1545. Conditions for the Custody of the Jewels.
The Earl and Countess of Argyle shall retain certain
jewels until certain demands be answered for money disbursed by the Earl of Murray in the King's service, on condition they shew them to be esteemed and valued, and
giving caution to be answerable for them to the King's use.
In case this content them the Regent will release them from
the horn. Allowed by the Regent, 12 August 1574. Signed
Copy. Endd. P. ¾. Enclosure.
1546. The Regent's Answer to the Earl of Argyle's Articles.
That exhibition is only requisite when it stands in question to whom gear belongs is an invention without ground
of law or reason, for the action of exhibition appertains to all
persons claiming any corporal things in property. If power
over the King's jewels was granted to the Earl of Murray
they were not ordained to be withholden by his wife after
his death, neither has her disbursing been great since for
payment of the King's or her husband's debts. If the children claim them she cannot justly retain them, being neither
"tutrix" nor administratrix. None of the debts are yet found
and declared by account, there being sufficient time since
the Earl of Murray's death to have ordered the same. If she
had bestowed money upon avenging her husband's blood her
desire to retain the jewels had greater show of reason. A
great part of the goods of most value are retained by her,
whereby a great part are consumed and perished. The offer
that the Earl of Argyle and the landed men of his kin will
be surety for the jewels is not sufficient, without the said
jewels are first seen and considered. Nothing is procured
against the Earl in this matter but according to law, for
whatsoever is laid to a woman's charge her husband is debtor
for it. As he knows the jewels are in his wife's possession
there can appear no reason for the delay in the exhibition of
Copy. Endd. by Killegrew. Pp. 12/3. Enclosure.
1547. The Earl of Argyle's Answer to the Regent.
Has received a writing from the Queen's Ambassador,
together with his desire to be done by himself and wife.
They are willing to satisfy him in all things. Desires him
to appoint a reasonable day for the exhibition of the jewels.
His wife is evil at present to travel, and they are not in
the bounds where she is. Prays him to relax them both
from the horn, that he may travail with his friends for the
Copy. Endd. P. 2/3. Enclosure.
1548. Memoir to Robert Fletcher of the Regent's Answer.
Cannot grant relaxation from the horn without surety
that at the day appointed the things promised will take
effect, and not frustrate as at the first relaxation. If he will
find caution of landed men, under the pain of 10,000l., to
produce the jewels before him and the Council, on the
24th September, relaxation shall be incontinent granted.—
Aberdeen, 28 August 1574.
The Earl of Argyle's Answer to the Memoir.
In the articles sent by the Queen of England's Ambassador
there was no surety required for keeping any particular diet,
but for the sure keeping of the jewels. Altogether denies
intromitting with any of the living of Murray during the
first relaxation, and if he had the gear is his and not his
wife's. Hopes he never shall merit the style of rebel to the
King. His wife retains the gear, not for herself, but for her
children. Cannot find caution to keep such a short day,
because of his wife's inability at this time, and as long as he
is at the horn he has no privilege to traffic with Lowland
men. Thinks his Grace cannot lay to his charge the nonperformance of the things that were condescended to. The
requiring of impossibilities makes him believe the Regent has
little desire that the things should take end.
Copy. Endd. Pp. 1⅓. Enclosure.
1550. Another copy of the Memoir to Robert Fletcher of the
Endd. P. ½.
1551. Another copy of the Earl of Argyle's answer thereto.
Endd. P. 1.
The Countess of Argyle's Answer to the Regent's Objections.
1552. Her husband has done what becomes him in travailing
with her for the satisfaction of the Regent's desire. If her
late husband retained the jewels in his hands for relief of the
debts contracted by him in the common cause, whereof the
burden is upon his children, she has just cause to withhold
and retain them till payment be made. For her disbursing
since her husband's death for the King's debts, there was
super-expended above the value of the jewels in his lifetime.
She can justly claim the jewels, being "tutrix" and administratrix for her children. It is not her fault that the debts
contracted by her late husband are not declared by account,
but it was because the executors nominated would not accept
the burden; if he will suffer any person to stand in judgment
thereon she will cause her husband s debts to be tried, known,
and manifested. She was never charged to bestow any sums
of money in avenging her husband's death, and if she had
been she would have provided some other means than to
have pledged the jewels which were not her own. She will
do in that cause with goods and other ways as becomes her
duty and honour. None of good conscience will judge that
the debts contracted by her husband for the King's service
should be relieved from his own goods. There is none living
can prove her intromission or retention of any of the goods
moveable saving the jewels.
Endd. Pp. 3. Enclosure.
1553. The Regent's Conference with the Earl of Argyle's
The Regent found fault with the Earl for writing, as he
was the King's rebel. He showed the Regent how willing
his lord and lady were to satisfy him, and desired they might
be relaxed from the horn. The Regent would not relax
them until they found caution to fulfil the conditions agreed
upon at such days as he would appoint. The Regent showed
him in plain terms that it would be hard for them to fulfil
the conditions, for the Countess said that after exhibition
she may show a cause wherefore she ought to have them in
keeping on caution. If they believe they will have them
they would be disappointed. He assured him also that there
was no horn that should not be used against his lady, as long
as she keeps the jewels.
Endd. P. 1.