Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Royal Charter Issued by William the Lion (1165-1214) (Back)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_2002_165_02
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1160s; 1170s
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
943
KEYWORDS
charters
legal
law
documents
land rights
property rights
seals
burghs
Royal Charter Issued by William the Lion (1165-1214) (Back)

This royal charter was issued by William the Lion sometime prior to 1180. Although it was not specific to Inverness, it granted powers to the burgesses throughout the province of Moray and was recognised by James III in 1464 as having had special application to the burgh of Inverness.

The image shows the back of the document.

It is the first surviving indication of Inverness as a self governing community. With its passing, the burgesses of Inverness were enabled to provide for themselves cheap, fast, effective justice. Any disputes regarding trade and debts were to be settled in the burgh's own court, and not by the king's sheriffs. It marked an important stage in the development of not just Inverness, but all Scotland's burghs as self governing entities.

Traditionally, the feudal system comprised of the king at the top who owned all land and who granted it downwards to his nobles and churchmen, with the peasants underneath. The burgesses were also the king's men, but towns or burghs were different in that they did not fit into the land based system in the same way. Their success was based on trading rights, markets and businesses which meant that they required their own set of laws and privileges to make clear their rights in a society where everything was based around land ownership.

In Charles Fraser-Mackintosh's 1875 publication, 'Invernessiana: Contributions Toward a History of the Town and Parish of Inverness, from 1160 to 1599' (p 2), the document is translated from the original Latin 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]

'William, by the grace of God, King of Scots, to all Sheriffs and Bailies of his whole land, Greeting - Know ye that I have granted this liberty to my Burgesses of Moray, that none whatever in my realm shall take a poinding for the debt of any one, unless for their own proper debt; Wherefore, I strictly forbid any one in my realm to take a poinding otherwise, upon my plenary prohibition. Witnesses - William de Hay, Philip de Valoniis, Richard my Clerk of the Prebend, at Bonkhill.'

Accession Number: INVMG 2002.165

Glossary

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Royal Charter Issued by William the Lion (1165-1214) (Back)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1160s; 1170s

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

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Inverness Burgh Documents (2)

This royal charter was issued by William the Lion sometime prior to 1180. Although it was not specific to Inverness, it granted powers to the burgesses throughout the province of Moray and was recognised by James III in 1464 as having had special application to the burgh of Inverness.<br /> <br /> The image shows the back of the document. <br /> <br /> It is the first surviving indication of Inverness as a self governing community. With its passing, the burgesses of Inverness were enabled to provide for themselves cheap, fast, effective justice. Any disputes regarding trade and debts were to be settled in the burgh's own court, and not by the king's sheriffs. It marked an important stage in the development of not just Inverness, but all Scotland's burghs as self governing entities.<br /> <br /> Traditionally, the feudal system comprised of the king at the top who owned all land and who granted it downwards to his nobles and churchmen, with the peasants underneath. The burgesses were also the king's men, but towns or burghs were different in that they did not fit into the land based system in the same way. Their success was based on trading rights, markets and businesses which meant that they required their own set of laws and privileges to make clear their rights in a society where everything was based around land ownership.<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' (p 2), the document is translated from the original Latin 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 /> 'William, by the grace of God, King of Scots, to all Sheriffs and Bailies of his whole land, Greeting - Know ye that I have granted this liberty to my Burgesses of Moray, that none whatever in my realm shall take a poinding for the debt of any one, unless for their own proper debt; Wherefore, I strictly forbid any one in my realm to take a poinding otherwise, upon my plenary prohibition. Witnesses - William de Hay, Philip de Valoniis, Richard my Clerk of the Prebend, at Bonkhill.'<br /> <br /> Accession Number: INVMG 2002.165 <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>