[Petition of Alexander Cunningham for reparation of his losses]

To the most honourable lords and commissioners of parliament, the humble petition of Alexander Cunningham of Crail.

The generous and noble deportment of your honours in the matter of the covenant and this great work and particular passages thereof following thereupon as it is famous abroad, so is it gracious at home to those especially who have given proof of their sincerity in the business. All do know the violence used of late years in England and Ireland against our countrymen by pressing them to give oaths prejudicial to that great oath of the covenant, which made many to shrink. And few are ignorant of the danger and detriment which your petitioner has sustained by refusing of the said oaths and constant opposing to all temptations of that nature, in so far as for this cause I have been kept prisoner in the fleet at London under great misery and hazard, often assaulted with all possible temptations to quit my covenant, by the space of 18 months or thereby, during which time I have lost the benefit of my salt commodity (wherein I did trade the time of my imprisonment), extending to the worth of £100 sterling, with £90 sterling of necessary charges, and the loss of my calling during that space, amounting to £200 sterling, in addition to £40 sterling to the officers of the jail, which is in all £430 sterling, for which I will be troubled if ever hereafter they shall apprehend me at London. These losses do not so much grieve me as the gain of a good conscience does please me, yet understanding that your honours are very aware of the subjects' distresses of this kind and careful to remedy the same, and in regard these sufferings do much weaken if not threaten to ruin my mean estate,

May it therefore please your honours to take my estate and condition with the nature and circumstances thereof to your grave and serious consideration, and so to examine and determine therein as by reparation of my losses (in the way to be found by your honours) and such other testimony of your honourable estimation of my honest carriage in the matter foresaid I and all others may be encouraged ever hereafter to be constant in a good cause, as I shall ever endeavour to be faithful to the death in the points of my covenant, and herein do expect your honourable answer.

A. Cunningham

14 August 1641

Read in audience of the parliament, who declare that they find the desire thereof just and reasonable and will take the same to their consideration, that in due time they may provide a course to give the supplicant reparation according to the desire of the petition.

[Robert Balfour, lord Balfour of] Burleigh, in presence of the lords of parliament

5 November 1641

Read in audience of his majesty and estates of parliament, who appoint the same to be given to [Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall], king's advocate, that he may deliver the same to [William Hamilton, earl of Lanark], secretary, to be presented to his majesty.

Court at Holyroodhouse, 8 November 1641.

His majesty, being made acquainted with this petition, is graciously pleased to refer the consideration thereof to the high court of parliament of Scotland, who are to do therein for the relief of the petitioner as to their wisdom shall seem fit.

11 November 1641

Read in audience of his majesty and estates of parliament, who refer the same and consideration thereof to the committee underwritten, namely: [William Cunningham], earl of Glencairn and [John Lindsay], lord Lindsay for the nobility; [Sir David Crichton], laird of Lugton and [Sir Thomas Myreton of] Cambo for the barons; the commissioner of St Andrews and [John Semple of Stainflett, commissioner for] Dumbarton for the burghs.

At Edinburgh, 15 November 1641

Those on the committee named within find the desire of the petitioner's supplication very reasonable, and think it most expedient that a warrant be granted to the commissaries for satisfying the supplicant of the sums of money specified within the supplication, and that of the first and readiest monies in the said commissaries' hands in respect of his necessity and long sufferings.

16 November 1641

This supplication, being moved to the king's majesty and estates of parliament, and the same being taken to consideration with the several reports and deliverance, the king and parliament orders the sum of £430 sterling to be paid to the supplicant for the said written within, according to the report.

[John Elphinstone, lord] Balmerino, in presence of the lords of parliament

  1. NAS, PA6/5, 'November 5 1641'. Back
  2. This clause is written on the rear of the document. Back
  3. This clause is written on the rear of the document. Back
  4. John Lindsay had actually been created Earl of Lindsay in May 1633. Back
  5. The commissioner of St Andrews at this time was James Sword, but it was actually John Lepar, a former commissioner for the burgh, who subscribed the committee's findings. See below. Back
  6. 'J' probably in error for 'D', as it was Sir David Crichton of Lugton who was on the committee. Back
  7. This clause is written on the rear of the document. Back
  8. This clause is written on the rear of the document. Back