Of election of notaries

Item, regarding scribes and notaries, both to land and to burgh, because it is understood to the king's grace that the multitude of them generates a great confusion and many falsehoods are committed, for the remedy hereof, it is statute and ordained that every sheriff, with such persons as shall please the king's grace to join to them, shall call before them all notaries that are laymen within his sheriffdom and bounds of the office and examine them, and those who are held to be reputable and able men to execute the office, that they be admitted by an act in judgement, and that the said sheriff have a book and cause those who are admitted to write their subscription and signature in the said book, such as they subscribe all instruments and as they will use in time coming, and to discharge all others except those who are writers, notaries and scribes in our sovereign lord's courts of justice, both civil and temporal, who shall be admitted by the chancellor, president and lords of council; and after the said discharge, whoever makes any instrument, the same shall be of no value and have no faith, it being opposed by the party and not being proven in the contrary that the said notary is admitted as is said; and that all ordinaries cause the same to be done upon all notaries who are spiritual men within their diocese; and those that happen to be made notaries in times to come, that they do not use the said office of notary until the time they come before the sheriff or ordinary and get their admission, subscribe and put their signature in the said books as they will use in times to come, with certification to them if they fail, their instruments shall be of no value and make no faith.

  1. NAS, PA2/8, III, f.33r-v.