Border Papers volume 1: January 1586

Pages 216-219

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

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404. Scrope to Walsingham. [Jan. 13. 1585–86.]

"I have latelie receaved sondry brutes of the erectinge or usinge of the blasphemous ceremonye of the Masse heare in thes weste partes of Scotland—which reportes at the first I made dayntie to credyte, and durste not advertise thereof untill I had more dilligentlie enquiered and learned oute the truthe. But now havinge a confirmacion by such as I dare well beleve, I have thought good to lett you understand for certen, that the Earle of Morton, the Lorde Herris, with divers gentlemen and others of the countrey to the nomber of 200 persons and above, weare assembled at a masse in publique manner at the Colledge aboute a myle from Drumfreis, and that sithence, the like uomber and assemblie were at the hearinge of another masse within the howse of thErle of Morton in Dunfreis, where the preacher of the said towne is put to sylence and forbidden to preach, as I heare. Moreover yt is said that this infeccion spreadeth yt selfe into divers other places in Gallawaye, and will shortlie shewe it selfe and be disperced into other partes in that realme." Morton still keeps in pay 25 horse and 120 foot. Johnston is returned from Court to his own house, and it is expected will soon take some enterprise in hand, for though he seems to be thoroughly reconciled with Morton, there is great suspicion that a new broil will breake out ere long. I also understand that though the King shows sundry "smylinges" to the lords returned, pretending to be well pleased with their doings against Arran—yet his inward affection to Arran shows itself by secret intelligence and messages continually passing between them. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

405. John Young to Forster. [Jan. 14.]

"The occatioun of my langsumnes in vrittin till your honour of sic matteris as fallis furtht in this cuntrie, it is nocht for lak of gudvill bot for vant of sum trustie berar. . . I think your honour knawis alredy of sum messis done at Dumfreis and the New Abay, and nocht done so prevalie bot thar is trew knawlege cumit till the King and Consell of the sam, and quhat thai ar that ar the doarris of the samin. The Erll of Arren is planely in Aire, and veill accompanyit. The Kingis majestie is presently in Crychtown vitht my Lord Bodvell, and is till ramane till Teusday nyxt, agane the viche day all the erllis lordis and nobill men of this caus is vrittin for till be that day in Edinbrucht, quhair I think shall be ane greit number of nobill men and veill effectionet till this gud caus. And forder your honour shall knaw that thair is cumit in at Leithe this Thursday at nycht last bypast, ane Frenche imbassadour callit Monsieur Dannerwell (fn. 1) and beand ane gentill man in the King of Francis chalmer, vith a tuentie or thairby in tryne. The King beand for the tyme at Krychtoun, he ves verry laytht till schaw his commyssioun, or yit till lat knaw from quhence he cam, bot said he ves ane Normondie and being cumit till travell throucht this cuntrie and Ingland. So I beand commandit be my maister vitht uther gentill of the Sacretarieis, till pas till Leytht till knaw quhat he ves, and so fra he knew ve var cumit fra the lordis of counsell, he shew his commissioun that he ves ane imbasadour. The viche commissioun ves send till the Kingis Majestie this sam day." Edinburgh. Signed: Johnn Young.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed: "To the ryght honorabill and my verrie gud lord Schir Johnn Foster lord varden of the Myddill Marches of England fornente Scotland."

406. Woddryngton to Walsingham. [Jan. 16.]

"The xiijth of this instant ther arryved at Leethe an embassadour out of France, accompanyed with xxvjtie gentlemen besides others, who brought in with him (as it is said) moe chestes and trunckes then ever any embassadour hathe bene accustomed heretofore.

The Kinge at this present is at a howse of the Lorde Bodwells an viijght myles from Edenbroughe—and about Wednesday or Thursday next, thembassadour is to have presence at Hallyrood howse.

It hathe bene suspected and whispered that the Lorde Maxwell should heare masse a moneth agoe at his owne howse. And nowe yt is manyfest that he hath masse openlye both on the Sabboth daies and weeke dayes (for as yt is bruted nowe) he begonne on Christmas daye to have yt openlye, and had that day nyne masses, and great repair dayly unto yt when yt is said. And lykewise on Newe yeares daye had nyne masses, and sence contynueth to have yt openlye.

The ministers infourminge the Kinge upon yt, requyred that his Majestie wold send to apprehend the preistes and Jesuytes, being in nombre v, wherof one the principall, a Jesuyte called Mr John Tyre who was one of the cheafe of the Jesuites in France and reader of the lecture in the cheefe howse of the Jesuytes there.

It was considered by the King and Counsell that yt was not best to wryte to the Lord Maxwell for there apprehension, doubting he wolde not obey that commandment. But the King wrote unto the Lord Maxwell, mervelling he wolde set furthe or use any such religion contrarye his proclamacions and lawes of his realme. Who returned answer alledging his Majestie had graunted him lycence to use his owne conscyence in religion.

It is thought there is some others of the noble men greatly addicted to the Lord Maxwell and that religion, as the Lord Grey, thErle Athell, the Tutor of Argyle, with other northren lordes. Notwithstanding yt is supposed the King intendes to use reformacion in yt, but in what maner as yet not knowne.

Sir John Seton is come to court, and well accepted of the Kinge, and either is presently made master of the Kinges householde, or els shortly shalbe—who is thought to be the chiefe instrument about the King for the staying of his proceadinges in thes matters against the Lorde Maxwell. It is also thought ther shalbe a day of meeting betwixt the lordes and Arren, but no certentye of yt as yet. Moreover it is said the Lord Maxwell keepes for his owne guarde a hundreth footemen and ltie horse in paye. Who is thought to be supported with monye out of France for the maintenance of his proceadinges and followers.

The noblemen in court at this present, is, theErles of Marre, Anguishe, and Bothwell. Collonell Steward is said to have a longer daye graunted him by the King to make his aboade in Scotlande." Berwick. Signed: Henry Woddryngton.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

407. Woddryngton to Walsingham. [Jan. 24.]

"Upon Thursday last, thErle of Morton was examyned by the King before his Councell, as touching the Papistes religion and the hearing of Masse—who is commytted to the castle of Edenbroughe. I doe returne unto your honour the names of the preistes and Jesuites and the principalles that are of that religion and hard the masses. Likewise I doe returne unto your honour this inclosed from Mr Mollyns capten of the Scotishe guarde to the French King. The Frenche embassadour had not presence of the Kinge before Sonday last, and his name not disclosed before that tyme. Who is a yong man not past xxiiijor yeares, and (as they tearme him) one of the verlettes of the Frenche Kinges chambre, accompanied with xxvjtie gentlemen, and altogither a Papist. The lordes dayly assemble to court, and (as I am infourmed) ther Sessions begonne this daye." Berwick. Signed: Henry Woddryngton.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

408. Sir John Selby to Walsingham. [Jan. 24.]

Whereas I signified that Lord Maxwell had caused "the Masse to be erected in Dunfresse," he is now come in and committed to the castle of Edinburgh. "The names of the masmungers and their associates I have sent your lordship in a scedule here inclosed. The King hath geven unto the Earle of Augusse the lordship of Dalkeeth, and unto the young Duke the lordship of Maffyn (fn. 2) in consideration therof. The French ambassador was appoynted to have presens of the King this day." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Selbye.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

409. Scrope to Walsingham. [Jan. 26.]

I am credibly informed that the Earl of Morton was on Thursday or Friday last, "committ to the castell of Edenburghe. Who (for feare of violence to have bene done to him for his late abuse in religion, by the commons of Edenburgh) was conveyed to the said castell within night by the Master of Glames and the whole garde of the Kinge—who seemeth to be thus deepelie offended with him for his late erectinge of the Masse. For which matter yt is pretendid (as I heare) that Morton is not onelie thus warded, but also further threatened by the Kinge to be made an example unto all Scotland. And albeit that Harris be said to be returned, yet yt is geven oute that both him selfe and all others at that supersticion, shall in like manner be punished with severitie. Now in this aptnes of tyme for Johnstones revenge, yt is sayed that undoubtedlie he will remeasure unto Morton all injuries formerlie received, and quitt him with the like comment, accordinge as by my laste I advertysed unto you. And for that purpose yt is said that Johnston prepareth him selfe to ryde as faste uppon Mortons frendes, as before this and duringe Johnstons imprysonement, Morton rode on his frendes. It is also said that thErle of Augusse suiteth earnestlie for the recovery of Dalkeith, Abberdoure, and the reste of therldome of Morton. . . The Abbaye of Newabbaye is geven to William Lessley. Thus referringe all others to the reporte of this bearer Mr Harry Lighe."

Postscript.—While making up this, I received your letter of 21st, with your doubts of my report as to Morton's public use of the mass, and the Kings secret intelligence with Arran—with one from the Council ordering my concurrence with the opposite officers on the Border. To the first "I dare be bolde to saie and you maye assure her Majestie, that Morton, Herries, with sondrye other gentlemen of the countrey, above the nomber of 300 persons, were all at one tyme assembled and at the hearinge of a masse in the place specified in my former,—which generall assemblie and greate multitude, I accompte a publique facte." In answer to the letter of my lords, I refer to my former readiness to put my hand to so good a work, but how quietness may be kept, when the opposite officer is thus committed to ward, and none in Liddesdale, I also refer to consideration. However I will do my best to keep the peace, but think it very requisite the King be written to to appoint officers to concur on the other side. I had the news of Arran's secret intelligence with the King from persons of good credit, and though not certain, think it is true. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

410. Woddryngton to Walsingham. [Jan. 31.]

Your letter of 21st I received the 27th, and as directed, I sent Robert Carvell into Scotland, who returned yesterday and brought these enclosed to be "returned" to you with speed. "The Frenche embassadour his name is Monsieur Danvall, who is a very yonge gentleman about xxiiijor years, and hath to his father-in-lawe the principall secretarye to the French King, and is altogither a Papist and brought in with him certen Jesuites, who are dispersed abroad in the countrey. The chefe effect of his commynge is to drawe the King to contynewe the league and amytye with France and to breake the amytye with us.

Thes twoe Frenche men whose names are Monsieur de Pireo (who was principall secretary to Mamsyre when he was embassadour for the Mounsieur here in England) and Monsieur de Crose (who is the Quene of Scottes servant and employed by her) are bothe secretaryes to this embassadour, and are the principall dealers with the King and councell for the service and affaires thei are comme for. Sir Robert Melvin and Sir John Mautland the secretary are the only men that repayre unto the embassadour, for none of the noble men (who are all at court at this present) have any company with him as yet.

ThErle of Arren the xiijth of this moneth came secretlye to Edenbroughe and had conference with the embassadour three dayes—and so was conveighed to the towne of Ayre againe—wherat the lordes doe thincke theimselves greatly discontented that he should so escape there handes. Collonell Steward is thought presently to depart out of Scotland, who is preparing shippinge for his convoye, and thought he will goe and serve the King of Spaine. The shippe that thembassadour came in, came furthe of Spaine to Callyce, beinge a French shippe, and is to returne into France within v or vj dayes (as I am enfourmed). Her fraught is with coles, but that is thought but a showe for the convoy of other matters, and especially of the embassadour his lettres of his proceadinges in Scotland. . . The Kinge was greatly offended with certen wordes conteyned in a letter from the French Kinge, which imported him to be protecter and defendour of Scotland.

It is said, the Kinge hath directed his lettres to the Erle of Arren, that he shall not make longer aboade in Scotland, but departe presentlye, otherwise he seames to make showe (if he observe not the same) to expell him away by force." Berwick. Signed: Henry Woddryngton.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.


  • 1. D'Anville.
  • 2. Methven.