Act in favour of [Margaret Balfour], lady Burleigh, touching the privilege of refined salt

2Item, forasmuch as the refined salt, otherwise called salt upon salt, is very necessary and profitable for salting of salmon, cod, ling and other great fish, which cannot be made or dressed with the small salt which now is accustomed to be made and has been made before within this realm, and therefore the said fish behoved to be made and salted with great salt, brought within this realm from Spain and Brittany, upon large cost and expenses and sometimes by perilous voyages; at other times, partly for the troubles in France and partly when weather was not seasonable, there was no salt to be had in Brittany and other parts where the same commonly used to be made, by the which the traffic of fish has sometimes ceased and the said great salt was at great dearth. And seeing that Dame Margaret Balfour, lady Burleigh, having some commodity of coals and pans within the lordship of Pittenweem and sheriffdom of Fife, for the welfare and commodity of the realm, has, upon her large cost and expenses, procured the knowledge of the making of refined salt, otherwise called salt upon salt, which will serve for the same uses for the which great salt served before, for furthering and setting forth of the which work she must bestow and employ great sums of money for making of houses, salt pans, other instruments necessary and subsistence of servants, which for a large space will be more costly than profitable to her, our sovereign lord and his said three estates in parliament, having consideration how profitable the said salt shall be to the whole realm by this industry to be begun by the said Dame Margaret, and being in no way of mind that for her good intention and meaning she should be in any way damnified, therefore, his highness, with advice of his said three estates, has given and granted and, by the tenor of this present act, gives and grants full liberty and privilege to the said Dame Margaret, her heirs, assignees, servants and factors having commission and power, to her to make and cause be made the said refined salt, otherwise called salt upon salt, in any other manner than the same was made in this realm of before, to sell and convey the same in small or great, at their pleasure, during the space of seven years coming after the date hereof, during the which space it shall not be lawful to any of his highness's lieges and subjects of his realm, nor any stranger repairing within the same, to make or cause be made the said refined salt, otherwise called salt upon salt, in the manner whereby the same shall be made by the said Dame Margaret and her aforesaids; and if it shall happen to be made by them during the space aforesaid, contrary to the tenor of this inhibition, the same shall be escheated to the said Dame Margaret, her heirs and assignees as their own proper goods to be intromitted with and conveyed by them at her pleasure, and the pans, houses and lands whereupon the same shall be made shall be confiscated to our sovereign lord. And to that effect, our said sovereign lord and his said three estates, by this act, give full power to the said Dame Margaret to make searchers, one or more, who may search and intromit with the said refined salt to be made by other persons contrary to the tenor of this privilege and to convey thereupon as said is; and if the said searchers in execution of their offices shall happen to be deforced, the committers of the said deforcement shall be rigorously punished as if they had deforced our sovereign lord's officers in execution of his office: that is to say, by escheat of their goods moveable and by punishment of their persons to the will and pleasure of our said sovereign lord.

  1. NAS, PA2/13, ff.132v-133r.
  2. 'P.' written in margin.