Act concerning respites and remissions

The king's majesty, his nobility, council and estates presently convened, understanding that there are a great number of respites and remissions for slaughters, fire-raising and other odious crimes, which have been purchased by wrong information and importunate suit of some indiscreet and shameless persons by whom his majesty's promise expressed in the act of parliament made in May 1584 is not respected, but the same in all points is abrogated and altered, no less to his highness's great regret, dishonour and slander than odious in God's sight and offensive to the estate of the commonwealth of this realm; for remedy whereof, his majesty, with advice of his said nobility, council and estates, declares all and sundry respites and remissions for any manner of slaughter, fire-raising or other odious crimes committed of old or new, which have been passed his majesty's hands and seals at any time since the making of the said act of parliament, or if any shall happen to be granted hereafter without assythment or satisfaction of party and inspection had by his majesty's treasurer or his depute of a sufficient letter of slains, to have been and to be passed and purchased without his majesty's consent, knowledge and allowance, and, according to the effect and tenor of the said act of parliament, decrees and declares the same respites and remissions, with all that has followed or shall happen to follow thereupon, to have been from the beginning and to be in all time coming null and of no value, force nor effect, and to make no faith in judgement nor outwith wherever they shall be produced; and ordains the justice clerk and their deputes to proceed and administer justice against all and whatsoever persons called to underlie the law for any of the said crimes at the particular diets appointed and to be appointed to that effect, notwithstanding of the said respites and remissions and without respect had thereto or to any clause mentioned in the same as they will answer to his majesty upon the execution of their offices. Be it always understood that this act does in no way extend to the annulling or prejudicing of the act of abolition [...]nis and benefit therein contained granted to the noblemen and others which repaired [...]tie at Stirling in the month of November 1585, but only for [...] fire-raising and other crimes committed between particular persons upon set pur[...], forethought felony and not in the common action then in hands etc.

  1. NAS, PC1/12, f.66r. Four items of privy council business follow the previous act on taxation A1586/9/2 and this act. Back
  2. Gaps at the end of the act due to damage to manuscript. Back