Trading to and from Stirling
The earliest available Guildry records of trade to and from Stirling date from the late 1400s. No foreign ports are mentioned, but it is highly likely that at this time the town was engaged in trade with the Low Countries, and possibly with France and the Baltic.
Archives reveal that Guildry Dean Duncan Paterson travelled to Flanders in 1593, necessitating the election of an interim Dean in his absence.
By the 17th century there is abundant evidence of trade links with ‘Campheir’ (Camp Vere, modern Veere in the Netherlands), Dort (near Rotterdam) and ‘Danskin’ or ‘Danskeine’ (Danzig).
Strangely, perhaps, there is only one mention of Scandinavia as a trade partner. Norway timber was brought into Bo'ness by unfree men of Falkirk in 1671, much to the outrage of the Stirling Guildry. It is likely that Stirling merchants were indeed involved in importing timber from Norway, even if it was not brought all the way up the Forth to the town.
Guildry records also contain references to tobacco and wine, but this does not necessarily indicate trade with America or France. Tobacco was probably bought by Stirling merchants in Holland or London and shipped to Stirling, while French wine was likely purchased from Leith merchants who dominated trade with Bordeaux.