William Masterton (c 1630-aft 1686)

William Masterton (c 1630-aft 1686)

Burgess of Culross

A William Masterton is mentioned in Culross Burgh Records in 1666 in a particularly unsavoury episode. Later, a William Masterton is mentioned in the Registers of the Privy Council in 1686 as the father of William Masterton, a sailor from Culross, caught up in the rebellion of Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll, who had joined the Monmouth rebellion against James VII of Scotland and II of England. Argyll had been captured at Inchinnan in Renfrewshire and executed in Edinburgh on 30 June 1685.

Genealogy

If these two incidents feature the same William Masterton, the most likely candidate in the known records is William Masterton who married Margaret Archibald in Culross in 1654, putting William as part of the large family of Mastertons from Culross. Their son William was born in 1662. A fuller genealogy of the extended family of William Masterton can be found at this link. Another possibility is the William Masterton who married Jane Chrystie in Culross in about 1661. Their son William was born in 1670. It's also entirely possible that the two William Mastertons in these incidents of 1666 and 1686, are not the same individual. More evidence may yet come to light!


Culross and Tulliallan or Perthshire on Forth

Vol I. Chapter XII. The Burgh Records from 1666 to 1679

CHAPTER XII.

THE BURGH RECORDS FROM 1666 TO 1679.

THE year 1666, or annus mirabilis of Dryden, so memorable as that of the Great Fire of London, and also to Scotch Presbyterians in connection with the disastrous termination of a rising in the west country in the defeat at Rullion Green, is chiefly noticeable as regards Culross in reference to the revived claim of jurisdiction over her made by Lord Colville of Ochiltree. The particulars of this contest will shortly be explained, but I have first to notice two entries in the burgh records belonging to the earlier part of the year.

The first of them is not a particularly savoury one, and may therefore be skipped by the fastidious reader. As an illustration of the strange coarse manners of the time, it seems too curious to be omitted :

11 January 1666.

"The quhilk day, anent the complent given in be Thomas Lies, officer of the said burgh, procurator-fiscall at the court of Culrois, for the tounis interest, against William Mastertoun, merchand, burges of the said burgh of Culrois, makand mention that the said William, upone the second day of January instant, in the night tyme, accompanying Mr Alexander Couper, lait scholmaster at Culrois, in his imprisonment within the counsell hous of the tolbuthe of the said burgh, for deteaning and keiping up of the kirk's registers and rytis, the said William, without any regard or respect he had, as ane burges of this burghe, to the magistrates therof, or place where he then was, being the speciall seat of justice within this burghe, he rose from the tabill where he was sitting with the said Mr Alexander and certeine other discreit and honorabill personis who war lykwayes accompanying the said Mr Alexr., and there most obsurdly and undiscreitly fyled and abused the said counsell hous by putting forth his filthe and excramentis therintill within ane brasen pott belonging to James Bennet, cordiner, burges of the said burghe, being then within the said counsell hous, to the great dishonour and contempt of authoritie and place where he then was, as the said bill of complent in the self proportis; qlk being callit, the said William Mastertoun compearand personallie in judgment, and he being interrogat be the saids baillies if it was true what was conteanit in the said bill of complent, he immediatlie confest and acknowledgit the samyne to be of veritie. And the saids baillies finding the said William Mastertoun culpabill and guiltie of the foresaid wrong and abuse by his own confession, thairfor they have convict and decernit the said William in ane unlaw of four punds Scottis, and ordanis the samyne to be payed before his removall furthe of the said tolbuthe; wherupon the said Thomas Lies, procurator-fiscall aforesaid, askit and took instrumentis and act of court."

Culross and Tulliallan or Perthshire on Forth
David Beveridge
Vol I, pp 330,331
Blackwood & Sons
Edinburgh, 1885


Register of the Privy Council of Scotland

Third Series, Vol XII. 1686.

c. Feb 1686

Averments in the case of the burgh of Culross.

57. "That the months cess more then the law did allow was first imposed and exacted by John Halliday and others before the persewars were magistrats, to be proven by John Mason, collector; Robert Blaw, late baillie; James Shanks, elder; Robert Balde, late baillie; William Blaw; John Christie; Robert Masone."

"That the lippie of malt was first imposed by an act of the toun councill in anno 1680, Baillie Halliday, praeses at the making of the act, and George Wilson, then dean of gild, and exacted it accordingly, proven by an extract of the act and the haile witnesses."

"That Baillie Halliday and others imposed considerable soumes upon the brewars and exacted these with imprisonment before the persewars were magistrats, to be proven by John Dalglish, elder; James Shanks; Alexander Halliday; Robert Bade; William Blaw; William May; Robert Blaw, maltman; John Christie; James Shanks; John Mason; Robert Mason."

"That the foresaid lippie, which was first imposed and exacted by Baillie Halliday and Baillie Wilson and others and for which they got the persewars turn'd of, has been still continued and uplifted contrare to the Secret Councils express command by the present magistrats, to be proven by John Mason, brewar; Thomas Couston, brewar; James Shanks, brewar; and the whole brewars."

"That many of the brewars gave it with grudging and through fear viz.:- James Shanks, John Mason, Richard Finlay, Thomas Couston, John Dalglish, younger, John Christie, all brewars, to be proven by there oath."

"That when John Sands told his son would not pay the lippie, Baillie Halliday said to him he should pay it if he were hanged on't, to be proven by Thomas Spears, multerer; Robert Spears, millar; John Philp; Robert Greme; Robert Henderson."

"That the foresaid months cess, which was first imposed by Baillie Halliday, Baillie Wilson and others, and for which the persuars were turn'd off and fyn'd, has been exacted by the present magistrats since it was discharged by the Secret Councill, and when one of the burgers refused to pay it being discharged, they refused the whole cess, which is proven by an instrument taken thereupon, by discharges and witnesses, John Mason, collector; Richard Finlay; John Muttray; Robert Blaw, maltman; Robert Bade, late baillie; William Blaw; John Christie."

"That the present magistrats have, notwithstanding of his Majesties Privie Councills abhorrence of such unwarrantable impositions, further imposed in May last two month cess and another in June for there agent, which is distinct from all above mentioned, proven by discharges and witnesses, John Hutson, officer; Robert Henryson; William Blaw; Thomas Stevensone; Robert Blaw, late baillie; Robert Bade, late baillie."

"That they did keep seven rebells, seamen and associats of the late Earl of Argyll, in open prison and gave them liberty to goe abroad without keepers at there pleasure and then at there oun hand did sett them at liberty in Agust last, to be proven by William Smith; Ja[mes] Gibb; William Blaw; James Shanks; Robert Bade; John Hutcheson, officer; Robert Henryson; Thomas Couston and the whole burgers."

"That Baillie Barclay and Baillie Sands gave a pass to John Sands, who was steersman to one of the ships that came in the last invasion with the late Earl of Argyll from Holland, who thereupon went to Holland and returnd and went thither again without being noticed, to be proven by there oaths, (William Masterton, elder; John Sands, baillie; George Wilson, baillie; John Halliday; William Morison, clerk; John Sands, thesaurer; James Sands, smith [deleted])."

"That Baillie Halliday gave intelligence to William Adam, whom he had orders from the late Primate his Grace to apprehend, and when he was gone he made the fashion of a search for him, to be proven by John Muttray, who was sent to give intelligence; William Blaw; Alexander Isat; James Barclay; James Craich; Robert Blaw, maltman; Richard Finlay."

"That William Couston spoke contemptuosly of his presetn Majesty, to be proven by Androu Hamilton in Borroustounness; John Wilson there; James Taylour in Culross; Androu Johnston there."

"The arrogant act of indemnity and its solemnityes proven by the act itself and haile witnesses."

"That George Wilson and John Halliday are baillies of the burgh and regality and William Morison clerk to the regality and to the burgh, that this is contrare to the custome and interest of the burgh, that there is a continuall debate betwixt the burgh and the regality and a standing lawbarrowes betwixt them, and that George Wilson, baillie of the regality, causeth poynd the burgesses by the officer to the regality court, to be proven by Robert Blaw; Robert Bade; John Aiken; John Hutson; Robert Henryson, officer to the regality."

"That John Dalglish, younger, and James Sands gave double assignations, viz.:- one to Thomas Bruce, son to Broomhall, and another to Mr John Mercer, and that after payment and discharges, Mr William Hoge; Androu Atchison; William Sadler; James Hardie; John Dalglish; William Hallie."

"That James Mackie after payment of an hundred pounds was scored out of the horning adn executions and promised to be past from before the minister, quhich is produced under the ministers hand herewith, yet they extracted a new horning and procured a new execution of the date of the first without any sitation and denounced the said James Mackie and did put in for the gift of his escheat; witnesses, Mr William Hoge, advocat; Androu Atchison; William Sadler; James Hardie; John Dalglish, younger; William Hally."

"The present magistrats did embazill near tuentie thousand merks of the touns common good when formerly in office, proven by the touns register which beareth both charge and discharge."

The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland
Henry Paton(ed)
Third Series, Vol XII, 1686
Entry 57 (p 50-51)
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1930


Register of the Privy Council of Scotland

Third Series, Vol XII. 1686.

1686

68. "Interragators for Andrew McKie and James Shanks. - Whether or not they went upon Wednesday the third of the instant Februarie to the house of William Mastertown in Culross, and enquyred for William Mastertoune his son, and not haveing found him told his mother that he was come to tell him to keip him out of the gate for he would be put in prison."


70. "Interrogators for Richard Finlay, John Moultry, John Meassone, William Mastertoune and William Andersone. - Whether or not they knew that the late magistrats did themselves intromett with and receave the excyse frae the brewars.

The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland
Henry Paton(ed)
Third Series, Vol XII, 1686
p 66
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1930