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Collection of 65 Scottish charters and other documents, from 1402 to 1699, in Latin and Scots, some with seals

Identifier: Coll-1242

Scope and Contents

The collection of 65 Scottish charters and documents, on vellum and paper, is composed of the following:

  1. Charter between Alexander, Abbot of Scone, entirely in Early Scots, on vellum, dated 21 August 1402, 270mm. by 160mm., with the suspended complete wax seal of Katherine Paxton.
  2. Charter of Robert Logy, burgess of Perth, to Andrew Charters, of lands in Perth, in Latin, on vellum, dated 4 June 1462, 260mm. by 170mm., with seal tags taken from another document.
  3. Charter of Alexander Seres, burgess of Perth, to John Mirtone, Canon of Dunkeld, of 20 shilling annual rent from lands in Perth, in Latin, on vellum, dated 18 March 1464, 290mm. by 150mm., two wax seals, one of Robert Balre, Bailie of Perth, and the other of Alexander Seres.
  4. Gordon clan charter, of John Gordon of Farnborrow, regarding various estates, in Latin (with an Early Scots endorsement by John Gordon), on vellum, dated 1468, 340mm. by 370mm., with a large red wax seal bearing a shield with three boars heads surrounded by the name of John Gordon.
  5. Copy of a charter of Patrik Dunbar of Beill for Adame Blackader, in Latin, on paper, dated 1479, 285mm by 200mm., endorsement in Early Scots on reverse (probably sixteenth century).
  6. Inquisition Post Mortem, and order for delivery of Seisin by John, 4th Lord Maxwell, for the lands of Wester Pencaitland, East Lothian, following the death of William Sincler, for John Sincler, his son (made to the provost of Dumfries and the Bailiffs there), in Latin, on vellum, dated 10 January 1486, 305mm. by 110mm., complete suspended wax seal of Lord Maxwell (with slight damage to outer edge).
  7. Charter for Elizabeth Hay regarding estates of the Brenlands off the Haltoun of Essie, Aberdeenshire, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1508, 210mm. by 360mm., with large and elaborate notary mark of Walter Sutherland (his intertwined initials in the shape of a goblet on a plinth).
  8. Charter of Robert Moneypenny, burgess of Edinburgh, made before Alexander Adamson, baillie of Edinburgh, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1541, 200mm. by 290mm., with elaborate notarial mark of Andrew Broomhall.
  9. Charter of Robert Scott of Howpasley to Hector Turnbull, concerning the lands of Pinnacle and Broomlands, Roxburgh, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1550, 200mm. by 290mm., some wear and discolouration.
  10. Sasine of William Scott of Harden and his wife Elizabeth Ker, relating to estates at Todrik (or ‘Todrig’), apparently in Selkirkshire or Roxburghshire), in Latin, on vellum, dated 1553, 240mm. by 340mm., with elaborate notarial mark of John Bryden.
  11. Charter issued (and signed) by John, 4th Lord Hay of Yester (d. 1557) referring to William Scott of Harden and his wife Elizabet Ker, Sir Alexander Lauder the burgess of Edinburgh, Mariote Hay, Adam Bell, and other names (see also item 10), in Latin, on vellum, dated 1553, 275mm. by 480mm. John, 4th Lord Hay of Yester fought in the battle of Pinkie, and was taken prisoner in that battle by the English, on 10th September 1547. He was sent to the Tower of London, and kept there for three years until peace was concluded.
  12. Further document regarding Adam Bell, William Scott of Harden and his wife Elizabet Ker and their associates as in item 11 above, with the signatures of Adam Bell and Alexander Lauder of Edinburgh, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1553, 175mm. by 315mm., with the suspended wax seals of Hay and Lauder (some minor damage to edges) and another (perhaps Hay), notarial mark of John Mosman.
  13. Large document concerning Harbertshire Castle, Roslin, with reference to Gulilem Sinclaire de Rosling, Michael Borthwick of Glengelt, Robert Fairlie of Braid and other dignitaries as well as the ecclesit collegiate de Rosling, in Latin, on paper, dated 1554, 490mm. by 300mm., some small holes and a large split along a fold line.
  14. Vast charter of John, archbishop of St. Andrews granting extensive lands in the parish of Edinburgh to James Scot and John Sinclare, provosts of the Collegiate churches of Corstorphine and Roslyng in the diocese of St. Andrews, as well as monies for the repair and rebuilding of the monastery which has been recently burnt by the English, the ancient enemies of Scotland, in Latin, on vellum, dated Edinburgh 8th May 1556, 550mm. by 670mm., extremely large suspended wax seal, excellent condition, with a translation.
  15. Procuratory of John Hedderwick, placing the fourth part of the Mains of Clene with eight acres of land pertaining into the hands of Patrick, bishop of Moray, and granting the ‘new investment’ to John Blair of Clene (of the Blairs of Balthayock, who was mentioned in an indictment for murder in 1562), in Latin, on vellum, dated Perth 2 February 1569.
  16. Charter of William Scott of Harden, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1576, 310mm. by 280mm., notarial mark of John Bryden.
  17. Charter of Johne Lyndesay of Covingtonn concerning lands in the barony of Biggar, in Latin, on vellum, dated 5 June 1587, 205mm. by 280mm.
  18. Seisin of Kirklands of Kirkinner, Galloway, in favour of Alexander Gordon, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1589, 300mm. by 270mm.
  19. Record of obligation of William Craig to one Findlaye, in Scots, on paper, dated 1591, 410mm. by 320mm. Perhaps with item 20 below part of an archive relating to this man.
  20. Copy of a personal letter by William Craig, concerning lands of 'Waderburne' given to him by the king, defending himself against unstated accusations: "and suffer nether my sone nor me other friends to do you no wrang so lang as I offer I gave monie credit gold or lands and thairfoir I will no mayir be content that ye ....", in Scots, on paper, late sixteenth century, 310mm. by 300mm.
  21. Charter in the name of Regis scotorum, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1597, 320mm. by 170mm., notarial mark of Stephan Patersonne.
  22. Copy of a contract between Johne Spotiswood and his mother, in Scots, on paper, dated 1597, 380mm. by 300mm.
  23. Copy of a letter addressed to Lodovick Duke of Levene and witnessed by Robert Stewart, in Scots, on paper, dated 1600, 300mm. by 160mm., traces of small red wax seal at foot.
  24. Single leaf from an document concerning Maxwells and Johnstones in Lockerbie and other locations in Dumfries and Galloway, in Latin, on paper, c. 1600, 290mm. by 190mm.
  25. Copies of two documents concerning Michael Finlaysene, perhaps burgess of Fife, in Scots, on a single sheet of double thickness paper, early seventeenth century, 295mm. by 250mm.
  26. Charter of James Lord Hay of Yester for Walter Scott of Todrik (or Todrig) and his wife, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1607, 275mm. by 310mm. This is almost certainly the Walter Scott, a border reiver (see also item 30 below), who rode to Carlisle to free a friend from the English, and who is celebrated in the contemporary ballad of Kinmont Willie.
  27. Charter of William Scott of Todrik (or Todrig), in Latin, on vellum, dated 1607, 280mm. by 260mm., with portcullis-like notarial mark of George Woode.
  28. Marriage agreement for Walter Ker, son of George Ker of Fawdounsyde to Elizabeth Home, daughter of Lord George Home of Wodderburne, granting the couple lands in Stevinstoun with a fortified tower, mill and fisheries on the Tyne as a gift from George Ker, in Latin, on vellum, dated at Stevinstoun 11 April 1611, 410mm. x 330mm., suspended wax seal of George Ker (with minor crack), with translation.
  29. Charter of James I, beginning “James, be the grace of god kyng of gret britane …’ regarding the rights of Maistre Joannis Failzeoni, dated 1612, 365mm. by 300mm., with stain from large red seal at base (65mm. diameter), some splits along folds.
  30. Charter of Walter Scott of Todrik (or Todrig), in Latin, on vellum, dated 1619, 530mm. by 280mm., in fine and presentable condition.
  31. Sasine concerning estates and holdings in Todrik (or Todrig) of various members of the Scott family, including Walter Scott of Todrig, and his brothers Robert Scott and William Scott, and possibly Andrew Hay of Yester, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1620, 300mm. by 370mm., with the notarial mark of Henry Forrester of the diocese of Glasgow (Henricus forester glasguen. diocesensis).
  32. Sasine issued by George Home of Bassinden (an ancient parish in Westruther, Berwickshire, which had belonged to the nuns of Coldsteam but passed during the Reformation to the Home family) and his wife Jeanne for Alexander Home and Sibilla Broune, concerning various lands and members of the family, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1623, 380mm. by 280mm.
  33. Charter of David Robertson of Dysart, Fife, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1626, 380mm. by 180mm., somewhat faded
  34. Legal document, an inventar of ye ryttes produced be mr Johannis bail [...] in ye action [...] persewd be Williame Craig agains him, with 26 numbered details of writs, in Scots, on paper bifolium, dated 1627, 340mm. by 275mm., with some holes along folds at end.
  35. Large charter of John Lord Yester confirming Thomas Scott and his wife in the estates at Todrik (or Todrig), in Latin, on vellum, dated 1635, 270mm. by 500mm., with a large suspended wax seal of Williame Lord Hay (now broken in half but each half is well attached to the vellum tag).
  36. Confirmation of the estates of George Home senior and his son of the same name, including details of the estate of Haddington, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1636, 270mm. by 400mm., with notarial mark of William Galbraith, rodent damage to upper and lower edges.
  37. Charter for Robert Scott and other members of the Scott family regarding Beirceyard and Braidlees, probably Roxburghshire, in Latin, on vellum, dated Jedburgh Roxburghshire 1637, 195mm. by 550mm.
  38. Small charter or writ issued in the name of King Charles I for Robert Scott (see item 37 above), in Latin, on vellum, 100mm. by 160mm., much trimmed to edges of text.
  39. Large royal charter of King Charles I (issued a few years before his arrest and eventual execution on 30 January 1649) for Andrew Ramsey and concerning the estates of Kirkinner and Kirkcowan in Galloway, dated 1646, 380mm. by 550mm., in good condition with some discolouration on outer and small rust hole, and with substantial central portion of the royal seal, suspended in wax (now 65mm. diameter), surviving detail clear and sharp.
  40. Large copy of a charter for Mathew Moncreiff elder portioner of Kintillo, and Mathew Moncrieff Junyor his lawful son (with their signatures) regarding estates in Perth and Kinross, in Scots, on paper, dated 23 May 1648, 300mm. by 1010mm., with some damage and holes in last leaf.
  41. Charter of Sir George Boswell of Balgonie (Balgonie Castle, Fife) and his spouse Margret Arnot (with their signatures among others) relating to estates at Spittle, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1648, 275mm by 500mm., endorsement overleaf by Johannes comes de Weymis (Sir John Weymss, 1st Earl of Wemyss, 1586-1649; with his signature wemyss elcho). he was made Lord Wemyss of Elcho in 1628 by Charles I, and Wemyss held the crimson canopy above Charles' head at his coronation in Edinburgh in 1633.
  42. Document of Alexander Maxwell of Dalry and his spouse Jonet Moodie (perhaps Dalry in Ayrshire) for Thomas Johnestone merchant burgess of Edinburgh regarding lands, mills, byres at Saughtonhall, in Scots, on paper, dated 1653, 750mm. by 315mm., bottom section detached (but present).
  43. Charter concerning the same estates at Saughtonhall as in item 42 above (perhaps a fair copy of the above), in Scots, on vellum, dated 1653, 290mm. by 430mm.
  44. Legal proceedings of Robert, bishop of the Isles against John Campbell, in Scots, on paper, dated 28 July 1663, 305mm. by 990mm., small damage to last leaf.
  45. Bond of Corroboration issued by James Sinclair of Roslin for Thomas Douglas and his mother, in Scots, on paper, dated 1664, 305mm. by 1110mm., some damage to last leaf.
  46. Sasine of Jacob David concerning estates at Lennoxtonnhall (in the Barronie of Glenroths, Edinburgh), in Scots, on vellum, dated Edinburgh 25 April 1664, 235mm. by 570mm., with notarial mark of William Nicoll, cleric of Saint Andrews.
  47. Charter for Andrew Bell of Mox (Roxburghshire, now the southernmost part of Morebattle parish) confirming his lands, in Scots, on paper, dated 1665, 310mm. by 1260mm., damage to last leaf.
  48. Agreement between Adam Bell and Robert Bell concerning their affairs with Alexander Edgar of Holstruther, in Scots, on paper, dated 1665, 200mm. by 270mm.
  49. Bottom part of a charter of Robert Bell (see item 48 above), with extensive witness-lists for a number of items, in Scots, on paper, dated 1665, 195mm. by 300mm., some splits along folds.
  50. Sasine for William Maxwell of Jarbtoun regarding estates including those at Saughtonnhall, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1666, 220mm. by 550mm., notarial mark of David Watson, cleric of Edinburgh.
  51. Charter of John, Marquis of Tweedale, concerning Todrik (or Todrig) in Roxburghshire, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1666, 200mm. by 425mm., with suspended wax seal (much rubbed).
  52. Legal document issued by John Broune of Edinburgh, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1674, 470mm. by 320mm.
  53. Legal document issued by John Broune of Edinburgh, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1675, 200mm. by 240mm., much faded.
  54. Sasine for Jonet Mylles (spouse of James Brownlie, the smith) concerning a life rent of a tenement in the town and parish of Cumbernauld, in Scots, on vellum, dated 29 June 1676, 605mm. by 220mm., notarial mark of James Dobbie of Glasgow.
  55. Agreement between 'Hellen Gay, lawfull dochter of Patrick Gay, merchant burgess of Dysart, and Agnes Chrystiesone his spous, who was sister of Andrew Chrystiesone, lawfull sone to Johne Chrystisone, burgess of the said Burgh', in Scots, on vellum, dated 1677, 310mm. by 340mm., notarial mark Alexander Maistertonne, cleric of St. Andrews.
  56. Charter and a Memorandum concerning Francis Irvine of Drum (son of Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum) and James St. Clair of Roslin; both in Scots, on paper, and dated 1679, being: (a) Charter of Francis Irvine to James St. Clare, 395mm. by 305mm.; (b) Memorandum for James St. Clare of Roslin, 195mm. 150mm.
  57. Last Will and Testament from Francis Irvine of Drum to James St. Clair of Roslin, in Scots, on a paper bifolium, dated 1679, 300mm. by 190mm., the document details certain provisions and conditions to be carried out following Irving’s death, concerning 16,000 French crowns that Irving was assigning to Roslin (the money was to be obtained from the merchant James Foulis in London and was guaranteed by William Ord a Parisian banker), in addition there are clauses which touch on Irvine’s Catholicism
  58. Memorandum from Sir William Davidsone to Sir Robert Sandilands, in Scots, on paper, dated 1681, 230mm. by 290mm., regarding the movement of his daughter back to Scotland from Rotterdam (Davidsone had held the very powerful position of Conservator of the Scottish Staple at Veere, in Holland, where a small but stable Scottish commercial community existed in the seventeenth century).
  59. Sasine for James Scott of Brieryeards, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1682, 620mm. by 195mm., notarial mark of Thomas Wilbresone.
  60. Document concerning a legal dispute between Archibald, Lord of the Isles, John Stewart of Escog; Charles Stewart of Kilchattan, Robert Stewart of Kilchattan, and John Boyce of Kelburne, in Scots, on a large paper roll, dated 1683, 335mm. wide and 4.57metres long, witnessed at end by the infamous George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, as clerk of the register. This Sir George Mackenzie or 'Bluidy Mackenzie', a Scottish lawyer, Lord Advocate, and legal writer, who was responsible for the persecuting policy of Charles II in Scotland against the Covenanters. He opposed the dethronement of James II, and to escape the consequences he retired from public life. He founded the library of the Faculty of Advocates, which opened in 1689. Some damage to endleaves.
  61. Charter of Richard 'Templman' for William Dick, Robert Lindsay of Lambhill and others, regarding estates in Perth and Kinross, in Latin, on vellum, dated 1684, 420mm. by 325mm., somewhat rubbed in places.
  62. Contract putting the affairs in order of Agnes Fleming and her deceased partner Thomas Johnston, now that she remarried Master David Hay, Doctor of Medicine, in Scots, on paper, dated 1684, 330mm. by 1440mm.
  63. 'Copia Inventarii bonorum actionum et debitorum relictorum ab Gulielmo Davidson' (Sir William Davidsone), in Latin, on paper, dated 1698, 340mm. by 330mm.
  64. 'Articles of sale betwixt the Laird of Rosline and Sir John Spotswood Advocat', in Scots, on paper, dated 1 December 1699, 300mm. by 185mm.
  65. Royal charter beginning 'William be the grace of god king of great Brittaine …' for Andrew Edgar of Kelso, agent of The Earl of Home, in Scots, on paper, 430mm. by 330mm., with stain from large red wax seal at foot.

The small number of charters and documents that had been part of the archive of the Burgesses of Perth still bear J. A. Beattie's small paper labels on their reverse.


  • Creation: 1402-1699

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

Within this collection of 65 Scottish charters and documents in Early Scots and Latin, there is a small part which was probably the remnant of an archive of the Burgesses of Perth. This remnant of fifteenth century material is said to have been held together since 1911 at least, when they were leant by J. A. Beattie to the 1911 Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry in the Palace of History (Kelvingrove Park), Glasgow. The items in question are noted below (in Scope and Content, nos: 1-3), and are: a charter between Abbot Alexander of Scone and Lady Catherine Paxton; a grant of land from Robert Logy (perhaps Logie), Burgess of Perth; and, a charter from Alexander Seres (perhaps Ceres), Burgess of Perth, to John Mirtone, Canon of Dunkeld.

It is through the study of legal documents like these that our knowledge of Early Scots can be greatly added to, for it has been said that the literary (as opposed to the legal) record of the Scots language was 'very late in beginning'. Indeed with the 'exception of one or two fragments of verse, there is nothing that can be definitely set down as earlier than the Bruce of John Barbour' in or around 1375. If literature had been the only source open for researchers, there would have been almost no material available for the study of Scots prior to 1375 (see W.A. Craigie, 'The earliest records of the Scottish tongue', Scottish Historical Review. Vol.22, No.85. October 1924, pp.61-67). The legal documents that form this collection were created within three decades of that early work of literature.


6 boxes

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased July 2009. Accession no: E2009.33

Related Materials

Also contained within Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library, is a collection of 'Facsimiles of Scottish charters and letters prepared by Sir William Fraser KCB, LL.D. (1816-1898)', known asColl-1418. These are copies of course.

Processing Information

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections

Collection of 65 Scottish charters and other documents, from 1402 to 1699, in Latin and Scots, some with seals
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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