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Source 2: Grant of lands by King James IV under his Privy Seal, 1489
As king of Scots, James IV headed a feudal system by which he had power to reward his subjects with gifts of land or punish them by taking it away. On succeeding to the throne, James IV revoked all his father's recent land grants and transactions.
In this letter, dated 6 March 1489 and written in Scots, he uses his power to confirm the re-granting of the lands of Tulliallan (in modern Fife) to John Blackadder. John's mother, Elizabeth Edmonston, had formerly possessed the lands and, in order to pass them to her son, she had 'resigned' them to the king.
The sixteen year old king personally signed 'James R' in the bottom left-hand corner of the letter. The 'R' stands for the Latin word Rex meaning King. It is also sealed with the Privy Seal, which is decorated with the Scottish Royal Arms with two lion supporters.
Detail of the seal
James IV used the same design on his privy seal as that used by his father, James III but he added two small saltires to the design. In the centre there is a shield bearing the Royal arms, with an open crown with nine points sitting above it and rocks and foliage beneath it. The two supporters on either side of the shield are lions. The inscription or ‘legend’ reads Sigillum Secretum Jacobi dei Gratia Regis Scotorvm which means the Private Seal of James by the grace of God king of Scotland. The first saltire [a simple St Andrew’s cross] sits on the flank of the ‘dexter’ or right-hand lion and the second is just visible to the right of the same lion between an ‘annulet’ [a small ring] and a ‘mascle’ [a diamond or lozenge- shaped symbol].
(National Records of Scotland reference: RH6/544)