Border Papers volume 1: April 1584

Pages 130-135

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

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206. Forster to Walsingham. [April 2.]

After long delays, I have to-day received, and inclose a letter from Cesford, who desires to know before meeting, if "I will lett bluds and other difficill matters pas over [to the] commissioners," and from what time I would ask redress for Liddesdale? I have answered that I can name no certain time but only according to the treaties and laws of the Marches. I would be glad to know if there be any especial matter which her Majesty would have "temperated." At making hereof, "the warden of Scotlande declared unto me that a greate companie of [the] nobilitie of Scotlande are assembled together at St Johnston [and] have sett forthe proclamacion that they are not against their. . . (fn. 1) but that which they doo is for the advauncement of the word [of God] and settinge forth of his glorie, and becawse suche as are. . . (fn. 1) upstarts and have the chief goverment in their handes doo. . . (fn. 1) the overthrowe of the whole nobilitie of Scotlande. The King hath comaunded all the Borders to repaire to Edenbroghe, with all [the] powre they may make, and so they are gatheringe on bothe sydes. . . . Yf yt be her Majesties pleasure seinge this is for the worde of God, I hope to . . . cawse a greate companie of the Borders to tarrie at home." At my house nigh Alnwick. Signed: John Forster.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

207. Same to Same. [April 2.]

Enclosing the Warden of Scotland's letter, which by the negligence of his man had been omitted in the packet already sent. At my house. Signed: John Forster.

¼ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in same:—

(Cesford to Forster.)

I understand you cannot meet unless Liddesdale be made answerable, which I have "cravitt" at the King's hand.

"They are all to be befoir his hienes the fourte of Aprill nixt, quhair I trust thair salbe sufficient ordour takin with thame, quhilk is the caus that quhill I heir frome his hienes and be resolvit in the mater, I can nocht appoint meting." Let me hear by the bearer if you will let "bluidis" and other difficult matters pass over to the commissioners, as I understand is your sovereign's mind, and from what time you will ask redress for Liddisdale, that I may be ready against our meeting. "Frome Kelso the last of Merche 1584." Signed: Cesfurde.

½ p. Addressed. Wafer signet as before.

208. William Selby to Walsingham. [April 3.]

Thanking him for the "undeserved favour" which he had experienced at his hands when last at Court, while neglected by others of whom he had merited, and offering to show service of deeds, when opportunity occurs. His father has sent such news as could be got from Scotland, and would have done so sooner, but waited for some thing "worthy the advertising." Berwick. Signed: Willm Selby.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed by Walsingham.

209. Sir John Selby to Walsingham. [April 3. [1584.]]

"My sone haith maid report to me how honorably you have dealt with hym at his last being in Court, wherby I perceive that your honors goodnes begone with me is continewed unto hym in such sort, that we are bounde by our selves and our frendes to serve your honor in what we may, having els nothing wherby to shew our selves thankfull." The residence of ambassadors in Scotland and my lord governor's abode here, have made me slow in writing for some time, but I shall hereafter certify you as events justify, though it is somewhat difficult to get news, from the strict watch on the Border. Such as are now sent, are from men of "indifferent good credit." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Selbye.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed by Walsingham.

210. Scrope to Walsingham. [April 6. 1584.]

Informing him that he has just heard that Sir John Seton son to Lord Seton, is said to have arrived at "Kirkowbrighe in Scotlande," and he has sent to learn more particulars. That besides the two formerly written of, another Englishman is said to have passed into Scotland through the Middle Marches, which he is enquiring into. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

211. Scrope to Walsingham. [April 9.]

The man whom I sent to "Kirkowbrighe" to enquire about Sir John Seton, "sayeth that his shippe wherein he came furth of Fraunce, is come to Kirkowbrighe, and therein all his servauntes, trunckes and stuffe, but . . . yt is there gyven owt in speaches, that he being sicke upon the seas, did stryke in the Ysle of Man, there to repose and refreshe him selff for a tyme—in which mean season by an extreme tempest and storme on the sea, the anckers of his shippe were broken of, and the shippe by force dryven to Kirkowbrighe," where they await his coming. "If the same be true, yt is a great good worke of Almightie God." I have sent another of good credit to make further inquiry. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

212. Scrope to Walsingham. [April 12.]

In answer to your letter of 6th with her Majesty's good pleasure that I should by all means detain the Scottish borderers opposite me, at home, from marching to Edinburgh against the assembly of the nobles lately at St Johnstons, I being advertised that the Earl of Morton and the Laird of Johnston and their friends were sent for by the King to Edinburgh, did muster 500 or 600 of this wardenry here, but dismissed them on hearing that the Scottish borderers had not gone. And I intend to do the like if the King shall again summon them against the said noblemen, "whose state and condicion I feare be presentlie verie harde."

It is now certain that Seton arrived at "Kirkowbrighe," and on Thursday last came to Dumfries, where he was well entertained by the Earl of Morton, tarrying there Thursday at night, and Friday all day and all night. Yesterday being Saturday at noon he dined at the "Newe Abbaye," from whence it is thought he departeth this day. He was certainly in the Isle of Man, but how long I know not Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

213. Scrope to Walsingham. [April 20. 1584.]

"Being even now advertised that the noblemen of that faccion be in armes, and are of great forces, whome the King intendeth to prosecute with all rigour and extremitie, and understanding certenlie that all the noblemen of these partes, as Morton, Harries and others the barrons, with their freindes and dependers, are sent for to be at Moffet on Thursday next to ayde the King in this case,"—I have summoned the gentlemen and forces of my wardenry to muster here at that time, and shall do the like from time to time, as occasion requires, it not being meet that her Majesty's warden should be unattended. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

214. Forster to Walsingham. [April 23.]

I caused your letters to the Lord Hambleton and Mr Bowes to be delivered, and now enclose certain letters directed by Lord Hambleton to Mr Colvile. The state of the Borders is "verie ticklie and dangerous," and as the Council directed me, I refuse to meet Cesford unless he answers for his whole office, as I do. He now tells me the King has taken Lyddesdale out of his hand, and "sent for three of the best of them, that is to saye Robine Elwett, Martyne Elwet and the Larde of Whythawghe, being ane Armestrouge, and hath demaunded pleges of them for all Lyddesdale—who offer to laye in bande for all their owne graines—but the Kinge said they should laye in bande for all Lyddesdale, or elles be hanged upon a grame. So they were comitted to Edenbroghe castle where they are yet remaininge." I sent letters to the warden to stand on his guard, and keep his side quiet, and not to leave the Border, for if he did, I would lay the burden on him, if disorder broke out—but to-day I hear from him that he is ordered to join the King, and is presently going from Halliden, and also Bothwell, who is at Kelso. But few will attend them, for most are "a someringe with their cattell in the highe lande. . . It is comonlie reported that the Lorde Gowrie is taken by Coronell Stewarde and conveyed to Edenbroghe by water, and that the Lorde Craweforde is likewise taken and deteigned by the other partie which are assembled at Sterlinge . . . The Kinge bathe made proclamacion for all his subjectes to repaire unto him with all their powre, but manie doo make small hast and are not verie willinge, and I heare that the lordes partie at Sterlinge begins to growe strong, notwithstandinge the Kings proclamacions."

I have taken bond of Alexander Fetherstonhawghe to make personal appearance before the Privy Council on the 6th May next to answer the charges against him. At my house nigh Alnwick. Signed: John Forster.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the foregoing:—

(Cesford to Forster.)

"I resavit your lordschipes lettre this Wedinsday the xxij of Aprile, considering be the same that your lordschip understandis the uproir in this cuntrie, and willis me that I tarie at hame. Your lordschip sall understand that this Twysday last at nycht I ressavitt his hienes lettre, upoun my obedience to cum fordwart to his hienes, quhilk the morne be Godis grace, I am myndett to do. I am sorie to have bene out of the cuntrie at this tyme, alwayis I mon obey, and I luikit nocht to have bene send for, becaus the court hes suspitioun of me. I pray your lordschip to hald hand in my absence, to interteine the amitie amang your peopill, for the maist part of this cuntrie wilbe in Lowthiane, and will nocht attempt nathing. I sall haist me hame sa sone as possibill I may, for I have send in your lettre alreddy to the counsell that they may understand the effect of the same." Frome Halydeane the xxij of Aprile 1584. Signed: Cesfurde.

"Postscript.—I pray yow caus your pepill be favorable to my guidis, for I can nocht remeit thame of the Bordour althocht they suld be all gane."

½ p. Addressed. Wafer signet as before.

215. Forster to Walsingham. [April 26.]

This morning I hear from Scotland that the Lord Bothwell was at Edinburgh with about 2000 men, and was ordered by the King to return home and not come within 20 miles of Court; and is back at Kelso and his men "scaled." The Laird of Cesford was within 4 miles of Edinburgh, and is also returned, with orders from the King not to come near the Court. The King with his guard has taken "Sir James Hewme larde of Cowdenknowes" out of his lodging in Edinburgh, and put him in prison in the castle—also the chamberlain of Kelso, a Douglas, is taken between Sterlinge and Edinburgh, coming to the Lord Bothwell with letters, and is committed to Edinburgh castle. The King has also taken some of the "burgesses of Edinburgh upon suspect," and imprisoned them. "Theis intelligence are trewe, and at the writinge herof the Lorde Bothwell was at his pastyme in Kelso." At my house nigh Alnwick. Signed: John Forster.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Walsingham.

216. Burghley and Walsingham to Forster. [April 26.]

Signifying that they lately sent to him by "one Marmaduke, servaunt," the sum of 2000l. in "pistolettes" of gold at 6s. the single pistolet, and 12s. the double—that her Majesty's orders as to its disposal are, on the coming of "this bearer" Mr Davison envoy to the King of Scots, he is to pay him one half on a bill of his hand to take with him to Berwick, retaining the other half until Mr Davison and Mr Robert Bowes by their joint handwriting shall order its disposal.

Also to give Davison the news of Scotland, and to comfort their friends there by restraining their adversaries on the frontier to make any head against them. "From the Court at Whithall."

½ p. Contemporary copy. Indorsed: "26 April 1584. Coppy of a joynt lettre from the L. Th'rer and Mr Secreat. Walsingham to Sir John Foster—sent by Mr Davison."

2. Duplicate in same handwriting. Similarly indorsed.

217. Forster to Walsingham. [April 26.]

I send you two letters from the Warden of the Middle Marches, whereby it appears that both he and Bothwell are returned to keep the Borders—without their horsemen, which I think is the chief strength with the King. "I lerne they are not unwillinge of their retorne." At my house. Signed: John Forster.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the foregoing:—

(Cesford to Forster.)

"Being in my jurnay this last Thurisday to the Kyngis majeste and almaist at Edinbrucht was stayit be his majesteis lettir, be the quhilk I was cummandit to reteir to the bordouris . . . and sua com haime this Fryday last at ewin . . . And gyff any within Tevedaill offendis to any within your Merche, upoun the reseit of your lettir, ather sell the gudis be deliverit with speid againe, or ellis the parte complenit on selbe send to your lordschip to thair tryall, provyding your lordship will do me the lyik. Liddisdaill I think be haldin fordwart with the Kyngis majeste to Stirveling, and I trust his majeste will tak ordour with them befoir thair hame cuming." I look for your answer, that the people on this March "may go in thir symmeryng eftir thair accustomit maner." From Halydane the xxv day of Aprile 1584. Signed: Cesfurde.

My servant Robert Menteitht is still at Court, but on his return you shall have the news.

1 p. Addressed.

218. Woddryngton to Walsingham. [April 27.]

On the 27th instant I and the council of this town had a servant sent to us from the Earl of Anguishe, that his lord, the Earl of Marre, the Master of Gleymes, the Abbot of Drybroughe, the Abbot of Persley, Carmighell, and one Drummant a gentleman of good reputation, with their followers to the number of about 40, had come to the town of Warcke, within the lord governor's wardenry, asking to be received here. Sir John Selby being my lord's deputy warden of this East March, we thought it best to send him to them, and as there is no fit place for their safe keeping except here, we have received them until her Majesty's directions and your pleasure are known. I shall have such regard and circumspection in secret manner unto them as appertaineth. Berwick. Signed: Henry Woddryngton.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed by Walsingham.

219. Scrope to Walsingham. [April 27.]

I received your letter of 21st yesterday about nine in "thafforenoune"—shewing some slackness in the posts—also the council's letter to the gentlemen for contribution to the new devised defence.

By my late summoning of the gentlemen of the wardenry and their household servants,—whom I kept here from Friday night till Sunday night,—I think the Earl of Morton, Lord Heries, Lowghenver and others our neighbours, were stayed from joining the King against the assembly of the nobility at Stirling. None of that country went forth but the Lord Johnston's son and heir, and 100 horsemen. The Greymes have been doing somewhat there, whereat I hear the King is grievously offended. "The Lyddisdails for the most parte went furthe to the Kinge, where they have ben well accepted, specially with Coronell Stewarde. The Larde Johnston hath ben a principall pursewer of the noblemen, whom on Saterdaye at night last, he streictlie pursued at a towne called Lanerige, (fn. 2) who being taken of the sudden, thincking he had greater forces with him then he had against them, dispersed them selves." I have already disbursed 300l. to keep the soldiers on the frontier to defend Bewcastle, and for want of its repayment, I have been forced to recall them, since which time the Liddisdales left at home have done more damage to Bewcastle than for 4 months before; and now on Johnstons return he will seek revenge on the Graymes, I therefore pray you that a warrant for 200l. may be directed to Mr Braddell her Majesty's receiver here, for the captains' and soldiers' pay. If any of the distressed noblemen repair here, I beg instructions how to deal with them. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

The Lady Johnston sent me intelligence yesternight, that the noblemen were dispersed, which I did not credit till more perfectly advertised this night.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Marginal note by Burghley.

220. Scrope to Walsingham. [April 29. 1584.]

I received yesterday at 3 in the afternoon your letter of the 24th, "whereby to my great comforthe I understande hir Majesties good opinyon of me, by the eleccion of me to be one of the nombre of the honourable Ordre of the Garter, with the consent and good lyking of the noblemen of that ordre." For which I am most chiefly bounden to her Majesty, and can only give my true and faithful service in return for her gracious consideration—and secondly to all the noblemen of the order for their good opinion; giving you my right harty thanks for your friendly advertisement.

Immediately on receipt of your letter I sent my man into Scotland, who has just returned, and shows me that Morton and Herries have made proclamation for the earnest pursuit of the noblemen as the King's rebels. And at 10 o'clock this day, they are come down to Annande, as I am credibly informed, to procure an amity and composition of the quarrels depending between them and their surname and the Graymes our borderers—which in this dangerous time is not convenient or to be borne withall, but rather hindered—to which end I have sent for the Grames, and if I can not persuade them, beg your opinion, how I may best deal with them.

In my last of the 27th I signified that the noblemen were dispersed, and I now hear they are about Berwick where they were pursued. Not more than 100 horsemen from this border joined the King, all dependers on the Laird Johnston. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.


  • 1. Worn away.
  • 2. Lanark?