James VI: October 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: October 1591', in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) pp. 575-583. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp575-583 [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "James VI: October 1591", in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) 575-583. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp575-583.

. "James VI: October 1591", Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936). 575-583. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp575-583.

In this section

James VI: October 1591

613. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 3.]

Was appointed by the King to be here the first or second instant to meet him and hear his resolution in Border causes and other affairs, but the King has delayed his coming for two or three days, whereby the Council is deferred. Huntly's feuds in the north against Atholl, Murray, Mackintosh, Grant and others are not yet appeased. Argyle and Ogilvie were directed to stay their access to this town until the King and Council had deliberated on the outrages passed between them, yet now the King has sent Mar to bring Argyle to him with small company, and the Lady Ogilvie is already come to call for justice. The King is desirous to draw on a marriage between Argyle and the Duke of Lennox's sister, whereof Argyle and his friends have no good liking, but his refusal will set the King stiffly against him. This and other matters shall be deliberated at the next assembly of the Council.

Bothwell has lately much haunted these parts. He lay in Canongate and showed himself openly at Leith, where he entered into a boat, pretending to repair to the King with hope of his pardon; boldly saluting his friends he passed over the water with five servants. Finding the Duke of Lennox on the shore where he should have landed, he took his course from Kinghorn towards Burnt Island, and passed into Fife where he made short abode, and without sending anyone to the King returned over the water to these parts. He has spoken with some courtiers, and his friends pretend that he shall shortly recover the King's favour, though it is said that the King's mind is still set against him. His friends give out that he will hastily leave this realm if the King still frown upon him, but others say he will not depart before the Parliament, which the King presses to hold at the time limited, though most of the Council think it ought to be adjourned: resolution herein will be given at the meeting of the King and Council. The King was moved by Powrie Ogilvie on behalf of Sir William Keith, that he might enjoy his livings during his absence in foreign countries; but the King denied, with sharp words against Sir William.

On the last of September Francis Dacre secretly took boat at Newhaven near Leith, and embarked in a flyboat called the Thomas of Leith laden for Bordeaux. The master of this ship is William Lamore, and the merchant James Nesbett, an honest man, who knew little of Dacre's going in that ship until he was on board. This ship will tarry some time at Yarmouth, but Dacre will probably provide some other vessel and direct his course to Dunkirk to see his son at Brussels. He has paid all his debts in Scotland, and told his friend the day he embarked that if he find not in Spain entertainment to his contentment he will come again into this realm; it is said he is minded to return hither howsoever he be treated in Spain. Four ships, severally of Dundee, Anstruther, Burnt Island, and Leith are ready to sail for Spain, trusting to come to the Scottish fleet for Bordeaux before they depart from Yarmouth.

The bishop of Glasgow in Paris has sent hither his servant Clode, a Frenchman, with pretence to gather here such debts as are owing to him and his wife, a Scottish woman. He denies having brought any letters or messages, but some of his familiars say he has other errands for evil affairs, and also that he was in Flanders with Robert Bruce, and was directed by him to sundry Papists here. Is informed by a Catholic privy to their affairs that William Holt, an English Jesuit, "intertayned with the Duke of Parma as the cheifest practizer for Ingland and Scotland," has written in Latin to the fathers James Gordon and Robert Abercrombie, Jesuits remaining in this realm, requiring them to provide for the safe receipt of James Tyrye, who is lately returned from Rome and shall be sent hither before Christmas with new wine, that is, with money. Holt urges them to send good information by the bearer of his letters—an Englishman, who has returned into England from Dumfries with the certificate of the fathers of the state of this realm—assuring them that all things succeed well in France, and willing them to travail effectually with all such as they shall find willing to attempt the enterprise of the cause of religion, that they may be ready when advertisement shall be given that all things are prepared and that the time serves to enter into action. In the mean time every one of the noblemen and persons best affected shall keep with them a messenger, to be sent by Holt with an especial token that they come from him, to instruct those Catholics in religion, and to stir them to take arms when the alarm is given. He promises that these persons shall be furnished with money and instructions, and advises them to send speedily some person of good quality to the Duke of Parma with credentials and instructions from the chief Catholics here, and that the fathers here shall commend this person thus chosen and employed at the Duke's court, tanquam dignus adveant. The abbot of Inch Effray, brother of Lord Drummond, shall be required to take this office. And he concludes that there is good hope that Sanquhar shall be a good instrument in this work, "for he is nowe in a good waye and a sufficient labour is put to him." Four of these messengers being Englishmen, and coming through England to the West Borders of Scotland, shall be shortly received by the abbot of New Abbey, in Galloway, for which purpose Abercrombie will be with the abbot this week to take order for their receipt. These four seem to be of the crew which Robert Elliott at his being here promised should come hither. Two other English Papists came to the Laird of Linton and are disposed by him in this realm; two more are already in Northumberland to be brought into this country.

Further enquiry proves that Sir Alexander Stewart was at Aberdeen. His wife, ready to repair by sea to him at Holland, is stayed, upon bruit that he has returned to the service of the Duke of Parma. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

21/8 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

614. Alexander Hay to William Asheby. [Oct. 7.] Eg. MSS., 2,598, fol. 275.

"Quhairas I understand that sundry letters, beside myne, wer sent suiting for Mr. Kelsterne, of quhilkis before this I expected sum gude anser be zour meanys; and presentile I am the mair desyrous thairof, yf it may be had, for that of late ane William Walcar, Englisheman, departed this lyf here at Edinburgh, quha had sum offices at Baruik now at my Lord Thesauraris gift: sa yf his lordship wer now bot put in memory by zou or Mr. Kyllegrew of my letters, with other letters of late from the counsell at Beruik, my hope is that Mr. Kelsterne mycht happely be helped, as daylie thair be pensionis and rowmes falling at Beruik bestowed on personis, in my opinioun, less deserving."

"Quhat may be done I doubt not in zour freindly furtherance." Edinburgh. Signed: A. Hay.

2 p. Holograph, also address. Indorsed.

615. James VI. to Elizabeth. [Oct. 16.]

"Understanding that this gentilwoman the berare, Agnes Swyntoune, cousine germane to Sir Johnne Melvile of Carnbie, knycht, having spent and past ower a lang tyme in service within zour cuntrie, sua modestile and vertuuslie behaved hir selff in the menetyme in all respectis as a gentilman naymit William Reynold, Englisman, fell furth in sic favour and gude lyking of hir as being persuadit in hart of hir loyaltie, discretioune, and honest demaynour, he become of dispositioun to sute hir in mariage, and insisting a lang tyme thairin, at last gave his band and solempt promeis to accomplische the same with hir; in sic sort as in ayther of thair hartis and befoir God the same mariage wes consumat; albeit the gentilman of him selff be well resolved to performe his dewitie thairanent, zit he is forceit to stay quhill he may obtene the consent of his father and freindis, quhilk he hoipis sall the rather be granted gif zour commendatioun and favorable requeist wer interponit to that effect. Sen the affectioun and gudwill of thir personis tendis to as honorable and godlie end and purpois, it appertenis the courtessie of all Cristianis to extend thair furtherance thairin: quhairupoun we have taikin occasioun to recommend this gentilwoman to zour favour and ayd in this mater, ernistlie and effectuuslie requeisting zou, our dearest suster and cousine, to command that this gentilman follow furth and performe that mariage without protracting of farder tyme, according to his solempt band and promeis afosiraid; as alsua that zour ernist and effectuall requeistis may be granted and interponit for procuiring the consent and gudwill of his father and freindis thairunto." Holyrood. Signed: "Youre most loving and affectionatt brother and cousin James R."

2/3 broadsheet. Addressed. Indorsed.

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

Yesterday morning Bothwell came to Captain Masterton's house in Leith, and tarried there until two o'clock this afternoon. Between one and two this afternoon the servants of the Earl of Huntly, being in the town of Leith whilst the Duke of Lennox and Huntly played "goffe" on the sands at Leith, hearing that Bothwell was in Masterton's house, advertised the Duke and Huntly of the same: whereupon they sent advertisement to the King, who so hastily took horse to come to Leith to apprehend Bothwell, that he passed without boots, and not above eight in his company. At Leith he met the Duke and Huntly, who had attended his coming before they would environ Masterton's house or search and make sure the town: yet it is said that some of their servants saw Captain Haggerston come out of that house and let him depart, and the King was told that three men armed, every one leading a gelding, were seen to pass out of the north west part of Leith towards Queensferry, in which company Bothwell was thought to be. The King at his coming to Leith disposed sundry men to search the town and the fields, and appointing Sir James Sandilands to wait on the north west part of Leith, himself entered Masterton's house, where he could not find Bothwell. Soon after Sir James Sandilands espying Robert Scott, brother of the Laird of Balwearie and servant to Bothwell, to come that way, leading "Valentyne," Bothwell's principal horse, he took Scott and the horse and presented them to the King; who, finding that Scott would not confess where Bothwell was, committed him to Edinburgh castle, saying that by torture of the boots he would draw out of him more than of his own accord he would confess. The Chancellor, having received physic these two days last past, and hearing that the King was thus suddenly ridden to Leith slenderly accompanied, followed the King in all haste and returned with him, finding his body much disquieted.

Was informed that four English and Scottish Catholics were in Colonel Sempill's house in Edinburgh, ready to pass to Dunkirk in a barque of James Kincavell's of Kirkcaldy, and that Captain Haggertson and other servants of Bothwell had taken this barque against the owner's will and purposed to pass themselves and carry these Papists with them; therefore procured warrant of the King and Council to stay this barque. The Chancellor had agreed to surprise those guests today in Colonel Sempill's house, but the accident at Leith has deferred it. Thinks this alarm will chase them this night out of the town. Understands by a Catholic that an Englishman naming himself James Holland is lately come hither, addressed to Captain Carr, who intended to have sent him to Aberdeen, but he attends the coming of one Browne, a young Englishman now in Northumberland.

Upon his request to the King that twenty of the tenants of Mr. Thomas Hilton in Alston Moor in Cumberland, taken and detained by Liddesdale, might be delivered and their bonds discharged, the King sent letters to William Elliott and Martin Elliott to execute that request. All the prisoners are delivered, with their horses and furniture, and their bonds declared void, with promise of redress for goods taken. As to Lord Scrope's complaint of attempts done by Liddesdale, the King and Council have promised that before Martinmas a fit person shall be appointed keeper of Liddesdale, to give redress for these wrongs. The King is determined to give this office to young Cesford, but is loth to do so before his composition be made for the slaughter of William Carr, whose wife, children, and friends, far beyond the King's expectation, have suddenly become backward in this reconciliation. The King is purposed to mediate the matter, and put young Cesford in this place. Colonel Stewart's journey into Holland is stayed for this time.

The feuds between Argyle and Ogilvie, and between Huntly and others in the north, are not yet appeased. Argyle has returned to Stirling, with order to be here again the 27th instant, when the Council will assemble to determine these matters and the holding or prorogation of Parliament, which is meant to be continued for some time, and to be turned into a running Parliament, to begin at the King's pleasure upon ordinary warning.

In other things the state is calm; therefore prays his lordship to procure him leave to return to England to give contentment to her majesty for his debts, to render his accounts, and dispose of the small things that he and his son have in coal, salt, etc., that they fall not into such ruin that her majesty can have no profit of them and he and his son be frustrate hereafter of the use of them. Feels daily increase of impediment in his sight and other infirmities of age, drawing him into some errors. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

671. James VI. to Burghley. [Oct. 20.]

"Richt trustie and weilbelovit cousing we greit zow hartle weill. We have understand be report of a subject of ouris, James Colden, merchant of Edinburgh, how upon complaint of the wrang and losse sustenit be him at the handis of ane Aitkinsoun, sercheour at Kingstoun upoun Hull, recommendit be ws of before unto zow, ze have bene verie cairfull and weillwilling to se the compliner satisfyit of his guidis and damnagis, according to justice and that guid amytie and intercours that is betuix the tua realmeis; for the quhilk we mon rander zow oure richt hertlie thankis, with oure eirnist request to continew as ze have weill procedit hitherto, quhill the honest man may returne with his dew redres, quha utherwyis wilbe utterly undone in consideratioun of his lang attendance following this suit. In this we doubt not bot ze wil have the gritar regaird for that the wrang receaved hes not bene done be inobedient pirattis on the sea, bot in ane of the portis of that realme quhair oure subjectis hes had very frequent trad in freindlie maner: and the mair grevous is the injurie resavit be this complener for that the same was done under pretext of the name and authorite of oure derrest sister the Quene zour soverane, be ane professing him self hir officiar and under zour chairge, quhilk injurie also hes bene augmented be the hard and unkyndle deilling with a gud nowmer of our subjectis sensyne in Humber, procedit cheifly of ane Hew Scott, deputy sercher at Hull under the same Aitkinsoun, quhilk cravis spedie redres and amendiment: bot quhill the personis that resavit the harme may informe the same at thair returne from Burdeaulx, we will end oure letter in the favour of this James Colden, forbering to write any thing further presentlie at this tyme ather to the Quene oure derrest sister or generallie to hir Counsell, bot reposing upoun zour guid remembrance and equitie thairin, quhairin ze sall do ws verie acceptabill plesur, committis zow in the tuitioun of God. At Haliruidhous." Signed: "Zour very loving freind James R."

2/3 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

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

Diligent search has been made whether Bothwell was in Captain Masterton's house or other place in Leith at the King's late coming thither upon information brought to him by the Laird of Buckie that Captain Haggerston was seen in Leith and that Bothwell was likewise there and environed by the Duke of Lennox and Earl Huntly; yet it cannot be certainly found that Bothwell was that day in Leith, as was certainly given the King to understand. Robert Scott, servant to Bothwell, taken at Leith and examined by the King and Council, will not say whether Bothwell was at Leith or not on that day, as by Scott's deposition enclosed will appear. Some affirm that they saw Bothwell pass towards Queensferry, and one Frenchman says he saw him leaping over some broken walls in Leith, but knows not whither he went. Thus Bothwell's being in Leith that day is still questionable. Haggerston was certainly there, seen by some who told the Duke and Huntly, who willed them to bid him come to the Duke, but Haggerston escaped. It is said that Bothwell remains in Fife, purposing to pass into Spain with Haggerston and other servants lately denounced rebels, in the barque of James Kincavell of Kirkcaldy which is ready to sail. Hears by more credible intelligence that Bothwell mislikes to take the seas at this time and will abide in covert places in this realm. Lady Bothwell, being in Leith, is charged to ward in Aberdeen, as by copy of the charge and letter enclosed will be seen. Encloses also copy of the act prohibiting all persons to aid Bothwell: agreeable to that act proclamation is published in all the boroughs. Whilst the Chancellor attended the King at Leith for the apprehension of Bothwell, the Countess of Bothwell uttered some bitter words towards the Chancellor and Huntly. She told the Chancellor that all matters were compounded between him and her husband, and the latter had done him many good deeds since their agreement. The Chancellor answered that he had recompensed those good deeds with triple benefits, and that whilst Bothwell pretended friendship he was seeking his life. The knot of friendship pretended is thus utterly broken. The King and Council have been occupied this week touching Bothwell, the maintenance of the King's house, and some private suits. Other matters are referred to the assembly on the 27th instant.

Perceives by letters from Mr. Ralph Gray that he has stayed one Mallory who was lately in Scotland, and whom he [Bowes] found neither well disposed nor of great experience, and therefore dismissed him to return into England, where Gray met him in the company of young Powrie Ogilvie, as his Lordship already knows. Two other Englishmen are in Edinburgh, Roger Teisdaile of David's Inn and John Johnston of Clement's Inn. They are commended to Lord Scrope by Mr. Orpher in Cumberland, and with his commendation are come hither, pretending to come only to see this realm and the schools. Their behaviour hitherto has given little suspicion. The English Papists lurking about this town departed towards Aberdeen before the search made by the provost for them.

Represents the mischiefs that will fall on him unless he have timely knowledge of her majesty's resolution towards him. Will be unable to content her for the debts he owes except she be speedily gracious to him. Has directed his servant, Christopher Sheperson, to open his case to his lordship. Expresses his devotion to her majesty, and prays his lordship's succour. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.

Enclosure with the same:

(Deposition of Robert Scott.)

"At Hollorodehouse the 20th of October 1591, in presence of the King's majestie, the Duke of Lennox, the Erle of Huntleye, my Lord Chancelour, Secretarye, and Sir James Melvill of Hallhill, and Clerke of Requests."

"Robert Scot, brother to the Laird of Ballwerye, sworne and examined, declairs that he rancountered with the Erle Bothwell on the Burrowmore that tyme quhilke he cam to the Netherbowe."

"He grantes that he sawe my Lord Bothwell, but not sen he was in Leith the tyme that the King was in Burleye and paste over the water in ane boate. This deponent paste that nycht nych to Kyternye [sic] and wher the Erle Bothwell paste this deponent cannot declaire."

"Ther was in the Erle Bothwell's companye at that tyme Gilbert Lauder, John Sinclaire, brother to the Lord and to the Erle of Cathnes."

"This deponent harde no worde of the Erle Bothwell sensyne."

"He sayes that the horse called 'Graye Vallentyne' was brought from Murrowham to Leithe uppon Sondaye, and delivered to this deponent uppoun Monondaye, the 18th daye of this monethe, by my ladye's derection. The horse was keped by Willison and delivered by Allen Stewart."

"He denyes that he met with the Erle Bothwell in Fyffe at anye tyme."

"He declairs that he never met with the Erle Bothwell sen he came out of the castell of Edenburgh but at two tymes; therfore he saythe that he was with him in Dunkeithe [sic] and past in that contrye to visitt his aunte the Ladye Graunteleye."

"He will not saye that the Erle Bothwell was yesterdaye in Leithe or not."

¾ p. Copy. Indorsed.

Copy of the same.

Cott. Calig., D. II., fol. 58.

Second enclosure with the same:

(Charge against the Countess of Bothwell.)

"James be the grace of God King of Scottis to our lovittis [ ] messingeris our shereffis in that part conjunctlie and severalie specialie constitute greting. Oure will is and we chairge zow straitlie and commandis that incontinent thir our letters seene ze pas and in our name and auctorite command and chairge Dame Margaret Douglas, Lady Bothuile, to pas and enter hir persoun in waird within our burgh of Abirdene thair to remane upoun hir awne expenssis ay and quhill she be fred be ws within ten dayes nixt eftir she beis chairgeit be zow thairto under the pane of rebellioun and putting of hir to our horne. And gif she failzeis the said ten dayes being bipast, that ze incontinent thereftir denunce the disobayar our rebell and put hir to our horne and escheit and inbring all hir movable guidis to our use for hir contemptioun as ze will anser to ws therupoun. The quhilk to do we commit to zow conjunctlie and severalie our full power be thir our letters, delivering thame be zow dewlie execute and under sale agane to the berar. Gevin under our signet and subscrivit with our hand at Halyruidhous the 21 day of October and of reign in the 25 zeir 1591. Sic subscribitur James Rex."

½ p. Copy. Indorsed.

Third enclosure with the same:

(Proclamation against the Earl of Bothwell.)

"Rex. We command and chairge all and sindrie inhabitantis within our burgh of Edinburgh that nane of thame tak upoun hand to ressett, supplie, mantene, harbrie, nor furnes meit or drink to Frances, sumtyme Erll Bothuill, nor to nane of his servandis, assisteris, defendaris, or partakaris, under the pane of deid to be execute upoun thame with all rigour and extremitie and to be repute haldin and estemit as tratouris, and the proces and dome of forfaltour to be led and pronuncit aganis thame as aganis the said Frances, sumtyme Erll Bothuill, without ony favour to be extendit to ony the saidis personis of quhaumtsevir qualitie or degre thay be of; and forder ordanis this our directioun to be proclamit be sound of drum throw our said burgh of Edinburgh that [none] pretend ignorance of the same. Gevin under our signet and subscrivit with our hand at Halyruidhous the 21 of October and of reign in the 25 zeir 1591. Sic subscribitur James Rex."

½ p. Copy. Indorsed.