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Archive Anecdotes

Snippets from Edinburgh's archives.


Aug 19, 2013

500 years ago, on 19 August 1513, the records of the burgh reveal that many of Edinburgh's city leaders had joined the army of James IV, Scotland's 'Renaissance King'. This army was marching south to engage with the forces of England's King Henry VIII in support of Scotland's ally France.

'The quhilk day, the provest baillies counsale and communitie, fo the commoun weill and proffeit of the toun, and guid reull thairintill to be had efter thair passage to the Kingis armye . . . '

The record shows that five men, one deputising for the provost and four for the baillies, were left behind to ensure the city's welfare. Given the success of his ancestor at Bannockburn two centuries before, perhaps it would have been wiser to take the gentleman named Robert Bruce with the army.

'. . . for that intent thai haue lymlt chosin and left behind thame George of Towris, president, for the prouest, Robert Brus, William Lokkart, William Adamesoun and William Clerk, for the baillies, till haue full jurisdictioun in thair absence til do justice, mak statutis neidfull for the commouen weill, and punis trespassouris'

Source: Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh 1513



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