The Merchant Guildry of Stirling
While a merchant guild seems to have been in existence in Stirling in the early twelfth century, direct evidence seems to come later in the Royal Charter by Alexander II in 1226 and David 11 in 1360, granting and confirming to the burgess of Stirling a merchant Guild and other privilages.
Davids II’s Charter
David by the grace of God. King of the Scots: to all good men of his whole land, clerics and laics, greetings. Know ye that we have truly inspected a certain charter of the lord Alexander, by the grace of God, King of Scotland, our predecessor, of good memory, not cancelled, not abolished, not vitiated in any part, in these words:-
Alexander, by the grace of God, King of scots: To bishops, abbots, earls, barrons, justiciars, sheriffs, provosts, officers, and all good men of his whole land, clerics and laics greeting. Be it known to those present and to come that we have granted and by our charter confirmed to our burgesses of Strivelyn a market day in our burgh of Strivelyn, that is to say Saturday in every week; and we strictly forbid any one wrongously to cause injury or molestation or any trouble to those who should attend our foresaid market, in coming or returning, upon our full forfeiture. We also strictly forbid any stranger merchant within the Sheriffdom of Strivelyn to buy or sell anything outwith our burgh of Strivelyn, on pain of our interdict, but stranger merchants shall bring their merchandise to our burgh of Stivelyn and there sell the same and interchange their pennies. Also, if any stranger merchant, upon this our prohibition, shall be found buying or selling anything in the sheriffdom of Strivelyn he shall be apprehended and detained until we have declared our pleasure concerning him. We also forbid any stranger merchant to cut his cloth to be sold within our burgh of Strivelyn except from the day of the ascention of our Lord till the feast of St. Peter ad vincula (Lammas) within which terms we will that they cut their cloth to be sold in the market of Stivelyn, and there sell and buy cloth and other merchadise in common with our burgesses in the same manner as our proper burgesses, saving our rights. We command also, that all who dwell in our burgh of Strivelyn, and who wish to take part with our burgesses at the market, shall take part with them in contributing to our aids, whos men soever they be. We forbid also that any tavern will be kept in any town in the sheriffdom of Strivelyn, unless where a knight is lord of the town and dwells therin, and there shall not be kept more than one single tavern. We grant also to our said burgesses of Strivelyn that they shall have a merchant guild, exept the waulkers and weavers. We strictly forbid, likewise, that any one dwelling outside our burgh of Stivelyn in the sheriffdom therof make or cause to be made cloth dyed or shorn within the sheriffdom of Strivelyn other than our burgesses of Strivelyn who are of the merchant guild, and who take part in paying our aids with our burgesses of Strivelyn, except those who have had their charters with this liberty heretofore. Whether we strictly forbid anyone in the sheriffdom of Strivelyn to presume to make cloth dyed or shorn, upon our full forfeiture. And if any cloth dyed or shorn shall be found made upon this our prohibition, we command our sheriff to seize the said cloth and do thereupon as was the custom in the time of the King David.