The History of Leith

July 22, 2011

Undesirable aliens

November 1, 1639.—Because that great abuse is found in the toune by setting (i.e. letting) of houses to unlauchful persones Quhairfor ye Sessione renewing ye former Act heir anent ordaines that quhatsoever heritoures or other having richt of houses for setting that if any sail take up on hand for to sett houses or ehalmer to any ydell persones not having testimoniall of yr famous lyfes in other places from qch they cum and not having lauchfull callings, and without or Sessiones warrand the said Setters sail pay for the first fault 11 lib toties coties, and ye nixt to be at ye Sessiones pleasour.
(Note.—The abuse here referred to was drinking or immorality. The Session had a right to prevent “undesirable aliens” coming into the town, and strangers were not permitted to enter unless they
produced testimonials or certificates of the Kirk Sessions whence they came, showing that they were of good character and free from scandal.)

Source-South leith Records

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