Declaratioun of the gentrie and burrowes anent the reserved fishings

The whilk day some of the nobilitie, gentrie and commissioners for the burrowes, compeirand personallie before the lords of privie counsell, gave in to the saids lords the declaratioun underwrittin anent the reserved fishings, of the whilk the tennour followes:

Quhereas the lords of his majesteis most honourable secreit counsell hes desired ane nomber of the nobilitie, gentrie and commissioners of the free burrowes to declare thair opinioun anent the fishing necessarie to be reserved for the particular use of the countrie of Scotland, they, having conveened and takin the same to thair consideratioun, declaires that the fishings of the firths of Lothiane lying betuix the heids of Sanct Tobsheid in the Merce upon the south and the Reid Head in Angus upon the north, and within the course betuix the saids heids; the fishings of Murrey Firth lying betuix Buchannes in Buchan and Dungsbieheid in Caithnes, and within the course betuix the saids heids; and the fishing within Dumbartane Firth lying betuix the Mule of Kintyre and Mule of Gallouay, and the course within the saids twa points, ar so necessar to this countrie that the same cannot subsist if the same be comunicat to anie other natioun and not reserved for the proper use of the natives. They lykewayes declare that it is necessar for the weale of the saids fishings within the foresaids firthes that fourtein myles be reserved lykewayes to the natives without the course betuix the saids Sanct Tabsheid and Rid Head and betuix Buchannes and Dungsbiehead, yitt heerin they submitt thameselffes to his majesteis gratious determinatioun. And forder it is declared that in the space betuix Ridheid and Buchannes there is an absolute necessitie of reservatioun of fourtein myles aff the said coast both for the daylie use of the inhabitants dwelling upon the said coast for thair sustentatioun, as lykewayes for the good of the salmond fishing in the rivers of Dee, Don, Ivie and both the Eskes, whiche be encroaching of the bushes neerer the shoare then the said distance may be altogidder undone, to the great prejudice of the whole kingdome, being one of the most pryme native commodities of this land. And as for the Yles of Orkney and Zetland and remanent yles and loches therein and in the mayne foreagainst the same, they agree that the same be remitted to the commissioners of burrowes thair forder advice and declaratioun. And last it is humbelie desired that the lords of his majesteis most honourable privie counsell would be pleased to recommend to the commissioners for this kingdome to interceid with his majestie for suche retributioun as can be had for the benefite grantit to the English upon this our coast.

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.27r-v.