Border Papers volume 2: November 1601

Pages 774-775

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

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1429. Sir John Carey to Cecil. [Nov. 21.]

While sending this packet received from Master Nicolson this morning, I thought good to certify you that lately Sir William Read took such a sudden fit, as he was in a "sowend, and longe ear they cold recover life in him, they wear fayen to sende to Berwike for a pheysition": he was all night like to die, but recovered. Still he is but a "pufe," and cannot live long. He has the keeping of "the Holley and Fearne Ilandes" and all the rest of the little islands thereabout: things of great moment for the country and Berwick, for if an enemy hold Holy Island, Northumberland and Berwick would be in great distress—so in case he dies, it were good some order were taken for a successor. The Dunkerkers are constantly there, watching for a ship bringing victuals here. It is thought that Sir William's base son is joined in his patent: but he is not a man fit for such a charge. It is under the Governor of Berwick, and gets all things from hence, as powder, shot, pikes, muskets, bills, victual, &c., and if need be, men to furnish it: wherefore the Governor should have the charge of the islands, both for defence and other respects. For since my brother Sir Robert got the captainship of Norham, the Governor of Berwick is "teyd" there, and can go no where for health, profit, or repose, except a night or two in the country, to "recreat himselfe." The islands never needed a good captain more, for Sir William is old and blind: and to tell you the truth, it is very slenderly guarded from danger, seeing the Spaniards will trouble us in Ireland even in the winter season—and if they should get "Osteand," we should have more guests than we like: for as Holy Island is kept now, I would undertake with 1 or 2 of the Dunkirk ships, to land a few men at night and take it, keeping it till more came—for once gotten, it would be easier kept than "Kensall" (fn. 1) in Ireland.

I would recommend another thing to your honor. "Ther is a leard of Scottland, named the Leard of Gethe, (fn. 2) wiche for sume perticulers amongest themselves, hathe byn thought fitt bey the Kinge to be banyshed for a tyme his owen conterey: whoe hathe mad choyse to com hether tyll his remission be granted, and tyll the Earle of Arrell can be gred withe him. This Lerd of Gethe is the onley prinsepall man of the Earle Hunteleys howes, and on that hathe ever parted him in all his actyones, and is on that maye doe most and knoes most of the earles mynd of aney man livinge."

Liking his treatment here, he has made great offers that if her Majesty will please to show favor to the Earl of Huntly, as she has done to others of these Scottish lords, he will undertake to do her such service in Ireland, and Scotland also, as all Scotland cannot do! He is of great power in his own country, and offers much by means of the "Scottishe Irishe," if but to keep the rebels from helping the Spaniards—and this "bey resun that on Donnell Gorme whoe is the chefe of all thoes Scotes in Ierland, and countes himself Kinge of the Ilandes, is Huntleyes follower, and as it wear his houeshold man"—also he doubts not but that Huntly, if well dealt with by the Queen, would send 3000 or 4000 "Hilandes men" over to Ireland to trouble "Terone."

But the matter must be so secretly handled that the King may not hear of it till Huntly and Gethe think fit: and if nothing is to be done in it, let it be like "an idell drem." Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

It will be 14 or 20 days yet ere Gethe will get his chief: therefore if it please you think the offer over and let me know.

3 pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wax signet: damaged.

1430. Passport for Patrick Adgeor, &c. [Nov. 23.]

Licence by Sir John Carey, knight, marshal and governor of the town and castle of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and lord warden of the East Marches, for "Pattrick Adgeor (fn. 3) and John Smell," Scotsmen and merchants of Edinburgh, to travel southwards and take shipping for France: the first riding a bay ambling nag 16 hands high, the other a white ambling nag of 15 hands. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

¾ p. Addressed: "To all justices of peace," &c. Swan wafer signet (smaller.)

Similar for James Greame Scottish gentleman also bound for France: riding a grey ambling nag of 16 hands. Berwick, 24th November. Signed: Jhon Carey.

¾ p. Addressed. Signet as before.


  • 1. Kinsale.
  • 2. Gicht.
  • 3. Edgar?