For punisement of thift, reif, oppressioun and sorning

Oure soverane lord and his estaitis in this present parliament, considering that nochtwithstanding the sindrie actis maid be his hienes and his mair noble progenitors for punischement of the authoris of thift, reif, oppressioun and sorning and masteris and sustenaris of thevis, yit sic has bene and presentlie is the barbarous cruelties and dalie heirschippis of the vickit thevis and lynmaris of the clannis and surnames following inhabiting the hielandis and iles, thay ar to say Clangregour, Clanfarlane, Clanlawren, Clandowill, Clandonochie, Clanchattane, Clanchewill, Clanchamron, Clanronald in Lochaber, Clanranald in Knoydert, Modert and Glengarie, Clanleyid of the Lewis, Clanlewid of Harriche, Clandonald south and north, Clangilliane, Clanayioun, Clankinnoun, Clanneill, Clankenzie, Clanandries, Clanmorgun, Clangun, Cheilphale and als mony brokin men of the surnames of Stewartis in Athoull, Lorne and Balquhidder, Campbellis, Grahames in Menteith, Buchannanis, McCawlis, Galbraithis, McNabbis, McNabrichis, Menzeis, Fergusonis, Spadingis, McIntosches in Athoill, McThomas in Glensche, Ferquharsonis in Bra of Mar, McInphersonis, Grantis, Rossis, Fraseris, Monrois, Neilsonis and utheris inhabiting the schirefdomes of Ergyle, Bute, Dumbartane, Striviling, Perth, Forfar, Abirdene, Bamf, Elgin, Forres, Narne, Invernes and Cromertie, stewartries of Stratherne and Menteith and likwyis a greit nowmer of wickit thevis, oppressouris and pece brekaris and ressettaris of thift of the surnames of Armstrangis, Ellottis, Niksonis, Crosaris, Grahames, Irwingis, Bellis, Carleillis, Batisonis, Litillis, Thomesonis, Glendonigis, Carutheris, Johnnestonis, Jardanis, Moffettis, Latimeris and utheris inhabiting the bordouris foiranent England in the schirefdomes of Roxburgh, Selkirk, Peiblis, Dumfreis and stewartrie of Annerdaill, in the murthour, heirschip and dalie oppressioun of his hienes peceable and guid subjectis in the haill cuntries adjacent to the hielandis and bordouris, to the displesour of God, contempt and dishonour of his hienes persoun and authoritie and to the wasting and desolatioun of a guid pairt of the plentifull ground of the cuntrie, gif spedie remeid be not providit. And understanding that this mischeif and schamefull disordour increscis and is nureschit be the oursicht, hounding out, ressett, mentinence and not punischement of the thevis, limmeris and vagabundis pairtlie be the landislordis, maisteris and baillies of the landis and boundis quhair thai dwell and resortis, and pertlie throw the counsellis, directionis, ressett and pertaking of the chiftanis, principallis of the branches, and houshalderis of the saidis surnames and clannis quhilkis beris quarrell and seikis revenge for the leist hurting or slauchter of ony ane of thair unhappie races, although it wer be ordour of justice or in reskew and following of trew mennis geir stollen or reft, sua that the saidis chiftanis, principallis of the branches, and houshaldaris worthelie may be estemit the verie authouris, fosteraris and mantenaris of the wickit deidis of the vagabundis of thair clannis and surnames. For remeid quhairoff, and that thair may be anys a perfite distinctioun be names and surnames betuix thame that ar and desiris to be estemit honest and trew men and thame that ar and escheamis not to be estemit thevis, reifaris, sorneris and ressettaris and sustenaris of thift and thevis in thair wikit and odious crymes and deidis, it is statute and ordanit that thair be ane roll and catologue maid with all possible diligence of all personis of the surnames foirsaidis suspectit of slauchter, thift, reif, ressett of thift or thevis or sorningis within the saidis schirefdomes and stewartries, in quhat townis and parochinis and under quhat landislordis, maisteris or baillies thai dwell, that all landislordis and baillies be chargit to find suirtie to releve the king and wardane in the bordouris and over all quhair to mak thair men, tennentis and servandis answerable to justice, and to redress parties skaithit quhilkis hes not fund the said souertie alreddie, that the haill personis suspectit and dilatit of the saidis crymes salbe gevin in valentynes to thair maisteris, landislordis or baillies to be presentit befoir his hienes justice and his deputtis and utheris commissionerris or assessouris to be appointit at certane dayes and places, that it may be understand quha wilbe obedient and quha inobedient and fugitive, sic houshaldaris of the saidis clannis as comperis to find cautioun for releif of thair landislordis, sic as comperis not to be denuncit rebellis and fugitives. The chiftanis, principall of the branches, and houshalderis to be chargit to enter pleiges for releif also of the landislordis. The pleges to be deliverit in keping to the noble men, baronis and gentilmen that hes ressavit grytest and latest harmes of the saidis thevis and sornaris of clannis and thair assistaris in thair awin houses, or with thair freindis in the cuntrie quhair thai think maist sure. Gif the personis complenit upoun comperis and findis guid souirtie for releif of thair masteris and landislordis, to bruik thair takis and titles. Gif thay compere not, or comperand findis not the said souirtie, to be denuncit rebellis and thair escheatis of takis to be disponit to thair landislordis. For thair better releif, the complener to have actioun, criminall or civile, aganis the landislordis, masteris or baillies or thair souirties for the attemptat to be committit efter the souirtie fund. The availl and quantitie of the guidis stollen or reft or uther skaith done salbe referit to the aith of the complener, the treuth of the fact being provin be tua witneses. Or gif the pairtie complenit on comperis not personally befoir the justice to mak his defence, or excuses him not be the aith of his maister personallie comperand, na landislord to sett his land or to suffer his land to be occupiit and possessit with his consent or resaif males, gressume or dewtie fra the occupear thairof that being of a clan findis not souirtie to releif his landislord betuix and the first day of August nixt, quhilk gif the landislord omit to seik for his releif, he to be answerable to the complener, criminallie or civilie, as gif he had done the deid him selff. Nane of the saidis clannis or uther brokin men, thair wyffis, barnis, heiris, executouris or assignais salhave actioun, criminallie or civilie, aganis quhatsumevir personis for effecting spulyie, slauchter, fire rasing or uther alleagit violent deid committit aganis thame be ony of his hienes leygis, except thai instruct with thair summondis that the persoun alleagit hurt, spulyeit, slayne or ejectit wes the kingis fre leige man the tyme of that deid, and had fund souirtie to be answerable to justice for releif of his landislord. And to redress pertiis skaithit, everie theif and sorner salbe estemit the man and servand of him quhom of he hes land in tilage and pasturage, or quhome the said theif, sorner or reivar accumpanies at conventionis, gatheringis or at ony violent deidis, or on quhais ground the theif or rever is ressett and taries tuell houris togidder with the knawlege of the landislord being of habilitie and power to aprehend him, or quha hes ressavit band of manrent or gevin band of mantinence to the thevis or reivaris or receavis thair cawlpis and hereyeldis, or quha hes had the saidis thevis and revaris under thair assurance or exemptioun. Tua justice courtis to be haldin yeirlie for the ordiner executioun of this present act and statute within everie ane of the saidis schirefdomes and stewartries at leist, at Jedburgh for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peiplis; at Drumfreis for the schirefdome thairof and stewartries of Kircubreich and Annerdaill; at Striviling for Ergyle, Bute, Dunbartane and Perth, stewartries of Menteith and Stratherne; at Abirdene for the schirefdome thairof and Bamf; at Elgin or Inverness for the schirefdomes of Elgin, Forres, Narne, Invernes and Cromertie. And the expenses of officiaris, clerkis and utheris thingis neidfull to be tane of the reddiest unlawis and escheatis of the saidis courtis, ane band to be maid, suorne and subscryvit be all noblemen, baronis and landit men within the boundis of the saidis schirefdomes and stewartries, obleissand thame to seik the trew executioun of this present act for thair awin pertis and to concur aganis the saidis thevis, rebellis and sornaris, and to keip ordinar watching and warding and to contribute to that effect in sic sort as salbe thocht metast among thame selffis. Certefeing thame that salbe fund not to convene and further this gude wark, thay salbe haldin infamous and favoraris and partakaris with the saidis thevis and sornaris in thair evill deidis. And oure said soverane lord, with advise of his saidis estatis, declaris that this present act of parliament sall extend not onlie aganis all inhabitantis of the saidis speciall schirefdomes and stewartries bot aganis the landislordis, maisteris and baillies of all personis that ar or salbe suspectit and dilatit of thift, reif, oppressioun and sorning ower all pertis of the realme, and namelie aganis the heretouris and lyfrentaris of landis within townis and suburbis thairoff quhilkis salbe haldin to enter and present to justice personis duelland within thair tenementis and houses suspectit to be harlottis, thevis, ressettaris of thift or vagabundis; siclyk as landislordis in hielandis or borderis for thair men and tennentis that ar thevis and sorneris. And thairfoir that the saidis heretouris or lyfrentaris in townis or suburbis thairof tak souirtie of thair tennentis quhome unto thay sett thair houses, for thair releif at thair awin prell. And further, oure soverane lord, with avise of his saidis estaitis, ratifies and apprevis and for his hienes and his successouris perpetuallie confirmes all former lawis and actis maid be his hienes and his maist noble progenitouris in ony tymes bygane anent punischement of thift, reif, sorning and oppressioun, not rising and following to effray, sitting under assurance of thevis, or taking or paying of blak maill, and ordanis the same actis to be put to executioun with diligence efter the forme and tennour thairof. And finallie that as thevis and sornaris concurris, assistis and mantenis utheris in wickit deidis aganis trew men without feir of God, the king or the lawes, sua it salbe lauchtfull to trew and honest men to concur and joyne thame selffis in counsaillis and actionis for defence of the lyves and guidis of thame selffis and thair tennentis aganis thevis and sornaris, and to follow and persew thame and all of thair races, clannis and names duelland within the boundis of the hielandis and bordouris (not subject be guid and sufficient souirties and pleigis to be answerable to the lawes and redress of parties skaithit), and to tak and apprehend thair personis and guidis, keip thame selffis in prisone or execute thame to the deathe, makand all oure soverane lordis officiaris and ministeris of justice to burgh or land and all his frehaldaris remaning at his hienes faith, peace and obedience conjunctlie or severallie his hienes justice to that effect, with power to hald courtis, creat memberis thairof, summond assys, ilk persoun under the pane of ten pund, als oft as neid beis. And incace ony of the saidis thevis, sornaris of the saidis clannis or thair assistaris duelland in the hielandis or bordouris (quhilkis sall not be under guid souirtie and plegeing as said is, betuix and the first day of August nixtocum) happynnis to be tane hurt, slayne or mutilat, thair guidis to be taken and intromettit with, thair houses to be brunt, distroyit or cassin to the ground, oure soverane lord, with avise of his said estaitis in this present parliament, willis, grantis and declaris that the same sall nevir be impute as ony cryme or offence to quhatsumevir trew men, authouris or executouris thairof, nor thay nor nane of thame salbe callit nor accusit thairfoir criminallie nor civilie be ony maner of way in tyme cuming, axonerand and dischargeand thame of the same for evir. And ratifies and apprevis all utheris actis abonespecifiit and ordanis thame to extend ower all the realme.

  1. NAS, PA2/15, f.39v-41r. Back