Record

CodeNA4315
Dates1901-1975
Person NameDalkeith Town Council; 1901-1975
ActivityDalkeith was created a burgh of barony in 1401 by King Robert III (1390-1406) in favour of Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith. A burgh of barony was presided over by a feudal superior who had authority from the Crown to administer justice and to hold barony courts dealing with crimes and matters of good neighbourhood until 1747 and thereafter solely matters of good neighbourhood. The superior came to be the Dukes of Buccleuch, who appointed a Baron Bailie to maintain their interest in the burgh. In 1760, a local act of parliament was secured (and renewed in 1782, 1804 and 1825) which imposed a local tax on ale, and provided for thirteen Trustees (appointed for life) to manage the burgh's affairs. Their duties included responsibility for paving, cleansing and street-lighting, and the water supply. It was considered that the Trustees discharged their affairs competently. By the 1860s, however, there was a view that the burgh's householders should elect their own council, and efforts were made in 1863, 1865 and 1873 to adopt the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act 1862 (25 & 26 Vict., c. 101), but a majority of voters opposed the move.

Despite recent history, Dalkeith was created a police burgh in 1878 under the 1862 Act. Burgh administration was carried out by police commissioners who were responsible for the cleansing, lighting, policing and public health of the burgh. The main industries in the town were carpet manufacturing, candle-making and brewing, and coal-mining was also a significant source of employment. It experienced a rapid period of growth in the mid 19th century and by 1891 the population was almost 7,000. Under the Town Councils (Scotland) Act 1900 (63 & 64 Vict., c. 49) the police commissioners were replaced by Dalkeith Town Council in January 1901. By 1971 the population had risen to 9,532. Dalkeith Town Council was abolished in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (c. 65). Its powers were assumed by Lothian Regional Council and Midlothian District Council. These in turn were replaced by Midlothian Council in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39).
Corporate NameDalkeith Town Council
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