An act against the authors of slanderous speeches or writs

Forasmuch as in the troublous times bygone, diverse of our sovereign lord's lieges have taken on them a licentious liberty and presumption to speak and write many things of his majesty uncomely and no way allowable in any Christian realm or commonwealth, which has been in times past and may be in time coming the occasion of disorder and unquietness if the like shall be suffered hereafter unpunished, therefore our sovereign lord, with advice of his three estates convened in this present parliament, statutes and ordains that all his highness's subjects contain themselves in quietness and dutiful obedience to his highness and his authority, and that none of them presume or take upon hand publicly to declaim or privately to speak or write any purpose of reproach or slander of his majesty's person, estate or government, or to deprave his laws and acts of parliament or misconstrue his proceedings, whereby any misliking may be moved between his highness and his nobility and loving subjects in time coming, under the pain of death; certifying those that do in the contrary, they shall be reputed as seditious and wicked instruments, enemies to his highness and the commonwealth of this realm, and the said pain of death shall be executed upon them with all rigour in example of others.

  1. NAS, PA2/13, f.35r. Back
  2. 'V' written in margin. Back