Additional Source

At Leith, 31 March 1572

Act concerning the coining of half merk 'steikis', passed in Leith, 31 March 1572

[John Erskine, earl of Mar], my lord regent's grace, and three estates of this realm in parliament, understanding that diverse traitors and other malefactors, after their treasonable deeds committed not only in murdering [Henry Stewart, lord Darnley], our sovereign lord's dearest father, [Matthew Stewart, earl of Lennox], his grandfather, and [James Stewart, earl of Moray], his uncle, but also doing that which in them lies to pull the crown royal off his grace's head, have erected another authority against their faith owed and made to his grace, and massed themselves together within the town and castle of Edinburgh and diverse other parts south, north and west of this realm, keeping garrisons of men of war, murdering and oppressing his highness's true lieges, spoiling, reiving and detaining from him the patrimony, property and casualties of his grace's crown in such a manner that his said regent, nobility and faithful subjects, to repress their treachery and tyranny, are forced to hold and keep in garrison men of war joined with them to the defence of our sovereign lord and his just and lawful authority; and yet, due to difficulties in collecting the property and casualties of his grace's crown reft and detained as said is, are not of ability and substance to sustain the said men of war, therefore, and for remedy hereof, until these civil seditions may be pacified, it is statute and ordained by my lord regent's grace and three estates foresaid in this present parliament that a new piece of silver be coined of the fineness as is agreed upon by my lord regent with the master coiner, to be called the half merk piece, having on the one side the king's grace's arms, and without the arms, on the one part the figure of '6', and on the other part the figure of '8', to signify the price of the same to be 6s 8d, and the circumscription of that side to be 'Jacobus sextus Dei gracia rex Scotorum', and on the other side thereof a cross having within two quarters thereof opposite the other 'J' and 'R', and on the other two quarters two thistles, and the circumscription on that side to be […]. And also to coin another piece of the value of the half of the said first piece, of the same fineness and print, four of the principal pieces with the half thereof weighing one ounce, and the half pieces to correspond to the half of the same weight. The whole piece is to have passage within this realm for 6s 8d and the half for 3s 4d.

  1. Pitscottie refers to a 'council and parliament' being held in Leith in late March 1572, likely to be a reconvening of the continued February session. R. Lindsay of Pitscottie, Historie and Cronicles of Scotland, ed. Æ. J. G. Mackay (3 vols, Scottish Text Society, 1899-1911), ii, p.276. The act below is the only extant legislation currently known. Back
  2. NAS, PA7/1/27. Also transcribed in The Records of the Coinage of Scotland, ed. R. W. Cochran-Patrick (2 vols, Edinburgh, 1876), i, pp.cxlv-cxlvi. Back
  3. Title written on rear, possibly not contemporary. Back