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: September 1592
747. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 2.]
Since the departure of George Nicholson has been informed that it has lately come to be considered before the King and some few of his Council, in his Chamber, how the nobility, barons, Kirk, and burghs in Scotland are affected towards the King and his present estate. In which discourse the number, of all sorts, noted to stand for the King was found to be so small that the King, saying that the third part of his realm was not with him, asked very earnestly if his person and estate were not in danger of being wrecked. Whereunto it was answered that many subjects would obey him for their own safety, but few would adventure themselves and "feadinges" for his safeguard, and that thereby his person and estate were in great peril, and could not be delivered so long as Bothwell shall remain in Scotland. It is well liked that the King shall give commission to some one of the Church to confer with Mr. John Colvile or another fit instrument about Bothwell and by covert means draw Bothwell to depart, on condition that Kelso and Coldingham may be restored to his two sons, and also that he shall accept such favour for himself as shall please the King. It is thought that Bothwell shall submit, on condition that he be assured thereof by the King's consent. Finds sundry well affected to wish good success in the matter and has thought it meet to "holde it on fote and in progresse."
Is advertised that, forasmuch as it is seen that the discords betwixt the Chancellor and the Master of Glamis thus shake in sunder the old Councillors and the association, and brings on the confusion apparent and feared to increase, labour is again made to unite these parties, wherein the Master of Glamis has authorized one for him "to take upp" with the Chancellor. The matter is "in handlinge," but so desperate, and the Chancellor otherwise so "put at," that he may not with safety long remain "in case as he nowe standethe." The King begins to acknowledge to see the Chancellor in such plight that the King cannot use his service and government without the Chancellor's wreck.
The Master of Glamis, espying that Spynie shall be quit by the assize, attends to take the opportunity offered by Spynie's troubles. Finding that Crawford has lately obtained the favours of the Constable of Dundee and of many others of the barons in Angus—whereof many adhered to the Master—and also that Crawford is banded with the Earls of Angus and Erroll, the Master has sent an especial person to "take upp" with Crawford, who, albeit he sticks to the motion until his brother, Spynie, be delivered by law, has appointed Mr. David Lindsay to confer with the other sent by the Master; whereupon it is "looked" that Crawford and his brethren shall be reconciled with the Master of Glamis.
Because this new Court and in these new advices broached the parties carrying the sway are deemed to pass lightly over the welfare of public causes, and chiefly to shoot at the mark of private profit and revenge, has moved the Earl of Mar, on whom the principal hope of true reformation depends, not only in his own actions to answer the trust and expectation in himself, but also to draw the rest to prefer the common before their private causes. Finding that the choice of the nobility and well affected in religion and to the amity are joined now in this action, has offered himself and his labours to them, pressing them to attend first to the public services, that their private desires may afterwards succeed and be enjoyed with better surety.
The King and Council are purposed at the next assembly to resolve on the grant of the liberties of Angus and Erroll, in ward in Edinburgh Castle. Angus will not receive his liberty by the means of Sir George Hume, as has been offered to him, and Erroll mislikes to be "in the comom" of the Master of Glamis for any favour to be showed him. They both pray to be enlarged, or else to have their speedy trial by assize. The King little likes their sudden enlargement. It is thought that Erroll shall be free within few days, for which purpose partly Mar is gone to the Court.
These Councillors and courtiers have put the King in comfort to take such order for the safety of his person and maintenance of his house and other charges that he shall no longer be endangered nor troubled with the cares presently possessing him in these behalfs.
Whereas the King has given to young Cesford the tithes of Sprouston, the same are now granted to the Duke of Lennox, and, as some think, of intent to be turned to the use of Bothwell's son, and letters are directed to Cesford to give up the possession. The Duke and Lord Hume have also willed Cesford to forbear to gather those tithes, and threaten that they will take them out of his barn if he shall carry them thither. Many think that these things are sharpened against Cesford with great extremity in regard that it has been bruited that the Chancellor has been, or is, at Cesford's house, and that Hume remains still in unkindness with Cesford; and presently the Duke and Hume joining, must needs have their appetites satisfied. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—It is reported here that the Master of Gray has returned with letters to Mr. Ralph Gray for his "oversighte," and this matter, as he hears, much troubles the King.
2⅓ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
748. Appointment of Sir John Maitland, Lord Thirlstane, as the King of Scots' Ambassador in France. [Sept. 6.]
"Oure soverane Loird remembering the lang, trew, and acceptabill service done to his majestie, his estate, and realme thir mony zeiris bygane be his trustie and weilbelovit cousing and counsallour, Johnne Loird Thirlstane, his hienes Chancellare, alsweill in his dewtifull and honorabill discharge of his said office in Parliament, Sessioun, and Secreit Counsallis, as in the furthering and advanceing of his hienes mariage and utheris wechtiest effairis of his estate committit to him, to his hienes singulare gude lyking and contentment and the weill and benefite of this estate, deserving in that respect his hienes thankfull approbatioun and honorabill rememberance to him and his posteritie, and having thairwithall sa gude prufe and experience of his singulare discretioun, jugement, literature, and sufficiencie alwyis to the discharge of quhatsumevir foreyne service to be committed to him, ordanis thairfoir ane commissioun to be maid undir the greit seill in dew forme makand, constituand, and ordinand his majesteis said trusty cousing and counsallour his hienes speciall ambassadour and commissionare to the effect undirwrittin, gevand, grantand, and committand to him his hienes full, frie, plane power and commissioun, expres bidding and charge to adres him with all diligence to the pairtis of France or other partes beyond sea, and thair in his hienes name and authoritie to remane and keip residence as his hienes ordinare ambassadour sa lang as his majestie sall think expedient, and ay and quhill he be dischargeit be particulare warrand, and with his hienes darrest brother [sic] or ony of his nobilitie and counsall to be appoynted be hym to that effect, to treat, consult, confer, and conclude upoun all sic effairis as he salbe particularlie instructit in frome tyme to tyme, and generallie all uthir thingis to do, use, and exerce that to the office of a resident ambassadour is necessarlie requyrit, ferme and stabill haldand and for to hald all and quhatsumevir his hienes said commissionaire and ambassadour sall do agreeble to his instruction, as gif the samin war done be his hienes self. And for his gretare suirtie and indempnitie in the meantyme, gevand and grantand him, and tenne personis with him in cumpany, his hienes speciall licence to depairt and pas furth of this realme to the saidis pairtis or quhair uthirwyis for his helth and recoverie of his present disease he sall find mair convenient, and thair for the space of three zeiris to remane at his optioun and plesur. During the quhilk space his hienes hes takin, and be the tennour heirof takis his said cousing and Counsallour, his spous and bairne with all and sindrie his tennentis, vasselis and proper servandis, his and thair houssis, landis, takis, stedingis, rowmes, possessionis, officeis, guidis, and geir quhatsumevir in his hienes royall protectioun, sure mantenance, defence, and saulfgaird, to be unhurt, unharmit, unchargeit, invadit, molestit, troublit, convenit, callit or persewit in law or by law be ony maner of persoun for ony caus or occasioun bygane preceding the dait heirof. Promesing in the word of a prince to keip and mantene and caus the said protectioun be fermelie and inviolablie keipit and observit to him and his foirsaidis in everie point during the said space. Willing lyikwyis and granting that for his said depairture and remaning he nor his foirsaidis sall not be callit nor accusit criminallie nor civilie nor incur ony skaith or danger thairfoir in any soirt, nochtwithstanding quhatsumevir his hienes actis, statutis, proclamationis or inhibitionis, generall or speciall, maid or to be maid, in the contrair, or ony panis contenit thairin, quahairnent his hienes dispensses be thir presentis. Dischargeing thairfoir all and sindrie loirdis of his hienes Counsall and Sessioun, his hienes Justice Generall and his deputtis, his Thesaurare, Advocat, and all uthiris his hienes officiaris of justice, ministeris of his lawis within this realme, of all calling and convening befoir thame of his hienes said trusty cousing and Counsallour or ony of his foirsaidis in any actioun or caus intentit or to be intentit aganis thame criminallie or civilie induring the said space, troubling or persewing thame or ony of thame to the prejudice or violatioun of any point of this his hienes speciall protectioun in any soirt, as thai and everie ane of thame wil anser to his majestie upoun the point of thair obedience at thair uttermest charge and perrell and undir all hieast panis that thai can commit and inrin aganis his majestie in that behalf, and that this present be ane sufficient warrand to the Greit Seill, nochtwithstanding it be not past nather signet nor Privie Seill. Subscrivit be his majestie at Dalkeith the sext day of September the zeir of God jmvc fourescoir twelf zeiris."
1 p. Copy. Indorsed by Robert Bowes. Underlined in parts. In a Scottish hand.
749. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 7.]
Before and since the receipt of his last letter, of the 29th of August, has sought access to the King at Dalkeith, but the King and Council there have been so occupied for the apprehension of Bothwell and his adherents, and about the examinations of Ardrye and Hackerson, lately taken at Leith, that hitherto no convenient time could be found for him [Bowes] before tomorrow or Saturday next.
The Master of Glamis and Sir George Hume were sent hither on the 4th instant with pretence of sundry errands, especially to entreat this town to pay to the King 2000 l. Scots, to be due at Whitsunday next for the interest of the dollars concredited to them by the King and Queen; but after 10 p.m. the Master of Glamis and Sir James Sandilands closely resorted to Abercromby's house in Leith, where they found and took the Laird of Ardrye and Captain Hakkerson in their beds and carried them with them to Dalkeith, where they have been straitly examined with the terror of the torments of the boots, and by other means, before the King, the Master of Glamis, the Justice Clerk, Sir John Carmichael, and Sir George Hume; which examiners either keep secret the confessions or else their dispositions will not yield the effects expected for proof against Spynie at his trial and for the accusations of others suspected to be guilty of crimes forfeiting their offices, to be distributed amongst the present courtiers.
This day Sir John Carmichael has delivered Ardrye and Hakkerson to the Provost of Edinburgh to be surely kept, and afterwards tried and executed, agreeable to the laws. Hakkerson has little hope of life: he is thought to be privy not only to the secrets of Bothwell, but also of the confederates for Spain; wherein he [Bowes] has sought that he may be well sounded by the fairest means likely to draw the truth out of him, but he shows such resolution that little matter of great importance can be hitherto got from him. Some suit is made for Ardrye's life, who pleads that he came to Leith to talk with Colonel Stewart, having warrant to confer with all men for the furtherance of his proof against Spynie. Albeit it is given out that one Kirkcaldy, a tailor, first discovered this assembly at Leith, yet many "drewe Ardrye to have put out Hakkerson," and that he intended to have done the like to Niddrie and Patrick Crommye, who supped at Leith with Ardrye and Hakkerson the same night that they were taken; and Ardrye earnestly entreated Niddrie to tarry there, offering to play with him at the cards that night, which Niddrie refused, saying that no man should know where he would lodge.
Is informed that Robin Hepburn, lately serving Bothwell, is quietly taken and kept and that Ardrye and he, with such others as they can bring, shall give evidence against Spynie to the assize, which is appointed, as he hears, to be four earls, six lords, and twelve barons, and whereof it is said that the Earls Marishal, Rothes, Morton, and Mar, and the Lords of Seaton, Sinclair, Sempill, Ochiltree, and others are named. Albeit it is looked that the assize shall be picked, and that the witnesses produced shall give sharp evidence against Spynie, yet he shall not be found guilty, and nevertheless lose his grace in Court.
Is informed that Ardrye has told the King that the Lord Hamilton and others of good quality, and in whom the King has great affiance, have agreed to join with Bothwell, a matter troubling the King greatly; and many think that it is a matter devised for the overthrow of the Hamiltons than grounded upon any sound truth.
Burleye, having promised to give the King further intelligence in matters for Bothwell, and to satisfy him by one Baforde [Balfour] in sundry of the King's desires, has so failed in his promise that the King having given Burleye licence to depart out of the realm, now calls again for him; but it is thought that he will not hastily come in.
The Duke of Lennox and Lord Hume, pretending with their forces to gather the tithes of Sprouston, rode forwards towards Kelso and Jedburgh, but their chief intention was to have taken Bothwell, Ferniherst, and Hunthill. For the King, lately advised that Ferniherst, Hunthill, and other Borderers had entered into intelligences with Bothwell, gave commission to the Duke to bring in Ferniherst and Hunthill, who came to the Duke with greater companies than the Duke had, and offered their services to the King in the raid against Cesford. But when the Duke would have stayed them and "caried" them to the King, they refused, praying to have leave to disperse their friends assembled, "and provyde themselves"; and promising to come to the Duke on the morrow, they returned to their houses and afterwards advertised the Duke that they needed not to be brought by force, for they would, of their own accord, come to the King within four or five days. With which answer the King returned to Dunglass after he had taken possession of such tithes of Sprouston as Cesford had not gathered; for Cesford, upon receipt of the King's letter, agreed to yield to the Duke the possession of the tithes remaining in the fields, but he could not deliver the tithes already brought into the barns and stackyards. It is doubted whether Ferniherst and Hunthill will enter at the day limited. In the mean season the King is greatly offended with this success in the Duke's journey, and it is thought that the King is now so stirred up against Bothwell that he will not hear of any motion to draw him out of the realm.
The town of St. Johnstone is like to be fined for their late outrage against the Laird of Clackmannan; Dundee to be fined for the escape of a prisoner, and Edinburgh has heard that the King being moved to pacify the troubles betwixt the merchants and craftsmen and to punish the authors in that sedition, answered that he would be no more hasty to help them than they were ready to rescue him at Falkland. It is feared that hereby these burghs shall conceive malcontentment, that other burghs shall join with them, and that few well affected shall be contented in their next elections of magistrates, at Michaelmas, to accept and bear offices amongst them.
Mr. David Lindsay and Mr. Robert Bruce, ministers, have had long conferences with Angus and Erroll and drew them to good conformity in the articles of religion. Angus professes to remain steadfast therein during his life. It was meant that they should have had their liberty, but they are so far off either joining with the courtiers or acknowledging themselves to be beholden in this part to the Master of Glamis, Sir George Hume, or to any present courtiers other than the Earl of Mar, that their enlargement is still deferred, and it is noted that some sparks of unkindness are fallen betwixt Erroll and the Master of Glamis.
It is reported confidently that on the 6th instant the Master of Glamis obtained the King's grant to be wholly Lord Treasurer and to have power to appoint such person to serve as vice-treasurer as he shall think good, yet the King does not take any knowledge hereof, showing his accustomed countenance and favour towards Sir Robert Melvill presently Treasurer. It is verily looked that the other officers of estate shall be altered, but the King cannot as yet be persuaded to like thereof, and Mar is much against the alteration of the old officers. Here is general expectation of great troubles and dangers to arise in this realm.
Sir John Carmichael has almost lost his sight by an old hurt of one of his eyes and by a thick film lately grown on the other eye, and this film or skin so daily increases that he looks to be utterly blind within short time, whereby he purposes to retire from Court and live quietly at home.
The ministers, lately convening here, have agreed to present to the King certain petitions appearing in the note enclosed. They have received fair promises, putting them in some hope for the execution of the laws against papists and the administration of justice for punishment of murders, chiefly on Huntly and his accomplices. They press him [Bowes] to aid them herein, which he will do with all his power, yet he partly distrusts the good success. They are purposed to warn Mar either to win Mistress Mary Stewart, the Duke's sister, to embrace the religion faithfully or else to forbear to take her to his wife; and they have some arrows to shoot at the Lord Hume. Thomas Tyrye and John Baylill, his [Hume's] two servants, have been entertained with extraordinary courtesies, as the ministers are informed, in many monasteries beyond seas, whereby it is meant to call them to account and to subscribe to the articles of religion, which they will do.
The King is not only pleased to grant license to the Chancellor to depart and remain abroad for three years, but also has employed the Chancellor to be his ambassador to the French King, and to receive him and all his possessions into the King's protection. It was meant that the Chancellor should have been sent in embassage to England, and some wide spaces or blanks were left in the bill to have been filled up, but by the advice of the Council these spaces were filled with the words limiting him to France or other parts beyond sea. That Burghley may know what words were inserted in the blanks, has written the words with his own ragged hand and also drawn a line underneath the words inserted. The licence, in this form, will be under the Great Seal tomorrow, yet suit will be made that the Chancellor may be employed as ambassador to the Queen of England, and by express words to have power to remain in England; against which it is looked that some courtiers will set themselves.
The return of Nicholson, his [Bowes'] servant, is greatly desired. The ambassadors of Denmark, ready to have come to Scotland, are stayed by the Lord Dingwall, and, as it is thought, by commissions given by the King and Queen. They were directed to have passed from hence to the Queen of England to certify the answer received from the King of Spain in the late motion for a general peace and in some other errands. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
32/3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
750. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 12.]
At his late access to the King, at Dalkeith, acquainted the King with the contents of Burghley's letters of the 21st and 29th of August last. Let the King know how greatly the Queen of England lamented his estate. Proceeded to persuade the King to embrace the good councillors presently about him, chiefly the persons named in Burghley's letter, and that the King and Council would enter into immediate execution of the laws for banishment of papists and punishment of murders. The King allowed the advice, recounting how oftentimes he had sought to put the same in practice. Assured the King that, without his liking, neither the Queen of England nor any of her Council shall show any favour to the Master of Gray, yet her majesty conceives that it would be better to suffer the Master to remain in some corner in England where he should not show any undutifulness to the King, rather than that he should be forced to flee out of Scotland to be Spanish or popish. The King answered that he was credibly informed that the Master of Gray had obtained warrant "to have oversight" in Northumberland, whereat he much stormed, saying that he was assured her majesty was not privy thereto. The King resolved "to staye himselfe" further herein upon answer from Roger Aston.
The assize to have been taken this day at Edinburgh for the trial of the Laird of Spynie is put over till the 24th instant, wherewith Spynie was little pleased. Colonel Stewart rode to the King at Dalkeith this morning and opened to the King as well his doings with Bothwell as also what matters and proof he had against Spynie. Spynie shall be called tomorrow to the King, to be examined secretly by the King's self, to the intent this matter may be compounded at the King's censure and pleasure, or else proceed to trial at the day limited. But this day being thus "shott," it is thought that the assize shall not be much troubled with such trial.
The King is pleased and purposed to send the Chancellor to the Queen of England in embassage, yet the Chancellor's repair thither will not be hasty. By these means the Chancellor is like to hold his office, and the Seal shall be committed to the keeping of some fit person. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
751. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 16.]
Has received his letters of the 6th, 7th, and 8th instant, together with a cipher. Yesterday his son, Ralph Bowes, and George Nicholson, his servant, returned to Edinburgh. Has advertised the Chancellor as well of the resolution taken by the Queen of England, as also of the advice given in that case.
The King continues at Dalkeith, attended on by the Duke of Lennox, Argyll, Morton, Mar, Hume, Fleming, the Master of Glamis, Carmichael, and Sir George Hume, but Carmichael, being almost blind, is purposed to retire and remain at his house at Carmichael. The Court is mightily troubled with fears proceeding upon jealousies within themselves, and by expectation of attempts by Bothwell and forces to be levied in the west by Hamilton, Maxwell, and others. It is seen that the courtiers cannot sustain the burden of the government of this broken estate without the assistance of more of the nobility and the advice of wise and well affected persons of the barons, Kirk and burghs, etc.
Lord John Hamilton, by his friends and by credible advice, has been given to think that Dumbarton Castle shall be taken from him and that his utter wreck is intended; and to avoid the perils he has been counselled to depart from Scotland. Hereupon he purposed to have come secretly in the night to Mr. Bowes for further advice. But knowing the apprehensions and bruits in Court, Mr. Bowes stayed his coming to him and his departure from Scotland, procuring him to send some fit person to signify the truth of his behaviour and actions "caried in great quietnes," and to offer his services with assurance "to flye all factions." This has been done, agreeable to the advice, and Hamilton is now quieted, resting devoted to the Queen of England, whose pleasure he desires to know in case he shall be "put at," and that Dumbarton shall be called for. Trusts these shall help to break, or at least to stay, hasty factions. Requests speedy directions herein, chiefly what shall be done for Dumbarton Castle and Lord Hamilton's departure in case of necessity.
The Chancellor is authorized by the King's warrant, now under the Great Seal, to be ambassador to the Queen of England, and the King will shortly deliver to him his especial letters and instructions. Sundry bruits have been raised to stir the King against the Chancellor, who has been bruited to have met with Maxwell at Drumlangrig, to have allured the Hamiltons, Maxwell, and his other friends to join with Bothwell, and to have resembled the King to a bagpipe sounding such tunes as the present courtiers list; yet the King's mind continues so steadfast towards him, and the Chancellor has so well satisfied the King by his late letters that these bruits have no edge to hurt him. Maxwell, hearing that it is noted in Court that he had gathered his friends together, sent an especial person to inform the King that he did it only for the King's service and to perform the promise made to the King, which the King takes in good part. Nevertheless the courtiers are still jealous of Maxwell herein.
The assize for the trial of Spynie is again deferred till the 3rd of next month. It is expected that Spynie shall be dismissed with loss of his place and of the King's favour. Colonel Stewart has now left the proof of the articles against Spynie to the King, who seeks further evidence against Spynie, who, commanded to ward in Edinburgh Castle, is seeking liberty upon caution and also that Colonel Stewart may be executed.
Ardrie and Hackerson, in the Tolbooth in Edinburgh, are respited, and the assize is adjourned for fourteen days. Ardrye shall have his pardon upon proof that Colonel Stewart by the King's warrant had won him to open to the colonel all things in his knowledge against Spynie, and that to inform himself better in those behalfs he put himself into the company of Niddrie, Hakkerson, and others familiar with Bothwell, whereby he was taken with Hakkerson. The Lord Hume is such an earnest suitor for Hakkerson that it is thought they shall both be pardoned.
Colonel Stewart and James Cochran [Cougheran], Constable of Blackness, met with Bothwell at Tiviedale, by the King's commission, to have drawn out some matters against Spynie, whom the earl cleared, and rebuked the colonel; and he delivered to Cochran a letter addressed to the Duke and others, and to such effects as by the copy of the same letter will appear to Burghley. Is told that the colonel then and at another meeting earnestly persuaded him [Bothwell] to withdraw out of Scotland for the King's honour and satisfaction, but he does not like to leave without better assurance, for he thinks himself able, by the strength of the Borderers and others, to sway the balance betwixt the present courtiers and any other party against them. He [Bothwell] chiefly desires to be received by the noblemen and Councillors now about the King, to the intent he may be joined with the sort best affected to religion, and thereby may more easily revenge the death of Murray against Huntly. Bothwell has obtained the goodwill of Ferniherst, Hunthill, town of Jedburgh, etc., and daily draws the hearts of many to him.
Bothwell was warned that the Duke of Lennox and Lord Hume would come to Jedburgh with pretence to take the tithes of Sprouston, but their errand was to surprise Bothwell, Ferniherst, Hunthill, and Bedrule, whereupon Bothwell put himself in safety, and Ferniher stand Hunthill met the Duke and Hume and dallied with them.
Ferniherst and Hunthill have not appeared at the day appointed, and the King has resolved to ride against them and by proclamation commanded the country to attend upon him to Jedburgh on the 25th instant. It is doubted that the purpose intended under this pretence shall have little better success than the Duke's raid to Jedburgh. Angus and Mar have been advised to put themselves in the King's will and join with the lords with the King, but they so misliked the conditions offered that they remain in close ward. The motion betwixt the Chancellor and Master of Glamis, and betwixt Crawford and the Master, are broken up without any concord. Upon forged message from the Queen, Bothwell should have been drawn to Linlithgow and there surprised, but by the advice of Mr. Colvile he refused to come.
Is informed that Bothwell's wife shall very shortly meet with Mar in the fields. Understands that Crawford, intending to travel into Germany, will entreat him [Bowes] to be a means that he may have the Queen of England's safe conduct to pass through England. He [Crawford] seems disposed to remain a while in England and to devote himself to her majesty's services. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2½ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk and Burghley. Partly in cipher, deciphered.
752. News from Scotland. [Sept. 16.]
"The newis I hard last of Court is my lord of Spyneis day of law continewit to xx dayis, and the crowner and he remains bayth in warde as thay war of befoir. The Chanslare hes gottin licens to pas of the cuntrie, and his leving to be upliftit be his wyfe to his use, bot gif he may ony better do he will byde. The Dwik, the Erlle of Argylle, Mar, Mortone, my lord Hume, and the Master of Glammes, and my lord Flemyng remanis all at courtt, and is all other this factione aganis the Chanslare. My lord Boidwell is bissie, and materis gais hard aboute the courtt. The Laird of Carmychaell is to gang to his awin houys to tak remeid for his sycht. The erlles of Arrell and Angous remanis bayth still in warde as zitt. The Laird of Ardrie, Lowmpisdaile, and Capitane Hakerstone sowld have bene put to tryell this last Moneday, bot thay war contenewit to that day viij dayis. This new factione is of mynde to change the Chanslare, the Thesawrer, the Comptroller, and the Collectour, and to mak the erle of Mar or Mortone Chanslar, the Master of Glames Thesawrer, and Sir George Hume his depuite, George Dowlas of Lochlevin the Collectour and [ (fn. 1) ] Comptroller. My lord Hume wald be the capitane of the garde. My lord Wardane of Scotland mett with the Chanslare this last Tyesday at the Kirk of Penpont, within twa myles Drumlanrick, and meittis ther agane this next Tyesday, as I can heir. All materis is dowtfull in this cuntrie. God send remeid. Thar was ane charge gevin my lord Wardane this last Fryday in his majestes name if he mellit nocht with ony of the barones. His majesty takis jurnay to the vist on Tyesday cum viij dayis gif it gett na stope.
[Written on the back.] I heir that my lord Wardane is informitt that my lorde Bodwell sowldbe ressett in Carleisle in pretie maner for his adois. Signature in cipher, and "Wische no better."
½ p. In a Scottish hand. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk. "Advises out of Scotland."
753. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 23.]
The day after his last letter to Burghley he received Burghley's letter of the 9th instant touching the advertisements given to his lordship from Carlisle of the Chancellor's being at Drumlanrig and of his meeting with Maxwell. Has been tied to bed for a good part of the week. This estate, rent in sunder, is continually tossed with alterations. The King has heard many tales against the Chancellor during his abode at Drumlanrig, where he will remain till the Provost of Lenclouden shall come to him from the Court. Lenclouden departed towards Drumlanrig on the 21st instant. The Chancellor met Maxwell and sought to have removed the dryness betwixt Maxwell and Drumlanrig, who being reconciled about a year had fallen again into some unkindness. But the Chancellor took no part with Maxwell against the barons suiting to the King to revoke Maxwell's patent, neither has he entered in any faction or party with Hamilton, Bothwell, or any other, as has been reported. He also met some of the barons now at Court against Maxwell, namely, Lochenvar, to whom he said that he advised the King to draw out of Maxwell's patent for the west wardenry the extraordinary clause giving him power to keep a Justice Court, to put to the horn, and to take up the escheats; wherewith the barons are grieved and have complained to the King and Council, who have given order to suspend the practice of that authority, and that he shall bring in his patent on 31st October next. It is said that Lochenvar told the King what the Chancellor said to him in this matter, and that the King passed hard terms against the Chancellor and thought him guilty of all other things reported of him; whereupon the King was tempted to have revoked his licence to go into England. Is credibly advised that the King told Lochenvar, and openly affirmed at the Council, that indeed he caused this clause to be inserted in Maxwell's patent against the advice of his whole Council. The licence granted to the Chancellor is not impeached. The Chancellor fears that, having once departed out of the realm, he shall be summoned to appear before the King and Council within sixty days, and failing therein, that his lands, offices, and possessions shall be intromitted; yet he builds his hope of standing upon the constancy of the King's favour, which hitherto is not seen failing to him.
The Duke [of Lennox] was advised, and well liked to accept the office of Lord Chancellor, but being given to think, as it is now told him [Bowes], that the exercise of that office should "imbase" the estimation of his estate and person—being now thought to be next heir to the King—he is resolved to refuse it. Therefore it was devised to offer it to Mar, who will not take it. Is told that the Duke keeps an especial person in England to follow his causes there, and that still, by the advice of great personages here, he longs after Arbella [Stewart].
The Master of Glamis and Sir Robert Melvill are reconciled by the King. The office of Lord Treasurer shall be restored to the Master, and Sir Robert Melvill shall hold his office of vice-treasurer. Hears that neither party is pleased in heart. The bands of marriage betwixt the Earl of Mar and Mistress Mary Stewart, the Duke's sister, have been published. The solemnization of the marriage is appointed to be at Dalkeith on Sunday, the 1st of October next, much against the will of Mar's friends and of very many well affected in Scotland. Mar has fallen into relapse of his former disease.
It has been newly bruited that the Lord Hamilton has prepared eighteen ensigns in Edinburgh, and that some ministers of especial credit have been privy thereto and to the enterprise intended. Besides, is told that some in Court have offered to the King very earnest advice for his sharp proceedings against the ministers; wherein the King's own answer to the Councillors has killed the progress of the course advised. Hamilton can easily clear himself because, as he [Bowes] hears, he has not provided any ensigns or practised anything to be attempted. The ministers purpose to be petitioners to the King to try what fault can be found in any of them.
The other day the Duke of Lennox and the Master of Glamis, by the King's direction, travailed with the Provost and Session of this town for the choice of a fit person to succeed the Provost at Michaelmas next, to compound the griefs betwixt the merchants and the craftsmen of Edinburgh, and to require them to furnish the King with 100 men for his guard to attend upon him whilst he shall continue at Dalkeith, or for some few months, and for which they should be discharged of this raid to Jedburgh. The whole Council and Session of this town have resolved that all landed men shall send horsemen and all others shall attend on the King on foot in this raid to Jedburgh, to begin on the 25th instant, but they would not agree to bear the charge of 100 men for the King's guard for any time. It is now persuaded that if Ferniherst or Hunthill can be brought in to the King, this raid to Jedburgh shall be needless. Great means are made to draw Ferniherst to come this day to the King, but he doubts much how to carry himself clean betwixt the King and the Duke, etc.
The Duke and Master of Glamis have very lately travailed with Angus and Erroll to submit to the King. They appear in general terms to be conformable, and upon the performance thereof they shall be set at liberty, and brought to the Court in case they will join with the courtiers there. Erroll is already carried to the Court to be examined what gold has been brought into this realm from foreign parts in the last week, what the sum is, and from whom and to whom it is sent. For "it is done the King" to think that a little barque of 20 tons put in last week to the bay at the mouth of the little brook in the "Pethe" betwixt Copperspeth and Dunglass and there discharged sundry packs of clothes, and immediately put forth to the seas. It is given out credibly that in these packs of clothes a large mass of treasure was hidden, which was conveyed away by night. There is some bruit that these packs were cast down near Dunglass.
The Lord Fleming has lately quarrelled with Sir James Lindsay, an especial favourite of the King. It is thought to be done to "decourt" Sir James with his brother the Laird of Spynie, but the King, winking at the matter, has willed Sir James to abide in Court, and he has written quietly to Spynie in very favourable terms testifying that he is loth to taste of any alteration.
Ardrie and Hakkerson at their arraignment put themselves wholly in the King's will, whereby the assize was discharged. Ardrie still pleaded that by the King's warrant delivered to Colonel Stewart he agreed, by himself and such others as he could find, to bring sufficient matter against Spynie, and thereon, drawing Hakkerson to him for that purpose, they came together to confer with the colonel at Leith, where they were taken together. They are like to be pardoned unless the making of the infamous libel against the King shall prove to be done by Hakkerson.
It is discovered, and much noted in Court, that Maxwell has prepared in this town four ensigns for footmen, with the King's arms on one side and the arms of the Earl of Morton quartered with his own on the other side. All this is answered to be done by virtue of his office and for the King's service. It is said that Bothwell has caused sundry cornets to be made here for him, and it is looked that he shall shortly show the same in field. Colonel Stewart has sought to tryst and meet with Bothwell, but Bothwell distrusting his purpose has broken off with him, and now the King has declared openly and with great earnestness that he will not hear any motion in favour of Bothwell. It is thought that the courtiers will endeavour to get Bothwell out of the realm with some fair conditions and without blemish of the King's honour.
Because a Borderer by his letter certified Maxwell that Bothwell had been received by divers persons and in several places in England and Scotland, and that Maxwell sent the letter to the King, who immediately sent to him [Bowes] a note thereof, and to such effect as by view of the copy enclosed will appear, and also prayed him [Bowes] to learn and advise him [the King] of the truth and to acquaint her majesty with the same, therefore has written to Richard Lowther and sent to him the double of the letter, trusting that upon his answer he [Bowes] shall readily give satisfaction to the King and Burghley. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
4¼ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.
754. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 26.]
Since my last letter to your lordship the Earls of Angus and Erroll have been brought to the Court, where, by their confessions, they have so well satisfied the King that, with the advice of the Council there, they are now at liberty and great courtiers, and were appointed to have attended on the King in his raid to Jedburgh against Ferniherst and Hunthill; for which raid the King and others were in readiness to have marched forwards to Peebles this day, where the Lords Hume, Fleming, and divers others should have met the King, and the next day have ridden to Jedburgh, where Maxwell with his forces and the countries warned by proclamation should have come to the King; but advertisement was brought to the Court yesternight that Ferniherst and Hunthill would refuse to come in [and] that Bothwell was strongly accompanied with Borderers and others and would show himself in the fields to the King and his army before he came to Peebles. The courtiers did not like to trust to Maxwell's strengths, notwithstanding that he has given the King good and frequent intelligence. The Lord Hume returned yesternight to the Court very slenderly accompanied, without his friends or followers. Mar and the Master of Glamis are sick and not able to ride, and the country warned by proclamation give little obedience, the rather because their corn is not yet gathered. Therefore it was thought meet and resolved yesternight before supper to continue and defer that journey until the 10th of October next. The King is greatly disquieted herewith, and all men look for confusion to follow in this realm, for the prevention whereof few or none are ready to put hand.
Bothwell openly runs up and down on the Borders, at Jedburgh and other places, at his pleasure. It is thought that his forces and friends assembled with him shall not depart and breakin sunder without resolution of some enterprise to be attempted; wherein the Laird of Tynnye, [sic] sent with advertisements to the King from Maxwell, told the King that Bothwell trusted to find some about the King who would either "put out" the King to him or at least not fight against him; and it is affirmed that if the King please to convene the nobility and to deal graciously with him, he shall discover to the King and convention of the nobility some more about the King who have promised to give him intelligence and do all in their power to draw the King into his hands.
The marriage betwixt Mar and Mistress Mary Stewart, the Duke's sister, shall be solemnized on Sunday next at Dalkeith in case Mar shall in that time well recover his health. This proceeds much against the will of sundry of Mar's friends and of many persons well affected. The minister of Dalkeith is like to be warned to beware to make the marriage before the lady, suspected in religion, shall satisfy the Kirk, and it is intended that the Countess of Huntly, presently come to the Court for this marriage, and Mistress Mary, her sister, shall be summoned by the next Assembly of the Kirk to subscribe to the articles of religion.
The Chancellor "[Menelaus"] for sundry reasons is advised to remain in Scotland, wherein the Queen's majesty shall be sounded, and in case the King of Scots will not grant the request, then they will repair to England, as shortly your lordship shall be advertised with better certainty upon the progress of this cause.
The Laird of Spynie is commanded to ward at Dalkeith, or within four miles thereof, with promise that he shall have his trial at the day limited for the same. His brother, Sir John Lindsay, was willed in the King's name to leave the King's Chamber and depart from the Court, but by the King's secret pleasure he remained still and now enjoys the King's and Queen's good countenance, as before he wonted. Colonel Stewart has obtained licence to depart out of the realm and prepares to pass into the Low Countries with the speed he can. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1¼ pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk. Partly in cipher.
755. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Sept. 29.]
Received yesterday his letter of the 22nd instant. The Chancellor is still at Drumlanrig, and by the labour of the Lord Secretary to the King, with some help given by himself [Bowes], he obtained leave to come into and abide in England; whereupon the King thought meet to send him as ambassador to the Queen of England, but none of the Councillors now about the King, except the Earl of Mar, liked his coming into England. Nevertheless the King granted the same at the Chancellor's request, presented by the Secretary.
The Councillors presently about the King and in credit are the Duke of Lennox, the Earls of Argyll, Morton, Mar, the Lords Hume and Fleming, the Master of Glamis, Sir John Carmichael, and Sir George Hume. The Earls of Angus and Erroll were lately prisoners in Edinburgh Castle for their confederacy and intelligences with Bothwell: now they are at liberty and in Court, especially Erroll, who has plainly confessed and disclosed to the King as well all his own doings in any matter with Bothwell, as also the actions of others drawing him into that course, and chiefly of Colonel Stewart, who first allured him to join with Bothwell and afterwards brought to him Mr. John Colvile, who tarried with him seven or eight days devising sundry plots which could not be brought to execution. Hereby the King perceived that Colonel Stewart had not satisfied the trust which he lately gave him. For although the King examined him so inwardly, and he confessed so largely therein that the King thought he had fully discovered all his knowledge, yet upon enquiry of these things revealed by Erroll, the colonel could not deny them. Whereupon the King, repenting that he had given him licence to pass out of the country, has shaken him off and wills him to hasten his departure.
Angus has acknowledged to have met the Countess of Bothwell and the Laird of Spott, but he denies sundry things which Maxwell opened to the King against him, and he has not yet given satisfaction to Sir George Hume touching the Laird and possessions of Spott. Erroll, by many solemn protestations, has avowed his obedience to the King. Erroll has returned to his own house with promise to attend on the King on the 10th of October in his raid to Jedburgh.
He [Bowes] and his clerk erred in certifying by letter of the 16th instant that Angus and Mar were still prisoners in Edinburgh Castle. Their error is that Mar is entered for Erroll.
The Earl Bothwell has directed his letters to the Duke of Lennox, the Earls of Argyll, Morton, and Mar, the Master of Glamis and "remanent" nobility about his majesty. It has been commonly thought that Bothwell has noted the Chancellor, Sir John Carmichael, and Sir George Hume to have been his principal adversaries amongst the Councillors now about the King. Some think that the late goodwill betwixt him [Bothwell] and the Lord Hume is partly shaken, in regard that Hume has received and possesses Coldingham.
Will warn Lord Hamilton ("Scipio") to bear his sail lower, and also he [Bowes] will beware to be seen to give comfort that may be taken offensively; but whereas he stands greatly upon the counsel of "Antonius" to know what to do in case Dumbarton shall be called for, beseeches Burghley to cause the same to be done with speed.
By letters received from Richard Lowther, perceived that the information given by Maxwell to the King touching Bothwell's being in the citadel in Carlisle is not true. Many of the Grahams and other Englishmen of the West Borders accompanied Bothwell at Hawick and assisted him to ride against the King.
At his [Bowes'] late access to the King and several conferences with Mar and other Councillors has earnestly travailed to persuade them to consider rightly in what danger the King and estate stand, etc. Since the coming to court of the Countess of Huntly, the Laird of Petlargo, Alexander Duff, and other friends and servants of Huntly attending on the Countess have moved sundry ministers here to receive the submission and repentance of Huntly for his fault by the slaughter of Murray and also to intercede with the King and Council for him. The ministers have answered that, forasmuch as he has again fallen into open papistry, they may not receive him before he shall give evident proof of his true repentance and new conversion, neither dare they move the King or Council in his favour. They doubted also whether these suitors had commission given by Huntly himself. In this treaty advice was given that Huntly should withdraw to England, Geneva, Zurich, or other fit place, where he might be instructed in the religion and make his reformation appear. But the commissioners answered that he would never go to England, and he could not be in safety in other foreign places, neither might his friends want his presence and assistance in their present troubles. The matter thus rests without suspicion that this motion and answer to the same shall turn to and be made some pique and quarrel against the ministers, who now call for justice against Huntly as freshly as they did at the beginning. But it is answered that the King's murder— meaning the intentions and attempts to kill the King—ought first to be punished, by which occasion the wounds in the hearts of Murray's friends and of the people bleed again; nevertheless it is not looked that this Court shall give great regard thereto.
The King is purposed to return hither in four or five days. The King was minded to have lodged in this town, but the houses here do not please him. He prepares great forces for his raid to Jedburgh on the 10th of October against Bothwell, Ferniherst, and Hunthill. He has sought advice whether he may call a Parliament without his Council and nobility, wherein resolution is not yet given by the Advocate and others; and the success in the last Parliament was found of contrary course to his mind and desires, as it is holden dangerous for him in this sort and in this evil condition of this confused state to call another.
Bothwell continues openly on the Borders. It is looked here that he shall seize and cause to be threshed the corn at Kelso and Sprouston. But knowing that advertisements of him and his doings shall be given to Burghley by others, leaves all the same to their report. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk. Partly in cipher.