Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 11, 1593-1595. Originally published by Edinburgh, 1936.
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James VI, March 1594
223. Sir Robert Cecil to Lord Zouche. [March 4.] Vol. lii. p. 39.
Since your letter of 13th February there are not any come either from you or Mr. Bowes but only one short letter of the Queen's delivery. You promised forthwith advertisement of the cause then in hand, therefore I have forborne to write, and now inform you of such letters as I have received from you, the rather because I doubt much that some of yours are intercepted since that time, being nineteen days. I have received from Mr. Locke a letter of the 22nd from Kelso, the contents whereof you may guess by the answer, which I enclose, whereby you may perceive in how wrong a course they are, and how far wide from what has been expected. It appeared by your letter that the King faithfully promised you performance within twelve days of that which should give absolute satisfaction that now he was more in earnest, thus implying that he has not been so all this while. Inasmuch as he promised that you should know the secret that had kept him all this while from such courses as have been required, you will satisfy her Majesty very much by knowing that from him and by urging the performance promised. Wherein if your lordship shall find him use delay, you shall let him know that the Queen much doubts that these strange and unexpected courses have [worked] and will work a great "scruple" in the hearts of his best subjects, who, doubting what his favour towards the other side may work to their perdition, may haply break out into some such courses as may endanger the peace of the land and may work a great alienation in the hearts of his subjects, wherein consist the strength and surety of princes. If the King would open his eyes to all these considerations and to the palpable practices with foreign enemies, her Majesty thinks that he might make great use of the particular enmities between the several factions, wherein he can show no greater wisdom than by helping and countenancing the good and sound party against the other to make the one the instrument of the other's correction, and, if he does not do this, of necessity imminent danger must follow to the King and confusion to his estate. Hereof her Majesty requires you to inform the King and to let him know that although she will never comfort nor allow of any violent courses which may any way tend to the dishonour or peril of the King, notwithstanding any slanderers or false intelligencers who are apt to calumniate her proceedings, yet such is her interest in the peace of that land, to which she is so near a neighbour, and so great cause has she to suspect the consequence of introducing foreign forces, which she must necessarily expect if that party be not punished and suppressed, that she will be forced hereafter by the complaints of the professors of the religion, oppressed by so unnatural subjects who have vowed the overthrow of God's cause and thralled themselves to the common enemy, to help them in such courses as shall necessarily tend to the preservation of the amity and the preventing of any foreign practices with the common enemies, who intend nothing so much as the invading of her kingdom by getting foot and interest in that kingdom, as plainly appears by all their courses, as the Queen particularly knows both out of Spain and the Low Countries. Hampton Court.
2¼ pp. Copy in the hand of Burghley's clerk. At the head: "A copie of my master's letter to the Lo. Zouche uppon the receipt of Mr. Locks letter of the 22th of February."
224. Sir Robert Cecil to Mr. Henry Lock. (fn. 1) [March 4.] Vol. lii. p. 42.
I have received your letter of 22nd February from Kelso (Kelsaye), whereby I am glad [to hear] that my letters of the 13th and 14th ult. have rectified some courses which by misunderstandings were very like to have been misguided. I should have been very sorry if her Majesty had been made or suspected to be the author of any action dangerous to the King's person in show or in effect. You know that her Majesty has ever advised those honourable personages never to undertake anything which might render their actions suspicious to the eye of the world of neglecting their duty to the King's estate or hazarding the person or honour of their sovereign; and therefore, to omit former proceedings in this affair, I will draw myself to the point of your letter of the 22nd. That you may see what parts of your letter now are to be answered, I will revive to your memory the chief points in the same, which I do the rather that I think neither your leisure nor commodity serve you to take or keep about you copies of all your writings, neither do I think you are of so small judgment as to carry any one paper about you that may be subject to the least misconstruction, considering your dangerous journeys and the many devices to forestall you, of which I wish you to take good caution.
You speak of an assembly intended on the 15th of this month at Kelso (Kelsaye) and so onward to Dalkeith on the 17th, and from thence to Edinburgh, there to publish a proclamation of the causes of their moving. Seeing that this beginning implies only a revenge against Hume, Cessford and others, and seeing that at Edinburgh some just and necessary cause of their action shall be afterwards proclaimed, tending only to the suppressing of the Popish partisans with Spain, I confess that it does not vary with my conception of the scope and end of all their former propositions; for the clearing whereof I would you had sent some draft of the words of their proposed proclamation. But to follow you further, I find you lead the journey directly to the King at Stirling, where you speak not only of entering the town, but the very castle, and not there to stay, but to besiege the same, and, "which is most of all," you use these words, "if he should flye, goe where he wyll, wee wyll followe hym." This gradation, being absolutely different from her Majesty's expectation, makes her not a little careful to prevent any so dishonourable, unjustifiable and barbarous a violence of subjects to a King, especially in this time and place where the Queen and her young child remain. Therefore, whatever you do, persuade those parties to be well advised concerning violating their duty by any such enterprise, and to employ themselves against the Earls and their favourers who are away from the Court or presence of the King, and who under colour of an extraordinary singularity of duty to the King project the ruin of him, his kingdom, and of God's cause, which he is bound to maintain.
Her Majesty has received from the King many promises in generalities of better courses. Wherefore, though former experience has taught her not to be over-credulous, yet if any such "roundnesse" in his actions may appear, it were no wisdom to mar a good work by ill handling or to blemish loyal minds with so external violent action, which will be scandalous to the whole world. If those Earls were once tried or convicted, the rest of that faction would fall by little and little to the ground; and had their action displayed itself against them only without any affront to the King's person, as I see now it is intended, then her Majesty would have avowed the strengthening of their enterprise when directed only against a pack of dangerous, traitorous and unnatural subjects.
It is well that Atholl and divers other lords concur in the defence to suppress those bad instruments, but it is wondered that no more of the great and principal noblemen engage themselves in the cause, for thereby may be suspected that, though these be men of action and gallant spirits, yet will their means rather serve to maintain some sudden, violent surprise than to prevail against resistance or to hold out without some devices for possessing the King's person. If this were done, and if her Majesty should any way further or assist them, it will be thought probable that she has been a contriver or aider. Accordingly you shall certify them that she will not hazard her honour for the world, but thinks, and ever thought, that they would have framed their actions in other sort. If they aim only at the weakening of the rebellious adherents to Spain, it shall quickly appear how dear their estates shall be to her; and to that end she has and will let the King know her mind by her ambassadors fully. It may be answered that it is not the first like attempt in Scotland. But it is not examples that make things lawful; but it is the rule of honourable respects between kings, and the absolute duties of subjects to sovereigns, which are inviolable and which would cry shame on all such courses, when so many ways are open with less danger. Any prince may be an assistant as long as subjects' quarrels one against another are in question, and not private actions against monarchs, which no time, cause or any state may tolerate or endure. Whensoever they shall publish anything, it should be such that all princes may behold their sincerity, and that their actions accord with reverent regard to their anointed prince; and in this action will the Queen countenance them and will have her Borders ready to defend any violence offered in their absence, for which purpose she also writes to her Wardens to be in readiness. Hampton Court.
4¼ pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of my master's letter to Mr. Lock in answere of his of the xxijth of Februarye." Correction by Cecil.
225. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [March 5.]
Forasmuch as Lord Zouche has now addressed Mr. William Foulkes to your lordship with advertisement as well of his negotiations (which he has performed with such wisdom and courage that thereby the service is highly advanced, himself much honoured, and the well affected here generally comforted) as also of the estate and occurrences in this realm, and forasmuch as Zouche's report is so full and sufficient that my repetition will rather darken than enlarge the same, therefore I trust that my abstinence in writing of these things may be favourably accepted.
Because the miseries and ruins in my body, mind and estate daily grow to such extremities that her Majesty's service shall be endangered and myself hastily perish, therefore I have again sent the bearer, Christopher Sheaperson, to make humble petition for timely compassion on me. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2/3 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
226. Occurrences in Scotland. [March 5.]
"Advertisementis geven by sondry persons of th'occurrentis in Scotland." The Earls of Angus, Huntly and Erroll, under pretence "to take up" the feuds in the country, convened their friends by their letters on 13th February last at Aberdeen, where they deliberated whether they should enter into ward, what submission they should make to the Church, and what answers to the King. Wherein they concluded that they will not enter into the castles and wards appointed. They will not suddenly alter their religion, and they sent to sue to the King to change the places of their wards, naming particular houses of their friends to be assigned for their several imprisonments. After this convention Angus and Erroll came to Dunblane, three miles from Stirling, where Angus was lodged in the house of Sir William Blackwood (Blacote), an excommunicated priest, and Erroll with Sir James Chisholme, where Lord Livingston came to him from the Court at Stirling and tarried with him on Saturday and Sunday, the 23rd and 24th of February. The King affirmed that they did not come within 60 miles of that place, but others have assured that they were there quietly.
The King, "by meanes," moved Angus and the rest to enter into the wards assigned, offering to Angus for his assurance the promise of the King and the Earl of Mar, Keeper of Edinburgh Castle, where he should have been warded, and the like offers were made to Huntly, Erroll and Auchindoun. But they all refused, alleging that by any change of Court by Bothwell or otherwise they should be in danger by their ward. Huntly by his letter to the King has declared that he could not with safety enter at any time into St. Andrews, the place prescribed for his ward, praying the King to continue his favour towards him, or at least to leave him to provide for himself. The charges to enter into ward were not delivered to the officers before the 14th of February, notwithstanding that the King on the 11th had affirmed that they were then sent forth to be executed. The officers have not yet returned, and could not make any personal execution "of the bodyes of the offendouris," who nevertheless still remain at their own houses.
Order is given by the Council to Mr. John Skene (Skeyn), one of the King's Advocates, to draw the libel and summons against the Earls and Auchindoun for their trial by Parliament beginning 22nd April. The old Advocate has delivered the old libel and summons, wherein no matter of treason was objected against the parties summoned to the last Parliament, and the old Advocate refused to travail in the draft and forming of the new libel; and the full time to be given by the laws to the parties has nearly expired, so that, except very speedy order be taken, the offenders cannot be tried by the next Parliament.
The Council moved the King to give Bothwell such conditions as should allow him to depart beyond the seas, and the Earl of Mar has employed a special gentleman to persuade him to accept the King's conditions, by which Bothwell should be restored to all his possessions and his friends shall be acquitted, and, at her Majesty's request, he shall be called into this realm after some convenient abode in foreign places. Albeit fair assurances are offered, yet Bothwell and his friends distrust the same, and now it is bruited in Fife and other places that Bothwell and the ministers here, with the help of England, will take and detain the King against his will. This bruit is raised by advertisement sent out of England, and is suspected to be increased by some councillors here. The composition to have been made with Sir George Hume by means of Mr. Richard Douglas, and for the Laird of Spott for the lands of Spott, is broken up in regard that it was espied that Spott should have been drawn to a "tryste," and there taken or slain.
Lord Hume has conferred with the Laird of Johnstone in Edinburgh and in the fields thereabouts, whereby Johnstone was in hope either to have obtained some favour and "oversight" in Court, or else to have been "partyed" by Hume. But it is found that this presence of goodwill towards Johnstone was devised to draw him from Bothwell, that thereby Bothwell might have been put out to his ruin.
David Hay, called to answer for the transportation of Mr. James Gordon, Jesuit [and others mentioned in No. 220], still absents himself, yet he justifies his fact by warrant given by the King and delivered by the hands of the Secretary. This warrant is dated above one year past, but it is thought that it was ante-dated "of purpose evident," and the warrant is delivered to Robert Hay of Kirkcaldy to be showed to the Council for the discharge of David Hay, in whose favour the Earls Marischal and Erroll have severally written to councillors. Angus, now returned to Douglas, has brought and keeps there with him two Jesuits, whose names and qualities are not yet known. It is thought that Mr. Cuthbert [Gilbert] Brown, the Abbot of New Abbey, is one of these, and that the other is an Englishman of credit amongst the Earls.
12/3 pp. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. In the margin: "At Edenbrugh vto Martii 1593." Endorsed.
227. Proclamation against Bothwell and those who assisted him in the Raids. [March 9.] Inventoried in Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, ii. p. 256.
The King's Majesty and Lords of Secret Council hearing sundry rumours of some new insurrection to be made by Francis, sometime Earl Bothwell, and certain other declared traitors and conspirators, to the "inquietation" of his Highness's person and estate and troubling of the common quietness of his realm and lieges, therefore, and for certain other causes and considerations, his Highness ordains a messenger or other officer of arms to pass to the market cross of the burgh of Edinburgh and there by open proclamation charge all and sundry the lieges who took part or were in company with the said "declarit" traitors at their coming against his Majesty at Holyroodhouse in the month of December 1591, thereafter at Falkland in June 1592, and, last, in the month of July last at the same Abbey, to remove themselves from the said burgh within twenty-four hours and not to resort again within ten miles thereof or of the King's residence without special licence, under pain of death; with charge to the Provost and bailies to apprehend all contraveners hereof and to commit them to ward until punishment. Linlithgow.
1 p. Broadsheet. Copy. Endorsed: "Coppie of the proclamation against those that assisted Erle Bothwell in his three severall rodes."
228. Sir Robert Cecil to Lord Zouche. [1594 March 12.] Vol. lii. p. 46.
I am sorry that by my bad delivery of her Majesty's princely directions your zeal for her service has carried you further than even I know she had intention, or, to my simple understanding, any letter of mine has given you warrant. Therefore, seeing your lordship alleges one clause of my letter of 23rd January, you will pardon me if I move you rightly to consider that the words were spoken with a condition annexed, which was that the parties should be certified hither to be sound and able to go through, should never presume to offer any dishonour to the King's person, and that nothing at all should be attempted until you had received full answer from the King what to trust to. You know you were directed to deal publicly and openly with the King and in the meantime to hear and comfort the party of the religion, to assure them all honourable help in all justifiable actions, but never to go so far as to engage the Queen by gift or loan of any one penny or farthing to stir them or incite them to any action against their King. Now, my lord, if before you have ever heard from hence that the party was allowed and held sufficient to enter into any honourable action, if before the King had fully answered you, you entered so far as it now appears you have done, then whatsoever was beyond this was beyond her Majesty's directions. For a greater proof that your zeal has carried you too hastily remember that your own letter of 5th February renewed the motion for lending some money, which you said you would do but upon pawns, and therein desired to have warrant to perform that in deed which before you had in some sort promised. If you observe the Queen's answer of 13th February you shall find whether any such thing were allowed. Seeing, therefore, you had not done it when you wrote your letter, but depended upon answer, if you did it before the answer came you did it without commission; if after the Queen's letters came, it was contrary to commission, and therefore if you had any way made promise of any money to be lent them, yet, seeing you found her Majesty rejected it, you had done better to have excused yourself than "to breake the rule of that which her Majestie is bound to with the King where you are ambassador." I am now to signify her Majesty's further pleasure, growing from the substance of your own letters from Edinburgh on the 4th instant and which I received on the 10th, not having received any one from your lordship or Mr. Bowes since those of the 13th, except one short one making mention of the Queen's delivery. Your poor friends were in pain of imagining whether any disaster had befallen you, but the silence is found to have been only occasioned by your following the King to Stirling and the lateness of finishing your instructions.
Whatsoever your lordship has now sent by Mr. Foulkes the Queen has perused, and allowed well of your manner of dealing with the King and his Council in remembering both by your own speech and by her ambassador, Mr. Bowes, the King's "often" promises to pursue his rebel Earls (and yet no action has followed), and that now, upon your earnest motions, some new promises are made in presence of a good assembly of his noblemen (whose names you do not write) and other councillors, to follow the matter against them severely, by law, and in his own person, with such power as he can make, requiring concurrency of aid from her Majesty after he shall have openly entered into the action.
Her Majesty very well likes your answer whereby you showed him how justly he may without any extraordinary charges suppress them; and seeing you have with good reason answered him, and that he has now so solemnly made those new promises, which, if performed without delay, must needs come to good effect, she would have you procure a new audience and then declare to him that she is glad to see his promises so solemnly renewed before so many of his Council, yet she will continue in expectation how he will proceed to execution, and as she shall perceive the same in deeds openly and freely followed, she will then yield to comfort the King therein as she shall see reasonable cause. To the intent that her Majesty may by you have some assurance by the King's writing of this his last resolution with his Council, she has willed you to require this of the King, and thereupon to require licence to return speedily. [In the margin: "Since the writing of this letter her Majestis pleasure is that before you returne you shall wryte back againe what the King sayth to this point last toutched in the end of the letter and marked with a crosse: which being donne you shall forthwith have order to returne; for the Queene would be lothe that you should come home so frustrate as that no one thing should be procured by her sending you."] But her Majesty would that you should know that she is greatly perplexed with a report made by Mr. Foulkes, that the night before his coming from you he heard in Edinburgh that she had given aid to Bothwell to take the King's person, a matter that greatly disquiets her, who never had any thought to have the King's person injured or honour touched, and never gave any person any such counsel. Therefore if you shall perceive any such suspicion to be had by the King, you shall utterly declare her to be most falsely slandered. But to increase her Majesty's disquietness, she was sore offended to understand, by Mr. Foulkes, that your lordship and Mr. Bowes had hazarded to deliver to the Earl Bothwell money upon pawn of a jewel and some pieces of plate, a matter done without any warrant and which, if known, cannot but be interpreted as an act of hers to give the Earl money on purpose to encourage him to enterprise attempt against the King's person, which she neither meant nor can conceive a thought of. Therefore if this your act shall be discovered, and the report thereof brought to the King, you shall use the best means you can in truth to discharge her Majesty thereof, and if you cannot acquit yourselves, then you may, if you think good, confess that, whereas you were informed of a jewel to be sold and that it might be bought for a less sum than it was worth, you granted to adventure a portion of money, so that you might have it delivered at Berwick, yet in the end you found by the offerer that he would have you to receive it but as a pawn so that you might have the money repaid some convenient time, whereunto you agreed (it being likely enough to be forfeited) without making her Majesty privy thereto or having any direction to give or lend any penny to any person in Scotland.
Besides this act, whereof she is clear, her Majesty hears by the report of Mr. Foulkes that a servant of Mr. Bowes is sent up with this jewel, which she never means to see. If your lordship finds that what you have done "be so muttered on" that the King shall hereafter know it, though he does not speak of it to you before your going, yet her Majesty would have you take some course, by Mr. Bowes's advice, to open it and to anticipate his charging you present or absent. You know best how to salve the matter, but her Majesty hopes you have not acknowledged that you knew it belonged to the Earl, but only as a pawn, wherein you thought to have a good bargain. But if you think it cannot be directly imputed to you nor the error known to be done by your lordship, then you may use your own discretion.
[A cross in the margin.] Whereas the King has promised that if the Earls refuse to enter ward he will then proceed by Parliament, her Majesty wishes you to press him not to use any such protraction, but to put them now to the horn as traitors, seeing they have refused in effect the summons sent forth against them. If it be said that they have not absolutely refused, "but with condition," your lordship may well answer that if traitors may capitulate with a King it is the ready way to make himself despised and to animate them the more; and therefore, if that may be done, it will give the Queen hope that after such a preparative better conclusion will follow. It is said that one Hay (Hey), of Kirkcaldy, being summoned by the Church to appear for having carried away certain pledges, has refused to come and has secretly showed the King's own hand and the Secretary's for the matter, which her Majesty would have you "learne out" certainly, if you can, so that the King cannot deny it. For all other matters, my letters of 4th March will show her Majesty's absolute pleasure, which still continues, and had not your lordship been too hasty in the matter of 400l., your dealing with the King has wonderfully satisfied her. I hope your lordship will salve that, so that it shall not come in question, and by the next I doubt not but you shall have licence to return, which I will further as soon and as much as may be possible. Hampton Court.
Postscript.—The Queen is well satisfied with Mr. Bowes and yourself for all things, if she may see that this be so handled that neither she, who is innocent, be suspected, nor you, who are her ambassadors, reproached.
6¾ pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of my masters letter to the Lord Zouche in aunsweare of his lordships letter of the iiijth of Marche."
229. Lord Zouche to [Burghley]. [Mar. 12.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. p. 136. Transcript in Harl. MSS. 4648, p. 166.
[I] told the King [that I was come either to] understand more by his [Majesty than I had] (fn. 2) heard or seen in this time, or to receive the performance of his former promise, which was that if we have not in action such matter as might content us within x or xii days, we should then proceed to the other part of my instructions. The King answered that many things had fallen out in this time to occupy him, that he could not give me audience the other day at my demanding, and that he had therefore appointed this day to the end that if any matter "wes fallen" in the meantime he might understand it, "else" he had sent for his Council who would be here this night, and then he would give me answer. Whereupon I told him that, seeing the Earls had been hereabout where he might have them at his pleasure, and their favourers had such access to his ear, I could hope for no good success, and that therefore my desire was that he would hear Mr. Bowes deliver to him before his nobleman and Council that which I had in command to direct him. (fn. 3)
The King denied that the Earls had been within three score miles, and that he had spoken with any of them since the last Convention. I was evil informed, and when he had talked with his Council he would give answer and write to her Majesty. I told the King I would pawn my head that some of the Earls had been not far hence, and that some men about him had dealt evil with him, if he had not appointed them thereunto, for I was informed that they had written in his name to some of them [the Earls]. As for an answer, I had often enough received dilatory answers and I therefore urged that he would either appoint me a day that Mr. Bowes might be heard or "princelie" refuse to hear me and so send me away. His Majesty demanded whether I would receive an answer to my former propositions; which I passed over, and pressed for a day for Mr. Bowes to be heard. [Whereupon he concluded that "the other morning" I should have answer to this proposition by twelve o'clock.]
This was Monday, 25th February. On the 26th the King sent me word at 3 o'clock in the afternoon that he was ready with his lords and Council according to his promise to hear us. Whereupon I thought good not to seem so prepared, and therefore gave answer that he promised that we should know when to attend him, and if we had known in any time we would have been very ready; but the next day we would be ready at what time soever. Two hours afterwards I received his order that we should have access next day at 9 o'clock in the morning. In the meantime we were solicited by Mr. Aston, to see whether nothing might content us. We said that we would most willingly accept any course taken for the satisfying of her Majesty; so that it grew to that issue whether we would desire once again to speak with the King privately, or that he should send for us. We thought it not convenient "to make shew of our flyenge to be hard as it was graunted," and the King thought it dishonourable to send for us. In the end it was craved that, being called before the Council, we would first demand this resolute answer, whereto it was accorded.
[Whereupon being sent for on the 27th, we had access to his Majesty in Mar's house] where, the King with fourteen noblemen, councillors and gentlemen of his chamber being present, I told his Majesty that we were come according to his promise to receive his answer and were also ready to perform the other part of our message. Whereupon the King commanded the Chancellor to answer. He began with the proofs of the King's former care of performing the amity, both by the delivering up of such traitors of her Majesty as came within his kingdom and also by his conduct when the Spaniards were upon his coasts, and affirmed that he was minded to continue the same course as heretofore, and had "geven upp in writinge" as much as was possible to be performed, and was purposed to proceed accordingly, having to that end contented his Council to confer what was further to be done therein, but complained of her Majesty who had suffered his rebels to be harboured and countenanced within her realm, even in one of her own houses—naming Norham (which was Bothwell, of whom he had received intolerable indignities). [Some other things were spoken which, partly through the King's interrupting the] Chancellor, partly for want of memory in myself I was caused to forget. I then said that I little thought that I should speak of this matter before the Council, being in that part directed only to him, but I would do so if it were his pleasure. The King said "yea, for it was a publick matter and such a one as wherein all they had parte, and wherein he had ymparted with them and don nothinge but by their consents," repeating in sum the speeches that had passed between us.
Whereupon I "entered into the answeringe" of as much of the Chancellor's speech as my memory could call to mind, and said that I had to complain only of these delays concerning the Earls. I doubted not that her Majesty had by all means shown her carefulness to require any kindness from the King. But in this matter there were such delays as, in my poor judgment, made his meaning apparent; for I, having urged him only to give some such contentment as would satisfy the Queen, [received nothing but delays. In so much as I found] one clause in my instructions giving me leave to take promises of sure proceedings hereafter, I moved his Majesty to assure me of the prosecuting of them from that present by all means possible; which he granted upon the honour of a prince. I required this to be set in writing for my better warrant. "The which, yf I had then received soe generallie as was promised, I had accepted thereof, but being after comaunded to urge action I could not; which I alsoe acquainted him withall." Upon this he promised with like vows that within x or xii days I should see action to content us. I "required" what I might see to that purpose, or else that Mr. Bowes might proceed according to her Majesty's direction.
The King "burst out with me" into some passion and denied that his first promise was made so general, or that he should account of himself as if he were not a sole prince but the Queen's lieutenant, who must render account of his dealings to her. I told him that my mistress had not used him so, but as a sole prince, the care of whom caused [her to break many sleeps. He asked me whether] the Queen had sent me to accuse him, and grew very angry with me and said I had two advantages of him: the one, that I had spoken privately with him, the other, that though I was there "sett in a chaire" and covered, yet was I but a gentleman and the Lord Zouch at home "els he wold approve anie waie that I had not saied well." I confess I was moved and said that although I was here in a place I was not worthy of, yet even in my poor estate my carriage had been such that I have been received into the company of my betters. As for offending him, if I had done anything amiss, let him complain to my sovereign who would not maintain me, or any subject she had, to give him just occasion of offence; for I had commission to say so much upon some complaint which had been made by him against Mr. Bowes. Knowing her Majesty's care of the King, I had little cause to offer him any abuse.
So after a little anger he put me off that matter and brought me to the rest of my answer which was that, if there were any further [assurance, I desired to receive the same. And as touching] Bothwell [I could not say] where he was, but this I could say by commandment from her Majesty—that she did not maintain him, but had punished some of her subjects at first for having received him without her knowledge, had offered his Majesty all good aid against him, complained of his suffering such an indignity and was sorry that he had so passed it over. But it might well be that some of her subjects, having seen the King's pardon and having received some particular friendship from him, might do that which she knew not of; but if he would embrace her love as she did offer it, she would stand fast to the King for the suppressing of Bothwell or any other. So I craved still to know what course he would take for her Highness's satisfaction.
Whereupon we were desired to go forth a while, and after our calling in again the Chancellor told us that the King with his Council assured us "that they should be after the retorne of their disobedience yf they did not yeld [sic] further prosecuted by all such good meanes as could be devised, but yf force must be used then her Majesty must concurre in that parte." I told the King that if any such thing were demanded she had given me leave [to reply in some part to such a demand; and I craved pardon] if I should again use words which might offend him. I had commandment to assure him that her Majesty would aid him if she might be assured that he meant to prosecute them in sincerity and that her expenses would not be misemployed.
The Chancellor in the name of the lords and Council said that they required her Majesty to remember the last treaty in Border matters, wherein each prince promised to deliver offenders, and therefore to deliver Bothwell to the King as he had delivered Sir Brian O'Rourke. Whereunto I answered only that I would acquaint her Majesty with all. But Mr. Bowes, being better acquainted with the orders of the Border, said that [in such a case] where any person were to be required the King himself [had] a course to demand him and not by her Majesty's ambassador. The Chancellor beginning to answer in that point, the King concluded, saying that Mr. Bowes said right.
In the debating of the King's accusation of Mr. Bowes, the King denied to have complained to her Majesty of him, who thereupon put him in memory that her Majesty by her letter to the King had made mention of the matter. He said that he had commended Mr. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Carey (Carew) —with no accusation, but that he had said that he misliked his course, which he wished might be amended. He added that he marvelled that in the said letter, which came after the arrival (fn. 4) of Sir Robert Carey, he was not answered of that which he caused to be moved by him, and which would have helped many matters. He affirmed likewise that there were some defects both in that letter and in one from her Majesty to the Queen of Scots. These imperfections, he thought, might well "escape," seeing there was no secretary, but as he left these without noting of any particular [want in substance or form, so I passed over his speech thereon, thinking] it convenient to acquaint her Majesty therewith, as a thing "passing in my negotiation." Thereupon Mr. Bowes prayed the King to show some particularities of his evil behaviour, and offered to "confesse anie truthe alledged," trusting to give good account of anything laid against him. The King said "he had not to charg him but to himself," and because he had received very lately into his house Mr. Lock, who was a great solicitor for Bothwell and other rebels, as he had opened to Mr. Bowes himself. Bowes answered that, after the King had imparted that Lock had been accused to him, Lock came purposely into this realm, boldly presented himself to the King to plead his innocency, and was dismissed; so that from that time he might well receive him as one cleared and free from all suspicion. But this "receipt" of Lock, wherewith the King charged Mr. Bowes, was done after the departure of Sir Robert Carey, [and there could be no cause to move the King to condemn Mr.] Bowes's [course] to Sir Robert. The King acknowledged that Lock had indeed offered himself for trial, and therefore warned Mr. Bowes that he esteemed Lock his great enemy, as he should well feel if he fell into his hands. Therewith "in some warme collor" he admonished us to examine our safe-conducts, declaring that it was ever implied that we should not transgress the laws of his realm, neither could the privilege of an ambassador deliver him from punishment for any sedition stirred by him. His sharp warning showed his severe mind to lay on us the uttermost pains which might be lawfully "afflicted," which we lightly esteemed and passed over. So, after urging to have set down something certain how they meant to proceed and what time it would take, we were dismissed for that day upon promise to have all that set down in order by the Council before their departure. That same night three of the Council were sent to make us acquainted more particularly what was thought good by the King and Council, to confer with us if we liked thereof or could advise better, with vehement protestations that the King was wholly bent to satisfy her Majesty. [His offers were, that if they did not put themselves to ward after the return of their summons] they should be proclaimed traitors, and the same should be annexed to their libel, and so by the next Parliament be prosecuted by law and with expedition. But if her Majesty would concur [because of the charges etc.], they should be "horned" and prosecuted with vigour as soon as proclamation might be made for the gathering of his subjects. In that case he would proceed against them in person and seize their houses and livings, "till when" he would demand nothing, provided that it were first concluded that then there would be aid for the maintenance of the war and strengthening of the houses with garrisons. Hereof we long disputed, alleging that it behoved the King to go more roundly to work, for the course of law was too gentle for those who had refused so many clemencies. [Such contempt following after they had been so gently dealt with is like to "obdure" both them and others. If the King's mind was bent indeed against them] we were persuaded that means might be made to entrap them without any such ado; their houses might be taken and possessed by their enemies; commissions might be granted to some of their enemies joined with the good men who hate them for their wicked course; and we doubted not they would be subdued without any great charge. Against this it was reasoned that the King by appointing their enemies should make them stronger; those who hated their "faict" would not see them overthrown through malice; that it would breed more feuds in the land, whereof they already had too many; that the King should thereby weaken his estate.
We then said that as the King had made so many promises and they were all frustrated, it were necessary that he engaged himself "some waies" in such sort that her Majesty might be assured of him. If he would prosecute them earnestly, no doubt but he might find means for the time for money, until such time as his just disdain against them grew apparent, by the removing of evil instruments about him [testifying his change of mind; else how could we think that any of this would prove other than delays, which are] dangerous, especially when we had perfect intelligence that the Earls were coming and going not far from him and their favourers admitted to his presence. After long conference they complained that nothing would satisfy us, and we complained of no hope of good purpose, but in the end urged that we might have set down directly what we should receive, concluding that, if it were such as might satisfy us we would receive it, if it bred doubt we would certify it, "and if it out of doubt" [sic] we would be glad to proceed in our directions.
Next morning we understood the Council [were] prepared "to" their journey, whereupon by the advice of Mr. Bowes we sent to the Secretary to require resolution, and thus caused their stay once again. Within two hours the same councillors brought us answer to that which they had propounded in conference over night, which was as much as the King could do with his honour. We desired to receive his conclusion in writing. They answered that he was not purposed to give anything in [writing, unless we would propound in writing. In the end] Mr. Bowes and I having considered that her Majesty requires the continuance of the amity more than anything, and finding some difficulty in the other, we thought it good to receive once again her Highness's further pleasure. Therefore I desired to receive from his Majesty, his Council being present, the conclusion he was pleased to make.
Therefore we again had audience, and I, demanding resolution, received the like speech as before from the Chancellor, [that the Earls would be prosecuted by law, and proceeded against by force, if aid was given from England]. [We demanded the time of the prosecution.] They promised the peaceable course would be done presently, and the other as soon as matters should be concluded betwixt their Majesties, (fn. 5) whilst I laboured to show that more had been heretofore done and yet nothing come to pass. The Chancellor laid the fault upon her Majesty who advised the King that he should do well to agree with them. And the King, seeing we stood so hard to be satisfied, began again to be angry, and to ask whether the Queen meant to rule him or no, saying that she should not teach him how to rule his subjects, that this cause was public and might touch her as well as him. As for the cause, since they had refused so good offers, he meant to prosecute them as far as he could to show all princes and his own people his care of religion, with great protestations to that end, still using great words according to advice given him as might seem by the copies [of the letters from Douglas. Whereupon I, being also moved, said that I would for this time receive] the answer made by the Chancellor in his Majesty's name, to acquaint her therewith and with his Majesty's speech also, till which time I would wait her further pleasure. But this much I must needs answer in the meantime: that her Majesty had not deserved those words, for she had not sought any rule over him, neither had she advised but for his good; but I would certify the one as well as the other and attend her further pleasure.
After this Mr. Bowes proved to them that much more had been done aforetime and yet in effect came to nothing. Whereupon the Chancellor sought to lay the fault upon her Majesty, as before. And then the King said he would also help the Chancellor to take away this scruple, saying it was manifest how seriously he had dealt therein, and how they durst not show their faces until Bothwell had showed him such indignity that it seemed as if there had been an interregnum; whereupon they burst forth, and for that cause they have been the more winked at. But now he will never bear with them more, since they have refused to enter. Mr. [Bowes "used many other speeches to prove that it was not the cause, but finding [sic] me silent, because I took it contrary to "] my course to speak further, having already concluded. I took my leave, signifying that after knowing her Majesty's pleasure I would wait upon his Majesty again.
Afterwards, persuading myself that I would be better at Edinburgh, partly because the King meant to be absent a fortnight, and partly because I held it more safe and to have more opportunity of conference with Mr. Bowes and others, I craved licence to repair thither until I should hear her Majesty's pleasure. This being granted with better liking than my tarrying, I repaired to Edinburgh the next day, being 1st March. The next morning Colonel Stewart was sent to me by the Chancellor to persuade me of his good services to her Majesty; and, to have the better credit with me, he brought me Huntly's letter to the King, excusing himself from coming in to ward because the place was not safe in respect of his private enemies (which the Chancellor inferred to be himself), but otherwise justifying himself of all duty towards the King and of his ability and will to withstand his enemies.
Colonel Stewart [protested on behalf of the Chancellor that he would do all good parts betwixt the King and her Majesty, and] that now he found the King fully be[nt] to run a round course and to shake off the Earls, and that he himself was grown again into as much favour with the King as ever he was in; the fear of which had caused him hitherto not to show himself so far as otherwise he would, in respect of his enemies about the King. He vowed that I should now see good proofs of his faithful course, and that on the morrow the Chancellor would come to the church where I was, so that he might on my way homewards confirm the same. I entertained the Colonel with good words of kindness, and said that I was sorry the Chancellor sought still to deceive me with words when I knew well his course was so bent to the King's that he would follow him right or wrong, for I understood he had so promised his Majesty. Besides, I understood that he had written to Huntly, advising him how to carry himself until the Parliament, and that then he [would find means for him to escape. Although these things might well be invented to his hurt, yet seeing his carriage, the delays which were used, and his credit with the King], for my own part I could not but conclude that there was no good meaning to proceed in a round course. I well knew that the Earls passed to and fro in the country so negligently that if he truly meant to prosecute them in such sort as all men confessed was necessary, they might have been entrapped before this. And, being in prison, then might consultation have been had with her Majesty, both how the King's affections might be yielded unto and the amity and safety of the two realms preserved. If the King had showed, or the Chancellor procured, his disfavour against some of these bad instruments, then there would have been some hope of an alteration of purposes.
This was answered, that although the Chancellor was truly devoted to the King above all others, yet should it [not be proved that he had dealt so without advice, but that his credit was so impaired with the King by the friends] of those Papist lords and so shaken that he could not do that which he desired, but was so put at that he looked for greater disgrace. But now, if her Majesty would concur, it should be found both what part he had in the King and what mind he had found in him to prosecute these Earls effectually; that it needs force to do anything against their friends; that it was not yet in his power to remove any; but that "continuance of time" would work that also. Great vows were made that, if concurrence might be had, I should see my service take better effect than any had done a long time. I answered that for my own part I was hardly drawn to hope for any good, yet I would acquaint her Majesty with his offers and the course he is in and leave it to her pleasure.
Next day the Chancellor took occasion to come in my company from church and confirmed the words of Colonel Stewart. He denied that he had ever dealt underhand with the Earls, and protested his full intention to perform all good parts hereafter. For shortness of time I referred my speeches to that which I had had with Colonel Stewart, promising to acquaint her Majesty with what I had received; but praying him to believe that till further action happened [I would not commend it. Also on 2nd March Lord Hamilton sent to him (fn. 6) with complaints of sorrow that the King] had dealt with me so evil, and then to tell me he was sorry that the King had made fair promises now to deal against these Earls, but that he had not changed his mind; that I should offer his service to her Majesty, by whom he would be directed in all his actions, as upon whom he settled his good or evil.
I answered that I had recommended his service to her Majesty and had yet received no answer, but I hoped to receive it upon this dispatch. In the meantime I took occasion to take some exception in that he had made a bond with many for the prosecution of Johnston for killing Maxwell, not because it was unlawful, but because he had once determined not to take such a matter in hand as being rather thrust upon him by his enemies than that they meant him any good. He answered that he had indeed been offered such a bond of friends, who would also stick to him in any other cause; that he accepted the same but was not to go against him until after two months; whereof he prayed me to assure her Majesty. But if she would mislike thereof or employ him otherwise, he would be wholly directed by her. I made promise to acquaint her [Majesty herewith, and, as much as in me lay, procure her gracious answer]. I understand by Mr. Bowes that he has the keeping of Dumbarton Castle, which might prejudice much if a man evil affected had it; that he required of her Majesty but a hundred lasts of powder for the furnishing thereof, with assurance that he would keep it for her and never yield it to any without her consent. If it pleased her Majesty to afford him some comfort I should be glad to be the instrument thereof. The Church has him in great estimation and assure for him that he shall faithfully perform all good services.
According to her Majesty's commandment I have also, with the help of Mr. Bowes, travailed with the other party. They are purposed to shew themselves before anything further be demanded, wherein they will use all diligence in hope that upon the overture there shall be good concurrence with them according to their former propositions. They persuade themselves that, if her Majesty's forces prejudice only the Humes, "for the rest of the Borders they are persuaded well enough of." The Church also and all good men, "not beinge politick," fear that her Majesty should not take fast hold at this time to establish some such good for them as may be a continuance of their peace, wherein if they now find that words may content, I fear they will hereafter be quite discouraged.
I have testified what I have gathered, to the end I might know in all things her Majesty's direct pleasure. I lay my "wants" [i.e. deficiencies] before her Majesty that she may take away her displeasure for anything I have done ignorantly, or lay punishment upon me, disabling me from any service of honour. Signed: Edward Zouche.
24½ pp. Copy. Tops and margins of the pages burnt away.
230. Petitions of the Kirk. [March 15.] [Misplaced: see page 551].
"Petitiouns of the Kirk to be humblie cravite of his Majestie and Estaitis of this present Conventioun for purging the land of idolatouris and establisching of trew religioun."
(1) First, it is humbly craved that "substantious" and solid order be taken before the dissolving of this present Convention for pursuing his Majesty's "forfat tratouris" and rebels with their assisters, either by his Majesty in person or by his lieutenant, with all expedition possible, if they do not remove forth of the country according to promise. (2) That the penalties of the cautioners be nowise discharged either in whole or in part, but be "exactlie tane up" and employed to wage men to assist his Majesty or his lieutenant. (3) That their resetters since the last band be "callit and convict and thair unlawis tane up" and applied to sustain the waged men. (4) That their livings be wholly "intrometit" with by his Majesty's chamberlains and factors without exception of their wives' life-rents or conjunct fees, and so much thereof only to be bestowed upon their wives as shall be sufficient to furnish their own necessity, but not to supply their husbands; and the rest to be applied to waged men. (5) That the ladies of Huntly and Errol be charged to repair hither and make their residence in this country, and that Lady Huntly be charged to deliver her eldest son to be kept by whom his Majesty shall appoint to that effect. (6) That all his Majesty's good subjects be "dischargit" by open proclamation under the pain of treason to reset, supply or have intelligence with any of the foresaid traitors and their assisters who have not yet had remission, and that all provosts, bailies of burghs, sheriffs, stewards and justiciars be charged to take and apprehend all who are notoriously known to have been at the raid against the lieutenant and to resort within their bounds, "and namelie," the Laird of Bonytoune, younger, the Laird of Latoun (Lattowne), Patrick Butter, John Ogilvy of Craig, William Ogilvy in Queich (Quiche), Robert Gray in Ballegerno (Balligornocht), Mr. Alexander Ramsay in Brechin, and present them to his Majesty, under the pain of 2000l. if they be found remiss and negligent. (7) That sufficient living be provided at every parish church for sustentation of the ministry, that such as are "evill provydit" may be supplied, and others "plantit" at kirks which presently lack all ministering. (8) That all kirks annexed to prelacies and other benefices of cure consisting of teinds annexed to any benefice whatsoever be dissolved and conferred in title by presentation and collation to several [i.e. separate] ministers for serving the cure of the particular congregation, reserving the present possessor's life-rent of the two parts. (9) That certain commissioners be appointed with full power to treat and conclude upon a present provision for the ministry to be "plantit" at every particular congregation, to remain unaltered from year to year "quhill the constant forme of provisione may tak effect be deceas of the present possessouris." (10) That the act of February be ratified without exception, that the commissioners aforesaid may have "quhairupone" to assign.
12/3 pp. Copy. In a Scottish hand. Endorsed by Bowes's clerk: "Articles presented to the Kinge by the Ministers. Edenburgh xv° Marcii 1594."
231. Elizabeth to Lord Zouche. [March 20.] 1593–4. Vol. lii. p. 52.
We have of late been informed by your letters to Cecil in what terms things stand in Scotland [recapitulating the King's protestations to proceed against the Earls to the satisfaction of the Queen and his well affected subjects]. Now, by your letter of 12th March, new occasion is given us to furnish you with an answer under our own handwriting. We find that the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Treasurer were sent from the King to signify to you that the Earls "were concluded traytors" by act of Council for having refused to enter ward upon summons of treason, and should be so declared next day by proclamation; which was not done; but therewithal it was delivered to you that the King had intelligence that Bothwell, with the assistance of our subjects, was intending a surprise of his person. Hereunto we cannot forbear to expostulate with the King that any ungodly person or slanderous sycophant could induce in him the least doubt or scruple that we would have assented to or allowed any attempt against any king's person, had he been neither friend, ally nor neighbour. Therefore, although we are content to send you this letter under our own hand for your direction and warrant what to say to the King in that matter delivered to you by those two councillors, yet such is the monstrous untruth of this report that we can hardly believe that any person is able to settle in the King any such "conceipte," and therefore we are not "unnapte" to believe (seeing one of those councillors "did wrest" our own speeches delivered to himself at his being in England, whereof he promised, being charged, to explain himself by his own letter, which yet we could never receive) that this has been devised only to stay his good purpose in the publishing of those Earls by proclamation; but such is still our desire to avoid the least taint to our inviolable amity that we require you to assure the King that if we loved him not, yet we love ourselves so well, and hold the kingly office so sacred, that we would not desire life any longer after we should either allow or animate any persons for any cause in any so rebellious actions. For testimony whereof you shall let the King know that as we keep in memory the substance of divers of his letters, so we hope he forgets not what course we held with him by our letters, even then when by his own public pardon to Bothwell our subjects upon the Borders were encouraged to receive and favour the Earl after his recovery of the King's presence, yea, and when such was the King's estimation of him that Sir Robert Melvill himself, on his return to Scotland from us, was glad to receive his recommendation; and when by the King's own letter also we were assured of the King's reception of him into his grace, how we offered all manner of support against him or any other, and punished some of our subjects, his favourers on the Borders, who yet pleaded the King's own licence for the same. Yet since that time, for all the promises and shows, we have observed that the Earls against whom the King had gone in person, and who had sold their King and country to strangers, durst in the public eye of the world present themselves to his presence, that their wives are favourably received, their solicitors in Court, their chief friends in ward with the King in Council and chamber, their livings remaining entire to their uses or their friends, and only protractions and delays provided for them; and even now in puncto temporis, when all men expected some resolute course against them, this false invention has been set on foot the very day when the proclamation should have been divulged. Wherefore you may assure the King upon the warrant of our conscience that we may not so much as think that any action of ours has afforded the least cause of such "conceipte." Therefore, if any of our forces shall be found to concur in any such wicked and unthought of enterprise, we shall be the first to deliver them into the hands of the King's Justices. But if the King may have heard that we have ever wished that the party of the religion, the noblemen and good patriots might be so respected that the Popish faction and Spanish instruments might not encroach upon his favour, to the harm of himself and his country, surely it is no more than we confess we have always wished, and have often declared it to the King: and if we did not think that he would relieve and sustain them, yea, and rather use their services against "the other," surely we could not foresee anything except confusion in his affairs.
But we will forbear to enlarge ourselves now any further, having set down what is most true, wishing the King not to believe any "flying tales," but to weigh reports according to their appearance of truth. Of all estates none is more subject to censures [i.e. criticism] than that of princes; for the King himself is constantly reported to have often and private conference with the Earls (of which he has vowed the contrary) "under hande" to protect and assure them; and there be some who will not "sticke" to affirm that George Ker, who is ranging abroad unapprehended, is winked at by his direction, yea, and that one Hay of Kirkcaldy, having transported certain pledges into the Low Countries, answered that he had the King's warrant and the Secretary's for the same. Such bruits, being compared with the long deferring of the Earls' trial upon nice scruples, doubtless cause fear in the hearts of his good people, and may prove dangerous to his estate. Longer than his subjects shall dutifully and obediently carry themselves to the King their sovereign we shall not wish them either favour or protection; and hereof we command you to assure him, expecting to hear by you next what the King has promised to put in execution for the suppressing of those Earls and their confederates, without which we can never esteem him in safety.
After you have imparted this to the King, you shall make known to the Queen that although we have not heard but by yourself of her safe delivery of a young prince, yet we cannot forbear to congratulate her for God's blessing therein, to whom we wish all honour and good fortune, to the comfort of both his parents [with compliments to the Queen]. Hampton Court.
4½ pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A mynute of her Majesties letter to the Lord Zouche in aunsweare of his to my master of the xijth of Marche."
232. Sir Robert Cecil to Lord Zouche. [March 20.] Vol. lii. p. 57.
I have received your letter of the 12th, confessing the receipt of mine of the 4th. Concerning the message delivered by the Chancellor and Treasurer from the King, her Majesty has written that which may yield the King satisfaction, if he has conceived such doubts as by them you are given to understand. Whereof, though you may and can, by your own attestation, verbally acquit her Majesty, yet she is content that you show the King her own letter to you. [The preceding.]
Her Majesty likes your proceeding in the conference between you and Mr. Bowes with Colonel Stewart, sent from the Chancellor, and though the man himself is but of slippery condition, yet she would have you entertain those offers of the Chancellor with assurance that if you find his overtures sound and sincere you will procure from her Majesty good acceptance of the same. Her affections to any of the King's ministers have ever been yielded according as she has noted in them soundness to the King and constant upholding of the cause of religion. Other likings in particular she never had any, because she never had particular end to work anything in that kingdom but merely for the safety of the prince.
Her Majesty would have you understand what course he would offer to take with the Earls, and with Bothwell and the rest. Wherein you may assure him that she bears no particular mislike to the persons of the three Earls, severing them from the practices and projects with foreign enemies, but if they remain unpunished the sequel must be pernicious to the King. As for Bothwell, further than that he is an enemy to those who are traitors to the King and makes profession of the cause of religion, her Majesty does not think or "care of him," though if his submission could have reconciled the King's grace and favour, she thinks he might have been used against those traitors upon good consideration. But if he should ever presume to have the least thought against the King, she would think him worthy of all that could be laid upon him.
In this manner your lordship may open yourself to him, to see into what particularities he will descend; and seeing you have been promised so resolutely the King's prosecution [of the three Earls], her Majesty's pleasure is that you by all good endeavour get the same performed, the rather that it should not appear to the world that your journey has been "frustrate." I doubt not but that upon receipt of your answer to this, you shall receive your revocation from her Majesty, who has allowed well of your late writings and carriage with the councillors there, perceiving by your censure [i.e. criticism] of the Chancellor's overture that you will hardly be deceived, seeing you determined never to give him trust. Mr. Bowes's private advertisements confirm your doubtful opinion of any good or round proceedings. You will therefore show your wisdom in hastening that which will discover the King's meaning, and that by such good means as you can. Hampton Court.
Postscript.—Because in all these stirs of levying forces her Majesty commanded her Wardens to stand upon their defence only, she has willed me to inform you thereof, lest you should construe it that they might presume to stir into any part of Scotland without her further direction. This I perceive by Lock's letter they would fain have had her Majesty to yield, but it is far from her mind.
In order that Lock should not err, being absent from your directions, I have acquainted him with some points of your letter to me, and the Queen's to you, for avoiding the confusion which might grow by the distance of time and place. I this day received from him a letter dated at Berwick on 14th March, wherein he writes: "I trust all shall fall out well, as by the messages yesterday from the Lord Zouche and Mr. Bowes sent to me for hastning them to action and assuring me good issue, I am the rather drawen to hope." What I may guess by these words "hastning them to action," I know not. But I doubt not but that, seeing you find their action directed to the King's person, you will with such discretion keep your hands so clear that your proceedings as public ministers, representing the person of her Majesty, shall nowise give the least occasion of "touche" to her Majesty's innocency of allowing or not abhorring such an attempt.
3 pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of my masters letter to the Lord Zouche in aunswere of his of the xijth of Marche."
233. Sir Robert Cecil to Mr. Henry Lock. [March 20.] Vol. lii. p. 60.
I have received your letter of 14th of March, from Berwick, containing the "forwardnes" of those persons who are resolved to try their fortunes, and enclosing divers instruments making manifest their forcible proceedings. Though there be many good grounds to declare themselves against the faction of Spain, yet I do not see how, this warning being given and the matter so publicly carried, it will be possible to do anything without the assail ing or prosecuting of the King's own person, which her Majesty did and does utterly condemn.
Whereas you seem to doubt lest any knowledge of your letters from hence should be given, you may know that "of all your purposes even there her Majesteis own embassadoures have ben expostulated from the Kinge," insomuch as the Chancellor and Treasurer told them openly that the Earls were already, for the Queen's satisfaction, found traitors by act of Council, and should have been proclaimed that day, but that the King had assured intelligence that Bothwell (with the Queen's forces and help) meant directly to surprise his person, for which, if there were not better order, he must protest against the breach of amity. Besides, you must consider that, although divers of the greatest noblemen of the realm and religious persons might with good colour have joined forcibly to suppress their enemies without any forcible approach to the King, yet, as things are, only such persons as have suffered for the Earl Bothwell's private cause join in this purpose of following the King. As for Atholl, Argyll, Gowrie and the rest, although they will "party" against Huntly for their own particular feuds, yet will they never put themselves into so desperate an attempt as that of pursuing the King. What they do by levying forces northward may well be against their enemies, as is usual amongst them. But if you find any nobleman of power or greatness of birth once approach the King's Court, I am much deceived. Where you speak of Hamilton's kindness, it is far from any such matter; for I see by your own letter it was only this, that he would go out of the way because he would not be against them.
For the Duke, you see he has better bethought himself, and assure yourself this will make Bothwell irreconcilable, whereby some good course which might be taken for him after this will never be granted by the King.
The Queen has commanded her ambassador utterly to disavow that vile imputation that she should encourage any man to offer dishonour to the King's person [etc. as in No. 231]. Where you write that her Majesty's forces on the Borders are in readiness, but have no direction to go into Scotland, she never purposed they should. They are only to defend their own if any raid should be made by the Scots.
I enclose such speech as was used by the Chancellor to the ambassador, (fn. 7) to whom he had urged the day before that the maintaining of Bothwell was the cause that nothing was done against the three Earls. I pray you look well to yourself and to all your papers, and believe that the King will be well provided for any such attempt. Hampton Court.
2 pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of my masters letter to Mr. Lock, in aunswere of his of the xiiijth of Marche."
234. Sir Robert Cecil to Lord Zouche. [1594. March 26.] Vol. lii. p. 62.
I received your letter of the 19th on Sunday last, by which time I doubt not but my letters of the 20th have come to your hands, wherein I hope you are satisfied how to deal in the matter of Bothwell. The imputation that her Majesty was his "setter on" is a matter so false that it needs small defence. Yet so precious to her is her princely honour that she has directed you by her own letters how to satisfy the King, who I would to God were as watchful of his pernicious enemies as he is jealous of his best friends.
You can consider that every letter of yours has five days to come in, and every answer of mine as many; "wherin you must leave some surplusage for my account," because I must wait a day or two for her Majesty's deliberation, whereas you, reporting things done (res gestas) may answer with more expedition. Neglect of you or negligence you have no cause to suspect, for, apart from your own particular (whom I love and honour), the public cause draws diligence and careful consideration.
For the contrariety in my last letter, it is very true you were licensed in the first part of the letter to return after having discharged the contents of the same, yet a postscript [was] added to suspend your revocation for some time. Though this was "contrary in it selfe," yet it could not much mislead you in your actions. But I see your zeal for her Majesty's service, which you find crossed by untoward courses there, and your great desire to return, make you too much displeased with yourself and others, wherein you do some injury to both.
But now to come to the substance of your letter; for the matter of Bothwell you have direction already what to say. For the second matter (wherein it is now answered that without the Queen's concurrence the King can do nothing against the Earls by force), you shall answer that if he would use the strength of his civil power absolutely, without extraordinary force, he might quickly alter the course of these disorders, and, that done, he shall satisfy her Majesty and his own people so much that he cannot want help to execute afterwards what shall be thought necessary. If the Earls be summoned to enter into sure ward and be but put to the horn if they refuse, then, by that example of the King's sound proceeding against them, all his good subjects will be animated boldly to proceed against them, and the contrary side will be terrified. This being a work for the King's own safety, her Majesty little thought that it would still be to do; and without this she sees no reason to be satisfied. Former experience has taught what shall come of Parliaments, and many things may happen before that time, therefore if you find the Council (which assembled the day before your last letter) have not resolved of such course, you shall desire to speak with the King and Council together.
Though you have discharged the greatest part of your instructions, yet since her Majesty finds how you were interrupted by the King and Chancellor that day when you and Mr. Bowes had audience and wisely carried yourselves in the presence of fourteen of the Council and Chamber, she is pleased you shall go on with whatsoever you had before to say, and withal shall represent how long you have tarried, how much you have been promised by the King, and how little has been performed, and also let him know that, seeing by so many letters you have given the Queen assurances from him, and especially that in twelve days it should be performed, and yet find nothing done of substance to advertise, nor any good likely to ensue, you shall desire him to give you leave to return, that her Majesty may know that you, finding your journey fruitless, will not stay where it shall be endless. Her Majesty indeed wills me to let you understand, "that if you once have done this last message in good and decent sort, without any hold for him to take that you would quarrell, and yet to use playnnesse, your lordship may only staye to see if he promise anythinge what he will doe for five or sixe daies, and then returne without any other lycence." But her Majesty would have you to stay so long after to see "what operation your comming away will take," and so be able to inform her what to trust to. If the King "do still aunswere his favouring the Erles, with the Queenes encouraging or protecting Bodwell," you can answer how she is wronged, and that she has never set on any one of his subjects against him in any violent course. If her Majesty may see him begin in suppressing the Earls and Popish traitors, which ought to be first in time as it is chief in consequence, she should have comfort to follow any honourable or reasonable course which he would move her to keep, for she makes one and the selfsame reckoning of suffering Spanish forces to settle in Scotland as if they were to land in England, which is the mark they shoot at, whosoever sends them.
There came in your lordship's letter another from you and Mr. Bowes jointly, which I am commanded to answer all in one. It contained the King's sending for the Chancellor and Council to Stirling on 18th March, to resolve on the new offers of the three Earls and Auchindoun, to which no answer can be made from hence till it be known from you what the issue of that Council is.
For the matter of the King's suffering the Earls to be in Stirling Castle or town, as you wrote, you shall do well to urge it upon some good ground to the King, if it may be proved. If he deny it as a false bruit, it may yet serve to let him see that all things that are reported are not true; and you may let him know that it would be the rather believed, seeing that Huntly's wife is in Court so well esteemed, Sir James Chisholme pardoned, and all the offenders find their solicitors so well encouraged by persons most inward with the King.
You write also that upon the bruit that Bothwell had come to Haddington with great forces, the Provost of Edinburgh caused strong watch to be kept, which is now found to have been done without cause. If this be so, it may serve as another example of their false apprehensions.
For the matter of the speech given out by Sir Robert Melvill that a letter or writing found in one Geddes's (Gaddies') trunk was brought to her Majesty, you shall "take knowledge" that you have informed the Queen of such a bruit, and that she has commanded you to enquire of him what matter the writing contained, in what trunk it was found, when and where, and how it was brought to her, because she does not know that any person had any such thing.
This is all wherein your letters require any new answer, for divers other points are fully answered by mine of the 20th day, which I hope have arrived. You will find that many times you have written and satisfied those things which before they had arrived here my letters have, peradventure, needlessly found lack of, and so, peradventure, yours have done of mine. All these things being considered, there will be found negligence neither in you nor in me. Whitehall.
Postscript.—Her Majesty, perusing a letter of your lordship to me, of 13th February, sees that you once moved the King to make proclamation that if any could lay anything against any of his Council, they might be heard: of that she would not have you press him any more.
4½ pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A mynute of my masters letter to the Lord Zouche in aunswere of his of the xixth of Marche."
234a. Commission by James VI. to Lord Hume and Others against Bothwell and his Accomplices. [March 27.] Abstract in Register of Privy Council, v p. 137.
The King and Council grant commission to Alexander, Lord Hume, Warden of the East March, Sir Robert Ker, apparent of Cessford, Warden depute of the Middle March and Sir Walter Scott of Branxholme, to convocate all lieges dwelling within the said bounds for pursuit of Bothwell and his accomplices.
1 p. Broadsheet. Copy. Endorsed by Bowes's clerk.
235. Declaration by James VI. and Answers of the Presbytery of Edinburgh. (fn. 8) [March 29.]
Forasmuch as after conference with certain of the ministers of Edinburgh, his Highness has thought expedient to notify his resolute determination to pursue by law and force his traitorous and rebellious subjects, namely, Francis sometime Earl Bothwell, his accomplices and partakers, as also the avowed Papists suspected of trafficking with strangers against the established religion, and therein not only to bestow his own means and the force of his own good and obedient subjects, but such money or other support as the Queen of England shall bestow to that effect, he therefore has required the ministers of Edinburgh not only to notify this determination to all their auditors, but also to certify the same to all other presbyteries in the realm, requiring them to make the like publication of his intention and to move all his good subjects to assist his Majesty with their counsels, bodies and goods in the prosecution thereof, and no wise to suffer themselves to be abused by traitors and rebels who under the cloak of religion would presume to raise men of war or stir his subjects to arms, but resist [and] refuse all passage, receipt, supply, entertainment or favour to them in their wicked pretences. And because sundry of the ministry in Fife are slandered and suspected to be "mellers" and stirrers up of some of his Highness's subjects to participate with the said declared traitors (fn. 9) (with whom, notwithstanding, his Majesty, for the reverence he bears to the message they sustain, will forbear to deal), therefore he requires the ministers of Edinburgh to take such order with their said brethren that they may give a public declaration of their innocency in this case and by their actions hereafter give a proof of the zeal and affection they profess to his Majesty's service, commonwealth and quietness of his realm, or otherwise to see them tried and punished in order to remove the slander to the whole Kirk.
"Answers to the King's Majesteis articles by the Presbetrye of Edenburghe."
(1) First, the Presbytery thinks that in a proclamation of civil things proceeding from the King's Majesty and Council no mention should be made of the Presbytery or ministry of Edinburgh, for that would import this ministry "to have power of the haill ministery of Scotlande." Therefore desires the words "after the conference with certain of the ministers of Edinburgh" to be deleted. (2) Whereas it is declared that his Majesty's intention is to pursue rebellious subjects, it is desired that traitors to God, professed enemies to the true religion—namely, Angus, Huntly, Errol, Auchindoun, Sir James Chisholm and their accomplices—be first named in proclamation and prosecuted with all extremity, and then "his awin traitors." (3) Whereas his Majesty's intention is declared to be to pursue by law, it is desired, in respect that the said apostates have contemned the benefit of the law, that presently they be pursued by force. (4) Whereas his Majesty requires the ministers of Edinburgh to notify his intention, etc., the Kirk shall obey when they see a good beginning "in action" against the aforesaid enemies of God. But where he desires to notify his intention against Bothwell, our unanimous mind is that if he attempts anything against his Majesty's person, crown, Prince, religion or estate of the country, or "caste him to impede the worke" of the prosecution of these traitorous apostates, then, in that case, we oblige ourselves openly and privately to "drowne his interpryse"; but if he keep himself free of "all these foresaidis," then we are constrained "to seike a sycht" of the declaration wherein he is found to have refused the benefit of the Act of the Estates, since some of our brethren, namely the ministers of Edinburgh, at his Majesty's command subscribed his pacification as witnesses. (5) Where his Majesty requires the ministry of Edinburgh to take order with the ministry of Fife, alleged to be "mellers" with Bothwell, it is craved [that] he give in their names to the Presbytery here, who shall write to the presbyteries, within whose bounds they are, to take order with them.
2pp. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed: Edinburgh, 29° Martii 1594."