Sir John Skene: Scotiae Veteres Leges et Constitutiones

Scope and Content

An earlier MS of Regiam Majestatem. Scotiae veteres leges et constitutiones, 1607, describing laws of Scotland previous to James I (336 ff.). It contains laws from the time of Malcolm MacKenneth II to Robert III, as well as 'Leges Burgorum' (Laws of the Forest). On a flyleaf it reads 'Skenaei Leges Scotiae transcribed by James Mershall 1606 [=1607]. Leges Burgorum Scotiae'; the volume is signed throughout by Mershall. Most of the writing is in Latin, but the Laws of the Forest are in Scots.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir John Skene (1543-1617), Scots lawyer, was appointed clerk-register and Lord of Session (as Lord Curriehill) in 1594. In 1597 he published The Lawes and Actes of Parliament maid by King James the First and his successors kings of Scotland.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased at Christie's, 15 March 1995 (Bute Library sale).


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue.

Custodial History

The volume was originally part of Sir Thomas Phillipps's manuscripts, Phillipps MS.9491.