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

The which day compeared personally, in presence of the estates of parliament convened in parliament, Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, knight, his majesty's advocate, 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 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 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 trusty and well-beloved councillors, we greet you well. Whereas formerly by our letters we were pleased to require you to prorogate the parliament of that our kingdom until 13 April next, your ready obedience in performance thereof as we cannot but take well at your hands, so we give you hearty thanks for the same. And now, as then, seeing for very considerable and intervening weighty occasions, we neither in our royal person nor by our commissioner can conveniently be present at the said day it is again our pleasure that you continue and prorogue the parliament to 25 May next, with continuation of days, to the end we may in the meantime the better dispose of such affairs here as may most conduce to the good of our service and settling of a firm and constant peace between both kingdoms, which seriously recommending to your cares, we bid you farewell. From our court at Whitehall, 23 March 1641 in the Scottish writing style. Upon production and reading whereof, and inserting of the tenor of the same letter in manner above-written, the king's majesty's advocate asked instruments.

And immediately thereafter [John Erskine], earl of Mar, in name of the noblemen, Sir John Hamilton of Preston, in name of the commissioners of shires, and Master Alexander Jaffray [of Kingswells], commissioner for the burgh of Aberdeen, 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 acknowledgement upon the part of the estates that [John Stewart], earl of Traquair, late commissioner, is in any way 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 certain 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 not nor in any way does 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.61v-62r. Back