Border Papers volume 1: February 1591

Pages 373-377

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

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701. Forster to Bowes. [Feb. 4.]

Asking him to procure from the King and Council an order that Bothwell shall meet him for redress on some later day than the 8th instant, appointed by Bothwell—whose letter fixing it only reached him on 28th January, when some of the gentlemen to be delivered were gone to "Yorkshier," and he could not possibly be ready. "Att my house neigh Alnwick." John Forster.

1 p. Copy by his clerk. Indorsed.

702. Forster to Burghley. [Feb. 10.]

[Repeating the substance and inclosing copy of his letter to Bowes of the 4th.] Besides the short notice given, "I haveinge perfyte intelligence, that the Lord Bothwell had warned ane huge and extraordynarie companey to attend uppon him; viz., the Erles Athell and Mountrose, the Lord Merra, the Lord Maxwell, the Lord Hume, Tevydaile, Mars, Lowdyane, and all from the Reynes of Gallowaie to Barwicke boundes—I thought yit good to contynewe our meetteinge viijth daies lounger, till the xv of this instant, wherby I might be the better provyded, bycause I have often experymented that the assembley of so many brocken countries might be daungerous to perturbe the peace, offereinge to meate his lordship with aue hundred gentlemen of the side, wherby to avoyde all inconvenyeuces. But my lord Bothwell would in noewise agree to prorogate our meatteinges, allegeinge them to be sett down by the King and Counsell," as thies enclosed copies of his letters show. The ambassador having moved the King at my desire, found him conformable, as he wrote to me. Meanwhile Bothwell "came to himself," and wrote to me on the 7th, offering to make full delivery next day at the Stawford on certain conditions. Whereon I sent my son Nicholas Forster to meet him that day, who found his lordship most toward and willing to justice, and arranged the deliveries on both sides as fully as I could desire. I think it necessary your honour wrote a letter of thanks to encourge him in this good course. At my house nigh Alnwick. Signed: John Forster.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the above:—

(1) Minute of a council meeting at Edinburgh 13 January 1590, where the King being present, Francis earl Bothwell, John lord Maxwell, Alexander lord Hume and Sir John Carmichael, personally promised his Majesty to deliver Syme Armstrong of Mangertoun [and the others named in the Act of 6 January No. 700] to abide the law by certain days fixed—Bothwell farther pledging himself to meet Forster on the 8th February next for redress, "under the paine never to look his Majestie in the face againe if this be not doone."

3 pp. Broad sheet. Written by his clerk. Indorsed: "A copye of the kinges order for deliverie of the Liddisdaile bills." And by Burghley: "13 Januar 1590."

(2) (Bothwell to Forster.)

Signifying that the King "this Thursdaie the xxjth of this instante," on leaving his house in Kelso, ordered him to meet Forster for justice at the Staweford on 8th February, and waiting his answer. Kelso, 21 January 1590.

½ p. Indorsed: "The coppie of the L. Bothwelles lettre."

(3) (Forster to Bothwell.)

Acknowledging his letter just received, but the notice being too short, he cannot attend, but if continued till the 15th February he will not fail to meet, and requesting an answer by the bearer. At my house nigh Alnwick, 28 January 1590.

¾ p. Indorsed: "The copie of a lettre sent to my Lord Bothwell."

(4) (Bothwell to Forster.)

Replying that he cannot put off the meeting on 8th, for it had been fixed by the King and Council, and the warden of the West Marches, Lords Maxwell and Hume, the Laird of Johnston, and Teviotdale, were ordered to enter their men on that day, which if put off would not be done till Midsummer—requesting Forster on the day of meeting, to draw up his "oiste" on the top of the hill above the Staweford, while he would "doo" his men at Kyrkyettam in sight of each other, and at delivery, each should ride to Ryddingburne with 60 or 100 attendants. Kelso, 29th January 1590. Bothwell.

1 p. Indorsed: "The coppie of L. Bothwelles lettre."

(5) (Forster to Bothwell.)

Earnestly repeating his request for delay till 15 February, but offering in the meantime, if Bothwell sends the "falters" of Scotland to Warke, he will send those of England to Kelso, and avoid inconveniences. 30 January 1590.

1 p. Indorsed: "The coppie of Sir John Forsters lettre."

(6) (Bothwell to Forster.)

Acknowledging his letter of "penult of Januarye" received this day, but that he cannot continue the day of meeting till the 15th. Though the notice was short, this was no fault of his, for the English ambassador who was present when the 8th was fixed, should have informed Forster, and his own warning was only of courtesy not necessity. If he had been "curious" for a meeting with England, he would have desired one of higher rank than Forster to meet him. Forster may send whom he pleases if he cannot himself be present on the 8th. Kelso, 1st February 1590. Bothuell.

1 p. Indorsed.

(7) (Forster to Bothwell.)

Marvelling that he should "sticke so styfelie" to prorogate the meeting for 8 days—which unless he grants, he must write to the ambassador to "crave" it from the King and Council. At my house nigh Alnwick, 4th February 1590.

Postscript.—[Referring to Bothwell's remark about their respective rank, he says]—"I confesse I ame inferiour to your lordship, but in respect of the autorytie I bear from her Majestie, being her highnes officer, I thiucke my selfe a man sufficient to meatt your lordship or any erle in Scotland."

pp. Indorsed.

703. Bowes to Hunsdon. [Feb. 13.]

The King has taken measures regarding the redress for Myndrom, of which Sir John Selby will give your lordship most speedy advertisement.

An assembly of noblemen and others in this town the other week, was suspected to be not for the outward causes assyned, "but rather to seke further matter for the innovacion of th'estate, or change of some officers—which being brought to the Kinges eare, he shewed him self so resolute to withstand and punishe who soever should attempt or mynt at (as they say) any suche thing, as the assemblie was soone scattered without appearance of any suche intencion as was doubted. And thereon the King for his recreacion passed to the Lord Chancelours house at Lawther, to the mariage of the chancelours sisters doughter to the younge Lard of Lugton. There the King renewed and openlie declared his great grace and favour towards the Chancelour, who being latelie thought to have wanted th'accustomed countenance of the King, is nowe seen to enjoy it in plentifull manner.

The jelowsies betwixt the Chancelour and the Master of Glames are not yet removed, notwithstanding that muche travell hathe bein imploied therein. Sondry accidentes dailie falling do rather blow the cole, then quinche the fier of their displeasures. For Glames th'other daie mett the freindes of the young earle of Argile to have concluded a mariage betwixt thErle of Cassells (sonne of Glames sister) and Argiles sister: but the Chancelour having interest in the tuicion of Argile and Cassells, seketh to defeit Glames labour therein. Also where Crawford and Glames th'other day were at point of agreament; now Crawford hathe renewed th'old matter betwixt Glames and the towne of Forfar, to Glames great trouble and some danger. Wherein the Chancelour having latelie entred into frendship with Crawford, is suspected to agree that Crawford should awake this sleping dogg to byte Glames. And lastlie on Saterdaie last, the Lard of Lugton (as it is said by the Chancelours meanes) hathe obtayned a decrete against thErle of Morton (father-in-law to Glames) for a good porcion of inheritance; whereat Glames is greved and Morton stormeth, breaking out (as it is saide) in highe tearmes, and shewing his passion against the Chancelour. This matter betwixt Morton and Lugton was sene to be of that qualitie, and so shouldered by the Chancelour, as some of the Session (chefelie the Justice Clark and the younge lard of Whittengham) did purposelie absent them selves from the determinacion thereof.

The King hath bene carefull to compound the feades betwixt Huntlay and his partie, against Atholl, Murray and their freindes. Wherein the King imploied the Duke of Lenox as a neutrall person and loving bothe parties, to worke the recousiliacion. But the duke is retorned without great successe. And the King in favour of Huntlay hathe given fourthe an acte of counsaill to approve the rode made by Huntlay at Tarneway the house of Murray (and where John Gordon a principall favourite of Huntlay was slaine) declaring that act to be done for the Kinges good service. Nevertheles there is a proviso for thErle of Murray, that it shall not be to his prejudice in his defence for that slaughter before th'ordinary judge of justice. Atholl, Murray and the northeren lordes interessed in this cause (togther with the Stewardes as I am informed) do muche stomack the manner of the progresse of this matter; so as these warres are not unlike to begin againe. For Huntlay (as it is said) intendeth to come unto and lye at Spina castle, layeng his forces at Elgyn nere to the same—and that Murray with his freindes prepaire to lye at the towne of Foresse nere to his house of Terneway, and within viij myles of Elgin. It is like that some blode wilbe drawen by these meanes except spedely the King and counsell prevent it. And Atholl and Murray with their freindes thinck them selves indifferent strong for Huntlay, in case the King will looke indifferentlie upom them.

Where Mackonell and Macklen are attainted of treasons and murthers, and remayne in this castle at the Kinges pleasure, the king is presentlie purposed to perdon and enlarge them, upon coudicion that severallie they shall give caution and pledges to pay to the king 10,000 markes Scottes a pece for a fyne, and 10,000 markes a pece of yerelie rent. But it is ment that Mackonell shall paye something more, and the King is pleased to exchange with him some of his lands in the Isle of Ila, that the kings landes may be drawen to lye togither. Macklen wilbe muche troubled to finde any pledges to satisfie the King, as hereafter will better appeare.

Th'officers of thEschequour have deligentlie travayled for the mayntenance of the Kinges estate, and sustentacion of his house, and having powre to draw into the kinges handes by his revocacion of his grauntes, suche partes of his properties as he hathe before given to his servantes and subjectes, they trust to increase his yearlie revenew nere to 57,000 markes Scottes, besides the thirdes of all spirituell lyvinges, and the temporalities of all monasteries. Many of the kinges servantes shalbe pinshed herewith; and many of the kinges grauntes shalbe revoked and frustrate hereby, to the hurt of suche as lack freindes in courte. But it is thought that the great courtiers and their freindes shall kepe great partes of the kinges benevolence given to them." Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

704. Woddryngton to Hunsdon. [Feb. 19.]

The pier is much damaged with the last great storms, and I have set workmen to it to prevent further decay. The wall behind the palace is also more decayed since these storms, and the spring tides so wash away the great stones, with which I ordered the breach to be filled, that I have set a watch at night, in fear of the wall falling.

On report of Mr Surveyor and Mr Gunner, I have viewed the ordnance office, and find that the upper part of the great storehouse wall, being of brick, where the powder, &c., lies, is so shrunk from the timber, that the rain and snow beat in and spoil "the furniture." It should be new pointed with lime, and the stone walls of the storehouse yard meuded and cast with lime. The long house where the great ordnance stands, covered with thatch, is "roven" in places by the wind, and if not mended, will decay the stocks of the ordnance, &c. The walls of clay are in great ruiu. These things, especially the pier, the wall behind the palace, and the bridge, must be quickly seen to, or it will cost her Majesty triple. And the other things reported on must not be deferred. I pray your honour for an order on Mr Vernon for the workmen who wrought at Norham, who cry daily for their payment. Berwick. Signed: Henry Woddryngton.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

705. Scrope to Burghley. [Feb. 23.]

Representing to him the grievous condition of the people of Bewcastle and Gilsland, through the incursions of "those badd borderers of Lyddersdale" both day and night—and begging his "grave handlinge" of the matter, with speciall directions to the ambassador in Edinburgh and him self how to act. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.