James VI: March 1592

Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593. Originally published by His Majesty's General Register House, Edinburgh, 1936.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


, 'James VI: March 1592', in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) pp. 649-663. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp649-663 [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "James VI: March 1592", in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) 649-663. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp649-663.

. "James VI: March 1592", Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936). 649-663. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp649-663.

In this section

James VI: March 1592

665. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Mar. 7.]

May it please your good lordship. On the 4th instant I received your lordship's last letter of the 25th of February last, and thereupon I have written effectually to Roger Aston, agreeable to your lordship's direction, trusting that he shall stay and "dashe" the employment and sending of the young Laird of Poury Oglevy into Spain by the delivery of the weighty causes and reasons expressed in your lordship's letter mentioned. All which reasons I have at length sent to him with my advice for the furtherance of the good success therein. In this behalf I have in general manner written to the Laird of Pourie Oglevy as well to satisfy his expectation for my answer to his letter, which before I sent to your lordship, as also to dissuade him from proceeding any further in this journey intended for Spain.

In the residue of the contents in your letter—and which matters are surely of great importance—I have wished Mr. Aston, charged my servant at Edinburgh, and myself shall be right diligent to give due regard to the same to prevent the dangers and to advance her majesty's pleasure and service to the uttmermost in our power.

By letters of the last of February last, brought slowly and delivered this day to me from my servant in Scotland, it is certified that at the return of the King to Glasgow with some of the Council and ministers of Edinburgh, whereof I made some mention in my last before these to your lordship, it was concluded that Huntly and his accomplices should be warded in the north in places to be appointed by the King; and in case Huntly should be found "entered into" his journey to abide his trial in law, that then he should be returned and have new day given for his trial by assize, and in the meantime enter himself and remain in ward to be limited upon pain of treason; and if he shall not be "comed forthe" towards Linlithgow to be tried as was appointed, that then the King with his forces will proceed against him, as before was resolved. Herewith it is agreed that all the rest present at the slaughter of Murray shall be pursued in body, lands, and goods. Some of Murray's friends are in fear that this course against Huntly is thus pretended to win time and dissolve the preparations made for the revenge of the murder; and they are occupied with the greater jealousy in that they have heard that Patrick Murray was addressed from the Court to Huntly, and for his benefit. Nevertheless the most of those parties for Murray —looking to find the King willing now to do justice in this case—persuade to attend the sequel of the course resolved. But I find not that they and others grieved with the suspicions of the Chancellor's actions can as yet well pass over those griefs and embrace the Chancellor and his friendship, notwithstanding that some for the Chancellor, as it is said, have made means to Morton and Mar for firm reconciliation and friendship amongst them.

The Countess of Huntly shall shortly leave the Court. Ochiltree has no will to come to Court before he shall see better accomplishment of the punishment of Huntly.

The King purposes to lie some while at Linlithgow, and the Queen to retire to Dalkeith, where she likes not to abide, with her small family, except Morton and the countess his lady, owners of that house, shall also come down thither to await on her—a matter not well liked by some courtiers presently with the King.

The Master of Glamis, doubting to have been surprised and hurt suddenly by the Earl of Crawford and others, has entertained in his house forty gentlemen for his strength. He is not agreed nor in the way of agreement with the Chancellor. Morton and Mar have been warned to give regard to themselves, which advice they have taken, putting them in good safety, as they think, for prevention of the evil.

It is boldly given out by sundry in Scotland that the Laird of Spott, Mr. John Colvile, and Mr. Richard Douglas are entertained in London with great favour, and that the Earl Bothwell, Hercules Stewart, his brother, the Laird of Niddry, Mr. Thomas Crankeson, and others, fled for the fact at Holyrood House, are in Northumberland, wherein myself is blamed and charged by some in Court to have been an especial instrument to draw them into this realm and procure favour towards them. But as God, truth, and my actions will in time make known my innocency in these behalfs—wherein I have not in any sort meddled—so in time, and shortly, I trust, these reporters and their hearers will be satisfied with the knowledge of the truth herein. I look to receive very shortly more full and perfect advertisements from Scotland that I cease to trouble your lordship further with matters not worthy of writing.

Your lordship's continual goodness lately and at all times showed towards me and for my welfare straightly binds me, my son, and all to come of us, faithfully to honour and serve your lordship and yours, on whom we shall gladly hold and dutifully always employ ourselves and whole powers to be found thankful for your lordships' benefits bestowed on myself for all our reliefs.

Whereas for my debt to her majesty your lordship has now directed me to cause good assurance to be made with good sureties to pay yearly to her majesty 1000 l. by quarterly payments, wishing that I had ended that assurance that thereon I might repair to my charge in Scotland, I shall with all diligence and to my full power obey and accomplish your lordship's direction herein; and for the same I shall call on and try my friends to be sureties for this payment. And finding some in whom I have great affiance shrink from giving great bonds before that for their own safeties they shall see the salt-pans to be repaired and put in due order, and which they think without thorough supply and charge will exceed the reach of my power in regard of my present poverty, therefore I have instructed and addressed Sherperson my servant to attend upon and present to your lordship such kind of assurance in this behalf as most readily may be performed, and which, being allowed and accepted by your favour therein, shall be executed with all expedition.

Further, being ready with heart and hand to serve her majesty to the uttermost of my whole power, and without regard of pains or danger whatsoever, I do most humbly pray that my present estate and case, oppressed with evident adversity and perishing by the sight of her majesty's heavy indignation continuing towards me, may be well known and so considered that the employment of me in that place do neither blemish her majesty's honour nor prejudice her majesty's service by the disabilities appearing and manifest in me, and which disabilities—being incurable by any means in myself—I have chosen rather with sorrow and shame to discover to your lordship in due season "in respectes remembered" than anywise to cover and wander in my miseries, threatening great hurt to all her majesty's affairs committed to me, whilst I shall remain in the plight and condition presently possessing me. This much I have thought it my duty to present to your lordship's memory and good consideration, and I rest obedient, ready and willing to serve her majesty as I shall be commanded. Barns. Signed: Robert Bowes.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

666. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Mar. 8.]

May it please your good lordship. That your lordship may know the late resolution taken at Glasgow by the King's Council and ministers for the pursuit of Huntly and his accomplices—which resolution something differs from the former order notified by my servant and delivered to him by a councillor present thereat, and which by my last before these I sent to your lordship—I send enclosed Roger Aston's letter addressed and brought to me this day; to the view whereof I commit this and all other warrants in Scotland. For by my servant's letter I find that by his late sickness he was not able to be in Court and other fit places for intelligence: and that most of the instruments whom I have used there and continually fed so long as I had any thing of myself or could borrow of my friends, have espied my fist empty, and despairing of their prey, have lately checked and soared away from me and him like hawks, so that I must either better bate my lure for these birds—which surely now exceeds my power—or else to look for no further flights or pleasures at their hands, a lesson both teaching me to know my own miserable estate and also occasioning me to discover the same to your lordship for the timely prevention of the prejudice likely to fall to her majesty's service by the employment of me therein, and by my disabilities to perform the duties requisite. All others I commit to the sight of my other letter sent yesterday to your lordship. Barnes. Signed: Robert Bowes.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

Enclosure with the same:—

(Roger Aston to Robert Bowes.)

Having returned from Glasgow to this town according to the resolution taken, I thought good to acquaint you of our proceedings here. It was concluded at Glasgow upon the Council and ministers' coming thither that Huntly should come in if he would bring with him those who were at the slaughter of Murray to underlie the law. This is given to his choice, and the 7th day of this instant appointed for his appearances. Whether he will come or not is not yet known. If he come not, the raid to the north will hold, and all men are commanded to be in readiness. If he come in, as is believed he will not, there is order set down that I hope will both satisfy the country and party distressed. The ministers are gone home very well satisfied, and I am in good hope things shall come well. Carmichael gives me good comfort. The Chancellor says "fer" to the matter. Our doings are so uncertain that I dare give no assurances, yet I hope well. In my next I shall be able to "resolve" you further.

Huntly is in Aberdeen. Mar met the King coming to this town, and returned to Stirling. All Murray's friends have referred this matter to the King, and will first see what he will do before they show themselves.

Ricchy Grame was burnt yesterday, "whoo has taken it uppon his ded." All he spake of the Earl Bothwell was true.

It is credibly informed the King that all Bothwell's company are "planly resett" in England, not in secret manner, "butt openly and rydes in to the contry where the ples to se the hores rases and other pastymes." This is laid sore to my charge in respect I gave such assurances to the contrary. I can say nothing in the matter till I hear either from you or from Court. Because it is so constantly "avoyd," I dare not say to the contrary. They have received comfort by Mr. Archibald Douglas' letters assuring them her majesty will be their friend and they may come and go as they please. "Souch lyke" they are comforted by Cuthbert Armorer, who "plenly" receives them in Murray. This greatly grieves the King that those whom he so deadly hates should be so "plenly" received in all parts, seeing he has been so willing to satisfy her majesty whenever she desired, chiefly in the delivery of her traitors. By these doings her majesty's traitors will be received here, and it will be an occasion to drawn them hither.

The King is so bent against Bothwell that he says if he should seek revenge out of all the world he will give his life, "butt he wil have it." I would wish, for my own part, neither he nor any of his should have favourers there; for if they have, farewell all amity between these countries.

I pray you let me have some "feling" of these matters, and that with speed that I may "frame my self acording." My courses have been from the beginning to keep her majesty and this King in sound friendship, which I hope shall be counted good service.

I will serve here as long as her majesty shall think convenient and that I may do good. Although there is some discontent for the present, I doubt not but the King shall settle all very well. I have given my opinion in my former letters touching your "in comming," which I think to be very necessary, and your presence might do much good, yet I will never advise you to come hither to do good except order be taken with the "benestmen." I can say no more till my next, which shall be as any matter occurs. It is said Mr. John Colvile is gone to Court. Linlithgow, 2nd March. Signed: Roger Aston.

pp. Holograph, also address. Indorsed by Robert Bowes.

667. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Mar. 11.]

This day letters were brought hither to me from some of my friends in Scotland certifying that by sudden "metamorphices" the current there is changed in like manner as the resolutions lately given in Council there have altered oftentimes the wind. Huntly "was comed" to St. Johnstone with 300 horse, and with pretence to come forward to his trial, as was appointed; but he is commanded to retire and to ward. Crawford and Ogilvy accompanied Huntly, but Montrose, Seaton, and such other noblemen as he looked for neither came to him nor [are] yet like presently to countenance him and his action, for the King shows himself directly against Huntly. The Chancellor has both persuaded in Council with great earnestness, and bona fide, as is now thought, that this slaughter of Murray may not pass without "indelate" and due punishment, and also has agreed with the Master of Glamis without the privity of Crawford, and is entered into a friendly course with Mar, Morton, and the Stewarts, whereby the greater hatred of many is now much abated towards him.

The Lord John Hamilton is seen now slow to "partye" Huntly, as was looked for, and Maxwell, thinking that the town of Edinburgh had conceived hardly against him by the sight of forces of horsemen which he brought and "caried" to Linlithgow, excused himself to Mr. Robert Bruce, with desire that the town might be satisfied therein. Few of Huntly's great friends in Court are found to stick fast by him other than Spyny and Sir George Hume. Thus the tide is turned suddenly, yet many suspect that the stream shall not long run in this course, wherein these friends writing presently to me think to be able and promise to give further advertisement shortly. And I am informed that Roger Aston forbears to write to me until he may write with better certainty than he can yet do in the first brunt of these charges.

The King has told some of my friends that he has now followed my counsel, which I take to be upon the sight of some of my letters persuading the expedition of justice for Murray's slaughter and of the agreement between the Chancellor and Glamis.

The King is presently purposed to lie at Linlithgow and to bring the Queen thither to him; whereupon the town of Edinburgh partly conceives that the King and Chancellor do neither well like nor much trust them. The burial of Murray is still deferred. The Master of Orkney, son of the Lord Robert Stewart, Earl of Orkney, is in communication with the Earl of Morton for marriage of Morton's youngest daughter, whereby it is deemed that the Douglases and Stewarts shall be wholly joined together.

The Duke of Lennox has obtained the wardship of the young Earl of Murray, and some think that by "that" means of the Duke the feud betwixt the houses of Huntly and Murray shall in time be appeased and that the life of Huntly shall be saved, albeit that he shall be chastised for a season and that sundry of his friends and surname present at Murray's slaughter shall suffer death for the same. Barnes. Signed: Robert Bowes.

1 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

668. Robert Bowes to [Burghley]. [Mar. 13.]

May it please your good lordship. It is advertised to me this day that the Earl of Huntly on the 10th of this month entered into his ward at Blackness, but all his friends returned northwards from St. Johnstone and will not enter into ward as they were appointed. It is verily thought that Huntly's friends in Court shall preserve him from hurt. I perceive that Roger Aston defers to write at length to me until he shall see with better certainty the further progress and course of affairs in Scotland, which presently rest in doubtful balance; yet the late and general malcontentment is partly appeased in hope of the good success of things desired.

The Earl Bothwell has met Huntly's servants carrying his trunk from St. Johnstone to the Queen's Ferry, and has hurt the servant who had charge of the trunk and taken away the trunk with 6000 marks, which I take to be Scottish, in it.

The King remains at Linlithgow attended upon by the Lord John Hamilton, the Lord Chancellor, and the Lord Maxwell. Barnes. Signed: Robert Bowes.

p. No address. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

669. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Mar. 18.]

Upon receipt of your lordship's last letter of the 14th instant I have "indelatelye" sent the two letters severally addressed by the Lords of her Majesty's Council to the Lord Scrope and Sir John Forster for the searching out and stay of such Scottish fugitives as are "bruted" to have lately entered into and abide in their wardenries, and with the same I have written at length to Roger Aston certifying how greatly her majesty is offended in these matters and what order the Lords of the Council have given therein. In which behalf, for his better information, I have both sent to him the copy of the letter addressed by the Lords of her majesty's Council to the three wardens, and also my own advice how he shall do and proceed to give contentment to the King and the well affected there, which I trust he shall shortly accomplish with good effect. Further, I have likewise informed and directed my servant at Edinburgh to travail with especial persons of the Council and of other good sorts that they may be well satisfied in all these "brutes" and matters. All which I hope shall receive good success.

Albeit that I have written to Mr. Aston, to the young Laird of Pourie Oglevy, and to my servant at Edinburgh for the stay of the Laird's employment into Spain, as before I have certified to your lordship, yet having hitherto received no return from any of them of the receipt of my letters to them in this part, I am in doubt that the packet to my servant with those letters was intercepted, or else was by some accident miscarried or withdrawn from the hands of my servant, and therefore I have renewed and written again in those behalfs to them all; wherein I look to be shortly advertised how the case stands, and whereof I shall, upon receipt of that advertisement, give knowledge to your lordship.

[In the margin.] I am advertised by Nicholson, after the writing hereof, that all these letters are safely delivered, and Mr. Aston [is] travailing to stay the journey, so that I have thereon stayed the letters to be sent in that behalf.

The King continues at Linlithgow, where are the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Hamilton, the Earl of Mar, and the Master of Elphinstone. Maxwell and his company have departed and returned homewards.

Albeit that Huntly trusted to have been delivered from his ward at Blackness within twenty-four hours after his entry into the same, yet he remains still prisoner there in the keeping of Sir James Sandelands, and sundry Councillors and ministers persuade the King to do justice on him; wherein great labour is made for the safety of Huntly, who now alleges—as by four gentlemen employed and sent to Linlithgow to deal in his cause is protested—that he is clear of the slaughter of Murray, and that the Lairds of Cluny, Geythe, and Innermarky, having an especial deadly feud against Murray, killed him against Huntly's will, who could not rescue Murray or scarcely save himself from the rage and violence of those lairds. The four friends thus employed by Huntly are the Master of Elphinstone and the Lairds of Petlarge, Meldrum, and Buchan, who in the name of Huntly have offered to Murray's mother, presently at Linlithgow, and to the Earl of Mar, that Huntly shall appear and abide his trial in law in the beginning of May next, and for the same shall give the bonds of gentlemen to be bound in 100,000l.; which offer is directly refused, so that it is doubted now what shall be done with Huntly, and for resolution therein sundry Councillors and ministers are sent for and called to Court. Many suspect that the Master of Elphinstone shall receive him and convoy him home. If this shall be seen to so fall out, then Argyle, Athol, and Mar are purposed to sue to the King to have commission to apprehend him and his friends present at the slaughter; and in case this commission and power shall be denied, then they will hazard that enterprise without further warrant.

Although the Chancellor was once advised and "amynded" to have entered into ward at Stirling in the custody of the Earl of Mar, with offer to abide his trial in all things to be objected against him for the slaughter of Murray, wherein by proclamation all men should be warned to come in and show forth whatsoever they could lay against him, yet now his friends have dissuaded him herein, alleging it to be dangerous for him to retire and leave the Court, as Sir James Stewart did, but rather to show himself and his face in Court with readiness to answer all accusations, unto which advice the Chancellor presently hearkens.

A little pamphlet was lately cast into the great church at Edinburgh setting forth the former life of Bothwell, his present penitency, with protestation and promise of a new and reformed life, and craving the good counsel of the ministers, who still continue in their sermons to reprove him and his actions. Herein the Chancellor is touched with some fault specified in that libel.

The Laird of Spott, Mr. John Colvile, and others at the raid at Holyrood House are summoned to appear at the Parliament to be holden at Holyrood House on the 24th of May next. Colonel Stewart is set at liberty.

I am again advertised that the assembly of the papists in Scotland have given direction and farewell to Mr. George Carr to pass into Spain to "intertaine" their traffic and intelligence betwixt Spain and them for the benefit of their church. It is herewith certified that Poury Ogilvie got his despatch on the 10th instant for Spain. To which last matter I cannot give great credit, yet upon this advertisement, and to prevent this sudden departure of Poury Ogilvie, I have again written in that cause, as before is expressed.

According to your lordship's direction and pleasure, I am ready both to pay yearly to her majesty 1000 l. for my debt to her majesty and garrison, and also to give immediate assurance for the same by such means as Sheperson my servant has, I trust, presented to your lordship; and as that sort of assurance is the best and most ready that I am able presently to accomplish, and that the same shall give sufficient surety to her majesty of good payment at the days limited, or else great advantage against myself, my son, and all our possessions whatsoever, so I most humbly beseech your good lordship to vouchsafe that it may be accepted; and the rather for that I find my friends loth to encumber themselves and their inheritances with long bonds for me, and that by other means I cannot yield better assurance then is thus offered. Durham. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript.—The Earl of Athol and Lord Ochiltree are sent for by letters to come to the Court, but finding that Huntly has so many of his servants in Blackness that he is thought to be master thereof at his will, and that he rather takes his pastimes than endures any imprisonment, therefore they are unwilling, and some say not purposed, to come to Court until they see what shall be further done to Huntly.

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

670. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Mar. 22.]

By the view of the contents of Roger Aston's letter enclosed may it please your lordship to understand as well the present estate and occurrences in Scotland, as also that the intended voyage to and negotiation of the young Laird of Poury Ogilvie in Spain are stayed and "daste"; and albeit I find great wrong to have been offered to myself by the untrue surmise delivered to the King that I, by my letter to the Laird, had commended that journey to be profitable to both realms, yet finding that Mr. Aston has so well satisfied the King with true report of my part thereof, and that the copy of my letter addressed to the laird in that behalf, and in my hands, will so fully verify Mr. Aston's report and clear myself against that suggestion, I therefore forbear to trouble your lordship for my further acquittal in a matter so evident.

By divers means I have sought to learn whether the Catholics in Scotland look for the coming of Colonel Sempill thither, but they have no such expectation as hitherto I can find, and as appears by Mr. Aston's letter. Yet it is advertised to me that the Catholics are doubtful and in deliberation whether they shall "partye" Huntly or not, and that they trust verily to receive before the 1st of May next intelligence and good comfort to be sent to them by some especial persons to be employed and sent from Spain and from the Low Countries. It is, besides, certified to me that sundry well affected travail diligently and are in good hope to knit together the Chancellor, Morton, Mar, Glamis, and the Stewarts, and that upon the conclusion thereof the King shall be drawn again to the Holyrood House for the contentment of Edinburgh; and whereupon it is looked that the clouds presently threatening great storms shall by the renewing of this friendship and the means thereof fall without great danger; and therewith some think that this reconciliation shall little please or profit Bothwell, for whose pursuit and apprehension sundry things are devised and to be attempted that he has now need to give regard to it.

Murray's friends, doubting still to "compasse" their revenge against Huntly by law, nevertheless coldly call for his punishment by law and seek commissions, as by Mr. Aston is declared. But they prepare to take by force that redress which they cannot get by justice, and it is feared that out of that enterprise some broils shall arise. In this the Lord Ochiltree is noted to be earnest, and he is now charged upon pain of treason to keep his house. Athol is commanded to remain within the limits of his own bounds.

Robert Stewart, brother of the Laird of Innermeath, and late servant of the Earl of Murray, disguised himself "to have comed" to the company of Huntly with intent to have killed Huntly with his pistol, and twice attempting to enter into the house where Huntly abode, was put back and his intention partly discovered. Nevertheless he continues in his resolution to exchange lives with Huntly. This Robert Stewart and his brother took Huntly's trunk, and not Bothwell, as before I certified to your lordship by the advertisement of Mr. Aston and others.

The King is pleased that 300 voluntary soldiers shall be levied in Scotland to serve under Colonel Balfour (Belforde). The Captain of Edinburgh Castle is sick and in danger of his life. Sundry make suit for the office, and the town of Edinburgh travail that it may be given to some person well affected and loving the welfare of that town and the common peace. Some hope that he shall escape the danger and live.

For the expedition of the assurance to be given to her majesty for my debt, and agreeable to the course liked by your lordship, as Sheperson has certified to me, I shall send up my son, Ralph Bowes, in the beginning of next term; and I have directed Sheperson in the meantime to prepare the draft of the assurance, that according to your lordship's good advice and pleasure it may be finished without delay. Barnes. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.

Enclosure with the same:—

(Roger Aston to Robert Bowes.)

I have received your lordship's letter of the 8th of March on the 15th hereof. I have considered the whole and shall answer to every part thereof. First, concerning the slaughter of the Earl of Murray and what is proposed upon Huntly's entering into ward. First, according to the charge, "he entered, where he hath remaned this vij dayes," ready to abide his trial. The friends of Murray find the time not proper, for sundry respects. First, the law provides that a man. for slaughter, must have a jury of his peers, which cannot be got, for there must be eight earls "with outt degre defendantt to the party defender or persuar," so that in that point he knows his life to be in no danger. Next, he had many friends, chiefly my lord of Spyne and Sir George Houme, who have shown themselves "plene party" for him. Our whole Court and Council has been divided in this matter, and further will be ere it be long, by all appearance.

The Chancellor has shown himself "plene party" against Huntly "and so hath all the offeseres of estatt," which has bred some jealousies between the chamber and the Chancellor. This matter touched the Chancellor nearer than any other, for it was plainly spoken "the Chansler was partesipatt of Hontle's fackett," but his last proceedings in that matter have satisfied many, and the Chancellor is minded rather to hazard his standing than to justify so "unonest" a cause. Thus far it is concluded that Huntly shall be set at liberty upon caution under great sums to be answerable upon certain days' warning whenever the party shall think good. This conclusion was taken on Wednesday the 10th, which day there were sent four commissioners to Huntly. the Earl of Montrose, the Laird of "Colloththy," Mr. David Lindsay, and John Duncanson, ministers. These were sent to cause him to set down under his own hand, as also to take his oath, whether he had any commission of the King either for the taking or slaying of the Earl of Murray, as it has been reported he had. To this he has not only sworn but he has set down with his own hand a "plene" denial of any such thing, the copy whereof I shall send you in my next. This sudden "desspech" was the cause I could not send it at this time. This day there are letters directed to the Earl of Murray's friends to see if they will pursue Huntly or not, and till answer returns he shall remain in ward. If the party will not pursue him, as I know they will not, he shall be set at liberty upon the conditions aforesaid. What will follow out of these proceedings, I cannot tell you, but by judgment of the best and wisest sort matters will not long stand as they are. We must remit these and all other things to God, who I doubt not will have care of his own.

Whereas you write that I should by all means stay the intention of Poury Ogilvie's journey to Spain "be" sundry good reasons specified in your letter, whereupon I have dealt with the King and Chancellor and am thoroughly to "resolve" you in this matter. First, for the King's own part he never gave ear to that matter further than by the good liking of her majesty. "For any counseler, I never saye nor understod thatt any delt in the matter." Some of the chamber were solicited with offers of commodity, and I as one, but that matter is handled as you would wish, and I hope agreeable to her majesty's own desire. "For his jorne to Speine, it is plenly denyd, and where he desiertt to come to Ingland I thinke you wil nott se him att this tyme." He told the King he had received letters from yourself commending the journey to be profitable for both the realms, which "cast" the King to give the better ear. But after I had "resolved" his majesty there was no such matter, for I was assured you never wrote any such letter. He was presently satisfied. For this take no more care. I shall be answerable for it.

For any traffic with Spain or Colonel Sempill's coming into this country, I cannot learn. I find the King in that point very constant. He is very desirous to have you here, which is a token he will run "another" [? no other] course than that he has promised to her majesty. Although the proceedings here do not thoroughly satisfy the minds of many, we must hope for better. These matters among themselves will settle, and this night the King commanded me to certify you he was the man you left him, and the promise he made to you at your departing, he should constantly keep. The Earl of Murray's friends shall have commission to pursue all such of Huntly's friends as were at the slaughter, as chiefly Accondounit, the Laird of Cluny, the Laird of Gyghe, and the Laird of Innermarky, which is as much for the present as the party requires.

The thing which grieves the King most is that Bothwell's accomplices are received in England "as dayelly the advertesementes comes," but no such matter as you are "in any sortt touced therein." I wrote to you in my last that Bothwell was the taker of the Earl of Huntly's trunk, but now it is otherwise "tryd." They were servants of Murray that took it. Bothwell was not upon the ground.

After I had written this letter, going to enclose it this morning, the Prior of Blantyre, having been long sick, came down and spoke with the King at great length, and as the said Prior told me himself, he found the King willing to run a good course to the contentment of good men, and further that his majesty had commanded him to draw all the Stewarts together, and that they should be thoroughly satisfied in these griefs if they will renounce Bothwell, which the Prior has undertaken, and that they shall be the pursuers of him to the death. If this be followed forth I hope matters shall settle very well. Edinburgh, 18th March.

The King has been here these two nights and has ridden this morning to "Lethkoo," where the Chancellor is. The Queen is to go thither in three or four days. The King has commanded me to keep you in remembrance of his deer. I told him you had sent Cuthbert to London. Signed: Roger Aston.

4 pp. Holograph. No address. Indorsed by Bowes: "Roger Aston. Edinburgh, xviij° Mareii. Barnes xxj ejusdem, 1591."

671. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Mar. 27.]

Immediately upon receipt of your last letter of the 23rd instant I advertised Roger Aston of the preparation of some ships put in readiness to rob and spoil the English fishermen at their fishing in those seas and other fishermen returning that way from their fishing at Westmoor and other islands about Iceland, and I have advised and put him in the best course I could both to acquaint the King and the Councillors well affected to the amity with these preparations and intentions, and also to move them effectually to provide by good means and to give order to the Earl of Orkney and other principal officers and fit persons in the Isles and on those coasts for the safety of the fishermen and for the apprehension and stay of the Spanish pirates and rovers coming on land or near those coasts. All which directions I have at length set forth to him, agreeable to your lordship's letter addressed to me. And for the more surety of the good success I have written to Mr. Richard Cockburn, Lord Secretary to the King, and directed Nicholson, my servant at Edinburgh, to solicit the secretary to move the King, the Lord Chancellor, the Councillors and officers of state—who I think will employ their best means herein —to give good and reasonable regard to prevent the inconveniences that hereby may come to the English fishermen or to others appertaining to the French King or any other Protestant prince or state. I trust that the King and Councillors shall be persuaded to do their endeavours and to give speedy orders herein. Nevertheless I doubt much of their abilities to provide requisite and sufficient remedies herein, as also of the obedience of such as shall be charged with the execution of the commandment for the accomplishment of the remedies to be appointed in this behalf, and of all the doings of the Secretary, Mr. Aston, and Nicholson, your lordship shall be shortly advertised.

This day I received letters from Roger Aston and some others in Scotland, and for your lordship's information in the occurrences in Mr. Aston's letter I send the same enclosed. By others I am certified that the reconciliation betwixt the Chancellor and the Master of Glamis, by the mediation of the Earl of Mar, proceeds well, and as I have many times before and lately persuaded, and that hereupon the Chancellor has retired to the old fellowship with Glamis and other the Councillors and officers of the state; wherein he has by solemn oath so well satisfied Mar, Linclouden, Blantyre, and others, that that company is ready to be knit again together and to remain at Court. Further, that the Chancellor has so wrought with the King that the King was pleased to return to Edinburgh on the 25th instant. Whereupon the well affected presently conceive very well of the Chancellor, and Murray's friends begin to remove their jealousies against him, who is now thought shall "kythe," as they term it, and manifestly open himself and course as soon as the King shall be settled at Edinburgh.

The King earnestly prosecutes Bothwell, and now the King holds himself assured that the Stewarts, Mar, and the fellowship mentioned will nowise "partye" but pursue Bothwell, so that Bothwell is presently thought to be near his "wracke." The Captain of Edinburgh Castle is not yet out of danger of death, but more likely to live than he was, and at least to linger long in his sickness. Some care is taken to prevent the worst in case he shall die, "as his wyffe is latelye deade."

The King, for some respects, has stayed the accord of marriage to have been concluded betwixt the Master of Orkney and the youngest daughter of Morton, yet it is thought that the King will in the end agree it shall proceed. It is looked that the Lord Hume shall be shortly in London, and that thereon he shall have leave to return into Scotland.

According to my former letter and promise I shall send up my son to give assurance to her majesty for my debt, as your lordship has advised, and finding still the increase of your lordship's goodness to me in my wretched estate and distress, I can do no more than to acknowledge my debt and bonds for the same, and with all my power to honour and serve your lordship.

This note enclosed may partly, for the present, give satisfaction to your lordship's desire to be informed in the several alliances of the Earls of Huntly and Murray by blood and marriage and of their adherent friends, but that I may give your lordship more perfect satisfaction herein, I have sent for my books and notes of their pedigree. Barnes. Signed: Robert Bowes.

12/3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

672. James VI. to Burghley. [Mar. 29.]

Requests him to continue his equitable and courteous furtherance and goodwill to James Coldoun, merchant of Edinburgh, in his cause "persewit" against "Art" Kinsom, searcher at Kingston-on-Hull "to have him redressed of his great losse and dampnage." Holyrood House. Signed: James R.

½ p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

673. Association of the Nobility of Scotland. [Mar.] Cott. Calig., D. II., tol. 62.

". . . (fn. 1) ac[i]ones and . . . being fully and certenly perswaded of the treasonable practises and conspiracies of sondrie his highnes unnaturall and most unthankfull subjectes against the state of the true religion presently professed within this realm, his majeste's person, crown, and libertie of this our native contrey, and fynding his majestie's gude disposition to prevent and resist the same, and to repres the cheiff authouris thairof, his majestie haveing oure concurrence and assistance to the same effect, thairfore according to our bunden dewitie and zeale aucht to Godis glorie, luif of our native cuntrey, cair and affection to his majestie's persone, crowne, and estate, wee have promissit, and by this presentis promisse, faithfully bindis and oblissis ws and everiane of ws to concur and tak ane efantd [sic: efauld], leill, and trew parte with his majestie, and wane [sic: ilkane] of ws with uthiris, to the mantenance and defens of the libertie of the said trewe religioun. crowne, and cuntrey frome thralldome of conscience and conqueist and slaverie of strangearis, and resisting, repressing, and persute of the cheiff authours of the saidis tressonable conspiraceis, as in especiall of George, Erll of Huntley, Williame, Erll of Angus, Fraincis, Erll of Erroll, Sir Patrick Gurdoun of Auchundoun, knicht, Schir James Cheisholme of Dinderne, knicht, Maister James Gordoun, Mr. Williame Ogilvy, Maister Robert Avircrumby, and all utheris Jesuitis, seminarie preistis, trafficqueing Papistis and uthiris his hienes declarit traitouris, rebelliouis and unnaturall subjectis, tressonable practizearis agains the state of the said trewe religioun, his majesteis persone, crowen, and libertie of this our native cuntrey: and [to this effect ws and everyane of ws sall putt oure selffis in armes, ryse, concur, and pas fordwart with his majestie, his lieutennentis or] uthioris haveing his hienes p[ouer and commissioun] at all tymes as we salbe requirit b[e proclama]tionis, missive, letterz or uthirwayes, and sall [nevir] shrink nor absent our selffis for ony partic[ular] caus or querrell amangis oure lelffis [sic: selffis]. We sall nocht ride, assist, shaw favour, gif counsale, assistance, nor tak parte with the saidis erllis, Jesuitis, and uthiris foirsaidis, nor zitt with the personis denunceit or that shalbe denunceit to the horne, or declarit fugitives fra his hienes lawis for the tressonable fyre rasing and birning of the place of Dymnbirsill [sic] and murthour of umquhile James, Erll of Murray, nather ressev, supplee, nor intercommoun with thame, nor zit furneis thame men, drink, house, nor harbory, nor othirwayes have intelligence with thame privatelie nor publicklie, be letterz, messageis, nor na uther maner of way. The skaill [sic: skaith] or harme of uthiris we sall nccht conceill, but disclois and impede the same to ower utter poweris. The querrell or persute of ws or ony of ws for this caus we sall esteme, like as presentlie we do esteme, equall to ws all, and be oure selffis and our haill forceis, like as his majestie with his hienes force and authoritie hes promissit and promissis to concurr and assist togidder jevane [sic: ilkane] in the defens of uthiris to oure utter poweris; and incais ony variance or contraversie sal happin to fale out amangis any of ws for quhatsomewer caus, we sall submitt, like as presentlie we submitt ws, to the jugement and deliverance of ony twa or three of the principallies of ws subscryvearis of this present band, and fullfill quhaisomevour [sic] salbe decernit be thame bin [sic: but] reclamatioun or contradictioun anour [sic: attour] his majestie, be quhais direction and co[mmandment, with avise of his counsale, thair is certane barons and uthiris gentilmen directit to remane in the south pairtis of this realme, hes promittit] and be this presentis promissis [in the worde] of a prince, that the saidis barounis [and u]thiris forsaidis sall nocht be licensiat to returne hame agane to the saidis north partis, nather sall ony favour or pardone be grantit to the saidis erlls, Jesuitis, and uthiris above mentionat, nor na ordour now [tane] dispensit with without the spetiall knaulege and advise of the lieutennent and [sic: or] commissioner for the tyme and six of the principall barounis at the leist, inhabitantis of the saidis north parties, subscryvaris of this presente band. And this to do and performe we, the saidis noblemen, baronis, and uthiris forsaidis have sworne and sleeiris [sic: swearis] by the grite God oure Creatour, his sone Jhesus Christ our Redeemaer, the Holy Gaist our Sanctifiar, witnes of the veritie heir aggreit upoun, and revengear of the break theirof. And forder oblisse ws therto under the pane of perjurie, infamie, and linsale [sic: tinsel] of perpetuale credite, honnour, and estimatioun in tyme cumming, besides the ordinarie panes of the lawis to be execute upon us in signne and memorie of our unnaturale defectioun frome God and his majestie. In witnes quhairof we have subscryvit this presentis with our handis as folowis, like as his majestie in taikin of his awaraunte [sic: allowance] and approbatioun of the premissis hes subscrivit the same." Aberdeen.

pp. Copy.

Copy of the same.

Cott. Calig., D. II., fol. 84.

674. The Queen's Castles on the West Borders. [March] Cott. Calig., D. II., fol. 68.

. . . (fn. 2) standing three miles from Scotland, next adjoining to [the Mid]dle Marches; a town of great defence. Askerton Tower, standing about two miles south and by west from Burgh Castle, and six miles from Scotland. Rockcliffe Castle, standing two miles from Scotland and three miles from Carlisle. Carlisle Castle, standing three miles south from Rockcliffe and about six miles from Scotland; a place of great respect. "Cittidale," a fortress or bulwark for the defence of the city of Carlisle, standing on the south side of the city, and about a quarter of a mile south from Carlisle Castle. Drumburgh, neither castle nor tower, but a house of convenient strength and defence, standing about six miles west and by north from Carlisle Castle and two miles from Scotland; a very fit place for defence of that part of the Border. Bowness House or Tower, belonging to the parsonage, standing about two miles west and by north from Drumburgh, adjoining to a "sea church" [sic: creek?] which divides the English and Scottish Borders; a place of small receipt, yet very necessary for defence of that part of the Border. "Woulstie" Castle, standing about seven miles west and by south from Bowness Tower, and a quarter of a mile from the sea creek which divides the said Borders, and about four hours boating over the said creek to Scotland.

1 p. Copy.


  • 1. Decayed. Blanks filled from other copy.
  • 2. Decayed.