Procedure: burgh commissioners' report to the privy council
Designation of the loches, firthes and bayes reserved to the natives

The whilk day the commissioners nominat in the act abonewrittin, comperand personallie before the lords of privie counsell, they made and gave in thair report underwrittin, of the quhilk the tennour followes:

Quhereas the commissioners of this kingdome appointed in the mater of the fishing, being desyrous for advancement of the good publict worke intendit be his majestie for the good of his kingdome, without the hurt or prejudice of this his ancient kingdome, to be informed of the bounds without whiche the natives cannot subsist, and we of his majesteis borrowes, considering that in the instructions givin unto the saids commissioners it wes expresselie desyred that the bounds designed in that article anent the fishing in the treatie anent the unioun sould be reserved to the natives, whiche conteanes thir words: 'excepting also and reserving unto the Scotishmen thair trade of fishing within thair loches, firthes and bayes within land and in the seas within fourtene myles aff the coasts of the realme of Scotland, where nather Englishmen nor anie strangers or forrainers have used to fishe and so reciprocallie in the point of fishing in the behalfe of England'; and we being no lesse carefull and desyrous to advance that his majesteis royall intentioun without the evident and seene losse both of the countrie and of ws in particular, we humbelie intreate your lordships that for the saids commissioners better satisfactioun yow would be pleased to designe the saids bounds without the whiche the countrie can not subsist in maner following, whiche trewlie is the bounds whairupon if anie stranger sall resort this countrie sall suffer utter ruine, viz: upon the east side of Scotland frome Sanct Tabsheid in the shirefdome of Beruick directlie north to the Reidhead in Angus, whiche comprehends the coast of the Merce, Lothiane, the Firth, Fyfe and ane part of the coast of Angus and 14 myles without the course frome the said Sanct Tabsheid to the Reidheid; frome the Reidhead north northeast alongs the coast of Angus, Mernes, Mar and Buchan to Buchannesse and 14 myles aff the said coast; frome Buchannesse northwest and be north to Dungisbeyheid in Caithnes, comprehending thairin the coast of Bamf and Murrey upon the south side, Murrey Firth and the coast of Rosse, Sutherland and ane part of Caithnes upon the north, and fourtene myles without the course frome the said Buchannesse to the said Dungisbiehead; and frome the said Dungsbie in Caithnes west alongs the coast of Caithnes and Strathnauer to Farrayheid in Stranauer, and fourteine myles aff the said coast with fourtene myles round about the yles of Orkney and Zetland; frome the Farrayheid alongs the coast of Stranauer to the head of Stoir of Assint and 14 myles aff the said coast; and frome the said heid of Stoir Assint directlie west northwest to the eastmost point of the Yle of the Lewes comprehending thairin the haill seas interjected betuix the said heid of Stoir of Assint and eastmost point of the said Yle of the Lewes, with all the yles and loches within the same and 14 myles without the course frome the said heid of the Stoir of Assint to the said east point of the Lewes; frome the said eastmost point of the Lewes south about the haill yles of the Lewes to the westmost part of Barra and 14 myles without the samine; frome the said westmost part of Barra north west2 south southeast to the southmost part of the Yle of Ila and 14 myles without the course frome the said westmost part of Barra to the said yle of Yla; frome the said southmost part of Yla southeast to the Mull of Kintyre; frome the said Mull of Kintyre north west3 southeast to the Mull of Gallouay, which bounds frome the said heid of Stoir Assint west northwest to the eastmost point of the Lewes, and frome thence south to Bara be Yla and Mull of Kintyre to the Mull of Gallouay, comprehends the haill west yles and loches within the samine; with the loches upon the mayne of Stranauer, Tarbet, Lochaber, Kintyre, Argyle, Renfrew, Cuninghame, Kyle, Carrick, Gallouay, Quhithorne, alongs the coast of Gallouay eastward to Solloway Sands and 14 myles aff the said coast. Quhilk bounds above designed, being so necessar both for the haill lieges living upon the saids coasts and yles, as if these seas sould be exhausted be strangers of fishes they sould be depryved of all benefite of living and so be tyme bring ane utter desolatioun upon the land; as lykewayes so necessar for ws of the borrowes as without the said fishing the most part of our inhabitants sould be brought to extreme miserie, quhairfoir we of the burrowes doe humbelie beseeke your lordships to recommend the bounds abonedesigned to the saids commissioners in suche maner as they give not way that strangers be permitted to fishe within the saids bounds upon anie conditioun.

Quhilk report givin in be the borrowes, being read, heard and considderit be the saids lords of his majesteis privie counsell and found be thame to be of too large ane extent, they thairfoir, out of thair desire to his majesteis contentment and advancement of this great worke, have retrinched and restricted the universalitie of the exceptioun mentiouned in the said report to the parts sett doun in the note particularlie underwrittin, with allowance of ane reservatioun of fourtene myles aff suche coasts of this kingdome as ar weill peopled and where the countrie people lives most by fishing, without the whilk they could not possiblie subsist, nor yitt be able to pay to thair maisters thair fermes and dewteis, whilk is so considerable a point that the saids lords finds that if there had beene ane bushe fishing erected in Scotland there would have beene ane reservatioun of all fishing for the use and benefite of the countrie people, seing it cannot be qualified that ever anie Hollanders or other strangers fished in these waters.

Followes the note abonementiouned:

Upon the east coast of Scotland frome Sanct Tabsheid in the shirefdome of Beruick directlie north to the Reidheid in Angus, whilk comprehends the coast of the Merce, Lothiane, the Firth, Fyfe and a part of the coast of Angus and fourteene myles without the course frome the said Tabsheid to the Reidhead.

Frome the Reidhead north northeast alongs the coast of Angus, Mernes, Mar and Buchan to Buchannesse and fourteene myles aff the said coast.

Frome Buchanesse northwest and be north to Dungisbieheid in Caithnes, comprehending thairin the coast of Bamf and Murrey upon the south side, Murrey Firth and the coast of Rosse, Sutherland and ane part of Caithnes upon the north and 14 myles without the course frome the said Buchannesse to the said Dungsbieheid.

Frome Dungsbieheid about the east side of the whole yles of Orkney to the northmost yle of the same callit North Rollandsey.

And frome that west and south about the Holburneheid in Caithnes, keeping alwayes 14 myles free aff the coast of all the saids yles and course foresaid, and als the mayne Yland of Zetland and yles adjacent thairto, with 14 myles frome the coast of the same.

And als frome Holburneheid in Caithnes to the Stoir of Assint, keeping 14 myles aff the coast during the whole course thairof.

And frome the Stoir of Assint to the north east point of the Yle of the Lewes.

And fra that south be the east coast of the Yle of the Lewes and Yle of Ust to the Yle of Yla and southwest part thairof, and fra that to the Mull of Kintyre.

And thairfra to the Mull of Gallouay, comprehending the whole loches and bayes within the saids Yles of Lewes, Ust and Yla upon the east side thairof, and all yles and loches betuix the saids yles and the mayne land according to the course foresaid.

And fra the Mull of Gallouay to Solouay Sands with fourteene myles aff the coast as the course rins.

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.24v-25v.
  2. Sic.
  3. Sic.