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.LXXII.
The Generall Assemblie haldin in the Counsell hous of Edinburgh, the 6 day of Marche 1572: In the quhilk were present Barrons, Superintendents, James, Bischop of St Androes, Commissioners to plant Kirks, Ministers, Commissioners of Provinces, Townes, Kirks, Universities. David Fergusone, Moderatour.
[In the trial of Superintendents and Commissioners to plant Kirks, John Brand Minister of Halyrudhouse compleaned, That the Bishop of Sanct Andrews admitted a Popish Priest called Sir John Forret, to minister the Sacrament of Baptisme in the Merce in Swinton, to whom the Superintendent of Lothian had of before given certain injunctions which the said Priest had not yet fulfilled. It was generally compleaned, That he had not visite the Kirks within the bounds of Fife this half year bygane; and also for not preaching since he was a Bishop. To the first he answered, That the foresaid Priest recanted all Papistrie in the Kirk of Sanct Andrews; and thereafter he admitted him to administer the Sacrament of Baptisme. The Assembly ordained the said Popish Priest to repair to the Superintendent of Lothian to receive his injunctions; and in the mean time to be discharged of all office and function in the Kirk. To the second he answered, That he preached in every Kirk which he visite be himself at all times, but excuses his not visitation since the last Assembly be reason of his sickness.
The Superintendent of Angus and Mernes was accused, for not making exhortation at the beginning of this Assembly according to the order. He excused himself be reason of the Sermon made in the Kirk, ended immediately before, and the advice of some brethren, who thought it not needfull, yet submitted himself to the correction of the Assembly.
Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeen, was compleaned upon, That he had one benefice in the North, another in the South, and was also Commissioner to plant kirks, of the which charges he could not sufficiently discharge himself. He answered, That he served the cure in the North be himself, and hath provided one who sufficiently will discharge the cure in the benefice in the South; as to the Commissionarie, He is content to demitt the same presently, if the Assembly think it good.
Mr David Lindsay, Commissioner of Kyle, Carict and Cuninghame, was compleaned upon, That he left his congregation destitute, the time that he visited the west countrey. He answered, That the Kirk was sufficiently provided the time of his visitation: To the Commissionarie, He is content to be discharged thereof as the Assembly thinketh meet.
Mr John Row, Commissioner of Galloway, was compleaned upon, That he had plurality of benefices, but they knew not how the Kirks were provided of preaching. He answered, That he had two Viccarages, but reapeth no profite of them; and withall desired to be disburthened of the Commissionarie of Galloway. C.]
Item, Master Johne Row complainit upon for solemnizing the band of matrimonie betuixt the Master of Craufurd and the Lord Drummonds Daughter without proclamatioun of bands, and, in lyke manner, out of dew tyme, viz. on a Thursday at afternoon prayers, ansuerit, That he did nothing bot the command of the Sessioun of his Kirk and my Lord Ruthven, ane speciall ane of the elders of the said Kirk.
The Kirk presently assemblit ordaines the Act made against Ministers that marries vther parochiners without proclamation of bands, to have effect and strenth agains Mr John Row, [for solemnizing of the foresaid marriage, and] to vnderly the samein dureing the Kirks will.
[The Assembly ordained all Superintendents and Commissioners to plant kirks, to give in their diligence of their visitations; and appointed Mr William Clerk, Minister of Anstruther, Mr Archibald Keith, Minister of Peterhead, George Scot, Minister of Kirkaldie, James Andersone, Minister of Beduchie, John Dykes, Minister of Culros, Robert Fairlie of Braid, Patrick Kynninmouth, to conveen before the end of the Assembly; and what they find in the same diligences to report to the Assembly.
The whole brethren assembled in one voice gave their full commission and power to thir brethren underwritten, viz. John Bishop of Sanct Andrews, John Areskine of Dun, Knight, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, Mr John Winram, Superintendent of Stratherne, Mr Robert Pont, one of the Senators of our Soveraign Lords Session, Mr John Row, Mr David Lindsay, Robert Fairlie of Braid, Adam Fullerton, one of the Commissioners of Edinburgh, to concurr with the Lord Regents Grace and Counsell, or with so many as his Grace shall appoint, to reason with them of such heads and articles as shall be proposed be my Lord Regents Grace and Counsell, or be the Assembly to his Grace, and to conclude thereupon, according to the instructions given to them be the Assembly, and to report their conclusions before the end of this Assembly. C.]
The Kirk assemblit, for certaine good considerations moving them, statutes and ordaines, That no collectiouns for the pure be made in the tyme of the ministratioun of the tabill of the Lord Jesus, nor ȝet in the tyme of the fermouns, heirafter within Kirks, bot only at the kirk doores.
[The Assembly, for certain causes moving them, continued in the office of Commissionarie to plant kirks, till the nixt Generall Assembly, the persons underwritten, Mr George Hay for Aberdeen, Mr Donald Monro for Rosse, Mr David Lindsay for Kyle, Carict and Cunninghame, Mr John Row for Nithisdaill and Galloway, Mr Andrew Hay for Cliddisdaill, Ranfrew and Lennox.
The Assembly appointeth the Superintendent of Stratherne, Mr Robert Pont, one of the Senators of our Soveraign Lords Colledge of Justice, Mr John Row, Mr Andrew Hay, and John Johnstone, one of the Commissioners of Edinburgh, to conveen the morne at two hours afternoon, to pen the heads and articles to be presented to my Lord Regents Grace and Secret Counsell, &c.; that thereafter they may be read, &c.
Forsamikle as it is thought that diverse Ministers and other persons that have received benefices since the Reformation, make no residence at their kirks, nor yet discharge their office according to the tenor of their admissions, for the reformation hereof, C.] The Kirk assemblit statutes and ordaines all Ministers and vther beneficit persons that hes receivit benefices since the Reformation, to make residence at the kirks quher their benefices lyes, and vse their office according to the tenour of their admissioun; and if any beis found to doe in the contrair, that they be callit to particular dyatts befor the Superintendents or Commissioners of the provinces quher sick benefices are, to quhom the Kirk gives power to depose the saids persons in their visitations, for none residence; and quhatevir anie of the saids Superintendents or Commissioners happins to doe in the premisses, to report to the nixt Assemblie.
Reverend fathers, trustie and well belovits, We greet you heartily well: Seing John Knox, Minister of the word of God, is now departed this life, after his long and faithfull travells in the Kirk, leaving behind him Margret Steuart his relict, and his three daughters begotten of her, unprovided for; and seing his deserts merit to be favourably remembred in the help of his posterity, We will, effectuously require, and pray you, to give and conferr to the said Margret relict and three daughters foresaids the pension which the said unquhill John had of the Kirk in his time, for the nixt year after his decease, viz. of the year of God 1573 years, to their education and support, extending to five hundreth merks money, two chalders of wheat, six chalders bear, four chalders oats, to be lifted for that year out of the samine assignations and places that he had it of in his time; wherein we doubt not but ye shall doe a work acceptable to God; and We will also receive it in thankfull and good pleasure: Thus we committ you to God. At Edinburgh the 26 day of November 1572, Your assured friend, JAMES REGENT. C.]
The Assembly remembring the long and fructfull travells made in the Kirk of God be vmquhile John Knox, Minister of Edinburgh, lately departed in the mercy of God, leaving behind him Margret Stewart his relict and his three daughters gotten on her unprovided for, and seing his long travells and deserts merites to be favourablie remembrit in his posteritie, being also required most earnestly thereto be my Lord Regents Grace, as his letters direct thereupon bear, have granted and consented to give, and be the tenor hereof grants, gives, consents and dispones to the said Margret relict, and her three daughters of the said vmquhile John, the pension which he himself had in his time of the Kirk, and that for the ȝeir nixt approachand and following his deceis, viz. of the ȝeir of God 1573 ȝeiris, to their educatioun and support, extending to five hundreth marks money, tua chalder wheit, sax chalder beir, four chalder aittis, to be uplifted for that year allanerly out of the samine assignations and places that he had it in his time; and therefore requires, and in the name of God desires, the Lords of Counsell and Session to grant and give letters, at the instance of the said relict and bairns of the said unquhill John Knox, to cause them be answered, obeyed and payed of the said pension of the year forsaid, in the same form, and better if need be, as was granted to himself in his time. C. & B.]
Unto your Wisdoms humbly means and shews I your Servitor Richard Bannatyne servant to your unquhill most dearest brother [John Knox] of worthy memory, That where it is not unknowen to your Wisdoms that he left to the Kirk and town of Edinburgh his history, containing in effect the beginning and progress of Christs true religion, now of Gods great mercy established in this realme, wherein he hath continued and perfectly ended at the year of God 1564; so that of things done sensyne nothing be him is putt in that form and order, as he hath done the former; yet not theless there are certain scrolls, papers and minutes of things, left to me be him to use at my pleasure, whereof a part were written and subscrived with his own hand, and another be mine at his command, which, if they were collected and gathered together, would make sufficient declaration of the principall things that have occurred, since the ending of his former history at the year forsaid, and so should serve for stuff and matter to any of understanding and ability in that kind of exercise, that would apply themselves to make a history even to the day of his death: But forsamikle as the saids scrolls are so untacked and mixed together, that if they should come in any hands not used nor accustomed with the same, as I have been, should altogether lose and perish; and seing also I am not able, upon my own costs and expences, to apply myself and spend my time to putt them in order, which would consume a very long time; much less am I able to write them, and put them in Register as they require to be, without your Wisdoms make some provision for the same; wherefore I most humbly request your Wisdoms that I may have some reasonable pension appointed to me be your Wisdoms discretion, that thereby I may be more able to awaitt and attend upon the samine, least that these things done be that Servant of God, who was dear unto you all, should perish and decay, which they shall doe indeed, if they be not putt in Register, which I will doe willingly, if your Wisdoms would provide as said is. And your Wisdoms answer, &c. C.]
The Kirk [accepted the said Richards offer, and] requeistit the Kirk of Edinburgh to provide and appoint some learnit men to support Richard Bannatyne to put Johne Knox History, that now is in scrollis and papers, in good forme [with aid of the said Richard]; and, because he is not abill to awaite therupon upon his awin expenssis, appoints to him the sowne of xl lb. to be payit off the lxxij ȝeirs crop, [be the collectors underwritten, viz. the Collector of Lothian, Fife, Angus, and the West, Galloway and Murrey, and every one of them to pay six pound thritteen shilling four pennies off the said crop; and it shall be allowed to them at compt, bringing the said Richards acquittance thereupon.
For the more heastie dispatching of complaints, requests and questions, were appointed the brethren underwritten, viz. William Christesone, Minister of Dundie, Mr James Balfour, Minister of Guthrie, Mr Robert Hammilton of Sanct Andrews, Mr John Young of Irving, Mr William Clerk of Anstruther, Mr James Greg of Commonell and David Ramsay of Cleish, Ministers respectivé, to conveen instantly in any place where they please, and read the saids complaints, requests and questions, and give answer to the samine; and what they find difficill, to send it again to the whole Assembly.
The Assembly ordaineth every Superintendent and Commissioner to plant kirks, That they appoint Ministers, exhorters and readers to moe kirks then one according to the necessity of congregations and rarity of Ministers, as the Superintendents and Commissioners forsaids shall think meet and convenient, as they will answer to the complaints of the congregations, which hereafter shall have just cause to lament to the Generall Assembly.
The Session of the Kirk of Edinburgh requested the Assembly to appoint one of the Ministers underwritten to be joined with Mr James Lowson already placed, to wit, David Fergusone, John Braid, George Scot, now Ministers of Dumfermline, Halyrudhouse and Kirkaldie. The Assembly giveth commission to their loving brethren, John Bishop of Sanct Andrews, John Areskine of Dun, Knight, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, Mr John Spotswood, Superintendent of Lothain, Mr John Winrame, Superintendent of Stratherne, with advice of the Session of the Kirk of Edinburgh, to choose one of the forenamed, or otherwise satissy the desire of the said Kirk of Edinburgh: and sicklike another for the Kirk of Jedburgh; and whomsoever they shall happen to choose, the Assembly shall cause him enter, and this to be done before they depart out of this town.
The Assembly, for certain causes moving them, discharge Alexander called Bischop of Galloway to use any function within the Kirk of God, till they be farther advised; and ordaineth Mr John Row, Commissioner of Galloway, to summon the said Alexander, To compear before the next Generall Assembly to answer to such things as shall be laid to his charge, under the pain of Excommunication, &c.
The Assembly ordaineth the Superintendent of Strathern to pass to Sanct Johnstoun and take order with Mr John Row and the Session of that Kirk, for the Solemnizing of the marriage betwixt the Master of Crauford and the Lord Drummonds daughter; and to report the order he shall happen to take therein to the nixt General Assembly. C.]
Ordains all and sundrie Superintendents and Commissioners to plant kirks, To proceid summarlie to excommunication against all Papists within their provinces, and that within eight dayes after they be admonishit to joyne themselves to the religion presentlie establishit within this realme, be hearing of the word of God, participating of the sacraments, subscrive and give their aith according to the Act of Parliament, and Acts aggriet on betwixt my Lord Regents Grace and Secreit Counsell and the Kirk, [and if any shall refuse to proceed, &;c. P.]
[Forsamikle as my Lord Regent desires to see the Acts of the Generall Assembly heretofore holden, and to see how many of them be perpetuall, and how many temporall, the Assembly agreeth therewith, and for that purpose appointeth their brethren, Mr John Spotswood, Superintendent of Lothian, Mr Robert Pont, one of the Senators of our Soveraign Lords Colledge of Justice, Mr David Lindsay, Mr James Lowson, Mr Clement Little, Advocate, and John Brand, Ministers of Leith, Edinburgh and Halyrudhouse respective, to conveen with my Lord Regents Grace and Secret Counsell, to oversee the Acts of the General Assembly according to my Lord Regents Graces desire.
The Assembly ordaineth my Lord Argiles process against Jean Stewart his spouse, to be considered and sighted be the Session of the Kirk of Halyrudhouse, with advice of the Superintendent of Lothian; and if it be sufficiently and lawfully proceeded, that the said Superintendent direct his letters to the Minister of Halyrudhouse, charging him to proceed to excommunication against her, and that the said excommunication be published in the kirks of Edinburgh and Leith be the Ministers of the saids kirks.
Anent the difficulty of the question of divorcement betwixt my Lord Argile and Jean Stewart his spouse, the Assembly appointed Mr Robert Pont, one of the Senators of our Soveraign Lords College of Justice and Minister of Gods word, Mr David Lindsay of Leith, Mr James Lowson of Edinburgh, Mr Clement Little, Advocate, and Alexander Arbuthnet, Principall of the Colledge of Aberdeen, Mr John Row, Minister of Perth, Mr John Craig, Minister of Gods word, Mr Robert Hammilton, Minister of Sanct Andrews, that they or any five of them convene with such persons as my Lord Argile shall appoint to reason the said question of divorcement, and that the said brethren conveen the nixt day after the dissolving of this Assembly: and the question being reasoned and brought to ane head wherein doubt standeth, wherein the said brethren cannot then instantly give resolute answer, that the samine head be penned in proper terms, which my said Lord shall send to such reformed Kirks as shall be named be the sorsaids brethren, upon his Lordships own expenses; whose resolution being authentically obtained, the Assembly promiseth to give to his Lordship their declaration conforme thereto.
Forsamickle as sundry Superintendents and Commissioners to plant kirks, come not to the Assembly the first day, wherethrough sundry matters are undone, which might be sped and dispatched; and also other some depart before the dissolving of the same, wherethrough sundry matters are unresolved for laike of sufficient number: For eschewing of the premisses and for establing of better order in time to come, C.] It is statute and ordainit be universall ordour of this Assemblie, That all Bischops, Superintendents and Commissioners to plant kirks present themselves in every Generall Assembly that heirafter sall be haldin, the first day of the Assemblie before noone; and that they remaine quhill the end of the same, under the paine of the tinsell of ane halfe of their stipend for ane ȝeir, and nottheless to serve in the mean tyme of the wanting of the said portion of the stipend.
[Anent the hearing of the collectors compts at the Chekker, at what time my Lord Regents Grace shall appoint the samine to begin, The Assembly appointeth John Bishop of Sanct Andrews, John Areskine of Dun, Knight, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, Mr John Spotswood, Superintendent of Lothian, Mr John Winrame of Stratherne, Mr John Row, Commissioner of Galloway, Mr Andrew Hay Commissioner of the West, Mr George Hay Commissioner of Aberdeen, Mr David Lindsay, Commissioner of Kyle, Carict and Cunninghame, Mr Donald Monro of Rosse, Mr Robert Pont of Murrey, Commissioners respective, to conveen the said time to be appointed as said is, to hear the saids collectors compts, with the rest of the Lords of our Soveraign Lords Chekker, allow and approve, or disallow according to their wisdom and conscience, and after the said compts shall be made, to subscrive the same according to the order taken, &c.
Touching the complaint given in be Mr Robert Scot against Mr John Winrame, Superintendent of Stratherne, for resusing to give him his letters testimonials of the Vicarage of Strathmiglo, and for not admitting him to be reader in the said kirk, conform to my Lord Regents Graces presentation, The Assembly findeth the said superintendent to have done wrong, in resusing the said letters testimonials conform to the presentation forsaid, and giveth full power and commission to the Ministers, elders and deacons of the congregation of Sanct Andrews, to take cognition, decide and conclude upon the whole rest of the said Roberts complaints yet undecided, vocatis ad haec quorum interest, and is to be done betwixt this and the nixt Generall Assembly; and to report their proceedings to the same, as in the former Act. C.]
Anent my Lord Regents Graces desyre tuiching [the placing] of some of the learnit Ministers to be Senatours in the Colledge of Justice, The haill Kirk presentlie assemblit having at length reasonit, Whether a Minister were able to discharge himselfe of both the vocations, votit throughout, That nane was able or able or apt to beare the saids twa charges, and therfor inhibits that any Minister occupying the vocatioun of the Ministrie take upon him to be a Senatour; Mr Robert Pont only excepted, who is already placit with [advice and] consent of the Kirk.
[John Areskine of Dun, Knight, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, in respect the whole Diocie of Sanct Andrews is decerned be the Assembly to pertain to the Bishop of the same, protested, That he be no more burthened with any visitation in these bounds pertaining to the said Bishoprick; and in like manner, pertaining to the bounds within the Bishoprick of Dunkeld, how soon any Bishop shall be provided thereto.
The Assembly referred to the Commissioners appointed to reason with my Lord Regents Grace and Secret Counsell, to take order anent these protestations with his Grace and Counsell, and what they doe, to report to the next Assembly.
Ordaineth the Commissioners already appointed to conferr with my Lord Regents Grace and Secret Counsell, to continue in commission before given, and it to stand in the same force and effect as is contained therein; and moreover to conferr with the Lords of Articles of Parliament, if any shall be holden in the meane time, till the nixt Generall Assembly; and to report then the heads concluded on be them, to the effect that they may be insert in the Register among the rest of the Acts.
Item giveth commission to the sorsaid Commissioners to choose a collector for the province of Aberdeen, with advice of the Ministers of the said province; which advice and opinion the Assembly ordains the saids Ministers to send to the sorsaid Commissioners betwixt and the 24 of Aprile nixt to come.
[Articles and conditions presented be the Superintendent of Lowthiane and Ministers within his Jurisdiction, penned and subscrived be them in their Synodall Convention holden at Edinburgh, the 6 day of October: The tenor whereof followeth.
In primis, The brethren of the sorsaid Convention craved, That a copie of the Acts of the Generall Assemblie be given to every Exercise, to the end that every Minister may have knowledge what order to observe in their proceedings, for it is most certain, that through ignorance of the foresaids acts many faults are committed which otherwise would not be done.
Secondly, It is craved be the brethren, That sick matters as salls out betuixt the Synodall Conventiouns and Generall Assemblies, salbe headed and notit at every Exercise, 20 dayes before the Generall Assemblie, that the brethren may be ripely advised with the samine, where through many things may be ended, which through laike of advisement suffer delay from Assembly to Assembly; at the which time it is craved, that the brethren have their places in voting, and that no brethren be defrauded thereof, That the weighty matters of the Kirk be not concluded be a few, as often times they are without knowledge or consent of the brethren. C.& B.]
Thirdly, That sick matters as are reserrit to the Generall Assemblie be the Particular, be pennit be the Superintendents Clerk, and faithfully reported to the Generall Assembly be the said Superintendent.
[Fiftly, It is required, That the whole rents, as well victualls as of money within the Collectorie of Lothian, be made known to all the brethren in these bounds, what is received thereof, and how it is disponed; and for this purpose, that the brethren of all parts be chosen at the Synodall convention to hear the collectors compts, as well of the rests of the former collector, as also since his own entry: Also, That the injunctions given to the collector may be read every Synodall convention, and trial tane how they are obeyed, but specially concerning the assignation of victualls to Ministers on the Kirks process; and that the collector according to the liberty granted to every Synodall convention may be alone discharged.
Eightly, That the extracts of the Superintendents office registred in the Book of Discipline, may be given to the Minister of every province, to the end that the Superintendents may be tryed thereby, and as that they are found dilligent, to be continued or changed.
Mr Adam Letham,
Mr Walter Ballingall,
Mr Thomas Makgie,
Mr William Strang,
Mr George Ramsay,
Mr James Carmichall,
Questio. It is asked if it be not very good and necessar for the Kirk, That Bischops, Superintendents and Commissionars purchase generall letters without delay, commanding all men to frequent preaching and prayers, according to the ordour receivit in their congregations; and also to charge the Magistrate to put the acts concerning the observance thereof, as weill grantit be Parliament, as frielie with uniform consent the congregations hes condescendit upon, and for execution of discipline and punisching of vyces; and the samine to be putt in full execution and practice. Answer. It is thought most reasonable and expedient; and burtheneth Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners to purchase generall letters without delay to the same effect. C. & B.]
[Q. If any man leave his wyfe and passe out of the countrey, and taries away the space of sevin ȝeirs, and marries another woman in a strange country; and else his first wyfe be married upon another man in his absence, Whither is the woman that marrieth before the returning of her husband guilty of adultery. A. Both are adulterers, unlesse the sentence of divorcement had bein pronouncit be the Judge. C. & B.]
[Q. Whither it be necessar, That the names of excommunicants be published in all the resormed Kirks of that province and diocie where the excommunicants dwell, that no man pretend ignorance, and so haunt their company through ignorance. A. Refers to the acts of the Kirk made already thereanent.
Q. Whither be the word of God in New and Old Testament it is lawfull, That the two charges of function, to wit, the speciall administration of the Word and Sacraments, and the ministration of the Criminall and the Civill Justice in Judgement, be confounded, so that one person may occupy both cures. C.] A. It is neither aggrieable to the word of God nor to the practise of the primitive Kirk, That the speciall administratioun of the Word and Sacraments, and the ministration of the Criminall and Civill Justice be so confoundit, that ane person may occupie both the cures.
[Whither it be leasom be the word of God and good order received, That such as are promoved to the sacred vocation of the Ministry may leave the vocation, no fault or impediment lawfull being in them. A. Refers to the answer already given be the Generall Assembly, as the act thereanent proports.
Q. Whither if a Minister having hundreth merks or hundreth pounds of benefice, should have his stipend augmented or not. A. The Ordinar ought herein to take order according to his ability that requireth the benefice.
Q. In respect of the act of Parliament and ordinance craving every Ministers residence; the Minister and reader both making residence at one kirk, having but one gleeb, Whither shall the Minister or reader be eased with the gleeb. A. The Assembly thinks, that the Superintendent should take such order, as that the Ministers be eased in speciall. C.]