Reference to the secret council regarding metsters

Our sovereign lord and estates of this present parliament, considering that by act of parliament held in the month of June 1617, his majesty, with advice and consent of the estates of the said parliament, gave full power to certain commissioners mentioned therein, or to any eight of them, to meet and convene together at such times and place as they should think expedient and to consult, advise, appoint and determine upon most convenient means how there should be a just measure and weight throughout all the parts of this kingdom universally to serve all his highness's lieges, by the which they should buy, sell, receive and give out in all time thereafter; which measure his majesty, with advice aforesaid, found should be that measure of Linlithgow, which was then and is now commonly used, and which has been used most customably throughout the greatest part of this kingdom 50 or 60 years past; and for settling of perfect order whereby all the measures that are now used may be reduced to the conformity of the said measure, and for making of proportion answerable between lesser measures and the greatest, as the said act at length bears. According to the which act the commissioners mentioned therein appointed by his highness and estates aforesaid, having met and convened within the burgh of Edinburgh, and the said measure and firlot of Linlithgow with the gauge, which is the warrant thereof, being exhibited and produced before them, and having seen, considered and met the same, they, after good advice and deliberation had by them relating thereto, found the same measure and firlot to contain 21 pints and one mutchkin of just Stirling jug and measure, and declared, statute and ordained the same firlot to be the just and only firlot which should be used by all his majesty's lieges in all time thereafter for measuring of wheat, rye, beans, peas, meal, white salt and such other stuff and victual as has been in use to be measured by strake met2 within this kingdom, as the act, statute and ordinance made thereupon by the said commissioners of the date 19 February 1618 more fully purports. And in respect there is a great abuse and contempt both by those persons who have embraced and obeyed the said acts and statutes in enlarging of the measure more than is prescribed in the act, as by those who will not obey and acknowledge the same, being solidly concluded, set down and determined by the said commissioners after good trial and deliberation, which is to the great hurt and harm of the gentlemen and labourers of the ground within this kingdom; for remedy of the which contempt and disobedience, his majesty, with advice and consent of the estates of this present parliament, has ratified and approved and, by the tenor hereof, ratifies, approves and confirms the acts and statutes respectively above-mentioned in the whole heads and conditions of the same after the forms and tenors thereof, and commands and charges all his majesty's lieges and subjects to acknowledge, embrace, obey and observe the same acts and statutes respectively in the whole heads and conditions of the same in form and manner specially and particularly mentioned and set down therein, after the forms and tenors thereof under all highest pain, charge and offence which they may incur and result through their disobedience and as they will be answerable relating thereto.

  1. NAS, PA2/20, f.41v-42r.
  2. Defined in DSL as a levelled as opposed to a heaped measure. A 'strake' was also a cylindrical rod used to level the grain, etc. in a measure.