An independent and contemporary view of the proceedings in the Scottish Parliament at the  establishment of the Reformation

Letter from Thomas Randolph, English envoy to Scotland, to Sir William Cecil, principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I, dated 19 August 1560. Cited in Works of Knox, vol. vi, p 116.

YOUR Honour shall presently receave  the coppie also of  their Confession of their Faith, written in such haste’ that I am ashamed to present yt unto you, as I may be also of al my other wrytinge, which I am  forced with such haste to dispache out of my hands, that I have no leasure to consider what I wryte, as touchinge such things as ar concluded here in Parlyment, and fullie resolved upon hitherto. I never harde matters of so great importance, nether soner dispatched, nor with better will agreed unto. The matters concluded and past by common consent upon Saturday last in such solemne sort, at the firste daye that thei assembled, are these: Firste, That the Barons, accordinge to ane old Acte of Farliment, made in James’s tyme the firste, the yeare of God 1427, shall have free voice in Parliment. This Acte passed without anie contradictioun, as well of the Bishopes Papysts, as all other present. The nexte was the ratification of the Confession of their Fayth, in the which the Bishope of St. Andrews, in maynie words saide this in effecte, That was a matter he had not byne accustomed with; he had had no sufficient tyme to examin yt, or to confer with his friends; howbeit as he yet will not utterly condemn it, so was he lothe to give his consent thereunto. To that effect also spoke the Bishops of Dunkell and Dumblane. Of the temporall Lords the Earle of Cassiles and the Earle of Caithnes said, Noe. The rest of the Lords, with common consent, and as glad a will as ever I heard men speake, allowed the same.

Dyvers with protestation of their Consciens and Faythe, desyred rather presently to end their lyves than ever to thinke contrarie unto that that allowed ther. Maynie also offereit to shede ther blude in defence of the same. The olde Lord of Lyndsay, in grave and goodiy a man as ever I sawe, sayd, I have lived manie yeres; I am the oldeste in thys coinpanye of my sorte; now that yt hath pleased God to lett me see this daye, wher no manie nobles and other have allowed so worthie a work, I will say with Simion, Nunc dimittis. The olde Larde of Lundie confessed howe longe he had lived in blindnes, repented his former lyf, and imbrased the same as his trewe beleive. My Lord James, after some other purpose, saide, that he muste the sonner beleeve yt to be trewe, for yit some other in the com­pagnie did not allowe the same, he knew that Goddes truthe wolde never be without his adversaries. The Lord Marshall saide, tlioughe he were otherwyse assured that yt was trewe, yit might he be the bolder to pronounce yt, for that he sawe ther present the pillars of  the Pope’s Church. and not one of them speake agaynst yt. Maynie other to lyke effect; as the Laird of Erskine, Laird of Newbottle, the Sub-Prior of St Andrews concludinge all in one that that was the Faythe wherin thei ought to lyve and die.

I wyll for the present most humblie take my leave. Wrytten at Edenbourge, the xix of August 1560, rather in the morning.

Your Honor’s to serve,

                                Tho. Randolph.

To the ryght honorable  Sir William Cecill, knyght, &c. 

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