Notes on the Sources for the Parliaments of Scotland, 1424-1466
Thomson's APS vol. ii, and Robertson's Parliamentary Records of Scotland
The acts of parliament between 1424 and 1466, when the first volume of the official parliamentary register begins, pose substantial problems for editors. With no authoritative source, but a large number of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century manuscripts containing versions of the legislation, not one of which can be regarded as entirely reliable, the editor is forced to make difficult decisions about how to present the acts.
To assist in these decisions, it is helpful to trace the editorial practices of earlier editors. Thomas Thomson, the editor of The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, volume ii, and William Robertson, editor of the earlier and suppressed volume The Parliamentary Records of Scotland (1804), used as their key sources two important manuscripts not mentioned in APS, i, 'Notice of the Principal Manuscript Collections of the Ancient Laws of Scotland Employed in the Compilation of this Volume'. These MSS are NAS PA5/6(1) and PA5/6(2). Robertson only used these two manuscripts, and printed both in their entirety. Thomson compiled these MSS with the other MSS available to him in Register House and the Advocates Library, and also with the first printed edition of the acts of fifteenth-century parliament produced in 1566.
Analysis of the acts Thomson included in APS, ii, show that, while he tended to use NAS PA5/6(1) and PA5/6(2) as his main sources, this was not invariably the case, and that he recognised that PA5/6(2) was an early copy, and one that had long been used by the Scottish government. His criteria for inclusion and act order, however, remained not what he found in these near-contemporary manuscripts, but what he found in the 1566 printed edition of the acts of parliament. This fact can be deduced from Thomson's short preface to APS, ii.321. APS, ii, xiii-xv. After noting that the original records of the acts of parliaments of James I and James II 'do not now exist', Thomson stated that he had 'examined and collated' the earliest manuscripts known to him and compared them to the printed edition of 1566. Thereby he had detected 'numerous errors' in the 1566 edition, although he noted that the general scheme of the 1566 acts and his sources was the same, and therefore correctly deduced that the 1566 acts cannot have been based on an official register still in existence in the sixteenth century, but subsequently lost. Despite the errors in the 1566 edition, however, Thomson decided that it remained the 'most authoritative basis of an accurate text', and used it as the framework around which he built his edition, using the manuscripts only as 'useful correctives' and a means to supply 'some omissions and mutilated passages, of amending many smaller errors, and of reducing the language and orthography of the whole to a state more nearly approaching the mode and fashion of the age to which these statutes belong'.
In other words, Thomson judged: a) That the fifteenth-century manuscripts were of secondary value as compared to a sixteenth-century printed text. b) That he should reproduce the 1566 acts, silently correcting obvious errors, but giving the whole a fifteenth-century appearance by adopting, ad hoc, the language and orthography found in the fifteenth-century manuscripts.
Thus, although he provided an engraving of an important 1426 letter sent to the localities with 'published' editions of the acts (see 1424/1), he omitted the letter in his edition of the acts proper, because it was absent from the 1566 acts.
Both parts of PA5/6(1) and PA5/6(2) were rebound at the same time, and by the same highly destructive method, as the post-1466 official register. Robertson records that they were bound together in a single volume when he examined them. Robertson also reveals the crucial fact, never mentioned by Thomson, that these two manuscripts were then bound together with the first volume of the official register which begins in 1466.322. Robertson, Parliamentary Records, 3 n., 139. This will have been the form in which they existed when Thomson viewed them. At a point near in time to the editing of APS, ii, and probably under Thomson's direction as Deputy Clerk Register, or his successor Cosmo Innes, the early registers of parliament were cut from the volumes and bindings they then had, the folios were trimmed, and then they were pasted into the middle of modern paper folios and bindings. They remain in this form today.323. 'Rebinding' does not adequately describe the radical treatment of early volumes of the official register made in the nineteenth century. Each folio was cut from its original binding, trimmed, and pasted into modern page. No evidence remains of the appearance of the earlier volume, and in places folios have been misplaced (see NAS, PA2/1 and subsequent volumes).
Given that these manuscripts were bound with the official register, albeit they are both clearly fifteenth-century copies made from a lost original register or assorted papers, it is clear that at some point in their history these manuscripts became semi-official 'government copies' of the acts of parliament. PA5/6(2) is written in a fifteenth-century hand, and includes acts from a single parliament in 1401, and acts between 1424 and 1451. Acts are well spaced and neatly written, but with frequent scribal doodles, faces and images in initial letters. The general appearance of the MS resembles the manner in which the official register was recorded after 1466, and a near contemporary date in the late 1450s or 1460s appears likely, although conclusive evidence does not survive. PA5/6(1) is later, more comprehensive, and fits closely with the large number of 'Group D' MSS discussed below. It includes a fragment of Regiam Majestatem at the beginning, statutes between 1424 and 1475, and is signed at the end of Regiam 'Explicit liber qui dictitur Regiam Majestatem per me Magistrum Symone Fauside die xiij mensis Februarii anno Domini etc lxxxxvijo'. The statutes of 1424 begin on the verso of the same folio, and therefore would appear shortly to postdate February 1498.324. NAS, PA5/6(1), f.8r-v. Despite the 'semi-official' credentials that these MSS acquired during their history, they do not include all the acts of parliament made in James I's and James II's reign, nor do they contain versions of the acts which should in all cases be preferred over others, particularly for the early parliaments of James I's reign, and they contain errors common to many of the other manuscripts. The reasons for this judgement are set out below. Nevertheless, PA5/6(2) is, in effect, the earliest of the Group D manuscripts (described below) and is therefore particularly important, and is used in this edition of the acts where earlier versions are not available.
Comparison between the version in PA5/6(1) of the May 1424 parliament and Thomson's APS is instructive as it reveals the true extent of Thomson's silent editorial interventions. (Note, the 1424 statutes are largely obliterated in PA5/6(2)). Comparing all the manuscripts available to Thomson (and several of which he had no knowledge) reveals that the preamble and early acts printed in APS, ii, 3-4, have been substantially 'tidied up' by Thomson in an effort to produce a version close to the 1566 acts, but with the orthography of the fifteenth-century manuscripts. The quotation of a few words from the printed preamble will serve to illustrate the processes at work. Thomson's edition of the May 1424 acts begins:
'Parliamentum serenissimi principis domini Jacobi Dei gracia regis Scotorum illustris tentum apud Perthe . . .'.
No manuscript has anything resembling this phraseology, and the earliest and most likely wording of the preamble in fact written in 1424 is found in PA5/6(1) and the Drummond Manuscript (described below), both dating from the late fifteenth century:
'Acta parliamenti tenti apud Perth . . .'.
Precisely why Thomson objected to this phraseology is not clear. One reason appears to have been that Thomson saw that the opening phrase 'Acta parliamenti' differed from the later scribal habit of beginning parliamentary preambles with a phrase similar to 'Parliamentum serenissimi/excellentissimi principis domini . . .'32See APS , ii, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22. and decided to bring the 1424 acts into line. One manuscript that Thomson may have consulted, the late Malcolm manuscript, may have supported this decision beginning:
'Parliamentum Jacobi primi regis Scotorum tentum . . .'
while the 1566 printed edition of the acts begins:
'Acta parliamenti Jacobi primi regis Scotorum tenti . . .'.
Yet Thomson realised that the phrase 'Jacobi primi' would not have been used in the original parliamentary papers written in 1424. As a result the opening words of the May 1424 acts would seem to be entirely Thomson's invention, based on later custom.
The remainder of Thomson's preamble reads as follows:
'. . . xxvjo die mensis Maii anno Domini Mmo xxiiijo et regni sui decimo nono, convocatis tribus regni statibus et ibidem congregatis, electe fuerunt certe persone ad articulos datos per dominum regem determinandos, data ceteris licencia recedendi'.
This rendering is a letter for letter reproduction of the version found in PA5/6(1), but silently correcting the late fifteenth-century manuscript's 'et regni domini nostri regis Jacobi primi' to 'regni sui'. Thomson's preamble as a whole, therefore, is a confection of PA5/6(1) and his own 'improvements' on its phraseology. This approach is used throughout the May 1424 acts, particularly in the first few acts where Thomson found that the 1566 printed acts, which he believed to be authoritative (and which follow the 'early' phraseology of the Group C and E manuscripts described below) were substantially at odds with his main manuscript source, PA5/6(1) (a Group D manuscript). Faced with this discrepancy, Thomson decided to reproduce the phraseology of the 1566 acts (silently correcting what appeared to be copying errors), but with a fake 'fifteenth-century' orthography of his own. Only when the 1566 acts begin to provide versions with an almost identical phraseology to PA5/6(1) (see 1424/25) does the orthography found in APS, ii, begin to reproduce a genuine fifteenth-century manuscript, and even then Thomson was willing to 'correct' the manuscript version to more directly follow the 1566 version. The suspect nature of Thomas Thomson’s editorial practices has long been known, but the extent to which his editorial interventions crossed a line into invention has not previously been appreciated, nor to which he preferred a late printed source to any manuscript.
Ironically Thomson had secured the editorship of APS by launching a scathing attack on William Robertson's editorial practices. While Robertson's edition of the acts of parliament between 1424 and 1466 is hardly complete, including only the legislation he found in PA5/6(1) and PA5/6(2), he stopped short of invention.
The manuscript sources for legislation, 1424-1466
The sources for the legislation between 1424 and 1466 pose greater problems for the editor than at any other point in the history of the Scottish parliament. On the one hand, far more legislation survives for the fifteenth century than for the fourteenth, yet the lack of a surviving parliamentary register means that our knowledge of parliamentary business is still coloured by accident of survival. Meanwhile, the acts of parliament for the period 1424 to 1466 are recorded in whole or in part in some eleven manuscript volumes dating from between the mid fifteenth century and the late sixteenth century (all but one being editions of Regiam Majestatem, Quoniam Attachiamenta and the other collections of Scots laws), while the first printed edition of the Actis and Constitutiounis of the Realme of Scotland (1566) must in effect be considered a 'twelfth manuscript', providing the definitive crown version of the fifteenth-century acts as they were perceived in the late sixteenth century. Its source is likely to have been a centrally held official copy or copies of the acts or parliament, and its inclusion of obvious errors shared with many of the other manuscripts argues against it being based on a now lost parliamentary register. It seems more likely the official register was lost or destroyed long prior to 1566, perhaps shortly after 1469 when an order was made for the destruction of older versions of the acts.32The inclusion of the act anent beggars (Actis and Constitutiounis, f.5v), which both Thomson and O'Brien realised was misdated, seems to confirm that the 1566 acts cannot have been based on an official or authoritative register still in existence in the sixteenth century.
Table of Manuscripts
|1.||C||NLS, Adv. 25.5.7, Advocates 1||Last entry, parliament of 1471.|
|NLS, Adv. 25.4.15, Advocates 2
NLS, Adv. 25.4.14, Cockburn MS
Ayrshire Archives Centre, Ayr Burgh Records, B6/12/1, ff.84r-87v
|May date as early as 1455. No later than 1500.
Includes a table of act titles only.
Acts of March 1430 only.
|4.||N/A||Lambeth Palace Library, MS 167, Lambeth MS||Known to Cosmo Innes, but not used by Thomas Thomson in APS, ii. Latest material dated 1469, and hand suggests a date not long afterwards. Its dating to the sixteenth century in APS, i, 202, is based entirely on an early nineteenth-century catalogue of MSS at Lambeth.32H.J. Todd, A Catalogue of the Archiepiscopal Manuscripts in the Library at Lambeth Palace (London, 1812). It seems likely that Cosmo Innes copied the entry on MS167 from this volume, and that the MS was never examined. Given the handwriting and contents, the dating seems likely to be wrong.|
|5.||D||NAS, PA5/6(2)||Printed in W. Robertson, Parliamentary Records, 57-78 (last entry 1451). Almost certainly the earliest of the Group D MSS, and the MS used as the main source for statutes 1424-1451, except where rare circumstances suggest another MS is preferable.|
|6.||D||EUL, MS 207||Not known to Innes or Thomson. The phrase 'pertinet Henrico [...]tor codex iste magistro' in late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century hand appears on the first folio. In much later hand (?seventeenth century) 'Guthre' (repeated on other folios). Appears to be mid-fifteenth century in a non-court hand.32Handwritten notes dating from 1800s or early 1900s, included with the MS, claim it is 'not later than 1520'. The handwriting appears very unlikely to be post 1500, and in fact taken on its own suggests a date at least half a century earlier. Apart from Regiam Majestatem and the other legal material found in all such volumes, the MS includes a large number of formulary records, most of which appear likely to date from the reign of James I. One entry (f.134v) is addressed to William, bishop of Ross. If correct this would date the MS to after 1481, when William Elphinstone became bishop of Ross, although the name may not be trustworthy. Another entry is dated at Perth in 1424 (f.172r). Only the acts of parliament from 1318 and 1424 are included. However, bound into the back of the volume are fragments of two folios, in what appears to be a government hand, containing the legislation of March 1482.32f.206r-207v; corresponding to NAS, PA2/3, f.13r-15v. The folios appear to have been used either for binding purposes, or added to the volume after the main text was complete.|
|7.||D||NAS, PA5/6(1)||Printed in W. Robertson, Parliamentary Records, 3-55 (last entry 1474; written shortly after February 1497, by Mr Simon Fauside).|
|8.||D||EUL, MS 208, Colville MS||Last acts date to 1484. Written by David Scot, son of John Scot of Spencerfield, at an unknown date. John Scot of Spencerfield floruit 1531, and the hand suggests a date no later than that.32f.335r contains the statement 'This buk pertenis to Dauid Scot sone [of] Jhoun Scot of the Spensarfeld writin with my awin hand'.|
|9.||D||NAS, PA5/3, Drummond MS||Owned by Walter Drummond, and considered to have been written at the time he was chancellor of Dunkeld between c.1480 and c.1496. The acts continue into James V's reign, however.|
|10.||D||NLS, Acc. 11218/5, Fort Augustus MS||Sixteenth-century secretary hand; unknown to Thomas Thomson and Irene O'Brien. Follows Drummond and other Group D MSS closely. Note: includes the parliamentary oaths of 1445 omitted by the other MSS listed here.|
|11.||D||NLS, Adv. 7.1.9, Malcolm MS||Mid to late sixteenth century. Last entry 1563. Often abbreviates acts.|
|12.||D||Actis and Constitutiounis of the Realme of Scotland (1566), 1566 printed acts||STC, 21875; Aldis 50. Appears to have been based mainly on PA5/6(2) and PA5/6(1), or a common ancestor. The decisions of its editors were followed closely by the editor of APS, ii.|
No single volume is convincing as a definitive version of the acts between 1424 and 1466 to be preferred in all cases by the editor above the others. Irene O'Brien, in her invaluable study of these manuscripts3211. I.E. O'Brien, 'The Scottish Parliament in the 15th and 16th centuries' (Ph.D. thesis, Glasgow University, 1980), ch. 1. (with the exception of the Fort Augustus MS, which was unknown to her, and the 1566 printed acts), identified two broad groupings within these MSS. The first group, named 'Group C' by O'Brien, is made up of three early manuscripts: Advocates 1, Advocates 2 and the Cockburn MS (to which she appended, with reservations, the Lambeth MS). O'Brien argued persuasively that Group C were not based on copies from the official central register of acts, but on versions of acts 'published' and sent out to localities soon after particular parliaments sat. As a result they include only legislation from a few parliaments (1424-6, 1430, 1450, 1458 and 1471), and the statutes are not separated into individual parliaments or dated. Some of the acts from 1424-6 are edited and merged together into composite acts (e.g. 1424/9) that were never actually made in any parliament, but reflect the cumulative decisions of those years. Despite these problems, they are of obvious importance since they arise from copies of the acts made soon after the parliaments concerned, while O'Brien also showed that they included nearly all the acts found otherwise only in Ayr Burgh Records MS (itself the result of this process of periodic 'publication' to the localities), and omitted from APS, ii.3212. W.C. Dickinson, 'The acts of parliament at Perth, 6 March 1429/30', SHR, xxix (1950).
The second group identified by O'Brien, and named 'Group D' by her, is made up (in roughly chronological order) of PA5/6(2), EUL, MS 207 (which only includes the 1424 acts), the Drummond MS, PA5/6(1), the Colville MS, the Fort Augustus MS and the Malcolm MS. All the Group D manuscripts, with the exception of EUL, MS 207, are far more complete in the acts they record than Group C, and provide a version of the acts of parliament similar to those found in APS, ii, but differing in significant ways. O'Brien argued that Group D overall provided a slightly edited version of the original acts of the reigns of James I and James II which had been held in the now lost central register of acts. Although comprehensive, O'Brien demonstrated that Group D excluded some genuine acts from James I's reign found in Group C and the Ayr Burgh Records. Group D's version of the pre-1466 acts, according to O'Brien, probably therefore arose from an early editing commission (in operation perhaps around 1450 when revisions of the acts are known to have been ordered3213. See 1450/1/1-10 and 1450/1/21.) that had created an 'established record' of the acts of parliament of James I and James II. Although Group D provides the most complete set of records of fifteenth-century acts, the versions in this group are nevertheless often significantly different in their phraseology to both Group C and Group E (see below), and therefore the extent to which Group D is always a reliable record of the precise wording of the original statutes is doubtful. This is particularly the case with the early parliaments after 1424.
O'Brien's account of the process behind the creation of the manuscripts, and her allocation of them to two groups, C and D, is correct. Yet, O'Brien noticed that one manuscript, the Lambeth manuscript, deserved 'special treatment', and it defies attempts to ascribe it to any group. Lambeth, she pointed out, merges aspects of Group C with the fuller coverage of the acts of parliament found in Group D in the small number of parliaments it records. Lambeth also includes a substantial number of acts absent from the 1566 printed edition of the acts, and from Thomas Thomson's edition in APS, ii, and important acts omitted from all other versions of the acts of parliament. The Lambeth manuscript was unknown to Thomson, and indeed Cosmo Innes' mention of the manuscript in APS, i, implies strongly that he had not examined it himself.3214. Cosmo Innes seems to have copied the entry on MS167 in the introduction to APS, i, from H.J. Todd, A Catalogue of the Archiepiscopal Manuscripts in the Library at Lambeth Palace (London, 1812). O'Brien argued that the Lambeth manuscript version of the acts arose from an early edition taken from the parliamentary papers still in existence before 1469. While apparently an 'early' version of the statutes containing otherwise lost acts, Lambeth poses further problems in that it omits some other undoubtedly genuine acts found in other editions, both in Groups C and Group D. O'Brien's explanation of Lambeth's unique nature was that it, or the manuscript from which it was copied, may have been produced from assortments of papers held centrally by the crown, rather than any well-ordered register, operating before the revising committee of 1469 was established.3215.See 1469/48. Group D's version of the acts of James I's reign, she argued, represented the product of a more systematic edition of the acts produced by a 1450 revising committee.3216.See 1450/1/21. Such an argument is difficult to prove beyond doubt, but gives perhaps the best available explanation for the discrepancies between the editions.3217. O'Brien, 'The Scottish Parliament in the 15th and 16th centuries', 24-6. Supporting the argument that Group D is the product of a revising and editing committee is the inclusion by this group (with the exception of PA5/6(1)) under the parliament of May 1424 of a spurious act concerning 'the reule off thyggaris within the realme'. This act is a combination of three acts in fact passed by parliaments in 1425, 1428 and 1429.
As a result it can be seen that Group D is the most 'reliable' group in terms of its relative completeness in terms of acts present, and probably arises from the work of a relatively early editing commission. However, Group C and Lambeth must be accorded special importance when editing the acts as they represent respectively a) early editions produced by the crown and sent to the localities in the years immediately after individual parliaments sat; and b) a separate edition of the complex parliamentary papers still held by the crown in the 1460s, including acts omitted by the 1450 committee. Both lack the non-contemporary revisions, additions and rewordings added by the editors of the Group D source manuscript, although the author of Lambeth likewise tended slightly to edit and shorten acts after May 1424.
In the edition of the acts for James I's reign included in this edition, therefore, the early Group C manuscripts and the Lambeth manuscript are used as the 'default' sources where possible as they represent early versions arising from 'official' parliamentary papers then held by the crown. All major differences in phraseology with the other MSS are noted. As the Group C and Lambeth MSS are far from complete, acts are added from the other MSS, except where their inclusion would be in error.3218. For instance the Lambeth MS omits act 1424/20, but the phrasing of 1424/21, from Lambeth, makes clear that 1424/20 is a genuine act from 1424. The Group D manuscripts, namely PA5/6(1), PA5/6(2), Drummond, Colville, Fort Augustus and Malcolm, remain by far the most comprehensive manuscripts in terms of acts and parliaments recorded, and for most parliaments and acts this group provides the only versions available. PA5/6(2), the earliest of the Group D MSS, is used as the default Group D MS where Group C is lacking and in the reign of James II. Although the source for the Group D MSS is relatively early in date, deriving from a lost source argued to have been produced c.1450, they should be read with the knowledge that their versions of the acts may represent significantly edited and reworded versions of the original statutes. Once again, this statement is particularly relevant for the parliaments in the years after 1424. For this reason the phraseology found in Lambeth, Group C and (in the case of May 1424) the additional Group E (described below) should be given particular weight by the reader of the acts of parliament between 1424 and 1450.
Additional problems with the sources of the May 1424 parliament
The numerous complexities of the source manuscripts available for the period 1424-1466 are multiplied for the parliament of May 1424. The two groups of manuscripts described above are further subdivided for James I's first parliament, as a number of MSS provide multiple versions of the same acts. Moreover the general level of discrepancies between renditions of acts is higher for this parliament than for later parliaments.
By the late fifteenth century, scribes had recognised that two separate editions of the acts of May 1424 had arisen. Four MSS therefore provide two versions each of the May 1424 legislation (Drummond, Colville, PA5/6(1) and Fort Augustus). Drummond [A], Fort Augustus [A], Colville [A] and PA5/6(1) [A] follow the Group D wording of the acts; the [B] versions of same manuscripts follow closely the wording of Group C and Lambeth, which in turn are believed to follow more closely the original wording of the acts. These additional versions of acts have been ascribed to a new Group, hereafter called 'Group E' (see table below). It is clear that the source of Fort Augustus [A] and [B] was a manuscript close to Drummond [A] and [B], and it reproduces many of Drummond's unique characteristics, even presenting the [A] acts in a single unseparated passage, as Drummond [A] does. The original source of these 'Group E' versions is not clear. In terminology and act order they shadow both the early Group C MSS and Lambeth, but are different from both. The Group E acts are undated, lack the preamble and the act touching the liberties of the church (1424/1-2), but unlike Group C they record only the statutes of May 1424, rather than a 'codified' list of statutes for 1424-6, and include the correct version of the act concerning salmon, rather than the 'composite' version found in Group C (see 1424/10 and notes). Group E therefore seems to have a source close to Lambeth and Group C, and similarly seems to reproduce wordings of the acts more close to the lost originals than the 'edited' Group D.
Explaining and reconciling the discrepancies between these multiple versions has proved a challenge to editors ever since the fifteenth century. The editor of the 1566 printed edition of the acts merged aspects of Group D and Group E. The 1566 edition begins by following the wording found in Lambeth and Group E, but places the acts in the order found in Group D, including the additional acts (especially concerning taxation) found only in Group D. The later part of the 1566 edition follows the wording of Group D, and it includes a spurious act anent thiggars found in the Group D manuscripts. William Robertson provided three versions of the acts from the two PA5/6 MSS that he used in his suppressed edition of the acts of parliament (a Group D version and a Group E version from PA5/6(1) and a single fragment of the taxation acts from PA5/6(2)). Thomas Thomson had decided to follow the 1566 acts where possible, and therefore also merged aspects of Groups D and E at different points, and his edition is almost identically worded to the 1566 edition (albeit with different orthography, excluding the spurious thiggars' act, and including act 1424/35, which the 1566 acts omit).3219.Parliamentary Records of Scotland, ed. W. Robertson (Edinburgh, 1804), 9-13, 59; APS, ii, 3-6. His edition therefore reproduces no manuscript version of the acts ever in existence, but most closely resembles an edition created 142 years after the May 1424 parliament sat.
The version of the May 1424 acts presented below uses the Lambeth MS as its main text. The several acts that Lambeth omits are provided from Drummond [A], a Group D manuscript, unless otherwise stated. When Groups D and C/E differ substantially, both versions are provided. All significant discrepancies with other versions of the acts are noted, and the readings found in Group C and/or Group E are preferred (in square brackets) at particular points where they consistently differ from Lambeth and/or Group D and/or correct a manifest error. Minor differences in spelling, word order or terminology that do not effect meaning are not noted.
Table of manuscript sources for parliament of May 1424
|4.||E||PA5/6(2) (fragment only)|
|6.||D||EUL, MS 207|
PA5/6(1) [B] (fragment only)
|Fort Augustus [A] (omits 1424/1-9)
Fort Augustus [B]
|15.||D/E||1566 printed acts|
Table 2: Discrepancies between Group C, Group D and Group E: three acts from May 1424
|Group C (Advocates 2)||Group D (Drummond MS)||Group E and Lambeth MS (Lambeth)|
| In the first, at the honor and aude the worschip of God and haly kirk and the ministeris of it jois thar ald privlegis and fredome and at na man lat thaim to set thar landis, rentis na thar teyndis under all payn that may folow be spirituale law or temporall etc.|| In primo, that the honour of God, that the halikirk joyse, and the ministeris of it, thar auld privilege and fredomes, that na man lat thaim till sett thar landis and teyndis under all pain that folowes by censure of the halikirk.|| In the first, it is ordanit at in the honoure of almychty Gode at haly kyrk and the ministeris of it joise thare alde privilegis and fredomys and at na man lat thame to set thair landis and thair teyndis undir all chargis that may folow be spirituale law or temporale.|
| Alsua that ferme and siker pe pece be kepyt and halding thr[ow] al the realme amang all and syndry liegis and subjectis of our lord the king. And at na man tak on hand in tym to cum till amuff or mak were againis other under all payn at may folow be the cours of comoun law.|| Item that the the sikker ferme pece be kepit and haldin throu out the realme amangis all liegis and subjectis of our lorde the king. And that nain fra thyne furth tak upoun hand to mufe na mak weir til his nychtbouris, quhatsumever thai be, under the pain of law.|| Item at firme and sikkir pes be kepit throu all the realme ande haldin amang all and sindry liegis and subiectis of oure souerane lorde the king. And at na man tak on hand in tyme tocum to mowe or mak weir ane aganis other undir all payne at may folow be course of comon law.|
| Item it is statut and ordanit that na man opinly and notorly rebell again the kingis persoune under payn of forfatur of lyf, landis and gudis.|| Item it is declarit and determyt that na man notourly nor oppinly rebell aganis the kingis persoun under the pane of forfaltour of life, landis and gudis to be at the kingis will.|| Item it is statut and ordanit at na man opinly na notorly rebell aganis the kingis persone undir all payne of forfatoure off his lyfe, landis and all his gudis.|
3. 'Rebinding' does not adequately describe the radical treatment of early volumes of the official register made in the nineteenth century. Each folio was cut from its original binding, trimmed, and pasted into modern page. No evidence remains of the appearance of the earlier volume, and in places folios have been misplaced (see NAS, PA2/1 and subsequent volumes).
6. The inclusion of the act anent beggars (Actis and Constitutiounis, f.5v), which both Thomson and O'Brien realised was misdated, seems to confirm that the 1566 acts cannot have been based on an official or authoritative register still in existence in the sixteenth century.
7. H.J. Todd, A Catalogue of the Archiepiscopal Manuscripts in the Library at Lambeth Palace (London, 1812). It seems likely that Cosmo Innes copied the entry on MS 167 from this volume, and that the MS was never examined.
8. Handwritten notes dating from 1800s or early 1900s, included with the MS, claim it is 'not later than 1520'. The handwriting appears very unlikely to be post-1500, and in fact taken on its own suggests a date at least half a century earlier. Apart from Regiam Majestatem and the other legal material found in all such volumes, the MS includes a large number of formulary records, most of which appear likely to date from the reign of James I. One entry (f.134v) is addressed to William, bishop of Ross. If correct this would date the MS to after 1481, when William Elphinstone became bishop of Ross, although the name may not be trustworthy. Another entry is dated at Perth in 1424 (f.172r).
15. See 1469/48.
16. See 1450/1/21.