Border Papers volume 1: January 1588

Pages 302-308

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

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582. Hunsdon to Burghley. [Jan. 14. 1587–88.]

While looking for the arrival of the Scottish commissioners tomorrow, last night late at the shutting of the gates, a gentleman from Carmichael came to me with 2 letters—one a private letter by the King's direction, the other by advice of his Council, as you will see by the copies of them and my answers. I perceived by the bearer, that none of the Council knew of the private letter but the King—which caused me to answer them "severally"—and but for that letter, I would have written in the other that I saw they meant nothing but delay, meaning no redress, and I would trust no longer to their promises as they had broken so many days with me, and if they do not keep a day this week, I will make no more appointments. I think the King himself is very well given to justice, but few or none of the Council are—and therefore if they do not now send as I have written, I must then write directly to your lordship, to inform her Majesty that she need look for no redress but by force—and unless she sends down some small force to make reprisals, nothing will be done. "Withoute that, I feare me they will make such cavelacions and wrangling at bills, as their will smale good come of their meetinge, thoughe the Commissioners do come… The cawse whye theye requier to begine from so louge a daie, is because having perused the rowlls of Scotland, they find them to come so farr shorte to countervayle the rowlls of England, they would demaunde redres for all the burninges and spoiles that was don by my lorde of Sussex being here, to countervaile the others; yea, and for ought I think, with Sir William Drurys winning of Eddenborrowe castell! And therfore I have and will refuse to have anie matter called in question, but sens his jorney into Scotland; and from that tyme lett them not spare, for the lenger daie they begyne from, the worse it wilbe for them and the more proffitt to her Majesties subjectes… (fn. 1) The credytt that was gyven too the messenger by the Larde of Carmychell, was too lett me understande ther ar sume aboute the cowrte and London, that doo seke too hynder these cawsys as faste as I seke too further them—but bade me beware of Archibald Duglas—but whyther thys procede of the mysleke betwene the Chancelar and hym, I know nott, for Carmychell ys all yn all with the Chanselar; but yt ys moste serten that the Kynge hathe no lekynge too Archibald Duglas, for he bathe bowghte two specyall huntynge horsys for the Kynge, but the Kynge wyll by no meanes receve them, and yett hathe he sowght by all the meanes he can, too gett the Kynge too take them, but as yett he wyll uott, so they be yett yn Inglande. I was assuryd by a gentylman of Skotlande, that the Chancelar shewde hys father—the gentylmans I meane—a pece of a letter wrytten owt of Inglande, wheryn was wrytten that I doo practyse under hande, and have secrett dealyuge with Syr James Stewarde the late Erle of Arren. What goode dealyng there ys amonge sume, your lordeshyp may judge! Towchynge all the uther matters, I have wrytten too Mr Secretary, but nothynge of thys that ys wrytten with myn owne hande." Berwick. Signed: H. Hunsdon.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

Inclosures in the foregoing:—

(1) (Carmichael to Hunsdon.)

I have received your letter, and see you intend to begin redress for the East and Middle Marches at the 9th of April 1586—that you have not yet heard from Lord Scrope, but think he is to seek redress from a longer day. I think to begin from such time, will leave great causes of offence, cutting off the just complaints of many good men on both sides, and their hopes of ever getting justice. "Meeter yt were in my opinion, and mair apparant to work the scope of our convening, that all complayntes whik sen the meeting of the last commissioners at Carlyle and Drunfreis hes intervenit, should be given in, consyderitt and tane order with at this meeting, that be removing thereof, all jellesses depending therupou may be extinguished on ather syde. And fra this tyme the haill three Marches would be waruett to give in complayntes. Seeing the desadvantage that the beginning at a shorter day to any ane of them may carrie with yt ather to you or us, gyf this difficultie may be agreed upon by mutuall letters before our meeting, yt willbe a great furtherance to this good purpose; gif nott, yt willbe maist convenient our first work begin at Foulden, that we may ther condiscend upon the sayd day before that we goe further. But trusting to your lordschypis conformitie to the sayd tyme, wheranent I will expecte your lordschipis answere at this place…From Hallwendhowse the xijth day of Januarij 1587. Carmicall.

1 p. Copy by Hunsdon's clerk. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley: "Carmycall to the L. of Hunsdon."

(2) (The Same to the Same.)

"I have had larg and privie conference with his Majestie, and fyndes him so mynded to have all matters well, that I am verie glad of yt, God be praysed—and hes willed me to write this particular letter to yow, besydes the other, whilk is written by the advize of the Councell—desyring yow to condiscend to any reasonable tyme to enter upon at meeting may be, for yt shall draw one better matters, as I shall informe yow at mare length at meeting. To this effecte his Majestie desyres that ye shall make your sonne Sir Robert Carey one of the commissioners, to the effecte he may come in heere, that his Majestie and he may have privie conference, whome with I beleeve he shallbe verie playne. Mair I shall shew you at meeting… Referring the rest to the sufficiencie of the berar…Of Hallenden howse the xijth of Januarij 1587." Carmicall.

½ p. Copy by Hunsdon's clerk. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

(3) (Hunsdon to Carmichael.)

"I have received your letters of the xijth and xiijth of the same, by the which yt seemes that the cause of your not coming hether tomorrow with the rest of the Commissioners, according to appoynctment and promise, was because yt semes that the Kynges Majesties councell doth mislike of the shortnes of the tyme to begin it, being the 9th of Aprill 1586—but thinckes that for such reasons as is alleadged in your sayd letters, yt were more convenient to begin from the meeting of the commissioners at Carleill and Donfreese, which is two or three and thirtie yeeres agon. The cause whie I did sett downe so short a tyme, was by reason I understood by Sir John Foster that at that tyme, he and the Laird of Cesford mett at Alnewick and Kellsey, wher they staied so longe as ther was any bill of England and Scotland to be called for—and withall I thought you would have willinglier a condiscended to that tyme rather then to a longer day; for assure yourselfe the longer the tyme is to begin at, the more beneficiall you will fynd yt for England. So as for my part I shall be contented to yeeld to any day, so yt be synce the late Earle of Sussex and my being in Scotland, sent in with an armie at the ernest request and sute of the then Regient and others of the nobillitie to ther great and ernest request and sollicitacion, to her Majesties great charges sondrie wayes, without anie benefitt to her selfe or anie of hers. But to begin wher you write of, synce the meeting of the Commissioners at Carlyle and Donfreeze, were an infynite matter and an impossibilitie to be put in execucion, consydering what a number of meetinges there hathe bene sens, both of the Regentes themselves, and of other noble men, besydes great trobles, and the sondrie and severall questions would rise therupon, so as a whole yeeres disputacion would be spent therein, and in the end as good never a white as never the better!" So if it please the King and Council to appoint any time since my lord of Sussex was here, I will agree, if the Commissioners will come at once, otherwise I must think it "but drifte of tyme." . . Barwick this xiiijth of Januarij 1587." Signed: "Your assuryd frend lefully, H. H."

"Because younge Collingwood is forced to enter, or els the Laird of Buckleugh to forfayt a c li. starling, as you shall perceve by his letters sent to Sir Cutbert Collingwood, the sayd Sir Cutbert doth prease me greatlie to call for the entrance of Browne, for whoes entrance you have given me your word, and therfore requyre you that you will cause him enter accordinglie."

2 pp. Indorsed: "To the Laird of Carmighell."

583. Hunsdon to Carmichael. [Jan. 14.]

I have received your several letters—one your own private letter by the King's command—the other by advice of the Council—wherein I find great contradiction. By the private letter, I see that his Majesty is well minded to have things in order, which I never doubted, "if hee be not perswaded and seduced by suche as are about him, which are not so well mynded neither to the glory of God nor to the weale of his Majestie nor of their contrie." If you and the others had held on, and met me as tomorrow, you should have found me inclined to any reasonable time for beginning, so long as it was since any meeting of the Regents or other noblemen since the time of Lord Sussex being in Scotland—the rather because I hope you will satisfy me in some greater matters. And I marvel greatly that I hear nothing from you on my last letters and notes then sent. "Towching my sonnes Robert Carey to be one of the commissioners—bothe hee and his brother John are ryden upp to the courte uppon Twisdaie laste. And if the Kyuges Majestic have anie intencion— as I hope his majesty hathe, I praye ye lett it be owt of hande some one daie this weeke…To the whiche bothe England and Scotlande hathe an eye unto, to harken what good will come of it." Berwick. H. Hunsdon.

½ p. Copy by Hunsdon's clerk. Indorsed: "To the Laird of Carmyghell."

584. Hunsdon to Burghley. [Jan. 17.]

"Being requierd to sende a pacquett from Corsellas to the Frenche ambassadour, which I have sent herwith to Mr Secretary, I have thought good to advertize your lordeshyp that this morning I have understanding of the cawse whye Carmighell and the reste cam not hither uppon Mondaie laste, according to appointment—which was that one called the Laird Laddylaud, servaunte to Coronell Steward, past thorrowe this towne with Mr Secretarys pasporte, uppon whose comming this meeting was stayed; and I am certainlie given tunderstand that their wilbe no meeting, what promises or faire speeces soever shalbe given, wherof I shall want none to put of the tyme with delayes untill the Kinge here againe from Coronell Steward, or that hee come him selfe—who is daylie looked for.

Thus her Majesty maie see, and all you maie find, what to trust to at this kinges hands—for I dare assuer her Majestie that this king meanes to revenge the deth of his mother if ever hee be able, and what faire speeches or promises soever is made of him, her Majesty shall find it but playne dissemblacion. And therfore being past hope of any good meaning in him, I dare not as a councelour, but give her Majestie advice to trust no lenger to their faire speeches, but to make her Borders presentlie stronge, able to make their borderers leave their habitacions, as they did before Chrismas, when they were affrayde that I would a made some greate revenge with this smale companie that her Majestie hathe here—which made the King send presentlie to me to lett me understand howe greatlie it was against his will, and that hee would presentlie send a nobellman to me, to what place and what daie I would appoint, to sattizfie me in all thinges—as I have written heretofore at large. But it is all dissemblacion, and that wee shall find if wee trust to them.

My lorde, towching such occurrantes as are brought to me—I have thought good to lett your lordshyp understand that their are sondrie shipps arryved here owt of Fraunce—some from Burduxe, and some from Rochell and other places of Fraunce, which do afferme for certaine that the Duk of Guyse hathe recevid a great overthrowe with the lose of 10 or 12 thowsand men, and as it is sayd by some in Fraunce, the Duk him selfe slayne, some others saye hurt, but not slayne, and that the wourde was their that the King of Navare should be proclamed the seconde person. They afferme that in this conflict the Prince of Condye was onehorst, and one Symerstone a Scotishman, who is their with the Lairde of Wynnes, did horse him againe. Theis Scotishmen that do afferme this was in Fraunce within this 8 or 10 dayes.

It is verie trewe that the Bisshoppe of Doubleane is closlie in Eddinborrowe. I shall understand some thing of his negociation from one that hathe had conferens with him, to morrowe."

A new supply of money is wanted for these soldiers—the first 200 have been here three months, and the other 300, two months—I wish to pay them monthly, but the country is little able to bear it. Berwick. Signed: H. Hunsdon.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

585. Appointment of Scottish Commissioners. [Jan. 18. 1587–88.]

Commission by James VI. to John Carmichael of that Ilk one of the masters of his stable, Alexander Home of Hutton hall deputy warden of his East Marches, and Mr George Young archdeacon of St Andrews, to treat for adjustment of Border controversies. Haldenhouse.

1 p. Broad sheet. Copy by Hunsdon's clerk from a copy attested by the commissioners. Indorsed.

586. Hunsdon to Burghley. [Jan. 23.]

"I have forboarne to write unto your lordship sens the recepte of your laste, in respect that I recevide a lettre of the 17th from the Lairde of Carmighell, that hee and Mr George Younge would be att Huttonhall the XXth daie following, to meet and to confer with Sir John Foster, Sir John Selby, and either Mr Phumfrie Musgrave or Mr Loather, whome I had appointed to treate with them towching theis Border cawses, but knowing no certaine tyme of their comming, or whither they would come or no, Sir John Foster and Mr Loather returned backe againe, untill a newe warning. Wherof I advertized the Lairde of Carmighell, and did offer to send Sir John Selby and towe others to confer with them, untill I might send for the other towe. Wheruppon this morning the Lairde of Carmighell cam hither unto me, whome I did challeng for the breache of meeting at the daie appointed, nor sending me any warninge in tyme therof, wherby, and suche other disappointmentes, I had juste cawse to thinke that the King had no intencion to do anie justis, but to dryve tyme with faire wourdes, untill they had brought their other practizes to pase. For I was given credibly tunderstand, that the only stage of not meeting was uppon the comming of one Barkley lairde Laddyland, servaunte to the Coronell Steward, who paste thorrowe this towne with Mr Secretarys pasport, and that the Kinge would dryve of tyme with delayes untill the comming of the Coronell Stewarde, who is lookt for verie shortlie. Hee utterly denys the same, and protestes that the King hathe neither recevid any lettres from the coronell nor hathe had any conferens or talke with Laddyland the coronells servaunt sens his comming into Scotland. But this is no artickell of my creed ! But in fyne hee and I have concluded that upon Thursdaie next, they towe—Carmighell and Mr Younge, with Mr Home of Huttonhall, shall meet at Foulden by 9 or 10 of clock, with Sir John Foster, Sir John Selby, and Sir Symond Musgrave, untill the comming of Phumfrie Musgrave or Mr Loather, for whome I have sent to my lorde Scroope to send hither presentlie. It semes they will not depart, but meet their daie by daie, untill some fynall order may be taken for the redressing and settling of theis Border cawses. Hee did aske me what commission they should have that should treat with them—for they have their commission under the greate seale of Scotland—to whome I aunserid that whatsoever they concluded uppon, should be performed for the part of England: but it were not amyse, but would further the matter greatlie, if their wer a commission procured and sent downe with all expedicion hither, to those three—Sir John Foster, Sir John Selby, and Mr Phumfrie Musgrave, or Mr Loather; or ells a comission to be directed to me, to aucthorise me to name and appoint such as I shall think fitt and convenient to treate of theis Border cawses. Carmighell tells me that the King was verie desierous that my sonne Robert Carey might be one of the comissioners, that therby the king might have some occassion to deale privatly with him, and to have some secrett conferens with him of other matters—wherof hee will confer with none but either with my selfe or with my sonne Robert—for they are desierous that the comissioners that shall treate with them, might returne with them to Eddenborrowe, to talke with some of the kinges councell therin, and to have yt ratefied by the Kiuge and to have yt presentlie to be put in execution by the wardens.

As in famyliar talke with Carmighell, I toulde him of soudrie cawses that leades me greatlie to mistrust the Kinges good meaning towards her Majesty—as in treating for forrayne forces—the great doubt his owne subjectes dothe couceave of him of his revolting in religion—of his inward dealinges with thErle Huntley and other great papistes of Scotland—his tolloracion of the mase in sondrie places of Scotland, and allmoste commonly in the northe—the suffering of the Bisshoppe of Donbleane and a nombre of Jessewittes within his realme, and thoughe hee wer not pleased to suffer the bisshoppe of Donbleane to come to his presens, yet hee was contented to see the bisshopps comission, which was brought unto him by thErle Bothwell—which matters being trewe, the Queenes Majestie was not to looke for any frendshipp or to truste to his ametie; and did assuer him that a great many of his good subjectes did feare all this greatlie in him. Wherunto hee aunserid, that for religion, the Kinge had made suche sollem and open protestacions and vowes for the mayntenance therof, as if hee be either a Christian prince or worthy to be accompted a Christian man, hee will never alter the same, but will mayntaine it to the uttermoste of his power against all the worlde, and that no perswasions whatsoever shall take hould of him in the contrary.

Towching the dealing with any forren princes for forren ayde, the King hathe commanded him to saye unto me, that hee is so farr of from dealing with any forren princes for any ayde or succour, as if their do any strangers lande within any part of his realme, it shalbe well seue that hee will goe him selfe in person with all the power hee is able to make, to put them owt againe, and whosoever shall so bring them in shall suffer suche paynes as is dewe for traytours.

Towching the sight of the bisshopps comission, Carmighell dothe avowe upon his lyfe and credit, the Kinge neither hathe nor will see yt. Hee dothe confes that wheras the bisshoppe should a bene excomunicated, that thErle Bothwell was a sutour to the kinge for the staye therof, in consideracion that his bisshopprick might not be forfayted at this tyme. But the bisshoppe hathe put in sufficient cawshion in xxty thowsand pounde, to depart the realme betwene this and the 7th or 8th of the next moneth. It is verie trewe that thErle Bothwell hathe had dealing with the sayd bisshoppe, and as one reported to me, being of very good creditt, that hee harde thErle saye, that if the Kinge would followe his councell, hee should accept of the offers in the bisshopps comission (which is) that hee is offerd 10,000 soldiours to be sent him with good captaines and leaders, and money too entertayne and paye 20,000 of his owne subjectes, or 20,000 strangers, or ells to lett the kinge sett downe what hee woulde have, and hee shall have yt.

And towching the Kinges inward dealing and intelligens with Huntley and other Papistes, Carmighell confesseth that the king being at Burghley, (fn. 2) thErle of Montros, and thErle Craford were sutours to the kinge that thErle Huntley might come to his presens and speake with him. The King was contented therwith, but finding him selfe not so well sattizfied at Huntleys haude as hee looked for, the king departed from him greatly offended with him. But towching this, it is but Carmighells allegacion—but I have hard verey credibly the contrary, which I rather beleve.

The xijth of this moueth, their landed at Leethe owt of Fraunce a gentil woman named Mrs Kenete, (fn. 3) who appon the xvjth daie in the afteruone cam to the King who recevid her with great curtesye. She waighted uppon the Scotishe Queene at her deathe. The King conferred with her almoste towe owers in his cabenet, after whose departur from him, hee was very sade and pensyve all that daie, and would not supp that night. The next daie shee dyned with thErle Bothwell, wher shee declared openly howe the Queene was martred and mangled by thexecutioner, and sett yt owt with suche speeches and jesturs as moved every boddy to mislike greatlie of yt that hard yt. And such like speeches dothe shee use whersoever shee comes, to harden their hartes againste the Queene. …I feare greatly that Archiball Dugglas dothe his beste to hinder the ametie betwene the Queeues Majestie and this kinge, onles it might be compast by him selfe—which will never be, for the King likes not of him, nor almoste any of his councell about him; and moste shewer it is, that neither the King nor his councell dothe take him or accompt of him as the kinges ambassadour. And towching such aunsers as your lordshipp and my lorde Chauncelour gave unto him from her Majestie when hee should a come awaye, the King hathe to this ower never hard any words of them! And where hee seemed that hee would returns hither into his contrie, I assuer your lordshypp hee dares not—and if he do, he will fiude as bad enterteighuement as ever hee had in his lyfe!" Berwick. Signed: H. Hunsdon.

"My lorde I have wrytten the contentes of thys letter too Mr Secretary. (fn. 4)

3 pp. Postscript holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.


  • 1. From this point holograph.
  • 2. Burleigh near Lochleven.
  • 3. Kennedy.
  • 4. Two lines following here cancelled.