Border Papers volume 2: May 1599

Pages 603-606

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

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1063. Sir W. Bowes to Cecil. [May 1.]

By her Majesty's warrant of privy seal dated 20 April 1598, the receiver of Yorkshire was ordained to pay 8000l. yearly to the treasurer of Berwick, equally at the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin and Michaelmas. On demanding payment of Thomas Scudamour the receiver, he alleged he could not make equal payments, from the inequality of his receipts by sundry alienations by her Majesty: whereon the late Lord Treasurer your noble father, was pleased to grant warrant for 1000l. from Exchequer, to supply the defect of the former half year, to be paid back by the receiver at his next account.

Having already expended more than my receipts for last year, as my accounts now ready, show, and Scudamour still stands on disability as before, I humbly desire warrant as before for the 1000l. from Exchequer, that I may complete this instant pay before Midsummer, which otherwise I shall be forced to "breake."

And whereas her Majesty was pleased to grant me 20s. a day while on her Border service, and 40s. a day while negotiating in Scotland: whereof payment from Exchequer and the receiver of Northumberland has been made only from my entrance to said service, viz., 8th October 1596, till 10 November 1597; since which time I have continued in said services, attended at Court, &c., and not discharged till the last of May 1598, being 204 days, whereof 24 on my journey to Scotland: my suit is that your honor will procure me order for the remain, hitherto deferred by the Lord Treasurer's death. Having addressed my servant the bearer with my letter to the Council also, I beseech you he may be timely despatched, for the discharge of my duty depends thereon. He is also to solicit sundry causes much importing me and I cannot follow myself by reason of my present employment: humbly praying you, to countenance him in such causes as he shall recommend for me, especially to move my Lord Buckhurst and Mr Chancellor to be favourable in my suit to renew some leases I hold of her Majesty. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

2 pp. Holograph; also address. Indorsed.

1064. Richard Lowther to Cecil. [May 4.]

Agreeable to Lord Scrope's conference with me, I have this day met the chief of the surnames of the Ellottes and Armstranges "apperteynyn" the Scottes pledges," and have received their written offer to be sent to his lordship, the copy whereof I make bold to inclose to your honor. For my own opinion, I think if accepted, it will bring quiet to these borders, to the comfort of true men, and "dawnting" disturbers of peace. Carlisle. Signed: Richard Lowther.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed: " . . . Mr Richard Lowther . . . R. the xjth at London." Wax signet: defaced.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Offer referred to.)

4th April 1599.—Sir we whose names are underwritten, humbly entreat the favour of your sending this offer to Lord Scrope.

First—If it please his lordship to move the Queen to place the pledges our friends into his hands "for Ellott and Armstrange," we will enter four gentlemen of England their bands to his lordship in 500l. a man, that our pledges shall remain true prisoners in Carlisle, or wherever else he appoints in his wardenry: and if it please him at any time to licence them to go home, they shall deliver their eldest sons till they return.

Further: we will oblige ourselves in any way his lordship thinks good, that (not offending our King) we shall do him such service in our power, and all ours from time to time, the heads and points whereof we wholly refer to him; always reserving our service to our lord of Liddesdale. Robert Ellott of Readhewghe; Gilbart Ellott of Hardlisdalle; Gawine Ellott of Broughe; Symone Armstrange of Mangerton; Lancye Armstrange of Whithawghe, John Armstrange of Kynmont; Lancy Armstrange sonne to Symon Armstrange; Francie Armstrange brother to Symon Armstrange.

¾ p. Copy by his clerk. Addressed at foot: "To Richard Lowther warden depute," &c. Indorsed.

1065. Reports of a fray in Bewcastle. [May 13.]

Upon Sunday 13th May Mr Rydley and his friends hearing that certain Scotsmen to the number of 12 were to come to a tryst in the West March of England, he having had friends "murdered downe bye the sayd Scotes men," took his friends and men with him to the number of 40, and thought to apprehend them on English ground. But the Scots having intelligence of his design, came 200 strong and more, 3 or 4 miles into England, "and ther did most crewelly murder Mr William Rydley of Willimontswyk, with two other of his frendes, and wounding John Whitfeild hir Majestes officer soe grevously, which we think it is unpossable he should leave: and did tayk to the nomber of xxvj men and xxxij horsses, with all ther spoyle and furniter. And we whose names ar underwriten, being of the feld, will wittnes this to be a troth, as is her sartified." Signed: John Whitfeild, Frauncis Whitfeild, (fn. 1) James Rydlie of the Waltoune, Uswalde Rydlie of the same, Hew Rydlie of Plenmeller, Nicholas Rydley of the Hardridinge, Christofer Rydley of Unthanke, Thomas Rydley of Milbredge, John Rydley of Henshaughe, Nicholas Snawdon of Plenmeller, Marmaduke Rydley sonne the foresayde William Rydley.

1 p. Rudely written by 2 hands. Indorsed.

(1) "Whilst the chase lasted and the Scottes taking prisoners on every hand, there came rydinge upp unto me one Quintin Whytehede servant to the capten of Bewcastle, and bad me be taken with him and he should save my lyfe, so as I yealded unto him; which so sone as he had me oute of the company, would nedes have spoyled me of horse and sutch furniture as I had about me—for savinge wherof I must eyther promisse to pay him a ransome, or ells be carryed away into Scotland: but havinge no lyking of Scotland, I agreed to pay him xxxxs. upon Midsomer eve next cominge, which I must eyther do though comand to the contrary by the authority, or otherwyse be sure of ane evell turn to my utter undoing, and this is the treuth of my takinge." Signed: John Kell his mark.

¼ p. Contemporary hand.

1066. Henry Woodrington to Sir R. Carey. [May 18. 1599.]

In my last letter I wrote what I knew of Mr Rydley's death: but this now is the truth as follows—Mr Rydley knowing the continual haunt and receipt the great thieves and arch murderers of Scotland, especially them of Whythaugh, had with the captain of Bewcastle, went about by some means to catch them in English ground, to avoid offence by entering Scotland; and hearing that there was "a football playing and after that a drynkyng hard at Bewcastle house," betwixt 6 of those Armstrongs and 6 of Bewcastle, he assembled his friends and lay in wait for them. But the Scots having secret intelligence, suddenly came on them and have cut Mr Rydley and Mr Nychol Welton's throats, slain one Robson tenant of her Majesty's, and taken 30 prisoners, mostly her tenants except Francis Whytfeild—and many sore hurt, especially John Whytfeild " whose bowells came out, but are sowed up agayne, and is thought shall hardly escape, but as yet lyveth."

The surname and friends of Elwood and Armstrong that were pledges at York were all in this action, where they had no cause of quarrel but only wantonness. I leave further consideration to your lordship, and desire to hear her Majesty's pleasure for redress of this outrageous murder: which though not done within your March, as the gentlemen slain and taken are under your charge, it may please her to impose revenge on you.

Your lordship commanded me to muster the country: but such is the overthrow of South Tyne by this affair, they have neither men nor horse, the men not daring while their friends are prisoners, and the horse which were out, wholly lost to the number of 50. I hope you will let Thomas Musgrave's service be known: his son in law dwelling in house with him, being the only slayer of Mr Rydley: the fact done in his office, his daily conversation and inclination to these people, and himself made the match with Robyn Elwood, and some which escaped the Scots, taken and ransomed by his men.

Sir Robert Ker has given strait charge to his March to provide themselves with horse, and I think intends to be very busy here: but I have known a man "catcht" in his own turn. I pray you order the repair of Harbottle, that we may draw near him; it gives me nothing but hazard and charge and you best know its necessity. My brother met Ferniherst on Tuesday last, who did you all justice that could be desired.

Bauclugh, who is somewhat recovered of his sickness, is in such contempt with his people for his just dealing with you, that they would gladly shake off his "yoake," and are privately working his overthrow, that they may have their "raynes louse" again, and this of Mr Rydley is the beginning.

So much for the West Marches: to come to our own, the outlaws have never rested since your departure, but such is your good fortune, that they coming by daylight this morning to rob within a mile of Newcastle, I with only my own servants and the horsemen you allowed me, met with them, when Thomas Rotherforth of Chattoe and Nychol Hall were slain, and we took Anton Pot, Hob Shaftoe, and Hob Eryngton, who attend your censure at your return. Bothall, this present Saturday" 18th May. Signed: Henry Widdringtun.

"Your lordship knows the forfet of my bonds concerns my whole estate. I have followed your councell in not disobaying her Majesties commaund for my going up: I pray you get me dyspatched thereof, before your comming downe, which I wysh be very soone."

pp. Addressed to Carey. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk. Small wax signet: a flower.

1067. Henry Woodrington to Sir R. Carey. [May 26. 1599.]

On Tuesday last the 22nd instant the inhabitants of Hexamshire under the bailiff's office, going to fetch away their bailiff who lies wounded at Bewcastle, were surprised by the Armstrongs of Liddesdale, it is thought again betrayed—for they lying within 2 miles of Hawtwysell in your lordship's march, suddenly broke upon them, killed one Swynburne and took 12 prisoners, showing their cruel and bloodthirsty minds in so insolent a manner, escaping so often without any "snuffle" or revenge, that the more outrages they commit, the more they are pricked forward to the like. They have almost wasted the parts of the West March bordering on them, and intend the same to yours, unless prevented and requited "lyke with lyke." I have sent to Bucclughe, but he is not at his own house: when his answer comes I will send it. It seems the Armstrongs and Ellottes have combined to do as they please, refusing to be ruled by him: and it is certain that Cesford has given the Tyvydale thieves and riders "lowse reynes" on your March. The Liddesdale men at these slaughters are brethren and nearest of kin to the Liddesdale pledges in York: it were good you acquaint her Majesty and Council thereof, and urge the extremest and hardest course may be taken against them. I beseech you to remember your speeches and mine concerning Rotherfurth, and I can but say as before, that unless some revenge be taken, it is very hard to keep this March in safety. You remember the last service done on these outlaws and how hard it is to effect the like, they have such "favorytes and bearers": some for fear of revenge, others for their own safety. "He that wrought the purpose (for his offences before comytted) ys and wilbe so mightyly pursued, that onelesse he have her Majestyes most gratyous generall pardon, or a lease of his lyfe, he can not any wayes be in safety." I beseech you to effect the same, and I will defray the charges, whatever they be. Bothall. Signed: Henry Widdringtun.

pp. A ddressed. Indorsed.

1068. R. Lowther to Cecil. [May 29.]

Reporting that many of the gunners, "maisters," &c., absent themselves from the city and castle—that powder, &c., is also much wanted: begging him to give orders for the absentees' return, and to stop the pay of the non-resident, sending also a supply of munition for their practice. Fears the late Northumberland troubles will cause disorder in the West March. Begs him to cause the customer to reside in Carlisle according to statute, as at Berwick. Carlisle. Signed: Richard Lowther.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed: " . . . Mr Richard Lowther," &c. Wafer signet: indistinct.


  • 1. The remainder sign by their marks.