3 December 2003
JAMES VI and I, King of Scotland (1567-1625) and of England (1603-1625). Letter signed ('James R', at the head) including 27 words in autograph, to the Earl Marischal of Scotland (William Keith), Hampton, 3 October 1604, one page, folio, integral address leaf (inscribed 'in all possible haste'), contemporary endorsement, traces of seal (tear where opened).
A refusal to accept the Earl Marischal's excuses for absence from the impending discussion about a union of England and Scotland ('so deere and so important').
'... for as the matter to be entreated toucheth us in hono[u]r by setling the peace and p[er]petuall tranquility of this whole Ilande, so it toucheth yow and every particulare subject but yow almost more than any other ... Therfor wee will admitte no pretense of excuse ... Soo looking assuredlie ... ye will addresse yo[u]r selfe hether in as quiet and sober maner as yee thinke good (seeing yee will have so many peeres of yo[u]r own frendship who will keepe company with you)'.
This firm order is reinforced by James's autograph note in the margin, 'I can not you admitte any excuse of youre absence quhaire ye are to serve youre King & youre cuntrey in so godly & honorable an earande'.
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