AUTHOR: Marie Brammeld
PUBLISHERS WEBSITE: Lomax Press
The original Vagabond Book of Stirling: 1752-1787, is preserved in Stirling Archives.
The Vagabond Book of Stirling is a rogues’ gallery of sorts, a historical record of misdemeanours and punishments of all the ne’er-do-wells to be hauled before the town Baillies in Stirling’s Tolbooth. A selection of their stories are told here – fully indexed to help you find colourful long-lost relatives.
Crimes include general socially unacceptable behaviour such as breach of the peace, theft, and assault and battery. Loose morals feature heavily, and – as ever – women come off by far the worst
Punishment is swiftly administered – a miscreant could be apprehended by the Town Guard, thrown in the Tolbooth overnight, appear before a Baillie in the morning, and be whipped out of town by noon the next day.
The Vagabond Book provides a unique slice of Stirling’s social history, showing us what life was really like in the crowded vennels at the Top of the Town in the 18th century, and often hinting at what went on behind the doors of the more fashionable residences, too.
In addition, the human stories of the Vagabond Book are placed in their social and historical context, and so will prove of interest to both the casual reader and those looking for a local history book with a difference.