Act in favors of the earle of Lothian

Forsamekell as the lords of privie counsell having be thair letter in September 1642 humblie represented to his matie the sufferings and loss of his subjectis of this kingdome be the infringement of theis antient privileges and liberties they formerlie (upon honorable causes) enjoyed in France, and his matie being most willing to have all his Scotish subjectis restored thairto, and be his royall warrand of the 10th of October last2 authorise and allow the lords of his privie counsell to appoint sutche as they sould think fitt to deale with theis who sould be warranted be the Frenche king, that all his subjectis micht be restored to the former priviledges and enjoy the samene in tyme cuming without diminutione, as the said warrand under his maties royall hand and seal at lenth bears. And the lords of counsell being thus warrandit and being cairfull and solicit for renewing, strenthing and confirming the antient alliance betuix the kingdomes, and for recoverie of the priviledges and immunities of his maties Scotish subjects, and having good proofe and experience of the affection and abilities of the erle of Lothian, one off thair awne number, did upon the first of December thairefter mak choyse of him for negotiating of that bissines, and be thair lettre of the 8 of December recomendit him and his employment to his matie. And the said earle having accordinglie (after he had schawine and made knawne his commissione and instructions to his matie) gone be his maties warrand into France, he having dischairged that trust committed to him, hee returned to geve ane accompt of his employment to his matie and his counsell of this kingdome, conforme to his commissione; and the counsell being still expecting his returne, instead thairof they were surprysed be ane petition gevin in to thame be the countesse of Lothian schewing that the said erle wes restrained at Oxford, quharupon they took occasion to represent to his matie the said erle, his condition and employment, warrandit as said is with the enterest of all kingdomes in the freedome and saiftie of the commissioners, whither sent by subjectis to thair awne king or from ane kingdome to another; and that be the fundamentall lawes of this kingdome and practises of former tymes, the said earle aucht to be tryed and judged at home in a legall way be the ordinarie judicatorie iff he had committed any thing worthie of censure (as it is hoped he hes not), and thairfore did earnestlie intreat for his libertie. Quhilk letter we delyvered to his matie in November last, yitt so prevalent ar the malitious suggestions of the avowed enemies of this nation and peax therof that not only is his restraint continowed, bot is also committed to close prisson, guards of souldieres sett about him and many uther indignities done to him. And the convention of estaitis of this kingdome being now mett and taking to thair consideration the warrand of the said erle, his imployment, with his present condition, and being confident of his integritie in dischairge of that trust put upon him and trewlie sensible of his sufferings (being now the sufferings of this haill kingdome) occasioned thairby, doe declair and acknaledge befor the world that they are obliged be the law of God and nations to use all means to the utmost of ther power for the libertie of the said earle, and that no articles nor treatie of peax sall be treated on or concluded without his full enlairgement; as also that not onelie the haill chairges and expenses susteaned be him or his ladie or any uthers be his behove sall be repayed be this kingdome upon ther declaration under ther hand, bot also that this kingdome sall mak up whatever prejudice, loss or hurt sall ensue to him, his estait or famelie throw occasion of this restraint.

  1. NAS. PA8/1, f.110r-110v.
  2. '1642' in APS.