Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

Mediaeval Scotland
Chapter VII. Trade and Commerce

We are sometimes too apt to imagine that, because in our own times we have seen great progress made in the trading and commercial prosperity of this country, trade and commerce are things of modern growth. But a very superficial examination of bygone days will serve to modify this opinion. If we give due consideration to the different state of population and the greater difficulties of transport, we hope to show that Scotland has been a commercial country from a very remote period.

And such an examination will bring out prominently another very important fact. There have been periods of great prosperity and periods of great depression in the past, just as there are at present, and just as there will be in the future. The union of the four independent kingdoms into the historical kingdom of Scotland was followed for a long time by a period of great prosperity. The disastrous events which followed the death of Alexander III. brought in their train a period of almost unexampled depression. And though our inquiry will not extend beyond the Union with England, the same results can be traced then. Whenever a few years of peace and tranquillity were enjoyed a time of commercial activity and national prosperity invariably followed. War and civil dissensions were just as certainly followed by a decline of trade and national adversity.

We shall not make any apology for entering somewhat minutely, especially in the earlier reigns, into this important subject. All the information we can now get is unfortunately too scanty, but, being derived from original records, it at least possesses the merit of being authentic. Perhaps the earliest historical notice of foreign trade in Scotland is found in Adamnan’s “Life of S. Columba.” He relates that in 597 when the holy man died his body was “mundis involutum sindonibiis.” As this fine linen was not at that time, so far as we know, a native manufacture, it was in all probability imported.

The long and peaceful reign of Macbeth affords, indications of a considerable amount of wealth in the country, and of some intercourse with foreign nations. The “Gret plenty Abowndand, both on land and se,”

which the old annalist chronicles, indicates the wealth of the people ; and Marianus Scotus, a respectable contemporary historian, relates that the Scottish King on his visit to Rome exercised a liberality in charity to the poor, remarkable even in that resort of wealthy pilgrims from every part of Christendom. “Rex Scotie Machetad Rome argentum semmando pauperibits distribuit.”

Malcolm III. encouraged Scottish merchants to import rich dresses and other foreign luxuries for the use of his Court, as is related in the life of his Queen, S. Margaret, given by the Bollandists in the “Acta Sanctorum.”

One of the charters preserved in the treasury of Durham Cathedral shows that the Scottish King Edgar (1098-1107) granted the tolls or customs on the ships of certain parts of his kingdom to that church.

Alexander I. (1107-1124) possessed the foreign luxuries of an Arabian horse and Turkish armour, and he assigned to various parties the duties paid on trading vessels. In his reign Scotch pearls were exported to England. He also granted to the Monastery of Scone the custom of ships coming to the Tay; and addressed a writ to the merchants of England inviting them to trade and promising them his protection.

David I. (1124-1153) greatly encouraged trade and commerce, and it is recorded by his biographer, Ailred of Rievaux, himself an eye-witness of what he states, that during the reign of that king Scotland was “no longer a beggar from other countries, but of her abundance relieving the wants of her neighbours—adorned with castles and cities, her ports filled with foreign merchandise and the riches of distant nations.” There is trustworthy evidence of a considerable foreign trade in herrings in this reign. In the “Life of S. Kentigern,” written in the twelfth century, it is incidentally noticed that at that time English ships (then, of course, foreign) and Flemish were accustomed to fish off the Isle of May.

The monks seem to have been active pioneers of commerce, as they were the first agriculturists and the earliest coal workers. David I. granted immunity from custom for one trading vessel to the monks of Dunfermline. The Abbot of Holyrood had several ships engaged in the fishing industry in the Firth of Forth. The canons of the same favoured foundation had an annual grant of one hundred shillings, then a very considerable sum, leviable on the first ships which came to Perth for the sake of trade—to procure them gowns. The Abbey of Cambuskenneth had a similar grant from Stirling, and the Bishop of Aberdeen had the tenth of the duty levied on ships coming to that port.

Berwick, then under Scottish rule, was in the twelfth century the great emporium of trade and commerce. The Norse writers tell us it had at that period many ships and more foreign commerce than any other port in Scotland. Torfaeus relates that a great merchant of Berwick, called Cnut the Opulent, from his great wealth, had a ship which was captured at sea by Erlend, the Norse jarl of the Orkneys. On board the vessel was the merchant’s wife, returning probably from a pilgrimage. On hearing of the disaster Cnut immediately fitted out a fleet of fourteen ships, fully equipped and armed, and at once set out in pursuit of the pirates. The end of the story is unfortunately not given. William the Lion (1165-1214) reigned for nearly forty-nine years, and Scotland made great progress during his long and wise rule. The various grants paid to Richard of England show the increase of wealth in the country, and the proportion of the revenue paid by the burghs, already alluded to, is a proof that the trading community was prospering more than any other class. About 1182 the monks of Melrose had a charter from Philip, Count of Flanders, enjoining all his men not to dare to exact from them any toll or duty on land or sea, but to give them every facility for trading in the Low Countries.

The regulations recorded in the “Assise Willelmi Regis” refer frequently to merchants and traders.

The merchants of the realm were required to have their guild, and to have full liberty to buy and sell in all places within the liberties of the burghs. Another law practically conferred a monopoly of trade on these merchant guilds. Further regulations in the interest of the burghs provided that stranger merchants from foreign nations were not to trade except within the burghs, and chiefly to the merchants. They were not permitted to sell cloth “in penny worthis” but wholesale.

The records relating to Scotland preserved in the Public Record Office, London, recently calendared by Mr. Joseph Bain, and published by authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, under the direction of the Deputy-Clerk Register of Scotland, throw a considerable light on the trade and commerce of the country at this period. Thus, we find that in 1205 a writ is noted from the King of England commanding W. de Wrotham and G de Luscy forthwith to deliver up and restore two Scottish ships, taken at Sandwich, laden with merchandise, which the merchants could show was their own. In 1212 we again find three burgesses of Dundee sued by a London merchant for a debt of forty pounds. A further proof of the commerce of this reign is found in a letter written by William the Lion to the Norse Harold, jarl of Orkney and Caithness, entreating his favour for the monks of Scone, who traded largely by sea to their possessions in the north.

Alexander II. (1214-1249) reigned for thirty-four years, during which the prosperity of the country was still increasing. This is proved in the first place by the large amounts of money which the king was enabled to spend. He gave his second sister 10,000 marks, besides lands, on her marriage ; and also gave to Henry III. of England 500 marks for the wardship of his youngest sister’s husband, then under age. A further evidence of Scottish trading enterprise is afforded us by the publication of the records already alluded to. We find there that in 1214 the bailiffs of the port of Southampton were commanded to deliver up all merchant vessels, including those of the King of Scotland, and let them freely depart. Similar orders were given to the bailiffs of Lynn and the Sheriff of Norfolk. In the same year the King of England ordered the Justiciar of Ireland to allow the men of Alan of Galloway, to come to Ireland and return with the ship which the said Alan had taken at Kirkcudbright, and to allow him to have his merchandise in the said ship.

From the same source we get evidence of a very considerable trade with Ireland at this time. Special permissions seem to have been required for those desiring to buy corn, meal, or other articles of food in that country, and these are frequently recorded.

“The first religious body" says Mr. Bain in his interesting preface, to obtain such permission was that of Vauday (Vallis Dei), situated at Kar, in Galloway, on 15th February, 1220-21, to last for four years from Easter.” Another Galloway churchman, the Abbot of Dundrennan, had a similar grant for three years shortly after. The bailiffs of King’s Lynn, a port of large trade with Scotland, were commanded on 8th August, 1223, to allow the wines, etc., for the King of Scots private use to be shipped, and all the small Scotch vessels to depart. They were also commanded to release corn-laden vessels for Scotland and Norway. In August, 1224, the abbots of Melrose and Cupar had leave to trade beyond seas ; a Dieppe merchant to bring wine for Scotland to Berwick ; and the bailiffs of Yarmouth were commanded to release Scottish merchant vessels and fishing vessels of all countries. The bailiffs of Southampton were ordered to release John Ruffus, a Scottish merchant of Berwick, and his ship, the Portejoye. In April, 1225, the abbots of Melrose and Cupar had leave to send wool to Flanders ; and in May of the same year Alexander of Dunwich, a Scottish merchant, was allowed to carry a cargo of barley and beans northward from Lynn.

In 1226 the Abbot of Holmcultram had leave to buy corn in Ireland till Henry of England attained his majority; and his neighbour of Glenluce, in Galloway, had the same permission for a year, repeated in 1227. John of Dunwich and Hugh, son of Odo, two Scottish shippers of corn, were respectively allowed to depart from Sandwich and Lynn. Joce of Dunwich had leave to sail with a cargo of Gascon wine for Scotland, and a corn vessel bound for Scotland was released from Lynn in the same year.

In September, 1227, the monks of Kilwinning had leave to buy corn in Ireland for a year, a privilege repeated in 1252. In 1229 a Berwick merchant’s wool, arrested at Dover, was ordered to be released on his proving his nationality ; and three Scottish ships with cargoes of corn, wine, and salt were similarly released at Lynn. In the same year Simon of St. Andrews, a merchant of the King of Scots, had leave to trade in England for a year with his vessel; and the Constable of Dover was ordered to deliver to a Berwick merchant his hides and wool which had been arrested at Romney.

The Abbot of Melrose’s vessel, of which Friar William de Bowden was the supercargo, was allowed in 1230 to trade in England for a year; and by the direct intervention of the King of Scots a strict inquiry was ordered to be made as to the plundering of the ship of John Ruffus, his burgess of Berwick, when she was in danger near Yarmouth, and restitution was to be made. The vessels of six traders of Lynn were permitted to sail for Scotland and Norway.

In September, 1237, after the treaty at York, the English King commanded the Mayor of Dublin to release the goods of Scottish merchants arrested on account of William de Marisco’s piracies, and the Mayor of Drogheda to release the ship and goods of the merchants of Ayr so seized. Erkin, of Kirkcudbright, and Richard Ruffus got leave to go with their vessels to Ireland to trade for corn.

In 1242, we find a reference made to a ship freighted from Scotland to the port of London, and in the same year there is a curious record proving the existence of a Scotch colony of traders at Dunwich, who seem to have done a considerable business. The Mayor was a Scotchman, “Lucas le Scot,” and another, “Gerard Scot," is also named.

In August, 1246, we have evidence of some trade between France and Scotland, for on the first of that month the King of Scots guaranteed some debts due by merchants of Perth to traders in Bordeaux, and in 1249 the Justiciar of Lothian became similarly bound for debts owing in Scotland to Peter de Camera, a merchant of Bordeaux. A considerable light is thrown on the commercial condition of Scotland six centuries ago by the Statuta Gilde, or "Laws of the Merchants of Berwick,” which were enacted in 1249, during the mayoralty of Robert de Bernhame. Their importance is increased by the fact that they seem to have been recognized by all the trading towns of Scotland ; and, although bearing to have been recorded at the date given above, they had in all probability been in existence from a considerably earlier period.

About the middle of the thirteenth century Berwick was undoubtedly the principal port in Scotland. It is described in the chronicle of Lanercost as a “city so populous and of such trade that it might justly be called another Alexandria, whose riches were the sea, and the waters its walls. In those days its citizens being most wealthy and devout, gave noble alms.” For these reasons, and also because the “Lawis of the Gild” were the earliest effort of local self-government among the commercial communities of Scotland, the code is well worth a somewhat minute examination.

These laws are recorded in Latin, but an ancient translation into the vernacular Scottish has also been preserved. They bear to have been ordained and constituted by Robert de Bernhame, Mayor of Berwick, Simon Maunsel, and “othir gude men of the said burgh,” with the object “that throu mony body is in a place gaderit togidder thru the relacion of ane til an other may folow vnite and concord, ane will, and ferme and sekyr lufe ilk ane till other.” In order to secure these laudable objects stringent provisions were adopted against transgressors. If a guild brother offended another by contemptuous talk (ver-botenus diliquent') he was to be fined forty silver pennies for each on each of the three first occasions, and if the offence was continued he was to be specially judged by the Alderman, Farthingmen (the wardmen or those who had charge of different quarters of the town, or, according to others, the treasurers), the Dean of Guild, and “ the laf of the brether,” and amerced accordingly. If a member struck another, he was to be fined half a mark besides paying amends to the injured brother. If blood was drawn the offender was to pay two hundred and forty silver pennies as a penalty, besides satisfaction to the assaulted brother at the will of the Alderman and brethren. No merchant, when bargaining, was allowed to carry a knife with a point, on a penalty of twelve sterlings. Provision was also made for decent conduct and against public nuisance, and offenders were to be fined four silver pennies for each offence. Si quis minxerit super calciamenta sua hi vili modo aut super pariates domiis Gilde nostre .... emendet in quatuor denariis. An entrance fee of 480 sterlings had to be paid by each member unless he was the immediate descendant of one already a member ; but if any brother became sick or fell into poor circumstances through no fault of his own he had a claim to be relieved by the guild at the will of the Alderman and brethren. A singular regulation provided that in the case of a brother in poor circumstances leaving a daughter unprovided for the guild supplied her with a husband, or enabled her to enter a religious house at her pleasure. Poor brethren were to be buried with decency according to the rites of the Church; and if any brother, being in the town, neglected to come to the funeral, he was fined in a boll of barley malt. Provision was made for helping any members who were “vexit or chalangit” outside the town ; but if any one ceased to become a member, or was expelled, no one was to assist him in any difficulty or peril— “he sail haue na help of thaim.” When any matter occurred requiring the advice of the brotherhood, a little bell was first rung through the town, and then the great bell in the bell-house was tolled thrice, with a reasonable interval, and any one failing then to attend was fined twelve pennies. If any one spoke in the Assembly, or in the Courts, except the pursuer and defender, or their advocates and the bailies, or unless he was specially called on, he was to be fined ninety-six silver pennies.

To ensure public health, all lepers and infected persons were to be thrust out by the serjeants of the town beyond the walls, but a hospital was provided outwith the town by voluntary contributions for such unfortunates. Anyone “daring or presuming” to deposit filth or any dust or ashes on the street or the market place, or on the banks of the river, were to be fined ninety-six silver pennies.

To ensure the dignity of the brethren, every one who had goods in his possession to the extent of ten pounds or upwards was to provide for himself “a seemly horse,” on pain of a heavy fine.

The trading regulations are worth notice. No one was allowed to buy or sell hides, wool, or wool skins to sell again, except a member of the guild or a “stranger merchant.” No shoemaker was allowed to tan any hides, except those that had horns and ears of equal length. No tanner was permitted to salt hides. No butcher was allowed to buy wool or hides unless he “abjured his axe and swore never to lay hands on beast.” No skinner, nor glover, nor any one, was to make wool of any skins from Whitsunday till Michaelmas, but to sell the skins “as he best might.” If any one took money from a stranger merchant on commission, and of it took a profit above the market, he was to be fined for the first and second offence, and for the third expelled the guild for ever, unless pardoned. No one was allowed to purchase herrings or other fish, or any other merchandise, such as corn, beans, pease, or salt, coming by sea until the ship was berthed and the oars taken out. Any one offending was to be fined a cask of wine, or expelled the town for a year and a day. Any one who had legitimately bought such goods was obliged to sell at the price he had bought to any guild brother who desired it for his own sustenance or that of his household up to three-fourths of the investment, but any one who got any goods for this reason and sold them again was fined a cask of wine.

Payment for merchandise was made on delivery, and when a bargain was completed by giving “God’s penny or any siluer in arles” he who refused to implement it was fined in a cask of wine to the guild. But if the article contracted for was “good above and worse below ” arbiters were appointed to judge in the matter. Every morning at a certain hour— not recorded—the great bell rung in the bell-house, and no one was allowed to buy anything brought to the town for sale before that time. No married woman was to buy wool in the street, and no merchant was to have more than one servant to buy wool or hides. If any one went and procured a stranger to plead against his neighbour, or plotted against the guild, he was to be fined a cask of wine.

The government of the community was confided to twenty-four “good men of the better, more discreet, and more trustworthy of the burgh chosen thereto,” along with a mayor and four bailies, who were elected “at the sight and by the consideration of the whole community.”

Any one who revealed the secrets of the guild was reputed infamous (infamis reputatur).

Some later regulations of the same guild may be conveniently noticed here. Merchants who sold wine were to pay one penny for each cask taken from or put on board a ship, or exposed for sale in their booths, to the town, and another penny and a halfpenny for drink-money. Butchers were not to buy beasts on their way to market, nor in the market until after dinner. No merchandise coming by sea was to be bought except at the ship’s side, and only between the rising and setting of the sun.

In the Chartulary of Glasgow there are some ordinances which are believed to date from the thirteenth century, if not earlier. They provide that no bailie should keep a tavern or sell bread “on pain of the king’s amercement unforgiven,” and no one outwith a burgh was to have a brew-house, except those who had the right to pit and gallows (that is, except barons), and then only one was allowed for private use.

Some curious facts regarding early Scottish commerce can be gathered from the “Assisa de Tolloneis,” which shows the various articles of export and import in use. Though the existing MSS. are not prior to the reign of Robert the Bruce, they may safely be used for the earlier period of which we are now treating. From that record we find that skins of foxes, beavers, cats, hares, and such like small wild animals were articles of ordinary trade, as well as hides, deer skins, and sheep skins. Corn, salt, malt, beans, pease, leeks, onions, garlic, butter, cheese, iron, pottery, and mercery were commonly exposed for sale in the burgh markets. Horses, cattle, sheep, and swine brought into a burgh for sale paid duty. Herrings, salmon, ling, coal fish {colemotk), cod (kelyng), haddock, whiting, and oysters were ordinary articles of diet, and bought and sold freely.

Brazil (a wood used for dyeing red), madder (a plant used for the same purpose), wood, wax, pepper, cumin seed, alum, ginger, setwell (curcuma zedoaria, a plant which is a powerful sudorific), rice, figs, and raisins, all mentioned as occurring in the markets, represent a considerable amount of foreign natural products. Canvas, nets (kellis), thread for nets, linen thread, battens, rafters or spars (>ckeueronys), and knives were probably foreign manufactured goods, though possibly of native origin. Ornamental leather (cordwan, so called from Cordova in Spain), kitchen utensils (battry), caldrons, brass pots, locks, and oil were almost certainly foreign.

In the “Custuma Portuum,” which is traditionally ascribed to David I., certain duties are imposed on shipping, which incidentally prove the existence of considerable commerce. Thus, in the port of Berwick, a merchant ship of England, “or ony oute kynryke,” paid twelve silver pennies for its berth, while the Scottish ship only paid four. If the vessel was laden with wine, or honey, or oil, or any other merchandise stored in tons, and if any of it was sold, the “tome ton” became the king’s property, for what purpose it is difficult to imagine. The last matter to be noted in this reign throws a curious light on Scottish enterprise in a different direction. In ] 249 the Earl of St. Pol and Blois was preparing to accompany the King of France to the Holy Land, and as the Crusaders then took with them their horses they required vessels of a considerable size. The ship of the French Earl was built at Inverness, probably on account of its proximity to the great forests of the North; artificers were sent from Flanders, Marseilles, and Genoa to assist the native workmen, and the result was, in the language of Matthew Paris, our authority for the event, “navis miranda.”

The reign of Alexander commenced on the 8th of July, 1249, and closed on the 19th of March, 1285-6, and during that period Scotland continued to make a constant improvement in civilization and prosperity. The scanty materials at our disposal indicate an equal progress in trade and commerce.

In 1250 the Abbot of Glenluce again had leave for seven years to get corn in Ireland for the use of the monastery; and in the following March Robert le Stater, a Scotch merchant of Berwick, had a grant of his ship and cargo, cast ashore near Marbletorp, in Lincolnshire, by stress of weather. The ship was plundered by the coast men, and the proceedings in the King’s Court at Westminster are interesting as showing the value of a ship and cargo of a Scottish merchant in the thirteenth century. The mast and sail yard were valued at 40s.; the hull and small furniture at 6; a sail, 4 marks; two anchors, ropes, and wreckage, 8; the chests, cloth, etc., composing the cargo, were taken away, so that no value could be put on them. These values were assessed by special parties named, on the oaths of the mariners and others of Grimsby and Boston. The sums named were all to be paid to the owner by the district where the plunder had taken place.

In 1258 we get another glimpse of the Scotch community at Dunwich in some singular proceedings before the Sheriff of Suffolk. A special jury was summoned to inquire into the cause why the goods and merchandise of Reginald of Acre, valued at one hundred marks and more, had been arrested by Lucas the Scot. From the proceedings recorded it appeared that Reginald and his wares duly arrived at Dunwich. And Lucas the Scot hearing it said that Reginald was a famous chirurgeon, spoke to him as to curing his wife, who was ill. Reginald took up his residence in Lucas’s house, and committed all his wares to the care of Lucas, and Richard his son. He prescribed for the sick woman for four days, but she, finding herself no better, expelled him from the house. He then applied for his goods, but they declined to give them up. At the sitting of the Court, Lucas and Richard professed to produce the goods, but Reginald, on seeing them, swore they were not all there, especially naming ten gold rings with precious stones, certain ornamental buttons of crystal, and other articles. The jury found that there was a shortcoming in the goods, and remitted the case to the King’s Court. Lucas seems to have got into frequent legal troubles. He paid a fine of three marks of gold in October, 1258; and in 1260 was accused of a transgression against Tidemann and Salomon, of Hamburg. The Mayor and community of Hamburg took up the quarrel, and arrested, according to merchants’ law,” the goods of English merchants trading to that port. But these were released on the receipt of a letter from the King of England stating that the aggrieved merchants had been fully satisfied of their chattels and losses by Lucas. In the following year another example occurs of the exercise of “merchants’ law.” The English King addressed a writ to the Mayor of Lynn, setting forth that Henry le Tenturer, Richard Robert le Mercer, John Lummelucas, John of Beverley, and Alan of Bedford, all merchants of Scotland, had abstracted from Ralf of Stannford 14 marks 4 shillings, and, as the King of Scotland had failed to do justice, he commanded the Mayor and Bailiffs to arrest all Scotch goods at the fair till Ralf obtained justice.

Towards the close of 1258, on March 18, Walter Cumin, Earl of Menteith, Alexander Cumin, Earl of Buchan, and their friends and allies made a bond of mutual alliance and friendship with Lewellyn, Prince of Wales, David ap Grufud, his brother and others. Among other matters it was provided that Welsh merchants should have safe conduct to come and trade in Scotland, and that Scotch merchants should have full liberty and encouragement to go and trade in Wales.

The abbot and monks of Arbroath in 1260 had a confirmation of a charter granted to them by the English King John at the instance of William the Lion, by which they were given permission to buy and sell for their own use throughout all England, free of toll, duty, or custom, saving only the liberty of the city of London. The merchants of Berwick were at the same time freed from all arrestment in England for any debt for which they were not guarantees or principal debtors, unless it was reasonably established that they had failed in justice to their creditors. The bailiffs of all the ports of England, Ireland, and Gascony were commanded in 1263 to seize a certain vessel belonging to John the Scot, merchant of Berwick, which had been illegally taken possession of by the crew, who were wandering about “as vagabonds and fugitives on the sea" and restore the ship and her cargo to the owner.

A curious fact about Haco’s invasion of Scotland in 1263 is given in a letter from Henry III. of England to Magnus, King of Norway, in 1266. The Norwegian King had sent an Envoy to England to remind Henry of a proposal made during the lifetime of Haco that Norwegian merchants sustaining losses in England should be re-imbursed if the same was done to English merchants in Norway, and complaining that nothing had been done. The English King gave as his reason for not doing anything that some English vessels had been arrested in Norway to be used in the war against Scotland and against Alexander, King of Scots, his son-in-law, which was hurtful to both. In the treaty between Scotland and Norway, concluded the same year, provision was made for the security and protection of the persons, vessels, and goods of the merchants of either country who might be wrecked.

In 1285 an extraordinary letter was addressed to Alexander III. by a Spanish merchant and shipowner, which is still preserved in the Public Record Office, London. It is written in Spanish, and narrates how the ship sailed from Bordeaux for London and was driven by a tempest far out of her course to the isles of “Hincha Guala,” where they found a good harbour, and remained there till the storm was over. Then there came the men of “ Alan Radric with a sealed letter offering to show them a better port and to take care of their goods. They accordingly went, and Alan took out all their wares and left only two men in the vessel, and she went ashore and became a total wreck; whereupon Alan took for himself all the goods, including 8 tuns of wine, 300 dozen of Cordova skins, a great quantity of raisins and dates, a bale of silk, shields and armour for 30 men, and 20 silk banners. Besides this, the crew lost two changes of clothes for each man, and a considerable sum of money which they had to spend. The Spanish captain concludes his letter with the following prayer:—“And Lord for the great mercy in you make Alan and his men come before you and tell these things in our presence; and Lord do me justice in your Court.”

The death of Alexander III. closed the most prosperous period in the history of Scotland till comparatively recent times. More especially the commercial progress which has been noticed received a severe check by the political troubles which followed.

In 1288 Edward I., in his ordinance for regulating the trade of Ireland, prohibited the merchants of that country from carrying corn, victuals, or other merchandise to “his enemies of Scotland.” As peace still continued between the two countries, these “enemies” must have been the adherents of Robert Bruce, who had entered into a confederacy in 1286 to disappoint Edward’s views as to the disposal of the young Queen.

A few years later, in 1293, Albert the Scot and John the Scot, merchants of Piacenza, had license to trade in England during the King’s pleasure. Immediately afterwards we find, in a commercial treaty between England and Flanders, in 1297, Edward I. stipulating that the Flemings should have free and secure trade in Scotland. Either this stipulation had been rescinded or had not been given effect to, for in 1305 Robert, Count of Flanders, asked that his men might be allowed to trade with the Scots. This request was probably not granted, at least judging by the policy Edward displayed now towards Scotland, and by what afterwards occurred. There are extant letters of safe conduct in favour of Jacques Dribrod, burgess of St. Omer, and his sons, to trade for two or three years in Scotland. The writ to the Scottish Chancellor bears that the King has granted these with much regret, and only at the special request of his faithful and loyal John de Menteith. Almost

directly afterwards he commanded the Chancellor of Scotland to seize the goods, effects, or debts of the great trading communities of the Pullici and Rem-bertini, on the pretext that they were due monies to various parties and had not satisfied them. In all probability they had been giving assistance to the Scots against the English.

In 1313, Edward II. wrote, on the 15th February, to the Count of Flanders, complaining that his subjects still traded with the Scots, and supplied them with provisions, armour, and other necessaries. He wrote again on the 1st of May pointing out that thirteen Flemish ships had sailed from the Swyn for Scotland with arms and provisions. No answer is recorded to these complaints, and probably none was given, for on June 19 the English King ordered the arrest of all Flemish vessels in English ports.

Following out his vindictive policy, the English King again wrote on the 25th March, 1319, to Robert, Count of Flanders, and the towns and communities of the Low Countries, to cease trading with the people of Scotland; and the answers of several of these have been preserved. John, Duke of Brabant, assures Edward that the Scots will have no aid from his territories, and the burgesses of Ypres and Mechlin write to the same effect. But the Count of Flanders declares that his country is open to all comers, and he will not deny entrance to “the subjects of the King of Scots”; and the inhabitants of Bruges make an intimation to the same effect.

Almost the only other recorded trace of Scottish commerce during the reign of Robert Bruce is found in an agreement made between him and the King of Norway in 1312, providing inter alia for redressing some injuries suffered by merchants of St. Andrews in that country.

The reign of David II. marks a very important era in the early trade of Scotland. In 1347 a formal agreement was made between the merchants of Scotland and the burgesses of Middleburgh in Zealand for establishing a staple there. The agreement was confirmed in a Parliament held at Dundee on the 12th November, and the Scots were empowered to appoint a “mayor”—an officer probably of the same sort as the “conservator” of Scottish privilege afterwards so common in Holland—to look after their interests.

A further proof of increasing commercial activity is found in another Act of Parliament, passed in 1357, ordaining that all stranger merchants were to be received peaceably and encouraged to come to the country for the purposes of trade. It may be as well at this stage to explain the methods of international commerce in the fourteenth century and the peculiar terms which will constantly meet us in our inquiry. With regard to “staple,” Gerard Malynes, merchant, in his treatise on the Lex Mercatoria, published at London in 1622, thus defines the term:—“ The most ancient foundation of merchants and merchandising in this kingdome, both for trade and government, had by continuance of time before King Henrie the Third, did obtaine the name of staple. The commodities of the realme, as wools, leather, woolfells, and other commodities, were called staple merchandise; the ports from whence the said commodities were to bee transported were called staple ports; the places of residence of these merchants, both within this land and beyond the seas, were called the staples ; the laws and ordinances made by the said merchants were called staple laws; under their government, consisting of a maior, two constables, and other officers, hath the trade of this kingdome time out of mind flourished.” The Mayor had authority to determine all disputes amongst the merchants of the staple; but if the dispute arose between a stapler and a stranger merchant two impartial stranger merchants were joined with him.

Unfortunately, the records of the agreement as to the Scottish staple between the merchants of Scotland and the town of Middleburgh have not been preserved, but some idea of it can be got from a later transaction of a similar sort described in the inventories of the charters of the burgh of Edinburgh in 1540. By this contract, which was made anent the staple with the city of Antwerp, it was provided that the “ Nation of Scotland” should have “a fair and pleasant house” for the residence of their Mayor (then called Conservator), “in which house they might also lodge their packets and merchandise, and otherwise use it at their pleasure during their residence in the said town.” The Magistrates of Antwerp agreed to “commune” with the owners of houses in any part of the town which the Scottish merchants might select, so that the Scots “should have reason to be contented with the price of the said houses,” for their lodging. They were to be exempt from all excise of wine, ale, or beer consumed in said house, provided none other than Scots frequented such. When a fleet came from Scotland, and the merchants were too numerous for one house, the Burgomaster and Council agreed to assign two or three more as might be required for the occasion under the same regulations.

All complaints, questions, or causes between one Scotsman and another were to be decided summarily and finally by the Conservator, the Burgomaster and Council binding themselves to carry the sentence into effect. But when a stranger commenced a suit against any of the Scots nation he was required to raise it in the Conservator’s Court in the first instance ; but after the judgment was given either party, thinking himself aggrieved and wishing to have further trial, might then go to the Burgomasters by way of appeal. If any Scot commenced an action against a burgess of Antwerp or any stranger, it was to be tried by the Burgomaster and not by the Conservator.

Wharves were set apart for the special use of the Scottish merchants, who were permitted to sell and dispose of all kinds of merchandise. If salt fish were sold by retail, it was provided they should be first passed by the Cure Masters of Fish. The wages of labourers and working men were to be fixed by the Magistrates of Antwerp “to the reasonable satisfaction and content of the Scots nation.”

The Scottish fleet of trading ships was to be piloted free of cost from the place of La Vere or Flushing according as the ships should arrive. If any Scottish ship was stranded between La Vere or Flushing and Antwerp the city was to furnish all assistance and contribute to the expenses caused by the occurrence and delay. Strict regulations were laid down as to the Scottish merchants being in no ways molested or unduly hindered by the Customs officials, and if any goods were plundered between Antwerp and La Vere or Flushing the city became bound to make good the loss.

This agreement with Antwerp was followed in the next year by another with Middleburgh, which probably was more favourable to the Scottish merchants than the one of 1347. It provided that the Council of Middleburgh, for the love they did bear to the kingdom of Scotland, being desirous to continue the ancient amity and goodwill that always subsisted between them,” should give to the said Scottish merchants“ all possible aid, assistance, and advice at all times whenever they should be required thereto. Moreover, they promised to provide, “without any charge to the kingdom of Scotland, a very gentle house worthy of the said nation.” In addition, they agreed to erect and furnish a chapel, to the honour of God, with an altar and all necessary ornaments for the convenience of the said Scottish nation. The other provisions were similar to those already noticed.

Middleburgh, though it must always be a most interesting place to Scottish merchants, is now greatly fallen from its position as a commercial centre. In the fourteenth century it was one of the chief trading ports of the Netherlands. Lodovico Guicciardini (quoted by Cosme Innes) speaks highly of its admirable situation and of its great ship canals, by which great vessels could pass from the port to the town. At the other end of the canal, about a league distant, was Campvere, a place of which we shall hear a great deal during the following century.

The establishment of the Scottish staple at Middleburgh in 1347 was followed by more cordial relations between Scotland and England. In 1362 Edward III. ordered that the ships, merchandise, etc., of the Scottish traders should not be molested at English ports, and the records of the period show an increased number of safe-conducts granted to Scots for the purpose of trading in England. Thus in 1358 Andrew de Murref and Alan Erskin, and in 1362 John de Petscoty and twenty-seven others, all described as merchants of Scotland, were guaranteed safe ingress and egress to England for commerce.

But though these are signs of a gradual increase of Scottish trade and commerce, it was still a long way behind the rest of Europe for more than a century. The author quoted above, Guicciardini (a nephew of the historian), writing in the middle of the sixteenth century, gives a vivid description of the trading communities of the Low Countries, and a detailed account of the exports and imports of the principal countries in Europe, with an estimate of their value. He estimates the trade between Ene-land and the Netherlands at twelve millions of scudi yearly (about 3,000,000 sterling) ; but he classes the trade with Scotland, Ireland, and Barbary together as not worth the trouble of calculating, it was comparatively so small.

The fifteenth century is singularly deficient in any notices of Scottish trade and commerce. In 1487 the Parliament of James ratified and approved certain articles presented by the Convention of Burghs. The first was in reference to letters of marque granted by the King of the Romans. It was agreed to send an embassy with as much speed as possible to the said King, the expenses of which were to be divided among the burghs. It was next provided that no one was to trade to Flanders, Holland, or Zealand, except “famous and woureschipfull men haifand ilk ane of them awne half a last of gudis,” who were to be free men of a burgh and indwellers within the same.

Some few scanty notices occur in the Acts of Parliament and other records showing that foreign trade existed, if it did not flourish. Thus in 1454, in 1478, in 1481, and in 1482 Acts of Parliament were passed to encourage the import of victuals. Spears of six ells in length only were to be imported by an ordinance of 1471. The Acts of 1464, 1466, and 1483 prove the existence of an export trade in wool, skins, hides, cloth, and salmon. Adulterated wines were prohibited by an enactment in 1482. The export of horses under three years of age, of cattle, and of tallow was prohibited by Acts in 1424 and 1468. In 1427 merchants were permitted to carry their merchandise for one year in foreign vessels if no Scottish ones could be had. In 1491 it was ordered that the Isle of “Inchgarde,” in the Forth, should be fortified to protect merchant shipping, and certain dues payable by ships seeking its protection were fixed.

Some idea of the commerce of this obscure period may be gathered from the returns from the Customs as recorded in the Rolls of the Exchequer. The duty on wool was 2 marks on each sack (of 24 stones) ; r mark for the long hundred of woolfells, and 4 marks for the last of hides (each last containing about 200 hides). The revenue derived from these is estimated by Mr. Burnett to be, on the average, rather under 2,600 per annum, as against 7,640 in the reign of Robert II. Woollen cloth was charged with an ad valorem duty of 2s. in the pound, and the annual average of the export dues from all the ports in Scotland was only about 108. The next important article of commerce was salmon, the duty on which was 2s. 6d. in the pound, and the annual average income from which was about 310.

The returns of the import duties show a trade in wheat, malt, barley, beer, wines, salt, soap, cups (ciphi), and the total from the whole Customs amounts to about 3,300 yearly.

The sixteenth century develops a considerable increase in the foreign trade of Scotland; and we have now the guidance and assistance of the very valuable Records of the Convention of Royal Burghs.

The first year of the century it was ordered by the Provost of Edinburgh that nobody except a burgess dwelling in a burgh should trade with France or Flanders.

In 1529 John Campbell of Lundy was sent to Flanders to negotiate a treaty of commerce between the “ nation of Scotland ” and the Emperor ; and the following were the principal points on which he was to insist:—

First, that one payment of custom should free the goods of the nation of Scotland from every other charge ; secondly, that the said custom should not be greater than it was of old; thirdly, that all the Scotch merchants should be well dressed for the honour of the realm; and, if not, the Conservator was empowered to seize and sell enough of their merchandise to fit them out reputably; and, lastly, that no Scottish merchant should raise any action against another in Flanders, except in the Conservator’s Court.

At a Convention of the Royal Burghs held at Edinburgh in 1539, Master William Thompson, canon in Our Lady Kirk of Antwerp, appeared and expressed for the community of Antwerp their great desire to have the staple of the Scottish nation fixed there, and their readiness to do everything they could to meet the wishes of the Scottish merchants. The matter was delayed to give the burghs an opportunity of considering the proposals from Antwerp. Two years later the Convention agreed to have the staple in Flanders, at whichever town would grant the greatest privileges. The trade with France was evidently now of some importance, for in the same Convention the burghs agreed to defray the expenses of a great personage” to go to the King of France for the purpose of getting a new imposition lately placed on trade with France modified ; and if a personage of less degree was to be sent, the Convention agreed to pay whatever portion of his expenses the town of Edinburgh might agree to. Some years later (in 1563), it was agreed by the burghs to recommend the Queen to send an Ambassador to the King of Denmark anent certain ships, merchandise, and persons detained wrongfully by the said King, and also anent certain “great and new tolls ” imposed upon the merchants of Scotland desiring to import timber. The burghs again agreed to raise from themselves the necessary expenses.

The further steps in this negotiation are highly interesting, as showing the important position the Convention of Royal Burghs held then in the affairs of the nation. The resolution above alluded to was arrived at on the 24th February, 1563. On the next day the Queen declared her will that the Commissioners of the burghs should put in writing the names of certain “noble men” whom they thought fit and proper persons to go to the King of Denmark, to the number of ten or twelve, out of whom Her Majesty should choose one “and further declare her will.” The Commissioners accordingly nominated the Lord Ruthven, the Lord of St. John, and Master John Hay, and sent in the names to the Queen the same day. On the 28th of February the Queen asked the Commissioners for the names of certain other persons over and above those first nominated. Accordingly, on that day the Commissioners added the names of the Lord Justice-Clerk, the Tutor of Petcur, the Laird of Whittinghame, and the Laird of Elphingston. Of these the Queen named, on the 4th of March, the Laird of Whittinghame, who was accordingly sent with a suite of eight persons, of whom two were to be merchants of good repute, and the burghs “stented” themselves in the sum of twenty-eight hundred merks for their expenses.

The trade with France was threatened in 1570 with certain undesirable restrictions. It was reported in July of that year to the “Rycht Honorabil Provest” and Council of Edinburgh that the King of France had issued a proclamation (at the instigation of the Bishop of Glasgow) forbidding any Scottish merchants to trade with France, except they had the license of the Queen-Mother or her lieutenants. A certain Captain Ninian Cockburn declared to the Council of Edinburgh that he had good hopes of getting this proclamation rescinded ; and the Council agreed, if he could manage this within three months, to pay him three hundred crowns of the sun, current money of France, or its equivalent in Scots money. This attempt was apparently not successful, for in October of the same year the Commissioners of the Royal Burghs agreed to send “one or two honest men, merchants/’ with writings under their common seal, to the King of France to try and induce him to withdraw the proclamation above referred to. Accordingly, Master Henry Nesbit, burgess and merchant of Edinburgh, was appointed to go to France, and the rest of the burghs agreed to repay him 15 shillings Scots for every franc he paid for his expenses.

At the same time the Commissioners ordained letters to be raised to bring home the Conservator in Flanders, that order might be taken concerning the Scottish merchants in that country. The condition of the Netherlands at this time was not favourable for commerce, and accordingly we find that in 1574 the burghs petitioned the Lord Regent to consent to the temporary change of the staple to Calais, “quhill it sail pleis God to bring the contry of Flanderis in quyetnes as it hes bene befoir,” and to permit “ane qualefeit man of the merchant estait and nane other” to go to Calais and arrange matters. The Conservator in Flanders was also directed to appear at the next Convention.

Meantime the embassy to Denmark seems to have produced some result, for in the same year (1574) the King of Denmark agreed to admit the ships of the Scottish nation to all parts of his dominion provided they had the “coquet” of the port from whence they came.

The next Convention was held in 1575, and the Conservator of the Scottish trade in Flanders (Master George Halkett) duly appeared, and “lang resonyng vpon the troubilsum estait in Flanderis” took place. The result was that in the first place an increase of emoluments was voted unanimously to Master George for the two years following, and certain articles were formulated for the greater benefit and convenience of the Scottish traders. Very little good seems to have followed from this, for in 1577 a special commissioner, Master Nicholas Uddert, of Edinburgh, was directed to go to Flanders with letters from the Regent and the Convention, for the purpose of placing the staple in the most commodious place. He was to be accompanied by the Conservator (who seems to have remained in Scotland till then), and the additional fees authorized by the Act of 1575 were ordered to be paid for all time coming till the will of the Convention was further declared.

This arrangement only lasted for a very short time. The following year (1578) the Commissioners cancelled the bargain, and empowered Henry Nesbit, burgess of Edinburgh, as their Commissioner, to arrange with the town of Campvere for the transport of the Scottish staple to that place. The original commission and instructions to Nesbit are still preserved in the Records of the Convention of Royal Burghs. The first is a document of great importance as showing the position of the burghs at this time. It is addressed by the Provost, Bailies, and Council of Edinburgh to “the mighty and noble lordis, burghmasters, judges, and magistrates of the town of Campvere in Zealand;” and recites that the Commissioners of the burghs of Scotland having by the laws of Scotland and the privileges granted by their Kings the right as the “estate of . merchants ” to reason and decide in all matters concerning their common weal, had agreed to send Master Henry Nesbit to arrange for placing their common staple with them, as it had been in times of old.

The instructions desire that all the privileges and freedoms granted before by the Earls of Flanders, Dukes of Brabant, the Emperor Charles V. and his son should be anew approved, granted, and kept without violation or diminution. More particularly it is required that a deep and safe channel for the entry of the Scots ships into the harbour should be marked off; that berths at the quays should be reserved for them free of charge ; that custom should only be paid once at an appointed place ; that the factors’ houses should be free from all imposts; that the judgment of all cases should be left to the Conservator; that “an honourable place” be appointed for preaching and praying according to the custom of the Scots nation ; and that certain privileges should be procured from the town of Antwerp. Master George Halkett does not appear to have given unqualified satisfaction, for in 1581 the burghs desired that he should be discharged from his office, and ordered home to give an account of his doings.

The following year it was ordered by the Convention that no sailor should be employed in Scottish vessels except those certificated to be actual residents in free burghs and bearing charges there, under severe penalties. In 1582 the burghs agreed that no factor in Zealand, Holland, or Brabant should be permitted to act unless he was a professor of the true religion, and the same day the Convention, understanding that many of the merchants and traders resorting to France and Flanders had daily intercourse in the way of business with “ignorant and conjurit papists,” whereby “great and abominable errors” might ensue, declared that no Scottish merchant should for the future have any manner of dealing with or haunt or use the company of any trader “nochtt of the trew religion" and every transgressor was to be fined .40. In spite of this prohibition the merchants appear not to have conducted themselves without reproach, as in 1586 the burghs heavily lamented their backslidings, and “thair vncumlie behaviour in thair eivill lyfe and outwarth manneris,” and agreed forthwith to “erect ane Scottis kirk” in Campvere for remedy thereof, and in the following year they further agreed to appoint a minister for the church, who was to be paid by an additional duty on goods or by other methods suggested.

It would occupy too much space to continue in detail the history of the trade and commerce of Scotland during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The object of these papers is not to give a complete account of early Scotland (which indeed would be impossible), but rather to indicate the sources from which such a history may in the future be compiled.

The full and admirable preface to the Ledger of Halyburton, printed in the series of Scottish Chronicles and Memorials, shows the transactions of a Scottish merchant during the Middle Ages, and is of the highest interest for this purpose. The preface, by the late Professor Cosmo Innes, gives an admirable account of the commerce of Scotland during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Records of the Convention of Royal Burghs supply details of the utmost importance for the period at which we have arrived.

Having dealt generally with the foreign trade of Scotland during the sixteenth century, during which, with some vicissitudes, it made remarkable progress, we come now to the seventeenth century, during which the principal new factor in the situation is the accession of the Sovereign of Scotland to the throne of England.

The first source of information is found in the Acts of the Parliament of Scotland.

By a statute of 1607 it was remitted to the burghs of Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Ayr, St. Andrews, Montrose, Kirkcudbright, Irvine, Craile, Burntisland, and Culross to meet and set down order for furthering trade and navigation by reformation of abuses, and encouraging the building of “great ships.”

Some time after this, great damage was caused to Scottish shipping by the pirates of Dunkirk, and in 1630 the burghs gave in an article to Parliament on the subject. The Estates agreed to petition the King to consider the deplorable state of the merchants, and to provide some means by which they might be protected in their peaceable trading. In 1645 the Earls of Tullibardine, Southesk, and Lanark, the Lairds of Manor Dawick and Udny and the Commissioners for Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Irvine, were appointed a committee to consider the question of the India trade.

The same year one John Cartwright supplicated Parliament that he might be made a free citizen of the kingdom, and that he might have in his commerce with the East Indies the same privileges which the King of Denmark offered for a similar traffic.

Towards the close of the century, in 1695, there was passed the famous Act for establishing a company for trading to Africa and the Indies.

A very good general idea of the commercial state of Scotland in the middle of the seventeenth century will be found in the report presented to the Commissioners for Appeals in 1656 by Mr. Tucker, who was sent down specially to inquire into the excise and customs. His report contains many curious particulars bearing on foreign trade, and shows conclusively the commercial decay which had taken place.

“Although,” he says, “Scotland is almost encompassed with the sea (which hath very many inletts into the mayneland), and hath a very greate number of islands adjoyneing thereunto, both on the easterne and westerne parts thereof, and soe naturally como-dious for commerce and traffique, yett the barrenesse of the countrey, poverty of the people, generally affected with slothe, and a lazy vagrancy of attending and followeing theyr heards up and downe in theyr pastorage, rather than any dextrous improvement of theyr time, hath quite banished all trade from the inland parts, and drove her downe to the very sea side, where that little which is still re-mayneing (and was never greate in the most proude and flourishing times) lives, pent and shutt up in a very small compasse, even of those parts where there is any exercised, which is mostly and chiefly on the east part, and soe northerly along the side of the German Ocean, or else on the westerne part, along Dunbryton Fyrth into the Irish or English Seas, the rest of the country from that Fyrth on the west side with all the islands up towards the most northerne headland, being inhabited by the old Scotts or wilde Irish, and speakeing theyr language, which live by feeding cattle up and downe the hills, or else fishing and fowleing and formerly (till that they have of late been restrayned) by plaine downright robbing and stealeing.”

He then goes on to describe the eight “most eminent places of Trade,” which were, on the East Sea, Leith, Bo’ness, Burntisland, Dundee, Aberdeen, and Inverness ; and, on the West Sea, Glasgow and Ayr. These ports included certain other smaller places in their immediate neighbourhood. The chief port of Scotland then for foreign trade was Leith. Next in importance came Bo’ness, which had a large commerce in coal and salt chiefly carried on in Dutch vessels to the Low Countries. Burntisland, with its dependent harbours on the north side of the Forth, had a small trade outwards with coal and salt, and inwards from Norway for timber, and with France for wines. The whole combined shipping of the ports on the north side of the Forth numbered only fifty vessels, of which the largest was 100 tons burden.

Tucker does not hesitate to speak plainly. Mentioning Dundee, he describes it as “sometime a towne of riches and trade, but the many rencontres it hath mett with all in the time of domestick comotions, and her obstinacy and pride of late yeares rendring her a prey to the soldier, have much shaken and abated her former grandeur; and, notwithstanding all, she remaynes still, though not glorious, yett not contemptible.” Dundee and Aberdeen were the principal seats of the fishing exports, and also had a fair trade with Norway, Holland, and France. Some little business was also done exporting the homespun plaiding. The combined shipping of Dundee and Montrose amounted to 22 vessels, of which the two largest were 120 tons burden each ; and Aberdeen owned nine vessels.

The Western commerce was very much the same. Glasgow did a small trade with Ireland in coal in open boats of from four to ten tons burden, bringing back butter, meal, oats, hoops, and barrel staves ; with France, exporting herrings, plaiding, and coals, and importing salt, pepper, rosin, and prunes; with Norway for timber, and formerly some went as far as Barbadoes. Glasgow possessed 12 vessels, of which no fewer than three were each of 150 tons burden, being apparently the largest vessels owned in Scotland at the time (1656).

The last document which we shall quote on this subject is a report which was made to the Convention of Royal Burghs on the state and condition of the principal towns in Scotland in 1692. From this it appears that the merchants of Edinburgh owned 13 ships, the largest of which was 150 tons burden, and 17 “barks” the largest of which was 40 tons burden. During the year preceding five of the 13 ships made each two voyages to Holland with cargoes of coal, wood, lead ore, and sheep skins. One went to Bilbao, but had not then returned. The others traded to Hamburg, Amsterdam, and London with varied cargoes. All the barks were for the coasting trade except two, which had gone to the Sound with herring. Dundee had one ship of 200 tons, and about 14 others smaller. Glasgow valued her foreign trade at ^205,000 (Scots), and had eight ships then at home, belonging to merchants of the town, and seven away on voyages. The largest of the fleet was the James, belonging to George Lockhart, of 160 tons burden, and valued at .6,000 (Scots).

The town of Ayr had no ships, barks, or boats, “save a little boat of the value of 40 (Scots) belonging to John Campbell.” The foreign trade of Ayr for the preceding five years was as follows, viz. :—Four-fifths of the cargo of a small vessel from Virginia of 70 tons burden; three small vessels coming from Stockholm with iron; 20 lasts of tar and some few deals from Norway; about 20 tons of French wine; 16 casks of Canary, and a small vessel from the West Indies with sugar.

Return to Book Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus