ACT FOR POLL MONEY.
JUNE XXVII. M.DC.XCV.
THE Estates of Parliament Taking to their Consideration, that in regard of the great and eminent Dangers that threaten this Kingdom from fforeign Enemies, and intestine disaffection, and the designs of evil men, and that our Coasts are not sufficiently secured against Privateers ; and that therefore it is necessary that a compleat number of standing forces be maintained, and Ships of Warr provided for its necessary defence ; as also Considering, that beside the Supply upon the Land rent, other fonds will be requisite for the forsaid end, Do for one of these fonds freely and cheerfully offer to his Majesty an Subsidy to be uplifted by way of Pole money, And for maling of which offer effectual, His Majesty with advice and Consent of the Estates of Parliament forsaid Doth Statute and Ordain that all persons of whatsoever age, sex, or quality, shall be subject and liable to a pole of Six shilling, except poor persons who live upon charity, and the children under the age of Sixteen years, and in familia of all these persons, whose pole doth not exceed one pound ten shilling Scots.
THAT beside the said six shilling imposed upon all the persons that are not excepted, a Cottar having a trade shall pay six shilling more, making in the haill twelve shilling for every such Cottar.1
THAT for each Servant shall be payed by the Master, for which the Master is impowered to retain the fourtieth part of his yearly fee, wherof bountieth2 to be reckoned a part (excepting livery cloaths) in the number of which Servants are understood, all who receave wage or bountieth for any work or imployment whatsoever, for the term of the year. As they have, or shall serve, and in case they be not alimented in familia with their Masters, then if they be not above the degree of a Cottar or Hynd, they are to have two third part of wages and bountieth, or if above the said degree on third part of wages and bountieth, first deduced for their aliment.
THAT all Seamen pay twelve shilling Scots in name of pole.
1 The word grassman, which occurs frequently throughout the Poll Book, is said by Jamieson to mean "one who possesses a house in the country without any land". He adds, this word, though now not in general use, is perfectly intelligible to elderly people in Aberdeenshire. According to their accounts, girsman and cottar were terms exactly synonymous. [Scot. Dict. Supplement, p 474, voce Gerssman.]
2 Bounteth. It now generally signifies what is given to servants in addition to their wages. It must have originally denoted something optional to the master. But bounteth is now stipulated in the engagement not less than the hire. [Jamieson, Scot. Dict. P. 141.]
THAT all Tennents pay in name of pole to the King the hundred
part of the valued rent payable by them to the Master of the Land, and
appoynts the Master of the Ground to adjust the proportions of this
pole amongst his Tennents, according to the respective duties payable
by them in money or victual, effeiring to his valued rent.
THAT all Merchants, whether Seamen, Shopkeepers, Chapmen, Tradesmen, and others, whose free stock and means, (not including workmens toolls, household plenishing, nor stocks of Tennents upon the ffarms and possessions), is above five hundred merks, and doth not extend to five thousand merks, shall be subject and lyable to two pound ten shilling of poll.
AND that all these (not including as above) whose free stock and means is above five thousand merks, and does not extend to ten thousand merks, shall be subject to four pounds of pole.
THAT all Merchants, whither Seamen, Shopkeepers, Chapmen, Tradesmen, and others (not including as above) whose free estate and stock extends to, or is above thousand merks in worth and value, shall be lyable to ten pounds of pole.
THAT all Gentlemen so holden and repute, and owning themselves to be such, and who will not renounce and pretence they have to be such, and which renunciation shall be recorded in the Herauld Register gratis, shall be subject and lyable to three pound of pole money, if they be not otherwise classed, and upon another consideration be subject to a greater poll.
THAT all Heretors of twenty pounds, and below fifty pounds of valued rent, be subject and lyable to twenty shillings of pole money.
THAT all Heretors of fifty pounds, and below two hundred pounds of valued rent, be subject and lyable to four pounds of pole money.
THAT all Heretors of two hundred pounds, and under five hundred pounds of valued rent, be lyable to nyne pounds of pole money.
THAT all Heretors of five hundred pounds or above the same, and under one thousand pounds of valued rent, be subject and lyable to twelve pounds of pole money, and that they pay halfe a croun for each of their male children living in familia.
THAT all Heretors of one thousand pounds of valued rent, and above the same, and all Knight Barronets, and Knights, be subject and lyable to twenty four pounds of pole money, and that they pay for each of their male children in familia three pounds.
THAT all Lords pay fourtie pounds of pole money.
THAT all Viscounts pay fifty pounds of pole money.
THAT all Earles pay sixty pounds of pole money.
THAT all Marquesses pay eighty pounds of pole money.
THAT all Dukes pay an hundred pounds of pole.
THAT the Sons of Noblemen pay according to their ranks, viz. : All Dukes eldest Sones as Marquesses, and their youngest Sones as Earles ; all Marquesses eldest Sones as Earles, and their youngest Sones as Viscounts ; all Earles eldest Sones as Viscounts, and their youngest Sones shall be lyable in twenty four pounds of pole ; all Viscounts and Lords Sones shall be lyable in twenty four pounds of pole.
THAT all Widowes whose husbands wold have been lyable to one pound ten shilling or above, are to be subject and lyable to a third part of their husbands pole, except Heiresses, who shall be subject to the same pole their predicessors would have been.
THAT all Nottars and Procurators before Inferiour Courts, and Messingers at Arms, are to be subject and lyable to four pound of pole money.
THAT all Writers not to the Signet, Agents and Clerks of Inferiour Civil Courts, and Macers and under Clerks of Session, shall pay six pounds of pole money.
THAT all Advocats, Clerks of Soveraign Courts, Writers to the Signet, Shirriffs and their Deputs, Commissars and their Deputs, Doctors of Medicine, Apothecaries, Chyrurgeons, and others repute Doctors of Medicine, pay twelve pounds of pole.
THAT all Commissionat officers of the Army upon Scots pay shall be lyable in two days pay for their pay.
THAT all persons who are to pay the said respective poles, though they be poled in different capacities, are only to pay at the highest rate above mentioned, and that allwayes over and above the general pole.
AND for the better stating, ordering and uplifting of the said pole, His Majesty with advice forsaid Statutes and Ordains that the Comissioners of Assessment or their Quorum, shall meet and conveen at the ordinar place of their meeting, upon the second Tuesday of August, One thousand six hundred and nyntie five years ; or shall appoynt such other Heritors as they shall think fitt, and there shall divide the whole Comissioners, whether present or absent, or shall appoynt such other Heritors as they shall think fitt, into such divisiones as they shall think meet, appoynting Paroches one or more, or Comissioners one or more, as they shall see convenient, to meet the last Tuesday of the said moneth of August, at the respective places to be appoynted, impowering the saids Comissioners to take up Rolls and Lists of all the poleable persons within the respective bounds appoynted to them, containing the names, qualities and degrees of the severall persons, and of the value of the estates belonging to them conform to the said act. And ordains the Magistrats of Burrowes Royal to meet the third Tuesday of the said moneth of August, and to take up Rolls and Lists of all the poleable people within the respective Burghs, containing their names qualities and degrees, and the value of their Estates ; And which Commissioners and Magistrats of Burghs, are to give intimation at the Kirk door upon a Sunday, upon three dayes warning at least to the persons being poled, to compear before them at the Paroch Church, and give up their names, qualities, degrees, and values of their Estates, to the effect the respective poles may be stated and set doun by the said Commissioner, or Commissioners of Assessment, or Magistrats of Burghs respective, and which Rolls the said persons are to give up, or send under their hand, if they can write, otherwise if they cannot write, their name, quality, degree, and Estate shall be marked by the Clerk, as they gave it up, excepting tennents whose names, and the pole money payable by them, shall be given and sent by their masters under their hand, with Certification, that such as do not compear, or send under their hands their names, qualities, and and value of their Estates, or do so give up their quality, degree, or value of their Estate, otherwayes than it should be, they shall be lyable in the quadruple of their pole, the equal halfe of whereof shall belong to the informer, who shall make the same appear. And which Lists and Rolls, being so made up within the respective Subdivisions, shall be recorded and booked in a Register of the Shire or Burgh for that purpose : Whereof there shall be an Abstract sent to the Lords of the Thesaury, betuixt and the first of October One thousand six hundred nynty five years, containing the number of the persons in the several Ranks and Classes above specifyed, with the extent of their pole.
AND his Majesty with advice and consent of the saids Estates of Parliament, Ordains the forsaid pole money to be paid at the term of Martimass, One thousand six hundred nynty five years, or within thirty days thereafer, at the respective Paroch Kirks, where, the persons concerned dwell, for which discharges are to be given to the Payers gratis, and requires the Commissioners of Assessment and Magistrats of Burghs, or the farmers, in case the same shall be sett in farm, to cause intimation to be made for the payment therof, at the Kirk doors of the severall Paroch Kirks upon the first Sunday of October, One thousand six hundred nynty five. Certifying such as shall not make punctual payment at the said term of Martinmass, One thousand six hundred ninty five, or within the said thirty dayes therafter, shall be lyable in the double, if paying within other thirty dayes therafter, or if failzing after both the saids thirty dayes, in the quadruple their pole : And ordains execution to be used against them for the same, by poynding of their readiest goods, or imprisoning their persons ; the forsaid poynding and imprisonment allwayes proceeding upon the Sentence of one of the Commissioners for the assessment, or any other inferior Judge where the person lives.
LIKEAS his majesty with advice and consent forsaid, hereby impowers the Lords of Privy Council, to order and appoynt such further methods and courses as they shall judge fit, for stating and inbringing of the pole money aforsaid, and to allow out of the said pole money such charges and expenses as shall be necessary for execution of this Act.
AND his Majesty and Estates forsaid do hereby strictly appropriat, destinat and appoynt the sums to be raised by this Act, for the ends and uses above specifyed, conform to his Majesties Letter, wherof three hundred thousand pound to be bestowed in the first place, for provyding and mantaining of the Ships of Warr for one year, And which money the Lords of the Thesaury are hereby Ordained to furnish and answer to the Commissioners of Admirality, when called for, to the effect above specifyed : And also the Lords of Privy Council are hereby fully impowered to decide and determine all questions and difficulties hereby undetermined, that may arise anent the premises.
AND lastly it is hereby declared, that no persons lyable in payment in this pole shall be holden to produce their discharges, or receipts of the same after the term of Martinmass One thousand six hundred nynty six years, conform to his Mats Letter.