Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 11, 1593-1595. Originally published by Edinburgh, 1936.
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James VI, July 1593
82. Further Requests by Sir Robert Melvill. [July.]
To desire my Lord Treasurer to procure a warrant or grant his warrant for 34 elm trees for transportation to Scotland for the King's own proper use. To desire his answer and a remedy for better ordering of the Scottish salt at Lyme. To request his favour for the poor old man George Padie, of Leith, and to show how there be divers bonds of several men for his affair lying before the lords of her Majesty's Privy Council, and other bonds in the hands of Sir John Voggane in Wales to her Majesty's use. To get his warrant for one trunk to pass by sea, for every one of his company, fifteen in all, paying customs for that which shall be for merchandise.
1 small sheet of paper. Holograph in Melvill's hand. The last nine words in Burghley's hand. Endorsed by Burghley: "Ambassador of Scotland's requestes, 1593."
83. Mr. Edward English to Burghley. [July 3.]
By your lordship's letter, it seems that my note of the sums paid to the use of the King of Scots had not come to you. Since then Mr. Maynard writes that you have now a perfect note, but I certify you again of the same. [The tenor of the letter following is, as in No. 77, the difficulty of determining what sums were paid to the Scottish King.] Westminster. Signed: Ed. Englyshe.
(Moneys paid towards Scotland,.)
To Thomas Randolph, esquire, 6th January, 23 Elizabeth [as in No. 77]. 1000l. Paid to his own hand by Mr. Killigrew.
To the Earl of Huntingdon, to be employed in her Majesty's service. (fn. 1) 5000l. Paid to the hands of Lord Hunsdon by the tellers.
To Robert Bowes, Treasurer of Berwick, 18th March, 23 Eliz. [as in No. 77]. 3000l. Paid to the hands of Thomas Apleby his servant by Mr. Killigrew and Mr. Freke.
To Robert Bowes, 30th September, 24 Eliz. [as in No. 77]. 1000l. Paid to the hands of Sir George Carey, Anthony Felton and John Allen by Mr. Killigrew.
To Marmaduke, etc., as in No. 77. [But here "20l. for conveyinge" the money.] 2000l. Paid to him by Mr. Freke.
To Robert Carvell [as in No. 77]. 2000l. Paid to him by Mr. Stanley.
1½ pp. Holograph. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
84. Payments of Money. [July 4.]
["xviijm for vij (fn. 2) yers is iijm every yere lack one yer."]
1 p. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk. Notes in square brackets in Burghley's hand.
85. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 7.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 99. Transcript, see p. 693.
. . . of the 27th and 30th of June . . . essed by Sir Robert Melvill to the Lord Secretary here [? the letters] were delivered the day of the receipt, agreeable to their . . . ns. [By] your lordship's last I perceive that her Majesty desires to be certified how two sums paid to my hands for the King of Scots have been [ex]pended: first, in the 23rd year of her Majesty's reign [1581–2] 3000l., and next, in the 24th year following 1000l. Albeit I remember well that other sums have come, yet at present I cannot call to perfect memory the certainty of the sums received, the times of delivery and the manner of "diffrage" [of] the same; and the true account of all the particularities therein I before drew and delivered to my servant, Christopher Sheperson, to be presented to your lordship. I have now directed Sheperson (presently at Berwick assisting Mr. Clopton to make the pay there) to search out and bring to me those accounts, which I shall send by him with all the expedition I can. I remember that I paid at the time mentioned for the maintenance of a guard then [k]ept about the King 1000l. or 2000 marks, as by the acquittance in Sheperson's hands will appear. The rest I must refer to the view of the account mentioned, the double whereof I have not in this place.
The bruit of great assemblies of noblemen in tumultuous sort (as appears to have come to your lordship's hearing), has hitherto [? not] been known further than I have certified to your lordship of the assembly of Lord Hamilton and Argyll for the day of law for [Ardkinglass] and of . . . accident fallen out betwixt their companies meeting [at the] Canongate, which is appeased, as before [I] have advertised. The common voice spread that Captain James Stewart [sha]ll become Chancellor has been grounded upon the plot of [som]e courtiers. Some would have made me think that I [sho]uld see Captain James in the streets this day and received at Court, [whic]h has failed, and, as I hear, the course for this Captain is to be [tu]rned into an accusation in Parliament against the Chancellor, which [ma]ny suppose to be given out rather with practice to stay the [Chan]cellor's return than with hope of good [succe]ss against him in Parliament. Thus much in answer to your lordship's two [letters] . . . and sudden as . . . by my letters are changed before my. . . . It was ordained and "looked" that sundry noble[men] . . . have given their presence at this Convention . . . of the affairs to be treated in the next Parliament. . . . [? Few] have come hither, other than the Earl of Atholl, . . . and Forbes, and now few other noblemen are [? looked for] before Monday next, the 9th instant. By which . . . for the Parliament, beginning on Tuesday next, are . . . reconciliations betwixt the Duke, with other courtiers [? and the Chancellor have] been still delayed, chiefly by the absence of Lord H[ume] . . . from the north to the Court, and newly departed from . . . House, and now of the Earl of Mar and Master of Glami[s] . . ., but without any certainty of the time of their coming. . . . Courtiers, as I hear, confidently affirm tha[t ? Parliament will be] prorogued, which will agree best with their desires, and [? many] wise and of good experience think that it cannot [? hold] . . . at the day limited, being now within three or . . . The King plainly assures me that it shall proceed . . . and with good effect. For the furtherance whereof [the ministry] travail earnestly with the King and the noblemen and have . . . fast in this town.
I am informed that the determination in Parliament [in] the progress of the attainders and forfeitures of Angus [and] other rebels depends wholly on the condition of the [? progress of] Robert Melvill's affairs in England, and that . . . the prorogation of this Parliament for the benefit of th . . . tooth and nail to allure the King to cast away . . . prosperous journey for the King's satisfaction. All which [? I refer to your] wise deliberation and counsel. The Chancellor, by the King's advice, has consented to . . . for the assurance of his lands in Musselburgh to. . . . Thereon the King hastes to draw the Chancellor to [be] present at this Parliament. But many blocks [in the] passage are not yet removed.
I have heard that very lately the Stewarts have . . . band to be made amongst them, and that thereby th . . . the Chancellor's entry. I have been warned that (fn. 3) . . . to join in this association, wherein I have not sp . . . to him to beware to enter into and bind himself to . . . the Stewarts, having such interest in Atholl . . . dare not give assurance of his resolution . . . [a] mity betwixt these two realms . . . power for the maintenance of religion and welfare of the . . . try, without affection to Huntly, his brother-in-law, or any other . . . cted. He has renewed this motion, showing great earnestness. . . . Therefore I thought it my duty to present this to her Majesty's knowledge and pray direction by letter, that may be showed if necessary.
The special solicitors of Angus, Huntly and Errol are presently [h]ere, intending to labour to the Kirk to accept their submission, that their suits to the King and Parliament may receive the more favour, and Huntly has sent to Patrick Murray certain articles to be solicited to the King and Parliament. I enclose a copy of these articles, got secretly and brought to me. I have been advertised that a rabble of thieves of Kintyre, Argyle and the Isle of Arran, to the number of 500 men, are gathered together purposing to invade the Isle of Man. Whereof, for the present, I have given notice to Lord Scrope that he may warn the Captain of the Isle of Man.
Besides the King's commission to Mr. William Orde and his letter to the King of Spain for the advancement of Orde's errand, there were found on him five letters addressed to one of the Session, not named, and to four merchants of this town. The contents of the letters "rested" most in compliments, always referring credit to the bearer, who by the King's order has given caution to answer to all charges against him, and passes without strait examination. The others [which were] taken in the ship with his clothes, were papers for his own [re]membrance and are of small importance. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.— . . Act of Council resolved this day, the [Parlia]ment shall begin on the 10th instant [not]withstanding that the appearance thereat will be [very] small. In regard whereof it is intended to . . . nd five or six days in the lightest matters, and by . . . e variances falling betwixt the ambassadors for [Den]mark and the Chancellor in the manner of the assurances made to the Queen, the Chancellor is not likely [to be] present on the first day of the Parliament. For it is [thought tha]t troubles shall arise at this assembly gathered in this disorder. . . . Chancellor seeks to be clear in the eyes of the world, or a . . . himself in safety.
3 pp. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. Addressed. Edges damaged by fire.
86. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 10.] Cott. Calig,. D.ii. fol. 101. Transcript, see p. 695.
This day I received a packet of . . . by Sir Robert Melvill to me, and signed and warranted by your lordship . . . convoy by post. In it there was one letter to the [Secr]etary, one to young Sir Robert Melvill, two to Andrew Melvill and . . . to myself. By these it is understood that Sir Robert has had . . . able audience of her Majesty and conference with some of her Privy Council, and that he attends for answer; which (as he writes) he hopes shall be for the King's good contentment, a matter no less "looked" than heartily prayed for here for the common benefit of the common causes; the regard whereof (chiefly in view of the present confusion in this estate and deemed remediable only by his good success in England), I wholly refer to wise advice and consideration; and for my own part I must turn me shortly to defend my services now condemned and noted to be cast down like good milk with the foot of an unruly cow.
The King, with few noblemen and many commissioners for barons and burghs, was at the Tolbooth this Tuesday, the 10th instant, first, to begin the Parliament at the day prescribed, and next, to fence and put it over until Saturday. In the meantime the King and this assembly intend to make choice of the Lords of the Articles and to prepare all things to be presented to this Parliament, especially for the attainders and forfeitures of Angus, Huntly, Errol and Auchindoun, and of such as were present at Murray's death. I am informed that Mr. David Macgill, the King's chief Advocate, has [ca]sten in some doubt, affirming that the summons (meaning the [pro]bation of the crimes objected) against Angus, Huntly, Errol and Auchindoun is not sufficiently proved and apparent for the Parliament to proceed to forfeiture. Some suspect Mr. David to be entangled with hope of good deeds at the hands of these lords. But Mr. John Skene, the other Advocate, maintains the summons to be very sufficient, [and] some others learned are of his opinion. The King seems to be greatly perplexed, purposing to [c]all to-morrow others of the Session to decide the question, [sa]ying that in his own person he has omitted nothing, and that he trusts that the lords and commissioners will concur and proceed with him agreeable [to] duty and justice. On this point the success of this Parliament will depend, and I have heard that th . . . comfort therein, yet the King shows him[self] . . . forward for the allowance of the sufficiency of [the] summons, a[nd the well] affected are not void of hope that the same [? may be done in] this Parliament. Wherein your lordship shall shortly ha[ve advertisement ?]. For the preservation of the peace amongst the noblemen come hither the King had granted commission to S . . . to take general assurance in writing of the Lo . . . to the draft of the assurance devised. The Coun[cil] . . ., Duke, Atholl and some others for their assent and subscr[iption] found dilatory answers. Whereupon the King called fo . . . Tolbooth the several promises of all the noblemen assemble[d] openly there to keep the peace during this Parliament . . . their followers so far as they can, and the tow[n has] taken very good order herein. So that there is bett[er ? hope] Parliament shall be quiet, unless it shall be troubled [with] accidents not now expected, or be altered by the practice and craft of the . . . awaiting to take advantage of anything. The King in his oration in the Tolbooth checked as . . . and councillors licensed to depart and who returned not . . . appointed, as also others departing without his privity . . . tarried beyond due times, leaving him slenderly . . . he could not provide for the good progress of matters [and] concluded (as is reported to me) with request to them . . . with good diligence in everyone for the expedition of [matters] in Parliament, especially for the trials and forfeitures. It is told me that the friends and solicitors of the partie[s charged with] treasons have set up all their sails, purposing to . . . insufficiency of the probation of their summons . . . given for the default of the appearance of the pers . . . tender large offers for their acquittal. Wher . . . friendship, especially amongst the assembly of the . . . part of the commissioners for the barons and burg . . . against them.
[? It is told] me that the Master of Elphinstone, the laird [? of Balquhan], Findlater and Pitlurg are here soliciting the cause of the three Earls; that for the managing of the secret [af]fairs Balquhan (Buchan) and Findlater are chiefly employed, who had laid . . . posts for the speedy convoy of letters and messages betwixt the Earls and them; that for the expedition of intelligence Huntly has lately come into Fife; that he had sent hither Troupe with letters [and] blanks, and Troupe having lately returned [w]ith letters and report Huntly departed northwards and passed the water of Spey; that Huntly still standing on his innocency (and saying that he is not "in case of" Angus and Errol), offers to endure imprisonment at the King's pleasure, and that for the surety thereof Pitlurg shall presently enter into and remain in ward until he comes and relieves him, and if he make default that then both Pitlurg's head shall be stricken off and also Huntly shall be declared traitor and lose life, lands and all he possesses; that Huntly will obey and follow from henceforth the King's pleasure, upon pain of death and all forfeitures; that he will with all submission and sincerity satisfy the Church, and thereon remove all Jesuits and Papists from him and exhibit the bodies of the Jesuits in the north; that for these open offices Pitlurg has commission; and some having interest in him made me think that he would have dealt with me this day in the name of the three Earls, offering to her Majesty very large overtures with hostages or any other assurances. But, his coming being delayed, I [th]ink his mind is changed, peradventure upon fresh suspicion conceived this day that Sir Robert Melvill shall not bring hasty contentment to the King or this estate.
After many chops and changes in the assurances to be made to the Queen by the Chancellor, he has offered to the King (as I am informed) to give his simple blank to assure to the Queen all such possessions, and in such manner as the Queen and ambassadors for Denmark will call for. The portion and quality [of] the parcels demanded of him were almost accorded, but the ambassadors stand to have the assurances conveyed in form used in Denmark only. These impediments are removed by the Chancellor's last offer, and [there]by the King has resolved both to give contentment to the Queen and the ambassadors and also to hasten Blantyre, Linclouden and North Berwick to [accompl]ish the agreement betwixt the Chancellor and the Duke, Mar, Hume and the Master [of Glami]s, that the Chancellor may be here on Friday or Saturday [at] the farthest. Lord Hume has submitted himself and his cause to the King's censure [i.e. judgment]. Mar and the . . . "standethe out." (fn. 4) Whereupon the King has said he . . . as will not conform themselves to his will in this od . . . in open Session has advised with the Lords for the . . . Chancellor's return and presence at this Parliament . . . received their opinions proving the same to be necessary. Albeit the King . . . to draw the Chancellor to him, yet his coming with . . . with the parties interested will endanger him as it . . .
The "raskall sorte" of Argyle, Kintyre, and Isle of Arr[an] . . . gathered had prepared sundry "lowefaggs" (fn. 5) or barques purp . . . the Isle of Man, as before I have certified. But [? advertisement] being given by my means to some friends there the . . . joined with the others, found their purpose discovered, and . . . and the others entered into "lowe fagges" "tooke a pray on" . . . retired, as I am informed, to their dwelling places . . .
It has confidently been given out, with what crafty . . . not, that Colonel Sempill, lately carried in John S . . . from Spain to Newhaven, in France, embarked a . . . arrived in the water of Clyde, in the west, with gr . . . and with assurance that 6000 Spaniards should be sent to . . . with all expedition. I have made enquiry thereupon . . . parts and am certified credibly that Sempill has not . . . thereabouts. So that this general bruit will soon be . . . Upon like enquiry on the west coasts and isles of S[cotland, I am ?] given to think that no Spanish vessels or companies h[ave been in these ?] seas of late, as by your lordship's former letters to me it app[ears you] had been informed.
It is ordained by act of Council that Captain [James] Stewart shall not "kythe" [show] himself or be . . . the end of the Parliament. The King has assigned a council to the Queen, na[mely] Pluscardine, now President of the Session, Blantyre, . . ., Mr. James Elphinstone and Mr. Thomas Hamilton, . . . being before established for a councillor to the . . ., so that it is thought that these councillors are appointed . . . in perfecting of the assurances for her jointure. But I . . . is wholly now carried with the advice of this new co . . . the coming of the Chancellor to this Parliament, and do othe . . . importance, and chiefly to scan curiously of the . . . given to Sir Robert Melvill in England. Whereby . . . affected here both very doubtful of happy . . . t the progress in Parliament shall . . . e resolute and pro . . . shall be known here how Sir Robert . . . prospers in [Engla]nd. [Albeit] that proclamation is published against the casting forth [of] any infamous libels, yet lately one libel with one letter directed [to] the King and closely sealed has been cast out, charging the noblemen in Court with most horrible practices against religion, the King and ministers. These are suppressed, agreeable to the proclamation, and not worthy to be specified. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—Noblemen presently [at C]ourt and in Edinburgh: The Duke, Lord Hamilton, Argyll, Atholl, Morton, Mar. Lords Hume, Ochiltree, Lindsay, Sinclair, Spynie. Master of Glamis. Please to "remember" her Majesty to commend Mr. James Murray to Sir Robert Melvill [t]hat he and his cause may be recommended to [the] King's good consideration, agreeable [to he]r Majesty's former motions. I have been driven to stay the despatch of these presents after they were ready [? that there]with I might send the King's letter to Sir Robert Melvill.
5 pp. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. Addressed. Edges injured by fire.
87. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 14.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 97. Transcript, see p. 697.
. . . the Parliament to . . . is fenced and put over till Monday next, the . . . [ass]embly of the nobility here gathered are very small, and . . . ted to be doubtfully disposed in the forfeitures or attainders [of] Angus, Huntly and Errol; wherein Hamilton, Atholl, [Lind]say and Forbes plainly declare their readiness to attaint them, and Hamilton hearing of the coldness in the Council refused to come to it, notwithstanding that [he] was twice sent for. None of the noblemen last sent for by the [King's] earnest letter have obeyed the same. It is meant that the assurances to the Queen for her dower shall be the first matter executed by this Parliament, for the expedition whereof [the] ambassadors for Denmark delivered yesterday the King's letters to the lords here [f]or the confirmation of the assurances. The forfeitures of these Earls shall be next brought in question.
Because it is generally conceived that the King and lords are so far carried with the King's Advocate's opinion that the summons and libel against the Earls was not by law sufficiently proved, and that thereby they could not lawfully be forfeited by this Parliament, it was deliberated what should be done therein and whether this [Par]liament should be continued or not. In which behalf the Master of Glamis, Blantyre and Linclouden were sent to confer with the ministers for their advice, and chiefly to give them satisfaction in the course to be [r]esolved. Therefore I repaired to the King, moving him earnestly to give commission to four or more fit persons, learned, well affected [and] free from suspicion, to call on the Advocate for a view of the summons [li]bel and process laid against these persons and their parties, that [there]on it might be known what errors or insufficiencies could be found in form or matter, to the intent that all defaults might be orderly and in season reformed, that [the]reon the Parliament might lawfully proceed to forfeit the offenders, and I might in best time advertise her Majesty of the King's own mind and resolution herein.
The King answered that he had already provided that all the defaults in form or substance [of] this cause should be examined, and that the whole process in form is . . . without any error. But the Advocate thinks that the probation of the [summo]ns and libel declaring the treasons cannot be sufficiently proved by . . . evidence or matter known to him, whereby the lords (as appears to him), . . . e persuaded to consent to the forfeitures upon such insufficient . . . I did not . . . against the Advocate and the authority of . . . pronounce the law by their censures only . . . fault in prejudicing the King and Parliament directly . . . and haply it may be that the Advocate shall be . . . the whole Parliament, as already I have put it into S . . . that he deserves to be so dealt with.
The King reasoned much of the order and power of the Parli[ament] [? alleging] it always to be ruled in trial of facts by the s . . . proof of the matters alleged [? and that] the evidence in this case should be found very slender to . . . forfeit the parties. [In the margin in Burghley's hand: "The King diminisheth his authorite in favor of rebells."] He also defended the Advocate . . . and further he said that if it might be proved good . . . ought to be considered whether it were convenient fo . . . the forfeitures; wherein he had been earnestly ad[? vised by] his Council to beware to embark himself in the . . . which he could not pass, and thereon he entered into l . . ., namely, in two causes. [In the margin in Burghley's hand: "A new dout ether for feare or for favor to the rebells."] The first that without her M[ajesty, his] power does not suffice to execute the forfeitures and to punish the rebels, agreeable to the act of Parlia[ment]. [In the margin in Burghley's hand: "Sir Robert Melvyn's report."] In this he said that by Sir Robert M . . . finds very favourable entertainment given to him . . . of good success in his request either for this suppor[t] . . . this use or yet for the banishing of Bothwell forth . . . added that the noblemen and his Council conceiving . . . wished him to try what he might trust to before . . . great troubles, and lose such friends as he might retai[n] . . . of the advice given to stay these forfeitures by Parliament . . . former promises to her Majesty and his realm; the inconveniences . . . the occasions justly moving her Majesty to receive assurance . . . the sincerity of his will to prosecute these great causes . . . any party, and the evil and subtle minds of councill[ors] . . . the amity betwixt these crowns, wherein he should . . . in case the forfeitures should be stayed. I have ben . . . hath been counselled earnestly to attend and behold . . . King would take with the Catholics, and with what succ[ess] . . . return before he should "pricke" his noblemen over fa . . . help of friends for uncertainties, and that this . . . bent against England so far as I dare discover th . . . recommend to wise and timely consideration.
[In the margin in Burghley's hand: "The King's passion for Bothwelles ressett in England."] Secondly, in very warm passion he recounted h . . . to bar the receipt and entertainment of Bothwell in . . . and for otherwise than he has done to her Majesty . . . past, yet Bothwell is kept in Northumberland o . . . t forth to hunt for his life. He recited many particular . . . Bothwell's receipt in England by the allowance of her Majesty or Council . . . e and Mr. John Colville had lately received gold, setting down the portion . . . whose hands and by whose commandment; that therewith Bothwell had [fu]rnished himself with horses for his hurt; and he seemed to have very [in]ward intelligence in these things; and that one Scottish man, purposely sent to Bothwell to sound him and discover his estate, had [re]vealed these things as from the Earl Bothwell's mouth, and upon sight [of] his estate persuaded him to seek the King's favour and for some time to expend his time in foreign parts. Whereunto Bothwell answered that whilst he lived thus without the King's favour his pains were greater than if he were "rosted and sokinge by fyre," yet he might not leave her Majesty's liberality for uncertainties. I omit to write all things spoken, and my power does not suffice to satisfy him. Therefore I leave all these things to her Majesty's wise consideration.
After long reasoning and debate I departed from the King with distrust of good progress in the attainders of these Earls by Parliament. For repair whereof I dealt with some noblemen, lawyers and others well affected; and afterwards the ministers, doing the like, came to and moved the King so far that yesternight very late it was enacted by Council that on Monday next the Parliament shall begin and proceed certainly, and that the noblemen [and] others summoned for these conspiracies with Spain shall be forfeited. Nevertheless the doom shall be suspended and left to be [pro]nounced at the King's pleasure.
That you may see seasonably the condition of this estate and [u]pon what ground the doom and judgment of the attainders is suspended, therefore I have written and sent with greater expedition, praying [th]at I may be [t]imely directed what to do farther for the advancement of her Majesty's service [he]re. My estate and case have long since failed to perform the duties requisite, and for which I have been careful and ready, howsoever I and my silly services [hav]e been construed; and now my body and health do not suffice to carry . . . r this burden.
The Chancellor hearing of the disposition of this assembly and Court, and doubting that little shall be done in this Parliament, does not haste to Court lest the ill issue of matters [be], without cause, laid on his shoulders. But if he shall find hope of success and be . . . the King, then his peril shall not stay his access to his sovereign and . . . who finds himself not so regarded with th . . . in regard that the Duke thinks that for h . . . "Glencarnes" and others of greater value than th . . . Patrick Herring (Heringe), a soldier, has returned hither . . . informed that he brought some letters from Mr. W . . . hitherto I cannot learn any certainty thereof. Angus, Huntly, Errol and their friends have been . . . and many rumours have run in this country of . . . Sempill, and of the . . . a Spanish fleet for Scotland. Hitherto I find . . . matters of truth that I suspect coming pract . . . both realms, and as these will be more easy to be . . . intelligence to your lordship than I can espy the same, so . . . advertisement only so far as I can learn, to your lordship g . . . trial. Edinburgh. Signed: Rober[t Bowes.]
3½ pp. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. No flyleaf or address. Underlined in parts by Burghley, and marginal notes in Burghley's hand. Edges injured by fire.
88. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 16.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 95. Transcript, see p. 700.
[Since] the despatch of my others [I have] received your last letter, of the 9th of this month . . . first part of your letter, I have partly certified . . . knowledge by my last before these, letting your lordship understand [that] albeit here have been great rumours of Spanish ships on the west coast of this realm, yet so far as I could learn no fleet or ships of Spain have been or are [on] the west seas or near the West Isles, and this [is] confirmed by such as have lately come hither from Kintyre and Argyle.
. . . Huntly ([C]hanus) and the rest triumph, as by the following will appear . . . . They have fallen from the pursuit of [t]heir former offers to me, trusting now wholly in the King of Scotland (Arabia), drawn . . . mislike and "in manner to caste upp" with England (Damascus). The parties [o]ffering the motion to me have been lately with me, seeming to be [w]illing to proceed effectually in the matter, yet I find no trust [k]ept with me, for the chief persons concredited with the managing [of] these matters have not come to me, as was promised, [a]nd presently they do nothing without the advice and privity of such as [im]part the same to the King of Scots (Petrea). I hereby find my dealings [with] them to be full of danger, knowing that whatsoever I shall [con]clude with them shall be speedily and wholly revealed, and that the [sam]e will deeply wound and discourage the well affected, who are not [ne]gligent to provide some timely remedy in these [per]ilous diseases, and therefore I sail so betwixt these two tides [that] I may recover such port and haven as shall be found best and [dir]ected to me; wherein I desire further order and direction.
[It] is not known here as yet that Sir Robert Melvill has had [th]e second audience of her Majesty, as your lordship writes. In Court it [is] verily looked that he shall return with small success [in] his errand, especially for Bothwell and her Majesty's support against the rebels; upon which matters the occasion of this sudden sliding from her Majesty [is] chiefly grounded and maintained, and the well affected have [la]tely wished that she had given better contentment that . . . King left without excuse, and good . . . freely for the redress. The recovery of . . . condition of the case as now it stands, and . . . to wise advice and consideration.
The last part of your Lordship's letter touching the disp . . . is over much expected and desired in Court . . . with hope, and much depends on that change. T . . . the contents in your lordship's letter specified. The King and the noblemen here assembled and prepa . . . day to the Tolbooth to begin the Parliament, w . . . in the order for carriage of the honours before the King . . . pressed by the King to carry the crown, which Angus . . . to answer for his treasons challenged by his tenu . . . office, in regard (as it is thought) that Hamilton th . . . service some blemish in his estate and case had . . . denied, and presently showed himself unwilling to . . . the Duke accounts his state, nothing inferior to . . . courtesy to obey the King in this appointment. I . . . using to carry the sceptre, Argyll was appoint[ed] notwithstanding that he was accustomed to bear th . . . Chief Justice in Scotland, and therefore the s . . . to Atholl, who refused it directly, alleging th . . . much that day honour his enemy the Earl of Huntly . . . Argyll. Wherein he was so resolute that the King . . . and thereon Atholl retired to and kept himself in his . . . likewise came not to the Court by the occasion of p . ., but awaited the King's coming at the Tolbooth.
These matters mightily wrought in the King and Court . . . to the Tolbooth from the hour of ten appointed . . . until near three in the afternoon. In which time th[ey] were once purposed to have adjourned the Parliament . . . have satisfied therein the ambassadors of Denmark . . . execution and confirmation of the assurances for the . . . then being quietly passed into the city to see th . . ., and the King (as I have heard) said that he would not l . . . and Denmark together. Therefore it was resolved that . . . to confirm the assurances to the Queen; and albeit that was both enacted by Council and also promised by the . . . and Errol should be forfeited by this Parliament, and . . . doom should be suspended and pronounced at the . . . precede this Parliament against these . . ., and that the Parliament shall be running and be continued . . . [n]ext. Which resolution is likely to take effect, giving me thereby [occasio]n to write in this haste and to pray speedy advertisement what [cours]e I shall now take in this untimely alteration and appearance . . . breach of the amity "grown on the groundes best touched."
[Th]at I may give your lordship more large and perfect certificates what effects [pro]ceed on this sudden welter, therefore I retain for some [f]ew days Christopher Sheperson, purposing to send him with full report in all these things. [A]t length it was accorded at Court that the Duke should carry the [c]rown, Argyll the sceptre, and Morton the sword. In which [m]anner the King thus accompanied by the Duke, Argyll, Morton and [M]ar, the Lords Hume, Lindsay, Sinclair, Ochiltree, Forbes, Urquhart (being Mr. Alexander Seton, now lately chosen President of the Session), and Spynie, came to the Tolbooth, where the Lord President supplied the place of the Chancellor, still absent. The Duke and Lord Hamilton did not agree for the superiority of their place, and thereon the Duke was placed on the bench on the King's right hand, betwixt the King and the lords spiritual, and Hamilton took his place on the left hand, on the bench above the lords temporal. After the King's oration declaring the causes of the Parliament they made choice of the Lords of Articles, appointing the number to be the Duke, Hamilton, [t]wo earls and four lords for the nobility, four bishops, . . . abbots for the Church, eight for the barons, and eight for the burgesses, and so returned [to] the city. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—[It is] told me by an honest and credible person that . . . [Er]rol have been lately at Dalkeith, and are now . . . aine in this town or Canongate . . . s in Court are, as I hear, very . . . [En]gland, which, they say, will take all hard . . . y cast up with Scotland, and that . . . ely imprinted in the courtiers. Whereupon it is meant that offers shall be made . . . think England will not withstand . . . sers this burgh, and some others are deeply charged to seek the destruction . . .
3 pp. Addressed. Edges injured by fire.
89. Sir Robert Melvill to Burghley. [July 19.]
I have received her Majesty's answer, not agreeable to expectation nor to the effectual aid looked for. I therefore send these few lines to beg your lordship to present my letter and insist with her Majesty that my errand may take some better consideration in respect of this present necessity and according to the recent league, whereby a greater sum was promised as a yearly annuity (as I have proved before you both by writ and otherwise), besides mention made of mutual help when occasion presented. I doubt not but that you will travail herein that the sum which was yearly paid be not lessened, when I had commission to have craved a greater; and that the merchants may either in money be helped or their creditors at London relieved, seeing the sum of the said annuity was appointed to them every year for his Highness's privy affairs. I request to have direct answer by writ to every head of my instructions, whereof you received a memorial conform to your desire (according as Lord Burgh obtained of the King, my sovereign, subscribed with his hand) seeing that I have no answer to the substantial heads I proponed, except touching the Queen's letter and the poor Scottish suiters, which I moved of myself as ambassador for his Majesty. Staines. Signed: Sir Robert Melvill.
¾ p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley.
90. Requests by Sir Robert Melvill. [July 19.]
(1) Please your honour to remember the help craved for prosecution of his Majesty's rebels: (2) that order be taken with Bothwell [as in No. 81]; especially that Musgrave and "Cuddye" Armour be delivered according to the treaty: (3) The gratuity [as in No. 81]: (4) The bill of Falkland [as in No. 81]: (5) Remember a ship or two for the Isles for "expugning" the houses of those who, reset or assist the rebels: (6) Answer to the Queen's letter for Denmark.
[Notes in Burghley's hand]: "Tho. Fowells oweth 1000l. Robert Jowsey, 1000l. Mr. Hyck, 1200l. Anton, 400l. Mr. Brook . . . (fn. 6)
½ p. In Melvill's hand. Endorsed by Burghley: "19 July 1593. Ambassador of Scotlandes requests."
91. Elizabeth to the Queen of Scots. [July.] (fn. 7)
By your letters of 26th May, and by others written in December last, by order of the King of Denmark, but not presented to us before the end of June last, we perceive that one Andrew Maart or Mote has complained to the said King of the spoils made of his goods on the seas, first seven years ago, in 1586, and then in 1590, alleging the first spoil to have been committed by a captain named Beare, of Ratcliffe near London, with a ship of Hull called The Black Lion; for search whereof we caused inquisition to be made both by the Judge of the Admiralty and by other officers of our marine causes, who upon diligent search have advertised us that there was one named Beare, who heretofore dwelt at Ratcliffe, but he died two years since leaving no wealth behind him, and that The Black Lion, of Hull, was taken five years past by the King of Spain's subjects of Dunkirk. So we do not see how proof can be made for the fact of a person dead or for a ship possessed by the enemy; and for the latter spoil, [in] 1590, the complainant names neither person, ship nor place, so that until more particularity be shewn there can be no further answer.
1 p. Draft in Burghley's hand. Endorsed: "Draught of the lettre to the Queene of Scotes."
92. Elizabeth to Robert Bowes. [July 19.]
Perceiving by your letters to our Treasurer that by reason of your late sickness you are not able so well to attend our service in that charge as your goodwill is ready, and therefore that it is necessary that you be assisted by some person of understanding, we have made special choice of Sir William Bowes, knight, your nephew, one whom for his loyalty and discretion we judge meet for our service, and for the natural duty of kindred that is between you, more apt than any other to assist and comfort you in your weakness; and therefore we have appointed him to reside there with you until you shall have recovered your strength, or until we shall signify our further pleasure to you; and in the meantime that, according to such direction as he shall receive from you or by letter from us or our Treasurer, he shall for your ease repair to the King from time to time to treat and negotiate for our service, and to do such things as belong to your charge, not doubting but that the King will accept him with such credit as appertains to the place he is sent to bear.
1 p. Draft. Endorsed: "1593, 19 July. Minute to Mr. Robert Bowes signifying the repaire of Sir William Bowes to assist him."
93. Elizabeth to Sir William Bowes. [July 19.]
Whereas we perceive that your uncle, Robert Bowes, esquire, our ambassador with the King of Scots, has by bad sickness become very weak, therefore we have made special choice of you, being his brother's son, and one whom we know to be faithful and wise, to repair and reside with him for some reasonable time until he may recover his strength, and during your being there to assist your uncle in repairing to the King for treating and negotiating about any affairs which our ambassador shall direct you to treat in; and hereafter, when the present great matters now stirred up in Scotland shall be appeased, we will have regard to ease your uncle in licensing him to be discharged of that service as he has desired.
1 p. Draft in Burghley's hand. Endorsed: "1593, 19 July. Minute from hir Majesty to Sir W. Bowes for his repaire into Scotlande."
94. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 20.]
By this Parliament, begun the 16th instant, the assurances for the Queen's dower are provided for by the repeal of a former act made in favour of the "possessioners" of several parcels thereof, and confirmed by the Lords of the Articles and this Parliament. The Queen has this day ridden to Musselburgh that the court may be there kept in her right and for the confirmation of her possession therein. It was meant (as I have heard) that this Parliament should have ended to-day, and been continued as a running Parliament until the end of October or beginning of November. It is "looked" that it shall break up to-morrow.
The ministers here have made earnest petition that the libel and probation for the summons against Angus, Huntly and Errol (which probation is publicly declared by Mr. David Macgill, the King's Advocate, to be insufficient) may be better examined, and that Mr. John Skene, the King's other Advocate, Mr. Thomas Craig (Cragge), Mr. John Sharpe and Mr. William Oliphant may confer with Mr. David Macgill herein; for these four (as I am told) think the libel and summons good. It was promised that this conference should be granted by the King's commanding, but not by commission of Parliament. Nevertheless it is deferred and now "looked to be laide in the decke," (fn. 8) as all other matters are. The ministers also with great lamentation showed that, contrary to the acts of Parliament, many Papists were chosen to be Lords of the Articles, namely [i.e. especially] Lord Hume, coming in by indirect means; for the vote standing even in the election of Hume (presently under process for Papistry) and Lindsay, generally known to be most zealous in religion, the King quietly called Mr. William Leslie (late Abbot of New Abbey, which he has wholly sold to Mr. Gilbert Browne, a notorious traitor and Papist), and willed him to vote for Hume, whereby Hume was thus preferred and the suit of the ministers for reformation all in vain; for the assembly of this Parliament and the Lord of the Articles have been so "picked and billed" beforehand that no motion or request can prevail to alter the determination set down for benefit of the three Earls and Papists. Lastly, the ministers prayed that some laws may be provided to banish the Jesuits, seminary priests and Papists, and for the punishment of murders and bloodshed. In these they are like to get no more than fair promises.
It is resolved that, in regard of the insufficiency of the proof of the libel and summons, the three Earls shall not be forfeited by this Parliament. In this I am told that the King has declared, in Parliament, that he looked for support in the punishment of these Earls, but finding his expectation frustrated, it was not found convenient for him to enter into the action which he could not carry out. Many wise and well affected greatly fear that, when by practice the amity with England shall be dissolved, the like necessity shall be pleaded to persuade the estate to call for the aid of the Spaniards to supply the weakness of this nation against the forces of England; which forces (as I am informed) are so lightly esteemed in this Court that it is thought easy for them to pass to Newcastle and to burn all the houses in Northumberland wherein Bothwell has been harboured. These and other "braveryes" against England fly abroad. They add that although I am warm of nature and would be doing, yet her Majesty and wise counsellors will be more cold and advised. I walk under great boasts, and am warned that a great personage has said that "he lookethe for newes and to be shortelye ridd of me and myne encombrance."
Yesterday the solicitors for Angus and the rest presented to the King and Parliament their offers as by the copy enclosed will appear. It may be noted that they will be at liberty to work all the evils against England that they can, but they have made greater offers to me than I look they shall perform. Albeit their solicitors have lately broken tryst with me, yet the parties dealing with me pretend to be able to draw them again to the things offered. But for many respects I dare not "knitt" with them.
The King and Parliament delivered these offers to the ministers, who returned answer that former offers before the discovery of their faults were larger than these; that the Kirk could not receive the offers of offenders without confession of their fault and signs of repentance; that these petitioners cannot be received into the Kirk before the civil magistrate shall be satisfied; that there is no sufficient security tendered for performance of things offered; that these persons remain under process for odious treasons; and that this Parliament cannot acquit them at this session in regard that they have already denied to proceed in trial of them. What these answers shall work is not yet known. Most think that small effects shall grow thereon, and the ministry seeing the present disposition of this Parliament thought it meet to give dilatory answers.
Lord Hamilton, having the King's promise that the erection of the abbacy of Arbroath should be passed to him this Parliament, pressed earnestly the progress thereof; but the same being denied (as others were), he departed out of the house in some passion. Thereon the King was advised to send for him lest he departed. It is said that it was intended he should have been killed, and that the King hearing of the matter caused 500 of this town to put themselves immediately into arms to prevent it, which they did. The Duke, Argyll and Atholl resorted to the house thereon, and, first, the Clerk Register's servant was sent to call Hamilton, and afterwards, upon his refusal, the "mercer" [? macer], or serjeant, was sent to him with a charge, which he obeyed and returned to the house, which was filled with the companies of his adversaries; yet in the end the King departed, and Hamilton retired to his lodging in good strength and without hurt; wherein some hot heads among his adversaries said (as is told me) that they were shamed, for they should never get again so fair a day. Hamilton, by advice, has taken his leave of the King and [is] dismissed with fair terms. This alleged practice against him is now utterly denied, and it is said that the King prevented the evil thereof.
I am informed that the King has been advertised by two persons of quality that Bothwell was purposed to put on a false beard, and in the street to cast himself at the King's feet, coming to the Parliament, and that the Stewarts were ready to defend and rescue him in case the King would not accept his submission; that the King, opening this to Hume, willed him to provide that Bothwell should be shot with pistols whilst he was on his knees; and that Hume undertook the matter and gave order to some of his servants for the execution. But it is believed that Bothwell was not here nor intended thus to submit himself, and that nevertheless this commandment to the town to arm thus suddenly was to take Bothwell; yet this bruit is thought to be given out to cloke the practice against Hamilton.
I am informed that the King seeks earnestly to draw in Mr. John Colville from Bothwell to the intent he might be left to his own course without the counsel and help of Mr. John, whom the King thinks to be sworn English and alone to have "caried unto" and advanced Bothwell in England; [and] that hitherto no fit instrument can be found to work with Mr. Colville.
This day in the Parliament House, near to the King, the Lairds of Tullibardine and Duntreath (Dunkreith), being Lords of the Articles, discorded so far that Tullibardine struck the other with the hilt of his sword, breaking his face foully. It is noted that as this Parliament began without prayers and proceeded against order, so it shall end with strife and blood, first among themselves and afterwards in the realm. It is again concluded that it shall end to-morrow and that the King will remove speedily to Falkland. I am purposed to speak with and, peradventure, anger him before his departure. I enclose a note concerning the "diffray" of 3000l. "comed to my receipt" anno 23 Elizabeth, and 1000l. received the year following. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
3¾ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
95. James VI. to Sir Robert Melvill. [Before 21] [July.]
Notwithstanding the proclamation inhibiting the reset of Bothwell in England, and certified by you, we are credibly informed that of late he has shown himself more openly than at any time before, specially at a public assembly "to" a horse race at Carter Moor, and lying frequently at "Mr. Finix house" and others in Northumberland, besides his vaunting that he wants not of the Queen's own treasures. This we find so strange that we desire you to inform the Queen what just cause we have to complain of our evil usage, being presently occupied in holding of a Parliament (fn. 9) for the forfeiture of our rebels culpable of conspiracy against both our states while our most contemptuous rebel is openly reset in that realm. According to your directions, you shall therefore crave "indelayed" order to be taken in this point, to the end the world may see we have found such correspondence as our kindly behaviour and good desert do merit. We doubt nothing but this so manifest favour granted to so monstrous a rebel is altogether without her privity or knowledge, shown only by such of her lewd subjects as by impunity either contemn or are careless of violating strait commandments, deserving in that respect a more severe punishment, not omitting Musgrave and "Cuddye" Armour.
¾ p. Copy in the hand of Sir Robert Melville. Endorsed: "July 1593. Copie of the King of Scottes lettre to Sir Robert Melvin."
96. List of Acts passed in the Present Parliament. [July 21.]
"Actes past in the present Parliament, 21 July 1593." [The list is divided under the heads (1) Kirk—12 Acts. (2) King—28 Acts; (3) Acts in favour of the burghs—9; (4) Acts in favour of particular persons—10.
2 pp. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Printed in Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, vol. iv., under date.
97. Money paid to the Use of James VI. [July 23.]
2¼ pp. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
98. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 24.]
Being ready to repair to the Court this morning for audience, I received your letter of the 18th instant, and soon after fell out a strange alteration. The Duke, Atholl, Mar, Spynie and other Stewarts, resorting early to the Court, presented to the King the Earl Bothwell, the Laird of Spott, Mr. John Colville and two of Bothwell's servants, with earnest petition that the King would receive them to his mercy, and with offer that Bothwell should abide trial and assize for the treason "by" witchcraft. [In the margin: Bothwell is brought in by the Countess of Atholl.] The King has accepted and embraced all these persons, and he and they, with the Duke and others, remain together at Holyrood House quietly as yet. This town suddenly ran to arms, and continues "in them"; but it is "like" that this tumult shall be soon appeased. Alexander Hume of North Berwick has called to Bothwell and others about the King, letting them know that the King should not long be thus "captyvate." Bothwell willed him "to be packinge." The Duke and Atholl advised him to leave off this course, and the King told him out of the window that he is, and shall be, well, if promises be kept; and he is not like hastily to get any company to join with him in this behalf. It is thought that upon this sudden motion and change (yet before devised by many and hastened for the Chancellor's stay from Court) all the nobility, with Angus, Huntly and Erroll, shall be drawn into unity together. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—Bothwell and Ochiltree "pretended" to fight for the slaughter of Sir William [? Alexander] Stewart, but the King stayed them. [In Bowes's hand: Sir John Carmichael is committed to ward.]
1 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
99. Sir Robert Melvill to Burghley. [July 24.]
Since coming to London I have received two of your letters, the first mentioning that you had moved her Majesty to augment two thousand pounds more for relief of the merchants creditors, containing also the answers of the heads of my instructions, with the suits of the poor Scotsmen. Besides, I received a chain of gold of your lordship, given by her Majesty. For this I give you thanks; and, albeit the sum is less than the King expected, I shall do the duty of an "affectioned" minister to make my negotiation agreeable. As for Mr. Musgrave's being at table in a hostelry at Court with some Scotsmen, they were ignorant of his Majesty's displeasure towards him or of his coming there.
By your other letter you mention advertisement from Scotland that there was impediment made by variance of noblemen in passing to Parliament, and like not to proceed, but "to continew ane running Parliament." The truth is, I have no letter except one from the ambassador [Mr. Bowes] to the same effect. My long delay has been a hindrance. If I receive letters by the way, your lordship shall be participant of the true estate there. I have stayed upon delivery of the money, which is not all received, my acquittance being craved upon the discharge thereof. Hoping this day to depart, I put you in memory to despatch the poor Scotsmen according to your answer, specially James Rannald, who has his action proven already, and has it to show to your lordship; and that William Scott may have his letters renewed for delivery of his ship; and George Padye "accordinglie." London. Signed: Sir Robert Melvill.
Postscript.—Please give a warrant to his Majesty's merchants for transporting such stuffs as appertain to his furniture, "quhilk is in effect four tronks and four pakkis—for this hes bene a custome to thame thir yeires past."
¾ p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
100. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 25.] Printed in Letters of John Colville, p. 255.
I received your letter of the 19th instant this day. I forbore to repair this day to the King in regard that the ambassadors for Denmark were appointed to have audience, and that I "rested" to try whether Bothwell or Mr. John Colville would seek to have any intelligence with me, but hitherto they have not offered either speech or message; yet Bothwell supped yesternight in the next house to my lodging in Edinburgh, and did not visit the ambassador of Denmark, then at supper with me. Atholl and Forbes have spoken with me herein. Bothwell and the rest possess the King's Court in quietness. The King satisfies himself hitherto with the hope of performance of their promises to obey his pleasure, yet it is deemed that their manner of submission sticks in his heart. The King has sent an especial person to Bothwell to let him know that his good behaviour hereafter shall give cause to think him worthy of grace, notwithstanding that the same was much against the King's honour.
It is thought that this sudden change in Court shall impeach the course laid before at the Parliament in favour of Angus, Huntly and Errol; but most think that Angus and Errol shall "creipe" from the forfeitures and that the pain falling on Huntly shall lie only on his person, so that his inheritance shall come to his wife and children. Some wise and good men have deliberated to find some remedy against the feared progress of the Spanish course, and now they think advantage may be taken of this new alteration.
The King at the first presentation of Bothwell showed himself resolute rather to endure death or other calamities than to suffer the dishonour following his acceptance and pardoning of Bothwell in this manner. Thereupon the Earl offered his head to be stricken off by his own sword, and Ochiltree showed himself ready to execute the same if the King, after such humble submission and fair promises, would command him. I am told the King said that these sweet words and offers so pierced his heart that he received Bothwell to his grace. The Duke, Mar, Spynie and Carmichael deny being privy to this enterprise, yet many think that the King in heart distrusts them, and that Carmichael's peace was made before with Bothwell by means of Angus, and Carmichael is now at liberty, but he shall be charged to depart from the Court.
The King first gently checked Ochiltree for the motion to draw in Captain James Stewart, and afterwards sent one to Bothwell to know if he would so begin to offend the Queen of England, the Kirk and burghs of Scotland by bringing in Captain James, whom they could not brook; but Bothwell answered that he would not proceed further therein. The King pressed the Duke, lying in bed with him this last night (as is told me), to agree with the Chancellor at his request, as he has agreed to receive Bothwell at their petitions, adding that he had before sought to bring in the Chancellor, and that Bothwell was thus hastily brought to stop it, and being pleased thus to receive Bothwell he shall sustain double dishonour if the Chancellor shall be barred. This matter is referred to Bothwell. It is said that Mar told the King that they would readily agree with the Chancellor if he would leave Lord Hamilton, wherewith the King was grieved, saying that he was King to Hamilton, in whom he found no fault, as well as to the Duke and the rest. The matter remains on Bothwell's answer. But the Chancellor doubting the worst removed quietly from Lethington yesterday to a place not yet known. This day were present at Council the Duke, Atholl, Bothwell, Ochiltree, Spynie, the Prior of Blantyre, and Mr. John Colville, who supplied the place of the Secretary and keeps the enactments so closely that I cannot get any copy or knowledge thereof. The King this day gave audience to the ambassadors of Denmark in the garden. The ambassadors intended to depart very shortly, but now they purpose to remain some time to see what proceeds in this alteration. They appear to be well devoted to the Queen of England and do not like this change. I intend to crave audience to-morrow. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2½ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
101. Robert Bowes to Lord Hunsdon. [July 25.]
Yesterday morning Bothwell and Mr. John Colville were brought to the King in his chamber by Atholl, Ochiltree, Mackintosh, Angus Williamson and others, for whom Lady Atholl helped well to get the back gate opened by her repair from the Court to her mother's house, adjoining to Holyrood House. It is said that the Duke, Mar and Spynie were privy to it, yet they all, especially Mar, deny it. Bothwell submitted himself with all humility, and the rest entreated earnestly for him. The King at first showed himself resolute not to receive him in that manner. Bothwell therefore offered his head to be stricken off, [etc., as in the preceding]. The King upon conditions was contented to take him and Mr. John Colville to mercy and grace, which was soon published by proclamation in Edinburgh, and they were relaxed from the horn. Now the Duke, Atholl, Bothwell and others remain about the King and keep the house at Holyrood House in quietness. Bothwell came into this town the same day and was received with exceeding great joy by the people. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1 p. Addressed: "To the right honnerable the Lord of Hunsdon, Lord Chamberlain of her Majestis Household." Endorsed.
101a. Protection by James VI. for the Earl of Bothwell. [July 28.]
Proclamation that: "Forasmuch as Frances Erle Bothwell the xxiiijth of July instant came to our Palace of Halyrood House and there in all humilitie prostrait him self at our feete imploring our grace and favour, protesting he had no meanynge to alter our estait nor to troble any member therof extraordinaryly heretofore, with protestations, craving with teares pardon for his undewtyfull and extraordinar attemptis at sundry tymes heretofore, adding with protestacions that his intencions were as sincere and upright as the forme was suspitious and discommendabell, and therwithall craving exact tryall for the odious cryme of wytchcrafte objected against him, he faithfully promist to seperate frome him all his clientell and dependance (Mr. John Colvile only excepted), and to remaine our captyve and prisoner unto the tyme we should permyt him depart for preparing him self to his tryall forsaid, with promise also to remayne or voyd him self our realme, as best might lyke us, how soone he should be tryed in the odious cryme forsaid, fynally, with great attestacions, contesting [sic] to agree unto and fulfill whatsoever we should think most for our honour and declaracion of his obedience to the worlde. For this cause wee, movyt with particuler compassion, beholding the pitifull behavioure of the said Francys and the manyfest sighnes of repentance, have taken and by these our lettres takes the said Francys, his wiffe and children, servantis, dependers and associatis under our speciall protection" and defence. To the effect the said Francis and his foresaids may rest and remain in peace under our obedience and quietly enjoy our favour and grace, we charge our messengers and sheriffs to pass incontinent to the market cross of Edinburgh and other places needful, there to make manifestation and publication of these our letters of protection, commanding obedience under the highest pains. Holyrood House.
1 p. Broadsheet. Endorsed.
102. Burghley to Mr. Mills. [July 29.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 157. Transcript in Harl. MS. 4648, p. 191.
I am very desirous to understand something to the light whereof I cannot so conveniently come as by the search of Mr. Randolph's writings, late postmaster and sometime ambassador in Scotland. The reason is that the ambassador now come from the King of Scots avouches confidently that Mr. Randolph, being sent to Scotland about 1586, promised on her Majesty's behalf and by virtue of her commission, both a sum of money and a yearly pension of 5000l., whereof he brings Mr. Roger Aston as witness, and alleges further that Mr. Randolph then delivered to Roger Aston 4000l. and did assure the payment of the other 1000l. (fn. 10) This manner of dealing seems strange to her Majesty and Council, who remember no such commission. Therefore I pray you to repair to Mr. Randolph's house or to such places and persons where you know his letters are, and make diligent search for all his writings concerning his negotiation at that time, and send the same to me with all speed. The Court at Oatland. Signed: W[illiam Burghley].
Postscript.—If you can, come yourself and bring the writings with you.
1 p. Corrections in Burghley's hand. Top and edges of the paper destroyed.
103. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 30.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 113. Transcript, see p. 702.
. . . 9th of this month, and given adver . . . same. Since, I have both rece . . . vocation, and your lordship's other two, of the 20th and . . . audience of the King in parts of those letters, and . . . him; and because I understand that, during . . . and my expectation of further resolution for the course of government upon . . . this late change, some of this nation and of England (most privy to the affairs in Court) have largely and lately certified the state and "occurrantis" here to her Majesty with more certainty than I can give, in regard that the stream is now drawn from me and serves these others, and that the King will write to her Majesty with his own hand very speedily (wherewith he has not acquainted me). Therefore I have not hasted these presents nor enlarged the report of matters, but refer the full declaration of all things to Christopher Sheperson, my servant.
At my audience I recounted many things unpleasant to him, as well in the memory of his late promises to her Majesty and other things past with danger to the amity and hurt to myself, as also in the slow performance of his promises and the strange course seen in this last Parliament. Because I did not know perfectly how he had "disgested" the sudden coming and submission of Bothwell, therefore I forbore to stir him further with this prick, which, methought, moved him, as Sheperson will "open" more at length.
After opening to him what sums of money her Majesty had delivered to Sir Robert [Mel]vill for him, with the great favours in all his errands and particular entertainment to his ambassador, I assured [him] of the continuance of her Majesty's kind disposition to him and that at this time he should have experience of her especial love, if he pleased to call for and use the same. This . . . nd laid, I sought to understand sincerely how he accepted this manner [of a]ccess and humiliation of Bothwell, . . . and what he desired to be done by her Majesty [for his] best contentment in the same. Wherein I spared not to promise secrecy . . . her Majesty's speedy support.
. . . on allowing, as appeared to me, . . ., as your lordship has noted, and that thereby . . . ble in those parts touching aid in men to . . . s, and that Englishmen offending in Scot[land] . . . otherwise, then by the rules of the treaties and Marches . . . declared at great length the manner of Bothwell's . . . submission to him, with all things spoken and done by h . . . betwixt him and Bothwell. [The text here is much destroyed through fire. A fuller version is given in No. 114.]
The four articles promised by Bothwell were these. First, that . . . and remain from the King's presence until he shall be called to . . . performed, having already departed from Court with purpose . . . haply further into England. Secondly, that he shall abide . . . the 10th of August next for witchcraft laid against him . . . written for many noblemen to furnish the number of eight er . . . trial. But the King being loth to call together so great ass[embly], being pleased that any indifferent person shall pass and . . . It is likely therefore that some inferior barons shall be received to comp[ear], that no officer or servant presently serving the King shall be d . . . to be placed before all the promises shall be fully accomplished . . . Change of officers and servants shall be deferred for some seas[on] . . . Master of Glamis and Sir George Hume shall be first removed. . . . are to follow. Fourthly, that the Earl of Bothwell after h . . . by assize shall depart to and remain in such realms . . . prescribe to him, which is thought shall be done with all fav . . . the King in all these articles. In this the King seems [better to like] Bothwell than the doings of his bringers in. Whereupon . . . laid open how far occasion . . . mation, by gathering and knitting tog . . ., as me thought, savoured nothing well . . . honourable for him to make change of . . . and before the promises were fully performed to. . . . After I had finished with the King he stayed me to spe . . . who confirmed the King's declaration for the manner of B . . . se submission and actions, together with the King's grace given to him in sort as the King had showed. He appears resolute to perform the promises to the King, protesting therewithal devotion and services to her Majesty, whom he purposes to see, thank and serve, as by himself will be (I think) shortly witnessed. I offered to him the former advice presented to the King for the union of fit persons to serve in the reformation of the government and for strengthening the company presently about the King. But he did not seem to embrace it as I meant it, notwithstanding that I let him know that the manner thereof might be formed and exhibited by fit persons for the King's honour and his standing. The rest of this fellowship (desiring hitherto the advancement and rule of the Stewarts) likewise mislike my motion, which has not proceeded only from my own brain but is allowed by wise and well affected, who think verily that by this sudden change good occasion is offered to prevent extreme inconveniences and to draw on the reformation desired. But they and I as yet tremble to behold this present course in Court "opponed" by strong adversaries, as time will manifest, and not so timely and strongly fortified as necessity requires.
Mr. John Colville has renewed the ancient friendship betwixt him and me, with frank offer of all thankful offices to her Majesty. I find the burden of these businesses lying on his shoulders and himself ready and careful to labour under the same for the benefit of the cause. Wherein, as I showed myself not able to give him the aid requisite, so I wished her Majesty to supply his pains by some fit person in my place, whom this company and he had found to be best acquainted with their minds and apt to advance their designs.
The ambassadors for Denmark (understanding how I had proceeded with the King on this alteration, and being ready to return with the next wind) desired to be satisfied by the King and Council in writing whether the King was privy to Bothwell's coming to him; whether the King had pardoned his faults; and upon what conditions; and whether the King thought himself detained anything against his will and pleasure. For the satisfaction of the ambassadors the King, in the Tolbooth, openly before his Council declared to them that he knew nothing of Bothwell's coming to him before he saw him in his chamber, [and] that he pardoned him with condition that he shall perform the articles promised. The King has acquainted them with the articles, and pronounces plainly that he was not [deta]ined in any sort against his will, as by his presence in that place and many other . . . to declare likewise their kn . . . wherein the lords and council . . . these put in writing and delivered to th . . . King, Queen and Council of Denmark, there . . . his letter for the more credit and content. . . . Sundry in this company strive greatly to draw. . . against the Kirk, and many burghs set thems . . . of James is feared to hazard great troubles . . . divers of his kin, and many press it mightily.
The most of the old Council have left the Court . . . Hume, Master of Glamis, Blantyre, Seton, Co . . ., Sir John Carmichael and Sir George Hume. Gla . . . he should be charged to leave this town, departed to P . . . It is looked that some of their places shall be filled and . . . if they do not return in time. Crawford shall be called to Court, and some think . . . in Edinburgh shall be got out of Mar's hands for Crawford . . . the King was pleased at the last vacation that Crawfo[rd] . . . had it before Mar, who will not willingly leave. . . .
I am credibly informed that Angus has made . . . peace to some new courtiers, and that he shall be received . . . satisfy the Kirk, which he is now willing to do [? and Errol] is like to be received in like manner. It is thought that . . . towards Huntly is not yet abated. Some have told . . . was at Aberdour (Aberdore) before the Parliament, where William Tr . . . Court to him, and that these three Earls were kept so . . . castle during the Parliament. Wherein I can give none. . . .
These present lords and courtiers have levied and entertained . . . 100 footmen and 50 horsemen at their pay and charge . . . having once denied to suffer any guard about him . . . the charge thereof. The King is purposed to pass to and recreate hims[elf] some time at Falkland. It is thought that many things shall be . . . ment of this Court and company, or else attempted a . . .
Upon the offers of Angus and the rest to satisfy the King . . . be called on to give assurance for preservation of the . . . two realms. Which course if her Majesty shall like . . . press the same.
. . . had not th . . . [B]othwell's submission. Yet I h . . . "vj. iiij. Chanus" (Huntly) and their partners. . . . Wherein I shall win and retain . . ., praying your lordship's speedy direction, . . . the same upon the sight of the presen . . . good consideration of all matters. Your lordship will think it needless to be troubled with my answers to the parts of your letters touching Bothwell and all his causes, which now by entry and receipt into Court are now here . . . ally buried. In all the residue of the contents of your lordship's two last letters which I have not touched by these presents, I shall give satisfaction by Sheperson, whom I shall hasten with the speed I can. He has been delayed beyond due time by accidents to myself. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
4½ pp. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. Addressed. Edges injured by fire.