Act in favour of Sir John Smith [of Grotehill]

Forasmuch as in the year 1650, when invitations were made to the king's majesty for his coming home to the government of his kingdom, Sir John Wauchope [of Niddrie-Marischal] and Sir John Smith, to testify their cheerfulness in that affair did, when other means failed and were obstructed, freely advance out of their own fortunes several sums of money for defraying the expense in that employment and, thereafter, the said Sir John Smith, upon his own credit, did provide for the use of the king's army certain proportions of arms of all sorts and victual without which, in all probability, the army had not been able to march; the consideration of all which and of Sir John Smith's readiness at that time to advance his majesty's service, moved his majesty, with advice and consent of his estates of parliament, in December 1650 to lay upon him the office of commissary general to the army, with this express declaration, that the kingdom should be debtor to him and his heirs for all such sums of money as he had or should give out for the public use and whereof he should not receive ready payment by his intromissions and, in order thereunto, commission was given to him for gathering in and uplifting those eight months' maintenance then appointed to be raised out of the months of December 1650, January, February, March, April, May, June and July 1651, in discharge of which commission and for the necessary use of his majesty's army, Sir John was necessitated to give out several sums of which he has not received as yet payment, being, by the fatal changes that fell out at that time, stopped in uplifting of those months' maintenance appointed for that use. And his majesty having, after his happy return to his royal government, taken the same to his consideration, did seriously recommend to the committee of estates to take course for his satisfaction and that all the orders and assignments granted to him for that end should be made effectual; in obedience whereof his accounts being, by order of the committee, exactly perused and stated, the debt owing to him is restricted to the sum of £100,000 Scots, though according to the accounts the same will extend to £24,512 5s 8d more. And the king's majesty, considering that by positive acts passed in his royal presence the said Sir John has right to the uplifting of those eight months' maintenance, and that the kingdom is still obliged as debtor for what is owing to him, does conceive that in justice he should not be any longer stopped but encouraged and allowed in the raising of the means appointed for his repayment and relief, but withal remembering that diverse sums of money were really advanced and given out by John [Middleton], earl of Middleton in his majesty's service in order to and for the promoting of that just and necessary engagement undertaken in the year 1648 for relief of his majesty's royal father out of prison and for his restitution to his royal government, the repayment of which sums of money was obstructed and stopped by the violence and injustice of those who, after August 1648, usurped to themselves the public authority of the kingdom. And his majesty conceiving himself obliged in honour and justice to see the sums of money undertaken for the service of his royal father repaid does, therefore, with advice and consent of his estates of parliament, appoint and ordain that the rest of these eight months' maintenance above-mentioned shall be burdened with the payment of £40,000 Scots as a part of the sums of money due to the said earl of Middleton; and therefore his majesty, with advice foresaid, does hereby give order, commission and command to Sir Alexander Durham, lord lyon, and the said Sir John Smith and their subcollectors, to raise and uplift what is resting owed unpaid of the said eight months' maintenance in the several shires and burghs of the kingdom. But because diverse of the said shires and burghs were at that time destroyed or overburdened by those English who invaded the kingdom, his majesty, with advice foresaid, has thought and accordingly does hereby grant to them the abatements following, namely, that the shires of Berwick, Edinburgh, Haddington and Linlithgow, and the burghs therein, in regard of their known devastation to be entirely freed and exempted from these eight months' maintenance; that the shire of Lanark be exempted of two parts and be only liable for a third part; that the town of Glasgow be exempted of three parts and be only liable for a fourth part; that the shires of Ayr and Renfrew, and burghs therein, be exempted of one half and be liable for the other half, provided always that the benefit of the exempted half is not extended to those who joined in arms with Kerr and Strachan and did not acknowledge his majesty's command; that the shire of Peebles, and burghs therein, be exempted of the third only and be liable in the other two parts; that the shires of Roxburgh, Selkirk and Dumfries, and the burghs therein, be exempted of a fourth part and be liable for the other three parts, and in regard that the shires of Fife, Kinross, Stirling, Clackmannan, Perth, Forfar, Kincardine, Aberdeen and Banff, and the burghs therein, did in the time bear and undergo burdens far greater than their proportions of the foresaid maintenance, they are entirely freed and exempted from the same. And it is appointed and declared that all other shires and burghs of the kingdom are liable for what is yet resting owed by them unpaid of the said eight months' maintenance, and if any part of these months' maintenance have been paid by the shires and burghs to the collectors2 are liable for the same and make account and payment thereof to the said Sir Alexander Durham and Sir John Smith; and to the end that the same with the rest thereof may be the more speedily collected and disposed of for the use foresaid, his majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, ordains letters of horning upon fifteen days' poinding and others necessary to be directed at the instance of the said Sir Alexander Durham and Sir John Smith and their subcollectors against the heritors, liferenters, wadsetters, collectors and others indebted in payment of the said eight months' maintenance, each one of them for their own parts of the same, so far as they are resting in manner foresaid, and that no suspension be granted but upon consignation, provided always that no singular successor who has bought lands since the time of these dues shall be liable in the payment of these dues for these lands so bought except they are particularly obliged thereto. And his majesty, with advice foresaid, ordains that £40,000 Scots of the first and readiest shall be uplifted of the said dues by virtue hereof be paid to the earl of Middleton, his heirs and assignees as aforesaid, and thereafter Sir John Smith is to retain in his own hand the sum of £100,000 Scots, for the payment of the which to him, his heirs or assignees the said maintenance, with reservation to the earl of Middleton as aforesaid, is hereby declared liable to be burdened; and further, the sum of £4,000, at the least so much thereof as after just account shall be found still due to him and not paid, is to be paid to Alexander Bower in Dundee for victual furnished by him to the king's army. Likewise the said Sir Alexander Durham and Sir John Smith are hereby ordained to use all diligence for bringing in of the same and employing it, as said is, for which diligence, as also for their intromission and for the surplus what they shall receive more than the sums of money above-mentioned, they are to be accountable to his majesty and the next session of parliament, collector fees and necessary charges to be disbursed in collecting thereof being allowed.

  1. NAS. PA2/27, f.79-80.
  2. 'that the said collectors' inserted in APS.