Acts and Proceedings: 1588, February

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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Maitland Club, 'Acts and Proceedings: 1588, February', in Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618( Edinburgh, 1839), British History Online [accessed 20 July 2024].

Maitland Club, 'Acts and Proceedings: 1588, February', in Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618( Edinburgh, 1839), British History Online, accessed July 20, 2024,

Maitland Club. "Acts and Proceedings: 1588, February". Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618. (Edinburgh, 1839), , British History Online. Web. 20 July 2024.

In this section


[The Generall Assemblie conveened by the Kings call,] at Edenburgh, in the New Kirk, the vj day of Feberwar 1587.

Exhortatioun made be Mr Andro Melvill, [Principall of the New Colledge of Sanct Androes, Moderator of the last Assemblie.] Leits, Mrs Thomas Buchannan, Peter Blackburne, Patrick Galloway, Robert Bruce, and Nicholl Dalgleish: The said Mr Robert was chosin Moderatour hac vice.

[For the readier expeditioun of matters to be treated,] the haill Kirk hes desyrit the Kings Majesties Commissioners, the Mr of Lindesay, my Lord Vchiltrie, the Laird of Lochlevin, the Constable of Dundee, the Tutour of Pitcurre, the Lairds of Killuthie, Caprintoun, Quhittinghame, [Carnell,] Mr Johne Lindsay, Senatour of the Colledge of Justice, Johne Johnstoun, Commissioner of Edenburgh, Alexander Serymgeour, Commissioner of Dundie, William Mesyies, Mrs Robert Pont, David Lindsay, Andro Melvill, Thomas Buchannan, Peter Blackburne, William Chrystesone, to concurre with the Moderatour in adviseing of speciall matters to be [reasoned and] concludit [in the Assemblie, at exterordinary hours.]

Forsameikle as this Assemblie being extraordinarlie conveinit for the great dangers appearing to the Evangell within this country, quhilk is in a particular dilatit be the Moderatour, it was proponit in a deliberatioun, Quhat sould be the readiest way to quench the present fyre of Papistrie kindlit throughout all the haill countrey: And because the propositioun was of great weight, the Assemblie requyrit the Barronis and Gentlemen on thair part, the Commissioners of Burrowis on the 2 pairt, and the Ministrie on the 3 pairt, to conveine themselves apairt [at four hours,] advise and propone thair advyce to the Moderatour and his Assessours the morne, such mides as they find for them; and, for furtherance heirof, ordaines Mrs Peeter Blackbourne and Hew Fullertoun to give informatioun of the evidents therof in thair countreyes; inioyning farther to the haill brether and Commissioners of the countreyes to given in thair delatiouns of Papistrie and Jesuites the morne in wryt to the Assemblie.

Sessio 3a.

[Touching the head propouned yesternight concerning a present remedy for purging this land of Papists and Idolaters:] The advyce of the Noblemen and Barronis was presentit [in writt] to the Assemblie, red, and be commoun consent [of the whole Assembly] thoght [very] meit [and expedient;] alwayes first, it seimed good that [a number of the Noblemen, Barrons and Ministers should be directed to his Majesty, to witt,] Archibald Erle of Angus, my Lords Marschell, Marre, Ochiltrie, and Sinklair, the Lairds of Coldinknowis, Lochlevin, the Tutour of Picturre, the Constable of Dundie, Alexander Scrymgeour, Johne Adamsone, Mrs David Lindes ay, Patrick Galloway, David Fergusone, Robert Pont, and Peeter Blackburne, to conferre [and communicat] with his Majestie vpon the same heid [at such an hour] as they salbe advertised from the Chancellor.

[Followeth the tenour of the said advyce. C.]

The advyce of the Noblemen, Barrones, and Gentlemen, anent [the head propouned in the Assembly for] the purging of the land of Idolatrie [and seditious entysers.]

1. That the Lawes of the countrey without delay be execute against all Jesuites, Seminarie Priests, Idolaters, and mantainers therof; and for that effect every man, asweill of the Gentlemen as of the Ministrie heir assemblit, sall, as they will ansuer to God, and as they tender his glorie and the weill of his Kirk, give up presentlie in catalogue to the Moderatour and Clerk, the names of such as they [know and] esteuime to be Jesuites and Seminarie Priests, trassiquers aganis religioun, receipters, intertainers or maintainers of such persons: The quhilk names salbe givin [in] to Sir Robert Melvill, Thesaurer, quho hes promisit within 48 houres therafter to dispatch summounds vpon them all.

2. Seeing the danger created be the saids persons in imminent, and the [ordenar and] formall executioun of the said lawis will requyre a large process of tyme, his Majestie and Counsell to be earnestlie solicit and vrged to provyde incontinent some extraordinar remedy for the extraordinary danger, and execute the laws without delay vpon the chiefest of the Jesuites and thair mantainers, doing as if treason were intendit against his [Majesties] awin person and crowne.

3. If the Assemblie sall think expedient, the saids Noblemen, Barronis and Gentlemen presentlie assemblit, sall gang together to his Majestie, and regrate the cause of the Kirk and commoun weill to his Hienes, and the danger quherin the libertie of this realme, thair lifes and consciences stands into, be the craft of Jesuites and trassiquers, quho hes seducit and stirred vp enemies both intestine and forraine, to bereave them of the same; and offer themselves, thair lyves, lands, and friends, to be employit at his Majestices pleasure, for preventing thair most dangerous attempts and bloodie devyses.

Sessio 4a.

[Mr Patrick Adamsone was cited by direction of the Synod of Fife to compear before the Generall Assembly the second day therof, with continuation of dayes, to ansuer for giving collation of the Vicarage of Leuchars to Master Andrew Allan, without consent of the Presbytrie of Sanct Andreus where the benefice lyeth, and without consent of his Assessors, expressly against the act made be his Majesty, and Generall Assembly. He was called on in the fourth Session, but compeared not.

Session 5a.

Touching the diligence of the Ministry of trying the affection of the Noblemen, Barrons and Gentlement to the religion: Because a part hereof have been neglected, and shortness of time and ignorance pretexed in excuse, the Assembly exhorteth the brethren which have been remisse in doing their dutie herein, without any delay to supplie their negligence and travells in all parts, where the same hath been committed, as they will answer to their dutie; and ordaineth Master Nicoll Dalgleith and Master Adam Johnstoune to passe to the Lord Hume now being in this toune, and precisely urge an ansuer in the said matter.

It was ordained that an article should be given in to the King, bearing regrate for the decay of certane kirks which are ruinous, and, without hastie repare, are not able to be remedied, namely Glasgow, Dumfermling, Dumblain; and that his Majestie should be desired to interpone his power to cause the Earle of Huntlie, the Abbot of Dumsermling, to repare Dumfermling; the Bischop of Dumblane, Dumblane; and for reparing of Glasgow, to take order that the lead fallen or like to fall may be imployed to the sclating and repairing thereof, which would be a great parte of the charges. C.]

All Ministers within thair awin bounds were exhortit to travell earnestly with thair parochiners, and inform them of the necessitie of the exyled brether in France for the religioun, that they may be supportit.

Ordaines Mrs Robert Rollock, Andro Melvill, Thomas Buchannan, and Patrick Sharp, to visite the reply made be Mr Patrick Blackburne to [the book of the Jesuite] Mr James Gordoun.

Sessio 6a.

The Lords directit to the Kings Majestie reportit they had conferrit [at length with his Grace upon some generall heads, as namely,] concerning Papists, planting of kirks, discipline, and the poore, [and] receivit [very] good [and comfortable] ansuers, as, namely, that there was more mister of executioun agains Papists nor advyseing; and that his Hienes was glad of the solemnitie [and frequency] of the Assemblie, and before the dissolving ther of desyrit that they should resort to him, quher they should heir farther of [his] good will: ȝet because ther was many particulars quhilk [were comprehended] vnder [the said] generalls, his Grace had appointit saxe of his Counsell, with so many as the Kirk sould appoint on the vther syde, to conferre the morne. [To the which effect] the Assemblie nominat for the part of the Kirk, the Lairds of Wedderburne, Killuthie, Capringtoun, Ormestoun, Quhittinghame, Johne Johnstoun, Alexander Scrymgeour, William Menȝies, Oliver Peibles, Mrs Robert Pont, David Lindsay, Andro Melvill, Peter Blackburne.

[The Assembly thinketh meet, considering the present necessity of the Ministry, that his Majesty may be intreated to grant to the act devised by the Lords of the Exchecker, of the third in favours of planting of the Kirks, and to establish the same be act of Secret Counsell; and that without prejudice of any further benefite or right given and granted to them be acts of Parliament made in their favours.

Sessio 7a.

Mr Patrick Adamsone was ordained to be present at the nixt Session.

Sessio 8a.

Ane excuse sent from Mr Patrick Adamsone was presented to the Moderator, bearing in effect that, if he were present, he would only seek a copie of his delation, and therefore desired a copy, that the processe be not led verbalie. C.]

The Assemblie directit the Minister of Dysert to charge Mr Patrick Adamsone to compeir personallie befor them, and to crave his awin petitioun.

[He compeared, and ansuered, the summonds were negative, whereof he would prove the affirmative, to witt, that he gave collation with advice of the most parte of his Assessors, being exeemed by speciall exception from the Presbytrie, in so farr as Mr James and Mr Robert Wilkie, and Mr James Martine gave special consent thereto, and produced an instrument, dated the 20 of April 1587. to that effect. Mr Robert denyed be fore the Assembly, that ever he gave consent. Mr James Martine denyed he saw instruments taken thereupon. He alledged likewise, that he required John Ure and others of his Assessors by write to come to him for that purpose, but that he refused. John Ure granted he was written for, but went not to him, nor wrott not, because he carried no favour to the Bishop, and heard evill bruts of Mr Andrew. He alledged lickwise, that he had required Mr Adam Mitchel and other of his Assessors present, but he refused to come, and refused to give his assent; and therefore he alledged that he had the consent of three of his Assessors, and that John Ure his taciturnity was to be taken for a consent; and therefore howbeit Mr Adam Mitchell refused, yet he had proceeded to the collation with the advice and consent of the most parte of his Assessors, being seven in number: But the Assembly findeth that the silence of John Ure induceth no consent, and that he had controveened the act in giving the collation, without the advice and consent of the most parte of his Assessors. Mr Patrick protested, in respect he had required his Assessors, as he alledged, at divers dayes, they not compearing, he was not holden to delay the collation, but might have proceeded as he did. The Assembly ordained the officer of the Kirk to warne them to compear before them the nixt day after noon.

Touching the conference of the brethren appointed by the Assembly with the Kings Commissioners after noon yesterday: Report being made by Mr David Lindsay in name of the rest, that they had conferred upon two heads, viz. planting of Kirks, and visitation to be had of the dangerous partes of the countrey, where Papistrey and corruption hath chiefly made the brusche.

And as concerning the planting of Kirks and provision, they had found it good that the Laird of Colluthie, Master John Lindsay, the Clerk of Register, and Master John Nicolsone, with such as the Assembly shall nominate, should sit doun and examine what the summe of the whole thrids will amount unto in victuall and money; what is given out to the Kirk, what in pensions, and what to the Kings house; that it may be considered how the present necessity of the Kirk may be helped without the prejudice of the full patrymoney thereof; and to that effect desired the Assembly to nominate for their parte to conveen as the Chancellour should give advertisement: To the which the Assembly nominated Master David Lindsay, Mr Robert Pont, Mr Thomas Buchanan.

And sicklyke it was thought good, the Assembly should nominate certaine persons of the Ministrie to visit the dangerous parts of the countrey, whereunto the Kings Grace would interpone his authority, and joyne certane to concurre with them: For the which effect the Assembly hath nominated for the North, Mr Robert Pont, Mr Peter Bleckburne, Mr Adam Johnstone; Mr Nicol Dagleish, Mr David Lindsay, Mr Robert Hepburne, for the South; The speciall heads of their commission, and the tyme of using thereof, to be penned by the said Mr Robert and Mr David. C.]

Anent the supplicatioun of Mr Robert Montgomerie: The Kirk having takin consideratioun of the proces led against him, and of the circumstances of that matter, [finds] he may be admittit Pastour over a flock quher he hes not bein slanderous, provyding that he be found qualified in lyfe and doctrine.

[The Lord Privie Seal directed from the King, declared that his Hienes was informed, that James Gibson, Minister of Pencaitland, had promised to the brethren upon the conference, to satisfy the King for some words uttered in his sermon, and willed the Assembly to enquire at the said brethren, what he had promised, and to see if the samine had been performed; if not, that satisfaction he made to his Highness honour.

James Gibson being called, confessed he had promised to the brethren that which he had not performed; and that he was induced to the said promise through infirmitie, meaning the fear of danger to the Kirk in generall, and the destruction of his own flock in particular; but that he did know or find nothing in his own conscience, wherein he had offended his Majesty in any thing be spake: The Assemblie ordained him to be present at the privie conference after noon. C.]

Sessio 9a.

The Chancellar being present, desyrit [the breither] to wey if James Gibsone had not offendit the Kings Majestie, not only that he had vttered in his sermoun thir words following agains the Kings Majestie, viz. That he weined that [before] James Stewart and Lady Elisabeth and William Stewart had bein the persecuters of the Kirk; bot now he finds [plain] be experience, that the King himselfe hes bein the persecuter; As Jerohoam, for erecting of Idolatrie and permitting thereof, was the last of his pos terity, so he fearit if he countinuit, he sould conclude his race: But also in that, he acknowledging to the brethren of the Conference that he had offendit his Grace, he [had] promised to make satisfactioun, and had failed and brokin promise: For after calling of the said James, quho comperit not, my Lord Chancellour desyrit the Moderatour [to put] to the vote of the Assemblie, If the works above specified were offensive: Quho, in respect that none offerit any reason against the same, proponit the samein in termes to them, quho for the most part vottit affirmativé, the same words to be offensive.

Sessio 10a.

Anent the forme of repentance prescryvit for adulterie, homicide, and vther crymes, quherof the satisfactioun, of befor, be the acts of the Kirk, was made befor the Synodall Assemblie: Seeing, in many parts of the countrey, the penitents, at such tymes of the ȝeir quhen Synodall Assemblies are haldin, are in laufull traffiqueing furth of the countrey, It is found expedient in tyme comeing, quher Presbytries are weill ordoured and estabblished be the judgement of the Synodall Assemblies, [that] the saids penitents sall performe vniversallie through the realme, thair satisfactioun befor the saids Presbytries, in such forme as they were accustomit befor the Synodalls; vtherwayes, quher the Presbytries are not ȝet well [ordered or] constitute be the judgement of thair Synodall Assemblies, the accustomit ordour to be keipit.

[My Lord Prive Seal desired Mr John Couper to be removed from Edenburgh to Glasgow. Mr Gualter Balcalquall alledged he was bound be ane act of the Session of the Kirk of Edenburgh to them, as their ordenar Minister. Mr Gualter was ordained to produce the act after noon. C.]

Sessio 11a.

Forsameikle as befor noone, James Gibsone being present, was summouned be the voyce of the Moderatour to be present after noone, to heir the matter concerning him reasoned, and it was testified be diverse of the brether, quho sate near him, [and] heard, he promised to compeir; and ȝet being oft tymes callit and compeirit not: The Assemblie finds him contumax for not compeiring, nor sending any reasonable excuse for his absence.

[Mr Patrick Adamson was delated for giving collation to Mr Patrick Thomson of the Personage of Flisk without the advice of his Assessors; and of the Vicarge of to a child of eleven years old, it being a benefice of cure: He being present answered, That both the one and the other were done before the act of the Conference: and that the Bishops of Sanct Andrews are bound to the Earle of Rothes to doe the first by an old indenture.

Sessio 12a.

The Assembly judged Mr Patrick Adamsone, in respect of transgressing the act of the Conference, to be worthie of deprivation; but before any sentence be pronunced, the Assembly willeth their brethren appointed to present their articles to the King, to informe his Majesty of their proceedings against him.

[Anent Mr John Couper to be removed from Edenburgh to Glasgow:] The matter being reasoned, and the reasons of the Counsell of the toun being heard, the Assembly remitted the acceptatione of the Ministry of Glasgow to his owne choise, and ordained him to resolve.

Sessio 13a.

[The Chancellar declared, that for the Kings Commissioners they had considered the articles penned by the brethren for planting of Kirks, and thought a great parte thereof should be granted; but desired the Assembly to determine in the action concerning James Gibson. He alledged the Assembly had proceeded thus farre, That the words produced in write were already found by the Assembly offensive: Nixt, That he had confessed the uttering of the same, and promised satissaction and repentance, but being cited to be present himself before the Assemblie, was declared contumax; so resteth, said he, to consider of the penalties deserved by him. But because some of the brethren opponed that they heard not any such consession, he produced Mr David Lindsay, Mr Peter Bleckburne, my Lord Privie Seal, Sir Robert Melvill, Mr Nicoll Dagleish, witnesses. They being all sworne deponed in open Assembly, as followeth. The said Mr David Lindsay deponed, That in the conference and reasoning had with the said James in the Galerie, at command of the Assembly, the said James confessed the words contained in the writting: Sir Robert Melvill deponeth, That in the Galerie he demanded at the said James, if he spake the words contained in the writing, who answered, He could not deny the same: Mr Peter Bleckburne, my Lord Blantyre confirmeth to Mr David: Mr Nicoll Dagleish deponeth, That at the time of the conference when he was present, that James Gibson alledged that he spake this, That Captain James and Lady Elisabeth were not the onely persecutors, but the King also; but denyeth that he spoke thir words, That the King himselfe, or He Himself, was the persecutor; and the last words concerning Jeroboam, he declared he spake be a commination. Upon the depositions sollowed this sentence of suspension following:

Touching the action concerning James Gibson: Seing it is already found be the most part of the votes of the Assembly, that the words following are offensive, to witt, I wont before that James Steuart and Lady Elisabeth and William Steuart had been the persecutors of the Kirk; but now I find plainlie be experience, that the King himselfe hath been the persecutor; as Jeroboam, for erecting of Idolatrie and permitting thereof, was the last of his posterity, so I fear if he continue, that he shall conclude his race; and that the said James being cited by the voice of the Moderator to be present, to have answered in the said matter, for not compearance is alreadie declared contumax; and that it hath been sufficiently verefyed before the said Assembly by depositions of diverse of the brethren, who heard the said James his confession of speaking thereof: Therefore, C.] The Assemblie present advyseing with the said matter, for the most part vottit and adjudgit the said James to be suspendit fra his office and functioun of the Ministrie, during the will of the Kirk.

Sessio 14a.

[The Articles penned by Mr Robert Pont and Mr James Melvill, being presented to the Assembly, read, and publickly allowed, were thought meet to be presented to his Grace by Mr Robert Pont, and Mr Andrew Melvill, Mr Patrick Galloway, Mr Peter Bleckburne, Mr David Lindsay.

The tenour of the Articles, with the Greifs, to be presented to the Kings Majesty, followeth. C.]

The humble sute of the Kirk, presentlie conveinit at the Assemblie, to the Kings Majestie.

Sir, ȝour Majestie remembereth the cause of conveining this Assemblie at your Hienes command, quhilk consists principallie in two points; ane, for repressing of Jesuites and vther Papists quho are entrit in this realme, and practises with thair complices, [by all means] to subvert the sinceritie of the religioun presentlie profest within the same; another, to provyde such meanes, that, in tyme comeing, such dangerous practises may be avoydit and eschewit.

[As to the former two heads, to give our counsell and advice to your Majesty, as it was devised and appointed we should doe at this Assemblie, and for the which cause, namelie, the samen was approved: This is the advice which we think most convenient, and these things, with all humility, we sute to be performed. C.]

As to the first, We humblie crave, 1. That some of the principall Jesuites and vthers sall instantlie be takin ordour with, to give example [and terrour] to the rest, viz. Mr James Gordoun and Williame Creichtoun, quho are instantlie in this towne, that they may be incontinent callit befor ȝour Hienes and Counsell, and ther to be declairit [to them] how thair lyves are in ȝour Majesties hand, for contraveining of ȝour Hienes lawes, and ȝ et if ȝour Graces clemencie dois spair [them;] charging them in the meane tyme to remaine in ward within the towne of Edenburgh vnto the tyme of the passing away of the first ships that sall depart, quherin they salbe entrit and send away; and that it be denuncit [unto them,] that in cace they returne at any tyme [hereafter,] within this realme, without ȝour Hienes Speciall licence, the law salbe execute against them to death, without any farther proces.

[Nixt, That the Lairds of Fintrie,] Glenbervie, ȝounger, and vthers excommunicat Papists, [as] salbe gevin vp in bill, [salbe] callit befor ȝour Hienes and Counsell, and such things laid to thair charge as they are culpable of, according to the laws and acts of Parliament, that the penaltie therof may be execut vpon them: And sick as are apostates from the true religioun, quhilk once they imbraceit, may be callit in lyke manner and punischit.

Item, That summounds be presentlie direct aganis all receipters of [Papists,] Jesuites, Seminarie Priefts, and traffiquers aganis true religioun; and lykewayes to summound witnesses, be quhois depositiouns they may be convict of the crymes forsaids; and in speciall, that such are of the Estate, and are culpable of apostasie or papistrie, sall in no wayes be sufferit, [but called and convict thereof, and if they be convict of thir crimes, shall on no way be pardoned,] vntill the tyme they have satisfied asweill the Kirk as his Majestie and Estate: And, generally, that all Noblemen quhatsumer, without exception, knowin mantainers of Papists, or interpryseing any thing against the true religioun, sall either be put presentlie in ward, or exylit the countrey.

[As concerning the second head,] Anent the planting of Kirks: This is our advyce vnto ȝour Hienes, That Commissioners be direct from ȝour Majestie and this Generall Assemblie to the north and south parts of this countrey, [in speciall to the effect,] to visite [the Kirks,] and plant Ministers quher neid requyres repressing of Papistrie [which hath overflowed all these parts; the saids Commissioners] having commissioun and power asweill of ȝour Majestie as of the Kirk, to call befor them all that are suspect of perverting true religioun or revolting therfra, [such at the least as they may take order with;] and to doe all vther things necessar for reformatioun of these parts, [and reducing them to good order, providing means how the doctrine and discipline may be well established to remain hereafter where they shall passe; and an ample commission is to be given to them for this effect: for the which cause we have nominated in this Assembly certane brethren of the Ministrie, leaving the nomination of others to be joyned with them to your Majesty and Counsell.] And because the said worke cannot passe fordwart, vnlesse ther be provision made asweill for Commissioners of the Kirk, as Ministers to be plantit in necessar places, that certain be deput from the Counsell, and certaine of the Ministrie, [at least to the number of three on either side,] to conveine with all good expeditioun, and sight the rolls of the thrids, that it may be considderit quhat may be spared to that effect; [and] quher the saids thrids hes bein abused in tymes past, to sie how the samein may be reformit; and that the act made for discharging of pensiouns out of the thirds and superplus, and pro clamatioun past theron, may take full force [and effect, and not be eluded nor frustrated by any person, the which except it be, the said planting cannot take effect. C.]

Lykewayes giving power to the said Commissioners [to be sent into the countreys,] to reforme Colledges and Schooles; and quher the rent therof is abused, to put convenient remedie therto; and quher it may not serve, to sie how it may be helpit, and that sufficient men be placit in the rowme of idle bellies, [that consume the patrimonie thereof, and doe not their dutie therefore;] and [with power, in lyke manner,] to depose from the office of the Ministrie, and from thair benefices, all such as salbe found vnworthie or slanderous in lyfe and doctrine, asweill Bischopes as vthers.

[Moreover,] That it wald please ȝour Majestie to take some solid ordour, [how] that the laws made for the punishment of vyces [which overgoe the whole land,] and Commissiouns appointit theranent may take some good effect; [and executione of the heavy plagues of God, which for that cause lay upon this land, may be removed, and greater threatned prevented. C.]

And last, That ordour be takin with the poore, that [in such multitudes] wanders vp and downe the countrey without law or religioun.

[Certaine] Greives of the Kirk [of Scotland,] assembled in Edenburgh, givin in to his Majestie, [the 20 of February 1587.]

[First, and above all other things, It is ane exceiding great greife to all such as have any spunck of the love of God and his Kirk, to sie Jesuites, Seminarie Priests, and other teachers of Papistrie and errour, so long to be sufferit to pollute this land with idolatrie, corrupt and seduce the people, and spread abroad their pusyionable doctrine; to sie practisers and trasfiquers aganis the true religioun, and the present libertie of this realme, to be recept, mantainit and entertained, to bring to pass their most dangerous devices and comploits; and receipters, intertainers, and mantainers, and professed favourers of both the ane and the vther so to abound everyquher, and not only to be tolerat impuné, without executioun of the laws of the countrey made against such persons, bot also to have special credit, favour and furtherance, at Court, in Sessioun, to Burgh, in land, throughout all the realme, in all thair affaires; and, on the other parte, to behold the true word of God contemptuouslie dispysit be the great multitude; his holie sacraments horriblie profained be privat, corrupt, and vnlawfull per sons; the discipline of the Kirk nothing sett by; the persons of the Ministers and office-bearers within the same, invaided, stricken, minassed, and shamefullie abused, themselves beggeirit, and thair families shamefully hungrit, and ȝet, notwithstanding, neither the laws made aganis idolatrie and vyce putt to execution, neither sufficient laws made for the libertrie and wellfair of the Kirk, nor such as are made caused to take good effect for removing of the said fearful enormities, like as be the particulars after following, lamentablie complained by the severall kirks in every parte of this realme, is more manifest. C. & B.]

[In the South] about Dumfries.

Mr Johne Durie, Jesuite, [corrupting,] seduceing and practiseing [to and fro,] vnder the name of Mr William Leing, quho, with his complices, had mess within [the toun of] Dumfries, before ȝoole and Pasche last was. The Lord Herries, the Laird of Kilquhonnatie, the Gudman of Drumrusch, Mr Homer Maxwell, Commissar, Johne M'gie, Commissar Clark, Johne Bruce, merchand, John Rig, Notar, Paul Thomesone, my Lady Herreis, elder and ȝonger, my Lady Mortun, the Lady Tweddell, papists, apostats, mantainers [and entertainers] and prosessed favourers of Jesuites. [Item there is a certane woman called] Catherine Herlinges [that] does no less hurt in Dumfreis nor the Jesuites. No resorting to the hearing of the Word [there;] no discipline; superstitious dayes keipit be plaine command, and controlling of the deacons of the crafts; all superstitious ryotousnes at ȝuile and Pasche; na kirks plantit sufficientlie.

In the North.

Mrs James Gordoun, Edmund Hay, Alexander Macquhirry, Johne Scot, Alexander Meldrum, Arthur Panton, Jesuites, [uncessantly corrupting,] makes residence cheiflie in Murray, [Elly, Boyne,] and Strabogie, bot seduces every quher in Buchan, Garioch, Mar, Aberdein. They repaire commonly vnto Airth, Laird of Leslies [house,] elder, Andro Hervies [house] and his Mother, Andro Leslie of the Peill, excommunicat for papistrie, the Chancellours [house] of Auld Aberdein, and to ȝoung Glen bervie, excommunicat, quher they have thair house mess at thair pleasure; and thair publick mess erectit at the Laird of Leslies chappell, with two idoles above the altar; and ther hes maried two commoun adulterous harlots, Andro Practor and Jenat Wilsoun, quho would nevir give obedience to the Kirk.

[Item, These Jesuits conven in the Toun of Old Aberdeen, and have their meetting with Papists of the New and Old Toune, diverting many, and confirming their disciples, dispersing their books, and giving of their Agnus Dei: And as to the recepters, they are so many that few or no honest men are in the whole countrey, that aither for fear or favour have not recept the Jesuits, prosessed papists, as, namely, the Bishop of Rosse challenging the Personage of where Mr Gualter Richardsone, a Minister Person is laufully provided, is repossessed to dispossesse the Minister.

Sicklyke Mr Patrick Mortoun, an excommunicated Preist in challenging the Personage of to dispossess Mr George Paterson, Minister there.

Item, The whole common kirks, as Fordice, and the kirks annexed thereto, the kirks of Rathin, Logilichan, and Killdrynnie, Cabroch, Logymar, are given to the Earle of Huntlie, to the dispossessing of Mr Gilbert Gordon, Mr Duncan Davidsone, Mr James Cheyn, and Mr Thomas Melvill, and the whole readers of the saids kirks. C.]

Item, [There is no visitatione within the saids bounds by reason] Mr Peeter Blackburne is compellit to desist from visitatioun, be diverse charges of the Kings letters purchast be the Bischop of Aberdein.

[The kirks of Deir are all frustrated of their stipends, and the Ministers thereof not according to their provision made in my Lord Marshalls inseftment.

The cheif and principall kirks, Ellon, Fyfe, and Tarvesse, Locky, Darnock, Kyntore, Innerug, destitute altogither of Pastors and provision, which is a speciall common greisse through all the country. C.]

In Ross.

Mr Johne Leslie restoreit to the Bischoprick of Ross, in the last Parliament.

[Item, Mr Alexander Lessie, Person of Kinken in Ros, newlie provydit, a professed papist, and excommunicat for the same, by the Presbitrie of Aberdein. C. & B.]

Item, Sir Donald Simsone, [papist,] prosaner of [the sacrament of] baptisme, and abuser of marriage.

[Item, Diverse papists, and contemners of the sacraments, whose names follow, Alexander Rose of Ballingoun, Alexander Chisholme of Comer, Alexander, Ferme, and Finlay Ferme his son, of Pittellan.

And, finally, there is a great coldness amongst all, both Gentlemen and Commons, entered in, since the Jesuits had libertie to pass through the countrey, in the time of the Earle of Huntleys Lieutenantrie.

The kirks are every where demolished and ruinous, which is a commoun greife throu many parts of the land. C.]


The Erle of Sutherland, with his Ladie and freinds, Papists, vehementlie suspectit laitlie to have had mess, and contemners of the Word and Sacraments.

[Item, Very few Ministers there, and all destitute of provisione. C.]

Mernes and Angus.

William Douglas, sonne to the Laird of Glenbervie, hes caused vnbesett at sundrie tymes, [two of the Ministrie, to wit,] Mrs George Glaidstances and Andro Mylne, [and that] with armed men at thair house, and lying in waite for them about thair house, and were not the releife of God and good men, had takin thair lyves.

[Angus. C.]

[Papists and their mantainers] in the west part of Angus: Patrick Lord Gray under proces of excommunicatioun, Mr Thomas Gray excommunicat, Sir Johne Fyse, Preist in Langforgane, David Grahame of Fentrie excom municat, James Grahame, [younger,] his brother a Papist, Thomas Abercrumie of Midle Gourdie, having subscryvit, communicats not, bot continues a commoun reasoner aganis the religioun, a defender of Papistrie, [and] receiver of Jesuites, [Papists, and Seminarie Preists;] Patrick Lindesay, brother to the Laird of Vaine, a reasoner against the trueth in every place; Mr Andro Clark, servant to the Lord Hoome, [fugitive in Angus, traffiquing in sundrie places, to undermine the Gospell, avouing himself a Papist, and blasphemously railing against the Word and Ministers thereof. C.] Item, Mr George Hetlie, Minister at Abirnyt, cruellie invaidit be Thomas Boyd, and in reding of them ane man slaine.


No resorting to the Kirk in many places. The kirks [are] ruiuous and destitute of Pastours and provision in many places. There is superstitious keiping of Yoole, Pasche, &c.

[They complain that] the Lords of Sessioun keips not thair ordinar dayes, Wednesday and Fryday, for calling of the Ministers actiouns.

Item, Mr Thomas Dowglas, Minister of Logie, was cruellie invaidit be Johne Forret, brother to the Laird of Forret, [as he came from his kirk on Sunday, and his blood shed, and no remedy put thereto. C.]

[Item, The Abbacie of Dumfermling givin to the Erle of Huntlie, quhervnto he resorting bringeth with him flocks of Papists, Jesuits, and excommunicated Papists, as Mr Thomas Gordon, Mr William Crichtoune, the Laird of Fentrie. C. & B.]

Item, The Bischop of Sanct Androes continues in giving of collatioun of benefices to vnworthie persons, [by the consent of his Assessors,] viz. Mr William Thomsone, Person of Flisk, [and] Mr Andro Allan, Vicar of Leuchars.

[Item, The said Bishop is most injurious to Mr David Spens, withholding from him ane haill ȝeirs stipend, which he was assigned to pay him; and notwithstanding he hes bein at the horne, yet he can get no ordour nor payment of him.

Lauthian, [Presbytrie Of Edenburgh.]

Sundrie Papists and [Seminarie] Preists, confessing themselves to have said mess and preachit papistrie in this land, being apprehendit be the Magistrats of Edinburgh and put in ward, are sett at libertie without any punishment or satisfactioun of the Kirk, viz. Mrs Alexander Mcquhirrie, James Seatoun, Johne Scott, and vthers.

[The Presbytery of Dalkeith complaineth that many of their kirks are destitute of Pastors and provision, unto the which Papists flock and resort; and that sundrie of the Ministrie are berest of their stipends by annexation, as, namely, Mr Andreu Simpson, whose whole stipend is taken away, and given to the Abbot of Neubottle. C.]

Mers And Teviotdaile.

My Lord Home, the Laird of Edmestoun, and vthers principall men in the countrey, corrupt in religioun; and the said Lord letting his awin kirk ly waste, and maintaining Mr Andro Clerk, [a malicious] enemie to the Gospell and Ministers thereof: The haill peiple readie to revolt [from the Evangell,] because they sie the Prince careles therof, as they say.

[The sacraments profained be deposed Readers, and some that never bare office in the Kirk, as, namely, Sir Thomas Ker in Old Roxburgh, Sir Thomas Hall in east Tiviotdale, and Robert Hepburne there, Archibald Simpsone beside Jedburgh, John Scot there, James Scot called Vicar of Askirk, Thomas Neulott, Viccar at Kasinden, Thomas Hall in Rouors, Simon Robesone, and some others: Many superstitious pilgrimages and keeping of holy dayes, &c.

Item, Professed Papists, C.] Sir John Bennett excommunicat for papistrie; the Ladie Fernyherst; the Ladie Mynto, quho horriblie [usurpit] the ministratioun of the Supper of the Lord vpon the Pasche day [with her hands,] with bread and water; the Ladie Riddell, [Bartill John in Simprem: The greatest parte of the kirks want Ministers; and the Word altogither vilipended by the Gentlemen of the countrie. C.]

[Presbytrie of Lanerk.

There is not a Minister resident in the toun of Lanerk, houbeit it be the chief toun of the Shire, because the Minister hath other kirks annexed to him, where he findeth a place of residence, and can find none in the said toun; for the Vicarage of the toun is usurped without collation by Gavin Hamiltoune, Servitur to my Lord Chancellour: Therefore the Chancellour would be solicited in this matter, to make his servant leave the said Vicarage to the Minister there, according to the act of Parliament and good Counsell. C.]

In Striveling.

Walter Buchannan, sonne to the Goodman of Auchinpryour, [and] a Flemis woman his wyfe, [both] indurat Papists, and hes causit a preist latelie to baptize thair bairne; Helen Hay, Mistres of Levingstoun, a malicious Papist; The Sabboth ther is everie quher abused and profained; the kirks ill plantit; scarcelie 3 hes Ministers. Superstitious ceremonies, pilgrimages to Chrysts well, fasting, [festives,] benfyres, girdles, carrells, and such lyke.

[Of Dumblaine.

The Bishop of Dumblaine restored, and latelie came home, and accompanied with a stranger, French man, or Italian, supposed be many probable appearances, by men of great judgment, to be imployed here in some strange turne. His coming hath encouraged all suspected papists, and brought the simple in great doubts, for by his authority he draweth all with him in the old dance. The ministers are hereby despised and troubled in their livings; and the kirks ruined and desolat.

Of Glasgow.

Recevers of Jesuits, the Abbot of Paslay, who also, since his last comming in Scotland, resuseth to subscribe and communicat, Archibald Heget, Clerk of Glasgow, Gavin Graham, burgess there, and Robert Aldjo, burgess in Pasley: These that resort to them are the Laird of Fintrie, Mr Robert Bruce, and Mr Gilbert Broun. The whole Ministers there dissappointed of their livings by giving the thrids in pensioun, or setting them in tacks, and, namelie, Mr John Bell, Minister at Calder, be reason of the thrid of the Subdeanerie given to Mr John Grahame.

Of Dumbritone.

The Laird of Fintrie hath seduced the chief there, and stollen away the hearts of the commons, by banqueting att Yuile, continuing three days, enduring which time all Papisticall ceremonies wer used. The Ladie Marr intertaineth in the place of Arsken an excommunicated preist, called Sir Andrew Nesmith, whose messe cloaths were once apprehended, but is sincesyne of new well provided therein, and in messe books, every where reasoning and perverting. More, there are great bruits of suspicion of messes in many places of the countrey, which have genered in the hearts of the people contempt of the Word and Ministers, who, when they begin to deall with them with discipline, contemptouslie despise the same, and proudly minaces them, and boasts them in their faces. There is in Lennox 24 kirks, and not four Ministers amongst them all.

Of Air.

Persons refusing to communicate, pretending frivole feeds. John Lockhart, burgess of Air, John Kennedy of Brochloch in Carrick, and Gilbert Kennedy, Monk of Corceragwell, profained the sacraments, baptize children gotten in fornication and adultrie, and others, in privit houses and fields. Thomas Kennedy, Tutor of Cassils, a Papist; Sir John Muir of Kilmarnock, a papist and perverter; the Laird of Ladyland in Cuningham, latly come home out of Flanders, an apostate, reasoning against the truth, and blaspheming.

Secondly, It is greevously lamented in all the parts of this realme, that the planting of kirks, and flourishing of religione, is hindered by want of qualified Ministers and Teachers, and laike of sufficient provision for the same; for how can qualified men be found except the youth be trained up, and sufficiently instructed in the knowledge of the Scriptures, and course of theologie in the original languages of the same, wherein the same is written; and in the arts of Grammar, Rhetorick, Physick, and Logick, which are necessar instruments to come to the true meaning and sense of the will of God revealed in his Word: And how shall the youth be so trained up, or qualified men take charges upon them in the Schools and the Ministrie, so long as the patrimony of the Kirk is so rugged from it, and disponed to profane persons that can brook no office in the Kirk, yea to papists and enemies to the same; the rents thereof erected in temporall Lordships; laufully provided Pastors dispossessed of their livings, and prosessed papists repossessed in the same. This matter therefore most be remedyed, or else religion cannot stand; for the onely way to plant and continue true religion in this countrie, is to repair universally through this realme all ruinous kirks, big and repair all parish kirks that are demolished and fallen doun, and to restore again the patrimony of the kirks to the sustentation of the Ministrie, schools, and poor, which cannot be done without the act of annexatione be retreated or annulled, or, at the least, the thrids reduced to the first integritie according to the old assumption, and no superplus to be made whill the Ministers and schooles in all parts be sufficiently staiked; the acts of repossession, whereby actuall Ministers are dispossessed, be cassed; and persons unqualified and idle bellies be deposed from benefices, and sufficient men placed in their rooms, and a sufficient living be provided for every kirk, with a commodious gleib, and manse for the residence of the Minister thereat: And finalie, that out of the temporall lands, namely, there be livings sufficient founded for Professors and Students of Theologie, within the New Colledge of Sanct Andreus, and Colledge of Edenburgh, so many as may make a convenient Seminary, for the retaining and flourishing of learning and religion within this realme; and this for the present urgent necessity till provision sufficient be made, and Colledges in every part.

Thirdly, The great dissolutness of life and manners, with the ugly heaps of all kind of sin lying in every nook and parte of this land, is most heavely regrated and deplored; for what parte of this land is there that is not with a spaitt overwhelmed, with abusing the blessed name of God, with suearing, perjurie, and lies, with prosaning of the Sabbath day with merkats, gluttonie, drukness, fighting, playing, dancing, &c. with rebelling against Magistrats and the laws of the countrey, with blood touching blood, with incest, fornication, adultries, and sacriledge, theft and oppression, with false witness, and finalie, with all kind of impiety and wrong; and how can the wrath of God alreadie kindled be any wayes quenched so long as it hath such matter to turn upon; and albeit there be some good laws for repressing hereof, yet none of them are put in execution, or take any effect.

Fourthlie and lastly, What heart touched with a spark of naturall humanity or godly charity, can unbleeding behold the miserable estate of the poor vaiging in great troups and companyes through the countrie without either law or religion.

The Assembly understanding the great necessity of visitation in the North and South, where the Jesuites and Papists chieflie resort, and have overthroun the greater part not only of the simpell, but also of the better sort, with the unhappy seed of popery; and withall weighing the great perrell, as well already fallen furth, as that which may after ensue, have given pouer and commission to their brethren, Mr Robert Pont, Mr Peter Bleckburne, Mr Nicoll Dagleish, for the north parts, from Dee to the Diocesse of Kathness inclusive; to Mr David Lindsay, Mr Robert Hepburne, and Mr Adam Johnstoune, for the south west parts, to wit, the Shireffdomes of Galloway, Nithsdale, Air, and Lennox including the Isle of Boot; Mr George Monroe, for the bounds of Orkney, to visit the saids bounds, as they be above divided, and therein to plant kirks with qualified Ministers; depose and deprive such as be unqualified whither in life or doctrine, as well Bishops as others of the Ministry; to crave of all men, as well of high estate as others, subscription to the Confession of Faith, and participation of the Lords supper; to try, call, and conveen papists and apostates, and to proceed against them conforme to the acts of the Assembly; and, finallie, to doe all others things that are necessary for the reformation of the saids bounds and reducing them to a good order, establishing of the Evangell, and good discipline of the Kirk: firme and stable holding the same &c. C.]

Mr Johne Cowper having resolvit that he is willing to accept the charge of the congregatioun of Glasgow, the Assemblie ordaines him to be admittit be the Presbytrie therof.

[John Adamson, one of the Commissioners of Edenburgh, was ordained to intimate his resolution to the Counsell of the Toune.

Soon after William Little, Provist of Edenburgh, and John Johnstoun of Elphistoune, directed from the Town Consell, desired the Assembly to requeist Mr Robert Bruce to accept the charge of the Ministry at their kirk upon him, which he had not yet done. And if they could not find one presentlie to be placed in Mr John Coupers rome, that they would give libertie to the Presbytrie of Edenburgh to transport such an one to that vacant place as they could agree with, the touns speciallie excepted be acts of the Kirk being exeemed; which was granted. C.]

Anent the disput had betuixt Mrs James Gordoun and Peeter Blackburne, committit to the review of Mr Andro Melvill and certaine brether: The said Mr Andro reportit, That on the pairt of the said Mr James and the enemies, they fand great diligence and sophistrie; alwayes they praised God for the knowledge given to their brother, in whose ansuer they had found solid judgement and great licht, to the praise of God, and overthrow of the enemies.

Sessio 15a.

All Ministers within thair parochines with all diligence sall travell with the Noblemen, Barrons, and Gentlemen, to subscrive the Confessioun of Faith; and to report thair diligence to the nixt Assemblie.

[As for the ordenar Commissioners of Countries or Provinces, because they were ordained to be continued from the last Assembly to the nixt, and this Assembly hath been extraordenar, they are continued in their charges till the nixt Assembly, except that Mr Robert Innies, in place of Mr Robert Graham, is appointed for visitatione of Cathness, Mr Thomas Buchanan for Fife, Mr George Monroe for Orknay.

The brethren who deduced the processe in Sanct Andrews against a witch presentlie detained in prison, were ordained to subscribe the same authenticly, that it might be delivered to the Counsell of Edenburgh. Mr James Melvill was ordained to travell in the coast side, for matter of dittay against her.

Sessio 16a.

The brethren appointed to give their advices concerning the Articles of the Exchecker, presented their opinion, which was read and allowed, and ordained to be given to the saids Lords. As for concurring with the said Lords, for the parte of the Assembly conforme to the said ansuer, are nominated Mr. Robert Pont, Mr David Lindsay, Mr Adam Johnstone, and the Moderatour. Of the which articles, and ansuers, the tenour followeth.

The tenour of the said articles with their answers.

To remember the Assembly before their dissolving, in case they shall so think convenient, if they will authorize four, or any three of them, to deall and conclude touching the stipends, as well of the present year 1587, as of the years to come.

If the things past by Privie Seals to Ministers shall stand unchangable; or shall they be subject to the common condition of other Ministers as it followeth.

Shall assignations, in so farre as is already directed this year, stand unchanged, and proceed to the rest which is unansuered; or shall we speak of the whole matter as if nothing had been done of before this year.

The advice of the brethren appointed to give answers to the foresaid Articles, proponed by the Lords of the Exchecker, read and allowed by the General Assembly.

As to the first, The brethren agreeth, that certane of their number be adjoyned with the Lords Modifyers, to persyte the assignations of this present year. As to the concluding of a perpetuall Platt, The said brethren shall have power to conferr with the saids Lords, and give their advice how a perpetuall Platt may be established; and the conclusion of the saids Lords and Brethren shall be sent to every Presbytrie in this realme, that the saids Presbytries may give their advice to the nixt Generall Assembly, concerning all heads that shall be necessar to conclude and end the said perpetuall Platt. The brethren nominated hereto by the Assembly, are Mr Robert Pont, Mr David Lindsay, Mr Adam Johnstone, with the Moderator.

As to the second Article, Their opinion is, that the assignation purchased under the Privie Seal stand this year, and that shall be advised thereafter; and seing the said assignations be given for the service of a kirk only, and out of the fruits of the same paroch, and be not prejudiciall nor hurtfull to their brethren serving at other kirks; and the brethren whose gifts are rescinded, or altered, be not any ways deteriorated or put in a worse estate nor they were.

As to the third Article, The brethren agree, that all assignations past stand as they are given out, providing that such as are hurt be reponed to their former assignations; and such as have small stipends be augmented; and that such as have no stipends be sufficiently provided; and last, that such kirks as want stipends and Ministers, may be sufficiently provided of stipends, and men appointed to serve the same, as they shall be admintted in every presbytrie.

At the Kings desire, it was ordained that the sentence [of the Assembly, That James Gibson, Minister of Pencaitland, be suspended from his office and functione of the Ministrie during the will of the Assembly,] should be extracted by the Clerk of the Assembly and subscribed by him; and libertie was granted that the same might be intimated in the pulpits of the kirks of Edenburgh. C.]

Mr Patrick Adamsone, Bischop, is convict of transgressing the Act of Conference, and is declairit to have incurritt deprivatioun fra his office of Commissionrie; and Mr Thomas [Buchanan] placit in his rowme quhill the nixt Assemblie.

[The nixt Generall Assembly was appointed to be holden at Edenburgh, the first Teusday of August; betwixt and which time,] are generall fast is appointed to be keiped [universallie] the first twa Sundays of Julij: The causes quherof are,

1. The universall conspiracies of the enemies of the trueth [against Christs Kirk] to put in execution the bloodie determinatioun of the Counsell of Trent.

2. The flocking home of Jesuites and Papists [to subvert the Kirk within this country.]

3. The defectioun of the multitude from the trueth.

4. The conspiracies [intendit] against the same be great men, intertainers of Jesuites and Papists.

5. The coldnes of all [professors.]

6. The wrack of the patrimonie of the Kirk.

7. The abundance of bloodsheds, adulteries, incests, and all kynd of iniquitie, with many vthers quherof the particular kirks every quher hes thair experience.