Act for the committee of estates

The estates of this kingdom presently convened, taking into their serious consideration the dangers imminent to the true Protestant religion, his majesty's honour and the peace of his kingdoms by the multitude of papists, prelates and their adherents now in arms in England and Ireland, and the occasion given thereby not only to the public enemies of religion abroad but even to any disaffected persons at home to labour so far as in them lies to subvert the religion and peace now happily established within this kingdom; and finding it necessary that all means be speedily used for preventing the practices of such, for preserving the peace and keeping his majesty's subjects in a dutifully obedience to the laws and public judicatories and in a Christian unity amongst themselves, they have therefore resolved that this kingdom be presently put into a posture of defence and that a grave committee be appointed from the estates to consult, conclude and determine upon these and other weighty causes after-specified in manner and to the effect following, and therefore nominate, appoint and give power and commission to John [Campbell], earl of Loudoun, lord high chancellor, and [Alexander Leslie, earl of Leven], lord general, supernumerary, and [Archibald Campbell], marquis of Argyll, William [Keith], earl Marischal, John [Gordon], earl of Sutherland, Alexander [Montgomery], earl of Eglinton, William [Cunningham], earl of Glencairn, John [Kennedy], earl of Cassilis, Charles [Seton], earl of Dunfermline, William [Kerr], earl of Lothian, Francis [Scott], earl of Buccleuch, John [Maitland], earl of Lauderdale, John [Lindsay], earl of Lindsay, John [Wemyss], earl of Wemyss, William [Ramsay], earl of Dalhousie, James [Scrimgeour], viscount of Dudhope, John [Hay], lord Yester, John [Sinclair], lord Sinclair, John [Elphinstone], lord Balmerino, Robert [Balfour], lord [Balfour of] Burleigh, James [Elphinstone], lord Coupar, George [Forrester], lord Forrester, Thomas [MacLellan], lord Kirkcudbright, Alexander [Lindsay], lord Balcarres, Arthur Erskine of Scotscraig, [Sir Archibald Johnston of] Wariston, [Sir Adam Hepburn of] Humbie, Mr George Winram [of Liberton], Sir Michael Balfour of Denmilne, [George Dundas], laird of Dundas, [Sir Robert Grierson], laird of Lag, Colonel [James] Lindsay of Belstanes, [Alexander Brodie], laird of Brodie, Sir Patrick Hepburn of Waughton, Sir William Muir of Rowallan, William Rigg of Aithernie, Sir Thomas Kerr of Cavers, Thomas Ruthven of Freeland, Sir William Scott of Harden, Sir Andrew Wauchope of Niddrie-[Marischal], Sir Patrick Hamilton [of Little Preston], [Sir] John Shaw of Greenock, [Sir David Home], laird of Wedderburn, Sir William Scott of Ardross, [Sir Gilbert Ramsay of] Balmain, Mr James Durham of Pitkerro, Sir John Smith, James Dennistoun, John Binney, James Stewart, Thomas Durham, James Simpson, Patrick Leslie [of Iden], Thomas Bruce, George Bell, James Sword, George Porterfield, Hugh Kennedy, George Gardyne, John Rutherford, Thomas MacBirnie, Mr Robert Barclay, John Semple [of Stainflett], George Jamieson, David Simpson, William Glendinning [of Gelstoun] and Gideon Jack, or any 15 or more of them, there being always four of every estate present, to convene at Edinburgh at such times and places as they shall appoint; and there, amongst themselves or with such as shall be authorised by his majesty or houses of parliament of England or any other persons whom they shall think fit, to consider, treat, debate, conclude and determine upon the fittest and most conducive means for defence of the true Protestant religion, the liberties and privileges of the kingdom, his majesty's person and authority in the preservation thereof and the peace of his kingdoms now in danger by the multitude of papists, prelates and their adherents in arms in England and Ireland, and for bringing the churches of Scotland and England to a nearer conjunction and uniformity of religion and church government; and for that effect, to send their humble supplications and declarations to his majesty, the kingdom of England or any other person or persons whatsoever, and to use all other effectual means for removing the distractions and differences between his majesty and his people; and as they shall think fit; with advice of the general assembly or commissioners thereof, to give order for subscribing and swearing the covenant lately offered to and allowed by the assembly and convention of estates. And in case it shall be thought fit by them for the ends and reasons aforesaid that some considerable number of forces and men in arms be raised, with power to them to give order to the several committees, colonels and other persons within this kingdom for levying, raising and mustering of such regiments and forces of foot and horse out of the several shires and burghs of this kingdom, and for equipping with arms, ammunition, victual and other equipment as they shall think fit; and also with power to them to appoint places of their rendezvous, give order for quartering and billeting thereof, appoint such general officers over the same as they shall judge fit and are not named already by the estates, and to authorise them with commissions to that effect, to nominate and appoint their several pays, and to provide means for payment thereof; and for that effect, to borrow and uplift sums and also to provide and buy forthwith arms, ammunition and all sort of provision and other necessaries, and to appoint commissaries for distributing and keeping account of the same. Which sums of money, prices of victual and others aforesaid so to be borrowed and received are hereby declared to be a public debt due by the estates of the said kingdom, who are hereby bound to pay and relieve the same, and to free and relieve the said commissioners and all such persons as by their warrant or command shall engage or give surety thereof. And also with power to them to give out such orders for the provision and right regulating of the said forces as they shall think fit, and to set down competent prices and excises upon all victual, goods, food provisions and other commodities for the use and maintenance of the said soldiers, to be lifted within the kingdom or sent forth thereof, and to call to account all such persons as shall be entrusted by them in this service for all intromissions and debts to be contracted upon the public in the same, and either by themselves or such auditors as they shall appoint, to examine, control or allow and approve all that shall be disbursed or contracted in the public affairs of the kingdom, and to pay and secure the persons to whom there shall be any thing justly owing. With power likewise to them to give orders to the committees in the several shires to all commanders, sheriffs, stewarts, bailies of regalities and to all other magistrates and subjects to burgh or land in everything concerning the public in such a way as they shall think fit. And seeing in some shires there are several divisions and colonels to be, there is only one committee appointed, and least thereby any hindrance may fall out to the service, power is hereby given to the said commissioners, upon remonstrance from the committees of the shires representing the necessity of dividing the same, to divide the committees of any such shires in several committees, two or more, as the dispatch of affairs shall require; and to add such qualified persons as may make up a competent number in each division, the number appointed by the estates for the whole shire standing always entire for dispatch of business concerning the whole shire; and the committees to be appointed upon remonstrance aforesaid to have only power within their own division; and in case any matter of importance or difficulty occur among them, the same is to be decided by the committee of the whole shire; and in case it shall happen that any places of any of the colonels of the shires become vacant by death or otherwise, with power to this committee from the estates to appoint others in their place, and to remove such others from their places as they shall have just reason for; and to call before them all papists, malignants, disaffected persons and all such others as shall not give obedience to the common resolutions of this kingdom or judicatories thereof of whatsoever condition or degree they be of, and to take such course for securing their persons and intromitting with their estates to the use of the public as they shall think fit. With power also to the said persons or quorum aforesaid to treat, consult and determine in manner aforesaid concerning the payment of the remainder of the brotherly assistance and interest thereof bygone and to come, and for payment of the arrears due by the kingdom of England to the Scottish army in Ireland, and to take course for the future maintenance thereof and disposal of the same in whole or in part in time coming, and to give warrant for distributing the sums appointed to be lifted in this kingdom by the act of the estates of 15 August by way of loan and tax for payment of the arrears and advancements already made for maintenance thereof, and for maintenance of the companies, horse and foot which are to be levied by act of the [...]. Which warrant to be granted as said is is hereby declared to be a sufficient warrant to the general collector and his deputes, and also with power to them to give out commissions for suppressing of disorders in the country and generally to do all and sundry other things requisite anent the ordering and managing of all affairs and business which may contribute to the good and peace of this kingdom and the advancement of the particulars above-written. And if upon the reasons and grounds above-expressed it shall be found fit that an army or armies be levied and raised, in that case the estates have resolved and hereby give commission to the persons aforesaid or quorum thereof to divide themselves into two several committees, and that nine or more, there being two of every estate present by a quorum of either of them, the one whereof is appointed to remain and reside at Edinburgh or any other place they shall think fit and convenient, and is authorised with the charge of the whole aforesaid affairs within the country; and the other is to remain constantly with the army and to have the government of the affairs of the army and shall give their best advice, counsel and assistance in what may contribute to the good and safety thereof, and which two committees are to keep correspondence and intelligence, one with another, anent their proceedings and condition of affairs, and are fully authorised to give orders and directions in the premises above-divided, which shall be as valid as if the same was done by the whole number; providing always that none of the said committee so divided have power to enter into a treaty anent the points and articles in question without consent of a full quorum of both committees. And in case any of the commissioners' places shall happen to become vacant by death or otherwise, the rest of the quorum shall have power to make choice of others of that same degree to supply the places so vacant; and with power to the said two committees, or either of them as they shall have occasion, to convene such noblemen, barons and burgesses for their advice and assistance as they shall think fit, and who are hereby warranted to assist them; and if any matter of that importance occurs that does require the meeting and resolution of the estates, in that case the said committee residing at Edinburgh (or in any other place within this kingdom) has hereby power to call a full meeting and convention of the estates. And the aforesaid commissioners shall at their first meeting and acceptance of their commission give their solemn oath for their faithful and diligent discharge of that trust committed to them, and shall fine all such of their number as shall not give diligent attendance at their meeting (in all which the general officers of the army are hereby privileged to be present) and firm and stable holding and for to hold whatsoever the said commissioners or quorums aforesaid shall do in manner and for the end aforesaid, they always being answerable to the parliament or estates for their proceedings in their commission, which is ordained to endure until the next meeting of the parliament and estates and until the same be specially discharged.

  1. NAS. PA8/1, f.106r-108v. Back
  2. This is possibly an error for Sir John Wauchope. Back