Committee members: privy council
Concerning the establishing of the king's majesty's council

Our sovereign lord, with advice of his three estates in this present parliament, for the support of his highness in the administration and governing of the affairs of his crown, estate and commonwealth of his realm, has nominated, elected and chosen and, by the tenor hereof, nominates, elects and chooses the earls, lords and others underwritten to be of his highness's privy council: they are to say, James [Douglas], earl of Morton, lord of Dalkeith, great admiral of this realm, Robert [Stewart], earl of Lennox, lord Darnley, John [Graham], earl of Montrose, lord Graham, Andrew [Leslie], earl of Rothes, lord Leslie, Hugh [Montgomery], earl of Eglinton, lord Montgomery, Robert [Douglas], earl of Buchan, lord of Glendowachy,2 Patrick [Lindsay], lord Lindsay of the Byres, Robert [Boyd], lord Boyd, Andrew Stewart, lord Ochiltree, Alan [Cathcart], lord Cathcart, John [Maxwell], lord Herries, David Erskine, commendator of Dryburgh, Robert [Keith], commendator of Deer, Mark [Kerr], commendator of Newbattle, James [Stewart], commendator of Inchcolm, Alexander [Colville], commendator of Culross, John Erskine of Dun and Master James Haliburton, provost of Dundee, over and above his highness's ordinary officers of the estate, to wit, Colin [Campbell], earl of Argyll, lord Campbell and Lorne, chancellor, William [Ruthven], lord Ruthven, treasurer, Robert [Pitcairn], commendator of Dunfermline, secretary, Sir William Murray of Tullibardine, knight, comptroller, Adam [Erskine], commendator of Cambuskenneth, collector, Master George Buchanan, pensioner of Crossraguel, preceptor to the king's majesty, Sir Lewis Bellenden of Auchnoull, knight, clerk of justiciary, Alexander Hay [of Easter Kennet], clerk register, Master Robert Crichton of Eliock, his highness's advocate; admitting also Master John Colville, master of requests, with the clerk of the council and the secretary's depute to have access in the council house and to be present in time of council as they shall be commanded, and the macer to stand outwith the door; and that in absence of my lord chancellor, there be a president appointed by the remainder of the council then resident, who shall supply the chancellor's office to his returning; as also, whenever the secretary, treasurer, comptroller or collector shall happen, for necessary causes, to be absent, they shall have their deputes continually attending on the council for discharge of such things as properly pertains to every one of their offices, for which deputes they shall be held to answer; and of the said whole number of councillors and ordinary officers there shall be eight present at least when any act is made, decreet given or any matter of importance discussed concerning either the king's majesty, commonwealth or particular parties. And the said councillors nominated and elected, with his highness's ordinary officers now present, have made faith in presence of his highness and his estates that they shall give their honest, loyal and true counsel in all things that shall be proposed in council tending to God's glory, the honour and surety of our sovereign lord, his estate and commonwealth of this realm. And his highness, with advice aforesaid, grants and gives full power and commission to so many of his council as shall happen to be present for the time to receive the oaths of the lords and others admitted by this act to be in the council house, now absent, when they shall happen to compear, declaring the same to have as great strength, force and effect as if the same were presently done. It is ordained also that the master of requests and clerk of the council shall, every council day, remind the chancellor or president of the affairs of the estate, causes depending and supplications present, that they may the better be proposed, heard and determined as the necessity of everything shall require; and that the public affairs concerning the king and the commonwealth be first discussed in the morning, and in the afternoon the bills read and particular causes of parties heard, unless there be no public affairs to be occupied with in the morning; and that all signatures, letters and missives to be subscribed by his majesty be first delivered to his officer to whose charge they belong, or his depute, and they to present the same to the king's majesty, and no others to presume to urge his highness with the subscribing of letters not being first seen by his council or ordinary officers as herein is appointed, but that such letters as should be considered by the council be first read (according to the order before appointed by act of parliament) in council sitting, subscribed by two of the councillors, if they be granted, and noted on the back by the clerk as heard and allowed by the council sitting, whereof also he shall make a short note in his book, writing likewise in the same the names of them that daily sit in the council; and that the keepers of the signet, privy and great seals answer the same to no signatures or letters but such as shall be thus subscribed by the king and two of the council and noted on the back by the clerk thereof, except such signatures as are appointed by the said former act of parliament to pass ordinarily by the treasurer and comptroller properly belonging to their offices without the council; and the foreign missives, which are only to be subscribed by the king, being seen, allowed and presented by the secretary, and to the effect that no Scots missives shall be privately purchased, the form and matter not being first found good by his highness's secretary, that all the said missives shall be subscribed under the king's subscription by the secretary or his depute, or else not to be signed or closed with his highness's seal; and that all letters commanding our sovereign lord's lieges to any effect shall be directed by advice of the council and subscribed in the council sitting by two councillors and no otherwise in like manner. It is statute and ordained that the treasurer, comptroller or collectors answer none of our sovereign lord's precepts for sums of money nor any gifts, fees or pensions to any person or persons unless the said precepts and gifts be reviewed and approved by his council sitting, subscribed by two of the councillors, noted by the clerk on the back and a memoir of the effect made in his book; and this form, until a further order be taken by his highness, with advice of his estates in parliament, to endure; and in case of any deficiency by the said councillors, that the king's majesty, with advice of the remainder of his council, elect and choose other persons in their places as often as need be.

  1. NAS, PA2/12, ff.31r-v.
  2. Now called Glenquithle.