A. D. M.D.LXIV.
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk gatherit and conveinit at Edinburgh the 25 of December 1564, haldin in the Over Tolbuith
therof: In the whilk wer the Superintendents and Ministers present, with the Comissioners of Shyres and particular Kirks; the
exhortation being made be Johne Knox, minister of Edinburgh.
For eschewing of confusioun, and that every brother sould speake in his
awin rowme with modestie, it was thoght good that ane moderator sould
be appointed, and swa with full consent of all the brethren present, was
John Erskine of Dun, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, appointed
to be moderator for this Assemblie, who acceptit the office upon him.
Ordainit that no question be proponit be any brother unto the tyme the
affaires of the kirk and ordour therof be first treatit and endit; and therafter if any brother have a question worthie to be proponit, that the samein
be put in wryte and presentit; and if the samein requyres hastie resolution,
it salbe decydit in this present Assemblie, before the end therof, utherwayes the decision of the samein salbe referrit to every ane of the Superintendents within whose bounds the question is proponed, and they and
every ane of them, with ane certain number of the ministers as they sall
think meit to appoint for assisting to heir the reasoning of the saids questions, and therafter ther reasons to be put in wryte, affirmative or negative, whilk every ane of them sall report to the nixt Assemblie.
[William Wallace of Carnall, and Andrew Ker of Fadownside, war
sent to the Lords of Secreit Counsell, to requeist their honours to assist
the Assemblie with their presence and counsell.
When the Superintendents of Lowthiane and Angus, the Commissioners
of Galloway and Orknay, war removed to be tried, it was proponed be
some of the brethren, that the Commissioners of Galloway and Orknay sould
be demanded, whether in their consciences they judged that they might both
dewlie use the office of a Superintendent and the office of a Lord of the
Session and Colledge of Justice. The Superintendent of Fyfe was challenged for slackness in visitation of his kirks. He alledged age, evill
payment of his stipend, and a great number of kirks within his
bounds, as excuses: howbeit otherwise he was diligent. C.]
The same day the haill Assemblie causit to present to the Lords of
Secreit Counsell the heids and articles following, and requyrit ther honours
to obtaine ansuer therof at the Queens Grace, and to signifie unto them
her Majesties pleasure therintill.
Tenour of the Articles.
I. The haill Assemblie requyres humblie there honours to signifie to the
Queens Majestie, that the transgressours of the proclamatiouns past against
the heirars and sayers of messe, together with the abusers of the Sacraments, are now so common, that it may be greatlie feared that judgements
sall suddenly follow, except remeid be provydit in tyme.
II. To requyre payment to ministers of there stipends for the tyme by
past, according to the promise made, and to let the Assemblie know how
the ministers salbe sustained in tyme to come.
III. To requyre Superintendents to be placed wher none are within
this realme, viz. in the Mers, Tevedaill, Forrest, Tweddall, and the rest
of the deales in the South not provydit; with Aberdeine, and the uther
parts in the North, lykewayes destitute.
IV. To requyre punishment of sick as hes steiked the doores of the
paroch kirks, and will not oppin the samein to preachers that presentit
themselves to have preachit the word, sick as Paisly, Aberdein, and Curry,
Duplin, and Aberdagie.
V. Humblie to requyre of the Queens Majestie, what the kirk sall
looke for, tuiching provision of benefices vaikand and to vaik.
VI. To crave ane resolutioun and declaratioun of the mansses and
gleibs, whither they be sett in few or not, and be what means the
ministers sall come to the use and possessioun therof.
VII. The actis tuiching the reparatioun of the kirks to be put to
The ansuer of every ane of the particulars the Generall Assemblie
Sess. 2da, haldin the 26 of December 1564.
[It was ordained, That the same persones who war nominat for election to the superintendentship of Aberdeen, December 1562, sould now
againe be putt in leitts: That Edicts be served, and the person chosen
be inaugurat in the New Kirk of Aberdeen the second Sunday of Marche
nixt to come; and that the Superintendents of Angus and Fyfe, with such
ministers as they sould choose, be present at the said Inauguration.
Becaus it was murmured, that manie ignorant men, and of bad conversation, war admitted to be Ministers, Exhorters and Readers; it was ordained, that the Superintendent of Angus sould visite the kirks in Nithsdaill,
Galloway, Carrict, Kyle, Cunninghame and Cliddisdaill; the Superintendent of Lowthiane, the kirks of Angus and Merns; the Superintendent of
the West, the kirks of Lowthiane, Merce and Teviotdaill; Mr Knox, the
kirks of Fyfe, Stratherne, Gowrie and Menteith; and try Ministers, Exhorters and Readers, everie one within the forsaid bounds, respectivè, to
suspend for a tyme, or depose for anie cryme, or ignorance and inabilitie,
as they sall find them guiltie or unable; and for that purpose that commissions be given to everie one of the said visitors, and that they report their
diligence to the nixt Assemblie in writ.
It was ordained, that everie Minister, Exhorter and Reader, sall have
one of the Psalme Bookes latelie printed in Edinburgh, and use the order
contained therein in Prayers, Marriage, and ministration of the Sacraments. C.]
Anent ane supplicatioun presentit be Beatrix Livingstoun, tuiching ane
promise made to her be Patrick Hardie, to have solemnizat the band of matrimonie with her a long time since, his wyfe Kathrine Ruthersuird being
on lyfe, and no divorcement past betuixt them; bearing also and makeand mention of ane decreit and decisioun of the saids premisses, and nullitie
therof, given and pronouncit be John Erskine of Dun, Alexander Guthrie of
Halkertoune, Robert Campbell of Kingeancleugh, and Mr Robert Hamiltoun; for verification wherof the said Beatrix produceit the said decreit
subscryved by the sorsaids persones in presence of John Willock Superintendent of the West, Chriftopher Guidman, and Mr George Hay, of the
dait at Edinburgh the 1 day of July 1563, bearing in effect, that the said
promise made be the said Patrick to the said Beatrix on na way might be
sustainit be the law of the Evangell, and therefor the said Patrick to be
quyte therfra in all tyme comeing, in respect of the mariage standing betuixt him and his wyfe forsaid indissolvit; and that the said promise was
not only null in the selfe, but also unjust and unlawfull, and that the makers
thereof had offendit and was worthie of punishment at the discretion of the
Kirk. Whilk supplicatioun being red and considerit, the haill Assemblie
in ane voyce authorized and allowed the said decreit pronouncit be the said
brethren, and also pronouncit the said Patrick and Beatrix to be free fra the
said pretendit promise in time comeing, requyreing [referring ?] that punishment for making of the said promise heirafter to the kirk and discretioun
Sess. 3a, 27 December 1564.
Anent the supplicatioun presentit to the Assemblie in name of Paul
Methven, and tuiching diverse petitions therein conteinit, wherewith the
Assemblie being rypelie advyseit, and after long reasoning had therein, with
mature deliberation gave ther ansuers as follows.
Anent his receiving to repentance &c. the haill Assemblie with ane voyce
are content to receive the said Paul to repentance, alwayes presentand himselfe personalie befor them, declaring evident signes of unfained repentance,
willing to obey sick injunctiouns as the kirk sall please to àppoint him to
doe and fulfill.
Tuiching his desire to delete his proces out of there bookes, thereto the
Kirk can na wayes condiscend, neither think they that sick a petitioun can
proceid of the Holie Ghost, seing David a notable servant of God eschewed
not to write his awin offence to Gods glorie and his awin confusioun.
Anent his admissioun to the ministrie within the realme, that was thoght
no wayes sufferable unto sick tyme as the memorie of his former impietie
be more deiply buried, and some notable kirks within this realme make
earnest requeist for his new acceptatioun. In lyke maner the Kirke signifies unto him, that his entrie in the ministrie in the parts of England, he
being excommunicat and unreconciled, hes greivouslie offendit them; as
also the last part of his wryting, wher he accuses false witnesses, wha hes
deponit no other thing in effect nor he hes confessed with his mouth in
write. Farther the Assemblie requyrit the brethren to whom the said Paul
writes, that amongs uthers ther ansuers they signifie unto him, that he may
safelie repaire toward this realme, notwithstanding th'act latelie proclaimed
[Mr Andrew Johnstone complaining, that the judges deputed to tak
cognition of the articles for which his brother Mr William was condemned
be the Popish bishops, wold not proceed to declaration, whether the said
articles war repugnant to the holie Scripture: The Assemblie decerned the
articles not to be hereticall, so that a godlie interpretation be admitted in
everie one of them; therefore ordained the judges to proceed to the finall
decision of the said action.
Full commission was given to the superintendent of Fyfe, the bishop of
Galloway, Mr John Row, Mr Christopher Gudman, to tak cognition of
the mutuall complaints of the provest and bailiffes of Coupar, upon Mr
Robert Montgomrie their minister, and of his upon them, and to decide
therein; and that their decreit be in readiness to be shewed to the visitordepute for Fyfe, when he shall come in those parts. C.]
Tuiching sick as are relapse the thrid tyme in any kind of crymes, sick
as fornication or drunkenness, it is statute and ordainit that no particular
minister admitt sick persones to public repentance, but to send them to the
superintendent of the dyocie wher the crymes are committed, with information therof, wha sall give them sick injunctiouns as they think may make
the offences to be haldin in horrour; but chieflie that they compell the
offender to satisfie the kirks wher the offences was made moe dayes nor
ane, as the said superintendent sall thinke good.