Procedure: continuation of parliament
Continuation of the parliament to 2 June 1640

Forasmuch as his sacred majesty, by warrant directed to me, his majesty's high commissioner, of the date at Whitehall, 8 November instant, bearing his majesty's full resolution to secure and settle the estate of religion and all church business, accordingly as his majesty was graciously pleased to promise and was, and is, most willing to perform, but because diverse things have occurred in this present parliament which as his majesty conceives do mainly touch his majesty's civil authority and government, and for that effect his majesty finds it necessary that this present parliament be prorogated to a certain day that in the meantime his majesty may be sufficiently informed and cleared relating thereto. And therefore, by the warrant foresaid, has willed and ordained that this present parliament be prorogated to 2 June next, and because in the commission granted by his majesty under the quarter seal of the date 20 August last to his majesty's commissioners mentioned therein for fencing of the parliament, there is power granted to them to prorogate the same as often and so often as shall be thought fit by his majesty for his majesty's service and good of the kingdom, the same being done by advice and direction of his majesty's high commissioner, therefore I, John [Stewart], earl of Traquair, lord Linton and Caberston, his majesty's high commissioner, having his majesty's special warrant directed to me as said is, will and ordain that the commissioners of parliament mentioned in the said commission under the quarter seal, or any five or three of them, with the members of parliament requisite, pass to the parliament house this 14 November instant between 11 and 12 o'clock in the forenoon, and there, after the reading of the said commission and of this my warrant, continue and prorogate this present parliament with all articles, petitions and others whatsoever already given in, treated and passed therein or to be given in, treated or moved therein hereafter, to 2 June next, with continuation of days; and ordains all the estates, commissioners, all his majesty's lieges, to attend the said day thereupon, to the effect his majesty and his estates may proceed in the public affairs of kirk and kingdom and other parliamentary business according to the order and custom observed in the like case, for the which this declaration, with the said commission under the quarter seal, shall be a sufficient warrant; and ordain this declaration to be inserted in the books of parliament. Subscribed at Holyroodhouse, 14 November. It is thus subscribed: Traquair, commissioner, as the same so subscribed in the self bears, which was publicly read by Master Alexander Gibson, clerk, together with the commission under the quarter seal, whereof the tenor follows:

[Abstract:] The king, considering that parliament is to be continued on 26 August instant, and will be prorogued then, appoints Robert [Ker], earl of Roxburghe, keeper of the privy seal, John [Drummond], earl of Perth, John [Maitland], earl of Lauderdale, David [Carnegie], earl of Southesk, Alexander [Elphinstone], lord Elphinstone, Archibald [Napier], lord Napier, Thomas Hope of Craighall, king's advocate, Sir John Hamilton of Orbiston, justice clerk, Sir James Carmichael of that Ilk, treasurer depute, and Sir Archibald Stewart of Blackhall, or five or three of them, commissioners with power to assemble on 26 August instant and hold parliament in the customary way in such cases, and then to continue parliament as the king demands, or declare it to be a running parliament, and this by mandate of the king's commissioner. Under the great seal at Whitehall, 20 August 1639, fifteenth year of the reign, and by signature of the king.

Whereupon Sir Thomas Hope [of Craighall], his majesty's advocate, asked instruments, and desired the said Master Alexander Gibson actually to prorogate the parliament to the said 2 June according to the foresaid warrant; to which the said Master Alexander Gibson answered that he had already read the said warrant containing the said prorogation and was ready to read the same as often as he should be commanded, but could no otherwise prorogate the parliament.

And [John Leslie], earl of Rothes, in name of the estates, required the said Master Alexander that he should do nothing but as he would be answerable to the parliament upon pain of his life. Then the said Sir Thomas Hope desires Master William Scott [of Clerkington] that he would prorogate the parliament, to which he answered that in [Sir John Hay of Bara], clerk register's absence from parliament, it was incumbent to the elder present clerk to supply the place and discharge whatsoever is due to be done by the clerk register if he were present, so that now it was not his place, Master Alexander Gibson, the elder clerk, being present.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.8v-9v.