The ratification of the acceptance of the government upon the king's majesty in his own person

Our sovereign lord and three estates of parliament, understanding how that after the long troubles and dangerous civil war with which this realm was disquieted from the birth and coronation of his majesty to the month of November 1577, the late John [Stewart], earl of Mar, lord Erskine etc., then regent to his highness, his realm and lieges, being lately deceased, James [Douglas], earl of Morton, lord Dalkeith, at the earnest suit of the nobility and estates then convening, being nominated and elected by them, accepted upon him the government of our sovereign lord, his realm and lieges, which election and nomination, with his acceptance of the said charge, being duly ratified and confirmed by his highness and his estates in his majesty's parliament held at Edinburgh, 26 January 1572 [1573], he, according thereto, entered in the rule of this realm in a most perilous time in respect of the said civil war, and the castle of Edinburgh being then fortified and detained against our said sovereign lord by such as rebelled against his highness and a great number of the principals of the nobility then standing disobedient in his majesty's authority, which castle being recovered and the disobedient subjects reduced to their allegiance, and the whole estates shortly pacified by the prudent and diligent travail of the said James, earl of Morton, with his great and sumptuous charges, he has since then worthily used and exercised the government of this realm from the acceptance of the same to the day of his dismissal thereof, which was the [...] day of March last; at the which time, our said sovereign lord, the end of the twelfth year of his age approaching, accepted the administration of his realm and lieges in his own person, the said late regent having earnestly long before wished our said sovereign lord's ability for the charge and craving nothing more earnestly to be disburdened thereof with honour and [...] of our sovereign lord's person and estate and the public peace and tranquillity of this realm and subjects, which the said James, earl of Morton plainly testified not only by his letters patent of relinquishment under his seal and subscription of the date aforesaid, but otherwise by his most humble obedience rendered to his majesty's authority, accepted in his highness's own person as said is, and by his humble obedience in rendering of all things committed to his charge and keeping during the time of his rule, and of his moveables and jewels which he had during the time of the same rule recovered from others after the appeasing of the said late troubles; therefore, our said sovereign lord and three estates of parliament have ratified, approved and affirmed, and by the tenor hereof, ratify, approve and affirm the relinquishment and renunciation of the said government made by the said James, earl of Morton to our said sovereign lord, to be exercised thereafter in his own person from the date of the said relinquishment and renunciation by the said James, earl of Morton's letters of demission patent under his seal and subscription of the date above-specified, notwithstanding the said demission was made in the minority of our sovereign lord, before the said earl's rule was expired, by reason that the said act of parliament made at his acceptance thereof appointed his said government to continue during the minority of our sovereign lord and that, in respect thereof, there shall be no fault assigned to the said earl. And also our said sovereign lord and his three estates of parliament ratify and approve our said sovereign lord's acceptance of the said government after the aforesaid relinquishment, and find and declare that the administration of his highness's realm, government and authority thereof is in his highness's own hands, to be governed and administered by himself with advice of the council, which, by this present parliament, shall be appointed to his highness. And, therefore, our said sovereign lord, with the said three estates of parliament, all in one voice, have declared and declare that there is no other authority, nor form of authority, counsel nor government within his highness's realm but that which is established in his majesty's own person, to be administered and exercised by his highness, with advice of the aforesaid council, by the estates of this present parliament to be established, discharging and annulling all other forms of authority and government except the form, government and authority above-specified. And further, our sovereign lord and three estates aforesaid find and declare that the office, power and authority of our sovereign lord's council elected of before at Stirling, the [...] day of [...] last, ended and expired upon 10 July this year, and rescind, retreat, abrogate and annul all and whatsoever things that proceeded and were done by them in name of our sovereign lord or as his council, to be of no value, force nor effect, with all that followed thereupon since the said 10 July. And therefore commanding all his highness's lieges that they, nor none of them of whatsoever quality, estate or degree that ever they be of, take upon hand to come in contrary to the things above-mentioned or any part or point thereof, directly or indirectly, or take upon them to do anything in name and by the authority of our sovereign lord, or to obey any other authority, government or counsel except as is before specified, under all highest punishment and charge that the said contraveners and every one of them may incur by the laws of this realm against their allegiance and his highness's authority. And that publication be made of this present act at the market crosses of all burghs and other needful places with convenient diligence.

  1. NAS, PA2/12, ff.1r-v. Missing text due to slight damage to manuscript.