The Stair Society: Scotland’s Legal History Society

Elections and Local Governance in Early Modern Aberdeen

Stephanie Dropuljic and Adelyn Wilson


This article examines the framework for burgh council elections in early modern Aberdeen. It first reconstructs the sequence of events which led to two arbitral decrees in 1592 and 1596, which together set down the framework for election in Aberdeen; transcripts and translations of both decrees are provided. The article then explores the extent to which that process of election was interrupted in the subsequent decades, and in particular during the interregnum period (1651 to 1660). The article also considers the election of those commissioners who represented the burgh at meetings of national institutions. Throughout, the article shows the extent to which Aberdeen’s local elections were variously informed by and consistent with national trends observed in other Scottish burghs and interregnum governmental policies.


Miscellany VIII (Stair Society Volume 67)


Published 2020


pp. 231–263


Open Access DOI