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A bailie or baillie is a civic officer in the local government of Scotland. The position arose in the burghs, where bailies formerly held a post similar to that of an alderman or magistrate (see bailiff). Modern bailies exist in Scottish local councils, with the position being a courtesy title and appointees often requested to provide support to the Lord Provost or Provost - the ceremonial and civic head of the council - in their various engagements.[1][2]


The name derives from Old French and used to be synonymous with Provost, with several officials holding this role often at the appointment of the Church.[3]

The jurisdiction of a bailie is called a bailiary (alt. bailiery).

The office of bailie was abolished in law in Scotland in 1975, and today the position of bailie is a courtesy title.[2]


Notable Scottish bailies[edit]

As a title[edit]

As a surname[edit]

Outwith government[edit]

Scottish barons often appointed a Bailie as their judicial officer.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved March 8, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ "Page not found". Archived from the original on September 15, 2009.
  4. ^ News Items
  5. ^ "Support for the Lord Provost and Elected Members".
  6. ^ "Bailie suits bill for elbowing out city defector Cardownie".
  7. ^ "Page not found". Archived from the original on February 7, 2011.
  8. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Foulds, Jenny (18 May 2017). "New West Dunbartonshire Council administration revealed". Daily Record. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. ^ Rodger, Richard (23 September 2004). "Steel, Sir James, baronet (1829–1904)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)