Legislation: private act
Act regarding the earls [George Gordon, earl of] Huntly and [Francis Hay, earl of] Erroll

The king's majesty, having ofttimes taken great pains and travails for quieting of the troubled estate of the north country manifested by the effects that followed upon the persons and livings and houses of the principal authors of the said trouble, besides the expelling of themselves out of the chief parts and places where they made their common residence, in the end it was thought fit by his majesty, his council, noblemen and barons of the country and others resident with his highness for the time, that before his majesty's returning out of the same country, his highness should constitute and appoint a lieutenant to make his residence and remaining therein in his majesty's absence for preventing and withstanding of all further practices, if any should happen to be attempted, and reducing and containing of the inhabitants thereof under his majesty's obedience. And albeit sundry noblemen then present with his majesty were burdened to accept that charge upon them, yet few or none could be moved thereto, some excusing themselves by their inability and others for want of present preparation, so that delay of time in this case, being then thought to be very dangerous, his majesty was moved at last of very necessity to burden his dearest cousin, Ludovic [Stewart], duke of Lennox, earl of Darnley, lord Tarbolton, Methven and d'Aubigny with the said charge, after the same was refused to be accepted by all persons then present with his highness. Likewise his majesty was forced to furnish him with a council of certain noblemen, besides forces of horsemen and footmen, for the better execution of that charge, wherein he continued almost during all the time of that winter season. And because it was then thought to be very troublesome and inconvenient and almost impossible that he should remain still in those parts furnished with the said forces, seeing the money appointed for that errand with great difficulty be had, in the end he was moved of very necessity by his majesty's allowance to oversee the passing out of this realm to the parts beyond sea of George, sometime earl of Huntly and Francis, sometime earl of Erroll, chief authors of the said trouble, upon bonds always given that they should not return again within this realm without his highness's special licence, and that during the time of their absence they should not traffick to the prejudice of the true religion presently professed within this realm, his highness's person, crown and estate, under certain pecuniary pains mentioned in the said bonds made thereupon; and in respect thereof, to promise likewise by his highness's allowance that the points foresaid of the said bond, being observed and kept, their wives in that case should have intromission with their rents and living during the time of their absence. Which promise his majesty, his nobility, council and estates presently convened find that his highness can in no way violate without spot and derogation of his princely honour, and therefore have suspended and by the tenor hereof suspends all further execution to be used against the said sometime earls touching the intromission with their rents and living until, after trial, it shall be found and declared that they have had traffick to the prejudice of the said true religion, as his majesty is informed; which trial his highness shall take and cause be taken between now and the feast of Lammas [1 August] next to come, to which sundry of the ministry, being now personally present, promised to hold hand. And in case after trial it shall be in any way found that they have had traffick to the prejudice of the said true religion and consequently against his majesty, his person, crown and estate or otherwise to have contravened any part of the said bond against the tenor of the same, then and in that case not only shall his highness cause intromission to be had with their rents and living and the same wholly seized to his highness's use, but likewise their cautioners shall be called and pursued for contravention of the said bonds and the pains contained therein collected from them with all rigour and extremity in example of others.

  1. NAS, PC1/16, 453.