Procedure: commission and instructions

The whilk day the commissioun and instructiouns underwrittin, being presented to the lords of his majesteis privie counsell and commissioners foresaids and read in thair audience, the same commissioun and instructiouns wer allowed, approvin and exped be thame, of the quhilks the tennour followes:

Commissioun for the treatie of the fishing

Our soverane lord, considdering the great blessing whairwith it hes pleased God to inriche his majesteis dominions of Scotland, England and Ireland in the abundance and plentie of fishe upon all the coasts of the same and how that the benefite thairof is reaped for the most part by strangers, to the great disparagement and prejudice of his majesteis loving subjects, whiche being a mater concerning his majesteis honnour and the good and strenth of his whole dominions, his majestie hes resolved that the saids fishings sall be undertakin by his owne subjects and that the samine sall be prosecute and ordered by commoun counsell and endeavoure; thairfoir, and for the better furtherance and accommodating of this great and important worke, ordanis ane letter to be made under his majesteis great seale makand and constitutand, lykeas his majestie, by the tennour heirof, makes and constituts his majesteis right trustie and weilbelovit cousines and counsellours Williame, erle of Mortoun, lord Dalkeith and Aberdour, lord high thesaurar of this kingdome, Williame, erle of Monteith, lord Grahame and Kilpont, president of his majesteis privie counsell, James, marqueis of Hamiltoun, erle of Arran and Cambridge, lord Alven and Innerdaill, Robert, erle of Roxburgh, lord Ker of Cesfurde, and his right trustie cousine Johne, erle of Carrick, lord Kinclevin, his majesteis right, trustie and weilbelovit counsellour, Sir William Alexander of Menstrie, knight, his majesteis principall secretare of the kingdome of Scotland and his majesteis right trustie and weilbelovits Maister Johne Hay and Maister George Fletcher, or anie fyve of thame, his majesteis commissioners to the effect underwrittin, givand, grantand and committand unto thame (or anie fyve of thame conjunctlie as said is) full power, warrand and aucthoritie, expresse bidding and charge to conveene and meit at suche times and in suche places as it sall please his majestie to appoint with certane selected commissioners nominat or to be nominat and authorized by his majestie for England according to the tennour of thair commissioun in that behalfe, or as the saids commissioners sall agree upon among thameselfes, and to confer and treate in all and everie thing that may concerne the intendit associatioun for undertaking the saids commoun fishings, companeis thairof and governement of the same and upon all and everie thing that sall occurre and result in the said treatie concerning the saids fishings or depending thairupon, and with absolute power to conclude thairin, having his majesteis speciall approbatioun thairto, provyding alwayes that nothing to be done or concluded thairin sall be prejudiciall or derogatorie to the lawes, liberteis and priviledges of this kingdome and crowne thairof; and that thir presents be ane warrand to the directour of the chancellarie for expeding of this commissioun at the chancellarie and that the same be ane warrand for appending the great seale thairunto without anie forder precepts to be direct thairupon. Givin at Halyrudhous, the ellevint day of November 1630. Subscribitur: George, cancellarus, Sanctandrois, Hadintoun, Wintoun, Dunkelden, Dumbland, Melvill, Hamiltoun, Sir Thomas Hop.

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.21v-22r. Back
  2. NAS, PC1/34, f.22r-23v. Back
Instructions givin for the kingdome of Scotland authorized by warrant under the great seale to treate with the commissioners for the kingdome of England anent the erecting of a commoun fishing

In the first yow are carefullie to advert that according to the provisioun and exceptioun conteanned in your commissioun that nothing be done nor concluded in that treatie whilk may be prejudiciall or derogatorie to the liberteis and priviledges of this kingdome, crowne thairof and lawes of the same.

Item, yow ar to have ane speciall care that by ane article of the treatie it be enacted that the natives of this kingdome be preferred in the choise of the most commodious and opportune places for erecting of thair magazens; and yow ar lykewayes to advert and provyde that suche places be designed and appointed to the English as most convenientlie may be without manifest prejudice to the land fishing heere.

Yow ar to have the lyke care that it be declared by ane article of your treatie that the seas foreanent the coasts of this kingdome and about the yles thairof, and all that is interjected betuix thame and that midlyne in the seas whilk is equallie distant and divyding frome the opposite land, ar the Scotish seas properlie belonging to the crowne of Scotland and that the English hes no right nor libertie to fishe thairin nor in no part thairof, bot be vertew of the associatioun and not otherwayes.

That it be declared that these of the associatioun sall be permitted and allowed to fishe in all the Scotish seas, excepting alwayes and reservand to the Scotishmen thair trade of fishing within thair loches, firthes and bayes within the mayne land and yles of this kingdome, and in the seas within fourteene myles of the coasts of the said mayne lands and yllands.

That it be provided and declared that these of the Scotish associatioun have and injoy the lyke priviledges and immuniteis of custome and erecting of magazens in England and Ireland as the English doe injoy heere in Scotland, and for this effect that it be declared and provided that naturalizatioun sall import no forder priviledge to the English in Scotland than the Scotish doe injoy by thair denization in England.

That it be declared and provided in the treatie that these of the English associatioun who sall sattle thameselfes upon Scotish land sall be debarred during thair abode in these places from all fishing within the reserved waters, except onelie for taking of freshe fishe for thair present use and interteanement allanerlie, and that they buy no fishe upon the sea nor land frome the natives of this kingdome bot for thair interteanement as said is, and that they nor nane of the English associatioun sall not be suffered to have commerce nor to make merchandice, except onelie of victualls and uthers necessars for thair present use and consumptioun, and that they export no commoditeis furth of the kingdome nor import anie to be sauld within the same except fishes allanerlie takin be thair awne vessellis.

That it be declared and provided in the treatie that these of the English associatioun sall be lyable to the payment of custome, bulyeoun and others dueteis for the fishes quhilks they sall make on the Scotish land and sall export furth of the same.

That it be declared and provided in the treatie that the fishes to be takin be vertew of the associatioun sall be free to be imbrought and sauld in all his majesteis three dominiouns.

Item, that these of the English associatioun who sall bring and make fishes upon the Scotish ground sall be equallie subject with the natives to ratablie contribute of the fishes so made by thame towards the furnishing and provisioun of this countrie as occasioun sall require, and conforme to the lawes of the kingdome made in that behalfe.

Yow ar to have ane speciall care and to foresee that the proportioun of the Scotish undertaking be not limited nor desynned and that it be not exclusive of what we may afterward contribute according as our abiliteis sall fra tyme to tyme increasse.

It is lykewayes to be provided and declared by the treatie that no priviledge grantit to the brethrein of the associatioun sall be prejudiciall to the liberteis quhilks the natives of this kingdome formerlie injoyed for selling thair fishe in England.

If anie questioun sall arise betuix the persons of the associatioun upon anie occasioun or difference concerning the fishing in Scotland, that it be declared that the mater sall be determined before the commoun counsellis respective to be erected in either kingdome for that purpose without anie appeale to be made thairfra.

Item, that no strangers be admitted in this associatioun otherwayes then as servants, except they transport thameselfes in his majesteis dominiouns, take the oath of alledgeance and be indenized, and that they trade with thair awne stockes allanerlie and be subject to the lawes of the kingdome anent the mater of trade.

The lords of secreit counsell recommends to the commissioners anent the treatie of associatioun for a commoun fishing with England to represent to our soverane lord the prejudice which this kingdome susteanes by suppressing the name of Scotland in all the infeftments, patents, writts and records thairof passing under his majesteis name, and conpounding the same under the name of Great Britane, altho there be no unioun as yitt with England, nor the style of Great Britane receaved there, bot all the publict writts and records of that kingdome ar past under his majesteis name as king of England, Scotland, France and Ireland; and thairfoir humbelie to intreate his majestie to give warrand to his majesteis counsell that all infeftments, patents, letters and writts passing heerafter under his majesteis name be conceaved under the name and style of Scotland, England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, and that the style of Great Britane be forborne; and that his majesteis seales where the name of Scotland is left out of the circumscriptioun be renewed under thir termes: Carolus Dei gratia Scotiae, Angliae, Franciae et Hiberniae rex.

Whereas the liberteis ancientlie dew to Scotish men traffiquing or residing in France ar of lait muche retrinched, to the great prejudice and disparagement of this estait, the saids commissioners ar to sollicite his majestie that his majestie would be gratioullie pleased to recommend to the Frenche king the restoring of the subjects of this kingdome to thair wounted liberteis and priviledges in France.

Whereas a supplicatioun hes beene exhibite unto the saids lords in the behalfe of the Scotish undertakers of the plantatioun of Ulster in Ireland, desyring thame to recommend to his majestie thair naturalizatioun and confirmatioun of thair estats and the caise of post nati in the nixt parliament to be haldin in the said kingdome of Ireland, the saids commissiouris ar thairfoir to sollicite his majestie in thair behalfe for effecting the premises according to thair reasonable desire.

And for that effect that his majestie would nominat and appoint some Scotishmen upon the committee of suche effaires as formerlie had wount to be in the commissioun for Scotish effairis, whairin Sir Williame Alexander, his majesteis secretarie, and Sir James Foullertoun wer twa.

In regarde of the great nomber of Scotish shippes takin by Dunkirkers and of the irreparable losses quhilks the merchant traffiquers have thairthrow susteaned, whairby they ar both discouraged and disabled to follow out thair trade, to the undoing of thair estats and great prejudice of his majesteis customes, that the saids commissioners thairfoir make remonstrance thairof to his majestie and consult his majestie anent the most effectuall meanes how they may be protected aganis the violence of the enemie and secured in thair trade for the tyme to come.

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.21v-22r. Back
  2. NAS, PC1/34, f.22r-23v. Back