Concerning commissioners of the shires to be sent to the parliament

Concerning the article presented to our sovereign lord and three estates of this present parliament, making mention how necessary it is that his highness and they be well and truly informed of the needs and causes pertaining to his loving subjects in all estates, especially the commons of the realm, and remembering of a good and lovable act made by his highness's progenitor, King James I of worthy memory, being the 112th act made in the time of his reign, entitled 'That small barons and freeholders misters not to come to parliament', requiring that his majesty and his said estates would ratify the same act and ordain the same to have full effect and to be put in execution in time coming; and of new statutes and ordains, for the more full explanation of the same act and certain execution thereof, that precepts should be directed out of the chancellery to a baron of each shire for the first to convene the freeholders within the same shire for choosing of the commissioners as they are contained in the said act, which commissioners, being once chosen and sent to parliament, the precepts of chancellery for convening of freeholders to the effect aforesaid to be directed to the last commissioners of each shire, who shall cause choose two wise men, being the king's freeholders, resident indwellers of the shire, of good rent and well esteemed as commissioners of the same, to have power and be authorised, as the act purports, under the commissioners' seal in place of the sheriffs, and that all freeholders of the king under the degree of prelates and lords of parliament be warned by open proclamation to be present at the choosing of the said commissioners, and none to have vote in their election but such as have forty shillings land in free tenantry held of the king and have their actual dwelling and residence within the same shire, likewise as at more length is contained in the said article; the estates presently convened in this present parliament remit the said matter to the will and good consideration of our said sovereign lord, to do and ordain therein as his highness shall think most requisite and expedient between this and his highness's next parliament; at which time his highness, with advice of his estates, will, God willing, take order for the final settling and establishing of that good form and order which shall be thought suitable and convenient to stand in perpetuity in this behalf without prejudice of the right or interest of any of his estates or otherwise whatsoever; and Sir John Maitland of Thirlestane, knight, secretary to our sovereign lord, and William Douglas of Glenbervie, for themselves and in name and behalf of the rest of the barons, took instruments of the aforesaid act and that the said matter was referred by the whole estates to the king's majesty's self and that his highness accepted the same upon him.

  1. NAS, PA2/13, f.69v. Back
  2. This is the second, titled, copy of the act, in a darker ink and different hand. There are some minor variations with the first version at 1585/12/93. This second version appears to have been the one used in APS. Back
  3. Eight blank folios follow. Back