Act for putting the kingdom in a posture of defence

Wheareas by manie laudable actis of parliament all the subjectis of the kingdome are ordained to be sufficiently armed and to be in readines for compescing intestin insurrections and oppose forrane invasion, lykeas the estates of this kingdome at their last meiting in September 1643, taking to their consideration the iminent dangeris of the true Protestant religion, his maties person and authoritie and peace of his kingdomes by multitude of papistis, prelatis and their adherentis now in armes in England and Ireland, and the occasion theirby given not onelie to the publict enemies of religion abroad bot even to anie dissaffected persons at home to labour (so farre as in them lyes) to subvert the religion and peace now happilie established in this kingdome, did find it necessarie that all meanes be speedilie used for preventing the practises of suche, for preserveing of the peace and keeping of his maties subjectis in a duetiful obedience to the lawes and publict judicatories and in Christian unitie amongest themselffes, and did therefore ordaine that the kingdome sould be presentlie putt in a posture of defence, and did nominat and choose certane persons to be colonells of hors and foote and appoynt committies within the severall shirefdomes and bounds of this kingdome to that effect, with power to them to take speciall tryell and make perfyte listis of the whole fensible persons betuix sixtie and sixteene within their shyres for foote or horse, and to have a speciall care to sie them provided with armes. And the estates now presentlie conveened, considering that the desolations of Ireland, the blood shed in England and dangers of this kingdome doe daylie increase, which hath moved this kingdome to sett furth a armie in pursuance of the covenant, and wherby also great numbers of armes and ammunition are takin furth of the cuntrey, in regard wherof, and to the effect this kingdome may be enabled to suppresse all intestine commotions, recrute the armie sent furth (if neid be) and defend themselfes aganis forraine invasion, the saidis estates have statute and ordained and heirby statutes and ordaines the colonells and committees or warre foresaid appoynted in eache shyre to muster all the fensible persons within the shyre upon one day everie parishe within some pairt of the boundis of their severall presbyteries, to be designed by the saidis committies and colonells; by whom some are to be appoynted to mak up the listis of the said fensible persons armed and unarmed, so it may be knowen that none sall borrow armes frome otheris and how manie and what sort of armes are wanting and to be provided for everie shyre: the musteris of these besouth Die to be betuix and the last of Februarie nixtocome, and the report theirof to the committie of estates betuix and the fyftene day of Marche therefter; and the musters of these benorth Die to be betuix and the tent day of Marche, and the report to the committie betuix and the last of the said moneth; and that the borrowes within the bounds respective foresaid mak their musteris within themselfes conforme to the former act of convention anent the posture of defence, and mak their reportis accordinglie; and if efter report it sall be fund by the committie of estates that there are more armes wanting then are sent out with the armie, that the shyre in that caise sall onelie be obleidged to furnish so manie armes as are sent furth, and the committie of warre are to distribute the saids armes amongest these who want in the most equall and least prejudiciall way they thinke expedient, and the saids persons to whom they sall distribute the same salbe oblidged to receave and pay for the saidis armes under the paine of the payment of the double of the same.

And it is heirby declaired that whither the musteris be perfected or not at the dayes respective foresaidis (which the estates doe seriouslie recommend to the care of the saids collonelles and committees), yett at the dyettis abovespecifit assigned for report they sall be oblidged to send some persons to the committie of estats with money or suretie for provideing as manie armes, viz: muskettis, pickis, suordis and pistolls as they have sent furth in this present expedition, togither with three pund weight of poulder, three pund weight of ball and six pund weight of matche for everie musket, or els give assureance at the said day of report that they sall provide the same themselves betuix and a competent day to be assigned by the comittie of estates.

And that there may be a sufficient nomber of trained men who can exercise their armes in each shyre or burgh for the endis foresaids, the saidis estates ordaines the colonells and committies foresaidis and magistrats of burghes to reduce the whole fensible persons within their boundis (as well to burgh as landwart) into regiments, foote companies and horse troups according to the former printed act of the convention for putting the kingdome in a posture of defence; and ordaines that the like number of men in eache shyre and burgh as were appoynted to come out in the present expedition be drelled and exercised in handleing their armes, everie regiment once in the moneth, everie companie and troup once in the week, at the places to be appoynted be the colonells and committies and magistrats within burgh, and that eache shyre and burgh sall intertaine ane able and expert souldier who sall have the care and inspection of exerciseing the regimentis and companies of that shyre or burgh, and that they take suche course for inferiour officeris as may best, with least expence, exercise their men; and they are heirby also requiyred to sie the captanes of each companie provided with culloures and drumes and the rootmasters with trumpetis and cornettis, who are to be in readines upon orderis from the committie of estates to bring furth suche nomberis and proportions of their regimentis, with sufficient furniture, armes and provision as they sall be requyred. And wheareas now the armie is marched into England, it is therefore thought fitt and expedient, concluded and ordained by the saids estates that these in the northerne and remote pairtis of the kingdome who have not gone furth in this present expedition sall presentlie put furth the particular numbers of horse and foote efter specifit, sufficientlie providit with armes, amunition and baggag horses and all sort of furniture according to the former printed orderis, viz: out of the shirefdome of Bamffe and that part of Aberdene which is not under the earle of Marshell's command, one thousand, six hundreth foote and tuo hundreth and fourtie hors, whereof the Lord Gordoun is colonell; togither also with ane hundreth and tuentie horse out of the shirrefdome of Elgine, Nairne and that pairt of Innernes on this side of Nesse; and ane hundreth and tuentie horse out of the earle of Seafortis division of Innernesse, and ane hundreth and tuentie horse out of the earle of Sutherlandis pairt of Innernesse and Caithnes, which are also under the command of the said Lord Gordon; and out of that pairt of the shirefdome of Aberdene in the Earle Marshell's division, the proportion of men layed upon the same to come out under the said earle, their colonell and out of the said shirrefdome of Elgine, Nairne and that pairt of Innernesse on this syde of the Nesse, on[e] thousand, fyve hundred foote under the command of the earle of Murray, their colonell; out of the earle of Seafort and Lord Lovattis division of Innernesse, one thousand foot under the command of Thomas McKenzie of Pluscarden, their colonell; out of the earle of Sutherlandis pairt of Innernesse and Caithnesse, one thousand, six hundreth foote under the command of the earle of Sutherland, their colonell; and out of the shirefdome of Orknay, one thousand foote under the command of [...]. And the saidis estates ordaines the committie of warre and colonells within the boundis particularlie abovewritten to use their utmost endeavoris, with all possible speed, to bring furth the nomberis of men, horse and foote above written respective, furnished with armes, baggage horses and ammunition horses and all other furniture prescribed by the former printed orderis, and to make their randevous at Berwick upon the tent day of March nixt where they sall receave their further directiones from the lord generall and committie of estates as they will not be esteemed enemies to religion, his maties true honour and happinesse and peace and saiftie of this kingdome, and under the paine to be pursued before the convention of estates or the ensueing parliament or their committees for their neglect or delay in this so great and important a work.

And further the saidis estates ordaines that the halfe of the number formerlie appointed to come furth out of the burghs, shyres and divisions thereof in this present expedition sall now be brought out of the same sufficientlie provided according to the formeris orderis, both horse and foote, with baggage horses, ammunition horses and all other furniture, and to be in readines to marche upon four dayes warneing. As also to be leveyed and transported upon advancement of the taxt and loane within eache shyre, if the same be not exhausted upon the former leveyes; and where there is none of the said loane, that they be leveyed and transported as the committie of estates sall direct to be ane auxilarie supplee to the armie. And the saidis estates declaires that in quhatsoever shyre this supply sall come to a full regiment and where there is a colonell alreadie nominat, he is to goe out with the said regiment and the remanent officeris thereof (to be nominat by the committie of the shyre with his advise), and where the supply sall not be a full regiment bot most be adjoyned to the supply of ane other or of a thrid shyre to compleit the regiment, in that case the colonell of the shyre out of which the greatest nomber comes is to goe out as colonell of the regiment thus made up, and if there be none alreadie nominate, he is to be chosen by the committie of that shyre; and the leiutennet colonell to be chosen by the committie of the shyre who sends out the nixt proportion, and the major by the shyre and committie thereof which sends out the least proportion, and where their is anie difference, the same to be referred to the committie of estats; and the under officeris and captaines by the severall committeis and shyres who sends out the captaines. With power also to the saidis committees where there is no colonells for putting the shyre in a posture of defence or sall be none efter the goeing out of this supply, to nominat colonells for that effect. And for the better and more expedite execution of the orderis of the convention and their committees and of the committie of warre, with power to the saidis committees of warre where they sall find expedient to mak subcommitties in severall presbyteries, consisting of some of the said committie of warre, unto whom they sall adjoyne some persons best affected within the saidis presbyteries, who are to be answerable for their proceedingis to the said committie of warre, and they to be answerable both for their owne carriage and the deportment of the saids subcommittees to the committee of estates. As also, with power to them to call and conveene before them all delinquentis and transgressoris of their order or of the orderis of the convention and committie of estates, and to censure and punishe them by imprisonment, fyneing or other arbitrarie paine as they sall find the merite of the cause and condition of the delinquentis to requyre, and in speciall to fine these who have not or shall not heirefter putt out their foote men in ane hundreth punds and their horsemen, baggage horses and ammunition horses in foure hundreth merkes, and to direct their precepts to messingers of armes to poynd and distreinzie for the same, and to be comptable for the fynes to the committie of estates. And because this great work hath heirtofore suffered and may herefter suffer no small prejudice by the unfrequent meittingis of the committie of warre and absence of diverse of them frome the same, as also by the uncertantie of their dyettis, the estates therefore ordaines the saidis committie of warre to appoynt certane ordinarie dyettis upon some sett dayes in the week, and at their meittingis in everie session to mark their sederuntis, and to send a note thereof and of the ordinarie dayes of their meittingis and proceedingis to the committie of estates once everie moneth at least and efter as they sall be requyred, wherethrough the better correspondence may be keeped betuix them and the committie of estates and the service may be more expeditely promoved; and that they fine the absentis frome their meittingis, the gentlemen in ten shillings and the burgesses in fyve shillingis sterline toties coties, and uplift the same by poynding, and mak compt thereof to the said committie of estates; wheirin if they faillie, the said committie sall pay the double of the said unlawes.

And the convention recommends to the committie of estates to sie this act putt to speedie and exact execution, with power for this effect: to doe everie thing that may further the execution thereof and putt the kingdome in a right and speedie posture of defence. This act to be without prejudice of anie former orderis made for the pryce of armes putt out in this expedition.

  1. NAS. PA8/1, f.129r-132r.