Border Papers volume 2: February 1599

Pages 587-591

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

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1039. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Feb. 13.]

I send your honor inclosed Mr Nicholson's letter with the original of the Scots King's resolution, which I received "this last night very late." It seems before any trial, the King desires to know if her Majesty will yield to his demands: whereof some I think reasonable, others not expedient. First—give me leave to say, I think their resolution of the Queen's proceedings is not worthily regarded or accepted by them as it should be: for she was pleased to imprison the gentlemen ever since the act, and has consented to the trial desired by the King, which it seems he thinks not sufficient.

One of their great reasons urged for delivery of the gentlemen is, that the King delivered his officers. This I think is soon answered: the commissioners agreed that pledges should be delivered and in default of them, the officers should enter. On the day, Mansfeild and Harry Bowes, keepers of Redesdale and Tyndale, entered in defect of some of ours, and were kept in Scotland till our full number were delivered.

In defect of Scots pledges, Bauclugh keeper of Liddesdale, and Cesford for Tyvydale, entered for want of their pledges—and when their friends had gathered their pledges they were likewise redelivered under the treaty. "Where is this great justice the King hath done to her Majestie, that she to the full hath not requyted him in the lyke"?

At the last commission both Cesford and Bauclugh were fyled of cruel murders by their own confession, but neither of them was delivered for his own fault. Thus in my opinion, her Majesty may soon end the matter, and if the King will deliver these officers so fyled, she will very willingly deliver hers for the last attempt, if they be fyled by this trial. I thought my duty to state this reciprocal justice, that her Majesty may better answer the King's first article.

The 2d merely imports the King's willingness to proceed by his ordinary officers in justice, if his conditions are granted. The 3, 4 and 5 are not to be misliked.

The 6 is very unreasonable, for it debars all questions but one—whether the men were slain in Scots ground? which is not denied, but the occasion thereof is not to be talked of, or anything to our advantage. I refer it to better consideration.

The 7th allowable: the 8th I must yield to as I am directed from above.

The 9th as I guess is to no other end, but if it is left to Sir Robert Kar and myself to end the matter, his purpose is, our agreement shall be: I to have these two gentlemen freed of this deed and never again called in question, and he to have his pledges set at liberty. This is his mark, for had it not been these pledges, we should never have heard of this affair "so haynously followed."

For the 10th: They require this last action to be first tried and repaired under treaty, viz., to deliver them on the instant if fyled of the fact: which no question they will be, if it come to that. So I pray you for her Majesty's pleasure herein.

The 11th—"very allowable yf they meane as they say."

Thus you see it will be long before the matter is ended, and I most earnestly desire you to favour the enlargement of these gentlemen, or if her Majesty's promise is passed to detain them till trial, I beseech you let my house be their prison, where they shall be in safe custody, never to stir out of my gates till released by her Majesty's command. I desire it the rather, having them with me, I shall the better appoint the assises and other matters before the meeting.

You will see by Nicholson's letter how requisite he thinks it, that Sir William Bowes be sent with speed to Scotland. I know not how Sir William's health will serve him: for I hoar he is very ill both of his sight and hearing: but it is very necessary that some one of better accompt than Nycholson were there. Signed: Ro. Carey.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

1040. Scrope to Cecil. [Feb. 15.]

I hope you will not impute my long silence to forgetfulness, but to want of matter.

The Earl of Angus when he last went to Court, promised me redress at his return to the borders. Hearing he was at Dumfries on the 6th, I solicited him earnestly by letters and messages, to make performance: and we met at the foot of Sark water in Scotland yesterday, and agreed only to the effect of the inclosed. Their object is but to defer justice and delay time, than which there can be no greater mischief to these distressed borders. I do my best to keep all well, and will "obmit" no means to continue it. The Earl is repairing to Court within these 4 days, and for my satisfaction has promised to get hold of the principal men of the chief surnames of his Marches, and keep them in custody as pledges for justice at our next meeting: but as yet I cannot see he is able, and knowing these surnames are not yet under his subjection, I doubt there is no hope for us. Rose. Signed: Th. Scroope.

pp. Holograph; also address. Indorsed. Wafer signet: quartered.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Agreement between Angus and Scrope.)

"Att the foote of Sark water in Scotland the xiiijth of Februarye 1598." Effect of the agreements between the Earl of Angus " lord lieutenant of Scotland and lord warden of the West Marches of the same," and Lord Scrope lord warden, &c., both for redress of bye-past offences, and prevention in future.

First—The bills of offences done since Lord Angus entered on office to be enrolled and interchanged, that trial may be had.

(2) That their deputies meet at Carlisle and Annan on 15th March next to fyle the same.

(3) Thereafter the wardens themselves to hold a day march at the place above on 3d April to deliver the offenders.

(4) They have this day proclaimed, and will do the like at Carlisle and Brampton, and Dumfries and Annan, that all under their rule forbear incursions, &c., on pain of immediate delivery and redress: and that none reset fugitives of either nation, on pain of being fowle of their crime, and delivery in satisfaction.

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

1041. The Bishop of Durham to Cecil. [Feb. 17.]

I must ascribe her Majesty's late gracious acceptation of my mean endeavours here, to your good words for me, or her highnesses own princely disposition, rather than any service I have done or can do. And I am bounden not only "to poure out my hearb daily to God for the long and blessed contynuance of her most excellent Majestie," but confess my debt increased to your honor, "myne especiall freinde and favorer."

I am sorry to see the King's drifts and delays against Mr Henry Woodrington and Mr William Fenwick, " my guestes, or rather (as the worlde esteemeth them) my prisoners." For by these overtures sent by him to Sir Robert Carey, and ere now with your honor, and imparted to me by the gentlemen, it seems he has no intention to have them orderly or indifferently tried, but would rather by unreasonable and unusual "postulacions," hinder all justice against his own ill deserving people, and all benefit due to her Majesty's sore afflicted subjects.

But that I marvel at nothing the Scots can or will require, I should wonder that either the King's own letters, "or rather Sir Robert Kerrs insolent importunitie to him," could expect such a form of proceeding as in these Articles, so repugnant to the last commission, "disadvauntageable" to these defendants, dishonorable to this realm, and prejudicial to gentle and simple.

By these men's absence their countries grow disordered, their adversaries insult them beyond measure, the very common people see and say we are forced to flatter our opposites: and therefore "to be plaine," the worst affected combine with those whom they fear our state is loth to offend. Your wisdom can well judge the result iu time: "the rather having Irelande, false Irelande, so true a glasse to looke in." The Northumberland border "woe is me"! is part of my scattered flock; I can but pity and pray for them. I have often been about to write for them to many great councillors, and heretofore have written both to the Lord Keeper and the late Lord Treasurer" of most honorable and reverent memorie, more liberally then your leysure could now serve you to peruse or myne to inlarge: your honor having many great affayres both in heade and hand, and myself being at this very present advertised from the maior of Newcastle, of your lettre of intelligence addressed thither, concerning the sodayne surprise of that towne, which God forefend! if it be his blessed will." This greatly appals these north parts, the place being of more importance than strength: the people of more courage than experience: their provisions rather competent as aforehand, than sufficient for a fierce assault: their number not many: their leaders none: Tynemouth castle a promontory in the mouth of the haven 7 miles off, utterly disfurnished: no blockhouse or other piece or platform for defence on the river between that and Newcastle: no shipping among the merchants worth the naming: therefore of themselves, their men being untrained, unable to resist a mean force in my opinion. Yet, good men, they are preparing as well and fast as they can to encounter the enemy.

I would beg to know her Majesty's pleasure what we of the Bishopric should do for their assistance, if the design proceeds: for Newcastle not being on the border, but "bateable" between Northumberland and us, our men think themselves not bound to serve, as they should be on invasion of the frontier, certain days on their own charge. Wherefore the Lords of Council might please to advise that a commission for musters were directed to this County palatine, without which the justices of peace cannot act, seeing there is no lieutenant over them. Formerly such a commission under the great seal lay dormant here with the bishop, but since the late Lord Huntingdon's time, it was never executed, nor is there any such extant.

I most earnestly desire your honor to move the renovation thereof, and direct my course therein. I shall intimate thus much to my Lord Keeper also, lest though the enemy pretend to Newcastle, "he may chance to fall with Hartlepoole, Sunderland, or some other port or creeke heerabout." Bishop Auckland. Signed: Tobie Duresm.

2 pp. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed. Quartered wax signet (Matthew).

1042. William Selby on the Borders. [Feb. 1598–99.]

"Commissioners—Sir William Bowes knight; Mr Nycholas Foster sone to Sir John Foster who was his fathers deputie warden longe, and of good experience in border causes,—Mr Thomas Bradford of Bradford.

"If Mr Witherington and Mr Fennick be deteynd into warde, then it may please your honour to urge some assurance from the Scotes ambassador in the safetie of their goodes and ther frindes duringe the time that they remaine in warde: for if the Scotes make spoile of them it woulde make them so pooer that they will not be able to serve hir Majestie, and when they have there libertie, force them to take a revenge, whereby great trobles betwixt the nations might arise."

½ p. Indorsed by Cecil: "Mr Selby concerning the Borders."

1043. Mr Selby on Border affairs. [Feb.]

You write that the King desires the hunting accident to be tried by 12 men. We are informed that agrees with Border law. When the wardens at a truce day, find a question arise that they cannot decide, it is usual for them to choose an assise, viz., the English warden 8 Scots', and the Scottish warden 8 Englishmen, who being sworn call for the defendants. If these confess, they do no more: if they deny, the assise calls for proof and decide on conscience. Defendants must be present, or are fyled for non-appearance.

The Queen is pleased that the slaughter at the hunting, and all others since the commission met at Berwick shall be so tried, and such justice and punishment done on both sides as to terrify others: and hopes the King will concur and not let slip murderers, &c., as heretofore.

She wishes the King to give order to her wardens as she will do, to fix a day truce for trial of these offenders with expedition.

pp. In same hand as last. Indorsed partly by Cecil: " Mr Selby. Concerninge border affaires."

1044. Murders, &c., by the Scots. [Feb.]

Murders by the Scottish warden and the people under him.

First—At a public day of truce, Sir George Heron, Mr William Shaftoe, &c., murdered against assurance given: the Lord warden, Sir Francis Russell, Sir Cuthbert Collingwood and the chief gentlemen of the country taken prisoners to Edinburgh.

Secondly—At another, Lord Russell "that worthie man" murdered.

Thirdly—Sir Eobert Carr with 80 horse came at night to Mr Raphe Gray's town of Wooller, slew two men, "blurred in his trumppett" and so retired. Soon after, he murdered 2 of the Queen's subjects at Mr Raphe Gray's town of Killam.

Fourthly—His bloody intention when he came with 60 horse to the Westford of Norham, sent over to the town to murder Sir Robert Carey's men, seeking them up and down with candles: but they chanced to have gone to the castle and escaped. But in the house where the men had lain, they " so affrighted a woman beinge new brought to bed of childe that she died."

Your honours will remember the "unworthie abuse" offered to her Majesty's commissioner, when he was taken away against the law of both nations: as we of the Border conceive, "a greater indignitie then if a great nomber of her Majesties subjectes had been murthered in some other time." With other murders too long to relate.

1 p. In same writing. Indorsed.

1045. Note on Border Causes. [Feb. 1598–99.]

First thing to be done is to appoint a day trew where the wardens or their deputies must attend.

The Englishmen must swear the true value of their goods stolen, and file that the pledges now lie for. Then the pledges must be spoken with severally by themselves, "and must saie, 'Lard of Overton you ar to aunswer for your selfe and surname so muche': so to Jocke a Borne of the Coate and to Jeames Younge of the Cove, and to all the rest of the pledges, 'If ye will not take order to satisfie the plantiffe, then loke for thextremitie of the lawe as the commissioners have set it downe in ther indent.' Of necessitie this must be done before the yeare come owte of the pledges: and I assure your honor they will make hast to satisfie the plantiffes."

Since I came from Berwick the Younges and Burnes have sent to desire a tryst with gentlemen in the East March, at Graydon foord within 6 miles of Berwick, where they will satisfy all the goods stolen from those men that these pledges lie for, agree all deadly feades, and lay in band for "leyfull kindnesse" in time to come. This I know is true, for they wrote and required my opinion whether to accept or not. I wrote advising them to acquaint Lord Willoughby, and if he likes it, to accept the offer: but I fear when they hear the liberty of the pledges comes in question before the commissioners, they will go back from the offer.

Your honor "asket " me if I knew any murders by the Scots since the commission: I remember one Fardinando Revely walking from his own house to a neighbour town, was cruelly murdered by Scots lying in an obscure place. They were Sir Robert Carr's men "or els at the least in his wardenrie." He was a man "never deteckted nor defamed, a verie tall man of his handes, and in stature as tall as most of the guarde." He was much lamented by hie neighbours, and his life might well "countervale " all them slain at the hunting. He dwelt in the Middle March, and I think there are more murders there since the commission, but cannot remember them.

Mr Foster is the only commissioner who dwells in the Middle March; therefore there should be but one commissioner for the Scottish Middle March. The best place to meet is at Norham and Our Lady Kirk in Scotland: for the only lodging they can get is in Berwick 4 miles from Norham. The Scots may lie at Hutton hawle, Blaketer, Wetherburne, Manderston, or Dunce a market town: or at Lanton or at the Spie law Sir John Carres. The furthest of these is but 6 miles—most of them but 4 miles.

pp. In same writing. Indorsed: "Tutchinge border causes."