Border Papers volume 1: April 1566

Pages 4-5

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

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10. Bedford to Throkmorton. [April 4. 1566.]

"Supposing that you are now retourned to the Courte, and that my lord of Leicester is comme also, you shall finde there shortely that commeth out of Scotlande to the Queenes Majestie, and afterward into Fraunce, and so abrode to other places, one Thorneton a ranke papiste and very evill given man, a verie knave ! His message thyther to that Courte may seme one thing, but the meaning that he is sent otherwayes maye importe any other and a greatter matter."

Tom Scott a trusted gentleman of the Lord Ruthvens and called his sheriff, has been arraigned and hanged, and died "very well and stoutely." The Queen said he was a conspirator of David's death, though not present at the fact. There will be no grace for Liddyngton, he must be driven hither in the end. The Lords have no assurance of tarrying here, and I have had no answer as to the Queen's pleasure touching them from you above. As more will come, if things hold in Scotland as they thus begin, I will be glad of instructions. "Liddington is putt from his abbaye of Haddington, and a nonne placed therin, with all the ceremonies and toyes that can be used.

It is given furthe for verie certeine that this Queene heere is with childe, and it is said also that she meaneth to make the Queenes Majesty gossip.

Graunge is now come to favour and hathe bene very well used by her.

ThErle of Murrey is loked for . . . to come to the Courte, but I heare not when he will come." If my man be not yet despatched from Court, I pray you let me know what to do about my coming up, for the time is short, and I must have time to prepare myself. Berwick. Signed: F. Bedford.

Graunge, notwithstanding this new favour, useth himself very honestly, as his friends have always conceived of him.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

11. Sir George Bowes on Gold in Crawford Moor. [1566.]

"These reasons persuade me that there are vaines of golde in sundrye partes of Crawforde More."

First.—I conceive the rocks very mineral in colour and substance, holding their course south-east and by south in their ascent, and descend pendantly, some in show more than 100 fathoms; and having found "motheres," as the Scottish miners call them, and our English, "leaders, or mettalline fumes," pitching between two rocks, which rocks the Germans call "hingetts and liggetts," or maritus et uxor, between which said rocks the veins of iron, lead, tin, copper and silver are contained, to which metals these leaders point; of which leaders I have seen in Crawford Moor some white, some red, some yellow, some of mixed colours, some blue. I have never formerly found the like fail to lead to veins of metal (lead and copper), having often tried with water, and sunk shafts above 30 fathoms deep, relying only on these leaders, which have brought me to the veins of metal, as every skilful miner knows they will, as if from the top of a chimney to the lowest story of a house, if the fire has long continued, the "tunnell or vacuitie" will be black with the smoke, so will the leaders or breath of the veins give divers tinctures to both sides of the rocks where they pass, whereby an expert miner can partly discern the metal to which they lead. And I observed two places, where I found "growinge" between two rocks, spar, keele, and brimstone, all which are found where gold is got by washing, and called (by the goldwashers) "the mettalles of golde." The like of which leaders in colour and substance I have not seen in Cornwall, Devonshire, Somersetshire, about Keswick, or other mineral parts where I have travailed, but only where gold is found in Scotland, and am persuaded are leaders to veins of gold, to be tried by damming, driving, or shaft sinking, so deep as the directors shall think fit.

Secondly.—Some workmen affirm that at Portsheildes and Winlocke water and elsewhere, they found gold "in bignes of cheristones and some greater peices," lying between two rocks in a yellow or bluish mother or leader, but could only follow it about five foot deeper than the water would pass from their work by casting, and not then knowing the use of shafts and buckets, were forced by the water and thickness of earth to desist working. Which places may be tried in a few months and gold found if their report be true.

Thirdly.—By the testimony and voluntary oath of finders and eyewitnesses, one piece of 30 ounces, and some heavier, which were flat and mixed with spar, keele or brimstone, were found. The Lord of Markestone (fn. 1) showed me sundry flat pieces mixed with spar, some three quarters of an ounce, some less, showing there are veins of gold from which these pieces were torn "either at Noes flood," or by violence of water since that time.

Fourthly.—When gold is found by washing, spar, keele and brimstone are also found therewith, not flat beds lying about the gold, but in smooth pieces as though torn from the veins and tossed by the waters, as stones in brooks or rivers are smoothed.

Fifthly.—[The goldwashers' ignorance described.]

Sixthly.—I find the great works for gold to have been along the channels of the great waters in the valleys between the mountains, and along the waters in the gills; and the inhabitants report, after many trials in the tops and sides of the hills and gills, only 200 yards from the old channels of the waters, they found no gold, which Mr Bulmer affirms by his works. After two days' trial near the hill tops and sides, I also found none, whence I conclude it is not generally dispersed, but as the workmen say collected in "rinckes and eies" in lesser room—the rather as great plenty has been got in the waters of the said cloughs and gills 80 fathoms above the waters in the valleys; consequently as pieces of 30 ounces weight have been found in these gills, they must either grow thereabouts, or be driven by water out of higher places where they did grow, within the circumference of the gold region. Signed: George Bowes.

pp. Indorsed: "Reasons sett downe by Mr Geo. Bowes to prove that there is gold in Crawford More."


  • 1. Napier of Merchiston, father of the great Napier.