Border Papers volume 2: October 1599

Pages 625-629

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

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1111. Thomas Lord Burghley to Cecil. [Oct. 1.]

By your letters of 24th of last I find how favourably her Majesty has been pleased to take my proceedings since I came hither. I know not how to serve her here, but to make her both loved and feared.

Before you receive these, you may have heard of the escape of some of the Scottish prisoners from the castle. On the 27th of last month, about midnight, "two of the basar sorte tooke opportunitye in a tempestuous night, being lodgid in the topp of a garratt, to uncoover the slate of the rooffe of the chamber wher they laye, and so tying ther shetes and covcrletts they laye "in, slypped downe and escapyd, being not knowen untyll an hower after they were goone, wheruppon hew and crye was made, but as yett not harde of."

Ou examining, I find no likelihood of corruption nor practise either in the keeper or his men, but a mere desperate adventure of themselves: for any practise would have been for release of the better sort, who are as sorry at the escape as the keeper:—for they are more hardly dealt with, as the keeper by my order "hath sence sett boltes uppon ther leggs untyll such tyme as they be restooryd back agayne." They have written to Sir Robert Carr warden of the March to which they are thought to have escaped, hoping he will send them back.

I find on a view, the common and private armour of this country so defective, as I am ashamed to certify. But I hope by spring to have it as well armed as any shire in England: and to say truth, they are willing enough to strain their purses, and I do not doubt to arm their minds for their prince's service. York. "Your broother all yours." Signed: Tho. Burghley.

pp. Holograph; also address: "To . . . my very good broother, Sir Robert Cecyll knight secretary of state," &c. Indorsed:". . . Lord President of York to my master," &c.

1112. Willoughby to Cecil. [Oct. 2.]

I have this day received her Majesty's most gracious leave for my repair southward, and cannot but give you thankful acknowledgment of your furtherance therein. My wardenry is in quiet, and the opposite wardens well affected thereto: on a late meeting with Sir Robert Kerr for redress, I received extraordinary justice, "himself voluntaryly put out th'offenders unknown, and unsuspected to the partie greived." I have left the town to "Mr Martialls" government: "soe that now I hope I may the more frely take my playinge tyme." Berwick. Signed: P. "Wyllughby.

p. Addressed. Indorsed.

1113. Scrope to Cecil. [Oct. 2.]

As your favor has been great to me regarding those parcels of lands I hold of her Majesty, and to be purchased: so must I offer most hearty thanks, and will ever be "prest" to deserve your innumerable kindnesses.

I had a letter from the Earl of Angus and answered it, as the inclosed copies show. I caused my deputy at once with the force of the country to attend him and learn his desire: who returned without any news of him. I now hear that with the barons and strength of the country, he rode upon and burned the Johnstons, who forcibly took and hold the King's castle of "Lowghmaken." It is said the lieutenant and his force "skaild" from the field on Friday last till further advices from the King.

George Nicolson reports from Scotland that the Laird of "Carmichell" is proclaimed opposite warden: but I hear nothing of it from the Lieutenant.

By this time you will have heard of the late roade by the Wooddringtons, &c., of Northumberland on those wicked thieves of "Annerdaill," which will somewhat repair the losses those "limmers" have done in the Middle Marches. I entreat you to hasten the soldiers.

Notwithstanding my public and private prohibitions, yet the Grames with the Lieutenant rode on Johnston: whereof the King will likely complain. Let me know how to redress it. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

pp. Holograph; also address. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(1) (Angus to Scrope.)

Signifying that by the King's command he is to be on the Borders 25th, 26th and 27th instant, to bring the insolent thieves to order, and as some may hope to be reset in England, requesting Scrope to forbid it, and in person or by deputy, hold hand with his forces against this. Dumfries 21 September 1599. Anguse.

¾ p. Copy by Scrope's clerk. Indorsed: ". . . Receyved the 25 of September."

(2) (Scrope to Angus.)

Signifying that his letter of 21st had only reached him at 7 a.m. this day—the day appointed for meeting—that he had at once sent his clerk to Dumfries, and so far as the "slack" receipt of his letter allowed, would draw the force of his wardenry to meet him and hold hand "with all rigor." Carlisle. 25th September 1599. Tho. Scroppe.

1 p. Copy by his clerk. Addressed at foot: "To Angus as the King's lieutenant and lord warden of the West Marches."

1114. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Oct. 5.]

Humbly entreating his favour for "this poore gentleman the bearer," who has deserved well of the Queen and country: but now being aged and impoverished, and moved by his friend Lord Willoughby, intends to prefer a suit to her Majesty for relief, which if granted, will be a high favour to Carey. Alnwick. Signed: Ro. Carey.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

1115. Sir John Carey to Cecil. [Oct. 6.]

Signifying that Lord Willoughby (now on his way to London) left Berwick on 29th September, and himself as deputy "witheout alowanes." Inclosing some letters given him to forward, and having been in office so small a time, has no news worth sending as yet. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

½ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed: ". . . Mr John Carye to my master."

1116. Sir R. Carey to Hunsdon. [Oct. 8.]

On the 5th instant I held a day of truce with Sir Robert Ker and had good justice as my letter to the Council shows. If he continues as he has begun, this country will soon be an altered place. This sudden change of his breeds many doubts, and most men think he hopes thereby to get some ease for his pledges: but I hope, whatever the King's and Sir Robert's persuasions may be, the Tivydale pledges may not be delivered without my knowledge, and receive their liberty from me by her Majesty's direction. And this not from any hope of good to myself, but I will so handle them that the setting them free shall be a "meere thralldome" to them and their surnames: and yet their warden and themselves shall all think they are very kindly dealt withal.

To confirm this good beginning we are to meet again on the 26th instant, and if be continues his well doing, we shall have a quiet time this winter and my absence will not be hurtful. I pray you let me know her Majesty's pleasure on my coming up this winter: for I have great occasion to be at London before this term end, and use your best means to procure me leave. "My humble service to my Lady your love." Alnwick, Signed: Ro. Carey.

1 p. Addressed: "To . . . my very good lord and brother the Lord Hunsdon, lord chamberlen of her Majesties houshold," &c. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk: ". . . Sir Robert Carie to my master," &c.

1117. Sir R. Carey to the Privy Council. [Oct. 8.]

Reporting his peaceful meeting (as in preceding) on the 5th, with Sir Robert Ker: who in testimony of his love of justice, hearing some of his March were spoiling in Carey's, lay in wait for their return on the "border edge"; took the principal man, detaining him till the King's pleasure be known, and returned the spoil, about 200 sheep. They are to meet again on the 26th, whereof he will report to their lordships. Alnwick. Signed: Ro. Carey.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk.

1118. Scrope to Cecil. [Oct. 15.]

As I said before, I learn by Lancelot Carleton that Henry Leigh was with the King "in privat at (fn. 1) L . . ., for so the Liewtenant, which saw him there, tolde to Brakenhill." If neither by the Queen's nor your license, "looke what you will have me doo, that will I execute."

I sent my clerk to the Lord lieutenant with the English complaints enrolled, and he is to send me the Scottish, when we shall proceed with justice.

It is alleged he is become a party in the "feades," with the Maxwells and Dunlanrig against the Johnstons, which moved the last to seize "Lowghmaken," and is like to cause more displeasure unless the King take present order.

The Laird Johnston "being in holde" has made means to show his "griefes" against Angus to the King, who directed his appearance to answer them. But by advice of Lord Herries and barons, he has stayed in the country, signifying this by a servant, who is not yet returned: so it is doubtful to which party the King will adhere. But since the castle was taken, divers slaughters and spoils of worthy persons have been done among them.

The Laird of Carmichael was commended as warden, and expected the Lieutenant to proclaim him: but as yet not done, as he sought that authority from others, "and not from him selfe solye."

The Lieutenant with Lord Herries and the barons, I hear intends to levy 50 horse to suppress the Johnstons, and also to send for his wife "(being greate with childe)" to remain at Dumfries, where he intends to call about him Lord Herries and the lairds of that "new supposed faction this winter." I beg your hasty furtherance of the soldiers to this border. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

pp. Holograph. Addressed.

1119. George Nicolson to Scrope. [Oct. 27.]

The commodity of this bearer "the good lard of Greatney," a gentleman well devoted to your lordship, as upon occasion he "bathe kithed here," makes me present my humble duty, leaving him to give occurrents.

The lord lieutenant (for the time) uses many good speeches of you, and looks for justice. "And Baucleughe is truly and faithfully your lordships in all lawfull sorte." And the Laird of Johnston, "as mete a gentleman" for your benefit as any, is minded to run your course, so you suffer him not to be overrun by the Grames in his troubles, which will soon turn to his liberty. The King and others are much grieved at their rodes, a matter which your lordship may stay, and set them at peace with these two worthy gentlemen Baucleughe and Johnston, whereby you shall have great ease and surety: otherwise the Grames' continued riding will bring more trouble than they look for at the princes' hands. For Sir John Carmichael, if he occupy the warden's place "(as he hathe it by warrant)," he is with you in like sort, and will omit no means for peace on the border, "my lord Harris being also peaceable, and good, and the Lord Maxwells frendes (him self being young) of like myndes." Edinburgh. Signed: Geo. Nicolson.

I wrote in my last on a matter you may benefit by at your discretion. The party is very honest, thankful, wise and secret.

1 p. Holograph; also address.

1120. Scrope to Cecil. [Oct. 31.]

I inclose those two letters from George Nicolson. I have ordered the Grames of whom he complains in the one, to bring me their reasons for riding on the Johnstons against my orders, and on receiving, will send them to you. By his other I see that the Laird of Spott is presently to ride to London. He is greatly commended to me by divers friends, and being requested to do so, I commend him to yourself to expedite his business. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet (Scrope) with the Garter.


  • 1. Word carefully crossed out, probably "Lythco."