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© City of Edinburgh Archives

A New Discovery

For Edinburgh City Archives, the Preservation Assessment Survey process yielded a significant discovery. Two volumes of Edinburgh Burgh Court books covering 1601 to 1603 had been bound in parchment sheets which appeared to date from the late 13th and early 14th centuries. The sheets were found to record chants for the feasts of St. Matthew and of The Relics, suggesting the likelihood that they were associated with the Augustinian Abbey of Holyrood.

"The discovery of the manuscripts was a wonderful surprise to us all. Their connection to Holyrude Abbey and their re-use by burgh court officials provide a practical example of the sea change in the hearts and minds of people in the early post-Reformation period. Furthermore, they form a satisfying link between this important era in Edinburgh and the City Archives‟ earliest record – that of the Foundation Charter of Holyrude Abbey by David I between the years 1143-47”. (Peter Clapham, Edinburgh City Archives)