Border Papers volume 1: September 1581

Pages 74-77

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

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106. Scrope to Burghley. [Sept. 4.]

I send your lordship a letter received this forenoon from the Laird of Cessford, showing the resolute direction he has received to insist on our meeting at "Gamelspeth." To which I have replied that neither myself nor deputy will seek redress there, being the meeting place for the Middle Marches, and never used by me for those eighteen years, or any of my predecessors—but shall be ready to meet at Kirsopfoote for justice on any convenient day. His answer means only delay, and has caused farther disorder, the Liddesdales having made 6 new attempts within the last 8 days.

This day I met the Earl of Morton and Lord Herries anxious for redress for this March, but though I answered them "absolutelie" that I could not proceed with them till Cessford made redress, I agreed with them to hold a March day at "Gretuoe kirke" on Tuesday the 3d October next, which unless I find conformity in Cessford, "I mynde not to kepe without hir Majesties further direccion." Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

107. Sir Henry Woddryngton to Burghley. [Sept. 21.]

Though I have no matter of any great importance, yet the following are lately come to my knowledge.

"The Kinge of Scottes hathe bene at Dunbreton and Hamylton, and returned to Glasco again, where he nowe remayneth; who with his councell haith bene about to call a convencion, but some discorde and disagrement happened amongst the cheif of the nobilitie, whereupon the purpose altered, and thErle of Argile is prohibite the Court and thought to lose his office. And also the Duke of Lennoix is joyned with the ministerie, who hathe made great offers and promised to assist theim in all their actions for the confirmacion and mantenance of religion.

Moreover it is gyven furthe that there are certen Frenchmen already shipped in France, and dayly expected to arryve in Scotland, to be a guard to the King, the nombre as yet is not certenlie knowen. There parliament should have bene holden the xxiiijth of this next moneth. It is said yt shalbe rejorned, and proclamacion dayly lookt for, for the same.

No speache of the Kinges returne to Edenbrough, but thought to make his abode longer at Glasco, then was determyned at his goynge thither."

The state of the Borders and this town is very quiet. "For the trust and chardge therof commytted unto my handes (God willinge) I shall use such diligent care and vigilant respect as apperteineth unto my bownden dewtie and alledgiance, according to her Majesties expectacion." Berwick. Signed: Henry Woddryngton.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

108. Works, &c., at Berwick. [Sept. 29.]

A "briefe declaracion" of the works and needful reparations done within and about this town as also at the fort and storehouses of the Holy Island, by the space of a year, beginning last of September 1580 and ending 29 September 1581, by command of the right honourable the Lord Hunsdon lord governor, and in his absence by other of the council which for the time had charge of the town—the particulars whereof appear more plainly in the engrossed books.


Making a "gibett" [to hang one Robert Rippethe] in Tweedmouth by command of John Selbey esq. gentleman porter, days wages, timber and iron for chains to it, 13s. 8d.; casting down a great dunghill containing 6 "powles" of earth standing by the fort upon the mount where the great windmill stood before, 60s.; copper, timber, nails, bringing coppersmiths from London, land and water carriage of copper from Keswick by Newcastle to Berwick, for the brewhouse vessels in the old palace or office of victual, 239l. 6s. 6d.; timber, iron, &c., for the pier, by command of the lord governor, 85l. 2s. 10½d.; for the "Towleboothe," 4l. 9s. 7d.; lime, slate and timber for the "Sesternhead" in St Nicholas ward, 39l. 17s. 5¾d.; "iron, coales and other thinges" for the Mary gate, 7l. 8s. 2¾d.; "bordes, lead, nailes," &c., for the governor's own lodging, 50l. 12s. 3½d.

Sum total of all the works and repairs, and wages of the chief officers and others 148l. 3s. 10d.

7 pp. Indorsed.

2. A duplicate of the same.

6 pp. Indorsed: "Mr Threasurer."

109. Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 30.]

As directed in your letters of the 12th, I send to your lordship a note of the works done here for the year ended at Michaelmas, and the charges thereof. Those with the expences of years before come to nearly 1000l. more than I received—as my accounts will show; for perfecting which I desire greatly to be licenced to come to London. Charles Geldert, late comptroller of customs here, died on Thursday last, and his office being in your lordship's gift, it may please you to bestow it on John Aleyn gentleman, serving under Captain Nicholas Aryngton, who I dare promise shall dutyfully perform the "duetyes of the roome," and be found thankful and serviceable to your lordship.

Having received letters from some noblemen and councillors in Scotland, I have thought it my duty to signify the same. "The King, accompanyed with the Duke of Lenox, thErle of Arreyn, the lordes Ruthen, Seaton, Ogleby, and others, haith bene in progresse at Glascoe and other places thereabowtes. Nowe he is at Hammylton, and appoynted to passe from thence to Dunbarton, and after to returne to Edenburgh, whereunto he haith moche greater desyre to repayre and hasten, then some in his Court wold have hym. And albeit labour is made to delay his sayd returne to Edenburgh, yett in respect of his owne desyre, and for orderynge parliament causes, and present tyme of the wynter approchynge, but cheifly (as somme wise person affirmeth) that matters are not yett rype enowgh, it is hitherto pretended that he shall shortly come to Edenburgh,—whereupon order is ment to be taken in all thaffayres, as by that state and counsell shalbe thought mete. It was in heade and purpose by some, to have had a convention at Glascoe, but that is defeyt, and the convention of the nobility and counsell shalbe at Edenburgh, where also the generall assembly of the ministery shalbe on the xvijth of the next monthe. The parliament to begynne the xxiiijth of October next at Edenburgh, is thought shall hold, for the cheyfe courtyers do ernestly travell for the same, to thintent that Angus may be forfeyted, and his possessions to be disposed, and the grauntes thereof (and of other lyke) to be confirmed—yett sondry noblemen are moche against these. But fewe or none will stand and be seyne in counsell therein, especially if they see the Duke and Arrayne earnest in thadvancement of the holdynge of the parliament, and forfeytinge of Angus. And what the dispositions of the Duke and Arrayne shalbe herein and in others, it will appeare very shortly, and as by some that way, and knowen to your lordship wilbe (I trust) spedily advertised to your lordship.

The Kynge is thought to be greatly estranged and fallen from his former disposition in religion, manners and affection towardes England. Sondry nobles lament this change, doubtynge the sequele thereof, and many of the ministery and best affected, are in opinyon and hope that is the worke of God, to teache them that they should not trust over moche in the power or vertue of prynces, beynge men and subject to mans nature. And these ministers trust to see his recovery spedily, yet for the present they remayne in great feare, and for remedy therein, they intend in this next generall assembly, to provide and devise some good exhortacion and meane to be offered to hym.

The favourites of the Kynges mother cary the greatest sway in Courte, so farre as they thynke that no course shall prevaile that lacketh commendacion from her, a matter that is to holy for me, and which I leave to wise consideration.

ThErle of Argyle is gone malcontent from the Courte, but his gentle nature, easy to be reconsiled, and the forward disposition of the Countesse (fn. 1) his wife, willynge to roonne in the Dukes course, are lyke enowgh to drawe hym agayne, and goe with the rest to worke the desyres of the present courtiours.

It haith bene thought mete to send an ambassadour into England, and as some noblemen and of the counsell geveth out, with fayre wordes, which they thynke will please that nation, and worke the desyred effectes for them selfes. This I leave to the sight of the successe that will very spedily appeare.

David Corlesse is sent and departed into Italy with commandment from the Kynge to call home his lorde and master thErle of Bothwell (fn. 2) and devise is taken that in the way, he shalbe schooled at Paris by the Bishope of Glascoe. The nobleman is hitherto well disposed, and great expectacion is had of many good feates and dedes to growe by hym, if the sprynge thereof shall not be corrupted by the sayd bishope and other lyke ministers.

The Lord Ruthen holdynge great in Courte, appeareth to remember and contynue his good devotion towardes her Majestie. He haith moche to doe to kepe his credit in Courte and answer the trust of his frendes abrode. He haith agreed with the Lorde Ogleby for the mariadge betwixt the Master of Ogleby the lordes eldest sonne and one of his dowghters. This Master of Ogeleby, with thAbbot of Kendore second sonne of thErle of Rothouse and the Master of Gray (beynge all suspected to be infected with papistry and practisynge thadvancement of there profession) are favourably receyved of the Kynge, to thoffence and greife of many good men.

The Larde of Farnehirst is made provost of Jedworth, and restored to the possessions belongynge aswell to hym selfe as also to the larde of Kyrkawdy, his late father in lawe.

Sir James Bawforde and John Matland lyve yett in some darkenes, and are not very openly seyne in Courte, yett there advises and counsells do most prevayle in all the resolutions in counsells. Of the doynges of the Scottish in Fraunce, your lordship will otherwise understand with better certenty then I can wryte thereof." Berwick. Signed: Robert Bowes.

3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the foregoing:—

An abstract of the account No. 108, with slight variations.


110. Scrope to Burghley. [Sept. 30.]

On occasion of a disorder lately committed by one Christofer Armestrang, "Johns Christie," and other Scots fugitives, in burning and spoiling about the Langholme, and taking prisoner Herbert Maxwell the captain, the Earl of Morton "so terming himself," the warden, demands delivery of certain English borderers who were present, and intends on Tuesday or Wednesday next to seek for the fugitives. As I have had fair words both from the King and Cessford, that justice will be done for the Liddesdale men, though as yet without fulfilment, and at a late meeting with Morton it was publicly promised by him and myself, that whoever broke the peace before our next meeting, should forthwith be delivered on the "request of the warden offended," I have therefore determined to deliver such as on trial shall be proved guilty. Which being done in justice to him, if I shall not find redress made for the "Lyddesdales," I trust your lordship will not think it meet for me to proceed further, and thereon beg your opinion and advice. Carlisle. Signed: H. Scrope.

p. Addressed. Indorsed.


  • 1. Widow of the Regent Moray.
  • 2. Francis Stewart, so created 16th June before.