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"The Charter of the Burgh of Duns 1489"

 

In 1490 James 1V granted a Charter in favour of George Home and his son John of Ayton erecting the Town into a Burgh of Barony.

The Charter was in Latin but the English translation is as follows;

James, by the Grace of God King of Scots: To all worthy men in the whole land whether clergy or laity, to whom these present writings shall come, Greeting: Know: that with advice of the Lords of our Council, for the special favour we bear to our beloved household esquires, George Hume of Ayton and John Hume his son and apparent heir, and for the good faithful and voluntary services they have done us we have ordained appointed and constituted, as by the tenor of our present charter we do ordain appoint and constitute the Town of Duns with the pertinents thereof lying within our Sheriffdom of Berwick, a free Burgh of Barony forever; which Town and also the lands of Duns with the pertinents thereof heritably belonging to the said George and John by completed Charters of our late most serene father, on whose soul may God have mercy. We have granted likewise and by the tenor of this our present Charter we do grant to the inhabitants of the said Burgh and to the indwellers in time coming full power and liberty to buy and sell in this Burgh wines, wax, woollen and linen cloth broad and narrow and other goods; with power and liberty of having and keeping Baxters Maltsters, Butchers and Victuallers both of flesh and fish and the other artificers belonging to the liberty of a Burgh of Barony or whatever manner may belong for the future. We have granted, and by the tenor of this our present Charter we do grant that in the said Burgh there be Burgesses and that the same have power in time coming to elect baillies and other Officers necessary for governing the same Burgh; and also we have granted and by the tenor of this our present Charter do grant to the Burgesses and Inhabitants of the said Burgh, that in the said Burgh they shall have, hold and possess continually Cross and Market every week on Wednesday and a Public Fair for ever on the Monday next and immediately following the feast of the Holy Trinity after Whitsunday, and that for eight days, with all tolls or customs and others liberties belonging to said fair or may belong for the future. To be holden and kept the said Town of Duns with the pertinents thereof belonging, constituted into a pure and free Burgh of Barony perpetually for times coming, with the said privileges, liberties and grants, and all other liberties, incomes, profits and emoluments and their just pertinents whatsoever as well not named as named, belonging to a Burgh of Barony or justly may belong for the future. And so freely, quietly, fully, entirely, honourably, well and peaceably in all things and through all things as any Burgh of Barony in our Kingdom in all times past is freely constituted and holden without reversion whatsoever any manner of way henceforth to be done for the future; Strictly discharging that none presume in any manner of way to contravene the premises  under all penalty which shall be competent on this part. In Testimony whereof we order and command this our Great Seal to be affixed to the present Charter. Witnesses the Reverend Fathers in Christ, Robert Bishop of Glasgow, William Bishop of Aberdeen our beloved cousins David, Duke of Montrose, Earl of Crawfurd: Colin Earl of Ergile lord Campbell and Lorne, our Chancellor; Patrick Earl of Boithvile, Lord Halys, Master of the Household; John Lord Glammys, John Lord Drummond our Justiciaries; Alexander Hume Great Chamberlain; the Rev Father in Christ John Prior of St. Andrews, keeper of the Priory Seal; Andrew Lord Gray; Lawrence Lord Oliphant; William Lord St. John our Treasurer and our beloved Clerks, Mr. Richard Murhede, Dean of Glasgow Clerk to our Accounts and of Register and of Council; and Archibald Quhitelaw Subdean of Glasgow our Secretary. At Edinburgh the 23rd. day of February 1489 and of our reign the second year.

The above Charter was ratified in a Charter granted by James V1 in favour of Patrick Home, junior of Ayton on 18th. June 1605.