John Alexander Henderson.

History of the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen online

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ad incorporandos illos eorumque successores de novo, per nomen,
stilum et titulum Praesidentis et Societatis Procuratorum in Aberdonia,
cum talibus potestatibus, privileges, regulis et provisionibus quales
usitate conceduntur corporibus politicis et corporatis similis naturae,
et ut nobis in nostra magna sapientia aptum videretur : quod nos



called and known by the name of the President and Society of Procurators in
Aberdeen, and had by regular yearly contributions among themselves promoted
and established very large funds for the maintenance of the decayed members
of the said Society and the Widows, Children and other relations of the
Members falling into poverty ; that, although the said Petitioners had carried
on business as Procurators in Aberdeen beyond the memory of man under
the name of a Society, nevertheless through the loss of all their writs and
evidents, which had perished when the office of the Commissary of Aberdeen
was burned in the year Seventeen hundred and nineteen, they could not with
certainty discover their first constitution or the nature of their society so that
they could safely manage their funds and other affairs. Therefore the said
Petitioners, for the removing of these inconveniences and for the better
preservation of the. said Society, humbly prayed Us to grant to them Our
Royal Charter for of new incorporating them and their successors by the name,
style and title of the President and Society of Procurators in Aberdeen, with
such powers, privileges, rules, and provisions as are usually given to bodies
politic and corporate of the like nature, and as to Us in Our great wisdom should



16 SOCIETY OF ADVOCATES IN ABERDEEN.

dictam petitionem animo nostro perpendentes, et omnia debita
incitamenta institution! tarn utili tamque piae dare cupientes, ac se-
cundum dictam petitionem, et virtute praerogativae nostrae regiae spe-
cialique gratia, certa scientia, proprioque motu, per regiam cartam
nostram de data apud Saint James's, vigesimo septimo die Januarii,
millesimo septingentesimo et septuagesimo quarto, annoque regni
nostri decimo quarto, benigne voluimus DARE, CONSTITUERE,
DECLARARE et ORDINARE, ut Thomas Mosman, Joannes Clerk,
David Bartlet, Alexander I nnes senior, Alexander Innes junior, Doctor
Gulielmus Thorn, Gulielmus Nicol, Joannes Gordon, Gulielmus Burnett,
Alexander Lumsden, Jacobus Ramsay, Alexander Duthie, David
Morice, Jacobus Watson, Carolus Tait, Joannes Durno, Alexander
Carnegie, et Arthurus Dingwall Fordyce, talesque alii qui prius in
Vicecomitis, Commissariique curiis Aberdoniae Procuratores rite ad-
mitterentur, et ad societatis opes in modo postea memorato contri-
buerent, una corporatio et corpus corporatum et politicum essent, per
nomen et titulum Praesidentis et Societatis Procuratorum in Aberdonia ;
et ut illi, eorumque successores, ex eo tempore perpetuam successionem
haberent, ad melius magisque efficienter administrandum, dirigendum,



seem proper : that We weighing in Our mind the said Petition and desiring to
give all due encouragement to so useful and pious an institution in terms of
the said petition, and by virtue of Our Royal Prerogative and out of Our
special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, by Our Royal Charter dated
at Saint James's the Twenty-seventh day of January in the year Seventeen
hundred and seventy-four, and in the Fourteenth of Our reign, We were
graciously pleased to grant, constitute, declare, and ordain that Thomas Mosman,
John Clark, David Bartlet, Alexander lnnes Senior, Alexander Innes Junior,
Dr. William Thorn, William Nicol, John Gordon, William Burnett, Alexander
Lumsden, James Ramsay, Alexander Duthie, David Morice, James Watson,
Charles Tait, John Durno, Alexander Carnegie and Arthur Dingwall Fordyce
and such others as should first have been duly admitted Procurators in the
Sheriff and Commissary Courts of Aberdeen, and should have contributed
to the funds of the Society in manner aftermentioned, should be a corporation
and body corporate and politic by the name and title of the President and
Society of Procurators in Aberdeen: and that they and their successors should
thenceforth have perpetual managing, directing, ordaining, and appointing all



SECOND CROWN CHARTER, 1 799. 1 7

ordinandum, et constituendum in omnibus rebus et negotiis ad dictam
societatem pertincntibus, et in opibus ad eandcm spectantibus : nosque
pro propositi's memoratis, per cartam praedictam, fecimus, ereximus,
creavimus, constituimus, et stabilivmus dictos Thomam Mosman,
Joannem Clerk, Davidem Bartlet, Alexandrum Innes seniorem, Alex-
andrum Innes juniorem, Doctorem Gulielmum Thorn, Gulielmum
Nicol, Joannem Gordon, Gulielmum Burnett, Alexandrum Lumsden,
Jacobum Ramsay, Alexandrum Duthie, Davidem Morice, Jacobum
Watson, Carolum Tait, Joannem Durno, Alexandrum Carnegie, et
Arthurum Dingwall Fordyce, talcsque alios qui prius in Vicecomitis
Commissariique curiis Aberdoniae Procuratores rite admitterentur, et
ad societatis opes in modo postea memorato contribuerent, in corpo-
rationem corpusque policitum et corporatum, in perpetuum, per nomen
et titulum Praesidentis et Societatis Procuratorum in Aberdonia, cum
potcstate ill is, vel eorum parti majori, in omnibus rebus et negotiis
ad dictam societatem, ejus administrationem, praedia, opes, aliasque res
et negotia spectantibus et pertinentibus, administrandi, dirigendi, ordi-
nandi, ct constituendi ; et quod dicta corporatio, per nomen et titulum
antedictum, habilis et potens jure foret, terras, tenementa, seu haeredi-
tates cujusque generis aut naturae, habendi, emendi, accipiendi, te-
nendi, possidendi, fruendi, et in perpetuum aut aliter retinendi ; —



matters and affairs pertaining to the said Society and the funds belonging to
the same : and We for the purposes mentioned by the said Charter have erected,
created, constituted, and appointed the said Thomas Mosman [and others]
and such others as should first have been duly admitted Procurators in the
Sheriff and Commissary Courts of Aberdeen, and should have contributed to
the funds of the Society in manner aftermentioned, into a corporation and
body politic and corporate forever by the name and title of the President and
Society of Procurators of Aberdeen, with power to them or the major part of
them of administering, directing, ordaining and appointing in all matters and
affairs pertaining and belonging to the said Society, its administration, estates,
funds, and other matters and affairs ; And that the said Corporation by the
name and title foresaid should have full power and be capable according to
law of having, purchasing, accepting, holding, possessing, enjoying, and retaining
in perpetuity or otherwise lands, tenements, or heritages of whatever kind or
nature (provided always that the free annual rental of the lands, tenements and

D



1 8 SOCIETY OF ADVOCATES IN ABERDEEN.

(PROVIDENDO semper, quod immunis annuus reditus terrarum,
tenementorum, et haereditatum ita acquirendorum, vel quae jam
acquisita fuerunt, ad et in usum dictae societatis, summam quingen-
tarum Hbrarum Sterlinensium non excesserit, reditibus ut crant ad
tempus eadem acquirendi singulatim computatis, deductis omnibus
feudifirmis, agri tributis, ministrorum stipendiis, aliisque oneribus pub-
licis quibuscunque) etiamque pecuniam securitatibus haereditariis sen
personalibus foenore locandi, bona et possessiones tenendi, et dona-
tiones et legata pro propositis antedrctis accipiendi et habendi : AC
ITIDEM ullas ex tern's, tenementis, vel rebus haereditariis jam emptis,
aut acquisitis pro commodo dictae societatis, aut quae ullo tempore
futuro per dictam corporationem emerentur ct acquirerentur, vendendi,
impignorandi, in vadium dandi, locationes et assedationes dictarum
terrarum, tenementorum, aliarumve rerum haereditariarum dandi et
concedendi, eademque in feudo dandi, per modum perpetuae locationis
pro competenti feudi divoria ; ET SIMILITER, sub nomine et titulo
antedicto, jus fasque esset actiones movere et sustinere, lites intentare
et propellere, defendere et defcndi, in quibuscunque curiis et locis, et
coram quibuscunque judicibus, justiciaries, aliisve officiariis, in omnibus
actionibus, litibus, causis, accusationibus, rationibus, rebus et postu-

heritages to be so acquired or which had already been acquired to and for
the use of the said society should not exceed the sum of Five hundred pounds
sterling, the rents being severally computed as they were at the time of acquiring
the same, all feu duties, ground rents, minister's stipends, and other public
burdens whatsoever having been deducted) ; And also of lending money at
interest on heritable or personal securities, of holding goods and chattels, and
of receiving and holding donations and legacies, for the purposes aforesaid, and
in like manner of selling, pledging, and wadsetting any of the lands, tenements,
or heritable subjects already purchased or to be acquired for the use of the said
Society, or which at any future time should be purchased and acquired by
the said Corporation, and of giving and granting leases and tacks of the said
lands, tenements, and other heritable subjects, and giving the same in feu by way
of perpetual lease for a competent feu duty : And likewise, under the name and
title foresaid, it should be lawful to raise and carry on actions, and sue and be
sued, in whatever courts and places, and before whatever judges, justiciaries and
other officers, in all actions, disputes, causes, complaints, matters, suits, and



SECOND CROWN CHARTER, 1 799. 1 9

lationibus quibuscunque, tali modo et forma, quali ulli alii subditorum
nostrorum, ullive alii corpori politico vel corporato jus fasque esset : ac
etiam, quod dictae corporationi commune sigillum esset, ad omnia sua
negotia et causas eorum eorumque successorum ; et licitum esset illis
eorumque successoribus idem sigillum a tempore in tempus frangere,
mutare, vel renovare, prout illis, vel eorum parti majori, expediens
videretur ; quod sigillum ab eorum Thesaurario custodiretur, qui cum
eodem in omnibus conventibus in quibus necessarium erit, adesset, vel
illud adesse curaret : ET NOS, pro nobis nostrisque haeredibus et
successoribus, direximus, ordinavimus et statuimus, ut quotannis duo
conventus generales dictae corporationis tenerentur ; unus, die Martis
ultimo mensis Junii, et alter die Martis ultimo mensis Novembris,
in tali loco vel locis, hora vel horis, sicuti Praesidens et Societas a
tempore in tempus constituerent, cum potestate comperendinationis,
prout dicto conventui generali expediens videretur ; et primus con-
ventus generalis dictae societatis die vigesimo octavo Junii, anno
rnillesimo septingentesimo et septuagesimo quarto, inter horas un-
decimam et duodecimam ejusdem diei teneretur, in loco solito quo
socii dictae societatis suos congressus plerumque tenere consueverant.



demands whatsoever, in such mode and form as should be lawful to any other
of our subjects or to any other body politic or corporate ; And also that there
should be a Common Seal to the said Corporation for all the business and
affairs of them and their successors, and it should be lawful to them and their
successors from time to time to break, change, or renew the said Seal as to them
or the major part of them should seem expedient, which Seal should be kept
by their Treasurer, who should attend with the same at all their meetings
wherein it should be necessary, or should cause it to be present : and We, for Us
and Our heirs and successors, directed, ordained, and appointed that every year
two general meetings of the said Corporation should be held, one on the last
Tuesday of the month of June and the other on the last Tuesday of the month
of November, at such place or places, and hour or hours, as the President and
Society from time to time should appoint, with the power of adjournment as
to the said general meeting should seem expedient ; and that the first general
meeting of the said Society should be held on the Twenty-eighth day of June,
Seventeen hundred and seventy-four, between the hours of Eleven and Twelve
of the same day in the usual place in which the members of the said Society



20 SOCIETY OF ADVOCATES IN ABERDEEN.

ET NOS insuper concessimus et declaravimus, quod dictus Thomas
Mosman primus Praesidens esset, et quod dicti Joannes Clerk, David
Bartlet, Alexander Innes senior, Alexander Innes junior, Doctor
Gulielmus Thorn, Gulielmus Nicol, Joannes Gordon, Gulielmus Burnett,
Alexander Lumsden, Jacobus Ramsay, Alexander Duthie, David
Morice, Jacobus Watson, Carolus Tait, Joannes Durno, Alexander
Carnegie, et Arthurus Dingwall Fordyce primi socii dictae corpora-
tions essent ; et praesidens et socii in dicto conventu generali mense
Novembris plenam potestatem et auctoritatem eligendi Praesidentem,
Thesaurarium, aliosque officiarios necessarios in annum sequentem
haberent ; etiamque quinque Curatores selectos ex eorum numero con-
stituendi, qui tanquam concilium permanens esset, cum quo Thesaurarius
in solita administratione opum dictae corporationis consultaret et
deliberaret ; potestate data comperendinationis, sicut illis expediens
videretur : ET NOS potestatem et auctoritatem praesidenti dictae cor-
porationis pro tempore concessimus ad ejus libitum, vel quoties eorum
res id postularent, praemonitione viginti quatuor horarum aliis sociis
data, congressum dictae societatis convocandi ; et quod dictus Praesi-
dens jus praesidendi in omnibus dictae corporationis conventibus jus
haberet, et in iis, in quaque quaestione suffragium tarn deliberativum
quam supernumerarium, quum suffragia inter socios praesentes aequalia



were generally accustomed to hold their meetings : And We also granted and
declared that the said Thomas Mosman [and others] should be the first
members of the said Corporation, and that the President and Members in the
said general meeting in the month of November should have full power and
authority of electing a President, Treasurer and other necessary officers for
the ensuing year, and also of appointing a committee of five of their number
who should be a permanent Council, with whom the Treasurer should consult
and deliberate in the usual administration of the funds of the said Corporation,
with power of adjournment as to them should seem expedient : and We granted
power and authority to the President of the said Corporation for the time
being, at his pleasure or as often as their affairs should require it, to call meetings
of the said Society on twenty-four hours notice given to the other members,
and that the said President should have the right of presiding at all meetings
of the said Corporation, and of having a deliberative as well as a casting vote
on every question when there should be an equality of the votes of the members



SECOND CROWN CHARTER, 1 799. 21

essent, habendi ; providendo veruntamen, quod Praesidens nullam
negandi vocem de conventu socictatis citando haberet ; sed absente
illo, aut rccusante ita citare, legitimum esset ullis quinque, seu pluribus
sociis dictae corporationis, in hunc finem consentientibus, conventum
vocare pro re nata, premonitione viginti quatuor horarum aliis sociis,
ut supra dictum, data ; et quod talis conventus potestatem haberet prae-
sidentem pro re nata eligendi, et in omnibus rebus et negotiis corpo-
rationis quae iliis subjicerentur procedendi et decernendi, eodem
modo ac si annuus Praesidens in tali conventu adesset et praesideret :
NOSQUE ORDINAVIMUS, DIREXIMUS, ET CONSTITUIMUS,
quod non esset Pracsidenti sociisque dictae corporationis, eorumve suc-
cessoribus, potestas cxpendendi ullam pecuniae summam vel summas
in eleemosyna intra annum, ampliores vel majores quam immune annuum
vectigal et reditus praediorum, securitatumque ad dictam corpora-
tionem pertinentium, et praesentium collectionum, subscriptionum, et
donationum ejus anni (omnibus oneribus ex iisdem deductis) una cum
redundantia priorum annorum, pracberent et suppeditarent, quantum
eleemosynariis institutis societatis neccssarium videretur : Et quod
praedia, summaeque principales quae opes dictae corporationis formant,



present ; provided, nevertheless, that the President should not have a negative
voice against calling a meeting of the Society, but in his absence, or on his
refusal so to call a meeting, it should be lawful to any five or more members
of the said Corporation consenting for that end to call a meeting pro re nata,
on twenty-four hours notice given to the other members as aforesaid, and that
such meeting should have power to elect a President pro re nata, and to
proceed and resolve on all business and affairs of the Corporation which
should be submitted to them, in the same way as if the annual President had
attended and presided at such meeting : And We ordained, directed, and
appointed, that it should not be in the power of the President and Members
of the said Corporation or their successors to expend any more or greater sum
or sums of money in charity within a year than the free annual produce and
revenue of the estates and securities belonging to the said Corporation and
the current collections, subscriptions and donations of that year (all burdens
being deducted therefrom) together with the overplus of previous years, should
yield and produce, however much might seem to be necessary for the established
charities of the Society, and that the property and principal sums which formed



22 SOCIETY OF ADVOCATES IN ABERDEEN.

ex eo tempore in perpetuum integrae et intactae in commodum ejusdem
remanerent ; et quod partitio dicti immunis vectigalis et reditus
circumscriberetur, et solummodo fieret inter socios pauperes et egenos
dictae societatis, eorumque viduas, et inter liberos et nepotes sociorum
pauperum in rebus egcnis, ante omnes alios, et in ordine praelationis
supra dicto ; et deficientibus talibus pauperibus, inter fratres et sorores
egenos ullius socii demortui dictae societatis, eorumque liberos eodem
ordine ; et quod tales partitioncs in statutis generalibus conventibus
dictae societatis tantum fierent ; et quod animus computus praediorum
opumque dictae corporationis, et pecuniae acceptae et expensae per
Thesaurarium conficeretur, et coram conventu generali mense Novembris,
ut inquisitio et approbatio fierent, produceretur : Et quod ejus libri
et computi in omni eorum conventu, pro inspectione Praesidentis,
aliorumque sociorum dictae corporationis, exhiberentur : Et NOS
INSUPER VOLUIMUS ET DECLARAVIMUS, quod nemo jus
haberet aut instructus esset socius dictae societatis et corporationis fieri,
nisi ille prius rite Procurator in Vicecomitis, Commissariique curiis Aber-
doniae, solita forma et consuetudine in talibus casibus admissus fuisset,



the funds of the said Corporation should remain whole and entire for ever
after for the benefit thereof; and that the division of the said free produce and
revenue should be limited, and made allenarly among the poor and indigent
Members of the said Society and their Widows, and among the indigent
Children and Grandchildren of poor Members, before all others and in the
order of preference above set forth : And failing such poor persons, among the
indigent brothers and sisters of any deceased Member of the said Society, and
their children in the same order; and that such division should only be made
at the stated general meetings of the said Society ; And that an annual account
of the property and funds of the said Corporation and the money received
and expended by the Treasurer should be prepared and produced in presence
of the general meeting in the month of November, for examination and
approval, and that the books and accounts thereof should be exhibited at every
meeting for the inspection of the President and other members of the said
Corporation : And We further willed and declared that no one should have
right or be entitled to become a member of the said Society and Corporation
unless he should first have been duly admitted a Procurator in the Sheriff and
Commissary Courts of Aberdeen, according to the usual form and practice in



SECOND CROWN CHARTER, 1 799. 23

et per socictatem receptus, et ad opes dictae societatis usitata admissionis
praemia contribuisset, aut tanta quanta per ullam ordinationem seu
legem privatam dictae corporationis ad id propositum faciendatn, stabi-
lirentur et recipi constituerentur, solvisset, (iisdem praemiis summam
triginta librarum Stcrlinensium pro admissione ullius socii nunquam
excedentibus) : Et quum ullus socius in dictam corporationem admit-
teretur, nomcn ejus in libro registrario, in hunc fin em custodiendo,
inscriberetur, et remaneret et permaneret socius quamdiu taxari et
solvere perseveraret annuas divorias dictae societatis, aut eas annuas
divorias quae posthac stabilirentur et ordinarentur recipi a sociis dictae
corporationis, per ullam ordinationem vel legem privatam eo consilio
faciendam (iisdem summam viginti solidorum Sterlinensium pro ullo
socio nequaquam excedentibus) : ET NOS pro nobis, nostrisque haere-
dibus et successoribus, DEDIMUS et CONCESSIMUS dicto Praesidcnti
et sociis dictae corporationis, eorumque successoribus, plenam potestatem
et auctoritatem in conventibus generalibus a tempore in tempus
congregatis, tales et tot leges privatas, constitutiones, regulas, et ordi-
nationes, constituendi, ordinandi, et faciendi, prout illis, seu parti majori
eorum, tunc et ibidem praesentium, in meliorem administrationem et

such cases, and have been received by the Society, and have contributed to
the funds of the said Society the usual fees of admission, or should have paid
whatever else should have been fixed and appointed to be received by any
ordinance or bye-law of the said Society to be made for that purpose (the same
fees never exceeding the sum of Thirty pounds Sterling for the admission of
any member) : And when any Member should be admitted into the said
Corporation, his name should be inserted in a Register to be kept for that
purpose, and he should remain and continue a Member so long as he should
continue to be taxed and pay the yearly contributions of the said Society, or
such yearly contributions as should be afterwards appointed and ordained to be
received from the Members of the said Corporation, by any Ordinance or
Bye-Law to be made at their discretion (the same never exceeding the sum of
Twenty shillings Sterling for any member) : And We for Us, and Our heirs and
successors, gave and granted to the said President and Members of the said
Corporation and their successors assembled in general meeting from time to
time full power and authority of constituting, ordaining, and making such and
so many Bye-Laws, Constitutions, Rules and Ordinances as should appear proper
and necessary to thein or the major part of them then and there present



24 SOCIETY OF ADVOCATES IN ABERDEEN.

directionem dictae corporationis, proprium et necessarium videretur ; et
dictas leges privatas, constitutiones, ordinationes, et regulas ullasve
earum mutandi ct abrogandi, prout dicto Praesidenti, sociisque sic con-
gregatis, vel parti majori eorum tunc praesentium, necessarium videretur ;
OMNES et SINGULAS quas leges privatas, constitutiones, regulas, et
ordinationes, modo praedicto faciendas, NOS VOLUIMUS rite obser-
vari et custodiri ; PROVISO, quod eaedem leges nullo modo legibus
hujus regni, tenorique dictae cartae, contrariae seu adversae essent ; et
quod dictae leges privatae, constitutiones, regulae et ordinationes, a
tempore in tempus imponendae, vel ulla abrogatio seu mutatio earum,
ulliusve earum, concordarentur, constituerentur et confirmarentur per
conventum generalem dicti Praesidentis et sociorum proxime convo-
candum et tenendum postquam eaedem singulatim fuissent factae ; ET
INSUPER, NOS, ex speciali gratia nostra, certa scientia, et proprio
motu,CONCESSIMUS et CONFIRMAVIMUS, perque dictam cartam
pro nobis nostrisque haeredibus et successoribus, CONCESSIMUS et
CONFIRMAVIMUS dicto praesidenti aliisque sociis dictae societatis,
omnia praedia, summas pecuniae, jura, commoda, beneficia, securitates,
emolumenta, potestates, privilegia, aliasque res et negotia quaecunque
dicta societas vel ullus socius ejusdem in usum et beneficium ejusdem,

for the better administration and direction of the said Corporation j And to
alter and rescind the said Bye-Laws, Constitutions, Ordinances and Rules or
any of them as to the said President and Members so assembled or the major
part of them then present should appear necessary ; And We willed that all and
sundry such Bye-Laws, Statutes, Rules, and Ordinances to be made in manner
foresaid be duly observed and kept ; provided that such laws were not contrary