Apud Halyrudhous, tertio Novembris 1630

Sederunt

Sederunt: chanceller, thesaurar, president, privie seale, Wintoun, Linlithgow, Seafort, Air, Lord Areskine, Lord Melvill, clerk register, advocate, justice clerk.

Togidder with the commissioners underwrittin nominat be the conventioun of estats for the treatie anent the fishing, to witt: the Erles of Rothesse, Buchan and Carrick, the Bishop of the Yles, the Lairds of Cranstounriddill, Lee and Rickartoun, George and Alexander Bruces, Alexander Clerk, Thomas Halyburtoun, Maister Udast Lawsone, Maister James Cockeburne, Johne Cowane, Maister Johne Hay, Maister Alexander Guthrie, Gabriel Cuninghame, Johne McKesone, James Watsone, Johne Williamesone, Robert Alexander and Robert Richartsone.

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.19r. Back
  2. NAS, PC1/34, f.19r-20r. Back
  3. NAS, PC1/34, f.20r-v. Back
  4. NAS, PC1/34, f.20v-21r. Back
Procedure: commissioners' report to the estates; objections to instructions; reply to objections
The Erle of Monteths report of the commissioners for the fishing thair proceedings

The whilk day Williame, erle of Monteth, the president of his majesteis counsell, reported to the nobilitie, counsell and estats presentlie conveenned the proceedings of the commissioners appointed for the treatie of the commoun fishing, and thairwithall he produced instructiouns sent doun be his majestie concerning the fishing, with the commissioners observations made thairupon and reply made be the English commissioners thairunto; quhilks being read, the estaits ordanis ane copie of the answeres and reply to be givin to everie estait to be considered of be thame and they to report to the publict meiting thair opinioun and judgement concerning the same upon Monday nixt in the forenoone at ten of the clocke. The estaits present warned apud acta.

Followes the observations upon the generall instructions by way of objection:

Whereas by the instructiouns sent by his majestie to his secretarie of Scotland concerning the erectioun of a generall fishing, it would appeare that the said generall fishing to be erected is understood of these fishings whairof the benefite is onlie reaped by strangers and doeth no way touche these fishings whiche ar enjoyed by the natives of anie of the kingdomes. It is necessarie that the particular fishings within everie kingdome whiche ar onelie injoyed be the natives be made knowne, that the lawes and freedoms of everie kingdome may be preserved, as is conteaned in the saids instructiouns.

It is desyred that it may be cleered what these fishings ar whilk ar called commoun benefites and cannot devidedlie be injoyed.

To understand what severall undertakings will be for this generall fishing in England and in Ireland.

It is desyred that the Scotish adventurers of the societie be naturalized in England, seing the denizatioun whiche the English ar to have in Scotland is equivalent to naturalizatioun in England.

It would be considered in what maner the returne for the fishes exported out of eache kingdome sall be made to the kingdome whairin they ar takin.

As to the governement of the associatioun it is fitt before it be treatted of that the preceeding articles be cleered and the severall undertakings condescended upon, that all the undertakers may joyne togidder for perfyting thairof.

As to that article for building one or moe free burrowes in the Yle of the Lewes, there can be no answere givin thairunto till the nixt meeting of the estaits, in regarde it is against the standing right of regall burrowes alreadie erected and of others having interest, who in reasoun must be heard before anie opinioun be givin thairin.

Sic subscribitur, W. Alexander

Followes the answeres of the English commissioners to the preceeding objections:

For the first and second articles, his majesteis royall and just intentioun is (as we conceave) most cleere in his instructions not to take away or derogat frome the particular and personall grants and rights of anie of his subjects, whois lawes and liberteis he purposeth to mainteane, but in all his kingdomes, in places neere and remote, where commoun fishing is or may be used by anie of his people, that everie brother of this companie made capable according to the respective lawes of eache kingdome may freelie fishe there. This mutuall participation being the bond of unioun and sole meanes to recover his majesteis right and power at sea, and to inriche all his subjects and these cheefelie where the greatest fishings ar.

For the thrid, we understand his majesteis gratious favour to that kingdom to have so large extent that howsoever he desyreth for thair advantage thair proportioun may be considerable, yitt he will not presse thame abone thair owne measure, not doubting bot it will be answerable to the estimatioun he hath of thame, and assuring that in England and Ireland the proportioun sall be answerable to the abiliteis of either kingdomes and the greatnesse of the worke, whiche must be overcome by degrees and can not at first be rated to the full otherwayes then in the instructions is generallie sett doun.

The difference betuix naturalizing and free endenizing is not important in the mater of fishing, whiche is the onelie use the companie will make of thame. And when a parliament sall be callit, the brothers of this companie will probablie finde no difficultie to obteane what they desyre.

Toucheing the returnes to be made for the fishes exported, his majestie will provide according to his wisdome for his owne indemnitie and interest; and for the publict profite it cannot be doubted that according to the increasse of trade by the fishing in eache kingdome the benefite of thair returnes will respectivelie increasse.

The governement of all companeis in these kingdomes can have no reference to a popular agreatioun of all the undertakers, thair liberteis and powers depending whollie upon the king's grace and gift, whiche in this is the more to be respected for that in his instructions he hath expressed his gratious purpose with admissioun of advice frome his counsell in eache kingdome in anie thing that may require further consideratioun, and we doubt not but the lords and states in Scotland will concurre with suche a governement as sall be most conformable to the crowne we live under and obey.

For the last additionall article concerning the king's interest in erecting free and regall burrowes, though we ar perswaded that his majestie will not straine his prerogative royall nor exercise other power in this then the lawes of that kingdome have putt into his hands, yitt we will not take upon ws to answere yow in this point bot referre yow to his majestie for more full satisfactioun, onelie wishing that his majesteis most royal, just and cleere intentiouns, as they have conducted ours, so may prevaile with yours not to questioun, bot unanimouslie to advance and settle so worthie, so profitable and so important a worke to the empyre of these kingdomes as we ar confident yow will endeavoure.

Subscribitur, W. Alexander

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.19r. Back
  2. NAS, PC1/34, f.19r-20r. Back
  3. NAS, PC1/34, f.20r-v. Back
  4. NAS, PC1/34, f.20v-21r. Back
Letters: king's letters to the estates and privy council
Missives anent the fishing

The whilk day Williame, erle of Monteth, president of his majesteis privie counsell, produced to the estats presentlie conveenned the twa missive letters underwrittin, the one whairof is directed frome his majestie to the saids estats and the other to the lords of privie counsell, of the quhilks missives the tenor followes:

Charles R[ex], right trustie and right weilbelovit cousine and counsellour, right trustie and weilbelovit cousines and counsellours, right trustie and trustie and weilbelovit counsellours, right trustie and trustie and weilbelovit, we greit yow weill. We have found by report of suche as wer present at your last meiting and by effects of your affectioun to our service, whairwith we rest weill satisfied and do give yow most heartie thankes for the same, assuring yow that we will not be wanting in anie thing that we can contribute to the good of that our ancient kingdome, for whiche effect some propositiouns wer sent by ws to be considered of by yow concerning the improving of the fishings there, quhairupon yow sent (as we required) commissioners hither to treate in that purpose. We have caused thame and suche as wer appointed by ws heere for that effect to meit and conferre togidder, thairin having ourselffes heard at lenth the reasouns and grounds for prosecuting of that bussines, whiche, (as we conceave) if it be providentlie followed, may proove a worke of great consequence for the generall good of our whole kingdomes, and more particularlie for the benefite of that our ancient kingdome, by the daylie improving of trade and shipping therein; and seing it is not heerby intended that anie of your ancient priviledges nor benefits formerlie injoyed be anie wayes hindered but, on the contrarie, that your trade, shipping and consequentlie the strenth and glorie of the kingdome be increassed, these ar, thairfoir, seriouslie to recommend unto yow the said purpose as it sall be delyvered unto yow by thame who wer commissioners unto ws, that yow may consider how this worke may be best and speedilie done, what touns or plantatiouns ar fitt to be erected to that purpose. And to the intent yow on your part sould give that contribution, helpe and furtherance whiche is requisite for so good and glorious a worke, that yow condescend amongst your selfes what helpe and supplee may be expected from thence. And having weill considered what is fitt to be done upon your parts for advancement of this great worke, that commissioners may be sent backe with absolute power to conclude thairin without anie restrictioun but of our approbatioun. Whiche speciallie recommending to your care, we bid yow fareweill. Hampton Court, the twelfe day of October 1630.

Followes the postscript writtin with his majesteis hand:

This is a worke of so great good to both my kingdomes that I have thought good by these few lynes of my owne hand seriouslie to recommend it unto yow, the furthering or hindering of whiche will ather oblige or disoblige me more then anie one bussines that hes happened in my tyme.

C[harles] R[ex]

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.19r. Back
  2. NAS, PC1/34, f.19r-20r. Back
  3. NAS, PC1/34, f.20r-v. Back
  4. NAS, PC1/34, f.20v-21r. Back

Charles R[ex], right trustie and weilbelovit cousine and counsellour, right trustie and weilbelovit cousines and counsellours, right trustie and weilbelovit counsellours and trustie and weilbelovit counsellours, we greit yow weill. We have found your affectioun to our service at this last conventioun of the estats, for which we give yow heartie thankis, as tuicheing the propositions sent by ws unto yow concerning the improving of the fishings there. We have caused the commissioners sent thither to treate in that purpose to meit and conferre with suche as wer appointed by ws heere for that effect, having our selffes heard at lenth the reasouns and grounds for prosecuting of that bussines, whairin after they have delyvered unto yow what hath beene debated heere at this tyme. We will yow to insist as yow have begun to give your best advice and furtherance for bringing a work of so great consequence to the intended perfectioun, whiche amongst other good services done be yow for the publict good of that our ancient kingdome we will accompt this one of the greatest; and after yow have heard the opinioun of suche of the estats as ar to conveene for that purpose, we desyre yow to returne commissioners with instructions to treate herein with ane absolute power to conclude for avoyding of all delays becaus the worke, for diverse considerations, requireth haste. Whiche, speciallie recommending to your care, we bid yow fareweill. Frome our honnour of Hampton Court, the 12 day of October 1630.

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.19r. Back
  2. NAS, PC1/34, f.19r-20r. Back
  3. NAS, PC1/34, f.20r-v. Back
  4. NAS, PC1/34, f.20v-21r. Back