It is nocht lesum to tak mair annuelrent or proffeit nor ten for the hundrethe

Oure soverane lord and estaitis of this present parliament haveand consideratioun that exhorbitant proffeit and usurie takin for the len of money is nocht onlie be the law of God condemnit bot also is forbiddin be the lawis of this realme and actis of parliament, thairfoir statutis and ordanis that nane of oure soverane lordis liegis tak upon hand in ony tyme heireftir to tak ony gritar proffeit or annuelrent for the len of money owther be infeftment or be band or contract directlie or indirectlie bot ten for the hundrethe, under the pane of confiscatioun of all thair moveable gudis and geir, and to be uthairwyis punishit in thair personis as commoun occuraris according to the lawis, and for that effect to be callit and persewit at perticular dyettis befoir the justice and his deputis to underly the law for the samin; and that infeftmentis, contractis and obligationis to be maid intymcuming for payment of annuelrent of victuell, that the victuell thairin contenit salbe reducit to sik conformitie of price as sall to ten for the hundrethe allanerlie, sua that the pertie addettit payand ten for the hundrethe the samin salbe als lauchfull as gif they had payit the victuellis contenit in the saidis infeftmentis. And becaus thair is diverses personis quha obtenis thame selffis infeft in the propertie of landis for small sowmes of money under reversioun and settis tak bak agane to the heretour or uthairis to his behuiff for payment of ane great dewtie in silver or victuell far exciding the proffeit of ten for ilk hundrethe; as also be contract, band or obligatioun makis simulat forme of bying or selling of victuell to be deliverit at ane certane day and failyeing thairof, certane heiche pricis liquidat thairin, of intentioun onlie of defraud of the said act to recover with thair principall sowme sik exhorbitant oker and proffeit as is directlie forbidin heirin; as lykwayis thair is diverses personis quha the tyme of the debursing of the said sowme quhilk thai lett to proffeit aggreis with the pertie for the usurie and okker far exciding the ordiner annuelrent foirsaid, and retenis the samin in thair handis and takis thair securitie be plane forme of obligatioun or uthairwayis of the haill sowme to be payit at ane certane terme as gif na sik exhorbitant proffeit and oker had bene deducit or allowit thairin, thairfoir statutis and ordanis that all sik infeftmentis, bandis, contractis or obligationis quhilkis salhappin to be maid in maner foirsaid in defraud of the said actis and statutis and for circumventioun of the liegis astrictand thai to pay forther proffeit in silver nor according to ten for the hundrethe or mair victuell nor may be answereable in price to the anuelrent in silver foirsaid, in maner abonespecifiit, salbe null and of nane availl, force nor effect, as gif the samin had nevir bene maid, notwithstanding quhatsumevir uther cullerit or pretendit claus be insert thairin; and the said nullitie upon the causes foirsaidis to be ressavit summerlie, alsweill be way of exceptioun and reply as be way of actioun, and to be tryit be the ayth of pertie and all uthair lauchfull probatioun conjonit thairwithe competent of the law, quhairby the said unlauchfull oker may be verefeit to the juge and the said nullitie to be persewit be the pertie, his airis, executouris and assignais with concurrence of the kingis advocat aganis the creditour, his aris and executoris, notwithstanding quhatsumevir ratificatioun of the band and infeftment or renunciatioun of the said actioun grantit be the pertie, quhairin it sall nocht be lesun to him to transact without his majesteis consent and licence grantit to that effect. And the said infeftment, band and obligatioun being reducit, the kingis majestie and his donatour to haif undowtit rycht to the principall sowme quhilk was deliverit, togidder with the ordiner annuelrent of all yeiris and termes bigane unpayit; and the pertie to haif repetitioun of quhatsumevir exhorbitant proffeit he hes payit exciding the ordiner annuell foirsaid, incais he concurr with his hienes advocat in the said reductioun, utherwayis to be debarrit frome the repetitioun of ony sowmes payit be him; the kingis majestie alwayis, his advocat and donatour to haif full rycht in thair personis to persew the reductioun and annulling of the saidis securiteis for the causes foirsaidis, albeit the principall pertie refusis to concure with tham thairin.

  1. NAS, PA2/15, f.66v-67r. Back
  2. APS reads, 'as sall answere', which is taken from the contemporary printed collection of acts, Sir John Skene, Lawes and Actes of Parliament, maid be King James the First and his successors Kings of Scotland - The XV Parliament of King James the Sext, halden at Edinburgh, the nineteenth day of December, the yeir of God, ane thousand, five hundreth, ninetie seven yeirs (Edinburgh, 1597), p.164. Back