Border Papers volume 1: August 1594

Pages 543-546

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

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972. Forster to Burghley. [Aug. 5.]

The opposite warden has not met me for 12 months past, and besides refuses to answer for any but East Tevydale and his own servants. Therefore I have from time to time written to Mr Bowes the ambassador to move the King and council, who can get nothing done, as appears by his last letter to me hereinclosed. I have been forced to take assurances with sundry gentlemen of account opposite, to keep the Border quiet. And as there is no keeper of Liddisdale appointed by the King, my lord Bothwell has sent me word with large promises to answer for both past and future attemptates there—and seeing the King is so slack, I would be glad to accept Bothwell's offer if it stand with her Majesty's pleasure, which I humbly beg to know. If not, her Majesty may be charged with 300 or 400 men in garrison to keep the Middle Marches quiet. At my house nigh Alnwick. Signed: John Forster.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

973. Carey to Burghley. [Aug. 10.]

In answer to your lordship's of the 22d July, as Mr Clopton is not here, I shall relate what he told me of the money kept back by the receivers, viz., that Mr Rant receiver of Lincolnshire kept back 500l., and Mr Skidmore of Yorkshire, 1000l.—1500l. in all, though there is not quite so much "behind hand" to the garrison. I hear by Mr Clopton that Mr Skydmore receives at least 6000l. or 7000l. more yearly than he pays us—Mr Rant also receives more than he pays.

It is quite true that Sir William Stanley is at Aberdeen, for when I was entertaining the King of Denmark and the Duke of Brunswick's ambassadors by her Majestys command, a Scotsman who came with them, and was at Aberdeen when the ship arrived, told me the Bishop of Ross came not into the town, but stole away, getting horses a mile or two out of the town, and so to "Strawboggye." Sir William Stanley, Mr James Gordon and their two men, and a Spaniard coming into the town, were taken and put in ward by the townsmen, who seized the ship also, wherein were 4 barrels (which he saw) and were given out to be "bay salt." But indeed was such "bay salt" that when Huntly came in with 300 horse to release the prisoners, and the townsmen offering them, he would receive none of the prisoners till he first got his four barrels of bay salt, whereon he received the prisoners, embracing Sir William Stanley, and taking them all away with him.

All which the Scotsman himself saw. It is also reported that the King of Scotland has received a commission from the King of Spaine, the Pope, and other princes, that if he will suffer his nobility and merchants to have liberty of conscience in religion, he shall have 10,000 crowns a year—if not, they must defend and assist them.

It is said these ambassadors from the Low Countries have commission to renew the ancient league between them; and for assurance they will give the young prince 10,000 crowns yearly—and offer presently 30,000 crowns besides divers jewells.

I remind your lordship of my letter regarding the clerkship of the ordnance which Mr Errington had. (fn. 1) Berwick, 10th of August.

Touching the last part of your letter concerning Bothwell. He has for a great while kept himself in his own jurisdiction, as Teviotdale and Liddesdale, sometimes about Edinburgh and here and there among his friends, living quietly till the "crisininge" be past. He is much pressed by the Papist earls and their friends to join them, but refuses till he know "the uttermoste what her Majestie will doe withe him." I write the less to your lordship herein, "for that I knoe youer honorabell sune Ser Robert Sissell is fulley acquaynted withe all his determinasions. I doe beleve that after the baptem youer lordshipe shall hear he will not live so quietley as nowe he dothe. I hear forther he meanes to be on of the braveste in all Scotland at this bapteysinge." Signed: Jhon Carey.

3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley. Wafer signet as before.

974. The Queen to the President of the North. [Aug. 14. 1594.]

Warrant to admit the Archbishop of York and bishop of Durham, newly promoted to their sees, and also the Lords Scroope and Evres, to the Council of the North.

1 p. Contemporary copy. Indorsed.

975. Carey to Burghley. [Aug. 15.]

I have not much to write of—"only desyrous to heare of your honers health, the which I contynually pray for." I am credibly advertised by some friends, that Sir William Stanley now takes place above the three earls continually, so it seems he comes as an ambassador. It is certain he brought to the King such a commission as I wrote of before, "for the libertye of religion," with offer of 100,000 crowns by 10,000 a year—and that he stays but for the King's answer, for which the "Baron of Finleter" also waits at the Scottish court. I hear from one who knows much of the King's mind, that the King of France will send no ambassador to the baptism, excusing himself because the king of Scotland sent none to him, but merely one who was his own soldier and servant, viz., the Laird of "Wiemes," not sufficiently commissioned. "Whose hand is said to be" at the commission brought by Stanley.

The King seems very angry at the slackness of her Majesty's ambassader in coming, and is "fayne" to put off the baptism till the 25th. Of this I think he is "in trothe gladde," for he must now put off the journey against the three earls, having a good excuse—for otherwise he must have "showd himself in his couloures." For if this had not happened, it was thought he meant to put that journey off for a longer time. And I hear, that if he did "shut" the intended day of his journey, he meant to accept Sir William Stanley's "embassage." What he will do now, I can not say.

The Earl Bothwell was at Dawkeath on the 12th instant, went to Leathe where he stayed a while "doing some of his owne turnes," then crossed the water into Fife, meaning to stay a while among his friends for his own safety, having been divers times in danger of betrayal on "this side Fife." He and his friends lie quietly till after the "cristnynge," watching opportunity to do themselves good. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet as before.

976. The Queen to Hunsdon. [Aug. 19.]

Commanding him, in his absence to direct his son the deputy governor of Berwick, and the comptroller, to have regard to the expences of the artificers, workmen, labourers, &c., in the ordnance office there, and that William Selbye jointly with Musgrave the master of the ordnance keep "legier" books, duly shewing the true entry and discharge of all manner of artificers, workmen in the muster rolls for said office.

1 p. Draft corrected by Burghley. Headed: "To the Lord Chamberlen." Indorsed: "19 Aug. 1594. Minute to the Lord Chamberlaine for placinge Mr Selbye clark of the ordonance at Barwick."

977. Carey to Sir Robert Cecill. [Aug. 29.]

I have receaved a letter from you, dated on the "backside," 23d August, whereby you have heard that Mr John Colvile had some intention to come up to court—and showing your dislike thereof, as the King's ambassador has protested to her Majesty "that he is, next Bothwell, a principall man in those actions"—warning him not to come up and "engage" the Queen's honour, on pain of losing your good opinion of his wisdom, and dealing no further on his behalf or with him. I have dealt with him therein, and he denies with great vows and protestations, and is much grieved at your hard opinion of him, desiring you not to believe slanders against him, or withdraw your favour—whom he honours more than any other councillor in England. He set down some in writing of which I enclose a copy.

In your postscript you seem now to dislike of "Mr Forrettes having been there"—which Colvile thinks to be on some wrong information—for till now, you never found fault with it, "albeit he had bene once there before," which you did not dislike. And you assure Colvile there that if either Forret or any other "doe personallye comme uppe, you will leave to deale any further withe them." His answer is, when he or any other by his means do anything against your liking, then you may cast him off—"but not for other men's doinges, whose actions he cannot direct."

The Earl of Sussex her Majesty's ambassador left for Edinburgh on Tuesday last the 27th, with his train, and some of his "cariadge" set out with him, but will not be there so soon as he. Some he sent by sea. He arrived there on Tuesday night, "was sent for upon the Wednesdaie by ij° severall messengers, that he must come with all spede away to Sterling—which he was loath to doe for that his stuffe nor her Majesties cariadge, under Mr Cunisby his chardge, were not comme. Yet ther was no remedye but his lordship with his owne companye and Mr Bowes went presently the same daie awaie. I hard further by one that came from thence, that my lord Bothwell was the same Wednesday at night in Sterling—and that ther was a privy search made for him that night, but he escaped. Marye! ther were some of his frendes and followers taken in Sterling before his commyng—which was the Laird of Logye who was taken the xxvth. Ther was search made for thErle Crawfurthe and for the Lord of Spyney his brother. But I hear nothing of there being taken." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey."

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Colvile's speches.)

"The coppey of the verey wordes ferst spoken and afterward sett dowen under his hand, wiche are thes.—

'That in this servis withe thes nobell men, my prinsepall respect is to serve her grasius Majestie, and therin mynd I onley to walke bey her preudent commandementes and not bey thear or my owen opinion.

That wheder I shall continewe in banishement or fynd faver of my prinse, I shall dewrynge my life, be answarbill in loyaltey to her Majestie as if I were her borne subjacte.

For this cause onley be not ashamed to doe me good, and suffer me not to be crossed bey suche as knowe not howe fer I ame rendered to this servis.'

Thus and maney more werr his protestasiones, and this muche he hathe sett dowen under his hand, wiche I kepe, havinge sent this coppey therof to youer honer."

Holograph of Carey.

978. Carey to Burghley. [Aug. 29.]

In answer to your lordship's letter of 12th instant, ordering me to inquire into Mr Harding the customer's information that the corn brought in three ships to Berwick was carried on horseback through the town to Scotland, defrauding the custom and "breading a darth" in the town and country—I have examined the mayor, aldermen and all other officers and find as follows.—

The most part of the cargo of these three ships was sold to this town and Northumberland, so long as any would buy; chiefly their wheat, rye, and malt and most part of their beans. I myself have seen 20 and 30 horses going over the bridge at a time with it. Only the refuse corn and beans unsold, was sold to such neighbour towns in Scotland, who in the beginning of the year helped us with such wheat as they could spare, and also daily and weekly serve this market with beef, mutton, &c., or else we could hardly live. For it is not the store of the "pallace" and country that will half serve us. It is but reason when we have overplus, our good neighbours should have part, rather than it be lost. And the matter was consulted among us all in the council house and thought but reasonable. Custom for corn on horseback hath never been seen, or it is like the farmer of the custom would have looked to it—being his loss, not her Majesty's, if Hardyng's tale had been true. The mayor and townsmen take a small acknowledgment for passing through the gates; I think, speaking truly, without warrant. These ships made due entrance of their corn, and received Harding's certificate. Your honour will thus see the truth of his information.

[The departure of the ambassador for Edinburgh and Sterling, and search for Bothwell related as in previous letter.] Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet as before.


  • 1. Holograph from this point.