That the adversaries of Christ's evangel shall not enjoy the patrimony of the kirk

Item, forasmuch as the conservation and purgation of the religion chiefly pertains to the Christian and godly kings, princes, rulers and magistrates, and that it is most requisite that the kirk within this realm be served by godly persons of sound religion, obedient to the authority of the king's majesty, our sovereign lord, it is therefore concluded, statute and ordained by his majesty, with advice of [James Douglas, earl of Morton], his said regent, three estates and whole body of this present parliament, that every person who shall pretend to be a minister of God's word and sacraments, or who presently does or shall pretend to have and enjoy any benefice, use of the fruits, stipend, pension or portion out of benefice, and are not already under the discipline of the true kirk and participates not with the sacraments thereof, shall, in the presence of the archbishop, bishop, superintendent or commissioner of the diocese or province where he has or shall have the ecclesiastical living, give his assent and subscribe the articles of religion contained in the acts of our sovereign lord's parliament, and give his oath for acknowledging and recognising of our sovereign lord and his authority, and shall bring a testimonial in writing thereupon; and openly on some Sunday, in time of sermon or public prayers, in the kirk where by reason of his ecclesiastical living he ought to attend, or of the fruits whereof he receives commodity, read both the testimonial and confession, and of new make the said oath within the space of one month after the publication of this present act; and if he be out of the realm, within 60 days after the publication hereof and in time coming within one month after his admission, under the pain that every person that shall not do as is above appointed shall be ipso facto deprived and all his ecclesiastical promotions and living shall be vacant as if he were then naturally dead. And if any person ecclesiastical or which shall have ecclesiastical living shall wilfully maintain any doctrine directly contrary or repugnant to any of the said articles, and, being convened and called as follows, shall persist therein and not revoke his error, or after his revocation shall of new affirm such untrue doctrine, such maintaining, affirming and persisting shall be just cause to deprive him of his ecclesiastical living, and it shall be lawful to them before whom he is called and convened to deprive him. Which sentence of deprivation pronounced he shall be deprived in deed and his living vacant as if he were naturally dead. And that all archbishops, bishops, superintendents, possessors or titulars of prelates be called and convened for this effect before the general assembly of the kirk, and all inferior persons before the archbishops, bishops, superintendents or commissioners of the diocese or provinces within which they dwell.

  1. The Actis of King James the Sext, printed by R. Lekprevick (St Andrews, 1573), ff.7r-v. Bound with earlier parliamentary material at NLS, Black Acts, 1566-94, H.33.c.21, Scots Acts of Parliament, H.33.c.23 or Scots Acts, H.33.c.25. See also NAS, PA6/1, 1572/3. Back
  2. A version of this act at NAS, PA6/1, 1572/3 appears to be a draft. It is bound with 12 unnumbered folios, which all appear to have been annotated between 19 and 26 January 1572/3. Back
  3. 'And if he be out of the realm, within 60 days' warning' written in the margin of PA6/1. Back
  4. In the margin of PA6/1: '20 January 1572 [1573], the lords of the articles agree with the act. 26 January 1572 [1573], voted and confirmed in parliament.' Back