Commission for setting of the order of the taxation on all estates

2Our sovereign lord and three estates of this present parliament, under the complaints of diverse his highness's subjects toward the unequal stenting in sundry taxations that have been raised of late years for his highness's service and common affairs of the realm, some lamenting that they are now taxed which were never in use to be taxed of before, some left untaxed more able to pay than they that are taxed, some because that the taxations which should be paid by the prelates and freeholders themselves are laid upon the poor labourers of the ground, some because they are burdened with far greater relief to the prelates than of equity and reason they ought, and partly because of the alteration likely to be through erection of some parts of the kirkrents in temporal lordships, with provision that the same shall tax with the estate of the barons in time coming, and sundry other occasions; for remedy whereof, our sovereign lord, with advice of the said estates, gives, grants and commits full power and commission of parliament to Adam [Bothwell], bishop of Orkney, Alexander [Seton], commendator of Pluscarden, Robert [Boyd], lord Boyd, James [Stewart], lord of Doune, Master John Lindsay, parson of Menmuir, Master David Carnegie of Colluthie, John Arnott [of Birswick], burgess of Edinburgh, and William Fleming, burgess of Perth, to convene within the burgh of Edinburgh when they shall be required thereto, or find most commodious time thereof at any time between now and 1 June 1588, and there to consider the occasions of the said complaints, see the retours and old tax rolls, as well of the spirituality as temporalities and burghs, what was the ancient form of setting of taxations in time past and how far the same differs from the form used within this realm these few years past; and thereafter, at their good discretion, to set and establish such a form and order of taxation of the lieges of this realm in time coming as shall appear to them most equitable and indifferent for all estates; with power also to the said commissioners to hear the complaints of all parties having interest in setting of the said form of taxation, and to decide therein summarily as they shall think most agreeable with equity and justice, and to make acts and ordinances thereupon, which being duly formed and subscribed with the hands of any five of them, his highness ordains to be delivered to [Alexander Hay of Easter Kennet], his clerk register, to be registered in the books of parliament and published, shall have like force and execution as if the same were done by our sovereign lord and his three estates in full parliament, until the next parliament and thereafter until the aforesaid order be discharged.

  1. NAS, PA2/13, ff.150r-v.
  2. 'P.' written in margin.