Historical preface


Institute of Historical Research



J.D. Marwick (editor)

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'Historical preface: 1371-1501', Charters and Documents relating to the City of Glasgow 1175-1649: Part 1 (1897), pp. XXIV-XLVIII. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=47902 Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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David II. was succeeded on 22nd February, 1371, by his cousin, Robert, the High Stewart, (fn. 1) as Robert II. The family name of the new sovereign was Allan, or Fitz-Allan, but it had become habitual, as Burton observes, to call the members of the family by the name of their feudal office. Hence Robert II. was the first of the Stewards, or, as it came to be written, the Stewart dynasty. His reign lasted till 19th April, 1390. What the size and aspect of Glasgow were at this time may be inferred from the fact that the French expedition of two thousand men which came to Scotland in 1385 were disappointed with the appearance of Edinburgh, which they reported to be inferior to the secondary towns of France, and contained only four thousand houses. Nor could the knights and men at arms who formed this expedition find accommodation in the capital, but were obliged to seek quarters by scattering themselves over the neighbouring districts—some in Fifeshire, and others as far south as Kelso. (fn. 2) When the capital was so small and presented so mean an appearance, it can scarcely be doubted that the bishops' burgh of Glasgow offered little beyond the cathedral and the religious houses then existing to attract a stranger. No charter appears to have been granted by this king affecting the burgh. Bishop Walter was succeeded by Matthew Glendinning, one of the canons of the cathedral, who died in 1408. (fn. 3)

During this reign also the accounts of the chamberlain show payments to have been made by the burgh and city in February, 1373, of £7 and 40s. 11d. (fn. 4)

On the death of Robert II., in 1390, he was succeeded by his eldest son, John. But the name was so painfully associated with that of John Baliol, who had compromised the national independence by his transactions with the English, that the heir to the Scottish Crown assumed the name of Robert, and was crowned as Robert III. His reign of sixteen years endured till 4th April, 1406. The only document connected with the burgh during that period, which appears in this collection, is a precept under the privy seal, of date 14th October, 1397, directed to the bishop of St. Andrews as chancellor of the kingdom, authorising a charter to issue under the great seal to the burgesses and community of Glasgow to keep their market day on Monday instead of on Sunday. (fn. 5)

When, or by what authority, the change of market day from Thursday to Sunday had been effected—if, indeed, the Sunday market was not a second weekly market—or, if the Sunday market was a second weekly market, by what authority it was established, does not appear. It may only be observed that Alexander's charter of 1225, (fn. 6) which confirmed the previous charters under which the Thursday's market was established, was also confirmed by the charter of Robert I. in 1324, (fn. 7) and ratified by Parliament in 1633. (fn. 8)

The accounts of the customers of Linlithgow from 1393 to 1395 show a remission by order of the king, under his privy seal, to William, physician (fn. 9) of Glasgow, of the custom of two sacks of wool, 53s. 4d.; and the accounts of the deputies of the chamberlain for 1396–7 show a payment to the same person by order of the king of a similar amount. (fn. 10)

Robert III. was succeeded on 4th April, 1406, by his only surviving son, James I., who was then a young man of about sixteen years of age, but a prisoner in England. He bad sailed for France in March immediately preceding, with a view to being educated there, but was captured by an English ship, notwithstanding the currency of a truce between the two countries. The Duke of Albany, an uncle of the young king, governed Scotland as regent till his death on 3rd September, 1419, when he was succeeded by his son Murdoch, who held the office till the return of his sovereign in 1424, accompanied by his bride, Joanna, daughter of the Earl of Somerset, a cousin of King Henry V. During his enforced residence in England James had received all the advantages of a careful education, and his return to his kingdom was signalized by a vigorous administration in every department, which was rudely terminated by his murder at Perth on 20th February, 1436–7. (fn. 11) At the commencement of his reign Matthew Glendonwyn was bishop, but died in May, 1408, and William de Lawdre, archdeacon of Lothian, was appointed his successor in the bishopric by Pope Benedict XIII., without the election of the chapter. He was appointed chancellor of the kingdom in 1423, and died on 14th June, 1425, and was succeeded, both in the episcopate and the chancellorship, by John Cameron, who had previously been secretary of state and provost of Lincluden. The latter office he held till 1440, and his death took place in 1447. (fn. 12) During this reign and the episcopate of bishop Matthew arrangements were made to rebuild of stone the steeple of the cathedral, which had previously been constructed of wood furnished by the laird of Luss, and had been consumed by fire. The work was executed during bishop William's tenure of office, and he also constructed the crypt below the chapter-house and the battlements of the tower. Bishop John, again, completed the chapterhouse, which had been commenced by bishop William, and also erected the great tower of the bishop's palace.

James I. was succeeded on 20th February, 1436–7, by his son, James II., then a boy six years of age, who was crowned in Holyrood, and whose reign of twenty-four years lasted till 3rd August, 1460. In the early part of that reign the episcopate was held by bishop Cameron, who died in 1447, and was succeeded by James Bruce, chancellor of the kingdom and bishop of Dunkeld, who died before being confirmed or invested. On the death of bishop Bruce, William Turnbull, archdeacon of Lothian, and keeper of the privy seal, was appointed bishop, but died on 3rd September, 1454, and was succeeded by Andrew Muirhead, one of the canons, who died on 20th November, 1473. In this reign several important documents connected with the city appear. The first of these is a notarial instrument, dated 4th February, 1446–7, which records the delivery to Sir Richard Gardenar, presbyter, perpetual vicar of the parish church of Colmanell, and keeper of the lights around the tomb of St. Kentigern within the church of Glasgow, by the bailies, burgesses, and community of the burgh and city, of two pounds of wax which bishop Cameron and his chapter had ordained to be paid yearly for the maintenance of the lights, in consideration of their consenting to the building of a mill on the south side of Gardyngad upon the Molendinar burn, within the commonty of the burgh, belonging to the burgesses and community. To preserve evidence of the right so acquired, John Steuart and Thomas Wynter, bailies of the burgh, then present, asked instruments, and the document was accordingly prepared and attested by the imperial notary and scribe to the chapter. (fn. 13)

Having regard to the facts that the burgh was established under a royal charter which empowered the bishop to form it with all the freedoms and customs of a royal burgh; that the code of laws applicable to royal burghs was in observance within it; and that the burgesses were in the position of negotiating with the bishop and chapter for the acquisition of lands within the commonty of the burgh, on which to erect town mills, it is not easy to believe that the burgesses did not enjoy a considerable amount of civic liberty. The bishop's men and natives, who were not burgesses, may have been dependent on their lord for much or for everything; but the burgesses had rights and privileges which were surely not defeasible at the pleasure of the superior. It is rather to be accepted that, while they held their property and rights from the bishop as subject superior, and were bound to render to him rents and dues, which, in the case of royal burghs, were given to the sovereign, they might, so long as they fulfilled their obligations to him, effectually maintain their rights as burgesses. The magistrates of the burgh were no doubt subject to his appointment and dismissal; but there is no evidence that, at any time, this power of appointment was harshly exercised, or the power of dismissal enforced at all. The privileges conferred by royal charters on the bishop's men, natives, and serfs extended to his whole tenants, vassals, and dependents within the barony, and this area was greatly wider than that of the burgh which it included; but it is difficult to see how such extension of privilege, either as regards its area or the class of persons to be benefited, could diminish in any way the rights or privileges of the burgesses.

Notwithstanding the privileges which the burgesses and dependents of the bishop enjoyed,—and specially the privileges of trade conferred by Alexander II. in 1242–3, (fn. 14) —the burgesses of Rutherglen and also those of Renfrew (fn. 15) seem to have pursued a course of interference with persons going to and returning from the market at Glasgow, and to have levied dues from them. Complaint was accordingly made of this to King James II. by the then bishop, Turnbull, whose influence was very great, and the king, on 4th February, 1449–50, issued a letter, under his privy seal, commanding the burgesses and community of these burghs to cease from such interference, and prohibiting them and all others from coming within the barony of Glasgow, or any lands belonging to the freedom of St. Mungo, to take toll or custom, by water or land, of persons going to or returning from the market—any grants by former kings to Renfrew, Rutherglen, or other burghs, notwithstanding. (fn. 16) A few weeks afterwards the king, by a charter under the great seal dated 20th April, 1450, erected the city, the barony of Glasgow, and the lands known as Bishops' Forest into a regality. This charter proceeds on a narrative of the fact that the king was himself a canon of the church, and of the singular favour and affection which he had towards the bishop, his councillor, on account of his merits and willing and faithful services rendered for a lengthened time. (fn. 17) The jurisdiction thus conferred was second only to that of the royal justiciary. Grants of regality, to adopt the language of Professor Innes, "took as much out of the crown as the sovereign could give," and in the hands of powerful lords and churchmen established jurisdictions which all the power of the crown proved often unable to restrain. For some object, not explained, another charter, in precisely the same terms, but attested by different witnesses, was granted by the king on 22nd February, 1450–1. (fn. 18)

But these charters were not the only marks of the royal favour. The king had used his influence with Pope Nicholas V. to induce him to sanction the establishment of a University in the city, (fn. 19) and had urged that not only the weal of the commonwealth would be thereby promoted, but that the city, as a place of renown, was well fitted therefor, the air being mild, victuals plentiful, and a great store of things for the use of man being found there. He also urged that compliance with his appeal would have the effect of spreading the catholic faith, of instructing the simple, of holding equity in judgment, causing reason to flourish, illuminating the minds of men, and enlightening their understanding. In response to this appeal the pope issued his bull, on 7th January, 1450–1, by which—on a narrative of the devotion of the king, and his own desire that the city should be adorned with the gifts of the sciences, so that she might produce men distinguished for ripeness of judgment, crowned with the ornaments of virtue, and erudite with the learning of the various faculties, and that there might be an overflowing fountain of the sciences, out of whose fulness all that desire to be imbued with the lessons of knowledge might drink—he erected the University, ordaining that it should flourish in all time to come, as well in theology and canon and civil law as in the arts and every other lawful faculty, and that the doctors, masters, readers, and students might there enjoy all the liberties, honours, exemptions, and immunities granted by the Apostolic See to the doctors, masters, and students in the University of his city of Bologna. (fn. 20) He appointed bishop William and his successors in the bishopric to be "rectors, called chancellors, of the university," with power to confer degrees and make licentiates; and to all persons so graduated or licensed he gave full liberty to teach, not only in the university itself but in all other universities. (fn. 21) Such papal recognition, as Professor Laurie observes, was always of great importance, if not essential to universities. "It brought the power of the church, then dominating all civil powers, to the help of the young communities or schools of learning, and gave universal European validity to the degrees which the protected university might confer, and not merely to the doctorship, as has been sometimes said. A licentia docendi in a papal university, whether it took the form of a mastership of arts as in, Paris, or of a doctorship as in Italy, entitled the holder to teach at any university seat in Christendom. The popes had no jealousy of the universities. On the contrary, they hastened to recognise them. It may be that they actually saw that, by conferring privileges, they indirectly acquired rights over both teachers and students." (fn. 22)

In the same year the general jubilee proclaimed by the pope, on the termination of the great papal schism (fn. 23) was extended to Scotland by a bull in which the visitation of the faithful to the church of Glasgow, and offerings there, were declared to be as meritorious as similar visitations and offerings at Rome; and these offerings were appointed to be divided into three parts, one to be applied to the fabric of the church, one to pious uses in Scotland, and one to be sent to Rome. (fn. 24) The wealth which the Pope received through the jubilee contributed largely, it is said, to support the cost of his buildings, and to the encouragement of learning and of the arts.

On 20th April, 1453, the King, by letters under his great seal—obtained through the influence of the bishop—granted his firm peace and protection to the rectors, deans of faculties, procurators of nations, regents, masters and scholars of the university; and he exempted them from all taxes, duties, watch and ward exigible within the realm. (fn. 25) This was followed, on 1st December in the same year, by a charter from the bishop, by which he conferred various privileges on all the officers and students of the university— privileges which were extended not only to their domestics and servants, but also to their scriveners, stationers, and parchment sellers, with their wives, children, and handmaidens. This charter required among other things that the assize of bread and ale, according to the laws and customs of burghs, should be observed, and the rector was appointed to report transgressors to the provost or any of the bailies of the city for punishment. In the event of the burgh magistrates failing to administer correction, the rector was empowered to do so himself; and if any question arose between the magistrates and him as to the manner in which this duty was discharged, then such question had to be determined by the bishop. The bishop further provided that the provost, bailies, and other officers of the city should, annually, on their election, in presence of him and his successors as chancellors, or their deputes, and of the rector and certain supposts of the university, be sworn to observe, as far as concerned them, all the privileges and liberties of the university, as well as its customs and statutes. (fn. 26) This is the earliest reference to the provost as chief magistrate of the burgh. The name of the then holder of the office is not stated, but he was probably the individual who on 18th December in the following year, as one of the parties to an Indenture, is designated "an honorabyll mane, Johne Stewart, the first provost that was in the cite of Glasgw." (fn. 27) Frequent references occur in earlier deeds, from 1280–90 downwards, to "provosts and bailies" of the city, and sometimes the names of several persons are mentioned as provosts in the same deed, but after this time the title provost seems to have been given exclusively to the chief magistrate.

By a charter granted on 23rd July, 1460, Walter Stewart of Arthurle founded a chapel on the south side of the nave of the cathedral, at the new altar of St. Kentigern, and endowed it with a number of mails and rents. The gift of the chaplaincy thus established he declared to belong wholly to his heirs male after his death, whom failing to the community and bailies of the city, and he required the chaplain to reside personally in the city, and to celebrate masses daily under pain of being deprived of his office. The deed also contains a provision as to the life of the chaplain which is suggestive of a relaxation of morals. (fn. 28)

On the death of James II. on 3rd August, 1460, he was succeeded by his son James III., a child nine years of age, (fn. 29) whose reign extended till 11th June, 1488. The bishopric was held at the time of the accession by Andrew Muirhead, who died, as has been mentioned, on 20th November, 1473, and was succeeded by John Laing, lord treasurer, (fn. 30) who was appointed to the see by Pope Sixtus IV., on the recommendation of the king. He was made chancellor of the kingdom in 1481, and died on 11th January, 1482. George Carmichael, treasurer of the diocese, was then elected bishop, but died in 1483, without having been confirmed, and in 1484 Robert Blacader, bishop of Aberdeen, was appointed his successor. He held the office till 28th July, 1508.

Reference is made during this reign to the Grammar School of the burgh in a document dated 20th January, 1460–1, by which Simon Dalgleish, precentor and official of Glasgow, gifted to Master Alexander Galbraith, rector and master of the school, and his successors, a tenement on the west side of the "Meikle Wynd," to be holden by the master and his scholars for certain religious services; and the provosts, bailies, and councillors of the burgh were appointed patrons, governors, and defenders of the gift. (fn. 31)

On 1st July, 1461, bishop Andrew, with the consent of his chapter granted to the rector of the university full jurisdiction and cognisance in all causes and quarrels between its supposts (fn. 32) and the citizens and others under the episcopal jurisdiction, and of restraining them by church censure. He also conferred on the rector the first place after himself in synods, processions, and other solemn occasions, before all prelates of the diocese, and declared that in causes between the supposts it should be in the option of the accused to choose before what judge he should prefer to answer—whether before the rector or the bishop's official. (fn. 33)

Eight years later, viz., on 29th November, 1469, the claims of Dumbarton, in a question with the bishop, magistrates, and community of Glasgow, formed the subject of judicial procedure before the Lords Auditors of Causes and Complaints. (fn. 34) Some men of Glasgow had purchased a quantity of wine from a French ship in the river, but the people of Dumbarton prevented delivery, whereupon a suit was instituted alleging that the privileges of Glasgow, as established by charters and infeftments, had been violated. The court decided in favour of the city, holding that as its men had been the first buyers, the people of Dumbarton were not entitled to stop delivery. They were, therefore, ordained to desist from such interference, and ordered to be punished at the will of the king for the injury done to the city. (fn. 35)

On 10th December, 1472, the king confirmed to the university, by letter under the great seal, (fn. 36) the exemption from taxation given by his father in 1453, and on the same day he issued his letter under the privy seal to the bishops of the kingdom, and all others, his lieges, ratifying the exemption, and charging them to give effect to it. (fn. 37) The high jurisdictions and privileges thus conferred on the bishop were confirmed and extended in favour of bishop Laing and his successors, in the parliament held at Edinburgh in 1476. (fn. 38) Immediately afterwards the king confirmed to the bishop the city and barony of Glasgow, and the lands of Bishop Forest in free regality as one barony; and of new, by authority and with the consent of parliament, granted the same to the bishop and his successors for ever. He also empowered them to make and constitute within the city a provost, bailies, sergeants, and other officers, as often as should seem to them expedient for its rule and government, and to appoint and remove any person to and from these offices. He farther conferred on the bishop and his successors the right to appoint and have for ever a sergeant or officer, who should carry a silver mace or wand with the royal arms on the upper end, and the arms of the bishop and prelate for the time on the lower end, for making arrestments and executing the mandates and precepts of the prelate within the regality, and through all the bishop's lands and possessions within his diocese. And the king ratified and confirmed all gifts, grants, and foundations previously made by him or his predecessors, or any lords or barons, to the bishops and prelates of the see. (fn. 39) The powers thus vested in the bishop in regard to the appointment and control of the magistrates and officers of the burgh are stated for the first time in express terms in this charter, and, as so expressed, are absolute; but it is not to be overlooked that for a long time previously the burghal code applicable to royal burghs, with all the rights and advantages which that gave the burgesses, had been in operation in the city. Besides, it may well have been that the powers which the charter conferred on the bishop were really more formidable in theory than in practice. Be that as it may, it will be seen that if these powers were ever put into operation, important relaxations of practice were speedily introduced.

The next document in the present collection is interesting, as showing the judicial care with which, in Scotland, all the procedure connected with the transfer of heritable right to burgage property was conducted. Among the fragments of old laws and customs which have been gathered together in the first volume of the Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland (fn. 40) is an act as to the recovery of land for the yearly rent unpaid. It provided that no one pursuing fcr recovery of a waste and undistrainable tenement, because of the annual rent being in arrear, should be bound to lay waste the land or tenement by presenting at the court of the burgh the doors, windows, and timber or such like, no one being bound to injure himself. The former procedure requiring that mode of action was therefore declared to be inept, and to have been condemned by the wise counsel of the burghs; and it was provided that whosoever desired to proceed in burgh for recovery of land or tenement unproductive by reason of the non-payment of the yearly rent, should go to the land or tenement with witnesses and the burgh sergeant or officer, and take earth and stone of the tenement and present it to the bailies at three head courts of the burgh. The stones and earth so presented were then appointed to be placed in a bag, sealed with the seal of the bailies, and kept by the pursuer till the fourth head court, when the stone and earth exhibited at the three preceding courts were to be shewn to the bailie, and possession of the land sought and given. In apparent conformity with that law the procedure set forth in this document was taken. The provost, John Stewart—probably the individual referred to in the Indenture of 1454 (fn. 41) as the first provost—with two bailies, held a head court on 27th January, 1477–8, where one of the vicars of the choir, for himself and his colleagues, appeared and reported that a tenement in the Rottenrow, which is particularly described, was destitute of all "bigging and reparation," so that it could not be distrained for the payment of the annual rent due in respect of it. Wherefore he sought the court to deliver to him earth and stone in default of payment, according to the burgh laws. The application being deemed reasonable, the applicant, with one of the sergeants of the burgh, was authorised to go to the premises and receive earth and stone of the same before witnesses, after the custom of the city in such matters. All this having been done, the applicant reported the procedure to the court, and took it to witness. At the second head court, held on 7th April, 1478, the vicar reappeared and renewed his application, which was granted, and a similar course of procedure was adopted and reported to the third head court. At the third head court held on 12th October, 1478, the same formalities were gone through, and at the fourth head court held on 26th January, 1478–9, another vicar, whose authority to represent his colleagues was known, appeared and recited the procedure which had been taken on the three previous occasions, and the fact that the proclamation had been made at the Market Cross of the city, warning the lawful heritors or heirs to make payment of the annual rent then due. He thereupon craved the legal remedy. Upon this he was removed, the court was warded and the application was considered, after which the applicant was called in, and Sir John Michelson, the town clerk, judicially instructed the dempstar to give decree sustaining the claim of the vicar. (fn. 42) This document Professor Innes describes as a "unique specimen of a very remarkable procedure," but the more recent publications of the Scottish Burgh Records Society contain many illustrations of the practice.

The instrument, dated 15th June, 1487, sets forth the foundation by William Stewart, canon of Glasgow, of a perpetual chaplainry at the high altar of the Church of the Friars Preachers—Dominican Friars, or Blackfriars—of Glasgow. It carefully prescribed the religious services which were to be maintained, and provided for the upholding of the chaplainry. The granter undertook to erect at his own expense premises for the use of the friars betwixt their church and dormitory on the south side of their cloister. These premises were to consist of five or six vaults beneath, and two halls, two kitchens and four chambers on the ground floor, with houses above corresponding to the halls, kitchens, and chambers on the ground floor, all to be well roofed with tiles, and sufficiently finished in wood and boards. It declared that the walls should be of equal height with those of the church, and be built on the outside with hewn or ashlar stones. For the maintenance of the chaplainry the granter assigned various annual rents of the value of fifty shillings Scots. As conservator of the chaplainry the lord rector of the university for the time, the regents in the college of arts in the university, and the provost and bailies of the city were appointed to see that it in no ways fell into decay through the neglect of the friars. (fn. 43) Another instrument in which that above described is engrossed, and authenticated by the seal of the city as well as that of the granter, was executed on 6th July, 1487. (fn. 44)

King James III. was succeeded on 11th June, 1488, by his son, King James IV., then a youth sixteen years of age, who was crowned at Scone on the last day of the same month, and reigned for twenty-six years, being killed at Flodden, 9th September, 1513. (fn. 45) Robert Blackaddar was the bishop of Glasgow, and held that office when his see was erected into an archbishoprick in January, 1491. He died in July, 1508, and was succeeded by James Bethune, bishop-elect of Galloway, who was postulated to the see of Glasgow on 9th November, 1508, and consecrated at Stirling on 15th April, 1509. He had previously held the office of lord treasurer, but resigned it on his appointment to the archbishopric.

King James IV. had become a canon of the cathedral in early life, and during the whole of his reign gave constant evidences of his desire to favour the church and the city. Through his influence it was that on the 14th of January, 1488–9, parliament passed an act, under which, "for the honour and public good of the realm," the see was erected into an archbishopric, with such privileges as accorded of law, and with such dignities, immunities, and privileges as were possessed by the archbishoprick of York, and as might be agreed upon between the bishop and the prelates and barons with whom the king might advise. (fn. 46) The change thus made was opposed not only by Scheves, archbishop of St. Andrews, (fn. 47) but by the chapter of Glasgow, the members of which looked with apprehension to the increased power which it would give to the bishop. The king and the bishop, however, guaranteed that the privileges of the chapter should not be diminished, and the opposition of the canons was neutralised, but that of the archbishop of St. Andrews was pressed at the papal court; while the king urged that the pallium should be granted to the bishop of Glasgow, whose cathedral, he urged, "surpasses the other cathedral churches of my realm by its structure, its learned men, its foundation, its ornaments, and other very noble prerogatives."The pope was further urged by the king in 1490 not to heed the remonstrances or machinations of the archbishop of St. Andrews, seeing that the policy of erecting a second archiepiscopate in Scotland was solemnly adopted after due deliberation by the three estates; and in the following year, writing impatiently, and with some degree of anger, at the delay which had already taken place, he stated that if the reasonable request of his government were not complied with, he would consider that he was despised and scorned, and entreated as so jealous a supporter of the church ought not to be. (fn. 48) At length on 9th January, 1491–2, pope Innocent VIII. issued his bull, dated on the 5th of the Ides of January, 1491, (fn. 49) by which he declared the see to be metropolitan, and appointed the bishops of Dunkeld, Dunblane, Galloway, and Argyle to be its suffragans. The right of the cross was also conceded, but the higher honour of the pallium and the style of primate and the privileges of legate natus were refused. The see during the lifetime of the first archbishop, and the province during the lives of his suffragans, were exempted from the primatial and legatine authority of St. Andrews. But this act of the pontiff did not terminate the dispute, and the two archbishops engaged in a clerical war with each other, so bitter, according to Burton, "as to disturb the peace of the whole land." (fn. 50) Both the combatants carried their disputes to Rome, and the appeal served to increase the influence of the papal court in Scotland. Eventually parliament had to interfere, and on 8th May, 1493, passed an act, which set forth that it was thought to be expedient by the lords of the articles that the king should cause letters to be written to both prelates exhorting them to leave their contentions and pleas to be determined by his majesty, with reference to what was most profitable for the good of the realm. The king was also requested to intimate this to the pope, and to command both archbishops to cease their contention, and not to labour against the thing that should be seen profitable for the welfare of the realm, under certification that if they did not cease and leave the pleas in the court of Rome, and give obedience to the device and deliberation of the king and his three estates, his majesty would command his lieges "not to make finance nor pay to the prelates fermes, rents, or mails for the sustentation of these pleas, and having of the money out of the realm." (fn. 51) This action seems to have been effectual for a time, and the king applied to the pope to raise the archbishop of Glasgow to the dignity of a cardinal, but the application, though supported by King Ferdinand the catholic, and Queen Isabella of Castile, was not granted. (fn. 52)

On 4th January, 1489–90, the king granted a charter under his great seal in which, after referring to the special favour and love which he bore to bishop Blacader and his "renowned chapter," which "holds the chief place among the secular colleges of our kingdom," he confirmed the grants to the see by his predecessors, and empowered the bishop and his successors to have a free tron (fn. 53) in the city, and to appoint a troner of the customs and clerk of the cocket in the same, that all merchandise and goods that belonged to the citizens and tenants of the city and barony might be there troned, weighed, and customed; and that the bishop and his successors might receive and enjoy the customs of such merchandise and goods; and that thereafter the citizens and tenants should be free of exaction or payment of all other customs on such goods in all towns, ports, and places within the kingdom on showing the cockets. The charter farther conferred on the bishops exemption from customs on wool, skins, hides, cloth, bread, fish, and other goods and merchandise, from which custom was due, when exported on their proper ventures, or for the buying of victuals, wine, wax, spiceries, or other needful things, or for the payment of debts of bishops, or for any other needful and proper causes. (fn. 54)

All the royal grants connected with the city down to this time had been made to the bishop, but on 17th January, 1491–2, the king granted a letter by which he authorised the community to use their freedoms as they had previously done. (fn. 55)

The date at which the Grammar School of Glasgow was first established is unknown, but it has been seen (fn. 56) that on 20th January, 1460–61, Simon Dalgleish, precentor and official of Glasgow, granted to the rector and master of the school and his successors in that office a tenement on the west side of the High Street, (fn. 57) to be held by him and his scholars; and that he appointed the magistrates and councillors to be patrons, governors, and defenders of the gift. Notwithstanding this, a deed dated 13th September, 1494, records a claim by Master Martin Wan, chancellor of the cathedral, to the patronage of the school, and the care and government of it and its master, but sets forth that, notwithstanding the right so claimed, Master David Dun, presbyter of the diocese and residing in the city, without license from the chancellor, and even against his will, had set himself to teach grammar and the elements of learning within the city and university. The archbishop, therefore, after judicial enquiry, sustained the chancellor's contention, prohibited Dun from keeping a grammar school or instructing scholars in grammar, or youths in boyish studies, without the license of the chancellor for the time, and judicially put Dun to silence for ever. (fn. 58) But fourteen years afterwards, viz., on 19th June, 1508, a similar claim to that advanced by Wan, and sustained by the archbishop, was put forward by Master Martin Rede, then chancellor of the cathedral, who also asserted a right, in virtue of his office, to control the grammar school and to appoint and remove the teachers. His right to do so, however, was challenged by Sir John Stewart of Minto, then provost, who claimed for the magistrates and community the exclusive right to admit all masters "to the mural schools and buildings assigned for the instruction of scholars." Both parties thereupon referred to the deed of foundation by Dalgleish, and no farther allusion is made to the matter. (fn. 59) Probably the claim thus asserted by the provost was acquiesced in. At all events, sixty-nine years afterwards, viz., on 24th June, 1577, Robert Hutchesone and his spouse renounced their right in a house, with a little yard adjacent, forming part of a tenement belonging to the grammar school, in order that it might be joined to the school, and increase the room in it; (fn. 60) and on 16th November, in the same year, the council ordered the master of work to make the schoolhouse "waterfast" and to mend the west part thereof. (fn. 61) Accordingly, 48s. were paid for "twelve threif of quheit straye to theik" the school, and £8 Scots were given to James Fleming for "mending" it. (fn. 62) As repaired from time to time, and with a slate roof substituted for the thatch one, the school seems to have existed till 1656. On 25th February in that year, however, the master of work was ordered to take down the grammar school, and to agree with some person to take off the slates as safely as possible; (fn. 63) and during the same year a new school was erected. (fn. 64)

The institution known as the Hospital of St. Nicholas is referred to in a deed of donation by Martin Wan, chancellor of the cathedral, of date 1st June, 1501. By that deed he gifted for ever to one poor person living in the almshouse or hospital, twelve annual rents of the value in all of £6 12s. 8d.

Scots, and appointed the provost, bailies, and council of the city to administer his gift after his death, by presenting to the master of the hospital a poor man, a native of the parish of Glasgow, to receive the benefit of the presentation as often as it should fall vacant. The hospital thus referred to is believed to have been founded, about the middle of the fifteenth century, by Andrew Muirhead, who was bishop from 1455 to 1473. The deed of foundation is not now extant, and the precise date and objects of the foundation are not, therefore, known with precision. At one time the hospital was situated in the vicinity of the cathedral, and in it a few aged and poor persons were maintained, but it fell into disuse more than a century ago, and the revenues of the foundation, which were small, have since been applied towards the support of a number of poor and aged persons. The original benefaction was supplemented by the gift of Wan, and by another gift of £150 sterling by Dr. Robert Leighton, previously archbishop of Glasgow, dated 1st August, 1677, to be applied towards the support of two poor men, one of the burgh and the other of the Barony parish. (fn. 66) Previous to the abolition of episcopacy, the hospital was under the management of the archbishop, but, between 1688 and 1716, the lords of the treasury and exchequer, on behalf of the crown, and acting through a preceptor appointed by them, administered the charity. On 28th July, 1716, however, the barons of exchequer devolved that duty on the magistrates of Glasgow, appointing them to take care of the revenues "of the hospital," "and pay the poor belonging to it, till this court give further directions about it." In accordance with this direction, the magistrates and council have, since 1716, administered these revenues through a preceptor appointed by them. The regular annual revenue amounts to only about £50, and part of it is derived from the superiorities of various properties situated within the ancient city.


1 Son of Walter, the Lord High Steward, and of Marjory, daughter of King Robert Bruce.
2 Froissart's Chronicles, Lord Berner's translation, edition 1812, vol. ii., p. 7. This French historian farther represents the Scots as dissatisfied with their French allies, whom they did not wish to remain in the country. "They understande not us nor we them, therefore we cannot speke toguyder; they will anone ryffle and eateupall that euer we haue in the countrey; they sall doe us more dispytes and damages than thoughe the Englyeshmen shulde fyght with us; fer thoughe the Englyeshmen brinne our houses, we care lytall therefor; we shall make them agayne chape ynough; we are but thre dayes to make them agayne, if we may geate foure or fyve stakes, and bowes to couer them." This description is confirmed by that of Walsingham, the English chronicler, who, referring to the invasion of Scotland by the Duke of Lancaster in the previous year, states that, when the invaders arrived in Edinburgh, "they found nothing but empty houses, and not only empty, but all the straw by which they had been covered was either deposited ready for burning, or taken away." [Annals, p. 334. Burton's History of Scotland (2nd edition) vol. ii., p. 353.]
3 On the death of Bishop Walter, Pope Urban VI. appointed a Franciscan, John Framysden, to the See, but his appointment was not recognised in Scotland, and Glendinning was elected. [Bellesheim's History of the Catholic Church of Scotland, vol. ii., p. 40.]
4 The Exchequer Rolls, vol. ii., pp. 418, 431, 432.
5 No. XVIII., p. 24.
6 No. VII., p. 11.
7 No. XVI., p. 23.
8 1633, c. 79 (28 June, 1633), Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. iv., pp. 87–89. No. CVI., p. 351.
9 Reference to physicians in Scotland appear of much earlier date. A charter by King William, granted between 1189 and 1199, was witnessed by "Henry, the Physician;" and other charters, by the same king, were witnessed by "Nicolas, Medico meo," by Mr. Martin, and Mr. Radulph, "Medicis meis." Ness, a physician, was rewarded for his services to the Earl and Countess of Athole, by a grant of the lands of Dunfolenthim, in Athole, and afterwards became physician to Alexander III. On 3 June, 1282, Alexander, prince of Scotland, wrote a letter to his uncle Edward I., recommending Mr. Adam de Kirkcudbright, who had been physician of Robert de Brus, but was then in the service of the king his father, and of himself, and had cured him, the prince, of a dangerous disorder, contrary to the opinion of other physicians. The charters of bishops and barons were also witnessed by physicians. Thus John the physician witnessed a charter of Fulco de Sules, in the end of King William's reign. Mr. John, the physician, witnessed a charter by Cuming, son of the Earl of Athole, in the reign of Alexander II. Mr. Symon, the physician, witnessed a charter of William, bishop of Dunblane, in the beginning of the 13th century. Anthony, a Lombard physician, received from Allan, the son of Walter the Stewart, a grant of the lands of Fulton. All these cases are referred to by Chalmers [Caledonia, i. 768, N.E.,ii., p. 768], who also alludes to a treatise on the "Pestilence," copied at the end of the Kelso Chartulary, about the close of the 14th century, and which purports to have been made by a "gud phesician, John of Burdouse." [Ib., p. 769.] A Mr. Clement, "Medicus," also attested a charter by Richard, bishop of St. Andrews [Register of the Priory of St. Andrews, p. 140.] One Ferchard, Leche, i.e., Ferchard Beaton, or Bethune, a native of Islay, was physician to Robert II. (1371–1390), and in 1379 had a grant of lands in Sutherland. [Origines Parochiales Scocie, ii., p. 704] and in 1386 he had a gift of all the islands near the coast, between the Stour in Assynt and Armadale in Sutherland. [Ib. p. 695.] The clan Beaton was said to have been a medical clan, and there are notices of them in Islay, Mull, South Uist, and Far in Sutherland. One of them, Dr. Beaton of Mull, was blown up in the Spanish ship "Hinda," in Tobermory, but escaped unhurt. [Martin's Western Islands, quoted in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquarians, Scotland, xii., pp. 542–543]. In his preface to vol. xiii. of the Exchequer Rolls, Sheriff Æ. J. G. Mackay states that doctors in medicine first began to be noticed in the reign of James V. [p. cv., pp. 75, 79, 96.]
Nearly eighty years later than the reference in the text to "William, the physician of Glasgow," William Scheves was physician to King James III., and also an officer of the royal wardrobe. He had been educated at Louvain as a physician and astrologer, and his supposed knowledge of astrology secured him great influence with the king and the court. He subsequently became archdeacon, and afterwards archbishop of St. Andrews. The accounts of the Lord High Treasurer for 1473–1498 contain entries of payments to leeches for bleeding the king and for medical services to officers of the court. In 1497–8, the Exchequer Rolls refer to a payment of £12 6s. as the salary of a medical professor in King's College, Aberdeen. In 1599, James VI. granted a charter of erection to the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, in which reference is made to the practice of medicine as then a recognised profession in the city, and to two of its members—Mr. Peter Low, surgeon to the king, and chief surgeon to his son the prince, and Mr. Robert Hamilton, professor of medicine.
The earliest of all the European universities, viz., that of Salerno in Italy, which was established in the ninth century, had its origin, it is said, in a more scientific study of medicine derived from intercourse with the Saracens. In the beginning of the eleventh century it was frequented by students from Italy, France, and Germany, as well as by Moors and Jews. In 1137 the first state examinations in medicine were established in connection with it, and practitioners without a license were punished by imprisonment and confiscation of goods. The practice of surgery, which in other countries was open to barbers, was here limited to those who had given one year's attendance on lectures on anatomy and chirurgery; and the sale of drugs was also regulated.
But, indeed, the practice of the art of healing draws back to a very remote antiquity. Professor Jebb has pointed out that the Odyssey has a word for a man who is skilled in a profession or trade, "craftsman of the people," and that the term was applied, among others, to surgeons [Homer: an introduction to the Iliad and the Odyssey, p. 69], and Dr. Sayce has pointed out that the doctor was long an institution in Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia. The British Museum contains fragments of an edition made for the library of Nineveh of an old and renowned Babylonian treatise on medicine, which seems to have emanated from the school of Borsippa, a suburb of Babylon. In this work an attempt is made to classify and describe diseases. [Sayce's Social Life among the Assyrians and Babylonians, pp. 40,98–100.]
10 The Exchequer Rolls,Vol. III.,pp. 356–427.
11 In the winter of 1435 the court of James I. was visited by Æneas Sylvius Piccolomini, then thirty years of age, afterwards Pope Pius II., who has described his impressions of Scotland of that day. "It is," he says, "a cold, bleak, wild country, producing little corn, for the most part without wood, but yielding a sulphureous stone which is dug out of the earth for fuel. The cities have no walls, the houses are mostly built without lime, they have roofs of turf in the towns, in the country an ox-hide serves for a door. The common people are poor and rude, they have plenty of flesh and fish, but bread is eaten only as a dainty. The men are small in stature, but bold; the women of fair complexion, good looking, and amorous, kissing in Scotland going for less than shaking hands in Italy. There is no wine except what is imported. The horses, small ambling nags, mostly geldings, are uncurried, uncombed, unbridled. The oysters are larger than in England. Hides, wool, salt fish, and pearls are exported to Flanders. Nothing delights the Scots more than abuse of the English. Scotland may be said to contain two countries, the one cultivated, the other wild, where corn is not grown, where the people speak another tongue, and at times live on the barks of trees."[Aen. Sylv. Cosmog. de Europ., cap. xlvi. Opera, p. 443, quoted by Dr. Joseph Robertson, Concilia Scotiæ, Pref., pp. xciv., xcv.]
12 By this prelate it is said the right to hold St. Mungo's fair annually in January was obtained. It was held at the market cross of the city, at the junction of High Street with the Rottenrow and Drygate. [Macgregor's Hist. of Glasgow, p. 59.]
13 No. XIX., pp. 25–27.
14 No. X., p. 14.
15 David I. erected the burgh of Renfrew upon his own domain (in fundo proprio construxisset) and bestowed its church upon the cathedral of Glasgow. He subsequently gave it, with extensive territory, to Walter Alan or Fitz Alan, on whom he also conferred the title of Steward of Scotland, and this grant was confirmed by Malcolm IV.in 1157–8. [Registrum de Passalet (Maitland Club), App., p. 1–2.] When the barony of Renfrew was separated from Lanarkshire, the burgh became the head burgh of the new county, and in 1396 Robert III. granted it to the burgesses and community in feu ferm, changing the old variable "ferms" into a fixed reddendo of eight merks yearly. [Origines Parochiales Scotiae, i. 75. Report of Commissioners on Municipal Corporations in Scotland, vol. ii., p. 355.]
16 No. XX., pp. 27–28.
17 No. XXI., pp. 28–31.
18 No. XXIII., p. 36.
19 The University of St. Andrews had been established forty years earlier. Previously the inability of the more aspiring youth of Scotland to obtain in the cathedral and monastic schools of the country the higher education which they sought led them to resort to the universities of England and the continent. Scotch students do not appear, however, to have been regarded with favour at either Oxford or Cambridge. But apart from that fact, it was desirable to provide at home for such education as might supersede thenecessity for resorting to foreign seminaries. Accordingly, Henry Wardlaw, bishop of St. Andrews, who had himself completed his studies in Oxford, determined to found a university in his cathedral city. This was done in 1410, when professors of canon law and philosophy were appointed. Four years later, viz., in 1414, Pope Benedict XIII. issued his Bull recognising the university.
20 The university of Bologna had been formally recognised as a flourishing institution in 1158 by the Emperor Frederick I., and its statutes of 1254 were confirmed by the then Pope; but in 1216 Pope Honorius III recognised and supported its ancient freedoms, as these had been in use to be exercised. An interesting sketch of the University, as well as of the schola Salernitana and the Universities of Naples, Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, and Prague, will be found in Professor Lawrie's Lectures on the Rise and Early Constitution of Universities (1886). Pope Nicholas V. had himself studied with great distinction at the University of Bologna, which he accordingly took as his model of the future University of Glasgow. He had also been Bishop of Bologna when elevated to the chair of St. Peter, and he retained through life the love of letters which distinguished him in his earlier years. He was thus in active sympathy with the extraordinary intellectual movements of his time.
21 No. XXII., pp. 31–35.
22 Lectures on Universities, pp. 136, 137. The first general chapter of the University thus established, held in 1451 for the incorporation of its members, met in the chapter house of the Friars Preachers, where the College Kirk now stands, and Mr. David Cadyhow, precentor of the church at Glasgow, was chosen rector. The next chapter was held, in the presence of the bishop, in the chapter house of the cathedral, and there or in the lower chapter house, most of the subsequent congregations of the members of the University were held till the time of the Reformation. [Preface by Professor C. Innes to the Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasuensis. (Maitland Club), vol. iv., p. 14.] Immediately after the erection of the university, lectures were given in canon and civil law and in theology, and the faculty of arts was constituted—electing a dean, holding regular meetings, and formulating laws for its government. At first the faculty had its schools and a dwelling-place for the students known as a "Collegium" in the Rottenrow, and this building was known as the "Auld Pedagogy." The accommodation there proving insufficient, before 1457, another place was rented, but it also was superseded by the "New Pedagogy" which occupied a part of what afterwards became the site of the College in the High Street. The new Pedagogy was erected on property gifted to the faculty by Lord Hamilton in 1460, and that gift was enlarged, in 1475, by Sir Thomas Arthurle, who gave to the faculty the adjoining ground on which his place and mansion then stood. "The buildings of the 'New Pedagogy,'or the 'College of the Faculty of Arts,' had not been completed," says Professor Innes, writing in 1854, previous to the removal of the University buildings to their present site at Gilmorehill,—"when the storm of the Reformation began. The crown charter of 1563 narrated that a part only of the schools and chambers had been built. The unfinished edifice of that time must have been a mere ruin in a century after, scarcely to be used with advantage for more than the foundation of a new structure. Upon the restoration of the college the zeal for some time took a different direction, and it was not till 1631 that preparations were made for restoring the ruined buildings in part, and erecting the present fabric on their site. The actual masonry was begun in the following year, and the building, as it now stands, may be said to have been completed in 1656." [Ibid., pp. xxxix. and xl.]
23 History of the Christian Church, by Canon Robertson. Vol. IV., p. 478.
24 Bull, dated 22nd November, 1450. Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis. Vol. II., No. 359, pp. 380–382.
25 No. XXIV., pp. 37–38.
26 No. XXV., pp. 39–42.
27 No. XXVI., pp. 43–44. John Stewart is understood to have been the second son of Sir John Stewart of Dalswinton, and is referred to as provost of the city at various times down to 13th October, 1478. He married Elzabeth Lindsay, and died before 25th June, 1485, leaving a daughter, Jonet Stewart, wife of Robert or Robyn of Hall of the Fulbare. [Liber Collegii Nostra Domine, &c. (Maitland Club), Preface by Dr. Joseph Robertson, pp. xlix. –1.].
28 No. XXVII., pp. 45–52.
29 See Dr. Dickson's Preface to Lord High Treasurer's Accounts, vol. i., p. xxxvii.
30 His account, extending from 4th August, 1473, to 1st December, 1474, is the only one of the Lord Treasurer's accounts during this reign which has been preserved. It is the earliest account of the Lord Treasurer now extant, and is given in the first volume of these accounts edited by Dr. Dickson, and published under the authority of the Lord Clerk Register.
31 Abstract of Charters No. 28, p. 436.
32 Suppost—a scholar in a college—a servant or subordinate.
33 No. XXVIII., pp. 53–54.
34 No. XXIX., pp. 54, 55.
35 This decree was confirmed by a charter from the king under his Great Seal of date 1 December, 1479 [No. XXXIV., p. 71], and both were ratified by Parliament on 28 June, 1633 (1633, c. 79). [Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. v., p. 88.]
36 No. XXX., pp. 55, 57.
37 4 No. XXXI., pp. 58, 60.
38 1476, c. 8, Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. II., p. 190.
39 No. XXXII., pp. 60–65.
40 Vol. i., p. 46. Reprinted in the Ancient Laws and Customs of the Burghs of Scotland (Burgh Records Society), pp. 159–186.
41 No. XXVI., p. 43.
42 XXXIII., pp. 66–71.
43 XXXV., pp. 72–78.
44 No. XXXVI., pp. 78–79.
45 During this reign the king made frequent visits to Glasgow. Among those mentioned in Dr. Dickson's "Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer for Scotland" for the period between 1473 and 1498 are the following:—Between 26th March and 1st April, 1488–9, he was in Glasgow on his way from Ayr to Edinburgh. [Preface, lxxxvii, p. 106.] On 18th July, 1489, be was again in the city on his way to the siege of Duchal, then held for the Earl of Lennox and his son. It having surrendered, the king returned to Linlithgow on the 28th of the same month. [Ibid., xci., 116.] He was in Glasgow again apparently from 22nd October to 10th November, and payments were made to him to be given as offerings. [pp. 123–124.] On 23rd November he was at Dumbarton, which surrendered in the beginning of December; but he seems to have been back in Glasgow on 24th December, and to have offered 18s. to St. Catherine. [pp. 124–125.] On 15th May, 1494, he returned there from the Isles. [pp. cxv., 249.] On 5th May, 1495, he passed through the city on his way to Dumbarton and Newark (on the opposite side of the river), and thence he proceeded to Ardnamurchan, returning to Glasgow in the end of June, and remaining there till the middle of the following month. [pp. cxxi, 226.] While there various payments were made for articles of dress for the king [pp. 226–227] and for offerings to reliques. [p. 242.] In September, 1497, the king, returning from a pilgrimage to Whithorn, passed through Ayr by Kilmarnock to Glasgow, where he ordered three trentals of masses to be said, and proceeded to Stirling. He also ordered 2s. to be given to the sick folk at the bridge of Glasgow, 3s. to the poor folk in Glasgow, and 16s. to the man who guided him to Stirling the same night. [pp. clxi., 356–357.] On 22nd February, 1497, he seems to have been again in Glasgow, when he ordered 2s. to be given to the sick folk "in the grantgore" at the town end; 14s. to the Blackfriars; and £3 to the priests. [p. 378.]
46 1488, s. 2. Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii., p. 213.
47 The see of St. Andrews had been erected into an archbishopric, and its church constituted the metropolitan church for the whole of Scotland by a Bull issued by Pope Sextus IV., dated 27th August, 1472. The sees of Glasgow, Dunkeld, Aberdeen, Moray, Brechin, Dunblane, Ross, Caithness, Galloway, Argyle, the Isles and Orkney, were assigned to St. Andrews as its suffragans. The Bull further conceded to the Archbishop of St. Andrews the pallium and cross, and to the chapter of the cathedral all the rights and privileges enjoyed by metropolitan chapters. [Theiner Vetera Monumenta, p. 465, No. 852.] Galloway, thus subjected to St. Andrews, had for centuries been subject to York, and the Isles and Orkneys formed part of the province of Drontheim, in Norway. The pre-eminence thus given to St. Andrews was opposed ineffectually by the archbishop of York, and was also resisted both by the king and by the bishops of Scotland. The result of the conflict that ensued was disastrous to the archbishop,—Patrick Graham, a grandson of Robert III. Charges were preferred against him to the pope, and, on a report by a papal nuncio sent to Scotland to investigate these, the archbishop was degraded from all holy orders and offices, and immured for life within the walls of a monastery. [Burton, I., 145.] Scheves, archdeacon of St. Andrews, who had held temporarily the office of coadjutor of Archbishop Graham, was appointed to the metropolitan see, and received the pallium and cross in the church of Holyrood, on Palm Sunday, 1478. Ten years later, viz., in 1487, Pope Innocent VIII. erected St. Andrews into a primatial church, and made the archbishop primate of all Scotland, and legate natus of the apostolic see, with the same rights and honours as were enjoyed by the archbishop of Canterbury as legate natus of England. [Concilia Scotiæ, Pref., cxviii., cxix.] This supremacy was, however, challenged by Glasgow, and, in 1488, Pope Innocent VIII. issued a bull exempting that see during the lifetime of Archbishop Blackadder from the authority of St. Andrews. [Ibid., Pref., cxx.; Theiner, pp. 502, 503; Reg. Epis. Glasg., II., 543.] But this concession did not satisfy the requirements of the see of St. Kentigern, which aspired to powers and rank equal to those of St. Andrews, and its aspirations were supported by the king and parliament as stated in the text.
48 Burton, vol. iii., p. 41.
49 Theiner, p. 505, No. 889. Reg. Epis. Glasg., II., 470–473, 543, 544.
50 Burton, III., 41. Lesley's Hist. Scot., p. 62.
51 1493. Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii., pp. 232–233.
52 Concilia Scotiæ, Pref., cxxiv.
53 The tron thus authorised to be established was placed in the street called "Saint Thenaw's Gate"—a name by which it was known as early as 1426, from its having at its western extremity a chapel dedicated to Saint Thenaw, the mother of Saint Kentigern. After the establishment of the tron, however, the street came to be known as the Trongate, by which name it is referred to in a deed dated in 1553. Some trace of the chapel seems to have existed in the beginning of the eighteenth century, under the name of "Saint Tennoch's," afterwards corrupted into "Saint Enoch's." The parish church now known as St. Enoch's Church is said to occupy a site not far from that of the old chapel of Saint Thenaw, in which the mother of the patron saint of Glasgow found a resting-place.
54 No. XXXVII., pp. 79–87.
55 No. XXXIX., p. 88.
56 p. xxxv.
57 Called "Meikle Wynd" in the deed.
58 No. XI., pp. 89–92. The history of education in Scotland is indissolubly connected with the church, which was the repository of learning in the middle ages. In a document dated about 1100, reference is made to one of the priests as rector of the schools of Abernethy. The schools connected with the church of St. Andrews are referred to in 1120. David I., transferring to Kelso the abbey founded by him at Selkirk (1142–52), granted to the abbot the churches and schools of Roxburgh, and this gift was confirmed about 1180 by Bishop Joceline, who received authority from William the Lion to found the burgh of Glasgow. In 1160, Ernald, bishop of St. Andrews, confirmed to the church of the Holy Trinity in Dunfermline the churches of Perth and Stirling, with their schools. In 1183, Pope Lucius confirmed to the abbot and canons of Dryburgh all their possessions, and forbade any one to interfere with the masters in their parish of Lanark in regulating the studies of the scholars, provided they did not make unjust exactions. In 1187, Pope Gregory VIII. granted to the prior of St. Andrews, &c., the church of Linlithgow, with, inter alia, the school of the same place. Between 1211 and 1216 reference is made to a dispute between the prior of St. Andrews and the master of the school and poor scholars of the same. An ordinance of the bishop of Aberdeen in 1262 is witnessed, among others, by the rector of the schools of Aberdeen.
Such schools as existed at the earliest period of record were, therefore, usually dependent upon and under the superintendence of the church, and the chancellors of cathedrals in Scotland, as in England, seem to have exercised supreme authority in controlling them. The statutes of the church of Aberdeen, enacted in 1256, declare that it belongs to the dignity of the chancellor's office that he should supply a fit master, who should have the direction of the schools, and know how to teach the boys in grammar as well as in logic. [Regist. Epis. Aberdoniensis, II., 45.] Three years later, viz., in 1259, the chapter of Glasgow applied to the chapter of Sarum for information as to the constitution and customs of that church, and, in reply, were informed that the duties of the chancellor consisted, among other things, in ruling the schools, repairing and correcting books, hearing and determining lessons, keeping the seal of the chapter, preparing charters, and reading such letters as were to be read to the chapter. [Regist. Epis. Glasguensis, I., 270, No. 211.] In accordance, therefore, with that practice, and the constitution of his own church, and in ignorance, possibly, of what Dalgleish had done in 1460–61, the archbishop of Glasgow gave effect to the claim of the chancellor.
Reference also occurs to schools in burghs, some of which obviously were under the charge of the magistrates and council. Thus allusion is made in 1481 to the rector of the school in Dumfries, and in 1485 to the rector of the school in Brechin. In 1498 the town council of Edinburgh ordained all schools "to scail, and nane to be haldin," in consequence of the pest. At this time both the grammar and Canongate schools appear to have been under the charge of the abbey of Holyrood, but there seem to have been other schools in the burgh. In 1516–17 the house of the grammar school in St. Mary's Wynd was disponed to the town by Master David Vocat, "according to the terms of a charter of foundation to be made;" and three years later the town council prohibited all citizens and indwellers from sending their children to any school within the town save the "principal grammar school of the same" (also called the High School). In 1521 there was also a grammar school in Leith.
59 Liber Protocol M. Cuthberti Simonis, II., No. 342.
60 Abstract of Charters, No. 75, p. 447.
61 Council Records (S. B. R.), I., 64.
62 Ibid., I., 465, 466.
63 Ibid., II., 329.
64 Ibid., II., 331, 339, 340, 348, 351.—In addition to the grammar school, other schools existed in the city and adjacent districts; and in accordance with the claim put forward by the provost in 1508 in the question with the chancellor of the cathedral, to the effect that the magistrates and council of the burgh claimed an exclusive right to admit all masters "to the mural schools," the magistrates seem to have exercised this right. They asserted it as regarded the "sang school" or "music school," to which separate reference is made [p. lxiv.], and they also did it frequently as regarded schools for teaching what was sometimes called "Scotch" and sometimes "English." They also claimed a right to supervise these schools, and sometimes made money payments to the masters whom they appointed. Thus an act of council, dated 9th February, 1639, referred to the existence of English schools in the burgh, and ordained that only four of these, with a writing school, should be kept, and that the masters should be admitted by the magistrates and council and receive instructions from them as to the place of their dwelling, and other matters needful [C.R., I., 397]; and on 8th August, 1646, they ordered the masters of a Scotch school to meet the magistrates. [Ibid., II., 96.] On 2nd June, 1649, they appointed a young man, James King, who had been recommended for the teachership of a Scotch school, to be examined, and ordered 200 merks to be paid to him during "his abode under trial" [Ibid., II., 167]. On 11th March, 1654, a visitation of "the haill Scotch schools" was ordered, and the visitors were appointed to report "what they ar who holdis scooles, and be what warrand." [Ibid., II., 284.] And again, as indicating the kind of authority which they exercised, the council, on 1st April, 1654, appointed the school of one John Paterson, to be visited, to ascertain "what number of poor he teaches, and what they ar the town hes enterest in, and gif it be fund he hes too many, that they caus them to be put in vther schooles." [Ibid., II., 286.] On 8th July, 1654, the magistrates authorised one Hutchison to take up a Scotch school. [Ibid., II., 291.] On 4th August, 1655, James King, above referred to, was authorised to take up an English school, as he had before [Ibid., II., 317]; and on 27th October he was authorised to have his school in Hutchesons' Hospital. [Ibid., II., 321.] But that arrangement was found to be so unsuitable that, on 24th January, 1657, King was appointed to be spoken to with a view to removing to some other place, "althoe the town should pay him ane year's mail thairof." [Ibid., II., 355.] On 15th August, in the same year, William Brock was authorised to take up a school, provided he did so in Saltmarket. [Ibid., II., 374.] On 20th February, 1658, again, a woman who had taken up a school in the Saltmarket, at her own hand, and without getting permission, was appointed to be prohibited from continuing it. [Ibid,,II., 391.] On 1st January, 1659, Alexander Dunlop was authorised to take up a school in the north quarter, for teaching children to read and write. [Ibid., II., 410.] On 5th January, 1659, Alexander Wilson was authorised to take up an English school in the Gallowgate, and his application was supported by "a considerable number of the neighbours there." [Ibid., II., 413.] On 10th October, 1660, James Adam obtained licence to take up a school in the Saltmarket; and James Frissal [Fraser] was authorised to take up another. [Ibid., II., 455.] On 20th October, 1660, the council recommended the bailies to take up and report the names of all persons, men or women, who kept Scotch schools within the town, and to ascertain by what warrant they did so. [Ibid., II., 453.]
There was also a school in the Gorbals under the patronage of the council, the rent of which was paid by it on 13th September, 1651. [Ibid., II., 212.] In August, 1652, again, the house and school of one James Clerk having been destroyed by fire, and no one in the town having "the capacity for instruction of youth to write" which he had, he was allowed the session-house in Trongate for a school. [Ibid., II., 239.] In August, 1660, also, a school for mathematics and cognate sciences was established, with the sanction of the magistrates, by James Cross, mathematician. [Ibid., II., 448, 449.]
65 No. XLI., pp. 92–96.
66 Inventure of Glasgow Writs. G. H. B, 41, No. 8, p. 172.