Cecil Papers: September 1586

Pages 170-178

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 3, 1583-1589. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1889.

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September 1586

340. George Hume to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 2. I did your direction. Since [your] departure I hear of little or nothing.—2 September 1586.
In very bad condition.
½ p.
341. The Master of Gray to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 2. Omitted in his letters to show him that Mr. George Haket had obtained the commission of the borough in the matters concerning their privileges. Prays him to advertise Mr. Secretary.—Leith, 2 September 1586.
1. p.
342. The Master of Gray to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 2. Is in this town (Leith) till his Majesty's return from his hunting, expressly “to put away men,” and hopes that the end of his troops will be away within twenty days or a month. Prays him not to forget to speak to Mr. Secretary touching his Captains who were at Bruges, chiefly Stewart and Hamilton, both of whom are his kinsmen and very brave soldiers.
Thinks, if this matter of the conspiracy be well handled, it may be that his lordship will find some matter of great truth to pay home again, for there is no question but sundry knew it here.
Prays him to show her Majesty how glad the King is that this matter is come to light. He will shortly write her a letter of congratulations.—Leith, 2 September 1586.
2 pp.
343. R. Douglas to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 6. Received his letter written from Alnwick, the contents of which he will not fail to satisfy. Recommends the bearer, James Carle, to his favour. There is a report that a brother of his (the bearer's) is in hands, as being culpable of this last dishonest conspiracy against her Majesty. Prays his lordship to assist him with at least good counsel, if he cannot directly take any other. dealing for him.—Edinburgh, 6 September 1586.
1 p.
344. The Master of Gray to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 8. As he is shortly to send Roger with his Majesty's letters to him, forbears to write at length. His lordship does evil in taxing the Secretary with any matter by letter to his Majesty, “for sic; dealing of necessitie must neidis have good men and villvillairs to coment or than evil villairs makis evil constructiouns.” His Majesty by Roger is to write to the Queen congratulatory, and to Lord Leicester, Sir Francis, and, he believes, to the Treasurer; so he has promised him.
“Tuitching the conspiracie I cannot now wryt at lenthe, but differis it til I send Roger, yet yis far I advertis you, yt the King is veil villit in all thingis as ye left him, & verie glaid of the decoverie of yis maiter; but his opinion is, yt can not stand vt his honour that he be a consentir to tak his mother's lyf, but he is content hou strictly sche be kepit, and all hir auld knaifishe servantis heingit, chiefly thay who be in handis. For this you must deal verie varly to escheu inconvenientis, seing necessitie of all honest menis affairs requyris yt sche var out of the vay; bot I shall let you know more particularly the Kiugis meining in this maiter wtin a day or two by Roger.”
Has made all the diligence he can to send over men to my Lord Leicester. Has given them the more money to list, to the end they should make the better diligence, so that he is “superexpendit” of the 2,000 M. in the footmen only, and never a horseman enlisted. Asks for 3,000 angels more to list the horsemen, for which he will give his obligation in due form.
Promises that with a little means he will list as brave cavalry, all gentlemen, as came out of any realm this five hundred years.—Dunfermline, 8 September 1586.
3 pp. [Murdin, p. 568. In part.]
345. The Master of Gray to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 10. I wrote to you a day or two since, yet new occasions daily occur. His Majesty has commanded me to write to you his whole mind touching this conspiracy lately discovered in England. He wills you in his name to congratulate her Majesty of the discovery of it. As for his mother, he desires you to deal with her Majesty that in that matter she have a respect to his honour and the duty that nature obliges him to. His meaning is, that he cannot consent her life be taken, and has willed you to declare his opinion that she be put in the Tower, or some other firm manse, and kept from intelligence; her own servants taken from her, and such as be culpable punished rigorously; that hereafter she be not suffered to have any about her, but such as be put to her by the Queen of England. This is all he has commanded me to write to you in that matter. As touching the second point of your last letter—for making answer to your letters—he has commanded me ever to receive them, and to answer them as he shall command me. And, if they be such as must be answered by his secretary, then shall I appoint one of my own servants to attend upon him for answer, so that, his Majesty's will is, that you no ways be frustrate in answers. The third point I am commanded to write is touching Roger, that ye fail not to recommend him very seriously to her Majesty, as I hope you will, for you know he is now become my man again. But he has committed an error in causing the King write to . . . . . (fn. 1) a postscript in his favour, which you must amend the best you can by excuses, for it is somewhat not princely, he being his own servant. But we will never get that fault amended in the King, till he become more “rasisit,” and careful of his own affairs. But our duty is to colour all his imperfections, seeing they proceed of no evil natural. In like manner his Majesty has deferred to write a letter to Lord Leicester, till the time he hears from you whether you may go over to his lordship yourself or not, because he would give credit to the bearer. If you go not yourself, his Majesty remitted it to you and me whether the bearer, Roger, should go or not, but, seeing yourself goes not, I shall cause his Majesty write his letter, remitting credit to your letter; as I should have done at this time, but that I was not with his Majesty, for his letters were written from Bourgley. But I shall cause him write shortly, at which time, God willing, I shall not fail to send you the letter I promised to send you, that is in his Majesty's cabinet. The King sent me word yesterday by James my brother that Mr. John Colville had been at him, and had confessed all; how he had written in [to] England, and that he devised only sub R. (?) for entertainment of his own credit, and has written a letter to Secretary Walsingham confessing his error, which he showed to his Majesty before he sent it. Something of this I wrote to Mr. Secretary, but I knew not, indeed, at that time, that it was Mr. John, which, I pray you, show to Mr. Secretary.
Coming from Stirling with his Majesty, Lord Hamilton and his man, Robert Cunningham, made a great regret to me that the Queen had shown no liberality towards them, and prayed me to advertise Mr. Secretary of it, which I forgot; therefore share him, for, indeed, abide he constant at his opinion, the course can not be altered. Remember that I may either have meat or answer touching the 2,000l. I crave upon my obligation, seeing all my whole troopers shall be in readiness shortly. For, before God, I may freely say to you, I have bestowed all the last 2,000l. on my footmen. And now, being on raising of cavalry, of necessity I must have to do with it. It shall take no penny out of her Majesty's purse, nor shall it harm anybody, for I shall be comptable to the Earl of Leicester for the last groat. Do diligence in it, and haste my answer, for I must give to the gentlemen, if I should sell land. Many go with me you would not have believed, as the Lairds of Luss and Pittincreif. Venice shall part with 300 men within a month. It shall be well done to obtain her Majesty's letter of thanks to the King, for my permission, and to procure leave of her Majesty that I may take journey shortly, for I shall leave you here very good intelligence.
Of late, being in Stirling with his Majesty, a gentleman, to you well enough known, brought to me a man, who confessed that Mr. Edmund Hay, the Jesuit, had dealt with him to take my life. I offered him 20 angels to get me trial of it, and after I had gotten trial 500 marks. He received the angels, and brought me a letter, whereof receive the copy. I showed it to his Majesty, but all he did was to bid me cause fetch him. He is very careless of such matters. The first time he dealt in this matter for my slaughter was when Mr. Randolph came to my house, and I conveyed him to Edinburgh. I should have been shot at the “nether bow,” after that in Falkland, and now in Stirling. If they be suffered this way to go, openly, in this country, they will do great harm. But remedy must come from thence, otherwise the King will lightly let off the matter. For my own particular I care little, for I take it for a good token before I die, that now I am in fellowship with princes. The cause that moves them so instantly against me, I think, proceeds from your good friend, who informs them that no man is against their course but I, as you shall know more particularly in this packet. I wrote sombrely last night touching Mr. George Hacket; he has done you no small contempt in purchasing this “embassad” from the “boronis.”
Therefore, I pray you that he return as he went, and, if anything should be done, that such a one as he have not the thanks for it. Because I forgot to write of this [to] Mr. Secretary Walsingham, shew him this part of my letter. I assure you Mr. Gr. Hacket has done all this evil offices he could, for all the fair words he gave you and me, for the stayment of gentlemen; in saying that my Lord Leicester's self would be constrained to retire him, and that before Martinmas the Prince of Parma should be master both of Holland and Zealand; which has done great “hinder” to me. I remit him then to your memory. The Lord Hamilton is presently with the little Duke in St. Andrews. The marriage goes forward in terms, but it will not be performed in my time. Great emulation there is between the “brether” of Hamilton. Maxwell still lifts men, you know not what it means; he speaks openly hard language. His brother Robert was to have gone with me, but he is stayed, and is lifting presently a company of horsemen. I am advertised that Holt the Jesuit is returned, and is with him, but I believe it not, for assure you he bringeth with him money. The Earl Arran is in Carrick, where no word of his “way ganging.” This is all that here occurs. Receive from Rogera a jewel of mine to deliver to Mr. Erik. Send me word from Mr. Secretary touching the horse that is in Sir Cuthbert Collingwood's hand, that either he or I may have him.—Dumfries, 10 September 1586.
Holograph. 5 pp.
On outside sheet :
Sir,—This advertisement, that I have received, that Yarmouth is to be taken, I have it from young Fentry, for he has spoken it to me with that assurance that, although a man would advertise, his advertisement should do no good. I know the town myself it is the easiest any thing in the world to take it, for no ships are suspect in that part, by reason of the daily traffic of stranger ships. Since, young Powrie Ogilvey has advertised me of the same, that Mr. Edward Hay spoke it to him, that within ten days it should be taken at the furthest. Advertise (?) the (sic) of it, for it can do no harm to be circumspect. I know by Fentry that the Secretary and the Mayor that however all men against me (sic). Powry tells me that the Secretary has made proofs of great friendship if (sic) were out of the way. He sends the King's opinion touching the Queen his mother, yet desires you to, travel earnestly that nothing harm her person. But I pray you beware in that matter, for she were well out of the way. Remember, if it be possible, that I may have the ten of 2,000l., when my obligation to be comptable, and, God willing, I shall have a — bearing in my hands. This is a very Jit time to remember some suit for me at the Queen's hands amidst all these treasons, for, marry, accidents will fall, and shall be little out of her purse; but I look you will do for me, as I desire, with all your hands, and as for yourself. Albeit, marry, evil tales I hear of you, assure you all the world shall never cause nor trust any, till I see it notoriously, and that none see it than I, I pray you do in this sort what ye can, and haste me back answer touching the 2,0001, Do what you can, as I repose myself upon you to haste my voyage to Flanders for seeing my troops (?) Will be soon ready, I . . . . .
[This paper has been washed with galls, and the writing is very indistinct].
1 p.
346. George Baryth to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 13. Begs him to make enquiries respecting a son of his, who was a sergeant in Flanders, and of whom he knows not whether he is alive or not.—Berwick, 13 September 1586.
1 p.
347. P. Proby to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 14. Forwards letters received by his master from Mr. Henry Wotherington at Berwick.—Windsor, 14 September 1586.
1 p.
348. Sir francis Walsingham to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 18. Sees no possibility of obtaining for him an audience with her Majesty for three or four days, “her highness being at this time verie much troubled.”—Windsor, 18 September 1586.
1 p.
349. Mr. Holt to Lord Burghley.
1586, Sept. 25. Hopes order has been taken with the officers of her Majesty's household for a convenient proportion of spices, sugar, and fruit, to be sent from London. Asks Burghley to send word what day of the month the first dinner for the lords shall be kept in the Castle, and how many days there, so that he may have provisions brought in accordingly. All manner of provision is very dear in this country, but especially casks to put beer in, and that very hard to be gotten. Sends a note of pewter vessels that may be bought in the country, and yet he shall lack 5 or 6 dozen of platters and dishes that must be supplied from London. Has great need of a “lardner” and a “skalder”; shall want men of experience in that behalf. [The lower half of the letter is torn away.]
Endorsed :—25 September 1586.—Mr. Holt, from Fotheringay.
350. The Provost of Lincluden to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 26. His Majesty and all others his subjects, favourers of the late league, mislike the wicked intention of her Majesty's evildisposed subjects, and think, if the same had taken effect, to have been no less endangered thereby, as if it had been meant against his own person. So, upon the fore-knowledge thereof, his Majesty praises God. And, howbeit he neither allows of the practices nor practisers, yet in so far as his mother may be burdened therewith, I find his Majesty noways minded that rigour shall be used against her, and who “mellis” with her blood can be no sure friends to him. Always not contented with her dealing, as he is minded to let her know, and to will her not to be a “mellare” in times to come, wherein either the religion or the estate of England may be troubled; otherwise, hereafter, he will pain himself the less in her turns. The common voice is, albeit they can like well of his (sic, ? her) sure keeping and so never to see her, yet it will offend them if her blood were “mellit” with. Therefore my opinion is to you, that his Majesty and subjects, in this point, should not receive occasion of Discontentment; wherein I would you should be a good instrument. This much I have out of his Majesty's own mouth. Further, his Majesty has been lately in Edinburgh, accompanied with a few number of noblemen, for order taking with the Borders, where Lord Angus is nominated Lieutenant; and for suppressing the insolence of the thieves and broken men. He gets 200 waged men, and a taxation granted for their entertainment. His Majesty behaved himself at this time very lovingly and favourably to the noblemen, and in special to Lord Angus, in revealing to him some reports made to his Majesty, which were very like unto the purpose you shewed me; the particulars thereof Mr. Richeot [Rozzio ?] will show you. His Majesty has promised to have it tried, and the speakers punished; so that we have at this time seen no wise but good appearance that his Majesty continues constant, and not as wicked speakers give forth to the world. His Majesty means that C.[sic] James Stewart shall depart the country, yet we see he minds to shift so long as he may. Crawford has taken his leave and minds to France. So, if they were away, and Both well to convey them, we would have the greater quietness; and yet I see no apparent danger by anything they were able to do. Many doubt the ending of this matter betwixt the Duke and Lord Hamilton, and yet I see no enemies to it except lord Claud and the surname of Hamiltons. It is true Lord Maxwell has, of waged men, 25 horsemen allowed by his Majesty, for serving of the wardenry. and 100 footmen paid by the barons and gentlemen within the wardenry, for keeping the same in quietness; further he has none “nor to na vyer” intention, as I understand. Where ye are informed of his open speeches, I assure you I heard no such of him, nor noways he is minded to revenge the late attempt done to the Bells and Carlisles, and therefore let such bruits procure no further revenge, where there is already over “mekle” done. For the Bells and Carlisles have been three three [sic] years bygone daily “vistit” upon by the “gehaures” (?) and by border men of England; where they have raised fire, made slaughter, and continual hardships; and the late revenge that they used was only against your enemies that had “wrackit” them, thieves and border men like unto themselves; and therefore ought to have been redressed by the Wardens, after the order of law [of the] Marches, and not by open hostility. Which fire and hardships must be redressed, or otherwise the Wardens of Scotland are not able to make redress for anything [that] can be craved. For these hardships done since the meeting of the Commissioners cannot be redressed to England, unless that the open and manifest thefts and fire done by the border of England upon Scotland be redressed. And, therefore, I pray your lordship that this matter may be moved to the Queen and Council, that redress may be for the fire and hardships done upon the Laird JDrumlanrig's proper lands and true men, the Laird of Applegarth's, and oilier gentlemen of the country, or otherwise there can neither redress be made to England, nor good order kept in times coming. In the meantime it should be well done that no further were meant to the Bells and Carlisles, and the prisoners lately taken to be released; which I pray your lordship to further so far as ye may. At your home coming I look for a young horse, that be very fair and lusty, or otherwise. . . . .—Edinburgh, 26 September 1586.
351. Janet Curll to James Curll.
[1586], Sept. 26. Desires to hear of his welfare, and that of her friends in those parts, where she prays him to remain until God shall move the heart of the Queen of England to release their brother from ward.—Edinburgh, 26 September.
1 p.
352. William Selby to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 28. Sends a report, by two of his servants who were present, of a late skirmish that hath taken place, but feels assured his lordship knows the truth better than he can write. There hath been above a dozen gentlemen with him, and never two of them agree on one tale.—“Utricke” [Ettrick ?], 28 September 1586.
353. Archibald Douglas to Sir Francis Walsingham.
[1586], Sept. 28. Has prayed the Lord Treasurer that he might speak with him, but has been twice prevented by his lordship's sickness. As Walsingham understands her Majesty's mind even as he doth, it will be quite sufficient to speak with him. Begs him to move Burghley to give him permission to speak with one or both.—This 28th of September.
1 p.
354. The Laird of Restalrig to Archibald Douglas.
[1586 ?], Sept. 28. Recommends to his notice a gentleman, Robert Brae, and having seen very favourable letters from the King's majesty to Lord Hunsdon to that effect, trusts it will please his lordship to do for him as he would for himself.
Assures him that he is a gentleman as able to remember a good turn, or an evil turn either, as any is, and glad of his calling.—Fastcastle, 28 September.
1 p.
355. The Master of Gray to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 29. Has received his letter dated the 21st. His Majesty is very well content with all his proceedings, but chiefly touching his books and hunting horses. Prays him to negotiate so well that he fail not to effect substantially his point. As for his mother, his Majesty's command is that he should do as he gave his nephew, Mr. Richard, instructions. “I can asshur you he is content the law go fordvart, hir lyf being save, and would glaidly vische that all foraine princess should knowe how evil she has usit hirself towards the Q. Matie thair, and that she resareis favour only throw hir clemencie.”
Mr. Secretary has written to him to stay any further troops from going in the service of the Low Countries, which he may easily do in respect that all are gone. His lordship knows how the oft and lingering resolutions in that matter have already put him behindhand in his gear. If ever he should change his own purpose, he would be behindhand both in gear and reputation, but says to him that, by God, he will not change, in spite of the devil, for all his unfriends say that he has debauched gentlemen, and intends to leave them in the mire at the pleasure of England, but he will make them liars.
4 pp. [Murdin, p. 106. In part.]
356. The Earl of Angus to Archibald Douglas.
1586, Sept. 29. I received your letter from this bearer, by whom I have heard such news as hath occurred in that country; but of all others I am most glad to hear that this conspiracy of late intended against her Majesty hath been so happily discovered. I can write no Scottish news, except I would write of myself, for I thank that good lady my good sister, she has made me famous to be spoken of by many, I hope to her own pains in the end.—Dalkeith, 29 September 1586.
½ p.
357. The Low Countries.
1586, Sept. 30. Articles submitted for the Lord Treasurer's consideration on behalf of the inhabitants of the Low Countries, with reference to more friendly intercommunication, protection from pirates, and commercial relations.—Undated.
Endorsed :—30 September 1586.—Articles delivered by Mr. Ortel on the behalf of the inhabitants of the United Provinces.
358. The King of Denmark.
1586, Sept. Warrant to allow the King of Denmark to transport, free of custom, 64,000 stock fish, 1,700 dry lings, 6,100 dried cod, 6,000 small stock fish, 10 tuns of train oil, (brought to Harwich out of “Islond” in the King's ships, the Gray and White Falcons), 100 Wiltshire cloths (50 red and 50 yellow), and 2 cwt. of wrought tin.—Windsor, September 1586. [The date is not filled in].
Sign Manual. Signet.
1 sheet.
359. The Queen's Pprogresses.
158, July–Sept. A note of the Queen's journeys and stopping places during the months of July, August, and September 1586, entitled “The Queen's Maties Jests”; as follows :—
Mensis Julii Anno Do. 1586. Dayes. Milles.
[August] 12, Tewsdaye to Eichmond, ther x
22, Fridaye to Stoke, ther j
23, Saturdaye to Ockinge, ther iij
26, Twesdaie to Howsely, Sir William More's iij
29, Fridaye to Uehester, ther j
30, Saterday to Petworth, ther v
4, Thursdaye to Cowdreye vj
10, Twesdaye to Alnsnaker iij
13, Fridaye to Chechester, ther iij
16, Twesdaye to Stansted j
17, Weddensdaye to Warblinge stone, ther ij
19, Fridaye to Porchmouth, ther vij
26, Fridaye to Tichfield, ther iij
29, Monday to Bishops Walton iij
[September] 1, Thursdaye to Winchester, ther iiij
5, Mondaye to Tystied, Sr Richard Murton's, ther ij
6, Tewsday to Bissinge, L. Marques, ther iiij
10, Saterday to Odiande, ther iij
13, Twesdaye to Farneham ij
15, Thursdaye to Witteny, ther ij
17, Fridaye to Rydinge, ther iiij
21, Twesday to Bassinge, ther ij
23, Thursday to Draughton j
24, Fryday to Hamptou Court, ther during Her Maties pleasure.
1 p.


  • 1. Eaten away.