Border Papers volume 2: April 1595

Pages 24-30

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

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47. Passport for George Seton, &c. [April 2.]

Licensing "Capten George Seaton gentleman of Scotland, with his wiff, his wiffes sonn, Absolon Pentlen, and John Hume, William Crawford, his servantes," to pass by London to foreign parts, with a black ambling "stond" horse, 16 hands high, a brown and a gray ambling nag, each of 14 hands, and a "dunde" ambling nag of 12 hands. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

1 p. Addressed (as before). Wafer signet as before: indistinct.

48. Provision at Berwick. [April 6.]

Stock remaining there 6th April 1595, declaration how long it will serve, and what is on the way thither, &c.

The bread is estimated to last till 14th September. The malt estimated to last till the 14th of December next, "if they brew not faster after Midsommer."

[The details of the daily service of rations, &c., to the garrison, follow.] Rob. Vernon.

1 p. A copy by Carey's clerk. Indorsed (as title).

49. John Carey to Burghley. [April 8.]

I hear by most of my friends, that I am most infinitely bound to your honour, and by your means to her Majesty, in defending "my inosent injuryes," and can say no more but "God rewarde you."

Touching this poor town, as I see no likelihood of amendment, I must deal more plainly than hitherto, fearing the fault will be laid on my own shoulders, and must assure your lordship and the rest of the Council, that unless present order be taken "out of hand," the town will be undone, for there is no provision to speak of. There is no help from the "pallace," as the custom was in dear years, "a man weare mutch better dwell at London:" and the poorer sort and many housekeepers are giving up housekeeping and go begging, yea even the better sort find their "porsyone of want" also. And for the Queen doing anything for Vernon, it is "but to shoote one arrowe after another," he is so deep in debt in Norfolk and elsewhere. I send herewith a certificate of the provision in the "pallace," showing what has been brought since my last, and yet on his own saying the two ships last come are all we are to look for till Michaelmas.

Also the purveyor of beef and mutton now here, tells me plainly that unless Vernon satisfy him, as he promised to do at Lady day last, and is now two years behind—he will provide no more. So we shall be in good case at Easter, when we shall get nothing except from the Scots! I would not write thus against "the poor gentleman" without great cause.

I also inclose the defaults of muster taken on the 3rd. There is no news in Scotland, "but such as is sent upp to Mr Bowes by the leard of Weamses man, who as I heare is come with certen letters of consperycy from the King, that were taken in Flaunders and sent to the King by the Estates, and other thinges taken from a Jesuite apprehended at Leeth." The King and Queen are now at Stirling, where they mean to remain some long time. The King has made kindness between the Earl of Mar and the Chancellor, but how long it will hold God knows.

On the 3rd Mr John Calvyn had his remission and pardon proclaimed at Stirling, and goes openly to Court. If it pleased her Majesty, I think he might be a "good instrument" there.

Praying leave still to come up but for 12 days if her Majesty please in this quiet time. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

Inclosed in the same:—

(1) Survey of the store in the "Old Pallaice" or victual office under Robert Vernon's charge, taken by John Crane comptroller and Captain Carvill appointed thereto by the deputy governor.

Bread corn,—wheat, rye and meal, 380 qrs. Drink corn,—malt, 170 qrs.; 50 whereof heated in the ship, but if aired and mixed with good malt, it will be "serviceable." Horse provender,—"peason," mixed with a few beans, heated in the ship, "all rotten and noughte," 42 qrs. "Oates, null."

"Acates," viz., 4 firkins butter; 4000 cod "wett and drye;" 100 liugs; herrings, "null;" cheese, "null."

(fn. 1) It is a pitteyus thinge that the horsemen have not had a note (fn. 2) sines Mycahellmas, nor all this towen hathe not had nether aney whit heringes all this Lent, wiche wold a byn a good helpe to the poer." Signed: John Crane, Robart Carvill.

1 p. Indorsed.

(2) Defaults of musters taken 3rd April.

Absentees with or without passports, from the companies of John Carey, Sir William Read, Robert Carvill and five other captains, the gunners, artificers, horsemen and pensioners, 60. Signed: Jhon Carey, John Crane. Note at foot by Burghley: "The garrison is about 1m heades."

3 pp. In Crane's writing. Indorsed.

50. The Mayor of Hull to Carey. [April 8. 1595.]

Of the provision of grain in these parts made by Mr Vernon for Berwick, there remain to be shipped betwixt 300 and 400 qrs., the most of which had been laden ere this time, but the justices of Lincolnshire and the customer of this town, stayed the same till the Privy Council's pleasure be further known—which I think will be shortly, as Mr Vernon has written to the Lord Treasurer thereon. I thought good to certify you. Kingstonupon-Hull. Signed: Robert Taillor, maior.

½ p. Addressed: "To the worshipfull my very loving frend Mr John Cary deputie governour of Barwick be this delivered." Indorsed.

51. Vernon to Burghley. [April 13.]

I declared your pleasure to Mr Carey, who tells me he will in two or three days certify you of the provision here, and what is coming from Hull by the Mayor's certificate to him, and the good opinion all men have of my sufficiency for service here. Meantime I send a certificate signed by Sir John Selby, Sir William Reade, and Mr Comptroller, of their twenty years' knowledge of me here, and trust, though this year has been very chargeable to me from the dearth, yet by God's help, to end it with goodliking of all, and that He will send a more plentiful year the next. But mean time there is no want of anything here, as will appear by their certificate. I still beseech your honour for relief at her Majesty's hand for my great losses in service here, as shall seem best to you. I intend by the grace of God to be with your honour shortly after Easter. Berwick. Signed: Robert Vernon.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Selby's, &c., certificate.)

Vernon having declared to them the Lord Treasurer's pleasure that they should give their opinions of his sufficiency and store for the garrison, they certify that for twenty years he has amply served them in all respects till this dear year, when the horsemen were short of pease and oats, getting double allowance of bread instead—and no other want to speak of. They doubt not he will make full provision "and better cheape" than this year, wherein he is like to be a great loser. They attest his long experience and upright dealings with the garrison, never doing wrong the value of a penny in weight or measure, but good and pleasure to many, even to his own hindrance. Signed: Jhon Selbye, Wyllyam Reed, John Crane.

1 p. Indorsed by Burghley: "13th Aprill 1595. Sir John Selby, Sir Wylliam Reed, Jhon Crane."

52. Passports for George Kyer, &c. [April 14.]

Licensing the bearers "George Kyer, gentleman of France, and Henry Leviston and William Kyer, gentlemen of Scotland, with their attendantes William Dwre, John Hume, Nicholas Destampes and Robart Blenched Scotsmen," recommended by their King, to pass by London to foreign parts, with one ambling white "stond" horse 18 hands high, an ambling gray gelding of 17 hands, an ambling gray "stond" horse of 18 hands, another ambling gray "stond" horse of 18 hands, a "trotting" bay "stond" horse of 18 hands, an ambling gray "stond" horse of 16 hands, an ambling gray "stond" horse of 18 hands, and an ambling gray "stond" horse of 17 hands." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

1 p. Addressed (as before). Indorsed by Burghley: "Comended by Roger Aston to be brought." Wafer signet as before: Carey's shield of 9 quarters. Crest: a unicorn (or griffin's) head. Clear impression.

53. Robert Ardern to Burghley. [April 15. 1595.]

A note of the Queen's garrison in Berwick and the allowance of victuals, &c., for the same.

The garrison with the retinue of the Lord Governor and the officers, contains under the establishment, 1000 men or thereabouts, victualled as follows:—

One man daily, 5d. and 4d. over each month; per month of 28 days, 12s.; per half-year of 6 months, 14 days, 78s.; per year of 13 months, 1 day, 7l. 18s. 5d. For 1000 men the month 600l; the half-year 3900l.; the year 7820l. 16s. 8d. For which 5d. Mr Vernon must allow by his covenant to each man—bread called "cheat bread, baked and cold from the oven," 24 oz. for 1d.; "soldier's beare" 30s. the tun, 1 "pottle" 1d.

On flesh days, 4 in the week, 208 in the year—beef or mutton, from Easter to 25 June, at 1¾d. a pound—from Midsummer to 1 January at 1¼d.; and from 1 January to "Shrovetide" at 1¾d.

On fish days, 3 in the week, 156 in the year—butter at 3d. the lb.; cheese at 1½d. Fish,—lings, 14d. a piece; cod, 10d.; red herrings, 12s. "the cade;" white herrings, 26s. 8d. the barrel.

"Wine vinegar—"the hogshead of 60 gallons at 6d.; a quart for 1½d. "Roughe tallowe," 2d. per lb.

No man's allowance to exceed 12s. a month.

Horsemeat to be made yearly,—beans 500 qrs. at 12s. the qr., 300l.; oats 500 qrs. at 4s. 8d. the qr., 116l. 13s. 4d. Total allowances of victuals, &c., 8237l. 10s. Signed: Robert Ardern.

2 pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley: 15 April 1595, Arderns book."

54. Robert Ardern to Burghley. [April 15.]

"Under correction," considering that there should be a "remaine" in store every year after victualling the garrison, it will be needful to have an imprest of 2000l. over and above the estimate—making in all, 10,237l. 10s. And as provisions are so dear in England, I think "(by your lordships favour)" wheat and rye may be speedily provided "at Anserledam or Ankewson in North Holland" for Berwick, much cheaper than here. And if the dearth continue, a part may be had from "Danske"

If the wheat is bought not over 23s. 4d. the qr., the 2d. loaf may contain 48 oz., as it should do, and "beare out" the charges, as freight, fuel, milnage, wages, &c. If over that price, a loss will arise on every quarter.

If malt is bought under 15s. the qr., the beer may be sold at 30s. the tun.

The like with the beef, mutton, &c., if bought higher than as set down.

"Therefore to be holpen by the carefull and true service of one that hath skill to devide the time." Signed: Robert Ardern.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley: "15 April 1595. Ardens declaration for victellyng at Barwyk."

55. Note as to Buying for Berwick. [April 15.]

That some man of credit and skill be sent to the Eastern counties, with money and instructions to provide wheat, malt, &c, under direction of the justices of peace, to see the Queen's money properly bestowed.

Thomas Clarke at Berwick to be ordered to make lofts and office houses to receive it, and issue as before to the soldiers, as he has used.

A man of credit to be sent to the Bishopric and Yorkshire to buy beef and mutton, under the direction of three justices of peace. One Alen Barker who acted for Mr Vernon, is a fit man for one. The provision to be delivered to Clarke as above.

To move the Queen for the balance of two years' pay, that Captain Selby is here suing for.

1 p. Indorsed by Burghley: "15 April 1595. From Mr Selby." Marginal notes also by him.

56. John Carey to Burghley. [April 19.]

Scotland is very quiet now—but of late there was a tumult in Edinburgh on a report that Bothwell had landed at the Earl's ferry, which caused great fear for the time. "The King and Queene are now presently at some little difference, for the King wilby no meanes be drawne to come to Edenbroughe, whereto his Counsell have by all meanes they cane perswaded him, and the Queene shee will not in any case be keept from thence, who doth greatly desyer to have the custody and keeping of the young prince into her owne custody and keeping, which the King will not in any sorte yeald unto, notwithstanding that the Queene is very earnestly bent to have it so."

I received by the customer's hand a letter of 23rd March signed by your lordship and Sir John "Foskew" to revoke the custom from the farmers and deliver it to the Queen's officers, which I have done, with the willing assent of the Mayor and aldermen for their interest. As to the reckoning with them for the past year, and their delivery of the money drawn for custom since Christmas, to the customer, as you ordered: they say when in London last, they reckoned with the Queen's four surveyors general of custom, and since then they have many more to make which cannot be done here. And any money due since Christmas is still in the merchants' hands. So they beg your honour to wait till the beginning of the next term, when the Mayor and some of his brethren mean to come up and account.

I send a bill of most needful works, which cannot well be long delayed, or the charge will be far greater. I still beg leave to come up, and will not fail an hour of my time to return, be it ever so little. Mr Vernon is newly come here, who begs me to write in his behalf, but I dare not say much, seeing little hope of the amendment he promises, but that it grows worse and worse. I inclose a letter from the Mayor of Hull to me. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

Berwick, 19 April 1595. Report on the necessary works formerly certified to the Lord High Treasurer, and now merely revived to his memory.


First.—The long bridge over Tweed in great decay—(whereof part was repaired in the years 1593 and 1594)—for which coals and timber remain yet in store.

The Cowgate and bridge in such decay that none dare ride over the latter—nor the night watch, &c., pass—as formerly reported.

Smiths' forges—as formerly reported.

The glass windows of the Governor's house blown down and broken so that none can lodge in it.

Defects in the old town wall next the river—and the battlements so low that some of the watchmen have been killed or maimed, falling over them.

The surveyors point out how these being promptly done, would save the Queen double and treble. Signed: John Crane, Willm Acrigge.

pp. Written by Crane. Indorsed.

57. Estimate for Berwick Garrison. [April 19. 1595.]

To victual 981 men for 7 months at 28 days in the month, from 19 April till 31 October.


Wheat, 858 qrs. 3 bushs. at 23s. 4d. the qr., by the old covenants, 4 cwt. to the qr 1,001l. 8s. 9d.
Now 40s. the qr 1,716l. 16s.
Excess of price 715l. 6s. 3d.
Difference between malt at 15s. and 28s. a qr. now. 390l.
"oats at 4s. 8d. and 10s. 6l. 13s. 4d.
"beef or mutton at 1¾d. a lb. and 2½d. 239l. 2s. d.
"butter at 3d., now 6d. " 294l. 6s.
beans at 12s., now 18s. a qr 150l.
Total provisions at the rates of the old covenants 4,144l. 10s. 3d.
Total at the new rates 6,735l. 11s. 11d.

2 pp. Broad sheets. Annotated by Burghley. Indorsed by him: "A certificat of provision for Barwyk made by Mr Robt Bowes and [ ] Arden for 981 men for 7 months."

58. John Carey to Burghley. [April 25.]

The sending of my last letter about the decayed works here was not without great cause—for since, a great part of the town wall is fallen, and more likely to fall daily. It is so "slender," that a man may shake it with his hands or a staff. The next spring tide will bring it all down. That your lordship may understand whereabout it is, "I will so neare as I cane, appointe you in the mape where you shall finde it." When I first came here I sent you by Captain Bowyer 2 maps, "a little one and a great." If you have not lost them, "there is in the little mape written, 'the pallace'—this breache that is fallen, is even against the last letter 's' of the same worde 'pallace'; that is the full sea, also that is written over against yt. In your great mape of the towne as it now is, yt is in the myde way between D and E, somewhat nearer D than E."

Praying your honour it may be timely looked to, also the "Kowe gate bridge is cleane rotten."

Scotland is very quiet, save of late a rumour that Bothwell was come to these parts caused some little stir.

Inclosed is a note of a certain progress intended by the King and Queen of Scots—intreating you if it so fall out, to signify your counsel and the Queen's pleasure, how I shall behave myself. Whether the Queen will have any honour bestowed on them, or if I shall withstand their coming so near the town? Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet.

Inclosed in the same:—

"Mr William Hume of Bassenden brother unto Sir James Hume of Cowdenknowes, sent me worde that the King and Queene majesties hath purposed about xxtie dayes or a moneth hence, to have a prograce into Lowdian and the Marse, from Edenbroughe to Ceton, and from thence to Northbarwik, and so to Bell, a house of the Larde of Basses, and from thence to Brocksmouth, and so to Donglace to the Lord Humes, and from thence to Weitherborne, and eyther in the way thether, or from thence, to come into the boundes of Barwik so neare unto the towne as that they may have a sight and vewe thereof—the which the Queene greatly desyreth, and so from Weitherborne to Macarstone, from thence to Lawder to the Lord Chaunceller his house, and there to remayne viij or ten dayes."

Written by Carey's clerk.

(1) Another copy in same hand.

59. Passport for Captain W. Hamilton, &c. [April 27.]

Licensing the bearers "Capten William Hammiltoun, and Capten Boswell, gentlemen of Scotland, with their servantes Thomas Freiswell, James Hammiltoun and Lenarde Jarre; and John, and James Boswell gentlemen of Scotland," bound by London for foreign parts, commended by the King's letter to Carey—with a white ambling and trotting "stone" horse 17 hands high, an ambling gray nag of 13 hands, an ambling black gelding of 15 hands, a bay ambling and trotting "stonde" horse of 16 hands, a bay ambling "stond" horse of 14 hands, a white ambling gray gelding of 15 hands, a trotting iron gray "stond" horse of 15 hands, a black ambling and trotting gelding of 15 hands, an ambling and trotting dapple gray gelding of 16 hands—to pass without let, &c. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

1 p. Addressed (as before). Oval quartered wafer signet: indistinct.


  • 1. In Carey's hand.
  • 2. "An oat."