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Act for Burying in Scots Linen

In the second session of the first Parliament of James VII, held at Edinburgh, Scotland, 1686, an Act was passed called the Act for Burying in Scots Linen,' in which it was ordained, for the encouragement of the linen manufactures within the kingdom, that no person whatsoever, of high or low degree, should be buried in any shirt, sheet, or anything else, except in plain linen or cloth, of Hards made and spun within the kingdom, and without lace or point. There was specially prohibited the use of Holland, or other linen cloth made in other kingdoms; and of silk, woollen, gold, or silver, or any other stuff than what was made of Hards spun and wrought within the kingdom, under the penalty of 300 pounds Scots for a nobleman, and 200 pounds for every other person for each offence. One-half of this penalty was to go to the informer, and the other half to the poor of the parish of where the body should be interred. And, for the better discovery of contraveners, it was ordained that every minister within the kingdom should keep an account and register of all persons buried in his parish. A certificate upon oath, in writing, duly attested by two 'famous' persons, was to be delivered by one of the relatives to the minister within eight days, declaring that the deceased person had been shrouded in the manner prescribed; which certificate was to be recorded without charge. The penalty was to be sued for by the minister before any judge competent; and if he should prove negligent in pursuing the contraveners within six months after the interment, he himself was liable for the said fine.

Reverend David Hogg, 1815-79.

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