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The Legal Language of Scottish BurghsStandardization and Lexical Bundles (1380-1560)$
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Joanna Kopaczyk

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945153.001.0001

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Living in a Burgh

Living in a Burgh

(p.100) 6 Living in a Burgh
The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs

Joanna Kopaczyk

Oxford University Press

Since legal texts produced in Scottish burghs touch upon various aspects of living in these early towns, this chapter allows the reader to become familiar with the main topics and themes. The core of the discussion focuses on the social hierarchy in a burgh: the composition of the government and courts, the most important social groups and their main objectives in burgh economy and politics, the sources of income, and the fields of expenditure. The question of land ownership comes to the fore as one of the most important issues for the burgh community. The chapter argues that the burgh can be perceived as a corporate entity, an important player on the local and national scene, whose dealings are regulated by a set of burgh laws and customs.

Keywords:   burghs, urbanization, urban archaeology, urban history, social hierarchy, economy, government

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