(Image supplied courtesy of Dundee City Archives)
Below is the charter granting permission to use the old lands of the Greyfriars monastery as a burial ground.
We, understanding that the Kirkyaird of the Burgh of Dundee is situat in ye myddis yairof quhare ye common traffique of Merchandis is usit, and thro` occasion of ye said buriall pest and other contagious seekness is ingenerit and, after infectioun, it maks ye sam to perseveir and continue, to ye grat hurt, nocht onlie of ye inhabitants of our said brugh, but alsua of ye haill realme ; and wtn ye realme of France and other foreign partes there is no deid buryit wtn burrows and grit townis, but have thair bureall-places and sepultres outwit ye same, for evading ofye contaguis seekness foirsaid. And ye said Kirkyardis quharinye deid was buryit of befoir, mair decent policie may be had to ye honor of our Realme and rest of our Leiges. Quhairfor, andfor other teasonable causes and conciderations moving us, andfor guid trew zaill and thankful suite done and to be done to usand our successoris, hes permittit and licencit, and, be yr prnts permittis and licencis thaim and yair successoris foirsaid
to buryyair deid outwit and besyd or said burh, and to intromitt, repair, use, clois, and big ye same sufficientlie to ye effectfoirsaid in tyme coming, butt ony revocatioun, obstacle, impediment, or again-calling quhatsomever.
Subscryvit with oure hand, and given under our Signet at Dundie ye ellevent day of September, in the zeir of God jaj thrie scoir for zeires.
We understand that the cemetery of our burgh of Dundee is situated in the middle thereof where merchants carry out their business and that the dead of our said burgh are buried there. As a result, plague and other contagious diseases are caused and, once there is an outbreak, the presence of the cemetery causes it to persevere, to the great harm not only of the inhabitants of the burgh but of the whole kingdom. We know that within the realm of France and other distant places, no dead are buried within burghs and large towns, but they have their burial places and tombs out with the same for avoidance of the aforesaid contagious diseases. And in the said cemetery wherein the dead were buried before, more appropriate ground may be had to the honour of our realm and ease of our subjects. Therefore, and for other reasonable causes and considerations moving us and in return for good, true and loyal service done and to be done to us and our successors by the provost, bailies, council and community of our said burgh and their successors, we have permitted and licensed and by this document we permit and licence them and their successors aforesaid to bury their dead in that place and yards which once were occupied by the Grey Friars, out with and beside our said burgh. And they may take possession, repair, use, enclose and build up the same for the purposes aforesaid in the future, without any revocation, obstacle, impediment or dispute whatsoever. Subscribed with our hand and given under our signet at Dundee, 11 September, the year of God one thousand, five hundred three score four years.
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©Lamb Collection, reproduced courtesy of Dundee Central Library