Manuscripta juridica

[Principal Investigator: G. R. Dolezalek]

ZZ Edition, (1609 first) Scotland, Tractatus 'Regiam maiestatem' (in Scots), 1609

Cover: not analysed</p> <p> Watermark: [{i}partly different in the two copies which I saw:{/i}] jug with letters P L and beneath G, on collar a lying half moon, on the lid six elongated skittles, between the two middle skittles a rod holding a lying half moon (Boyndlie copy fol. 1, 2, and second series of numbering fol. 10, 11, 129, partly also in David Daube's copy, e.g. second numbering pag. 128 [good]); jug, similar to the above mentioned jug, but with different letters, difficult to discern (in other places in David Daube's copy).</p> <p> [{i}Title page:{/i}] Sir John Skene of Curriehill, Regiam maiestatem. Auld Lawes and Constitutions of Scotland, faithfullie collected furth of the Register, and other auld authentik bukes, fra the dayes of King Malcolme the second, untill the time of King James the first, of gude memorie: and trewlie corrected in sindrie faults, and errours, committed be ignorant writers. And translated out of Latine in Scottish language, to the use and knawledge of all the subjects within this Realme, with ane large table of all the contents thereof, be Sir John Skene of Curriehill, Clerk of our Soveraigne Lordis Register, Counsell, and Rollis. Quhereunto are adjoined twa treatises, the ane anent the order of proces observed before the Lords of Counsell and Session, the other of Crimes, and Judges in criminall causes. At Edinburgh, printed by Thomas Finlason, Anno Domini 1609 [{i}copy at Aberdeen, UL, among the books of David Daube, former Professor of Jurisprudence at this University 1951-1955, deceased in 1999, obviously presented to him 1951/4/30 by Prof. Thomas B. Smith (Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Aberdeen at the time), with a humorous letter of dedication in occasion of Daube's appointment to the Chair: 'To Hansel, the Chair'. The volume bears an 18th c. owner's mark of Richard Powell senior, barrister of Inner Temple. The University of Aberdeen owns yet another copy, without title page: shelfmark Boyndlie 17. 86. That latter volume belonged to a certain James Ogilvie in 1705{/i}].</p> <p> [One unnumbered leaf, recto] Dedication to King James VI, shortened to fit on one page.</p> <p> Serenissimo et invictissimo principi et monarchae, Jacobo sexto Dei gratia Magnae Britanniae ... regi ... has suorum majorum, Scotorum regum leges, seu regias constitutiones, ex latino in patrium sermonem fideliter conversas, cum indice copioso, auctas cum duobus tractatibus, altero de forma processus judiciarii coram Dominis Concilii in supremo Senatu, altero de criminibus et judicibus criminalibus ... Johannes Skene consecravit deditque.</p> <p> [Verso of same leaf:] Copyright privilege.</p> <p> The wording and layout are copied from the Latin edition.</p> <p> [Four more unnumbered leaves] Letter to the reader - in Scots.</p> <p> Different from the one of the Latin edition. In this letter, Skene blames the Popes for having caused all the old Scottish legislation up to King James I to be written in Latin, lest the common men be able to read them, the Popes thus aiming at keeping the Scottish people in ignorance. King James VI 'commanded the auld Lawes of this his kingdom to be sighted, corrected, and collected in ane buke and volume; quhilkis either be ignorance or negligence of former ages and some oversight of this our age wald have bene suppressed, to the great hurt of the estate, quhilk can not stand, nor endure without gude Lawes; quhilks at his command, and be his special priviledge, are imprinted and published. Mairover, his Majestie ... commanded me (promoved be his Majestie to the office of the Clerk of Register, Councell and Rolles) to translate and convert the samine auld Lawes forth of Latin in English, that the samine may be knawin to all his subjects ... Quhilk I have done diligentlie and faithfullie ..., not followand the words, bot the sentence, as it becomes ane trew and faithfull interpretour to doe.</p> <p> It is statute and ordeined, that six wise men, and discreit, quha best knawes the lawes, sall be chosen, to see and examine the bukes of the law: that is to say, Regiam maiestatem, Quoniam Attachiamenta: Iac. 1 parl. 3 c. 54. The like commission is given be Iac. 3 parl. 14 c. 115 to advise, command, and refer againe to the next Parliament anent the reduction of the Kings Lawes, Regiam maiestatem, Actes statutes, and uther bukes, to be put in ane volume.</p> <p> Likewise ane commission is given to certein noblemen and counsallors be Queene Marie, the first day of Maii 1566 zeares, to vesie, sight, and correct the Lawes of this Realme, beginnand at the Bukes of the Law, called Regiam maiestatem, and Quoniam Attachiamenta. The like commissions are repeted, and granted be Our Soveraine Lord, in his Parliament 5. and Parliament 12 ...'.</p> <p> [{i}There follows a long list of parliamentary statutes which had referred to provisions of Regiam maiestatem, of Quoniam Attachiamenta, Leges Burgorum, Iter Camerarii, and legislation of the old kings - in order to prove that Parliament had acknowledged these texts as having force of law.{/i}].</p> <p> Albeit some of them are abrogat be posteriour lawes, or be desuetude, are obscured, and nevertheles, being profitable and politick, may be reduced in use and practick ... I have travelled meikill, ane lang time; bot how profitable, I can not declare. I am the first that ever travelled in this mater ...'.</p> <p> [{i}There follow verses of eulogy which do not correspond to those in the Latin edition:{/i}].</p> <p> John Russell, advocate 'Magna tibi Skenae ...'.</p> <p> 'Lux legum regumque ...'.</p> <p> James Car. junior, In Zoilum. 'Verba vomat Momus naso crispante canina'.</p> <p> Table of contents.</p> <p> [{i}Corresponds to the Latin counterpart, but at the end two treatises are attached:{/i}].</p> <p> Ane treatise anent the order of proces observed before the Lords of Counsell and Session.</p> <p> Ane treatise of all crimes, and of judges in criminall causes: with ane short table concerning the samine

Literature quoting this MS: Dolezalek, Scotland under Jus Commune, vols. 1 and 3