Letter: letter from the privy council to the commissioners

Followes the missive writtin be the counsell to the Scotish commissioners for the fishing anent the mater abonewrittin.

After our verie heartilie commendatiouns to your good lordships, upon the recept of your lordships letter and for our better informatioun anent the particulars conteanned thairintill, we imparted the same to the provest and bailleis of Edinburgh, desyring to be instructed be thame thairanent, bot they, pretending this to be a commoun caus concerning the whole bodie of thair estate, refuised in anie caise to meddle thairin till they wer consulted with the burrowes thereanent, quhilk moved ws to assigne unto thame the twentie of this instant for that effect. This dyet being keeped be ane frequent nomber of commissioners frome the burrowes, and we having with great instance showne unto thame the necessitie and expediencie of your lordships propositioun both for his majesteis satisfactioun and the credite and benefite of this kingdome, they stood verie punctuallie upon that article of your lordships instructiouns whairby there is a reservatioun of all fishings within fourteene myles aff the land, whilk includes all loches, firthes and bayes, and thought it needlesse to condescend upon particulars where all wes includit; bot being in end induced to give up a particular condescendence they tooke this day to doe the samine and accordinglie gave in this inclosed report, quhilk, being considderit and found to be of too large ane extent, we, out of our desire to his majesteis contentment and advancement of the worke, have retrinched and restricted the universalitie of thair exceptioun to the parts sett doun in this inclosed note, with allowance of ane reservatioun of fourteene myles aff suche coasts of the kingdome as ar weill peopled and where the countrie people lives most by fishing, without the whilk they could not possiblie subsist nor yitt be able to pay thair maisters thair fermes and dewteis, quhilk is so considerable a point that it wes found be the table that if there had beene ane bushe fishing erected in Scotland there would have beene a reservatioun of all fishing within these waters for the use and benefite of the countrie people, for it cannot be qualified that ever anie Hollander or other stranger fished in these waters. And in respect we want the consent of the burrowes to this restrictioun and that we would be laith to have thame hurt or prejudged in that whiche they conceave to tuiche the bodie and commouns of the countrie so neerelie, we remitt to your lordships consideratioun whiche of the twa designations your lordships will make the reule of your proceedings, quhairin resting assured that nothing will be wanting in your lordships that may tend to the preservatioun of the liberteis of this your native kingdome. We committ your lordships to God, frome Halyrudhous, the 21 of Apryle 1631. Subscribitur: Dupline, Wigtoun, Lauderdaill, Gordoun, Patrick, bishop Rosse, Johne Isles, Sir Thomas Hop, Hamiltoun, Sir G. Elphinstoun, Scottistarvet, Sir James Baillie.

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.26r. Back