Regarding the transporting of coals

Forasmuch as albeit there have been diverse acts made by the king's most sacred majesty and his noble progenitors of famous memory, especially an act made in 1563 by his majesty's dearest mother and her estates of parliament for the time, which was thereafter ratified by our sovereign lord in the month of October 1579, whereby the transporting of coals out of this realm is prohibited and forbidden under the pain of confiscation of the ship, coals and all the goods that the owner of the coals has within the ship or vessel, except so many as are needful for fire during the time of their voyage, the third part thereof to the revealer and apprehender of the contraveners of the said act and the rest to his majesty's use, as in the same acts at length is contained; nevertheless, the said acts have received little or no effect nor execution these diverse years past, but great numbers of persons, as well strangers as countrymen, do transport the coals out of this realm in very great quantity, through which the same are risen to an extraordinary dearth and price and by all appearance the whole coal within this kingdom shall in a very short time be wanted and consumed, to the great hurt and prejudice of the whole estate, which goodly cannot want so necessary a benefice without remedy be provided; therefore the nobility, prelates, council and estates presently convened ordain new publication to be made of the said acts, commanding and inhibiting expressly all his majesty's subjects and strangers that they nor none of them presume nor take upon hand at any time after the publication hereof at the market cross of Edinburgh to carry or transport out of this kingdom to any foreign parts beyond sea any coals in any ship, crayer, boat or other vessel, except so much as may serve for their fire during their voyage, under the pains above-specified, mentioned and contained in the said acts, certifying those that fail or do in the contrary, that the said pains shall be intromitted with and uplifted of them without favour. And whereas there are some crafty and avaricious bodies who pretending most falsely that they will carry their coals to England, do notwithstanding transport them to foreign parts, the said estates, for avoiding of all such craft and deceit in time coming, ordain and command the tacksmen and farmers of his majesty's customs to cause sufficient surety and bond be taken under great sums of all such as shall offer to bring their coals to England (which the said estates intend no way to prohibit, but that there shall be a communion and intercourse of the commodities of the one kingdom to the other), for returning of a certificate of their landing and unloading at such port or ports in England as they shall arrive at, and the said estates ordain that all such bonds as shall be forfeited for this cause shall be pursued and exactly taken up.

  1. NAS, PC1/24, 380-381.