A. D. M.D.LXII.
The General Assemblie of the Kirk of Scotland conveinit at Edinburgh the xxv of December 1562; in the whilk were present the
Superintendents, Ministers and Commissionars.
The whilk day the foirnameit assembleit in the auld Counsell house.
John Knox minister of Edinburgh callit upon Goddis name for the assistance of his holie spirit.
[Mr Robert Cumming schoolmaster of Arbrothe was complained upon
be the Laird of Dun Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, for infecting
the youth committed to his charge with idolatrie. C.]
Sessio 2a. haldin the 28 of the said month.
[According to the order takin at the last Assemblie, becaus the Superintendent of Lowthian was absent who sould first have been tryed, the Superintendent of Fife was removed, and the ministeris and commissioneris of the
said diocie who wer present for the time wer required if they or any of
them had any thing to lay to his charge touching his manneris, conversatioun, doctrine, and executioun of his office, that they would declair it.
It was murmurit be sindrie ministeris, that he wes somewhat slack in
his visitatiounis, and remanit not at the kirkis for ordering such things as
were necessar for the same; that he wes too much gevin to wordlie affairis,
slack in preaching, rash in excommunicatioun, sharper nor became him
in making acts for payment of small tithes.
The Superintendent of Angus wes removed next. It was laid to his
charge, that there wer manie popishe preistis, unabill and of wicked life,
admitted to reading at kirkis within his diocie. 2. That some ȝoung men
were rashlie admitted to the ministrie, and to be exhortaris, without such
trial and examinatioun as ar required in the Book of Discipline. 3. That
gentilmen of vitious lives wer chosen to be elderis in divers kirkis. 4. That
sundire ministeris under his jurisdictioun remanit not at thair kirkis, visit
not the seik in thair extremitie, and alsua that the ȝouth is not instructed.
5. That some ministeris come our lait to the kirkis wher they sould
preach on the Lordis day, so that the peopill doe wearie staying upon thaim,
and incontinent the sermon being ended, they depart. 6. That the ministeris resort not to the exercise, according to the order set down in the
Book of Discipline.
The Superintendent, after he came in again, rendered up the Commission
he received from the Assemblie for visiting the North, and establishing
ministers, elders and deacons in the kirk.
Thereafter the ministers of Fife wer removed, and the Superintendent
and Commissioners wer required to declair what they knew to be laid to
their charge. Then the ministers of Mernes and Angus wer removed and
tryed. Then the Superintendent of Lothian, now being present, was removed and tryed. It was required be the Commissionars of Edinburgh,
that he wold sometimes preache in their Kirks, as the principal roume
within his Jurisdiction: and others required, that he wold visite Mussilburgh and Stirling oftener. Thereafter the Ministers of Lowthiane and
Stirling-shire war removed and tried.
It was concluded, That the Superintendent sall cause present the names
of Ministers, Exhorters and Readers, to the Lords appointed be the Queen's
Majestie for assigning of their Stipends, and that in thir presentations be
specified the entrie of these that ar presented, to be at Allhallowmes,
Lambmes, Candlemes or Beltan, togither with the yere of God, that they
may receive payment at the terme after their entrie, and sua furthe quarterlie. And if it sall happen that anie Minister, Exhorter or Reader depart at the pleasure of God, the intrant sall receive payment pro rata servitii; that the executors of the defunct sall receive payment for the time
he hath served: And this order to be observed hereafter. Anent the
sustentation of the ministers, exhortars and reidars within burrowes, my
Lord Controller requyrit the haill commissioners of burrowes presentlie conveinit at this assemblie, that they wold signifie unto him by word or write
within ane competent space, what releife they wold make to the sustentation of the ministers forsaid, in respect that they were befor burthened with
diverse charges for uphalding of sick as called themselves ministers in the
abused kirk. C.]
Seffio 3a. haldin the 29 of December 1562.
The kirk presentlie assemblit ordaines that inhibition salbe made to all
and sundire persons now serving in the ministrie, who hes entrit being
slanderous befor in doctrine hes not satisfied the kirk. Secondlie, that
hes not bein presented be the peiple or ane pairt thereof to the superintendent, and he after examiniation and tryall hes not appointed them to
their charges, and this act to have strength as weill against them that
are callit bischops as uthers pretending to any ministrie within the kirk:
[And ordaineth the same act to be promulgat be the superintendents in
their diocies; and where there ar not superintendents, be commissioners
sent from the Assemblie, the copie thereof to be affixed upon the principall
kirk-doores. And if anie person, after inhibition made, contemptuouslie
continue in his ministrie, the Assemblie ordaines to proceed against him be
censures, to excommunication, unless be his letters to the commissioners,
or nixt superintendent, he give signification of his obedience, and promise
to accept the same charge according as they sall command him. And in
that case the Assemblie decerned, that with libertie and freedom of conscience, and also without danger of the former paine, he may continue in
his ministrie till the nixt Assemblie; at which time it is ordained, that they
present themselves before the Assemblie. And that this act comprehend
also exhorters and readers.
Because it is complained, That the north countrie for the most part was
destitute of ministers, and that the order of the election and admission of
the superintendent of Aberdeen was not putt in execution; the Assemblie
appointed Mr George Hay, Mr Johne Row and Adam Heriot, to be proponed in lites to the said kirk, and edicts to pass furth thereupon with all
expedition; and committed the charge of inauguration of the person elected, to the Superintendents of Fyfe and Angus, and suche learned men as
they sall chose; and appointed the kirk of Old Aberdeen to be the place
of admission. And in case ather Mr Johne Row or Adam Heriot salbe
elected to the said office, the Assemblie nominat Mr James Wilkie, Patrick
Couston and Robert Hamilton, to be proponed in lites to the kirks destitude of their ministrie.
A commission was given to Mr Johne Hepburne Minister of Brechin, to
pass to Murray, and there to preache the gospell; and if it sall chance that
he sall find anie qualified persons apt to be ministers, exhorters or readers,
that he send them to the superintendent to be appointed for Aberdeen and
Bamf, to be tried, and admitted to their offices respectivé: And it was
ordained this commission sould endure till the nixt Assemblie.
David Forrest, notwithstanding he objected his owne inabilitie, was
charged by the whole Assemblie, as he wold avoide disobedience to their
voices, without farther delay, to addresse himself to enter in the ministrie
where he salbe appointed, seing it was knowen sufficientlie that he was able
for that function. He and Mr Patrick Cockburne war proponed in lites
for the Superintendentship of Jedburgh. It was decerned, that edicts
sould be sett furth for their admission against the first Lord's day of Marche
nixt to come in the kirk of Jedburgh. The superintendent of Lowthiane,
Mr Knox, and such other learned men as they sould choose to assist them,
war appointed to inaugurate the person elected.
For the planting to kirks in the Shiresdoms of Dumfries, Galloway and
Nithisdaill, and the rest of the West Daills, the Assemblie nominat in lites
for the Superintendentship, Mr Alexander Gordon entituled Bishop of
Galloway, and Mr Robert Pont minister of Dunkell: Ordained edicts to
be sett furth for the admission upon the last Lords day of April, and appointed the Superintendent of Glasgow, Mr Knox minister of Edinburgh,
Mr Robert Hamilton minister of Vchiltrie and Mauchlin, and other learned men, to be present at the inauguration of the person elected; the place
of admission to be the parish-kirk of Drumfries. In the meane tyme the
Assemblie giveth commission to Mr Alexander to admitt ministers, exhorters and readers, and to doe such other things as war before accustomed
in planting of kirks. C.]
Mr. Archibald Keith, minister of Logie and Balmerinoch, was discernit
be the Kirk to be translated fra the forsaids kirks to sick place as where his
stipend sould be more aboundantlie givin him, in case he be not reasonablie
satisfiet be the Lords appointit to modifie the ministers stipends, provydit
that he change not at his awin privat opinion; but to have therein the
judgement and appointment of the Kirk, who sall give there judgement
heirin or this Assemblie be dissolved.
Sessioun 4, haldin the 30 day of December 1562.
[Commission was given to Mr Knox to goe to Jedburgh, and to take
triell upon the thrid day of Januarie nixt to come, of the slander raised
against Paul Methven late minister of the said burgh; and after triell, to
report to the session or consistorie of the kirk of Edinburgh, to whom,
with the Superintendent of Lowthiane, the Assemblie giveth power to
discerne, and pronounce sentence. C.]
The kirk presentlie assemblit gives power to every superintendent within there awin bounds, in there assemblies synodall, with consent of the
maist pairt of the elders and ministers of kirks, to translate ministers fra ane
kirk to another, as they sall consider the necessitie, and in lyke maner
charges the minister sa translated to obey the voice and comandement of
And ordains farther, that the superintendents appoint there Synodall
Assemblies twyce in the ȝeir, to witt, in the moneths of Apryle and October, on sick dayes within the saids moneths as the superintendent sall
thinke good; and that they give sufficient advertisement to the particular
kirks, that the minister with ane elder or deacon may repaire toward the
place appointed be the superintendents at the day that salbe affixed be them,
to consult upon the comon affaires of there diocies.
[Some ministers war appointed for particular places; Mr James
Pont for my Lord Areskine, Mr James Foullis for Dunkell, Mr James
Wilkie, or Mr Patrick Couston, if he be not chosen for St Johnston,
for Aberdeen; Mr Robert Hamilton for Hamilton, Mr Johne Keith to
be placed by the Superintendent of Aberdeen in Buchan, Mr Robert
Narne for Deir, Mr Arthure Forbese to be placed at the discretion of the
Superintendent of Fyfe and Rector of St Andrews, Mr James Greg for
Carict, if the Lord Areskine could be moved to consent. C.]
Sessio 5ta, halding the last of December 1562.
The Kirk gives comissioun to the Superintendents of Angus, Lowthiane,
Glasgow and Fyfe, with David Forrester, to travell with the Lords of Secreit Counsell to know what causes sall come in judgement to the kirk,
and what ordour of execution salbe tane therein.
[Item, To travell for abolishing of mercats holding upon the Lord's day
throughout the realme. Item, Commission given to Mr Knox to make
supplication both by word and writt to the Queen's Majestie, for support
of the poore.
Notwithstanding of the nomination of superintendents for Aberdeen, Bamf,
Jedburgh and Dumfries, made before in the thrid session, the Assemblie remitted farther advisement and nomination of the persons to the Lords of Secreit
Counsell, providing the days appointed for the admission be not altered. C.]
It is concludit that ane uniforme ordour salbe takin or keipit in the administration of the Sacraments and solemnization of marigaes and burialls
of the dead, according to the Booke of Geneva.
Attour, ordains the communion to be ministrat four tymes in the ȝeir
within burrowes, and twyse in the ȝeir to landwart.
[The superintendents war appointed to confer with the Lords of Secreit
Counsell, anent the charges to be bestowed for the elements at the Lord's
For sameikle as it was heavilie lamentit be the maist pairt of the ministers, that they can have no dwelling places at there kirks, because the
mansses are either deteinit be the persons or vicars of the samein, or els
sett in few or otherwayes to gentlemen: The Clerk Register and Justice
Clerk desyre the superintendents to signifie to the Clerk of the Rentales
where the saids mansses are, and in what countrey, to the effect that the
saids mansses may be assignit to the Quenis G. third part, and thereafter
that the saids ministers compleinand may be staiked and helped to the
samein, for there comoditie and remaining with there flocke.
Notwithstanding the proponeing and nominatioun of the superintendents
for Aberdeen, Bamfe, Jedbrucht and Dumfreis, appointed of befoir in the
thrid sessioun, and the days appointit for electioun of the samein, the haill
kirk remitts farder advysement and nomination of the persones to the
Lords of the Secreit Counsell, provydeing alwayes that the days appointed
for their electioun be not prolonged.
It is ordainit, that no minister nor others bearing office within the Kirk,
take in hand to cognosce and decide in the actiouns of divorcement, except
the superintendents, and they to whom they sall give speciall commissioun,
and betwixt speciall persons.
[After invocation of the name of God made be Maister Knox minister
of Edinburgh, the Assemblie dissolved. C.]