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Royal Charter of the
Burgh of Barony for Portsoy 1550

Our Sovereign Lord with advice of the estates of this present parliament had ratified, approved, and confirmed, and by the tenor of the said act, ratified, approves and confirms the Charter and Infeftment granted by His Highness' dearest Mother, under his great seal, made, constituted and confirmed, the town of Portsoy into a free Burgh of Barony, of which Charter the tenor is as follows:

Mary, by the grace of God, Queen of the Scots to all good men of the whole world, whether Clergy or laymen. Be it known that with advisement and consent of our most dear relative and guardian, James, Duke of Chatelherault, Earl of Arran, and Lord Hamilton, the defender and Governor of our Kingdom, for the governing and managing of the village of Portsoy, belonging by hereditary to Walter Ogilvie, Knight of the Boyne, and lying near the sea, under our shire of Banff for the receiving and entertaining of our lieges coming to said village, whether by sea or land, for the common interest, credit and government of our Kingdom, as also for the loyalty displayed and the gratuitous services rendered to us by the said Walter, we have made, established and created, and do make, establish and create, the said village of Portsoy with its belongings lying in the thaneship of Boyndie, under our shire aforesaid, a free Burgh of Barony for ever, with free and full power, opportunity, and license to the inhabitants of said burgh, present and future, to buy and sell wines, ware, woolen cloth, linen, broad and narrow, and all other and every kind of merchandise, and to hold and to have bakers, sailors, butchers, and sellers of fish and all other necessary tradesmen belonging to a free burgh of barony, and we also grant that there shall be in said burgh, free burgesses who in all future time, shall have full power to elect annually Baillies of said burgh, and all other officers necessary for the governing of the same with power over and above to the burgesses and inhabitants of said burgh to have and to hold at the market cross, a fair on Wednesday each week, with an open market annually on the day of the holy Archangel, Michael, and for eight days after, and to receive, take in, and above all to dispose of all the tolls, customs and dues pertaining to or which are known to pertain to an open fair, and to have full use of and enjoy all the liberties, opportunities, and privileges, belonging by the laws and customs of the Kingdom to a free burgh of Barony and to have them forever, and that the said village of Portsoy and its belongings be held and had by the said Walter Ogilvie, Knight of the Boyne and his heirs, and assignees, and by the baillies, burgesses, and inhabitants of said burgh, from us and our successors as a free burgh of Barony, with the privileges, liberties and grants, all and several aforesaids, for ever, freely, quickly, fully, entirely, honourably, well and in peace:

In witness whereof we order our great seal to be attached to this present deed with the Most Reverend in Christ, John, Archbishop of St Andrews our Treasurer, with our beloved relatives, Archibald, Earl of Argyll, Lord Campbell of Lorn, and William, Lord Ruthven our Lord Privy Seal and our dear friends Thomas Marjoribanks of Ratho, Master of the Rolls and Clerk of our Council and John Bellenden of Auchmoull our Justiciary Clerk and Alexander Livingstone of Duniplace our Chancellor in Chief as Witnesses.

At Edinburgh, this 13th day of the month of November, in the year of our Lord, 1550, and in the eighth year of our reign.

This Charter was ratified by an Act of Parliament in 1581