Border Papers volume 2: January 1598

Pages 496-508

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

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882. Sir W. Bowes to Cecil. [Jan. 4. 1597–98.]

In my "travells" to effect my lords' last directions touching the delivery of pledges, I am "impeached" with these difficulties. First—Cesford's promise to his pledges not to deliver them. The privy labour made with ours to withdraw themselves, and Lord Hume's so befriending Cesford as to make his affairs his own. Thus it so stands, that though the King seems content to receive new pledges from us, yet if they are nominated with Cesford's privity, they will not be gotten, and so the breach now plainly lying on their side, will be drawn by us on ourselves. To meet this mischief, I have as directed by the lords, given Buccleuch some "taste" of her Majesty's inclination to return him on delivery of those pledges, "as caution for effectinge the late commission." Whereon he gladly uses his best credit with the King to bring it about, seeing that Cesford, whom he now esteems enemy to his life and fortunes, will hinder it if he can, both for his own "particuler, as to keepe his capitall ennemie in restrainte and distresse." So Buccleuch labours with Wedderburne, Sir John Carmichael, and others his dearest Court friends, to persuade the King to accept of such names as Wedderburne and Mr George Younge shall present to him, which they are to get from me, "justified" under the deputy warden's hand as the best of the surnames of any missing pledges—the object being that the King shall by letter command Lord Hume to receive these men from me, and proceed with delivery to the Queen as formerly ordered. I have conferred and dealt with Wedderburne on his promise so to travell with the King with speed and secrecy, and advance the bnsiness. Mr Nicholson is also sent to the King with her Majesty's letters, to negotiate as opportunity serves.

I have earnestly endeavoured to get our old pledges or their substitutes, into our possession, and have written many letters to the lord warden of the Middle March and his deputy and under officers—and am forced to send these and their answers herewith, that you may see in what peril the casestands. This has much straitened and vexed me, as if I bind the Queen by new promises which I cannot perform, it will be to dishonour her, and forget my duty. The only pledges in safe custody, are those of the East March.

The service may thus be defeated among so disobedient a people, if the delivery rests merely on the pledges' appearance on the very day under bond, and I must therefore entreat that the blame may not be laid on me.

The remedy, so far as in my power, is, that I have ordered the pledges, as they are gotten, to be kept severally by the principal gentlemen in the Middle March. And I would willingly bear the charge myself of keeping them together, if I could make them sure, or if they would be received by the Governor of this town, who thinks himself burdened enough with keeping Buccleuch. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed: "4 Jan. 1597 . . . Rec. at Whithall the xjth of same." Marginal notes by Cecil.

883. Sir George Hume to Sir W. Bowes. [Jan. 4.]

"Instrwktioun—Gewe Cesfwrd enter his pleadges, according to his promess, ye sall interchange sa mony as he hes thair redy, and for the absentes, let him self be entered to remane with sum indifferent noble man till he relewe him self be thair delyverie: ye resawing, in the meane tyme the haill nomber his opposit pleadges, or his opposit officiar in the absentis place, to remane in Scottland on the lyke conditioun. Baclewch to be used in lyk sort.

"Rycht honorable, this is the extrak, in sum, and almaist termes of that I promesed to send to yow: quhairby ye may perseawe his Majesteis afald meaning to quoyettness and performance of the indentis; quharin I trwst ye will meat him with the lyk sinceretie. And for that vrit servis best to aid memorie, as I spak yisternycht, I vryt now, that in your dealling ye seme not to resolwe as thocht ye shold vant any of your pleadges, bot that is com to be dowbted,—in respect thai hawe ones taisted the feir of entrie and escaipped (ye will say), in our defalt—whether thai can be had agane. If yow lyk the mwtwell conditioun of our indent, ye hawe your mater plane. If not, bot that yow vald be at any uthir conditioun, tak only a qwyet promess of his Majestie, lest be opening the preparative on yowr part, ye geve occasioun to our lymeris to be absent; bot the surest vay to your purpose and qwyetnes is to go on according our instrwctioun, sa sall ye hawe all Cesfordes pleadges rether nor him self, and thocht one of your wardenis pas his tyme a quhyll with us, quhat harme? he may retwrne saif. And sik pleadges as can not be gotten be altered as Baclewche. Use your discretioun, quhilk I pray God to sanctefy, and gewe this vork als gude end as we dealt in it with gude hartis. At Vedderburne the fowrt of Janwarie 1597. Yours as ye knaw." Signed: George Houme.

1 p. Holograph; as also address.

884. Sir W. Bowes to Cecil. [Jan. 8.]

By your letters of last of December, it seems you find not in my packet of the 24th, two letters from Sir George Hume of Wedderburne, said by me to be inclosed. My servant, to whom I gave them to make up, says "confydentlie" he did so. They may have "peradventure" been packed by him in my other private letter to you, in the matter of my suit: if not, I kept no copies of them, hoping to have them back.

Your letter also expects my acknowledgement of letters from my lords of the Council, directing me as to pledges, and the return of Buccluch. This I did in my last letter of the 4th instant, reporting proceedings.

For returning Buccleuch to Carlisle, I have signified the Queen's command therein both to the King and Buccleuch himself; the King is away from Edinburgh in the north, and has not received it yet.

I conceived my lords' direction to be that Buccleuch's reentry should be made after the delivery of pledges was performed, and then I should repair to Carlisle for the service. Yet as Buccleuch declares "that if it layde uppon his lyfe," he cannot procure entry of his old pledges, or new ones in their room, "excepte he were in place him self" to execute the delivery: I thought meet to make this known to you, with his petition that her Majesty would please to take such caution as he is able to give, and allow him to go home to deliver his pledges "to her full contentment"; praying for your directions therein.

Other dispatches than the aforesaid, except one briefly mentioning them, and another concerning my suit (the answer whereof I trust is already delivered) I have not received. Beseeching humbly, that the slowness of proceeding (which I cannot amend) or my not writing fruitless letters of no progress made, may not be offensive, seeing as my conscience witnesses, that I lay aside my own necessities, profits and delights, to do my duty in this service. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

I beseech your honor to cause this letter to be delivered to Mr Ewens, who was charged with my other letter soliciting my suit, who shall deliver Wedderburne's letters, if put in his packet by mistake.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

885. John Carey to Burghley. [Jan. 10.]

I have lately had a letter of the lords of the Privy Council, showing your care and regard for the better furnishing of this town with victuals. As yet we have received no benefit, but remain as we did. I have thought good to acquaint your lordship, that the necessity of the town being so great, my own affairs and law business so much, and so many councillors resident here, besides Sir Robert Carey and Sir William Bowes, that I cannot find a fitter time to come up, and God willing, I mean to do so presently, as I can get no leave. Humbly praying that as heretofore you will continue my good lord and not take offence against me, for I have so many great causes, that my stay here is impossible, and it would be too tedious to set them all down, and nothing but necessity is my reason. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

¾ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

886. Sir W. Bowes to Burghley. [Jan. 10.]

The long protraction of this business for delivery of the pledges, whereon I have written at large to Mr Secretary, has induced me to set down the whole course of the matter "in short heades," to keep it in memory and get directions, and it may please your lordship to receive these herewith. I have thought fit to do so, hearing that the King in his late letters to her Majesty, endeavours to place the fault of delay on her ministers, especially myself. The better to clear such "preparatives" of his as Mr Nicholson lately advertised me of, I beg your lordship to examine the particulars of my abstract, with the advertisements I have from time to time sent to Mr Secretary, as the references on the "margent" will show, when the true state of the case will appear. Here I must, for my own excuse, complain that in spite of my earnest requisitions to the wardens, especially Lord Eure and his officers (where the chief impediment now lies), to recover the old pledges, and provide new for those absent, I can hear of neither, and am kept in continual suspense, seeing I dare promise nothing on her Majesty's behalf, towards finishing the cause.

I humbly beg directions what course to follow therein, viz., how I shall answer Wedderburne's motion specified in his letter herewith sent, expressing the King's last instructions given to him at his late coming from Edinburgh? or, if the course propounded by me, appearing in the end of my abstract "Division 24," shall be better approved, then that the warden himself may see it executed, to remedy such disobedience as Mr Edward Gray Lord Eure's deputy lately reported—whose letter with Mr Secretary, will show your lordship. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Abstract referred to.)

[Summary under 27 heads, of the negotiations between the commissioners on both sides, letters, &c., between Lord Home and Sir William Bowes, as to the pledges, Buccleuch, &c.]

5 pp. Written by his clerk. Indorsed by Burghley: "1597.—A summary of Sir William Bowes negociacion on the Borders from May untill January.'

887. Munition, &c., at Berwick. [Jan. 12.]

Note of the serviceable munition and other habiliments for war in store, 17 July 1597—what expended—and what remains.

Callyvers furnished, 395; pikes, 1078, expended by warrant, 9, remaining, 1069; long bows, 294; lance staves, 620; horsemens' staves, 922; arrows, 95 "sheif"; "Almayne corslettes," 122; "Flaunders corslettes," 114; spades and shovels, 470, expended by warrant, 20, remaining, 450; pickaxes, 342, expended by warrant, 8, remaining, 334; long carts, 10, expended by warrant, l, remaining 9.

pp. Contemporary copy. Indorsed.

888. Powder at Berwick. [Jan. 12.]

Note of the powder in store 1st January 1596—what is expended, and what remains.

"Remayne" on 1st January 1596 was—13½ lasts, 700lb. weight. Expended, viz., the captains for training powder, 2500lb.; defalked by the master of ordnance, 1000lb.; by the Governor's warrant to the East mount and flankers, 2500lb.; by same to Wark castle, 400lb.; to the fort at Holy Island, 200lb.; and for "the furnishing of fower fielde peces withe cartradges for present service, by like warraunte," 100lb. In all 6700lb., "whiche makethe two lastes dim. vij° lb. wz." Remains in store 11 lasts.

1 p. Copy in same hand. Indorsed.

889. Musters at Berwick. [Jan. 12.]

Defaults of the musters taken before the right worshipful John Carey esquire governor of the town 12 January 40 Eliz.

Absent, with or without passports, from the companies of John Carey, Sir William Reade and 5 other captains, gunners, workmen of the Ordnance, horsemen and pensioners, in all, 35 men. Signed: Jhon Carey, John Crane.

2 pp. In Crane's writing. Indorsed.

890. H. Leigh to Scrope. [Jan. 19. 1597–98.]

In answer to your two letters of the 9th and 12th instant, the former authorizing me to proceed severely against such pledges and their friends as shall disobey entry, and the latter desiring to know how far Sir William Bowes and I have proceeded therein and what day is set down for delivery? I have had no direction from him but the inclosed letter where no day is appointed, but I can assure you there is no doubt our pledges will be ready on the day, except "red Rowy Foster," for whom your lordship has Lord Eure's word, and "Antons Edward whose sonne your lordship hath in howld." But Edward offers to enter at all times to your lordship, his life being saved, and I doubt not, if it come to delivery indeed, he will be as ready as he was. But we who live on the Borders think there is no likelihood of the service being perfected, for divers of the Armstrongs and others taken as pledges by the King when he was on the border, are either broken away, "or in pollecy ar suffered to escape owt the Blacknest, wher they were comitted"—whereby some disquiet will likely arise; but let them begin when they will, we shall be as ready as they. The country is quiet, but I cannot get the people to present the hurts and losses by Scotland since your departure, but some chance or other defers it, as the inclosed letter from Thomas Carleton for Gilsland will show. For all others, Mr William Hutton ordered his man to draw them up "fayre," and by sickness he has neglected it: but by the next you shall have them. I send the certificate of the justices to show your lordship the cause of the evils, that you may proceed in your course for some horsemen—"for in good trewth, ther is almost neyther fayth, nor trewth, nor manhoode, left in Gylsland," and without some severe execution in time, that country will be past recovery. William Mylbourne who was hurt by Gerard Carleton and two of the Grames, is dead, and unless corrected, it will be a perilous example. Your lordship has doubtless heard the manner of his murder, which was done for your sake, having sent him to London to complain, as he said himself. As for the Bells, "thoughe some of them might mend theyre maners," I shall assist them against the enemy so far as I can, till you come home, when I fear "fowle" complaints will come in, one of them against another, which must be reformed by your self. The Lord Oucheltrye has been this fortnight in Edinburgh, so there has been no entrance to justice, but some demands by letters, wherein I am not behind with him in reasonable answers. We are well enough yet, but I doubt our long quietness has nourished "to much sloathfull unaptnes" in our people against a doubtful day. There is no news of account, all things depending on the dispatch of the Scottish "intended" ambassadors. It is said the King has "gotten granted by his subjectes this parlement the tenth penny of all comodities cominge in or goynge furth of his realme, for the mayntenance of his forrayne affayres." I will not trouble your lordship with variable reports of the Scottish discontentments and brags, "but be as it wyll," Mr Edward Hutton and George Crookebayne are witnesses of the readiness of our pledges. The Bishop has been sick and is not yet well. The sickness here in Carlisle, God be praised, partly ceases. Mr Mayor and we all heartily wish you a happy return, as you write, without further delay, and so did all the gentlemen of the country at Cockermouth sessions. The bishop willed me to write that if you would come home, "ye might lye at the Rose with thre or foure of your men and cost ye nothinge tyll your lordship were satisfyed of the sicknes at Carlyll. He would not rest tyll I promised to signifye so much unto ye." Mr Wyclyffe told me my Lord Thomas was dead, which I would be sorry for. Carlisle. Signed: He. Leighe.

3 pp. Holograph; as also address. Indorsed.

891. Sir W. Bowes to Cecil. [Jan. 20. 1597–98.]

On my receipt of her Majesty's letter to the King of Scots, and your signification of further instructions thereon, I wrote on the 17th to Mr Nicholson to procure the King's safe conduct, receiving in answer two letters which I send herewith. It seems the King rests on these three points, viz., To have such pledges as will save his country; next, if we change, he also may; and thirdly, as we have Buccleuch, he may have first of all our pledges for him. These demands give me little hope of ending speedily, raising new questions on naming and getting new pledges on both sides, and breaketh the former indent, which her Majesty duly performed, and his own ministers voluntarily dismissed them after delivery. I have often laid this before him and his ministers, and shall do it again by speech to make an end if possible.

I must again lay before you the untowardness of the proceedings in this matter—in Scotland as above; in England, for I can have no certainty either of new or old pledges, in spite of my many letters. Indeed the Middle Marches want both command and obedience: Edward Gray the deputy warden, though most desirous to do his part, finding the hindrances I have already certified to you: also I hear that Mr Mansfield keeper of Redesdale, is not in the country and his part slowly proceeding in a deputy's hand, so that Lord Eure's presence must either help this, or there will be more failing with us than them. So I see not how to cover it in speech with the King, or what to promise on the Queen's behalf, and beg your directions how to act, in case at my return from Scotland I find neither old nor new pledges ready for the Middle March.

Buccleuch has earnestly required me to commend his inclosed request to her Majesty under his hand writing. I think as he says, it is impossible to deliver pledges as the present state of Liddesdale is now. And since her Majesty is resolved to keep him on no other cause than the pledges, she may please to consider whether his detaining as he is, or dismissing him on these conditions, may best advance her service: seeing his detention "coulourethe the Kinges standinge upon denyall to give her Majestie further entrie of pledges, except he may receyve eyther our pledges or wardens makinge defalt."

Besides I think the strict course he will take in Liddesdale with some of the best Ellots and Armstrongs, will abate their wicked force, and I expect he will deliver us others to be agreed on between him and me before his going, equally answerable as the former. So we shall thus both have pledges, and cut off others of the worst deservers against our nation. The quarrel between him and Cesford has gone so far, that I believe if they were both at liberty it might work better effect for us than the mere detaining Buccleuch for the matter of his pledges. But I refer this wholly to her Majesty's directions, which it may please her to signify with such expedition, that I may give Buccleuch answer on my return from the King. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet (Bowes).

Inclosed in the same:—

(1) (Buccleuch to Bowes.)

"Schir, sence thair Majestyes finall scope in the concludet entrye off the pledges, is the redress off the losses off thair subjectis, and that the same is impossible to be performed on my part by my remayning heer or elles quhair out of my awin cuntrye, for that I have naine able to performe that service for me, and that quhilk is less, naine able in my absence to hinder the disobedientis frome duelling paeceablye at thair awin houses vithin that pairt off the cuntrye quhairoff I have charge, or keep the rest in any kynde of conformitye or obedience, as I ame sure thair is of the subjectis of baithe "the realmes, that hes felt vitht thair graet loss, sence my entrye heer: my ernest desyer therfor unto yow is, that yee vald move hir Majestye to knaw hir plaesure towardis me, quha am contented dewtifullye to doo any thinge for hir Majestyes satisfaction in the mater I am entered for—as, in particular I vill offer, being relaesed for a raesonable tyme, upon catioune of Inglishe, or Scottishe gentlemen, my awin promeess, or the entrye of my sone, vithin the sayd tyme I shall enter the pledges that var first named, or being authorized by his Majestie, I shall demolishe thair houses, and destroye quhatsumewer is in thair possessioune to be destroyed, and expell them out of that place, and enter sic uther for them as shall be given me in liste: or reenter my selff in this same conditioune as I ame now, efter I shall have performed quhat I am able, to be censured in it by hir Majestie, quha may therefter in my libertye favour me, as hir highness shall find me to have deserved, in sa far, as my desert maye be a motiffe, rather then a causs. Seing the entrye of the first named pledges, iff it should stand me upou my lyff, or perpetuall restrainct, I dar nocht certanlye promeess." Signed: Baclughe.

1 p. Holograph. Indorsed by Bowes: " Baclughs request."

(2) (George Nicholson to Bowes.)

On Friday last I delivered to the King her Majesty's and your letters, whereon he said "they had ben longe enough in advisinge, and must nedes be well dited, as (I thought) conceyvinge that they had ben answers to his former lettres which he had accompted to have ben disdayned to be answered him"—and so withdrew from the chamber to the "cabinett" to read them. After which he sent out Sir George Home to me, signifying he was well pleased that her Majesty had employed me, and used such good words of me in her letter, adding, that the King said "I should farr deceive him and many honest," if I did not carry myself well in office, and would have me come to him next day after his return from hunting. I humbly thanked the Queen and his Majesty for their good "conceiptes" of me, and would I hoped justify the trust reposed in me, saying I thought you were the cause of my employment. Next day about 4 P.M., on the King's return from hunting, "I went downe and spoke "his Majesty, who at the very first, said he was sorry for the death of my master, (fn. 1) who "had allways made just and true reporte of his speaches with him, as they never disagreed in any thinge, a matter which with many circumstances, he noted to have ben very honest and commendable in my master, and mete to be don by men so imployed."

I said I was to attend his Majesty for you in all border causes, and prayed him to think, notwithstanding contrary reports, that you would do your best endeavour to end these, as notes which I had from you, would truly show your part therein. I forbore to offer them then, as the Laird of Cesford and his friends were then in the chamber. He said he doubted it not, for you and he were so of one mind as to upright dealing, "as he should (if he were not a King) well agree with you."Thereon he asked me how many and which of the old pledges would be had? I said neither you nor I yet knew. He said "How then"? I replied that I sought to know for the present, that he would in general agree to accept of the best of the names to be entered for such of the old as could not be had. Whereunto he said "Yes, but Johnston (he said) and others had for their perticulers, made choise of suche as were not sufficient to safe the contry, which now must be helped." I said, this might be done by the best of their names being gotten on the credit of our officers (yourself not knowing them) and so the treaty be preserved. He said "Yes." And I told him you were dealing with our wardens to appre hend them, but not knowing the result, could not give their names directly, but I would do so on certainly hearing from you with directions, praying his Majesty then "to kepe it secrett," which he agreed to do, appearing well satisfied with the hope of a speedy end therein, and very earnest therefor, "his wordes being better and tending more effectuall to that purpose then I can write." I note three things whereon he will stand,—1. To have such as may "safe" his country; 2. That if we change pledges, so may he; and 3. As we have Baucleughe, he will first of all have the pledges for him. Your good friend the Laird of Wedderburne thinks the motion for entry of the wardens into honorable and fair custody, the best way to help, till the pledges are had, and he thinks will serve for the time as well as pledges, and better to quiet the borders. But if you please to send your offers or requests in short notes under your hand, I will take such meet time by the help of good friends, as to get you answers from the King in writing, for your satisfaction and my excuse. For I assure you, he is of himself ready to do reason: "he being satisfied in all his belike doubtfull informacions knowne to you, savinge onely annent the Gratuitie: which being had, no doubt of his good will and order to end these causes, as you shall desiere. (fn. 2) So soone as the parties interessed in these causes shalbe absent, Mr Aston will watch mete tyme for me to shew your note to the King, which a frend of yours will second, as the King I hope shall see the true estate of all, and how he is delt with. If tyme serve not here, I will wate on his Majestie to Sterling about it."

Shortly after, the King called me to him, and touching the Master of Orkney's being stayed at Berwick and his promise to enter, asked me what I thought they would do with him? I said he was gently stayed, I thought to let him see there was such government there, that such a challenge should not have been brought thus to her Majesty's prisoner. But he repeated—what I thought they would do with him? I said I thought no hurt, but only let him see his error. He said he thought so, adding, "the gentleman was rashly brought on it, was of his name, and should enter and kepe his worde, wishing that he might be courteously used and dismissed; yet willing me to kepe the same his speache in any case secrett." So seeing his Majesty's mind, I commend it to your knowledge, so to work that it may be effected; "which you may best do upon the least wordes of the Lard of Baucleughe" who will use some formal entreaty for the Master as he did before. Thus you will get favour of the laird and the gentleman, and increase of it with the King, for I shall show him your part in best sort. These and such like courtesies you will find good for the great causes in your hands; and I commit this to your "good handling and secretcy. If the Quene have made any meanes that his entry may be spared, you may know." When the King had done, the Laird of Cesford drew me aside in the chamber, and spoke much of the kindness between my late master and him, till the Queen on misreports sent to her, had directed my master against him, but now he hoped I would carry myself in her service "eavenly" to him; which I said I would do as became an honest man. Then he said the matter of pledges "were langsom and harde," and hoped they might be soon ended, or some other easy way taken for the good of both countries. I said he was blamed by most men as the cause of the stay, as those to be delivered were his dependers. He said they were, but he would neither protect them or any others to hinder the good intentions of the princes—"which very good wordes I must nede write, if I write trulye."

This state is quiet, Lord Hamilton and the Duke being agreed, and the castle of Dunbarton to be delivered to the Duke on Saturday next. For which Lord Hamilton is promised to have Arbroath made temporal and conveyed to him, "and sondry other thing are to [be] don also to him and his "basterd son. The King wold have Colonell Stewart constable of that pece: but the Duke thincking the same not in his handes unlest some sure frend of his owne be placed by him self in that pece, will not agre thereunto; so as I thinck Tracquaire shall for the first receive it, and after, the Duke place of his owne chose there.

"The King and mynisters are very busy aswell annent the generall platt for the providing of lyvinges for preachers through the whole contry, as annent their having of place in perliament by the titles of bishopps, which they daily seke to have the King to alter, and wherein for his owne parte he semeth to agree to them, yet his estate he accompts will not. So as these matters are not like to take perfect resolucion till the generall assembly at Dunde 3 Marche next.

"Mr John Lyndsay upon alledgaine of his sicknes, but in truth for mony, hathe passte his office of secretaryship to Mr James Elphinston, one of the Octavians, a dangerouse man not favoring our estate. And the Erle of Erroll is in way to be chauncelour: this weke it wilbe sene whether that he gittes it or not.

"Thomas Fowlis made lately depute threasurer, fell madd sick this day, some thinck for care of his debtes, others because the King hathe gotten from him the H. (fn. 3) which was pawned to him for money to furnish the Kinges rode last against the papist erles, which H. the King gave to the Quene who in geistes gave it to the Lady Erroll, sayeing it was litle ennoughe that she had it a night for the casting downe of her husbandes house. Erroll lodgeth in the Kinges house.

"William Home, Sir George his brother, pursueng Edward Johnston for his escheit annent the 17 of December was the yeare, and the Lard of Johnston travailing to defend Edward: the lard and William fell to suche wordes before the King, as the King committed them bothe to the castell; but they are bothe out againe, not agreed, but backing themselves with parties: the King is for William. If Baucleughe were at home that quarrell wolde brede troubles here. The declaracion that the lard of Baucleughe hathe made to the challenge brought by the Master, is despersed common here, by setting some of the merkett crosse, some of the Courte gate, some of the kirkes and townes portes, as without bloode that matter can never end honorably betwene them." I refer all these matters for your advertising Mr Secretary, praying my excuse to his honor to whom I will shortly write. Edinburgh, 16 January 1597. Signed: George Nicolson.

I have thus long deferred writing, as Mr Aston was to have written to Mr Secretary and you: but he is so troubled in mind about Thomas Fowlis' sickness and the loss he will now have by him, that he is not in "tune" to write to Mr Secretary "for very grefe."

Lord Ochiltree is going to Dumfries again and a taxation to be levied of the sheriffdoms that have not yet served or been at charge there, for that service.

pp. Holograph; also address. Indorsed.

(3) (George Nicolson to Bowes.)

I have received by this bearer your letter, asking me to send you the King's safe conduct, "to take your lodging there presently." Thereon I repaired to him, and have his grant for it, which shall be sent shortly.

He asked me if you had commission to end the border causes of pledges? I said I thought you had. He is very earnest to end them, so come as near prepared as you can. Sir George Homo said to me there was some "wrange" on misinformation, but that it would not grow—I said "God forbid it." I think he meant the King's speeches in Parliament. I hope you will make all well. Here are bruits among "intelligencer practisers," that Spain and France will sure agree, and there is a mighty army preparing to come from Spain to England or Ireland. But I hope your coming will prevent all practices, for the King is well inclined. Your house, &c., shall be prepared in the best sort I can. Edinburgh, 17 January 1597. Signed: Geo. Nicolson.

½ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

892. John Carey, &c., to the Privy Council. [Jan. 20.]

In reply to your lordships' letter of 30th December on the petition of the Mayor and commonalty for the due observation of certain articles set down by your lordships in 1584, and entered in the Council's book here by order of the Lord Chamberlain then lord governor of this place, and our delay in executing the same, without your special order: we have conferred with the Mayor and his brethren, as directed by your lordships, and find they are contented with these said articles, excepting as now certified, viz., under the third article, as to the burgesses' enjoyment of the fields as heretofore, they complain that the surveyor of victuals withholds from them a piece of ground called Gaynes laye, long possessed by him for the Queen's use, under her broad seal, as the deputy victualler informs us, and if withdrawn from him, would put her Majesty to greater charge for victualling. Also under the sixth article, they crave that men in pay be restrained from handicrafts, farming fishings, and keeping tippling houses or "ostrie" here, or use of the field, which the soldiers surcharge with cattle: yet are content to allow the last, on the soldier paying 4d. quarterly for a cow's grass to the town chamber, in acknowledgment; and as to the first part touching handicrafts, &c., they hold themselves satisfied and content. As the common pasture is extremely surcharged, not only by the soldiers and townsmen, but daily incomers who pester the town, we offered to the mayor and aldermen if they kept order, we would allow no soldier above 2 kynes' grass, and only if he had wife and children: but the imposition of 4d. quarterly, was never heard of since Berwick was English, and may breed discontent. For the 3d article of the petition: we advertise your lordships it is true Baldersburie and other extraordinary grounds now held by captains, were to be taken from them, they receiving allowance of 200 trusses of hay at 14d. per truss. But in Lord Bedford's time the captains and pensioners were possessed of these meadows, and need them, as they keep horses and attend the governor, lord warden and other commissioners of her Majesty at meetings; which they cannot do, if the meadows are taken from them. We are also entreated by the mayor and his brethren to represent the small allowance they have towards keeping up the place, and if it pleased her Majasty to help them with some better fee, she should deal graciously. In the 9th article, they beg allowance towards building a church. "We with them, are most humble petitioners unto your lordshipps in that behalf; assuringe your lordships that in the somber tyme, the smalenes of the churche with the great resort of people thereunto is not onlie daungerous for infection; but also the churche beinge olde and weake, and manie scaffoldes beinge builded there for enlardgement of roomes, is in great hazard of fallinge, to the greate danger of such as shalbe there, in so much as with the surchardginge of the scaffoldes and the weaknes of the tymber, at everie smale tempest, hath so feared the people, that both the preacher and them have often tymes rune furth of the church even at sermond tyme, to save themselves from the danger thereof." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey, Will'm Selby, Rychard Musgrave.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

893. Sir W. Bowes to Cecil. [Jan. 21. 1597–98.]

I have instantly received the King's safe conduct for my entry, with the inclosed packet addressed to your honor. And as I would be most glad to come to some resolution with the King in this tedious matter of pledges, I shall be forced "some small tyme to attende what certaintie can be drawen" from the officers of the Middle March: but will use all my diligence therein.

It seems from Mr Nicolson that they guess in Scotland the King's projects touching the Queen in the latu Parliament may be some cause of my employment; "which expectation hath given a pause in the Erle of Errols admission to the office of chauncelour. I wishe that as guiltinesse causeth them to suspect truly, so faltinge may make them restore some good matter of amends.

"There are divers bruites spred and reported confidently in Scotlande, of great indignities done to Marie the late Queene, openly in London, in the tyme of our parliamente: which reportes receyve great detestation from the vaine credulous people.

"The conceipt of the Kings displeasure taken at these imagined wrongs, together with the sharpes peeches used by the Queene heereanent, hath putt the borderers in great hope that they shall have (as they tearme it) 'a mans worlde,' and have well neare quitted the feare of their entrie for pledges. Butt this jollitie, as it will quaile upon my entrie, so must it make me more heedfull to free my passage from their wicked attempts, beinge right lothe to add any more to the heape of these dishonours." Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

894. Eure to Burghley. [Jan. 22.]

Sir William Bowes in his letter of 26th December to Edward Graye, signifies receipt of the Council's letters acquainting him of the Queen's command to proceed to perfect delivery of pledges—and orders the said Edward to get them into his hands with all secrecy and expedition. And in his letter of 29th December, commands him "in hæc verba: I must intreate you out of the love of a freinde, and upon the straite commaunde laide upon me, effectuallie charge yow, seing this cause is like to come to straite accompte, that yow forthwith possesse yourselfe of the olde pledges, and of 2 principall men of the same surename for everie sutch olde pledge as shalbe wanting, keaping them all in your safe custodie till sutch tyme as I shall give yow notice, &c."—and in the postscript, "in hec verba:—let your newe pledges be sutch as you will give your creditt to be of the principallest of the surename, and undertake so mutch in your lettre to me, that I may insiste thereupon more stronglie, and this with speade." Edward Graye writing to me the warden on 10th instant, signified the apprehension of one William Hall of Cartington, one agreeable to Sir William Bowes directions as principal of his surname, and to whose estate the Scots could not object: who on 30 December was ordered by the warden's servant to repair to Edward Gray, and by him commanded to remain in his custody. Whereon Effraim Woodrington with one Andrew Clennell, Luke Errington and Roger Ogell, all servants to Henry Woodrington, with one Raphe Smithe servant to Effraim, came armed with swords, pistols and long guns, to the gates of Edward Graye in dinner time, willing the porter to open them; which he refused, seeing them, armed, as his master was at dinner. Whereon Effraim inquired for William Hall of Cartington, who came to the gate with one Hall Mr Gray's man: when Woodrington asked said William Hall if he was prisoner or no? who said he was. When Woodrington replied: "Thes yron gaytes shall not hould the," railing at Mr Graye with hard and "undecente" speeches, asking on what authority he so deprived him of liberty.

And Mr Graye finding this will reveal the secrecy in apprehending others, and hinder the Queen's service, moves me earnestly in his letter to be discharged of the office of deputy warden, the rather for this year he is commanded to be sheriff of the county, both which are too heavy a burden for him to bear.

May it please your lordship, seeing the secret combination of the gentlemen against me their warden, demonstrates malice and opposition, and that I cannot serve without officers, who are equally "contempned," that you will please not only to "convent theese forenamed Woodrington" and servants, and fitly punish them, but also to think of some one more fit than myself, who with love of the country, may speedily end these and infinitely more enormities and evils grown and "festred" in that poor distressed country.

1 p. Written by his clerk. Addressed (at head in another hand). Indorsed: "22 Jan. 1597. Lord Eures information against Mr Woodrington and others," &c.

895. Provision at Berwick. [Jan. 23. [1597–98.]]

Provision remaining there on 23 January, and already shipped, and in the "loftes" at Hull ready to be shipped.

Wheat—at Berwick, 150 qrs.; bought in York and Lincoln shires, most part shipped and at sea "near hand" 20 days, the rest in the chambers at Hull, ready, 227 qrs.

Malt—at Berwick, 285 qrs. 7 bz. 1 pk.; bought in York and Lincoln shires, most part shipped as above and the rest in the "loftes" ready, 164 qrs. 4 bz. 3 pks.

Beans—at Berwick, 45 qrs. 2 bz.; bought as above, and most part shipped, and the rest in the "loftes" ready, 134 qrs.

Oats—at Berwick, 3 qrs. 3 bz. 1 pk.

Oxen 37; muttons, 119. [Butter, cheese, fish, &c.]

Signed: Robert Vernon, Rich. Swifte.

1 p. Indorsed.

896. Vernon to Burghley. [Jan. 24. 1597–98.]

Since my coming from Court, I have laden "twoe crairs" with wheat malt beans and rye for Berwick, "the fourmer wherof, I truste in God, is at Barwick before this tyme, and the other is reddie, and stayeth but for the wynde, which God sende." I trust that "crair" which left before Christmas is there long before this, and I look to receive as much as will load another this week, which I will leave my men to ship, and to call for the rest of the provisions I have already bought in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, which "God sendinge it to Barwicke," I trust will serve till Midsummer.

I inclose a note showing what is bought already—what is shipped and received being bought in Northumberland, and what is yet to receive and ship from hence. But I have had much ado to get it out of the country, though I have your letters: men are so loth to deliver, as the price of grain rises daily, and there are many buyers on the coast for London, &c., which give what they ask for their corn. Lynne. Signed: Ro. Vernon.

½ p. Holograph; also address. Indorsed.

Inclosed in same:—

(Note referred to.)

½ p.

897. Scrope to Cecil. [Jan. 29.]

I advertised you not long since of a murder committed by young Gerarde Carleton second son to Thomas Carleton, on a servant of mine, William Milburne, whom he then left "neare deade." Now Milburne is dead, and his kinsmen would come up to complain to her Majesty, "but that I stayed them." I must entreat that this deed be punished for example sake and prevention, as these men are too apt to shed blood: the rather that power is taken away from me. The Carletons report over the country that the Council order set down in my lord your father's chamber, shall be reversed; which if true, I neither can nor will continue in that office, wherein I cannot correct vice in whomsoever found. I send inclosed the certificate of the country gentlemen showing how peaceable the West Marches have been in my absence, also Sir William Bowes and Henry Leigh's letters. "My brother Bowes is expected of the Scottishe King shortly with a message from the Queen. What his answere shalbe, I thincke I shall advertise you by my next lettre." Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Holograph; as also address. Indorsed.

898. John Carey to Burghley. [Jan. 30.]

"Albeit in my last letter to youer honer I mad a sertayen brave sheawe of my comminge upe, yet durst I not so muche forgett my dutey and alegens as to presume to come witheout leve, thoughe it wear as I fear it wilbe to my utter undoinge." Though I wish to give no such just cause of offence, yet it will little benefit her Majesty to undo me in her service. So long as I have your favour, I care less what becomes of me, and would fain show my gratitude in requital of the many favours I have received from you.

Sir William Bowes has been here ever since Christmas and on Saturday last the 28th instant took his journey towards the King, who is now at Edinburgh.

I send the defaults of the last muster here. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

1 p. Holograph; as also address. Indorsed. Swan wax signet.

899. Richard Musgrave to Burghley. [Jan. 31.]

Showing that at Lord Scrope's request, and his lordship's warrant, he sent 200 callyvers at his own charge more than a year ago to Carlisle, but has never yet been paid for them, and having had to replace them in store, prays a commission may be issued to some indifferent gentlemen of the country to assess and levy the money.

Inclosing a schedule of the serviceable munition in his charge. Newcastle. Signed: Rychard Musgrave.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet (Musgrave).


  • 1. Robert Bowes.
  • 2. On margin here.—"He will have none of his speaches in perliament concerning England entred in any acte, but left out."
  • 3. A crown jewel.