Legislation: ratification of certain preceding acts
Ratification of certain acts preceding etc.

The which day, in presence of the king's majesty, his nobility and council presently convened, the act made by his majesty, with advice of the lords of his secret council, session and exchequer, at Edinburgh upon 13 December last, by the which it is statute and ordained that each sheriff, stewart, bailie of regality, provost, bailies and council within burghs, noblemen, barons and gentlemen of power to landward and each one of them jointly and severally who shall be present auditors and hearers of any false, slanderous, seditious or treasonable speeches uttered in pulpits, public sermons or otherwise in contempt, disdain and reproach of his majesty, his parents and progenitors, his highness's council and proceedings, or meddling in any way with the affairs of his estate present, bygone and to come, shall according to his majesty's act of parliament made by his highness and his estates in the year of God 1584 immediately stop and interrupt the sayers and utterers of the said false, seditious, slanderous or treasonable speeches of all further preaching in the said kirks or pulpits or within any private houses, their bounds and jurisdiction respectively where they have sufficient power to make the said stop and impediment, under certain pains specially mentioned in the said act made thereupon; and likewise the act of secret council made by his majesty, with advice of the said lords, at Linlithgow upon 22 December last concerning the enterprise attempted and committed at Edinburgh upon the 17th day of the same month against his majesty's royal person, his nobility and council, being as it were besieged in the tolbooth thereof by the violence of a rascal multitude in arms at the instigation of certain seditious ministers and barons convened and sworn to join hand in hand to that effect, by the which act it is found and declared that the foresaid enterprise was most treasonably undertaken against his highness's person, his nobility and council then present for the time; and therefore statute and ordained that all the devisors, executors, councillors and partakers, or that hereafter shall protect, fortify, maintain or assist any of the said devisors, executors or any of their accomplices by help, supply, counsel or sanction such a criminal act, has and shall incur the pain of treason in the most high degree thereof, to be punished and demeaned they and their posterity as treasonable traitors. And in like manner, the form of confession and grant presented by his majesty in writ of the pastors and ministers, that his majesty is and shall be sovereign judge to them and each one of them in all causes of sedition and treason and other civil and criminal matters and to all their speeches which may import the said crimes albeit uttered by any of them publicly in pulpits (as God forbid) or in any other places, and that the said pulpits nor no other place whatsoever has that privilege of immunity to be an occasion or pretence to any of them of declining his majesty's judgement in any of the said civil and criminal causes intended or to be intended against any of them in time coming; which form of confession and grant the said pastors and ministers shall be appointed to subscribe the same before they get any modification or assignation of their yearly stipends. Being at length read, heard, seen and considered by the king's majesty, his said nobility and council, and they having ripely advised and reasoned upon every head, point, clause and articles thereof, the king's majesty, with advice of his said nobility and council, has ratified and approved and by this act ratifies, approves and confirms all the said acts, confession and grant of the said pastors and ministers in manner above-written and all other acts, ordinances and laws made to this effect in every point, article, clauses, heads and conditions thereof particularly expressed therein, and ordains the same to be put to further execution in all points in time coming according to the tenor thereof and to be inviolably observed and followed out as good, necessary, fit and convenient laws for the advancement of the true religion presently professed within this realm, surety of his highness's person and crown and quietness of the country.

  1. NAS, PC1/16, 508. Back
  2. 'a: b:' written in darker ink immediately below the title in the margin. Back