Act in favour of redemption of lands by whatsoever persons

2Forasmuch as the exorbitant and immoderate interest and profit taken by diverse lieges of this realm for lent money, often exceeding six bolls of victual of yearly interest for 100 merks, has been, and is, the cause of the ruin and decay of many ancient livings within this country, which has proceeded partly upon the great excess of the said unlawful profit and partly upon the minority of the persons due in the said interest, who not being able to pay the said interest in respect of the liferent of the freehold are secluded from their livings by the warding thereof during their minority, or otherwise negligently governed by the improvident cure of their tutors and curators, have suffered the same to run so long unpaid that the same has comprised the whole old livings, which being the most ungodly and unlawful conquest in itself, it is not only condemned by the express word of God, but also by the laws of all nations; likewise, his highness and estates of the last parliament held at Edinburgh, 29 July 1587, considering the manifold abuses following thereupon, have moderated and taxed the said yearly interest to £10, or five bolls of victual for every £100, and proportionally for greater and smaller sums, and so have repressed the said usury in time coming. And now his highness and estates, being moved with the hard estate not only of the said minors, but also with the great hurt and prejudice sustained by others of his highness's lieges by non-payment of the said interest through the occasions foresaid, and being careful to provide some ordinary remedy for their relief in payment of the said exorbitant interest, declare, statute and ordain that it shall be permissible to all persons whatsoever, as well minors as majors due in payment of the yearly interest which is redeemable, to redeem all manner of interest, either victual or silver, sold or alienated by their predecessors out of any part of their lands in time bygone, by payment or consignation of the principal sum contained in the reversion or reversions, together with the past interest thereof, which past interest his highness and estates liquidates and modifies to 10 merks for every 100 merks only, finding and declaring the redemption of the said interest to be lawful by payment or consignation of the said principal sums, together with 10 merks for every 100 merks thereof for the past profits of the same, according to the infeftments made thereupon, notwithstanding whatsoever contracts, bonds, obligations, infeftments, decreets or other securities whatsoever made to them of greater interest than 10 merks for the 100 merks, to the which, and every one of them, this present act makes derogation in so far as the same may be extended to the said yearly interest.

  1. NAS, PA2/14, ff.30r-v.
  2. Written in margin: 'V'.