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The Old Scots Navy from 1689 to 1710
The Lord High Admiral and the High Court of Admiralty of Scotland: Commissions from 1689 - 1707


INTRODUCTION

 

On his succession at the Revolution King William treated the office of Lord High Admiral of Scotland as vacant. War was in progress with France, and as the Admiralty Courts had to exercise jurisdiction he pro­ceeded on the royal prerogative. A blank warrant for a gift of the office of Judge Admiral was issued by him on 7th December, 1689 ; and on 15th December, 1690, he appointed Mr. William Dundas, advocate, to the office of Judge Admiral. The Admiralty was in course filled up by the appointment on 3rd March, 1692, of the Duke of Hamilton as Lord High Admiral. That nobleman held the office until his death on 19th April, 1694. During this period the executive naval functions of the Admiralty and the Lord High Admiral were more or less nominal, these functions being exercised by the Scots Privy Council. Soon after the Duke of Hamilton's death the office was put into commission ; and there was now a real attempt made to put into the hands of the new Commission extensive executive powers of a purely naval character. Some of these powers have incidentally been referred to in chapter iv;  and the warrant for a new commission issued on 7th January, 1697, is instructive as showing that real executive powers in the manage­ment of the navy of Scotland, which had previously been exercised by the Privy Council of Scotland, were con­ferred on that Commission. These powers comprehended the provision of convoys for merchant shipping and of cruisers to guard the coasts. The issue of commissions to men-of-war and their officers, of letters of marque to privateers, the latter subject to the approval of the Privy Council, also fell within the scope of the Admiralty Commission. The royal prerogative and right to appoint the Judge Admiral was also transferred to the new Commission. The Commissioners on 14th August, 1695, appointed Mr. Archibald Sinclair, advocate, Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, an appointment afterwards confirmed and continued by the king. On his demission he was succeeded on 1st August, 1699, by Mr. Robert Forbes of Learnie, advocate, an appointment confirmed by the king on 30th November that same year.

 

When Queen Anne succeeded, the war of the Spanish Succession was beginning, and the policy of having the Admiralty in commission was for a time continued. On 17th July, 1703, a blank warrant reconstituting the commission was issued. At the same time a royal warrant for a commission to Hugh Cunninghame to be principal clerk to the High Court of Admiralty in succes­sion to the deceased John[John Cunninghame of Enterkine.] was issued, on the narrative that the right of Admiralty and of appointing judges, clerks and other officers belongs only to the Queen and that the title thereof was only honorary in the person of any other. The Duke of Richmond's claim to the office of Lord High Admiral was now emerging, and seems by 5th February, 1705, to have been conceded. It is certain that on 21st October, 1702, six days after the death of Frances Duchess of Lennox, Charles Duke of Lennox and Richmond issued a commission in favour of Daniel Hamilton to be principal clerk of the High Court of Admiralty, and on 17th February, 1704, issued commissions to Sir Robert Forbes and Mr. James Graham, advocates, to be judges of the same court. These commissions were confirmed and ratified by the queen on 5th February, 1705. It appears from a MS. memorial about the rights of naming the admiral clerk, dated 1717 and preserved in H.M. Register House, Edinburgh, that Queen Anne purchased the office from the Duke of Richmond and thereafter confirmed the judges' and clerk's commissions from the duke by commissions under the Great Seal. At the same time the reform of an Admiralty Commission was given up, and on 23rd February, 1705, James Marquis of Montrose was appointed Lord High Admiral of Scotland at a salary of £1000 sterling per annum. He was succeeded on 7th March, 1706, by David Earl of Wemyss, who received a salary of £600 sterling; but there were excepted from his jurisdiction Orkney and Zetland, which were gifted on 12th August, 1706, to James Earl of Morton as Admiral and Judge of Admiralty, while the claims of the Duke of Argyll to certain jurisdiction were also reserved. During Queen Anne's reign the most outstanding event in the history of the Scots High Court of Admiralty was the trial and condemnation by that court, in the spring of 1705, of Captain Green of the English ship Worcester and some of his crew on a charge of piracy and murder, resulting in his execution with two others.

In May, 1707, with the Union of the Parliaments, we have already seen that the office of Lord High Admiral of Scotland, so far as it exercised executive naval authority, was absorbed in that of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain, held by Prince George of Denmark. In terms of section 19 of the Treaty of Union the Court of Admiralty in Scotland was continued with the same powers and jurisdiction, and subject to the old review of its judg­ments, until Parliament should make such regulations and alterations as were expedient for the whole kingdom. The court accordingly continued to exercise its ancient jurisdiction until 1828 and 1830, when the statutes 9 Geo. IV. c. 29, and 1 William IV. c. 69, abolished it. The jurisdiction of the High Court of Justiciary was then extended to all crimes and offences competent to the superseded Court of Admiralty;  and the  old civil jurisdiction of the Admiralty Court was transferred to the Court of Session, actions under a certain value being authorised in the first instance to be raised in the Sheriff Courts, which had also criminal jurisdiction conferred on them within their respective areas.

 

CHAPTER VII

 

Warrant for a gift of the Office of Judge of the High Court of Admiralty in Scotland in favour of . . .

State Papers (Scotland) Warrant Books, Vol. XIV.

 

WILLIAM R.—Our Sovereign Lord and Lady ordain a commission to be past, and expeded under their Majesties' Great Seal of their ancient kingdom of Scotland in due form nominating making and constituting, likeas their Majesties by these presents nominate make and constitute to be Judge of their Majesties' High Court of Admiralty of their said kingdom and isles thereof, including the Isles of Orkney and Zetland, giving and granting unto him the said office with all fees, casualties, profits, emoluments and duties thereunto belonging to be enjoyed by him during their Majesties' pleasure only ; with power unto him to hold courts, to pronounce and give forth decreets and sentences conform to the laws of the said kingdom, and privilege and practice of the said High Court of Admiralty in all actions and causes competent to be decided therein, and generally all and sundry other things belonging and competent to the said office to do, use and exerce[Exercise.] sicklike and as fully and freely in all respects as any other Judge of the said High Court of Admiralty has, or have formerly done by the laws and practique of the said kingdom; and ordain this commission to continue and endure during their Majesties' pleasures only, and to be past and expede under the Great Seal of the said kingdom per saltum without passing any other register or seal, for which these presents shall be to the directors of their Majesties' Chancellary, and their deputes for expeding thereof, and the Lord High Chancellor, or Lords Commissioners appointed for keeping the Great Seal for the time being and to the appender for causing the same to be appended thereunto a sufficient warrant. Given at the Court at Kensington the 7th day of December 1689 and of their Majesties' reign the first year.

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    25th June, 1691.

Mr. William Dundas made Judge Admiral.

Mr. William Dundas of Kincavell, [In Linlithgowshire. The third laird who was out in the Fifteen purchased Blair in Perthshire, and this branch of the Dundas family is now designated of Blair.] advocate, having presented to the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council a gift in his favour passed under their Majesties' Great Seal nominating and appoint­ing him to be Judge of the High Court of Admiralty within this kingdom and isles thereof, including the Isles of Orkney and Zetland, dated the fifteenth of December, 1690, and the same being this day read in presence of the said Lords and the said Mr. William, who was at hand attending to receive the Council's pleasure and commands, being called in did in presence of the said Lords swear and sign the oath of allegiance, and alsosigned the assurance to their Majesties King William and Queen Mary appointed by Act of Parliament, and the Earl of Crafurd, president of the Council for the time, having administered to the said Mr. William Dundas the oath de fideli, he was admitted to the said office, and the Earl delivered to him his Majesty's commission foresaid in his favour.

 Follows the tenor of the said Mr. William's gift:

 

Gullielmus et Maria Dei gratia Magnse Britanniae, Franciae et Hybernise Rex et Regina, fideique defensores, omnibus hominibus, ad quos presentes literae nostrge pervenerint, salutem. Noveritis nos nominasse, fecisse et constituisse, tenoreque presentium nominare, facere et consti-tuere dilectum nostrum Magistrum Gullielmum Dundas de Kincavell, Advocatum, Judicem supremae nostras Curias Admiralitatis intra hoc antiquum regnum Scotiae et Insulas ejusdem, includentes Insulas Orcadum et Zetlandise, ac damus et concedimus illi praedictum officium, cum omnibus feodis, casualitatibus, proficuis et emolumentis quibuscunque eo attamen ab ipso potiundum durante nostro duntaxat beneplacito, cum plena eidem potestate curias tenendi, sententias et decreta secundum leges dicti nostri regni ac privilegium et praxin dictae nostrae supremae Admiralitatis Curiae pronunciandi ac proferendi-in omnibus actionibus et causis ibidem ei judicari competentibus, et generatim omnia et singula alia ad dictum ofncium spectantia et competentia faciendi, utendi et exercendi similiter adeoque libere et plenarie in omni respectu ac quivis alius Judex dictae nostrae supremae Admiralitatis Curiae per leges et praxin dicti nostri regni fecit aut quovis tempore preterito facere potuerit ; atque hanc nostram commissionem durare et continuare volumus durante nostro duntaxat beneplacito. In cujus rei testimonium presentibus magnum sigillum nostrum appendi mandavimus, apud Aulam nostram de Kensingtoune, decimo quinto die Decembris anno Domini millesimo sex-centesimo et nonagesimo regnique nostri anno secundo. Per signaturam manu S.D.N. Regis suprascriptam.   William, Rex.

Written upon the back as follows :—Written to the Great Seal and registered the twenty-fifth day of June 1691, Sic subscribitur, Dunc. Ronald, Dept. Sealed at Edinburgh the twenty-fifth day of June, 1691, Sic subscribitur, Alexr. Inglis.

 

State Papers (Scotland) Warrant Book, Vol. XV, p. 118, No. 154.

Warrant for a Gift of the office of Lord High Admiral of Scotland to William Duke of Hamilton.

 

William R.—Our Sovereign Lord and Lady considering that the office of High Admiral of their ancient kingdom of Scotland and of all the isles thereof, including and comprehending the Isles of Orkney and Zetland, is in their Majesties' hands and at their royal gift and disposal, and their Majesties taking into their consideration the great courage and conduct together with the eminent loyalty and other qualifications requisite for such a trust and office of their right trusty and entirely beloved cousin and councillor William Duke of Hamilton president of their Majesties' Council, and also considering the frequent proofs and testimonies of his true zeal and affection to their Majesties' service and interest :   Therefore and for several other important causes and considerations their Majesties ordain a letter of gift to be made and past under the Great Seal of their said ancient kingdom nominating, making, constituting and ordaining, likeas their Majesties by these presents nominate make constitute and ordain their said right trusty and entirely beloved cousin and councillor William Duke of Hamilton (during their Majesties' pleasures only) High Admiral of the said kingdom of Scotland and isles thereof, comprehending and including the Isles of Orkney and Zetland and all other isles belonging to the said kingdom, giving granting and dis-poning, likeas their Majesties by these presents give grant and dispone unto the said William Duke of Hamilton during the space foresaid the said office of High Admiral with all honours, dignities, jurisdictions, liberties, privileges and immunities, fees, casualties, profits and duties whatsoever belonging or which are or may be known to belong into the same, with power to the said William Duke of Hamilton, during the space foresaid, to possess and enjoy the said office with all honours, dignities, jurisdictions, liberties, privileges, profits and casualties whatsoever be­longing thereunto, in the same manner and as fully and freely in all respects as any of his pre­decessors in that office did, or might have done according to the laws of that kingdom; and ordain the said letter to be further extended in the most ample and best form with all clauses needful, and to pass the Great Seal per saltum, without passing any other seal or register : For doing whereof these presents shall be to the directors of their Majesties' Chancellary and their deputes for writing the same, and to the Lord High Chancellor for causing the Great Seal to be appended thereunto a sufficient warrant. Given at the Court at Kensington the 3rd day of March 1691-2 and their Majesties' reign the 3rd year. . . .

JO. DALRYMPLE.

 

Ibidem, Vol. XVI.

Warrant for a ratification and new gift of the office of Judge of the High Court of Admiralty in Scotland in favour of Mr. Archbald Sinclair.

 

William R.—Our Sovereign Lord considering that the Commissioners appointed by his Majesty for executing the office of Lord High Admiral of his ancient kingdom of Scotland have nominated and constituted Mr. Archbald Sinclair, advocate, to be Judge of the High Court of Admiralty of his said kingdom by their commission granted to him dated the fourteenth day of August ninety and five years, and his Majesty being well in­formed and assured of the ability, fidelity, care­fulness and loyalty of the said Mr. Archbald Sinclair, and of his knowledge in maritime affairs and fitness for exercing the said office ; therefore his Majesty ordains a letter of gift to be past under Privy Seal of his said kingdom not only ratifying approving and confirming, likeas his Majesty by these presents ratifies approves and confirms the foresaid commission granted to the said Mr. Archbald Sinclair in the haill[Scots term meaning whole.] heads articles and clauses thereof, but also for the early and constant proofs the said Mr. Archbald has given of his loyalty and affection to his Majesty's person and government, and the other good services done and performed by him to his Majesty, his Majesty of his certain knowledge and proper motive of new again nominates constitutes and appoints the said Mr. Archbald Sinclair, during his Majesty's pleasure only, to be Judge of the said High Court of Admiralty within the foresaid kingdom of Scotland and isles thereof, including the Isles of Orkney and Zetland ; and his Majestv gives and grants to him the foresaid office with all fees, casualties, profits and emoluments whatso­ever thereto belonging, with full power to the said Mr. Archbald Sinclair to set, affix, hold and continue Admiral Courts, administer and do justice therein in all actions and causes civil and criminal compe­tent to be intended and pursued before him as Judge foresaid, conform to the laws and practique of the kingdom, and the privilege of the said High Court of Admiralty, acts to make, decreets and sentences to pronounce, and the same to due execution cause be put; and generally all and sundry other things pertaining and belonging to the said office to do use and exerce sicklike and as freely in every respect as any other Judge of the said High Court of Admiralty by the laws and practique of this kingdom did or might have done at any time heretofore : And moreover our said Sovereign Lord- considering that the said High Court of Admiralty is by Act of Parliament in the year 1681 declared a sovereign court, and that the Estates of the last session of this current Parliament have recommended to his Majesty to appoint such a competent salary forth of the first and readiest of the imposition laid upon the tunnage of ships by an act of the former session of the said Parliament, as his Majesty in his royal wisdom should think fit, therefore and for the said Mr. Archbald Sinclair his further encour­agement his Majesty has given granted and appointed, and hereby gives grants and appoints the sum of one hundred pounds sterling money to be paid to the said Mr. Archbald Sinclair yearly as a salary for exercing the said office, and that out of the first and readiest of the abovementioned imposition laid upon the tunnage of ships during his Majesty's pleasure and the foresaid imposition, and his Majesty doth hereby ordain the general receivers or any others already or hereafter to be appointed for uplifting the foresaid imposition to make payment to the said Mr. Archbald Sin­clair of the foresaid salary yearly, beginning the first year's payment of the same at the term of Whitsunday next for the year immediately preceeding, and so forth yearly in time coming at the said term and during his Majesty's pleasure and the foresaid imposition, for doing whereof this shall be to all concerned a sufficient warrant. And lastly his Majesty ordains this present gift and commission to be recorded in the books of the said High Court of Admiralty. Given at his Majesty's Court at Kensington the 18th day of November 1696 and of his Majesty's reign the 8th year.

May it please your Majesty, &c.

These contain your Majesty's warrant for a gift to be past under your Privy Seal of Scotland, &c.

JA. OGILVIE.

 

Ibidem.

Warrant for a new Commission to the persons within named, to be Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.

William R.—Our Sovereign Lord considering how much the interest advancement and security of trade within his Majesty's ancient kingdom of Scotland doth now in these times of war depend upon the right and careful administration of the office of Admiralty within that kingdom; whereby not only the carrying on of trade, in the many difficulties that do now attend it, may be better seen to, but its security and the safety of merchant ships much better provided for,  by the setting out and well ordering of convoys and ships for guarding the coasts,  and   that  the   said office be   intrusted   to   persons   of   known   sufficiency and ability for discharging the same ;   and his Majesty, being  fully  satisfied  that  the  persons afternamed are every way qualified and fitted for  the  foresaid  trust,   does therefore  ordain  a commission to be past under the Great Seal of the foresaid kingdom nominating and appointing, likeas his Majesty hereby nominates and appoints his right trusty and right well beloved councillors Patrick Lord Polwarth Lord High Chancellor of his said kingdom, his right trusty and well beloved cousin and councillor George Earl of Melvill Lord President of his Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, his right trusty and well beloved coun­cillors John Lord Beilhaven, Sir James Steuart his Majesty's Advocate, Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, Sir   Archibald   Hope   of   Ranqueillor,   Sir   John Hamilton of Halcraig, Sir Francis Scot of Thirle-staine, and George Clerk late baillie of Edinburgh, whereof five are to be a quorum (of which the said Patrick   Lord   Polwarth   Lord   High   Chancellor is  always  to  be  one), to  be  Commissioners  of Admiralty in place of Lord High Admiral of the said kingdom of Scotland and isles thereof, com­prehending  and   including   therein   the   Isles  of Orkney and Zetland and all other isles belonging to the said kingdom, with full power and authority to the said Commissioners or their quorum foresaid to exerce all jurisdictions powers or privileges whatsoever belonging or known to belong to the said office of High Admiral, and that as fully and freely in all respects as any High Admiral of Scotland did or might have done at any time pre-ceeding according to the laws of the said kingdom ; and particularly, without prejudice of the generality foresaid, to issue out commissions for ships of war, and to their captains and commanders, and to privateers, as also to direct and give letters of mart when allowed by his Majesty or the Lords of his Privy Council, as likewise to give warrants for convoy ships, and all orders necessary to ships of war and other vessels necessary for cruising upon and securing the coasts and firths, rivers, and other seas and waters of the said kingdom; with full power and liberty to them and their quorum foresaid to apply the whole profits of the said Admiralty, as well those which formerly pertained to the High Admiral as these which pertain to his Majesty, towards the expenses of the outreiking of the said ships of war and con­voys, and for payment of the salaries, fees and wages of those employed by the said Commissioners in the said service, the said Commissioners being always accomptable[Accountable.] for the remainder of the said haill profits to his Majesty's Treasury, to be employed by them for building or buying of frigates or men-of-war to be set forth for the defence of the said kingdom in time of war, and to be hired out to merchants for the use of trade in the time of peace, as likewise with power to the said Commissioners or their quorum foresaid to nominate and appoint Judges of the Admiralty accomptable to them, and to grant deputations for that effect, either in general or for particular coasts, firths and islands as they shall see cause ; and  generally  without  prejudice   of  the  whole premises[ In Scots law this term means the subject matter generally of the deed or document.] to do all and sundry other things, which by the custom of this or other kingdoms are known to belong to the office of High Admiral or to Commissioners   of   Admiralty, consisting   always with the laws of the said kingdom; and lastly his  Majesty does hereby revoke all commissions either of High Admiral or of Admiralty granted by him to any person  or persons preceding the date hereof, and willing and declaring that these presents  are  to  continue   during  his   Majesty's pleasure and no longer ;  and ordains the foresaid commission to be extended in   the most ample form with all  clauses needful, and to pass the Great Seal aforesaid per saltum without passing any other seal or register,  in  order whereunto these presents shall be to the  directors of his Majesty's Chancellary for writing the same and to  the  Lord  High  Chancellor  for  causing  the Seal to be appended thereto a sufficient warrant.

Given at his Majesty's Court at Kensington the 7th day of January 1696-7 and of his Majesty's reign the 8th year—

May it please your Majesty &c.

JA. OGILVIE.

 

Ibidem.

The King's Letter to the Lords Commissioners of Admiralty for continuing Mr. Archbald Sin­clair in the office of Judge of the Admiralty in Scotland.

 

William R.—Right trusty and well beloved councillor   &c,  we greet you well.    We,  being willing to prevent any mistake that may arise from our commission to you, have thought fit to signify to you that it was not our intention thereby to prejudge Mr. Archbald Sinclair advocat of the office of Judge of the Admiralty within that our kingdom lately granted and confirmed to him by us ; but that it is our pleasure he should continue to exerce and enjoy the same as freely in all respects as he would have done before our commission to you. And so we bid you heartily farewell. Given at our Court at Kensington the 21st day of January 1696-7 and of our reign the 8th year.    By his Majesty's command.

JA. OGILVIE.

 

Ibidem, Vol. XVII, No. 234.

Warrant for a letter of ratification of the office of Judge Admiral in Scotland to Mr. Robert Forbes, Advocate.

 

William R.—Our Sovereign Lord considering that the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty of his Majesty's ancient kingdom of Scotland and isles thereof, including the Isles of Orkney and Zetland have, upon the dimission of Sir Archbald Sinclair late Judge of the Admiralty of the said kingdom, nominated and constituted his Highness' lovite Master Robert Forbes of Learnie advocate to be Judge of his Majesty's High Court of Admiralty of his said kingdom, by their commission to him thereanent dated the first day of August one thousand six hundred ninety-nine years ; and his Majesty being well informed and assured of the fidelity, abilities, carefulness and loyalty of the said Mr.  Robert Forbes, and of his knowledge of maritime affairs and fitness for exercing the said office, ordains a gift and commission to be made and past under his Majesty's Privy Seal in due and competent form not only ratifying approving and confirming, likeas   his   Majesty   by   these   presents   ratifies, approves and confirms the foresaid  commission granted to the said Mr. Robert Forbes in the haill heads articles and clauses thereof; but also for the early and constant proofs the said Mr. Robert Forbes has given of his loyalty and affection to his Majesty's person and government and the other good services done and performed by him, his Majesty   of  his   certain   knowledge   and  proper motive of new again nominates constitutes and appoints the said Mr. Robert Forbes, during his Majesty's pleasure only, to be Judge of the said High   Court   of   Admiralty   within   his   foresaid kingdom of Scotland and isles thereof including the Isles of Orkney and Zetland ; and his Majesty gives and grants to him the foresaid office [&c. as in the commission to Mr. Archbald Sinclair].

Given at his Majesty's Court at Kensington the 30th day of November 1699, and °f his Majesty's reign the eleventh year.

SEAFIELD.

 

Ibidem, Vol. XIX.

Warrant for a new Commission of Admiralty.

 

ANNE R.—Our Sovereign Lady considering how much the interest, advancement and security of the trade of her Majesty's ancient kingdom of Scotland doth in these times of war depend upon the right and diligent administration of the office of Admiralty on the said kingdom, whence not only trade in the many difficulties that attend it, but also the security thereof and the safety of merchant ships will by fitting out and ordaining convoys and ships for defending the coast be the better provided for, and that the said office and trust be committed to those who are sufficiently qualified for exercing thereof; and we being abundantly satisfied that the persons afternamed are fit and qualified for the said office, wherefore her Majesty of her royal prerogative has nominat and constitut, and by these presents nominates and constitutes Commissioners of the Admiralty in place of Lord High Admiral of her Majesty's said ancient kingdom of Scotland and isles of the same, com­prehending the Isles of Orkney and Zetland, and all other pertaining and belonging to the said kingdom, with full power to the saids Commis­sioners or their quorum foresaid to exerce all jurisdictions, powers and privileges whatsoever belonging or which are known to belong to the said office of High Admiral, and that as fully and freely in every respect as any other High Admiral of Scotland did or might have done any time here­tofore according to the laws of the said kingdom, and specially but[Without.] prejudice of the generality fore-said to grant commissions for ships of war and their captains and commanders as also to priva­teers, and to direct and grant letters of mart, when they are approven by her Majesty or the Lords of her Majesty's Privy Council, and to grant warrants for convoy ships and all orders necessary to the ships of war and cruisers for defending and securing the coasts and creeks and all other seas and rivers of this kingdom, with full power and liberty to them and their lawful quorum foresaid, to apply all the emoluments of the said Admiralty, as well those which formerly pertained to the High Admiral as these which pertained to her Majesty for defraying the expenses of the said ships of war and convoys, and for payment of these salaries and fees of those to whom the foresaid service is committed by the saids Commissioners, and the saids Commissioners are only to be comptable for the remainder of the saids emoluments to her Majesty's Thesaury, to be by them applied for building or buying of frigates or ships of war to be set forth for defence of the kingdom in time of war, and let to merchants for the use of trade in time of peace, and sicklike and with power to the said Commissioners or their quorum foresaid to nominate and constitute Judges of the Admiralty, who shall be answerable to them and to grant deputations for that effect, either in general or for particular coasts, creeks and isles as they shall think   fit,  Hugh   Cuninghame   continuing   clerk as formerly; and generally without prejudice of the haill premises all and sundry other things to do, which by the constitution of this or other kingdoms is known to pertain to the office of High Admiral or  Commissioners  of  the   Admiralty,   consisting always with the laws of this kingdom, and these presents  derogating  from  all  others  pretending right to the said Admiralty and to continue during her Majesty's pleasure and to pass the Great Seal per saltum, for doing whereof these presents shall be a sufficient warrant.    Given at her Majesty's Court  at Windsor  Castle the 17th day of  July 1703 and of her Majesty's reign the second year.

DAVID NAIRNE.

 

 

Ibidem.

Warrant for a Commission to Hugh Cuninghame to be Principal Clerk to the Admiralty.

 

Anne   R.—Our   Sovereign  Lady  considering that his deceast Majesty King William of ever glorious memory by his commission of the .date at Kensington the nineteenth day of December one thousand six hundred and ninety-four years nominat, constitut and appointed Hugh  Cuning­hame, Writer to the Signet, to be principal clerk of   the   High   Court   of   Admiralty   within   her Majesty's ancient kingdom of Scotland, and her Majesty considering that the right of Admiralty and of appointing Judges, Clerks, and other officers belongs only to herself as queen, and that the title thereof was only honorary in the person of any other,   and  being  willing  to  continue  the  said Hugh Cuninghame in the foresaid office ;   there­fore our said Sovereign Lady ordains a commission to be past under her Majesty's Privy Seal in due form making, constituting and appointing, likeas her Majesty by these presents makes, constitutes and appoints the said Hugh Cuninghame during principal clerk of her Majesty's said High Court of Admiralty within the said kingdom of Scotland   and isles thereof,  giving,  granting and  disponing to him during the space  above written the foresaid office with the haill profits, duties,   privileges,   casualties    and    emoluments pertaining and belonging thereto ;   with  power to the said Hugh Cuninghame by himself or his deputes  (for whom he shall be answerable)  to brook, use and exerce the said office and to intromit with,   uplift,  receive   and   dispose   upon the haill profits, duties and casualties belonging thereto, and to do all other things necessary and requisite thereanent, sicklike and as freely in every respect as the deceast John Cuninghame of Enterkine or any other principal clerk of her Majesty's said High Court of Admiralty did or might have done at any time heretofore; and ordains all her Majesty's officers and ministers of state to concur with the said Hugh Cuninghame in maintenance of this her royal gift as only de­pending upon her Majesty and at her royal disposal, and to withstand any commission granted by any other person of the said office as illegal and usurped until their rights be declared by law. Given at her Majesty's Court at Windsor Castle the 17th day of July 1703, and of her Majesty's reign the second year.

DAVID NAIRNE.

 

State Papers (Scotland), Series 2, Vol. I, 1688-1706.

Edinburgh.    13th August, 1703.

 

Our Parliament sat this day and a motion was made that the act for security of the kingdom might be approved and past by the house as it then stood; but it met with opposition till there should be some more amendments made thereto; and a vote was stated whether approve as it now is or delay, and it was carried delay by one voice. They then considered the act of succession made anno 1681 and rescinded it. My Lord Commissioner in some motion made in the house about the Admiralty of Scotland was pleased to make a discourse relative to the subject, which did not relish with my Lord Blantyre, who claims the right of hereditary Admiral of Scotland, deriving his claim from the late Duke of Lennox, insomuch that  that noble lord   thought fit   to say that, if his Grace my Lord Commissioner's character could be separated from his person, he could say he lies ; whereupon his lordship was sent under a guard and confined in his lodgings, and will have his trial for his words as is believed.[See also  Hume  of Crossrig's  Diary, pp. 125-7, wno gives a somewhat different account,] The Duke of Argyll is indisposed.

State Papers (Scotland) Warrant Books, Vol. XX.

Warrant for a ratification of the office of Judge of the Admiralty Court to Sir Robert Forbes and Mr. James Grahame, Advocates.

 

ANNE R.—Our Sovereign Lady for certain weighty considerations ordains a charter to be made and expede under her Majesty's Great Seal of her ancient kingdom of Scotland ratifying approving and perpetually confirming, likeas her Majesty by these presents ratifies approves and for her and her successors perpetually confirms the gift and commission of the date at London the seven­teenth day of February one thousand seven hundred and 3-4 years made and granted by Charles Duke of Lennox and Richmond, then Lord High Admiral of the kingdom of Scotland and isles thereto belonging including the Isles of Orkney and Zetland, who thereby nominated constituted and appointed Sir Robert Forbes and Mr. James Grahame advocates during all the days of their conjunct lifetimes and the longest liver of them two to be Judges of the High Court of Admiralty within the said kingdom and isles thereof including as said is ; and gave and granted to them during the space foresaid the said office with all emoluments whatsoever thereto belonging, with full power to them to affix, hold, affirm and continue courts during the said space, and to do and administer justice therein in all actions and causes civil and criminal competent to be intended before them or either of them as Judges aforesaid conform to the laws and practique of the said kingdom and privilege of the said High Court of Admiralty, acts to make, decreets and sentences to pronounce, and the same to due execution cause be put, and in case of the necessary absence of one or either of them to appoint and substitute deputes for whom he or they shall be answer­able conform to the custom and practique of the said Admiralty; and generally all other things belonging to the said office during the space fore-said as fully and freely in all respects and condi­tions as any other Judge or Judges of the said High Court of Admiralty by the laws and practique of the said kingdom did or might have done at any time heretofore, as the said gift and com­mission bears in the haill heads articles and clauses of the said gift and commission and after the form and tenor thereof : And her Majesty for her and her royal successors statutes and ordains the said commission to be good and valid and sufficient right to the said Sir Robert Forbes and Mr. James Grahame for their brooking and enjoying their said office during their said lifetimes, and that this present confirmation thereof is and shall be as valid and sufficient to all intents and purposes as if the foresaid gift hereby confirmed were word by word insert herein, although the same be not so done; whereanent and with all defects and imperfections (if any be) of the said gift, and all that can be objected against the same or this ratification thereof, her Majesty for her and her royal successors has dispensed and hereby dispenses for ever, and promises in the word of princes to ratify these presents in the next or any other session of the current or any subsequent Parlia­ment of Scotland. And her Majesty ordains the said charter to be expede per saltum under the Great Seal without passing any other seal or register, granting hereby warrant to the direc­tor of the Chancellary and keeper of the Great Seal for so expeding the same. Given at her Majesty's Court at St. James's the 5th day of February 1704-5, and of her Majesty's reign the 3rd year.

SEAFIELD.

Ibidem.

Warrant for a ratification of the office of Clerk to the High Court of Admiralty to Dan1. Hamilton.

 

ANNE R.—Our Sovereign Lady for certain weighty considerations ordains a charter to be made and expede under her Majesty's Great Seal of her ancient kingdom of Scotland ratifieing, approving and perpetually confirming, likeas her Majesty by these presents ratines approves and for her and her successors perpetually confirms the gift and commissions of the date at London the twenty-first of October one thousand seven hundred and two years granted by Charles Duke of Lennox and Richmond, by which he nominated and appointed Master Daniel Hamilton writer in Edinburgh during all the days of his life to be principal clerk of the High Court of Admiralty within the said kingdom and isles thereto belong­ing, including the Isles of Orkney and Zetland, giving granting and disponing to him during the space foresaid the said office with all fees, profits, casualties, emoluments, privileges and immunities whatsoever belonging thereto, with power to him during the said space to exercise enjoy and possess the said office and uplift and receive the foresaid haill fees, emoluments, profits and casualties thereof and to apply the same to his own use and to constitute and appoint deputes and sub­stitutes one or more under him in the said office for whom he shall be answerable, and to remove alter and change them from time to time at his pleasure ; and generally to do use and exercise all other things concerning the said office, as fully and freely in all respects as any former clerk in the said office did or might have done [according] to the custom and practique of the said Court and laws of the said kingdom, as is more fully exprest in the said gift and commission in the haill heads articles and clauses of the said gift and commission and after the form and tenor thereof : And her Majesty for her and her royal successors statutes and ordains the said commission to be good, valid and sufficient right to the said Daniel Hamilton for his brooking and enjoying the said office during his said lifetime, and that this present confirma­tion thereof is and shall be as valid and sufficient to all intents and purposes as if the foresaid gift hereby confirmed were word by word insert herein although the same be not so done, where-anent and with all defects and imperfections (if any be) of the said gift, and all that can be objected against the same or this ratification thereof, her Majesty for her and her royal successors has dispensed and hereby dispenses for ever and promises in the word of a princess to ratify these presents in the next or any other session of the current or any subsequent Parlia­ment of Scotland ; and her Majesty ordains the said charter to be expede per saltum under the Great Seal without passing any other seal or register, granting hereby warrant to the director of the Chancellary and keeper of the Great Seal for so expeding the same. Given at her Majesty's Court at St. James's the 5th day of February 1704-5 and of her Majesty's reign the 3rd year.

SEAFIELD.

 

Ibidem.

Warrant for a gift of the office of Lord, High Admiral of Scotland to Ja. Marquis of Montrose.

 

ANNE R.—Our Sovereign Lady considering that the office of High Admiral of her ancient kingdom of Scotland and of all the isles thereof, including and comprehending the Isles of Orkney and Zetland, is in her Majesty's hands and at her royal gift and disposal, and her Majesty taking into her consideration the great courage and conduct together with the eminent loyalty and other qualifications requisite for such a trust and office of her right trusty and right well beloved cousin and councillor James Marquis of Mont­rose, therefore and for several other important causes and considerations her Majesty ordains a letter of gift to be made and past under the Great Seal of her said ancient kingdom nominat­ing making constituting and ordaining, likeas her Majesty by these presents nominates makes constitutes and ordains her said right trusty and right well beloved cousin and councillor James Marquis of Montrose (during her Majesty's pleasure only) High Admiral of the said kingdom of Scot­land and isles thereof, comprehending and in­cluding the Isles of Orkney and Zetland, and all other isles belonging to the said kingdom, giving granting and disponing, likeas her Majesty by these presents gives grants and dispones to the said James Marquis of Montrose during the space foresaid the said office of High Admiral with all honours, dignities, jurisdictions, liberties, privileges, immunities, fees, casualties, profits and duties whatsoever belonging or which are or may be known to belong unto the same, with power to the said James Marquis of Montrose during the space foresaid to possess and enjoy the said office with all honours, dignities, jurisdictions, liberties, privileges, profits and casualties what­soever belonging thereunto, in the same manner and as fully and freely in all respects as any of his predecessors in that office did, or might have done according to the laws of that kingdom ; and ordains the said letter to be further extended in the most ample and best form, with all clauses needful, and to pass the said Great Seal per sal­tum, without passing any other seal or register ; for doing whereof these presents shall be to the directors of her Majesty's Chancellary and their deputes for writing the same, and to the Lord High Chancellor for causing the Great Seal to be appended thereunto a sufficient warrant. Given at her Majesty's Court at St. James's the 23rd day of February 1704-5, and of her Majesty's reign the 3rd year.

ROXBURGHE.

 

Ibidem.

Docq' of ye Warrant for a Pension of 1000 lib. ster. to ye Marquis of Montrose as Lord High Admiral of Scotland.

 

May it please your Majesty.—-These contain your Majesty's warrant for a letter to be past under your Majesty's Privy Seal of Scotland giving granting and disponing unto your right trusty and right well beloved cousin and coun­cillor James Marquis of Montrose (with consent of your Treasury and Exchequer) as Lord High Admiral of your said kingdom a yearly pension of one thousand pounds sterling money out of your Majesty's rents and revenues there to be paid to him at two terms in year, Whitsunday and Martinmas by equal portions beginning the first term's payment at the term of Whitsunday next ensuing the date of these presents, and so to con­tinue during your Majesty's pleasure only. Given at her Majesty's Court at St. James's the 23rd of February 1704-5, and of her Majesty's reign the 3rd year.

ROXBURGHE.

 

 

Ibidem, Vol. XXI.

7th March, 1706.

Warrant for a Gift of the office of High Admiral of Scotland to the Earl of Wemyss.

 

ANNE R.—Our Sovereign Lady considering that the office of Lord High Admiral of her ancient kingdom of Scotland and of the isles thereof is in her Majesty's hands and at her royal gift and disposal, and her Majesty taking into consideration   the   great   courage   and   conduct together   with   the   eminent   loyalty  and   other qualifications requisite for such a trust and office of her right trusty and well beloved cousin and councillor David Earl of Wemyss, therefore and for several other important causes and considera­tions her Majesty ordains a letter of gift to be made and past under the Great Seal of her said kingdom   nominating   making  constituting  and ordaining, likeas her Majesty by these presents nominates makes constitutes and ordains her said right trusty and well beloved councillor David Earl of Wemyss, during her Majesty's pleasure only, High Admiral of the said kingdom of Scotland and isles thereof (excepting from this commission the Admiralty of Orkney and Zetland, to which the Earl of Morton has right during her Majesty's royal pleasure only) giving granting and disponing, likeas her Majesty by these presents gives grants and dispones to the said David Earl of Wemyss during the space foresaid the said office of High Admiral with all honours, dignities, immunities, liberties,  privileges,  fees,  profits, casualties and duties  whatsoever belonging thereunto,   in  the same   manner  and  as  fully  and  freely in   all respects as any of his predecessors in that office did or might have done according to the laws of that  kingdom :   Declaring  always  that  this commission is without prejudice of any right the Duke of Argyll may have of being Admiral for any part of the said kingdom or isles thereto belong­ing ;   and ordains the said letter to be further extended in the most ample and best form with all clauses needful, and to pass the said Great Seal per saltum without passing any other seal or register, for doing whereof these presents shall be to the Director of her Majesty's Chancellary for writing the same and to the Lord High Chancellor for causing the Seal to be appended thereto a sufficient warrant. Given at her Majesty's Court at Kensington the 7th day of March 1706, and of her Majesty's reign the 4th year.

MAR.

 

Ibidem, Vol. XXI.

Docq'. of the Warrant for a pension of 600 lib. st. to the Earl of Wemyss as Lord High Admiral of Scotland.

 

May it please your Majesty.—These contain your Majesty's warrant for a letter of pension to be made and past under the Privy Seal of your Majesty's ancient kingdom of Scotland (with the consent of the Lords and others Com­missioners of your Majesty's Treasury and Ex­chequer) giving and granting unto David Earl of Wemyss (during your Majesty's pleasure only) a yearly pension of six hundred pounds sterling money as Lord High Admiral of the said king­dom and isles thereof, to be paid at two terms in the year, Whitsunday and Martinmas by equal portions, beginning the first term's payment at Whitsunday next and so to continue yearly and termly thereafter during the space foresaid ; and your Majesty commands the Lords Commis­sioners of your Treasury and all collectors and receivers of your rents, revenues, customs and casualties to readily answer and pay the said pension in manner and during the space above-mentioned. Given at her Majesty's Court at Kensington the 7th day of March 1705-6, and of her Majesty's reign the 4th year.

MAR.

 

Ibidem, Vol. XXII.

Warrant for a Commission to the Earl of Morton to be Admiral of Orkney and Zetland.

 

ANNE R.—Our Sovereign Lady for certain weighty and equitable considerations ordains a gift to be past and expede under her Majesty's Great Seal of her ancient kingdom of Scotland per saltum nominating constituting and appoint­ing, likeas her Majesty by these presents nominates constitutes and appoints her Majesty's right trusty and well beloved cousin and councillor Ja. Earl of Morton, during her Majesty's pleasure only, to be Admiral and Judge of the Admiralty within the earldom of Orkney and lordship of Zetland and haill bounds isles creeks and parts thereof, as well these parts that formerly per­tained to the late Bishop of Orkney and his vassals and now to her Majesty as all other places whatsoever within the said earldom and lordship during the space foresaid ; and her Majesty hereby gives and grants to the said James Earl of Morton the foresaid office of Admiral and Judge of Admiralty of Orkney and Zetland and haill bounds and isles of the samen1 with all honours, dignities, pre-eminencies, jurisdictions, liberties and privileges, wrecks, fees, casualties, fines, amerciaments, profits and emoluments whatsoever thereto belonging, with full power and authority to the said Ja. Earl of Morton to make deputes, and to his deputes and substitutes one or mae[same] to be nominate by him in the foresaid office (for whom he shall be answerable) to set, affix, affirm, hold and continue Admiral Courts within any part or place of the said isles that he shall think fit, and to administer and do justice therein in all actions and causes civil and criminal conform to the laws and practique of this king­dom, acts to make, decreets and sentences to pronounce, and the same to due execution cause be put, and to nominate create and appoint clerks, prorfiscals,[The Procurator fiscal is the law officer sometime appointed by the Sheriff and now by the Lord Advocate, at whose instance criminal proceedings in the sheriff courts, &c, are carried on.] officers, dempsters[A Scots legal term meaning the executioner of the sentences of any court.] and other members of Court needful, and to alter and change them at his pleasure, and generally with power to the said Ja. Earl of Morton to do use and exerce all and sundry other things necessary and requisite in the foresaid office, sicklike and as freely in all respects as any other Admiral of Orkney and Zetland has done at any time here­tofore ; and last her Majesty does hereby revoke all former commissions of Admiralty granted to any other person preceding the date hereof. Given at her Majesty's Court at Windsor Castle the 12th day of August 1706, and of her Majesty's reign the 5th year.

Loudoun.


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