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Papers Relating to the Scots in Poland (1576 - 1798)
Miscellaneous Extracts relating to Scots in Poland (2)


Done on Tuesday, [9th September.] the day after the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, A.D. 1614.—Act. Contr. Advoc. Crac., 525, f. 1640.

The Honest James Simson, merchant and citizen of Zamosc, and the Unbelieving James T. Saeloneator,from Sieradz, compearing in person, sound in mind and body, before the present court, publicly and willingly recognised that they granted each other a mutual acquittance concerning all losses, injuries, damages, protestations, actions, trials, and proceedings whatsoever, at whatever point or stage of law depending, since a friendly agreement and satisfactory settlement had been arrived at on either side; and that they quashed all such proceedings, recognising that there was nothing outstanding on account of which the one ought rightfully to prosecute the other, and imposing on themselves a perpetual silence with regard to the premises.

Compearing in person before the present session of the Court of the Advocate of Cracow, on the Monday [31st December.] before the Feast of the Circumcision, 1602, the Well-famed JOHN STRACHEN, a Scot, on his departure for Leipzig on difficult private business made, appointed, and duly ordained the Well-famed Thomas Dixon to be his true, actual, lawful and recognised Attorney and Mandatary for all his cases and actions in general, before any office, court, or magistrate whatsoever, and with any persons whatsoever, but in particular those against certain violators of the public peace, who about the sixth hour of last Thursday night, in Slavcow Street, wounded the Constituent; granting him faculty to appoint in his place other attorneys, and securing for him the ratification of the premises in fullest form of mandate.

Done on Wednesday, the day of the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 21st November A.D. 1674.

Compearing in person before the Worshipful Council of the city of Old Warsaw at its present session, the Eminent JASPAR WATSON, a Scot, merchant and citizen of Warsaw, sound in mind and body, with the approval of the present court so far as concerns the following Recognisance, and acknowledging its jurisdiction, did openly, willingly, freely and expressly recognise, and recognises by these presents, That he has acquitted and pronounced free the Well-famed Albrycht Jern, citizen and merchant of Thorn, from delivery of hops, called in Polish chmiel, in six large or smaller sacks, which he had left with the said Well-famed Gern seven days previously, even as he acquits him and his successors and pronounces them free in these presents. Moreover, he gives caution to the said Well-famed Gern and his successors for general warrandice and protection from all impediments, binding himself over on the security of all his property and wares wherever situate, and protecting them at his own cost and expense from all claim on the part of any one soever with regard to a certain writ given to the Well-famed John Watson, citizen of Lezne and Warsaw, for the said hops, and enjoyed by him, whatever the court or session at which it may arise or be preferred, right of pre-emption being secured for him by special agreement; thereby he is warranted and held scatheless, in the most perfect form of law of discharge of warrandice.

Done on Tuesday, [15th July.]the day of the Separation of the Apostles, 1603.

At the instance of the Well-born Lord ABRAHAM YUNGEN, Captain of His Royal Majesty’s Scots Foot, the witnesses hereafter named in full were cited by the sworn Bedel of the city of Cracow, to give true testimony in Court, and were carefully and separately examined before the present Office of the Advocate of Cracow, as the law enjoins. The first witness, the Well-famed Richard Tamson, a Scot, citizen and merchant of Posen, took the oath with two fingers of his right hand raised to the firmament, as prescribed by law and custom, and attested the deposition produced by him before the Court, of which a full copy is here given :—

1. Those Scots who are engaged in trade in the Kingdom of Poland have private guilds and societies amongst themselves.

2. They call their judges elders and their guild a merchants brotherhood; and of these brotherhoods there are more than twelve.

3. They hold tribunals during the fairs; they are, however, allowed to appeal to the chief Scots diet held at the Epiphany at Thorn. They make no appeal to the tribunals of His Majesty the King, looking on it as a private tribunal.

4. They have written books and deeds in which are their statutes or rules and their laws and customs.

5. And they do settle their quarrels according to these written laws, judging their cases by means of a decree, which they enter into a book and keep for remembrance.

6. Their decisions clearly point out how all crimes are to be punished, and what faults are to be forgiven.

7. As soon as a Scot comes to the Kingdom and goes to them, then the elders must summon him to the management and receive him into their Brotherhood, that he may swear to keep all the rules and sign his name in their books with his own hand.

8. Whatever the elders find necessary for the defence of the guild, that must they decide to do.

9. They collect taxes from the lesser Scots, and in that suit against Abraham Jung. And the Scottish elders in Cracow have collected a good portion of these taxes.

10. And these Scots have other elders, who are spiritual elders, and who levy taxes every year to build new churches.

11. These books and statutes are contrary to one another, and written in more than one way, for several have decisions that are against the Catholic faith.

12. Each guild has its own books, for these decisions are necessary in every district.

13. The elders call upon him whom they wish to have with the consent of other elders. And thus it happened in Posen, not long ago, with John Ramsai whom they called, and who, to the shame of his country, went to them; likewise was the late Jacob Cosson called and the late Thomas Coplten; and Thomas Dunkeson is to be called during the fair in Lublin. David Burn was also called; and they do especially call people belonging to the Catholic faith.

14. And the following Scots were their managers: William Forbes, Gilbert King, Peter Orem, William Gendusson, John Forbes.

15. I know that all these things are true, because, being with them for seventeen years and sitting with them at their tribunals, I have seen with my own eyes how these tribunals or committees are carried on, and what money they took, and from whom, according to the rules which they have written down.

16. I have with my own hand signed three books belonging to these Scottish merchants. I took away the decrees and other matters in these books and in other registers for remembrance. And I do affirm that all this is so, and not otherwise.

The second witness, the Well-famed William Ramse, likewise a Scot, merchant and citizen of Posen; and the third witness, the Honest Gilbert Burnet, likewise a Scot, at one time merchant, then Servitor to the Well-born William Grem, a Courtier of His Royal Majesty, took a similar oath, and attested word for word the deposition of the first with omission of the last two sections.

The fourth witness, the Well-famed Gabriel Mancor, a Scot, Merchant to the Court, took a similar oath and attested all except the last six sections.

The fifth, the Well-famed Andrew Rusek, Factor to the Scots; the sixth, the Well-famed Thomas Steffen, Embroiderer to the Court; and the seventh, John Smidt,—all Scots, took similar oaths and attested all the sections of the deposition with exception of the last four. — Acta Advoc. Crac. Contr., 1. 521, ff. 1317-21.

Done on the Wednesday [30th July (is in 1603).]after the Feast of St. Anne.

At the instance of the Well-born Lord ABRAM YUNGEN, Captain of His Royal Majesty’s Scots Foot, the following witnesses, viz, the Well-famed Albert Wanton and Tomas Dunkeson, Scots, were cited to give true testimony in Court, and examined by the present Office of the Advocate of Cracow both separately and in conjunction. Taking the statutory oath with two fingers of the right hand raised to the firmament, they gave unanimous testimony to this effect:--

Having lived here in Poland for many years, we do know that the Scots have their laws and statutes, according to which they elect four persons every year, who try them, publish decrees, and punish the guilty by fines or imprisonment, lending this money to other Scots and taking usury for it. They who were of the committee were: William Forbes, Caspar King, Peter Orem, Alexander Dyxon, Kilian Henderson, John Forbes and Kilian Buchan.—Contr. Advoc., 521, ff.1328-9.

Done on the Monday [10th November.]before the Feast of St Martin, A. D. 1603.

The Noble Christopher Cyzowski, His Majesty the King’s General, being personally present in the office of the city of Cracow, truly relating, declaredthat:—

To-day the Worshipful William Enderson, citizen and merchant of Cracow, hath protested that one Robert Demster, servant of the SCOTTISH CAPTAIN, on the fifth day of June, that is, on the Octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, did, in the name of His Majesty the King, summon him and order him to appear before his master; and this at the instance of Gilbert Wenton. Then also did the above-mentioned William Enderson protest that, on the day following this summons, that is, the sixth day of June, this same Robert Demster, in the name of His Majesty the King and of his master, hath arrested him, forbidding him to leave the town, that he might appear before his master, and this under a penalty as it may come to pass, and also ‘sub poena arbitraria.’ In the same manner on the same day hath the Worshipful Thomas Orem, Jacob Tomson, Archibald Burnet, Robert Home, Simon Mosman, Scots, protested that, on the ninth of the said June, that is, on the Monday after the Octave of the Corpus Christi, this Robert did summon all the Scottish merchants who go about the Court to appear before his master and say by what right they dare exhibit and sell their goods about the town. At which time they would not and did not stand before the captain.—Act. Cons. Crac.

Admonition of the Scots.

Done in the Town Hall of Cracow on the Tuesday after the First Sunday in Lent (Dominica Invocavit), 28th February 1651.

Their Worshipful Lordships the Mayor and Councillors of the city of Cracow met in the Town Hall and notified to the Well-famed J. Carmichael, A. Frazer, A. Blakal and G. Kruksang, citizens of Cracow and Scots by nationality, whom they had summoned to compear before them, that in compliance with the Constitution of the recent Warsaw Diet in favour of His Most Serene Highness the King of England they should be prepared to liquidate their estates, confirm the liquidation on oath, and deliver up before the following day a tithe of their estate when liquidated; and that they should inform upon other Scots dwelling in Cracow, because of this Notification concerning the premises.

Done in the Town Hall of Cracow on the Wednesday after the First Sunday in Lent, 1st March.

This day, on which the Term appointed by law fell due, on the information of the Well-born Henry Dziosz, Clerk to the Treasury, deputed for this business by His Majesty the King (as is shown by the Letters Universal signed by his Royal hand and fortified with the Seal of the Greater Chancery of the Realm, dated Warsaw, 25th January of the current year 1651, and presented to the court on another occasion), the Prosecutor of the present court as pursuing party brought a charge against the Well-famed JAMES KARMICHEL, by nationality a Scot, citizen arid merchant of Cracow, who had been summoned on account of the Liquidation of his estate, the Confirmation of the same, and the Delivery of a Tithe thereof in accordance with the Constitution issued in favour of His Most Serene Highness the King of England at the recent Warsaw Diet, craving that this order be granted in the case of the party cited.

Ex adverso, the party cited; in obedience to the foresaid Constitution as also to the mandate of His Majesty the King, liquidated his entire estate, which realised the sum of 6000 Imperial thalers, and presented himself as ready both to confirm the said Liquidation and deliver up a tithe of his estate.

The Council of Cracow, after hearing and considering the arguments of both the said parties who compeared before them, and having noted the admission of the party cited, decreed that, firstly, he should straightway confirm the foresaid Liquidation of his estate by taking the statutory oath, with two fingers of his right hand raised toward the firmament, in presence of the court, and after the manner prescribed in the aforementioned Letters Universal of His Majesty the King, to this effect :—

‘I have not the least wish or intention to hide the least money of my substance either real or moveable, in specie or in wares, in debts or in my hands now abiding; but just as I find it, without the least cheating, will I honestly liquidate it; and no possession nor gift will I use to cheat the Constitution of the Warsaw Diet in favour of the English King, nor put nor hide it in any secret places or with any person whatsoever’; and that secondly, after such Confirmation, he should lodge straightway with the Trustee of the court the tithe of his estate. And whereas the said party cited, in obedience to the decree of the court, firstly confirmed the said Liquidation after the manner and fashion therein prescribed, in presence of the court and in hearing of the Well-born Henry Dziosz, and thereafter lodged with the Trustee of the court a sum of 600 Imperial thalers, being the amount of the tithe for which he is sued, therefore the present court pronounced and pronounces him free as regards this prosecution.

On the same date the Well-famed ALBERT BLAKAL, a Scot, citizen and merchant of Cracow, whose estate realised 6795 imperial thalers, 1 florin, 24 grosz Polish, confirmed the liquidation on oath in similar terms, and paid a tithe amounting to 679 1/2 Imperial thalers 9 grosz Polish.

Similarly the Well-famed ANDREW FRASER, a Scot, citizen and merchant of Cracow, whose estate realised 8700 florins Polish, paid as tithe 600 Imperial thalers.

Similarly the Well-famed GEORGE KRUKSANG, a Scot, citizen and merchant of Cracow, whose estate realised 2000 Imperial thalers, paid as tithe 200 Imperial thalers.

Done in the Town Hall of Cracow on the Friday after the First Sunday in Lent, 3rd March 1651.

This day, on which the Term appointed by law fell due, the Prosecutor of the court, on the information of the Well-born Henry Dziosz, Clerk to the Treasury of the Realm, brought a charge against the Honourable URSULA GRUZEK, a widow, who had been summoned on account of the payment of a Tithe of her estate which belonged, by Constitution of the Realm, to His Most Serene Highness the King of England, craving that an order to pay be granted.

In reply the party cited declared:—

‘I am born here of parents living in the town of Cracow, and though I had a husband Grule (?), all the same I took nothing after him; the which I am ready to swear."

The Council of Cracow, after hearing and considering the arguments of both the parties who compeared before them, and taking into account the fact that the party cited alleged that she had inherited no property on her husband’s death, and offered to confirm that allegation on oath, decreed that she should take such oath in confirmation forthwith after this manner, with two fingers of the right hand raised:—

‘After my husband’s death I got no fortune from which I ought to give a tithe to the English king.’

And whereas the party cited took the oath in the manner foresaid, therefore the court pronounced and pronounces her free as regards this prosecution.

On the same date a like charge was brought against the Well-famed ALEXANDER DIXON, citizen and merchant of Cracow, who declared in reply:—

‘I was born here; I have lived in Cracow for 57 years, and continue to live here; and as to this tax, I am ready to swear that I took no inheritance whatsoever after my parents, and ought not to pay this tithe.’

Thereupon the Prosecutor, by way of reply, produced Letters Universal of His Royal Majesty, whereby he showed that the heirs of Scots were likewise bound to pay the same tithe.

The Council of Cracow, after hearing and considering the arguments of both the parties who compeared before them, and taking into account the fact that the party cited, born here of parents who were citizens of Cracow, had lived in Cracow for the last 57 years, paying the donative and other contributions to the city, and offered to declare on oath that he inherited no property from his parents, remitted and remits the present case with the contesting parties to the Court of His Royal Majesty, fixing two weeks hence as a Term for their compearance before the said court.

On the same day the Well-born ABRAHAM FREMDE, a Scot dwelling in Cracow, liquidated his estate in the usual manner; it realised 200 Imperial thalers, and he paid tithe after taking the prescribed oath.

Similarly the Well-famed CASPAR HUNTER, a Scot dwelling in Cracow, whose estate realised 30 Imperial thalers, paid tithe.—Contr. Cons. Crac., 1646-51, f. 2566-71.

Similarly (on Monday, 6th March 1651) the Noble and Well-famed WILLIAM THORE, a Scot, citizen and merchant of Cracow, whose estate realised 1000 Imperial thalers, paid tithe.—Contr. Cons. Crac., 1646-51, f. 2571-2.


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