Act in favour of the burgh of Kinghorn

Our sovereign lady and the estates of parliament, considering that the burgh of Kinghorn, having contracted debts far beyond their common good by upholding their ruinous harbour and building a new one not yet finished, which will be of the greatest use and advantage to all passengers coming and going from this place to the north of Scotland, and besides other great losses the inhabitants have sustained in transporting several of their majesties' forces since the revolution and furnishing them horses, which have been quite ruined and for which they never received any payment, they are so much impoverished that the town is in hazard of utter ruin; and seeing an imposition in favour of the said burgh of 2d upon each pint of ale and beer brewed and vended within the said burgh and privileges thereof, for a competent number of years, would be a ready means for enabling the said burgh to finish the said harbour and preventing the ruin thereof by the great losses already sustained. Therefore, and for the better enabling to perform the duty and service to the public which upon all occasions they have been ready to do, her majesty, with advice and consent of the estates of parliament, authorises and empowers the magistrates and town council of Kinghorn, and such as they shall appoint, to collect and ingather an imposition of 2d upon the pint of ale and beer brewed and vended, within the said burgh and privileges, for the space of twenty-four years from and after 1 May next to come, to be applied for payment of the debts contracted in advancing of the said harbour, and to be contracted for finishing thereof in the first place, and in the next place for payment of the public debts of the burgh, with full power to the said magistrates, town council and such as they shall appoint to poind and distrenzie, and use such order and execution for bringing in thereof as they are in use to do for their common good, which imposition of 2d upon the pint of ale and beer, during the space foresaid, is hereby declared to be over and above and distinct from the annexed and additional excise payable to her majesty, the said magistrates being obliged to apply annually what arises from the said imposition in order and to the uses aforesaid at the sight of the earls [David Wemyss, earl of] Wemyss, [John Lyon, earl of] Strathmore, [David Leslie/Melville, earl of] Leven and [George Melville, earl of] Melville, and their heirs or any two of them, who are hereby authorised to audit the accounts of the said imposition and to discharge the magistrates upon such charge and discharge to be given in by them, as the said earls shall see just. And its hereby provided and declared that the foresaid imposition shall be burdened with the payment of £600 Scots to William Wilson, one of the under-clerks of session, and that for a year and a half's salary due to him as under-clerk of privy council from Whitsunday [15 May] 1689 to Martinmas [11 November] 1690 and for the extraordinary pains and expenses he was put to for the exigency of the government during that time, and with the like sum of £600 Scots to James Stephen, usher, for his public service and attendance payable in six years, being £100 to each of them per annum, and appoints the first year's payment to be at Candlemas [2 February] 1708 and so yearly at the said term, until the said respective sums be completely paid, and ordain the said magistrates, town council and collectors thereof to make payment to them accordingly.

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