Charter: confirmation of lands held by the bishopric of Glasgow, and erection into a regality, with authority of parliament, 15 July 1476

James, by the grace of God king of Scots, to all good men of all his land, clergy and laymen, greeting. Know that - whereas in times past, several of our predecessors the kings of Scotland freely gave and granted diverse liberties and privileges to the reverend fathers in Christ the bishops of Glasgow, and to the church and see of Glasgow, and notably the city of Glasgow, the barony of Glasgow and the lands commonly called the Bishop's Forest, in mere, pure and free regality - after all the revocations previously made by us of those gifts turning to our prejudice [which were] granted during our tender age, we, being now of lawful age, approve, ratify and confirm, by authority and with the advice and deliberation of our parliament, those gifts and grants made by our predecessors as aforesaid, for the singular devotion which we bear towards the blessed confessor Saint Kentigern, patron of the said church of Glasgow, in praise and honour of the same; also for the singular favour, zeal and love which we have towards the reverend father in Christ John [Laing], currently bishop and prelate of the said church, our deeply beloved counsellor, for his merits and free and faithful services devoted over a long time to our father and to us. And also, of new, by authority and with deliberation and consent of our said parliament, we give, grant and by this our present charter confirm to the foresaid reverend father in Christ John, bishop of Glasgow, and his successors bishops of the church of Glasgow, perpetually, that they have, hold and possess perpetually in all times to come, the said city of Glasgow, the barony of Glasgow, and the lands of Bishop's Forest, in free, pure and mere regality and one barony. Having and holding the above-mentioned city, barony and lands of Bishop's forest, to the said reverend father John, and his successors bishops of the church of Glasgow, of us and our successors, in pure and perpetual alms, and in mere, pure and free regality or royalty as a barony perpetually, with all and sundry commodities and profits appertaining to the said city, barony and lands, in woods, plains, muirs, marshes, roads, paths, waters, ponds, streams, meadows, grazings and pastures, mills, multures and their sequels, hawking, hunting, fishing, peat-muirs, turbaries, coal-mines, quarries, stone and lime, smithies, maltings, heath and broomlands, with courts and their issues, heriots, blood-wits, escheats and merchets of women, with free entry and exit, with homages, with free forest and warren, with fees, forfeitures, with justice and chamberlain ayres and their issues, escheats and amercements, and with the power of executing and administering justice in respect of the four reserved pleas of our crown - namely robbery, rape, arson and murder - and with sok, sak, toll, theame, infangthief, outfangthief, hamesucken and forethought felon, with tenants, tenandries and services of freeholders, with rights of patronage and advowson of churches, and with chapel for serving brieves, and with all and sundry liberties, profits and easements and just pertinents whatsoever, whether not named or named, belonging, or in future, in whatsoever manner, coming justly to belong, to a regality or royalty and barony; and that as freely, tranquilly, fully, wholly, honourably, well and in peace, in and by all things, as any regality or royalty or barony is more freely, tranquilly, wholly or honourably given, granted and donated to whatsoever church or persons ecclesiastical spiritual or temporal in our realm. Moreover we have granted, and by the tenor of our present charter grant, to the said reverend father in Christ and his successors, that they have, hold and possess perpetually the said city of Glasgow, with all liberties and profits belonging to the same, and with all and like privileges given and granted to whatsoever city or burgh of whatsoever bishopric, or to whatsoever bishop, within our realm; with power for that bishop and his successors to create and constitute within the same city a provost, bailies, serjeants and other officers, as often as it shall seem to him expedient, for the rule and governance of the same city; and of appointing and removing any person to and from those offices as often as he pleases. We have granted also, and by the tenor of the presents grant, to the same reverend father in Christ and his successors, the right to appoint, make and have perpetually a serjeant or attendant, who shall carry a silver mace or wand with our royal arms on the upper end, and the arms of the bishop and prelate of the said church at the time on the lower end, for making arrestments and executing the mandates and precepts of that prelate within the said regality and through all the other lands and possessions belonging to the bishop himself within his diocese. And furthermore, with the advice and consent of our said parliament, we, for us and our successors, have approved, ratified and confirmed, and by these presents approve, ratify and confirm, all and sundry gifts, grants and foundations formerly made by us or our predecessors the kings of Scots, or by other lords or barons, or by any other persons, to the bishops and prelates and see of Glasgow, of whatsoever lands, revenues, possessions, churches, rights of patronage, and whatsoever profits, liberties and privileges, to be held, possessed and had by the said reverend father in Christ and his successors, of us and our successors, in pure and perpetual alms, as freely and quietly, in all things and by all things, as the charters and evidences thereupon made to them purport and witness, and as freely as any alms to whatsoever bishop or prelate or episcopal see within our realm is given, granted, infeft or possessed, or can be given, granted, infeft or possessed howsoever in the future. Rendering thence, perpetually, the same reverend father in Christ and his successors, and the canons and chapter of Glasgow, merely the intercessions of devout prayers for us and our predecessors and successors. In witness whereof we have ordered our great seal to be affixed to our present charter. Witnesses: Alexander [Stewart], duke of Albany, our warden etc. and dearest brother; reverend fathers in Christ James [Levington], bishop of Dunkeld; William [Tulloch], bishop of Orkney, keeper of our privy seal; Henry [Cockburn], bishop of Ross; Andrew [Stewart], lord Avondale, our chancellor and dearest cousin; our dear cousins George [Gordon], earl of Huntly, lord Badenoch; Archibald [Douglas], earl of Angus; David [Lindsay], earl of Crawford; Colin [Campbell], earl of Argyll, master of our household; William [Hay], earl of Erroll, constable of our realm; William [Keith], earl Marischal; Thomas [Erskine], lord Erskine; James [Hamilton], lord Hamilton; George [Seton], lord Seton; Robert [Lyle], lord Lyle; John [Carlyle], lord Carlyle; venerable fathers in Christ Archibald [Crawford], abbot of Holyrood, our treasurer; George, abbot of Kelso; Richard [Lamb], abbot of the monastery of Melrose; John Colquhoun of that Ilk, knight; our dear clerks, Masters William Scheves, archdeacon of St Andrews; Alexander Inglis, chancellor of Aberdeen, clerk of our rolls and register; and Alexander Scott, clerk of our council. At Edinburgh, 15 July 1476, and in the sixteenth year of our reign.

This is a true copy of [his] royal majesty's original charter, under his great seal in white wax hanging on a tag from the abovewritten; the charter being written out, read, re-read and collated, agreeing word-for-word with the original, myself, John Gibson, notary public, as witness; lord John Shearer, archdeacon of Ross, Master Archibald Laing, parson of Girvan, lord John Rankine, parson of 'Hwtone', and Thomas Fortoun, witnesses present as requested and required at the collation and reading out of the presents, in testimony to the truth of the foregoing, and to the affixing of my manual sign.

John Gibson

  1. NLS, Acc.10301/2, f.187r-188v, printed in Glasg. Reg., ii, no.410. Back