Davie keeps tradition alive at gateway event to town’s big day

Crying of the Marches with town crier Davy Duncan. Linlithgow Marches 2014.
Crying of the Marches with town crier Davy Duncan. Linlithgow Marches 2014.

On the Friday before Linlithgow Marches Day, the Town Crier, Davie Duncan, parades the High Street from the Low Port to the West Port – the ancient gateways into the Burgh.

Every so often he stops to duly inform the townsfolk that their presence is required the following Tuesday to participate in the town’s Riding of the Marches.

In recent years the parade has carried on to the grounds of Linlithgow Bridge Primary School where the children welcome the procession and provide refreshments and entertainment.

In his mock mediaeval outfit, the Town Crier also stresses the importance of the occasion by announcing that everyone must attend in their best “carriage and equipage, apparel and array” – under a non-attendance penalty of one hundred pounds Scots!

For centuries, a Linlithgow Burgh official has been charged with the duty of proclaiming the ancient Crying of the Marches, printed on the scroll (left).

Linlithgow is one of the very few places in Scotland which still possesses such an official.

Also unique to Linlithgow are the Deacons’ Nights staged at the Burgh Halls, held on the two Saturday’s prior to the Marches.


“O Yez! O Yez! O yez! The burgesses, craftsmen, and whole inhabitants of the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow are hereby warned and summoned to attend my Lord Provost, Bailies and Council at the ringing of the bells on Tuesday 18th day of June, curt for the purpose of riding the Town’s Marches and liberties according to the use and custom of the ancient and honourable burgh, and that, in their best carriage, equipage, apparel and array, and also attend all diets of court held and appointed on that day by my Lord Provost and Bailies, and that under penalty of one hundred pounds Scots each. God save the Queen and my Lord Provost.”