LETTERS OF PUBLICATION, OF A COMMISSION Under the GREAT-SEAL: Anent the Security of the Peace of the High-Lands OF SCOTLAND.


Re-printed at ABERDEEN, by Command of Authority, Anno, 1682.

Letters of Publication, of a Commission anent the Securi­ty of the PEACE of the HIGH-LANDS.

CHARLES, by the Grace of GOD, King of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, De­fender of the Faith;
To [...] Macers of Our Privy Council, or Messengers at Arms, Our Sheriffs in that part, conjunctly and seve­rally, specially Constitute, Greeting:

Forasmuch, as We having for the security of the Peace of the High-Lands, emited several Acts and Orders, and particularly, granted a Commission of Iusticiary, with several Powers thereinmentioned; whereof the Tenor follows:

CHARLES by the Grace of GOD, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith;
To all and sundry, Our loving and good Subjects, to whom these Pre­sents shall come, Greeting:

Forasmuch, as the quieting of the High-lands and Isles, and the Du [...]it [...]ll and Peaceable Carriage, and Deportment of the Inhabitants within the same, is of great concernment, not only as to the Peace and Interest of the Shires and Bounds where they live, being a large and consi­derable part of Our ancient Kingdom of Scotland; but also of the Neighbouring and adjacent Countries and Shires, which ly open, and are subject to the Incursions, Depredations, and the barbarous cruelty and oppression of Thieves, Sorners and Broken-men, when the High-lands are in disorder; and upon the consideration aforesaid, We, and Our Royal Ancestors, have been most careful to preserve, and secure the Quiet and Peace of the said High-lands and Isles, and in order thereto, from time to time, with Advice of the Estates of Parliament, and of their Privy Council, have made and emited divers go [...] Laws, Statutes, Acts of Parliament, and Council. Proclamations and Orders, yet standing in full [...] nevertheless the Inhabitants and Broken-men, within the High-lands and Isles, being inured and ac [...] ­comed to liberty and licentiousness, upon occasion of the late Troubles, and by reason, that during the same, the saids Laws have not been observed, and put in execution, do still presume to Sorn, Steal, and Oppress, and to commit other Insolen [...]ies and Disorders; and especially within the Shires of Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, Inverness, Cromarty, Nairn, Elgin, Bamff, Aberdeen, Kincardine, Forfar, Pearth, Stri­veling, Dumbartoun, Argile and Tarbot, and other adjacent Shires, to the high contempt of Our Autho­rity, and to the great hu [...], prejudice and discouragement of Our good and peaceable People and Sub­jects: Therefore We being careful to provide for the Good, Estate, Security, Peace and Quietness of Our said good Subjects: As also, to repress such offenders, in due course of Law; and putting singular Trust and Confidence in the care and circumspection of the Persons after-mentioned, for the Punish­ment and Prevention of any of the Offences aforesaid, already committed, or to be committed here­after; Do therefore grant full Power, Authority and Commission, express bidding and Charge to Our Officers of State, for the time being; as also, to the Persons afternamed, viz. Sinclar of Dumbeath, Sinclar of May, Robert Gordon younger of Gordonstoun; Sir George Monro, Robert Gray of Skibo, Captain William Mccay. Ross of Belnagoun, Sir Alexander Mckenzie of Coul, [...] Mckenzie of Red-castle, Sir Rodorick Mckenzie of Findon. Hugh Frazer younger of Belladrum, James Frazer of Auchnagaig, [...] Mcintosh of that Ilk, Lodovick Grant of that Ilk, Mcdonald of Glengarie, Sir Ewing Cameron of Lochyell,

Baillie to the Marquess of Huntly, Hector Mcclane of Torloysk, Alexander Chisholme Sheriff Deput of Inverness, William Mcintosh of Borlum, [...]Mcintosh of Killnesp [...]k, Sir Robert Innes of Kinerminie, Alexander Innes of Cockstoun, Alexander Cuming of Logy, [...]Tulloch of Tanachie, Ross of Kil­ravock Sir George Gordon of Edinglassie, Patrick Grant of Elshies, Alexander Duff younger of Braco, James Anderson younger of Westertown, Iohn Gordon of Knokespek Francis Gairden of Midstrath, [...]Farquharson of Finzean, Robert Ross of Auchlossan, Andrew Fraser of Kin [...]undy, Iohn Gordon of Braichlie, Sir Iohn Forbes of Craigivar, James Gordon younger of Lesmore, Adam Gordon of Glenbuket, Alexander Bonnerman of Elsi [...]k, Sir Alexander Falconer of Glenfarquhar, Alexander Carnegy Sheriff Depute of For­far, Sir David Ogiley of Clova, [...]Ogilvie of Pitmuir, [...]Carnegy of Balnamoon, [...]Lindsay of Edgel, James Ramsay of Bamff, Iohn Drummond Sheriff Deput of Monteith, Liutennent General William Drummond of Cromlix, Sir [...] Stewart of Gairntullie, Sir Iohn Sterling of Keir, Sir James Cambel of Lawers, Sir Patrick Murray of Auchtertyre, Sir Iohn Drummond of Machanie, Iohn Drummond Stewart Deput of Strathern, James Graham of Orchyel, Mungo Halden of Glenegies, Patrick Steuart of Ballechen,

Menz [...]es younger of Weem, Alexander Robertson of Strowan, Andrew Spalding of Ashintillie, Colquhoun of Luss Iohn Graham of Killane, Iohn Graham of Dougalstoun, Iohn Buchannan of Arapryor,

Buchannan of Drumakil, [...]Mckean of Kinsheal, [...]Mcnaughton of that Ilk, [...] Steuart and Tutor of Appine, [...]Mcallaster of Tarbot. Conjunctly and severally, to persue, follow, take, appre­hend, imprison, and present to Iustice, all Persons within the said Shires, guilty, or suspected to be guil­ty of Thift, resset of Thift, Robberies, Depredations, Sorning, exacting of Black-meal. Communing with Intercommuned Persons, Harbouring and Ressetting of Out.laws and Fugitives, hounding out or ratihabiting Thieves, Robbers, Murderers, Sorners, or others, guilty of the foresaid Crimes; and in case the saids Persons cannot be apprehended, and presented to Iustice, We do give Warrand to Our saids Commissioners, or any one, or two of them, to issue forth Precepts, direct to Sheriff-Officers, Stewart, or Bailzie-Officers, Mayors, or Constables, to Charge them to compear before the saids Commissioners, or any three of them, at the next Iustice-court, to be holden by them, in manner aftermentioned; and where there are not already, a sufficient number of Sheriffs, and other Officers, with Power to the said Commissioners, to appoint Officials in all High-land Parishes; which Officials, are to have the same Powers, given to Constables by the Act of Parliament, in the year 1661. and who are to give an account on all occasions, to the next adjacent Commissioners, and to cite Persons before them, as Precepts shall be directed to them by the saids Commissioners: as also, with Power to Our saids Commissioners, [Page 3]or any one, or two of them, to cause cite before them, all Persons within the saids bounds, malae famae, and suspected of Theft. or of corresponding with Thieves, that they may be tryed by an Assyze, and be either purged by an Assyze, or Imprisoned, until they find sufficient Caution; And do declare, that a Citation to be used at the Paroch Kirk, and Mercat Cross of the Head burgh of the Shire, where they have most frequently haunted, against the saids Thieves, their Ressetters, and others guilty of the Crimes aforesaid: to compear before Our saids Commissioners, who have no dwelling-houses, shall be as suffi­cient as if they were personally Charged, in regard of the uncertainty of their Residence, and difficulty of access to them; and where they have places of Residence, they are to be cited personally, or at their Dwelling-houses, and Marcet Cross of the Head Burgh of the Shire where they dwell, with Power to Our saids Commissioners, or any three of them, which is declared to be a quorum, to affix and hold Iustice Courts, at such times and places as they shall think most fit, and expedient to Create Fiscals, Serjeants, Dempsters, and all other Members of Court needful, except Clerks, who are to be appointed by the Justice-Clerk, wherein if he failzie, Our saids Commissioners, or their quorum, are impowred to choise their own Clerks; with power to Our saids Commissioners, or their quorum, to cite Witnesses, to call persons to pass upon Inquests, out of any six Paroches adjacent to the place where they hold their Court; absent Witnesses and Assizers, to Unlaw, and amerciat the Unlaws and Amercim [...]s, to uplift and execute, to be applyed by Our saids Commissioners, for defraying some part of the Expenses and Fees of the Commissioners and Members of Court, and in the saids Courts, to call the persons, either cited and not imprisoned, or imprisoned as guilty, or suspected to be guilty of the foresaids Crimes, or any of them; And to declare such as are absent, Fugitives from Our Laws, and to issue forth their Pre­cepts, for Denouncing them Our Rebels, and putting them to Our Horn; and ordaining all their Move­a [...]oods to be Escheat, and in-brought to Our use, for their contempt and disobedience; and such as [...] compear, or be brought before them as Prisoners, to put them to tryal, and the knowledge of an [...]ssizs, and according as they shall be found Innocent or Guilty, that they cause Iustice be done upon the [...] conform to the Laws and Acts of Parliament of Our said Realm, providing alwayes, that when any Landed-man is cited, or brought before Our saids Commissioners, as guilty, or suspected to be guil­ty of the said Crime of Theft or resset of Theft, if he compear and be put to the knowledge of an Inquest, Our saids Commissioners, before pronouncing of Sentence, shall be obliedged to report the State of the Process to Our Privy Council, that they may give such Direction therein as they shall think fit; but if they compear not and be declared Fugitives, that their Moveables shall be intermetted with, and Escheated as other Fugitives. And do hereby give Power and Commission to Our Commissioners, in the respec­tive Shires aforesaid, to intromet with, receive and uplift the Escheat Goods of such as shall be declared Fugitives, in the said respective Shires; the two parts whereof are to be applyed for defraying the Ex­penses of Our Commissioners and Members of Court, in the Execution of Our said Commission, and a third part thereof to be payed to Us; With Power to them to nominat and appoint Collectors, for up­lifting of the same, for whom Our saids Commissioners shall be answerable, that they shall make count, reckoning, and payment of Our said third part. And do ordain Our saids Commissioners, living within the Shires of Caithness and Sutherland: Item, these living within Ross, Inverness, Cromartie, Nairne, and Elgin; Those within Bamff, Aberdeen, Kincardine and Forfar; And those living within Pearth Strive­ling, Dumbartoun and Argile, to meet at least twice in the year, viz. once upon the second Tuesday of October, and once upon the first Tuesday of Iune yearly: and that the place of meeting of Our Commis­sioners of the said Shire of Sutherland and Caithness, these two dayes be at Lochnaver: The place for Ross, Inverness, Nairne, Elgine and Cromarty, at the head of Lochness; The place for the Commissioners of Bamff Aberdeen, Kincardine, and Forfar, at Kincardin of Neil; The place for the Commissioners of Pearth, Striveling, Dumbartoun and Argile, to be at the Kirk of Balquhidder: At which places, and times, Our saids Commissioners shall be obliedged to stay and keep together, at the least for the pace of two dayes, for doing of Iustice; without prejudice to these Commissioners, to meet oftener, or any three of them, to meet at any other time and place they shall think meet for holding of Courts: Or for the Commissio­ners of any Shire, to meet with the Commissioners of any other Shire, as they shall think expedient: And with Power to Our saids Commissioners, or any one, or more of them, incase of Convocations, or open Depredations, to call and require Our Leidges to their Assistance, and give Warrant to pursue any Fu­gitives, to any place within the said Shires, for apprehending them, and presenting them to Iustice: As also, to require all Sheriffs, Stewarts, Bailzies of Royalties, Regalities, and Barronies, to be aiding and assist­ing to them therein, as they shall be required by Our saids Commissioners, or any one or more of them, for apprehending Fugitives, and rescuing and recovering Goods, taken by Herships and Depredations, wherein they are not to fail, as they will be answereable upon their Duties and Offices: And the saids She­riffs, and other Iudges Ordinary, are ordained, not only to give Concurrence and Aid to Our saids Com­missioners, as they shall be required; but to afford them Prison Houses in Burghs, and Court-Houses for keeping their Meetings, And upon all occasions, the saids Sheriffs and Magistrats of Burghs-Royal, are hereby ordained to receive any Prisoners sent to them by Our saids Commissioners, or any one, or more of them, with a Mittimus under their hand, for that effect, and to keep and detain them into sure Prison, untill they be brought to a Legal Tryal, or dismissed by Order of any three of the Commissioners, in Writ. And the Commissioners of the several Shires, shall be obliedged to give their concurrence, when they shall be required, by any one of the Commissioners, against any Person who is Condemned, or declared Fugitive by any Quorum of their number And if they shall happen to flie, out of all the foresaid Shires; They are to acquaint the Iudges Ordinary of the Shire, to which they flie, who are hereby Ordained to apprehend, or pursue them out of their Iurisdiction. And to the effect, such Transgressors may be not [...]iously known, The Commissioners who declare any Fugitive, shall make intimation of their Names, a [...] Designations, [Page 4]to the Sheriffs of the next adjacent Shires of the Place, where such a Court is holden, and the Sheriffs are to cause Intimate the same at the Paroch Churches within their Respective Iurisdictions, That no Person presum to Resser, Supply, or Harbour them. And do hereby appoint, That the Clerks of the Respective Courts, shall give accounts to the Clerks of Our Privy Council, what Persons are Condemned, what Fines are imposed, what Persons are declared Fugitives, what Escheats are fallen, and the Value thereof: And that twise in the Year, viz. Once in the Moneth of August, and once in the Moneth of December, That Our Privy Council may know the Condition of these Shires, and what diligence Our saids Commissioners use, in the Prosecution of Our said Commission, upon stealling of any mans Goods, and Addresses made by the Par [...]i [...] Injured, or any in their Name, to Our saids Commissioners, or any one of them, for assis­tance, to Discover, or Recover the Goods; Each Commissioner, to whom the Addresse shall be made; shall be obleidged to give his Assistance within twenty mylnes of the Commissioners House. And all He­ritors are required to obey Our saids Commissioners, in giving such Assistance. And for making distinc­tion betwixt Peaceable and Honest Men, and Thieves and Broken Persons; No Person living within any part of the High-lands, of the said Shires, are to bring any Cowes, or Horses to any Mercats, without a Testificate in Writ, from a Landed Man, bearing the Number, and Designation of the Beasts, the name, and place of residence of the Merchand, and arresting, that they are leilie come, under the pain of Seasure, and Confiscation thereof, as stollen Goods, And if such Testificats shall be granted, and that afterward it shall be found, that any of the saids Beasts have been stollen; the Landed Man Attester shall be lyable, as if he were guilty: In so far as may be extended, to Restitution and Damnage, of what the Law pro­vides, without any favour. And Masters, and Magistrats, who have power of Mercats, and Clerks thereof, are discharged to permit any Beasts, to be sold, or bought, at any Mercats, till the Seller deliver in to them his said Testificate, with Certification, That the Magistrate, Master, or Clerk of the Mercat shall be lyable for any Beasts, so sold, and whereof the Clerk keeps not the Certificats aforesaid, as if they were Art and Part of the Thieft themselves. And it is hereby declared, That it shall not be lawful for any Person in the High-lands, to travel with Fire-armes, the distance of Seven Miles from the ordinary place of their residence, without a Pass under the hand of some Landed Man, bearing the Name of the Person, the Place of his Residence, and the Place to which he is to Travel, and the occasion thereof, which is to bear a particular Date, and is to continue only for that Iourney, with power to Our saids Commissioners, or any one of them, or any having their warrand, to Seiz upon, Apprehend, and Impri­son all such Persons wanting Passes, as aforesaid: as Thieves, Sorners, and Vagabonds, till they find Caution, for their good behaviour, and Answer to any accusation, that can be brought against them. It is likewise, hereby declared, That this Our Commission, is, and shall be nowayes prejudicial to the Right, and Iurisdiction of Sheriffs, Stewarts, and Baillies of Regalities, who, notwithstanding thereof, may pro­ceed against Persons guilty of Thift, Reset of Thift, and of other Crymes aforesaid, in the same way, and manner as they were in use to do formerly, conform to the Laws, if they be first Attatchers, and shall pre­vent Our saids Commissioners in diligence. And this Our Commission is to continue, and endure ay, and untill We shall think fit to recall it, by a Writ under Our great, or Privy Seals.

And to the effect the said Commission may be made publick, and known to the saids Commissioners, and all other Persons concerned, We, with advice of Our Privy Council, have thought fit, That these Our Letters of Publication, should be past and Published in manner underwritten. And in regard, the said Principal Commission under Out great Seal cannot be conveniently produced, in the Respective Places, and Meetings of the Commissioners; We have thought fit, That the Principal Commission shall remain in the hands, custody and keeping of Our Chancellour: And hereby Ordain, and Appoint, That a Printed Copy thereof, Signed under the hand of the Clerk of Council, and under the Council Signet, shall be as sufficient a warrand for the saids Commissioners to meet, as if the Principal Commission under the great Seal were produced at their meetings, to all Intents and Purposes. And it is hereby specially provided, That conform to the late Act of Parliament, the saids Commissioners, and their Clerks, and other Mem­bers of Court, shall at their first meetings, at the least, before they Act in that capacity, take and sign the Test, the Extracts whereof, the Clerks in the Respective Courts, are to send in to the Clerks of Our Coun­cil with all convenient diligence, at the least, within the space of fourty days after taking thereof. OUR WILL IS HEREFORE, and We charge you strickly, and Command, That in continent these Our Letters seen, ye pass to the Mercat Cross of Edinburgh, Mercat Crosses of the Heed Burghs of the Shires of Caithness, Sutherland, Inverness, Cromarty, Nairn, Elgine, Bamff, Aberdeen, Kineardine; Forfar, Perth, Dumbartoun, Striviling, Argyl, Tarbet, and other places needful: And there in Our Name and Authority, be open Proclamation, make Publication hereof, That Our saids Commissioners may proceed. and Act, conform to the Tenor of Our said Commission. And that all Iudges, and Magistrats concerned, may give their Concurrance, and Assistance to them, as they are thereby Ordained: And that all other Our Leiges, and Subjects may have notice thereof, and give due obedience thereto, As also, That ye cause Read these presents at the several Paroch Kirkes within the Respective Shires foresaids, upon Sabbath Days after Divine Worship, that the same may be more publickly known. And Ordains these presents to be Printed, The which to do, We commit to you conjunctly and severaly, Our full Power, by these Our Let­ters, delivering them, by you duly execute, and indorsed again to the bearer.

Per Actum Dominorum Secreti Concilij. WILL. PATERSON, Cls. Sti. Concily.

GOD save the KING.

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