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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I. Proceedings of the General Assembly Holden at Glasgow, In the year 1638, Relative to the Registers of the Church.
Sessio 3tia. November 26. 1638.
Then the voices of the haill Assemblie wer craved anent the electioun of a Clerk, and Mr, Archibald Johnstoun wes chosin be the universall consent of all except one, and wes admittit Clerk vnto the Assemblie ad vitam, and vnto all the richtes, fies, and priviledges perteining to ane Clerk off before, to be extendit at large; who, efter the acknowledgement of the weichtines of the charge, and his insufficiencie for it, imbraced it, as haveing a calling from God and the honourable Assemblie. The Moderator desyred to be informed, if anie more wes requisite for his admissioun, bot a solemne oath of his fidelitie and diligence. Mr. Johne Row ansuered, Nothing farder, but that he sould bring foorth, keip and preserve the Registers of the Church, at leist so manie as sall come in his handis, seing pitiful experience could shew how these Registers had been marred in former tymes. Then Mr Archibald gave an soleme oath of his fidelitie and diligence and conscious keeping and use making of all Registers; and documents was taken of his acceptance and admission. The Moderator said, that the books and acts of all former Assemblies should be produced and putt in Master Archibald's hands. Mr Thomas Sandilands ansuered, that he had receaved no Registers from his father, but onlie two bookes containing some Acts from the year 1590, till the Assemblie at Aberdeen holden anno 1616, which therein is onlie begunne, with the minuts of the acts of the said Assemblie of Aberdene in a paper apairt, with the minutes of Sanct Androis following 1617, with the acts of the Assemblie at Perth subscribed be Mr. James Sandilands, and delivered the samen to the Assemblie: and being posed for the rest of the Registers, answered, in his fathers name, that hee had gotten these two from the bischop of Sanct Androis, and had never receaved any more neither from him nor from the Assemblie nor from any other. The Moderator craved, that all the Registers might be had and brought foorth from the hand of any clerk or haver of them, affirming that these bookes had in them matters of greater weight then all other evidents of Land &c. ffor they were the Kirk of Scotlands Magna Carta, containing all her priviledges and liberties since the Reformation. Hee wished also, that this Assemblie sould not be depryved of so powerfull a meane of informatione, for proceeding in matters to be handled there. The former clerks some affirmed, that he had destroyed nane of these books. The Moderator urged the production of these books, and desired the Commissioner to take course for it. The Commissioner ansuered, that hee was willing to use any good meane that could be used for the productione of these bookes, if any could shew in whose hands they were; for (said he) I desire not that any Register sould be absent, but above all the Kirk Registers. My Lord Rothes said that, by a warrant from King James, the Bookes were taken from Mr. Thomas Nicolsone and the last clerk, and putt in the hands of the pretended Bischop of Sanct Androis, and soe of neidforce a course must be taken for getting of these bookes from the Bischop. Mr Archibald Johnstone said that, in Gods providence, als many books were come in his hands as sould be able to make up a perfite Register of the whole affaires of the kirk from the Reformatione untill this day; which bookes he produced on the table and declared by whom and what meanes they were come into his hands; to witt, Mr Robert Winrahame, depute Clerk under Mr Thomas Nicolsone, and from him to Alexander Blair, of which bookes there are five volumes in folio; but Mr Patrick Adamsone, Bischope of Sanct Androis, rent one of them, and there are yet four to the foir of them written be Mr James Ritchie and Mr Thomas Nicolsone, whereof the first two containes the Acts of Assemblie from the year 1560 to 1572, subscribed be Johne Gray, Clerk to the Assemblie: The third volume fra 1586 till 1590, written and subscribed in the margine be Mr James Ritchie, Clerk to the said Assemblie: The fifth booke, being ane great volume of the Acts of the Assemblie fra the year 1560 till 1590, (whereof he had but an len from an minister:) Whereof the first four volumes, the said Mr Archibald declaired that he had receaved them from Alexander Blair, Wreater, who was servand, and succeeded in the place of Modifications of Stipends to Mr Robert Winrahame, who had a deputation from Mr Thomas Nicholsone, Clerk to the Generall Assemblie.
The Moderator said, These are good and comfortable newis unto the Church of Scotland, that a perfect Register of the Acts of the Assemblies are yet to the foir; and that it was needful that course be taken for tryell of these bookes, whether they be these same bookes written be the clerks or be their deputes, or copies onlie of these bookes. It was ansuered be the clerk, that they are the same, written and subscribed by the clerks owne hand; and the leaves riven out of ane of them by the Bischop, from the 22d to the 27th leaffe, may yet be knowen by the merkit number of the leaffis. The first Clerk wes Mr Johne Gray, who subscribed everie Assemblie with his hand. The next is also subscryved, and an memorandum on the first leaff of it, where Mr Archibald Huntar passed to the Chancellor Maiteland and receaved that volume and this uther, and the half of that which was rent by Bischope Adamsone; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The third booke, the first act of it is the election of Mr James Ritchie, Clerk, which book is all of one hand writt. The one booke is from the 60 to the 70 year. The next from the 79, wherein the Bischope of Sanct Androis is censured and excommunicat. And now in Gods providence there is in the present clerks hands, a perfite Register from the 70 year to this last Assemblie, for which all of us have reason to praise God. The commissioner said, See that wee build on an sure foundation, and try well that these bookes be authentick. The Moderator craved, that some judicious men, and skilled in dignoscing handwritts, might be nominat for tryell of these bookes; and intreated the Earles of Lauderdaill, Southesk, and Argule, to take inspection of the bookes. Argyle obiected his youth and unskillfulness for so weightie a charge, yet at command of the Commissioner he declaired his willingness to assist the worke. The Commissioner said, that if his owne paines could contribute any thing to the furtherance of the worke, he would be ready to sitt upp day and night, but would not lay that burthen on his Assessours; for, said he, seing it is refused that they should be members of the Assemblie, hee saw not how they could be appointed for trying of these Registers. The Moderator answered, Wee are hopeful that their Lordshipps will not refuse to further the good of this Assemblie, seing it is said here it is not for want of due respect wee owe to their Lordshipps, but onlie for preservation of the Kirks liberties as said is. The Commissioner said, I cannot see how these that are not granted to be members of this Assemblie, can cognosee bookes containing matters of so great weight. The Moderator answered, that they can best judge. The Commissioner said, but I cannot consent unto it: Therefore the Moderator said, let the skilliest of the clerks of Sessione, counsell and burrow clerks, such as the Laird of Durie, the clerk of Dundie, Mr Alexander Pierson, Advocate, be conjoined as their assessours, to help them of the ministerie, Mr James Bonar, Mr John Row, Mr Andro Ramsay, Mr Wm. Livingstown, Mr John Adamson, Mr Robert Murray.
Mr John Row ansuered, that he had yet in his hands the Booke of the Kirk Policie, subscryved be Mr James Ritchie, clerk, which will serve to dignosce to the hand writt. Mr Archibald Johnstone said, hee had the principall Book of Policie, written in Lumbard paper, in his hand, which also would conduce to that end; this being judged to be the fittest way for tryall of the Registers of the Kirk, and makeing them to be authentick.
Sessio 5. November 26. 1638.
The Moderator then said, It is now expedient that the sufficiencie of the Kirk Registers be cleared, that they may be declaired authentick. The Commissioner ansuered, it is a good work; but I have some scruples not yet removed. Then said the Moderator, let some be appointed for tryell of the Registers; for the Assemblie being now fullie constitut, after the examination of all controverted commissions, may give them commission for tryell of the Registers, and let their testimonie anent the perfection of the bookes be given in the morne. The Names of the Committee, Mr. Andro Ramsay, Mr John Adamsone, Mr John Row, Mr James Bonar, Mr Robert Murray, Mr Alexander Gibsone younger of Durie, Mr Alexr wedderburne clerk of Dundie, Mr Alexr Piersone Advocat, with such others as they please to joyne with themselves.
Sess. 6. November 27. 1638.
The Moderator said, Let us beginne where we left at the tryell of the Records of Assemblies. There was a Committie appointed yesternight to give in their testimonie anent the authenticnes of the Registers. If it please your Grace, let their ansuere be heard. The Commissioner having assented, the Moderator called upone these who were appointed for the examination of the Registers to reporte their testimonie. Durie said, Please your Grace and this reverend Assemblie, wee shall either give in our reasones be word or in writt. The Commissioner said, I desire to heare you given them in any way you please. Then the reasones of the authenticknes of the Registers were given in in writt and read by the clerk.
The Moderator said, Please your Grace, heir is the testimonie of these that have skill in trying the Registers better nor any here present; hes your Grace gotten satisfaction. The Commissioner answered, verilie it is a matter of very great importance, and there shall be no man more glad nor I to see the Registers of the Kirk fund reall and proven to be authentick. I am far from contradicting any thing that these worthie gentlemen hath done, for it were impertinent soe to doe. I can say nothing at the first hearing of a paper read, but it may be that many scruples come in my mynd concerning them, yet I have alreadie whereof I am not resolved. This is the first time that ever I heard it read, and therefore I cannot give my judgment of it. I must confesse my ignorance in thir things, and therefore I must be verie loath to give my assent or approbation to any thing wherein I am not both cleare and persuaded. The Moderator said, hes your Grace any scruples to propone for the present. The Commissioner said, I must think upon it before I propone them. The Moderator said, I would desire this reverend Assemblie, that if there be any here, noblemen, gentlemen, or ministers, that if they have any thing to say against this information concerning the authoritie of the Registers, that they would propone them either now by word, or in a short time by writt, that this Assemblie may make a declaration that they ar authentick, and if no objection be made against them, wee will take your silence for an approbatioun of their authoritie: if you have anything to say, bring it foorth presentlie, if not, produce it in writt against the morne. The Commissioner said, I am verie confident that that is not the Regents hand writt. Durie answered, if it was not his hand writt it would have sic subscribitur as all other copies use to have. I will not affirme that everie reasone given in for proving the authoritie of the books is unquestionablie good; but que non prosunt singula, multa juvant. I daire say this farre: all the Registers of Sessione, counsell, and prime judicatories of this Kingdome are als farre short of the Registers of the Kirk, as these Registers are short of these things treated here. The Commissioner said, truelie, Sir, I cannot but acknowledge that these reasones hath cleared verie much, and verilie they have removed many scruples that I myself had before the hearing of them, soe that I will not contradict them; but I still doubt if that subscription be the Regents hand. Moderator said, If there be any brother that hes any coppie of James Ritchie, or John Gray, Clerks to the Assembly, their hand writt, lett them produce them to give furder informatioun, or confirme this informatioun, for possiblie some minister or other hes some record that may give testimony and approbation to this hand writt. Then Mr Johne Row produced an coppie of severall acts, and of the Booke of Policie, written by the said Mr James Ritchie, and subscrived with his hand, and other brethren of the presbitrie, which hee had keeped him selff now fiftie-two years; and the hand writt of the Assemblie Booke, and the coppies being compared and seene by the Commissioner himselffe, they were acknowledged to be ane hand writt. The Moderator said, if any man have anything to oppose against any of these bookes, let him now bring it foorth, that an act may be made; for if no man produce anything, they will be acknowledged by this Assemblie to be authentick hereafter.
Sess. 7. November 28. 1638.
The Moderator said, wee left at the testimonie which was given by skilled men, who were appointed for trying of the Kirk Registers, and their testimonie was read in your hearing, and wee requeisted all to bring in this day their obiections and scruples concerning these Registers; now wee crave that [any] one who pleases would obiect: for if no man obiect, ane act or record will be insert in the Bookes of the Assemblie, declairing that these books are authentick. The Commissioner said, no man here shall have greater joy nor I to see the Registers of the Kirk perfyte; and no man sall contribute more to it than I, being a matter of so great importance and weight; for upon the Acts sett down in these Books very much depends. But because yee have heard many objections made be the Lords of Clergie and their adherents against the legalitie of the proceedings of this Assemblie, I am tyed yet to say somewhat; and I am sorry that I must protest against that in word, which my heart desires not. Sore greaved I have reason to be to protest against soe good a work as is the restoring of the Kirk to her Records; yet considering my many causes, which now I will not expresse, I am forcit to protest against it. For albeit these Books may be found authentick by the consent of this Assemblie, yet may I do nothing which may import either his Majesties assent to it or myne; and therefore here I make protestation against it. The Moderator said, wee onlie crave the Assemblies approbation; and if the pretendit Bischops, or any other, will take upon them to improve these Bookes, or any part of them, they salbe heard. It is pittifull that there sould be such a fearfull rent in our Church, and that any pointe of the cause of it sould be impute to auctoritie, if wee consider what a sweet unitie was once in this Kirk;—to cleare this unitie, I will read a testimonie out of the Preface of the Booke, called the Harmonie of the Confessioun of the Reformed Kirkes. After the reading of it in Latine, he exponed it, shewing the rare priviledges of the Kirk of Scotland beyond other Kirkes; that for the space of 54 years, it remained in puritie of doctrine and discipline without any errour or schisme; and gave a reason of it, because the Kirk of Scotland was reformed in doctrine and discipline according to the word of God: so it is cleare this Kirke once had unitie; and it is cleare also by what meanes and instruments schisme hes come in. The Commissioner said, I pray God this Kirk may injoy that puritie 40,000 years more, if the world shuld indure so lang; yet I must protest in more pathetick wordes against the auctoritie of these bookes, (for I did it in modestie before.) Albeit, I would give my estate, and venture my life, in furthering the Church to be restoired to her Registers; but because of the manifold exceptions I gave against the way of the meeting of this Assemblie, and against sundrie persones which are members of it, I protest heir, that neither the Kings Majestie nor the bischops be wronged be any act in these books; and that they are not oblist be the acts of any book, which is not subscryved be the clerk of Assemblie. My Lord Rothes said, your Grace promised to propone some scruples against these bookes, wherein your Grace was not yet satisfied, which wee desire to heare; for they are found of all who have tryed them, comparatively authentick, and otherwayes also. The Moderator said, wee are sure if his Grace had perused these bookes, hee would approve them also. The roll being called be the clerk, the Moderator asked if the Bretherene did approve the Registers, who answered, that they did; and desires that the reasones of the approbatione might also be insert in the Bookes of Assemblie; and that there was not any protestatione made by his Majesties Commissioner. They desired also that the Bischop of Sanct Androis might be summoned for the productioun of these bookes which are wanting.
Act Approving The Registers.
Anent the report of the Assemblies judgement of the authority of the books of Assembly; The Moderatour having desired that if any of the Assembly had any thing to say, they would now declare it, otherwise they would hold all approven by the Assembly.
The Commissioner his Grace protested that the Assemblies approving these books, or any thing contained in them be no wayes prejudiciall to his Majestie, nor to the Archbishops and Bishops of this Kingdome, or any of their adherents; because he had some exceptions against these books. My Lord Rothes desired these exceptions to be condescended on, and they should be presently cleared, and protested that these books should be esteemed authentick and obligatorie hereafter.
The whole Assembly all in one voice approved these books, and ordained the same to make faith in judgement, and out-with, in all time comming, as the true and authentick Registers of the Kirk of Scotland, conforme to the testimonie subscribed by the Committie, to be insert with the reasons thereof in the books of Assembly: Whereof the tenour followeth.
We under-subscribers, having power and commission from the Generall Assembly now presently conveened, and sitting at Glasgow, to peruse, examine, and cognosce upon the validity, faith, and strength of the books and registers of the Assembly under-written, to wit: A register beginning at the Assembly holden the twentie day of December 1560, and ending at the fourth session of the Assembly holden the 28. of December 1566.
Item another register beginning at the Generall Assembly, holden the second day of Iune 1567, and ending at the fourth session of the Assembly holden at Perth the ninth day of August 1572, which register is imperfect, and mutilate in the end, and containeth no leaf nor page, after that page which containeth the said inscription of the said fourth session, which two registers bears to be subscribed by Iohn Gray. scribe.
Item a register of the Assembly holden at Edinburgh the seventh day of August 1574, and ending with the twelfth session, being the last session of the Assembly 1579.
Item another register beginning at the Assembly holden at Edinburgh the tenth of May 1586, and ending in the seventeenth session of the Assembly holden in March 1589.
Item another register being the fifth book, and greatest volume, beginning at the Assembly holden in Anno 1560, and ending in the year 1590.
Having carefully viewed, perused, and considered the saids registers, and every one of them, and being deeply and maturely advised, as in a matter of greatest weight and consequence, do attest before God, and upon our conscience declare to the world and this present Assembly, that the saids foure registers above expressed, and every one of them, are famous, authentick and good registers: which ought to be so reputed, and have publick faith in judgement and out-with, as valid and true records in all things; and that the said fifth and greatest book, beginning at the Assembly 1560, and ending 1590, being margined by the hand-writs of the Clerk, and reviser of the registers, cognosced, and tryed, and agreeable to the other foure registers, in what is extant in them, ought also to be free of all prejudice and suspicion, and received with credit. And in testimony of our solemne affirmation, we have subscribed these presents with our hands.
Master Andrew Ramsay.
Master Iohn Adamson.
Master Iohn Row.
Master Robert Murray.
Master Alexander Gibson.
Master Iames Boner.
Master Alexander Peerson.
Master Alexander Wedderburn.
Reasons Prooving the Five Books and Registers Produced Before the Assembly to be Authentick.
The books now exhibited unto us under-subscribers, which we have revised and perused by commission from the Generall Assembly, are true registers of the Kirk: to wit, Five volumes, whereof the first two contain the acts of the Assembly, from the year of God 1560, to the year 1572, all subscribed by John Gray, Clerk, The third from the year of God 1574, to the year 1579. The fourth from the year of God 1586, to the year 1589. At which time Master James Richie was Clerk, who hath frequently written upon the margine of the saids two last books, and subscribed the said margine with his hand-writing. And the fifth book being the greatest volume, containing the acts of the Generall Assembly, from the year of God 1560, to the year 1590, which agreeth with the foresaids other foure books and registers, in so far as is extant in them, and further recordeth what is wanting by them, passing by what is mutilate in them, and which with the two volumes produced by Master Thomas Sandilands from the year 1590, to this present, maketh up a perfect register.
I. For the first two volumes subscribed by John Gray, albeit it be not necessar in such antiquitie to proove that he was Clerk, seeing he designs himself so by his subscription, yet the same is made manifest by an act mentioned in the third book, in the time of Master James Richie, who succeeded him in the said office, and his hand-writ was acknowledged by sundry old men in the ministery.
II. The uniformitie of his subscriptions through both volumes, evident by occular inspection above the ordinarie custome of most famous Notars, delivers the same from all suspicion, in facto tam antiquo.
III. There be many coppies, specially of generall acts, yet extant, which do not debord from the saids registers, but are altogether agreeable thereto.
IIII. It is constant by the universall custom of this Kingdome, that all registers are transmitted from one keeper to his successour, and so comming by progresse and succession from the first incumbent to the last possessour, are never doubted to be the registers of that judicatorie, whereof the last haver was Clerk; and therefore it is evident, that these books comming successively from John Gray, Master James Richie, and Master Thomas Nicolson, who were all Clerks to the Assembly, into the hands of Master Robert Winrame, who was constitute Clerk depute by the said Master Thomas Nicolson (as his deputation here present to show, will testifie) are the undoubted registers of the Assembly: like as Alexander Blair succeeded the said Master Robert in his place of Clerkship to the assignations and modifications of Ministers stipends; and during Master Robert his life-time, was his actuall servant, and so had the said books by progresse from him, which the said Alexander is readie presently to testifie.
V. The two registers of Master James Richie, albeit not under his own hand, yet are frequently margined with his own hand-writ, and the same marginall additions subscribed by him, which hand-writ is seen and cognoseed by famous men, who knoweth the same, and is evident, being compared with his severall writings and subscriptions yet extant.
VI. The saids registers are more perfect, lesse vitiated, scored, and interlined, than any other authentick and famous registers of the most prime judicatories within this Kingdome.
VII. Master Thomas Sandilands, in name of his father, who was late Clerk by dimission of Master Thomas Nicolson, hath produced a volume, which proveth the saids two registers of Master James Richie to be sufficient records; because that same volume is begun by that same hand, whereby the said Master James Richie his registers are written, and is subscribed once in the margine by Master James Richie his hand, and is followed forth, and continued in the same book by Master Thomas Nicolson, who succeeded him in the place, and was known by most men here present to be of such approven worth and credit, that he would never have accomplished a register which had not been famous and true: and whereof the hand-write had not then been known to him sufficiently.
VIII. That Register produced by Mr. Thomas Sandilands, and prosecuted by Master Thomas Nicolson, proves the first part of that register to be true and famous, and that first part being by ocular inspection of the same hand-writ, with Master James Richies registers, and subscribed in the margine with the same hand-writ, proveth Richies two books to be good records, and Richies registers doth approve Grays books by the act of Assembly before written: specially considering the same hath come by progresse and succession of Clerks, in the hands of Alexander Blair, now living, and here present.
IX. The compts anent the thirds of benefices between the Regent for the time, and the Assembly, in the second volume, page 147, are subscribed by the Lord Regents own hand, as appeareth: for it is a royall-like subscription, and there is no hand writ in all the book like unto it, and beareth not Sic subscribitur, which undoubtedly it would do, if it were a coppie.
X. Master James Carmichell was commanded by the Generall Assembly 1595, Sess. 9. in the book produced by Master Thomas Sandilands, to extract the generall acts forth of their books; and it is evident that these books are the same which he perused for that effect, because he hath marked therein the generall acts with a crosse, and hath designed the act by some short expression upon the margine, which is cognoseed and known to be his hand-writ, by famous and worthy persons: which is also manifest by the said Master James his band and subscription, written with his own hand in the last lease of the said books; as also acknowledged in the said book, produced by Master Thomas Sandilands, wherein the said Mr James Carmichell granteth the receipt of these, with some other books of the Assemblies.
XI. The registers produced, are the registers of the Assembly, because in Anno 1586, the Assembly complaineth that their registers are mutilate: which hath relation to Richies third book, which is lacerate and mutilate in divers places without any interveening of blank paper, or any mention of hic deest.
XII. If these were not principall registers, the enemies of the puritie of Gods worship, would never have laboured to destroy the same: which notwithstanding they have done; as appeareth by the affixing and battering of a piece of paper upon the margine, anent a condition of the commission not to exceed the established discipline of this Kirk, subscribed by the Clerk, book 3, page 147. And the blotting out the certification of the excommunication against Bishop Adamson, book 4, page 30, who in his Recantation generally acknowledgeth the same: but which, without that recantation, cannot be presupponed to have been done, but by corrupt men of intention to corrupt the books, which were not necessary, if they were not principall registers.
XIII. In the Assembly 1586, the Church complained upon the Chancelour his retention of their registers, and desired they might be delivered to their Clerk, which accordingly was done; as a memorandum before the beginning of the first book, bearing the redeliverie of these foure books to Master James Richie, Clerk, proporteth; which clearly evinceth that these foure books are the registers of the Assembly.
XIIII. The said fifth book and greatest volume, is also marked on the margine, with the hand-writ of the said Mr. James Carmichell (which is cognosced) who was appointed to peruse the books of the Assembly as said is, and would not have margin ed the same by vertue of that command, nor extracted the generall acts out of it, if it were not an approbation thereof, as an authentick and famous book.
XV. The said fifth volume doth agree with the other foure books, in all which is extant in them, and marketh the blanks, which are lacerate and riven out of the same; and compleateth all what is lacking in them.
XVI. In the book of Discipline pertaining to Master James Carmichell, subscribed by himself, and Master James Richie, there are sundry acts and passages quotted out of the said fifth great volume, saying, It is written in such a page of the book of Assembly, which agreeth in subject and quotations with the said fifth book, and cannot agree with any other; so that Master James Carmichell reviser of the Assembly books, by their command, would not alledge that book, nor denominate the same a book of the Assembly, if it were not an authentick famous book.
XVII. Though the corrupt nature of man hath been tempted to falsifie particular evidents, yet it hath never been heard that any whole register hath ever been counterfeited; neither can it be presupponed that any will attempt that high wickedness, seeing the inducements answerable to that crime, can hardly be presupposed.
XVIII. It is certain, and notour to all these who are intrusted with the keeping of the publick records of the kingdome, that the same are never subscribed by the Clerk, but only written and filled up by servants, and most frequently by unknown hands, yet they and the extracts thereof make public faith, and the same are uncontrovertedly authentick registers; and when the most publick registers of the kingdome shall be seen, and compared with these registers of the Assembly, it shall be found that these other registers of the most soveraigne judicatories ever unsubscribed are more incorrect, oftner margined, scored, and interlined, made up by greater diversitie of unknown hand-writs, than these books of the Assembly, which by speciall providence are preserved so intire, that in the judgement of any man acquainted with registers, they will manifestly appear at the very sight to be true, famous, and authentick.
XIX. The same and credit of ancient registers in this kingdome, is so much reverenced, that if any extract be different or disconforme from the register, that extract, albeit subscribed by the person who for the time had been of greatest eminence in the trust of registers, will be rectified, conforme to the register, and have no force, so far as it debordeth there-from; although the registers be written with an obscure, unknown hand, and unsubscribed.