Against forestallers and resellers

2Forasmuch as sundry acts of parliament have been made for punishment of forestallers and resellers, being very pernicious members in the commonwealth, yet because it has not been expressed what was forestalling and reselling, there[fore our]3 sovereign lord, with advice of his estates in this present parliament, declares, statutes and ordains that whosoever buys or causes buy any merchandise, victual or other thing coming by land or water toward any fair or market in burgh or in landward to be sold in the same from any parts beyond sea or within the realm, or makes any contract or promise for the having and buying of the same or any part thereof before the said merchandise, victuals or other thing shall be in the fair or market place in burgh, port or anchorage ready to be sold, or shall make any motion by word, writing or message for raising of the prices or dearer selling of any of the things above-mentioned to the market, fair or town, shall be esteemed and judged a forestaller. And whosoever gets in his possession in any fair or market, any corn, victual, butcher meat, fish or other provisions that shall be brought to be sold, and sells the same again in any fair or market held in the same place or any other fair or market within four miles thereof, or who gets in his hand by buying contract of promises the growing corn on the field, shall be reputed a reseller, and because there has been so little effect followed in the execution of the said act by the magistrates within burghs to whom the execution thereof was committed, therefore it shall be lawful in time coming to our sovereign lord's treasurer or advocate to call and pursue all persons suspected and accused of forestalling and reselling in case they shall happen to prevent by apprehending, raising a law suit and executing first, as well as the said magistrates in burghs. And it shall not be permissible to the magistrates within burgh to repledge any persons challenged or pursued by the treasurer or advocate before his highness's justice or his deputes at justice ayres or particular diets. And albeit there be no special ditty but that the forestaller and reseller be only accused of common forestalling or reselling so reputed and held, yet the libel in that generality shall stand relevant and the persons accused to be put to the knowledge of an assizes. And if they be subject to his majesty's will or be convicted by an assize for common forestalling and reselling of markets, they shall incur for the first fault the pain and fine of £40 and shall find surety to abstain in time coming under the pain of 100 merks; and if he shall again in the second fault, the principal and his surety to incur and pay the said sum of 100 merks; and for the third fault the offender being convicted or subject to his majesty's will to lose and forfeit all his moveable goods to be brought in to our sovereign lord's use as escheat, and that justice courts or ayres for the effect foresaid be held every year twice.

  1. NAS, PA2/14, f.34v.
  2. Written in margin: 'V'.
  3. APS interpolation.