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Timeline of Scottish History

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Articles of the Treaty of Brigham

The principal articles of this treaty of Brigham are of much importance, as illustrating the justice and the inveteracy of that long war, which afterwards desolated the kingdoms. It was agreed by the English plenipotentiaries, that the rights, laws, liberties, and customs of Scotland were to be inviolably observed in all time coming, throughout the whole kingdom and its marches, saving always the rights which the King of England, or any other person, has possessed, before the date of this treaty, in the marches or elsewhere; or which may accrue to him in all time coming. It was stipulated also, that failing Margaret and Edward, or either of them, without issue, the kingdom should belong to the nearest heirs, to whom it ought of right to return, wholly, freely, absolutely, and without any subjection; so that nothing shall either be added to, or taken from, the rights of the King of England, of his heirs, or of any other person whatever.

The queen, if she should survive her husband, was to be given up to the Scottish nation, free from all matrimonial engagement; and, on the marriage, to be secured in a jointure befitting her rank. The kingdom of Scotland was for ever to remain separate and undivided from England, free in itself, and without subjection, according to its ancient boundaries and marches. With regard to the ecclesiastical privileges of the country, it was provided that the chapters of churches, which possessed the right of free election, were not to be compelled to travel forth of Scotland for leave to elect, or for the presentation of the bishop or dignitary, or for the performance of fealty to the sovereign. No crown-vassal, widow, orphan, or ward of the crown, was to be under the necessity of performing their homage or relief out of the kingdom, but a person was to be appointed in Scotland to receive the same, by the authority of the queen and her husband. From this clause was reserved the homage which ought to be performed in the presence of the king, and fealty having been once sworn, sasine, or legal possession of the land, was immediately to be given by a brief from Chancery.

It was anxiously and wisely provided, that no native of Scotland was, in any case whatever, to be compelled to answer out of the kingdom regarding any civil covenant or criminal delinquency which had taken place in Scotland, as such compulsion was contrary to the ancient laws and usages of the realm; and that no parliament was to be held without the boundaries of the kingdom, as to any matters affecting the condition of its subjects. Until the arrival of the queen, the great seal of Scotland was to be used in all matters relating to God, the church, and the nation, as it had been used during the life and after the death of the late king; and on the queen's arrival in her dominions, a new seal, with the ancient arms of Scotland alone, and the single name of the queen engraven thereon, was to be made, and kept by the chancellor; it being also provided, that the chancellors, justiciars, chamberlains, clerks of the rolls, and other officers of the realm, were to be natives of Scotland, and resident there.

All charters, grants, relics, and other muniments, touching the royal dignity of the kingdom of Scotland, were to be deposited in a safe place within that kingdom, and to be kept in sure custody under the seals of the nobility, and subject to their inspection until the queen should arrive, and have living issue; and before this event took place, no alienation, encumbrance, or obligation, was to be created in any matters touching the royal dignity of the kingdom of Scotland; and no tallage, aids, levies of men, or extraordinary exactions to be demanded from Scotland, or imposed upon its inhabitants, except for the common affairs of the realm, or in the cases where the kings of Scotland have been wont to demand the same. It was proposed by the Scots that the castles and fortresses should not be fortified anew upon the marches; but the English commissioners, pleading the defect of their instructions, cautiously waved the discussion of this point.

To all the articles in the treaty, the guardians and community of Scotland gave their full consent, under the condition that they should be ratified within a certain time. If not so confirmed, they were to be esteemed void; but Edward was too well satisfied with the terms of the negotiation to postpone this condition, and accordingly, without delay, pronounced the oath which was required. His next was one of those bold and unwarrantable steps, which frequently marked the conduct of this ambitious and able monarch. He pretended that, without the presence of an English governor, he could not fulfil the terms of his oath to maintain the laws of Scotland; and although no such authority was given him by the treaty, he appointed Anthony Beck bishop of Durham, to the office of Governor of Scotland, in the name of Margaret the queen, and his son Edward, and for the purpose of acting in concert with the regents, prelates, and nobles, in the administration of that kingdom, according to its ancient laws and usages.

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