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Proclamation by King James VI, 1603

This proclamation was issued by King James to make provision for his journey to England. James spent a month travelling south so that formal mourning for Queen Elizabeth would be over before he reached London for his coronation. Many people turned out to see him during his progress.

The printed proclamation contains the King's instructions to the senior officials in charge of the places which he would pass through. They were to make arrangements for the local supply of horses, carriages and food for his entourage and to ensure that no forms of protest or opposition took place.

Print an image of the proclamation and the transcript, Rich Text Format, 1.9MB, new window.

Link to a timeline for the reign of King James VI and I.

Printed proclamation by King James VI setting out his instructions to those in charge of the places through which he would pass. National Records of Scotland reference RH14/3.


By the King

Forasmuch as it hath pleased the almighty God (who is the onely disposer of Crownes, and directer of mens hearts unto the way of right and understanding.) To call us peaceablie unto the possession and gouernement of those kingdomes, whereunto by lineall discent & approbation of our late dearest sister Queene Elizabeth, we have a most iust & undoubted title. We doe in all humilitie acknowledge this inestimable benefite to be the handie-worke of the diuine maiesty, which hauing for many yeares maintained these our Realmes in a properous estate, hath at this present also giuen an apparant demonstration of the continuance of his most gracious fauour.

We therefore, whose principall office is to prouyde for the welfare of the people committed unto our charge, wholly intending carefully to preserue them, as the body whereof we are the only and lawfull head, doe signify and denounce unto al our true harted subiects, that their fidelity and timely demonstration of their loyall affections are accepted of us, as an earnest of their future obedience, which by God's assistance we will requyte with the maintenance of true Religion, & upright administration of iustice.

For a taste of the which our unchangeable resolution, and to the intent that during our progresse unto our noble citty of London the inhabitants of the countries throw which we are to passe, be not molested, burdened nor interest by any of our traine, of what condition soeuer: we have of our loue and Princely fore-sight deputed Sir Hary Cocke Cofferer to our late dearest sister, and Sir Andrew Melvill one of the Maisters of our house, Officiars of our houshold: Unto whome we haue giuen strait charge and commandement, under the paine of our Royall indignation, to giue access, ready care, and redresse unto the complaints of the meanest person offended. Forbidding and defending unto all persons, to use any manner of indiscreete and unciuill behauiour, either in word or deed, which may turne to the breach of the peace, as they tender our fauour, or may incurre the extreamest penalty of the Lawes ordayned in that behalfe.

Moreouer, our will and pleasure is, that to auoyde the excessiue charges & troubles whereunto our louing subiects may be put, by meeting and entertayning us with an extraordinary nomber of attendants, that the Lieutennants, Deputy Lieutennants, Shireffs, and principall Gentlemen of euery country where we are to passe, doe giue their attendance upon us from our first entrance into the shyres wherein they are commissioners, to guarde us so long as we shall haue occasion to remaine therein. Requyring them to haue an speciall regarde unto the choise, both of the nomber and quality of their associats and seruants, that they be not apt by their misgouernment, or in conueening of the great multitude, in any sort to be grieuous to the countrie. To which purpose our pleasure also is, that in this peaceable coniunction, none come, or be suffered to come, apparrelled in war-like order with usuall armes of Harquebusses, Pistolets, Pieces, priuy coates, or such like, under the paine and perrill depending thereupon.

Lykewise, for the better ease and prouision of such as shall attend us in this our iourney, We haue thought necessary & by these presents doe requyre and licence our loyall subiects in all places and good townes where we shall be lodged, dayly to keepe open Mercats, in such forme as are accustomed to be held in places priuiledged for that purpose. And we requyre all Maiors, Bayliffes, and other Officers of Townes where we shall appoint our residence, to be circumspect in prouyding sufficiently for the receauing of our ordinary traine.

We doe also forewarne and command all Post-maisters, Constables, and others to whome it shall appertaine by vertue of our Commission, To prouyde Post-horses, horses for carriage or other necessary uses, to prepare, & haue a competent nomber of horses in readinesse: to the end that no impediment or disorder happen by suddaine and unexpected occasions.

Lastly, We will and command all Lieutennants, Deputy Lieutennants, Shireffes, Iustices, Maiors, Bayliffes, Constables, Headboroughes, and all other Officers and ministers whatsoeuer, that with a watchfull eye they regarde the quality of all Passingers & others which by any undutifull speeches, acts, or unlawful assemblies shall seeme worthelie to be suspected to be theeues, uagabonds, spyes, or seditious persons, who may practise or attempt any thing against our person or estate. For the more convenient effecting whereof, we command that good watches be kept by substantiall and honest men in al our Townes within our kingdome of England. By which their dutifull circumspection, they shall faithfully discharge the trust we repose in them, and we shall haue a fresh occasion ministred to write their good offices in the table of our hart, which shall neuer be razed out. Giuen at our Palace of Haly-rude-house the fourth of Apryle, and of our raigne of England, France, and Ireland, the first yeare: and of Scotland the 36 yeare.

God saue the King

Printed at Edingburgh by Robert Walde-graue, Printer to the Kings most

excellent Maiestie 1603

(National Records of Scotland reference: RH14/3)




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