Judicial proceeding: ordinance given concerning the fermes of the burgh of Ayr

Robert, by the grace of God king of Scots, to all his good men to whom these present letters shall come, greeting. Know that in our parliament held at the monastery of Scone on 21 February AD 1440 [1441] with a continuation of subsequent days and the eleventh year of our reign, among other things the present ordinance was made, the tenor of which is as follows:

In the parliament of our lord King Robert III held at Scone on the last day of February AD 1440 [28 February 1441], and the eleventh year of his reign, as regards the complaint presented on behalf of the Friars Preachers of the house of St Katherine of Ayr (containing that, whereas formerly the lord King Alexander of good memory endowed the church of the said friars of Ayr by his charter in £20 sterling to be raised annually in pure and perpetual alms from the royal fermes of the same town, which endowment each of the successive kings [confirmed] by their charters, as the said friars assert, nevertheless the aforesaid friars understand from the relation of some that the lord king had now leased or proposes to lease this burgh at perpetual ferme to the burgesses of the said burgh of Ayr for £10 of annual rent in perpetuity), upon which complaint it was ordained and decreed that no lease or infeftment made or to be made after the said endowment, in prejudice of the endowment of the said church, should produce prejudice in future to the same friars as regards their infeftment made before, but rather should be void as regards this and should be considered as if it was not made. And that the said town should not be leased at a lesser ferme than that contained in the infeftment of the said friars, according to their charter which they have thereupon.

Given at the instance of the said friars of Ayr under the testimony of our great seal at Aberdeen on 30 March AD 1401 and in the eleventh year of our reign.

[On tag:] Act of parliament for the brother of Ayr.

  1. Ayr Burgh Records, B6/31/24. Printed in Charters of the Friars Preachers of Ayr (Ayr and Wigton Archaeological Association, 1881), no. 24. The editors would like to thank Dr Athol Murray for drawing this document to our attention.