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part of that in Maitland's History of Edinburgh, or that which we meet with in the Historical Account of the Blue Blanket, or Craftsmen's Banner, while the concluding lines,
"With Barburs biggit in bourders of the stretes;
at once stamped the author as at least quite familiar with the peculiarities, if not even a denizen of Auld Reekie.
There may not be much, indeed there would be nothing in this conjunction alone, as the name Entry is far more extensively used than from our inquiries we were at first disposed to be We were aware that it was used in the North of England, but with a meaning different from that which it bears in Edinburgh. In Hunter's Glossary of Hallamshire words an Entry is " a narrow passage among buildings," or what in Edinburgh is a close. The editor of the Townley Mysteries applies the word to a 'lobby in a farm house,' or what in Scotland is called a trance. The term is used in Belfast, where its introduction may be accounted for, and in other places, as with us; while in Suffolk, I am informed, it is applied to the little passage inside the front or back door of a cottage or small farm-house." This is the porch, as it is called now in Scotland-the space behind the door separated from the rest of the house by the partition wall or hallan of olden times. But the question is, where, not of recent introduction, is the term applied in any place to the same thing as in this country; and, along with Entries, is there proof from early public records, such as Edinburgh or some other of the larger towns of Scotland can supply, that the crafts or trades of the city or town were at or about the date of our poem named as they are in it, and, with one exception, as they are in the Ancient Burgh Laws and City Records of Edinburgh? The question is relevant, because, as we shall see, one place with Entries has an old list of its crafts that materially differs from that of the poem. The poem has been ascribed to a Midland author, and in these days of public research it would not be difficult to ascertain how the matter stands with other Midland towns.
To every town-born Scot, and especially to every one familiar
with Edinburgh and its dwellings of the olden time, an entry is the very place to which he would look for, or in which expect, a countryman to speak of the dwellings of Master Craftsmen to be found.1 The circumscribed space and peculiar site on which Old Edinburgh stands rendered its lofty houses, eight or ten stories high, with its entries, wynds, and closes, absolutely necessary; and similar peculiarities elsewhere in Scotland have produced similar building arrangements, and hence the name entry, like wynd and close, is perfectly familiar to every town-born native of the country. For the benefit of others, however, it will be necessary to say that the entry was, as it still is, the covered or arched passage at the end of a house leading from the street to the back, where the common stair to the upper stories commenced. This covered entry might lead into a court or back square, or into a close, or narrow alley. Such common or public entries or passages were necessarily at all times open, and expressly under the jurisdiction of the magistrates. Some entries, however, were private, and closed especially at night, of which not a few examples yet remain throughout the country. The old house, in a country town, in which the writer's youth was spent, had such a private entry, like many others. The house itself was an ancient Temple tenement of three stories, the undermost being occupied as shops. It was built upon a strong vaulted substructure, like a church crypt, on which had probably stood long before a small monastic fortalice of the Knights Templars. The entry, in this case at the end of the house, was a flagged passage raised one step above the level of the street, and closed by a heavy two-leaved door. It terminated in a square space with the main entrance to the house on one side, and a flight of steps on the other leading to the offices and garden. In the same street a tenement, quite as old, but larger and more imposing, had its entry, not at the end of the house as usual, but right in the centre. The wide door-way was arched and closed with a ponderous gate. The spacious flagged passage leading to the back was several steps below the level of the
1 The phrase, or expression, besides, is the very one still used in Scotland. Persons are said to live in the entry, although their dwellings may be the attics of the house leading from it.
street, having the house entrance in the middle of the one side, and the writing chambers of the owner on the other. It terminated behind in the first of a series of garden terraces, which sloped down to the riverside or "Water Ends." Such entries, it will at once be seen, were the very places where the "Maister Men" and substantial Burgesses of these times would "enabit."
The "Stationes" of Guido, translated by our authors "Stallis," into which the "Operarii," or "Werkmen won," in all likelihood suggested the Lucken booths and the Cremes or Krames of the High Street of Edinburgh; and then how natural to name the "Craftes," or Incorporated Trades and Guildry of the city and its "Entris aboute." In the Ancient Laws and Customs of the Burghs of Scotland, A.D. 1124-1424, the "Burges and the Marchand" take precedence, but the very first craftsmen that are mentioned are the "Baxtaris at bakis brede," and they are the first, too, named in the City Records of Edinburgh under date April 9th, 1443. As a surname how common Baxter is in Scotland any one may sec, while Baker, except in one or two of the larger towns, is unknown.
In the Ancient Laws' mention is next made of 'thaim that sellis fysche,' what 'gif fleschewars gray this ivil flesche,' 'giff sowtaris that makis schone be barkaris,' 'off wobstaris that thai mak our lang thryms,' 'off sadillaris that mak sadillis of grene tymmer,' 'tailyeouris that sow with fals graith,' of coukes makand reddie flesche,' skynnaris that mak gluvis,'' of wyn tawernaris,' &c. In the City Records these craftsmen are also named as well as Goldsmyths, Armoreris, Blaksmyths, Cutlaris, Masons, Wrights, &c., with such business as 'setting of mylnis,' and such words as 'woll wroght na lyttyt,' 'chese thaim,' 'werkaris, byggyt, ordanyt,' and a great many more that appear in our poem. In the Decreet Arbitral of James VI., which determined the "sett" of the burgh in his day, we read of
"the choosing of the Deakens of Crafts, quhilks are fourteen in number, to wit,
"Chirurgyans, Goldsmyths, Skynners, Furriers, Hammermen, Wrights, Masons, Tailyeours, Baxters, Fleshers, Cordiners, Websters, Waulkers, Bonnet-makers."
Of these fourteen Incorporated Trades, or Crafts, in the enumeration of our poem the names of six appear identically the same, viz.: The Goldsmythes, Taliours, Wrightes, Websters, Walkers of Clothe, and Baxters, while Masons are named at 1. 1529. The Cordiners are represented in the poem by Souters, the earlier and more usual Scottish designation. For the sake of alliteration and variety, doubtless, as Flechours, arrow-makers, appear in the list elsewhere, Fleshers are replaced by the Norman French Bochers. That Chirurgyans and Barbars formed the same craft and meant the same persons is well known, and is abundantly evident from their Seal of Cause-in which we read,
"The Kirk Master and Brether of the Surgeons and Barbaris within this Brughe." Item, That nae maner of Person occupy nor use any Poynts of our saids Crafts of Surgery, or Barbar Craft, within this Brugh, but gif he be first frie Man and Burges of the samen, and that he be worthy and expert in all the Poynts belongand to the saids Crafts, dilligently and avisedly examined, and admitted by the Masters of the said Crafte, &c. 3tio. And that nae Barbar, Master nor Servand, within this Burgh, hant, use nor exerce the Crafts of Surgery without he be expert, and knaw perfectly the Things aboue written: that is to say-Anatomia, &c."
The Skynners are represented in the poem by Glovers and "Coriours of ledur," who were of the same incorporation. The Wrights and Masons, afterwards united, included, with others, the Painters, the Bowyers, and "Flechours." The very comprehensive craft of the Hammermen has no fewer than nine representatives in the poem, viz. the Bladsmythis, Armurers, Arowsmythis, Cotelers, Sadlers, Brasiers, Pynners or Pin-makers, Bel-makers or Founders, and Sporiors or Lorimers, all of whom, with others, as we may learn from Maitland, were members of the Craft. If "Girdillers" are the same as the Girdlers of London and meant Beltmakers, then we have another branch of the Hammermen; but we are rather inclined to believe that they meant Girdlemakers, i. e. manufacturers of girdles, or round iron plates on which
1 Bridle-bit makers.
Culross, in Perthshire, was famous for its girdles in ancient times.
'The ayre sal hafe. . a
"Your bread is baked, ye may lay by the girdle." rostyng yrne, a girdille," &c.—Leges Burg. cxvi.
scones, bannocks, and oat-cakes were fired, as they are still. The Condlers," or candlemakers, were at one time a most influential and wealthy body in the city, and have left behind them, as memorials, their quaint Hall and a street called after them Candlemaker Row, which the all-devouring city improvements have not yet swallowed up. In conclusion, the Tapsters are named in one of the city charters along with the Vintners, as liable to certain customs or excise; from which it is evident that they were the Innkeepers of the time, and not mere drawers of beer, boys or women, as in England.
Thus in this list of forty crafts, and, with masons mentioned before, forty-one in all enumerated in the poem, there are not fewer than twenty-seven that we can identify with the fourteen incorporated trades of Edinburgh, and their different branches, and, with one exception, easily accounted for, named, along with several others, precisely as they are in the records and charters of the city and early Scottish Literature. That this should be so, and that moreover a list of "Craftis," evidently meaning Incorporated Trades, should commence with "Goldsmythes," probably the oldest, and certainly the most important craft in Scotland, and be followed by such undoubted Scottish designations as Glovers, Girdillers, Souters, Websters, Walkers of Clothe, Baxters, Sporiors, Spicers, Condlers, &c.,-designations most of them in use to this day-in a passage that tells of
"Barburs bigget in bourders of the stretes,
altogether makes up a combination, or coincidence, utterly impossible, it will surely be admitted, unless the author, whoever he might be, was familiar with the trades or crafts of the Scottish capital or other large Scottish town.
This remarkable passage has several naturalized French names in the list, which renders it still more likely to be the list of the Scottish Crafts and Guildry, the intercourse between Scotland and France being in these early times both frequent and most friendly.