Regarding the age and qualities of the lords of session

2Because the nobility, earls, lords and barons, ancient heritors of lands, livings and possessions, understood the institution of the college of justice and lords of session to have been from the beginning for decision of all civil actions, to the which decision their whole heritages, lands, livings and possessions are subject, and that his highness's progenitors instituted the said college of cunning and wise men, which his majesty, willing to continue according to his forbearers' good intention and to foresee the corruption increasing in the said college in this later and declining age, declares his highness's mind by act of parliament that in all times thereafter when any place should fall vacant in the session that his majesty should present and nominate thereto a man fearing God, of good literature, practice, judgement and understanding of the laws, of good fame, having sufficient living of his own, and who could make good expedition and dispatch in matters touching the lieges of the realm; and yet that it is required that his highness's good intention be more specially expressed toward the complaint of the choosing of young men without gravity, knowledge and experience upon the said session, not having sufficient living of their own, therefore our said sovereign lord, with advice of the estates of this present parliament, declares that none shall be received to a place of a senator in the college of justice, except he be sufficiently tried and known by his highness and whole lords of the session, that the said person to be presented and received have in yearly rent properly pertaining to himself the sum of 1,000 merks usual money of this realm, or else 20 chalders of victual, and that his experience, quality and conversation may be the better tried that he be of the age of 25 years at the least complete in all time coming, otherwise his presentation and admission to be null, annulling all presentations given and granted by his majesty since his highness's coronation to whatsoever person or persons not being of the age foresaid, ratifying nevertheless and approving always all acts made by his majesty's predecessors and his highness's self of before upon the institution of the said college and reformation of the abuses thereof.

  1. NAS, PA2/14, f.29v.
  2. Written in margin: 'V' and at edge of page, in small hand, 'civil laws'.