Act regarding loyal packing of salmon

Our sovereign lord and [estates presently]2 assembled, understanding that the salmon fishings are one of the principal benefits whereby trade is maintained and money brought in the kingdom, and that through the evil ordering thereof, both in the insufficiency of the barrels and also in the disloyal packing of the same, not only is the merchant estate damnified thereby, but also the nation is dishonoured abroad and disappointed of what should return thereby, therefore our said sovereign lord, with advice and consent of the said estates, ordains an act to be made ratifying and approving all and sundry acts of parliament, laws and constitutions of this realm made regarding salmon fishing and the sufficiency of the barrels and loyal packing thereof, with this addition: that the whole coopers within this kingdom make the said salmon barrels of good and sufficient new knappel, wherefore he shall be answerable, without worm bolls, and white wood of sufficient tightness for containing the pickle and sufficient tightness for enduring all kind of stress in the handling, and that the barrels contain no less than ten gallons of the Stirling pint, according to an act of his majesty's council of the date at Holyroodhouse, 15 July 1619, which his majesty, with consent foresaid, ratifies and approves in all the heads, clauses and articles thereof, to be ratified in this present parliament under the pain of £5 to be paid by the cooper for each insufficient barrel and escheat of the same barrel; and that the same be well shrunk in the pickle before the packing thereof; and thereafter the said barrels to be well tightened and double girthed before the transporting thereof to foreign nations, and that no barrel be sooner made and blown but that the cooper's burn be set thereon on the stopper thereof in testimony of the sufficiency of the tree; and that every cooper be answerable and liable in payment of such losses as happen to be laid on the fish at the market if it be found to be in the default of the cooper by the insufficiency of the tree or packing or any other means in the cooper's fault, and that they keep right measure both in the length of the staves, the bilge girth, the wideness of the head and deepness of the chine, the barrel being made, marked and wrapped three times shall be marked with the marking iron under a very particular merchant's mark as use is. And that no burgh nor any other trading with salmon shall presume to counterfeit the mark or burn of Aberdeen, under the pain of confiscation of the salmon, in addition to the punishment of the counterfeiters at the pleasure of the judge ordinary, the one half of the said pain to pertain to his majesty and the other half to the burgh so wronged; and ordain the magistrates within burgh to put this act to execution.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.193v-194r.
  2. APS interpolation.