#RoS400 – one year to go!

Blog by Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland.

A year today, we will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Sasine Register. Four hundred years of recording and safeguarding the rights of property owners in Scotland is a remarkable achievement. As someone with a history degree, I do like to think about what things were like in the past and how things have changed.

Back in 1617, James VI and I sat on the Scottish and English thrones. In that year, he returned to Scotland to undertake a royal progress, the only time he came back to his native land. The visit was a huge undertaking, as 5,000 people (and horses) were expected to accompany the King. I think Isla MacLeod, who is leading the work for our 400th anniversary celebrations, would have been somewhat daunted if she had had to deal with that task.

ros400_1_year_to_go_main

Lots was happening in the world in 1617. The Ming dynasty was in power in China; the Spanish built the San Diego fort in Acapulco to protect their empire; and in Edinburgh, Gladstone’s Land was bought and redeveloped by a prosperous Edinburgh merchant and burgess Thomas Gledstanes. No doubt he was glad of the protection offered by this new-fangled register of deeds.Things have changed so much since then, we live in a modern democratic society, where we all have the right to vote; many more people own property, life expectancy has increased dramatically; and I am very unlikely to be charged with witchcraft (which would probably have been my fate if I had bumped into King James one dark and stormy night).

Things have also changed a great deal since I joined RoS a decade ago. We are a much more efficient and customer-focussed organisation; we positively embrace change; and our business transformation is laying the foundations for our next 400 years.

Leave a Reply