Act regarding linen cloth and breadth thereof

Our sovereign lord and estates presently assembled, finding that linen cloth is become one of the prime commodities of this kingdom whereby many people are put to work and money is brought within the same, which partly through the deceit used by the bleachers in liming thereof, and partly by the uncertainty of the breadth, is likely to come in contempt abroad, to the great prejudice of this kingdom; therefore his majesty, with consent of the said estates, statutes and ordains that no makers of linen cloth nor no others whatsoever present to market or otherwise make or sell any linen cloth of the price of 10s the ell or above of less breadth then one ell, and all under the said price to be of no less breadth than three quarters of an ell, under the pain of confiscation of all such linen presented to the market or otherwise sold which shall be found not to be of the breadth above-named. And ordains the magistrates within whose bounds or jurisdictions the said linen cloth made contrary to this statute shall happen to come to confiscate and escheat the same, and for this effect to search all the markets within their bounds. As also discharges and inhibits all our sovereign lord's lieges and subjects that none of them presume nor take upon hand to bleach any cloth with lime under pain to be punished in their persons and goods at the will of the magistrate within whose bounds they dwell. And lastly it is statute and ordained that all linen cloth shall be taken up by the lengthwise edge and not by the narrow edge, and so to be presented to the market. And ordains the sheriff of the shires and magistrates within burgh to put this statute to execution within their several jurisdictions.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.187v-188r.