Acts and Proceedings: 1569, February-March

Pages 134-140

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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The General Assemblie of the Kirk conveinit in Edinburgh, within the Over Tolbuith thereof, the 25 day of Februar 1568: In the quhilk were assemblit the Superintendents, Ministers, and Commissioners of townes, kirks, and universities.

And for eschewing of confusion in reasoning among the brethren conveinit presentlie, with ane voice was present chosen Mr David Lindsay, to be Moderator for this present Assemblie.

[The Assembly thought good to ask at the Regent, if they shall enter in process against the Earle of Huntly, for removing the collectors of the Kirk in his bounds; and in case of disobedience, excommunicate him, seing he outwardly prosesseth our religion. It was ordained that a missive should be written and subscrived be the clerk, to be sent to Robert Lord Stewart, Commendator of Halyrudhouse, to assist Mr James Annand and Mr Gilbert Fousie, Commissioners appointed to visit and plant kirks in Orkney and Zetland, and to maintain the collector in gathering of the thrids for sustentation of ministers. C.]

Sess. 2da. 26 Februarii 1568.

The haill brethren conveinit and assemblit, thoght meit, that ane supplicatioun be presentit to the supreame Magistrate, anent sick persons as hes receivit their benefices in Papistrie, payand now allanerlie their thridis, thinkand themselves therthrow dischargeit of all farther cure in the Kirk; requyreing at his Grace quhat ordour sall be tane anent sick persons.

Item, whether it be lawfull to a minister of Gods word having benefice, to sett takes thereof to any particular person within the parochin, or without the same; and if ane law sall be made, that no minister sell his benefice to any particular person.

Item, ane supplicatioun to be made to the Regents Grace, for reductioun of all benefices given to any person contrair the act of Parliament, or Secreit Counsell, grantit in favours of the Kirk, or ministers of the same.

The same day Mr Andro Blakhall, minister of Ormestoune, was accusit be the Commissioners of the towne of Edinburgh, for marrieing of ane callit James Hamilton, indwaller of the towne of Edinburgh, with ane Jenat Huntar in Ormestoun, without lettres testimoniall of their bands proclaiming; agains the quhilk James the Kirk of Edinburgh had something to say for offences committit. After all defences made be the said Mr Andro, the haill Kirk finds him to have broken the act, That na minister sall marie the parochiners of another parochin, without a sufficient testimoniall, and so guiltie of the paine conteinit therein: Not the less the commissioners and ministers of Edinburgh made supplicatioun to the haill Assemblie, that the rigour of the act sould not strike upon him, but that some satisfactioun sould be made to the Kirk of Edinburgh, at the discretioun of the haill Kirk. Quhilk supplication the haill brethren acceptit, and ordainit that the said Mr Andro sall compeir before the sessioune of the Kirk of Edinburgh, on Thursday next to come, and ther confesse his awin offence, desyreing pardon therof, with promise never to offend in sick sort heirafter, under the paines containit in the said act, to be execute to the rigour therof.

[Mr John Spotswood, Superintendent of Lothian, was delated for slackness in visitation of the kirks, &c. He alleged non-payment of his stipend for the three years bypast; and that diverse times he had exhibite to the Justice Clerk the names of haynous offenders, but could find no executioun.

Sess. 3a. … March 1568.

Commission and power was given to the Superintendent of Angus, Mr George Hay, minister of Ruthven, Mr Robert Pont, Commissioner of the Kirks in Murrey, and Adam Heriot, minister of Aberdein, to require the Earle of Huntly to restore the Collectors of the Kirk to their places; and if he resuse, to summond him to compear before them, or any two of them, when and where they shall think meet, to answer anent the premisses; with certification, if he compear not, nor ȝet restoreth the said Collectors to their places, due admonitions preceeding, that they shall proceed to the sentence of excommunication.

The Bishop of Caithness is continued till the next Assembly. C.]

Sess. 4a. 7 March 1568.

Tenour of a lettre sent be the Duke of Chattelherault His Grace to the Assemblie.

Grace, mercie, and peace from God the Father, throw Jesus Chryst, we wish you.

Brethren, we thought it expedient to certifie ȝou, that being in France, and hearing of the great troubles of this our native countrey, of conscience and duetie was compellit to come home, desyreous to help to pacifie the same at our utter power, first to the glorie of Alimightie God, and nixt to the releife of the right fair and lamentabill opprest true subjects, whose innocent blood and innumerable herschips, oppressiouns, wrangis, and stouthes that hes bein committit, and daylie, is upon them, is to us so grievous and intollerable a burden, both in conscience and honour, that we rather refuse not only this our native realme, but also the haill world, or it were not reformit. And albeit, in my absence, I have sustainit wrang, I assure you, my awin particular, neither in blood, lands, nor geir, is so heavie to me as the great danger this haill kingdome stands in, if be the grace of Almightie God, and help of the auld and native Scottis blood, it be not foirsein and releivit in tyme. Heiring of your convention, brethren, at this tyme, I have send this beirar to ȝou, to declare this to ȝou to be our full and determinat mynd, to follow be the grace of God, first that the word of God may have frie passage through this haill realme, and that the sacraments may be ministrat according to the institution of Chryst Jesus his Soune our Saviour; nixt, that everie true subject within this realme may live without feare upon that quhilk is justly his owne, according to Gods calling and commandement. In this cause of this present diversitie of our native soveraigne and a part of her subjects, for the quhilk we are verie heartlie forie, and, as the Almightie God knowes, innocent of foirknowledge of any doing, so we wold wisch all uthers to be sick lyke; our desyre is, that all hostilitie and troubles might be pacified, according to the command of Almightie God, and that the haill estates in quyet and peaceable manner may conveine, and first calling for his grace and holie spirit of righteous judgement, might consider the ground and beginning of this altogether evill deid, I meane the slauchter of the Quenins late husband, quhat hes proceidit therupon sensyne, and quhat God wald of reason should be done therfor; and this to be devyfit either be the haill estates, or XXV of the wisest of the nobilitie chosin be the haill, and to be follow it be the haill peiple of the realme; wherunto we of the nobilitie, and all that continues under our obedience to the Queine our soveraine, sall for Gods cause, and for the commoun weill, be gound aggrieable. I avoyde the wrongous judgement may be splkin, that we wryte this to ȝou because of proclamatiouns the Erle of Murray hes made in diverse shyres in this realme, to have the peiple in Glasgow the x day of March. We wold ye sould consider we doe it not for that cause; for first, as ye know, sen befor thir troubles begouth, we have nevir bein in this countrey befor the 25 day of this instant Februar, Whethrow we might have shaw in our mynd heirin, and all the peiple of Scotland was gatherut together, both for nativnes of blood, and, forgive, my deserving of my forbeares and myselfe; there is the strength of the world wher I could which my selfe and find me most sure: and if the said Erle of Murray wald take upon him to invade me or any of my friends or dependers, or any true men of this realme, (as I cannot thinke he will) then trest I that the nobilitie of peiple will not assist him therto, whill first they find ane cause worthie, and be declarit be the ancient lawes of the realme. And thogh we desyre thir conventiounes, and forces of men of warre, to be turned upon the theifis and oppressours of the realme, wherunto we sall be most readie with our bodies and geir to doe the devoir of the noble and true men, ȝet if he will persevere to persew us, we doubt not in God and the justnes of our cause, to find all the noble and true men so favourable to us, that it sall not be in his power to doe us wrong upon particular malice, altogether without deserving. Therfor we requyre ȝou, in Gods behalse, to make some of our affairs and mynd patent unto the peiple; and if ȝe find nocht on our part socht heir and offerit that to our Christian professioun pertainit, duetie requireth that ye come and reason the same with us, whair ȝe sall find us reasonable in all causes, according to Gods word and equitie; on whose divyne protection we commit ȝou. Of Hamiltoun, the 27 of Februar.
Your Christian brother,
James Hamiltoun.

After reiding of the said lettre, the brethren being advyfeit therupon, ansuerit to the beirar of the lettre, that the Kirk wald send some of the brethren to my Lord Regents Grace, to know his pleasure, whither they should write, or send ane certaine of the Kirk with commission fra the same, to my Lord Dukes Grace, shewing and declaring the opinioun of the Kirk touching his Graces lettre.

And for that same, the haill Kirk gave commissioun to the brethren, Mrs Johne Spotiswood, Johne Wynrhame, and Johne Row, to passe to my Lord Regents Grace, and know his pleasure concerning the said lettre; and thereafter to passe according to his Graces command to my Lord Dukes Grace, and conferre with him, and uthers of the nobilitie whom they find present; and be all meanes possible to reconceile the nobilitie forsaid to the obedience of the Kings Majestie and his Regents, and farther to doe as the said commissioun proportis.

Sess. 5ta. 8 Marche 1568.

It was concludit be the haill brethren assemblit, that ane generall fasting be proclaimit through all Scotland, and to being in Lowthiane, Fyfe, and sick uther places as may receive advertisement, the 13 day of this instant. Thereafter the superintendents and commissioners of provinces to advertise and begin at sick tymes as they thinke most expedient, and to continue fra the first day to that day aught dayes inclusive; and in the meane tyme to use the exercise accustoment in the kirk of the first institutioun, and els to use soberietie in eating and drinking in tyme of the exercise. Moreover conclit that all Superintendents and Commissioners of provinces sall heirafter institute and use the same ordour of fasting, so oft as just occasioun sall serve and sall seime meit be ther godlie wisdome, without any further appointment be the Generall Assemblie.

[Certain heads were formed, quhich were to be presented to the Regents Grace and Counsell, and Commissioners appointed to present the same, and crave answer; the tenor of quhich heads followeth. C.]

Articles sent to my Lord Regents Grace.

[That such as have benefices, and doe nothing but pay their thrid, may be compelled to bear farther burden with the Kirk, and for support of the poor; for it seemeth altogether unreasonable, that idle bellies shall devour and consume the patrimony of the Kirk, while the faithful travellers in the Lords vineyaird suffer extreame poverty, and the needy members of Christs body are altogether neglected.

That such as have many benefices may be compelled to demitt all except one.

That ordour may be taken that the Collectors may be obeyed, quho are now universally disobeyed, as well be Protestants as Papists. C.]

That remedie may be provydit agains the oppressioun of the Earle of Huntlie, and of uthers, who hes deposit the Collectours of the Kirk, and tirranouslie placeit their awin.

That it may please his Grace and the Secreit Counsell, that the Kirk fra admonitions may passe to farther censures agains the said Erle, and all uthers guiltie of the lyke oppressioun, upto publick excommunication, in cace of his and their contempt.

That the Kirk, without offence of his Majestie, may appoint their brother, Mr Robert Pont, quher his labour may be more fruitfull then they can be for this present in Murray.

[That remedy may be provided against the chopping and changing of benefices, selling of the same, diminishing of the rentals, setting of long tacks, in defraud of ministers, both for the present and for the time to come; against the quhich, except substantiall remedy be provided, not only shall the Kirk suffer damage; but also that portion quhich might support the common affairs of the realme, shall be craftily sold.

That order may be taken with such as are already excommunicat, and doe contemn the censures, amy be punished. C.]

That ordour may be takin, that sick odious as this day provocks Gods displeasure against the haill land, may be punished as God hes commandit. If his Grace send us to the Justice Clerk, experience hes teachit us sufficiently quhat he hes done in any sick matters.

The Kirk requyres, that anes the jurisdictioun therof may be separate fra that quhilk is civill.

That the questioun of adulterie may once take effect; at least a decision it that heid, quhither the adulterer sall be admitted to the benefite of mariage or not.

Sess. 6a. … March 1568.

[It was ordained, that the letter directed to the Lords who have made defection from the Kings Majestie, after it be returned from the Regents Grace, shall be registrat amongst the acts of the Kirk, and that it be printed.

Anent proceeding be degrees in schools to the degree of a Doctor of Divinity; it was ordained, that the brethren of the Colledges of Sanct Andrews conveen and form such order as they shall think meet; and that they present the same to the nixt Assembly to be revised and considered, that the Assembly may eek or diminish as they shall think good, and that thereafter the order allowed be established. C.]