Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 11, 1593-1595. Originally published by Edinburgh, 1936.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by American Friends of the IHR. All rights reserved.
James VI, October 1593
138. James Sinclair, Master of Caithness, and James Douglas, Laird of Spott, to Bothwell. [Oct. 1.]
Whereas we understand of the gracious ear yielded by the Queen of England to the motions made by you in our behalf to concur in such affairs as shall seem necessary to her for our sovereign's safety from "the practises of Spanische legurs" or disturbers of the settled religion and amity: and whereas her Majesty requireth to have our hands and assurances thereto, so that she may use us as shall seem expedient: since distance will not suffer our several repairs to sign any contract to this effect, neither may Mr. Lok (whom she hath herein, according to our desires, trusted) safely repair to us all without suspicion, we have therefore thought good to crave of your lordship in our names to subscribe such a contract as you shall draw up to this effect and send to her Majesty, for our faithful and sincere performance. Edinburgh. Signed: James Sinclair, Mr. of Cathnes; James Douglas of Spott.
½ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley.
139. Andrew Lord Ochiltree to Bothwell. [Oct. 4.]
[To the same effect, and in nearly the same words as the preceding.] Creichton. Signed: Andro Lord Uchiltre.
2/3 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley.
140. Henry Stewart, Abbot of St. Colme, to Bothwell. [Oct. 4.]
[To the same effect as the preceding.] Edinburgh. Signed: Hary Steuart, Tutor. (fn. 1)
½ p. Addressed. Endorsed.
141. Instructions to George Nicolson. [Oct. 4.]
"Instructions to George Nicholson, imployed and sent to the Lord Treasurer in hir Majesties services."
First, because the conditions here require perfect advertisement for provision of seasonable remedies (which service of information I trusted to have performed personally, but my access to her Majesty is now deferred until she shall see things better established—a matter not looked for here these many years), and because my letters have lately been found defective and short in many parts,—therefore I have thought it more profitable for her Majesty's service at this time to send you, George Nicolson, to the Lord Treasurer with these instructions than to commit to my lame letters the matters requisite to be made known and considered, that therewith you may supply my insufficiency, and that directions may be returned to me with expedition and in season for the benefit of her Majesty's services here.
For his lordship's satisfaction in the contents of his letter of 25th September you shall give the several answers ensuing.
Albeit my late letter of 15th September has well contented her Majesty, yet she thinks my report of the King's answers to be short. For my excuse therefore therein, assure his lordship that I have truly and fully, so far as my memory served, reported the King's answers given to me at that time.
According to direction, I have in my packet of 26th September sent to his lordship the King's letters addressed to her Majesty, (fn. 2) and by the same he has, I trust, renewed his promise not to conclude anything with Huntly and his partners without her consent, and if he has not performed this as he promised me, then, upon knowledge thereof, I shall timely procure his confirmation to be testified with his own hand.
Very credible information has been given that Huntly has been with the King at Stirling and Falkland; and although the King resolutely denies having spoken with him in either of these places, and some of good intelligence (who were once firmly persuaded that Huntly "had gotten" the King's presence in the night at Falkland) assure me that the King would not speak with him, yet most men think that Huntly at his being in parts so near the Court obtained the King's presence. But it is confidently told me that Angus and Erroll were denied access, notwithstanding that the King was very earnestly pressed for the same; and it is certain that Erroll was not seen openly with the King, as it has been reported to his lordship.
By Bothwell (Argonartes) I understand that Sir Robert Melvill has reported to the Countess of Morton that her Majesty shewed herself contented th[at] Angus, Huntly and Erroll should be received into the King's favour. I[n] this I have sent to speak with Sir Robert. Finding him not yet returned to his house at Burntisland, I trust to speak with him shortly, and thereon I shall advertise his lordship.
I have acquainted Bothwell of the true sense of her Majesty's speech to Sir Robert Melvill touching Huntly and the rest, as I have been directed. The Earl is now satisfied therewith, but I find others greatly stirred with this matter and with other reports that some instruments for her Majesty are dealing with Angus, Huntly and Erroll to restore them to the King's favour. I hear that the bruit of this not only much troubles Atholl (chiefly at this time when he is pressed by the King to give assurance to Huntly), but also occupies with great jealousies many barons, ministers and others well affected. In this, entreat his lordship that I may be so speedily and sufficiently directed that I may stay the well affected from sliding from their wonted devotion to her Majesty and the amity.
At my conference with Bothwell I moved him to use all the good means he could, with "doulcenes" (fn. 3) in his answers and petitions to the King, to stay the sentence for his departure out of this isle; "and I lett him knowe hir Majestis redines to work his stay in this realme with the Kingis favour, as any other shalbe earnest with the King to reconcyle Huntlay." Her Majesty's goodness towards him he acknowledged with great thanks, with profession of service. He thought it meet first to give contentment to the King in all his demands, that the King might be pleased, and his enemies might not allege that he either broke with the King in any manner or yet delayed to give all reasonable satisfaction. Therefore, whereas the King demanded caution and bond of him in great sums to depart the realm, agreeable to the act of Council at Stirling, he offered the names and bonds of ten or eleven noblemen and barons. But the King, alleging that most of them were socii criminis, saving Lord Seton (who might not be alone reasonably charged with the whole sum and bond), has been pleased to accept the Earl's own bond, which he has framed and sent to the King, yet in such form that, with the advice of the present courtiers, it is not likely to be received. Nevertheless his purpose is to content the King that he may be restored to his estate and possessions; which being accomplished, he thinks it then good time to move the King for his stay in this realm or in England. I humbly crave that the directions to be given to myself in his behalf may be sent with speed, that I may take the best time for the advancement of the same to her Majesty's good contentment and his benefit.
[In the margin: "Myne owne case."] It is necessary that you both inform his lordship perfectly and also pray him to present the same to her Majesty's knowledge, (1) that, trusting to have received licence to come from hence, I have put, and still retain, all things here in order for the advancement of her Majesty's service, either by any new servant or by myself if returned; (2) that at my access to her Majesty's presence I might inform her of many things in this estate requisite for the instructions of a new servant, or else to refurnish and "enable" myself in many wants for the profit of her service. I see such storms arising that thereby her Majesty's service here shall be deeply endangered unless her servant here shall be far better furnished than I am, or can be, without new orders and instructions. Make humble petition that this warning and foreknowledge may justly excuse me from blame of all future inconvenience, which cannot be eschewed by me in the plight wherein I stand; (3) that I have some further secrets to be presented to her Majesty's ear, which I hope shall more please and profit her than my absence for a small time can work any hindrance or peril; (4) that forasmuch as I not only feel the sting of death by the stroke of her Majesty's indignation renewed against me upon the exhibiting of the just complaint of the captains in Berwick "for remayne of ther payes," but also that my abode in this place and in this case shall, in spite of my heart and all that I can do, dangerously prejudice her Majesty's service and shortly finish my days, with shame to myself, hurt of my house, and utter ruin to my son and his wife and children, therefore I ought to choose and suffer rather any punishment and pain to avoid the mischiefs recited than thus to live here abiding the hasty fall of all these miseries hanging over me; (5) that touching myself I shall never enjoy hearty and worldly comforts before I shall behold her Majesty's gracious face; (6) that at my coming to his lordship I shall make such an overture for the full payment of the "remaynes" at Berwick that with his help her Majesty shall be well pleased, the garrison satisfied, and myself relieved in conscience and state; (7) that I had appointed to have agreed with sundry persons chargeable to pay yearly great sums towards the payment of 1000l. yearly for my debts to her Majesty for seven years, agreeable to the assurance given to her Majesty for the same; and without some order to be taken with those persons I shall not only be unable to perform this payment to her Majesty in due time, but also I shall lose 2000 marks by year, as for the space of four years now past at Michaelmas last and by the occasion of my abode and service in this place I have suffered to my utter undoing; and wherein make humble suit that it may please her Majesty not to suffer this burden thus to oppress me; that for these causes and considerations it may please her to give order either for my timely revocation or else for my licence to come to her presence for my refurnishing and enablement to serve with profit for her service and some comfort to myself.
Remember to give thanks to his lordship for the foreign "occurrantis" in his letter to me, and lay before him the commodity growing to her Majesty's service here by the frequent advertisement of such novelties wherewith I have been furnished by some clerk to the Secretary appointed to send the same to me, whose pains I shall recompense with yearly pension during my service here.
Albeit some causes and persons in Parliament shall be called on 1st November next, yet they shall be put over until the 20th; at which day the Parliament shall begin, yet many think that it shall be adjourned for two months or more. So if her Majesty shall give me leave to come before the Parliament, I shall gladly perform all things before "remembred" and intended for her service, and at her good pleasure retire from or return to her service before the beginning of the Parliament at any day whatsoever. Therefore petition for my leave, and advertise me with all expedition of her Majesty's resolution therein.
[In the margin: Directions to be required in some particularities.] If her Majesty please to call me up, then I may receive directions in all things upon the information given by myself. Otherwise pray that I may be directed in these behalfs following.
What course shall be entered with the King for the confederated Earls, that they may be reconciled to his favour or depart out of this realm.
Whether any open or secret favour or means shall be showed in her Majesty's behalf and name by me to these Earls or to any of them, and upon what conditions, and whether the course with and for them shall be "caried" betwixt their agents and myself, or betwixt themselves, their agents or [sic; ? and] such other especial person as shall be found fit for the purpose.
Whether I shall openly deal with the King in favour of Bothwell, as well to stay his departure out of this realm, as is already directed to me, as also in and for any other matter in which he will require her Majesty's mediation.
Since Mr. John Colville remains ready for her Majesty's service, with expectation of some relief in his distressed estate, therefore pray that I may know what comfort to give him and how to deal with him, so that upon her Majesty's gratuity he may be employed in necessary offices.
Since sundry of Lord Hume's servants (and it is thought with his privity and commandment) have sought to intercept my letters and packets and have assaulted and hurt some of the scout watchmen at Berwick, whether I shall still pass over the matter in silence, as hitherto I have done, or call on the King for redress.
Because the Chancellor did not find her Majesty's mediation for him in his distress so ready as he expected, therefore it may be that in the company with which he now runs his course he shall bear himself "the more outwarde" from her, that I may, therefore, be directed [how] by fair terms or assurance from her Majesty I may now win and entertain him.
Lord Hamilton, desiring to have obtained by her Majesty's goodness some small portion of powder for safety of the "peice" (fn. 4) in his charge, has (as I am informed) conceived an apprehension that she overlooks him; therefore pray that I may be directed what contentment or means I shall give to him for his satisfaction.
Remember to let it be known that the King expects her Majesty's advice in the contents of his last letter to her, especially touching Angus, Huntly and Erroll. For "it is informed me" that the King intends "once" to bring in these Earls with the consent of her Majesty, the estates and Kirk here, and soon after to make them courtiers.
6 pp. In the hand of Bowes's clerk.
Copy of the same.
Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 149.
142. An Account of News from Scotland by Robert Bowes. (fn. 5) [Oct. 4.] Cott. Calig., D.ii., fol. 111. Transcript in Harl. Mss. 4648, p. 149.
[Bothwell] has been credibly [advised often by] persons of good quality that his life [is sought and that he shall be] assailed by all means open and secret. [He is warned to beware] to lie in Edinburgh, chiefly if Alexander Hu[me shall be Provost] as now he is appointed by the King. It is added [that advice] was given and allowed amongst some of the [principal] courtiers that the root of the reversion of him should be pulled up, meaning his sons to be cut off. Now he is departed from Edinburgh and purposed to provide for the safety of his sons in the best sort he can. All his proceedings with the King, his message sent to entice Lord Hume to send the cartel for single combat with him, and the course he intends to take will be at large and with certainty reported by others.
The King has greatly pressed the Presbytery of Edinburgh to suspend the excommunication against Lord Hume. It has been required that the sentence should be deferred until Bothwell should be departed out of the realm, to the intent Hume might abide in Court for the guard of the King's person. The ministers being sundry times called to Court for this matter, it was at length ordered by the King and Council and accorded by the commissioners for this Presbytery to such effect as appears by the copy of the act delivered to you. But whilst this was being treated in Court the synodal assembly of Fife in St. Andrews excommunicated Angus, Huntly and Errol, Hume, Auchendoun and Sir James Chisholm. It is now alleged that this assembly had no power to excommunicate them, in regard that they had no residence or participation within this kirk nor within the limits of its jurisdiction; and because the excommunication cannot be made void or suspended by any authority other than the General Assembly of the whole Church, therefore it is intended (as I hear) that the King shall very shortly call together the General Assembly to rescind this sentence. In the meantime (and until the 28th of this month) Hume shall be suffered to be in Court, as presently he is. It is uncertain what shall ensue hereon, but some troubles are looked thereby, the rather because the barons of Fife stand stifly to the excommunication of the synodal assembly, purposing to send their commissioners to the King for the same.
[The King] with advice of his Council [has sought at this time of the change] of officers in the burghs to plant [strangers to be provosts in] sundry principal burghs in this realm. [Edinburgh laboured to have the] election of their Provost by the choice of the burge[sses and claimed] to have [this] privilege. And albeit the Coun[cil were very earnest] against them, offering to impose Alexander Hume [of North Berwick to be] their provost for this year, yet the King and Chancellor [quietly told Mr. Robert] Bruce, that it should suffice and content the King if [they would chose for their] provost, either John Arnott, Clement Corr, or John [Robertson, burgesses] of Edinburgh. And by this secret assent of the King [the "list" (fn. 6) of the provost] was chosen to be of Nicholas Udward, now Provost, [and John] Robertson. But before the election of the provost [the King has so] earnestly written to this town appointing Alexander [Hume to be provost] here, that in obedience of his charge the town have [not yet chosen any], looking that Alexander Hume shall be sworn to the statutes [of this town] and so stand as of the King's imposing for this time, and having [taken instruments] for the preservation of their liberties, that at the King's char[ge they do at] this present forbear their choice of their provost, as by their p[rivileges they ought]. Alexander Hume presently refuses to accept the office, [but it is thought the] King will command him to take it upon him. By th[ese beginnings it] is looked that this estate and government shall be brought to the [course and order] taken and kept by Captain James Stewart.
The councillors present at the act made for Hume's subs[cription to] the articles of religion before the 28th Oct. are the Chancellor, Hume, Master of Glamis, [Lincluden, the Secretary], Justice Clerk, Sir John Carmichael and Sir Ge[orge Hume]. [Hume] rules all with the advice of Glamis and privy [means of Sir] George. The Chancellor hitherto joins with and [follows them], carrying as yet no such countenance as before.
"You maye here shew the peice of cuninge use[d by Hume] makinge the ministers at Court to thinck th[at he had] subscribed th'acte of Counsell in ther sight, a[nd yet wrote] not one letter with the penn in his hand."
The King has earnestly sought to reconcile Atholl [and Huntly, and] to draw assurance betwixt them, for so[me time. This] assurance was almost accorded, yet by means [known to you] it was stayed. This reconciliation and assurance [was greatly] advanced by the bruit that her Majesty had instruments [dealing with] Huntly. But "that gapp" is stopped. Some [trifling jewel or] token to the Countess of Atholl, (the daughter of [the Earl of Gowrie, well] devoted to her Majesty), would work good effects [in the north and] might be accompanied with good words to Atholl [and Lord Forbes] against whom Huntly is in great rage.
Lord Hamilton, after receipt of divers of the King's letters, came hither, and after tarrying two or three days departed to [Kinneill. He] shews himself forward for maintenance [of religion, offering to oppose] all his power against the Papists.
[The] Countess of Huntly, having finished [her business to her contentment, prete]nds to be ready to return to her husband at Strathbogy. She] confidently affirms that Mr. James Gordon has departed out of this realm. But I am informed that he has very lately been with the rest of the Jesuits at the house of Mr. Alexander Leslie, and that he has presumed to preach publicly. But his audience said that his mass saying became him better than his preaching. Huntly, in his return from Falkland, rode to Brechin (Brigeyne) to visit his sister-in-law, the Countess of Mar. Angus is in hope to recover the King's presence and favour. Erroll (as I hear) trusts to be advanced, and to get the keeping of Edinburgh Castle with consent of Mar, presently keeper. If this take effect (as it is not like), then the Papists have obtained their old desire— to get into their hands the person of the King and the principal strengths and towns in this realm; and thereon they will soon show themselves in their own colours.
I hear that the Duke had intended to lodge in the house of the Countess of Gowrie, his mother-in-law, and adjoining the Palace of Holyroodhouse. But this house shall be taken from her against her will, and Hume shall be placed therein to hold out the Duke, the Countess and all others suspected.
The King has directed the ministers to devise some convenient course to be taken against the three Earls and all other Papists, for he still pretends that he will not receive these Earls without the privity and satisfaction of the Kirk. It is informed that the barons and Kirk are purposed to present to the King an earnest supplication for reformation of the government, chiefly touching Papists and confederates with Spain; and it is feared that they shall be so fervent therein that great troubles may arise thereby. The barons of Fife have already sent their commissioners to Edinburgh, praying that they of Lothian, Merse and Angus will approve the excommunication pronounced against the six persons before-named and that they will make intimation thereof; next, that they will meet with the commissioners at Edinburgh on the 17th, to confer upon the supplication to be exhibited to the King. This Presbytery will not allow and make intimation of the excommunication, as is required; and, albeit the time appointed for the meeting to confer for the supplication be very short, yet they will keep this appointment, and draw hither as many commissioners from other places as they can.
[Last]ly you must enlarge the above points with your own report, agreeable to the information I have given you by word. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes. (fn. 7)
Postscript.—[Remember] to inform that this present estate and [strange government ought to be rather] terrified than comforted, for very proud [words and taunts here passed] in Court. Therefore move that some letter m[ay be addressed to Mr.] John Carey and Mr. Vernon, that it is thought meet to send [to Berwick 4000 foot] and 1000 horsemen, and that they shall certify how [the said forces may] be provided and sustained there; and that these letters [may be published].
31/5 pp. No fly-leaf, address or endorsement.
143. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 5.]
Being advertised that the King, accompanied with Lord Hamilton, the Chancellor, [and] the rest of the present Council and courtiers, suddenly armed and departed yesterday from Linlithgow in great haste to Stirling, charging very straitly all the inhabitants in the country adjoining to attend on him at Stirling with their armour and weapons, and that his purpose was to surprise Atholl at Doune (Down) of Monteith, near Stirling, while keeping court there as tutor to the Earl of Murray, therefore I stayed some time to understand the issue of this hasty journey. I am informed that the King, hearing that Atholl would keep this court as tutor to Murray and that the Laird of St. Colme, uncle of the young Earl, claimed the castle and lands of Doune of Monteith during the Earl's minority (which matter is already committed to the order of Bothwell and Ochiltree) without any complaint made by St. Colme sent William Stewart to Atholl to will him to forbear to keep this court. Atholl had entered into his journey before Stewart's coming to him, and the King, hearing this before Stewart's return, sent a charge commanding Atholl and all depending on him to retire from Doune of Monteith and Stirling. The King with his forces intended to come upon him before he and his company could depart. I have now heard summarily that Atholl, being warned of the King's intention and approach, escaped in safety with his company, being very small; that Montrose, accompanying Atholl and thinking it best to abide the King's coming, is taken and stayed; and that James Stewart, servant and solicitor to Atholl, is hurt. Hitherto I cannot learn of any further matter fallen out in this raid, wherein the Stewarts, as I hear, mark the King's warm passions and wrath against them, and his many promises and pretence of favour turned into this manner of proceeding against Atholl and Bothwell. It was suspected that the King and his forces should have environed Bothwell in Crichton, whereof Bothwell was advised last night in great haste, and some tale thereof was brought to me, but I soon discovered it to be mistaken. Bothwell has arrived at Edinburgh to see his servant, Patrick Abercromby, stricken in the body yesterday with a pistol. He intends to return in the morning to Crichton, and from thence to Jedburgh and Kelso.
The King has dismissed Mr. Robert Hepburn with little contentment in his suits for Bothwell, and albeit Mr. Robert "opened" to the King that Bothwell had lately received sundry advices that the King intended to enclose his house and forcibly to take and kill him, praying that the King would give him protection until the end of the next Parliament, or licence to abide in England for that time, yet the King would not grant protection or licence, saying that he was "under commoning" with him, and that it is foul treason to kill any "under commoninge" : "next that Bothwell would be received and intertained in Ingland with all favour."
Mr. George Carr, lately escaped out of Edinburgh Castle, showed himself yesterday with a troop of 80 horsemen, well furnished at Melvill, near Dalkeith, and parcel of the possessions of the Lord Ross. There he warned the tenants to plough or till the ground no more, threatening that he should burn their houses and their corn, if they do anything for the profit of Lord Ross, who, he said, was one of the principal persons in his late apprehension and troubles. It is noted much, and in pulpit, that at this time he should thus boldly show himself. It is likewise marked how highly Angus, Huntly and Erroll now carry themselves, and how generally it is looked that they shall very shortly be great courtiers: against which the Church and well affected barons with all their power "oppone" themselves, so that it is verily thought that great storms shall shortly arise. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1⅓ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
144. The Laird of Ferniherst to Bothwell. [Oct. 6.]
[To the same effect as No. 138.] Edinburgh. Signed: A. Fernhurst.
¾ p. Addressed. Endorsed.
145. Maitland and Others to Sir John Foster. [Oct. 6.] Calig., D.ii. fol. 155b. Transcript in Harl. MS. 4648, p. 188. Cf. Border Papers, i., No. 906, under date Oct. 17.
By your letters and the report of your son, Nicholas Foster, we are amply informed of the late heinous attempt committed in Tynedale, and we let you know that according to his Majesty's good disposition towards the amity, he is most willing and careful that mutual and undelayed redress be made on either side; for the better effectuating whereof it is convenient that all complaints made heretofore be heard and redressed, and to that effect the principals complained of by the Scots and the chief committers of the late incursion in England be delivered to be kept as pledges till full redress be made and the enormities repaired. His Majesty has likewise given order for the meeting of the opposite Wardens with you, and has directed them to omit nothing tending to the increase of the amity and inflicting of due punishment to the offenders. Jedburgh. Signed:
½ p. Copy. Top of the page burnt away.
146. The Lairds of Cluny, Burleigh, Mugdrum, Airdrie, Ferniherst, Hunthill, Cullerny and Dairsie to Bothwell. [Oct. 8.]
Since we cannot without suspicion haunt where you are, we grant you herewith full power in our name to "subscryve and agre ether at hame or a field with any partie that may profeit our caus," requiring your lordship to use diligence and secrecy, for the enemies of religion and of the two estates increase marvellously. But specially we would wish you to seek the protection of the Queen of England, the "protectrix" of religion and of our sovereign, letting her Highness understand that with her aid in small measure we are more than "bastand" [i.e. sufficient] for all her and our enemies within this realm, if matters be "tymuslie" resisted, which by delay may be in danger. Let this be sent up [to England] or used as you please. Signed: Cluni, Burlie, Mugdrum, Ardrie, Ferniherst, Hwnthill, Culernay, Darsy.
1 p. In Mr. John Colville's hand. Addressed.
147. Earl of Atholl to Bothwell. [Oct. 8.] Printed in Colville's Letters, 258–9.
Since the number and credit of the Spanish factioners increase both about his Majesty and throughout the realm, it is high time remedy were provided. I have resisted them to this hour without help of any man, but now they are like to make the King "our partie" [i.e. opponent], to the imminent peril of religion, his Majesty's estate, and amity with England. Therefore I beseech you by means of Mr. Henry Lok to deal with her Highness for preventing of these inconveniences in such form as best likes her. And whatsoever band, promise or contract you shall conclude with her Highness I promise upon my faith and honour to hold fast unto to my uttermost power, not only for myself, but for the Earls of Gowrie and Murray, the Masters of Montrose and Gray, the Lords of Innermeath (Innermey) and Forbes, for whom, as for myself, your lordship shall send up this letter for testimony and record, to be inviolably kept in manner foresaid. Dunkeld. Signed: Atholl.
1 p. In Mr. John Colville's hand. Addressed. Endorsed.
148. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 9.]
In the King's late raid against Atholl the success has been much agreeable to my former advertisement: for Atholl coming to keep the court at Down Monteith was accompanied with Montrose and Gowrie, and they all for their better lodging came to Stirling; which being made known to the King, he sent a charge to command them to depart, and immediately followed with Lord Hamilton, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hume, the Master of Glamis and sundry of the Council, having with them 200 or 300 horsemen, whom the inhabitants of the country adjoining followed, according to the strait commandment given them. Atholl and his company, hearing the proclamation for their departure, agreed to obey, and thereon departed from Stirling to the castle of Doun Monteith, then in Atholl's custody in right of the young Earl of Murray. The King rode to the castle in great haste. Atholl and the rest with him, accompanied with 500 horsemen and informed of the King's earnest pursuit, resolved to give place to him, and thereon Atholl retired towards his house at Dunkeld with all his own servants and dependers, leaving Montrose and Gowrie with their followers to wait upon the King; who, seeing them coming towards him, sent the guard and others with commandment (as it is said) to charge them sharply, and with slaughter. But Montrose, to avoid the fury of the guard, putting a "stronge mosse" betwixt him and it, drew downwards towards the King in quiet order. Nevertheless Captain Gray and others came fiercely upon them, with their swords drawn, and in this ruffled Montrose roughly, yet he and his company, standing still for the King's own coming and drawing no sword for their own defence, alleged that they were the King's faithful subjects and ready to obey him. Thereupon Montrose and Gowrie were stayed and brought to the King, who commanded Montrose to be warded. Whereat one Graham, his servant, offered to draw his sword, and the King suddenly (as it is reported) laid his hand on his weapon; but Lord Hamilton pacified the matter and saved Montrose without hurt. Lord Hume, seeing James Stewart (servant and solicitor to Atholl and one well esteemed by the King) striving to rescue his servant's horse from some "towards" Hume, hastily struck Stewart with his dagger in two places, yet without hurt, and soon after they were reconciled. Atholl passed away without pursuit. Montrose, for convocation of the people, is commanded to keep his house, and Gowrie is dismissed. Thus this sudden raid is suddenly ended without blood, yet all things be not so clean quenched but that some fire is like to be kindled therein.
Many believe that the King, intending to have taken the lives from Atholl, Carntully [? Grantully], Cluny, and other friends of Bothwell known to have been present at his late access to the King, gave commandment to kill them, and that upon this slaughter Angus, Huntly and Errol should have come to the Court. But of this no certainty hitherto appears, and, having spoken with some of the Council, I find that it will be flatly denied.
Soon after the King's return to Linlithgow the Chancellor and young Cessford returned to his house at Lauder (Lawther) to make preparation for the King who is purposed to ride this week to Kelso and other parts of the Borders to establish some order and quietness. Some give out that the King intended to have surprised Bothwell at Crichton, Jedburgh or Kelso, but for this also I have little warrant, and presently Bothwell is not in those parts, for, hearing of this raid against Atholl, he has ridden to visit him, and I am told that the Duke, Atholl and others will meet at St. Johnstone to-morrow. Some think that Mar will come to Atholl, whereof I see no likelihood. Others look that Argyll shall "partye" Atholl, a matter very likely if Mar shall not hinder it. The King had called Mr. David Lindsay, Mr. Robert Bruce and Mr. Robert Rollock, ministers, to Linlithgow to advise for some order against Papists. These have plainly told him that by want of punishment the Papists swarm in Scotland, that their present pride and boasts are intolerable, and that the people think the King to be disposed to favour them. They see him guarded with Papists, and look that Angus, Huntly and Errol shall be received and embraced very shortly. The King, much displeased with this plain information, said that the ministers took Bothwell for their patron, adding that if they so did, then he might as well take the King of Spain for his. But it was answered that they neither took Bothwell nor Hume for any patron, (fn. 8) and that they had thus truly reported to him the state of the country and minds of the people, that he might be seasonably warned and their duties discharged. But the King replied that this boast could prevail no more with him than with the King of Spain. It was required that, as they had dutifully uttered the truth to him, so he would be plain with them. Whereupon the King entered [i.e. began] indeed to reveal himself and his meaning, but the Master of Glamis soon stayed him. So this matter broke off with resolution that sundry well affected and especial noblemen, barons, burgesses, and of the Kirk shall convene here on 24th instant to resolve for the order and course to be taken for Angus, Huntly, Errol and other Papists. All which matters are now referred to this Convention.
Forasmuch as these three Earls, denying their subscriptions to the Blanks, greatly desire to be tried by assize—which is verily looked shall be such as will clearly acquit them—therefore it is feared that this Convention is appointed to draw hither noblemen and others for the expedition of the trial, agreeable to their desire. I find that this "conceytt" occupies many. Nevertheless the King protests to proceed sincerely and according to the advice of the state and Church; wherein also I am informed that he continues in purpose to receive none of those Earls without her Majesty's privity and consent, denying still that hitherto he has given preference to any of them, nothwithstanding that he has been right earnestly pressed to the same. I am told that Patrick Murray (Huntly's minion and agent in Court) has openly and boldly affirmed that her Majesty will be pleased that these Earls be received into the King's favour. This and some other like bruits greatly trouble the well affected here, whom I have sought to satisfy, and wherein sundry are satisfied, with the report of her Majesty's mind and disposition, as uttered to Sir Robert Melvill. Her pleasure and advice touching these three Earls is wished and daily looked for here.
I have spoken with Sir Robert Melvill and let him know that it has come to her Majesty's hearing that he has reported here that she was contented— if the King so would—with the receiving of Huntly and the other Earls into favour. Wherein I moved him to call to memory that her Majesty's speech to him, when he said that he thought the King would receive them, was that it would be against his honour to receive them without the mediation of some great person, and she knew none more meet than herself, and so she would allow thereof upon condition that the Earls should renounce all the Spanish and Popish faction and bear their faithful duty to the King in maintenance of the common quietness of the realm. I let him also understand that it has been given out that he has made further report herein to some lady and others (meaning the Countess of Morton) than can be warranted by the true sense of her Majesty's words to him. He answered that he has not opened this matter to any person other than to the King alone, and that to him he has delivered it as he received it, and for his full answer herein he will truly report to her Majesty and your lordship his whole words and proceedings herein.
Dunipace, sent to bring Mar to the Court, has returned with excuse for this time. He has told the King that the barons in Angus and sundry other provinces have ratified the excommunication against Hume and the proceedings of the barons in Fife, Angus and other places. So it is looked that before the end of this month some new and strange effects will be seen here, and that some courtiers, now ruling in Court, must either change their course or else abate their countenance there.
Being secretly and credibly advertised that Mr. George Ker would ride into the west parts with some borderers, with Mr. James Maitland, son and heir to the Laird of Lethington, deceased, to kill Mr. Andrew Knox for apprehending him, I have therefore timely warned Mr. Knox, who is able in these places rather to hunt Ker than Ker to hurt him. Ker has also threatened Mr. James Carmichael, minister at Haddington, whereof I have sent him warning.
Angus, Huntly and Errol have appointed (as I hear) to meet to resolve on their offers to the King, the state and Kirk. They will offer to confess all things known and done by them, and seek "indelate" trial by assize. Further, being tried clean, they will give satisfaction to the King, the estates and the Kirk within time to be limited by the King, or else depart out of the realm. Many well affected wish them to be put out of the realm, thinking that then they shall not be able to do here any great hurt, and that the residue of the Papists lacking their help and strength shall easily be driven to follow them. I am told that some of these Papists think it meet to allure some great personage to pass with them, but neither my informer nor myself can hitherto get any sure ground to write with certainty therein. I have promised a good reward to the informer if he can perfectly discover this mystery and let me know from time to time how it proceeds, and when and how the parties will embark.
I am told that Adam Wauchope (Vaughop), lately in Spain, has arrived at Stonehaven (Stanehyve), near the Earl Marischal's house, with Spanish pistolets for the Spanish faction here. Because I doubt hereof, I have employed a Catholic brother to discover the truth. Lord Hume and young Cessford are agreed and "familliar" in hatred of Bothwell, who cannot lie at Jedburgh or Kelso, as he had determined, without great peril.
The King returned yesternight to the Queen at Holyrood House. It is looked that some ladies about the Queen shall be removed, unless they shall be stayed by the mediation of the Queen, who presently shows herself little pleased with this estate and with the condition of the present courtiers. It is now generally thought that the Queen is with child. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
4 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
149. Angus, Huntly and Errol to Elizabeth. [Oct. 11.]
Not only by the gentleman who dealt with your Majesty in our name, but also by the effect that has followed thereon, we understand how favourably you have accepted our reasonable and humble suit, we being heavily troubled, without just ground, and persecuted. For this we render all humble thanks, in "nakit and bair" words, until time shall produce some fit occasion to do you service. In the mean season we request that, as your Majesty has begun this good work for our relief, so you will continue until you have perfected your own work both with the King and the ministry, and reduced our estate to that rest and quietness that we may live as peaceable subjects, and ready to do you all humble service. We shall not only eschew whatsoever slander or suspicion may be conceived of us for our religion, and perform the offers made to your Majesty in our name, but if it shall please you to employ us. we shall at all times be ready to accomplish any matter that may lie in us to perform to the weal of your Majesty and your estate, not being hurtful to our allegiance to our sovereign and native country. Of our good will and upright intention you will more particularly understand by the gentleman who first dealt with your Highness in our cause. Scotland. Signed: Anguss, Huntlye, Erroll.
1¼ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil.
150. Warrant by James VI. for the Arrest of a Ship. [Oct. 11.]
Warrant by King James to messengers and sheriffs, conjunctly and severally, to seize and arrest a ship of London at Preston and other ships of England wherever they can be apprehended, to remain under arrestment at the instance of William Stewart until he be redressed [rehearsing the narrative in the following]. Given under our signet at Holyroodhouse.
"Ex dilliberationem [sic] dominorum Secreti Consilli."
1 p. Broadsheet. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
151. Petition to James VI. by William Stewart. [Oct. 11.]
"Unto your Majestie and Lords of Secret Counsell humblye meines and schawes I your servetur William Stewarte, skipper and burgesse of Dundye" that in the month of August last I was returning homewards through the Straits with a ship called the Bruce, 60 tons burden, laden with Spanish wine, "lipning" [i.e. looking] for no trouble or stop especially of Englishmen in respect of the league and amity, yet nevertheless a ship of London, called the Gillion (Mr. Clarke of London being owner and master), accompanied with two other warships, boarded my said ship, struck and cruelly pursued me, my servants and "akkipage," and spoiled and away took 25 tuns of wine, 100 "frares" of raisins and figs and the whole "remnant" goods and gear to the value of 8000l. or thereby, and thereafter took me violently with my said ship to the town of Portsmouth to make my said ship and goods a lawful prize. Whereof they being disappointed and I making my complaint in judgment to the Admiral of that town and the rest of the judges, one, Captain Barisbrigge, captain of the ship Fortunatus, in presence of the Judge and Admiral pulled forth a sword, of intention to strike off my head therewith, and, missing the same, struck me most cruelly in the arm "and stroke off the knopp of my elbow" whereof I am altogether made impotent; likewise they made distribution of my wines, goods and gear amongst the said three ships to my utter wrack and undoing. And seeing there is lying here at Preston a ship of London of the same "byrth" as mine, and that no other redress can be had, I humbly beseech that I may have letters to fence and arrest the said ship of London with the goods and gear therein and also all other ships of England wherever I can apprehend them within this realm, till I be redressed of my ship, goods and gear aforesaid. "Apud Haliroodhouse xi° Octobris anno 1593. Fiat ut petitur. James Rex."
1 p. Broadsheet. Copy. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Copy of the Council's warrant to arrest the ship of England.
152. Huntly and Errol to Mr. Archibald Douglas. Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 154. [Oct. 11.]
At the beginning of this trouble we, deliberating the chief causes and origin of the same, and how they could best be taken away, considered that to remove the evil opinion of the Queen of England and by all good offices and services to obtain her favour would be a "cleir ouittqueatt" (fn. 9) to our cause and an assured quietness to us to live peaceably in our native country in all time coming under her favourable protection, to which we would gladly retire in so far as may stand with our duty to our sovereign. In this cause the Earl of Angus took the burden on him to inform your lordship of this our intention, and to desire you in all our names to make such offers as we were and are not only willing to perform, but also, if it please her Majesty, we shall perchance be found more able to do her more thankful service than others she has esteemed more of in this country. We request you to continue to let her Majesty understand our good intention, and to desire that, as she has already abstained from moving our master to rigour against us, it may likewise please her to cause such order be taken with the ministry in this country, that by her assistance and our master's they have not such place as they pretend to in troubling of the common weal and quiet estate of both the countries by compelling men to swear all the particular heads of their religion before we be persuaded thereto. We crave no liberty in public use of any other religion than is professed in this realm, but only that no compulsion be used to men's conscience, and that by her Majesty's assistance a public law be made of this for our greater surety. If any man by his traffick trouble the present estate of both the realms, let him be punished. The taking away of the cause that may move men to seek remedies, which compel them to be "mensworne" or to be exiled and lose their livings, shall make them content, being free in conscience, to live quietly in their native country. This being "perfytit" by her Majesty, we shall not fail to perform our offers and give proof of our obligation and affectionate hearts; and shall be much "addebted" to your lordship. Scotland. Signed: Huntlye. Erroll.
1 p. Addressed: "To the rycht honorable Master Archbald Dowglas, ane of his Majestie ordinare Counsell and Sessioun presentlie at Loundoun." Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil.
153. Warrant by the Duke of Lennox. [Oct. 12.]
Warrant by the Duke of Lennox, Lord Great Admiral of Scotland, to Daniel Leyne (fn. 10) to seize a ship of London, lying at Preston and pertaining to James Keeler, and to keep it under arrestment till sufficient caution be found enacted in the books of Admiralty at Leith. Given under seal of office of the Admiralty and subscription of the audit (?) clerk thereof. Edinburgh.
1¼ p. Broadsheet. Copy in the hands of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
154. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 12.]
By your letter of the 3rd instant, and by letters of Sheperson, I understand that he has acquainted your lordship with my intention to seek access to her Majesty's presence. Now, nevertheless, finding her determined to stay me here, I shall with all humility obey her Majesty's will to the uttermost of my power. I pray that the disability in my estate may be considered and that the miseries of my case may find some compassion.
The King returned hither on the 8th instant, giving me audience yesterday, late in the afternoon. I sought redress in Border matters and in other causes "motioned." I shewed that her Majesty, "intertayned" with weighty affairs, had thereby deferred her letter to the King. I let him know that I had heard many general reports greatly to his dishonour and peril, and which I could not credit nor yet certify before receiving some satisfaction by him; for I have been credibly advertised that he had spoken with Angus, Huntly, Errol and Sir James Chisholme on Sunday last, the 7th instant; that these Earls were appointed to come to him at Linlithgow on the 5th, for which purpose the King hasted his return from Doune of Monteith; and that although that meeting was deferred, nevertheless the Earls were attending hereabouts to have his presence and favour,—which the people believed generally he would grant and soon after call them to Court and give toleration in religion. In this I have laid before the King the dangers falling on him and his honour by obscure dealing with these Earls, and without her Majesty's privity and advice. I concluded with a short exhortation to grant to Bothwell the benefit accorded by the Convention at Stirling, and not to impose impossibilities, adding that Bothwell had solemnly protested to me to submit himself wholly to the King's will, his life only being saved. The King answered that sundry ways he understood that such slanderous reports had been spread abroad, but that they were all false, for he had not seen any of the Earls nor would he speak with any of them. He said that all this time he might be thought far changed, and very evil advised either to change his religion or to confederate with Spain, for he had often argued with Papists, and of the most learned sort, and ever convicted them with the authority of the Scriptures, so that he had no reason to be vanquished with the arguments which he had confuted. In his mother's time and soon after her death he was tempted with many fair offers to run a course with Spain, wherein the King of Spain's daughter was offered in marriage to him, her picture was sent to him, and liberal benefits were promised. At the coming of the Spanish fleet, and sundry other times, he had been greatly allured by some of his own subjects and by strangers to join with Spain, wherein the French King, deceased, the Duke of Guise and his kinsmen of that house have much solicited him, yet he would not hearken to any of their offers, but always bent his course with her Majesty, who lately showed great goodwill towards him. He protested deeply that he would continue his amity and kindness with her Majesty, and that he would not deal anywise with Angus, Huntly or Erroll nor receive them without the order of the next Convention at St. Johnstone, consent of the Kirk, and her Majesty's privity and advice. Touching his dealings with those three Earls he gave all assurances that by words and protestation could be uttered. Next, he alleged that he had tendered to Bothwell all the benefits offered by the Convention, and that Bothwell trifled with him and had broken the conditions, "wherin he would no longer be dallyed withall." I found the King so resolute against Bothwell that it was fruitless to proceed further in any matter for him. Lastly, the King prayed that if her Majesty's letter to him should be brought to my hands before he returned home that I would keep it, giving only timely knowledge of the receipt thereof, to send or bring or retain it, as he should direct.
Although I thought to have left the course to be taken with these Earls and their accomplices to the resolution of the next Convention and Kirk and to her Majesty's advice, yet I learned the next morning that some for Huntly had called on the clerk to deliver a precept for an assize for the trial of those Earls at St. Johnstone, and that the clerk, demanding warrant, was told that he should have warrant subscribed with the King's own hand. Hereupon I acquainted the Master of Glamis (then ready to wait on the King on his journey this day to the Chancellor's house at Lauder) as well with the King's promises and protestations given yesternight to me, as also with this strange manner of proceeding and prejudging and defeating plainly the order of the Convention (appointed purposely at Perth for this cause only), and her Majesty's advice. [I said] that this grant of assize was directly contrary to the King's solemn promise to me, and proved an intention to clear the Earls. This is now confirmed by the roll of the names of the persons to be summoned for the assize, whereof the most part, and very near all the noblemen, are thought to be favourable to the Earls, and empanelled at the denomination of the parties to be tried. I enclose a copy of this roll. Moreover, I let the Master know that I was credibly informed that the King's raid to establish the peace and good order of the Borders was secretly intended to apprehend and punish the borderers lately following Bothwell. I added that this pursuit of so many borderers is practised not only to embark the King in so many troubles that he shall be forced to fortify himself with the aid of these three Earls, but also to draw on dangerous rebellion. The Master answered that he did not know any such resolution to try the Earls by assize, nor that the clerk had been solicited to give the precept for the summons of the assize or had warrant for the same. He promised to communicate the matter to the King, but departed with the King without further answer.
Touching Bothwell the Master of Glamis alleged that the Earl had "broken and dallyed" with the King, who would no longer "capitulate" with him The practice to clear the three Earls by assize, the dark dealings with them, and the "imposinge" of Alexander Hume to be Provost in Edinburgh (in which office he is now invested) give occasion to many to look for great changes and troubles.
I am credibly told that the barons in many counties are joining to present their supplication to the King against Papists. It is looked that all conventions for this purpose shall be prohibited. But it is thought that out of these beginnings some great effects shall proceed, and it is given out here, without any ground, that her Majesty, for quietness of her Borders, has given order to draw forces to the Borders, which many wish to be done with expedition in hope that the sight or sure expectation thereof should make the Papists draw in their horns. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
3 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Enclosure with the same.
(Assize for the trial of Angus, Huntly and Erroll.)
"Noblemen and barrons appointed to be of th'assysse for the tryall of th'erles of Anguss, Huntley and Erroll, with the Lard of Auchendown and Sir James Chesholme."
Earls: My Lord Hamilton; Crawford; Montrose; Rothes; Marischal.
Lords: Fleming; Hume; Maxwell; Seton; Yester; Ogilvy; Gray; Drummond; Sinclair; Semple; Herries; Abbot of Inchaffray; Master of Elphinston.
Barons: Laird of Lochinvar; Sheriff of Ayr; Lairds of Tullibardine, Balwearie, Balquhane, Phillorthe; Sir John Carnegie of Kinnaird; Lairds of Kinnaird in the Carse, Findlater, Bass, Waughton (Vauchton), Corstorphin, Keir, Creich, Kers (Keirse), Tulliallan, Blaquhan [? Blairquhan], Barganny, Abbott's Hall, Wemyss (Venis) of that Ilk, Dundas, Craigmillar, Edzell (Edyall), Pourie Ogilvy; the Constable of Dundee.
1 p. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed: "Octob. 1593. The names of the noblemen for the lords triall."
155. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 12.]
After I had prepared my last letter, the Master of Glamis and the Abbot of Lindores were sent by the King, to let me know that Angus, Huntly, Errol and Sir James Chisholme, accompanied with only 24 horsemen, had put themselves in the King's way near to Fala (Fallye), and that the King, advertised thereof, sent Captain Carr (servant to Huntly) and others to command them to depart; that, nevertheless, these four persons suddenly and unawares to the King presented themselves on their knees before him, craving grace and to be tried by assize; and that the King would not speak to them, but dismissed them, and resolved that they should be worse handled for their boldness. Because this matter and the strange handling thereof far "dissented" from the King's mind and promises given to me within 26 hours preceding, therefore I prayed them to put in writing what had been said in words. But the Master denied, saying that they had no further commission other than to report by words. Then I required that, for my own memory and to avoid all questions, I might in their presence write their report and message agreeable to their own words and meaning and then read it to them, that they might consent to the form and matters put in writing by me. To this they agreed, and gave me their report and message, as in the note enclosed. After I had written their report and showed the same to them they consented to it, yet they would not subscribe it, affirming that they would ever confess the same to be their true report to me. Therefore, I enclose the "double" thereof subscribed by me, that your lordship may know the full sum of the King's requests to her Majesty herein, and of their report, and may compare the same with "th'effects passed in th'actions of the King, th'erles and others at this soddaine encounter and metinge."
I have heard many things not reported by these messengers, but omit to certify them until I may gather better certainty from some present at this meeting.
Some hours before their coming to me, I was advertised by Sir John Foster of the late and great outrage done in Tynedale, which I suspect to be drawn on by the Papists, agreeable to their old "ployte," and was also warned that my letters would be intercepted whilst the King was on this raid, therefore I more roundly reproved the foul practices used here, "which I could (I said) make manifeste, and would not refuse in dewe order to adventure myne olde bodye to approve the same." Some note, I hear, is taken thereof, which hereafter may be "revyved" to me. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1⅓ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Enclosure with the same.
(Report of the Master of Glamis and the Abbot of Lindores.)
Friday the 12th of October 1593. The King's Majesty departed from Holyrood House to pass to Lauder (Lawther). At Fala (Fawley) the Earls of Angus, Huntly and Errol with Sir James Chisholme presented themselves suddenly to the King's presence, falling prostrate before him and craving to have a lawful and just trial. This was done without the foreknowledge and pleasure of the King, as his Majesty willed these two messengers, viz., the Master of Glamis and the Laird of Lindores, to affirm and assure to me Robert Bowes. His Majesty's answer was that they might have done that by supplication which now they craved by their presence, and that they should find themselves to be worse handled by this boldness to present themselves to his Majesty.
The King's request to her Majesty is, first, that she would suspend her judgment until his actions at the Convention at Perth on the 24th of this month shall declare his meaning. This is delivered by the Master of Glamis; and the Laird of Lindores brings another request to me, Robert Bowes,—that I will trust no reports, but his Majesty will keep all the things he promised yesternight. Signed: Robert Bowes.
½ p. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
156. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 18.]
Since my last letter to your lordship I have received one letter directed by her Majesty to the King of Scots, together with a copy thereof, and one letter from you to myself of the 7th instant and one of the 9th. According to the King's order [p. 199], I have sent an especial messenger to give him knowledge of the receipt of her Majesty's letter, and to receive his pleasure whether I should send it or retain it until his return. This messenger has not yet returned. By your letter of the 7th I am glad to learn her Majesty's right judgment touching the inconvenience following the escape of the excommunicated Earls from condemnation or recognition of their faults, and also your approbation of the same. If I had been thus fully "furnished" before, I could have profited much more and better satisfied many well affected. By your last letter and by report of Nicolson on his return, I have experience of your great favour shewed to me in your solicitation for my license to go thither, etc. [Expresses his resignation to her Majesty's will that he should remain in Scotland.]
Because I have not received any perfect advertisement of the King's proceedings, I refer all those things to the report of others near the Borders. Angus, Huntly, Errol and Sir James Chisholme after their departure from the King on the 12th resorted to Dalkeith and lodged that night in the town, having lodged the night before at Ormiston, the house of the Justice Clerk, who married Sir George Hume's sister. At Dalkeith they sent six score several missives (as I am credibly informed) to sundry gentlemen to accompany them with their best forces to the Convention at Perth on the 24th instant. In these they have written to Maxwell, Herries and Lochinvar (Lowghenvar), who are looked to bring with them a great number well furnished; so that their forces there will be very strong, and they are to be fortified with the companies of sundry noblemen of their party going thither to the Convention and assize. On the 13th day they returned to Calendar, Lord Livingston's house, and there Huntly, parting with them, narrowly escaped meeting with Bothwell, having with him but four men.
The Master of Glamis, pretending to mislike the coming in of Huntly (yet most men think that he secretly and greatly favours Huntly), told me that he would retire and live at home; but he was met the next day riding towards Stirling, and Bothwell was informed that the Master had been directed to surprise him in his lodging or by the way; but Bothwell had departed and did not meet with the Master.
The Duke has departed to St. Andrews for the winter, and if he cannot recover the King's better countenance he purposes to pass (as I hear) to France. Mar has passed into Argyle "and will be no soddaine courtiers" [sic]. It is certified that these three Earls, hearing that Mr. James [l Adam] Ballantine had earnestly spoken against them in the pulpit at Falkirk, had determined to kill him in or near the church, but the Lord Livingston stayed them. I am informed that some of the Earls at their late access to the King [at Fala] confessed that they had sought to revenge the death of his mother against the Queen of England, using many evil terms in the same. This report is first given out by Huntly's secretary to an honest person who revealed it to me. Sundry other matters approving the King's untimely favour to these Earls have been told me, but I suspect that many of these tales are not true.
Yesterday, at the meeting of the commissioners of the Kirk, the barons and burghs convened here, and I enclose a copy of their resolutions. Six commissioners are appointed to present their proceedings to the King, who it is thought shall be greatly stirred thereby, and great preparations are made for the advancement of the course resolved, and to stop the giving of trial to these Earls, whose friends, as I am told, have mustered in readiness to come to Perth. They have already provided that the Watergate or Water-street in St. Johnston's (called Perth) shall be reserved for the Earls and their companies. But Atholl, Gowrie and many of that town are rather disposed to keep them out. The access of people is looked to be so great that bloody troubles shall arise; yet many think that the King will restrain this confluence. I think that this Convention and the trial shall be "put over" for this time. I request instructions how to proceed in these present "stirrs"; and in the particularities wherein I requested direction by George Nicolson, Sheperson will deliver to your lordship the same instructions which I gave in writing to Nicolson, and which I perceive he has not showed you.
That you may know in what sort the King of Scots has granted warrant for reprisal at the suit of William Stewart, pilot of George Bruce's ship of Culross (Cowross), I enclose all the instruments executed on James Keler, Englishman, presently here for salt.
The King's course taken herein with the advice of his Council is thought exceeding strange in regard that the owners of the ship and goods have complained (fn. 11) to me for the wrong done them on the seas by Englishmen, and were well pleased to sue to the Lords of her Majesty's Council for redress by them or any ordinary judge. Sundry merchants of Edinburgh have also been with me, offering to petition the King to "surcease" this manner of proceeding. On the King's arrival I will receive his further order and certify you thereof with speed.
By many credible means I am advertised that the Papist Earls and their confederates seek a toleration in religion; that "they doubt nothing to be suffred to revenge the deathe of the Kingis mother"; that therewith I shall be "put at" (as they term it), and that after me no other for her Majesty shall be received here. Lord Hamilton was willed by the King to come to me with the message brought by the Master of Glamis and the Abbot of Lindores, but he refused it and would not speak with the Earls. He has renewed to me the memory of his good devotion to her Majesty, and remains ready to do all acceptable offices. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
4 pp. No fly-leaf or address.
Enclosure with the same.
(Proposed Trial of excommunicated Lords.)
"At Edenburgh the xvijth daye of October 1593."
The commissioners of the Kirk, barons and burghs being convened from divers parts of this realm, foreseeing the present danger wherein the Kirk of God within this realm, the King's estate and person, and the whole commonweal stand, thought good to give their advice to his Majesty in manner following.
In primis, because the commissioners are informed that the excommunicated Lords, viz., Angus, Huntly, Erroll, and their accomplices, are to be put to the trial of an assize, they humbly crave that the trial may be delayed unto the time that all the professors of the Gospel be ripely advised what is meet to be done in that matter, because the whole professors of the Gospell are "myndit to be ther partye and accusers in ther foull treasons," and also because they are already convicted, partly through breaking of ward for crimes of treason and partly being fugitives from the laws, first in St. Andrews, whereto they were summoned, "and specially fra the supreme seate of Parliament."
Item, we crave that, according to the laws and lovable custom of the country, these excommunicated and treasonable apostates, seeing they are accused of the highest treason, may be committed to sure ward, viz., in the towns of Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, etc., or as it shall be thought meet, till order be taken with all the Papists of Scotland, and till the Estates advise further what manner of trial shall be used against them.
Item, we crave that when the Estates after mature deliberation shall put the said traitors to an assize, the "assyssers" be not nominated at the option of the parties to be accused, but by "the partye accustantis," to wit, the whole professors of the Gospel, and that according to the lovable custom of this realm.
Item, it is craved of his Majesty that, seeing the aforesaid traitors are excommunicated by the just sentence of the Kirk, they be not admitted "to have anye person in judgment" nor benefit of the law till they be reconciled to the Kirk,—and that according to the laws of the country and his Majesty's own promise.
Item, in case his Majesty will not alter the day, then we crave that, as he professes religion with us, and they [profess] the contrary, we may be his Majesty's guard and admitted "in the moste fensible and warlyke manner" to defend his person from their violence and to accuse them to the uttermost, as we are minded to do, even if it should be with the "losse of all our lyves in ane daye." We are determined that the country shall not "bruik us and them baith" so long as they are God's professed enemies.
These foresaid petitions and conclusions being read and considered by the commissioners present, they agreed to the same and promised to stand by them, and for this purpose have directed in commission their brethren, the Laird of Merkinston, younger, the Laird of Calderwood, the commissioners of Edinburgh and Dundee, Mr. Patrick Galloway and Mr. James Melvill, to present their humble petitions to the King's majesty and to return his answer with all diligence.
The commissioners present ordain a letter to be directed to the noblemen, gentlemen, barons and burghs who are well affected towards religion, for their concurrency in this work, and that the said letter be subscribed by Mr. Robert Bruce, Mr. David Lindsay, Mr. Robert Pont, Mr. Robert Rollock, Mr. John Craig, Mr. Walter Balcanquhal, Mr. William Watson, or any four of them. It is ordained that the moderator of every presbytery advertise every particular brother in the ministry in his bounds to give advertisement to the noblemen, gentlemen, barons and burghs within their bounds to be in readiness in Perth "in maist fensible and warrlyke manner" against the 24th of this instant, unless they be stayed by particular letter directed from the commissioners appointed by this convention to stay till the King's answer comes back.
The commissioners appoint Mr. James Melvill and David Ferguson for Fife; Mr. John Ramsay and Mr. James Nicholson for Angus; Mr. John Erskine for Mearns; Mr. John Hudson for the West; Patrick MacQueen (Macquhen) for Kyle, Carrick and Cunningham; Mr. Henry Livingston for Stirling; Mr. James Deas (Dais) for the Merse and Teviotdale; Mr. David Nairn for Peebles; Mr. John Spottiswood for Linlithgow, and Mr. Andrew Moncreif for Perth, to remain in this town till the answer from the King be returned.
They ordain a public fast in all the kirks of this convention the next Sabbath, the cause being the present danger of religion and the hazard of the King's person: ordain a letter to be written to the burgh of Perth desiring that their town be open, that the professors of the Gospel may be "resett" there, and the Papist lords be not "resett": ordain the excommunication of Huntly, Angus, Erroll, Auchindoun and Sir James Chisholm to be intimated in all the kirks of Lothian the next Sabbath. It is ordained that the King's ministers receive no subscription of articles of religion by Alexander, Lord Hume, in case he offer the same, but that the presbyterial estate end the process that they have begun against him.
2 pp. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "17 October, 1593. Certein peticions and conclusions considered uppon by the commissioners for the Kirke, barons and burghers of Edenbrough."
Copy of the same. Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 154.,
157. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 20.]
The messengers sent to the King by the commissioners convened here on the 17th instant had audience of the King and Council at Jedburgh on the 18th and returned hither yesternight and this day made report of all their proceedings and success.
Upon consideration of their report the commissioners have resolved to proceed in the course against the Papists and have taken order that all the proceedings at Jedburgh and also the resolution this day concluded by the commissioners should be put into writing, a copy whereof I enclose.
The King would not accept these messengers as sent with sufficient commission to him, neither would he receive of them nor deliver to them any matter in writing, leaving all things in suspense. It is generally feared here that the Convention and trial shall be transferred from Perth to Linlithgow and executed with great expedition there in regard that the King, and chiefly the Earls to be tried, shall be in greatest strength by the forces of Hamilton, the Chancellor and Lord Livingston near thereto, and also of Maxwell, Seton, Herries and others looked to assemble there for the Earls; and it is looked that, because the King will not alter the "assyssers" before impanelled, the parties shall be easily acquitted.
It is known that the King and Council, before the arrival of these messengers at Jedburgh, had concluded to have "continewed" the Convention and the trial to further day and place. It is reported that they had thus determined upon intelligence given that Atholl, Montrose and Gowrie and sundry barons of Angus and Fife would possess themselves of the town of St. Johnstone with the consent of the town, and hold out the forces of Angus, Huntly and that rabble with all their known friends. Thus the Kirk, barons and burghs expect strange and dangerous events at Linlithgow. I am told that these matters have wrought much with Lennox and Mar, [who are] now disposed to regard the cause of religion; that Morton, hearing of the danger of religion, is moved to subdue his strong affections towards Angus and Erroll, and to tender the safety of the religion; and that Glencairn and other noblemen, looking into the old bands made for erection of the Gospel, are willing to maintain the Gospel received here.
The King had determined to rase the houses of Ferniherst, Hunthill and Whithaugh, but old Whithaugh submitted and saved his life; and the Carrs and gentlemen of Teviotdale and Jedburgh made humble suit for the sparing of the houses of Ferniherst and Hunthill, offering either to draw the owners to the King's obedience, within thirty days, or else to cast down their houses: whereupon the King was pleased to accept their petition.
It is advertised that Lord Hume, seeking the possession of Ferniherst's livings, departed malcontented; and being called again by the King he uttered his malcontentment by warm terms, which stirred the King "in his sorte" [i.e. in corresponding degree]. Whereupon the King told him that if he [Hume] kept promise with him (a matter thought touching Bothwell's life) he would perform all things with him. The King asking him whether he would subscribe the articles of religion, as the King had promised he should do, Hume answered that he would be advised. The King replied that for him he had entered into great hatred and hard course. They thus departed not pleased. But it is surely deemed that Sir George Hume will readily remedy this dryness. My servant has brought word that the King will be here on Monday next, and I trust to have access "on the morrowe." Cesford is made deputy keeper of Liddisdale, and "Watt" Carr, of Littledon, is provost of Jedburgh. These are the fruits of the King's action on this journey. I am advertised by my old "familliar" that the Papists will offer to the King for toleration in religion to provide that 10,000 Scottishmen shall be maintained on the Borders for three years without any charge to him, to serve as he shall direct; that 10,000 French crowns shall be yearly paid to himself; that sundry persons of quality and in high authority under the King shall be tempted with present sums and yearly pensions to draw the King to accept this offer, or at least to be a means that the rigour of the laws against Catholics shall not be extended, and that for this purpose two religious persons shall be sent hither with speed, and "shall walke in habit of courtiers."
I have this day discovered that two Scottish gentlemen, one named Patrick Drummond and the other Mr. Robert Crichton, embarked at Dieppe on the 3rd instant in a small French vessel, which brought them to Yarmouth, where they found passage to Leith. These came in company with Captain Boswell, who esteemed them to be honest gentlemen in regard that both their fathers are well affected in religion, and the skipper judged them to be of Captain Boswell's company. But drawing near the port they revealed themselves to be Papists and told before they landed that strange news would be heard in Scotland. Being asked what the news was, they said there shall be a toleration in religion. I am informed that these two young men have been in Rome and that they have brought letters from the bishops of Glasgow and Ross; yet I am "borne in hand" that these two are not the religious persons expected to come hither and walk as courtiers. I receive daily warnings and threatenings that all things shall be attempted which may dissolve the amity betwixt these two realms. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—Because Mr. Clopton, by your lordship's order, has made payment to the garrison at Berwick for the first half year past, and the time approaches for payment for the latter half year, which cannot be done by myself, therefore I request you to give order to the receivers to deliver to Mr. Clopton the several sums allotted and payable by them to the garrison for this latter half year, and therewith please return Sheperson to prepare the books and reckonings for the next pay.
3 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Enclosure with the same.
(Answers by the King to the Commissioners from the assembly of the Kirk, Barons and Burghs.)
As to the first, his Majesty, after hearing of our propositions, answered generally he would not acknowledge the convention gathered without his advice, neither satisfy us as commissioners from that convention. It was replied presently we were ready to produce sufficient warrants proving our Assemblies to be with his Majesty's advice "uttered bayth be prent and proclamation." Nevertheless he yielded "for satisfying us as subjectis of sundry rankis, resorting to him in every particuler, as followeth." First, as concerning Lord Hume, a professed Papist, and his followers "hanting" about his Majesty, counted very dangerous, because it was a part of the Spanish plot that Papists should possess his person, he answered that with advice of the Kirk a day was appointed when Hume should either satisfy or depart from his Majesty's company; "to the quhilk" he should open his doubts, confer and seek resolution. This his Majesty yet stands by; but he was sure of his resolution before that day, because he had "openit his doubtis to him, confers with his Majestie and John Dunkanson his Majestis minister receaved resolution and wald subscrive betwixt and the daye" [sic]. Therefore his Majesty said that what was done by advice of the Kirk "sould nocht be quarrelled be the Kirk." To that it was replied that he had passed his bounds and done evil, and was the special instrument to bring the excommunicated Earls and Mr. James Chisholme to his Majesty's presence.
As to the second, the bringing of the excommunicated Earls to his presence, contrary to his promise, and "resseting" evil affected men about him, he answered that he knew not of their coming nor was under any privy "pattrowin" or condition with them; and, when upon their knees they had craved trial, he could not deny the same if it had been to the simplest of the land. He dismissed them without any promise. As touching those about him who were instruments to bring them in, he knew them not, and willed us to name them in particular and to accuse them and let them give their answer.
As to the third, the hope and expectation the excommunicated Earls had to be cleansed of their odious treasons, by reason of the place, the time, the "persons assyssours" and the grant of liberty to convene with their forces for their trial, [he] answered that he granted the time not without advice of the ministers, the place with advice of his Council; the "persons assyssours" he thought most indifferent in the land; and, as for their forces, he should take order that he should be master, and that there should be present a number well affected to religion whom he should make choice of. It was replied that the time and place were not meet; the time "should not hald so short, but efter four or five dayes the Convention should hald, and tyll then it should stay." As to the place, he was not certain whether it would be St. Johnstone or not. As to the "persons assyssours," when it was replied that, seeing the occasion was so weighty, and he had said it passed the reach of his power to pardon it, and that it touched "every estate in particuler," therefore he ought to do nothing therein without advice, [he] answered that he should convene in Edinburgh with his Council, certain barons and burgesses and ministers, according to whose advice he should proceed in that matter.
Last of all, where the assembly presently convened offered to be present with his Majesty at Perth and to guard his person against all assaults, he answered that such as he charged should be welcome and such as came undesired should not be welcome, and he should take order that they should not come with such number as might trouble the day of law, and such as should come with them should be men of religion.
"In end," his Majesty with solemn oaths affirmed that he should proceed in this matter as he would answer to God and the estates of his kingdom, and that he meant nothing in that matter but sincerity of religion and security of good men, and that such substantial order should be taken with these excommunicated Earls that religion might be in security, that none should be suffered afterward to trouble religion and profess Papistry, and that his good intention and our petitions should go together.
At Edinburgh the 20th of October 1593.
Anent the commission given the 17th instant by the commissioners of the Kirk, barons and burghs, to the Laird of Merchiston (Marchinston), younger, the Laird of Calderwood, the commissioners of Edinburgh and Dundee, Mr. Patrick Galloway, and Mr. James Melvill to present their humble petitions to the King and to crave his answer with all diligence; according hereunto the commissioners of the Kirk, barons and burghs being convened this day, and the said commissioners reporting his Majesty's answer to their petitions—in effect finding the day appointed for the trial of the excommunicated Earls was "contenewit" and no certain time and place appointed (but they caused Mr. Patrick Galloway to remain with his Majesty that he might send information)—"conclude" that the noblemen, gentlemen, barons and burghs, to whom they had written before, be charged to stay from coming forward to St. Johnstone and to be in readiness against the next advertisement. And lest the good cause should be "tint" [lost] if the commissioners should depart, it is concluded that Mr. Nicol Dalgleish for the province of Fife, Patrick MacQueen for the province of Kyle, Carrick and Cunningham, Mr. George Gladstanes for the provinces of Angus and Mearns, Mr. Alexander Oswell for the provinces of Merse and Teviotdale, together with the province of Edinburgh, remain in Edinburgh, and as they shall get knowledge give information to the rest of the parts of this realm; and that every provincial assembly direct one of their number to remain with the aforesaid commissioners in Edinburgh till the cause in hand be put to some end.
2½ pp. Copy. Endorsed by Burghley: "October 1593," and by Burghley's clerk: "The King of Scottes awnswere to the Commissioners for the Church and nobillity of Scotland."
Copy of enclosures Cott. Calig. Dii., 156.
158. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 22.]
This night about 10 o'clock two persons of very good credit informed me that the King departed this day from Lauder (Lawther), the Lord Chancellor's house, and passed over the Forth to meet the excommunicated Earls at St. Johnstone, far against his promise. Yet Roger Aston returned this day from the King at Lauder, and, supping with me, assured me that the King could be at Holyrood House on Wednesday next, the 24th instant, as before he had certified to me, and by sundry reasons has drawn me to send her Majesty's letter to the King. The King, the commissioners [of the Kirk, etc.] and all hereabouts looked assuredly for the King's return on Wednesday at the farthest. Nevertheless these new reports and other matters confirming the same "occasioneth" me to give this seasonable warning. Direct me how to carry myself both to the King (supposed to join with and "partie" the excommunicated Earls) and also to the Kirk, barons and burghs, like to take arms upon open understanding of the King's actions herein. I shall diligently enquire, and speedily advertise you of the truth in this novelty and wonderful enterprise.
The ministers in all pulpits at this humiliation and fast have confirmed the excommunication against Angus, Huntly, Erroll, Auchendoun and Sir James Chisholm, and also earnestly persuaded the people to hold fast the religion which they have received. Further, it was generally given out yesternight in this town that a mass of Spanish gold was intercepted by the officers of this town and carried to the Tolbooth. This bruit possessed many, and was carried to Lauder this morning. But this day it is found that one stranger had brought a trunk laden with money, and bestowing the same secretly in his friend's house was discovered, whereupon he left the trunk and withdrew himself, so the trunk was seized and carried to the Tolbooth with opinion that there was Spanish gold therein, yet on opening the trunk only Scottish gold, amounting to near 4000 marks, was found, and it is thought that the party got it by indirect means. Whether the report of these things has wrought sudden resolution at Lauder or not, I do not know. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
1¼ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
159. Angus to Mr. Archibald Douglas. [Oct. 22.]
I understand from time to time by your nephew, Mr. Richard, what pains you have taken since the beginning of my trouble to remove the Queen's displeasure from me, and from my associates. Albeit your travails have not yet produced the effect we all crave, yet, because you have dealt therein, I have moved the rest to write a letter of thanks to her Majesty, hoping that hereafter she shall deal more effectually in our cause; whereupon the obligation you desired shall be sent, even as we have written to her Highness.
The particulars of what we crave by that which Errol and Huntly have written to you, you will understand by Mr. Richard, to whose sufficiency I refer all that we desire to be performed on your part. Douglas. Signed: Angus.
1 p. Holograph, also addressed. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil.
160. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Oct. 23.]
Having made diligent enquiry this morning I have learnt that the King was in Lauder yesternight, contrary to the tale which has sprung by reports given out by "Paty" Murray, the agent for these excommunicated Earls, presently employed to draw them and all the noblemen (summoned by the King's missives to appear at St. Johnstone to-morrow) to Linlithgow to proceed in the Convention and trial. This sudden tale of the King's departure was over rashly given to me by one of my "talesmen," and too readily believed by the other talesman and myself, for which I crave pardon. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
½ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
161. Mr. Archibald Douglas to Sir John Fortesque, Chancellor of the Exchequer. [Oct. 26.]
It appears that such as intend that liberty of conscience should be treated of in Parliament would persuade the King that it is the only way to make us agreeable and gracious to all other princes and potentates. This project was sent into Scotland by the Bishop of Ross, founded, as I hear, upon some former dealing with foreign potentates during the time that he dealt for the King's mother, and the same is now embraced by some about the King; to what end I leave it to be considered. Albeit some noblemen have promised her Majesty that they shall be no suitors that any such matter should be established by Parliament, yet it does not appear that they will "oppone" the same, if set forward by others.
The present state of that country remains such that all the noblemen, very few excepted, are become Papists or Protestants au plaisir, or young children that can be contented with any religion, so that it shall be hard to find any "contradictoris" if this intended liberty shall come in question,— the ministers, some townsmen of Edinburgh and other towns only excepted: and all these will be found weak of themselves if they be not countenanced by some of the nobility.
Earl Bothwell appears to be the fittest to be employed for them, if his humours and theirs could remain in conformity any long time together, "bot it is to be feared that if necessite shalbe remowed from him that the simpathie shall not long remayn amongis thayme," besides that he may be withdrawn from them if he be not furnished with good counsel. It appears, therefore, expedient that, whether he shall remain at home or be forced to leave the country, the ambassador resident should take some good order that either the Earl may be well counselled how to behave himself in the matter or that some of account may be dealt with, not to leave the ministry destitute of help. Whatever her Majesty will have me to do, I shall be ready to see performed "after powar."
I pray to have advertisement of her good pleasure herein. Signed: A. Douglas.
1½ pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk and Sir Robert Cecil. Red wax seal.
162. Proclamation by James VI. concerning the Earls and Others concerned in the Spanish Plot. [Oct. 27.] Printed in Register of Privy Council, v. 101–103. Inventoried in Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, ii. p. 255.
At Holyroodhouse. Notification that Angus, Huntly, Errol and others had been summoned to underlie trial by Parliament, which was delayed for sundry causes: that since then his Majesty had appointed this present Convention to meet at Linlithgow to take such order with them that they might be compelled to satisfy the Kirk and his Highness, or be expelled forth of the country: that he has commanded them to await the verdict at Perth and to dissolve their forces: that with the advice of the ministry he intends to make manifest to the world his care and zeal for religion: that proclamation shall be made of the foregoing: that the lieges return to their houses except such as are specially summoned to the Convention.
1 p. Broadsheet. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed. "27 October 1593. An Acte against the three Erles at Hollyrodhouse."
163. Minutes of the Petitions in Respect to Huntly, Angus, and Erroll, etc. [Oct. 29.]
"Minuts of the petitions to be proponit in the name of the convention of the ministry, barrons and burrows convenit at Edenburgh the xxixth of October 1593 to his Majestie and Convention of th'estates halden at Lithquo in this instant October."
(1) First, that Huntly, Angus, Erroll, Auchindoun, and Sir James Chisholm be commanded to dissolve their forces with all diligence, and not to "conveyne" them again under pain of treason.
(2) That no trial or benefit of the law be granted them upon their own suit till they be first reconciled to the Kirk.
(3) In respect they are challenged upon the highest treason and that their present liberty gives them occasion to practise against religion and estate, that they may be commanded to sure ward, (fn. 12) until trial.
(4) Seeing the action is popular concerning not only the King but the whole country, that when they shall be tried letters be directed to all parts of the country warning all persons "havinge interest to accuse" to compear at a "competent" day.
(5) "That all lettres and probation be verefyed with deposition of sic as hes bene examinate be patent to th'accusers" [sic] (fn. 13) and that a commission be granted to take Mr. George Ker (Carr) for the more clear probation.
(6) That there be depute as justices three or four of honour, good conscience and religion.
(7) That the "assyssers" be nominated by the accusers.
(8) That none presume to "procure at his Majestyis handis in ther favours" under pain of the tinsel of their life-rents and offices till first they be tried and found clean.
(9) That there be nominated four of the nobility, four barons, four burgesses and four of the ministry, all well affected [etc.] with power to conclude and prosecute all other things concerning the whole form to be observed in proceeding against them.
(10) That the band made at Aberdeen betwixt the King and the nobility,— that his Majesty should have nothing to do with the traitorous lords,—may be ratified and intimated by open proclamation.
The convention appoints the Laird of Merchinston, elder, the Laird of Faudonside for the barons, the commissioners of Edinburgh and Stirling for the burghs, and Mr. James Melvill and Mr. James Nicholson for the ministry to present these petitions to the King's Majesty and Estates at Linlithgow, and to return answer with diligence; and the convention to "staye" till answer return.
1 p. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed.
163a. Elizabeth to James VI. [Oct. 29.] Printed in Letters of Elizabeth and James VI., No. lii.
Since weighty matters have "impeched" us from writing to you by our own hand, we request that you will hear and give credit to Robert Bowes, our ambassador, in such matters as we have given him charge to communicate to you. Windsor.
Postscript in Elizabeth's hand.—" Deare brother, let this credit, I besech you, be so far beleevid as whose aunswer may contynue or breake our frendship. Think not woordis without effects shall deceave me. For your own best hit is that I demand. Who so shall otherwise think shall beguyle you."
1 p. Draft. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "29° October 1593. Minute of a lettre from her Majesty to the King of Scottes for credit to Mr. Bowes, with a clause written by her Majesty's self."
164. Burghley to Robert Bowes. [Oct. 29.] Vol. lii. p. 1.
There came yesterday at one instant your two letters, of the 20th and 22nd, both which being perused and considered by her Majesty, she has commanded that presently you should require access to the King; and she writes a short letter of credence to be given to you. You shall say to the King that she hopes that her late letters will move him to take some other course for the quietness of his own realm and the continuance of the good peace between both the realms than hitherto, for it cannot be denied but that the heads of those who seek the change or qualification of religion in his realm are such as join therewith the practice of Spain and are the common enemies to this isle, and therefore her Majesty thinks they ought both to be prosecuted in one sort. Yet she has no meaning to ruin any of the heads of his realm, if they shall yield full satisfaction and assurance for their reformation in religion, and the relinquishing of all bands and pacts with the Papists and Spanish parties. Therefore her Majesty requires that the King will deal princely and plainly with her, whether he means sincerely to suppress these factions or to suffer them either by too much favour or connivance to get the upper hand over his best subjects. Many causes move her to doubt of his sound proceeding herein, and none greater than by understanding the audacity of the three rebel Earls adventuring to come to his open presence, and being dismissed without commitment; secondly, the neglect of the punishment of the great open raid lately made into Tynedale, himself being upon the frontiers when the complaint was made to him, and the principal offender, named Eliot, a capital offender at all times, having been in his own presence. This has argued, in her Majesty's judgment, an evil disposition in his councillors towards the continuance of the amity. You shall by way of conclusion require the King that, according to his former letters, there should be no end taken with the three rebellious Earls and their faction but with satisfaction first made to the Church in renouncing all Popish and Spanish factions and [by] maintenance of the mutual peace betwixt the realms. Her Majesty hopes that he will see the same performed; and for the better assurance thereof requires that he by his own hand give some answer to her late letters.
Her Majesty has considered the proceedings betwixt the King and his clergy, and she finds that their earnestness is very necessary at this time. With the heads of them, you may safely deal. You may do well secretly to give them comfort that her Majesty would not see the common cause of religion perish for lack of defence.
Your letter of the 22nd, making mention of the report of the King's sudden departure to meet the Earls, was by a third letter this day well corrected; and thereby it may be gathered that many busy heads make their gain from such untrue reports. You shall let him understand that, if her Majesty shall find that he by little and little suffer himself to be circumvented and his good subjects disgraced or weakened by strengthening the other party, she will then be weary of her watchful care of him and look better to herself hereafter. She has it "from good place" that instruments are suffered to reside near him for contriving such matters, and that there have come or are to come even special persons from beyond sea to win him to a qualification in matter of religion, which, if he hearken to, her Majesty foresees nothing but the ruin of his estate and kingdom.
You shall also "hearken" what Bothwell does and where he is, and if you find him not divided in his courses from the religion and that the Churches have a care of him you shall then give him all convenient comfort, for the Queen plainly sees the course which others hold to be tending to the King's danger. You will do well to advertise whether the Chancellor holds or offers kindness or correspondency with you, how the Queen [of Scots] stands, and in what terms, and what has become of the Duke. I shall omit no good occasion to move her Majesty to take pity on your particular estate. Windsor.
3¼ pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of the L. Threasurer's letter to Mr. Ro. Bowes, ambassador resident."
165. Mr. Archibald Douglas to Sir John Fortescue. [Oct. 29.]
Upon the 29th instant I received from Mr. Richard Douglas, my nephew, the following letters—one to her Majesty from Angus, Huntly and Errol, two from them to me, and one from Mr. Richard to me. All of these I enclose, (fn. 14) Mr. Richard's being a copy: the original I have retained by reason of some particular matter therein. Their contents show in what confusion the present state of that country is. I leave it to be considered if her Majesty can find any better time to draw the assurance of that whole state to herself without charges. By good means matters may be brought to quietness, and breed her Highness's surety. Hard dealing may force men to seek assurance where it may be found and may occasion further trouble. I pray you to present their letters to her Majesty, and to make her acquainted with the hurt I have received. I shall do all that I can to see her good pleasure accomplished after my power, which is not great at this time. Signed: A. Douglas.
1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil.
166. Sir John Fortescue to [Mr. Archibald Douglas]. [c. 29 Oct.] Vol. lii. p. 4.
Her Majesty has perused the letters [enumerated in No. 165] and yours to Sir John Fortescue, to which, with thanks for your own particular care of anything that may concern her, she is pleased to return this answer. First, in the letter from the Earls she finds many laboured thanks for her intercession for them already to the King. Secondly, a suit for further mediation with the King and ministers for effecting their desires, which she finds in covert terms to mean the procurement for them of enjoying their consciences free, without trouble or molestation (for so they would have it to be ratified by an act). Thirdly, it contains their justification of themselves by affirming that they have been already (without just ground) heavily troubled and prosecuted. Lastly, their general offers of all conditions and assurances before promised to her Majesty.
In all these things she finds little cause of satisfaction, seeing that whatsoever they write or say is grounded upon a false or misconceived foundation. Concerning the first insinuation, of thanksgiving for that which is already done, although her Majesty has ever abhorred unjust prosecution, and had no particular displeasure against them, whereby, "for any seconde respecte," she should desire their ruin, yet is she far from assuming to herself any thanks, since she "never had one thoughte to deale for them in the termes they stande in," neither can she be won with a phrase in a letter to make herself author of the untimely favours which have been already extended by the King or which may hereafter be showed to them either by partial trial or by palpable connivance at their presumption in daring, thus untried, to present themselves to their sovereign. As their treasons preceded their punishment, so her Majesty has been ever far from dealing for them, neither would she begin it until by due form of law they be acquitted or delivered to the King's mercy; and therefore they are much mistaken if [they think] they can so "overfadome" her Majesty as, by insinuating thanks for that favour which was never afforded, to serve their particular turns by possessing the world with a "conceipte" that a prince of her wisdom would suffer herself to be made an instrument for their grace and credit to whom she is not assured to what use their power or means should be employed. Therefore her Majesty requires you to deal plainly with them, that as she has ever accounted dear to her those who have run all courses tending to the strengthening of the King's estate and maintaining the peace of the Church, so she is not ignorant how these personages have levelled at their own greatness, adhered to foreign factions, and publicly professed contrariety of religion, yea, even projected their country's ruin.
Without further assurance by submitting themselves to ordinary and just trial and by humbling themselves with reasonable conformity in matters of religion, her Majesty will not open her lips to the King, neither will trust in these general protestations, forasmuch as, their former actions being considered, it cannot be safe for the King thus to favour them untried, or, while unconformed, to leave them any means to prevail against him.
As for the point in their letter to you, that the ministry seek to wrest them to all their own opinions or fancies, her Majesty cannot think so unreverently of the members of that Church as that they would indiscreetly do anything by constraint or compulsion in matters not essential to the security of the religion which they are bound to maintain. Therefore, for conclusion, as her Majesty might haply have been induced to deal with the King for them if they had sent their particular pacts, covenants and formerly promised conditions, which might have assured their sincere meaning to yield all security both to the King's estate and religion, with absolute assurance of never entering into foreign confederacies, so now she esteems their generalities of good protestation little worthy the balancing with the particular insinuation of their desires, who seek to be tried by partial combination, and by their acquittal shall remain no way obliged to any recognition of pardon or grace at their sovereign's hands, but have further liberty granted them. This is not to be permitted to men "so farre ingaged," although it is far from her Majesty's princely nature or proceeding to force any tender conscience "wher it hath no simpathie with forraigne practize." Windsor.
3 pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of a letter written by Sir John Fortescue in answeare of the letters which came from the three Erles of Huntley, Angus and Erroll, sent by Arch. Dowgless, and this aunswere made to hym for them to see."