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.
1154. Passport for Alexander Hume. [April 5. 1600.]
Licencing Alexander Hewme a gentleman of Scotland travelling southward on his lawful affairs, on a "blagg nagg" ambling, of 14 hands, to pass and return without hindrance. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
½ p. Addressed at foot: "To all justices of peace," &c.
1155. Sir Robert Kerr to Sir Robert Carey. [April 10.]
"I moist ernestlie intreit yowr lordschipis favor for the better forderance and helpt of the laufull effairis of this berer, ane quhais honestie I knawe be his being in my awin cumpanie: now hes resolvit to us sum laufull trade, and repairing in the pairte quhair yowr lordschip is, it vill pleis yow do him sik favoris as may be bestowed in his ressonable desyris. The greattest that is luikit for, he at this present is to us yow into, vilbe for yowr helpe and good opinizoun, how he may transport with swirtie sik kynd of laufull commodeteis as he sall treffect withall, and gif it sall happin any impedimentis be maid him, do your lordschipis best for his forderance, as ye sall fynd me reddie in quhat I am abill to do the lyk or greatter, as I salbe preassed be yow, swa restis." Edinburgh. Signed: Schir Robert Ker.
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.
1156. Passport for Thomas Cunningham. [April 10.]
Licence for Thomas Cunningham Scotsman and "factor in Campheere," travelling to London intending to go thence by sea, on a gray ambling and trotting gelding, 18 hands high, to pass without hindrance. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
½ p. Addressed at foot: "To all justices of peace, maiors," &c. Indorsed; "Thomas Conningham."
1157. Henry Leigh to Cecil. [April 12.]
With pardon for my boldness, I present in all humbleness my present poor estate, hoping by this time by your good relation, her Majesty is fully satisfied of my loyalty, and by her accustomed mercy I may be released from this punishment: or if any distrust remain (which God can witness is causeless) I humbly desire further trial. Yet knowing my innocency, I most humbly in sorrow of heart crave remission of this contempt "not growne by presumption, but necessitye." And if your honor think it "a necessary complement" that Lord Scrope be satisfied, I will (though I confess against my nature) intreat him to be a suitor to you on my behalf: though then he will arrogate that my freedom comes by his favor, as his own letter inclosed shows he has done all her Majesty's former favor to me; the glory whereof my discretion cannot admit him, for as I acknowledge one God, one truth, and one sovereign, "so wyll I not hunt after strange gods, but only rely and trust by the continuance of the same favor to be revyved, to do her sacred Majestie further service." Signed: Henry Leighe.
1 p. Holograph; also address: "To . . . Sir Robert Cicill knight master of her Majesties wardes and lyveryes," &c. Indorsed. Wax signet: device and inscription, broken.
1158. Richard Lowther to Cecil. [April 13.]
That notwithstanding the good affection of Sir John Carmichael opposite warden (who has from the King extraordinary allowance, far surmounting any of his predecessors of "that ramphe") and his own endeavours, the worst of the Scots and English rogues are doing and like to do great damage—therefore craving to be allowed 40 horsemen to strengthen his march.
Sir John and he are to meet at Gretna kirk on Saturday next for order, the former intending then to go to Court on private affairs. Carlisle. Signed: Richard Lowther.
1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.
1159. H. Leigh to Cecil. [April 16.]
"The languishinge hart of a poore prisoner," in all humbleness craves pardon for his presumption in importuning your honor amidst your graver affairs, to remember my distressed estate, not for want or pain by imprisonment, but in fear lest the continuance confirm a suspicion of my disloyalty: rather than which I desire a thousand deaths. "Thoughe lyfe be sweet and naturally deere, yet honesty and innocency surmountes all worldlye joyes . . . Therfor sweet and honorable sir, I most humbly begge the benefytt of her Majesties mercye . . . that I may addresse my self towardes her Majesties service, accordinge to my hartes desyer. I most humbly take my leave from this place of smale pleasure, attendynge your honors pleasure howe I shall dispose of yonge Dacres letter directed to the Erle of Cumberland, for loath I am by my neclect to smother the honest meaninge of another." Signed: Henry Leighe.
1 p. Holograph; also address. Indorsed: ". . . Mr Ha. Leigh to my master, from the Gatehouse." Wax signet: device, &c., as last.
1160. Richard Lowther to Cecil. [April 19.]
This day as agreed, the opposite warden met me at Greatney kirk for border causes, and we appointed 19th May to deliver bills fyled. He is now to ride to Court: "and as I am credibly informed the Lord Maxwell both contrarie the Kinges mynde, and to the greife of his father in lawe the Marquies of Hambleton, haith made his repayre haistely into the countrie, for whom yt is spoken that the King will geve charge for returne to hym in all haist: yet yt is thought that the lord Maxwell will scarsely obey the same as he ys purposede." So the warden leaving his office and the coming of Lord Maxwell his "unfrind" to the country, is like to breed disorder, which my small allowance will not afford dealing with, though my good will and ability shall not be wanting. I humbly intreat your honour to consider the same and the need of horsemen.
It is also reported that the assurance between the Maxwells and Johnstons shall break up, and of late, great cumber has risen between the Maxwells and "Gardens," which will stay Lord Maxwell going to the King. Carlisle. Signed: Richard Lowther.
1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Quartered wafer signet: indistinct.
1161. Passports for Alexander Drummond, &c. [April 21.]
Licencing the bearer "Allexander Drummont a gentillman of Scotland," riding a grey ambling nag 14 hands high, to travel to London on his lawful affairs and return without hindrance. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
½ p. Addressed at foot: "To all justices of peace, maiors," &c.
Similar for Alexander Hey a gentleman of Scotland, riding a black ambling nag 15 hands high; and for John Henderson a gentleman of Scotland, riding on a brown ambling nag 14 hands high.
1162. John Guevara to Willoughby. [April 22. 1600.]
"Mr Controuler and the surveyer weare instant with me to give way to theise their letters," and to intreat your lordship for answer, as they durst not pluck down the Queen's house for the repair, without your express warrant: "such are the actions and speeches of some!" There is nothing new here: "only this day the Artophilax goeth doune to the Carr, to attend a fayre winde." Lord Hume came to Dunglas on the 18th instant—he purposes to go to the King shortly, but stays till Sir George Hume "qualifies" the King's displeasure "for his trystinge with Earle Bothwell in Fraunce."
There is great working against Sir Robert Kerr, as well to turn lord Hume against him, as to disgrace him with the King. "The plotts are perilous," and he is gone to Court to prevent mischief. It is generally suspected that Earl Bothwell is secretly returned to Scotland, and doubted what will be done. "Backclugh is sent for, and the speech is, that the Duke goeth ambasador into Fraunce.
"I pray your lordshipe retorne the Scottish bell, that though your mayre be not able to runn, yet it may be caried in att the day." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Guevara.
1 p. Holograph; also address. Indorsed. Small wax signet: quartered; 1 st and 4 th , 3 bends charged with billets (?); 2 nd and 3 rd , 5 leaves (or flowers), 2, 1, and 2.
1163. Offer by the Liddesdale pledges. [April 24.]
The Lard of Whithaugh and William Ellott, who for more than 2 years have been prisoners in York castle, for bills fyled on them and their friends by the late commission, bind themselves to pay and satisfy the Englishmen owners of the same, if the Queen of England of her clemency grants them liberty to return to their country, viz., on delivery of Launcelott Armstrong eldest son of Whithaugh 20 years of age, and of Robert Ellott eldest son of William Ellott, of like age, to remain true prisoners in York city: and to lay in bonds of 4 English gentlemen of yearly revenue and inheritance of 300l. or 400l. sterling at the least, in sums to the full value of the bills,—to be forfeited if their sons break prison, or if they pay not the said bills within 3 months of their freedom: their sons to be freed on payment of the bills. Signed: Symon Armestronge lord of Whitaughe his marke, Will'm Ellott his marke.
¾ p. In one hand. Indorsed by William Selby, junior.
1164. Offer by the Teviotdale pledges. [April 24.]
Whereas they are bound for certain bills, and have remained prisoners for 2 years in York castle, they undertake to satisfy the same, either by payment, or by delivery of men contained in the bills to their value, or by English men's sufficient bonds to satisfy the parties in 3 months, at their choice: provided that on any of the foresaid satisfactions, her Majesty will be pleased to grant them liberty to return to Scotland. Signed: Robert Frissell, Richart Rutherfurd of Letilhewh, ThomasAinslie, Will'm Tate of Cherrietrees his marke.
½ p. Indorsed by Selby.
1165. Names of the Scottish pledges. [April.]
For Liddesdale, delivered by Buccleugh:—
Symon Armstrong laird of Whitthawgh; William Ellott of Eskez; William Ellott of Cliutwoode.
For West Teviotdale, delivered by Cesford:—
Robert Frissell laird of Overton; Richard Rutherford of Littlehewgh; Thomas Ainsley of Cletehawgh; George Robson, escaped out of York into Scotland, and thereby freed the bills he lay for; Raphe Hall of the Syke: died in York castle.
For East Teviotdale, delivered by Cesford:—
Dand Appringell of Hownham; William Hall of Heavyside; John Burne of the Cote; Raphe Burne his brother; James Yong of the Cove; Richard Yong of Feltershawes; William Tate of Cheritrees; Dand Davison of Promeside; Raphe Mowe of Linton, died in York castle the day he came there.
½ p. In William Selby's writing. Indorsed.
1166. William Selby [Junior] to Cecil. [April 25.]
I made haste in my way to Berwick but found not my lord President here, who was gone the day before to Snape, whom I follow thither to-day. The inclosed papers and this letter will declare my conference with the pledges, and how they propose to satisfy the bills they lie for. By one subscribed by Whithawgh and William Ellott, Liddesdale men, and delivered by Bucclugh, your honor will see they offer English men's bonds, "esteamed of borderers the surest payment." The sums they lie for, if "rigour" be taken, will be above 3000l. I think. There is a young boy with them, another Ellott, the third delivered by Bucclugh, whose friends and "this William Ellott" are at variance, and "therfore would undertake nothing for hym," but thinks that when his father and friends see the others' offer accepted, they will "do noe lesse for this boy."
By the other paper good satisfaction is offered by Robert Frissell and Richard Rutherford, delivered by Sir Robert Kerr, and being West Tividale men, therefore "lesse respective" of him: the like by Thomas Aynesley servant to Farnehirst: and of all East Tividale, 9 in number wholly at Sir Robert Kerr's devotion, only William Tate of Cheritrees offers satisfaction. These offers I think the English subjects will gladly receive (for except instant payment in money or goods) the pledges can do no more—and in my poor opinion, her Majesty by accepting it shall be honorably discharged "for so much," and the rest of the pledges, "more obstinate then unable," drawn to the like, especially if after delivery of the others, their liberty is more restrained than now. If accepted, her Majesty will be pleased to signify her mind that her wardens give extracts from the rolls of the particular bills, that bonds may be laid in to the owners, as by these offers. Divers of them say they have made these or the like offers before to some of our wardens, who said they would have nothing to do with them; but if Sir Robert Kerr and Bucclugh would offer for them, they would then treat: but those pledges say our wardens well knew "that Bauclucgh was beyond the seas," and that Sir Robert Kerr would never agree to any satisfaction: nay they say plainly that at his instance, and to gratify "one other greater personage," all our wardens earnestly labour at Court for delivery of the pledges, and 8 of Sir Robert's do firmly believe it and hope for present liberty, which hinders them offering as the others: some of whom told me, and I hear by one of my servants. Your honor can best judge how the tale arose, and I leave it to the event: but I thought it my duty not to conceal it. If it be true, then "woe to the sheape when the sheapeheards pleade for the wolves!" I may say privately to your honor, that I fear our wardens in persuading the free delivery of these pledges, have other objects than those they pretend. When I hear with certainty you shall know, though it is now a matter of great peril for any borderer to oppose the free delivery; for notice is given to Sir Robert Kerr, and thence comes the danger, stopping better men's mouths than mine, making others silent, or disguisers of the truth. I have sent the names of the 17 pledges, 2 of whom only have died in 2 years—and if her Majesty under the treaty, call for two others, it would show the rest that they will get no liberty without payment. It were well the gaoler were ordered to see to their safekeeping—their liberty is too great. Their diet and lodging is 10s. a week—the Liddesdale men pay well, the West Tividale men somewhat behind, but yet have paid much: they of East Tividale, Cesford's own, have paid little or nothing, but I know that divers of them are as well able to pay as West Tividale. This letter is longer than I intended, but I was unwilling to omit anything material. Toppclif. Signed: Will'm Selby.
The sum of the bills for which they lie, appears much less in the wardens' rolls some say, than given out, and will I think be satisfied for less than 2000l. (above what is received from English thieves)—whereto 1000 Scots at least between the East and West seas are to contribute: and albeit on the West March, it is said, we have more to pay than to receive, yet thieves there are, that should pay on both sides, and troublers of peace, on whom the more trouble falleth the better it is for the true men, whose good and not the good of thieves was effected by the commission.
2 pp. Closely written. Holograph; also address. Indorsed: ". . . Mr Willyam Selby to my master . . ."
1167. R. Lowther to Cecil. [April 25.]
Notwithstanding the report of Lord Maxwell's discontentment, I am now credibiy informed, that yesterday the warden took journey to the King, having the day before spoken long and well agreed with Maxwell, who promised obedience of his friends, servants and dependers for justice. Assurance (except Lord Maxwell himself) is taken betwixt the Maxwells and the Johnstons.
Drumlanrig and Johnston are charged to be before the King and Council this day, "for trysting their combers" under their submissions.
Assurance is taken betwixt the Johnstons, Bells and Carlells till the first of July. So their private quarrels assured, there is more danger to our border, and some faults have been perpetrated of late, the gentlemen and officers having neglected watch, though commanded by letters and proclamation.
And with all my diligence to stay disorder, in good faith, my allowance is so little, I am unable to effect that quietness I wish, which cannot be done without men and money. Carlisle. Signed: Richard Lowther.
¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer Signet: shield of 8 quarters—distinct.
1168. Sir John Carey to Cecil. [April 28.]
Your letter of the 21st April I received on the 26th, with the inclosed to Master Nicolson, which I sent away to him, and have presently received this inclosed returned again from him, which I address to your honor by post. I think myself highly bound for your kind and honourable letter to me: the quietness of the town and country offers nothing worth sending. "I ame sorrey to hear the ill newes of my lord of Ormund: and glad to hear of the good escape of thoes other honorabell men in his compeney." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
¾ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: swan crest: an annulet on its breast.
1169. Declaration by Henry Leigh. [c. April 12. 1600.]
I humbly beseech pardon for my long silence—not from neglect of duty, but to give your honor satisfaction: for though at my first entrance to this place, I was not well at ease, yet have I not lost much time, but according to my poor understanding, set down all the circumstances and true causes of my acquaintance or conference with the King of Scots, from the first day that ever I saw him till this present: and though it may seem tedious to your honor, yet considering how nearly it imports my present estate, reason I trust will allow it; for little mistaking may much hinder a good cause, which a slender circumstance would make clear. But because I understand by the keeper of this house your honor's pleasure to be only satisfied how often I have been with the King in this twelvemonth, and the causes and conferences both with him and Dacres or any other, which concern the state of my gracious sovereign or country (such I take to be your meaning); and as I came hither to try myself an honest man, and desire not to live except her Majesty be persuaded thereof: if I commit any error either by haste or evil writing "with my owne ragged hand," I commend it to your favorable construction as I would a thousand lives. Not to be tedious: your honor must know that there has been exchange of goodwill, so far as stood with my duty, between the King and me, ever since Sir Francis Walsingham was ambassador there, as appears in my other paper, which you shall see at pleasure, and all the lords very well know: whereby I presumed to use his favor of late. Omitting our conference when he was last at Newby, being before the time you limit, I present his several letters to me as Lord Scrope's deputy, and if there is any doubt, I am ready to give further satisfaction.
Now to come to my being with him at Lithco in September last, it was not of set purpose, but by mere accident. After I had been at Court suing for relief after my exceeding charges in the Queen's service, and found the quality of my suit to depend on profit by Scots goods as may appear by my petition "not rightly tasted," yet referred by her Majesty to the consideration of the two Selbys gentlemen of good trust, for their report to your honor to be further considered by her,—"the suddayne expected troble of the Spanyardes" forced me to surcease, and by advice of Sir John Stanhope, I thought to return to my charge in the Queen's service. Having here neither horse, armour, nor money, Sir John suspecting it, of his honorable kindness twice gave me gold for my charges home. Finding Lord Scrope's countenance "declyned," for causes your honor shall hear another time, and no hope from him: being in some want, I bethought me of relief, calling to mind that Lord Herise and his friends had once been very earnest with me for the revenge of his brother's murder late provost of Dumfries, slain in the King's service by "a sort of notorious base theeves which were harbored within thre myles of my howse"—to which I willingly gave ear, as her Majesty had written to the late Lord Scrope that Lord Herries' enemies should have no reset in England, though no revenge was taken. But Lord Herries dealt with me, and also the King at Newby intreated me, saying that Herries "cast still in his teethe "the gentleman's death in his service, and he would thank me for furtherance. On conferring with my neighbour the laird of Newbye, now deputy warden under Carmichael, he said Herries and his friends had lost much time by my absence, yet desired to effect the matter: so we resolved to speak with the Master of Herries and Sir Robert his uncle, for my lord was in ward for refusing to agree with the Johnstons, and I craved leave of Lord Scrope to be absent for a week, making show of other business, to prevent suspicion. On coming to Dumfries, we found the Master newly gone to his father, and all the parties ordered to be before the King at Lithco within two days: and thither we resolved to go and speak with the Master and his father. I bethought me of my other suit, that on opportunity I would procure the King's favor not to prohibit his subjects bringing goods into England, nor take exception to my imposing toll on them. Also, as many in my country laid all the troubles of the Border on my office, I would entreat him to give strait order to the Earl of Angus, also to the Master of Herries, who on Lord Maxwell's behalf had undertaken that the Armstrongs should not make incursions on my office; "suche meanes must border men use to meet with wycked practises!" If your honor would know the secret condition of profit between Lord Herries and me, making me so forward to assist him, "though with modesty I should conceale it, yett my hart, which wyll hyde nothinge from you in hope of your secresye in this behalf, doth blushinge say trewly, I should have had as good as fortye poundes yerly towardes my howse kepinge in larder kye and meale, accordynge to the country maner. Well to be breffe: we cam to Lithco," and the King hearing, desired to see me, but as I was meanly appointed, not intending to come so far, was pleased to "dispence" with me, and to see me in the fields next morning when he came to hawk and would "fall of" from his company. On reporting my suit, he most willingly granted it, saying, for any horses he needed himself, he could have favor from her Majesty: and most of the others that came fell into the borderers' hands, making them proud and disobedient to the Queen and himself: "so as he wyshed ther were not a horse within xx myles of ney ther border," with some discourse on its reformation, saying he would either come again himself or appoint a warden under the Earl of Angus, "whose slacknes he seined to myslyke."
Then we had a "litle tast" about the commissioners' delivery of pledges,—of Sir William Bowes and of Ashfyeld: "sayinge that he marveled the Quene would owt of her jelozy imbarke him in every idle fellowes humor! but he semed to be pleased that he had understoode the Quene had called Sir Wylliam Bowes 'Sirra,' which he sayd was halfe a satisfaction to him—but he marveled why it should be so dangerous for any of the Quenes subjectes to com to him, consideringe that as he should answer God, he might as yf he were not a Kinge, be tryed by the Quene of Englandes owne laws for any act or practise against her in all his lyffe: for he held it a most horrible sinne for princes to practise one against another, for he sayd, 'God would not lett kingdomes so stand.' These were his owne wordes, as nere as I can remember: and therupon I replyed bouldly to him, that as I had professed my love to him, my allegeance reserved to my soveraigne, so yf I thought he ment any thinge agaynst her Majesties person, I would be the first would put my 'hand to him.' (fn. 1) Thoughe every man would not peradventur have passed so bowldly with him, yett God and he can wytnesse this trewth: for which he gave me assurance he would never move me in any thinge agaynst my allegeance, for he sayd, 'Those that would not be trewe to those they were sworne to, ther was lesse hope to uthers.' Then we spake a lytle of the newes of Ireland, and of my Lord of Essex, whom he held to be a very gallant nobleman, but he suspected him somwhat ambitious, as appered by his appologye. Somwhat he towched your honors self, as both to wyse and to riche for my Lord of Esex: then he comended Sir Philip Sydney for the best and swetest wryter that ever he knewe—surely it semeth he loved him muche—but he concluded the Quene was the most happy prince in the world, that had so many worthy subjectes that did love and dewtyfully obay her owt of ther naturall affection and not by constraynt: sayinge, that thoughe her Majestie did stand jeleosly suspective over him, for his hope to Ingland, yett he very well knewe that ther wer but tow ways to atteyne to it—the one by conquest, the other by love. For the first, he dispayred for dyvers reasons, and love he sayd never prospered upon an ungodly or bloody roote: so as her Majestie had to longe suspected him, and especially in combination with the Spaneard, whom he had no less secrett cawse to accompt an enemye then her Majestie. Then it semed he had a desyer to be gon eyther to his sport or home: but I "lastly pressed him, so far as I might with good maner, in the behalf the poore Layrd of Spot the layt regentes sonne, whom I had promysed yf ever I gott fitt oportunyty, to prove the Kinge for him: and the Kinge answered me that for all those that were in Bothwells action, his wrathe was not implacable, except only against John Colvin who he sayd, by his libells and defamations, practised to prove him a bastard: but he gave me no further answer for Spott, but upon his deserving hereafter." So I took leave and he rode homeward: but I had forgotten to move him to stay the Armstrongs and Irwynes, and on consulting Lord Herries and Newbye, it was thought meet I should again speak with him, and procure a charge to the Master to keep the Armstrongs in order, to show the country it was not done of favour to me, and prevent suspicion of our other purpose—and also intreat him to let Lord Herries come home "to effect his desyer for his brother," and return at the King's pleasure: which they thought he would yield rather at my request than theirs; and Herries would have time to satisfy him in the agreement and other things, for neither the Duke nor Johnston can. So in the evening I went towards the castle, and the King vouchsafed to come forth to a little green and two with him, when I preferred my second suit, which he freely granted, and gave Lord Herries leave to go home, commending his cause to me. "And I think we had not ten wordes but I toke my leave." I then went to Edinburgh to speak with Francis Dacres, "to knowe howe he had ended the matter of his pencion, which I had warrant from my lord Esex to deale with him in: but I could not gather by him that any thinge was done. Then after we had spoken a litle merely of owr owld acquaintance in Ingland, I desyered to be assured of his good favor for my powre howse and those litle thinges I had of those landes which were his fathers, yf ever her Majestie should please to restore him, or in another age his fortune or his sonnes were ever to come to it? For I had buylded thre mills att my owne chardges and had bestowed much cost on the howse, and all my estate depended theron: wherof he gave me full promyse, and so we parted." Then I came home at "the weekes end," informing Lord Scrope where I had been, and my friends told me I would be complained on, I said I would answer it: a letter from Lord Angus came to me for a meeting, which I showed Lord Scrope, who said I should go, but I told him I had better go to London to answer for myself, and he gave me leave. But when here, I heard of nothing, and thought it unfit to complain on myself. "In trewth I shewed myself twyse to your honor, albeyt ye marked me not, and I was with Sir John Stanhope in his chamber in Cowrt; but I was so hunted with sergeantes and bayliffes, after it was reported that I would go for Ireland, that I could not stir abroad, and had a sub pena served on me in my bed, at Mr Huttons sewte of Grays Inne, upon suspicion of former assuraunce made by me of landes, which one Brigges his father in lawe, bought of me: to whom I stand bound in thre thowsand powndes for warranty. Whose danger when I could not avoyde, I conditioned with him for forty poundes more to delyver into his handes all former assurance, and put in my answer into the Chancery accordyngly, and mad good speed owt of the towne for feare of worse, and left my sewt and all at random, resolvinge directly for Ireland. And in my way home in Warwyckshyre, I understod by my cosen Hayles that ther was a motion of mariadge betwen him and a sister of Sir Harry Goodyeares, which was one Waynmans wydowe, who had a good lease in Ireland, but nowe in the enimyes handes: which he sayd yf the match went forward, I should be farmer of, yf I could do any good upon it. Wherof I had better hope by the Lord Deputyes favor my neere kinsman, who I thought would showe me any reasonable favor; and therfor I bethought me deeply of this busines and my best meanes to effect it, and sped me home, wher I found dyvers good fellowes wyllinge to followe my fortune, both Inglishe and Scottes, provyded they might be assured of victualls, for they were so terrifyed with the lamentable spectacle of the poore hunger sterved soldiars which cam thens, that "they held the jornay almost desperate: yett did I comfort them with probable hopes.
"But nowe grewe on the tyme that I must delyver over the wrytinges covenanted to Mr Hutton and receve the rest of the money, which in deed I was hungry for, to help to make my provision for my jorney, but when I sought amonge my wrytinges, I fonde not all that I loked for: whether my wyffe or some of her frendes in my absence beyond seas, withdrewe them and kepe them secrett, or my memory serveth me not what becam of them, I knowe not—but always I had not to geve them that they expected. Yett caried I with me a dischardge for a statute of 70l. (fn. 2) knoledged xx yeres sence, wherunto the land was leyable, and some other wrytynges of smale account, thinkinge that those would exhoner my conscience for the money I then receved, consideringe the land was at the first sould so much under valewe: but I conditioned to meet Mr Wylliam Hutton and Mr Page in a playne fyeld for fere of intrappinge, because every one that I aught any thinge to sought to catche me, for they thought yf I went for Ireland I would eyther dy or be slayne—and in that playce to geve the wrytynges with one hand and receve the money with the other. Which I did, and trustiuge theyr payment therof without tellinge the money, I bad them farewell, not dowtynge but they would afterwardes seeke to gett hould of me yf they could: which I suspected most by my lord Scroopes meanes under cooller of his martiall aucthoritye for the Quenes service, and so might I have bene easely intrapped: to prevent which I placed an honest youge man which maried my dawghter, in my house and office to answer the Quenes service, which I did by my lord Scroopes consent, so as he could take no exception to my absence—and having bene frighted with the sheriff baliffes and neerly escaped for Lacy and others, I thought it my best for avoydynge of all danger, to step into Scotland wher I might lye and sleep soundly within six myles of my wyffe and children, untyll I had eyther compounded my busines, or otherwyse resolved. For I still dowted ther favor with my lord Scroope, Edward Hutton ther neere kinsman, being best beloved in his lordship chamber, and John Musgrave the land sergeant of Gilsland, theyre cosen german, so as they might sodaynly have surprised me under surmyse of some other matter—as that country people are bould enoughe to venter when they have the lawe and favor of thawcthoritye on ther syd—all which considered, I went into Scotland to Newby, wher I could not indure to lyve lyk a dogg in a kennell or a knave in a ayle house, but bethought me of my busines and intended jornay, and that it was fitt tyme for me to procure the Kinges favor alswell for my protection to lyve in his country, as to bye and transport victualls and weapons necessarye for my purpose, and lycence for so many of his loose subjectes as I could procure to go with me—of whom I had some hope by the intended appeasement of the trobles betwen the Maxwells Duglasses and Johnstons, which had nurished agaynst theyr wylls a great number, of whom in more peaceable tyme, they would be contented to be eased. Wherupon I addressed my self towardes Edenburghe, and the Layrd of Newby gave the Kinge to understand of my beinge, who gave order that I should be brought to him in the eveninge, for that I was but in a playne ridynge sute of grey and was loath to be seene with the lordes and my former acquayntance who had never seene me but as gallant as them selves: so I was brought throughe a greate lardge chamber, wher thre or fowre wer standynge by the fyer, into an inner withdrawinge chamber, which they called the Cabonett, but ther was neyther bookes nor any thinge but a chayre, a litle table, and a caskett. But ther found I the Kinge, to whom after I had imparted my estate and purpose, he most wyllinglye granted my desyer: sayinge that yf the Queue would accept of him yf she needed, he would go him [self] in person in that action: but he merely sayd, perhaps the Quene "thought that ther were to many of his that were wyllinge to go the wronge way, but yett she should yf she pleased, have as many good ones, for he could not reewle all, as she myght well perceve by the Lewes and other his disobedientes in the Owt Iles. Then he asked me, howe longe I would staye theraboutes? and I towld him thre dayes untill I had provided some smale necessaries: then he sayd 'We shall speake more before ye go,' and then I was dismissed and wylled that yf I would have anye thinge els, I should tell eyther Sir Thomas Erskyne or Mr David Fowles. So I went to my lodginge, and the next eveninge I went to Frauncis Dacres, wher I also founde his sonne, and pittiinge his estayt, I prayed him to lett him go for Ingland and serve his naturall prince eyther in Cowrt or in warres: but he withstoode it, sayiuge that he thought Georg Nicholson and I had spoken together, for we were bothe of one mynd, and defended it with some other idle reasons—but the yonge man liked my perswation so well, that he whispered to me, that he wished he were in Ingland, thoughe it were agaynst his fathers mynd—for he had no lykinge to marye in Scotland as his father would needes urge him—and he sent me woord by his man John Bletarne, that he would not stick to steale away from his father, so I would help to convoye him, for he had rather submitt him selfe at his princis feet, and lyve amonge his frendes, then ther in misery, for [he] hoped her Majestie would not lay the faultes of his pupiladge to his chardge, but if he stayd longe ther, his father would undo them bothe, for he should com to full adge at Whitsontyde next. In trewth, his pittifull moane and honest meaninge, much moved my mynd, for ther is hope his education may by good company be altered: so as I promysed him my best help, but I would first sound some of his best frendes howe this cowrse would stand with her Majestie lykinge, wherof I was in good hope for some respectes. Wherupon the next day he wrote a letter to his sisters to the same effect, in great secresy from his father, which I delyvered to Mrs Anderton, and she comended it in a letter of her owne to my lord of Cumberland or to my lady Montague, which I have yett undelyvered.
"I had nothing to do more with Frauncis Dacres, but renewynge his promyse that whatsoever becam of me in Ireland, my wyffe and children should have his good wyll for my thinges at home—and so we parted.
"The next day Mr Davyd Fowles invyted me to dyne at his brothers howse, tow myles owt of towne, and towld me, thoughe I would not go openly to the huntinge with the Kinge, yett I should be partaker of the sport: for the Kinge would hunt theraboute, and I might stand on the howse head, and see all, and peradventur after the Kinge were werey with huntinge, yf the dogges cast up neere the howse, he would com in and refreshe him, for he sayd the Kinge was good fellowe, and was not curious. And in very trewth, so all thinges fell owt, for I sawe all the sport, and about midafternone, the Kinge and a sort of his curtiars alighted and eat some meat: which done, I was brought to the Kinge, and he asked me howe I lyked the sport? and after a litle huntynge talke, he gave order to Mr Davyd Fowles gett my warrant redy: so after dewe thankes, I tooke my leave. The next day, I went homewardes to the Layrd of Carmichels howse, and with him to Lowghmaben: and when I cam in Ingland, I understoode that my lord Scroops was very vehement agaynst me, and some sayd he would comitt me, others sayd he expected warrant from the lordes of the Counsell: but I sent him word by my brother Dalston, that I would save him that labor, for I would go myself and answer whatsoever he or any other could chardge me with, and seinge I knewe I had comitted no fault but a contempt, I would rather receve the measure of my punishment at her Majesties handes then his, for from her I dowted not to fynd gracious favor accordynge to the honesty of my demerit. But suspectinge the strenghe of his humors, I withdrewe my self agayne into Scotland, tyll I had effected some of my busines, and he were gone. And so intendinge to go to the towne of Ayre and Dunbretton to see yf I "could discover who were the cheefe victulers and suppliars of the rebells, and to understand the cowrse of the passages; but the storme of snowe was so great in those hyelandes that I was forced to geve over that jornay, yett have I made some enterance into that service. Then was I advysed to go to St Johnstons to a great fayre that was ther then, where I might have choyse of the best necessaryes for my purpose, and knowe the rate of all thinges, and so proportion my self accordynge to my purse.
"I wyll forbere to recyt the severall weapons and ther uses most necessary for Ireland, wherof I ment to furnishe my self in those partes, as braid Highelandes sowrdes with a cross and to turne into a muskett with a vyce for the last syght, which is better then eyther galleglass or sowrd and targett—but I returne to my last speakinge with the Kinge, which grewe by meere accident and not of purpose, for I had no busines in the world with him.
Leavinge my Hyland jornay as befor, wher I had neerly perished in the snowe, not far from Mr Bulmers and Mr Fowles mynes, I fell into the Lowe country, and beinge not well at ease, I toke up at Collington, wher I had bene kindly entertayned befor, and sent one to Sanct Johnstons to bringe me a rate of the prices of such thinges as I sett downe, wher I did see towe of my neighbors cary fyve fyne geldinge to the fayre, which greved me not a litle. I stayd at Collington, the rather because the tyme was troblesom—for the Layrd Johnston had layne in wayt for the Lord Sancquar and had chased him twyse on one day, and Sim of Puddinge burne was abroad with his gward of theeves, to rob the passengers to the fayre, and I was loath to fall in such handes. After I had refreshed my self thre or fowre days, I hard the agrement of the feedes betwen the Maxwells and Johnston was subscribed by the Lord Herrise and his frendes and the Laird Drumlanaricke and his: and that Beltryes who had bene ambassador here, was com home: so I thought to go to Edenburghe to here some newes; wherof when the Kinge understode, he sent Sir Thomas Erskine to bringe me downe to 'cracke' with him, as he called it: who brought me as before into his Cabonett, which I then perceved was next to the Quenes chamber, for I hard the musicke, and the dore was a litle a char, that I might see a litle: wher the Kinge was excedynge pleasant, and havinge as it semed receved a letter from Roger Aston, who was then here, he toke occation to remember a jest which mad him lawghe hartely, which was, that Roger havinge the kepinge of Lithco pallace, had honge his owne petegre in the gallary, right over agaynst the Frenshe Kinges—thus familiarly was his pleasure to use me. Then he towld me ther was good hope of our good successe in Ireland, wher he wished my fortune might be worthe ten thowsand poundes by yere—for he sayd ther was a Spanishe ambassador come to our Cowrt and ther was hope of peace, and then was it lyke Tyron would settle: but I gathered by him he intended to send some ambassador about the tyme of the meetynge, to observe the proceedynges, that he might not be excluded no more then he was with the Frensh Kinge, and to see that nothinge were contryved prejudiciall to him or the religion. But he fell from these matters, and asked me, Howe I would do yf I were comitted for my beinge with him; for he understood George Nicholson was inquisityve after me, and would advertyse my beinge ther? I answered, I knewe no less and by the help of God I would offer my head at my soveraynes feet, for my own hart could not accuse me of any capitall fault; for thoughe I fled for dett, yett I would not flee from my fayth, and I had rather lyve in Ingland in prison with bred and watter, then abrod to be an erle with suspected fayth. Then he asked, howe I would avoyd the danger of my bondes? I answered, I would take as good heed as I could tyll I cam at the Cowrt, and then yf her Majesties comandment were layd upon me, I were sufficiently protected: and when I had satisfyed her highnes I should be sett as free as befor. He comended the order, but sayd he would be sory that I were trobled, and yett he would laughe to see that all was fishe that cam to the nett—for were it for good cawse or evell, all were "alyke accepted that cam to him: but [I] towld him I hoped my honest meaninge would fynd more favor, and so kissinge his handes I toke my leave. But lett her Majestic understand thus muche—that more then these honorable favors for the furtherance of her highnes service, I never receved eyther money or gould from him, but one litle ringe of diamondes, which he sent me the next morninge by Sir Thomas Erskyne for a rememberance, wyllinge that yf I were slayne or dyed, I should leave it to my sonne that he might knowe him by it herafter—except exchange of horses, hawkes and dogges, in former tyme.
"Thus in the sight of the same God whom I toke to wytnesse in my begininge, have faythfully and trewly thoughe rudely in hast, sett downe the materiall thinges which have passed betwen the Kinge and me, so far as my memory wyll serve, except suche noblemens names as it pleased him to aske me of, in trifflelynge thinges—as the quarell betwen my lord of Sowthampton and my lord Gray, and what kynd of men they were? howe he hard that my lord of Sowthampton and the lord Bothwell were familiar in Fraunce: also he asked whether my lord of Northumberland and his lady were together or no? he thought he grewe ritche, and whether he should come to be lyvetenant of the Marches, as was spoken, or he should go in comission for the peace? and what grace my lord of Shrewsbery had in Cowrt? and what becam of my lord of Cumberland, he hard no speache of him a great whyle? and of my lord Burghley his government in his presedency, and of my lord Montjoyes tender body, unhable to indure Ireland by report? Of my lord Wylloby and my lord Scroope, as occation hapned? Of the hope of my lord of Esex liberty? But why should I troble your honor with these litle impertenent thinges, which are scarse worth the wrytynge: neyther would I, but that I would not have your honor thinke I would minse or howld backe a hayres bredth: but upon my salvation, ther was not anything of more moment concerninge these. But sence I have made your honor stay longer, I thought good to geve you all at once in hope of your favorable pardon."
It now rests that I humbly acknowledge my offence in contemning Lord Scrope's authority over me, for which I will thankfully endure what punishment her Majesty shall please to inflict on me; beseeching humbly that my past services and those to come, may mitigate her heavy displeasure for this contempt.
"Nowe I most humbly beseche your honor to pardon my tediousnes and take in good part this rude hasty scribled worke, for the trewer tryall wherof I am redy to any further torment shall be thought needfull, for Spes mea Christus, and I fyrmly belyve that Veritas liberabit. Her Majesties poore prisoner and most faythfull servant." Signed: Henry Leighe. (fn. 3)
"I have not reserved a coppy hereof, nor scars perused or poynted it, for my eys are not well."
13 pp. Holograph; also address. Indorsed: "April, Mr Ha. Leigh his declaracion of his being in Scotland."