Concerning the constitution of the policy of the kirk

Forasmuch as the present estate of the kirk within this realm being considered by [James Douglas, earl of Morton], my lord regent's grace, and estates now convened, and how since the alteration of religion, albeit the liberty of the evangel has been enjoyed in unity of doctrine, yet is there not to this day any perfect policy by laws and constitutions set out how the kirk in all degrees shall be governed in decent and comely order, through which sundry inconveniences have followed and more are likely to occur hereafter, if timely remedy be not provided. The estates, finding it impossible that they can abide together until this matter can be exactly advised on and put in form, have therefore thought suitable and concluded that John [Lyon], lord Glamis, chancellor, James [Boyd], archbishop of Glasgow, Adam [Bothwell], bishop of Orkney, Robert [Pitcairn], commendator of Dunfermline, Mark [Kerr], commendator of Newbattle, Robert [Keith], commendator of Deer, James [Haliburton], commendator of Pittenweem, Master James MacGill of Nether Rankeilour, clerk register, Sir John Bellenden of Auchnoull, knight, justice clerk, Master David Borthwick of Lochhill, advocate to our sovereign lord, John Erskine of Dun, superintendent of Angus, Master John Winram, commendator of Portmoak, Master John Spottiswood, superintendent of Lothian, Master Alexander Arbuthnott, principal of the college of Aberdeen, Master James Lawson, minister of Edinburgh, and Master David Lindsay, minister of Leith, shall take the pains to convene, confer, reason and put in form the ecclesiastical policy and order of the governing of the kirk, as they shall find most agreeable to the truth of God's word and most convenient for the estate and people of this realm. Which persons, being for the most part present, for the goodwill they bear to the advancement of God's glory, the king's obedience and commonwealth of the realm, were content to bestow their pains for this effect, and to begin their work on Monday 14 March 1575, in such part of the palace of Holyroodhouse as my lord regent's grace will appoint them to convene in; and so to continue and abide together from day to day until they have once drawn a form of the said ecclesiastical policy, which being ended, it shall be reported and shown to the estates at the next convention, to the effect that then, by their advice, a parliament may be appointed and in the same the form which shall be drawn or so much thereof as shall be found suitable to be ratified and established as a law.

  1. NAS, PC1/7, pp.304-5.