Act 22
Act regarding the constitution of this parliament and all subsequent parliaments

The estates of parliament, presently convened by his majesty's special authority, considering this present parliament was indicted by his majesty for ratifying of such acts as should be concluded in the late assembly of the kirk, for determining all civil matters and settling all such things as may conduce to the public good and peace of this kirk and kingdom, and considering the several complaints of this kirk to parliaments from time to time, proceeding from her continual experience of prejudice and ruin through many persons, and specially of prelates, their attempting to voice or do anything in name of the kirk without either bearing office in the kirk or having commission from the kirk, and the acts of the late general assembly condemning the office of bishops, archbishops and other prelates and the civil power and places of kirkmen, as their voicing and riding in parliament, and craving the abolishing of these acts of parliament which grant to the kirk or kirkmen vote in parliament, to be abrogated as prejudicial to her liberties and incompatible with her spiritual nature. Considering also that there are convened in this present parliament, by his majesty's special indiction, warrant and authority, nobility, barons and burgesses, the estates of this kingdom, who have a full and undoubted power to proceed and determine in all matters concerning the public good of this kingdom and that notwithstanding of the absence of the prelates, who by former laws were appointed to be members of parliament and to the effect none presume to move any question relating thereto, the said estates now convened as said is have declared and by this act declare this present parliament held by the nobility, barons and burgesses and their commissioners, the true estates of this kingdom, to be a complete and perfect parliament and to have the same power, authority and jurisdiction as absolutely and fully as any parliament formerly has had within this kingdom in time bygone; and ordains all parliaments hereafter to be constituted and to consist only in all time coming of the noblemen, barons and burgesses as the members and three estates of parliament, and rescind and annul all former laws and acts of parliament made in favour of whatsoever bishops, archbishops, abbots, priors or other prelates or churchmen whatsoever for their riding, sitting or voicing in parliament either as churchmen or as the clergy or in name of the church, or as representing the church as a state or member of parliament by reason of their ecclesiastical offices, titles, dignities or benefices, and namely the 231st act of the 15th parliament of James VI in 1597, regarding the kirk, and specially parsons and prelates representing the third estate, and the 2nd act of the 18th parliament of King James VI in 1606, regarding the restitution of the estate of bishops and their representing the third estate, with all acts and constitutions of convention, council or session and all practices and customs whatsoever in so far as the same, or any clause thereof, tends or may be extended to the effect foresaid, as being found and declared prejudicial to the liberty of this kirk and kingdom and to the purity of the true reformed religion therein established; and prohibit all persons whatsoever to call in question the authority of this present parliament upon whatsoever pretext under the pain of treason.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.13r-13v.
  2. APS footnote: 'The warrants of this act and of many of the subsequent acts of this parliament originally set forth the enacting authority in the usual style, commencing, "Our sovereign lord and estates of parliament." They were altered before the passing of the acts to meet the circumstances under which the parliament was then assembled.'