Act 23
Anent the commoun releeffe

Forsomuche as at the conventioune of the estates haldine in Januarie 1640 yeires it was voluntarlie offered that for the defraying of the commoun chairges and for other necessaris and wrgent expenss everie man should pay the tenth pairt of his yeirlie rent, alsweell to burghe as landward, for the cropt and yeir of God 1639, conforme to the valuationes to be mad within and without burghe respective, and for that effect did voluntarlie obleidge themselves therwnto, as the bandis granted thairanent by the heritouris within the severall presbetries and burghes more fullie proportis, which band and whole tennour therof the saidis estates now conveened in parliament ratifies and approves in all poyntes as the samene is conceived, asweell anent the payment of the said tenth pairt as anent the retentioun of the proportionall pairt of the annuellrent in maner thairin exprest. And sicklyke in respect that the burdeenes of the commoun chairges daylie increaseth and that the heritoures to landward and burgess within burghe beare the same, conform to thair rentes, trad, house mailles and otheris, wherby yeirlie profit and commoditie aryseth without respect to thair moneyes, thairfor it is ordeaned that the moneyes or annuellrent or lyferent shall beir ane equall and proportionall burdeene with the saidis rentes, trad and house mailles by way of retentione, asweall to the foirsaid tenth pairt as in all other burdeenes the cuntrey is or shall be put wnto by generall order, and the termes of retentione to be conforme to the termes of payment of the said tenth pairt or of any other burdeene imposed or to be imposed wpoun the said rentes, trad or otheris foirsaid, after the proportione therof shall be determined by the commissioneris, auditouris of the accomptis of the commoune burdeenes appoynted for that effect, wntill which tyme no debtoures shall have pouer to reteene any pairt or portione of his annuellrent or lyferente further then the said tenth pairt for the cropt and yeir 1639 yeires allenerlie. And because the present expedition or any other expeditione heirefter requyres advancement by the heritouris and burghes of the tuo pairt of the footmen and horsemen thair pay, conforme to the rentes and valuationes of each shyre and burghe, which will be only in some shereffdomes and burghes, and to the effect that the burdeene may be equall throw the whole kingdome, thairfor it is ordeaned that the said advancement and provisione shall be put in compt by the shyre, burghe, regiment or company who shall send out there men in the said expeditione or in any other expeditione or service necessar, as the counsall of estat and generall shall command, and the saidis accomptes to be givine in to the saidis commissioners, auditoures therof, who shall have power to comptroll, fit or allow the same, which comptes being so fitted and allowed shall be a pairt of the commoune burdeene to be rambursed and allowed to the advanceris therof. And because a great pairt of the presbetryes and burghes of this kingdome have not as yit reported thair valuationes perfytlie and rightlie done, conforme to the generall order, therfor it is ordeened that all the presbetries and burghes within this kingdome who have not as yit mad report of thair saids valuationes in forme and maner abovespecified shall report the same betuixt and the tuenty day of June instant besouth Tay, and betuixt and the first day of July nixtocome be north Tay, and that either wnder the handis and subscriptiones of the suorne men appoynted within each presbetrie, testifieing the same to be true upoun thair consiences and creedit according to ther knowledge, after the most exact and true informationes they could gett, or wtherwayes wnder the handis of the heritouris or magistrates upoun thair consiences and credit, or last by the subscriptiones of the heritoures and magistrates thair handis, but with this caveat: that what is concealed of land rent, tred or other rent (wherby profit or comoditie aryseth or did aryse the said yeir), the whole rent therof or the equivalent and availl of the same shall be confiscat to the publicke wse and the generall collectour appoynted to wplifte and receave the same, and if need be to persue therfor. And (that no subterfuge and concealment be wsed in valuationes) it is appoynted that all land trade, shipping, salmond fishing and other yearly commodity whatsoevir wherby proffit did aryse the said yeir shall be fullie and trulie givine wp without partiality, as the wpgiveris will either be ansuerable upoun there consiences or the heritouris on the hazard of confiscatione. And lykewayes it is ordeaned that all money whatsoever which payes annuellrent to any persone not lyable in the foirsaid contributione shall pay a proportionall pairt in thair said annuellrent to the publict wse, as the samene sall be imposed, asweell for the said tenth pairt as for the burdenes heirafter to be imposed; and for that effect the valueris to take particulare notice of such soumes. And incaise any delay or refuise to send in thair saidis valuationes to the clerke of the same at Edinburghe betuixt and the saidis dayes respective, in that caise it is declaired that the delayeris or refuiseris shall bee esteemed and valued conforme to ther retouris or wtherwayes as the committie at Edinburghe shall thinke fitt, and a proportion laid one accordinglie, which they shall be holdine to pay without any deductioun or favour in tymcomeing. And suchelyke for inbringing of the moneyes conform to the saidis valuationis, it is appoynted that ther be collectouris chosine in everie presbetrie (wher there ar none chosene as yit) by the gentlemen and heritouris, and that the commissioneris of shyres sie the same done, and cause the saidis collectores (so to be chosine) subscrybe bandis for doeing of there diligence and making payment of the collectione to the generall collectore, and send the same into Edinburghe to him. And wher the valuationes are allreddie brought in and collectoures allreddie made, it is ordeaned that the saidis collectores shall with all possible diligence send all the moneyes they have to the principall collectour at Edinburghe, and shall use all possible diligence for the rest and give in there diligence to the said principall collector, with certificatione if any lyable in payment of the said tenth pairt shall not pay to the saidis collectores the soumes due by them, conforme to the saidis valuationes, the said principall collector or his deputes shall wse all laufull executione against theme wher the bandis are subscryveit, and where the bandis are not subscryveit they shall be reput and wsed as none covenanteris. And to take away all objectiones for not paying of the said tenth pairt, it is appoynted that everie presbetrie and burghe shall send in the moneyes due for the tenth pairt without deductione of any pairt of it except what is alloued for pay to ther officeris befor the first of February last and pryces of victuell delyvered to commissaris for the publicke wse or by warrant from the committie; and if they have not reddy money they shall barrow the same from any persone or persones to burghe or landward where it may be had upoun their owne securitie. And if any persone or persones of whatsoevir ranke, degree or calling shall refuse to lend the same (reserveing allwayes so much therof as may reasonably serve his owne privat use and his famely according to his estate and qualitie) wpon the said securitie, it shall be leisume to theme to conveene them before any ordinary judge or committe of the shyre or presbetrie, which being laufullie proved by writ, witnesses or oath of pairty that they have money and refuse to lend the same, they shall be holdine as oppositis to the commoun cause and the money to be confiscate, the one halfe to the apprehenderes and the other to the publicke wse. And because there is a present necessitie of moneyes, by and attour the said tenth pairt therfore, it is appoynted and ordeaned that everie presbetrie within this kingdome shall lend to the publicke wse the tuenteith pairt of the rent conteened in the valuationes, and that by and attoure the said tenth pairt, wpon declaratioun and act to be mad by the committie from the estates that the same is givine and lent by them for the publike bussines, to be repayed togither with the annuellrentes therof when a commoune course is laid doune and prosequt for the releiffe of the commoun burdeenes to be endit with all possible diligence; and the furthest shyres to returne thair bandis or money betuixt and the first day of July nixt, or otherwayes it shall be leisome to the said committie from the estates to find out the money in maner and with certificatioun foirsaid, and to designe to the haveris of the said money any noblemen, gentlemen, burgess or substantious wealthy mene within each presbetrie, one or mo, who shall be obleist to give band or securitie to the saidis lenneris for repayment therof and annuellrentes for the same in the ordinary forme, the soume not exceeding the said proportione of the said tuentieth part of the valuatione of the said presbetrie; for releiffe of the which persones, one or mo, who shall give band or securitie foirsaid, the whole heritoures of the said presbetrie, asweell to burghe as landward, shall be bund conforme to the proportione of ther rentes and duties, and for that effect shall have actioun of releeffe against them in case of distress. And sickelyke it is declared that all the bandis, contractes and other obleishments for soumes of money allreddy barrowed for the publike use shall bee relived and payed by all the heritoures within this kingdome, alsweell to burghe as landward, conforme to the valuations proportionally, and these who have subscryveit the saidis bandis, contractes and other obleishmentes foirsaidis shall have there releefe of the whole shyres and burghes conforme to the severall proportiones, asweell these who have subscryveit as these who have not subscryveit the saidis bandis and otheris foirsaidis; and where the valueris and collectouris chosene or to be chosen refuse to goe one and perfyct the saidis valuationes or collect the tenth pairt in maner above specified, in that caise they or ony of them shall be holdine and reput as enemyes to the commoun cause, without prejudice allwayes incaise after ther said refusall to the heritoures and magistrates to doe any of the other tuo alternatives; and incaise the said heritoures or magistrates delay after the saides dayes respective, the foirsaid certificatione to be valied against them in maner forsaid. And it is heerby declaired that if any persone or persones within or without burghe shall upoun ther oathes declaire to the saidis valueris or auditouris that they pay annuellrent to strangeris duelling without this kingdom, of whom they cannot have the retentione of the proportionall pairt of the contributione due out of the said annuellrent, in that caise the saidis valueris or auditouris shall defaulke proportionally to the saidis persoune or persones contribution of ther tred, craft, rent and estat as they shall find agreeable to equity and reasone; and suchlyke it is heirby declaired that this present act nor no clause therine shall be ony ground of suspensioune to any debtour for retentioun of the principall soumes adebted by him and byrune annuellrentes, but that everie creditour may sut, crave and chairge for the same eftir the day of payment as accordis of the law. As also it is statute and ordenit that these debtoures who shall not pay ther annuellrentis termly, at leist within sex monethes efter each terme of payment of the said annuellrent, shall have no retentione of the said proportionall pairt of the said contributioun. And suchlyke it is heerby declaired that this maner of stenting for the said collectioun and contribution shall nowayes prejudge any persone whatsoevir in succeeding taxationes, but that every manes right and cleame anent the prejudice may aryse concerneing the forme and maner therof, wherby any man can instruct enorme lesioun and that he was wnequally stented, is heirby specially reserved hinc inde. And last it is statute and ordeaned that the lordis of sessioune shall be judges to all suspensiones to be raised in the said collectione and contribution, in such forme and maner as they are and have beene in materis of taxatioun.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.34v-36v.