Legislation
Act discharging the printing and selling of any books not revised by the secretary

The king's majesty and his estates presently convened, considering that in all well governed commonwealths it is expressly prohibited that any subject take upon hand to write, print or publish any books in whatsoever discipline or science, but specially invectives or libellous defamatories, chronicles, histories or annals to the prejudice either of the present state, ignominy or disgrace of the ages past without his majesty's licence had and obtained thereto; and that the said books be first revised by such as his majesty appoints to that effect, and the allowance thereof testified by their attestation in the beginning of the book purporting his majesty's consent, the small regard whereof has bred no little prejudice to all degrees within this realm. For remedy whereof, it is statute and ordained that no person of whatsoever rank, degree or calling presume or take upon hand to write, publish, print or set out any manner of book, defamatory libel, invective, chronicle, annal or history without his majesty's licence had and obtained thereto; and that no sort of book be printed, published nor set out within this realm, nor no new book which may in any way concern the present estate, history or chronicle of times past or present age, being printed without the realm, be brought within the same or sold until they be first seen and revised by his majesty's secretary and his attestation promised thereto according to the lovable custom received in all other civil nations. Certifying those who do in the contrary, they shall be punished to the death, their whole goods confiscated to his majesty's benefit and, if their books contain any matter of treason, the crime thereof shall be with all rigour prosecuted against them.

  1. NAS, PA8/1, f.32v-33r. Back
  2. NAS, PA8/1, f.33r. Back
  3. NAS, PA8/1, f.33v-34r. Back
Act regarding usury

The king's majesty, his nobility, council and estates presently convened, remembering how that there have been diverse acts of parliament and conventions made heretofore against the freedom and liberty which sundry avaricious and godless persons have taken to exact and lift such exorbitant and intolerable profit and usury for the lending of their money and is now commonly used within this country, to the offence and displeasure of God and to the wrack and undoing of so great numbers of his majesty's good subjects; the due execution of the which acts have been greatly hindered and frustrated by the crafty and subtle conditions of the said godless and avaricious persons who lend out their money upon bonds and obligations, and either retains the annualrent in their own hands, comprehend the same within the principal sum, obscuring and concealing the profit which they receive for the same, and takes their security by plain form of obligation for payment of the whole sum, both principal and annualrent, and borrowed money; and as if no such ocker and usury had been allowed or intended therein, through which the due form of trial of that pernicious and unlawful trade is hindered and prejudiced. For remedy whereof, and for the better trial of the said usury in time coming, it is statute and ordained that in the trial of usury the criminal pain shall be dispensed with and the pecuniary pain insisted upon, and that the trial shall be depositions of witnesses or oath of party at the option of his majesty's treasurer and advocate; and if the party refuses to give their oath, the said estates declare that the same shall be held as confessed.

  1. NAS, PA8/1, f.32v-33r. Back
  2. NAS, PA8/1, f.33r. Back
  3. NAS, PA8/1, f.33v-34r. Back
Act regarding salt-pans

Our sovereign lord, understanding that his majesty, upon diverse good considerations moving his highness, by sundry of his majesty's letters and licences, gave and granted licence, power and privilege to his highness's beloved Eustatius Rough to reform, build and renew all and sundry furnaces, as well as of salt-pans as of other vats and cauldrons occupied and used by brewers and dyers within this realm, and likewise licence and liberty for making of salt within this realm, and that in the same arts and vocation accordingly as the same has been devised and invented by the said Eustatius, he has uttered his knowledge and omitted no diligence in effectual performance thereof, to the evident commodity and common benefit of the country and whole subjects thereof, as well as in saving and restraining of the superfluous spending of coal, wood, peats, straw and other fuel, which is already brought to a great decay within the bounds of this realm by the excessive spending and consumption thereof for lack of the forms of kilns, stoves and furnaces after-mentioned; and likewise his majesty, having consideration of the goodwill and skilful disposition of the said Eustatius to devise some more inventions to the great profit and commodity of the whole subjects of this realm, specially by a new invention found out by him of a form of stove which he has taken upon him to make more profitable and commodious than ever heretofore has been devised and made; and likewise by his devising and travails has found out a singular remedy never used in Scotland before for evil venting of chimneys; as also a new form of kiln never used nor practised within this realm in no time bygone, whereby not only great quantity of fuel may be spared, but also that the malt shall retain no taste of the materials with which it shall happen to be dried, the particular overtures whereof the said Eustatius has given in and produced before his majesty and estates of this realm. And his highness, considering that for so great a commodity and benefit the said Eustatius cannot be better recompensed than by such as by his device and invention receives profit and utility, therefore his highness, with advice of the estates of this realm presently convened, ordains a letter to be made under the privy seal in due form ratifying and approving and for his majesty and his successors perpetually confirming the foresaid whole letters of gifts and licences granted by his majesty to the said Eustatius during the whole space and years therein contained, with all licences and privileges contained in the same, in all heads, points, articles, clauses and circumstances thereof after the forms and tenors of the same, ordaining this present ratification to be as valid, effectual and sufficient in all respects to the said Eustatius as if the said letters, gift and licences were at length and word by word inserted herein. And further his majesty, for the causes above-specified, and for diverse other good motives and considerations moving his highness, with advice of the said estates, has given, granted and committed and by the tenor hereof gives, grants and commits to the said Eustatius, his heirs, assignees, deputes and substitutes for whom he shall be held to answer for all the days and space of his lifetime his highness's licence, power and privilege to build, reform and renew all and whatsoever kilns and stoves and to amend and reform all evil venting chimneys, furnaces and vats in all parts within this realm, as well as in burgh as in landward, in regality as royalty, according to the said overtures and his invention and device foresaid or otherwise as he shall think most fit and expedient. For the which, the possessors of the said stoves, kilns, chimneys, furnaces, pans and vats shall be held to pay to the said Eustatius and his foresaids a certain sum of money as they can best and most reasonably agree and condescend upon as for the price of each one of the said kilns, stoves, chimneys and others foresaid, which, by his advice, counsel and knowledge, shall be built, reformed and renewed; and that the said letter be further extended with all clauses needful, with express command and charge in the same to all his majesty's lieges and all other persons whatsoever, that none of them take upon hand to make, follow or imitate the said Eustatius's invention of building, reforming and renewing of the said kilns, stoves, chimneys, vats, furnaces and others above-written, without his or his foresaids special advice, licence and tolerance first had and obtained thereto, under the pain of 500 merks, the one half to be applied to his majesty's use, and the other half to the utility of the said Eustatius and his foresaids. And likewise inhibiting and discharging all the present possessors of the said kilns, stoves, chimneys and others foresaid that none of them take upon hand to imitate the said Eustatius's invention foresaid or any part thereof without the special licence, tolerance and satisfaction of the said Eustatius and his above-written during the space and under the pain foresaid, to be paid in manner above-mentioned. And ordains letters of publication to be directed hereupon in the appropriate form.

  1. NAS, PA8/1, f.32v-33r. Back
  2. NAS, PA8/1, f.33r. Back
  3. NAS, PA8/1, f.33v-34r. Back