Proclamation: for putting the nation in a posture of defence
Proclamation to all men to be in readiness

Forasmuch as the estates of this kingdom presently convened, taking into their most serious consideration the great and imminent danger of the true Protestant reformed religion and of the peace of the kingdom from the treacherous and bloody plots, conspiracies, attempts and practices of papists, prelates, malignants and their adherents, have after mature deliberation thought expedient to enter into a solemn and mutual covenant with the kingdom of England for the defence of the true Protestant reformed religion in the kirk of Scotland and the reformation of religion in the kirk of England according to the word of God, the example of the best reformed kirks, and as may bring the kirk of God in both kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in religion and kirk government, and in the same manner to preserve and defend the rights and privileges of parliament and liberties of the kingdoms respectively, and to preserve and defend the king's majesty's person and authority in the preservation of the said true religion and liberties of the said kingdoms, and to preserve the articles of the late treaty and peace between the two nations, and to assist and defend all that enter into this covenant in the maintaining and pursuing thereof, as the same more fully purports, which as it will be a comfort and encouragement to all Christians who fear God and love religion, to all good and loyal subjects who truly honour the king and to all true patriots who tender the liberty of their country, so doubtless it will exasperate and enrage the said papists, prelates, malignants and their adherents to practice and execute all the mischief and cruelty they can against this church and kingdom, as they have done in England and Ireland. For preventing whereof, the said estates, according to the practice of the council, convention of estates and acts of parliament in former times of necessity, have resolved to put this kingdom with all possible speed in a present posture of defence, and for the better security and safety thereof, have statute and ordained, likewise by this proclamation they statute and ordain that immediately after the publication hereof all the fencible persons within this kingdom between 60 and 16 of whatsoever quality, rank or degree shall provide themselves with 40 days' provision, with ammunition, arms and other warlike provision of all sort in the most substantial manner for horse and foot, with tents and all other equipment requisite, and that the horsemen be armed with pistols, broadswords and steel caps; and where their arms cannot be had, that they provide jacks or secreites, lances and steel bonnets and swords, and that the footmen be armed with musket and sword or pike and sword; and where these cannot be had, that they be furnished with halberd, Lochaber axes or Jedburgh staffs and swords; and therefore ordain letters to be directed charging heralds, pursuivants and messengers of arms to pass to the market cross of Edinburgh and the several burgh and parish kirks of this kingdom, and there by open proclamation to make publication of this present act and ordinance, through which none pretend ignorance of the same, and to command and charge all and sundry of his majesty's subjects (being fencible persons between 60 and 16) to provide themselves in manner aforesaid, and to be in readiness to make their rendezvous thus armed at the places to be appointed by the said estates or committees having power from them within 48 hours after they shall be lawfully warned by order from them to that effect, as they will testify their affection to the true Protestant religion, the liberties of the kingdom, his majesty's honour and the peace and safety of this their native country, under the pains to be esteemed and punished as enemies to religion, the king and country, and their whole goods to be confiscated to the use of the public.

  1. NAS. PA8/1, f.88v-89v. Back
  2. ? This can possibly be translated as 'secrete', defined in DSL as an erroneous form of 'saker', a type of small cannon. Back
  3. Defined in DSL as 'a long pole, namely, with an axe at the extremity, and a hook at the back of the hatchet. The hook was to enable the bearer of the Lochaber axe to scale a gate-way, by grappling the top of the door, and swinging himself up by the staff of his weapon'. Back
  4. Defined in DSL as 'a weapon of the bill or glaive variety, which apparently originated in Jedburgh'. Back