Annexation of certain customs and imposts to the crown

The king's majesty, his nobility, council and estates presently convened, calling to mind the old league and amity, sundry alliance, great friendship, heartily kindness and confederacy which has continued between his majesty and his dearest brother the most Christian king of France, their progenitors, realms, dominions and subjects congratulated and entertained from time to time, and what prerogatives, preferments, honours, privileges and benefits has rebounded thereby to all estates of persons, his highness's subjects, but chiefly to the merchant estate, to whom above all others a special respect and consideration has been had in granting to them a discharge of their customs and other duties of all sorts of wares and merchandise brought within the realm of France or transported out of the same, besides sundry other liberties and privileges tending greatly to their profit and advancement, preferring them in that respect not only to the subjects of all other foreign realms and nations, but also to his said dearest brother's own natural and born subjects of the said realm of France; concerning which, no alteration nor novation has been made these many years bygone, until now of late that sundry imposts and exactions have been raised of the goods of the said merchants of this realm by reason of the civil trouble and insurrection which has intervened within the country of France these diverse years bygone, by the which form of doing his majesty, finding the said old league to be somewhat infringed and altered and the said merchants of this realm thereby greatly prejudiced, for remedy thereof, his highness, with advice of his said nobility, council and estates, has thought fit and concluded to direct his trusty and well-beloved councillor Master John Lindsay of Balcarres, his highness's secretary, as his majesty's ambassador to the said realm of France, with all convenient expedition, to procure at his said dearest brother's hands a special discharge of the said imposts and exactions and to have the old liberties and privileges of the said merchants of this realm observed and kept in time coming, requiring in that respect that the same merchants to whom this benefit is chiefly extended might be moved to agree to the making of his honourable charges and expenses requisite for this message. And sundry of the commissioners of his highness's burghs being personally present, answered that a general contribution being appointed to be collected of the whole estates to this effect, they would be content to contribute for their parts, as though the benefit were common to them all, albeit the other estates have not reported, neither are likely to report, any kind of commodity thereby, but the same commodity altogether to be converted to the use of the said merchants. And therefore his majesty, in respect of their said answer, has, with advice of his said nobility, council and estates, concluded and resolved and by this act concludes and resolves, decrees and ordains that whatsoever benefit or commodity shall rebound to the said merchant estate by the procuring of the said discharge of the said customs, imposts and exactions of their goods and merchandise, or by the observation of their former liberties and privileges granted to them of old, or otherwise whatsoever by his message, that they shall be compelled to make payment of the same customs, imposts and exactions to his highness and his successors, their comptrollers and officers accounting from the day of the procuring of the same discharge and all times thereafter, and letters and executorials shall be directed at their instance to this effect in the appropriate form; which customs, imposts and exactions his highness, with advice of his said nobility, council and estates, presently annexes and incorporates to remain with his majesty and his successors as proper rent to his crown for ever. Likewise his majesty, with advice foresaid, has also concluded and resolved that the said merchants of this realm shall in no way raise the prices of their wares and merchandise upon his highness's lieges by reason of this present act and conclusion, but that the same wares and merchandise shall remain in the estate that it is presently, unalterable in the prices thereof in any sort at all times hereafter.

  1. NAS, PC1/16, 520.