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Mines and Metals Act 1592

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Oure Souerane Lord vnderstanding that this lang tyme bygane Nather his Maiestie nor the cuntrie hes Importit ony commoditie of the mynis and metallis quhilk in great abundance micht be easelie found in this realme to the interteynement and sustentatioun of ane greit nowmer of the liegis thairof And that the said inconvenient hes ensewit be resone Oure said souerane lord and his maist noble progenitouris wes in vse commonlie to sett the saidis haill mynis within thair dominionis to ane or tua strangearis for ane small dewtie quha nather haid substance to caus labour and wirk the hundreth pairt of ony ane of the saidis mynis nor yit instructed vtheris leigis of this realme in the knawlege thairof quhilk in mair nor notour be the doingis of the present takisman of the mynes quha nether wirkis presentlie nor hes wrocht thir mony yeiris bypast nor euir hes serchit socht nor discoverit ony new mettall sen his entrie nor hes instructit ony of the leigis of the cuntrie in that knawlege And quhilk is maist inconvenient of all hes maid na sufficient payment of the dewtie of his tak to oure soureane lordis thesaurair sua that na pairt of the said yeirlie dewtie is euir cum in the said thesauraris compt to his hienes vse and commoditie Quhairby Oure souerane lord and the haill cuntrie will sustene greit loss gif ane strangear sall bruik in this maner the haill mettallis within his maiesties dominionis but payment of ony dewtie ffor the space of xxj yeris altogidder Lyk as also in respect the richt of all mynis pertenit to his maiestie and his hienes predicessouris Thairfoir quhensoeuir ony myne or seme of mettaill wes found be ony of the leigis of this realme the same wes ather neglectit or be all moyanis possible obscurit be ressone that na pairt of the commoditie thairof micht redound to thame selffis quhairby ane greit proffite quhilk micht haue bene gottin baith to oure souerane lord and als to the cuntrie wes allutirlie owir sene And now our said soureane lord vnderstanding the inconvenientis foirsaidis To haue procedit cheiflie becaus ther wes nocht ane speciall man of witt and knawlege appointit to quhais office propirlie the owirsicht of the haill mater of the mettallis suld pertene And of quhome his Maiestie and estaitis micht seik ane compt and ressone of the adminstratioun of his said office that his mynis be nocht neglectit (as thay ar) dyuerse vtheris princes makand sa greit commoditie of the lyk F1. . . And als oure souerane willing that all his Maiesties liegis quha will tak on hand to discouer and work the saidis mynis may haue reasonable proffite and recompence of thair panis [and] a sufficient securitie maid to thame of thair awin mynis within thair awin landis And als vnderstanding that the dewtie of the said mynis quhilk baith of the commoun law and consuetude obseruit be vther foreign princes properlie pertenis to the prince Extendis onlie to the tent part fre Thairfore our said souerane lord with auise of his estaittis in parliament hes dissoluit the saidis mynis and mettallis in safer as thay war part of his propirtie annext or ony wyis to the effect the same may be sett in few for augmentatioun of oure said souerane lordis rentall And statutis and ordanis that it salbe lesum to his hienes and his successouris F1. . . for reasonable compositioun to [F2dispone] to every erle lord barroun and vther [F2owner] within this realme all and quhatsumeuir mynis of gould siluer copper leid tin and vther quhatsumeuir mettallis or minerallis quhilk is or may be found within thair awin landis and heretageis with pouer to thame to seik and discouer lauboure and work the saidis mettallis and minerallis and to sell dispone or sett the mynis thairof in takkis F3...F1. . . to vtheris thair subtenentis at thair pleasure as thair proper gudis and heretage And with sic vther ample priuilegeis as oure said souerane lord F1. . . sall think expedient for the wining and working of the saidis mettallis be cuntrie men or strangearis Payand thairfore yeirlie the saidis Erlis Lordis barounis and vtheris quha sall accept the [F2disposition of the saidis mynis] as said is to oure said souerane Lord and his thesaurare thair factouris and seruitouris in thair Name the Just tent part of all and haill the said gould siluer copper leid tin and vtheris minerallis quhilk salbe found and gottin yeirlie within thair saidis landis and heretageis vpoun the ground quhair the same salbe found in sic vre and qualitie as the same salbe gottin out of the erth frelie but ony deductioun F1. . . Provyding that in cace ony mynis being sufficientlie discouerit to be within ony of the landis pertening to ony subiect of this realme and the lord of the ground sufficientlie aduertesit thairof and lauchfullie requirit to work the same himself befoir ane Notar and [F2ane witness] as efferis gif he refuisses or delayis the space of thre monethis thairefter Than and in that cace It salbe lesum to our said souerane lord to [F2dispone the same or set the same] or tak or vtherwyis to caus work the same or to mak rycht thairof to ony vther persone at his grace pleasure That be the wilfull refuise or delay of the awnar of the ground his grace and his cuntrie be not defraudit of the commoditie of the said myne And oure said souerane lord with auise foirsaid of the parliament Declaris that this act of dissolutioun salbe perpetuall to last for all tyme cuming F1. . .

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