Legislation: private act
Discharge to [James Douglas], earl of Morton of his regiment

2The king's majesty, nobility and estates convened unders[...] the long troubles and dangerous civil war wherewith this [...] from the birth and coronation of his majesty to the month of [...] of God 1572, the late John [Erskine], earl of Mar, lord [...], his highness, his realm and lieges, being lately deceased at the [...] and estates then convened, the noble and mighty lord James [Douglas], earl [of Morton, lord] of Dalkeith, being nominated and elected by them, accepted upon him the [...] sovereign lord, his realm and lieges, which election and nomination [...] of the said charge being duly ratified and confirmed by his highness and [...] in his majesty's parliament held at Edinburgh, 26 January 1578 [1579], he, according thereto, entered in the administration of the [...] realm in a most perilous time, the castle of Edinburgh then being [...] and detained against his highness by his rebels and a great number of the principals of the nobility then standing disobedient to his highness's authority, which castle [...] recovered and the disobedient subjects and whole estate shortly pacified by the [...] and diligent travails of the said Earl of Morton, regent, with great and sumptuous [...] he has since worthily used and executed the regiment of this realm until that now the end of the twelfth year of our sovereign lord's age approaching, his majesty, with advice of the said nobility and estates, has thought it fitting that the government of the realm shall be from this time forth exercised by himself. The said lord regent having long wished his majesty's own ability for the charge, and craving nothing more earnestly than to be unburdened thereof, with the honour and surety of his majesty's person and estate and the public peace and tranquillity of his realm and subjects, has freely at his highness's desire demitted and rendered to his majesty the power and authority of the said regiment to be used and exercised by himself. And his majesty, having good proof and experience of the faithful and true service done by the said lord regent to his highness in his tender age, as well before the acceptance of the regiment of the realm as since, for the defence and safety of his person and authority, chiefly in the dangerous troubles then occurring, and being mindful of the said good and faithful service in respect thereof, and that others of the nobility that may happen to be employed in his highness's service may serve his majesty and his successors with the greater affection in time coming, has therefore, with advice of the said nobility and estates, found, declared and decreed that the said lord regent has duly, lawfully, justly and diligently exercised his said office of regiment and all affairs, causes and charges pertaining thereto, and has truly as accorded in all respects administered the same from the time of the accepting thereof to the date of this act, and ever during the same space in all his proceedings in the government of this realm kept a true, faithful and just part towards our sovereign lord, his realm and lieges in all the affairs thereof, without crime, offence or fault. And therefore his majesty, with advice and counsel of the said nobility and estates, has declared and decreed that the said lord regent, his heirs and successors shall not be accusable of any manner of crime of whatsoever greatness or weight without exception that may be alleged committed by him in time past, but that he is and shall be in all time coming freely discharged and exonerated of all accusation or any otherwise proceeding, moving of legal action or question against him or his successors for any cause, crime or occasion of crime whatsoever that may be imputed to him, howsoever great the same [may] be; and that his highness's aforesaid declaration be a sufficient exoneration and acquittance to the said lord regent, his heirs, successors and assignees of all crimes, questions or offences that can or may be criminally or civilly [...] to him by his majesty for any fault or deed [...] by him, his ministers and servants in the said administration of the regiment d[uring] the space and time thereof; and the said acquittance and discharge his highness, with adv[ice and] consent of the said nobility and estates, has willed and granted to be as viable [and] of as great strength, force and effect in all respects as if the highest crime that can or may be imputed to any person were specially expressed therein, discharging all his highness's judges and ministers of his laws that none of them attempt anything in the contrary thereof and of their offices in that part. And also his majesty, with advice of the said nobility and estates, has discharged, indemnified and exonerated the said lord regent, his heirs, executors, assignees and successors, his ministers, factors and servants of all sums of money, coined and uncoined, all mails, ferms, profits, rents, reven[ues] and duties both of the proper patrimony and casualty of the realm and dominions and of his majesty's coin and profit thereof, the thirds of benefices, with all other goods, gear and things whatsoever as well unnamed as named, pertaining or that might in any way have pertained to his majesty since the said lord regent's intromission with the said office of regiment, intromitted with by him, his ministers, factors or servants in his name during the said space; and has willed and granted that the said exoneration and discharge be as viable and of as great strength, force and effect to exonerate, indemnify and discharge the said lord regent, his heirs, executors, assignees and successors of anything of whatsoever value, great or small, that may be asked, required or pursued by his majesty or his successors against the said regent, his heirs, executors, assignees or successors as pertaining to his majesty by any right or title during the said space of the regiment and administration above-written, likewise as if the same had been specially expressed in this present discharge and likewise as if all the greatest and most valuable things with the which he may be charged had been herein expressed, excepting always the jewels and plenishing of his highness's houses, clothing, artillery and ammunition pertaining to his majesty or [Mary], his dearest mother, intromitted with and recovered by the said lord regent, which his highness wills shall not be comprehended in his said discharge, but the said lord regent to stand answerable for the same to his majesty as he shall be required. And further his majesty, with advice of the said nobility and estates, has promised, in the faith and w[ord] of a prince, never to revoke the said discharge nor to come in the contrary thereof in any time hereafter, providing always that this present discharge be not prejudicial to our sovereign lord and his successors in his majesty's revocation or reduction of whatsoever infeftments given of his highness's property during his minority, or of the right of whatsoever lands, lordships, offices or dignities fallen or coming in his majesty's hands by reason of forfeiture, recognition, bastardy or in any other way pertaining to his highness by privilege of his crown; which exoneration, discharge and promise the king's majesty, with advice of the said nobility and estates now convened, ordains to be duly ratified and approved in his highness's next parliament to be held between the date hereof and 20 July 1578; as also to be ratified and approved of new in his majesty's first parliament at his lawful and perfect age. And ordains and commands [John Lyon, lord Glamis], chancellor, to append his highness's great seal to the said exoneration, discharge and promise now subscribed with his majesty's hand, notwithstanding that the same has not passed his highness's signet and privy seal, for the which this present act and ordinance, subscribed by [James MacGill of Nether Rankeilour], clerk of his highness's council, shall be to the said lord chancellor a full and sufficient warrant.

  1. NAS, PC1/9, pp.2-3.
  2. Gaps in text due to damage to manuscript.