Proclamation: call to muster
Proclamation to meet at Leith

Forasmuch as the troubled state of this realm being considered, and the great hurt that the commonwealth sustains through the fortification and holding of the burgh and castle of Edinburgh against our sovereign lord and his authority by a few number of declared traitors, rebels and conspirators, through whose shameful defection from their due obedience, against their faith, promise and allegiance, a dangerous civil war is raised within the bowels of this realm, the chief town is occupied by men of war, the honest inhabitants, some banished, some imprisoned and some retained in most straight thraldom and slavery, the seat of justice destroyed, the members thereof dispersed, and lastly, the late Matthew [Stewart], earl of Lennox, lord Darnley, our sovereign lord's lawful tutor and regent to his majesty, his realm and lieges, is shamefully murdered and cut away after he had yielded his body in their treasonable hands and had promise of his life to be safe, and nothing left unattempted that may bring the whole estate in extreme disorder and confusion, through which neither the king's authority can be obeyed, justice administered nor the good subjects may live quietly upon their own if remedy be not provided. And considering likewise that seeing the nobility, estates and good subjects of this realm have, in all past ages, preserved the same from foreign conquest and valiantly defended the liberty to this time, it were now to their great ignominy and against their honours if a few number of corrupted members, polluted with heinous and odious crimes and worthily cut off from the society of noblemen and honest men as now known in their own colours, should be permitted to continue in their outrage, rebellion and treasonable attempts, to the subversion of the whole estates of our realm. And therefore, agreeing with one voice and consent of the nobility and estates of this realm, that the commonwealth in default of government shall not decay, John [Erskine], earl of Mar, lord Erskine is burdened with the office of regency to our sovereign lord, his realm and lieges; and he, with others of the nobility and estates of this realm, has deliberated and concluded to set the said burgh of Edinburgh at liberty, and, for recovery thereof, to hazard their lives and bestow their goods, through which it is needful that our sovereign lord's subjects be convened by proclamation to this effect; and therefore ordains letters to be directed to officers of arms, sheriffs in that part, charging them to pass to the market crosses of the burghs of Kincardine, Forfar, Perth, Cupar in Fife, Kinross, Clackmannan, Stirling, Linlithgow, Leith, the Canongate for Edinburgh, Haddington, Duns, Lauder, Roxburgh, Selkirk, Peebles, Lanark, Dumfries, Wigtown, Kirkcudbright, Ayr, Irvine, Renfrew and Dumbarton, and there, by open proclamation in our sovereign lord's name and authority, command and charge all and sundry earls, lords, barons, landed men and freeholders dwelling within the bounds of the sheriffdoms of Kincardine, Forfar, Perth, Fife, Kinross, Clackmannan, Stirling, Linlithgow, Edinburgh principal and within the constabulary of Haddington, Berwick, Roxburgh, Selkirk, Peebles, Lanark, Dumfries, Wigtown, Ayr, Renfrew and Dunbarton, stewartries of Strathearn and Menteith, Kirkcudbright and Annandale and bailiaries of Kyle, Carrick and Cunninghame, as well to burgh as to land, within regality as royalty, that they and each one of them, in their most warlike and substantial manner, with forty days' victuals and provision after their coming, and with pavilions and carriages to lie on the fields, address them to convene and meet my lord regent's grace at Leith on 1 October 1571, and to await and attend as they shall be commanded for setting forth of our sovereign lord's authority and service, in assuaging of the burgh of Edinburgh and restoring the same to the former liberty, and to remain for that effect during the space of forty days after their coming, under the pain of loss of life, lands and goods.

  1. NAS, PC1/6, pp.12-13. Back
  2. From NAS, PC1/6, p.13, privy council business is resumed. Back