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.