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: September 1590
472. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 4.]
Since the despatch of his last has received three letters from him (Burghley) of 10th August, concerning the cause of Archibald Johnston against Roger Wyndham; of 22nd August, answering his letters sent by John Aleyn; and of 26th August, with her majesty's safe-conduct for Lord Fleming, placard to Lord Hume, and news of the employment of Captain John Winter to apprehend the Spaniards in Orkney. In accordance with directions from Burghley and from the Lords of the Privy Council, Bowes has acquainted the Chancellor and the provost and burgesses of Edinburgh—the King being absent—with the favour the Queen, her Council, and Burghley have shown for the redress of the Scottishmen, complainants against Wyndham, and what is to be done in the same at the coming of Justice Wyndham to London. Archibald Johnston's report agreed with this, and all are satisfied, praying that the parties in this cause may receive relief next term.
Has caused his servants to bring Richard Blith, Scottishman, from Newcastle to Berwick, and to deliver him to "Mr. Marshall," who has given him to Alexander Hume of Huton Hall, who has already sent him to prison in this town, to be executed at the King's pleasure: and also to deliver the Spaniard at Berwick to "Mr. Marshall," to be kept till direction come from Burghley or the lords of the Council. "Some marchantes in this contrie readie for Spaine are sorie that this Spaniard was thus delivered, doubting that their entertaynement in Spaine shall not be so favorable as formerlie it hath bein."
"Upon my conference with the Lord Chancelour to perswaid that the league with the Frenche King might rather be tripertite betwixt her majestie, the Frenche King, and the King of Scottes then to be single defensive and offensive betwixt the two Kings, and nevertheles that the matter should not be mocioned before the French King's estate should be better established, I gave him suche reasons therein as he well liked that the league should be tripertite, to mayntaine the common cause of religion, and to avoid the inconvenience growing by the renewing of the league defensive and offensive betwixt the Frenche King and the King of Scottes—wherein he wisheth that the single league presentlie betwixt her majestie and the King his master might be aswell offensive as defensive—and that the mocion of this tripertite league ought to be made in suche dew season as the estate of the Frenche King should be well setled." Whereupon the Chancellor has resolved to persuade the King to send John Colvile to the French King to entertain his good will, without power to treat for renewing the old league, but with instructions to hearken what the French King shall move therein, and with good terms to embrace it; that the conveniency of the tripartite league may come in consideration, and the treaty be well timed. He wishes this kept quiet for some time, therefore neither he nor Bowes will yet deal with the King touching the tripartite league; but John Colvile is to depart for France, and to pass through England if her majesty please.
The Chancellor agrees to the interchange of fugitives, and desires to have the delivery of John Dixson of Belchester that killed his father, now in Horklay in the East Marches of England, to be apprehended and delivered by Sir John Selby, deputy warden of that March, upon warrant for the taking and delivery of that person in exchange of such other Englishmen in Scotland as shall be called for.
This Council is still occupied with Border matters, to provide redress for bills filed by the commissioners at Berwick, and for bills and attempts since that time. The commissioners have well informed themselves, and will be ready to give answer for the embracing of such course as shall be commended by her majesty's Council to be negociated to the King and his Council by him (Bowes). Letters are addressed to the wardens, officers, and inhabitants of the Scottish Borders, to accomplish the orders already given and preserve peace on the Marches; with public signification that the King will come in person to the Borders in October next.
Bothwell is pressed to give redress for Liddesdale, being the only impediment of the execution of redresses required and of meeting of wardens and administration of justice on the Borders. He has promised redress, and required to be instructed what to demand of England and what to yield: the instructions sent to him will be good and sufficient.
The Earl sought to be made lieutenant general of the Borders, and the King was pleased to grant the office to him, but at his coming to the Chancellor the latter "told him that the King might not convenientlie grant him this office, for then the Lord Hamilton wold thinck him self much wronged and seeke the place, and Huntlay and others possessing before like rowmes wold looke to be restored: therefore the patent was staied. Nevertheles Bothwell hathe written to the Clark Register to make out the patent, trusting that it shall passe the seale." Promise is made that it shall be stayed. Bothwell desired Bowes to move her majesty "to plant an opposite lieutenaunt to him on the Borders of England": but Bowes made such answer as that matter will be no further sought.
The Chancellor is well disposed to press the King, not only for limiting the confederates of the Bridge of Dee, but also to join with other councillors for the furtherance of the same. The King and Council intend to return hither on the 23rd instant, when the horns of the factious and seditious shall be cut off. Bowes has so travailed with the Chancellor and the Master of Glamis as they seem "well knitt together, and readie to shew them selves openlie in this cause, when they shall perceive the tyme serving not to twist but to pull up the roote of the tree yealding these troublesome frutes in this realme."
Trusts so to carry the course touching Erroll as he shall not be spared by any solicitation from her majesty whereby the King shall dispense with others of that conspiracy, and yet Erroll and his friends shall acknowledge themselves beholden to her for any favour which may be shown to him.
Sir Alexander Stewart was lately in Edinburgh, but did not go to see Bowes, nor is he eager about the journey and service he intended. Huntly is dissuaded by his friends from entertaining intelligence with Parma. He has sent to the Chancellor, seeking to be reconciled with him, offering bonds of himself and friends, and seeking also the Chancellor's commendations to the King. The Chancellor shows himself very cold therein.
Reserves the safe conduct for Fleming and the placard for Hume till they shall be sought for, purposing so to use them as to bind those noblemen to do good offices.
Has examined eleven Englishmen taken by the Spaniards and returned towards England from Kirkwall in Orkney. They confirm the departure of the Spaniards from Kirkwall, "affirming that they sawe the Spanish bark and the crare of Clay lowse at Kirkwaie rode and discend into the seas northwardes for Spaine, as they thought, and as is generallie beleived here and on all the northe coast of this realme." But the Spaniards, having no pilots, dare not adventure the west passage, and will probably tarry on the isles till some of the fleet of this country bound for Spain come that way, when they will accompany them.
Two ships of this town are lately set forth for Spain, and others will sail in four or five days if the wind serve. The owners and companies in the ships already gone will have no fellowship with the Spaniards, but Bowes cannot answer for the others.
He has heard nothing of the coming of Captain John Winter on this coast; nor can he get any certainty where the Spaniards are. Has been advised "that Mr. James Gordon the Jesuit, Fentry, Mr. George the Inglishman, and Andrew Clark the Papist were secretlie in Mosmain's house in Cannagate." He informed the Chancellor and minister, but by default of warrant and speedy pursuit these men escaped.
"The Erle of Murray hath delt effectuallie with the Chancelour to draw him to subscribe the band with the Stewarts." The Chancellor acquainted Bowes with his refusal to enter into that association, which shall one day stir some trouble in this realm. The state is at present brought to great quietness amongst the nobility, councillors, and others, but there is no certainty of continuance. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
4¼ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
473. Robert Bowes to the Lords of the Council. [Sept. 4.]
(Answering letters of 10th and 12th August as to Richard Blithe and Archibald Johnston. Repeats what he has said to Burghley in letter of same date.) Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
474. James VI. to Burghley. [Sept. 7.]
"It hes bene verray lamentabillie exponit unto ws on the behalff of ane honnest man of the toun of Leith named George Padie, quha being in gude conditioun in his lauchtfull vocatioun and treade, and wele thocht of be the best sort heir, is fallin in great calamitie through his being taikin be an Englische capitane named Williame Bair in Ratcleiff about November 1586, thairefter in Februar the same zeir at Mylford Havin in Wales be Sir Johnne Vogane his sonnis and complices, and thridlie be thre of the Quene our dearest suster your soveranis awin schippis, be quhom he wes had to the Fluischeing and thair keipit sevin oulkis wanting of his fraucht twa hundreth Franche crownis. For all quhilk he enterit in actioun of befoir in the court of the Admiraltie, quhair althocht he belevit to have provin his sute, zit wanting executioun of the thing that justice hes ordanit, efter his lang and costlie tarie attending thairon be the space of thre zeiris past to his utter heirschip and undoing, we ar moved to recommend him and his causs to zour equitable considera ioun and favour, ernistlie requeisting zou upoun knawlege of the same —the particulariteis quhairof we remit to his awin informatioun—that ze will se him have executioun and redres of that quhilk the ordour of justice hes alreddy or sall adjudge in his favour, that he may reteir him and labour in his wownted treade and vocatioun in sum releiff of his bipast dampnages, quhairin ze sall do a verray godlie werk and obleiss ws to requite it with na les gudwill and promptitude quhair we may have occasioun to further and releiff any recommendit be zou happaning in the lyke calamitie." Falkland. Signed: James R.
2/3 p. Addressed. Indorsed.
475. Mr. Archibald Douglas to Burghley. [Sept. 9.]
"These wthir letteris derected to me be Colonell Steward, which I suppose to be of olde dayte, come to my handis yisterday 8th of September, delivered be aldirman Salkingstone. By the lettir which I ressaived I am villed to deliverre this pacquette to your lordship, wyth requeiste that suche letteris as ar thayrin conteaned and derected to the King my soverayn may be send wyth expedition to his hyenes. I beleaw the occasion of thayr so long staying be the waye hathe proceaded from the casting awaye of the schippe whearin they wer caryed. Besidis credance [?] the letteris war theyre preserwed and cayrfullye send hyther, as be ane lettir send to the sayde aldirman doethe appeir."
"I hartlye pray your lordship to be so faworable as to gewe ordour that his hyenes my soverayne may ressawe suche letteris as ar directed to him, and that these uther letteris directed to the lord Justice Clerk and Mr. Richarde Dowglass conteaning the ressone of the forsayde staying may be delivered to any of thayme be some that is aboute your ambassadour theyre residente."
"The erniste speachis of my creditoris against me constrains me to pray your lordship to mowe hir majeste to growe to some faworable resolutione anent hir heanis gud meaning towardis my releawe, whearbye my creditouris may be satisfeid and I mayde moyr able to do hir majeste service." Signed: A. Douglas.
1 p. Holograph, also address. Indorsed.
476. Charles Nevill, Earl of Westmoreland, to James VI. [Sept. 10.]
In his trouble and banishment he finds pleasure that thereby he gives proof of his affection to the house of Stuart. As he relied on the King's mother while she lived, so after her death he offered himself, his friends, and means to James. He knows not how his offer was esteemed. "I have adventurid with this man of yours to mynd me to your majeste agaen, and lookinge on theas present tymes, the estaet and possebiletei of thinges, to offer me and my servisis in maner as yow shal perseve by hime. As yit I have nocht learnid the fashyon of the court, and am nocht of so faer and curteouss a complexsyon as to change my faeth after the taste, humor, or pretensis of my prince—a comon falt as is suponid in mannye of that ile, and cheaflie suche whose birth and place wil agrei, for a lenitei and moderacyon to be takin there in."
Does not pretend to be a counsellor as to whether James should incline to toleration; wishes these matters might be so moderated that no man might be rejected so that he did his duty: "it is nesesarie to yeild a litil in things that can nocht be overcumid by force, and wher the prosecusyon doeth no other but exasperat."
2 pp. Copy, in James Hudson's hand. Indorsed.
477. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 17.]
After receiving his letter of August 30th he sent to the court at Falkland to understand the best opportunity for his repair to the King and the state of the court: before his servant came thither the King was departed to St. Johnston's, appointing to return within three days; but he passed thence to Dunfermline, purposing to ride to-day to Linlithgow, and come to Edinburgh on Wednesday, 23rd instant.
By sundry prisoners taken by the Spaniards and now returned, and from persons employed in Orkney, Bowes has learned "that the Spaniardes were departed from Scawpe Flowe before Kirkway, and had passed some of the islands for Spaine." This is "confirmed by William Stewart —one of the base sons of the Erle of Orkney—and who was in ship with the Spaniardes bothe at the taking of the fowre Inglish shipps fishing before Fara Island, and also at their last departure from Kirkway." He was carried with the Spaniards beyond the west isles in Scotland where they met a Scottish ship in course for Leith wherein they put him at his own desire. He thinks they are in Spain long before this time. But hears that the Spaniards are returned again to Orkney, vaunting that they have slain three hundred Englishmen since they left Kirkwall, and repenting that they suffered one Englishman to escape. The King has been similarly informed, and shows himself resolute to apprehend them, "protesting to hang them in case he can take them." If fit vessels can be equipped they may do no less effect than if Captain Winter had come, for he could not have reached Orkney before their departure. Now, if they be returned to Orkney and he use good expedition, he shall find and get them. Bowes's agent in Orkney has written to John Colvill to meet him tomorrow in Fife, that he may tell him how things stand in Orkney, that Bowes may be informed thereof.
Has told William Lesley, one of the King's servants—who moved Bowes on behalf of John Lesley, nephew to the bishop of Ross, and now stayed in England—that he has order for delivery of the young man, to be signified to him and performed by the bishop: but William Lesley is in the King's service and cannot come before the King's return, therefore the matter must wait.
Upon sundry bruits that the Duke of Parma was entered with great forces into France to relieve Paris, a general fast and prayers were made here on Thursday and Sunday last. Bowes is continually solicited for news from France, and prays Burghley to furnish him therewith. Evil rumours of the hard success of the French King have been spread by the papists, but carry no credit.
Has advised Colvile to put in readiness all his affairs without any haste in his journey for France, and will seek still to stay him till otherwise directed.
Has often been informed that by the King's order James Gordon, the Jesuit, should pass out of the country, and be sent away with the laird of Buccleuch to sail for France; but he is still at Burnt Island, and the other day had mass there, which was espied by the minister there, who informed Sir Robert Melville and the ministers here, but little redress is given. It is hoped that such matters shall be reformed at the convention to begin here the 25th of this month.
This state continues in good quietness, contrary to the opinions of many experienced persons, who expected great storms before the end of this month: Bowes hopes that the good agreement of the Chancellor and the Treasurer may preserve this calm. "Some small quarrells are risen aswell betwixt the Erle of Angusse and the freindes of the lard of Buckcleugh as also amongst some other Borderers and for matters of tythes," but having sudden beginnings they may have short ends. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
478. Depositions as to ships taken by the Spaniards. [Sept.]
"The collection of the examinacions as well of William Dixon, master of the Prudence of Hull, Jeffray Blackburne, Henry Browne, Peter Martyn of Lynn, mariners, Stephen Cape of Clay, mariner, and others, coastmen; as also of George Cooke and Rober [sic] Kitchin of Whitburne, Anthony Harrison, Thomas Harrison and Stephen Patison of Sunderland, Richard Bedlington of West Bowden in the busshopriche of Durham, William Fenwick, John Fenwick, John Wetherhead and Richard Fletcher of Northe Sheildes and others, fishermen, by which it appeareth that John di Merida, captaine of the Spanish bark latelie in Scotland, with his complices, did take these shipps especified, and used the same and in [sic] the men therein in sort following."
"Shipps taken by the said Spaniardes on the northe coast of England and nere aboutes the mouth of the river of Tease."
"John Collingwood of Lynn, loden with beanes for Newcastle, wherein Peter Martin and fowre other men were, and wherein one was slaine, the boy caried into Spaine, and thre men retorned into England. This ship was brunt by the Spaniardes before Anstruther in Scotland."
"John of Lynn, appertayning to Mr. Bassett, and wherein Mr. Vernon's malt was fraught; wherein also were seven men, whereof two mariners are caried into Spaine and five retorned. This ship was sold by the Spaniardes to James Dixon of Kirkwaie, servant to the Erle of Orkeney."
"Two other shipps of Lynn, one of Hull called the Prudence, and one of Yarmouth, were taken by the Spaniardes and spoyled; wherein it is thought that they killed five men and caried into Spaine five other men. These were left fleeting on the seas and what is becommed of them these examinates knowe not."
"John Sheringham, of Clay, being of 50 tonnes, wherein was Symon Capp and seven more; hereof three mariners were slaine, two taken away and three retorned."
"Fower fisher shipps taken by the said Spaniardes at their fishings before Fara Island on Wednesdaie the 19th of July last 1590."
"Jesus of Scarbrughe, whereof Mr. Tompson was owner, and wherein were sixteen men and three boys, whereof two mariners were slaine, the master, Richard Sheperson, a honest man, and two boyes caried away into Spaine; five men put themselves into the sea in a bote and are all saved, and eight men retorned into England. The Spaniardes gave this ship to the Erle of Orkeney for four cast peces which they had received of the Erle at Kirkway."
"Old Elizabeth of Sheills, appertayning to Mr. Milbanck, and wherein were seventeen men and a boy, whereof five were drowned by the Spaniardes, eight put themselves in a bote to the seas who are thought to be all perished, and five retorned into England. This ship was sold to one [ ] of Kirkwey."
"John Litster of Newcastle, appertayning to George Brigges, William Blithman, Coman Pawlin, and George Harle, who also was in her. Herein were seventeen men and a boy, whereof three mariners are caried into Spaine, and fifteen retorned. This ship was redemed and ransommed by Gilbert Foulzie, minister at Kirkway, at the request of the master; and for the same the said Gilbert disbursed and paied to the Spaniardes 50 l. sterlinge."
"The ship of Yarmouth, appertayning to Wedow Harrison there, had ten men, whereof the master and two of the best mariners are caried awaie into Spaine, five put themselves in a bote to the sea, who are all thought to be perished, and two retorned into England. This shipp was sold by the Spaniardes to the captaine of Kirkwaie."
"Shipps knowne to be taken and spoiled."
"Costmen 7. Fishermen 4 = 11."
"Men slaine by the Spanyardes."
"Costmen 10. Fisshermen 7 = 17."
"Men perished by sea."
"Prisoners caried into Spaine."
"Costmen 10. Fishermen 9 = 19."
"Men saved by bote and returned."
"Men retorned into England after they had bein spoiled and left naked."
"Costmen 11. Fishermen 30 = 41."
"95, besides the men that were in the other four shipps spoiled also by the Spaniardes."
2½ pp. In the hand of Bowes's clerk.
479. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 22.]
A few hours after the despatch of his last of the 17th instant he received Burghley's of the 11th, and yesterday his other of the 16th. The King and Bowes had been informed that the Spaniards were returned to Orkney, but the report was grounded on their second coming to Kirkwall after they had taken the English fishermen at Fair Island; for by his agent who came from Orkney on the 10th instant, Bowes hears of their doings in Orkney, their departure in August, and that they are already in Spain.
John Caprington, sent to him (Bowes) by the Earl of Orkney, came this day, having left Orkney on the 14th instant. He affirms that the Spaniards were not returned to Orkney, but departed for Spain. John Calender, employed by William Elphinstone—a friend of Bowes—to go into Orkney, and returned yesternight, confirms this report: and the Countess of Orkney assures Bowes that the Spaniards are indeed gone.
Will execute Burghley's directions as to the suit of Archibald Johnston against Wyndham, Border causes, Colvile's journey into France, and the tripartite league, at the coming of the King, the Chancellor, the Council, the provost of Edinburgh, and other persons.
Knows not yet what English fugitive in this realm shall be called for to exchange with John Dixson, Scottishman, to be apprehended at Horkley; but will seek advice of the wardens.
The laird of Buccleuch, licensed by the King to seek remedy for the gout in France, purposed to pass by sea. As Burghley knows him and his actions, Bowes need not write thereof. He has sundry times offered devotion and all good offices on the Borders to her majesty, and Bowes has "shewed him pleasures to his benefitt and contentment," and trusts he shall be found a good neighbour. The Chancellor has some interest in him.
Has sent Colonel Stewart's letters to the Chancellor, who returned answer by the bearer that at his coming he would acquaint him (Bowes) with parts of those letters.
The chief councillors continue in amity. This Convention will prove the effects thereof. Thanks Burghley for news sent. The same has been so acceptable to the King and others as her majesty's services have been greatly profited thereby. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1¾ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.
480. James VI. to Elizabeth. [Sept. 27.]
"We recommend ws unto zou in hartlie maner. It is lamentab llie exponit unto ws in the behalff of Williame Sutheroun in Westo, within the bischoprik of Durhame, quha, onlie being in the cumpany of umquhile Rodger Sutheroun and Robert Sutheroun his brether, the actuall committeris of the slauchter of umquhile Richart Haviesyde in Jarra in the moneth of Maii 1587, hes bene exylit his native contrie continewallie sensyne, quhilk hes redactit him in sic distres and calamitie as he meritis the petie and compassioun of all gude men, cheiflie in consideratioun of his innocencie of that fact publicklie declairit and utterit be his said brether, quhen as thay sufferrit for the same laitlie at Lambes last. And thairfoir we have taikin occasioun to recommend his afflictit conditioun and estate to zour favorable consideratioun and clemencie, ernistlie requeisting zou upown the knallege thairof—his innocencie always rememberit—that ze will extend zour mercie and pardoun toward him for that fact, ayther in forme of remissioun or respett for the space of sic zeiris as is aggreable with the custome of zour cuntrie in sic caisses, quhairby he may reteir him selff hamewart in that his awin native cuntrie, and be releiffit of his lang and grevous baneisment and afflictioun." Signed: "Youre most loving & affectionatt brother & cousin, James R."
1 p. Addressed.
481. James VI. to Burghley. [Sept. 30.]
"Zour greit favour and furtherance extendit toward our servitour Williame Cokburne, marchand, burges of our burgh of Edinburgh, the beirar, in the mater of debt persewit be him agains Johnne Clerk n Londoun, being reportit and schawin to ws, we cannot bot rander zow maist hartlie thankis for the same, and wald be glaid that as ze have begwn sa ze wald put the same to ane point, according to the forme alreddy sett doun and wele rememberit and knawin to zow, as we ar informit."
"The same our servitour, being rubbit and spoyled in the moneth of Junii last of his schip and guidis, amonting to the valu of ane thowsand crownis, be ane Capitane Gwyne and his complices, and sic barbarous crueltie usit agains his merchant, skippar, and marineris as we remit to his awin particular informatioun, is to move actioun thairupoun before our dearest suster zour soverane and hir Counsale; and thairfoir we have taikin occasioun to recommend him and that his caus to zour equitable consideratioun, ernistlie requeisting zou upoun the knawlege thairof to interpone zour wounted guidwill in his favour and furtherance, and to se that his caus handillit sa summarlie as he may be redressit of his gret losse, and not wereit with lang attendance on pley, bot put to ane point, and dispachit with expeditioun."
"Quhairin ze sall do ws richt thankfull and acceptable plesur, and obleis ws to requite it with na les promptitude quhen we sal have occasioun to shaw furtherance to any belanging zow having the lyke caus." Signed: James R.
¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.
Copy of the same.