Regarding the upholding of decayed lands within burgh

Our sovereign lord, with advice of his estates in this present parliament, ratifies and approves the acts and statutes made by his highness's most noble progenitors of worthy memory concerning the upholding of lands given in conjunct infeftment, as well to burgh as land, and for the better execution thereof and reparation of the decayed policy within burgh, statutes and ordains that the provost and bailies of each burgh shall at the instance of the heritors of the lands within the same, upon citation of party, take summary cognition of the estate of the lands, houses or tenements within the burgh by a suitable inquest of the neighbours thereof. And if the same be found old, decayed and ruinous in roof slates, doors, windows, flooring, lofts, timber work and walls, or any of them, and a long2 built of old and through long time decayed in such sort that it be already inhabitable, or that within short time may become inhabitable, in that case to decree that the conjunct-fiar or life-renter shall repair the said lands and tenements in the parts thereof decayed as shall be found by the said inquest within the space of a year and a day next after they be required thereto by the heritors; and failing thereof, declares that it shall be free to the said heritors to enter to the possession of the same, to have the setting, raising, using and disposing thereupon in all times coming as if there were no liferent or conjunct fee standing thereof, providing always that sufficient security [in the burgh]3 where the lands or tenements lies be taken for termly payment to the conjunct-fiars or life-renters thereof enduring their lifetime of such mail and duty as the same presently gives the time of the said cognition or might reasonably if in that estate in case it be not presently set, deducting always the annualrents and other burden lying thereupon, and this to be extended to all burnt and wasted lands and against all conjunct-fiars present and to come within burgh.

  1. NAS, PA2/15, f.39v.
  2. APS has corrected this to '[land]'.
  3. APS interpolation, taken from the contemporary printed collection of acts, Sir John Skene, Lawes and Actes of Parliament, maid be King James the First and his successors Kings of Scotland - The XIII Parliament, halden at Edinburgh, the aucht daie of Junij, the yeir of God, ane thousand, five hundreth, foure score fourtene yeirs (Edinburgh, 1597), p.155.