A Proclamation (James VII)
By the King.
AMES the seventh by the grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the faith, &c. To all and sundry our good subjects, whom these presents do or may concern; Greeting: We having taken into our Royal consideration the many and great inconveniences which have happened to that Our ancient Kingdom of Scotland of late years, through the different perswasions in the Christian religion, and the great Heats and Animosities amongst the several Professors thereof, to the ruine and decay of Trade, wasting of Lands, extinguishing of Charity, contempt of the Royal Power, and converting of true Religion and the fear of God, into Animosities, Names, Factions, and somtimes into Sacriledge and Treason. And being resolved as much as in Us lyes, to Unite the Hearts and Affections of our Subjects to God in Religion, to Us in Loyalty and to their Neighbours in Christian Love and Charity, Have therefore thought fit to Grant, and by our Soveraign Authority, Prerogative Royal and absolute power, which all our Subjects are to obey without Reserve, Do hereby give and Grant Our Royal Tolleration to the several Professors of the Christian Religion afternamed, with and under the several Conditions, Restrictions and Limitations after-mentioned. In the first place, we allow and Tollerate the moderate Presbyterians, to Meet in their private Houses, and there to hear all such Ministers, as either have or are willing to accept of Our Indulgence Allanerly, and none other, and that there be not any thing said or done contrary to the well and peace of Our Reign, Seditious or Treasonable, under the highest Pains these Crimes will Import; nor are they to presume to build Meeting-Houses, or to Use Out-Houses or Barns, but only to Exercise in their privat Houses, as said is: In the mean time it is our Royal will and pleasure that Field-Conventicles and such as Preach or exercise at them, or whoshall any ways Assist or Connive at them, shall be prosecuted according to the utmost severity of Our Laws made against them, seeing from these Rendezvouzes of Religion, so much Disorder hath proceeded, and so much disturbance to the Government; and for which after this our Royal Indulgence for tender Consciences there is no Excuse left. In like manner, We do hereby Tollerate Quakers, to meet and exercise in their Form, in any Place or Places appointed for their Worship. And considering the severe and cruel Laws made against Roman-Catholicks (therein called Papists) in the Minority of Our Royal Grand-Father of Glorious Memory, without his Consent, and contrary to the duty of good Subjects, by his Regents and other Enemies to their Lawful Soveraign, our Royal Great Grand-Mother Queen Mary, of Blessed and Pious Memory, wherein under the pretence of Religion they Cloathed the worst of Treasons, Factions, and Usurpations, and made these Laws, not as against the Enemies of God, but their own; which Laws have still been continued of Course, without design of Executing them, or any of them, ad terrorem only, on Supposition that the Papists relying on an External Power, were incapable of Duty and true Allegiance to their natural Soveraigns, and Rightful Monarchy: We of Our certain Knowledge, and long Experience, knowing that the Catholicks, as it is their principle to be good Christians, so it is to be dutiful subjects, and that they have likewise on all Occasions shown themselves good and faithful Subjects to Us, and Our Royal Predecessors, by hazarding, and many of them actually losing their Lives and Fortunes in their Defence (though of another Raligion) and the maintenance of their Authority against the Violences and Treasons of the most violent Abetrors of these Laws, Do therefore with Advice and Consent of our Privy Council, by our Soveraign Authority, Prerogative Royal, and Absolute Power aforesaid, Suspend, Stop, and Disable all Laws and Acts of Parliament, Customs or Constitutions made or Executed against any of our Roman Catholick Subjects, in any time past to all intents and purposes, making void all prohibitions therein mentioned, Pains or Penalties therein Ordained to be Inflicted, so that they shall in all things be as free in all respects as any of our Protestant Subjects whatsoever, not only to exercise their Religion, but to enjoy all Offices, Benefices, and others, which We shall think fit to bestow upon them in all time coming: Nevertheless it is Our Will and Pleasure, and We do hereby Command all Catholicks at their highest Pains, only to exercise their Religious Worship in Houses or Chapels; and that they presume not to Preach in the open Fields, or to Invade the Protestant Churches by force, under the pains aforesaid, to be inflicted upon the Offenders respectively, nor shall they presume to make publick Processions in the High-Streets of any of Our Royal Burghs, under the Pains above-mentioned: And whereas the Obedience and Service of Our good Subjects is due to Us by their Allegiance, and Our Soveraignty and that no Law, Custom, or Constitution, Difference in Religion, or other impediment whatsoever can exempt or discharge the Subjects from their Native Obligations and Duty to the Crown, or hinder Us from protecting and employing them, according to their several Capacities, and Our Royal Pleasure, nor restrain us from confering Heretable Rights, and Priviledges upon them, or Vacuate or Annul these Rights Heretable, when they are made or conferred: And likewise considering that some Oaths are capable of being Wrested by Men of Sinistruous Intentions, a practice in that Kingdom fatal to Religion, as it was to Loyalty; Do therefore, with Advice and Consent aforesaid, Cass, Annul and Discharge all Oaths whatsoever, by which any of Our Subjects are incapacitated or disabled from holding Places, or Offices in Our said Kingdom, or enjoying their Hereditary Rights and Priviledges, Discharging the same to be taken or given in any time coming, without Our special Warrand and Consent, under the pains due to the Contempt of Our Royal Commands and Authority; and to this effect, we do by Our Royal Authority aforesaid, Stop, Disable, and Dispence with all Laws enjoyning the saids Oaths, Tests, or any of them, particularly the first Act of the first Session of the first Parliament of King Charles the Second; the eleventh Act of the foresaid Session of the foresaid Parliament; the sixth Act of the third Parliament of the said King Charles, the twenty first and twenty fifth Acts of that Parliament; and the thirteenth Act of the first Session of Our late Parliament, in so far allanerly as concerns the taking of Oaths or Tests therein prescribed, and all others, as well not mentioned as mentioned, and that in place of them, all Our good Subjects, or such of them as We or Our Privy Council shall require so to do, shall take and Swear the following Oath allanerly, I, A. B. Do acknowledge, Testifie and Declare, that JAMES the Seventh by the Grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. is rightful King, and Supream Governour of these Realms, and over all persons therein, and that it is unlawful for Subjects, on any pretence, or for any cause whatsoever to rise in Arms against Him, or any Commissionated by him; and that I shall never so rise in Arms, nor Assist any who shall do so; and that I shall never resist his Power or Authority, nor ever Oppose His Authority, to His Person, as I shall answer to God, but shall to the utmost of my , Assist, Defend, and Maintain Him, his Heirs and Lawful Successours, in the Exercise of their absolute Power and Authority, against all Deadly, So help me God. And seeing many of Our good Subjects have, before Our Pleasure in these matters was made publick, incurred the Guilt appointed by the Acts of Parliament above-mentioned, or others; we by Our Authority and Absolute Power, and Prerogative Royal above-mentioned of our certain Knowledge, and innate Mercy, Give Our ample and full Indemnity to all those of the Roman-Catholick or Popish Religion, for all things by them done contrary to Our Laws or Acts of Parliament, made in any time past relating to their Religion, the Worship and Exercise thereof, or for being Papists, Jesuits, or Traffickers, for hearing or saying of Mass, Concealing of Priests or Jesuits, or breeding their Children Catholicks at home or abroad, or any other thing, Rite or Doctrine, said, performed or maintained by them, or any of them: And likwise for holding or taking of Places, Employments, or Offices, controry to any Law or Constitution, Advices given to Us or our Council, Actions done, or generally any thing performed or said against the known Laws of that Our Ancient Kingdom; Excepting always from this Our Royal Indemnity all Murders Assassinations Thefts and such like other Crimes, which never used to be comprehended in Our general Acts of Indemnity. And We command and require all Our Judges, or others concerned, to explain this in the most ample sense and meaning Acts of Indemnity at any time have contained: Declaring this shall be as good to every one , as if they had our Royal Pardon and Remission under Our Great Seal of that Kingdom. And likwise Indemnifying Our Protestant Subjects from all Pains and Penalties due for hearing or Preaching in Houses, provided there be no Treasonable Speeches uttered in the said Conventicles by them, in which Case the Law is only to take place against the Guilty, and none other present: Providing also that they Reveal to any of our Council the Guilt so Committed, As also excepting all Fines or effects of Sentences already given; and likwise indemnifying fully and freely all Quakers for their Meetings and Worships in all time past, preceding the publication of these Presents; and we doubt not but Our Protestant Subjects will give their Assistance and Concourse hereunto on all occasions, in their respective Capacities: In consideration whereof, and the Ease those of Our Religion and others may have hereby, and for the Encouragement of our Protestant Bishops, and the Regular Clergy, and such as have hitherto lived Orderly, We think fit to declare, that it never was our Principles, nor will we ever suffer Violence to be offered to any Mans Conscience, nor will we use Force or invinsible necessity against any Man on the account of his Perswasion, nor the Protestant Religion, but will protect Our Bishops and other Ministers in their Functions, Rights, and Properties, and all Our Protestant Subjects in the free exercise of their Protestant Religion in the Churches; and that we will and hereby promise on Our Royal Word, to maintain the Possessors of Church-Lands formerly belonging to Abbeys, or other Churches of the Catholick Religion, in their full and free possession and Right, according to our Laws and Acts of Parliament in that behalf in all time coming; and We will employ indifferently all our Subjects, of all Perswasions so as none shall meet with any Discouragement on the account of his Religion, but be advanced and esteemed by Us, acording to their several Capacities, and Qualifications, so long as we find Charity and Unity maintained; and if any Animosities shall Arise, as We hope in God there will not, We will show the severest Effects of Our Royal Displeasure against the Beginners or Fomenters thereof, Seeing thereby Our Subjects may be deprived of this general Ease and Satisfaction, We intend to all of them, whose Happine ss, Prospirity, Wealth and Safety, is so much Our Royal Care, that We will leave nothing undone which may procure these Blessings for them. And Lastly to the end all our good Subjects may have notice of this Our Royal Will and Pleasure, we do hereby command Our Lyon King at Arms and his Brethren Heraulds, Macers, Pursevants and Messengers at Arms, to make timeous Proclamation thereof at the Mercat Cross of Edinburgh; and besides the Printing and Publishing of this Our Royal Proclamation, it is Our express will and Pleasure that the same be past under the Great Seal of that Our Kingdom per saltum, without pasing any other Seal or Register: In order whereunto this shall be to the Directors of Our Chancellary and their Deputes for Writing the same, and to Our Chancellor, for causing Our Great Seal aforesaid to be Appended thereunto, a sufficient Warrand,
Given at our court at White-hall, the Twelfth of February 1686. And of Our Reign the Third Year.
By His Majesties Command, MELFORT.
GOD save the KING.
Edinburgh, Printed by the Heir of Andrew Anderson, Printer to His most Sacred Majesty, Anno Dom. 1687.
This may be Reprinted February the 28th. R. L. S. By George Croom, at the Blue Ball in Thames-street, near Baynard's-Castle. 1686.