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 and sponsored by Friends of the IHR. All rights reserved.
James VI: June 1592
688. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [June 3.]
Albeit that I hasted and came hither "tymelye" on Thursday the 1st instant, unto which day the Parliament was adjourned, as before has been certified to your lordship, yet I found that the time "prevented" and the Parliament began on Monday last at the King's earnest motion, and in regard that this was a "runninge" Parliament to take beginning at the King's pleasure, and that sundry matters therein required expedition, for cause expressed by my last letter, and perceiving the end of this Parliament approaching and that a Council should be chosen and established thereby for the King, therefore with greater speed I sought access to the King's presence, which access was this day, in the afternoon, with favour given me in the Tolbooth, where the King in Parliament has expended the most part of all the days in this week.
At this time I delivered her majesty's letter to the King, and finding him desirous to return to the lords then sitting there in Parliament, I accompanied the delivery with report of the especial effects in her majesty's letter, and of such other matters as were most fit for the consideration of the parliament, chiefly with the advices given as well by her majesty's letter, persuading the King to give good countenance and support to his nobility and people who are most devoted to his estate, honour, and person, and also, by your lordship's direction to me, to further the execution of justice against the Earl of Huntly and the rest for the murder of the Earl of Murray, adding that the declaration of his readiness in these things to this assembly in Parliament, and by their publishing of the same in all parts of the realm at their return to their countries, should greatly honour himself and comfort his subjects. Hereupon the King received her majesty's letter and advices thus delivered by me with show of great contentation, giving very hearty thanks and promising to put them into speedy practice, saying that this counsel came in best season, when he was at that very present occupied in choosing and appointing fit persons for his Council, assuring me that they should be persons best affected in religion and to the amity betwixt these two crowns. And as for the execution of justice against Huntly, he said that the same must be done at time and in manner convenient. And after returning to the lords, he let them know that I had brought to him her majesty's very gentle letter and most wise advice, whereby himself and all of them were bound to give her majesty right hearty thanks, and wishing them to entertain myself for her majesty with all courtesies. All other causes were put over till my next access to him, and to be made known on Monday next.
The Earl Bothwell, his wife, their two sons, and twenty-one others at the raid at Holyrood House are attainted by this Parliament, and the three abbacies of Coldingham, Kelso, and Lesmahago are annexed to the crown. The Earl Bothwell is left to the disposition of the King. The copy of Bothwell's lamentation in writing, and lately set upon the ministers' doors in this town, I send enclosed. By my next I shall send to your lordship the names of councillors now chosen and established, and the note of the Acts passed in this Parliament. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
689. Elizabeth to Robert Bowes. [June.]
Although we doubt not but you will, as you shall see cause, renew and "remembre" to the King our good brother such advices as of late years we have given to him both by our own letters and by direction to you at sundry times for the prevention of the dangerous practices of sundry his subjects to the trouble of his estate, and to the danger of his own person, stirred specially by certain notorious papists living in his realm without banishment, as was promised, or any restraint, as was convenient; yet for that we have not seen any direct proceeding by the King to the suppression of such notorious, traitorous practices as were most necessary for his own honour and safety and for quietness in his realm; and for that even at this time we have most certain knowledge that there is taken in hand a resolution both in Spain and in the Low Countries that there shall be some time this summer a foreign power sent into that realm from Spain by the west seas, and after that another power from the Low Countries by the east seas; for which purpose we also certainly know that there is already a great sum of money made over to Spain by exchange, and out of Italy into the Low Countries, the greater part by the King of Spain, and a good portion by the Pope, wherewith not only the said forces shall be paid in Scotland, but the principal heads also there, who are of the nobility, and are at this present to be dealt withal to join themselves in secret band to join with these forces and therewith to make a change of the government of that realm, namely in the cause of religion, and particularly to seize the person of the King to use him at their pleasure, and to destroy all such of his Councillors and other faithful servants as shall not yield to the said conspirators, all which we do assure the King, if we are truly informed, to be intended and will be put in execution before the end of August, if the principal heads in Scotland be not speedily and secretly restrained from entering into this conspiracy, whereof it is looked for that certificate should be made into the Low Countries of their contentation, and so the forces then should follow; and because this matter requires secrecy to be prevented, we charge you also secretly to impart it to the King himself, requiring him of his honour to use it discreetly, with regard not to open it to many, nor to any whom he shall see not thought assuredly devoted to his own safety and to the cause of religion. And we let you know that the principal men of whom expectation is had to be drawn to this conspiracy, by name, those who hereafter are subscribed, of whom how many are like to be "payned" herewith, we know not, but sure we are the expectation both in Spain and in the Low Countries is that these verily by name, besides their allies, shall be speedily tempted hereto within these few days, and therefore regard should be presently had of their secret meeting and of such as are known practising papists who depend upon them and are the instruments to work this conspiracy, whereof if some number of them were speedily apprehended, committed, and proceeded withal to be punished according to their deserts, there were good hope that the principal heads should not so dangerously conspire to give comfort to the sending of the forces intended. And thus we require you to have regard speedily to discover this great danger to the King, and to certify us how he means to proceed for the prevention hereof, whereof, if we shall not understand more diligence in prosecution than we have in former times seen performed when the King has promised to banish all such practisers notoriously known, and to suppress their heads and maintainers, we shall think our goodwill vainly bestowed.
3½ pp. In Burghley's hand. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk: "June, 1592. Minute to Mr. Rob. Bowes from her majestie."
690. Councillors chosen by the Parliament of Scotland. [June 5.]
Earls. The Lord John Hamilton. Angus. Marishal. Crawford. Rothes. Montrose. Glencairn. Morton. Mar.
Officers of estate. Lord Chamberlain, Laird of Thirlstane. Lord Treasurer, Sir Robert Melvill of Murdocernye, knight. Lord Secretary, Richard Cockburn, "apperand" of Clerkington. Sir John Cockburn of Ormistoun, knight, Justice Clerk. Privy Seal, Walter Stewart, Prior of Blantyre. Mr. David Macgill of Cranston Riddell, Advocate. Alexander Hay of Easter Kennet, Clerk of Register, David Seton of Partrothe, Comptroller. Mr. Peter Young of Seaton, Elemosinar.
Barons. Alexander Lindsay of Spynie, vice chamberlain to the King, added by the King. Sir George Hume, knight, Master of the King's Wardrobe. Mr. George Lauder, Laird of Basse. Alexander Hume of North Berwick. John Carmichael of that Ilk, Captain of the Guard. Sir Alexander Bruce, Laird of Airth, knight. Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar, knight. Sir Hugh Campbell of Lowdoun, knight, sheriff of Ayr. Mr. David Carnegie of Colluthe. Colin Mackenzie of Kintaile (a highland man). Sir John Murray of Tullibardine, knight.
"That nyne of these, to witt, three of everye sorte shall attende and remaine together by tourns for the space of three moneths at Edenburgh or other convenient place fitt for th'affairs of the state."
Knights made in the beginning of the Parliament. Sir Richard Cockburn, Lord Secretary. Sir James Lindsay of Patrodye. Sir Michael Balfour, Laird of Burlaye. Sir John Cockburn, now Justice Clerk. Sir Robert Melvill, yr., of Burnt Island. Sir John Hamilton, base son to the Lord Hamilton.
The last day. Sir John Anstruther of that Ilk. Sir Hugh Carmichael, Laird of that Ilk. Sir John Lindsay, the Earl of Crawford's brother. Sir Cockburn, Laird of Skerlinge.
1¼ pp. In a Scottish hand. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
691. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [June 6.]
Since his last, of the 3rd instant, the King has been so greatly occupied in Parliament and matters of state that his leisure did not serve to give him (Bowes) audience at the time appointed. Was required to defer his access till to-morrow. Had long conference this forenoon with the Lord Chancellor, whom he informed that the Queen of England had heard of the outrages attempted against him and was glad of his escape, and also had directed him to advise him (the Chancellor) to give regard to prevent the like danger, and that he (Bowes) should employ his best endeavour for the same. The Chancellor has taken this favour of her majesty towards him and his safety in very good part, yielding hearty thanks and promising all good offices to her majesty and for the continuance of the amity. The Chancellor is ready to proceed effectually with others well affected to set forward the reformation intended as well for the maintenance of the religion established as also for the execution of justice against persons guilty of murders, and particularly against Huntly and the rest present at Murray's slaughter. The Chancellor and others will to-morrow convene to resolve on the course to be taken for the furtherance of these causes. This day Mr. George Hume has offered himself to him (Bowes) very frankly to advance this course for the punishment of the slaughter of Murray, and to travail seasonably to move the King for the expedition of that service, for clearing the King's own honour and the content of his subjects.
Has been credibly informed that the papists and Spanish in Scotland had "interprised" the alteration of the state in case the Duke of Parma had prospered in France. Is told that some violent attempt is in readiness to be practised against the Chancellor and Sir George Hume whereof he has acquainted the Chancellor. It is now espied that this plot is laid against the King. This matter will be broken to the King to-morrow with advice to stay his removal.
Albeit the King has granted the keeping of Edinburgh Castle to the Duke of Lennox, yet now the King is pleased to persuade the Duke to give over his interest therein to the Earl of Mar. It is intended that this day or to-morrow the Duke, for his honour, shall take possession of the Castle by the King's grant, and immediately after resign his interest to Mar. Mar acknowledges this benefit to be obtained by the Queen of England's means, and renders her humble thanks.
The Earl of Argyll, his tutors, and friends have appointed to meet at Stirling this week to try out the authors of the slaughter of the Laird of Calder, wherein Ardkinlass, one of Argyle's tutors, Mackall, M'Clane and Glanorthie are suspected. Has the promise of some of Argyll's friends here to restrain all the loose people under his "realme and offices" that they shall not pass into Ireland.
Yesterday the Parliament ended without resolution whether it should be dissolved or adjourned. In this Parliament the revocation of the King's grants made before the accomplishment of his 21st year is ratified; the Earl of Bothwell, his wife, and the persons named in the note enclosed are attainted; the forfeiture of Bothwell for the Brig of Dee is confirmed, and now he is forfeited for his treason with Richie Graham, the sorcerer, and for the abbey raid; and his two sons are disabled from enjoying the possessions before assured to them by their father, whom the King still pursues with all earnestness. Many parts of the earldom of Bothwell, left to the King's own disposition, are to be given to sundry of the King's servants. Sundry laws are made in favour of the Church, both by repeal of some former Acts against their discipline, and also by new confirmation and ordinance to establish their policy, their Assemblies and presbyteries to be holden with the King's leave, and the days and places for their Assemblies to be appointed by the Commissioners for the King; and the former statutes for punishment of Jesuits, seminaries, papists, their receivers and aiders are ratified and enlarged, with order that they shall be duly executed. But the request of the ministry to have vote in Parliament is denied, notwithstanding that they pressed the same earnestly in regard that the temporalities of the prelates, having place in Parliament for the Church, were now erected and put in temporal lords and persons, and that there the number of the prelates remaining are few and not sufficient to serve for the Church in Parliament. The barons have obtained vote in Parliament, and eight of them have been joined with the Lords of Articles, to their good contentment.
This Parliament has chosen and established a Council for the King, appointing it to be of nine earls, nine officers of estate, and nine barons, and lasting for the King's pleasure. The officers serving for Vice Chamberlain and Master of the King's Wardrobe, presently exercised severally by the Laird of Spynie and Sir George Hume, were added to this number of Councillors. It is appointed that nine of these Councillors shall attend to-morrow for three months at Edinburgh or other fit place for the service. Of this number of nine there shall be always together three earls, three officers of estate, and three barons to order and dispose all causes of the state, that the same may be best governed with the least burden to the King. Besides, it is provided that no person whatsoever, other than the Lord Secretary or ordinary officer in that behalf, shall offer to the King any "signatour" or bill to be granted and signed by the King, and that every "signatour" or bill to be presented by the Secretary or ordinary officer shall be first viewed and allowed by the Council before it be exhibited for the King's signature. This ordinance is chiefly erected to acquit the King from the importunacy of suitors, and to prevent the hurt coming by many suits made by the gentlemen of the King's Chamber in causes not convenient to be granted by the King and in hindrance of justice.
To all these ordinances the King has surely consented, as also firmly promised on his part to put them in due execution.
In the margin: Strange power is given to these Councillors by one clause in the Act ratifying whatsoever they shall do, which was meant to have been "drawne onelye to the Kinges grantes" to be made within fifteen or twenty days, but it is left, as I hear, at large.
Some few other Acts are passed. The private bills for ratifications, of the King's grants are exceeding great. Encloses the names of the Councillors established.
At the ending of this Parliament the King promised to take especial care that all Acts for maintenance of religion, the Church established, and against Jesuits, seminaries, papists, receivers and aiders, shall be severely executed; and after he had ended his long oration to the Parliament, he "eftsons" entered into further promise that exemplary and due justice shall be done for punishment of all murders and slaughters, and particularly for the late murder of the Earl of Murray, etc.
At his (Bowes') coming hither he found the King stirred and grieved by the denial of sundry things offered by himself and for his own benefit to the Parliament, especially for the revocation of his grants made after the twenty-one years and after the 25th of his age, with two or three others which were earnestly followed by him, and yet rejected. Besides, some bitter storm has risen betwixt the King and the ministers, whereupon their request for vote in Parliament was cast back and a great part of their petitions and articles was thought to be in danger, "and that comaundment and aucthority shoulde have bene given to provostes and other officers in brughs to have taken out of the pulpitt and inprisoned anye precher speikinge unreverentlye of the King in ther sermons." But at present all these storms are well calmed. The greatest means to pacify all persons will be by the execution of justice against Huntly and his accomplices, for which especial care is taken.
The Earl of Errol, called by the Assembly of the Church to answer as well for the breach of sundry orders enjoyed by the Church and promised by him to have been accomplished, as also for receiving Mr. William Ogilvy, a Jesuit, and hearing mass openly, albeit he came to the Parliament, refused to appear before the Assembly, who sent their commissioners to charge him directly before the King and Parliament with breach of the orders mentioned, with receiving Mr. James Gordon and Mr. William Ogilvy, Jesuits, and hearing mass openly, and also to "prove" all the articles objected against him, and give up the authors thereof. Upon the naming of Mr. James Gordon he said that he would not deny having agreed with the Earl of Huntly, to whom now he was a friend, and thereby the ministers hated him. Upon the answer made by a minister that Huntly was never found so stubborn and guilty of papistical crimes condemned by the laws as he plainly showed himself to be, and should be proved, the King said that, whatsoever cause he had against the ministers, yet he might not offend God nor break the laws.
The matter is still "called uppon" very earnestly, yet the Earl of Morton, father of his (Errol's) wife, has offered very large bonds and promises for him, which the Assembly stagger to receive, in regard that they have been credibly informed that the reconciliations suddenly accorded as well between Huntly and Errol as also betwixt Maxwell and Johnstone and sundry others suspected in religion, were purposely drawn and concluded to strengthen the party of the Catholics and Spanish labouring to bring into this realm Spaniards and strangers, and intending to have attempted an alteration in the state, a matter deeply imprinted in the "conceiptes" of many of the ministry and of others well affected.
Besides this, one Dixon, servant to the Earl of Errol—and one well known in England by his practice both there and in the Low Countries —was called to appear before the General Assembly of the Church for hearing mass and papists, where he plainly declared himself "to approve the church of Rome," and not this; and being committed to prison, he was enlarged "by means" in the time of the storms betwixt the King and Church. So that the way for religion, and against papists, "is but in openinge" and not yet cleared from blocks cast therein.
By practice of some courtiers, as it is thought, the marriage to have been concluded betwixt the Master of Orkney and the daughter of the Earl of Morton is broken off. Labour is made to withdraw the affection of the Earl of Argyll from Morton's daughter so that Argyll may marry the Duke of Lennox's sister, presently serving the Queen. In this Argyll is solicited by very great personages, "and for himselfe hathe passed somethinge farr"; yet it may be that this marriage shall not proceed with the expedition expected. Amongst these "mocions" of marriage, has heard that, since the Duchess of Lennox's death, some have wished that means might be made for a match betwixt the Duke of Lennox and the Lady Arbella in England, a matter beyond his (Bowes') reach.
The dryness betwixt the Queen and the Chancellor is not yet clean removed; yet the Queen, being advised that her heavy countenance towards the Chancellor hurt the King's service and endangered the Chancellor, sent to Blantyre for his counsel therein, offering to yield to the order of Angus, Mar, Blantyre, and Mr. Robert Bruce for the atonement to be made, with her honour, betwixt her and the Chancellor. Marishal undertook to work for this reconciliation by his credit with the Queen to the Chancellor's contentment, but he did not escape a smart check for the same at the Queen's hands. Yet by this favour offered by Marishal to the Chancellor, and by other means in the King's chamber, Sir William Keith has got his peace.
Mr. Richard Douglas was not at the raid at the abbey, and is in way to find favour. Finds here Englishmen in sundry corners of Scotland, whereof some are known Catholics, some pretend to be merchants, and some give themselves out to be bankrupts. Many of these give intelligences into England, finding so ready convoy of their letters that he (Bowes) thinks it not meet to interrupt them directly until he might advertise Burghley thereof. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
5 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Enclosure with the same:—
(Persons attainted of treason by the Parliament of Scotland.)
The Earl of Bothwell. The Countess of Bothwell. The Laird of Spott. The young Laird of Niddrie (Wauchope). Young Hamilton of Samerston (son to John of Clydesdale). John Collville (son of the Laird of Cleish). Hercules Stewart (a base brother to the Earl Bothwell.) Young Robert Hume of the Hewghe (near Northumberland). William Learmouth. George Crawe of East Reston (a Borderer). Patrick Crawe "ther" (brother to George Craw). Hob Ormeston and his son. James Stewart. Robert Stewart. William Stewart, sometime constable of Dumbarton. Patrick Crummye. David Orme of Mackdrum (of Fife). Mr. Thomas Cranston. June 7.
½ p. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk. The words in brackets are in Burghley's hand.
692. Acts of the Parliament of Scotland. [June.]
"A Cataloge or brefe note of some of th'actes of this Parliament." (See "Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland," Vol. III.)
1 p. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
693. James Hudson to Burghley. [June 8.]
The Lord Hume was with the Lord Chancellor at his first arrival and required his lordship to procure him the honour to kiss her majesty's hands, which his lordship promised to do presently, but as yet there is no tyme appointed for the performance thereof, neither any word returned to his lordship from my Lord Chamberlain. In the meantime, the voyage being great and long, and through costly countries for travellers, which he has lately performed, to let your lordship understand the truth, I think his lordship's "furnishinge" waxes low, which calls him on fast to end his journey before it be ended. Likewise Mr. Archibald Douglas has told him that he perceives there is a meaning in your lordship and the Lords of the Council to hold him there a time till you see how matters frame in Scotland. For the noblemen, I dare assure your honour, he has no haste home if his "furnishinge" were agreeable to his mind, for his suit was that by his passport he might be welcome to pass his time here for a good time, and it is more profitable for him to see matters put in some frame before he comes than after. For his behaviour in the Low Countries, I think it has not been so evil as has been thought by diverse, and that he neither affects a Spanish course nor a Spaniard. A short time will make proof. And further I think, if it please her majesty and your lordship "in specyal" to use him with like honour and friendship that he had at his last passing by her majesty and your lordship, his lordship will thereby be induced to prefer her majesty's service before all other princes, his King excepted. And that these things are true and certain I am well informed by those about him who know most and will not dissemble with me were the matter of greater weight.
Mr. Archibald Douglas had informed Mr. Francis Mowbray that I had informed your lordship that he was an enemy to his estate, and that I had been his enemy in all that I could, only for fear the young man should have addressed himself to me, and so he should have lacked occasion to have shown the world that your honour used him; and this one of their brethren has confessed to myself. Unsigned.
1 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk: "8 Junii 1592. Mr. James Hudson to my lord. The Lord Hume."
694. Concerning possibility of Scotland joining with Spain. [June.] Cott. Calig., D. II., fol. 70.
. . . (fn. 1) [Ki]nge to [joine] with Spain, if this may be done, which . . . te and rather to believe: first, because it agreeth with . . . enemies and their best counsels to make war upon us by way . . . Scotland. The reasons are many, but I will remember them. T[he] King of Scotland is a poor prince, and therefore the more subject to con . . . and hire; the nobility likewise poor, unconstant, naturally tumul[tuous] and desirous of change, and envious of our good estate and her majesty's prosperity. The Spaniards consider that they may land in Scotland safely; the country has many good ports and havens of receipt where any army has a quiet descent. The rest consists only in the chance of a battle, wherein fortune is wont to prevail rather than . . . From Scotland the Spaniards will be able to invade us by land whereas otherwise they must land out of their ships. As in sea war we have heretofore overthrown them, so by this course of Scotland their greatest fear will be removed. Again, by sea they cannot conveniently bring ho[rses] from Spain, without which it is vain to attempt any invasion or conquest. But by landing in Scotland they will not only be free from former dangers, but also have a quiet landing and be assisted by sufficient companies of horse, trained for service, and inured by raids and forays one upon another, and have the best horses of England, more in number than we have. Our enemies, having thus an easy passage of invasion, will take advantage of it, being more constant in their proceedings than we: their perseverance is such that "nether good fortune makes them secure, nor any losse [or] overthrowe discourage them: they pursue revenge, and wee pre[tend] but defence. They purpose our conquest and subversion, and we devise but to resist; they have prepared and determined first, [which] is an infinite advantage, and wee out of a latter and uncertain intelligence seeke but to withstand, which is on the contrarie as infini[te a] disadvantage." They have Jesuits amongst us, to draw many people from her majesty's obedience; our . . . many and our malcontents are not few: all which, when a w[ar with Eng]land shall be attempted, will then show themselves w . . . unless . . . insolence. There is great difference . . . and great diversity of fortune between a . . . to defend is to play at dice for our own s . . . to ill affections; it encourages the fearful and holl . . . In every kingdom there is one party without hope; all . . . discontented, and every one discontented desires change. Seeing an army at hand, they will be ready to join themselves, for to whom the present is miserable, expe[cted] good serves for persuasion. But as upon [this some] men may conclude infinite errors, and that from doubtful grow variable and uncertain counsels, I thought good to make an orderly consideration of the matter, that conjectures being propounded and answered, the disease and the remedy may be found and prevented.
"Therefore it is first to be determined fro[m whence] this assistance shall come into Scotland, by what wa[y, at what] tyme, what course is lykely to be held by the enemye, in [how] many waies and in howe many places they may offend us." They may come into Scotland four ways, out of Denmark, the Low Countries, Brittany, or Spain. [For] many men there are two things required, many ships [and many havens ?], of both which Denmark is sufficiently furnished, but . . . Scottish Queen has there I know not, yet the King and his Council, corrupted as it is verily thought the . . . for one, who in effect governs all, some doubt . . . of, but it would soon be discovered if any such . . . to which some regard would be had. But it is u . . . that the Hanse towns and cities of the empire, . . . Lubeck, Bremen, and others have consulted agains[t us, and] finding such an occasion offered would be easily en . . . assistance. The second place whence they may come into Scotland is from the Low Countries which have only three havens, Gravelines . . . having Flushing on the one side and Os[tend] . . . [noth]ing can be done there but her majesty must easily know [and pre]vent it. Besides, the forces of the Low Countries cannot be spared from the French wars and the defence of the country against the States. The third place is Brittany, which has "reasonable good portes," and shipping may be had by help of the Leaguer towns; but princes are not wont to leave enterprises achieved for others uncertain, and it cannot be that the King will withdraw from his proceedings in Brittany, for from thence he purposes to make a frontier war upon the west of England, and by keeping a fleet at Bluett [sic: Brest ?] and the ports adjoining purposes to "impeache" our trade to Bordeaux, Rochelle, and St. Jean de Luz, being all that now remains, that of "Stoad" and the Newfoundland fishing only excepted. To conclude of the place, it must be from Spain, being further from intelligence and prevention than the rest, and from whence men may be better spared.
Next, to consider by what way the Spaniards mean to pass into Scotland as shortest and safest; whether through the Narrow Seas, by the west of Ireland, or by St. George's Channel. If they mean to land at the east Firth, they must pass between Scilly and Ushant and through the Narrow Seas, which navigation requires divers winds, and is not a speedy passage; and if a storm arise at south or south-east after their entrance into our Channel the fleet must be driven on our coast and subject to many dangers; if north or north-west they would be in greater peril on the French coast by their great draught of water, there being no ports able to receive them. As to the passage by the west of Ireland or by St. George's Channel . . . passage, and unfortunate to the S . . . and Ulster, so many of their ships and . . . purpose of invasion. that I think they will h . . . on that side. Besides the length of the navigation . . . the dangerous passage between the land of Tyrconell . . . as also the doubling of the head of Cantire in Scotland . . . enter Dunbarton Firth will be very dangerous for great ships. Therefore the third way, by St. George's Channel, is more likely, having Milford Haven to succour them, to be performed with one wind, the navigation short, the coast of Cheshire and the Isle of Man of small resistance and "infected" with Papists. Milford, Beaumaris, or the Isle of Man and forte . . . some one of them, as well for their own assurance in pass . . . for the succour of such supplies as shall be sent after them.
We are now to see whence [sic: when ?] this army shall come. The Scots have desired them in May next, and they will sail at the end of May or in June; "for their late taking of the ayre in the yere 15 . . . a feaver uppon their invincible navie, as most of them . . . asonder ere they recovered Spaine, and therfore . . . knowledg of their errours at so deare a pryce." It is the best of the summer, and they can cross the sea in the fairest time and arrive . . . or somewhat before, especially if they mean to . . . England the same year.
Fourthly, the manner is to be considered. It will be very late for the . . . forward the same year of their arrival, for s . . . in landing themselves and their provision, to refres . . . carriages and other necessaries. The Scots cannot be [ready] on the instant, for their horsemen must . . . b[oth] in corn and victuals . . . able . . . . troop in one place, so that it will be towards winter [before they can] set forward. If they begin their march towards the end of the year, there can be no likelihood of s[uccess], neither is there any doubt thereof, for the Spaniards are impatient of cold, the way long and hard to pass and the country barren; and if any resistance be made, and the time ever so little "foreslowed," what with ill lodging, "alteracion of aire," and other miseries, five thousand Spaniards will soon be wasted. The following is what they may hope to bring to pass. First, they will com[pel] her majesty to send an army into the north, which will use many captains and leaders, who must be drawn from Brittany, Normandy, and the Low Countries. This will put her majesty to great charge. All the country northwards, through which this army must pass, will be much spoiled, the north, where they must make residence, altogether impoverished. Brittany, thus left unassisted, will be recovered for the King of Spain, the French King in danger to be overthrown, and other enterprises against Spain abandoned. The west of England, the coasttowns of Cornwall and Plymouth, will be attempted by forces from Brittany; also the first trouble will arise in Ireland, for from Cantire, Islay, Arran, and other north-west parts of Scotland. "Scottes Irishe" will be sent over into Ulster, who may cross in six hours and "land in Surlebois contrye and Tirconel at the Band" or [other] part of the north-west of Ireland, and from thence in few days come into the English pale, waste all those parts and endanger Dublin, without the assistance of any Spaniards at all, for those . . . upon Ulster are very valiant and easy drawn . . . of . . . they are ready and have wyn . . . of Connaught with O'Rourke, with Surl . . . which have attempted any warres, either one upon . . . state; and at this time it is to be feared that the chief lords and commanders of Ulster are either des[cended from Scottish] mothers, or are mere Scottish, or allied, as O'Donell . . . out of the castle of Dublin, a valiant, discontented man, is descended from the Earl of Argyle's daug[hter], brother-in-law to the Earl of Tyrone, and one whom the [Earl] specially favours and trusts. Henry O'Neil, who . . . at the same time, and his brethren are come out of the bes . . . Scotland: Surleboy and his brethren mere Scottish . . . Lenogh married in a great house of Scotland, besides M . . . all others in effect either of strength or commandment, all . . . and superstitious Papists, and at the Pope's direction. So . . . be more dangerous or troublesome to her majesty than this c . . .; this enterprise [might] be performed without any charge to the Scottish King; to recover the country again . . . to her majesty, as the kingdom is worth, as appeared by the . . . of Desmond, in which "beggerly warre" her majesty spent . . . years, wherein I was present, 500,000 l., and by oc . . . all was appeased 300,000 l. more. Furthermore, while . . . driven to send over an army into Ireland, and by . . . able both in men and treasure, the Spaniards and . . . the better encouraged and better able to recover Eng . . . garrison of Brittany emboldened to attempt any . . . Devon, Cornwall, or elsewhere. This in mine . . . of the Spaniard for the first year, or of all other. . . .
Lastly, to speak of remedies and prevention. First, it is to be considered whether the Scottish King be of the p . . . noe. If it be unassured, then were it dangerous to . . . any faction against him publicly, lest while . . . indifferent and unresolved he be thereby pr . . . self. For a little weight swayeth an ind[ifferent] . . . are soon converted into rage and in . . . ence, as might justify his p[roceed]inges to his . . . If Bothwell or any other should be publicly . . . [pr]onounced against him, he might then make declaration of . . . and cover some other silent pretence with a veil of such an indignity, pretending the doubt of his person and subversion of his estate. This is no false counsel, for prin[ces] to favour such a subject as shall dare to force the King's palace or assail his person in his own house for what cause soever. But if such a practice be thought necessary, yet would it be carried with greater cunning and secrecy. It is further necessary that effectual persuasions be used to the King, that the Spaniards can never be assured to himself or his nation, being of another religion, and being contrary to the King's oath to enter a league with any hereticall prince: further, that he never assisted any prince or state except to make himself master thereof, whereof there be many examples. If the King of Scots join with a papistical king he will lose all his nobility and people of the religion, and leave himself in the hands of strangers who can have no respect for him, nor is there any reason why the King of Spain should for his own sake "friend" him. If he be made believe that by the Spaniard he may be assisted to any pretended right or title, and that the Spanish King is become a distributor of kingdoms to their lawful princes, it appeared in Portugal how he ended the strife there between all the competitors; also in Naples, when assisting the Queen against the French, how contrary to all honour, forsaking the Queen, the Spaniards divided the kingdom with the French; and how afterward, taking advantage also against them upon the river of Garillon under the leader . . . alues, they defeated their whole army, and have since kept the kingdom for themselves. By this and a multitude of other . . . with all nations what there . . . are to be trusted. On the contrary, . . . King and kingdom of Scotland many . . . took advantage at any time, but preserv[ed] . . . his estate: how her majesty has refused . . . Low Countries, so often thereunto invited by the Pope; how she never entered for herself into the civil wars in France, having app . . . duchy of Normandy and the best part . . .; how she has never sought to possess herself of any foreign territory, notwithstanding all these occasions offered, defende[d her] kingdom, religion, and her oppressed neighbours. [The King] of Scots may assure himself among other princes . . . particular most especially her majesty never had pur[pose but] became a prince of the greatest justice, virtue and . . .; the King of Scots is not ignorant what it is to e . . . or to draw blood upon our nation, whereby he . . . of the general hatred as well of the people as of the be . . . Whereas he now stands indifferent, or, as he hims[elf] . . . expectation of future honour and advancement, he . . . debarred both by arms and laws. He knows that not long since her majesty [defeated] such an army of the Spaniards as never [will be] made again in our time: and therefore it were b . . . a less fleet can pass by us unbe . . . which done, and whereof we disdain to make doubt . . . for such revenge as his ingratitude to the Queen—who has preserved him from his cradle—and [make] manifest the corruption of his rel . . . . contrary whereof, joined with her majesty's gracious . . . has been the cause of his strength and honour.
In conclusion it rests to speak of the worst . . . allowing the King to be of the practice . . . to follow the enterprise: and foras[much] . . . .
8 pp. Imperfect.
695. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [June 12.]
Before the receipt of the two several letters addressed by the Queen of England and Burghley to him (Bowes), and delivered yesternight, had spoken with the King and received his answers.
On Thursday last the King gave him audience. Recounted and negotiated the effect of the letters, enlarging parts thereof and travailing to persuade the King to advance the full progress of the reformation lately ordained by Parliament; to put speedy order to the papists, Spanish, and seditious subjects; to redress the attempts done in the west wardenry of England by Liddisdale; and without delay to put the Earl of Mar into possession of the keeping of Edinburgh Castle.
First, the King said that he had well considered her majesty's letter and davice, and would readily put the same in practice. Secondly, he promised to set forward the reformation, opening what charge he had given to the Councillors to advance the same, and what pains he had taken in his own person to bring this order to the state wherein it presently stands. Thirdly, he agrees that it was very necessary, and that he would make speedy provision to give a watchful eye to the Catholics, seditious and suspected sort in Scotland, confessing that he was informed that presently they had in hand some enterprise against religion, his honour, estate and person, and the quietness of Scotland; for the discovery of which enterprise he had employed and sent already some chosen persons and had stayed his [sic] passage over the water until he should be sufficiently instructed in the certainty of the information given him. Fourthly, he laid on Murray's friends the delay as well of the burial of Murray's body as of the execution of justice against Huntly and others for the murder; and he offered that, at the request of three wise and fit persons of Murray's friends, he would readily give them ordinary justice. If the course of ordinary justice and trial could not proceed, in regard that Huntly had such great alliance in blood with the nobility that no assize could be got, or by any other impediment, then he would deliberate with them for provision of other remedy and means, and for the full accomplishment of such order and resolution as should be taken he firmly promised his aid in person and with all power.
Fifthly, he has already given order to Sir Robert Carr, keeper of Liddisdale, to give redress to the Lord Scrope in the bills against Liddisdale. Has written to Lord Scrope to call on Sir Robert Carr in this behalf. Lastly, albeith that Mar's entry into the office of Edinburgh Castle was delayed beyond promise, yet the King was pleased that he should enjoy it, and now he is possessed thereof.
Besides, the King informed him (Bowes) that he had heard that Bothwell had made means for her majesty's favour and "oversight" to be given to him and his friends coming into England for their succour; that he (Bowes) had commission to intercede for him, and that the King still purposed to hunt after him to "quitt" himself from the dishonour offered to him by Bothwell, to whom he trusted her majesty would be no refuge against his pursuit, concluding with request that her majesty would give order to all her wardens and officers on the Borders to apprehend and keep any of his subjects forfeited and coming into England, that they may be delivered to him, and that he might know by him (Bowes) what should be done in the same for his satisfaction. Desires to know what further answers he shall give to the King in this behalf.
On the Friday following, acquainted the Chancellor, Mar, and other Councillors well devoted in religion and to the amity with all his doings with the King. Whereupon it was thought good that a convenient number of the best disposed Councillors and others of like affection should be joined together to set forward as well the good accomplishment of the King's course, as also the full and seasonable execution of all things for the benefit of the common causes, wherein the grounds of their bonds were resolved to stand and be framed for the maintenance of religion established, to the welfare of the state, honour and person of the King, for preservation of the government and peace in Scotland against all conpirators, for continuance of the amity betwixt these two crowns; and for repressing the insolencies of the Earl of Bothwell against the King and his honour: which last part was thought should well content the King and move him to give the better allowance in all other causes. He (Bowes) had brought together seven or eight of the best sort for this purpose, who liked the motion so well that the form of the band for this fellowship betwixt those there present and with others fit to be added to them was committed to one of them to be showed to all who should join therein, and also, upon their assent, to receive their subscription. Has been occupied in this these two days, but his labour is all bestowed in vain. For, before anything was fully perfected, the Lord Chancellor departed from hence to Lethington; Blantyre, the Comptroller, Newbottle, and others returned to their own houses; Sir John Carmichael was employed and sent in especial business for the King; and Sir Robert Melvill and others left here would proceed no further. All things remain loose, without hope of success. Hears that his own credit does not prevail so much with these parties as it did lately. Takes the more deep apprehension as the King has often inquired of sundry of them, and of himself, what satisfaction he (Bowes) has given to the Queen of England, and how "her majesty's countenance is bentt towardes" him. Some of them have let him (Bowes) know that all these things have been discoursed amongst them, and that it has been in question whether his commendation of any matter or person to the Queen of England should receive good acceptance.
It is still confirmed that some enterprise would have been attempted if the King had passed over the water as he purposed; wherein it is said that Huntly, Errol, Crawford, and some lairds of Fife should have attempted the possession of the Court in Fife, and that Bothwell, Maxwell, and others should have entered into the action on this side of the water. The King has been informed that Angus, pretending to depart out of this town to receive the communion to clear his promise to the Church, met and communed with Bothwell. Angus knows that this has been told the King, and also gives little regard to the same in respect that he thinks to acquit himself sufficiently from this fact; and it is evident that he communicated at his parish church, as he "pretended," yet some cannot be satisfied but that he still "smellethe of the smoke of papistry" and has intelligence with, or at least bears some favour towards Bothwell, who lately has sworn, as is affirmed, that, seeing he found himself only "put att" and to be the sacrifice for others, he would therefore take the visor from his own face to let the blemishes thereof be plainly seen in their own colours, and therewith he would discover the blots in others, which would appear to be more foul in them than in him. Whereupon it is thought that sundry having pricked him forwards in his late actions, and keep themselves close, still favour his enterprises and offer their friendship to him so far as they can with safety; and it is confidently told him (Bowes) that the grudge of Murray's slaughter so works in the hearts of most men, and in the well affected, that they will not give their endeavours to touch Bothwell or prevent any matter threatening alteration in this state, in regard they think that by the welter of the state the evil counsellors and instruments in the King's chamber shall be defeated and removed.
Bewails his own misfortune to be employed here at this time and in the present condition of his state and credit at home and in this place. The seasonable address of her majesty's letter to him, with the discovery of the dangerous practice in the heads of many in Scotland, and with some light of her grace renewed to him, will, he trusts, work some good effects in this evil time. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
32/3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
696. Robert Bowes to Elizabeth. [June 16.]
By the late address of your majesty's letter immediately to me I am emboldened and have thought it my duty to make immediate return to your majesty of the advertisements as well of the receipt of the letter mentioned, and of my doings and success in the negotiation thereof with the King, as also of the present condition of the unstable estate in this realm and of my own miserable case, the particularities of all which I have more at large signified to the Lord Treasurer to be opened to your majesty and to avoid tediousness in these presents, most humbly beseeching your majesty to vouchsafe to pardon in me and to accept in good part this boldness taken by the occasion expressed.
At the next audience given me by the King after the receipt of your majesty's letter to me I imparted to him at length and in secret manner the contents in that letter, giving him therewith a view of the same, agreeable to the Lord Treasurer's direction to me, and I prayed him to keep secret the matters discovered and my own adventure in showing to him without warrant the original letter thus addressed by your majesty to me. After he had heard me and read the letter, he entered into a long discourse, first yielding very hearty thanks for your majesty's continual care and goodwill for the welfare of himself, his honour, and realm. Next, he excused the former slackness passed contrary to your majesty's good advice to him for the timely banishment and due punishment of murderers, papists, and seditious persons, and practisers in this realm, alleging that with the advice of his States and Council, he had ordained sundry Acts to chastise this sort of his evil subjects specified, whereby Fentree, a chief instrument amonst them, was committed unto, and still remains in ward; that diligently he had sought to have apprehended Mr. James Gordon, the principal Jesuit, whom he could not find; and now he promises to provide such order that "indelate" execution shall follow and be done in all these causes, wherein he has already made some Acts of Council for the accomplishment of these promises; which Acts hitherto remain without life or hope to be better executed than your majesty's former advices or the statutes and laws already established and in force in these behalfs have been.
Albeit he holds it very necessary and has promised to be careful to provide seasonable and good means to prevent the bringing into this realm either of forces or money from Spain or the Low Countries, wherewith some noblemen or faction already corrupted, or others easy to be tempted, may be carried to join with these forces and enter into dangerous actions, as by your majesty's letter is advised to be intended, yet he objected sundry reasons to weaken that intelligence, seeming thereby to me that he little doubts great perils to arise by any such conspiracies, wherein he assures himself that some of the noblemen named to be dealt withal herein will not embark themselves in it, the most of the rest are either absent or else of little wit or power, and that this enterprise cannot be attempted without open hostility against himself, wherein he will cast such watchful eye that they shall not long keep and convey their practices from his knowledge. In the meantime he has resolved to take and ward for other crimes the persons most suspected, and fit both to be examined in the points of this conspiracy and also to be so wisely used therein, that the forces and money may be barred from this realm lest the fire kindled by their help shall not be quenched without blood and danger.
He thinks this plot to be newly builded upon the foundation before laid by the Jesuits and Spanish rabble with sundry noblemen and Catholics in this realm, and chiefly with confederates at Brigg of Dee; amongst whom the Earl of Crawford, receiving his grace for the same, confessed that he was then tempted with 3000 crowns, and that when he or others refused the gold offered, it was given to their servants and nearest and in best credit with them; and that the factors for Spain and Catholics always pressed them to take arms to change the government and directly to break with England. Wherewith also he told one that advice has lately been given him—and that sundry pretending goodwill to your majesty for your majesty's bounty to them consented—that he should not bind himself to your majesty's course or pleasure, but rather to hearken to the offers of foreign princes for his greater honour and profit. And according to this the Lord Chancellor told me that he had been earnestly solicited and "assaid" with large offers to work the King to embrace the advice mentioned; wherein, and within these five days, the parties before travailing with him have wholly given up the matter; giving him thereby just cause to think that they have found another way to the entry of their desires. In this the King has affirmed confidently to me that he only withstood this advice and that he will always and stedfastly continue his course with your majesty. He is purposed and gave promise not to reveal this matter to any other than to the Chancellor and Sir Robert Melville, wishing me to communicate the same to them. Whereupon I have only "broken it with" Sir Robert; and nevertheless some part of it has been "returned" to me by others.
Hitherto I find little provision made to prevent the dangers threatened, and I perceive that he is honoured here to be a King, and denied to be wise in the resolution of the ordinances for prevention of future inconveniences likely to fall; and nevertheless many think him to be subject to the advice of others and weak in the action for the execution of the ordinances made or promised against the advice which afterwards and with cunning is oftentimes distilled into him; and sometimes it is seen that the sinews of his power suffice not to carry out his own desires. Therefore I have sought to gather and knit together the best instruments to supply all wants and "expede" the best effects for the common causes. And finding presently good disposition in the Chancellor, I thought it meet to put him in the society of this number; but hitherto my labour prevails little in regard that all former and good fellowship is broken, and few well affected do concur in action.
The Chancellor is seen "slydden" a piece out of the King's favour since he set himself against Huntly, and I am espied to be so far thrown from your majesty's grace and countenance that my means or commendations may little grace or profit either person or cause; so that this nation—never accustomed to stoop to empty lure—now checks at my empty fist and will not be reclaimed without lively and ready prey, which I have not, in truth, to cast them as I wonted and as I would yet do, if, for the benefit of your majesty's service, I could with my blood or whatsoever I possess provide it.
The present estate in this realm is tossed with dangerous storms, troubling the passage of religion and justice and greatly sounding to the peril of the King's honour, estate, and person by the intention of sudden surprise of his Court with violence to be enterprised by Bothwell and his accomplices, and by other malcontents suspected to join therein with him, and yet not evidently known. The King's Councillors and many others of best quality receive daily intelligences of their resolution of the progress of this enterprise. Whereupon they have earnestly moved the King either to stay his "remove" to Falkland or else to ride to and tarry some time at Stirling until these clouds shall be dissolved and also it shall be known what matter was gathered therein. In this, and for the King's stay, myself was employed to travail with the King, who in no case will take any "affray" thereat or defer the time of his passage to Falkland on Monday next the 18th instant. The danger is thought to be abated by the fresh and new report which this day is brought that these conspirators are broken and divided amongst themselves, and that some of them seek to win grace by discovery of the bottom of the plot laid and intended. For the Master of Gray, Mr. John Colvile, and Hackerston, lying near Fife, as it is advertised, and finding themselves and their purpose disclosed, have retired. Fintray lying here in Canongate near the Court gates to give warning has departed. Balwearie and Abbotshall, ready to have joined with the Master of Gray and others, seek their best refuge, and Bothwell, looking that all the noblemen in Scotland, other than Mar, Morton, and Lindsay, would either have assisted or else winked at him and his actions, finds himself now abandoned, whereby he is driven to adventure some desperate hazard.
(Recapitulates the circumstances of his falling into her debt.)
Lastly, coming hither and being ready to obey and serve your majesty without regard of any pain, peril, or loss whatsoever to fall thereby to me, I find the mass of my miseries so appearing in the eyes of the King, Councillors, and others of this nation that thereby your majesty's services in my charge are greatly hindered and prejudiced; for the remedy whereof I have thought it my duty with all humility and submission to present the advertisement of these to your majesty's own knowledge and grave consideration, with most humble petition to vouchsafe to determine timely and graciously on myself and my services to your majesty, and on my life, liberty, possessions, and causes "submitt and lyeng at your majesty's resolute censure," like as by your majesty's sacred wisdom and order for your services, and by your majesty's accustomed clemency and bounty towards your servants, shall be found expedient. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
32/3 pp. No fly leaf or address. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
697. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [June 17.]
Had audience of the King on Wednesday last the 13th instant, and showed him her majesty's letter to him (Bowes), with request to keep secret both the contents and the fact that the letter had been shown. Has deferred writing because the King desired time to advise upon his course for prevention of dangers and for his answer to her majesty. The King promised to send the next day for the Chancellor, now at Lethington, to confer with him and Sir Robert Melville in this cause. The Chancellor has excused himself by sickness lately fallen to him: the King being ready to ride to him today, is stayed, partly by the accident of the fray yesternight between Davy Dundasse and young Calder, wherein the courtiers party their friends and for which the King is now at the Tolbooth, and partly by advice of some danger in his journey to Lethington. Has this day had access to the King, whose answers are as follows.
The King acknowledges having received former good advices by her majesty's letters to himself and by directions to him (Bowes) for prevention of dangerous practices of Papists and seditious persons, wherein albeit he had promised to provide remedies, little effects have hitherto followed: for excuse he alleges that he ordained Acts of Council for performance of the things promised, whereupon the Laird of Fentry was committed and still remains in ward; and he sought to apprehend James Gordon the Jesuit with no less care than he has laboured to get Bothwell: he affirmed that he knew no principal or seditious Papist in Scotland except those two, against whom, and all others to be made known to him, he would extend the pains provided by the laws. He (Bowes) reminded the King that he and the ministers had often given in the names of the other Jesuits, excommunicates and Papists, and will presently discover them and their receivers; whereupon he promised again to proceed against them with all severity. Agreeable to his promise he moved the Council on Thursday last to provide an Act to banish Fentry, James Gordon, and other Papists, but there seems little hope of the execution thereof until the Acts already in force be accomplished. It is known that Fentry remained in Canongate nine days in the time of the Parliament; "to whom some especiall resorted and had secrett intelligence with him," and he has departed in safety.
The plot disclosed for sending into Scotland forces and money from Spain and the Low Countries the King thinks to be grounded upon former practices of the Jesuits with noblemen of Scotland, chiefly such as were in the conspiracy of the Bridge of Dee: he said that the Earl of Crawford confessed to him that he was tempted with offers of three thousand French crowns, and when he and others refused, their principal servants were pressed to take it; "and that these factours for Spaine and the Catholiqes did always entyce them to enter into armes, to reforme the government, and derectlye to breake with Inglande": it was evident that those employed for Spain cared little what became of any noblemen in Scotland further than to make them serve to cast all things in confusion in both realms. The King noted that the practisers for Spain would be deceived in the dispositions of sundry of the persons named in the schedule sent by his lordship, and also in their powers, saying that Atholl might be tempted, but not won, that Sanquhar and Herries, being absent, could not now do much for them, that Gray and Fleming were little worth, and that Claud Hamilton had lost his wit: but he agreed that the Spanish instruments would make as great a party as they could to draw the Pope and Spain "more rowndlie into the accion," saying that some of these noblemen had been before dealt with and are suspected and that the rest might peradventure be tempted with gold; that they could not change religion or the government or join with foreign forces except in open war against himself, "which things theye shall not carye so closelye but that he shall espye it," promising to give good regard to all their actions and meetings. He prays her majesty to give him timely warning as anything shall come to her, yielding hearty thanks for her favour.
The King holds it very dangerous to suffer forces or money to touch this realm, lest the fire grow greater than can be easily quenched: he purposes to apprehend those most suspected of this conspiracy. Although they must be charged with other crimes, yet they will be examined as to the conspiracy, and if anything be discovered all peril will be prevented. The King promised not to reveal the secret to any favouring the persons suspected, nor to anyone but the Chancellor and Sir Robert Melville, to whom he wished him (Bowes) to impart it. He said that sundry have lately advised him "to be slowe to bynde over faste with hir majestie, but rather to heare the offers of other forraine princes for his honour and profitt," and noblemen who have been in England have consented to this counsel. Nevertheless he affirms that "alone he hathe withstoode all these charmes," and will keep the amity with her majesty. Little care will be taken to defeat this practice except some well affected instruments be seasonably stirred up. Has attempted this with great diligence, but little hope of success, since the Scottish nation, seeing the bareness of his estate, think him disgraced. In order to know what the Catholics and Spanish are doing in Scotland has conferred with some acquainted with these practisers, who showed him letters from Spain and the Low Countries, specially one from William Crichton, wherein George Crawford is named. A letter from Madrid, dated 5 April, certifies as follows: "'Heare we have no newes, except that this King is still makinge forces for Fraunce, and yet hes ane armye in Arragon, and eykes it nowe with 7,000 footmen. The trobles in Arragon are not yet appeased, suppose ther be no forces in armes againste the King. Hear is Monsieur de Montpansier, good sonne to the Duke of Mayne, and it is saide that these forces shall goe with him to helpe his brother the Marques of Villiars.'" These persons say there is no course taken at present by Spain or the Low Countries with the noblemen or others favouring the Catholics or Spain, but that all things remain as before without conclusion.
Has to-day received his lordship's letter of the 12th instant, and acquainted the King with Lord Hume's coming into England, and with the causes moving her majesty first to stay him in the south parts and after to licence him to come to the Borders, there to await the King's pleasure: which he accepted in good part, and will advertise Hume of his pleasure.
Has again sought for speedy redress to be given by Sir Robert Carr, keeper of Liddesdale, for attempts on the West Borders, and also that upon the late decease of Lord Scrope quietness may be kept between the West Marches of England and the West and Middle Marches of Scotland. The King and Council have before this given order to Sir Robert Carr, who promised satisfaction, as will appear by his (Bowes,) former letters to his lordship, to Lord Scrope, and to Richard Lowther. The King has written to Lord Maxwell and Cesford, and sent his proclamation to be published for the same: encloses copy of the King's letter.
The King intending to send two ships to take Bothwell, now—as is said—riding at the back of the May near St. Andrews in a little barque, desires that some fit pinnace or barque may be put in readiness at Newcastle to help in this service. To content him, has agreed to write to Henry Sanderson, searcher at Newcastle, to provide a fit vessel for this purpose, yet trusts he shall not need to be at any charge herein seeing it is thought that the King's ships will not find Bothwell in that place. The King's ships might discover some sails of her majesty plying that coast, as his lordship has written, therefore has acquainted the King with her majesty's ships being in the north seas, and the cause thereof; all which he accepts very well, saying that the sight of her majesty's ships in those seas "would give a great alarum to this realme" if the cause of their being there were not thus made known to him.
The King has been moved by Council to remain here for eight days or else to remove to Stirling to avoid the danger of surprise, whereof every day fresh intelligence is brought to him. It is thought it will be attempted if he pass over the water and lie at Falkland, but he is resolved to repair thither on Monday next, and the barons and gentlemen in Fife are to attend upon him at the waterside at Kinghorn, and afterwards at Falkland, St. Andrews, and other places. The Council and ministers are persuaded that something will be attempted against some favourites about the King, and fear that this may open the way to the practices intended by the Papists and Spain, notwithstanding all promises to the contrary, wherein it is rumoured "that some offers have bene in Ingland in this behalfe." By a libel lately set upon the door of the King's outer chamber the King was warned to beware that he be not used as King Richard the second was in England; that two enterprises were intended for his surprise, one at Holyrood House, whereof he might enquire of Colonel Stewart, the other at Falkland, whereof he might ask the Lady Pitfirrane, wife of Colonel Stewart, and the Laird of Balwearie, concluding that he would give an instrument thereof; and subscribed 'scivi, vidi, et audivi.' To this Colonel Stewart subscribed: "'Si scivisti, vidisti, et audisti, then thou art the treatour untill thou shalt discover and prove the treason.'"
The Earl of Erroll, cited to appear before the commissioners of the church for hearing mass and other offences, has obtained six weeks' respite, upon condition that he put from him all the Papists in his house, and receive a learned preacher appointed for him. "Heruppon he is departed home." The marriage between the Earl of Argyle and Morton's daughter is like to proceed, whereat the King is nothing pleased. Dares not let his travail be seen herein, but may not spare it, since by this match her majesty will have better interest in Argyle, who, being moved by the King to like of the Duke's sister, answered that he might not make war in his own house, meaning that being in feud with Huntly for the slaughter of Murray, he could not take to wife the sister of Huntly's wife. Sir John Carmichael and Sir James Sandilands were sent the other day to Morham to apprehend Bothwell and others there with him, as the King was informed. They found only James Hepburn's horse and returned. Sir John presses the King to discharge him of the west wardenry but is like to keep it still some time. Maxwell, suspected to have intelligence with Bothwell and in his intended attempts, has offered to come to clear himself, wherewith the King is well satisfied. Johnston is deeply suspected; his cautioners are charged to appear, and it is thought that he will not come in. Complaints have been exhibited against Huntly for oppressions done in the office of lieutenancy which he still exercises; "but nothinge can byte of him." It is said that letters pass daily between him and the King, Huntly directing his to sundry of the chamber to be delivered to the King. The Leaguers in France have taken two ships of Kirkcaldy: the owners have sued for a letter of marque against the Leaguers, and are denied. In the end of next week Angus, Erroll, Morton, Glamis, and others will be here at a day of law with their friends: it is thought that their forces will be great, and that they will not depart without resolution of some matters of weight.
Thought it his duty to return immediate advertisement to her majesty of the receipt of her letter and of his doings. Has certified the present condition of this tottering state, and his own distressed case, in his letter to her. Sometimes sends letters of occurrences to the Lord Chamberlain, but has no one but his lordship (Burghley) to whom he may write his negociations for her majesty's service, so prays pardon for continuing to trouble him with his letters. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
5 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley.
Enclosure with the same:
(James VI. to Lord Maxwell and the Laird of Cesford.)
"Right traiste frinde we greit you hartelye weill. For samickle as we being informit of the decease of the Lord Scroop, Lord Warden of the Weste Marche of Englande, and that ther is na newe Warden constituted ther for the keipinge of good rule and quietnes of baithe the realmes, we have therfore sent you this our proclamacion, quhilke you sall cause be proclamit at all the marcatte croces of the head burrows within the haile boundes of your charge, and use your speciall care and dilligence that gud rule be keipit and all attemptates forborne to the harme of the good and obedient subjectes of baithe the realmes, not dowtinge but you will se the same performit and keipit." Holyrood House, 17 June, 1592.
Besides two such letters severally addressed to Lord Maxwell, during the service at Court of Sir John Carmichael, Warden of the West Marches, and to the Laird of Cesford, Warden of the Middle Marches, there is also a proclamation to be published commanding all the King's subjects within the West and Middle Marches to keep peace and quietness towards her majesty's subjects in the west wardenry of England.
½ p. Copy. Indorsed.
698. James VI. to Elizabeth. [June 19.]
"Richt excellent, richt heich and michtie princes our darrest suster and cousine, in our h . . . (fn. 2) recommend ws unto yow. The great and heavy losse sustenit be this berrare David Huchesoun, merchand and b . . . of Kirkcaldie, throw violence of the Leaguearis, Frenchemen of Newhevin, Fechame, and Honiflen, haifing maid of . . . and utheris gudis no les lauchfull pryse than gif he had bene thair oppin enemy, to his grit wraik and undom . . . eirnistlie to requeist you to zeild your favorable liecence to the said David to by in Londoun or any uthir p . . . for defence of his present guidis and for the reparatioun of his bypast losse ten falconis and ten myonis . . . thair furnitour for the furnessing of his schippis, and to transport the same thairto without any stop or hinder," . . . Holyrood House. Signed: "Youre most loving and affectionat brother and cousin James R."
½ p. Broadsheet. Addressed. Indorsed.
699. James VI. to Burghley. [June 20.]
"Richt trustie and weilbeloved cousigne, we great zow hartly weill. The desire we have to releve Walgrave oure printer furth of his present conditioun moves ws to crave zoure favourable mediatioun for him to oure derrest suster the Quene zoure soverane, that hir accustomat clemency may be extendit towardis him, the rather for oure sake, seing he is langsyne enterit in oure service and continewis thairin to oure gude lyking, sa as he may have hir pardoun confirmed to him be write for the former offencis imputed to him, cancelling the memory thairof and resaving him in hir protectioun as a subject, quhilk in hart he faithfully professis to be, that he may the mair bouldly repair in his native cuntre as necesserly he sall have occasioun: and we undirtak and promiss for him that he sall wirk in his art na otherwyis then he salbe licensed be ws, for quhilk he hes entered sufficient cautioun. Thus being moved and procured be zour gude meanes we will acknawlege as ane acceptable plesur at zour handis done to oure self." Holyrood House. Signed: "Your very loving freind James R."
½ p. Addressed. Indorsed.
700. Sir Richard Cockburn to the Chancellor. [June 21.] Add. MSS., 23,241, fol. 42.
"I have hard of the Englishe ambassadour yesterday, that his desyre to have presence of the King on Saterday was upon a letter ressavid frome the Lord Threasurer of England, quhairby he wes directed to mak his majestie acquent of the Lord Home's being at London, and intentioun to cum doun to the Bordouris. In conference with his majestie it seamed to him that his highnes wes not curious of his being there or reparing to the Bordouris, onlye saying that he wald not be suddene in granting his licence to returne hame. The ambassadour is of that opinioun he is cummed doun, and will not stay on the Bordouris, for some evill will caryed to him be the Ogilles; and may tak occasioun quyetlye to cum in and remaine for a season in some part of the Mersh. He luikes for advertisment frome Berwik, having directed ane there, and myndis thairefter to cum there to zour lordschip, bot not before he mak me acquent to mak your lordschip advertesit."
"The Threasurer hes tauld me of a letter he hes send to zour lordschip conteaning some advertisment ressaved. There is sa monye bruites in all mennis mouthes of enterpryses and alteratioun to follow, that without doubt some chainge man be gif God disappoint not. Angus I heare feales some dolour in his syde be a hurt he gat in loupping on the saddell at the hunting with his majestie before his ryding to Douglas, and hes send to Gilbert Prymrose for some drogges. The Lord Maxuell is luiked for be his majestie to repair to him quhair ever he be. The King I heare is this day in St. Johnstoun. Sa sone as I learne onye thing of the proceadeur there I shall mak zour lordschip acquent."
"I am desyred be the Lord Lyndesay, quha hes hard that zour lordschip is moved against David Dundas for the slauchter of zour cousing Richard Spens, to requeist zour lordschip in his name to trust na report of that accident till be his cumming there he informe zour lordschip how it fell out and all he knawes in that matter. I can not heare that David's self shot him, bot his awin depositioun wes that some of his folkis did it, not knawing quhat he wes. There is a tryist in Striveling betuixt the Erll of Argyle and his freindis; quhat I heare there is a great number present. The Duike is heir, continewing in that mynd to prosecute his jorney in travelling yf leave be procured. Sir James Sandelandis and zoung Sir Robert Melvill intendis to accumpanye him." Edinburgh. Unsigned.
1 p. Holograph, also address.
701. Sir Richard Cockburn to the Chancellor. [June 23.] Add. MSS. 23,241, fol. 48.
"According to the directioun in zour lordschip's letter receaved frome Arbert Maxuell I wes of intentioun to have bene there this efternone, bot requested be syndrie recommendit to me frome zour lordschip to be present this day and the morne in sessioun quhen thair matters shalbe reasoned, I have taine occasioun to stay till the morne at efternone; having lykwyiss interloquutouris daylie to be advysit in that actioun betuixt the lord my father and his nichtbouris of Hadingtoun, and houping to have it readye on Moninday or Twisday to be callit in the inner house. The ambassadour, as zour lordschip, wes advertised of the taking of Lochmaben, and advertisment thairof send to Carmichaell; bot I can not heare that report to be trew. The Lord Maxuell stayed heir all yesterday, and intendis to go over the watter this day. His majestie wes yesterday in Falkland, not removid to St. Johnstoun, and the Erle of Mar raid frome Striveling to be there yestrene. The Threasurer luikes for advertisment this day frome Falkland, quhilk I wald glaidlye heare before my cumming there: mynding lykwyiss at efternone to speake with the ambassadour, be quhome I will understand all he knaws." Edinburgh. Signed: R. Cokburne.
Postscript.—"The ambassadour spak yesterday with the Erle of Mortoun, the Threasurer, and me, desyring that we should geve his majestie advertisment of some attemptat shortlie to be put in executioun, quhairof the enterprysers had laid thair compt to be sua assured that in thair opinions it could not faill, having about his majestie and within his house some quha had promised to geve the singe and wairning of the convenient tyme quhen thay should do it; yet wishing that his majestie should tak na great alarme bot luik narrowlye about him, quhilk protestatioun zour lordschip knawis is not verie necesser. The Comptroller is to gang over this morning, quha hes all that imparted to him to be delivered to his majestie, bot na better houp conceaved of attendance to be geven then of before."
¾ p. Holograph, also address.
702. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [June 24.]
On Monday last the 19th instant the King crossed the water at Leith and lodged that night at Kinghorn, without the company of any noblemen and against the advice of his Council and some of the ministry, earnestly moving him to try out before his departure the truth of the daily informations that Bothwell and others intended to attempt alteration in this court and government. The King, thinking the danger past and the conspirators scattered, resolved to proceed in his short progress to Falkland, St. Johnston's, and other towns in Fife. Soon after the King's departure Sir Robert Melville and others were newly advised that the enterprisers were assembling and their messengers sent to gather them for the execution which it was thought should be attempted at St. Johnston's, where the King had appointed to have been yesterday; but by advice sent to him this progress is stayed, and the barons and gentlemen of Fife are commanded to be before the King at Cupar on Tuesday next, to receive order for their attendance during his abode in Fife. Sundry reports were brought to him (Bowes) of this enterprise, and being required to confer with the Council, he opened to them the intelligence received, which concurred with their information. Being advised that the conspirators were not in such force but that they might be easily defeated, durst not give any rash advice "to stirre in the King or Counsaill any hastye or unnessarye conceites;" therefore wished the King might be persuaded to provide for his safety without any open show of apprehension, that the bottom of all these matters might be discovered. The Comptroller was addressed to the King at Falkland to acquaint him with these intelligences, and Sir Robert Melville has written to Sir George Hume that within three days men would be in the fields with open banner. Daily bruits of these preparations are brought to court, whereby the King's journey to St. Johnston was stayed; care is now taken for prevention of danger, yet the King gives no credit to these advices, understanding that some things given out are already found untrue, as that Bothwell had surprised the castle of Lochmaben, which is still kept for the King by Sir John Carmichael. Lord Maxwell has come to the King, offering to acquit himself from all intelligence with Bothwell, which confirms the King in his security. Balwearie and others suspected are called for, but have hitherto given no obedience. Most of the Council, and others of experience, think that these confederates have not abandoned their enterprise, but that it will be taken in hand shortly unless it be discovered. Prays, as before, for direction how to deal in the matter of Earl Bothwell.
A ship of Dundee has lately taken near Flamborough an English barque with eight men, twenty four muskets, six cast pieces and other furniture. The takers allege that the captain and company are pirates; that most of the company were on land, and that in the barque they found goods of Scottishmen spoiled by them. The captain is Matthew Gunter of Plymouth, who denies to be a pirate or to have taken any goods from Scottishmen. The King is pleased to give him trial, purposing to deliver him, his company and barque if they be found guiltless, otherwise sharp execution will be done on them. Has advertised the Lord Admiral of this, and prays direction. Has left Roger Aston to draw the matter to the best that can be got; finds great readiness in the said Aston to serve her majesty and help him [Bowes], and trusts he may receive due thanks.
The Earls of Argyle, Marishal, and Mar lately convened at Stirling for the trial of Arkinlace and others charged with the slaughter of the Laird of Calder. Little is proved against them. It is said that at this meeting some deliberation was taken for obtaining justice against Huntly for the slaughter of Murray, and it is looked that the Lord of Ochiltree shall be sent to the King in this behalf. This matter nourishes great malcontentment in noblemen and others, and may cause dangerous fire to burst out, giving hold to Bothwell's suspected enterprise and stirring the Catholic and Spanish rabble to sedition. Little or no care is taken for the prevention of such ills; has travailed to bind together the best affected noblemen, chief officers, and others to take such works in hand, but most are departed from Edinburgh to their own houses. "All the olde fellowshipps are broken: fewe or none concurre for the common causes, but stand at gase to see what shall followe on the perillous condicions of this tyme and estate." His own credit will not serve, without speedy help, to profit her majesty's service. Huntly has lately sought the King's leave to depart into foreign parts, to remain there at the King's pleasure. His messenger received openly little grace in court, "yet it is saide that he returned to Huntlay with quiet contentment." By force of his commission Huntly is assembling great forces in the north, of persons ready to obey him for love or fear; the purpose is not yet known.
The King has certified that David Hutchinson, merchant and burgess of Kirkcaldy, was taken in March last at sea near Belle Isle by the Leaguers of "Newhaven" [Havre] and other places, and carried into the river of "Morbeane" [Morbihan] in Brittany, where his wines and other merchandise, then in two ships and esteemed to be worth 30,000 marks Scots, were taken from him. In order to refurnish his ships, he desires to be helped to provide in England, at his own charges, ten minions and some muskets with their requisite furniture. The King has required him [Bowes] to commend to his lordship's favour this cause and the petitioner, who will attend upon him.
The Earl of Angus is hurt by the fall of his horse on him: some say this has hindered the enterprise mentioned, but the authors of that bruit are known to bear little goodwill towards Angus.
Seeing that hitherto no assurances are given by his son for payment of his debt to her majesty, and that his son remains in prison for that debt, which being absent he cannot redress; and seeing that all his causes run headlong into utter confusion through his absence and that of his son, prays his lordship to be a means to her majesty that some order be speedily taken for the acceptance and perfection of the assurances to be made for that debt and also for his other causes, submitting himself and his possessions wholly to her majesty's pleasure; and entreats deliverance from his misery, as he has by his late letter made humble petition to her majesty. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
4 pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
703. James VI. to Elizabeth. [June 24.]
"This berare, David Gardin in Dysert, suting this lang tyme the executioun of a decreit recoverit be him befoir zour judge of the admiralitie agains ane Capitane Nycolas Qwattis and his complices, quhilkis bereft and spoyled his guides, hes bene delayed and frustrat thairin throw the absence of those your subjectis in the Indis and uther forayne cuntreis thir twa zeiris bipast, to his great hinder and losse, being abstracted in the meantyme from his wounted honnest treade. And now, hearing of the returne of they personis within zour realme, he hes taikin purpois to addres him selff thether in gude hoip of redresse promeist be zour Counsale: quhom for his bettir furtherance we have thocht gude to accumpany with our recommendatioun, effectuouslie requeisting zou, our dearest suster, that be zour commandiment he may have executioun of that decreit according to zour ordour, as wes promeist, agains they personis and thair gudes quhairevir they can be comprehendit, that he being a meane and symple man be not farder weryed with attendence thairon, bot may returne to his honnest treade." Holyrood House. Signed: "Youre most loving and affectionatt brother and cousin, James R."
2/3 p. Broadsheet. Addressed. Indorsed.
704. James VI. to Burghley. [June 24.]
"This berare, David Gardin in Dysert, persewing the executioun of a decreit recoverrit be him befoir the judge of the admiralitie agains Capitane Nycholas Qwattis and Capitane Raymount his cautionare this lang tyme past, hes bene postponit from tyme to tyme throw their absence furth of that realme in forayne pairtis: and now he being informed of thair hamecuming hes addressed him selff thether in hoip of full redresse of his losse as wes promeist at his last being thair. We have thairfoir zeildit him this favour to requeist zou verray effectuuslie, now as of befoir, to interpone zour wounted gudwill in his expeditioun and furtherance in that caus he hes bene sa lang trublit in persute of, and se the same put to sic point as he be not urgeit throw neidles delay to attend langer thairon, and be abstracted from his honnest trede. Quhairin as ze sall do that quhilk justice and equitie craved, sa sall ze do ws thankfull plesyr to be requyte with our gudwill accordinglie." Holyrood House. Signed: James R.
¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed.
705. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [June 26.]
Credible advertisements daily brought, and especially this night, from many places, affirming that Earl Bothwell and his party are ready to execute their enterprise "for the alteracion of this governement of court." The Chancellor has received like information from the West Borders, where Bothwell showed himself on Friday last among the Borderers, and also from the Middle Marches, where Sir Robert Carr was warned for his safety to leave Kelso. The Chancellor has warned the King, and is purposed to provide for himself, peradventure by some other mean than by the strength of his house at Lethington. The Council shall be acquainted herewith tomorrow morning at their assembly, and the Secretary will take the report of their doings to the King, to be tomorrow at Cupar to meet the barons and gentlemen of Fife. It is looked that the possession of the person of the King and the town of Edinburgh shall be attempted, and that some in court and town will be favourable to the attempters. In a well-governed realm this forewarning might suffice, but sees little resistance prepared. Prays speedy direction herein.
Lord Maxwell having cleared himself to the King as to his meeting with Angus during the last Parliament, and intelligence with Bothwell, which he denied, was directed to satisfy the Chancellor, which he has done, and returned a messenger to inform the King thereof. "And after he was with myself this day, promising firmly by his hand in myne to be obedient and serviceable to the King in all thinges, and also to be redy to do all good offices to her majestie." This night Angus is returned to Edinburgh, and others will be here tomorrow. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
706. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [June 27.]
This morning Earl Bothwell is discovered to pass towards Queensferry with three troops of horsemen, Borderers, above four hundred in number: they had immediate passage over the water, and either they have by this time executed their enterprise, or else the King has escaped, whom they will follow whithersoever he goes. They will not do any hurt to his person, but the danger is like to fall on Sir John Carmichael and Sir George Hume, who will be in great peril unless they have provided for themselves upon the warning given yesternight. The Earls of Atholl and Erroll, the Masters of Livingstone and Gray, the Lairds of Balwearie and young Wester Wemyss have assembled for this enterprise, and some think have already done it or been defeated before the coming of Bothwell. Lord Maxwell returned this morning to the King. The Council have assembled and purpose to hasten to him; he was to be at Cupar this day. The Duke of Lennox, the Earls of Angus and Morton, Lord Lindsay, the Secretary and others are ready to cross from Leith to Kinghorn to ride to the King with speed, and the Laird of Spynie has departed towards him; but they may come too late to rescue the King or to help Carmichael and Hume. All men seem to seek the preservation of the King's person, but to be content that the court and government shall be changed.
"The Chancelour is gone from Ledington, which he hathe lefte well garded, and chosen to be rather abroade then faste in so narrowe boundes." Prays, as many times before, for direction in the matter of Bothwell and his actions. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1¼ pp. Addressed. Indorsed.
707. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [June 28.]
Sent his servant with the lords repairing to the King at Falkland "to offer to the King aswell suche ayde to be given by hir majestie as shoulde be founde requesyte for his releiffe, as also myne owne redines to come unto him, and to be imployed as maye beste please him." The King sent a gentleman with thanks for these offers, and to report the success of his doings against Bothwell, informing also that some of the Grahams, her majesty's subjects in the West Borders, accompanied Bothwell and assaulted his palace: for which outrage he requires they may be duly punished. Has written to Richard Lowther to examine who and how many of the Grahams were there and to certify his lordship thereof.
Last night, before midnight, Bothwell, the Master of Gray, Balwearie, Arderye, Spott, John Colvile, and others, accompanied by three hundred horsemen, Borderers, came to Falkland, environed the house, and assaulted the back gate, where the King's guard with shot killed one of the men coming against the gate with a piece of timber, hurt four others, and soon repulsed them. Thereupon they left the assault, and continuing about the house till seven o'clock in the morning, departed and rode to Stirling, retiring homewards with all the speed they could, without hurt to one man on the King's side. The King having but sixty men in the house had fortified and victualled one of the towers to preserve himself until the country should be gathered to his rescue. The country soon arose and came to him, whereupon the King sent Sir James Sandilands and others on horseback to pursue Bothwell, and himself came to Holyrood: "so as this rode is nowe dashed, and manye personages of great callinge lykelye to be encombered by the same. The Borderers have gotten the King's horses, and spoyled the townes theraboutes." The King has sent Maxwell to gather his forces and set on Bothwell at his coming into Annandale or those west parts; Lord John Hamilton is commanded to follow Bothwell with all his forces; and the King will proceed in person against him and his company with all the speed he can. Bothwell's trumpeter and one other of his followers are taken, who confess that in the "oracion" made by Bothwell at his approach to Falkland, order was given to kill Sir John Carmichael and Sir George Hume. And a woman heard Bothwell say that Roger Aston should be slain.
The Earl of Erroll and Colonel Stewart, suspected to be purposely attending on the King at Falkland to aid Bothwell at his entry into the house, were committed to ward before his coming. Erroll is now warded at St. Andrews, and Stewart at Burleigh. The Earl of Angus was charged to enter into ward in Edinburgh Castle, but because the charge was not in writing he has not obeyed it, but rode towards the King: when within three miles of Falkland he retired and returned hither, whence he is newly departed. It was believed that Atholl was in the field against the King, whereupon the danger to the King was thought to be very great; but he sent to the King offering himself and service, and Roger Aston was with him the other day and brought to the King his assured promise to serve him as he should be commanded. So many noblemen and gentlemen are "blotted" with this conspiracy that some enterprises may be renewed, but their forces are so broken that the peril is less. The Chancellor had provided to put in safety in the Bass himself, his wife, child, and moveables of most estimation; and now he will come again to the King. Prays direction. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1¾ pp. Addressed. Indorsed, partly by Burghley.
708. Surprise of James VI. [June.]
"His majestie being adverteisid of this surpryse, my Lord Frances Hay, Erle of Arrell, was attechit and swa is keipit sure, my Lord Crowner [Colonel Stewart] was attechit and keipit sure, and the Master Gray nocht atteichit is fled alswa and the Laird of Balweirrie callit [ ] Scott, and the Laird of Awdrie Lownesdaell is cumit away. My Lord Maxwell spak his majestie befoir the surprise and returnit to Edinburgh befoir the surprise, and thair remanit quhill his majestie came to Edinburgh this last Thurisday and hes brocht sum direction [to] thir parttis quhilk is nocht as zitt discloisit. Now he is proclamit liutennent and beis in Annand this next Tyisday. Thar is proclamacion maid in Edinburgh and uther broghts that all manner of man be redy with forty dayis victuale to attend on his majestie and his lieufftenentt. Thair is divers of this conspyracie that is nocht zit discloissit, and zit thay air understandit, bot nocht spoken of tyll tyme serve sumthing better. The houss of Lochmaben is at the warden's command and salbe, God willing, to his advanssmentt. Provyde sum fyne horss for his lordship, for I think he hes ather fewe or none that is gude, and the gaird hes nane."
"My Lord Maxwell hes brocht five presoneris heare, bot I can nocht heir quhilk thai ar. It is spokin sum principalle men of the Grahams of Esk. Francie of the Moit and foure with him is the presoneris. How many as zitt for certantie is slane or taikin of this unhappie cumpany I can nocht heir nor na man knawis, bot ther is na man of ony effect bot sum Borderer at the best that thai have lossit, and thair is nane of his majestis syde slane nor hurt that I can heir of of ony degrie. The Erle of Angouss is giltie of this turne and followit the Erle Bodwell over the watter, bot he gat the repulss or Angouss come. Swa Angouss is absent and wilbe hardlie put at. It is thocht the Laird Johnstons salbe straittit for this cawss. His majestie beis in this work or Sonday, gif dyet change nocht in Annanddaill. Thair is nane of my Lord Bodwellis cumpany slane at the palace of Falkland bot only William Myddilmest, brother to the Laird off Greimstone besyde Troquair, and Willie Johnstone of Kirkhill hurtt."
"I mycht nocht wyn to zow at this tyme bott I salbe in Annand, God willing, on Tyisday, therfoir faill nocht to send me ane bow and ane schaif of arrowis." Unsigned.
11/8 pp. No flyleaf or address.
709. [ ] to [Robert Bowes]. [June].
"I ressavit zour letter, and according to zour desyre ze see what I heare be bruitt, that his majestie hes gevin ane exceiding greitt owerthrawe to the Erll Bodwell and his cumpany; and this bruitt cumis be ane sone of Jok of the Kirkheris, for the Laird of Westrawe was in the feild and cumis to Wamphray zisterene, and sayis that Jok of the Kirkhere tynt his horss and wan ane zonger horss, and quhen that this was done ane telling my lord that he wald tyne Jok of the Kirkhere, he ansserit he fearit thay sould tyne ma. Swa I have na certantie farder bot this bruitt in haist. Vale. 1592. Zour frend efter the awld manner." Signed with a cipher.
⅓ p. Holograph. No flyleaf or address.
710. Sir Richard Cockburn to the Chancellor. [June]. Add. MSS., 23,241, fol. 44.
"This morning Sir George Home come to me with verie scairsbrough wairning frome his majestie derecting me to geve zour lordship advertisment that his hienes this last night had resolved to be there and intendis to dyne with zour lordschip the morne; commanding me lykwyiss to cause missives be wryttin to some barronis and gentlemen to addresse thame selfes there at efternone, to advyse and consult with zour lordschip in taking ordour with that countrey and otherwayes, as he had particularlye directid zour lordschip to oppin up to thame, to thay [sic] effect thay might understand nathing of his hienes being there till thair cumming. It is thought onlye necessare to wryte in that sense to Wauchton, Broxmouth, the gudman of Northberwik and Imderweik, to quhom the letters shalbe send in sic haist as the Threasurer will direct thame. Bass is heir, and wilbe directed ather to be there or spoken with in that matter his majestie will deale in with the rest. His majestie desyres zour lordschip's awin nichtbouris, sic as Imerleith, Colstoun, Herdmestoun, Blamss and others ewest there to be advertised be zour lordschip's self to be there be ane efternone, the hour appointed to the rest for sic matters as zour lordship hes ressaved in direction to be imparted to thame frome his hienes. I shall cause George Carkettle send eist all sic provision as can be had upon sa short advertisment, and keip this jorney unluked for be zour lordschip secrete for my pairt. From Endinburgh this Fryday in haist, 1592." Unsigned.
½ p. Holograph, also address.
711. Sir Richard Cockburn to the Chancellor. [June]. Add. MSS. 23,241, fol. 46.
"Mynding to have wryttin some purpose I hard in conferrence yesterday with the Englishe ambassador, with all other occurrentis heir and answere to your lordship's letter receavid yestrene, ane come to me this morning be thrie houris, before his majesties ryding out to hunting, with directioun to desire your lordship not to faill to be at Halirudehouse the morne be ten houris, and injunctioun that I should mak nane privye to your lordship's cumming and advertisment geven."
"What hes geven occasioun of this unexpected sending for your lordship I knawe not, onlye conjecturing that Carmichaellis returne yestrene lait from Cliddisdaill, quhais chief erand there wes to try forder of the advertisment he receavid and made to his majestie, hes moved all this haist. It may be some matter of importance, quhilk his majestie wald impert to your lordship and have your advyse thairin, quhilk I doubt not—as his highnes luikes—shall move your lordship's cumming, and yf necessitye requyre not, your lordship may be licenced to returne bak at nicht."
"Yf Carmichaell had not accumpanyed his majestie to the hunting, and immediatlye efter the advertisment geven me to wryte to your lordship riddin out be four houris, I wes myndit to have gane doun and learned mare particularlye what he knew in this matter, quhilk I shalbe curious to have before your lordships cumming the morne." Frome Edinburgh this Twisday 1592." Unsigned.
½ p. Addressed.