Regarding purpresture in the king's commonties

Our sovereign lord and estates of this present parliament, considering that his highness and his highness's predecessors, for the help and relief of his poor commons in diverse parts of this realm, have reserved great quantity of muirs and other common lands in no way conveyed in property to any particular person, notwithstanding whereof diverse persons have ploughed, enclosed, tilled, sown and laboured great portions of the same commonties, without any right of property competent to them, to the prejudice of his highness and utter wrack of the poor tenants and commons of this realm, therefore statute and ordain that all persons who have tilled, laboured, sown, fenced, enclosed or appropriated any part or portion of his majesty's common muirs or other commonties belonging to his highness within the memory of man, the same being tried either by way of molestation or by the lords of the session, that they within a year and a day after the said trial return the same commonties again to the effect the same may remain unlaboured or enclosed in any time thereafter but to remain as commonty likewise and in the same manner as it was before the ploughing or fencing thereof; and if they fail to do the same within the space foresaid, lawful trial being taken therein as said is, they shall be discerned to have committed purpresture. And also our sovereign lord and estates foresaid statute and ordain that whosoever in time coming shall till, labour, manure, sow, park, enclose or appropriate any part or portion of his majesty's common muirs or other of his highness's commonties (the same being sufficiently tried in manner foresaid) shall be also discerned to have committed purpresture and punished for that according to the laws, use and customs of this realm observed of old in matters of purpresture.

  1. NAS, PA2/16, f.19v. Back
  2. 'V' written in margin beside heading. Back