Declaratione be the estatis of parliament premittit be thame to thair proceidingis in parliament, conteaneing the reassones and necessitie of thair conveining and proceiding thairintill

Wee noblemen, barones and burgess, commissioneris of shyrs and burrowes conveind in this present heighe court of parliament by his majesties speciall and soleme indictione, withall loyall respect to the kingis most excellent majestie, his persone and authoritie and with our best affectionis to the preservatioune of religione and liberties of this kirke and kingdome represented by ws, do declair and make manifest that our intentions and desyris are no other at this tyme then they have beine heirtofoir expressed. And whair his majestie at the pacificatione, with the advyse of the counselleris of both kingdomes, did declair and assur that it was his royall will and pleasour that all matteris ecclesiasticall should be determined by the assemblies of the kirke and materis civill by the parliament and wther inferiour judicatories established by law, and thairfor in his royall justice was pleased to indict ane assemblie to be conveind at Edinburghe the 12 of August for setling the peace of the kirke, and a parliament to be haldine at Edinburghe, August 26, for ratifieing the conclusionis of the assemblie and setling such other thingis as might conduce for the peace and good of the kingdome, which was the sume of our desyris; and because his majestie could not in his owne royall persone be present in parliament, which was our earnest desyre and great expectatione, it pleased his majestie to send his commissioner, instructed with full power to bring materis to a finall conclusione without delay and against all fearis of prorogatione, and because contrair to our expectatione Johne, erle of Traquair, his majesties commissionar, did take upon him, without consent of the estatis, upon a private warrand procuired by himselfe against his majesties publict patent under the great seall, to prorogat the parliament to this second day of Junii, our dutie both to king and cuntrey did constraine ws to make a publict declaratione in face of parliament, beiring that the prorogatione of the parliament without consent of the estatis was againest the lawes and liberties of the kingdome, was without precedent, example and practique in this kingdome, and directlie contrair to the articles of pacificatione which his majestie did constantlie profes war to be inviolablie observeit, and thairfoir behoved to be ineffectuall to hinder the proceiding of the parliament; and that whatsoevir we might have done by the laudable exemple of our predicessouris in the lyke exigencie and extremitie, without any just offence to authoritie, yit that our proceidingis might be far from all appeirance of giving his majestie the smallest discontent, we notwithstanding did choyse to cease for that tyme from our publicke proceidingis in parliament, to the which we all unanimouslie war the more inclyned and moved to condishend be reasone that as his majesties commissioner, as he professed he was confident that his majestie would keipe his royall promeis and not urge any further prorogatione, so did he, as sensible of the great necessitie of the kingdome unable to endure longer delay, seeme to be sua far from judgeing it unlawfull to ws to proceid at the day appoynted incaise we should be postponit and frustrated by new prorogationes that he made often and oppine professione that he would joyne with ws thairin, as many of the parliament [did testifie in face of parliament]2; and we resolved to doe no mor bot to make remonstrances to his majestie of our propositionis and proceidingis in the tyme of our siting in parliament and to live some of our nomber to be our commissioneris at Edinburghe to attend the returne of his majesties gratious ansuer to our just demandis and, as occasione should requyre, to make remonstrances againe to his majestie. And if it should happine when we had usit all possible meanes for informatione that the sugestione of our enymies should prevaill against all our humble and peaceable endevoris (ane evill which from former experience we had reasone to feare), in that caice it should be no imputatione to ws if we should be constrained to take the most reddie and laufull way as might tend to the secureing of the kirke and kingdome frome the extremitie of confusione and miserie intendit and longed for be our enemyis. And whairas since the emitting of that our declaratione thair heath beene great cair to keepe all thingis in peace at home, great diligence usit by our commissioneris sent to England the second tyme (being commandit to returne the first tyme without accese) to give his majestie satisfactione in randering the reassones of our demandis, a more reddie receiving of his majesties commandementis (whilke war devysit and procuired by our enemyes to try and tempt ws) then could have beene expected or could be done of ws with our saiftie, as may appeir by the garisone, armes and ammunitione in the castell of Edinburghe and by materiellis furnished thame be the toune, and one the other pairt scandalous relationis of our parliamentarie proceedingis have beene mad at the counsall table of England, and the benefiet of heiring befoir the counsall denyit to our commissioneris, great violence and outrage done by the castle of Edinburghe, not onlie against men and buildingis bot weomen and childrine, our shipis and goodis takine at sea, and the owneris stryped naked and barbarouslie usit, a commissione givine for subdeweing and destroying of this whole kingdome, all thingis devysed and done that may make a rupture and irreconcilable warre betuixt the tuo kingdomes, our commissionars hardlie used while they ware in England by restrantes put upon them, and the Lord Lowdoune still imprisoned, no ansuer givine wnto theme or returned wnto ws tuitching our just demands, but in place thairof a declaratione givine out denunceing warre and provocking the uther tuo kingdomes to come against ws as tratouris and rebellis; and when we had patientlie endured all these evillis in hoipe of some bettir newes at this second of June appoynted for siting of the parliament, heiring nothing from his majestie or his majesties commissionar or any in his name ather to setle this kingdome according to the articles of pacificatione or to interrupt our proceidingis bot of a profest resolutione with all speed to bring armies against ws, thairfoir wee, the estatis of this kingdome now conveind in parliament, for acquiting our selfis in the great trust committed to ws and for preventing the utter ruine and desolatione of this kirke and kingdome, and constrained in this extremitie and extraordinarie exigencie to declair and make knowne that in conscience of our dewtie to God, this kirke, our king and cuntrie we are necessitated to take this course for remaineing and abyding togither in this present parliament, indicted by his majestie, and to continowe and go foirward thairin ay and whill the materis detertermined by the late assemblie, with the exprese and particular consent of his majesties commissioner, present from the begining to the ending thairof, be considerit and ratified in parliament, and whill such other bussines be deliberated and concludit as may best conduce to the setling of the good and peace both of kirke and kingdome, which ware the exprese and speciall endis mentionat in his majesties declaration emitted for that effect, according to our humble desyris and quhair upon the articles of pacificatione ware accordit, and as in this purpoise we are pressed by the present exigence of effaires and the necessitie of our dewtie, so are we the more hartned to the same. Forasmuch as at the foirsaid second day of Junii, to which day the continowatione was onlie wrged, thair hes beine nothing intimat to ws, being all according to his majesties commandement solemnlie conveind in parliament, to signifie any thing of his majesties different intentiones, notwithstanding that we omittit no meanes which mycht bring ws to the trew knowledge thairof (as in humble duetie we acknowledge it becomes ws to doe), for the first act of our meiting was directed to make publicke inquirie if any of his majesties officeris or any in his majesties name was present, instructed with authoritie and warrand from his majestie to impairt to the parliament now conveind at the day appoynted his majesties will and pleasour, that the same might have beene first of all takine to our consideratione, and none appeiring to make the leist significatione thairof, which we did humblie regrate, we vare in ressone obleidged to take this at leist for a tacite consent and his majesties presumed allowance of ws to proceid. Lykeas the nature of this continowatione mad to a certane day, as is ordinar in all other judiciall continowatiouns, evinceth the same, which permitteth libertie and power to the judge at that day (where no wther impediment intervenes or is mad known) to returne to the method, order and course of the bussines quhairin it was at the tyme of the continowatione. In respect quhairof, and of the foirsaidis expressionis mad by his majesties commissioner, wee are the more strenthened to goe one to a finall determinatione in the meane whyle against all wnjust suspicione and against all the calumnies and malitious speiches of our adversaries. We doe, in the treuth of our hartis, declare that it is far from our thoughts and myndis in any sort to trinche one soveraignitie or in the least tuitche to violat the inviolable name of his sacred majestie and kinglie authoritie, still remembring (which is never to be foirgottine be ws) how straitlie we are bund by the religioune of our oath and the loyaltie of subjectione to the contrairie. Lykeas we make knowne that we have no intentione to pas the boundis set by his majestie at the pacificatione but to keepe within the same, that is to luike upoun the constitutions of the assemblie approvine by his majesties commissioner and the necessarie consequences thairof and according to his majesties will to ratifie the same for setling the distractionis of the kirk and preventing the lyke in tymecoming, and nixt to provyd for remeiding the present evillis of the kingdome and to establisshe the most necessar conclusiones for the good and peace thairof, which wee are werie hopfull his majestie will interpret to be no other thing on our pairt bot the receiveing and making use of that benefit which his majestie in his justice and goodnes have publictlie granted wnto ws and heath nevir recalled to this day. And this, our first act of parliament, we ordeine to be recordit in the registers of parliament and to be presentlie published to the world for our exoneratione, both in satisfieing suche as are not acquanted with the groundis and reassonis of our proceidingis and for preventing the sinister or wnjust and wndeserved aspersiones of wtheris.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.13v-15v.
  2. APS interpolation. The original warrant, at NAS, PA6/3, 'June 11 1640', actually states 'as many of the articles and other members of parliament did testifie in face of parliament'.