Act regarding the excise of herring

Our sovereign lord and estates of parliament, considering that his majesty's excise of all herrings slain within the Red Head and St Abb's Head is 1,000 herrings out of each boat, each haul that holds, and finding the collecting of these herring to be very hard and difficult, have thought expedient to modify the price of these herrings and convert the same 1,000 herrings into money. And therefore, our said sovereign lord, with the advice of the estates, modifies and converts the price of the said 1,000 herrings payable for assize to the sum of £6 money of this realm, and declares that to be the constant price thereof in time coming without respect of dear or cheap herrings. And because the fisheries resident in the east seas and who dwell within the said bounds on the north and south side of Forth and Tay, to the west of the Red Head and St Abb's Head, in respect of the great hazard and danger they are in in venturing to the North Isles with their ships and barks, wherein they transport two boats or yoles2 as pendicles of the said ships and barks and vehicles for their use and the better accommodating of their voyage, were in use to pay only the sum of £5 in satisfaction of the assize herrings, each take that holds, for every ship or bark, without having respect to ships, boats or yoles which are only pendicles and vehicles of the said ships or barks, therefore his majesty, with advice of the said estates, being certainly persuaded that it is impossible to the said fishers to accomplish their voyages unless they have two ships, boats or yoles carried in the said ships or barks as pendicles and vehicles thereto, declares that the said fishers are and shall only be liable in payment of the said sum of £6 in full satisfaction of the assize in the North Isles for each ship or bark, each take that holds, not having regard of the said ships, boats or yoles, there being but two boats to each ship at the farthest which they do hereby liberate and exempt from all payment of any duty; and discharges all our sovereign lord's lieges exacting or uplifting any other assize from the said fishers than the particular duties above-specified, and ordains the collectors thereof to uplift the same legally after each haul and to desist from troubling the fishers during the time thereof.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.194r-194v.
  2. Defined in DSL as a small, undecked two-masted fishing-boat, pointed fore and aft with a jib sail.