Charters: ratifications
Ratification for the burgh of Fortrose and protest

Our sovereign lord and estates of parliament, considering that his majesty's late dearest grandfather King James VI, of ever blessed memory, conforming to his charter under his majesty's great seal, of the date at Edinburgh, 6 August 1590 (relative to another infeftment granted by his highness's most noble progenitors, also under the great seal, erecting and making the town and lands of Fortrose, of old called the Chanonry of Ross, in a free burgh), for the onerous causes and good considerations moving his highness thereto, not only for the well and utility of the said burgh of Fortrose and inhabitants thereof, but also for the profit and commodity of others of his lieges near and about the same, and continually repairing thither and for policy and building within the same for the good of those parts of his majesty's realm; therefore, his majesty, after his full and perfect age and general revocation and act of annexation of kirk lands to the crown, made, erected and incorporated the said town, lands, bounds and possession of Fortrose and pertinents thereof whatsoever, in a whole and free royal burgh of this realm, to be called the burgh of Fortrose in all time thereafter, with all privileges and liberties of a free burgh, giving, granting and committing to the burgesses and inhabitants thereof then present and their successors for the time, full and free power of creating and making burgesses and freemen within the said burgh and of choosing provost, bailies, councillors and deacons of craft, with all other officers for government thereof, common good and lieges within the same, and other lieges repairing thereto and statutes of the said burgh as should seem good to them, with power also to them of buying and selling all and whatsoever merchandise and goods also as any other burgh within this realm possessed and enjoyed, and to uplift and receive the duties and customs hereof, and to make and assign market places within the said burgh and liberties thereof, in all time hereafter, as often as it shall seem good to them, and also gave, granted and conveyed to the said burgh, provost, bailies, council and community thereof and their successors, two weekly market days, the one to be kept on Monday and the other on the Sabbath day, and two free fairs yearly for buying and selling of all kind of goods and merchandise within the said burgh and liberty thereof, the one to be called St Boniface day and the other commonly called Pardon day, with the whole customs, duties and privileges in the like used and wont, and also giving, granting and committing to the said magistrates and their successors to set and give out in feu ferm the common lands, duties and possessions of the said burgh for the commonweal, utility and profit thereof, and to hold burgh courts as often as need be for making and observing of good statutes and ordinances, not only for the good of the said burgh and inhabitants thereof but also for the good of the country and his majesty's lieges resorting to the said burgh, and to punish transgressors and malefactors both resorting thereto and within the same, and to make and create clerks, serjeants, adjudgers and all other officers and members of court required and necessary and to serve brieves within the said burgh, and proclaim and retour the same and to summon an assize to pass thereupon each person under the pain of £10, and to intromit with and uplift the escheats and fines of the said courts, assizers and assizes and, if need be, to poind and distrenzie therefore, and to apply them to the proper use and utility of the said burgh and to repledge the burgesses, freemen and inhabitants of the said burgh from whatsoever judge or judges before whom they should be pursued, to their own jurisdiction and generally, with all other privileges, liberties and commodities mentioned in the said charter; by virtue whereof and precept directed furth of the chancellery conforming thereto, the said magistrates of the said burgh of Fortrose were upon 1 September 1590 lawfully infeft therein with the markets, fairs and privileges thereof above-specified, as the instrument of sasine under the sign and subscription of Martin Logan, notary public, wherein the said whole precept is engrossed in itself more fully purports; and likewise, our said sovereign lord and the said estates of parliament, considering that his said highness's late deceased grandfather, by his other charter under his majesty's great seal of the date 18 September 1612, for the causes specified therein, not only ratified and approved an infeftment of erection granted to the burgh of Rosemarkie by Alexander, king of Scots, and another infeftment granted by his majesty's most noble ancestor King James II, under his highness's great seal of the date 18 June 1455, whereby the said town of Fortrose was united, annexed and incorporated with the foresaid burgh of Rosemarkie and was exempted from all services, helps, prices, arraiges, taxations, exactions, burdens or services whatsoever, and another charter of ratification and erection granted by the said King James VI himself to the said burgh of Rosemarkie and Fortrose, as being incorporated therewith, as said is, of the date 14 November 1592, and all other infeftments, donations, erections, privileges, immunities and prerogatives whatsoever made, given and granted by his majesty's most noble progenitors or any of them to the said burgh of Rosemarkie, wherewith the said burgh of Fortrose was united, as said is, of whatsoever dates the same was of, in the whole heads, articles and clauses of the same, and willed and granted and for his highness and his successors decreed and ordained the said burghs of Rosemarkie and Fortrose as being incorporated together, as said is, to be held and reputed as a free burgh and to possess and enjoy the whole privileges and prerogatives thereof according to the old infeftments and erections, also as if the indwellers and inhabitants thereof formerly enjoyed and possessed, and as freely as any other free burgh within this realm, but also his majesty of new gave, granted and conveyed to the said burgh of Rosemarkie and inhabitants thereof, the whole privileges, immunities and prerogatives that ever it had or in any way pertained or may be known to pertain thereto, or to any other burgh within this realm or of which themselves or any other free burgh are in use or do possess, and to have provost, bailies, council and other officers required within the said burgh for government thereof and administration of justice therein to the whole inhabitants of the same and others coming thereto, with free power and liberty of buying and selling of wine, wax, cloth, linen and wool, salt, pitch, tar, hemp, iron and all other lawful merchandise within the said burgh, and to have and keep therein bakers, tinsmiths, finsters and sellers of fish and butcher-meat and all other artificers belonging to a free burgh, and to make and have burgesses therein, burgh courts yearly within the same to place, begin, affirm, hold and continue as use was therein, for administration of justice to the inhabitants thereof and others his majesty's lieges coming thereto, and to repledge the said inhabitants from whatsoever judge or judges spiritual or temporal before whom they shall be pursued, to their own court and jurisdiction and to find caution of culrach for administration of justice to the persons complaining within term of law, and to uplift and receive the bloodwits, unlaws and fines of the said courts, and to apply the same to the use of the said burgh, with power also to the said burgesses and inhabitants of the said burgh to have a market cross therein and a weekly market on the Sabbath day, with two free fairs yearly, to wit: the one on St Peter's day [29 June] in the month of June yearly and the other on the day called old Saints' day [1 November], and either of the said markets to endure for the space of three days after proclaiming thereof, as in former times was accustomed, with the whole tolls, customs and liberties belonging thereto, or that by the law can be understood or known to pertain to any other burgh within this realm, and with power to the magistrates of the said burgh and their successors to convey in parts their commonty to their burgesses and inhabitants for building and repairing of the said burgh; and in like manner, his majesty of new annexed, united and incorporated the said burgh of Fortrose with the said burgh of Rosemarkie, so that the same should be one burgh in all time thereafter, in manner at length specified and contained in the said charter, to be held of his said majesty and his successors in free burgage in all time thereafter, as the same lies in length and breadth, houses, biggings, mosses, muirs etc., for service of burgh used and wont and for payment of the sum of £3 Scots money in name of feu ferm only; and in like manner, our sovereign lord and his said estates of parliament, considering that the said burgh of Rosemarkie is now totally decayed and the houses and buildings thereof become altogether ruinous and demolished as also dispeopled, there being but some few residents therein and most of them all poor fishermen and that there has been no traffic, trade nor merchandising within the said burgh these many years ago, nor any courts kept within the same for administration of justice therein and for punishing of delinquents, trespassers and malefactors, nor yet any sure place, firmance or tolbooth therein wherein they may be secured and incarcerated until justice have place and is duly executed upon them, according to the degree of their guilt conforming to the laudable laws of this realm in that case provided, and that the said burgh of Fortrose, formerly erected in a royal burgh and afterwards incorporated with the old burgh of Rosemarkie, as said is, is within a rig length to the same old and ruinous burgh and of a most pleasant stance and situation and of old the cathedral seat of the diocese of Ross, and a town consisting of many good and considerable buildings and houses, and able to afford all kinds of accommodation both to the inhabitants thereof and others, his majesty's lieges resorting thereto, as also much given to virtue and daily increasing and flourishing more and more in all manner of trade, policy and industry, the most part of the inhabitants thereof being merchants, adventurers, shopkeepers, bakers, shoemakers, weavers, butchers, fishers and other manufactories and mechanic trades, which has ever been a means to enrich, support and adorn any nation, kingdom or commonwealth, and that the said burgh of Fortrose has been still in the possession of their said liberties and privileges by electing of magistrates, admitting of burgesses, freemen and guildbrethren, keeping of courts, calling of suits before them and administering of justice therein, and that they have a most sure and strong firmance, wardhouse and tolbooth for keeping of prisoners, trespassers and malefactors upon all occasions; and likewise, considering that by the [...] act of our present parliament the said burgh of Fortrose is ordained of new to be enrolled as a free royal burgh amongst the royal burghs of this realm, and to enjoy their former privileges and liberties conforming to their rights and infeftments and that, according to the said act of parliament, the said burgh was enrolled by the late convention of burghs held at Edinburgh, 10 January last, and also considering that by former acts of parliament all markets are prohibited and discharged to be kept on Monday or on the Lord's day as being unlawful and that it is most necessary that there be other weekly market days granted and assigned to the said burgh of Fortrose, magistrates and inhabitants thereof in lieu and place of their said two weekly markets formerly kept on the said days, whereby they and others of his majesty's subjects resorting to their said burgh may be the better provided and accommodated in all time coming, and also that the two free fairs formerly held and kept within the said old and ruinous burgh of Rosemarkie are now become altogether unprofitable and useless to them, as it has been these many years bygone, and that the inhabitants thereof are content and have consented by their commissioner to this present parliament that the same, with the whole weekly and yearly courts, shall be kept in all time coming in the said burgh of Fortrose, whereof they themselves are to be burgesses and freemen, and to have the like privileges as the inhabitants of the same, therefore, our sovereign lord, through his princely care of the said burgh of Fortrose, and respects had thereto and to the magistrates and inhabitants thereof and their successors, and for their further encouragement anent these matters and for the increase of policy and virtue in their said burgh and for the better accommodation of his majesty's lieges resorting thereto, with the special advice and consent of his said estates of parliament, has ratified, approved and perpetually confirmed and by the tenor hereof (with the addition and alteration after-specified) ratifies, approves and perpetually confirms the foresaid charters of ratification and erection respectively and above-narrated and deduced, made and granted by the said Alexander and James II, kings of Scotland, and his majesty's late dearest grandfather, King James VI, of ever blessed memories, with the precepts and instruments of sasine following thereupon and possession apprehended by the said magistrates and inhabitants of Fortrose and their predecessors by virtue thereof, together with the said act of parliament whereby the said burgh was ordained to be enrolled as a free royal burgh, and act of convention of burghs whereby the same was enrolled conforming thereto under the name of Fortrose, in the whole heads, articles, clauses and conditions thereof conceived in favour of the said royal burgh of Fortrose, and whereby their privileges and liberties are in any way concerned and enlarged, and his majesty wills and grants and for his highness and his successors, with consent foresaid, decrees and ordains that the foresaid general ratification is and shall be as sufficient to the said burgh of Fortrose, magistrates and inhabitants thereof and their successors, as if the said charters, precepts, instruments of sasine, acts of parliament and convention of burghs respectively, and others above-ratified and confirmed, were herein particularly inserted and engrossed; with the which and with all that may be objected against the validity thereof, his highness, with consent foresaid, has dispensed and, by this ratification, dispenses for now and ever, and that both the said towns shall be in all time coming called the burgh of Fortrose and have provost, bailies, council and other members required for administration of justice in the same and all other liberties and freedoms as any royal burgh enjoys; and further, our sovereign lord, with advice and consent foresaid, has altered and changed and, by these words, alters and changes the foresaid weekly markets formerly kept within the said burgh of Fortrose on Sunday and Monday and ordains the same to be kept therein on Tuesday and Friday weekly in all time coming, and of new gives and grants to the provost, bailies, council and community of the said burgh of Fortrose and their successors, the foresaid weekly markets to be kept within their said burgh, as said is, and the foresaid two free fairs formerly held within the same, the one thereof called St Boniface day to begin yearly 16 March, and the other commonly called Pardon day to begin on Whitsunday [May/June], and either of them to continue for the space of three days; and also our sovereign lord, with consent foresaid, gives, grants and conveys to the said magistrates and their successors the foresaid two free fairs formerly held within the said ruinous burgh of Rosemarkie, the one thereof called St Peters day, and the other called All Hallows or old Saints' day, to be also kept within the said burgh or in the said ruinous burgh of Rosemarkie as the inhabitants of both places shall think most expedient and profitable for them, with the whole tolls, customs, casualties and duties thereof, and of the other two free fairs and weekly markets respectively, and all other privileges pertaining or that is known to pertain and belong thereto, as freely in all respects as any other burgh royal within this realm have enjoyed or may possess and enjoy at any time bygone or to come, inhibiting and discharging all his majesty's subjects that they in no way trouble or molest the said burgh of Fortrose and Rosemarkie respectively as being united and annexed in manner above-specified, magistrates and inhabitants thereof or their successors, in keeping or enjoying of their said free fairs, weekly markets and privileges respectively, granted to them in manner above-mentioned, by keeping or proclaiming the same upon the said days in any other burgh, landward town, village or place within these parts of this realm in time coming, to the effect the same may be peaceably possessed and enjoyed by the said magistrates and their successors in all time coming without any interruption, conforming to their said rights, infeftments and possession had by them of the same by virtue thereof in all points, to be held by the said burgh of Fortrose, with the whole tenements, burgh ruids, houses, mosses, muirs, used and wont, and pertinents thereof above-specified, of our sovereign lord and his successors in free burgage in all time coming, for payment of the feu duties and other duties, rights and services contained in the old infeftments of the same.

  1. NAS. PA2/26, 339-344. Back
  2. Meaning of word unknown. Back
  3. 'all' in APS and perhaps sic. Back
  4. i.e. Boniface of Rosemarkie, rather than the saintly martyr or popes of that name. Back
  5. Saint's day 29 June. Back
  6. 'all' in APS and perhaps sic. Back
  7. All Hallow's, or All Saints' day, is 1 November. Back
  8. Sic. 'protest in'. Back
  9. NAS. PA2/26, 344-346. Back
Protest: burgh of Inverness against Fortrose and Rosemarkie

The which day, Alexander Cuthbert entered in protest open parliament a protestation whereby he, as provost and commissioner for the burgh of Inverness, in name and behalf of the magistrates thereof and whole remaining burgesses and community of the same burgh and their successors, protested that the ratifications passed in this present parliament in favour of the burgh of Chanonry, alias Fortrose and Rosemarkie, of the rights, infeftments, erections and other privileges allegedly granted to them, shall in no way be prejudicial to the rights and infeftments granted to the ancient royal burgh of Inverness and magistrates of the same, but that the same infeftments and other rights shall stand valid and effectual, notwithstanding of the foresaid ratifications, also as if the same had never been made nor granted, and further protested that the said ratifications shall in no way be prejudicial or stop or hinder the action of reduction and improbation lying in dependence before the lords of council and session at the instance of the said burgh of Inverness against them, and thereupon he, for himself and in name and behalf foresaid, asked and required instruments.

  1. NAS. PA2/26, 339-344. Back
  2. Meaning of word unknown. Back
  3. 'all' in APS and perhaps sic. Back
  4. i.e. Boniface of Rosemarkie, rather than the saintly martyr or popes of that name. Back
  5. Saint's day 29 June. Back
  6. 'all' in APS and perhaps sic. Back
  7. All Hallow's, or All Saints' day, is 1 November. Back
  8. Sic. 'protest in'. Back
  9. NAS. PA2/26, 344-346. Back
Ratification in favour of the officers of his majesty's minthouse and protest

Our sovereign lord, with advice and consent of the estates of parliament, has ratified and approved and, by these words, ratifies and approves the gift of exemption granted by the deceased David, king of Scots, of worthy memory, to Adam Torrie, burgess of Edinburgh, keeper of the office of coin of the kingdom of Scotland, and to the mintmaster and to the rest of the workmen and servants depute in the said office, making them free and quit of all challenges, supports, duties and contributions whatsoever to be set and put upon them, their lands, tenements, goods, cattle or merchandise whatsoever, and that all the servants of the said mint shall stand at the decision of the said mint in all pleas and complaints which concern them, dated 5 February, the twenty-eight year of his reign, and also another gift granted by the deceased King James V, of eternal memory, under his signet and subscribed with his hand, giving licence to the whole officers and members of his minthouse to remain and abide at home from all hosts, raids, guards, wappenschaws, gatherings and assemblies to be made by his majesty by sea or land, and making them and each one of them free from all watching, warding and stenting to be imputed upon them at any time thereafter, as the said letters of gift, of the date 23 October, and of his majesty's reign the thirtieth year purports, and also the gift of exemption granted by our sovereign lord's dearest grandfather, King James VI, giving to the whole officers of his majesty's minthouse, licence and freeing of them, as said is, and also giving power to the general of the said minthouse to repledge the remaining officers and members of the said minthouse from all other judges, courts and jurisdictions to his own courts of wardenry of the said minthouse, which his majesty thereby gave power to hold and continue, as the said gift of the date 22 April 1584 more at length bears; and also another gift granted by the deceased King James, of blessed memory, with advice of the lords of his majesty's privy council under the privy seal, giving licence to the general of his minthouse, master minter, wardens, sinker, assayer, printers, forgers, melters and others awaiting upon the service thereof, with freedom as is above-mentioned, as the said letters of gift dated 25 June 1579 more at length purports, and likewise, ratifies and approves the letters of gift granted by his majesty's said deceased dearest grandfather King James VI, making mention of the three last gifts above-rehearsed and, therefore, of new again giving special licence and privilege to the general master coiner, counter warden, sinker, assayer, printers, forgers and melters in his majesty's coinhouse, as well then present as thereafter to come, to remain and abide at home from all and sundry hosts, raids, wappenschaws, guards, arms, gatherings and assemblies whatsoever, to have been made by his majesty's lieutenants, wardens, sheriffs, stewarts, coroners, provost and bailies of the burgh of Edinburgh and other burghs within this realm of Scotland, and all other his highness's officers, present and to come, either by sea or land inwith or outwith this realm in any time thereafter, and also has exempted them and each one of them from all watching, warding, payment of stents, taxations, contributions and other impositions whatsoever imposed, or that shall happen to be imposed upon his majesty's lieges of this realm in time thereafter, and from all compearance and appearing upon inquests, assizes, justice courts, justice airs, sheriff courts and bailie courts, apprisings or perambulations of lands or annualrents, taking of cognitions or any other actions civil or criminal whatsoever, exempting, exonerating and discharging them and each one of them therefrom for ever, and has willed and granted that they nor any of them shall in any way be called nor accused criminally nor civilly for the same, nor shall incur any harm, peril nor danger therefore in their persons, lands nor offices in time thereafter, notwithstanding whatsoever acts of parliament, laws or other constitutions made or to have been made in the contrary, anent the which his majesty's said deceased dearest grandfather has dispensed, discharging thereof the justice general, justice clerk and their deputes, treasurer, advocates, provost and bailies of Edinburgh and other burgesses within the said realm of Scotland, and all other officers and ministers of his majesty's laws, present and thereafter to come, of all summoning, indicting, seizure, arresting, accusing, calling, following or pursuing, unlawing or in any way troubling or molesting the said persons, or any of them or other members of the said minthouse, and of all stenting, taxing or unlawing of them or any of them for the same in any time thereafter, discharging them thereof and of their offices in that part forever, and also his majesty's said deceased grandfather has given and granted full power to the said general to repledge the whole officers and remaining persons therein named of the said coinhouse awaiting thereon, from all other justice courts and jurisdictions to his own courts of wardenry of the said coinhouse, to whom his late majesty thereby gave full power to hold and continue and to create clerks and officers, alter and change the same as need be, and to find caution of colrach for doing of justice to all parties justly complaining upon law against any of the officers and members of the said minthouse, conforming to the laws and consuetude in such cases, and likewise any other general thereof has, had and might in any time then bygone, inhibiting and discharging thereby all other judges to exercise and use any judgment or jurisdiction upon them or any of them, as they would answer upon their obedience and uttermost charge and peril, which letters of gift is of the date 15 November 1604; and in like manner, the ratification granted by his majesty's said deceased grandfather, of worthy memory, and his estates of parliament, ratifying and approving all and whatsoever letters and gifts of exemption, liberties, freedoms, privileges and immunities made and granted by himself or his most noble progenitors, to and in favour of the general and other officers and servants of his majesty's coinhouse of Scotland, and specially the foresaid last letter of exemption granted by himself making relation of the other three letters of exemption above-rehearsed, dated 23 October 1612, in all and sundry heads, articles, points and circumstances of the same. Moreover, our said sovereign lord, for his majesty's self and his successors, with consent foresaid, wills, grants, decrees and ordains that this present ratification is and shall be, in all time coming, as valid, effectual and sufficient to the general and his whole officers and members of his majesty's minthouse in Scotland and their successors, for the peaceable bruiking and enjoying of the privileges, exemptions, freedoms, liberties and immunities mentioned in the said gifts, as if the same and each one of them respectively were herein word for word inserted, dispensing therewith forever.

  1. NAS. PA2/26, 339-344. Back
  2. Meaning of word unknown. Back
  3. 'all' in APS and perhaps sic. Back
  4. i.e. Boniface of Rosemarkie, rather than the saintly martyr or popes of that name. Back
  5. Saint's day 29 June. Back
  6. 'all' in APS and perhaps sic. Back
  7. All Hallow's, or All Saints' day, is 1 November. Back
  8. Sic. 'protest in'. Back
  9. NAS. PA2/26, 344-346. Back
Protest: provost of Edinburgh against the preceding ratification

The which day Sir Robert Murray of Cameron, provost of Edinburgh and commissioner from the said burgh to this present parliament, for and in name and behalf of the remaining magistrates, council and community of the said burgh, protested that the ratification passed in favour of the general, officers and other members of his majesty's minthouse shall be without prejudice of the rights, liberties and privileges of the burgh of Edinburgh in all time coming, notwithstanding of the said ratification, and thereupon asked and took instruments.

  1. NAS. PA2/26, 339-344. Back
  2. Meaning of word unknown. Back
  3. 'all' in APS and perhaps sic. Back
  4. i.e. Boniface of Rosemarkie, rather than the saintly martyr or popes of that name. Back
  5. Saint's day 29 June. Back
  6. 'all' in APS and perhaps sic. Back
  7. All Hallow's, or All Saints' day, is 1 November. Back
  8. Sic. 'protest in'. Back
  9. NAS. PA2/26, 344-346. Back