Letter: the king to the estates
The kings majesties missive letter directit to the estaites

Right trustie and rycht weill beloved cusins, councillours and others our trustie and weil belovit subjects, the estaits presentlie assemblit, we greit yow heartilie weill. We have thocht convenient at the returne of our chancellour that ye should be assembled to the intent ye mycht know by his report (as we doubt not bot every one of yow hath bein severallie informit by the commissioners) of our gude affection towards yow and the honour, benefite, credite and advancement of that our kingdome, quhich is in all respects no les dear unto ws now then even then quehn we dwelt in the midst of yow. And, least our absence mycht breed in the hearts of the better sort ane opinion of our neglect of that estaite, and in the worst ane esperance of impunitie, we desyre yow all in generall, and everie subject of that country in particular, to be fully perswadit that our gritest caire is and hath ever bein since our coming hither that justice in all degries may be ministred with gritter honour and integritie, the execution thairof go forward with gritter severitie, and generallie that our authoritie may be now so much the moir reverenced amangst yow as our power is gritter to repress the insolencie of the most lawles misdoer and heidstrang oppressor in such sort as honest men may confidentlie repoise thair honest proceidings in the assurance of our princely love, and tyrantes and malefactors be affrayed to attempt any thing contraire to our lawis to the harm or prejudice of thair nychtbors, being assured not to escape the rigour of such punishment as the nature of thair offence deserveth. And thairfoir we recomend to yow that, since we have in all assemblies, both publict and private, manteined the honour of that countrey, the generous disposition of yow as subjects to our obedience and the observance of the laws, by your misbehaviour ye make not the countrey2 appeare, bot that every ane of you in your awn degree stryve, in a laudable emulation of obedience, policie and all verteous industrie, to raise and increase his awn estaite. The nobilitie, as thai are in credite and honour nixt unto us, be your guid example to teach your inferiours how to live civillie with that due respect to our obedience quhich apperteyneth, and to be by your force and power assisting to our justice and officiers of the same in all things tending to the preservation of the peace and observation of the law. The barrons and gentlemen with the lyke caire to respect the commonweall, not in schaw or words, bot in effect, thinking that every insolence or contempt quhich beginneth bot in ane, gif it be not suppresit at the begyning, may inflame the quhole body quharof thai are the gritest pairt. The burrowes to thair power to convene with baith in a steadfast desyre to be reputed wholsome and profitable members, that amangst them virtue and policie may floorish, by setting up of profitable traides to the guid of the cuntrey and suppressing the contrarie, following the lawdable example of this thair nychtbour cuntrey and other comelie places quhair thai trafficque abroad. That the whole body may joyne in one to the rooting out of all barbaritie quhich hath bein hitherto mantenit in any corner of that cuntrey, bot speciallie in the borders and highlands, that, by labouring your awne wollis, the begun trade of the clothery, quhich hath made this your nychtbouring countrey famous over all the world, may have a progres, and uther trades of the lyke nature undertaken, so that therby your idle people may be set on work, your puire supplied, and your commodities, quhich by your negligence have enriched others, may redound to your awne benefites and wealth. That the isles may be reduced to our obedience, collonies of civile and industrious people may be planted thair, quhairby not only our patrimony may be increassed and many honest men placed in fertile and profitable rowmes, bot also that comodious trade of fishing so long neglectit may be so heartily embraced and prosecuted to your unspeakeable advantage, with such dexteritie as the reproaches of barbaritie and povertie quhich have heirtofoir bein layd against yow may ceas in tyme coming, and the name of your nation made as famous for policie and wealth as it is and has bein held by all the world for valour and antiquitie. All thes and other points of the lyke consideratione, tending to God's glory, our own honour, and the guid of the commonwealth in generall, alsweill as the benefite of everie subject in particular, we recomend to be considerit of by yow at this your solemne meitting, that wee, being acquainted with your proceidings, may interpose unto them our allowance and confermation. Gif thair be any thing quhairunto the authoritie of the parliament will be requisite, the same willbe prepared against the nixt session thairof. Assuring yow all that following the nixt course of justice and obedience and haveing the cair quhich ye ought of the flourishing of vertew and policie amangst yow, your honour and libertie in respectis salbe as dear to us as our own lyfe or estate. And so, remitting the rest to the sufficiencie of our chancellour, we bid yow all, richt trustie and weilbelovit coussins and councillours and weilbelovit subjects, fair weill. From our pallace of Whythall, the 11 of Febraurii 1605.

  1. NAS, RH2/8/12, ff.9b-10b.
  2. Sic. In error for 'contrary'?