A. D. M.D.LXXVII.
The Generall Assemblie conveinit at Edinburgh, in the Counsell
house, the first of Aprile 1577: Wherein were present the Bischops of Glasgow and Dumblane, Superintendents, Commissioners of Countreyes, Kirks and Vniversities, Ministers and vthers.
Mr Alexander Arbuthnet, Principall of the Colledge of Aberdein,
Because the said Mr Alexander, Moderatour, was absent from the last
Assemblie, and, in that respect, not forsein of the things done therin, at his
desyre the Kirk appointit [their loved brethren] the Laird of Dun, Mrs
James Lowson [Minister of Edinburgh,] Robert Pont, [Provest of the
Trinitie Colledge,] David Lindesay, [Minister of Leith,] Andro Hay,
[Commissioner of Cliddisdaill,] John Craig, [Minister of Aberdeen,] Andro
Melvill, [Principall of Glasgow,] to concurre with him the morne at seven
houres in the morning, [in the Nether Tolbuith, to conferr] and advyse
with him vpon sick things as salbe thoght good to be handlit in this Assemblie.
[Forsameikle as the chief and principal argument to be treatit and
reasoned in this Assemblie, is the Policie of the Kirk, reserved in their last
Assembly to be handled and disputat at this, the brether deput to the conceiving and forming of the heids therof, being callit to give count of thair
diligence and industrie in this behalf, presented the heads of the Policie, as
they had made partition therof at thair Assemblie in Striveling, with the
judgment of the labours of the whole brethren tane therein. C. & B.]
Thereafter was presented the heids pennit be Mrs Johne Row and James
Lowsone, which were red, and nothing agains said, except ane of the said
Mr Johnes articles referrit to farther disputation; all men beand requyrit,
that had good reason or argument to propone in the contrair, to alledge
the same; or if they wald not publicklie reason vpon the said heid, to refort to the saids Commissioners, quher travell sould be taken to satisfie
them, leavand to them also libertie, befor the heids be recollectit and ordourit in ane bodie, to make argument as they think good against the
The heid given to the Laird of Dun, conforme to the order of distribution foresaid, being thocht be him obscure and mystick, the Kirk desyrit
him to conferre with the remanent Commissioners the morne at sevin
houres, that he may be resolvit of the meaning therof.
The remnant heids beand prolixe, [and amplie written be the Commissioners,] were thocht good to be contractit in short propositiouns [and
conclusions,] to be presentit to public reiding [thereafter.]
The heid committit to Mr Andro Hay red in face of the Assemblie:
nothing was opponit against the same, except the article anent the Suspension of Ministers, referrit to farther reasoning.
[The part of the Policie given to David Ferguson red: Sicklyke
the 18 article was reserrit; and nothing spoken be any man against the
rest. C. & B.]
The pairts committit to Mr Andro Hay, Robert Pont, David Lindesay:
nothing alledgit in the contrair.
The heids committit to Mr Johne Craig red: some things were desyrit
to be contractit, andvthers referrit to farther reasoning.
The haill labours of the brethren tane vpon the matter and argument
of the Policie beand haililie red in publick audience of the Kirk, it was
thoght expedient [and good,] That thair haill travells and wark in this
matter, being now dispersed, sould be revisit and pervsit be some brethren,
and digestit and disposit in good and convenient ordour, and therafter to
be presentit to the Assemblie: And for that effect the Kirk appoints thair
brethren, Mrs James Lowsone, Andro Melvill, Johne Craig, George Hay,
to conveine together, to appoint the houres and place therto, and remaine
therat quhill the matter be brocht to end; and, in the meane tyme, if it
please any man to reason with them in the matter, to have accesse therto.
[In the trial of the Visitors, John Clapperton, Commissioner of the
Merce, was accused, That he resused to designe the gleeb to the Reader
of Langtoun: He answered, That he could not have the concurrence of
the parishioners conforme to the act of Parliament. The Assembly ordaines the Reader to seek remeed at the Lords of Counsell, and the Commissioner to designe the said gleeb conforme to the acts of Parliament.
The Assembly ordained the Commissioners to be placed in the parts of
Fife, where Mr John Colvill remains, to burthen him with the cure of a
kirk there conforme to the act made before, and to proceed against him if
he disobeyed; and sicklyke the same Commissioners, and the Commissioners to be appointed for Cliddisdaill, to charge him to provide his kirk in
Anent the accusatioun laid agains Mr Patrick Adamsone, callit Bischop
of Sanct Androes, That he had entrit in the said Bischoprick agains the
acts of the Generall Assemblie, and usurpit the office of Visitatioun within
the bounds of Fyfe, vnauthorized be the commission or power of the Kirk,
and left his ordinar office of Ministrie: The Generall Kirk, in respect of
his absence to ansuer heirto, Gives thair full power and commission to
[their brethren] Mrs Robert Pont, James Lowsone, David Fergusone,
and the Superintendent of Lowthiane conjunctlie; and in case of the said
Superintendents inabilitie, to Mr David Lindesay, or John Brand, to direct out summounds agains the said Mr Patrick, summounding him befor
them at sick day or dayes as they sall think good, within the towne of
Edinburgh, to try and examine his entrie and proceiding to the said
Bischoprick, vsurpatioun of the said office of Visitatioun, and diserting his
ordinar office of Ministrie quhilk he had of befor; with power to them to
summound the Chapter of Sanct Androes, or so many of the Chapter
as sall seime to them expedient, if neid requyre, and the Ordinars
and Inaugurers of the said Mr Patrick, as they sall thinke good, for
the better tryall of the premisses: And what heirin they find be
proces of examination, to report againe to the next Generall Assemblie;
and, in the meane tyme, in name of the Kirk to discharge him of farther
visitation of the saids bounds quhill he be admittit be the Kirk.
[The which day, James Blackwood, Person of Sanquhar, being accused,
That he bruikit twa benefices, viz. the Personage of Sancquhair and Vicarage of Saline, yet serves not at ane of the kirks: The Assembly, after
some reasoning, Found he sould demitt ane of the said benefices, and appointed him the morne to advise, and resolve which of them he would
resigne. C. & B.]
[Concerning the Bishop of Glasgow his diligence, and feeding of a particular flocke as was promised in the last Assemblie before: It was found
be report, and witnessing of the countrey, and Commissioners thereof, that
he had keeped his promise theranent; for which the Assembly praised
God, and required farther that he should accept of a particular flock in
tyme coming, conforme to the order and acts of the Assembly, who willingly agreed thereto.
Anent the resolution to be given be James Blackwood, Person of Sanquhar, to the determination of the Assembly given yesterday: The said
James present resolved, and declared, That, for fear of his life, he dar not
resort to Sanchar to discharge his cure there, and always he shall serve at
Sawling while he get security of Sanchar: In this mean time, matters
standing uncertain, humbly prayed the Assembly, that he were not compelled to resign any of them. That answer being considered be the said
Assemblie, they ordained him to travell at the kirk of Sauling till the
next Generall Assembly, if he may not securely exercise his office at Sanquhar; and, in the mean time, that John Fouller support the kirk of Sanchar upon his costs; always providing that the said James insist diligently
be the laws of the realme, to get possession of his benefice at Sanchar, and
shew his diligence thereupon, betwixt this and the next Generall Assemblie:
And ordaines the Commissioners of the country to admonish the Tutor of
Sanquhar to make no impediment or trouble to the said James, in using his
office, and serving the cure at Sanchar, under the paine of the censures of
the Kirk to be used against him, if he disobey. C.]
It was thoght expedient be the Kirk, that certaine of the brether be
direct to the Regents Grace to informe him, that the Kirk is travelling in
the matter and argument of the Policie; and quhat beis farther proceidit
therin, his Grace sall receive advertisement befor the end of the Assemblie.
In this meane tyme, sundrie inconvenients may sall out befor this be perfytit,
quhilks it wald pleis his Grace to considder and remeid: And for this
effect were dispatchit from this Assemblie Mrs David Lindesay and Johne
Duncansone, quho returneit and reportit, His Grace lykit weill of thair travells and labours that they tooke in that matter, requyring expeditioun and
hastie outred therof: As for the particulars they informe wald be occurritt,
let them be givin, they sall have good ansuer.
The particulars of sick things as are desyrit to be ordinat be my Lord
Regents Grace, befor the worke of the Policie came out, beand conceivit
in a few articles, quhilk after sall appeir, were delyverit be the Kirk to
thair brether Mrs David Lindsay, Andro Polwart, Johne Duncansone, to
be proponit to his Grace, and to that effect to awaite afternoon for his
Graces ansuer; quho returning reportit that his Graces ansuer was, That
if the articles might be resolvit be himselfe without the Counsell, they sould
receive his ansuer the morne in the morning; vtherwayes the Counsall
sould be conveinit the morne at afternoon, and therafter ansuer sould be
given to sick as the Kirk directit to receive the same; for the quhilk
effect the Kirk directed Mrs John Craig and David Lindesay.
The tenour of the Articles above specified.
First, That provisioun may be had for visitors of the Countreys.
2. That ordour may be tane, that persons depryvit be the Kirk for not
doing thair offices, may be depryvit of thair benefices.
3. That his Grace will putt ordour to sick as receives benefices, and
therafter coupes them.
4. That quhen benefices vaikes, they may be disponed rather to sick as
hes servit at the kirks therof, than to vthers not so weill qualified.
5. That the acts of Parliament made against adulterers may be put to
executioun, namelie, agains Willian Cochron, notorious adulterer.
6. That his Grace wald discharge playes of Robin Hood, King of May,
and sick vthers, on the Sabboth day.
7. Because ther is diverse Reidars not entrit in the Booke of Assignatioun, partlie be reason of inlaik of Commissioners, and partlie be thair
negligence, That ordour may be provydit therefor.
The proces persewit be the Laird of Tulliealane agains Johne Dykes,
Minister of Culros, was sichtit be some brether, and the head of the bill was
not found provin. The debait was finallie endit be the travells and perswasion of the brether appointit therto.
Anent the complaint made be David Fergusone vpon Mr James M'Gill,
Clark of Register, and the yoghong Laird of Rossyth, That, agains the actis of
the Kirk, they causit burie the vmquhill Laird of Rossyth in the Kirk of
Dumferling, albeit the said David made them foirsein of the said act: The
Kirk ordainit Johne Durie to warn the Clerk Register to ansuer heirto,
the first of May nixt to come.
[The Assembly] ordaines the brether [appointed] to waite on my Lord
Regents Graces ansuer, to make sute for Mr John Davidsones libertie to
come in the countrey, for his favour, quhen he lykes to returne.
Anent the ordinance made in the last Assembly, and execution thereof,
concerning the inbringing of the names of the persons defunct be the Commissioners of the Countries, conforme to divers other acts past of before:
The Superintendent of Lothian answered, He hath presently certain names
ready to be delivered to the Procurator Fiscal; Mr John Craig for his part
declared, He had delivered the names of the defunct within his bounds to
the Commissioner of Aberdeen; William Christeson, That he had delivered
the names to the said pursevant, direct to the Commissioners. The Assembly
and Commissioners present have ordained the whole Commissioners of
Countries to send in the names of the persons defunct within their bounds
to the Procurator Fiscal at Edinburgh, if they be ready betwixt and the
next Assemblie; otherwise simpliciter to produce them then to be delivered
to him, and to keep the act and ordinance made theranent before. C.]
The brethren appointit to collect the heids of the Policie presentit of
before, reportit the same collectit in ordour, and digestit in one bodie;
and all men requyrit that had good reason or argument to propone, to
offer them thereto.
Thrie heids were callit in doubt be certaine; and de Diaconatu, another de Jure Patronatus, the thrid de Divortiis, quherin they were not
resolvit nor satisfied: As to the rest, nothing was thought to the contrair,
Thir thrie heids standand in contraversie being publickly disputed and
reasoned in utramque partem, yoghet farther disputation was reservit till the
morne, to any man that lykit to take the part of reasoning upon him agains
the saids heids.
The Commissioners appointit to awaite vpon my Lord Regents Graces
ansuer, reportit, Because they had no commission in wryte, his Grace
gave no ansuer to them.
[Questions proponed in the Generall Assembly, and their decisions.
Q. What shall be done concerning such persons who will not receive
the Communion but in Lentron. A. Such persons ought not to be satisfied, nor their superstition nurished therein.
Q. What shall therefore be done to Ministers and Readers, that, at
such tymes in Lentron, or upon Saints dayes as they call them, as yoghule
and Pasche and such superstitious times, read, preach, or minister the
Communion, to retain the people in blindness. A. The Visitor, with
advice of the Synodall Assembly, ought to admonish such Ministers or
Readers to desist and abstain therefrom, under the paine of deprivation;
and if they disobey, to deprive them.
Anent the complaint made upon the Clerk of Register, That he caused
burie the late Laird of Rossyth in the Kirk of Dumfermline against the
acts of the Kirk: C.] The Clerk Register beand present, declared,
That the Provest and Bailyoghies of Dumfermline aggreit to burie the Laird
of Rossyth in the Kirk, and that he was not the cause therof; submittand
himselfe alwayes to the judgement of the Kirk, if any offence be found
done by him.
[The Assembly requiested the Commissioners of Countries to continue
in their commission and office of Visitation till the next Generall Assembly,
and to use such diligence and travels as they may goodly doe for the comfort of the Kirk. Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Clidesdale, protested,
That he be not burdened with the Over Ward of Cliddisdaill from Hamiltoun up; always promised to keep Synodall Assemblies. C.]
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk of this realme, considderand the
great aboundance of iniquitie overflowing vniversallie the haill face of the
commoun weill, now in so great light and revelatioun of the true and Christian religioun, justlie provocking and stirring up the justice and equitie of
God to take judgement and vengeance on this unworthie and vnthankfull
nation; seeand also the many perrillous stormes and rage of persecutioun
daylie invadeing the Kirk and Spous of Jesus Chryst; the found and extreame troubles of the zealous members therof in the partes of France and
els quher, professing with them ane Saviour, Lord, and Messias; the work
of establisching a perfyte ordour and policie in the Kirk being presentlie in
hand, Hes thought it good [meet and expedient] for the same reasons and
good causes, That earnest and speidie recourse salbe had to God with commoun supplicatiouns and prayers: And to that effect, a generall Fast be
observit vniversallie through all the kirks of this realme, with doctrine and
instruction to the peiple; to begin the second Sonday of Julij nixt to come,
quhilk is the nynt day therof, and to continue to the nixt Sonday therafter, vsing, in the meanetyme, exercise of doctrine according to the accustomit ordour; and to that effect, that intimatioun be made heirof be Com
missioners of Countreyes to the Ministers within their bounds, as appertaines. Givin in the Generall Assemblie.
[Concerning the proposition of Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edinburgh, desireing the mind and declaration of the Assemblie, How they
think to be done with the money which was collected to the support of the
French Kirks, being yet in his hands undisposed: The Assembly present
willeth the said money, or sameekle farther which shall be inbrought of
that which was promised for their support, to be employed to the use and
necessity of the Kirk. C.]
Because the matter of the Policie of the Kirk, collectit be the brethren,
is not ȝet in sick perfyt forme as is requisite; and sundrie things largelie
intreatit, quhilk wilbe more summarlie handlit; vthers requyring farther
dilatioun: For recollecting therof, and puting the same in good ordour
and forme, and for avoyding of superfluitie and obscuritie, the substantialls
beand keipit; the Kirk presentlie hes willit thair belovit brethren, Mrs
Robert Pont and James Lowsone, to take travells and labours in the premisses: and to the effect that the worke may be the better compleit and in
readines against the nixt Generall Assemblie, quhilk is ordainit to begin at
Edenburgh the 25 day of October nixt to come, the Kirk hes ordainit thair
brethren, the Laird of Dun, Mrs Alexander Arbuthnet, Andro Melvill,
Johne Craig, Andro Hay, George Hay, Johne Row, David Lindesay, Johne
Duncansone, to conveine and assemble together, the 19 of October nixt, in
Edenburgh, to revise and considder the travells of their said brether, that
the same may be the more advysedlie proponit publicklie, as said is. In
this meanetyme, sick as pleases to reason in the matter, to have accesse to
the said brether: and lykewayes ordainit the Visitors of Countreyes to
make intimatioun to the Barronis, that the said warke is in hand, and to be
treattit in the nixt Generall Conventioun; desyreand thair presence and