Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593. Originally published by His Majesty's General Register House, Edinburgh, 1936.
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James VI: August 1592
731. Master of Gray to Burghley. [Aug. 4.]
My very honoured lord, I wrote "of befor" the very true causes which moved the nobility of Scotland at this time to associate themselves, together with the true relation of matters as they fell forth. In my letter I likewise prayed your lordship to be a mover of her majesty to be a beholder whereby at least her majesty could be no loser, but "be" the contrary "sould conqueise the hairtis of the nobilitie of this realme," and should give great "argument" to myself and others well affected to persuade the worse affected to change opinion, as also it should "coute away" all occasion from all who "avanceth" the name of foreigners.
In my letter I craved answer of two points, the one was for the gentlemen in name of my fellowship, "which of them her majestie in speciall did suspect, if any sche did suspect, what reasonable evidenc her majestie would crave for preufe of the contrarie." The other point whereof I craved answer was in my own particular a "privie oversicht sume tymes to leive within her majesties country as occasioun sould offer; nocht that thairby I sould give any cause of quereling betwene the princes, seing I intend to leive als quyetly within England as I am for the present constrainit to do within Scotland." But in respect of the weightiness of your lordship's affairs "I did oversee my self that wrot nocht to sume freind thair to have keipit your lordship in memorie of my lettre." Now I pray your lordship for answer, to the end I may conform myself. It shall serve my purpose in my particular suit sufficiently if your lordship shall send only a privy note to your lordship's friend and "defender," Mr. Gray, of Chillingham, that her majesty can be content that I live quietly within his bounds. This carries with it some excuse in case it were "querelit," the gentleman bearing no office that reaches to any such matter, and he and I being of one name and arms. "I look this benefit being less then it, which is juris gentium et hospitalitatis grantit evin amongst Turkis, that I shall obtein it, and in recompence, if I can nocht do, at least I shall carie, a good will for to do her majestie services."
2 pp. Holograph, also address. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
732. Master of Gray to Mr. Thomas Miller. [Aug. 4.]
Sir, I doubt not you have ere now heard the proceeding of our Scottish affairs and how certain of the nobility finding themselves far "misusit" associated themselves for redress. But it "fortuned" that Bothwell and myself "kythit" first in arms, which makes some in your Council think that matters go forth otherwise than indeed the truth is, and by some that my folly is so great that I "attemptit with only Bothwell," without any other associates. Thus I conjecture the rather that, having indeed written to my Lords Treasurer and Chamberlain the very sincere truth now twenty days past, I have never as yet received answer. Albeit being "desyrit" by my fellowship, I craved of them to be movers of her majesty, at least for a time, to be a beholder, seeing thereby she could lose nothing, for the "impotentis" who now possess his majesty's ear are so far tied to a necessity that, standing in hard terms with the nobility, they dare not stir, "albeit sche did forther then behoved, if the nobilitie prevaill (as without all, peradventure, in end they shall) then her majestie for her only behoulding shall have noble men with thair King in place of impotentis, who can serve her to no propose, bot when sche haith litle to do with the aid of our King or country." And in case some of the nobility were evil affected to her majesty, yet myself and others, who have in effect given proof of good affection, have sufficient argument to move them all to become well affected in respect of her majesty's indifferent and calm behaviour at this time, if so it shall fall forth. Besides that it shall "cout" away all occasion which other ways her hard partiality might offer to the evil affected for enticement of the nobility to think of bringing foreigners within this isle, "and in deid thaie laikis nocht nether sutch offers nether th'offer makers. Thaie wer for the gentlemen which I craveit."
In my particular "lyknayis" I desired that I might have of her majesty a benefit which in deed is less than the common, for I craved only that a privy warrant might be sent to the Wardens that if it "fortuned me" to come within their wardenries that they should oversee me. I speak of a privy warrant for that I will not for any benefit I shall receive give occasion that any question shall fall forth, for I was to use it only as occasion fell forth, and to live as quiet at my own charges as I do now in Scotland.
If Mr. Secretary Walsingham were alive, or yet my gossip, they could bear witness that for good will at least I deserve no less of her majesty and estate of England than the benefit juris gentium et hospitalitatis, which is not refused amongst Turks. Thus far, sir, I have acquainted you with my state, in respect of the old friendship "haith bein amongst us," and pray you very earnestly "for to speik" my Lord Treasurer that at least I may have answer what to look for, to the end, "if I do whair I may be best hard, that her majestie querell nocht my auld promeis." I pray you to this the more willingly "that I seute no thing bod good will." So I look at least for your own answer, in recompense whereof use me in the old fashion. Signed: Mr. of Gray.
Postscript.—Sir, because Mr. Gray, of Chillingham, is my Lord Treasurer's defender, I crave no further but that his lordship shall send to him a warrant to oversee me in his boundis, if I fortune to come there, which may be "excusit" ever in the gentleman's own person in respect we are both of one name and arms. Direct the letters to Sir Harry Widdrington or to Sir John Selby. "Thair is a man thair throu meir dotting did horne him self and me both."
3 pp. Holograph, also address. Indorsed.
733. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 6.]
In these six days last past the Provost of this town of Edinburgh and John Arnett, last Provost thereof before this, appointed for all the burghs, [and] Mr. David Lindsay, Mr. Robert Bruce, Mr. Andrew Melvill, and other ministers, for the Church, have both earnestly travailed with the Council here and also exhibited their petitions to the King praying that speedy redress might be provided for the safety of the King's person, oftentimes assulted, the maintenance of religion by the banishment of Jesuits, seminaries, excommunicates, and practisers for Spain, and for the administration of justice, especially in the punishment for murders, and namely in the person of Huntly for the slaughter of Murray. With these I had some privity, and my own labours wanted not. Whereupon, coming to the Court with the King's leave and purposing with the advice of others to have moved the King and gotten his consent, and restitution to have been openly declared before the Council, these burgesses, ministers, and myself, for the better surety of the performance of the articles accorded, I found the King and Council assembled, and the King so passionately stirred with the motions of the Council, pressing him with some parts of the petitions exhibited, and in some sort touching the punishment of Huntly and reformation of his Chamber, that he had not then liking to speak with me. Whereupon the Chancellor, with the excuse, came to me and wished me "to take in good parte" and forbear to urge my access further for that time. Whereunto, for the benefit of the cause, I readily agreed, perceiving that I was thought to be oversevere against Huntly, and the reformation of the Chamber, the instrument of Huntly's maintenance; yet it has been noted by some about the King that, by the delay of the payment of 3000 l. to Thomas Fowles at this time, he thinks that her majesty does not so tender his estate and regard his present doings as she wonted to do. Besides, it is seen in Court that both her majesty's heavy countenance is continued against me, and also that others here are appointed for offices; wherein, peradventure, they shall be rather employed and accepted in all places than myself.
The King noting some strange affection in the ministers and people crying out so greatly for the slaughter of Murray, being the son of the Abbot of St. Colme, the younger brother of the Laird of Invermeath, far under the degree of the Earl of Eglinton, for whose death no passions appeared, it was answered by a minister that the offenders in the Earl of Eglinton's slaughter met him accidentally in the field, where for former feud they killed him, and for the same were justly forfeited, banished, and their escheat taken; some of them remain still in exile, and exemplary justice was timely given by the King; wherewith the ministers and people were satisfied, as now they would be if they might see the like justice done on Huntly and his accomplices guilty of the murder of Murray, slain in the King's sight in odious manner and with no little touch to the King's own honour: and herewith it was moved that provision should be made as well for the punishment of Bothwell and his followers as also for Huntly and other offenders, so the person of the King might be in safety and the realm governed with justice and peace.
It is now thought meet by the King and Council that for the reformation desired, some change shall be in the Council established, whereby the Earls of Angus, presently in ward in this castle, Crawford, ready to depart out of this realm, and Glencairn, refusing to be a Councillor, shall be discharged, and in their rooms shall be placed the Lords Lindsay, Sinclair, and either Boyd or else the Master of Eglinton; that there shall be added to the Council the Provost of this town, John Arnett, before named, for the burghs, Mr. David Lindsay, Mr. Robert Bruce, newly fallen sick, or Mr. Patrick Galloway, for the Kirk; these burgesses and ministers to continue for two months, and afterwards to be chosen and appointed severally by the burghs and Church; that there shall be an association chosen out of all the estate of this realm of persons well affected and free from all suspicion of papistry, practice with Spain, or any seditious and treasonable act. This association shall be strengthened by a general band expressing the causes and grounds of their union and accord, and to be subscribed by the King and all the parties named therein, and firmly protesting and promising their aid and assistance for the accomplishment of the effects to be expressed in the band; and the King, in verbo principis and by solemn vow and protestation, will give assurance to perform all his promises and accords to be made and declared to them at the perfecting of this band to be framed and made up with speed; which band is drawn, but not yet perfected or engrossed, therefore I forbear to send the same to your lordship.
Further, that fit persons of honour and quality shall be appointed to be lieutenants in every county to banish the papists, practisers for Spain, rebellious and offenders, and to put in execution the laws of this realm and the Acts of this Council: which Council to be thus established shall deliberate for the reformation of all defaults, and their resolutions enacted shall be executed with the authority of the lieutenants and with the assistance of the association.
The King desired the barons in Fife to levy and keep 100 horsemen to attend on him for one month for the safeguard of his person; but it was doubted that by this precedent to be given by Fife all the other shires shall be likewise charged, and therefore the King's request is not granted. The Earl of Argyll has brought Locheniel with 120 footmen, furnished with calivers, bows, and swords to await on the King for one month or two at the King's pleasure. By these means it is thought that the King shall be in safety, the government reformed, and the realm in peace. Yet it is plainly seen that, except the King shall herewith reform his Chamber and enter into punishment of Huntly, all these ordinances shall be made in vain, and Bothwell, being generally favoured and likely to be "partyed" by many, ceases not to watch for his opportunity; wherein it is told me by great personages that Balwearie and Fintry will provide 40,000 l. Scots to be employed to entertain forces to assist Bothwell in his enterprise; and it is told me that warning is sent to sundry gentlemen in Fife to meet Bothwell in arms this day near to Dunfermline; and the noblemen in trouble and suspected believe verily to see this government and Court to be shortly changed, against which very few will set themselves or think that the King will alter his former course, except they shall see the King enter immediately into the action of reformation. In which respect it is meant that some actions for execution shall go before the proclaiming of the orders to be enacted, and which will get little credit until something be done in the execution. Therefore Fintry, having appeared before the King and Council and being bound over until tomorrow, shall be first dealt withal, and that the full pains of the laws may be laid on him, it is ordered that all laws, statutes, and Acts of Council made against papists, excommunicates, and such like shall be viewed and considered; that Huntly shall be charged to send in Mr. James Gordon, the Jesuit. The Master of Eglinton or Lord Sempill must bring in Ladylands, and Maxwell must exhibit Browne, the Abbot of New Abbey.
Hugh Cranston, pensioner to the King of Spain, and lately come into this realm from Holt, the Duke of Parma's confessor, is taken and committed to ward at my request. He has offered to follow the Chancellor, who was most ready to give order for his apprehension, and who purposes to draw from him the discovery of matters of weight, or else to let him feel the pains for his fault.
Albeit that Huntly has sought leave to depart out of this realm and remain in foreign parts for three years, and that the King has granted his suit, yet it is found, as I am informed, that Huntly's friends in Court covertly seek to stay him, in regard that in his absence some other shall be lieutenant in those countries, and thereby his friends, guilty of Murray's slaughter, shall be wrecked; and it is thought to be more honourable for the King, and acceptable to the people, that he shall be expressly commanded by the King and Council to depart and to be by them limited. Wherewith Murray's friends are scarcely satisfied, fearing that, upon order given to put him out of the realm, he and his friends shall be protected during the time of his absence and thereby obtain greater benefit than they can do by his abode. Besides, Murray's friends hearkening for his departure, appear to be purposed to send after him; and it has been told me that Mr. John Colvile has written to some of Bothwell's friends in Court to stay the departure of Huntly, alleging that if her majesty shall know Huntly to be put out of the country, then she will give no aid to Bothwell.
It has been secretly told me that Francis Dacre has either come hither or else that he will be here very shortly. He has had good entertainment in Spain, and is esteemed to have both right to the whole possessions of the Lord Dacre and also power to command many men of good quality and strength.
Hugh Crankeson, David Lawe, two Englishmen, and "other" Scottish men and practisers have lately come out of Flanders and arrived in this realm. Crankson is especially employed and sent by Holt, who is suspected not only to seek the breach of the amity betwixt these two crowns, but also by the means of the Catholic and Spanish faction to practise that the King here may be surprised and delivered to the King of Spain; for which large sums of money are offered; and my intelligencer further tells me that Mr. William Creichton, now in Spain and running another course than Holt holds, has espied Holt's plot, given advertisement thereof hither that the King might be warned, whereof the Lord Treasurer here and other Councillors have got notice; and herewith it is told me Mr. William Creichton has written to Captain Haggerston, answering former letters touching both the captain and also the Earl Bothwell, and showing that they shall be welcome into Spain. Mr. Andrew Clarke is ready to return into Flanders with answer. He is presently seeking shipping and gone to the Laird of Balwearie, as I am informed, and that he brought hither with him little above 3000 pistolets. I have appointed some to attend upon him and his embarking, whereof your lordship shall be hereafter advertised.
Francis Mowbray, presently in this town, appears to be ready and very well able to do good offices, provided he may be enabled to sustain the service and find regard to be given to him for the same; yet hitherto he has not entered into any further intelligence with me. He thinks that her majesty may well satisfy him with some licence or gift, and being little or no charge to her majesty; and hereon he is ready to do as he shall be directed; wherein may it please your lordship to let me know what answer I shall give him.
The King is made to think that the Master of Gray is in England and that he took his journey thither soon after his being at Balwearie's house, in Fife, with Bothwell, and there coming from Gubriell, Marishal's house near Dunfermline, and also that Bothwell had spoken with the Master of Livingston in Torr Wood. Of these I write little "or meddle in ther causes," being suspected—without cause—to have greater intelligence with them than I dare entertain without better warrant.
Sir Alexander Stewart has returned hither from his service in the Low Countries and France, showing his grief that your lordship should distrust him in his service offered to her majesty, and protesting that he will always serve her majesty, next his own sovereign, alone and above all princes in the world, with hazard of his life, or howsoever he shall be commanded, as he trusts that Sir Francis Vere and others, seeing his services for her majesty since he departed from your lordship, and his own actions shall witness with him. He only craves that her majesty will vouchsafe to continue her good opinion, and that your lordship would conceive well towards him, wherein I am pressed to pray your lordship so to direct me by your next to me, that I may give him comfort and contentment in the same.
The carrier of my last packets betwixt this town and Berwick was taken and straitly searched for the letters, but he so bestowed the packets in the corn that nothing could be found on him, and yet he recovered the letters, which were brought to your lordship with the longer delay; and hereby I am troubled how to send with safety my packets towards your lordship, causing me to be the more slow in writing to your lordship, yet seldom shall I want a matter to write of.
Lastly, by your lordship's letters I perceive that her majesty will not be pleased to accept the payment of 1500 l. for the executors of Mr. Customer Smithe, to be comprised within the yearly payment of 1000 l. to be made to her majesty by me and my son, and for which debt owed by me to Customer Smithe the Lady Walsingham and other of the executors of Sir Francis Walsingham are chargeable by bond given by Sir Francis for me, wherein myself and son are tied by the straitest bonds that can be to keep harmless the executors of Sir Francis, and for the which I may not refuse to lay down my life, liberty, and all that I possess, neither will I enjoy liberty or possessions without their good satisfaction; and having offered to pay yearly 1000 l. for my debt to her majesty, I have far exceeded my own power and so deeply charged my son to supply my wants, that we cannot by any means in our power acquit ourselves and duties in law, conscience or honesty, nor keep harmless the executors of Sir Francis—whose goodness to me justly challenges better recompense—unless the debt of 1500 l. owing by me to the executors of Customer Smithe may be thus received into the yearly payment to be made to her majesty by me and my son, wherein I find my son so heavily burdened for me, and so far beyond his power to sustain any heavier burden that I cannot press him further in this behalf. Therefore, finding my estate and case so miserable and that my services past or to be done cannot abate the offence of my fault nor redeem her majesty's good countenance to me, I cannot but think it high time for me to come and present myself, body, and possessions to be disposed by death, imprisonment, or otherwise as it shall please her majesty to censure and determine, that her majesty's own will may be timely executed upon me, and that my body may be offered to suffer the pains for my debt to Sir Francis which my power suffices not to pay to his executors. Wherein, seeing my desire to leave this service is only grounded to receive judgment and endure execution of death or thraldom to give the best contentment I can, first to her majesty, and next, to the executors mentioned, I right humbly beseech your good lordship to acquaint her majesty with my suit and to let me know her majesty's good pleasure therein by your lordship's next letters to me, that, with her majesty's leave and in time as shall be appointed, I may repair to such place and obey such order as shall be prescribed to me. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
52/3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
734. Robert Bowes to [Burghley]. [Aug. 10.]
Before the receipt of your lordship's last letter, of the 2nd instant and brought yesterday to me, I had diligently solicited the King in all the full effects thereof and to be moved to him, seeking to imprint those good advices in his mind and stirring many others of good quality to persuade him to embrace and practise the same. Thereon such "ployte" was devised for the preservation of his person and reformation of this government as by my last before these I have certified to your lordship. I shall again renew my travails with the King herein, and the rather because I find the troubles arising and threatening hasty and great inconveniences, and that presently this estate and all the chief governors therein are now so shaken asunder that the remedy provided against the dangers appearing is in the beginning of the action so corrupted that little hope remains for further progress or happy end, as the experience of the events shortly to be seen will plainly manifest.
Fintry, called on Monday to answer before the Council for his contempt against the Church and for breach of divers orders and Acts of Council enjoined to have been performed by him, pleaded that he was summoned to come before the King and Council to answer only to certain articles of treason, so that he ought not to be charged with other matters before he shall be lawfully summoned for the same. Albeit his plea was found to be of no force, yet the Council was at that time so well set for him by the presence of the Earl of Montrose, the Laird of Spynie, Mr. John Graham, and others of his friends purposely come for the help of his cause, and so exceeding the number of the rest of the other Councillors that by plurality of votes his plea should have been received, therefore the Chancellor thought it best to give him a new day, whereby nothing is proceeded against him, notwithstanding that the ministers were ready to prove his defaults and show the insufficiency of his plea.
It is looked that Mr. James Gordon, Ladylands, the Abbot of New Abbey and other papists shall not be brought as is ordained, but escape by like favour and means as Fentry has done. Colonel Stewart by his letters and by his information given to Sir James Sandilands—sent to him from the King—has revealed sundry dangerous practices devised for the surprise of the King's person, and, amongst other persons, has discovered the Laird of Burleye and young Logie, gentlemen of the King's Chamber and in especial favour and trust with the King, to have conspired to be executors therein. On Tuesday last, the 8th hereof, Burlaye and Logie were apprehended by the Duke [of Lennox] at the King's commandment. Burleye readily confessed that he had intelligence with Bothwell, and being pressed by the King to have privity in sundry particular actions intended against the King, and which he thought had been discovered by Logie, he then uttered that Logie had drawn him into the company and course of Bothwell, who had been at his house, and to whom he consented to give his friendship and assistance, and thereon with submission prayed the King's remission. Logie denied stoutly until Burleye was confronted with him. Then he acknowledged that he had met and conferred with Bothwell at sundry times and places, and that it was devised that the King should have been taken four times. First, upon the water betwixt Kinghorn and Falkland; secondly, at his going to the church at Dalkeith, where a sufficient number should have been closely kept in the houses in the town until the King should be seen entered amongst them; thirdly, that the King should have been "trained" to have come forth to have taken the Laird Niddrie in some place near to Dalkeith, when the King should have been surprised by the ambush laid for him; and lastly that Logie, by the means of his mistress, one of the Queen's Maids of Honour, should have gotten the key of the back gate of the Castle of Dalkeith and therein received Bothwell and his company in the night. The King demanding why he thus consented to these facts, he answered, for two causes: the one that Bothwell recovering again the King's favour and Court should prefer him; the other that he intended to draw Bothwell by this bait into the King's hands. The King seeing that he had proved himself a double traitor, recounted the extraordinary grace and benefits which he had given him. But Logie proudly and with little "advysement" answered that he had chiefly offended by the superstitious love which he bore to the King, and served long without reward, and plainly told the King that he had both sounded the minds of the rest of his servants in chamber or other offices, and found them all consenting with him and resolved to bring in Bothwell. He told the King that Bothwell had received a great mass of gold—as he thinks 100,000 ducats—sent from the King of Spain. The King asking him who made the infamous libel against him, he said an Englishman, who said that many worse libels were made by Scottish men against the Queen of England, and therefore he thought that he might well write in that manner. And farther he told the King that Mr. John Colvile copied out the libel, which he said Mr. John might do, as well as the King might report to others. These two remain in ward. Burleye is like to find favour for his pardon and lands, but Logie shall be executed if the King holds till his purpose; yet by the means of his mistress, born in Denmark, of good parentage there, and in great grace with the Queen much labour will be made to save his life. It is thought that these two men shall "block" the credit of many great courtiers, and that by good examination matters touching great personages may be discovered.
The gentlemen in the King's chamber are fallen asunder, namely the Laird of Spynie and Sir George Hume; for Burleye and Logie tell evil tales on divers of them, and Spynie is persuaded that Sir George Hume seeks to draw into the King's favour the Master of Glamis and therewith to have a new Court to be chiefly guided by the Earls of Argyll, Marishal, Morton, Mar, the Lord Hume, the Master of Glamis and others of their friends; which beginnings little please the Chancellor or yet Sir Robert Melvill the Treasurer, so that presently all things here are very loose.
The Master of Glamis, coming hither to answer before the Council in a civil cause touching his lands in Forfar, was called to Dalkeith by his mother-in-law, the Countess of Morton, who brought him to the King's presence, where the King had long conference with him, and left him with the show of very good countenance towards him. For in all these late actions and enterprises by Bothwell the Master has carried himself so well to the King's good liking that he has gotten the King's goodwill towards him. This last night Spynie gave him hard countenances, keeping in the house a number of men well furnished and beyond Spynie's "ordinarye." But the Master of Glamis has this day sent for and provided such company to be with him at Dalkeith that he little cares for Spynie. What shall ensue hereof it is uncertain, but many are perplexed therewith.
I am informed that neither Huntly nor Crawford will depart out of this country; that the Countess of Huntly shall return again and remain in the Court; and that it will be practised to knit together Huntly and Bothwell with the rest of the nobility presently malcontented, whereof there is great number.
According to your lordship's direction I delivered to Francis Mowbray the letter addressed to him by Mr. Archibald Douglas, who promised me that if anything in the letter either required return of answer to Mr. Archibald or to give him occasion to write to your lordship, that he would prepare and bring his letters to be conveyed by me; but since I have not heard anything of him.
Understanding by your lordship's letters that the assurances to be given for my debts to her majesty are delayed by my son and Sheperson, I have therefore both directed them to proceed therein with all expedition and as fully as may be in the power of myself and son, whose help I must seek to supply my want, and also by my last before these, written in the same to your lordship, and offered my own body to prison, etc. Wherein I right humbly beseech your lordship's good favour and help to be showed to me. And perceiving again that her majesty has commanded your lordship to commit my son and Sheperson to prison for "delayance" in this matter, in which the blame and punishment ought to be laid only on myself, therefore I most humbly pray that the pains may be "afflicted" and laid on myself and not on them, who have only followed my directions, etc. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
3½ pp. No flyleaf or address. Indorsed by Burghley.
735. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 12.]
Since his last letter Logie has escaped out of the house of Dalkeith. On Thursday last, before midnight, his mistress, Margaret Vinstarr, came hastily to the chamber where Logie was kept by six of the guard, commanding the guard to bring Logie to the Queen with speed. Being brought near to the chamber door Margaret Vinstarr willed Logie to enter and the guard to attend without until he returned from the Queen. After Logie was free of his keepers, Margaret Vinstarr took him through the chamber where the King and Queen were in bed and brought him through the hall to a window, where she had prepared cords for his escape, and through which Logie passed down to the ground by the cords and there met with the Laird of Niddrie attending and having a horse ready for him. After Logie was horsed he caused three "daggs" to be shot as his token to his mistress that he was safe, and so departed with Niddrie, accompanied with thirty horses.
Yesterday the Council was at Dalkeith with the King, resolving that the King should come to this town on Monday next, and that all men should be commanded to depart from Court and this town and return hither when the King shall call for them. For it was intended that at the King's coming hither some order should be taken for the King's safety and prevention of the evils which at present are thought impossible to be removed.
Is informed that the King shall be brought hither this day and that Bothwell shall be "drawne in" to him by Lennox, Argyll, Morton, Mar, the Master of Glamis and their friends or by the Chancellor and Carmichael. Is told that Bothwell is at home, and that his [Bothwell's] chief instruments are in this town. It is expected that this day the King shall be thoroughly dealt with for Bothwell. The King has charged the Queen something sharply with the evil parts of her servant, and so far that they were both in tears. The King said it was his destiny "to dye in himselfe," meaning by the means of those who are nearest to him and most trusted. The King sent the Earl of Morton and Sir Robert Melvill from the Council table to the Queen to move her to provide to send home Mistress Margaret, and to bring the Queen's answer. But the Queen said she was not bound to give them answer, but to do it to the King, which she would do. By these and other like matters all things in Court are troubled.
Before Logie's escape Niddrie set up a "cartell" in writing on the cross in Dalkeith containing a challenge against any who would affirm that he had spoken any evil or dishonour against the King, and showing that since he came to the cognizance of Bothwell he found him ever resolute to honour and serve the King, and not to hurt him, and offers to fight in his shirt against any in arms who shall affirm the contrary. These matters against Burlye and Logie are said to be discovered by the Lady Patfaran, who received the intelligence thereof by Niddrie, who will, as it is thought, utterly deny them, and Sir James Sandilands has disclosed those to the King as from Colonel Stewart's mouth. Sir James being charged by the King and Council to give up his authority, has charged Colonel Stewart, and thereon the colonel was commanded by the King and Council to answer the same in writing, but the colonel plainly denies and offers the combat. This matter is thus fallen on Sir James Sandilands, who, as he [Bowes] is told, offers to prove by combat against Colonel Stewart and the Laird of Spynie that it is true that Bothwell was in Spynie's house at Aberdore, as Sir James has affirmed.
Yesterday the Chancellor, accompanied by Sir Robert Melvill, the Prior of Blantyre, and others, in the way to Dalkeith, met with the Duke of Lennox, Lord Hume, and the Master of Glamis, and upon "some evill countenances shewed," the Chancellor drew aside with 24 in his company and Sir Robert Melvill took his sword out of the "hangers," looking that the others should have charged them. But the Prior of Blantyre passed to the Duke and the rest and readily stayed all. Yet it was so given the Chancellor to understand that the same company would assault him in his return from the Court to this town that he departed from Dalkeith to his house at Lethington, where he is presently.
The Chancellor yesterday told the King that his life and estate are in great danger, wishing that the King knew as well as he in what case he stood and how these inconveniences should fall upon him, which should, he said, come to the King by such means that he durst not reveal. The Chancellor meant, as he [Bowes] is informed, to have uttered all the same plainly to the King, if he had been commanded to disclose them; but the King answered that this country was presently so full of bruits and jealousies, without good ground, that it would be perilous to give credit thereto. Whereupon the Chancellor let the matter pass over.
The King has examined Logie particularly of many in his chamber and servants in his house, and Logie has dealt so plainly therein and blotted so many, as it is thought, that thereon the King lamented his estate and accounted his fortune to be worse than any prince living. It will appear to his lordship that the King's estate is in great danger, the Court and government likely to be changed, and all things so loose that no man can tell how to begin to fasten or bring them again into joint. Huntly has made large offers to Bothwell for his friendship. Has wished that the offers may be delivered in writing by Huntly to Bothwell. Can hear nothing of Francis Mowbray. Logie confessed that Bothwell had received from the King of Spain 100,000 ducats. Now Burleye has plainly affirmed that Bothwell has not received any gold at all, but that Logie caused this bruit to be given out on purpose, and to the intent that it might be thought that his credit was good in Spain and his power great in Scotland. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—Upon report of the King's coming hither and of this sudden work to be done this day, sent his servant to the Court at Dalkeith for better certainty, and at the closing up hereof his servant returned and told him that the Court should have been removed and come hither this day, but it was stayed and would remain at Dalkeith until Monday next, as was ordered before by the King and Council; and he left the Court at Dalkeith after one o'clock in the afternoon of this day very quietly.
3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
736. News from Scotland. [Aug.]
Sir James Sandilands, the King's minion, has given it out that he is to take a voyage to go to Constantinople; but it is thought that, after some matters he is to despatch in Flanders, he goes into Spain. On the 2nd instant the King sent a charge to the Earl of Gowrie's mother, who has a very fair house in the Abbey, that she should pass out of it, which as yet she has refused to do, answering for herself that she marvels why the King would use her so, considering the house is her own, "which her self buylded." This house indeed is that wherethrough the Earl Bothwell passed when he came last into the Abbey to take the King. Moreover the King sent a messenger the same day, the 2nd instant, with a warrant to take the house beside the Abbey that appertains to the Bishop of Holyrood House, with pretence that the Lord Hume, with the rest of that faction, should be planted about the King in all quarters, and that Huntly and the rest may be received quietly with their forces to repair to the King. There is a charge in great secret sent to the Queen of Scots that she shall discharge Mistress Margaret and sundry other ladies from her presence, who has answered she will rather go to Denmark than part with Mistress Margaret or any others her domestic servants, which is thought will engender great dissension between the King and her.
The Queen is greatly offended against the Chancellor, the Lord Hume, the Master of Glamis, Sir George Hume, the Laird of Carmichael, and the goodman of North Berwick. The Chancellor would fain agree with Bothwell, but it is thought little for Bothwell's good. There is a new army to come out of Spain, but it will not be ready as yet. "There is to repaire to the Court within these xxti daies the whole principall papystes and the last rebelles." They have taken their houses all about the King quietly, and one of Huntly's own men has secretly given it out that his master is to come to the King.
737. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 15.]
Albeit at my humble suit it has pleased your lordship to procure her majesty's licence for me to repair to the funerals of the Lord Scrope at Carlisle on the 22nd instant, and to give me knowledge of the same by your last letter, of the 7th instant, for which your lordship's great goodness I yield most humble thanks, yet I dare not now leave this service and place in the time of these present storms until I shall see the tempest better calmed, and therefore I have by this occasion excused to the Lord Scrope and to the rest of his father's executors my absence from the funerals mentioned.
At Dalkeith, on Saturday last the 12th instant, deliberation was taken, and it was concluded by the King and Council for the preservation of the King's person, oftentimes in danger as well by surprise intended by the Earl Bothwell as also by practice of some of the King's servants near about him and seeking to "put him out to th'erle," that the King should remove from Dalkeith to the houses provided for him in this town, on Monday or Thursday then next following, and that all the noblemen and Councillors with him should be commanded to retire to their own houses to the intent the King might best rid himself from the corrupted and suspected sort, and after call to and plant about him the persons most fit and qualified for his own safety and for the good government of the state. But his order, like others, was soon changed, and the King determined to remain in Dalkeith, especially in regard that the Queen misliked to lie in this town at this time of the year. Besides, the form to have been established for the new government is suspended and left to the resolutions of such as presently are about the King, and as it shall please him to call to the same. Whereby it is verily looked that, by the means of the courtiers now with the King, this old Court shall be "weltred" and that the King shall take to him the Duke of Lennox, the Earls of Argyll, Morton, and Mar, the Lord Hume, the Master of Glamis, Sir John Carmichael, and Sir George Hume, with others to be found meet by the advice of these noblemen and Councillors named. And by the sight of some griefs fallen betwixt the Duke and the Chancellor, and long time reigning betwixt the Chancellor and Master of Glamis, it is thought that the Chancellor shall be shaken off, which at my late speech with the King I could not find to be resolved by the King, but sundry wise men have let me know such arguments and how far Colonel Stewart has been yesterday dealt withal to accuse the Chancellor, that it seems that the Court to be set about the King will not brook the Chancellor's company. And herewith many think that the Earls of Angus and Errol, presently prisoners in the castle of this town, shall be joined with these other Councillors, and that Angus and Erroll shall be shortly at liberty; wherein Errol has already made his way and offered by Mar and by the Master of Glamis to give such full satisfaction to the Church as the ministers, with the Earls of Morton and Marishal and the Master of Glamis, shall think to be convenient.
Albeit the King embraces well sundry of these to be thus called, yet it is thought that divers are cast in amongst them to the King's small contentment; therefore it is suspected that the Court shall not long stand without alteration, and that the King shall still retain his affection towards Huntly and that he will not utterly remove the Chancellor, as some of these new courtiers will persuade to be done.
Yesterday, the 24th [sic] hereof, the King came to the castle in this town to visit the Earl of Mar, now recovered but not well able to stir abroad. There, and on the King's return to Dalkeith, I had much speech with him, and both "renewed" him her majesty's advices given him and certified by your lordship's former letter of the 2nd of this month, and also earnestly moved him to provide speedily for his own safety, for reformation of the government, for the examination and trial of the corruption disclosed to be in sundry persons near about him, and for the choice and call of fit men hereafter to serve him in all places. He answered that, according to her majesty's advice, which he well allowed, he had travailed with his Council and other chosen instruments of the Church and burghs to devise such form of government as might best remedy these present sores in the state, showing that thereby it was found necessary to plant some sound and new Councillors in the rooms of such as were meet to be removed; to erect an association for his defence and pursuit of Bothwell, and to establish lieutenants in every county, as before I have advertised to your lordship. This ordinance he resolved to continue and put in speedy practice, appearing to me then to intend no other innovation, except it should fall out that Spynie and others accused to have had intelligence with Bothwell shall be proved guilty thereof; in which case then it would be necessary for him to provide further and more hasty remedies. Wherein I found him not resolute in the election of the persons to be called to him, yet he leaned so much towards the Duke [of Lennox] and others named, and depended so on the trial in the accusations that he seemed contented to embrace this fellowship, but he showed no mind to remove the Chancellor.
In this he told me that he was lately informed that the Master of Gray was at one Storye's house in Northumberland, and from thence passed openly by post to London, where he looked to have access to her majesty. He complained greatly thereof, saying that before this her majesty, in requital of his favour showed in delivery of O'Rorke, had given order to all the three wardens of the Marches to apprehend any such of his rebels as should come within their offices, and he looked that her majesty would both continue this good course with him and also stay the Master of Gray in case he should come to London or other places near her majesty; and therein he sought very earnestly to be satisfied. To this I assured that her majesty would give no access to the Master of Gray. Then he said the Master might address himself to the Council; wherein likewise I assured him that the Council would not give him audience. But again he said that the Master might deal with some one or two Councillors. In this I let him know that I might boldly answer for her majesty, the Council and estate, but to give precise assurance for every private person, I trusted that he would not so press me to do. He said that he found me more cold in this than he looked, and therefore prayed me to acquaint her majesty speedily with his desire, that the Master of Gray may be apprehended and stayed for him in case he shall come into England, especially if he shall be known to come near to her majesty's presence or Court. I agreed to certify to your lordship his desire and request. May it therefore please your lordship hereupon to direct me timely what I shall further answer herein for the King's satisfaction.
Yesternight the Master of Glamis received at Blackness and conveyed to this town Colonel Stewart, who lodged in this town this last night. This day he is carried by Sir James Sandilands to Dalkeith to be examined touching the accusation of the Laird of Spynie. The colonel is resolutely determined to charge Spynie directly to have received Bothwell into his house at Aberdore, which, if he shall do, then it is intended that Spynie shall be committed to ward to Edinburgh Castle, and that Stewart shall have time for the proof of the accusation. It is looked that the colonel shall likewise charge the Chancellor in matters of treason, and that thereon the Chancellor shall be "put at," for presently he is in great disgrace with the Queen, and the Duke [of Lennox] and the Master of Glamis will be pleased with his fall. What shall further proceed in these things is not yet certain, but all men here think it very sure that the Court shall be changed either by the King's voluntary assent or else by violence to be hastily practised for the same.
The King has been certainly informed that Bothwell lodged in this town on Friday last the 12th instant, and was seen openly in the high street without visor or disguising, whereat the King much storms. It is true that Bothwell was here indeed, and his minions were lodged near my house. They gave out that Bothwell should recover the Court that day, as before I was informed and certified your lordship, but there was nothing resolved or intended at Court, and the King's mind is nothing altered towards Bothwell, but is bent to prosecute him by all the means in his power. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
738. Francis Mowbray to Mr. Archibald Douglas. [Aug. 15.]
I received your letter from my lord ambassador on the 10th of this month, written on the 20th of July, whereby I understand your lordship's meaning. I thank your lordship for your news. "Thay wair suner heir in theis countray with other partiquelarytes. Gave I thocht that your lordship wald nocht be mair partiquelarly advertissit of the neuis of theis countray nor I can, I wald vrayt to your lordship sae fair as I knawe. Aluays thair is daly consperyssis aganis the Keingis majeste revillit, quhilk is able to mak grait altaratione schortly in Court [ ] (fn. 1) I sall vrayt to your lordship schortly at mair lenthe." Edinburgh. Signed: Francois Moubray.
Postscript.—"Plais your lordship to schaue my lord Thressoreir that my harde tretment quhane I vais in Ingland gavis me no courag to du hir majeste any services."
1 p. Holograph, also address, "To his good lord, my lord anebassadour of Scotland, in London."
739. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 17.]
Forasmuch as he owes to William Raven 300 l., for the payment of which he [Raven] has travelled to Edinburgh, and finding him unable to pay him at present, he has desired him [Bowes] to entreat Burghley to be means that Mr. Robert Tailour would accept assurance for the payment in discharge of the debt imposed upon Mr. Raven by Mr. Tailour's means for the like sum left with Mr. Raven for the Earl of Hertford, wherein William Raven, Mathew Johnson, and Bowes shall give to Mr. Tailour good and sufficient assurance for the payment of this money at such convenient days as shall be prescribed by Burghley, and the same assurances shall be seen to his lordship to be good and sufficient for Mr. Tailour's surety for payment of the sum mentioned, according to such order as Burghley shall award amongst them. Beseeches Burghley to move Mr. Tailour to accept the assurances which shall be thus given. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2/3 p. Addressed. Indorsed.
740. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 17.]
Soon after the despatch of my last packet to your lordship I was advertised that, albeit Colonel Stewart had been loth, and in manner denied, to be author in the accusation against the Laird of Spynie, yet before the King and Council at Dalkeith, on the 15th instant, he has affirmed plainly that Spynie had received the Earl Bothwell twice into his house and had intelligence with the earl in the actions against the King, and also offered to suffer death if he should not sufficiently prove the same. Spynie utterly denied "the receipte of or intelligence with Bothwell," and prayed to be confronted with the colonel; which was granted. Wherein Spynie, exhorting the colonel with many words to have regard to his honour, demanded whether the colonel would charge him by his own sight or knowledge. The colonel answered that he was so sufficiently informed that he had adventured his life to prove it. The other alleged that, seeing he had it by information, he ought to give up the informer, adding thereunto that the colonel was "infamouse by mariadge of sondrye wyves livinge," and that, being presently warded for treason, his accusation ought to carry no credit; which exceptions were referred to the censures of the Duke of Lennox, the Earls of Argyll and Morton, the Justice Clerk, and Sir George Hume, who declared it to be sufficient for the colonel that he prove the matters objected by him against Spynie; and thereon it was ordered that the colonel should have fifteen days to make his approbation, and failing therein he should suffer death, agreeable to his own offer. In the meantime he should remain in the Blackness, whereunto he was carried the next day. Spynie was charged to enter into ward either in the castles of Edinburgh or Stirling, and he is entered into Edinburgh Castle. Many here are of the opinion that the "remove" of Spynie shall much alter the Court and government, and that thereby the "graces" of Huntly, Crawford and his brethren shall greatly abate in Court, yet the favour of the greatest there towards Huntly will be found hard to be diminished.
The King, by the Secretary, wished the Chancellor to take no suspicion on these matters or by his absence from Court, nor to think that the King will conceive any otherwise of him than well and as he has done. Colonel Stewart, in long conference with the King, disclosed many matters, yet hitherto it does not appear that he uttered anything against the Chancellor; yet it has been affirmed that the colonel was tempted much to do it, and the Earl of Mar, in chief grace with the King at this time, has written kindly to the Chancellor at his house at Lethington. Nevertheless the countenances of others frown at the Chancellor, as he is not thought to be clearly free from danger.
For the better strengthening of the company to be about the King it is intended, as I hear, that the Earls of Atholl, Marishal, Cassillis, and Gowrie shall be added and joined with the other noblemen and courtiers to attend on the King, and named in my last letter to your lordship before this. But it is feared that the manner of choice of Councillors and of course in government shall brook dangerous factions. For the prevention whereof, and that this new Council, furnished with many of "younge" years, may be accompanied with other Councillors of long experience and good affection, it has been thought necessary that the Kirk and burghs having before sought reformation—whereupon an order and "ployte" were concluded—should now renew their suit, and for the same some fit instruments are employed to travail again with the Church and this burgh to solicit the Earl of Mar to write to the King and to call on myself for the furtherance thereof. Wherein Sir Robert Melvill and others of the Council will be shortly at Court to give their assurance in the same. Yet doubting the success in many respects, I attend to see both how this action intended, and also the course begun in Court, shall proceed, and thereon I shall be ready to employ myself and best endeavour to advance the purpose, wherein your lordship shall have advertisement of the progress thereof.
The King has set at liberty the Laird of Burley, who secretly promises to discover further the confederates of Bothwell and their designs, wherein the King is very desirous to be well informed, the rather that by the confessions of Burley and Logie he is made to think that Bothwell, by his own words, has disclosed his intention to have either killed the King at his surprise in some hidden sort, or else to have kept him captive in a castle, that, by the King being in his possession, he might rule the realm during his life. It is not known with what truths these have been told to the King, but they so occupy the King's mind that he is drawn to prosecute Bothwell by all the means in his power. Besides the King causes diligent search to be made where Bothwell lodged the other night in this town, and "it is made the King to thincke" that the Master of Glamis shall be found the best instrument to work the King's desires towards Bothwell, whereupon he now stands high in the King's favour.
Huntly's friends, guiltless of Murray's slaughter, persuade him to depart out of the realm with speed, but his other friends, guilty of that fact, move him earnestly to remain, and he is minded, as I am informed, to put himself in readiness for his departure, and nevertheless to abide still until he shall understand how this new Court proceeds and what means he can make therein for his profit, either in his departure or abode in this realm. He sent messengers lately to solicit closely his business in Court, but I know not what succeeded thereon.
It is advertised hither that order is lately taken in Spain that no Scottish men shall have any trade of merchandise in Spain unless they shall be commended by testimonial of such merchants as presently are admitted to traffic in Spain and are registered by Colonel Sempill, and that these testimonials shall be exhibited to Colonel Sempill. It is thought that this is done not only for the benefit of Colonel Sempill, but also to draw the burghs to the devotion of Spain and to alienate the hearts of the Spanish merchants from religion and the ministers. By means, I have sounded sundry principal Catholics to know whether they have sure promise of treasure or forces to be sent hither this summer by the King of Spain, wherein I am informed that some small number of pistolets has come, that the Jesuits and instruments labouring to draw noblemen and others into action offer and assure in very large manner; but divers of the most honourable degree and others privy to the secrets concur and have severally acknowledged that little treasure or forces are in readiness for this summer, and that no firm promises are given by any other than these Jesuits and instruments. It is still suspected that Francis Dacre came lately into this realm, but I cannot find any surety therein.
Francis Mowbray was advised by Mr. Archibald Douglas's letter that your lordship had directed me to give convoy to such letters as Mr. Mowbray should send to your lordship or Mr. Douglas, and by his letter enclosed he has written to Mr. Douglas and taken knowledge of your lordship's direction to me, but I find him still unwilling to enter into any office of intelligence until he shall know how to be entertained, which I leave to your lordship's consideration, humbly praying that I may understand what answer to give him herein.
According to the letter addressed by the Lords of her majesty's Privy Council to me, and received on the 7th instant, I have several times travailed with the Council and the Lord Admiral for restitution to be made to the Duke of Florence of such corn as was taken on the seas by Captain Ogilvy and brought to Dundee. The matter is wholly referred to the Duke of Lennox, Lord Admiral here, who has promised to give speedy and resolute answer to Martin Hythonsen, the Duke of Florence's solicitor presently here for this cause; wherein he shall, I trust, receive some full answer and order within few days.
Forasmuch as I have been lately warned by a Councillor bearing goodwill towards me that the King and the Council with him have noted much that at this present I enjoy neither her majesty's good countenance nor your lordship's favour, wherein they have built their "conceiptes" not only that they find others employed here for intelligences, but also that they hear that her majesty's offence is great towards me, and that your lordship threatens to imprison my son and servant soliciting my causes, and not only deny to give order for payment of the entertainment allowed by her majesty for my service here, but also have left me to be "straited," as they term it, at the pleasure of my creditors, especially of Thomas Fowells, to whom it pleased your lordship to give answer in that behalf; all which things, and many more—to my disgrace and sorrow—are certified hither and are not only credited here but also spread far abroad by my adversaries busily seeking to hinder my service and all others to be sent to serve her majesty here; and it is thought strange that I shall be continued in service and in this disgrace, which by late advertisements and reports from England are so apprehended here, he said, that it touched narrowly myself, and deeply the service in my charge, chiefly at this time of alteration when the new Court would beware to deal inwardly with servants here suspected to want credit and grace at home. That your lordship has stayed the payment of any money for me or my relief until the assurance be given for my debts to her majesty, I understand by the letters of my servant Sheperson, and the other things meet for me in these straits, "and fillethe the eares of manye;" therefore finding myself so many ways cast down, etc., I have thought it my duty truly and simply to make all things known to your lordship, and thereon still to offer my body to be rendered to such place or prison in England as shall be appointed to me to abide the punishment to be inflicted on me for my default, etc. Wherefore I right humbly beseech your good lordship to take in good part this true discovery of these things and of my own estate [and] next, by your lordship's goodness, it may appear to the eyes of the world that I enjoy her majesty's good countenance and your lordship's favour, etc. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
32/3 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
741. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 18.]
Whereas her majesty under the Great Seal dated 14th November in the 26th year of her reign gave licence to Robert Scott, merchant of Edinburgh, to transport 1000 quarters of wheat and 500 quarters of barley, and at the time of Robert Scott's suit made to Burghley he had only transported 100 quarters of barley, Burghley addressed his letters of 4th May 1589 to the officers of the ports of Lynn and Hull to permit the said Robert to transport 200 quarters of wheat and 200 quarters of barley without paying custom; and because Bowes has had experience of the good devotion of the said Robert Scott to her majesty in Scotland, wherein he has done many and especial good offices to Mr. Randolph, Sir Robert Sidney, Mr. Asheby, and himself, and Bowes has known him to have endured charges in Caithness for discovery of the Spanish fleet, etc., and is enabled to do good profit for her majesty's service, especially in the north of Scotland where he has "purchassed" good intelligence, therefore he [Bowes] has thought it his duty to send with him [Scott] this letter and to commend him to Burghley's favour for the transportation of the grain remaining, without paying her majesty any custom or duty. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
742. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 20.]
At the motion of the Lord Chancellor's friends I have diligently travailed with the Earl of Mar to reconcile as well the Duke of Lennox and the Chancellor as also the Chancellor and the Master of Glamis, but I find the Duke and the Master so irreconcilable that my labours bring forth little fruit herein, giving just occasion to the Chancellor to shroud himself well from this storm, looked by many to fall out of the cloud presently hanging over him; yet by the words and actions of the King and by other notes I have gathered that the Chancellor shall "put over" this danger, unless he shall be found to have had intelligence with Bothwell, and without the King's privity; with which weapon many think that his adversaries shall assault him, and that the same shall turn to the loss of his office and peril of his person in case it shall be tried against him; wherein he shows his foot to be set so fast that nothing can shake him.
Sir Robert Melvill, presently at Court, enjoys the King's good countenance towards him, and nevertheless it is thought that he shall draw like lot with the Chancellor, for some suspicion reigns in the heads of some courtiers that Sir Robert has spoken with Bothwell; and these things are so apprehended by many that some change in Court is expected and gaped for by divers having good means in Court. Into these I have forborne hastily to thrust myself, and I have been ready to pacify debates amongst principal parties, that I be not deemed over hasty to welter Courts or over rash to shake off old Councillors, but rather that I may detain the goodwills of the well affected and seek that the best sort may be kept and drawn in about the King that I trust the best favourers of religion and the amity betwixt these realms shall be gathered together in this cause, wherein, by my next and by Roger Aston—appointed by the King to make repair speedily to her majesty—your lordship shall be shortly advertised with better certainty; for the King has sent for me to be with him tomorrow at Dalkeith, where I trust to learn of him both his intention in these matters touching the alteration suspected, and also the causes moving him so suddenly to employ and send up Mr. Aston, whose errand, I think, shall be to bar the passage of her majesty's favour to the suits of the Master of Gray and to acquaint her majesty with the present condition of the King's estate and course intended, that he may have her majesty's good advice in the same. All which I leave to the report of Mr. Aston, who will be with your lordship very shortly.
The King, purposing to proceed in his former "ploytt" before devised for the preservation of religion, his person, and estate, has with his own hand drawn the band for the association, and having called the Council to be with him at Dalkeith on Tuesday next, the 22nd instant—where he looks for the Chancellor, Sir Robert Melvill, and the rest of the old Councillors and officers of estate—he will there have this matter resolved, and thereon to be subscribed; and this is an argument moving many to think that no such alteration shall follow as is here generally looked for. Yet some of good experience and intelligence in Court are of opinion that these matters shall not be cast off, but rather proceed slowly until the chief authors in this action find all things ripe for them; the further certainty whereof I leave to the next report, and here enclosed I send the double of the band of the association mentioned.
By the King's warrant Spynie is charged to depart out of Edinburgh Castle and to enter ward in Stirling Castle, much against his liking. He entreated Mar to take him into his favour and protection; but Mar, answering that he must obey the King's commandment, wished him to provide for his departure. Whereupon he went yesterday out of this castle, but whether he be entered into his ward at Stirling it is not yet known. The progress of matters of great importance depends much upon the sufficiency of the proof to be made by Colonel Stewart against Spynie, for the opening of that gate will make way for the courtiers now in Court to their other designs. Spynie and his friends are persuaded that Colonel Stewart will build the ground of his proof on the testimony of Ardrye, whom Spynie has caused to be put to the horn for debt owing to the Countess of Angus, now wife of Spynie, and late lady and mistress of Arderye. But Colonel Stewart shall deceive many if at the day appointed he shall not bring in other sufficient witnesses for him. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk. Marginal note in Burghley's hand.
743. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 24.]
Because sundry carrying my packets from this town to Berwick have been lately taken by the way and searched for letters, therefore I devised and used to deliver to the carrier double packets, the one true and to be closely conveyed to Berwick and afterwards sent forwards by the posts, the other forged, stuffed with "blacke" papers and ready to be given to the surprisers for safety of the other true packets. According to this use I delivered, the other day, to my servant, John Archbald, two packets of the 17th instant, and addressed to your lordship, giving him charge to send forth by post the true packet and to bring back to me the forged, to serve for the next despatch; but, negligently, he delivered both the packets to the post at Berwick, who carried them to the next post, whereby they have come to your hands, and it will seem strange to your lordship to see such a packet addressed in that manner to your lordship.
That your lordship may see the form of the band drawn by the King's own hand for this new association to be united, I send enclosed the copy of that band, which copy I had provided to have been sent to your lordship by my last before this, and my clerk, closing up the letter and packet, forgot to put the same in, as I had directed.
By occasion earnestly occupying the King for pacifying of the debates betwixt the Duke and the Chancellor, and betwixt the Chancellor and Master of Glamis, and drawing the King yesterday and this day to this castle, he could not, therefore, finish his letters to be sent with Roger Aston, who is ready, and shall enter into his journey tomorrow or as soon as the King shall have prepared his letters and instruments to Mr. Aston, who thereon will inform your lordship with expedition and certainty.
By the King's means the Duke [of Lennox] and the Chancellor are reconciled; whereupon the Chancellor shall bind himself to give good advice and aid to the Duke and all his causes, and for the performance of the same the Earls Marishal and Mar shall be cautioners, and the Duke shall promise his friendship and kindness to the Chancellor, which the King undertakes to be well accomplished on the behalf of the Duke. Albeit that this reconciliation is like to proceed betwixt the Duke and the Chancellor, yet it is suspected by many that the Chancellor shall be induced to think it convenient for him to clear himself from all dangerous feuds and to yield up his office and other charges in the government that he may draw himself to private life in the country with safety, or depart the realm to live abroad until the estate shall be better settled for him. The Duke has conceived this unkindness against the Chancellor by the advice that the Chancellor gave to the King to beware to make the Duke too great, in regard he was a competitor of the crown and many ways strengthened himself to advance his greatness. For the agreement of the Chancellor and the Master of Glamis, the King has both appointed the Earl Marishal, the Provost of Linclouden, and Mr. David Lindsay and also required myself to travail betwixt these parties, who readily may be wrought and persuaded to "drawe handes," but very hardly to join hearts to love and trust others, as it is wished and found requisite for the appeasing of these troubles.
The Earl of Crawford has provided to fortify himself with the forces of the Earls of Huntly and Montrose, and of the Lords of Ogilvy and Gray, and therewith prepares to be here at Edinburgh on the 29th instant; on which day Colonel Stewart must make his proof against the Laird of Spynie, who is entered into and remains in the castle at Stirling abiding his trial. But the King and Council, misliking such forcible assemblies, have charged Crawford not to bring with him any other forces or companies than his own ordinary retinue. Yet it is looked that the assembly shall be very great at this day of law betwixt Spynie and Colonel Stewart, and that by want of sufficient proof to be made by the colonel the day shall be adjourned to another time, to be appointed by the King. It is told me that Colonel Stewart will build his proof by the testimony of one of Spynie's servants who came in company of Bothwell over the water from Newhaven to Aberdore, the house of Spynie, where Bothwell met with and spake with the wife of Spynie, and lodged there that night.
It is written and sent to me from the north parts of Scotland that Huntly and Bothwell are agreed—which as yet I do not fully credit— and that many accompanying the Earl Bothwell at the late raid at Falkland are publicly received in the north, a matter noted to me to betoken firm trust and expectation of relief to be sent to them by Spain. By intelligence gathered "at" others of great experience and privy to the Catholic secrets, I am advised and informed that the Jesuits and other rabble of practisers coming hither from foreign parts have begged and gotten some small sums of money from the clergy to bear their charges and to entertain some especial noblemen to draw on the rest with fair "hestes" and promises; and no money is brought from the King of Spain or the Duke of Parma, neither any surety of any certain course accorded to be followed forth in this realm for the King of Spain; wherein my informer wishes that if any intelligence shall be given to the contrary it may be well examined how the intelligencer or "talsman" knows, and with what mind and purpose he utters the same; which I leave to your lordship's consideration.
The Queen here showed herself to me very desirous to see and speak with her majesty, and heartily prays her majesty to give leave to some young gentleman and maiden, born of good parentage in England and having served in her majesty's Court, to come to and serve her in this realm for some time; and she has moved me to commend these her requests to such as may present them to her majesty for her and will return to her advertisement of her majesty's pleasure therein. All which, as I received at the Queen's desire, I thought meet to certify to your lordship, and to "attend" what shall therein be directed to be further done by me.
The Duke of Lennox has lately and in very fair terms to me offered to her majesty his devotion and all good offices in his power, wherein I have met him with due compliments, promising to make his goodwill known to your lordship, to be commended to her majesty. The Countess of Huntly, the Duke's sister, is daily looked for here to knit up the accords of marriage between the Earl of Mar and the Duke's younger sister, which presently is likely to proceed with speed.
The Lord Hume and Lord Fleming are lately reconciled by the means of the Duke and Master of Glamis, and the same is thought to be done to weaken the Chancellor, and little for the benefit of the Lord Hamilton. Hume, as I am informed, sought the tithes of Lawther, in the hands of the Chancellor, and of Kelso, in the possession of young Cesford. But the King answered that, for Lawther tithes, he could not give the possessions of any subject before they were forfeited, and that he had already granted Kelso to Cesford. Hume has hereon dismissed the greatest part of the great company attending on him at Court, saying that he is not able to keep them together any longer. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2¼ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
744. Bothwell to Burghley. [Aug. 25.]
"Rycht honorabill, my loving dewite remembrit. I haif neirby the space of thir tua yeris in all humilite cravit audience of hir majeste, bot culd never find that favour, for none vald undertak to resave or present my letters. In the mein tyme I haif bein sollicitit be forenneris, your enemeis, to imbrace a contrar course wyth larg promesis of assistance in verey substantiall maneir; wharunto nether my affectioun nor conscience vald permit me to agre. So having patientlie avatit wpon hir majeste's lasar wnto this hour, I haif at last presumit to mak my addres wnto your honour, hoping that of your naturall humanitie ze will be a meane to see my most humill petitions presentit wnto hir highnes; and to th'end your honour may be the moir incuragit so to do, pleis yow understand I am to suit no thing of hir majeste to hir interest ether in honour or suirtie, as upon the sycht of the particularis your honour may juge. Wharof I haif causit our commun freind, Mr. Colvile, give information wnto Sir Richert Lowder, her warden, whiche I dout nocht he will impert wnto your honour, and if it salbe your plesour to extend this favour on me, besyd the guid service your honour sall do wnto hir majeste and that estate, yow sall oblise me wnto yow that so long as he sall live, to his power, sall study to requyit your curtesy wyth all offices of benevolence and sincerite that apertenit to ane thankfull man."
1 p. Holograph, also address. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
745. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 31.]
On the 27th instant I received your lordship's letter of the 21st of the same, to my great comfort, and binding me thereby to yield to your lordship most humble thanks. For, finding that by your lordship's goodness the payment of my debt to Customer Smithe—for the discharge of the executors of Sir Francis Walsingham, bound for me, etc.—shall be knit with my other debt to her majesty, and that the assurance shall be accepted of my son, etc., I hereby feel myself not only disburdened from a heavy mass of cares hindering the fruit of her majesty's service in me, but also to be enabled, with some profit, to serve her majesty, etc.
The other contents in your lordship's letter mentioned to be imparted to the King, I shall deliver with speed and at my access to him. Upon especial cause to be signified to your lordship by this bearer, George Nicholson, my servant, I have thought it meet to send him to your lordship with these presents, and with the particular "hearandes" committed to his report, wherein may it please your lordship to give him credit and to return him speedily for the contentment of the party interested; and I have both instructed him in sundry causes to be "remembred" to your lordship for her majesty's service here, and also left to his declaration the novelties and occurrents fallen here and come to my knowledge since my last letters before these to your lordship. In all which may it please your lordship to give him favourable hearing and thereafter to despatch him with resolution and expedition, the rather in regard that this estate is presently subject to great varieties, tossed with perilous troubles, and endangered with increase of these evils. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2/3 p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
746. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug.]
Before this, Robert Bruce, sometime secretary to the bishop of Glasgow, in France, has remained long time in Flanders by the support of the Duke of Parma and Catholics, for whom he has been a diligent instrument and done all the offices in his power against the religion here, and for the King of Spain; yet lately he made suit to the Chancellor here and to Mr. Robert Bruce, minister in this town, for leave to return to and remain in this country, offering to discover plainly to the King the names of all the practisers and the secrets of their practice wrought in Spain or Flanders against the religion, the person or estate of the King, or the quietness of this realm or England. But in the meantime, and within these few days last past, he has sent hither with David Law, Scotsman and servant to Mr. James Gordon, Jesuit, seventeen books containing such bad matters that, by the view of one of them, sent enclosed, it may appear to your lordship. He has addressed these books to such party as has delivered to me both the seventeen books and also Bruce's letter, directed to himself and written in the name of Edward Foster, Scotsman, one of his own stamp, and dead above a year past. This letter from Bruce, and the letter to myself from the party receiving these books, I send enclosed likewise to your lordship. May it please your lordship to direct me how I shall dispose of the sixteen books remaining to be destroyed or sent to your lordship, as your lordship shall command. The name of this party will be known to your lordship by the direction of Bruce's letter to him. He assures me that Law brought hither no more books, but he has heard that two Englishmen who arrived in this realm and passed into England had a packet thereof and left some few here. This party is able and ready to do sundry good offices, and trusts to be favourably considered with her majesty's bounty in such sort as shall be thought meet. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
¾ p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Enclosure with the same:—
[Edward Foster (Robert Bruce) to Doctor Maketnay (Macartney).]
"Rycht honorable, efter maist hairtlie commendations, albeit I be nocht weill acquent with yow as I wold I war, for the guid opinion that syndre hes caused me to conceive of yowr vertuez and honestie, yit nochtthelesse hoping that for the same ye will tak in guid pert my hamlines, I am the bolder to adres wnto yow this litle packet containing 17 litle bukis, all of ane sort, and of sic matter as ye may perceave thereby, quhilk tuichis nather the religion nor estait of our contry, bot only that of our nychtboure, quhilk be the lawis of our contry is nocht forbiddin ws to knaw. Therfor I wold beseik yow to distrebut them to sik persons as ye think best, ye being acquent with many of the best sort be raison of yowr vocation. Gif this my hamely deling with yow be nocht agreable wnto yow I crave yow pardon. Gif utherwayis ye tak it in guid pairt, charge me, I pray yow, to serve yow in any thing that lyes in my powar, and I salbe als radie to obeie yow as any freind ye haif. Calais, 20th June, 1592.
I sal send yow with the first ocasion ane discours of the antechrist, quha is born in Babelon the 25th of May in the yeir 1590, at quhais birth, and by quhom sensyn gryt wonders hes bein wroght to the conversion of all that contry wnto him alredy, as we ar certinly advertesed be exploratures send be Christien princes in thais partis. Signed: Yowr humil and obedient frind at command, Edward Foster."
2/3 p. Holograph, also address: "To the rycht honorable Doctor Maketnay, dwelling in Edinburghe, this be delyvered."