James VI, December 1593

Pages 235-256

Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 11, 1593-1595. Originally published by Edinburgh, 1936.

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James VI, December 1593

178. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Dec. 2.]

The King, being greatly offended with the ministers continuing their speech still against the act of Abolition, has said (as I am informed) that he will banish the Papists by his own means and power; that he will make known to all Protestant princes the seditious behaviour of the ministers, whom afterwards he will severely chastise for their faults, and that if they shall not cease to inveigh against this act, then he shall sufficiently bridle them. It is much feared that, by advice of the Papists about the King and by the enticement of the northern Earls and their friends in Court, he shall be allured upon this occasion to pick some quarrel against the ministers and town of Edinburgh, who live in no little fear of sudden enterprise to be attempted against them.

The Chancellor and some others of the Council, present at sundry sermons, have (as I hear) reported to the King the preachers' words uttered against this act, and also advised him to deliberate upon the grounds and reasons laid by the ministers. Hereupon the Chancellor, Mar, the Master of Glamis and Sir Robert Melvill, by the King's commandment, called the ministers of Edinburgh before them in the Tolbooth to "note and open" the defections and imperfections in this "Acte of Edict and Abolition." Amongst many faults these few following have been recounted to me. First, one article in the edict for religion, Papists and excommunicates departing out of the realm before 1st February next are granted liberty to enjoy their livings and possessions, contrary to the laws and statute presently in force, whereby not only the five offenders, in whose favour this Act was ordained, but also all other obstinate Papists and excommunicates shall have greater privileges and benefits than the laws of this realm give to them. Next, the clause in the edict enjoining offenders first to satisfy the Church in matters of religion, and, next, the King for the establishment of good order and quietness in the country, is not sufficiently and plainly expressed. Further, choice is given to Papists to subscribe or depart, and, albeit they shall choose to stand to their Papistry, yet they shall still "brooke" their livings, against the laws and notwithstanding that they ought to be compelled by penalties of laws to embrace the religion. The abolition of these crimes is condemned, in regard that it is against the laws of God and this realm, that the parties to take benefit thereof do not seek it or confess any crime, nor show any repentance nor offer any satisfaction to the Kirk or to the King.

These councillors acknowledge that some things were omitted in this act which should have been inserted, and that other things were contained in it which were not voted by the Convention. Thereupon they first dismissed the ministers with hope that the act should be reformed, and next resorted to the King, then sitting amongst the Lords of Session in the Tolbooth. On hearing their report, he was much grieved that they acknowledged any error in the act, for it is said that he with his own hand corrected and entered sundry words and clauses in it, and that, when request was made that it might be read and voted as it was then framed, he would not suffer the votes to be taken again, in respect that it was voted before. It is now looked that the ministers shall be further conferred with and that the matter shall be reformed by Convention of the estates. Some fear that this is done to snare the ministers, so that they shall either consent to the "Abolition" as framed by a Convention voting at the appetite of the King, or else a quarrel may thereon be taken against them.

The King was ready to have ridden to Linlithgow yesterday, to speak (as I hear) with the northern Earls, but his journey is now stayed by the advice of some of his Council: for, albeit he answered (as it is reported) that he was a monarch and not to be ruled as the cantons in Switzerland, yet with fair reasons he was persuaded to stay. [In the margin: "This is said to have bene wrought by the Chancelour, backed by the Queen."] Advertisement is sent hither from the north that Huntly has given up assurance with Athol and Mackintosh. It is found that he "usethe" to pass and repass with small company betwixt his house and these parts, therefore some of his adversaries intend to attend better on him, and if they might be helped to horse themselves better, he would be "more nearely awayted on."

Bothwell has addressed to Mr. William Balfour (Baforde), minister of Kelso, a letter of sundry petitions to the King, which are lightly regarded and answered. Mr. John Russell, for his favour and dealing with Bothwell, has paid 2000 marks Scots, and this day is delivered by proclamation. I hear that fifty other persons noted to have received or been with Bothwell in his late actions are "billed" and shall likewise be fined and driven to compound, that the sum of 20,000l. Scots may be levied and equally defrayed for the King's house and pay to the guard, and that some others for like faults shall be banished and some suffer death for exemplary punishment. Yet the Chancellor puts men in hope that the King shall be drawn to deal better with Bothwell, for it is thought that Hume will procure his sister, the Countess Marishal, to send for him, and that thereon he will join with the northern Earls and abide with them. It is doubted by some whether the King (fn. 1) shall be enticed to come to them.

By Mr. John Colville your lordship may best be acquainted with these and other matters of more importance; for the expedition whereof it is wished here that Mr. John may be timely hastened to you. The wars betwixt Maxwell and Johnstone will be certified by others on the Borders. I am informed that Ladylands is the instrument betwixt the northern Earls and Maxwell, and that the Earls offer to pay the soldiers serving Maxwell, for Sir James Chisholme has told that the Earls have indeed received gold. These Earls (as I hear) have exhorted Hume to stand fast to the Catholic faith and not to subscribe to the religion. Hume has obtained respite for his subscription until the 18th instant. Then he has promised either fully to satisfy the minsters or else to give them plain answer. Sir George Hume and Patrick Murray have likewise further day given, but some think that all these shall be gone before the 18th; and if so, then strange effects will be looked for in this realm.

I have advertised Mr. John Carey that the Scottish Jesuit, happily taken and in his hands, is Mr. Alexander MacQuhirrie (Mackquhery), otherwise called John Black, or Polippus, or Thomas Ogilvy. He is deeply acquainted with all the practices in this realm and beyond seas, and has haunted sundry parts in England and served Lord Hume; his examination may much profit this service. The Queen is now occupied in providing a nurse and other requisites for the child of whom she expects to be delivered in the end of February next. I beg your lordship, in this time of vacation and calm, to present my petition for revocation, access to her Majesty or relief. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

22/3 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

179. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Dec. 7.] Printed in Letters of Elizabeth and James VI., No. liii.

This day the King sent me his letter to her Majesty, (fn. 2) to be conveyed with such expedition that her answer might be returned before 1st January. The messenger, by the King's direction, acquainted me with the contents, showing me a copy of the letter and the letter itself, already sealed (a courtesy not much "looked for" by me at this time). After a view of this copy I let the messenger know that the King had particularized the excuses of the northern Earls, the crimes confessed by them, and their actions, further than he had before "opened" to me in my negotiations, and that, for the due "compasse" of his letter, I thought he had omitted sundry important matters passed betwixt him and me. Yet finding the King's letter thus framed and sealed, I agreed to receive it with due compliments and without controlment or alteration of anything, offering to be ever ready to give good satisfaction in any cause falling in question therein. This messenger "shewed" me that not only had the King delivered to Cuthbert Armourer his safe-conduct to Sir Robert Carey for access to his presence, but also that Sir Robert's errand was to excuse himself for any entertainment given to Bothwell against the King's pleasure. I gathered that the messenger sounded me to disclose whether I was privy to Sir Robert's coming hither or to the causes. Therefore I denied knowing anything, approving well his good intention and care to give the King so honourable satisfaction. It may be that your lordship shall find some of the motives stirring this journey to be signified in my letter of 8th November last, yet being uncertain thereof, I leave the matter to experience. I will always remain ready to answer for myself.

I am informed that the King and Queen entered yesternight into a very loving band, whereby the King has received the Queen's promise to concur with and further his actions and courses, which he protests shall be godly, princely and honourable; and that the King hereon has given to the Queen the greatest part of his jewels. Likewise, that the Chancellor directs his course to please the Queen, and that by the means of the Queen and Chancellor the Court shall be reformed.

It is also confirmed that Sir George Hume is providing for leaving the Court, and if this takes effect it is said that Lord Hume will not tarry long after him, and that they shall draw themselves into the company of the northern Earls. Yet by others I am credibly informed that the King's countenance is nothing abated, but increasing towards them, so that little cause is hitherto seen why they should abandon the Court.

I hear that the Chancellor labours much to stay the King's journey to Linlithgow to speak with the northern Earls, yet without the knowledge of Sir Robert Carey's coming he could not have been stayed. Sundry fear that if Lord Hume and Sir George Hume shall join with the northern Earls, then they shall be so accompanied that the whole realm shall be troubled and endangered thereby. Huntly has proudly boasted (fn. 3) the barons who refused (upon his letters to them) to accompany him in his late journey to St. Johnstone; and on the access of "Paty" Murray, sent by the King, he has "given upp" with Atholl, whom before he sought by very large offers, and also is in comfort of being honoured with commission of lieutenancy. The Duke of Lennox is resolved to withdraw from Court and to lie in St. Andrews. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

180. Elizabeth to Robert Bowes. [Dec. 9.] Vol. lii. p. 7.

Whereas we have had cause of late, through the defection of certain rebellious Irish subjects in the north (whereof the chief ringleaders have been Maguire and his associates), to direct our Deputy to send some small number of our forces against them, although we have already so weakened the said Maguire that he is now [reduced] from 1000 [to] not above 100, and is only preserved by entrenching himself in a fort called Enniskillen, within a lough,—to which, because it cannot be approached but through bogs and marshes, we have appointed certain boats to be sent, and so make little question of his being taken or utterly extinguished,—yet because we hear that O'Donnell, who is his kinsman "and ever parted with him," has some purpose to call in certain Scots to assist him, whereby we shall haply be "occasioned" to send more people thither, which we would not willingly do against so beggarly a rabble of traitors, whom in the end we shall have either dead or alive if we list to trouble ourselves about him [sic], we have thought to require you to let the King understand that we expect that he shall command his subjects to forbear either entering or relieving by any means any of those northern rebellious subjects of ours, and especially any of the Maguires or the O'Donnells, or their adherents. And forasmuch as we understand that the Earl Morton, by the "tutelshippe" of the Earl of Argyll, has the commandment of the country from whence commonly the Scots are "waged" by the Irish, we likewise require you to deal with him to take order therein, for if our estate "shall receave prejudyce by suche tolleration or allowance, wee cannot dejeste it in any sorte, thoughe, thankes be given to God, we have litle cause to feare any eventes there (more then the trouble), considring howe greater forces spedd when they were ayded by our greatest adversaries." Hampton Court.

1 p. Copy in the hand of Burghley's clerk. At the head: "A Mynute of her Majesties letter to Mr. Bowes to treat with the King for restrayning the concourse of his subjects into Irelande to ayde Macguire, Odonell, etc."

181. Instructions for Lord Zouche. [Dec. 20.] Vol. lii. p. 8.

"A mynute of the instructions given to the Lo. Zouche, sent to the King of Scottes in ambassage for matters hereafter following."

You shall declare to the King that we cannot find ourselves satisfied with his letters of the 7th of this month (which did not come to our hands before the 15th) in answer to two of ours. Because he has required to have our advice upon the late act for the surety of religon and of his estate, and also to be informed before 1st January what surety we would have for us and our realm, therefore, although it seems a short day for such a matter, we have without delay sent you to impart our mind in these causes, hoping that he will remember his promises to our ambassador, by Sir Robert Melvill, and by his own letters, never to take any end with the three Earls without our advice and consent. You shall say that we have perused a copy, dated 26th November, of an act of Council, for the public peace and quietness of his realm, whereby, though in the preface there is an article no way to be misliked, for the exercise only of the established religion, yet it is apparent that this act was not purposely made for that intent, since that article could not lawfully have been altered but by Parliament. But it manifestly appears that the scope of this act is to deliver the three Earls, being notable traitors, with whom the Spanish King's forces have practised how they might invade our realm by way of Scotland, whereof we have most manifest proofs both out of Spain and the Low Countries. Yet, notwithstanding, by this new act of Council they are licensed, if they will, to depart the realm with such a freedom as never was granted to any offenders in any well governed estate, and to enjoy the fruits of all their livelihoods in foreign countries, and so to enrich themselves to be more able to execute their treasons, yea, to have liberty to make procurators to maintain all their causes at home.

Now, for some colourable defence hereof, the King uses some allegations which we cannot think allowable, neither can we think that any good councillor of the King, having freedom of voice, can think them allowable, for indeed he does not deny but that they all three confess the hearing of masses and reception of Jesuits and seminary priests. But we think the King's meaning cannot be to allow them to be free from severe punishment, either corporal or, at the least, pecuniary, for these crimes confessed, but freely at their own desire to go into other countries with their livelihood.

The Earls of Angus and Errol confess the writing of the Blanks to foreign princes, but they allege that [the purpose] was to be repaid sums of money which they had spent upon Jesuits there in Scotland, amongst whom they name one William Crichton, a most famous traitor, who was taken upon the seas certain years past with a number of traitorous letters to have stirred up rebellion in this realm, yet we have such compassion on him that we put him to liberty upon report of his age and upon his oath freely offered, never to deal thereafter in matters of estate but to live privately at Lyons in contemplation only in his house of religion; but how he has deserved this favour and how he has observed his oath, his wandering from the Low Countries and Spain into Scotland, and from Scotland to Spain sundry times, may justly condemn him a perjured friar. But we assure ourselves that the King cannot think that this confession of the said two Earls could deserve immunity, since Carr, who was put in trust with the Blanks, voluntarily confessed before the King's Council that the purpose was to bring forces into Scotland, which Sir Robert Melvill, who was one of the Council, also avowed to us. Besides [there were] the confession of Fintrie and a number of other proofs.

Next, though Huntly confesses the subscription and his seal to the Blanks, yet he says the same were only in favour of his uncle, the Jesuit, to notify to his uncle's superior that he was forced to depart the realm and to declare his poverty, and so to relieve his uncle. But if this were true, yet this confession does not deserve so favourable an order as to be quit from punishment, or at least from renunciation of the fault. But what probability may there be that the Earl of Huntly, joining in subscription of sundry Blanks with the other two Earls, they confessing the intent of their Blanks was to foreign princes for money for themselves, this odd Earl's meaning was only to notify to his uncle's superiors that he might not tarry in Scotland, as though this message might not have been written without offence in an express letter? Or what needed he, being an Earl of so great livelihood, to urge a friar or a proctor of Jesuits to give an earl's uncle alms or relief ?

But, to proceed with the King's answer, they inform the King further that they did not mean to procure the entry of any Spaniards, as they are justly accused to have done, and as some of them in former times have manifestly done, as has lately been proved by the very letters of Huntly and Errol. But now for this last fact they desire trial; wherein the King pretends to be doubtful how trial may be made of this great crime. It seems to us a strange "conceipte" in a King and monarch that, when such men are sundry ways accused of so high and manifest treasons, he should doubt how to have them tried, because they are persons of might and wealth.

There is also to be noted in this act a general provision in favour of all other Papists upon declaration to the King before 1st February of their desire to leave their country. How many livelihoods and revenues shall be conveyed out of the realm by this, we leave to the King in policy to consider. But to pretend some remedy for their inconveniences, it is added in the act that these Earls shall give good sureties with bonds in sums of money not to attempt to practise any harm to the religion. But how slender a provision this may be is easily to be judged. For, considering their inward disposition, or rather rancour, shall remain still in them to work the ruin of the religion, which cannot be without foreign forces, who shall stay them (being at liberty) from renewing their former practices with foreign princes to bring their purpose to pass? They shall find princes as ready to yield to their desires as they are to ask; and if they shall return with such forces as are to their contentation into the realm, who shall be found to overrule them, or who shall sue for the forfeiture of their lands, quia jus erat in armis? The more we think of this remissness, the more dangerous we see it to the King's estate, and highly dishonourable, and we do not doubt that if the King will cause this act to be "reviewed" by wise, godly and politic men they will advise him to take another course for avoiding the danger of these traitors and not to give the bridle of his government to them and their confederates.

Therefore, whereas he requires our advice and consent before he would make any conclusion with these Earls (although neither our consent nor our advice was required before this act was passed, wherein we think ourself abused), we cannot give better advice than we have done before. As for their trial, we do not doubt but if the King will not yield to the special friends of the said Earls to make a partial jury, but show himself disposed to have justice take place, and to be advised by his officers of justice to nominate a convenient number of upright noblemen, who fear God and regard his surety and mind the common peace of his realm, he shall find his former pretended doubt to be cleared.

Lastly, if the King shall like this advice, we require him for our better satisfaction by his oath upon the word of a prince to assure us what he will do without further delay.

If the King shall allege that the speeches to Sir Robert Melvill inclined him to some favouring of the Earls, you shall let him understand that either the Earls were misinformed that we had moved the King in their favour or Sir Robert Melvill misreported us, for our speeches tended only to allow of the King's mercy to them upon acknowledging their faults and [giving] good assurances and conditions. We told Sir Robert Melvill that it were more honourable for the King to be moved thereto by our intercession, being a prince, than by any of their friends, being but subjects to the King; and without conditions we could not think it honourable for the King to grant, or for us to require, any favour for them.

In the end, if you shall find the King's answer to you doubtful, or shall understand that he means to continue his favour to the Earls, and consequently like to embrace the Spanish offers, then we will that you, the Lord Zouche, shall require the King that, for our better satisfaction, he will permit Robert Bowes, our ordinary ambassador, to declare to the King and his nobility and Council such things as by our commandment you have direction for him. This being granted (as we desire to have it in some public sort), you, our ambassador, shall recall all our advice and counsel to the King both before and since these three Earls' treasons were detected, our frequent information given to him of the number of Jesuits maintained in his realm, both English and Scottish, how often he promised redress thereof, but by what impediment you know they still continued in the realm. After this, you, the Lord Zouche, shall say that we have commanded you to require him not to think us so negligent of our own estate that we will not employ our power to the uttermost to withstand the landing of any strange forces in Scotland, thereby to invade our realm by land that way, since they could not do so by sea. We would be very simple to imagine that any foreign prince, especially the King of Spain, would send men or money into Scotland, either from Spain or the Low Countries, to gain anything but means only to invade England; and of this purpose we have a multitude of advertisements monthly from Spain and from the Low Countries that the King of Spain has only "expected" to have some assurance of some noblemen in Scotland to join with his forces. As this was to have been effected by the Blanks last year, so must we think that if the said Earls be permitted to go out of the realm they shall have much better commodity to perform the former, not by Blanks subscribed, but personally with their own offers to accompany the same without any fear of forfeiting their bonds. Therefore, if the King will not speedily suppress the traitors either by condemnation or imprisonment, we must be forced to prevent these dangers by all the good means that we can. Hampton Court.

pp. Copy in the hand of Burghley's clerk.

Another copy. Cott. Calig. D.ii. f. 122.

182. Instructions for Lord Zouche. [Dec. 20.] Vol. lii. p. 16.

"Instructions for the Lo. Zouche to treat with certayne lords and others in Scotlande."

After good knowledge given you, by means of one who shall go before you into Scotland, of the disposition of certain lords and gentlemen there to maintain the established religion, and to oppose all persons who shall attempt to alter the same, or who shall assent to any practice for bringing in strange forces to that realm, you shall give them to understand your commission to advise the King to proceed more directly against the three Earls than hitherto he has done, or than by the act of 24th November it seems is intended. You shall inform them what you have said to the King and what answer you have had from him, and you shall enter into private conference with them what they think of the said answers. If it shall appear that these [answers] are but frivolous and not likely to produce any good effect for surety of the religion and for the weal of the King and his country, and consequently to the maintenance of the common peace betwixt the King and us and our countries, then you shall demand of them their opinions how these mischiefs may be remedied, and how a sufficient party may be there had to withstand the attempts of the adversaries, and how they may be suppressed. Upon knowledge whereof we will assure them of our countenance and favour; and for encouraging them herein you shall declare to them that we have by you given the King knowledge of our mind, that we may not nor will suffer any practice in that realm, for we are assured that the same is intended to invade our realm, and for prevention thereof we will speedily cause convenient forces to be put in readiness upon our own frontiers.

You may also move those with whom you confer about this matter to inform you what borderers of power and ability may be won to be of their party, so that our officers may have knowledge whom to trust there and "to use friendlie" upon all occasions. If, perchance, these lords and gentlemen with whom you shall confer shall appear not to be sufficiently informed how to answer you for want of conference with some greater number, you shall require them to use diligence in as secret manner as they can to procure, before your departure, some certainty both of the numbers and of the dispositions of them; and herein our ambassador by reason of his former knowledge and acquaintance can best procure the means to have this matter both secretly and effectually handled. Finally, if they shall pretend lack of ability to make their party more strong than their adversaries, and for that purpose shall require to have aid from us of some portion of money, or other help, you shall require them therein to show you their demands, limited in a reasonable sort, considering how we have [been] and daily are burdened with excessive expenses in the Low Countries, in France and in Brittany for like causes, and you shall promise them on our part to further their demands to the uttermost of your power, and that you will procure them answer without delay. Hampton Court.

2 pp. Copy in the hand of Burghley's clerk.

Another copy. Cott. Calig, D.ii. f. 118.

183. Memorial for Lord Zouche. [Dec. 20.]

"A Memoriall to instruct the Lord Zouch of the manner of her Majestyes procedings with the King of Scottes. xxth Decemb. 1593."

First, all the advice given by her Majesty's sundry letters, and especially by those written in September last, with the answers made by the King to a number of articles propounded by the ambassador. He then answered expressly that he would in no wise conclude with the three Earls without her Majesty's privity, advice and consent, and with the satisfaction of the Kirk in Scotland. The scope of all her advice was to maintain his subjects in their obedience to his laws, and especially in the observation of one form of religion established by himself oftentimes; secondly, to banish all known, obstinate Papists, and otherwise to correct them either by imprisonment or by penalties of law; thirdly, to proceed against Huntly, Errol and Angus, for treason; yet upon acknowledging their offences, renouncing all further practice with strangers, and reforming themselves to conformity of religion and finding caution, and upon her Majesty being duly informed of all this, she would not dissuade the King from his disposition to show them mercy. She had the like disposition in moving the King to accept Bothwell's submission, which, as her Majesty has understood, has been so ample and full of fidelity, that whatsoever his offence has been, he can make no larger satisfaction to the King, who naturally desires nothing from his subjects but reverence and fidelity. These have been the principal points of all her Majesty's advice.

Now, for maintenance of all these advices, since sinister interpretations may move doubt, her Majesty has thought it not superfluous to add some notes of the reasons that have caused her so often to give them. First, the reiteration of them at sundry times has been because she has heard of many alterations of the King in his proceedings. But what most grieved her was when she heard of his alteration of his councillors, and choice of such as were known "contrarilye affected." Thereby was judged his secret disposition to favour those who had most manifestly sought to ruin the state of his kingdom. This moved her the oftener to "remember" the King both of her advice and of his promises.

For justification of her sincerity, she could not, for the maintenance of his subjects in obedience of religion, do more sincerely than to advise him to do the same that she has done in her own realm, whereby she finds the commodity of universal obedience. As her Majesty has laws established by herself, with the consent of all her states, to observe one form of religion, which she maintains, and punishes the offenders, so she has advised the King, and does still, to see his laws duly executed, and, without respect of person, to correct all offenders. Herein her advice is to move him to rule as a King by his laws, and not to allow any of his subjects, how great soever they be, or how much soever they have been in his favour, to violate his laws and to diminish his regal authority.

For the second matter, of advice for proceeding against the three Earls and their associates, when her Majesty first understood how they were charged with most high treason, and that their messengers had confessed the same, and that the King himself seemed so animated to pursue them by arms and by justice, how could she do less than "to allowe" him herein? She sent Lord Burgh to the King to commend his actions, and he accepted her advice with thanks: and afterwards when he sent Sir Robert Melvill hither, her advice was both honourable and reasonable, namely, that if these Earls would acknowledge their faults, renounce all like practices, and reform themselves, etc., she would not mislike of the King's mercy to be showed to them upon their submission; whereupon they made means to her Majesty to intercede for them, as one prince might do with another. This she required Sir Robert Melvill to declare to the King, although she has heard that the same has been otherwise reported.

As for her Majesty's dealing with the King for Bothwell, surely such has been his protestation of his natural duty and of his desire to recover the King's favour, that her opinion was, and is, that the King might make great profit of him to prove him with his favour? So it seems that the King has, upon his submission, admitted him to be restored to his estate, although by his enemies, who seek more after the Earl's living than the King's service, the perfecting of the grant is impeached.

In this sort you may inform yourself of these former reasons, to the intent you may be the more able to answer or reply to the King in conference.

pp. Copy in Lord Zouche's hand. Endorsed.

184. Private Instructions for Lord Zouche. [Dec. 20.]

For a long time there has been continual practising of sundry Jesuits and other seditious persons of Scotland and England, amongst whom the most notorious men have been William Creichton, an old Jesuit, one Bruce, a Scottish man, and one Semple, a captain, who have in Spain solicited the King there to take in hand both the alteration of religion in Scotland and by the way thereof to invade England; and for that purpose they have these three or four years continually travelled betwixt Spain and Scotland, and betwixt the Low Countries and Scotland, and in 1589 procured the assent of divers lords of Scotland to give ear thereunto, and procured their consent to give aid to the Spanish army, and to write their letters in 1589 to the Duke of Parma. Among these lords were Huntly, Errol, Crawford, Bothwell, Morton and Lord Claud Hamilton. Their conspiracy being detected, sundry of them were imprisoned and afterwards remitted by the King. [Then follows a narrative recapitulating the conspiracy of the Spanish Blanks, and the King's proceedings with the Earls thereafter, down to the act of Abolition.]

Now her Majesty has thought it very needful to send someone to the King of Scots to carry answer to his letters, to challenge him for his breach of promise in not making her acquainted beforehand with the act for the Earls, and "inwardly" to press him to declare his disposition, which she might trust, or otherwise use all good means to withstand the enterprises of the Spanish practisers.

Further, Lord Zouche is to confer with such of the King's Council as are well affected and with others of his nobility, how these great mischiefs may be remedied [etc., as in No. 182]. He is to receive from the ordinary ambassador full advertisement of all things.

pp. Copy in Lord Zouche's hand. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil.

185. Elizabeth to the Queen of Scots. [Dec. 21.] Vol. lii. p. 18.

Having cause to send Lord Zouche to the King, we have commanded him also to deliver you our most affectionate salutations as one whom we very highly esteem for your virtue, and for your sincere and constant desire to preserve the amity between the two realms, the interruption of which is sought by the subtle workings and malicious practices of the common adversaries. And whereas we understand by divers reports of your present estate, which we are loth to name in direct terms, not hearing it confirmed by yourself, we do by these lines assure you that we as heartily wish you joy of the same as any prince living, and that our love is increased by the remembrance of the friendship between the King your father and us. Hampton Court.

1 p. Copy in the hand of Burghley's clerk. At the head: "A Mynute of her Majesties letter to the Queene of Scotts by the Lo. Zouche."

186. Robert Bowes to [Burghley]. [Dec. 22.]

The effects of Sir Robert Carey's errand, best known to himself, will be opened to your lordship by his own report. I think that you will thereby understand that the King of Scots has "entred into suche jelowsyes" against me and [is] so tired with me and my services that my labours shall little profit her Majesty's services here. For these and other respects, and upon "occasion given me" to advertise her Majesty of my doings in the contents of her late letter to me, I have again made suit to be revoked or suffered to have access to her Majesty and to answer for myself. I beg for your help in this petition.

I am credibly informed that the northern Earls have lately craved that the day appointed for their answer to the act of Abolition may either be prolonged or else that they be not urged to subscribe to the articles of religion. They are put in some comfort for the prorogation of the day, and for the best remedy against their subscription it is advised that they shall offer to their ordinary minister to subscribe, and draw him to certify under his handwriting, to the intent that the certificates presented to the King and Council may be accepted and work their excuse. Secondly, they pray to be licensed to depart out of this realm without subscription, and, nevertheless, to enjoy all their lands and livings.

But they are advised not to "sticke" to subscribe, as a matter of small moment; and not to seek to pass out of this country in this time of troubles when the King needs most their service, and when their repair into foreign parts shall be suspicious and hurt the cause. Thirdly, they desire not to be accompanied with a minister, who, being near about them, shall spy and discover their secrets. It is advised that they shall give no stipend or allowance to the minister, to the intent that he may tire with the expense and depart of his own accord. Fourthly, they require that the excommunication against them may be retreated [i.e. rescinded]. But it is answered that, seeing the King will not approve and allow the excommunication and that they are not hurt by it, therefore they shall forbear for a time further to irritate the Kirk.

By William Troup (Trowpe), servant to Huntly, the King (as I hear) has sent a commission of lieutenancy, in form of a letter, especially to be executed against Mackintosh and his adherents; but framed to serve with large power and authority to command all men, and also to execute all punishments on every person, within the limits of that commission at the will of the lieutenant. In Court it is thought meet to commit this charge of lieutenancy in the north to Auchindoun, yet because it is feared that Huntly will disdain and impugn the authority of any other than himself within his own bounds, and that thereby some division shall arise amongst the Gordons, therefore a blank is left in the commission that the name of the lieutenant may be inserted. I am also told that not only the Forbeses and many other barons and gentlemen well affected have left their houses to be freed from the oppression of Huntly by this commission, but also that sundry ministers in the north have been lately so quarrelled with that they are in danger of their lives in case they shall continue at their places and do the duties of their ministry.

Order is given by the King and Council that the house at Stirling, presently in decay and ruin, shall be made ready for the Queen to be there delivered of her child. The Queen "hathe good lykinge" to be at Stirling, and purposes to remove towards it on the 27th instant. But some principal officers and courtiers, remembering the many enterprises executed at Stirling and fearing like events to succeed in that place, are seeking means to stay her and to allure her to the castle in Edinburgh; whereby this town shall be utterly subjected to the will of the Court, and whereupon "some sharpe effectes are feared to be practised with great severity" as well against Bothwell's friends as also against the ministers in this town.

The Convention is appointed to begin at Edinburgh on the 11th January. It shall be removed to Stirling in case the King and Queen then lie there, as now they intend. I am told that above eight score letters or missives are already sent to noblemen, barons and burgesses to appear at this Convention, which is summoned chiefly to obtain the grant of a taxation for 50,000l. Scots for the furniture of the Queen and "diffray" of her charges at this time. The Church of Scotland have also appointed their General Assembly to be at Edinburgh on 11th January. The late fight betwixt Bothwell and Sir Robert Ker, the resolute purpose of the King to prosecute Bothwell and his friends, and all things touching Bothwell, I leave to the report of Sir Robert Carey and others. It is bruited that Bothwell's houses at Crichton and elsewhere shall be rased. I have been informed that Atholl was warded beyond the water of Earne in gentle manner and amidst his own lands and friends, and that the King had promised Spynie free ward beyond Spey, yet I am now told that, albeit the King had secretly promised Spynie that he should be in safety in Edinburgh (keeping himself quiet there), and that he should have had some other especial favours, yet he gave to the Master of Glamis secret captions to apprehend him, who escaped very narrowly and has now been charged to appear before the King and Council and has made default.

The King (as I have heard) was offended with some words uttered at the Council table by the Chancellor in favour of Bothwell, letting him know with some warm speech that such as should possess his good countenance should plainly set themselves for him against Bothwell and the ministers, and openly follow him and his course. Thus the King's wrath against the ministers is noted to break forth greatly and daily to increase, and it is said that he records in writing all the words of the preachers in pulpit against him or his government.

In conference the other day with the Chancellor, he wished that the league betwixt her Majesty and the King might be renewed, and consummated in all points, and that the King of Scots might be received into league with her Majesty and the Estates in the Low Countries, but thinking this more meet to be imparted to your lordship than entertained by me, I passed it over. [In the margin, in Burghley's hand: "Chancelors speach."]

On my travail with the King for order to restrain all his subjects from entering into England [sic], [In the margin, in Burghley's hand: "It shuld"] to relieve or aid any of the rebels there, "namely," Macguire, O'Donnell and their adherents, the King has addressed his letter in that behalf only to the Earl of Argyll. The matter (as I have heard) has not been esteemed as was pretended to me, but I think that to be done rather in dislike of the person moving than in neglect of the cause moved, so that my service cannot be as fruitful as appertains.

By four or five letters lately brought hither from Spain and Bordeaux it is confidently advertised that an army shall be prepared in Spain for Scotland. I have seen two of the letters, and taken out the clauses touching the expedition of this army by sea for Scotland, copies of which clauses I enclose. I am informed that by other letters (brought with these and secretly kept by the parties to whom they are addressed), it is advertised that the messenger to the King of Spain was sent with especial address given by persons of greatest quality in Scotland, and that thereon not only the army of Spain shall be hastened to the seas, but also that another army shall be provided in the Low Countries for this purpose, and that the army in the Low Countries shall not be amassed or stir before further warning shall be given by the King of Spain. James Craig's letter to his brother, Mr. Thomas Craig, has been showed to the King, who scorns the matter, yet the wise and well affected here are much perplexed with the advertisements given by persons of credit and confirmed by many circumstances. This day Lord Hume has subscribed to the articles of religion; nevertheless, because he is excommunicated by other presbyteries, the cause is stayed here to be considered by others. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. No fly-leaf or address.

(Enclosure with the same). (fn. 4)

(James Craig to Thomas Craig.)

"The clause in the letter of James Craig, at Burdeux, to his brother Mr. Thomas Craig, advocate, at Edenburghe, at Bawrest 4° Decembris 1593."

There is of truth an army in Spain making ready to depart, but methinks they be first bound for Blouet in Britannye, there to abide their second enterprise.

I understand from a credible man who was at the Court of Spain in October last that letters were come out of Scotland to the King, and other particulars, and that within two days thereafter the despatch was sent back by way of Italy and Antwerp.

The "brute" amongst the army in Spain is that they are bound for Scotland, and perhaps some commandment given to them in Flanders to make that voyage. "I wote not what great occasion moves our Lordes in Scotland to desier them, but I doubt nocht who is busiest to have them sall soonest tyere on them." 4 December, 1593.

"Advertisement by an other lettre from Beyon xxiiij° Novemb. 1593."

There came a man whom I supposed a messenger from some evil men both of England and Scotland to the King of Spain, then at the Escorial (Schorialle, called St. Laurence) in the beginning of October, and [he] was despatched again on 22nd October by the way of Italy, by the convoy of some "good" persons, to wit, Colonel Semple, the Duchess of Surrey, Sir Francis Inglefield, and some Jesuit traitors. And I being there two or three days before he got his despatch, they held matters very close from me, whereof I took suspicions of no good to come thereof, neither to our King nor to the Queen of England nor to any that profess God's word. At last, being in conference with Semple for my own business, wherein he has been my small friend he answered me in these terms: "that I sould take na thought of my busines, but it wold go wele; saieng they had matters of greater weight amongst their handes then myne, and that he wold be more helpfull to th'estate of Spaine and the Catholick faithe." Whereof I "collected" that evil men both of England and Scotland "pretend" to make rebellion with the assistance of the King of Spain, as before. Assure yourself, there is a new plot "in layeng" against God and His word. God grant it may come to light before the time of execution.

1 p. Copy. Endorsed by Burghley: "4 Decemb. 1593. James Crayg to his brother Thomas Cray[g], advocat in Edinburgh."

187. Elizabeth to James VI. [Dec. 22.] Printed in Tytler, ix. 124; Letters of Elizabeth and James VI., p 95 n.; summarised in Warrender Papers, ii. LXXII.

It vexes me to see a seduced King, abusing Council and wry guided kingdom. My love for your good breeds my heedful regard of your safety. If I neglected you I could wink at your worst and yet withstand my enemies. But I will not "stick" to tell you that if you tread the path you go in I will pray for you, but leave you to your harm. I doubt whether shame or sorrow have had the upper hand when I read your last lines to me. Who could suppose that your answer should satisfy any one with her four senses, let alone five?

For those of whose actual rebellion you have had so evident proof in the field, whose offers you knew then [i.e. in 1589] so large to foreign princes, and now at last are plainly confessed by the carrier [of the Blanks], because you slacked time till he escaped, therefore, forsooth, no jury can be found for them. May this blind me who knows what a King should do? Abuse not yourself so far. If you show yourself weak, then bold spirits will guide the ship to wreck. There is no Prince alive but if he show fear or yielding he shall have tutors enough, though he be out of minority. When I remember what punishment these lewd traitors should have, then I read again lest at first I m[issed] your mind. But when I read again, "Lord, what wonder grew in me that you should corre[ct] them with benefites, who deserve muche severer correction!" Could you please them more than save their lives and ma[ke] them shun the place where their just deserved haters dwell, and yet enjoy as much their ho[nours] and livelihoods as if for sporting travel they were licensed to visit other countries? Call you this a banishment, to be rid "from whom they feare" and go to such they love ? I smiled to see how childish, foolish and witless an excuse these three made, turning their bills of treason to artificers' reckonings, with item for many expenses, but lacking one, which they best deserved—namely an item for the [hangman's] cord. Is it possible that you can swallow so bitter a drug ? I never heard a more deriding scorn, and vow that, if I were you, they should learn a short lesson. The best that I commend in your letter is that you do not affirm the truth of their speech, but only that "they so say." Howbeit I muse how you can want a law for such obvious traitors, who deny their guilt to save their lives. For who should ever be tried false if his own denial might save his life? For your own sake play the King and let your subjects see you respect yourself and neither hide nor suffer danger and dishonour. That you may know my advice, I have chosen this nobleman, whom I know to be wise, religious and honest, to whom I pray you give full credit.

2 pp. Copy, and endorsed, in the hand of Burghley's clerk: "1593, 22 December. Copie of hir Majestis letter to the K. of Scottes, of hir own hande, by the L. Zouche.

188. James VI. to Lord John Hamilton. [Dec. 23.]

It has pleased God to bless us with appearance of succession, the Queen, being with child, and near the time of her delivery. For this and other weighty affairs, we have made special choice of you, amongst others, not to fail to address yourself towards us here at Holyrood House the 11th day of January next to come, at which time you shall be acquainted with the particulars "motionynge" your coming. Holyroodhouse.

¾ p. Copy. At the head: "Copie of the Kingis letter to the L. John Hamilton to be at the Convention to be holden the xjth of January 1593, at Edenbr."

189. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Dec. 26.]

Yesterday I received your letter of the 18th, and thank God for the recovery of your health. I have acquainted the King with her Majesty's purpose to send hither a nobleman, to be here on 1st January or some few days after. Because of the late receipt of the King's letter and the present season of the year, I have prayed that a short delay may be well accepted. The King let me know that he required her Majesty's answer and advice before 1st January, to the intent he might proceed the more effectually with the northern Earls, bound to give their resolute answers to the act of Abolition before or on that day; but hearing that they are not as yet minded to accept the benefits of the act, and purposing not only to take further order for the Earls with the advice of the Convention, but also to remove to-morrow with the Queen to Stirling and to come hither again to the Convention on 11th January, therefore he wished that the nobleman might so dispone his journey to be at Edinburgh at the beginning, or soon after the assembly of this Convention. Order is given to put his safe conduct in readiness and it will be perfected and sent to Berwick soon after I know the name of the person to be sent.

On my information to the King, first, that young Cessford had not as yet delivered William Ellot to Sir John Forster at Alnwick for the bill of Tynedale, and, secondly, that Sir John Selby complained that the Warden of the East Marches of Scotland or his deputy has not for a long time kept meeting with him, he ordered again that young Cessford shall within eight days deliver William Ellot, or Cessford himself or a gentleman whom he shall make worth the bill, to Sir John Forster. I have given notice hereof to Sir John Forster. The King has written earnestly to Alexander Hume of Huton Hall, deputy Warden of the East March, to keep his meeting duly and give redress to Sir John Selby. I have sent this letter to Sir John Selby.

Sir George Hume, cited to appear before the ministers for intercommuning with Huntly or other Earls excommunicated, denied having spoken with any of them except once with Huntly at Lord Livingston's house, and before the sentence of excommunication. For the proof of his allegations and upon view of his good behaviour he has further day given till 1st January next. He not only offered to solicit the King and to do good offices for the Kirk, but also wishes them (the Kirk) to send to the King some discreet persons to move him in articles meet to be proponed to him. According to this advice Mr. David Lindsay and two of the King's ministers were sent to the King, letting him understand that his people generally were greatly stirred by three things: first, his inordinate favour to Papists and to the excommunicated Earls; secondly, that by letters from Spain and Bordeaux it is plainly advertised that Scottish messengers have been sent to the King of Spain, and that two armies are in preparation for Scotland; thirdly, that Patrick Murray, one of the King's Chamber, and other of the King's servants so frequently and openly accompany Huntly and the rest that they are deemed to be sent to them with the King's privity and allowance. To these (as I hear) the King answered in effect that, first, he expected these Earls should have been won by his favourable dealings with them. Now he better espies their meaning; and seems determined that if they shall not willingly at the time appointed accept the act of Abolition and conditions therein, then the act and proclamation made in their favour shall be repealed, and more "straite" order be taken with them by the next Convention. Secondly, he has been likewise informed that the Jesuits of Scotland still practise with Spain to draw foreign forces into this realm. But he does not understand that the Earls have dealt further with Spain since the discovery of their Blanks. Thirdly, Patrick Murray has always haunted their company and depended on Huntly; and Drummond and other of his servants seen with Huntly might have particular business of their own with him. Yet in the end he seemed to assent to some reformation, with better mind than has lately appeared, and that, with the advice of the next Convention, he would provide that order should be taken for the Earls, and the prevention of the danger by Spanish forces and practices, and also that by the advice of wise and discreet persons he would seek this reformation and establish his government. The ministers have been comforted herewith and attend for the wished success of these things.

I am informed that Lord Hume, the Master of Glamis, Linclouden, Sir George Hume and other courtiers of that side have earnestly persuaded and prevailed to draw the Queen to Stirling, trusting there to be in great surety against Bothwell and to obtain the rather the Queen's favour. The Chancellor, Sir Robert Melvill and others have stood much against this removal to Stirling, which shall be entered into to-morrow. The Queen shows herself indifferent to remaining here or removing to Stirling at the King's pleasure, "and that she may be free from all future interpryses to be attempted hereafter here or at Sterlinge."

Argyll has written very sharply (as I hear) to Mar, letting him know that his great favour showed towards Huntly is done to deliver Huntly from all punishment or hurt for Murray's slaughter. If the King and Mar shall not prosecute this slaughter, then Argyll protests that he with his whole power will do it against Huntly and that for the same he will join with Bothwell, trusting that the Queen of England will not abandon him. Mar has promised to write to Argyll to stay all men under his rule, that they shall not enter into Ireland. The Laird of Wemyss, near kinsman of and in especial opinion with Argyll, has undertaken to travail with the Earl and also Maconnell and McLean for the stay of their people from Ireland and from aiding or relieving any of her Majesty's rebels. That your lordship may see the order taken for the raid intended against the Laird of Johnstone for the slaughter of Lord Maxwell, I enclose a copy of the proclamation for the same. (fn. 5) Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. No fly-leaf or address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

190. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [Dec. 28.]

According to your letter of the 21st instant I have sent to Mr. John Carey the King's safe-conduct for Lord Zouche. I have informed Zouche that the King and Queen departed towards Stirling yesterday, and that the King wishes to find him here at his return on 10th or 11th January next. The advertisement of the repair hither of this nobleman has wrought outwardly some show of alteration of the course held in this Court in favour of the Papists and northern Earls, who, I hear, are threatened to be severely dealt with in case they shall refuse to accept the act of Abolition. But I am quietly informed that Angus and Huntly have framed assurances of all their inheritances to be conveyed to their eldest sons, and that the King's signature is ready written for confirmation of the same: further, that because Erroll has only daughters as yet and his wife is with child, therefore he "expectethe" his wife's delivery, purposing likewise to convey his lands to that child, if it shall be a son.

Huntly and Errol have tarried three or four days in Aberdeen, openly vaunting of the favour they looked for in England by Mr. Archibald Douglas's means. The commission for the lieutenancy against Mackintosh has been published there, and it is reported that Huntly, appointing the Laird of Pitlurg to be lieutenant for him, has inserted his name to fill up the blank in that letter of commission; from whose authority the Earl Marishal has obtained exemption, and Lord Forbes and many gentlemen seek the like. It is given out that Huntly and Errol have come to Logiealmond (Loggye Amontt), Erroll's house, that Angus will be with them this day, and that they all three trust to have access to the King's presence at Stirling on the 30th instant. Mackintosh and McLean have knit themselves together in band and have spoiled all Huntly's tenants and people in Lochaber, into which were brought and kept all the "pryses and driftes" of cattle which Huntly or his followers had before reft from Murray, Mackintosh and other adversaries. All these goods are now rescued and taken with other cattle, horse, mares and sheep, esteemed to exceed 40,000. MacEndowy (Mackendowye) and the rest of Huntly's dependers beheld the matter and durst not encounter the enterprisers. Hume is licensed to be absent from the Court for some days, and to return on 7th January. It is looked that reconciliation shall be made betwixt Bothwell and Hume, unless the northern Earls furnish him shortly with 5000 crowns for maintenance of the King's guard. Spynie shall be put to the horn with all speed, and his livings shall be disposed. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

191. Part of a Letter from [Burghley] to Robert Bowes. [Dec. 30.]

"Part of a letter to Mr. Bowes to be imparted to the L. Chancellour of Scotland if he shall see cawse."

I think him to be the wisest and most upright counsellor to the King and in most credit with him for matter of estate, and therefore in duty bound to have respect to the King's government at this time, that he be not sinisterly persuaded to his ruin; for if he inclines to an alteration it is to change the state of religion, or to make a neutrality therein, or to strengthen the Spanish faction upon hope to feed his necessity with money out of Spain, or to have access of strange forces into his realm therewith to invade England, with pretext of advancing his title.

As to the first, I think his own conscience better persuaded than either to alter or grant neutrality of religion. Neither do I think that he can have any such pretext to change his religion as the French King has, considering that the contrary party to him be but secret murmurers who may be suppressed with a word of his mouth. For the second purpose, I think it very dangerous for the greediness of a sum of money (of which, when it shall come, he shall have the smallest part) to arm his rebellious subjects to live without law and continue their horrible murderings of good subjects. As for the last, which is of most moment for a Scottishman, there is more difficulty in coming to any good order than can be shortly expressed in words. But, in brief, these things are to be considered by the Chancellor and any other wise man of that realm. First, it is to be held for a ground infallible that Almighty God appoints kings and princes, and having by lawful means established the Queen's majesty, and now above thirty-five years preserved her in her estate against the mightiest enemies abroad, and most pernicious traitors at home, no Christian man, observing God's providence herein, can think that the hand of God will wax short for her defence during her life; neither can anything be attempted against her but by mere injustice, and so punishable by God's avenging hand. Besides, this is to be considered, that the realm having lived so long in peace will in no sort suffer acute war to be brought into it, but even for the benefit of peace, without other respect, will mightily withstand any invasion of strangers. Thirdly, all kinds of people of this realm are sufficiently warranted by law to disavow the title of any person whatsoever who shall during her Majesty's life attempt to impeach her of her present estate; and if any such attempt should be made, there are sundry competitors in title who will take advantage thereof for their particular; and this I doubt not but the Lord Chancellor must allow, and will prosecute the same with his good advice.

Many other reasons might be alleged to this purpose, and therefore to conclude, I wish that we all in both the realms submit ourselves to God's ordinance, for Non est consilium contra Dominum. I leave all these my cogitations suddenly delivered into writing without any meditation to be used as you shall see time convenient.

The cause that moves me to make mention hereof is that I suspect every one of the above three doubts. For in Scotland itself I am sure you perceive the difference betwixt the King and the ministry to their discredit. For the second, I am well assured what promises are made to "attempt" the King with money to alter his government. For bringing in of strange forces to invade England, I am very certain what the Scottish Jesuits and seminaries both in Spain and the Low Countries promise, though I think the King of Spain's "declination" to his latter end shall frustrate much thereof.

pp. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "30 Dec. 1593. Part of my lord's letter to Mr. Bowes to be imparted to the Lord Chancellour of Scotland if he shall see cawse."

192. Genealogical Memoranda by Burghley. 1593.

Pedigree showing alliances of the family of Hamilton, Dukes of Chatelherault. Notes relating to Scottish noblemen. Pedigrees of Lords Seton, Livingston and Glamis. List of public offices and the King of Scots' Household. Pedigrees of the Duke of Lennox, Earls of Montrose and Murray, etc. Notes referring to the Earls of Huntly, Morton, Errol, Glencairn, Mar and Rothes and others.

3 pp. Written and endorsed by Burghley: "1593. Scotland. Pedigrees."

193. Genealogical Memoranda by Burghley. [1593.]

A pedigree showing the relationship of the Earls of Mar, Rothes and Errol, the Master of Glamis and Lord Hume. Genealogical notes by Burghley of the families of the Earls of Gowrie, Marishal and Angus.

1 p. In Burghley's hand. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

194. Genealogical Memoranda by Burghley. [1593.]

Memoranda relating to the families of the Lairds of Buccleuch, Cessford and Bedroule. A short pedigree of the Collingwood family. A pedigree of Sir John Forster's family showing its alliances.

1 p. In Burghley's hand. Endorsed by Burghley.

195. Genealogical Memoranda by Burghley.

Memoranda relating to the Lairds of Spynie and to the Earl of Murray, slain by Huntly.

½ p. In Burghley's hand.

196. Genealogical Memoranda by Burghley. [1593.]

Memoranda of alliances between the families of Angus, Hamilton, Mar, Glamis.

1 p. Partly in Burghley's hand. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "Earl of Angus alliance in Scotland."

197. Notes by Burghley. [1593.]

Genealogical memoranda and descents of the Kings of the Isle of Man and Norway, and genealogical table of the Kings of Scotland.

3 pp. In Burghley's hand. Endorsed by Burghley: "Genealog. regum Scotiae."

198. Western Isles of Scotland. [1593.]

"The West Ilis of Scotland ar dividit in foure partes, every part haveing in it a princepall Ile with a number of smaller Ilis about the same. Twa lyis northward, the Lewes and Sky, and twa southward, Ilay and Mull.

"Lewes hes joyned with it be a small gripp of twa or thre pair buttes length the Harreich. Lewes is xxxij myles of length, and Harrich viij myles. Lewes perteynes to McCloyd of the Lewes, wha being an ould man, famous for the massacring of his awen kinsemen, his bastard sonne, called Torquill Oig, usurpes now the rowme. This ile will make vijc men to the weirs, besydes them which occupyes the ground, which neyther in that nor na other of the iles ar charged to the weirs, but suffers to remayne at hame for labouring of the ground. The uther part of this ile, called Harreich, perteynes to McCloyd of Herreich, wha is presentlye a chylde and hes sundrye other landes. On this land of Harreich he will rayse vijxx men able for the weirs."

"Ewist is ane yle of xl myles of length, but of small breadth: the north part therof perteynes to the Clandonalld, in the north, to whom Donald Gormson is chiftain, wha will rayse on their part iijc men: the south part [pertains] to the Clanrannall, wha will rayse theron iijc men.

"Barra perteines to McNeill of Barrey, wha may rayse theron and some litle iles adjacent ijc able men.

"Rona, perteining to McCloyd of the Lewes, lx men.

"Pabba, perteining to McCloyd of Harreich, xl men.

"Helsker, parteining to Murray Ycolmkyll, xx men.

"Colsman, not inhabited.

"Irt or Hirtha [St. Kilda] perteines to McCloyd of Harreich. The inhabitantes, rude and simple, sendes na men to the weirs.

"Skye is ane large ile of xl myles of length, and alse mekle of breadth, perteineth of auld to the Lordis of the Yles, whais bastard posteritye now brookes sundrye partes, and uther partes ar possest by diverse inferiour clanes. Troutyrnes and Slait possest be Donald Gormeson. Troutirnes will rayse vc men, and Slait vijc men. Strathoradell, perteining to McKynnoun, wyll rays viijxx men. Watternes, perteyning to McCloyd of the Lewes, wheron he will rayse ijc men. Durenes, Pracadaill and Meynes [Minginish], perteining to McCloyd of Harrich, wheron he will rayse vc men.

"Raarsay, possest be McGillicallum of Raarsaye of the Cl[a]nlewyd [Clan Leod] of the Lewes, will rayse lxxx men.

"Eg, perteining to the Clanrannald, will rayse lx men.

"Romb [Rum], possest be the Clanrannald, will rayse x men.

"Canna, possest be the Clanrannald, will rayse xx men.

"Ellan a Muk, possest be McAne of Ardnamurchan, will rayse xvj men.

"Scalpa, perteining to McClaine of Dowart, will rayse xx men."

Mull is 24 miles in length, in some parts 16 miles broad, in some parts but 12 miles, and will "rayse to the wears" 900 men.

Lismoir, pertaining to the Earl of Argyll and Glenurquhy, will raise 200 men. The two "Hwnais," pertaining to McCowll of Lorne and John Stewart of the Appin, will raise 60 men.

Ullowaye [Ulva] pertains to McCowlei, and will raise 60 men.

Comantra [Gometra] pertains to McLean of Dowart, and will raise 20 men.

Inchenyt [Inchkenneth], pertaining to McLean of Dowart, will raise 20 men.

Ycolmekill is the seat of the Bishop of the Isles and the burial place of the old Kings of Scotland.

Coll (Coill), pertaining to the Laird of Coill, of the Clan Lean (Clan Lane), will raise 140 men.

Tiree (Tierhie), very fertile, will raise 300 men.

Islay (Ilaye) is 24 miles long and 20 miles broad: one half possessed by McLean of Dowart, and the other by Angus MacConnell. The great massacre and bloodshed that have been betwixt them was for the profit and "comandement" of this isle: the whole isle will raise 800 men.

Jura, 24 miles long, narrow, and for the most part wilderness, is possessed equally by Clan Donald and Clan Lean, and will raise 100 men.

Colonsay (Collonza) and Oronsay (Orronza) are both in effect but one isle, possessed by one called MacFie (McCafie), depender upon the Clan Donald, and will raise 100 men.

Seill pertains to the Earl of Argyll, and will raise 120 men.

Loing, possessed by M'Lean of Dowart, "of th'erle of Argyll," will raise 20 men.

Scarbra (Scarba) pertains to M'Lean of Lochbwye and will raise 20 men.

Gigha (Geygha), possessed by the Clan Donald, will raise 100 men.

Rathlin (Rauchlin), on the coast of Ireland, possessed by the Clan Donald, although pertaining heritably to the Laird of Barskymmon, in Kyle.

Arran and Bute are not numbered amongst the other isles above written, but lie in the Firth of Clyde towards Kintyre and Argyle, on the south side thereof.

"Thir iles, gif they wir on ane end," are esteemed to be "xiiijxx a xij" miles in length. It is "halden" that they may raise, if they were all under one "commandement," 6000 men for war, besides the "laboures of the ground theirof ijm with actons [?], habershonis and knapstalles"; the remnant bowmen, and many of them now become harquebussiers. Besides the inhabitants of the isles, there are many in Scotland who speak the Irish tongue, as namely, the braes of Caithness and Sutherland, "haill Strathnaver, the bray and north cost of Roslovet, Glengarry, Knoydert and Moydert, Petty Brachley, Stratherne, Badzenoch and Lochquhaber, the bray of Murray, Strathspay, Straithowin [Strathaven], the brayes of Mar, Atholl, Braidalbane, Buchquhidder, Menteith and the Lennox."

"Thir dependes" upon the Earl of Argyll divers in Bredalbane, Menteith and the Lennox, besides Cowall, Argyle Knapdaill and Lorne; and, besides, sundry friends and tenants in the lowlands. Kintyre, although for the most part the King's proper land by the "forfalter" of the Lords of the Isles, who were also Earls of Ross, yet is presently possessed by Angus MacConnell and others, the Clan Donald of the south. His principal bounds are Kintyre on the mainland, Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Gigha. His principal dependers in his wars against M'Lean were those of the Clan Donald in the south, Donald Gormson and his Clan Donald in the north, the Clan Ranald and MacIan (McIane) of Ardnamurchy. The principal bounds of M'Lean are the Isles of Mull, Coll and Tiree, and in the mainland Morvern and some parts in Lochquhair. His principal dependers in his wars against MacConnell were they of the Clan Lean, MacLeod of Harris, Mackinnon of Strathswordale (Strathoradell), MacNeill of Barra (Barrey). Their concords and discords are difficult and almost impossible to declare, for, since their reconciliation after the barbarous wars, the tutor of Harris has joined with Donald Gormson, and, as some say, also Torquill, "usurpit of the Lewes."

In Strathnaver and the braes of Caithness and Sutherland Mackay (Makky) has dominion. Torquil, the eldest son of MacLeod of the Lewes, poor, "unable" and oppressed by his bastard brother, the usurper, remains in Coigach (Coigheauch) on the mainland.

Then, MacKenzie occupies Kintail, Lochbroom, and in effect the "haill" north part of Ross and the brae of the south part thereof, and all Ardmanach to Cromarty. "The Lovet possesses the Lord Lovit Fraser, and be north him lyes the boundis of Knoydert, Moydert and Glengarry," pertaining to the Clan Ranald, "which rekkins themselves" of the Clan Donald and are friends and "assisters" to them. Glengarry has assisted the Earl of Huntly against Mackintosh, and so has Allan MacCoull Dhu (Allen McCoull dwy), chieftain of the Clan Cameron (Chamroun) in Lochaber (Lochquhaber) and Allaster MacRanald, chieftain of another branch there.

The Clan Chattan (Quhattane), whereof Mackintosh is chieftain, dwells in Badzenoch, the Earl of Huntly's land, and about Inverness in Petty Brachley, Stratherne and Strathnairn, the Earl of Murray's land.

The Laird of Grant occupies Strathspey, Strathowin, Urquhart, Glenmornestoun.

The Earl of Atholl occupies Atholl, Stratherdill, G[l]enshe, Apnadaill and Strathtay; the Laird of Glenurquhy, Lawers, Glenlyon and others, the Earl of Argyll's friends, occupy Breadalbane, Glenlyon, Glendochert, Glenfallach and others within Perthshire. The Clan Gregors, dependers on the Earl of Argyll, "dwelles on the maist part of all menis land betwix Dunbartan and Dunkeld." The MacFarlanes, Buchanans, MacAulays, Colquhouns, Galbraiths and others [dwell] within the Lennox, under the Duke thereof, "althoughe devyded amanges them selfes."

pp. In a Scottish hand. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "The note of the Weste Isles of Scotland. For the L. Threasurer."

199. Notes Concerning Scotland, by Burghley. 1593. Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 38. Transcript in Harl MS. 4648, p. 88.

"Georg Car first confession. (fn. 6) Erle Bothwell published his apology ageynst his calumniators. Georg Carr renewed his former confession in chargyng the three Erles with treson. The laird of Fennetry did affyrme G. Carr's confession. Fentry was execute. The Erle of Anguss escaped out of Edenburgh Castell. The King was in his jornay northward. The Lord Burgh cam to Edenburgh. 1592. [Ju]lii. A generall band by sondry noblemen at Aberden with the [Council] (fn. 7) ageynst the King's counsellours. 1592. 25 Aprill. The ministers gave ordre that n[o] speches shuld be used agaynst the King or his . . . (fn. 7) Ambassador of Denmark with the King of Scottes. Julii. A Parlement in Scotland at Edenburgh. Sir Robert Melvyn. 23 Julii 1593. Erle Bothwell was secretly brought to the [King's Chamber and] (fn. 7) ther asked forgyvenes. Lord Hume cam into England out of the Low Contreys. 1592. The King receaved the Queen's letters and promised to expell all Papistes known. Hath committed Fentry. Parlement at Edenburgh. Erle Bothwell forfeated."

3 pp. In Burghley's hand.

200. [Sir Richard Cockburn] to Lord Thirlstane. Add. MSS. 23,241, fol. 46.

I was minded to have written some purpose I heard in conference yesterday with the English ambassador with all other occurents here, in answer to your letter received yestreen, when one came to me this morning three hours before his Majesty rode out to hunting, with direction to desire you to be at Holyroodhouse tomorrow by ten o'clock, and injunction that I should make none privy to your coming. What has given occasion of this unexpected sending for you I know not, only conjecturing that Carmichael's return late yestreen from Clydesdale, where his chief errand was "to try forder of the advertisement he receaved and made to his Majestie," has moved all this haste. It may be some matter of importance on which his Majesty would have your advice; which, I doubt not, he looks shall move you to come; and, if necessity require [you] not, you may be licensed to return back at night. If Carmichael had not accompanied his Majesty to the hunting, I would have gone down and learned more particularly what he knew in this matter, which I shall be curious to have before your coming tomorrow. Edinburgh, "this Tivisday" (fn. 8) 1593.

½ p. No signature. Holograph in the hand of Richard Cockburn. Addressed.


  • 1. Originally written "the Q" (Queen), and apparently altered to "the k." or, more improbably, "these."
  • 2. Printed in Letters of Elizabeth and James VI., No. LIII.
  • 3. boasted: threatened.
  • 4. The enclosure has become detached and is bound in this volume as number 70 and 71.
  • 5. A wanting.
  • 6. Dates in margin decayed.
  • 7. Decayed.
  • 8. Blank. Perhaps 1593–4, during visit of Zouche.