Date of Award

Spring 1978

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Charles H. Hawes

Committee Member

Douglas Greene

Committee Member

John W. Kuhel

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47 B339


This thesis seeks to determine the type of society existing in Edinburgh during the first four decades of the sixteenth century. It states the problems faced by the city and examines the role of the magistrates and burgh government in dealing with these problems.

Edinburgh was faced with litterbugs, wandering pets, arguments between citizens and other minor nuisances known even to modern cities. She also faced the more serious prob­lems of maintaining sanitary conditions, establishing a sound treasury, renovating areas suffering from urban blight, and apprehending and punishing criminals. In short, she faced most of the problems faced by the typical urban society.

By 1500, Edinburgh was definitely an urban society with an organized system of government which sought to deal with her problems through legislation dealing with every topic from the tying of pets to defending the city against attack. An elaborate system of courts and officials sought, at times unsuccessfully, to enforce these laws.


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