Concerning the establishing off the king's majesty's council

Forasmuch as in our sovereign lord's parliament held and begun at Edinburgh on 20 October 1579, there is an act made concerning the establishing of the king's majesty's council and the form thereof ordained to endure until further order should be taken by his highness, with advice of his estates in parliament; and now, his majesty having convened his said estates in this present parliament, by their advice, for the support of his highness in the administration and governing of the affairs of his crown, estate and commonwealth of his realm, has nominated, elected and chosen and, by the tenor hereof, nominates, elects and chooses the earls, lords and others underwritten to be of his highness's privy council: they are to say, James [Stewart], earl of Arran, lord Aven and Hamilton, David [Lindsay], earl of Crawford, lord Lindsay, John [Graham], earl of Montrose, lord Graham, Andrew [Leslie], earl of Rothes, lord Leslie, James [Cunningham], earl of Glencairn, lord Kilmaurs, Hugh [Montgomery], earl of Eglinton, lord Montgomery, John [Maxwell], earl of Morton, lord Maxwell, James [Ogilvy], lord Ogilvy, John [Maxwell], lord Herries, James [Stewart], lord Doune, Mark [Kerr], commendator of Newbattle, and Alexander [Colville], commendator of Culross, in addition to his highness's ordinary officers of the estate, to wit, [Esme Stewart, duke of Lennox], lord great chamberlain, [Colin Campbell, earl of Argyll], chancellor, [William Ruthven, earl of Gowrie], treasurer, [Robert Pitcairn, commendator of Dunfermline], secretary, [William Murray of Tullibardine], comptroller, collector general, [Sir Lewis Bellenden of Auchnoull], justice clerk, [Alexander Hay of Easter Kennet], clerk register, [Robert Crichton of Eliock], advocate, and [Mark Kerr], master of requests; and that every one of the said officers to use their offices by themselves and their deputes according to the former acts, with these alterations and additions: that of the whole number of councillors and the ordinary officers, there shall be seven present and sitting at least when any act is made, decreet given or other matter of importance entreated, and that no persons remain in the council house in time of council, excepting the sitting councillors and officers and a clerk, the macer remaining outwith the council house door except when he shall be called upon and have occasion to enter and show the council the desire of any party there attending; and that none of the councillors nor officers, from the time of their entry in the council until the rising thereof, without special command and direction, pass from the council table to speak with any person outwith the council house, or yet pass up and down the house, neglecting the affairs that are entreated amongst the remainder that sits; and two of the council to subscribe, as the custom has been in time past, providing that such young noblemen as enter in the council house with the king's majesty and shall be allowed by his grace so to do, may remain therein and hear the reasoning, so long as his majesty's own pleasure shall be to abide for the time, they being sworn to keep secret that which they shall hear; and that his highness, when he shall think expedient, may nominate another three noblemen, or such others as he shall please nominate to be of the number of his said privy council; and this form and order to stand until further order be taken by the king's majesty, with advice of his estates, in his next parliament; and in case of any deficiency of the said councillors, that the king's majesty, with advice of the remainder of his council, elect and choose other persons in their rooms as often as need be.

  1. NAS, PA2/12, f.76v. Back