Border Papers volume 2: March 1598

Pages 520-527

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

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915. Examination of Robert Crawforth. [March 2.]

"The examinacion of Robert Crawforth of Whittsome in the Marshe of Scotland, Scottishman, taken before Edward Gray esquier deputy warden of the Middle Marches of England against Scotland, the second day of Marche in the Xlth yeare of her Majesties raigne."

The examinate, being asked how he became acquainted with one Valentine Thomas Englishman, with whom he came out of Scotland? Answered, that he first met him at Wedderburne mouth a little above Blaccketer water, betwixt Duns and Whittsome, "upon Wenesday before St Lukes day, 97 "; and one John Brotherstones of Tranent in Scotland was there with the said Valentine Thomas, who at that time named himself Thomas Anderson.

Brotherstones there told this examinate, that the said Thomas alias Anderson was an Englishman, and had been with him "ever since before Michaelmas 97 "—that he had killed a knight's second son in England, "but named not what knight," and dared not return there or trust any Englishman; therefore on Brotherstones' request, this examinate agreed to go with him and Thomas whither they would. Whereon this examinate parted with them and went into Duns, promising to meet them next night at "Twisell upon Tweede," and did so at the house of one Edome Hadspeth of Twisell.

On Friday he and the other two went to Felton in the Middle Marches, and lodged that night in the house of one John Milles; on Saturday night at Whickam upon Tyne water in the Bishopric; on Sunday they came to Ferry on the hill, intending to dine there, but Thomas told this examinate he "espied one Mr Delavaile Hay" that knew him and his offences, and he durst not stay there; so this examinate "bought two or three penny cakes," and they rode to Wallworth "and round about the house, and wandered up and downe till night came on," and then they all "went into a cloase neare Wallworthe and lay amongst the whinnes there that night."

On Monday morning Thomas alias Anderson parted from them, for business of his own, and the two others held on to Heighington, thence to Kirkmerrington, where they dined, and travelled on to Aykley, where the said Thomas met them in the eastmost house of the town, about 2 o'clock P.M. of the same day, "being St Lukes even."

Then after they three "had eaten some meate there, the sayd Valentine willed this examinate to buy a pye and a loafe of bread, alleadging that he would putt it in his cloke-bagge 'for the boy that was seeking two fooles': which wordes were reported often before this examinate understood his meaning "—for they had no boy, and thereon he doubted that Thomas alias Anderson was "a lewd fellowe," and as himself a Scottishman, had guided him to that place where he was utterly void of help, he resolved to do as Thomas told him.

So starting from Aykley, they all rode up and down the moors and fields till night, and seeing about 20 "coultes" on a moor near Aykley, after viewing them, the said Thomas alias Anderson concluded with the other two to drive away 6 of the best at night, as if driving to a fair, and thus take them to Scotland; but as the night was dark and they could not sunder the colts, they rode back towards Kirkmerrington, and in the highway, "the sayd Valentine ryding a lytle dystant from this examinate and Brotherstones, he called on them and sayd there was goodes enough to be gotten there; to whom when this examinate came, they sawe divers beastes and two mares, and tooke away with them the two mares, viz., a gray mare and a bay mare, and brought them to a loaning neare Kirkmerrington, where the sayd Valentine did see other two horsses in a close, whereof the one had a locke on his foote, and the other had none, being a sanded bay nagge, being marked with a tarred crosse on the neare buttocke. This examinate and they tooke away the one that had no locke, and ridd on the stollen mares and nagge, and drive there owne till they came beyond Durham two miles northward."

There the other two made this examinate "light of " the brown mare, take his own nag, and hold on his way through Newcastle, for none would stop him having no horse but his own—while they would go by Whickham with the stolen goods. So he parted and never heard of them till he came to his own house in Scotland, where he was told that Valentine and Brotherstones had been there two days before him, had sold the stolen goods and never gave him any part; saving that Valentine left his own nag as worth nothing, which this examinant took and kept.

On "Allhallowday" last he came to Edinburgh, and "in an alehouse neare the West porte there," he casually found Valentine and Brotherstones, and demanded his part of the goods brought from England, as he had "taken paines" as well as they. But Valentine said they had nothing to give him for the bay mare they took from him—as he sold her for a bay nag and 20s.—which money he spent, and Brotherstones got the nag and put him away, so there was nothing left for him.

After these speeches, the said Thomas alias Anderson told the examinate if he had done him wrong, he would make amends, for "he had been at Glascoe, and . . . had gotten the acquaintance of one Mr John Steward of the Bewte keeper of the Kinges chamber doore," who had promised to bring him to secret conference with the King, which if Steward did, the said Valentine would do the King such service, "that would deserve a thousand crownes at his Majesties hands"—so this examinate left satisfied for the time.

About 14 days after, he came to the house of "one widowe Speeres in Cannagate" Edinburgh, where he found the said Valentine. They kept close till night, when they went to Hallyroode House the King's palace, to the house of Mr John Steward, who brought Valentine to secret conference with the King, and "so nightly for the space of v or vj nightes together."

The said Valentine coming nightly to the aforesaid widow's house, told this examinate, that he had showed the King how to conquer England without effusion of blood, as he wished it so done for love to his native country, viz. (1) To cast off the "ministery of Scotland" by some purposed occasion; (2) to send his agents to deal with the recusants and papists, as follows—beginning with Northumberland, so to Cumberland, Westmerland, Bishopric, York and Lincoln shires; and the recusants in these once won, were strong enough with his aid to vanquish all England; (3) that he had promised the King to return to England as a feigned papist and deal effectually with these persons; (4) that this was not to subvert the religion established in England and Scotland, but mere policy to establish the King in the kingdom of England; (5) that he had given the King a schedule of all the English nobility, and notes of those who favoured him, especially those about the Court—to show him who were his friends and who were his foes; (6) that he had counselled the King to believe no more the fair promises of England, except under a seal; (7) that he had persuaded the King to put this in practice, but to keep his name secret, or if known, it "were hanging and quartering to him"; and (8) that he had delivered all these articles in writing under his hand to the King.

After this, Valentine persuaded him to go and steal in England as before, to which he agreed, and they came to Woller in England, where he lent Valentine his horse, who promised in 4 days after to meet him at Aykley and give him 2 geldings; in hope of which he went there on foot, but "Valentine broke his triste." So he started for home, but was stopped at Morpeth and brought before Mr Edward Gray, to whom he revealed the aforesaid particulars, partly on promise of relief made, and also for the injury done him by the said Valentine.

And specially as Mr Gray promised to keep him from danger of life, and to reward him for his travail. "Whereupon this examinate laboured to bring the said Valentine Thomas to the hands of the said Mr Gray, which he this examinate hath performed.

(fn. 1) "This examinacion was taken by Mr Edward Gray and sent by him to the Lord Thesaurer and afterward was acknowledged by Crayforth, before Mr Solicitor, Mr Bacon and William Waad."

5 pp. Indorsed: "2 March 1597. The examinacion of Robert Crawforth taken by Mr Edward Gray esqre and sent to the Lord Thesaurer of England."

916. Sir R. Carey to Burghley. [March 7.]

My hope to hear before you receive this letter, as to my leave to come up before it is resolved that I have the Middle March, keeps me from troubling you on that point: only it is most needful that I come up.

In my last I acquainted you as far as I could, with the matters of Sir Robert Kerr and the pledges, which you desired to learn from Sir William Bowes, my brother, and myself.

The principal cause of my now writing, is to acquaint you with some conference I have had with Sir Robert Kerre about one George Kerre a Scotsman newly arrived in Scotland. For Sir Robert, hearing you had written to my brother to learn about the man's entry and the cause thereof, "in a very free maner, willed me to certifye your lordship, that upon his credytt, and (as his tearme to me is) (he will take treason upon him if yt fall owt otherwise)," that this George Kerre comes for no evil intent, "neyther sent by any to sowe sedition or to intangle the King with any noveltyes." He assures me, on his life, that Kerre took shipping at "Callys," landed at Aymouthe, and had only his own man "Charles Murrhey" with him, who has attended him this 8 or 10 years from his childhood, going and coming on his errands, since he "used" beyond seas. Another Scotsman called John Grayer, took ship and landed with him, whom he only knew in this passage, and none others came. The cause of his coming is his mother's death six weeks since, or something more, by which he expects some benefit of living, and for no other cause, but to see if his friends can procure the King's licence "that he may quyetly enjoye his conscyence lyving privatly to him self without offence to any other."

It was reported that a Spaniard "of accompt" came with him to make overtures to the King from the Spanish King: Sir Robert assures me, and desired me to write to your lordship, that upon his honour and credit no such man has come, and if any does hereafter, he will give me timely notice. If in those advertisements he prove true, he may be better trusted in his other protestations, which are very great for the good of the Border, if he mean as he saith. I leave to further time to discover him. Berwick. Signed: Ro. Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Two wafer signets: on a wreath, a bundle of darts (?) Min pale, supported by 2 lions, as a crest: Garter and motto around same.

917. John Carey to Burghley. [March 7. 1597–98.]

I received your letter dated last of February to Sir Robert Carey, Sir William Bowes and myself, on Monday the 6th instant—and am sorry to see you have been very sick, and pray for your amendment.

Your honor writes at large of her Majesty's pleasure touching Cesford's coming to her presence, his remove from hence, and otherwise concerning him: and Sir William Bowes being I think by this time with you at Court, I conferred with my brother, who tells me that before receipt of your letter, he wrote on all these points, and awaits an answer.

Your lordship sets down a change of many new officers—"as my lord Willowbee, Sir Robert Carey, and Sir William Bowes: wherein, poore I, beinge (in my owne oppinion) a verie old officer, am cleane forgotten, neyther havinge any new office, nor hearinge wheither I shall hold my old office or no! But I trust, seinge that her Majestes hand is in, in geving of these three patentes, she will by your honorable good favour and furtherance, thincke me now worthye of my patent, for the continewance of the marshalshipp of this towne. Hopinge that albeit I have litell encrease by these changes, I shall have nothinge taken from me."

Touching that part of your letter, where you think it long having no answer about George Carr's landing at Eymowth or Fawse castle: I at once answered your lordship, and hope long ere this it is in your hands. But since, I have had more news. Yesterday being Monday I learned that he is arrived in Scotland, and gives out himself, that he landed 15 days ago at Eymowth—4 days before I received your first letter. But I think it will not prove so, for it is "so mightelie denied" that either boat or ship or passenger came in there for six weeks before. "But suer it is, he is in Scotland, and is now in a place called Salton, a house in Lowdian of his brothers called William Carr: and with him (as they say) a Scottes gentillman and two or three of his owne servantes; which Scottes gentillman may be the Spaynishe secretorie your lordshipp writes of. This I am enformed by one that sawe him, and did speke with him. I am further enformed that he landed at at a place called Coldinghame baye, hard by Listerickes (fn. 2) house, a pryncipall man of that Papist faction. It beinge two myles of Eymouthe, and that as the shipp (he went in) came alonge the quoast being right against that bay, he toke a bote, and came secretelie to this Listerickes house." I shall certify George Nicholson her Majesty's agent in Scotland, to have an eye on his doings.

The posts are very much to blame for delay: your letter of 19th February on this matter, "beinge written thrice 'for lief,' and a payer of gallows upon the back," was full 5 days coming, whereby this service might have been lost. For by Kerr's own saying, he landed not 3 days before the letter reached me. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet.

918. Provisions at Berwick. [March 4–10.]

Note of wheat, rye, malt and beans at Berwick on 4 March,—also what is shipped from Lynn on 10th, and remaining for shipment in Norfolk and Cambridge on same date.

Also remain of oxen wethers, herrings, &c., on last date.

1 p. Written by Vernon's clerk. Indorsed.

919. Provisions For Berwick. [March 10. 1597–98.]

Bought by Robert Vernon and Richard Swyft for the garrison from Michaelmas 1597 till 10th March following.

Wheat and other provisions [detailed, with quantities and prices], total, 4916l. 1s. 6d.
Freights, wages, &c., 500l.

This proportion of grain will serve till next Michaelmas.

¾ p. Written by their clerk. Indorsed.

(1) Another copy, slightly differing.

920. Commission to Lord Willoughby. [March 13.]

Royal letters patent, granting Peregrine lord Willoughby the office of Governor of the town and castle of Berwick upon Tweed and of the tower upon the bridge there, during pleasure, from the Feast of the Annunciation of the B.V. Mary 1598, with all fees, &c., as enjoyed by his predecessors the late Lord Hunsdon and the Earl of Bedford. Westminster. 13 March 40th of the Queen's reign. By writ of privy seal. Carew.

1 p. Broad sheet. Latin. Official fair copy. Indorsed.

921. John Carey to Burghley. [March 14.]

One of the posts told me this day of a great misfortune by the negligence and carelessness of his boy. The man himself to my knowledge, is most honest and careful.

This inclosed packet from George Nicholson out of Scotland, was sent to me on the 8th instant, with another packet to Sir William Bowes; and were both sent off, one to your honor, the other to Sir William, for life, with some other packets. The boy who carried them delivered them all to the next post, except the inclosed which he left in his bag, where it has remained ever since till they had occasion to use the bag. The fault is so great it cannot be excused: yet if your honor please graciously to consider the poor man, and think his boy in fault, he shall be bound to pray for your honor, and be hereafter careful of his service. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

922. Sir W. Bowes to Burghley. [March 17.]

Upon my admittance yesterday to her Majesty's presence and speech, I found her highness "fore-possessed" with this judgment of my late services: First—that in my last address to the King of Scots, I had both omitted to press him with some important points of my instructions, and that in such other points as by my instructions I had charged that King withal, I had in my letters reported his answers, "by dilatinge circumstances, not materially." Secondly—in my travels as commissioner for Border causes, the matter of pledges had been long protracted and little effected in conclusion. Thirdly—in certificate of the decays of the Middle March, that Lord Eure's doings should be inquired into by a jury, "her highnes affirmeth not to stande with her purpose and direction." Now as her Majesty's true information must be the ground of her resolution and determinate end to be put to these her important services, I thought fit to commend to your lordship the humble request I presented to her Majesty yesterday, viz., that as her Majesty can receive no information on these points so justly, as by a view of my instructions and examination of my letters in reply, which however may be too tedious for her Majesty's own person: her highnes might remit the trial and report thereon to all or some of the lords of her Council, both to satisfy her of the true state of these affairs, and that I her "distressed servante," may receive her justice and mercy as merited.

Her Majesty having commanded me to give my opinion on the government and repair of her Middle March, I made this proposition, now signified to your lordship in effect—I think that border justice cannot stand without continual support of martial force, lawfully, timely and privily applied on occasions daily occurring, not suffering disorders to grow to such "heapes," and casting the realm into so many complaints, accompanied with impoverishment and dishonour. Border justice and force are now in such extreme decay, "so as upon the ringe of all the three Marches—as the xth plough will scant be had, so not the xxth armed man to furnish those places as they were wonte, and as it will be easily proved they had within these xxxtie yeeres." And I see no hope of the Middle March recovering its force, even if the Queen planted the 100 horse there, such is its "distemper." The remedy I see not, without great charge to her Majesty, otherwise than in this sort: to take away the uneven division now standing between the East and Middle Marches, and part Northumberland into two from the border to the river Tyne; and over each division a "choyce" gentleman to be set by her Majesty's command as deputy warden, with 50 horse a piece, till the country recover strength; and to have for entertainment the fee of the warden of the Middle March divided between them. They and the whole country to be under command of the Governor of Berwick, assisted by a council of the Marches as in the last treaty, consisting of the Council already established in Berwick, "to be tied to better residence" than hitherto, with the addition of some country men of best wisdom and experience, "freest from usuall border-partialities." By this means it may be hoped that the Scottish and English thieves shall soon be daunted, and the country in some years able to defend itself; and especially the Scottish thieves be forced "to exercise their habite upon their owne cuntriemen, so as that Kinge and state shall be driven by necessitie to cutt them off." Signed: Will'm Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

923. John Carey to Burghley. [March 17.]

Upon your honor's letter of the 10th, wherein you wrote of the 2 men apprehended by Edward Graye and their conspiracies, I took order for better guarding the "longe brige" and more careful watch and ward within the town. Touching her Majesty's being informed that the Scots are very "conversant" within the town: it is very true that while Buccleuch and Cesford were here, there was a great deal more resort to them than I liked, which was not my fault, my mislike being certified to divers: but there are none now, nor shall any come but those I take account of.

I have also caused Sir William Read to occupy the fort at Holy Island himself with some of his men, and have furnished them well with munition—it being a place of far greater danger than this, in case of any invasion. But we fear want of victuals more than any other peril, and if a good supply should come, we could wish that the King of Spain should show his uttermost malice to England, only on this town, that the garrison might show how well they deserved their long entertainment bestowed on them by her Majesty, hitherto without desert.

For Scottish news, I doubt not your lordship is certified by Sir William Bowes, who herewith has a report from George Nicholson her Majesty's agent there. Yet I will myself have as good "speyall" over them and their doings as I conveniently may. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

¾ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

924. William Selby's bill for Buccleuch. [March 21. 1597–98.]

"Sir Walter Scot knight delivered into England as a pledge, was committed to my keepinge uppon the sixte day of Octobre 97, and continewed with me untill the xxj of Marche next followinge, beinge in all xxv weakes and iiij dayes, by which the interteinment of himselfe his servauntes and those which came to se him, the charges one weake with another, came to ten pounde, in all amounteth to the some of . . ccl. li." Signed: Will'm Selby.

¼ p. Indorsed: "6 October—William Selbie his bill of chardges expended by the enterteinment of Sir Walter Scott knight, being pledge. Whereof he humblie cravethe allowance."

925. Estimate of pay at Berwick. [March 24.]

The ordinary pay of Berwick due for the first half year ended 24 March 1596.

The Governor, Council, &c., and other officers [detailed] horse and foot of old garrison, 180; pensioners, &c., 63; gunners, 95; foot, &c., 528, in all 6,609l., 14s. 4d.
Arrears of pay at Michaelmas 1596, being more than the receipts for that year, 835l. 6s. d.
7,445l. 0s. d.
Treasure usually delivered by the receivers of Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Northumberland for the first half year, 6000l.
Leaving to be supplied for full payment, 1445l. 0s. d.
Note.—The receiver of Yorkshire should pay for the first half year, 4000l., and pays but 3000l., so wanteth 1000l.
Lincolnshire should pay 1500l., but pays 1000l., and so wanteth 500l.

Which sums, if these receivers were directed to pay with the rest of their allotments now for Berwick, the same would suffice to make clear pay for the above whole charges, without any treasure taken out of her Majesty's receipts in the Exchequer.

pp. In Sheperson's writing. Indorsed: "24 March."

926. Assignment for Berwick. [March.]

Certificate of the yearly payments of treasure to the Queen's garrison at Berwick.

From the receivers (1) of Lincoln, 3000l.; (2) of York, 8000l.; and (3) of Northumberland, Richmond and Durham, 4000l.; in all 15,000l.

"Memorandum.—Theise are all the sommes of money that doe appeare before me to be paid by her Majesties receavors aforesaid to her highnes garrison there; but what is paid out of her Majesties receipt at Westminster for fortificacions at Barwick aforesaid, that is to be certefyed by Mr Skynner." Signed: Jo. Con is, auditor.

½ p. Indorsed.

927. Petition by Vernon and Swift. [March 25. 1598.]

Note of the provisions bought by them from 1st October 1597 till the Annunciation 1598, freights, &c., in all 5,416l. 18s., and sums received and to be received by them towards the cost, viz., 2,551l. 9s. 4½d., showing that they "will wante" to pay for them in full, 2,865l. 8s. 7¼d.

"For the which wee humblie beseeche your honor that wee maie bee imprested."

¾ p. Written by their clerk. Indorsed: "The humble peticion of Robert Vernon and Richard Swifte for an impreste," &c.

(1) Another copy, somewhat fuller.

pp. In same hand. Indorsed: "A breefe declaration," &c.

928. John Carey to Burghley. [March 30.]

Having been earnestly entreated by "Captayen Cunstabell" to certify my lord of Essex of his being here,—who repaired hither on Saturday the 25th instant by his honors appointment—I thought good not to forget my duty to your honor, albeit there is nothing "stearinge" of any worth, all these parts being in such quietness as has not been seen for long. "The Kinge of Scotland being fare into the contrey, as at Starlinge and at Glaskoe, and in thoes fare partes of the conterey, festinge and intertayeninge his good brother, as sume saye the Kinge of Denmarke, and others saye the Duke of Howlst (fn. 3) : but it is held most generaley and for the most sertayen oppinion, bey all likeleyhud to be the Kinge himselfe. I understand that my lord Willowghebey is shortley to come dowen governer of Barwike, and for that ther was sume staye mad therof sines I hard from youer honer of it, and sines I have hard nothinge nether bey you nor any other of her Majesties Counsell to the contrarey, I wold deseyer ether youer lordshipe or sum other bey her Majesties appoyntment to singnify so muche to me, or otherwayes I shalbe lothe to deliver the keyes to him tyll I shall see sumwhat from her Majesty of her pleser therin: for that I was bey her put in trust witheall, and therfor not to forgoe it uppon bare reporte.

"Nowe maye it pleas youer honer a littyll to geve me leav to revive unto youe my oweld sewte, wherof I ame not yet in dispayer, for that I have not hard aney thinge from youer lordshipe to the contrarey: that is for the tresserershipe, wherof I understand Ser Williame Bowes is not yet invested; wiche makes me thinke he is carles of it, havinge had so muche land of lat falne to him—wiche if it be so, I shold be glad to have youer honorabell fortherans therin, in consitheration I have borne the hevey borthen of the governershipe of this plase this v yeares, havinge no other fee for the discharge therof save onley the Marshalles fee beinge but 230l. a year—fare to littyll to bear the charge of so great a porte. Forther, I have not sought to have the rereges of the fee sines my lord my fathers deathe, nether have I had aney great sewetes, nor ame in aney suche dettes to her Majesty in all this tyme as maney other my predeisessores in this plase have had for lese causes. Yet will I thinke myselfe most gratiousley rewarded, if nowe her Majesti shalbe plesed to committ the trust of the tresserershipe uppon me, wherbey I shalbe inabeled to doe her fare better servis then ever I have yet dune, beinge verey willinge to yeld upe the chamberlinshipe to whoe youer honer shall pleas to apoynt; and I onley to content myselfe withe the marshallshipe and tresserershipe; presumeinge that ons ear a year goe about, her Majeste will feynd cauese to saye it was well bestowed." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.


  • 1. What follows in fainter ink and a different (?) hand.
  • 2. Robert Logan of Restalrig.
  • 3. Holstein.