Calendar of Border Papers: Volume 2, 1595-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1896.
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1549. Eure to Burghley. [June 4. 1596.]
In your letter of 26th May you took notice of divers letters of mine, and reminded me of the doubt her Majesty may justly have of the truth of my charges against Sir John Forster for his misgovernment, which must be "respected before his restitutione." If you impose the negligence of suffering the country in 37 years to be reduced to this weakness, compared with its strength when he took office, I fear me you shall burden him with more than he can discharge—and having truly certified its present state, I submit myself to your censure and his fault to your good pleasure.
Mr Felton with Mr Nicholas Forster viewed Harbottle and showed me a "draughte" which he said he would present you, "of the rewine of the house, and gaole of Hexham." I had not then seen the castle of Harbottle and left it to his report—what is spared in strengthening it will weaken the keeper who lies there—for it is a fit place if well "mended."
The gaol is as weak as I reported, and unless helped I cannot keep the prisoners—among them at present some "Scottes, shrewed theifes." I want no surplus charge and am sure the surveyor will show your lordship each particular decay, and could oversee under your directions.
If you "casseire" these horsemen allowed me, I am left weak at the most dangerous time—for with grass for the horses, thieves will ride more than after, when the moors are foul and cattle weak.
The jury impannelled for the decay of the Borders, have not yet returned their certificate, for they are slow and "hardly drawn on." I pray you excuse me, who feel my misery; but their subtlety exceeds my honest mind. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.
1 p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet.
1550. Sir W. Bowes to Lord Hume. [Oct. 13. 1597.]
Right noble lord—By my former letters I presented to you out of my private respect, a testimony of my faithful well wishing to your honor and well doing: "so as my vowes beinge alreadey in heaven, yf I hope to come there myselfe, can leave no scruple or doubt of my good intention towards you." Further, I hereby give your lordship to understand, that I have deeply engaged my credit to my most gracious sovereign, in high commendation of your lordship's good affection to her Majesty " in turninge your parte in the late disgracefull tumult into the fairest tearmes of honour and true performaunce, and in attributing to your whole name that deipe interest in religion, zeale to the peace betwene the realmes, and true worthines, as may well both testifye my judgement, and justify my good affection towardes you and yours."
The case now stands that we must lay open to the world our worth, viz., our religion, allegiance, and honorable performance of promise.
Religion challenges a direct plain and sincere truth—admitting neither speech nor act to impeach it for worldly affection—" for everlasting recordes whereof our owne hartes are worldes full of witnesses, and God himself the "judge, whose reverence I doe most instantly commend both to your lordship and myself in this action."
The next is allegiance—wherein I have pledged myself to her Majesty by your desire in a matter within your power—which being yet undone, duty and reason force me to travail earnestly to disburden myself. It resteth with you to content her Majesty by the expected delivery, which I request you to do without delay. Wherein your own allegiance may appear—that your most excellent King commanded you to deliver Sir Robert Kerr, in case he did not deliver his pledges—and as he failed to do this at last meeting, I must challenge the King's command.
In the third point—honourable performance of promise—I have discharged myself (1) by keeping all appointments—and interpreting favourably Sir Robert Kerr's disappointment of 3 several meetings, chiefly relying on your honor and promise of satisfaction. As I promised, I have commended your lordship's good offices to her Majesty, and the King himself can witness that I requested him to charge your lordship with this delivery as the man fittest in all respects.
As your private friend I may thus privately entreat your pardon in reminding you of your "absolute promise" given to me at our last meeting, that I should have Sir Robert Kerr delivered, failing his pledges—which as you know he did not deliver, let me entreat you in all honorable terms to perform your promise, returning me answer by the bearer as to time and place for the same.
Lastly—I have chosen to commend thus much to your lordship's favour privately as a loving friend, rather than as her Majesty's commissioner, and persuade myself you will judge it favourably and answer accordingly. Berwick.
2 pp. Copy by his clerk. Indorsed: "Copie of a lettre from Sir William Bowes to the Lord Home ..."
1551. William Selby to Cecil. [Dec. 24.]
Sending him a letter received "yesternight" from Roger Ashton by the hands of George Nicolson—who said it was for the Queen's business. Sir William Bowes came here this night. Berwick. Signed: Will'm Selby.
¼ p. Addressed. Indorsed.