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The image shows Stirling Castle. Copyright (c) 2002,2003.2004.2005 Finlay McWalter Account for Fireworks at Stirling Castle, 1566

A fireworks display was arranged by Mary, Queen of Scots, to be held at Stirling Castle as part of the lavish celebrations planned for the occasion of the baptism of 'her dearest son', James. A page from the accounts for this display is included below.

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Link to a timeline for the reign of King James VI and I.

Image shows a page from the accounts for the fireworks organised for the baptism of Prince James, 1566. National Records of Scotland reference E23/3/45.

(National Records of Scotland reference: E23/3/45)


Expensis maid be Johnne chisholme comptrollar of the
[artillery] wpoun certane nu[m]mer of fyrework[is] Ordanit be the
Quenes maiesties
[apparently deleted: precept directit to the said Johnne [ther]vpoun] to be maid
and put to executioun at the baptisme of hir hienes darrest sone
in st[irui]ling
[Stirling] The said expe[n]sis begi[n]ning the xix day of
November 1566 And ending the xxii day of december
nixt eftir following As at mair Lenth is [con]tenit in ev[er]y article of
this p[rese]nt compt

ITem in the first payit to James barroun cartir
of Lay[th] for his passing out of the said toun to
the castell of du[n]bar, and [ther]fra brocht vpoun his
cart to the said toun of Lay[th] four barrellis of
ca[n]noun poulder to serve for making of the fyre
work[is] and ane Littill barrell w[ith] bru[n]tstane
and roset to the same affect
[50 shillings]

ITem payit to James Hector ordinar gu[n]nar
send to du[n]bar for getting of the poulder
be ane precept of the Q[uenes] ma[ies]teis to the Laird
of quhitlaw, for his expe[n]sis and horss fee
[24 shillings]

ITem payit to michaell gairdner gu[n]nar and
poulder makar in the castell of Edimbur[ch]t
passing from the sami[n] to the toun of St[irui]ling
for making of fyrework[is] and bying of stuf
to [th]at poipos togidd[er] for his panes and exp[en]sis
The soume of xl
[10 pounds]

Item payit to the said James Hector at ane v[ther]
tyme passing towart[is] the Q[uenes] ma[ies]tie [th]ay being
in du[n]bar w[i]t[h] Letters to Informe hir heines of
the proceiding of the foirsaid[is] fyrework co[n]forme
to hir g[race's] precept [ther]vpoun And als to require of...

(National Records of Scotland reference: E23/3/45)


compt = account
Lay[th] = Leith
brunstane = brimstone
roset = resin




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