The exoneration and discharge of the late John [Erskine], earl of Mar that last deceased

Our sovereign lord the king's majesty and three estates of this present parliament, perfectly remembering and understanding that in September 1571, immediately after the decease of Matthew [Stewart], earl of Lennox, his highness's grandfather and regent of good memory, in the heat of the internal wars and troubles then raised and raging against his majesty's authority, the late John, earl of Mar, father to the now John [Erskine], earl of Mar, was nominated, elected and constituted regent to his majesty, his realm and lieges, and the said election and constitution and acceptance of the said office by the said late John, earl of Mar was by his majesty, with consent and approbation of the earls, lords, prelates, commissioners of burghs, barons and other faithful subjects convened in parliament, decreed lawful and sufficient, and that whatsoever things the said late John, earl of Mar, regent, had done, by virtue of his said office, or which he should do thereafter in his majesty's name and authority, to be as duly, lawfully and righteously done, and to have as great value and effect in all respects as anything done by whatsoever regents or governors within this realm in the minorities of any other native princes of the same. And the said late Earl of Mar, for due administration of his said office and defence of his majesty and his highness's authority, was compelled to leave his majesty's most delectable presence and company and his honourable and peaceable estate of living in the castle of Stirling and pass to the town of Leith, and there, with the other noblemen and faithful subjects defending and assisting his highness's authority in holding off a great number of men of war, and furnishing of munitions and other things necessary for war against the great number and strength of adversaries then being in great company in the castle and town of Edinburgh and diverse places of his majesty's realm, not only spent and disbursed all and whatsoever rents, rooms and other profits that might be brought in pertaining to his majesty, either in property or casualty, besides the thirlage of his own living and the rents of his proper dependence for the advancement of our sovereign lord's service, but also often both day and night exposed his own body and life with the other noblemen and faithful subjects aforesaid to the shot of the cannon and edge of the sword by all the space for the most part of his life, after the election and acceptance of the said office by him, until it pleased the almighty God, in the favour of his majesty by the prudent administration of the said office by the said late Earl of Mar and the faithful and stout defending of his majesty's authority by him and other noblemen and faithful subjects assisting thereto, an abstinence was taken for further treating of the pacification of the said troubles in July 1572, after the which shortly the said late earl, at the pleasure of God, departed out of this life. Therefore, in respect of the manifest truth of the premises, our said sovereign lord and estates aforesaid, by this present act, declare and decree that the said late John, earl of Mar, sometime regent to his majesty, his realm and lieges, duly, valiantly, justly and diligently exercised the said office of regiment and all affairs, causes and charges thereto appertaining from the time of his acceptance of the said office to his decease, and in all his proceedings and doings the time of his government and regiment kept and observed a true, just and valiant part toward his majesty and defence of the authority, realm and lieges in all affairs thereof without offence or fault; and ratify and approve, therefore, all and whatsoever things done by him in the same and exonerate and discharge John, now earl of Mar, son and heir to the said late John, earl of Mar, his heirs, successors and assignees of all and whatsoever facts and things done by his said late father, his servants or others in his name, in the administration of the said office of regiment and during all the space and time of the same; and also of all sums of money, mails, ferms, profits, rents, revenues and duties, both of his majesty's proper patrimony and casualty of this realm, and profit of his majesty's coin, thirds of benefices and whatsoever other goods or gear, as well unnamed as named, pertaining or that might in any way have pertained to his majesty during the time aforesaid intromitted with by the said deceased Earl of Mar, his factors and servants in his name, and all action and instance that may be intended or pursued against the said John, now earl of Mar, son and heir to the said late John, earl of Mar, or any others by his occasion in any way concerning the premise or any part thereof, providing always that this present discharge and ratification in no way prejudices our said sovereign lord concerning his general revocation of the things that come under the same.

  1. NAS, PA2/12, ff.4r-v.