James VI: November 1592

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

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, 'James VI: November 1592', in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) pp. 800-820. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp800-820 [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "James VI: November 1592", in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) 800-820. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp800-820.

. "James VI: November 1592", Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936). 800-820. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp800-820.

In this section

James VI: November 1592

769. Occurrences in Scotland. [Nov.]

The troubles in Edinburgh have not ceased, for the restraint of the trade in Spain, the change of the market from Monday to Wednesday, and the division of the whole town into eight several parishes. The fury is great, with suspicion that it is nourished by the papists and seditious, and there is intelligence betwixt some papists and some of the crafts stirring chiefly these troubles. A bitter libel was cast into the pulpit and into the house of John Cairns. The copy thereof is enclosed. Some using to trade into Spain and denying to be restrained, have said that as the Scotsman who traded into England before the reformation of religion took part with the reformers, so they, "occupienge" for Spain, shall "partye" the favourers of Spain. The present magistrates here are blamed for some negligence and recklessness herein.

In Aberdeen there are presently two provosts; one drawn in forcibly by Huntly, the other by the choice of the town, with the means of Forbes. Bothwell, coming to St. Andrews on Sunday, tarried there till Tuesday. He showed himself openly there and visited his two sons: he haunts Edinburgh much, and rides at his pleasure with small company. Niddrie and some others of his principal followers have left him and are in hope and in good way of their pardon.

Lord Lindsay, coming from hawking to an alehouse in Fife, found there Mr. John Murray with some others of Bothwell's followers, who had taken and kept close and blindfold, against his will, Kirkcaldy, the tailor in Leith, by whose means Hakkerson and others were taken. The tailor hearing the Lord Lindsay's tongue came to him and on his knees prayed his help, and thereon Lindsay took him and sent him away with the lady his wife, and himself passed to the fields with two men, whom Murray with five others followed and assaulted with a pistol and three swords. But Lindsay and his servants defended themselves and escaped. Afterwards, Murray espying Lindsay's eldest son, a child, in the fields, took him and carried him away, and still they detain him.

Sundry of Liddisdale have come in to the King, and are ready to give assurance for their good behaviour. The Duke, their Keeper, is ready to ride into Liddisdale to establish all things there in order. It was looked that he should have appointed Farnihurst to be his deputy for Liddisdale, but hitherto it is not done. Mar continues very weak, and the Master of Glamis has relapsed into new sickness, with some danger.

Hakkerson had lately offered to the King that he would prove by the testimony of David Moffat and William Allen, of Leith, that Spynie met and conferred with Bothwell in Restalrig. Allen, examined, confessed that Hakkerson had dealt with him to have witnessed so much, but he never knew any such thing. Some others have been examined, and prove nothing against Spynie; whereupon the King had granted his letters that he shall have his trial, or else to be declared by proclamation to be clear and discharged of the crimes laid against him. He appeared in the Tolbooth on the 1st instant, and Colonel Stewart was there. But nothing is done. Spynie is kept from his place in the King's Chamber.

It has been bruited that Sir James Stewart should be called again to the Court, and the same was thought to have been sought for the "wracke" of the Lord Hamilton and Chancellor, but this is like to be found of little truth, notwithstanding that some great courtiers seek and wish it.

The Earl of Atholl lately by his letters required the King to give him licence to do justice in the lands of the Earl of Murray, now in the King's ward, and in his custody by the King's grant. He had appointed to have lodged the other night at Badenoch [Bageynoghe], where his supper was provided, and Huntly suddenly came thither with 1200 men on horseback and on foot, thinking to have surprised him. Atholl, with 80 of his ordinaries and retinue, was warned of Huntly's doings and purpose before he came to his lodging, by three-quarters of a mile, and thereon, with advice, he retired, and called his friends and forces together. He is again forth to try whether Huntly will stop him or not. He has taken the defence of Mackintosh against Huntly. By the King's especial letters Mackintosh has been lately directed to be put to the horn. The King and Council are ready to pacify these wars; but being thus far entered, it is uncertain what shall come thereon.

Great search was made yesterday in Edinburgh for Bothwell, Burley, Logie, and Mr. John Colvile, for it was known to very many, and the King was informed, that they were in this town. The King remained in the town all the day, and returned at night without his dinner. None of these, or any other of Bothwell's followers, were found, and thereon proclamation was made that all such as had received and harboured Bothwell or any of his accomplices, and will come and confess the same, should be pardoned, and such others as were guilty and would not thus come in and confess, but be proved afterwards to be guilty, "should losse ther lyves and be hanged."

12/3 pp. In the hand of Bowes' clerk. Indorsed by Burghley, "Scotland."

Enclosure with the same:—

(Libel against the Ministers.)

Printed in D. Calderwood, Hist. of the Kirk of Scotland, (Wodrow Soc), v. 177

Will Watson's wordes or Bruce's boist availl?
Can Carnis or Craige mak marchants to remaine?
Malcankers cryes a whitt shall not prevaill:
Balfour may bark, but all wilbe in vaine:
Ye spewe your spytes on sic as sayles to Spaine,
And leaves lyk lardes by bryberye of the poore;
Howbeit we beg, providinge ye gett gaine.
Ye of your stipends will not want ane stuir;
Ye crye for Kirks for furnishinge of your cuir,
Not taking tent howe men maye doe the tourne.
I fear your falles your dayes cannot endure;
The best amange you wilbe laith to burne.

Ye curse but cause by warrand of the word,
We neid not feare the furye of your sworde.

What moves your myndes to mell with markett dayes?
What lawe alleidge you for sic foolish actis?
Your gukket zeale procures ane great disprais,
And heapes contempt and hatred on your backes:
The common people craves your publick wrackes,
Detests your tournes and dammis your devilish deids.
The devill himself can forge na curster factes.
Ye are but wolves cledd upp in wethers weides;
Ye look lyk lambes, yet in your bossome breids
A poison'd speach poore people that perverts.
I hope to see your selves or elles your seids
Abandon'd all lyk utlawes in desertes.

Ye scorne but Christ, your countrye, kirk, and Kinge,
Prescryband points as Scribes in everye thinge.

¾ p. Copy in the hand of Bowes' clerk. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk, "Copye of the libell caste in the pulpitt in the great Churche, and in John Carnis house, againste the ministers in Edenburgh, 24 Oct., 1592."

Copy of the same.

Cott. Calig., D. II., fol. 79b.

770. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Nov. 4.]

Forasmuch as the causes to be certified to Burghley are many, diverse, and weighty, commends all to the report of the bearer, George Nicholson, his servant. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

771. Robert Bowes' Instructions to George Nicholson. [Nov. 4.]

"Instruccions to George Nicholson, sent to report to the Lord Threasurer the present estate and occurrantes heare, with other thinges requesyte for hir Majestes service."

On the 29th of October last, received Burghley's letter of the 22nd of October, together with the French "occurrantes." Requests that the foreign "occurrantes" be sent to him, or that he may be allowed to "plante" a person in France to give intelligence. It is uncertain what shall become of the professors of religion here. The remedy advised by Burghley, that the Ministers shall procure the religious noblemen to band themselves for preservation of religion, can hardly be effected, in regard that chiefly the nobility and also others of action are so far disjointed that three faithful instruments of good quality and power cannot be joined to take due care and travail for that cause. For the present has provided, as much as he could to "shalder" sudden attempts, for prevention of the perils threatened, yet the medicine seems over weak for the disease. Begs to be directed in all his courses in every cause, "and with everye person, for the remedye to be prescribed by her majesties order and dereccion to me."

Because it will not please her majesty that the Chancellor shall go into England, therefore has sought that he make means to return to the King and his service under him, otherwise that he may retire and live at his own house. The Chancellor's wife finds the courtiers very earnest to cast him the [Chancellor] out of the country, chiefly in respect that the King stands fast in his affection and promises for his benefit. She has lately been informed that the Queen of Scots has required the Queen of England to show the Chancellor no favour or reception in England. Has been greatly pressed to procure the Queen of England's favour, for the Chancellor's former service and goodwill and for the good offices which hereafter he will do, that he may abide in England privately, in regard that the King will be pleased therewith and that he and his friends will endeavour to deserve it. Keeps his former course to the Chancellor, his wife, and friends. Requests direction whether he shall provide an "oversight" for the Chancellor in England, or what answer he shall give him.

The doings of the King in his raid to Jedburgh are sufficiently certified by Roger Aston, yet [Bowes] has mention of some things purposed to have been done in England by the Duke of Lennox, with the King's direction, as opened to him by Lord Maxwell. His [Bowes'] "familliar" advised him that the fathers here had "travelled and spoyle manye horses for th'expedition of ther buissines brought this farr"; that five hostages shall be sent to the King of Spain; that Mr. Andrew Clark shall immediately pass by sea with report of this and with letters in cipher addressed by some noblemen and fathers severally to the Count of Arques or Arkes, Abbot of Barton, and resident at St. Cuyers, and who is lineally descended from the Earl Buchan, called Cumming, and is deputed by the King of Spain to "tryste" and treat with all parties in these affairs; and that these pledges shall be carried over by Fentry, in case he shall be driven to depart, or else by others; that the forces to come first by the King of Spain's commandment shall be 5000, to land in the north and always reside about the King and the noblemen with him "for a heade and garde"; and that garrisons shall be planted on the Borders, and in due time an army to be levied and employed against England, all those to be done at the King of Spain's charges, for alteration of religion and in wars against England. After the hostages are prepared and the band subscribed and perfected, with all other things put in readiness, then a person of greater quality—as Fentry or other—shall pass to Parma and to the Count of Arkes.

Clark will assure for these persons on the south of Firth, the Duke of Lennox, Hume, Maxwell, Herries, Seton, the Master of Livingston, the Lairds of Greynhead and Lunton; and on the north of Firth, Huntly, Crawford, Erroll, Montrose, Caithness, the Countess of Sutherland—for the earl is not esteemed—Oglevy and Gray. The fathers will deal with Bothwell by means of Hume, and privately. This much is by the information of Bowes' "familliar," who is still ready to do good services. Requests that "this good instrument" may be rewarded thankfully with some licence to transport beer or broadcloths without paying any custom. Renews his suit as well for this "familliar" as also for the other intelligencer, who daily does good offices. This party gave light of Bothwell's purpose—"water."

Sir James Stewart, late Earl of Arran, by Mr. John Sharpe, advertised some of the ministers here that he was tempted to have enterprised a massacre for the alteration of religion and the estate. This was made known to the King, who said that "Sir James used to lye," nevertheless he was fully persuaded that the papists in Scotland intended some violent and wicked attempt. Bowes' "familliar" verily thinks that the fathers or other catholics will not hazard any secret to Sir James' credit. Sir James has certified that two strangers of honourable degree are secretly kept in the houses of Huntly and Erroll and are honoured with greater reverences than is used to be done to the earls themselves. They are thought to be Englishmen, but his "familliar" suspects them to be legates or churchmen of great quality. Is credibly informed that such person is indeed with Huntly.

Some of the nobility and others of good credit have confirmed that the papists have in hand a dangerous enterprise against religion, the professors thereof, and England, and some of the best sort have given advertisement that six especial persons shall shortly surprise the King and detain him captive. Promise is made that either the "principall," made for this action and subscribed by many of the confederates, or else a true copy thereof, shall be showed to him [Bowes].

Nicholson is to deliver to Burghley a copy of the letter intercepted by Bowes' means at Aberdeen, and the book before promised, and to inform Burghley that Mr. Adam Simpson left in Yorkshire two great packets of letters addressed by Mr. Robert Bruce in Flanders, and by English Catholics to sundry Englishmen. Has given it out that all these letters left in England were intercepted and brought to the Earl of Huntingdon, together with a Jesuit who had discovered all things; whereupon the earl had ridden to London to acquaint her majesty with these things and to decipher the letters "th'effectes wherof touchinge this nacion should be sent to me, and therby all thinges shoulde be heare disclosed." Some of Hume's friends seek him [Bowes] to be a means to draw him out of this evil way and to save his honour; and many ways it has done good.

Mr. John Colvile sent to him [Bowes] that if he would hear him he would disclose matters greatly and dangerously concerning her majesty's person and estate. Has agreed and met him. Colvile frankly offered Bothwell's services to the Queen of England, and, as possible, submission to the King. He [Colvile] denied that either any overture for his [Bothwell's] peace was made to him by any, or that he had sought the same by any means or persons employed by him, yet he confessed that this present Court favoured him and that from henceforth he would not seek to surprise the King or do any violence towards him. It is to be noted that the King told him [Bowes] that the borderer suiting to him for Bothwell's peace upon offer of submission was sent by Bothwell, and Bowes former intelligencer affirms constantly that the messenger sent by Erroll to Bothwell with articles of peace still assures him that he had commission to treat with Bothwell. The King is very resolute, telling him [Bowes] that he was never directly moved for Bothwell's peace in any such manner; that none, he thinks, will now move him, and that he will never grant it. Since this supposed treaty nothing has been attempted by Bothwell. Niddrie and sundry others chief about him [Bothwell] have forsaken him and are in hope of their pardon, agreeable to the articles alleged. Bothwell sent especial warning to the King by Mr. John Geddye. He [Bothwell] and Mr. John Colvile have been boldly in this town and many others. The King hunts at his pleasure, with very small company and without fear of peril, and intelligence continues betwixt Erroll and Bothwell, for the Lord Lindsay was lately advertised by Rothes that Erroll had been with Bothwell. At length he [the King] told him [Bowes] that the King of Spain was pleased and had promised to send into Scotland next spring 5000 strangers, with sufficient treasure to levy and pay 10,000 men to invade England with the aid of this nation, and to obtain a liberation of conscience to be granted to the Catholics in Scotland; that a person of good quality shall be shortly sent to the Duke of Parma with full report of the readiness of all men and the causes here; so that the action shall proceed without doubt, yet hitherto it is only in fieri and intention, and not fully concluded for the manner, time, and other circumstances, in regard that all the same must be done by the advice and order of Bothwell, who should be the principal executioner and general, and who shall be shortly acquainted with all things, that he may dispose thereof as pleases him.

Bothwell offers to be wholly directed by the Queen of England's will and pleasure in these things: he has hitherto delayed and refused to enter into this action, and if her majesty shall reject him, then his case is such that he must otherwise provide his relief and for his company by the most honest means he can, praying and pressing him [Bowes] very earnestly to procure with all speed the address of her majesty's pleasure and resolution whether she will receive him into her favour and support. Has excused himself to be no fit instrument to present this matter to her majesty. Nevertheless told him that he would take some advice with himself. Requests Burghley to hasten the direction what he shall do. To prevent the mischief which may fall by the discovery of his meeting with Mr. Colvile—as nothing here can be kept secret—has in familiar manner craved remission of the King for such venial fault as in due season he [Bowes] shall open to him. Sought for light of some further particularities in this popish plot, but he [Colvile] could not, or would not further inform him.

Bothwell has been told that the Queen of England had written to the King a bitter letter against him, and that he [Bowes] had advised the Chancellor to beware to deal with him. These things Bothwell takes heavily; but herein he [Bowes] let him understand that the contents of her majesty's letter were not seen or known to him [Bowes], and that he had not written or sent any letter to the Chancellor, yet the informer promised to produce his [Bowes'] letter, which he cannot do, for in truth he has not written at all to the Chancellor.

The King sent Roger Aston to let him [Bowes] know that he had very newly received strange messengers and offers from the Duke of Parma on behalf of the King of Spain. Yesternight the King told him that he had received a message from the Duke of Parma, delivered to him by one of his own subjects; that one of his subjects, conferring with Parma, was required by Parma to declare to the King of Scots in secret and friendly manner that the King of Spain hearing of the King of Scots' troubled estate, and knowing of his good disposition to keep faith and trust with his friends, was desirous to have a firm amity and intelligence with him, which should be to this King's great honour and profit; wherein the Duke of Parma offered largely all his power and goodwill for the King of Scots' "most" benefit, wishing the King of Scots to accept the King of Spain's offer. Upon the King of Scots' demand what the offer was, it was told him by the messenger that the King of Spain had provided and put in readiness 40,000 crowns to be delivered to Bothwell for his relief, and for the comfort and support of the Catholics in Scotland; but now the King of Spain is content not only to give and deliver all these crowns to the King of Scots himself, but also by his further aid to enable him to obtain and enjoy the kingdom of England. The King finding himself suspected, and to draw the messenger to plainness, said that, according to the custom of princes, he liked well to embrace things most profitable for himself and his subjects; adding that he had found unkindness in the Queen of England, to whom he was bound in most strait amity, and thereby he might "the rather tourne to his owne benifitt offred." The King was assured that the King of Spain raising an army against England, the same should be employed to the King of Scots' service and commandment for the advancement of himself and his claim to the crown of England, for which he should be furnished with plenty of treasure and all other forces and necessaries that he should not need to distrust the wished success. The King alleged that his religion did not agree with the King of Spain's, and that he was by treaty solemnly accorded in strait amity with the Queen of England, which he could not violate without dishonour, so that thereby and otherwise he could not lead any army against her majesty or suffer England to be invaded.

The answer was that the Duke of Parma let the messenger know that if the King of Scots did not like to claim and take his right during the Queen of England's life, and still to keep his amity with her majesty, then the King of Spain would be pleased to forbear to arm or send any army against England, and refer to the King of Scots' judgment the quarrels depending betwixt the King of Spain and the Queen of England, and that after her majesty's decease the King of Scots should be sufficiently strengthened by the aid of Spain that he should obtain and enjoy the kingdom of England.

The like offers, the King of Scots said, were presented to him by Colonel Sempill, and whilst he treated therein the King of Spain sent forth his navy and army against England and Scotland; therefore he asked what surety he should now have for better dealing, and why this great liberality was tendered to him without his desert or power to recompense, and what the King of Spain would demand at his hands?

This matter has been communicated to and approved by the Duke du Maine and others the King of Scots' friends in France, by whom he should be assured that the King of Spain should faithfully perform with him, and for the stronger obligation, Secretary Cosmo and Mr. Robert Bruce, now in Flanders, should, in the King of Spain's name and behalf, bind in writing with the King therein. Secondly, that a fast amity and strait league to be accorded betwixt the King of Spain and this King should so sufficiently profit and please the King of Spain that he would think all his kindness and charges offered to be well bestowed, and for all the same he would demand no more than thus to be joined in amity and league with him, and that the Catholics in Scotland might have ease and "oversight." It was noted by the King that the readiness to deliver so great a mass of money to Bothwell, his known rebel, argued little regard by the King of Spain or Parma for the King's life, honour, or welfare; therefore the messenger offered that Parma should send for Bothwell, if the King listed, so that he should no more trouble him. So shall Parma, says the King, be chargeable with dishonourable dealing. But the other answered that Parma would entertain and keep him still in that country with honourable allowance. Such protecting and maintaining of Bothwell, said the King, would prove little favour towards him, and he would give no thanks for the same. Whereupon they broke up without resolution and upon "advysment" to confer again.

[In the margin.] It is like that he will advise by view of his instructions or with conference with some authorised to manage this matter.

After the King had at great length "shewed" these things to him [Bowes] he recounted many reasons moving him to keep holy and fast the amity with her majesty, and also many other things done on his behalf to testify his care and readiness for the same, and protested solemnly to continue always in that course, as long as he finds that her majesty thankfully accepted his goodwill herein and in his "particulers" met him with like kindness, wherein he can not or will not distrust her good disposition and affection towards him.

The King of Scots required that, for his own honour and satisfaction, and generally to answer the expectations of his subjects, it may please her majesty to give order speedily that Thomas Carlton, Walter Graham, Dick's Davie, and such other principal persons as shall be proved to have been at the raid of Falkland with Bothwell, or to have received him or others of his accomplices in that raid, may be delivered to him. Requests directions herein.

Lord Herries is the messenger employed to the King by the Duke of Parma. He [Herries] has been with him [Bowes] offering his services to her majesty most frankly, and promising to deal in nothing prejudicial to her majesty or the amity.

Lord Maxwell has offered his faithful devotion to her majesty, letting him [Bowes] know that, by the advice of the Council with the King at Jedburgh, he was directed to write to Mr. Lowther the effects appearing in his letter and to demand the delivery of Thomas Carlton, Walter Graham, and Dick's Davie, and also redress against the persons named in the bill for taking horses and other goods at the raid at Falkland, wherein some particular men "billed" are charged with 6000 l. stg., and the whole bill will exceed 20,000 l. stg. The Duke of [Lennox] was sent "to have ridden on" these men and razed their houses, but Maxwell, understanding that the King was not in field, and misliking the raid, kept his own Marches; whereby the Duke, being slenderly accompanied and knowing that Mr. Lowther had assembled and in readiness the forces in that March, with advice returned to the King. Yet Maxwell has commandment to call for these parties and the bill, and, in default of justice, to cast down their houses; wherein he finds him [Maxwell] purposed to be very slow, nevertheless in case of necessity to execute his sovereign's commandment. Her majesty's direction for the order to be taken in the grant, denial, or delay of the delivery of these persons will suffice.

For remedy against the papists' practice and present dangers it is purposed that at the assembly of the Council serving for this quarter, good information shall be given of all these storms and perils, etc.; provision shall be made that the late provosts and officers, with other principal burgesses, shall be ready at all alarms with assistance of the best sort, well furnished to defend their towns and all good men. Further, that, to prepare and stir up the minds of the noblemen, barons, gentlemen, and others of action in this country, learned and meet preachers shall travel in the country, and also the ordinaries, pastors, and ministers shall be directed to notify the confederacy of the papists to encounter the same and to stir the people to care for provision of requisite means to defeat the designs of the enemies. For this purpose 26 of the most learned and "experimented" ministers have warning to come hither next week. This day agreement is made with the traders for Spain and the crafts in Edinburgh for change of Monday market. It is much doubted that this remedy shall be found very weak. It is meant that the enemy shall not find all sleeping, etc. Requests directions herein.

The Earl of Crawford and Sir Robert Melvill are ready to pass into foreign countries, with the King's license: Crawford to France, as he pretends, and Sir Robert to Flanders. They desire her majesty's safeconduct to pass through England. Sir Robert Melvill, the father, finding that he [Bowes] has made some difficulty towards Crawford, has moved him for them both.

Requests that the cipher be made perfect. Francis Mowbray has written to Mr. Archibald Douglas to such effects as Mr. Archibald will communicate to Burghley. Francis is ready to serve, but must endure peril, pains, and charges. Requests that Burghley's pleasure be signified to Mowbray herein.

Hearing the bruits raised that Sir James Stewart should be called to Court for the "wracke" of the Lord Hamilton and the Chancellor, and seeing the emulation betwixt the Duke and Hamilton, advised Captain Hamilton "to breake partlye" therein with the King to feel his disposition; wherein the King showed his constant goodwill and favour towards the Lord Hamilton, disclosing therewith that Bothwell had sent advertisement to the King by Mr. John Giddie that the Lord Hamilton intended to surprise the King. The King told the captain that he gave no credit to any part thereof, and willed him to acquaint the Lord Hamilton therewith that he might come to the King at his own pleasure to clear himself against Bothwell, and bring with him hounds that they may hunt together.

Nicholson is to take with him Atholl's letter to Bowes, to show his case and offer to her majesty, and procure direction to Bowes for him [Atholl], and for Mackintosh. Finally, Nicholson is to sue to Burghley to know whether Bowes' service is to be continued here; for it has been written, and Poury Oglevy now confirms it, that he is to be revoked. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. In the hand of Bowes' clerk. Indorsed by Burghley. Marginal notes by Burghley, Bowes, and others.

Copy of the same.

Cott. Calig., D. II., fol. 70.

772. Note of things George Nicholson is to sue from Burghley. [Nov. 4.]

"A note of suche thinges as George Nicolson is directed to sewe for of your lordship for his maister's instructon howe to deale in the matters following."

What shall be further done for the "encountring" of the papists and Spanish practices, and what course his master shall take with the King and Council, with the Church and well affected, and with his intelligencers. What he shall do to entertain or shake off Bothwell and that matter. What he shall do with the King in the matter touching Parma. What answer he shall give the King for Thomas Carleton, Dick's Davy, etc. What he shall do for Crawford's and young Sir Robert Melvill's safe conduct. Requests Burghley's pleasure to be signified touching Francis Mowbray. What course he shall hold in the emulation betwixt the Duke of Lennox and Lord Hamilton, and if Hamilton shall be "put at" either in his person or for Dumbarton Castle. Whether he shall use her majesty's name for the furtherance of Atholl in the private quarrel betwixt Huntly and Atholl. Whether any private reception in England shall be granted to the Chancellor. Whether he shall be revoked as soon as is reported.

2/3 p. In the hand of Bowes' clerk. Indorsed by Burghley.

Copy of the same.

Cott. Calig., D. II., fol. 76.

773. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Nov. 11.]

Soon after the receipt of Burghley's letter of the 1st instant, brought to him on the 6th, received a letter from Mr. Richard Lowther certifying that he had apprehended Walter Graham, and that Dick's Davy had escaped and had built a "sheill" in Scotland, so that he could not get him, adding that the Scots made many raids in the West Marches, to the great hurt of her majesty's subjects there. Acquainted the King with the contents of Burghley's and Mr. Lowther's letters. The King showed himself well pleased, and desired to be better informed by Mr. Lowther whether Walter Graham confessed the "recept" of Bothwell or not, whether Mr. Lowther had razed Dick's Davy's house in England, in what place in Scotland Dick's Davy had built, and what he would answer for Thomas Carlton. The King let him [Bowes] know that since his discovery of the King of Spain's offer, he has not spoken with the messenger.

For the furtherance of this plot to draw Spanish forces and treasure into Scotland, Mr. James Gordon and the other Jesuits met together in these parts. They depend much on a party in England. They have set forward Mathew Bailie with their letters. Mr. Andrew Clerk is yet stayed, and shall embark near Seton. These fathers hasten greatly, with good hope of their wished success, yet he [Bowes] is advised that the principal parties, finding their designs far disclosed and good provision in working to encounter their enterprise, are not so forward as the fathers desire to give pledges and assurances for the satisfaction of the King of Spain, and they doubt that these late troubles fallen to Huntly and the Gordons shall greatly hinder their cause, which, nevertheless, they covertly advance by all the means they can. Is afraid that albeit his "familliar" has been lately well entertained amongst them, yet they have him in some jealousy; for they have denied him the sight of the bond subscribed by the confederates, a copy whereof was promised to be got by another.

The King, of his own accord, told him that it was generally bruited and believed that he would receive the submission of Bothwell, and that some of his Council, thinking the same true, had sought to know his doings and mind therein; but he still "utterethe" himself with great earnestness to be resolved never to receive Bothwell to his grace, seeing that his favour given to Niddrie and other followers of Bothwell pardoned is to draw them from Bothwell's company and to discover his secrets and entrap him, in that they have plainly given up with him. Finds Roger Aston of opinion that the King will not change his mind herein. Thinks that Mr. Aston, now in especial favour with the King, knows the King's meaning and will advertise the same truly by his letters. Perceives that Aston receives all secrets. Yet by Councillors and persons of best intelligence is constantly informed that Mar, on Tuesday last at the Castle, obtained the King's assent to receive Bothwell's submission to be made to him upon his sudden meeting with the King in the fields a-hunting, and there casting himself at the King's feet; that the Duke of Lennox and Hume, not privy to Mar's success, went yesterday to the Castle that Mar might open the matter to them; and that Sir George Hume liking little of these proceedings has pressed to know the King's doings and to stay the progress in this behalf. Most of the Council and others of good experience think that Bothwell shall find grace and depart out of Scotland. [In the margin.] Is presently advertised that the King has denied his grace to Bothwell.

Whereas the King had purposed to send the Chancellor with large commission to the Queen of England and had addressed the Lord Secretary to impart the same to him [Bowes], has showed the King that such manner of employment of the Chancellor would not be honourable to her majesty, the King, or Chancellor, in regard that the errand shall be slender and not fit to be brought by a person qualified with such a high office, and which person, presently in disgrace, shall not come from the King's presence, but out of a corner, and hardly return to Scotland with safety. The King resolved to stay the commission. Afterwards the King sought to know whether her majesty would be pleased that the Chancellor should go privately into England, but he [Bowes] passed the answer over with the allegation that the Chancellor trusted and sought rather that the King would receive him into his service or protect him to live retired in his own house with safety, which the King granted. Has advised the Chancellor's friends to prosecute the matter in that course for him. The Chancellor has been secretly in this town and seeks to come again to Court and the King's service, or else to live at his own house; for the furtherance whereof means have been made to reconcile the Duke, and the Chancellor, and other Councillors. Mar has showed himself ready to embrace the Chancellor on condition that the Duke's favour can be obtained. The rest of the Council here have entreated the Duke to agree with the Chancellor; by which agreement, it has been alleged, many great benefits shall come to the King and this estate. But the Duke resolutely answers that he will never be friend to the Chancellor, and that the King shall not keep him in case he shall again receive the Chancellor, neither can he like well of any that shall love the Chancellor. It has been answered that his resolution was over hard, and that by it the Chancellor should be enforced to leave him and succour himself by others, whereby the Duke shall win little profit, and the Chancellor will little regard the Duke if he could recover the Queen's goodwill and countenance.

Has been informed that whilst the Chancellor was here the Lord Hume was sent for, and intended to have surprised and cut off the Chancellor, which being discovered it was thought meet for the Chancellor to depart. Further, that Lord Hume is purposed to "rufle" or kill the Provost of Linclouden, to the intent all others shall be put in fear of suing to the King and follow the suit of the Chancellor.

Means have been made for reconciliation betwixt the Chancellor and the Master of Glamis, but the matter is "dashed" or at least greatly hindered. The Council assembled with Mar at the Castle, and upon long deliberation for order to be taken for the preservation of religion and execution of justice, especially for the murder of Murray, it was concluded that the King should be effectually moved thereto, but "it is fallen in the mariage," and hitherto nothing is done; yet some well affected are labouring to renew the matter to the King and by other means to provide defence against the papists.

Mackintosh has lately slain 96 of Huntly's friends and tenants, amongst whom three Gordons are killed. The prey of 4000 sheep and 320 oxen and cattle is brought away. Atholl has gone into Murray with the most part of his forces, so that it is looked that there shall be more blood drawn betwixt him and Huntly very shortly. To pacify these troubles Angus is sent with commission of lieutenancy that he may raise the people in the countries to aid him. He is directed first to stay Huntly and his forces from revenge; next to take order that Atholl shall retire in case he be not already come to the King; for the King has sent for Atholl to come to him, but it is thought that Atholl will not obey. It is likely that these companies in field shall meet and assail one another before Angus' coming. These broils against Huntly in those parts will hinder the Catholic course. The Earls of Glencairn and Eglinton are assembling their forces, and these wars are looked to arise very shortly, yet order is now taken for the quenching thereof. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

3 pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk. Partly in cipher, deciphered.

774. Mr. Archibald Douglas to Burghley. [Nov. 13.]

"This letter [No. 771 supra], bearing date as maye be considered, came not to my handis till the xiijth of this moneth, at whiche tyme I receaved the same frome a servande of Mr. Bowes, there resident ambassadour. As for the other letters mentioned therin, I never hearde of any of them. I have presumed to sende the same to your lordship herinclosed, to the ende that your lordship may directe suche answer to your saide ambassadour as maye be agreable to your pleasour, or otherwyse directe me what answer I shall make, whiche I shalbe readye to performe upon any information that I shall receave frome your lordship. The estate of all matters ther ar so well knowen to your lordship that I will forbeare to be more troublesome." Signed: A. Douglas.

p. Addressed. Indorsed by Burgley's clerk.

775. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Nov. 16.]

Sundry times has earnestly moved, and it has been firmly promised, that before this time Mr. James Gordon and the other Jesuits and papists should have been banished and put out of this realm; wherein the King let him [Bowes] know that Petlargo had directly undertaken to send away Mr. James without delay. Nevertheless he [Bowes] is advertised by his "familliar" that Mr. James and the rest have resolved to remain in this realme; that they have returned to these parts and have lately been in Edinburgh; that Mandeville, Thomas Tyrye, Mr. Andrew Clerk—not yet entered into his journey for Flanders—and sundry others met and conferred with Mr. James Gordon; that it is resolved that petition shall be exhibited to the King and Council for liberty of conscience to be granted to the Catholics in Scotland upon assurance of their loyalty and obedience, etc.; that for the preparation and advancement of the suit and offer, their best friends shall be drawn to the Court and to Edinburgh, in which behalf the noblemen having either promised to "partye" them or subscribed to the band are already sent for and required to be here before the end of this month; and that many others of quality are ready to join in the action to be "broched" and begun upon sight of fit opportunity and ripeness of their matters, wherein they assure themselves of success; and it is feared that hereafter they will attempt the establishment of their policy by the slaughter of the best affected and principal instruments in religion.

He [the "familiar"] added that these Catholics, depending wholly on the aid of the Spanish forces, would travail by all means to bring them in next spring, and notwithstanding that their purposes herein shall be openly discovered; and further that these Jesuits have poisoned and hooked to them many of all sorts, and some so well disposed that it is very strange that such should be thus snared.

Is also informed that the band is subscribed by many; that sundry noblemen delaying to subscribe to it have satisfied the agents with firm promises to take full part therein, and that this band began at Hundelaye and other places on the Borders. The Master of Gray, being pressed for his subscription, deferred the same until the hands of some noblemen named by him should be put to it.

Some of this rabble have confessed that, at the beginning of this new Court, it was meant that the Chancellor should have been accused and taken away, and thereon the petition mentioned should have been presented; but a nobleman, pretending presently to be a good protestant, dissuaded such hasty course, bringing with it the plain overthrow of the cause. This crew wait for their advantage, hoping speedily to triumph, and the other side watch and pray carefully for the encounter, trusting to be delivered by the arm of God.

Many of the principal ministers in this realm are presently assembled in this town, purposing to disperse and sort themselves into the countries to "water" and visit the churches, to recover the revolted, to strengthen the weak, to confirm the constant, and to undermine and cast down the mud walls pitched up by Jesuits and papists. Their meeting is thought in Court to be sudden and for some requests and motions to be made for reformation. Is told that some questions shall be propounded to them therein by this state; that some of them have been inwardly advised to set forth nothing against the Duke; and that, nevertheless, others of the chief amongst them are willed by Petrea [sic] to call for reformation as well civil as ecclesiastical and prosecute it with earnestness. It is much doubted that in their doings herein some quarrel shall be picked against them to the intent that they may therein have colour to present their petitions and offers.

Certified by his former letter that the Parliament summoned to begin at Edinburgh on the 10th of January should be adjourned, but is now given to understand that the Council, lately convened at the Castle, thought it meet that the Parliament should begin at the day and place limited, to the intent that the "grandour," as they term it here, of the Duke might thereby be established and himself be declared the second person apparent to the succession of this realm of Scotland. The King's favour to the Duke abounds, and in respect thereof many incline to him. Mar, Hume and others are sworn to "partye" him. Has not found that the King has so fast tied himself to this stake as is pretended.

At this meeting of the Council at the Castle some of the Council have showed themselves resolute against the Chancellor, and that this Court and company received will not be removed "without strokes." The benefit hoped to come by the motion of the Church for reformation is now much doubted, so that it is expected that this Court and state shall run their own course whilst their power serves, and that good men in the meantime must "attend" for the success and provide for the worst in best sort they can.

The Chancellor being sounded for the resignation of his office to Mar, has thought Mar nothing fit for the office, nor the office fit for him, and thereon denied to yield the office to Mar or any others without the King's express commandment, saying that if his life shall be violently taken from him he had rather die Chancellor than Laird of Thirlstane, Lethington, or Sir John Maitland; and finding the King's goodwill continued and lately showed towards him, he is resolved to lay the foundation of his standing and welfare on the King's favour, and has sued to the King to return to his service, or by him to be directed to retire and live at home with the King's protection; wherein he attends the King's pleasure and purposes to show himself openly at his house at Lethington within few days. The King publicly in the Tolbooth rejected James Maitland's bill demanding the house at Lethington and the evidence as heir to his father, late Laird of Lethington and Secretary. The Duke, Sir James Sandilands, and others have pressed the King in the favour of young Maitland, but the King has answered that he has taken the Chancellor into his protection, and therefore nothing shall be done against him in his absence, but upon his return justice shall be done as appertaineth. The King has quietly and severally directed some ministers to the Chancellor with his secret pleasure, and for the Chancellor's advice, but the Duke and his party resolutely determine to hold him out, and the Chancellor is of that mind and courage that he will not be barred the King's presence without the King's own commandment.

The Lord Hamilton received advertisement by the King that Bothwell, by Mr. John Gyddye, had brought notice to the King that Hamilton had put his friends and men in readiness to surprise the King, and hereon Hamilton, giving great thanks to the King for this discovery and favour, has prayed that Bothwell may certify the same by writing with his own hand, to the intent Hamilton may charge and challenge him thereon. It is looked that some bitter quarrel shall arise betwixt these two parties and that many others of good quality shall be drawn into the quarrels with them.

Bothwell, after the search for him in this town, passed to Eske, and some say into England. It is reported that he has provided money and intends to depart out of this realm. He stands very desirous to be tried for devising the King's death by witchcraft objected against him, but it is thought that the trial shall not be granted before his departure, and that he shall be persuaded to depart. Is told that the Countess of Bothwell has "closlye" come to this town, trusting to be received shortly to the King's grace.

The Laird of Samelston, Archibald Douglas, son of the Earl of Morton, and sundry other principal followers of Bothwell in the late raids at Holyrood House and Falkland, have come in and are accepted. Bothwell has sent home Lord Lindsay's son. The Duke has sundry times of late sent to Bothwell, and because it is denied here that this new Court honours the Duke as the head and governor of their association, therefore it is thought that his advice shall prevail with Bothwell in the names of the rest, so that all storms to be raised by Bothwell's wind shall be from henceforth calmed.

By means of the Queen leave is granted to Buccleuch to return to this realm. He is known to be of high courage and much favouring Bothwell, his father-in-law, and it is wished that he may be well allured to cherish the peace on the Borders, wherein he is able to do many good offices.

Hears that the greatness betwixt the Duke and the Master of Glamis is something abated, in regard that the Duke is "done" to think that the Master will choose to prefer rather his sister's son than the Duke; and the King, lately possessed with jealousy towards the Master, has sought to be satisfied by Mar in his "concept" of that jealousy and also whether the Master aspired to the office of the Chancellor. Mar answering that the questions were too high for him, the King pressed him to give particular satisfaction, but Mar passed it over.

The jars in this town, lately smothered, begin to burst forth again, chiefly by the Spanish traders, yet they are in good way to be quenched. It is espied that the Spanish and popish blow these coals diligently with the seditious sort.

Angus is gone to pacify the troubles betwixt Huntly and Atholl and to ward the party resisting his order. This commission was procured at the instance of Huntly. Atholl has drawn great forces together, and it is said that Argyll, lately departed from Court, has gathered his power near to those parts and given them order to attend on Atholl, who now is looked to leave the quarrel for the defence of Mackintosh and to turn himself to the revenge of Murray's murder thus long passed over without punishment by law. It is like that these forces of Atholl, Argyll, Lovat, Mackintosh, Grant and others once joined will rather prosecute this revenge against Huntly and the Gordons than obey Angus, and that Atholl's good success in this journey will greatly encumber the Catholics in their enterprise to be ever nourished in and by the north. Huntly doubting that his house should be seized has sent the strangers to the Slanes to be entertained by Erroll. Finds here one William Wilson, an Englishman, pretending to be a poet, but he [Bowes] is given to think that he used to give intelligence into England; and in like manner that John Gelsterne, a silly person, has busied himself lately and got letters from some Councillors of novelties here. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

776. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Nov. 2.]

By the commodity of Burghley's last letter, of the 10th instant, has renewed to the King the report of the order and commandment given by the Queen of England to Mr. Lowther for the apprehension and punishment of the offenders to be "billed and fyled" for "partienge and receipt" of Bothwell and his followers, wherewith the King is well pleased, and also travailed with the King to prepare the way for the commissioners to be sent to him by a certain number of the principal ministers in this realm, assembled presently in Edinburgh for causes partly certified by his [Bowes'] last letter, of the 16th instant. At this Assembly, begun on the 16th instant and continued until this day, and upon sundry petitions and conferences with the King, it is concluded, with the King's assent, that a chosen number of the King's Council, already established by Parliament, and of the best affected, shall be speedily called to the King, to be joined with the Councillors presently about him, and to remain this winter in Court and Edinburgh, to reform and quiet the disorders in this state and government, to punish the odious crimes, to provide for the King's house and ordinary expenses, and to prepare the matters to be presented to the next Parliament. These and others have lately and oftentimes come into deliberation and received resolutions enacted by the King and Council, but hitherto they have got no life by any execution, as still is feared shall come to pass.

Erroll, Hume and others suspected in religion shall be cited and brought before the Church to be reformed, agreeable to the laws of this realm and censures of the Church; wherein the Lord Hume, seeking to be called before some private number to be assigned, has for himself offered to give full satisfaction to the Church and to discover the band made for the Catholics and all other things touching their doings known to him. But, albeit that he has been pressed to exhibit Mr. Alexander Mackwherrye, a Jesuit, otherwise called John Black, lately come from Flanders with practices against the religion and for the King of Spain, and much conversant in the Lord Hume's house and at his table, Mr. Andrew Clerk, another papist haunting the Lord Hume's house and company, and Thomas Tyrrye, a pensioner of the King of Spain and now servant to the Lord Hume and to whom the practisers for the King of Spain used to address their letters and the execution of their business in Scotland, yet hitherto he still shifts and puts over all these matters with excuses, and so far prevailing with the King that the Ministers distrust much to get redress against him or any other nobleman otherwise than by censure of the Church; in which behalf the King wishes that the Church shall deal gently with the noblemen to be touched for religion. Sundry religious barons shall be drawn to reside in this town this winter, that by them and their forces this town and good men may be preserved against the violence of the Catholics purposing to flock together and lie here, and suspected to intend to take captive the King, the chief ministers and burgesses best affected.

In every shire the barons, men of action, power, and good affection in religion shall be directed to convene to consult and provide for due resistance of all violence and sedition by the papists. Commissions shall be given to fit persons in every county to apprehend and ward all seditious and suspected persons, to give diligent eye to their practices and actions, and to give timely advertisement thereof to the King and Council, etc.

A certain number of the ministry shall be appointed to abide at Edinburgh to receive intelligences, to deliberate and determine in matters occurring, and to inform and deal with the King's Council and others therein. One especial person of the ministry shall be authorised to draw in the intelligence, to assemble the others, and to dispose things for the benefit of the cause.

Fit instruments shall be sent forth to discover the practices and proceedings of the papists, etc. The owner or master of every ship on arrival at any place in Scotland shall present to the magistrate and ministers such passengers as they have brought, with true report of all letters and other things brought in by the passengers, and that no person, letter or stuff shall be landed before the magistrate and ministers shall be advertised thereof. The ministers in this town shall from time to time sue to the King and Council for the due execution of these orders, and chiefly in the parts to be done by himself and Council; and in the others executory in the behalf of the barons, ministers, and others all diligence is promised. These are the remedies hitherto provided. In these conferences the King has opened to three or four of the commissioners how far he has been dealt withal on the behalf of the King of Spain, and for the Dukes of Parma and Guise.

On the 17th instant the Countess of Bothwell, great with child, cast herself at the King's feet, in the street, as the King went to the Castle, and, by earnest request of the Lords Hume and Lindsay, kissed the King's hand, with some sharp words of the King uttered against herself and most against her husband. After the same she was carried to her lodging with great concourse and applause of many gentlemen and others of this town. Whereupon the King, whilst he was in this castle, resolved to "charge" her from this town and to send her away with double disgrace. On the morrow she was commanded to depart, and proclamation was made that she and others of her husband's company lately received to the King's mercy should withdraw and not come within ten miles of this town. Some chief "means" drawing the Countess to this action denied utterly to have been privy thereto, yet they labour either to bring in her husband to do the like, or else that he shall depart the realm. Some courtiers have advised that his coming in this manner should be restrained by proclamation.

The wars betwixt Atholl and Huntly still go forwards. It is bruited that Atholl has killed 33 of Huntly's men at Scabroth, within four miles of Straboggie, Huntly's house; Atholl lies at Anderness, and has sent hither 500 picked men for some especial exploit; and that Argyll has put in readiness his forces in Lochaber, according to Atholl's desire, and has personally gone thither to second Atholl in this action against Huntly. Angus has hitherto little prevailed either to pacify or to ward either of them. It is thought that Huntly shall hardly resist Atholl's forces, notwithstanding that he shall be aided with the best means that the papists and Spanish faction dare presently give him. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

777. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Nov. 21.]

After the despatch of his other letter with the present one to Burghley three persons well affected let him [Bowes] know that another person of good estimation had offered to them, for reward, to intercept and deliver the original band subscribed by the confederates of England and Scotland, and also bring in the Englishmen and Scottish men who shall be employed to negotiate these matters for Spain. The party making this offer demanded no penny to be given him before he shall have performed the work. Is told that this party has a pension from the King of Spain, which he shall certainly lose, with adventure of his life. It is demanded that his reward shall be rated agreeable to his losses and charges. Has offered to give as much as shall lie in his [Bowes'] power. The parties presenting this offer are well worthy of credit, but the party making this offer will not be known to him [Bowes] before he shall promise to give him a sum certainly set down. Great haste is made for Bowes' resolution in regard that the messengers and instruments to be employed for England and Scotland shall with all speed pass into Flanders. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript.—The two persons kept severally in Huntly's and Erroll's houses are the Bishops of Ross and Dunblane. These have the bands of the noblemen, and are ready to return for Spain by the west seas. It is feared that these have a far higher pitch than to take this band. Fears that Mar ["Sempronius"] has got some tale of these companions and their doings, then it is like that "America" and the Duke of Lennox shall be acquainted therewith. These two men have a particular course by themselves and give intelligence of their doings to the King of Spain by means of the Duke of Guise and not of Parma, and send by the west seas. The Jesuits travail for Parma, using to come and go by the east seas. The Englishmen trafficking here pass into Ireland and from thence to Scotland.

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

778. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Nov. 30.]

On George Nicholson's return, on the 26th instant, received Burghley's letters of the 18th and 20th instant. Thanks Burghley for excusing his error in committing to his servant matters of such weight and secrecy. Craves pardon for seeking to be directed in many things that require no particular direction.

Has opened to the King how kindly her majesty has taken the King's manner of plain dealing to discover, of his own accord, such matters as he revealed to him [Bowes]. The King allowed very well her majesty's advice, acknowledging it for a maxim to him. The King affirmed that Bothwell had sought aid at the King of Spain's hands and could not obtain it. He "uttered" himself to be resolved never to receive Bothwell to his mercy. The King charged him [Bowes] with receiving Bothwell into his house, and to have laboured that her majesty would take him into her protection. The workers of this untrue suggestion have practised thereby to work his "dismission" from this realm.

On the morrow the King sent Roger Aston to him [Bowes] to confirm his former resolution against Bothwell, and prays her majesty to forbear to give any favour or aid to Bothwell. Because he [Bowes] saw himself suspected, so that he cannot safely deal with Bothwell, as directed, has left this cause to be carried betwixt Lord Hume and him, and by the means of such as Lord Hume shall appoint.

Bothwell was very lately in this town, and has departed towards the Borders. The Master of Gray, with his brother James and Mr. Thomas Cranston, were yesterday received to the King's mercy, as Burley, Logie, and others were lately. Thus all the gentlemen of credit lately following Bothwell, except Hercules Stewart his brother, the Laird of Spott and Mr. John Colvile have come in; yet some of them shall pay fines and be banished, namly Burley, now pardoned in life and committed to Edinburgh Castle. It is looked that Bothwell shall also find grace. Lord Hamilton is sufficiently warned of the Duke of Lennox's intention against him. The King is pleased to write to all his Wardens for preservation of quietness and justice to be done on the Borders by frequent meetings. Has told the party who lately wrote to "Diogenes (fn. 1) " that upon proof of his good service his reward shall be answerable to his services, but he holds this for uncertain. Desires to know what order he shall take touching the reward to be given to two especial instruments. Has received the cipher sent by Burghley.

Crawford shall be answered for his safe-conduct to pass through England. Young Sir Robert Melvill, eldest son of Sir Robert Melvill, vice-treasurer and sometimes employed in the affairs of the King's mother, intends to travel to foreign nations and was ready to pass with Crawford.

The Earls of Glencairn and Eglinton had gathered great forces for the revenge of the slaughter of the late Earl of Eglinton, killed by the practice, as it is supposed, of Glencairn, but now the forces are scattered.

The Chancellor will "no wise seke" into England except in case of necessity, and in private manner. Has diligently laboured to be truly informed whether the Bishops of Ross and Dunblane are indeed in this realm, what they have done, and how they may best be taken and brought to England. John Smallett, a person of greater cunning and practice than of credit and sound dealing, chanced to see these two bishops in their lodgings in Dumbarton town immediately after their arrival there in May last. He was familiarly acquainted with Dunblane, who, espying that Smallett looked so earnestly at him "as he must neides bothe knowe him and also marvell to se him so farr imbase himselfe, as a servant in evill arraye and uncovered, to sitt at table with his master, of little accompt, and in an alehouse"; and thereon Dunblane plainly discovered himself to Smallett, offering large rewards to keep him and his doings secret. The other aged man in company with Dunblane, and in base apparel, appears to be the Bishop of Ross. The barque that brought them had no other loading than these persons and "ballance," and still attends for them near to Glasgow, where Mark Ker, of Edinburgh, shall convey them by the west seas. It is thought that they shall direct their course for Lubeck or other place in Germany. These two passed as servants to two others of little value to the north, and thereby it is gathered that they have been honourably entertained by Huntly and Erroll. Is advertised that Dunblane has been at the Laird of Keir's house and in other places in the west and near to Glasgow. Cannot get any probable tale of Ross, but a Catholic of good quality assures him that he continues in Rouen. The party offering to apprehend these men is John Smallett. He demands 1000 l. for the service, yet he could not assure Bowes to take both the bishops, the band subscribed, and their packets, neither can he deliver them in England or to himself [Bowes]. Has agreed to give him 1000 l. upon the delivery of their bodies or the body of one of them, with the writings, to such persons as he [Bowes] has named, and that he shall be further recompensed as his service and good success deserve. He [Smallett] has taken upon him to work this feat. Remains "in jelowsye" of this party and of the matter. It is gathered that these two brought the message delivered to the King for the King of Spain, Parma and Guise.

These few days past all men have been occupied with an expectation that Captain James Stewart, late Earl of Arran, should recover credit in Court. It is believed that the Duke, chiefly, Sir George Hume, Sandilands, Colonel Stewart, and the Laird of Dunipace labour for the captain's advancement, to the intent he may wreck the Chancellor, overthrow the house of Hamilton, and "knocke the pates" of the ministers. Captain James has been his [Bowes'] near neighbour in this town for some few days, and looked daily to have had access to the King, who could not be drawn to like of his return to Court or service; but the King was well pleased that he should safely prosecute his suits in law as a subject not forfeited.

It is said that sundry articles of treason have been presented to the King against the Chancellor, wherein Colonel Stewart is judged to have been so forward that the King has sharply checked him. The Laird of Spynie had so well recovered the King's favour that the King made him his bedfellow and reconciled the Duke to him, but on the morrow the Duke sent his page to tell Spynie that he was a knave and willed him to depart speedily from Court or he would stick him. Spynie sent a gentleman to the Duke, who roughly returned the gentleman to Spynie with charge that he delayed not his departure as he loved his life. Spynie sent one to inform the King of the matter, but the Duke meeting the messenger sent him away with threats. By means of Mar the King was advised to send Thomas Erskine to advise Spynie to give place for the time. Spynie, unable to go alone by reason of a hurt on his leg, passed out of the back gate in the Court and continues in Aberdeen. The same day Sir James Lindsay, Spynie's brother, was discharged the Court without the King's privity. The King takes these things to be done to his great dishonour.

It is still thought that the Parliament shall begin at the day and place appointed, and that the greatness of the Duke shall be thereby established. The Chancellor has returned to his house at Lethington; whereupon the King addressed sundry ministers to him with his letters to him that he and other commissioners should take order in the petitions and causes of the ministers. Labour is made for the Chancellor's overthrow.

Many accusations were made to the King against the Lord John Hamilton, and especially that he was party to the escape of Niddrie and Samerston, but Niddrie has cleared Hamilton in this. Angus has partly stayed the troubles in the north; for Huntly submitting himself to Angus, as the King's lieutenant, has entered into ward in Aberdeen. Atholl is ready to come to his ward in St. Johnstone, but Mackintosh will abide to be put to the horn. Huntly offers to give caution for all his friends, provided that such as be at the horn for the slaughter of Murray may be released. By Act of Council yesterday Huntly's friends are set free from the horn. There were three lieutenants authorised by three several commissions, viz., Angus to pacify troubles betwixt Huntly and Atholl; Atholl to revenge Murray's slaughter; and Huntly had an old commission. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.


  • 1. "A. do:", doubtless for "Archibald Douglas" written above "Diogenes" in Burghley's hand.