1392, 25 March, Perth, Council

Parliamentary Records

25 March 1392


Letter for proclaiming wrongdoers, in the presence of the king, etc.

Robert, by the grace of God king of Scots, to his sheriff and bailies of Aberdeen, greeting. Know that from the deliberation of many good and faithful men of the three estates of our kingdom, recently caused to be assembled in our presence for holding a council upon various necessary points touching us and our people, we accepted an ordinance, also counsel and decreet. In order that we should take steps to ensure that notorious wrongdoers dwelling in the highland parts of the kingdom, who have inflicted and continually inflict without cease slaughters and burnings and other great harms and injuries on our faithful subjects already for a considerable period of time, are restrained and curbed from committing such evil deeds with aforethought intent, and similarly compel them to compear for justice for the crimes committed by them, therefore we command you to be strictly forewarned that without delay, seeing the present [letters], you put and cause to be put to the horn and publicly adjudged to be denounced all and singular of the men written below and their accomplices, followers and adherents, whom we, from the said deliberation, counsel and decreet, caused to be put at the king's horn and whom, at our town of Perth on 25 March last, we decreed to be adjudged and publicly proclaimed at the horn in market places, namely: Duncan Stewart, Robert Stewart, Patrick Duncanson, Thomas Duncanson, Robert de Atholl, Andrew MacNair, Duncan Bryson, Angus MacNair, John Eason the younger, and all their other adherents who were at the killing of Sir Walter de Ogilvy, Walter de Leighton and the rest of our lieges killed with them, also Slurach and his brothers and all Clanqwhevil, William Mowatt, John de Coutts, Donald de Coutts, with all their adherents, David de Ross, Alexander MacIntaylor, John MacIntaylor, Adam Rolson, John Rolson, with all their adherents, Duncan Neteraulde, John Mathies, with their adherents, Morgownde Rorison and Michael Mathies, with their adherents, and all and singular their other supporters or participants who were present at the killing of Sir Walter de Ogilvy, Walter de Leighton and our other faithful men killed in the same place. And in the same proclamation you are to prohibit by our royal authority publicly and expressly that anyone of our kingdom, of whatever pre-eminence, standing or condition they shall be, should receive the aforenamed wrongdoers or others, or allow them to be received, who have committed homicides, burnings, destructions, pillages or other terrible crimes on the people within their boundaries, lands, lordships, fortalices or castles, publicly nor secretly, nor provide counsel, help or favour, nor allow [them] to travel through or to spend the night in their districts, or to make a stay in them in any way; on the contrary, immediately on seeing such people, or such a person, by day or night, let them pursue him or them until they arrest them or kill them, under the penalty of the loss of life and limb, and under the penalty of disinheritance of lands and possessions if it shall be found otherwise by the finding of an assise. Furthermore you are to inhibit, as above, anyone from assigning, causing or granting any of the same people, or any of them, for any reason of kinship, affection or bond, an assurance or surety, by word or writing, secretly or openly, since this, if it should take place, would be against [the implementation of your] office due to us, to the prejudice and harm of law and the utility of the community; nor should anyone receive any surety or assurance from them. But if any such assurance shall already have been taken or agreed between them and these transgressors, from now on, by the said deliverance of council, we ordain it to be null and void, and we annul it entirely, so that it shall in no way be observed henceforth. Nevertheless we wish and grant from the above deliberation that if any such persons, of those now proclaimed at the horn, shall wish to present themselves and compear within fifteen days after the time of your proclamation being made, and find sufficient secure pledges on certain penalties, also if he will return and compear before you or anyone other deputed for this by you for compearing and standing to law within another fifteen days immediately following, you should receive him and his pledges and establish a certain day for him, when, as a peremptory day, he should undergo and receive what by law shall be the finding and declaration of the assise for him. In addition we instruct and command you that if there is anyone in your bailiary, of whatever condition or standing he be, who was in such a rebellion, that does not wish to obey our mandate and ordinance upon the foregoing, or shall be negligent and disobedient in causing the effective execution of them by the means which were stated before, you should recognosce their lands, castles or fortalices into our hands and arrest their goods as our escheat until they shall have compeared and presented themselves before us or our lieutenant for undergoing the finding and declaration of an assise, by which, if the facts are clearly seen, they should sustain what law demands. Given under the testimony of our great seal at Perth on 26 March in the second year of our reign, etc [1392].

  1. NAS, Haddington MS, PA5/5, f.3v, 9r-10r. See note on Haddington MS appended to 1384/11/1. Folio 3 has been placed out of order in the volume as it is now bound. The Haddington MS was never chronological and this letter from 1392 follows on the same folio as the acts of November 1399. Back
  2. See G. M. Mackenzie, 'The rarest decision recorded in history: the Battle of the Clans in 1396', in Tranasactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, lix (1994-1996), 420-87, 452-4, which discusses a possible identification of Clanqwhevil with the MacMillans. The article restricts itself to the evidence surrounding the Battle of the Clans, and does not consider the evidence surviving touching this conflict in 1391/2. The earlier identification of Clanqwhevil with Clan Chattan seems likely to be wrong. Back
  3. ?Mathieson. Back
  4. ?Mathieson. Back
  5. Latin changes from plural to singular and back in the latter part of this text. This has been reflected in the translation. Back
  6. Latin changes to plural. Back