Calendar of Border Papers: Volume 2, 1595-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1896.
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856. John Carey to Burghley. [Dec. 1.]
"Youer lordshipe knowes I ame no scoller, wherbey to sett out my selfe withe feyn glosinge tearmes, but in playen simplissetey to deall treweley and honestley withe all men, and specyaley withe my prinse and youer honer. I have reseved a letter from youer lordshipe of the xxiijth of November, wherin I feyned youer honorabell good oppinion of me and favertowerdesme inhavinge moved her Majesty for me to have the offes of the tresserershipe of this towen, wishinge that the hasserd of my life might wittnes my willingenes to requit by dutyfull love and faythefull servis to youer lordshipe or aney of youers, that bond of servis and faythefull frendshipe wherin I am teyde and bowend bey youer honorabell good favers allwayes towerdes me. And nowe my good lord, feynding bey youer letter youer good likinge and oppinion suche of me as is comfort enofe to me, howe so ever it shall plese "her Majesty to bestowe the offes, yet geve me leave to saye, that I being preferd therunto bey youer honers good likinge onley, I shold indever my selfe to deall bothe treweley and honestley and for the Queens commodetey therin, moer then hathe byn hertofor, thinkinge myselfe better enabeled and moer fitter for the plas bey resun of youer honers good likinge of me. Wherfor I nowe humbeley praye youer honer to continewe youer faver towerdes me, and sines her Majesty hathe byn moved for me, lett me not reseve the disgrase of repulse, asseweringe youer honer that if I have it I will deall so therin as rather then youer lordshipes good oppinion and trust of me shold be deseved, I wold if it wear possebell dey a hunderd dethes. I ame the moer willinge to enter into so great a charge, for that I knoe my selfe to be enabeled bey her Majesties grasius goodnes towerdes me to live uppon her fee and not uppon her money, bey makinge my selfe ruche withe undoinge of other men, and desevinge of her selfe; and hearin as in all other thinges, I refer myselfe holey to youer honor, withe assewerans that I will in all poyntes most willingeley performe the contentes of a letter I sent to youer lordshipe of the xxiijth of October last, wherin I promised youer honer shold have the bestowinge and determininge of the chamerlinshipe of this towen, wherof I have nowe a pattent for life, being worthe a hunderd poundes yearley, to bestowe uppon aney frend youer lordshipe will appoynt or thinke fitt,—for ther wear no resun I shold kepe so maney offeses in my nowen hande, albeit I have noen bey pattent but onley that; and beseydes to make her Majesty the moer willingeley to bestowe it uppon me, I have served hear in this plas verey near v yeares as debetey governer, and sines my lordes deathe as absoleut governer in thes deare yeares, to my great charge, wiche will not be mayentayened withe to hunderd and threscor poundes a year—beinge the onley man to entertayen all men bothe commers or goers, and embassetures and commisseners and all sortes, havinge none elles hear to helpe bear of the borthen, nether havinge had in all this tym ether fee or alowans to helpe me as all others have had, wherbey I cane not hold out." Yet if her Majesty pleases to bestow this office on me, I will live here so long as she pleases without other fee, till she bestows the governorship on some fitter man.
For the latter part of your letter, where you hope we are better victualled now, since you have not heard of late: it is not the plenty that makes me silent, but the abuses of Vernon and Swift to the Queen and this town—things getting worse and worse. Your lordship will remember writing to me on 19th September last, that you had then given them a new prest of money from Exchequer to provide victuals after Michaelmas, with which they had gone to "Storbrige fayer," to go thence to Berwick. But I think they meant to pay other debts with it, for since then I have neither seen nor heard of them, except that one ship came in with a little store which has hitherto relieved us. But I have talked this day with the officers of the palace, who tell me they have but 14 days' provision of bread corn, almost a month's of "drinke corne," and for the horse garrison not above 12 days; and they have taken up all they can get either for money or credit in the country, and caused a lamentable dearth.
For news in Scotland, there is little "steringe," but of their parliament which should begin this day, for little else than restoring the three earls. The King makes a great show of performing what the commissioners set down, but I fear "the slackenes and slender delinge therin of Ser Williame Bowes hathe dune great hort to ouer conterey, whoe styll loke and dayeley hope and expect for justes, whilest he leyes styll at horn in his conterey, and determins of nothinge that we cau feynde."
Your lordship says in your letter that her Majesty has of herself "named on nowe servinge in thes northe partes for the offes of tresserershipe. I knoe not aney fitt in thes northen partes for it, nether is it good for her Majesty that aney northen men shold have it, the Scottes have to maney "frendes in great credit hear allredey—nether cane I gese of aney man hearawaye likeley to be fitt for it unlest Ser Williame Bowes, whoe if it be he she menes, her Majesty maye therin doe him a hey faver inded in helpinge him to redem his landes wiche have byn so longe at morgage, and it wilbe a good mean for him to gett hom agayen muche of his landes that he hathe sold: but her Majesty is grasius and will soffer non to lose bey her."Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
2½ pp. Closely written. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.
857. R. Lowther to Scrope. [Dec. 2.]
I received on the 30th ultimo your letters of the 18th of same, by the hands of Mr Henry Leigh at my house at Lowther, whereby you command me now to look to the charge of the wardenry during the whole time of your absence. If your lordship commits it to me, I trust you will give me the same allowance of diet and fee as my lord your father did, which was myself and 9 of my own men, allowed diet for man and horse, and 12 of my lord your father's men to ride with me or my men at my commandment; and all the'castle at my commandment in my lord's absence, with a fee of 50l. a year. If it please you to do this, I will accept of it, if it stands with the Queen's pleasure, or with the good liking of my lord Treasurer. But I see by Mr Leigh that you have ordered I am not to do with the castle, and now the plague is in the town I trust you will not so disgrace me at beginning. "My lord, onles I maye have the castle and dyet as I had in my lord your fathers tyme in his absence, when the Quene of Scottes cam in, your lordship shall pardon me I wyll not otherwyse deale with it," unless her Majesty or my lord treasurer command me.
I would have written thus much before, "but that I have bene verie extreame sicke of a burninge fever." Lowther. Signed: Richard Lowther.
1 p. Holograph; as also address. Wafer signet: a shield of 6 quarters.
858. Scrope to Cecil. [Dec. 2.]
The inclosed letters which I received yesternight, I thought needful to let you see, by perusing whereof you may imagine that I did not write to Mr Leigh and Mr Lowther, as you advised me, and I promised: "but whensoever yee finde me untrue in any thing, bileeve mee in nothing." The truth is, I wrote from Langer to Mr Leigh, telling him to signify my pleasure to Mr Lowther to accept the charge of the wardenry till my return, and since I came to London, two several times to that effect: lastly to Mr Lowther himself, the copy whereof I showed to my lord your father, and send you here inclosed; "but the ordinarie slownes of the posts (which may be seene by the covering of these lettres inclosed) hath bene the cause they were not yet come to thire hands, it being dated of the 18th, his of the 25th of November." Signed: Th. Scroope.
1 p. Holograph; as also address. Indorsed.
859. Thomas Carleton to Burghley. [Dec. 2.]
Where Lord Scrope intitles his "conceipte" of me, given in to your lordship, "The answere of the Lord Scroope to the peticion of Thomas Carleton," he is far mistaken, as your lordship knows. I made no petition but in discharge of my duty, gave your lordship an account of the land sergeanty of Gilsland, how and by whom maintained, and offered my service to her Majesty, wherewith I hear his lordship is offended.
I showed your lordship how Lord Dacre when warden, keeping house at Nawarde, the people suffered many spoils, &c., yet I offered to do my best to succour the country at your pleasure. But to answer Lord Scrope's first question, common sense tells, that a man can better preserve his country with "good allowance, then none at all"!
I said nothing of asking 200 marks, or losing 5l., my only meaning was to help the country and hazard my life, if her Majesty allowed a sufficient fee, as others have.
It may be, Lord Scrope feared the granting of an allowance for Gilsland would hinder his asking "anie newe supplie," to the Queen's charge. But I affirm that if Gilsland were relieved with a sufficient fee, the March needs no further charge to her: if Carlisle castle were furnished with 24 or 30 able horsemen, (fn. 1) as it ought to be, 'and the captain is bound to have, and the other fees she pays, well employed, our March is well able both to defend itself, and help the Middle March at need.
His lordship says I am "behinde 40l.": I answer, "I was not behind at last audit one groate of anie my rentes," and was neither collector nor accomptant of any others. I was bound with the bailiff of Askerton, who is accomptant of that manor, for 53l. to be paid in Hilary term, and would have been paid before this, but for the trouble we have wrongfully sustained.
"Thomas Carleton never married the sister of the 'baron of Eleice,' neyther knoweth anie such man, for my wyfe was and is an English wooman, the daughter of George Grayme an Englisheman dwellinge uppon Eske." But if Lord Scrope means "Christer Armestronge of Barnelease," a Scottishman, he indeed married my wife's eldest sister, long before I married; but his lordship greatly wrongs me in saying I was the means of allying him with the Graymes, "I never did it, or what needeth the same"? for he is sister's son to Robert Grayme of the Fawlde, "a principall Grayme of Eske, and hee married George Graymes daughter, another principall Grayme, about 30 years since, and what needeth better alliaunce with them? Indeede hee is a theefe, and a Scottchman, and I not to aunswere for that."
His lordship says I have no great loss: "I will geve to anie man 100li. to aunswer my losses."
He says I am most unlikely of all to defend Gilsland, even if I had men and countenance. I say, "Let mee have her Majesties countenaunce and a sufficient fee,"as others, and I will undertake to do her Majesty good service; yet without it, I hope to do my duty as before, "allthoughe I be not hyred."
His lordship thinks I only mean "to open the theeves a passage": too hard a censure and altogether untrue, for I take God to witness I am as free from such treachery, as his lordship. He knows the contrary—when I once with but 4 of my own men, attacked 16 Scottish Armstrongs driving 18 English cattle "(absit gloriari)," took 2 and delivered them to him; "and the third, beinge the lord of Mangerton his uncles sonne," was slain, for which the Armstrongs still intend my death.
For our "quiett lyinge": I, my brothers and friends have had more loss than any others; and hereon I will stand to the "teste" of my country.
For the petition of Gilsland; this was got up by the Bells who sent 4 or 5 men unknown to the country, and as reported they "had of his lordship xxl. to beare their charges." I refer myself to the country, "the (fn. 2) Belles and their complices onely excepted."
For Hetherington his lordship's servant, I will prove his story untrue and suborned if I get leave. For his lordship's satisfaction, "uppon Hallowe Thursdaie laste, before the Bishopp of Duresme and others communicantes at Carlell, I receyved the blessed and holy communion thereuppon, which his lordship too little reguarded."
To conclude, being heartily sorry that his lordship resteth no better satisfied, "after reconciliacion before your lordshipes at the Councell table," and in his displeasure will give no help to Gilsland, I must refer it and myself to your lordships' wisdom, praying you to consider the ticklish state of my life under his lordship, undeserved since our submissions, notwithstanding our former wrongs, which we were desirous to forget.
1 p. Double broad sheet. Addressed at head. Indorsed by Burghley's secretary: "2 Dec. 1597. Th. Carletons awnswere to the Lord Scroope.
860. Statement by John Browne. [Dec. 2.]
A true abstract of divers causes, &c., that forced John Browne gentleman to withdraw himself from under Lord Eure's government.
When Lord Eure took office, without any cause he displaced the said John Browne then clerk of the peace for Northumberland, putting in a nonresident (and inefficient) servant of his own, who often omits the quarter sessions.
He also displaced him of the office of "learned steward" of Hexham, which has a court of great jurisdiction, holding plea both for debts and actions "of the case," and titles of land; putting in a man who never studied the law or can judge these cases.
And when John Browne, to repair his father's losses done by the Bournes of Scotland, took prisoner old Jock of the Cote, a principal man among them, he enlarged him on bond before Sir John Forster then warden, to re-enter when called on.
Soon after Lord Eure took office, the Goodman of Elisheugh the chief of the Bournes, and a principal follower of Sir Robert Carre, purposing to force Browne to "disclaime" the bond, ran a day foray at Denwycke, half a mile from Alnwick, upon men under charge of Thomas Percy gentleman, constable of Alnwick, and the said Browne steward there, taking 22 horses from them; and in the pursuit Browne himself encountered and slew the goodman, and rescued the horses, for which he incurred the deadly feud of Sir Robert, and the Bournes and Younges, shown by their many rodes on him and his friends.
When Browne humbly entreated Lord Eure for his protection and some assisance in recovery of his prisoner on the bond, he got neither: and his lordship said he had got Cesford's "surance for his cozen Thomas Percy," but he could do Browne no good, and did not think his bond was recoverable: "as for the matter of bloud betwene them, yt would not end wythout bloud "—and so dismissed him.
Thereafter Cesford in disguise was taken by John Lysle and Raphe Mansfeild, two of Lord Eures "most inward" friends, to Topliff, where he got "a specyall horse of service": which favour was thought by us, who were vexed with these deadly feuds, to be by the direction and oversight of the lord warden himself.
Lord Eure also held "a straunge and unaccustomed kinde of triste" with Sir Robert, not at the "landaye March," but in Harbottle castle, where he, Ralphe Mansfeild, and Thomas Percy, conferred with Cesford. How long they continued, or what their fare was, will appear on further examination.
The said Browne seeing this strange kindness between Lord Eure and Cesford, despairing of any direct maintenance in his aforesaid cases, attended him on the way between Alnwick and Hexham, humbly desiring him to certify his services and cause to the Privy Council: whereon as Browne told his lordship, he doubted not to get letters of request from their lordships, to Lord Eure "to procure justice for the said prisoner, which might be good color" for his lordship to insist thereon against Sir Robert. But he directly denied this humble suit of Browne's, saying if he so certified, the Council might then find fault with him for not doing the favor of himself. The said John Browne then moved Mr Thomas Percy who stood in Lord Eure's favor, to get 20 horse to lie at Alnwick; but he answered, that on dealing with his lordship, he thought "it would not be."
Then Browne dealt with Mr Roger Conyers a gentleman of known good service, who lay in the way before him towards Scotland, to make suit to his lordship for 20 horse; which he did, and would have had them if he raised them from his friends, tenants or countrymen about him, who would serve for 6d., while the Queen's pay was 12d., or he would get none; so the gentleman declined.
Also at the great assembly and truce at Stawford, Browne "againe and againe" moved Lord Eure for justice on the bond, which he at first (contrary be the treaties and known practice) refused, for he said he did not think "it stood with the lawe"; but in the end, on Browne still urging him, said he would not do it, for it was matter of blood, and would hinder his other business: which strange doings should be heard if your lordship pleased.
Moreover on said day (which was so presumptuously delayed by Cesford's arrogant "dryftes") at dissolving the English companies, Lord Eure openly proclaimed that 10 days after, a truce should be held by both the deputy wardens, and assured peace meanwhile should rest. He sent divers his friends and kinsmen with Ralph Mansfield home with Cesford to Scotland " to solace with him at his house": yet within 3 nights, 36 of Cesford's household and followers came armed to Alnwick to murder John Browne in his house, brought in by Edmund Harbotle a follower of Mr Percy's. But miraculously missing him, spoiled his brother of goods worth 100 marks, and left Mr Clavering for dead in the pursuit. Yet though the bill was fyled but for the principal only, Browne and his friends have yet had no redress. Also one William Graye Browne's servant was seized in fee simple of a burgage in Alnwick worth 200 marks, in succession to William Graye his uncle: when Lord Eure, on suit made by Arthur Graye his lordship's kinsman, and a pretended title in mortgage for 20l. from one George Graye the said uncle's bastard son, to pleasure his kinsman, gave warrant under his hand to Thomas Percy to pull Browne's servant out of his house, which was done against all law and justice, though Browne offered to pay all costs, if the matter was referred to the justices and learned men's opinions, or tried by law.
But touching greater matters than yet spoken of, and secret entertaining of Cesford "(that border bloud sucker and State enymie)" within this March, your lordship will shortly find the truth, and meantime conceive that divers of us "(my self as the spectacle)" for serving our prince and country when Cesford and his "traine of theves" fail in takeing our blood, "that English moyners mynte at the same marke, and meane not to mysse yt."
Lastly at the meeting at Newburne, Lord Eure making great protestations of denial of the border abuses, &c., certified to your lordship, and urging the gentlemen present to answer him: " the said John Browne, makinge humble answer thereto in dutyfull termes to explain the truth of their said presentmentes (as was the will and meaninge of all the other gentlemen), the said Lord Eurye openly upon that occasion onely, denounced the said Browne to be his enymie, and in termes of yrefull threates bidd him speake no further or els his lordship himself would chamber Brownes tounge"! Openly putting him to silence in the Queen's service.
Shortly after, while John Browne was in charge of special letters on the Queen's affairs to your lordship, and sent by the chief gentlemen of the country on its business, Brownleys and Wadley 2 of Lord Eures houshold servants, and also in the late garrison of 80, pursued him in the night time and assaulted him behind his back, giving him divers great wounds in the hind head, left arm and shoulder, breaking his right thumb, whereof he is like to be maimed to his utter undoing. And when apprehended, confessed they had no quarrel of their own, but did it for their master.
And on Robert Talboys' coming next day, and the Alderman of Richmond refusing to enlarge them except on bond for behaviour according to law, he "in great anger and in a stormy night" rode to Lord Eure and returned with Roger Lazenbie gentleman usher to Lord Eure, and young Mr Fetherstone one of his chief followers, with special letters to send home his two servants at his peril, taking only bond for the peace. By which letters and importunacy of his lordship's followers, the offenders were bailed contrary to law, it being doubtful if Browne would survive; and the said offenders received by his lordship with great acceptation, whereby the said Browne believes in his conscience he was their "anymater and mover."
Wherefore the said Lord Eure being of great authority and might in these parts, the said John Browne being still in danger of his life, is forced to appeal to your lordships for protection and security against him and his followers, and redress of the above injuries. Also that his two offending servants may be bound for their behaviour and duly corrected after their deserts.
2¼ pp. Double broad sheets. Indorsed as heading: "2 Dec. 1597."
861. Declaration by Henry Woodrington. [Dec. 2.]
A true declaration by Henry Woodrington esquire of the principal causes which moved him to withdraw himself out of the Middle Marches under Lord Eure's government.
First.—It was generally known at Lord Eure's entry to office, there were great variances between the said Henry and Sir Robert Carre, for his services against Carre's followers. Lord Eure accordingly seemed to commend the said Henry, earnestly persuading him and other country gentlemen to persevere in their defences against the Scot, and to agree amongst themselves.
Yet very shortly, trysts were held between Sir Robert and Raphe Mansfeild, and then between Lord Eure and Sir Robert.
Thereafter Lord Eure earnestly dealt with said Henry to become friends with Sir Robert, which he refused to do, as the latter was a known backer of those clans of Scotland who chiefly spoiled the Middle March, and no remedy or redress seemed to follow these "pretended" agreements. From this time the said Henry could never find any kind dealing in Lord Eure to himself or his friends, or any sound course to resist the Scots spoilers. But he continued in great and strange amity with Sir Robert, to the discouragement of those in his own March, as follows.
Sir Robert was secretly conveyed in disguise as far as Topliff by Raphe Mansfeild and John Lysle, Lord Eure's two special favourites, and messengers between himself and Sir Robert, where the latter got "a horse of specyall service," and was brought back by them in view of Swynburne castle, the said Henry's house, where he had as prisoner James Younge of the Cove a principal follower of Sir Robert's.
Also a little before the great day "true" at the Stawford, Lord Eure met with Cesford at Harbottle castle, and there indented with him "aforehand," what bills and causes should proceed at the said truce, contrary to law and border custom; thus excluding all men who had "vowers" on the field—all causes recoverable on bonds—all redress for murders and burnings—and all trial by assizers. Your lordship may see the effect of this—for Lord Eure having gathered to the said truce great numbers of horse from Yorkshire and the Bishopric, to the great charge of these countries, besides the assembly of Northumberland, and 100 foot of Berwick garrison, estimated to 4000 men at least—when "surance" was demanded of Cesford (as the manner is) who had no more than 400 men there, he refused, charging Lord Eure with breach of promise in his honor in bringing the garrison men (whom he called his enemies): when Lord Eure answered that they came without his privity, whereon Cesford replied, he might the better dismiss them from the field, and unless he did so, he would neither grant assurance, nor keep truce.—"Upon this, incontynent her Majesties garryson, to the grevous and never dyeinge dishonor of thEnglish assembly, standinge under displaied collors," were ordered by Lord Eure to march off the field! But Cesford kept no truce at all, yet Lord Eure sent divers gentlemen his friends and kinsmen with Raphe Mansfeild home with Cesford to feast with him at his house in Scotland; and dismissed the English assembly at night, "not sufferinge them all the daie to stand within a myle of the March and usuall meetinge place"—to our open disgrace.
Very shortly after, Swynburne castle was surprised by Sir Robert, the Scots prisoner carried off by violence, and Roger Woodrington, Henry's brother, to save his life, forced to give his hand to Sir Robert to enter prisoner when he should "put on him"; also Raphe Woodrington, Henry's youngest brother, to save his life, "lept out of his chamber windowe beinge 3 stories highe, upon a pavement, where he was almost brazed to death and hardlie escaped. "Moreover Sir Robert on returning from Swynburne rode through Redesdale "with daylight," finding no resistance from Raphe Mansfield and his "pretended" garrison of 30 horse.
Shortly after, the said Henry acquainted Lord Eure with these proceedings at Swynburne castle, and Sir Robert's secret conveyance to Toplif, whereon his lordship" vehementlie affirmed that whoever he were that conducted him thither, he was a villaine to his countrie and a traytor to the state"; desiring the said Henry to search out the person for punishment as a traitor—whereupon Henry found by due proof, that Mansfield and Lysle as aforesaid, were Sir Robert's conductors to Toplif, and acquainted Lord Eure, who only answered that Mansfeild was his kinsman, and he was sorry "he should soe overshote himself." Yet he still trusts him as keeper of Redesdale and messenger to Cesford, not punishing him for the capital offence, though he admits he has found it to be true! Also forbade the said Henry to seek revenge for Cesford's invasion, &c.
During these kindnesses between the warden and Cesford, some Scots stole the said Henry's goods, who sent his brother Roger to the warden, who "in the greif of his mynde, first giveinge hard speaches to the said Roger Wooderington, offred to drawe his dagger upon him, then was he vyolentlie thrust out of the house by the said Lord Euryes servauntes; whoe after a tyme of deliberacion, came backe to seeke the said Roger Wooderington at his lodginge in Hexam. But one of them privatelie forewarninge him of their malycious intent, he rode from his lodginge in haste, els had he bene murdered." And at another time, as one of his servants confessed, Lord Eure ordered "twoe and twoe" of them to walk together in a fair at Hexham, and assault Roger if they found him.
Cesford, seeing no acceptance by Henry of his offers of kindness, in the end demanded his prisoner Roger to enter, who seeing no aid in Lord Eure, went to Sir Robert Carey warden of the East Marches and obtained his licence to enter to Cesford and did so by the East March, as he lawfully might by border custom.
Lord Eure wrote to Sir Robert Carey thereon, who replied justifying his action. Yet Lord Eure called a warden court, concealed the license, and laid evidence himself before the jury to indict Roger of March treason: who found a bill, "insufficient as your lordship hath heard," yet thereon Lord Eure proclaimed the said Roger in every parish church and market town, as if he had been a "most infamous March traytor, to the great touch of his credytt, and slaunder of his house, besides the daunger of his lief."
Among other great wrongs to himself and his friends, Mr Fenwycke of Wallington, "a neare kinsman and deare freind to the said Henry," came to Lord Eure's house at Hexham about the country services, and "was quarrelled with first within the same house by Thomas Errington and others lewde persons," one of them a servant of Lord Eure, and pursued by them into the town, where they murdered one of his men, and struck himself to the ground. Yet since this, Lord Eure has written in Errington's favour and had him in his house, whereof Errington openly boasts.
Lastly such is the kindness between Lord Eure and Cesford, that when Lord Eure was in secret conference on border affairs with Sir Cuthbert Collyngwood and Mr Robert Claveringe, Lord Eure (as Sir Cuthbert openly declared to men of good credit) told them he thought a pension of 100l. should be given to Sir Robert, and asked their opinions. Sir Cuthbert "vehementlie contradicted" it as a most unfit and dishonorable matter. This though private, was revealed to Sir Robert, who in a conference afterwards with Sir Cuthbert, "took offence thereat and reproved him for the same." All this Henry affirms he heard Sir Cuthbert repeat to Lord Eure himself, who did not deny it, but excused himself, "that he did not reveale the same to the said Sir Robert Carre."
This "indissoluble kindnes with such a State enymie," and other causes aforesaid, moved the said Henry to withdraw himself from under the "daungerous and fruictles" government of Lord Eure.
2½ pp. Double broad sheets. In same hand as Browne's paper. Indorsed by Burghley's secretary. Annotated by Burghley.
862. The Bishop of Durham to Burghley. [Dec. 2.]
"Lapidi quæso dixerim, illustrissime et sapientissime Cecili." (fn. 3)
On Thursday the 24th ultimo I sent your lordship a "packquet," containing an information by Cuthbert Cowling of Richmond, and an examination taken of the alderman there, with all his proceedings in the case between Mr Browne of Berwick and 2 of Lord Eure's men. Since which I have seen an examination taken here by a justice of peace, a very honest discreet man, not unknown I think to you, a copy whereof is hereincluded. It will thereby appear how Mr Mansfield has answered the trust committed to him for leading those 30 horsemen, with their pay, under his charge by his own confession, and how unfit he were to command 50 of the 100 her Majesty intends to lay in Northumberland—although the lord warden has been very "importune" with Sir William Bowes and myself, to commend him for the service. "For that were ovem lupo, as it is in the proverbe": besides it will discourage all "both gentle and simple," if he be not removed from Harbottle, the special place for good or harm. If Lord Eure return warden (which is not expected) it will, under correction, be necessary,
1. That he make sufficient answer for the 80 horsemen committed to his charge, and by him to Mansfield and Fenwick.
2. That he be enjoined to reside within his wardenry, from which he has been voluntarily absent in less than 2 years, more than his predecessor was "by the space welnere of 30 yeares."
3. That he be speedily "remanded" to his country, for his deputy lies outside, viz., Morpeth castle far from the service; and since these 6 or 7 weeks of his lordship's absence at home and in London, there has been much blood shed, and many honest gentlemen slain, some very near him when at Hexham.
4. That he be advised to accord better with the gentlemen of the country, and use them with more affability and hospitality than heretofore.
5. That he presently discharge Mansfield, and the Earl of Northumberland Thomas Percy, unless the state submits to Cesford and his followers, and the subjects be spoiled and murdered.
6. That he be expressly commanded to forbear bloody revenge upon the gentlemen who have twice presented him on oath: "a fowle spectacle whereof "was lately seen upon Mr Browne, belyke for that he was the pen-man of those bookes."
7. That if there is any serious meaning to repress the Scots and outlaws, present order be given to establish that small troop of 100 horse in convenient places, and in such hands "as are not like to be fyled with corruption and treacherle."
8. That Mansfeild fee bound over to apprehend and make forthcoming these notorious thieves and riders, named of his confederacy, both in the gentlemens' inquisitions, and in the inclosed writing: that the offenders in this bishopric may receive their due punishment. Lord Eure also in like manner to hold usual truce days with the opposite wardens.
9. That 2 gaol deliveries (or one at least) be held yearly besides the assises (which are but once a year in these north parts); and as his lordship is Custos rotulorum, that he cause all notorious recusants there to be indicted and certified up: which was never yet done since he came to the place "for ought I can learne, wherby Poperie hath been jolily encreased."
10. That his lordship be counselled to frequent less the company of Francis Ratcliff, "that obstinate dangerous arid not unlearned recusant, above others," and refrain by writing or speech to deal for their enlargement or favor. These and many other good lessons he greatly needs, and I hope he will take them as becomes him at your honorable hands. "Pardon my good lord, that I write nowe and other tymes, non amore vindictæ (whereof I have no cause) sed zelo iustitiæ, wherto my conscience to that parte of my poore fleesed and flead flock, or rather of my daily murdered and martyred flock, doth enforce me. In a worde, His limitibus fave et fove, Pater Patriæ."Bishop Awkland. Signed: Tobie Duresm.
2 pp. Holograph; as also address. Indorsed. 2 wax seals: (Mathew) as before.
863. R. Lowther to Cecil. [Dec. 2.]
Give me leave to write, thus much to your honor. It pleased Lord Scrope to write the letter, of which I inclose, a copy, commanding me to look to the charge of the wardenry for the whole time of his absence: and I also send a copy of my answer. "Praing your honor to have that consyderatione of me being her Maejesti trewe sworne servant, and now 67 yeares of age, that I be not over farre disgraced in my owld dayes: but that I may have that office in as large maner as anie other deputie hath had: or otherwyse I will go to preson before I take it to my disgrace. "Lowther. Signed: Richard Lowther.
¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.
Inclosed in the same:—
Copy of his letter to Scrope of 2 Dec. No. 857.
864. H. Leigh to Scrope. [Dec. 3.]
"Be pleased to understand that the Lord Semple came yesterday hether to Carlyll for his recreation and pleasure, being so neere the border. The Layrd of Newby was with him, who asked me yf I had sent the Kinges lettres away, but I answered No, becawse I had not seen them; wherat he marveled much, for he sayd he did see when they were derected unto me upon Wedensday last to gett conveyed to Mr Secretarye. Nowe yt semeth they were delyvered to Cockpoole, who for the owld frendship betwen him and Mr Lowther, for that he kepeth the chyeld which was gotten with Mr Lowthers dawghter (but God knowes the father) hath as it semeth, sent the " letter to him (fn. 4); from whom yesternight I receved this letter and packett herinclosed. His man which delyvered me the letter tould me both before Mr Aglionby and Thomas Lowther, that he was in good health; so as his last excuse in his letter must needes be a lye." It is daily confirmed by his friends, that he will not come hither unless ordered by higher authority, and if he is to have it, he should be commanded to take it at once—for since my last letter to your lordship, the Scots have been at Carlattayne a small town in Gilsland not far from Corbye, slain 2 poor men and taken 14 cattle and 2 horses; and though I sent your lordship's and my own men to follow the fray, the country would not rise to any purpose—so it seems they think my authority ended. " And withall, they of Gilsland do nowe refuse to receve the calyvers which for ther owne defence, they were once well contented with; whence cometh theyre incoradgment may easely be found! And the Holme growe lykwyse so stobborne therin, and the Bishoppes tenantes as backward therin as the rest." Therefore in my poor opinion, either he or another approved by your lordship and the Council, should be at once established, or the authority which you gave me revived by new proclamation, to satisfy the country; or it will breed great hurt. " For it is sufficient glory to him, to have the ball at his foote, that at his pleasure he may take or refuse the chardge; yett for all his florishe, he is nothinge forward, what for feere and what for chardges. I can say no more, but God forgeve him, for in my conciens he is a bad one! " I shall be ready at your orders either in or out of office. " The Kinge is nowe gone to Edenbroughe, and the pledges of the countrye, whose names herinclosed I send your lordship, are caried to Glasco. The Kynge doth confydently say, that so longe as he is kynge, he wyll never want towe principalls of every broken surname, to answer for the rest of theyr frendes; I pray God her Majestie would do the lyke, and then might the poore lyve in more comforthe. He hath left the Lord Ocheltrye warden and lyvetenant bver the West Marches: the lord Ocheltrye is a Steward, Roger Aston maryed his sister. The Kynge hath geven him Tarthorell which was James Duglasses, which slewe his uncle Sir James Steward late erle of Arran, who procured the Regentes death . . . Mr Curwen, Mr Dudley and the rest of th'assistantes, were this weeke and yett at the mariadge of yong Crakenthorpe and Mr Bellingham daughter, so as they cannot nowe informe your lordship bf the trewe estayt of the countrye, but shortly they wyll." Carlisle. Signed: He. Leighe.
"These pledges which the Kynge hath taken with him, seme to be taken for the quiett of Scotland, but none of the pledges which are to be delyvered to England are entered, except secretly, under condition. The Kinge before his goinge from Dumfryes, cawsed 18 to be hanged of severall surnames, beinge comon spoylers of the countrye. Good my lord, remember the poore prisoners, for theyre case is lamentable. I trust in God the sicknes here wyll cease, and then we ar in good hope to see your lordship self, which the poore countrye do hartely wyshe with all honour. Even nowe as I am wrytynge, word is brought that they have broken this night a howse of my brother Skeltons, and taken to horses away. Your lordship may perceve hereby howe the world goeth.
" I forbere to troble my lord Threasurer with rememberance for some lyttle allowance to repayre Rowclyfte with lead, which is most needfull, as also my owne other perticulers; becawse I dout this terme and parlement tyme he hath bene and is busyed with much busynes of more importance." If I am discharged of the government I shall have more time to attend my own. Signed: He. Leighe.
Mr Lowther wished me, as you see, to set my name to the packet that it might pass.
Since subscribing this letter, I have " even nowe" received letters from the King and Lord Ocheltrye, which I inclose to your lordship, and will return by the messenger a fitting answer, till I receive further direction from your lordship, which I pray may be with speed, from the necessity of the affairs.
I beg your lordship to seal and cause these other letters to be delivered if you think good. Signed: He. Leighe.
3 pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.
865. Henry Woodrington to Burghley. [Dec. 7.]
I am this day informed by letters from Northumberland that some of my principal friends there are slain, and some taken prisoners into Scotland, in a late incursion of the Scots, and of many other troubles and losses, daily like to happen in my absence. I humbly beseech your lordship to licence me to repair to the Borders, to succour my oppressed friends to my power. Signed: Henry Woddringtun.
¼ p. Addressed. Indorsed: "vijmo Dec. 1597. Mr H. Widrington to my lord." Small wafer signet: device indistinct.
866. William Selby to Cecil. [Dec. 12.]
I have this day received the inclosed from Roger Aston to be forwarded with all possible speed.
I would gladly hear as to disposing of Sir Walter Scott, "who verrily ys both trublesome and verry chargeable unto me," and I hope will be considered.
"Ther ys verry great imulation new begun, betwixt Sir Walter Scott and Sir Robert Kerr, as will apeare by the copies of ther lettres past betwixt them, which I thought good to send your honour hereinclosed. It pleaseth some of my good frendes in Scotland to blame me for the same. I am assured ther imulation wilbe much better for our country then ther agrement.
"It ys intended that Sir John Carmichall shalbe sent to deale withe her Majestie for Sir Walter Scott." Berwick. Signed: Will'm Selby.
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed: "12 Dec. 1597. Mr Selbye to my master, with a lettre of Mr Roger Astons inclosed. Recd. at Whithall the 16 of the same." Wafer signet: Selby shield in compartment: " Sigillum W. . ."
867. Provision for Berwick. [Dec. 12.]
A declaration what provision has been bought by Robert Vernon for the Queen's garrison at Berwick since Michaelmas 1597.
Wheat, 526 qrs., 870l. 6s. 6d.; rye, 30 qrs., 47l. 14s. 6d.; malt, 525 qrs., 605l. 14s. 6d.; beans, 180 qrs., 179l.; oats, 83 qrs., 41l. 10s.; oxen, 37, "kyne" 4, 180l. 13s. 4d.; wethers, 31, 12l. 8s.; cheese, 21 "wey," 47l. 8d.; butter, 15 barrels, 50l. 2s. Total 2024l. 9s. 6d. Besides hops, freights, wages, &c., and what provision Mr Swift has made at Hull.
Whereof gone to Berwick in October, 88 qrs., 1 bush, wheat; 60 qrs. beans; 83 qrs. oats; 15 barrels butter, 21 wey, 11 lb. cheese.
Also ready laden and gone from Lynn, 200 qrs. wheat malt and beans.
More to load at Lynn this week, 200 qrs. wheat malt and beans.
The rest so soon as possibly it can be received from the sellers.
1 p. Indorsed by Burghley's secretary.
(1) Copy of the same. Written and indorsed by the secretary.
868. Scrope to Cecil. [Dec. 13. 1597.]
Your kind regard for my honour and approved friendship to myself, binds me to acquaint you with my reasons, as a worthy judge, and with my state, as a gracious counseller, for so far only as all my proceedings shall be agreeable to the judgment of so rare a friend, my consent shall strengthen them, and wherein I shall "swarve" from your direction, let misfortune punish me.
"Mr Lowther, after longe deliberation and advisement with the Leard of Spotte (being spotted more then that leard, if it be possible, or mor then any man that lives, with reproche and infamie of highest kindes) hath at the last, thought good to let his good pleasure to be understoode: which is, that he will voutchsafe to accept the charge with such conditions as may rather vexe my sperit then give any great strength to his better enabling: for so that somwhat may bee drawne from mee in despight, he cares not much who receive eyther good or ill by it.
"First—he craves allowance for sixe men, which were allowed, as he sayes, in my fathers tym. Wherunto I answeare, first, that bountie is noe obligation; beside, althoughe my father knewe his faults, yet somwhat might bee yeelded upon hope of amendement, that canot be afforded nowe by mee upon exasperation of extremities. If others have requyred lesse, his humors ought to carye noe necessitie: and the lesse, bicause at this tyme in his house he hath not 4 of honest conversation and free from horse stealing and other fellonies."
To his demand of allowance for his horses, as in my father's time, I avouch "with assurance," that when last with "my lord," he had nothing more than hay. My lord had no corn or store there than what he bought for himself.
His demand for diet in the castle, "is full of braverie; his humor is to vaunce himselfe in the vague eyes of his adherents, like an idolle, as it weare in my disgrace, and to countenance his malice with the seate of my authoritie, his splene hath set this sharpe edge upon his demaundes: for otherwise he may remember that he dieted himselfe and all his companie for sixepence a meale at Tallantier, thoughe he weare lord warden for the tyme, forbearinge many of those florishes that at this tyme are extraordinarie. But bicause your honor may perceave that I am rulled in this matter more by reason then by will (howsoever his perticuller would force a man to stand upon himselfe)—I will not steek with him for 40 pounds during the tyme of my absence for sixe weekes, which is as muche as eyther his proportions maye presse, or was allowed unto Henry Lighe during all the tyme of my absence. Touching his lodging within the house, I will not much contend, so as he bringe his bead and stuffe, as he did in my fathers tyme: otherwise his constitution and state is such, as I had rather freely give my bead, then lett him lye on it; I am much beholding to that love of his, that likes of nothing that carieth not my marke with it.
"My direction to Henrie Ligh, that Lowther should not have to do in any sort within the castle walles, was not without just cause, having now in durance 8 or 9 of the most notoriouse thieves, which shall abide till I come back agayne. Upon my fathers death, at his first entrie, he freed all those prisners that had bene apprehended a while before, and made himselfe more stronge in faction of thieves, by favor done to those that were the worst of all that companie. I would be loth he should playe the like trick with mee for incouragement of others to attempt, and of these to persever. If you knew the canvase of this plat, and the jugglinge of his confederats, you would thincke there weare great cause to prevent the meanes and shiftes of his falce fingeringe, and this was one cause whye by inhibition, his scopes were limited. Ther is noe worke for him before my return, saving that he loves to make worke for himselfe, what hee thinckes most to anger mee. "Thus much I thoughte fitt to sett downe for answere to demandes, which I know to bee very true: and dout not, but you will admit to be reasonable."
Now I must move to you a just complaint against both Carletons and Grames for publishing such "lewde reports" since their return, as if true, will disable my service, and if false, give just cause for their punishment. "First—they give out that the order taken by my lord Threasurer shalbe reversed, and the witnesses set free, which weare in effect to encourage thire audacitie, and to discreadit all that hath bene against them by mee sertified: it is strange that such bace men should eyther wronge the State in weakning the decrees of counsellors, or displaye thire pride by the disgrace of the Queenes officer.
"This report, beside that I have bene prohibited to deale in any sorte against the Carletons, Grames, or any thir allies or frindes, which weare as much to saye as that henceforth I should not proceede in justice against any thiefe, but put up the Queenes sworde into the scabberd, suffering all spoyle and robberie without redresse, and bearing the bare tytle of an officer without effect! bicause I know not any notable offender, thiefe, or other, in that place, eyther Scottishe or Englisheman that eyther by alliance partie or complott, is not conbyned with this viperouse generation. This abstinence from execution against a multitude of thieves would set all dangerous attemptes in a headstronge coorse, as afterwardes the raynes of lawfull authoritie would hardly temper them, which may bee repented when it is not easie to bee recovered.
"Last of all, it is affirmed confidently by these gallants and thire confederats that the governement of Gilsland shalbe comited wholie to Thomas Carletons care, with consideration of the charge of one hundreth horse for quoyet of those parts, which the Queene in due consideration and reward of service done, hath gratiously bestowed on him." These speeches have so raised the spirits,of their partisans, that "they plott and packe in everi angle," both in Scotland and England, as they durst not have done before. You know how mischief grows by "giving head to suche a crue": and therefore, if they are allowed to raise a party to binder service here, "I must give place." But if it pleases her highness to use my devoted service, "my hope is that your noble father and your selfe, will soe correct, if not expelle these malignant humors," that those bad men may learn to submit to authority.
Praying for your answer touching Mr Lowther's office, and how best to proceed therein, "I seace." Signed: Th. Scroope."
4 pp. Holograph; as also address. Indorsed. Wafer signet; indistinct.
869. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Dec. 22.]
On the 20th instant I came to Berwick and found the country in better state than I expected, and hope, God willing, ere long to bring it to a "far better estate," if I had the assistance of the horse garrison. But they are not able for service, for the palace, from which they have had and should still have, their chiefest relief, "is no we debard them," from the scantness of provision; and their pay is so small, they are not able these dear years, on "bare 8 pens a day," to keep them selves and horses and do service. I will not farther trouble you herein, but I fear hereafter I shall be enforced "to be more important."
I am sorry I could not show myself so thankful to your honor, "as your highe favors and kyndnes towards me deserved nowe at my laste beinge at Court: but assure yourself sir, my hart has given a free consent to be truly honist and faythefull unto you, and I will then count my self th' hapiest when I shall have aney occation to showe in action what in weake words I nowe profes. It is but folly to speake muche when I can performe but little, would God I had meanes and you willingnes to trust me, God is my "judge, I would dooe you alle right and no way deseave you. In the meane tyme good sir, upon my owne word esteeme me emongst them whom in your thoughts you best trust, and God dealle with me, as I meane ever to be most faythefull trewe and honist to your honor." Berwick. Signed: Ro. Carey.
¾ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed: "22 Dec. 1597. Sir Ro. Carey to my master . . . Rec. at Whithall the xxviijth." Swan wafer signet.
870. John Carey to Burghley. [Dec. 22.]
"I have heretofore often trowbled your honor with a tedious theame of the feare to want victualles, which is nowe presentlie lighted upon us in the highest degree: which if it be not presentlie releved, will breede such trowbles as was never before in Barwicke." Yesterday I myself went to the palace, requiring to see the corn, that I might be truly satisfied of the store for Christmas: when the officers said there was none to see, and that "the last batche they had, was even then in the ooven," and they had but two brewings of malt, more than was "a brewinge." The horsemen have already been a fortnight without their allowance, and the officers know not when they shall have any: so the town is like to be in more danger than your lordship or we could wish; for first, the horsemen must either sell their horses to the Scots, "or els knock them on the headd for want of meate," for having but 8d. a day for themselves and their horses, they cannot pay 8 or 9s. a week for a "bowle" of oats, and even if they could, the corn is not to be had in the country. And the soldiers who have "nothinge in the world to sustayne them, save onlie a loffe of pallice bread and their allowance of drincke," must either die of famine, or leave the town and go begging. Mr Vernon has brought us to this extremity, "abusing" the Queen and your honor, by making you believe he had made "such and such" provisions, and shipped corn in so many ships: which is not true, for if he had, it might have been here long since. For ships from London, Lynn, and Hull have come in here, and ships "from by south" daily pass along the coast to Scotland, "which makes all his sayinges but playne illusions and excuses." I humbly pray your lordship that I may come up presently to London, and there declare to his face the miserable state of this poor town, and putting it in more danger than I dare express. So assuring your lordship it is high time it were looked to, I cease this unpleasing matter, praying you to impart it to her Majesty in discharge of my duty. I have sent the palace officers into the country, with the little credit they have, to get what corn is possible, but there is little to be had.
I understand by my brother Sir Robert, who came here on Tuesday night the 20th, of your favourable opinion of me for the treasurership here, for which I am highly bound, and have as yet imparted my desire to no other of my friends. Yet finding by my lord chamberlain, your inclination to me, and her Majesty's "determinacion" thereof to Sir William Bowes, as a man thereby fitted to be employed into Scotland, I would remind your lordship of "this much," that while never seeking or desiring anything displeasing to her Majesty, "I must needes say, and I thinck it be not unknowen to your lordshipp, that the onlie overthrowe of this towne and the undoinge of the gentillman that last was, and the great hinderance of her Majesties comoditie and service in this towne, was the joyninge of the threasaurershipp and embassatorshipp together, which never was done before his tyme, and in him had too yll successe for a president. This onlie gevinge your honor a taest of the inconvenience that may happen."
(fn. 5) I had forgotten to say that the pay is not yet come or heard of. So it is likely we shall keep "a brave Crismas, nether meat, nor drinke, nor money, nor good clothes"! Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
1¾ pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.
871. John Carey to Cecil. [Dec. 22.]
Referring him to the preceding letter to his father on the scarcity of victuals. And urging that he may be licenced to come to London specially to see her Majesty, from whom he has been absent almost 5 years, and also for the dispatch of much business of his own. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
¾ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed: " . . . R. at Whithall the xxviijthe."
872. Sir W. Bowes to Cecil. [Dec. 24.]
On my repair hither, and conference with Mr Nicholson on the course as to the pledges, compared with what I hear from him, I see some appearances in Scottish affairs, "seeminge strange, if it were not in the forge of novelties." And I thought fit to deliver my observations thus to you. First—the King, instead of performance of his word to deliver Cesford's pledges, or Cesford himself, and instead of doing justice to the dishonorable tumult, hitherto insists on these points, viz., that the indent was broken on both sides, though Lord Hume confesses performance on her Majesty's behalf—that the raiser of the tumult was an Englishman, though the contrary is evident enough to the world—that he has insisted so earnestly upon delivery of the same English pledges, or her Majesty's warden in their room, though he cannot but know that these pledges are fled, and cannot be had, and that none of her Majesty's wardens at that delivery made any default. Next, I see in Mr Nicholson's report, " that the King acknowledgethe intellygence from Tyrone, convayed unto him by Huntley. Thirdly—that Mk Sorle, knowen to have so ill deserved of her Majestie, should finde so favourable acceptance. Lastly, that her Majesties late supposed actions touchinge his mother, should by the King be so hardly construed, and by him so openly intimated to his parliamente. These and suche like, verifyinge that Kinges former speeche, borrowed from the offended Juno, Flectere si nequeam superos, Acheronta movebo, whither it have with him indeede such a digested thought, or it be made butt a profitable showe, seeinge that in Scotlande, love must be lookt for in the markett like other wares, and that he may hope to winn that from her Majesties purse with wrestlinge, which he thinkes he cannot drawe by an easie hayle, I am not wise ynough to discerne. Onely this is evident, that this verie apparaunce given by the King, ministrethe great opportunitie to his mercenarie favourites for advauncinge forrain practises to the daunger of bothe the realmes: especially, whilst her Majestie hathe so small assurance in that counsell-table, and in such discontinuance of intelligence as is like to followe by the deathe of her late ambassador there.
"It addethe to this evill, in my opinion much, that the cunninge courtiers have so kurbed the kirke, and learninge from Phillip of Macedon to still the oratours of Athens, though they have not taken awaie, yett have they so musled those watch-dogges, that they can neyther barke nor bite as they were wonte, eyther theefe or wolfe assaylinge that flocke, to the no small prejudice of the religious peace betweene the realmes. Which conceipte of myne I am the bolder to present to your honor, if in your wise judgemente some such caution may be approved in the instructions given to the gentleman mentioned by your honors lettres, to be shortly sent ambassador into Scotland to be lieger there."
I will proceed with the matter of the pledges as speedily as I can, having now got from Wedderburne the King's assent to delivery of new pledges, for such old as cannot be gotten. I have laboured this with Weddorburne ever since the Queen's pleasure signified in your letter of 22d October, to deliver either old or new, yet so that "the thinge might rather growe from a motion between Wedderburne and me for the common good," than from any suit by me to the King—thinking this course more honorable to her Majesty, her indent being already performed, and also that the only way to prevail, "was to sever Wedderburnes sinceritie from the Lord Humes palpable partialitie to Sesfurde." Knowing well that if I bound the Queen to a new promise to deliver new pledges, by Lord Hume's privity Cesford would so labour with them underhand, that they would never be got, "and so the action frustrated by the English defalt": an error which I seek to avoid to the uttermost, and will get "as many of the olde as I can, and such newe as may be provided by the deputies; thereby to putt to full proofe Wedderburnes parenthesis, which your honor will finde in his lettre (If all be well meant)."
My wish to avoid Cesford's "sleights" through Lord Hume's love to him, and the inconvenience I found when last here, in his lordship committing matters to the report of two cunning messengers, induced me to go a day's journey off this place, to see the success of my privy dealings with Wedderburne; and being advertised of the "unexpected deathe of my deare uncle," I went home for a few days, which I hope her Majesty and your honor will excuse.
I have delivered her highness's letter to the King to be "sollicited" by Mr Nicholson's immediate repair to him, and you shall be advertised of the progress of the cause.
I send you herewith Wedderburne's 2 last letters to me, showing the King's last resolution as to the pledges, making show of great favour in yielding to new: "yett with the continuance of his former straunge condition to have the Quenes warden delivered, in case Bucklughe be not restored to him agayne": praying you to return me these letters. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.
2¾ pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet (Bowes).
873. John Carey to Cecil. [Dec. 24.]
Though my news be of the latest, as your honor has been advertised long before by others, yet I would rather be "after the fashion" than not at all, and therefore have sent the "prinsepell" as it came to me, "bey resune the man is on verey well affected to Ingeland, and I must entreat youer honer that his letter maye be verey closley kepe, for that ther be maney Scotes about the Cort, and his hand is well knowen bothe to Inglishe and to Scotteishe, and if it shold be knowen bey him, he shold be presentley tortered to dethe: wherfore I praye youer honer have a care to the pore manes estat."
You may see by the inclosed whether we are now better victualled or not, for we hear daily rumours that we are. The Queen may think this a reason for my stay, but I think it a far better reason that I should come up and impart to her Majesty much that she should know, leaving my brother Sir Robert, the gentleman porter, and the master of the ordnance to take charge. "Wherfor good ser hasten my comminge upe, if for ever so littyll a tym." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.
874. Sir W. Bowes to the Deputy of the Middle March. [Dec. 26.]
Commanding him with expedition and secrecy, to get all the old pledges into his hands, and for those awanting, to provide two of the best of the same surname for the choice of the Scottish commissioners: certifying his diligence with speed. Berwick.
Similar to the deputy warden of the West March, mutatis mutandis.
1 p. Copy by his clerk. Indorsed.
875. Sir W. Bowes to Henry Leigh. [Dec. or later.]
Commanding him to get into his hands immediately all the pledges formerly appointed to be delivered out of his March, certifying his diligence therein with speed. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.
¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.
876. Articles as to the Scottish Pledges. [Dec. [28.]]
Inconveniences that will follow the free delivery, exchange or escape of the Scottish pledges.
Under nine heads not numbered.
(1) Holding those pledges is a better security for the peace of the Border, than the King's command, or Sir Robert Kerr's promise.
(2) Their release would simply encourage giving blackmail to Sir Robert and the chief thieves.
(3) And the English borderers would sue her Majesty for satisfaction.
(4) These pledges would have satisfied great part of their bills if Sir Robert had not advised them that they would be freed by other means.
(5) It is neither honorable nor profitable for her Majesty that her borderers should become discontented for want of lawful satisfaction, by "pleasuring of a fewe theeves."
(6) The wardens know that there is no difference between free delivery and exchange of those pledges, unless those entering in their place are of equal value.
(7) And if the commission end thus, it leaves the subjects in worse case than if there had been none, as they are now precluded from getting satisfaction by ordinary course of March law.
(8) Thus if the pledges, who were chief actors in the spoils for which they were delivered, make no satisfaction, and are not "justiced" according to the commission, her Majesty is bound in honour to satisfy her subjects for their bills "out of her owne cofers," or at least to deliver the pledges into their hands.
(9) Lastly—to find the best course herein, as concerning borderers only, her Majesty may be pleased to appoint the Bishop of Durham and Sir William Bowes (who as commissioners were privy to these proceedings) or other fit men, to consult at Newcastle with some of the principal and wisest border gentlemen interested in these pledges, to debate on the matter and report to the Privy Council thereon.
1½ pp. Contemporary hand. Indorsed.
877. Edward Gray to Sir W. Bowes. [Dec. 28.]
Yesterday I received your letter of 26th as to recovering the former pledges, whereon I have special directions from Lord Eure to effect whatever you shall order either respecting old or new pledges.
I will with all possible diligence, deal with the keepers of Tindale and Redesdale, in such secret manner that your directions may be effected with all expedition—praying you to give reasonable time therefor, and that you would name the persons of each clan, whom you wish to be attached as substitutes, on the report of the keepers as to those old pledges awanting or dead.
And in regard that some of ours are dead and some peradventure awanting, in whose places the Scots will call for "rather better then worse," my meaning is that you will so deal, as that such men shall be got from Scotland as may equal those that may be newly delivered for this March: who when once nominated by yourself, I shall without fail give you notice what men to demand of the clans of Scotland in "lew" of them. The Scots to be so named by me shall be such as have done spoils, murders, &c., since your last meeting.
Should any of the old pledges come "casuallie" to my hands, I doubt whether to apprehend them, or suffer them to go at liberty till wanted: for if apprehended I must imprison them, which will be chargeable and "discurrage the poorer subjecte"—and if let on bond, I hear from many they will rather die than enter again to Scotland; and if the secret intent of this service be any way disclosed, I fear none of the "ould" pledges will be attached—therefore I pray your advice and strait command herein.
Thus after conference with the keepers of Redesdale and Tyndale, with what speed and secrecy I can, you shall have notice what pledges are dead and who of them are not to be got, that you may nominate others. Morpeth. Signed: Edward Gray.
1¼ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
878. John Carey to Cecil. [Dec. 28.]
On Monday night the 26th instant, there came to this town the Master of Orkney brother to the Earl of Orkney, without safe conduct or warrant by me. On being brought down to me by the ward, he pretended no other occasion of his coming than to see the town and visit the Laird of Buclough. "Neverthelesse, good heed being taken of his carriage, it was fownd that he brought challenge of combate from Cesford to Bouclough, which he delivered not in writinge, but in wordes." Buccleuch, on his refusal to give him the challenge in writing, published the matter in the hearing and witnessing of sundry Scottish gentlemen, drawn as it would seem to this end. On notice hereof to me, I advised with my brother Sir Robert Carey, Sir William Bowes and the gentleman porter, sent for the Master of Orkney, and in their presence, told him of the sundry reports in town as to the cause of his coming, and I being in charge, thought it my duty to be curious therein, praying him, as in birth and quality honorable, that he would truly state the cause.
Whereon he at last acknowledged his errand from Cesford with a challenge to Buccleuch, and showed us his warrant in writing under Cesford's hand. Whereon I advising with the above three, made known to him that it was not usual for any Scotsman to resort hither without safe conduct. And though I might have passed by that oversight, yet finding he had offered an indignity to my sovereign, in occasioning any violence or disturbance to her Majesty's prisoner, a gentleman stranger received into her protection, I could do no less than report the matter to her, and he meanwhile must stay in the town. So I have kept him for a day or two, meaning to keep him till I heard again from your honor: but as we found it would be long before a post went and returned, we thought better to let him return, taking good assurance for his entrance again here this day 17 days, and remain her Majesty's further pleasure. We thought this course fittest, that the Scots may learn better respect to her Majesty's person and the importance of this place—and also as there has been a late bruit constantly in Edinburgh, that Buccleuch was slain with a bullet in Berwick, whereon the King and Queen are said to have "letten fall highe termes of discontentment." Also though there is no likelihood of truth herein, yet their common manner in Scotland is to give out in uncertain bruits such murders as they afterwards effect. Submitting the further order hereof to her Majesty's pleasure, and beseeching your instructions herein and how to use him on his return. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
(fn. 6) I must humbly entreat you for her Majesty's pleasure what shall become of the town or ourselves? for we must starve, as there is no provisions come for horse or man, or hope of any.
2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
879. Sir W. Bowes to Edward Gray. [Dec. 29.]
In answer to your letter of the 28th and the principal points, viz., First—That time may be allowed for the answers of the keepers of Tyndale and Redesdale as to recovery of the old pledges: the service will admit no delay, my directions from above enforce me to blame myself, as when last here I laboured earnestly with yourself and these keepers, and since with Lord Eure himself—that they might be recovered, for I knew assuredly the Queen would appoint redelivery of the same men, so I expect that matter is in good forwardness. Secondly—You doubt that keeping them will be chargeable, and seizing them one by one, dangerous, to drive away the rest. My answer is, that I often complained to the lord warden that the want of his holding them ready in his hands, has defeated this service, and my advice is that without regard of that small charge in so important a case, you keep them as they can be got till delivery—for as I have to promise their certain persons, I must know that they are in our power. And to get them, I think if it appears to you they will not come to a day and place fixed, then you should appoint with your brother Mr Raphe Graye and your friends of best power and trust, and dividing yourselves in several troops, you may take the said pledges at their houses all at one instant, using them with gentleness and courtesy, so as to raise no affray or "emotion." And if you miss any, I wish you to take for each such man, two of his surname being the chiefest, not expecting me to name them, for you know I cannot tell which of the pledges may be awanting, or who to call for in their stead.
The satisfying of the Scottish commissioners must be left to me as I may effect it. Thirdly—For your wish that as some Englishmen of greater worth than before, must be delivered, you would nominate new Scottish pledges: I have no power to do this, or make a new indent, but must perform the old, and as the delivery of these old pledges greatly touches her Majesty's honour, resting on her royal word, though indeed stricto jure already performed, yet defeated by accidents known to you, she intends not to stand upon that advantage, but by their redelivery to perform the true intention of this commission. Here you must with especial care justify to the people under your charge, this her Majesty's honorable justice, "drawing out of ther hart that vayne supposall, viz., that the pledges so dismissed may plead a lawfull discharge of ther entry."
Lastly—I as your friend, earnestly entreat and charge you, seeing the matter is like to come to a strict account, forthwith to possess yourself of the old pledges, and 2 principal men of the surname of such old pledges as shall be wanting, keeping them in safe custody, till I give you notice to draw them hitherward—for upon your so doing I must frame the further conduct of the proceedings. Berwick.
The new pledges must on your credit be principals of their surname.
2 pp. Contemporary copy. Indorsed.
880. Edward Gray to Sir W. Bowes. [Dec. 31. 1597.]
As directed in your letter of 29th instant I will do my uttermost, though the execution will be most difficult, as I shall further give you notice.
This day I talked with the keeper of Redesdale of the secrecy of the service, and charged him to do his uttermost to apprehend the pledges with speed. He is gone, assuring me he will first try fair means, and then use such way as he can to get those who refuse.
He tells me that since your being in Berwick, divers of them have "refused" their own houses, doubting apprehension; and that the country is in such disobedience from slanderous reports that he has left his office, and Lord Eure is not to return warden, that they start up in arms against all authority.
As for riding "in trowpes": we shall lose our labour in seizing them now they have left their houses; and I hear "they have ben mightely labored by the oposyte to faile in ther entry."
I apprehended this day in Morpeth one of the Halls, the brother of the dead pledge "and the best of that clan," and detain him. Not only himself, but divers gentlemen of this March, are greatly discontented, saying it is for malice, although untrue. You shall hear further of the issue.
If more come to my hands, I have no house or prison to put them in: and know not if sending them to Newcastle gaol, will stand with law. If I take their bond, I shall doubtless be deceived. Therefore I pray heartily for your direction how to keep them safe.
Your brother the keeper of Tyndale is not in the country, but I have sent "of purpose" to seek him, and when I have spoken with him, will report his answer. Morpeth Castle. Edward Graye.
Postscript:—I pray your advice if you think it fit to take sufficient bond for their appearance: for I have no means to keep them either in my own house or any other prison. "Or if it please yow I will send them to yow one by one as I gett them, wher the towne wilbe a place of securitye: or otherwyse as yow think good."
After signing this letter, I thought it was better to certify the truth of my action in this special service, "as I may most justly saye most daungerous to my self," rather than keep it close, so if anything happens unlooked for, you may see where the defect is.
After I had apprehended William Hall of Cartington as aforesaid, I had not detained him above two hours, "by Ephraim Wodrington brother to Harry Wodrington, cam in dynner tyme to my house, with Raphe Ogle, Androw Clennell, Luke Errington, servantes to Henry Wodrington, and John Smyth servant to the said Ephraym, armed with long gouns, pistolles and swordes, willing my porter to open the gates: who doubting of ther pretence, would not, but answered I was at dynner. Then the said Wodrington asked for the said William Hall; who after the said Hall came to him, the sayde Mr Wodrington asked him if he were in prison or not? who answered he was. Then Mr Wodrington said 'those iron gates shall not hold the'! And after, did revyle me 3 tymes in the hearing of my servant, first calling me 'dissembling knave,' secondlie 'cowardly beaste,' thirdlye, 'cowardly dastardly companyon' I was, to hold the sayd Hall in such sorte! Which you knowe is upon your comaund and her Majesties service. For I may justly saye ther determynacion was to seik my lyfe, coming in such order armed, rather then to any other end, as ther spetches doth declare." So I leave your wisdom to judge how likely the Queen's service is to be effected, when at first such resistance and threats are used to her officers.
2¼ pp. Copy in same hand as last. Indorsed. Note by Cecil: "Very worthy the reading."
881. The Afflicted State of Northumberland. [Dec. 1597.]
[An anonymous representation to the Queen, specially directed against Lord Eure and his officers; embodying the presentments of the juries, and the representations of Browne and Woodrington, with additions of the writer's.]
"Harken to her estate, and your wysdome shall see her calamyties are no less. Yf you begyn in her churches, examyninge her poore sowles, I assure your Majestie you shall not fynde fowre preachers in all that mayne of Northumberland; yeat many benefices, many wasted churches, and but too many greate impropriate personages, improperlie used, God knowes. Yf Sanct Pawle saye right, that faith comes of doctryne, what fayth shall we saye hath this people, that was never taught to knowe the Deietie?
"In good faith moste of theym dye, and cannott saie the Lordes Prayer. the whole congregacion goethe a whooringe tyll she hathe all infeccions, for lack of her husbandes presence: they are fytt for any religion, and old tradicion called Papistrye, fytteth theym best. Theyr store is less of open preachers, then of secreat priestes, whoe have seduced moste of the chief howses, gentlemen, and comons of the countrye, as shalbe made knowen to your Majestie in particulers.
"Thus at yeres of understandinge, they want the Woorde to establish relygion. And in theire yonger yeares they shall not fynde so mutche as a gramer schoole in all Northumberland, to informe theym with literature. Theire lyveloodes for the moste parte are either so little, or so dispended, that not one emongest fyve thowsand maynteyneth his sonne at the Unyversatie, and theyre good fortunes are less, havinge so fytt townes as Alnewicke, Morpeth and Hexham for schooles; had never those blessings fownded for theyre yowthe, to comfort theire old age."
For their laws: there are many "formes," but none in force.
First—Touching their discipline in church: your Majesty may conceive from what is said, "itt woorkes small effect."
Secondly—For their justices of peace and their duties: thus it is (1) they keep no order for quarter sessions, and often none: (2) they remove no forcible entries, "which makes every tyrant a kinge, and bruseth the weakest against the walls"; (3) they take no care of markets, or reform the rates of corn, so the greediest may eat up the rest, and withhold his corn from market at pleasure; (4) they inlarge unbailable felons on insufficient bonds, and your Majesty never gets "one grote" of these: your itinerant justices will tell your highness "a Northumberland bayle is as good as the Quenes pardon."
Thirdly—The sheriff, as my Lord Treasurer knows, renders no accounts—the people complain of his neglect, and I think him bound to nothing but his own will, and justice is neglected.
It is an open shame, that the sheriff, Lord Eure and his officers, Mansfield in Redesdale, and Fenwick in Tynedale, "preoccupate one another for haste," converting escheats and forfeitures to their own use, not accounting for "a penny share" to the Queen. Yet the felons survive, and continue their "theef deedes," and the poor unjustly forfeited, must either beg or steal. And this is "one of the mothers of dooble desolacion" in Northumberland, as shown by the inquisition sent to your Majesty by the late commissioners on the oaths of many credible gentlemen. I affirm that those officers have got as much or more goods in their offices, than the Scots have done in the last 12 month.
The toleration of this abuse has brought about, that every meaner officer and "every larde that hathe but a leet courte," is absolute lord of all escheats, and the Queen "the least."
Lastly—Of the warden's office and how carried out, "I will truelie acquaint your Majestie."
The East March, being small, but now much decayed, was of late years strongly inhabited "to the verie rynge of the March." It has sundry castles and forts profitable to their owners, but of no service to the country. "Butt havinge your costlie Berwick a neighbour to sutch as offend it, all the men of that Border agrea, and can render no reasone whie it shoulde or need sustayne either loss or dishonour by those open invasions and cruell murders of Sir Robert Carre of Cesforde and his trayne of theves, more in this age, then it did in the tyme of Sir William Druery whoe lyes lamented in his untymelie dead sleape. And Berwick will not nowe awake with a countrye larom for lack of comission. Yf Sir John Forster for Bambrough, Sir Robert Carey for Norham, and Raphe Graye esquier for Dunstanebrough and Warke castles, were ordered to inhabit these places, the country were mutche the stronger." Reason intends they should be bound to residence and hospitality on their estates. It is no good policy for your Majesty to give away your profits here, to be "forrenlie dispended" elsewhere. "Wytness the ruynated decaye of the Earle of Northumberlandes howses and tenentes, whoe for lack of theire masters presence are wasted as if they were masterless; your Majesties are farre worse." Also divers gentlemen in troubles and deadly feuds, have fled the East March, and left their houses almost desolate.
Also when it pleases your Majesty "to look into the inquisicion I spoke of," it will show Scotsmen and their flocks dwelling on Mr Graye's lands, some of his towns undone by them, especially by Sir Robert Carre—and yet kindness between them—a bad example to the country.
The Middle March is "the land of bondage," and the conduct of its officers is presented to your highness by the said inquisition, in humble hope of redress. By the want of days of truce, it is the "foster mother" of Scots thieves, feeding them not only with goods, but with the blood of your people, who fly from their dwellings to serve or beg. As appears from the late herships "and burninges of your subjectes, poore martyres like herytikes," by the Scottish wardens in person. There is no answer to this "but the trewantes excuse, most childish": and the fault is charged on the Scottish warden, who may perhaps delay, but never denies truce. We observe not the precedents of our forefathers, whereby Northumberland flourished, having then more horsemen than now foot: and the Scot then begged justice, as we do now, and can get none.
[Here he relates Lord Eure's conduct at Stawford, where "myself was present," and his ignominious dismissal of the 100 foot of Berwick at Cesford's bidding, to the shame of the English—the declaration by Eure of another meeting in 10 days; and assured peace meanwhile. Yet notwithstanding this, within three nights after, the attack by 36 of Cesford's men on John Browne's house in Alnwick, the poor gentleman's miraculous deliverance—spoil of his brother, and Mr Clavering's deadly wound in pursuit.] "But this must disolve no kyndnes betwene those twoe wardens."
The effect whereof is, that the Scot may rob and murder your subjects, "so he offend not his kinde frend or his folowers: yea thoughe he doe slea one of those folowers, so he knew him not, or so he came to kyll one other of your subjectes and not him"! then it must be gently dealt with as a "misadventure." Thus "your people are eaten up lyke bread," and your borders wasted. "Butt we are all at gaze what your Majestie will saye to this."—[Sir Robert Kerr's disguised journey to Toplif to buy a horse, his return by Swynburne castle, and its subsequent surprise are related—also the denial of assistance to John Browne, severe treatment of Roger Woodrington—Lord Eure's dealings with the 80 horse, who have been of no use to the border, and nobody knows where they are!]
Lord Eure has entirely neglected his duties, viz., pursuing fugitives, prosecuting murders and burnings, and fyling bills on honour. If this and the Scots' custom of deadly feud against vowers of bills, &c., be suffered, "it will burne the stooble with inquenshable fyer, which the hooke hath left, and make a cleare end of all on the Borders."
The warden prevents challenge by an innocent man, of his professed enemy or a convicted person, on his jury: and again, if a heinous offender is justly condemned to death, will take upon him to set him free, in violation of your Majesty's prerogative.
He has no proper prison, or officer answerable for escapes, and his delays of justice have undone many "as the poore men of Tyndale, whoe have ben deferred these 3 or 4 yeres from ane execucion of 800li., parcell of a los of 1600li., to theire utter impoverishment."
Our diseases are manifold and grievous, both in body, soul, and ability, strange to many, and incurable by most: and therefore not undertaken, but desperately left to amend by time and leisure, destroying the whole body, and burying those suitable remedies yet in sight, waiting to be applied.
Among these, this is the sovereign—A man possessed with the spirit of Sir William Druery, of affable presence, who harboured no covetous conceit, whose tongue was no dissembler, whose heart was in his hand, his hand was a sword, his thoughts served, the people "garded" them, and his services prevailed. Such a man's presence would amend these deformities in town and country, at no cost to your Majesty. "God delyver us from a covetous man, be he never so profounde a philosopher or valyant in accompt: for we poore men that are the flocke, observes by tradicion in our calender of effectes: that sutch a mans desyers are but foolishness, his officers worse then him self; his zeale ungodlyness, his care is rapyne, his love is gayne, his justice is corrupcion, his cowncells infected, his pretended husbandrye but wastinge cowardize, and his services dyrected for his owne adoes: he cures not thaffliccion of Jacob, therefore God blesseth no sutch mens labours, wherever they lyve they are the scourge of the people, and the fruyctes of desolacion to the kingdom." No signature.
5 pp. In a good clear hand. Indorsed.