Legislation
[Act regulating traffic with foreign ships]

An act made by his highness with the advice of the estates convened at Edinburgh, 30 June, A.D. 1600

Forasmuch as his majesty is informed of the abuses committed upon the coasts or in the seaports of his realm by foreigners and strangers bringing in prizes taken either by piracy or under the pretence of lawful wars and selling the same to his subjects as lawful merchandise, as of late some Dunkirkers have done at several times, to the discontentment of persons and countries so offended, in prejudice of his majesty's people and impairing of his honour; and having considered the inconveniences that in time might hereupon ensue, his majesty has, for the continuance of amity with all his neighbouring princes, but especially in respect of the league between his majesty and [Elizabeth I], his highness's dearest sister, the queen of England, and in regard of the unity and bond of religion and special love which his majesty bears to that nation, with the advice of his estates, statuted and ordained that none of his majesty's subjects buy or traffic with any stranger bringing in any ships or goods within his highness's waters without entry made by the said stranger of the said ship and goods at such free port as they shall happen to arrive in and justifying of their wares to be lawful by a sufficient cocket and testimonial of the port they come from; and that no prizes nor goods taken from any man whatsoever, but especially from any of the subjects of England, be bought by any private person from any stranger inbringer of the same, under the pain not only of confiscation of the goods so bought but also of all the buyer's other goods and gear, besides an arbitral punishment to be imposed upon them at his majesty's pleasure and discretion. Edinburgh. Printed by Robert Waldegrave, printer to the king's majesty, 1600.

  1. CSP Sco., xiii, part ii, 665.