Calendar of Border Papers: Volume 2, 1595-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1896.
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194. Eure to Burghley. [Jan. 1. 1595–96.]
There being in this county of Northumberland, none in the commission of the peace fit to give a charge at a sessions, or to aid the gentlemen on any point of law arising, I would entreat that the commission be renewed—myself to be therein and "George Lightfoote a lawyere of whome we stand greate need, whoe lyeth in Bushoppricke and none nearer hand." I have sent the old commission to my lord keeper, which I could not get before the 30th "of this munthe." Your lordship will "the easiler" pardon me, since I must abide the leisure of Sir John Forster the Custos rotulorum, and the clerk of the peace, by whose means I am to receive these. And I would pray you to ease Sir John's old age of the keeping these rolls now very imperfect, and try my diligence therein.
I also humbly intreat on behalf of Mr Robert Woodrington lately made sheriff of Northumberland, and hindered by infirmity from coming to London at present, that bonds be taken with good sureties of county gentlemen at Newcastle for his "more ease" and "better health in discharge of his office." He has lately lain in the bishopric and is very ready to do service. He "is honest religiouse and wise, and frameth himself to alter that wilde course longe contynewed in the cuntrie to a reformacion of better obedience; which though not in full measure as yt ought, yet in parte preter solitum, he with me, and I with him, shall showe your lordship att the yeares end the frutes of his labor." Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.
1 p. Address leaf lost.
195. Humfrey Purefey, &c., to Burghley. [Jan. 3.]
On conference with the Yorkshire gentlemen, viz. Messrs. Goodricke and Slingesbye and "Mr Capten" Westropp, appointed by the late Lord Huntingdon commissioners on the Middle March musters, we have perfected the same by their information, and sent the copies to your lordship, prefixing to each the notes by these gentlemen to clear up doubts, &c.: also copies of the instructions to Sir William Bowes, &c., commissioners to receive Sir John Forster's answers, and his answer, and letter to the late earl. Not having received from the Yorkshire justices their notes on some doubts in their certificates of muster (which we have) we presume to stay these till so perfected as we hope shortly.
"Having found a lettre in our late Lord President his owne hand written to your lordship, towching his service in Northumberland; whereby his lordships honorable endeavour therein (even to his last) maye manifestly appeare, beinge as it seameth prevented by sicknes to finishe the same: in honour of his good lordship, we have thought it our duetyes to send it upp." York. Signed: Humfrey Purefey, E. Stanhope, Charles Hales, Jo. Ferne.
1 p. Addressed. Indorsed: "... Certane of the Councell at Yorke to my Lord ..." Inclosing probably No. 173.
196. The Queen to the Council at York. [Jan. 8.]
Signifying her pleasure that Lord Evers shall levy 80 light horsemen in Yorkshire and the Bishopric for service on the Middle March this winter, and commanding them with the aid of the high sheriff of Yorkshire and the sheriff of the bishopric and justices, to levy the men, with "convenient cotes and apparell for the wyntar season," on Evers' special demand—assuring the owners of the horses that they shall be surely returned "if otherwise they dy not."
1 p. Draft by Burghley. Indorsed.
197. The Queen to the Bishop of Durham. [Jan. 8.]
Referring to his letter last summer jointly with Lord Evers and the justices of assise on the evil government and lamentable decay of the Middle March—the late Lord Huntingdon's repair to Newcastle last month, his grief at the state of affairs, and death in consequence—appointing the bishop to be one of the commissioners to meet those of Scotland. Meanwhile to order in her name Sir John Foster, late warden, to come to Durham and attend there till her farther pleasure is known, and his servants in his absence to assist the warden at their perils, so that the Queen may see cause to deal favourably with their master.
1 p. Draft by Burghley. Indorsed: "To the B. of Durham . . ."
198. Musters at Berwick. [Jan. 13.]
Defaults taken there before John Carey esquire deputy governor 13 January 1595.
Absentees from his own, Sir William Read's and 4 other captains' companies (Captains Carvell and Twyforth being at Carlisle with their companies)—the gunners, ordnance artificers, horsemen and pensioners, with and without passports, in all, 52. Signed: Jhon Carey, John Crane.
2½ pp. In Crane's writing. Indorsed (as title).
199. Scrope to Sir Robert Cecil. [Jan. 13.]
Lord Eure when late here told me privately, that seeing no likelihood of redress from his opposite neighbours, he intended to take pain for repair of past outrages, for better stay in future, asking my consent and assistance. Considering "howe extraordinarie" that course is, and hearing he means to proceed, I beg through you, to know her highness's pleasure as speedily as possible. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.
(fn. 1) "Notwithstandinge that which I have wrytten to my cosen Kyvett concerninge Hethrington, I am well contented that he proceede in his sute for the pardon: so shall he after better descerne whither the splen, or affection, hath beste operation."
1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.
200. Scrope to Burghley. [Jan. 15.]
In case my letter to the Council is not now "extant," I send copy thereof, showing I did not promise to send up any matters with which Thomas Musgrave was to be charged, or otherwise inform against him. All that I know otherwise, is that Lord Eure told me that Lord Huntingdon in his hearing, informed the Queen that Thomas Musgrave governed his people ill, in suffering them to commit many offences in the Middle Marches. Thus I refer to these letters of 25th December having nothing else to add. Carlisle. Signed: Th. Scroope.
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet quartered.
Inclosed in the above:—
(Letter to the Council.)
Scrope acknowledges their letter ordering him to send Thomas Musgrave keeper of Bewcastle, with note of charges against him—and only delayed sending him in hope the soldiers from Berwick would have arrived. But they not coming yet, and Sir Symon Musgrave having appointed some of his name to take charge, he has sent Thomas to appear before them, when those who have informed against him will be best able to satisfy their lordships of the truth. His government is not altogether meet, but he promises and gives hope of amendment. Carlisle 25 November 1595.
1 p. Copy by his clerk.
201. James VI. to Eure. [Jan. 17.]
The Laird of Buccleuch having by our command delivered William Ellott of Harscat a principal actor in the attempt of Tyndale, to Sir John Forster opposite warden, we hereby require you to cause delivery to the said laird, of Jock Dod called "Jock Pluck" and Gibbie Charlton called "Gibb of the Boughthill," or either of them, being principal actors in the attempt against Ellott, whereon his proceeded, the bill being fyled before Robert Bowes esquire, ambassador resident here for the Queen your sovereign,—that justice may be done and grudge between the parties removed. Palace of Holyroodhouse. James R.
½ p. Copy by Eure's clerk. Indorsed by Eure.
202. John Carey to Burghley. [Jan. 18.]
Lord Scroope sent me the inclosed letters, desiring me to write also in behalf of the two captains at Carlisle with him. Heretofore, captains there have been paid monthly by Mr Clopton receiver of the Bishopric, who dwells at "Barney castle" 64 miles from them—and a great charge and trouble to them sending there every month for the money, besides the danger of losing it on the way "in such a wyld countrie, and amongest so loose a company of people." They pray your lordship to direct Mr William Greenvyll deputy receiver of Cumberland to pay them either at Carlisle or "Peireth."
I have had nothing to write of for long, or your honour should have heard. I think Mr Bowes should be presently sent down, for now the King may "jugle" as he list, and nobody can "decyfer him." He makes fair show to us, but of performance I hear little.
Vernon and Swifte are here, and some little provision is come in 3 little ships, which will store us a while. More they say is coming, which we will need, "yf it prove a broken world." For the Scots say the Spaniards will come, but if we have victuals I will warrant my charge.
I know your honour heard of the Irish priest taken in Scotland and his letters, with his confession that "two more of his sort" were at the place whence he came, bound for Ireland through England.
I would be glad your honour sent the warrant for the timber from Chopwell that the controller and I have often written for, to make the long bridge good this spring. This winter has and will shake and try its soundness. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
1½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
203. Eure to Burghley. [Jan. 20.]
Having of late by chance, not from the opposite warden, met with a public proclamation in Scotland, I inclose it. The report there is still that the Spaniards are looked for to come with Huntly and Marr, which encourages the Borderers who are very strong—Cesford I hear having furnished himself with numbers of "launces" and warlike furniture. Since Christmas, Rugley a town of the Earl of Northumberland's within a mile of Alnwick, was twice spoiled by Cesford's own men, 25 horse at one time, 27 at another, and no goods rescued. Yet it lies in the strength of my March, many gentlemen hard by, and towns about it.
I lately took a notable thief Lyonell Charlton of Thornebrughe: for offences assisting Scots and English outlaws, there is none like him. I sent him to Durham to be tried for burglary, but I hear one Christofer Charlton another thief, is gone to London to sue her Majesty for Lyonell and his own pardon. I humbly beseech that such an offender be not so pardoned, for the country will be endangered by his life, and if you would send Christofer with a letter to me, without his suspicion, it would stop his suit, and the country would be comforted by an example made of such dangerous persons. For unless her Majesty benefit otherwise by sparing their lives, these are "well bestowed ad terrorem, and the cuntrie eased of a heavie ennemie." He is suing the pardon by two of the Charltons, servants to her Majesty, "and one Ridley aboute the Courte." Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.
1 p. Address leaf lost.
204. Eure to Sir Robert Cecil. [Jan. 20.]
Sending him a copy of the proclamation named in the letter to his father—with the like Scottish news. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.
205. John Carey to Burghley. [Jan. 21.]
Having received your letter "of the 24 of this instant," I conferred with Mr Comptroller and the surveyor, who require me to intreat your honour to send your warrant to one John Rotherforth bailiff of Chopwell wood, for 40 tons of timber to repair the long bridge over Tweed, which is "much rotten and much shaken in many places."
Your postscript in your own hand shows you think the taking down the old wall from Bedford to Hunsdon mounts, to be very necessary: but without your and my lord my father's warrant, it cannot be done.
Unless you send down Mr Bowes, I fear you will get little news. Since the Irish priest was taken, we hear again of the Spanish purposes, and intercepted letters. But the Irish priest's letters and all since, are so close kept and concealed, that I doubt the King's good meaning, or he would certify her Majesty. But he makes great show of uniting his country against the Spanish faction, "which God graunt yt prove so."
I inclose the defaults of musters on the 14th. Berwick. Signed: Jhon Carey.
1¼ pp. Addressed. Indorsed. Swan wafer signet.
206. The Bishop of Durham to Forster. [Jan. 16–23.]
(1) "Right worshipfull," I received yesterday a letter "signed with her Majesties owne hand," commanding me in her name to send for you to come to the city of Durham, where I am to deliver to you her further pleasure: wherefore I send this by my servant, praying you to certify me what time you purpose "by Godes grace" to be there, that "I maie cast to meete you." Hoping the "travle" will not "empaire your state of bodie," if you make easy journeys, such as it is said and written that you make between your own houses in Northumberland. I trust you will make no delay, "which cannott bee well taken." And I wish you would bring your son Mr Nicholas Foster, if now with you. "Att B[ishop] Awkland this xvjth of Januarie 1595."
(2) "Grace and peace. Sir," by your letter of 21st, I see you and I are not like to meet at Durham. If your delay is but an excuse, you will wish in the end you had done as directed. What I had to impart to you I may not "(as you desire)" commit to a messenger, for howsoever you come short of my expectation, "I must nott exceed the compasse of my commission by your leave." The "sleight answere" in your letter "such as it is," I will send up, lest you should think I wronged you by concealing it,—though I am loth to do it for your own sake. "This I maie presume to assure you, that your infirmitie of helth or debilitie of bodie is nott thought to bee such as you pretend; beeing able to eate, drink, sleep, talk and walke reasonably well for a man of your yeeres, as the reporte goeth": so that by coach or litter you might convey yourself well enough, taking what leisure "you list withall," no day being fixed for your arrival. Wherefore I advise and require you as before, and rather "offer the hazard of your helth," than give cause of suspicion of disloyalty to so gracious a sovereign. Wishing your deep consideration of the premisses, and "(if you refourme your judgement, as I hope you will rather soone than syne)," acquaint me therewith, at whose hands you will find no injury or extremity. "Att B[ishop] Awkland xxiij Januarie 1595."
1½ pp. Contemporary copies. Indorsed.
207. Ralph Gray of Chillingham to Sir Robert Cecil. [Jan. 26.]
As Mr Robert Bowes treasurer of Berwick, on account of his absence, is purposed to part with the same, and I hear would be content if it pleased her Majesty, that I might succeed him, which I rather desire, as divers of my ancestors have held it: I would ask that by your means I may be preferred thereto. If Mr Bowes be in London, he will inform your honour, and if gone, he will impart his mind to "Mr Captaine Selbee" who will inform you. For security, I shall lay in such bond as shall be accepted. I have sent my brother to attend you herein, and a letter to my lord your father to be delivered to him if you think fit. Chillingham. Signed: Ra. Graye.
¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer signet: a lion rampant.
208. Cannoniers at Carlisle. [Jan. 28.]
William Lacon, "clericus ordinacionum et operum apud Carlisle ad xijd. per diem"; Daniel Spence, chief cannoneer (capitalis vibrellator) in Carlisle castle, at 12d. per diem; George Blinco, cannonier there at 12d.; and Cuthbert Braddell cannonier there at 8d. per diem.
Latin. Indorsed: "28 Jan. 1595. Cannonieres at Carlile."
209. Eure to Burghley. [Jan. 29.]
I received your letter of the 9th, with her Majesty's and your own letters to the Bishop of Durham, and sent these to him the day after receipt, being the 15th. On the day after that prefixed for the sessions, I received the commission of peace for Northumberland, wherein I am misnamed "William," and have returned it by my solicitor to be "mended"—praying you that the Bishop of Durham be added to it. It were not amiss that a gaol delivery be had at Newcastle sometime in Lent, "accompaned" with the Bishop and some of the Council at York.
I do not yet keep a warden court, not having settled a fit place, finding "the Scott hath been interteyned through the Marche," causing abuses which deserved death; and have made public proclamation against conference with Scots or entering Scotland, which has done much good. One great abuse, viz., that blood is not satisfied but referred to the princes, has greatly incouraged the Scots. Buccleuch has cruelly murdered divers of the Doddes in Tyndale, and of late divers Charltons.
William Kerr in the East March with 5 others, murdered a poor man not suspecting them, in the field by day. Sir Robert Kerr, very lately since Sir John Selby's death, murdered one Storie at night in his house, "himself in presens," and a chief actor. The general certificate shows near 200 persons murdered, and no restitution of "quick for dead," by March law.
Another mischief is that our people are forced to pay tribute and intermarry with the thieves—and if one in my March is outlawed on an indictment, he flies to the West, and there as a fugitive brings in Scots. So we are almost Scots "amongst oure selves."
If it pleased you (without letting my entreaty be known), to cause Lord Scrope appoint meeting between us in his March or mine, to confer, as his father and Sir John Forster did, on certain points, he would more readily do it. I was with him at Carlisle at Twelfth day, who honourably advised me, but no general consultation "was concluded of." I inclose copy of the articles concluded on by the late lord Scrope and Sir John, to which I beg you to add such as you think necessary for our governments, protesting that if the Spaniards should come, as daily expected, not 100 light horse here, our thieves strong and well allied here, and with great clans in Scotland—we are in great danger.
On Tuesday, 28th December, 27 horse whose headsmen and leaders were Sir Robert Kerr's servants, spoiled the Earl of Northumberland's tenants in Ruggley "harde by Alnewicke." They were above two hours in the town, the fray came to Alnwick at 7 P.M., the bell was rung, and the fray continued till 10, as I am credibly informed. Yet though there were numbers of strangers in Sir John Forster's house that night, and 30 horse in his stable, as Mr Fenwick of Wallington tells me—Captains Carvell and Twiford with 100 men on their way to Lord Scrope—none rose to aid the town or follow the fray, but 2 men of Sir William Reade's, and one of Mr Beadnell's, who meeting one of the poor men "in his shirt naked," running there for aid, told him to complain, or they would find means to let your lordship know.
At the same time, two Scottish sirnames quarrelled as to spoiling another of Lord Northumberland's tenants—one would save and the other spoil him. He escaped spoiling, but his wife hurt and himself "scaped death verie nearelie." In revenge, the clan desiring spoil came on the Saturday after New Year's day, the 10th, with 25 horse, and "utterlie beggared" the town, "save one Salkeld whoe is married with Richard Forsters syster." Whether favour or acquaintance procured his good fortune, I know not. The country "rysse well, but light not of the trodd," so no goods rescued.
I can get no day watch set there either in "Cookdaile ward or Broomeishe waterr," notwithstanding my letters to Sir John and other gentlemen. So I have appointed them to meet me at Morpeth on 3d February to confer thereon. I have demanded redress from Sir Robert Kerr, without answer as yet, though I satisfied two bills of his "att his intreaty, to geve insample of justice." His wardenry being divided in three, I wait your directions.
There is no gentleman of worth in Northumberland not near of kin or allied to Sir John Forster. "I am aboute to draw your lordship a booke thereof," which I will send on my return from Morpeth, with a compendium of all the March laws in any King's time that come to my hands, the neglect of which by Sir John has ruined the country.
I send herewith the commissioners' names in treaties with Scotland, till the last in her Majesty's time, and a note of northern gentlemen fit to be employed in like affairs, as you desired. Though you have a more perfect note, yet as you commanded it, "I bouldlie adventure like blind Byard, to the same."
Sir John Forster is with the Bishop of Durham this night. On my return from Morpeth, I will send such complaints as I can gather against him, as you commanded. The above state of affairs on this March might have warranted a suit for more horsemen than her Majesty has allowed. If the weather had not favoured us, I had tasted the enemy's power ere now, and am warned that in Annandale, Ewesdale, and Liddesdale, they wait their time for attack, to meet which I have but footemen "naked" for want of horse. So it may please you to send them speedily out of Yorkshire, and as many as may do her Majesty service and better the country. Corn is scant and victuals dear, and a horseman cannot live under 1s. 6d. a day. I must also have officers, for the bands must be divided.
I would willingly save expense to her Majesty, but wish to die rather than betray her, and if the enemy come in with 200 horse as they intend, the help of our footmen will be "but casuall" against their good horses. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.
2½ pp. Closely written. Addressed. Indorsed.
Inclosed in the above:—
Commissioners' names authorized by King Henry VI., for the treaties with Scotland.—
Robert bishop of Durham; Alexander bishop of Chichester, lord privy seal; Jo. viscount Beamount lord high constable of England; Sir Tho. Stanley knight controller of the King's household; Rich. Andrewes doctor of laws.
By King Edward IV.:—
George bishop of Oxford, lord chancellor; Richard earl of Warwick and Salisbury, lord high chamberlain and warden of the West Marches; John earl of Northumberland; Lord Mountague lord warden of the East Marches; Raiph Graystocke; Sir William Haystinges knight; Thomas Kent doctor of laws; Sir James Strangwishe knight; Sir Robert Cunstable knight.
By King Henry VIII.:—
Sir Thomas Awdley chancellor of England; Thomas Cromewell esq. the King's secretary; Doctor Edward Foxe the King's almoner; Doctor Jo. Trignowell one of the King's counsaile; Doctor Guent official of Canturburie.
By King Edward VI.:—
Thomas bishop of Norwich; Robert Bowes knight; Leonard Beck with knight; Thomas Challonor knight.
By Queen Marie:—
Sir Thomas Cornwallis knight; Sir Robert Bowes knight.
By Queen Elizabeth in her 5th year:—
Henry lord Scroope; Sir John Forster knight; Sir Thomas Gargrave knight; Doctor John Rookeby.
"Immitating as neare as I canne the president of those former commissioners, I doe present unto your lordship for commissioners in this treaty, so farr as I cann, like to the former, viz."—
The Bishop of Durham; the Lord of Hunsdon or his deputy; the Lord Scroope or his deputy; the Lord Eure; Sir William Bowes knight; Sir Cuthbert Collingwood knight; Mr John Fearne one of the Council at York; Clement Colmer doctor of law.
2 pp. Indorsed: "Jan. 1595. Commissioners for treatinge with Scotland."
210. [Robert Bowes] to [Burghley]. [Jan.]
Mr Wyndibancke having signified to me your lordship's pleasure to deliver the names of gentlemen fit in my opinion to take the government of the Middle March till her Majesty's resolution, I am bold to present the following, viz.—
Northumberland.—Raufe and Edward Gray esquires. Robert Delavayle and Robert Clavering esquires, fit to be assistants in commission to either of the first.
Yorkshire.—Sir William Mallory, knight, Sir William Bowes, knight, treasurer of Berwick "and to be" warden of the Middle Marches, which will avail her Majesty's service much, he lying at Alnwick. Sir Thomas Fairfaix, knight, junior.
"Humblie referringe the consideracion hereof to your lordships grave wisdome, and besechinge the contynuaunce of your lordships honorable meanes to procure my discharge." No signature.
½ p. Contemporary hand. Flyleaf and indorsement gone.
211. Eure to Burghley. [Jan. 31.]
On the 29th I received yours of the 24th instant, calling for answer of your former letter of the 9th. I forbore replying, in full assurance that my lord of Durham would have written to your lordship in answer to the letters I sent him, and pray your pardon.
I am troubled how to draw articles on Sir John Forster's service, nor see how I can find more than the late Earl of Huntingdon reported to your lordship. By the muster books he gave me, there were "in anno 1580," 1134 serviceable light horse, and at my entry 75 only appear, some of these not fit for service. But being hastened by your letter of the "26" instant, I inclose these articles drawn as well as the shortness of time admits, and also such gentlemen's names here for your lordship's selection, if approved of.
I send also copies of a letter from the King of Scots procured by Buccleuch, and one "from him to me likewise," craving restitution for a bill of Will Ellott, "tilled by the lord ambassador legende Mr Bowes as is written," of which I know nothing. Since that "facte" by the Dodes, Buccleuch, Will Ellott and 200 horse, have murdered and burned in Tyndale, unredressed. I pray your lordship for speedy direction. Hexham. Signed: Ra. Eure.
1 p. Flyleaf and address lost.
Inclosed in the same:—
"Certaine noates of abuses supposed to be commytted by Sir John Forster since his goverment in the Middle Marches."
Days of truce.—The warden has generally met the Scots for redress, 8 miles from any part of his own March, contrary to old custom, to the vexation and trouble of his March, and to the ease of Scotland, 20 or 40 miles "from the furthest part of the Mid Marche." And he was so weakly attended and "confusedlie disordered" through his confidence in the Scots, that the Queen received great indignity, viz.
At Stawford.—Richard Reveley of Chatton, gentleman, mortally wounded and died.
At the Readswier.—Sir George Hearon, his own deputy warden and keeper of Harbottel, slain; Sir John himself taken prisoner; Sir Francis Russell hurt and taken prisoner, Sir Cuthbert Collingwood prisoner, with many more gentlemen, taken to "Dawkeath" to the Regent, and divers slain.
At Cocklaw.—Sir Francis Russell slain.
His dealings with great bills of burnings, day forays, murders, &c., when redressed at all, were done "cleane contrary to law, equitie and custome of the Borders."
Great bills of murder, &c., fyled and by the King's special order appointed to be delivered "with dobles and sawfy," have been deferred for the last three years, and no days of truce held till about August last.
Scottish thieves "thrise fyled" and delivered to him, have not been executed according to the Commissioners' book at Carlisle, nor when "taken with the manure."
He licensed Liddesdale and East and West Teviotdale thieves to have their "goodes" go on English ground, and if taken or impounded, restored them or delivered the takers.
He has done justice to Scotland, getting none in return.
Harbottel castle, where no gentleman has "layde" in defence of that country these 30 years,—save Sir George Hearon for less than 3 years—is now in great ruin to the loss of the country, notwithstanding her Majesty has been at charges for the same.
Marriages tolerated betwixt the gentlemen of the March and thieves and English fugitives, who plunder nightly on the Tyne,—and intermarriage with Scots a principal annoyance, viz.—Forster with the Humes of the Merse; Selby with Rotherforth of East Tevidale; Collingwood with Hall of East Tevidale; Reade with Armestronge of Liddesdale; Gaier with Mowe of East Tevidale.
Names of gentlemen for commissioners in this service:—
The Bishop of Durham; Sir William Bowes; Mr Stanupp; Mr Cardenall; Mr Fearne; Mr Clement Colmour doctor of law; Robert Bowes junior.
2 pp. Marginal notes by Eure. Indorsed by him and Burghley.