Act in favour of the burgh of Kirkcaldy

Our sovereign lady and the estates of parliament, considering that the burgh of Kirkcaldy having, by the building of a harbour, tolbooth and other public works, contracted debts far beyond their common good, whereby, and by the great loss the inhabitants have suffered in shipping during the late and present war, they are so impoverished that the burgh is in great hazard of going to utter ruin to the public loss of the nation. And seeing an imposition in favour of the burgh of 2d upon each pint of ale and beer brewed and vended, within the privileges of the same for a suitable time, would be a ready means for preventing thereof; and that the far greatest part of the burgesses and inhabitants (who only can be the sufferers) have, by a writ under their hands, signified their consent thereto. Therefore, and for the better enabling the said burgh to perform that duty and service to the public, which upon all occasions they have been ready to do, her majesty, with advice and consent of the said estates, authorise and empowers the magistrates and town council of Kirkcaldy (or such as they shall appoint) to collect and ingather an imposition of 2d (distinct from the excise payable to her majesty) upon each pint of ale and beer brewed and vended, within the privileges of the said burgh, for the space of twenty-five years from and after Whitsunday [15 May] next in the year 1707, to be applied for the payment of the public debt of the burgh in the first place, and for repairing the harbour and other public ends of the burgh in the next place, with full power to the magistrates and town council, or their collector, to poind and distrenzie, and to use such order for bringing in thereof as they are in use to do for any part of their common good; with the burden of £25 sterling yearly to be paid to the seven macers of parliament for the first four years, and £10 sterling yearly to Doctor Thomas Bowar, professor of mathematics in the King's College of Aberdeen towards a salary, to himself and successors in the said profession, from the said term of Whitsunday for the whole subsequent years contained in this act; which her majesty, with advice foresaid, discerns and ordains to be paid to him and his successors in office by the magistrates and their collectors at two terms in the year Whitsunday and Martinmas [11 November] by equal portions accordingly, and that the said 2d of the pint shall be applied to the uses above-mentioned by the said magistrates at the sight of the earls of [John Hamilton/Leslie, earl of] Rothes, [David Wemyss, earl of] Wemyss, [David Leslie/Melville, earl of] Leven, [Henry Sinclair], lord Sinclair, or any two of them, their heirs and successors, who are hereby authorised to call the said magistrates and their collectors to account for the same.

  1. NAS. PA6/34, 'March 25 1707'.