Border Papers volume 2: January 1595

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Calendar of Border Papers: Volume 2, 1595-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1896.

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1. The Mayor, &c., of Berwick to Lord Burghley. [Jan. 1. 1594–95.]

"In all humblenes shewithe unto your honourable lordship, the Mayor burgesses and cominaltye of Berwicke," who have been long suitors to her Majesty to relieve the decay and poverty "we" are fallen into, by want of the traffic of merchandise between England and Scotland, which by statute ought to be exercised here for benefit of the town: also the want of the pastures granted to us by King Henry the Eighth, withholden by the victualler, "in value per annum 100 poundes: likewise the decay of the whole fishinges in Tweade, the salmon yearelye taken dothe but defraye the chardges"—thus her highness's rent of 140l. per annum is lost. We have not the less sustained further loss of 60l. yearly, serving her Majesty's household with salmon at "under prices." Further we have for these seven years made great payments to Mr Hethe and his executors for these fishings, and we owe great debt to the fishmongers, "which grewe upon us" by our long suits to her Majesty as aforesaid. "Moreover (which is moste lamentable) the verye harte of this comonwealthe, which was our cheif staye and upholde, y3 eaten out by the guarrisons, who beinge for the moste parte maryed and so greate families, will not be contente with there wages, which is many thousandes yearelye out of her Majestes treasure, but doe occupye all mannary scyences, and take the benefitt and use of our preveledges and pastures, we beinge a great nomber livinge without paye. Also this towne standinge in the outplace of the lande, invironed with a barren and verye poore soile, dothe not yealde anye revenewes towardes our comon chardge as other townes in Englande, but everye poore man dothe open his purse to contribute thereunto." All which matters need honourable consideration, albeit we have hitherto endured, finding some relief in our own "travell in the ferme of the custome," which we enjoy by your honour's favour, albeit greatly wronged by untrue informations. Humbly beseeching your lordship not only to uphold us in the said "ferme," being poor people inhabiting a place of so great importance, and charged and wronged as aforesaid, but also your help in some other things which may be found very serviceable to her Majesty and beneficial to "posteritye to come." Signed: Thomas Parkinson maiour; Will'm Morton, Edwarde Mery, Thomas More, Jhon Denton, Crastofer Morton, Hughe Fuell, (fn. 1) Robert Jaxson,* George Mortoun, John Orde, John Rogers, Tho. Hogg, (fn. 1) Henry Rugg. Charles Hasloppe, Andrewe Skeall, (fn. 1) Thomas Read, John Shotton, "balives." Robt. Case, John Saterfrett, (fn. 1) Henerey Scaresbreck, Barty (?) Bradfurth, George Thompson, (fn. 1) Robart Morton, John Hixe, Harry Mansell, Wm. Tuppy, Willm. Gibson.

1 p. Broad sheet. Headed: To the L. Burghley, L. high treasurer. Indorsed.

2. John Harding to Burghley. [Jan. 1. 1594–95.]

I received enclosed in a letter from the surveyors, one from your honour to the Mayor here, discharging him of the farming of the customs, with a copy to myself for my direction—but albeit I delivered your letter to his own hands, he will take no discharge, but denieth before the Governor that your honour hath sent him any, and will not permit me to execute your pleasure, unless I allow him to receive the farm as before, which I dare not do.

There are ships here ready, and hides and sheepskins to be shipped, also goods by land, which must therefore stay till your pleasure is known.

The Mayor continues to intermeddle with "custome cawses," and will not permit me to receive her Majesty's due, unless your honour directs "Mr Governor" to assist me.

As the Mayor alledges that the book which I sent up for the half year ended at Michaelmas last is not true, but made "by gesse," I beseech your honour to appoint some fit persons here to cast up the same, now in a chest locked up in the office, that the truth may appear.

The Mayor's private gain cannot abide that the Queen's right be known, but seeks "to smoother" the same by sending up a book for his own purposes with his assistants, whereof I humbly crave trial.

I thought it my duty to send your lordship this quarter's account, as the Queen is to receive the same, and that you may see "I doe not passe hir Majesties inheritance by gesse," as the Mayor says. I am bound to reveal the truth, and therefore incur their displeasure who should assist me. But I have no fellow officer, for the comptroller is absent, and the searcher is rather for the Mayor than the Queen. Berwick. Signed: Jo. Hardinge.

Christmas quarter ending 24 Dec. 1594. Custom, 356l. 13s. 7d., Berwick—sum total extra et intra.
Allowance 242l. 9s. 7d.,
"Neate" 114l. 4s. 0d.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet.

3. Peter Fayrley to Burghley. [Jan. 4.]

It is most untrue, as her Majesty and your honour have been informed, that the townsmen here have received 1000l. for the customs in the half year ended at Michaelmas last. For in a book sent up lately to the surveyor by John Harding the customer, he certifies there has not been 300l. received, which is much more than the truth. For his book "is devised of his own brayne," without comparing it with the original in the office here, which we shall "disprove." The cause of the said half year's customs "arysinge to more in truth then heretofore or hereafter is to be looked for, was by reason of the baptisinge of the younge prince of Skottes, which made more trafique by the meetinge of forreine states, and manie other of their owne lordes and people." The customer envying our state, has told many untruths against us. We humbly pray your lordship to commit the hearing of the matter to the deputy governor and council of Berwick, and meanwhile, till "good matter be found against us worthie to extinguishe our farme," we may be continued according to your former orders. Signed: Peter Fayrley "for and in the name of the Maior and Corporacon of Barwick."

1 p. Addressed: To the Lord High Treasurer. Indorsed.

4. Sir Robert Cecil to Lord Scrope. [Jan. 6.]

Because my father's hand is not well, I am commanded to write thus much as to the letters brought to Mr Curwynn by a Scotsman.—"That because the partie who writt the lettres is partlie knowen to my lord, or at leastwise well gessed at (being one whom for diverse causes hee would be gladd to lay hold on), yf your lordship can so handle the matter (by your tender dealing with the poore man whom you keepe in warde) as to make him confesse who he is, and where he is resident most comonly," some plot may be laid to bring him to a house on the Border and apprehend him, it will be acceptable service. Otherwise it is to no purpose to keep the poor man in ward, if you know nothing else against him.

1 p. Official draft. Indorsed: "6 Jan. 1594. M. to the Lord Scroope."

5. Works at Berwick. [Jan. 13.]

Note of decays most needful to be amended.


The long bridge over Tweed—the joints and braces shrunk, with the "pillers and defenders" in great decay, and part carried off with great storms and ice. The whole was estimated at 180l., of which there was spent in 1593 and 1594, 120l., so there remains of the sum allowed 60l.

The Cowgate, now of firboards, in great decay and very weak, noisome and dangerous to that side of the town, and subject to surprise by the enemy. Also the bridge there of firboards is utterly rotten, standing on "proppes," and if it falls as it soon will, there will be no passage that way, either for the "scowte watche" at night or the soldiers and warders in the day, or for cattle or carriages. The cost is estimated at 320l. Three smiths' forges in the "newe pallaice" or office of fortification, one already fallen, will cost 25l.

Total, 405l. 10s.

The vamures of the old town wall and new works, "which weare lyned and faced onlie for the brickes, which are nowe rotten and fretted awaye"—are greatly decayed and in places quite down, and so low that men may step over them into the flankers and come up again—a thing dangerous to the town, and also to the soldiers on watch at night, who are blown over the wall to their deaths or maiming. Also sundry places in the old town wall next Tweed in great decay from the beating of the surges in storms, and overhanging so that they will soon fall. The estimate of the above is omitted, for they daily grow worse, and no certainty is possible. But if your lordship would cause some part of the 1500l. allowed yearly for works and extra charges over the pay here, to be applied on such needful works as the Governor and Council here approve, it would shortly beautify and strengthen this town, and save her Majesty great charges—for when such decays happen, before the same are reported and authorized, the ruin so increases that what might have been done for 20s. will cost 10l. And whether anything is done or not, her Majesty allows the said 1500l., and great part of it remains yearly in the paymaster's hands. Signed: Jhon Carey, John Crane, Will'm Acrigge.

3 pp. Indorsed by Burghley: "13 Jan. 1594."

6. John Carey to Burghley. [Jan. 13.]

I received your honour's three several letters—one from my lords of the Privy Council which I have herewith answered—one from yourself of 27th December and another of 1st January, both received within an hour of each other. In your letter of the 1st, you write that the Mayor of Lynn was to send a ship to London with victuals worth 700l. for our relief. Two little ships from Lynn came in on the 8th with victuals for the palace "prest by the Maior," whereof I enclose a note of the masters' names, &c.—but there is nothing for the horse garrison who are in most need and not able to keep their horses without supply from the palace. If any of them is the ship your honour writes of, she is come. I have delayed writing to your honour, expecting Mr Vernon who is not yet come.

I must deal plainly with your honour, as my duty to her Majesty binds me. I fear Mr Vernon cannot go through with this matter, he is so far behindhand with all. And this town cannot long stand thus, fed "from hand to mouthe" as it is, if any danger should come. We should have by the book of composition, victuals continually in the town for 1500 men for a year. And so Sir Valentine Browne had in his time. This man at his entrance received 6000 qrs. of grain, at 4s. or 6s. at most per qr., besides 3000 at the Holy island, which Sir Valentine sold to the country. We are now far worse, and where Vernon complains of dear years, Sir Valentine desired them, for then he gained most. I assure your honour it is only Vernon's want which will overthrow this town, and rather than it be in my time, "I wold to God I had bene dead before I came." I will also remind you that the purveyor of beef and mutton only continues to provide till Lady day at my request, in hope of Vernon coming to satisfy his covenants—if not, we shall have no more.

On receipt of your letter of 28th December, I sent for the Mayor and discharged him of his "ferme," also giving charge to the captains to prevent any passage out of the gates; and "invested the customer absolutely in his office" as directed. But if it so hold long, most of the townsmen will go "a begging"; for their fishings failing as they do, and now this little relief to their credit being taken away, I know not what will become of them.

I enclose such Scottish news as I have. Their gatherings it is feared may cause quarrels presently, but I have sent one "of purpose to see" and will report shortly.

I have taken the musters and view of the garrison on the 8th, and enclose the defaults thereof to your honour. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet.

Inclosed in the above:—

(1) A note of two ships that came in with provisions for the "Pallace" 8th January 1594.

In the Gyfte of God of Lynne, Balthezar Lancelot master, burden 44 tons; 100 quarters wheat.

In the Gyfte of God of Lynne, Thomas Billye master, of the burden of 60 "odd" tons; wheat, 210 quarters; malt, 60 quarters; butter, 50 "firkens;" "cods and lings," 1200; "hoppes," 2000.

½ p. Indorsed.

(2) Defaults of the muster taken 8th January 1594, before John Carey esq., deputy governor.

Absentees with and without passports, from the companies of John Carey, Sir William Reade, and six other captains, the gunners, ordnance artificers, horsemen and pensioners—in all, 51. Signed: Jhon Carey, John Crane. Noted at foot by Burghley: "In garrison 617."

pp. Indorsed: "Barwick. The defaultes of the musters taken there viij° Januarij 1594, and certifyed to the right honourable Lord Hunsdon lord governor there xiij° Januarij predicti."

7. The Mayor, &c., of Berwick to Burghley. [Jan. 16.]

We hear that the governor here is devising with one Peter Dealavell, a merchant of London and others, to obtain the victualling of Berwick, and thus cross the town. Yet if by your favour, the town obtain it, these effects would follow. First—The security by our lands here, our friends in the country, and if required, the town of Lynn would join with us. Secondly—The town's privileges would ever keep a full store in the palace, whereby a hard time like the present might be easily put over. Thirdly—The payment being so sure to the town by the receivers, would enrich the town, enlarge men's credit, and give rise to general flourishing. Fourthly—Continue love and amity between the townsmen and garrison, to their godly comfort, and restore to the town sundry privileges and pastures "plouckte" from them for long. Fifthly—The increasing wealth of the town would save her Majesty's purse in many ways, and do such good as your honour may conceive more than we can declare. Whereas on the contrary, one private man may get and carry away wealth, as Sir Valentine Browne did, or be "crossed by God and overtaken in there course, as Mr Vernon is"—and the town kept in misery, which, with pardon of your lordship, is not to be suffered. We trust in God and your lordship, in this, and our other cause the "ferme of the custome," which has done good both to our liberties on the border hand, and her Majesty's benefit, but by the contrary course now taken, will both come to nothing and redound to our loss.

If your lordship stand with us for the victualling, we shall send up the Mayor and recorder to remove any objections in our contrary, and otherwise arrange this weighty bargain with her Majesty. Berwick. The Mayor and aldermen. Signed: Thomas Parkinson maior, Will'm Morton, Edwarde Mery, George Moortoun, Jhon Denton, John Ourd, Thomas More.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

8. Robert Vernon to Burghley. [Jan. 16.]

As I have bought all kind of provision for Berwick at Lynn and Hull to the value of 1619l. 13s. 4d., as agreed with the Mayors of Lynn and Hull, by the copy of particulars enclosed, I humbly beseech your honour to help me in payment with 1000l. from her Majesty, to be repaid by the receivers out of the next pay for the half year ending at the Annunciation, taking order for the balance myself. And if your honour stand so much my good lord therein, I would pay the Mayor of Lynn 600l. and the Mayor of Hull 400l., or if your honour wrote to them favourably, that they should wait till the next receipt shortly after Lady day, seeing they have got such great prices,— though they would rather have a short date, as your honour wrote they were to have ready money, which I was fain to agree to at the time.

I thank your honour for your goodness in my great distress, and beg a continuance of the same in my long suit to her Majesty, which Mr John Stanope tells me she has referred to your honour. Berwick. Signed: Robert Vernon.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Armorial wafer signet.

Inclosed in the above:—

Provisions made at Lynn and Hull for the Queen's garrison at Berwick by virtue of the Lords of the Council's letters of 18th December 1594 directed to Mr Boston mayor of Lynn, and Mr Robert Taylour mayor of Hull.

At Lynn,—Bought of Cornellius de Neve, 142 qrs. 1 "combe" wheat, 242l. 15s.; 64 qrs. malt, 61l. 10s. Of John Knappe of "Ipswitche," 145 qrs. wheat, 253l. 15s. Of Thomas Claberne, "Island codd," 1000, "denarij," 42l. Of John Collingwood, "Island fishe," 200, 10l. Of Richard Wilkinson, 50 "firkins" butter, 10l. Of Richard Clerke, "Englishe hoppes" 2000, "denerie" 30l. Sum total, . 675l. 16s. 8d.

At Hull,—Bought of Mr Anthonie Cole, 100 qrs. "white rye" at 28s. 8d. per qr., 143l. 6s. 8d. Of Mr Robert Dalton, 40 qrs. white rye at 28s. 8d. "le" qr., 56l. 6s. 8d.; 20 qrs. wheat at 34s. 8d. "le" qr., 34l. 13s. 4d.; 40 qrs. malt at 18s. 8d. "le" qr., 36l. 6s. 8d.; 20 qrs. "pease" at 14s. 8d. "le" qr., 14l. 13s. 4d., in all, 144l. Of Richard Atkinson and Edward Tripp of Barton, 120 qrs. wheat at 33s. 4d. aqr., 200l.; 240 qrs. malt at 20s. a qr., 240l.; 120 qrs. pease and beans at 16s. a qr., 96l., "in all" 536l. Of William Richardson, 3000 of "Wardhouse codd," 105l., 600 "Shetland codd" at 15l., in all, 120l. Sum total,. 943l. 6s. 8d.

1 p. Indorsed.

9. John Carey to Burghley. [Jan. 17. 1594–95.]

In answer to your honour's letter of the 10th, where your lordship writes you are glad the full pay is made, and desires to know how Master Vernon or his "debetey" were satisfied for their victual before delivered: you will please to understand that whosoever is left unpaid, Master Vernon is not, for every half year he makes up his books for victuals delivered or any other credit to the garrison, long before the pay comes to the town, and goes and receives it continually of the receivers at their "audites" in the country, that he may make his provision "at the beste hand" In my last, I sent your honour a note of what store he had here and how much of the several kinds of grain; since which there is no more come. Your lordship tells me to cause him to pay for the provisions he lately took up at Lynn under the Privy Council's letters. When I began this letter, he was not come to the town, but I presently hear he is come and sent your pleasure to him. He asked me to stay writing, and he would answer your lordship in all points himself, and says there is great store of all provision coming, whereof you will hear from time to time by me. I hope it may, but as yet there is nothing come for the horse garrison, to their utter undoing if not remedied presently.

Your lordship writes you are partly of my opinion as to Mr Vernon's disability, and requires me to say who it is that would take upon him "to perform that bargayen." It is one Master Peter Delavell, a gentleman well qualified, sober, discreet, very careful, honest and well experienced in such like affairs; for every year he buys great quantities of grain for himself by reason of certain salt pans he has at "the Sheldes by Newecastell;" and has been a merchant trading for 10 years at least in the East Countries and other places. And he and his friends are able on a little warning, to furnish the town with 1000 quarters of their own store, whatever should happen on a sudden, and that very near the town. He trades much at sea with 4 or 5 ships of his own. Notwithstanding, if your lordship does not find him every way sufficient when you talk with him, as to finding security, let him have no favour for my "moshininge him." And I would be a suitor still for Mr Vernon to continue it, if he will commit no more faults.

For my opinion as to the Mayor and corporation having the "doinges" thereof: with pardon be it spoken, the truth is it were the best way to overthrow both town and garrison and deceive the Queen mightily. I speak from daily experience of them, and find them very proud and poor, careless of their credit, cunning and not to be trusted. Your lordship has some proof that they care not what they promise, so they keep nothing, and no man can get their own of them, for the Queen can neither get her rents nor composition of fish for her house at due times, "but bey peasemeales," and with great trouble and much ado. I know divers who have bonds of the Mayor and corporation, who were "as good" have nothing, for they can neither get payment nor justice. I know no man who has to do with them but is weary and undone, if it be any great matter. I have more complaints against them than any others. The garrison I can rule, but can do no good amongst them, and I am exclaimed against for lack of justice, which I cannot help, for they never think but how to get into their hands. So I can never consent to their having anything to do with her Majesty's stock or store. It would set them all together by the ears, who should be chief, and they would never agree. So I have given my simple opinion as your honour commanded. Praying God most humbly of his "infenighte" goodness, to restore your honour's health. Wishing to God that I might have "part of your payenes that youer lordshipe myghte therbey have ease." Berwick. I have sent a messenger to Lord Hume, on whose return your honour shall be advertised what follows. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: a swan.

10. Scrope to Burghley. [Jan. 20. 1594–95]

As your lordship long since signified to me by letter your wish to relieve the distressed estate of Mr Henry Leigh, if it could be done without charging her Majesty's purse, and I find he can serve no longer without present comfort, I propose the following course for consideration. Since my entrance to office I have not been burthensome to the gentlemen of the country by calling on them to lie on the frontier for defence, and would promise neither to do so, unless to days of truce, or on urgent need, if they in lien thereof would agree to contribute "such benevolence" yearly, as might enable Mr Leigh to continue his service in office. I therefore beg your lordship to send some such letter as you think meet, under your and the rest of the Council's hands, addressed to the gentlemen and freeholders of Westmorland and Cumberland, requesting them to levy amongst them and pay to Mr Leigh such certain sum as they may yearly agree in for the above purpose. Praying your reply with all convenient speed that his straitened estate may be relieved, or otherwise I cannot continue him in her Majesty's service. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

11. Scrope to Sir Robert Cecil. [Jan. 20.]

Since receiving your letter of 6th, I have examined and "travelled" to find from Marshall the Scotsman, the name and places of usual resort of "the partie." The poor man protests and I think truly, that both himself and Adam Corson who gave him the letters to deliver, have been "abused" by the Englishman who sent the letters. Both Marshall and Corson are merchants in Dumfries, and Marshall says that since his warding here, his brother and Corson have tried without success to apprehend the Englishman who delivered the letters to Corson at "Kirkowbraye" in Scotland, when they were by chance drinking wine together. Corson never saw the man before or since that day. He called himself "Hebburne or Aberne," Marshall thinks. This is all I can get out of this "simple pore man," who I think without my privity, by his friends' search has "scarred" the Englishman out of these parts, but will do my uttermost to get him into my hands.

Lord Herries on the 7th hereof wrote to me that the King had appointed him warden opposite, and desired me to meet for stay of outrages. But as my Lord Chamberlain and yourself declared her Majesty's dislike to him, I refuse meeting till I receive instructions therein, but have replied that I will keep order in the meantime; and beg your reply with the Queen's pleasure.

I pray you to deliver the inclosed to your father on behalf of Henry Leigh, and your favourable word for him. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Enclosing No. 10.

12. John Carey to Burghley. [Jan. 22.]

I had hoped that Mr Vernon's coming would have done good, but I fear not, for he has taken order with the petty victuallers that every company shall be rated according to his composition, which ("albeit the poore sowles are forced to undergoe by reason of his want"), was never heard of before.

Though he may by his agreement with her Majesty tie them to these strict rates in the composition, yet, as your lordship knows, it will be hard for poor men with households, wives and many children, to be forced to take a penny a day in bread, and another in beer, and so on in the rest. For, my lord, I take it that these rates were set down in war time and the like, and not in peace. The palace was intended as a help to the soldier, and not a plague to the town. For if Mr Vernon forces this composition, he will in a manner alter the garrison. For though the Queen's composition be only for soldiers, and thus enough, yet there are many old soldiers, and others once in her Majesty's service, long married with many children, and so the palace must either feed more mouths than soldiers', or younger men put in, and the old "put to there shiftes." Your honour would pity them if you were here to hear the complaints and moans that I do. For Vernon does not do his own part, though he ties them to theirs, for his bread and beer is "verye nought and yll." And he has yet neither pease, oats or beans for the horse garrison, who are forced to buy in the country at market rates—a greater hindrauce to them than the want of their two years' pay. If not cared for, I shall curse the day I came here, for I shall be remembered as "a moniment of yll, that fayne wold doe good."

As I fear things will go no better with Mr Vernon when this provision is gone, I have thought good to present the gentleman of whom I wrote to your honour before, that you may confer with himself, and examine his sufficiency and ability, and give your favour as you find him deserving of it.

If the Ipswich merchants come to your honour for payment of their corn taken at the Holy Island for this town, I have the money ready which Mr Clopton left with me rather than carry it back with him, and will pay it on sufficient warrant from them.

All is quiet in Scotland I hear. The King means to come next week to Lothian and Spott, Sir George Hume's house. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed: "Mr John Carey to my lord. By Mr Delavell whome he recommendeth for the victualinge there." Wafer signet: swan.

13. Scrope to Sir Robert Cecil. [Jan. 29.]

As Lord Herries has again written to me for a meeting, I beg you will acquaint my lord your father therewith, and signify her Majesty's pleasure in reply to my former letter, as soon as convenient.

I had arranged for redress with the Laird of Buccleuch, keeper of Liddesdale, and sent my servant with letters to conclude on justice. But found he had ridden to Edinburgh and is still there. I have not yet had his answer, though my servant left the letter with his deputy, declaring my "towardnes to concurre with the Lard in justice at lardge." I inclose a letter lately sent to me. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

14. Vernon to Burghley. [Jan. 30.]

I have received your honour's letter dated 24th instant, and you shall receive herein a certificate of the provision here and what is coming, sufficient to serve the garrison till Midsummer. I have also sent William Vernon to provide malt, pease or beans. Wheat I hope to have "better cheape" at Easter. Some pease, "not muche," is come for the horse garrison, and more is looked for, with which they are content, so I trust your honour shall not be troubled farther.

I still beseech your honour for the letters to the Mayors of Lynn and Hull, to forbear demand of payment for the provision made there till next receipt, or an advance from her Majesty in part payment as I lately wrote for.

I am "righte sorye" that her Majesty hearing of my insufficiency, hath commanded your lordship to discharge me, who have served her now 28 years (18 or 19 here), suffering many losses both by sea and land, and by not receiving my half yearly payments under her Majesty's grant, and though I have been a humble suitor to her for these 6 or 7 years, have never to this hour received any relief. If it please her to consider me her old servant by your honour's means, I doubt not still to serve her here by the grace of God.

Before receipt of your letter I had written my humble petition to your honour and the rest of the Privy Council, which you shall receive herewith, beseeching your furtherance therein, as it will be no great charge to her, and enable me to pay what is due her, on my giving up this place, and discharge those gentlemen bound for me.

My allegation at first that my man received so much money and promised to furnish the provisions, "was noe fained thinge," but I have his own letter to witness it. I humbly beseech your honour to be my good lord in these matters as you have ever been. Berwick. Signed: Robert Vernon.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet (as before).

15. Vernon to Burghley. [Jan. 30.]

I send my humble petition to your honour and the rest of the Council praying your favourable furtherance.

I send enclosed the numbers that I continually maintain and keep in wages here, "whether they worke or playe," which I am forced to do lest I want them when I most need them—to show your lordship my great charge and the smallness of the rates.

For all the want here, no one in pay but has had more than his allowance if demanded—the meanest soldier has had 12d. weekly in bread, at 24 oz. for a penny, and other victuals within the rates, and the captain and officers "treble the rate."

I beseech your honour to stand my good lord at this time, and from henceforth I shall take so strict a course that you shall find "you have done for a gratfull man," and if I continue in this place, I purpose God willing, henceforth "to truste none but myself." Berwick. Signed: Robert Vernon.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Signet as last.

Inclosed in the above:—

(Vernon's petition to the Privy Council.)

Representing that for 18 years he has served the garrison of Berwick at the following rates, viz., with good bread 24 oz. for 1d.; good beer at 30s. the "tonn," the same being made of 12 bushels good malt, and 1 bushel of wheat "for head corne"; good beef and mutton "one with the other," from Christmas till Midsummer at 1¾d. the pound, from Midsummer till Christmas at 1¼d. the pound; butter at 60s. the barrel; cheese at 40s. the "waye"; ling at 14d. "le pece," and cod at 10d.; pease or beans at 12d. the qr.; and "ottes" at 4s. 8d. the qr., always full weight and measure, often to his loss; and borne all manner of charges and wages in the victualling office, and losses by sea and land to great sums as he can justly prove. He prays them to move her Majesty in consideration of these and " this deare yeare," to grant him a lease in reversion of 100l. per annum, and to lend him for 2 years the sum of 2000l. to be employed in victualling the garrison and repaid by the receivers, also that all his "ministers" in the Queen's pay at Berwick may be placed in the companies and serve the Queen without farther charge to her, he finding sufficient men for watch and ward, or going out on service for the time. Or if the Council like not his proposals, but desire to take some other course for victualling, as he hears some are seeking it, then he prays them he may be accountable since Michaelmas last, and to move her Majesty to allow him all losses that he can prove he has suffered through her grant not being performed to him, or by losses at sea, or the smallness of the rates. Prays the Almighty to grant each of them in the life to come "an imortall crowne of glorye." Not signed.

pp. Broad sheet. Headed: To the Privy Council. Indorsed.

16. Offences of Valentine Browne and others. [Jan. 1594–95.]

The offences of Valentine Browne and others committed against the Queen within his account, for which they have merited great punishment besides restitution of the waste of her highness's treasure.


Valentine Browne—[under 12 heads—double pays—dead men's pay—taking Scottish money out of the Queen's treasure, and thus extorting 5s. in the pound from the captains—offering 100l. to Johnson the surveyor to join in cheating her Majesty of 500l. conduct money to labourers and workmen, which Johnson is ready to prove—selling stores unaccounted for, &c.]

"The said Browne and Owin Claiden"—[under 6 heads—charging for a shipload of grain as lost, which they sold, proved by Row the purveyor—373 qrs. of corn, 4 "flikkes" of bacon, &c., converted by Clayden to his own use, proved by Row, &c.]

"Thomas Jenison the controller"—[Under 7 heads—irregular books—payment of more wages than the clerk's and surveyor's books show—practising with Johnson to alter his books, which he refused—entering Browne's carts in the pay books, longer time than they served—converting 6 "fodder" lead, half a ton Spanish iron, 18 shovels, &c., out of the stores to his own use without warrant, &c.]

pp. Indorsed (as title).

17. Declaration by Vernon. [Jan.]

The charge of the stock received at Berwick, &c. "as praysed."
Stock received from Sir Valentine Browne . . 9,604l. 10s. 5d.
Against which there remains in Berwick provision worth 1,398l.; good debts due to Vernon 1,000l.; Browne's debts, not yet received by Vernon, who has the bills and specialties, 439l. 12s. 5d.; due on the 2 years' pay 438l. 0s. 6d. . Total, 3,275l. 12s. 11d.
Losses by the enemy—2 ships with malt taken by the Spaniards—and 1 ship with salt from Rochell. 1,240l. 13s. 4d.
Losses by tempest—1 ship with wheat and malt, sunk at Holy island—another coming from Norway with wainscots and deals—a third at Hartlepool with wheat—the two last his own adventure—in all . . . . 1,140l.
His losses by not receiving his money half yearly under her Majesty's grant . . . 1,200l.
His losses in the "two deare yeares" 1586 and 1587 in bread and beer only . . . 2,500l.
His losses in beans, pease and oats, viz., 4s. each qr. of beans and pease, and 5s. of oats, for these 19 years 1,000l.
Also in these 19 years, in the service of beef and mutton "at so small rates," viz., 150l. yearly 2,850l.
Also under the Queen's grant, he should have had the same stock as Sir Valentine Browne had, but wanted great part for years, and still wanteth, to his loss of . . . . 1,000l.
Loss in victualling the Queen's ships [the Foresighte and Dreadenoughte], by command of the Council [in anno 1576] . . . . 60l.
And in provision for 2000 foot and 500 horse, for 2 months, who when they came lay in the country and spent little of his provision . . 200l.
He is like to lose this year in serving the garrison at so small rates . . . . 1,500l.
Total, 11,450l.
"Summa totalis of the remaine, debts and losses" 15,668l. 6s. 3d.

2 pp. Indorsed.

(1) A more detailed note of these losses and proofs.

3 pp. Indorsed.

18. Artificers' &c., wages under Vernon. [Jan. 1594–95.]

"In the Pallace at Barwick—Artifficers and dalye laborers, ther waidges for the daye."

Bakers with a "furner," 6; "master brewer" and 5 others; a cowper and "dreaman"; 6 "turners" of grain; a chief miller and 2 others for the windmill, 1 for the malt mill; 2 butchers, a carter, a porter, 2 field keepers, a purveyor of beef at 12d., and a purveyor of grain at 2s. 6d. Total 21s. 2d. per diem.

Memorandum.—The Council and captain have met and heard "your honours" letter read touching the receiving victuals by proportion according to the rates in all kinds, and say they are not to be "tyed" to take of all, but only of what kind they will, and leave the rest.

1 p. Indorsed: also noted by Burghley.

(1) Another copy.

19. John Carey to Burghley. [Jan. 31.]

To-day at Lord Hume's request, I met him near the "Bownd roade," where in conference he used these words "or such like in generalitie."—That the King had sent him to let her Majesty know that she was the prince he was most bound and beholden to, and loved and affected her above all in the world, and desired "a more assured lynking together," by yielding to anything she should desire at his hands, and desired she would try him in some secret matter, which it would please her at any time to send down to me; and has given Lord Hume his warrant under his hand and seal to follow whatever course her Majesty desires. "But I pray your honour take no further holde on me herein, but as one that hathe it from the mouth of a nobleman of Scotland." He says he will do anything for the good of both countries that her Majesty commands, and if I would meet the King at his house of Dunglas on Saturday next, I should hear as much from the King's own mouth: "which I refused."

I have sent Mr Vernon the letter inclosed in your letter to me of the 24th "even nowe" received. I have also sent for the customer and the Mayor, to find if it is true as your lordship says, that the Queen has lost 200l. this last half year, by the town having the "customshipp." The Mayor can say nothing till Mr Fairley the town clerk returns, and the customer affirms what his book certifies. So matters wait Mr Fairley's return, with whom it seems your lordship has taken some order.

As to the late great assemblies of the King and his nobles in Edinburgh, they have been but dumb shows, like many before. The chancellor was either to have been put down and the Council of State altered, or all parties to have been reconciled. But nothing but factions continue, as their wont is.

"Touching the latter part of your letter wherin your honour writes of the mariadge of your daughter the Ladye Vere, I am gladde as a feeling member of your lordshippes joye, and rejoice at her ladyeshippes good fortune in preserving your honours life so longe, wherby thimperfections of her father shall be no blemishe to her honour, whome I pray God make as happye a couple as ever were of that name. Being also very gladd that her Majestie will vouchsafe so honorablye to solempnise the matter with her royall presence, which will be I dare saye a great comforth to your lordship and a great honour to the yonge couple." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

The comptroller and surveyor have requested me to inclose their certificate of necessary reparations for your timely answer therein.

Lord Hume has "even nowe" ridden to Edinburgh on a report to him in the Merse that Cesford and Buccleuch had taken the porters of the abbey gate, and made the King prisoner in the Abbey. I know not the truth, but Hume is gone upon it: still I doubt the news.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

20. Vernon to Burghley. [Jan. 31.]

Explaining the disposal of sums due to him by the receivers at Michaelmas last, 2048l. in all, whereof he "did not finger one penny." Thanking his lordship for his good favour and comfort in his necessities; and if by his means he finds favour for his fault, he hopes never to commit the like again. Berwick. Signed: Robert Vernon.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

21. Provision at Berwick. [Jan. 31.]

Note of grain received in the Queen's palace at Berwick since 24 December 1594, and what is brought and to come from Hull.

Received between 2d and 30th January 1594, out of "the Clement of Welles, William Pyne, master, the Guifte of God, Balthazar, master, the Guifte of God, William Morgan, master, the Katherine of Hull, Frauncis Hodgson, master," in all, wheat 360 qrs. 4 bushels; rye 95 qrs. 3 bushels; malt 144 qrs. 3 bushels; pease, 19 qrs. 2 bushels.

Provisions bought, yet to come from Hull:—

Anthony Cole, merchant, 100 qrs. white rye. Of Richard Atkinson and Edward Tripp of Barton 120 qrs. wheat; 240 qrs. malt, and 120 qrs. pease and beans.

Butter and fish at Berwick.—Island cod at 120 "le hundrethe," 1,200; Wardhouse cod at same, 4,700; "lynges" at same, 200; 60 "firkins" butter.

pp. Indorsed.


  • 1. Signs by mark.