James VI: March 1590

Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593. Originally published by His Majesty's General Register House, Edinburgh, 1936.

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, 'James VI: March 1590', in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) pp. 245-262. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp245-262 [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "James VI: March 1590", in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) 245-262. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp245-262.

. "James VI: March 1590", Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936). 245-262. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp245-262.

In this section

James VI: March 1590

357. [James VI.] to the Council of Scotland. [Mar. 4.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 431.

"Right trustie and welbeloved Couns . . . (fn. 1) Sen William Shawes dispeshe from . . . nomber of our contry shipps may be sent . . . vessellis designit for our transport . . . meete to lett the note delivered to our trustie counsallor Collonel . . . shipps be still insysted in, notwithstanding of the fewer . . . other letter to yow with the said William, ye shall therefore lett the . . . in the said note, or failing thereof so many as may with . . . of the burroughs be sent hither with all possible expedicion . . . of wynde and weather serving yow they may be heir before the . . . Aprill."

"Let the thre Spaniardis and James Colvile their pilott be comm . . . . firmante, and there retened unreleved, unrelaxit upon ca . . . till our hame comming. Assure likewise their bark that in any wa . . . not till she be sett at libertie by a warrant from our self as ye . ., us thereupon. Give order likewise for keping of the remanent. Lett the . . . of Hallyroodehouse be hanyte and kept to our use and name [sic] be imput, ke . . . out Thomas Chiwre till we come home and be your advises take such order with it as salbe thought convenient."

"Thus remitting frther [sic] of our mynde to the order which we have sent by our . . . of work which we doubt not to finde effectuall at our landing." "Coupniahaven."

Postscript—"Assure yourselves if Colvill and the Spaniardis be releved either before or a[fter] receipt of this letter whill my comming, whoever of the Counsell . . . it or consentis thereto salbe the first turne I do to put them owt [of the] Cownsale as papistis and practisers. Faile not also to buite Co . . . sickerly."

1 p. Copy.

358. [ ] to James Hudson. [Mar. 5.]

"Ze sall wnderstand that I ressavit zour letter on the 27 day of Fevruar, and I wuld have wretin to zow sundrie tymes befoir gif I hed gettin convenient caryarris fra Senserffe com away; but I did nocht knaw till thai ver on horsbak and Eduert Jhonstoun and sic utheris. Ze sall understand that I wryt a letter to Mr. secretarie quhairin I wryt a copy of a letter that ves cum out of Spane fra Mr. Robert Bruce, at the leist the effecter of it. There ves money uther letters com at that tyme, sum fra the Kyng of Spane, sum fra the bischopes of Ross and Glascow, and utheris fra the Jesuitis that be in France, smelling all to that effect that I wryt to his honour; and he wryt to me a letter agane of his opynion, geving me thankis for my adverteismentis for sic thyngis as com to my knawleg. But the treuth is—and ze and I wil bayth se it and we leiff—that it will nocht fall out eftir his opynioun that meiter that he wryt to me the answer, for thair is sic cunowndis [sic: covenants] betuixt Johne Medena that zeid away in the crownaris schip and our lordis in the north that thai will nocht faill to keip cunound to hym quhen he is abill to performe the thing he tuik in hand; and thai haif gettin letters subscryvit with the Kingis awin hand from Madareill that he sall keip all thingis that wes promeisit be his servand Johne Medena sa sone as wind and vedder may serwe now in the spring. And thai luk that Johne Medina sall haif or be in gret credeit with conducting his forces that he is abill to mak out of Spane, and sall bring sylver or gold to tak upe ten or twentie [or] thirtie thousand men in this cuntrie: and gif the gold cum, thai have promeisit to get the men, and I think thai will do meikill to performe it to."

"Ze sall wit that this cuntry hes bene very quyet sen his majesteis departing, till now of lait that thingis is breking up in slauchtteris and trublis, sum be the Erl of Huntlie hes tane Ballingowin and bandounis the north at his pleasour, And giff the Spanzeartis be abill to cum with ony forces heir he is myndit to duell in Arbroth in my Lord Ogilby houss."

"As to wryt ony thing of my maister I will not, for I trow he be now maid coksure, or ellis it will preiff a veray lousblok; but at the leist the maist part of the rest disdanes hym becaus of his honest kymmer. Thai feir ther be a farder mater past recovering."

"I will nocht truble zow with farder letters, becaus I am to cum my selff schortle, for I am nocht at lesar to wryt the tent part of that quhilk I wald wryte wnto zow; but I will requeist zow to follow that mater ernisfullie that I have committit to zour charg, and shaw zour freind and myne that I am to cum my selff shortlie; luking and surlie persuadit that ze sall get the maiter dispatched afoir I cum at his honouris handis, or than I will grow waik in fayth in that respect gif it be nocht dispached shortlie. Efter my awin cuming I will nevir trubull my self with farder suite nor nane of my freindis."

"Ze sall wit that Mr. Patrik Gallavey is send with a commission fra the kirk: upoun the 3 of Marche he imbarkitt toward Denmark; he hes hed a fare vynd; desyring his majestie to haist hym hame, in respect the cuntrie and kirk standis in danger gif he be ony quhyll absent. But the lord that favouris Spane and Frans and [sic: is] of that opynion that the Spanzeartis salbe heir afoir his majestie return, or at the leist gold and money to tak up men to serve tham agains Ingland." Edinbugh. Signed: "ze vat quha."

pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

359. Proclamation of the Council of Scotland. [Mar. 6.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 432. Cf., Calderwood, Hist. of the Krk, Wodrow Soc., v. 45-9, 89.

"The lordis of secreit counsell hering sundry bruitis and rumours also plattis and preparationis for the truble of the trew and Christeane . . . (fn. 2) this realme and perrilling of the Kingis majesteis estait and standing . . . bayth having the selff same freindis and commoun enemeis subject . . . standing and decay, hes thoght meit for preventing of the d . . . alsweill to the ane as to the uther, that first of all the godlie and his maiesteis gude subjectis salbe knawin and decernit fra thaire dispositioun. And to this effect the saidis lordis hes gevin and gra[nted] gevis and grantis full power and commissioun expres bidding a . . . under writtin all and sundrie erllis, lordis, barronis, fiehaldaris, ge . . . burrowis and utheris his hienes liegis quhatsumevir, of quhat rank a . . . be of, to call and convene befor the saidis commissioneris be thair missive, at quhatsumevir places and dayes thay sall think expedient, and to gif the confessioun of ther faith togidder with thair subscriptionis ther maid and subscrivit alriddie be his hienes and certane of his es . . . maintenance and defence of the said trew religioun, his majesteis person, withstanding of all foreyne preparationis and forcis tending to th . . . in cais any personis swa requirit. dissobey, that the ministeris . . . to admonitionis and finding thame obstinate caus the censur . . . aganis thame as enemeis to God, his majestie and to the commoun . . . cuntrie. And of the same thair proceidingis and diligence . . . prisbeterie of Edinburgh betuix and the xx day of Maij nixtocum [the] same may be presentit to the saidis lordis of his Previe Counsell . . . theranent as appertenis. And ordanis letters to be direct to make oppin proclamatioun at the mercat croces of this realme; and togidder with the said generall band of mantenance and confessioun be [blank] to quhome be thir presentis the . . . power and privileg therto, quhairthrow the same may the be . . . to pretend ignorance therof and to command and chairge all leigis to reddilie answer intend and obey the saidis commissioneris . . . as thay and everane of thame will answer to his hienes upon . . . and under all hiest pane ayme and offens that thay may give . . . his majestie in that behalf."

1 p. Copy. Indorsed.

360. Richard Douglas to [Mr. Archibald Douglas]. [Mar. 8.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 190.

" (fn. 2). . . I arrived in this towne . . . health, the third of this . . . that [ma]de my journey soe longe, partlie by evil weather but most by the foulnes and monstrous deepenes of the day [sic: way?]."

"It was my chance to come to the endeing of this banquett maid by the Earle Bothwell for the baptiseing of his daughter, wherein, by reason of the honour done to him by her majestie, by her ambassadour being a witnes therunto, he exceeded himselfe in magnificence. Upon the morrowe after my arrivall I delivered his Lordshipp her majestes lettre, with the other lettres I had, aswell from my Lord Chamberleine, Mr. Secretarye, as from your selfe, and thereafter delivered all such answeres as I had, aswell to such instructions as I carried from him to her majestie, as alsoe the severall advises it pleased her highnes counsell to retorne to his lordship by me."

"His lordship indeede receaved her majesties lettre verie kindlie, thancking her hyenes verie humblie that it pleased her soe graciouslie to thinck of him, but after that by longe conference he had perceived and viewed all my answeres I had to deliver, suppose they were favoureable and the advises verie well grounded, yet he did not perceive, as he plainelie confessed to me, that honourable and franke dealeing that both he looked for and I gave him hope of; which I must confes made me to feare that both my travell and paines had not onelie bene lost, but that was worse, produced evill effectes; that in place to wynne the noble man to the course that both your lordship and I liked of, I had rather more alienated him from that, nor given him occasion to followe it forth. But before we ended, upon the assurance your lordship gave him, and I confirmed to him, of the resolved intention of her majestie upon his honest behaviour and followeing forth the courses and advises given him to use him friendlie and honourablie, which I gave him to understand particularlie as yow informed me, he resolved, as I believed indeede, whatsoever shew he made, he was never in doubt, both to followe the honest course he had begunne, and by useinge in his dealinge hereafter the forme prescribed to him by her majestie, give therby a sufficient proofe howe willing and able he shalbe both in that suite donne to him and all other matters he may understand to be helpefull to . . . fullie bent . . . Therefore upon grave an . . . and weyeing the advises and answers I brought him, he hath concluded, first by himselfe and me, and then with the advise and likeing of her majestes ambassadour here resident, to followe both in that and in all his after actions this order following."

"First, accordinge to her majestes direction, he is to write an effectuall lettre to the Duke of Parma, according to the substance and forme sett downe in my memoriall. But bicause a lettre carryes noe replie, and then not certaine when anye answere may come, he hath resolved to send, and is presentlie in sending, a gentleman called James Graham, brother to the Lard of Fentrie, whoe shalbe the carrier of this lettre to the Duke, instructed particularlie with all the order sett downe, aswell in England for resisteing the King of Spaine and his designes and attemptes against that countrye, as alsoe the order taken in this countrey by the councell and estate, moved by the Queene of England and stirred upp by the ministers, both to resiste the comming of anye strangers therein, as alsoe to be vigilant over all such as are suspected to be favourers of that course, whoe are upon the appearance of anye commotion to be apprehended and made fast unto his majestes returne: tending in end to desier his altesse either to take in tyme such order that by stronge forces and spedie succours able to resist both their enymies here, and there stronge helpe they are to have from England, he and his confederates to that faction may be hastelie relieved, which he hardlie believes can come in tyme, or els to be contented that they, by their peaceable behaviour and breaking of for a tyme anye further dealinge, may provide for their suertie at home, and soe preserve themselves and faction in both the countries to a better and fitter . . . [s]aid Duke for the s . . . are [jo]yned the lettres of Fentrie to them . . . both to knowe the veritie of their preparations, and the newes thereof. But nether Fentrie nor his brother, whoe is the bearer, knowes anie thing of my lordes meaning, but that he means in verie dead that whereof he makes a shew."

"This bearer is commaunded to retorne with all expedition, and if he find not the passage readie by sea, to come into England and addresse himselfe to yow, to whom he carries a lettre to yow for that effect to be his saff conduitt. But bicause my lordes familiaritie with the Englishe ambassadour, principallie the baptisme, might bring him in suspition with the other faction, as indeede it hath bred some jealousie, he hath resolved to frequent noe more the Englishe ambassadour, but when he hath to doe, to use my mediation; and in like manner to give out in all his speaches that at my returne from England he had receaved noe contentment nor satisfaction in that he was putt in hoope of, but onelie wordes which tended to noe other end but onelie to cosen him; and that for his part he would have noe more to doe with that false and deceitfull nation."

"Some other meanes are alsoe devised to putt awaie that suspition of him, as the takinge of a packett which shalbe made purposelie to come out of that countrey, contayning some hard enterprise against him, which shalbe caused to fall into his handes. This dealing will easilie move them whoe are alredaie verie earnest to seeke him to be out of suspition and use him as they did before."

"The like course that he haith taken with the Duke of Parma he meanes to take with Spaine, if soe it shall please her majestie, for by the commodious occasion of this Spanishe barke, that he thinckes he hath sure at his devotion, he mynds to send one into Spaine instructed in like manner as the other, with commaund to retorne to him in all haist. But he . . . ."

"As to the oth[er] . . . instructions, my lord is even this day gone . . . the water to speake with some of the princip[all] . . . of that faction, and by their advise to appointe some day verie shortlie when they may meete privilie to conferr and resolve upon such matters as may tend to the benefitt of their cause, whereunto he is to use himselfe as he is directed, and to learne what he can of all their intentions and resolutions; whereof he shall, by me, from tyme to tyme advertise her majestie. And if he see their intentions like to come hastelie to anye dangerous effect, then he will cause appoint a generall convention of the whole nobilitie in this towne, whereupon the complaint and griefes given in by the borrowes and mynistrie, upon the apparance of some dangerous practises against the religion and present state, he shall cause the most dangerous to be apprehended and putt in sure custodie, and himselfe alsoe wilbe contented to be complained on and enter in ward for a space, till, by her majesties mediation by her ambassadour, he be sett at libertie; and for recompence of that favour he will openlie declare himselfe friend to that state, to the amitie betwixt the twoe countries, and enemy to all strangers and their favourers whoe would supplant religion and present state established by his majestie at his departure, and left to him in speciall chardge to maintaine. And then plainelie and openlie, with all his friendes, oppen himself to all dangers that may disturbe the present quietnes or diminishe the amitie betwene the twoe countries."

"This is in effect the some of my lordes resolution, whereunto noe man in the earth is privie, saving the ambassadour, Mr. Robert Bruce, and my selfe. Yow see my lord his intention, and I doubt not but he myndes sincerelie and honestlie to persequute, whereof yee may give assureance to her majestie and others . . . my lord opened . . . nothinge that he knowes, but nowe at this presente convention he will learne farther of it, aswell from whom they were directed as to what end further then I advertised. The names of the twoe that came hither were Bodstonne and Richmond. I have alsoe, by the other meane I told yow, good hoope to learne further of that dealing, whereof I shall advertise yow as I shall understand the truth."

"There is alsoe of late arrived at Dunbarton from Ireland a popishe bishoppe of that countrie, a base man whoe was once quietlie in this towne. His errand, as I understand, is to drawe a league and confederacie betwixt our iles and hylandes and the rebells of Ireland, and for that cause, it is thought, he is gone alreadie to Mull and Tyntire [sic]; but others saye he is over as yet in the north with Huntley and that faction. My lord hath promised to learn soe farre as he can of the same lords, and advertise me thereafter; as by my selfe and other meanes I have I shall doe my best to understand the truth of that and all other practises tendeing to the disquieting of her majestes estate, whereof I shall advertise yow in tyme."

"The Erles of Angus and Morton, with other your friendes yow writt unto, wilbe verie bent to imploy themselves and all they have for preservacion of quietnes and good amitie and intelligence betwixt the twoe realmes, and for defence of this ile against the invasion of whatsoever strangers."

"The present estate of this countrey continues as it did verie quiett in outward shewe and apparance, butt never moe practises and privie dealings, both by papistes and other malecontents, for altering of the state att the first sight of forreine forces, whereof their are divers bruites comes dailie to the eares of the provost and ministrie of this towne, watchfull above other for preservacion of the religion. But their is such order taken, that except the coming of forreine forces their is noe apparance of anie trouble; which if they be looked for shortlie my . . . the councell interponed the . . . strait artes made against all excomm . . . openlie professed wilfull papistes and their resetters and maintainers whatsoever, commissioners appointed in everie shire to search and enquire for such persons, and power to apprehend them and bringe them to this towne."

"The disorder that was upon the Borders is appointed to be redressed by the lievtenaunt, which ere nowe in that and all other matters had taken sufficient order, if first the storme had not staied his appointed journey, thereafter the lettres of Sir John Foster and Selbye, untill their next advertisement that matters were in readiness for his cominge."

"Maxwell is become more obstinate then he was, and the opinion conceaved of before of his quiet and peaceable behaviour is changed, for at the first sight of anie uproare he will not faile to sturre."

"As for his majestis retorne we have noe certaintie, nor is their yett, since Januarye that Coronell Stuart retorned, anie certaine word came from him. Their are certaine divers bruites that he should be gone to Denmarke over land, but soe uncertaine as I darr nott affirme them; they come from Hamburghe and Flanders. Mr. Patrick Galloway tooke saile towards him the same day I came to this towne, so that we expect some good newes from thence verie shortlie."

"Coronell Stuart is to goe thither, but expectes the reiking forth of a nomber of shippes appointed by the borrowes for the bringeing home of his majestie, which I thinck shalbe readie to make saile about the twentieth of this month."

"This is all I can write touching the affaires of this countrey, wherin if anie thing shall occurre either importing his majestes service or the state of the countrey, or of anie alteracion or appearance thereof shal fall out, I shall not faile with diligence to advertise your lordship as I doubt not ye will communicate the . . . they may both . . . [int]entions are, and the cou[rse he] myndes [fa]ithfullie to followe, with whatsoever he maie doe els for the benefitt of this service, whereunto as they shall thinck most expedient he will frame accions soe farr as in honour he may doe, whereunto he doubtes not but they will have principall regard; in the mean tyme requesting yow, as his principall trust is in yow, to travell soe with them that honorable consideracion may be had both of his good will and abilitie which wilbe a spurr to contynue in this honorable course."

pp. Copy.

361. Robert Bowes to Walsingham. [Mar. 16.]

On Saturday the 7th instant Bothwell passed to the house of the Laird of Balwery in Fife, where he found Fentry, and has since met with Huntly and Erroll; what is done is not yet known. He has written to Richard Douglas to such effect as will appear by his letter enclosed, which Richard Douglas thought meet to send to Walsingham.

Looked for Bothwell's return on Saturday last, but he has not come, and it is not known where he is. He has only one servant with him. "By his letter he seemeth to be purposed to lett the capten of the Spanish bark privilie escape with suche intelligence and trafick [with Spaine] as shalbe thought meete." Bowes had wished him to seek the stay of the captain, bark, and company until her majesty's pleasure should be known, according to the order of Council, "or els suffer them to depart [with] suche course as should be advised and directed for the discoverie of the preparacions and deseignes in Spane."

Walsingham's letter to the Chancellor of Denmark Bowes has delivered to Colonel Stewart, exhorting him to hasten his voyage. Bowes showed him his own letter from the Chancellor of Scotland, and told him that by other letters from Copenhagen he perceived that he is already looked for there. He promises to take the next wind and opportunity. Sends the Chancellor's letter enclosed, asking for its return, with direction as to his answer. The Justice Clerk had his dispatch for England on the 3rd instant. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

362. Robert Bowes to Burghley and Walsingham. [Mar. 16.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 353.

"This convencion assembled this last weeke to provide shipps to bring home the King and Quene have with some difficultie accepted [the] offers of the burrowes to rigg and sett fourth at their severall chardges sex shi[pps] agreable to the note inclosed; expressing their particular offers and protestac[ions] annexed. Order was given to furnishe and putt in readines these shipps w[ith] expedicion. And thereon the convencion and Counsell dissolved on Saterdaie the xiiijth hereof." The next day William Shawe, master of the King's works, arrived at Leith with the King's letters to his Council to set forward the ships for his transportation, and to be with him in the beginning of April; with other affairs. These letters be reserved to the meeting of the Council on the return of Sir Robert Melville, now at his house in Fife, and looked for tomorrow.

"The King came to Elsonare in January last, and f[rom] thence to Coupnahaven in Denmark, where this messenger left him the . . . hereof, with purpose to hasten his retorne hither with the Quene with all the spede he can; for th'expedicion whereof a convenient fleete is prepaired alr[eadie] and in readines in Denmark. And keping secrett the tyme to be appointed [for] th'imbarking of him self and the Quene, he intendeth to give the first war[ning] of his retorne by his owne arrivall in this realme, and before he shalbe lo[oked] for."

"Sundry about him think that he will imbark in the beginning of the [next] monthe. And by letters sent hither by the Lord Chancelour I perceive that the [King] is advised to prevent by his tymelie departure out of Denmark the excesse of chardges and troubles growing by the repaire of personages of great honour; whereupon it is thought that as muche emulacion as proffitt should spring upon the interview betwixt the King and them."

"The mariage of the Duke of Brunswick is deferred untill Trenitie Sonday next. Amongst the discourses of the great honours done to the King of Scottes and Quene [his] wife by the King of Denmark, his mother, brother, sister, the regents and nobil[ity] there, this messenger retorned hither giveth out very confidentlie tha[t the] Quene of Scottes is alredie discovered to be with childe." The report of this and other matters I leave to Justice Clerk, addressed to her majesty by the King, who shall be with you before the receipt hereof.

"It is looked that sondry of the nobilitie of this realme will spedelie provide [and] sett fourth to attend upon the King and Quene in their homecomming. And Sir [Robert] Melvill in this last Convencion perswaded the burrowes that the Lords Hamilton, Huntlay, Arrell, Marre, and others wold do this honour to the King. But I do not understand of any preparacions of vessells or other furniture in readines for their voyages."

"That you maie understand aswell the peticions presented to the Counsell by th'assemblie of the Churche gathered at this tyme, as also the consent of the Counsell to the same for th'execution of one former Act of Coun[sell] against Jesuites, seminaries, preistes, and excommunicates, I have se[nt] to yow the copies of the said peticions, the roll of the parsons named to be commissioners in every severall countie, and the proclamacion given fourth by the Counsell." (fn. 3)

It is hoped that the papists, and all seeking to draw foreign forces into this realm, shall be defeated by the inquiries of the commissioners, assisted by the Council, who have promised their best aid therein and in all affairs of the Church for the maintenance and discipline of religion. Most of the Council have personally attended the assembly, and promised their aid in the execution of these commissions.

The session is also now ended, so this town is provided with few of the nobility or Council, yet is it in such calm as hath not been since the King's entry to his reign.

"Th'erles of Huntlaie, Arrell, and the rest latelie convened are sondered. The[y are] verie curious to kepe secrett their resolucions, for th'erles have intertay[ned] secretaries for that purpose, and whilst their causes be in hand [they] will not suffer their pages or any other to be present. Arrell hathe late[lie] received Mr. David Harvy a great papist for his secretarie, and put awaie George Kinman upon suspicion that he should give intelligence of [his] doinges."

The Duke of Lennox intendeth to visit Huntly his brother-in-law, but the wise about him dissuade him. Hitherto they cannot draw him from it, yet they will [not] leave to stay him from his journey.

The Irish bishop of Derry ["Darie"] continueth in the north; "he hath ben with Arrell, and seketh to draw inte[lligence] betwixt the Spanish faccion in this realme and the frendes of Spain [in] Ireland. His appointment made to meete with the Ladie of Kintire in this towne is broken, for neither he nor the ladie came hither as some [of] there frendes looked for."

"I have bein with the Counsell assembled calling for redresse in the Bills of Sydewood and Wyndram now filed by the Warden of the Myddle Marches [of] Scotland. They have taken bond of Fernyhearst to be answerable, and promised to do the like with th'others filed, and to see execution of justice [with] favour and expedicion, desiering very earnestlie that the like may be done to them. Farniehearst hath sought to me to acquite him self of any evill intent to breake th'amitie, shewing the causes moveing him to attempt the roade at Sydewood, and offering all good offices in his powre to please her majestie."

"This daie I was informed by Mr. David Black, late scolemaster in England, [that] in his passage betwixt th'isle of Man and Glasco in a Scottish vessell the Spanish bark came to them and assailed them, so as they looked to have [been] sonck by the bark, untill she discovered them to be Scottishmen, and then she spaired them, saieing that if they had bein English they should all have sought the bottom of the sea. The bark held her course to the west, seming th[at] she sought to come about the isles. And the Lard of Barneburrow saith that she is comed to th'isle of Ryen in the waie to Dunbarton [and] is like to come about." Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

363. Bothwell to [the Duke of Parma]. [Mar. 17.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 187.

". . . (fn. 4) esta . . . [h]ave receyved effectes agreable to the good pleasure of the Kinge of Spaine, and for the advancement of his service undertaken by his friendes in this countrey. But haveing hitherto noe resolution for progresse of the same, I doe presentlie fynd the cause distressed with manye impediments, and soe farre endangered as the present condicion of this tyme and of theis affaires cannot suffer noe delay in the expedition either of sufficient meanes to be immediatelie applied for prevencion of the dangers incurred, or els of tymelie stay to awaite better opportunitie hereafter, for the saftie of the cause and the parties interested therein. And that your highnes maie understand both the great preparacions in England by sea and land to defeate the designes of the Kinge of Spaine, and hastelie to stirre upp and joyne with this estate to route out all persons devoted to the said Kinges service and alsoe the decrees and . . . of the councell and state of this realme, with the support of England, to suppresse and ruynate all men attempteinge the alteracion of this estate, or draweinge forreyne forces into this countrey, which hardlie can be brought hither in tyme and without which the powers of your friendes here suffice not to withstand the forces prepared and to be spedilie imploied against them; therefore I have thought good to instruct this bearer in all the particularities of the matters mentioned, and therewith to addresse him to your highnes to informe yow fullie in the same, righte hartelie praieing yow to give him firme creditt therein as to myselfe, and uppon your good deliveracion thereof that it may please yow to retorne him spedilie to me with your mynde and resolution how the dangers appearinge may be prevented, and what myselfe and your other friendes in this accion shall certainlie looke for, to the entent we may prepare our selves to proceede in the cause, or otherwise provide for our safgardes by the tymelye stay of our . . . ."

"High . . . shall at more large . . . by the bearer in the meane season . . . your highnes that for my owne part I shalbe readye to doe therein as I shalbe directed soe farr as in anye way I may, my dutye onely reserved to his majesties my soveraignes person."

p. Copy.

364. Bothwell's Message to the Duke of Parma. [Mar. 17.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 187

"A Copie of the instructions from Bothwell to the Prince of Parma."

"Firste, to recounte to his altesse the effectes of my former and present letters addressed to his highnes, lettinge him knowe that by my former I certyfied that with great difficultie and danger the affaires of the service of the Kinge of Spaine in this countrey were prepared and brought to such estate as the successe was evident to have bene to his majesties contentment if the service had bene pursued as the opportunitye offred."

"By the delay of resolution and order to have bene directed for the progresse of the cause the execution ceased and was stayed. In the meane tyme sundrie matters of the plott, chieffly in the travell of the Jesuits and like instrumentes for intelligences, have bene discovered to the Queene of England, and the estate in Scotland. Whereby great jealousies being conceaved againste the principall sorte of the party for the Kinge of Spaine, the Queene hath stirred this Councell and state with large offers of aid, and they accorded and resolved to seeke the hastie overthrowe of the Spanishe confederates, and this estate is still readye with the supporte of the Queene of England, prepared by sea and land, to proceede in the enterprise. So as the King of Spaine's friendes heere are in danger of immediate destruction . . . the offer . . . behaviour and deserveing, my course of necessitie must be taken for preservation of the cause and parties for better opportunitye, in case his highnes cannot give reliefe in season."

"The Queene of England, as I am certainlie advertised by some of my freindes their, for the increse of her navye, hath not onelie repared her owne shippes, and caused all her subjectes to repaire all their vessells serviceable for the wars, but alsoe she hath builded manye newe shippes of great strength, and contributed with some of her richest merchants to build other stronge vessells. All thes wil be readie to discend into the seas in the end of this month of Marche. She hath alsoe chosen and appointed a great number of the best of her other subjectes shippeinge, and given order to stay in all havens and portes within the countrey all shippes of strangers, as well as her subjects. Soe that the navie to be imploied in the service this yeare will farr exceede the other that was sent againste the Duke of Medina."

"The officers, souldiers, marryners, provisions, and all manner of furnitures, are provided in large manner and readie to serve, and the chieffe governours and commanders have directions to attend their severall chardges, wherein the admiral the Erle of Cumberland, the Lord Henrye Seymour, and manie other noblemen and gentlemen, experimented on the seas and of great courage, shalbe imploied."

"It is thought the Queene shall have a stronge navye to encounter with the navye of Spayne and besides to imploy sundrie other fleetes to attend on the coast of France, Flanders, Ireland, and chiefflie the coastes of Scotland; for which purpose one speciall fleete is desired and appointed, and the same is to be readye upon the sight of anie fier or trouble kindling in Scotland or upon the . . . of the councell [sic] and estate there . . . (fn. 5) [h]ave noe . . ."

". . . For the armye of her subjectes by lande . . . is taken that in everie severall countye in England a certeyne number shalbe armed and trayned. Theis are all in readines with armour and weapons, and the numbers are such as they be able to make and compleat three severall armies, haveing of footemen and horsemen in everie armye thirtie thowsand. Theis have their captaines appointed and are readye to marche upon a daies warneing, by the commandement of the lieutenaunt in severall limitts of the realme."

"The rest of the realme are commanded to arme themselves on horseback and foote, according to the lawes of the countrie that appointeth everie one, accordinge to his qualitie, to have armour, weapon and horse; soe as the whole realme is drawen to armes and in verye great strength."

"The Councell and estate in Scotlande, being provoked by the earnest meanes of the Queene of England and the vehement and continuall exhortations of the mynisters, seekes to putt all the banished Jesuits, semynarie priestes, and all professed catholikes, together with all that are knowen to be instruments to drawe into this realme anie forreyne forces for the chaunge of religion, state, and governement established by the King in his absence. And they are partelie soe jealous of some practice against theis thinges, as they will take armes against such as they suspect: soe as the favourers of Spaine must either declare themselves to have abandoned such courses indeede, or els they shalbe continuallie subject to many soddeine dangers."

"According to the contents of my present letters you shall shew him the effectes of the matters mencioned, and lett him understand in how dangerous estate his friendes in this realme doe stand; whereupon you shall requier him either to send to them . . . (fn. 6) is not likelye that he can send forces and succour in due tyme, ye shall then, uppon sight of his disabilitye, deniall or delay, perswade that his said friends may, with his favour, seeke their best helpes, and that thereupon he doe then forbeare to send forces into anie parte of this ile to kindle a newe fier against his friends aforesaid."

"Lastelie, that yow procure and gett both a perfect notice of his full resolution in theis things, and alsoe his letters to informe and satisfie me in the same."

3 pp. Copy.

365. Robert Bowes to Burghley and Walsingham. [Mar. 20.] Cott. Calig. D. I., fol. 357

"Upon the breaking up of the Kinges packett at the retorne [of] Sir Robert Melvill, there were found in the same two generall letters to the counsell, the copies whereof I send inclosed, with the copie of th'instructions delivered to William Shaw—and committed onelie to his owne handes, one particular letter against Alexander Scott—procurer of the troubles of the Scottes men staied in Spaine—sondry letters severallie addressed to divers noblemen, counsailours, officers, and others, together with one to [my]self, which also I send inclosed to you, with humble request to retorne it to me af[ter] the reading thereof."

The overture offered by Colonel Stewart was motioned to the King before his departure out of Scotland, and embraced in Denmark since his coming thither, with advice that the cause might be so carried by the King and Denmark and so brought to her majesty's knowledge, as the motion for the treaty might proceed from her, as may be known to Burghley and Walsingham by Justice Clerk now coming with this negociation and further requests to her.

Justice Clerk desired to make his first repair in this journey through Scotland and the report of his errands to her majesty, and then, in company with such as she might send, to resort to the Duke of Saxony; but by the Chancellor's advice he is directed to go first through Germany to the Duke of Saxony and Duke Maurice, and thence to her majesty.

The King is advertised from England that Colonel Stewart shall bring him notice of her majesty's mind in this behalf. Bowes has acquainted the Colonel that the King looks for him, and calls daily upon him to hasten his voyage. He promises to embark on Sunday next, praying that his business committed to Mr. Richard Douglas, who goes shortly to Burghley and Walsingham, may be furthered by her majesty.

The griefs lately fallen between Earl Marischal and the Chancellor are rather outwardly smoothed than inwardly reconciled. "And albeit the former drynes betwixt the Lord Chancelour and Justice Clark before their depa[rture] out of Scotland was likewise by the Kinges meanes taken awaie, yet the skar appeareth againe to threaten a new sore."

Sundry in the realm are so set against the Chancellor as it is to be feared that after the King's return the calm shall be turned to storm. Burghley and Walsingham may minister to quietness. Has seen the affection of the Justice Clerk to her majesty's service, and wishes he may now receive comfortable entertainment.

"The Kinge hathe reformed th'order of his chamber, allowing ordinarily but iiijer gen[tlemen] therein; th'others be now extraordinarie; and he professeth to use all frugalitie, carefull to be able to intertaine the noblemen of Denmark comming hither [with the] Quene with like honour as hath bein given in Denmark to suche as be with [him]; wherein he trusteth muche to be releived by her majestie, as by Justice Clark [will be] made knowne unto you."

"The yonge Lard of Whittingham is sent to the Dukes of Brunswick and Mickleb[urg] to excuse the Kinge of Scottes departure before the mariage of Brunswick, [and to] intreat them to come into Scotland at their good tyme."

The Spanish bark still lies off the coast at Whithorn, and not likely to be stayed, notwithstanding the King's letters to his Council, and his protestation in the postscript to his last letter, written with his own hand.

Huntly, Erroll and others of that faction have been at Buchan ["Boughen"] They had meant to have convened next week at Montrose, but their conference at Buchan and the news of the King's speedy return may defeat that. They often come together to do their devotions at a common mass rather than to deliberate of matters of state: yet foreign forces are still looked for.

"The Duke of Lenox jorney to mete Huntlay his brother at Montrosse is stayed by th'advice of his good freindes."

"[I] have seene some letters severallie addressed by Mr. Edward Forster at Newp[ort] and by Stephans Legarata the capten of Newport to the Lord Harri[es], Andro Karre, Mr. Alexander King and others suspected to be of the Spanish faccion. I finde litle matter therein, other then occurrentes passed of late tyme, and advertisement that the corselettes to have bein prepaired can not nowe be gotten [and] sent; that the virginalles can not be made readie, and other like matters prooving—as I thinck—that the forces to have bein imploied and sent hither are staied. But this is onelie myne owne conjecture upon conceit of the saide wordes in the letters mencioned."

"It is also certified that the Kinge of Spaine hathe readie and will send lxx. shipps into Ireland. That in Biscayne the Kinge hathe made 1. gallies, light and of the fashon of En[gland]." Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

2⅓ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

366. Robert Bowes to Walsingham. [Mar. 20.]

"321 [Bothwell] is not yet retorned hither," nor any advertisement come from him since his last letters to Richard Douglas: he is looked for this night or tomorrow. He has been with Huntly and Erroll at Buchan, and is said to be "farre entred into a course with them."

The news of the good success of the King of France against the Duc du Maine has greatly troubled the Spanish party. Fentry sent a messenger to learn the truth of it, who said that if it were given out by Bowes they would know it to be true, and would meet sooner than they had appointed. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

2/3 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

367. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Mar. 24.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 355.

"On Soundaie last, the xxijth hereof, I r[eceived] your letter of the xvijth of the same, (fn. 7) finding thereby bothe her majestes mislikinge of [the] course taken by th'erle Bothwell, and expressed in the letters of Mr. Richard Douglas to Mr. Archbald his uncle, and also her majesties pleasure to change the same co[urse] to suche latter advise as her majestie hath given and imparted to Mr. Archbald, which he then well liked and promised to have certified and sent hither viij [or 9] daies before the addresse of your letter to me."

"Understanding that James Grame, brother of Fentre and prepaired to be imp[loyed] and sent by Bothwell to the Duke of Parma, was readie to have imbarked and made sale the next daie following, (fn. 8) I did therefore imediatelie after the receipt [of] your letter call for and conferre with Mr. Richard herein. And opening to him [her] majestes mynde in the same, I have with his helpe readelie staied and broken the dispatche of James Grame. And the next daie, so soone as I could gitt the Erle at leisure, I did acquaint him with the causes moving her majestie to alte[r and] drawe his former course intended into a waie of more suertie and stan[ding] more agreable with the direction of the King committed to him self, and better concurring with her majestes owne opinion appearing in the memoriall de[livered] to Mr. Richard. And albeit that Mr. Archbalds letters and advertise[ments] of her majestes latter advise was not yet commed to his lordship, Mr. Richard, [or] myself by the negligence of the carier or other accident, yet I let [him] knowe that the somme and effect of her majestes said latter course advised and de[livered] to Mr. Archbald was, that he should directlie and plainelie notifie his disposition to be to answere the chardge and trust left with him by the King, which [was] to kepe the realme in quietnes from all forraine faccion and practise, [and to] kepe good peace and amitie betwixt her majestie and the King, notwithstanding [his] absence; for I finde this direction given me in a sommarrie manner by your letter for my informacion of her majestes meaning in the latter platt."

"These I [so] enlarged and perswaided, and Mr. Richard did so ioyne therein with me, (fn. 9) as that the Erle willingly consented to staie and leave of his form[er inten]ded course in the imployeng of Grame and otherwise, and to be readie to follow her majesties ad[vise] and to make open declaracion of his determined resolu[cion to] sett him self w[ith all] his powre against all persons and practisers seeking to draw into a[ny] part of this isle any forraine forces, or to attempt th'alteracion of the rel[igion], state, or peace in this realme, or breache of th'amitie betwixt these two cr[owns]. And for the quenching of th'intelligence with Parma, to be done in suche good and sure sort as shall acquite him self and honour from the blemish of any dishonour, and work most suertie to the common causes, he thincketh it convenient for him to give up the said intelligence with Parma by some fitt person to execute the same with the privitie and counsell of her majestie. And therefore he hath resolved that within two or three dayes after that he shall have received the letters from Mr. Archbald Douglas, he will againe imploy and send to her majestie Mr. Richard Douglas, to th'intent he may by him understand her majestes good pleasure and mynde in th'effects and meanes of his courses to be holden with Parma, and others in Scotland, in the publick declaracion of his owne resolucion; and also that Mr. Richard may repaire to the Duke of Parma—if her majestie thinck it so convenient—to do such offices with him as her majestie shall direct and advise. For he hathe very francklie affirmed that for the manner of the breaking up of th'intelligence with Parma in honora[ble] manner to him, and for his dealinges with others, and to preserve the good estaites and quietnes of this isle, chefely in the Kings absence, he will follow her majesties good counsell. And [if] she so please, he will ether abandon and leave this realme and all service and doin[gs] therein for suche tyme as she shall thinck good, or els to serve her majeste in his per[son] on sea or by land as she shall appoint him, as Mr. Richard Douglas shall at [his] comming have power to signifie more at lardge; and at which tyme also Mr. Richard will discover to her majestie suche intelligence as th'erle knoweth to c[oncern] her majestie and th'estaites of these realmes. The report whereof he reserveth to the coming of Mr. Richard, that he maie advertise the same with better certaintie then ye yet can do."

"Albeit that th'erle wrote to Mr. Richard that he had appointed to mete the lordes [at] Torray nere Bochen, and that sondrie have informed me that they were comming together as before I have certified by my former, yet he assured me that h[e did] not meete with Huntlaie or Arrell in all this tyme of his absence, but was occupied to knitt a fast band with Athell, Murray, and others Stewardes to wyne against Huntlaie. (fn. 10) For conclusion of which bond he is gone againe ov[er the] water, with many of his frendes, pretending to make up this band among[st the] Stewardes and sondrie Hyeland men against Huntlaie, and to enter into accion against him. Howsoever it be, there is preparacions of great assemblies, and the most of all these noblemen suspected, Maxwell and o[thers], have all their men under warning, and also chardged to have in readines armour and weapon."

"Bothwell, newlie retorned on Saterdaie last, was advertised that the Spa[nish] bark [was c]ommed about from the coast of Whitehorn to the back of May in the mouth of this Firthe; and verie late in the night he sent me not[ice] aswell of the arrivall of the bark at the May, as also that the capte[n of] the same bark being in his chardge intended to escape secretlie and pass awaie that night with the bark, advising me to deale with the Duke [for the] apprehension of the capten; which advise I followed, and found the Duke v[ery] willing to send to the provost of this towne to staie the captaine: whereupon the provost sending that night to Leithe where the captain was clos[ely] lodged, and whereof I gott knowledge, did take, and now kepeth him in his custodie untill the Counsell shall determyn of him."

"Th'erle thincketh that [the] bark, upon knowledge of the apprehencion of the captaine, will passe her way to Dunkirk: yet he will seke to staie her by all the meanes he can, and at least to recover into his handes James Colvill the pilot that is in her, who the King hathe directed to be kept and booted. Th'erle Bothwell thincketh that he was in a house where the Irish Bushopp was kept close during his aboade there. He is in hope to take him in cas[e he] shall hold his jorney to the Hyeland as presentlie he is purposed. But I doubt of the successe thereof."

"This estate contineweth in good quietnes, and presentlie the most part of all the counsellours left here are readie to depart for some tyme. Whereupon this towne and others well affected, thincking it meet to give good regard to matters, are purposed to take some order therein; so as I trust this peace and quietnes shalbe preserved, or at least th'estate shalbe warned of the danger arising." Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

2⅓ pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

368. James VI. to Robert Bowes. 1590. [Mar. 31.]

"Goode Bowis, since this is the last messinger that is, God willing, to be sent to Skotland before my owin cumming, I have thocht goode to writt unto you thir few lynis with him, but the faithfullness of the bearare knowin to you will make me the shorter."

"Since the writting of my last unto you I receavid youre lettir, quhairby amongest other thingis I perceave thaire hes bene sum roadis on the borderis by sum on my syde. Well, quhat is possible to ane absent man to do thairin I have gevin ordour with this bearare to the Counsall thaire. I do still continew in matteris of justice and keeping of amitie twixt the two realmes in that same mynde that ye have found me of before tymes."

"I have lyke wayes harde of the releif of those that waire aprehendit in the Spanishe barke, quhairof I wounder not a littill; but quhat direction upon the first advertishement of thaire aprehension I sent thaire I trust or now is cum to youre eares. Alluayes care not how evill any thaire against thaire promeise do behave thaime selfis, for ye may assure youre self my goodwill is tyed to no man in Skotlande anie longer then he swervis from following me in that course and profession that I wrotte of in my last lettir unto you."

"I pray you trust the bearare—for thairfor have I chosin him—in suche thingis as I have directid him to deall with you into concerning my state, ather in generall or particulaire, for I dowbt not of youre forduartness in my affaires. From the staitlie castell of Crouneburge." Signed: James R.

Postscript—"Quhat is amiss in absence I assure you shall be repairid in presence."

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.

369. James VI. to the Lords of the Council. [Mar. 31.]

"Sen this beirer now is the last messinger that I mynd, God willing, to send before my owne arrivall, I have chosen him the rather for that cause bicause he is ane of that nomber and swa wil have the better creditt and authoritie amongst you for seing put in execution sic directions as I have given concerning my honour at this tyme. Therefore seing I have made choise of sic a bearer, I will absteyne from writing any forther, nocht doubting but ye all in generall and every ane of you in particuler according to your powre and office will leave nathing undone of my commandementes so farre as lies in you, and so drive fourth the inche as ye have done the span. For now they who would have perfect thanckis will continew whill they end thir few daies quhill my retorne, as I can not surely but praise all your behaviour in tyme past."

"Remember then that not the gait but finis coronat opus. I praie you assure your selves that whatsoever this bearer dealis in it is by my command, and therefore as preciselie as ye can follow my directions; 'nam obedienciam mallem quam sacrificium.'" "From the castle of Croneburghe."

½ p. Copy. Indorsed: "Brought by the Lard of Carmighell."

370. "Direction to the Laird of Cormichall and answers therto xx.o Aprilis 1590." [Mar. 31.]

1. "To travell with the Counsell that the ordour set downe and sente by William Shawe may be effectuat in everie pointe."

2. "To require the Counsell to deale with the towne of Edenburghe for the uplifting of two hundreth hagbutters well armed and in good arraye to keepe the same and serve his majestie as the salbe comaunded induring the remayning of the strangers."

3. "To levie and take up ane hundrethe horsemen and ane hundrethe footemen for a standing garde unto his majestie."

4. "That the horsemen for there ordinarie service in attending one his majestes person be provided of gilt holbardis after the fashion of suche as were taken up by the Erle of Huntlie; and be in good array and men of service."

5. "That everie hagbutter of the foote gaird have a morrion with his hagbut and flaskes well mounted and in good ordour."

6. "To see that Thomas Fowlis have the remaines of the seaven hundrethe poundes sterling appointed for the cheiners forth coming in cheine worck so soone as he can possible, wherof his majestie understandeth there is as yet no more received nor four score and ten pounds' worth."

7. "To see the ordour devised before for his highnes banquettis be still followed forthe and all thingis appointed therfore at that time commanded anew and prepared againe his highnes landing."

8. "Speciallie that the Flemishe sugerman may be comaunded to have in redines all suche confections and sweet meatis as before he toke in hand for the said banquettis."

9. "That the ordour set downe before toward the furnishing of sheepe and nolt be still followed forthe, and the comptrolleour and others intrometters with so many as were received to that use have them in like readines against that time."

10. "To see the fyre worck prepared of before be now forth comaund."

11. "To require the Counsell to write to James Cheiseholme that he will have the fyve thowsand markes geven him for preparacion of interteignement of ther stra[n]gers of before forthe comming at his highnes landing."

12. "That by missive letters the counsell will give ordour that none of the nobilitie be present at his highnes landing except the Duke of Lennox, the Lord Hammelton, the Earle[s] Bothwell, Atholl, and Mar."

13. "That the Countisse of Mar and Lady Thurlesten be written to by the Counsell, to adrese them to Edonburghe and to awaite upon her highenes landing, accompanied with suche other ladies of honour and yong gentlewomen as they shall chuse to attend uppon her highnes service."

14. "That his highnes rentis and victuall of this last yeare be converted in silver and had in readines against his highnes home cominge."

15. "That seeing the comptrolleour in his lettres to the Chancellour takethe allowance of the feris and dewties owinge this yeare by gone to the pulformeirs, laques, and others inferriour officers in his hignes house, the same be satisfied and payed accordinglie, forbearing anye payment of fees to Mr. Houshaleis [sic] or Mr. Stabularis till his highnes home cominge."

1. "Item, to remember to cause dresse Thomas Lindseys house."

2. "Item, to remember to take lodgingis for all the gentlemen in case they remane there all night; and that you be prepared to the same effect."

3. "Item, to remember to take ordour with the water gate at the abbey and the port."

4. "Item, to take ordour with the poore folke."

5. "Item, to make straight proclamation that all men beare a good countenance towardes all the Denise nation that is to come here."

6. "Item, to see at Edonburgh the Cannogate and Leyth be in there armes as was set downe before, ranked one both the sydes of the waie from the shoare to the inner abbey gate to beare of the pres of the people."

7. "Item, that no noble mans servaunt come within the ranked foote men except two at the most to waite upon everie counsellour."

8. "Item, that ther be a portour put to the utter gate to keepe of the presse of the people."

9. "Item, that his horse in the cury be in readynes with all his furnitours and well treit with bootis and sockis to his majestie."

10. "Item, that speares be made to run at the ringe with potentes to the same."

11. "Item, that his howndes be sent for to put in breath."

12. "Item, to nomminate gentlemen to waite one everie house and serve in the same."

3 pp. Copy. Indorsed: "Directions given by the King to the Lard of Carmighell. Ultimo Marcii 1590."


  • 1. Decayed.
  • 2. Decayed.
  • 3. See No. 359 supra.
  • 4. Decayed.
  • 5. Decayed.
  • 6. Decayed.
  • 7. Marginal note by Burghley: . . . "ayes sence my letter was sent."
  • 8. Marginal note by Burghley: . . "good hap to prevent the" . .
  • 9. Marginal note by Burghley: "Reasons urgd in particular manner, enlarged, and my . . sion . ., ath conceaved."
  • 10. Marginal note by Burghley:—"I feare this band rather ageynst Lord Hammilton than [Hun]tley."