Ane compendious and breve tractate

About this text

Introductory notes

William Lauder’s Ane compendious and breve tractate… (1556) is a poem in rhymed octosyllables describing the duties of temporal and spiritual magistrates. It forms part of a series of poems on moral and political themes written from a strong anti-Catholic standpoint. Lauder (1520?-1573), was a Scottish Protestant minister known principally for his poetry and drama: he composed plays for royal and aristocratic entertainments which do not seem to have survived. The passages incorporated here use the idea of famine principally in a spiritual and allegorical sense.

Ane compendious
And breve tractate, concernyng ye office and dewtie
of kyngis, spirituall pastoris, and temporall iugis
laitlie compylit be William Lauder. For the faith-
full instructioun of kyngi. And prencis

Diligite Iufticiam qui judicatisterram




Usand your fleschelie vane plesuris
Oppressand your pure creaturis
And your fals glosing of the wrang
Sall nocht mak yow to rax heir lang
Bot it sall be the foirmeir thyng
Pro. xxxix. Psal. ii. Esay. xxx.vii
Sall first depose yow frome your ryng
And mak yow lose your latter waige
Quhilk is the hevinnis heritage
So for your wrang but proces more
Ye sall tyne hevin, and wardlie glore
Geve ye contynew and Indure
Off thir forsaids, ye sall be sure.
Mark kyngs, how I have heir breiflie
Diffynit your names, and Dignitie
Your office dewtie, and your cure
That ye aucht tyll all Creature
And quhat gret difference is at all
Betuix yow, and your pure Vassall
And last how I have fynallie
Declaird quhat wo and miserie
Sall lycht on yow, and on your seid
That to your office taks no heid
And now geve that ye wald be leird
To bruke, and to Injoye the eird
And geve ye wald, that your ofspryng
Did lang in to your regiones ryng
In welfare, and prosperytie
In grace, peace, and cherytie
And also geve ye do pretende
Have hevinlie Joye unto your ende
Than fowoll, this nyxt Instructioun
Maid for your Eruditioun.

1.2. Follovis the instruc-
tioun to Prencis. How thay sall alsweil Inhereit the Hevin, as the reth.

ATTEND O Prencis, and tak tent.
Unto this Doctryne Subsequent
And thareto wyselie do advert
And prent the famyn, in your hert
Tim. iiii. Sapi. vi, Luc. xix.
First cause your prechours, all and od
Trewlie sett furth, the wourd of God
But fictioun, fraude, or flatterie
Latt it be knawin, to ilk degre
That all may understand and knaw
Dani. vi.
To lufe and feir, his Godlie law
In the quhilk Law, ye may upbryng
Your liegis, as ane godlie kyng
Throw quhilk Law, also thay may leir
Yow as thare kyngs, and Prencis feir
i. Tim. ii.
And do yow homage, and reverence
With all detfull Obedience
For thay that ar, ane faithles clan
Can nother dreid God, kyng, nor man
Quhare faith is nocht, no grace can be
Bot Myscheif, wo, and myserie
This is a selection from the original text


famine, god, gold, heritage, king, misery

Source text

Title: Ane compendious and breve tractate, concernyng ye office and dewtie of kyngis, spirituall pastoris, and temporall iugis laitlie compylit be William Lauder. For the faithfull instructioun of kyngis, and prencis Sketche Diligite Iufticiam qui judicatisterram

Author: William Lauder

Publisher: J. Scot

Publication date: 1556

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: Edinburgh

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bib Name / Number: STC (2nd ed.) / 15314 Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery Durable URL: xri:pqil:res_ver=0.2&rft_id=xri:eebo:citation:99845002

Digital edition

Original author(s): William Lauder

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) title page
  • 2 ) image: 5


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > non-fiction prose > politics and governance

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.