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Your old boys' club was pretty cozy it seems, Mr. Masoun. As Michaell Gemmill, Bailie of the Royal Burgh of Lanark, will smugly proclaim, King Alexander III's Charter of 1285 granted a virtual monopoly to the businessmen of Lanark:

... We likewise forbid that anyone within our sheriffdom of Lanark, except our burgesses of Lanark, buy wool or hides or exercise any other merchandise, or make broad cloth and dyed or shorn; also that any other merchant within our said sheriffdom, or in our burgh of Lanark, buy any merchandice except from the said burgesses of Lanark, upon our full forfeiture. If any stranger merchant shall come in our said sheriffdom of Lanark buying wool, hides, or using any other similar merchandice, he shall be seized and detained with his goods until we pronouce our will concerning him...(1)

But that was about four hundred years before your time! Pray tell, Mr. Gemmill, does this protectionist policy still prevail? Are the common folk still forced to buy from you guys?

The baillies and counsell dischairges all persones whatsumevir within this territorie to buy any fisch, flesch, butter, cheis, eges, foulls, skinne, hyd, or any uther merchand wair, till it come to the publict marcat place of the said burgh, under the paine of xl s. money and confiscatioune of the guids, the one half to the apprehender and the uther half to the tresaurer for the use of burgh.

Seems like that is a "yes". Or maybe the Council was trying to stop "forestalling"... hmmm... think we'll have to visit this piece of evidence again later.

Anyway, Mr. Gemmill, we have already learned in this inquiry that meat was just becoming available -- and that the remote farm settlements probably still did not have meat to supplement their oatmeal diet. Did your Lanark merchants make an honest effort to make meat more widely available?

The baillies and counsell grantis libertie to James Weir, flesher in Carlouk, to tak ane hous within this burgh, he finding caution sufficient that he shall not be trublesum to the burgh, and shall remove whenever he shall be required. (2)

Ok, so you let a butcher from another Parish set up shop here for a while (1662).


(1) Royal Burgh of Lanark, Records and Charters, 1150-1722, (308-9)
(2) Royal Burgh of Lanark, Records and Charters, 1150-1722, (188)

From The Scarboro Heights Record V9 #8