James VI: December 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: December 1592', in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) pp. 820-833. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp820-833 [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "James VI: December 1592", in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936) 820-833. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp820-833.

. "James VI: December 1592", Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593, (Edinburgh, 1936). 820-833. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol10/pp820-833.

In this section

James VI: December 1592

779. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Dec. 4.]

Has been suspicious of Smallett, therefore has found means that two honest gentlemen and some of the ministry shall attend on the barque waiting for the return of the Bishops of Ross and Dunblane, and also travail to discover perfectly whether they or either of them are in Scotland. It is feared that these men shall seek passage by other means. The barque lies still at the road, and is newly trimmed.

After the Master of Gray was received by the King he came to him [Bowes], offering to her majesty his good devotion and service. Bowes opened to the Master the report charging him to have entered into the course with the Catholics and being party to the band. The Master protested never to assent to any confederacy against religion or the amity whilst her majesty lived, and that the band was grounded for the relief of the persons distressed, and not for religion. The Master prayed that her majesty would be a means to the King to hasten his discharge from ward. After the Master's departure he sent this letter enclosed to Burghley.

The other day Captain James Stewart was brought to the King's presence by Lord Ochiltree, his nephew, and the Lairds of Buccleuch ("Blougheu") and Ferniherst. His first access was given by the King whilst he was amongst his hounds near the "cannell": afterwards he was brought to the presence chamber, where some of the chamber commanded to make way for the Lord Chancellor, as is reported, and thereon he was "caried" to the Queen and kissed her hand. He sought to have spoken with Mr. Robert Bruce and other ministers to have stopped their mouths in the pulpit against him, but all in vain. Afterwards the King, by the Prior of Blantyre, let Mr. Robert Bruce know that Captain James should not be taken into or employed in Court. This message delivered by Blantyre was published in every church the next day, with bitter invectives against the captain. The next day the captain removed to Roslinge, within five miles of Edinburgh, and will return hither this day or to-morrow trusting to get grace. It is said that the Duke and the four young and counselling courtiers will draw him [Stewart] in to wreck the house of Hamilton and the Chancellor and "to quitt a common" with the ministers.

Hercules Stewart, Bothwell's brother, is received to the King's grace. Bothwell departed out of this town on Wednesday last. If Bothwell had tarried some few hours he had been surprised, for the King was perfectly advertised in what house he was. The King was told that he is gone towards London, but the talesman will be found deceived. The King thinks verily that Bothwell will never submit to any of the house of Darnley; but in truth he is ready to cast himself at the King's feet. It is said that if Bothwell can find no grace at the King's hands by the Duke's means, then he will join with Hamilton against the Duke.

The Prior of Blantyre has earnestly moved the King for his good countenance to be restored to the Duke, which the King offers upon the Duke's assent to be reconciled with Spynie but the Duke still denies his goodwill to Spynie. The Duke presently rules the Court by means of Sir George Hume, Sir James Sandilands, Donipace, and Thomas Erskine, who now supply the office of the Council.

Captain James Stewart has put the King in comfort to reconcile Huntly and Atholl. Mackintosh has gathered together seven several clans, and keeps the hills: he has lately killed some more of Huntly's followers. Argyll's people remain in readiness, attending what shall proceed in this agreement sought betwixt Huntly and Atholl.

The Duke has appointed Farnihurst to be his deputy for Liddisdale. Farnihurst has promised Bowes to be found very diligent to preserve the peace and do justice to England. The Master of Glamis continues so weak that he is not able to resort to Court and Council so frequently as he desires. The Master has lately noted some coldness in Mar towards him. The King has very sharply checked the provost, officers, and ministers of this town for their oversight and sufferance given to Bothwell "to be receytt and intertained" in this town many days together, and against his proclamation. Sundry such as have lodged Bothwell shall submit themselves to the King's pleasure, and proclamation is again made to prohibit all men receiving or dealing with Bothwell. The ministers have been bitterly blamed for their sharp words against Captain James Stewart, and silence towards Bothwell, but they have given reasons for their doings against the captain and proved well that openly and oft they have deeply condemned Bothwell and his actions against the King. The King charged Mr. Robert Bruce to have received Bothwell into his house, to have had intelligence with him, and to have sought to depose the King and set up another. When Mr. Bruce had cleared himself and asked the King whether he thought him foul of any of these crimes, the King said that in truth he did not, yet twelve several persons had told these tales to him. Mr. Bruce prayed trial. The King will give up the names of some of these accusers. It is thought that the Master of Gray and Thomas Tyrye shall be named. The same accusers falsely informed the King that Bowes lodged Bothwell three nights in his house, procured him friends, and had written to her majesty earnestly in his favour. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Indorsed by Burghley's clerk.

780. Assurance made by Atholl and Angus with Huntly. [Dec. 4.]

Be it known to all men by these present letters "us" John Earl of Atholl, at his highness special command "dicreit" with his lieutenant William Earl of Angus, for ourselves, and taking the burden on us for Lachlane Mackintosh, of Dumnachtorne, and all others one and his kin friends, servants, assisters, partakers that we may "stop or lait" to have assured, and by the tenour hereof specially assured the kin, friends, servants, partakers and assisters of George Earl of Huntly, Donald Macangaes, of Glengairy, Alan Maccandowi, of Lochell, and Allister Macranald, of Keppache, their kin, etc., to be unhurt, unharmed, unmolested, untroubled, or in any ways pursued for old feud or new but only by order of law unto the 15th day of February next coming, except so many of the said George Earl of Huntly's kin, etc., who were actually with him at the murder of James Earl of Murray and Patrick Dunbar Sheriff of Murray, at Dunibirsill; and in case the assured persons above mentioned shall continue or assist by way of deed the said George Earl of Huntly or any of the aforesaid murderers "in our contrarie" within the said "space," this assurance to be null "and expyre in itselfe." And we shall keep this assurance inviolate under the pain of perjury, defamation, and "tinsall" of perpetual honour, estimation, and credit. Darnway.

½ p. Copy. Indorsed.

781. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Dec. 17.]

Has stayed Mr. Locke and this letter these four days past for the receipt of the King's letter to the Queen of England. Has moved the King to give the "convoy" of his letter to Mr. Locke to the intent that the King might be drawn to satisfy such question as covertly in her majesty's letter concerns Bothwell.

The Lord Maxwell, Lord Warden of the West Marches of Scotland, by order of the King, has exhibited to Mr. Lowther a bill against sundry Englishmen for the raid at Falkland, valuing the wrongs done there and answerable by the Englishmen above 1300 l. stg. Some part of this bill is already filed, amounting to 584 l. stg. The residue is offered to be likewise avowed "and prooved fowle." By another bill, for the occupation of certain debateable lands in Kirk Andrews, alleged to be allotted to England and claimed by Scotland, he demands 60,000 l. stg. By these administration of justice in those Marches has been stayed, and the broken sort take courage nightly to rob and spoil in the West Marches of England, boasting openly that these bills shall "quyte" all their attempts or else set them at liberty to "ryde" and take at their pleasure. Has procured the King's letters to Lord Maxwell to stay the bill for the occupation of the debateable grounds in Kirkandrews. Because the King, for the bill of Falkland, desired to be rather repaired in his honour and redressed for the goods wherewith the Englishmen are chargeable, has required that the offenders named in the bill may be apprehended or made answerable by Mr. Lowther. Has procured the King's letters for redress to be made by Maxwell to Walter Calverley, robbed and taken prisoner out of his house at Abbeyholme, in Cumberland, for restitution to Sir Cuthbert Collingwood by the Laird of Cesford, and for the cruel slaughter of five men and wounding many others in England; and that Farnihurst shall give in writing to Sir John Selby the names of such under him as he will answer for.

That Burghley may see what assurance is given that the two bishops are or have been in Scotland, encloses a copy of a letter. Nevertheless he [Bowes] dare not yet assure him that these bishops are or have been here. In the search of these matters and for these persons sundry mysteries have been partly discovered. The practice intended against Mar and for the surprise of the Firth of Moray, he [Bowes] has certified to Burghley. The Catholics had framed their supplication to Parliament for liberty of their conscience, and put together some articles against the religion professed and the ministers thereof. Some enterprises have been defeated, wherein the fathers accuse some noblemen of great faults. The Laird of Ladylands has been detected to have been a principal executioner in all these practices and to have consorted himself with Englishmen deeply embarked in these treacheries. It has been thought good that Ladylands and two Englishmen of the worst sort, and haunting together at Ladylands House, Irvine, and other places in the west, should be quietly taken and brought hither; in which business Mr. Andrew Knox, minister at Paisley, has endured no little pains and peril, for he so straitly pursued Ladylands and the two Englishmen through Glasgow and towards Irvine. Ladylands, providing to set away the Englishmen for their safety, set himself into the hands of James Hamilton, eldest son of Lord Claud Hamilton, who assisted Mr. Knox to apprehend Ladylands, who was brought by young Hamilton to the Lord Hamilton, who sent him by the conduct of Mr. Knox and Captain Hamilton to Edinburgh, where he was committed to the provost. The next day he [Bowes] procured the King's commandment to the provost to keep him closely and safely, and also the King's warrant to the Prior of Blantyre, Clerk Register, Mr. Robert Bruce, and Mr. David Lindsay, commissioners to examine Ladylands, and having order to acquaint Bowes with their doings and to call him to the examination as need should require. On the King coming to Alloway he was persuaded to remove Ladylands to the Castle by new warrant. Is greatly discouraged to reap such fruits by Ladylands confession as were looked for. Fears that the apprehension of other offenders in Scotland shall not be worth the expenses and pains. Ladylands confesses to be excommunicated and to be of the Catholic Roman Church: he agrees to answer to any interrogatory charging him of treason, wherein he pleads innocency, but he refuses to answer any question touching religion, or that may accuse any person other than himself.

Encloses a copy of the remission granted to Mr. Robert Bruce. The strange substance and form thereof has put many doubts in the people's hands and stirred some of the preachers to speak thereof in their sermons. The King has sharply checked the Treasurer's clerk "preferringe" the bill for the King's signature without reading it, and has ordered that the bill shall be cancelled. The Lord Fleming is suspected to have furthered this bill over far. Now the flame is quenched, but the smoke is not past. The constant report of the death of the Duke of Parma has calmed the wind raised in this cause. The King denies having had further conference with the messenger bringing the King of Spain's offer.

Matthew Baylyes, hastily sent to Flanders in November with letters of the Catholics here, has returned with confirmation of the report of Parma's death. He brought letters from Bruce. The Parliament is adjourned to April 3rd. It is thought that the time did not serve aptly for the advancement of the petition of the Catholics or for the declaration of a second person to succeed to the crown. The King and the Duke of Lennox are reconciled. The Duke has promised to follow in all his affairs and actions the advice of Mar, Sir Robert Melvill, Blantyre, Collithy, and the Advocate. The King has a meaning by means of these Councillors to work agreement betwixt the Duke and the Chancellor and betwixt the Duke and Spynie. The King has established an order for the reformation of his Exchequer. The King purposing to have called the Chancellor to this town to show himself at the Session, now thinks it meet to stay his coming until he shall have obtained the Queen's favour and shall be reconciled with the Duke. This Court stands stiffly against the Chancellor.

The Master of Glamis, well recovered, is fully restored to his office of Lord Treasurer and has power to substitute a vice-treasurer. Mackendowye and others of Huntly's followers have killed in Lochenvar sixteen able men and above 100 women and children under Mackintosh and others. It is given out that Angus, Huntly, and Erroll have met together, and that some of them have been together in such secret manner that some suspicion is concerned therein.

The Master of Gray has acquitted himself of being the author of the accusation against him [Bowes]. Requests Burghley to return a letter written by Mr. Andrew Knox. Has received the King's promise to do pleasure to Mr. James Murray in any suit to him. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

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

Enclosure with the same:—

(Remission by James VI. to Robert Bruce.)

Jacobus Dei gratia rex Scotorum dilecto nostro consanguineo et consiliario commedatorio prioratus de Blantyre, nostri secreti sigilli custodi, salutem. Quia ex nostris specialibus gratia et favore remisimus dilecto nostro Roberto Bruce, filio quondam Niniani Bruce fratris germani domini de Bydny rancorem animi nostri, sectam regiam et omnem actionem quam seu quas concepimus, habuimus, habemus seu quovismodo habere poterimus erga ipsum pro proditoria tractione, consultatione, precogitatione, actione vel occultatione quorumcunque criminum perduellionis sive lese magestatis adversus nostram personam, statum, aut regnum et similiter pro proditoria negatione cum principiis et peregrinis exterarum nationum extra regnum nostrum et cum Jesuittis, seminariis, sacerdotibus, et excommunicatis personis infra idem ullo tempore preteris [sic] pro alteratione vere religionis infra regnum nostrum professe ad eversionem et ruinam nostre persone et status ac pro receptione, distributione et datione monete et auri Hispanici infra regnum nostrum ad effectum et pro causa predictis et pro quibuscunque proditoriis criminibus seu aliis grosis attemptionibus per dictum Robertum ad inquietationem civilis status et subversionem dicte vere religionis pro principali professe commissis, necnon pro omnibus proditoriis, machinationibus, et molitionibus contra charessimam nostram sororem Anglie, reginam ejus, regnum et legios in prejudicium nostrum, et pro omnibus actione, pena, crimine et offensa quam, desuper signum vel dictum Roberti Bruce et circa quovismodo nuper utari poterint, ac etiam pro singulis aliis proditionibus, transgressionibus, criminibus et offensis quibuscunque per dictum Robertum quocunque tempore elapso diem date presentium preentenden' [sic] commissis sicut nos verbo principis per presentes declaramus quod dictus Robertus nunquam urgibitur nec agetur accusare aut divulgare aliquam personam vel personas conscias predictorum criminum aut eorum quorumcunque, sed erit noster liber subjectus omni tempere affuturo. Holyrood House. 8th December, 1552 [sic] and in the 27th year of our reign. (fn. 1)

"Subscribed by the King, the Duke of Lenox, Sir Robert Melvin, Justice Clarcke."

½ p. Copy. Indorsed by Bowes' clerk.

782. Bothwell's Lamentation to the Ministers.

Right loving brethren, I have to this hour, with no small danger attended your answer; but finding none, I impute your silence to the iniquity of time and to no lack of goodwill, seeing I have solicited you in nothing which I could in duty omit or you in reason refuse. For this cause I had "deliberate" no more to importune you, were [it] not I was "of new" informed that my enemies, still absuing his majesty by impudent lies, had induced him to deal with you to the effect you might immediately after my "forfalture" proceed to excommunication against me. Your wisdoms know that "forfaltours" have been so unadvisedly pronounced within this realm ever since they "crap in credit" about his majesty—who led his mother, of good memory, "by undoing her owne to her perdicione"—that the most part of those "forfaltours," as they were to his grace high dishonour against the worthiest of the land, yea against some of your number, most unlawfully in Parliament concluded, so by the same solemnity, to his honour, they were most lawfully "cassit" and rescinded. This experience and example "letts" me to despair. Howsoever Acts and proclamations be "thunderit" against me, so long as my conscience bears me record of my innocency and gives me sure hope that the same shall be some day manifested, when the authors of my calamity shall be ashamed of the process "deducit"; wherein "the witness shalbe tryed to be infamous and subornit," the judge corrupted, and I myself debarred from safe "comperans." But howsoever civil judgment has passed this while bygone, you have not been accustomed to draw the spiritual sword lightly and at every occasion; "for your forme hes ben to se the person baith comunale and obstinate before ye cut him from your societie. A preparative contrarious I trust ye will not begin at me and my distressit frendis." Obstinate shall I not be found, because I would with all humility receive your correction for whatsoever offence I have committed, if sure access and recess were permitted; and comunale in any thought or deed that may "noy" his majesty's life or person, the Lord knows I am not, neither are the witnesses admitted to prove my guiltiness admissable by the laws to prove a matter of 5s. The estate of my pitiful case is not far different from that of the noblemen lately banished; two "landit men" accused them of a conspiracy against his majesty's life. Richie Graham accused me. Two barons were most unjustly put to death as partakers of that crime. That the "delation" might seem the more probable, so is the said Richard executed, to my prejudice. Their depositions were formed and reformed at the pleasure of such as were enemies to the said noblemen. So are the depositions of the said Richie, "as his in thinckes [sic.] all true that is alledged against me." So was he then no less assured of the other, and no less "animate" against the said noblemen. But, howsoever, they were admitted to their own places about his majesty, the calumny appeared, for none were to accuse them, and so they were "sene guiltles." The like I doubt not, God willing, shall fall unto me, if it be His divine pleasure to restore me unto my Prince's favour. Now if the ministry that followed the Court at that time could in duty have excommunicated the said noblemen by reason of their "forfaultres" and other crimes alleged against them, I am content to be so used. Yea, further, for declaration of my innocency and obedience, if you upon your consciences will affirm that you think me guilty of the crime objected by the said Richie, I promise faithfully—providing no other crime be laid to my charge—not only to be content to be excommunicated, but also I shall, without condition, "enter" at what day you will assign to suffer the penalty of so lewd a fact, although, as the Lord lives, I am innocent thereof, yea so innocent [that] if ever it be God's pleasure I ever attain to my former favour, I desire not to be esteemed innocent until the time I be purged by a "condigne assize," and some of my enemies moved with conscience to confess that I have been abused in that cause; and with this "gif I can not prove sorcerye at the least consultacion with sorcerers and witches for obtayning and mainteyning of his majesty's favour on the part of my adversaries," then all shall be esteemed true that is objected against me. For these causes, beloved brethren, I beseech you "eke" not affliction to affliction, and separate not those from you that are with you conjoined in religion and heart, as, God willing, time shall "try." Howsoever I "be traducit" for declaration thereof, I have abstained, and shall abstain to repair to any country where I may not have liberty of conscience, albeit I lack not large and golden promises if I would do otherwise. And if necessity shall compel me to repair to any such parts, I protest, by God's grace, that no calamity shall cause me to alter from the truth received and professed. We read of St. Ambrose that he excommunicated an emperor for rash prosecution and cruelty committed upon his people at the sinister information of his families. But we read not that any made excommunication a sequel of prosecution, and experience teaches us what absurdities should follow thereupon if all should be excommunicated who have been "forfalted" and in disgrace since his majesty took the government into his own hand; for then should they chiefly incur that sentence who in all honest men's opinion have been worthiest subjects, that is to say, his faithfulest servants and kinsmen. And by this reason my uncle, the Earl of Murray, Mr. Knox, and Buchanan, if they were alive, should be excommunicated, seeing his grace thinks no other ways of them "nor" of the most treasonable persons that ever his nation had; and, no doubt, if they survived to this hour their portion had been no better—so far as Maitland's credit might extend—than that of the Earls Morton, Gowrie, and late Earl of Murray. I beseech you therefore, dear brethren, weigh this matter advisedly. Think not your danger past so long as these hard impressions remain of so worthy persons, who only cared for the welfare of religion and their Prince's wealth. Consider how "Schebna" [Maitland] ran the Catholic course so long as it "made for" him. Now he seems to embrace you; but what have you profited by him all these ten years of his credit? He has not augmented your portion or privilege, yet of a beggar he has made himself "puisanter" than any two earls in this realm. He has "impoverit" the Crown, "defacit" the Kirk; "spilt" the country, and so shaken loose the whole body of the realm that no man is sure of life or land but so many as depend on him. For innocency is no guard, guiltiness no terror, equity no argument in pleading, "moyen" and bribes the instruments to prevail in judgment. In the end, when he shall see you to perceive his trumpery and that he cannot profit now by following out your course, he will return to his old wont, like as I assure you he has already begun to do by sending and receiving letters to that effect. To conclude, brethren, if you will have no friendly answer, at least "eik no gall unto my vineaker," and I shall accept it at your hands as a friendly benefit to abstain from that which, without slander and offence, you cannot do. And seeing my estate is rather to be pitied than envied let the punition which I patiently sustain move you to compassion. You know this year and more I, my wife, and innocent children have not had of my own living so much allowance as was bestowed on Richie Graham. During all his time I had neither the pleasure of the day nor rest of the night; for in the day I was forced to hide myself and in the night compelled to travel; my families and servants have been suborned to betray me; sundry odious crimes remitted to notable malefactors to murder me; some persuaded to poison me; Huntly set at liberty upon promise to apprehend and slay me. The rigorous edicts not only of impunity but of great rewards for such as would take in hand to murder the late Prince of Orange were not comparable to the inhuman and barbarous form used against [me]; for my enemies seek not only to deprive me of "harbery, resett," and all other necessaries for sustentation of my body, but their malice so far as in them lies tends to the slaughter of my "gaull," in so far as they would have me to be excommunicated. The instruments of infidels were not so intolerable, for albeit they "interditit" sondry criminals from fire and water, yet seldom or never did they forbid the use of altars and temples.

22/3 pp. Copy. In the hand of Bowes' clerk. Indorsed: "The copie of Bothwell's lamentation set on the ministers' doores."

783. Robert Bowes to [Burghley]. 1592-3. [Jan. 1.]

Forasmuch as some of the ministers in this town and he [Bowes] were advertised that the Catholics confederated in this realm had put in readiness Mr. George Carr, brother of the Abbot of Newbattle, one of the King's Council, to pass to Spain by the west seas in Mr. Jamison's barque, lying before Ayr and awaiting the coming of the bishops of Ross and Dunblane, order was sent to Mr. Andrew Knox, minister at Paisley, a brother of the Laird of Ramflye, to apprehend Mr. George and all his packets; wherein Mr. Knox discovered that Mr. George had put into the barque his coffers and stuffs and had closely committed to the keeping of the mariners two great packets of letters, and also that he had very secretly passed into the Isle of Comrie, in the west isles of Scotland, attending there the wind, and thereon to embark in most close manner. But Mr. Knox, with the help of Lord Rosse and others, sailed in the night to Comrie and there surprised Mr. George. Afterwards he entered into the barque, and with some favour well prepared amongst the mariners, he found out two great packets of letters, which he bestowed in safe custody. Yesternight the Lord Rosse and Mr. Knox, well guarded by many of this town, brought hither Mr. George Carr and his servant, who are committed to the charge of the Provost. In one of the packets are eight clean sheets of fair and gilded paper, whereon nothing is seen written, save only that some are subscribed solely by William Earl of Angus, some by George Earl of Huntly, some by Francis Earl of Erroll, some jointly by all three, some by the three earls and the Laird of Auchendowne. They are not directed to any person, yet by the humble words in the subscriptions they seem to be addressed to a King or person of high estate. With these blanks are enclosed the seals of the arms of each of the three earls named. The seals are so set down that they may be removed and affixed to the blank at the will of the bearer, and there are eight several seals of every one of these earls to serve for their eight several blanks. It is supposed that sundry of these blanks are filled and written with ink of white vitriol. Many other letters are in this packet and severally addressed by Mr. James Gordon, called "Crawford," Mr Robert Abercrombie, named "Sandyson," the Laird of Fentrie, termed "David Forster," and, by others, to sundry Jesuits, Spaniards, and officers in Spain. Finds letters of John Secylie alias Cicell, an Englishman, and a priest sent to Cardinal Allen, some Englishmen, and strangers. Cicell by his letters complains greatly that, without cause, he is suspected to give secret intelligence into England. Has doubted whether Burghley or any other for her majesty have quietly employed him in these parts. The Council here will call earnestly for the King to have all these packets and letters, and the ministers having those packets and letters are fearful and loth to displease the Council.

Ladylands has not confessed any matter of importance. Mr. Knox still assures him [Bowes] that the two bishops have been or still are in Scotland. It is supposed that these bishops are in the new ship of Leith lately set forth for Bordeaux. This ship has put back into this river. These Jesuits and papists have assured their friends that attempt shall be made in England for the benefit of the Catholic religion and pretend that the Isle of Man shall be taken for the Spaniard. Is informed by his "familliar" that at the meeting betwixt the Abbot of Newbattle and other Scottish Catholics with three English Papists there was one of the officers in the Isle of Man with whom Dudley returned to the Isle of Man.

The King by his letter to the Council has checked them sharply for pressing him to give up the author of the accusation of Mr. Robert Bruce and the ministers, which the King will not do, and he has written that they are like to be canonized for the favours to the ministry. The King has commanded that Ladyland's confession shall be sent to him. Warning has been given to the Master of Glamis that his life shall be taken within ten days if he does not well preserve himself. It is reported that Mackintosh has lately slain many of Huntly's people. These wars against Huntly have hindered the actions of the Catholics. The barons of Fife have made a band amongst themselves for the maintenance of religion, and have required that the barons in all other shires shall do the like. The Queen of Scots, for the pardon of John Douglas, Scotsman, prisoner in London, has written to him [Bowes] to such effect as by her own letter enclosed will appear, and has earnestlyrequired that Bowes would entreat Burghley to call John Douglas before him, that by him and witnesses he might know that Douglas killed her majesty's servant of the guard in his own defence. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript.—Loggan's new ship of Leith has put out for Bordeaux. She will put in at Yarmouth and take a mast. Thinks the suspected persons will not be found in her. Andrew Loggan has sent him [Bowes] advertisement that there is not one suspected or unknown passenger in his ship.

4 pp. No flyleaf or address.

784. Promise by Lord Sempill and others. [Jan. 1.]

"The lordis and gentillmen following salbe bund serwanttis to the Quenis majeste of Ingland and the profession of the religion of Chryst Jesu as it is presentle professit in Scotland, and sall bind them selfis and incage ther landis to that effect, ther dute being reserwit to ther awin soverane lord, and sall wpon hir advertesment nocht onle try all sic conspirates as salbe intendit aganis hir majeste's lyf and the religion, bot also sall prevent tham and be rady be ther forces to stay them." Robert Lord Sempill. Robert Lord Ross. Robert Master of Cauldwell. Robert Sempill of Fulwood.

¼ p. Indorsed by Bowes: "Mr. Andrew Knoxes note. Geven to me. Edinburgh primo Januarii, 1592."

785. Robert Bowes to [Burghley]. [Jan 3.]

Yesterday the King's Council fully perused the letters and writings found with Mr. George Carr in the barque before Irvine ready for Spain. By the view of these letters, and chiefly of the blanks subscribed with the hands of Angus, Huntly, and Erroll, the whole Council thought it manifest that these and other Catholics in Scotland had confederated with the King of Spain. The Council resolved to send Sir John Carmichael and Sir George Hume to communicate these weighty causes to the King, to entreat him to hasten his return hither, and to persuade him to arm with all expedition and with his forces to take and punish these three earls and the rest of the confederates. Sir John Carmichael came from the Council to him [Bowes] with advice that he would write effectually to hasten the King's coming hither and to prick him forward to arms, and to be mean that the Queen of England would counsel and prick the King into this action.

Finds the scars of former apprehensions received by the stay of full payment of the year's gratuity given by her majesty to the King to be now "caste upp" with some of this Council, fearing that this matter has over-much possessed the King's mind and hazarded dangers. The Council, for this time, have chosen and sent to the King only one of these letters, written by J. Christeson, who is Mr. James Gordon the Jesuit, to George Crawford, who is Mr. William Crichton, presently in high credit in Spain. Encloses a copy of this letter, together with a note or abstract of all other letters found with Mr. George Carr.

Angus was with the King on Sunday last and recounted to the King his doings and success in the execution of his commission for pacifying the troubles betwixt Atholl and Huntly. It has appeared that Angus sways much the balance for Huntly, and laying some blame on Atholl in that he did not depart out of the county of Moray, the late slaughter done by Huntly's people is sought to be smoothed and covered over. On Monday last Angus came to this town whilst the Council were together, who charged him to keep his house for that night. The provost set a good guard on his house. The next day the Council sent Lord Lindsay and the Prior of Blantyre to carry Angus to the Castle. Angus, refusing to enter into ward, alleged that he had been with the King and was dismissed by him with his favour and good countenance. The town, hearing that he would not obey the Council's order, put themselves hastily in arms intending to have pulled him out of his house. Angus' servant seeing this counselled him to yield. Thereupon he submitted, and was taken to the Castle.

Another of Mr. George Carr's servants was taken yesterday and examined. He confessed that his master was at Dumbarton town with Mr. James Gordon, and in company of another man in grey clothing, old and tall, who is deemed to be the bishop of Dunblane. Albeit that Lord Sempll, Lord Rosse, the Lairds of Coldwall and Falwood have been much infected with papistry, etc., yet they have offered largely their good devotion to the Queen of England.

Proclamation was made yesterday in this town commanding all Jesuits, seminaries, excommunicates, and such persons as were with Bothwell at Holyrood House or Falkland to depart out of the town within three hours upon pain of death, and not to approach near to the King's person or this town by ten miles. This order against Bothwell's followers is cast in to please the King, who has sent him [Bowes] notice that Bothwell is openly received and entertained with great company at Bewcastle by Thomas Musgrave, the captain thereof.

Is informed that a fine pinnace attends and sails with Andrew Loggan's ship, and it is supposed that this pinnace is prepared to receive the bishops and land them at their pleasure. This pinnace is bound for Bayon, in Spain. Is informed that a stranger of good estimation has embarked in a Scottish ship at Dunkirk for Leith with letters to these earls and the Catholics here. Has provided that watch shall be kept at Leith for the entry of this ship. The ship is of Musselburgh, where like order is taken.

Ladyland's chest was withdrawn before Mr. Knox's coming to the house. It is thought that the band, etc., were in that chest. Has travailed with Lord Rosse and has written to Lord Sempill to be a means that that chest and all the letters and writings may be delivered to Mr. Andrew Knox. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. No flyleaf or address.

First Enclosure with the same: —

(James Christeson [James Gordon] to George Crawford [William Creichton]).

Printed in D. Calderwood, Hist. of the Kirk of Scotland (Wodrow Soc.) v. 195; Criminal Trials in Scot. ed. R. Pitcairn, I. Pt. II. 323.

Your friends who are here have directed this present bearer to you for full resolution of all your affairs in these quarters. We have delayed over long, I grant, but he will show you the cause of all. "The next best is yeuse" all expedition in time coming against the next summer, otherwise you will "tyne" credit here with your "factours." If you come you will find more friends than ever you had; but otherwise you will find no favour, because the next summer many are bound to other countries, and will not "abyde" on you any longer to haste home "heare." "Some worde to your frendis that we maye put them in good hope of you, and they will tarye the longer."

The bearer is an honest man and very sufficient: you may credit him as myself. I should have come with him myself were it not I was persuaded that you would "remaine on our answere"; and because I "gott ane stoppe out of Flaunders," as the bearer can show. You have got all that you desired, therefore make haste. The bearer has come to you at his own charge, therefore you must have respect for him. The last bearer that you sent came here "behinde hande," and has got no satisfaction as yet, because nothing could be got here, and we could find no man but this who would pass at his charge; and I fear that if he had not come at his own expense he should not have received answer so soon. Therefore you should treat him the better. "We will heare abyde yourselfe shortlie," and I would you brought the rest of your friends with you that are beyond the sea, "for if your bloke passis forwardes those must be also present," otherwise we must "come" and "vyse with you all." Other affairs of this country I commit to the bearer, who is faithful. Your wife and your bairns "commendes them" to you and look to see you shortly. If I or Sandeson, your servant, receive any silver you shall be advertised by another ticket how "mickle" it is and subscribed "with baithe our handis." The rest I will refer to the bearer. Dundee, 20th November, 1592.

1 p. Copy. Indorsed by Bowes' clerk: "Coppie of the lettre send by J. Christeson, viz., Mr. James Gordon, Jesuitt, to George Crawforthe viz., Mr. William Crighton, presentlye in Spaine. This is sent to the King by Sir John Carmichell, Sir Geoge Hume."

Second enclosure with the same:—

(Note of letters and writings taken with George Carr.)

"The note of sondrye lettres and wrytinges taken with George Carr and perused by the Counsell at Edenborough the first of January, 1592."

A recommendation or testimonial of Mr. James Gordon in favour of Mr. George Carr, 24th June, 1592.

A letter subcsribed by James Christieson and Robert Sandison confessing the receipt of 100 crowns of the Sun, 3rd December, 1592.

A letter of Mr. Robert Abercrombie "uppon" the same 100 crowns.

In a packet to Cardinal Allen by John Cicell, 2nd October, 1592, the same Cecill's letter to the Cardinal.

Cecill's letter to Robert Parsons.

A letter in Italian subscribed by Garbaro Creuso, directed to one Cairo in Alexandria, in Egypt.

A testimonial by Mr. Robert Abercrombie in favour of Mr. George Carr.

Another testimonial written and subscribed by the Earl of Angus.

Another packet, and therein seven letters.

A letter to Patrie Anthonio, presbitero societatis Jesu, from Mr. James Gordon, 20th November, 1592.

Another to George Crawford by Mr. James Gordon, under the name of James Christison, at Dundee, 20th November, 1592.

One letter to Patrie Petro Rebadinero, societatis Jesu presbitero, by Mr. James Gordon, 20th November, 1592.

Another to George Crawford by Robert Sandison.

One to Jacob Anellanedo, in Latin, by Mr. James Gordon, 20th November, 1592.

A letter from John Cargill to William Craig, 12th June, 1592.

A letter from Henry Gylbert to Mr. Robert Balfour.

A charter, unsubscribed or sealed, made by Mr. Alexander Hume, of Polywall, to Mr. Alexander Kinge, advocate, of four "husband landes in Spatt and Eister Bromehowse."

An assignation "conforme" thereto, unsubscribed or sealed.

A missive bill, subscribed by "hym ye whot who"; who is Mr. Alexander Kinge.

A missive from James Cristison to Thomas Anderson, 10th July, 1592

Another from James Cristison to William Heriot, of the same date.

A letter from David Forster, which is Fintrie, to [ ]. (fn. 2)

A packet containing five pieces.

One from John Chisholme to his brother John Chisholme in Vaisonn.

One from James Chisholme to Mr. George Carr, 24th October, 1592.

One from John Chisholme to the bishop of Vaihon.

A discourse of news, "of" John Chisholme's hand.

A missive from James Cristison to Robert Sandeson, 10th November, 1592.

A blank subscribed by William "Comte de Angus."

A blank subscribed by the Earls of Angus, Huntly, Erroll, and Laird of Auchindoun.

Another of the same form.

Another subscribed "Georgius comes de Huntley."

Another subscribed "Franciscus Errolie comes."

Another subscribed "Georgius comes de Huntley."

Another subscribed "Gulihelmus Angusie comes."

Three folded pieces of paper whereupon are stamped the "taschetts" or seals of arms of the Earls of Angus, Huntly, and Erroll.

1 p. In the hand of Bowes' clerk. Indorsed: "Th'abstrack of the lettres taken with Mr. George Carr and vewed by the Counsell. Edenburgh, 2° Januarii 1592."


  • 1. 27th year was 1593-4; but endorsed by Bowes' clerk: "X° Decembris, 1592."
  • 2. Blank.