Border Papers volume 2: May 1596

Pages 128-133

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

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260. John Carey to Burghley. [May 1.]

Mr William Vernon chief officer under Mr Robert Vernon, sent today, requiring me at once to certify to your honour, "in as earnest manner" as possible, the scarcity of our provision here, which the gentleman porter and the other captains and officers thought should also be sent to the whole privy council, for greater care to be had: and having so done, we have sent it to Sir Robert Cecil. By the officer's own confession, there is not bread corn to last above 14 days at farthest, and they know not where to look for more, having already done their utmost. So we can but look to you for relief from the south. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

261. John Carey to Sir Robert Cecil. [May 1.]

To the same effect, with their joint letter to the Council, begging his assistance in procuring relief. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

Postscript:—"The fear withe grefe that my lord your father is not so well as I wold gladley he wear, makes me thus to presum to sertefey the honorabell lordes of the counsell of ouer wantes hear, beinge glad to shone aney occasion of unconveniens to this towen, and for that I have sinderey teymes befor sertefeyed, and yet feynd ouer wantes nothinge lese then befor."

1 p. Postscript holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan water signet.

262. John Carey, &c., to the Privy Council. [May 1.]

In similar terms, inclosing certificate by Vernon's officer of the small store of provision left, and urgently begging relief, as there is neither money nor corn either in town or country. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey, Will'm Selby, John Crane, Robart Carvill, Antonye Tompson, Rob. Yaxley, George Baryth, Jhon Griffyn.

1 p. Addressed to the Council. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(1) Remaines of provision in the palace on 30 April 1596.

Meal in the bake house, 33 "boles;" wheat at the mills and in the lofts, 33 "boles"—in all, 33 qrs.

Malt in the lofts, 216 qrs.; at the "Iland," 54 qrs.—270 qrs.

Beans, 3 qrs.

Oxen, 6; sheep, 120.

Lings, 360; "Island" cod, 660.

Ex. per Will'm Vernon. Signed: Thom's Clark.

263. Scottish news. [c. May 2.]

"George Stephenson a Scottishe banished man, abydinge in the howse of Robert Browne in a village of England called Horkley, was on the second Maye 1596, forciblie taken oute of the said Brownes howse by the Larde of Readebrayes, (fn. 1) accompained with 20 horsemen, caried to Dunse a market towne of the Easte Marches of Scotland, and their executed to deathe in Scotland."

In a contemporary hand. Indorsed: "Scotland."

264. Scrope to the Council. [May 2.]

Brief note or extract of Lord Scrope's letter to the Council.

First.—Lord Scrope, the Bishop of Carlisle and John Midellton justices of peace, on 2nd May, did examine "one Andrewe Grame and one Thomas Armestronge as concerninge the breckeinge" of Carlisle castle, and they both being sworn, do affirm that "one Thomas Carlton, Launcelatt Carlton and Richie of Breckenhill with others, did agree and sett doune the plott how the castell shoulde be brocken, and that Thomas Carlton did undertake to make the watchmenn of the saide castell shewre."

Further, Andrew Grame deposeth "that he had worde sennte him from one Laingtowne otheir wayse Brecenhills, that exceptt hee denyed all that which he had affeirmed agaynst the Carltones and him selfe, saying that hee nor anye of his shoulde be left a live. Aboute x days after, a brother of the foresaide Armestronges one of theis examanetes, was murthered, at which murther was one 'Stowe louges' and divers other Scottche men being Breckenhils sisters sonns and coussens, and followers of Carlton, and the murthered maun was dispitefullie brought to the castell of Carlile by Carltons menn, and uppon his one horse." Carlton and his followers being as they said, protected by letter from your honours. My lord desires leave to prosecute these murderers both English and Scots, as accustomed in like cases.

1 p. Indorsed by Sir R. Cecil's clerk.

265. Eure to Burghley. [May 5.]

On the 2d instant, the 10 horsemen were sent by the Bishop of Durham well appointed. Here are some fruits of our labours— I have taken two headsmen of the Davisons, great spoilers under Cesford, and taken them bound to answer all injuries done during their lives by their kinsmen or friends.

I have since met Sir Robert Kerr, well inclined to justice "(a stepp of grace)," who promised to obey what the King commands. His quarrel with Buccleuch is a means of peace with us, who he fears may join his adversary.

Liddesdale has lately fired 5 or 6 houses in Tyndale, and threatened to salute me at Hexham as they did Lord Scrope, not to rescue prisoners, but in mere glory: so in requital I have taken one Nixsonne belonging to Will of Harskarth, and keep him prisoner as a pledge for his name.

Buccleuch as is reported intends to leave the country, why I know not. The time would thus fit to move the King by the ambassador to appoint one absolute warden. He is I hear "indifferent" to Buccleuch, who is every way "malitious, proude of nature mimitating the Spaniard, I wishe he be not one in harte." If the ambassador laid open to the King his outrages to Lord Scrope and here, he might be removed.

Sir Robert Kerr and I have agreed as to the shielding in accustomed places, and to hold a day of truce on 2d June. He is poor and forced "to make muche of his badd followers for defence of his broken state," yet fears to displease her Majesty and may be gained to her service by our ambassador "as I presume." Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet as before.

266. Sir John Forster to Burghley. [May 11.]

I give you hearty thanks for many courtesies, especially the pains your lordship took in getting me leave to come here, where I remain. Two of the Council of York have been here, before whom I thought I should have been called to answer the informations preferred against me, but I heard no more of them. I would ask you to continue so much my friend as to move her highness to let me return to my own house, where I shall be always ready to answer all things laid to my charge. I have great reason to be thus importunate, for there is of late, "a marvelous and straunge sicknes" happened in this town, many persons infected and many dead. "The mannor therof this bearer can make knowne to your honor at large." Newcastle. Signed: John Forster.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: an armed right hand holding the truncheon of a spear.

267. Eure to Burghley. [May 18.]

Detailing still more fully the weakness of his March—the unwillingness of the gentlemen and disobedience of the common people, and their incovenient trafficking with the Spanish faction opposite them, &c.

Sir Robert Kerr is apparently inclined to do justice. Buccleuch, however, though he appointed one or two meetings, still practises some treason or other. "For I sent my cousine Henrie Bowes this gentleman," with full instructions to confer with him before our meeting, but instead of that, he scorned to speak with him and gathered his forces, "and if my said cousine had not wiselie foreseen and taken tyme to have cumed away, he had been staied him self. Two severall messengers weare sent from Baclugh from oute his compaine that were in the feild, post to have stayed him and those that weare with him." Not long since some of his name having stolenin my March, my men following their trodd lawfully were stayed by his officer of Armitage, their horses taken, and themselves escaped on foot. The gentleman himself will fully acquaint your lordship how I stand here. The combinations made by Sir John Forster's consent with the Scots have greatly weakened this country and I doubt how to break them without your aid. Mr Fenwick the keeper of Tyndale hath long been in league with them, and is slow to break it, whereby his district hath been overthrown as it is.

If your lordship commanded all such to be made known to me, and no assurance allowed without my consent—feuds between the gentlemen to be likewise referred to me, or themselves sent up to you with certificate thereof—and if the Bishop would place among us "good readers and cause oure churches to be roofed that men might resorte to the church with some delight," I hope God's grace would in time bring us to amendment. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.

pp. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed. Armorial wafer signet.

268. Eure to Burghley. [May 18.]

I pray your lordship bear with my continual outcries on behalf of this wretched March, and vouchsafe your aid.

The only means we have to raise horse is partly by the Queen's and subjects' freeholders. And I have charged every such man before Michaelmas at furthest, have a sufficient light horse and armour for service, or forfeit their estate to the Queen and lord: the copy holder also, whose estate can bear it. By the Queen's leases, I find the tenants are bound to maintain horse and armour—but many leases are so "taverned" that the "fermor" cannot provide horse, the parts being so divided.

I myself viewed the footmen in the most part of the country "(which veiwe dothe greatly discomforte me)"—the person of the men reasonable to be liked, though starved, unarmed either with shot or bow, or any warlike weapon. What they have at home I know not, but at the muster some bring a steel cap and light horseman's staff, most without cap, or "oughte els" but a staff—and so is the country furnished.

A proportion of "shotte" might be allotted, as in Haltewisell 20, Haydon bridge 12, Hexham 30, Bellingham 8 or 10, Morpeth 50 or 60, Alnwick 80 or 100. Others in the country might be bowmen, others with halberds, lances or pikes—all here wanting,—and if the price were set down at 13s. 4d. or 15s. "a callyver, me thinckes" the country with your authority should in time be furnished.

Tyndale has a custom, that on a farmer or owner's death, every man child has an equal part of the lease or land, whereby beggars increase and service decays, for neither elder nor younger can keep horse—Redesdale claims the like, wherein I crave reformation. Tyndale hath neither horse nor bow among the common people, and Redesdale not much better.

Our soldiers have stood us in good stead during the incursions, but two months of the time you allowed is already expired. I pray they may continue 5 or 6 months longer, for if their horses are turned to grass after midsummer, the riders will begin again. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet as before.

269. Eure to [Sir Robert Cecil]. [May 18.]

It comforts me to inform your honour of the spoils in this March by the Scots, which now amount to above 12000l., the redress for which is so "cunninglye" delayed, that the Queen's service is ruined. Your favour in procuring commissioners for redress would greatly help us—also extra horsemen cut of Cheshire and other countries bordering on Yorkshire, to remain till this country is bettered, though I know her Majesty's need of money for other causes in hand. I beseech your favour for my kinsman the bearer, who will if you vouchsafe, acquaint you with the "perfecte estate of this decayed Marche." Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.

½ p. Flyleaf with address lost. "Ro. Cycyll" at foot of page.

270. Scrope to the Privy Council. [May 24.]

Yesterday morning I sent from this town towards your lordships, the Grames named in the inclosed schedule. I was forced to send them from sheriff to sheriff, for otherwise I have no security for their appearance before you—and some of them would never have come "by the gentle meanes prescribed me." I have nothing yet against them more than I sent by Harrie Leighe, but "am gathering more proofes," of all which I trust to inform you myself with certainty, if her Majesty please to allow me to come up, leaving all things here in good order. My hearty desire is that immediately on their appearance "they maye be comitted to some closs warde, and barred the conference of such as maye assist their craftie wittes" to clear themselves of charges; and so keep them till my coming. The least favour shown them, will not only augment their pride, but encourage their surnames here to give new trouble, and keep this wardenry from the quietness I hope to bring it to shortly, "if any sharpe and rounde course" be known to be taken against the chief Grames now sent up. Carlisle.. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

"The names of those cheife Grames which were delivered heare by me to the shirifes to be broughte to your lordshippes:—

Walter Grame of Netherbye, William Grame of the Mote, Richard Grame of Braconhill, William Grame of the Rosetrees, John Grame alias Willes Jocke, Hutchin Grame alias Richies Hutchin."

Written by Scrope's clerk.

(2) Another copy.

271. Purefey and Ferne to Burghley. [May 31.]

As commanded by her Majesty's letters of 28th March, we with the advice of Lord Eure, made choice out of the commission of oyer and terminer for Northumberland and Durham, of Mr Edward Talbot, Sir Robert Carey, Mr John Carey, Sir William Reede, Robert Delavall, Robert Claveringe, and Henry Anderson, esquires, also Captain Selbye his "assistant," to take the musters of the horse and foot of the Middle March. The muster of the horse was taken by four of these commissioners, accompanied by us at his lordship's request. But the foot muster being taken after our return here, and not yet sent us, we know not which of them took it, but have written to his lordship for the same. The certificate of decays in Northumberland we have expected long from the jurors there, who were charged on their oaths, and had the articles, but we hear nothing of it; and therefore send hereinclosed the certificate of decays for the Bishoprie, which we have kept back 15 days waiting for the other. And as the neglect of this last is in the jurors, who have not so much as conferred or met thereon, as Lord Eure writes and we hear by the general report of the country, though we reminded them of their duties by letters of the 15th instant—we inclose their names, that order may be taken as seems good. York. Signed: Humfrey Purefey, Jo. Ferne.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

Names of the jurors charged and sworn at Hexham on 9th April 1596, to inquire into the decays of the Middle Marches.

William Fenwick of Wallington esq.; Henry Woodrington of Woodrington esq.; Francis Radcliffe of Dilston esq.; Edward Graye of Morpeth castle esq.; Thomas Collingwood of Eslington esq.; Alexander Fetherston of Fetherstonhaugh esq.; Mark Errington of Ponte Iland, gent.; Thomas Midlton of Belsey esq.; Martin Ogle of Tritlington, gent.; Robert Lisley of Felton esq.; Edward Charlton of Hesleside, gent.; Raffe Errington of Bingfeild, gent.; Nicholas Whitfeild of Whitfeild, gent.; Cuthbert Ratcliff of Blanchland, gent.; William Carnabye of Langley, gent.; Thomas Ogle of Bedlington gent.; Josua Delavale of (fn. 2) esq.; John Horsley of Scimwood, gent.; George Fenwick of Brinkborn, gent.; Henry Delavall of Callerton, gent.; Nicholas Thornton of Witton, gent.

1 p. In their clerk's writiny. Indorsed.

272. Pedigree of the Grames of Esk. [May.] Appendix No. I.

Tabular sheet showing their origin, marriages, &c.


  • 1. On margin in Sir R. Cecil's (?) hand, "this Readbray is a Hume."
  • 2. Blank.