Dr William Guild's Mortification

Dr William Guild's Mortification  (1825) 
by Charles I of England, translator not mentioned

A revised version of an 1825 translation of the Latin MS from 1633

In 1633 William Guild (1586–1657) a Scottish minister, academic and theological writer agreed a Mortification to found a Trades Hospital in Aberdeen. This hospital served the members of the Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen as a poorhouse until the late eighteenth century. Guild was an important merchant and Principal of Kings College Old Aberdeen – now part of the University of Aberdeen. He is remembered by the University at King’s College in the William Guild Building and various mortifications.

Dr William Guild’s Mortification Dated, at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, 24th June, 1633.

1. CHARLES, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender the Faith; to all good men of the land, clerks and laicks, greeting. Wit ye us, with express consent and assent of our comptroller and counsellor, William Earl of Morton, Lord Dalkeith, and principal treasurer of our kingdom of Scotland, and of our cousin, John Lord Stewart and Traquair, our treasurer-depute in the said office, and of the rest of the lords commissioners of our exchequer of the said kingdom, to have fully understood an certain charter, donation and mortification therein contained, made, given, and granted by our beloved Mr. William Guild, preacher of the word of God at Aberdeen, to the free tradesmen of Aberdeen, of all and haill that place and monastery of the Holy Trinity of the said burgh, pertaining heritably in feu farm to the said Mr. William; with all and sundry the houses and biggings thereof, with the church and churchyards of the same, yards, orchards, planting, and pertinents what so ever, lying within the burgh of Aberdeen, and sheriffdom thereof; as also of the ministry of the said place, with all and sundry lands, annual rents, fruits, profits, commodities emoluments, and duties whatsomever, now pertaining, or which were of old known to pertain, to the said monastery, wherever within the burgh, or in the fields without the burgh, with the tenants, tenantries, service of free tenants of the same, and haill other pertinents; that the same specified in the said charter. HOLDEN of us and our successors in pure and perpetual elymosyne (ad manum mortuam) for ever at our command, to be seen, read, inspection thereof had at our command, and diligently examined, hail, entire, not razed nor cancelled, nor suspected in any part thereof, under the form underwritten.

2. TO ALL AND SUNDRY who shall hear or see thir presents, Mr. William Guild, preacher of the word of God at Aberdeen, greeting. WIT YE ME, to the glory of God, comfort of the needy, and good example of others, charity towards the poor, whom our Lord Jesus Christ to the end of the world left amongst us, and recommended to us, to be nourished, clothed, and fed, TO HAVE FOUNDED, GIFTED, AND PERPETUALLY MORTIFIED to the poor tradesmen of Aberdeen, and, by this my present charter, to found, gift, and perpetually mortify to them, ALL AND HAILL the place or monastery of the Holy Trinity of the brethren of the burgh of Aberdeen, pertaining to me, the said Dr. William Guild, heritably in feu farm, with the hail houses and biggings thereof, with the church and church-yards, yards, orchards, plantings, and pertinents thereof; AS ALSO, the ministry of the said place, with all and sundry lands, annual rents, fruits, profits, emoluments, and duties whatsomever, lying within the burgh or in the fields, belonging now, or which were of old known to belong to the foresaid monastery without the burgh, with the tenants, tenantries, or service of free tenants thereof, and haill pertinents above and after named, may be an hospital for the poor old tradesmen of persons for the said burgh, to be sustained in the same, who shall be of good fame, and not redacted to poverty through their own vice, or drunkenness and intemperance; and therefore that none be brought into the said hospital, or receive of the fruits of the said mortification, but good, holy and sober men.

3. I ORDAIN an preacher of the divine word at Aberdeen, (whom the six trades shall choose of the number of their own pastors,) with the deacon convener, patron; who shall associate to themselves six deacons, of good fame, prudence, and piety, (one of every trade) whom they shall bind with a solemn oath, one by one, that they nominate these whom they judge worthy to be presented and admitted; of which number it shall be leesome to the foresaid minister, with the deacon convener, to admit him who shall seem most worthy to them, and approved pious and sober to others, NOT FOR SUPPLICATION OR PRICE, but only out of charity, as they shall answer to God in the day of their appearance.

4. SICLIKE, that there be an care had of the edifice, of the yearly income thereof, and of those who shall be admitted into the said hospital, I ORDAIN, that, the same day in which the deacon convener is chosen, the director, master, or guider of the said hospital, be chosen by the said minister, deacon convener, and other deacons — an diligent and godly man, able to exercise the office, and who shall give an account of his diligence, care, and faithful administration, to the said minister, deacon convener, and other deacons of the trades, the week preceding the election of the deacon convener, or deacons, yearly. I WILL ALSO, that no woman dwell in the said hospital, (although the wife of him that is admitted) or stay any time therein; neither that one who is admitted wander through the town or streets forth thereof, and that they all be clothed with gowns of a decent colour. MOREOVER, that the said headmen be subject and obedient to the commands and admonishments of the said director, and that there be an honest, godly, and peaceable conversation. And if any of them wander without, or be troublesome within to any of their consorts, or commit any other fault, or be found disobedient, or any breaker of sanctions of these mortifications, he shall be punished in his person, or removed from the hospital, or otherwise withdrawn, by the director, who in that case shall take the advice and consent of the said minister and deacon convener, who have, and by thir presents shall have power, one poor man dying, or removing from the said hospital, or otherwise withdrawn, to choose and put in another, as aforesaid.

5. I WILL ALSO, that they be present to the Sundays and weekly sermons, (unless they be tied to their beds by sickness) as also the public morning and evening prayers; and also, that in their own home there be an portion of the word of God read daily, and prayers by an convenient reader, to be chosen by the patron, (who shall have fifty merks paid him therefore yearly) to wit, the service to be betwixt nine and ten in the morning or forenoon, and three and four in the evening or afternoon: and who once (except through sickness) shall be absent, let him be admonished; if twice, punished by the director; if thrice, removed from the hospital.

6. I WILL ALSO that one of the said poor men be janitor of the said hospital weekly having the keys of the doors and gates thereof, except the keys of the private rooms; and shall keep this order. First, in the morning, he shall open the outmost gate and door in the house and chapel at half eight hours, that they may go and hear public prayers and sermon in the church, and that same hour shall ring the bell a little, that by ringing thereof the rest being awakened, may make themselves ready for the foresaid exercises, Moreover, that same janitor ring the bell about nine hours in the morning, and three hours in the evening, to hear and see scriptures and prayers in the chapel; and from thence that they go to their own private rooms, and use their trade till eleven hours in the forenoon, and six in the afternoon, and then convene in the common hall, and by an common provider dine and sup together, the hebdomader still giving thanks.

6. HAVING and holding the foresaid place, with their haill houses, church-yards, yards, and pertinents whatsomever, as also the lands, annual rents, fruits, profits, and emoluments, pertaining to the said monastery, and mortified by me, from me and my heirs, to the said poor and their successors, who shall be put into the said hospital, of our sovereign Lord the King, and his successors, in perpetual elymosyne, (et ad manum mortuam), for ever, with full power, faculty, and authority, to the said poor, by their director of the hospital and conservators foresaid, to exact, crave, uplift, and receive the yearly rents, from the persons due therefore, and, failing in payment, to compel them by the common law; and all and sundry other things to do, use, and exercise, which shall be needful and convenient for acquiring of payment: paying therefore yearly anti daily, the said poor, and their successors remaining in the said hospital. Power to our King and his successors, as also to the said town of Aberdeen, magistrates and inhabitants thereof, the offerings of divine prayers; reserving to us, during all the time of our lifetime, the power of the patronage and direction in all things, as shall seem most expedient to be done. IN TESTIMONY whereof, to this my charter, written and subscribed with my hand, my authentic seal is appended, at Aberdeen, the sixth day of July, 1633 years, before their witnesses, Mr. Thomas Melville, Minister at Dyce; Mr. Walter Anderson, Minister at Kinellar; and Mr. William Anderson, Minister at Kinethmont.

7. WHICH charter above-written, donation and mortification therein contained, in the haill parts, articles, conditions, and circumstances whatsomever, in all and by all, as said is, WE RATIFY, approve, and, for us and our successors, perpetually confirm. Moreover we, with express consent and assent aforesaid, for great considerations which we have to the glory of God, and help and supportation of the said poor, of our own free will and consent new have given, granted, founded, gifted, mortified, and disponed; and by this our present charter confirmed, and by the tenor hereof give, grant, found, gift, mortify, and dispone, and for us and our successors perpetually confirm, all and haill the foresaid place and monastery of the brethren of the Holy Trinity of the said burgh, with all and sundry house and biggings thereof, with the said church, church-yards, yards, orchards, plantings, and pertinents whatsomever, lying as said is; as also the ministry of the said place, with the haill lands, fruits, profits, emoluments, and duties whatsomever, now pertaining, or which of old were known to pertain, to the same, as well within the burgh, as in the fields without the burgh, with the tenants, tenantries, service of free tenants thereof, with their haill pertinents, with all right, title, interest, claim of right, property, and possession, which we, our predecessors or successors, have had, or any manner of way may claim, or pretend to have, to the same, or to any part or portion thereof, or to the mails, farms, profits, and duties of the same, of whatsomever years bygone or to come, by reason of ward, relief, non-entry, escheat, forfeiture, recognition, persuasion, disclamation, bastardy, reduction of infeftment, seasings, or retours, revocations, or by whatsomever acts of parliament, or other laws, practicks, or constitutions of this kingdom, renouncing and over giving the same, with all action and instance thereof, from us and our successors, for now and ever, with paction of not seeking, and with supplement of all other defects, as well not named as named, which we, for us and our aforesaids, hold as particularly expressed in this our present charter, having and holding of us and our successors, in pure and perpetual memory and elymosyne, (ad manum mortuam); paying therefore yearly and daily, the poor, and their successors, remaining in the said hospital, to us and our successors, and to the said burgh of Aberdeen, and magistrates thereof, ministers, and other inhabitants of the said burgh, the offering of devout prayers.

8. IN TESTIMONY whereof, to this our present charter we have ordained our great seal to be appended.— Witnesses, our beloved cousin and commissioners, James Marquis of Hamilton, Earl of Arran and Cambridge, Lord Avin and Inverdale; George Earl of Kinoul, Sheriff of Duplin, Lord Hay of Kinfauns, high chancellor of our said kingdom of Scotland; William Earl Marishal, Lord Keith, and of our said kingdom; Thomas Earl of Haddington, Lord Binning and Byres, keeper of our secret seal; William Viscount of Stirling, Lord Alexander of Tillybodie, our principal secretary; our familiar counsellors, Sir John Hay of Laud, clerk of the council register and rolls, Sir George Elphinston of Blythswood, clerk of our justiciary, and John Scot of Scotstarvet, director of our chancellary, knights,

At Holyrood House, the twenty-fourth day of June, 1633, and of our reign the third Year

Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

The applicable license banner(s) indicating the copyright status of the original content normally appear here.


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.