Permission to Pass in Scotland’s Middle March
A copy of a letter allowing an Englishman to pass through the Middle March of Scotland.
Each town in Scotland had its legal representations recorded in a protocol book. Selkirk is fortunate because local interest and expertise has discovered an account of the daily events of the town in the 16th century.
This letter shows an instruction by Kerr to allow an Englishman to pass freely in the East March of Scotland. We can imagine the fear and distrust of strangers that required this sort of safe conduct. Without it the traveller from England could be robbed, attacked, ransomed or killed. Scots needed a similar safe conduct for travel in England.
Copy of a conduct to pass and repass in Scottish Borders.
“Be it kend tyll all men by thir present lettres me Valter Ker of Cesfurd knycht vardan of the middill merches of scotland granttis me to haif giffin licens and saiff conducte to W. G. of S. Ingliss man and twa servandis with him to pass and repass horss and futt within the bowndis of my vardenry with all leful merchandriss menyng the spaice of my office or quhill I dischairgis the samyn providing all wais the said William nor his servands do nor procuyr ony thing to be done hurt[ful?] or preiudiciall to our soverane ladies realme and leigis and for mair verificatioune of the samyn I haif subscrivit this my saiff conducte at Halidene with my hand the x day of July 1563.
Transcription and interpretation
Let all men know that I, Walter Ker(r) of Cessford, knight Warden of the Middle March of Scotland, grant safe conduct to W.G. of S. an English man and two servants with him to pass and re-pass on horse and on foot within the boundaries of my Ward [March] with all lawful merchandise providing always that William nor his servant do not cause anything hurtful or prejudicial to your sovereign lady’s realm and people. I have signed this safe conduct at Halidene on 10th July 1563.
File Selkirk Scot passport PN Record L1007