The History of Leith

September 6, 2011

Masters of the Hospital

1th Sept. 1710.—Anent the representation given by the Trafieckers compleaning of an encroachment made upon their priviledges by the Charge this Session had lately made of James Ballfour to be one of the Masters of King James his hospitall. The Session in answere thereto do find in the first place that by the Golden Charter date the twenty second March one thousand six hundred and fourtenth years The power of ordering and managing the affairs of the forsaid Hospitall is allenderly committed to Ministers, Elders and Deacons of the Church of South Leith as the following Clause thereof expressly bears, Viz.—and with speciael and full power to the saids Ministers, Elders and Deacons of the said Kirk of Leith, and their successors succeeding them in their said offices in name and behalfe of the forsaid power present and to come by themselves and their factors, treaserers and collectors, whom they shall appoint to seek, crave, ask, uplift all and sundry &C : 2dly They do also find that for many years it hath been customery for the Session to make Choise of three persons from time to time as they judged convenient; viz. ane out of the Incorporation of; Trafieckers an
other out of the Incorporation of Maltmen and the third out of the Incorporation of Trades for overseeing and managing the business of the hospitall, but always to be answerable andaccountable to the Session for their conduct therein, And therefor 3dly from a tender regaird to the peace of this place and cultivating a good understanding with the Incorporation of Trafleckers’ The Session resolves and enacts that (so long as it shall be found expedient to manage the affair of the hospitall in the above method by Masters) they will in time comeing after the day of January one thousand seven hundred and eleven years choose one of the Incorporation of pjriviledged Traffeckers to be a Master of King James his hospitall.
(Note.—The Session had appointed James Balfour to be one of the Masters of the Hospital as representing the traffickers, of whose incorporation he was not a member. Upon an objection being taken the Session admitted that the appointment had been made irregularly.The affairs of the Hospital were managed by three masters, representative of the three incorporations for whose benefit it existed. The incorporations were dissolved about the middle of last century (19th century), but the old tradition continues and the Kirk Session still appoint three masters for the Hospital
which yearly dispenses considerable sums in charity.)

Source-South Leith Records

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