Legislation

Firstly it is decreed and ordained by our sovereign lord, the king, and his three estates that the freedom granted previously to the holy church be observed and kept in all ways as it has been previously by our sovereign lord's noble progenitors, and if any clergyman be hurt or injured in particular that it be shown to the king and his highness shall cause reformation to be made thereof as is fitting.

Item, it is decreed and ordained for the administration of justice in criminal actions that our sovereign lord's justice shall set his ayres and he shall travel throughout the realm twice a year and execute our sovereign lord's laws and acts made previously, so that in his absence no rightful complaint will be heard in the future, and further it is decreed and ordained that in the future all sheriffs duly execute within the bounds of their office the acts of parliament made before 20 November 1469 in which it is decreed and ordained and contains the manner in which those who are fugitives to sanctuary shall be treated, etc., and that each sheriff shall take with him now a copy of that act so that they cannot excuse themselves through ignorance in the future.

Item, as regarding the future administration of justice in civil actions and complaints throughout the realm, it is decreed and ordained that all parties complaining shall first travel to their ordinary judge to pursue justice, and that the ordinary shall administer justice to them without partiality or carelessness, and if any judge fails in his office and administration of justice then the party shall complain about the judge before the king and his council and in like manner about the party, and in that case they shall have summons both for the judge and the party to compear before the king and his council and to obtain justice there and redress according to the tenor of the act of parliament made previously 20 November 1469.

Item, as touching the redress of false assises being passed on criminal actions before our sovereign lord, his justice, sheriffs or other officers, it is decreed and ordained that conforming to the king's laws of pena temere jurancium pro assisam ['the penalty for swearing oaths rashly before an assise'] that where evident reasons are shown before the assise in the accusation of a trespasser or known wrongdoer, or there is manifest knowledge of the trespass, and if the persons who pass on the assise wilfully through favours or partiality acquit the trespasser or trespassers, in that case it shall be lawful for the king and his justice to call the assise and enquire if it was a unanimous decision or if not what the split was, and those suspected of temeraria juracione ['rash swearing'] will be accused before the king and his justice at a day and place that pleases his highness. And if those persons admit their fault and temerarium perjurium ['rash perjuries'] they are to be punished therefore according to the form of the old law. And if they deny or make excuse through ignorance, the king or his justice shall then give them a large assise of 25 notable persons and show that assise the evidence and known knowledge of the trespass in so far as was shown in the first assise, thereafter if it is found that the first assise acquitted the trespasser through temerity or wilfully through favour or partiality, as many as are convicted of that temerity are to be punished according to the form of the old law contained in the book of Regiam Majestatem. Nevertheless, the persons who are accused of trespass and others are to be convicted or acquitted according to the first assise, and the false assise is to be punished as is said.

Item, regarding the marriage of our sovereign lord's sister, the lords of the three estates think that his highness and the lords of his council should in all good haste arrange her marriage in some convenient place and as soon as his estates are informed of the place they shall according thereto support it with their goods according to their faculties, with consideration of the great charges which they have previously borne.

Item, concerning money, because the lords understand that there has been neglect and carelessness in executing the acts for the importing of bullion into the realm, and also the investigation and prevention of money from being exported from the realm, has caused the current great scarcity of money throughout the land, and therefore our sovereign lord shall cause the acts and statutes made previously, both for the importing of bullion and the retention of money, to be swiftly put into execution, and any who disobey this are to be punished according to the form of the acts previously made thereupon, and that the king now appoints loyal and able persons as investigators who, in the future, will and must work diligently for the retention of money as is previously decreed and enacted, and as for the merchant, for each ounce of burnt silver that he brings to the coiner, he shall get 12s, and the coiner of the burnt silver is to make 12 groats from the ounce of the same print that the new groat is now and of the same fineness as the new English groat, and that there shall be 1d and ½d made of the same fineness in accordance with the new groat and that d is have the course of 3d.

Item, because it is well known that all coined money, both silver and gold, that is smelted for bullion and other new money is devalued, ruined and destroyed in the transformation by fire, causing great damage and harm to the king and his lieges and should not be endured in the future, it is therefore decreed and ordained that from now on neither silver nor gold that bears the print and form of any coin whatsoever is to be in any manner melted or put to the fire by the king's coiners or goldsmiths for any work without a special licence or charge from the king, but rather that all money, gold and silver, that is minted and has a print is to be conserved and retained complete to be used among the king's lieges as he ordains it to have course.

Item, it is decreed and ordained that as there is a brieve made and ordained from our sovereign lord's chapel for the safety and alienation of lords' and barons' lands through idiots and natural fools, insane and madmen during their insanity, which brieve only saves the alienation from the time of serving the brieve and does not fix what has been already done, in case it was done during the time of insanity and madness albeit the person may be as great a fool and as mad before as afterwards, it is decreed and ordained, therefore, that in the future the said brieve be reformed and a clause be inserted to investigate the insanity and the madness and how long the person suffered the condition, and from this it can be known through the investigation that the person is a fool or mad and the time of the alienation made by him after the investigation determines that he was either insane or made shall be of no value but shall be retracted and brought again to him as well as the alienation made after the brieve was served.

Item, it is decreed and ordained that due to the great scarcity and lack of gold within the realm through the removal of the same because it has a lower price here than in other countries, it is decreed and ordained that in the future gold shall have course in this manner, that is to say, the Rose noble of 35s, the Henry noble of 31s, the Angel of 23s, the French crown of 13s 4d, the Demi of 14s 4d, the Scottish crown of 13s and 4d, the 'Salus' of 15s 6d, the Louis of 17s 6d, the Rider of 15s 6d and all other gold is to be used according to its weight and fineness at the pleasure of the giver and the receiver.

Item, that all silver money is to have the same course in the future as it has now.

Item, [in order] to remove discord among the king's lieges between creditors and their debtors who owe sums, it is decreed and ordained that notwithstanding the variation of the course of gold and silver, whatever course it has, the debtor shall pay his creditors the debt of money that should have been passed at the term before this act was made with the same money and at the same price as the money had course prior to this proclamation and parliament.

Item, because there has formerly been misuse of the law by sheriffs, stewards, bailies and other officers in the holding of courts of enquiry to the great hardship and injury of our sovereign lord's lieges and of his own highness in his justice ayres, which are spoiled by the said courts of enquiry, it is decreed and ordained that in the future there shall be no courts of enquiry held by any kind of person under the pain of punishment equal to that for a murderer and a reiver of his goods and usurper of the king's authority etc.

  1. NAS, PA2/2, f.12r. Note, f.11v is blank.
  2. NAS, PA2/2, f.12r.
  3. NAS, PA2/2, f.12r.
  4. NAS, PA2/2, f.12r-v.
  5. NAS, PA2/2, f.12v.
  6. NAS, PA2/2, f.12v.
  7. NAS, PA2/2, f.13r, although the first third of f.13r is blank.
  8. NAS, PA2/2, f.13r.
  9. NAS, PA2/2, f.13v.
  10. NAS, PA2/2, f.13v.
  11. NAS, PA2/2, f.13v.
  12. NAS, PA2/2, f.13v.