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Papers Relating to the Scots in Poland (1576 - 1798)
Royal Grants and Privileges to the Scots Merchants (3)


XV.

Copy of a Rescript of His Sacred Majesty the King in the interest of the Well-famed Eight Scots Merchants attached to the Court.

AUGUSTUS THE SECOND, by the Grace of God King of Poland, etc.

We make known, etc., That compearing in person before the present Session of our Greater Chancery of the Realm, the Well-famed Alexander Ross, a Scots merchant attached to the Court, acting for himself and in name of the remaining seven Merchants of Scottish nationality attached to the Court, did present for engrossment in these Acts the following Letters of our Royal Rescript, signed by our Royal hand and secured with the Seal of the Lesser Chancery of the Realm, sound, safe, intact, and free from all mark of suspicion, craving that they, be adopted in the said Acts and entered therein. Of these Letters the terms are as follows:—

AUGUSTUS THE SECOND, by the Grace of God King of Poland, etc., To the Noble and Worshipful Mayor, Councillors, Advocate, and the entire Magistracy, the Honourable Assessors, and the Well-famed Board of Twenty in our city of Old Warsaw, our truly beloved.

It has been shown to us by certain of our Counsellors in session at our side in the name and interest of the Well-born Peter Giern and Alexander his son, Alexander Innes, Alexander Allan, Alexander Ross, Alexander Ridd, William Cane (?) and William Ross, appointed and ordained by us Merchants of Scottish nationality attached with ancient privilege to our Court, that Your Honours without giving notice or intimation commanded that the shops in the precincts of the market-place at Warsaw belonging to our lieges the Eight Scots Merchants be destroyed, and that you have in fact thus demolished them, and built on their sites walled vaults (fornices murati) for the convenience of the city; and although they have ofttimes petitioned Your Honours to restore to them all those shops which you put to their present use, and for the sake of preserving the peace to assign and deliver to them, when they have refunded and repaid the moneys expended upon the said vaults, those which have been empty up to the present and have no occupier, but are shut up, nevertheless Your Honours, deferring from day to day this request of theirs, decline to allocate and deliver the vaults and to accept the money offered to you as the cost of their construction, thereby transgressing the rights of suppliants and hallowed justice. Accordingly we of our supreme power enjoin Your Honours on the presentation of this our Rescript to deliver up to the said Merchants of Scottish nationality attached to our Court, into their own possession, eight walled vaults in the city market-place; and after having the costs assessed by the Board of Works (aediles), masons and experts, to lift and receive from them a sum for the construction of the vaults, collecting each year from your city estate a land-rent or feu-duty at a rate not exceeding ten florins the ell, in compliance with ancient usage and the decisions of your Treasury; and to impose no prejudices upon them. All these premises shall Your Honours carry out without delay on the presentation and exhibition of this our present Rescript, on the instant, as you hope for our favour, subject to the statutory penalties for infringement of our Rescripts.

Given at Uiazdow, Warsaw, on the 7th day of September A.D. 1703 (?1704) the seventh (?sixth) year of our reign. AUGUSTUS REX. (Here is attached the Seal of the Lesser Chancery of the Realm.) MICHAEL AUGUSTIN HOLWEL, Secretary to the Lesser Seal of the Realm.— Warsaw Chief Archives,Liber Matr. Reg., vol. 219, ff. 145, 285

XVI.

Copy of a Resignation of Privilege in favour of the Noble Alexander Ross, Merchant attached to the Court.

Done at Warsaw on the Wednesday before the Feast of SS. Simon and Jude the Apostles, 24th October A.D. 1703.

AUGUSTUS THE SECOND, by the Grace, of God King of Poland, etc.

We make known that there have been exhibited to the present Session of the Greater Chancery of our Realm Letters of Resignation of Privilege in favour of the Noble Alexander Ross, one of the Eight Scots Merchants attached to our Court, drawn up in presence of the Council of Cracow, sound, safe, intact, and free from all suspicion. Of these Letters the terms are as follows :—

Done in the Court-house of Cracow on the Saturday after the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, 20th October A.D. 1703.

Compearing in person before the present Session of the Council of Cracow, the Noble William Ross, Postmaster of His Majesty the King, sound in mind and body, receiving the approval of the present Court with regard to this Act recognised openly, freely and expressly, and recognises by these presents, that he, being occupied for the present with various affairs both public and private, and unable to prosecute his trade as one of the Eight Scots Merchants privileged by Rescript of His Majesty the King, his Most Clement Lord, and enjoying the right of liberty to trade everywhere in Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and other provinces of the Realm annexed thereto, did resign and renounce the said Right and Privilege graciously conferred by His Majesty the King his Lord by Act dated Warsaw, on the Monday before the Feast of St. Paul the first Hermit, 13th January A.D. 1698, with the powers of the said Privilege belonging to the Recognisor, and by these presents resigns and renounces them; and hereby cedes, yields, and withdraws from his said Right, complete and entire, from this moment, in form most full and final, in favour of Alexander Ross, with all rights, prerogatives, and liberties of Trade as contained in the said Privilege, retaining, reserving, or in any way withholding for himself, the Recognisor, nothing of right, pretension, or title appertaining to this prerogative and privilege, but transferring, conveying, and surrendering all that right belonging to him, in its entirety, to the person of the foresaid grantee, that he may possess, keep, use, and enjoy it or surrender it; in virtue of the original Right belonging to him, and the present Deed of Cession, which the said Recognisor signed with his own hand: William Ross. (Here is affixed the Seal of the Council of Cracow.) ALEXANDER KIELAROWICZ, Secretary to the City of Cracow and Clerk of the Acts. (Extract from the Register of Acts of the Council of Cracow.)— Warsaw Chief Archives, Liber Matr. Reg., vol. 219, f. 648.

XVII.

Copy of the Privilege of Royal Servitorship conferred upon the Honourable Alexander Ines, with his enrolment in the company of the Eight Merchants of Scottish nationality.

AUGUSTUS THE SECOND, by the Grace of God King of Poland, etc.

We make known, etc., That compearing in person before the present Session of our Greater Chancery of the Realm, the Honourable Alexander Ines, merchant attached to our Court, offered for registration and engrossment in the present Acts the original Letters of Privilege hereinafter described, signed by our hand and fortified with the Greater Seal of the Realm, sound, safe and intact, and unmarred by any taint of suspicion, to the following effect:--

AUGUSTUS THE SECOND, 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 we, being desirous of maintaining the Privileges, Rights, and Decrees conferred by our Most Serene Predecessors upon the Eight Merchants of Scottish nationality attached to our Court, at the recommendation of certain of our Counsellors have resolved to co-opt and appoint to our service and to the place among the said Eight Merchants attached to our Court, vacant by the death of the Noble Alexander Ried, the Honourable Alexander Innes, merchant, also of Scottish nationality; even as we do co-opt and appoint him by these our presents; giving and granting the said Honourable Alexander Innes, merchant attached to our Court, full and general faculty profitably to enjoy all the Privileges and Decrees conferred upon the Company of Eight Merchants of Scottish nationality by our Most Serene Predecessors, and confirmed by us, and everywhere in our Realm and the provinces thereto annexed, throughout the towns, cities and burghs, to collect wares of every class and kind for the convenience of our Household, prosecuting his trade in different shops, according to the various classes of business, selling, retailing, and exchanging his wares, and occupying the place at Warsaw assigned him among the Eight Merchants for selling his wares, and to conduct all lawful and honest business in peace and security. Moreover, we exempt him from the authority of all Courts whatsoever, and submit him to the jurisdiction of our Marshal and the Marshal of the Realm alone, except in cases involving land and contract. This we direct to the notice of all whom it may concern, especially the Courts of the Castle Captains and the civil Magistrates of all places whatsoever, commanding that they accept the said Honourable Alexander Innes as one of the Eight Merchants and Servitors duly appointed to our Court, and, inasmuch as he lies under our protection, refrain from hindering him from enjoying and profiting by all the Privileges and Decrees granted in favour of our Eight Merchants of Scottish nationality, and his competent place in their company, but rather permit him freely so to do, as they hope for our favour.

In witness whereof, etc.

Given at Warsaw on the 11th day of May A.D. 1720, the twenty-third year of our reign.

Servitorship, with enrolment in the company of the Eight Privileged Merchants of Scottish nationality, conferred upon the Honourable Alexander Ines. AUGUSTUS REX. (Here is affixed the Seal of the Greater Chancery of the Realm.) MICHAEL MAURICE.— Warsaw Chief Archives, Liber Matr. Reg., voL 223, ff. 2-3.

XVIII.

At Warsaw, on 11th May A.D. 1720, AUGUSTUS THE SECOND, ‘having commended to him the merits of the Noble JAMES Ross, Merchant to his Court, his cleverness, skill, and experience in business, and his unremitting zeal and attention in the conduct of Royal affairs,’ appointed him to succeed the Well-famed [‘Honourable’ in the preceding Deed.] ALEXANDER INNES, deceased, as one of the Eight Privileged Merchants of Scottish nationality attached to the Court, in similar terms.— Warsaw Chief Archives, Liber Matr.Sig., vol. 12, f. 125.

XIX.

Copy of the Privilege attached to the Royal Secretaryship and Servitorship conferred upon the Noble Alexander Ross.

AUGUSTUS THE SECOND, etc. We make known, etc., That there have been brought to the present Session of our Greater Chancery of the Realm the original Letters of our Privilege hereinafter described, signed with our hand and ratified with the Greater Seal of the Realm, safe, sound and intact, and marred by no taint of suspicion, to the following effect:--

AUGUSTUS THE SECOND, by the Grace of God King of Poland.

We make known by these our Letters to all and sundry whom it may concern, that having commended to us the remarkable ability, approved by long experience, of the Noble Alexander Ross, younger, and his unremitting attention in our service, we have judged him worthy to be visited with more lavish increase of our Royal favour, and admitted to more responsible business and duties on our behalf; and we adopt and appoint him by these presents to be our real and actual Secretary and Servitor, granting and according him full and general faculty freely to enjoy all the Rights, Privileges, Immunities, and Liberties belonging by written law and unwritten usage to our other true and real Secretaries and Servitors, and to perform, execute, and carry out the work and duties of the said office as our Secretary and Servitor. Moreover, we exempt him from the authority of all Courts and offices, submitting him to the jurisdiction of our own Court and that of our Marshals alone, so that he is bound to appear before no other Court save our own and that of our Marshals, or to respond to its judicature or executive. This we desire made known to all whom it may concern, especially Their Excellencies the Marshals of the Realm, of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and of our Court, and any other magistrates whatsoever, commanding that they accept and acknowledge the foresaid Noble Alexander Ross, younger, to be our true and lawful Secretary and Servitor, preserving and maintaining him in complete and inviolable possession of the Liberties, Prerogatives, Privileges, and Immunities which our other Secretaries and Servitors profitably enjoy, and securing that all do so preserve and maintain him, as they hope for our favour.

Given at Warsaw on the 16th day of December A.D. 1720, the twenty-fourth year of our reign.— Warsaw Chief Archives, Liber Matr. Reg., vol. 223, f. 46.

XX.

Copy of His Majesty’s Letters in favour of the Honest Robert Christie, citizen and merchant of Cracow. [The date is 1710.]

AUGUSTUS THE SECOND, by the Grace of God King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Kieff, Volhynia, Podolia, Podlachia, Livonia, Smolensk, Severia, and Czernjhoff, and Hereditary Duke, Prince and Elector of Saxony.

We make known by these our Letters to all and sundry whom it concerns, but especially to the Administrators of our Customs, Commissaries, Superintendents, Procurators, and Notaries, and all other royal and state officers, that it has been shown to us in name of the Throwing-school (schola iaculatoria) laudably founded in our capital city of Cracow, that although in virtue of the privileges and rights in favour of the said Throwing-school approved by constitution of the year 1676 and solemnly ratified by our oath at our happy Coronation, the French Athletes (detrusores) should be free and immune of all exactions of customs whatsoever, yet the French Athletes passing their wares through our chambers used to be troubled by the Notaries therein, in respect of payment of custom, contrary to their rights. We therefore, willing not only to maintain and preserve the foresaid Throwing-school, founded for all uses and causes most necessary to the weal of the state, in the right granted in its favour, but also to see it in the utmost prosperity, specially lest the exercise of Throwing be neglected in the said capital, but rather that by the prowess and reward of one man others may be encouraged, so that such men, French Athletes winning the prize in the art of Throwing, may enjoy the liberties granted in their favour,--graciously favouring the petition of the foresaid Throwing-school do keep one of their members, the Honourable Robert Christie, who has won distinction as French Athlete in the current year, and all others his successors, in the Rights, Privileges, Prerogatives, and Liberties granted in favour of the said Throwing-school, in all time coming, and free them of all exactions, by whatsoever name called, even for behoof of our royal table, in virtue of the laurels won in the Throwing art, and from all exactions as well of our customs as of all other contributions, and those of authorities by whatever name called.

These we command to maintain the foresaid Honourable Robert Christie, citizen and merchant of Cracow, in the said Rights and Prerogatives, and make him free and immune from payment of all exactions of our customs and contributions general and special, for one year, that they may not dare or presume in any way to hurt or trouble him or to exact anything by reason of the premises.

In witness whereof we have commanded that these presents, subscribed by our hand, be fortified with the Seal of the Realm.—Rel. Crac., t. 134, f. 505 (Archivium Krajowy).


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