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On this page... records from:   1. Glasgow   and   2. Elgin.

1.   Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Glasgow regarding the Town Piper


1 June 1574
The menstrales continewit quhill the Symmerhill, quhen the haill communitie salbe present to geve thair votis thairanent.

20 June 1574
The quhilk daye, Archibald Bordland and Robert Duncane ar admittit to be menstrales to the towne for this instant yeir, and to haif fra ilk freman allanerlie, but meyt, twa schillingis money at the leist, with the mair at the gevaris plesour.

29 October 1574
Pipers, fiddlers, minstrels, vagabonds
Item, it is statute and ordanit that na pyparis, fidleris, menstrales, or ony wther vagabundis, remane in this toun fra this tyme furtht during the tyme of the pest but speciall leif of the prouest or vnder the pane of scurgeyng and banisment; and alsua that na pure commone beggaris remane in this towne fra this furtht except thai that hes bene borne within burght and parochin or hes bene lang within the samyn, and that thai depart furtht of this towne within xxiiij houris nixt, vnder the pane of burnyng on the cheik; and ordanis tham that is permittit to remane, to cum to the tolbuytht and ressaue thair merkis the morn and gif in thair names, and gif it salbe fund that ony of the beggaris resaueris of the merkis trawell furtht of the burght or parrochin and cum in agane thairinto thair merkis sal be tane fra thame and thai banist for ewir.

24 May 1575
The menstrales continewit quhill the Symmerhill quhen the haill communite salbe present to geve thair votis thairanent.

12 June 1576
Archibald Bordland and John Cuthbert chosen minstrels.

28 May 1577
Archibald Bordland and Johne Cuthbert, minstrels.

20 May 1578
Archibald Bordland and John Corbett, minstrels.

9 June 1579
The menstrales continewit:- Archibald Bordland, John Cuthbert.

24 May 1580
Menstrales continewit: Archibald Bordland, John Cuthbert.

16 May 1581
menstrallis continuit, Archibald Bordland, Johnne Corbart.

5 June 1582
Menstrallis continewit, Archibald Bordland, Johnne Corbart.

20 May 1589
Menstrallis continewit for this yeir:- Johnne Cuthbert, Archibald Borland.

9 June 1590
continewis the menstrallis for this yeir, viz., Johone Cuthbert, Archibald Borland.

29 May 1599
menstralis, Robert Spens, Fergus M'Laye

2 June 1599
The provest, bailleis, and counsale hes condiscendit and grantit to ilkane of the aucht officeris and tua menstrallis to have sa meikill reid stamyng as wilbe ilkane of thame ane mantill, with stringis in the syde, and the townes armes on the schoulder thairoff, in the best fassone thai can be hade, and ordanes thame to reparrell and mak the same reddy agane Thuirsdaye nixt, onder the pane of deprivatioune; and ordanes Mathow Merschell, thesaurer, to paye for the said stamyng, quhilk salbe allowit to him in his comptis, and he to gif in compt thairof, and als ordanit him to gif John Tempilltoune fyve ellis hardin, and to Thomas Walker vther fyve ellis hardin.

16 February 1600
Act, towne pypers
Robert Spens, drummer, being accusit for sindry faltis committit be him in his service sene his admitting to office, first for ganging to vther townes and brydellis be waye of staffry and begging aganes the honour of the towne, and siclyik within the towne and nocht making service in dew tyme mornyng and evenyng, bot absenting him thairfra in drinking extraordinarlie, is thairfor be the provest bailleis and counsale depryvit of his office, and dischargeit thairof, and to vaik quhill thai be farder resoluit heireftir.. And as to Ferguis M'Claye, pyper, gif he be fund heirefter in nocht doing his service as becumis, nycht and daye, and that he sall mak thre faltis, to be depryvit of his office.

13 May 1600
Menstrallis for this yeir to cum: Robert Spens, drummer; Fergus M'Claye. And ordanit Robert Spens to bring cautioune on Setterdaye to obey sic iniunctiounes as salbe adionit to him.

17 May 1600
Iniunctiounes, pypers
Iniunctiounes appoyntit to be gevin to Robert Spens and Fergus M'Clay, menstrales: Item, that thai attend ilk mornyng and evenyng vpoun thair service diligently. Item, that nane of thame have nather boy nor doig with thame quhair thai eit thair ordiner. Item, that thai stope na friemen that is hable to gif them ordiner, nor to tak syluer fra ane to pas to ane vther. Item, that thai sall nocht misbehaiff thame selffs in na houssis quhair thai salhappin to eitt thair ordiner, bot to be content of sic as salbe presentit to thame be thame that thai eit with.

Iniunctiounes pypers
Item, that thai sall nocht enter in na cloissis, nayther mornyng nor evenyng, bot to pas throw the haill towne fra thai begyn quhill thai end, and to leiff af thair extraordiner drinking sua that thai may pas honestlie throw the towne in thair service, nor to leiff thair playing in ganging of the calsaye ather to masones or drinking, and to pas scharple throw the towne with ony cumyng to houssis. Item, that ilk ane of thame sall ather mak calsaye or furneis men to mak calsaye be the space of xx dayes betuix and Witsoundaye nixtocum, and that thai sall mak vther particular work as thai salbe requirit. And that thai keip thir iniunctiounes onder the paine of deprivatioun. Quhilk iniunctiounes the foirsaidis persones hes acceptit.

17 May 1608
The menstrelis continowit vpone hoipe of thair better service and guid behaviour, and quhilk of thame sall happin to do wrang to vthiris, and thairby hindir the service of the towne, salbe depryvit of his office.

6 June 1609
the ministrellis contenowit.

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2.   Extracts from Elgin Corporation minutes regarding the Town Drummer


1682, February 20th
Drummer choisin. George Hay in Blackhills chosen drummer. He is to mantein the drum by stickis and all uther necessar and is to have from the toune quarterlie aught punds Scotts money.

1683, April 16th
Anent the remowall of scheip and cowis and anent draff. The Counsell appoyntit ane bank to goe throughe the toune this day be the drummer for remowing the cowis and scheep and that no draff goe out of the toune but to such burgesses as bear burding wnder the penalties contenit in the statutis.

August 13th
Act anent the cornis. The Counsell appoyntit ane bank to be bet be the drummer throughe the toune intimating to all the inhabitants therof as also to all maisters, servants, prenteisses, scholers, children, hyrers, nor no other persoune whatsumewer that they nor none of them presume to goe to the feilds in the summer tyme to destroye the cornis of whatsumewer graine especiallie peas, beanis, whyt and grein rye in tyme cuming either by cutting, eatting, pulling or destroying the samyne each persoune wnder the paines contenit in the former statuts with this addition that ilk hyrer and kerter being convict salbe lyabill in the soume of fywe punds money for the first fait and in the soume of ten punds money for the secound fait and banischment from this brugh and territories thereof and warding ther persounes wntill they remow therfra and each parent of children, maister of fyalls and uther prenteisses be lyabill for ther fynes as iff they war the remitters therof themselffis. Lykas the baillies ar appoyntit to intimat the samyne to the maisters of the Grammer and Musick schoolls.

1691, May 18th
The toun's officers and drummers hawe gottin licence to cast one man's casting of peats ilk ane of them for one day this yeir in the comon moiss of Glasgrein upon the former provision that they spoill not the grein grund and levell what they cast. The Counsell grant libertie to Mr. Allanc Grant, collector, and his spous to cast peats in the Moss of Mostowie for ther aune wse allanerlie eight men's casting for one day this present yeir, 1691.

1706, January 21st
The Councill does herby ordain that the great bell be rung every night at eight aclock exactly and the drum to begin and beat at nine aclock every night precisely and the clock to be wind up at tuelwe aclock each day as also the great bell to be rung every morning at fyve aclock exactly and the drum to begin and beat at four aclock exactly and the bellman and drummer are ordered to observe this act precisely under pain of deprivation of their offices.

1709, June 6th
The Councill considering a complaint given in against the drummer for not beating the tap-tow and reveiller through the whole town, do therfor ordain him to beat at the accustomed hours morning and evening from the West Port to the East and from Lossie Wynd to the School Port under penalty of los. Sc. for each time he transgresses.

1724, May 25th
The Councill considering that there are frequently some of the King's troops lying in garrison here wherby the toun's drummer is superseded in his beating morning and evening as usuall do therfor for hereafter restrict the drummer's salarie to 16 Sc. per annum and so proportionallie for any space any of the armie be quartered in this town.

1758, August 21st
The Council agree and enact that in all time coming there shall be paid to the Treasurer, seeing the revenue of the town is on the decay, for behoof of the common good of the burgh for every time the officer and drum shall pass through the town or any part thereof with any advertisement or intimation the sum of 6s. Sc. over and above the dues payable to the officer and drummer, and 33. Sc. when the hand-bell shall be used for the purposes above mentioned and for every day the drum shall be used for recruiting the sum of 12s. Sc.

1761, October 4th
"on the 4th October 1761 the town drummer of Elgin made pledge to arouse the inhabitants at four A.M., and at nine P.M. to summon them to rest."

1762, October 4th
William Edward appointed drummer at a salary of 24 Sc. per annum and he was appointed to beat the drum at four in the morning and at nine at night.

1769, January 23rd
George Edward appointed drummer at a yearly salary of 24 Sc.

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