In the first, for the honour of God and the Holy Kirk, our sovereign lord, with the advice of the three estates,2 ordains that the freedom, liberties, privileges and immunities of the Holy Kirk and all spiritual persons, the three estates, be observed and kept in honour, worship and dignity for the time of our sovereign lord that now is, as has been in the time of his most noble progenitors of good mind of before, with this addition: that forasmuch as when prelacies, such as bishoprics or abbacies, happen to become vacant, the nomination thereof pertains to our sovereign lord and the provision of the same to our holy father Pope [Clement VII], nevertheless, ill-disposed persons in troubled times have put hands on and taken bishops' castles, palaces and fortalices by their own hand, by their own authority and without our sovereign lord's consent, command or letters at times when bishoprics are vacant and at other times, and similarly enter abbeys and take them and put the same in keeping in secular men's hands without the consent, command or letters of the king's grace and also without the command, advice or desire of the convents of such abbeys, to the displeasure of God almighty, our holy father the pope and in contempt of our sovereign lord's authority, through which the kirk and kirkmen are heavily hurt and damaged; therefore, it is statute and ordained in this present parliament that whomsoever person or persons in any time to come take any bishop's palaces, castles or strongholds, or enter in abbeys by their own authority, to hold these places without our sovereign lord's command, letters or charges or desire of the convents thereof at times when such bishoprics or abbacies are vacant, or any other time, they being not vacant, without the king's authority, they shall incur the crime of treason and lese-majesty and shall be called thereof at the king's pleasure upon their forfeiture, and to the loss of their lives, lands, heritage, goods, movable and immovable, honour and offices because the king's grace is held and bound to defend the Holy Kirk and kirkmen in their just causes.

  1. NAS, PA2/8, I, f.36r-v.
  2. Marginalia, 'with advice of the three estates', inserted into text.