Border Papers volume 2: January 1603

Pages 815-819

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

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1531. Scrope to Cecil, &c. [Jan. 2. 1602–3.]

I have your letters, and thank you for your never failing friendship and good advice. But where you write, that if due care were taken, these open roads are not needed, and displease her Majesty: I assure you that, while 40 of our men were watching 3 miles from Carlisle, 200 Scots came in, "and had taken them all, if by God's will they had not gone about another purpose." The towns hereabout still pay black mail to the Grames, and are bound neither to stir nor shout whatever they see or hear, and dare not ride except in great number. The King means well, but can effect nothing. George Nicolson and others think I might deal with the Grames to do the Queen service, and that they have some cause to complain of me: "so God judge mee," since their last offers to him, they have murdered some of Mr Cliburnes tenants! and you say, if they were faithful, we should not need the soldiers: in my father's time we had 100, for the Grames "will never warr uppon thire brethren, nevewes, and cosens"—and now we have but 50, without which true men cannot live here. My letter to the King was not "unfittinge," I only prayed him not to tax me of rashness without cause. The country being quiet, and the Grames well pleased with my favor to their 2 friends—as their inclosed petition will show you, and have promised Mr Dalton to do good service in my absence, I mean to set forward upon Monday next, towards London, and to stay a week at Bolton, where if you write to stay me, "you shall kill my harte." Signed: Th. Scroope.

Pray let me hear against that time.

2 pp. Holograph; also address. Indorsed: " Without date, L. Scroope to Mr Vice-chamberlayne and my master, receaved the 8 of Januarye 1602."

1532. Scrope to Cecil, &c. [Jan. 4.]

Seeing these complaints are exhibited to her Majesty by Rogier Aston "in greate bitternesse," viz., (1) for taking "Robsay," (2) forcing Kinmondes house, and (3) another roade upon Kinmonde: I reply, that "Robsay" (as they say), a Scotsman and servant to Johnston, confessed to myself he was an Englishman, guilty of nightly burglaries &c., in my office, as appears by the inclosed, and for these had been demanded by me without effect, so I took him by March law. (2) Kinmonde, being then in the King's prison, I was desired by the King and George Nicolson to assist in apprehending some of his men, viz., one Johnston, who had robbed the King's merchants of Edinburgh of 1000l. sterling, and, with "Sandies Renion," were then in Kinmondes house. Being the murderers of Sir John Carmichael the late warden, I thought to do a favour rather than deserve complaint. This Kinmonde since his release, has spoiled the 2 towns of Heskettes. (3) The other roade on his house was in truth on the Urwens and 2 of Kinmondes servants, nightly spoilers, as the inclosed shows, and were among the men that Johnston and I agreed to ride upon as outlaws.

When the King was last at Dumfries, Johnston made greater complaints, and the King wrote for me, but being unwell, I sent my man, who showed the King all the fault was with Johnston: whereon the King seemed to be in a rage, and made show to displace Johnston, if the Earl of Mar had not befriended him—but said he would believe him no more. Roger Ashton was there, and knows this to be true. Signed: Th. Scroope.

2 pp. Holograph; also address: "To … Mr Secretarie and to Mr Vice-Chamberlaine." Indorsed: "... In answeare of their letter of the 29 of December to his lordship."

1533. Scrope to Mr Vice-Chamberlain. [Jan. 6.]

If George Nicolson had not kept my man of purpose, he had been here these 10 days: when he comes you shall hear. This country these 6 weeks, since we took a revenge, was never quieter. The Grames are so pleased at Mr Dalton getting the 2 Grames to be kept at Rocklief castle as prisoners till the Queen's pleasure be known for their liberty, have promised great service: which assures him of their vigilance—and, if not done, no man will credit them again. Mr Secretary writes with her Majesty's pleasure, so I mean to come up on Monday next and stay a week at Bolton, where I pray to hear from you, and one word of his to the Queen will despatch it: and "put the gallowes" on the letter, for I shall not be quiet till I hear. But if you write to stay me, "you might as well kill mee"! Signed: Th. Scroope.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed by Cecil.

1534. Scrope to Cecil. [Jan. 10. 1602–3.]

I enclose the copy of the "bound" 1 took of John Dalston esquire, and Lancelot Carleton, for the translation of the 2 Grames prisoners here to Rocklief Castle—and withal, the examination and accusation taken before the Bishop of Carlisle and me and others, between Mr John Musgrave of Edenhall and one [ ] Skellton, to show "what manner of men this countrey affordes." To-morrow I set forward for London, and will stay at Bolton till I hear from you "anent" my leave. Signed: Th. Scroope.

The Grames were before me and Mr Dalston this day, and have promised such good service as never to be forgotten. Which I pray God they do.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(1) (Recognizance by Dalston, &c.)

9th Jan. 1602. Recognisance by John Dalston of Dalston esquire, Lancelot Carleton of Brampton, gentleman, and Robert Briskoe of Harrington howses, in 1000l.—

That Robert Grame, called "Robsey," and Richie Grame, called "Arthers Richie," now prisoners with Lord Scrope at Carlisle, shall remain at Rocklief castle true prisoners, without escape or rescue, until her Majesty's pleasure be further known. John Dalston. Small wafer signet: a shield with chevron engrailed between 3 lions rampant (?).

1 p. Written by Scrope's clerk. Indorsed "The coppie," &c.

(2) (John Musgrave's examination.)

Carlisle, 9th January 1602. Examination of Mr John Musgrave of Catterlen, gent., taken before Lord Scrope, Henry bishop of Carlisle, John Dalston, esq., deputy warden, and Henry Gent, esq. Johu Musgrave saith that John Skelton alias "Symons John" and John Skelton of Apletrethwait, in 1601 brought to his house a letter from the Lord Dacres, in Scotland, with no name subscribed, to the effect he stood in need of money, requesting help from them and others to take one Allan Prickett, thought to be worth 10,000l., prisoner to Scotland till he paid a ransom. They came 4 times to him; he first desired time to consider, and at next meeting refused to join, or to send 2 Musgraves to help them, and that if they did not surcease, he would reveal it to their shame. When Mr Mcolson was at Carlisle, he told him, and was advised to give notice to Prickett, or Mr Stirkland, his landlord, and did so, as well as to divers others. John Musgrave. Thomas Scroop, Henrie Carliolen. John Dalston, Henry Gent. Memorandum.—Mr Musgrave voluntarily revealed this matter in our presence.

Examination of John Skelton alias "Symons John" of High house, place and day aforesaid.

He confesses that at Michaelmas last 1601, one Henry Bell brought a letter as he said from Lord Dacres unsealed, directed to John Musgrave alias "Sir Symons John," entreating him to help in taking Allan Prickett prisoner, for some relief: which letter he and John Skelton of Appletrethwait delivered to John Musgrave: who answered, that what lay in his power he would do for Lord Dacres, but stayed it till Thomas Musgrave of Cumcatch came from London, without whom he could do nothing. And he did no more herein till John Musgrave was deputy warden, when he met him; who said that, as Thomas Cumcatch was yet "uncomed" from London, and the only man he could best trust of his own name, he had none to join, saving Symon Farc banke, who would be drunk, so willed Skelton to take it in hand, and he would oversee him, being now in office. John Skelton.

Thomas Scroope, Henry Carliolen. John Dalston, Henry Gent.

2 pp. Written by Scrope's clerk. Indorsed: "Sir Symonds John complaint against Skeltons, with their answers thereunto."

1535. Sir John Carey to Cecil. [Jan. 13.]

I hope the "retorne" of this packet will satisfy you of the safe delivery of your last to Mr Nicolson dated the 6th instant, "wherof you wear so carfull": wherewith I also received your letter touching the chamberlainship—" sayinge, that her Majestey will place sum honest wise conditioned gentyllman therin, not beinge plesed withe suche an example, that I shold have power to bestowe it agayen, having allredey receved satisfactyon for it: wiche wear no rare exampel for on man to reseave benefitt or commodetey bey a nother manes lose or harmes, althoughe it be the ferst chanse in suche a case that ever lighted to me! Beinge shewer that if Master Skiner had in this mean tyme deyed bey Godes hand, ther had bin no question to have bin made for the retorninge of it to me agayen! Onley it might a byn loked for that I shold in sume measure a satisfeied the gentyllwomau; but nowe what his offens will indamage me, I knoe not, but shewer I ame no waye giltey of his fault! Wherfor I hope her Majestey will not take from me that wiche good fortun and her grases pattent dothe laye uppon me, witheout suche satisfactyon as the world shall not condemne me to have lost it for aney offens bey myselfe committed"! Yet I will not "contest" with her Majesty, who has given me all I have, and may take it away: only desiring to be thought as deserving as he, whosoever he be, that shall have it. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed by Cecil. Wax signet: swan, &c.

1536. Scrope to Cecil, &c. [Jan. 17.]

Acknowledging their letter with the Queen's leave for his coming up: and that he never meant "to have stirred" till they got it. Inclosing Mr John Dalston's letter, "with a desire of the Grames," for their "considerations." Signed: Th. Scroope.

¾ p. Holograph. Addressed: To … my very lovinge frends, Mr Secretarie and Mr Vice-Chamberlaine." Indorsed.

Inclosed in the same:—

(Dalston to Scrope.)

My nephew Skelton and this bearer Ro. Grame, have brought me word that last Thursday night 30 and more Scots harried most of the town of Coathill, and being "setton" by Corbye and other adjoining townships to the number of 60 men, the Scots "fought themselves away with all the goodes": then "my brother Geut" and 17 of the principal Graimes being on a "plumpe watch," the Scots came suddenly on them and encountered both parties—when it pleased God that Gent and the Graimes took 7 prisoners, "Francie Whittow" among them, and 20 horses, with their furniture. The rest got "verie hardlie away on foote in the mosse, where hardly either horse or man cold passe, els had they bine all taken." They have taken the prisoners to Rowcliffe Castle, till your farther pleasure. I have sent the bearer to report more fully. Your lordship will please take good consideration what shall be done. "From… this xvth Januarie 1602." Signed: John Dalston.

I humbly request you to acquaint Mr Vice-Chamberlain, to whom I owe duty and service.

1 p. Postscript holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

(On slip attached.)

Report of Eobert Grame, the bearer.

The "certen" number of the Scots was 31; number of horses taken "and wonne," 22.

The Grames who were especial men in this service, humbly beg the "libarty" of those prisoners: in hope, as they verily think, the safety of their lives will bind them and their friends so strongly to the lord warden and deputy, that it will keep peace on this border.

1537. Sir John Carey to the Privy Council. [Jan. 26.]

On the receipt of your honors' letter of 18th instant, touching "the twoe yonge Reevens brothers to the late Erie of Gowrie," I duly warned all the gentlemen, and proclaimed in every town of my wardenry that none reset, assist, or countenance them in any way. Albeit I think the information laid is wrong, for I am fully assured they have not been here of a long time: yet this special proclamation will be of more effect than many I have formerly made: and it is true, as her Majesty has been informed, that there is too great familiarity and intercourse between our English and Scottish borders: the gentlemen of both countries crossing into either at their pleasure, feasting and making merry with their friends, overthrowing the wardens' authority and all Border law, "but what the common lawe will allowe in Westminster hall." And in like manner, the common thieves and outlaws, English and Scots, devising murders and robberies with their fellows. I thought good to say thus much, being encouraged by your honors' letters: as I intended to have made a complaint often before this—and, if it is your pleasure I be called up, shall inform you of my knowledge therein. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Wax signet: swan, &c.