Regarding deforcing and troubling of the king's officers of arms

Regarding the supplication given in to the king's majesty and estates of parliament by his highness's advocate, in name of his majesty's faithful and true subjects within this realm, making mention that not only his majesty's officers of arms in putting of decreets obtained before the judges ordinary to execution are heavily troubled by deforcing of them in execution of their offices and striking of them to the effusion of their blood, in high and manifest contempt of our sovereign lord and his highness's authority and laws, but also a new unaccustomed contempt is lately creeping in and entered within this realm that no person within the same, neither officers of arms or sheriffs in that part, may travel with free access to execute any summons and letters directed forth in his majesty's name for summoning of any person or persons to compear before the lords of the college of justice or other judges within this realm without hazard and peril of their bodies, to the great hindrance of justice and prejudice of the true subjects of this realm who are willing to live under his highness's obedience and to repair wrongs and injuries done to them by order of law; beseeching, therefore, his majesty and estates foresaid to have consideration of the premises and to set down by act of this present parliament that all persons shall be free from harm and undamaged in executing of any summons, letters or precept, and in putting of decreets to execution under such pains and punishment as his majesty and the said estates think most expedient for the maintenance of justice and punishment of the contemners thereof, as the said supplication at more length purports. Which being read, heard and considered by his highness and the said estates, and they therewith being ripely advised, our sovereign lord and his estates convened in this present parliament, for remedy of the daily hurts and injuries received by officers of arms or sheriffs in that part executing letters or precepts in our sovereign lord's name and authority, statute and ordain that in case an officer of arms or sheriff in that part, or other person whatsoever the time of the execution of any said letters or precepts directed by his highness or other judges within this realm, or in putting of decreets to due execution, be deforced in doing of the same, or be molested, invaded or pursued to the effusion of their blood by the person or persons whom they shall be pursued thereof, summoned or charged, or any others of their causing and command, the deforcers and pursuers of the officers and others foresaid shall forfeit and lose all and whatsoever their goods and gear moveable, and the one half thereof shall appertain to our sovereign lord as escheat, and the other half to the party at whose instance the said summons, letters and precepts are directed and purchased; which executions our said sovereign lord and estates foresaid decree and declare to be lawfully and orderly executed, notwithstanding the said deforcement and invasion of the said officers and others above-written to be committed in manner foresaid, the deforcement being first verified and proven.

  1. NAS, PA2/14, ff.35r-v. Back
  2. Written in margin: 'V'. Back