In 'The Scottish Legal System' 1, the authors say that

The first printing press was introduced into Scotland in 1507, but it was not until 1541 with the printing of the Black Acts that it was applied to legislation.

However, the Records of the Parliaments of Scotland state that the Black Acts were not passed until May 1584.

Which source is correct?

1 White, Willock & MacQueen; fifth edition (2013); para 2.15.

1 Answer 1


From what I can tell, both are correct. The RPS refers to two different things as Black Acts: laws printed with a printing press using a heavy typeface (hence, "black") in 1541, and laws that established Parliament as supreme over the church (called "black" because they were bad for the church) in 1584.

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