ANSWERS FOR THE BREWARS Within the TOWN of Edinburgh and Suburbs, And the Priviledge of the Shire of Mid-Lothian: To the Reasons offered to Their Majesties High Commissioner, and the Right Honourable the Estates of Parliament, by the Magistrates of E­dinburgh, in Relation to an Imposition of Two Pennies upon the Pynt of Ale, now Craved by them for the space of thirty Years, upon pretence of Payment of the Towns Debts.

THe Paper offered in behalf of the Good Town of Edinburgh, craves an Imposition of two Pennies upon the Pint of Ale and Beer, to be ei­ther Brown or Inbrought and Vended within the Town and Suburbs and Liberties thereof: To be granted to the Magistrates for payment of the Towns Debts, over and above the annexed Excise of two Merks upon the Boll, and the Additional Excise of three Pennies upon the Pint imposed by this present Session of Parliament, and that for the space of thirty years, for the rea­sons contained in the said printed Paper.

Before the Brewars make any particular Answer to the reasons contained in the said printed Paper, They humbly offer to my Lord Commissioner's Grace, and to the Right Honourable the Estates of Parliament be way of preamble the Considerations following.

First, In als far as thir Reasons are Ushered in with an Narrative of the great Debts, the Good Town of Edinburgh lyes presently under. It is humbly repre­sented in behalf of the Brewars of the Shire and Others. That as they are not [Page 2]to enquire in the private concerns of the Good Town, or how by the Misman­nagement of the Successive Magistrates of the Burgh, the Debts thereof have swelled to such an considerable sum as is narrated in the Reasons, so it is hoped the High Court of Parliament will not think it reasonable that the Towns Debts should be payed and satisfied out of such an Fond, as will be an unsupportable burden upon the saids Brewers, and upon the whole Leidges resorting to Edin­burgh, and an direct Incroachment upon that Freedom and Liberty as to which in the Trade of Brewing and Immunities thereof, for enjoyment of the same, They are humbly to expect from the Justice of the Parliament, a full and free Security and protection; and wherein all the Leidges residing in Edin­burgh (with them) are equally concerned.

Secundo, The Good Town of Edinburgh upon the pretence of payment of their Debts, have since the year 1661. obtained several Gifts from their Ma­jesties for the time, of two pennies upon the pint of Ale and Beer, and which in the first instance and thereafter, were opposed by the Lords of Session, Mem­bers of the Colledge of Justice, and Heretors of the Shire: And who, not­withstanding, and (because these Gifts were then craved for some few years to the end foresaid) did for some time Connive at the same. But finding that this was designed as an perpetual Servitude upon the Countrey, and their being an gift of this nature obtained in the year 1666 for eleven years after the expiring of an former that had been granted in Anno 1660. And this meeting with oppo­sition from the Colledge of Justice and the Heretors; The Affair was settled by Transaction, and there was an solemn Contract entered into in January 1670. betwixt them and the Good Town, whereby the said Gift for eleven years was restricted to fix: And upon expiring whereof, the Magistrates for the time, did bind and oblige themselves and their Successors, not to seek or procure any such Gift or Imposition, for the future, upon account of the Towns Debts, that should remain unsatisfied, after expiring of the Gift swarestricted, and in case any such happen to be in time coming procured, the same by the samen Contract per ver­ba de presenti, now as then and then as now, was declared Void and Null: So that the Acquiescence of the Colledge of Justice and the Heretors of the Shire to this Gift, being in the Terms foresaid, was to be understood as an Bar or Land, mark to secure against the obtaining of all such Gifts in time coming: And the Town of Edinburgh can no more pretend to be free of the said Contract, than they can be of any Debt they are due by Bond: And howbeit the Good Town by their power with, and influence upon the Ministers of State, during the late Reigns, have obtained an Continuation of this Exaction; yet that being directly contrair to an Final, Legal and Determining Settlement, in relation to the point in controversie, can be no Rule to perpetuat this Burden any longer, first upon the Brewars, and consequently, in the second place, upon the Colledge of Ju­stice and Heritors, who entered in the said Transaction, and upon the Inhabitants of the Burgh; and in effect upon the whole Leidges resorting to Edinburgh, who are concerned in this Matter, either by Selling of Bear, Buying of Ale, or both,

Tertio, The obtaining an Gift of this nature by an particular Clause in the Claim of Right, is declared to be contrair to the known Laws, Statutes and Free­doms of this Realm: And albeit it will be pretended for the Magistrates, That this was looked upon as an Grievance, as being done without Authority of Par­liament; yet it is Humbly Conceived the design of the Law was adapted with a Reguard to the liberty of the Subject, and consequently that there is par ratio now as of before: And therefore it being res judicata upon the Matter by the Parliament, as a Redress to the Grievances of the late Times, it is hoped the [Page 3]Magistrates will not crave a Revivance of such an Imposition now, which in the former Government was found an most unsupportable Burden, by most of the Burgesses of the Burghs of the Kingdom: And when the same Address was offe­red in the 2d Session of the current Parliament, the same was by a Solemn Vote of Parliament Rejected and thrown out of Doors.

Quarto, It is Humbly offered to my Lord Commissioner, His Grace, and Estates of Parliament, That as the Imposing of such an Burden upon the Brew­ars, will be very uneasie to them and to the Inhabitants of the Burgh, and all o­thers whose Priviledges allow them to stand in opposition to any such Gift; so with all Submission, it may unevitably prove prejudicial to His Majesties Interest, because there being now an additional Excyse imposed by Act of Parliament, Which, with the Fomer, will be about four Merks and an half upon the Boll of Malt, the granting of any New Gift to the Town of Edinburgh in addition thereto, will lay many confiderable Brewars aside as unable to continue in the exercise of that Trade, where there is so great an Advance in the first Instance to the Tax men, and such eminent danger in the Retale, seing this Addition would make the Imposition upon every Boll of Malt to arise near to Five Pound Scots; and which throw most places of the Kingdom will adequate the intrinsick value of the Bear, and so far probably low the price thereof, as the most of the Here­tors of the Kingdom might sensibly feel the prejudice there fra arising, which is of an universal Concern to Their Majesties and the hail Leidges, the sale of Bear being the greatest part of the Rent of the Nation, and the product thereof in the Matter of Excyse, being the chiefest Perquisite of the Crown, in relation to the Interest of the Government.

Quinto, As the granting of such an Gift would by an natural Consequence in all probability lay a Foundation to the Inconveniencies abovementioned; so be­sides all those it would upon the Matter turn the Brewing in Edinburgh to an Monopolie in Favours of a few Brewars, who it seems join and concur with the Good Town in this Application, and thereby make Ale good and bad at their pleasure, there being no such security in the Matter of Brewing as an universal Freedom in that Trade, and whereby every one is a Check to another for the bet­ter Consumption and Retale of Ale; whereas if an Monopolie of this Trade shall be settled amongst a few Brewars, the Wisdom of the High Court of Parliament from former Experience may easily judge what will be the Consequence thereof.

This being premised for the Brewars, and for which they Crave my Lord Commissioner, His Grace, and High Court of Parliament, humbly pardon for so long an Preamble in an Matter of so great Import, and wherein they are so nearly concerned, they do in the next place with all due Submission, as to the Reasons offered in behalf of the Good Town of Edinburgh, make the particular Answers following.

As to the first, In Relation to the Debts owing be the Town in the year 1633 and how the same was increassed by their Expenses at the Coronation of King Charles the first, and what they farther advanced for his Relief in the year 1648 and in the year 1650 at the return of King Charles the 2d, It is Answered, That with all Submission the making of an Insinuation of this nature, now after the space of 50 years and more, is to run too far backward by a reviving of the Ca­lamities of these Times: And if every on that was thereby damnified, were to expect an suitable Reparation, where this might land at, is left to the Parliaments Consideration; And as Prescription is the great Security of the Leidges in the natural possession of their Property, so by that same parity, long taciturnity and acquiescence ought to Bury in Oblivion all the Transactions of these Times.

As to the Second. In Relation to what the Town suffered in the late Usurpa­tion before the year 1660 by Building the Citidale of Leith the former Answer is opponed, and it too great a stretch for the Good Town to Run so far back­ward in the prosecution of their present Pretentions, without Disputing the Ve­racity of what is asserted for them, least that may lay down an inconvenient preparative for many such Addresses of this nature.

As to the Third, In Relation to the Gift of the Citidale of Leith, In Favours of the Duke of Lauderdale, and to the Towns purchase thereof from him: It's Answered, That it is but too notour that all these Transactions were the natural Consequences of state intrigues carried on by an prevailing party of the Magi­stracy for the time for propagating their own private ends: And it will not be proper for the present Magistrats to dip further upon this marter. And thereby to discover the management of their Predecessors, which is often Lyable to be misconstructed, where private interest is at the bottom, and where the discovery makes nothing to the present purpose.

As to the Fourth, In Relation to the first Gift granted by King Charles the 2d. upon an Narrative of an former, that had been granted during the English Usur­pation, and Relating to an second Gift that had been granted for defraying the Expenses of bringing in the Water: And that thereby the Towns Debts still re­mained unsatisfied; It's Answered with all Submission this Reason containes its own Ditty in its bosome. For 1. It acknowledges that the Good Town had an Imposition of an plack of the pint during the foresaid Usurpation; and consequently had sufficiently wherewith to defray all the Burdens and Expenses they were put to, by that Government. 2. The Renovation of these Gifts for so many years, being (as is acknowledged) for payment of the Towns Debt, does Argue ill Conduct in the management, where the Debts still increased, especially seeing it is but too notour that the Inhabitants of the Burgh, payed considerably upon the Account of the inbringing of the Water: But this is only informative represented, there being no Shadow of Relevancy in this Reason.

As to the Fifth, In Relation to the Transaction betwixt the Town and the Earls of Argyle, Errol, Marshal, and Strathmore, concerning an Debt due by them to Heriots Hospital; and to an Imposition they got for twelve years after expireing of an former in liew of this Debt: And that this before it expired, proved ineffectual as being illegally laid on. It's Answered for the Brewars, that if this Reason come to be canvassed at the Bottom, it will be of als little weight as the former, it being but too well known that the Transaction with these Noblemen, was the voluntar Actings of the Magistrates for the time, upon their own private Designs, and by the influence of the Ministers of State that had then the management of publick Affairs; And so are not now to be obtruded in Relation to this present concern, from any dissappointment that these Actings met with: And wherein the Brewars are not in the least concerned, nor in any Discharge given in by the Good Town to these Earls, there having been neither Force nor Law upon the then Magistrates to have done the same. And as to all these Mismannagements the Town have Recourse in Law against the Actors thereof.

As to the Sixth, In Relation to the bringing in of the Water and of the Mainte­nance and upholding of the Wells, the former Answer is opponed; and it is known that the Inhabitants of the Burgh are annually stented, in order to the sup­port of all the private concerns thereof, and which makes nothing to the present point.

As to the Seventh, which narrates the Towns present Debt, the Expenses of repairing the Peer at Leith, and keeping the Towns Guards, the Brewars Re­peits [Page 5]their former Answers, in Relation to the defraying the Towns Debts, that a farther Addition of Excise upon the Brewars which will unevitably Ruine their Trade and be a Burden upon the whole Leidges, is not (with all Submission) a proper Ford or fit Remedie for this Disease. 2do. It is very well known that the Exactions of the Town upon the Account of their Harbour; is more nor suffi­cient to defray the Expenses of the Reparations thereof: And the same Answer is Repeated to the Expenses of the Guard, which is maintained upon the Charge of the Inhabitants, and which the Magistrates upon enquiry will not deny, but utcunque these being extrinsick Digressiens to the present point in Contro­versy, do not merit the Parliaments Consideration; nor that the Brewars in their Answers shall take notice thereof.

As to the Eight, Wherein the Magistrats assert their Zeal to the present Go­vernment, and the great advancements they have made to the publik upon that Account, at least that the same was done out of the private Fortunes of these who were Magistrates since the late Revolution, It's Answered that it's hoped the drawer of this Reasons, in his evincing the Loallity of the Magistrats which had it's arise from an free offer of their own, will not make this a Fundation for laying on an Imposition upon the Brewars, which were a derogation to that airly appearance they made in their Loyalty towards the present Government, if there doing thereof was on prospect to be reimbursed at the Expences of third parties, who, as occasion offers, will be equally ready with them, to serve the interest of the present Government: And it strange how such an inference as this, can be brought in to the High Court of Parliament, as an new Ground for laying on an new Imposition upon the Brewars which they are not able to bear, And thereby the Magistrats Zeal for the Government to be supported at the Ex­pences of them and the whole Leidges.

As to the Ninth, In Relation to the Towns Debts, and that without this Im­position, the Magistrats will not be enabled to pay the same, and will be forced to give over ther Offices: It Answered for the Brewars that without dipping up­pon the secret concerns of the Town, it is humbly conceived that the Reparati­on of these Breaches is not to be expected to be made upon the private Expences of of the Countrey Brewars, nor out of any Fond that there Trade is not able to bear: And if the Calamities of the Burghs of the Kingdom by such an prepara­tive, as this should be a Fundation of an new Imposition upon third parties that have no Dependance upon the Burgh, the Consequence may prove very dan­gerous: And the preventing whereof with Reguard to the Interest of the Nati­on, is humbly offered to the Serious Consideration of the High Court of Parlia­ment.

As to the Tenth, In Relation to the late Imposition upon Cloath and Wine by the Parliament, with an Regard to the Exigencies of the Burgh; And that the same does not Answer the designes of the Parliament, It is Answered that the Argument urged from this Reason is Retorted, for if the Parliament out of their prudence thought fit, to take off the Imposition upon Ale laid on and Gifted in behalf of the Town, as being then understood to the Parliament as a Grievance, and in liew thereof, to give them an additional Excyse upon Wine and Cloath, it is a strange Inference, that if this Fond do not answer the design, that the Town should crave the Parliament should return to the doing of that which they consi­der as an Error in the former Government, or at the least to have been illegally Imposed, seing the rectifying thereof was still with an regard to the advantage of the people, which its hoped will still convince the High Court of Parliament that the Demands of the Good Town in relation to the Brewars will prove such an unsupportable Burden, as that my Lord Commissioner his Grace and Essa es of [Page 6]Parliament will never yield thereto: And whatever Fond shall be thought [...] for support of the Interest of the Town, this of all, with due Submission, seeme to be the most improper as tending not only to the utter Ruine of Brewars and an heavy Imposition upon the whole Leidges resorting the Town of Edinburgh but to the great prejudice of Their Majesties Excyse, and that of most of the Heretors of the Kingdom who are and may be concerned in the Consumpt of Bea [...]

As to the Elveenth, In relation to the Town of Edinburgh's being the chi [...] Metropolis of the Kingdom and the Seat of all the Judicatories. It is Answered That as the first is not denied, so quoad the Second it seems to be no good Argu­ment for what is now Craved: For it's too notour that the great Support of th [...] Town of Edinburgh, does chieflly arise from its being the Seat of the Judicato­ries of the Nation, and that therefore it is a bad Argument to draw such an Con­sequence as this, that their Supporters should be further burdened.

As to the Twelth, That the Brewars in Edinburgh do concurr by an Consen [...] under their Hands, and that no prejudice can arise to the Heretors by this ne [...] Imposition It is Answered, 1mo. It is denied that there is any general Consent [...] the Brewars of Edinburgh, but on the contrair most of them concur with these [...] the Shire, in opposition to what is now craved in behalf of the Good Town. 20 [...] any such Consent has been impetrate, it is upon design by a few of the Brewa [...] of Edinburgh, who are to become Tacksmen to the Good Town, if this ne [...] Imposition were granted, and would thereby ruine that Trade as to all othe [...] by inhauncing the same solely to themselves: And as an evidence thereof upo [...] enquiry, it will be found that they have preconcerted the Affair with the Goo [...] Town towards the carrying on of this design; and are to have an extraordinary advantage in the set thereof; and so to make this an argument to influence [...] Parliament in the present Claim of the Good Town is somewhat extraordinary and in behalf of the other Brewars is remitted to my Lord Commissioner [...] Grace and Honourable Estates their serious Confideration.

And lastly, As to the endurance of this Imposition for 30 years, the former [...] are Opponed: And albeit for satisfying my Lord Commissioner his [...] and the High Court of Parliament; the Brewars have offered particular An­swers to the foresaids Reasons; yet the same is in adherence to the General An­swers premised and which they humbly intreat in an matter of this moment And in an Case so circumstantiat may be seriously considered, and if any diffi­culty occcur in the premises; that my Lord Commissioner his Grace and [...] Honourable Estates will allow the Brewars an Hearing in plain Parliament especially feeing that what is now craved by the Town of Edinburgh as an Ex [...] upon both the Town and Country Brewars, will be upwards of 60000 lib. Se [...]t yearly, which in thirty years time arises to Eighten hundreth thousand pound Scots, besides the great Incomes the Town has, by their ordinary Reven [...]es and therefore such an exorbitant Grant will prove an unsupportable burden [...] the Brewars, the Inhabitants of the Burgh Heretors of the Shite, and all other repairing to the Town of Edinburgh, so of how dangerous Consequences might be as to the Interest of all the Leidges. is seriously remitted, as aforesaid to the Consideration of the High Court of Parliament.

In respect whereof,

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