Calendar of Border Papers: Volume 2, 1595-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1896.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
1069. R. Lowther to Cecil. [June 1.]
My cousin Francis Ducket wrote to me to come near his house to speak with him; but my occasions preventing me, I sent a trusty servant, by whom he wrote the letter to mo which I inclose and came to my hands this morning. Being forced to play the secretary myself I dutifully take leave. Carlisle. Signed: Richard Lowther.
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: quartered shield; crest: a griffin.
1070. R. Lowther to Cecil. [June 4.]
There is on some indirect course, process procured furth of the Star Chamber, for the appearance of Lancelot Carleton and others at the suit of one John Musgrave; as I am at this instant in the Queen's service here, and daily employ said Lancelot therein, and can by no means spare him,—for in truth he is one of the "suffiuientest" men this wardenry can afford, and lie and Richard Grame of the Breakinghill are my two principal men I use in other great services to the Queen, I am an earnest suitor that your honor would be a mean to the Lord Keeper to grant a commission to take the said Lancelot's answer, and your letters to myself, to stay him without danger of contempt of law—which letters I must have here within 8 days, for he has no longer stay of appearance, and will not be stayed by me, for he will not run within the compass of contempt. Carlisle. Signed: Richard Lowther.
Postscript:—I received your honor's letter to the captain of Bewcastle, and it was delivered to his own hand this day.
¾ p. Addressed, Indorsed. Wafer signet as before.
1071. Willoughby to Cecil. [June 12.]
I think myself happy that our former petitions and the danger of this place shall be succoured by so "good a Maecenas" as yourself. "Since in our profession it is not lawful bis peccare," I shall on dangerous intelligence, require pardon if I lay open our difficulties. I acknowledge with you, lacks are sooner found than supplied, yet sometimes the postern though one of the least gates of a city, if neglected, ruins the whole.
For the ordnance book of supplies, there was a book of the expenditure formerly sent up to the Master of the Ordnance general, whereof I thought Mr Musgrave had kept a copy and might have made the matter clear. For my part, I receive willingly the reproof of the expenses of powder, but can justly say I have stopped many of "the superfluous vollyes" here: but custom is so strong, I cannot do what I would. Fees are large, training powder a heavy expence, though small in respect of the profit of the learners: our pieces here in great number stand always charged by order, and much must be spoiled by foul weather and damp, and must be renewed. We spend much powder on days of truce, answering petty incursions and "noyances" by sea and land, not usual to any other garrison of England. This is also the arsenal of the whole country of Northumberland and bishopric. Some powder is spent in "salves," the place standing chargeably for ambassadors and persons of account passing through, wherefore something must be done for honor's sake, since we see it not spared in poor private merchants' ships: but I have done this very sparingly, and after this advertisement will be "more straighter."
On solemn festival days whole "tyers" of ordnance have been discharged: these I have cut of, and hold none but "the solemnitie of her Majesties day," which I do as a duty among these rude and barbarous people. But if I exceed, I shall gladly retrench conform to order; and hope to satisfy you more fully, if her Majesty confirm her purpose for my leave to come up this Michaelmas. I am much bound to you for imparting to me the news of the Irish success, as any news seldom comes to this remote place. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.
1½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
1072. Willoughby to Cecil. [June 13.]
Having intelligence by my lord ambassador and one Waynman my follower, that one Ashfeild a gentleman of Buckinghamshire, had lewdly and suspiciously behaved himself in Scotland, practising many treasonable matters: I sent to Edinburgh a gentleman my cousin Guevara, with 5 or 6 horse to apprehend him, who managed so discreetly, that winning him into a coach to disport himself, they surprised and brought him hither. I had a pinnace of my own lying at Preston near Leith, to ship him in, if they had been hotly pursued: but it was so well carried out, that though there were many Scottish gentlemen on the sands, they discovered nothing. Now he is this instant arrived, and I would gladly know her Majesty's pleasure. I have not examined him, but know that the ambassador and Waynman can say much against him: and if the ambassador, as I doubt not he will, can "cense" his papers at Edinburgh, there will be much certainty thus discovered. Thus much with first opportunity, and I hope the ambassador will advertise the rest, of which as yet I am ignorant. "This Wensday the 13 of June at 4 in morning." Signed: P. Wyllughby.
1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: quartered as before.
1073. Willoughby to Cecil. [June 15.]
My last was dispatched on a sudden, and I could not give particulars of Ashfeild's apprehension, and therefore follow it with this "desiceons" to have him brought back with as much cunning as he procured his pass. On sending some to Edinburgh with instructions for his "reduceing," the ambassador approved of an overture, viz., "to drawe him to Lieth, there under collour of a dissolute kindnes and good fellowshipp, to make him merry with wyne, then to perswade him to ryde home in a coach sent out of purpose, therein to surprise him and bring him awaye, which, as it pleased God, had very good successe in all particulers, without any shewe or suspityon of tumult or disturbance to any: the actors being four haveing no manner of armes, save onely their rapyers and daggers as they usually goe in my house." Before this was done, he had given one of them a note under his hand, that upon protection of my honour, he would come when he wrote for him: and then jested at my man's simplicity being pleased with paper. The "religious" take knowledge of his treacheries against religion, and bless God: while the King and greatest sort are much grieved with it, though they have done many enormities, viz., pursuing many with bloody intentions into England—not thank God, in my time—for far less faults. If any complaint against me is made to her Majesty, I hope your honour will answer for me, that it was no offence to let a man ride in a coach that was willing and weary, and to bring a traveller home at my own charge—especially such a one. My lord ambassador is somewhat "streitued," and he and I are much threatened: for my part, I seek to please none but one, and "wey" not the displeasure of any, so her Majesty is faithfully served; and I repent not of what I have done. I inclose the prisoner's letter to Sir Robert Kerr, showing their dealings. I have hitherto spoken of Sir Robert as I found his dealings towards her Majesty and her subjects, but if this changes to his old courses, I shall cease to do so. If these things are important, I pray you order the posts to greater speed, for my letters go slowly to you, and yours very long in reaching me. At this present I send you Ashfeild's answer to certain interrogatories, and a letter of Sir Robert Kerr's brought this morning with my answer. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.
After I had written this, an immediate messenger came with the King's letter, the copy whereof and my answer I inclose. "I have used good complaintes, which I have seene observed with all due regard amongst open enimyes: synce we had geven the blowe, I would not make the sauce to sharpe." However things may be construed, I shall be content if her Majesty be pleased, which is my main end. Mr Weanman "the putter fourth" of Ashfeild, is now come, though with great danger, and has brought Ashfeild's papers, which I would not take from him, being unwilling to prejudice his deserts, or to wrong the worthy endeavours and adventures of my lord ambassador. I have further sent you 2 letters of Ashfeild to Sir Robert Kerr, which he greatly importuned me to send him, but I detained, fearing it might occasion some "covertures" betwixt them.
1½ pp. Addressed by hand like Willoughby's. Indorsed by Cecil: ". . . My lord Willoghby to me." Wax signet: quartered.
Inclosed in the same:—
(1) (The King of Scots to Willoughby.)
"Having considerit the indignitie done to ws be taking away violentlie out of the hart of our countray in sicht of our cheif palais and eyis of our Counsale, ane Inglis gentilman callit Ashfeild, being under our protectioun and recommendit by your lettres to ane of our privie counsale, without any interpellatioun maid to ws for his delyvery, in cace he had bene ane offendour, and how the same is done be some of your speciall freindis and servandis: we cannot marvell aneuch thairof, seing we hopit at your handis als great respect to our honour as at any subjectis of England of your rank, speciallie sence your experience in princis service within and without your countray hes techit yow sufficientlie quhat apertenis to the honour of a prince. And gif sa be, that by any warrand from your soverane the same have bene attempted, we requyre freindly to be acquented thairwith, or gif upoun any perticuler offense done to yow be the said Ashfeild, yow have upoun ane suddane passioun interessed ws sa heichlie in honour, we crave the same by restitutioun of him, to be spedelie reparit: Willing alwayis yow to wey how farre sic ane attempt twichis ws, our honour, and estate, and as none ellis of your rank can better juge of that poinct of honour, and of nane of your rank we rest more assured of that lauchfull dewty quhilk apertenis, we expect with this bearer sic satisfactioun as will repair our honour and releve yow of that suspicioun of misregaird of your dewty towardis ws, quhairin we can not weill beleve that ye will fayle: Willing yow alwayis to asseure yow that it is a mater quhilk without spedie reparatioun we will nocht pas ower. And sa resting to your answer we commit yow to the Almychti. From Leith this xiiij of Junij 1599." Signed: Youre loving freinde James R.
1 p. Addressed: "To our trusty and weilbelovit cousing the lord Willoughbie lord governor of Berwick." Indorsed. Seal gone.
(2) (Willoughby to the King.)
"Most mighty, most renowned and most excellent King." I am charged with a grievous indignity done to your Majesty, by the violent taking of an English subject licensed by me to go to Scotland, and, as ia said, under your protection, also with a letter of commendation from me to one of your Privy Council. To each of these with your Majesty's pardon, I answer: my intendment is free from the first, my devoir and duty bound me to the other, besides the "overture" that his frank admission of no protection from your Majesty gave me, which he is ready to avow. I acknowledge no writing to any councillor on his behalf, which is a mere mistake. I hope your Majesty is persuaded there must be an informer and accuser of Ashfeild's proceedings, before I can notice them, as I am bound to do as a public officer. And being here her Majesty's servant, I should be accounted slack by non-performance of any "particularitye" concerning her service here. He came, it is true, with my license, which so much the more concerns me, he gave his hand and word to return in three days—then promised very shortly—wrote lastly he would presently make his repair. Accordingly I sent not violently "(as is enforced)" but quietly, without armour, arms or ambushments, nor stirring nor "emotion" in your Majesty's realm, nor discontentment to the party, who acknowledges himself, before, then, and since very willing to come, Those things thus made known "(as I appeall from you yll informed to yourself well informed)" will settle your judgment, that nothing is further from me than willingly to prejudice your highness. But if intrusion be tolerable in hostile manner in England, for a cow or a "sylly beast," or recovery of a "lewd" fugitive, how much more may it please you to moderate your censure of this quiet and peaceable act in execution of my duty? Lastly in answer to your Majesty, it was by no private advice now given by her Majesty, but by my public charge, wherefore I humbly desire excuse, if I return him not till her Majesty's further pleasure be known, which then I shall be very willing and ready to do. Berwick, 15th June 1599.
1¼ pp. Closely written. Copy by his clerk. Indorsed: "His lordship to the King off Scottes," &c.
(3) (Willoughby to Sir Robert Kerr.)
"Sir in truth and honor I cannot be tediouse, but playne and shorte." You must know that being informed something of Ashfeild that concerned me nearly in duty, as his entry in Scotland was by my leave and his "moyen" by your friendship "(things of greater consequence to me then at the first apperes to you)," I wrote to him to repair to me, who promised under his hand, and if I hastened his journey, blame me not. If it be true as you write, that any accuse me to the King as principal, it may be "they have don yt out of a deeper knowledg then I had of Ashfeilds dealing, prejudiciall to them I ame most bound unto: wherby they were not ignorant how I was engaged to do my mistres service. This I must say for ambassadors, that I have heard say the French legeir at London, executed a French man in his owne house." Their "priviledg" is very great, and I believe our ambassador in his honor will stand on it, and not "post" it over. Now my part was but this, to draw him the Queen's subject, in whom I knew not the King had interest, to come as he promised, "spedelyer then he would, but not then I ought in duty," without force or hostile manner or indirect means. If there was any cunning, "lett them that did devise yt answer yt."
Thus much is true on the faith of a soldier and my honor. I am sorry if the King is displeased, but he must think me a true Englishman, and dutiful subject. "To conclude . . . I ame sory you gave excuse the last day for breackinge of the trice, and satisfying according to justice and honor: for which, upon your hand and woorde, I asembled diverse persons, who expecting justice, found themselves frustrated and the good purpose, togeither with your promise, fayle." The long expected remedy of these puts me in doubt of the performance. "Thus for this tyme I leave you to God." Berwick 15 June 99. "Your faythfull and honest freend as becometh me." Signed: P.W.
1 p. Holograph. Indorsed.
1074. R. Lowther to Scrope. [June 19.]
In discharge of my humble duty, I signify the news from Scotland, which I have from James Murray through his friends, and from the Goodman of Bonshawe, upon letters to him written from Francis Dacre, viz., that the Queen's ambassador Sir William Bowes is committed to Edinburgh castle, for having as alleged, caused an English gentleman, much favoured by the King, and having a protection by land and water, to be transported from thence, much displeasing the King, who offers very hard handling to the ambassador.
"The Lorde Sancker a great protested papist," is newly landed in Scotland, with great store of gold, earnestly desiring at the King's hand, to take up 500 horsemen, which he has obtained, and paid them a month's pay beforehand—20 crowns every man: where they are to be employed I know not.
"Yesterday the gentlemen of Northumberland and the Larde of Baclughe trysted at Cressoppfoit," touching the breach of assurance by the Liddesdales for the traitorous slaughter of Mr Rydley and the rest. "And presently after, Andrew Whythaugh and Calfhills howses were brunte." Our opposites are at great strife, and ride and spoil one another, which is like to increase rather than abate. Carlisle. Signed: Richard Lowther.
The Lairds Johnston and Drumlanryg are agreed, "and shall marry togeather."
1 p. Addressed; To Scrope as "knight of the most honorable order of the Garter," &c. Indorsed.
1075. Willoughby to Cecil. [June 20.]
Since the sending of my "trumpett," and stay of their ships and merchants, the King has issued a warrant to release my men and ship. I have also received a very "officyous" letter from Sir Robert Kerr, that the ambassador is not so straitened as he was, and things are growing quiet. Evident appearance that the storm is past, and the most part of the clouds blown over. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.
1076. Willoughby to Cecil. [June 22.]
I have received your letter, and dispatched, with speed and safety I hope, the others to Sir William Bowes. I gladly received her Majesty's admonition for wariness over passengers to Scotland, and in truth have suffered none, except recommended to me, or known to men of good place and credit here.
I shall send Ashfeild to you as safely as I can, though his coming will be long, for I cannot send him a prisoner by post. For Waynman and the papers which he can best expound, I hope by this time you are satisfied.
The prisoner's letters I sent you were voluntarily written since his imprisonment: he was earnest with me to send them to Cesford, but I sent them to you without looking into them, for your opinion as to his inwardness with Cesford, which reason if I mistake not, I inserted in my former, and also some letters from Cesford to me. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.
For the safety of the letters sent, I ordered my man to make up a false packet to show to intercepters, if the Scots had laid wait: and unless "those found papers" were in it, I know not how they should come to your hands. The "true pacquett" was bestowed "closely" on the bearer, and the false in the bag as usual, which should have been thrown away when the post had passed Durham, but by forgetfulness brought on. The paper signed by our hands was belike some order about the town, now of no effect.
¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed: ". . . June . . . R. the 28th at London."
1077. Passport for James Beaton. [June 23.]
Authorising the bearer "James Beaton Scochman," licensed by the Governor of Berwick to travel southwards, intending to pass into France—to go without hindrance. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.
½ p. Addressed: "To all justices of peace, maiors," &c. Indorsed.
1078. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [June 27.]
As directed, I inclose my opinion touching the bond that the master of the ordnance Mr Richard Musgrave, and his brother Thomas are to be bound in. And if the master of ordnance refuses to enter into it, it were good that his brother be restrained of his liberty: for either such a bond must stop his further mischief or he will return to his old "vomyte" and be worse than ever. Nothing will quiet that country but binding him and his friends straitly, or discharging him from office and appointing another.
I have left Mr Kyllygray in trust to get her Majesty's hand to the patent for the baylywyck of Hexham for one Roger Woddryngton, a very fit man. It may be in my absence, those ladies that spake for "Rydley of the buttrie," will cross it and procure her Majesty's hand for him: which if you hear by Mr Kyllygray, I pray you for the good of the country, stand in it with me against them, and remind her Majesty of her promise to me before my departure, that whosoever I thought fit should have it. Somerset House. Signed: Ro. Carey.
¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Was seal of 20 quarters; crest: a swan.
1079. Willoughby to Cecil. [June 27.]
"Having sett up all this night to have drawn together xxti horse of the Queens guaurisoun of four score, I protest to you I could gett but fourtene; and soe the day dawninge, least the purpose of sendinge the prisoner away should be discovered by such treacherous disservice, I ame inforced soe to venture him. Judge good Sir, I besech you, whether these be a fitt troup or noe for her Majesties charge, and wher there are foure constables, ther is never but one to doe any thinge! Yf this be not innovated, yf innovation be reducing of things to order, I shall not be able to serve her Majestie eyther in the wardenrye or in the towne upon any suddayne occasion. This I thought good to touch in a word or tow, havinge th'opportunitie of my lord ambassadors pacquett 'for lyfe,' which instantly came to my hands as I was in the midst of this business: I hoop God will succeed it better then it begins. The rest I leave to the ralation of the gentleman who cometh after, and hath the charge of the prisoner." Berwick. "Three of the clock after midnight, the 27th June 1599." Signed: P. Wyllughby.
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: fragment.
1080. Willoughby to Cecil. [June 28.]
"Accordinge to her Majesties pleasure I send up Ashefields body with the best and most silent security I can devise." I am most "afeard" of want in this barren place, and protest, "being behind of hur Majesties pay upon an after account, I am driven to more shifts for mony than I am sure I could be in any place of the wordle els." This troubles me more than the Scots opposite, and I beseech you Sir, be a mean to furnish Sir William Bowes with the garrison's pay; for howsoever I suffer, it is not fit they should want. Yet give me leave for myself to say truly, "it is not 40l. per annum intelligence and post money, beares my chardge that way." Wherein I have given good proof of my sufferance, and "record it rather than impleade it." Were I worthy "to shote my bolt," I could wish for his own safety and the Queen's honour, that the ambassador "were licenced to retorn, for as long as he is there, the juniper coales will burne, yet it is a point I have mutch stood upon with them to break in all if they breake in using him well. The gentleman desarves mutch, it were greate pity he should receave luck and the cause no good: but these are above my reach, and therefore I crave pardon to think that another fre from imputations mought better and more securely finish his commendable projects than him selfe. I have I feare inlarged my selfe to mutch, but knowing love covereth as many faults as opposite mallice desireth to circumvent, I commend me to kind construction and your sell'e to God." Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.
1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.
1081. Injunctions for the captain of Bewcastle. [June 30.]
1. That he shall be always ready to assist the Queen's subjects, both within and without his oflice, on "hew and crye" against offenders both English and Scots.
2. And harbour or assist no Scotsman without the lord warden's licence.
3. Nor ride into Scotland or tryst with Scots, without the warden's privity.
4. And be always ready to deliver any one dwelling in his office, sent for by the warden.
7. And do his utmost to apprehend outlaws without favour or colour.
As the West border is at present very poor by the great "darth and plaugue" these late years: and it often pleased her Majesty to allow the late Lord Scrope 100 soldiers from Berwick, it might now please her to allow 50—20 at 6d. a day above their ordinary pay to keep horses and serve "for shott of horsbacke," this would be a good mean that the warden might in time "cherish up" the country again.
1 p. In a clerk's hand. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk: ". . . Some thinges for the capten of Bewcastle to be injoyned unto."
1082. Richard Lowther to Cecil. [June 30.]
It appears by the inclosed, that the Armstrongs Scotsmen, have not only given up assurance with the Musgraves for former injuries and harm done them without reason, as they alledge; but in revenge, this day ran a foray with 60 horse and foot in Bewcastle, taking the captain's goods, &c., 60 head of cattle, 6 horse, 100 sheep and "gayt," killed one man and hurt others. Which I doubt will cause further "combre" to this March: the rather, as I am informed that insolent persons are thereto animated by letters lately sent from Edinburgh. Therefore I humbly intreat your honor to hasten the lord warden's repair home. Carlisle. Signed: Richard Lowther.
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.
Inclosed in the same;—
(Armstrong to Lowther.)
Your worship understands when we met you, "I was desyrand your worship to cawse the Musgraves to done reason"; and at your worship's desire I have done no harm to no Englishman, and caused all my friends to forbear "sensyne." I now write to let your worship understand that I will be no longer under assurance with the Musgraves, for "give I wald, it might come to my reproafe, for there is some sayes, give I wald not have dischardged with your worship, they wald not forbeare them that hes made faultes. Therefore I thought meet to dischardge my self of my promisse, and give that I do in tymes comynge for your good will and honor, I have the maire thanke to receyve at your worshippis handes." I doubt not to have your good countenance: "for I take God to my wytnes that I wold have tane les nor reason of them." I would you took my discharge in good part, and consider my case "howe ewell I hawe bene used without faulte done to them . . . Off the Hollowse the xxviijth of June 1599. Your frend to use lefully." Signed: "John Armestrange of Hollowse."
¾ p. In one handwriting—perhaps too good for a border rider. Addressed at foot. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk: "Armstronges lettre to Mr Lowther."
1083. Sir Robert Carey's Demands. [June.]
1. To have Rotherforth now one of the Scots' pledges in York with me in Northumberland, till I think fit to deliver him into Scotland.
2. His friends are a great surname, and can annoy England more than any other on the Border.
3. They are in deadly "feed" with many English gentlemen.
4, 5. He and many of his friends are fyled for goods taken, and before I let him go, he shall make satisfaction for all.
6. All deadly "feeds" shall be taken up: especially if the Scot have the worst of it.
7. I will take special bonds of all his friends for their future good behaviour, and very good bonds of Englishmen for himself to deliver him to me at any time on 8 hours' lawful warning.
8. So if he or his friends offend, I shall be sure of him whenever demanded.
9. I will do much good and no hurt if I enter him to Scotland: and therefore would gladly have directions down with me to York, to have him delivered to me when I come there.
¾ p. Written by a clerk. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk.
1084. Informations against Thomas Musgrave. [June.]
1. He is known to the whole country to be unfit for his charge under her Majesty.
2. His chief English companions are outlaws and the "verie caterpyllers " of their native country, sucking their neighbours' blood and goods: and thinking all lawful that they can get by violence. Quintin Rutledg alias Dandes Quintin, Thomas Musgrave alias Thomas Woddsword, and Mathew Erington, all notorious offenders unworthy to live, are maintained by him, his daily companions, and live chiefly in his household.
3, 4. Of Scots, none but outlaws are in favour with him: the chief of them is Sym of Whythaugh whom this captain has married to an English woman, it is said in the country, his bastard daughter. Of this I am not certain, but sure I am that this unworthy Scot and his wife were kept in the Queen's castlo of Bewcastle by the captain's permission. Since the late accident of Mr Ridley, he has forborne the place (for he was the chief killer of him), but before it, he was never out of it. And if Musgrave is demanded, I think he will confess that the said Scotsman's wife "is at this houre in his house."
5. For his lewd life, I can say little but by report: only this of my own knowledge, he gives an evil example as a chief officer, "in keeping a very unhonest and an unworthy woman with him in his house, by whome he hath had dyvers children: she is hatefull to God and man." His friends have all forsaken him for not leaving her company. Neither bishop nor other officer can do any good of him, and it is thought she is the chief cause of his lewdness.
6. All that I have set down I know of my own knowledge to be true; and if you send a commission down to the neighbouring gentlemen to inquire further, you shall find him very unfit for his office, and that his younger brother is a far fitter man for it.
1 p. In same hand as last. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk: "1599 June. Informaciones against Thomas Musgrave capten of Bewcastle."