Regarding the liberties of free burghs

Our sovereign lord and his estates of parliament, for the gracious love and favour which his majesty bears to the burghs of this realm after his perfect age of 25 years complete, ratifies and approves all and whatsoever acts, rights, privileges, ordinances and constitutions made of before by his majesty and his most noble progenitors for maintenance of the liberties of free burghs according to the said acts and constitutions in all points. And forasmuch as by diverse acts of parliament made of before in the days of his most noble progenitors, it is statute and ordained that no person within this realm should exercise the trade of merchandise but the burgesses of free burghs, which have not been nor yet are observed by reason that there is no penalty imposed to the contraveners thereof, therefore our said sovereign lord and whole estates of this present parliament, confirm, ratify and approve the said acts, constitutions and every one of them with this addition: that whosoever exercises the said trade of merchandise not being free burgesses, their whole goods and gear shall become in escheat, the one half to our sovereign lord, and the other half to the burgh whose commissioner or collector shall first apprehend the same. And to the effect that the said escheat may be uplifted, his majesty and estates foresaid give and grant full power and authority to every one of the said free burghs, by themselves or their commissioner and collector, whom they shall have power to depute in that behalf, to search and seek the goods and gear of the said unfreemen traffickers, to intromit therewith as escheat, and to deliver the one half thereof to his highness's treasurer, and the other half to the burgh whereof he shall be appointed commissioner and collector, whether it be within this realm or in any other part, where the same may be challenged, and to arrest the said goods, call, follow and pursue thereof before unbiased bailies or deputes, whom they shall have power to create to that effect; and ordain the one half of the said escheat to be intromitted with by the said commissioner or collector as said is, be applied to the common welfare of the said burgh who shall first apprehend the said escheated goods, of the which half of the said escheated goods there shall be yearly account made as is appointed of the common good of the burgh, providing always that this present act be not prejudicial to noblemen, barons or other landed men, to bring or cause bring or have merchandise to their own particular use and benefit so that they sell not the same or make merchandise thereof again to our sovereign lord's lieges, wherein in case the said noblemen, barons and others above-written be found or apprehended culpable, they shall be reputed, held and esteemed as unfreemen traffickers, and it shall be permissible to the said free burghs or their commissioner and collector foresaid to intromit with their whole goods and gear as escheat, and convey upon the same as with the said unfreemens' goods in manner above-written.

  1. NAS, PA2/14, f.35v. Back
  2. Written in margin: 'V'. Written alongside this act, 'concerning the burghs'. Back