Act regarding exemptions from assizes

The king's majesty, with advice of his nobility, council and estates presently convened, considering the great abuse which has been in time bygone by granting of exemptions from assizes to diverse persons being of good health and sufficient ability to travel and within the age subject to his highness's proclamations and charges to pass upon assizes, and that upon very false narratives of their age and inability, whereby his majesty has been frustrated in administration of justice, being disappointed by the said exemptions of a full number of assize to pass upon the trial of such guilty persons as were under accusation; for remedy whereof, his majesty, with advice foresaid, statutes and ordains that all such exemptions from assizes as are granted to any person whatsoever heretofore (being within the age appointed by the law and of ability to travel) shall in no way excuse them from passing upon assizes, or in their absence shall be no warrant to stay their penalties until the next parliament, that his majesty and estates there to be convened set down some solid order relating thereto, discharging his highness's justice, justice clerk and their deputes in the meantime of any receiving or admitting of any of the said exemptions for any persons, being within the age of law and able of body as said is. Providing always that the inhabitants of the burghs of this realm be no further astricted nor obliged to pass upon assizes of any persons but when the crime whereupon the person to be accused is committed within the space of four miles to the burgh where the said persons summoned to pass upon assize dwells.

  1. NAS, PC1/16, 522.