The Statutes at Large, from the Twelfth Year of Queen Anne, to the Fifth Year of King George I, Vol. XIII, An Act for the More Effectual Securing the Peace of the Highlands in Scotland 306, 306-7 (1716).


An actfor the more effectual securing the peace of the Highlands in Scotland.

WHEREAS the custom that has two 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 obstructed 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 assembled, 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 cuftody, use or bear broad sword, or target, poynard, whingar, 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 aforefaid, or to come into the Low-Countries armed, as aforesaid: 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 summarily, shall, for the first offence, forfeit all such arms, and be liable to a fine, not exceeding the sum of forty pounds ster-ling, 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 offender’s 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 juftices of the peace where such offenders shall be convicted, towards repairing the publick works within the said shire; and further, liable to a month’s imprisonment: and being convicted for a second offence before the court of justiciary, or before the judges at their circuit, shall forfeit such arms and be liable to a fine, not exceeding the sum of eighty pounds sterling, and not under the sum of ten pounds sterling; and for every subfequent offence, to a fine the 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."

Full Text: 1764, UK, The Statutes at Large—An Act for the More Effectual Securing the Peace of the Highlands in Scotland, § 1, (1716).

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Danby Pickering, ed.,  The Statutes at Large, from the Twelfth Year of Queen Anne, to the Fifth Year of King George I: To which Is Prefixed, a Table Containing the Titles of all the Statutes During that Period, Vol. XIII (Cambridge, UK: Joseph Bentham, 1764), 306-07. CAP. LIVAn Act for the more effectual securing the Peace of the Highlands in Scotland, Enacted November 1, 1716 (anno primo Georgii I).