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Religion and National IdentityGoverning Scottish Presbyterianism in the Eighteenth Century$
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Alistair Mutch

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748699155

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699155.001.0001

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Handling Finances

Handling Finances

(p.106) Chapter 5 Handling Finances
Religion and National Identity

Alistair Mutch

Edinburgh University Press

Kirk sessions had substantive responsibility for collecting and distributing money for the relief of the poor. This necessitated the recording of financial transactions and the gradual development of these records is examined. The evolution of a separate money register is traced from its origins in the central lowlands to wider, although still partial, distribution by the end of the eighteenth century. A detailed examination of records at the local level indicates a variety of formats and practices, all of which displayed a spirit of careful record keeping. The importance of the roles of the treasurer and session clerk is outlined, together with the centrality and nature of the poor box, the key artefact in a complex system which exposed lay members of the ‘middling sort’ to routines of accountability. The tensions that could ensue are indicated by an analysis of two legal disputes over poor relief in the parishes of Humbie and Cambuslang at mid-eighteenth century. Their exceptional nature confirms the broad outlines of the mature system.

Keywords:   Treasurer, Money registers, Church of Scotland, Cambuslang, Humbie, Poor relief, Poor box

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