“Against seditious persons and books”: MS Hunter 3, folio 55.

MS Hunter 3, fol. 55. Special Collections, Glasgow University Library.

MS Hunter 3, fol. 55. Special Collections, Glasgow University Library.


Catalogue details

Archive reference: MS Hunter 3, folio 55. Special Collections, Glasgow University Library. See here for more information.

Date: November 1570

Document details: Signed by Queen Elizabeth. Proclamation warning the queen’s subjects against harbouring or sheltering any person suspected of seditious intent as well as concealing or keeping any seditious texts.

Transcription policy: https://huntingrebels.wordpress.com/transcripts/

PDF edition of Modernised Transcript of MS Hunter 3, fol 55


MS Hunter 3, fol. 55. Special Collections, Glasgow University Library. Zoom view.

MS Hunter 3, fol. 55. Special Collections, Glasgow University Library. Zoom view.



1.  Elizabeth R                                                                      By the Queen.

2.  The Queen’s Majesty considering with herself how it hath pleased Almighty God at this present to conserve her realm in an universal good peace, and her subjects in a constant obedience unto Her

3.  Majesty, notwithstanding the sundry, secret, malicious solicitations of certain fugitives and rebels being fled and now remaining out of the realm by their seditious messages and false reports sent into the same, tending

3.  to provoke others to be partakers of their malicious treasons, cannot but first give due thanks and praise thereof to Almighty God, and therewith commend both the loyalty of her good subjects for their

4.  obedience, and allow of this their universal constancy in the conservation of themselves together within the bounds of common peace. And furthermore also to give admonition and warning especially to the simpler sort

5.  of her good, loving subjects that they be in no way abused with the wicked practices of the said fugitives and rebels by any adherents secretly remaining or repairing into the realm, and wandering in corners

6.  moving good subjects to be disobedient to the laws, and scattering false rumours and news both by speech and by books and writings only of the intent to break the common peace of the same, and to procure more

7.  partners with them in their treasons and rebellions. And therefore Her Majesty chargeth  and commandeth all manner her good subjects to be earnestly ware hereof and to employ their uttermost diligence

8.  in the apprehension of such secret persuaders of disobedience and breaking of laws, and of the sowers and stirrers of sedition and especially of such as do or shall bring into the realm any seditious

9.  books, writings or such like traitorous devices against the laws and government of the realm, or anywise prejudicial to the royal states of Her Majesty. And if any shall be found willingly to aid or

10. comfort any such seditious persons in their said malicious attempts, or shall receive and keep or conceal any manner of such seditious books, writings or bills in print or written, and shall not

11. presently discover the said persons and procure them to be apprehended nor cause the said kind of writings to be speedily presented to the superior officers as hath been, by proclamation, lately last ordered

12. and devised. Her Majesty givith it to be understood that then all and every such person so offending after this admonition shall be taken, reputed and punished as abettors and maintainers of the

13. principal traitors that were authors of the same. Meaning in this behalf, considering this plain admonition, not to be hereafter moved to spare the execution of such offenders upon

14. pretence or allegation of simplicity or ignorance to excuse their deaths. Given at our honour of Hampton Court the 14th of November 1570. The 12th year of

15. our reign.



Ms Hunter 3, fol. 55. Special Collections, Glasgow University Library. Zoom view of "treasons and rebellions".

Ms Hunter 3, fol. 55. Special Collections, Glasgow University Library. Zoom view of “treasons and rebellions”.


abettors: Someone who assists or encourages an offender

admonition: authoritative advice or warning

chargeth and commandeth: archaic, meaning simply to charge and command

honour: meaning here a manor. Taken from the feudal term “honour” meaning a domain of several manors under one lord. [http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.lib.gla.ac.uk/view/Entry/88227?rskey=KgRJlD&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid, last accessed 21/08/2014]

partakers: a participant or sharer in something

sedition: a rather vague and unhelpful word meaning the concerted effort to overthrow an established government but also more generally conduct or language which might encourage or incite rebellion. The vagueness of the term “sedition” meant that it was easier for the state to prove an offender was seditious than it was for an accused person to disprove an allegation of seditious intent.

solicitations: usually meaning the action of seeking to obtain something by earnest request, it is more useful to read here as meaning “the action of some attractive, enticing, or alluring influence”. [http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.lib.gla.ac.uk/view/Entry/184212?redirectedFrom=solicitation#eid, last accessed 21/08/2014]

sundry: meaning here various, different members of a group

tending: read as intending

treason: generally meaning betrayal, in legal terms treason could either mean High Treason or Petty Treason. High Treason was an offence against the monarch or the state whilst Petty Treason was an offence against someone to whom you owed allegiance, for example the murder of a master by his servant. Here we can assume treason to stand for High Treason and refer to an offence against the monarch. [http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.lib.gla.ac.uk/view/Entry/205355?rskey=cc2DzM&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid, last accessed 21/08/2014]




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