626. William Earl of Angus and Francis Earl of Errol
to Philip II.
Letter of credence and recommendation to Fathers James Gordon
and John Cecil to go to Spain to represent to his Majesty the case
of the Catholics of Scotland.
627. William Earl Of Angus to Philip II.
In order to convey to your Highness the good will I possess to
follow you, and to avoid the appearance of ill-breeding, or ignorance
of what is due to your Highness, and fitting for myself, I send
these few lines to place myself at your Highness's entire service, with
all my strength, to be employed ever as you may command. In
this unhappy country we have no other hope than the aid of your
Highness, and in the name of the rest of the Catholics here, I
supplicate your Highness to help heartily a cause so just, meritorious,
and necessary, in conformity with the statement which will be
made to you by Father Cecil, who is the bearer of this.
As regards my own person, I beg your Highness to favour me by
giving me this consolation in all my troubles, namely, to place me
amongst the number of your favoured and loyal servants, and
dispose entirely at your will of all I have and all I am.—Scotland,
5th October, 1594.
Note.—The above holograph letter, like all those of the earl of
Angus, is written by him in perfect Spanish, whilst the communications
from all the other Scottish nobles are in Latin.
628. William Earl Of Angus to Juan De Idiaquez.
In order that you may learn minutely all the need in which we
have been placed by our desire to serve God and his Majesty, I
think well to take this opportunity of saluting you, and informing
you that as the coming of Father James Gordon is doubtful, we have
determined, in any case, to send Father Cecil and also to send men
from various parts so that if some are unfortunate, others may
carry the message. We here in the west have consulted with other
Catholics and have thought well to send with this mission Hugh
Barclay, a gentleman of high position, who has fought for the faith
until he had the rope round his neck. He is an experienced man,
who can give a good account of affairs, and of our wants here,
especially on this coast, and consequently we all think it would be
very foolish not to send him. We send this to say that you may
give entire credit to what he tells you. Personally you may
command me entirely as usual.—Scotland, 1594. William Earl of
629. Documents headed, Heads of the paper of Baron Balgarys,
presented in the name of the Scottish Catholics.
That his Majesty should grant him a patent assuring them of
their liberties, and that the war should be declared to be undertaken
to restore the Catholic religion.
That for the entrance into England the command should be
given either to the Cardinal Archduke Albert or to his brother
the Archduke Ernest. Either of them would be welcomed by
That for the war in Scotland itself, his Majesty should be pleased
to select for command a Catholic Scottish noble during the time the
King remains a heretic, and indeed if he change his opinions, as his
conversion cannot be believed in, and that his Majesty should
confer some dignity upon the general so selected.
That a fleet should be sent to protect them, and an army which
may enter England. That 20 small ships should be granted to them
with 1,000 good horses, and money to arm and pay 24,000 Scotsmen,
as well as arms for the Scottish priests, for their own—which were
their books—have been burnt by the heretics.
That the Spaniards sent, both in the army and the fleet, be pious
and willing to mix with Scotsmen, so that they should form one
army under a single general. It is left to his Majesty's discretion
what steps should be taken to restore the Catholic faith.
That his Majesty should be pleased to found a college, where the
sons of the principal Scots might be educated and taught letters, as
well as the reverence they owe to the king of Spain, which should
be obligatory on their successors in Scotland.
That priests should be sent with full authority to check the
license of the soldiery as much as possible.
That the money sent from Spain should be destined to certain
defined uses, and not applicable to any other purposes, and that
should be given as a written undertaking to the King.
That with the exception of the soldiers necessary for the defence
of the fleet, the rest of the army should enter England without
delay, as otherwise war might break out in Scotland itself, which
would embarrass the expedition and render the result doubtful. No
delay will arise from the Scots, as they are anxious to obey orders.
Note.—There are two dockets on the wrappers of the aforegoing
Scottish papers, in the handwriting of Idiaquez, respectively as
follows :—"The dispatches brought by the Scottish barons respecting
the Scottish Catholics. They were despatched in September 1595.
referred to the Archduke" and "The letter and paper given by
the Scottish gentleman to his Majesty at San Lorenzo, October 20,