The History of Leith

June 2, 2007

Halyburtons Ledger

Much of Scotlands trade was with the Netherlands. A number of towns were eager to have the countrys trade and were willing to offer privileges in order to be a staple port for Scotland. In the 14th century it moved from Bruges, because of its fear of plague carrying, to CampVeere in the 16th century Antwerp, Middleberg and then to Vere again until the French Revo1ution.
Andrew Halyburton as factor in the Netherlands in the 15th century for a number of Scottish merchants and latterly was officially appointed Conservator for Scottish privileges, authorised by James IV. He was based near Middleberg, and although no Staple was created at the time, merchants tended to concentrate there or in CampVeere, a league along the canal. These ports gave access to the product; of the wide continental area which were drawn to the great markets such as Antwerp:
Halyburtons ledger from 1495 to 1504 has survived, and is held in the Scottish Record Office. It details: account of dealings with a number of customers, listing imports, exports and prices, even to the price of packaging, and goods spoiled in transit.
Gilbert Edmonstoune is mentioned 94 times, and the Julyan 43 times more than any other mariner or ship.

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