An act touching the provision to his highness of a guard and sure payment of their ordinary wages

The king's majesty, with advice of the three estates of this present parliament, having considered how necessary it is to have a reasonable number of gentlemen to attend continually upon his highness's person as his guard, has thought the number of forty persons suitable to be elected and maintained for that effect, able, honest and well horsed and having some reasonable livings of their own, who, being sworn and admitted in his highness's service, shall be unremovable from there during their lifetimes, unless upon worthy and great causes they shall be justly deprived, every one of which 40 persons shall have £200 [yearly] for their subsistence thankfully paid to them at two terms in the year, Whitsunday [May/June] and Martinmas [11 November] in winter, by equal portions, beginning the first term's payment at the feast of Martinmas 1584; and for sure payment of their said wages and subsistence, that they shall [not] in default thereof be compelled to neglect or leave his highness's service, or his majesty to be frustrated and destitute of the same, his highness, in no way willing to lay the burden of their said subsistence upon his people by any taxation or imposition to be raised upon them, whereof he is most willing to ease and relieve them, but to provide the said subsistence otherwise; therefore, with advice of his said three estates, decrees, declares, statutes and ordains that of all the prelacies and other inferior benefices within this realm (lawful patronages excepted) now vacated or that hereafter shall happen to become vacant, his majesty and his successors shall have the first year's fruits after the decease, forfeiture or deprivation of the last possessor, according as the said benefice shall be valued in his highness's exchequer by the auditors thereof, to whom, or any five of them, his highness gives and grants full power, commission and authority to make and set the stent and value of all the benefices, small and great, within this realm in money, according to the which the said first year's fruits shall be paid, and that the whole year after the vacancy be expired or then the first year's fruits instantly paid before any gift, provision or presentation of the benefice be granted; and also decrees, declares, statutes and ordains that of every benefice valued to £1,000 in the year now vacant, or that shall happen to become vacant hereafter, his majesty and his successors shall have freely paid to them yearly £200, beside the ordinary third, at the terms of Whitsunday and Martinmas, by equal portions, and so proportionally of every benefice, as well above as beneath the value of £1,000; and before any person nominated to whatsoever benefice hereafter shall have his presentation expedited and passed the register or seals, he shall find good surety for payment, both of the first year's fruits and of the sum due to be paid by him yearly to his highness and his treasurer in his majesty's name, to his use and effect specified; and during the whole space of the vacancy of the said benefices, the said treasurer to intromit with and take up the whole rents, fruits profits and duties thereof. But because the said first year's fruits of the benefices presently vacated and sums appointed to be paid out of the same yearly will not serve nor extend presently to the payment of the wages of his highness's guard, his majesty and estates, considering the next best help and provision and understanding that the convents of the abbeys, priories and nunneries which of old were ordained and accustomed to be sustained upon the rents and fruits thereof, are for the most part, departed this life, since the year of God 1560, none or few other presented by his majesty being entered in their places, but their portions by their deaths accrediting to the priories, abbots, commendators or possessors of the said abbeys, priories and nunneries by no law nor constitution yet established by his highness and his said estates, it is therefore found, declared, statute and ordained by his highness and his said three estates that, as the presentations, gifts and dispositions of his said prelacies pertain to his highness by the right and privilege of his crown, so has he good right and interest to crave, receive, intromit and take up all the portions of the persons of the convents of the said abbeys, priories and nunneries that have deceased since the said year of God 1560, or that shall happen to decease hereafter, until the same abbeys, priories and nunneries shall become vacant and come [fully] in his highness's hands and disposition by decease, forfeiture or lawful deprivation of the present possessors thereof; and that his majesty, and his treasurer in his name, has, and shall have, good action by law to crave, receive, intromit and take up the portions of the persons of the said convents already deceased as said is, of the crop and year of God 1583 last and in time coming, until the said benefices shall happen to become vacant, just as the said persons might have done themselves during life; and that the lords of council and session or exchequer direct such letters at the instance of the said lord treasurer for answering and obeying to him of the portions of the said persons deceased as is granted for payment of the surplus of the thirds of benefices.

  1. NAS, PA2/12, ff.119v-120r. Back
  2. Cross beside title. Back
  3. APS interpolation. Back
  4. APS interpolation. Back
  5. APS interpolation. Back