George I., 1st Year, Chapter 54, 1715

CHAP. LIV.

An Act for the more effectual securing the Peace of the Highlands in Scotland.

     I. Whereas the Custom that has too long prevailed amongst the Highlanders of Scotland, of having  Arms in their Custody, and using and bearing them in travelling abroad in the Fields, and at publick Meetings, has greatly obstruded the civilizing of the People within the Counties herein after named; has prevented their applying themselves to Husbandry, Manufactories, Trade, and other virtuous and profitable Employments; has been the cause of many Riots, Robberies, and Tumults; hath and does tend to disappoint the Execution of the Law, to the Dishonour of Government, and unspeakable Loss of his Majesty’s Subjects; has in a peculiar manner, been one of the fatal Causes of the late Unnatural Rebellion, and may occasion the like or greater Calamity in Time to come, if not prevented by a proper Remedy: Be it therefore enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assemble, and by the Authority of the same, That from and after the first Day of November, in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and sixteen, it shall not be lawful for any Person or Persons within the Shires of Dunbartain on the North Side of the Water of Leven, Sterling on the North Side of the River of Forth, Perth, Kincardin, Aberdeen, Inverness, Nairn, Cromarty, Argyle, Forfar, Bamff, Sutherland, Caithness, Elgine, and Ross, to have in his or their Custody, use or bear Broad Sword, or Target, Poynard, Whinar, or Durk, Side-Pistol or Side-Pistols, or Gun, or any other warlike Weapons, in the Fields, or in the Way, coming or going to, from, or at any Church, Market, Fair, Burials, Huntings, Meetings, or any other Occasion whatsoever, within the Bounds aforesaid, or to come into the Low-Countries armed, as aforessaid: And in case any of the said Person or Persons above described, shall have in his Custody, use or bear Arms, otherwise than in this Act directed, every such Person or Persons, so offending, being thereof lawfully convicted before one or more Justices of the Peace, or before any other Judge competent of the Place summarly, shall, for the first Offence, forfeit all such Arms, and be liable to a Fine, not exceeding the Sum of Forty Pounds Sterling, and not under the Sum of Five Pounds Sterling, and to be  imprisoned till Payment of the said Fine; which if not instantly paid after Commitment, the said Fine may and shall be levied out of the Offenders Goods and Estate, by Warrant of the Judge who shall pronounce any such Sentence, to be applied, the one half to the Use of the Informer, and the other at the Sight of the Justices of the Peace where such Offenders shall be convicted, towards the repairing the publick Works within the said Shire; and further, liable to a Month’s Imprisonment: And being convicted for a second Offence, before a Court of Justiciary, or before the Judges at their Circuits, shall forfeit such Arms, and be lable to a Fine, nor exceeding the Sum of Eighty Pounds Sterling, and not under the Sum of Ten Pounds Sterling; and for every subsequent Offence, to a Fine double of the former, to be levied and applied as above: And for want of Payment of any such Fine, or a sufficient Distress to satisfy the Payment of it, the Offender shall be liable to be transported to any of his Majesty’s Plantations beyond the Seas, there to remain for the Space of seven Years.

     II. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Trials for the aforesaid Offences, shall be entred in a Register or Record to be kept apart by the Clerk of the Court of Justiciary, or his Deputies; and that where any Offender or Offenders shall be tried for the first Offence before any inferior Court, the Clerk of every such Court shall, and he is hereby required to exhibit full Duplicates of every such Trial and Sentence following thereupon, signed by his Hand judicially, before the Judge or Judges at their Circuits, in the very next Court after such Trials shall have been, to be delivered to the Clerk of the Circuit; who is hereby required and commanded to enter the same upon the Book of Register, which is appointed to be kept separate in manner aforesaid: And that within forty Days after such Duplicates shall be exhibited and delivered in amnner aforesaid, Extracts whereof, signed by the said Clerk of Justiciary, shall have the same Force and Authority as Extracts from other Registers of Decrees and Acts in Scotland, by the Laws therem have; And that the Clerks of such inferior Courts, within the Jurisdiction of any separate Court of Justiciary General, shall in like manner forthwith transmit the Duplicates aforesaid into the said Court, there to be kept in a Register apart,  in order to the Conviction of such Persons who shall be Guilty a second Time, or oftener, of the above-mentioned Offence.

     III. And be it further enacted, That if any Clerk or Clerks of any of the said Inferior Courts shall neglect to make and sign duch Duplicate, or to exhibit the same judicially in the Circuit Courts, or to deliver the same to the Clerk of the said Circuits, or to transmit the same in th Cafe above-mentioned; or if the said Clerk of Judiciary, or his Deputy-Clerks of the said Circuits, shall neglect to enter the said Duplicates upon the Register appointed to be kept in manner before-mentioned, every such Clerk so offending, shall be liable to a Fine of Ten Pounds Sterling, to be levied, as aforesaid.

     IV. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Matters above-mentioned shall be Point of Dittay, and that the Judges at their Circuits shall enquire concerning the Prosecutions that shall have been made upon this Act, and the keeping of the Duplicates of the Trials in Manner above directed.

     V. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Clerk of Justiciary, or his Deputy, shall exhibit into the said Court of Justiciary the Book of Register above-directed at the First Court that shall happen to be held after the Return of the Judges from their Circuits, and the running of the Forty Days allowed for filling up the said Register; to the End that all Neglects by not making, exhibiting, and delivering Duplicates, or by not entring the same, together with the Proceedings had before the said Court of Justiciary, or Judges at their Circuits, in Manner above-directed, may be punished according to this Act without delay,

     VI. Provided always, and be it further ena&ted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Prohibition above-mentioned of keeping, bearing, or wearing any warlike Weapons and the Pains and Penalties aforesaid, shall not extend to the Case of any Peers of this Realm, nor their Sons, nor of any Officers, or their Assistants, employed in the Execution of Justice; nor shall this Act be construed to hinder any Commoner, having the yearly Income of Four hundred Pounds Scots, or more, or who is otherwise qualified to vote at Elections of Parliament-Men to serve for any of the above named Counties, to have in his Custody, or Use, in Manner allowed by Laws now in Force, any Number of Arms, not exceeding two Firelocks, two Pair of Pistols, two Swords; the Magistrates of every Burgh Royal, to have in their Custody a sufficient Number of Arms for keeping Guard within their Burghs; and the Inhabitants of Burghs Royal to use the said Arms in keeping Guard, according to the Directions of their respective Magistrates: Provided always, That the Arms in Burghs Royal be kept in Magazines under the Care of the Magistrates, and not left in private Houses; and that the whole Number of Arms so kept in any Burgh Royal, shall not exceed the Number of two hundred; nor hinder the Officers of the Army having His Majesty’s Commissions, and the Soldiers under their Command, to keep, use, or bear Arms, as formerly; nor the Lieutenants of Counties, their Deputies, and the Militia, and fensible Men under their Command, to keep or receive out of His Majesty’s Magazines, Arms, and to use the same during the Time that their Militia and fensible Men shall be called out by lawful Authority.

     VII. Provided always, That the said Lieutenants of Counties, their Deputies Militia, and fensible Men under their Command, return the Arms received out of the King’s Magazines within twenty Days after the Expiration of the Time for which they shall be called out, under the Pains and Penalties above-mentioned.

     VIII. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the sixteenth Day of July, One thousand seven hundred and sixteen, when a Warrant is granted by any Lord Lieutenant, or Two Deputy Lieutenants of any of the Shires or Bounds above-mentioned, to search for any Ammunition, or other warlike Stores, which he or they shall judge dangerous to the Peace of the Kingdom, and kept or used contrary to the Directions of this present Act, in pursuance of an Act passed this present Session of Parliament to that Effect, the said Search may made within the said Shires or Bounds between Sun-setting and Sun-rising, if the Warrant shall so direct; and in case of Resistance or Refusal of Entry into the Place where such Search is to be made, or of the hiding, concealing, or conveying away, such Arms, Ammunition, or other warlike Stores, all and every Person or Persons, wilfully aiding or abetting, or being guilty Art and Part of such Resistance, or Refusal of Entry, or the hiding, concealing, or conveying away such Arms, Ammunition, or other warlike Stores, shall be liable to a Fine not exceeding Fifteen Pounds Sterling, and not under Five Pounds Sterling, to be levied as above.

     IX. And whereas it is just and reasonable, That all such Persons as have continued faithful to his Majesty during the late natural Rebellion, and who are by this Act discharged from keeping or using Arms, should have the just and true Value of all such Arms as they are obliged by this Act to lay aside: Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Persons within the Limits aforesaid, who have continued faithful to his Majesty, who are hereby obliged to lay aside their Arms, shall deliver them up to the Lords Lieutenants of their respective Counties, or their Deputies, or such other Persons as his Majesty shall be pleased to commission for that Purpose, and shall receive the true and just Value of them in Money in manner after-mentioned; that is to say, The Lords Lieutenants of the several Counties above-mentioned, or their Deputies, or such other Persons commissioned, as aforesaid, are hereby commanded and required, before the first Day of August, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and sixteen, to appoint by Proclamation to be made at the several Market-Crosses, and Parish-Churches, proper Places, and Times, within their respective Counties, where such Arms shall be delivered; and to appoint five or more Persons to receive and value the same upon Oath, and grant Receipts under their Hands for them, bearing the Names, Number, and Value of the Arms so delivered; which Oath, the said Lords Lieutenants, or their Deputies, or such other Persons commissioned, as aforesaid, are hereby required and impowered to administer: And if any of the Persons to be appointed to receive and value the said Arms, shall wilfully refuse to take the said Oath, or to receive or value the said Arms, every Person so refusing shall forfeit the Sum of One hundred Pounds Sterling; and within forty Days after the Receipt of such Arms, the Lords Lieutenants, or their Deputies, or such Persons commissioned, as aforesaid, are hereby commanded and required to transmit the same to such Places as his Majesty shall think fit to direct, with a signed List of the Names and Designations of the several Persons who delivered them, and their particular Values; and for the effectual Payment of the Value, the Collectors of the Land-Tax or Excise within the said Counties are hereby commanded and required to pat the Sums contained in the said Receipts, out of the first and readiest Monies that are in, or shall come to their Hands for the Use of the Publick: The which Receipts, indorsed by the Persons to whom they were first granted, are hereby ordered to be passed to the Credit of the said Collectors of the Land-Tax or Excise, at making up of their Accounts.

     X. And whereas the prevailing Custom of convocating Numbers of his Majesty’s Subjects together, with the Practice of obliging them to perform divers Services, arbitrary and oppressive, by Virtue of Clauses in Charters, Contracts, or Agreements, within the Limits aforesaid, is contrary to the Nature of good Government, destructive to the Liberties of free People, inconsistent with the Obedience and Allegiance due to his Majesty and Government, as well as the greatest Obstruction to the Improvement of Trade, Husbandry, and Manufactories, and was one of the greatest Means of raising and carrying on the late unhappy Rebellion: Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the first Day of August, in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and seventeen, and all Time thereafter, the annual Value of the Services, commonly called Personal Attendance, Hosting, Hunting, Watching, and Warding, due by Virtue of any Charter Contract, Custom, or Agreement whatsoever, shall be paid in Money annually instead of them,

     XI. And for the determining the said annual Value of Services and Attendance, It is hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Persons to whom such Services and Attendance are due, and those by whom they are payable, shall each for themselves agree mutually for the said annual Value, or by Arbitrators chosen by their mutual Consent; and in Case they cannot agree in manner aforesaid, either Party may apply to the Lords the Session at Edinburgh, by Bill or Petition, to have the said annual Value ascertained by them; and the said Lords of the Session are hereby impowered and required summarly to determine the said annual Value, after having heard both Parties, or summoned and or given them Time to compear,

     XII. And for preventing the like Abuses in Time to come, It is hereby enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Clauses in Charters, Contracts, or Agreements of any Sort, whereby the foresaid Services of personal Attendance, Hosting, Hunting, Watching, and Warding, are contracted to be payable, and for which a certain Sum of Money is ordered to be paid annually, as above, as well as all Obligations to pay the aforesaid Services and Attendance, which shall hereafter be contracted, shall, from and after the said first Day of August, One thousand seven hundred and seventeen, be void and null, and of no Effect in Law, and so remain in all Time to come.

     XIII. Provided always, That nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to enervate or take away any other Clause or Article in the aforesaid Charters, Contracts, or Agreements, besides those Clauses, by Virtue of which the foresaid Services and personal Attendance of Hosting, Hunting, Watching, and Warding, are payable.

     XIV. Provided also, That the foresaid Agreements by mutual Consent, or by Arbitrators, or failing of these, the Sentences of the Lords of the Session interposing, as above, whereby a certain Sum of Money shall be determined to be paid annually, instead of the foresaid Services of Personal Attendance, Hosting, Hunting, Watching, and Warding, shall have, and they are hereby ordered to have the same Force and Effect in Law, as if the said Sum of Money ascertained and determined, as above, were insert as payable in the said respective Charters, Contracts, or Agreements, instead of the said Services of Personal Attendance, Hosting, Hunting, Watching, and Warding; Any Law, Statute, or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.

     XV. And whereas, by an Act passed in the first Year of the Reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne, intituled, An Act for rendring the Union of the two Kingdoms more entire and complete; It is among other Things enacted, That Circuit Courts shall be holden in that Part of the united Kingdom called Scotland, in Manner, and at the Places mentioned in the said Act: And wherear, by the late Unnatural Rebellion, the Course of Justice in Scotland has been so interrupted, as rendred it impossible to give up and transmit Presentments in such due Time, as Prosecutions might thereupon commence before the Circuits to be holden in May, One thousand seven hundred and sixteen, whereby and by the Absence of the several Officers appointed by Law for executing the Portous Rolls, who joined in the said Rebellion, there appeared a necessity of superseding the said Circuit: Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Lords Justice Clerk, and Commissioners of Justiciary, and all and every other Person and Persons therein concerned, are hereby exonerated and indemnified for their not performing the said Circuit as by the forecited Act, they were obliged to do: Any Thing in the same Act, or in any other Law or Statute to the contrary notwithstanding.

     XVI. And whereas the want of Schools in proper Places, for the Education of Youth within the Bounds aforesaid, is also a great Cause of the Ignorance and Rudeness of the meaner Sort of People in those Parts: Be it therefore further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That such Persons as his Majesty shall appoint under his Royal Sign Manual, shall, and they are hereby required and impowered, on or before the first Day of December, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and sixteen, to lay before His Majesty an Account of the proper Places for establishing Schools, and of the necessary Salaries for the Maintenance of them, that all needful Provision may be made for that End.

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