Concerning the taking in again of our sovereign lord's property to his highness's use

Concerning the proposition touching the poverty of the crown and how unable it is upon the present rents thereof to sustain even now the estate of our sovereign lord and public charges of the realm, much less to bear out his majesty's estate and expense at his more mature and perfect age; and therefore, calling to remembrance what has been the form observed by our sovereign lord's most noble progenitors in times past, when such cases occurred, and considering the effects and meaning of sundry acts of parliament bearing that the lands, castles and rents annexed to the crown may not be given in fee and heritage away in freehold to any person, of whatsoever estate or degree that ever he be, without advice, deliverance and decreet of the whole parliament; and for great considerations and reasonable causes concerning the welfare of the realm first to be advised and digestly considered by the whole estates, and if it happens the king to alienate or convey the lordships and castles annexed to the crown, as is before said, that alienation or disposition to be of no value; and that it is lawful for the king being for the time to receive those lands whenever he likes, to his own use, without any process of law, and the takers to refund all profits that they have taken up of their lands again to the king for all the time that they have them. [James Douglas, earl of Morton], the regent's grace, nobility and estates convened, after long reasoning and mature deliberation, ordain and command [Sir William Murray of Tullibardine], our sovereign lord's comptroller, and [Mr David Borthwick of Lochhill], advocate, to consider what parts of the lands annexed to the crown, or that were in the hands and possessed by the late King James IV and King James V of worthy memory, the time of their decease, or either of them, are alienated, conveyed in heritage, feu or freehold, in diminution of the rental; and to libel and cause execute summons against the possessors of such lands, to compear before the estates of the next parliament to hear it be declared by decreet and judgement of parliament that our sovereign lord may put to his hands and receive the lands again to his own use whenever he likes, without any process of law; and the takers and possessors to hear them decreed to refund all profits that they have taken off the same lands again to his highness for all the time that they have had them, according to the privilege of his highness's crown and acts of parliament above-specified made thereupon, as the said comptroller and advocate will answer to our sovereign upon the duty of their offices and diligence.

  1. NAS, PC1/7, p.306. Back