Legislation

On Wednesday 11 December and the parliament immediately written before, 1482, and 23rd year of our supreme lord the king, the three estates of the realm being present, these acts immediately following were made and approved in the same parliament by our supreme lord the king and the aforesaid three estates:

It is ordained, advised and concluded by our sovereign lord and his three estates assembled in this present parliament, that peace [should] be made with England if it can be had with honour [and] without inconvenience, and that the alliance and marriage previously appointed be observed and kept in all points by our sovereign lord, if [Edward IV], king of England, will do the same for his part. And in order to obtain sure certification and knowledge of the king of England's thoughts and intention in these matters, that there be a king of arms or a herald of wisdom and knowledge sent with a genuine letter from the king's highness, my lord [Alexander Stewart, duke] of Albany, and the whole estates of the realm by the authority of parliament and with instructions, which letter and instructions shall contain and bear in effect that the truce previously made and confirmed between both kings by their great seals have been transgressed 2and dishonoured by diverse great attempts committed and undertaken by the English forces, in contradiction to the thoughts, will and intention of our sovereign lord and the estates of his realm, considering that his highness at all times desired that the truce be observed, and for his part had made redress for all attempts made against the same, so that he could have received the same, and thus sent his heralds to the king of England last year with genuine letters, and that still in the future our said sovereign lord and all his estates desire and want peace observed and redress made for attempts [against it], and for his part [he] will therefore send his great commissioners either to England under conduct or grant conduct to commissioners of England to come into this country, so that the king of England might agree to it. And in similar fashion our sovereign lord and the estates of his realm desire that the alliance and marriage previously arranged between our lord the prince and the daughter of the king of England be fulfilled in all points, requesting therefore [of] the king of England that he will give his consent [to] and apply himself to the peace to be had between the realms and fulfilment of the said alliance, for the pleasure of God and [the] common wealth of both the realms, and that he will send his thoughts and intentions thereupon in genuine letters. And if it is so that the king of England will not apply himself to peace but continues in his war, our sovereign lord takes witness of God that it is against his will, and that he shall not be the cause or occasion of the effusion of Christian blood, except through righteous fighting and defence, and [he] shall, God willing, defend his realm in honour and freedom as his noble progenitors have done in the past.

Secondly, that as the Borders are invaded daily and our sovereign lord's lieges greatly oppressed and subjugated by the party of England, and as it does not accord with his highness's honour to put his noble person in danger daily, 4that therefore and it pleases good grace to speak to his brother [Alexander Stewart], duke of Albany to take it upon himself to be lieutenant general of the realm, and to defend the Borders and fight his enemies, both of England and others, in all times of need, and to advise how he shall be supported to bear the great charge and costs of the said office etc. according to the king's worship.

Item, it is advised and concluded that our sovereign lord immediately prepare himself and all his lieges with all his extreme power for war with England and for the defence of his realm, both by sea and land, and also for invasion of his enemies, and that he cause letters of open proclamation under his privy seal [to be] sent without delay to all sheriffs and other officers in all parts 6of his realm, charging all his lieges to prepare themselves and make themselves ready as is said for war, and provide them with horse, harness and other accoutrements7required, and with victuals, so that they are ready at all times to come to our said sovereign lord and his lieutenant general in all possible haste after they have been warned and charged to do it, for the defence of the realm, resisting and fighting his enemies, and that each sheriff and officer within the bounds of his office hold wappenschaws according to the form of the act of parliament made previously, and raise the fines and punish the offenders according to the form of the same acts without any favour.

Also because it is open and manifest that the Borders are laid waste and destroyed by 9treason and theft, and similarly a large inland area of the land, it is ordained that the wardens on all the Marches cause warden's courts to be set and held as often as they can by law and punish trespassers, both traitors and thieves, with all rigour [and] without favour according to justice. And in like manner that sheriffs, provosts and bailies of burghs and other officers, both of burgh and of land, execute and administer their offices and do justice to all our sovereign lord's lieges in civil actions, and that they punish criminal actions such as theft, slaughter and spulzie, in as far as it pertains to their jurisdiction and office, according to the form of the king's laws and of the acts and statutes of parliament made thereupon, as they will answer to our sovereign lord, under the pain of punishment, both personally and to their goods and offices, according to the form of the said acts and statutes.

Also it is decreed and ordained that the warden's courts 11be of continuation in the future, that is to say that the wardens shall have the power to hold their courts and end them on the first day or continue them as [it] pleases them for three 12days or less.

Also it is decreed and ordained that in the future, for the honour of our sovereign 14lord, none of his lieges nor his wardens within the 15bounds of their offices [shall] break his safe conduct under the pain of death.

17Also that in the future none of our sovereign lord's lieges bring corrupt or blended wine within the realm, and if any such [wine] happens to be sent home 18that no man [may] sell or tap it, from [the time] it is declared by the bailies and wine-tasters that it is blended or corrupt, bot send it out of the realm again, 19under the pain of death, and that no person within the realm receives blended wine or beer in the future, under the pain of death as is said.

21Also it is decreed and ordained that the acts and statutes made previously 22regarding retaining money within the realm be put into execution, and the pains raised without favours, and that good and honest investigators be set at all ports according to the form of the acts and statutes made previously.

Also it is decreed and ordained that the acts of parliament made previously regarding the purchasing of pensions from benefice, secular or religious, 24be put into execution, and that no man [may] use any legal procedure of any pension impetrate in contradiction to the said acts, under the pains contained in the same acts, 25that is to say rebellion and proscription from the realm.

And further, for the common profit of the entire realm, and to cause foreigners from other realms to enter the same with victuals and 27merchandise required to support the king's lieges, it is decreed and ordained that in the future all foreigners are to be honourably treated with all favours wherever they arrive at any of the realm's ports, and that none of our sovereign lord's officers or his other lieges disturb them or put their persons, ships or goods under arrest, rather that they have full liberty and freedom to deal with their own goods and sell them to free men, 28without compulsion or violence. And that prices be set for their goods through buying and selling with their own consent, and that no new customs, impositions or exactions be raised or taken from them, except according to old 29custom and habits. And where any victuals or merchandise arrive suitable for our sovereign lord, that his comptroller or receiver, after the price is settled with the foreigners, shall have as much of the first and best [of them] as is required for our sovereign lord's own use, for which they shall make thankful payment without delay so that the foreigners are not kept waiting in default of it. And that in the future no person under the pretence of buying for our sovereign lord's use take or receive more goods from foreigners to resell and sell on, under the pain of banishment from the realm and forfeiture and escheat of their movable goods. And moreover that foreigners now present within the realm who are complaining about any goods taken from them or injuries done to them shall have immediate payment made to them and redress according to justice. And in similar manner, if any foreigners who are now absent hereafter come to complain, they shall have redress and justice of any persons within the realm without delay, so that through the administering of justice and favourable treatment of all foreigners they shall have occasion to come and have concourse in the land in the future to the great benefit of the whole realm.

The three estates have ordained that [Louis XI], king of France, and the parlement of Paris be written to under the chancellor's seal procured for them all in the whole parliament showing the complaint made by diverse merchants of this realm, that their goods are arrested and kept from them in France by command of the king, as is alleged, without cause or form of justice, and that they are not treated as friends, rather their goods are forcibly stolen and kept from them in contradiction to the alliance and bond between the realms, and that merchants and others of the realm have been seeking justice from the king of France and from his council but could not get any, at which they are very surprised, 31considering that there had never previously been such transgression, exhorting and beseeching them, therefore, for remedy so that we have cause to treat them as our friends in the future just as was done in the past, and if any Frenchman complains, they must come to show their complaint and they shall have justice. And also to explain that when Frenchmen come here they desire to have galleys and products or they disembark and land in contradiction to the alliance and friendship made earlier, for which the three estates have chosen Walter Bertram and ordain him to travel to the king of France and the parlement of Paris with their letters and with credentials for all these aforesaid matters, and [any] answer to be given to him to be brought back to the three estates.

  1. NAS, PA2/3, f.32r.
  2. In the margin - 'abrogate'.
  3. NAS, PA2/3, f.32v.
  4. In the margin - 'abrogate'.
  5. NAS, PA2/3, f.32v.
  6. In the margin - 'to be newly proposed and approved'.
  7. In the margin - 'pronounced'.
  8. NAS, PA2/3, f.32v-33r.
  9. In the margin - 'abrogate'.
  10. NAS, PA2/3, f.33r.
  11. In the margin - 'to be proposed and approved'.
  12. In the margin - 'pronounced'.
  13. NAS, PA2/3, f.33r.
  14. In the margin - 'to be proposed and approved'.
  15. In the margin - 'pronounced'.
  16. NAS, PA2/3, f.33r.
  17. In the margin - 'Note'.
  18. In the margin - 'to be proposed and approved'.
  19. In the margin - 'pronounced'.
  20. NAS, PA2/3, f.33r-v.
  21. In the margin - 'to be proposed and approved'.
  22. In the margin - 'pronounced'.
  23. NAS, PA2/3, f.33v.
  24. In the margin - 'to be proposed and approved'.
  25. In the margin - 'pronounced'.
  26. NAS, PA2/3, f.33v-34r.
  27. In the margin - 'note'.
  28. In the margin - 'to be proposed and approved'.
  29. In the margin - 'pronounced'.
  30. NAS, PA2/3, f.34r.
  31. In the margin - 'this grant contained in this is fulfilled by our sovereign lord's letters previously directed'.