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Papers Relating to the Scots in Poland (1576 - 1798)
Miscellaneous Letters


Copy of the confirmation of an Ordination made with reference to Scots merchants and traders in Prussian territory.

STEPHEN, King of Poland, etc.

We make known by these our Letters to all and sundry whom it may concern, that there have been shown and produced before us the following Letters of our most serene predecessor King Sigismund Augustus, fortified with the Lesser Seal of the Realm attached thereto, and signed by the hand of the Reverend John Przerembski, Vice-Chancellor of the Realm, and entirely free from all suspicion; and petition has been made to us, that we authorise extract of the same to be made under our seal in the form of authentic copy or transcript. These Letters were in the following terms:—

SIGISMUND AUGUSTUS, by the Grace of God King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, etc., Lord and Heir.

We make known by these presents to all whom it may concern, whether of this or of a succeeding generation, that envoys from the lesser cities of our Prussian territory, sent hither to us from the Diet of Grodno, have shown to us Letters of the Councillors of Prussia, written on sheets of paper in the German dialect, and sealed with the territorial Seal of the Duchy of Prussia, containing a Regulation made by public agreement of the orders in Prussia concerning Scots and other merchants and traders, who prejudice their common interests and usurp their means of livelihood; and that they have prayed that we deign to approve, confirm, and ratify with our royal authority this copy which for convenience in use has been made on parchment, that it may last the longer. These Letters are to this effect:—

We, Prelates, Senators, Castellans and Vice-chamberlains in country and town, king and counsellors of this land of Prussia unto all before whom this our open letter shall come, of whatsoever standing, condition, or rank they may be, do hereby declare and make known that both in these and in other Diets which we have held, the little towns have made complaint because of their manifold burdens by reason of which they suffer great detriment to their daily food-supply and are in danger of losing their all and of being ruined. This have they brought before us, both in writing and by word of mouth, and often have most urgently besought of us counsel and help, and that we would be pleased to bring about a change; therefore we have at last taken note of their many tribulations and also of the manner in which their numbers are diminished, and have decided in conference, to look into the matter that their great burdens may be removed, and that we thus may be delivered from their manifold complaining. And to this end have we considered their petitions, point by point, and caused our will regarding them to be set forth as follows:

All peasants and innkeepers, in these places in the land of Prussia, wherever, or under whatsoever lordship, spiritual or temporal, the same may have dwelt are hereby forbidden and interdicted, from this time forth, from brewing beer or mixing it, and also from selling it on draught, under a penalty of ten good marks. Those taverns are excepted which can furnish proof that they have been granted privileges and which brew beer and dispense it on the premises. They must not however sell it to other villages and inns. And they must continue, as heretofore, to compare themselves, in this matter of brewing, with the other towns of their district under pain of punishment.

And no nobleman, but contrariwise the peasants, shall trade in the country with the merchants, and that only in corn, oats, barley, salt and herrings, to be shipped down the Vistula or sold to the aforementioned towns. They shall refrain from any other sort of purchase, on pain of losing their merchandise. Exception is made of such of the nobility as have grown their own grain, and have not bought it nor taken it in lieu of rent for their own profit; this they may use and employ as seems best to themselves.

And whereas it has been found that Bohemians whom good masters will not furnish with work, and who have not rightly learned their trade, do roam up and down the country as worthless furriers, tailors, and shoemakers to the prejudice of the good craftsmen who remain in the towns, therefore they may not, from this day forth, be given shelter by the nobles, nor suffered to remain in the villages, and whosoever shall give them lodging shall pay a fine of five good marks. But if a nobleman shall have need of a master or apprentice for some work he shall not be interdicted from summoning unto himself one of the nobles.

It is also noted with disapproval, that the poor and the peasantry in this land of Prussia do take certain freinhen and phflicht, which in the Polish tongue are called Targowe, from certain wandering (?) fellows, and this because the thing is a novelty, whence it comes that often the markets are not visited at all, to the great detriment of the little towns. This to cease in the land, and to be forbidden, once for all.

Well nigh the greatest part of the trade by which the little towns make their living is taken from them by the pedlars who travel about the country, from village to village, and sell their wares, and thereby do harm those who live in the towns. We do hereby most earnestly enjoin that the selling of all such wares as Skins, Wool (trachs?), spun flax, and other merchandise of the same sort be forbidden; the penalty to be the forfeiture of the merchandise, cart and horses.

Moreover it happens often amongst the craftsmen that the one apprentice will libel another and provoke him, to the waste of his time, so that to defend himself and his honour he must suffer heavy loss. To guard against this, it is our will that the same shall be punished after letters have been procured (?) and that he who brought the other into trouble and is glad thereover, shall be compelled to fetch the letters, and to set right again him whom he hath wronged.

Moreover it has been found expedient that all Scots, vagrants and others who make a livelihood by trading with ready-made garments, haberdashery, small ware and other false and deceptive goods should be interdicted from carrying on their trade on pain of forfeiting their merchandise.

Further it is our will that all magistrates and mayors should give special heed to the Silesian or Hungarian cloth; and that it be forbidden to import any piece of cloth which has not been stamped and which is not of the prescribed width and length, these things being made merely to deceive the simpleminded. Whosoever shall be detected in the selling of them shall be declared to have forfeited his wares.

Moreover it has been made known to us that the inhabitants of this country when engaged in shipping their goods up or down the Vistula, employ foreign boats instead of those belonging to the country, thereby causing loss to the inhabitants of these parts. It is our will that this now cease, and that for all voyages of the kind described above, boats belonging to the country be chosen first. Any one found contravening this law shall pay a fine of ten marks.

All these enactments shall be kept inviolate and enforced by the infliction of the penalties attached to their infringement. It shall be the duty of the mayors or chief magistrates to inflict a punishment in accordance with the transgression.

In witness whereof we have fortified these presents with the seal of this land.

Given at the Diet of Pradentz, on the 16th day of October A.D.1537.

Accordingly we, Sigismund Augustus, the king aforementioned, considering valid and satisfactory the Letters above entered, with their contents all and sundry, do think fit to approve confirm and ratify them with our royal authority, and by these our present letters so approve and confirm them, decreeing that they shall possess now and for all time that force which is their due.

In witness whereof our Seal has been appended.

Given at Warsaw, at a General Assembly, on the Thursday [December 10th.] after the Feast of the Conception of the B. V. M., A.D. 1556.

Done by request of the Reverend John Przerembski, Vice-Chancellor of the Realm of Poland, Provost of Gnesen, Cracow, Vilna, and St. Florian in Kleparz. {His signature.]

Accordingly we, Stephen the king, having of our clemency accepted the above-mentioned petition, have ordered authentic extracts of the same to be made, word for word, under our seal, being desirous that this copy possess everywhere the same authority as would the original if produced.

In witness and clearer testimony whereof our Seal has been appended to these presents.

Done at Warsaw on the 29th day of January, A.D. 1580, the fourth [Stephen came to the throne in 1575.] year of our reign, by request of His Excellency John Zamoyski of Zamosc, Chancellor of the Realm of Poland.

Metryka Koromna, vol. 123, f. 223.

II

Copy of the confirmation of an Ordination made with reference to Scots and Jews in Prussian territory.

STEPHEN, King of Poland, etc.

We make known by these our Letters to all and sundry whom it may concern, that there have been shown and produced before us the following Letters of our most serene predecessor King Sigismund Augustus, fortified with the Lesser Seal of the Realm attached thereto, and signed by the hand of the Reverend John Przerembski, Vice-Chancellor of the Realm, and entirely free from all suspicion; and prayer has been made to us, that we authorise extract of the same to be made under our seal in the form of authentic copy or transcript. These Letters were in the following terms.

SIGISMUND AUGUSTUS, by the Grace of God King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, etc., Lord and Heir.

We make known by these presents to all whom it may concern, whether of this or of a succeeding generation, that envoys from the lesser cities of our Prussian territory, sent hither to us from the Diet of Grodno, have shown to us Letters of the Councillors of Prussia, written on sheets of paper in the German dialect, and sealed with the territorial seal of the Duchy of Prussia, containing an Ordination made by public agreement of the orders in Prussia concerning Jews and Scots; and that they have prayed that we deign to approve, confirm, and ratify with our royal authority a copy, which for convenience in use has been made on parchment, that it may last the longer. These letters are to this effect:—

We, Prelates, Senators, Castellans, Vice-chamberlains, in country and towns, King of Poland, and the counsellors of our most gracious Overlord of this land of Prussia, in diet assembled at Marienburg, make known to all whom it may concern, although a universal prohibition went forth from us some years ago, and was made public under the seal of this land, that nowhere in the country or in the towns are merchants and pedlars to be tolerated; who wander about, in villages and open spaces, to the prejudice of the little towns, selling and passing off upon peasants and simple folk not only good and bad wares, but all manner of fur garments and skins, which are usually the due of those in authority and are heavily taxed.

This evil is greatly increased hereby, in that certain Jews have made bold to settle and establish themselves all over the country, against the custom, use and law of the land. They use deceit and guile in their trading and carry on the calling of usurers to the great harm of the ordinary Polish burghers and all the inhabitants.

The worshipful nobility in all three counties, who live near the towns large and small, have bitterly complained of this and have earnestly entreated us to do away with this harmful practice and punish the Scots and the Jews, whose proceedings are not customary in this country and have been forbidden before. Further to ratify and confirm the edict which we have already made public, prohibiting them, we herewith enjoin most earnestly, in the name of the king our most gracious lord, that after the publication of this our mandate no Jew shall be tolerated in towns, country, or villages; and that such as have settled anywhere in the land should be notified by the mayor or chief magistrate of the town, according to this our mandate and command, to take themselves out of the country; and they shall be interdicted from all manner of trading from this day forth.

In like manner shall no Scot, pedlar, vagrant (or by whatever other name they may be called) engage in buying and selling, in country, town, or village, except at the annual public fairs.

Infringement of this order shall entail the loss of merchandise, cart and horse, or some other severe punishment. And they must not buy or otherwise procure for themselves in the country any fur, foods, or skins. Every Count Palatine in his province, every Magistrate in his district, every Mayor in his town, shall give good heed to this matter and zealously enforce this decree.

In the name of the King we order that it shall be made public in all places and towns, and that after its promulgation the prohibition be rigidly enforced, and all who disobey it punished. In confirmation and ratification whereof we have caused the seal of this land to be appended to it. Given at the Diet in Marienburg, on the 20th day of May A.D. 1551.

Accordingly we, Sigismund Augustus, the king afore-mentioned, considering valid and satisfactory the Letters above entered, with their contents all and sundry, do think fit to approve, confirm and ratify them with our royal authority, and by these our present letters so approve and confirm them, decreeing that they shall possess that force which is their due.

Furthermore, these same envoys did set forth in our presence this serious grievance,—that those vagrants who make their living by hawking new garments, and other wares which are prohibited as being prejudicial to the common interests of our citizens, and who engage in this business, being called in their own vernacular pedlars, likewise also other merchants and Scots, do establish markets, both public and private, here and there throughout the cities and villages, not only at the season for our general markets, but at other times as well, retailing garments of every kind and goods made of material which is new and often defective, contrary to the Public Edicts of our Councillors in Prussia, by which it is forbidden to engage in illicit transactions of that sort.

And since this results in the greatest hardship and ruin to the tailors, clothiers, dyers, goldsmiths, furriers and other burgesses of these cities, whose labour and means of livelihood are in this manner wrested from them, petition has been made to us, that we deign to relieve them from grievances and wrongs of this nature.

Graciously acceding to these prayers and petitions, we of our royal authority do hereby forbid the foresaid Scots pedlars, hawkers and other such vagrants to presume in future to display for sale new goods or garments, of whatever stuff they may be made, in any market, whether public or private, under penalty of forfeiture of the same. One half of them we award to the Captain of the district, the other to the prosecuting party, but we do not deprive them of the right to sell garments and other goods which have been already in use for some time, granting, however, both to the burgesses in the cities and to the villagers in the villages the power to seize prohibited goods and wares of this nature, to confiscate them, and thereafter to remit them to the office of the Captain nearest to their particular city or village.

And these Captains, Stewards, Dignitaries, Officials, and other magistrates, Provosts, Councillors or their deputies we do strictly charge, under pain of our severe displeasure and a fine of 200 Hungarian florins, to be paid without fail to our Treasury, that they diligently execute both these and our former commands, and fail not to extend the powers of public edicts to offenders and transgressors such as these.

Which edicts we desire to endure for all time coming, and to possess validity everlasting, notwithstanding any other Letters to the contrary effect which may be obtained from us by any persons whomsoever.

In witness whereof we have appended to them our Seal.

Given at Warsaw, at a General Assembly on the Thursday [December 10th.] after the Feast of the Conception of the B. V. M., A. D. 1556, the twenty-seventh year of our reign

Done by request of the Reverend John Przerembski, Vice-Chancellor of the Realm of Poland, Provost of Gnesen, Cracow, Vilna and St Florian in Kleparz (His signature.)

Accordingly we, Stephen the king, having of our clemency accepted the above-mentioned petition, have ordered authentic extract of the same to be made, word for word, under our seal, being desirous that this copy possess everywhere the same authority as would the original if produced.

In witness and clearer testimony whereof our Seal has been appended to these presents.

Done at Warsaw on the 29th day of January A. D. 1580, the fourth year of our reign, by request of his Excellency John Zamoyski of Zamosc, Chancellor of the Realm of Poland —Metryka Koronna, vol. 123, f. 226.

III

Letter from Prince Radziwill to a Scot, Thomas Murray [The original in French. In the Private Library of the Counts Zamoyski, Warsaw. Thomas Murray was Provost of Eton and Preceptor of King Charles I. He was one of the seven sons of Murray of Woodend.]

It is a long time that I have not made answer to the letters which Captain Margaret brought me from you, but he found me on the road bound for Lithuania, where I was so pressed by public affairs that it was impossible during six weeks to get one moment to write of my own affairs, even to treat myself for some catarrhs and affections which molested me strongly during the whole time of the Diet of the Kingdom. And all this not without grave cause, because we were obliged to remain in Council every day from nine o’clock in the morning till five o’clock in the evening, disputing for the most part with the ‘Machiavelists’ (of which the kingdom has become full by means of this infernal band of Jesuits) for the public liberties of the country, and principally for that of conscience. But having suffered from works and miseries, having emptied our purses and spoilt our health, we were obliged to return to our homes without being able to obtain any of those things which were justly due to us. For when we came to the point of liberty of religion, not only would they not listen to us, but once or twice very little was needed to bring the swords into play by reason of the most outrageous words of our adversaries, who were assisted by the King’s Guards, and by the Bishops (who had brought several thousand men with them). They declared that they did not think of allowing the altar of the devil to be built in place of the altar of God. And that one must proceed against us in Poland in the same way as they have proceeded in England against the Catholics, who undergo in that country the greatest oppression and tyranny, greater than the Jews under Pharaoh in Egypt. And many other remarks, very piquant. On which there were those who paid back in the same coin. But beside all that we have obtained nothing. And the greatest gain we have obtained from it all is to have left that place safe and sound by the grace of God, for besides that we had to take great care of what we ate and drank, they laid us so many ambuscades and so many treacheries, so many quarrels to take us unawares that we must attribute the fact that we are alive at present to the sole protection and safeguard of our good God, who is on our side. Otherwise there would be no hope of escaping from the many nets that were laid for us. Amongst other things it happened quite miraculously that one of the first Jesuits, Prefect in Ordinary at the Court, having mounted the pulpit and divided his sermon in two parts, having finished one with great eloquence and to the admiration of all, when he came to the other, in which he had promised to refute the errors of those of our religion, in presence of the king, the queen, and all the great ones of the kingdom, God hath so shut his mouth, that neither the papers which he had, nor the whisperings of another Jesuit who spoke to him in the ear helped him in the least, but having stayed beyond himself and half mad for a quarter of an hour, and having shown that his words failed him he was constrained to get down from the pulpit with a great confusion, by which the king and all the assistants were more . . than bell casters.

You have also (as I believe) received how the town of Elbing is consigned to banishment, as they did not want for anything in the world to concede their cathedral church to a Popish priest—the more that they have a Privilege of the King given at his coronation in Cracow, where he allowed jus patronatus in their church and schools, and have been more than fifty years in quiet possession. The letter which His Majesty of Great Britain . . [The parchment has been cut and the word, therefore, has disappeared.] touching the liberty of our religion has remained with me and not been rendered to his majesty because the title of King of Sweden was not therein, which would greatly offend ours. The Duke of Courland did the same thing with his, whose affaires, as they went to the Diet, you will know from himself. For the rest, we hope the war against the Turks for the Easter which comes. And that of Muscovy ought to finish by the treaty (which they have demanded) and they have also assigned from one part and the other certain commissioners. Still this is much against the heart of all the clergy, who would wish by force and not by agreement all that pertains to arms. About my particular affairs, I have commanded Captain Margaret to write to you, for in a few days I want to write you another letter. Now I beg you to kiss the hands of the Prince your master, very humbly thanking him for the present of nags (?) which he hath made, and to assure him of my sincere affection and respect. Meanwhile in praying God to hold you in his holy guardianship and safety all your life —Your very affectionate friend,

J RADZIWILL.

At Dantzig this. . . of April 1615.

To Mr David, your cousin, I play you to recommend me and to excuse me that I have not written at all. That will be for another time.

[The letter had been folded in three, sealed by the Radziwill seal, and addressed.]

A Monsieur, Monsieur Thomas Murray, Tutor to His Highness the Prince of Great Britain, A Londres.

IV

Letter from Patrick Gordon to King James VI. [Copy? In the library of Count Maurice Zamoyski at Warsaw. (Original in English.)]

PLEASE YOUR SACRED MAJESTIE.—Since my last letters of the 18th of December (whereof I herewith, fearing miscarying, have sent the copie) I got audience of the King and reasoned the Controversse of the Elector of Brandeburg and of William, Duke of Curland at great length. As to the Elector, he affirmed that he would keep constant friendship, and would gladly give him the investiture of Prussia in time convenient, according to his answer given to the Brandenburgish ambassador, wherewith he doubted not your Majestie would be satisfied I have sent it herewith. But as to William, Duke of Curland, he rejected that whole business with great indignation to the next Parliament, and when I replied the whole commissioners in the late Parliament and the most part of the Senators had pitied Duke Wilhelm—as long exiled and manifold miseries and had consented to the restitution solicited by the ambassador of Duke of Mekelburg, and that nothing now rested but that his Majesties ire once might be turned into mercie, especiale for your Majesties often and most earnest intercessions. He answered that the ambassador had rhetorically commended Duke Wilhelm, mixing untrueths and dissimulating his great offenses, chiefly for refusing to pass the river of Duna with his forces, being often requested by the General Chodkiewicz. to join with him in the Liwonian wars. As also divers times he had kept korrespondence openely and secretly with big foes, and now also he meant not sincerely but abused your Majesties and other Princess’s intercessions for him, dealing in the mean time craftely with Duke Gustavus (so he called the present King of Sweden) by letters (whereof he had the just copie to show, for interchanging of his title to the Dukedom of Curland for other lands in Sweden, thereby to take the most commodious counsel of the event of his designs both in Poland and Sweden it would be tedious to rehearse his long invective discourses against Duke Wilhelm so that for the present is small hope of his restitution. Nevertheless, the Prince Ladislaus and the King’s sister, Lady Anna, and many Senators are well affected to Duke William, hoping by these and other friends’ intercessions to procure his restitution in a more convenient time than now, the whole countrie making speedie preparation for the Turkish and Tartarish eminent wars, and the King himself busied dispaching ambassadors to foreign monarchs and Christian republics for aide against the Infidels, and for composing the intestine troubles in Christendom. He who is shortly to come to your Majestie is named Ossolinski, sohn to the Palatine of a Sendominia {sandomir], he shall bring a perfect answer to all your Majestie’s letters, especially the last containing your Majestie’s Christian and royal affection to the tranquillity of Europe and to the renovation of the truce with Sweden—where your Majesties favour was most acceptable both to the King, Prince and Prince’s [‘private’ scratched out in original] Counsellors.

The three ambassadors from the Emperor (of whom I made mention in my last letter) were, an Ungarian Bishop, the Count of Althan and one Tongnath. Their harangs and the answers thereto I send hereby. The bishop is returned with the answer, the other two remain here yet, so praying daily for your Majestie’s good health [‘End’ scratched out in original], long life, and prosperous success of all your Majesties Royal Enterprises, I most humbly kiss your Majestie’s hands,

—Your sacred Majesties most humble and loyal

PATRICK GORDON.

Warsaw, the 16 of January 1621.

[References to the Gordons are few and far between in Polish archives. In 1656, the Cracow Chronicle, which recorded the events that happened in that city, says that the Cracow Assembly of Protestants, hunted from pillar to post, finally held their services in the house of ‘ Mister Gordon, merchant.’ In 1702, George and William Gordon were communicants in the church at Grzymealow, where there was a Protestant colony. In 1715, a Mistress Eve Gordon belonged to the Assembly at Tursk. On 8th February 1736, a son of one George Gordon was baptized at the Cracow chapel, receiving the name of George. The mother’s maiden name was Ursula Russocka, a Pole. Another son, Nicholas, was baptized in 1739, and a daughter, Anne, in 1740. In 1781, Colonel Joseph William Gordon, described as of the Polish army, died, aged forty-nine. In 1776, Joseph, his only son, also died. All these were Protestants.

A Colonel Charles Gordon, once of the Polish army, died at Cracow in 1820. Born in 1749, of Peter Gordon and his wife, Ursula, who was a Pole, her name being Javzewska, he entered the army at the age of ten as cornet in Wielopolski’s regiment. He was buried in the cemetery of the Capuchin friars at Cracow.

In 1659, Lady Catherine Gordon, daughter of the second Marquis of Huntly, married Count Andrew Morsztyn, poet, statesman, and GrandTreasurer of Poland. She thereby became the ancestress of many well-known Polish families, including the Poniatowskis, of which branch Stanislaus was the last King of Poland (see General Introduction), and his nephew, Joseph Poniatowski, one of the great heroes of that time.

The nobleman Francis George Gordon, who claims to be a direct descendant of the second Marquis Huntly Gordon, and who till recently had an estate in the Province of Kielce, Poland, promised to submit a copy of his family tree for the benefit of the present book, and which, he says, his ancestors brought with them from Scotland. Unfortunately, however, this has not been done.

Zychlinsli’s Golden Book of the Polish nobility contains a pedigree of the Polish Gordons, in which, however, that excellent authority, Mr. J. M. Bulloch, does not place much trust.

The name of Gordon is now a very common one in Poland, having been appropriated by a very large number of Jews who have nothing in common with Scots of that name. The reason why they adopted it so largely is still a mystery. The most plausible theory is that it was originally used by Jews from the town of Grodno, in Lithuania, which, being incapable of translation into Hebrew, or into Yiddish jargon in use amongst the Jews of that part of the World, has been twisted by them into ‘Gordon.’ [Note by Miss Baskerville.]

An undated Letter of James the Sixth [From the Library of the Counts Zamoyski, at Warsaw.]

JAMES, etc., to all his subjects, honest Scottemen trafiquing in Polland, Pruss, and Germanie, etc.

Being of royal Clemencie toward yow, we have omitted no means to procure your welfare amongst strangers with whom you sojourne by Ourres intercessional letters to the King of Polland, to the elector of Brandenburg and other Princes in Germanie and our Agent resident there, whom we have demanded to advertise us truelie of all things, either sending to your commoditia or to avoid your dammage. Therefore it is your duty humbly and faithfullie to acknowledge Oure gratious affections and protermitte nothing which may tend to Our pleasure and to the honor of Our Kingdom your native soile. But so it is that the princes in whose jurisdiction you live being informed by their natural subjects of manie disorder amongst you by the dissolute living of an great number, who neither will dulie serve nor be subjected to anie discipline, according to your old and necessarie customs long observed among you and your predecessors trafiquing in the east countries, whereby strangers take just occasion to calumate the nation and many honest men amongst you are most mortilie grieved and abused to their great discredit and dommage, therefore Our will is, that the oldest, wisest, and men of most experience amongst you with advice of our agent, sett down such orders in articles, according to your former brother shippes lathe abolished, as may be observed without prejudice of the latter or affronte of the people in the countries where you remaine. To prevent all further accusation against you, and for avoyding all hurt or misrule which may fall out amongst you. Which articles you shall send to Us to be considered and allowed that we may rekomend them to the Princes under whose government you live, to be confirmed by their authoritie. And this we doubt not but you will willingly do, to Our pleasure and to the honor of your native Countrie and to your owne welfare, as you will expect any further grace or favour of Us. Whereto We are of loyal clemencie towards you constantly as Our agent can at more length inform you and by whom We look shortly to be informed of your obedience. So We bid you farewell.

[Letter torn—evidently signature and seal have been there.—ED.]

VI

An undated Letter of James the Sixth.

BELOVED SUBJECTS,—We greet yow well. Seeing the money debursed by the burrowes of Scotland will not be sufficient to pay the whole debt and charges made in persute thereof, we have given directions to our Counsel, Constable of Scotland, to cause the other estates to contribute for payment of the rest as well as the borrowes have done. Wherefore because the gross debt rest and opportunitie to the poor ones born of Dantskin and to Andro Robertson, burgess of Kastenburg; to assure you of payment to be made and to prevent all molestations of our agent, Mr. P— G—[Patrick Gordon], and your substitute David Gray (who have taken extraordinarie pains and have deserved gratitude for their diligence, we have thought good for the present occasion to entreate you as our principal subjects of Scotland trafiquing in the East Countries to take some ordour amongt yourselves and to draw with others in Polland, Prouss, and Culmland for satisfying of the creditours, until payment may be here in Scotland and suchlike to survey yourselfes, and to persuade Andro Robertson to desist from all action of law against our agent and his substitute until provision be made that neither you nor he be loosers. So in respect of Our gratious regard towardes you, we doubt not your diligence in this matter, as you may assure yourselves of our clemencie and father (rest of word erased) in all things that may tend to your welfare. We bid you farewel.


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