Sunday, 18 January 2015

Imprisoned twice because of his wife...

I'm at work on my next Unlock the Past genealogy guide (, which is provisionally entitled Down and Out in Scotland, but I thought I'd share the following records that I found within the Weavers Incorporation of Perth records. They are from over three hundred years ago, and I am using them as an example to describe the courts of the trade incorporations that used to rule the trades in the burghs.

Patrick Smith was a Perth based handloom weaver who was married to a woman named Janet Mackie, and I have established that the couple had at least two daughters, Anna, born 13 DEC 1693, and Christian, born 3 APR 1696. History does not recall how madly in love with each other the couple may have been beyond this, but it certainly does recall how much trouble Patrick kept getting into with his trade's master court because of his wife.

Here goes - transcription from the original Scots for each entry, followed by an up to date translation:

Pth the 10 Octr 1705

Whilk Day the Generall meiting of the weavers of perth convened all in ane voice Unlaus and ffeynes Patrick Smith in five pounds and ordaines him to goe to prisone until payt because his wife abeused the prtt deicon yrunto he is liable conforme to act of the court

Perth the 10 October 1705 

On which day the general meeting of the weavers of Perth convened, who all in one voice penalise and fine Patrick Smith five pounds, and ordain him to go to prison until payment because his wife abused the present deacon, for which he is liable, as per an act of the court 

Perth 19 February 1709

The Deacon Compleanes to the master court upon Patrick Smyth weaver bycause Jannet Mackie his spouse Intruded herself in the Deacons company and without any ground of offence Did harrass and abuse him in a publick company In respect whereof the traid unlaues and fynes the said Patrick Smyth in ffive pounds Scots conforme to Ane former Act of the traid made anent Ane freemans wife intruding herself in the Deacons company and abusing him And In respect the said Patrick Compeared and owned & Laid it was butt out of splean of the deacon agt him and his wife and ordaines him to be secured in presone till payt of the same

Perth 19th February 1709 

The Deacon complains to the Master Court about Patrick Smyth weaver, because Jannet Mackie his spouse intruded herself in the Deacon's company and without any ground of offence did harrass and abuse him in a public company, in respect whereof the trade penalises and fines the said Patrick Smyth five pounds Scots, as per a former act of the trade made concerning a freeman's wife intruding herself in the Deacons company and abusing him, and in respect of which the said Patrick appeared as a witness and acknowledged it & suggested it was but out of splean of the deacon against him and his wife, and they ordered that he be secured in prison until payment of the same.

There are no further mentions of the couple, but oh to be a fly on the wall in the house of Patrick Smith and Janet Mackie in the early 1700s!


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