LXXXIII: Letter of James VI appointing judges under statutes against fornication (1595)

Pages 245-247

Charters and Documents Relating To the City of Glasgow 1175-1649 Part 2. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Glasgow, 1894.

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LXXXIII. Letter by King James VI., constituting the Provost, Bailies and the Session of the kirk and parish of Glasgow, judges under the statutes against fornication. Holyrood, 20 March 1594–95.

Ane letter maid, makand mentioun that oure souerane lord, vnderstanding that in the parliament halden at Edinburgh, the fyftene day of December, the yeir of God jm vc lxvij yeiris, for repressing of the filthie vice of fornicatioun, and punischment of the samyne, it was in effect inactit, statute and ordanit, that gif onie persone or personis within this realme, to burgh or land, suld commit the filthie vice of fornicatioun, and bees conuict thairof, that the committaris of the [samyn] suld be punist in maner following, that is to say, for the first, falt, alsweill the man as the woman, sall pay the soume of fourtie pundis, or than baith he and scho salbe impresonit be the space of aucht dayis, thair fude to be breid and small drink, and thairefter presentit to the mercat place of the toun or parochin, bairheid, and thair stand festinit that thai may not remove for the space of tua houres, as fra ten houris to twelff houris at none; for the secund falt, being convict, thay sall pay the soume of ane hundreth merkis, or than the foirnamed dayes of thair imprissonment salbe doublit, thair fude to be breid and water allanerlie, and in the end to be presentit to the said mercat place, and bathe the heidis of the man and woman to be schevin; and for the third fault, being convict thairof, sall pay ane hundereth poundis, or els thair abone prissonment to be triplit, thair fude to be breid and water allanerlie, and in the end to be tane to the deipest and foullest puill of vater of the toun or parochin, thair to be thryis doukit, and thairefter baneist the said toun or parochin for euir; and fra thynefurth how oft that euir thay be convict of the foirsaid vyce of fornicatioun, that sa oft the said third penaltie to be execute vpone thame. And that the prouest and bailyeis of ilk burgh, his Maiesties justice generall and his deputis, or sic vtheris personis as it sall pleis oure said Souerane Lord to gif commissioun, to be iudges to the personis suspectit and dilatit of fornicatioun; and, being convict, they sall vplift and take vp the aboun written pecunicall paines of the personis responsall and rather willing to pay the said same nor to be demanit in their personis, and the samyne pecuniall paines quhilkis sal happin to be resaivit be suirlie keipit in ane clos box and convertit ad pios vsus in thea pairtis quhair the cryme is commitit; as in the foirsaid [act] of parliament at mair lenth is contenit. And now being informed that the foirsaid wyce of fornicatioun sa aboundis within the citie and haill parochin of Glasgow, that the samyne, doutles, gevis greit sclander and occasioun of sin to the rest of this realme, and gevis iust caus to God to threttin the haill bodie of this realme with thir immement plagis, sua that except the samyne be punischit and represt it will incres to heichar measure, and sua procure Godis scharper punischmentis quhilkis ar the iust revard of sin; and lyikwayis his Maieste knawing perfyitlie that thair is ane gryit number of puir bedderellis and vtheris infirme personis within the said citie of Glasgow, vpone quhome the foirsaidis pecuniall painis to be takin vp fra the said furnicatoures as said is can nocht be better bestowit. Thairfore hes maid, constitute, and ordanit, and be the tennour heirof makis, constitutis, and ordanis his Maiesties weil-belouitis, the provest, bailyeis, and sessione of the kirk of the said cittie and parochin of Glasgow, and thair successouris present and to cum, his Maiesties verie lauchfull, vndowtit, and irreuocabill iudges in that pairt, to all and quhatsumeuir furnicatouris, men or wemen, dilatit or suspectit, or that heirfra salhappin to be dilatit and suspectit culpabill of the foirsaid wyce of fornicatioun, commitit or to be commitit within the said citie and parochin of Glasgow, alsweill be the inhabitantis as vtheris extranearis quhatsumeuir as hes defylit or sall defyill the said citie and parochin with the vice foirsaid in only tyme bigane and to cum, and to cognosce, try, and decerne thairintill, as accordis. With full power to the saidis prouest, bailyeis, and sessioun, and thair successouris, to lift and tak vp the pecuniall paines abounwritten, according to the degreis of the foirsaid vyce of fornicatioun abounspecifiet, in maner abounrehersit, fra sic as salbe convict thairin, and rather willing to pay the same nor be demanit in thair personnis as said is; and the samyne being vptakin be thame, to apply, distribute, and convert the samyne efter thair discretioun ad pios vsus, to wit, to the puir of the foirsaid citie, or sic vther indigent personis, or vthervayis to sic vther gude commoun workis of the said citie as they sall think maist expedient, and to put the said act of Parliament to dew executioun thairanent in all poyntis, siclyik and als frielie as onie vthers his Maiesties judgeis or justices within this realme micht haue done or may do be vertew of thair office and power grantit to thame be vertew of the said act in onie tyme bigane or to cum. With express command in the samen to all and sindrie his Maiesties liegis and subdittis quhome it effeiris, that nane of thame tak vpoun hand to mak onie let, stope or distribulance to the saidis provest, bailyeis, and sessioun, nor thair succesouris, in the vseing of the foirsaid commissioun, bot that they reddilie ansuer, intend, and obey to the saidis iudges in that pairt in all thingis concerning the samyne after the forme and tennour thairof, vnder all hyest pane and charge that efter may follow, etc. At Halyrudhous, the twentie day of Merch, the yeir of God, jm vc lxxxxiiij yeiris.

Per Signaturam.