James VI: May 1591

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: May 1591', in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) pp. 510-521. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp510-521 [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "James VI: May 1591", in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) 510-521. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp510-521.

. "James VI: May 1591", Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936). 510-521. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp510-521.

In this section

James VI: May 1591

558. Mr. Archibald Douglas to Burghley. [May 7.]

"My necessitie is so grit that evin yisterday I was constraned to borrow so much money as to pay the chargis of ane serwand send to Scotland wyth this gentillman that come from the Duck of Bruniswik; and wyth so grit difficultye I did obteyn the samin that I was forced to make promes to repay the samin wythin twenty four houris. Thayrfor I must hartlye pray your lordship to be so faworablye onto me as to gyve ordour that the patent of Sanct Katherinis may be caryed to the court, which it pleased hir majeste to grant in my favouris of hir speciall gudnes towardis me, to be signed, that I may sea what I can do thayrvyth for the releaving of my credit."

"Necessite forcis me thus farre to be importunat at this tyme; yea, albeit the patent will be of no grit effect quhill the monethis of December or Januar, for such ressonnis as I declared to hir majeste and schew to your lordship of befor; whearof I will pray your lordship to have consideration." Signed: A. Douglas.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Indorsed.

559. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [May 8.]

"Havinge prepared my pacquett to your lordship, and putte therin bothe one longe letter to effectes appearing in this letter inclosed—and beinge the true coppie of my letter then addressed to your lordship and nowe intercepted—and also my warrante to aucthorize Christopher Sheperson to be my attornie to make all myne accomptes to her majestie for my office at Barwick, I delivered to John Snowden, soldiour under Sir William Reade in Barwick, on Thursdaye laste in the morninge, this pacquett, together with one smale letter sente to Sir John Selbye by Mr. Richard Dowglasse, bringinge the same to me verie earlie in that morninge, and one other letter sente by Mr. Locke to Barwick." Snowden started with this packet and letters. Near Musselburgh he espied two horsemen following him, their faces covered with black scarves, and one footman, who drew so fast upon him as he left his way and joined the company of the bishop of Orkney, who, hearing that he came from him [Bowes], carried him to his house, and sent his servant to Cunningham [sic] to hire a fit person to guide Snowden to Berwick. Snowden and his guide met—within a quarter of a mile—an inhabitant of that town, who, seeing him to be an Englishman, advised him to stay in that town for that night, for he had met two horsemen and a footman, muzzled, that enquired for such an Englishman as Snowden was. "This man tolde him playnlie that they wolde either take his letters, if he hade anye, or els his purse or lyfe. Snowden came backe againe to his hostes house there, and soone after the foteman came to the doore, and seinge him, returned to the horseman, who with the foteman came to Snowdens lodging, and in the sighte of twentie or thirtie people drewe him oute of the doores, toke him and set him on his horsbacke, bynding his feete under his horse bellye and his handes behynde his backe. After they tooke his purse, monye, and somme of his apparell, using him excedinge crewellie, to cause him to acknowledge and deliver the reste of the letters that he hade. Thus they lefte him bounde and sore beaten, that he coulde not come to me before yesternight."

The King, upon his [Bowes'] information, sent to discover the executioners of this, with the devisers. Thinks "that some plowinge with myne owne heiffer hathe turned up this stone to vexe me." Has got some light, and hopes to gather more within few days.

This convention is so slender, chiefly of the nobility, as the trial of Bothwell cannot proceed; yet his friends press for the trial. It is given out, so that it may come to the King's ears, that he will stay his progress until he receive advice from her majesty. This bruit is grounded upon the contents of his [Bowes'] intercepted letter; wherein he shall readily satisfy the King and Council. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

12/3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

Enclosure with the same:

[Robert Bowes to Burghley.] [May 5.]

Upon receipt of Burghley's letter of April 23 he delivered to the King —then at Haughton—her majesty's letter, which he gladly received, commending the princelike style thereof, and rendering thanks, promised to continue in this course with her majesty. He then put the King in mind of the late accusations against Bothwell, pointing to his former faults and to the present dangers to the King and state and the peace of both crowns. He concluded with advice—in her majesty's name— to examine these matters thoroughly for protection of the innocent and punishment of the guilty, "as also to dandle no longer offenders to the perill of himself and common causes." The King seemed resolved to put this advice in practice, saying that the evidence against Bothwell for conspiring his death was so weak as the assize of the nobility would be hardly satisfied to declare him guilty. He was determined to try the truth to the bottom, and execute justice speedily. The King, the Chancellor, and other councillors still labour to discover all things clearly; and the King and Council directed the ministry to ordain a general fast with prayers for this discovery: which was solemnized on Sunday the 2nd instant.

"That it was an oversight to deferre the apprehension of Roynion Chernsyde untill Bothewell was chardged with the facte, as your lordship hathe noted: it is answered, that this was done that no skarre moughte be geven to Bothewell to staye his appearance." It was thought that Chernsyde would have come with Bothewll as he used to do; and now, because Bothwell undertook to bring in Chernsyde and Nesbett, and sent Pennycowke his servant to Chernsyde and thereby knoweth his mind, which shall give little light to the truth, therefore no great labour is made to take Chernsyde, who is returned out of the north. Some have offered to search him out, but this seems rather meant to take hold of Bothwell's promise and actions herein; he [Bowes] leaves them to their own course.

"Upon the sight here of the proclamation published in England forbidding all persons to resorte to any townes helde by the Frenche Kinge's rebells, order shalbe taken aswell to renewe the actes of Counsell passed here in that behalf as also to inquire of the defaultes."

Has already written of the preferment of Richard Cockburn to the office of Secretary.

On Saturday the first instant he received Burghley's letter of April 25, with her majesty's to the laird of Caddell. The King has been so occupied with the fast on Sunday and the examination of witches as he could not have access to him nor opportunity to write, "my clarckes either absent or sicke, and my self latelie passed a sharpe and dangerous blaste." Trusts in a few days to write more of his doings in Bothwell's cause, wherein he strives not to be the first informer but rather to inform with truth and certainty, attending the leisure of the King and councillors. The King has promised to provide for Liddesdale that it shall be answerable to justice, but will suspend the matter till the convention proceed to Bothwell's trial.

By the examination of O'Rourke it may be disclosed that he sought intelligence with the Earl of Tyrone in Ireland: the report thereof made to him [Bowes] is more of conjecture than knowledge.

The laird of Caddell, visited with a tertian ague, departed from Edinburgh to his house—against his advice and the desire of his friends— before receiving her majesty's letter; has sent it to him.

The King continues desirous to have some fallow deer sent to him this year, "wishing proofe to be made for the carriadge," as will be seen by his letter to Roger Aston.

Bothwell has certified the King and Council that Chernsyde, being guilty of crime for consulting with Graham and other witches in his own particular causes, dare not present himself to answer in the actions of Bothwell before the King pardon his own faults. Upon special remission for himself in those particulars he will come in and abide trial for all things done by him in behalf of Bothwell. This is reserved to the deliberation of the convention. Bothwell has written to Mar for his favour, wherewith Mar has acquainted the King. He has also sought the goodwill of the Master of Glamis and other noblemen. Hereupon order shall be given to the captain of the castle for his straiter keeping, partly at the captain's request, who greatly desires that Bothwell might be committed to other ward; which will not be resolved before the convention. "The Ladie Bothewell, delivered of a sonne within these four and twentie dayes, hathe obteined leave to speake with her husbande and to remaine in the chamber with him if she list, otherwise to be restreined to have any further accesse to him. The first warrante graunted to her was so strayte as she refused the same. She hathe earnestly soughte the goodwill and helpe of the Chauncelour by liberall offers of her eldest sonne, landes, the boundes of her husband's freindes and all other meanes. The Chauncelour answered that before this he passed over readylie all matters that concerned the taking awaye of his owne lyfe, but he mought not medle in thinges touching the lyfe of the Kinge." Bothwell, hearing that he shall be kept more close, and that his trial shall not be so soon as he looked, entered into great passion, saying that in time they might easily find others like Graham that shall falsely accuse him. He now fears to be charged with coining, and counterfeiting the King's hand.

The King has summoned many noblemen, boroughs, and barons to Holyrood House the 6th of May; many have sent excuses, and the assembly will be small, but is to advise on the sufficiency of the evidence against Bothwell, and either to proceed, or appoint a new convention for his trial. Lord Hume, thought to favour Bothwell, is sent away on errands, otherwise he should have been charged to depart. He has renewed his suit for a passport to come through England.

Encloses his warrant appointing his servant Christopher Sheperson his attorney to present his accounts to her majesty for all moneys received for payment of the garrison at Berwick and works there, from his first taking office there till this day. Has already delivered to John Conyers and Mr. Doddington, auditors of his accounts, all books and papers down to 1583, since which time he could not get the books of the works at Berwick signed and avouched by the surveyors; hence the delay in delivering his accounts and books to the auditors; the fault has been in the surveyors. Prays for redress of their default, that the accounts may speedily be made. Has already signified the sums due by him to the garrison at Berwick, and the occasions of his fault, and submits himself to her majesty's will. His servant employed in this suit lately tendered for him—as the whole revenue that can be levied of all his possessions—the yearly payment of 1,400 l. until the full sum of 5,600 l. shall be paid for the discharge of those arrears; and also that the manor of Aske and the coals and salt pans in the bishopric of Durham should be assured for the yearly payment of 1,000 l., part of the said 1,400 l., and that the other 400 l. should be detained in her majesty's hands out of the yearly fees of his office in Berwick. And because further surety was required for the said 1,000 l. upon Aske, the coal and salt, therefore he required the Earl of Huntingdon to accept the assurance thereof, and to give her majesty such bonds as Burghley should think fit. Is willing to yield all that he has to satisfy her majesty and pay the garrison, and for accomplishment of all assurances has sent his son to Burghley, "being right sorie that his healthe served no better to have attended on your lordship before this tyme. Besydes this I have nothinge savinge my lyfe and libertie, which freely I laye downe before the feete of her majesty." 5 May 1591. Unsigned.

62/3 pp. Copy. Indorsed: "Coppie of my letter addressed to the Lord Threasurer and intercepted at Cunningham in Scotlande the 6th of Maye 1591."

560. R[alph?] Carr to William Jenison. [May 9.]

"The oportunitye of so fytt a bearer, thoughe havinge small wheron to write, mayde me so boulde as to have my hartye commendations remembred to your selfe with your good bedfellow and lytle ones, for yf ther was ought for me to be done in your behalfe at my comminge owte of Ireland."

"I advertised yow from London by my letters dated the 18th of Februarye 1590 ether of the successe of thinges done ther as allso what was to be hopte in such cawses as upon my retorne agayne into Ireland yow assured your selfe for ther more saffe convayinge over would be committed to my charge: but whether the successe have answered your expectation I know not; onlye heerof I dare saye that it wanted no furtherance I was able [to] mayke, though at the fyrst I perceived my journey backe as I looked for was frustrate."

"My selfe at this present remayninge in the countrye, I cane not reporte unto yow any of the news which London doth daylye afforde; nore dothe thes partes minister any worthe of the tellenge, more then that your Orworke, havinge mayd a skape from thence in goinge for Spayne, as heer it is reported, was putt by stresse a-land in Scoteland; wher being discryed and by the King's permision Carrmycheell hayth delyvered him into England whence he is sent to London. What is to be looked for for that he knows he semeth lytle to fear, with so much lesse cawse of sorrow for that his brother and sonne are cleane escapte."

"The Lorde Bothewell of Scotelande is committed to Edenboroughe castell for conspyringe the Kinge's death by socerye as they say. He standes upon his truthe and cravs that by combate agaynst his accuser, thoughe never so mean a person, he may defend him selfe. We say that he shall dye: the Scottes would the contrarye; but yf he dye they spare not to speake that to hyme as to others we mayke ther Kinge a boucher to serve our tournes."

"Sir, haste and the departinge bearer maykes me heer break of, with whom I thought, yf his goinge away sooner then I looked for had not been a lett, to have sent some small countrye remembrances to your selfe with some other of my good frendes; wherfor, God willinge, I will tayk heerafter a tyme. And so with many thankes for all your worshipps favours, the bearer pullinge me by the sleave maykes me heer tayke my leave." "Peersbrigge" [Pierce Bridge, co. Durham.] Signed: R. Carr.

1 p. Holograph, also address: "To the worshippfull and my most approved frend Mr. William Jenison at Castle Rycard in Ireland be thes." Indorsed.

561. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [May 9.]

Since his letters to Burghley delivered yesternight to the post for Berwick, he was informed this morning that Barbara Naper, arraigned yesterday, was charged with practice for the destruction of the King, to have been done by the devil and the other witches, at the motion of Bothwell, as Graham affirms; as also for the death of the late Earl of Angus, and many other sorceries, witchcrafts, and consulting with witches. "By the counsell assigned to her, and by her chalendges and shiftes, she both put of the gentlemen returned to have bene of her assise, in whose places others of this towne—where she hath many kynsfolske and freendes of good credyt—were receyved, and also contynued the matter in debate untill two of the clocke in this morning, before the jury or assise—as they terme it—could be chosen and chardged." The assize have acquitted her of practising the destruction of the King and death of Angus, and found her guilty for consulting with witches: no judgment is given, but she is at the King's pleasure. This is not fallen out as was looked for, and further consideration will be had of these matters, which daily slide into great dangers. It is thought she will either seek to redeem her life by discovery of things known to her, or else confess all things at her death. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript in Bowes' handwriting—"By these begynnynges your lordship may easely see what the ende wilbe; and that these are lyk to occupye the King with troubles nott fytt for hym. Yf I had a cypher with your lordship I wold wrytt somethinges more planely."

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

562. James VI. to Elizabeth. [May 15.]

"The earnest desyre we carye to have the insolencis and lewde attemptates committed on our Bordouris suppressed, joyned with the expected hope and contentment we heare you conceave of that suire intendit ordour gevin of lait thairanent, hath stirred ws up not a lytill to mak at the appointed tyme now aproching that project so effectuall as may be, to the quyet of both the realmes and avoyding of further occasion of daylie complaints; as we have more particularlie imparted to your ambassadour resident heir. And for that this incident restraint of the Erle Bothuell—who by his office is bound to be ansuerable for those of Liddisdale, wher the greatest enormities hath beine committed—may bread no stay in our resolution, we have in lyk sort gevin derection and sall be witnes in seing that pairt no lesse cairfullie supplied then him self was able to have dischairgit his duetye in that behalf."

"Wherof as we have thought meit to give yow knawledge, we luik to find suche correspondence on your opposite Marches as our ministers on both sydis, being alyk sincerlie disposed, thair travellis without dowbt shall produce they good offices may be to the benefit of our countreyis and encreassing of the happie amitie and good intelligence enterteynid betuixt ws: wherin of our pairt ye may rest assuired of all can be expected of a most sincere devoted cousing and kyndlie affected freind." Holyrood House. Signed: "Youre most loving and affectionatt brother and cousin James R."

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

563. James VI. to Elizabeth. [May 15.]

"The pitiefull estait and greivous complaint of certaine our subjectis, pairtnairis of that action of spoile so long tyme prosecuted be Archibald Jhonson agains Roger Windham, and motioned be our subjects the bourgessis and counsall of our burgh of Edunburgh, as the exemple thairof apperteining to thame and everie ane of our subjects accoustumed to traffique within yowr realme, hes moved ws to this our present suit, and as before to interpone our earnest requeist, that be our mediatioun our distressed subjects may be saved from an evident wrak able to ensew upon the longsum delay and protracting of the execution of justice conforme to the decreis of your Counsall pronunced in favours of the said Archibald and his pairtneris; quhairby notwithstanding that Roger was anis decerned and committed to prison, yet the releasing of him thairfra—as we are informed—no satisfaction maid to the complainers, nather thair consent had thairto, signifieth to ws a lesse regaird and meaning of your Counsall to the pitifull estait of thes poore men and to the equitie of thair cause then we luiked for."

"This matter being maid knawin to yow, we doubt not but in respect of our mediatioun and the favour the said complainer having yowr guid countenance hes so often tymes found and rapported lairgelie to ws, the samin shall be amendit be sic derection gevin to yowr Counsall concerning that matter as our present requeist, together with our former suites, sall not appeare ineffectuall to our saidis poore and distressed subjectis, having thair recours under God onlie to that favour we may procure at yowr handis, quhilk we intend, God willing, to requyt towards any yowr subjectis that shall have the lyk occasion." Holyrood House. Signed: "Youre most loving and affectionatt brother and cousin James R."

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

564. James VI. to the Privy Council of England. [May 15.]

"Notwithstanding sindrie our former suitis addressed pairtlie to owr deerest suster the Quene your soveraine, finding allwayes her guid favour, pairtlie to certaine owr guid freindis of her Counsall quhilk we have found as yet to have procured but small pleasour to our distressed subjectis, Archibald Jonson and his pairtnairis, persewaris of that actioun of spoile agains Roger Windhame, upon the renewing of that complaint be the counsall and marchandis of owr burgh of Edunburgh in respect Roger Windhame, contrarie to yowr decrees, is released from prison without the consent or satisfaction of the complaineris, we have takin occasion to derect this present towards yow, quhairby we will verie effectuallie desyre of yow that ye wold have sic consideratioun of this mater as apperteineth, the exemple thairof twiching everie ane of our subjectis accoustumed to travell or traffique within the realme of England, having conceated a refusall, or at least small execution of justice, and littill regaird had aither to our former suitis or to the equitie of that cawse quhilk by yowr commissionis and uther cairfull dealling ye have so cleared as na thing laketh but execution onlie."

"We leave to yowr wisdomes and discretion to considder quhat illes may arryse upon this particulare cawse now meined be the generall consent of owr subjects, and what consequence the samin may carie with it."

"We dowbt not thairfor but ye will tak sic ordour thairanent as may tend to the satisfactioun of thes poore men, alluterlie ruined if further delay sall be used, and to the contentment of utheris our subjectis at quhais earnest suit we have graunted this present, quhilk we hope sall not be ineffectuall." Holyrood House. Signed: "Your assured guid freind and cousing James R."

2/3 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

565. James VI. to Burghley. [May 15.]

"We have, at the earnest suit and desyre of certain our subjectis, the Counsall and marchandis of owr burgh of Edimburgh, derected our letters to our deerest suster the Quene your soverane and to her Counsall, lyk as we are desyred to derect this present touards you, as ane quha in special may mak our foresaids mair effectuall then our utheris requestes maid often tymes befor hes beine in respect of the small regaird had to our distressed subjectis, Archibald Jhonson and his pairtneris, of that actioun of spoile againes Roger Windham, quha, being according to the decrees of the Counsall of our deerest suster committed to prison, was nevertheless released thairfra without any consent or satisfaction maid to the pairty complainer."

"This mater, as it is hardlie weyed be our subjectis as ane exemple twiching everie ane of thame, sa we dowt not ye will considder quhat illess may aryse of this particular, meined be the generall consent of our subjects, the redresse quhairof, being of no great consequence, as is the matter in it self, may easelie quyet and sattill the evill presumptions appearand to be conceaved be thame. Wherin we hope assuiredlie ye will have sic consideratioun as may move our subjectis to ane contentment and to the staying of further suitis at owr handis." Holyrood House. Signed: "Your assured good freind James R."

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.

566. Sir Robert Melville to Burghley. [May 16.]

"Hawing commoditie of the berare to pas in thai pairtis, I am bauld to renew my acquentance in recommending him, quha is my kynnisman and freind, in his lefull adois to zour lordship's gud favour."

"He hes bene nurischit thairof before, quhair now he is to remane and serve sum tyme. His father and him self ar maist affectionat to do service in that cuntrie afoir ony uther by thair awin."

"In respect of my office and charge heir, I am be thir few lynis to put zour lordship in memorie that as ze have tane panis alreddy for to try sic as counterfutis his majesteis cunzie in that cuntrie, that it wald lykwayis pleis zour lordship to continew, and to advertis his majestie of the personis and circumstanceis how thai sall be tryit."

"Gif it sall pleis zour lordship to kyss the Quenis majesteis hand in my name, it wald do me greit plesur, seing I rest hir majesteis maist affectionat servand, confessing my self to have ressavit by hir maist favour and courtasie of ony subject in this cuntree; and quhen the occasioun sall be offrit, hir majestie sall have prufe of ane thankfull hart." Holyrood House. Signed: Robert Meluill.

¾ p. Holograph, also address. Indorsed.

567. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [May 19.]

Information is sent hither that albeit Roger Wyndham was committed to ward by the lords of her majesty's Privy Council to restore to Archibald Johnston and his partners, burgesses of Edinburgh, their goods cast by sea on Wyndham's lands and so in his possession, yet now he is set at liberty and redress delayed, so that the expences of the suit shall arise beyond their power to sustain. Therefore the provost, bailiffs, and chief burgesses of Edinburgh have petitioned the King to write in their favours to her majesty, the lords of the Privy Council, and Burghley—which he has done—and also entreated him [Bowes] to recommend this cause, that Johnston and his partners may have speedy redress, without greater expences than they can endure, being ready to give over their suit out of inability to endure the charges.

As this town has always shown readiness to do all good offices for her majesty, so they look for favour and help for these parties, being of good credit and specially devoted to her majesty. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

568. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [May 21.]

The state of this country and his own condition can better be signified by some person well instructed than by letter; is therefore sending Henry Locke to make full report thereof to Burghley. Locke will show how greatly the King is disquieted by the absence of the lords summoned to the convention, and matters practised in the trial of Barbara Naper "to defeate the King's intended course for the execucion of justice agaynst witches and consulters with them"; out of which causes ill effects daily spring, threatening peril to the King, sedition to this country, and division in the principal boroughs. Next he will show "the resolucions taken to reverse by errour the verdict of Barbara Naper's assise, to arraigne Effam Mackalean and other chardged with witchcraft, with better regarde to proceede to an honourable tryall of Bothwell at tyme to be founde convenient."

Locke is to request her majesty for delivery to James Hudson of such portion of her yearly gratuity as the King now needs. He is also instructed as to the persons who intercepted his [Bowes'] letters and robbed the carrier; the stay of the meeting for redress of Border matters and the King's readyness to take better order therein; "what rode and attempte Lyddisdall hath lately made in Tyndall; the doynges of Justice Clarke in the motion to the King to wryte to the Duke of Brunswicke; the sute of the laird of Cadder for the liberty of Odonelles sonne," and his [Bowes'] own distressed state. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript in Bowes' hand—"Advertyshment is commed to Mr. Georg Carre that the gestes to have beyn brought by Ellott into this countrey arryved att Dovorr the 25th of Aprill last, farre contrary ther dyett and expectacions. And neverthelesse yt is now thought here that they are entred into this realme. Wherin I forbeare to medle or to mak any greatt serche untill your lordship directe me."

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

569. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [May 26.]

Yesterday he received Burghley's letter of the 20th instant, and this day acquainted the Chancellor and Secretary with the discovery of the Spanish navy on the coasts of Scilly and Cornwall; and that some Spanish frigates, led by the Spaniards and pirates that last year spoiled the coastmen and fishers in these northern seas, were thought to be passed towards Shetland to annoy the fishermen of both realms now at their fishing there. "In respect of the presente condicion of this estate, ready to be rent in the myddest," he tempered his report, that the King and Council may be ready to prevent danger and yet no rumour of troubles should occasion the seditious to stir, or the King's designs for the next convention be hindered, or Burghley's purpose in any sort frustrated. He reminded them of the plot laid last year by the captain of the Spanish barque, promising to return about this time to spoil the fishermen at Shetland and proceed with practices with their confederates in this country. At his request it is promised that speedy warning shall be given to the fishermen, and diligent enquiry made as to the pirates now on the coasts of Orkney and Shetland and their enterprises. But he cannot get a fit vessel set forth to take the pirates and defend the fishermen who must only attend their refuge from her majesty. By Mr. Locke he has advertised "that some pyrates in a barke like to a Spanish frygot, with twelve or thirteen oares on a side, have already robbed three Scottish shippes neere to Orknay, and now have made sayle for the fyshermen of Schetlande." But the parties spoiled still think that the captain of that barque is Gwyn, the company Englishmen, and the barque set forth from Ratcliffe near London.

"The Secretary—being thought more fyt to ymparte these to the King then my selfe—is sent this day to the King at Fawkelande, with report of these, and that the fortie masle deere to be provided about Colchester shalbe gotten and sent to the King with the best expedicion."

His thanks and power suffice not to requite Burghley for "the least sparke" of his singular goodness shown in his letter; he offers the hearts of himself and his son and all their possessions to pay their debts to Burghley and all his. In order to recover her majesty's good countenance, to shield Burghley from annoy, and to pay the garrison at Berwick, he has sent his son and his servant Shepherdson to arrange matters. That these offers exceed his own power, and cannot be performed without the consent of his son, who is ready to yield all things not covenanted to his wife and her friends, will appear by the certificate of the extents for her majesty lately executed of all his lands, leases, goods, and chattels. Having no more in himself and his son to be presented to her majesty, prays that these poor things may be favourably accepted: otherwise he lays down life, liberty, and all that he has to be disposed at her pleasure. The rest he refers to his son and Shepherdson, who will expedite the accounts upon Burghley's order to be given for the assignment [sic: signing] of the books of works.

"Sythence the departure of Mr. Locke from hence, there was set up on the King's chambre doore and brought to his sight one libell advising the King to examyne and chardge by tortours Mr. John Graham and Glanorthye for conspiring the death of the King, with the helpe and meanes of Bothwell. It is protested that this is not done upon any malice, but that heereafter it shalbe proved by wryting that these persones are prevy to this conspiracy: wherein it is wished that Bothwell may be pardoned, in regard that he was drawen into the accion by evill counsell and not of his owne accorde. It is suspected that Sir James Stuard is pryvie to the making and setting fourth of this libell, and it is intended that in convenyent tyme he shalbe called to answer for the same."

The assize of error to reverse the verdict given in favour of Barbara Naper is proclaimed. The assizers are commanded to be here two days before their appearance in court, that the King may speak with them. Thus to reverse the verdict is lawful, but a great novelty, not hitherto practised. The King is earnest about it; it may open the way to other matters, and he would be present at the hearing. Many look that the success thereof shall not thoroughly please him.

Because the statute against papists and excommunicates ordains that they shall either be banished or committed to close ward until they satisfy the church, therefore the Master of Angus—being once brought in mind by his friends to satisfy the church—is committed to ward in Dundee upon bond to depart within forty days, and so to be abjured the realm. And Fentry is committed to Doune castle. The King and Council have promised that like order shall be taken with others, and order is given to the ministers to present the names of such persons to be chastised.

The Chancellor has resolved to leave George Carr to his own ways. "He is like to be put at amongst the other papistes," but will probably find some hole to escape.

Has moved the King to mediate between the Chancellor and Glamis, that their pretended goodwill may take root inwardly in their hearts, for the benefit of the great affairs in hand. The King travailed earnestly therein, but no other fruit is grown than came by former labours. "It is in head agayne to chardge the Chauncelour at this next convencion with some crymes." If this take effect it will hinder the King's course and work dangerous troubles. The King, in his conference with the noblemen before the convention, may possibly quench this fire kindling among the nobility and counsellors, who are so divided amongst themselves that storms are feared.

The King desires a guard of horsemen and footmen, not only for his own safety, but for the sudden apprehension of such notorious offenders as now range the country without fear of arrest. This charge is offered to Sir John Carmichael. But by want of money to maintain this guard until these storms be overblown, and by the Council's divided opinion about it, it is like to be stayed, and many good matters deeply hazarded. The King continues at Falkland, purposing to come hither on 4th June, to deliberate with the convention upon the assize of error and trial of other witches, and for the time of the arraignment of Bothwell.

Hears that sundry copies of his intercepted letter are given abroad. If promises be kept, he trusts to reckon with some of the intercepters, wherein he finds greater difficulty to apprehend them than to discover the haunt of the chief of them. Since the taking of O'Rourke most men of quality shrink from dealing in such matters, and his [Bowes'] purse suffices not, to his grief in regard of her majesty's service. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

570. Mr. Archibald Douglas to Burghley. [May 27.]

"This day I ressawed letteris from Scotland concerning that mater I wrote to the Lorde Justice Clerk. I wold be glayde hir majeste shuld be mayde acquaynted wyth the contentis when gud lasare may serve. To that effect I shalbe readye to come to hir hynes wythe thayme or wthirwayse obey hir majesteis derection in bringing thayme to your lordship, to the end hir majeste may onderstand what resolution is taken thayranent and some uthir matteris at home."

"This wthir day the lard of Buccleuche is cummed to this towne from Flandres, whear he is to remayn some few dayis wyth me quhill his cofferris may come to him from Deipe, which he expectis vilbe schortlye. Thayreftir he is to pray licence to kisse hir majesteis hand, and then to returne home to his cuntry readye to do all the gud officis he can for interteyning of gud quietnes betuixt these crownis."

"My present necessite is suche that I am forced to pray your lordship to ramember your promesse anent the passing of that which it hath pleased hir majeste of speciall fawour to gyve at my requeist to Doctor Cesar. Albeit the tyme be spent for this year whearin it mycht hawe done me some gude effect for borrowing of money, zit will I essay if I can onyvise helpe my self thayrwythe for to procure some releaf for my present neide at this tyme." Signed: A. Douglas.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Indorsed: "27 May 1591. Mr Dowglas to my Lord. His receipt of advertisementes from Justice Clark. Laird of Buckclugh. Doctor Caesar's bill for St. Katherine's."

571. The Duke of Parma to James VI. [May 30.]

The "Sieur de" Stewart has delivered to me the letters which it has pleased your majesty to write me in his favour, having been very glad to see him and make his acquaintance, both for his worth and for the quality of his person, being akin to you as your letters testify, it being impossible for anything more agreeable to present itself to my eyes than those who come from you, by reason of the desire I have always had to render most humble service to your majesty, being grieved that no fitting occasion has as yet been offered to do so, and to show it effectually to the said gentleman, who has resolved to return hence awaiting some better opportunity: being able to assure you that whether he return or some other come hither with the same command from your majesty that the letters bear which I have received from you by the said "Sieur de" Stewart, I shall always endeavour to show them the desire which I have to render you for ever most humble service. Brussels.

¾ p. Copy. Indorsed by Burghley: "30 May 1591. Duk of Parma to the King of Scottes for Alex. Stuart, W.B."