Border Papers volume 2: October 1600

Pages 692-707

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

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1247. Scrope to Cecil. [Oct. 4.]

The gentlemen of this wardenry having exhibited to me articles tending to the correction of the great disorders here, with earnest wish that I commend the same through you to the Council: approving thereof, I heartily commend them to you, hoping you will procure their lordships' consents, without allowing any private petition in the contrary, with convenient expedition. Since I received them, the Grames have presented a petition and the gentlemen have replied, all which principals I likewise send to you.

I hope her Majesty has already given direction to my Lord Willoughby to send the soldiers, for in good faith this country greatly needs them. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

1248. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Oct. 4.]

I have many messages from Sir Robert Kerr for news of his licence, and he earnestly intreats me to write for his safe conduct. His proceedings of late are good, I have great justice, and his border is very quiet. So if it please you I would gladly know, as he thinks me partly in fault. Some think he means not to travel: but whether or no, it were not amiss he got licence sent down, for it is better to keep him a friend than otherwise. And if your honor would acquaint her Majesty with his request, and tell me what answer to give him: as he says his stay will not be long in Scotland.

The West border is quieter since the Laird of Johnston was made warden: and so are all the borders, including this March, though it is much to my trouble and undoing my poor estate, that it is so. But while it is her Majesty's pleasure, and my body is able, I will endure the burden. But I hope she will consider me and remove me to a quieter place, or enable me to serve her here, for I will not die and leave my children to beg. When I come to Court (if you get me leave) shortly after Christmas, my estate must be bettered by your love, and no man shall be more thankful. I will trouble you no more till I come up, " but then you must help, or I must dye a begger."

Praying to hear her Majesty's pleasure for Sir Robert Ker's request. Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

1249. William Selby [junior] to Cecil. [Oct. 5.]

The greatness of your affairs for the commonwealth justly withholds men's pens from troubling you, and this, not forgetfulness of your honourable favours, has made me thus long silent. I formerly advertised your honor what I thought needful in this government for her Majesty's benefit, and the good of this place, so " I maye lay my ynke and paper apart": for through my long absence, my acquaintance in Scotland is almost worn out, while Mr Nicolson's long experience and residence there, with his care and diligence in service make all others spare their pains to trouble you.

Sir Robert Kerr is expected shortly to travel to France: his principal motive being to procure the Laird of Ferneyhirst, whom he loves not, to be appointed warden in his absence: when his trustiest friends will incite roads over the March, both to discredit Ferneyherst, who is not very well skilled in border affairs, and make the world believe his own government caused the late tranquillity. Though he intends leaving by sea, he will use his friends in England, if he has any, to get him a safe conduct by land, in case by stress of weather, he touches at any port. Yet for all his fair show, he would willingly be countermanded by the King, and labours for this underhand, by his friends at Court. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Selby.

½ p. Closely written. Holograph; also address. Indorsed.

1250. Willoughby to Cecil. [Oct. 8.]

Till the general conventions of the nobility and clergy of Scotland " (now att hand)" no certainties can be written. I fear " these turbulent clouds wyll breed some stormes, yf the distemper be not calmed. . . . My neighbours beinge thus on fire about me, must make me more vigilant to keepe the sparks from myne owne chardge." I must intreat that none of our forces be withdrawn, the rather being in the midst of our harvest. At this instant Sir Robert Carey and myself are to deal with Cesford about swearing these troublesome bills of the pledges at York. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: a device—indistinct.

Inclosed in the same:—

Since my writing these, a "wild murther " has happened of one Reveley a very honest man in the Marches. In like cases, because the Northumberland justices "challendg the dealing in them," I have referred them to Newcastle to undergo the law there: where they find meanes by their clans and allies to escape commonly unpunished. But if March law is not imposed in this case, I cannot avoid their clamours, do what I may.

¼ p.

1251. Willoughby to Cecil. [Oct. 13.]

This gentleman recommended by the lord Gray from you, and of my own knowledge, a man of good desert in sundry places and foreign services, I thought him fit for the vacant office of Captain Selby's lieutenant: having these precedents, Captain Selby's own step over others' heads, and my predecessor's appointment of one Lyndley and others—shunning that dangerous practice of serving men who have bought such places being put in. But I found great opposition: " first in the partie him self," who has never seen service, yet " did not styck to answer me in my chamber," that if I denied him the place, he would have it otherwise. And since then, he is violently seconded by others, whom I need not name, for their mediations will discover them. He has also " most mutynously " drawn his sword and fought with his captain, and menaces any man's life who gets the place—a most dangerous consequence in a town of war. This affronts my reputation, as I think the like has seldom been heard of, and if they find any favour against me, it were better I resign the place than suffer such contempt. I must not omit to let you know that they practised with the captains of the town to accost me in my chamber at 11 o'clock at night and expostulate; but I refused to see them at such unseasonable time, even had there been cause.

I am sorry to trouble you, yet have offered in all reason to justify myself by the establishment, propounding to them by the mayor, that he and the chief preacher of the town should decide, whether my construction or theirs were the better: but they passed it over, and I could hardly " perswade " that my lord Admiral and yourself should determine the cause: such are the humours of some set to assist me, who oppose me in every way, though treated with all courtesy. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: a quartered shield: over all a bend dexter charged with 3 fishes (?)

1252. William Selby [Junior] and R. Musgrave to Cecil. [Oct. 13.]

Two months before the Lord Governor came here, the master of the ordnance ordered the clerk of the check to enter in the first vacancy, a sufficient and skilful gunner. Two days after his lordship's arrival, a gunner died, whereon he ordered the clerk to enter his shipwright, though the clerk told him of the former order. Soon after, he discharged a captain's soldier, and unknown to the captain, ordered in his place a servant of Mr Guevara's his kinsman. The master of ordnance before the porter and clerk, claimed gunners' appointments: his lordship said the contrary, and also as to placing soldiers in the companies.

After much reasoning pro et contra, his lordship claimed the placing and displacing of all men in pay in the garrison, without consent or knowledge of their officers (saving the councillors' and a few others' places).

[A long discussion follows; objections to Willoughby's claims under precedents when he was a governor beyond seas—references to the establishment of Berwick, and that the Governor's claims would upset the authority of the master and captains over their men.] We pray your honor to acquaint her Majesty, and procure her resolution, that the Governor may know what to command, and we and other officers how to obey. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Selby. Rychard Musgrave.

3 pp. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed.

1253. Richard Musgrave to the Privy Council. [Oct. . 1600.]

Showing that he holds his office as master of ordnance in the town of Berwick and forts thereto belonging by her Majesty's letters patent under the great seal: but Lord Willoughby now governor, calling himself a "Lord Generale," a title never thought of by any former governor—in scorn of the council there, under pretence of martial law, discourages the petitioner and others from performance of their duties: praying the Council to view the following articles and provide timely remedy.

(1) That whereas her Majesty's surveyor of the fortifications ordered "the castle, a peice of fortificacion in the owld towne," to be defaced and demolished as dangerous to its safety, the Governor has lately re-edified it with buildings of pleasure for his own private use, to her Majesty's great charges.

(2) That he calls himself "Generale," so that he may use martial law on all who oppose him.

(3) That he has elected a new council, to the disgrace of the present one, appointed by her Majesty, and to the terror of the well affected.

(4) That he has displaced fit men appointed by the petitioner, putting unworthy men in place—one a fugitive for debt, the other a shipwright, who knows nothing of gunnery.

(5) That he lately quarrelled with the petitioner, for refusing to disarm the town of 8 cannon to furnish his new ship.

(6) And for same cause, convened the petitioner before a council of war, some mere strangers, consisting of 20, chosen by himself, and incompetent judges,—the petitioner being himself a councillor of the garrison, and the cause already referred to your lordships—which disgrace and others of like nature contrary to the establishment, never offered by any governor before, must withdraw all obedience to the officers of the town, to the person only of the Lord Governor.

(7) That in contempt of the petitioner, as bound by oath and indent to her Majesty, the Lord Governor by his own appointment carried off 2 pieces of ordnance from the Holy island to his ship, without consent of the officer in charge there.

(8) That he takes the title of chancellor of her Majesty's possessions in Scotland, and assumes power over all persons: admits no contradiction of his warrants for munition or stores: and if suffered, may thus take the lives of the council or any serving the Queen here.

1 p. Broad sheet. Neatly written. No signature. Indorsed: " The humble peticion of Richard Musgrave."

1254. Scrope to Cecil. [Oct. 13.]

I am much troubled to see that her Majesty will not grant me the soldiers: for I had an assured hope of them, and the country greatly needs them. It was always granted to former governors here, in times of less need, "howsomever the King would perswade my soveraine to the contrarie: neyther can I see ther was any tyme more dangerous then this, seing the King place those men in office that were the murtherers of his officer!"

Though her Majesty thinks otherwise, this place neither is nor was ever able to defend itself: for in the time of the Lords Wharton and Dacre, who had great possessions here, they were always helped. And my father was almost never without them: I only desire the half number they had, seeing how the Grames are linked with outlaws and privy to all their villanies and robberies. My own men have watched by turns and done much good, as the country knows: but they cannot continue it, and the people are so terrified, they let their throats be cut without resistance.

I have as many good horses in my stable, as was this long time: but I fear some have persuaded her Majesty otherwise. I pray you acquaint her with our miserable state, and intreat for the soldiers, though but for this winter. In good truth I am very weary to live here, for the people cannot be trusted; and I can get neither honor nor profit. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

Pray acquaint her Majesty with the contents of this, and let me know what hope I may have of the soldiers.

2 pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

1255. William Selby [junior] to Cecil. [Oct. 14.]

Soon after my Lord Governor came hither, I sued him that my brother captain John Selby might by the laudable custom here, appoint to the place of his lieutenant, dead a year and quarter since, one Mr Shattock his "enseigne bearer." He replied he could not, having promised your honor the place for another. I said, if your honor had known Shattock's valour and worth, you would not have prejudiced him, and begged his lordship to stay proceedings till I might sue your honor with his good leave for Shattock. He said I might, and he would write also, but whether for or against Shattock, I did not understand.

I beg your honor to believe I would not be unthankful, or cross any wish of yours here, but knowing your desire to do every man right without other respect, I will state the case and leave it to your consideration.

When my brother's lieutenant died, the Governor asked the place for one Marshall his servant, said never to have served in war. My brother showed Shattock's long service of 18 years, his worth, and the reproach he would receive by being passed over. My lord desired my brother to stay it till he was made "privy therewith": and though my brother has done so this year and a quarter, attended his lordship to London, and was with him till near the time of his coming down, yet neither my lord nor John Parker, for whom your honor intreated, told him thereof, nor was it known here till I moved my lord as aforesaid. Lord Gray on asking my brother for Parker, and hearing Shattock's sufficiency, desisted: if my brother had known your privity with it, he would have in his duty waited on and informed your honor of the cause. My lord alledges Shattock's undutiful behaviour to him self, and his "affray" on Parker. Shattock says he only intreated his lordship's favour as best he could: and confesses the affray, as he heard Parker sought his place, but no harm was done, and such are punished by 8 days' prison. This is the second interference by a lord governor with a lieutenant's place, since her Majesty's reign began: the other was by my lord Chamberlain to prefer a brother of Sir Henry Lynlaes, at thefrequest of the Earle of Essex, "which bredd much speache among the souldiers." Here they think it as wrong to take away the places they have served for, as if their inheritance were taken without suit of law! Beseeching your honor to pardon my long letter, in a matter of so small moment. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Selby.

(fn. 1) If I may speak without offence, his lordship had "a farder reache" than "pleasuring" Parker: for being grieved at the refusal of his man Marshall, and desiring absolute power to give all places hereafter, which he well knows would not be yielded without express authority, got your honor to request for Parker, knowing that to me and mine that would be as a commandment: and so Parker, being placed without the captain's privity, would afford a precedent in future.

pp. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed.

1256. Captain John Selby to Cecil. [Oct. 15.]

My lieutenant died about a year and a half since, whereon I presented to my lord governor as the custom here is, the bearer hereof "my aunchante," a man so sufficient for the place, as I dare engage my credit to your honor for him. My lord asked me for one Marshall a stranger, whom I refused, for the place is due to my "aunchant." He asked me to delay till he returned from Court, which I did: and now he says he would gladly have satisfied my request, if he had not "past his promise" to your honor for one Parcar a soldier of my own who seeks it without me, "and is now growen so proud therof, that he regardeth me not." I beseech your honor to "weae" the case, and what service I shall have from one imposed on me contrary to my will and to right, besides the precedent to others of "my sort," and the discredit to me. Craving pardon for my boldness, being unknown to your honor. Berwick. Signed: John Selbye.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: fragment.

1257. Sir William Bowes to Cecil and Lord Buckhurst. [Oct. 20.]

Your several letters dated in August last specifying the particulars of the complaint against me by Mr Musgrave master of the ordnance, came to my hands long after: and I would have replied sooner, but awaited the lord governor's coming, that he might see the answer and justify its truth. I have now received other letters from you my lord Treasurer with the grievous complaint of Mr Ash and Mr Collop the late Lord Hunsdon's servants, that I detain their pay. These, with the preceding, that I refused to pay Harding's debts, &c., deeply touch me, and cause great peril to the Queen's service here, and therefore I presume to address your honors jointly, and crave that my accusers may set down their charges in writing, that I may answer them in like sort, and reproof be inflicted on the persons in fault. Here I think it due to the trust vouchsafed me by her Majesty, to "notify unto her highnes by your honors, that matters are growne in this garrison to so high a distemper, as without tymely remedy, her Majesties service is like to receyve dangerous impeachment, as the nature of faction is, in places of like kynd with this." For myself, "I take the holy name of God to wittness, and therto pawne my credit with the world, that I have no private grudge or offence to any person of this towne eyther to breed or nourish any part heerof, other then such greif as meere humanity casteth upon me, in such deep touches as are undeservedly laid to my charge": and whatever I have said or done has either been to your honours directly, or through the Lord Governor after my writing to him. And since malice has no foot to stand upon, a device to supplant me must be "the mother of these accusations." To avoid tediousness, I have in a "severall" paper set down the accusations and my answers, "parallely, so truly, breifly, and directly as I could," humbly commending them to your honors' acceptance. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk.

Inclosed in the same:—

(1) (Complaint by the master of ordnance, &c.)

Informations in July and August last by Sir John Carey marshal, Mr Richard Musgrave master of the ordnance, John Collopp and Lancelot Ash pensioners, against Sir William Bowes treasurer of Berwick, with his answers: all of which examined before the Lord Governor.

[Relate to the dealings with Harding's estate, stay of the pay, and attendant circumstances as in former letters.] Signed: Will'm Bowes. [The examination before the governor.] Signed: P. Wyllughby.

pp. Broad sheets. Indorsed.

(2) (The treasurer's answer to Collop and Ash.)

[In answer to their complaint that he detained their pay—that the 2 years paid them by him were struck off by the auditor—that they were not now on the establishment and had not been since 1588, though continued as a favour to the late lord governor by the Lord Treasurer.] Signed: Will'm Bowes.

2 pp. Broad sheets. Indorsed.

1258. Extracts from Mr Secretary's, &c., Letters. [Oct. 22.]

(1) From the Lord Treasurer's letters of 26th August last—and complaint that the treasurer refuses to pay "the extraordynaries "to the master of the ordnance.

Under 7 heads and as many answers by the treasurer.

(2) From Mr Secretary's letter of 21st August on same complaint.

Under 5 heads and as many answers by the treasurer, who signs both papers.

4 pp. Broad sheets.

1259. Instructions to the Comptroller of Ordnance. [Oct. 1600.]

Copy of the Council's instructions to Captain Selby when appointed comptroller of ordnance in the North parts.

W. Burghley, R. Essex, Ch. Howard
Th. Cobham, R. North, W. Knowles
R. Cecill, Jo. Fortescue.

"This coppie agreeth wyth that gyven to mee by John Crane comptroller of the woorkes. Sygned thus, Concordat cum originali John Crane." Signed: Will'm Bowes.

1 p. Indorsed: "Coppy of instructions," &c.

1260. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Oct. 21.]

Pardon my rudeness for sending you a packet the other day with my hand to it, and not "so much as saluting you myself": but at the very instant the letters came to me to sign, I was newly lighted from riding 2 days and a night after some English thieves, of whom I got 4 or 5 which I hope will quiet the country. The letters required haste, "and I was so weary and sleapye as I could scant hold upp my head to wryte my name to the pacquett (muche lesse wryte my self to your honour) at that tyme . . .

"Our Border newes is, that the Queene of Scottes ys very narrowly lookt unto, and a streight watche kept about her: and yt is further said that after she shall be brought a bedd, she shall be kept as prisoner ever after, and the Kinge wyll no more comme where she is. It is said that the Queene says playnlye that she will be utter enemye to all them that were at the murder of Gowrye, save the King him selfe.

"Ther is a lettre fownd with a bracelett in yt, sent from the Queene to thErle Gourye, to perswade him to leave his countrey life and come to Court: assuring him he should enjoye any contentes that that Court could affourde: which lettre the Kinge hathe."

There troubles in Scotland will not soon end: after parliament the issue will be soon seen.

The Border is so quiet, I might well be spared (my deputy being so fit) and gladly would I be at Court this winter; but my purse will not bear my charges here and my journeys up, unless I run more into debt, which I am loath to do: thus hindering my desires unless your honor befriend me as no one else can.

"My lord my brother his impayre of health" is often reported here. If before my coming up "yt be Godes wyll to take his liffe," I most humbly entreat your honor to remember me for the "He of Wight." I hope my brother shall live long to enjoy it himself: but if God's will is otherwise, good Sir let me be assured of your help therein. My trust and hope is in you, "(let this fall owt as God please). "Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

1261. Willoughby to Cecil. [Oct. 21.]

I received your packet to Mr Hudson on the 18th, and another to Mr Raph Grey this morning, and have dispatched both: by negligence of the posts, they were 7 or 8 days in coming. "Yt is uncertain whether the Convention hold, but the King is resolved to have bishops. The Marquess of Huntley hath reconsiled the King and Queen. The Earle of Mar is retired to Sterling, who hath very dishonorably suggested the King that I was privy to the practise of th'Earle of Goury: his reason to induce him to belive yt, was because 1 gave the sayd earle kind entertainment at his being at London." The country is in quiet, and I will endeavour to keep the town so: "but such are the contentions of the counsell heer, that unless Sir William Bowes had caryed himself very discreetly, and I my self presently prevented yt, they had quarrelled in my bed chamber being at counsell." Berwick. Signed: P. Willughby.

1 p. Holograph; also address. Indorsed: ". . . Received the 26th Oct. Richemonde." Small wax signet: fragment.

1262. William Selby [junior] to Cecil. [Oct. 23. 1600. c.]

"Your honors lettre, without date of tyme or place, was deliverid me by Edward Roe on the 23d of this Octobre. The contentes therof I shall diligently and secreately performe": but I have no power over the posts, which will be the greatest difficulty, and cause of slow passage. "I may cover them with my lord governors direction, if your honor appoint me not some other meane."

Holograph. Without signature, date, or address.

1263. Lord Eure to Cecil. [Oct. 23.]

"Geve me leave to present my hartie affectione and unfayned thankes to your honor: bothe for your honorable and juste conceipte, which by my lord your brother, our president, I understand your honor maketh of the late informacone, seameinge haynous at the furst, preferred by Sir Thomas Hobbie your kinseman, against my sonne and some my nearest frendes . . . I doe protest unto your honor, that the gentlemen, out of myne owne knowledge, had noe yll intentione unto Sir Thomas Hobbie, but onlie came to visite him in cyvill manner and neighbourly love, determininge to sporte them selves with delightes, as in a frendes house: and I doe verie humblie beseeche your honor to esteame them suche as there place and birthe requiereth: farr, I hope from suche ungodlie or wicked behavior, and grace them with your honorable countenance."

Your honor has heard by my lord president, of the escape of Ellott and Armstronge, two principal of the Scottish pledges. The guarding of them so negligent and careless as cannot be excused: I dare not judge the dishonour to the Queen, and forbear to relate the triumph of the base people at large, leaving it to my lord president's report from myself and this council.

The jailor Mr Readhead hastens to the Court to impart "a great secrett of highe importante service to her sacred Majestie": refusing to acquaint any of us here, or your honors, but only to the Queen herself. I wish it may fit the dignity of her Majesty, and be not a mere excuse to escape punishment and procure pardon for his offences. York. Signed: Ra. Eure.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: fragment.

1264. Scrope to Cecil. [Oct. 23.]

I hear credibly from many, but especially by Mathew Grame, Mr Richard Lowther's man, "that the pledges are broken loose out of Yorke castle, upon Sunday last": for he spoke to some that saw them in Liddesdale. This was the manner of it: "one Geordie Sibson a notorious thief, with three more with him, haveing disguised himselfe, went in unto them, pretending to supplie them with money, and so set them at libertie."

I swore the bills as the Council directed, but now we shall have little occasion to use them.

This last Tuesday, we kept here a gaol delivery, where three notable Scottish thieves were executed, a Nicson, an Armstrong, and an Ellott: "in whose behalfe the King sent to mee very earnestly, but I had no laysure at the tyme, and so the thief was hanged, before I knew the Kings pleasure."

About 4 days since, 30 Scottish thieves came to Scaileby, killed one man and wounded another in peril of death, but the goods were rescued. In revenge "we have taken one principal Scott out of his bead in Scotland, that was at that deed."

We shall do our best to keep order, but should be greatly helped if her Majesty gave supply as formerly.

Sir John Stanhope, I doubt not, acquaints you with my Scottish news. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

1265. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Oct. 27.]

Mr Roger Woodrington a friend of mine has entreated me to sue your honor on his behalf, and to acquaint you with his case. For money disbursed and other considerations, he had a lease from Francis Ratcliff'e esquire of the Ile, of all his Cumberland lands for 9 years. The lessor being a recusant, the lands have been lately "enqueard upon" for her Majesty, and found worth 40l. a year, 2 parts of which being 40 marks, "shall comme in tryall betwixt her Majestie and the leassey." His humble suit will be, that your honor procure her Majesty's letter approving his lease, and discharging the commission so far as concerns these lands. "Doe him the favoure yow may for my sake." Your honor may think me indiscreet to trouble you thus but upon good reason: which indeed I have "to doe for this man the best I can." For he is an honest and discreet man, and such a borderer as he hath not his fellow. If your honor desire to know the state of the Border, seek no further than to confer with him: for on my credit he can resolve you. His good services to me since I was placed here, have been a great cause of the quiet of this country: he has taken not so few as 20 of the most notorious English and Scottish thieves. And he has such "moyen" of the Border, that almost no attempt can be made, but he gets notice beforehand: so honest a friend is he to me. Believe me, I may ill spare him the time he is away: so I pray your honor dispatch him the sooner. Pardon my boldness with you: "I referre the man when he shall be to wayt of yow."Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

1266. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Oct. 27.]

On the 24th instant I met the Laird of Johnston warden of the West March, and we have agreed well, both for past and future wrongs.

Before, I met twice with Sir Robert Kerr for his charge, with Andrew Ker laird of Fernihirst for those in his charge of West Tyvydaile, and Buccleuch's deputy for Liddesdale—all seem willing for quietness and (for what I see) their deeds agree with their words. But there will be trouble on these borders, for notwithstanding our good order, the late unhappy escape of the 2 Liddesdale pledges from York, now with their friends at home, will breed more disquiet than anything that has happened since my living in the north. One of them is Will of Hescottes an Ellwood, the other, Sim of Whithaughe, an Armstronge. These two were the principal of their name, and only spoilers of the Middle March: and they defied their officer the Laird of Buccleuch, refusing to enter at his command, till by the strong hand and other means, he "got beyond" them, and delivered them whether they would or no. Now on their escape, they refuse him obedience, and proclaim openly that all fugitives Scots or English who join them, shall be aided and protected, respecting neither their King nor his officers, or any hurt that England can do them: so that all honest men will rue the time they came home.

If my simple advice when at Court had been taken, this had not happened; but men of greater experience in border matters were hearkened to: the sequel will show whose opinion was soundest. This let me tell your honor: it had been better all the other pledges had escaped, than that these two had been lost; "for nowe wee kepe the shadowes, and have lost the substance." I doubt the poor hereabouts will too soon find it. There is no more to be done but preveut future harm.

There is a mean yet left, whereby we may defend ourselves with their own weapons, if taken at once. There were three principal men delivered for Liddesdale: these two that are escaped, and one but a boy. His father, an Ellwood called "Martins Archin," is one of the "greatest undertakers" among them. He delivered his son to Buccleuch of his own accord, and Buccleuch would take it as a high favour, if he might be freed on conditions. If he were put in my hands, I would so handle matters, that all who complain of his surname should be satisfied their bills. "And I know of a meanes to make such a jarre betwixt the boies frendes, which is a great partye, and thes men that have escaped, as there pryvate quarrelles shall be a great helpe to our publicque good." And I will get such friendships by this boy's delivery, that no attempt shall be devised against my March by the 2 escaped pledges, but I shall have private warning of it: and it may be some of the best of them may fall into my hands, when I will keep them better than they were at York.

At last, Sir Robert Kerr has newly promised to meet 10 days hence to swear our bills. For Tyvidale it may do good, but the escape of these two has in a manner quit all our bills in Liddesdale.

I have wearied your honor, and am wearied myself with the troubles of this place: for I have ridden at least 400 miles since I last came from Court, to meet the opposite officers; which will be to little purpose if the intended disorders of these people be not prevented.

I will be glad to know if I am to have the boy at York or not. Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

1267. William Selby [Junior] to Cecil. [Oct. 28.]

As I hold it my duty to advertise anything that concerns the Queen's service, so I am loath to be accounted an informer: protesting that what I have written or shall write, is void of all passion, and only to serve her Majesty. Our government here grows very powerful, or rather "absolute" in one person: your honor understands from Mr Musgrave and me, two high points in martial matters, that my lord governor attributes to himself. Since then his lordship has challenged a new power and dignity in civil causes, never heard of in our age, or the days of our fathers, viz., he calls himself and suffers others to call him "Chancelor of Barwick," it is thought thereby intending to hear all civil suits depending before the mayor in the town court, and begins "to taste if they will submitt there necke a little to this yoake": he claims this by construction of a point of the town charter. Also in the East March, he or his deputies proclaim men fugitives for light contempts: as for not appearing on his letters, contrary to the express words of treaty—but confiscation quickly follows and the goods are seized. Felons' goods belonging to the sheriff for the Queen, are taken for the warden, the office of justice of peace exercised by the deputy warden, not being in commission. He binds men to the peace, not taking recognisance in the shire where they dwell, and if broken, seizes the offenders' goods for breach, to his own use. He also makes Scots free denizens,—"but not without money,"—a power I conceived only permitted by her Majesty to the "Lord Keaper"; though the wardens always used to license Scots for a time short or long, to remain here, but not to naturalise them. They go further, and take on them to hear pleas of freehold, determining and awarding possession, "disposessing the ancient possessor and possessing a new plaintif by there owne warrant—a coppie of one made by Mr Guavara to this effect I send herewithin." Many others I cannot find out, but in civil causes, especially debts of all sorts, they deal daily. In this wardenry only I have always seen "confessed" debts for small sums, ordered by the lord warden or deputy. Your honor may judge whether the warden be chancellor or chief justice in the East March: in no other March of England or Scotland are such things done, and I have laboured to inform myself. Mr Guavara does most of these things, not my lord himself, who has been here but a short time. It may be (though to us unknown) that her Majesty has given this extraordinary authority to my lord: in my poor opinion very unprofitable for her service. I give these things privately to your honor only, unless commanded further. My lord in this month has been but one day abroad, such is his sickness. Sir William Evers came with him and remains, to learn the manner of government and fit himself for deputy, some secretly whisper. He has been in Scotland with Sir Robert Kerr at his house and received kind entertainment. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Selby.

pp. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed.

1268. Willoughby to the Privy Council. [Oct. 29.]

Having received your letters "this" 24 of October, I assembled the council with the mayor and his brethren, and imparted your pleasure: whereto he prepares his justification, protesting before us that he had no connivance or interest in Norton's escape, and bringing his bailiffs and jailor to be examined thereon. Leaving these things to his relation, for myself I humbly beg to your lordships to suspend your judgments: maintaining the Queen's authority here, is not to lessen it elsewhere. The Queen's seignories and dominions here in Scotland, divided by Tweed, have always had a council of their own, with establishment and instructions signed by her own hand, "wherunto wee are lymmytted: sometymes of olde termed the Kinges chauncellour and threasorer of his Exchequour of Scottlande": with their own chancery, martial court, and probate of wills, and a distinct signal of government "by ther white staves of authoritie." There have been, with your lordships' pardon, questions between the late Lord Hunsdon and the Earl of Huntingdon the Queen's lieutenant of Yorkshire, Bishopric, Cumberland, Westmerland and Northumberland, "wherein it was supposed Berwicke stoode, though it is verie well knowne ther is betwene Northumberland and Barwicke, Elandshire, Norhamshire, and as is afoirsaid, the river of Tweede": wherein the late Lord Governor prevailed, and till his dying day, held it both for town and wardenry. It may be said that "absolute" generals of the Queen's forces into Scotland, as the Dukes of Norfolk, Somerset, &c., had special commissions to command these governments, but only for the time. Besides the great privilege to the Queen's soldiers here of freedom from all arrests, such as I think York or few English towns have, and other priviledges here, which the Privy Council of King Edward 6th time, compared to those of Callis: let me say (with pardon) that they of York might as well direct their letters "to that state," if English, or to Wales or Ireland, as to us. With all respect, we contemn not Yorke, but think ourselves equal.

For my offence in sharpness to their messenger, it was this: on my coming he had served a missive on the mayor, who complaining to me "next Saboth," I put them off till the afternoon, when I gave him this answer—"Sirra, goe your wayes into my seller, that shalbe your prison at this tyme, and breake your head with the best wyne I have: if hereafter you come to serve any more of those in this nature uppon any of her Majesties counsell heere, without first making me acquainted therewith, I will laye you by the heeles "in another place; in the meane season carry back your writting, for I suppose my Lord vice-president of Yorke and the councell ar so satisfied with my lettre and proceeding, that they will not holde this course with me." I send your lordships the copy of this letter to peruse, and censure me as it deserves. I have also sent the copy of my patent and instructions and a special servant to attend your pleasures: "though I know those two worthie gentlmen Sir Jhon Carye, and Mr William Selby," officers of long experience here, can best inform your lordships. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: fragment.

Inclosed in the same:—

Copy of Lord Willoughby's letter to the Lord Ever lord vice-president of York 10th September 1600.

Excusing himself for endeavouring to preserve the priviledges of Berwick granted by ancient charter—that the mayor should not be called away from his charge but for some higher offence than the escape, though he will not excuse it: and offering to deal with him as Evers directs—that the prisoner escaped, if he is taken shall be delivered to the sheriff for Evers and the council, and anything else not infringing the Berwick privileges. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

½ p. Indorsed: "Copy of the Lo. Willoughby his lettre to the Vicepresident of Yorke." Wax signet: quarters and crests as before.

1269. Willoughby to Cecil. [Oct. 29.]

I am in duty bound to explain the charges against me (1) the matter towards my lord your brother; (2) contempt of the Council of York, and (3) my severity to their "ministre." The first imports me most. When in London this last summer, my lord your brother visited me, as I would have done him first, had he not been at "Wimbleton," as I learned on sending my servant. When he visited me, after many courtesies, he spoke of a prisoner escaped from York detained at Berwick—that the mayor refused to send him, adding that he must send a sergeant at arms for him. I answered, there was nothing in my wardenry or Berwick but he should command me, not by authority of York (or to that effect), but by my affection for him: for my government was out of his jurisdiction, and if any such sergeant at arms came, "I being captain of the castle, or rather molehill, on the bridge, we should lay all our pott-gunnes to stopp his passage ther, for coming further; and if ther wer any wyne better then other, he should taste the furie of that fyre; but into the towne he should not come. Ther was present at this speeche old Mr William Selby our gentleman porter: this past pleasauntlie, for so was it spoken and taken." My lord said he wished the jurisdiction of both places settled, so he might neither do nor receive wrong: and I agreed with him to write to the mayor for the prisoner: and did, but he had already escaped. For my behaviour herein, I refer to my lord vicepresident and Sir Thomas Fairefax, who conferred with me when I lay sick at Maltoun, where I satisfied them I thought, that the first escape from York, could not be laid on the mayor of Berwick, "who received him by anothers procurement causa indicta, and whether legitimat or not, sub judice lis, evin in that point." And he was only prisoner for debt, which the York jailor must answer, not the mayor. As for the prerogative between the councils of York and Berwick: both are "subalternate" judges, yet we agreed that burgesses' pleas of land in Northumberland might be tried at York, but free burgesses and soldiers, the former by town charter, the others by her Majesty's officer. So I thought all had slept. [Here his rough speech to the York officer is repeated as in preceding letter.] This is all I said, and I beseech you weigh my part and let the mayor answer his.

Without vain glory or contempt of my lord your brother, let me say, that after serving her Majesty in honourable places as I have, I would be loth, like a degraded captain, to be reduced to a lieutenant's place, unless under a principal councillor of the Queen's: and I presume my lord your brother would do the like to me? and in that spirit I wrote to him, and would rather cacare cum dignitate, than serve disgraced. The council here are astonished to conceive those of York have authority over them, both being subordinate. For the burgesses, I leave them to their charter, wherein they will doubtless satisfy my lords and yourself. Believe me, that honouring you as I have infinite cause, there is nothing wherein I may show respect to my lord your brother—my own honour saved—"but I would mervelous willinglie observe it"; and whatever sinister information be made to him, I would not willingly offend him. Being a member of his council, I would yield them due regard, saving my deeper obligation to this place where I serve. "I hoist no sayles to ambitious windes, I love and seek to fashion my self to the royall and wise example of my prince and her goverment, which is peaceable. Besides my ende sommons mee, which cannot be longe before I accompt to the Highest." Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

(fn. 2) Give me leave to give you humble thanks for "my lord Scropes cause."

3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet; fragment.

1270. Willoughby to Cecil. [Oct. 29.]

Pardon my sending so late "this relation of the gentleman porters," as I received it late. There are many imputations in it which I could not but in duty reply to: but I will forbear to trouble you or their lordships, hoping to receive some better trial. Meantime our councils are so full of division and contention as I never before saw the like.

Albeit I knew the gentleman porter though more secret was "not a whit the better," yet to be indifferent, I made him foreman of the council, and he interrupted proceedings greatly, on his own showing. His pretext was to proceed in the usual manner, his inward design was his usual obstinate course. For Sir William Bowes being removed by exceptions, and I only remaining a partial judge in my own cause, to avoid imputation of injustice, I called a martial council under the establishment: but he factiously and partially, contraries 20 of the worthiest captains and gentlemen in the garrison, and instead of giving his opinion "de facto negatyve, affermatyve or non liquet," frames an apology against myself, which with your pardon, "I cannot but saye a mere untruthe." In like precedents here in man's memory when Sir Nicholas Shirley was captain, and Thomas Bower esquire then marshal of this town, the said marshal was degraded and condemned in a martial court: which is a court well known to men of experience in war. Nor is it, as he pretends, derogatory to any other council either of the establishment or the town. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Small wax signet; bend as before.

Inclosed in the same;—

The gentleman porter's opinion and verdict, and the Lord Governor's remarks thereon.

[The gentleman porter relates the summoning of 20 persons to inquire into the charges against the master of the ordnance—the latter's objections (1) want of notice; (2) the matter was before the Privy Council; (3) refusal to be allowed answer in writing; (4) exception to Sir William Bowes; (5) to the competency of the court to try a councillor—his lordship's refusal and orders to proceed with the case—the porter's own remonstrances and yielding under protest—and his justification of the acts of the master of ordnance.] Signed: Will'm Selby.

[Willoughby's reply under 7 heads ending—] "I humbly beseech your lordships we have no more of these wrytings and oppositions . . . yet that it may be censured by your grave judgments and brought to a short tryall, that he that is in the wrong may know himselfe." Signed: P. Wyllughby.

3 pp. Closely written, with marginal notes. Indorsed.

1271. Mayor, &c., of Berwick to the Privy Council. [Oct. 29.]

We have seen your honours' letter of 15th October requiring us to satisfy you (1) of the escape of one Norton; (2) of resisting his delivery to the vice-president and council of York; (3) to see our charter for its terms, and lastly, that the then mayor give an account of his insolent behaviour. For the first: when Norton came here, Sir John Carey marshal, and Mr Musgrave master of ordnance, both councillors, earnestly entreated the mayor to stay him, as Mr Musgrave said he had escaped from York castle while a prisoner for debt. The mayor to gratify them, and for love of justice, though he had neither process against Norton, nor information from York, committed him to an honest man's house, and set a bailiff to be with him night and day; which we doubt we cannot well justify by law. A letter from the lord Vice-president and Council at York was brought to us by "a meane fellow, unknowen, naminge himself servant to the shirriffe of Northumberland": wherein we were required to deliver Norton to the said sheriff "at the farr end of the bridge." On asking a sight of his warrant, he had none: "our jurisdiction geveth noe further then the midle of the bridge, and lastly the shirrif of Northumberland hath noe aucthorytie within fyve milles of Barwicke, for that a parte of the country called Norhamshire and Ilandshire (beinge parcell of the county pallentyne of Durham) lyeth betwene Northumberland and Barwicke,"—so that we were required to deliver him (1) beyond our jurisdiction, and (2) where the sheriff had none, and (3) to a person without authority! We also heard that the "Pallentyne" officers would have taken him from the sheriff for infringing their liberties. And while here, one Branxton arrested him for 20l., making the town chargeable. So we stayed him, not for any favor to himself, and "wrote to the court of York that before delivery, his charges must be paid, and ourselves kept harmless for the 20l.; also to the vice-president and council offering to deliver him on payment of charges only: so desirous were we to please them. But before answer, Norton escaped without connivance in us or the keeper, after full inquiry before the Lord Governor and council: and we trust our zeal of justice in this voluntary action will not involve us in the law, though our good intentions had ill success—caused it is believed by some of the "millitary sorte" here, who were actors in the escape.

We trust this will satisfy your honor there has been in us no fault or contempt, and that it will not be necessary to send up our charter at this unseasonable time, "the dayes shorte, the wayes long and foule, and our abillyties not very ready for any matter of chardge": humbly desiring (if it may be) that our coming up may be deferred till next parliament, when we may do both services at one charge. Beseeching your honors to consider the causes that moved her Majesty and her noble progenitors, to grant our privileges, viz., to serve in this important place without the princes' charge, to allure inhabitants here for offence and defence, jurisdiction of suits at law in our own courts, &c., by special words in our charter. Lastly, for the mayor's insolence to the pursuivant of York: the truth is he served the letter on the mayor "with very small reverence" in the public market place on market day, before many people: wherefore the mayor told him he should have regarded his office and served the writ more privately: but then caused him to be taken to the "taveren" where he got the best cheer possible. Berwick. Signed: Thomas Parkinson maiour, Wyll'm Morton, Roberte Jackson (fn. 3), George Morton, John Ourde, Mat. Johnson.

2 pp. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed: ". . . mayor and alder men of Barwick to the lordes," &c.

1272. Willoughby to Cecil. [Oct. 30.]

I send you inclosed a true discourse of what happened among us yesterday sitting in council, whereby, since my purpose to the offender was nothing but clemency, you see how contemptuously they confront me in a matter of no moment, by a "conditionall negative," imputing wrong to me. I fear the likelihood of outrage, disservice to her Majesty, and danger to this place, from the daily contentions at council.

Having stayed this letter some two days, there fell out a new cross action, which will appear by "those annexed": whereof I humbly beseech your honor to take notice and inform my lords of the Council: I protest to God I have used all the patience I have with these gentlemen, "who not acquainted with military obedience, may err of ignorance, which I would not have had to breed this molestation to your lordships." Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed: ". . . Lo. Willoughby to my master, concerning new contentions in that councell." Wax signet: fragment.

1273. William Selby [Junior] to Cecil. [Oct. 30.]

Since my last letter on the monopoly of authority usurped by the Lord Governor, the same is "no longer carried in clowdes," but plainly established by councils of war: the first issue being, whether under the 4th article of the new establishment, he may "convent" such? the issue being in the affirmative, in Mr Musgrave's case, how improperly your honour can judge! He being master of ordnance, a councillor and principal officer, is again called before a second council; the articles against him, my lord's proceedings and sentence, I refer to his own letters. The lord governor never "enterprised" this course till Sir William Bowes came hither, "whose judgment and conscience blinded with mallice against Mr Musgrave, serveth for a whetstone to make my lord rune faster, that with runing towarde the goale of ambition is almost out of breath!" But if I have any insight, malice is not our treasurer's only mover: for his secret purpose is to further my lord's design of absolute rule, that he may requite his kindness, "by covering with his countenance his broken payes and ill paymentes," if any happen, as is much feared. "This gentlemans carriage is so peremptory and Bpitefull to those he loveth not, so full of ostentation to all, and so base in groase flatterie and observance of my lord governor, that I wish there were in him lesse profession and more pietie, fewer protestacions and moe performances, more religion with lesse shew, lastly, that he would doe better and speake worse." If those two great officers go on thus, they will undo the town: though I wish I may be a false prophet. Mr Musgrave is the first councillor thus dealt with since Berwick was English; whose disgraceful usage under mean pretexts, and my lords "terrible wordes" as to martial law, make the boldest shrink, and bring contempt on her Majesty's councillors here, who are arraigned before their inferiors, who dare find only what pleases my lord, who is "partie, appointer of the counsell, judge and rewarder!" Berwick. Signed: Will'm Selby.

pp. Address: holograph. Indorsed.

1274. Scrope to Cecil. [Oct. [30.] 1600.]

A gentleman of good account has sent me these inclosed advertisements out of Ireland: which if you think worthy, I will continue to procure them from time to time. Desiring your answer, and to remember the soldiers: for I protest this 20 years the country never had greater need of them, for all the lord governor of Berwick "his unwillingnes." Signed: Th. Scroope.

½ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk: "1600. The Lord Scroope to my master. Without date . . . R. at London vth Novembre."


  • 1. What follows holograph.
  • 2. Holograph.
  • 3. Signs by initials.