Judicial proceeding: summons of treason

The which day the said Master David MacGill [of Cranstoun-Riddel], advocate, reproduced the foresaid summons of treason duly executed and endorsed against the foresaid [...] persons, which persons specified in the said summons were thrice called at the tolbooth window, whereof none compeared except James Learmonth in Kelso, Robert Ormiston of Bridgend, John Stewart of Fouledge and Patrick Futhie of Futhie's Mill. And thereafter, the whole executions of the said summons of new verified by the depositions of David Wilson, messenger, William Houston, tailor, and James Armour, courier, his wit[nesses] inserted in the first execution; William Forsyth, messenger, Henry Girdwood and Rob[ert] Symonton, his witnesses inserted in all the executions and endorsements executed by him; Ninian Weir, messenger, Andrew Henryson and William Clerk, witnesses inserted in the whole endorsements executed by him; and Nicol Newell, messenger, and John Finlayson, called the courier, and John Aitken in Kirkgate, witnesses inserted in the endorsement executed by him at Dumfries, being all personally present and solemnly sworn to that effect; whereupon the said advocate asked instruments.

The said James Learmonth in Kelso compeared personally in presence of the said commissioners of parliament, and offered him ready to abide trial of law upon whatsoever crimes of treason contained in the said summons to be laid to his charge. And likewise, the said John Stewart of Fouledge compeared personally and was content to abide the trial of law for the crimes of treason laid to his charge contained in the said summons. And also compeared the said Robert Ormiston of Bridgend and produced a letter subscribed by the king's majesty directed to the said Master David MacGill [of Cranstoun-Riddel], advocate, commanding him in his highness's name to pass from the said Robert and that part of the said summons which concerns him, and to delete him out of the said summons; upon the production whereof, the said Robert Ormiston asked instruments. And the said Master David MacGill produced letters of relaxation bearing that the foresaid whole defenders summoned by the said summons of treason to be relaxed from whatsoever process of horn led against them or any of them for whatsoever cause or occasion preceding the date of the said letter, which is dated at Dalkeith, 10 May, and of our sovereign lord's reign the 25th year, 1592, and executed on 12 May and registered in the sheriff court books on 22 May; and also thereupon asked instruments. And also, Master John MacGill, advocate, compeared personally and in name and on behalf of Alexander Home, brother-german to William Home of Prenderguest, protested that his absence at this time be not imputed to him for contumacy and prejudice him not of his innocency regarding the odious crime of treason laid to his charge, seeing the cause wherefore he may not compear is known; and as to the crime of coming to the abbey that night contained in the said summons in company with Francis, sometime earl of Bothwell, he protests he is most innocent thereof as being that night upon the west border of Scotland more than 60 miles from the said abbey, which he is content to verify by honest gentlemen, and therefore protests that in case it be not sufficiently proven by such as heard, saw and knew him there, that no argument be grounded upon his absence, whereby he may be prejudiced of his innocency according to the said protestation given in by the said Master John at length in writing, and asked instruments upon the declaration and production thereof by way of an excuse for the said Alexander Home.

Master David MacGill [of Cranstoun-Riddel], advocate, present, took him to be advised with the king's majesty if he should give command to the clerks to delete Robert Ormiston out of the said summons of treason or not, according to the ticket directed by his majesty to him to that effect.

The lords commissioners of parliament ordain the said James Learmonth, Robert Ormiston and John Stewart of Fouledge to retire themselves to their lodgings within Edinburgh, therein to remain until they be sent for by his majesty.

  1. NAS, PA2/14, ff.2r-v.
  2. NAS, PA2/14, f.2v.
  3. NAS, PA2/14, f.2v.
  4. NAS, PA2/14, f.2v.