21 November 1526

Procedure: declaration of innocence

Regarding the supplication given in by Archibald [Douglas], earl of Angus, lord Douglas, James [Hamilton], earl of Arran, lord Hamilton, James [Douglas], earl of Morton, Robert [Maxwell], lord Maxwell, George [Home], lord Home, Hugh [Somerville], lord Somerville, Archibald [Montgomery], master of Eglinton, George Douglas, brother to the Earl of Angus, Archibald Douglas [of Kilspindie], provost of Edinburgh, his uncle, James Hamilton of Finnart, knight, Andrew Kerr of Ferniehirst, James Douglas of Drumlanrig, James Gordon of Lochinver, William Gordon, his brother, Mark Kerr of Dolphinton and Andrew Kerr in Greenhead, that, where they, there in time late bygone, with diverse others, their friends, barons, freeholders and gentlemen, have waited continually upon the service of our sovereign lord, and especially for the conservation of his most noble person from the perils, troubles and company of ill-disposed persons that might, or would, press them to draw his highness to unprofitable and unvirtuous behaviour, his grace being at Melrose, the [...] day of [...] last bypast, a great part of them, their folks and friends, intending to convoy his grace to Edinburgh as good servants and true lieges, Walter Scott of Branxholme, knight, with a great multitude of broken men, waited in his highness's path, arrayed in form of battle, intending to have put hands on his person and to have overthrown them and drawn his grace to their useless guidance and evil ways, which was perceived by them, for defence and conservation of his highness, they exposed him to the peril of battle where, in resisting of the said broken men, Andrew Kerr of Cessford and diverse others were slain; and also thereafter, when the late John [Stewart], earl of Lennox attempted to have taken his most noble person and put hands thereon by his own authority with the help of many others, his supporters, they put them to the defence of his grace and resisted their malice, presumption and onslaught, where the said Earl of Lennox and diverse others were slain in extreme defence of their lives and conservation of our sovereign lord's most noble person; desiring, therefore, since these great attempts at wrongdoing were committed in a treasonable manner and they had interest therein and were party with his highness, that they might have a declaration of their part by the three estates present in parliament, whether they were true servants to his highness at those times or not, and if they had committed any fault or none, likewise at more length was contained in the said supplication. Wherewith our said sovereign lord and estates of his realm there present, being fully advised, the merit of the whole cause being well disputed, considered and understood by judgement and ward of parliament, found and decreed that the said earls of Angus, Arran, lords, barons and gentlemen above-written, and all who were with them and took their part at the said times, had them and bore them truly honourably and manfully in the said two battles, and had just and righteous cause to fight in defence of their prince and deserve, therefore, great honour, loving thanks and reward, and should ever be trusted with his grace and tenderly entreated as his true barons and lieges, and that they committed no fault in the committing of the said battles, nor in coming thereto, and that their adversaries had unjust and evil quarrel therein, for which one part of them that was at each of the said battles are in this present parliament plainly forfeited of their lives, their honours, heritages, offices and goods, movable and immovable, as the acts made thereupon purport; wherefore, our said sovereign lord and estates foresaid decree the said earls, lords, barons and other persons above-specified, and all their partakers and supporters in the said two battles, clean and innocent of any fault or crime that may be imputed to them thereof, now and in all time to come.

All the persons above-written asked documents, each one of them by themselves, of this declaration. At the eleventh hour before midday.

  1. NAS, PA2/8, I, f.41r-v. Back
  2. Preceded by 'three', deleted, and followed by 'there present be' in superscript and deleted. Back
  3. Preceded by 'three' deleted and followed by an illegible superscript deletion. Back