Border Papers volume 2: January 1597

Pages 232-245

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

In this section

466. Eure to Burghley. [Jan. 1. 1596–97.]

"Sir Cuthbert Collingwood appointed sherif of Northumberland by her Majestie for this yeare, uppon Weddnesday last beinge the xxixth of December was buried." Beseeching you that one may be nominated in his place, who by staidness and experience may do the country good. Her Majesty this year before, nominated Robert Woodrington of Plessay sheriff, who did not take office, but left it in the hands of Mr Robert Bradford the former sheriff, and so is not accountable, as I wish he might be. The "plaige" is suddenly increased at Newcastle, which I fear will hinder our commissioners meeting there on the way to Berwick as they intended, and I hear of no preparation by the Scots, but that they laugh secretly at the delay, and hope the commission like others will be put off or do little justice. If so, I hope your lordship will procure liberty for the subject, "that they may doe as they are done to (vim vi repellere)," or the country will be ruined.

I humbly beg 200l. to repair the gaol here, "wherein the prissoners dye by numbers, and I feare the syckenes to be infectious . . . Harbottle castle is so ruyned, that the captaine of Harbottle is forced to remove this winter and lye att Otterburne." I pray what allowance you please, or a far greater sum will not rebuild it. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

467. Richard Musgrave to Burghley. [Jan. 2.]

In answer to your lordship's letter of 5th December received on the 28th, it is most needful that the ordnance at Tynmouth castle should be mounted and placed, for defence of the castle and haven, if there was a sufficient gunner resident there to attend them, for whom her Majesty allows 12d. per diem to the captain of Tynmouth, though there has been no such man in the place of late. I must not omit to advertise "how nakedly and daungerously" the town of Newcastle is at present, if the Queen's enemies intend harm on these coasts. And in these times of rumours of troubles, I thought good to send a note of the powder and munitions under my charge, referring its sufficiency to your honourable wisdom: also a particular estimate of the charge of repairing the ordnance carriages at Tynmouth. Berwick. Signed: Rychard Musgrave.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: Musgrave arms and crest.

Inclosed in the same:—

(2) Note of powder in store at Berwick 24 June 1594—received since from the Tower and issued, and what remains this 1st January 1596.

The remain on 24 June 1594, 267 half barrels, making 11 lasts 300lbs.; supply since from the Tower, 6 lasts—total, 17 lasts 300lb. weight.

Issued by warrants.—To the captains for training powder, 2500lb.; defalked by the master of the ordnance 1300lb.; to the castle mounts and flankers in Berwick, 2900lb.; to Norham castle 150lb.; to Wark castle 500lb.; the fort at Holy Island, 200lb.; for "exercysinge of the schollers at the greate ordenaunce 400lb. Total, iiijxx clb. which makethe the iij lastes viije lb."

Remains in store at Berwick 13½ lasts, 700lb. Signed: Rychard Musgrave.

1 p. Indorsed.

(3) A like note of serviceable munition, &c., at Berwick.

Callyvers furnished, in store, 395; pikes in store, 905, supplied, 200; expended by warrant, 24; remaining in store, 1081. Long bows, in store, 196, supplied, 100; expended by warrant, 2; remaining in store, 294. Lance staves in store, 620. Light horsemen's staves 922. Arrows, 96 "sheif"; expended by warrant, 1 "sheif"; remaining in store, 95 "sheif." "Almayne corslettes" in store, 122; "Flanders corslettes," 114. [Spades, shovels, pickaxes, iron, and long carts.] Signed: Richard Musgrave.

pp. Indorsed.

468. John Carey to Burghley. [Jan. 3.]

Before Christmas the gentleman porter asked me to certify with him to you, the need of repair, &c., for the gates, which I was willing to do if he drew up a bill of the most needful, and an estimate of the cost—which he did, but on my finding it came to 360 and odd pounds (as I remember), I forbore signing, though he said it could not be less. But some of the workmen tell me it could be done "much better chepe," and as the master of the ordnance has all the Queen's artificers under his charge, he might get it done 100l. and more "better chepe."

I must still be troublesome in my distresses. My wife wrote to me before Christmas, that her Majesty has not signed my lease that she is "in sute for, and it should seme, by her Majesti, that I have had some back frendes," who make the suit greater than in deed it is. Wherefore I humbly beseech your honor, as her Majesty granted it so willingly, when drawn by her learned counsel, and passing her attorney's and your honor's hands, confirming its reasonableness—that she will not disgrace me by refusing to sign it; also to impart that "(as your honor knowes), I have a lease good inoughe alredie duringe my own lief and my brother Sir Robertes lief"—so it will not hurt her to grant me the reversion. It will please her also to remember she holds me here in a place of honour and thus of great charges, having no allowance to defray the same, and yet I have been as little troublesome for recompense as any before me.

Such news from Scotland as I have this morning of the ending of our "great warres" there, I send your honor in the original as I got it. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

469. Eure to Burghley. [Jan. 4. 1596–97.]

The laws of the Marches devised by our ancestors from the "auntiant accustomed lawes of a campe," having been neglected or forgotten by the people, who "delight rather in a libertine or epicuriane course, desiorus to be freed of the Christiane bonde of obedience, and laboringe to injoye the loose reynes of emperiall commaunde," I boldly present to your wisdom such of those as are material for practice, both in peace and war time, that your lordship may approve or correct them as you think fit, and so authenticated by the highest in the State, they may be enforced without scruple.

Pardon my omitting to signify herewith the laws touching obedience in camp, &c., in war time, as your lordship knows these alter at the general or commander's pleasure.

I am forced to crave your early decision on the criminal or capital punishments under these; for some here factiously oppose them, thus touching highly the Queen's dignity; and to avoid tediousness, I send instructions by this bearer my brother. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet, quartered.

470. Scrope to Burghley. [Dec. 10.]

As directed in your letter, I have, with Mr Braddell her Majesty's general receiver, now here, taken all means to recover the rents and arrearages due to her by the tenants of the barony of Burghe. He has got part from some, and of others, mostly very poor men and willing though unable to pay, "distresses taken of their goodes and cattells, which were prised," and the money paid him. For the rest, named in the inclosed schedule, altogether unable, and with no goods worth distraining, they must either remain in prison, or "sequesteringe of thoccupacione of their tenementes," till the rents, &c., are fully satisfied. Wherein I desire your pleasure. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

471. The Bishop of Durham to Burghley. [Jan. 10.]

On receipt of your letter of 28th December, inclosing another to Mr William Clopton, receiver of the Queen's revenues in the North, that he should imprest to the other commissioners and myself one month's entertainment "aforehand," from our entering Northumberland, which was on Friday last the 7th, viz., 40s. a day to myself, and 20s. to each of the rest, I imparted the same to my associates, who take it in very thankful and dutiful part. But as Mr Clopton is not "commorant" in this Bishopric, as formerly, but sometimes in "Laucheshire" or Warwickshire, and his deputy John Lyons not like to be here before the term—at my colleagues' earnest request to take order, I disbursed at the above rate in toto 140l. to ourselves, out of the 300l. paid yearly on your lordship's warrant "dormant," to Mr Clopton, out of the tenths of the ecclesiastical promotions out of this diocese, due her Majesty at Christmas last. Hoping your lordship will acquaint the receiver or deputy thereof, that your letters to him and myself may be his warrant for the said payment. Alnwick. Signed: Tobie Duresm.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax seal: Durham impaling Mathew—damaged.

472. Scrope to Burghley. [Jan. 11.]

I have received by the tenants of Holme your lordship's letter, whereby I see they petitioned you, showing that the "weapon of calyver" is of little use in this country, and the charge is too great for any benefit they get by it, and the same by the great dearth here will undo them. I have acquainted the justices of peace with your letter, who have certified the truth: Mr Leigh reports others willing but unable. I find them of the Holme by their "setters on" always ready to cross me. I pray you hasten the coming of the Berwick companies hither, for I assure myself we shall need them. I am loth to trouble you with my wrongs till I have sufficient proof. Concerning the tenants of Burgh barony, Mr Receiver has written of our proceedings, which I have signed, and instructed Mr Leigh to "sequestre" them till payment be made, wherein I await your instructions. Having a man in Scotland you shall hear when he brings any thing worthy. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Report of the justices, &c., to Burghley.)

By your honor's warrant Mr Richard Musgrave brought hither from Newcastle a proportion of calyvers to strengthen this border. The Queen's tenants of Holme Coltram were appointed to receive 50, at rates settled by their officer and 12 honest substantial men, according to their abilities, as by book inclosed. But it appears they have complained, and allege to you, that the tax is burthensome in this time of dearth, and the weapon is not in use among them. Whereon having shown your letter to the justices of this county, they agree with me that the said weapons are very necessary, that the tenants have no cause to complain of dearth "(God be praised)," for it is no greater here this year than it was last. And the most of them assessed are well able to sustain the charge, for most have very good livings and trades—and this complaint rather springs from the backwardness of a few not of the meanest ability, who show a bad example. In the meantime I have stayed proceedings according to your pleasure. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope, Jo. Carliolen, Nicholas Curwen, George Salkeld, Richard Lowther, Wilfr. Lawson, Chris. Pykering.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

473. Scrope to Burghley. [Jan. 13.]

My man is to-day returned from Scotland. The inclosed will somewhat satisfy the "heades" in your late letters concerning Buccleugh and Johnston. And as the King and Council evidently intend to extenuate and bear out Buccleuch's "proude act" at this castle to the Queen's dishonor, &c., I still pray you as formerly to procure some force speedily for our defence.

I have expected every day that the other 4 Grames would come to submit. But they have neither come nor excused themselves, and I hear have written to their friends in Court, awaiting their reply before they appear.

I trust before that time your lordship will return to me the submission which I sent up, and hoped ere now to have had reformed by your means with the privity of the whole Council; till which I cannot well receive their submission, nor will they tender it I think, till they hear from above, that the sense mentioned as contained in the 2d article, is "amended for their playner understandinge." Carlisle.

Verte.—While concluding, I was told that William Grame of the Mote returning (as he pretended) from the attempted hership of one Twedall in Liddesdale, was intercepted near his own house and taken back to Scotland a prisoner by some of the Laird of Whithaugh's sons and dependers. As there was no shout or fray raised, I believe it is but one of their accustomed stratagems. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 ½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet.

474. Vernon and Swift's Account. [Jan. 14. 1596–97.]

"Barwick.—A briefe reporte of the state of thaccompte of Robert Vernon esquier surveyor generall of her Majesties victuelles there and Richard Swifte gentleman assistaunte to the said Mr Vernon," of their receipts from Exchequer, by sale of hides, &c., and from the treasurer of Berwick—also of payments, &c. by them from Michaelmas 37 Eliz. till Michaelmas following 38 Eliz.—for one whole year.


Mr Vernon has made no accounts since his first entry on office 17 Eliz.—and this is the first account of the said Richard Swifte.

Total receipts from Exchequer, &c., 6913l. 12s. 8d.
Total expenditure, provisions, wages, &c., 5765l. 15s. 2d.
So the accountants remain in debt, 1147l. 17s. 6d.

It does not appear to me what victuals have been issued to the captains and their companies, or the horsemen, &c.,—for lack of their certificates of receipt, nor what money has been defalked from them by the treasurer and paid to the said accountants—for want of the treasurer's certificate.

Mr Vernon is to be charged on his first account, when it is taken, with the remayne of victuals, &c., received of Sir Valentyne Browne, at first entering office, and an imprest of 2,000l. for a "staple" of victuals.

Mr Swifte has showed me a book of provisions for the garrison since Michaelmas last, of 3,023l. 8s. 2¼d., and it appears by Mr Skinner's certificate, that the accountants have received no money from the "receipte" since. Signed: xiiijo Januarij 1596. Exr. per Jo. Conyers auditor.

On a broad sheet—3 feet 4×1. Indorsed.

475. Informations and answers between the Commissioners. [Jan. 17.]

(1) To the Commissioners for the borders of Scotland.

The commissioners for England do, on behalf of their Sovereign, charge Sir Robert Ker, knight, warden, &c., that contrary to the proclamations of both princes in August last, he on 17th of that month, or since, invaded England and forcibly entered Swinbourne castle, took away James Yonge, Scotsman, prisoner there, and forced Roger Woodrington to give his hand and promise to be his prisoner, and still detains him in Scotland, albeit Lord Eure the opposite warden, has demanded Roger: all which we allege and articulate jointly and severally, and intend to prove, requiring you to join and concur with us for due inquiry trial and satisfaction, as you are authorised to do. "Subscribed by Tobie Dunelm., Will'm Bowes, Francis Slingsbie, Clement Colmor.

(2) Our answer to the "concurrentes craved of us," for trying the attempt "wherof they charge Sir Robert Ker, heire apparante of Cesfoorde," delivered to us this 17 January 1596.

We are content to arrest him to answer to the charge, and concur in his due trial, and as we find him guilty of the whole or part, to proceed jointly and orderly against him according to justice—your lordships proceeding likewise with us in the "remanent complaintes." Subscribed, &c., Dunkell, George Hume, Fawdouside, Mr G. Younge.

1 p. Copy. Indorsed by Burghley's secretary.

476. The Commissioners to Burghley. [Jan. 19.]

We have somewhat long delayed writing, in daily hope of more certain matter. On arriving here on the 10th, a gentleman from the Laird of Wedderburn came, demanding in his name, when and with how many we would meet the Scottish commissioners? The next morning, Tuesday, we sent Mr James Swynow "an honest sufficient gentleman," to the laird and the rest (if they were there, as his messenger had told us), that we purposed to meet them quietly with 100 horses, at the Bound road nigh Fowlden at noon next day the 12th (a day formerly agreed on), intending that our respective commissions should be then perused, offering our safe conduct if they came to Berwick, or to get theirs, if they wished us to go to Fowlden. The Laird replied by Mr Swynow, that we should have an answer by 8 or 9 next morning—but having had none, we went to the Bound road, accompanied by Mr John Carey, governor, Sir Robert Carey, "warden of the East Marches," and retinue aforesaid, waiting them longer than was necessary. But they came not as the waters were so risen, as they said in their letter next day, asking us to meet them at Fowlden kirk that day. We wrote in answer by Mr Swynow, that Fowlden kirk was never named, and Fowlden itself though named by them, was not "condiscended unto" by us, or convenient, till the commissions were seen and assurance given for us. But if they came here they should have safe conduct from us, which we hoped they would accept in friendly manner. They at length met us on Friday 14th, a little without the Bound road towards Scotland, and seeing we refused to hold the first meeting at Fowlden, which they demanded "as a custome," after mutual view of the commissions, they agreed "with much adoe" to come and stay here during the treaty, protesting it should not prejudice their liberty or usage.

On Saturday the 15th they sent one Mr Hume, brother to Wedderburn, for a safe conduct which we returned them by Mr Swynow, appointing to meet daily in the "Toolboth," and made open proclamation in the market for their security.

That day as instructed, we objected Sir Robert Carre's invasion, desiring amends—but after long debate they refusing to give it any priority over ordinary bills, unless we cast lots, divers meetings and arguings were spent thereon.

On Monday they importuned us for the allegation in writing, which they would so answer, whereof we inclose a copy, showing how plainly and particularly we propounded it, and how obscurely and uncertainly they replied. We have since vehemently pressed this matter, showing them we can proceed with nothing else, till it is satisfied. They now acknowledge (which they might have done sooner, if they meant sincerity), that their instructions forbid them to deal with invasions or murders, all such to be referred to the princes—which seems a great hindrance to justice, and repugnant to the King's commission, and if we yielded, would frustrate the Queen's service. So they have promised to send to know the King's pleasure hereon, and are very desirous to deal with other such robberies, &c., "the while," whereto we will not concur, till we may learn the Queen's pleasure how far to urge Sir Robert Ker's attempt, and what kind of good satisfaction is meant we should receive, before dealing with other complaints—as your lordship will see by the schedule inclosed containing the words of the Queen's instructions verbatim. So we shall merely occupy the time in preparing things in readiness, till they hear from the King, and we from her Majesty or your lordships. We have written to the ambassador in Scotland (as required by the instructions), to facilitate matters.

We have also taken order mutually as you advised, for good order between the wardens and people of both nations during the treaty and for 40 days after. On the 14th we received your letter of 8th with copy of her Majesty's safe conduct for the Scottish commissioners, and the ambassador sent us the original yesterday, which we shall deliver if they require it and re-deliver that which we gave them, and the King sends us the like. Berwick. Signed: Tobie Duresm., Will'm Bowes, F. Slyngisbe, Clement Colmore.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax seal: Mathew as before.

477. Sir William Bowes to Burghley. [Jan. 19. 1596–97.]

To similar effect as their general letter. Both sides agreed to define the word "invasion," to be "the entrie of a publique person without leive, executinge actes of hostilitie, &c." Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

478. Sir W. Bowes to Sir R. Cecil. [Jan. 19.]

Referring also to their general letter—giving reasons in detail why the charge against Cesford must be pressed now, and not referred. Styling Cesford and Buccleuch the "twoo fyrebrandes" of the Borders, who should be either delivered to the Queen, or detained by the King in prison, till her Majesty is satisfied. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

479. Scrope to Burghley. [Jan. 21.]

"Beinge right sorie to understand that your lordship hath kept your chamber and bed so longe, as by your last (to my greife) it appeared to me," I render right humble thanks for your letter to Mr Lowther, which I hope will work good effect, and your reformation of the Grames' submission. I sent that letter at once to Mr Lowther, and to-day the Grames "(after some nysnes and ceremonies used by them before their entrie)" have been here and on their knees humbly submitted themselves to me, according to her Majesty's pleasure and your directions and have been received by me accordingly, as will appear by the inclosed certificate. I pray that her Majesty and the rest of the Council may understand I have accepted the submission of all the six Grames "accordinge to direction—in which pointe their lordshipps by their last lettres desiered satisfaccion."

The farmer of her Majesty's customs in these parts being like to die, no man looking for his recovery, and his lease near expired, though indeed forfeited, and many unfit men "ar gapinge" for his room: I earnestly entreat your lordship to grant a new lease of that office to a man I shall nominate, and dare commend his honest behaviour therein. The present farmer has acted very corruptly, passing horses into Scotland, harbouring evil persons—enticing "owtewarde" merchants to custom with him for small value, &c., and I am assured if a like borderer succeed him (as it is thought there will) the Queen's customs will be diminished and my government disquieted. It concerns this government much who shall exercise that room, therefore I am importunate to know your liking, whereon I shall commend a fit man.

I trust Rafe Atkinson is with you ere this, and I would gladly hear how he satisfies you. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

2 pp. Holograph; as also address. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Certificate of submission.)

The 21st January 1596.

Memorandum.—The said day and year, the six Grames who were at London with your lordships, have made their submission to the right honourable Lord Scrope, lord warden, &c., in the presence of Richard Lowther esquire, and John Mydleton esquire, two of Her Majesty's justices of peace within the county of Cumberland, and thereto have subscribed their names. Whereof we certify your lordships under our own hands and names. Signed: Richard Lowther, John Middelton.

½ p. Indorsed.

480. Eure to Burghley. [Jan. 22. 1596–97.]

"By the importunate intreatie of Sir John Forster," I present his humble suit, that in regard of the sickness now in Newcastle, your lordship would give him leave to return to his own country "to his house in Bambroughe shier in the Easte March." Berwick. Signed: Ra. Eure.

¼ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

481. The Commissioners to Burghley. [Jan. 24.]

Touching the inquiries in your lordships letter of the 16th, received on the 22d, though we trust you have been fully satisfied thereon before this time (if the posts have done their part) by our letter of the 19th, yet in brief we may advertise, that after some "accustomed scrupulosityes" on the Scots' part, we persuaded them hither, and have met daily "in amycable sort," save that they think us too peremptory in Sir Robert Kerr's matter of invasion—wherein we await the King's resolution as moved for to his Council in his absence, by her Majesty's ambassador, from whom we received a letter yesterday. To show we do not spend our time idly, we inclose copy of the articles agreed on for our proceedings in the treaty. After Sir Robert Ker's matter (which hath exceedingly perplexed and hindered us) be dispatched, we shall use all diligence in her Majesty's service. Berwick. Signed: Tobie Duresm. Will'm Bowes, F. Slyngisbe, Clement Colmore.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Articles referred to.)

At Berwick 22d January 1596 (39 Eliz.).

It is "condiscended to" between the commissioners, that calling before us of bills between the two East Marches, shall begin on Tuesday 1st February next at the "Tolebooth" of Berwick; against which day and place, so many of the inhabitants of East and West Teavydale as shall be complained of by those of the East March of England, likewise all inhabitants of the East and Middle Marches of England as shall be complained of by those of the East March of Scotland, shall respectively be "arreasted" to answer complaints. Likewise complaints by East Teavydale against the East March of England, shall be "arreasted" and taken order with same day.

The calling bills between the Middle Marches shall begin on Thursday 3d February, and the like calling between the West Marches, on Tuesday thereafter 8th February.

Meantime the wardens shall receive the names of persons complained on by their "oppisites," and "arreast" them for these days.

That warning be given by proclamation in all the Marches, that complainants attend with their proofs on the days appointed for their March, if they would have justice.

That all complained of and "arreasted," who fail to appear on their day, without lawful excuse "approveable" by us, shall be "fyled" absolutely.

That all others "arreasted" who pretend they had no sufficient summons to appear, shall be "fyled" as if they had—if the commissioners think there is sufficient proof against them.

The premisses are "liked of" by the commissioners, in hope that by 1st February, satisfaction may be received as to the requisition by England against Sir Robert Kerr or other directions thereon from her Majesty. Subscribed by Dunkell, George Hume, Fawdenside, Mr G. Younge, Tobie Duresm., Will'm Bowes, F. Slingesby, Clement Colmore. "Copia vera, T. Duresm." (fn. 1)

1 p. Same hand as the letter. Indorsed.

482. Scrope to Sir R. Cecil. [Jan. 27. 1596–97.]

I have written hereinclosed to the Lords of the Privy Council on the manner of proceeding at my warden court, desiring your honor to further the same.

I would you moved with my lord to appoint the soldiers of Berwick to be here as I wrote before: for though we are very quiet at present, I fear it will not last long. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

483. Eure to Burghley. [Jan. 28.]

As I wrote to you by my son, I find perils continually follow my government.

Lord Scrope is aggrieved that Christofer Bell was taken out of his march and delivered to me by Thomas Carleton his officer of Gilsland, and executed. Wherefore his lordship's household men, with the Bells and others of his March, on Friday the 14th instant, stole and drove off 50 wethers of Albany Fetherstonhaugh's in my march, and "stelled" them in the sheildes adjoining in the West March. The fray "rysse," and divers of the country with Fetherston's men both horse and foot also: two or three of the foot lighted on Lord Scrope's horsemen, and on demanding the sheep, were told of some of them, and asked "yf noe more followed the trodd?" They "simplye" answered, their master and others had gone a different way: whereon these horsemen attacked these English followers, overthrew and wounded some, took one to Carlisle castle, and another "gentleman being postmaster of Thirlwall," (fn. 2) hardly escaped with life, and his horse well nigh slain with a sword cut. Here is a great cross and danger to my government.

At "the said" warden court Roger Woodrington was indicted as an offender to march law for going to Scotland prisoner, intercommuning with Scots, &c., ad damnum Dominæ nostræ reginæ, which is very "hatefully" taken by his friends, and about the 20th instant, when the commissioners came to Berwick, he showed himself "vauntingly without respecte;" and his brother Henry Woodrington on the 24th, disdainfully refused to live on my march, withdrawing with some of his friends, among others "one William Carnaby, sonn to old Carnaby of Langley" her Majesty's constable there, who served under his father, has absolutely forborne to live under my rule. Thus am I crossed without deserving it, for if I do, I should be removed—if not, I fly to you for aid and comfort, being so envied and contemned by all who favour the Woodringtons: and unless your lordship continue the 80 horse, I know not what to do, my own people thus failing me, and not assured of my neighbouring wardens or those opposite.

I understand Lord Scrope informed you that I supported the Grames and Carletons in disobedience, and when their submissions lately ordered by your lordships, should have been made, four of them with Thomas Carleton, came over to me in contempt.

"By the oathe of a Christian and the honor of a trew subject," I am innocent of any such matter, as I knew of no such submission or the time for it. But I remember about Christmas last, I sent for Riche Langtone and Thomas Carleton to come here, when I moved them to join me to take Martin's Arch out of Scotland, who since Christofer Bell's death, proudly gave up with me, and has been a great offender since. This is the full truth of my action. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.

1 p. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed.

484. Scrope to Burghley. [Jan. 29. 1596–97.]

I send hereinclosed such "occurrantes" as I have this instant received from Scotland.

I wrote before to Sir Robert Cecil inclosing a letter to the Privy Council of my proceedings at my warden court. Among others the Carletons were summoned, and divers bills of indictment preferred against them—but Mr Richard Lowther being on the jury, and minding to "cavell" of two bills preferred against one Thomas Carleton of Askerton, land sergeant of Gilsland, stood out from his fellow jurors, and took divers of them with him, affirming on oath that Carleton had your lordship's warrant tolerating the offences in these bills, and had showed it to him while he was warden, with your letter—but this was proved by sufficient witnesses to be done one year after my entrance, and so the bill was found. Wherefore seeing these their bad dealings, and those that are "favoretes" to the Carletons may make great complaint of me to your lordship, I beg you, if such come to your hand, not to condemn me till I satisfy you. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

"Postscript.—Lanclote Carrelton my lord of Essixe his man," is gone up to London to him, as he gives out, to inform against me to his lordship: but I have a letter from my lord by Captain Yaxley "my brother Robin Caryes solicetor," in which he marvels at never hearing from me. In excuse whereof I have written to his lordship, hoping he will "beare none suche out againste me," my actions being honourable and just, and such as may indure trial.

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

Inclosed in the same:—

(News from Scotland.)

"Since my last, &c. Besides the resignation that the Octaviens made of thir office of Exchecker in the King's hand, there is some piece of high ambition crept in the Lord Threasurers hart: that he is taking upon him to continew in his office, as also to have the offices of controllor and collector generall of the tithes of benefices of this realme. The rest holds them coye, as though they would have only care of the Queene and her affayres, as they did afore: and therfore to compayre his dutie with thires, and to mocke him in the ende.

"In the meane tyme they so whisper with the Queene, that whatsoever they would have done in the generall cause of the comonwelth, they put the same so livelyly in her head, that shee purposely now, eyther comes into the Kinges chamber, or else sends for his Majestie, to dener or sup with her, and there propounds the matter secretly betweexte them selves.

"The Earle of Huntley is receaved into the bosome of the church at Abridene, without either disputation or question. For he would seeme to stand in noe doubt of his faith, but would allow of all thinges as they are presently taught in Scottland. He sheweth that he was seduced by Jesuites to the service of the King of Spayne, and that it was neyther for the love of God, nor for any promotion of the Romishe religion: but only for his ambission to bee a ruller in England, by the helpe of him and suche as himselfe. Of this pointe the Kinge is sufficiently advertised: and is minded to graunt him pardon at St Jhonston, if all thinges holde agayne the tyme prefixed. Sed multa cadunt inter calicem supremaque labra.

"There bee many craftie despitefull letters and lybelles cast dayly in the Kinges palace, all directed as they were unto himselfe, but none can see a mesager: and they are all writen as it were, by ministers, som fugitives and som at home. By which lettres they aledge many sacred histories and prophane, declaring th'extermination of those who have bene enemyes to the Church and the ministers therof, as though the Kinge were only in the fault to them: and they not to him. Secondly—that by these examples, he should take heede, least he should faule into the like daunger.

"B. is about som secret mariage with the Maxwells: and ther is som secret traynes devised by him against Jhonston. For that cause, Jhonstons is heere now, making a faction with a new courtier, who would fayne bee highe. Ther bee fower of them still together on the night.

"The Kinge, Queene, and Octavians do all agree in one in all thinges. The Lord Threasurer with his three offices, and a faction with him of serten barrons, would fayne make a part to excuse the fact of the ministers, and to procure thire peace. They have delt much and dayly doe with the Earle of Argile to be on thire part. But the Kinge understanding all this, is as busie quoyetly, and his spies in Argiles court, holding him still in oppinion that it is better to hold with his Majestie then to bee solliciter otherwise, in remembrance of the effect of his last journey.

"My lord Hambleton is surly detract, by the quoyet lettres of the ministers. But the Kinge and he laughes well at the matter.

"It is suposed that the Lorde Hamilton and B., shall meet shortly at his palace of Knerveill (fn. 3) beside Lithgo, where the Kinge and all his counsell will resorte agayne the last day of this instant."

pp. No address or indorsement.

485. Sir W. Bowes to Sir R. Cecil. [Jan. 31.]

While in "instant expectation" of her Majesty's further pleasure in answer to our former letters, our general letters will advertise the present state of business.

Conceiving that the true sight of the end can best show and order the means, I have thought fit to acquaint your honor with some principal circumstances, to that purpose. Notwithstanding the proclamations and commands of the wardens, the people will neither from despair bring in their bills, nor from fear, prosecute the murders of their nearest friends: nor do the thieves desist from daily new attempts on both sides in every wardenry, notwithstanding the best means devised by all the commissioners,—showing the miserable state of this country,—both in the minds of the poor and honest, as also in the pride and disobedience of the "ravenous" malefactors.

Touching invasions (which I conceive to be limited to persons "carrying" the King's authority, thus distinguished from incursions of private persons) committed of late, I find but two, viz. "that of Buckclugh in surprise of Carleill castell, which her Majestie hathe reserved to her owne orderinge, and that of Sir Robert Kerr in surprise of Swinburne castell."

Touching murders, I know not the certain number, as well through the complainers' slackness, as by some negligence in the former wardens, "enterteigninge that common error against the direct wordes of the treatie, namely, that murthers shoulde be reserved to the princes themselves to redresse, and so tyme burieth them in forgetfulnes." But they are great and horrible, men killed in their beds, and this impunity making them worse. I think Buccleuch will be found guilty of above 20 murders, he present and chief actor, some said to be done with his own hand. His followers, specially the Armstrongs and Ellottes in Liddesdale, "now his inheritaunce," were partakers in these, besides slaying many. Sir Robert Kerr it seems to me, will be found guilty of about 16, 12 of them the Queen's soldiers serving under Captain Bellasses, near Eslington, when Buccleuch and he attacked it with 1500 horse, taking prisoners the captain and 9 of his men, and great spoils of Sir Cuthbert Collingwood and others' goods, without any quarrel of their own, but in favour of their followers, then at feud with Sir Cuthbert—which attempt though filed by bill, is yet unsatisfied. So the Burnes and Younges followers of Sir Robert, in revenge for one of their name "chaunceably" killed in England by Sir Cuthbert's man rescuing goods, "I am informed" have since murdered 35 Collingwoods, and entered two other feuds, one with Sir Robert Carey and his servants, for lawfully executing a Burne taken stealing, who confessed killing 4 of the Collingwoods—the other with the officers, &c., of the Earl of Northumberland at Alnwick, for killing one of their name in a rescue of English goods, which they have lately attempted to revenge "with unusuall presumption."

The value of the spoils by the Scots in these three Marches since the last commission by Lord Hunsdon "anno 1587," amounts to 10,458l. 17s. 8d. in the East, 28,098l. 8s. 5d. in the Middle, and 54,422l. in the West Marches—in all, 92,989l. 6s. 1d. Whereof the two Tevedailes under Kerr, and Liddesdale under Buccleuch, "are charged with neer three partes." For redress of which I see small hope, their dispositions being such—for adding Johnston to the other two, "none of the three having yet lived to the age of xxxtie," each is guilty of no less than 20 murders "of his owne or our nation!" If it might please her Majesty to insist on their delivery, as we have already demanded in her name, she might justly remove two of these "monstrous depravers of the Border manners," thus weakening the opposite March, by enmity between the new wardens and the old, and the great surnames aforesaid, and also have the heads of the Younges, Bournes, Armstrongs, and Ellots delivered: and if it please her to proceed against them as she may lawfully, secundum leges patriæ in qua deliquerint, and execute some few of the condemned, "with secrete composition made before with the Scottishe King (for savinge some of our owne which may have falted in murther) to execute only suche on eyther syde as shall have slaine more then three"—it would be a comfort to her people, a terror to those murderers, and the others remaining at her mercy would be good hostages for the rest. They might most fitly be imprisoned at York, and the long protracting punishment would be the best security for good order. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

486. The Commissioners to Robert Bowes and his Reply. [Jan. 29–31.]

(1) We see by your letter of 24th that Mr David Houme was sent by the Scottish commissioners for the King's directions touching amends for Sir Robert Ker's invasion, &c., before we went farther: also the persuasions used by you, and the likelihood, despite the stiffness of some of his council, that the King would qualify his instructions and thus hasten progress. But though we have had many meetings and settled divers articles with his commissioners, and hoped through them to have the King's answer before this, summoning complainants of our Marches to appear—yet finding yesterday on pressing them, that they either will not or "haply" cannot answer "yea or no," and have again sent for further instructions—we earnestly entreat you "eftsones" to move the King or his council, or both, to keep us no longer in suspense, for "by this included," you will see that unless by Monday next at night, or Tuesday morning early, we have notice from you or the commissioners here as to satisfaction for Sir Robert Ker's attempt, we must and will forbear to proceed further, but purpose to take our journey homeward, as being denied justice therein. For it is "nothinge like," her Majesty will relax her demand therein, so highly concerning her honour. Berwick, 29th January 1596.

1 p. Copy. Addressed at foot: To Bowes as treasurer of Berwick and ambassador at Edinburgh.

(2) (Bowes' reply.)

Yesterday forenoon I received yours of 29th by "this bearer George Klewghe," and first conferred with some counsellor, then sought access to the King that day. "This day in the eveninge the Kinge gave me audyence," when I reminded him of his former answers, opened the contents of your present letter, and earnestly moved for his order in the cause. After sundry allegations to justify Sir Robert, he "concluded" to advise with his council present, and send me their resolution: wherewith Mr Peter Younge was sent to me, viz., that the King and council would this night put in writing their full directions, &c., to be sent their commissioners, who to-morrow "(or neare thereaboutes)" will communicate them to you, and they will be such as in reason may satisfy you.

Soon after, the Lord Treasurer, Clerk Register, and Mr Peter Younge were sent to me, declaring that the King and council had ordered their commissioners to begin with the redress for Sir Robert Kerr's attempt at Swinburne, if none had been done by Englishmen in Scotland since the proclamation after that fact—if so, they shall begin with such later offence, according to Border custom and law.

The King hearing your purpose to hasten homewards, desires you to weigh well the importance of those causes, and expend some time in putting order to them—"which needlesse requestes" I leave to your respects.

As you required such speedy answer, I had no time to write more largely, aud have therefore "wrapped upp this hastilie." Edinburgh, "Mondaie 10 at night," last of January 1596. Robert Bowes.

pp. Copy in same hand. Addressed at foot: To the commissioners. "Copia vera," Signed: T. Duresm. (fn. 4) Indorsed.

487. The Scottish to the English Commissioners. [Jan. 31.]

We the commissioners for Scotland, do in his Majesty's name "crave and insist most earnestlie, that Maister Thomas Cranston, Archibalde Wauchop sometime of Nedrie younger, James Douglas somtyme of Spot, Alixander Home somtime of Prendergaist, and Maister Archibalde Dowglas, notorious and declared trators and rebells to his Majestie (and now avowedlie receitt within England, and speciallie, the said Archbaulde within Newcastle, and the said James Dowglas in dalie companie with the Lord Evers and his deputies, expresse against the treatyis and last league)," may be speedily and secretly apprehended and delivered to those appointed by his highness to receive them—according to your answer under your hands to our former articles, and his highness's requisition to your sovereign. Dunkell, George Houme, Fawdonsyde, Mr G. Younge.

½ p. Copy in same hand. Addressed at head: To the English commissioners. "Copia vera," signed: T. Duresm. (fn. 4) Indorsed.

488. The Commissioners' Instructions. [Jan.]

"A clause or two" of the Queen's instructions to the Border commissioners, 1596.

Referring to the neglect of justice by the wardens, and her Majesty's concurrence with the King of Scots for redress, their proclamations for peace till their commissioners should meet—yet besides others, Sir Robert Carre one of the wardens, openly invaded her realm in a hostile manner—for which special reformation must first be made before entering on any further matters.

And after they shall have received some good satisfaction for this offence, they shall proceed in order with the rest.

1 p. Copy in same hand. Indorsed by Burghley's secretary.


  • 1. 4 words holograph.
  • 2. Originally "Haltwhissel."
  • 3. Kinniel.
  • 4. These 4 words holograph.