Act regarding docketing and presenting of signatures

Our sovereign lord, with advice and consent of the estates of parliament, considering that by the 20th act of his majesty's dearest father, King James VI, his 10th parliament, for avoiding the prejudice that did then arise by the subscribing of sundry signatures and letters at the importunate suit and desire of sundry persons, his highness not being informed or timely warned to the effect and contents thereof, therefore his majesty, with the advice of the estates convened in parliament, did statute and ordain that no signature nor letter whatsoever shall be presented to his majesty in time coming except by his ordinary officers to whom the same properly belongs or who have power of docketing or presenting by their patents, as the act at more length bears. And his majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, also considering how prejudicial it is to his majesty's honour and the peace and good of his majesty's subjects that signatures of one and the same thing without his majesty's certain knowledge shall pass his majesty's hands in favour of several persons or that letters of contrary tenors shall be signed by his majesty and directed to officers and judges within this kingdom, the only occasion thereof is that others than the said officers or their deputes or others foresaid to whom the same may belong take upon them to present signatures and letters to his majesty for their friends and acquaintances, either not knowing the former signature or letters of contrary strain, or of set knowledge to reverse what has been done before, without giving of true reasons or information to move his majesty to sign these signatures or wrest contrary letters. For remedy whereof, his majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, ratifies and appoints the foresaid act in all the points thereof, and declares that it shall not be lawful or permissible to any person or persons whatsoever to present any signature, writ, letter or warrant to be signed by his majesty except by the said ordinary officers to whose office the same properly belongs, and by others foresaid having power and warrant as said is. And that his majesty may the better know what passes his highness's hand, and upon what grounds and reasons he signs the same, it is expedient that any of the said officers that shall present any signature, writ, letter or warrant to be signed by his majesty shall cause register the docket of the same in a register, and send the just and authentic duplicate thereof subscribed with their hand to his majesty's secretary, who shall be obliged to give his majesty notice and timeous warning of any prior deed different or contrary to the posterior, that his majesty may either refuse the same or specify his majesty's certain knowledge for passing and signing thereof.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.209v-210r. Back