4 April 1373

Legislation: statute, ordinance and declaration entailing the Crown on the sons of Robert II

In the name of the Lord, amen. In the year following His incarnation 1373 and the third year of the reign of King Robert II, on 4 April, the aforesaid King Robert, holding his parliament at Scone and wishing and desiring to avoid as far as possible the uncertainty of the succession and the evil and harm which happens and has happened in very many places, kingdoms and regions in past times from the succession of female heirs, and to avoid these things for himself and his heirs for most future times, from the deliberation of council and with the consent and assent of the prelates, earls and barons, and the rest of the leading men and nobles and all others of the three estates or communities of the whole kingdom assembled in the same place, has declared, ordained and decreed that the sons of this king from his first and second wives now born and their male heirs shall succeed this king provided that they succeed in due order of succession to the kingdom and in the right of ruling by the manner written below, and under the form and conditions written below, namely, that the lord John [Stewart], firstborn son of the king, earl of Carrick and steward of Scotland, the right of succession of whom was fully declared in parliament immediately preceding, and his heirs, providing they are male, after his death shall succeed to the kingdom and the right of ruling. And this lord John and his male heirs perchance failing, which God forbid, the lord Robert [Stewart], earl of Fife and Menteith, second-born son of the same lord king from his first wife, and his heirs, providing they are male, shall succeed to the kingdom and in the right of ruling successively and immediately. And this lord Robert and his heirs male also perchance failing in this way, which God forbid, the lord Alexander [Stewart], lord of Badenoch, third-born son of the same lord king from the same wife, and his heirs male, shall succeed in the same way to the kingdom and the right of ruling after their death, in the same manner successively and immediately. The same aforementioned lord Alexander and his heirs perchance similarly failing, which God forbid, the lord David [Stewart], earl of Strathearn, son of the same lord king born from his second wife, and his male heirs only shall succeed, the same [Alexander and his heirs] thus failing entirely, to the kingdom and the right of ruling successively and immediately in a similar manner. This same lord David and his aforesaid heirs similarly perchance failing, Walter [Stewart], son of the same lord king, brother german of the same lord David, and his heirs male shall succeed in strict succession to the kingdom and in the right of ruling in a similar manner. But, the aforesaid five brothers and their heirs male descending from them failing finally and entirely, which God forbid, the true and legitimate heirs by royal blood and kinship from then henceforth shall succeed to the kingdom and the right of ruling. Which things thus decreed, ordained, declared and enacted, all the prelates, earls and barons, and the others of the three estates or communities of the whole kingdom, assembled for this and other things in the same parliament in the same place, ratified and approved this declaration, ordinance and statute for themselves and their heirs to endure in perpetuity in future times. And notwithstanding, the prelates written below, namely the lords William [de Landels], bishop of St Andrews, Michael [de Monymusk], bishop of Dunkeld, Alexander [de Kininmont], bishop of Aberdeen, Patrick [de Leuchers], bishop of Brechin, Alexander [Bur], bishop of Moray, Andrew, bishop of Dunblane, Alexander [de Kylwos], bishop of Ross, and Malcolm [de Drumbreck], bishop of Caithness, the Holy Gospels of God being present and open, and the earls, barons and nobles written below, first, viz., the older sons of the king themselves having reached advanced age, namely the lords John, Robert and Alexander, also Sir William earl of Douglas, Sir George de Dunbar, earl of March, Sir John de Dunbar, earl of Moray, Sir Thomas de Hay, constable of Scotland, Sir William de Keith, marischal of Scotland, Sir James de Lindsay, lord of Crawford, Sir Archibald de Douglas, lord of Galloway, Sir James de Douglas, lord of Dalkeith, Sir Robert Erskine, Sir Hugh de Eglinton, Sir Duncan Wallace, Sir David Graham, Sir Walter de Haliburton, Sir William de Dishington, Sir Alan de Erskine, Sir Alan Stewart, Sir James Fraser, Sir Alexander Fraser, Sir Robert Stewart of Innermeath, Sir Roger de Mortimer, Sir David Watson, Sir Patrick de Graham, Sir Andrew de Vallance, Sir John Wallace, Sir John de Maxwell, Sir Andrew Campbell, Sir William de Cunningham, the son, and Sir John de Strachan, knights, John Kennedy and Alexander Cockburn, esquires, each of them having touched the same Holy Gospels, gave a bodily oath that the aforesaid declarations, ordinances and statutes will be inviolably observed by them and their heirs, and that they will cause [them] to be observed by others perpetually as far as they have power. Immediately following on this, all the multitude of clergy and people in the church of Scone having been specially summoned together for this before the great altar, and each of them having given oaths in a high and public voice to the aforementioned declaration, ordinance and statute, having raised a hand by way of giving fealty in a sign of the universal consent of all the clergy and people, their consent and assent was publicly pronounced and revealed. In testimony of all of which the aforementioned lord king has commanded his great seal to be appended to the present writing or instrument. And for greater evidence and fuller security, all the bishops, earls and barons, and the abovesaid nobles, have caused their seals to be appended to the same instrument in testimony and for the perpetual memory of future generations. This was enacted at Scone in the full parliament of the aforesaid lord king, in the year, month and on the day noted above.

[Sir James Balfour of Kinnaird's seventeenth-century transcript records the following seals as being attached.]

These following seals are appended to his writing, viz.:

[Additional seals recorded in facsimile and not mentioned by Balfour:]

  1. Original NAS SP13/11. See notes on MS text for full details of MSS used in this edition. Back
  2. See untranslated text for details of surviving sealing. Back
  3. Recte 'dominus de Badenoch'. Alexander Stewart was not styled earl of Buchan until July 1382 (HBC, 502). Back
  4. The letters 'Willi...' can be made out in what would have been the top right hand side of the seal. Back
  5. The cinquefoil is not associated with any of the families named in the MS. Back
  6. The seal bears the Stewart 'fess chequy', surmounted by a bend with three buckles, and supported by two lions. A very similar seal had been used by Thomas Stewart, earl of Angus, before 1361 (W. R. MacDonald, Scottish Armorial Seals (Edinbrugh, 1904), 323). Back
  7. The fragment is the same as that described in W. R. MacDonald, Scottish Armorial Seals, 107. Back