Act for the right packing of salmon

Our sovereign lord and estates of parliament, understanding that the salmon fishings are one of the principal benefits whereby trade is maintained and money brought into the kingdom, and that through the evil ordering thereof, both in the insufficiency of the barrels and also in the disloyal packing of the same, not only is the merchants' estates damaged thereby, but also the nation is dishonoured abroad and disappointed of what should return thereby; therefore, our said sovereign lord, with advice and consent of the said estates, ratifies and approves all and sundry acts of parliament, laws and constitutions of this realm made anent salmon fishing, and the sufficiency of the barrels and loyal packing thereof, with this addition, that the whole coopers within this kingdom make the said salmon barrels of good and sufficient new knappel, for which they shall be answerable, without wormholes and white wood, and of sufficient tightness for containing the pickle, and sufficient tightness for enduring all kind of stress in the handling, and that the barrels contain no less than ten gallons of the Stirling pint (conforming to an act of his majesty's council of the date at Holyroodhouse, 15 July 1619, which his majesty, with consent foresaid, ratifies and approves in all the heads, clauses and articles thereof) under the pain of £5 to be paid by the cooper for each insufficient barrel and escheat of the said barrel, and that the same be well pinned in the pickle before the packing; and thereafter, the said barrels to be well tightened and double girthed before the transporting thereof to foreign nations, and that no barrel be sooner made and bloune2 but the cooper's burnt [mark] is set thereon on the tapon staff thereof in testimony of the sufficiency of the tree, and that every cooper be answerable and liable in payment of such losses as happen to be laid on the fish at the market, if it be found to be in the default of the cooper by the insufficiency of the tree or packing or any other means in the cooper's default, and that they keep right gauge both in the length of the staves, the bilge3 girth, the wideness of the head and deepness of the chin; the barrel being made, marked and three times gone in the packing shall be marked with the marking thereon under a very particular merchant mark as use is and that no burgh nor any other trading with salmon shall presume to counterfeit the mark or burn of any other trade, under the pain of confiscation of the salmon in addition to the punishment of the parties counterfeiters, at the pleasure of the judge ordinary, and the one half of the said pain to pertain to his majesty, and the other half to the burgh so wronged, and ordains the magistrates within burghs to put this act to execution.

  1. NAS. PA2/27, f.3.
  2. Meaning of this word not clear.
  3. Could mean 'built' or size of lower barrel, as in the lower part of ship's hull.