Declaration of parliament if the king's grace had action or not against the heirs of those that commit crimes of lese-majesty

The which day Master Henry Lauder [of St Germains], advocate to our sovereign lord, expounded in the presence of the king's grace and the three estates of parliament how his grace had raised a summons upon the heirs of the late Robert Leslie, to hear his name and memory deleted and extinct for certain points and crimes of lese-majesty committed and done by him before his death and, therefore, all his goods, movable and immovable, pertaining to him at the time of the committing of the said crime and since then to be discerned to pertain to his grace. And because it is murmured that it is a novelty to raise summons and move such an action against a person that is dead, although the common law directly allows the same, nonetheless, for staunching of such murmurs and that his grace intends in no sort to move or do anything except that which he may do justly by the advice of the three estates, therefore, desired the said three estates to advise thereupon, and that his grace may have the judgement of parliament whether he has an action to pursue such a summons or not. The whole estates spiritual, temporal and commissioners of burghs, all in one voice, without variance or discrepancy, have declared and concluded that his grace has just cause and action to pursue the said summons and all other similar summonses of treason done and committed against his person and commonwealth according to the common law, good, equity and reason, notwithstanding there is no special law, act nor provision of the realm made thereupon of before.

  1. NAS, PA2/8, III, f.28r-v. Back