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Papers Relating to the Scots in Poland (1576 - 1798)
Royal Grants and Privileges to the Scots Merchants (1)


Faculty granted to John Gipson, a Scots merchant to retail his goods to the Court of His Royal Majesty wherever situate.

STEPHEN, by the Grace of God King of Poland, etc.

We make known by these presents to all whom it may concern, etc., That at the prayer of certain of our Counsellors on behalf of the Honest John Gipson, a Scots merchant, we accord him free faculty to follow our Court whithersoever we may proceed; and in all places whereinsoever we may reside, and also outside our Court, without let or hindrance from anyone, to display his goods and sell or exchange them, and carry on his business in any equitable and lawful manner, as all the other merchants who follow our Court and natives of this our Realm are wont to do. Moreover, that he may display his merchandise and wares, we grant him also a general licence to set and build shops or merchant booths (institae sive camerae mercatoriae) in public places, and therein, convenient to the public needs, to sell his merchandise and wares as prescribed, and to apply them to the use that seems to him best; and further, we permit him and his wife, on their own premises, to provide for consumption wine, must, ale (cerevisia), and other liquors of the sort for their own profit and advantage without hindrance or prevention from anyone at all, whether our own or other officials or persons of any rank or condition whatsoever; which faculty and licence we allow him and his wife to use until the end of their lives or the life of either of them.

This we direct to the notice of all, especially our Marshals and other officials, and men of all ranks and conditions, commanding that they preserve the said John Gipson, Scot, in the possession of the aforementioned liberties and concessions granted by us, to the end of their lives, as they hope for our favour.

In witness whereof we have signed these presents with our own hand, and ordered our seal to be appended.

Given at Warsaw on the 8th day of August A.D. 1576, the first year of our reign.— Warsaw Chief Archives, Liber Matr. Reg., vol. 114, f. 162.

II

King Stephen presents to the Honest John Maknil, a Scot, his subject dwelling in the town of Cowalow in the province of Kuim, all the property which reverted to the King and to the Treasury on the death of John Lenze, a Scot, a citizen of Rogozno of illegitimate birth.

STEPHEN, by the Grace of God King of Poland, etc.

We make known by these our Letters to all and sundry whom it may concern, that at the prayer of certain of our Counsellors made to us on behalf of the Honest John Maknil, a Scot, our subject dwelling in our town of Cowalow in the province of Kuim, we have thought fit to give and convey to the same each and all of the loans, ascertained and unascertamed, which have fallen due to us and to our Treasury on the death of the late John Lenze, a Scot, a citizen of Rogozno of illegitimate birth, in whatever places and by whatever persons and by debtors of whatever rank these sums were received and are retained after his death, which do not exceed the amount of 100 Polish florins, and are divided up and held in loan in the hands of different debtors. All these loans we have given and gifted, and do give and gift by these our Letters to the foresaid John Maknil, who is known to have been in partnership with the foresaid Scot deceased, that he may be able and have the power to claim from any debtors of the said John Lenze what is owing, whether in securities or in money, and according to their liability and debts contracted strictly to exact and demand repayment, and to keep what is exacted on the strength of this our gift graciously accorded to him, to possess it, and to use it for his own purposes; of which loans, exacted to the amount foresaid, he shall be bound to return one-half to our Treasury, but to keep the other for himself.

This we make known to each and all of the magistrates and officials both military and civil, commanding them that wheresoever the foresaid John Maknil may discover or find debtors of the said John Lenze deceased, they shall exercise the summary jurisdiction proper in the case of debtors of this kind, and shall urge and compel them, by the authority of their offices, to make adequate payment, and shall deliver up and consign their real and actual property.

In witness whereof, we have ordered these presents to be fortified with our seal, and have signed them with our own hand.

Given in Camp at the Lighthouse [Ad Laternam. Near Dantzig, which King Stephen was then besieging.] on the 8th day of August A.D. 1577, the second year of our reign. STEPHANUS REX.—Warsaw Chief Archives, Liber Matr. Reg., vol. 115, f. 283.

III.

King Stephen grants to Eight Scots Free Faculty to Trade.

STEPHEN, by the Grace of God King of Poland, etc.

We make known, etc., That moved by the prayer of certain of our Counsellors, and moreover taking account of those Scots who, throughout this period in which we have been occupied with hostile campaigns undertaken against our enemy the Duke of Muscovy, followed our Court and Camp with merchandise, and aided our Court and our Army to the best of their power by supplying necessaries to the same, we have resolved to grant and accord them liberty and immunity; and we do grant and accord by these our Letters to these Eight Scots hereafter named, Thomas Roplandtt, Tomas Dixon, Albert Killus, Albert Tullitaff, Andrew Dortse, Henry Foster, Richard Atman, Bartholomew Erzmiek, free faculty and power to follow our Court, and therewith in all cities, towns, villages, and places whithersoever we proceed and whereinsoever we may reside, without hindrance from any persons to display for sale such goods as they may please, and sell them and retail them, and to own and build their shops in a place assigned by the Marshal of the Realm or of our Court, or anyone else performing his duties in our Household, provided that our accustomed rights and the rights of all concerned be not impaired.

This licence for the foresaid Scots we wish to remain secure and valid for so long a time as they may accompany our Court. And we commend it to the notice of all whom it may concern, Palatines, Castellans, Captains, Stewards, Magistrates of the city and the towns, Governors of the villages, Lords and their deputies, directing them to preserve and be careful to preserve these same Scots in the possession of the foresaid licences and privileges, and forbidding anyone to oppose them.

In witness whereof, etc.

Given at Cracow on the 2nd day of January A.D. 1583, the seventh year of our reign. STEPHANUS REX.

IV.

Engrossment of Privileges in favour of the Well-born Abraham Yung, Captain of the Scots.

Done on Tuesday, the Feast of St. Florian, [4th May] 1604 A.D.

SIGISMUND THE THIRD, by the Grace of God King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Masovia, and Samogitia; Hereditary King of the Swedes, Goths, and Vandals.

We make known by our present Letters to all and sundry whom it may concern, that, Whereas we understand that it is of the utmost importance to us and the State that in our Realm and Dominions there should be not only natives and our subjects but also foreigners, of whom no small number out of various nations has been wont to travel hither and dwell in various places, cities, and towns of ours for the sake of trading; and it is known to us that among others there is here a large number of men of the Scottish nation, most of whom, we are informed, live licentiously, recognising neither judges nor jurisdiction nor laws nor any superior, whence it comes that, impunity being so complete, they not only often offend seriously against the laws of our Realm, but also cause great loss to our customs and public dues;

Therefore we have thought fit to deal promptly with this inconvenience, and to subject them to a Conservator, Director and Informer, prudently after the example of other foreign nations resolving to set over them one of the servants of our Court, that he may restrain them by virtue of his office, or hand over the recalcitrant to us and to our officials, and, what we desire to rank not least in importance, that under the same Conservator, Director, and Informer they may live piously and honestly, and inscribe their names and surnames in his book, that they may be the more easily available and led to the defence of this our Realm and State, which in time of necessity they are bound to aid no less than their own country. Having commended to us the industry in war and skill in affairs of the Well-born Abraham Yung, commander of our Scottish Foot, we have thought this duty fit to committed to him above all; and we give him by these our present Letters full faculty and all power for life to exercise the offices of Conservator, Director, and Informer universally over all men of the Scottish nation in our Realm, to see that rule and good order be preserved among them, to keep them in obedience and faithful to us and the State, and to inquire and examine into excesses and crimes, and to hand over delinquents to us and our officials. We will also that he faithfully bring in goods fallen to our right and devolved to the treasury of the Realm, and do not allow them to be suppressed and concealed, and that he diligently perform and do all other things becoming a man good and faithful to us and the State, and a Conservator, Director, and Informer of the men of his own nation.

This we bring to the notice of all men universally of our Realm, of whatever rank and condition, but especially of those who hold any office as magistrates, and command them to allow the above-named Abraham Yung freely to use, exercise and perform his duty as Elder of Scotland committed to him by us, and neither offer him hindrance or difficulties in its exercise nor permit them to be offered by anyone, but rather give him help and assistance, seeking out, trying, and punishing offenders when required by him; also we command all men of the Scottish nation dwelling in our Realm to hold and recognise the said Abraham Yung as their true and lawful Elder, Conservator, Director and Informer, and obey his authority in all things, as they hope for our favour.

In witness whereof we have ordered these presents, signed with our hand, to be sealed with the Seal of our Realm.

Given at Cracow on the 20th day of March 1604, the seventeenth year of our reign over Poland, and the eleventh over Sweden.—Acta Consularia Cracoviensia, A.D. 1604, f. 519.

V.

Faculty to Trade granted to certain Scots within the Realm.

SIGISMUND THE THIRD, by the Grace of God King of etc.

We make known by these our Letters to all and sundry whom it may concern that, Whereas we observe that there is a very great necessity to have merchants following our Court with their wares, supplying goods of various kinds both for our own use and that of the whole Court, also that in this matter citizens of Scottish nationality inhabiting our realm have offered us ready and constant support in the present Muscovite campaign, especially in advancing wares for our soldiery; at the petition of certain of our Counsellors made to us on behalf of the honest Peter Makalienski, Peter Orem, James Gorski, James Orem, Thomas Orem, Andrew Fraser, Stephen Orem, and Andrew Jantson, Scots merchants, we have resolved to grant and accord to any and all of them licence to trade in our realm and dominions, and follow our Court whereever situate and our Camp, also to display for sale at our Court any of their customary wares on market-days and sale-days as also at any time they please, and to erect their shops in public places, even as we do accord and grant it by these our presents, until the end of their lives, in pursuance of ancient usage and our former privilege accorded to certain men of the same nation with regard to the premises.

Wherefore we give this charge and instruction to all Palatines, Castellans, Captains, Dignitaries, all Officers of the Realm and of the Court, also Magistrates of all the cities of our Realm and all others whom it may concern, being desirous in every way to ensure that they refrain from impeding the exercise of this present licence to trade in our Realm and Dominions and to follow our Court conceded to [the Scots above named] or any one of them, but rather to suffer the same or any of them to use with enjoyment and profit our present grant, and by virtue of their official authority to protect and defend them from others who, if so it chance, may attempt to hinder them in the exercise of this faculty granted by us, as they hope for our favour.

In witness whereof we have signed these presents with our own hand, and ordered that they be fortified with the seal of the Realm.

Given at Warsaw in the General Council of the Realm on the 26th day of March A.D. 1613, the twenty-sixth year of our reign in Poland. SIGISMUNDUS REX.

VI.

Grant to the Noble Felix Bachowski, Clerk to the Chancery of His Sacred Majesty the King, of a right lapsed to the Crown upon the death of John, a Scot dwelling in Casimirs.

SIGISMUND THE THIRD, King of Poland, etc.

We make known, etc., That we have resolved to give and convey to the Noble Felix Bachowski, Clerk to our Chancery, by right lapsed to the Crown, all the property moveable and immoveable and any sums of money whether ready to hand or in any way invested, with whatever persons and in whatever places in our Realm and Dominions they be lying, which have devolved to us for our disposal consequent on the death of John, a Scot dwelling in Casimirs; and we do give and convey them in these presents, that so he may legally have access to them all and search for them, and hold, keep, and possess them when found, and convert them to the perpetual uses of himself and his successors.

This we desire to be made known to all magistrates whom it may concern, both military and civil, under whose jurisdiction any of the foresaid property lies; instructing them that on the request of the foresaid Grantee or his mandatary all the property under their jurisdiction, etc.

In witness whereof, etc.

Given at Warsaw on the 26th day of March A.D. 1629.

VII.

Copy of His Royal Majesty’s Letters on behalf of Colonel James Mori, given to him for the raising of Infantry.

Done in the Castle of Cracow.

VLADISLAS THE FOURTH, by the Grace of God King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Zmudzia, Masovia, and Inflantia; Hereditary King of the Swedes, Goths, and Vandals; Elected Grand Tsar of Muscovy.

To the Noble James Mory, our faithful Colonel, welcome to us by our grace, noble, faithful, and agreeable, being much recommended to us by our Counsellors and Courtiers for his knightly valour and victories in the present Muscovite expedition.

We and the Republic have been witnesses of your bravery under the walls of Smolensk during the whole time of the siege, so that we not only gave our approval of your command over 200 Dragoons by our private letter, but have chosen you as our Colonel, so that, in addition to the above-mentioned 200 Dragoons, you may collect, by virtue of this present letter, Eight Hundred Foot of foreigners. Over these, for Captains you shall have the Noble Abraham Zalko, Jacob Heykin, Hedda Hernek, and Thomas Lipin, whose energy, courage, and daring are well known to us. They shall be under your command, so that you may present yourself at Smolensk by the first day of the month of June in the year 1634. By which time the Well-born Alexander Korvin Gonewski, Wojewoda of Smolensk, as Field-Scrivener of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, shall summon these foot-men together and also make a list of those 200 Dragoons. According to your old list and according as you sign shall our Treasury pay them, that is, inasmuch as you shall draw up new Cavalry. The pay of the foreign soldiers shall be according to that of other Infantry. Pay ought to be in three months’ time, and if the Treasury can pay quicker, then you must show your accounts every month. And if their number does not reach the sum mentioned, the amount they would be paid shall be defaulted to the Colonel—the amount to be paid to the wounded and those who have died. If likewise, the Colonel or Captains gave to a wounded soldier or to one who has since died, for his needs, then this sum, upon his showing proofs, shall be rewarded to him. We likewise allow you for your rations as to other Colonels, by the month, for every squadron, at the rate of 100 zloty. The Infantry must give us and the Republic the ordinary oath, and at times dig trenches and help the Polish army to make earth-works. If, also, one of the officers of foot were wounded or bulleted then he must be cured and set free from looking after his work. If, after the formation of this regiment, it happened they were not needed, we shall have a mind for their costs and trouble. This also we add, that you, sir, and your regiment shall be under the command and jurisdiction of the Well-born Wojewoda of Smolensk, who has our confidence. This our letter we sign with our own hand, and set thereto the Seal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Given in copy at Smolensk on the 19th day of October 1633.—Castr. Crac., t. 58, f. 249.


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