[Overtures of the commissioners of the shires regarding voting in the election of officers of state, council and session]

Regarding the voting by way of billets and schedules

Our sovereign lord and the estates of parliament, considering that whereas his majesty, with their advice, has by an act of this parliament declared that he will nominate and choose all officers of state, councillors and sessioners by advice and approbation of parliaments, and in the interval between parliaments by advice of the lords of council and session respectively as the said act in itself at more length bears, and finding it expedient that their advice therein be given in to his majesty in the freest and most impartial way so that all occasions of gaining the favour or incurring the displeasure of the parties interested may be avoided as far as may be, have therefore statute and ordained that in the nomination and election of the said officers of state, councillors and sessioners by his majesty by advice and approbation either of the parliament or of the lords of council and session respectively the votes of those who have suffrage therein shall be gathered in such manner and by such persons as shall be appointed for the time by the parliament, council and session respectively, and taken by schedules or billets; which billets shall bear the words 'Allow' or 'Reject', the one or the other, to be used as the voter in his conscience shall find the party named to deserve. And thereafter all the schedules or papers being accounted, and the affirmatives compared with the negatives, the party nominated to that place shall either be accepted or refused as he shall be allowed or rejected by the most part of the votes in paper, and that no man offer to put in more papers than one, but that it be carefully looked to that the papers be equal in number with the voters present for the time. And this form to be observed in the election of persons for places only and no otherwise.

  1. NAS, PA6/4, 'September 22 1641'. Back