3 December 2003
JAMES VI and I, King of Scotland (1567-1625) and of England (1603-1625). Letter signed (as King of Scotland, 'James R') to an unidentified official, Falkland, 19 July 1591, a commission for George, Earl of Huntly to proceed against George Crawford, signed at the foot, the text written in a secretary hand, one page, double folio (392 x 280 mm), countersigned, red wax impression of the royal signet seal within a roped border, contemporary docket ('This l[ett]re to Registrar Robert Honny') and endorsement.
Huntly is to proceed against George Crawford and others, who are declared rebels on the charge of 'striking and Dinging [beating]' the messenger of David McGill, the King's 'familiar clerke' and councillor, and 'co[m]pelling of him in mertherous (?) and barbarus maner to eit and swallowe' royal letters addressed against George Crawford 'to the grit hesard & perrell of his lyff'. They are accused of other criminal activities, including taking a castle and holding it against the King, and committing crimes with 'deboschit vagabunds rebellis fugitives & outlawis', and Huntly is given full powers to besiege the castle and pursue and take the rebels, and guaranteed against any possible prosecutions for whatever action he takes.
The Earl of Huntly had been recently imprisoned in Borthwick Castle for purporting to have a royal commission to raise forces which he then used to rebel against the King. A year later he was to murder the Earl of Moray.
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