Border Papers volume 2: September 1597

Pages 394-410

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

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750. The Commissioners' fees. [Sept. 3.]

Note of payments by William Clopton esq., receiver of Northumberland as follows, viz.—

To the Bishop of Durham by warrant from the Lord Treasurer on 11 March 1596—for 50 days at 40s. daily from 6 January till 24 February following 100l.
Sir William Bowes, Francis Slingesbye, esq., and Dr Colmer under same warrant at 20s. each per diem 150l.
Summa 250l.
To the Bishop under the Lord Treasurer's warrant on 21st May for 36 days at 40s 72l.
To Dr Colmer in like manner at 20s 36l.
Summa 108l.

½ p. Indorsed by Burghley's secretary.

751. Scrope to Burghley. [Sept. 5.]

Your last of the 1st instant is received this day, wherby as I am sorry to hear you are not "well at ease (beesiching God dayly to graunt your lordship long and wished helth), soe I am not a leetle conforted by th'onorable care your lordship hath of my matters."

I have already sent the witnesses up, though as yet I have not heard what is become of them.

Whereas on the Carletons pleading innocence, the Lords thought not good to return them here under my authority, lest their lives and goods were indangered: "God forbid that ever I should eyther with cruell Joab, bee a thirster after inocent bloud; or with wiked Ahab, a desirer of other mens "goods! But my whole desire is, with good David," to labour in my government for peace and the common good. So if the truth may be confessed under their own hands "(which I intend to keepe secret for there owne creadit sake, soe long as they shall not by any new capitall offence deserve the contrary)," so also if they acknowledge their faults, and are truly humbled, becoming serviceable members under my government: in that hope I would sue for their absolution. But if otherwise they are to be justified and dismissed, I know it will be impossible for me to discharge rightly my service here.

"Now, wheras your lordship douteth that I have not Baclugh his owne hand to th'examinations, and his unfayned lettre under his owne hand: as I would be loth that your lordship should dout of this my advertisement, having them bothe procured by an honest and substenciall man who wilbee ready to attest the same before whosoever: so for the further remooving of all doubts in this point, I wilbe ready to send your lordship the true originall of the sayde lettre and examination signed, whensoever it shall please your lordship: only requesting your lordship so to use the reavealing of them, that therby heerafter my advertisementes out of Scottland may not bee hindered. And for your lordship farther satisfaction, I would have sent them unto your lordship, but that your lordship thincketh the testificat of a Scottisheman will not bee thought of sufficient force in this case. Yet that your lordship may bee thoroughly assured of the undoubted truth of the fact, upon notice had, I meane to send them unto your lordship."

Your lordship thinks her Majesty would be content if I forgive and admit them to like service as they did to my father: that is the thing I desire, provided first that they confess the truth, and that their former offences may be "recompenced with more faithful service."

"As for the suting for my office, I assure your lordship I am by creadible men both Englishe and Scottishe, therof informed": and doubt not (if I come up by your good means shortly) to satisfy you fully herein "(thoughe I wishe your lordship were allwayes so perswaded of mee, that I would bee very loth your lordship should heare otherwise at any tyme from mee then the truth is)."

As for the suting for my office, I assure your lordship I am by creadible men both Englishe and Scottishe, thereof informed": and doubt not (if I come up by your good means shortly) to satisfy you fully herein "(thoughe I wishe your lordship were allwayes so perswaded of mee, that I would bee very loth your lordship should heare otherwise at any tyme from mee then the truth is)."

As it seems her Majesty has been informed "that I company with, and give countenance to such as are popishlye affected (which greeves mee not a leetle to heare) yet as in this alsoe my hart doth cleare mee before my God, soe my actions being knowen unto men, I trust wilbee able suficiently to justifie mee herin to her Majestie: and I praye your lordship to sertifie mee whither any suche thinge hath bene reported to her Majestie? and I shall accept this for a very honorable favor from your lordship."

Not being very well, I intend to stay here at Bolton till I am advertised what final end the lords make of this matter: whereof, if leisure permit you, I would be right glad to hear. Bolton castle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

pp. Holograph; as also address. Not indorsed.

752. Scrope to Burghley. [Sept. 9.]

I send such news as "even now" I procured from Scotland. For my own matters, "I wholy and soly relaye theron," that the truth may "by your penetrative wisdom be brought to light, to the detecting of the wicked, and justifieng of the inocent: otherwise it is manifestly apparant by the insolent intollerable bragges of the frinds of my guiltie unpunished adversaris, that I shall never be able to execute justice in this place, as I instantly desire, to the dischardge of a good conscience." Bolton. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Holograph; as also address. Indorsed.

753. Eure to Burghley. [Sept. 15. 1597.]

The Bishop of Durham and Sir William Bowes have appointed to re-examine the presentments against me at Newborne on Tyne on the 20th instant: where I and the gentlemen "touched by the said jurie" purpose God willing to be. That day, as Sir William informed me, was set down for the delivery of the pledges at Norham: but on the ambassador's reasons to the commissioners they have altered it, as Sir William will make known to your lordship.

Your lordship's former favours, and especially now in defending my innocence to her Majesty, presses me to give most humble and hearty thanks. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: quartered.

754. Eure to Cecil. [Sept. 15.]

The day appointed by the commissioners, viz., 20th instant, at Norham, for delivery of the pledges, is, as the ambassador in Scotland writes, "utterlie disannulled," and that day to hold at Newborne upon Tyne, to rëexamine the inquisition against myself and others, where we all purpose to be. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed:" … Receaved 19th …"

755. Scrope to Burghley. [Sept. 21.]

Since inclosing my other letters to your honor and "her Majesties secretarie," I have received this inclosed from Mr Bowes the ambassador, "this nyght at eleven of clocke, being (with your good lordships favor) in my bedd": which I dispatch with the others as hastily as I could, showing the King's answer as to the entry of the pledges. (fn. 1) Having already caused my deputy to have ours ready for this March, as it is far from the West ford of Norham, and in truth neither of us knows what pledges are to be entered for the opposite West March, or for Liddesdale, as the commissioners only set them down "generally" without division of the offices. Bolton. Signed: Th. Scroope.

"I have direction to my deputie, that no defect that shalbe in me."

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(R. Bowes to Scrope.)

On a late audience of the King, and my motions as to the pledges, &c., he declared to me, though the meeting had been appointed on the 20th instant at the west ford of Norham, yet the time was now "so strait," and this country "so visited with plauge" all over the Borders, &c., it cannot be kept. He thought it meet, and promises for his part, that the commissioners shall meet there on the 29th, "then and there" to exchange the pledges for the East and Middle Marches, and will send Lord Home and Sir George Home of Wedderburne, authorised. And being resolved to discharge the Laird of Johnston from the wardenry of his West Marches, and "plant therin the Larde of Dumlangrig"; for this and other bussiness, he was determined to repair to Dumfries towards the end of this month, expecting that some of the pledges who refused to enter to Johnston, would submit to himself And as Johnston if discharged, cannot present the pledges, nor can Drumlanrig till established in the office—he desired that the 7 pledges for that March be respited till 20th October next, and their delivery be in some convenient place on the West March. For the full delivery on the 29th instant at Norham, he offered, that if Johnston "(presentlie in the castle here at Edenbroughe)" either refuses or cannot deliver "the west pledges," then he will deliver Johnston to satisfy her Majesty.

Yet as it may be inconvenient to accept Johnston, who is "now in displeasure with the King, and so feaded with some of the pledges and others, as they will practise his ruyne and purchasse their owne safeties," I having no warrant to change former appointments, received these as the King's offers which he promises to perform, on her Majesty's acceptance. Having reported them to the Lord Treasurer and Sir William Bowes, I prayed in my letter to the former that your lordship might be speedily advertised of her Majesty's pleasure. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's secretary. Wafer signet (Bowes): faint.

756. Extracts from Presentments against Eure, &c. [Sept. 21.]

"Detectes summarily drawen out of the former presentment of the gentlemen jurors of thEast and Middle Marches of Englande upon their oathes against the Lord Eure lord warden of the Middle Marches and his officers, &c., and delivered by the right reverend father in God Tobie bushop of Duresme and Sir William Bowes knight her Majesties commissioners, to the said lord warden and other the persons following, at Newbourne haugh the xxjth of September 1597, Regine Elizabethe xxxix no ."


Against Lord Eure.

Art. 1. Failure to keep days of truce.

3. As to the 80 horsemen and their disposal.

4. That he denied John Browne aid against the Burnes, who pursued him for slaughter of one of their name—and denied him justice on a bond against Jock Burne of the Coate, although he took assurance of Sir Robert Kerr for Thomas Perecie, who was also present at said slaughter.

5. His heavy fines on his tenants.

8. His reset of Welton, Black Will Ridley, John Charleton and other outlaws, &c., formerly named.

Against Raiph Mansfeild.

Art. 3. His misuse of the 30 horsemen allowed him.

8. Reset of Lionel Charleton.

10. Hunthill and Littleheugh Scotsmen have "sheeperaikes" of him, and gave him 20 score sheep of "one Dyeforcalde Scottishman."

12. His extortions of 15 score head of cattle and 400 sheep—conveyance of Cesford to Toplif to buy a horse—caused 2 Englishmen to fight before Buccleuch at Hawick—till one was slain.

Against William Fenwick.

Art. 3. Misuse of his 10 horsemen.

8 and 12. Reset of outlaws—and oppressions in his office.

Against Nicholas Whitfeild.

12. Misappropriation of felons' goods.

Against John Lisle.

Art. 12. Assisted in taking Cesford to Toplif.

"Copia vera: Tobie Duresm." (fn. 2)

pp. Indorsed.

757. The Commissioners to Eure. [Sept. 22.]

Requisition by the Bishop of Durham and Sir William Bowes, the Queen's commissioners, to Lord Eure lord warden, &c. "At Newborne haugh the xxijth of September 1597, Regine Elizabethe xxxix. no ."

Signifying, that though the Queen had allowed him 80 horsemen to strengthen his March, with little benefit as yet to the country, yet she was pleased to be at the charge of 20 more in addition. Requiring him in the Queen's name to inform them, 1. Where the 80 horse be? 2. What number of the horses are with him? 3. What furniture was sent home and what remains? 4. In what serviceable state are the remaining horses? 5. How the wants of the 80 horsemen can be supplied to make up the new band? So that her Majesty or the country may be charged with no more than the 20 new men. Moving him for an early answer. "Copia vera: Tobie Duresm." (fn. 2)

1 p. Indorsed.

758. The Commissioners to the East and Middle March juries. [Sept. 22.]

Requisition by the Bishop of Durham and Sir William Bowes the Queen's commissioners, &c., to the gentlemen of the two juries of the East and Middle Marches; "at Newbourne haugh the xxijth of September 1597, Regine Elizabethie, &c., tricesimo nono."

Whereas in your late certificates in answer to our articles, you notified to the Queen's Majesty among the causes of the decay of your country, sundry great oversights in government both by Lord Eure lord warden of the Middle March, as by Raiph Maunsfeilde keeper of Riddesdale, William Fenwicke keeper of Tyndale, and Nicholas Whitfeilde bailiff of Hexham, officers under him: whereon the Council having demanded accompt of the Lord Warden, he hath so replied, that her Majesty conceives that "misunderstanding" rather than "matter," has caused this mislike between her warden and you; and has commanded us "to travell seriously" in examining and composing these dangerous differences, and we having had sundry conferences with you severally and together now require you as follows:—First—Whereas the examination consists in the review of such particular charges, as your presentment imposes on the lord warden: we find by the exception taken by him, that the matters are conveyed in so general terms, that neither direct answer can be made, nor judgement grounded thereon—and require you more particularly to deliver the material and important points and due circumstances in writing "(as wee have more at large by our speach moved you, and needes not heere to be repeated)" this we think best both for the lord warden framing his answer, and our discharge, and especially satisfying her Majesty. As it has been intimated to her, that "sinister respectes of displeasure" borne by you, or persons of credit with you, towards him and his officers, hath moved the others to "touch" his lordship and them further than her Majesty's service required: we in her name move you, besides the above particulars, to "sett downe the dyrect proofes, with the persons names, the tymes, places, and other due circumstances in like cases requisite." And as this may seem to you "to expose the persons of the informers to more perill then were convenient," we assure you the same shall be made known to none but her Majesty and the lords of her Council, who "will carry it as beseemeth all parties best," Lastly we earnestly require you that in deed, word, and countenance, you will behave yourselves Christianly and dutifully to the lord warden, conforming yourselves to such peaceable accord as your consciences must needs teach you to be agreeable with the law of God, and necessary for the estate of your miserable distressed and wasted country. "Copia nera: T. Duresm." (fn. 3)

pp. Indorsed.

759. Scrope to Burghley. [Sept. 22.]

"I have receaved her Majesties writ to attend the parlement," and am preparing to repair to Court as soon as I can. This causes me to remind your lordship of "the former proceedings between your lordship and mee touching my sonnes mariage, which I greatly desire, if it may soe stand with your lordships goode likinge, to have concluded before my returne into the countrey.

"I have sent my sonne for avoyding losse of tym, to Oxforde, where (God willing) he shalbe ready to be sent for as shall please your lordship eyther to be maried (which I most desire) if our proceedings grow to such end as I hope they shall): or otherwise too be disposed of as shall please your lordship. And my selfe wilbee also readye to give suche assurance for the full perfecting therof as shall stand with your lordships pleasure. I am bolde to signifie thus much to your honor, to th'intent your lordship may take consideration therof before that tyme, for I would bee sorie to have this conclution further defferred, havinge so apt occation now to perfect the same. I have given order that such of my evidences as I hope wilbe needfull, and also my learned counsell, shalbee ready in the begining of the nexte terme to attend suche as your lordship shall for that purpose assigne. And I meane to acquaint my wife, and other my sonnes honorable frinds, with our proceedings in the premises, after I shall understand som part of your lordships pleasure therin, and not before."

I inclose such occurrents as I have from Scotland … As for the Carletons: if your lordship be not yet persuaded of their guilt, I hope to make it manifest at my coming up, and then to be directed as you think best for me. I have sent Mr Secretary a copy of my instructions to my deputy in my absence, and requested him to show it to your lordship first. Bolton. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Holograph; as also address. Indorsed.

760. Scrope to Cecil. [Sept. 22.]

I see her Majesty has been informed I was to blame for not having my pledges ready at the day, and also for prolonging the commissioners' stay at Carlisle, as my people were not ready to answer: which both were most untrue, for the pledges were all ready except two of the Grames, for whom I offered to deliver my deputy. Yet you know how little power I have over them: "wherin Sir William Bowes might have sertified her Majestie, and had done himselfe nothinge but right." The commissioners were but 6 weeks at Carlisle, for a month of which they could not resolve how to begin, and in 10 days they filed above 2000 bills of the Middle and West Marches; "which was done in great hast, but I fear they wilbe slow enoughe in deliverie!"

Having received her Majesty's writ to parliament, I intend to set out for London shortly. Meantime I send you a copy of the instructions for my deputy in my absence, which I pray you first show to my lord your father, then to the Queen and Council. Bolton castle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Holograph; as also address: "To the right honorable his very lovinge frinde Mr Secretarie," &c. Indorsed: "22 September 1597. Lord Scroope to my master … Instructions given to Mr Leighe to governe the Marche in his absence."

Inclosed in the same:—

(Instructions by Scrope to Henry Leighe, esq.)


Under 12 heads:—

(1) To keep the peace, and prevent incursions into Scotland.

(2) To proceed with Buccleuch or his deputy according to the late indent between Scrope and him, taking the latest offences first, "for examples cawse."

(3) To have the pledges ready for delivery when called for by Sir William Bowes.

(4) As to dealing with persons complained upon by Buccleuch; and if "fowlle," to cause them, or their officer or master to be answerable, failing the principal.

(5) To confer with the chiefs and special men of all surnames to keep good order, and neither to ride in Scotland, nor assist Scots, contrary to the truce.

(6) To persuade all border men to suffer no Scots riders to enter England, or return to Scotland to the harm of Englishmen, but to spy and watch for prevention, as they tender the warden's "good lykinge of their service."

(7) To call before him, and direct the officers next the border to have due watch kept, and their men ready for service.

(8) As to following frays under penalties for negligence.

(9) For "plumpe" watches besides the ordinary watch.

(10) On truce days to have a sufficient number of the best horsemen with him.

(11) That all Scrope's own servants who ought to keep horses, be presently furnished, and ride with Leighe when ordered.

(12) As Scrope would do if occasion required,—to take advice and counsel of the oldest and most experienced gentlemen of the wardenry in all matters of importance or difficulty. He is to take the advice of Scrope's "cosin" Richard Lowther, and his "verie frendes," Nicholas Curwen, James Bellinghame, Thomas Strickland, Wilfryd Lawson, John Mydleton, and Edmond Dudley, to whom he has written in that behalf.

pp. Written by his clerk. Indorsed.

761. The Commissioners to the Council at York. [Sept 23.]

The Queen's pleasure being that the Scottish pledges be kept about York, we require your grace and the rest to command the sheriff of York to be ready at Croft bridge with his furnished men, to receive the bodies of about 20 pledges from the sheriff of the Bishopric "by bill indented," on 2d October about 11 hours in the forenoon, and conduct them safely to York, to be kept by your grace and the rest in safe custody till her Majesty's further pleasure. Newbourne. Tobie Duresme, Will'm Bowes.

½ p. Copy. Addressed at foot: "To the most reverend father in God, our very good lord, the lord Archbishops grace of Yorke and the rest of her Majesties honorable counsell established ther." Indorsed by Cecil's clerk.

762. Ralph Gray to the Commissioners. [Sept. 23. 1597.]

"The answere of Raphe Gray of Chillinghame esqre to the severall artickells of inquierie extracted oute of the presentmentes made by the juries of the East and Mydle Marches in Januarie 1596—by the lord Bushop of Durhame and Sir William Bowes knight delivered to the said Raphe Gray in Newburne haugh the xxijth of September 97, anno regni Regine Elizabethe xxxix o."


Art. 5.—Levying excessive fines on his tenants, as shown by certificates to the late Lord Lieutenant, now with the Lord Eure.

Answer.—I aver that never since my entry to my land, have I taken any such fines of the tenants in my manors; and for the most part, have taken none. And if any such presentments have been made to the late lord lieutenant or Lord Eure, now warden, the same are untrue, as follows, viz.:—for the lands of Hortoune, which I have held those 26 years, the rental of assise whereof is about 80l. yearly, and the lands of Chillinghame late in the tenure of Sir Thomas Gray my brother, which I have possessed these 7 years past, rental as above, about 300l. yearly—I aver and will prove that I have not had or taken of the whole tenants or tenements thereof, more than 380l. for all fines, for these respective times.

Art. 10.—That "sheeperaykes" on his lands of Blackheddon, are let to the Laird of Corbett a Scotsman. And his lands of Shotton are let to and inhabited by the Taytes, Scotsmen—and his lands of Heathpoole are also let to Scots.

Answer.—Blackheddon is the jointure of my lady Gray, never in my possession, nor can I at present dispose of it by law. In Shotton town I have a tenement of 40s. rent, wherein one George Tayte a Scotsman born, was placed by my brother Sir Thomas Gray, 16 years ago, at the late Lord Hunsdon's request, and is there ever since. The country knows that Tayte has spent his blood rescuing Englishmen's goods. Any other Taytes there belong to other gentlemen, I having no more land in the town.

For Heathpoole, I have only a tenement of 40s. in the town, inhabited by one George Gray, the rest belongs to others.

To show you the commissioners, that it is against my will for any Scot to occupy my lands, I of late took 20 score sheep of the said Corbett, and other Scots tenants of Blackheddon, for depasturing in Aylsdon near there, and hold them by law without making satisfaction.

I never let any my manors to any Scotsman, or consented therto; and if any of my tenants have done so, it is unknown to me,—but if so, I will see it reformed. Signed: Ra. Gray.

pp. Indorsed.

763. Richard Fenwick to the Commissioners. [Sept. 24, or soon after.]

Certain articles with particulars offered to the Queen's commissioners, "by Richard Fenwicke of Stanton esqre., to justefie parte of his offers made to the Lord Eure the xxiiijth of September 1597."


There have been within the last 20 years, 16 murders, all "protected and overseene" by Sir John Forster lord warden and the justices of peace—and none so "cherished" as murderers, thieves and March traitors. He was the happiest gentleman that could get their favor. "Wherefore God hath laied his heavie scourge on the said wicked cuntry." Thomas Fenwick of Stanton murdered by Roger Fenwick of Rodley, his nephew. Raphe Hynmores of Whelpinton, murdered by Roger Fenwick of Harterton and Cuthbert Rochester of Cammo—[10 or 11 more names follow].

The felonies, &c., overlooked by Sir John Forster while warden and the justices and best gentlemen, "woulde fill a large booke."

Mr Edward Talbot being a stranger, was for 3 years offended with me for not forgiving one Thomas Reade a great thief, who had stolen 11 score pounds worth of beasts and sheep from me. And Mr Talbot caused Raphe Bullocke of the Spittle hill, forgive one Edward Hall of Yardupp for stealing 20l. worth of horses and houshold stuff one night.

Within these 10 years, I saw 30 great famous Scottish thieves taken robbing in England, "and the said Richard Fynwicke at that time justice of peace," having taken 7 of them, and desiring Sir John as lord warden to restore to the poor subject the goods stolen by the Scots, and strike off the latter's heads by the ancient Border law, the said lord warden and William Fenwick of Wallington "were at whott wordes" with me, and refused my motion, setting all the thieves at liberty, 5 or 6 of them being taken robbing 20 days after and again set at liberty. "For that and other my forwardnes in justice, the said lord warden made frendes and gott me out of the commission of the peace, which I was very gladde of, seeinge not one of my fellow justices willinge to doe theire dueties … If that oppressed cuntrey had but one justice that feared God and loved hir Majestie, were better then all those we have at this time."

Sir John Forster also beheaded one Roger Hall of Sholmore dwelling next the Scots, "for a small offence: where I have seene xxtie able men, and vijen or viij good geldinges reddie to defende theire countrey from the Scottes; soe that ever since the said Sholdmore hath bine waste, beinge xxtie yeares sithens, and no dwellers but two or three sheppardes" of Sir John's, keeping 2000 or 3000 sheep of his; and 2000 or 3000 sheep remaining day and night 5 or 6 miles within English ground near, are John Rotherforth's lord of Hunthill, and William Rotherforth's, great Scottish thieves, who these 12 years have resetted in their houses 10 or 12 banished English thieves. And these Rotherforths' friends and banished thieves, have often murdered and robbed hundreds of the Queen's subjects: and no man's sheep durst go there but Sir John's.

It was not his being warden put the great thieves down by law, "but the foresaid Richard Fynwicke," who took a great thief Anthony Hall of Ellyshawe, whose friends came to Richard's house within two days, and offered him 7 score beasts for Hall's life, and five score Halls of his surname offered to be Richard's bondmen for his life. Richard wrote to Sir George Heron keeper of Redesdale (who had protected Hall) that he would complain of him to the Queen, which forced Sir George to apprehend 12 great Redesdale thieves, and the said Richard being foreman on their trial at a gaol delivery at Hexham, they were all condemned and hanged: Richard also followed to death by her Majesty's laws, one Clement Hall of Burdhupte, another famous thief, whose friends offered 9 score beasts for his life, and to forgive the death of all their friends before brought to the "gallowse" by Richard's means.

About 12 years since, he brought to Sir John Forster then lord warden, "one Hobett de Hall a famous theefe," who had murdered 2 of the warden's servants and deputies of Redesdale, George Lylsborne and William Harris—which thief offered Richard 100l. in money for his life. So there is never a gentleman in the Middle Marches able to say those 20 years that they have prosecuted the Queen's lawes against "anie greate theefe but the poore frendles theeves, except the said Richard Fenwick, who hath lived these xxxtie yeeres at defiance with all the greate theeves of bothe England and Scotland—which said theeves have left the said Richard nether beaste nor sheepe, but his landes lyinge waste!

"It maie appeere unto your honor and Sir William Bowes whoe loves God and hir Majestie, soe manie wicked trees so deepe and soe longe time planted, "which hath spred soe manie braunches, and these xxtie yeeres but somme of the poorest braunches taken awaie before my Lord Ewre came, if it woulde please the said Lord Ewre to put an axe in the same Richardes handes, with the power of his aucthoretie, by Godes helpe the said Richarde shall cutt the greatest trees awaie, that all the branches shall die, to the glorie of God, hir Majesties sweete hartes desire, and the welthe of the said oppressed cuntrey and the said Lord Ewres honor and fame for ever."

As for the fining of Lord Ewre's tenants, I was in commission, and they paid the fines willingly, as they may very well do, "the landes beinge the best ground in all the Middle Marches, and the said tenantes put to no bondage, which bondage is almoste as greate an oppression to the poore commons in the said Midle Marches as thEste, for there is of my lord Oagles, Sir Henry Wetherintons and manie gentlemens tenantes in the said Mydle Marche, woulde give double theire rentes for theire farmes and more, to be eased of the said bondage, and greater fines taken of hir Majesties landes by those have leases from hir Majestie, and sundrie noblemens landes and gentlemens in the said Middle Marches, then the said Lord Ewre means to take.

"I did see since my Lord Ewre came to be lord warden, that which I did not see in xxtie yeeres before, which is foure or five score theeves and Marche traitors,—manie of them gentlemen and greate theeves—at a gaole delivery and a warden court, arraigned at the barr, and Henry Wetherington, William Fynwicke of Wallington, and the best gentlemen in the Midle Marche on the said theeves triall, yett none condempned but poore frendles theeves: and all the Scottishe theeves that came to the said Lord Ewres handes since he was lord warden, are beheaded; which was not done in xxtie yeeres before.

"There is never a gentleman in the said Midle Marche can charge my Lord Ewre that they caused anie of the said foure or five score greate theeves to be aprehended, or preferred anie indictmentes, but the said Richard Fynwicke, who indicted six of the greatest gentlemen theeves, some of whome beinge arraigned for life and deathe, were acquited by a jurie, thoughe they were knowen to be guiltie: soe that the Lord Ewre is not worthey to be soe sore blamed, as the gentlemen of the cuntrey woulde have him—but, as your good lordship preached in Righton churche, that we have a hundred eies to see others faultes, but wee are as blinde as the moulde with shape of eies, but cannot see our owne faultes."

As may appear to your honor and Sir William, Lord Ewre has no way maintained these great thieves and March traitors, but has used "all his godly wittes" to amend the people's wicked life, "which will not be but by force of hir Majesties lawes, and a man of God that knowes by experience the flatterie and dissemulacion of the greatest and the best gentlemen in the said Marche: for if Jesus Christ were emongest them, they would deceave him, if he woulde heere, trust, and followe theire wicked councells!

"Whatsoever he be from the hiest degree to the loweste in the said Marche, that will denie these perticulers to be true, I hope with ve oathes to prove them: if those faile, and hir Majestie will graunt me licence, I will by law of armes with swoorde and dagger prove the same against all men—wishinge rather to die xxtie deathes then live to see the glory of God, the princes lawes, and the welth of my cuntrey, trodden downe with the Divells servantes, which easely maie be amended."

Most humbly I pray your "good honor" and "that worthie knight" Sir William to acquaint her Majesty and the lords of her Council herewith, "cravinge perdon for my rudnes and lacke of lerninge in penninge these perticulers, havenge proved them by experience with losse of my bloode and worldly goodes and contynuall daunger of my life." Signed: Rychard Fynwick.

2 pp. Broad sheet. Indorsed by Burghley's secretary: "17 No. 1597.—Richard Fenwick of Northumberland." Date of reaching him (?)

764. Answer to the Commissioners by the Juries. [Sept. 24. 1597.]

"Northumberland, xxiiij September 1597 at Newborne. (fn. 4) — The answere of soe manye of the gentlemen of the juryes for the Midle and East Marches as are nowe present, to the requisycion delivered by the right honorable the Bishop of Durham and Sir William Bowes her Majesties commissioners."


(1) We deny that any private reasons have induced us to charge the Lord Warden or his officers, but only the "unresisted and unredressed rapynes of the Scott," still continued and increased, as the commissioners may see, even in the time of their presence.

(2) Though Lord Eure and his officers have jointly demurred and refused answer to the several presentments against them, as too general, we, the gentlemen present, reserving to our absent fellows, and ourselves, further explanation and proofs—at the commissioners' request, proceed to set down from memory some of the particulars of our presentments. Touching the 80 horse—Raphe Mansfeild confessed that he had 30 of them at Harbottle and Otterborne, and we have other evidence to that effect: also that 5 or 6 of them are his servants, but we desire no more than his written denial.

We have said that divers of them are landholders, and so bound by country custom to keep horses—and we propound to him if these "are not of this sorte," viz., Thomas Hall of Otterborne, John, Raphe and Thomas Halls of Gressonsfield, Edward Hall of Yardeup, Roger Hall of Rochester, George Hall of Burdupp, Uswyne Hall of Releas, Percyvall Hall of Ellesdon, Thomas Hedlee of Hatherwick, Robert Hall of Knightsyde, William Wanles of Gresles, James Reade, George Carre and Lyonell Robson of Harebotle ? These are Redesdale men, and lie dispersed at their dwelings, to our judgment thus unserviceable, evident by their neglect of services.

We have said that divers gentlemen have come to Otterborne and Harbottle "with the fraye," hoping for aid in rescue, but not getting it. This is on good evidence already given, and some of us know it in our own experience.

We have said that the Scots are not discouraged nor the English border assisted by this garrison, and believe it on our consciences. Some of themselves admit to us they could recount no services or rescues, save a "dryft of the goodes of Alneham." But the many rodes of the Scots and the general outcry of the country, manifests it.

We said some of them were felons and infamous, as the records of indictments show—viz., the said Percyvall, Edward, George, Uswyne, Roger and Robert Halls, James Reade and William Wanles, and many more of them are suspected. And as the commons say, these Redesdale men are more fit to be punished, than trusted for defence against thieves.

We said that Mr Fenwick confessed that 10 of the 80 horse should be with him in Tyndale, and 7 of them are his sons and servants, lying dispersed, which is useless; and we say so still. And as they should lie together being so few, their pay makes the country no stronger than before without it, and is their own private gain merely. For the remaining 40, which ought to lie at Hexham under the Lord Warden, we had good evidence that in his answer to the Lord Treasurer, he only admitted having 20 there and within a mile of it. Nor will he deny that 10 were his own household servants, which we think unfitting so to serve, and likewise draw the Queen's pay.

We have said others are landholders—whereof we name Raphe Fenwick of Dilstone 2 miles from Hexham, Anthony Stokoe, Edward and Mathew Robson of Newebroughe, 4 miles thence—Quintin Forster of the Millhills, 5 miles, John Ogle of Bellsey, 8 miles, also Alexander Heron a landholder, and John Charleton of the Bowre, both notorious and infamous for felonies—Lord Eure can name others.

We can only find 13 who came out of Yorkshire; all the others departed, and their horses, we are credibly informed, were appropriated by the Lord Warden and Ralph Mansfield—the latter sold one to the said Wanles and others to the new men. The Lord Warden had 600l. or 800l. from Yorkshire to furnish horses, of which we see no trace.

We have said, when warning was brought to Hexham of invasion or burning of a town, no more than 5 or 6 men could be found ready. The invasion was one threatened by the Laird of Johnston on Mr Fenwick of Wallington, and the town burned was Henshaw.

We have said these 80 men never did any good service; and we think so still, as we never heard of anything worthy of mention. But as his lordship knows them better, we humbly crave he may "particulate" them.

[They repeat the charges of not keeping truce days—denying aid to John Browne—levying heavy fines on tenants and imprisoning 2 by name at Hexham—also resetting Weldon and the other felons before named—appropriating the escheats of others named, to his own use.]

The presentment against Ralph Mansfeild and John Lisle for taking Sir Robert Carre to Toplife, was testified by some of our fellows on oath. He was said to be disguised with a blue cap on his head, and in a plain suit like a serving man or yeoman. At buying the horse at Topliff, either Mansfeild or Lisle required William Robinson bailiff of Topliff who sold it, to let "that playne fallowe," meaning Sir Robert, try the horse; for if he liked it, they would buy it. He was seen afterwards to ride it at the day truce at Stawford. Since then, Robinson confessed to one of us as above, but he did not know him to be Sir Robert, that Lisle was the chief dealer, and paid him 55l. "or neare thereaboutes": also that Sir Robert sat at the table in the hall like a serving man, but when Robinson came up to them in the chamber, he was sitting at the table head, and commanding wine to be given to Robinson, the latter heard the servant attending "answere him (my lorde) whereat the said Sir Robert Carre frowned upon the said servant."

As to the presentment for taking an Englishman out of Mansfeild's office to fight with another before Buccleuch, it was testified on oath by some of our fellows. To explain it, his name whom Mansfeild took to Scotland is [ ] Hall, and his name who was slain is [ ] Coxon.

For William Fenwick's misguiding his 10 horsemen, and extortions on the poor in his charge, we need say no more than that he has confessed, which we take to be sufficient evidence.

For Whitfield's seizures of escheats of felons, &c., in Hexham and Hexhamshire, he alleges authority under his patent, for which we crave either his oath or denial in writing of these seizures.

Lastly, having at the requests of you the commissioners thus explained and amplified our former presentments—albeit they were sufficiently certain in the chief grounds and points—we think his lordship and the other parties aggrieved, ought not to delay their answers, especially since the service is her Majesty's, they the offenders, and we but such as you elected and enjoined to make the inquiry and certificate, which we have done as the evidence and our consciences led us. Signed: Will'm Fenwike, (fn. 5) George Muschampe, (fn. 5) John Ogle, (fn. 5) Lancelott Strother, (fn. 6) M. Eringtone, (fn. 6) John Chreswell, (fn. 6) Robert Woddrington, (fn. 6) Ro. Delavale, (fn. 5) Rychard Fynwyck, (fn. 5) John Horsley, (fn. 5) Robarte Mytforthe, (fn. 6) John Browne, (fn. 6) James Swenoo, (fn. 6) Thomas Swynhoe, (fn. 5) Thomas Bradforth, (fn. 5) Ra. Carr, (fn. 5) George Ourd, (fn. 6) Tho. Ord, (fn. 6) John Ourd, (fn. 6) Martine Ogle, (fn. 6) Nich'as Forster, (fn. 5) Roger Proctor, (fn. 6) Cuthbert Proctor, (fn. 6)

7 pp. Double broad sheets. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk. Each sheet signed at foot "Tobie Duresm." His private wax seal affixed.

765. The Council of York to the Privy Council. [Sept. 26.]

On the 26th instant "late at night," we received letters from the Bishop of Durham and Sir William Bowes, copies whereof we inclose, as to receiving certain hostages to be sent out of Scotland, to remain hereabout—and not knowing the Queen's pleasure how they should be kept, as the high sheriff is to receive them by indenture—we humbly pray your honorable direction therein. York. Signed: Matth. Ebor., E. Stanhope, Ch. Hales.

¼ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: shield with 2 keys in saltire (York) impaling a fesse between 3 cushions. Crest: An open book, "M. E." at sides.

766. Act of the King of Scots and Council. [Sept. 26–29.]

"At Lithquo the xxvjth of September 1597.

(1) "It is thought meet that the Lord Hume and lard of "Wedderburne shall keepe the 29th day of this moneth at the foorde of Norham, accompained with six well affected gentlemen allanarly, and their opposites delt with to meet onely accompanied with the like number, by reason of the present infection on both the Marches."

That Cesford shall attend with his whole pledges, and if Buccleuch is there with his, the whole to be interchanged. If Buccleuch's pledges come not, Cesford "shall aye" enter his, or his own person, to the opposite commissioners, to remain in custody of Lord Eure or other "indifferent" nobleman till they are entered; and if Buccleuch come alone, his own person shall in like manner be entered for his pledges. If neither Buccleuch nor his pledges are present, "he and whole Liddesdale shalbe prosequuted with swoord and fyre, by his Majestie in proper person. To this effect that proclamacion be instantly dispatched, charging the sherefdome of Striviling, &c., to meet his Majestie at Pebles upon the xj day of October next."

The "ambassad" to be dealt with, to afford them no receipt in England—"least otherwaies his Majesties paines that way, might proove ineffectuall."

Meanwhile Buccleuch and his cautioners to be immediately charged to enter their pledges under the pain in the act made thereupon.

That Fernehirst be also charged to enter his to my lord Hume to be forthcoming on said day on like pain.

Joannes Skene clericus Registri, &c.

(2) "At the west foord of Norham, the penult of September 1597."

Whereas on our the commissioners' meeting on this the day appointed by our respective princes "for reciprocall deliverie" of the pledges, we find 2 awanting on the English side, and on the Scottish side for Liddesdale 4, and of Tevidale east and west 6: it is agreed that this action shall not break thereby, but be continued till Saturday 8th October next at this place at 10 A.M. without prejudice of any former directions given to us by either of their Majesties. Alex. L. Hume, Will'm Bowes, George Hume.

pp. Both written by Bowes' clerk. Indorsed: "The acte of the King and Counsell concerning the deliverie of pledges the 26 of September 1597. With the indent of the commissioners at the west foorde September 29, 1597."

1. Another copy of the act of Council only.

2. Another copy of the indent.

pp. In same hand. Indorsed.

767. R. Bowes to Sir W. Bowes. [Sept. 27. 1597.]

On receipt of the letter of the 18th from the Bishop of Durham and yourself, at my access to the King, I made known to him her Majesty's pleasure and instructions to you for an early meeting to exchange the pledges; and that you with assent of the wardens, had fixed the 29th instant at the west ford near Norham, when you will attend with the offer of her Majesty's pledges, expecting the like for Scotland: earnestly urging that this might be without further delay. The King, assuring himself that "this dyett," and the delivery of all the pledges, to have been presented to himself and council at Lithquo on the 24th or 25th at furthest (by Buccleuch and Cesford) should have been perfected, and for the West March pledges he would deliver Johnston's body to her Majesty, therefore promised performance, and confirmation by order of "this late assemblie." Yet on Sunday 25th hereof, he was certainly informed that 3 of Buccleuch's pledges coming with 4 others, had broken away, refusing to be entered: and Buccleuch was in earnest pursuit of them, promising they should be ready at the place appointed, or to deliver his own person, whereto the King sent Sir John Carmichael to see to Buccleuch's obedience. It is thought he may exhibit the pledges, yet most think he will not hazard himself in the power of Lord Hume and Cesford.

The latter is loth to deliver his pledges, unless Buccleuch does the like: and I hear that Sir Robert will rather deliver himself than his pledges—doing this both to satisfy the King's earnest desire, and also to preserve them by his own danger and hurt, trusting also to satisfy the Queen for them, and make his own defence to her in other things to be objected against him, as may be to her acceptation. The King desires that on Sir Robert's delivery for the pledges, the Queen may please to give him liberty on good security, and for good offices to be done by him. These overtures are commended to me by the King to be presented to you, which I leave to your consideration. As this estate is so changeable and the progress of these matters so uncertain, I moved to have these orders, &c., of the King delivered to me in writing, and got them, but so "tardie," that Lord Hume had left Lithquo before, and therefore I could effect no change in certain matters therein, which therefore is left to your discretion, sending you a copy of this instrument enacted by the King and Council and signed by the Clerk register.

"My presente estate is such and so diseased as I cannot write at such length as I would, neither in such forme and substance as is requisite: wherein I right hartilie pray you at this time to pardon myne errours which shortly God willing, shalbe reformed." Edinburgh. "Your loving uncle, Robt. Bowes."

2 pp. Copy by Bowes' clerk. Indorsed.

(1) Another copy in same hand.

768. Scrope to Burghley. [Sept. 28.]

I have received your own and Mr Secretary's letters touching putting off the delivery of the pledges, and appointing a fit deputy in my charge during my absence. On the 23d I certified Mr Secretary how I had left my wardenry, sending him a copy of my order: but not hearing of its receipt, it may please you to know that I appointed Mr Henry Ligh my deputy warden in absence, and having my pledges ready, sent him to the commissioners to know their directions and order things accordingly. I am now on the way to my house at Langer in Nottinghamshire, and intend staying there on some private business till I hear how your lordship likes the order I have taken with my deputy, and receive her Majesty's warrant for my coming up; which I humbly pray your lordship to hasten and send me there. Doncaster. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Quartered wafer signet.

769. Account of the Treasurer of Berwick. [Sept. 29. 1597.]

The account made by Raphe Bowes for his father Robert Bowes esquire treasurer of Berwick for the treasure received and paid to the garrison, &c., for the year ended Michaelmas 1597.

Received from these receivers—viz. William Clopton esq. Northumberland, 4000l.; Thomas Scudamour esq. Yorkshire, 8000l.; and Roger Rant esq. Lincolnshire, 3000l.; in all 15,000l.
Payments to the Lord Governor, officers (6 captains) garrison, &c. [detailed] 15,314l. 6s. 10¼d.
Works and officers' fees, 684l. 22¼d.; extraordinary charges in the ordnance for the year, 168l. 2s. 4d.
So in surplusage, these payments being over and above the receipts 314l. 6s. 10¼d.
Against which, the remain of the lord governor's fee not paid, besides the duties to the church and poor deducted, for both half years 662l. 4s. 8d.
So remains in this accountant's hand 347l. 17s. d.

[John Carey is paid 260l. as marshal; 94l. 13s. 4d. as chamberlain; and 1,380l. 18s. 4d. as captain of 100 foot; Sir William Rede captain of the Holy and Ferne islands, and 100 foot, 1,743l. 15s. 10d.; Richard Clerke preacher, 50l,. &c.]

4 pp. Written by Sheperson. Flyleaf lost.

770. Estimate of Surcharge at Berwick. [Sept. 29.]

The surcharge arising of the provisions issued in the year ended at Michaelmas 1596 [as detailed] is 2,115l. 16s. 11¾d.

"Memorandum.—All kindes of provisions have ben this yeere and yet are much deerer then the last yeere, so as estimating the surcharge of this yeere by the surcharge of the last, we cannot sett it at lesse then ccli. above that it came to the last yeere, which will make this yeeres surcharge to amount at the least unto 2,315l. 16s. 11¾d.

¾ p. Written by Swift. Indorsed: "An estimat of the surcharge in issuing victualles to the garrison of Berwick from Michaelmas 1596 till the said feast 1597."

771. Declaration by Vernon and Swyfte. [Sept. 30.]

Declaration of the charge for money received by Robert Vernon and Richard Swyfte for victualling the garrison of Berwick for one whole year ended the last of September 1597, and the provisions "for and towardes this yeare now presente."

Remaining in "our handes" the last of September 1597 [as detailed], 820l. 2¼d.; received by Mr Swyfte out of Exchequer, January 1596, 2315l. 16s. 10d.; and we have received and are to receive for victuals issued, &c., 3469l. 2s. 4d.; in all, 6604l. 19s. d.
Against which:—
Paid for victuals, freights, &c., wages and necessaries [detailed] 7753l. 9s. 11½d.
Thus laid out "by them" more than they have received 1148l. 10s. d.
Against which:—
Received by Vernon from Exchequer, September last 2000l.
So rested at Michaelmas towards provision for the year ending at Michaelmas 1598 851l. 9s. d.
Against which:—
Provisions, grain, cattle, &c., bought to be expended in the year 1598, is 2024l. 9s. 6d.
And so the provision already bought besides freights, wages, &c., amounts to more than has been received 1173l. 0s. d.

pp. Written by their clerk. Indorsed.

772. Eure to Cecil. [Sept. 30.]

Though I doubt not Sir William Bowes has already acquainted you, I make bold to report yesterday's meeting at the West ford near Norham. It took place at the hour assigned, the principal persons accompanying the Queen's commissioners, being Captains Boyier, Thompsoune and Twifford with their bands of foot, the deputy warden of the East March, with Mr Raphe Gray, Mr Bradforth, Mr Swinnow, &c., attended with the garrison of Berwick, as befitted her Majesty's service—"the sighte whereof with the strengthe of foote, is a stronge bulwarke against the Scott."

As advised by Sir William Bowes, I attended, desiring the principal gentlemen of my March to attend me: but only Mr Rattcliff, Mr Claveringe, Mr Whitfeild the Queen's bailiff of Hexhamshire and Mr Carnabie came, the rest "foreslowed" their service. And Mr Fenwick of Wallington came to the field meanly attended, and showed no love but rather contempt for me his officer. "The waters grew extreame rageing, and the weather intemperate," yet Sir William Bowes with a select company and the horse of Berwick passed the water though deep, and conferred with Lord Hume, Sir George Hume, and Sir Robert Kerr, the most part of the day, till towards 4 o'clock Sir William Bowes required my presence in Scotland. At my coming over, they prepared to call the pledges of each nation, when all of Liddesdale were defective, save Sim Armstrong who is now in Carlisle castle for Lord Scrope's bills, and Martins Arche Ellott who entered. Of Tevidale there wanted 6 of the 14 pledges. On the English side there wanted only 2 in my March, not through wilful disobedience, but sickness of the parties. So that day's service ended for lack of time, night coming on and the sun set before we parted out of Scotland. The commissioners continued the service till Saturday 8th October, at same place, hoping the Scottish defects will be supplied by the King's honourable promise, and God willing, no sickness shall excuse the delivery of the pledges of the Middle March, or give the Scot cause for evasion through our default.

I have in person attended at the place appointed by the Bishop and Sir William Bowes for reëxamination of the scandalous accusations against my self and my officers, from Tuesday 20th September till Friday night the 23d of same—but in this time I could neither press the jury nor obtain through the commissioners delivery or proof of the several accusations against me. Thus, I obeying only on the Queen's command, and subjecting myself to a public trial, though not removed from office or disgraced by her Majesty, I pray your furtherance either to the punishment of these scandalous informers as you think best, or strengthen me by your assistance to the better executing of my office, thus in a manner defaced and contemned by many of the country through the triumphant boasting of their tolerated and well accepted information. Morpeth. Signed: Ra. Eure.

My letter is dated here being on my return from Norham.

1 p. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed.

773. Eure to Burghley. [Sept. 30.]

To same effect as the preceding. One of his pledges had been grievously wounded by the Scots, and unable to attend. The other was dangerously ill. He urges the Lord Treasurer to assist him by sifting out the truth of the opprobrious accusations against him and his officers, which he could not effect at Newburn. Morpeth. Signed: Ra. Eure.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.


  • 1. 4 lines obliterated here.
  • 2. These 4 words holograph.
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  • 4. Heading written by another hand.
  • 5. "esqre." added by another hand.
  • 6. "gent." added by another hand.