Burgh & Community: objects and archives
Click on the thumbnail images below to see a larger version.
Articles of the Incorporation of Shoemakers or Cordiners of the Burgh of Haddington, 1809
This booklet has a list of the regulations adopted by the Haddington Guild of Shoemakers in 1809, the back page of the booklet lists the members the office holders at the top.
Haddington’s organised trade guilds were the Baxters (bakers), Hammermen (all metal workers from goldsmiths to tinsmiths and clockmakers), Masons, Wrights, Fleshers (butchers), Cordiners (showmakers), Skinners (including tanners), Tailors and Weavers. Records of many of these incorporations survive in the archives – the shoemakers’ records date back to 1670.
There is a display in the permanent museum exhibition about the Nine Trades of Haddington.
A Selection from the Byelaws of the Burgh of Musselburgh,
These include byelaws for the Employment of Caddies on Musselburgh Links. Anyone applying to the council for a licence to caddy had to submit ‘a testimonial of character for sobriety and trustworthiness’.
Patent Issued by the Office of the Lord Lyon to the Burgh of Musselburgh, 1771
Musselburgh’s Coat of Arms is made up of 3 mussels and 3 anchors. The mussels refer to the origins of the town’s name and the extensive mussel beds which lie along the shore on the Firth of Forth and the anchors refer to the burgh’s fishing tradition.
There is a display in the permanent museum exhibition about East Lothian’s fishing heritage.
Notice Concerning Public Begging, Haddington Burgh Council, 1832
The Scottish Poor Law meant that individual parishes were responsible for looking after their own poor, and this notice shows that it was an offence for people not belonging to the parish to beg in Haddington.
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Notice Concerning Grave Diggers’ Fees, Haddington Burgh Council, 1852
Note that the sexton who was the person in charge of the graveyard had to place a rod marked with the number of feet in the grave until the corpse was brought for burial, to make sure the grave was dug to the correct depth.
Accounts of the Quartering of the English Army (Oliver Cromwell’s Army) upon the Burgh of Dunbar, 1650–51
The Battle of Dunbar, September 1650, was one of Oliver Cromwell’s greatest victories. He defeated a Scottish Army commanded by David Leslie which was loyal to King Charles II. Before the battle the English troops had been garrisoned in Dunbar which was used as a supply base, and some of the troops remained after the battle. This account book details the cost of this quartering to the town. In the last entry on this page the Burgh claimed 5000 pounds scots for ‘meat drink coall and candle’ supplied to the ‘General’s’ army.
The Dunbar Burgh archive also includes claims made by individual inhabitants of the town. There are over 150 such claims and items include malt, swine and ‘ane pair of my son’s breikis in guid green claith’. One wonders if all the claims were genuine!
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John Wood’s plan of Haddington 1819
The street pattern of Haddington’s town centre has changed little from medieval times. The layout was ideal for markets -at one time the town centre would have consisted of one very wide street.
Musselburgh Burgess Tickets, 1654–1824
In return for their privileges burgesses had to pay a fee to be admitted to the burgess roll and accept a share of civic responsibility such as payment of taxes.
Receipt for Aquavita for North Berwick election, 1783
Musselburgh Market Cross