Burgess Rolls

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Burgess Rolls

Glasgow Burgess Rolls list those citizens who were landowners and enjoyed certain privileges such as being able to vote.

Originally burgesses were inhabitants of the city, who held land there and contributed to Town and taxation and other burdens.  It was later restricted to Merchants and Craftsmen.

Only burgesses could enjoy the privileges of trading or practising a craft in the city or could vote in Municipal or Parliamentary elections.  Burgess tickets were also granted to outsiders who had performed some service for the City.  Search our online database of those awarded burgess tickets as volunteers for the South African War 1900-1904.   

Their political privileges were removed by the Reform Act in 1832 and their ancient exclusive trading rights were abolished in 1846.  Thereafter admission as a burgess became a social status with charitable objectives and has so continued to the present

The Scottish Record Society

The Scottish Record Society has published lists of burgesses for Glasgow:  The Burgesses & Guild Brethren of Glasgow, 1573-1846, edited by J. R. Anderson (Scottish Record Society, 1925).   The book also gives a detailed description of how you could become a burgess.

For later records and to see the original records of earlier burgess admissions, you can search the burgess roll books and other court records.​​​​

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