Missives articles and instructions regarding the fishing

The which day Sir William Alexander [of Menstrie], knight, his majesty's principal secretary in this kingdom, exhibited and gave in to the estates his majesty's missive letter underwritten, together with the instructions given by his majesty to the said Sir William to be treated by him with the said estates about the erection of a general fishing, of the which missive and instructions the tenor follows:

Charles Rex, right trusty and well-beloved cousins and councillors and right trusty and well-beloved councillors, we greet you well. Having with the advice of our council here in England maturely considered that as well in thankfulness to almighty God as for the benefit of all our loving subjects, we ought no longer to neglect that great blessing offered to us in the great abundance of fish upon all the coasts of these islands, to the end we may at length enjoy with more honour those rights which properly belong to our imperial crown and are usurped by strangers, we have considered of a way which in time, by God's favour, may produce this good effect and also increase our navigation and trade. And because this work concerns equally all our three kingdoms and must, therefore, be undertaken and ordered by common counsel and assistance, we have taken this opportunity of your convention at Edinburgh to send our instructions to Sir William Alexander [of Menstrie], our secretary for Scotland, to acquaint you with certain propositions for the advancement of this service, and we require you both to give him hearing at large and freely to entreat with him in every point of his instructions and in whatsoever may be found expedient for the furtherance of so good and great a work concerning both our honour and the public good. And with all we expect that you proceed not only to a resolution upon such articles as shall be agreed upon, but that you also endeavour to put them in execution so as by him we may speedily understand how you take it to heart and how far you concur for the accomplishment of the work wherein you may expect from us such privileges and powers as shall be convenient and as reasonably you can desire. And also be assured that we shall graciously accept your extraordinary care and forwardness in a business which with extraordinary earnestness we recommend to you. Given at our palace of Westminster, 12 July 1630.

By his majesty's commandment, [Sir] John Coke, [secretary of state for England]

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.12v-13r. Back