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Dates:
1100 - 1400
Title:
Goods inherited by the heir in an urban family
Introduction:

This law sets out the goods to which the heir to an urban family was entitled and provides a picture of the furnishings and goods of an urban household. Note that the law mentions both men and women burgesses. The law was written in Latin and later in Scots. The Scots words for the household goods are given here. For help with the vocabulary, refer to the Dictionary of Scots language at http://www.dsl.ac.uk/dsl/

The full document in Scots follows the translation.

Document:

Of thyngis pertenand to the burges ayre

If a man or a woman that is burgess die in the burgh, whether or not they make a testmane, of all the goods the heir shall have these necessary things pertaining to his house, that is to say 'the best burd with the trestis, a burd clayth, a towall, a basing, a lawar, the best bed with the scheyttis and all the laif that tharto pertenyis of claithis, and the best fether bed [or noppis gif thar be na fethirbed], a leyd with a maskfat, a gylfat, a barell, a caldrone, a ketill, a brandreth, a posnet, a chymnay, a stop, a cruk. Thir foirsaidis thyngis aw nocht to be left in legacy fra the house. Alsua what evir be byggit set or saune all sall byde with the grunde. Alsua he sall hafe a kyst, a schryn, a pluch, a wayne, a cart, a char, a brasyn pot, a pan, a rostyng yrne, a girdill, a mortar, a pestall, a masar, a dubblar, a cop, tuelf spunys, a benk, a furm, a stull, a balance and wechtys, a spade, ane ax.' And if the land be heritage all these things foresaid are known to pertain to heritable right, nevertheless the burgess in his full power may sell these things if he is forced to because of necessity or poverty, and that shall be witnessed by the burgesses. And of all these foresaid things and all other things of household, the best of each belongs to the heir.

Gif a man or a woman that is burges dee in the burgh, whether that thai mak testament or nane, of all the gudis the ayre sal haf thir necessare thyngis pertenand till his house, that is to say 'the best burd with the trestis, a burd clayth, a towall, a basing, a lawar, the best bed with the scheyttis and all the laif that tharto pertenyis of claithis, and the best fether bed [or noppis gif thar be na fethirbed], a leyd with a maskfat, a gylfat, a barell, a caldrone, a ketill, a brandreth, a posnet, a chymnay, a stop, a cruk. Thir foirsaidis thyngis aw nocht to be left in legacy fra the house. Alsua what evir be byggit set or saune all sall byde with the grunde. Alsua he sall hafe a kyst, a schryn, a pluch, a wayne, a cart, a char, a brasyn pot, a pan, a rostyng yrne, a girdill, a mortar, a pestall, a masar, a dubblar, a cop, tuelf spunys, a benk, a furm, a stull, a balance and wechtys, a spade, ane ax.' And gif the lande be heritage all thir thyngis forsaid till herytabill rycht ar knawin to perteyn, nevir the less the burges in his lege pouste all thir thyngis may sell gif that he be constrenyeit with necessite or poverte, and that shall be wytnessyt be the burges. And of all thir forsaid thyngis and all uthiris of houshald the best pertenys to the ayre.

Media:
Source:

Ancient Laws and Customs of the Burghs of Scotland, Vol. 1.1124-1424 ed Cosmo Innes (Edinburgh: Scottish Burgh Records Society, 1868), Leges Burgorum, no 116, pp 56-7. Translation by E. Ewan

Tags: law inheritance
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