Legislation: roll of parliament

Acts in the council of the aforesaid king at Edinburgh on 1 December in the year, etc., [13]88, which had been prorogued by reason of the lord [John Stewart,] earl of Carrick, firstborn son of the king, from the council begun at Linlithgow in the preceding month of August. The three communities having assembled and been called together, [and] the intention and will of the king having been put forth, first in a schedule sealed by his signet ring, then by an authoritative utterance, the king submitted himself briefly and fully to the ordinance of his general council as far as putting into effect the administration of justice through the whole kingdom and as far as the defence of the kingdom against his enemies by force. And in the same way he wished his firstborn son and heir to submit2 to the same ordinance.

Indeed, after many talks, consultations and a discussion had been held, the three communities at length agreeing, and considering that there are, and have been now for a considerable time, great and numerous defects in the governing of the kingdom by reason of the king's disposition, both by reason of age and for other reasons, and the infirmity of the lord his firstborn son, and the minority of the son [David Stewart] of the same son and heir, and above all wishing to guard against the dangers which threaten at present by an invasion of their enemies in the marches, have amicably chosen Sir [Robert Stewart], earl of Fife, second-born son of the king, and brother german of the same lord the firstborn son, [as] guardian of the kingdom under the king, and his firstborn, and his son and heir, for putting into effect justice and keeping the law internally, and for the defence of the kingdom with the king's force, as set out before, against those attempting to rise up as enemies.

The king himself, moreover, admitted in his council3with joy the aforementioned earl of Fife, his son, thus chosen as guardian of his kingdom in this way and presented to him by the council, by the counsel and consent also of his aforesaid firstborn son. And he instructed his chancellor [John Peebles, bishop of Dunkeld] to release a commission to him4 in the form that it is to last until his said firstborn son recovers from his infirmity by God's grace or until his firstborn son5 and heir arrives at the ability of governing his office according to and by the determination of the council of the kingdom, and as long as this lord earl of Fife shall manage himself well and usefully in the aforesaid office, according to the determination and declaration of the general council or parliament. Which very determination and declaration will be made each year henceforth in the full parliament or general council which the king has now ordained and instructed to be held before the end of each year during six weeks or a month. It is also ordained by the council in the same place, and the king has instructed, that all and singular other subjects and lieges of the king shall make an oath of fealty to the said guardian during the term of his office.

The king also wished and commanded the chancellor in full council, from the consent and deliberation of the council, that he shall release whatsoever letters under the king's seal which the guardian and council, by one consent, may command touching the common usefulness, and [touching] the common ordinance to be made by his council for the governance and defence of the kingdom.

  1. NAS, Roll of Parliament, PA1/7r. The acts follow directly after 1388/8/1.
  2. Literally 'to be submitted to', a phrase which may imply forced submission.
  3. The MS contains the awkward phrase 'per consilium in suo consilio'. This word order has been rearranged here to assist the sense of the sentence.
  4. 'eidem comissionem sibi liberare'. Only eidem or sibi is needed.
  5. ie David Stewart, afterwards earl of Carrick and 1st duke of Rothesay.