Act rescinding the forfeiture of Sir George Campbell of Cessnock

Our sovereign lord and lady the king and queen's majesties, having considered the process of forfeiture laid before the high court of parliament upon 13 June 1685 against the deceased Sir Hugh Campbell of Cessnock and Sir George Campbell, younger of Cessnock, now justice clerk, with the sentence and doom of forfeiture thereon pronounced, and that albeit first a principal and then an additional libel of many alleged treasonable deeds were exhibited against them, yet the only point insisted on found relevant and proven was this general of their being accessory to the late conspiracy against the late King Charles II and James, then duke of York, his brother, which, not having been specially qualified, was not in law relevant. Besides that, all that in reality appears to have been under it was that the said deceased Sir Hugh and Sir George Campbell had corresponded and discoursed with several persons about the means for excluding the said duke of York from succeeding to the crown as the most effectual means to secure the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of the three kingdoms, as to which it is now manifest by the declaration of the estates of the kingdom against the said duke of York, afterwards king, finding that he had forfeited the right to the crown, and that the said corresponding and discoursing, having proceeded no further, was weak and frivolous and in no way relevant to infer the crime of treason. As also, that the probation adduced in the said sentence being but one single witness with the repeated testimony of a person that had emitted the same before the then privy council, after torture and under assurance given him that he should never be made use of as a witness against any, and a confession of simple presence was lame and defective, and it being expressly provided by the Claim of Right that the causing forfeit persons upon frivolous and weak pretences and lame and defective probation is contrary to law, and that such forfeitures ought to be considered and the parties harmed redressed; therefore their majesties, with advice and consent of the said estates of parliament, do hereby from justice rescind, reduce, cass, annul and make void the aforesaid sentence and doom of forfeiture pronounced against the said deceased Sir Hugh and Sir George Campbell, with the act of annexation upon annexing their estates to the crown, and the act again dissolving the same therefrom with the gifts of forfeiture, presentation and escheat in favour of John [Drummond], earl of Melfort, with all others that has followed or may follow thereupon, restoring the memory and re-enabling of the posterity of the said deceased Sir Hugh Campbell, as also restoring the said Sir George Campbell, to their blood, lands and goods and name, fame and dignity against the same in entirety, such like and as freely in all respects as if the said sentence of forfeiture had never been pronounced. And their majesties, with advice foresaid, ordain all possessors of and intromitters with the lands, rents, goods or gear, moveable or immoveable, of the said deceased Sir Hugh or Sir George Campbell, or have taken bonds or other securities thereof by virtue of the said forfeiture and escheat, to be liable for and to refund the same and to remove and desist therefrom, as also that the said bonds and securities be void and null and the havers to give up the same. And further, that the foresaid process and whole grounds thereof be deleted and erased out of the records of parliament, declaring that this act is and shall be understood to be excepted from the act salvo jure to be passed in this present parliament.

  1. NAS. PA2/34, f.102v-103.