Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618. Originally published by [s.n.], Edinburgh, 1839.
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A. D. M.D.LXVII.
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk of Scotland, conveinit at Edinburgh, in the Over Tolbuith of the same, the 21 of July 1567. In the quhilk were assemblit Erles, Lords, Barrons, whose names are wryten after the articles be them subscryvit, with the Superintendents, Ministers, and Commissioners of townes. Thanks was givin to God be Mr John Craig Minister of Edinburgh.
[Mr John Row Minister at St Johnston, was chosen Moderator.
It was ordained, That the brethren of every shire should chuse some out of their number, and the ministers likewife chuse so many from among themselves, to reason and confer upon the affairs of the Kirk, and to form articles in writ, and present the same to the Assemblie, to be considered. C.]
Sess. 2da. 22 Julij 1567.
[The Commissioners appointit to deliver their missives to the Earles, Lords, Barrons, and other brethren nominat, exhibited their Rolls. The Earle of Argile his letter, excusing his absence, alledged, that the brethren already assembled in Edinburgh were in armes, and so far as he understood, the rest were to come likewife in the same manner, and he not being privie to ther proceedings, nor having ȝet joined himself to them, therfor he could not at this time be present: In the mean time desireth, that no innovations be attempted till the meeting of the other brethren; so much the rather, because their adversaries would not allow of their doings; promiseth in the mean time to continue in the maintainance of true religion.
The Commendator of Arbroth alledged the like reasons for his absence. C.]
Tenour of the Lettres of Excusation of the Erle of Argyle, of his absence fra this Assemblie, followeth:
After our most heartlie commendatiouns; we have receavit ȝour wrytings,
understandand be the same ȝour earnest travells and godlie ȝeale in erecting
of this our Kirk within Scotland, according to our dewties and ȝour Assemblie to this effect, quherunto ȝe have desyreit us; ȝet something having in
admiratioun, that ȝe sould have assignit ȝour Assemblie, quherunto ȝe desyre
the principall members of the haill Kirk, without their awin advyse and univerfall consent, having concurrit with them of before, alsweil anent the places
of Assemblie, as in matters to be treated in the same; be reason the brethren
els assemblit in Edinburgh ar in armes, and as we understand the rest that are
to come there comes in the lyke manner, quhilk is farre by the use and accustomit manner and fashion that we have sein of before; and as it is not unknowin unto ȝou quhat varietie is presentlie in this realme, ȝet not doubting their intents and mynds to be only directit as ȝe have afoir shawin; nottheles, because our brethren els assemblit in Edinburgh are in armes accompanied with men of warre, we not being participant with ther proceiding, neither ȝet hes adjoynit ourselves therintill, cannot at this tyme be
present in the places appointit, according to ȝour desyre; ȝet assuring ȝou,
lykeas in tymes past we have not only bestowed our goods in the mantainance of Gods cause, but also hes hazard our life and freind in the same sute,
we mynd still to continue; and sen the impediment of our conveining, albeit willing to all godlie proceidings, is for the causes after specifiet, in the
mean time we will earnestlie requeist ȝou, that no innovatiouns or alteratiouns be made or attempted quhill our meeting, quhilk we trust to God
salbe shortlie; so that nane of our brethren, nor we in absence, have occasion to mislyke any of ȝour proceidings, because sick grave matters requyres ane comoun consent, alsweill in ther approving, as that they may be
the better borne out; for ȝour awin wisdomes, we doubt not, will consider
the factiouns of our adversares, that they will never allow our doings;
and therfor it is more than necessar there be no diversitie of mynds
amangst ourselves; ȝea we will find all matters frame the better if we be
all present when they are concludit. So not willing to impeasche ȝou
with farder letter, hes committed farther of our mynd to this bearer, ȝour
servitour, to whom please give credit: And swa comitts ȝou to God. Of
But, the 28 day of Julij 1567.
Yours, assurit in the Lord,
The tenour of the commendators of Arbroth, Killwinning, and my Lord Boyds excusatioun, aggrieing in all points as followes.
After most heartlie comendatiounes in the Lord Jesus; we have receivit
ȝour wryteing daittit at Edinburgh the 26 day of Junij, shawand in effect,
albeit God of his goodnes hes send the light of the evangell of salvation
within this realme to the great confort and prosperitie of all the faithfull
within this realme and ther posteritie; ȝet nevertheles Satan with his
ministers, at every light occasioun, hath frustrat in tymes by past the
ministers of ther life and sustentatioun, the lame and impotent members of
Chryst asweill frustrate of ther livings, dieing in the streits for hunger and
cold, and the haill flock of Chryst Jesus within this realme continuallie
threatened to be made sacrifice of, be the practise of the enemies, as ȝour
wrting conteinis at lenth; for in meiting of the quhilk, and provideing of
remeid therto, ȝe desyre us to be in Edinburgh the 20 day of this instant,
at the Assembly of the Kirk, quherby ane perpetuall ordour may be takin for
the libertie of the kirk of God, the sustentatioun of the ministrie and failyȝeit members therof, so that the haill members of the kirk might, be sure
unioun and conjunction, be more able to gainstand the violence of the
foirsaids enemies. For answer, it is not unknowin unto ȝou, how the nobilitie
of this realme are devydit, be reason of the Queens Majesties haldin quher
scho is; and that the towne of Edinburgh, quher ȝe desyre us to conveine,
is keipit straitlie be one part of the nobilitie and men of warre of their
retinew, to quhose opinioun we are not adjoynit as ȝet, and therfor we
cannot thinke ourselves sure to conveine the said day and place ȝe desyre us
to keip, and els thinks marvell the haill multitude of Protestants within this
realme sould have been desyreit to have conveinit in sick a place, the matter standand as it does. Nevertheles we for ȝour awin pairt salbe weill willing
at all tymes to sett fordward the light of Chrifts evangell to be truely
preachit, and the ministers thereof to be sustainit, and the furth setting of
the policie concerning the kirk in all sorts, so farre as it may stand be ane
law, lykeas we have bein in all tymes by past, sen it pleased God to opin
our eyes and shew the light of his blessed word: And thus will cumber ȝou
with no langer letter, bot prayes God to have ȝou in his eternall protectioun. Of Hamilton 29 of Julij 1567.
Your loving freind at power, in all godlines,
Right Honourable and welbelovit Brethren: After our heartlie commendatioun in the Lord Jesus, this present is to advertise ȝou that we have receivit ȝour letter, and at the requisition of our minister and provest having
commission therto, hes sightit, sein, and considderit ȝour wryting and act
of the Generall Assemblie, in the quhilk is containit the great labours tane
be Satan and his members, makand impediment to the proceidings of the
evangell and foorth setting of the glorie of God, sustentatioun of the ministrie, the poore and neidie, and the contrair now to be provydit be the
Assemblie Generall of the Christian kirk of this realme, now to be conveinit be the xx day of Julij instant; craveing of us our concurrence to the
effect forsaid, together with our personall presence. It sall please ȝour
wisdomes to understand, and most assuredlie to believe us professours of
the evangell within the burgh of Aberdeine, to be of ane mynd, and be the
grace of God, to continue to the manteinance of the furthsetting of the
glorie of God, teaching of the true evangell, and sustentatioun of the
ministers, with help unto the poore; and unto the tyme ȝour wisdomes with
the nobilitie find and ordour universall for the ministrie, we sall for our awin
pairt, God willing, sustaine our minister, sa that of reason he sall have no
cause of plaint, and to the poore, according to our power, doe semblablie
as uthers burrowes sall take ordour; and as to our personall presence to
conveine at this tyme, hes givin and send our minister, Adam Herriott,
to concurre and assist in our name to the effect foirsaid, and to declare
unto ȝour wisdomes the impediment of our personall presence at this tyme;
craveing ȝour wisdomes, notwithstanding of our absence, to credit us faithfullie to abyde at ȝour decrie, to be sett out be ȝou and the Assemblie to
the effect foirsaid, and to mantaine the same with our bodies and goods as
tyme sall requyre. And farther having no occasion for the present to wryte,
comitts ȝou to the protection of the Highest. Wrytin the 12 of this instant
Julij, and subscrybit with our provests hand, at our command at Aberdein, be them that are ȝour assurit.
[The Assemblie appointed some brethren to conveen in Mr James Macgills house, to visite and advise upon the assignations made latelie be the Queen to the ministers, and of the payment thereof. C.)
Sess. 3a 23Julij 1567.
Certaine brethren was appointit to conveine to sie and advyse upon the assignatioun of the stipends of the ministrie latelie assignit be the Queens Majestie the good payment, who fand in effect as followers.
We have sein the assignatiouns within the schirefdomes of Kincardin, Forfare, Perth, and Fyfe, and finds that all the heale conteinit therin, at least for the most part, hes bein thankfullie payit, and that the collectour hes givin his charges for payment therof dewlie, and rests nothing but to put them to the horne; that ther be letters directit and commissioun givin in the saids letters, with consent of the thesaurer, to collect and uptake the haill fruits of the benefices of so many as passe to the horne for the lxvi ȝeir, and sicklyke for the lxvii ȝeir instant, so long as they remaine at the horne, and to make count of the thrid to the ministrie, and sa meikle of the twa pairt as they intromett with to the thesaurer as ascheitt. And as to the victualls within the forfaids shyres, we find that long before any letters raisit upon this assignation, and before the baptisme of the Prince, they were sauld be the comptroller; and therfore he man be chargeit in his compts to rander sa meikle of the pryces heirof againe to the ministrie as is containit in this assignation. Tuiching the thrids of the ministers assignatioun beyond Die, except Orknay, finds be the collector, that the lxvi ȝeirs crope is not usit to be payit whill Lammes in the lxvii ȝeir and after; and for executioun givin to him within the bounds, sall passe with possible diligence, and charge that haill bounds according to the letters, of the quhilks he suppones good payment as hes bein of befoir, except the bishoprick of Caithnes, quhilk the collector alledes the bischop payes to his ministers of his awin kirks, conforme to the booke and compts made of befoir.
Item, Deare, Dunet and Pillorth are givin frie to the Erle of Marschell and freirs of Aberdein, and Captaine Lauders; bot it is understand that all the gifts are revockit, and therfor the collector is to charge them.
Item, that victualls within the same bounds are sauld ut supra; and therfor the comptroller in his comptis sall rander conforme to the 1 Article.
Item: be south Forth nothing gotten in; bot the collector alledges that Duncane Livingstoun hes tane up ijc xxxvij li. ij s. ij d. as he hes grantit be the particular ressaitt, and therfor he man be chargit to delyvor the same to the said collector.
Item, of the thrids that is conteinit within this collectorie, that is alledgit discharged. The thrid of the Abbay of Cambuskineth to iijc xxxiij li. ij s. 8d. iij chalder beir, and iij chalder meill.
The thrids of [Inchmahomo] lv li. 6 s. 8d. ij chalders beir, iij chalders meill.
The thrids of Drybrugh, iijc iiij li. and 62 pairt boll wheit, viij chanders, 2 bolls, 2 pairt boll beir, vij chalders, x bolls,m 2 pairt boll meill.
The thrids of Melrose, haddingtowne and Northberwick; the thrid of Kelso and Coldinghame.
As the Dumfrieis, Annandaill, Kirkudbricht and Wigtown, the Bischop of Galloway hes deput certaine collectors for satisfactioun of the ministries within the same.
Item, within Kyle, Carrick, Cunninghame, executiouns past, and beleivis to have payment at the nixt ganging in the countrey. Item, Corsraguell is givin frie, and the minister of Failfuird is ill payit.
Memorandum. That the Act be raisit made be the Queens Grace and Secreit Counsell, dischargeand the gifts and taks of all the thrids; and that nane sould be givin heirafter without advyse of the Secreit Counsell, to the effect the collector may charge notwithstanding any sick gifts.
Remember that ilk collector execute within his bounds, that lettres be directit with consent of the thesaurer according to the first Article.
[Sess. 4ta. 24 Julij 1567.
It was thought expedient that the portions assigned to the ministers for 1566 ȝears be distributed be the collectors already appointed, and that they distribute the same, according to their rolls to be given be the superintendents and commissioners which are to be appointed in this Assemblie where there are no superintendents, to the said collectors.
The tennor of the Commission which is to be given to the Reviser of the Rolls of Ministers Stipends.
At Edinburgh, the 24 day of Julij 1567. The whole Assemblie in one voice thought meet, anent the assignation of money and victuals be the Queens Majesty, for the sustentation of the ministry the 1566 ȝears, that the distribution therof shall be made be the collectors already appointed, according to the tennor of the rolls of appointment of stipends, which the superintendents and commissioners to be appointed shall receave from the keeper of the book of the ministers stipends; and after the said superintendents and commissioners have diligently marked these that are dead, or have not diligently waited on their charges, as they will ansuer to God and the kirk therupon, to deliver the rolls to the said collectors, to every ane within his own bounds; commending the collectors to pay every minister, exhorter and reider, the thrid part of that appointed in the rolls forsaid, the superpluss to be made compt of to the Assemblie.
Sess.5ta. 25 Julij 1567.
The articles advised upon and formed be such as were chosen in the first session, were read publictly in presence of the whole novility and brethren assembled, and were allowed be them all who were present, and subscribed first be the nobility, and after be the barons, superintendents, and commissioners of towns.
It was ordained, that the commissioners appointed in the last Assemblie should every one of them have an authentic coppie of the articles, subscribed be the clerk of Assemblie, or Alexander Hay scribe to the Secret Counsell; and that the saids commissioners require all and sundry earles, lords, barons and other faithfull brethren, who excused themselves for not giving their personall presence to this Assemble, to subscribe thee said articles with the rest of their brethren, according to their promises made be word or be write; with certification to them that refuse, that the kirk hereafter will not repute them as members of their body; and to return the rolls of the said articles, subscrived be the scribe of the Assemblie, to the effect their subscriptions may be set down in the Register with the rest. C.]
The noblemen, barrons, and uthers under-subscryveand in this present Assemblie of the kirk of God, hes aggriet and condisendit to the articles after following, at Edinburgh, 20 July 1567.
In the first, forsameikle as there was ane parliament haldin in this realme before the Queens Majesties arrivall in the same, be the estates conveinit for the tyme, authorized with her Hienes awin power and commission, in the quhilk parliament it was concludit, that the religion of Jesus Chryst then universallie receivit within this realme, sould be universallie establisched and approvit within the same, and all papistrie with the papists usurpit jurisdictioun, all idolatrie, and in speciall the blasphemous mess, be abolischit and simpliciter put away, as the Acts made therupon purportis; quhilk Actis, together with the Queens Majesties power to hald the same parliament, the noblemen, barrons, and uthers under-subscryveand, willis to be extractit and put in full execution as ane publick law, and that the transgressours therof be punishit according to the same, throughout the whole realme without exceptioun. Quhilk parliament, in all things concerning the religioun, they sall defend and mantaine at ther uttermost in the first parliament quhilk salbe haldin, and at all uther tymes and occasiouns convenient.
Item, that the Act already made towards the thrids of the benefices within this realme, principallie for sustentatioun of the ministrie, may be dewlie put to executioun, according to the ordour of the Booke of the appointment of ministers stipends, asweill for them that are to be appointit as for them already placeit, and that the ministers be first dewlie answerit and sufficientlie sustained of the same, to the releife of ther present necessitie, and quhill ane persyte ordour may be tane and establischit toward the full distribution of the patrimonie of the kirk according to Gods word; and that also the ordinance made be the Queens Majestie and her counsell toward the small benefices, now extending to the valour of thrie hundreth marks, be dewlie put to executioun, alsweill towards the benefices quhilk hes vaikit sen the dait of the said ordinance, as concerning them that sall happin heirafter to vaik; and sick lyke the act made toward the anualls, obits, and altarages of burrowes.
Item, how soone ane lawfull Parliament may be had, or that the occasioun may. utherwayes justlie serve, the nobills, barrons, and uthers of the kirk after subscryveand, sall labour and prease to ther uttermost, that the faithfull kirk of Jesus Chryst prosest within this realme, salbe put in full libertie of the patrimonie of the kirk, according to the booke of God, and the ordour and practise of the primitive kirk; and that nothing sall passe in parliament unto the tyme the matters of the kirk foirsaid be first consi derit, approvit and establishit; and in the meanetyme the professours undersubscryveand consents and offers to reform themselves according to the book of God, quhilk they sall put in practise, and the refusers and contraveiners to be secludit fra the bosome of the kirk. And moreover, in the said nixt Parliament, or utherwayes at the first occasioun, ordour salbe tane for ease of the poore labourers of the ground, towards the payment of there teinds in reasonable maner, and how the same sall not be sett over there heids without ther advyse and consent.
Item, that nane be admittit nor permittit heirafter to have charge over schooles, colledges or universities, or ȝet opinly or publicklie to instruct the ȝouthheid, bot sick as hes bein tryed be the superintendents and visitors of the kirk, salve sound sound and able in doctrine, and admittit be them to ther charges.
Item, that all crymes, vyces, and offencis committit agains Gods law, may be severely punishit according to the word of God; and quher lawes are presentlie appointit for the punishment, and judges also to that effect deput, that the execution be made therupon as effeirs; and quher neither law nor judges are appointit for sick crymes as are to be punishit be the law of God, that in the first parliament the same judges may be appointit, laws establishit, as God commands in his word.
Item, that sen the horrible murther of the King, the Queens Majesties husband, is so odious not only before God, but also the whole world, be continuall infamie and shame to this haile realme, if the same murther sall not be punishit accordinglie; therfor the noblemen, barrons, and uthers undersubscryveand sall with all ther forces, strenth and power, concurre and assist to take plaine part together, to further and mantaine the punishment of the said murther on all and quhatsomevir persons that salbe found guiltie of the same, seeing the plague of God sall not depart from the countrey or towne wher innocent blood is shed, befor the same salbe cleansit be shedding the blood of the offenders.
Item, sen it hes pleasit Almightie God of his mercie to give ane native prince to this countrey, appeirand to be our soveraigne, to the end he be not cruellie and shamefullie murtherit as his father was, the nobilitie, barrons, and uthers undersubscryveand, sall assist, mantaine and defend the prince against all that wald violently oppresse him or doe him injurie.
Item, that all kings, princes, and magistrates quhilk heirafter in any tyme to come sall happin to beare reigne and rule over this realme, [at] ther first entres before they be crownit and inaugurat, sall make ther faithfull league and promise to the true kirk of God, that they sall mantaine and defend, and be all lawfull meanes sett fordward, the true religioun of Jesus Chryst presentlie confessit and establishit within this realme, even as they are obleishit and astrictit in the law of God, asweill in Deutronomie as in the second chapter of the Booke of the Kings; as they crave obedience of there subjects, sol the band and contract to be mutuall and reciproque in all tymes comeing betuixt the prince and God, and also betuixt the prince and faithfull peiple according to the word of God.
Item, that the prince whom God hes givin us, alsweill for his suretie as good educatioun, sall be comittit to wife, ancient, godlie and learned men of the realme, to be brocht up within the same in the feare of God and virtue, wherby he may so profit in his ȝouth, that when he sall come to his ȝeirs of majoritie, he may be able to discharge himselfe of that honour and place quherto he salbe callit, and prove that good king quhilk with all ther hearts they wisch him to be.
Item, the nobilitie, barrons, and uthers of the kirk undersubscryveand, in the presence of God hes faithfullie promiseit to conveine themselves, together with ther power and forces, and heir to begin to ruit out, destroy and alluterlie subvert all monuments of idolatrie, and namely, the odious blasphemous messe, and therafter to goe fordwart throughout this whole realme, to all and sundrie places quhatsumevir idolatrie is fostred, hanted or maintained, and cheiflie quher messe is said, to execute the reformatioun forsaid, without exceptioun of place or persons; and sall to the uttermost of ther power remove all idolaters, and uthers that are not admittit to the ministrie of the kirk, fra all functioun therof, asweill privat as publick, that they hinder not the ministrie any maner of way in ther vocatioun; and in place of the premisses, sett up and establish the true religioun of Jesus Chryst throughout this haill realme, be planting of superintendents, ministers and uthers neidfull members of the kirk; seeing the host of the Lord sall passe through the whole countrey to this effect, and also sall proceid to the punishment of idolaters, according to the lawes therupon pronouncit, and sick lyke sall punisch and cause be punischit all uther vyces that presentlie abounds within this realme, quhilk Gods law and the civil law this realme comands to be punished, and cheiflie the murther of the King laitlie comittit. And in lyke maner promise faithfullie to reforme schooles, colledges, and universities throughout the whole realme, and expell and remove the idolaters that hes charges therof, and uthers quho hes not ȝet joynit themselfe to the true kirk of Chryst, and plant faithfull instructors in ther rowmes, to the effect that ȝouth be not infectit be poysonable doctrine at the beginning, quhilk afterward cannot be well removeit away.
Followes the subscriptioun of the Erles, Lords, Barrones, and uthers Comissioners present for the tyme.
Mortoun, Glencairne, Mar, Hume, William Lord Ruthven, Sanchair, Patrick Lord Lindsay, Grahame, Lord Innermaith, Ochiltree, Sir James Balfour, James M'Gill, Tullibardin Comptroller, William Maitland, John Erskine, John Wischart, Glenbervie, John Cunighame of Drumquhassill, William Kirkadie, John Cathcart of Cariltown, William Moncreiff, Drumlangrick, Bargany, Andro Wood of Largo, Andro Stewart, Robert Fairlie of Braid, Archibald Wood, George Barclay of Mathirs, George Corrie of Kelwood, George Hoome of Spott, Mr William Lundie, Gilbert Kennedy of Dalqharrane, John Melvill of Raith, Quhittinghame, Rassyth, Baro, Pittencreiff, Andro Car in Faudonesyde, Thomas Scott of Harne, Robert Cambell, Henrie Grahame, Johne Fullerton of Dreghorn, Alexander Guthrie of that ilk, William of Craigings, Williame Durhame of Grange, Thomas Dischingtoun, Thomas Scott of Thirlstoun, George Straiton of that ilk, Alexander Creichtoun of Karko, Mr John Wood, Alexander Ogftoun of Fethercarnie, Patrick Kyninmonth, Robert Lindfay, Thesaurer, John Colles, William Meinȝies, John Mellvill, William Edmeistoun of Duntreith, Robert Murray, John Schaw, John Stewart of Minto, Gilbert Ogilbie of that ilk, Janes Chalmer of Gaitgirth; Comissioners of townes, for Edinburgh, Alexander Clark bailyie, Mr Clement Litle, Mr John Prestoun, Mr Richard Strang; for Air, Paul Reid, Richard Bannatyne, Gilbert M'Millane; for Irwin, Alexander Cuninghame, Alexander comendator of Culros; for Glasgow, Mr David Weymis, James Boyd; for Jedbrucht, William Howburne, Alexander Forrester.
[Names of those that subscribed afterward at the desire of the Commissioners. William Chirnesyde of Eistnisbet, Kenneth M'Kenȝie, Robert Monro of Foulis. C.]