678. — "Locality money imposed for the soldiers, 
called blue coats, under the command of Sir John Nicolsoune." 

Among the many severe measures adopted by Government, im- 
mediately after the battle of Drumclog, on ist June, 1679, ^1"*^. the 
battle of Bothwell Bridge, on the 22nd of the same month, was "a 
proclamation issued against all who had ever harboured or com- 
muned with rebels." Four years after these engagements the Bailies 
and Council were summoned to appear at the Justiciary Court, 
Glasgow, on the very serious charge of allowing three persons who 
had been at the battle of Bothwell Bridge to live in the town. On 
receipt of the document containing this grave accusuation, they, 
after full consideration, resolved as follows : — 

" ist June, 1683. — Eo. die, who, after consideration of an in- 
ditement given to the present Bailies and Council of this burgh to 
compear before the Lords of Justiciary at Glasgow, the twelfth and 
thirteenth days of June instant, for alleged resetting of James Spreull, 
Hugh Fulton, and Christopher Strang, indwellers in this burgh, after 
Bodell bridge, and suffering and permitting them to have the liberty 
and privilege of his Majestie's good lieges sinsyne within the burgh, 
and albeit aiding and abeting them in meat, drink, armour, and 
ammunition in manner and length specified in the inditement; and 
it being asked whether it should be a town's business and the town's 
purse to bear and sustain their expenses, they all in one voice have 
concluded and ordained that whatever expenses, imprisonment, or 
fine the Bailies or any of the Council shall happen to sustain through 
the said cause, that the same shall be paid forth of the town's 
readiest rents and deuties ; and have ordained the treasurer to ad- 
vance money to the Bailies and Council for defraying their expenses 
during their abode in Glasgow, and their expenses of imprisonment 
and fineing, if any shall happen to be ; and the treasurer to give in 
ane particular account of the disbursements, which shall be answered 
to him on demand after he returns from Glasgow ; and for the eftect 

1650 TILL 1700. 311 

foresaid they have appointed William Fyfe and the clerk to go to 
Glasgow and make moyan^ with the Bishop to be the town's friend 
before the day of appearance ; and to pay their horse hirer and ex- 
penses they shall disburse and pay in their affair, and their paines 
then taken." 

On the 8th of the same month, the Bailies and Council further 
"concluded that there be ane precept drawn upon the treasurer 
for advancing to the Bailies and Council of the sum of two hundred 
pounds Scots money (^16 13s. 4d.), and have appointed four 
guineas of gold to be taken out of the common kist, partly for 
defraying the expenses at Glasgow, employing advocates, and partly 
for complimenting the Clerk of the Circuit Court and making of 
their necessary moyan therewith in order to bring off and assoilzie 
the town for the indictment given them for the alleged crime, with 
aiding and abaiting the rebells at Bodall bridge and sick lyke." 
The Council records do not state afterwards how this prosecution 
was finally disposed of; but it is very likely the visits to the 
Bishop and the Clerk of Court, coupled with the " complimenting," 
significantly explains how the Council managed to be relieved of 
this very perilous charge. 

For the protection of the inhabitants, the Council agreed to 
apply to the Privy Council for powers to judge and decide in cases 
relating to the test and other oaths. Their petition thus runs : — 
" Who upon consideration of the removing of our indulgence and the 
presenting of new ministers to the kirk in their place, that there 
may be some evil humors within the town who may refuse to give 
obedience to come to the church and withdraw from the ordinance. 
And taking to consideration that it will be for the weill of the town 
and burgesses that the town got a commission from the Privy 
Council to fine and imprison within themselves, and to prevent all 
other judges and magistrates from abusing them, they think fitt 
that Bailie Fork and Robert Pateson, treasurer, ride in on the 
town's expence to Glasgow, having ane present occasion and errand 
thither, to the Bishop of Glasgow, anent some vagrant rebels that 
has been alleged to have marched thro' the town within eight days, 
and several other things for trying and finding out of the said 
vagrant rebels. The Bishop of Glasgow has given strict orders to 
Bailie Fork to bring his diligence to him this day, and get a letter 
in favour of the town in order to the said commission for fining and 
otherways imprisoning the resistants to the church and withdrawn 
from ordinance" ( Council Records, 29th July, 1684). 

In these troublous times, the Town Council found great difTi- 
culty in obtaining one of their number to fill the important and 
responsible office of treasurer. No reason is given why those 
asked declined to act ; it is just stated that they would not 
accept of the appointment. On 2nd January, 1684, Robert Pow, 

^ Means for attaining any end. A good example of the influence of the French 
on the Scottish tongue. French, nioyen =; means ; Latin, medium. 


talioLir, was elected treasurer, and the officers reported " that all 
the times they went to warn him to attend the Council meetings, 
both outer and inner doors were shut." The Bailies discovered 
that, when he saw the officers coming, he closed the doors of his 
house. They therefore ordered the officers " to apprehend him and 
put him in sure prison until he embrace the office of the treasurer 
or pay one hundred punds (^^8 6s. 8d.) of fine, and his burgess 
ticket to be given up on the market day immediately after sermon." 
On 2nd February following, " Bailie Fork has given in the Privy 
Council commission anent the town's electing of a treasurer and 
Councillors who formerly refused to accept, and ordained the same 
to be laid in the common kist." It would appear from this that 
the Town Council had applied to the Privy Council for instructions 
how to act when such declinatures occurred. So also, on the 15th 
of that month, the Council resolved, " in respect of Robert Finlay- 
son, Thomas Peter, and David Wylie, their disobedience to 
compear as they were warned, to embrace their office as treasurer, 
therefore they fine each of them in ten punds Scots money" (i6s. 8d.) 
On 9th November, 1686, the Council elected Matthew Corse to be 
treasurer ; but, as he declined to accept of the office, they, on the 
15th of that month, made choice of Hew Fulton, merchant, who 
also refused to be their treasurer. On the same day, they elected 
Robert Instira, apothecary, to be treasurer, who likewise refused, 
and the Council " fined each of them in one hundred punds Scots 
(^8 6s. 8d.) money of fine, and committed them to prison, aye and 
until they pay their respective fines." The Council, although dis- 
couraged, persevered in the election of a treasurer, and, " finding 
it just and reasonable to dismiss the first leet of treasurers before 
they could elect a new leet, they did nominate and elect William 
Whyte, merchant, and Thomas Peter, senior, in Causeyside, each of 
them after the other to be their treasurer, who, being oftentimes 
warned by the officer to have compeared before the Bailies and 
Council to accept of the foresaid office, and none of them com- 
pearing there, the said Bailies and Council hold them confest and 
disobedient, and therefore fined each of them in one hundred punds 
the piece, with the rest, and ordains the officer to apprehend them 
on sight." Nothing more is stated about the treasurership till the 
7th October, 1687, when the Council elected Robert Paterson, 
tailleor, to discharge the duties of that office, who "refused to 
accept, being several times warned to accept to that effect, therefore 
they have fined him in one hundred punds Scots money (^8 6s. 8d.) 
of unlaw, conform to the Privy Council order, for his disobedience 
and refusal, and ordains the officers to apprehend him on sight, aye 
and until he pay the fine. At that meeting of Council, W™- Love, 
in Seedhill, was elected treasurer, and they " ordained him to be 
warned to accept of the office against the next Council meeting 
with certification." As his name is not again mentioned, he must 
have agreed to accept the appointment. 

I'revious to the Michaelmas term in 1688 the Council were, for 

1650 TILL 1700. 313 

some unexplained cause, ordered by the government to postpone 
the election of the Bailies and Councillors. The Council record 
only states that they " have met in order to peruse a letter direct 
from his Majesty's Privy Council to the Bailies, to be communicated 
to the Council for continuing the election of Magistrates and Town 
Council of Paisley this instant year, till the Council's further orders. 
Who, after perusing thereof, have reverently and loyally accepted 
of it, and in obedience thereof thereto, have continued their election 
till they know the Council's mind thereon" (Council Records, 2nd 
October, 1688). It would further appear from the Records of the 
Council of this date, that Mr. Ezekiel and John Fork, whom the 
Council regard as " persons that they think are not fit to serve in 
any station or public trust within the town, had gone to Edinburgh 
to find fault with the Baillies and Councillors, and to induce the 
Privy Council to cause the Town Council election to be proceeded 
with. To counteract this procedure, the Council appointed " Hew 
Snodgrass to go east with a letter subscribed by the Bailies and 
Council to the Chancellor, to inform him of the saids two persons ; 
their former misbehaviour to the government, and to vindicate them- 
selves of what aspersions and misrepresentations they intend to put 
upon the present Magistracy innocently." The treasurer was 
instructed " to advance to Hew Snodgrass six dollars for bearing 
his expence, which are to be countable." At a meeting of Council 
held six days thereafter, the clerk reported that the Chancellor 
continued the election, and the Council expressed themselves as 
" content therewith." 

The Bailies and Council were in want of advice upon some mat- 
ters relating to the town, and on 21st October, 1689, they 
appointed "the two Bailies to go to Glasgow upon Wednesday 
next, and consult John Graham, of Dougalstoun, anent the town's 
affairs, for which they allow them to give to the said John Graham 
ane guinea, and appoints James Alexander, clerk, to go with them 
the said day." 

James Arthur, merchant, petitioned the Town Council for 
refunding him ane hundred merks Scots that was exacted from 
him by the Bailies and Council in the year 1683, for not exercising 
the office of treasurer. They have granted him his request in 
regard his refusal was for the best " (Council Records, 12th October, 


Peter Workman, a burgess of the town, who had been abusmg 

the government, was compelled, no doubt very unwillingly, by the 
Bailies, to come under an obligation " that he shall never be found 
nor heard to speak or reflect against the present established govern- 
ment, or the Magistrates of this burgh hereafter, under the pain of 
banishment furth of the town of Paisley and liberties thereof" 
(Council Records, 5th January, 1684). 

At this period the government continued with unrelenting 
severity their persecution of the Covenanters. In 1685, James 
Algie and John Park suffered death at the cross of Paisley. These 


men were joint-tenants of some land at Kennieshead, in the parish 
of Eastwood. James Algie was a conformist, and attended the 
Episcopal services, but through the influence of John Park he 
ceased doing so. From some cause they gave up the lease of the 
farm they held, and a person who was the means of bringing them 
there was so offended at this, that he sent a nephew of his own, on 
Sunday, ist February, 1685, with a letter to Mr. John Cochran of 
Ferguslie, Paisley, Bailie of the Regality of Uarnley, informing him 
that James Algie and John Park held rebellious principles, disowned 
the King's authority, and defended the declaration of the societies. 
On that day a party of soldiers was despatched, who apprehended 
them while engaged at family worship, and brought them that night 
to the Paisley tollbooth. They were tried on the following Tuesday 
by the Commissioners having a jurisdiction in the county. At the 
trial, the Laird of Orbiston, one of the Commissioners, told them 
that the abjuration oath, which they were willing to take, would not 
save them, and said to them, " Unless you take the test, you shall 
hang presently." They replied, " If to save our lives we must take 
the test, and the abjuration will not save us, we will take no oaths 
at all'' ( IVodnnus Church History, vol iv., p. 189). The conse- 
quence was that at ten o'clock they were condemned, and at two 
o'clock were executed at the market cross of Paisley, on 3rd 
February, 1685. This is a specimen of the summary carrying out 
of the barbarous and cruel laws which characterised these times. 
Their bodies were interred in the common burying-ground at 
Gallowgreen.^ Some time after the Revolution of 1688, a stone slab 
was placed over their grave, with the following inscription upon it : — 

" Here lie the corpses of James Algie and John Park, who suffered at the 
cross of Paisley for refusing to take the oath of aljjuration." 
3rd February, 1685. 
" Stay, passenger, as thou go'st by, 
And take a loolv where these do lie, 
Who, for the love they liore to truth, 
Were deprived of their life and youth. 
Tho' laws made then caus'd many die — 
Judges and sizers were not free. 
He that to them did these delate, 
The greater count he hath to make ; 
Yet no excuse to them can be— 
At ten condemned, at two to die. 
So cruel did their rage become, 
To stop their mouth, caus'd beat the drum. 
This may a standing witness be 
'Twixt Presbyt'ry and Prelacey." 

^ The sentence passed on two men belonging to Dumfries, for being present 
at the Pentland skirmish, was even more barbarous and degrading. The orders 
from the judges of the Court at Ayr, were " to sie their sentence for hanging 
the persounes and affixing of the heids and richt arms of Jon Grier in Four 
merk land, and William Welsch in Carsfairne, upon the eminentest parts of the 
Burgh," which mandate being communicated to the Council, they " condescendit 
that the Bridge port is the fettest place quhere upon that the heids and arms 
should be affixed, and therfoir appointed them to be affixed on that place " 
(IVilliain ^PDincal's History of Dumfries, p. 407). 

1650 TILL 1700. 315 

Meantime, in the midst of these scenes of cruelty and barbarism, 
Charles II. died on 6th February, 1685, and was succeeded by his 
brother, the Duke of York, under the title of King James VII. of 
Scotland and II. of England. Then followed a government still 
more oppressive and tyrannical. Under a proclamation issued by 
the King, the town of Paisley and the shire of Renfrew, along with all 
the rest of the country, had to provide, at their own cost, cavalry 
fully mounted and accoutred. The following extracts from the 
Records of the Town Council give some idea of the inconven- 
ience and expense to which the inhabitants were thus sub- 
jected : — 

25th May, 1685. — " The qlk day the Bailies and Council having 
met, in order to the putting out of men for the King's service, in 
obedience to the King's proclamation, and having sent for James 
Patoune, messenger, for that end, he has accepted and come in the 
Bailies and Council's will for his payment, and the Bailies and 
Council to mount him sufficiently in horse, armour, and other furni- 
ture belonging to horse and man, and have ordained the Bailies to 
look William Mure in a town's horse, and James Gemel, maltman, 
their horse, and to buy them as cheap as they can, if they please 
them, and to provide the arms and furniture necessary on the town's 
expense, with concurrence of James Adam and John Wilson." 

27th May, 1685. — "The Bailies have made report this night to 
the Council, that my Lord Cochran, captain to the heritors and free 
holders, wad setters and life renters, within the Sherifdom of I^n- 
frew, liable, conform to the late proclamation, to ride out and wait 
on the King's standard, has refused to accept of Francis Shenen, 
whom the Baihes and Council had chosen to ride out for them, and 
therefore ordain that there be another person chosen in his 
place to ride the morrow for the town. Therefore the Bailies and 
Council have agreed with Bailie Fyfe to ride out, who is to begin 
to ride the morrow, the 28th instant. The town is to furnish him 
horse and furniture, except what furniture he can furnish himself 
of his own, and twenty days' provision, and the twenty days' provi- 
sion being always allowed in the first end of his wages, and Bailie 
Fyfe to return back the horse and furniture if he be not killed." 

6th June, 1685. — "Who have appointed Wednesday next for 
laying on of ane outreik on the heritors, burgesses, and inhabitants, 
for relieving and defraying of the town's expense in raising of men 
and horse and other furniture, with twenty days provision and 
advance money, and have all in one voice condescended to lay 
it on, conform to their abihties and quantities of days, for doing 
whereof they have nominated W'"- Whyte, John Kirk, Robert 
Lauder, Adam Simpson, and James Adam, to lay on the same, with 
the Bailie and Clerk, and to make their report to the next Council 

5th July, 1685. — " Who, in consideration of my Lord Cochran, 
captain to the Sheriffdom of Renfrew's troop, has complained of 


James Patoune, one of the town's horsemen, has bad and insufficient 
pistols and hosterly, and that the captain will not allow Bailie Fyfe 
to ride any farther, they have appointed Bailie Fyfe's arms and 
furniture to return back and be given to James Patoune, conforme 
to Bailie Fyfe's last act ; and James Patoune is to subscribe an act 
that he shall return back his horse, arms, furniture, and ammunition 
to the town when he returns, if the troop of the horse be not killed." 

1 2th October, 1685. — " The qlk day the Bailies and Council have 
ordained James Patoune, messenger, to deliver up the town's horse 
and furniture, viz., brydle and sadle, two girths and ane tye and 
curple, and ordains the treasurer to pay him twenty seven punds, 
besides what formerly he has got for riding for the town, being the 
town's good will, or else to make payment to the Bailies and Council 
of five punds as the price thereof The horse which William Stewart 
is oftered and will for him, is to pay in the remainder to the said 
W""- Stewart, present treasurer, twenty three punds scots money, 
which is presently paid to W""- Alexander, treasurer." 

7th October, 1687. — "The qlk day in obedience to ane warning 
given in by the officers to Bailie Carswell, at command of the 
Bailies, to render up his arms, which were furnished by the town to 
W"- Fyfe, late Bailie, and James Patoune, messenger, when they 
rode out for the town against Argyle's rebellion ^ in the west, and 
given up to the said BaiHe Carswell to keep for the town's use, the 
said Patrick has given up presently before the Bailies and Council 
two pair of holsters and pair of pistols, ane curple and ane tye, and 
declares that the town's sadle and other curple, and ane tye, is in 
W"- Whyte's, late ^treasurer's hand, who is ordained to be warned 
to produce them at the Council meeting, with stirrup iron and 
stirrup leatheries." 

nth October, 1688. — "The qlk day, at command of BaiHe 
Alexander, Hew Snodgrass has delivered up to James Patoune, 
messenger — whom the Bailies and Council have chosen to ride out 
for the town, in obedience to his Majesty's late proclamation — ane 
pair of holsters, ane curple and tye, belonging to the towai, which 
he had in keeping for their use." 

4th January, 1689. — "The qlk day the Bailies and Council 
having counted and cleared with James Patoune, their rider, conform 
to the late proclamation and their own agreement with him, they 
find, after count and reckoning, that he has riden for them the space 
of three score days, viz., from 12th October to the nth day of 
December, which space, at thirty shillings the day, conform to 
agreement, extends to four score ten punds. Item, they find that 
since he was disbanded, which was upon the nth December last 
by-past, he has kept the town's horse on his own expense, which, 
conform to agreement, was to have twelve shillings each day for 

^ This most likely refers to the period when Argyll was taken a prisoner in 
the act uf crossing the River Cart, at the ford of Inchinnan, on 20th June, 1685. 

1650 TILL 1700. 317 

keeping thereof, and which days being counted, extends to twenty 
six days, extending in money to fifteen punds, all which sums being 
calculated together, extends to one hundred and twenty five punds 
twelve shillings ; and there being thirty eight punds seventeen 
shillings four pennies rebated off the said sum, which was paid by 
the town to the said James, at several occasions, as part of his fee, 
there yet rests owing to him the sum of sixty six punds fourteen 
shillings four pennies, Avhich the said Bailies has drawn out ane 
precept on the said Hew Fulton, their treasurer, to be paid to the 
said James Patoune." 

The wicked and tjTannical reign of King James II. was 
terminated by the landing of the Prince of Orange, in answer to the 
invitation of many in the country, on 5th November, 1688. 
Every\vhere the Prince was received with enthusiasm, and James 
VII. fled from London to France. King William III. (of England, 
II. of Scotland) and Queen Mary II. were proclaimed with " great 
rejoicings at the Cross of Edinburgh, on nth April, 1689, the same 
day on which they were crowned at Westminster, the Scottish 
Parliament declaring that James the Seventh had forfaulted the 
right to the c^o^vn. 

All the old complicated oaths and declarations of allegiance 
were abolished, and the only one put in their place was simply " I 
do sincerely promise, and swear, that I will be faithful and bear 
true allegiance to their majesties, King William and Queen Mary, 
so help me God." In this way the Revolution, as it is called, of 1688 
was consummated. To rectify the abuses that had been perpetrated 
by the former despotic and arbitrary governments in the appointing 
of magistrates in Royal Burghs, the Estates ordered new magis- 
trates to be elected by the burgesses, Avho were directed to give in 
subscribed lists on the day of the election. 

As this order applied, apparently, only to Royal Burghs, William 
Greinlees, the agent in Edinburgh for the town of Paisley, petitioned 
the Lords of the Privy Council, to grant the same privileges to the 
burgesses of Paisley. This petition is dated 23rd September, 
1689, and as it is very important, we give it in full. It is as 
follows : — 

"At Edinburgh, the twentie-third day of September, 1689, anent 
the petition given in to the Lords of his Majestie's privie counsell, 
be William Greenlees, ^vriter, in Edinburgh, as having commission 
from the burgesses of the burgh of Paisley, Shewing that where 
albeit by the controverted priviledge and constant practice of the 
said burgh, the burgesses thereof had yearly a free election and 
nomination of their baillies, counsell, and toune thesaurer, never- 
theless, of late years (while under the yoak of arbitrary power), by 
reasone of the oaths that were imposed upon persones in publick 
trust, very unsufiicient and malignant magistratts were sett over 
them, and these who have the present exercise of the magistrasie 


tliere, were contenanced by the late Chancellor, without any 
electione, by which meanes the publick peace of that place has 
bein exceedingly disturbed, the Godly ministers much discouraged, 
the scholes for learning decayed, and the said burgh has bein 
thereby impoverished, and brought under great debt, and they are 
still lyke to labour under the same difficulties and inconveniences 
except such remed be allowed them as has bein to others in the 
like caise, and therefore humbly craving that the sds lords would 
authorize and impower the burgesses of the said burgh to assemble 
and meet upon the thertie day of September instant, and friely by 
the poll and pluralitie of votes, to nominat and elect persones of 
credit and integritie, and who by the ancient and laudable act of the 
said burgh are capable to be baillies, counsellors, thesaurer thereof, 
and to appoynt Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, William Cunningham 
of Craigens, William Muir of Glanderston, and George Houstoune 
of Johnstone, or any one or two of them, to supervise the said 
election, as the said supplicatione bears ; which being considered 
be the said Lords of his Majestie's privie counsell, they hereby 
authorize and impower the burgesses of the burgh of Paisley, 
excepting and secluding honorary burgesses, toune officers, 
pensioners, and beadmen, to assemble and meet upon the thertie 
day of September instant, and freely, by the poll and pluralitie of 
votes, to nominat and elect persones of credit and integritie, and 
who by the ancient and lauable acts of the said burgh, are capable 
to be baillies, counsellors, and thesaurer thereof, and appoynt Sir 
John Maxwell of Pollock, William Cunningham of Craigens, William 
Muir of Glanderston, George Houstoune of Johnstone, and the Earle 
of Dundonald, to be overseers of the said election, and appoints 
any two of them to be a quorum. Extracted by me (signed), Gilb. 
Eliot, Clk." 

In pursuance of this petition, and in accordance with the decision 
of the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council, a meeting was held on 
the 30th September, 1689, and a regular poll election of Magistrates 
and Councillors was made at the sight of William Cunningham of 
Craigens and George Houston of Johnstone, two of the assessors 
named by the court. A minute to this eftect is preserved in the 
Charter Chest of Paisley, of date 7th October, 1689. ^ 

The western counties of Scotland, which had been so much 
harassed during the late persecutions and wars, concurred zealously 
in the Revolution of 1688-9. "T^^ '^''C" of Renfrewshire marched 
to Edinburgh to support " the Convention for establishing the new 
regime ;" and when their presence was no longer necessary, having 
received the thanks of the Estates, they marched away with their 

^ On 26tli April, 1696, "Thesaidday the Bailies and Council have subscribed 
the bond of asseveration to King William, conform to the Council's appointment, 
and ordanis the Bailies to go through the Burgesses that they may subscribe the 
same and send the same into the Council against the first occasion." 

1650 TILL 1700. 319 

arms to their respective homes, having upon their colours a Bible 
with some other devices, and these words, " For reformation accor- 
ding to the Word of God." The convention offered to compensate 
them for their important services, but they declined all manner of 
reward, declaring " that they only came to save and to serve 
their country, and not to impoverish it by enriching themselves " 
(Proceedings of the Convention, printed for ChisivcU, London, 
p. 22). 

The Town Council had to contribute considerable sums of money 
in connection with the support of the army. On i8th November, 
1689, by intimation from the Commissioners of Assessment, they had 
to provide their proportion " for the carrying four days' provisions 
to Greenock, for 1500 Danish horse." On 23rd January, 1690, the 
Council " ordained Bailie Crawford to go to Edinburgh on ]\Ionday 
next, in order to the removing of the great burden of the soldiers 
quartered in the town at this time, and for preventing of the trouble 
also of the Danish horse." On 22nd February following. Bailie 
Crawford reported to the Council, among other matters, " that he 
had procured a warrant for removing the companies of Glencaim's 
regiment lying here." And on 26th April, 1696, "the Bailies 
report that they had got a man to be a soldier, conform to act of 

We find that all the inhabitants were not in favour of the new 
government, and indeed universal acquiescence could scarcely be 
expected. The following is, at anyrate, proof of the existence in 
Paisley of one Jacobite. " John Peitter, weaver, being incarcerated 
within the tollbuith of Paisley for his unchristian speeches and be- 
haviour towards the present government and sundry other persons 
in public trust, who, upon his liberation furth of the said prison, 
hereby binds and obliges him that he shall not, in time coming, use 
any such expressions towards any persons, but shall live peaceably, 
soberly, and Christianly, under the pain of the losing of his freedom 
of this burgh, and subscribing an act of banishment furth of this 
place, which he hereby does, per 7'erba, depute before Robert Kirlie, 
officer, and James Alexander 'YCi^'^''^'^^ -Records, 17th December, 

The Bailies and Council, as in former times, passed a number of 
acts to regulate the proceedings of the butchers. They are as 
follows : — 

19th May, 1655. — "The fleshers convened before the Council, 
the flesh stocks (or stalls) are ordered to be removed from opposite 
Robert Fork's property at the cross, and a shed to be erected for 
them where the lister trees stand, and to cover the same with deals, 
which was to be ready for covering betwixt and the 15th August to 

15th October, 1657. — " It is statute and ordained be the Bailies 
and Council that no fleshour within this burgh sail heirefter let the 
blood of any beasts goe on the streits without kepping of it, and 


sail either give or cause carrie the same away, under the pain of 
ten punds money, toties quoties."^ 

nth October, 1666. — "They ratifie the act that no more fleshers 
than two sail marrow together, and that they sail be in one booth, 
under the pain of ten punds money toties quoties, and that none of 
them sail collop flesh, blow mutton, nor tak fillits out of either hud- 
roums or sheepe, neither take ears out of hudroums, under the pain 
of ten punds money toties quoties." 

14th October, 1669. — " The Bailies and Counsell enact, conclude, 
and ordain that the fleshers within this burgh sail in no tym heirefter 
tak tugs aff hyids, hole anie part of their hyidis, nor score the same 
in half holes, under the pain of x^- money (lod.) to be payed by the 
contraveiner for ilk tug, iiij^- (4d.) for ilk hole, ij^- (2d.) for ilk score 
or half hole, als oft and how oft the same sail be transgrest." 

13th October, 1670. — "They ratifie the act that town fleshers sail 
not buy from landward fleshers flesh, quick or ded, before two hours in 
the afternoone, under the pain of five punds money (Ss. 4d.) toties 

It appears from the following minute that some of the butchers in 
the town actually, as in Glasgow, slaughtered cattle on the public 
street. " They statute and ordain that no flesher kill flesh upon the 
High Street, and that they shall not sell any vivers in any other place 
than in the Flesh Market after Whitsunday next, which is appointed 
to be in the north end of the meeting-house at the said term, under 
the pain of ten punds, and have concluded to remove the north 
port beyond the meeting-house" (Coimcil Records^ 29th January, 

It was on 9th October, 1690, that the Council ordered "the 

' At this period and afterwards, it was the odious practice of the butchers 
in Glasgow to slaughter animals in Trongate, as the following copy of the minute 
of Council of 20th September, 1666, plainly demonstrates : — " Forsuameikle as 
the said Bailies and Counsell taking to their consideratioune that it has bein the 
use and custome of the fleshers of this burgh heirtofoir to slay and bluid the 
whoU bestiall they kill on the Hie streit in Trongait on both sides of the gait, 
quilk is verie lothsome to the beholders, and also raises yin filthie and noysome 
stink, and flew to all maner of persones that passeth that way throu the King's 
Hie street, and is most unseimlie to be sein, that the lyk should be done thereon ; 
and the said Magestratis and Counsell understanding that the lyk is not done in 
no place within this kingdome or outwith the same, or any well governed citie. 
And now, seing the said fleshers may be provydit uthirwayes and far more 
commodious for blooding and killing the haill bestiall they kill, and also, they 
being most desyrous that the said abuse be remeided heirafter, therefor comands 
and charges them and ilk ane of them to provyd houses in baksyds for the doing 
thereof, as is done in Edinburghe and uther M'ell governed cities, and that betwixt 
and the term of Witsonday nixt to come, under the paine of ane hundreth punds 
monye, to be exacted aff ilk ane of the said fleshors, to be applied ad pios testis, 
and that how oft and sade oft." 

The slaughtering of cattle on the public street must have continued, for on 
14th August, 1668, "the Bailies and Counsell discharges the fleshors in the 
land mercat to kill any muttone or hudron (heifers) in the Hie street, under the 
paine of ten punds ilk persone in case of failzie, and that they keip their filth 
and pynches (entrails) aff the foir gait." 

1650 TILL 1700. 321 

meeting-house to be thatched this winter, and resolve to make the 
same a flesh market against May day next." According to the fore- 
going minute, it was only "the north of the meeting house" that was 
used as a flesh market. In April, 1692 and 1694, they agreed to let 
this house, but it must have been only the south end of it, unless the 
flesh market had been removed to some other place. The north 
port, sometimes called the Moss gate port, was situated a short dis- 
tance to the north of the School Wynd ; but to have this new flesh 
market inside of the port, it would be removed to the present 
Meeting-House Lane. From the name of this house comes the 
name of the lane. 

At different periods the Bailies and Council passed severe sen- 
tences against some of the inhabitants for their immoral conduct. 

26th June, 1654. — It is appointed that at the first conveniency 
this week such women as have committed fornication or are scan- 
dalous in their carriage, shall be expelled the town, conform to the 
desire of the Session and acts of the Assembly." 

14th January, 166 1. — "Jean Napier, ane common strumpit, 
banished the town for whoredom, with certification that if any of the 
inhabitants receive her into their houses, they shall be severely 

14th March, 1666. — "The whilk day the Bailies and Counsell 
heaving taken to their consideratioune the scandalous carriage of 
Janet Stewart, widow, and that it was proven be eye witnesses her 
vile fornication committed be her publiklie and in the day tym, and 
that she is now fund relaps therein, have appointed her to be ex- 
pelled the town betwixt and Fryday nixt, as ane vile person not 
worthie any more to dwell therein, and that she shall stand in ward 
till she find cautioune to effect that she sail never any more be ane 
residenter therein." 

26th December, 167 1. — "The Bailies report that they and certain 
of the Counsell yesterday did expell Mareon Shaw, daughter lawful 
of umquile Malcolm Shaw ; Agnes Scott, Janet Stewart, widow ; Jean 
Brysson, and AUeson Simpson. The Counsell approves of the ex- 
pulsion of all except Janet Stewart, wha, in respect of hir old age, is 
tollerat to stay, she finding sufficient caution for her good behaviour 
in tyme coming, under the pain of banishment perpetuallie, attoure 
the payment of the fine." 

i6th February, 1672. — "This day, because of some scandalous 
crying fame against John Fork, it is thought fitt that he be discharged 
to compear a procurator before the Bailies till he purge himself of 
the crying fame." 

3rd August, 1678. — "The quhilk day, there being ane flagrant 
scandal of adultries alleged committed be William Ore, officer, with 
Mareon Davieson, dauchter of umqle James Davieson, and there- 
upon the Bailies, having apointed Robert Alexander and Robert 
Park to try the same, they report that the fact will be neirly provin, 



and by some the fact itself, attour diverse other grounds of scandall. 
The quilk the Baihes and Councell taking to their consideratioune, 
they therefore ordain the said Wilham Ore to be discharged of all 
further execution of his office as their officer, and ordains the woman 
to be imprisoned till she find cautioun to satisfie the church." 

It was not till the beginning of 1661 that any systematic plan was 
adopted for having the town watched and protected during the night. 
Although the inhabitants had previously suffered severely from the 
visitation of the pest and the contentions between the Royalists 
and the Presbyterians, yet the population had gradually increased, 
thereby rendering some arrangement for protection to be absolutely 
necessary. Both Hfe and property required to be safe-guarded, 
and there was no way in those days whereby such could be so 
effectually done as by the inhabitants undertaking the arduous duty 
in turns themselves. The resolution of the Council on this point 
would, no doubt, be seriously considered and matured in private 
before being brought before them publicly for formal adoption. 
Their record on this important matter is very concise and business- 
like. It is as follows : — 

7th January, 1661. — "It is concluded that there sail be ane 
nightlie watch heirefter in the town during the Bailies' and Coun- 
cell's pleasure, consisting of threttein persons. Twelve to be on the 
guard, and ane to command. That there entrie sail be nightlie at the 
ringing of the ten hours bell. They are to continue on the guard 
till sex hours in the morning nightlie. The said guard is to send 
twa or thrie of their number nightlie, once or twice, throw the 
Calsiesyd. The officers are to warne ilk threttein persons (begin- 
ning in the Smiddiehills) be vicissitude and turns about throw the 
town, and ilk person who faills to come on the watche, being law- 
fuUie warned, is to pay to the guard of that night xx*- (is. 8d.), to 
be exacted and disposed upon be themselves." 

The Baihes and Council, in attending to the improvement of the 
sanitary condition of the town, had still to contend with the un- 
cleanly habits of some of the inhabitants, in persisting to have their 
** middens " on the street in front of their own doors. Here is a 
resolution the Council passed on this subject, and also another 
declaring that the " foulzie " collected within the burgh should not 
be sold to " outtentown" persons, under severe penalties : — 

25th May, 1661. — "Whereas the Bailies and Councel finds by 
experience that peoples laying out of their foulzie in middins at 
their door cheiks on the foregate is both unbecoming, uncomely, 
and dishonest to the town, therefore they have concluded and 
ordained, that none hereafter within the ports shall make their 
middins on the fore gate, but in their back yards, or else lead the 
same away within forty-eight hours after they lay it out, under the 
pain of ten punds money toties quoties, and this to be intimate to 
every family by the officers." 

1650 TILL 1700. 323 

13th October, 1670. — " It is appointed and statute that all sellers 
of foulzie to any outtintovvn's man or person sail pay ten punds Scots 
money (^o i6s. 8d.) toties quoties, and that no Bailie sail have 
libertie nor power to give license to any man to transport foulzie 
out of the town, and that those who have sold and transported 
foulzie alredie shall be fyned furthwith be the Bailies." 

9th October, 1690. — ^^ Item, they statute and ordain that every 
inhabitant shall cleanse the High street for against his own dwelling 
or heritage the Thursday before the fair of Paisley, and see each the 
first Thursday of each month in all time coming." 

Judging from the Council Records there was not in this period 
much done to the causeying of the streets. 

6th January, 1664. — "The two Bailies report that, according as 
they were appointed, they have agreed with ane causeyman in 
Glasgow to come and lay the town causey for 5 merks 3 shillings 
and 4 pence (^o 5s. lod.) the rood, without any service, except 
furnishing to him of stones and sand, the Council appoint the 
Bailies to agree with, and man to lead the sand thereto." 

28th January, 1664. — "It is concluded ilk ane of the Councillors 
sail attend his day about upon the causey makers, to see them lay 
the causey well, and to begin at Adam Paterson's." 

14th September, 1668. — '■'■ Act anent ane calsie to be made for the 
lining cloth maj'ket." — " The said day it is apointed that the piece 
of ground before Gilbert Fork's gate and hous on the south sal be 
calsied for the lining cloth market." 

14th March, 1665. — "Liberty was granted to Robert Alexander, 
writer, to bring out the north front of his house, at the head of the 
shoe market, three feet, for which he is to pay twenty shillings." 

14th September, 1682. — "The Bailies and Council have drawn 
ane precept of 100 merks money (;^8 6s. 8d.), to be paid to Robert 
Leitch, causeway layer, in part pa}aTient to him, for laying of the 
new laid causeyway in Moss row at five merks scots money ilk rude, 
the said causeway extending to 46 roods of length." 

30th April, 1692.^" The Bailies and Council have concluded to 
causeway the town head, beyond the west port, this present year, 
so far as shall be found needful." 

The Bailies and Council had no apparatus or engine of any kind 
for extinguishing fires when they should unfortunately take place. 

i6th December, 1670. — "They concludit that there sail be 
twentie four leather buckets for stanching of fire made, and that 
John Park, younger, sail employ James Gairdner, cordoner, in 
Glasgow, to make ane, to be sein and considered with of the price, 
and thereafter the same or remainder to be made conform." And 
on 4th January, 1677. — "They apointed six iron cleiks to be made 


for pulling down of houses in caise of fire, and to cause buy and 
make two ledders." 

At the beginning of the year 1668, a great fire took place in the 
town of Kilmarnock, destroying the houses inhabited by " sex score 
families or thereby." The loss sustained, and the distress thereby 
caused, were so great, that the calamity was, it appears, brought 
under the notice of the Privy Council, who authorised subscriptions 
to be raised, in different parts of the country, on behalf of the 
sufferers. Among other places, an appeal was made to the Bailies 
and Council of Paisley, who came to the resolution given below. 
We do not know, however, what success attended the efforts of the 
Councillors who were appointed to canvass the inhabitants for 

nth July, 1668. — "This day, by warrand of his Majestie's 
Privy Counsell, ane petition being presented be the Commissioners 
of Kilmarnock, viz., William Failseour and Mathew Brown, to the 
Baihes and Counsell of Paisley, ane voluntar contribution to the 
ruyned and distrest town of Kilmarnock, both by sad quarterings 
and ane great accidentall fire, that hes consumed sex score families 
or thereby. The saids Bailies and Councell, taking the same to 
their consideratioune, doe find it their dewtie to have ane contri- 
butione through the town of Pasleye for the supplie of the said 
town, and for that effect they have nominate and appointed Bailie 
Paterson, Mr. Robert Wallace, John Park, younger, and Robert 
Pasleye, to collect the same with their first convenience." 

The Bailies and Council, from time to time, as opportunities 
offered themselves, conferred the freedom of the town upon several 
of those who visited it. The following list of noblemen, gentlemen, 
and others, who were so honoured, will be found to be not a little 
interesting. They were all "created and made burgesses gratis, 
and made faith as use is." 

7th August, 1671. — William Master of Ross, and Sir James 
Dalrymple of Stair, Knight, Lord President of the Colledge of 
Justice, and their servants. 

1 2th May, 1683. — Mr. John Gordon, servitor to Mr. Thomas 
Gordon, clerk of the circuit ; William Riddal and Walter Chapman, 
his servitor ; and William Borthick, corporal of Captain Inglis's 
troop of dragoons. 

6th May, 1684. — John Johnes, writer in Glasgow; Walter 
Fleming, y- of Coutstoune ; Mr. John Spreull, writer ; John Smith, 
writer, and George Russell. 

13th November, 1684. — John Irving of Stabletoun, Sheriff- 
Depute of the Sheriffdom of Renfrew ; and Francis Irving, his 

loth January, 1685. — William Shedden, tailor in Paisley, at the 
desire of Lady Montgomerie. 

John Shaw, y""- of Greenock ; John Thomson, his gentleman ; 

1650 TILL 1700. 325 

John Baird, Glencairns, gentleman ; John Lang, his chamberlain ; 
John Rodger, Steward to the said Glencairns ; James Hume, his 
groom ; John Odus, his servitor ; Robert Pennew and John Wright, 
footmen; John Spence, gentleman to my Lord Ross; John 
Mastertoun, master houssell ; Richard Voerres, page ; Henry- 
Campbell, mess cook ; Donald M 'Donald and John Wright, foot- 
men ; James Yetts and John Yetts, trumpeters to my Lord Ross, 
his troop ; and John Montgomerie, servitor to my Lord Hoome. 

2ist February, 1685. — Andrew M'Invatuor, writer in Greenock ; 
Duncan Campbell, his servitor. 

17th July, 1686. — Francis Lord Glassford, Mr. John Semple, his 
factor ; James Abercrombie, his gentleman ; James Leishman, his 
steward ; Hew Cheisholme, his groom ; Hew Gillies, his footman ; 
Robert Semple, writer in Edinburgh, son to the Laird of Fullwood. 

27th July, 1688. — Mr. Gilbert Black, servitor to the Archbishop 
of Glasgow, and John Love, his groom. 

8th September, 1688. — Thomas Wallace of Elderslie ; Mr. Alex- 
ander Crantstoun, doctor of medicine ; John Blair, younger of 
Curtberry ; John Muir and Archibald Campbell, servitors. 

3rd September, 1688. — Joannes Reid, servitor to Mr. Arthur 

28th September, 168S. — George Ross of Gastoun, and Abraham 
Absoam, his servitor. 

19th October, 1688. — James Oliphant of Williamstoun, John 
Millar and John M'Donald, his servitors ; and James Kettle, 
servitor to Th'- Murray, y''- of Woodend. 

27th September, 1689. — John Ralston, Mauldhill. 
28th September, 1689. — William Wilson, Quarrier, 
30th April, 1 69 1. — William Currie, saddler. 

13th March, 1695. — Mr. John Hamilton of Walcraig, one of the 
Lords of Session ; Gavin Ralston of that Ilk ; John Archibald, 
Thomas Carmichael, and John Ray, servitors to Walcraig, and 
Adam M'Cay and Robert Fleming, servitors to Ralston. 

loth July, 1695. — Archibald Crawford of Auchmaines, Robert 
Semple of Fullwood, David Dougall, merchant in Edinburgh, and 
Cochran of Craigmuir. 

19th May, 1697. — Sir John Houston of that ilk; Mr. John 
Stewart, y- of Blackball ; Mr. Charles Lundie, brother german to 
the Laird of Lundie ; Mr. Francis Grant, advocate ; Mr. James 
Stewart, advocate ; Arch"^- Bannatine, y""' of Kellie ; Robert Orchart, 
lieutenant in Earl of Hultrebarne, his regiment of foot ; Dunlop, 
ensign there ; John Ferguson, writer in Edinburgh ; John Birnie, 
writer there ; Archibald Campbell, servitor to Blackball ; James 
Petrey, servitor to Lord Blantyre ; John Ferrier, sen""-' servitor to 
the Laird of Houston ; Robert Hogg, servitor to the Laird of 


Blackhouse ; Charles Gillies, servitor to the said Mr. Francis Grant; 
George Auston, servitor, and James Johnston, writer in Edinburgh. 

27th September, 1697. — John Alexander, fourth lawful son of 
Robert Alexander of Blackhouse, designed of Carolina. 

4th April, 1698. — William Selkrige, writer in Edinburgh, one of 
the town's agents against Dundonald. 

5th April, 1698. — James Houston, merchant in Glasgow, and 
Robert Cunningham, factor to the estate of Newark. 

In connection with the imprisonment of persons in the tollbuith, 
arrangements — many of which are somewhat curious — were made 
regarding their confinement. These cases are given as they are 
stated in the Council Reco7-ds. The first is that of John Stewart, 
who was allowed to go to Church on Sundays, and John Glen, 
Smiddiehills, became security that he would return to the tollbuith. 

nth May, 1672. — "The quilk day John Glen, in Smiddiehills, 
becomes acted and obleist as cautioner and souertie for John 
Stewart, sometyme in Rais, now within the prison of Paslay, that 
during his imprisonment, ilk Sabbath, that the said John Stewart sail 
hapen get his libertie to come furth to the church of Paslay, at eight 
hours in the morneing, sail return to prison at four hours in the same 
day in the efternoone, under all hazard and pain that therefor there- 
efter may follow, and Allan Stewart, in Cardonald (renunciand his 
own jurisdiction), obliges him, his airs and executors, to freeth and 
relieve the said John Glen of the premises and of all damage he sail 
hapien to sustain therthrough." 

9th April, 1674. — "The Bailies and Counsell finding that William 
Porterfield, of Quarreltoun, is confined in the town of Paslaye, and 
is to be prisoner in the tollbuith ilka night, betwixt sunsett and sun- 
rysing, therefor they grant to him the benefit of the high councell 
hous to lye therinto." 

Robert Stevenson, who belonged to Kilbarchan, escaped from the 
tollbuith, where he had been imprisoned as a deserter from his 
Majesty's service. It appears that on the 15th January, 1696, he 
gave Robert Kirlie, the jailor, a quantity of ale, and afterwards left 
the prison dressed in women's clothes. Robert Kirlie was indicted 
before the Sheriff for wilful neglect of duty by the procurator-fiscal 
and the military authorities, who craved that he should produce the 
same prisoner or a man equally as good, and pay three score punds 
Scots for the expenses incurred. The Sheriff decided against the 
jailor, and ordained him to remain in prison till he implemented the 
charges made against him, or found sufficient security. Robert 
Kirlie afterwards presented a petition to the Town Council to ad- 
vance money to him upon certain conditions, which are not stated, 
to enable him to obtain his release from prison, and they "ordained 
the treasurer to pay to him forty punds scots" (Coiutcil Records, 27th 
March, 1696). 

The Bailies and Council resolved on 25th January, 1677, that 
" the drum is to beat at fyve hours and the bell to ring at six from 

1650 TILL 1700. 327 

the I St of November till the ist of Februar, and for the first of the 
yeir at four hours and fyve hours respective, as before." 

The Bailies and Council possessed the right to vote in the choice 
of two commissioners to represent the county in Parliament, and on 
8th June, 1678, they "elected the two Bailies their commissioners 
to goe down to Renfrew the day and give their voice to the election 
of two commissioners for the shire of Renfrew to the Convention of 

Mr. Ezekiel Montgomery, of Westlands, Sheriff-depute of Ren- 
frewshire, slandered the Bailies and Council in a most shameful 
manner by calling them " ane pack of beasts and sumphs." The 
fiscal, Robert Landes, brought this scandalous attack before the 
Bailies and Council at a meeting held on the 19th April, 1682. 
The interesting record is as follows : — 

" The whilk day convenit in Counsell, Bailie Maxwell, &c., who 
ratifie, approve, and confirm the old and ancient acts of the burgh 
made anent the buying, selling, and fruiching the towne's common 
land, at length specifeit in the said ancient acts. And the said 
Robert Landes, fiscall, having complaint to the said Bailie and 
Counsell foresaid, upon Mr. Ezekiel Montgomerie, lately Sheriff- 
deput, for calling the Counsell convenit in the tolbuith, on the 19th 
of this instant, ane pack of beasts and sumphs, for the Coun- 
sell's requiring the said late Sheriff-deput to produce the letters of 
horning and poinding quhairwith he had poinded Bailie Maxwell, 
conforme to ane act of cautione fundin be him, for production of 
the lettres of horning and poinding foresaid, under the penalty of 
fyve hundred merks money of fyne, upon consideratione of the 
quhilk misbehaveing words spoken before the Counsell, the said 
Bailie and Counsell ordains that upon sight the officers apprehend 
the said Mr. Ezekiel Montgomerie wherever he can be apprehendit, 
within the town's jurisdictione, ay, and whill sufficient cautione be 
found be him that he sail answer the fiscall as law will, and to be 
imprisoned quill he find cautione to the effect forsaid." 

At another meeting held on the 29th of the same month, the 
Council appointed Bailie Maxwell and the town clerk to go to 
Edinburgh, as they learned that Mr. Montgomerie had gone there 
to raise a summons against the town, but this threat was not carried 

Hitherto we have frequently had opportunities of commend- 
ing the firmness, sagacity, and foresight of the Bailies and Town 
Council in discharging their municipal duties. We have now, how- 

^ His after-life was attended with many striking changes. On 14th February, 
16S4, the Privy Council agreed to pursue him for twenty-four acts of malversa- 
tion, oppression, concussion, and extortion from the poor people at the previous 
Circuit Court, and decided that he should find caution at future diets, under pain 
of ;[^looo sterling. Having failed to do so, he was committed to prison. Two 
years afterwards he was liberated on condition of discovering heritors who had 
been engaged in the recent rebellions ; but instead of doing so, he went to Ireland 
and became a preacher. After the Revolution in 1688 he returned to Paisley, 


ever, to consider a case in which their procedure, to state it mildly, 
greatly shocks us. It relates to the removal and destruction of the 
ancient stone cross that stood in the market place. Shortly after its 
erection in 1488, when the little village of Paisley was raised to the 
dignity of a burgh, this cross was, as already stated, knocked down 
by the Renfrew burgesses, in their envy and spite at their new rival ; 
but now we have to record that it was deliberately and wantonly 
taken down and demolished by those who should not only have 
protected but revered it. On 20th October, 1692, the first record 
of the Council on this matter is as follows: — ^^ Item, they have all in 
ane voice concluded to remove the cross, and to lay ane causeway 
where the stone is." And exactly a year afterwards, on the same 
day and in the same month, they again resolved : — "Item, they have 
all in one voice adhered to the former act anent the removing of 
the cross." And on 9th April, 1694, the final resolution of the 
Council is as follows : — " The said day the cross was to be taken 
down and the High Street to be lifted and levelled, and that from 
William Gemell's house in the North Street to the shop of Robert 
Paisley, late Bailie, and that in summer next." This removal of the 
ancient stone cross was, it will be seen, not decided on in any 
abrupt or hasty manner, for the matter was under their consideration 
at least on three different occasions in the course of three different 
years. ^ 

The cross in High Street, at Perth, was about twelve feet high, 
with a balcony on the top, to which there was access by a flight of 
steps within the building. Proclamations were wont to be read 
from the balcony ; and here, on the King's birthday, the usual loyal 
toasts were drunk by the magistrates. As each separate health was 
drunk, the bottles and glasses were thrown among the crowd, and 
new ones procured for the succeeding toast. About the year 1764, 
when carts and other carriages came to be introduced, this edifice 
being found considerably to impede the carriage way, was taken 
down. The city gates were removed about the same period 
( Traditions of Pert'li, by George Penny, p. 15). 

Instead of punishing persons who had misbehaved, sometimes the 
BaiHes acted very leniently, thereby giving the culprits an oppor- 
tunity to reclaim, and took an obligation from them that they would 
act properly in the future. This procedure was very likely attended 
with beneficial results. 

^ The reader will recollect the lines in "Marmion " : — 

" Dun-Edin's Cross, a pillar'd stone, 
Rose on a turret octagon ; 
(But now is razed that monument 

Whence royal edict rang, 
And voice of Scotland's law was sent 

In glorious trumpet-clang. 
O ! be his tomb as lead to lead, 
Upon its dull destroyer's head ! — 
A minstrel's malison is said). 

1650 TILL 1700. 329 

29th September, 1695. — "Robert Semple, chapman, being car- 
cerated within the tolbooth for his miscarriage and tumuhuouse 
troublesome behaviour upon yesternight, the Bailies liberate him 
furth of prison, upon his granting an act to live peaceably in time 
coming, under the pain of twenty pund Scots (^i 13s. 4d.), and 
which he obliges himself to do." 

14th November, 1696. — "The said day Alexander Gibson, 
weaver, a ^•agrant person, and unwarrantably living within the said 
burgh without any testimonial of his former life and conversation, 
and being otherwise troublesome to the town, enacts himself that, 
in case he be seen in the said burgh in time coming, he shall either 
pay twenty pounds scots or then lye in the jogs or stand in the 
cock-stule^ during the Magistrates pleasure for the time." 

9th April, 1697. — "The said day Mr. Bryce Macolme, in Paisley, 
being convened before the Bailies of Paisley, and by them sentenced 
to remove furth of the town and not to be seen therein in time 
coming oftner than once in the week, and that he shall not abide 
the night time therein. In obedience to which sentence the said 
Mr. Bryce Malcolme obliges him to fulfill and obtemper the said 
sentence and that against the first day of May next to come." 

In 1695 the Scottish ParHament, "in regard of the great and 
iminent dangers that threaten this kingdom from foreign enemies 
and intestine dissafections (chap. x. Act for poll money, p. 461), and 
it being therefore necessary " that a complete number of standing 
forces be maintained, and ships of war provided for its defence," 
resolved to raise the requisite funds by way of poll money. They, 
therefore, ordained " that all persons, of whatsoever age, sex, or 
quality, shall be subject and liable to a poll of six shillings, except 
poor persons who live upon charity, and the children under the age 
of sixteen years, and en familia of all these persons whose poll doth 
now exceed one pound ten shillings scots," and " that beside the 
said six shillings imposed upon all the persons that are not excepted, 
a cottar having a trade shall pay six shillings more, making in all 
twelve shillings (6s.) for every such cottar." Masters were also to 
pay for their servants. " Merchants, whether sea men, shopkeepers, 
shopmen, tradesmen, and others, whose free stock and means is 
above 500 merks {£,2'] 15s. 6d.), and doth not extend to 5000 
merks, shall be subject and liable to two pounds ten shillings 
(4s. 2d.) of poll." Those having means and stock 5000 merks 
(^277 15s. 6d.), and under 10,000 merks (^555 us.), were to 
pay four pounds (6s. 8d.) of poll. Among the variety of charges 
provided for in this act. Lords were to pay 40 pounds (^3 6s. 8d.) ; 
Viscounts, 50 pounds {£^\ 3s. 4d.) ; Earls, 60 pounds (^5); Mar- 
quesses, So pounds (;^6 13s. 4d.) ; Dukes, 100 pounds (^8 6s. Sd.); 
Notars and procurators before inferior courts, 4 pounds (6s. 8d.). 

^ Cock-stool. The cucking-stool or tumbrell, Burrmi Lawes. Teut. kolcken, 
ingurgitare, or kaecke, the pillory. This term has accordingly been used, in 
later times, to denote the pillory (Jamieson). 


The list of the names for this poll tax upon the inhabitants of 
Paisley, was made out, and the assessment fixed, by Gavin Cochran 
of Craigmuire, James Dunlop of Househill, Claud Alexander of 
Newtoune, and Robert Pow, one of the Bailies of Paisley, and 
Robert Park, their clerk. The tax is stated in scots money, which 
is a twelfth part of sterling money. 

This roll of the inhabitants of Paisley above i6 years of age, in 
1695, i^ rnost complete and correct; and besides giving the names 
of every member in each family, it describes their professions and 
trades. The roll of names is altogether so exceedingly important 
and interesting that, although somewhat long, we give it entire. It 
is as follows.^ 

List of the Toiune. 
John Forman, weiver. 
Alex. Forman, weiver, no stock, 12 sh. trade and pole; 

Jane Love, spouse, 6 sh.,"- ... ... ... ^o 18 o 

William Speir, maltman, 1 2 sh., trade and pole ; Christian 

Rowand, spouse, 6 sh.; Issobal Thomsoune, servt, 

15 lib. fee, 7 sh. 6d., ... ... ... ... in 6 

John Walker, weiver, ... ... ... ... ... 012 o 

Thomas Wallace, cordoner, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; 

Jennet Stevensoune, his spouse, and Jennet Wallace, 

his daughter, 6 sh. each ; Mary Plewright, servt., 

6 lib. fee, 9 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 317 o 

James Gemmell, prentice to Robt. Alexr., masone, 6 sh.; 

Jennet Maxwell, his wife, 6 sh., ... ... ... 012 o 

Robert Alexr., masone, 12 sh. trade and pole; Margt. 

Biggert, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 018 o 

AVilliam Alexander, workman. 

William Cochran, weiver. 

Charles Munro, weiver, 12 sh.; Mareon Robiesoune, 

spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... oiS o 

William Willsoune, weiver, 12 sh. trade and pole; 

Isoball AVillsoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

Agnes Barbour, widow, ... ... ... ... 060 

John Fyfe, merchd., worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; Janet 

Cochrane, his mother, 6 sh.; Bessie Jamiesoune, 

servd., 12 lib. fee, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... 3 14 o 

Jean Knox, widow. 

Robert Norie, wright, 12 sh. trade and pole; Agnes 

Thomsoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

•* The original manuscript of the Poll Tax Rolls for the County of Renfrew, is 
in the charter chest belonging to the Town Council of Paisley. These rolls 
were published in the Glasgow J/erald newi-paper in 1S64, by the late Mr. David 

- The contractions used in this roll are these — lil>. pounds ; s/i. shillings ; 
(I. pence; ;«/'j'. merks ; 7'al. valuation; gcj/., gcal. general; daitr. daughter; 
seii't., sa~i'd. servant ; ycr. younger ; yr. there. 

1650 TILL 1700. 331 

William Snodgrass, workman, 6 sh. pole ; and Janet 

Wodrow, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... £,0 12 o 

Ursilla Henshell, widow. 

George Watterstoune, glassier, worth 500 and not 5000 
mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; Anna Baird, spouse, 6 sh.; James, 
David, William, Anna,andjennet,children, each 6sh., 4 12 o 

Robert Finlaysoune, meilman, no stock, 6 sh.; Margt. 

Kibble, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 012 o 

James Robiesoune, couper, 6 sh. trade, 6 sh. pole ; 

Bessie Mathie, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

Matthew Robiesoune, smith, no stock, 6 sh. trade, 6 sh. 

pole; Margt. Craig, servt., 16 lib. fee, 8 sh., ... i 6 o 

John Alexander, maltman. 

James Willsoune, weiver, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Girzall 
Barbour, spouse, 6 sh.; James and Agnes, his sone 
and daur., each 6 sh., ... ... ... ... iio o 

Mareon Finlaysone. 

Jean Campbell. 

Bessie Pattesoune. 

Alexr. Park, maltman, worth 500 and not 5000, 2 lib. 
10 sh., and 6 sh. general pole ; Mareon Miller, his 
spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 3 2 o 

David Wylie, smith, worth 500 and not 5000 mks., 2 lib. 
ID sh.; Janet Corse, his spouse, 6 sh.; David Wylie, 
his sone, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 380 

David Landesse, cordoner. 

Janet Taylior, widow. 

Alex. Greenlees, cordoner. 

William Shedden, taylior. 

James Reid, weiver, and his sone James, for himself 

12 sh. and his sone 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

James Campbell, house mert., worth 500 and not 5000 

mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; Agnes Lang, his spouse, 6 sh.; 
Agnes Campbell, child, 6 sh.; Jean Jamieson, servt., 

13 lib. fee, 6 sh. 6d., ... ... ... ... 406 

Elizabeth Aitken, widow. 

James Davidsoune, weiver. 

John Pattesoune, wright, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 10 sh., 
and 6 sh. general pole ; Mareon Love, spouse, 
6 sh.; Jennet, his daughter, 6 sh.; Marie Davidsoun, 
servt., II lib. fee, 5 sh. 6d., ... ... ... 319 6 

Hugh Dunsmuir. 

John Cochrane, workman. 

Robert Pattiesoune, maltman, 12 sh. trade and pole; 

Mareon Cochrane, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

John Willsoune,^ mert., worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh., 
and 6 sh. general pole ; Lsobell Holmes, spouse, 
6 sh.; John and Elizabeth, his children, each 6 sh., 3140 

^ This was the great grandfather of John Wilson (Christopher North), Pro- 
fessor of Moral Philosophy in tiie University of Edinburgh. 


James Alex""- officer, 6 sh.; Mary Barr, his spouse, 6 sh., ^o 12 o 

John Semple, mert., in tounehead, worth 500 and not 
5000 merks, 2 hb. 16 sh.; Jennet Allasoune, spouse, 
6 sh. ; Jennet and Jean Semples, children, each, 
6 sh., 380 

Robert Semple, mert. 

Geills Scott, widow. 

Robert Campbell, house mert. 

Robert Prock, weiver. 

Robert Muir, cadger. 

INIargaret (blank), widow. 

James Stewart, smith, no stock, 12 sh., ... ... 012 o 

Mareon Caldwell, widow. 

William Hendersoune, couper, no stock, 12 sh. trade, 
6 sh. pole ; Elspa Fyfe, spouse, 6 sh. ; John and 
Janet Hendersoune, children, each 6 sh., ... i 10 o 

David Hamiltoune, workman. 

Margaret Stevenson, widow. 

Thomas Mathie, weiver, worth 500 and not 5000 mks., 

2 lib. 10 sh., and 6 sh. general pole, ... ... 2 16 o 

George Mathie,^ taylior, worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 10 sh.; 
Isobel Patiesoune, spouse, 6 sh. ; Helen David- 
soune, servant, 14 lib. fee, 7 sh., ... ... ... 315 o 

Robert Kirlie, officer. 

Andrew Campbell. 

Jannet <ireenlees. 

John Browne. 

Elizabeth Thomsoune. 

James Stewart, smith, no stock, 12 sh. trade and pole, 012 o 

William Whyte, meilman, worth 500 and not 5000 
merks, 2 lib. 16 sh. ; Christiane Browne, spouse, 6 
sh, ; James, John, and Margaret, his children, 
each, 6 sh. ; John Arbukle, servant, 20 lib. fee, 
16 sh. ; John Adam, servt., 15 lib. 6 sh. 8d. fee, 

6 sh. 6d. ; Christian Smith, servt., 12 lib. 6s. 8d., 

7 sh. 8d. ; Agnes Hall, servant, 13 lib. fee, 6 sh. 

2d., 650 

John Pirrhie, maltman, worth 500 merks 3 lib. 6 sh. ; 

Margt. Jamiesoune, spouse, 6 sh. ; John, Jean, 

Alexander, and Isoball, children, each 6 sh. ; 

William Lindsay, servt, 40 merks fie 12 sh. 4d. ; 

Mary Clerk, 16 lib. fie, 8 sh.; and Jean Cordonar, 

16 lib. fee, 8 sh., 724 

John Parkhill, weiver, no stock, 12 sh. trade and pole ; 

Jean Johnstoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... o 18 o 

1 This is the George Mathie who owned the tombstone in the Abbey burying- 
ground, already referred to as having a pair of scissors graven upon it as his 

1650 TILL 1700. 333 

Margaret Young, widow, 

Robert Crawfoord, cordoner. 

Thomas Weir, workman. 

Clauid Fleming, weiver, no stock, 6 sh. trade, 6 sh. 
pole ; Janet Robiesoune, spouse, 6 sh. ; John 
Aitken, journeyman, 12 sh., ... ... ... ^i 10 o 

James Adam. 

Mareon Alexander. 

Robert Adam, mercht., 500 and not 5000 mks. i lib. 10 

sh.; John and Janet Adams, his children, each 6 sh., 380 

Helen Forfar, widow, ... ... ... ... ... 060 

John Lochhead, cordoner. 

Margaret Duncan. 

George Greenlees, cordoner. 

Gavin Cochrane, heritor of Craigmuire, Cochran, and 
Faskine, in Clidsdeal and Renfrew, 380 lib. val., 
9 lib. 6 sh. ; Margaret Cleiland, his spouse, 6 sh. ; 
John Greenlees, servt., 16 lib. fie, 8 sh. ; Janet 
Wilsoune, servt., 16 lib. fie, 8 sh. ; and Jennet 
Wemget, 16 lib. fee, 8 sh., ... ... ... 1114 o 

Alex. Cochrane, yor. of Craigmuire, 100 mks. val., 
4 lib. 6 sh.; Gavin and Agnes, his children, each 
6 sh.; Robert "Wallace, sert, 20 lib. fie, 16 sh.; 
Margt. Robieson, his spouse, 6 sh.; Robert Coch- 
rane, sert., 12 lib. fee, 12 sh., ... ... ... 612 o 

Robert Brysone, cordoner, no stock, 1 2 sh. trade and 

pole; Christian Wallace, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... o 18 o 

John Kerr, journeyman. 

John Orr, gardener, 12 sh. trade and pole; Mareon 
Pattisoune, spouse, 6 sh.; Jean Pattisoune, servt, 
6 lib. fee, 3 sh., ... ... ... ... ... i o 7 

Duncan Allan, cordoner. 

James Dunlop, cordoner, worth 500 and not 5000 mks. 
2 lib. 16 sh.; Margt. Wilsoune, spouse, 6 sh.; John, 
James, Margaret and Jennet, his children, each 6 
sh.; Elspe Fleming, servt., 8 lib. fee, 4 sh., ... 4 14 o 

Margt. Ure, widow. 

William Hendersoune, Avrytter. 

John Stewart, taylior, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Margt. 
Brysone, spouse, 6 sh.; George Dunloap, prentice, 
6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... ... I 4 o 

John Glen, cordoner, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; 
Agnas Stevensoune, spouse, 6 sh.; Richard, John 
and Alexander, his sones, each 6 shiUings ; David 
Tweeddale, prentice, 6 sh,, ... ... ... 460 

Isobell Boll, widow. 

John Parkhill, maltman, worth 300 merks, 6 sh. trade 

and 6 sh. pole, ... ... ... ,., ... 012 o 

William Tarbert, wry tter and notar publick, ... ... 4 6 o 


Allan Walkinshaw, gentleman, ... ... ... ... ^3 6 o 

Margaret Lumsdaill and her daughter Gabriel Wilsoune, 
harbour, worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Elspe 
Wilsoune, spouse, 6 sh.; Archibald, Gabrill, and 
Elizabeth, children, each 6 sh.; Agnes Gibb, servt., 
8 mks. fee, 2 sh. 8d. and 6 sh. pole, ... ... 4 8 8 

William Stewart, taylior. 

William Park, weig maker. 

Robert Greenlees, merchant, worth 500 and within 5000 
mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; Anna Patersoune, spouse, 6 sh.; 
Robert, his sone, 6 sh.; Jean Gardner, servant, 
12 lib fee, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 400 

John Crabb, cordoner. 

William Greenlees, one of the present baylies, worth 500 
and not 5000 merks, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Jennet Patter- 
soune, spouse, 6 sh.; Marion Greenlees, daughter, 
and Wm. Greenlees, oye, each 6 sh.; Margaret 
Patersoune, 15 lib. fee, 7 sh. 6d. and 6 sh. pole, ... 4 7 6 

Jannet Pettersoune, widow, vintner, 6 sh.; Margaret 

Houstoune, her daughter, 6 sh., ... ... ... 012 o 

Robert Patoun, glover. 

Robert Ross, workman, 6 sh.; Janet Clark, spouse, 6 sh., o 12 o 

Agnes Brydene. 

John Adam, late baylie, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; 

Margaret Peter, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... o 12 o 

John Vass, merchant, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; 
Margaret Adam, spouse, 6 sh.; John Adam, his 
father-in-law, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Margaret Petter, his 
spouse, 6 sh.; John and Margaret Adams, children, 
each 6 sh., and Margaret Vass, daughter,... ... 6 16 o 

James Wilsoune, wright. 

James Luke, maltman, no stock, 6 sh. trade 6 sh. pole ; 
Elspe Parkhill, spouse, 6 sh.; Isobel Barr, with 
James Luke in house, ... ... ... ... 018 o 

Robert Simpsoune, taylior, worth 500 mks. and not 

5000, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Martha Glassford, spouse, 6 sh., 320 

James Love, flesher, no stock, 6 sh. trade, 6 sh. pole ; 
Margaret Whytehill, his spouse, 6 sh.; James Love, 
sone, fleshour, 6 sh.; Janet Love, daughter, 6 
sh, ... ... ... ... ... ... I 10 o 

William Androw, taylior. 

Richard Glen, cordoner, 12 sh. trade and pole; 

Catherine Jamiesoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... o 18 o 

Robert Gibsoune, couper, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; and 

Margaret Bulloch, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... o 18 o 

Hugh Fultoune, merchant, worth 5000 and not 10,000 
merks, 4 lib. 6 sh.; Anna Hendersoune, spouse, 
6 sh.; William, Robert, and James, his sones, each 
6 sh.; Jean Wishert, 11 lib. fee, 5 sh. 6d. pole, ... 6 i 6 

1650 TILL 1700. 335 

John Corss, maltman, not worth 500 mks., 93 lib. 6 sh, 
8d. val., 18 sh. 8d. and 6 sh. general pole ; Agnes 
King, his wife, 6 sh.; John Boll, servand, 26 lib. fee, 
13 sh. ; Margaret Clerk, servant, 18 lib. fee, 9 sh.; 
Margaret Auchencloss, servt., 16 lib. 13 sh. 4d. fee, 
8 sh. 4d.; Margt. Cook, i lib. 10 sh. fee,... ... ^£4 6 2 

Will. Caldwell, cordoner, worth 500 and not 5000 mks., 
2 lib. 16 sh. ; Jennet Davidson, spouse, 6 sh. ; 
Margaret Stevensoune, servant, 10 lib. 13 sh. 4d. 
fee, 5 sh. 4d., 3 ^3 4 

John Miller, church officer, 500 mks. and not 5000, 2 

lib. 16 sh. ; Jean Miller, daughter, 6 sh., ... ... 3 2 o 

Alexander Park, merchant. 

Grissel Maxwell, widow. 

Alexr. Wilsone, wright, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Jennet 

Laudess, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... oiS o 

William Boll, merchant, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 

2 lib. 16 sh.; Margaret Finlaysoune, spouse, 6 sh., 3 2 o 

Robert Pow, baylie, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 

2 lib. 16 sh.; Jennet Mountgomerie, spouse, 6 sh., 320 

Robert Sclaiter, merchant, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; 
Jean Herriot, spouse, 6 sh.; Robert, his sone, 
6 sh.; Mary Shaw, servant, 4 lib. p. year, 2 sh. 
and 6 sh. general pole, ... ... ... ... 316 o 

John Wallace, taylior, 12 sh. trade and pole ; Janet 
Finlaysoune, 6 sh.; Jean Kerr, servt., 12 lib. fee, 
12 sh.., ... ... ... ... ... ... iioo 

Patrick Baird, drummer. 

Robert Lang, merchant, worth 500 mks. and not 5000, 
2 lib. 10 sh., and 6 sh. general pole; Margaret 
Allasoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 320 

John Scott, taylior, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Jean Yetts, 

spouse, 6 sh.; Robert Orr, journeyman, 12 sh., ... i 10 o 

William Greenlees, Sheriff-Clerk of Renfrew, 6 lib. 6 sh., 

and Jean Alexr., his spouse, 6 sh., ... ... 612 o 

Cornet Hamiltoune. 

Janet How, widow, the 3d. part of her husband's pole, 
nottar publick, i lib. 12 sh. 8d.; Margaret and 
Agnes Parks, her daughters, each 6 sh., ... ... 2 4 8 

James Muire, merchant, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 16 sh.; Agnes Pow, his spouse, 6 sh.; John, 
William, Alexander, Agnes, and Jennet, his child- 
rene, each 6 sh.;Jean Pow, servant, 12 lib. fee, 12 sh., 5 4 o 

Robert Park, towne-clerk, 6 lib. 6 sh., ... ... ... 660 

William Wilsoune, officer. 

Janet Craig, widow. 

Hugh Gibsoune, couperand merchant, worth 500 merks 
and not 5000, 2 lib. 10 sh. ; Margaret Parkhill, 
spouse, 6 sh.; Jennet, his daughter, 6 sh., ... 3 2 o 


Matthew, Stewart, taylior. 

Robert Pasley, merchant, worth 500 and not 5000 
marks, 2 hb. 16 sh.; Margaret Ferguson, spouse, 
6 sh.; and Robert, his sone, 6 sh.; Bessie Knox, 
servt, 20 merks fee, 12 sh. 8d., ... ... ... ;^4 o 8 

John Mathie, merchant, worth 500 merks, 2 hb.; Mar- 
garet Craig, spouse, 6 sh.; Ehzabeth, his daughter, 
6 sh.; Margaret Campbell, servant, without fee, 6 sh., 340 

David Tevindale, English schoolmaster, no stock, 6 sh.; 

Jean Houstoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 012 o 

W'"-Cumighame, of Bootstoune. 

Robert Finnic, house merchant. 

Alex. Clerk, taylior, 12 sh. trade and pole ; Janet 

Watsoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 018 o 

William Wilsoune, merchant. 

James Jamiesoune, meilman. 

George Boll, workman. 

William Stewart, wright. -=' 

Hugh Crafoord, cordoner. 

Claud Alexander, of Newtoune, for himself 4 lib. 6 sh.; 
Jean Ralstoune, his spouse, 6 sh.; Robert, Claud, 
Ursella, and Mareon Alexanders, children, each 
6' sh.; Robert Whyte, and Jennet and Issoball 
Waylies, servants, each 16 lib. fee, 8 sh. and 
6 sh. each general pole, ... ... ... ... 718 o 

James Hall, maltman. 

Isobell Stewart. 

Agnes Ligget. 

Hew Wilsoune, workman. 

Andrew Cochran, wright. 

Agnes Pattisoune, widow. 

James Cordoner, mercht. 

Margaret King, widow. 

Agnes Stewart. 

William Wallace, maltman, worth 500 merks and not 
5000, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Agnas Ferguson, spouse, 6 sh.; 
W'"-' Agnas, and Elizabeth Wallaces, children, 
each 6 sh.; Helen Temple, seivant, 12 lib. fee, 
12 sh., 4120 

John Whyte, taylior, 12 sh. trade and pole ; Catherine 

Adam, his spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... o t8 o 

Robert Shedden, wright, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 16 sh.; Margaret Adam, spouse, 6 sh.; Robert, 
Hugh, and Margaret, children, each 6 sh.; James 
Stevensoune, prentice, 6 sh.; Agnes Shedden, ser- 
vant, 6 lib. TO sh. fee, ... ... ... ... 4154 

Issobel Fetter, widow. 

Robert Auchincloss, workman. 

James Robiesoune, widower. 

1650 TILL 1700. 


Jennet Reid, widow. 

Helen Cochrane, widow, and her daughter, Helen 

Pirrhie, shooster, ... ... ... ... ... ;£o 12 

Mareon Tomson, widow, ... ... ... ... 06 

Thomas Cameron, cordoner, not worth 500 merles, 6 sh 
trade, 6 sh. pole; Margarett Cochran, spouse, 6 sh. 
Elspe Finlaysoun, servant, 7 lib. fee, 3 sh. 6d. ... i 7 6 

Elizabeth Campbell, widow, 6 sh.; and Margaret Park 
her daughter, 6 sh.,... 

John Cochran, wright, no stock, 6 sh. trade, 6 sh. pole 
Agnas Cummine, spouse, 6 sh.; Ludovick Shedden 
prentice, 6 sh.; Jean Barbour, servitrix, 6 lib. fee 
3 sh. 6d. pole, ... ... ... ... ... 113 4 

Elizabeth Love, widow. 

Robert Semple, sheriff-depute of the Sheriffdom of 
Renfrew, for himself, 12 lib. 6 sh.; his lady, Jean 
Sitengall, 6 sh.; Adam Muire, servant, 6 lib. fee, 3 
sh. ; Adam Patoune, servant, 10 hb. fee, 5 sh. ; 
and Mareoun Herriot, servitrix, 12 lib. fee, 6 sh. 
and 6 sh. generall pole ; and Mrs. Eupham Lyon, 
a gentlewoman in the familie, 3 lib. 6 sh., ... 18 o o 

Jennet Craig, widow. 

Mareon Park, widow. 

Margaret Smith, widow, the 3rd part of her husband's 
pole, val. 100 merks, heretor ; Mareon Baird 
daughter, 6 sh., 

Daniell Whyte, gardiner, 6 sh.; Jennet Huntar, spouse 

6 sh.; and his sone Daniell, 6 sh.,... ... ... o 18 

Mr. Neil Snodgrass, notar publick and pror. of in- 
ferior court, 4 lib. 6 sh.; Anna, his daughter, 6 sh. 
Robert Allasoune, prentice, 6 sh.; Jennet Snodgrass 
servant, 20 merks fee, 6 sh. 8d., ... 

James Craig, carier, 6 sh. pole ; Violet Whytehill, spouse, 

6 sh.; Elspe Craig, his daughter, 6 sh., ... ... o 18 

Janet Wilsoune, widow. 

Robert Love, taylior and merchant, worth 500 mks. and 
within 5000 mks., 2 lib. 10 sh., and 6 sh. general 
pole ; Jennet Fyfe, his wife, and Robert, his sone, 
6 sh. each, ... ... ... ... ... ... 38 

Robert Boggs, mercht. 

Pattrick Wilsoune, taylior. 

James Wilsoune, carier, 6 sh. pole ; Mary Kirlie, spouse, 
6 sh.; Jennet Parkhill, servant, 10 lib. fee, 
5 sh. ' I 3 

Andrew Reward. 

Florence Baylie. 

John Heriot Baxter, 12 sh. trade and pole; and 

Catherine Landes, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 

William Campbell, flesher, called " Red WiUiam." 



William Baird, taylior, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Margaret 
Wallace, spouse, 6 sh.; Margaret and Mareon, 
children, each 6 sh., ... ... ... ... jQi 16 o 

James Dunloap, maltman, worth 500 merks. 2 lib. 16 sh.; 
Jennet Alex""- his spouse, 6 sh.; and Jean, his 
daughter, 6 sh.; David Pinkertoun, servt., 4 lib. fee, 
2 sh. and 6 sh. pole, ... ... ... ... 316 o 

Pattrick Baird, taylior and mercht., 12 sh. trade and 
pole, depones no stock ; Jennet Thomsoune, 
spouse, 6 sh.; Margaret Thomsoune, servant, 
14 lib. fee, 7 sh., ... ... ... ... ... i 11 o 

John Cochrane, cordoner, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Mary 
Mcfarland, his spouse, 6 sh.; and Thomas Wallace, 
journeyman, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... iio o 

John Wilsoune, maltman. 

James Wallace, taylior. 

James McAlpie, wrytter, clerk to the Regalitie of Pasley,^ 660 

Simeon Valdie, taylior, 

Robert Fork, wrytter, notar publick, ... ... ... 460 

Hugh Load, taylior, within 5000 mks.; Eupham Pirrhie, 

his wife, ... ... ... ... ... ... 018 o 

James Wilsoune, taylior. 

Marion King, widow. 

James Alexr., mercht., worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 16 sh.; 

Margaret Park, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 3 2 o 

John Miller, officer. 

John Kuble, flesher, and Jean Semple, his spouse, ... o 12 o 

James Glassfoord, merchant, worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 
6 sh.; Agnes Gemmell, spouse, 6 sh. ; William 
Glassfoord, his sone, 6 sh.; Jennet Foster, servant, 
2 lib. fie, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 400 

William Reid, merchant, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; 
Helen Gray, spouse, 6 sh.; William and Helen, his 
sone and daughter, each 6 sh.; Elspe Pinkertoun, 
servt., 12 lib. fee, 12 sh. ; Jennet Brownsyd, servt., 
4 mks. fee, ... ... ... ... ... ... 4 14 8 

Alex, Finlaysoune, merchant, worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 
16 sh.; Jean Pasley, spouse, 6 sh.; Alexr., Robert, 
Jean, Euphane, and Agnes, his children, each 
6 sh., ,,. ... ... ... ... ... 412 o 

John Sclaitter, workman. 

Robert Meinzies, late baylie of Pasley, gentleman, 3 lib. 
6 sh.; Janet Love, spouse, 6 sh.; Robert and 
Jennet, his childrene, each 6 sh.; Mareon Craig, 
servant, 8 lib. fee, 4 sh. and 6 sh. general pole, ... 4 14 o 

Jennet Gemmel, widow, ... ... ... ... 060 

^ James M'AIpie was a poet, and his poems were collected by the late William 
Motherwell, and published in 1828. 

1650 TILL 1700. 339 

Thomas Wilsoune, messenger, 4 lib. 6 sh.: Margaret 
Landess, spouse, 6 sh.j Isobell Snodgrass, servant, 
10 lib. fee, 5 sh., £s Z ^ 

Robert Brock, elder. 

Thomas Reid, workman. 

John Robiesoune, weiver. 

Marion Davidsoune. 

Wm. Whyte, cordoner. 

James Cunnigham, weiver, worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 
16 sh.; Mary Stewart, spouse, 6 sh.; John, his sone, 
6 sh., 380 

Margaret Neilsoune, widow. 

M''- Kerr, schoolmaster. 

M""- James Wallace, student, ... ... ... ... 060 

James Fleeming, elder, flesher, and Agnes Patoune, his 

wife, ... ... ... ... ... ... 012 o 

John Cochran, taylior. 

William Kuble, flesher, and Elspeth Sclaitter, his spouse, o 18 o 

William Gibsoune, merct., not worth 500 mks., 12 sh. 
trade and pole ; William Gibsoune, his sone, 
taylior, 12 sh.; Grissel Boll, spouse, 6 sh.; and 
Alex. Gibsoune, his other sone, 12 sh., ... ... 2 2 o 

Robert Provin, weiver, 1 2 sh. trade and pole, Grissell 
Caldwall, spouse, 6 sh.; Alexr. Gibsoune, journey- 
man, 12 sh.; Gabriell Gemmell and James Cald- 
well, prentices, each 6 sh., ... ... ... 2 2 o 

William Caldwall, weiver in Sneddoun, worth 500 
merks, 2 lb. 16 sh.; Margaret King, spouse, 6 sh.; 
John Kerr and John Paull, prentices, each 6 sh.; 
John M'Crae, journeyman, 12 sh.; Elspe Proven, 
sert., 12 lib. fee, 12 sh. fee and pole, ... ... 4 18 o 

John Boll, weiver, no stock, 12 sh. trade and pole; 

Janet Wilsoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... o 18 o 

William Boll, weiver, 12 sh. trade and poll; Mareon 

Speir, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 018 o 

John Smith, smith. 

John Faulds, workman. 

John Tod, workman, 6 sh.; Margaret Alexander, spouse, 

6 sh., 012 o 

John Semple, taylior, 1 2 sh.; Mareon Reid, spouse, 6 sh., 018 o 

Thomas Reid, cordoner, 12s..; and Issobell Corss, 

spouse, 6 sh.; ... ... ... ... ... 018 o 

Pattrick Robiesoune, weiver, 1 2 sh. trade and poll ; and 

Issobel Robiesoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... 018 o 

Robert Whyte, workman, 6 sh.; Christian Stewart, his 

spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... o 12 o 

Robert Fork, late baylie, no stock, 6 sh.; Margaret 
Colquhoune, spouse, 6 sh.; and Robert, his sone, 
6 sh., o 18 o 


Thomas Greenlees. 

Elizabeth Greenlees. 

John Greenlees, weiver, worth 500 mks.; Margaret 
Nicol, his spouse; John Robiesoune, his joume- 
man, ^i 10 

Robt. Alexander, merchant, present baylie, worth 
10,000 merks, 10 lib. 6 sh.; Jennet Snodgrass, 
his spouse, 6 sh.; Mary, Jennet, and Elizabeth 
Alexanders, his daughters, each 6 sh.; Annable 
Barr, his servitrix, 12 lib. fee, 6 sh., haveing 
payed the generall pole with her husband, ... 11 10 

Cuthbert Kirrlie, messenger, 4 lib. 6 sh.; Catherine 
Millar, spouse, 6 sh.; Cudbert and William Kirr- 
lies, each 6 sh., ... . . ... ... ... 5 4 

Hugh Smith, dragoune. 

Robert Urie, cordoner. 

John Corss, gunner. 

Elisone King, widow. 

William Campbell, flesher, called " Black William," not 
worth 500 mks., 6 sh. pole ; Janet Ravane, his 
spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 018 

Janet Walker, widow. 

Margaret Reid. 

James Caldwell, workman. 

Gavin Walkinshaw of y'- Ilk, gentleman, 3 lib. 6 sh.; 

his sone James, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 44 

John Dunsmuire. 

William Gemmell, merchant, worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 
16 sh.; Bessie King, spouse, 6 sh.; and Elizabeth, 
his daughter, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 3 8 

Matthew Findlaysoune, maltman, not worth 500 merks, 
2 lib. 6 sh.; Elspe Neasmith, spouse, 6 sh.; and 
Elspe, his daughter, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 3 8 

William Rodger, -wTight, no stock, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; 

Catherine Jamiesoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... o 18 

John Biggart, maltman. 

John Snodgrass, workman. 

Andrew Wilsoune, 12 sh. trade and pole; Margaret 
Cumine, spouse, 6 sh.; James Sclaitter and Robert 
Gilmour, prentices, 6 sh. each, ... ... ... iio 

James Fleeming, yr., flesher. 

Pattrick Baird and Mareon Baird, his daughter, widow, 

John Craford of Garrive, 100 lib. val., 4 lib. 6 sh.; 
Margaret Vauss, his spouse, 6 sh.; Hugh and 
Pattrick, childrene, each 6 sh.; Elizabeth Arskine 
and Catherine Wilsoune, servts., each 16 Hb. 
fee, 8 sh.; Hector M'Lean, servant, 6 lib. 
fee, 3 sh. and 6 sh. each generall pole, ... ... 7 i 

William Gillies, cordoner. 

1650 TILL 1700. 341 

Francis Sleman, sherift'-officer. 

Christian Hendersoune, widow, worth 500 and within 
5000 merks, 2 Hb., 16 sh.; and Jean, her daughter, 
6 sh., ^320 

Pattrick Caldwall, church officer, no stock, 6 sh.; Mar- 
garet Adam, his spouse, 6 sh.; and Jean, his 
daughter, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 018 o 

WilHam Chambers, carier. 

Steven Alexr., carier. 

Wilham Glasfoord, carier. 

Malcome Shaw, workman. 

John Stewart, sheriff-officer. 

John Robiesoun, cordoner. 

James Craig, weiver. 

James Campbell, litster, 12 sh. trade and pole ; Margaret 
Stewart, spouse, 6 sh.; Elizabeth Landess, her 
mother, 6 sh.; Elspe Stewart, her sister, 6 sh., ... i 10 o 

Robert Greenlees, cordoner. 

Mareon and Jennet Greinlees. 

William Greinlees, cordoner. 

Margaret Shaw. 

John Adam, wright, worth 500 and within 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 6 sh.; Margaret Pettersoune, spouse, Thomas, 
John, Robert, Margaret, and Isobell, children, 
each 6 sh.; Gavan Rowand and Bartholomew Algo, 
prentices, each 6 sh.; Elspe Craig, servt., 12 Hb. 
fee, 12 sh. ... ... ... ... ... ... 5 16 o 

Jennet Pettersoune, widow. 

Jean Davidsoune. 

Wilham Stevensoune, mercht. 

Jennet Colquhoune, widow, the 3d part of her hus- 
band's pole being valued to 500 merks, is 16 sh. 8 d. 
and 6 sh. general pole, ... ... ... ... i 2 8 

John Whyte, apothecarie, 12 lib. 6 sh.; Jean Johnstoun, 
his spouse, 6 sh.; Robert, John, and Agnes Whytes, 
his children, each 6 sh.; Jean Young, sert., 2 lib. 
fee, I sh. and 6 sh. general pole, ... ... 13 17 6 

Claud Alexander. 

Issobel Norie. 

Catherine Veitch, relict of James Castellan, the 3d 

part of her husband's pole, being worth 500 merks, 128 

Thomas Arthouer, wiggmaker. 

John Neilsoune, maltman, worth 100 merks and within 
500 merks, 13 sh. 4d.; Jennet Fleming, his spouse, 
6 sh.; Janet Stewart, servt., 12 lib. fee, 12 sh., ... i 17 lo 

William Skeoch, cordoner, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 6 sh.; 
Mareon Kirrlie, spouse, 6 sh.; Robert and Cuth- 
bert, his sones, each 6 sh.; Archibald Stewart, 
prentice, 6 sh ... ... ... ... 400 


John Fork, yor., wryttcr, nether notar nor procurator, ^o 6 o 
Jean Park, shooster, ... ... ... ... ... 060 

EHzabeth Whitehill, widow, 16 sh. 8d. for herself as the 

3d part of the pole of her husband, John Carswell, 

worth 500 mks. ; Elspe Anderson, daughter, 6 sh., 188 

John Patoune, sadler, 12 sh. trade and pole; Agnes 

Patoune, spouse, 6 sh. ; and Jean Knox, servant, 

15 lib. fee, 7 sh. 6d., i 13 6 

John Patoune, late sodiour. 

John Park, cordoner. 

James Buie, taylior, 12 sh. trade and pole; Janet 
Greenlees, spouse, 6 sh.; John and Thomas Green- 
leeses, prentices, each 6 sh., ... ... ... iio o 

John Love, smith. 

Isobel Wilsoune. 

Pattrick Carswall, wrytter and public nottar; Margaret 
Stirret, his spouse ; Mr. James, Margaret, Pattrick, 
Jean, Catherine, Mareon, and Agnes, children ; 
Thomas Lochhead, servt., 4 lib. fee ; Agnes Hall, 
7 lib. fie, 7 II 6 

Margaret Stewart, widow, ... ... ... ... 060 

John Snodgrass, at the receat of Custome. 

Elizabeth Brown, widow. 

Alex. Craig, weiver. 

EHzabeth Fergusoun, widow, 16 sh. 8 d., as the 3d 
pairt of her husband's pole and 6 sh. general pole ; 
Agnes Wallace, her daughter, 6 sh., ... ... i 8 8 

James Muire, mercht., 500 and within 5000 merks, 2 
lib. 16 sh.; Margaret Wallace, his spouse, 6 sh.; 
Jean and Elizabeth Muires, children, each 6 sh.; 
Wallace Finlaysoune, her son, 6 sh.; Jennet Storrie, 
servant, 15 lib. fee, 7 sh. 6 d.; Grissell Craig, ser- 
vant, 12 lib. fee, 12 sh. ... ... ... ... 5 5 6 

John Kerr, weiver, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Margaret 

Chambers, his spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

Agnes Stewart, widow, i Hb. 16 sh.; Elspeth Gibsone, 

in house with her, 6 sh., ... ... ... 200 

Doctor John Johnstoune, 12 lib. 6 sh.; Helen Little, 
spouse, 6 sh.; John, Christian, Helen, and Eliza- 
beth Johnstounes, children, each 6 sh.; Elizabeth 
M'Kie and Margaret Johnstoune, servants, each 

16 lib. 6 sh. 8 d. fee, 6 sh. 8 d., ... ... ... 15 i 4 

M""- Thomas Blackwall, minister, 3 lib. 6 sh.; Agnes 

Admount, servitrix, 12 lib. fee, 12 sh.,^ ... ... 3 iS o 

Ladie Barnes. 
John Gibb, gardiner. 
Robt. Aitken, yor. 

^ One of the ministers of the Abbey Church. 

1650 TILL 1700. 343 

William Simpsoune, wrytter and notary ; Janet Alex- 
ander, spouse ; Claud, Charles, William, and 
Jennet Simpsounes, children, ... ... ... ;^5 16 o 

Alexr. Jamiesoune, wright, 12 sh. trade and pole ; Jean 
Cunninghame, his spouse, 6 sh.; Euphane, his 
daughter, 6 sh.; John Miller, prentice, 6s., ... i 10 o 

John Wilsoune, smith, worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 6 sh.; 
Jennet Pettersoune, spouse, 6 sh.; Hugh, Jennet, 
Catherine, and George, children, each 6 sh., ... 4 6 o 

William Alexander, late baylie, worth 500 and not 5000 
merks, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Margaret Hamiltoune, his 
spouse, 6 sh.; James, John, Robert, William, Mar- 
garet, and Elizabeth, children, each 6 sh.; Cathe- 
rine Alexander, servt., 12 lib. fee, 12 sh., ... 5 10 o 

Robert Pattersoune, taylior, 12 sh. trade and pole; Jean 
Hendersoune, spouse, 6 sh.; John Wilsoune, pren- 
tice, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 140 

Jennet Carswell, widow. 

John Kerr, cordoner. 

Walter Cochran, smith. 

Jennet Alexander, widow. 

John Martine, workman, 6 sh.; Margaret Craig, spouse, 

6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... ... 012 o 

Thomas Kerr, weiver, 12 sh. trade and pole; Jennet 
M'Kie, his wife, 6 sh.; Thomas Kerr, sodiour, 
his sone, lying cureing of his wounds these 3 years, o 18 o 

Robert Park, weiver. 

James Hastie. 

Thomas Greenlees, maltman. 

Elizabeth Kuble, widow. 

Robert Park, maltman, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 16 sh.; Isoball Adam, his spouse, 6 sh.; 
Robert, Eliza, and Jean, his children, each 6 sh.; 
Jean Campbell, servt. at her own hand before 
Martiemess, 6 sh.; Bessie Craig, servant, 12 lib. 
fee, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... ... ... 4180 

John Gemmell, workman. 

Hugh Pettersoune, gardiner in Catchpole, ... ... o 6 o 

James Pettersoune. 

John Fultoun, maltman, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Helen 
Biggert, spouse, 6 sh.; Margt. Wilsoune, servt, 
14 merks fee, 4 sh. 8d., ... ... ... ... i 8 8 

Doctor James Baird. 

John Arskine, taylior, 12 sh. trade and pole ; and Mar- 
garet Keir, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 0180 

Alex. Muire, taylior, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Isobell Blair, 

his spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 0180 

John Campbell, appothecarie, 12 lib. 6 sh.; Margaret 
Walkinshaw, spouse, 6 sh.; Mary Houstoune, servt., 



20 merks fee, 6 sh. 8d.; Petter Pettersoune and 
W™' Park, prentices, each 9 sh.; Jennet Campbell, 
his daughter, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ...^14 

Alexander Miller, cordiner, 12 sh. trade and pole 

Jennet Cochrane, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 

Robert Pettersoune, taylior, worth 500 merks, 2 lib 
16 sh.; Jean Fergusoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... 

Robert Pow, appothecarie, 12 lib. 6 sh.; Agnes Carswell, 
spouse, 6 sh.; Thomas and EHzabeth, children, each 

6 sh.; Margaret Carswell, servant, 14 lib. fee, 

7 sh., 13 17 

Thomas Carswall, mercht., worth 500 mks. and not 

5000, 2 lib. 10 sh. pole 6 sh., ... ... ... 2 16 

Robert Arskine, weiver, 12 sh. trade and pole ; Marion 

King, spouse, 6 sh.; Jennet, his daughter, 6 sh.,... i 4 

Marion Pattiesoune, widow, ... ... ... ... 06 

M""- John Bunen. 

M''- Ezekiell Montgomerie.^ 

William Baird, masone, worth 100 merks, 12 sh. trade 
and pole ; Jennet Stewart, spouse, 6 sh.; Mary 
Pattersoune, servt., 13 lib. fee, 6 sh. 6d.,... ... i 10 

William Park, cordoner. 

Alexr. Whyte, cordoner, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Elspe 

Pollock, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 018 

Thomas Gemmell, weiver, 12 sh. trade and pole; 

Marion Glassfoord, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 

William Greenlees. 

James Sclatter. 

Robert Greenlees, cordoner, 12 sh. trade and pole; 
Jean Gardiner, spouse, 6 sh.; Jean Johnstoune, 
step-daughter, 14 lib. fie, 13 sh.; George Johnstoune 
and William Greenlees, jorneymen, each 12 sh., ... 2 15 

Jean Fleming. 

William Reid, taylior, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 16 sh.; Marion Sclaiter, spouse, 6 sh ; William 
and Margaret, childern, each 6 sh., ... ... 3 ^4 

James Smith, cuttler, 12 sh. trade and pole; Jennet 
Stewart, his spouse, 6 sh. ; Margt. Smith, his 
daughter, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... i 4 

Robert Sclatter, cordoner, 12 sh. trade and poll; Mar- 
garet Merschell, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 

Archibald Crafoord, of Auchinames, 2005 merks val. 
thereof and Crosbie is 24 lib. 6 sh.; for Annable 
Stewart, his lady, 6 sh.; Anna, Jean, and Margaret 
Craufourds, daughters, each 6 sh.; Jean Porterfield, 
his daughter-in-law, 6 sh.; Elizabeth Brown, servt., 
38 lib. fee, i lib. 5 sh.; Issobel Leun, servt., 16 lib. 

1 Sheriff-Depute of Renfrewbhire. 

1650 TILL 1700. 345 

fee, 14 sh.; Arch. Mackillup, 18 lib. fee, 15 sh.; 
Jennet Lang, servant, fee 16 lib., pole 14 sh.; Jennet 
Orr, 16 lib. fee, pole 14 sh., ... ... ...^2() 18 o 

Jean Ross. 

Matthew Corss, maltman, worth 500 and not 5000 
merks, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Catherine Martine, spouse, 
6 sh.; Walter and David, his sones, each 6 sh.; 
James Wallace, servt., 26 lib. fee, 13 sh.; Agnes 
Cochrane and Issobell Aitkine, servants, each 17 
lib. 6 sh. 8d. fie, 8s. 8d.; Allan Faulds, 4 lib. fee, 
2 sh. and 6 sh. each general pole, ... ... 6 4 4 

Alexr. Stevensoune, litster, 12 sh, trade and pole; Jean 

Sangster, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 018 o 

Robert Whyte, cordoner. 

Robert Ligget, smith, worth 500 and not 5000 mks., 
2 lib. t6 sh.; Margaret Howie, his spouse, 6 sh.; 
John and Barbara, his childrene, each 6 sh.; John 
Semple, prentice, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... 400 

Jean Arthoure, widow. 

Allan Androw, weiver. 

Mareon Shaw, widow. 

Thomas Gemmell, yor., weiver, 12 sh.; Annabell Barr, 

his spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 018 o 

William Snodgrass, weiver, 12 sh.; and Margt. Nicol, 

spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 0180 

James Arthour, mercht. worth 500 and within 5000 
raks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; Margaret Cumine, spouse, 6 sh., 
John, William, James, and Margaret, children, each 
6 sh.; Jennet GiUies and Jennet Caddell, servts., 
each 14 lib. fee, 7 sh. each,... ... ... ... 510 o 

Archibald Arthoure, merchant, worth 500 and not 5000 
merks, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Archibald, John, William, 
Edward, Margt., Agnes, and Marie, his children, 
each 6 sh.; Agnas Gibsoune, servant, 12 lib. fee, 
12 shillings Scott, ... ... ... ... ... 510 o 

Mareon Smith, widow. 

Agnes Cumine, widow, ... ... ... ... ... 060 

William Kennedie, taylior, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; 

Jennet Lock, his wife, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

James Alexr., in Orchyeard, weiver, 12 sh. trade and 
pole ; Margaret King, his wife, and John Wilsoune, 
prentice, each 6 sh., ... ... ... ... i 4 o 

Arthour Lang, weiver, 12 sh.; Mareon Whyte, his wife, 

6 sh.; Arthour and Alexr., his sones, each 6 sh.,... 110 o 

John Lang, weiver, worth 500 mks. ; Mary King, 

spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 018 o 

Robert Craig, weiver, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Margaret 
Cochrane, spouse, 6 sh.; John and Robert, his 
sones, each 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... iioo 


Archibald Andersoun, couper. 

Hugh Lang, weiver, 1 2 sh. trade and pole, ... ... ^o 12 o 

John Knock, weiver, 6 sh. trade and 6 sh. poll : Jennet 
Craig, his spouse, 6 sh.; Allan Jamiesoun, journey- 
man, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... ... iio o 

Robert Knock, weiver, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; 
Jean Parkhill, spouse, 6 sh.; Margaret, her daugh- 
ter, 6 sh.; Robert Hodsyeard, William Pettersoune, 
and Robert Brownsyde, prentices, each 6 sh., ... 4 6 o 

James Robiesoune, weiver, 12 sh. trade and pole; 

Elspe Stewart, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

Robert Watsoune, workman. 

Robert Wilsoune, weiver, 12 sh.; Jennet Scott, spouse, 

6 sh.; William Wilsoune, prentice, 6 sh., ... i 4 o 

William Barr, mercht., no stock, 12 sh.; Jennet Sheills, 

spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 0180 

William Areskine, weiver, 12 sh. trade and pole; Jean 
Browne, spouse, 6 sh.; Janet Arskene, his daughter, 
6 sh. ... ... ... ... ... ... 140 

James Whyte, smith. 

Issobel Greenlees, widow. 

John Kylle, weiver, worth 500 mks. and within 5000 
mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; John, Matthew,^ and Agnes 
Kylle, his children, each 6 sh.; Margaret Uavid- 
soune, sert., 12 lib. fee, 12 sh., ... ... ... 460 

Allan Androw, weiver, Margaret Wattsoune, his wife, 

and Thomas Androw, prentice, ... ... ... i 4 o 

Issobell Semple, widow. 

Robert Pettersoune, weiver, 12 sh.; Margaret Auchin- 

closse, spouse, 6 sh.; W'"- Whyte, prentice, 6 sh.,... 140 

Margaret Rosse, widow,... ... ... ... ... 060 

John Marschell, weiver, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Margaret 
Faulds, spouse, 6 sh.; John Robiesoune, journey- 
man, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... ... IIO o 

John Greenleis, weiver, 12 sh.; Margaret Davidsoune, 
spouse, 6 sh.; William Davidsoune and Jolin 
Dunsmuire, prentices, each 6 sh., ... ... ... iio o 

Robert Wilsoune, weiver, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; 

Margt. Clerk, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

James Gardiner, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 2 lib. 
16 sh.; Margaret Erstoune, spouse, 6 sh.; Margaret 
Adam, servant, 8 lib. fee, 4 sh.; Margaret, his 
daughter, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 318 o 

Robert Arskine, yor., weiver, 

John Androw, meilman, no stock, 6 sh.; Janet Andrew, 

his daughter, 6 sh.,... ... ... ... ... 012 o 

James Dunsmuir. 

^ Matthew Kyle was one of the founders of the Merchants' Society of Paisley, 
on 1 2th March, 1725. He was then one of the Bailies. 

1650 TILL 1700. 347 

Alexr. Davidsoune, weiver, 12 sh. trade and poll; 
Elspeth Pasley, spouse, 6 sh. ; John Pasley, 
journeyman, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... ^i 10 o 

Jennet Paslay, widow, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 10 sh. and 6 sh.; Robert and Jenet Steinsons, 
children, each 6 sh.; Jean Allan, servt., 10 lib. fee, 

5 sh., 3 ^3 o 

Alexr. Muire, weiver, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 

2 lib. 16 sh.; ]\Iargaret Davidsoune, spouse, 6 sh.; 
Thomas Davidsoune, prentice, 6 sh.; Jennet Green- 
lees, servant, 12 lib. fee, 12 sh., ... ... ... 400 

Robert Clerk, weiver, 12 sh. trade and poll ; Catherine 

Andersoune, spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... 018 o 

Agnas Kylle, widow, worth 500 and not 5000 

merks, ... ... ... ... ... ... 216 o 

John Fetter, weiver, 6 sh. trade and 6 sh pole, ... 012 o 

James Alexr., elder, weiver, 12 sh.; Jennet Jamiesoune, 

his spouse, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... 018 o 

Margaret Orr, \\'idow. 

Robert Lochhead, weiver, 12 sh.; Jean Petter, spouse, 

6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... ... o 18 o 

William Andersoune, weiver, 12 sh.; Agnas Cunning- 

hame, spouse, 6 sh.; John Cunninghame, Abram 
Pettersoune, and Will. Andersoune, prentices, 
each 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... ... 1160 

William Robiesoune, mercht., worth 5000 and not 
10,000 merks, 4 lib. 6 sh.; Jennet Ritchie, spouse, 
6 sh.; Wilham, Catherine, Elspe, Jean, and Mar- 
garet, his children, each 6 sh.; Robert Robiesoune, 
in the house with him at the school, 6 sh.; and 
Agnas Wallace, servant, 12 lib. fee, 12 sh., ... 7 o o 

John Storie, merchant, worth 5000 and not 10,000 
merks, 4 lib. 6 sh.; Elizabeth Lyle, spouse, 6 sh.; 
John, Margaret, Jennet, George, Jean, and James, 
children, each 6 sh.; Elizabeth Foyer and Elspeth 
Kerr, each 10 lib. fee, 5 sh. each,... ... ... 7 10 o 

John Brock, merchant, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 16 sh.; Janet Paslay, spouse, 6 sh.; John, 
Robert, Thomas, Jennet, Elspe, Jean, and Margaret, 
children, each 6 sh.; Janet Shields, servd., 11 lib. 
fee, 5 sh. 6d., ._ 5 ^5 6 

Elizabeth Robesoune, widow. 

Alexr. Pettersoune, weiver, 1 2 sh.; EHzabeth Robiesoune, 

spouse, 6 sh.: John Wishert, prentice, 6 sh., ... i 4 o 

Thomas Caldwell, elder, mercht., worth 500 and not 
5000 merks, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Jennet Robiesoune, 
spouse, 6 sh.; Jennet, his daughter, 6 sh.; Mar- 
garet Andrew and Margaret Young, servandes, each 
12 lib. fee, 12 sh. each, ... ... ... ... 412 o 



Thomas Caldwall, yor., mercht., worth 500 and not 
5000 merks, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Jennet Robiesoune, 
spouse, 6 sh.; Elspe Andro\v and Helen Love, 
each 12 lib. fee, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... ^4. 6 o 

William King, weiver, 12 sh. trade and pole: Agnes 
Alexr., his spouse, 6 sh.; James King, journeyman, 
12 sh.; Margaret Forrester, servt., 8 Hb. fee, 4s. 
and 6 sh. pole, ... ... ... ... ... 200 

John Pinkertoun, weiver, 1 2 sh. trade and pole ; Margt. 
Lennox, spouse, 6 sh. ; William Caldwall and 
William Alexr., prentices, each 6 sh., ... ... i 10 o 

James King, weiver, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 16 sh.; 
Jennet Kerr, spouse, 6 sh.; Thomas, James, and 
John, his sones, each 6 sh.; John Lindsay and 
John Gibsoune, jorneymen, each 12s.; John Doug- 
hald, prentice, 6 sh.; Jean Proven, servt., 7 lib. 
fee, 3 sh. 6 d., ... 5 ^3 6 

James Davidsoune, mercht., worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 
16 sh.; Elspe Storrie, spouse, 6 sh.; James and 
John Davidsounes, his sones, each 6 sh., ... 3 14 o 

Robert Alexr., weiver, yr., 12 sh.; Issobell King, spouse, 

6 sh.; Jennet Frail, servant, 20 merks fee, 6 sh. 8 d., i 10 8 

Edwand Robiesoun, taylior, worth 500 merks, 2 lib. 
16 sh.; Bessie Carswall, spouse, 6 sh.; James and 
Mary, children, each 6 sh.; Isobell Young, servt., 
10 lib. fee, 5 sh.; Mary Whyte, servant, 12 lib. fee, 
6 sh., 4170 

Agnes Cochrane, widow, 6 sh 
vant, 20 merks fee, 6 sh 

Robert Wilsoune, weiver. 

Andrew Storrie, weiver. 

Marion Alexr., widow. 

James Andersoune. 

John Andersoune, weiver, his sone, 12 
pole ; Grissell Jamiesoune, spouse, 
Wilsoune, servt., Avithout fee, 6 sh., 

George Andersoune, his oyer sone, a weiver. 

William Muire, weiver, 12 sh.; Margt. Patoune, spouse 
6 sh., 

William Wilsoune, weiver, 12 sh.; Jean Sleman, spouse 
6 sh.; John Storrie and James Liggat, jorneymen 
each 12 sh., 

Grissell Wilsoune, widow. 

Alexr. Marshall, weiver, 6 sh. trade, 6 sh. pole ; Marion 
Calbraith, spouse, 6 sh.; Robert Gibsoune, journey- 
man, 12 sh.; Margaret Muir, servt., 6 lib. fee, 3 sh., i 19 

George Scott, merchant, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 16 sh.; Issobell Wilsoune, spouse, 6 sh.; 
Thomas, George, Margaret, Issobell, and Euphane 

Agnes Gibsoune, ser- 


sh. trade and 
6 sh.; Agnes 

o 18 

1650 TILL 1700. 349 

Scotts, children, each 6 sh.; Euphane Pettersoune, 

servt, 12 Hb. fee, 12 sh., ... ... ... ... ;^5 4 o 

William Finlaysoune, mercht., worth 500 and not 5000 
merks, 2 lib. i6s.; Margt. Arthoure, spouse, 6 sh.; 
James, Robert, Margaret, and Elizabeth, children, 
each 6 sh.; Agnes Miller, servt., 14 lib. fee, 7 sh.; 
Issobel Landess, servant, 10 lib. fee, 5 sh., ... 5 16 o 

Robert Craig, weiver in Seedhill, 12 sh.; and Mary 
Davidsoune, spouse, 6 sh. ; and Robert, his sone, 
6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... ... I 10 o 

Issobell Wilsoune, widow. 

Ninian Pattesoune, millner, worth 500 merks and not 
5000, 2 lib. 16 sh.; Jennet Brown, his spouse, 6 
sh.; Mareon, Richard, and Margaret, his children, 
each 6s., ... ... ... ... ... ... 400 

Laurance Burnes, millner. 

Helen Park, widow. 

John Park, called Laird. 

Margaret Pettersoune, widow. 

John Barnes, millner, 12 sh. trade and pole; Catherine 
Love, his spouse, 6 sh.; and Euphane, his daugh- 
ter, 6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... ... I 4 o 

Robert Burnes, millner, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 16 sh.; Jean Jamieson, spouse, 6 sh.; refuses 
to depone, ... ... ... ... ... ... 3 2 o 

Margaret Adam, widow. 

Margaret Reid, widow. 

Helen Summers, widow. 

John Park, casyend. 

William Love, maltman, worth 500 and not 5000 merks, 
2 lib. 1 6s.; Jannet Park, his spouse, and William, 
Robert, Jennet, Agnes, and Elspe, children, each 

6 sh., ... ... ... ... ... ... 412 o 

John Love, maltman, worth 500 mks., 2 lib. 6 sh.; Jean 

Caldwell, spouse, 6s.; Jennet and Jean Loves, 
daughters, each 6s.; Jennet Jamiesoune, servt., 
14 lib. fee, 7 sh.; Jean Barr, servant, 15 lib. fee, 

7 sh. 6 d., ... ... ... ... ... ... 5 I o 

Bartholomew Park, weiver. 

Elspeth Ralstoune, widow. 

Thomas Foster, meilman. 

William Park, meilman, and Margaret Wallace, his wife, o 12 o 

Robert Park, cordoner, worth 500 and not 5000 mks., 
2 lib. 16 sh.; Margt. Cochran, spouse, 6 sh.; 
Issobell, Mary, John, and Elizabeth, children, each 
6 sh.; Issobell Robiesoune, servant, 16 lib. fee, 8 sh., 500 

John Park, alias Braehead, ... ... ... ... 060 

James M'Nab. 

Andrew Forfar. 



John Reid, taylior. 

Grissell Love, widow. 

Gavin Maxweil, in Hutthead, worth 5000 mks., 2 lib. 
1 6s.; John, Robert, and Jennet, his children, each 
6 sh.; Catherine Gibsoune, servt., 14 hb. fee, 7 sh. 
and 6 sh. pole, ... ... ... ... ... ;^4 7 

The Bailies of Pasley for the valuation of Oxshawsyde, 

24 lib., and Sneddoune, 53 lib. 6 sh. 8 d. val., ... i o 

William Cochran, chamberlain to the liarl of Dun- 
donald, worth of free stock and means 5000 and 
within 10,000 mks. Scots, 4 lib. 6s.; Bethia Blair, 
his spouse, 6 sh.; John and Helen Cochran, his 
children, each 6 sh.; John Orr, his servt., fee and 
bounties 18 lib., 15 sh.; Bethia Gillies, servt., 16 
lib. fee, 14 sh.; (blank), servt., 16 lib. fee, 14 sh.; 
Jean Lindsay, servt., 14 hb. fee, 13 sh.; and Mareon 
Miller, his neice, 6 sh., ... ... ... ., 8 6 

Agnes Cunningham, relict of John Hamiltoune of Barr, 

being liable to the third of her husband's pole, ... 3 6 

John Wilsoune, late baylie, worth 500 and within 5000 
mks.; Marie Park, his wife, Robert, William, Marie, 
Jean, and Grizzel Wilsounes, his children ; Euphen 
Moderall, servt, half-year's fee 8 lib. scots, 

John Carswell, smith, 

John Knox, weiver, and Jonnet Craig, his spouse, 

Margaret Baird, reUct of John Parkhill, maltman, 1 lib 
2 sh. 8d.; Agnas, Robert, and Marg^aret Parkhills, 
her children, each 6 sh.; Jonnet Landess, servt. 
16 lib. fee, 14 sh., ... 

Robert Erskine, weiver ; Marion Fleming, his spouse 
and Janet Erskine, his daughter, ... 

William Snodgrass, weiver ; and Margaret Davidsoune, 
his spouse, ... 

John Greenlees, weiver, worth 500 mks.; Margaret 
Nicoll, his spouse; John Robiesoune, jorneyman, 

Janet Cochran, widow, in Calsyside ; Agnes Gibsoune, 
her servt., 12 mks., 

James Cochrane, of Mainshill, heretor, his valued rent 
above 200 and under 500 libs., is 9 lib. 6 sh.; 
Orsilla Hamilton, his wife, 6 sh.; Hugh, James, 
Euphan, Jean, and Christian Cochranes, each 
6 sh.; William Young, 22 lib. 16 sh. fee, 17 sh. 
4d.; Margaret Norrie and Margaret Stewart, each 
20 mks. fee, 12 sh. 8d.; Marie Faulds, his nurse, 
20 lib. fee, is 16 sh., ... ... ... ... 14 

William Hendersoune, indweller in Paisley ; Marie Hen- 

dersoune, his sister ; Helen Bogge, servt., 16 lib. fee, i 

Pattrick Baird, drummer ; Helen Pirrhie, his wife ; 

Elizabeth and Jennet Baird, his children, ... i 


I 10 

o 16 


1650 TILL 1700. 351 

From this authentic and accurate roll, prepared nearly 200 years 
ago, much information of great value is obtained regarding the 
social condition of the inhabitants of Paisley at that period. The 
population, we learn, above sixteen years of age, consisted of — 
Males, ... ... ... ... ... ... 571 

Females, ... ... ... ... ... ... 558 

In all, ... ... ... ... ... II 29 

Of the females, the large number of forty-seven were widows. 
It appears there were about 460 families in the town, and an 
equal number of dwelling-houses. 

One interesting item which this roll of the inhabitants clearly 
shows is, the number of female domestic servants employed, and 
the fee or wages they received. Of the inhabitants, fifty-seven 
families had one female servant, sixteen families had two, and the 
following had each three : — John Corss, maltman ; William Cochran, 
chamberlain to the Earl of Dundonald ; and James Cochran of 
Mainshill. Only one family had four — Archibald Crawford of 
Auchinames. All these four families resided within the burgh 
during at least a portion of the year. Eight families had male 
servants, but it is not stated how they were employed. The follow- 
ing statement shows the yearly rate of fee or wages paid to the 
female servants. The odd money is not taken into account : — 
2 servants had 2 pounds Scots yearly, or ^o 






























servant had 































This roll supplies besides very completely the means for ascer- 
taining the number engaged in the different avocations represented 
in Paisley in 1695. These are as follows : — 

Apothecaries, 3 

Baxter (baker), i 

Barber, i 

Chamberlain, i 

Church-officers, 2 

Carriers, 5 

Cadger, i 

Cordiners or Shoemakers, ... ^^ 

Coopers, 5 

Doctors of Medicine, 2 



Dragoon, i 

Drummers, 2 

Fleshers, 7 

Glazier, i 

Gunner, i 

Gardeners, 4 

Glover, i 

House Merchants, 3 

Litsters or Dyers, 2 

Minister, i 

Millers, 4 

Maltmen, 21 

Masons, 2 

Merchants, 41 

Mealmen, 6 

Messengers, 2 

Officers, Town, 4 

Receipt of Custom, i 

Smiths, II 

Sheriff, i 

Sheriff-clerk, i 

Soldiers, formerly so, 2 

Saddler, i 

Sheriff-officers, 2 

Town-clerk, i 

Tailors, 29 

Vintner, i 

Workmen, 20 

Wigmakers, 2 

Writers, 8 

Writer's Clerk, i 

Weavers 66 

In this list is included James M'Alpie, who is designed " wrytter, 
clerk to the Regalitie of Paisley." There is also in this list " John 
Fork, yo''-' wrytter, nethir notar nor procurator." 

The poll-tax list of inhabitants shows that there were thirty-two 
weavers in the Abbey Parish, in addition to those in the town. 
There were also a few weavers in each of the other parishes in the 
county of Renfrew. 

During the whole of the seventeenth century, but more particu- 
larly in its latter half, almost every one in Scotland believed in the 
existence of witches. As far back as 1484, Bulls against witches 
were passed by Pope Innocent VIII., and subsequent Popes issued 
others in 1504 and 1523. In Scotland, the first law passed against 
this imaginary crime was in 1563, by the Parliament of Queen 
Mary, which enacted " that na maner of persons, of quhatsumever 
estaite, degree, or condition they may be of, take upon hand, in onie 
time hereafter, to use onie maner of witchcraft, sorcerie, or necro- 
mansie, under the paine of death, alsweil to be execute against the 
user, abuser, as the seiker of the responce or consultation." The 
Bulls and this Act of Parliament were, of course, all founded upon 
the injunction in the Bible — "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" 
(Exodus xxii. 18). James VI. not only used every effort to have 
this stringently carried out, but wrote and published, for the inform- 
ing of his subjects, upon this crime of witchcraft, a book entitled 
" Dialogue of Daemonologie." It was not the ignorant and super- 
stitious rabble alone who abhorred and persecuted these supposed 
witches, but those learned in the law, and clergymen, and the edu- 
cated classes of every degree. It need not then be wondered at 
that in Paisley, and in almost every town of any importance in 
Scotland during this period, poor creatures suffered death in the 
most ignominious and cruel manner for this imaginary crime. Those 
alleged to be witches were mostly aged females, who had, in an un- 
guarded moment, said something against a neighbour, to whom, 

1650 TILT. 1700. 353 

shortly afterwards, it happened that a child became unwell, or a 
horse became lame, or a cow died. Such were then charged with 
witchcraft, and often expiated their imaginary crime at the stake. 
Any who were eccentric in their manner, cross in their temper, given 
to speaking to themselves, who exhibited signs of dotage or possessed 
any peculiar recipes for curing diseases, were also liable to be 
regarded as in league with the devil, and too often suffered accord- 
ingly. Witches, besides, were charged with a number of offences. 
They were said to make waxen images of those they hated, and 
placing them before the fire, to put pins into them, to cause pain to 
the person represented. They were accused of carrying the unwary 
to desert places — lifting children from their graves, and taking oil 
out of their bodies with which to work enchantments — riding through 
the air on broomsticks shod with dead men's bones — entering by 
the key-holes into neighbours' houses, to injure their goods — causing 
storms to arise to destroy fishing boats, and many other wicked things. 

The first reference we have fallen in with regarding the execution 
of a witch in Paisley is in 1661. William Sutherland, hangman at 
Irvine, refused to execute, at Ayr, some of the persons engaged in 
the Pentland rising. In his declaration, published in a foot-note in 
Wodro7ci's Church History, vol. ii., p. 54, he stated that he came 
from Stirling " to Paisley, where, after herding cattle a fourth year, 
I fell in extreme want, and that by the reason the master whom I 
served being owing to one of the Bailies called John Weres, the 
Bailie seized upon my master's goods, so that he ran away, and I 
lost my fee, and was engaged by the counsel of some honest men, 
from that scripture ' suffer not a witch to live,' to execute a witch, 
aud to clean chimney heads, whereby I gained somewhat for liveli- 
hood ; and having a mind to learn to read, I bought a question- 
book, but finding the people there to scar at my company, so that 
none would give me a lesson, I came from Paisley to Irvine."'- 

On 20th February, 1677, fo^i'^ witches and a warlock were burnt 
at the Gallowgreen^ for bewitching Sir John Maxwell of Pollok, and 

^ In 1662 the parish of Inverkip was over-run with the so-called witches, and 
a commission was issued 7th May in that year to certain noblemen and gentlemen 
in the county to try Mary Lausoun, Katrine Scot, Janet Hynman, Margaret 
Leitch, Margaret Rankine, Jean King, Margaret Duff, and others, "for the 
horrid crime of witchcraft, sorcery, and consulting with witches," and several of 
these suffered death at the stake. An old rhyme says — 
" In Inverkip the witches ride thick, 

And in Dunrod they dwell ; 

But the greatest loon amang them a' 

Is auld Dunrod himsel'." 
' In the Council Records Witch green is mentioned, but we cannot state where 
it was situated. The following is the Council minute referring to it : — 20th July, 
1663. — " This day the Council has appointed the two Bailies to buy and cause 
lead an hundred draughts of stanes to the Witch green for building of an sconce 
or dyke, to kep and keep the sand for the town's use." As sand abounded near 
to the head of Castle Street, very likely this place that was to be formed for 
holding it was somewhere near the Gallowgreen. W. Semple (p. 319) states 
that in 1779 there was formed a street in that locality called New Sandholes, 
from sand being taken therefrom. This district is still known by that name. 



by sorceries tormenting him until he died. The names of these 
unfortunate creatures were Janet Mathie, Bessie Weir, Margaret 
Jackson, John Stewart, INIarjory Craig, and Annabel Stewart. 
" Annabel, the maid witch, among them, about the age of fourteen, 
though penitent and confessing, yet, through pity, was, by order of 
the Secret Council, reprieved from burning." Of this execution, 
Mr. Robert Law, minister of Kilpatrick, in his Me/iiorials, furnished 
the following details : — " The four witches and warlock foresaid, 
that were burnt at Paisley on the 20th February (for the young one 
was reprieved for a tyme because of her age), dyed obduredly, except 
the man, who appeared penitent, whose mother, Janat Mathie, was 
first hanged without any confession of her guilt, and the effigies, 
both of wax and clay, being put in a napkine and dashed in 
pieces, Avere thrown in the fire with her. Her son and daughter 
confessed that when the devil appeared first to them, in her house, 
that she (their mother) called him a gentleman to them, and a good 
man that would not hear the Lord's name mentioned, for fear it 
would be taken in vain. There was also one Bessie Weir hanged 
up, the last of the four (one that had been taken before in Ireland, 
and was condemned to the fyre for malice before, and when the 
hangman there was about to cast her over the gallows, the devil 
takes her away from them out of their sight; her ditty was sent over 
here to Scotland), who at this tyme, when she was cast off" the 
gallows, there appears a raven, and approaches the hangman within 
an ell of him, and flyes away. All the people saw it, and cried out 
at the sight of it." 

In 1667, Mr. Hugh Montgomerie, sheriff-depute, caused Janet 
Finnic to be imprisoned, because she was " ane suspect witch." It 
is not stated where she belonged to, but it must have been some- 
where without the burgh, as the Bailies had nothing to do with the 
case. She died in the prison, and although the Bailies desired the 
Sheriff to cause the body to be removed, he refused to do so. The 
Bailies and Council were very indignant at this obstinacy on the 
part of the Sheriff^, and on i8th October in that year, "having taken 
to their consideration the incivility and indiscreit carriage of Mr. 
Hugh Montgomerie, sheriff-depute of Renfrew, in permmitting the 
corpse of ane Janet Finnic, ane suspect witch, imprisoned by hi