Committee members: privy council
The nomination and establishing of our sovereign lord's privy council

Our sovereign lord, considering that sundry of the noblemen and others nominated to be of his highness's privy council in his last parliament are departed this life or otherwise distracted by sundry occasions from ordinary attendance thereupon, therefore, and to the effect that the affairs of the common welfare of the realm and of his majesty's service may be the more carefully provided for in time coming, his highness has nominated and elected his privy council of the persons after-following: that is to say, of noblemen John [Hamilton], lord Hamilton, William [Douglas], earl of Angus, lord Douglas and Abernethy, David [Lindsay], earl of Crawford, lord Lindsay, George [Keith], earl Marischal, lord Keith, John [Graham], earl of Montrose, lord Graham, John [Erskine], earl of Mar, lord Erskine, William [Douglas], earl of Morton, lord Dalkeith, Andrew [Leslie], earl of Rothes, lord Leslie, James [Cunningham], earl of Glencairn, lord Kilmaurs, beside Ludovic [Stewart], duke of Lennox, earl of Darnley, lord Tarbolton, Methven and d'Aubigny etc., to have access and vote when he pleases; and of the barons, knights and gentlemen, Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar, knight, Sir Hugh Campbell of Tarrinzean, Sir John Murray of Tullibardine, Colin MacKenzie of Kintail, Master George Lauder of the Bass, Sir Alexander Bruce of Airth, Master David Carnegie of Colluthie [and Kinnaird], Sir John Carmichael of that Ilk and Alexander Home of North Berwick; and of the officers of state, John [Maitland], lord Thirlestane, chancellor, Walter [Stewart], commendator of Blantyre, keeper of the privy seal, Sir Robert Melville of Murdocairnie, knight, treasurer, David Seaton of Parbroath, comptroller, Master Robert Douglas, provost of Lincluden, collector general, Alexander [Lindsay], lord Spynie, vice chamberlain, Sir George Home of Prynroknowis, knight, master of the wardrobe, Sir James Melville of Halhill, knight, and Master Peter Young of Seaton, almoner, with [Mark Kerr, lord Newbattle], master of requests, [Sir Richard Cockburn of Clerkington], secretary, [Sir John Cockburn of Ormiston], justice clerk, advocate and [Alexander Hay of Easter Kennet], clerk register, but to have access and vote therein when they are present or be sent for, who being ordinary officers of the estate as also senators of the college of justice may not attend daily in privy council. Of the which whole persons above-specified, nine shall be always subject to make residence two months together, that is to each one the third part of the year, and to the giving of any decreet or concluding of any matter of importance, seven shall be a sufficient number, and towards the special times of their attendance they shall accord among themselves relating thereto before they depart out of Edinburgh, which council shall convene daily when they sit or have occasion of affairs at 8 o'clock before noon and remain together until dinner time, and no sitting to be at after noon, and at rising shall always appoint the day of their next sitting; and all letters charging men to compear before the privy council for any cause, shall be a special peremptory day in the week, and the process before the privy council shall be always peremptory in time coming; none shall be permitted to remain in the council house from the council be set down, but his majesty's self when he pleases and such as are of the chosen number of the council, except Master George Young and the clerk of the council, two of the ministers and two of the burghs shall have access to the council to negotiate, propose and reason in any cause concerning their estates when they have occasion to crave the same. This council shall not be augmented or altered except through occasion of death, demission or deprivation of some of the number, until the next parliament, and in case of death or deprivation of any, his majesty shall nominate and admit another of the like estate. To this council his majesty commits the providence, care and diligence of handling his affairs, particularly to every officer of state in his proper charge, and generally to the good advice of them all that shall be present, and wills that in absence of the chancellor the keeper of the privy seal, or failing of him, the treasurer, shall propose the matter and collect the votes; and his highness promises to use and follow their good advice and to suffer none to intervene between his highness and them in the credit of their offices, likewise the chosen councillors present faithfully promise to attend upon his highness during the space appointed and to give his majesty their best advice and counsel in all things tending to his highness's honour, profit and common welfare of the realm. And his majesty ordains his effectual letters be written to so many of his said council presently nominated and elected as are now absent, requiring them to accept the places to which they are nominated and elected, and to attend thereupon at the times appointed to them as they will declare their good affection towards his highness's service and common welfare of the realm, or otherwise to return their certain answers between now and 15 July next, that in case of their delay or refusal, his majesty may appoint others in their room of like estate and quality. Every one of the said councillors shall precisely keep the first day of that month appointed for them to convene, and not depart during the space of two full months together thereafter without a most urgent cause, known and admitted both by his majesty and lords of the privy council present, and the persons departing upon knowledge and licence shall procure others in council of the like estate to supply their absence during their remaining away for the subscriptions of signatures and letters by his majesty; his highness admonishes all persons to forbear to present any to his majesty or to urge him to subscribe them except his four ordinary officers to whose charge it appertains or their deputes allowed of by his highness: that is to say, the treasurer, comptroller, collector, every one of them in things belonging to their proper offices, and the secretary or his depute all manner of other writs, except the acts or letters passed in privy council to be presented to be subscribed by the clerk thereof, which shall be held to be answerable that the signatures and letters which they procure to be subscribed are in good form and not against his highness's honour and profit; and all letters and writs that shall be presented by the secretary, he shall sign with his subscription under his majesty or in his absence shall sign the same on the back and that it be passed under his highness's cachet or otherwise not to be admitted as authentic wherever they be presented; and if any person shall present or use any letter or writ otherwise than is presently ordained, it shall have no faith nor be admitted, but the purchasers and users of the same shall be esteemed and pursued as falsifiers thereof. Our sovereign lord, with advice of his said estates, ordains and commands the said four ordinary officers to agree among themselves what duly and properly appertains to every one of their offices, that no abuse nor contempt remain in default thereof, or if they cannot agree that way, they shall be held to underlie the judgement of the council present for the time.

  1. NAS, PA2/14, ff.25r-v. Back
  2. Written in margin: 'P'. Back
  3. Either Master David MacGill of Cranstoun-Riddel or Master John Skene of Curriehill. Back