[Supplication of Mr Archibald Johnston, procurator for the kirk, for exoneration of his carriage in the treaty negotiations]

To the king's most excellent majesty and the right honourable the estates of parliament, the humble supplication of Master Archibald Johnston, procurator for the kirk,

Humbly showing,

That as it pleased the Lord, who is the framer and searcher of hearts, to make it my greatest desire in this life to be in any degree according to my weakness the meanest instrument of his service in this great work for the good of the kirk and state, so it pleased his majesty in his providence to move and incline the hearts of the assemblies of this kirk and of the estates of parliament to put trust, favour and employment upon their unworthy and weak servant, even in the most important and difficult passages of this work, far beyond his ability, deserving or expectation, which made me the more earnest with God in prayer and in the endeavours before men to prove thankful, faithful and useful in these employments. And whereas in the parliament of June 1640 the estates were pleased to give to me an ample testimony and to command me to attend the committee at the camp in case of a necessity of new treaties or public declarations for to show forth the reasons of or prejudices against their demands and proceedings in assembly and parliament, as the act for the committee of estates at more length purports; likewise the committee of estates was pleased to employ their servant with others in the treaty of peace begun at Ripon and transferred to London, and therein to continue me under that burden and charge until all the articles were debated and the conclusion of the treaty nears an end in June last, at which time upon command of the committees I returned home and rendered to them for the space of three days together a full account of our whole debates and proceedings and the reasons thereof. Whereupon they, having particularly examined me in several interrogatories, they seemed to give to me their exoneration and approbation, to which I acquiesced for the time. But seeing I perceive now by the supplications of all others who have been employed in that commission that they are to receive their censure or approbation in plain parliament, I desire not to shun a re-examination however exact, but do most willingly and humbly submit myself and whole actions and deportments through the whole passages of this work and specially in this last weighty and great charge to the consideration of his gracious majesty and of your lords, that if I have been unfaithful and negligent in discharge of my duty and obedience to the commandments and instructions given to me, and especially in that particular trust from the estates of showing the reasons of their demands and proceedings in assembly and parliament and the prejudices against either of them, or if I have for fears of any hazard or hope of any benefit, preferment or anything else whatsoever done anything in contrary to their instructions or prejudicial to the public, that I may undergo that censure which the wrongdoers of the country and abusers of such great trust deserves. And if your majesty and this honourable house shall find that I have been faithful and diligent according to my knowledge and conscience (albeit with great weakness and many infirmities) in that charge and trust laid upon me then do I in all humility beg, that seeing by God's assistance and blessing the treaty of peace is closed and seeing my employment in this public business is now at an end, that before I return to my private affairs and calling from the which these four years I have been continually distracted, I may obtain from his gracious majesty and your lords an exoneration of that charge and an approbation of my former carriage to be joined to an inward testimony of a good conscience before God, whose divine majesty I dare in all humility be bold to attest as the sole author and true witness of my greatest desire and endeavour to approve myself before God and man as a faithful and diligent servant to himself, to the kirk, the king and to the estate in this his great work and that without fears, hopes, particular designs, self aims or other respects whatsoever. And the answer of his gracious majesty and this honourable house most humbly I crave.

  1. NAS, PA6/4, 'September 25 1641'. Back