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TITLE
Royal Charter Granting Powers of Justiciary to the Provost & Bailies of Inverness, 1589 (Front)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_2002_125_1
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF IMAGE
4 August 1589
PERIOD
1580s
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
875
KEYWORDS
charters
legal
law
documents
land rights
property rights
seals
burghs
Royal Charter Granting Powers of Justiciary to the Provost & Bailies of Inverness, 1589 (Front)

In this Royal Charter dated 4 August 1589, King James VI grants justiciary powers to the provost and bailies of Inverness, allowing them to take appropriate measures to capture, detain, and administer justice upon those who commit crimes such as theft, receipt of stolen goods, and the extortion of free quarters and provisions.

The image shows the front of the document.

Also specifically mentioned is the crime of witchcraft, a well known preoccupation of the king. (In 1597 he wrote 'Daemonologie', an essay, or tract, in which he opposed the practice of witchcraft and approved and supported the practice of witch hunting.)

In Charles Fraser-Mackintosh's 1875 publication, 'Invernessiana: Contributions Toward a History of the Town and Parish of Inverness, from 1160 to 1599' (pp 249-250), the document is transcribed thus:

[For a glossary of some of the terms used in the Inverness burgh documents please follow the link towards the foot of this page]

'James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots, To all and sundry lieges and subjects whom it effeirs, to whose knowledge these our letters shall come; Greeting: Forasmuch as it is understood by us and the Lords of our Secret Council that there is a great number of persons within our burgh of Inverness, freedom and territory thereof, who daily and continually commit theft and wilful reset thereof, witchcraft, pickery, and sorning, and cannot be stayed therefrom in time coming without remedy being provided: Therefore, we have made and constituted, and by these presents make, constitute, and ordain our lovites, the Provost and bailies of our said burgh at Inverness, conjunctly and severally, our justices in that part within the bounds of our said burgh, freedom and territory thereof, to the effect underwritten; giving, granting, and committing to them, conjunctly and severally, our full power and commission, express bidding and charge, to search, seek, and take, all and sundry persons within the bounds above specified, suspected and delated of the crimes above written, wherever they may be apprehended and taken, and to put and hold them in sure firmance and captivity, aye, and until justice be ministered upon them, conform to the laws of our realm: And to that effect, courts, or courts of justiciary, within our said burgh, to fence, begin, affix, hold, and continue, suits to make be called, absents to amerciate, unlaws, amerciaments, and escheats of the said courts, to lift and raise, and for the same, if need be, to poind and distrain, and in the same courts, all and sundry persons suspected and delated of the crimes above written, or any of them, to call by dittay, to accuse, and them to the knowledge of an assize to put, and as they be found culpable or innocent, to cause justice be ministered upon them, conform to the laws of our realm, assizes, one or more needful, to this effect of the four, have about each person, under the pain of forty pounds, to summon, warn, choose, and cause be sworn, clerks, macers, doomsters, and all others, officers and members of court needful, to make, create, substitute, and ordain, for whom they shall be held to answer, and generally, all and sundry things necessary for execution of this our commission to do, exercise, and use, which of law or consuetude of our realm are known to pertain, firm and stable holding, and for to hold, all and whatsomever things our said justices shall do herein, charging you all and sundry our said lieges and subjects to concur, fortify, and assist our said justices, conjunctly and severally, in all things tending to the execution of this our commission, and to do nor attempt anything to their hindrance or prejudice, as ye and each one of you will answer at your uttermost charge and peril: These our letters of commission to endure for the space of one year and further, aye and until the same be specially discharged. Given under our signet, and subscribed with our hand at Aberdeen, on the 4th day of August 1589. Providing always that our said justices make just count and reckoning yearly of the half of the unlaws and escheats of the persons convicted or put to death for any of the said crimes.

(Signed) JAMES R.

Accession Number: INVMG 2002.125

Glossary

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Royal Charter Granting Powers of Justiciary to the Provost & Bailies of Inverness, 1589 (Front)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1580s

charters; legal; law; documents; land rights; property rights; seals; burghs

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Inverness Burgh Documents (1)

In this Royal Charter dated 4 August 1589, King James VI grants justiciary powers to the provost and bailies of Inverness, allowing them to take appropriate measures to capture, detain, and administer justice upon those who commit crimes such as theft, receipt of stolen goods, and the extortion of free quarters and provisions.<br /> <br /> The image shows the front of the document.<br /> <br /> Also specifically mentioned is the crime of witchcraft, a well known preoccupation of the king. (In 1597 he wrote 'Daemonologie', an essay, or tract, in which he opposed the practice of witchcraft and approved and supported the practice of witch hunting.)<br /> <br /> In Charles Fraser-Mackintosh's 1875 publication, 'Invernessiana: Contributions Toward a History of the Town and Parish of Inverness, from 1160 to 1599' (pp 249-250), the document is transcribed thus:<br /> <br /> [For a glossary of some of the terms used in the Inverness burgh documents please follow the link towards the foot of this page]<br /> <br /> 'James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots, To all and sundry lieges and subjects whom it effeirs, to whose knowledge these our letters shall come; Greeting: Forasmuch as it is understood by us and the Lords of our Secret Council that there is a great number of persons within our burgh of Inverness, freedom and territory thereof, who daily and continually commit theft and wilful reset thereof, witchcraft, pickery, and sorning, and cannot be stayed therefrom in time coming without remedy being provided: Therefore, we have made and constituted, and by these presents make, constitute, and ordain our lovites, the Provost and bailies of our said burgh at Inverness, conjunctly and severally, our justices in that part within the bounds of our said burgh, freedom and territory thereof, to the effect underwritten; giving, granting, and committing to them, conjunctly and severally, our full power and commission, express bidding and charge, to search, seek, and take, all and sundry persons within the bounds above specified, suspected and delated of the crimes above written, wherever they may be apprehended and taken, and to put and hold them in sure firmance and captivity, aye, and until justice be ministered upon them, conform to the laws of our realm: And to that effect, courts, or courts of justiciary, within our said burgh, to fence, begin, affix, hold, and continue, suits to make be called, absents to amerciate, unlaws, amerciaments, and escheats of the said courts, to lift and raise, and for the same, if need be, to poind and distrain, and in the same courts, all and sundry persons suspected and delated of the crimes above written, or any of them, to call by dittay, to accuse, and them to the knowledge of an assize to put, and as they be found culpable or innocent, to cause justice be ministered upon them, conform to the laws of our realm, assizes, one or more needful, to this effect of the four, have about each person, under the pain of forty pounds, to summon, warn, choose, and cause be sworn, clerks, macers, doomsters, and all others, officers and members of court needful, to make, create, substitute, and ordain, for whom they shall be held to answer, and generally, all and sundry things necessary for execution of this our commission to do, exercise, and use, which of law or consuetude of our realm are known to pertain, firm and stable holding, and for to hold, all and whatsomever things our said justices shall do herein, charging you all and sundry our said lieges and subjects to concur, fortify, and assist our said justices, conjunctly and severally, in all things tending to the execution of this our commission, and to do nor attempt anything to their hindrance or prejudice, as ye and each one of you will answer at your uttermost charge and peril: These our letters of commission to endure for the space of one year and further, aye and until the same be specially discharged. Given under our signet, and subscribed with our hand at Aberdeen, on the 4th day of August 1589. Providing always that our said justices make just count and reckoning yearly of the half of the unlaws and escheats of the persons convicted or put to death for any of the said crimes. <br /> <br /> (Signed) JAMES R.<br /> <br /> Accession Number: INVMG 2002.125 <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.ambaile.org.uk/?service=asset&action=show_zoom_window_popup&language=en&asset=708&location=grid&asset_list=19947,708&basket_item_id=undefined" target=”_blank”>Glossary</a>