Border Papers volume 1: July 1585

Pages 186-191

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

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326. Scrope to Walsingham. [July 3.]

According to your desire I have paid "my verie frende" the Laird of Carmichael 40l., who gives you his hearty thanks.

"I ame to praie you to take ordre that the said fortie pounde maie be payd unto my frende Mr Wolley deane of Carlislie, or to soche as he will appoint to receyve the same, taking the said Mr Wolley his acquyttance, acknowledging the recept therof as parcell of his fee dewe for the deanrie of Carlislie at Christenmes and thAnusiacion of Our Ladie last past, which acquyttance I desire yow to retorne and send unto me." Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

I pray you cause the letter directed to Mr Wolley be delivered.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

327. Scrope to Walsingham. [July 4.]

The Laird of Johnston of late, with as many as he could muster, came to the "sheyles" of Lorde Maxwell's adherents, took 200 head of cattle, 60 "naiges," slew one man and took three. For revenge, Maxwell's people have taken 80 head of cattle from the Johnstons, and Maxwell himself is come to the town of Annan and hath placed his forces about Kyrkkonnell and the house of Bonshawe, and is determined on some further enterprise.

I am credibly informed that the Earl of Arran and Robert Maxwell the Earl of Morton's brother, are well agreed, and that Robert promised very great things to Arran, "wherewith the Lorde Maxwell him self standyth yll content, insomoche that altogeather mysliking of Roberte's doinges, he hath putt him in displeasor from him into Gallawaye, wheir for the present he remainyth without having any accesse to his brother."

Having already disbursed of my own, 300l. and more for the captains and their soldiers in this frontier, and having received only 200l. since their coming, from Mr Clopton the receiver of Northumberland, I pray you to remember the warrant for 400l. for which I wrote before. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

328. Forster to Walsingham. [July 13.]

"I send youe here inclosed a pacquett of lettres frome the Lorde Hambleton, and yt pleased his lordship to send a message unto me by his servante Robert Conningham, beinge acquainted with the lettre sent frome the Lorde Maxewell, wherby yt appereth that the Lorde Clawde dothe nowe lament his matters that he hath not followed my lorde his brothers counsell, and would gladlie amend that which is amis; and seinge he is of that minde, I thinke in myne opinion yt were better that he should come in to the Lorde Maxewell then to anye other in Englande or Scotlande, consideringe howe hardlie he hath beine handled and broken withall by the Kinge of Scotlande, contrarie to his handwritinge and promise, by the Earle of Arraines meanes.

As towching Thompson whome I apprehended upon your honours lettre, I doo understande more then I dyd before, for I have fownde him to be verie arrogante, and as muche contrarie to Gods glorie and his Worde and her Majesties procedings, as ever I knewe man—for he bothe denieth the supremicie, and will by no meanes be perswaded to heare the worde of God, or come to the churche, but sayeth his fleshe abhorreth the same; and I, willinge him to heare the dyvine service, dyd aunswer me directly that he would not, except he were compelled therunto by force. And I, cawsing the dyvine service to be read, he made open protestacion before God and all the companie, that yt was against his will, and dyd yt by compulsion, and stopt his eares and would not heare yt—and farther sayeth that abowte vj yeres since he was brought before my Lorde President for relligion, where he was bounde in tenne poundes for cominge to the churche, and therupon he came two sondry tymes; but his fleshe dyd so trimble, that he was like to have fallen downe sicke, yt seimed so horrible a thinge unto him, and since he never came at the churche. Besechinge your honour therfore that I maye receyve some direccion from your honour that he maye be delyvered to my lorde president, or some other as yt shall please your honour to appointe, and that I maye be unburdened of him, who is a perilous man in seducinge and perswadinge the people frome Gods worde." At my house nigh Alnwick. Signed: John Forster.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

329. Scrope to Walsingham. [July 23.]

"Uppon Teusdaye the xxth hereof, in respecte of a feede betwixte Hobby Forster Englishman and the Ladeleys of Scotland, for the slaughter of a sonne of the said Forsters by the surname of the Ladeleys, the said Hobbye Forster gathering his frendes together (and purposinge to make his owne revenge) made a roade into Tyvydale." Christopher Musgrave captain of Bewcastle and Captain Case, hearing this, in order to prevent any outrages by the Scots, led out 28 "shotte" of Case's company to the edge of the border, without, as they say, intending to cross it. But seeing the Englishmen overpowered by reason of a great number of Scots gathered to a "traiste" near the place, and in peril of their lives, Musgrave and Case with their men, contrary to the treaties and my strict orders, crossed the border at the "Wheele Causey," a mile within Scotland, rescued the Englishmen and defeated the Scots, taking prisoners 20 gentlemen and as many "fellowes of small accompte," of whom they have let many go again, being friends and followers of the Laird of Farnyhirst. There were 3 or 4 Scots and one Englishman slain, all of little account, and some hurt. Although Musgrave and Case protest their intention was but for the safety of the country, yet they have come here to acknowledge their great oversight, and readiness to make such redress as may be enjoined them, and to submit themselves to her Majesty's pleasure,—wherefore I keep them here, till I hear as to the same from you, and what answer shall be made to the opposite warden.

Though I am greatly grieved herewith, and cannot overlook it for example's sake, yet I cannot but make known to you the good services of both these gentlemen, and pray that you may so help them that their former good deeds may not be cast into oblivion, to their disgrace and discouragement hereafter.

"I am this daye advertised by my verye secrett frend, that the Earle Bothwell intendeth to repaire (uppon Sondaye or Mondaye nexte) unto Dunlanericke, and from thence to thErle of Morton, to treate and conferre with him of matters purposed betwixte them." As I hear of their course, you shall be advertised more at large. With thanks for your advertisement in your letter of 15th. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

330. Forster to Walsingham. [July 28.]

"Yesterdaye beinge the xxvijth of this instante Julye, I mett the opposite warden for redressinge of attemptats comitted on bothe sydes, where my Lorde Russell came also for certen particuler cawses of his owne, against my will,—who was not there almost theis two yeres before, and of all other things, I lest looked to have had him there—where yt channced a sodden accident and tumult to arriese amonge the rascalles of Scotlande and Englande, abowte a lyttle pyckery amonge themselves, and we meaninge no harme dyd syt most parte of the daye callinge billes, and my Lord Russell amonge us. The said Lorde Russell rose and went asyde frome us, with his owne men, and there beinge in talke with a gentleman, was sodenly shott with a gonne and slaine in the myddest of his owne men, to the greate discomforte of me and his pore frendes in this contrie, and never a man other of Englande or Scotlande slaine but he. Alas! that this mischevous channce should happen for him to be killed with a shott, and none but him, which is the greatest discomfort that ever came unto me. And yf God had beine pleased, I would yt had light one me, and not on him, consideringe bothe his youghte and towardnes of service—but who canne be against the provision of God! After whose death bothe the said opposite warden and I, with the gentlemen bothe Englande and Scotlande, stoode together and made a quietnes, and the opposite warden as willinge as I in all the tumult, and cawsed proclamacion to be made that all prisoners with their horses and furniture which were taken and could be brought to sight, should be presently redelyvered—which was doon accordinglie, and all others to be redressed on bothe sydes with all speede, within a daye or two,—and therupon have delyvered gentlemen as pleges on bothe sydes, so that the Borders are in a staye till her Majesties and counselles pleasure be knowen therin. And so we parted quietly owte of the feeld, but as yet yt is not knowen who shott that unhappie shott, thoghe I have made enquirie by all the wayes and meanes I canne. I have cawsed her Majesties castle of Tynemowthe to be kept in the same order yt was with all the companie and soldiers remaninge therin, untill her Majesties pleasure be knowen what shalbe doon therwithall, whether I maye rest upon the kepinge of yt, beinge within my wardenry, or nott—and as I shall receyve direccion, even so shall [ be glad to accomplishe the same.

So as thinges nowe presently standes, I must be ane humble sewter unto your honour to stande so good frend unto the pore infante, (fn. 1) as to speake unto my Lorde of Bedforde (fn. 2) to remember the continuance of his howse and to favour the pore childe." At my house nigh Alnwick. Signed: John Forster.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

331. Statement as to Lord Russell's death. [July 29. 1585.]

"In primis—the warden of the Myddle Marches of Englande came to Oswold Myddle the xxvijth of Julie with the gentlemen of Englande to keipe a daye of trewes with the opposite warden; and stayenge there a certen space, sent certen gentlemen to the opposite warden to Hexpeth gatehead, to take assurance accordinge to the auncient use and custome. Which beinge graunted on bothe sydes, and therupon proclamacion made that none should breake the said assurance untill the nexte daye in the morninge, nother in worde, deede nor countenaunce, upon paine of death, the said warden came forwarde, thinkinge to finde the warden of Scotlande accompaned after his accustomed maner,—which they fande contrarie, to the greate dislikinge of the said warden of England and all the gentlemen in his companie—the grounde so servinge that they could not discover the other partie till they were at the joyninge together, so that there was no remedie, the forces of Scotland beinge so greate, but stand to their former assurance, where the said opposite warden was standinge ranged in order of battell, with ensigne penselles fyfe and drommes, otherwise then ordinarye custome hath beine at anye daye of Marche in tyme of peace. So that yt appereth manifestly that yt was a pretended purpose to breake the amitie and peace betwene theis two realmes, as in their procedings dyd plainlie appeire.

This is not ane accident or sodden, as ordinarie hath beine and yet hath beine stayed by wardens or commissioners, for yf yt had bine ane accident or sudden breakinge by rascalles, as there was no suche matter, the gentlemen of Scotlande with their drommes, fyfe, shott, and suche as carried the ensigne and penselles, would have tarried with the warden; so that yt appeireth plainlie yt was a pretended matter before hande, for the wardens syttinge quietlie callinge their billes, the warden of Englande thinking no harme, the partie of Scotland seinge the tyme serve for their former devise, sodenly brake, strykinge up a larome with sownde of dromes and fyfe, ensigne displeyed, penselles, and shott, and gave the charge upon us—in which charge the Lord Russell was crewellie slaine with a shott, and so dyvers gentlemen of Scotlande with their footemen and horsemen and their hole force, followed and menteigned their chace fowre myles within the realme of Englande, and tooke sondrye prisoners and horses, and carried them into Scotlande, which they denye to redelyver againe.

The like breache of assurance was never seine, so that yt is manifest that it is a plaine sett downe matter before.

When all this was doon, and the feeld disordered, and the noble man slaine, and all past remedie, the warden of Scotlande made proclamacion for the defence of the former devise, when there was but a small companie of gentlemen other of Englande or Scotlande lefte to heare yt, which was to a small purpose. Signed: John Forster, Willm. Fenwycke, Richard Fynwyck, John Horsley, Thomas Selbye, Edmond Crastir, John Thorntoun, Robert Lysley, Thomas Woddringtone, Milys (?) Forster, Ro. Claveringe, Robert Myddylton, Percevell Clennell, Andro Pringelle, George Pryngle, John Heron, James Ogle, John Heron, Fra. Radcliffe, Luke Ogle, Thomas Procter, John Carnaby, Rawff Collyngwood, Henry Collingwood, Edward Gray. Robt. Awder, John Collingwood, John Collingwoode the yongere, Percewell Red, Thomasse Collingingwood, Roberte Leaylle, Edward Shaftowe, John Halle."

2 pp. Indorsed: "Sir John Fosters reasons to prove that the murther of the L. Russell was pretended."

332. Forster to Walsingham. [July 29. 1585.]

"Wheras I wrote unto youe by poste of the unfortunate and mischevous chaunce of the killinge of my Lorde Russell with a gonne upon the sodden fraye that dyd arise amonge the rascalles of Englande and Scotlande, I have sent the berer herof beinge one of his men and present with him amonge others, to declare the full trothe and circumstaunce therof, that he and the rest of his fellowes may aunswer for his deathe, for yf he had stayed with the opposite warden and me as other gentlemen dyd, he had beine lyvinge and in saftie." At my house nigh Alnwick. Signed: John Forster.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

333. Scrope to Walsingham. [July 29.]

On the receipt of your last of the 20th, to learn more certainly of the dealings between Morton and Arran, I sent one of my own to Morton at Dunfreis, who is this day returned to me with the note inclosed, "contayninge the heades of the offers of the said Earle unto the King, which the King utterlie refuseth to grant or in any wise to allowe of. Whereuppon the Lordes of Harris and Lougthanver (put in truste to mediate this cause), seeme somewhat discontented with the evill progresse of this course, and stronglie perswade Morton to submitt him selfe and inclyne to the King. But I am crediblie informed that he intendeth constantlie to persiste in this course begonne, and will not be won neither with wordes nor any other counynge dealinges, unles with force and in violente maner he shalbe therunto constrayned. Bothwell breakinge his appointement for his meetinge with Maxwell on Sondaye laste, is againe looked to come to Dunlannericke within these two dayes at the furtheste."

I would be glad to hear further from you of the evil dealings of my late servant Bowman "(now departed this lyffe)," whereof you partly told me, and signified them to my son, that I may be more careful to foresee the like in others hereafter. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

334. Scrope to Walsingham. [July 30.]

"I am credible advertised that uppon Thursdaye at nighte last past, the Belles, and the Armestronges ran a forrey uppon Crayford More, from whence they broughte to the nomber of xij score kyne and oxen. In which forrey Capten Crayforde sett uppon them, to have rescued the goodes, which notwithstandinge, they brought awaye with them, slue two of Crayfordes men, hurte three, and tooke twelve, bringeinge them awaye as prysoners. And yt is thoughte that if the Kinge do not presentlie take order herein, and fynde a tymely prevention, Maxwell and his people will within shorte tyme laye waste the wholl countrey unto Peebles, havinge gotten alredy into his handes and at his commandement all the cheife ston howses which ar of strength in that countrey—savinge the howse of Loughmabell and one other.

Maxwell is in takinge upp of 100 horsmen, which ar to be comitted to the chardges and conduite of the yonger brother of the Lorde Harris and to the Larde of Howmaynes; and further myndeth to plante some forces of footemen in Carlaverocke, the Treive, Loughmaban, Langholm, and Tortarrell, purposing to appointe and assigne severallie to everie of these places an especiall person of truste for the capten thereof.

The Larde of Johnston is of late greatlie straitened of his former libertie, beinge verie hardlie warded at this present, and yt is thought he shalbe shortlie removed to Carlaverocke, which place is a preparinge for that purpose.

It is also geven me to understand, that the Lorde Harris and Loughanvar have earnestlie moved Maxwell to wryte his lettre unto Arren, and therby both to take notice of Arren his favourable furtherance of his causes to the Kinge, and also to be thankfull unto him for the same—which perswasion Maxwell utterlie disliketh, and refuseth to incly(ne) unto there opynion therein." Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

335. Forster to Edward Wotton. [July 31.]

Sending him an account of the late fray, and the unfortunate mischance of Lord Russell's death. Referring for particulars to the bearer Robert Carvell.

p. Official copy.

2. Copy of the statement by Forster and others [No. 331], with a list of those charged with the murder. Similar to the names in the following proclamation, with the addition of Sir Thomas Carre of Farnehurst knight.

3 pp. In same official writing. Probably sent to Wotton.


  • 1. The late lord's son, and his own grandson.
  • 2. Who died that same day.