Rehabilitation granted to the bairns natural of the late James [Douglas], sometime earl of Morton

Our sovereign lord, understanding that by his highness's act and ordinance made in December 1582, restored James, Archibald, George and William Douglas, sons natural to the late James, sometime earl of Morton, to their whole lands, livings, towers, offices, benefices, tacks, teinds, possessions, honours, pensions, dignities and other commodities whatsoever lost and taken away from them, either by acts of parliament touching the disinheriting of the posterity, as well lawful as natural, of the said James, sometime earl of Morton, and annulling and abrogating of the dispositions, infeftments and alienations made by the said late earl of Morton since the time of the committing of the crime for the which he was forfeited, or else by the sentence and doom of forfeiture led against the said James and Archibald in the month of November 1581; in the which restitution, our said sovereign lord also has abrogated and annulled all and whatsoever gifts, dispositions and presentations made by his highness of any lands, livings, rents, offices, bailiaries, teinds, tacks, pensions, benefices, honours and dignities pertaining to the said persons, decreeing the same to be null and of no value, as at more length is contained in the restitution and rehabilitation of the date aforesaid, which also our said sovereign lord promised in the first word to ratify in his highness's first parliament; and nevertheless it is of verity that partly by the said two acts of parliament and partly by the said doom of forfeiture yet standing against the said James and Archibald, they have been utterly secluded from their said whole livings and others aforesaid and their said restitution only ineffectual, therefore, our said sovereign lord, considering the said act and his highness's promise above-written, with advice and consent of the three estates of this present parliament, has ratified and approved and, by the tenor hereof, ratifies and approves the said restitution and reintegration of the said James, Archibald, George and William Douglas, sons natural to the said late earl, to their whole lands, livings, benefices, offices, bailiaries, towers, tacks, teinds, pensions, honours and dignities whatsoever in all points, heads, articles and clauses contained in the same, with the annulling of the whole dispositions, alienations, presentations and gifts conveyed by our said sovereign lord of the same, and likewise abrogates and annuls all acts of parliament whatsoever concerning the said dispositions, presentations and gifts, with all other acts of parliament, whereby the said persons may be prejudiced, damnified concerning the said lands, livings and others aforesaid, so far as the said acts may be extended to their prejudice as said is; and also abrogates and annuls the said two acts of parliament, the one concerning the disinheriting of the posterity of the said James, sometime earl of Morton, the other concerning the annulling of all dispositions and infeftments made by the said late James, earl of Morton during his lifetime, so far as concerns them to him, and declares the said four sons in no way to be comprehended under the said act, nor yet any disposition made by the said earl to them to be subject thereto; and likewise ordains letters to be directed for causing of them be answered and obeyed of all pensions, rents, tacks, teinds and duties and for entering and restoring of them to their lands, livings, towers, honours, offices, bailiaries and dignities pertaining to them of before against whatsoever persons, intromitters therewith, and duties thereof, and that of this instant crop and year of God 1585, according to our said sovereign lord's ordinance made thereupon, and likewise to be possessed and enjoyed by them in all times coming; providing always that this act and ordinance are in no way prejudicial to Alexander Seton, commendator of Pluscarden, concerning his undoubted right to the priory of Pluscarden, the which our said sovereign lord declares and ordains to stand in the own strength and effect, according to the general acts of restoration in this present parliament, and to the acts of parliament granted of before to the said Alexander in confirmation and ratification of his first provision and decreet of reduction, to the which this present benefit granted to the said James Douglas and others aforesaid shall no way derogate nor prejudice, notwithstanding any right obtained or title he might pretend to the said priory, which the said estates declare of new to be null and by the tenor hereof annul, abrogate and rescind the same; reserving and accepting to Matthew Stewart of Minto, his heirs and assignees, the lands of Prior Letham, pertaining heritably to David Orme, which were wadset by him to the late James, earl of Morton and conveyed by him to William Douglas, his natural son, by whose forfeiture the same coming in our sovereign lord's hands was conveyed to the said laird of Minto and who has transferred the same to others, so that our sovereign lord cannot restore the said William Douglas to the said lands of Prior Letham; and ordain letters of publication to be directed hereupon, if need be, in the appropriate form.

  1. NAS, PA2/13, ff.50v-51r. Back
  2. 'P.' written in margin. Back