Border Papers volume 2: January 1599

Pages 583-587

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

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1034. Willoughby to Cecil. [Jan. 1. 1598–99.]

"I received yours dated the 25th of Decembre the forenone, this none the 1 of January. Pardon me I pray you, to second your more currant reports, with sutch as came lamely to my hands but the last of the same Decembre, from an inward frend of Bothwells: and but that I know these things come timely and maturely as an industrious laborer in your most worthy and honorable callinge, I would with sutch have oftner remembred you than now I do to avoyde your unnecessary trobles, but from forme to matter, hoping in both to deceave no expectation of faithfulnes, how simple and plaine soever my showes be. For the part I have to play consists not merely in action but providence, and because my owne dimne sight sees not far inough, give me leave to call for better helpe."

The means for defence of like places are generally known—men, victual and munition. For men, we shall do well enough if we have them good, not intruded by corruption, or corruptible "by vicinyte of nation." I have twice sent the state of munition to my lord Marshall Master of the Ordnance: we nourish not only ourselves, but all the soldiers from Carlisle to Newcastle, the Islands, and this place, where we are but meanly provided having only "9 last of poulder" for town and country. For victuals: to deal plainly we are put in good hope, "and I beleave very well of the survayour," but I must say "for dischardge of my duty, where we should have 6 months, we have skace a month, hardly half a month of some speciall kinds.

"Bothwell no doubt may do mischeife, is mutch here beloved, and so stronge: Sesford is an under divell, inriched by his plumes plucked. It (?) shooud wagge, well incoraged, will skratch before he will lose his apple. I will not motion to put brimstone to sutch Plutolike spirits, but leave it to discretion." Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

"Postscript:—There is sutch a laird of Lesterigge as you write of, a vayne lose man, a greate favorer of thefes reputed, (yet a man of a good clanne as they here tearme it) and a gud felow."

pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: fragment.

1035. Secretary Cecil to Sir R. Carey. [Jan. 2.]

"I have long forborne to make you aunswere in this cause of Mr Wodrington, because I had well hoped the Queene should have wonne some matter from the Kinge by the ambassadour of Scotland, wherby this restraint of the "liberty of those two gentlemen might have served for satisfaction, without further proceading, considering that whatsoever was done dyd proceed of the Scottes syde, althoughe peradventure there was fault also committed in the pursute by our syde. But Sir, I see the Kinge is displeased that the action was made so cleare to the Queene, as if there had ben no manner of fault done, but that he would have sought the redresse without any cause. Nowe truly Sir, you shall give me leave (out of my freindshippe to you therein) to speake freely to you, That it is some touche to a State, to contest against thinges so publyck, or to aunswere one breache of justice, with sayeing they have done the lyke to us, althoughe it is not ill done to dyminishe thinges when they are agravated: nether is it meant that their injuryes shall not be remembred also. But no man can deny (if I be not mysseinformed) but it is contrary to the lawe of the Borders, to followe into Scotland in such a manner to kill and take prysoners for an offence of hunting without warrant, when nothing was stolne nor no man killed. And therefore you that are great officers, must have bothe eares open amongst those borderers, before you informe my lordes; for otherwyse their lordshippes that stand uppon growndes that after prove not so, do hazard their credyttes, and ether must be accounted unwillinge to understand truth, or too mayntayue truthe. Wherin it wilbe no excuse for them to say that others do so, for wee professe in our counselles, I hope more temper and order. But this I wryte only to Sir Robert Carey as my partyculer freind,—and I will nowe let you knowe that because her Majestie will not deny ordynary course of tryall, she will appoint commissioners to examyne what is true and what is false, because the contradycciones are so great in the reportes." Yet her Majesty considering that the King may if he please delay joining in commission, and thus while those gentlemen are in restraint, the Border may be spoiled by the opposite wardens, has caused him directly to understand she does this for love of justice, and will not restrain them longer than she finds the King prevents disorders in the meantime. Also I doubt not while in justice some fault may be found in these gentlemen, yet her Majesty's long "putting up" of many injuries may be used as an argument to set off this: if not (and they prove fowle) all that can be done is but to answer by ordinary trial of the Border. Thus you have as much as I can write for the time. The Court at Whitehall. Signed: Ro. Cecyll.

(fn. 1) The commissioners are these—Sir W. Bowes, Mr Selby, Mr Foster, Mr Bradford of Bradford."

pp. A duplicate no doubt.

1036. Sir R. Carey to the Privy Council. [Jan. 14.]

I am given to understand that on the King of Scots' motion, the Queen is pleased that the gentlemen here in durance with the Bishop of Durham shall be tried by an assize of 12 borderers of each nation at a day of truce appointed by the wardens. Till then, I think it very requisite that the gentlemen should be at liberty, and humbly entreat your lordships to move therein.

Mr Fenwick by his close imprisonment, is fallen dangerously sick, and it is feared he will hardly recover. If God should call him, I know not in the North of England, "a subject of his callyng that the Queene and this cuntry may worse spare. I most humbly beseeche your lordships once agayne to be a meanes for their speedy enlardgment." Auckland. Signed: Ro. Carey.

½ p. Addressed to the Council. Indorsed: ". . . Sir Ro. Carey to my master," &c. Quartered wafer signet: indistinct.

1037. The Bishop of Durham to Cecil. [Jan. 22. 1598–99.]

"According to your lettre of the last of December, and the message from your honor delivered unto me by Mr Hudson servaunt to the King of Scottes, and attendaunt upon his late ambassador: so soone as Mr Robert Bowes came into these partes, I sent unto him; and upon his repaire to me debated with him at large the controversie betwene him and Mr Fowles Scottishman."Having laboured with him as much as I could, to pay the remainder of that "broken bargaine," and finding him desirons to end the cause, if the sum were agreed on, and the persons surely known that should receive "the leade or money," and fully discharge him: as I see he thinks himself ill used by his pretended creditors, now one, now another, claiming the debt, yet still calling out on him, as if the fault were his, "that their owne delaies and shiftes have bredd: "I thought it best he should put his meaning in writing in answer to Mr Fowles, but chiefly to satisfy your honor. It is hereinclosed, and he hopes it will seem reasonable to all "indifferent" men, and that he will enjoy the benefit of law as a subject; not desiring your honor not to conceive hardly of his dealing therein. Truly Sir, though the matter "thus infolded" among them, may carry a show of their discontentment; yet Mr Bowes himself is a gentleman of such paits, that if your honor saw fit to use him in the Queen's service in these parts, I am persuaded you would in time have cause to thank me for commending him to you. Earnestly requesting that I may be freed from intermeddling either in this or any other matter concerning Mr Fowles, " for some causes to your wisdome not unknowen." Bishop Awkland. Signed: Tobie Duresm.

(fn. 2) I am heartily sorry at not receiving any comfortable news for the speedy enlarging Mr Woodrington and Mr Fenwick. They are greatly wanted in their charges on the Border, and every day more. "I would to God, her most excellent Majestie or the lordes did knowe and would vouchsave tymely to consider, in manie respectes moe then I dare well presume plainely to expresse."

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: Durham impaling Matthew.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Bowes to the Bishop.)

Having received your message and therewith Mr Secretary's letter of direction to your lordship, and perceiving time has been lost by my absence from the place whitherto you sent: I trust you will pardon this necessary delay, and be pleased to satisfy Mr Secretary that it is caused by no fault of mine, but by not sooner receiving his letter, in my absence travelling to make new provision to satisfy Mr Fowles.

I marvel much at his complaint "lately preferred to this honorable person," just as I had made a new accord with one sent from his brother and others more interested in. the matter than he, and was then 200 miles distant from him, and had no certainty of Mr David's authority to receive and discharge the debt—being then demanded by another man then present with me "whome I knewe to be the first maker of this matche, and himself interested therein of his owne right, and who had both delivered the wynes, &c., for the Scottishe partie, and had received from me and my partners, nineteene footheres one halfe and one quarterne of lead att Newcastle, parcell of xxvij foothers and one halfe foother of lead bargayned to be delivered att that towne." So that this man thus interested and employed as the only agent and factor for himself and the others, coming to me and presenting before a "right credible gentleman" called as a witness, a full commission and authority, after I had conferred and debated with this factor whether I should hearken to him, or to Mr David Fowles, who had made a demand on me a few days before; he persuaded me that Mr David had no interest, and insisted I should deal with himself. Being thereto advised by those who heard him, and seeing no other to deal with, we made a precise agreement to conclude the matter, and interchangeably passed consents under our hands, which I expect him to perform, and shall not fail to do on my part. Though I see myself wronged by this complaint and complainer, more than I will take notice of, as I see the gentleman so respected by Mr Secretary, whom I reverence and will gladly obey in all matters, I hope all blame suggested to his honor against me will be removed by my good affection to do him service, as I have been right glad to do to his most noble father, and would be sorry to deserve his discountenance. Your lordship knows my devotion to her Majesty's service, and humbly pray you on this occasion, to afford me your right reverend testimony to Mr Secretary in what sort it shall best please you. "From Barnes this xviijth of Januarie 1598." Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Holograph; also address. Indorsed by the bishop: Mr "Robert Bowes in answere to demaunds and molestacion of Mr David Fowles ambassadour of late to the King of Scottes," &c.

1038. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Jan. 31.]

Since the receipt of your first letter, I have daily expected to hear either from Sir Robert Ker or Mr Nycholson, of the time for the trial of these gentlemen. And now by your last letter, with copy of the King's, I perceive how vehement he continues in calling for justice, and also that her Majesty's pleasure is they shall be tried by an assise of gentlemen of both borders, and that I make all the haste possible for its execution: which I will in no sort omit, and if I find delay by the opposite, I will advertise you timely. As I think there will be a short day fixed, I think it good if you be pleased, meantime to send letters to the Lord Governor of Berwick to strengthen me with 200 foot and the horse garrison—for we shall otherwise be very weak; and if they get not their desire (as I hope they will not) and are stronger, they will break the peace, "come of yt what wyll after." The place of meeting shall be within 12 miles of Berwick—no great march for the men—and with them I hope no wrong will be offered me.

I am very glad to hear her Majesty's good "conceipt" of the gentlemen, and that she will have cause to continue it. I assure you this matter is aggravated by the hope the Scots have thereby to recal their pledges: Sir Robert Ker is the one who animates the King to this vehemency: "for the parties greved wold gladly have the matter ended, if they durst for Sesfurd."

But two men of very small accompt were slain, and God knows much against the gentlemen's wills: but at such a time, it is great marvel there were no more slain. "If the Scots have such an advauntage of us eyther in England or Scotland, you will heare of another manner of worke then this was"! There was never such ado about so little: and I believe if Sesford have his will he will make the King do that which perhaps he will repent him of, if he may not have delivery of the gentlemen, or his pledges set at liberty. Alnwick. Signed: Ro. Carey.

I have almost forgotten a chief matter: to desire your honor that Mr Woodrington and Mr Fenwick may both be present at this trial to speak for themselves, for they may be charged with that which they deny and must be present to answer: and if they must continue prisoners, the bishop may have his men to attend them there; but good sir, let order be taken they shall be there "eyther bound or free" as the Queen pleases.

(fn. 3) Since writing, I hear Mr Fenwick is far worse than, he was, I fear greatly he will never escape it. "Th'open ayre is thought will dooe him most good. I wishe his sun might be thought fit to supply his place till his helthe wer sumwhat repayred."

1 p. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed: ". . . R. at Whithall 6 Feb."


  • 1. Holograph of Cecil.
  • 2. What follows holograph.
  • 3. What follows holograph.