James Clerk's Mortification - March 1744

Given by James Clerk, engraver to the Mint in Scotland (son to the Sir John Clerk - 1st Baronet of Pennycook)

 

Clerk’s Mortification
14th March 1744

From the Dundee Council Minute Book 1744

Rules for managing Clerks mortification

The clerk acquainted the council that he had now got over from Edinburgh, the rules for Clerks mortification which are thereby appointed to be inserted in the council books and each of the patrons viz Sir John Clerk of Penniecook, Mr Joseph Cave ingraver thereanent and Mr David Spence Secretary of the Bank want an extract thereof, which was accordingly appointed to be done the principle to be put up in the Town’s press and of which rules the tenor follows.

 

The deceast James Clark, engraver to the Mint in Scotland being resolved to mortify a sum of money for the use of the poor of the Burgh of Dundee. In settling his worldly affairs did make a disposition in favours of Catherine Cave his spouse of his whole estate means and effects and took his said spouse bound by a writ for making the mortification which he had designed with the burden of her own liferent thereof and to settle the sum mortified at sight and by advice of the deceast. Sir John Clerk of Pennycook Bart, Captain George Yeaman of Murie and David Spence secretary to the Bank of Scotland or any two of them ordaining the sum mortified to be a fund or stock for maintaining, educating and breeding two boys, children of decayed poor Burgesses of the said Burgh of Dundee of the surname of Clark in the first place and failing of such of any other surname and that from the age of seven years to the age of seventeen years and for putting them to apprenticeships or carrying them on in such studies as they shall be found most fill for. And appointed the said stock or fund to be settled under such Regulations and rules and under such patronage, management and directions as the forenamed persons or any two of them should order and appoint by a write under their hands to be recorded in the Town Council Books of Dundee.

But the sum designed by the said James Clark being never determined by him but left blank in the foresaid obligation by his wife, and the said Catherine Cave having resolved and agreed upon the sum of Six Thousand Merks Scots money for the said mortification. She lodged the same in the hands of the Provost, Baillies and Town Council of the said Burgh of Dundee upon their bond for her liferent thereof. And the said George Yeaman and David Spence in pursivance of the trust committed to them by the said James Clark, did concert adjust and agree upon certain rules for the management and application of the said mortification and delivered a subscribed copy thereof. To be recorded in the Town Council Books of the said Burgh in the year one thousand seven hundred and twenty three.

But the same being neglected to be recorded is lost at least a missing. And the said Katherine Cave being now dead and the bond she had for the said sum of six thousand merks delivered up to the said Town Council.

Yet the present Provost, Baillies and Town Council of the said Burgh are willing that the said mortification should in all time coming be managed accordingly to the Rules after sett down which rules are as follows   

1st

That the Mortification be called Clark’s Mortification in all presentations and other writings relative thereto.

2nd

That the Town Council of Dundee have the perpetual administration of this mortification but obliged to observe the rules herein sett down and every Burgess of the town to have right to quarrel and cause rectify any thing done amiss thereanent.

3rd

That Mr Joseph Cave present engraver to the Mint at Edinburgh , nephew to the said Catherine Cave and his heirs if they shall live in Scotland and reside at Edinburgh and Dundee only & Sir John Clerk now of Pennycook one of the Barrons of Exchequer and his heirs shall have the patronage and choice and election of the boys to the mortification out of a list of two in case of one boy. And four in case of two boys to be presented to them by the Town Council of Dundee when any vacancy or vacancies happens and incase of the deficiency and failing of an heir or heirs of the said Mr Joseph Cave residing as above that the whole and sole patronage of the said mortification remain with the said Sir John Clerk and his heirs forever and that the said Mr Joseph Cave and Sir John Clerk and their said heirs have also the privilege of inspecting the right and faithful administration and application of this fund and mortification and to have access as often as they desire to the state and accompts thereof and to quarrel and cause rectify the same when any thing shall be found amiss or wrong. 

4th

That the boys to be presented to this mortification from time to time be the children of decayed poor Burgesses of the said Burgh of Dundee and no others those of the surname of Clark to be preferred in the first place and failing of such of the surname of Cave in the next place And failing both of the Surnames of Black in the third place and failing of theses three of any other surname. And such who shall be most destitute of their provision for their maintenance and education and the arent of three thousand merks to be applied to each of the two according to the rules here sett down. 

5th

That no boy be presented or received under the age of seven or above the age of nine years and none to continue longer than the age of seventeen years compleat, and their true age at entry to be sufficiently attested and certified to the council and recorded in their books and in the minutes or records of this mortification that the time of their going out may be the reedier known.

6th

That each boy be decently apparelled at the charge of his nearest relations or friends at his entry to the mortification and be allowed yearly. Three fourth parts of the a rent [annual rent] of three thousand merks for his maintenance and education from his entry until he attain to the age of seventeen years compleat, and the other fourth part of the said a rent [annual rent?] to be laid aside as a fund for putting the boy to an apprenticeship or carrying him on any studies he shall be found most fitt for and apply to after attaining the age of seventeen. After tryall taken and report made by some fitt and judicious persons by direction of the administrators.

7th

When any of the boys shall happen to be putt to the college the administrators are allowed to bestow the interest of the whole sum mortified upon him if they shall find it needful and for his advantage so to do during his continuance at the college

8th

That the administrators shall have liberty when they shall have good reason so to do to enter any of the boys to an apprenticeship sooner than at the age of seventeen of age and the boy never the less to have right on the mortification to his full age of seventeen years as herein provided for paying his apprentice fee and cloathing and making a small stock for setting up with in his employment after his apprenticeship is finished.

9th

That the election of boys upon all emergent vacancies shall be on the first Tuesday of May or first Tuesday of November after the vacancy and the intrant boy to have right to the mortification from the day of his election and to receive the first half years allowance at the first Tuesday of May or November after his entry.

10th

That the allowance be paid yearly at the first Tuesday of May and first Tuesday of November by equal division and the boys to have right to the mortification until the first Tuesday of May or November after their attaining to the age of seventeen years.

11th

That incase half a years a rent or more of either of the Three thousand merks shall happen to Vaik (sic) at any time betwixt the going out of one boy and the presenting and entering of another the same shall be left in the hands of the administrators free of interest for the end and purpose after sett down.

12th

That incase any of the boys shall happen to die before his attaining to the age of seventeen years. The charges of his funerals shall be paid out of what is due of his annuity and what remains unexhausted shall also be laid aside. Any left in the hands of the administrators free of interest for the end and purpose after mentioned.

13th

That the administrators cause keep a distict and faithfull accompt of what vacant a rent shall happen according to the eleventh article and what shall happen to be saved by the death of any of the boys as in the twelfth article and when a proper and charitable opportunity offers accordingly to the judgement of the administrators that they apply the same from time to time for settling such a boy as appears ready for an apprenticeship to a proper trade and making a small stock wherewith to sett up after expiring of his apprenticeship besides what is provided in the eighth article in regard tradesman are often found discouraged for want of a stock to begin with.

14th

That the Town Council of Dundee shall annually immediately after the new election of magistrates and Council name and appoint some discreet honest burgess not of the council for the time to oversee the due application of the annual rent of the above mortification according to the rules here sett down and to state keep the accounts thereof and who shall have the power and authority of boarding the boys paying their school dues and cloathing them or to employ one for these purposes.

15th

That these presents be recorded in the Town Council Books of the said Burgh of Dundee and that extracts thereof under the hand of the Town Clerk be given gratis to the said Sir John Clerk, Mr Joseph Cave and the the said David Spence. 

16th

That the magistrates cause affix in their Council House a broad (sic) bearing the names of of the said James Clark and Catherine Cave the sum mortified and the date of the registration of theses presents under the patronage of Sir John Clerk of Pennycook, Baronet and Mr Joseph Cave, engraver to the Mint and their heirs as a memorial to prevent the forgetting of the said mortification.

 

And in regard there was in December last three years interest due upon the aforesaid mortification since the decease of the said Catherine Cave. We appoint the same to be added to the original sum making in all four thousand six hundred pounds Scots and the same to be recorded in the Council Books of the mortification and broad (sic) [Board?] to be put upon the council house as above.
In witness whereof these presents consisting of this and the six preceding pages written by John Kinloch, servitor to James Graham, Writer to the Signet. Are subscribed by us the said Sir John Clerk, Mr Joseph Cave and David Spence at Edinburgh the eighth day of March one thousand seven hundred and forty four years. Before these witnesses the said James Graham and John Kinloch

[signed] - John Clark, D Spence; Jos Cave. Ja: Graham Witness, John Kinloch, witness.

 

transcribed by - Iain D. McIntosh, Friends of Dundee City Archives