Legislation: private act
Act of ratification and exoneration in favour of [Archibald Campbell], earl of Argyll

Our sovereign lord and estates of parliament, considering that there was a commission granted by the committee from the estates of parliament, with consent of the general, of the date at Edinburgh, 12 June 1640, making mention that forasmuch as it being then most necessary for the well of the religion and peace of the country that all the domestic enemies thereof with all expedition should be suppressed and taken order with that they should not trouble the peace of the country or harm the friends thereof, but that they might be brought to that duty which became Christians and countrymen, if it were possible, or otherwise to go against them to their utter rooting out in all hostile manner. And because then [John Murray], earl of Atholl, [James Ogilvie], lord Ogilvie and their accomplices and assistants, as well in Atholl as in the braes of Angus, the Farquharsons in Braemar and their accomplices, and others, the then enemies and opposites in Badenoch, Lochaber and Rannoch, had then not only proven enemies to religion but also had proven unnatural to their country in disjoining from those who stood for the maintenance of religion and the liberties of this kingdom, and had drawn themselves together in arms, had fortified their houses and awaited opportunity to fall on by themselves or to join with others, as well native as foreigners and strangers, to the overthrow of this kirk and kingdom, at the least in so far as then in them lies. For remedy whereof, the said committee from the estates of parliament, with consent of the general, by their said commission gave full power, warrant and commission to Archibald, earl of Argyll, lord Campbell and Lorne, to rise in arms against the said earl of Atholl and his accomplices and assistants in Atholl or elsewhere, and against the said Lord Ogilvie and his accomplices and assistants in the braes of Angus, and against the Farquharsons foresaid and others, the opposites in Braemar, Badenoch, Lochaber and Rannoch and to pursue them and every one of them in all hostile manner with fire and sword until he should either bring them to their bound duty and give assurance of the same he pledges, or otherwise or else to the utter subduing and rooting them out of the country; and for that effect to levy and draw together in one or more bodies as he should think fit such numbers of men within the sheriffdom of Argyll in arms as he should find sufficient for the said employment, and also with power to the said Earl of Argyll, or those having power and warrant from him, with consent of the commissary-general, to intromit with the rents and goods of the said persons opposite to the common cause, to be applied for the maintenance of the said earl's forces who were with him in the said expedition, and with command to the sub-commissioners and others entrusted in the common affairs to cause furnish them in manner specified in the said commission, as the said commission of the date foresaid at more length bears. By virtue of the which commission, and for the faithful discharge thereof, the said Archibald, earl of Argyll, after his acceptation of the same, did rise in arms and levy and draw out together the number of 4,000 men in arms, whose rendezvous were at Inveraray and Clachandysart in Glenorchy, 18 June 1640, and went therefrom to the fields through the bounds and parts of Atholl, braes of Angus, Braemar, Badenoch, Lochaber and Rannoch, and was abroad in the fields with the said army in arms in executing of the said commission from the said day of rendezvous above-written continually to 2 August next, thereafter that he returned home by the space of 44 days continually, during all that space doing his exact diligence to bring the foresaid persons and others within the bounds foresaid to their bound duty and conformity and to suppress them that they troubled not the peace of the country, and did diverse acts and facts for that effect, whereby the said earl of Atholl and the men of Atholl and diverse other great clans and other persons were brought to conformity and made to find caution and give bonds and pledges to keep peace and good order, and to compear and answer before the committee, and others who were disobedient and that would not so do were forced gave out several warrants and commissions for taking order with some persons that fled away and came not in to give their obedience, and before he left the fields he left sundry garrisons both on the fields and in houses belonging to some of the said enemies for keeping of the peace of the country, who remained therein for the space of several weeks and months thereafter. Likewise there were diverse other deeds done by the said earl and his army during the said space for settling the disorders in these parts and bringing of the people thereof to conformity, in manner at length specially and particularly mentioned and set down in a particular report made by the said Archibald, earl of Argyll of his execution of the said commission, first given in by the said earl to the foresaid committee from the estates and to the general at the castle of Duns, 15 August 1640, and thereafter given in by him to the committee of estates at Edinburgh upon 25 August 1640, and duly ratified and approved by them the same day, as the said report or account made by the said earl, ratification and allowance thereof granted by the said committee of estates of the date foresaid at more length bears. Likewise the said Archibald, earl of Argyll has given a particular account of all the victual or goods either furnished to the army by the under-commissaries and others whatsoever or taken by the army for their maintenance or dealt or intromitted with by the said earl or by any of his lordship's commanders, or by the army, by his lordship's or their direction, of the goods and gear pertaining to those who were refractory and disobedient, as the particular account duly fitted by the auditors of the common burdens of this kingdom upon 3 April last, and ratified and approved by the said committee of estates resident at Edinburgh by their act of 8 April likewise at more length bear. Therefore our said sovereign lord and estates of parliament have ratified and approved and, by this act, ratifies and approves the said commission granted by the said committee from the estates of parliament, with consent of the general, to the said Archibald, earl of Argyll in manner, form and to the effect above-mentioned of the date foresaid, in the whole heads and articles of the same, and declare the same to be of as great force, strength and validity as if the same had been granted by the whole estates in open parliament. As also ratify and approve the said account and accounts, report and reports made by the said earl and given in by the said committee of estates of the dates above-written, and ratified and approved by them in manner foresaid, in the whole heads and points thereof respectively, as well concerning his lordship's diligence in executing the foresaid commission as regarding the victual and goods above-mentioned furnished, taken and intromitted with as said is; and will and ordain that this present general ratification of the premises is, and shall be, as effectual and sufficient to the said Earl of Argyll and his foresaids as if the said commission, accounts and reports foresaid and former ratification of the same hereby generally ratified as said is, and whole tenors and contents thereof, had been all at length contained herein and hereby specially ratified, notwithstanding that the same be not so specially done, with the which which our said sovereign lord and estates of parliament have dispensed and by this act dispense for ever; and find and declare that the said Archibald, earl of Argyll has faithfully executed the said commission granted and entrusted to him by the said committee of estates, and has done and performed all things in the executing thereof which was conducible and fit for the reducing of the disobedients to conformity and obedience, and for establishing of the peace, quiet and security of that part of this kingdom which was within the compass of the said commission, and that the said earl has done good, faithful and acceptable service to the whole estates of this kingdom in the premises. And further declares the said earl, his heirs and successors and all and sundry the commanders of the said army and the whole body and every member of the army and person thereof, their heirs and successors, to be free, liberated and exonerated of all and whatsoever action, claim, question and pursuit, criminal or civil, which may be intended, moved or pursued against the said earl, his commanders and army or any member, person or persons thereof and their foresaids, by whatsoever person or persons of whatsoever degree or quality for whatsoever goods, gear, corns, cattle, horses and other goods and gear whatsoever dealt with by them or any of them from the said 18 June 1640 to the said 2 August next thereafter, or for apprehending of whatsoever persons, putting or detaining them in ward, prison or captivity for whatsoever space or spaces, or for directing out of the warrants and commissions against any of the said enemies and opponents who fled or refused to come in and give their obedience, or for taking of whatsoever castles and houses and levying of garrisons therein or in the fields, or for taking of bonds or pledges of the persons contained in the said commission, or for demolishing or dismantling of whatsoever tower, fortalice or other houses whatsoever, or demolishing of the same to the ground or burning of the same or putting of fire therein, or otherwise sacking or destroying of the same howsoever, or for putting of whatsoever person or persons to torture or question or putting of any person or persons to death at any time between the said 18 June and the said 2 August next thereafter. And declare this act to be a sufficient warrant to all and whatsoever judges, civil or criminal, for exonerating and absolving the said Earl of Argyll and all and whatsoever his colonels, captains, commanders and whole body of the army and whole persons of the same, and to their servants, men, boys and followers in the said army during the space foresaid from all and whatsoever such pursuit, criminal or civil, and to be received and admitted by way of exception, reply or duply without any further process, and declare and determine this act to have the force of an act and statute of parliament from the date of the said commission to the date hereof and in all time coming.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.170r-172v. Back
  2. The original warrant, at NAS, PA6/5, 'November 15 1641', contains the following words: 'to flee and their houses were demolished and dismantled, others demolished and burnt. And the said earl as commissioner foresaid'. Back