A ratification of the gift made to the provost of St Salvator's College

Our sovereign lord, with advice and consent of his three estates of this present parliament, has ratified and approved and, by the tenor hereof, ratifies and approves the letters of gift and disposition made by our said sovereign lord, with the advice of the lords of his secret council, to the provost and principal masters of St Salvator's College within the city of St Andrews, with all gifts and privileges contained therein and all points and clauses and articles of the same, and declares the same to have effect after the form and tenor thereof, of which the tenor follows:

James, by the grace of God, king of Scots, to all and sundry our lieges and subjects whom it concerns, to whose knowledge these our letters shall come, greeting. Know you that it is understood that the youth should not only be seen to preserve the commonwealth, but also of those who are obliged to raise such as hereafter are obliged to serve in the kirk of God and instruct the youth in schools within this realm and to the commonwealth of the same; and albeit by the laws, custom and order received within our realm all benefices of before at the donation and presentation of prelates are now come in use and ordained by parliament to be at our patronage in time coming, nevertheless it has been always meant and expressly provided that the universities within which there is exercise of liberal sciences shall still have the enjoyment of the privileges of the kirks, chaplainries and prebendaries annexed to their colleges, presenting qualified persons to the kirks and bursars within their own colleges to the chaplainries; therefore we, willing the increase of virtue and letters and that the ministers thereof be in no way prejudiced in their rights and possessions but maintained therein, and in whatsoever may appear to appertain to them, have in favour of our dear provost and masters of St Salvator's College within the city of St Andrews, for us and our successors, perpetually declared that it shall be permissible and permitted to the said provost and masters to convey whatsoever provostries, chaplainries, prebendaries or other benefices erected and given to their said college, choir and chapter thereof, to qualified persons able to travail in schools, the kirk of God and commonwealth of the same, so that they in no ways be prejudiced in their title and right of their said benefices, but that they may convey the same as said is, notwithstanding of any acts of parliament or laws of our realm whereby the right of presentation of ecclesiastical benefices may appear to come in our hands since the reformation of religion and to appertain to us only; in the which, we do not will that the prebendaries and chaplainries erected to the said college or other colleges within our realm and benefices appertaining thereto shall be comprehended in any sort, but that the same be conveyed to qualified persons by the provost and masters aforesaid as having right and title to the same, dispensing with our said acts, constitutions and whatsoever right that may be competent to us thereby for ever. And this not only to be extended to whatsoever benefices or chaplainries to be conveyed in time coming, but also in time past, since our act of parliament made in favour of all colleges within universities, providing always that these letters be not prejudicial to the presentation of benefices, offices, bursaries or benefices pertaining to the presentation of lawful patrons. Given under our privy seal at our castle of Stirling, 27 June 1574, in the eleventh year of our reign, by the signature underwritten in the hands of our supreme lord the king and the lords of his privy council. Providing that the persons appointed for visitation of the colleges within this realm take full cognition of the quantity and value of the benefices within the said college whereof the patronage might pertain to our said sovereign, how many bursars and of what quality the same may sustain, and to make and form a perfect foundation of so many persons, bursars, as the said rents newly conveyed may sustain, and to report the same to the king's majesty and council between the date hereof and 20 December 1578 coming, with certification to them if they fail herein, they shall lose the benefit of the said act and the same to be null and of no value in itself.

  1. NAS, PA2/12, ff.6v-7r.