Act concerning the pardoning and restoring the children of forfeited persons

The lord commissioner, having represented to the parliament that his majesty, conceiving that the act passed in the second session of this parliament upon 9 September last, anent treasonable actings, does in some clauses thereof encroach upon his majesty's royal prerogative and power of pardoning the sons of persons forfeited for treason, was desirous that these clauses should be expunged out of the act, the parliament does, with all humble duty and thankfulness, acknowledge this renewed testimony of his majesty's grace and favour, not to have the least bar or stop in the way and current of his royal bounty, mercy and pardon to his subjects and do declare, as it was far from their meaning that there should be any encroachment upon his majesty's prerogative therein, so they do cheerfully rescind and annul all clauses in that act which do or may seem to encroach upon his majesty's power of pardoning the sons of forfeited persons, or which may stop addresses or petitions to his majesty for that effect, and ordain the act to be renewed in the terms following, and the former to be void and extinct, except in so far as it is renewed in this act hereunto subjoined.

The estates of parliament, being truly sensible of the great happiness this kingdom does now enjoy under his majesty's government and the great obligations thereby lying on them to express all possible care and zeal for the preservation of his majesty's person, authority and government and for securing of the same against all attempts and practises to the hurt and prejudice thereof, and in order thereto, considering that the indulgence of princes towards the children of traitors has often proven a means to enable and encourage them to persist in the wicked and traitorous ways of their forbears, and that experience thereof in former times within this kingdom has, in several cases, occasioned the establishing of good laws against the same, and that duty, being as necessary and pressing at this time when religion and pretended tenderness of conscience has been made a cloak for disloyalty and rebellion, therefore the king's majesty, with advice and consent of his estates in parliament, has statute and enacted and, by this act, statutes and enacts that the treasonable crimes of designing and attempting violence or harm to his majesty's person, or of rising and joining in open rebellion and arms against his majesty's authority and government, or any having commission from his majesty and representing his authority, are to be severely punished in the persons and posterity of such as are guilty thereof and, accordingly, his majesty does, with advice foresaid, declare that whoever has been in this parliament or shall at any time hereafter be found guilty of designs and attempts of violence against his majesty's person, or of rising or joining in open rebellion and arms against his majesty's authority or government, or any having commission from his majesty and representing his authority, that they and their children and posterity are thereby disabled to enjoy honours, dignities, offices, lands, possessions or inheritance within this kingdom, but what they shall receive by his majesty's special favour.

  1. NAS. PA2/28, f.93v-94.