Border Papers volume 1: December 1580

Pages 28-34

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

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68. Selby to Walsingham. [Dec. 2.]

Having to send letters from Mrs Bowes to her husband, I thought fit to signify the quiet of the frontiers to your honour.

Most of the Scots nobles are in Edinburgh with the King; it is given out for settlement of the matter between the Master of Ollyvaunt and Lord Reven.

They daily expect Mr Alexander Hewmes return from her Majesty. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Selbye.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed: "From Mr Selbye."

69. Selby to Walsingham. [Dec. 7.]

I have done the best I could to understand the proceedings of the assembly of nobles in Edinburgh, and enclose the same. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Selbye.

"Postscript.—Since I begone my lettres, I am advertized that the Earlles of Argiell and Morton did come to Edenburghe agayne upon Monday at night last."

½ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in same:—

(Proceedings at Edinburgh.)

"Earles.—The Earles of Lynnox, Marche, Athole, Angusse, Morton, Montrosse, Suutherland, Rothosse, Marre, Glencarne, Errell. Lordes.—Ruthven, Hewme, Lynsay, Carthcat, Lord Robert Steward, Innermarche, Herys, Maxwell, Olephant. Byshops—Orkney, Murrey, Brechin. Abbotes.—Dunfermelinge, Newbottell, Jedbourgh, Sanctcolmisinche, Lundarys, Balmerinoch, Dryburgh, Cambuskynneth, Inchcheffray, Coldingham, Pluscardin, Blantyre, Kilwynning.

The Lord Olephant is by ward of Counsayle, putt in the Kynges will. The Earles of Angusse and Morton are thorowly agreed. The Lordes Maxwell and Herys and the Lard of Lochinver hath taken in hand to pacyfy the West Marches, and to make the inhabitantes theirof obeydyent and answerable to the lawes of Scotland and Ingland. The Lard of Sesford joyneth with the Lordes Maxwell and Herys with the support of the Lord Hewme, to pacyfy Lyddesdalle and Tyvydall. The Earles of Lynnox and Marre are agreed and shaken handes before the Kynge for all debates betwene them, and especially for the breaking up of the Earl of Marre his chalmer doer. The Earles of Angusse, Morton and Marre, and many of the nobility, are rydden home to their owne houses, except these following,—the Earles of Lynnox, Montrosse, Glencarne, the Earle of March, Errall and Suutherland; the Lordes Hereis, Maxwell, Ryven, Carthcatt. The gentlemen of the Kinges chamber have gyven their othes for the faithfull service, and every eight serve two monethes. In the fyrst quarter serve theyse that followe,—the Mayster of Marshall, the Mayster of Lyndsay, the Mayster of Cassillis, the Lard of Coldingknowes, the Mayster of Ogilvy, the Pryor of Coldingham, the Lard of Bargayne, George Duglas of Lochlevin. Other eight beginne the next quarter, and so forth the rest quarterlye. These noblemen and others above sayd weare att this last Convention, 1580."

1 p. Contemporary.

70. Forster to Walsingham. [Dec. 25.]

I send your honour enclosed a letter from the lord warden of Scotland, from whom I can get no answer either for West Tyvidale or Liddesdale, but notwithstanding will do my best to keep the Border quiet.

"The Karrs of Scotland doo make themselves as strong as they canne, for the xxjth of this instante December, there was ane agreement of mariage made up betwein the Lorde Hewmes dowghter, beinge the Larde of Cesfords sister dowghter, and the Erle Marshalles sonne." The copy of the muster book as near as I can is sent enclosed. At my house nigh Alnwick. Signed: John Forster.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in same:—

(Cesford to Forster.)

I have received your several letters desiring to know if I will answer for West Teviotdale and Liddesdale. You know my goodwill as often proved, and also the disobedience I have received of West Teviotdale by Angustone and others, for whom I had to enter bond to you; and till relieved, and they behave better, I do not mean their burden to lie on my neck, but to answer only for my own and friends. Liddesdale has its own keeper, for whom I cannot answer till out of doubt of his obedience. Trusting you will not "put in balance" East Teviotdale with the other disobedients, and to advertise me if I may look for good neighbourhood at your hands, as you shall find the like.

From Cesfurd the 22 of December 1580. Signed: William Kerr.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

71. Selby to Walsingham. [Dec. 28.]

I have had charge of this town for 4 years past, with no other counseller sometimes for 13 months. For 5 months since June last, in Mr Treasurer's absence, I have supplied his place with no allowance, and at great charges, and pray your help herein. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Selbye.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

72. The Keepers of Liddesdale. [1580.]

"All theise underwritten as is credible enformed, have ben keapers of Lyddesdaile successyvelie—of whom their is nether recorde nor memorie so farre as I can learne, for any metinges for redres with any the wardens of this West March at Gamelpeth for Lyddesdaill.

The Lorde Burthick, thErle Bothwell, the Larde of Cawdor, the Larde Trachquare, the Tutor of Petcurr, Mr Mychell Bawflower, the Lorde Herries, the Larde of Carmighell." No date or signature.

Written by Scrope's clerk.

73. Grants to Robert Bowes. [1573–1580.]

Her Majesty's gifts and exchanges granted to Robert Bowes for his preferment and at his humble suit.

By letters patent to Edmond Gresham and Percevall Gunston, 8thJuly 15 Eliz., the said Robert received the fee simple of rebels, lands in the north, of yearly value 103l. 1s., in exchange of the manor lands of Grindon in Durham, value 109l. 15s. 8d. Granted in recompense of his losses in the rebellion in the North.

By letters patent to Thomas Appleby and Christofer Sheperson, 8th August 22 Eliz., he received the fee simple of lands of her Majesty's, yearly value 100l., in exchange for the manors of Litle Chilton in Durham and Great Broughton in York, yearly value 103l. 2s. 8d. Given in reward of his services in Scotland, but the benefit deeply abated by many accidents. In December 17 Eliz., he assured to her Majesty the fee simple of his own manors of Barnes, Pallion and Clowcroft in Durham, yearly value 129l. 11s. 11d., and in exchange, had lands of rebels in the north, worth yearly 133l. 18s. 1d., but that exchange was not granted, for he bought the same of his own money from the petitioner, (fn. 1) to whom her Majesty gave it.

1p. Indorsed.

74. Certificate By Huntyngdon on The Border. [1580.]

1. The decay of horsemen is most plain.

2. Though redress often commanded, nothing has been done.

3. The causes—leases by her Majesty and meaner lords, to persons, who look only to profit, breeding cattle and not horses.

4. Recommends a commission for two purposes (1) division of the "battable grownde," and (2) to examine the laws of the Borders. Signed: H. Huntyngdon.

2 pp. Indorsed.

75. Decay of Border Service.

The causes, chiefly in the Middle Marches.

1. The long peace. 2. The exactions of owners in taking fines and grassums from tenants, who keep cattle to manure their dear farms, instead of horses. 3. Leases of her Majesty's possessions to inland men. 4. Absence of keepers of castles and houses of defence. 5. Deadly private feuds. 6. Dearth and scarcity of horses. 7. Daily sale of horses into Scotland.

The remedies proposed follow. Additional causes of decay are—letting lands to Scots, whose cattle go quietly without stealing, as an Englishman's will hardly do. Sundry towns where were many housholds, are now converted to sheep. Norham and Wark, the two principal castles on the East Border, "are so greatly in ruyne and decay, as no man dare dwell in them, and if speedy remedy be not had, they will falle flatte to the grounde."

3 pp. Indorsed.

76. Memoranda on The Borders. [1580.]

"The Borders are the three shires of Northomberland, Westmerland and Comberland, which are the parts farthest north of England adjoyning uppon Scotland. They are devided according to theyr situacion into three marches—the Est Marches, the West Marches, the Middle Marches. The East Marches contayning that part of Northomberland which is next unto Scotland on the Est side of England, beginne at a place called the Hanging Stone at the west end of the Forrest of Cheviott, and so coming downe by a little rinnell or brooke, called Caudgate, which falleth into the river of Till, stretche as the old borderers of the Middle Marche affirme, from the north side of Bewick lordshippe downe the watir of Warne to the Warneford, as the lordeshippes of Bambrough and Alnewicke are divided. But as the Est borderers say, the river of Ale maketh the division; which opinion semeth presentlye to take place, part of Alnewicke lordshipp being mustered with that Marche.

The West Marches are the two shires of Comberland and Westmerland, beginning at Carsopp rigg, or as the West borderers and Scottes affirme, at "the foote of Carsopp or Carsopp brigg, a common passage where many spoyles were wont to enter into the Border, and therefore the jurisdiction for the holle, refused by the wardens, because the custome was in former times, that the same Marche wher goods entred, should be answerable for them at the day of truce.

The Middle Marches bounded as before on the Est part, and on the West descending from Carsopp downe to Poutreshe, and so further as the knowen division goes of the shires of Westmerland and Comberland, conteyneth the rest of Northomberland.

The Bowndes foranempst Scotland and the Debatable Lands:—

The just bowndes towards Scotland is in debate in diverse places where the two realmes towche, and hath beine cawse of great controversie betwene the nacions. By meanes wherof ther be certayne parcells of grownd uppon the edge of the frontier doutefull, to whether realme they appertayne, and these are called the Debatable Landes, in truth unsurped by the Scottes as well during the warres while our people retiring themselves into the contries, left the same desolate, and they that revived possession after many yeares, eyther remembred not how moch to challenge, or loked not narrowlye after a small quantitie of land in so lange habitacion and tickle hold. As also in the time of peace, wherin they never leave encroching uppon the English Borders, in such sort as by a survey taken anno H.8 (Book of Collection of Border Causes, fol. 39) it was fownd that the ancient markes of the bowndes were in sondry places of purpose defaced, and that many townes lying endlong the sayd Borders, had plowed and sowen all the grownd within theyr towneshippes that wold beare corne, and pastured theyr cattle within the grownd of England. And in some places had sowen likewise, which corne was destroyed by Sir Robart Bowes and Sir Robert Ellerker in theyr jorney.

The Bowndes as it is layd out by the English for the Est and Middle Marches appeareth (Book of Collection of Border Causes, fols. 38, 55, 62, 64)—beginning at Barwick Bowndes ende, which comprehende the feldes and territorye of Barwick standing within the Scottish grownd, and usually comprised in the treatyes by an article apart, being limitted by a notorious bownder, called The Bownde roade. It goeth upp the river of Twede (common for the fishing to both nacions, so as where there is a convenient landing place for the nett on eyther side, they may draw the same over the whole river in compasse, landing only uppon theyr owne grownd,—which use is confirmed by the 3d article of the treatye 1559) unto the Riding burne mouth, so south west upp the burne to a place called the Bushment hole, without plea. From the Bushement hole, as the feldes of Carram bownd uppon Scotland, and from Carram feld side following the mouwnd (?) of an old ditche called the Marche dike endlong all the feldes of Warke and Presfen with moch variance, to a place called Cauldron burne. From Cauldron Burne foote to the Standing Stones, and to a stone lying in the edge of the sike or river, and thence westward upp the March dike throwgh Hwmley Mosse to the height of Horserigg, and to the Black Know at Chapman deane head, a causey so called. Thence to the Shotton Lawe Swyre, and following the Marche dike till it fall into the water of Bowbaynt, and overthwarting the same upp Elterburne to the height of the White Swyre, where beginneth the Forrest of Cheviott, the height wherof as the water falleth, is the Marche of England and Scotland, going upp the Skire rigg unto Stanemore Sheile, so to Stwbeswyre, and then to the Hanging Stone where the forest endes, and the merks betwene the realmes resting without controversie, the Middle Marches beginnes. From the Hanging Stone westward all the heyght of the edge or fell to Hexpethgate head, so to Kemelspeth, and thence south and westward moch uppon the south by the heddes of Riddesdale and Tindale, alwayes by the height of the fell, to Carsopprigg the boundes of the West March, and so to Carsopp burne or Carsopp brigg "Thence (as I gather by Mr Dacres plott of the West Marches,—for other vew of the bowndes of the West Marches there is none) westward, as first Carsopp and the Liddell water runnes, till it fall into Eske, and overthwarting the same endlong the Meere dike, till the same fall into the water of Serke, going downe therwith into the river of Eden, which from thence forward is a notorious bownde till it fall into the mayne sea.

The Debatable Landes, as they stode anno Edw. 6, since which time I do not learne yet of any composition made, though diverse conferences and offers have passed, and by the last treaty 1563, commonly called The Commissioners Booke, art. 24, it was especially agreed that for avoyding further question towching the same, that the princes should be moved for the appoyntment of commissioners for the division therof. Querendum igitur.

In the Est Marches.—Three parcells betwene the Bushment hole and Cauldron burne:—

The Mid rigg lying nere to the cornefeldes of Warke and Carram, conteyning by estimacion 100 acres severall grownd of Carram and parcell of the late monastery of Kirkeham in Yorkeshire, as the English affirme, quietlie occupied and plowed by the tenantes of Carram till Flodden feld, at what time the decay of the castle of Warke caused the decaye of the townes of Carram and Warke, so as it lay unplowed but occupied as pasture by the tenantes of the said townes till anno 30 of H. 8, that they did sow it with otes, which the Wardens of the Est and Middle Marches of Scotland by theyr Kinges commandment, as the Scottes affirme, with a great power destroyed, challenging the same grownd to be in plea betwene the realmes, and therfore to be pastured uppon by both, as it hath continued ever since. The Threape rigg, as the English call it, and as the Scottes, the Est ende of Hawdon rigg, 300 acres, claymed by the English to be eaten in common by the tenants of Warke and Carram and the Scottesmen of Hawdon rigg. The Scottes affirme that one Rafe Carr of Grenehed had a plough going there without interuption of the English, and likewise the Lard of Hawdens wife.

A pece in Warke feld, west from Warks Whitelaw and south from the Threpe burne, within the Merche dike extending to the foote of Cauldron burne, 40 acres morish and evill grownd and of little value, pastured indifferently." Ends thus abruptly at the foot of a page.

[The paper for 10 or 12 pages following consists of notes on the powers and duties of a Lord Warden—extracts from collections of Border statutes, musters and provisions for defence—notes of different passes—causes of decay in defence.]

"The present state of the castles and fortresses upon the Borders needing repair:—

Beaucastle, 3 miles from Scotland, a place of great strength. Askerton tower, Scalbye, Rowcliffe, Carlisle castle and citadell, Drumbeugh, Bownes towre, Wolstey castle, Graystock castle, Cockermouth castle, Penrith castle, Kirkeoswald castle, Naward castle, Trivermain castle,—2 new fortresses upon the ring of the Border between Wolstey and Rowecliffe.

Dunstaneburgh castle, Bamborough castle, Shorswood towre, Norham castle, Heton castle, Cornell towre, Wark castle, Howtell towre, Lemokton towre, Etayle castle, Ford castle, Woller towre, Bewick towre, Lowick towre, Harbottell castle,—3 new between the river of Twede and Harbottell, and 1 more between Harbottell and west border.

Middle Marches—at West Lilburne, 2 towres. Ilderton necessary to be repayred, a meet place for a garrison of 50 men—at Hareclewghe, a fit place—Langeleye, a fit place—Denton (?) an apt place for 100 men.

Besides these castles, which they think apt to be repaired, it is thought convenient by the Commissioners for the East and Middle Marches, that as Her Majesty hath no castle of her own between the river of Tweed and Harbottell which is about 20 miles, and between Harbottell and the West Border, is 20 miles likewise, endlong all the plenished (?) ring of the border, but is enforced to use the houses belonging to her subjects being for the most part of small receipt, and by that means her subjects families and goods sustain trouble and hindrance. 3 new towers and fortifications to be built endlong these Marches, between Harbottell and the Tweed, and 1 between the West Border and Harbottell—each sufficient for a garrison (?)—a great help in time of peace, a great resource in time of war." No date or signature.

20 pp. Draft very closely written, with many corrections, &c., in the small cramped hand of Thomas Phillips, Walsingham's secretary. Indorsed.

77. Petition to Walsingham.

John Kyechen, John Goodchild, Richard Swallwell and Richard Jeofferdson, lately preferring their complaints to Her highness and the Privy Council, that they were ejected from their "farmeholdes" by virtue of leases granted by the Bishop of Durham, and the same being "referred over" to the Lord President of the North, and no answer yet given, pray his honour ("for Godes sake) for that wee are verie poore men, charged with maynye children, and otherwise nott able to lyve, moche lesse to attend longe suyte," to determine their cause. Not Signed.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Destroyed by damp.

78. The Queen's lands in Northumberland.

Names of places in the East Marches where the Queen has any lands certified to be unfurnished of horse and armour.

New Etall—8 tenements each of 20s. rent, leased to Sir William Drury at 10l. (23 May 13 Eliz.) Her Majesty had 2 years' rent for a fine, and a bond to find an able tenant, horse and armour for each.

Humbleton—lands of 8l. rent not leased, but unfurnished from the smallness of their tenements.

Old Etall—13 tenements, 11 of 20s., 1–60s., and 1–40s. a year—16l. Mr Haggreston's lease (26 May 13 Eliz.), is only of the last 2, which are furnished, the rest seem out of lease and no fines taken.

Bowsden—lands of yearly rent 61s. 1d. let to John Selbye gentleman and the said Haggerston (26 February 16 Eliz.). Bound to find horse and armour for each tenement and treat the tenants well.

Lowick—this town the Lady Brandon's for life, under reversion to the Queen. Tenants allege double distress, but there is no rent paid to the Queen, only to the liferenter under injunction.

Dodington—one tenement of 10s. granted to said Henry Haggerston (25 February 16 Eliz.) who is bound to find an able man furnished.

Bewdill, Bednell, Sunderlande, Shorston, Fletham, Elforde—all within the Liberties of Bamborough, and charged in the Pipe. The sheriff receives the rents, profits, &c., but never answereth them or maketh any account, and the Queen gets nothing, yet unfurnished.

Preston cum Ellingeham—the tenements on Ellingeham parcel of Preston are worth yearly 70s. Not leased.

Swynhoo—lands there by year 25l. A lease of 22l. 1½d. granted to Arthure Creswell (10 March 20 Eliz.), ad usum tenentium, with a proviso to make over "several" leases to each tenant, of his own tenement, paying his charge disbursed rateably. The Queen was answered of one year's rent as a fine. Each tenant to find horse and armour, "to make quicksett," and an able man to inhabit each tenement.

Shipley, Burton, Horkley—no such towns appear wherein her Majesty hath lands. Said to be unfurnished. No cause shown.

Berington—the lands, &c., are by year 24l.; the demesnes are granted to one Ferninando Ryveley (26 May 16 Eliz.), the tenant on surrender of an old lease from King Edward 6th. He is bound to find horse and armour. The residue, 16l. 4s. 6d., leased to the said Mr Haggerston, the fine but one year's rent in consideration of cottages and a mill decayed. Bound to find horse and armour and an able man for each tenement.

Goswick, Fenham, Fenwick—the Queen hath very little land there. Some part unfurnished. No cause shown.

Fenwick.—Belongeth to Norham castle.

Buckton—two tenements there granted to Christofer Selbye, by lease, nomine Willelmi Clopton inter al. at 40s., also bound for horse and armour (June 15 Eliz.)

Memorandum—There is no lease in that country, but with provision to find horse and armour for each tenement, to be held by an able man. Signed: Cristofer Smyth.

2 pp. Indorsed by Burghley.


  • 1. "Sir Thomas Manners," in Burghley's writing on margin.