Procedure: speech before parliament
La harangue que fit Monsieur de Liddington au commencement du parlement2

Gif at ony tyme heirtofore parliamentis hes bene thocht necessary or proffitable, I think quha saevir sall narrowlie loke in the present estait of this realme will immediatlie juge that it is not without purpos that we ar heir assemblid at this tyme, and that for divers reservationes, quhairof every ane is of sufficient consequence to impart this generall convention, to wit, thestablissing of ane uniforme religion, the acknawledging of the just auctoritie in the persoun of the king, our soverane lord, upoun dimissioun of the croun in his favor be the queen, his mother, and during his minoritie in the persoun of the my lord regent; alsua, be his appountment, the revuing of the myndis of the nobilitie insafer as ony diversitie of jugementis hes apperit in thair actionis, the tyme of the lait contraversies, the taking order for the cruell murthors perpetrated in the persoun of the king, our soverane lordis fader of gude memorie, besides mony other disorders standing in the publict stait, very worthie to be redressid be the grave jugements of you, my lords, and utheris heir assemblit, quhilkis I pas ower with silence, as unwilling to weary yow with ane onnecessary rehersall of thay poyntes quhilkis mair propirlie wilbe brocht in audience befoir the lordes of articles. Thir I have bot thochit as the principall, chopping at thame without ony farther averture, leaving mair ample discoursing upon evry heade to the opinnying thairof in his just tyme and place. Twa poyntes I may not omit, baith tending to your grite confirt, gif with thankfull hairtes ye will embrac Goddis benefties sa leberallie offered unto you. The first is yor dewitie to examyn quhat grit succes in a schort tyme hes followit upoun a small begynning concernyng materis of relligioun, and thairwithall to considder Goddis provoudence towardes you, quhais cair of your preservatioun in this behalf hes not onlie beine exte[...] towardes the saiftie of your consciences, althocht thai is the principall and to be taken for the chief benefite, bot alsua to the securitie of your luvis and landis, quhairin as he hes wrocht miraculously and far beyond your expectatioun, sua hes he excellit the ordinar and commoun cours of the furthsetting of his glory by the handis of the nationis round about you. The quietnes ye presentlie enjoy declaris sufficientlie the victorie that God, by his word, hes obtene amangis you within the space of les than upoun ix yeiris, howsevir the fundatioun wes in the dyis of men, how unlikely it wes to rys sa suddanlie to sa large and huge a greatnes. With quhat calumnes the werk hes procedit, not ane of you is ignorant. Irne hes not beine hard within the hous of the Lord, that is to say, the haill is builded, sett up and erectit to this gretnes without bluideshed. Note it, I pray you, as a singulair testimonie of Goddis favor and a peculair benefite grantit onlie to the realme of Scotalnd, not as the maist worthie bot chosen out by his providence from amongst all nationis for causses hid and unknoawin to ws, to furthschaw his almichtie power that the trew relligioun hes obtenit a fre cours universallie throch the haill realme; and yit not a Scottismannis bluide sched in the furthsetting of the haill quirell. With quhat nation in the earth hes God delt sa mercifullie? Considder the progres of relligioun from tyme to tyme in other cuntreis: Germany, Denmark, England, France, Flandris, or quhair ye pleis. Ye sall find the lyves of mony thousandis spendit befoir thay culd purchas the x part of that libertie quhairunto we have atteyned, as it were, sleaping upon down coddes, as Goddis mercyes in this behalf hes bene mair plenteously powred out upon yo then othris quhen ye desyrit nathing les. Sa gif ye be fund negligent to put the talent to proffit, quhairof he hes put you in truist, speceallie quhen ye have the tyme and sa far ane occasioun offered, it is to be feared that by the dreadful plagues sall come upon you, he sall teche others not to abuse the tyme of his mercifull visitatioun, and how feirfull it is to fall in the handes of the leving God. This I say not that I dispair of your zele to go fodwart in the werk have begun, bot to admonyshe you of your dewitie, putting you in remembrance that this is the tyme quhen ye mon declair yourselffis thankfull for the benefits ye have ressavit, and, be establishing of ane uniforme order in the makeris of relligioun, it mon appeare to the haill woarld that ye prefere the furthsetting of Gods glorie before all warldlie respects. Nixt, to encourage you (quhilk is the secund hede I had to twiche) by reasoun of the fit instrement ye have to furthsett the Godlie ordinances, ye sall agrie upon alsweil in makeris of religioun as twiching the commounwealth. I meane my lord regent, in quhais persoun the execution of the kingis auctoritie is comited for this tyme, quhais behavior, being sa weill knawin to you all by the experience ye have had of his procedingis from the begyning, evin to this hour, will mak me to spek of him the mair moderatlie, speceallie in his awin presence. This onlie will I twiche and dar promis it in his name, thait he will nevir tak upon him to imprye ower the law, bot by the contrary, submitting his awin persoun to the law will profess him selff onlie to be your minister and executor of the gude ordinances ye sall agrie upoun, without ony privat respect to his awin commoditie, danger or ony uther thing that may twiche himselff in particulair.

  1. PRO, SP52/14, ff.228-229.
  2. On reverse of manuscript is the description 'An Oration of the L. Ledington at the parliament in Scotland in December 1567'. According to the heading, this was given at the beginning of parliament, but since no specific date is given, it has been placed at the end of the additional material.