Procedure: demission of the crown by Mary queen of Scots
Presenting of the queen's majesty's commission

2The which day, in presence of the lords of secret council and others of the nobility, prelates, barons and commissioners of burghs convened within the tolbooth of Edinburgh, compeared Patrick [Lindsay], lord Lindsay of the Byres, and presented the commission underwritten subscribed by [Mary], the queen's majesty, our sovereign lady, under her privy seal, desiring the same to be openly read, of the which the tenor follows:

Mary, by the grace of God, queen of Scots, to all and sundry our judges and ministers of law, lieges and subjects whom it concerns to whose knowledge these our letters shall come, greeting. Forasmuch as since our arrival and returning within our realm, we, willing the common commodity, wealth, profit and quietness thereof, lieges and subjects of the same, have employed our body, whole senses and forces to govern the same in such a manner that our royal and honourable estate might stand, continue with us and our posterity, and our loving and kind lieges might enjoy the quietness of true subjects; in labouring therein not only is our body, spirit and senses so vexed, broken and disquieted that no longer are we of ability in any manner to endure so great and intolerable pains and travails with which we are altogether wearied, but also great commotions and troubles by sundry occasions in the meantime have ensued therein to our great grief. And seeing it has been the pleasure of the eternal God, of his kindly love, mercy and goodness, to grant unto us of our own person a son, who, in case by the hand of God we be visited [by death], will, and right and of equity must and ought, succeed to us and to the government of our realm; and knowing that all creatures are subject to that immutable decreet of the eternal, and to render and give up this temporal life, the hour and time whereof is most uncertain; and in case by death we be taken from this life during the time of his minority, it may be greatly doubted that resistance and trouble may be made to our said son, now native prince of this our realm, in his tender years, being so destitute of us, to succeed to that place and kingdom which must justly of all laws appertain to him; which inconvenience, by God's help and good providence, we mean to prevent in such manner that it shall not lie in the power of any unnatural subjects to resist God's ordinance in that behalf. And understanding that nothing earthly is more joyous and happy to us than to see our said dearest son in our own lifetime peaceably placed in that position and honourable estate to which he justly ought and must succeed to, we, of the motherly affection we bear toward our said only son, have renounced and demitted, and by these our letters, freely of our own motive, will, renounce and demit the government, guiding and governing of this our realm of Scotland, lieges and subjects thereof, and all intromission and disposition of any casualties, property, benefices, offices and all things appertaining, or heretofore is known or hereafter shall happen to appertain thereto, in favour of our said dearest son, to that effect that he may be planted, placed and possessed therein, use and exercise all things belonging thereto as native king and prince of the same, and such as we or any of our predecessors, kings of Scotland, have done in any time bygone. Moreover, that this our demission may take more solemn effect, and that none pretend ignorance thereof, we have given, granted and committed, and by these our letters give, grant and commit our commission, full, free and plain power, general and special command, to our trusty cousins Patrick, lord Lindsay of the Byres and William [Ruthven], lord Ruthven, and to each one of them, jointly and separately, to compear before so many of the nobility, clergy, burgesses and other people of our realm as shall happen to be assembled to that effect in our burgh of Stirling, or any other place or places where it shall be thought most convenient, at any day or days, and there publicly, in their presence, for us, in our name and upon our behalf, demit and renounce the government, guiding and ruling of this our realm, lieges and subjects thereof, all intromission with the property, casualty or other things appertaining to us thereby, and all right and title that we had, have or may have by any manner of way thereto, in favour of our said son, to that effect that he may be inaugurated, placed and positioned therein, and the crown royal delivered to him, and he obeyed in all things concerning the same, as we or our predecessors have been in times bygone; and likewise, by these words, give, grant and commit full, free and plain power to our right trusty cousins James [Douglas], earl of Morton, lord of Dalkeith, John [Stewart], earl of Atholl, etc., John [Erskine], earl of Mar, Alexander [Cunningham], earl of Glencairn, William [Graham], earl of Menteith, John [Graham], master of Graham, Alexander [Home], lord Home, Adam [Bothwell], bishop of Orkney, the provosts [Master James Haliburton for] Dundee, and [John Erskine of Dun for] Montrose, or any of them, to receive the said renunciation and demission in favour of our said son; and, after the receiving thereof, to plant, place and inaugurate him in the kingdom, and, with all ceremonies requisite, to put the crown royal upon his head in sign and token of the establishing of him therein; and in his name to make and give to the said nobility, clergy, burgesses and others of our lieges, his princely and kingly oath, dutifully and lawfully as appropriate, and to receive their oaths for due and lawful homage and obedience to be made by them to him in all times coming as becomes subjects to their native king and prince; and generally all and sundry other things to do, exercise and use that for sure performance and accomplishment hereof may or can be done, firm and stable holding and for to hold all and whatsoever things in our name in these matters requires to be done in the word and faithful promise of a prince; and ordains these our letters, if need be, to be published at all places needful. Subscribed with our hand, and given under our privy seal, at Lochleven, 24 July, and of our reign the twenty-fifth year, 1567.

  1. NAS, PC1/5, 11-13.
  2. 'a: b:' written in margin.