Border Papers volume 2: November 1600

Pages 707-714

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

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1275. William Selby [junior] to Cecil. [Nov. 1.]

I am sorry that our hard fortunes compel me to be "so unmanerly" as to trouble you with 3 letters in 3 days. Being compelled by my lord governor to be on the council of war to decide between him and the master of ordnance, they all found for my lord: I gave my opinion in writing herewith sent, contradictory to the rest, showing your honor the whole proceedings, and the danger of contradicting a lord governor! I see not her Majesty's need of any other officer, except the treasurer "to bring money." If men in council may not speak freely, they are needless. We are now at that point we dare not speak or write for fear of wrong constructions, and in this respect the treasurer is more captious than the governor, "and a great approver of these new counsells of warr." Finding that I may, like others here whose education has not been military, be drawn into charges before such a council, and found culpable, either of disobedience or mutiny, with unknown result, I am in daily fear of quarrels: and as I was greatly bounden to you for preferring me here, I shall be much more bounden to be relieved from this useless service, and put in the meanest place here your honor thinks me fit for, than be advanced under this government. I might say more, but spare your time: we are called to account before my lord at Sir William Bowes' instance for advising and concurring with Sir John Carey in my lord's absence, about the last midsummer pay, "which sore the treasurer with all his cuning, cannott salve, albeit he gladlie would." Berwick. Signed: Will'm Selby.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: indistinct.

Inclosed in the same:—

(1) Copy of William Selby's opinion in the matters handled by a council of war against Mr Musgrave.

pp. Indorsed by Selby.

Same as No. 1270.

(2) Letters and messages between the Lord Governor and the Porter thereon.

pp. Contemporary copy. Indorsed.

1276. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 2.]

The gentleman porter of Berwick has asked me to send you his packet inclosed: the cause I think is the dissension between my lord governor and some of the council there, which is greatly spoken of. I am sorry for it, but will look to my own charge which is yet quiet, and not have to do with my neighbours' quarrels.

Sir Robert Kerr is at Court and in great favour with the King, so I think his journey to France is stayed. When he comes here, I shall know as to swearing the bills, &c. He does justice in part, and makes fair show for the rest. The other king's officers deal very freely with me for justice. Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

1277. Willoughby to Cecil. [Nov. 3.]

Your letter "for life," dated 29th October, I received this morning "the iijd of November," and will not fail to give "those honorable recommended persons the best entertainment this place will affoord. But the entry into our gates at the coming into the towne, and especially the Scottes porte at the passage into Scotland, is so utterly decayed, and allmost all that syd of the wale so ruinous, that I ame not only ashamed, but also affrayd of them. To this, ther hath been such choppinge and changing of places since my departure, and noe of the soldiery as were fitt for the estimation of the place. The porter and the master of the ordnance, who should bee officers trayned and experienced in military affayres and dutyes, contrary to the first principles, have both contemptuously without leave, left the towne and her Majesties service to them that will"! I have been long taught to know, and will never forget to my death, my duty to her most sacred Majesty, and will do what I can to my uttermost, making the best of all things. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: a small gem with a device.

1278. Declaration by Willoughby. [Nov. 3. 1600.]

[Narrating the late proceedings—the opposition by the "greatest parte" of the council to his measures in pursuance of his duties as governor—in particular of the gentleman porter and the master of ordnance—their contempt of his authority, and the latter's departure from his duty without leave.] Signed: P. Wyllughby.

2 pp. Closely written. Not indorsed. Probably for the Privy Council.

1279. Willoughby to Cecil. [Nov. 8. 1600.]

Though this packet will inform you fully, yet this morning before its receipt, hearing from a "particular frend that knowes some what," I send these few lines, as they come to me:—

"The Convention is put of untill Thursday the 13th of this instant at the sonnest. The Queene lyeth at Dumferling, to whome the King is now gon. Ther ar allready come in, Huntley and th'Earle of Arroll in one company, with a very great nomber of frends and attendants.

"The greatest matters that ar thought ther to be handled this parlaiment are the forfeit of the Earle Goury, whose body with his brothers, as yt is geiven out, are brought to Edenbrough to be quartered: likwise some actions against Bothwell, his children, and followers.

"Ther is great dispute and high looks beween the Marques Huntly, and th'Earle of Anguis for their places: Huntley leaning to his late honor, and Anguis to the ancient custome of his predecessors. Huntley hath been at Edenbrough and hath retreated himself to a house of his owne, of purpose to retourne presently: he hath out of finess, offered 1000 crownes for a license of absence, but the Kings importunity hath prevayled.

"It is rumoured that certein Jesuits are arrived ther, of whome I ame promised to have more certein knowledg, for that some of them are known practisers. It is sayd the King upon some rumor spred, is very jealouse "that comissioners should be sent into the Low Contryes, and so the treaty of peace with the Arch Duck go forward.

"The 7th of this instant th'Earle of Argile and the Lord Weames came through Barwick: ther is great liklyhood of th' Earles hard welcome, and contention betwen him and Huntley about some particulars besids their generall question. The earle before his entry was very pensive heere: stayd one night, sending before him Sir Thomas Eskine brother compaynion of his travell, to mak way and geive certein intelligence. Upon expectation of these things, ther is great concurse of poeple assembled: and as they are soddain and wyndy, so I think may become of these their expectations, likly enuff to end with a calme."Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Cecil: "8 Novemb. 1600. The Lord Willoghby to me." Fragment of wax signet.

1280. Willoughby to Cecil. [Nov. 12.]

After long expectation and many disappointments, the "Vicounts of Roan "arrived here on the 10th instant: whom I appointed Mr Grey and the "Layrd of Foord" to meet with 100 horse 12 miles off. As Sir "William Bowes, who should have supplied my place, was sick, I sent Sir William Eure with the horse garrison, who met them 4 miles out, and convoyed them in. Mr Selby according to his office of sergeant major, with all the foot companies, received them at the port, and with a double guard conducted them to their lodging. I have given them the best this place affords: "and att their earnest request (which I could in no sort well deny), have shewed them the artillery and best fortifications of this place, with some smale fyer works, which they likd very well of. And this day att their departure, I placed three cullors on the Scotch porte with a doble guard, to hid the deformety ther of, and so attended with the horse guarrison, I sett them well contented into Scotland, as I doubt not you shall understand more at lardg of them selves at their retourn." When I hear (as I expect to-day or tomorrow) you shall learn the fruits of this last convention, if worth writing. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed: ". . . The Vycountes of Rohan arryved," &c. Wax signet: quarterings and 3 crests as before.

1281. Richard Lowther to Sir John Stanhope. [Nov. 12.]

"This gentilman Mr Roger Wetherington, beinge the onelye man off a borderer that my hart haith alwayes desyred to be towarde Mr Secretory, is mynded whollye to depende upon him." I can assure you, in all that concerns our borders, East, West, and Middle, or service on the border of Scotland, no Englishman whatsoever can stand Mr Secretary in so good stead. By his wise service to the warden of the Middle March, he has brought that March to such good order as never the like has been before. And my desire is that so worthy a man should be preferred by your worship to Mr Secretary, and be beholden to you. You will find he can let you fully understand the defects and dangers of this West March as of the Middle: and I humbly crave your favour and protection for his causes, as if to myself. Lowther. Signed: Richard Lowther.

¾ p. Addressed: "To the right wor. Sir Jhon Stanhoppe knight one off her Majesties most honorable prevy chamber att the Court." Indorsed by Cecil's clerk: ". . . Mr Lowther to Sir John Stanhope." Fragment of wax signet: apparently barry, with a label.

1282. Lancelot Carleton to Lord Thomas Howard, K.G. [Nov. 13.]

"The greatnes of a most dangerous faction laytly begun upon this West Border, haythe forssede me to presum to writ unto your honnor: for "that the gentilmen who is favorers to Dacres howsse, ande followers to my lord of Comberlande, is combyned together by oythe, makinge justice the cawsse to shaddowe the perrell. But the trewe intent and meaninge is to be so strengthnede by this coursse of faction, as thayrby to be ayble to pull dowen or set up heare whom tbay do lyk or dislyk at thayr pleazure: ande to mayke thayr plott the perfecter thay have choyssen by election Mr Richarde Musgrave to serve as my lord Skrops deputy—a man that is my lord of Comberlandes boddy and sowll: and his nephewe the best Musgrave hayth marryede my lord Whartons doughter—so as nowe beinge all byrdes of one nest, and fethers of one winge, thay are very sore dissavide if thayr can be anye contradiction to thayr dangerous practice, eayther fore the tyme present or futur." My reason for opening this at this present, is that Mr Roger Withirington a gentleman of Northumberland has some suits to Mr Secretary, and will be often about him. No man in all England can better show him the state of the Borders: and he can also show the peril of this new league and how to prevent it—so that when Cumberland and Dacres have things all wrought to their will, it may be in Mr Secretary's power "to dashe it even in the heaght of thayr pryde . . . ande so pollitikly wrought as Mr Secratory never to be sean in it." If he pleases to approve, then Mr Witherington must be used "as the five finger in that plott": for his good carriage to Sir Robert Carey, has brought such safety in his March, as has never been before. Seeing these dangers grow great, I could not in discharge of my duty, but acquaint your lordship, that you may impart the same to Mr Secretary now at the time of Mr Witherington being with his honor, as best may stand with your pleasure. I hope your lordship will pardon my boldness, and think it written by one that honors you before his own life, "who will rest your lordships beadmane so longe as breathe lastithe." Signed: Lancillote Carleton.

2 pp. Holograph; also address: "To the right honorayble his singuler good lorde the Lorde Thomas Howord knight of the moste honnorayble order of the garter, at his lordships howsse in the Charterhous." Wax signet: shield with a chevron and 2 boars' heads in chief—broken.

1283. Willoughby to Cecil. [Nov. 14.]

Your manifold favors, continued by your letters received the 13th instant, bind me more than I can express: and it is not my least comfort that yourself and my lord your brother have so justly interpreted my meaning. As for the disorders here, I can truly say, I am clear in my heart and thought. I hear they purpose to inform against me as plaintiffs: I would gladly know of what particulars they charge, and then I could more properly inform my lords of the Council. I have acquainted you with all that has passed, and when they gather their heads of complaint, I crave that I may receive them: and let me lose my credit, if I do not show clearly the fault is none of mine. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

(fn. 1) I have had an overture made to me, which in my duty to her Majesty I could not refuse, and what I have presumed to write thereon to her Majesty, I have sent open to you, praying you to close and deliver it at your liking. I sent your letters to Mr Grey and George Nicolson.

1 p. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—(Willoughby to the Queen.)

"I have tow assured hopes of this my presumption: your gratiouse pleasure I should write: and your present service that presents the occasion. "The Layrd of Cesfoorde, an endless sutor for your Majesties gratious favour and good opinion, who hath made me often more then becomes me, an earnest solicitor to your highnes in that behalfe, hath now offered to demonstrate his indevours, to the confutinge of his detracters, by layinge open to your Majestie, not only the devises and plattinge of the late escape of the pledges from York: but wher as now they are in a tumultuous and lawless maner infestinge your Majesties Midle and West Borders, to restraine them at his uttmost, and beat downe their insolency to your Majesties pleasure, yf he be not by a greater power restrained: arguinge cleerly, that had he intended the escape of his pledges as was suggested, he was like to have beene as industrious in so doinge as any other Scotch man, and would not, yf hee had pocessed such a minde as hath been geiven out, have ingaged himself so servicable to your Majestie in this."

He is willing and I know he has power, and the King has changed his resolution to travel.

Your Majesty's exceeding wisdom may discern what is best, and put him on his trial: wherein if he answer not your expectation, he shall fail and make more enemies. My respect of duty hath led me to crave pardon for my boldness. Berwick. 14 November 1600. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

1 p. In a fair hand resembling Willoughby's. Addressed. Indorsed by Cecil's clerk.

1284. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 15.]

Having received the Council's letter to report what he had done in swearing the bills, as directed when last at Court, he lays the fault on Sir Robert Kerr, who though much pressed by him, constantly defers and prolongs the time; making him believe that at his return from Court, he will make an end. Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.

1285. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 15.]

"This is but to put you in meynd " of my former letter in behalf of the bearer Mr Roger Woodrington, and to request your honor " that by the tediusnes of his shut, his stay may not be overlong defferd," for I shall need him greatly, by the escape of the two pledges.

"I thinke Sir Robert Ker his jorny be stayd for traveling, for as I heare, Bodwels land are confermd to him by this last parlament: the feare of the losing thos lands was the caues of his discontentments, but now he is in great favor with his king, and his former determinations are cleane desolved." Our countries are quiet and he promises they shall so continue. When he comes from Court, which will be soon "now the parlament is dun," we shall meet and take order for swearing the bills. "I wishe you as many hapinessis, as I have discontents in this uncristned cuntry, wher I now am forst to live." Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

¾ p. Holograph; also address. Indorsed: "... by Mr Roger Woddrington." Swan wafer signet.

1286. Sir R. Carey to the Privy Council. [Nov. 15.]

Referring to their letter of the 5th instant, wishing to know as to swearing the bills of the Scottish pledges, in terms of their conference with him: he has ever since pressed Sir Robert Kerr and been put off by one means or other—but at Sir Robert's return from Court will again urge him. Though it " greatly skilles nott" whether they proceed, owing to the escape of the two chief pledges, who lay for the most part of these bills, and are thereby freed from them, he will do his utmost, and report. Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

1287. Willoughby to Cecil. [Nov. 16.]

"Though I make no question" these packets from Mr Nicolson will give all particulars at this convention, I send the following, "received this day from a Scotch gentleman."

There has never before been such strife for precedency. "Anguis, in the facillitie of his owne nature, and by the Kings authoritie, was once resolved to yeeld, but retourning to his lodginge, th'Earle Mourton and the rest of his freends protested never to acknowledg him heerafter, yf he did yeeld that honor which was purchased by the blood and burialls of their ancestors; so in end he absolutly denied to yeld the precedencie unto Huntly. Wherupon the King by open proclimation, dischardged all the Duglasses of any account and their clientele, from the parlaiment, and of one hath made tow parlaiments: for at Dakeith are conveined the Earles of Anguis and the Earle of Moorton, th'Earle of Ruthan (fn. 2) and th'Earle of Arguile. The event of this devision is likly to be perilous. The like contention for place is between the Lorde Hume and the Lorde Fleminge: other matters of moment propounded amongst the articles, I heare of none, but the principall point was the forfeiture of th'Earle Gowry living; which as it is earnestly affected, so yt wilbe easely effected. Henderson hath his pardon all ready: I heare also by reporte, that Bothwell sueth in the Court of Spayne to be employed for Irland, and hath 3000 men granted him for that service."Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

(fn. 3) Pardon me filling your letter with " idle papers " since I have nothing better. "I know some of these thing are not new though often confirmed for certeintyes sak."

1 p. In hand resembling Willoughby's. Addressed. Indorsed. Small wax signet: a gem, Cupid's bow and quiver (?).

1288. Willoughby to Cecil. [Nov. 18.]

"I had not thought to have sent you these Scotieh newes, having trobled you with most of those formerly: their worth, like the aire here, cold! But there arrivinge here a messinger from the King of Denmark to the Queen of Scots, I toke some pains after he had ben well treated with drinke, to inquire of him some what thence.

"He sayth he translated the treatise of Gowries death into Dutch, sent from the King of Scots to the King of Denmarke: who never vouchsafed to reade it, but gave it to [the] Queen mother there. That the said King hath sent into Hungary for some principall cheifes to attend him on his jurny for Scotland, whether he is resolved to go this sommer: the Duke of Brunswick hath promisd to accompany him. He hath a building, a new shipp very glorious, framd by his owne direction, of some 2000 tonne: and 15 other of his best shipps he hath destined to the same: but the conclusions of full cupps have oft as lytle succes, as the vessels, licour left in them. He speaks mutch of the Kings fortefying in Dithmersh to stopp the passags to Hamburgh; of 40m armors provided: besids 500 French arms for horsmen: that they brought sundry French artisans there to make French pistolls, having reduced their Dutch to that fashion. The man is sensible, and some likhood of what he says, to be true in intention: but tho they "arme French, I think their effects will be homelike Dutche: but if they were as cunninge to surprise princes, as the French be nimble for townes, they might happs make the King seke his wife and his sonne! I beseach you Sir, pardon my merry bolt: I do not, I protest, reach at enterprizes, but seing a mist, stomble a lytle more boldly where I have so honorable a frend to interpret my slippe . . ." Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Fragment of wax signet.

1289. Willoughby to the Earl of Nottingham and Cecil. [Nov. 22.]

I received on the 21st instant your letters commanding me to send up Sir William Eure on these disturbances in our council. I have hastened him what I could, but have had little leisure to inform him for my defence in matters of great importance, not so well known to him. I should condemn myself, having always lived with soldiers, to whose report I commend me—if I should now in this town of war, give occasion of offence to those gentlemen councillors, though I may not flatter them by calling them soldiers—in doing my duty. I will say little, but refer all to trial, persuading myself I shall make that point of your letter clear, that whoever has done dishonor to the Queen or the opposite party, it is not I, who offered any thing reasonable for peace—but they refused these, as I can prove by the mayor, "akynn to the cheif of them," and a learned preacher, both employed in the matter.

I beseech you that no general accusations without proofs be allowed against me: and that whosoever charges me, write it under his hand: and if I clear not myself, let me undergo the disgrace and shame: but in the meantime let ill opinion of me be suspended, for I have never set any other end before me but duty to her Majesty and country. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

¾ p. Addressed: "To the right honorable my lord th' Earle of Nottingham lord high admirall of England, and to the right honorable Sir Robert Cecyll knight," &c. Indorsed. Wax signet: shield of 8 quarters, 3 crests.

1290. Willoughby to Cecil. [Nov. 22.]

I have written more largely than I shall need here, in answer to my Lord Admiral's and your letter: but I only take leave to acquaint you with my letter in my own justifying to her Majesty: since I see she is acquainted with the case, which I leave to your honorable favor. I will follow your order in Parker's matter: I have deprived no captain of his rights, " unless the denying of such a lewd fellow, as sayd he would have the place whether I would or noe, be of that nature? . . . For this Shadock can no more be tearmed a soldier for his xxtie yeeres service heer, then a mumbler of mattins in Queen Maries tyme, a learned doctor in this florishing agge: having never don any thing singular in his life, but swagering, as Sir John Carey can wittnes, during the warres heere." Though in general captains ought to choose their own officers, yet when a governor has charge of a town " for his life and head," the chief officers and keepers of gates should be of special trust with him: lest being mean poor men, they might be practised with: " as I have knowne some in my owne tyme at Bergis (fn. 4) . . . Yf yt ly in my power to doe for Parker (who deserves well in himself) or the meanest spaniell that comes from you, he lives not that shalbe readyer to perforrae yt then I." Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

1 p. Addressed to Cecil. Indorsed by Cecil: "My L. Willoghby to my L. Ad. and me. Remembre to write to the maior of Barwick, and send Gr. writing." Fragment of wax signet.

Inclosed in the same:—(Willoughby to the Queen.)

Addressing her "Moste sacred and dreade soveraigne," he regrets to have brought "the unpleasinge division and defectes" of her Berwick garrison before her—shows how his attempts to execute his office were received with libels at his entrance, now on his return from Court, with opposition—details his course of conduct and his long toleration, so long as it merely touched himself. Referring the case to the "noble gentleman" commanded by her Majesty to report. Berwick, 22d November 1600. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

pp. Addressed: "To the Queenes moste excellent Majestie." Indorsed by Cecil's clerk.

(1) Another copy of the same.

1291. Willoughby to Cecil. [Nov. 28.]

"My oft lettres without matter of any importance, may breade rather satietie then satisfaction unto you. "The Scottish news are but expectations. The Earl of Argyll will hear of no reconciliation with Huntly, and has withdrawn himself already homewards. Huntly stays still at Court, and most think "that he and Mounsieur de Rohaan shall christen the prince. The Jesuites lurk yet quietly, and manage their affayres in disguised habittes. The lord of Roxbroughes honor is accompanied with great envy. In their dealinges they have changed force for forecast: and are become more politike then Scotish, hardy in all their affayres, and yf they likwise reforme their opinioned bloodines into a cyvill and gentle constancy, the people, that gase like chased deare at alterations, and are much appaled with the late execution, will imbrace those metamorphosies as signes and wonderes . . . Though the subject of my lettre contein litle, yet like an ill debter that with smale somes peeces out great debettes, I would omit no tyme to pay that mite I had." Signed: P. Wyllughby.

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet with quarterings, &c.


  • 1. On margin lengthwise in another hand.
  • 2. Rothes (?)
  • 3. Holograph—written on margin.
  • 4. Bruges?