Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 11, 1593-1595. Originally published by Edinburgh, 1936.
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James VI, August 1593
104. Robert Bowes to Burghley. Aug. 4.
The King was in readiness to pass over the water to Falkland three days ago, but stayed for the full despatch of the ambassadors of Denmark, with whom the King and Queen should have dined this day. He has taken his boat at 4 o'clock this morning to land at Kinghorn (Kyncorne) and ride to Falkland. The Duke and Lord Ochiltree attended upon him to Leith, where Ochiltree left him, and the Duke alone, with few Stewarts, embarked with him. [In the margin: Ochiltree has gone with the Duke to attend on the King, and Crawford will also be with them this day, so that they think all shall be well with them.] The Duke's guard of 100 footmen passed over before to await on the King. Because he intended to have been at Falkland before this time, and it was bruited in Court that the Earl of Morton, the Master of Glamis and others prepared with forces to surprise him at Falkland, or by the way, therefore the Laird of Spynie (as I am informed) was sent over three days since by the Duke and the rest about the King to provide sufficient power to withstand the attempt of Morton, Glamis and others. I am advertised by letter delivered very late yesternight that the Papist lords have sent to the King an especial person with offers for their peace and also to come to the King with their forces immediately, to deliver him from the company presently about him. I am told for certain that Lord Hume is in this town, and the Master of Glamis at Leith to await the King's passage to Falkland, and that thereon they and others will adventure to take the King from the company of the Duke's guard and whole party very shortly. It is verily thought that the provision made to withstand it shall be found slender, and that little resistance will be showed unless the King shall take fast part with the Duke, Ochiltree and the Stewarts and expressly forbid the other party to proceed further.
Some in company about the King, namely [i.e. especially] Ochiltree, have pressed the King (as I hear) to receive into Court Captain James Stewart, presently in this town, and I have been dealt with in the same. This I have "put over" with fair terms, as his incoming will offend and endanger the Kirk and sundry well affected. The King willed Ochiltree to forbear to urge it further. It is said that he is greatly displeased with this late slaughter done by the highlandmen under Argyll, wherein above sixty of Huntly's followers are slain and a very great booty of cattle is taken in Huntly's bounds and sent to Argyll's folks. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—Of Bothwell's return into England and to what places there, your lordship will be advertised by others.
2 pp. Addressed. Endorsed to Burghley.
105. Bothwell to Elizabeth. [Aug. 4.] Printed by Tytler, in History of Scotland, ix. p. 97.
The gracious usage of so clement a princess towards me in my greatest extremity should most justly accuse me of ingratitude if, being in a place where I might do a little more than before, I should not perform the offices which I then promised. I have directed the bearer to impart the same unto your Majesty with more certainty than before; to whom I moved my associates in all points to ratify my speeches and confirm them by their oaths in his presence. The bearer will impart my full mind in all things. [ ] Signed: Bothwell.
½ p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley: "4 August 1593. Earl Bothwell to the Queen's Majesty by Lock."
106. Bothwell to Burghley. [Aug. 5.]
I cannot of duty but render you most hearty thanks for due respect had to my pitiful estate and for your grave and fatherly advices, assuring your honour that I shall endeavour to satisfy you to the uttermost in all things. The bearer will offer performance of whatsoever in my adversity I did offer, with further assurance than before. Please to interpose your former favour towards me for present aid to the better advancement of her Highness's service here. Signed: Bothuell.
½ p. Holograph. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk. Red wax seals with yellow silk fastenings.
107. Bothwell to [Henry Locke]. [Aug. 5.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 116. Transcript, see p. 705.
". . . Majeste most humill than . . . my prince's displeasour a . . . acknawlegment of my faythf . . . sment of quhatsumever heirtofore I ha . . . evysed for the mentenance of the established religion . . . [str]enthening of the present amitie . . . that effection lett hir Majeste knaw the trewth of my proseid . . . the concurrence of suche nobill men offred by me and . . . thame conferming it by othe and hand, gevin to your . . . redy to follow furth ony suche cours as I shall in . . . [e]nter into with hir Majeste, whiche being by thame with M . . . owed cheiflie to hir Highnes good and service, bot above all wnto . . . good and service. I craif hir Highnes opinion of the . . . tharof and spedy direction for the use; and if our intentions be tharin dewly accepted and regardet, lett hir Highnes knaw that we all are not only suche as to whom sche ma[y] . . . geve a gracius ear wnto in respect of our present actions . . . doingis, whiche shalbe authoresed by our soverane for his good, bot a . . . nether in power is any in Scotland in hir vyis jugment to . . . ed befor ws or for loyalty to be hoped for to be frend equall su . . . ves, being most of ws of the religion, and in faction opposed aganis the grand enemeis of religion and estate, to wit (H[untly], . . . vell [Maxwell] and Home) ar also redy by wrettin hand, (if sche . . . e commission to resave it), and by my son's plege as be . . . ed to confirm the same.
"[In] respect quhairof, if sche pleis to lyik of our proceding heirin, we cra . . . the better settling of our cours to send sum testemony spede[ly] . . . hir hand, with whom and how scho will pleis to dei[l] [? how] far sche will for our present inhabeling of ws be dra . . . pect of hir princely liberalite, which, thoght in respect . . . bounte to our soverane will seme hard to for . . . mes, considdering the los in bestowing th' one, or . . . ming of hir enemeis, and the schort tyme . . . to rid hir Majeste of perpetuall cair and mist . . . paring, yow ar . . . s . . . this our proceding secre . . . ing reveled to our adversa . . .
"You may assuir our constant purpos, God villing, ha . . . presentlie and constant amitie hencefort according . . . nocht only a thre monethis space so to chas . . . nycht party as ether Scotland shall nocht conte . . . or thair wingis be so clipped as thai shall not . . . to prevaill in any thing, bot also the fronteouris . . . lookit wnto that we will wndertak as good [? service] and spedy justice in thos partis as in any othe . . . [? others of] the realms. That thair shall not hens forthe neid any feir . . . forces or practeses since our instrumentis shall . . . partes habill from tyme to tyme to inform ws o . . . purposes, and we be habill to withstand any . . . army, thoght all Scottis catholiques concurre . . . wnto her Highnes wer sufficiently provydet for . . . Forder, yow may mak knawin how far had M . . . procedit in for the Spanis cours in what . . . by whom, according as Quatuor (Chisholm) informed . . . landis (the Chancellor's) part will appeir, as yow know.
"Yow must crave that if for satisfaction of . . . and to the Kingis content, the churche being . . . tefeid therwith we be to be compelled to resave . . . and to use Ja. Stewart, limiting his cours as we assuir we will, that her . . . tak it in evill part, bot rether by her . . . allouance tharof, since yow knaw . . . her Majestes service.
". . . spedely with a p . . . ularis and such fordor . . . wnto. Holding my form . . . faythe by this our intendit co . . . particularis, quhairof yow can largly inform . . . er . . . ing Quatuor (Chisholm) remember that he may be dispeschit with . . . ition and a letter writtin wnto me, whiche I may schaw . . . ministry, to intreit for him be reson yow luik [for g]reit and good service at his handis . . . tokin from Ung (the Queen's) fellow promised salbe send with the . . . whiche Simplex (Colville) hes takin [in] hand. Prosequut therfor . . . matter as if you had resaved it out of thair . . . and.
"[Remem]ber to move hir Highnes conserning schipping for the aylis [and] procuir a meins for a message to hir Majestie quiche I . . . liche my self . . . thingis to be douin at the Parliament, quhilkis I viss at her . . . secret or not intendit. Bothuell."
2¾ pp. In Mr. John Colville's hand, except the last five lines. Partly in cipher, deciphered by Burghley. Underlined in parts. Edges injured by fire. The date is taken from the Calendar of Cottonian Manuscripts.
108. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 8.]
Before the receipt of your letter of 30th July I had sought to understand the proceedings in the late access of Bothwell, and in my former letters have advertised you thereof. I retain the other part of your letter—wherein her Majesty's honour is "interressed" by this sudden restitution of Bothwell by other means than hers and without giving her premonition—that it may be duly "disposed" [i.e. shown] to the King and others to whom this matter ought to be "broken" for testimony of her Majesty's honourable meaning.
I am glad that her Majesty has countermanded [sic] the coming of Sir William Bowes to me, trusting that she will revoke me for such reasons as the bearer, Christopher Sheperson, shall deliver to you, especially because the company now in peaceable possession of this Court require a new instrument more agreeable to their appetites. I thank you for the French occurrents certified in your letter, for this estate has been carried away with many untrue rumours. Assuredly the servant in this place gets great help in her Majesty's service by the frequent receipt of foreign intelligence.
The daily report of the great forces amassed by Huntly has "occasioned," first, Atholl to send to inform the King thereof; next, Mr. John Colville to persuade him to provide seasonable remedy, and sundry of the ministers to pray him to prevent the danger. I have concurred with these. So the King has sent a gentleman to Huntly with commandment to "cashe" and dissolve his forces and not to convocate any more nor invade the bounds of any person. He has been solicited to take substantial order for prevention of the danger of tumults notwithstanding that Huntly has already retired. The late bruits that Argyll, Morton, Mar, and the Master of Glamis were convened at the Newhouse, Morton's house near Falkland, have occupied the heads of many. It is meant that satisfaction shall be given to all these except the Master of Glamis, who is noted in this Court to have run strange courses. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—I beseech your lordship to grant to John Moyser one of the vacant pensions in Berwick.
2 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
109. Declaration by Christopher Sheperson to Burghley. [Aug.] [c. Aug. 8.]
"From Edenbrough 8° Augusti; at Wyndsor 14° ejusdem, 1593." The Chancellor doubting that his house at Lethington shall be seized for the King (who still stands very fast to him, but his affection is seen to prevail little) has required Atholl to take his house into his hands if need be, which Atholl has promised to do. Since Huntly "cashed" his forces and retired at the King's commandment, the King charged Atholl likewise to keep the peace, and also sent to Argyll, Morton and that company, persuading them to keep peace and forbear to gather any great assemblies, so that the estate is more peaceable now than very lately was looked for. Mr. John Colville, after conference with my master for the best course of reformation, has spoken at length with the ministers and found them ready to employ their means and powers therein. The company now about the King have full and peaceable possession of the Court, and are in good way to keep it, therefore it is now best time to plant such minister for her Majesty as shall be fittest for her service and pleasing to them. The King, intending to have dealt severely with some of the chief ministers (as it was said), was drawn to think that my master stirred them and some barons and burgesses to evil "conceytes" towards him. Therefore the ministry, some of the Council and others have feared to frequent my master's company as before they were wont. The King has seen how far my master has discovered and opened [i.e. exposed] the course devised for the impunity of Angus and others summoned to the Parliament, and he is now brought to think that he was privy to all the actions of Both well in England and to his "bryngynge in" to offer his submission; therefore the King has many ways showed signs of alteration, and has uttered hard speeches proving that he thought my master "doubled" with him and studied to stir sedition. Bothwell is suspicious of my master and all his name. Before and after this change, he has entered into a course with England, which he will be loth, as is thought, to have altered.
Albeit my master has recovered health, yet he remains weak and feeble with age and cares; and "the lerned" (besides his own experience) assure him that if he continues there, without exercise, the disease will within few months fall again upon him, in which case he does not expect to escape death. His estate in the time of his service has been so impoverished by great losses that his early death would greatly shake the house of Bowes by their bonds for him and work the ruin of himself with shame, and of his son and his children without recovery, so that without relief by her Majesty's bounty he can neither serve nor live in comfort nor escape miserable end. Lastly, his case at home and in Scotland is such that he is greatly disabled to serve profitably, and the principal courtiers mislike his service, having chosen and used the means of other instruments better pleasing them, and they assure themselves of better success in their desires by these instruments than by my master's means. He, therefore, prays that he may see her Majesty's face before his end, that he may make account of his services and how he leaves them, and that he may acquaint her with the true condition of his weakness and case, and may cast himself down at her feet.
1 p. In Sheperson's hand. Endorsed by Burghley: "xv Aug. 1593. Sheperson's second declaration."
110. Declaration by Christopher Sheperson, Bowes's Servant. [c. Aug. 8.]
"Notes of sondry thyngis commended to my report touchynge th'affayres in Scotland." (fn. 1)
In the former course the King's Council and courtiers appeared especially affected to the Earls of Angus, Huntly and Errol, etc., so that no forfeitures could proceed against them, or against Jesuits discovered.
The Advocate declared in Parliament that, by misnaming in the letters, no proofs could be taken against the Jesuits, and he concealed the confessions of Fintry and George Ker (Car). It is thought he was bribed by Sir George Hume to take this labour upon him. By his assertions that the libels and summonses against the Earls and Jesuits were not sufficiently proved, the forfeitures were stayed and referred to the next Parliament, to begin 1st November. In the meantime the offenders trust to procure their relief. Also, the proceedings of the King and lords in Parliament were noted to be partial and "disordered" in the choice of the assembly, whereof a great part was picked out "and knowen favourers of the partyes summoned." Lord Hume (a manifest Papist) and the Laird of Findlater (a solicitor for the three Earls) were admitted to be Lords of the Articles and Lindsay (known to be well affected in religion and peace) was rejected. When the solicitors for the Earls espied that the Parliament should be carried in their favour, they were not so forward as before in their offers for satisfaction of the King and Kirk, but said "there tourne was done," and slid from the motions before made to my master for her Majesty.
It was resolved by sundry good men, upon discovery of the purposes of the "favourites" to the conspirators, to take in hand the defence of the religion and realms against them, but the alteration has, for the present, stayed the execution.
The King bears great affection to Huntly for sundry causes, as is supposed, and it was nourished by courtiers with hope that the King's revenge should be executed by Huntly against Bothwell. The King was provoked to rage against Bothwell and for his cause to pick quarrels against her Majesty: this was to preserve the confederates and deserve well of the King of Spain. Sundry noblemen allied to the Earls seek to deliver their friends, pretending the same to be to strengthen the King, revenge his wrongs and govern with surety.
The Stewarts possess the King, who yields commonly to those about him. If they join with good men and of strength they may continue. Argyll, Morton, Mar and Glamis met lately at Newhouse, in Fife, and resolved to speak with the King: they will not see Angus and Erroll perish. Huntly had called Donald Gorme and Mackay (Mackquey), and levied great forces to invade Atholl's bounds. The Stewarts travailed with the King to disperse these forces, which was afterwards done upon his commandment.
It is not doubted but that Bothwell shall be cleared, for little evidence can be produced against him other than the testimony of Graham, executed for witchcraft, who had promise to have been saved if he would reveal the truth; so his execution proves that he did not tell the truth, and so that is no proof against the Earl. After his clearing it is looked that Captain James Stewart shall be taken in and made Chancellor. The present Chancellor and the Master of Glamis shall be first "put at." Sundry officers and servants in favour with the King shall be removed, and others "placed," the Hamiltons "nypped," and the ministry bridled; and if these things fall out thus, then troubles will suddenly ensue.
The Chancellor's accusation is said to be penned and grounded partly upon his practice with Spain, his privity to Murray's death, etc. The King cannot reconcile the Duke and the Chancellor. Hamilton prepares for the worst. It is said means are made for friendship between him and Morton, and for reconciliation with Mar, who, it is thought, will not join with the Stewarts unless he be specially commanded by the King. To strengthen the Stewarts labour is made to reconcile Bothwell and Hume and Bothwell and Maxwell, to draw Mar to Court, to "compound" and relieve Angus and Erroll, with other secret compositions. If the Stewarts stand upon their own strength and advance Captain James Stewart, their government will be troublesome and short, and their fall by violence will bring danger to the King's person, to the amity, religion and peace.
"Answeres to some partes of my lordes lettres."
Where my Lord Treasurer writes that the matter of the Earls is dissembled, if he means their punishment, it is well proved to be so by the proceedings in Parliament, etc. But, for their treasons, it is not dissembled, as is proved by the execution of Fintry, the grants of escheats, etc. Enquiry has been made to search and apprehend Holt and Owen, "shipped" in the Low Countries. Three Scottish ships arrived, one at Anstruther, 28th July, one at Weymes, one at the mouth of Leven, in Fife, but no passengers saving one poor Scot lamed in the wars. It is said others have come from the Low Countries for Aberdeen, etc., in the north parts, therefore an especial person is sent to enquire. It is thought they will resort to a place heretofore used, and then they shall be "looked unto."
Touching Huntly (Chanus), "the partyes are slipped" in respect their turn is done, as appeared by the Parliament, and some of them hope to find favour in the new Court, which will not be granted to Angus and Erroll without like to be showed to the "beloved." They are labouring in Court, and the courtiers will not suffer them to bind with any other but such as they like. "So they may not looke at my master." Besides, my master cannot deal but it will be known to the King's courtiers Kirk, etc., and thought strange to all that he, having holden so hard a hand over them for their discovery, trial and punishment, should now take them by the hand to draw them to her Majesty. Nevertheless the "motioners" are entertained and especial instruments sent to travail herein. The success is doubtful, therefore the managing of this matter is rather to be "drawen to" others than to my master.
22/3 pp. In Sheperson's hand. Endorsed by Burghley: "13 Aug. 1593. Sheparson from Mr. Bowes."
111. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 11.]
The King was entreated (with some difficulty) by Mr. John Colville to return hither from Falkland on the 9th instant, agreeable to his promise, for the trial of Bothwell, who yesterday was tried and cleared by assise of the noblemen and barons named in the schedule enclosed. The evidence against him was wholly grounded on the tales of "Richy" Graham (executed for witchcraft), who before renounced the benefit of his baptism to serve the devil, and who was found "variant in himself," and was disproved before the assise by the oaths and testimonies of honest persons [to the effect] that he was entised to accuse the Earl, with hope of his life. By these and many other circumstances the assise was satisfied, and acquitted the Earl.
This morning Bothwell sent timely to speak with me, but, being ready, he was suddenly "occasioned" to hasten to the King both to stay his immediate return to Falkland and to do other business broached this morning in Court, whereof I make slender report at this time as these affairs are presently in handling betwixt the King and the lords with some ministers continuing still in Court, yet closely kept, (fn. 2) and as others will give better advertisement of all things executed this day, or "executorye" in the plot devised, I trust that you will be sufficiently satisfied therein by Mr. Lock, of whose errand from hence to the Court in England I am ignorant.
To stay the King's repair to Falkland without provision for reformation of the great confusion in this estate Bothwell and others have recounted to the King the known boldness in the Papists, the effusion of innocent blood by murder committed in every corner without punishment (especially of the Earl of Murray), the great oppressions of the poor, the danger of breach of the amity with England, and the bareness of his estate; for which they prayed him to take order before his departure; wherein the King and these lords have not well accorded at the first, notwithstanding that the ministers have with all humility moved the King to have due regard to these great causes. I hear that the King's journey to Falkland is now stayed, and that matters shall be further debated on Monday next. I am told that these lords have informed the King that Thomas Erskine, James Erskine, his brother, Mr. William Leslie and Mr. Gilbert Ogilvy, his servants, have been very evil instruments and have committed great faults. Therefore Thomas Erskine is committed to the custody of Cluny, and Mr. William Leslie to a chamber in Holyroodhouse; the other two are commanded to "avoyde from" the King's presence and to give caution for their appearance. It is said that these, with others, sought to draw the King from the company of the lords about him to Lochleven "by the speid of his horses prepared and redye at the parkis syde at Fawkland for the same," and that one letter is intercepted from some of these four to Lord Hume certifying that the King would adventure to come to him and leave these lords, notwithstanding that it should be done with the hazard of his life. These things I write with speed before I am assured of their certainty, to the intent you may know the variance betwixt the King and these lords, and that I may receive directions with all expedition.
It is newly advertised from the north that Huntly has very lately entered into Moray with great forces when most of the inhabitants were absent. He has "runn a longe forrey" above twelve miles, killing some men, women and children, and has burnt and destroyed the houses therein, chiefly in the lands of the Earl of Murray and of the young Laird of Calder. He has burnt Collord, the Mains of Mackintosh, and the house of Angus Williamson, presently in this town with Atholl. Your lordship will hear that revenge shall very shortly be taken for this outrage. Angus remains openly at his house at Douglas; Erroll abides at his house, and Huntly is occupied in sort mentioned. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2½ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Enclosure with the same.
(Trial of the Earl of Bothwell.)
"Names of th'erles, lordis and barrons enpanelled on th'assyse for the tryall of th'erle Bothwell. At Edenburgh xe Augustii, 1593."
Earls: Atholl, Montrose.
Lords: Seton, Livingstone, Forbes, Innermeath, Sinclair, the Master of Gray, Master of Somerville.
Barons: Lauder of the Bass, Sinclair of Roslin. Buchanan (Boughenan) of that Ilk, Ker (Carr) of Ferniherst, Murray of Polmais (Pomayes), Otterburn of Reidhall, Towers of Inverleith, Caldwell.
¾ p. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
112. Mr. John Carey to Burghley. [Aug. 12.] Printed in Border Papers, ii. No. 878.
I send you the manner of Bothwell's trial, word for word as I received it out of Scotland. His day of trial began on Friday last, 10th August, at 1 p.m. and continued till 10 p.m.; where he was by his peers acquitted of the facts of witchcraft, whereof he was accused.
12 p. In a modern hand. Endorsed.
113. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 16.]
On the 14th, I received your letter of the 8th instant, requiring enlargement of sundry particularities omitted in my last letter, and containing divers necessary directions. I shall give you satisfaction [of details] shortly by my next. By my former of the 11th, I advertised that the King was entreated by Mr. John Colville to return here from Falkland, and that on Friday, the 10th, Bothwell was tried and cleared by assise.
The King had determined to remain at Falkland until he should remove to Stirling, trusting to have rid himself at Falkland from the company about him, and at Stirling to have gathered others for his better contentment. For this purpose he was resolved to come back [from Edinburgh] to Falkland on Saturday, the 11th, and the Duke (having the rule of the guard, being only 500 footmen) promised that he should return as he desired. [In the margin: "Duk had rule of 100 foot."]
On Saturday the King was ready early in the morning, calling on the Duke to perform his promise. The Duke, seeming willing to do it as far as lay in his power, alleged (as I hear) that Bothwell and the rest would not like well of it. Whereupon Bothwell was called to the King to persuade his stay and do other business. [In the margin: "Bothwell came to the King."]
He entered into recount of many causes casting this estate into dangerous confusion, requisite to be redressed before the King's departure.
I am also informed that in the treaty of these matters the King pressed the Earl and the rest to withdraw from his company, alleging that it was their promise so to do immediately after Bothwell's trial, and that albeit he had fully kept all things promised on his part, yet they had "broken with him" by the removal from him of the three brethren of the Erskines, Mr. Gilbert Ogilvy and Mr. William Leslie, his servants, and that their faults would be the greater if they should now deny either to let him return that day to Falkland or not to depart from him after this trial. Bothwell answered for the rest, affirming that they had duly performed all promises; that they had "discovered" these five persons to have sought to draw the King from them against his promise and to work thereby their destruction with the overthrow of the commonwealth, and that Thomas Erskine had been the means to send a letter with the King's ring and message to Lord Hume for their hurt and to have discomfited their friends. Secondly, these noblemen with the King "challenge" the like benefits as were given to the lords (fn. 3) lately coming to him in like manner at Stirling; which benefits granted to the "incomers" at Stirling included relaxation from the horn, repossession of their lands and goods, "rehabillitation" to enjoy their former possessions, remission of all faults, restitution to their offices, lands, goods and rights, the establishment of a council of some chosen "indifferent" persons to reside about the King until the settlement should be fully confirmed by Parliament, "rendringe" [i.e. restoration] of castles and raising and keeping of guards for their security.
It fell out (as I am informed) that Bothwell earnestly pressed the speedy punishment of the murderers of Murray and also the persons subscribing the warrant for the same, with which subscription he "namely" [i.e. especially] charged the Chancellor, Sir Robert Melvill and Sir George Hume; and that upon naming of Sir Robert the King said that a man more honest than Bothwell would answer for Sir Robert. Whereunto Bothwell replied that the party answering must be the King himself or else he should be found not so honest as he. These words betwixt the King and the Earl have been so reported that it has been bruited that the King had acknowledged the grant of the warrant for the slaughter of Murray. But the same bruit coming to the King's ears has greatly offended him and is flatly denied by him. For the appeasing and reconciliation of these discords some of the ministers were sent for, whose labours profited little that day, and thereon the assembly was ordered to meet again on the morrow, being Sunday, at 3 p.m. I was prayed to travail with the King the next day, before the meeting. I obtained access and declared how strange it was to the Queen of England that Bothwell had come to and been accepted by the King. I recounted to the King all the contents of your lordship's letter of 30th July touching these proceedings, as also her Majesty's care for the safety of the King's person and for preservation of the country from rebellion or invasion. The King answered that he was no wise privy to the practice for bringing in Bothwell, and that at my former audience he had "opened" sufficiently the form of this enterprise, affirming that he would keep promise with the lords if they shall perform the like to him.
Then I descended into the variances betwixt him and the lords, noting the hard condition of his present case and wishing that he would wisely provide, first, for his honour and safety in person, which were now to be got by giving some reasonable contentment to the lords upon their departure from him; and, next, for reformation of the estate in matters of religion, justice and peace: which causes I alleged to have been prejudiced and endangered by his own defaults in slow administration of justice and requisite remedies, and also by his Council preferring more their own particularities than the redress of the diseases in the state. I persuaded that some discreet persons well chosen might entreat him to give honourable satisfaction to the lords and exhort them with humility to accept his offers of grace. In reply, the King justified much his own government and actions, adding that the contempt in his subjects proceeded from their own errors and by his misfortune. Secondly, he showed that, at the request of Mr. John Colville and for the expedition of Bothwell's trial, he returned from Falkland to Holyrood House against his intention, and now they stayed his return to Falkland and still remain about him against his will and their promise. Thirdly, they have removed five of his servants from him and thereby have broken the conditions on their part, and, besides, had required his letters to summon the Chancellor, the Master of Glamis, Sir Robert Melvill and Sir George Hume for treason; and being demanded for what cause, it was answered, that they might be hanged. Fourthly, that they challenged the like benefits to be granted to them as to the lords at Stirling; and he concluded with a resolution not only to suffer his hand to be cut from his arm rather than hereafter subscribe any letter or missive at their appetites, but also to endure death rather than to live in this dishonour. After I had "recomforted" him with the offer of her Majesty's aid and persuaded him to try the mediation of fit persons for appeasing these discords, he agreed to try what should ensue by the conference that day, and, if no good effects should proceed thereon, that some more apt mediators should be joined to these and meet again on the morrow. But nothing was accorded that day, further than that some of the Session, some more of the ministry and some of this burgh should be called and with these convene there the next day.
The next day, Monday, the assembly came together, travailing diligently to pacify these discords, wherein the repetition of matters rather increased the offences than appeased the variances. I stayed my letters to your lordship because I awaited "good frute," and also at Bothwell's motion. On Tuesday, the 14th instant, the King, the lords and these mediators assembled again, and after long debate "they drewe neare the overture of agrement nowe concluded and especifyed by the note inclosed"; yet the lords disagreed amongst themselves in some points, and demanded sundry things denied by the King, especially that Bothwell might be general-lieutenant in the south, with large conditions and authority, and with power to choose and establish all the officers on the Borders; that Atholl should be general-lieutenant in the north, with power to prosecute Huntly, the Papists and all other offenders, and that her Majesty, by me, might give caution or be witness in the accords. To help to loose these knots I was sent for, and thereon travailed with the King and advised Atholl and Bothwell rather to qualify their demands than to stop the course of agreement; and so, in the end, all things were accorded that night and recorded by writing subscribed by the King, the lords and mediators aforesaid.
Whilst matters found hard progress and passed with sharp terms, the King "opened" to the ministers that he was resolved to be either free and delivered from the company of the lords or else to declare himself to be "captyvate" by them; and thereon he charged the ministers to publish the same to the people and also to exhort them to procure his delivery by force. This wrought mightily with all the assembly, so that thereon the accords proceeded, and the King was pleased to give his good countenance with firm promises to the lords to the good contentation of the just; for all were not fully satisfied with this order enacted as by virtue and authority of a council. Because of this, and because it was thought that her Majesty could not conveniently subscribe as of the number of the Council of Scotland, therefore my subscription as her cautioner or witness in this behalf was omitted. Further, it was not found convenient that the office of lieutenancy should be committed to Bothwell before he should be fully restored by Parliament; and it is intended that the King shall be again moved at Falkland for the disposition of those two offices to these two Earls.
Yesterday, the 15th instant, the King passed to Leith, where Bothwell banquetted him, and afterwards he returned to Falkland with the Duke, Ochiltree and Spynie, and this day the Queen will follow the King, who now is wholly bent to take his pastimes, purposing, at present, to ride to Inchmurrin (Inchmeryn) to hunt fallow deer, and not to return hither before October. I am advertised that great forces had been shown in the fields for the King's rescue within these three days, and that the Duke (Herenius) would have joined with them and left the other lords if this agreement had not been concluded. But now the great blasts of these storms are calmed, yet it is very uncertain what shall ensue. I hear that the King has sent for Sir John Carmichael and some other councillors; that Argyll, Crawford, Rothes and Mar will shortly be with him; that Ochiltree will leave the Court; and that Atholl and his wife will retire to their own houses. I am advertised from the north that Huntly as also Mackintosh and his friends have massed together great forces and are in the fields very likely to fight. The ministers, before the King's departure yesterday, moved him earnestly to give "indelate" order for the prevention of these inconveniences, yet I do not hear of any provision made for the same. It is generally believed here that the Queen is with child, yet she will not acknowledge the same. Nevertheless many signs are seen proving this report. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
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Partly printed in Calderwood, v. 257-8.
Enclosure with the same.
(Remission by James VI. to Bothwell.)
The King's Majesty grants to Earl Bothwell, his "partakers" and aiders remission of all bygone offences in assisting and furthering of his attempts against his Highness's person and authority preceding the date hereof, and promises that they shall never be "quarrellit" therefor in time to come, and that they shall have restitution, present repossessing and all other sureties for their lands, lives, goods and houses; and his Highness shall cause the same be ratified by Parliament, to be convened and holden on 20th November next to come, according to the act of Remission made in the Parliament holden at Linlithgow; and this present act to serve for a sufficient security in the meantime. Till the end of the said Parliament or Convention of the estates these persons following shall be commanded nowise to repair to his Highness's presence, and shall be resisted in case they presume "in the contrair." "They are to saye," Alexander Lord Hume, John Lord Thirlestane Chancellor, Thomas Master of Glamis Treasurer, and Sir George Hume of Primroknowe (Pryroknowe), knight. His Majesty wills all men in the meantime to retire to their dwellings or otherwise where they shall think good, as peaceable and obedient subjects, and he will call such of his Council to attend on his service and to "administrate" the affairs of the common weal as he shall think most expedient. This his Majesty faithfully promises on the word of a King, and the lords and others of his Privy Council and Session, the ministers of God's Word present, together with the Provost and bailies of Edinburgh, in name of the whole Council, by his Highness's command and consent, swear and promise "to halde hand" to the true observation hereof, and to "oppone" themselves by word and deed against all who would presume to infringe and violate the same. Holyroodhouse, 14th August 1593. Signed by his Majesty, the Duke of Lennox, Atholl, Ochiltree, Gray, Innermeath, St. Colme, Dunkeld, the President and lords of Session, Mr. Robert Bruce and the Presbytery convened for the time, the Provost, bailies and council of Edinburgh.
The names of the subscribers are: James Rex. Noblemen: Duke of Lennox, Atholl, Andrew Lord Ochiltree, Spynie, John Lord Forbes, Master of Gray. Session: Seyton [Lord] Urquhart, Sir Robert Melvill, Mr. James Elphinstone, Clerk of Register, Maircarnye. (fn. 4) Kirk: Mr. David Lindsay, Mr. Robert Bruce. Mr. Walter Balcanquell, Mr. Robert Rollock, Mr. William Watson, Mr. Patrick Galloway.
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114. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 18.]
According to your directions, I have laboured to enlarge and certify sundry particularities omitted in my letter of 30th July, and to return notes to every clause or section in your letter of the 8th. [See the preceding.]
First, "the negligence in the posteman in London leavinge my packett in the bagg—by th'oversight (I thincke) of his boy—might ether have withdrawne at lengthe the lettre, or ells prolonged the deliverye beyond due season, if Mr. Carye had not given occasion by his lettre to call for my packett." The diligence of this postman is such in all his services that small warning will suffice for him. But let all the rest of the keepers of the posts be sharply warned that none of your packets be opened before the delivery, as sometimes I have found done.
Secondly, I was informed that Mr. John Colville (being present with Bothwell and hearing and seeing all things in that action) had written and certified the particularities thereof to persons ready to impart the same to your lordship; that Mr. Locke was to be sent soon after with full report; that the King would write to her Majesty; and that others had advertised these occurrences. The consideration hereof moved me to write that others serve to give intelligence more readily and more certainly than I, and thereon I left the report to others, and the full declaration to the instructions and credit of Sheperson.
Thirdly, it is no little comfort to me that her Majesty likes my dealings with the King in laying before him the neglect of his former promises, "and th'opposinge him, howe he disgeisted the soddaine cominge of Bothwell."
The King in conference assured me that he neither knew nor yet suspected anything of Bothwell's coming to him, and that he presented himself to the King having his clothes not fastened about him; that before Bothwell's entry into his chamber the Duke and Spynie were with the King; and that Atholl, Ochiltree and the Stewarts were with Bothwell and Mr. John Colville at the King's coming forth to the presence chamber. Bothwell and Mr. John submitted themselves with great humility, letting the King know that they were driven of necessity to attempt this manner of access to him for the safety of their lives, which now they offered to his pleasure: they prayed remission for their attempts at Holyrood House and Falkland, and Bothwell offered to be tried by assize for witchcraft. The King told them that this sudden and violent repair to him was strange and very dishonourable to him, not so much in Bothwell and Colville (who sought it for their lives) as in the others who had brought them in. Bothwell uttered many humble speeches to which the King gave neither credit nor respect. He declared to them that he was their sovereign and had accomplished tne age of twenty-seven years, so that the shame and dishonour of his surprise and detention in this manner ought to be more grievous to him than the pains of death, declaring that he thought they had come for his death and that he was presently in their hands, and ready to endure death patiently that thereby he might rather die with honour than thus live in captivity with shame, and he wished them speedily to execute their intended violence against him. Bothwell, casting himself at the King's feet, protested deeply that it never entered into his heart to do the King any personal hurt, and that he came to offer his life and service and to give testimony of his loyalty and love, and so fell from his knees flat to the ground, offering his own sword to the King that he might, if he listed, strike off his head, which he thrust under the King's foot, and put forth his neck to the King's stroke. The Duke, Atholl and the rest thereon in very humble sort prayed the King to have compassion on him and rather to accept his submission than take his life. The King, moved with the sight of Bothwell's submission and sorrow, which he noted to be imprinted in his eyes and face, was contented to show his grace to them, and thereon Bothwell offered to withdraw from the King's company until his trial for witchcraft should be past; that he should return to his trial on the 10th instant; that in the meantime none of the King's officers or servants should be removed from him; and that Bothwell after his trial should depart to and abide in such place, and so long, as the King should appoint. The King was pleased with these conditions and promised, upon performance thereof, to pardon all the offences of Bothwell and his followers, and to restore them to their honours, offices, lands and possessions. Furthermore, he would assuredly keep his promise to them if they should likewise well accomplish the conditions promised by them, and thereby he did not think himself captivate or detained against his will.
Fourthly, it appears from the King's account that the conditions were agreed betwixt him and Bothwell in manner rehearsed, and also that he more condemned the bringers-in of Bothwell than he blamed Bothwell.
Fifthly, I am not able truly to inform her Majesty of the diversity of the minds of the King's councillors, as they are very changeable. Many are changed since this change in Court, and many are likely to be changed hereafter, partly by the King's course to be shortly manifested, and partly through Bothwell and his friends offering friendship to them; and as the number of the Council is very great, so their affections are very diverse and seldom so constant but that they may be altered between the writing and delivery of my letter. The Duke, with the surname of Stewarts, Argyll, Crawford, Montrose and Caithness, Seton, Livingstone, Forbes, Innermeath, Sinclair, Ross and many other lords, with many good barons, are glad of Bothwell's restitution and welfare. The ministry and burgesses of Edinburgh wish him well, and the people generally fawn on him and favour him. He has been advised and supported (as it is said) by the Stewarts in this enterprise, and it is thought that Morton, Mar, the Master of Glamis and the residue of the Council lately about the King, together with sundry of the King's minions, were little delighted with his incoming, in regard that they were endangered thereby to lose grace in Court. In these causes Mr. Locke and others can give clearer light.
Sixthly, the friends of the northern lords have discovered themselves in the Council before, and in the progress of, the Parliament. My advice to the King to gather a wise Council was given purposely to allure him to put from him such councillors and courtiers as were poisoning his nature and offensive to the people, and also to call to him wise and well affected persons. The choice and naming of the persons to be removed or called ought to have been determined by a choice number of especial persons, elected and employed therein. It is not known now who should have been embraced or put away, because this choice is not resolved.
Seventhly, as her Majesty well likes my course for the "uphold" of the Hamiltons, so it is requisite to direct me what to do in case the King shall draw the Hamiltons to be party against Bothwell, for it is looked that he shall shortly be at Hamilton. Albeit presently Hamilton and Bothwell remain in good friendship, yet, if the King shall turn his favour from Bothwell, it may then be doubted whether he will deal with Hamilton therein, and what Hamilton will do at the King's allurement.
Eighthly, according to her Majesty's pleasure, I have of late given, and shall continue to give, comfort to Mr. John Colville, whose service might be found very profitable, and I recommend that in his worn estate he be relieved with her Majesty's bounty.
Ninthly, sundry of the Council (named in my former letter) have departed from Court. Albeit Mar chanced to come into the King's chamber with Atholl and Bothwell on 24th July, yet now it appears he was neither privy to nor allowed the enterprise. There is no unkindness betwixt Bothwell and Mar, but it is not known what friendship shall be continued betwixt them until they or their friends have met to remove all jealousies. Your lordship's opinion "for" Crawford is good.
Tenthly, there was an intention to have levied a guard of 100 footmen and 50 horsemen under the Duke and paid by the lords then about the King;— namely, the Duke, Atholl, Bothwell, Ochiltree and Spynie. This guard should have attended on the King's person and for the lords' sureties. The trumpet and drum were sounded for the whole levy thereof, and the companies were prepared, but in the end 100 footmen were raised and entertained hitherto, and are like to be discharged within few days.
Eleventhly, I have given order (according to her Majesty's pleasure) that Huntly and his partners should be stirred to renew and proceed in their former offers to me. I perceive that Bothwell (Argonartes) is fully bent to shoot at Huntly's overthrow; wherein he will not be stayed unless otherwise advised by the Duke (America), whose counsel he will follow. I shall strive much to stop his course herein till I be directed further what to persuade, for his purpose will best please the well affected. I am told that the other partners are here presently in secret manner to make means to join with Bothwell, who will be willing to show favour for all old kindnesses amongst them, yet he does not like to associate himself with them. As Archibald Douglas (Diogenes) is a dealer for them, I have employed Douglas's near kinsman to travail with these partners, who, I perceive, are more desirous to have their "turnes" done by Archibald Douglas or others than by me, noted to be the author of all their troubles.
Lastly, the chief adversary (or enemy, as your lordship writes) to the Chancellor (Menelaus) is the Queen of Scots (Tripolis), who, upon "conceipt" that he has far forgotten himself by rash words to the King of Scots (Petrea) narrowly touching her, remains still offended, and for her sake the Duke of Lennox (Herenius), Bothwell, Mar (Sempronius) and Lord Hume (Mandovill) fiercely prosecute him. On the other side Lord John Hamilton (Scipio), Atholl (Alexander) in some sort, Maxwell (Octavius) and Cessford (Seneca), with many others, of good quality and calling, are ready to stand with him. The Chancellor has frequent intelligence with Papists, as you rightly noted. But since my late service here he has acquainted me with his dealing with some of them and also with some matters passed among them.
Mr. James Murray, who has done many good offices for her Majesty, has been removed from the office of the King's Wardrobe without cause, as he is ready to "approve." This office is now vacant by the absence of Sir George Hume, to whom the King granted it, and Murray trusted that her Majesty would commend his cause to the King through Sir Robert Melville [see No. 70; p. 100]. I request that she will now recommend his suit to Sir Robert.
It is advertised that Huntly and Mackintosh have met and skirmished. Huntly's horse was shot and slain and Huntly hurt. Twenty-four of Huntly's men are slain and four of Mackintosh's, and Mackintosh pursues Huntly. The report is uncertain, and of no great credit.
The King's mind is so altered towards Atholl and Bothwell that little or nothing is done as yet in granting them the lieutenancies of the north and south. They show great devotion to her Majesty. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—Hearing that the King would appoint a Convention, I stayed this letter one night that I might write certainly thereof. I am informed this day that there shall be a Convention at Stirling on 7th September. It is supposed that this is done to draw the Chancellor, Hume, the Master of Glamis and Sir George Hume to the King with more speed, because they were barred by the late accord to come to his presence before the next Parliament or Convention. It is expected that some novelty and alteration shall follow. I am informed that Lord Hume has agreed with the Chancellor and Sir Robert Carr, whereby it is thought that a strong party shall be made against Bothwell.
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115. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 21.]
The King removed yesterday from Falkland to Stirling, forbearing to dine at Morton's house, called Newhouse, where Angus and Errol had come, hoping to have obtained his presence. I am told that Morton was with the King at Falkland, and that the King satisfied him in his cause; but what the cause was, is not yet known. The King intended to ride to Dumbarton on the 23rd, and on the 27th to enter into Inchmurrin (Inchmeringe), to hunt fallow-deer three or four days, and from thence to pass to Hamilton for two or three days, and afterwards return to Stirling and tarry there the end of this Convention, beginning on 7th September. It is pretended that the Convention shall be occupied in pacifying the quarrels amongst the nobility and in preparing matters for the next Parliament. It is thought that the King will there declare his determined intention to perform his promises to Bothwell and the rest. This place is holden suspicious, and it is doubted that some noblemen, not yet openly called by letters, shall be present there and persuade dangerous courses.
It is true that the Chancellor and Hume are agreed. I am advised that the King by his letter willed the Master of Glamis to persuade Hume to agree with the Chancellor for the King's service, and that thereby the Master sent the Comptroller quietly with his letters to reconcile these parties. The Chancellor and the Master of Glamis are likewise agreed. Because it is thought that the King will not return hither before the beginning of November and that my abode here in the meantime shall yield little profit, I petition her Majesty to grant my full revocation, or at least access to her presence during the King's absence. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
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116. Mr. John Colville to Sir Robert Cecil. Printed in Letters of John Colville, p. 101. Aug.21.
Since the capitulation of the 14th nothing has occurred but quietness, and by all appearance his Majesty meant "no othervayis," albeit Lord Hume, Maitland, Cessford and some others who have long been mortal enemies are finally accorded, which gave some suspicion. But their meaning shall be foreseen and prevented, if it tend to our hurt. The 7th of September is appointed for a Convention of indifferent noblemen to declare his Majesty's good liking of Bothwell's last humiliation, and to "treit" a general concord among all his nobles, which I take to be specially meant for Huntly. The well affected here implore that before that time her Majesty either by messenger or by letter will instruct her ambassador to receive information from us to "propone" such matters to his Majesty and the Estates as be for the benefit of the common peace, of religion and of your friends here, and yet cannot pertinently be moved by us. This day I am both sent from the nobles here to his Majesty, at Stirling, to solicit a commission to pursue the detainers of the houses of Coldingham and Spott which are detained and fortified by Hume and Sir George, and at that same time warned by his Majesty's letter to repair thither. As I find matter there I shall advertise your honour. May Mr. Henry Locke be hastened hither, because we have committed to him matters that we have "opinned" to none other. Edinburgh. Signed: Jo. Colville.
Postscript.—The Convention holds at Stirling, which in our old prophesies is esteemed an "ominus place"; for we say "Stirling ab initio nequam." Even at the closing up of this letter I received your honour's, wherein I find you would have me to set down in particular what good course we are to follow, by what means and with what liking of our sovereign. That matter being partly committed to Mr. Lock, and by reason of the constant inconstancy of our estate (as your honour rightly terms it) to be with good advice set down, I am compelled to postpone it for this time. In my next I shall be more special in that point.
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117. Mr. John Colville to Henry Locke. [Aug. 21.] Printed in Letters of John Colville, p. 103.
[Refers to the calling of the Convention, as in the preceding.] "Your douncuming wer werey necessar, for thir men ar sumwhat impatient, and thair uprychtnes wald be mett with a prompt and spedy benevolence and not with delayis, which be dethe to us." I perceive by your letter you are on your way, which I pray you to haste. I commit all other particulars to your discretion, wherein, if you hope "to speid," insist; but if there be no present care, let me be "tymuslie" informed thereof. My unfeigned affection to serve her Majesty shall never fail, howsoever I may lack the means. Being supplied by her bounty, I hope in this realm to do her more necessary service than those in greater rank. Signed: Jo. Colville.
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118. Suspension by James VI. of an Act made against the Earl of Huntly. [Aug. 22.]
Forasmuch as at our last being in Aberdeen, in March last bypast, there was an act of Council and caution "tane uppon" George Erle of Huntly, his kin, friends and "partakers," upon great sums of money, and also the "bodelye aithis," of the persons named in the act or acts that they nor any of them would reset, supply or intercommune with George Earl of Huntly, under pains contained within the said act or acts: Understanding presently your great incursions by fire-raising, murder of women and bairns and innocent people "be herrishipps of geare and goodis," not only upon the Earl of Huntly's proper lands, but also upon other faithful subjects, by the Clan Chattan and such other broken men, their adherents, therefore we of our princely authority have thought good to dispense, and by these presents "suspense," any penalty that may incur by the speaking, resetting or intercommuning with the said George Earl of Huntly or his accomplices, or any danger that may be incurred by those who advise, assist, and defend with him and his complices in defence of his lands and heritage against the malefactors foresaid; but also that he and they may follow them "after ther geir" and pursue them in all "hostiale" manner for defence thereof. Edinburgh.
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119. Elizabeth to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 23.]
Henry Locke brought hither letters from the King dated 1st August, by which he pretends to inform us of the truth of the late accident fallen out there, which might seem, as he writes, to import a further alteration than has ensued. He delivers the matter in this sort: that on 24th July, Bothwell conveyed himself secretly into his palace with four or five disguised in simple array, and thereby had access to his person, and prostrate at his feet offered himself to be tried for witchcraft and demanded mercy for his two several invasions into the King's palace; and so, upon certain conditions (but those not expressed), the King granted to him his grace; and this he has thought meet to make known to us for two special causes,—the one lest the matter might be misreported to us, the second, lest we should doubt that by this change of Bothwell's estate some other alteration might happen, whereby we might, perhaps, alter our accustomed former dealing with him. But no such occasion being ministered, he looks we will keep no other course with him than before. For answer we mean to write to him with our own hand; and yet we will have you inform him that we look to be better satisfied for our honour, which in some sort is touched in that the King so peremptorily refused our request for Bothwell, though it was not for Bothwell's sake, but to bring quietness to the King. To content him we banished Bothwell by public proclamation, yet at the same instant that proclamations were so made in all countries northward the King has received him [into] favour; which does not displease us for any evil will we bear to the Earl, but in that we may justly be taxed with lack of consideration or of the King's neglecting of us by this so hasty proceeding. You may also say to the King from us that we, being a prince absolute as he is, cannot but be grieved to see so secret and sudden access to the person of a King before his favour was obtained, for so may the greatest princes in the world be surprised and overruled to their peril or dishonour. We do not allege this as conceiving any evil intention in the Earl, for whom we would not have made intercession but upon opinion of his sorrowfulness for his faults and his ability to make amends; and now we consider that the King's letter was procured by Bothwell, and that he also has sent us a letter by Locke [see No. 105] to impart certain things, the substance whereof Locke has delivered by writing in certain articles signed, as we think, by Bothwell. Amongst which articles you shall understand those that are material, and thereupon, according to our direction, you shall deal with Bothwell and with such others as he shall assure you to be joined with him. He has willed Locke to let us know what noblemen have by oath and their hands given to Locke assurance to follow such course as the Earl shall intend with us, for our service and the King's. He requires to know whether we will accept, and to have speedy direction for the use thereof. And Locke, being "enquired" who they were who gave their oaths and their hands, has named the Duke, Atholl, Mar, Ochiltree and Spynie. Secondly and thirdly, the Earl affirms that their present actions shall be authorised by their King, and that none in Scotland ought to be preferred for power before them, most of them being of the religion and faction opposed against the enemies of religion and estate, whom he names Huntly, Maxwell and Hume, adding that his associates are ready [to offer themselves] by writing, if we shall give commission to receive it, and by the Earl's son as pledge to confirm it. Fourthly, it is required that if we shall like their proceeding therein we would send some testimony speedily under our hand with whom and how we will have them deal, how far we will impart our princely liberality, which they will forbear to demand in any great sums, considering our late bounty to their sovereign, adding that there was loss in the bestowing of that, or rather thereby an arming of our enemies; and they think in a short time to rid us of all foreign practices, meaning with our help to maintain some small forces for a few months, without naming of any proportion, but by their conference Locke understands it to be about 4000 crowns. Fifthly, Locke is commanded to keep their proceeding secret from the King, lest the same be revealed to their adversaries. Sixthly, they promise constancy, and with our aid in three months' time so to chastise the Spanish party that Scotland shall not contain it, or that it shall not be able to prevail in anything; and also to have the frontiers strictly looked to. Further, we are required that, if for satisfaction of some of their party and to the King's content, and with satisfaction of the Church, they shall be compelled to receive in Court and to use James Stewart, we will not take it in ill part, but rather by our letters show our allowance thereof.
These are the principal instructions delivered to Locke. Our answer to all of them you shall impart to the Earl; and, if necessary, impart some points thereof to the rest of his associates. But first you shall use some round speech in our name to Bothwell, saying that we are much perplexed how to "putt up" this matter with silence. [This "round speech" is in substance the same as that used to the King.] Though we are glad that the Earl has received favour, yet we cannot dissemble our mislike of the manner even for example sake that may be dangerous to be followed. Thereafter you will let him know our answer to his instructions, as follows:
First, we allow his concurrency with the noblemen named by Locke, and especially seeing their intentions are alleged to be not only to our good, but above all to their prince's good and safety, both the same being very acceptable to us, and warrantable by the law of God and man.
Secondly, we do both like and think it necessary that their actions be authorised by the King, and the more to be liked also, for that it seems by the Earl that most of them be of the religion and "opposite" against the enemies of that state, as they name Huntly, Maxwell and Hume to be.
We like their offer to ratify this by their handwriting, and give you commission to receive it from them in secret sort without pressing the Earl to have his son as pledge, though if there were such cause he should be well used by us.
To the fourth, you may say that we cannot at first enter into particular directions until we be more particularly informed how their actions shall be authorised by the King and in what manner they will join themselves with other well-affected noblemen. By contrary proceeding division may follow in the realm amongst the nobility who are dutiful and loyal, as of late years we have seen pitifully experimented. We do not mention this for any mistrust of the Earl or of those who are named with him, but not knowing who may be further associated with them and how all their actions may surely be bent to the honour and safety of the King, to the maintenance of religion, and extirpation of the Spanish faction, we require the Earl to be contented that we do not make particular answer to the points mentioned until we may have more particular information from him, and upon knowledge thereof we shall be better provided how to answer their demands.
Fifthly, we think it meet that their determinations be kept secret until proceedings be fully resolved, and then be opened to the King, so that the friends of the enemies be not made participant thereof until the time that the execution may be taken in hand.
As to James Stewart, you shall say that, considering he has been in disgrace both of the King and of his Council a long time and has been heretofore charged with sundry evil actions, we may not conveniently allow of the "receipt" of him into office or into the Court unless we may perceive certainly the King's own judgment and disposition and what good the same may work to the quietness of the realm and concord with the King's good servants.
Finally, you shall require the Earl to show you his opinion how the King is bent to prosecute the attainder of the Earls; for, whilst we are moved by divers there to stir up the King to deal more openly against them, we are otherwise informed that they make account to obtain his favour by their submission, whereof we shall be most glad, if it may prove to be good for the King and to the continuance of God's religion and to free the realm of Spanish and Popish factions. You may tell Bothwell that we heard that Melvill had reported to him that we are well content that the said Earls should be received to the King's favour, but Melvill therein misreports our speeches, for we said that if the King should determine to receive them to grace, it were much better that our intercession might be used therein than that of any of the King's subjects, who should thereby claim an authority to be banded with them in any other evil action; and of this latter point you shall also speak with Sir Robert Melvill, and will him not to misstate us nor to misreport our speeches to him.
8 pp. Draft. Many corrections in Burghley's hand. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "Copie of her Majesties lettre to Mr. Bowes."
120. Elizabeth to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 23.]
Your late letters and certain articles pretending an accord betwixt the King and Bothwell have moved us both to compassion for the King and offence against such as have been parties to the dangerous and dishonourable proceedings. By reason of your short recitals we are not satisfied with the declaration of your doings and the King's answers and resolutions, and therefore being not well certified how you have delivered to the King our opinion concerning his late actions nor what manner of answers he has made directly thereto, we have thought good at this time to direct you what you shall say on our part to him, and to observe very well his answers, and to report the same to us accordingly.
You shall first require him to call to his remembrance what promise and assurance he gave to Lord Burgh to prosecute the notable traitors, especially the three Earls of the north: and now, notwithstanding, we perceive all his actions to tend rather to the contrary, as the sufferance of his rebels to continue in their countries with full liberty without apprehension, and the wilful escape of such as had directly proved their treasons without effort to recover them. Afterwards, perceiving a colourable Parliament prepared with a show to attaint the rebels, we have found it strange that his own learned Advocate has been suffered most audaciously to devise colourable cavillations to stay the process, so that they were not punished in Parliament as had been convenient for [the sake of] example; and we have found it strange that in the appointing of the Lords of the Articles for their attainder, the special friends of the said three Earls have been chosen to be of that number, and so, in the end, a number of particular causes were expedited without proceeding to the attainder of the said Earls, so that they have rather cause of encouragement to continue in their treasons than any fear to be corrected for the same. Therefore you shall say to the King that his proceedings move us to doubt that he himself is notably seduced and, to speak plainly, blinded in his reason and judgment by evil counsellors and by the rebels' friends and practisers about his person, to suffer himself not only to be generally contemned, but also to be overruled and in a sort brought into subjection of his lewd subjects, if not also into danger of his life; and by thus disregarding his own safety a great error has followed in that certain other lords of the realm, perceiving this great negligence in his government and danger of his own estate and of that realm, have of late taken some colour, for the establishing of his realm in quietness, and for recovery of obedience to him, to make a party against the said rebels, and therewith have attempted to press the King by their petitions to assent to the prosecution of the rebels and to root out the Spanish papistical faction and to remove from him such bad instruments as secretly favour his rebels. Wherein we have misliked the manner of their proceedings in presuming to force him, instead of dutifully advising him thereto. The access to him of the Earl Bothwell has manifestly tended to the dishonour of his kingly estate, yet he has himself so variously and uncertainly proceeded that no good has hereof followed, but a general amazing of his people and an entry to division amongst his nobility, without any resolution how to settle his realm in quietness and root out the notable traitors,—which are the things by him heretofore promised as most necessary for his estate. Therefore, to conclude, you shall require him to give us direct answer, what councillors of knowledge, authority and loyalty he means to call to him to assist him for the execution of his actions against the said rebels and their partners; and likewise you shall require him to open his mind to you, what he mislikes in his estate, in whom he reposes his trust, and of whom he has cause to doubt. That (fn. 5) we may not still by variety of bruits, by contrariety in his actions and his sudden changes of favour to his servants remain uncertain whom to favour or like, and ignorant whom he will use and trust or put from him, we require you to let him know that, as things stand, we will not credit anything until he has by his hand assured us of his disposition to embrace or reject, and his resolution to prosecute or oversee. This he ought no more to deny us than he did to the ambassadors of Denmark for their satisfaction in particular, that by his writing they might satisfy all such as should desire to know the truth of those actions. And for the matter of Bothwell's sudden reception into his favour, as we could not at first but most inwardly abhor that insolent and abominable fact, so have we also found it strange that now without once acquainting us, who had governed ourself towards him even by the rule of his own desires, and had even acquainted him with all the secrets of Bothwell's overtures to us, he has not only remitted him, but also has forborne to make it appear to the world by any chastisement how he misliked in any of his favourers their abusing of his person and dignity. When we consider the articles of the late accord, we require you to reiterate to him that without direct knowledge from him we cannot judge how he means in his heart hereafter to proceed, and therefore our only desire and purpose are that, without any respect to Bothwell or to any other, saving notorious conspirators, he may be assisted with such councillors, and himself take and follow such resolutions, as may make him honoured and loved of his good subjects and duly feared of the ill, and that he cause justice to be ministered to all persons of every degree without partiality, and betwixt parties and parties, so that we may see his prosperity thereby.
6½ pp. Draft in the hand of Burghley's clerk. Many corrections and additions in Elizabeth's and Burghley's hands. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "23 August 1593. Copie of her Majesties lettres to Mr. Bowes by Mr. Lock."
121. Elizabeth to Mr. Henry Lock: Instructions for Bothwell. [Aug. 23.] Cott. MS., Calig., D., fol. 109.
"Certain things to be delivered by Mr. Henry Lock to the Earle of Bothwell to shew him what we have misliked or liked in him for his late actions." (fn. 6)
First, he ought not to think that we can [allow, or did ever allow, of his] assaulting of the King's houses at two sev[erall times, whatsoever pretence] may be made to colour the same; for it [is to be held as a] general rule that the persons of kings are sacred, representing the Majesty of God here on earth, against which no violence may be permitted.
Secondly, we have not liked of this late sudden access to the King,—being in his own chamber solitary—without either leave given by the King, or knowledge given by the Earl or his friends of such a sudden attempt, bringing also weapons in his hands, whereby the Earl did this third time manifestly offend almighty God by putting the King in great fear, and ought thereof to require remission both of God and the King.
Thirdly, we have not liked (if it be as we hear it reported) that the very next day after he was acquitted he came alone to the King's house at an unseasonable time, and without notice or licence of the King took away five of the King's servants and committed them as prisoners, not using such dutiful manner as would become him or any of the greatest noblemen or counsellors. He should first, either by himself or jointly with some other good counsellors, have informed the King of such offences as the parties might have been charged withal, and required their further examination and trial (whereunto we think also the King would have done well to consent); and thereby both the King's honour would have been saved and the Earl's duty commendably performed.
[We have also, for our own part, great cause to mislike of his usage] in our realm. First, in his wander[ing up and down in such open sort as was] needless for him, and provoked the King to challenge us with breach of the treaties. But most of all [his misusage has been not]able in that he has, since the King has recei[ved him, come into our] realm and wandered through all our borders, and [come to our towns of Berwick] and Carlisle and other frontier places [in such sort as no subject] of our own ought to do without our commission. [And, besides], he has come to our towns of Newcastle and Dur[ham . . .] the north, as freely as any officer of our own might [do. Of which] doings both the King and the world may have cause [to think unfavourably] of our friendship for the King; and others badly [affected in his] country may by the example take such course as is [unfit to be suffered] in those doubtful times, and may give cause to our subjects [to be less curious in their duties] when in this they are not blamed.
As we mislike these things in the Earl, so we cannot deny that we have also had [cause to like him for other things, and "namely" for his many offers fr[om the time he] escaped out of the Castle of Edinburgh, for his submission [to the King, for] the services he intends to do against the Papist traitors, and [also for] his offers to clear himself of the imputed witchcraft and to go into prison and be tried by his peers or any other lawful subjects of the realm. [As is well] known, we gave knowledge [to the King] by messengers, letters and otherwise of these offers, showing also our liking [thereof for the] weal of the King and his realm. But contra[riwise when the King] showed himself so offended with the Earl [that he seemed] not content with our motions,—which we meant only for his good—we [desisted from] the further entreaty of the King [though not without hope of his princely good disposition to such as seek his mercy. Moreover, we also proceeded very sharply to expel him out of our realm where he] came only for a refuge to save his life. But if the King would remit [all his former offences] upon trial of his fidelity, we are of opinion that he shall reap [more good to him]self by showing his grace to him, repenting of his faults, than by severe dealing against him.
And where by him we have received overtures from divers other noble personages to concur with our liking to provide for the King's safety and to suppress the Spanish conspirators, since we have only received such declarations in general and the messenger let us know that they offered by their hands to express it, we have thought good to require that he and they will speedily consult and assure us from themselves jointly with him of their intended course, whereby we, knowing it and by such assurance having cause to trust unto it, may advise of holding like correspondence and become a means to the King to trust them and use them as good patriots. In the meantime we remain thankful to them for their so freely offered good will; and whereas we understand that they would have sent it under their hands if the messenger would have brought it, we have blamed him for refusing the same, because it is an occasion of spending more time in sending to and fro than were convenient in a case so perilous to be delayed. Signed: Hounsdon.
3pp. Top and edges damaged by fire.
122. Names of Lords who have offered to Subscribe and Concur in the Cause in Hand. [c. 23] [Aug.]
"The names offered to subscrib and concur in the caws in hand." (fn. 7) The Duke. Earls of Atholl, Bothwell, Mar, Argyll, Morton, Crawford, Montrose, Menteith, Rothes, Glencairn, Orkney, Caithness. Lords Ochiltree, Innermeath, Spynie, Livingston, Sempill, Lindsay, Borthwick. Barons: all Stewarts, Farniherst and his Kers (Cars), Johnstone with all the Scotts, all the Lindsays, and "many others to me unknown."
1 p. Endorsed by Burghley: "Scotland, Aug. 1593."
123. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 30.]
The King has passed forwards "on huntinge" to Inchmurrin, accompanied only with the Duke and a small company. He purposes to be at Hamilton to-morrow, the 31st, and to return to Stirling on 4th September to begin the Convention on the 7th. Many are warned by the King's letters to come to this Convention. Some of the ministers present at the mediation between the King and Bothwell are called to the intent they may record the causes, manner and effects of the accords as the same may be ratified by this Convention. It is looked that Mar, the Master of Glamis (now sick), Sir Robert Melvill, the Collector, the Comptroller, Blantyre, the Secretary, Sir John Carmichael, Sir George Hume, Sir William Keith, the Clerk Register, and other councillors and officers, lately scattered by the change in Court, shall be gathered again about the King. Albeit the King presses to draw in the Chancellor, yet he will find little surety in Court until the Queen's displeasure against him shall be appeased, whereof hitherto there is no appearance, for it is said that she is not only offended with Hume for his agreement with him without her privity and against his promise to her, but also that she shows her resolution against the Chancellor.
I am told that the causes of Angus, Huntly and Erroll shall be deliberated by this Convention, and that by the assembling of the old Council about the King they shall escape the punishment before threatened. I am credibly informed that Angus, being lately and openly with Morton at Newhouse, in Fife, has by means of the Countess of Morton (lately with the King at Stirling for that purpose) obtained the King's grant that Tantallon (Tanptallon) shall be delivered to Morton; that his tithes and possessions shall be sequestered and put into the hands of his friends; and that his body shall not be troubled with arrest by any officer. He has returned to his house at Douglas. I am told that the King will order the ministers to confer with him for his conversion. He may subscribe to the religion, as he has done before, but I am advised by credible persons that Angus, Huntly, Erroll and Hume will neither leave the band of their association nor change their Catholic Roman religion professed. Whilst Angus was at Newhouse he was put in memory of his offers to the Queen of England (America), which he acknowledged and before Morton promised to perform. Little suit will suffice for Erroll to receive the revenues of his lands and livings, for it is said that he and his own friends for his use are in possession thereof, and albeit the sharpest arrows are shot at Huntly, yet his "curate [cuirass] of prooffe and armour" in Court are like to defend him from harm and hurt his invaders. It is feared that these effects will be seen in practice within short time, therefore I desire access to her Majesty or speech with your lordship before the Parliament that I may be the better enabled to prevent this and other inconveniences. The news from France comforts the Papists with hope shortly to be restored to their kingdom, with revenge for the wrongs (as they term it) done to them and to Scotland by England "and this realm" [Scotland].
The King has again addressed William Shaw, master of his works, with letters written with his own hand and with especial tokens, to Lord Hume and to Sir George Hume for delivery of the houses and possessions of Coldingham to Bothwell, and of Spott to James Douglas. This messenger has power, and is ready (as it is thought) to charge them to deliver the houses upon pain of treason. In these the King's commandment is disobeyed, and it is verily thought that no restitution shall be made hereof to Bothwell or Spott before the end of the approaching Convention. I have been told that if these houses shall be kept from Bothwell and Spott, contrary to the accord, then Bothwell will seek the King's leave to recover them as he can, the attempt of which would be the beginning of many troubles.
Huntly has invaded Mackintosh, in Moray, and other adversaries with great forces: he has slain above 100 men, women and children, and burnt many houses, greatly spoiling Mackintosh and his friends, who did not find such aid as they expected from the forces of Argyll, which were stayed, and many deem this to be done by Mar's means. No great relief was given him at this time by Atholl, so that he was constrained to take assurance and abstinence with Huntly until Michaelmas next. He has certified Atholl that this assurance is "determinable" at Atholl's pleasure; but it is quietly whispered to me that it is taken by the King's means. If this be so, your lordship can look farther into it than I. Huntly still gathers all the forces that he can draw together, and it is advertised that he purposed to come to Falkland to take the King. I am told for truth that Mackintosh, by his letter delivered yesterday to Bothwell (Argonartes), has opened the causes constraining him to take the assurances and offering frankly to adventure his life against Huntly, if he may be assisted in the enterprise; and that they have promised to support him with 500 horsemen.
Atholl, Ochiltree and other Stewarts, lately in Court here, have retired to their own houses, attending the performance of the King's promises in the late accord. Some would persuade me that privy means are made to draw them to agreement with Huntly, but at their departure they appeared far otherwise "amynded." Their minds and advice therein are before this (I trust) presented to you by others better acquainted therewith than I am; for, finding them to seek support at her Majesty's charge, I dare not intrude to enter further into these matters, except to commend them to your consideration, as also the case of Mr. John Colville.
Some "inwarde" with Bothwell have required my advice what should be done in case no restitution be made to Bothwell and Spott: how the King might be entreated personally to do execution for the restitution of the houses; what shall be done if the possessors shall retain them after the end of the Convention or Parliament; what remedy if the King will not perform at the Parliament the accords granted to Bothwell and the rest; and lastly, if general pacification amongst the whole nobility shall be ordained by this next Convention, then, how far Bothwell may either assent to agree with Huntly and his partners, or else refuse or "advyse" to compound with them. Having no warrant to resolve in these questions, I "put these over" in fair terms, thinking it my duty to acquaint your lordship therewith.
I hear that whilst Spynie was with the King he repented with tears his part in bringing Bothwell to the King's presence. Nevertheless he is like to drink of the bitter cup. I am told that the King spares to "put at" the rest of the inbringers of Bothwell in regard that he cannot honourably punish them and let the Duke escape; that he seeks to pull from Bothwell all the feathers that may be gotten from him; and that the Chancellor, Hume and Glamis have been dealt with and tempted to refuse to compound with Bothwell.
The Earl of Menteith, about twenty years of age, is very desirous to see her Majesty and her Court and also the Earl of Oxford, to whom he claims to be near in blood. He purposes to remain some time in England and to return to Scotland without travel in any other nation. He appears to be specially devoted to her Majesty and is ready to enter on his journey within eight or ten days: but I have persuaded him to wait for her safe-conduct before his departure.
Albeit I find my advice not so acceptable to the King as before, in regard that Bothwell's late access is deemed to have been furthered by the favour given him in England and that I was privy to his entry (whereof I am condemned without cause), yet I intend to be at Stirling to see the progress of this Convention. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
4½ pp. Addressed. Endorsed. Marginal notes in Burghley's hand.
124. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Aug. 31.]
Forasmuch as her Majesty has found some lack in my letter of the 16th instant, and your lordship has directed me to send larger and more certain information in parts noted to be defective therein, I therefore recite the matters and questions expressed in your last letter, brought to me on the 27th. (Question 1). First, you certified that her Majesty, reading my letter of the 16th twice over, finds lack in the short recital of the King's speeches to me and to the lords, and therefore you wish me to recall not only the substance of the King's speeches, but also the form and phrases thereof, and you add that her Majesty likes very well my speeches to the King when I was required to speak with him before the assembly. And where I mention that I recounted to him the contents of my letter of 30th July, her Majesty would have had me to repeat my very words; and where I induced the King to hear mediators, she conceives that some others of the nobility were not called, such as Argyll, Morton and Mar. (Answer 1.) By my letter of the 16th I wrote that I spoke with the King on Sunday the 12th and then opened to him the contents of your lordship's letter of the 8th. I let the King know that I had advertised her Majesty of Bothwell's sudden access, of his submission, and of the King's acceptance thereof, and that by your letter I understood that her Majesty found these things very strange and also thought her own honour to be touched thereby, in regard that after she had made means to the King for Bothwell, solely for the King's benefit, Bothwell was thus suddenly restored by others, and without premonition to her Majesty, and that these proceedings gave her more just cause of offence in that she had commanded her Wardens to make proclamation against Bothwell and his resetters, while it seems that practice was made for Bothwell's restitution at the time when Sir Robert Melvill, the King's ambassador, had solicited these proclamations. These matters I "offred" to the King that he might assure himself that her Majesty had performed all such things as he required to be done against Bothwell. All which the King passed over with thanks to her Majesty for her goodwill, and without other particular answer.
Next, I showed that her Majesty took especial care for the safety of the King's person and for the preservation of his country from rebellion and invasion; and thereon I required that the King would satisfy her Majesty with the form of these proceedings, and also sought to know how he was "brought to it," and how he means to continue. The King shortly answered that he was not privy to the practice for the bringing in of Bothwell; that at my former audience he had opened sufficiently the form of the enterprise, and how he was brought to it; and that he would continue in the same mind and course as he offered to Bothwell, and would keep promise with Bothwell and the rest if they shall accomplish the like to him. Her Majesty conceives rightly that Argyll, Morton and Mar were not called to this conference and mediation, for none of them were present there. Thus, the full substance and form of the King's speech to me, and the sum and manner of my report to the King of the contents of your letter of 30th July, together with the rest of my answer, are now and in my letter of the 18th so recorded as (I trust) to satisfy her Majesty and your lordship.
(Question 2.) You note that amongst many strange accidents there is nothing more strange than that Bothwell banqueted the King at Leith on the 15th, and that he was contented to have Ochiltree and Spynie with him without any other of his Council but the Duke. Her Majesty would enquire of the circumstances of that banquet and how the same passed with the liking of the King or of Bothwell. Besides, it is required to know who they were who had gathered the great forces for the King's rescue. You say that you have been informed that the Duke (Herenius) joined with those forces, "which by us is thought nothinge lykelye."
(Answer 2.) In this place "small provisions of dillicattis havinge spyce meate and wynes" are called banquets, and Bothwell entertained the King in Leith with such, of no great matter or value, whilst the King made himself ready for his vessel to be carried over the water to Kinghorn. The Earl before had given to the King some English geldings and hounds and afterwards expended some time at this banquet whilst the King's boat was made ready. "Which banckett or breakfast the King and Bothwell passed with good lykinge and favourable countenancis." At Leith, after the banquet, the King dismissed Ochiltree and took with him only the Duke and Spynie, for he thinks that they too will follow his appetite. Besides, the friends of the lords and courtiers (especially of Hume) lately removed from the Court, and who were near this town, should have been gathered, as I was credibly informed, for the King's rescue, and an especial person told me that the Duke was privy to it and content to have joined with the other forces in case the King should have been longer kept from Falkland, and should have declared himself detained against his will. This obtained credit in me in that the King of Scots (Petrea) told me before that the Duke had promised to take part with him and do whatsoever he would have him do.
(Question 3.) [You write that] it does not appear by the accord what Bothwell is to do or how to behave himself betwixt this and the Parliament, and whether it be in the meaning of the accords that he may come to the King or not, for the King alleged it was promised he should not be about him after he was acquitted.
(Answer 3.) Bothwell is to keep the former conditions specified in the third article of my letter of the 18th. The King will not have him come to Court before the Parliament, which he will obey, and in the meantime behave himself in quiet manner, unless Lord Hume shall deny to restore the possession of Coldingham to him. The King will allege it to be within the meaning of the accords that Bothwell shall not come to the Court before the Parliament, notwithstanding that it is not expressly so set down.
(Question 4.) You pray to be informed what is the cause of the quarrel betwixt Mackintosh and Huntly, in what part of the Highlands Mackintosh has his dwelling and power, and whether he depends on the Earl of Argyll or Atholl.
(Answer 4.) Upon variance betwixt Huntly and Mackintosh's father, Huntly struck off the head of Mackintosh's father, and as composition gave to Mackintosh and his heirs one barony of land in Lochaber, to be holden of him and his heirs; whereby Mackintosh followed and depended much on Huntly before Huntly killed the Earl of Murray, for Mackintosh holds the rest of his lands "on" Murray and depended upon him. Atholl having the wardship of young Murray, Mackintosh has therefore joined with him and is bound with Atholl, Bothwell and the Stewarts for the revenge of Murray's murder against Huntly. The house of Paty [Petty] and the most part of Mackintosh's lands are in Moray, near Inverness (Enderness), the King's house, whereof Huntly had the keeping, but Atholl has lately got possession thereof and will not deliver it to Huntly.
(Direction 5.) You wished me tell Sir Robert Melvill that her Majesty never was advertised how the King accepted the money bestowed upon him, which Bothwell (Argonartes) and his company said was for a great part bestowed upon their enemies. It may be that Sir Robert has been in awe of some there since his return, but good manners would have moved him to procure some few lines from the King, for, indeed, for anything yet heard from the King, it does not appear that he had the money.
(Answer 5.) I have this day acquainted Sir Robert Melvill that it appertains to him to procure some lines from the King testifying his receipt of the money and his thankful acceptance. He told me that the King right thankfully accepted the sum granted and the whole success of his late negotiation, as the King would shortly declare by his own letter, which he could not send before he had gathered some of his Council; and that this would be done at Stirling, where he and I have appointed to meet.
(Question 6.) [You write] you would gladly understand by whose means the Master of Gray was called to the assembly and placed amongst the lords of Parliament, considering his father is alive, and whether he and Lord Forbes were brought into Bothwell's favour. Amongst the Lords of Session there is named Seton Urquhart, but what the word joined to Seton means you know not, and how he is in degree to the Lord Seton. You would also know who he is that is called "Marcarney," of the "Sessions," and whether Alexander Hay is not Clerk of the Register. In the paper of the accord which I sent, in one place, it is written that it was signed by the King, the Duke, Atholl, Ochiltree, Gray, Innermeath, St. Colme, Dunkeld, the President and Lords of Session, Mr. Robert Bruce and the Presbytery, the Provost, Bailies and Council of Edinburgh; but beneath, in the lower part of the paper, Innermeath, St. Colme, Dunkeld or the President of the Session are not named. In signing of their names some might be omitted; but you desire to be more particularly informed thereof.
(Answer 6.) The Master of Gray was not here at the Parliament, but he came to Bothwell's trial and was on that assise. Bothwell and he had before "partly discorded." But Atholl and his wife, to whom the Master of Gray is allied in blood, have pacified that dryness, and called the Master to this assise. The Master and Lord Forbes were present amongst the mediators at the conclusion of the accords, therefore they subscribed with the rest. Forbes, a Gordon by his mother, "dothe partye" Atholl against Huntly and is very well affected to religion, the amity and all good causes, and by Atholl he is brought to "wyne" with Bothwell and the Stewarts. Seton Urquhart "is subscrybed" by Mr. Alexander Seton, brother of Lord Seton: he is Prior of Pluscardine and Lord President of the Session, and has obtained the fee farm of the barony of Urquhart, parcel of the possessions of the Priory of Pluscardine, whereupon he takes the title of Urquhart, and for a distinction subscribes by the name of Seton Urquhart. "Mackarny" is called Laird of Loggy, now one of the Session, and Mr. Alexander Hay is still Clerk Register. The copy of the accord which I sent was, for expedition, taken out of the original signed by the King, the Duke and others, and before all the subscribers had put their hand to it. It is therefore imperfect in the order of the subscription only; which I shall correct and send with speed.
(Direction 7.) You pray me not to mislike your lordship because you move so many doubts, for her Majesty desires to have the circumstances more particularly.
(Answer 7.) It is my duty and comfort to do your lordship all service without grudge and with all readiness, and these gentle lessons will teach me to write more particularly.
[Your lordship writes that] Sheperson has passed the indenture of covenants for the manner of payment of my debt, and that you send a box to my son by post, with some commission of dedimus potestatem to take his acknowledging. I thank you humbly, and will give order that all things shall be executed by my son as appertains.
[You write that] I must be content that, although her Majesty had given some hope to license me to be revoked, yet she will not do so in this busy time, for she acknowledges that no man of sufficient experience can be found to serve her there.
Her Majesty's pleasure shall be ever a law to me, and I will never weary nor refuse to do her service as long as life and power last. But my stay here until this state shall be better settled will hold me here during my life, for the end of one trouble is here the beginning of another, and I have already received warning in my body that my days shall not be long, especially if I shall abide here until my old sickness shall again seize me. For God's sake present my most humble suit to her Majesty that in this vacation betwixt the end of this Convention and the next Parliament I may see her Majesty's cheerful face, that I may yield account of all my service, inform her of the present condition of this state, etc.
Finally, I wish you truly knew what credit I have got and what help I have found in her Majesty's service by the certificate of foreign " occurrantes " added with your own hand to your letter. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
6½ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
125. State of Scotland. [1593.] [c. Aug.]
" A trew discourse of the late and present evill guided state of Scotland."
This long time the Earl of Bothwell, for all the King's proclamation, has " layne out and abroade " (like as in the old time we have heard of Robin Hood), so that the King with his nobles, notwithstanding sundry journeys with great forces, [is not able] to take him. He passes up and down, [is] seen and known, none seeming to disturb him, but [is] generally liked and well spoken of by all sorts of people; so that for all his forces the King returns with shame and dishonour and cannot " come by " him, " the more sorte " wishing Bothwell's prosperity and standing. Public speeches amongst them [go] that they had neither luck nor grace since the King was first born, nor better to be looked for so long as he lives. Bothwell had amongst his company two great undertakers for any desperate exploit, Captain Halkerston (Haggerstonne), and the Laird of Niddry (Netherey). Captain Halkerston was be trayed (fn. 8) and taken by one who was rewarded for the same by the King with 100 crowns. This party afterwards went to the King craving a guard, fearing lest Halkerston's friends would be revenged on him. The King answered that he had rewarded him with 100 crowns, saying he could not "make securetie for hime selfe, and therefore willed hime to looke for hime selfe." After this taking of Captain Halkerston Bothwell with his company took Lord Lindsay's eldest son, intending to keep him [and] by that means to redeem Halkerston. But he has since sent Lord Lindsay's son to the King, and Halkerston as yet "lieth by yt." Niddry and most of the principal people who were with Bothwell "have wrought and come in" to the King, as also the Earl's wife. The King for a time used them with good shows, but now Lady Bothwell and all of them by the King's command must not come within ten miles of the Court, saving Halkerston and Niddry. When I demanded the Master of Rowles's [? Rothes] opinion what would become of Bothwell, it was that this drawing of Niddry and other notable undertaking men from him was devised to weaken him, leaving him to himself. So, unless England works some means for him, he must be forced to leave Scotland, for the King's indignation is such that there will be no "brooking" of Scotland for Bothwell. Further, I demanded his opinion touching the Chancellor, who is Prior Maitland, (fn. 9) brother of the late Secretary Lethington, "who was somtimes greate with your lorde." Albeit the worthiest of his place, yet Bothwell is not so well spoken of and liked as the Chancellor evil spoken of and disliked of all men. Now, this term time, he is to be at Edinburgh, yet, for all the King's favour towards him, if he did "come to the tearme" it would not be in the King's power to save him from mischief. In his absence the King comes twice a day to the Tolbooth and there supplies his room himself.
But now most specially to be noted [are] the monstrous cruelties of the Earl of Huntly about a year or more past, when the Chancellor was "quyet" in Court (both of them "allyed" to the Hamiltons). At that time Huntly wrought so with the Chancellor that he procured the King's commission to bring in the Earl of Murray, a Stewart by name, and near kin to the King. Huntly, exceeding the King's commission, slew the Earl and Sheriff [of] Murray, and burnt the house. (fn. 10) Since then Huntly has been at Court and nothing said to him, and for the space of this year and a half the Earl and Sheriff lay in Leith Church unburied, "so as" certain noblemen, his friends, will not suffer him to be buried till revenge be got of Huntly. After this, Huntly invited one Macintosh, a "Scotishe Irishe" lord of mighty forces, to dinner, and bade him friendly welcome. The Earl going aside into another chamber from him, one of his servants secretly warned Macintosh "to horse and awaie," or else he would be murdered. Whereupon, having but lately alighted, he "oute of the house" and for haste took one of his men's horses and rode away. The Earl with all speed made after, but he "came shorte." Macintosh rode to the Earl of Atholl, a Stewart, and friend to Murray. Atholl and Macintosh joined forces and sent their cooks a day's journey before them to make ready their meat. This being known to Huntly, [he] made towards the house where the cooks were and burnt them both, sending the Earls word he had left two roasts for them. Whereupon Atholl and Macintosh went forward with both their forces against Huntly. Thereupon, for revenge of Murray's death, considering the King does no justice, they went against Huntly and slew 158 persons, men, women and children. Hereupon the King sent Angus as lieutenant of the north (fn. 11) with commission to command Huntly to ward in Aberdeen, Atholl at St. Johnstone, and Macintosh to be brought to the King, if he could be got. All this hitherto "is for moste truthe," as I was myself credibly informed at Edinburgh.
Word is here that Atholl was "in to" Moray with 1200 men to encounter Huntly, but Huntly was so strong that he retired, and as he retired Argyll met him with more than 2000 men and both of them encountered Huntly. My letter reports the Earl of Huntly himself and sundry Gordons of his surname, with many others, to be slain. So it is written, but to assure it I neither can nor will. Further, we hear of one Verdigo, a Spaniard, to be landed in Orkney with great store of gold, and in his company three score persons, and there is descried "1 saile" which came with him mightily furnished with men and warlike munition. This is here reported, but no truth as I suppose.
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