Procedure: commission
Commission for manufactories

Our sovereign lord and estates of parliament, considering how necessary, expedient and profitable the erecting and maintaining of manufactories will be for this kingdom, as well in keeping great quantities of money within the same, which is now daily exported for wrought commodities, as in setting poor ones on work, restraining of idle beggars, increase of virtue and bringing of monies into the country, and this being a matter of so great goodness wished by every man and ofttimes aimed at to be brought to some perfection, as witness many several acts of parliament, acts of convention and council, especially: King James VI, his 7th parliament, chapter 113; item, King James VI, his 15th parliament, chapters 250 and 252; item, the acts of council of May 1597, July 1600, November 1601, December 1601, May 1612, October 1614, August 1616, July 1620, February 16232; item, the acts of convention of June 1605, November 1625 and August 1626, yet the same have not as yet made any considerable progress for want of cherishing, maintenance and right order for prosecution thereof. In consideration whereof, his majesty and estates of parliament being resolved to use all ordinary means for erecting, cherishing and maintaining of manufactories within this kingdom, and his majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, being graciously pleased to grant all liberties, privileges and immunities to the erectors thereof, therefore his majesty and estates foresaid give, grant and commit to those persons, or quorum thereof, who shall be nominated by the lords of secret council (to whom the king's majesty and parliament hereby give the nomination of the said commissioners and quorum thereof foresaid to the effect after-specified) full power, warrant and commission to meet and convene at Edinburgh, or any other place or places at such days and times they or the said quorum shall think fitting, and there to consult, advise and determine upon the best rules, overtures and propositions and ways for erecting and maintaining the said manufactories of all sorts, with power to them or the said quorum to call and convene before and with them any person or persons who can give them information or assistance in the said businesses. As also with power to them or their said quorum to appoint correction houses in such parts of the kingdom as they shall think most conducible for the good of the said manufactories and restraint of idle and masterless beggars. As also with power to them to prescribe rules and ways for assisting, supplying and maintaining of those who have already or shall during the time of this commission erect and maintain any of the said manufactories and to direct letters against masterless people and their receivers, as well to burgh as landward, commanding them to work at such reasonable rates as the said commissioners or quorum thereof shall appoint. With power likewise to them to make corporations and to grant them privileges according to the laws of the kingdom. And also his majesty, with advice foresaid, out of his gracious favour and bounty, does hereby for the better encouragement to all those who have undertaken or shall undertake the erecting and maintaining of the said manufactories, or any one thereof, give and grant to them the privileges and immunities following, namely: all Spanish and foreign fine wool for making of fine cloth shall be custom free; item, all dyed wares, oil and other necessaries for the use of the said works only shall be free of all customs and impost; item, all parcels of cloth, serge and others made by any who have erected or shall erect any of the said works shall be custom and impost free for the space of 15 years after the erecting thereof; item, the workers of the said works erected or to be erected shall be free of any taxation or imposition to be imposed on the kingdom for any occasion bygone or to come; item, it shall not be lawful to any in the kingdom to hire, reserve or maintain any of the servants of the said works without consent of the masters thereof.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.187r-187v.
  2. 'July 1623' inserted in APS and in the printed act, The Acts made in the Second Parliament of our most high and dread sovereign Charles, p.150.