[Remonstrance of the lord constable to the parliament regarding the jurisdiction and privileges of his office]

Remonstrance for the lord constable to the parliament

The humble remonstrance of the Erle of Erroll, heigh constable of Scotland, wnto the supreme court of parliament now conveined.

It is in all humilitie represented wnto the estates of parliament that if thair wer any necessitie for the lord constable at this tyme to dispute his rightis and priveledges dew to that office, or if any member of the parliament did doubt or wer not acquented with the saidis priviledges, it weld be maid cleirlie to appeir that the lord constable is only supreme judge in all matters of ryot, disordor, blood and slaughter committit within four myles of the kingis royall persone, parliament or counsell, representing the auctoritie royall in his majesties absence. And the proveist and baillies of that burghe and all uthairs judges quhair the saidis facts ar committit ar obleist to ryse and concurre and mak thair tolbuithes patent for resaveing of malefactours and, particularly, this might be maid appeir by bandis maid be the towne of Edinburgh to the lord constable concerning that purpose. Lykas the constable hes diverse decreits againes the towne of Edinburgh in foro contradictorio dischargeing them from censureing of any matteris of slaughter, blood or ryot within four myles of his majesties persone, parliament or counsell.

Item, the lord constable hes the chairge, trust, keiping and guarding of the kingis royall persone and of the parliament hous quhair the estaites and peires of the land ar conveined in tyme of parliament, with many wther priviledges dew to that place. Bot seing thair is no necessitie to dispute any rycht or priveledge dew to that office at this tyme, the samyn being notour to the estaites of parliament, the constable abstenes and desires not to be drawin to any wnnecessar dispute heiranent, bot in all humilitie represents to the parliament that, seing the lord constable is ane of the pryme officers of the crowne, the mantaneing and vindicating of his power and priviledges does verie neirly concerne the honor of the natioun and the estates of the kingdome as being a place of such trust and eminencie, quhairin the constable, being a servand to his majestie and the parliament, they ar obleist to protect and mantene the priveledges of that service. And seing the towne of Edinburghe confesses in thair awin bill that they have nor pretendis no entres in the matter now contravened concerneing Maister Thomas Lambe, inrespect it is graunted be the towne of Edinburgh in their awin bill that the fact was committed without their boundis and liberties, it is humblie desired that the lord constable may have warrand to proceid to the tryall and punisheing of that slaughter committit be the said Maistir Thomas as the only competent judge thairto, seing it is wncontravertable that the power of all magistrats, athair of royaltie or regalitie in crimenall causis, sleipes and ceids to the lord constables jurisdictioun in tyme of parliament. And it wer a great derogatioun to the honor of the kingis majestie and parliament if any inferiour judge should have the power of cognosceing and jurisdictioun in matters crimenall, quhair his majesties persone, parliament or supreme counsell sittis, becaus these supreme judicatories represents his majesties awin persone and the bodie of the kingdome owir quhom no inferiour judge should have power of jurisdictioun. Nather should the towne of Edinburgh be admittit to appeir or have athair any declaratioun or protestatioun in thair favours, seing in the particular now contraverted they confes they have no entres as said is, inrespect the towne of Edinburgh graunts that the slaughter was committed upon boundis which is without their jurisdictione and liberties.

5 Augusti 1641

Produced be the Earle of Erroll and red in parliament and answered upoun the supplicatione thairwith exhibited.

  1. NAS, PA6/4, 'August 5 1641'. Back
  2. This clause is written on the rear of the document. Back
  3. This clause is written on the rear of the document. Back