Act of the comissariatis and jurisdictioun gevin to archibischoppis and bischoppes

Oure soverane lord, undirstanding that in all weill governed republictis the jurisdictioun civill and ecclesiastik ar severall, distinct and divers jurisdictiounes whiche ocht to be administrat by the persones to quhome the samin propirlie belongis, and according to his highnes most loving and princelie affectioun borne alwayes to the Christiane reformed church within this realme, being maist willing that the said churche sould brook and jois their liberteis, privileges, fredome and jurisdictioun granted unto them by his majestie (frome whom onlie thair temporall jurisdictioun doth flow), and in that regaird belonging to them as being ane of the estaitis of parliament most necessar to be mantenit for geving of their advyse, counsaill and assistance in all his majesteis great and weichtie affairis, hes, with express advyse and consent of the estaitis, restored and redintegrate the archibischoppis and bischoppis of this realme to their former authoritie, dignitie, prerogative, privileges and jurisdictiouns lauchfullie pertening and shall be knawin to pertene to thame (alwayes flowing frome his majestie alsweill as ony uther ordinar jurisdictioun doth), and specialie to the jurisdictioun of comissariatis and administratioun of justice by thair comissioneris and deputeis in all spirituall and ecclesiasticall causes controvertit betuene ony persones duelling within the boundis and diocees of their prelaceis and bischoprickis; with full power to the saidis archibischoppis, bischoppis and thair successouris in all tyme heireftir to nominat and creat sufficient wyse, discreit and learnit men best acquentit with the law and practique of this realme, to serve and administrat justice in the saidis places of judicatorie, to constitute clerkis and all other under offciaris sa oft as the samin sall vaik by dimissioun, deceis, deprivatioun or utherwayes, and to provyde utheris in thair places with als great fredome and libertie as ony archibischoppis or bischoppis in this realme formerlie hes done, whiche commissareis to be nominat and treat by thame sall judge and decyde in all causes belonging to thair judicatorie and wheirin the commissares presentlie in office ar in use to decyde, keipand the samin stile and forme whiche is presentlie observit and that maner of proceding whiche sall be prescryvit and injonit to thame by speciall injunctiounes without ony alteratioun of the present lawes or introductioun of new and uncouth practiques upoun the subjectis and lieges, and sall have power of confirmatioun of testamentis, everie ane of thame within their awin boundis, the quottis thairof to be payit to the archibischoppis, bischoppis, thair chalmerlanis, factouris and underressaveris appointit by thame; for the better effectuating quhairof, his majestie and estaitis of parliament ordanis lettres of horning to be gevin and grantit be the lordis of sessioun in that samin verie sorte that the commisseris present hes it for executioun of all thair sentences and decreitis whiche salhappin to be pronuncit by thame, and compelling of persones to enter and conferme the testamentis of thair defunctis in the verie samin maner that formerly hes bene done. And for mantening of all thingis in better ordour and the restraning of unlauchfull deforcementis too frequentlie practisit within this realme, to the hich dishonour of God and sclander of trew religioun, his majestie, with advyse and consent foirsaid, hes statute and ordanit that in the burt of Edinburgh thair sall be resident alwayes four commisseris, tua to be nominat and appointit by the archibischop of Sanctandrous and twa by the archibischop of Glasgow, who shall have the onlie power to decyde in all causes of devorcement, as lykwayes shall have power of reductioun of all decreittis pronuncit by ony uther commisseres to the hurte and prejudice of ony of the lieges, befoir whome it shall be onlie lauchfull to intend and persew reductiounes of inferior commisseris, their sentences and decreittis in prima instantia. And incais the saidis comisseris to be appointit by the archibischoppis of Sanctandrous and Glasgow as said is performe not their duetie, the lordis of sessioun shall have power to trye, cognosce and determine in the samin, and shall judge upoun all decreittis and sentences allegeit to be wrangouslie pronuncit by thame, and that becaus they ar his majesteis great consistorie, to quhome his highnes, with advyse of the saidis estaittis, gevis and grantis ane hich and supreme comissioun for all suche causes to judge and determine of thame in suche cais; and declairis that it shall be lauchfull to the saidis lordis of counsaill and sessioun to advocat causes to thame selffis frome ony of the commisseris upoun just and lauchfull complentis maid to thame be ony of the subjectis and not utherwayes, provyding alwayes that the said sessioun sall evir be readie to give ane accompt to his majestie that thair advocationis have bene groundit upoun probable and lauchfull groundis for the weill of the subjectis. And that this foirsaid act may be put in present effect, his majestie, with advyse foirsaid, declairis all former erectionis of commissariatis to be suppressit and extinct frome this furth and for evir all constitutionis [that] have bene in former tyme of the samin, in quhatsumevir pairt of the realme the samin have bene erectit and by quhatsoevir maner the samin hes procedit, actis of parliament, secrete counsaill and otheris maid thairanent; and in lykmaner discharges and anullis all presentationis, giftis or dispositionis maid by his hienes to the commisseris present or to ony uther concerning the saidis commissariatis and all richtis acquirit by thame by deceis, dimissioun or howsoevir the samin hes vaikit, and all giftis and dispositionis maid in favoris of thair clerkis and memberis of court by quhatsumevir maner or ordour the samin hes procedit, with this provisioun alwayes: that the commisseris presentlie in office, with clerkis and utheris memberis of court who sall be authorizit with testimoniall of the lordis of sessioun of thair sufficiencie and qualificatioun to thair severall places and offices, shall bruik and jois the samin, they alwayes ressaveing ane new presentatioun and gift of thair offices frome the archibischoppis and bischoppis of thair dioces quhair they serve betwene and the first day of December nixtocum; utherwayes gif incais the saidis commisseris and otheris memberis of court do not produce the foirsaid testimoniall frome the lordis of sessioun as said is, it salbe lauchfull to the archibischoppis and bischoppis to provyde utheris sufficient persones to the saidis places, the restitutioun of the said jurisdictioun alwayes to be with expres reservatioun of his highnes and his successouris, thair prerogative and supremacie in all causes, ecclesiasticall and civill, within this realme. Provyding alwayes that this present act shall nawayes be hurtfull nor prejudiciall to the heretable richt of the commissariat within the boundis of Argyle pertening to Archibald, now erle of Argyle, bot the samin to stand in the samin force, strenth and effect as it wes befoir this present act and notwithstanding thairof or ony clause thairin contenit pro ut de jure.

  1. NAS, PA2/17, f.39v-40v. Back
  2. '8' written in margin beside heading. Back
  3. APS interpolation. Back