Act anent presentation of ministers

Forasmuch as the king's most excellent majesty, considering how necessary it is for the right and orderly administration of God's worship, and the exercises of religion and for keeping of his good subjects within their duties they owe to God, to his majesty, to their native country and fellow subjects, especially at this time after so many confusions and distractions, both among churchmen and others, that more than ordinary care be had in presenting of ministers to all such kirks as are or shall be vacant within this kingdom, has given particular commission under his great seal as to all presentations, to all parsonages, vicarages and other benefices and kirks at his majesty's presentation; and as to all other benefices and kirks whereof the presentation belongs to any other patron or patrons whatsoever, his majesty, with advice and consent of his estates of parliament, statutes and ordains that all patrons or persons whatsoever who has or pretends any right to the presentations to any patronages, vicarages or other benefices of cure, kirks or modified stipends, must be careful in all time coming that presentations to those benefices, kirks or stipends are granted by them to such persons only as shall give sufficient evidence of their piety, loyalty, literature and peaceable disposition, and shall in the presence of the patron or his attorney, and of the sheriff of the shire, stewart of the stewartry or heritable bailie or commissary of the bounds if it be in the country, and of the magistrates of the burghs within the burgh, before the granting and their accepting the presentation, take and subscribe the oath of allegiance, the said sheriff, stewart, bailie, commissary and magistrates having first taken the oath themselves. And it is hereby declared that if any person who has not so taken the oath of allegiance shall be presented by any patron, not only shall the presentation be void and null of itself, but the right of the patronage as to that vacancy shall belong to the king's majesty and the patrons reputed disaffected to his majesty's government and despisers of his royal authority; and ordains this act to be printed and published at the market crosses that none pretend ignorance.

  1. NAS. PA2/27, f.38-38v. Back