[Opening of session; president of parliament elected; letter from the king read]

At Edinburgh, 13 April 1641, to the which day and place the parliament was continued by the last act of continuation thereof dated 14 January 1641.

[George Gordon], lord Gordon present for [Gilbert Hay, earl of Erroll], constable, [William Forbes], master of Forbes present for [William Keith, earl Marischal], marischal, Master William Wallace present for the sheriff of Edinburgh, [John White], dempster, present.

The estates of parliament this day convened being placed and set down in plain parliament.

Master Alexander Gibson, one of the clerks of parliament, did publicly make known to the estates that seeing the king's majesty or a commissioner for his majesty was not present, they in respect thereof should make election of a president.

Whereupon after it was put in voting who should preside, the whole estate now convened with an uniform consent elected and chose Robert [Balfour], lord [Balfour of] Burleigh to be president in this their meeting in parliament. Which place the said Lord Burleigh (in respect of the election foresaid) accepted in and upon him.

Thereafter Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, knight, his majesty's advocate, delivered to the said Robert, lord Burleigh, president chosen to this meeting of estates in parliament in presence of the estates, a letter from his sacred majesty to the noblemen, barons, commissioners of shires and burghs of his majesty 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:

(Here to insert his majesty's letter)

  1. NAS, PA6/3, 'April 13 1641', f.1r-1v. Back
[Protest against king's letter; continuation of parliament; act read and approved; instruments taken]

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 [John Erskine], earl of Mar, in name of the noblemen, Sir John Hamilton of Preston, knight, 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 acknowledgment upon the part of the estate 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 goodness and justice that his majesty's naming of 'our commissioner' did nor does in no 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. This being done the said Robert [Balfour], lord [Balfour of] Burleigh, president chosen as said is, did publicly propose to the estates now convened their consideration of the expediency of the continuation of this present parliament Which was put in voting and was agreed by uniform consent of the estates now convened that this present parliament should be continued to 25 May next, with continuation of days, and that an act should be made thereupon for this effect of this tenor following:

The estates of parliament, presently convened by his majesty's special authority, continue this present parliament and all summons and actions intended or depending with all supplications, grievances and other matters belonging to the foresaid parliament to 25 May next, with continuation of days; and that for satisfaction of his majesty's gracious desire signified by his majesty's letter directed to the estates to that effect bearing date 23 March 1641, and also for sundry grave and weighty considerations concerning the well of the estate, kirk and kingdom known by the estates, at the which 25 May next ordain the whole estates to be present and to attend at Edinburgh or where it shall happen the same to be held for the time, without prejudice always of the power granted to the committees of estate contained in the act of this present parliament made relating thereto dated 11 June last and mentioned in the two last acts of continuation thereof, the one bearing date 19 November 1640 and the other 14 January 1641. And in the meantime the estates declare the said parliament to be current to the effect above-written to the day foresaid, with continuation of days, and ordain the whole acts and statutes made and concluded in plain parliament in that session thereof in June past, together with all former acts of continuation made by the said estates, to stand and have the force and strength of laws and acts, according to the tenors thereof, in the same way as any acts or statutes of any preceding parliaments in any time bygone, and namely (without prejudice of the generality foresaid), the act of the committee of estates to stand in full force in all the clauses thereof until it be discharged by the estates, and ordain the foresaid acts, with the act of election of Robert, lord Burleigh to be president at this meeting of estates, together with this present act of continuation, to be published and printed, according to the last act of continuation of the date foresaid, notwithstanding of this present continuation of the parliament, to the day above-written.

Which act of continuation, being publicly read in presence of the estates now convened as said is, the same was voted and unanimously agreed to by the said estates.

Whereupon the said Robert, lord Burleigh, president above-written, in name of the whole estate, asked instruments.

Burleigh, president, in presence of the lords of parliament

  1. NAS, PA6/3, 'April 13 1641', f.1r-1v. Back