Letter: king's letter to parliament and protests against
Act 2
Instruments upon production of the king's letter; protestation for the estates

The which day compeared personally Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, knight baronet, in presence of the estates of parliament and delivered to the said Robert [Balfour], lord [Balfour of] Burleigh, president chosen to this meeting of estates in parliament, a letter from his sacred majesty's to the noblemen, barons, commissioners of shires and burghs of his majesty's parliament in Scotland, which the said lord president received in all humility and caused to be publicly read in presence of the whole estates now convened, whereof the tenor follows:

Charles Rex, right trusty and well-beloved cousins and councillors, right trusty and well-beloved cousins, right trusty and well-beloved councillors, right trusty and well-beloved, trusty and well-beloved councillors, and trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Whereas for sundry great and weighty occasions much importing the good of our service we cannot with conveniency be present in our royal person, nor send our commissioner at this time for holding the parliament in that our native and ancient kingdom of Scotland, as likewise by reason of the absence of many of the nobility and others of whose judgment and fidelity we have great confidence, and who cannot without much difficulty repair so suddenly thither, it is therefore our pleasure that you continue and prorogue the parliament until 13 April next, with continuation of days, to the effect we may in the meantime maturely conclude and resolve upon such things as may most conduce to the good of our service and peace and true happiness of that our kingdom which always has been and still is one of our chief cares, wherein expecting your ready obedience, which we will acknowledge as very acceptable service, we bid you farewell. From our court at Whitehall, 31 December 1640. Upon the production and reading whereof and inserting of the tenor of the same letter in manner above-written, [Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall], the king's majesty's advocate, asked instruments, and immediately thereafter [James Graham], earl of Montrose, in name of the noblemen, Sir George Stirling of Keir, knight, in name of the commissioners of shires, and William Reid, bailie of Edinburgh, in name of the commissioners of burghs, protested that the naming of his majesty's commissioner, designed in the foresaid letter 'our commissioner', shall in no way import acknowledgment upon the part of the estates that [John Stewart], earl of Traquair, late commissioner, is in any way to be understood to be that commissioner whom his majesty terms by the name of 'our commissioner', by reason he is indicted to the parliament as an incendiary or for some other crimes, and declared that this protestation they make out of an assured confidence of his majesty's justice and goodness, that his majesty's naming of 'our commissioner' did nor does in any way point at the said Earl of Traquair as commissioner and for eschewing ambiguity in the word 'our commissioner' contained in the letter and that in all humility and without intention of offence to his majesty, which protestation the said estates have admitted and admit.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.59v-60r. Back