Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Moultray?s Hill. - 368 -__ Courts, and large apartments for the stowage of registers. In 1869 the folio record volumes numbered 42,835, occupying the shelves of twenty-one chambers. In one of the largest rooms are preserved the rolls of ancient Parliaments, the records of the Privy Council, charters of the sovereigns of Scotland from William the Lion to the days of Queen Anne, and on the central table lies the Scottish duplicate of the Treaty of Union. In these immediately to the transmission of landed property in Scotland, and to the condition of Scottish society. Others illustrate the relations of Scotland with foreign countries, but more especially with England. The Lord Clerk Register and Keeper of the Signet, who is a Minister of State of Scotland, and whose office is of great antiquity, has always been at the head of this establishment, which includes various offices, such as those of the Lord Lyon, ANTIQUARIAN ROOM, REGISTER HOUSE. fireproof chambers is deposited a vast quantity of valuable and curious legal and historical documents, such as the famous letter of the Scottish barons to the Pope in 1320, declaring that ?so long as one hundred Scotsmen remained alive, they would never submit to the dominion of England,? adding, ?it is not for glory, riches, or honour, that we fight, but for that liberty which no good man will consent to lose but with life!? There, too, is preserved the Act of Settlement of the Scottish crown upon the House of Stuart, a document through which the present royal family inherits the throne ; the original deed initiating the College of Justice by James V.; &c. Of all the mass of records preserved here some relate more the Lords Commissioners of Tiends, the Clerk and Extractors of the Court of Session, the Jury Court, and Court of Justiciary, the Great or Privy Seal, and the Register General. In 1789, at the request of Lord Frederick Camp-. bell, a military guard was first placed upon this. ihportant public building, and two sentinels were posted, one at the east and the other at the west end. In the same year lamps were first placed upon it. In modem times the two chief departments of the Lord Clerk Register?s duty was the registration of title deeds and the custody of historical documents. Originally, like the Master of the Rolls in England, he occasionally exercised judicia)
Volume 2 Page 367
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