Border Papers volume 2: November 1599

Pages 629-632

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

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1121. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 5.]

I have just received your letter, and perceive her Majesty's unwillingness that I come up this winter: I must obey, though to my great loss. But I hope, if things keep quiet, she will be pleased to let me come up after Christmas, that I may not lose the benefit of next term, as I have of this. She is not well acquainted with their chief time of stealing: it is not the dead of winter as she says, for then the ways are so foul, and cattle so weak, that they cannot drive, or carry anything off. Their chief time is always betwixt Michaelmas and Martinmas: "then are the fells good and drie and cattle strong to dryve": which time is now past with great quiet and little or no stealing.

On the 2d instant I held another "day of trew" with Sir Robert Ker at the Stawford, with good justice as before. He still does well, and protests he will so continue: which sudden alteration from being a protector of thieves, to a suppresser, causes much wonder in these parts. Some think it is to regain her Majesty's favour; others, to gain some ease to his pledges, and others that it is because he and his thieves can do us no hurt, such is our good order. I think all three causes are great motives with him: but whatever it be, it has done great good to the country, and the honest subjects of both realms enjoy their own in quiet. I think it were not amiss if her Majesty by her agent in Scotland, or by myself, took knowledge of it and her good acceptance thereof.

I pray your honor get me leave to come up so soon as you can. Alnwick. Signed: Ro. Carey.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: quartered.

1122. Sir John Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 8.]

Though there is no news here, these packets from Scotland give me opportunity not to neglect my love and duty in saluting your honour, and signifying my readiness to serve you. These parts hereaway are in wonder fulquiet; and there is such justice done as was never known nor seen within memory of man. There is neither stealing nor riding, and if any such chance happen, we have but to send into Scotland to get restitution, whether Cesford be there or no, such command has he left with his officers; showing he has become another man, for besides doing justice and "violent kepinge" his people from doing harms, he seems very sorry for her Majesty's hard opinion justly conceived of him, with great desire to have it removed, and offers her all manner of service both here and elsewhere, reserving his allegiance.

"Shewer he is a fare altered man that ever I saw from so bade to so good, wiche sheawes he cane be bothe, and belike wilbe as he feyndes! "but it is far better for her Majesty and her subjects, and if he found she had knowledge of and likes his alteration, it might encourage him to continue "his well begun change." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

1123. The Dean of Durham to Cecil. [Nov. 17.]

This day a Scottish gentleman the Laird of Weemes, passed through this city, travelling to London. He seems a friend to our state, and signified that a ship late come from "Brauges in Flenders" is freighted from Scotland to Calais, wherein he has shipped certain horses and "grayhoundes" for France. All goes in his name, and the chief in the ship is one Moryson, who he says "hath commissions from Scotland to the Pope": which he willed me to signify to you, and will declare more largely at coming up. Praying God long to preserve her Majesty, and multiply upon your honor your father's years and honors. Durham. Signed: W. James.

½ p. Holograph; also address. Indorsed. Wax signet: a shield charged with a dolphin; crest: a bull or cow.

1124. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 18.]

I have nothing to trouble you with, but an accident in my March about 2 months since, whereof I did not write as not worth notice. But hearing that the King by his ambassador at our Court, means to join it to the last years' hunting, for more disgrace to my officers Mr Woodrington and Mr Fenwick, complaining that they invaded his realm with 2000 men: I humbly beg you to handle the matter that her Majesty may take no mislike till she hear the truth, which I will here set down.

By my labours since coming to this March, Liddesdale and Teviotdale our former great spoilers, are now quiet. But "a new pack of theves" have started up out of the West March, who never rested last summer with daily spoils and incursions to the overthrow of many a poor widow and fatherless child. I wrote in the beginning of summer to the Earl of Angus, lieutenant there, and received a "kynde" letter promising justice: but I "gate" none. The mischief continuing the whole summer, at the latter end I wrote again to the Earl, who replied, that I should be righted, when he brought these people to his obedience, desiring me to have patience. Finding there could be no speedy redress, I and my officers thought a "pownd" should be taken of the chiefest offenders to stop their outrages: and Mr Woodrington and Mr Fenwick with 1500 or 1600 Redesdale and Tynedale men horse and foot—"and very requysyte yt was "that they should go in strength so far from our March—went to the Langhame, the laird of which has been the chief resetter, and his own sons the leaders, of these malefactors, and brought away the laird's brother and 200 head of cattle, without hurting any other Scottish subject. The effect is, the laird came to redeem his brother, and make restitution of all spoils done by his people, and has given bond that he and they shall not offend us again: and poor men here abouts can now travel in safety from market to market, as never before. The offenders made no complaint to the King or his officers, but made their own peace: and yet I hear complaint is to be made to the discredit of these gentlemen, who deserve praise rather than blame.

I most humbly entreat for my leave to come up after Christmas, as things are quiet: as your honour respects my credit. Alnwick. Signed: Ro. Carey.

pp. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed.

1125. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 21.]

I perceive by letters from my lord my brother that the Scots ambassador has complained of the "rode of Langhame": whereof I hope your honor has informed her Majesty as I truly reported. The causes were very great for that course, and seeing no good redress could be got from the Lieutenant, and the fact in itself lawful by the practice of the border, to take "a pownd" of the offender, I could not otherwise have discharged my duty. It has wrought great quiet, and I can say no more than I wrote before. I beseech your honor to be the patron and defender of Mr Woodrington: he is a good subject, and has not many "marrowes" where he lives. To clear doubts and satisfy the ambassador, it were good he were sent for, and if he cannot discharge himself before the Council and the ambassador, let him suffer according to his deserts. It will be a shorter course to satisfy the King, than by a commission in the country, and it is what he desires. If he is not suffered to come, I pray your honor let me have my leave the sooner. Alnwick. Signed: Ro. Carey.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Quartered signet: indistinct.

1126. Sir John Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 23.]

I send the inclosed letters received from Master Nicolson out of Scotland, with request to forward them to you: also "this boke," sent by the messenger with like request. There is no news here but peace and quietness, for Cesford hitherto keeps his promise to do justice. "Ther hathe of lat byn sume littyll stear betwen the Kynge of Scotland and his minesters about sertayen Inglishe players that ar in Scotland: whoe the Kerke have forbedden to playe and have preached agayenst them withe verey vehement reprehensiones: and the Kynge hathe commanded they shall playe, and that none shalbe prehibetyd comminge to them. Wherat the Kerke is muche displesed, and muche trubeles it had like to wraighte." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

½ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: swan.

1127. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 27.]

I have thought good to acquaint your honor Sir Walter Scot will be at London very shortly—within 2 or 3 days after receipt hereof. He was with me at Alnwick on 26th instant, and thence set forward on his journey. "I think he wyll be desyrous to kysse the Queenes hand: which favour of late he hath verie well deserved, for scynce my comminge into theis partes, I do assure your honor he is the onelye man that hath runn a dyrect course with me for the mayntenaunce of justice, and his perfourmaunce hath ben such as we have great quyetnesse with those under his chardge." Nor have I wanted present satisfaction for anything taken by his people: and he has had the like from me. There is not an unsatisfied bill on either side between us. For all Sir Robert Ker's great justice of late, I cannot say the like of him. So I pray your honor when he comes to you, take knowledge of him, and respect him for his welldoing. It will encourage him to continue when he returns. He has left a very sufficient honest gentleman in his place with great charge to keep correspondence with me; so things are like to be very quiet this winter. I have appointed another gentleman beside Mr Woodrington to be my deputy and manage all matters with Sir Robert Car and his officers: Mr Woodrington to be my absolute officer in all other matters.

I pray you therefore remember my old suit and get me leave to come up, the sooner the better. Alnwick. Signed: Ro. Carey.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(His propositions for governing his March in his absence at Court.)

(1) The Lord President of York to be authorised to release the hostages at York, when others are sent by the Governor of Berwick, and Carey or his deputy to replace them; (2) thereby Sir Robert Ker will have part of his desire, and keep his border quiet; (3) he will make peace between Sir Robert Ker and Henry Woodrington, discharge the hunting accident and all other feuds between them and others; (4) he will build a lodging for his deputy at Harbottel, and quarter his horsemen round the castle ready for service; (5) recommends Sir R Cecil to write to Woodrington with the Queen's thanks for his good services to encourage him; (6) thinks that his deputy may supply his place, except for a month or 6 weeks in summer: for the rest of the year, hopes her Majesty will allow him to wait on her at Court; (7) that she will make trial of this for a year only, and if it does not succeed, he will be ready to go back to his charge; (8) Sir Raf Sadler governed the same place by his deputy Sir John Foster many a year, and so may he, if it is the Queen's pleasure by his honor's means.

1 p. Holograph. Indorsed by Cecil.

1128. John Guevara to Willoughby. [Nov. 29.]

Only now I have received answer from Sir Robert Ker to my letter about this late disappointment. He excuses himself by his servants' negligence (with his letter saying he could not keep the day), threatening them with severe punishment: and has appointed the 6th and 7th December without fail. Vows to keep peace in his charge as within his own house, and if any of his have wronged your border, while he was at Court, he will send them to me "tyed under horses bellyes." He has proclaimed that if any pass through his charge to attempt your wardenry, all whom we call on, shall rise to fray and following, as if they were wronged themselves. He not only wrote this, but commanded Anderson to come and show me precisely his men's neglect. He is yet at Court as great as ever, and lately hunted a match with the King: when his horse and dogs gained such credit, as they be since the King's. My "cussin" Veare is with the Bishop, where I wish he may profit in learning as he has lately done here. Now your lordship is absent and has disposed your son, I beseech you bestow your picture (that is here) on me, that I may have something to look on with delight. I would beg your daughter's—at least the possession during your absence: and do not think Captain Norten will be discontented, in whose lodging they both are. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Guevara.

1 p. Holograph; also address. Indorsed.