Border Papers volume 1: December 1590

Pages 370-373

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

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694. Repairs at Berwick. [Dec. 14.]

Needful works to be done about the town of Berwick upon Tweed as viewed by the knight marshall and others of the council 14 Dec. 1590.


The Cowegate in the new fortifications, and making a new bridge, the same being rotten and in great decay, will cost 300l.; the long bridge over Tweed, the joints and braces wherof towards the sea, are shrunk, and the rails above in great decay—the timber and workmanship will cost 50l.; the "vamure" of the new wall at the west mount, called "Roaringe Megis mounte," being 40 yards long "from the table upwardes," blown down by the wind, will cost 4l.; the "longe oxehouse" in the old palace or victualling office, now covered with rotten firdeals and decayed timber, will cost 40l.; the storehouse or victualling office in Holy Island, and the brewing vessels, will cost 30l. The windmills, whereof the main post is broken and unserviceable, and other things decayed, "the mending" will cost 30l. Sum total of the needful works by estimation, 546l. 3s. 4d.

Memorandum.—There is a round tower or platform for the ordnance, "so dangerous, that neither the worckemen dare take downe the same at the foundacion, for feare of fallinge one them, nor at the toppe, for feare of fallinge downe with it—so as not seinge the through decaye therof, they cannot well sett downe thestimate of the same as they wold, and therfore referre it."

pp. Indorsed: "Barwicke. Nedefull worckes to be done there, certifyed xixmo Decembris 1590."

2. Another copy of same.

695. Acrigge and Crane to Hunsdon. [Dec. 19.]

Having presented to Mr Marshall a note of the most needful works to be done here, we send your lordship a "briefe" of those which have been done the last year ended at Michaelmas last. Though the cost seem great to your honour and we wish them less, if we could amend it, yet we would to God, if your lordship could have been spared from greater affairs of her Majesty, that you had been an eye witness here, to see how substancial and well done they are, and cheaper than any heretofore, as shall be found when surveyed. Being paid "in victualls and tickett," they will rise in cost, and the overseers and officers in charge cannot help it. If they could be paid in money, as appointed by her highness, we dare say to your lordship that more than 32l. or 33l. would be saved in every 100l. The workmen now getting 12d. "in victualls and tickett," would be glad of 10d. and 9d., he that has 8d. and 7d. would take 6d. and 5d., and live far better, for they lose as much on their tickets, as the difference in money wages. Also in "provisions," as iron, stone, firdeals and spars, nails and timber, if we bought in ready money, her Majesty would be saved 40l. in the 100l. Till this is remedied the cost will "ryse greate," and the officers be blamed, though blameless. We pray your honour, that if any work be ordered, it may be paid for in money, as her Majesty's meaning is in the instructions for this town. They will be better done, her charges lessened, the workmen live better, and the officers disburdened of suspicion of "evill husbandrie." We refer these matters to the report of Mr Marshal whom we have acquainted therewith. Berwick. Signed: Willm Acrigge, John Crane.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed: "Mr Acrigg and John Crane about the workes in Barwick."

Inclosed in the above:—
"The somme aswell of all the worckes done within the yeare ended at Michaelmas 1590, as of the extraordenerie chardges due to the Master of thOrdenaunce, and thofficers fees, due in that year, as allso of the workes done sithence Michaelmas aforesaide."


The new gate and the governor's lodging warranted by his lordship, 771l. 14s. ¾d.; works at the Holy and Ferne islands under Sir William Read's charge, 111l. 8s. 3d. Sum total 1317l. 6s. 3¼d.

Works done since Michaelmas:—
The new gate and other places about the town, 125l. 4s. 1¼d.; the gatehouse at Norham castle, 20l.

Sum total of all charges before and after Michaelmas, 1462l. 10s. 4¼d. Signed: Examinatur per Willm Acrigge, Johem Crane.

pp. Indorsed.

696. Woddryngton to Hunsdon. [Dec. 23. 1590]

On the 8th instant I took the musters of the garrison, and enclose the "defaultes." I also send a certificate by the Surveyor and John Crane, of work done for the year ended at Michaelmas. Albeit the charges of the new gate are very great, I assure your lordship it is both a great strength, and also beautifying to the town, and if you saw it, you would like so well of it, that you would not have it undone. The officers have showed me that while last years works come to a great sum, yet if they were paid for in ready money and not in "ticket and victualles," they would save almost 40l. in every 100l., which would have been 300l. on that account off her Majesty's charges. I also enclose an estimate or "breif" of needful works. The gatehouse at Norham is done as you directed—and you will please take order with Mr Vernon to make payment, being 20l. He has fully paid the garrison here for the half year ended last Michaelmas.

I am forced to complain both of Mr Treasurer and Mr Vernon in behalf of the poor men that keep the Queen's watch, who are left unpaid for this bypast half year, 35l. 4s., and in miserable distress. Vernon and Sheperson (Bowes' servant) when before me, each say that the other must pay the men. But between Mr Treasurer and Mr Vernon I find such confused reckoning, that I can get no payment for the watch at either of their hands. And the poor men have been on their knees before me crying out that they cannot have their daily sustenance for want of it, and would have given up the watches. Vernon, when I certified him, said he would pay none till he had seen you and had direction, by the "Twelfe day" at farthest. Meanwhile I have pacified the men, and beseech you to set down who shall be their paymaster hereafter. Berwick. Signed: Henry Woddryngton.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

697. Proposals by Robert Bowes. [Dec.] [1590.]

"The parcells offered by Robert Bowes esquier to be by hym and his sonne Raphe Bowes assured to her Majestie for payment of one thowsand poundes by yeare untill his debt for th'arrereges at Barwicke shalbe fully answered, vizt.:—"

The manor of Aske in the county of York, for which shall be paid yearly, 200l.

The lands and coal mines at Ufferton, and the saltpans at Sunderland in the county of Durham, for which shall be paid yearly 800l. In all 1000l. per annum. For these parcels to be accepted by her Majesty and so conveyed to the Earl of Huntyngdon and Mr Raphe Bowes, they will give bonds and good security for payment of said rents.

Also by the fees of his office at Berwick, to be continued at her Majesty's pleasure, he will pay to her highness yearly till his debt shall be cleared, 400l.

1 p. Written by Sheperson. Indorsed: "The order of payment to be made to her Majestie for Mr Bowes."

698. Works at Berwick. [Dec.]

Note as to cost of works done, and of necessary works to be done, as in the reports Nos. 694, 695. Also as to things to be done at Wark castle formerly estimated at 500l., but as Mr Gray and his tenants are to help with carriage, now reduced to 300l.

½ p. Indorsed by Burghley: "Barwyk. Charges of the workes anno 1590."

699. The Council to Captain William Selby. [Dec. .1590.]

Instructing him (1) to inspect and report on the state of the ordnance, munition and "habillimentes for warr" in the north; (2) to enquire as to armour, pikes, muskets, bills and powder delivered to Lord Huntyngdon lieutenant in 1588, and to deliver what remains to the Master of the Ordnance; (3) to find out what became of cornpowder then delivered out of a ship called the Roebuck: (4) to ride shortly to Carlisle, confer with Lord Scrope, view the munitions and muster the "cannoneirs" who are thought to be one half too many; (5) after execution of these instructions, to report his opinion to the Council.

1 p. Indorsed: "A copie of Instructions from my lordes of the Counsell to William Selby, gentleman porter of Barwick and comptroller of thordenance in the north partes."