Act anent annualrentis etc.

Forsamekle as the exhorbitant proffeitt and usurie tane for the lane of money is not onlie be the law of God condampnit bot lykwise be his majesteis lawis and actis of parliament restreanit, and now undirstanding the grite and enorme hurte quhilk his majesteis subjectis hes sustenit be the oversicht of rigorous okkeraris thir divers [yeiris] bigane, speciallie sen the derth of victuall hes increscit sua that the personis quha lute thair money to proffeit, not content to ressave the ordinair annuelrent thairfoir in silver prescrivit be the act of parliament extending to ten for ilk hundreth, or samekle victuall as micht ansuer in commoun price to the proportioun of the said annuelrent, bot under pretext of the said act of parliament, haveing vindecat to thame selffis greiter libertie to exact mair rigorous proffeitt, hes compellit the ressavearis of the money to pay in tyme of derth the annuelrent of tua, three or foure bollis victuall yeirlie for ilk hundreth markis money, quhairby the proffeit and annualrent payit in victuaill is ather equivalent to the principall sowme, at the leist exceidis threttie, fourtie or fifty for the hundreth, to the extreame wrack of the puir lieges; quha, for releiff of thair present necessitie, ar compellit to yeild to quhatsumevir unlauchfull conditioun of proffeitt the creditour pleises impoise, ather directlie be infeftment or indirectlie be band, contract or uthir forme of securitie maliciouslie divisit to cullour sic ungodlie and inordinate okkare not tollerable in ane reformit and Christeane commounwele and expres contrair the meaning of the said act of parliament. And seing it becumis his majestie of his princelie dewtie not to suffir his lawis and actis of parliament establissed in favour and for the conforte of his majesties subjectis tobe convertit to thair hurte, as ane snair to involve thame in greitair miserie, bot rather that his majesty and his esteatis, as authoris of the law, sould expone and interprete the meaning thairof aggreablie to the occasioun for the quhilk the same wes statute, and that his majesteis lawis sould not appeir to include a contrarietie or permitt that indirectlie quhilk be the expres wordis and ressoun of the law is forbidden, his majestie, with avise of his esteatis, hes thocht expedient to mak manifest and declair to his hienes subjectis that the said act of parliament maid in the parliament haldin at Edinburgh upoun the [...] day of [...] the yeir of God jM vC [...] yeiris anent annuelrentis, ordaning the annuelrent of ten markis tobe payit for ilk hundreth, or certane bollis of victuaill answerand then in price thairto, wes establissed in favour and for releiff of the puir lieges opprest with sic intollerable okkarie, quhairin the intentioun of his majestie and his esteatis wes that the silver and victuall quhilk wes then of a law price sould be reduceit to ane certane correspondence, makand the silver annuell as the price of the annuelrent of victuaill, swa that the proffeitt micht keip ane ressounable proportioun with the stok, answerand ather in victuall or in silver to ten for ilk hundreth as the price of victuaill wes then, and not to giff occasioun to insatiable creditouris with the derth of the victuaill to incresce thair crueltie be the miserie of the puir lieges in thair necessitie, and to uplift for small principall sowmes sic exhorbitant proffeit as the price of victuaill in tyme of derth wald extend to; the quhilk inordinat doing, the kingis majestie and his esteatis presentlie convenit, movit be the havie complaint of the lieges to repres, and willing to putt remeid thairto in tyme cuming, hes statute and ordanit that nane of his lieges tak upoun hand at ony tyme heireftir to tak ony greiter proffeit or annuelrent for the lane of money, ather be infeftment or be band and contract directlie or indirectlie bot ten for the hundreth, under the pane of confiscatioun of all thair movable guides and geir, and tobe uthairwise punist in thair personis as commoun okkeraris according to the lawis; and, for that effect, tobe callit and persewit at particulair dietis befoir the justice and his deputes to undirly the law for the samyn. And for this effect, that all infeftmentis, contractis or obligationis maid for payment of annuelrent of victuaill at ony tyme befoir the date heirof, that the victuall thairin contenit salbe reduceit in tyme cuming eftir the publicatioun heirof to sic conformitie of price as sall ansuer to ten for the hundreth allanerlie, swa that the pairtie addebtit payand ten for the hundreth, the same salbe als lauchfull as giff thay had payit the victuaill contenit in the saidis infeftmentis. And becaus thair is divers personis quha in defraude of the said act of parliament and meaning thairof heirin declairit obtenis thame selffis infeft in the propirtie of landis for small sowmes of money under reversioun, and settis tak bak agane to the heritour or uthiris to his behuiff for payment of ane grite dewitie in silver or victuaill far exceeding the said proffeit of ten for ilk hundreth; as alsua be contract, band or obligatioun makes simulat forme of bying and selling of victuaill tobe delyverit at ane certane day, and, failyeing thairof, certane heich priceis liquidat theirin, off intentioun onlie in defraude of the said act to recover with thair principall sowme sic exhorbitant okkare and proffeit as is directlie foirbiddin heirin. As lykwayes thair is divers personis quha the tyme of the debursing of the said sowme quhilk thay latt to proffeitt aggreis with the pairtie for the usurie and okkare far exceeding the ordinair annuelrent foirsaid, and retenis the same in thair handis and takis thair securitie be plane forme of obligatioun or uthirwayes of the haill sowme tobe payit at ane certane terme as gif na sic exhorbitant proffeitt and okkare had bene deduceit or allowit thairin, thairfoir, and for remeid of the foirsaidis and siclike fraudis divisit for the circumventioun of the liegis, the lawis and actis maid in thair favouris for repressing of sic inordinat okkare exceeding the quantitie foersaid, it is statute and ordanit that all sic infeftmentis, bandis, contractis or obligationis quhilkis salhappin tobe maid in maner foirsaid eftir the publicatioun heirof, in defraude of the saidis actis and statutis and for circumventioun of the liegis astrictand thame to pay forder proffeit in silver nor according to ten for the hundreth or mair silver nor may be answerable in price to the annuellrent in silver foirsaid, in maner abonespecifeit, salbe null and of nane avale, force nor effect, as giff the samin had nevir bene maid, nochtwithstanding quhatsumevir uthir cullourit or pretendit claus be insert thairin; and the said nullitie upoun the caus foirsaid tobe ressavit summarlie, alswele be way of exceptioun and reply as be way of actioun, and to be tryit be the aith of pairtie and all uthir lauchfull probatioun conjoned thairwith competent of the law quhairby the said unlauchfull okkare may be verifeit to the juge, and the said nullitie tobe persewit be the pairtie, his airis, executouris and assignais with concurrence of the kingis advocat aganis the creditour, his airis, executouris and assignais nochtwithstanding quhatsumevir ratificatioun of the band and infeftment or renunciation of the said actions grantit be the pairtie, quhairin it sall not be lesum to him to transact without his majesteis consent and licence grantit to that effect. And the said infeftment, band and obligations being reduceit, the kingis majestie and his donatour to have undoubtit richt to the principall sowme quhilk was delyverit, togidder with the ordinair annuelrent of all yeiris and termes bigane unpayit; and the pairtie to have repetitioun of quhatsumevir exhorbitant proffeitt he has payit exceiding the ordinair annuell foirsaid incais he concur with his hienes advocat in the said reductions, uthirwayes tobe debarrit frome the repetitioun of ony soumes payit be him. The kingis majestie alwayes, his advocat and donatour to have full richt in thair personis to persew the reductions and annulling of the saidis securiteis for the causes foirsaidis, albeit the principall pairtie refuse to concur with thame thairin. And that lettrez of publicatioun be direct heirupoun in forme as effeiris.

  1. NAS, PC1/16, 539-540. Back
  2. APS interpolation. Back