Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 11, 1593-1595. Originally published by Edinburgh, 1936.
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James VI, September 1594
346. Mr. John Colville to Mr. Henry Lock. [Sept. 2.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 122–123.
As I wrote in my last, I came to Edinburgh "to have found N" [Bothwell], and from that I went to Stirling, but have not yet found him. I think he has returned to Liddisdale, and have sent James Forret thither to know his mind in the late answers, so let no fault be imputed to me if to this time nothing be heard thereof. I have also willed the said Forret write Bothwell's mind concerning that matter, if he meet with him before me. There are great bruits here that he has agreed with the three Earls by suggestion of Spott, Halkerston (Hakerson) and Cranston, who are all three indeed with him, "bot trest no thing tharof" till you hear it either from Forret or me.
"The xxix (sic) of the last the baptism wes. The Prince name is Herrie. The King and all beis in Edinburgh this 3." The Danes and Flemish will make no stay. The King promises "indelaitlie" to go on the Papistis, albeit his proclamations be not till the end of the month. But these matters go so coldly against them that no man trusts more than he sees. "One thing sall be found certane: that joyin with thame directlie or indirectlie who will (yea, thocht it wer the King him self) he will find as muche to doo as his mother did, asseying the lyik pratique. Tharfor yit behald and how ever it go honest men will fall on your syid; and (agans my self I spek) the moir indifferent [i.e. neutral] yow seem to ws boyth the soner sall we ly by the earis." Argyll indeed goes forward, but the King, fearing to stay him openly, uses many indirect means, which I fear in the end shall stay him. I beseech you once again to write some friendly lines to Ochiltree, for you are much bound to him. Do my service to my honourable Mecænas and "schaw" him that I shall try such matters as I wrote of to him before I return. Linlithgow. Signed: Y.
Postscript.—The taking of Logie in my opinion will grow to some great matter "evin in the bowellis of the Court."
1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk: "2 Sept. 1594. Mr. Colvill to Mr. Locke."
347. Mr. John Colville to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 6.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 123–124.
It was the 5th hereof before I could find Bothwell, he seeking me one way, and I him another, and he had already directed Mr. Forret away without my knowledge or consent, albeit I wrote him two several letters to take no journey on hand till he spoke with me. These letters I know are not come to his hands. Bothwell shows me that he is directed specially to my Lord Chamberlain to declare two things: first, to offer certain things on behalf of the Papist lords, as that they shall be bound to shake off all friendship "contrarius to" the amity, and "simpillie" to follow such course as her Majesty shall direct: secondly, that he will enter in no friendship with them prejudicial to his duty to her Majesty. I have at length conferred upon both these heads and all other matters which, on 28th August, passed betwixt him and sundry of the said Papists, as Angus, Errol, Crawford, Caithness (Kaitnes) and Sutherland (Sudderland), and must confess that there is no true meaning, either in the said Papists or in Bothwell, to her Majesty, but only intention to abuse her. For, finding that he dissembled with me (suspecting by some words I had uttered that I liked nothing of his meeting with them without my knowledge), and that he went about to deny their meeting till it grew so manifest that it passed denial, I said that by his "foren doing" he made things lawful unlawful and suspicious, in so much as he went about to hide matters from friends, and so at length he opened up all that passed among them, and their most secret intentions in prosecuting their work, which is intended to be in this sort.
They mind at first to speak nothing against religion or the amity, but to seek reformation of the estate, and removing certain persons from his Majesty. These things being done, they mind in fair manner to entreat her Majesty to make the King security of his title, and, if she delay or refuse, they will seek support of all christian princes, of what religion soever they be, to aid them for debating the right of their sovereign and revenging the death of his mother. This is the second desire; and the last is that all concurring to this service shall have liberty of conscience, whereof no mention shall be made at the beginning.
That her Majesty should suspect nothing, they have willed Bothwell in their name to offer that they shall be ruled by her advice, and to implore her to persuade the Church here that they mean nothing to the hurt of religion, but to the reformation of the estate.
Bothwell also has received some money with which he is presently to list some men, on the pretext that it is to take up his living from such as "bereaffis" him, and he thinks by this means to draw the King from pursuing the Papists this winter, hoping to have refuge in England if the King invade him in the Border with a force which he cannot resist. This is delivered to me with promise of secrecy, but I will keep nothing secret that may be undutiful to her Majesty. All my request is that no other answer be returned with Mr. Forrett than that by keeping his conscience and duty to his Prince clear Bothwell's actions will be the more commendable, and that her Majesty will be loth to intercede or give assurance to the King or Church for persons that have so oft violated their handwrits to both, marvelling much what moved him so suddenly to be a requester for such as not a month since he promised to destroy. I have also written a letter to Forrett to negotiate this matter as your honour shall direct him; and, after you have perused it, please see it closed and given to him. I trust you shall find him faithful in all respects. I have been so occupied in seeking Bothwell since my coming to Scotland that I have not yet gone to St. Andrews "to spek Walwood" [Wellwood] but ere I come to England, God willing, I shall. Signed: Y. [John Colville].
Postscript.—I beseech your honour, "till aftervard," that these matters go no farther than to her Majesty and such others of the Council as it pleases her and you to impart them to. As I have oft written, the beholding of us indifferently [i.e. with neutrality] for some few months shall work more for your effect than the assisting of any of us. For, if these Papists mean truly to Bothwell, then the King, for envy to him, will seriously pursue them, and so he will do your turn. If the King should still wink at them, then they of the religion, with your help, shall put him and all the Papists to the point his mother was at before. Other matters I have written to Mr. Henry Lock. [On the back.] After the closing hereof, Mr. Forrett, finding one of my letters, has advertised me that, notwithstanding Bothwell's direction, he will do nothing but as I shall direct him. Therefore I have made him send all his message "be writ," or else, if he go up, to go no farther than Ware, but to send for Mr. Lock and communicate all to him.
3⅓ pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
348. Sir Richard Cockburn to Burghley. [Sept. 6.]
As the expecting of answer and further directions from the King "breade" my stay here, so upon the receipt thereof I had matter for audience, which her Majesty granted me on Tuesday last, your lordship being absent from Court. My whole instructions being almost comprised in a letter (which the bearer will show you) written to me from the King, but somewhat pathetic and imputing the unexpected answer which I advertised from the Queen rather to my neglect than to her "indisposition," I took the boldness to present the letter. On reading the words, the gross faults and little decorum kept were at first taken up and marked. These I excused "upon" my uncle's (fn. 1) absence from Court, who would have advised a more calm style and "surveyed it better nor it is set doun," and if I myself had been present I should have been loth to have allowed the like to escape "so foulishe," as her Majesty (prettily alluding to the writer's name) termed it, and informal. Neither was it willingly presented to her Majesty's sight, whom, as I before "divined," I found a true censurer of the faults contained therein, nor do I send it willingly to be surveyed by your lordship, whose "censure" [i.e. criticism] I likewise fear "as ane other Aristarchus"; but in truth the very cause of my proceeding therein was that I could not learn "perqueir" (fn. 2) or express by mouth so unsavoury a "leasson," nor, as I told her Majesty, comment upon a text wherewith I was not acquainted; and, if I had been so evil advised as to have uttered it, or anything like it, I am assured her Majesty, and justly, would have condemned me as speaking without a warrant. "Allwayes," as she has been pleased, upon consideration of my honest part and sincere dealing, "not to tak hould that ony suche bike thing hes cummed to her eyes," so I doubt not of your lordship's like discretion, to whose wise consideration I wholly remit myself. But howsoever the form [of the letter] can hardly be excused, the substance must not be neglected by me, but my instructions collected out of the same. Whereby being directed to insist for the present advancing of the next year's gratuity, I must have recourse to your lordship, whom I have "chused" to trouble by this rude letter rather than by mouth, to solicit such good furtherance as may work his Majesty's satisfaction in that point. The reasons moving me I remit to your lordship's good consideration. Only this far I will affirm upon knowledge of our troubled state, that the work intended will not have the wished end without her Majesty's concurrence, whose liberal hand being "abstracted" at this present will furnish matter of excuse and "remyses" anew, and perhaps draw on other inconveniences affecting the amity. And not to forget that which touches myself nearest, I hope that, as your lordship has hitherto been a good means to entertain my uncle's credit with the King his sovereign, you will continue and not "suffer the same be eclipsed with my owin," which doubtless will fall out if I return empty. And because her Majesty seems to doubt of the King not craving the gratuity for the next year if any sum be now granted, let it be given (as I answered) with such a condition that in reason it cannot again be demanded. But, having desired the bearer to supply the defects in this letter, I beg you to hear him, doubting nothing of his fidelity and sufficiency. My desire to return with such answer as may be to his Majesty's satisfaction "breades" this forced importunity ultra fines verecundiæ. But, remembering that I am like to "empeshe" your weightier affairs, I end abruptly, not forgetting my heartiest thanks for your often and kind remembrance of me in venison. London. Signed: R. Cockburne.
12/3 pp. Holograph. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley. Red wax seal.
349. Bothwell to the Presbytery of Edinburgh. [Sept. 7.] Printed in Miss Warrender's Illustrations, Letter xvi.; summarised in Warrender Papers, ii. 262.
I am sorry that upon "sinistrous informatioun," you should in secret places have detracted me, being innocent and having suffered for your sakes. Yet, lest you should account me arrogant, I have thought good to "cleare the trewth" both of my estate and proceedings with the Papist lords, leaving it thereafter to your discretion either to continue as you have begun or to pity me by keeping silence. My estate, then, is this: I have been most rigorously and undeservedly pursued by my sovereign, so that nothing can satisfy him, or at least them about him, but my innocent blood and the extirpation of my friends and family. From England, in whom I confided most, I have been banished upon my peril, and also certified that hereafter they would use no further supplication for my relief, nor give any succour for my present wants. Among our nobility, burghs and ministers who were cautioners for his Majesty [and] witnesses of his promises passed to me, not one can I find that will or dare present my supplication to his Majesty. My friends are hanged, slain and beggared, our lands distributed and possessed by our enemies, and myself with them brought to such extremity, that we know not where to go with an hour's safety of our life, and if our lives were safe, yet have we no means of sustenance. If this extremity may suffer any longer lingering from embracing of some course for my relief, let your worships consider. I am sorry nothing could satisfy you but that my extremities should be known to the world, more to the "insulting" [rectius, exulting] of my enemies than to my advantage. Yet I despair not, seeing the Lord is strong enough and that I know I am innocent, some day to render to them as I received and to content you better than you expect at my hands.
Thus far of my estate; now concerning the Papist lords. Most true it is I met with Angus and Errol, to whom I never refused speech in respect of our long friendship, which ever to this hour has continued inviolable. Of late other extremities made them join with Huntly, yet not against me, but for their own "particulars." They then began to lay before my eyes the injuries which ill advised councillors about his Majesty have induced him to execute against us, craving that I, as one specially interested, even more than they, would concur to put in practice the lovable custom of our progenitors at Lauder, (fn. 3) whereunto I most willingly assented. It was then replied by them that so great a matter could not be compassed except by the brotherly conjunction of the "pecatoris," which I granted was true. They then required me that matters questionable betwixt Huntly and me might be removed, or at least assurance granted, during the service and "till the bairne (fn. 4) came to perfite age of 16 or 17 years," at which time Huntly should be bound at Ochiltree's sight and mine to satisfy the party, or to license us to concur and assist with our friend as before. They promised, further, that if we would assent to this they should satisfy the Queen of England for me in all she should require, they receiving such security from her as the weightiness of so dangerous a cause demerited. Also in order that the ministry should not have occasion to calumniate me, they were content presently to offer and, being peaceably settled in their own estates, to perform whatsoever they possibly could for satisfaction of the Kirk, according to the acts and constitutions of the same. I answered that I was not yet resolved whether to accept or not, but having advised with my friends I should return them answer.
This is all that was spoken; if any one has reported less or more, it is false. I know it is said that I was with Huntly (who indeed was within five miles); that I should have received money for lifting 500 or 600 horse; that I was already listing them; that I was bound and "conjoynit" with them in all their causes; that I had now uncovered "my lang and deip dissimulate hipocrisies" and become an open Papist. In order that these impudent lies may the more visibly be seen, I am content to "prorogate" to the 25th of September the answer which I should have given on the 10th, so that you may have leisure to insist with his Majesty, offering in my name whatever you shall think convenient that possibly, with credit, I may perform. If all reasons shall be refused and none of my humble offers accepted, I beseech you not to construe hardly my behaviour hereafter, since I protest that I shall never swerve from our faith professed here within this realm, and if I conjoin with any apostates it shall be as David did with the Philistines and as divers of your venerable society did with Maxwell, an open, known Papist. I know it will be answered he was not excommunicated. Yet you will confess that my extremities now are greater than yours were then, for you had satisfaction, "retreit," liberty and safety of life in England, all of which I lack. As my extremities surpass yours, so my conjunction with the excommunicated may the better be borne with; adding also this temporal argument, that it is hard to lose a heritable earldom, specially having the blessing from God of children. Thus far I thought good to impart to your worships the simple truth, in declaring whereof if anything has been spoken rashly or undutifully I offer myself to be censured, punished and commanded as you shall think convenient.
2 pp. Copy. Endorsed by Bowes's clerk: "Copie of the letter sent by th'Erle Bothwell to the Presbiterie of Edenbrughe. vij Septembris 1594."
350. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 8.]
On the 5th and 6th instant I received your two several letters of 31st August. By the latter I perceive that my letter of 22nd August was then brought to your lordship. Since then I have sent you two other letters, on 27th and 31st August, and trust that these shall fully satisfy your lordship of occurrents.
According to your direction of 18th August I have charged Robert Waldegrave, the King's printer here and her Majesty's natural subject, with his undutifulness in printing or publishing matter prejudicial to her Majesty, and the rather because he had before offended in England and has made means to be restored to grace. This Waldegrave has acknowledged; and said that at the King's commandment he printed a little book intituled Principis ScotiBritannorum natalia, written by Mr. Andrew Melvill, Rector of the University of St. Andrews; that he does not understand Latin; and that if he had known that the verses any wise concern her Majesty, he would not have printed them. He denies having sent in England or published any of these pamphlets except only one. He says Mr. William Walwood, Master of Arts in St. Andrews, caused those verses to be imprinted at the Hague, in Holland, and has dis persed many of them in England. He seems very sorrowful for his fault, thus "eschaped" (he says) through ignorance, and this error shall be a lesson to him in all times coming. Lastly, he told me that the Bishop of Aberdeen willed him to print his oration at the baptism, offering to procure the King's warrant for the same; but he denied to do it.
Because I understand that the King had commanded his printer to print these verses, therefore I acquainted the King with the matter. Showing him the verses in print (which before the receipt of your letter I had not seen or heard of), I told him that the poet, by naming him King of all Britain in possession, cannot but breed offence to her Majesty, considering her portion is the greatest part of Britain and his the less, and I concluded in such sort that no show of misliking should appear in her Majesty that the Prince, his son, should be honoured with all titles due to him. The King answered that Mr. Andrew Melvill presented the verses to him, requiring his warrant to Waldegrave to print them; which warrant he granted, and did not read the verses, neither did he think that anything therein touched her Majesty in any sort. Further, being descended as he was, he could not but make claim to the crown of England after the decease of her Majesty, who was well pleased to promise to him that upon his good behaviour towards her she would never hurt or impeach his title or right therein. He protested earnestly that he had never sought, nor would hereafter seek, to "preveyne" (fn. 5) the time or challenge anything therein in her Majesty's days. He and all the world well knew that she was the daughter and heir of King Henry the Eighth, by whom he derived his title, which could not come to him before her Majesty's decease, whose long life and prosperous estate he heartily wished. Then I put him in mind that the Bishop of Aberdeen had touched the same string in his oration at the baptism, and prayed that a copy of the same might be delivered to me. He affirmed thereon that poets and scholars would oftentimes and without good discretion publish "conceiptes" occupying their heads and pleasing their minds, notwithstanding their actions therein little profited, and he agreed to order the Bishop to give me a copy of his oration, which albeit I had divers times demanded and the Bishop promised, yet I have not yet received it, looking to have it very shortly.
Angus, Huntly, Errol and Auchindoun lately sent Matthew Douglas with letters to the King, surmising that the ministry had procured them to be excommunicated by the Kirk and forfeited by Parliament, notwithstanding that at Perth and Linlithgow they had offered their trial, which was refused, and wherein some foreign princes would intercede for them. They prayed that some of the King's Council might be sent to confer with them and hear their offers; otherwise that they might not be blamed if any trouble should fall in the country. Search was made for the apprehension of Douglas, the messenger, whom the King purposed to have punished. But he escaped, with the help (some say) of Linclouden and one of the King's Council.
The Convention of the Estates at Edinburgh shall begin on the 10th instant to deliberate concerning the King's raid against the forfeited Earls. Because it is now generally believed that Bothwell has met at Fettercairn (Fetterkarne), in Angus, with Angus, Errol, Auchindoun (sent for Huntly), and others of their accomplices, and that they have knit themselves together and taken order to levy strong forces of their friends and mercenary soldiers in sundry parts of the realm, therefore it is thought meet to provide sufficient strength to attend upon the King for safety of his person and surety of the service in this journey. It is alleged by many that the forces to be levied by proclamation shall do little service and greatly hazard the King's person and common cause. It will therefore be advised (as I hear) to levy a sufficient number of horse and footmen, and for defray of the charges the subjects bound to attend on the King in this raid shall be licensed, for reasonable fines, to remain at home, and the fine money shall be employed for the pay of the soldiers serving. Further, forasmuch as the sum of the fines and power of the King will not suffice for the pay of the soldiers, therefore other means must be taken for the same by this Convention. As it is now thought dangerous to burden the subjects with new taxations, it is "lyke" that they will seek her Majesty's aid herein, and one of the preachers in his sermon plainly moved the Earl of Sussex in the same. In order that I might prevent suit being made to her Majesty in this behalf, I have taken occasion to make known to sundry councillors, ministers, and others of quality the excessive charges wherewith she is presently burdened in France, the Low Countries, Ireland, and on the seas, amounting near to 15,000l. What I shall do further herein I leave to your direction.
Argyll, with his forces, is stayed until the 18th instant, that he may meet the King against Huntly and the rest in the beginning of October. He has written to the King, and by the ministers sought that the King would by his letters charge Alan MacDonald Duff in Lochaber, MacRanald (Mackrenauld) there, and Donald MacAngus (Mackaignus) of Glengarry, with their forces, to attend on Argyll on this journey against Huntly, and let them know that the King will defend them against Huntly at all times hereafter. This the King has done. Secondly, Argyll requires that the footmen to be set forth by Edinburgh and other burghs to attend on the King in this raid may be turned into horsemen to serve with him. Thirdly, that one herald-at-arms may be sent to him to execute all proclamations and charges. Fourthly, that Huntly's possessions in Lochaber may be granted to him. He intends to enter on his journey on the 18th instant with 6000 men. He looks to be assisted by Lord Forbes, and he will not call Atholl out of his own country, so that he may defend his own bounds. He will "carye" with him MacLean, which the King mislikes. Yet Argyll alleges that he cannot leave MacLean behind lest he join with Glenorchy (Glenorquhy) and trouble the country. [In the margin: The King is purposed to send for Argyll to take full order with him in all things for this raid.]
Argyll offers to put Huntly out of his own bounds, Caithness and Sutherland, and to enter into and keep his houses. Besides that, he will with his "lomfades" possess Pentland Firth, so that Huntly shall have no passage by water thereon. Therefore he desires her Majesty to send some ship or pinnace to surprise Huntly in case he shall seek passage by sea to foreign places, and further that, when he is in possession of Huntly's houses and has finished these services, she will aid him to continue and hold the possession of the houses entered into by him. All which he has prayed me (by the ministers lately with him) to commend to her Majesty's consideration. He is not assured whether Donald Gorm has returned out of Ireland. It has been informed that sundry "lomfades" with Donald's forces have gone home, but it is not known whether he and his forces have come out of Ireland. He [Argyll] has agreed to endeavour to call out of Ireland all such as are there and will be at his commandment. But he has no trust in Donald Gorm, notwithstanding that Donald has made large offers to him.
One gentleman of good quality (and known, I think, to your lordship) has been inwardly entertained by the attainted Earls and done many offices for them. He pretends to be privy to all their plots and designs past, present and future, and to be able at home or abroad to prevent and defeat their chiefest means and desires, for reward. He seems to be fallen from these lords in regard that by parting [i.e. distributing] of the gold lately brought he was not regarded as he looked for. Therefore he offers to discover to her Majesty all their plots and practices past, present and future, and to draw all things touching the same to her own course and pleasure. For his reward herein he demands to have either a pension of 300 angels by year or else 1000 angels in ready money, whereof 300 to be given "in purse" and the residue upon service done. He requires his name to be concealed until matters shall be more ripe, and that I would acquaint your lordship with all these offers and effects to the intent that he may know her Majesty's pleasure in the same. He has not hitherto opened to me any secrets, saving that one of the Englishmen come in with Mr. James Gordon is the son of a Catholic gentleman and your kinsman,—by which note your lordship will (he says) readily know this person. He affirms that the alteration in Scotland shall be sudden and exceeding great, that dangerous effects to both these realms shall follow thereon, [and] that the forfeited Earls have corrupted many of the nobility and others able to do them great pleasure in Court, country and field when the King shall come to it; and he has made these seem so great in general sort that I durst not bear the burden of passing them over without advertisement to your lordship, and therein to attend your further direction. The name and quality of this gentleman shall be shortly "and in tyme" made known to you.
It is true that Bothwell and some gentlemen with him met Angus and Errol, with Auchindoun, whereof I received some advertisement by letter from a personage of a special quality and place, a copy of which letter I enclose. I have seen other letters agreeing with the same, and I understand that by several means your lordship and Sir Robert Cecil shall be advertised in all particularities touching these matters of the Earl Bothwell. I shall acquaint you with such intelligences as I shall gather in these behalfs, which presently occupy all men's heads with firm expectation of hasty and very strange effects and alterations in this realm, and whereby it shall be found by experience that there lies a venomous serpent covered under fair herbs and sweet speeches. As I shall gather further light, I shall give you further information.
By other credible advertisements I am informed that Bothwell has received 1000 crowns, wherewith he has promised to levy 120 horsemen; that other large offers are made to him by the Earls; that to draw the King from them, Bothwell shall take and fortify the Hermitage; that he has lately passed over the water to meet with Huntly and to resolve for all their proceedings; and that many Catholic noblemen are ready to "partye" the Earls and Bothwell in their action for the reformation of the estate here, with purpose to enter farther into other causes, in England or elsewhere, of great moment. All these secrets and particularities will be, I trust, fully opened by others, knowing the bottom of them better than I do. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—I am newly advertised very credibly that Donald Gorm was seen on the coast of Carrick in Scotland on 16th August; whereupon the inhabitants "put themselves" to withstand his landing. But he put to the seas and crossed over to Ireland, where he and most of his forces still remain.
5¾ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Enclosure with the same.
([ ] to Robert Bowes.)
I send these few lines in respect that I am so troubled with the cold that I am compelled to rest at my house for a few days. Since my departing from you I have learned what proceeded between Bothwell and the Earls in the north at their last meeting. Angus, Errol and Caithness, with Auchindoun for the Earl of Huntly, met Bothwell and James Douglas, and they have banded themselves together to assist "howe soone ether partye fyndis proper tyme for ther effecte." In the meantime their condition is to "misknowe other" and to deny their agreement. Bothwell has received silver to lift 300 horse, and intends to keep house in the Hermitage till his Majesty passes to the north against the Earls, when he will take the field with his friends in the south. The Earls lift 500 horse "in wages," and "giveth forthe to make of horsemen xven houndreth, and of footemen 3000," with the Earls of Caithness and Sutherland. They look for divers noblemen who have not "kythed" [i.e. declared themselves], and I fear their party to be enough to begin a trouble in this isle. They have accorded amongst themselves to make offers apart, and in case any of them finds more favour than another that he "sall accepte with promise to continewe ther bande," and that his agreement shall not be for himself but for furtherance of their common cause either by force or other means. I am informed hereof by a sure "moyen," and to make you "foreseyne" of the same. His Majesty is of good disposition to put order to their designs, and "hes fewe to concurr with him." It is thought strange by good men that the Council of England "takes it no farder to harte." I fear they will put to their hand when it shall be harder to put remedy thereto. I remember that a delay to "make helpe" in due time lost Newhaven, and consequently Calais, "or the pledgis bound for it." I remit the rest to your consideration. You know our estate so well that I need not to inform you thereof. I never remember these 36 years past greater appearance of danger to the whole isle. "Ryve" [i.e. tear up] my letter. I am sorry that any of the said Earls or Bothwell, being my particular friends, should take such courses, but will ever prefer the true religion and the amity of this isle to all particulars. I look that no person shall be privy to this present but yourself. 6th Sept. 1594.
½ p. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk.
351. Earl of Sussex to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 8.]
After I had fully performed all her Majesty's instructions touching the baptism of the Prince, and found the King at convenient leisure, then I sought further audience, and opened to him the residue of my instructions concerning the Papist Earls. I let him first understand that her Majesty, receiving great contentment by the birth of his son, was besides very much satisfied to understand of his kingly resolution to suppress forthwith the rebellious Earls. Secondly, that her Majesty was very glad to hear of his constancy to prosecute these rebels thus effectually, for thereon depends his safety. Thirdly, that it is great comfort to her to hear that the hearts of his people and subjects are so much alienated from these dangerous persons, as is well approved by their readiness in offering to furnish him with forces. Fourthly, I told him that his people would sooner have offered themselves and their services if he had sooner used more remedies and severity against these attainted rebels. I opened what inconvenience shall arise to him by any underhand show of favour to them, albeit in matters of small moment; and I touched all other matters so far as my memory served me. He answered that these persons had many ways given him just cause to proceed severely against them, whereupon he alone, as it were, prepared their forfeitures by Parliament. Since that time they have often and by many means suited for his grace, but would never perform his reasonable orders.
[He said] that these Earls and the Earl of Caithness have lately met with Bothwell and concluded to knit them together for his hurt and to trouble the peace in this realm; and now lately they have sent out desperate men with their letter certifying that they had been hardly dealt with and wrongfully slandered in their actions, demanding that the King would see them have justice and let some of his Council speak with them, otherwise, if hereafter any hurt should come to the King, they should not be blamed therein. Their pride and threatening herein he said he much disliked, affirming that he would effectually and with all expedition prosecute them; and for the execution thereof had appointed a Convention at Edinburgh to begin on the 9th instant; further, that he purposed to punish the bearer of their letter, but he had escaped. He thanked her Majesty for her good advice and goodwill, protesting earnestly to be ready to requite the same with all kindness and good deeds in his power. Lastly he said that albeit his power does not suffice to execute full punishment on these persons, and that he looked to have been supplied by her Majesty, yet he would not leave them unpunished, but proceed against them with all his power to correct them by his laws or drive them out of the realm by his force.
In my reply I thought it meet to take hold of his promise to pursue these offenders by his own forces and power, to which I earnestly persuaded him, using therein all such arguments as are set down in my instructions, and I concluded that I would be very glad to bring to her Majesty news of the good health of himself, the Queen and the Prince, and also of some certain report of his further progress in these affairs which so essentially import him. Whereunto he assured me very confidently that he will indeed proceed against these Earls and with the advice of the next Convention go forward at the time appointed. This, his firm and fast promise, I told him I would make known to her Majesty. To all which he readily consented. Albeit that he entered into speech "with" Bothwell, I took occasion, as of myself, to show him how I had heard her Majesty condemn Bothwell's actions at Holyroodhouse and other places, and followed my instructions in that behalf, yet finding him so precisely bent against Bothwell I let the matter fall, and so ended my negotiation with him. Now I attend my despatch, which I hope shall be granted within three or four days. Edinburgh. Signed: Ro. Sussex.
Postscript.—Since the writing hereof I obtained a copy of the letter written by the Earls to the King, which I have herewith sent you.
2pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley. Postal notes.
Enclosure with the same.
(Angus, Huntly, Errol and George Gordon of Auchindoun to James VI.)
We, your Majesty's most humble and native subjects, William Earl of Angus, George Earl of Huntly, Francis Earl of Errol, and George Gordon of Auchindoun, complain and show that anent the alleged conspiracy with Spain, the ministry, our conjured enemies, have first excommunicated us, notwithstanding which we have since offered ourselves at Perth and Linlithgow to have "bidden" due trial if we could have been sure and out of danger in the time of our trial; which was refused. Not being satisfied with this, they made your Majesty forfeit us in the last Parliament. Which unjust excommunication and forfeiture have come to the knowledge of foreign christian princes, "where (sic) to interceede your Majestie with all dutyes and offices that lyeth in them for the reliefe of our distressed estate," and if this shall not prevail they will use further means. Therefore for quieting the state of our country we earnestly desire your Highnes to appoint some of the Council to confer with us, "where" we shall offer such offers that your Majesty shall be contented, and the state of our country made sure; and in case that this be not accepted and that matters "frame" otherwise, to the hurt of our country, let us be holden blameless, seeing we have offered at all times such reasonable conditions and offers. We doubt not but your Majesty's wonted clemency will continue, seeing we are willing to do our duties to the end, as native and true subjects, and shall so continue as long as we live and so far as our duty and conscience can bind us.
1 p. Copy. Endorsed: "3th of September, 1594. A letter from the Papist Earles to the Kinge."
352. Queen Anne to Elizabeth. [Sept. 9.] Printed in Warrender Papers, ii. 266.
By the greatness of your courteous affection to us and our son we are moved to acknowledge our thanks not only by mouth to your ambassador but by "writt" to yourself, that as hitherto your favourable disposition towards us arose from the merits and amity of the late King of Denmark, so we doubt not hereafter by our own deserts and behaviour to enlarge the same, seeing it has pleased God to bless us in our son, so near in blood to yourself, in whose birth your joy has far surpassed the universal gladness of other nations. We render you infinite thanks, assuring you that we shall endeavour to prove ourselves thankful. Holyroodhouse. Signed: Anne R.
1¾ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk. Red wax seal; blue silk fastening.
353. Mr. John Colville to Mr. Henry Lock. [Sept. 10.] Printed in Colville's Letters, p. 126.
Unhappy N. [Bothwell] has gone north again to the Earls, having in company with him Boyd, Halkerston, Foster and Orrock, "to sett down the counsale of that unchristian warre." Since he took this course I have been much discouraged, but the Lord, I hope, shall send light out of darkness. The good people now will admit no excuse if the King go not against these Papists, and I think he will be the more willing. For myself, the best of the ministry, finding me free of this apostacy, have "lamented" my cause to his Majesty, and I am in some hope to get favour, which I will no way accept unless it be consented to by her Majesty and Sir Robert Cecil. I acquaint your "leger" (fn. 6) with all my proceedings herein. Mar, Dunipace, Thomas Erskine are the men who labour for me without my desire. Bruit has even now come that the said Papists "have a surpris upon Dundie."
There is great appearance that the one half of the courtiers shall thrust out the other, and the Chancellor, in all men's opinion, seems to be "feared" and to have cause of fear. The fire that has been long smothered up among us will now burst out. Let me hear Cecil's pleasure "from hir Majeste" in this treaty for me, and "till we see what effect it takkis let it go abroad." Edinburgh. Signed: Jo. Colville.
Postscript.—This same day the ministry and burghs have promised for two months 500 horse [and] 500 footmen, and the barons 300 horse. His Majesty has promised largely "to keip the 2 of the nixt to that jurney." But I fear unhappy Bothwell will stay him, for Bothwell minds to "kyith" [i.e. declare himself] on the Border, and so the King will be forced to seek him. But in this course he will be unable to do as before, for all the honest men who followed him have already left him, and he has lost the favour of the people.
2 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
354. James VI. to Elizabeth. [Sept. 11.] Printed in Tytler, ix. 141–142; spelling modernised.
I could not permit the nobleman bearer hereof to depart without returning you my most hearty thanks for honouring me with so noble a representative. And where you excuse his youth, surely he was the fitter for a young King and feasting days. I cannot sufficiently commend his extreme diligence in coming and courteous and mild behaviour here.
As for the other part of his commission, and your letter, which concerns the Spanish lords here, you can be no earnester now in that matter than I am. I have vowed to pursue them by extremity and never to take rest until I put some end thereunto. Suppose you may justly accuse my deferring so long to put order unto them, yet according to an old proverb, it is better late thrive than never. I will think my fault the more excusable if the example keeps you from falling in the like error in the sending of assistance. But this I remit to your own wisdom, for you are not ignorant how occasion is painted. I cannot omit to lay some griefs before you, but I remit the particulars to the bearer, only touching thus far by the way. I think you have not given commission to any of your Council to treat with Bothwell's ambassador, nor yet allow that his agent, and one guilty of all his treasons, should use his public devotion in the French Kirk, in presence of my ambassador; who, indeed, was more patient at the sight thereof than he is likely to get thanks for at my hands. You know, Madame, none can brook me and Bothwell both. Examine straitly your councillors, and suffer them not to behave themselves more to your dishonour than to my discontentment. If James Forret or any other Bothwellists be at this present within your country, I crave delivery according to the treaties, your many hand-written promises and my good deserts by O'Rourke. As you have been godmother both to me and my son, so I doubt not you will be a good mother to us both. Holyroodhouse. Signed: James R.
1⅓ pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
355. James VI.'s Petitions to Elizabeth. [Sept.]
"Notes of some petitions uttered by his Majestie to the Earle of Sussex, ambassadeur for the Queene his dearest sister, to be delivered unto her."
To dilate to the Queen what disgrace his Majesty accounts was done to him that James Forret (not only an avowed agent for Bothwell, but likewise guilty of the two last treasons at Holyroodhouse and the raid of Leith, and fugitive therefor) durst be present in the French Church publicly in time of service "in the eyes of" his Majesty's ambassador. He craves that, according to the amity between the two crowns, she will examine narrowly how Forret has been so publicly received and maintained in London, punish the authors thereof "to whatsoever degree," and, if the said Forret be presently there, cause him to be delivered according to the treaty and her manifold promises; that she will call to a strait account all her councillors, whether they have had any dealing with the said Forret in Bothwell's affairs of late or not; what it was, and if he craved in Bothwell's name permission for him to have intelligence [with] and receive money from the Papist lords. This being tried by her Majesty he remits to her own wisdom to judge thereupon as she thinks most convenient, for he wishes no more than that she be acquainted with the proceedings of all men whom she commits any credit to.
To complain of the ordinary and daily "receipte" of divers of his Majesty's avowed rebels within her Majesty's dominion, as "namelye" of Colville's dwelling with his wife and bairns in Tweedmouth, and Thomas Cranston's at Wark, besides divers of that society who go publicly in the streets of Berwick. His Majesty therefore prays the Queen to take order with the authors of this contempt, and, in case they defend themselves by interpreting the Queen's last proclamation only to extend to Bothwell's own person and not to any of his company, he prays her to interpret her law according to the ground thereof, which was the treaty of peace and league, and not to such "sophisticke captions," for Bothwell is no such giant that he can do any harm alone, having no company.
[To dilate to the Queen] that, seeing his Majesty is now making ready for his expedition to the north, he desires her to give strait order upon all her Borders that, in case Bothwell shall make any stir for hindering and interrupting his godly and honourable designs, none of his [sic? her] subjects, of whatsoever degree, be permitted to join or concur with him; and, in case he should press to assemble any Scottish forces within her country (as he did last at the raid of Leith), that he be not permitted to do the same again, nor to take muster, display cornet or ensign, blow trumpet, strike drum or in any wise be permitted by her Majesty or [with] her officers' knowledge to be within her dominions.
His Majesty craves of her Majesty that, during his absence out of the south parts of his country, she will cause such forces to be directed to attend at all convenient places of her Borders as may not only help to keep the said Borders in quietness, but likewise concur with and assist his officers for suppressing insolent rebels of either of the princes.
2¼ pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. Endorsed in the same hand: "1594. Copy of the effect of the King of Scottis speache to the Earl of Sussex."
Another copy of the same.
356. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 11.]
I enclose a letter lately received and trust that thereby you will understand the present condition of this variable and broken estate and Bothwell's course. The writer will faithfully and wisely discover to you all in his knowledge; and I commend the necessity of his present estate to your consideration. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
½ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
357. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 13.]
I enclose a packet from the King to the Secretary of Scotland. The Earl of Sussex entered on his journey to England on Thursday the 12th instant. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
⅓ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
358. Earl of Sussex to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 14.]
I was this day struck by a horse on my leg, so that I cannot stand without help, and do not know when I shall be at London. I mean, if I can, to be at Newark to-morrow (Monday) night and to rest at Belvoir or Lord Willoughby's for three or four days. I beg you to be a means that Mr. Baker may come thither to meet me. Northallerton. Signed: Ro. Sussex.
½ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk. Postal notes.
359. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 15.]
By my letter of the 13th instant to Sir Robert Cecil it will be known that the Earl of Sussex, taking his full leave of the King on Wednesday last, the 11th, returned the next day to Berwick, purposing to hasten his journey to the Court with report of his negotiation, and with the King's message to her Majesty and the present condition of this state and of the occurrents here. In which last behalf I shall shortly by my servant, Sheperson, give your lordship further advertisement, etc.
After the King had uttered to Sussex the great comfort which he received by her Majesty's kindness showed to him and his son by the employment of so noble a personage and gift of so princely presents, he showed himself highly pleased with the honourable behaviour and carriage of the Earl in all these actions, and also required me to commend the same so that his lordship might receive of her Majesty due thanks and praise. Besides, by the greatness of the charges sustained here by the Earl and his company for her Majesty's honour, the ambassadors and this people have been taken with great admiration, saying that the like has not been seen. The King's request, therefore, and my own experience occasion me to subscribe this testimony, and to accompany the same with remembrances of the good deserts of Lord Wharton and of all the gentlemen attending here on the Earl on his journey; wherein I cannot omit how much Mr. Edward Gorges (Gorge) has been honoured for his courtly and courteous carriage, and how Mr. Coningsby and Mr. Rolles have performed their duties with careful providence for her Majesty's honour.
The King continues resolute to proceed in his raid against the Papist Earls and to enter into the same on 1st or 2nd October, as presently it is enacted. He purposes to remain in the north two months or thereabouts to complete all things for the full prosecution and punishment of these rebels. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
360. Mr. John Colville to Mr. Henry Lock. [Sept. 16.] Printed in Colville's Letters, 127–8.
Albeit this unhappy man has ruined himself (which you oft feared), yet let our love and intelligence never decay, being founded upon so solid ground. N. [Bothwell] has had by means of these Papists, from whence he has returned, two great enterprises, the one for possessing his Majesty, the other for murdering Sir George Hume, both of which have failed and sundry of the associates [have been] apprehended, of whom I fear many shall be executed. Since he entered in these courses women and young boys have been in his secret, for Mr. Allan Orme, a young creature, is taken with letters which have opened the whole matter. So there is such order taken here in Edinburgh and Leith that Bothwell can never remain here any more, and Hume, Cessford [and] Buccleuch have taken his lands and "protested" to keep him out of the Border, which is easy for them to do, and her Majesty will be solicited to renew her proclamations against him, whereby, alas ! I think him lost.
I think this raid upon the Papists shall now hold, and the men of war are "lifting" daily, the people gladly contributing for that service and delivering all to the ministers of Edinburgh, of whom Mr. Bruce and Mr. Balcanqual should go with his Majesty to be witnesses of his sincerity. The Laird of Logie is committed to the Castle of Edinburgh. It is suspected he shall die; and young Anstruther is also taken.
Now, in respect that Bothwell is distressed in manner aforesaid, the Papist lords who hoped that he should before 2nd October have possessed the estate, or with some troops of horsemen joined with them, or, remaining in this country [i.e. the south], have by incursions drawn his Majesty back again, will be found disappointed and have no refuge but to flee to Caithness or to embark and depart.
The bruit of strangers arriving is again renewed, but I hear no certainty. Surely if Mr. Forret "went ower bot 8 dayis" he could make you certain. Mr. Thomas Cranston and Spott, who have led my lord to this miserable course (especially Mr. Thomas, who says he can "byid" (fn. 7) a year in England and Scotland with the displeasure of both the Princes), should be prohibited your Border "and a speciall letter vritten to Sir John Shelby for that effect." You know what an enemy Mr. Thomas is to your estate. I pray you use Mr. Forret kindly, for he will merit it. For myself, weary not to "do" for me, and remember the estate of my wife and household to Sir Robert Cecil. Let me know whither I shall address my letters for Mr. Dean (Dane), for I shall be sorry to omit my duty to "such a pretius stone." Edinburgh. Signed: John Colvile.
Postscript.—If Mr. Forret be absent, open his letters and "do as he wer present."
2½ pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
361. Sir Richard Cockburn to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 16.]
Although our "lait initiat" acquaintance has had small progress and has not been entertained with such external ceremonies as is "accustomable," yet I thank you for your good-will, with assurances of my reciprocal affection and such small services as may serve to the entertaining of the amity and the continuing of our own particular credit, as the bearer will inform you more at length. I take leave of you by him and by these few lines; which I would gladly have done "by mouth" yesterday after I had kissed her Majesty's hand. London. Signed: R. Cokburne.
½ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
362. Mr. John Colville to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 16.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 127–128.
Since my "hiddercumming" the whole Court laboured earnestly with his Majesty for my relief since Bothwell (N.) had made so unhappy defection, whereof I was guiltless; but his Highness would not hear of me. He was stirred thereunto by the Chancellor and Sir George Hume only, all the rest, as the Duke, Mar and the "whole Chalmer," being my friends. In the end I found "moyen" to make Sir George my friend, and so, on the 13th, my remission was signed by his Highness. But since he thinks it not meet, especially for the Chancellor's cause, that it should be yet known, I am commanded for some few days to "keip my self secret as of befor," and willed to go to Stirling to confer with Mar, and thereafter to return to Edinburgh or Tweedmouth till his Majesty may satisfy the Chancellor, who presently" is departed of Court," fearing this should fall out. I was the bolder to end this matter in that I received that same day a letter from Mr. Lock signifying her Majesty's good liking that I should so do. I therefore beg that this be imparted only to her Highness and such as she shall direct, lest, if the King hear that I have uttered it, I be "cassin" again into new disgrace. This small beginning I hope will make me able to do her Majesty better service than in banishment I could.
If Mr. Forret be there, please show him that he is in my remission, but command him to tell it to no other there, as he would not have us both discredited. I fear that Bothwell is now fully ruined, and that in the examination of some of his men some things are discovered which may begin displeasure betwixt the King and Queen, for one Anstruther, her Majesty's cooper, is apprehended. Edinburgh. Signed: Jo. Colville.
Postscript.—The honourable young nobleman who was here has done her grace and her country great honour, and it is incredible what Bowes has done here for her Majesty's service, for he has stolen the hearts of all honest men to her, in so much that if any good work be done at this time against these Papists it is to be imputed to him. In any case our ambassador must know nothing of my relief.
2 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
363. Elizabeth to Robert Bowes. [Sept. 16.]
We have understood from you by divers letters how the King daily discovers the dangerous practice against his person and estate, wherein we cannot deny but much of his peril has been increased for want of sound proceedings and of taking advantage when it offered. If he had been as watchful of divers his own principal ministers now in his favour, who "for particulers" have stayed the correction of the traitor faction, as he has been curious of the dealings of others who never respected person or cause in his kingdom in comparison with his safety, surely the laboursome journey which now he is forced to undertake might have been spared and these evils and their authors been easily extinguished. For what in the beginning with small work might have been prevented must now with greater difficulty be remedied. But seeing we have not spared our best counsel nor other support, we must only remit this action to God's providence. The King, no doubt, putting on a resolution to persevere to the end, shall crown his work with assurance of his own estate and of God's cause professed within his realm, both of which will be" shrewdlie" shaken, besides the blow to his own particular reputation, if by a slender progress in this affair or by adverse counsels his own subjects once get apprehension of his coldness in his purpose, or the adverse party (by confidence that their friends shall mitigate any violent courses against them) should receive heart and courage to withstand him; seeing it is so fresh in memory what was the effect of his late raid against them, whereof the very children in the street before his going would divine the success, and wherein many apparent circumstances have since confirmed the suspicion that their suppression was but formally pretended for fashion. Surely, though fame and opinion are false and variable, yet in a King's person, when once he declare himself to the public face of the world one way or other, reputation in such an action lost or gotten either strengthens or weakens his fortunes a long time after. The way not to be affronted by such persons is to be known resolute not to endure the least contempt, and the remedy for all such insolencies in subjects is to chastise them in the beginning. And to the intent that the King may know our actions, we (who cannot be judged to look after Scottish affairs for glory or gain, but only to prevent the peril of our own estate, and to be a watchman for him) have thought good to let him understand that, as of late we have heard of strange and new friendships, so have we received divers and sundry overtures which we will not in any sort hide from him. It has been offered us in the Popish Earls' behalf and others that they would be bound for their allies and followers to renounce all foreign combinations and practices upon condition that we will deal with the King for them. They will also yield satisfaction to the Church for being disturbers of the established religion on condition that they may have immunity for themselves "for use of their consciencis," with further conditions that they will join against any foreign force and that they will give bond and hostages for the performance of these covenants. To all which they doubt not but to procure the King's good allowance, if they may have also our mediation. To these propositions we have made an answer in general, that before notice from him we could entertain nothing. Only to one point in particular we could not forbear to make answer, [namely] that we are too well advised to open a gap for the overthrow of true religion by toleration of any contrary to that which is established. We will therefore now forbear to deliver any censure of [i.e. opinion upon] these matters and only refer the same to the King's own judgment. Though we ever wish what we think best for him, yet we always "attend" whatsoever out of freedom of his own spirit he shall liberally and frankly "open" himself in towards us, who have all our ends served when we may think his person and the peace of the land thoroughly secured. Only this we conclude, that we never account anything more pernicious than that trust be given to shadows instead of substance, the rule seldom failing that subjects' faith "to" a King falsified can hardly with his safety be surely soldered; and though we know that mercy in Kings' hearts must ever be put in balance with justice, yet is their cruelty and injustice never greater than when to grievous and voluntary offenders they afford that grace which may leave them [the offenders] power to execute malice upon the innocent hereafter. What therefore the King will do we pray you move him directly and resolutely to show, as that which will settle his estate more than any second course he can devise in the world; and advertise him forthwith of what you have received from us. We have heard that the Earl of Sussex has been hindered in his return by a sore stroke by a horse, but that he will be here this night or tomorrow. As we desire to hear from him of the well-doing of the King, Queen and young Prince we will forbear to write to the King till his arrival. For the present you will advertise him of this as from a prince who has a "sensible feeling" in all that concerns him.
3 pp. Draft in the hand of Cecil's clerk. Corrections in Cecil's hand. Endorsed.
Fair copy of the same (vol. lii., page 99).
It has the following note: "Thoughe this letter beare date the xvith, yet was the same signed the xxvith, and sent away the xxviith of September from London."
364. Confirmation to the Scots of their rights, etc., in France. [Sept. 16/26.
Confirmation by Henry IV., King of France, of the rights, privileges, immunities and franchises granted to the Scots by his ancestors, Kings of France, and the late King Henry II. Paris.
12/3 pp. French. Copy. Endorsed.
Another copy of the same, misdated 26th October.
365. Sir Robert Cecil to Sir Richard Cockburn. [Sept. 17.]
In answer to your courteous letter, I assure you of my willing mind to answer all the offices of goodwill and kindness, and am not a little pleased to see our resolutions convenire in tertio, as men that without faction or particular humour affect the conservation of the amity, wherein ministers of state may very often prove instruments of good and evil. Your abode here and temperate carriage have given very good hope to us, and your return back I doubt not shall truly deliver the King from any belief that her Majesty's eye is not always most careful of his particular good and honour, though all times serve not alike for satisfaction of all desires. The Court at Greenwich.
¾ p. Copy. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
Another copy (vol. lii., p. 96).
366. Instructions from Robert Bowes to Christopher Sheperson. [Sept. 17.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 194. Transcript in Harl MS. 4648, p. 241.
[Instructions for Christo]fer Sheperson (fn. 8) to be given to the Lord Treasurer of the present condition in Scotland.
Inprimis, by act of council of Convention it is concluded that the King shall personally proceed against the forfeited Earls and their accomplices according to proclamations, [and] enter into this raid on 1st or 2nd October at the farthest. He will depart from Edinburgh to Stirling with his forces; from Stirling to St. Johnstone; from thence to Dundee; from Dundee to Brechin, and from thence to Aberdeen, where the King and "feilde counsell" will deliberate concerning further proceedings. The King shall be served in this raid not only by his subjects called by proclamation (which company is thought to be weak), but also by paid soldiers under faithful captains, that the King's person may thereby be in safety. The burghs have agreed to levy 1000 footmen, allowing every footman 8l. Scots by the month. The contribution thus levied for the footmen in Edinburgh shall be delivered to certain ministers appointed to defray the same as it shall be due.
Because it is found requisite that the King shall be guarded and se[rve]d with sufficient number of horsemen, and that their pay be yearly provided for, therefore it is ordered that only 400 footmen shall be sent forth and sustained by the burghs, and that the contribution allotted to the other 600 footmen shall be employed towards the pay of 400 horsemen, to be allowed 24l. Scots apiece by the month. The residue for the pay of these 400 horsemen shall be gathered from the fines of the subjects licensed to remain at home. The names of the captains "put in lyte" [leet] to govern these soldiers are: footmen, Captain Murray, Captain Waddell, Captain Davison, Captain Cranston and Captain Hunter; and for horsemen, Sir John Carmichael, George Douglas of Long Niddry (Lang Nedderye), old William Hume, Captain Boswall and James Newteithe [Menteith]. Albeit these ten captains are thought to be faithful and sufficient for their charges, so that eight of them may be chosen [t]o govern and lead these soldiers after the rate of 100 in a company, yet [it] is left to the choice of the burghs to name and appoint their captains at [their] pleasure; and sundry of these captains being already admitted have [gather]ed several numbers to serve under them.
Argyll (ready to serve the King in this journey or to pass forward against Huntly with his forces amoun[t]ing to six or seven thousand footmen, whereof a great part be hacquebutters) is appointed to draw his people forwards to Inverness to attend the King's coming to Aberdeen, thereon to join him and his army as he shall be directed. Six ministers are chosen for Edinburgh to await on the King to witness his sincerity and princely proceedings, namely, Mr. Robert Bruce, Mr. David Lindsay, Mr. Patrick Galloway, [Mr. Andrew] Melvill, Mr. James Melvill and Mr. James Balfo[ur]. The King shall be "occasioned" to abide in the north above eight or ten weeks to perfect and establish the disposition of the rebels' possession there. It is not known yet how his expenses shall be raised. Besides the field council attending on the King, another shall remain at Edinburgh for safety of the town and quietness of the country in his absence. It is therefore meet that direction shall be given to the servant succeeding me, whether he shall be with the King in field during the expedition in the north or tarry at Edinburgh with the Council; and if I shall not be "indelatelye" revoked I am unfurnished in all things to be in the field. I have sent into England all my apparel, having neither horses nor any other furniture for this service, and trusting to be revoked or to have access to her Majesty.
It is already advertised by me that Bothwell met with Angus, Errol and Auchindoun, and that Huntly hovered not far from thence. The King and many others here have heard that James Forret was sent to London by Bothwell to give full informatio[n] in all these things. Bothwell, denying to have made full agreement with the Popish lords, has written to the Presbytery of Edinburgh to such effects as appears by the copy. Deliver it to the Lord Treasurer. Albeit the King has seen and read this letter, yet he gives out very confidently that Bothwell has directly entered into accords with the forfeited Earls, and that it is agreed that Bothwell shall not be inquisitive of the Earls' plots, and that they shall hide and keep close their agreement, and keep in sunder themselves and their forces that they be not seen openly to be united.
It is reported that Bothwell received 1000 crowns from the Earls to levy 120 Border horsemen for their present affairs, and that Colonel Boyd was left to bring more gold; that Bothwell should seize and fortify the Hermitage (Armytage) to draw the King with his forces against him; that some great enterprise shall be attempted by them, chiefly for the surprise of the King's person and slaughter of some courtiers, upon the fear whereof great watch is kept in the Court; that upon the success of this enterprise they will first begin with reformation of the estate, in the form which Angus and other noblemen used at Lauder (Lawther) when they hanged Cochrane, as these purpose to execute some especial courtiers, namely [i.e. particularly] Sir George Hume, the capital enemy to Bothwell; next, after they shall have possession of the King's person and government they will move her Majesty to declare the King's right to the crown of England after her decease, and, if this shall be refused, then they will seek the aid of all christian princes therein, and. lastly, give liberty of conscience to all desiring the same; that, to please her Majesty and to keep the Church of Scotland quiet, offers shall be made that the Papist Earls shall give satisfaction to the King and the Church of Scotland at her Majesty's order and doom, and also bind themselves to her Majesty to renounce the Spanish amity and all other friendship and contrarious course; and that these offers shall be thus "pretended" to win time and work the effects of their other designs.
On Saturday last, the 14th, Mr. Allan Orme, servant to Bothwell, was taken in Edinburgh by William Hume, brother of Sir George. There were found with him both sundry memorials, specifying divers especial matters of importance to be done by several persons of quality, and also many letters. Many weighty effects are thus discovered. Hereby it was known that Bothwell was then presently in Edinburgh and the houses of his lodging and receipt were revealed. Whereupon search was made for him, chiefly at the house of Mr. James Henderson, already banished this town for a time for Bothwell's receipt. While the officers were breaking open the doors, the Earl escaped out at a back window and has now passed over the water (as it is said) into Fife. There are also apprehended John Barton of Edinburgh, goldsmith, and his wife, William Allen of Leith, writer, and one Anderson, servant to Bothwell. (fn. 9) All these have been straitly examined, and thereon declared many persons and matters. Captain Orocke, (fn. 10) the grant of whose pardon the ambassador for the States had once obtained, and Captain Masterton are accused, and some [are] likely to suffer death.
By the sight of the memorials and letters with Orme, and by the confession of the parties taken and examined by the King himself and others, it is found (as generally it is reported) that Bothwell had provided 120 borderers, Niddry gathered 40 about Edinburgh, Captain Hackerston 40, Orme, Pennicuik and Abircromby, servants to Bothwell, 50; that Bothwell with these companies should have entered Holyroodhouse on Saturday last in the night, have killed thirty-three persons named, sparing none until they should come to the King, who should have been carried unto and kept captive in Blackness, or else upon his resistance or refusal should have been slain; that six persons were appointed to attend only on the slaughter of Sir George Hume; that afterwards the two ambassadors for the States should have been taken and delivered to the King of Spain, and that all these things were defeated by the apprehension of Orme. It is further confessed that the Papist lords were come into Angus awaiting the success of this action and ready to have come with their horsemen and seconded the enterprise done. Orme and Allen being appointed to have been tried yesterday by assize were first carried to the Castle to be examined by torture of the boots. What they have confessed is not yet known. But many, yea, courtiers of especial quality are spotted herein. Bothwell's lands and livings are given away. Lord Hume has got Coldingham and Crichton; Buccleuch has got Liddisdale, Hailes, Morham, Traprain and Markell; Cessford has obtained Kelso and Sprouston. These patentees have promised to keep Bothwell out of the Borders of [Scot]land, or to apprehend or kill him if he shall come hither. Johnstone has agreed to join with them, and the King has written in very kind [m]anner to the principal persons in all the three Marches to assist those commissioners for the apprehension of Bothwell.
Bothwell's friends in Edinburgh, Leith, and parts adjoining are so discovered, "wracked" and terrified that they dare deal no more with him, and the gentlemen in Fife are in like case. Whereby it is gathered that Bothwell has now no power to raise any forces to attempt hastily any new and forcible enterprise, and that he shall be driven for his safety to resort to the Papist lords, who by his defeat are now accounted to be frustrated of their greatest hope.
It is said that James Douglas, Laird of Spott, and Mr. Thomas Cranstoun, now sojourning at Wark, or thereabouts, chiefly persuaded Bothwell both to this conference with the Papist lords and also to shake off Mr. John Colville, from whose knowledge all Bothwell's actions in these behalfs were (as I hear) kept close in regard that Mr. John utterly condemned the same, and whereupon no little dryness and alienation has fallen betwixt the Earl and him. Mr. John now seeks to provide for his own safety and peace, devoting still his faithful service to her Majesty; wherein he and his present estate ought to be graciously considered. The Papist lords seek to levy horsemen, offering greater wages than the King. They look (as I am informed) for money and forces from Dunkirk and for advertisement from Mr. Walter Lindsay; for the expedition of which things they have lately sent Ronn, (fn. 11) servant to Errol. They have solicited sundry noblemen and gentlemen to "partye" them, or else to be neutrals. They purposed to have surprised [and] fortified the towns of St. Johnstone and Dundee, and thereon the [town] (fn. 12) of Dundee keep very strong watch and ward. They have called their friends to know what they will do for them against the King or Argyll, and have recorded in writing the several answers. Many agree to aid against Argyll, but all in manner refuse to join with them against the King. It is generally deemed that these forfeited Earls will not resist the King, but resort to Caithness or flee by sea into foreign parts.
The young Laird of Purie Ogilvy has left the Papist Earls, and coming hither in secret seeks the King's licence to pass beyond sea upon caution for his good behaviour and that he shall not enter into practices against religion, the King or estate. His former company with the Earls holds him in suspicion, and hitherto hindereth the grant of his licence desired. He, John Ogilvy and other gentlemen (fn. 13) suspected to follow and aid the forfeited lords, are charged to appear before the King and Council; whereunto they have not yet obeyed. Ochiltree is in hope of his pardon, which shall be shortly granted if it shall be found that he was not privy to the enterprise at Holyroodhouse on Saturday last. It is believed that he refused to agree with Huntly or the Papist lords; and hearing that Bothwell had undertaken to reconcile Huntly and him, he told Bothwell that he lost his labour therein. By the means of the Queen (as it is said) Johnstone is like to obtain his remission for the slaughter of Maxwell, and the Chancellor's furtherance of this suit to please the King is also likely to work a reconciliation betwixt the Queen and him. But Lord Hamilton will greatly storm hereat and hold himself very evil satisfied.
The ambassadors for the States to the King of Scots entered into their journey to the Court of England on the 16th instant, on which day they were warned of the plot to surprise them and deliver them to the King of Spain. They have moved the King and Council (as I hear) that the old league and amity betwixt the Low Countries and the Kings of Scotland may be renewed and confirmed, and sundry other motions are made by them to the King and this estate.
You are to present to the Lord Treasurer or Sir Robert Cecil a request of the Laird of Buccleuch to have her Majesty's placard for the buying of two horses or geldings, for which he shall be ready to do all good offices and services in his power for preservation of peace on the Borders; wherein his goodwill, especially now when he commands Liddisdale, may yield great fruit and profit.
Finally make my miserable state to be perfectly known to Burghley and request him to impart the same to her Majesty.
[He requests his recall, etc.]. These and the due enlargement of every effectual matter and article therein I commit to your sufficient report for his lordship's good satisfaction and for my own discharge in the same. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
6¼ pp. In Sheperson's hand. Edges damaged by fire.
367. James Hudson to Burghley. [Sept. 18.]
Sir James Sandilands, who has been a traveller in Italy for the space of a year, arrived here last night from Flushing. He is a special favourite of the King, at least was at his departure. He "is now purpossid hoame," but is a humble suitor to be honoured with the kissing of her Majesty's hand. Please, therefore, signify your pleasure therein at your good time, for he cannot wait upon your lordship because he is alone and "unacquantted."
Lord Sanquhar sent me word to know if he might come this way home on his old passport from her Majesty, wherein may it also please you to declare your pleasure that I may answer him. He is an arch-papist, and I think not unacquainted with their courses in Scotland for that faith. Crichton is his kinsman, who manages all their affairs. London. Signed: Ja. Hudson.
1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk. Marginal notes in Burghley's hand.
368. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 21.]
Whereas these gentlemen, the bearers hereof, James Drummond of Inverpeffry, William Murray apparent of Tullibardine, and William Drummond, are desirous to pass to France and other places beyond the seas to learn languages and see the countries, and [because] the Lord Chancellor here, the Earl of Mar and others have prayed me to give them passport for their repair to London and to procure them licence to pass over the sea, and especially because I am required therein by some ministers of best account here, who know these gentlemen to be of good religion, I have therefore given them my passport for their repair to London, and also commend them to your help for further passport. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
⅓ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
369. Sir Richard Cockburn to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 21.]
Having delayed to render you thanks for the packet sent to me from Scotland till some occasion furnished matter to trouble you anew, I very heartily thank you for that received, and entreat you to give order for the conveyance of this other by post to Mr. Bowes. London. Signed: R. Cockburne.
¼ p. Holograph. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
370. James VI. to Elizabeth. [Sept. 24.]
This bearer Jean Hamilton, relict of umquhile Robert Ridley in Morpeth, within your realm, "ewest" (fn. 14) the Border thereof, a widow these seven years and having five young children, "orphelingis," to maintain, has in the meantime been heavily oppressed (as we are informed) by one Edward Grey, constable of Morpeth, who has violently (because she is a friendless stranger) "mellit and intromettit" with the living, rents and possessions justly belonging to her by decease of her husband, and has therefrom debarred her "besyde" [i.e. contrary to] all form of law and equity, to the undoing of her and her poor fatherless orphans. This complainer's condition being miserable and to be pitied we request you to give order and direction for her possessing "in these rowmes, fischeingis and utheris possessionis propirlie hir belanging" through decease of her umquhile husband, the particulars whereof we remit to her own information, that as she has found great favour before at your hands for our cause and commendation so she may now have that living for her comfort, and education of her poor children. Holyroodhouse. Signed: James R.
½ p. Broadsheet. Addressed. Endorsed.
371. Sir Robert Cecil to Robert Bowes. [Sept. 24.]
I doubt not but you understand privately by J[ohn] Co[lville] what was done for him on 13th August, whereof though he has advertised me with full desire to keep it secret (which I mean to do), yet it is thought convenient, seeing Sussex had instructions to protest against him, that the King receive satisfaction from the Queen (sic) in that behalf before she have notice of that change, and therefore you cannot with too much expedition make known the contents of the enclosed letter. (fn. 15) which, if you be absent from the King, you may send him as of yourself rather than abide the protraction of requiring a personal audience. The reason whereof you can judge, so that I shall not need further to particularise it in this letter. In your next letter it will not be amiss to inform us by what means this party has so soon recovered his grace. I am further commanded by the Queen to let you know that, although she cannot require any further care or diligence than she perceives by your writings, yet she finds this lack, that you only write res gestas, without any manner of delivering your opinions, although you know more clearly than here what were fit to be done at any time from hence.
2/3 p. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk.
Endorsed: "24 Sept. 1594. Copy of my master's two lettres to Mr. Bowes."
Another copy of the same (vol. lii. p. 98).
372. Sir Robert Cecil to Robert Bowes. [Sept. 24.] Vol. lii. p. 97.
Her Majesty, having understood by Sussex how much the King desires to have Bothwell's followers removed from her kingdom, requires you to say that although out of a charitable compassion for Mr. James (sic) Colville, in whom she has ever observed a great and zealous care of religion, never finding him either to have adhered to the foreign practice or Popish courses, he has by her ministers been suffered to abide quietly within England, yet, rather than the King should any way believe that she would give the least cause to the world to imagine less of her affection for him than at all times she both has [made] and will make good proof of, she will send order to her Wardens in nowise to suffer his receipt to be winked at, but "to retire himselfe and his" out of England. For the matter of Forret, whom she now understands to be a servant to Bothwell, she never had any inkling of that particular before, and yet, seeing that she never heard that he came for any bad, undutiful purpose, she did not think the King would more have distrusted his resort hither (it being a common use for Scottishmen to pass to and fro) than he is jealous to suffer in his own Court the repair and continual abode of the chiefest instruments of the Popish Earls. But as his Majesty shall find her ready at all times to hold that correspondency which true honour between two Kings and special care of his person ought to afford, so does she desire him at all times to suspend any misconstruction of her actions, until he acquaints her with his purpose. Whereas she perceives by the King's speeches to Sussex that Bothwell is suspected to have purpose to assemble force within her country or there to display cornet or ensign or to strike drum, her Majesty presumes no Warden or officer will dare, "for his hedd," to suffer any such matter. If they do, having been warned already and knowing her Majesty's absolute pleasure, the King shall not need to require reason at her hands, but she will quickly make them feel the burden of her indignation; and hereof let him make no manner of doubt. Greenwich.
1½ pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of my master's letter to Mr. Bowes uppon the memoriall brought by the Earle of Sussex."
373. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 24.]
The King continues resolute to begin his raid on Wednesday, 2nd October. For the expedition thereof, and to supply the King's present want in the same, six noblemen and ten of his Council have agreed to lend to him, upon sufficient jewels, 19,000 marks Scots. The captains appointed to serve on horseback and foot cannot hitherto levy their full numbers, as they looked readily to have done. Some other impediments are likely to be found, threatening some delay. But the King has given order to his Council to meet and deliberate speedily for the progress thereof and to prevent all lets [i.e. hindrances].
The Earl of Mar has been with Argyll and sought to persuade him to defer his journey until the King should be ready to go forwards. But Argyll answered that twice he had convened his friends and forces for this purpose, and nevertheless was stayed upon like motions. Now he has again gathered them together and had all things in such readiness to march that, being dissolved, he could not assemble his forces in season for the King's service, nor preserve the provisions prepared without loss and offence to his people. Therefore, resolving to go forwards by easy journeys that he might meet the King about Inverness, he entered on the 21st instant on his expedition with 6000 footmen or thereabouts, whereof account is made of 3000 to be chosen and sufficient persons with harquebuses, bows and pikes, the rest to be with swords and other mixed weapons after the fashion of the highlandmen. As yet he has very few horsemen, trusting to be supplied with such as shall come to him upon proclamation of his commission and commandments, and chiefly with the aid of Lord Forbes, who, with the Lairds of Towie, MacIntosh, Dunbarres and others, has promised to join with him, and for assurance sent their hostages to him. It is told me credibly that he shall be "partyed" with MacConnell (Mackonell), MacLean, Glengarry, MacKendowy (Mackendowye), MacRanald and other islanders and highlandmen. MacKendochy and MacRanald have followed Huntly; now they have come to Argyll at the King's commandment and agreeable to Argyll's request to the King. But they left their forces behind them, and Argyll thinks good to carry them with him that they may not hurt him. Mackenzie, being of great power, will join with him, and albeit Atholl will not be in field with him (in regard that he cannot like to be commanded by Argyll), yet he will send John Dooe with 400 footmen. Some godly and good men are careful to furnish him better with horsemen, wherein my diligence and endeavour shall not be wanting, yet the shortness of the time breeds great difficulty for the execution thereof. This army thus marching without guard of horsemen is much scorned in Court and thought easy to be overthrown by Huntly.
Argyll is purposed (as I hear) to pitch his tent before Strathbogy, to hunt Huntly out of the country, to seize his houses, and to settle himself at Darnaway (Tarnewaye), Murray's house, that he may thereby keep Huntly out of the country and revenge Murray's murder. Further proceedings in these wars betwixt Argyll and Huntly will be known within eight or ten days. Huntly gathers all the forces he can to encounter Argyll, and labours to fortify himself with horsemen, offering to give to every common horseman 40 marks Scots by month and to each horseman well furnished 40l. It is reported that for this liberal pay he has entertained sundry borderers and many of those who lately served for the King's guard. He has tempted Lord Forbes with "indelate" restitution of all the possessions which long time he has detained from him, and also with all the "meane" profits incurred in that time. Whereto Forbes answered that he might not deal with him until he shall be restored to the favour of the King and Kirk. Angus and Erroll travail earnestly to join their forces with Huntly, and for that purpose Angus has presently come to Douglas, where some snares are laid to entrap him. It is evident enough that the overthrow of him and of Bothwell is diligently sought. But many think that Huntly and Errol shall with small pains and punishment escape the rigour of their forfeitures. It is likewise reported that these lords practised to have taken the castles and strengths lying and adjoining on the coast of the East Sea. Whereupon charge is given out to the keeper of the castle of St. Andrews to deliver it to the Provost and bailies of that town. Farther, it is reported that Crawford, meeting lately with Huntly in Angus, brought him to his house at Carnie, from whence they two alone, without any servant, came to Leith, and, tarrying there secretly some few days, returned to Carnie; [and] that in this time Huntly served Crawford as his servant and solicited his friends in Court. They are afraid that their houses, wherein mass was said, shall be cast down, agreeable to the order of the King and Council now concluded, and that the houses of Mr. Walter Lindsay and John Ogilvy shall be first overthrown. They are careful how to prevent this mischief approaching. I have been informed that some courtiers have lately advised Huntly plainly to give up with Bothwell, and that these Earls purpose to publish their proclamation for defence of themselves and their cause.
Albeit generally reported that Bothwell had intended to have surprised the King in Holyroodhouse on the 14th instant with great slaughter, yet Mr. Mr. Alan Orme, William Allen and John Gibson (lately tortured and executed for Bothwell's cause) have so constantly denied it that the credit of that report is much abated. Nevertheless the King and Court firmly hold their former opinions, thinking this enterprise had been attempted if Orme had not been apprehended. It is now craved by the ministers and others that like exemp lary justice may be done on the aiders and resetters of the Papist Earls, whereunto the King freely consents, saying that a Bothwell and a Papist shall now be all one to him.
The courtiers have found means by women and womenservants to discover Bothwell's lodging and his "receipte" in Edinburgh and Leith. Sundry of his late friends and followers have slidden from him and for their own relief are ready to draw him into the King's hands. Some still in credit with him reveal his secrets. His poverty "excedethe," for at his late coming to Leith he had not 2s. at his commandment. He has (as I hear) met and conferred with Huntly on the 17th, and they two contend which of them with more "fyness" can deliver the other to the King. For the Laird of Kilfauns, Crawford's brother, was sent to the King by Huntly with sundry offers, which he presented on the 21st instant, seeking the King's license that he, Angus and Errol, may depart out of the realm, that their wives and children may enjoy their possessions, and their friends and followers be freed from troubles: next, that the King would not take it in evil part that he [Huntly] had met and co[nferred] with Bothwell; which conference tended only to take some agreement for the slaughter of Moray, and not for any band betwixt Bothwell and the other forfeited Earls. Lastly, he offered to cast Bothwell into the King's hands if the same might content the King. But the King (as it is told me) answered that he had many times and with great care sought to preserve Huntly from ruin, and by the same had greatly hazarded himself, his life, estate and honour; whereof Huntly had no regard, but always abused him with fair words and pretences. Further, as Huntly now offers to cast Bothwell into his hands, so Bothwell has offered to deliver Huntly to him. Whereupon the King willed Kilfauns to tell Huntly flatly that he would not "condition" or capitulate with him in any sort but would prosecute him and Bothwell by all means in his power; and with this he dismissed Kilfauns much discontented.
Upon the death of Alexander Hay, late Clerk of Register, the King gave that office to Mr. John Skene, his Advocate. Whereupon, and to prevent some subtle practices for the appointment of Mr. James Elphinstone (a person suspected), I gave thanks to the King for his good regard both for the common service done to her Majesty and the King by Mr. John in his late negotiation with Colonel Stewart in Germany, and also for his furtherance of the forfeiture of the Papist lords in the last Parliament; and thereto I added that the King's reward of Mr. John's service in Parliament was a testimony of his good intention to proceed effectually in the action against his forfeited rebels. This the King received in good part. He confirmed his grant to Mr. John, and he gave me to understand that he had perfectly learned by means from Huntly's self that Huntly and Bothwell had twice met and conferred together, which he wished me to show to her Majesty that it might be better known with what sincerity Bothwell and James Forrett dealt in the true discovery of his course and proceedings with Huntly and the rest.
James Cochrane, late keeper of Blackness for Sir James Sandilands, has acknowledged (as I am informed) that certain courtiers by name tempted him with promise of 2000 crowns to draw Bothwell into the King's hands, and, being now accused for haunting Bothwell's company and of being privy to his intended enterprise for the King's surprise, he excuses his resort to Bothwell's company by allegation that it was done for the effecting of the desires and purpose of the courtiers thus dealing with him, and he denies the privity of the enterprise; yet he has withdrawn himself. The young Laird of Logie, late in Cochrane's keeping, and now in the Castle of Edinburgh, has been in great danger of his life for Bothwell's cause. Now the King is pleased, by the Queen's means, (fn. 16) that he shall be banished.
The King has been informed that the forfeited Earls purpose to assay three several means for their relief. First, Angus, Bothwell and Johnstone shall, after the King's departure from this town, so trouble these parts that he shall be driven to return hither. Secondly, they will enterprise such action in Angus that the King's journey shall be stayed thereby; and thirdly, at Aberdeen or thereabouts they will show themselves in the fields. These things are little feared, especially the last, for it is not looked that they will show any force against the King. Bothwell is said to be with Angus in Douglas, and Johnstone demands to have his pardon without delay, or else he threatens to "partye" Bothwell and the rest.
It is verily thought that if Mr. Walter Lindsay and such other "postes" as these rebels have sent into the Low Countries for aid shall not speedily return with support, then the rebels will seek passage by sea, and therefore it is heartily wished here by many good and godly persons that her Majesty would send some ship to attend on the coast about Aberdeen to await for the return of Lindsay with his freight (which is denied to be very rich), or else for the flight of the rebels, whose apprehension will pacify all troubles and quench the fire of Spanish practices. Persons of honour and good quality have moved me to commend this to your consideration. By Mar, by one of Argyll's servants [and] others I am credibly informed that Donald Gorme has secretly returned with nine persons and has left in Ireland the forces carried there. The certainty of the number of those forces I cannot as yet perfectly learn. But purposing to send some discreet person to Argyll's army, that I may from time to time understand the proceedings thereof, I shall by that instrument, I trust, get better information of Donald and his forces, and shall give you timely advertisement. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
5¼ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk: "Mr. Bowes to my lord from Edinburghe."
374. Sir Richard Cockburn to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 25.]
Because my longer stay here may be thought strange after my leave taken and her Majesty's letter (as you gave me to understand) ready for me, "it will please you be acquented with suche intervened occasion of excuse as I have," and to inform her Majesty thereof, that I . . . directed by letters from the King to attend his further direction . . . a letter of his own hand to her Majesty, expecting which daily I ha . . . to "breade" her Majesty more trouble in craving audience till su . . . upon receipt of that letter with some further instructions . . . access . . . London. Signed: R. Cokeburne.
⅓ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk: "Mr. Cockburne the Kinges Secretarie to my master." Part of the page torn along right hand edge.
375. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 28.]
On the 27th instant I received the packet signed by you on the 21st, containing only another packet addressed to Mr. David Foulis, with a short letter to myself, sent by the Scots ambassador. The packet enclosed I have delivered according to the direction. Argyll has come with his army (as I am advertised) to the Blair in Atholl. He has caused the King's commission of lieutenancy to be proclaimed by Red [? Lord] Lyon, the Herald, in Aberdeen and other places, in the names of Argyll, Atholl and Forbes, commanding all men within those limits to be with him at Strathbogy, Huntly's house, on the 27th of this month. He has chosen MacLean to be general under him of this army, esteemed to be 7000 men strong. I am informed that O'Donnel has sent to him from Ireland 500 harquebusiers, and therein it is gathered that the forces lately carried into Ireland by Donald Gorme are brought over to the aid of Argyll, whereof there is no perfect certainty.
Huntly has gathered all his forces to stop Argyll's passage to Strathbogy, boasting that he will "rubb his cloake on Argyles pladd." The forces hitherto amassed for Huntly do not exceed 1000 footmen and horse. It is given out that John Ogilvy has levied in pay four score horsemen and has gone to Huntly; that the Laird of Cragwood (fn. 17) with eight horsemen has ridden likewise to Huntly; that few, other than the Gordons, the tenants and near friends of Huntly, will "partye" him against the King's lieutenant; that Huntly sent Alan MacKendowy (Macendowey) to move Argyll for peace or to spare the spoil and slaughter of his poor tenants, and that all griefs and quarrels betwixt them be compounded by the award of the King. But Argyll has answered that he has come with the King's commission for war against Huntly. Nevertheless he granted leave to MacKendowy (Mackendowye), holding his lands "on" Huntly, to remain at home, on condition that he and his followers give no support to Huntly. It is verily thought that before this time "the one hathe beyne in the veiwe of the other," and that Argyll will not stay his march to Strathbogy without battle and that he shall be defeated therein. Further progress herein will be known within three or four days.
Huntly by the laird of (fn. 18) . . . liberal offers to abandon Argyll and join with Huntly, which Forbes refuses; and also, having assembled his forces in good strength and with some horsemen, he prepares to march to Argyll. Their united forces can hardly be encountered by Huntly. It is given out that Atholl and Montrose, with the Master of Gray, have lately met together, and that Atholl, by the advice of the other two, has been drawn to pretend some offence in Argyll's late proceedings and thereon to lie off from him; and because Atholl and Caithness have been noted to be cold in this action and partly suspected to hearken much to Bothwell's persuasions and course, therefore the King has severally written to them to quicken their dulness herein and to be ready to attend upon him at his coming.
Bothwell has written again to the Presbytery of Edinburgh to such effects as by the enclosed copy of the letter may appear. The ministers have delivered this letter to the King, and now they are so deeply possessed with opinion that Bothwell has banded with the rebellious Earls that they begin openly to reprove him for the same. It is confirmed that Huntly has offered by Kilfauns to deliver Bothwell to the King's hands, and that the King says that he can with better mind pardon Bothwell than Huntly. Bothwell has been lately seen (as it is said) both in Fife, with some barons there of good credit and power, and also above Stirling with sixty horsemen, whom he has "caryed" with him over Drip Ford (Drepe Foorde) above Stirling to the north. Yet it is verily looked that Angus and he shall occupy these parts with their forces after the King's departure, that thereby they may "occasion" him, for the ease and safety of Huntly and Errol, "to retyre himselfe and armye to suppress them." Some report that for this purpose, at his late meeting with Huntly at Craigs, John Ogilvy's house, he received 1100 crowns to entertain horsemen, allowing two months' pay beforehand at 40l. Scots apiece for the month, and with promise to continue the pay for one whole year at the least.
It is likewise reported that Angus has been with Lord Herries, seeking to gather some borderers and horsemen. But Herries seems unwilling to deal with Angus or in the action; at least not openly. Lord Ochiltree, with the advice of his friends, is drawn to give up with Bothwell, and is likely to obtain his pardon. (fn. 19) Whereupon it is looked that he will do good service to the King and others.
At my late audience for Border causes the King firmly promised to provide that in his absence the peace on the Marches may be preserved, and that justice shall be done by all his officers and for all his subjects, and that he has presently called to him the Laird of Buccleuch to make him keeper of Liddisdale and to give due redress to all her Majesty's officers. Herewith he desired earnestly that her Majesty would give speedy order to her Wardens or their deputies to keep concurring with his Wardens both according to the ancient customs and also agreeable to the articles delivered to Sussex touching Border causes. He earnestly required me to commend those to her Majesty's knowledge. Upon speech of his raid against the rebels, I persuaded him to hasten his journey and use some timely severity to daunt the insolency and pride of the offenders, and thereto he readily agreed, assuring me that he would rase and cast down Strathbogy, Huntly's house, Slains, Errol's house, Balgay, Mr. Walter Lindsay's house newly built, Craigs, John Ogilvy's house, and all other houses wherein the mass has been said, and that he will not return before he has taken perfect order in all those causes; and he concluded that he trusted to find her Majesty's seasonable aid and support, when she should have good experience of his sincere proceedings. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—Please deliver the enclosed packet to the Lord Secretary.
2½ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
Enclosure with the same.
(Bothwell to the Presbytery of Edinburgh.)
Often before have I faithfully given you to understand how far "then was proceided" betwixt the Papist lords and me; and now, being forced by extremity, having no other relief (as my own late escape and [the] barbarous tyranny used against my dearest kinsmen and servants—undeserved by them and without all order of law—may now sufficiently testify), and finding no intercession made by you, yea, not so much as answer to my former [letter], I am constrained, for safety of my life and for revenge of this "ethnicke" and inhuman procedure, to conjoin with whomsoever are in the like case, or will aid and concur with me herein, protesting to God, that though I may conjoin with opposites, yet shall it never be against my religion nor country, but for settling of our temporal estates and punishment of those bloody tyrants who every day are about to "imbrewe" his Majesty in tyranny and shedding of innocent blood. That your wisdoms may see what care I have for the "florishinge and standinge of our religion" and for safety of innocent blood, I am to offer (if so it shall please you to accept) to move the Papist lords for your contentment, and I for his Majesty's—our livings being settled to our wives and bairns and "made sure of no further injurye to be offred to us and our poore frindis hereafter"—presently to avoid this realm, under caution not to traffick with strangers, nor to return without his Majesty's special licence and yours. If this may not satisfy, there is "no place to prayer without losse of lyves," which must be defended so long as God will give us grace. This is all that can be offered, which shall be faithfully performed. Consider what herein is best to be done, for there is periculum in mora, and time may "byde" no lingering. 21st September 1594.
¾ p. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil: "Erl Bothwell to the ministry of Edenborogh."
376. Mr. John Colville to Sir Robert Cecil. [Sept. 30.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 130–131.
His Majesty's wrath is fully "mitigat" and I am again to go to Stirling, there to receive the publication of my peace. His Majesty thought to have kept it secret for his honour and for satisfaction of the Chancellor, but neither the wrath nor the grace of princes can be kept secret. I have this while, lying obscure, found means to "inter with" Sir George Hume, who has promised great sincerity concerning the amity, desiring not to be trusted till he gives proof, specially at this raid, protesting that his Majesty will work seriously against Huntly, "or if he dois not he will schaw whare the impediment is," and for that cause has desired me to have one of mine with him all the journey, by whom he will send me advertisement from time to time. If by such as have his ear his Majesty may be brought to a good consideration, or (if that be impossible) if we may know by them who be the impediments in his Highness, I think it not amiss; but I will advance no further than you direct. My dealing now with your honour shall be with more knowledge and credit here, yet there [i.e. in England] it must be the more secret. Let my letters come not into any clerk's hand, but let only Mr. Lock know or write to me what you think not meet to write yourself. What can he render to that sacred asylum, that has thrice saved his life under her princely wings ? The hazard of that life again, yea, the loss thereof is but her Majesty's due, together with all the good offices I can do during my lifetime. Other matters I have written at length to faithful Mr. Lock, except this,— that Ochiltree, for his peace, has promised to his Majesty the apprehending of Angus. Signed: Jo. Colville.
Postscript.—I have given to your ambassador a project of the state of Scottish matters, to be sent up, to show how matters go with us. His careful and bountiful dealing here has "stollin" the hearts of all honest men to you, which you will see when "tyme requires."
1¾ pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.