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: November 1591
619. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Nov. 10.]
Soon after the receipt of his lordship's letter of October 19th, he delivered to the King her majesty's letter concerning the leave granted him to repair into Yorkshire and the bishopric of Durham for his private causes, returning to his charge after six or eight weeks; explaining his condition, as directed, to the King, who willingly consented to his leave, only wishing him to remain till he [the King] had finished the composition between Sir Robert Carr and the wife and friends of William Carr slain by Sir Robert, and planted a fit keeper for Liddesdale. The King appointed him to return about the 12th of January for the beginning of Parliament, which is prorogued to the 10th of January, and the lords will be assembled on the 12th. In order to settle Border matters, especially Liddesdale, before his departure, he wrote to Lord Scrope and other wardens his purpose to come to England, and before his coming to procure some Act of Council for expedition of the redress for attempts done by Scottishmen in England, praying information as to those attempts. Whereupon Lord Scrope sent him a letter directed to the King, requiring the delivery of two Englishmen fled into Liddesdale for the cruel murder of a woman in his office, and also a note of late complaints to be redressed, advising him [Bowes] to keep the letter and wait to confer with Sir John Carmichael, who is not yet come to Edinburgh; hence the delay in these present letters and in his repair to England.
According to her majesty's pleasure Roger Aston is very willing to have care of affairs here in his absence. Has provided that Aston's letters shall be safely conveyed to him [Bowes] that he may give his lordship intelligence thereof: will leave a sufficient person for the convoy of such letters and for sending other information.
That the King and state may see the dangers arising by the resort of Jesuits and seminaries into England and Scotland, and be moved by her majesty's wise example to prevent those perils, has delivered to the King one of the proclamations published lately in England and sent him by his lordship. Has opened to the King, Chancellor, and others her majesty's purpose to send forth commissioners to enquire of these "vermyn," as his lordship so well terms them, and to defeat the plots of the enemy, and has also prayed that the English Papists and seditious persons lurking in Scotland may be apprehended. Has discovered to them the haunt of William Holland and other Englishmen in Old Aberdeen, and the receipt of four other English Papists by the abbot of New Abbey, with other Englishmen of quality that lurk near Edinburgh, kept so secretly that no harm can come to them, of which "rabble and crewe" his lordship may be better advertised by others. Her majesty's wise policy appearing in that proclamation is much commended, and diligence is promised for the apprehension of these fugitives.
His lordship thinks it strange to see his letters certifying the King's earnestness against Bothwell, and yet Bothwell's riding up and down and haunting the places where the King travails. His lordship would be satisfied herein if he knew how the King's secret enterprises to surprise Bothwell are always revealed to him for his safety, "and howe fewe or none will take Bothwell's feade for the King's sake or favour": and otherwise Englishmen seeing the condition of this realm would praise God they were English born and under the happy government of her majesty.
As it is her majesty's pleasure that he shall not come to court, but use such expedition that he may return to the King at the time limited, and as his lordship wishes him to strain himself to the uttermost for the satisfaction of her majesty and the garrison, and tells him that in all her speeches she seems deeply offended, charging him with the danger that might follow on the betraying of Berwick by soldiers corrupted by the enemy upon lack of pay through his default, he will with all humility obey her direction and follow his lordship's advice. Has given order to his servant Christopher Sheperson to present to his lordship for her majesty whatsoever he can yield for her satisfaction and that of the garrison, and prays acceptance thereof. The sight of her offence thus heavily lying on him shall not only take from him all credit and comfort in service, but also drive him to think rather of his grave than to find any power to do acceptable service; therefore prays his lordship to present to her majesty his petition that he may come to sue for her grace and to give satisfaction to the uttermost of his power, agreeable to his lordship's counsel; or otherwise may know that her displeasure, thus working death in his heart, is appeased, and may return into her service with her good opinion.
The King being greatly grieved with the late slaughter of the Laird of Spott, and seeking delivery of some of the principal offenders, lately in Berwick, has written to her majesty by a letter sent to James Hudson, and also moved him [Bowes] to commend the matter to her consideration. The King by his letter to her majesty prays to have two or three of the principal offenders delivered to him, but some sent from him show that he really will be contented with such one as he shall call for, to give exemplary punishment for the crime, and will yield the like deliverance of any offender to be called for by her majesty in like case.
Captain James, a Scottishman, has long served in Muscovia, and coming to some wealth desires to return to Scotland with his wife, children, and goods, but the emperor there will not suffer him so to do. The King prays that his lordship will move her majesty to write to the emperor of Muscovia for leave to be granted to the said captain to depart, and to give order that the same letter be conveyed, with the advice of Mr. Fletcher, to such for her majesty in Muscovia as may best deliver the letter and advance the cause.
Long ago told the Laird of Calder that her majesty thought it not convenient to set at liberty upon bonds Hugh son of O'Donell; yet that laird, by means of the Earl of Argyle, has renewed his suit to her in that behalf, and offered that the second son of O'Donell, and two other sons of the chiefest men of the blood of O'Donell, shall be delivered to the Lord Deputy in Ireland to be pledges for Hugh O'Donell and for his good behaviour; and that Angus Maconell, uncle to Hugh O'Donell, will be cautioner for that good behaviour, and also seek to draw the said Hugh to her majesty's good service; and Argyle will be ready, for her majesty's favour herein, by himself and all under him to do her all good offices.
In the late slaughters between Argyle and Ogilvie it is ordered by the King and Council that either party shall either bring in, or else by themselves banish and keep out of the realm, the principal offenders in those outrages. Argyle is only charged with three men of his name, for whom he alleges he is not bound to answer, yet offers to deliver or banish them if Ogilvie will do the like; which Ogilvie thought not equal, because Argyle's dependers, being but broken and base men, had given just occasion to Ogilvie and his sons to take revenge; therefore in taking revenge they ought not to be measured with the order to be given to offenders on the part of Argyle: but this order is accorded, and either party bound in 20,000 l. Scots for performance of it.
The ministers have exhibited their petitions to the King for the administration of justice and punishment of malefactors. Hereupon the King and Council are entered into a course for reformation of the state and punishment of offenders, chiefly in murders and slaughters: enquiry shall be made in all counties that the principal offenders may be committed to ward to answer for their offences; and the chief of each surname, in any feud for murder, shall be bound in great sums to bring in the persons under them charged with crimes, and to be of good behaviour: and assurances shall be taken between the parties in feud, that justice may be ministered and composition taken as expedient. All sheriffs and officers of justice shall be enquired of, and charged with defaults in their offices; with other orders promising more than is likely to be performed.
Parliament is prorogued to the 10th of January. It was doubted that the assembly of the nobility at this time might stir troubles; therefore the next convention at the Parliament at the day appointed shall be more peaceable, of tractable persons ready to do the offices required; otherwise Parliament to be prorogued again. This Parliament shall not be free from storms, if they do not fall before it begin. A slanderous libel against the Chancellor has been cast into the King's chamber, whereof some one now passed into the Low Countries is thought to be the author.
Is informed that Bothwell has not spared to say that he was once "in handes" in Leith when the King came thither to apprehend him, and that after he passed from Leith he was in Niddry, in Spilaw with Sir John Carr, in Kelso and other places thereabouts, as such as adjoin those marches and have lately spoken with Bothwell's "familier" can advertise. It is said that he was purposed to have sought his trial by this Parliament had it been held; that he has some special enterprise in hand to be attempted at or before the next Parliament; that Captain Haggerston, Gilbert Pennycooke, and one other servant of Bothwell's will embark on the 11th or 12th about the mouth of the Forth for Caithness, to receive there Bothwell's letters to the King of Spain, William Creighton, and others in Spain, and to pass by the west seas to Spain; that James Gordon and Robert Abercrombie, Jesuits, have written to William Creighton, requiring him to commend Captain Haggerston and the others to the King of Spain, signifying to that King the present state of Bothwell and offering his service to him: his answer shall be taken to know what he will do for Bothwell, and returned to Bothwell and the Jesuits with all expedition, for Bothwell purposes to remain in Scotland until he receive that answer, and is ready to pass to Spain next spring or tarry here as the King of Spain shall direct. Bothwell has told these Jesuits that by their means he received a thousand crowns before the bridge of Dee, therefore he will pray their favourable letters to the King, and promises them part of such entertainment as the King shall give him. These Jesuits, fearing a reconciliation between the Chancellor and Bothwell, nourish the unkindness between them, whereby Bothwell may be driven to repair into Spain, to become a good Catholic and be entertained by the King of Spain. Thus much by information of a Catholic of good intelligence, who says that letters sent hither by the bishop of Ross, now in Rouen, and others, are intercepted in England, whereby he thinks the bishop travails for his private causes here, whatsoever he do in the common matters for the League. Some English Papists shall pass with this company into Spain, yet at present none of them are ready, but rather desire to abide here till next spring.
The Master of Glammis is like to lose his offices of the Lord Treasurer and in Session, and to be charged to bring in Lord Glammis to the King and Council, which if he refuse then the Lord, his nephew, and himself shall be put to the horn, "a matter pinching him more narrowly than the losse of his offices." Montrose, preferred by the Chancellor, procured warrant to be signed by the King, whereof he [Bowes] gave warning to Morton, father-in-law to the Master of Glammis; but Morton, trusting to have the King's favour and to stay all those matters by means of Spynie and other friends at court, moved him to forbear speaking to the King till Montrose by the Chancellor got the King's hand to the warrant for the office in Session, wherein he is now received and placed. He had likewise got the office of Treasurer if he [Bowes] had not dealt with the King therein, for Montrose only required that the King would grant it to him in open Council, promising to surrender it to the King the same day. Now the King is purposed that Sir Robert Melville shall alone occupy the place of Treasurer, and that the office of Lord Treasurer shall be in the King's own hand until the next Parliament; but he will be too pressed to delay so long his grant of that office. By this occasion storms may arise, chiefly against the Chancellor, with whom he [Bowes] has so dealt that he agrees to join hands with the Master of Glammis if he may have surety for performance of the accords to be concluded between them; which surety he thinks shall not be found, "whereby the drynes still contineweth betwixt them." To others of the Master's friends, seeking the Chancellor's favour, and offering the marriage of the Master's son to the Chancellor's daughter, he answered that "he liked better the Master's ward then the marriage of his sonne." Huntly desired the place in Session, aspiring to be afterwards Chancellor: this being noticed by the Chancellor, he laboured more diligently for Montrose: Huntly smothers his grief for the time.
Marishal, Erroll, Forbes and others have banded themselves for mutual defence against Huntly, and other bands are made which may work troubles to particular persons. A like meeting was at Dunkeld between Atholl, Murray, the commissioners of Argyle and others, who agreed to party one another. It is suspected that Bothwell was privily at this assembly, but some of good account present there deny it.
At Morton's suit the King has discharged the Master of Glammis from ward, but he shall not come to court. His liberty will bring him little profit unless the Chancellor and he be reconciled, for during his ward he could not be charged to bring in Lord Glammis.
Lord Claud Hamilton is again sick, and laments that he has so long dissembled in religion, desiring to be instructed by Robert Bruce or some other minister. It is thought that he is now grieved more "by the corosy of his conscience" than by his old infirmity. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—This bearer, John Aleyn, can satisfy his lordship in all things omitted in this letter.
6⅓ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
620. James VI. to Elizabeth. [Nov. 11.]
"It is meanit to ws on the behalff of ane Vicus Jhones Dilmarsian, subject to our dearest broder and cousine the King of Denmark, that he being passing in his lauchfull treade in a schip laidnit with corne toward the pairtis of Spayne in the moneth of (fn. 1) wes taikin and interceptit be sum of your awne schippis, spoyled of the same his schip and guidis, and brocht to Londoun, quhair the same wer declaired to be a lauchfull pryis; zit remembering him selff to be a symple merchand quha never for his awin offence had meritit any sic extremitie, in esperance of redres of that his heavy losse he attendit at Londoun this haile zere bigane, greitlie to his hinder and dampnage, bestowing in the menetyme large and sumptuous charges in sute of the samyn, beside the restraning from his welthie and honest treade; quhair throuch his distressed conditioun being signifeit to the Quene our dearest bedfallow be sindrie lettres direct from Denmark, we have at hir desyre taikin occasioun to recommend this mater to your courtessie and gracious favour, effectuallie signeifeing you our dearest suster and cousine be your ordour and commandment to caus restitutioun be maid to this strangeare marchand of his said schip and guidis; at the leist that he may be sum part redressed and satisfeied of his heavy losse that he be not utterlie ruynit, bot may have that confort to returne to his wounted trede. Holyrood House. Signed: James R.
1 p. Broadsheet. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
621. James VI. to Elizabeth. [Nov. 13.]
The bearer, Garett Carew, your born subject in Ireland, after his peregrination in foreign countries, having entered our service at our being in Denmark, hoped upon our recommendation directed to you to find your gracious favour in his lawful suit, grounded on good right and equity, for that one Tybbot Dillon, merchant of Dublin in Ireland, by sinister information and indirect dealing procured and made the means that Tirloch Carew, the father of this Garet, was excluded and dispossessed from his proper inheritance called Carew Lands in West Meath in Ireland, and obtained your grant thereof, not to himself, but under pretence to acquire the right of the same to one of the name of Carew —"meaning na sic thing"—has by violence and "owirsicht" of your officers in Ireland continued these thirteen years bypast in possession of the same, and in that "haill tyme" the said Garet, his goodsire, and father "hes bene trubled in pleyding of thair richt thairto be law," and now "quhen as" the matter stands at the point of conclusion "it stayes thair" upon the late apprehension and captivity of the said Dillon; "quhairthrouch thay rest still distressed and secludit" from their ancient inheritance to the "appeirand extinguischeing" of their name and house, "quha evir hithertillis hes profest thair obeydience to the croun of England," and contrary to all conscience, right, and equity. We have therefore taken occasion to recommend this matter to your gracious favour and clemency, "effectuallie" requesting you, our dearest sister and cousin, seeing these distressed persons cannot endure a longer suit of law, that with your order and commandment they may summarily be "repossest to thair said ancient inheritance, upoun restrictioun that gif the law determyne aganis thame they sall alwayes be astrictit in dew obedience thairto," and in the meantime that you will take the said "Garrett" under your protection, prefer, entertain, and employ him in some of your services most convenient and fit for one of his profession. Holyrood House. Signed: James R.
Postscript in James VI.'s hand.—"Madame, as I have great cause to thanke you for youre favourable ansoure gevin to this poore gentleman allreaddie at my request, so I pray you to contineu in ending nou his suite, quhiche I uill accoumpt as a speciall favoure done to me, and I truust the gentleman shall deserve it by his treu service."
1 p. Broadsheet. Addressed. Indorsed.
622. James VI. to the Privy Council of England. [Nov. 15.]
Requests them to assist Garet Carew in his suit, the possessor of whose estate has been convicted of treason. Holyrood House. Signed: James R.
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
623. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Nov. 21.]
Before the receipt of your lordship's last letter of the 7th hereof I had advertised your lordship, by John Aleyn, [of] my purpose to procure some resolute orders for redresses to be made for the late attempts done by Scottishmen in England and for preservation of peace on the Borders; in which behalf I have been so occupied and holden that I could not with full resolution therein come hither to Berwick before yesternight. The delay in these Border matters—detaining me thus long in Scotland— grew chiefly by the difficulty of the choice and appointment of a fit person to be keeper of Liddisdale. Wherein, albeit the King and Council were disposed to commit this charge to Sir Robert Carr, the young Laird of Cesford, and sought the same to be done after the agreement should be concluded betwixt Sir Robert and the friends of William Carr, slain by Sir Robert's procurement, yet the wife and mother of William Carr has been so persuaded, since their coming thither for this reconciliation, to refuse all offers or treaties for composition that they could not be brought to agree to any manner of accord herein either by the several motions of the King and Council or by the request of the Queen—who thinking to do her majesty some pleasure in this behalf, so earnestly travailed therein, and for that end, that she worthily deserves great thanks—or yet by the advice and entreaties of their own friends. In this meantime the chief clans and surnames in Liddisdale offered themselves and services in very liberal sort to the Duke of Lennox, who is still thought to tender the welfare of the Earl Bothwell, and I found the King disposed to hearken in some part to the offers made by Liddisdale to the Duke, in which I gave the King light of such dangers to himself, service and amity with her majesty, and to the Duke himself, that the King was pleased to settle his choice on young Cesford, to whom he has given remission and the keeping of Liddisdale; and who, finding these graces granted to him by her majesty's special means, promises all good offices and thankful memory of her majesty's goodness for the same. Further, I have received such answer and order by the King and Council for redress to be made for all the late attempts done by Scottishmen in the three several wardenries of England and for the due administration of justice in time coming as will sufficiently appear to your lordship by the note enclosed, and expressing the same answers and orders, first digested and resolved by the Lord Chancellor, Sir John Carmichael, and the Clerk Register upon sundry articles exhibited to them by me, and next "consented" and enacted by the King and whole Council. For the execution of which common cause I have thought it my duty thus long to attend, rather than with the omission of the same to seek the expedition of my own private business, whereunto I shall now address myself with all diligence that I may give her majesty the better contentment in all duties.
In the travail for the composition for the slaughter of William Carr, the Laird of Fernieherst, the chief of William Carr's race, has showed, himself conformable to the King's desire, [and] offered frankly his devotion and good offices to her majesty. The Duke, Bothwell, and others, as I am informed, have sought his favour and that the same should be meant to keep Farnyherst and Cesford—being near neighbours and in blood—still in sunder and in feud. But her majesty has power to knit them together at her pleasure, and by their union they may do good services for the peace of the Borders, which I leave to be furthered by your lordships' order and direction to be hereafter given herein.
Upon sight of the present disposition of the Court in the cause of O'Rourke, and finding that the Court should be shortly quit of some so affectionate to him that they might in some respects hazard some hurt, I have therefore chosen both to suspend for a while to report to the King the attainder and execution of O'Rourke, and also have delivered to Roger Aston the note of his treasons and barbarous behaviour to be in best season opened to the King; which, and all other things, he shall, I trust, so well dispose and execute as shall well please her majesty and profit her service.
In late session of the King and Council the Earl of Montrose was restored to the office of Lord Treasurer, before taken from him and given to the Master of Glamis at the raid of Stirling. This is pretended to be done for the reparation of Montrose's honour in this behalf, but it is thought to betoken the fall of the Master of Glamis and the establishment of Sir Robert Melville in that office of Lord Treasurer of Scotland. For at the same session of the Council Montrose surrendered that office to the use of Sir Robert Melville, and with proviso that if the office should become void by the death of Sir Robert or by his demission, then it should return to Montrose. The Master thinks his disgrace to be procured against him by the especial means of the Chancellor, whose mind I cannot reconcile to the Master in regard that the Chancellor cannot, as he affirms to me and other of the Master's friends travailing for the Master, find any surety of the Master's sound dealings with him, whereby we have left the matter to the choice of their own courses, which sundry wise men think shall bring troublesome effects very shortly.
By the occasion of these griefs betwixt the Chancellor and the Master, with the accidents falling therewith, the Provost of Linclouden, Newbottle, Blantyre, the Comptroller, and others absented themselves from Court and the Chancellor, whereby it was looked that that fellowship continuing together since the raid of Stirling mentioned should have broken; but I have prevailed so with the Chancellor that they are sent for and will be shortly in Court, whereupon they will labour to sew up those breaches betwixt the Chancellor and the Master. In which case I have no great hope of their good success, and yet I have set it forward by the best means I could. To increase the troubles of the Master of Glamis, it is told me that he is charged to bring in the Lord Glamis, his nephew—and to whom he is tutor—for assurance to be taken betwixt the Earl of Crawford and the Lord Glamis in the feud remaining for the slaughter of the Lord Glamis, agreeable to the late Act of Council for the appearing and taking up of all feuds in Scotland; and because the Lord Glamis has not appeared, that therefore letters of horning are awarded against the Master; which letters being once executed, he shall be thereon released from the horn and ward, and then other letters of treason shall be also addressed against the Master and for the taking of his houses; besides that he shall be called unto and charged by the Parliament for his defaults and disobedience in these things, so that he shall be in danger to be forfeited by Parliament, which I leave to the sight of the sequel herein, threatening still occasions of troubles in that realm. Some are of opinion that [it] is looked that the Earl of Morton, father-in-law to the Master of Glamis, shall "partie" his son-in-law, and thereby come into like peril, so that Maxwell shall have the advantage to be raised to the earldom of Morton by the earl's fall.
The King has been lately advertised that the Earl Bothwell purposed to surprise and keep Orkney, that thereby he might the better "pleasure" the King of Spain. Whereupon the King has sent the Master with some company to prevent the enterprise, which sundry think to have been to small effect or danger. For albeit that Bothwell told the Lady of Lindores, daughter of the Earl of Orkney, that he would visit her father in Orkney, wherein it was gathered that he purposed to take the castle and island, and that the same was confirmed by the discovery of twelve of Bothwell's servants said to have been embarked with muskets for Orkney or other attempt, yet he is thought to be so weak at this present that he will not adventure to enter into that attempt, but rather in secret to attend the return of answer from Spain and the success of this next Parliament: wherein he is like to remain awhile in doubtfulness, seeing that Captain Haggerston and the rest of his servants embarked with letters for Spain, as before I have certified to your lordship, have not yet put from the coast of Scotland: and it is not certain whether the Parliament shall hold at the time appointed or not.
The Duke is not pleased, as it is said, with this manner of the disposition of the office of Treasurer, and still would have the ordinary fee thereof, exceeding little one thousand pounds by year. He seeks again the castle of Edinburgh, which will not be readily obtained without composition and favour of the captain thereof.
Huntly pretends to be purposed and ready to depart from the court and return to his house with his lady, whose departure from the court will well please the best affected in Scotland, that fear to find no good fruit in religion coming by her company with the Queen, who presently is thought to be with child, and such signs thereof appear, that albeit she doth modestly deny the same, yet many think that it is so and shortly will be known.
The friends of the Earl of Argyle, pressed to further the marriage between the Earl and the Duke's sister, have shown themselves ready to assent to the same, referring the matter wholly to the good liking of the Earl, whom with some difficulty they have drawn home, wishing that they may be able there to keep him, or at least that Argyle shall not be urged further in this match than his own mind shall lead him.
Sir William Keith has made means to recover the King's favour and his own livings, wherein hitherto he has obtained little comfort. In this behalf I have moved the King, and have found plainly that the King will lend no ear to any suit for him before he shall with some sign of obedience depart out of the country.
As by my former letters I have been an humble suitor both for the expedition of her majesty's pleasure and order to be determined and made known and executed towards me and my offers for her majesty's contentment and the satisfaction of the garrison here, as also that thereon, and before my return into Scotland, I might have the comfort of her majesty's presence and good countenance towards me, that kissing her majesty's gracious hands I might re-enter into that service with credit and comfort, and be enabled thereby to do the better service to her majesty; so I do "eftsoones" and most humbly beseech your good lordship seasonably to renew and recommend this my most humble petition to her majesty, and to vouchsafe to give me understanding of her majesty's resolution in the same, that according to her majesty's good pleasure I may dispose of my self and actions. Berwick. Signed: Robert Bowes.
3½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
624. Elizabeth to James VI. [Nov. 25.] Printed in Tytler's Hist. of Scotland, (1877 edn.), iv. 342-3.
As my care for your weal, my dear brother, has been full long the desire of my endeavours, so, though my many letters do not oft cumber your eyes with the reading them, yet my ever loving watchful heed has never been neglected, as by proof even now the errand that this bearer brings you may make you know: which being even that nearly doth touch your surety and state, I conjure you, even for the worth that you prize your self at, that you "forslowe" not, after your usual manner, this matter, as you too much ere now have done such-like, and ever remember that the next step to over-turn a royal seat is to make the subject know that whatever he doth may be either coloured or neglected, of which either breeds boldness to shun the pain whatsoever the offence deserves. Far better it were that all pretence of cause be debarred, than threaten ere one strike and so the prey escape. Shun in the handling of my overture of what is meant [sic], but after wise resolution what behoves let few or, if possible, none know afore it be ended what is thought to be done. This is in short my advice, as she that too plainly sees that if you defer you may fortune repent; yea, an you trust too much some that can have many cords to their bow, they may perhaps overthrow the mark, or you hit the blank. Excuse my plainness, and let goodwill plead my pardon. God bless you. "Your most assured sister E.R."
1 p. Copy. Indorsed: "25 Nov. 1591. Copie of hir majestie's lettere to the King of Scottes by Mr. Hudson."