Judicial proceedings: decreet
Decreet against the magistrates of Kirkwall

The estates of parliament, having at length heard, seen and considered an ordinance of the committee of estates dated 21 November 1660, whereby Patrick Craigie in Kirkwall, John Edmonston there, Thomas Wilson there, George Spence there, John Pottinger, skipper, David Corner there, Patrick Spence there and Patrick Halcrow there, were all personally summoned to appear before the high court of parliament a certain day bygone then next to come for presuming to take upon themselves the office of magistracy within the said burgh of Kirkwall by virtue of an order from the late usurpers, erecting the said town in a free burgh, and this together with a report made and given in by the commissioners appointed for trade and hearing of bills, to whom the estates of parliament referred the said matter, bearing that the said commissioners, having caused call the persons particularly above-named being all lawfully summoned, as said is, and they giving no personal appearance, the day to which they were summoned being long since elapsed, they did conceive that the certification of the act of the committee of estates should be granted against the foresaid persons and they denounced rebels in respect of their contumacy and non-compearance, and that they should be discharged to exercise the office of magistracy within the said town of Kirkwall by virtue of any order or warrant flowing from the late usurpers, as in the said report at more length is contained. And they therewith being ripely advised, the estates of parliament aforesaid have approved and hereby do approve the foresaid report made to them by the said commissioners appointed for trade and bills in the matter above-written, and therefore ordains the said Patrick Craigie, John Edmonston, Thomas Wilson, George Spence, John Pottinger, David Corner, Patrick Spence and Patrick Halcrow to be denounced rebels for their contumacy and non-compearance, and also the said estates of parliament do hereby discharge all and whatsoever person or persons to presume to take upon them the name or exercise of the office of magistrates, or any other authority or place within the said town of Kirkwall, by virtue of any warrant or title from the late usurpers, or any other way than they did before the usurper's power in this kingdom under the pain of treason.

Act in favour of [John Leith of] Harthill

Anent the supplication given in to the honourable committee of estates and thereafter insisted upon before the commissioner's grace and estates of parliament convened by his majesty's authority, by John Leith of Harthill, Jean Forbes, his spouse, Anna Leith, their lawful daughter, and Alexander Gordon, brother german to the deceased William Gordon of Newton, now her spouse for his interest, against William and Patrick Leith, half brothers to the said John Leith and Thomas Erskine of Balhalgardy, showing that in the year 1650 the said William and Patrick Leith and Thomas Erskine violently, barbarously and inhumanely thrust the said Jean Forbes and Anna Leith and their servants out of their house and lands of Harthill, whereupon they declared themselves to his majesty and estates of parliament in the year 1651 and obtained letters of horning for charging the foresaid persons to appear before the parliament at that time to underlie the law for the foresaid wrongs done to them. Likewise for their disobedience, they were then denounced rebels and letters of ejection directed at the supplicants' instance for ejecting them furth and from the said house and lands of Harthill and repossessing them therein, by virtue whereof they caused charge the sheriff of Aberdeen and his deputes for ejecting them and in respect they delayed to put the said letters of ejection to execution, they purchased other letters of horning commanding the said sheriff and his deputes thereto unconditionally, and therewith caused also charge them, as the foresaid whole letters and executions thereof therewith produced will testify, and true it is that through the iniquity of the times they have continually since then possessed their whole lands and living of Harthill and uplifted the whole mails and duties thereof, so that they have been these ten years since in great misery and necessity, and intends still to keep the same unless remedy be provided. And therefore, craving that the sheriff of Aberdeen and his deputes and messengers at arms might be ordained to eject and put out the said William and Patrick Leith and Thomas Erskine furth of the said lands of Harthill and whole pendicles and pertinents thereof, and to repossess them therein, and also craving the defenders might be decreed to make payment to them of a considerable sum out of the first and readiest of the mails of the said lands intromitted with by them these ten years bygone, as at more length is contained in the said supplication and deliverance written thereupon ordaining them to be cited to compear before the said estates of parliament at a certain day bygone, and in the execution used against them by virtue thereof. Which supplication, being read in the presence of the said commissioners of parliament and the said parties called before them, the said pursuers being personally present who produced the whole writs, letters and executions thereof above-mentioned, with their whole writs and rights concerning the said matter, the said defenders compearing personally with Mr George MacKenzie, their procurator, who also produced their rights and interests in the said matter, the estates of parliament, having seen both parties their writs, rights and interests and heard the whole allegations proposed by and for them against each other thereupon, and having fully considered the depositions of diverse reputable witnesses adduced for the part of the said pursuers in the said matter, and being therewith well and ripely advised, finds that in the year 1650 and 1651 the said William Leith, by virtue of certain apprisings and by a right of his mother's liferent, was in possession of the house and estate of Harthill, and that the said John Leith, having complained thereof to his majesty at Stirling in the year 1651 against the said William and Patrick Leith, and for their non-appearance, got them denounced rebels and letters to repossess him of the house and estate of Harthill, and that conforming to the which the said John was possessed in the house of Harthill and lands above-written which he bruiked until February 1657, at which time they find that George Leith of Overhall, a third party, did obtain a decreet of removing upon certain heritable rights before the sheriff of Aberdeen against the said pursuers and that, before fifteen days were expired, the pursuers were ejected without any previous charge or letters of ejection furth of the said house of Harthill, lands of Torries and Kirkton of Oyne, extending in rent to four and a half chalders of victual yearly, and that now the said William Leith succeeded in the possession thereof by a right flowing from the said George Leith, and therefore has ordained and ordains the sheriff of Aberdeen and his deputes and messengers of arms to eject the said William and Patrick Leith and Thomas Erskine and their wives, children, families, tenants, sub-tenants, cotters, goods and gear furth and from the said house of Harthill, lands of Torries and Kirkton of Oyne above-written, and to repossess the said John Leith and his said spouse and daughter and son-in-law, and their tenants, servants and others in their names therein, to be peaceably bruiked and enjoyed by them in all time coming, and also decrees and ordains the said defenders to pay and deliver to the said pursuers the profits of the said lands, which they find to be four and a half chalders of victual yearly, and that of the crops and years 1657, 1658, 1659 and 1660, and ordains the tenants, possessors and occupiers of the town and lands of old Harthill present and to come to make payment to the said pursuers of ten bolls of victual and £24 Scots money yearly in all time coming, without prejudice to the said William Leith and all other parties interested of their rights, titles and interests to the said lands and others above-written as pertains to the law, and ordains letters etc.

Procedure: continuation

The lord commissioner continues the parliament until Wednesday at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and all processes as above.

  1. NAS. PA2/26, 44.
  2. NAS. PA2/26, 44-45.