Against passing in pilgrimage to chapels, wells and crosses, and the superstitious observing of diverse other popish rights

2Forasmuch as part for want of doctrine and rarity of ministers, and partly through the perverse inclination of man's engine to superstition, the dregs of idolatry yet remain in diverse parts of the realm by using of pilgrimage to some chapels, wells, crosses and such other monuments of idolatry, as also by observing of the festival days of the saints, sometimes named their patrons, in setting of bonfires, singing of carols within and about kirks at certain seasons of the year, and observing of such other superstitious and popish rights to the dishonour of God, contempt of the true religion and fostering of great error amongst the people; for remedy whereof, it is statute and ordained by our sovereign lord, with advice of his three estates in this present parliament, that none of his highness's lieges presume or take upon hand in time coming to resort to, frequent or use the said pilgrimages or other forenamed superstitious and popish rights under the pains following, namely, each gentleman or woman landed, or wife of the gentleman landed, £100 pounds, the unlanded 100 merks and the yeoman £40, for the first fault; and for the second fault, the offenders to suffer the pain of death as idolaters. And for the better execution hereof, commands, ordains and gives power to all sheriffs, stewarts, bailies, provosts, aldermen and bailies of burghs, lords of regalities, their stewarts and bailies and others whom it shall please our sovereign lord to grant special commission to search and seek the persons passing in pilgrimage to any kirks, chapels, wells, crosses or such other monuments of idolatry, as also the superstitious observers of the festival days of the saints, sometimes named their patrons, where there are no public fairs and markets, setters out of bonfires, singers of carols within and about kirks, and of such other superstitious and popish rights, and apprehending them in the actual deed of the transgression of this present act, after speedy judgement of their transgression, to put and hold them in prison and firmness until they redeem their liberty by payment of the pains above-written and find caution to abstain in time coming, under the pain of doubling of the same pain; and if the persons apprehended be not able to redeem their liberty by payment of the said pecuniary pains, that then they keep the persons, transgressors, in prison, irons or stocks, upon bread and water, for the space of one month after their apprehension, causing them when they are set at liberty to either find caution or make faith to abstain thereafter; and in case they happen to pass out of the shire where they offend without apprehension, that the sheriffs and other ordinary judges of the next shire, burgh or jurisdictions apprehend them and proceed in like manner against them, declaring the one half of the pecuniary pains to pertain to the said ordinary judges for their pains and for sustaining of the persons to be kept in ward, irons or stocks, and the other half to be brought in to the use of the poor of the parish.

  1. NAS, PA2/12, f.67v.
  2. In the margin: a cross denotes acts to be printed.