Unto the Right Honourable, the Lords of His Majesties Privie Conncil, The PETITION Of Patrick Iohnstoun, late Bailie in Edin­burgh, Alexander Campbel, A­lexander Clerk, and Alexander Mackgill, Merchants in Edinburgh, David Waike, and Ralph Spurri Englishmen.

Humbly sheweth,

THat by your Lordships Proclamation, published the 20 of July instant, all Victual to be Imported is declared to be lyable to Custome and other Duties, as before the Proclamation published upon the sixth of August, 1696. And the Collectors of His Majesties Customs are appointed to Collect and Compt for the same accordingly, wherethrough your Petitioners being heavily prejudged, humbly beg liberty to lay before your Lordships the Reasons following, why the particular quantities of Victual be­longing to them, cannot be lyable to pay Custom, viz. 1. In cases of the like nature formerly, when Victual was discharged to be Imported, or Burdened if Imported; your Lordships were always so tender of the preju­dice Merchants might suffer, that upon their giving Oath that they had Com­missioned and Loadned the Victual before the Publishing of such Proclamati­ons or Orders, they were always allowed to Import the same free of the bur­den of the saids Orders: And here our case is much more just and favourable, where we are content to make Faith, or if need beis, to prove by Witnesses, or other Documents beyond exception, that part of the Victual belonging to us the saids Patrick Johnstoun Alexander Campbel, Alexander Clark, David Waike and Ralph Spurrie did Arrive at Heymouth before the 12th or 14th of July instant, and a great part of us Arrived since at Leith two days after the Pro­clamation, and the rest at Holy-Island, detained by contrary Winds since that [Page 2] time; and that the Victual belonging to me, the said Alexander Mackgill was partly lying upon the Road of Leith in a Ship, long ago reported, and a suffe­rance given for Livering, and whereof above 300 Bolls was Livered according­ly, and the rest of my Victual is at Haymouth and Holy Island, detained in man­ner foresaid: And it were the hardest thing imaginable to make us lyable for Custom, who have Bought, Loadened, Imported, and partly Livered that Victual, directly upon the prospected being free of Custom, and yet upon such a surprize to cause exact it from us; which in effect is to take as much Mo­ney out of our Pocket: And its hoped your Lordships will be far from such a measure of rigour towards us. 2. It was never controverted, but where any Vessels toucht at any Port, Creek, or Harbour within this Kingdom, with an intention to Liver; and much more out of doubt, where they had bro­ken bulk, and Livered any part of their Cargo; but these Goods were reputed already Imported; so that in this case, even in the rigor of the Proclamati­on, all Victual in that condition must be free of Duty, as being already Im­ported: And it were a very great hardship to make your Petitioner suffer for contrary Winds, and to be lyable for the burden of Custom, I upon ac­count, and for Causes they could no ways prevent.

May it therefore please your Lordships to discharge the Collectors and others imployed, in Collecting His Majesties Customs, to Levy and Exact any Custom, or other Duty from us, for the Victual be­longing to us, and lying either in the Road of Leith, or lying at Haymouth and Holy-Island before the said Proclamation, and to ap­point any of your Lordships Number, or of his Majesties Collectors or Magistrat in the place, to take our Oaths, or receive such other sufficient [...] the[?] quantity of the forsaid Victual, and where it lyes, and when it Arrived there. To the effect we by your Lordships goodness may be saved from so heavy prejudice, as will far exceed what ever benefite we could have made by Import­ing the forsaid Victual upon the Faith and encouragement given by the Government.

And your Petitioner shall ever pray.

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