Act aganis the tellaris and makaris of lesingis

Oure soverane lord, with consent of the lordis of his secreit counsall, sessioun and chekker, forsamekle as his hienes, with consent of his three esteatis of parliament, in the yeir of God jM vC lxxxiiij yeiris, undirstanding quhat grite harme and inconvenient hes fallin in this realme throu the wicked and licentious publict and privat speiches and untrew calumneis of divers his subjectis, to the disdayne, reproche and contempt of his majestie, his counsale and procedingis and to the dishonour and prejudice of his hienes, his parentis, progenitouris and estate, steiring up his hienes subjectis thairby to mislyking, seditious unquietnes and to cast of thair dew obedience to his majestie to thair awne evident perrell, tinsall and distructioun, his hienes alwayes continuand in luif and clemencie towardis all his gude subjectis and maist willing to seik thair saulftie and preservatioun, thairfoir it wes then statute and ordanit be his hienes and esteatis of parliament that nane of his subjectis of quhatsumevir functioun, degree or qualitie in tyme cuming sould presume or tak upoun hand privatlie or publictlie in sermonis, declamationis or familiar conferenceis to utter ony fals or sklanderous speicheis to the disdane, reproche or contempt of his majestie, his counsaill and procedingis, or to the dishonnour, hurte or prejudice of his hienes, his parentis or progenitouris, or to mell in the effearis of his hienes and his estate then present, bigane or tocum undir the panes contenit in the actis of parliament maid aganis makaris and tellaris of lesings betuix his majestie and his subjectis, quhilk is the pane of death; certifeing thame that sould be tryit contravenaris thairof, or that heiris sic sklanderous speichis and reportis not the same with diligence, that the said pane salbe execute aganis thame with all rigour in example of uthiris, as in the aucht statute of the said parliament jM vC lxxxiiij yeiris at mair lenth is contenit. In the quhilk also be ane uthir act his majesteis royall power and authoritie abone all esteatis, baith spirituall and temporall, wes establissit, and thairfoir it wes ordanit that na persone of quhatsumevir functioun or degree, spirituall or temporall, sould declyne his majesteis jugement in ony materis of seditioun and tressoun and uthiris civile and criminale causes or in ony contumelious, seditious or tressounable speicheis utterit be thame in pulpittis, scuillis or uthirwayes, to the disdayne and reproche of his hienes, his counsall and procedingis undir the pane of tressoun, as in the said uthir act at mair lenth is contenit. And be ressoun the said wicked and licentious forme of speiking publictlie in sermonis and pulpittis and midling with the effearis of estate dalie increses be publict impugning of his majesteis lauchfull actis of parliament, counsall and proclamationis following thairupoun, with his majesteis lauchfull decreittis in civile materis gevin with avise of his g[race], nobilitie and counsaill, his majesteis royall power and authoritie in all civile and criminall materis of seditioun and tressoun being brocht in doubt and questioun as thocht his majestie wer not juge to ony speichis of quhatsumevir qualitie utterit in pulpett, or that the saidis placeis for uttering of Godis worde in treuth and veritie sould be ane girth and immunitie to fals, seditious and tressounable wordis and ane caus of declynning his maieiteis jugement thairin; as alsua the same is maist negligentlie sufferit be the auditouris thairof, testifeing thairby in a maner thair consentis speciallie be magistratis and men of pouer to quhome the executioun of all gude lawis and mantenance of his majesteis authoritie propirlie pertenis; thairfoir it is statute and ordanit, with consent foirsaid, that ilk schireff, stewart, baillie of regalitie, provest, baillies and counsall within burrowis, noblemen, baronis and gentilmen of pouer to landwart, and ilkane of thame conjunctlie and severallie quha salbe present auditouris and heiraris of ony sic fals or sklanderous, seditious or tressounable speichis utterit in pulpettis, publict sermonis or utherwayes, in reproche, contempt and disdayne of his majestie, his parentis and progenitouris, his hienes counsale or procedingis or melling ony wayes with the effearis of his g[races] estate present, bigane and to cum, sall incontinent stop and interrupt the sayaris and utteraris thairof and sall tak and apprehend thame and putt thame in suir firmance quhill his majestie be advertisit to tak forder ordour thairin; at the leist sall stop, stay and impede the saidis sayaris and utteraris of the saidis fals, sklanderous, seditious or tressounable speichis off all forder preicheing in the saidis kirkis and pulpettis or within ony privat houses, thair boundis and jurisdictionis respective quhair thay have sufficient power to mak the said stop and impediment undir the pane of hoirning and escheiting of all thair movable guidis and geir pertening to the saidis schireffis, steuartis, baillies of regaliteis, provest, baillies and counsaill within burgh, noblemen, baronis and gentilmen of pouer to landwarte, and ilkane of thame conjunctlie and severalie quha salbe present, heiraris and auditouris of the saidis fals, sklanderous, seditious or tressounable speicheis foirsaidis respective and sall not interrupt the same and apprehend, keip and detene the utteraris thairof, at the leist quha sall suffir the utteraris to reproche or declame publictlie or privatlie ony mair within thair boundis and jurisdictionis foirsaidis; and that lettres be direct be his majestie or at his hienes advocatis instance chargeing the saidis schireffis, stewartis, baillies of regaliteis, provest, baillies and counsale of burrowis, noblemen, baronis and gentilmen of pouer to landwart and ilkane of thame respective, to putt the foirsaid act of parliament and this present act to dew executioun undir the pane foirsaid within fourty aucht houris eftir thay and ilkane of thame be chargeit thairunto undir the pane of rebellioun etc.; and gif thay failyie etc., to denunce etc. And that the tryale thairof sall cum in maist summarlie be suspensioun be way of supplicatioun and charge to ane maisser to summond the said advocat to the morne eftir the charge, tobe obtenit be the partie chargeit, and tobe decydit summarlie befoir his majestie and counsaill, incais the pairty chargeit deny all bigane contraventioun heirof, and offer to find sufficient responsall cautioun undir grite sowmes incaice he be foundin to have contravenit, and for obediens in tyme cuming. But prejudice alwayes to his majesteis richt and pouer to seik forder panes sic as the pane of lyffe or the pane of lyffe, landis and guidis competent to his majestie aganis the non revill[aris] of lesingis, seditioun and tressoun respective according to the qualitie of the saidis speicheis respective quhilkis salbe publictlie utterit and not stoppit and reveillit be the personis foirsaidis, heiraris thairof, conforme to the auld lovable lawis, ordinanceis and consuetude of this realme in persuit of seditious and tressounable personis. And that this present act and statute be intimat be publict proclamatioun at the mercat croceis of the heid burrowes of this realme, that nane pretend ignorance thairof.

  1. NAS, PC1/16, 500-501. Back
  2. 'a: b:' written in darker ink immediately below the title in the margin. Back
  3. APS interpolation. It seems the edge of the page has been cut and a little has been lost on the right hand edge. Back