Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση


WHIT October this year there was a general assembly at EdinAbp. Cant burgh. They delivered a remonstrance to the king under several heads, some of which I shall mention.

The assembly's remon

They complained Papists were too much countenanced at strance. court; and that his majesty seemed to favour the enemies 589. of truth both in France and at home. That he had made the Church a great many fair promises, without performing any thing; and that their liberties and privileges were continually wrested from them. That the thirds were leased out, to the prejudice of the Church; that abbeys were disposed of, contrary to act of parliament; and no provision made for the ministers who officiated at the churches annexed. That spiritual preferments were bestowed upon children, alienated in tenure and use, and erected into temporal lordships. That his majesty interposed too far with the Spotswood's regale, and superseded the process of the Church in matters properly ecclesiastical. The rest of the remonstrance goes directly into the state, and complains of mal-administra

Ch. Hist.


MSS. Acts

of the



The king, who was willing to please them, returned a gracious answer the next day; he denies the countenancing Roman Catholics, but hopes they would not be too curious in their inquiry about his servants. As to his correspondence with foreign princes, which they glanced at, he thought the assembly would not disallow a commerce of this kind for preserving the repose of the kingdom; and that difference of religion did not bar friendship, and make alliances unlawful: and whereas they complained the Church had suffered in her privileges, his answer was, that since his taking the government upon him, there had been more laws made for the service of religion than ever: that as to the alienation of the Church revenues, that grievance must be referred to the parliament; and that he should endeavour a redress, to the utmost of his power: and as for his checking the jurisdiction of the Church, he was only sensible of a single instance which looked that way: and that, he conceived, was sufficiently defensible. The rest, relating to the state, shall be omitted.

This answer ought to have given satisfaction; but the court and ministry not being formed to the Kirk's inclina


tion, they kept on their chagrin, and nothing would please ELIZAthem. And now the pulpits began to run riot; for the purpose, one John Dury, a minister at Edinburgh, took the freedom to justify the surprising the king at Ruthven: and being summoned before the council, he defended his treasonable discourse at first; but afterwards, upon better advice, was brought to a submission. He was kept for some time on his good behaviour.

clines the


Andrew Melvil's declamation had a worse issue. This gentleman had preached a seditious sermon at St. Andrew's, and arraigned the government in a provoking manner: he told the audience, that it was the business of the nobility and the estates of the realm to reform the abuses and mismanagement of the court: and for this he alleged several precedents, and particularly some in the reign of James III. For this disloyal invective he was ordered to appear at the council-board. But he demurred to their jurisdiction; and Melvil dewas so hardy as to affirm, "that what was delivered in the jurisdiction pulpit ought first to be tried by the presbytery: and that the counthough the expressions were treasonable, neither king nor council ought to take cognizance of them in the first instance." And, after some pains had been taken with him to no purpose, the board went on to examine witnesses against him upon this he broke out into intemperate language, and told the king "he perverted the laws both of Ibid. et God and man." For this misbehaviour he was ordered to Libel. &c. custody at Blackness; but the commitment being left to himself, he took a contrary road in the night, and made his escape to Berwick. And now all the pulpits declaimed loudly against the court: that the Reformation was struck at, and the greatest man both for learning and zeal was banished the kingdom, and forced to fly for his life.


Not long after, the earl of Gowry was apprehended, and the castle of Stirling surprised by some of his adherents. The earl was tried for high treason: one article was, the concerting this plot; he was found guilty, and executed. Several of the preachers were informed against, for corresponding with the rebels. A summons was sent to Mr. An- Spotswood's drew Hay, parson of Renfrew, Mr. Andrew Polwart, sub- Hist. dean of Glasgow, Mr. Patrick Galaway, and Mr. James 1584.


May 22,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Carmenek a mer fire the counzi..

None but Mr. Ey made her moeras. The cherr free, therefore, being promei was fed in: Enciend

At the pachumenn heit now a Lämturch his majesty's ded 2011 AnnGaring the treasonable accorça a Rathven was confrmed. There was likewise an art made to check the lane misbehavior of the preachers. The preamble sets forth them--Frasmuch as some persons being lately called before the king's majesty, and his secret comaal, to answer spoc certain points to have been inquired of them concerning some treasonable, sections, and contumelious speeches mered by them in papers, schools, and otherwise, to the disdain and reproach of his highness, his progenitors, and present comme extemptacusly declined the judgment of Lis Highness and his couned in that behalf to the evil example of others to do the Ese, if timous remedy be not provided.”

By the enacting part, the king's authority over all persons, as well spiritual as temporal is confirmed. The declining to submit to the cognizance of the king and council in all matters whatever, is made treason: the impugning the dignity and authority of the three estates in parliament, is forbidden under the same penalty. All jurisdictions, spiritual or temporal, not approved by the king and parliament, are abolished and discharged. “It is likewise enacted, that no subjects, spiritual or temporal, of what quality soever, presume to convene themselves for holding conventions or assemblies to treat or consult upon any matters, civil or ecclesiastical, (excepting in the ordinary methods of justice,) without a special licence from his majesty: and that none, of what function, quality, or degree whatsoever, shall presume privately or publicly, in sermons, declamations, or familiar conferences, to utter any false or slanderous speeches, to the reproach and contempt of his majesty, his council and proceedings, or to meddle in the affairs of his highness's administration, under the penalty contained in the acts of That is, lies. parliament against makers and tellers of leasing."

James 6.

parl. 8. cap. 129. 131. 134.

Ministers to

By another act, "all parsons, ministers, or readers, probe deprived, vided to benefices since his highness's coronation, (not having vote in the parliament,) suspected culpable of heresy,

for what rimes,


papistry, erroneous doctrine, common blasphemy, fornication, ELIZAnon-residence, (that is to say, not residing within the parish, but absent from it, and from the kirk and his office for four Sabbaths in the year, without leave from his ordinary,) plurality of benefices having cure: but here the clause of non-residence does not reach to those of 590. the king's council, to those who are lords of the session, nor to such as are absent on his highness's service. To proceed: simony and dilapidation are added to the rest. Now any clergyman not within the saving clauses found guilty by the bishop of the diocese, or the king's ecclesiastical commissioners, of the crimes above mentioned, is to be deprived of his office and benefice.

James 6.

parl. 8.

cap. 132.

"It is further enacted, that no minister shall accept or execute any place of judicature, civil or criminal, or be clerks or notaries (except in making of testaments), under the pain James 6. of deprivation from office and benefice."

parl. 8.

cap. 133.

books cen

And to conclude with this parliament, "Master George Buchanan's Buchanan's Chronicle,' and his book De Jure Regni apud sured in Scotos,' are declared to contain sundry offensive matters parliament. worthy to be deleted or expunged." It is therefore statuted and ordained, "that every person that has either or both those books, shall deliver them to the lord secretary, or his deputies, within forty days, under the penalty of forfeiting two hundred pounds Scots."

The reason why these books are ordered to be delivered into the secretary's office is, "that they may be purged of the scandalous passages, not being fit to remain as records James 6. of truth to posterity."

parl. 8. cap. 134.


passing these

He that car

Most of these statutes were unacceptable to the minis- The Church ters. Therefore while the bills were debating in the house, to hinder the they endeavoured to hinder their passing, or at least to get bills, but to them postponed. To this purpose, Mr. David Lindsay was no purpose. sent to entreat the king, that no act in which the Church ried this title was concerned, should pass till the assembly was heard. The now was one earl of Arran, being informed of his design, put him under the family of an arrest, and prevented his addressing the king: his holding correspondence with England was the pretence for confining him. Lawson and Balanquel, ministers of Edinburgh, hearing of Lindsay's commitment, deserted their charge,

Stewart, of



Abp. Cant,

Pont, a minister, declares publicly against inst the legality of

WHIT and retired into England. They left a paper behind them by way of apology for going off. Mr. Robert Pont, minister of St. Cuthbert's, and one of the lords of the session, entered a public protestation against the acts above-mentioned. This instrument, drawn up in form, he put into the hands of a notary, when the herald, according to custom, was proclaiming the acts. His protestation set forth, that the Church had no due consideration in the passing these acts, and therefore they were not bound by them. For this bold challenge he was turned out of the college of Ch. Hist. justice, and proclaimed traitor.

these acts of




Upon this, reports were spread that the king was gone off to popery: that several acts were made to check the course of the Gospel, and to suppress all good order and polity in the Church. To prevent these discourses from making an impression, the king set forth a declaration, in which the reasons for making these statutes are recited. Amongst the motives which forced the king upon this proThe Ron's vision, these following are reckoned, viz.: “The approbation of the Ruthven conspiracy by the assembly; Andrew Melvil's refusing to be tried at the council-board; the fast kept at the entertainment of the French ambassadors; fasts ordered by the Kirk for the whole kingdom, without the king's leave or knowledge; ecclesiastical jurisdiction usurped by ministers and lay gentlemen; altering the laws at D. 1584, their pleasure, and many other resembling abuses. And to give further satisfaction, several articles were annexed to the declaration, to show the king's adherence to the religion established; and that he intended nothing more than bringing the Church under an uniform and unexceptionable regulation."

The court libelled.

But these apologetics were little regarded: invective answers came out, the court was pelted in prose and rhyme, and great clamours were made, that all the preachers at Edinburgh were menaced with hardship, and forced to fly. To quiet the people at this quarter, the king ordered his court clergy, Mr. John Craig, and Mr. John Duncanson, to preach in the city. Not long after, the refugee ministers sent a letter to the session of the Church and common council of Edinburgh, to this effect:

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »