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, in presence of the estates of parliament this day convened, compeared personally Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, knight, his highness's advocate, and delivered to Robert [Balfour], lord [Balfour of] Burleigh, president chosen by 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 letter 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, and trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Whereas the great occasions of both kingdoms have necessitated diverse delays of the parliament of Scotland and now does again press us (contrary to what we expected) to a further prorogation thereof, to which we doubt not but you will be assisting since we do assure you we intend not to have any further prorogation, seeing the most material particulars of the treaty with your commissioners are already agreed and what remains is drawing towards a conclusion, and the better to put an end to all these unhappy differences which of late have bred so great a distraction amongst our subjects and to assure them of our hearty desire to remove all such impediments as may hinder the well and peace of that our ancient and native kingdom, we are resolved in our royal person to hold this parliament; therefore it is our pleasure you prorogue the said parliament until 15 July next, with continuation of days, and if any unexpected occasion shall detain us in this kingdom, which by all means possible we will eschew, we shall appoint a commissioner for the holding thereof at the day foresaid, at which time we will leave nothing undone which may conduce to the establishing of the true religion, laws and liberties of that kingdom, so expecting your ready obedience, we bid you farewell. From our court at Whitehall, 18 May 1641. Upon the production and reading whereof, and inserting of the same letter in manner above-written, the king's majesty's advocate asked instruments, and immediately thereafter [James Graham], earl of Montrose, in name of the noblemen, [Sir George Stirling], laird of Keir, in name of the commissioners of shires, and John Semple [of Stainflett], commissioner for the burgh of Dumbarton, 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 'a 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 'a commissioner' did nor does in no way point at the said Earl of Traquair as commissioner, and for eschewing of all misunderstanding which the generality of the words 'a commissioner' contained in the letter may imply, 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.64r-64v. Back