Act regarding great salt

Our sovereign lord and estates presently convened ratify, approve and confirm the act of council made and granted in favour of Eustatius Rough, Fleming, for making of great salt within this realm, with the gift of the comptrollery of the same granted by his highness's gift under the privy seal to William [Stewart], commendator of Pittenweem, in the whole heads, points and articles of the same; and ordain the said act to have the strength and effect of a sufficient security to them until the next parliament, at which time our sovereign lord and estates have promised to cause the same be ratified in parliament, of the which the tenor follows: At Edinburgh, 19 June 1599. Forasmuch as the invention of making of great salt within this realm, found out by Eustatius Rough, Fleming, is not only a singular benefit to the commonwealth and whole lieges thereof, but by all appearance shall augment and increase his highness's rent and revenues in a great quantity; and the said Eustatius, already having given upon his own charges a perfect assay of the same, and that now the work itself can be in no measure brought to any perfection without great charges and expenses, which his majesty, being in no way of mind presently to advance, therefore the said Eustatius, for signifying of his readiness to his majesty's service and advancement of his highness's profit, has intended for beginning of the said work to take upon profit the sum of £20,000, and that for completing and furnishing of two salt-pans for making of the said great salt. And because the persons, as well as Scotsmen as strangers, who will in any way advance the said money for profit will in no way be content of 10 of the 100 for the yearly profit of the same, and that if any further be given for the said money, the same must be rebated and deducted off the readiest profit of the said pans, therefore the lords of his highness's secret council have declared and ordained that off the first and readiest of the profit of the said pans to be built as said is, not only shall the annualrent of the said sum be paid accordingly as it comes to 10 for each 100, but also they have given and granted to the said Eustatius the sum of 10s of each boll of salt that shall happen to be made, and that for satisfying of his creditors and such as he shall take money off in the surplus of the profit of their money to be craved by them; and that until either the said sums that shall be first taken on be released by the free profit to be received by his majesty of the said pans or then the same sum paid by his majesty's self. Likewise the lords of his highness's council by this act declares that such as will advance money to this present act, notwithstanding of the act of parliament, shall in no way incur any danger or inconvenience albeit they take greater profit thereof than is prescribed by the said act. And because his majesty's profit will be augmented accordingly as the number of the pans shall increase, and the bestowing of the free profit to be had of the said two pans being only employed to the furthering of another two pans will double the rent his majesty shall acquire by the said two pans, therefore it is concluded by the said lords of council that the free profit that shall be had thereof the said two first pans shall be disbursed and bestowed wholly to the building and accomplishing of another two pans, and no part of the same shall be in any manner of way assigned, conveyed or given away to any person whatsoever or to any other use. And likewise there is special allowance granted to the said Eustatius for his service and attendance in setting forward the said work from the time that he shall enter to the building of the pans to the four complete pans be furnished, daily and each day for the sustentation of him, his horse and servants the sum of 30s to be paid of the readiest of the profit of the said pans, which the said lords have appointed to be allowed in the accounts of the said salt-pans whensoever the same shall happen to be heard; and whensoever the said four salt-pans shall be accomplished, then and in that case the said daily allowance given to the said Eustatius shall be thereafter discharged and he shall have recourse to the tenth part of the just profit agreed by contract between his majesty and the said Eustatius, as the said contract of the date the [...] day of August 1588 bears; and likewise after the finishing of the said four pans, the profit of the same partly shall be employed to the building of more pans for augmenting of his highness's rent by their means and partly for defraying of his highness's other honourable charges and expenses, always of the first and readiest of the profit thereof the annualrent of the first money advanced shall be yearly paid until his majesty redeems the same by payment of the principal sum. And further it is ordained that yearly in the month of July there be an account given to the lords auditors of the exchequer of the whole receipt and disbursements in the said matter, and the said Eustatius's account and the other, which is to be kept by a special man to be appointed by his majesty to that effect, shall be checked by the account of their intromission to be given in by William, commendator of Pittenweem, comptroller of the said salt-pans, to whom there shall be allowed for his service in the said office of comptrollery the sum of 40s for each chalder of salt that shall happen to be made during all the years contained in his gift made to him of the said office of comptrollery; the which gift of comptrollery of the said salt-pans granted to him by his majesty the said lords ratifies, approves and confirms the same in all points, and have appointed the said William, commendator of Pittenweem to be present by himself or his deputes yearly in the month of July when as the accounts of the said salt-pans shall be received and heard, and there to produce a sufficient account to comptrol the charge and discharge to be produced for the part of the said Eustatius. And lastly it is appointed that no part of the profit of the said salt-pans shall in any way be bestowed (excepting the ordinary fees and allowances) but to the building and perfecting of other pans until they extend to the number of four pans; and after the four pans be finished, the rent of the same to be well managed in making of more for his majesty's greater profit, and the rest as it may be spared from that use to the defraying of his highness's necessary expenses. It being always remembered, likewise the lords of council presently declares that after the perfecting of four of the said pans, the third of the whole free profit of the same shall appertain and shall be assigned to the said William, commendator of Pittenweem for payment of his overspend resting to him by his majesty, according to his footed account extending to the sum of £25,000; which sum being satisfied by the said third, the said commendator shall have no further intromission except so much as is allowed to him for discharging of his office.

  1. NAS, PA8/1, f.26r-27r. Back