Non-parliamentary record: declaration that John Stewart, earl of Carrick, is heir to the throne of Scotland

In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, amen. In the year after the Lord's incarnation 1371, according to the custom and calculation of the Scottish Church, on 27 of the month of March, the most serene prince the lord Robert, by the grace of God illustrious king of Scots, being at Scone at the time of his coronation, the prelates, earls, barons and others from the clergy and people of his realm attending him, after his sacred unction and coronation was solemnly performed, and having made a declaration of the right by which the same most serene prince succeeded and ought to succeed to the lord David [II] king of Scotland, his uncle and predecessor, both by nearness of blood and by a certain declaration by a certain instrument, displayed and also read in the same place, made in the time of the lord Robert [I] king of Scotland of renowned memory, grandfather and predecessor of our lord king himself; also having received the customary homage and fealty from these prelates, earls, barons and others from the clergy and people being in the same place which had long since been customary and appropriate to be performed at the coronation of the king of Scotland; wishing, by the custom and example of the same good King Robert of celebrated memory, his grandfather, to declare his successor and true heir in the same place in the presence of the clergy and people, although it was and is clearly agreed concerning this; from the abundant and unanimous consent and assent of the said prelates, earls, nobles and magnates, he indicated, asserted and recognised, declared and expressed his wish, that when he happens by divine dispensation to depart this life, the lord John [Stewart], his firstborn son, earl of Carrick and steward of Scotland, will be and ought to be his true and legitimate heir, and after his death he shall and ought to succeed him, if God wills it, to the kingdom of Scotland, and he shall sit and ought to sit upon the throne of his kingdom after him. Moreover, this declaration having been made, as above, by the lord our king himself in this way, concerning his aforementioned firstborn and heir, each one of the prelates, earls, nobles, magnates and others being in the same place, by their own voice individually, for himself, his heirs and successors, asserted, affirmed, declared, recognised and wished that the same lord John, surviving and living after the death of his aforementioned father, should, by the grace of divine favour, be in the future the king of Scotland as the legitimate heir of his same father, each promising in good faith, and having raised a hand in sign of the giving of the fealty, that he will regard him as king and the legitimate heir of the same father, and aid and defend him against any mortals, [and] also cause his seal to be appended to a writing or instrument upon this matter in sign of his aforesaid consent and permission, when they shall be asked upon this matter. Which recognition, promise and giving of fealty having been gone through and enacted in the council of our lord king, our same lord king, through the venerable man Mr John de Peebles, doctor of decreets, canon of Glasgow, his clerk, caused to be pronounced in public how from abundant [consent] he had indicated and declared the aforementioned lord John, his firstborn son, his true heir, just as he is and ought to be by law the future king, God willing, of the kingdom of Scotland, after his death; and how the aforementioned earls, nobles and others of the council affirmed, recognised, consented and promised, by means of the aforementioned fealty; and how all the people had been caused to be assembled with the clergy, so that in their presence and with their unanimous consent it should be done and made public, so nobody might pretend to be ignorant in any way concerning this matter in future. For all the multitude of prelates, earls and barons, and the others, both the clergy and the people, by a unanimous desire and harmonious utterance, no one at all claiming otherwise, affirmed, recognised and wished the same lord John, as the firstborn and true heir of our lord king his father, to be their future king, and having raised a hand in sign of the giving of fealty, they promised that they would hold him as their future king, God willing, after the death of his father and aid and defend him with all their strength against any mortals. Which things being thus completed, the aforesaid prelates, earls and barons being in the same place appended their seals to this writing for perpetual and future memory, in testimony of all the foregoing things, along with the sign and subscription of the below written notary public. These things were enacted at the abbey of Scone in the month, day and year written above.

And I, John Rollo, clerk of Moray diocese, notary public by apostolic authority, was present in person at the aforesaid announcement, declaration, affirmation, also the act of promising [and] the raising of hands, and at the public proclamation of the aforesaid Mr John de Peebles, along with the venerable fathers in Christ lords William [de Landels], bishop of St Andrews, Walter [de Wardlaw], bishop of Glasgow, and Patrick [de Leuchers], bishop of Brechin, and the distinguished men Sir John de Carrick, canon of Glasgow, the chancellor of Scotland, Sir Walter de Biggar, parson of the church of Erroll, the chamberlain of Scotland, the noble and powerful men Sir Thomas earl of Mar, Sir William earl of Douglas and Robert the Steward, earl [of Carrick], Sir Thomas de Hay, constable of Scotland, Sir William de Keith, marischal of Scotland, Sir Archibald de Douglas, Sir James de Douglas, Sir Robert Erskine and Sir Duncan Wallace, barons and knights, Mr John de Peebles abovesaid, and many other witnesses specially summoned and invited to the foregoing, approving this first in the private chamber of the aforesaid lord king in his private council and afterwards in his parliament chamber in public, as aforesaid, in presence of a multitude of people, done in the year, day, month and at the place stated above, ninth year of the pontifical indiction, in the first year of the [pontificate of] the most holy father in Christ and our Lord the lord by divine providence Pope Gregory XI, and I understood, saw and heard all and singular those things expressed above while they were being conducted in this way. I have signed the present instrument ([written] by the hand of another) by my customary sign at the instance of the aforesaid lord John, firstborn of the same lord king, earl of Carrick, steward of Scotland, subscribing this in my own hand, having been specially summoned and invited, in testimony of all the foregoing things, the interlineation in the last line of my subscription [of the word] 'John' being approved.

[Tags and sealing]

  1. A 19th-century facsimile of this exceptionally fine MS faces APS, i, 546. Original to be found at NAS, SP13/10. Back
  2. Sic. The grammar of the Latin sentence mixes singular and plural verbs when describing the declarations by the prelates, earls, nobles and magnates. Back
  3. Added above line. Back
  4. May be Alexander Stewart, who was dead by 9 May, or his successor Alexander de Kylwos (?Culross), who received papal provision on that day (Fasti, 267-8). Back
  5. Either Walter de Coventry, or his successor Andrew, who received provision to the see on 27 April 1372. Back
  6. The see of Argyll may have been vacant in 1371 (Fasti, 27). Back
  7. Probably William, abbot of Scone, who occurs on 1 March 1370 (HRHS, 200). Back
  8. Walter de Faslane was normally styled lord of Lennox (HBC, 512), however on 30 March 1372 he was styled earl of Lennox in a royal charter (RMS, i, 505). The position of his seal on this MS, and the fact that he is referred to simply as 'Leuenex' suggests that he was accorded the title earl of Lennox in March 1371, as part of the coronation proceedings. This honour was retracted at a later date, subsequent to March 1372. Back
  9. Probably Sir William Cunningham of Kilmaurs. Back
  10. Probably Robert, who occurs in a document dating from between 1368 and 1371 (HRHS, 128). Back
  11. Possibly Abbots Lambert (occurs 1356) or Walter (occurs 1387) (HRHS, 44). Back