[Petition by James Stewart, duke of Lennox, great admiral]

My lords and others of the convention of estates of this kingdom, humbly means and shows, James [Stewart], duke of Lennox, great admiral of this said kingdom, and Alexander [Livingstone], earl of Linlithgow, vice-admiral of the same, that where we, the said James, duke of Lennox, are heritably infeft and seised in the office of admiralty and in the lieutenancy general by sea, with all duties, casualties, privileges and immunities pertaining and belonging thereto and judge in all causes criminal and civil belonging to the said office; and seeing that we are most willing to obey your lords' order in everything incumbent to the said office for the good and ease of his majesty's lieges, and that now, as we are informed, your lords are giving order for setting forth of some ships of war to guard the coasts and to scour and clear the same of pirates and sea thieves and to bring in all such as shall be apprehended, to be tried and judged accordingly as they shall be found to deserve, therefore beseeching your lords that according to us, the said duke of Lennox, our heritable right, and according to the order observed in this kingdom in similar cases before, your lords would be pleased to take such course as that our said office be not prejudiced in directing of letters of mark or reprisal, taking of caution and giving instructions to such who shall receive and accept the same; but that we and our deputes may have the full power of directing of the said warrants, taking of caution and giving of instructions, judging and ordering of prizes, according to our said right and infeftment and custom inviolably observed of before in matters of a similar kind; and that your lords will give warrant to us for that effect; and also that your lords will be pleased to remit all seafaring business which shall be presented before your lords, with any bills anent waif, wreck, wear or such other things as are proper to the judicatory of the admiralty to the judgment thereof. And your lords' answer.

Edinburgh, 1 August 1643

Read in hearing of the convention and ordained to be represented to the several estates and their opinions reported.

  1. NAS. PA7/3/3.