The History of Leith

October 5, 2012

The High Conslables of the Calton

A body existed known as Ihe
High Conslables of the Calton, but the new
Municipality Act having extinguished the ancient
boundaries of the city, the constabulary, in 1857,
adopted the following resolution, which is written
on vellum, to the Society of Anliquaries of
Scolland :—
” The dislrict of Callon, or Caldlon, formed at
one time part of the estate of the Elphinstone
family, one of whom—Sir James, Ihird son of the
third Lord Elphinstone—was created Lord Balmerino
in 1603-4. In 1631 the then Lord
Balmerino granted a charier lo the trades of
Calton, constiluling them a society or corporalion ;
and in 1669 a royal charier was oblained from
Charles II., erecting the district ‘into a burgh of
barony. A court was held by a bailie appointed
by the lord of the manor, and there was founded in
connection herewilh, Ihe Society of High Constables
of Calton, who have been elected by, and have
continued to act under, the orders of succeeding
Baron Bailies. Although no menlion is made of
our various constabulary bodies in Ihe ‘Municipality
Extension Act, 1856,’ the venerable office
of Baron Bailie has hereby become extinct, and
the ancient burghs of Canongate, Calton, Eastern
and Western Portsburgh, are now annexed to the
city. Under Ihese circumstances Ihe constabulary
of Callon held an extraordinary meeting on the
17th of March, 1857, at which, inter alia, the
following motion was carried with acclamation, viz.:
‘ That the burgh having ceased lo exist, Ihe constabulary,
in order that some of the relics and
other insignia belonging lo this body should be
preserved for the inspection of future generations,
unanimously resolve to present as a free gift to the
Royal Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Ihe”
following, viz:—Constabulary balon, 1747, moderator’s
official balon, marble bowl, moderator
state staff, silver-mounted horn with fourteen
medals, members’ small baton; report on the
origin and standing of the High Constables of
Callon, 1855, and Ihe laws of Ihe society, 1847.'”
These relics of the defunct little burgh are
consequently now preserved at the museum in the
Royal Institution.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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