Letter: king's letter to the privy council
His majesty's missive regarding the reserved fishings

The which day the missive letter underwritten, signed by the king's majesty, concerning the fishing in the places craved to be reserved for the use of the natives was presented to the lords of secret council and read in their audience, of the which the tenor follows:

Charles Rex, right trusty and right well-beloved cousin and councillor, right trusty and well-beloved cousins and councillors, right trusty and well-beloved councillors and trusty and well-beloved councillors, we greet you well. Having considered that letter which you wrote to us concerning the places for fishing in these seas which you think necessary to be reserved for the sole use of the natives of that our kingdom, we cannot conceive what necessity can be for reserving of so many several places and likewise of 15 miles within the sea distant from every shore, where it would seem expedient that those of the association for this general fishing, as they have liberty to land in any place, paying the ordinary duties, should likewise be free to fish wherever they are to pass. And as we are willing to reserve for the natives all such fishings without which they cannot well subsist and which they of themselves have and do fully fish, so we will not reserve anything to them which may be a hindrance to this general work which may so much import the good of all our kingdoms. And therefore we require you, as you affect our service, to contribute your best help, all and every one of you, in everything that may conduce to the accomplishment of this work, and that you certify us back by our trusty and well-beloved councillor Sir William Alexander, [viscount of Stirling], knight, our secretary, the bearer hereof, of your opinion herein and what you think fit for us to do as in a matter which we highly value. So we bid you farewell. From our court at Greenwich, 4 July 1631.

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.26v.