Legislation: absent from the parliamentary register

Acts of parliament of James III held and begun at Edinburgh on 9 May 1474

Firstly it is decreed and ordained by our sovereign lord and his three estates in this present parliament that the freedom and honour of the holy church be observed and kept in the same liberty as it has been in the earlier times of our sovereign lord's most noble ancestors.

Item, it is thought expedient in this present parliament that our sovereign lord sends an honourable embassy to England in order to obtain redress for the barge and other attempts made against the truce and to work for any other good matters of friendship and amity that may help to observe and keep the peace in the future and be to the good of the realm, according to the advice and will of our sovereign lord.

Item, it is thought very expedient that our sovereign lord sends a commission to his father [Christian I], king of Denmark, to make and bind consideration and alliance with [Frederick III, Holy Roman] emperor, except our sovereign lord's first alliance.

Item, concerning the matter of money and the importation of bullion, it is decreed and ordained that the acts and decreets made previously regarding the importing of bullion shall be observed and kept, that is to say, from each serplar two ounces of burnt silver, and from other goods as is suitable thereto, from the last of hides four ounces, and from the last of salmon two ounces, and of cloth and other goods, with this addition: that the customs officers shall give the cocket to any ship, taking surety and borrows from each merchant that they bring home bullion as said, and shall annually make an account thereof in the exchequer. And if the customs officers fail to take the said surety, they are to be punished for that and deprived of their office forever and any merchants failing in this are to pay £10 to the king. And because the matter of money is very sensitive and important and cannot be hastily resolved, it is thought expedient that the three estates commit their power to certain wise and discreet people to the number of 10 or 12 to advise and set the course of money and to devise new money as they think most expedient.

Item, it is thought expedient, decreed and ordained that the carts of war be made as was previously promised to our sovereign lord and that they be made ready between now and Lammas [1 August], and whosoever fails herein is to be punished at the discretion of the king's highness.

Item, it is decreed and ordained concerning the brieve of tutory that it be understood in the future that he who is nearest related through the father's line and 25 years old fulfilling the rest of the points of the brieve shall be lawful tutor if the child who happens to be in tutory has a younger brother or sister, notwithstanding that the nearest relative through the father's line would not immediately succeed the child because of younger brothers and sisters.

Item, concerning the proving of arrests by district officers or sergeants on the north half of the water of the Forth where it has previously been the custom to prove it by the touching of wands, it is decreed and ordained that in the future all proving shall be made by district officers and sergeants through witnesses and persons just as the custom is and is done on the south half of the Forth.

Item, concerning the inheritance of moveable goods of the heirs of barons, gentlemen and freeholders, it is decreed and ordained that the said heirs shall halve the best of every thing and according to the statute of the burgh laws and as is contained in the same.

Item, concerning the previous act made for the prescription of obligations, it is ordained to be understood in this way: that all old obligations made previously that are older than the date of 40 years and not pending in law at the time the said act was made shall be prescribed and of no strength, and in similar manner in the future all obligations made or to be made that are not followed within 40 years shall be prescribed and be of no value.

Item, concerning brieves of inquest to be served in the future, it is decreed and ordained that the retour reveals what value the land had formerly and the actual value that it is worth, and reveals the day of serving of the said brieve.

Item, it is decreed and ordained that the sheriffs, provosts and bailies of burghs and other judges ordinary shall administer justice for all complaints according to the form of the last act made thereupon and under the pains contained in the same, and that from this set forward all persons that have complaints pursue [them] through their judge ordinary and do not trouble our sovereign lord or his council with any complaints unless there is an officer who cannot do justice or administer in their office according to the form of law and as is contained in the said last act.

Item, it [is] decreed and ordained in burghs, notwithstanding the acts made previously, that four worthy persons from the former council of last year shall be chosen annually for the new council at their entry to sit with them for that year and have power with them to do justice.

Item, it is decreed and ordained concerning overlords who to the defrauding and injury of their vassals and tenants defer entry to their lands and superiorities, that in the future the said overlords shall enter their lands and superiorities and do their duties there without fraud or deceit within 40 days after the time they were required by their vassals and tenants, which if they fail to do the said vassals and tenants are immediately thereafter to be entered by the king or the overlord from whom the superiority is held, and the other overlord who fraudulently deferred his entry is to forfeit his tenants for his lifetime and satisfy the party of his costs and damages, who shall be sustained through his being in default of his entry.

Item, because in past times it used to be the practise and custom that persons arrested by the justice ayre would appear before the justice in the tolbooth and would remain outside the bar and would not enter for the payment of a small fine of silver, which is great derision and scorn of justice and contempt of the king's highness, it is therefore decreed and ordained that in the future all persons arrested who may be apprehended in time of the ayre in the tolbooth or the town where the justice is shall be taken and delivered to the justice to be justified for his crime and his trespass so that the arrest be made before the time of the beginning of the ayre and sitting of the justice.

Item, concerning the avoidance of great trouble, discord and various inconveniences that may arise through the stealing of hawks and hounds, it is decreed and ordained that in the future no manner of person may take another man's hounds or hawks or wildfowl from nests or eggs from nests within another man's ground except with the lord's licence under the pain of £10, and in similar manner that no eggs be taken out of partridges or wild duck nests under the pain of 40s, and this to be a point of dittay in the future.

Item, that no man may slay deer or roes or deer when it is stormy or snowing or slay any of their kids until they are a year old under the pain of £10 and that to be a point of dittay. And similarly that no man may hunt, shoot or slay deer or roes in other people's closes or parks or take rabbits out of others' rabbit warrens or take any fowls out of others dovecots or fish in others' pools or stanks except with a special licence from the owners, under the pain of dittay and to be punished as theft.

Item, it is decreed and ordained that in the future the ferrymen of Kinghorn shall only take 2d in fare from a man or woman and the burden, and for a horse 6d, and making free the fare and burden for any person who brings a horse or animals, so that for the horse, cargo and person only 6d shall be charged. And in similar manner other animals shall make the persons free of charge. And at Queensferry only 1d shall be charged for a man and 2d for a horse, and all in the form and manner written above. And at Portincraig 1d for a man and 2d for a horse. And any ferrymen who act in contradiction to this shall pay 40s to the king and his person will be imprisoned at the king's will. And that the ferrymen are to build bridges to their boats according to the form of the previous acts, under the pain contained in the same.

  1. NAS, PA5/6, f.58v; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.58r.
  2. NAS, PA5/6, f.58v; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.58r.
  3. NAS, PA5/6, f.58v; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.58r.
  4. NAS, PA5/6, f.58v; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.58r-v.
  5. NAS, PA5/6, f.58v.
  6. NAS, PA5/6, f.59r; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.58v.
  7. NAS, PA5/6, f.59r; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.58v.
  8. NAS, PA5/6, f.59r; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.58v.
  9. NAS, PA5/6, f.59r; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.58v.
  10. NAS, PA5/6, f.59r; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.58v.
  11. NAS, PA5/6, f.59r; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.59r.
  12. NAS, PA5/6, f.59r; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.59r.
  13. NAS, PA5/6, f.59v (almost entirely illegible); 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.59r.
  14. NAS, PA5/6, f.59v; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.59r.
  15. NAS, PA5/6, f.59v; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.59v.
  16. NAS, PA5/6, f.59v; 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.59v.
  17. NAS, PA5/6, f.59v-60r (note, f.60r much decayed, text taken from printed act); 1566 printed acts (STC 21875), f.59v.