The History of Leith

November 15, 2010

The nomber of the dead exceeds the nomber of the leiving

2nd August 1645.—The act of Parliament given at Pearth the 2nd Augt. 1645 for releife of the distressit toun of Leith the tyme of the
great visitatioun of the plague of pestilence. At Pearth the second day of August in the zeiv of God 1645 zeiris. The Estaites of Parliament,
now presentlie conveinit in this fourth sessione of the first triennial parliament, by vertu of the last act of the last parliament, holdene be his Majestie and three Estaites, anno 1641, having takin to theire consideratione the desyre of ane supplicatione gevin in by Jhone Aldinstone, ane of the baillies of Leith, and Captain James Crawfurd indweller there, for themselfis and in behalf of the remanent inhabitants of the said town of Leith, bearing That where it is not unknowne to the saids Estaites the calamitie and distress whereunder
the said town doe lye for the presentj being visit with the plague of pestilence in such sort that the nomber of the dead exceeds the nomber of the leiving, and amongst them it cannot be decernit quha are clean and quha are foulle ; and make the calamitie greater, they are visit with ane lamentabile famine, both for penurie and also for laicke of means; for which cause the saids supplicants are forced, in their names, to have recourse to the said Estaites, beseeching them out of the bowels of mercie to conserat theire lamentabill conditioun, both towards them as also towards the rest of the countrie they being now reducit to that extremitie of necessitie—rather than to perish of famine to breake throue the rest of the countrie, wherebye the haill kingdom sail be endangerit. And therefore humblie beseeching your lordsps to grant unto them some present supplie, and to take such present course for theire reliefe as the foirsaid evil may be previned, as the said supplicatione at mair length bears. Quhilk supplicatione being redde in the audience of Parliament, and the just merits thereof being dulie weighted and considered, the said Estaites of Parliament be thir presentis gives andgrants full power and warrand to the present
magistrates of the toune of Leith, or their commissioners and servandis having their warrand, to meddle and intromett with the
nomber of ane quantitie of five hundreth bolls of eat meill, and that out of airie sellar or sellars in Leith, wherebe they may have it for
medling and intrometting wherewith, and (if needs bees) making open doores for that effect.
The saids Estaites declares thir presentis to be to the said magistrates and their servandis and comssrs ane sufficient warrand; and the said
Estaites lies allowed, and be their presentis grants full libertie to the said magistrates of the toune of Leith or anie having their warrand,
to passe throwe all the sheriffdoms of this kingdom, or any of them, as they think fitt be south the water of Tay, to crave the helpe and
supplie of ane voluntarie and charitable contributione for payment of the foirsaid victual and furnishing of such things as may be useful
to the said towne of Leith, now in such ane extremitie. Extractum de libris actarum per me, Alexandrum Gibsone, cl. registri. This is a just copie of the authentic, insert in our register be Mr David Aldinstone, our
sessione clerk.
(Signed) DA. ALDINSTOUNB, Session Clerk.

source-South Leith Records

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