Procedure: commission
Commissioun for reformatioun of the hospitallis, masondewis, almoushousis and beid housis, and reducing thame to thair first institutioun

Anent the supplicatioun presentit be oure soverane lord and thre estatis of this present parliament be the puir pepill of this his hines realme, makand mentioun that quhair his majesteis maist nobill progenitouris of worthie memorie, upoun ane godlie zeale, quhilk thai and the baronis and utheris of this realme, thair guid subjectis, hes borne to the releif of the aiged and decayit honest folkis, foundit and erectit certane hospittallis, masoundewis, almoushousis and beidhousis, to the glorie of almychtie God and releif of the pure, and hes continuallie mantenit the samyn till of lait dayis that the present possessouris of sindrie benefices, under cullour of reformatioun of the religioun, hes appropriat the haill levingis of the saidis hospitallis, masondewis, almoushousis and beidhousis to thair awin uses and thair airis, or hes sauld the landis and rentis thairof for greit sowmes of money to utheris in fewfirme, and further hes dimolischit the Godlie housis that wes appoyntit for ressaving and ludgeing of the pure and applyit the samyn to thair awin particular uses, mynding that never sic thing salbe in tyme cuming, to the greit offence of almychte God, the defraud of oure soverane lord and his posteritie, kingis of this realme, and thair subjectis, the foundatouris, and to the extreme undoing of greit numberis of the puir pepill to, wer and aucht to be sustenit thairby, gif his hines foirsie not the samin and put not timous remeid thairto, ane deid assuritlie that in na pairt of Christindome, ye, not amangis the verie Turkis, wald be sufferit; and albeit his majestie, with advise of his estatis in parliament, appointit the chanceller and certane utheris to considder the foundationis of the saidis hospitallis, masondewis, almoushousis and beidhousis, and ordanit the same be act of parliament to be reformit according to the godlie institutionis and erectionis of thame, yit is thair nathing done thairin, quhowbeit the exceding numberis of the puir that daylie incressis in this land cryis unto almychtie God for reformatioun thairof and maist humlie seikis the same of hienes, to quhome God hes onlie gevin the power; quhairfoir oure soverane lord and thre estatis of this present parliament hes gevin and grantit, like as thai be the tenoure heirof, gevis and grantis power and commissioun to Coline, erle of Ergyle, Lord Campbell and Lorne, chancellair, Williame, erle of Gowrie, lord Ruthven, thesaurair, Johnne, lord Hereis, Robert, commendatoure of Dunfermling, Mark, commendatour of Newbottill, Alexander, commendatour of Culross, Maister Robert Crechtoun of Eliok, his hines advocat, Alexander Hay, clerk of register, and Alexander Clerk, provest of Edinburgh, or onie thre of thame conjunclie, to convene thame selffis and sit in the tolbuyth of Edinburgh quhatsumever day or dayis, alsweill efter none as befoir, for taking cognitioun in the said mater ay and quhill the saidis hospitallis, masondewis, almoushousis and beidhousis within this realme be brocht, reponit and reducit in and to the ordoure and estait of thair first fundationis according to the mynd and intentioun of their godlie foundatoris safar as may stand aggreabill with the lawes of this realme and Christiane religioun presentlie professit within the same; and to that effect that oure soverane lordis letteris be directit upoun the warrandis and delyverance of the saidis commissioneris, or onie thre of thame, chargeing the havaris and keparis of the erectionis and fundationis of the saidis hospitallis, masondewis, almoushousis and beidhousis, or of quhatsumever landis, teyndis, rentis or uther possessionis gevin and dotat for releif and sustentatioun of the puir, alsweill within burgh as without, and of all chaiplanreis, prebendareis, annuellis, freir or nunnis landis disponit to burrowis to the effect foirsaid, fewaris, rentalaris, takismen and intrometteris thairwith, to produce the saidis fundationis, richtes and tytles, outher fewes or takis quhairby thai brouk or pretendis richt to onie pairt of the leving and patrimonie of the saidis hospitallis, masondeweis, almoushousis and beidhousis, befoir the saidis lordis commissioneris at sic dayis as they pleis assigne, to be sene and considerit be thame to the effect foirsaid, under the pane of rebellioun and putting of thame to oure soveranes horne; with certificatioun and thei failye, letteris wilbe directit to put thame to the horne, or ellis to reduce for null productioun; and in cais of failye and null productioun of the saidis erectionis and utheris writtis and rychtis abone writtin at the dayis to be appoyntit thairto to proceid and direct further chargeis, and pute the dissobeyaris or to reduce the pretendit richtes and tytillis quhatsumever as thai sall find caus worthie; and als to direct letteris to arreist and sequestrat the maillis, fermes, profittis and dewteis of the saidis landis, teyndis and uthir possessionis pertening to the saidis hospitallis, or onie thing gevin and dotat for sustentatioun of the puir, to remane in the handis of the tenentis and possessouris quhill the said reformatioun be maid and perfitit, then to be gevin to the pure and helping to reedifie the housis biggit to that effect be oure soveranes maist noble progenitouris and thair subjectis of guid zeale, upoun cawtioun alwayis to be found be the saidis tenentis and possessouris that the saidis maillis, fermes, profittis and dewteis salbe furthcumand to the effectes abonewrittin; and als with power to the saidis juges, the foirsaidis erectionis, infeftmentis and richtis being producit befoir thame to try the quantie of thair rentis, ordoure of fundatioun and estait quhairin the rentis and housis thairof presentlie ar; and quhairin they find the yeirlie rentis of the saidis hospitallis diminischit or onie pairt or portioun of thair levingis or bigingis appropriat and applyit to particular mennis uses, contrair the tenoure of thair first fundationis and godlie intentioun of thair fundatouris, be partis, infeftmentis, takis or uthir speciall richtis, to reduce the samyn as the saidis commissioneris sal find caus worthie and geve furth thair decreit reductive thairupoun, decerning all the saidis richtes gevin and sett in prejudice of the first fundationis as said is null and of nane availl, force nor effect in all tyme cuming, and to returne and be appropriat to the saidis almoushousis, hospitallis, masondewis and beidhousis and sustentatioun of the puir being thairin in all tymes heirefter, according to the tenoure of thair erectionis, siclike and in the samyn maner as gif the saidis new dispositionis of the patrimonie thairof had never bene maid nor grantit; quhilk decreittis the kingis majestie, with advise of the saidis thre estatis, declaris salbe of als greit force and effect, and siclike executioun to pas and follow thairon as gif the samyn had bene gevin and grantit befoir the haill lordis of counsaill and sessioun sittand in full number, provyding alwayis that all pairteis lawfull defens be first hard and discussit as the saidis commissioneris will answer to oure soverane lord upoun the executioun of thair office, gevand thame power in like maner to creat clarkis and utheris officiaris and memberis of cowrt requisite and to ressave thair aithis to that effect, for quhome they salbe haldin to anser, witnessis to caus be summondit, suorne and examinat and to call for the productioun of onie writtis, evidentis or registeris that may further the knawlege of the trewth of the said mater; and siclyke to direct onie ane of thair number, or ma, for visitatioun of the saidis hospitallis, masondewes, almoushousis and beidhousis, gif the same beis found requisite be thame for thair bettir informatioun, and generalie to do and use all uthir thingis that to the execusioun of this present commissioun is necessarlie requirit. And all the saidis commissioneris, being personalie present, acceptit the said commissioun in and upoun thame and maid fayth for dew and faythfull administratioun thairintill.

  1. NAS, PA2/12, ff.71r-72r. Back
  2. APS reads, 'and pute out'. Back