James VI: January 1592

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: January 1592', in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) pp. 616-630. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp616-630 [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "James VI: January 1592", in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) 616-630. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp616-630.

. "James VI: January 1592", Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936). 616-630. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp616-630.

In this section

James VI: January 1592

645. James VI. to Burghley. [1591-2. Jan. 3.]

Having made choice of this bearer—upon his experienced fidelity— as well for speed requisite as that such things may be more conveniently dealt in than by a public messenger, as also being a spectator of the last villainous act attempted here, he can faithfully "deliver" what he has seen, and inform you of the whole proceeding; "whereof we doubt not you will tak due consideration frome whence it commeth and whether it tendeth," and therewithal deal therein as a matter importing "most heighlye religion and both the states, and so further his suite that ferder inconvenient may be tymuoslye obviat, and suche thingis avoyded as may breade no small parrell to the whole Ile." Holyrood House. Signed: James R.

p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

646. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Jan. 5.]

In the accomplishment of the directions given to me and expressed by your lordship's last letter of the 29th of December last, I have acquainted Roger Aston how well her majesty allows the service of him and James Hudson and their natural care of her majesty and her estate, as I should have done the like to James Hudson in case he had not been returned towards London before the receipt of your lordship's letter mentioned.

I have both opened to Roger Aston her majesty's good opinion to have young Cesford established in the keeping of Liddisdale, and also that he should so warily entertain for her majesty the Duke of Lennox with good speech and compliments grounded upon the Duke's former offers to him, as he might try the Duke's disposition and hazard little upon his trust. In these I am advertised by my servant in Scotland, and since the despatch of my letters to Mr. Aston, that upon his motion made to the Lord Chancellor for the expedition of Cesford's placing in that office to the intent the redresses may be timely given for Liddisdale, as has been promised, the Chancellor has shewed my servant that the King will give that "roome" to Cesford without delay; and now the King embraces and employs young Cesford in the pursuit of Bothwell and of such of his servants as can be found. In which commission the Lord Ochiltree, young Cesford, and Sir John Carmichael have taken pains and shewed their diligence by the commandment of the King.

Because the Duke [of Lennox] is now touched with some suspicion of favour towards Bothwell and privity of the late attempt at Holyrood House—which suspicion is chiefly hitherto gathered by the entry made by Bothwell through the Duke's stable, where Bothwell's company found the way easy and the Duke's horses drawn aside and tied that they should not hinder the passage, and also steel caps and weapons ready for such of Bothwell's fellowship as wanted, and a new ladder prepared the day before and there laid ready for them to ascend and descend to and from the King's house, besides there an especial servant of the Duke was in company with Bothwell in that action, together with sundry other circumstances noted in the behaviour and words of the Duke and his wife—therefore I think Roger Aston will suspend his travail with the Duke in the behalf "remembered" until he shall see the King's opinion towards the Duke to be sufficiently settled and satisfied herein.

I have provided that Sir James Hume, presently Captain of the Castle of Edinburgh, shall be moved to retain the same still in his own hands and possession: wherein with the good countenance and some favour to be shewed towards him—as before this I have signified to your lordship —he may, I think, be persuaded to agree to the course wished by your letter to me. But finding no mention or offer of her majesty's pleasure for the furnishing him with such things as he wants for the safety of that "peace," I dare not revive the memory thereof nor promise further than I have warrant. According to your direction I have sent to Roger Aston the copy as well of her majesty's letter to the King (and touching the late suit of King, the Scotsman, complaining for old piracy) as also of the note of the names of the parties that have been charged in those piracies; wherein I have advised Mr. Aston to regard and prevent all evil reports to be made by King at his return, and upon delivery of her majesty's letter to the King, and therewith to satisfy the King and provide, with the Chancellor's means and help, that all such old suits and matters may be rather buried than to be hereafter moved to stir needless offences; and these I trust Mr. Aston shall execute as is advised.

That Mr. Aston may give a watchful eye and care to the practices of the papists and factions for Spain in Scotland, and that he may "espye" how far the same practices have gotten interest and entry in Court with the King or others that are in town or country with any of the nobility or persons of account, I have therefore acquainted him with such parts and particulars in your lordship's letter concerning practiser and practices in Scotland against religion or for the King of Spain as I have thought to be convenient; and therewith I have put him into such course as I think shall best discover the "ploytes" and progress in these matters; for the furtherance whereof I have counselled him to proceed wisely and secretly with Mr. John Gaddye, letting him know how well her majesty accepts his discreet and secret carriage of that cause. In these and all others I know that he will be diligent, and I trust that he shall do good services, for by letters received yesternight from sundry of my friends in Scotland I am credibly advised that the practices in Scotland at this present for Spain are great, and that the instruments employed therein are very busy and also in great comfort to attain to their desires; for it is written that some of the chiefest heads have given "erles," as they term it, to be ready at need. Herewith I am further advertised that a gentleman of a good house is sent into Scotland from Brussels with letters addressed by Mr. Edmund Haye to the fathers in Scotland requiring that there, by the means they can, they win goodwill in the Court and with persons of quality for the King of Spain, preparing their hearts and minds to be so bent for the advancement of the cause that they and all their powers may be ready for the same when occasion and time shall require; and that the fathers shall both travail carefully herein and also inform themselves of the present and true estate of that realm and of their confederates, and by this gentleman to return advertisement to Mr. Edmund [Haye] or to the Duke of Parma in all these things. This gentleman with two English practisers, who lately have received letters out of England, are purposed to pass into Flanders as soon as any fit vessel can be put in readiness for them; and Mr. George Carr with others intends to repair to the Duke of Parma in April next to finish, as it is thought amongst them, all matters. The party who has made their exchange in Scotland for money to furnish them in all those actions has informed me thus far, and thinks verily that a "rounde" mass of Spanish "pistreates" shall be shortly sent into Scotland to clear all debts there, "and to caste the howke with moste pleasant bate"; which he also thinks shall be swallowed up by great courtiers. In which behalf Roger [Aston] and James Hudson may do some services to see and certify the carriage and passage of these things.

In this last packet to me from my friend and servant in Scotland I have not received any letter from Roger Aston. It may be that he looks to be personally with your lordship very shortly, for the King has raised a guard of fifty horsemen under Sir John Carmichael, and of fifty footmen under Captain Cranston, which guard is thought necessary to be kept about the King to preserve his person and execute his commandments until those late troubles shall be better pacified and settled. And motion is made, and liked, to send some gentleman to her majesty to inform her highness in all the circumstances in this late attempt against the King and of the "dangerous" hanging over him, and chiefly to seek some help to maintain this guard, with further advice and advertisement of the King's estate and intentions. Herein it is hitherto thought that Mr. Aston shall be employed, and sent within few days, yet the Chancellor seemed not resolute to send in such haste.

It is now thought that sundry of good quality were privy and consenting to this late outrage done by Bothwell and others, and albeit that the enterprise should not have been attempted before New Year's Day, as by my former has been partly touched, yet the Laird of Spott drew on this action with this haste to save his two servants' persons in the gatehouse Holyrood House, and whereof one of those servants was tortured with the boots on Christmas Day last.

Angus and Morton, suspected in this cause, are come to Edinburgh and prevented their calling thither for that purpose. They clear themselves with great courage and countenance, and albeit that they and many other noblemen and persons of account are suspected, yet the King presently pretends to be void of all jealousy, and to account this raid at Holyrood House to have been devised and executed by Bothwell and the company present thereat. Nevertheless time will breed another mind in the King, and also bring forth effects not yet known.

Colonel Stewart's credit herein is called into question, and some have uttered, as I am informed, that he is charged to have broken promise with Bothwell in these things. Robertland, attending upon the King, is suspected likewise. And it is written to me that whilst Bothwell was at the King's chamber door some Court courtiers persuaded that the King would receive [him] to his grace and presence, but that the King has answered, and so he affirmed, that he had rather been starved than forced by that company.

In this late ruffle at Court Robert Scot, brother of the Laird of Balwearie, was slain with a bullet shot out of a window in the Chancellor's chamber. Niddrie is to sore hurt in the thigh with like shot, and on the hand, by John Shawe, before he was slain by them, as it is thought he cannot long live.

It is yet concluded that the Parliament shall begin at the day limited, but it shall be immediately adjourned to a new time. Angus has heard that Huntley shall be created Marquess and Earl of Rosse, and thereby precede Angus. But Huntley is presently in the north to take the bands of Grant and Mackintosh. His return to the Court is daily looked for.

Mr. Richard Douglas is fallen into suspicion in these actions. Letters are sent to call him in, but as yet he is not come. The companies of Bothwell dispersed after their "retyre" from the Court. Sundry bruits have been given out where he should be, but I have no certainty thereof. The Countess, his lady, lodged in Canongate the night after the trouble at Court, pretending, as it is written, that she brought mo[ney] and jewels, thinking that if her husband had surprised the King she would have had the Queen. But on the morrow she scattered her companies and departed very secretly and in great haste and fear. Montrose and Maxwell continue in Court, as it is thought, for the safety of the Chancellor.

For your lordship's goodness shewed to me at your lordship's late motion made to her majesty in my particular causes I am right deeply bound to honour, serve, and thank your lordship, very humbly beseeching your good lordship to continue your favour towards me in the same; and having before this many times presented my most humble suit to her majesty to vouchsafe to accept the payment of 1000 l. yearly until my debt to her majesty and the garrison at Berwick should be fully satisfied and paid, which sum of 1000 l. thus yearly to be paid is the uttermost that I can provide by any possible means in me or my son, whose help I must have in this behalf. And for that this sum mentioned cannot be levied before the coalpits of my son and my own saltpans shall be repaired and brought into work—a matter very hard to be compassed by me in the present condition of my case—therefore, and by other occasions of her majesty's service, and in my distressed estate, I could not hitherto make any payment to her majesty of this sum thus offered, and which I am ready to pay in such time and sort as shall please her majesty to appoint and shall be within the reach of the power of myself, my son, and friends. For the furtherance of which order to be determined and made certain by her majesty's good pleasure, and that it may likewise proceed in, and accomplish all my other duties to her majesty, I most humbly pray to have her majesty's leave to make my repair to London to finish all these matters to her majesty's best contentment; wherein I shall with all humility and readiness obey, and perform her majesty's order to be declared herein. And for the obtaining of which leave for these considerations, I "eftsones" pray your good lordship both to move her majesty for the same, and also to yield your lordship's furtherance therein and to advertise me timely of her majesty's pleasure in the same. Bishop's Auckland. Signed: Robert Bowes.

6 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley. Notes in the margin in Burghley's hand.

647. The Nobility of Scotland and the Amity with England. [Jan. 12.] Cott. Calig. D. II. fol. 158.

"The evill affected."

. . . (fn. 1) Earles of Kaitnes, Sudderland, the Lord Maktry [sic] . . . Erles Huntley, Crawfurd, Arroll, Angust, the . . . and a great many lords. These are the men of greatest . . . from the north see to Nowtinge to the towne of Dundy."

"Southe the greatest men are the Lord Maxvill and . . . both are Papistes, and Maxvill Warden of the West [March, whi]ch confirmes his powre not a little."

"[We]st the Lords Paslay, Boyid, Sempill, Levistoun, the Erle . . . e, and as sum thinkes Montross, but my opinion is not so."

"East the Lords Setown, and Home, Warden of the East [March]."

". . . [c]ourt and session ar the Lord Parbrothe, Comptrowler, . . . of Lingluden, Collectour, Abbott of Newbottill, Master of . . ., the Lord of Pollart, Coopper to hir majestie, Sir James . . . newphewe to the bisshope of Dumblan, one of the Masters . . . William Schawe a suspected Jesuit, Master of his majestie's . . . ior of Pluskardy, and Sir John Setowne, sessionars . . . the Abbot of Lendors; and sundry other gentlemen [fa]miliars; all notable Papistes."

"The well affected are these."

". . . e; the Erle Marshall, the Lord Forbesh, as to Gowry . . . chylde, so the north is alltogether infected."

". . . e; the Erle of Cassilles, and he is but a chyld, . . . erle nor lord."

". . . Lord Chiltrie [sic] Carkart, the Lord Hamilton, the [Master of] Egleintoun."

"In the court the Duke, the Erle Mo . . . and yet he is becomme suspitious to sundrie . . ."

"By this cataloge it is to clein [sic] that the Bo . . . of Scotland which is the greatest part of the B . . . great part of the hart of the countrie is Papistes."

"As to nibill men that are noe actors, I reckon the cathologe as Rothesh, Oliphant, Invermethe, Argill, . . . a great many of others that either are simple men . . ."

"It is also to be considered that these of the Spanish . . . all uniforme amonge them selves, and the well affected . . . most part at bitter quarrelles, as the Duke and Hamilt[on] and Aglingtoun, with sundrie others."

"One thinge would be diligently adverted, that the che[if] . . . Spanishe coursh within Scotland are Huntley, coma[ndor of the ]northe, Home and Maxvill comandors of the Bo[rders] . . . great credit with his majestie, in so muche that altho[ugh] all towched with these tresonable practyses with . . ., they shall incurre no daunger, hir [sic] majestie lykinge s . . . them; the Duke and Mar cheeffe leaders of the . . . bothe brothers-in-lawe to Huntley, tenderly aliat with the sayd Duke, by his father's latter will bound to Maxvell and his howse."

". . . re there advice in particular, and for . . . e can be soe fitt as Bothwell, for Huntley . . . cosins the Erle of Murray. Home had . . . selfe in his possessions, and Maxvell had caused . . . of his servantes.

"[If hir] majestie fynd fault with receavinge Bothwell in hir . . . may be justly replyed that hir highnes had done . . . that then the Kinge himselfe, for she had for that . . . nt some of hir subjectes, and the lyke as yet had . . . done in Skotland. Moreover Bothwell everie . . . oust at his pleasure resortes to Edinburge . . . not be restraynt. Then how shall hir majestie debar . . . Borderers that be two hundrethe myles distant . . . resident."

"[Wher]eas his majestie thretned to joyne with you and your enemies [sic] . . . [s]howe Bothwell any good countenance, assure your self . . . would permitt him so to doe, his people would not . . . which he knowethe full well, and would but cannot, for the people are all togither bent agaynst the . . . faction and partakers thereof, howe great soeve[r]."

3 pp. Copy.

648. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Jan. 15.]

Albeit that many circumstances devised, executed, and past in the late attempt at Holyrood House by Bothwell and his accomplices have been advertised to me by letters received from my friends and servant in Scotland, yet trusting that Roger Aston has before this acquainted your lordship with all the effectual part in the same, I therefore forbear to trouble your lordship with further report.

The state in Scotland since the attempt mentioned is to be drawn, as I am informed, to good quietness, with expectation that the clouds lately appearing and stirring the storms past shall blow over without such dangers as have been feared; and although sundry noblemen have been suspected to have been interested in that action, yet hitherto few or none of them are charged or blamed therewith. Nevertheless diligent enquiry has been made for the discovery of all matters and parties, and therein, upon the disclosing of the bottoms thereof, the same is intended to be put in print for the benefit of both the realms in this isle, wherein Hobbourne, servant to Bothwell, has suffered the torture of the boots and will not confess anything. The Laird of Robertland and Mr. James Durham, who married Bothwell's sister by his mother, are committed to ward upon suspicion that they were privy to this conspiracy.

John Estmythe—as Mr. Aston can show your lordship—has confessed many things in the first device and intention, and also in the progress and execution. But the Lord Chancellor is not pleased with his enlargement or doings, whereby it is thought that he shall be more sharply examined if he be not helped by the persons to whom he first opened himself and the secrets in this raid.

David Edmondson, an especial servant and in trust with Bothwell, has been seen in the Court with great courtiers. He is dismissed, as it is thought, to do some thankful act for the discovery or apprehension of Bothwell. Colonel Stewart, smelling the suspicion against him, hastes his journey into the Low Countries to seek satisfaction and order for the money owing him by the states there.

The King mustered the gentlemen in his house, minding to have committed the leading of them, in all the King's services, to the Duke of Lennox; but upon new occasions this matter is stayed, and the gentlemen and the guard of horsemen attend on the King at his hunting, and otherwise as they are appointed by the King.

The copy of the short libel or advice to the King, and set up on the King's chamberdoor, against the Duke of Lennox and others, I send enclosed to your lordship. I am not informed who did this, but that some about the Duke think it to be taken in hand in favour of the Chancellor, who having lately strengthened his lodging at Holyrood House and walled up the door betwixt the Duke's chamber and his, the Duke thereby the rather conceives that the Chancellor distrusts him. Some sparks of jealousy are still seen in the Chancellor towards the Stewarts, Douglases, and their parties, whereby it is deemed that the Chancellor will the rather build upon the Lords Hamilton, Huntly, Montrose, and Maxwell, who are now in Court, and who are thought to be shortly drawn to lodge in Court.

The King has penned a proclamation against Bothwell, which I think is already proclaimed, and it is now evident to all men how earnest the King's mind is bent against him.

Upon late motion made by my servant in Scotland for redress to be given for the late raids of Liddisdale, in Alesten Moor, in Cumberland, Iriston in the bishopric of Durham, and others, the King and Council have again given order for the speedy execution thereof, and also that the Clerk Register shall deliver to my servant the double of that Act of Council, which I shall send to your lordship after it shall be brought to me.

Some "towardes" Bothwell and the Papists have lately awaited the convoy of the letters to have been sent to me by my friend and servant in Scotland, and their greatest desire, as I am informed, was to know the names and persons of my men, intelligencers in matters concerning the Catholics, wherein they have so hardly conceived against such of their sect as they suspect to favour me, that they restrain their accustomed access to them and their assemblies, and by this my friend, for this time, have delayed to write to me until the passage for their letters shall be known to be more safe.

Because I think it to be her majesty's pleasure to stay my return and service in Scotland, I therefore right humbly beseech your good lordship to direct me whether I shall continue my servant any longer in Scotland, and that I may thereon call him and bring home such portion of my poor stuff as still remains there. In this and in all others I attend your lordship's pleasure and advertisement by your lordship's letters or by John Allen. Barnes. Signed: Robert Bowes.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

(Enclosure with the same.)

"The coppye of the writt sett on the King's dore."

"It appears to me that the D. cannot excuse himself well of the laste "turne that was in hand, in respect his speciall servant is gone away "with the deid, and as William Keithe his gudfather ane of th'interprisers "of that fact give your majestye be not, that may well be seene. And "as your majesty maye understand that those that the D. hathe melled "with hath not forgotten the deathe of th'erle Gowrye, therefore I "thincke it beste ye cause hir flitt hir camp and dwell farder awaye "fra you, for your majestyes entres and hirs is all ane. I see sondrye "daylye in your companye that gives your majestye fayre wordes that "are as gilty as they that were at the turne doinge, wha looke right "myld uppon the matter; and if they wiste wher to leape to they woulde "be soone awaye, but they feare they shall not be so welcome as of before "(to Ingland I meane). And giffe your majestye cannot judge quha "theye are, consider with your majesty's self what they are that Mr. "John Colvill hathe the greatest strake of, and what company he hauntes "maiste. I have no farder at this presente to saye, but sic as I meane "will awayte weile on quhil theye devyse a newe guyse. Therfore be "wyse and doe your turne quicklye. Sa I conclud, your majesties servant "at power."

½ p. Indorsed by Burghley: "Januar 1591. Copy of a monitory bill sett uppon the Scottes Kynges chamber dore."

Copy of the same.

Cott. Calig., D. II., fol. 46.

649. Burghley to the Lord Chancellor of Scotland. [Jan. 20.]

Although there is not any special participation used of my goodwill towards you, nor of yours to me, by way of letters or frequent messages, yet such are the conditions of our callings and places of weighty affairs for the joint weal of our sovereigns that I doubt not but we both most heartely wish well to one another for furtherance of our service, first to the honour of God and the establishing of His Gospel, and next for the safety of our sovereigns and continuance of their firm amities for the common weal of their Kingdoms; and in this I profess to continue with readiness to make proof thereof in anything to my power, as I mind to make like account on your lordship's part.

This gentleman, Mr. Ashton, a man affectionate to your lordship, has imparted to the Queen's Majesty the circumstances of the horrible, treasonable attempt against the King's person, and returns with answer by her majesty letters, wherein, besides her consolation for the King's preservation, as I conjecture by her speeches, she "doth remembre" the King of her former advices to have proceeded more roundly against such as have given cause by their contempts to have been either cut off or restrained from their audacious attempts; and now experience teaches the King to find her advices sound, and so I doubt not but your lordship, who also has your particular cause touched herein only for your faithful service to the King and his country, will foresee that the King be not abused to credit and countenance either strong papists or aspiring heads. But I will forbear to use any further advice than this only whereby this island and both the kingdoms may be sure, that is to banish Jesuits, seminaries, and intelligencers with foreign countries that are popish.

And now I will express to your lordship the very special cause of my present letter, which is, by her majesty's commandment, to give your lordship her princely and loving commendations, and to let you know that she is most glad of your late escape from the peril intended to you, judging you the better servant to the King and your country in that she hears you are "mallyeed" by traitors and wicked persons and all such as are void of the fear of God or of honest reputation amongst honourable, good men; and though commonly all manner of traitors pretend malice to the good servants of kings and princes, yet she says that both by stories and her own experience she finds it most certain that the perfection and end of their malice pretended against principal servitors is to subvert the state of their lords or to subdue them to their ambitious wills. All this and much more her majesty commanded me to write to you, and in her majesty's name to comfort you to proceed, as she used these Latin words, "contra ardentior ito."

3 pp. In Burghley's hand. Indorsed by Burghley and his clerk.

650. Elizabeth to Anne. [Jan.]

My good sister, we had intended writing to you by Roger Aston, had not his departure hence been more sudden than we thought. Nevertheless, as we then had the will, so we wish to defer no longer to put it in effect by this present, and to pray you hereby to believe firmly that nothing in the world could have happened more agreeable to us than to hear the good news of the deliverance of the King our good brother and of yourself withal, for your part therein was as great as his, from that wicked, miserable enterprise lately made by some of your accursed subjects. From which it having pleased the Almighty, of his infinite goodness, to cause you to escape, we deem ourselves on our part bound to render him everlasting and infinite thanks for the same, and to bear you company also in those which we are assured you are on your side rendering to his Divine Majesty. Therefore, since it has pleased Him to establish between us both an alliance and strait friendship, we will in accordance therewith take a little boldness to beg and counsel you to employ towards the King our good brother—as we are sure you will of yourself do—all the means of the gifts and graces which God has bestowed upon you, to persuade him to keep henceforth a more watchful eye and to hold himself better upon his guard than in the past, not only in order to prevent and frustrate the malice of such malign spirits, but also to cause to be incontinently chastised by exemplary punishment, on account of the consequence which depends thereupon, those who may be found to have been openly the tragic actors in this deed, even so far as to advance upon the door of the place where the King and you were, and to try to force it. And in so doing you will follow the example of that so famous and most gentle prince the King your late father, whose virtues and wisdom, even in the case of doing justice for such enormous crimes, may well serve you as a goad to incite the King our brother to be more vigilant and more prompt to have them severely punished without delay. This we say to you from our heart and sincere affection, as concerning the safety of the person of the King and that of yourself and also of your state.

1 p. French. Corrected draft. Indorsed: "Copie of a letter in French to the Queene of Scottes upon the attempt of the Erle Bothwell in the Kinges house against the King."

651. James VI. to the Privy Council of England. [Jan. 22.]

"Richt trusty and richt weilbelovittis we greit you hartlie wele." It being "lamented" to us on the behalf of Cuthbert Py and his spouse, your sovereign's subjects dwelling "ewest" the Borders of England, two very aged persons, the one being four score years and more, and the other five score, "quha" and their predecessors have been in peaceable possession of a mill pertaining [to] the monastery of Newminster these hundred years bypast, and of some lands adjacent thereto since the suppressing of the abbays "but" interruption or trouble, are notwithstanding now of late impeded in their "native and kyndlie" possession by the means of Ralph Gray and Henry Gray, his brother, who go about by forcible oppression and indirect dealing to dispossess and "seclude" them therefrom, "besyde all humanitie, order of law or justice," wherethrough they, in respect of their great age and inability to make other shift for their living, "ar thamselffis, and a gret nowmer sustenit be thame as thair familie, upoun that meane thing apperand utterlie to rwyne and decay, quhilk wer a mater of gret conscience and petie." Whereupon we have taken occasion to recommend the distressed estate of these aged persons to your good consideration, "effectuuslie" requesting you to "interpone" your favourable means and advice for continuance of them in their "native and kyndlie" possession aforesaid, and give commandment and order that they be not troubled therein by the indirect means of the said Ralph Gray and his brother in time coming. Holyrood House. Signed: James R.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed.

652. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Jan. 26.]

By the advertisement lately sent to me from Scotland the estate there appears to be little changed from the condition certified by my last letters to your lordship, and the suspicion of new troubles likely to arise in that realm is grounded chiefly on these three causes: first, on the disposition of the Earl of Bothwell, ready, as it is said, to hazard with his parties some other sudden attempt; next, on the disagreement continuing betwixt the Lord Chancellor and the Master of Glamis, who are not likely to be reconciled; and, thirdly, on the malcontentment of sundry noblemen and councillors resting in dryness towards the Chancellor, who, for his own guard, is thought to have procured Montrose and Maxwell to remain at and to be lodged in the Palace at Holyrood House, where the Chancellor's lodging is some deal strengthened, and his own body at his going abroad defended against assault of his enemies. But presently the former calm continues.

That the redresses promised by the King and Council for Liddisdale, and daily called for by my servant at Edinburgh, may be timely performed, the Council have addressed their letters to the young Laird of Cesford, now Keeper of Liddisdale, for the execution of these redresses demanded by the particular notes delivered to the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Secretary by my servant mentioned; and the Keeper is thereby directed to return his answer on the 24th day of this month, as by the copy of the Council's letter enclosed will appear to your lordship; wherein the Keeper has showed himself willing and ready in that and other causes for preservation of the good peace on the Borders to do his diligence, as by the success of his labours will shortly be seen and tried.

The Parliament is prorogued until the 4th of April next by proclamation published, and by the like proclamations Bothwell is proscribed, and reward promised to such as shall apprehend and bring him in, with restraint to all men to "receytt" or to carry him or his accomplices out of that realm by sea. For it was informed that Captain Hakkerson, bruited to have passed by water to Spain, lately came from Caithness and arrived at Leith with a pinnace to receive Bothwell. The like proclamations therefore are set forth against the Captain, and two men of Leith known to be come from him are taken, committed, and likely to be executed, especially one Abircrombye of Leith, who this long time has been a busy instrument for the papists; and chiefly for Mr. James Gordon and Mr. Robert Abircrombye. And because I understand that Abircromby of Leith, a dyer of red leather, is privy to all the practices and plots of the papists in Scotland, I have therefore directed my servant at Edinborough both to acquaint the King, the Chancellor, and others well affected, and also to travail diligently that this person may be well examined. But I much doubt of the good end herein, for the papists, doubting the life of this person, seek his safeguard by all the means in their power, and they have been lately comforted by great courtiers offering to show them any favours in their affairs, so [that] the same shall not hurt the common estate and Kirk.

Dickson, master in the art of memory and sometime attending on Mr. Philip Sidney, deceased, has come to the Court to behold the present course and disposition thereof, and it is meant that he shall be employed and sent within these ten days next following into Flanders in the business of the papists, as I am advertised, and that intelligence daily increases betwixt the papists of England and Scotland, where the pride and hope of the Jesuits and Catholics there exceeds now with expectation of speedy and wished fortune; and surely the rabble and number of these crews in these parts of this realm swarm much more than is openly seen.

The Captain of the Castle of Edinburgh, as it is written to me, has been advised that his office was sought and should be in danger to be gotten out of his hands by some means when he should come forth of the castle after recovery of health in his present sickness, and that it is thought that the Chancellor greatly affects this place and would keep his house therein.

Sundry old courtiers, seeing Huntly, Montrose, and Maxwell presently carrying the sway in Court, repine thereat, and also purpose thereby to retire themselves, which will much weaken the Chancellor, who as yet has not recovered, as it is said, the good countenance and "conceit" of the Queen which was partly abated upon some speech uttered in the Queen's presence and hearing by the Chancellor's wife touching the favourites of Bothwell's late attempt, and which the Queen conceives much otherwise than the lady meant, as she has sithence explained her words.

The cause of the Master of Glamis shall come in debate and consideration before the King and Council about the 4th of the next month, wherein it is doubted that he shall not find the like grace that he received at his last being in Court by the means of the Earl of Crawford and the Laird of Spanye. For albeit that Spanye labours earnestly to complete the agreement betwixt Crawford, his brother, and the house of Glamis, yet the accords are not yet concluded as was looked for, and the two younger brethren of Crawford are contented to cast some blocks in the way of his atonement, wherein the Chancellor is suspected to charm Crawford and his two younger brethren no further to give care to this new friendship.

The Duke of Lennox has not clean shaken off the late suspicion of his favour towards Bothwell and winking at Bothwell's enterprise at Holyrood House; but Colonel Stewart haunts the Court with his accustomed grace and countenance. It is thought that time will eat up and wash away the blemishes wherewith many of great quality have been spotted in this late action.

The King, trusting to have entrapped Bothwell by the means of Davy Edmonston of Burnhouse, an old "familiar" of Bothwell, passed to Samerson and Haddington, but the success did not fall out to the King's contentment. He was once purposed, as I am certified, to have sought Bothwell and Niddrie in place adjoining the Border of Scotland, and whereof some tale was given of Bothwell's abode there; but by advice and doubt of the truth of this tale he changed his purpose. In this journey to surprise Bothwell, the King and his horse fell into the water of Tyne near to Haddington, where he was speedily rescued, and yet not before he was sore wet and troubled with the water.

In all my own private causes I have employed and sent this bearer, my servant Christopher Sheperson, to attend on your lordship, with instructions to sue for your lordship's order and pleasure in my petitions and suits to be opened to your lordship by him, wherein I must humbly pray your lordship to give him favourable access and hearing, and to grant to me your lordship's timely relief and help in my present distresses. Barnes. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript.—After the writing hereof, and having put my servant Sheperson in readiness to "come" and attend on your lordship, I received your lordship's letters sent with John Allen, whereon I have stayed my said servant for some little space, that he may bring more certain answer to the contents of your lordship's letters mentioned. In the meantime I thought it meet to send these to your lordship.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

(Enclosure with the same.)

The Privy Council of Scotland to the young Laird of Cesford, Keeper of Liddisdale.

By your letter to my Lord of Newbottle we understand that you met with Liddisdale this last Tuesday and agreed with them very well and are satisfied of that thing which you "requirit thame with." We are glad of your good beginning and pray you to continue your earnest care to hold that matter in good order. Yet because you are so short and general in this advertisement, we must desire you to certify us more specially what were the things that you required of Liddisdale, and what security you have gotten for performing of the same, namely of Will Ellott, Mangertoun, and Quhithauche and "remanent" of the principal branches of the country, and specially what surety for the redress of the bills of Aulstenmuir and Ivistoune. Further, there were some writings taken at Ivistoune from one named Stringer. This we desire you to "caus inquire" for, and to get them and send them here that they may be restored to the complainer. In these particulars we desire you "effectuislie" to do your exact diligence that his majesty may know there is no "inlaik" of goodwill on your part, for it must be speedily certified to England what they shall "lippen" for in this behalf. Holyrood House. Jan. 14.

2/3 p. Copy. Indorsed "The copie of the Counsell's letter to the Laird of Sesford, Keper of Liddisdale, given me by Clark Register."

653. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Jan. 28.]

Since the receipt of your lordship's letter of the 19th hereof I have received other letters from my friend and servant in Scotland certifying that the young Laird of Cesford, keeper of Liddisdale, has returned his answer to the late letter of the Council addressed to him, and the copy whereof I sent yesterday to your lordship. The Laird offers indilate redress upon the exhibiting of the bills of the complaints, agreeable to the ordinary course of the Marches used in like causes. Whereupon I have given warning to all parties calling for these redresses to frame and put in their bills as appertains, which I trust shall be done with good expedition, and of the progress and success your lordship shall be timely advertised.

Colonel Stewart, lately haunting the Court, is committed to the Castle of Edinburgh, partly upon the suspicion of his privity in the attempt of Bothwell at Holyrood House, and partly upon information that by his means and procurement his wife—now commanded to depart from the Court and Edinburgh—had sought to incense the King and Queen against the Chancellor, and to the great danger of the Chancellor, who is drawn hereby, and by other occasions, into the evil "conceitt" of the Queen; "and approvinge that his adversaryes are still about his ruyns." Wherein it is found that sundry of Bothwell's servants and accomplices, purposing to sell their horses and address themselves for partes beyond the seas, have been advised to "suspend" some time and attend the success of actions that should be shortly enterprised. For the prevention whereof the King and Queen have resolved to lie within the city of Edinburgh, and the house wherein I lodged is now prepared for the King and Queen. The Duke [of Lennox] shall be lodged within the same gates, and the Chancellor and noblemen have provided the best houses adjoining.

The Chancellor the other day required the consent of the Captain of the Castle of Edinburgh that he might have that office and house by reasonable composition, assuring the Captain that he should not otherwise seek that "roome"; and in case the Captain did not like to "departe" with it, then he would do his best endeavour to preserve and hold it still in the Captain's custody. It is thought that the Captain shall be forced to leave it, and therefore it is wished that it may be put in the hands of the Chancellor.

Sundry preachers in their sermons before the King have exhorted him to hear and take the counsel of the ancient and religious earls, lords, and barons, and of the true and honest burgesses, by whom the truth will be told simply to the King, and they will employ themselves and [their] whole powers in the maintenance and defence thereof. This advice is listened to, and some good course is like to be taken therein.

The Earl of Mar, "comed" to the Court, has renewed the overtures for reconciliation betwixt the Chancellor and the Master of Glamys with such fervency that now there is good hope that it shall take better effect than lately it was like to have done. It is verily thought that the good progress and end of this agreement shall cut off a great piece of the root of the new broils and bring the Chancellor into much rest.

The licences subscribed and granted for the returns of the Lord Hume and Buccleuch are stayed. Thomas Davison, servant to Mr. John Colvile, was taken on the 23rd instant with his master's letters and is like to be executed.

I have been informed that Mr. Thomas Cranston, with some other gentlemen, and the Crawes, who were with Bothwell at the attempt mentioned, have been in Milfield and Akell, in Northumberland, and that it is thought that Mr. Thomas Cranston will abide still in those parts, but most of the others have departed. The King is very desirous to have Cranston. Finding by your lordship's last letter that her majesty will be contented to "pleasure" the King in these behalfs, therefore I have thought it my duty to give your lordship notice of this information given me, that the Wardens of the Middle and East Marches may do further therein as by her majesty shall be directed.

Whereas by your lordship's letter mentioned I perceive that her majesty did not then mislike of my going again into Scotland, as before she did, and that your lordship wishes me in the mean season to determine thereupon and proceed to dispose of all such things as I have to make money of towards the payment of the great debt which I owe to her majesty, I am, and ever shall be, ready to obey and be employed as her majesty shall command; and as hitherto I have not refused any hazard of life, pains of mind or body, or expenses of such things as I possessed, and could advance her majesty's services in my charge, so I shall, God willing, both hold myself in this course and during all my life be found obedient and loyal to her majesty. Wherein, that her majesty and your lordship may perfectly know my present estate and case as well to serve as I shall be directed as also to give satisfaction for my debts to the uttermost of my power, I have therefore addressed this bearer, Christopher Sheperson, my servant, with instructions to attend on your lordship in all these behalfs, right humbly praying your good lordship to give him favourable access, audience, and credit therein, and to have compassion on me, that myself and services end not in her majesty's displeasure, which by the view of some part of your lordship's letter I fear to be so kindled against me that my life is more grievous than my death can be to me, doubting greatly that my only fault, "comed" by the negligent handling of some part of her majesty's treasure in my hands, shall thus blot out the memory of all my services past, notwithstanding that my error herein has grown chiefly by the abuse of evil servants credited by me, and who wickedly breaking their faith, "banke," and credit, cast this burden on me whilst I and my whole senses were so diligently occupied in her majesty's services in Scotland that I could not timely look to and prevent this mischief presently oppressing me so deeply that I find no greater grief than that my woeful heart will not seasonably break and yield to deliver my body from the sorrows and cares which the sight and often report of your lordship's letters mentioning the great discontentment in her majesty towards me have begun, and taken such root in me that I trust the speedy end of my miserable days shall shortly end her majesty's heavy displeasures to me and all my own miseries in this world. The particularities in all which things touching the benefits or prejudice of her majesty's services to be committed to my weak hands or my own readiness and uttermost ability to answer and pay those debts to her majesty by all the means in my power, I refer to the report and credit of this bearer, and myself, comfort, and relief I commend to her majesty's gracious goodness to be furthered by your lordship's favour. Barnes. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.


  • 1. Decayed.