Procedure: grievances and petitions of the gentry
Grievances given in by the gentry

The which day the commissioners for the shires and gentry gave in the articles and grievances following, which they recommended to the consideration of the estates, of the which the tenor follows:

That the lords of the great commission would appoint some particular diet to convene before them all such titulars who have procured warrant that the valuation shall be referred to the heritors' oaths, that their depositions may be taken and no further delay made and what security shall be given.

Item, for remedy against such persons as have not or will not submit the teinds of other men's lands, that his majesty would be pleased to prosecute his right against them.

Item, that the lords of the great commission would grant a committee until 15 September for receiving of security and caution to pay for their teinds that are usually led according to the valuation made or to be made.

Item, that his majesty may be petitioned by the whole convention to consider of the great fear the lieges have conceived regarding his majesty's revocation and summons already raised, and that his majesty would be pleased to declare himself for removing of these fears and that the lieges may be freed thereof.

Item, that all such persons guilty of the wearing of guns and pistols who have not committed any violence or oppression upon the lieges nor yet have not been formerly convened before the council may be remitted for all bygones.

Item, that order may be taken for relief of the taxation of dismembered baronies where a great part of the lands have been of old conveyed, and that by a committee.

Item, that the privileges of the justices of peace may be ratified and of new enlarged to such a number of selected persons within every shire as the lords of the council shall think fit.

Item, to propose for the changing of the terms of Whitsunday [May/June] and Martinmas [11 November] to Lammas [1 August] and Candlemas [2 February] for such reasons as shall be given in.

Item, that the estates shall call before them [Sir Alexander Strachan of] Thornton's patent and take to their considerations how far the same is prejudicial to the lieges and liberate them thereof by reason of the great fear that is conceived.

Item, that there may be some course taken whereby the extraordinary concourse of the subjects to court may be repressed, which undoes the kingdom and by misleading information to his majesty inverts the course of justice in the ordinary courts and judicatures of this kingdom.

Item, that the extraordinary extortion of writers, commissioners and keepers of the seals may be rectified in time coming.

It is petitioned by the gentry that the patent granted for making of powder within the kingdom may take effect, and that the person to whom the gift is given may either conveniently and timeously take upon him the due performance or otherwise that his patent be recalled and that the gift may be granted to some of the subjects who will undertake the same.

Item, the gentry do petition that the whole estates would humbly entreat his majesty not to relinquish or alienate to any stranger king or nation the territories of New Scotland which are annexed to this crown, since both his majesty and this his ancient kingdom are tied in honour and credit to maintain the same; and that his majesty may be petitioned to recommend to this state which way the same may be most conveniently done to the honour of this nation.

Item, regarding measures, because the acts of parliament laudably made relating thereto are in diverse parts of the kingdom neglected and the transgressors thereof not punished according to the said acts, therefore, it would be provided that either the sheriff within the shire or stewart within the stewartry or else one to be appointed by this commission within every parish shall be authorised with power to exact the penalties of the transgressors and to be accountable to the exchequer therefore, his lawful charges being deducted.

And also because there has been great remissness in executing the acts of parliament made regarding beggars, which remissness flows specially from not exacting the penalties appointed by the said acts from such as do maintain them and from such as do not punish them, as also because there are no penalties enjoined upon such as do not maintain the poor to be commended to them by the order of the said acts, therefore it would be provided that both penalties were appointed and exacted upon the transgression of the said acts and that one were authorised with power to exact the said penalties in every parish and to account for the same as above.

  1. NAS, PC1/34, f.11v-12r.