James VI: October 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: October 1590', in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) pp. 398-414. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp398-414 [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "James VI: October 1590", in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) 398-414. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp398-414.

. "James VI: October 1590", Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936). 398-414. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp398-414.

In this section

James VI: October 1590

482. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 2]

Has received Burghley's of Sept. 22. The King and Chancellor were not only informed that the Spaniards were come again to Orkney, and had bragged of the slaughter of three hundred Englishmen, but also that Henry Lesley—son of the brother of the Earl of Rothes—Captain Browne, and other Scottish pirates had consorted with the Spaniards, being now six or seven sail at least, and lying about the west isles of Scotland; but in his last Bowes informed Burghley that the Spaniards were not at Orkney, sending that information with speed, to save needless charge for the fitting out of ships to pursue them.

Latest reports from Orkney confirm that information. The Spaniards did not return thither, but near the west isles they took a Scottish ship and spoiled her only of her victuals, and therein set on land in the west islands the Scottishmen that were in the barque with them; and took their course for Spain; "and did not mete nor consort with Henry Leslie, Browne, or any other Scotishmen other then Peterson the Fleming, who came to them in Scotland and still remayneth with them in the ship of Clay."

William Sibbett informs that Bothwell put to sea in a ship furnished with eight cast pieces and other necessaries, with commission to serve against the Leaguers, "but he had no sooner entred unto the seas then that Henry Lesley before named and the rest of the companie in that vessell put out fibbed and sett him on land with the commission and sondry woundes." They then set sail to seek the Spaniards, but meeting a ship of Bremen coming for Orkney, they took her, brought her to Cromarty, and sold the goods in her. And Lesley and others are returned into their countries. Thus the Spaniards departed for Spain without hurt done to any Englishman since they left Kirkwall in August.

The King and Chancellor are much comforted by the news from France, sent by Burghley, having been disquieted by reports of the success of Parma and the rebels in France. This day Lord Dingwall advertises that Bothwell has received intelligence out of England that the battle is fought betwixt the French King and the Duke of Parma, wherein are slain on both sides 16,000; that the French King is deadly wounded, and has lost and left the field. Bowes prays Burghley to let him know the truth.

The King and Council being daily occupied with Border causes have appointed the Chancellor and Clerk Register to take order with Bowes about them. But they have not yet such perfect certificates from their wardens as the Lords of the Council have sent to Bowes from the English wardens, so are sending for them from the three wardens of the Marches of Scotland. They have agreed to give speedy redress for the thirty bills filed by the commissioners at Berwick, and for the attempts at Mindrum and other places in England. Bowes chiefly pressed for redress for Liddesdale—under Bothwell's government—it being the greatest occasion of troubles. If Bothwell does not perform his promises herein, he will lose the King's good opinion.

Bothwell assures the King that he has given satisfaction for five of the six bills betwixt the Middle Marches of England and Liddesdale, and promises to discharge the sixth, and the other ten bills betwixt the West Marches of England and Liddesdale; but many will not believe that this shall be truly performed. The demands of Scotland will arise to a very large sum, exceeding the sums demanded for England. The wardens of England, chiefly of the West and Middle Marches, must consider how to answer the same.

Before the Chancellor and other officers in the King's house and councillors departed in September last, they agreed to meet here again the 23rd of that month to join in limiting the principal factors of the Brigg of Dee. It was accorded that they should prepare this matter before the King's return, then to be on the 25th of that month. The lords came as arranged, but the King coming the same day prevented their conference. But the other day they met quietly together, namely. the Chancellor, the Treasurer, Sir Robert Melville, the provost of Clenclowden, the Controller, Newbottle, and Blantyre. The Chancellor was addressed to deal with Bowes to stir the King therein. Bowes has put the King in mind of his promises made to her majesty by letter and by the Earl of Worcester, with urgent arguments for reforming his noblemen. The King agreed to confer with the Chancellor on the matter, and also to commit it to the consideration of the Council, "lamenting that he had sought this thing dyvers tymes at the handes of his nobilitie and Counsaill, and was denied by the parcialities and bandes that were amongst them." Bowes has acquainted the Chancellor with this answer, and will impart it to others of the Council, but finds great difficulties in the matter.

"The Lord Chancelour hathe lett me knowe that some of the Papistes here have delt with him, perswaiding that albeit they could have bein contented to have intertayned a course against England, yet they sought not any alteracion of the religion in this realme, nether the Kinges hurt, or prejudice to the estate here, but rather the honour and advancement of the King and benefitt of this realme, shewing that the King of Spaine hath offered and is readie to yeald bothe men and mony to the King to be disposed for his profitt against England as he should thinck most meete. Wherein they have found themselves in some errour whiles they delt with suche noblemen as hitherto have regarded their owne private gaine and not the common cause. And therefore they have thought it meete to change their course and intertaine the intelligence with suche as hathe interrest in the King and may draw him to like of the matter so farre as shalbe proved to tend to the suertie of his greatnes and prosperitie. But they have hitherto forborne to breake and enter with the Chancelour, bicause they thought him wholly devoted to England: yet thincking the love of his master should prevaile above his owne affeccion to England, therefore they have adventured to lay this before him, and to seeke his commendacion and furtherance of their offers and sutes to the King for the Kinges especiall advantage." The Chancellor partly entertained them, to find the bottom of their designs, and "hathe put to them in trust suche a fitt parson as he trusteth shall like them and will serve him self." The Chancellor's advice was required whether James Gordon, the Jesuit, should depart into Flanders, or abide here to give credit in the affairs of Spain. He persuaded that he should haste into Flanders with the speed he could. Gordon thereupon agreed to pass in a ship of Leith, but hearing that a servant of Bowes had had conference with the "shipper," he hath put himself into the Phœnix, that will not be ready these twenty days.

The Papists begin to put forth their horns. James Gordon intends to send before him Mark Carre—otherwise Pringle—with his letters into Flanders. Sir Alexander Stewart is ready to go to the Duke of Parma with letters of credit from Huntly, James Gordon, and Maxwell. The King has written generally in his favour, but those others have written special commendations. Bowes cannot prevail upon him to pass by sea; he goes through England in eight or nine days, herein observing the advice of James Gordon and the others.

The King purposes to stay John Colvile till Martinmas next. His going into France then may profit the laird of Wemys in sundry causes with the King of France, and benefit Scottish merchants in their trade there. He is to be sent through England with such commission as her majesty shall think good.

The Chancellor says that the letters addressed by Colonel Stewart to the King and himself were of old date and small effect, signifying that most of the princes were departed from Brunswick before his arrival, being hindered by accidents at sea. He would follow the princes to their own houses, at great expense of time and money. The Chancellor hearing from him (Bowes) that Buccleuch had come to London, prayed that he might be favourably entertained for his sake.

Huntly has sought the Chancellor's favour through the King, Lennox and others. The Chancellor says he must give the same answer as the King, namely, that he can remit all offences done to himself, but not those against religion and the state. Huntly will probably be admitted at court, but not any office.

By the mediation of the Chancellor, Bothwell and Cesford were agreed the other day, beyond the expectation of the rest of the Council, who within few days before had been in conference and purpose with the Chancellor to stir Hume and Cesford to join for the furtherance of such course as was then thought meet; which course will be hindered by this sudden reconciliation.

For the recovery of the King's favour to Sir William Keith, Dingwall was sent to the King at Linlithgow, but had little success. The Chancellor and the Master of Glamis have moved the King therein, but prevaileth no better; and now the King has charged Sir William to keep his house till his pleasure be further known. Sir William has been with Bowes, who told him her majesty continued her good mind towards him, and also offered him his own services, which he thankfully accepted. But finding no apt occasion to move the King therein, without discovery of his full purpose, Bowes has hitherto forborne to meddle.

"For the late surprise of the sonne of the Erle of Angusse taken by the Scottes of Buckcleugh and since his departure, Mr. Walter Scott of Goldylandes—the chefe in the absence of Buckcleughe—with thre other of that house were committ to the castle. The thre parsons are enlarged by the meanes of the Chancelour, and the other is looked to be at libertie very shortlie."

John Davison, minister in this town, has written and presented to the Chancellor a pamphlet in manner of a preface against the printed sermon of Dr. Bancroft, (fn. 1) and to be allowed by the King, who is much troubled, as well with the matter as also to suppress the book: he will confer with his Council therein.

If her majesty please to continue him (Bowes) in Scotland he must provide his house at better rate than at present, and lay in provisions for winter. He prays for payment to Christopher Sheperson his servant of allowances now due to him, and also an "imprest" of two hundred pounds. Understanding that Burghley mislikes the assurances tendered on his behalf by John Aleyn and Christopher Sheperson for surety of the repayment of such sums as her majesty may lend him for payment of "the remaynes" at Berwick, he has drawn his son, Rafe Bowes, to consent to join with him in such assurances as he trusts will satisfy both her majesty and Burghley, and has certified Aleyn and Sheperson of the same. He implores Burghley, for God's sake, that the garrison at Berwick may be satisfied, for the which he is ready to sell all he possesses. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

5⅓ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

483. Provost and Bailies of Edinburgh to Burghley. [Oct. 5.]

"The berair Williame Cokburn oure nichtbo[ur] and burges, awnar of the schip of Leithe callit the Thomas, his merchant and skippar thairof, withe thair equippage and cumpany, returning hamewarte frome Caleis in France quhair thay hade dischargit thair laidning, wer unbesett in thair passage and dew course in Zarmouthe rayde, upone the 28th day of Junii last, be ane Englische pyrate schip, quhairof ane Capitane Gwyne was principall, and ane consort and marrow schip of his lying within the heavin of Zarmouthe; and not onlie rubbit and spoyled of thair schip and haill guidis, amonting in valu to the sowme of ane thousand crownis of gold, as thay allegit, bot als his merchant, skippar, and marineris sa cruellie tormentit and barbarouslie usit, be knytting of towis and thrawing the same about sum of thair heidis, harling sum of thame naikit at the schip starne, and heissing thame up and doun with ane tow to the ovirloft in perrell of thair lyiffis, as the lyik hes bene rare harde of amangis Cristianis; compelling thame heirby, and be menassing to cast thame owirburde, to tell of the haill gold and silver thay hade hid in thair said schip. For remeid of the quhilk the said Williame, withe his merchant and skippar addressing thame selffis towartis the Quenis majestie zour soverane and hir honorabill Counsall, is to mowe actioun agains thayis malefactouris, thair consortis and resetteris, in esperance of spedie redres of thair greit lose. And heirifore we hawe tackin the bauldnes to recommend thair honest caus to zour lordships equitable considderatioun, ernistlie requeisting zoure lordship, seing the fact is alreddie cleirlie prowin and testifeid to Sir Robert Bowis hir majesteis ambassadoure heir resident—as will evidenttlie appeir be his awin letter direct in the same caus—that zour lordship will imparte this odious fact to hir majestie zour soverane and hir hienes wyise Counsall, and hald hand thairunto in sic sorte as thir complenaris zoure nichtbouris may, be zour guid meanes, hawe summar proces, and thair actioun handillit and put to ane poynt withe that expeditioun propirlie dew to the causses of straingeiris, sua that thay may hawe redres, and think thame selffis not dissapointit of thair gude hoip and expectatioun theranent."

"Quhairin, as zour lordship sall minister pruiff of zoure direct meaning towarde justice and the furtherance of the caus of thay afflictit strangearis, sa sall zoure lordship obleis ws to requyte the same with na les reddines and guidwill quhensoevir occasioun sall present be any zour lordship's lauctfull requeistis." Edinburgh. Signed: Arnote Provost of Edinburct, Johne Macmoren thesaureer; Alexander Wduartt, Denegeild; David Fairlie, bailze; Henrie Charteris, baillie; Clement Core, bailze; Roger Maknacht, baillie; L. Guthre.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

484. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 5.]

Has received Burghley's letter of September 29th, with one to Sir John Carmichael, the French news, and copies of "letters of the Turk and his two Bassais to her majestie and to the estate at Marcelles." Confirms his advertisements as to the Spaniards. Sir John Carmichael's letter shall be delivered to him at his coming, this night or tomorrow.

The King is out hunting; he (Bowes) will tell him the French news and the contents of the Turkish letters, which come very seasonably, for the papists do so confidently give out the triumph of the Dukes of Parma and Maine, as the preachers were occasioned yesterday publicly to speak against the same, and to encourage their audience by all the means they could; and the King and others sought news from Bowes.

Sir John Carmichael and other friends of Lord Sanquhar have earnestly persuaded that lord to abide at home, and rather seek to get a good wife and repair the waste of his inheritance than travel in foreign countries at this season. But he has obtained the King's licence, and took his leave yesterday, intending to pass through England if he can have her majesty's licence (fn. 2); otherwise by sea. By the advice of these friends he will spend the winter in London, and they trust either to draw him home in the spring or to provide better for his journey. They pray that the passport, if granted, may be sent speedily before he adventure to pass by sea, which will not be before the end of fourteen days. In this Sir John Carmichael prays Burghley's favour, "trusting that thereby this nobleman, being younge and of the religion, shalbe drawen to some good course of life and for her majestes services and benefitt on the West Borders."

He (Bowes) once purposed to accompany the Earl of Crawford into France, and having written to Walsingham for licence was answered that it was granted, but Walsingham never sent the safe-conduct. Bowes prays speedy execution.

Has delivered her majesty's placard to Lord Hume for buying two horses in England; he is thankful, and promises to be a good neighbour to her majesty's subjects.

Lord Fleming gives thanks for her majesty's licence to pass through England, and it is well accepted of the Chancellor and his lady. Fleming starts in two or three days, and Bowes has given him a letter for Burghley.

The Chancellor this day left Edinburgh for his lands in "Glidsdale," minding to return at the end of the week; before whose coming the Council will not deliberate in matters of great effect. Signed: Robert Bowes.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

485. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 8.]

According to his last letters, he showed the King the news from France and from the Turk, which has much comforted the King, who had been quite otherwise informed. "The sight of the highe honour done to her majestie by the great Turk was wonderfull to him, being before perswaided that no Christian Prince ever had in the Turk suche great estimacion"; the kingdom of Poland at this time receives great profit thereby. But the King hopes she will "warelie bewaire to give footing to him in any part of Christendome, seing his forces are hardlie put from the townes and places whereunto they have entred." Upon which point Bowes reassured him.

According to Burghley's direction of Sept. 29, he has informed the King of the good offices done by Sir John Carmichael, warden of the West Marches of Scotland, to Lord Scrope, in the execution of justice on those Marches; and of Lord Scrope's certificate of the same to Burghley, and her majesty's good acceptance of those offices; adding that she thanked the King—for whose pleasure those actions were done —and prayed him to testify his approval to Sir John. Scrope will be ready to give the like redress to any Scottishmen justly complaining of hurts done to them by Englishmen. The King took the matter in very good part, and promises to let his subjects know that in order to please him they must please her majesty. He has written Burghley the enclosed letter, and has also written to Lord Scrope. Carmichael acknowledges himself deeply beholden to her majesty, Burghley, and Scrope, and is ready to do all good offices in his power.

Moved the King to draw Bothwell to like good offices in Liddesdale. The King recounted the manifold promises that Bothwell had made, and said if he did not perform the same he would no longer bear with his slackness; but Bowes doubts of full redress to be gotten.

The King and Council have set down orders for preachers and other officers in the church, as will appear by the copy of the articles enclosed. This is a copy of the draft framed by the clerk, but not yet fully resolved by the whole Council, nor accorded by the ministry. The Chancellor is not yet returned, upon whose presence the resolution of all causes in church and realm chiefly depends.

Is informed "that the Papistes are not onelie in good comfort to gitt some favour at the Chancelours handes, and that they will offer large benefittes to him for the same, but also that they shall convene shortlie in the next monthe to deliberate and to determyne how they shall procede with the Chancelour and in their causes." Bowes will confer with the Chancellor about it on his return.

"This estate is hitherto quiet; but suerlie sondrie signes are seen threatning disquietnes aswell betwixt the Stewartes and Hamiltons as also by the practise of sondrie noblemen latelie entred in band, and— as it is thought—to alter the present course of this state." Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

Enclosure with the same:

(James VI. to Burghley.)

"Understanding the earnist and effectuall cair utterit at this tyme be our trustie cousing the Lord Scrope to mutuall justice and redres of all enormities committed under his commandiment, we can not weill omit, undoing injurie to his desert, to testifie unto zow, and be zour meane unto his soverane our dearest suster and her counsale, his honorable and worthy service effectuat at that meting, to the confort of the gude men, and terrour of the wicked abounding at that hand on baith the sydis: praying zow, for his better confort and incourageing in his gude dispositioun, to let his merite be effectuallie rememberit to his said soverane, and thankis procurit unto him for his continuall gude offices in that charge, bot specialie for this gude ground, quhilk be his correspondence to his opposite officiar in a delyverie quhairof the lyke hes not bene sene upoun that Marche, he hes set doun of some appearand quietnes and justice at that restles hand."

"To the quhilk, as he hes lakit no gude dispositioun in his opposite officiar, so mynde we to give ordour that baith this gude begynning may have dewe prosecutioun at all occasions at that Marche, and be a patern to the rest to imitate at thair nixt metingis." Holyrood House, 7 Oct. 1590. Signed: "Your louing cousing James R."

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

486. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 9.]

This bearer, William "Cowburne" [Cockburn], cousin to Sir John Carmichael, burgess of Edinburgh, has suffered great spoil by sea near Yarmouth through Gwynn the pirate and other Englishmen. He has exhibited his complaint to the King, praying his help for redress in the same, and acquainted Bowes with his hurt and losses, whereof advertisement has already been sent to Burghley. The King desires that this bearer and his suit be commended to Burghley, that he may get timely remedy. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

2/3 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

487. Passport granted to Mr. John Uden, a Dane. [Oct. 12.] Lansd. MSS., 63, fol. 86.

John Uden came a few days ago from Denmark, recommended by the King of Denmark, and is to be well received and kindly treated. Holyrood.

¾ p. Latin. Copy.

488. James VI. to Burghley. [Oct. 12.]

"It is gevin ws to understand that sum of the goldsmychtis, your soverains subjectis, hes takin the bauldnes to forge and counterfute our current cunzie of all sortis, and to mak a commoun tread and merchandice in selling the same to certane of our liegis, traffiquearis, and merchandis resorting and hanting within the realme of England, quhilkis, respecting mair thair awin privat lucre and gayne nor the publict wele of our cuntrie, hes out put and disperset the same in sundrie partis thairof amang the symple and ignorant people. Quhairby baith our awin estait and the commounwele of our realme being greitlie dampnified and interest, we have employed and appointit our servitour Williame Cokburne, the berare, to speir out and try these pernitious malefactouris and usaris of that unlesum and dangerous treid, quhais names being signifiit and returnit to ws, we may delait thame to the Quene zour soverane, and crave thair tryell and puneisment according to thair deserving. And becaus zour assistence and gude furtherance is cheiflie requirit and may be maist necessur heirin, amang all uther zour gude offices we ernistlie and effectuuslie requeist and desyre zow to caus speir and try out they personis culpable or suspect of the said unlauchtfull tread, and sa far as possibillie can be mak thame with thair particular crymes notifiit and knawin to our said servitour, that we our selff, or he in our name, may insist in thair persute and puneisment as apperteins. Quhairin ze sall do ws richt thankfull and acceptable plesur to be rememberit with na les gudwill as occasioun salbe offerrit. Farder, having be our uther letter recommendit a particular caus concerning our said servitour to zour supplie and furtherance, we have thocht gude heirby alsua to hald zow in memorie thairof, and to se him have sic summar justice and redres as the equitie of his caus meritis; quhilk we will accompt als acceptable a plesur as gif ze had schawin zour gudwill and put zour helping hand to any thing propirlie belonging our selff." Holyrood House. Signed: James R.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

489. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 19.]

This bearer, William ven der Wense, servant to the Queen-mother in Demnark, was commended by that Queen to attend upon her daughter the Queen of Scots, till she might be acquainted with this country and language. Being now called to return to the Queen-mother, he desires to pass through England, that he may see her majesty, and report her good health and welfare to the Queen in Denmark. Bowes recommends him to Burghley's favour, that he may "with best oportunitie come to her majestes presence, to whom he seemeth to beare especiall devocion." Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

490. James VI. to Burghley. [Oct. 21.]

"Thir berars, oure borne sujectis and honest merchauntis of oure burgh of Edinburgh, inanimat be the injust and extraordinar procedingis of the verie magistrattis of the townes of Newheavin, St. Valeries, and utheris thair associattis, agains thame and thair guidis, quha, without thair naturall obedience to thair soverane, schaking of all regaird of the gude amytie and freindlie intercours so long continewit betuix that realme and ouris, have not onely interceptit thair schippis and guidis within they seas, bot thairwith adjugeit thame in thair pretendit maner to be as lauchfull prises, and confiscat the same as appertenyng to thair ennemeis; have with oure favoure and allowance resolvit to repair thame be ane extraordinar bot necesser remeid. And to the same effect, having equipped some convenient veschellis, and lacking sic provisioun of ordinance as ar thocht necesser for thair outred, we have accridit thame this present, to requeist zow verie affectuuslie to lett thame fund zour favoure and permissiown to bye sa mony of sic peces as convenientlie may furneis thair saidis veschellis, and to transport the same without any lett or impediment to be maid thairanent in any sort. Quhilk, for zoure knawin dispositioun to gude caussis, we louke assuredlie ze will expeid unto thame, and confort thame besydis in any thing that may incourage thame in this sa honest and necesser a course depending on zoure grant and lefull favoure." Holyrood House. Signed: "Your loving cousin, James R."

¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

491. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 21.]

Sundry burgesses of Edinburgh have complained to the King that they have been spoiled at sea "with great extremities" by the towns of "Newhaven" [Havre], St. Valerie and Abbeville, and others in France confederated with the Leaguers. The King has granted a letter of marque or reprisal against those towns and rebels to these bearers, George Todrigg, Patrick Morice, Francis Tenant, John Lowrie, Edward Johnston, and Robert Hebburne, which they will show to Burghley. Having prepared shipping, men, and furniture, "they do still lack some cast peces of iron which they knowe not where to gitt save in England by some especiall favour and lycence to be given them in that behalf." The King has written to Burghley for his favour therein, and also required Bowes to accompany these bearers with a letter, which he thinks good to do, knowing them to be well devoted to her majesty. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript—"This bearer George Todrigg can informe your lordship of late piracie done by Inglishmen that have robbed a Scotish ship, wherein the goodes of Captain Hamilton this bearer and others were taken. It may please your lordship to be a meane for the restitucion of the goodes to them. The particularities I leave to the report of this bearer."

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

492. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 24.]

Received his letter of the 6th instant on the 12th, with letters from Colonel Stewart to his wife and to Bowes, who has delivered the one to his wife. On the 18th he received Burghley's of the 14th, with her majesty's passport to Lord Sanquhar, who—with his friends—renders humble thanks for the same. This passport came in good season, before Lord Sanquhar returned from the country, where his friends held him as long as they could to stay his journey. They are minded to send with him to London, Hugh, son of Sir John Carmichael, that he may persuade Sanquhar to return after some abode at London; wherein they intend to seek Burghley's help. Thanks Burghley "for the booke of the Frenche Kinges late declaracion." He presented it to the King, who accepted it gladly, longing greatly to understand the success of the French King, to whom he pretends to bear good affection and to be ready to aid him, showing himself bent against the Leaguers in France; the rather because the towns of Havre ["Newhaven"], Fe'camp, St. Valery Amiens ["Amyas"], Abbeville, and Crotoy ["Crokye"] have stayed sundry Scottishmen and seized their goods, with spiteful words against their King, the realm and themselves, whereupon the King has granted his letter of marque or reprisal to Captain George Todrigge, Patrick Morice, Francis Tenaunt, Edward Johnson, John Lowrie, and Robert Hebburne, burgesses of Edinburgh, to take the goods of any of the said towns or of other adherents of the Leaguers in France. Upon the delivery of this letter to the persons named, the King said openly and with earnestness that if the ambassador—meaning Bowes—should think good, he would proclaim war against the rebels and Leaguers mentioned. He may be readily drawn to this, if it be thought meet to be put in practice; but many of his nobility and boroughs will hardly consent thereunto. Bowes forbears "ether to presse him further or abate his mynde in this matter" till he be directed by Burghley.

Colonel Stewart returned hither on Friday last, the 16th instant. After he had been with the King, on the morrow he came to Bowes, to tell him that he had delivered the King the letters and writings of such princes in Germany as he had spoken withal, and that after the King had read them Bowes should have them, that he and Stewart together "might take furthe the effectes of the same," and send to Burghley to be shown to her majesty, according to her pleasure signified to Stewart; praying Bowes to stay his packet till these and Stewart's own letters could be sent.

Yesterday he brought to him (Bowes) the original letters of the Dukes of Saxony and Brunswick, and of Joachim Frederick, eldest son of the Marquis of Brandenburg, addressed to the King of Scots; as also the answers of the King of Denmark and the Landgrave of Hesse to the ambassadors of the King of Scotland. Has taken copies of the same— as being better than extracts—with the King's consent, and sends them to Burghley, together with Colonel Stewart's letters to her majesty and to him, showing the success in his late negotiations. It is further promised by the King and the Colonel that when any other letters or messages be brought to the King concerning this cause, Bowes shall be advertised thereof.

"The King hath given order to William ven der Wense—alreadie departed hence and in his retorne throwe England into Denmark—to move the King of Denmark, the Quene his mother, and the Duke of Brunswick, to write and send unto the Duke of Saxon, to be myndefull to solicit and sett forwardes this cause at the next Diett and meting of the princes of Germanie; as by William ven der Wense, presentlie in his jorney towardes your lordship, in the companie of the Baron of Sternhemberg, it will appeare unto your lordship."

Huntly having obtained the King's leave to come to Montrose to know the King's pleasure, but being now deferred till 6th November next, Bowes hears that the King is greatly solicited to receive him sooner, and has therefore reminded the King of his promise to the Earl of Worcester, letting him know that her majesty must find it very strange that the performance thereof should be so long delayed, after such confident assurance given: "and also that the King could not with honour deale so roundelie with Huntlaie after he had received him to his presence and grace as nowe he may"; persuading him the more earnestly because it appeared that Huntly's hasty repair to court should hazard to disquiet the state and endanger good subjects here. The King readily acknowledged his promise, seeming willing to perform it so far as shall lie in his power, recounting the impediments cast in his way by his nobility and Council. He acquitted himself from all dealings with Papists, and promised that Huntly should have no favour of him without the especial advice of the Council. "In which deliberacion it should be manifest that he wold not forgit this promis thus oft laide to his chardge."

Procured Roger Aston to let these things so fall before the King as he might see how greatly they concerned his honour and estate, and occupied the minds of his best subjects. Aston handled the matter so well that the King was not easy till the Chancellor had conferred with Bowes and taken order for the "indelate course against the Papistes" to be put in execution. This should prevent many dangers to religion and the state, and also to the person and safety of the Chancellor, whom Bowes has found so "put at" as he thought it necessary to warn him against such as, possessing the King's ear, would have abated his favour towards the Chancellor.

"Upon advertisement of Huntlaie's comming to Montrosse, the King will deliberate with the nobilitie and Counsaill on his wholl case. And upon the good successe of that deliberacion, some order shalbe motioned to limitt first in gentle manner the Master of Angusse, Fentree, the bailif of Arrell, and suche especiall faccioners and heades of the Papistes, who, being afterwardes found giltie of any practise or crimes, shalbe charged agreable to the matters discovered. Besides, the King hearing that Mr. James Gordon was privilie entred and remayning in this towne, hathe given warrant for his immediate apprehension, offering that if he shall not spedelie depart out of this realme according to his promis, that then commission shalbe awarded for his arrest." These things are like to come in consideration about the 8th or 9th of next month at the assembly of the Council at Holyrood. Bowes asks Burghley to call upon him—by such letter as might be showed to the King (fn. 3) —to advertise as to what had succeeded upon his reminder of the King's promise; and urging Bowes to drive the same to some resolute effect. Bowes trusts by the benefit of such a letter either to prevent the mischiefs threatened, or to let Burghley know what hope remains of any fruit of that promise. "Many good thinges are promised by the King to be done at this next convencion."

It is intended to draw the Papists on to show the King the very bottom of their designs; but Bowes fears "they are over wylie to be twise taken in one trappe." Encloses the book written by Mr. John Davison against part of Dr. Bancroft's sermon (fn. 4) preached at Paul's Cross. (fn. 5) The King travailed to suppress the rest of the books, but some few have escaped the hands of the printer, whom the King much blamed for the same, and bound him in sureties to print nothing hereafter without the King's warrant, agreeable to the order now appointed. "This matter hathe had sondrye consultacions and bein diverslie tossed," wherein the King and Chancellor intended to write to Burghley; "for it is stomaked here, that Mr. Bancroft should in his booke charge the King bothe with manyfest dissimulacion, and also to have given out the declaracion (fn. 6) which was not authorised by the King, but sett fourth by the archbisshop of St. Androes. And it is muche noted that this declaracion should be annexed to the Cronicle of Mr. Hollingshead." Yet the King and Chancellor have stayed their letters, not willing to give any offence in the cause, nor desire effects doubtful to be granted. They hope something shall be done for the King's honour and contentment in this behalf: they had rather by their letters give thanks for courtesies shown than adventure to kindle any fire. Bowes's efforts to suppress the books have lost him the good countenance and company of the chief authors thereof. Labour is made to bring him to further mislike of the rest of the ministry than is convenient for the service in his charge, for the goodwill of discreet ministers may continue to profit her majesty's service.

Many times he (Bowes) has pressed both King and Chancellor for redress for attempts on the Borders, to which they seem ready to agree. But he finds "one bush drawen in the gapp and stopping this passage, by the delay of redresses to be made for Lyddisdale." Sir John Forster is to call on Bothwell to meet him and give redress for Liddesdale in the bills filed by the commissioners at Berwick. In case Bothwell deny or delay to do it, he shall be sent for and enjoined by the King to set down in writing why he does so, "what he will do, and bynd him self for the redresses for Lyddisdale, and what he demaundeth to be don to him for the same."

One Rafe Lacye—a gentleman born in Yorkshire—is lately come hither from Sir Edward Kelly at Prague in Bohemia. He served the Earl of Lennox the King's grandfather, and thereupon sought the King's service here, yet it is suspected that he is employed by Sir Edward on some special errand. Bowes has dealt with him; he gives solemn oath that Sir Edward only relieved him, and has not employed him in any sort hither. He has been a pensioner to the King of Spain, and departed out of England for papistry; therefore—with his own consent—Bowes has broken his suit for the King's service, and he will shortly return to Prague.

The love betwixt the Duke of Lennox and Mrs. Lylias Ruthven, daughter to the Earl of Gowrie, deceased, is discovered to the King, who labours by all means to draw the Duke from that marriage. "Against the which also Huntlay, Colonell Stewart, and other of the Dukes frendes bothe sett their shoulders and wholle powre, and also greatlie prick and provoke the King to be earnest therein; doubting that by this matche the Duke shalbe drawen to associate him self to the partie of Sterling." Some in England, and also Morton's daughter, were motioned to him to quench his desires, but he continues stedfast, to the great offence of the King and his friends, who for six or seven days have been occupied in this matter.

On Saturday the 17th hereof, Huntly and Atholl were agreed at Balvany. Huntly desiring the like agreement betwixt Atholl and Erroll, sent a blank to Erroll, requiring him to subscribe it, trusting to Huntly to insert the articles of accord; but Erroll refused to subscribe "before Atholl had restored to him the evidences and plenishment of his house of Loggie." It is evident how those of the Brig of Dee travail to band together and make themselves strong.

Alexander Lindsay, vice chamberlain, being lately at war with Huntly for the possession of Spynie castle, part of the see of Murray, has now compounded with Huntly and gotten his release; and since his return to court has shown many good offices towards Huntly. Lindsay is to be made a baron, "and honored with the title of lord of Spina."

Bothwell continues at Kelso, entertaining the mediators betwixt him and the house of Manderston for his slaughter of David Hume, called "Davy the Devill." He pretends great fortifications and buildings at Kelso. Commission is granted him to compound with all at the horn within the sheriffdoms of Selkirk, Roxburgh, and Berwick, except those outlawed for treason or murder. Two parts of the fines shall be answered to the King, the third part allowed to himself.

"Commission is given to Sir John Carmighell to chardge the barons and others in the sheriffwick of Dumfreise," and stewardshipps of Annandale and Kirkcudbright, in the West Marches of Scotland, "to appeare before him at Dumfreise the 15th of November next, to subscribe their bandes to dischardge the King and Warden for attemptes done in England. And he hathe volentines—which are writtes or preceptes—to give to every man found giltie, in his owne person, servantes or tenauntes, to give obedience and satisfaccion."

This state continues in quietness, though many look for troubles. The next convention will show the event, in peace or storm. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript—Lord Hamilton and Captain Hamilton, hearing that one Basse, (fn. 7) an English pirate, had taken near the Isle of Wight the ship wherein the goods and apparel of Captain Hamilton were put to be carried hither, have written to Bowes to commend this matter to Burghley, praying him in their names to help the Captain towards the restitution of the same.

pp. Many notes by Burghley. Addressed. Indorsed.

Enclosure with the same:

(Colonell William Stewart to Burghley.)

"It pleassed the Quenes majestie at my last being thare to will me to mak ane noett of our conferrens towards my nygosiatione in Denmark and Garmanye; wharupone I have gevin ane just copie of all the answerris from the prynsipall parsones to whom we war derected to my lord ambassadore, to be sent unto your lordship, to the end ze may beathe parewsse and aquent her majestie with the sam[e], for suche is the King my soverrane his will."

"Your lordship will al[so] delyver this other letter wryttin to her majestie consernyng the[is] same matteris. It hes pleasset his majestie, as one most desyrous to see a gude essew or successe in theis affairis, to geve charge to William Vanderwens to deall boethe with the Counsell of Denm[ark] and Duik of Brownswick, to heast als weill the resolutione as the parsone promyst to aquent his majestie thaerwith, quhilk bei[ng] come will nocht remayne heir longe underectted to her majestie."

"I lowk that the Prynce Crystiane of Annolt sall be imploiet as one most well effectted, being in greatt credytt and favore with the elector of Szax. The rest of this I most leave to the providens of God allmyettie, and myndis of theas in whai[s] handis the same is left. In the meintym geve the Estadts Unyted sold have recowrss agayne as of before unto her majestie toward my affairis or clai[ms], I will most homblie beseik your lordship to have in favorable memorie my long and loyall service to thame, as was at lynthe before resyted, and also my good meanyng and trewe dealling in theis other matteris, tending to ane equall be[ne]fytt of boethe the realmes and pryncis thaerof." Edinburgh, 24 Oct. 1590. Signed: William Stewa[rt].

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

493. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 31.]

Hears that sundry sorts of the nobility, in great number, intend to winter in Edinburgh. The Papists and Spanish factioners, trusting to work their will covertly by means of their secret friends in this assembly, are busy to draw hither such as favour their plots. Letters of the well affected confirm this, and warn some chief in the ministry that their lives are like to fall hastily in danger.

Has secret intelligence that albeit some of the speciall instruments of the Papists assure the Chancellor that they depend wholly on him, "yet they gredelie seeke his overthrowe, and to sett in his place an other promising to advance all their deseignes." They are levying some mass of money, purposing to meet shortly near this town for deliberation of their causes, chiefly for bringing Huntly to court, staying James Gordon in Scotland, how to deal with the Chancellor, and how to keep together without danger. Cannot yet learn whom they would promote to the Chancellor's place; some think the Master of Glamis—whom the King now esteems one of the most able to govern in this realm—others think the Papists will not trust Glamis so far. "Some of the Chanceloures frendes thinck that Glames hathe alreadie espyed the Papistes myndes in this part, and seeth that the Chanceloures fall shall cast him on his knees."

Huntly and Erroll have appointed to meet at Slains on 2nd November, to reconcile Erroll and Atholl. Atholl's friends are greatly grieved with these agreements betwixt him, Huntly, and Erroll; he is so violently carried as it seems to be "from suche heade and ground as he may not convenientlie withstande."

Has heard of James Gordon being at the Grange—the house of the abbot of Newbottle—and the other crew with him; of the posting of Fentry in these parts, and the stir of James Elphinstone, James Chisholm, "and the rest of the rabble of the Papistes and Spanish faccion, who are seen to crepe so fast out of their hives" that sudden attempts against the state and the Chancellor are feared.

For prevention of inconveniencies has opened these matters to the King, persuading him to give due regard to them for the common cause and his own safety. The King has already restrained Huntly's repair to Montrose, or any nearer to this town or court, whereunto he shall not come till all this be quieted, and then by advise of the Council. He has given order that James Gordon quit the realm immediately, otherwise the rigour of the laws shall be executed on him. And he will stay that concourse of the nobility in this town, and suffer none to remain but such as have evident business here and are free from suspicion.

Lastly, he will speedily assemble his Council, for the execution of things promised, to resolve upon order to be taken to confine the Papists and persons suspected, and upon proof of any further matter against any of them, to give him his due reward agreeable to the laws. He promises his care and readiness in the same, affirming that past delays were not through his default, but that of particular councillors, who in favour of their private friends have stayed the execution of his commandments.

The Chancellor finding these things true, and the state and himself in danger, has resolved to provide remedy, "so as the King and he have litle doubt safelie to passe throwe the stormes threatned." In this conference the Chancellor plainly discovered to Bowes the traffic of the Papists with him. Being now so warned of their crafts against him he hopes to entrap them in their own pits.

Colonel Stewart says that the King and Council of Denmark are informed that the King of Spain had directed Don Pedro de Valdes— now prisoner in England—that immediately after the army of Spain and the forces of the Duke of Parma should have been set on land in England in their late voyage, Don Pedro with the whole fleet of Spain should sail with all possible expedition to possess himself of the Sounds in Denmark. This matter is seen in Denmark to be of such importance to the King and state as they desire to know the truth thereof, thinking the same may be best drawn out of Don Pedro. Bowes desires that Don Pedro may be sounded, and the King of Scotland be informed of his confession. Such information were profitable for England, Denmark, and Scotland, and for the advancement of Colonel Stewart's late negotiations in Germany.

The King of Denmark by his answer sent by Colonel Stewart to the King of Scots has referred all matters not certified in that answer to the advertisement of the Duke of Saxony, to be brought by Christian Duke of Anhalt. Therefore the Colonel—with advice of the King—has written to the Duke of Anhalt, requiring him to solicit the Duke of Saxony to persuade the princes of Germany to such timely resolution as is requisite, and to hasten the convoy of their resolutions to the King here. This letter is to be conveyed to the Baron of Sternhemberg, lately returned from this town to London, to carry to the Duke of Anhalt. At the Colonel's request Bowes has ordered Sheperson, his servant in London, to deliver this letter to the Baron.

Lord Claud Hamilton has been to Renfrew to liberate one of his servants arrested there. The town resisted and one of the townsmen was slain. Hitherto the matter is passed over, but it may turn to the trouble of Lord Claud.

"Some part of the matter for the reconsiliacion betwixt Bothwell and the house of Manderston was referred to the declaracion of the King, who hathe in part shewed his mynde therein: yet the cause is put over untill the 15th of November next, with hope that it shalbe then ended and fullie agreed to Bothwells contentment."

Has procured the King's letters to the Wardens to discharge by proclamation sundry prisoners unlawfully taken, and redress is promised. Upon the assembly of Council the 3rd or 4th November he will proceed further. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Indorsed.

494. Mr. Archibald Douglas to Burghley. [Oct. 31.]

"Yisterday I ressawed ane lettir from Colonell Stewart, wharbye he declaris to me that, according to hir majesteis dessire, he hath send to your lordship the copye of his hoile proseadingis in his layte negotiation. And be his lettir he ernistlye pressis me that ather the King his soverayn or than him self may be adwertised off hir majesteis lyikng or myslyking thayrof. For performing of this his requeist I can do no moyre bot mak your lordship acquaynted thayrvyth, and attend to knaw your lordships plesur anent the making anser thayronto; as also to recommend onto your lordships gud memorye his pryvat case and sute wyth the Statis off Holand. I wold also pray your lordship, when ocasions doeth serwe, to remember my awin pryvat state to your lordship weill knawin." Signed: A. Douglas.

¾ p. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed.


  • 1. See Miscellany of the Wodrow Society, i. 473 et seq.
  • 2. Marginal note by Burghley: "It wer good to grant hym lycenss, both for his frendes sake and to make the yong lard to know hir majesty."
  • 3. Marginal note by Burghley: "To advertise Mr. Bowes. I have allready written to hym accordyng to advise."
  • 4. See Miscellany of the Wodrow Society, i. 473 et seq.
  • 5. Marginal note by Burghley: "I have spoken with Mr. Bancroft."
  • 6. Marginal note by Burghley: "The declaration is in dede printed by on Mr. Thynn for whom I have sent for."
  • 7. Marginal note by Burghley: "It is thought that it is on Dufford, a known pyratt as my lord Admyrall can tell."