BOROUGH, in the law of Scotland, signifies a corporate body, erected by charter of the sovereign, and consisting of the inhabitants of a certain district,, with jurisdiction annexed to it. Boroughs hold ei ther of the crown, or of a subject : hence they are distinguished into boroughs royal, and boroughs of regality or barony. All royal boroughs have power,. by their charters, to chuse annually such office-bearers or magistrates as are specified in the grant ; gener ally a provost, bailies, dean of guild, treasurer, and common council, who are elected in terms of the set or constitution of the borough.
The magistrates of royal boroughs have as extensive a civil jurisdiction within the borough, as the sheriff in his territory. They are also empowered by special' statute, 1644', c. 35. revived by 1663, c. 6. to value! and sell ruinous houses, when the proprietors refuse to rebuild or repair them. Their criminal jurisdic tion, anciently pretty extensive, is now confined to petty riots. They never had jurisdiction in blood wits, with the exception of a few boroughs, to whom that special right was granted by charter. The ma gistrates of some boroughs are, by their charters, constituted justices of the peace within the bounds of their erection ; and, since the union, the eldest ma gistrate of every royal borough is named, of course, in all the commissions of the peace. In all matters of police, the magistrates and town council must con cur, as the full representatives of the community. In•
this capacity they enact by-laws, chuse persons into offices which are in their gift, &c. ; and they may not only proportion the public taxes among the inha:" bitants, but also impose taxations, for the utility of the borough, by their own authority, provided they have not only the consent of the magistrates and. council, but of the special corporations burdened.
The Convention of Royal Boroughs is composed of. deputies or commissioners, one from each borough„ who were, as early as 1487, c. 3. authorised to meet yearly, to consider of the " welfare of merchandise,, the gude rule and statutes for the common profite of burrows, and to provide for remeid upOn the skaith and injuries sustained within the burrowes:" Their powers Were confirmed and enlarged by many sub sequent acts ;. and accordingly that body have been in the practice of meeting annually in Edinburgh, for the purpose of regulating the matters committed to their, charge.
In boroughs of barony and regality,, the Tight of electing magistrates is, by the charter, vested some times in the inhabitants themselves, and sometimes in the baron or superior. Their jurisdiction ex tends to the cognisance of debts, and questions of possession between the inhabitants, and the superior's jurisdiction is always cumulative with that of the Magistrates. See Erskine's Mit. of the Law of Scot land, b. i. tit. iv. § 20. Bell's Dict. of the Law of' Scotland. (z)