Border Papers volume 2: June 1595

Pages 33-37

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

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70. The Captains, &c., of Berwick to Burghley. [June 2.]

We thank your lordship for your late care of us through the "intercours" of our deputy governor, who hath acquainted you with all "causses" more than was usual in Sir Henry Woodryngton's time. Thus the two wants of money and munition being effected, "the third and treangle stantyone, now joyntly to sustaine the state of this garyson or anye other, is the victuelling of it." Mr Governor has certified truly of the small store here, in discharge of his duty, as the victualler's "counter note" admits; and on 30th of last, informed us that Mr Vernon had shown your lordship under some of our hands, that the complaints against him were unfounded. If this be true, it came from none of us "ressedent" here, but from some continual absentees, who are careless of this place. But "wee both captaines and constables that lyve uppon our chardge . . . still continew our humble intreatye, not against the victuellor, who is an honnest gentelman, but against his wantes and victuelling, the which hereafter in parsell we sett downe." By Mr Governor's command, we with the comptroller, surveyed the store in the office and send the report by him.

The captains' answer to Mr Vernon.

First.—He says he delivers 5s. daily in bread for 50 men, thus 10d. more than his contract for 1d. per man. We answer, though the petty victuallers confess this, yet at 7 days to the week, a penny daily for 50 men comes but to 29s. 2d., and his extra 10d. is only weekly not daily. And instead of 12d. to each man for 7 days' bread, he only gives 8d. for 7 days.

Second.—Instead of every man getting his "firken" of beer fortnightly, not a fourth of them gets it, though Mr Vernon says the contrary.

Third.—Beef or mutton he says is had when called for. Beef we have "in som reasonable sorte," but not full. Mutton this long time, none at all for the private soldier—though in our companies there are old and sick men who need it. For the fish, we refer to the survey on 31st May. He says that none will be taken before Michaelmas—and truly: for unless better than most of it, none will be taken at any time. For butter, cheese and herring, it is true we will take none, for there is none to take, and the soldier pays 6d. for what Mr Vernon is bound to serve at 4d. the lb.

The constables' wants, complaints and replies.

Beans due to the 80 horsemen from Michaelmas to May day "on kenning" to every horse for 30 weeks, 600 "boles." If in oats, a bushel per horse weekly in 30 weeks is 1200 "boles." Mr Vernon says he has delivered to the horse garrison from Michaelmas 1594 till Easter day 1595, oats, 47 bolls, and beans and peas, 278 bolls, equal to a "kening" of beans weekly. So for 15 weeks they have only received 301 bolls and for 15 weeks more we need 299 bolls.

For horsemeat, our wants in the 15 weeks from Michaelmas to May day are 90l. at 18d. weekly each man.

His allowances to the horsemen of double bread as he says, are short by 23s. 4d. weekly. And the four constables get none of their due allowances. Beseeching your lordship, both captains and constables jointly, for reform in these wants. Berwick. Signed: Robart Carvill, Antonye Tompson, John Twyforde, William Boyer, Jhon Fennicke, Josua Delavale, Leonard Morton.

3 pp. Annotated on margin by Burghley. Addressed. Indorsed.

71. Needful Repairs at Berwick. [June 2. 1595.]


The long bridge of Tweed, estimated cost of repair, 60l.
The Cowgate and bridge, estimated cost 320l.
The breach in the old town wall next Tweed behind the Governor's lodging, now fallen, to be done with hewn stone from the foundation, will cost, 73l.
Total, 453l.

[Memorandum (as formerly) by the reporters, from what source the money might be taken.] Signed: John Crane, James Burrell for the "surveior."

pp. In Crane's writing. Marginal notes by Carey: That Tweed bridge though "verey nedfull," may "beste be forborne," the other two being more "of nesessetey." Indorsed.

72. John Carey to Burghley. [June 3.]

After receipt of your letter of 24th May to know the most needful works here and cost, I sent her Majesty's officers to view and report, as your honour shall find inclosed.

You wrote of Mr Vernon's coming to Court, with letters from some of the captains that the garrison is well provided, and a note by him of the store, requiring me to inquire how it agrees? I called the captains and constables to see, who I think have certified your honour herein. For the captains who have written to the contrary, they are never here, and know nothing of our wants—specially Sir William Reade who cares not what scarcity is here, for he serves his own company with his own corn. If Mr Vernon's corn from Hull and Mr Jackson's were here, it might serve till near Michaelmas, but I doubt it coming at all without your help. I have caused the controller and 3 of the captains to see the store and set down a true note for your honour to judge of the other captains' account of it.

I have not complained of Mr Vernon "for any mallice to the man," for I love and wish him well, nor have we had any great want yet, though very ill served: but in discharge of my duty I must certify how things go here.

Your honour compares the old prices with the new rates for this dear year, and how the Queen will be a great loser—but the fault is not in us that want, but in Mr Vernon, that should have made provision in time. I see by your letter, that some would gladly take it this dear year, amending the rates to suit the time; wherein I cannot blame them if they can get it, but your honour is too wise to let the Queen be "over reched." For the old rate is a most honourable one with the great stock he had in hand, and many will take it, though providing now will go very hard: yet it must be done, always the best course.

Your postscript is true, that much corn of all sorts comes here daily by ships—"but what good is that to us" when there is scarce one man here able to buy a boll? There is no money, "save that one Mr Jackson a townsman" bought a ship load of some 500 qrs. rye. If Mr Vernon had been able, he could have had plenty of corn.

You find want of Scottish news "for lack of an embassetor," and require some from me. On the 10th May I certified your honour at large about the King and Queen, &c. Other news there is none—for since Bodwell and the other two earls going out of the country, all is quiet. "The King and Queene is to Starling," and shortly the great marriage shall be solemnized at Lythquo between young Lord Glaymes and the King's mistress. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

73. R. Vernon to Burghley. [June 4. 1595.]

Petitions (1) to be relieved by the Queen of his losses by the enemy, &c. (2) That the garrison either take weekly all their provisions supplied by him, proportionally, or else he shall not be bound to serve them. (3) That his artificers and labourers be paid in the bands and himself relieved. (4) To serve beef and mutton always at one price, 1¾d. a lb.; butter at 4d.; cheese 2d.; pease and beans 14s. a qr.; oats 6s. 8d. He will always have in store 1000 qrs. wheat, 1200 qrs. malt, 300 qrs. peas and beans, and 200 qrs. oats.

Asks his original contract to be thus amended owing to the rise in prices in the last 30 years. Not signed.

1 p. Written by his clerk. Indorsed by Burghley: "7 Junij 1595. Barwyk."

(1) Another copy. Indorsed: "4 Junij 1595."

74. Burghley's warrants for Berwick. [June 6.]

To Mr Scudamour—to pay Mr Raphe Ashton 3000l. for the garrison of Berwick for the first half year ended at the Annunciation last past, and 500l. under the Lord Treasurer's letter—taking the acquittance of Mr Bowes, treasurer, Berwick, for the whole sum.

Similar to Mr Clopton—2000l. for same half year, and any balance in his hands at the preceding Michaelmas, taking Bowes' receipt for the whole.

To [Mr Ralph Ashton].—Sending him the above at Bowes' request who is presently in the Queen's service "here," that he may receive the money and pay the garrison as directed.

2 pp. Drafts. Indorsed by Burghley's secretary.

75. Vernon's Reply to the Captains' Complaint. [June 7.]

[He denies or explains away each separate allegation—or that there is any shortcoming in his supplies.]

"The certificate that came in his behalf, was under the handes of Sir Jhon Selbie, Sir William Reade, and Mr Jhon Crane comptroller, whoe hee doubteth not but will at all times affirme what they have certified your lordship." Not signed.

2 pp. Written by his clerk. Indorsed partly by Burghley: "Mr Vernon his awnswer to the captaines letter of complaint, 7 Junij 1595."

76. Scrope to Burghley. [June 8.]

I take boldness to intreat your lordship for my sake that you will be favourable to Thomas Lancaster, whom I hear you have commanded to ward, and inlarge him on good bond till the end of next term, that he may come down to order his affairs and satisfy you. "I the rather desier this favour because I am informed that the Lowthers give oute they will entrepoize their credites againste myne for his contynuance in warde and in your lordshipes disfavour, if I shoulde do my uttermost to the contrary."

My chief cause in writing is to report proceedings between me and Buccleuch, who as I have expected is more inclined to disturb than to keep the peace, though he pretends the blame is with me.

His discontent as far as I can see, was that in the bill of Laristone, offer of delivery was made of John Grame son of Rob, a principal offender named in Buccleuch's complaint, and required though refused (as appears in the last indent of our deputies), and because the "receipter" to whom he had great quarrel, was not delivered. Also because, for the special benefit of his own friends, more than the other dwellers in his charge, I would not upon "his peremptorie and verie hawtie motion," agree to give redress to his friends wherever they dwell, for offences by my people—a thing never heard of before, and in my conceit inconvenient as touching the authority of other officers—and causing confusion in my charge. Because I refused this, he has since made great threats of disturbances—and this day I hear (though not for certain) of a great outrage in Gilsland by his people.

You have heard doubtless of the 4 Englishmen killed in Tynedale in Sir John Forster's charge, Buccleuch himself being present, "for revenge of an antient feede"—and the late slaughter of one Browne in Bewcastle. I would ask your advice whether to "poyne" again or refer the amends to those sent by her Majesty to negotiate with the King on other causes.

Some of the "Kanges of Steakhughe" commit great outrages here daily, and I can get no redress. They "shrowde" themselves under Buccleuch's protection, though dwelling in the West March. I would ask your lordship what "overlooke" her Majesty would give, if amends were taken of these "Kanges" by her subjects? Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

77. John Carey to Burghley. [June 13.]

Bothwell, Huntly and Erroll being "off the countrey," and the Court so far off, there is little news "stering." The King and Queen are still at Lythquo, by reason on her coming there, she "fell very sick and it is reported by most folke, that shee is parted with a bearne," but others think she is sick for policy, to see if thereby she can get her young prince into her own custody, which the King will not hear of. It stands hard which of them shall have the victory. She is set on by the Chancellor, Buccleuch, Cesford, and others of the nobility and council and the town of Edinburgh. The King resists it by Mar and his faction. The Earl of Mar and the Chancellor are likely to break out in greater hatred than before, if the King does not stop it "by his absolute authority." It is murmured and muttered there that Buccleuch and Cesford will break out on our Border, why I know not.

Though it is a thankless thing to meddle in other men's offices, I must let your lordship know what passes. I wrote long since of Cesford's foul outrage here, coming to Woller with 80 horse "and trumpett sownding," killing 2 men there and another at a town hard by. On 29th May I wrote to your honour of Buccleuch coming to Grenehugh, a widow's house in Tynedale, seeking for some of the Charletons, and not finding them he burned the house and corn, &c., in it, and went his way. He had very near 300 men, and in 8 days after, he came to the Bowghthill, and killed 4 of the Charletons, very able and sufficient men, saying he would come back soon and kill more of them. I did not write particulars, thinking my lord warden had written to the Council, but as sufferance encourages more outrages, I presume to advertise it now. Cesford lately came in to murder some of the Stories, once by Wark, as far as Twysell, and intended to come to Tweedmouth, but hearing that on the 9th instant being "Whytson Mondaye," they would be at a certain fair kept at Witwoode and would lie in a town called Eakell the night before, he came with 17 horse, and waited for them in the morning in the "highe strett" between Eakell and Hambleton, "to have killed them and all the fayre folkes passing by, but as hape was, the two Stories fearing such a thing, traveled most parte of the night and so escaped him." He then went quietly by Wetwood town's end, where most of the fair looked upon him and many met him. Thence to a town called Newton, where he drank, and discharged all his men but two, sending the others home through "Chevett." With his two men he went to Pawston, where he drank and talked with "the Laird," telling him he would have the Stories' lives "ear it were long." All this time no fray rose, nor any man asked him why he did so? So are they encouraged by sufferance. I must also remind your honour that now is the time if you mean to have works repaired—for the year "is well spent." Also for the half years pay, "for mony is here alredy at a noble in the pounde, and glad they can gett it so."

I would also desire your honour's pleasure touching the customer, who imposes new customs never taken, but referred to the Governor's discretion, as this—many Scottish men, our good neighbours in the Merse, who supply our markets with beef, mutton, veal, pork, and all kind of "pullyn," &c., without which we could not live, and when corn is plenty the Governor allowed them now and then to buy a "boule" of pease or beans or malt "as it fals out." Now the customer will have 5d. on every boll, and the town 2d., and each of the porters at the two gates, "pence a pece"—so there is 9d. risen on a boll. Or if a neighbour comes to town to buy a "cloke cloth," or cloth for "a jerkyn and a payre of hose," he must pay custom never before heard of. Yet I do nothing till your pleasure is known, but it will breed great inconvenience to the town, for they will not serve out markets if thus dealt with. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

78. Captain Boyer to Sir Robert Cecil. [June 24.]

I have presumed to send your honour this "platt" in hope you will accept of my "indevor more kyndelyer then the connynge or plainenes of the thinge maie desearve by commendacions": for first as moved by Mr Henry Lock, I presumed, and then on your honour's inclination for the "desirous knowledge of this place," and lastly Sir Robert Carey's favour to see it safe delivered, confirmed me. Berwick. Signed: Wil. Boyer.

¼p. Addressed: "To . . . Sir Robert Cycell . . ." Indorsed.

79. Scrope to Burghley. [June 28.]

Receiving the "bruite" both here and in Scotland of Buccleuch's purpose to attack this frontier: though I think it is but to make himself strong while in disgrace with his sovereign, as I hear—I thought it my duty to order all under my rule to be ready on the burning of the beacons, or on an hour's warning, to repel invasion. And to give your lordship notice in case of reports otherwise reaching you—and shall do so from time to time, begging you to acquaint her Majesty, and to vouchsafe her directions, and your own advice for my doings. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.