Committee members: privy council
A council chosen

2Forasmuch as our sovereign lord having accepted the government of his highness's realm in his own person upon the voluntary demission of James [Douglas], earl of Morton, lord of Dalkeith, late regent to his highness, his realm and lieges, his majesty, by advice of his nobility and estates, has now thought good to elect and choose six of the temporal and three of the spiritual estate to be of his highness's ordinary secret council, to remain together for setting forth of his majesty's authority and administration of justice until the next parlia[ment]: [they] are to say,

  • Colin [Campbell], earl of Argyll, lord Campbell and Lorne
  • John [Stewart], earl of Atholl, lord of Balvenie
  • John [Graham], earl of Montrose, lord Graham
  • George [Sinclair], earl of Caithness
  • Patrick [Lindsay], lord Lindsay of the Byres
  • John [Maxwell], lord Herries
  • Alexander Erskine of [Gogar]
  • In absence of u[...]
  • [Robert Keith], commendator of [Deer]
  • Robert [Stewart], bishop of [Caithness]
  • Mark [Kerr], commendator of [Newbattle]

Together with William [Ruthven], lord Ruthven, his majesty's treasurer, Robert [Pitcairn, commendator] of Dunfermline, secretary, Master George Buchanan, keeper of the [privy seal], William Murray of Tullibardine, knight, comptroller, and Master James [MacGill of] Nether [Rankeilour], clerk register.

The persons underwritten to be upon the council when they are present [...] sovereign lord sends for them.

  • Archibald [Douglas], earl of Angus, lord Douglas and Abernethy
  • John [Erskine], earl of Mar, lord Erskine
  • Andrew [Leslie], earl of Rothes
  • Hugh [Montgomery], earl of Eglinton
  • Andrew [Hay], earl of Erroll
  • William [Cunningham], earl of Glencairn
  • William [Graham], earl of Menteith
  • John [Maxwell], lord Maxw[ell]
  • James [Ogilvy], lord Ogilvy
  • Patrick [Gray], lord Gray
  • James [Stewart], lord of Innermeath
  • Adam [Bothwell], bishop of Orkney
  • David [Erskine], commendator of Dry[burgh]
  • Adam [Erskine], commendator of Cambus[kenneth]

And because our sovereign lord may often be circumvented and disshav[...] subscribing of diverse signatories of infeftments, donations, gifts, conducts and remissions, and likewise other letters touching his majesty in his casualty or proper[ty], it is therefore concluded, decreed and ordained by his highness, with advice of the said nobility and estates, that no such gifts, signatories and remissions, respites, conducts or other letters shall pass in time coming without the advice and consent of the said lords of secret council; and that all such letters and signatories be first subscribed by so many of the said ordinary council as shall be present for the time, to the number of six persons at the fewest sitting together in council, [John Stewart, earl of Atholl], chancellor, always being one. And if any such letters shall happen to pass without their consent and subscription in manner aforesaid, the same to be of no value, force nor effect thereafter, and ordains and commands the keeper of the great seal, privy seal and signet that none of them answer nor pass the said seals or signet to any letters but such as have been subscribed in manner aforesaid, as they will answer upon the contrary. And this order to endure until the said parliament appointed, the said 10 July 1578.

  1. NAS, PC1/9, pp.5-7.
  2. Gaps in text due to damage to manuscript.