Border Papers volume 2: February 1601

Pages 730-735

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

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1328. Willoughby to Cecil. [Feb. 4.]

As I would rather "tell over a tale told, then over slip an opportunitie," I let you know, "from a very good hand, that th'Earle of Marr, and the Abbott of Kinloss, are upon a suddain resolution, taken but on Fryday laste, addressed ambassadors to her Majestie, and are to pass this "way the next week. Lickwise the Lord of Burlie hathe sent unto me for pasporte through England: which though it be a thing usually granted by men of my place, for all passengers and travellers, yet I thought good, he being a man of more then ordinary note, to advertise yt, that yf ther be cause, he may either be seene unto when he comes at London: or ells his journy stayd heere in the begininge. He pretendeth tow ends—the first to kiss her Majesties hands, withall to itilardg himself to her highnes: the other for his health in the bathes of France." He seems in haste because of the season of year.

Duty, "though I ame full of infirmities," makes me thus troublesome. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

¾ p. Hand resembling Willoughby's. Addressed. Indorsed.

1329. The Bishop of Durham to Cecil. [Feb. 8.]

I am loath you should think me so "mechanicall" as to expect recompence for so small a matter: for though the party's necessity I think forced him to demand it, or he had some disposition to try whether "I were a miserable one or not," yet he had his desire "with my right good will and thankes": so let your honor think no more of this trifle.

Meantime, that accident, "the more I thinke of it, makes me remember him that saide Non amo nimium diligentes. Howbeit my hope is, the viuscir(?) will doe well enoughe as your wisdome will use it, and some of them never the wiser by hit." But there is a gentleman "now above," Mr Henry Woodrington, whom if you please to entertain, there is no man in these north parts, more fitted, by his wit, experience, allies, followers, valor and resolution, the commodity of his habitation and command, and willingness to serve your honor, and all good causes: to be conferred with and employed. His especial virtues are Taciturnitas et Fides. They hate him mortally, and he loves them as little. I entreat you to talk with him, first on the state of the Marches, the total ruin (I fear) of Bewcastle and Gilsland, and imminent danger of the Middle March by the Greames and Armstrongs, both for their "particuler," and revenge of the imprisonment of the pledges at York, the principal of whom having escaped "God knoweth howe," they are like to make work enough ere long. Wherein as you sound his discretion, you may touch on Scottish affairs and the factions there growing: "which it were pittie (I speake absolutely my conscience, and my knowledge too partly) it were great pittie, but they should by all wise present and secrett good meanes, be nourisshed and cherisshed, not only to divert the humour encreasing hitherward, but to prevent the dailie practises oppenly attempted herabout, to engage no small fooles. Sir, as you are, and are holden verie wise and politick, so let none other occurrentes or occasions howe apparent soever, dasle your eies, but that once in 24 howres you maie looke to the backe dore: and that not only for the publick good of the realme, which I presume is deare unto you, but for the peculier safetie and securitie of that sacred roiall person, which I knowe is leefer to you then your lyfe: and yet withall for your owne sake and yours and all and everie, whome that ambitious and malitious generacion loveth as mutche, as they doe me and Mr Woddrington. But nowe I have gone far in dede; yet short of that I purpose one daie to saie, if ever I see you." Bishop Auckland. "Lege, ure, seca." Signed: Tobie Duresm.

pp. Holograph; also address. Indorsed. Two wax signets: Mathew as before.

1330. Willoughby to Cecil. [Feb. 14.]

This morning I received your letter dated on Monday the 9th hereof, which by negligence of posts, as appears endorsed, was stayed 6 hours betwixt London and Ware—11 hours at Newcastle, "and in other places, with no great speed. By this negligence, that heynous attempt mentioned was brought hether one whole daye before, by a Scotish merchant of Edenburgh, usuallie passing this waye in th'affayres of his traffique, and by him delivered onlie at the taking of his horse to ryde homewardes, to a pryvate frend, who had not the discretion to staye the man untill I might be advertised. Soone after, and the same daye in the evening, came to this towne Mr David Fowlis dispatched from the Kinge towardes her Majestie, especiallie as he pretendeth, to make waye for my lord of Marr the Kinges ambassador, of whom I advertised your honor before." Immediately on receipt of your letter, I called the council to advise on your direction to stay packets and passengers: but as we thought it only imported the stay of "misconceyved bruites" from Scottish agents, &c., into Scotland, we suffered Mr Fowlis to pass, and myself to give you notice, before his arrival I hope. We all here bless the everliving God for preserving her Majesty's safety: "as being the verie thing so highelie precious in all true English hartes, as they cannot but bleed at the tender thought of her danger, and vehementlye detest the persons, occasions, tymes, and all the meanes which would bereave us of that joye, seing without that, the world can give us to enjoye nothing." Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

1 p. Addressed by Willoughby. Indorsed.

1331. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Feb. 14.]

"I resevid your last letter the 13 heareof, being at Newcastell at th'eclesiasticall commition: the next day I returnd home, and acquaynted P.O. (fn. 1) with the contents of your letter, who was well pleased therwith (as I could not blame him) and is this day onward of his jorny: and meanes to make no stay till he be in Scotland. God grant he prove as honist to you, as your honors good using of him dus deserve." If you or he trusts me, I will do it to your honor's content.

I am sorry to have troubled you about my leave: now I know her Majesty's resolution, I will content myself till the time, and shall be better pleased with my stay, if I may "busey" myself in her service.

About 2 months since, the Council commanded me to assist the Bishop of Durham for recusants here, when he required me. Ten days after, he wrote to me with a "catelog" of them, requesting my aid for their appearance at Newcastle on the 12th instant. I set about it at once, but his determination was not so closely kept before his letters came, but that three of the greatest got knowledge, and left the March. These are Frances Ratclif, Thomas Swinburn and Roger Coniers, who think by lurking till the commission is past, to be no further troubled. But I will not fail to send them in as I can get them. The most of the others appeared, and many of them "yealded to cum to churche, th'others not very obstinat, but good hope of reformation," as the commissioners' letter at large informs the Council.

"I desier no more to be imployd in this service: it is an offis cheffly belonging to my lord of Durham, yeat when I had taken all the paynes and cam my self to the commition, I found his lordship absent! which was merveld at by many, cheefly by the comitioners them selves, thos of his owne—also that he should be away at that service which most consernd his place." Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

1332. Willoughby to Cecil. [Feb. 16.]

I received your packet for Nicolson on the 14th at 12 at night, and at once sent it off. The proclamation, though it seemed privately addressed to myself, yet as it contained "a publick notification of fowle faults," and direction to magistrates to punish "leud and bad speakers, and an admonition to the poeple to bewray such," I published it this day with solemnity, "and tomorrow to geive God generally thanks in the church for his great goodnes in this behalf." I have also laid all the passages of my March, to apprehend any escaping to Scotland. "God knoweth my harte, how willing my unperfit body is to doe the loyallest and perfittest offices I can to her Majestie." Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

I understand the Earl of Marr's journey is stayed.

½ p. Hand resembling Willoughby's. Addressed. Indorsed by Cecil.

1333. Sir R. Carey to Cecil. [Feb. 16.]

"Give me leave, I beseache you sir, to congratulat with you for the blessed and hapey escape of her sacred Majesty from the violens of thos unworty wretchis that had plotted th'utter ruin and overthrow of her and her kingdum: Gods spirite be ever with them that wer the discoverers therof, and praysed be his name for her blessed deliverance.

"I make no dought of Gods goodnes, that he will still defend her: and know right well that your self and suche neare abought her as your honor is to her, will be carfull and provident to prevent futur evils, but I know withall her Majestys corage and magnanimitie to be so great, as to show her self how little she feares thos vipers, she will be often abrode emongest her subjects, to make knowne to them the contrarye, unles she be agaynst her meind by good counsell, persuadid otherwise. Pardon me that I presume to say thus muche, for I know ther cannot be more dun for her preservation then is dun: but her publicke cuming abrode I desier not to heare of as yeat, for allthoughe the cheeffe of those foulle birds are fast in cagis, yeat in hope to set them at libertye, sum desperat villaine of ther faction may make a ventur of his owne liffe in hasarding sum divelishe practis agaynst her royall person, if oportunitye fit them (which God for his mersy forbid). To prevent suche danger, I could wishe the best of them at the least, weare hedles, before shee cam muche abrode: then when ther cheife heds shall be wanting, the rest of the corrupt body will soone decay, and her Majesty may in more safty triomphe of her victorey." I have written in singleness of heart, and pray you take it in good part.

I desire nothing more than to be at Court, were it to come post but for one day and return: to kiss her Majesty's hand and see her, after such a deliverance.

I pray the favour of one of your secretaries setting down the proceedings of the conspiracy, and what else you please: for I only hear the common report. Woodrington. Signed: Ro. Carey.

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

1334. Scrope to Cecil. [Feb. 16.]

I have this morning received direction from her Majesty to make my personal repair to the Court upon Saturday next: and now take my journey with all possible haste to be there "against that tyme."

Meantime I send you copy of the order I left this country in, as best I could on the short notice. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.

¾ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: arms and Garter as before.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Copy of Scrope's letter.)

Having received this Sunday night special direction from the Council by her Majesty's command, to be at London on the 21st instant: these are to command you on your allegiance, with your household servants duly arrayed, to appear at the city of Carlisle on Wednesday next at night: letting you know that I have appointed Mr Nicholas Curwen, Mr Richard Lowther, Mr James Bellingham, and Mr John Dalston, first to lie here in charge of the country for 14 days, they four then to appoint other four gentlemen in like manner, and so four after four successively, with full authority till her Majesty's further pleasure be known who shall be my deputy. Carlisle. 15 February 1600, at night.

½ p. Written by his clerk. Indorsed: "Copie," &c.

1335. William Selby [junior] to Cecil. [Feb. 18.]

"Fame, whither true or fals I know not, haith brought to my eares that my infortunate yett most beloved brother haith bene in companie with the Earle of Essex when he attempted his late rebellious enterprise. If this report be true, either he haith gone on for companie, not knowing the true cause, in regarde of his affection to Mrs Roderam a widow, kinswoman to the earle, to whome he had bene a suter when shee was widow before: or of sett purpose, as one acquainted with the treasonable plott. If he be guiltye of the last, I detest him, and deeme him worthye of ignominious death: if his fault be on the soddaine, and with the multitude drawen on by fals pretence, then I trust I may with dewtye be an humble suter for favour, whereof and by no other meane, I should have good hope, if your honor, in comiseration of his unwarye youth, would be pleased to offerr up on the altar of her Majesties clemencye the loyaltye and services of my late deceassed father and the rest of our poore house, heretofore untouched: the hope whereof resteth almost altogither in his loynes, myself not so happie as after 12 yeares marriage, to be a father. The matter touching me almost as neare as my lif, might draw from me a long letter: but the just consideration of your honors many and weighty affaires, especially in this tyme, counselleth me to be breif. Giving thankes to God and congratulating with all joy her Majesties happie deliverance, the confusion of her foes, and commending the safetye of my poore brother, and in him of my owne fortunes, to your favour and her Majesties mercye." Berwick. Signed: Will'm Selby.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: a shield (Selby), impaling one of 4 quarters.

1336. Willoughby to Cecil. [Feb. 18.]

The "welter" of the Scottish resolution made me write uncertainly in my last, which I shall be "more wary of," if you pardon the past. I hear for certain the Earl of Mar will be here tomorrow with divers other gentlemen, to go on immediately for London. I had the proclamation you sent me proclaimed in open market yesterday, and today we have given God thanks for her Majesty's "salf delivery," with great applause and rejoicing of the whole town and country. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed: "February 23." The postal indorsations show its dispatch on 19th at 11 a.m. and receipt on 28th at 4 p.m.

1337. Willoughby to Cecil. [Feb. 22.]

I have been so "exceeding ill" since the Earl of Mar was here, that I could not "write my owne name." He left this town on Friday last, accompanied with the Abbot of Kinloss and some 30 gentlemen, &c. The "taste" I got of their affairs is, a congratulation for her Majesty's deliverance from the late treason, acquittal of the King and estate from any imputation of willing receipt of Jesuits, priests, and such like, or negotiation with foreign princes: "an extenuation of Pureoglevys account with the King, with many circumstances of the sayd Oglevyes undutifull cariadge towards him—some expostulation of her Majesties supposed jealousies against the Kinge in the matter of Sir William Eure—complainte of the first receit, releefe, and some continuation of th'Earle of Gowryes brothers in England—wherin I have my parte as deepe as the best." Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

½ p. Hand resembling W.'s. Addressed. Indorsed partly by Cecil. Wax signet: gem, Cupid's bow and quiver.

1338. Willoughby to Cecil. [Feb. 26.]

"I ame credibly advertised from London, that Captain Selby one of this garrison, who went hence very contemptuously without my leave, was an actor in this conspiracy of th'Earles: and as I ame informed, he escaped, and fled into Scotland, wher he now remaineth. For which his offence, being of so high a nature, whatsoever his contempts have beene to me,—I have according to th'Establishment (with th'advice of Sir William Bowes) displaced him of that his captainship, and bestowed the same upon my coosen John Guevara a gentleman well knowne to you, and one that that hath served her Majestie faithfully: aswell to rewarde his desert in taking Ashfeeld—" to maintain him till her Majesty is pleased to confer a better place ou him, and encourage others to service. I mention this to avoid the importunity of other suitors for the place. Berwick. Signed: P. Wyllughby.

¾ p. Hand resembling W.'s. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: shield of 8 quarters and 3 crestsgood.


  • 1. Powry Ogilvy.