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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

Rebels and conspirators against the said John Faw


[57] I have taken the liberty of translating the various extracts from the Scottish acts of parliament, quoted in this chapter, as the original language is not very intelligible to English or even Scottish readers. For doing this, I may be denounced as a Vandal by the ultra Scotch, for so treating such "rich old Doric," as the language of the period may be termed.--ED.

"James, by the grace of God, King of Scots: To our sheriffs of Edinburgh, principal and within the constabulary of Haddington, Berwick, Roxburgh, &c., &c.; provosts, aldermen, and baillies of our burghs and cities of Edinburgh, &c., &c., greeting: Forasmuch as it is humbly meant and shown to us, by our loved John Faw, Lord and Earl of Little Egypt, that whereas he obtained our letter under our great seal, direct you all and sundry our said sheriffs, stewarts, baillies, provosts, aldermen, and baillies of burghs, and to all and sundry others having authority within our realm, to assist him in execution of justice upon his company and folk, conform to the laws of Egypt, and in punishing of all them that rebel against him: nevertheless, as we are informed, Sebastiane Lalow Egyptian, one of the said John's company, with his accomplices and partakers under written, that is to say, Anteane Donea, Satona Fingo, Nona Finco, Phillip Hatseyggaw, Towla Bailyow, Grasta Neyn, Geleyr Bailyow, Bernard Beige, Demeo Matskalla (or Macskalla), Notfaw Lawlowr, Martyn Femine,

rebels and conspirators against the said John Faw, and have removed them all utterly out of his company, and taken from him divers sums of money, jewels, clothes and other goods, to the quantity of a great sum of money; and on nowise will pass home with him, howbeit he has bidden and remained of long time upon them, and is bound and obliged to bring home with him all them of his company that are alive, and a testimony of them that are dead: and as the said John has the said Sebastiane's obligation, made in Dunfermline before our master household, that he and his company should remain with him, and on nowise depart from him, as the same bears: In contrary to the tenor of which, the said Sebastiane, by sinister and wrong information, false relation, circumvention of us, has purchased our writings, discharging him and the remnant of the persons above written, his accomplices and partakers of the said John's company, and with his goods taken by them from him; causes certain our lieges assist them and their opinions, and to fortify and take their part against the said John, their lord and master; so that he on nowise can apprehend nor get them, to have them home again within their own country, after the tenor of his said bond, to his heavy damage and _skaith_ (hurt), and in great peril of losing his heritage, and expressly against justice: Our will is, therefore, and we charge you straightly and command that . . . . . . . . . . ye and every one of you within the bounds of your offices, command and charge all our lieges, that none of them take upon hand to reset, assist, fortify, supply, maintain, defend, or take part with the said Sebastiane and his accomplices above written, for no body's nor other way, against the said John Faw, their lord and master; but that they and ye, in likewise, take and lay hands upon them wherever they may be apprehended, and bring them to him, to be punished for their demerits, conform to his laws; and help and fortify him to punish and do justice upon them for their trespasses; and to that effect lend him your prisons, stocks, fetters, and all other things necessary thereto, as ye and each of you, and all other our lieges, will answer to us thereupon, and under all highest pain and charge that after may follow: So that the said John have no cause of complaint thereupon in time coming, nor to resort again to us to that effect, notwithstanding any our writings, sinisterly purchased or to be purchased, by the said Sebastiane on the contrary: And also charge all our lieges that none of them molest, vex, unquiet, or trouble the said John Faw and his company, in doing their lawful business, or otherwise, within our realm, and in their passing, remaining, or away-going forth of the same, under the pain above written: And such-like that ye command and charge all skippers, masters and mariners of all ships within our realm, at all ports and havens where the said John and his company shall happen to resort and come, to receive him and them therein, upon their expenses, for furthering of them forth of our realm to the parts beyond sea, as you and each of them such-like will answer to us thereupon, and under the pain aforesaid. Subscribed with our hand, and under our privy seal at Falkland, the fifteenth day of February, and of our reign the 28th year."[58]


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