Act in favour of [Dorothy Ross], lady Aicket

2Forasmuch as by act of secret council made at Edinburgh, 13 August 1586, it was decreed and ordained that the places of Robertland and Aicket should be kept by Robert [Montgomery], master of Eglinton, and his servants in his name, during the time of the rebellion of David Cunningham of Robertland and Alexander Cunningham of Aicket, and further until his majesty should declare his express will in the contrary; and that by the same act, for the better keeping thereof during the said space, there was appointed six persons to be placed within the said place of Robertland, and four persons within the said place of Aicket, to be sustained upon the readiest of the livings of Robertland and Aicket, allowing to every one of them £6 monthly, beginning the first month's payment upon 1 August and so forth to continue during the space foresaid, as the said act of secret council at more length bears; likewise in the parliament held at Edinburgh, 29 July 1587 thereafter, by a special act thereof made and concluded by our sovereign lord and three estates, they ratified and approved the foresaid act and decreet of secret council, and all and sundry points, articles and clauses contained therein; and decreed and ordained the same to be put to further execution in all points after the form and tenor thereof. As also his highness, with advice of the said three estates, by the same act of new willed, declared and ordained the houses and places foresaid to be still retained and kept by the said Robert, master of Eglinton, his friends and servants, to be sustained and kept upon the expenses of the readiest of the livings foresaid by the number of persons contained in the said act of secret council, allowing to every one of them monthly the sum of money mentioned therein, and that until the said David Cunningham of Robertland and Alexander Cunningham of Aicket have abided and underlain the laws for the crimes foresaid, notwithstanding of whatsoever relaxation if any shall happen to be procured in the meantime, or any gift of escheat of liferent of the persons foresaid, or other right granted to whatsoever person or persons in the contrary, as in the said act of parliament at more length is contained; which act of secret council and parliament contains an unaccustomed novelty far above the pains prescribed in such cases by the common law of the country and has not taken the effect that was looked for, but by the contrary has been the occasion of the destruction of the policy of the said place of Aicket, houses, yards, orchards and other growing trees thereabouts, so that the same has been this long time bygone ruinous and laid waste, without door, window, lock, roof, or without any keeper or custodian thereinto, and yet the duties prescribed by the said acts to the keepers have been most rigorously exacted every month, and yet is to the great ruin of the poor tenants dwelling thereupon, who are not due in so much yearly ferm or mail as is extorted by them and of the conjunct fiars and lady tercers thereupon, who by the said acts entirely are defrauded of their said mails and duties under pretence of the said acts, whereof they allege the execution should be preferred absolutely to all other rights of any other persons to have the full effect, and so, under colour of the said acts, manifest wrongs are committed, the policy of the country destroyed and a colour given to evil affected persons to ruin innocent men, and to take up a great living by them for causes that have not followed and are now unable to follow hereafter in respect of the present estate of the said places; therefore his majesty, with advice of the estates of this present parliament, has discharged and by the tenor hereof discharges the said Robert, master of Eglinton, his servants and agents in his name of all further detention and keeping of the place of Aicket, or uplifting of any of the said duties appointed for keeping thereof in the said act of secret council and act of parliament, and whole effect and strength of both the said acts to cease in all time coming as if the same had never been made in so far as the same extends, or may be extended, to the said place of Aicket and uplifting of any duties and rents of the lands and living of Aicket only; and declares that it shall be permissible to Dorothy Ross, lady Aicket, to intromit with, uplift and take up the whole mails, ferms and duties of the said lands and living of Aicket, which are yet in the tenants' hands not intromitted with or uplifted by the said Robert, master of Eglinton, his servants and agents, to be conveyed upon by the said lady as she shall think expedient in time coming, with special provision that the said Dorothy Ross, lady Aicket, before the extracting of this act, grant and subscribe sufficient discharges to Robert, master of Eglinton, his cautioners, assisters and partakers, of their intromission with the said place of Aicket, rents and duties thereof whatsoever intromitted with by the said Robert, master of Eglinton, or any others in his name, and of all his proceedings at any time therein, preceding the date hereof; and also finds sufficient caution acted in the books of council under the pain of 5,000 merks money that her said spouse nor any other committer of the slaughter of the said late earl of Eglinton shall be reset within the said place during the time of their rebellion and lying under the process of horn for the same slaughter.

  1. NAS, PA2/14, ff.60r-v.
  2. Written in margin: 'P'.