Border Papers volume 1: June 1583

Pages 100-103

Calendar of Border Papers: Volume 1, 1560-95. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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161. Scrope to Walsingham. [June 20. 1583.]

"Having by one Rowland Routledge and others of Bewcastle," received letters from the Privy Council, and also their complaint exhibited to her Majesty for redress against the Liddesdale and other borderers of Scotland, whose cases I am to take proof upon before the meeting of commissioners, I have been moved to write to Mr Bowes her Majesty's "agent" in Scotland, for help to these poor oppressed men, and enclose his reply for your consideration. There is now a meeting for redress appointed between me and Cesford on the first of July next, when I hope for some remedy—but if the same shall be deferred by him, or justice not then done as expected, then I beseech you to move her Majesty and the Council that some revenge be taken on the wicked and evil doors, as some help for the poor men, and to advertise me with as much convenience as may be. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the foregoing:—

(Bowes to Scrope.)

I have received your last of the 8th and copies of letters between your lordship and Cesford. I have travailed with the King therein, who promises to write to Cesford thereon. I always find good words, and I verily think the King and sundry of the council are well affected, but "I see your lordship is so evill answered and delt withall, as my labours and the often promyses prevayle not … Therefore I dare promyse no further on myne owne parte, then myne owne diligence and endeviour." Edinburgh the xvijth of June 1583. Ro. Bowes.

½ p. Copy by Scrope's clerk.

162. Rules for defence of the Borders. [June ? 1583.]

Rokele Castle.—First—the farthest strength of the West Borders adjoining to Scotland and the sea, is "Rokeley castle apperteyninge to the baronie of (B)roughe in the hands of th'eyers of the late Lord Dacres. Moste requysyte yt is that there allwaies be as in the time of the late lord William Dacres, and others his predecessors before him, a true hable and sufficient man not onlie to kepe the same, but also chiefelie to se that all the borderers and tenantes apperteyninge to the same, be well and sufficientlie horst and gerde, (fn. 1) as by the tenure of their holdes lands and fearmes, which they have verrie good, and at verry small or litle or no rentes, they are for defence of that contrye bounde to be."

And to have 100 or 200 of them "nightlie with him, especiallie at the ebbinges of the water, some to watche at the fords for the keepinge out of the Scottishe theves of Greteney, Redhawll, Stilehill, and others of the Batable landes of Kinmowthes retynewe, that comonlie use to ride in the nighte time throughe the said barronrie of Browghe to th'incontrie, and not onlie breake pore mens howses and onsettes, but bereave them of all that they have, bothe incite, horsse and cattle, and that which is worse, their lyves also—which by good keepinge and true foresighte of that watche, maie easillie be holpen and saved, either by their imedyate resistaunce, or tymelie givinge of their crie and shoote inwarde to that parte of the contrie, that everye man hearinge the same, maie be not onlie redie to save himselfe, but to joyne with and helpe his neighbour also. And all this maie be done as often yt is, by the lord wardens comaundement if yt be well executede, without anie chardges or expences to her Majestie, havinge whan anie greate nede is, but th'onlie helpe of her Majesties souldiers, that then lie at Carlill or thereaboutes, which care not nor forceth of their foods, (fn. 2) as the borderers greatlie doe, and are afraide of.

"Netherbe and The Mote.—The nexte and principall places of defence adjoyninge to Rokeley, is the howses of Netherbe and the Mote wherin the beste of the clane and surnames of the Greymes do well in, havinge amongeste the greate nomber of them, verrie muche good grownd and faier livings, if they usede yt well—all allongeste the waters of Aske, Levin, and Sarcke, even to the water of Lid, fre to themselves and thers, for th'onlie defence and service of their contrie, who beinge strycktlie and strayghtelie comaunded by the lord warden, not onlie to have their gere and horses still reddye as they are bound (without puttinge or sellinge of them into Scotlande) but also nightelie to keep their watches dulie and trulie upon their fordes and streightes, and so either to expulse and resiste the cominge in of those Scottes owtlawes (as they are tearmede) comon theves of that parte of the Bateable, Blacke terres, and Harlowe, that comonlie passe by them and their howses, or ells to give their cries and shotes to th'incountry in due time, and to helpe to defende their neighbours againste the vyolence of those theeves comon enemies to their contrie, as by the tenure of their landes they are bounde to doe, without bearinge or forbearinge, which hardlie in shorte tyme without severitie can not be broughte unto, for that manie of them are linckede in mariadge, and partakers with them, and some bringers in of the same; which by the suddeine serche of their night watches and their doinges therin maie sone be perceaved and founde; and that once or twise without favour well punishede accordinge to the lawes of the Borders, and discretion of the warden, and put in feare of the forfeiture and losinge of them livinges as her Majestie maie, so offendinge at her pleasure, yt wilbe a verry good occasion the soner to reduce and bringe them to be true, and to defend their contrey as they are bounde to doe without anie further chardges in tyme of peace to her Majestie.

Beaucastle.—The third place of defence nexte unto the Mote is Beawcastle, her Majesties owne, which hathe bene, and should be, the chiefe and onlie defence of that borders; but that yt is now allmoste broughte to ruyn, by reason that the chiefest and ableste borderers and tenantes therof are herede and slaine by the Scottishe theeves of Liddesdale, and can skarselie now in anie good time be broughte to the former estate and savetie therof againe, as yt hathe bene chiefly by reason of the deadlie foode and greate hatrede betwen the Greimes and the Musgraves not longe since fallen, who without greate maintenance of her Majestie, can not saulflie serve there, but still in danger bothe of their lives, and others takinge their partes, beinge never so good a cause. So as th'onlie amendement and remedie therof, with the leaste chardges to her Majestie that maie be, is to have there for the tyme one c or more of her Majesties souldiers of Barwycke to lye there, and at Cressope foote, which with their wages accustomede further to have allottede unto them out of the contrie, or ells some parte of the fees and allowances due to that castle (so yt weare not hurtefull to the now captens therof) conditionallie that they maie have and kepe there fiftye of that their c, or l besides, well horste and well furnishede to serve on horse backe with horsemens pecies, calivers and pistolls, not onlie to helpe to kepe the said watches, but also to ride and follow with the contry speares of that Borders, yet partelie in saftie, and the rest of the c, or 1 shott and pikes on foote, still to follow after them, to be their stale staie and savegarde, if anie repulse or overmatche happen, as well they maie doe in those partes, the mosces, maresces, and straightnes of fords upon the waters of Livin, Aske, Lidde, and Cressope servinge unto, and so as occasion risethe not onlie well defend the contrie from th'Armestronges of Tunnes als Pudingborne, the Whitofes, and Mangertons, and also thEllwods that joyne with them, leave their owne habitacions, and reve and steale in their owne cuntries, even to Edenborowe portes, as not longe since beinge holden unto they did.

Askerton Towre.—And yet this cannot be done excepte there be placede at Askerton in Gilleslande nexte adjoyninge upon Beawcastle, a true and able man to rule and governe the people of the same vale of Gilleslande, wherin is manie good, true and suffycient men, if they weare well entreatede, ruled and governede, as some saie now they are not,—which if yt be soe, the lord warden beste knowethe; and those to keepe likewise their watches, make their cries, and joine in service with them of Beaucastle, better then of late they have done, by reason of the variance betwene the Carletons and Musgraves, which hathe bene a greate overthrowe and hindrance of bothe those places of Beaucastle dale and Gilleslande, and this maye be done and amendede without anie more charges to her Majestie.

Chipchace and Harbotle castles.—The fourthe places of defence nexte to Beawcastle and Askerton in Gillesland, is Chipchace and Harbotle in the Midle Marches, where requisyte yt weare to have another c of footemen from Barwycke if they mighte be sparede for the tyme, likewise to be the helpe and staie of our borders of Riddesdale and Tindale, which withe a litle ayde, encouradgment and maintenance, would sone laie the pryde of thEllwoods and Crossyers theves of Scotlande, that comonlie truble the same our Midle Marches,—and all that maie be done without breache of peace, as if anie be taken with the red or blodie handes, lawfull yt is to execute them forthewith; and if in followinge of their trode to rescue the stollen goods, they be set upon by the theeves, as lightlie they will doe, rather then lose their praie, in defence of them selfes they maie use their discretion,—acordinge to th'order of the Borders set downe in the Comissyoners boke.

Woller, Newton, Pawston, Downham, Warck, Cornell and Norham Castle.—And the fifte and laste places accustomede of defence for soldiers to be in, nexte to Harbotle, is Woller, Newton, Pawston, and Downeham, all in the Easte Marches, which with the helpe of Sir Thomas Grey and horsemen of Warcke, and other of that contrye, are able at all tymes in peace, with one or two bands of the garrison of Barwycke, to keepe in the Yonges, Tates, Pringells, and other the Tividalls, whensover they begin to radge, and dryve them to forsake their own houses, and whole townes of bothe Yatehams, Heyhope and Cheretrees, as not longe since yt hathe bene done with litle charges to her Majestie."

4 pp. In an official hand, with annotations by Burghley, &c.


  • 1. Geared, i.e., armed.
  • 2. Feuds.