James VI, April 1594

Pages 303-328

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

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James VI, April 1594

236. James VI.'s Answer to Lord Zouche. [April 1]. Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 198. Transcript in Harl. MSS. 4648, p. 248.

Answer commanded to be given to Lord Zouche anent the Papist Lords.

First, his Majesty shall prosecute with all extremity the process of forfeiture at the time prefixed. His Majesty in the meantime shall pass in proper person against them, and shall immediately charge his well-affected subjects by proclamation to pass forward with him upon 20th April instant for their prosecution with all extremity until they be either forced to yield such obedience as shall content both the princes, or else rendered unable to endanger the religion or estate of either of the realms. And this shall be no impediment to the prosecution of their forfeiture by law.

For removing all hindrances that might impede the progress of the expedition his Majesty craves that the Queen's ambassador will "indilayedlie" move the Wardens of England to restrain Francis sometime Earl of Bothwell, presently reset within their charges, from all attempts against his Majesty, realm or lieges, until the Queen give order that he be delivered, or at least restrained until the final end of his Majesty's expedition; and at his returning the said Earl shall either [? be delivered (fn. 1) ] or put out of her dominions and no way favoured or supplied in time coming, directly or indirectly.

His Majesty likewise craves that by writ from the Queen he may be assured of support of money for the furtherance of the action and of a sufficent power of his subjects under the charge of such as . . . "be commoun consent of his Majestie and . . . [ambassa]douris in her name to be left within thair . . . possesse thair strenthis and housses an . . . thair livingis furthcummand to his Majestie . . . behove."

This supply must be furnished at the very time of thair p[rosecution], or at least before his Majesty's return; at which time "for the b[etter continuing] of thair prosecutioun his Majestie sall g[ive permission] to any his lawfull subjectis quhome [he shall nominate am]bassadouris to follow furth [against them with] all rigour and extremitie requisite for [their] repressing." If the said Francis be not delivered or restrained, or if the said money come not in due time, nothing that may fall out to hinder the action shall be imputed to his Majesty.

2 pp. In Mr. John Colville's hand. Marginal notes in Sir Robert Cecil's hand. Edges injured by fire.

237. Mr. Henry Lock to Sir Robert Cecil. [April 2.]

After many difficulties and "fered brags," Earl Bothwell with the few banished with him (partly through regard for their pledged honour, partly through regard of their friends in other parts, drawn long since "into companies," and so known by the King) returned yesterday about 2 o'clock after noon into the Scottish Borders by Kelso (Kelsy) with only about 50 horse of Scots at most, and scarce any English, although, but for the restraint here, there had been 100 or more of our nation. Lord Hume, Cessford, and Buccleuch, with about 1200 horse, were at Kelso; where they made proclamations against Bothwell and his declared favourers. During this time Bothwell, passing by on this side the river, went two miles beyond to his own house to his lady at Moss Tower (Mos Towre), where, his strength being 500 horse, "chois men," he refreshed himself; and hearing that Hume meant to draw to him, he prepared a letter of challenge to Hume, who in "mene spase" had dissolved his company and retired to Eccles (Ekels), a Hume's house not far "of" Wark, whither this 2nd of April Cessford and Buccleuch are appointed to come to consider what is to be done, their people being willed to "stay a new warning." Whereupon Bothwell and his returned to Kelso and lay there; whence this day I received a letter of their purpose to meet Ochiltree with his power, and sundry others of the west, and so to be by 5 at night at Dalkeith, four miles short of Edinburgh, there to resolve to go to Leith or meet their other powers towards Stirling to-morrow.

By their letters I find their greatest doubts [are] past, [especially that of] not knowing what resistance to expect. A few days will try their fortune. Atholl, Gowrie, Montrose, Murray, Spynie, Forbes, Innermeath will with their power be "in felde" personally. They protest great care in their carriage towards the King. Their proclamations are published abroad, whereupon they look for increase of friends. Hamilton has two captains of his name and kin "in feld" with them with 100 horse, himself sending secret comforts.

It is said all last week that the King, speaking three sundry times with the ambassadors, has given fair language and is on terms of agreement; yet his former examples show that agreements made in fear prove faithless, and the issue, how plausible soever it seems, is "looked for" to prove fraudulent. "And if thes nobel men be left to thaim selves withowt the taking up of thair caws, besides that it wil hensforth in a necessity be hard to asosiat ther likes, so theas being now ingaged so far must cut thorow al difficultis a despaired safty; which if thay do whether by thair own fors (which thay hope) or the others fair offers (which extremitis may compel thaim to acsept) it wil be noway so profitable to hir Majesty (which in al this acsion I only have indevored) as by the imbassadors interpositions for hir Majesty in umperring of the caws, which I commit to your honours consideration of," craving with all possible diligence to know what I may do, either by repairing to them or otherwise, for satisfying their present expectation of the relief which they allege to have been promised by the ambassadors. Berwick. Signed: Henry Lok.

Postscript.—All the colonels, soldiers, and good captains are in Bothwell's camp.

p. Holograph. Also Address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk. Red wax seal partly remaining.

238. Mr. Henry Lock to Sir Robert Cecil. [April 5.]

By my last, of the 2nd, I had brought these enterprisers towards Dalkeith, where by 6 at night they met Lord Ochiltree (Ogletre) with about 100 horse, and Mr. Alexander Hamilton with 50. Then, hearing that their "soiards" [soldiers] of Fife would be over with them at Leith the next morning, they removed, after public prayers in the church, towards Leith, whither they came about 12 at night; and on the morning of the 3rd, having still no news from Athol, or of Spynie's passage [over] the Forth (whose powers were yet said to be great), they "toke in purpose" to repair the old fortifications of Leith for safeguard. "Whilst" they had begun this, notice came that the King's power was marching to besiege them there; which caused them forthwith to issue forth "in feld" with their force of only 600 horse sufficient, and no foot. In the afternoon, they being encamped in a plain betwixt Leith and Edinburgh, there issued out of Edinburgh 3 cannons, 200 shot, and "sum prikers on hors bak," who entered into light skirmishes with the other party till a battle (fn. 2) (as they think), of 1000 pikes, appeared with 500 horse led by Hume (who had the night before with 100 horse stolen in to Edinburgh), and by Wemyss (Weames), Carmichael (Kermikill), and Alexander Hume, the Provost of Edinburgh. After which the town of Edinburgh's infantry, "thowght better then 1000 shot," were drawn out by great difficulty ("throwgh the King's personal being in Edinburgh and instant intretie with to gret humiliasion to his subjects"). As his Majesty issued with them, the other party resolved to remove farther from Edinburgh, to be free both from the cannons playing out of the castle on them, and of these footmen's multitude. The King's presence "in felde," they only feared in regard of his safety. They drew, therefore, to Niddrie (Nethery), a town mid-way betwixt Edinburgh and Dalkeith, being two miles off from where Hume with the horsemen ascended a hill. The others, not far off, having newly arrived "to the plain underneth, sumwhat straight and marish," descried Hume at hand and Glamis with 400 horse more a mile off approaching, and determined to try their fortunes before Glamis's approach. Hamilton, therefore, divided their small companies into three, under leaders; the first to Ochiltree, Hercules Stewart, Bothwell's half-brother, and Captain Foster; the second under Colonel Boyd and J. Colville; and the rearward to Captain Hamilton. After prayers said on their knees, crying to God and the Church, and vowing that her Majesty should that day see proof of their intentions and faith, they advanced, first assailing the enemy's rearguard, who stood a while. In the middle "ward" Hume presently placed the "poltron," [i.e. the craven], the rearward "yet standing better to it," till at length in a short space they all, through Hume's weakness and the attackers' fury, began to wane, and at length to try their horses' speed towards Edinburgh by two several ways, the one towards Holyrood, the other by Borough Muir (Borow Moore) towards the castle. His Majesty stood in this way, by which the chase chiefly followed, and had done much more spoil had not the King's presence moved them to retire. They did not wish to occupy the place of his retreat, and Bothwell continually cried on them to spare blood, chiefly of the straggling footmen, who had now cast away many [of] their weapons and calivers and fled, and many followed to Edinburgh gates. The field thus cleared, they ransomed sundry prisoners (for of slain I hear not of above 12, all horsemen) and so retired to Dalkeith. Of theirs I hear not of one slain or taken nor much hurt.

Bothwell won Hume's cornet and his trumpet, to whom he gave liberty and two rose nobles to carry his challenge to Hume, whereto answer is not yet returned. At Dalkeith they refreshed themselves all that night, and till 9 the next morning. In all which time, hearing nothing of Atholl's purpose or hap, and being as yet too weak to abide a fresh charge, and being unvictualled for a siege in so weak a ground, they returned to Kelso (Kelsy) to be safe till a new resolution and intelligence of their friends' power and purpose. Whence I presently am sent for, being craved this day to meet them to hear their determinations; who have had nothing from the ambassador, being, as is said, restrained by a continual guard and watch from liberty to receive or send intelligence.

Thus your honour sees a thing begun more "happily" in show than substance; with great preparation but little effect. The hazard of overthrowing all I find great, if Atholl and they be idle or do not join in time; for as this nation "is soone hote and soone cowld," so want will press on them presently. If I knew truly her Majesty's intention I could do more. But I find that my dissuading them from a surprise attack, or any course dangerous to his Majesty, their want of "lent mony" (which altered their first counsels and days), and, lastly, the ambassador's late message to them in no case to seek the young Prince, have made them almost ignorant what to do, since the King will be where the persons they resist are and will patronise their cause, not admitting any petition or trial, except the force of the sword. Yet I look that of this beginning this effect must presently follow, either that they, being now "dispaired, inraged persons," shall work some greater matter or else be so utterly overthrown that there will hardly be head made again against the northern faction unless her Majesty supports in time. Berwick. Signed: Henry Lok.

3 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

239. Lord Zouche to Burghley. [April 6.]

Both by cross-dealing in Scotland and also by intelligence that my letters might be intercepted, I have been stayed from writing, but having arrived here I thought good to acquaint your lordship therewith and to stay the information until such time as I come myself, because the matter being intricate and my own actions slow, I shall be as soon at the Court as my despatches could be if I should stay here to settle them down and send [them]. I hope your lordship will be a means betwixt me and my wants [i.e. deficiencies] so that her Majesty may suspend her anger, which my ignorance may justly draw upon me. I came from Edinburgh this day, but find myself somewhat ill "upon it." Yet I hope to be with your lordship on Saturday at the furthest. Berwick. Signed: Edward Zouche.

2/3 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

240. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [April 6.]

Lord Zouche will sufficiently and at large inform your lordship of the whole success of all his negotiations (which have been done with such wisdom, constancy, courage, diligence and commendable behaviour in all the hard entertainments and discourtesies given to him there that the same have turned to his great honour and praise) and also of the present condition of this state. Restraint of access to me or conference with me has so barred intelligence that my abode here shall little profit in this service. [Therefore he again craves to be revoked or have licence to repair to her Majesty.] Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

½ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

241. Mr. John Colville to Sir Robert Cecil. [April 6.] Printed in Colville's Letters, p. 259.

The bearer can declare how courageously and reverently Bothwell and Ochiltree have behaved in this last journey. Although they could not without hazard of his Majesty's person achieve their victory, yet we hope that, although friends failed at the first, the credit we have gotten by that enterprise shall effectuate the work within few days. But howsoever those who have promised have been tardy and slothful (perhaps through the intercepting of the letters of advertisement sent to them), yet since we have not failed in our duty, we would know what regard shall be had to us either in further employment in that service, or support during our distress. Certainly "I beleif the benevolence of freindis" and I look that necessity shall move us to action, which, albeit the enemy be but too well prepared, we shall always follow out with dutiful respect to our sovereign's honour and safety.

To delude her Majesty, the ministry and all honest men, some form of pursuit is outwardly showed against these Papists, but, the chief councillors being their special friends, what greater severity can be expected than at the last raid on them, wherein Huntly was in the King's chamber the first night that his Majesty came to Aberdeen in pursuit of him? Whatsoever course her Majesty thinks meet to follow in our estate, I rest to be commanded as her born subject, and to use my credit where I am to that effect. Signed: Jo. Colville.

pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

242. Elizabeth to the Earl of Huntingdon. [April 8.] Vol. lii. p. 67.

Although we doubt not but you have understood from divers of our Council in what good part we have taken your exceeding care in our service, yet can we not forbear at this time to let you know it by our own hand, the rather for that these new occasions of disorders in Scotland and on our Borders have crossed our purpose to have had you come up in regard of your health.

It was strange to you to hear of your new guest, but to us as a matter incredible but that we found you so seriously to assure it. For, as that presumption in any such person would have been contrary to our liking, so in him, of all others, it was beyond our expectation, having sent so many cautions in that behalf. But now that things are as they be, whereof the issues are yet uncertain, and that the looseness of those northern parts is fit to be guided by wise and sound directions, we know that you would be loth to be absent in this "tickle" time, yet we require you there to have care of your health so that you may neither prove wearisome to yourself, or be less serviceable to us. Greenwich.

1 p. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A mynute of her Majesty's letter to the Erle of Huntingdon."

243. Mr. Henry Lock to Sir Robert Cecil. [April 9.]

Although I do not think that when you wrote your letters on the 3rd the successes of the 1st and 2nd here in Scotland could be known, yet I find by their scope a disgust of the intended course and of the form of accords that things were drawn unto, although never either by myself prepared or by the ambassadors accepted, or [by the] commissioners directly or otherwise intended "to" any unworthy form in so needful a matter. To prepare in all points, therefore, the readiest evasion for the profitable stop of the former and the conclusion of riper determination, I have thought it most fit, according to your advice, to hasten after Lord Zouche, who departed from Berwick yesterday. In the meantime, endeavouring to leave the enterprisers neither encouraged nor discouraged other than as from this "of better warant shall be disposted of" according to their own most sufficient knowledge of their own mind and others' actions, I will only speak with Bothwell and Ochiltree to acquaint them with my journey. They, being by bruit informed of Atholl's rising, with Forbes, are with 700 horse going shortly to him to pursue the common enemies; or if he [? Atholl] stays (which is likely, to give the King no excuse in his presently proclaimed raid on the Earls) then they are to ride on Hume and his party, but in all points to carry themselves respectfully to the King and Prince. I hope not to be long after the letters, and crave that, if any letters be sent for me, some mark may be on the back of the cover. Berwick. Signed: Henry Lok.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk. Red wax seal.

244. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [April 13.]

Forasmuch as her Majesty has employed the services of Sir Robert Cecil in the advertisements of her directions for the negotiation of the causes here with the King, the Estate and Council, the continuance of this course will (I think) still please her Majesty and well content your lordship, the rather that Sir Robert will impart all things to you, therefore I have presumed at this time to make my certificate to him of the present condition here, to be presented to her Majesty. I beg that you will accept my doings in the same, and that I may speedily know whether to hold on this course or to direct my letters in these causes to your lordship as before I used to do. [He begs to be revoked or to have access to her Majesty's presence.] Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

245. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [April 13]

That you may know the condition of this estate since Lord Zouche's departure, I have gathered information from sundry persons, although intelligence is in manner barred by the want of access to me without danger or suspicion. Albeit Edmund Arnold, coming hither from Berwick, was straitly searched for letters three several times, I have adventured herewith to give you understanding that on the evening of the 11th instant the King, pretending to be ready to ride to Stirling suddenly entered into boat at Leith and passed to Sir Robert Melvill's house at Burntisland with the Master of Glamis, some councillors, and with part of his guard, leaving another part to attend on Lord Hume, sent into the Merse, and the rest to remain in Edinburgh until called for.

The King was put in hope to have surprised in Fife the Lairds of Logie and Niddry (Netherye), Mr. Jerome Lindsay and others of quality, together with the captains and soldiers entertained for Bothwell. Those captains and soldiers, having entered on the sea to resort to Bothwell and coming near to Dunbar, returned into Fife and are scattered there on the coast and have been sought for by the guard, but as yet no one is apprehended. [In the margin: "One poore man called Kirkcaldy is taken."] The King and Council have charged the young Laird of Wester Wemyss and others suspected for Bothwell to appear before them this day at Burntisland, where the King will tarry for these causes, pretending to be purposed to ride to-morrow to Stirling, yet it is thought that he will assemble his whole guard and some power there and proceed hastily against Atholl at Dunkeld. But that journey is like to be stayed, for Atholl is said to be of such strength and mind that the King may, perhaps, see him before he shall look for him. What shall further ensue will shortly appear, and is looked to bring forth great storms and confusion in this realm.

Before the King's departure the summons of Angus, Huntly, Errol and Auchindoun to appear on the 20th May in the Parliament beginning the 18th of May was proclaimed, and warning given to the countries beyond Forth to attend on the King in his raid against the said parties. I enclose copies of the two proclamations, together with a copy of the letter sent by Bothwell and Atholl to the ministers lately convened at Dunbar. [No. 258.] It is told that the Master of Glamis, seeing the King and Council ready to give order for the raid against the Earls, said that there needed no haste in that matter until her Majesty should give aid.

It is now fully concluded that the Laird of Easter Wemyss and Mr. Edward Bruce shall be sent to her Majesty with the King's commission on the 15th instant. The Laird of Wemyss is addressed also to the French King to renew (as I hear) the league betwixt France and Scotland, with some further additions, and to require the French King to send his ambassadors hither to honour the baptism of this Prince.

Mr. Bruce is appointed to receive her Majesty's answer, and to return with the same to the King. It is told me that they shall seek the delivery of Bothwell, agreeable to the treaties, and in like manner as the King delivered O'Rourke to her Majesty; wherein, as they have direction to allege many matters proving the dangers falling on the King by the great favour given to Bothwell in England, so pointing at a breach of the league (which, nevertheless, they will soon pass over), they will much press that Bothwell may be delivered (which they look not for), or at least may be restrained, in like sort as was accorded between King Henry VIII. and James V. for restraint of the Earl of Angus. This shall be urged that the King be not hindered in his expedition against the Earls. [I am told that] sundry other things will be required at her Majesty's hands, as speedy payment of the yearly gratuity; liberal support for the prosecution of the Earls; the presence of her ambassadors to honour the baptism of the Prince; and if any mention shall be made of any letter or writing, written or subscribed by the King, proving him privy to the course with Spain, that thereon they have power to clear the King.

The Chancellor, left here by the King, departed to his house at Lethington the same day that the King crossed the Forth. He was directed to me to let me know the continuance of the King's resolute purpose to pursue the rebellious Earls. Wherein he gave great assurances with advice that Bothwell might be restrained that he should not impeach the progress of the King's intended raid. I answered that the King, this estate and himself had long and sufficient experience of her Majesty's mind and course for the preservation of the King and common causes here, and of her resolution to give no comfort or allowance to the course of Bothwell or of any other subjects tending anywise to the dishonour or peril of the King. [I said] that the King had delivered to Lord Zouche especial articles touching Bothwell, which would speedily be presented to her Majesty, who would either direct me, or else deliver the declaration of her pleasure herein to the King's ambassadors; further, that upon receipt of her Majesty's directions to me, I should diligently proceed in the execution thereof for the benefit of these causes, and in the meantime should omit no good office in my power to prevent the dangers threatened. I added that if the King pleased to declare his sincere mind to prosecute the Earls effectually by open action, he might approve [i.e. demonstrate] the same by wise and secret order to surprise them, in the security of their own houses, by such barons and persons of action as would sufficiently perform the same without great charge or trouble to him or [his] realm. With these [answers] he seemed well pleased, offering to expeed the good causes, but my advice for the surprise of the Earls savoured (methought) nothing in his taste.

Sir Robert Melvill and Sir John Carmichael were directed by the King to the ministers of Edinburgh to take their advice how Bothwell may be restrained that he impede not the prosecution of the Earls. It was answered that the ministers and whole Kirk, seeing the King entered into that action, shall not only concur with their public prayers to God and daily exhortations to the people for assistance of the King in that work, but also, if Bothwell shall lift arms either against the King's own person or the Prince or anywise to hinder the prosecution against the Earls, that then they would condemn him and his enterprise and to their power persuade all the people to withstand his attempt and give their services and assistance to the King in following forth the action against the Earls and Bothwell. This answer has not fully satisfied the King (as it is said), so that he is not thoroughly pleased with the doings of the ministers and officers of this town. For, whereas he required to be accompanied the other day with 500 footmen of this town to have surprised Bothwell in Carfrae (Carfray), they held it so dangerous to draw so many out of the town so far into the fields whilst the town was filled with strangers and borderers of broken sorts, that they prayed to be excused therein. And whereas the King wished them to put into Leith a sufficient number to keep that town against Bothwell and others minding to take and fortify it, they answered that they had not power to defend their own town and Leith; whereupon the King (as it is thought) departed the sooner and with better will from this town. Yet it is believed that, upon sight of new troubles arising, he will return here for his surest safeguard. Some fear that if he shall abide long beyond the water, he shall be so troubled and tempted that he shall be drawn either voluntarily or by force to put himsef into the hands of the Papists.

The Laird of Cessford came hither upon the King's letter, and is dismissed with favourable countenance, but Buccleuch being sick could not come. It is thought that hitherto they have no liking to be both here together.

All matters touching Bothwell I leave to the report of others. It is said that Mar purposed to assay to draw Bothwell to accept conditions whereby he would withdraw himself to parts beyond the seas and purchase quietness for his friends at home. It is credibly informed me that through the advertisements of their "familliars" the King is perfectly made acquainted with all the secret resolutions and plots of Atholl and Bothwell. [Begs for revocation.] Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript.—The King is now determined to pass quietly to-morrow to Stirling, taking with him the Duke alone. Logie has come to the King and proved himself so guiltless that he is committed to the custody of the Laird of Wester Wemyss, his kinsman. The rest of the gentlemen charged to appear are appointed to come to the King at Stirling.

4 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

Enclosure with the same.

(Proclamation for the levying of forces.)

Summarised in Register of Privy Council v. 140–141.

Forasmuch as it is resolved by the King's majesty, with advice of his Secret Council, to repair to the north for the repression of the chief authors of the treasonable conspiracies, letters are to be directed charging all earls, lords, barons, feuars, freeholders and landed gentlemen dwelling within the sheriffdoms of Fife, Kinross, Perth benorth the water of Erne, Forfar, and Kincardine, and the inhabitants of burghs within the said bounds to meet the King at Dundee on the 29th instant, and also all lieges dwelling within the sheriffdoms of Aberdeen, Banff, Elgin, Forres, Nairn, Inverness, and Cromarty, to burgh and land, to meet the King at Aberdeen on the 2nd May next.

pp. Broadsheet. Copy. At the head: "Apud Edinburgh nono die mensis Aprilis anno Domini jmvc lxxxxiiij." Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil.

246. Sir Robert Melvill to Burghley. [April 15.]

As for my silence this time bygone in making answer to letters written by your lordship to Mr. Bowes and myself, the one containing some privy commission that I had brought from her Majesty concerning the Papist lords, the other in favour of James Murray, to be spoken to his Highness in the Queen's name, as likewise to be informed of our proceedings here, the truth is that I have delayed to write, hoping for some better settling of this estate. Now taking occasion to satisfy yours in the premises, and to give you true information of my master's good inclination to please the Queen, I answer, first, that I "movit" James Murray's recommendation to his Majesty and received answer that his former service should be considered, albeit at that time he was under suspicion to have practised in "turnis" for which he is presently put in ward. As for the privy commission her Majesty gave me concerning the Papist lords, I communicated it only to my sovereign without any manner of dealing with the said lords, which is altogether agreeable to those instructions given to her Majesty's ambassadors to be imparted to her Highness. If she has been informed that any others have dealt any further "heirintill," I doubt not but she has tried the same.

I am sorry that jealousies have fallen forth betwixt our sovereigns since my departing, leaving her Majesty [at that time] in so good disposition towards my master, albeit I may constantly affirm that he continues in the like affection towards her as he has given proof at all times how willing he has been to please her Majesty in offending his nearest kinsmen and other great princes who offered him "greit plesour." My lord, let not sinister information take place to dishonour the long amity and sincere affection betwixt them, but suspend all suspicions and let sure trial be taken before you believe wherein the impediment consists: I assure you that if the articles delivered to your last ambassador, and now renewed by his Majesty's own ambassadors, be attended unto, the Papist lords will be prosecuted with rigour. Advise her Majesty to put her "helplie hand," otherwise it will not be possible to be performed, albeit his Majesty's intention be very good. Burntisland. Signed: Sir Robert Melvill.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

247. Sir Robert Melvill to Elizabeth. [April 15.]

When I call to mind the manifold courtesies shown by your Majesty unto me, partly in benefits, but chiefly that by your good favour my life in my sovereign's minority was preserved, I am moved to offer my "oblist" duty in giving you true information of the sincere affection which he bears to your Highness, whom he does prefer to all princes and friends on earth, albeit it appears his good inclination to continue the long and happy amity is of late brought "in" jealousy, carrying farther coldness than at any time heretofore, whereby perils may ensue to the whole isle, to the great grief of my heart, being yet first minister in this realm and oftest employed to do good offices, as I doubt not your Majesty may call to remembrance. The truth is that if both your Majesty's hearts were well known to the other, these suspicions would take no place. His Majesty minds effectually to prosecute the Papist lords until either by rigour he suppress them, or by their obedience in entering in ward and confessing their offence surety be set down for good order towards religion and the quietness of both the realms; and nowise to reduce [i.e. restore] them to his favour until your Majesty and the Kirk here be thoroughly contented. This procedure he is to undertake shortly, (fn. 3) as by the instructions sent by both your ambassadors may clearly appear, and in effect it accords to that privy commission I received of your Majesty, and where of I have been since "inquirit" by your ambassador. I communicated that matter only to his Highness, and have kept myself within "thir" bounds and gone no further. If, "besydes this," speeches have been made, they shall be found (fn. 4) to proceed from others. I affirm that I had neither intelligence nor dealing with these lords. I beseech your Majesty to consider rightly hereof, for I assure you that nothing shall be omitted in this turn that may give your Majesty contentment. Please to accept in good part these few lines from one of your "auldest acquentance" in this country and most affectionate to your service. Burntisland. Signed: Sir Robert Melvill.

1 p. Holograph. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

248. Instructions by James VI. to James Colville of Easter Wemyss and Mr. Edward Bruce, directed to Elizabeth. [April.]

"Instructions to our trustie and welbelovid James Colvill of Esterwemes and Mr. Edwarde Bruce, directed by us [to] our dearest sister and cozen the Quene of England."

After presenting our commendations and letters to the Queen, you shall, in our name, signify to her that, since God has blessed us in the birth of a young son, which we doubt not was advertised to her good liking and contentment, we could not omit, having due respect to the blood, amity and friendship betwixt us, heartily to invite her among the first by these presents to direct witnesses to assist the baptism appointed to be on 15th July next to come.

You shall declare next that we have made choice of you, after the return of Lord Zouche, to deal in some points touching us near in honour, and likewise to give assurance for performance of our offers [of] the prosecution of the Papists, if we find her favourable assistance and concurrence. But first of all you shall declare with what just griefs we have cause to renew our many complaints for the receipt and maintenance of Bothwell, with certain accomplices upon the Border of England. How he so oft hunted our life and sought our dishonour, from time to time the Queen has been acquainted, and we find it strange that lately, to our contempt, he has been publicly harboured within sundry of her own houses, comforted with money for the levying of certain companies of horse and bands of footmen and their pay proclaimed publicly at parish churches, and has been served with English "trumpeters." Thus aided, he came in warlike manner, accompanied with certain English subjects, within this realm, in sight of her Wardens and officers in the Marches, and at his coming by the castle of Wark was saluted with some shots of ordnance, with other favours and courtesies not accustomed to be showed to rebels and traitors, yea, not to most loyal subjects of ours, although of better rank and quality, standing in our good grace and favour. Likewise his retreat was no less public, riding with his troops in order, the cornets and "pinsonnes" being borne; and, coming by the said castle of Wark, the like congratulation of "shootes" and ordnance was used "as of before"; and within two days thereafter their musters made at Crowdoun Hill. You, being eyewitnesses, can best report what was his behaviour and enterprise in approaching so near the parts of our present residence, and all the circumstances.

You shall likewise call to the Queen's remembrance how oft in her letters to us not only was their "receipt" within her dominions disavowed, but also sundry advices interposed, mixed with sharp and vehement admonitions not to suffer such indignities most unseemly for a prince. What promises were contained in a letter written by herself to requite us for the delivery of her Irish rebel, O'Rourke, the same, delivered to you, will testify. (fn. 5) Besides that, the treaties of peace are as strait in that point as possible. All this you shall lay before her, and therewithal how perilous and evil example it is for princes to suffer and "overse" the receipt and entertainment in such excessive measure of rebels and fugitive traitors, and you shall, therefore, with all instance urge their apprehension and delivery to us. After so many promises, we expect at last to receive such satisfacton as in honour and reason we may rest contented [with].

Since on all occasions we have given effectual proof of our sincere goodwill towards the Queen, and will offer the hazard of our life, crown and whatsoever is most dear to us, preferring her amity to all others, and having thereby lost our foreign friends and raised up enemies both at home and abroad, we remit to her wiser consideration with what inequality and small respect we shall be thought dealt withal if the harbouring and aid of our so monstrous rebels within her dominions be any longer permitted and "oversene," and how the same shall be interpreted, and we thereby perhaps irritated to alter our former kindly disposition.

You shall likewise signify how "steightlie" [sic] being dealt withal by Lord Zouche for prosecution of the Papists, after refusal to set down his verbal proposition in writing for a more formal answer to have been made thereto, he altered [sic but ? uttered] his desires; whereof one was the removing from our company of some of our special servants, not expressing their names. For this we doubt if he had a warrant, as he seemed always to continue "in a preoccupied opinion conceived with such deffidence" that, although we made offer to enter into all action desired, with the performance of what else could be wished on our part, besides conference with some of our councillors appointed to reason with him "in all heades," he could never be drawn to a confirmed thing nor satisfied in any sort, pressing sometimes the delivering of some answer "with whatsoever yt was he would carie," (fn. 6) and after leave taken returned [and] threatened very oft to deliver the rest of a more hard commission to us in presence of our Council; which at last was done, but not so sharp as we looked for. Notwithstanding all this we did not fail to give him our full answer in writing, containing all that can be done on our part, if the Queen will give her help and concurrence, as the cause requires. Whereto you shall persuade her, remembering therewithal our desire for restraint and delivery of our rebels, that, all lets and impediments being removed, the prosecution of the Papists, excommunicates, and other malefactors may proceed to the purging of our land of such heinous crimes and offences wherewith it is now defiled.

Furthermore, you shall "remember" the Queen of that gratuity which it pleased her to bestow upon us after the contract of amity in the year 1586. [She promised] a sum of 4000l. at least, with a most friendly declaration in a letter under her privy seal (whereof the copy is delivered unto you for your better instruction) not to lessen that manner of kindness, but rather, as cause should require, to augment it; and besides made many promises in letters, all of her own hand (which you carry with you) to spare neither treasure, force nor anything else that we should stand in need of. The sum not having been received in such quantity as was promised, and great sums resting unpaid, you shall most earnestly urge an account and reckoning to be made, and what rests yet unsatisfied you shall crave to be delivered with that which is due for this present year, but in greater measure and quantity than has been granted at any time heretofore, in respect of the urgent occasions of augmenting our charges. Whatsoever sums of the annuity shall be procured either for "byronnes" or this present year you shall deliver to our servant Thomas Foulis (Fowelis).

You shall likewise, in declaring Lord Zouche's behaviour, remember that in his journeying homeward through the Merse, at Ebchester (Abchester), there was a meeting and long conference betwixt him, Bothwell, and the like, with the governor of Berwick. How this may be interpreted we remit to the Queen's judgment.

32/3 pp. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk.

249. Instructions by James VI. to James Colville of Easter Wemyss, directed to the King of France. [May [rectius April]. Printed in Warrender Papers, ii. 237–240; dated April.

"Instructions to our trustie and welbeloved James Colvill of Eisterwemys directed by us to our dearest brother and cosyn the King of Fraunce and Navare."

After you have presented our commendations and letters to the King of France and Navarre you shall declare to him our great desire to cultivate the most ancient league betwixt that crown and ours, and shall impart to him the news of the birth of our young son, and therewithal invite him, by such as he shall please to direct, to assist the baptism appointed for the 15th day of July next to come.

You shall likewise congratulate his late happy success, wishing to him the accomplishment of the rest of his heroic and princely desires to the rendering of his subjects to their due obedience and acknowledgment of him their only and natural sovereign.

You shall also signify with what earnest desire we are contented (having understood the like in him by a letter sent to us) to have the ancient league renewed and confirmed in all points and articles, with addition of what further shall be thought necessary to be capitulated; which may be done by such as shall be authorised with sufficient commission from us for that effect. You shall deal in like sort that the company of men-at-arms of this nation for service there (the charge whereof being given to you, as before, is now certified by us) may be restored again and have their ancient entertainment.

If, before you return thence, the King and the house of Guise be not perfectly accorded, we have thought meet likewise to direct you to deal with our cousins the Dukes of Guise and Maine, "remonstring" to them how desirous we are to have them acknowledge their natural prince, whereunto if they can be moved at our request we will most earnestly "interpone" the same by you. Seeing it has pleased God to devolve the just right and title of that crown upon our dearest brother (who we doubt not will have such consideration of them as their qualities and ranks shall merit), their rendering of obedience to him will procure no small honour to themselves, will greatly benefit the country and pacify that troubled state.

You shall likewise make diligent enquiry concerning the Queen our mother's debts and revenues there, and report to us the very case, so that requisite order may be taken, seeing the same must justly appertain to us.

Because of the great damage sustained by some merchants of this realm using their lawful trade in time of war, you shall deal earnestly for redress for their losses, and in case of refusal that letters of reprisal be granted, seeing, as we understand, they had warrant and protection of both the parties. You shall travail earnestly for the Bishop of Glasgow's restitution ad integrum to all he was dispossessed of; whose good affection to our late mother's service, and to our own, merits to be remembered in whatsoever favour our recommendation can procure.

2⅓ pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

250. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [April 16.]

By long experience of the especial devotion of the Laird of Easter Wemyss, and the affection of Mr. Edward Bruce, Commendator of Kinloss, towards her Majesty and the amity, I have just cause to recommend these two ambassadors to your lordship's favourable courtesies and entertainment, and to request that, as the Laird of Wemyss is likewise to pass to the French King with commission from the King of Scots, leaving Mr. Bruce to bring back her Majesty's answers to his instructions, you will advance the expedition of the happy success of his journey and of his return. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

½ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

251. Answer by Elizabeth to a Writing subscribed by the Secretary of Scotland. [April 20.] Printed in Warrendar Papers, ii. p. 228, omitting the last part of article 3.

"Awnsweare apointed by the Queen's Majesty to be made to a writinge subscribed by the Secretary of Scotland, entituled 'An Awnsweare commaunded by his Majestie to be delivered to the Lord Zowche, ambassadour for the Quenes Majestye of England.' "

Her Majesty commanded me to make this answer (to be showed to the King) to a writing comprised in five articles, subscribed by the King's Secretary in the King's name and given to Lord Zouche. (1) Concerning the King's promise to prosecute with all extremity the process of forfeitures at the day prefixed against the Papist lords, her Majesty has had the like promise at sundry times heretofore, but she has hitherto seen no good performance of such offers. (2) Concerning the King's offer in the meantime to pass in his proper person against the said offenders on 20th April, her Majesty likes that course very well, and wishes the continuance of such honourable mind in the King, and being taken in hand the matter can have no difficulty to stay it. (3) Concerning the third, Lord Zouche declared to her Majesty that, besides the general commandments that had been given to the three general Wardens to forbid the "receipt" of Bothwell, or to yield him any aid to make any "attemptates" in Scotland, he certainly knew that of late the Warden of the Middle March by open proclamation caused to be dispersed a number of horsemen who had secretly assembled (and who, he doubted, would have stolen into Scotland to Bothwell), so that the King may herewith be well pleased to see her commandments thus obeyed. Yet her Majesty sees with what difficulty the vulgar people is to be restrained from secret favouring of the Earl, notwithstanding most strait commandments to the contrary, and the rather pardonable in them, because they see in what sort he is openly succoured and aided in the King's own country, especially upon the Borders, where for these two or three years he and his company have been suffered to pass from town to town without restraint or impeachment, even when he came to Edinburgh, the King's principal city. Where the King requires that, until the end of his intended prosecution of the Earls, Bothwell should be detained from such attempts, or, after the "ende of the said expiration" be delivered, or nowise favoured by her Majesty or any of her subjects, her Majesty continues her former opinion that he shall not be suffered to have any comfort in her realm to attempt anything against the King's person or to impeach the prosecution of his rebels; and though she cannot restrain him within the bounds of his own country, yet if she shall perceive manifestly that the King will prosecute the Earls according to his promise, she will assure him that if Bothwell or any of his party should attempt any thing upon the Borders of Scotland to stir any trouble whereby to withdraw him from this action or delay the execution thereof, she will cause her own forces to stay him and his from any such attempt. (4) The fourth article contains a motion to be aided with some support of money for the furtherance of the King's action, to be furnished at the time of the prosecution or before his returning from those parts. To this motion her Majesty finds small cause of answer, for in that realm the people and forces are usually levied and brought to the field in warlike manner, without any special wages; and many armies have been levied against England without any wages from the King, although not for above thirty-four or thirty-five years, and therefore her Majesty sees no cause for the King to defer this public and profitable service upon expectation of money out of England. Besides, she sees no likelihood that the money should be employed in this kind of service, considering that she never understood that any part of the money delivered last year was employed against the said rebels, though at that time a small part of that sum might have so reduced them that now the King would not need any further journey; neither can she expect any effectual suppression if no other course be held this year than last, when, though they were forced to abandon their houses, yet the custody thereof was, in the end, given over to their friends, and consequently restored to the rebels, and by them ever since freely enjoyed, But besides this, a great absurdity against the King's honour [has been] committed, if the report be true that the Earl of Huntly obtained a commission of lieuten ancy in the north at the same time that he was published a traitor. The last article is of all others the most strange, for it presages that all the noble offers made by the King in the first article may vanish to smoke; for it concludes that for lack either of delivery or restraining of Bothwell, or support of money in due time, the interrupting or retarding of the King's action may not be imputed to the King, nor his good meaning interpreted as "shewes." By these words it may be gathered that there is more regard to a restraint of Bothwell (which, notwithstanding, is offered by her Majesty within her own realm) and to a portion of money than to making the realm free from most dangerous traitors.

pp. Draft in the hand of Burghley's clerk. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil: "20 Ap. 1594. An awnswere to the Secretarye of Scotlandes writinge." Corrections in Sir Robert Cecil's hand.

Another draft of the same.

5 pp. Endorsed by Burghley.

Fair copy of the same (Vol. 53, pp. 68–72).

252. Burghley to Robert Bowes. [April 20.] Vol. lii. p. 73.

Her Majesty would have you deliver to the Secretary to be imparted forthwith to the King her answer to certain articles brought by Lord Zouche and signed by the Secretary. Besides the delivery hereof, you shall offer to answer to any objection thereto. Therefore, because they will allege that the only stay of the prosecution of the Earls is the refusal of a sum of money required, you shall (if you find the King no way satisfied with the reasons alleged in Lord Zouche's writing) say that you think assuredly, when we see the Earls thoroughly prosecuted to their suppression, and their lands and livelihoods forfeited without hope of their recovery to breed new troubles, her Majesty may in reason be moved to yield some aid for the charges sustained; and you may give the King hope to trust thereto, and earnestly move him to follow the same without delay.

Item, [as] to the matter pressed by the King to have the Earl Bothwell restrained during his prosecution of his rebels, you may give good assurance thereof, according to the express words contained in the third article of the writing. You shall assure him that she promises to employ her forces against the Earl and his party if they shall attempt anything to the hindrance of the prosecution of the rebels. You shall do well to cause his friends to admonish the Earl of this determination, thereby to restrain him from all violence more than in his own defence. (fn. 7) In this sort you shall hasten this negotiation with the King, so that her Majesty may speedily find what expectation she may have of his purpose to perform his promise. If, notwithstanding this answer now given to him and your declaration of the rest, he shall make any colourable delays, she, being thereof certified by you, minds no more to be abused with vain promises. On the other side, if she shall find his proceedings to be sincere and earnest, she will perform all good offices of love and friendship that reasonably may be required; and if you see his proceeding sincere and void of delays you shall in her name comfort him with this offer. Greenwich.

pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of the Lord Treasurers letter of instructions to Mr. Ro. Bowes."

Draft of the same. Corrections in Burghley's and Sir Robert Cecil's hands. Vol. 53, No. 39.

Another draft of the same. Corrections in Burghley's and Sir Robert Cecil's hands. Vol. 53, No. 40.

This draft contains another deleted paragraph anent Bothwell: If he will forbear to attempt anything against the King's good subjects during the time the King will seriously prosecute his rebels with force and if the King shall subdue them so that the realm may be freed from danger from the said rebels, Bothwell will be so free from offending the King by any action that he will be contented presently to enter into custody of any ward within the frontiers of England and there to be detained as a prisoner by her Majesty's commandment, and to be by her delivered to the King to answer any accusations by the states of the realm. Such an offer being made by Bothwell, you shall receive the same from him "without being knowen that the same hath bene before hand made knowen to the Queenes Majeste."

253. Sir Robert Cecil to Robert Bowes. [April 20.] Vol. lii. p. 68.

By Lord Burghley's letter you may perceive her Majesty's answers to that writing delivered under the hand of the King's Secretary. If you observe one part of the answer to the third article, you shall see that the Queen protests that if Bothwell shall begin any attempt whilst the King is in action against the Earls, she will take order that he shall be pursued by her own subjects; wherein, though she will not have you put any such thing into the article, yet is it her pleasure that you shall "of yourselfe" move the King to avoid all particular prosecution of Bothwell's friends for the time, lest they, taking apprehension, be driven to stand to their guard for their own defence, which may be a colour for their purposes and disorder to the King's affairs. This you may tell him "of yourselfe" when he has read the answer. Greenwich.

2/3 p. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A mynute of my master letter to Mr. Bowes."

254. Obligation by Bothwell to depart out of Scotland. (fn. 8) [1593 c. Sept. 11.]

I, Francis, Earl Bothwell, etc. Forasmuch as the King's majesty has, of his special grace and favour, faithfully promised to restore me, my wife, bairns and accomplices, in Parliament to be holden in the month of November next to come, and to grant us full restitution and re-possession to our lands, rooms and possessions, and that we shall have particular remissions for whatsoever attempts committed by us at any time heretofore against his Majesty or his authority, and that full security shall be granted and established in our favour by "decreit" of Parliament, therefore I bind and oblige myself faithfully that I, for satisfying of his Majesty's will in that part, shall with all possible expedition make my preparation for my departing forth of this realm with such others my accomplices to whom his Majesty shall grant licences, and shall depart forth thereof within the space of (fn. 9) months after my said restitution, repossession and security [shall be] granted in Parliament; and that I shall remain forth of this realm during the space of (fn. 10) and in case I fail and do not depart within the space aforesaid I shall renounce all benefits of restitution, repossession etc., and am content that my restitution and all benefits thereof which shall be granted hereafter to me shall be null and void.

¾ p. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed: "Botwels obligacion."

255. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [April 21.]

After the King had caused his guard and others narrowly to search all the towns on the seacoast in Fife, and nothing prevailed therein, he departed on Sunday last, the 14th instant, to Stirling, finding there the Queen both sickly and also little pleased with his absence and that he had taken out of the hands of the burgesses of Edinburgh such part of the money received with her on their marriage and concredited to them for yearly profit. These sums are to be assigned for payment of this new guard, which will not be long thus kept together without the money to be levied by the taxation granted to the King. After the expense and "diffraye" of levying this money it is said that little will remain to suffice the charges at the baptism of the Prince and for longer maintenance of the guard, which may not be discharged before resolute order be taken with Bothwell. Some think that here is good hope to draw the relief in these behalfs from her Majesty, or otherwise to provide means by foreign friends.

The King purposes to return to Edinburgh about the 24th instant, for the Convention of some of the nobility and estates nearest this town, beginning here on the 26th for consultations upon preparations for the King's raid towards the north against the rebellious Earls. According to the proclamation he intends to begin this journey about the 29th. It is bruited here, but little hoped, that Angus and Errol will yield themselves to ward before the King's raid. I am informed that Angus, having . . . (fn. 11) the Sacrament of the Altar, as they term it, at a mass, and sundry other persons with him, has passed lately to Huntly to confer with him in these behalfs. Huntly appears (as some who have lately spoken with him inform me) to take little care for the hurt to be done to him by the King's personal raid against him, and in the meantime was ready to invade Mackintosh's bounds. Many wise and well affected much distrust to find very profitable fruit of the King's journey, and if Bothwell shall attempt any enterprise against Huntly and the Papists, as it is bruited that he intends to do, thereon the King shall turn himself against Bothwell and his party.

Charges are directed to Atholl and Forbes, commanding Forbes to appear before the King and Council on the 19th instant (which he has not performed), and Atholl on the 26th, to answer for their treasonable dealings and practising with Bothwell at his last "attemptate." Some letters have been brought hither from Sir James Sandilands, then at Venice, and from some Papists at Antwerp, and have fallen into the hands of some ministers, who are so suspected and threatened that they will not adventure to offend in any little matter nor break open the letters without especial order. I cannot yet get the information in those letters, and if they come into the hands of the principal officers here, then all great and secret matters are likely to be concealed from the common sort. I am told that the King of Spain will not send hither any money and forces before the King here shall "imbarke himselfe" plainly against the Queen of England.

Some letters sent by some near about Bothwell have been heard of by one letting me know that they have been carried to the King, and that thereby it is certified that Bothwell will come again into Scotland and attempt his enterprise against the Papists before the end of this month. It is likely that the writer of this letter shall be known and discovered to Bothwell. This Court (as I am informed) is possessed with strong opinion that her Majesty will not break or "caste upp" with it for any cause, even if they should hang her two ambassadors, whose residence here has been deemed by some councillors at the Council table to be hurtful to this estate and requisite to be restrained. This, with the hatred of the Court against me, bars all resort to me, as the King's ambassadors can testify, so that my abode here can yield no fruit. Nevertheless, I will be very contented to sustain all dangers and griefs, if it may profit her Majesty's service, still craving that I may once see her Majesty's gracious eyes beholding me and her sacred ears hearing my informations for the benefit of her own services. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript.—The King caused Mr. John Ross, preacher in St. Andrews, to be committed to ward for words uttered in his sermon, reproving him for his excessive favours to the traitorous Earls and Papists, and many others of the ministers fear to receive shortly the like measure, whereby this estate is presently tossed with confusion.

pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.

256. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [April 24.]

The King has deferred his return to Edinburgh until to-morrow, and some bruit has arisen that he will also defer for some few days his raid against the rebellious Earls. But I am informed that although the King is still minded to proceed on that journey, yet the Council intend to persuade him to suspend it, in regard that the Earls are summoned to Parliament and by law ought not to be troubled in the meantime; which allegation has before this been condemned. But how it shall now be allowed, it is not certain.

It is reported that the Earl of Argyll, intending to have "partyed" Atholl against Huntly, shall be stayed by the Earl of Mar, who, with the King's privity and order, will this day set forwards to withdraw him from Atholl; yet some think that Argyll will hold his former purpose. Likewise earnest labour is made to put all men from Atholl and his associates, preparing, as it is said, to ride against Huntly and the rebellious Earls.

On the 22nd instant the Master of Glamis and the rest of the Council here came to the Tolbooth with the King's commission to fence and adjourn the Parliament, which is "put over" until the King shall have further occasion to begin it. This manner (as it is said) has not been in use or practice before. All summonses and bills before made and appointed to be heard at the Parliament of 18th May next are brought in question; so that this course "occupyethe manye to deme rightly what is intended herbye."

Colonel Balfour, then in Holland, has certified by letter that a Jesuit, corrupted by Duke Ernastus to kill Count Maurice [of Nassau], is taken, and has confessed. It is herewith given out (by what warrant I do not know, for Balfour in his letter "seyne to me" makes no mention hereof) that the Jesuit has further confessed that Ernastus has sent forth eleven other persons to seek the lives of her Majesty, the French King, the King of Denmark, the King of Scots, and other princes. But little credit is given to the report that the life of the King of Scots is thus sought. Nevertheless the Council here have earnestly examined a stranger of Moravia, lately come to this realm. This stranger affirms that he came hither from England, purposing to pass to Hamburg, and as he denies all allegations against him, he is kept with a guard until further order shall be taken at the King's coming.

William Troupe, servant and solicitor to Huntly, has diligently sought Huntly's relief. Advice is given to Huntly to render himself to ward, but I am told that he has no liking thereof. The Countess, his wife, has departed from Court and returned to her husband. Her rewards in the Queen's chamber were liberal and far exceeding the common order and proportion used here. Lord Ochiltree, crossing the water of Forth and arriving at Kirkcaldy to pass to the Earl of Atholl, was discovered and sought there by the King's guard of horsemen, but he escaped with the loss of five geldings, which he left in the town. Now he has gone to Atholl at Dunkeld. I am informed that Sir James Lindsay and Thomas Tyrie (Tyrye) shall be secretly sent into Flanders and France; that their errand in Flanders shall be to Duke Ernastus; and that "for" France they shall bring the King of Scots's letters to sundry of his kinsmen of the house of Guise, and take the means of the Laird of Wemyss (presently ambassador to her Majesty) for the delivery of those letters. But you may haply learn better certainty of these matters from Wemyss, if the same be already committed to him and his travail. I am told that they and their coffers are already put into the ship, and that they were ready to go on board with the first wind, first for Flanders, and from thence to France. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

12/3 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

256a. Proclamation for the King's Army to be ready for a Raid against the Rebels. [April 29.] Printed in Acts of Parliament of Scotland, iv. 54; Register of Privy Council, v. 143. Inventoried in Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, ii. 257.

The army appointed to convene at Dundee on the 29th instant is to hold itself in readiness for pursuit of traitors and rebels upon six days' warning.

¼ p. Copy. Broadsheet. Endorsed by Bowes's clerk.

257. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [April 30.]

According to directions given me by Sir Robert Cecil and yourself, I have drawn the answer appointed by her Majesty to be made to the writing subscribed by the Secretary of Scotland as an answer to Zouche [No. 251], and also subscribed the same and delivered it to the Lord Secretary here. In this draft I observed the whole form and substance of the writing sent by your lordship, saving that, in the accomplishment of her Majesty's pleasure as signified by Sir Robert Cecil, I omitted one clause in the third article which contained that if Bothwell shall begin any attempt whilst the King is in action against the Earls her Majesty will take order that he shall be pursued by her own subjects. I have "drawne out" that clause, as her Majesty will not have me put it in. Nevertheless, I have of myself and by my own advice wished the King to avoid all particular prosecution of Bothwell's friends for a time, lest they stand to their guard for their own defence, which may be a colour to other purposes and a disorder to the King's affairs.

Secondly, I have added some words at the end of the fourth article, that thereby I might manifest the certainty of the King's grant of the commission of lieutenancy alleged by the article to have been made to Huntly, which indeed was conveyed for him to the Laird of Petlurgo. That you may see all the alterations in the writing containing her Majesty's answer, I enclose true copies as well of the writing which I delivered to the Secretary as also of that which you sent for her Majesty's answer specified. By view of the notes set down therein the alterations will readily be seen.

On the 27th instant the King gave me audience, whereupon I "opened" the directions to be imparted to him. But because he was not then acquainted with the contents of her Majesty's answer as delivered in writing to the Secretary, therefore he referred me over until the 29th instant. On the 27th he sent Sir Robert Melvill, the Provost of Edinburgh, Mr. David Lindsay, and Mr. James Balfour to let me know that the Estate and Council convened thought it convenient to forfeit or attaint Angus, Huntly, Errol, and Auchindoun before he proceeded by force against them, and to pray me to think of the matter, and on the 29th to give my advice therein. For reasons moving the King and the Estate to defer the raid and first to forfeit the rebels, it was alleged that victuals were wasted and would not suffice him and his forces; that the King's journey and great trouble of the country would be fruitless in regard that the rebels would not resist, but would withdraw and cover themselves in secret places; that their bodies might be most lawfully pursued and their houses and possessions most orderly seized and disposed to their greatest disadvantage after they shall be forfeited; and that being presently summoned to appear at the Parliament, they ought not in the meantime to be prosecuted by force. Wherein it was affirmed that the opinions of learned counsel declared that if these parties, thus summoned, shall be prosecuted by force before their day of appearance at Parliament, then they may well by course of these laws reduce the judgment and forfeiture "denunced" therein. Besides, it was said that some noblemen and many barons well affected "had no good lykinge" to adventure themselves in company of so strange a guard of mercenary soldiers as should attend on the King on this journey, and whose captains and leaders were known so affectionate to the Earls to be pursued.

I answered that the matters mentioned to stay the King's indelate prosecution of the rebels had been before in consideration, and were overruled and thought insufficient to delay the pursuit of the rebels by force before the Parliament. And whereas I had alleged before the King and Council in Zouche's hearing that those rebels, being summoned to Parliament, might not lawfully be now prosecuted by force before their appearance (whereupon I noted that the offer and promise then made for the speedy prosecution of the rebels by force, in manner accorded, had no good ground or meaning, and would work little profit to the cause), the King and Council then directly affirmed that the King might thus lawfully pursue them by force, notwithstanding that they were summoned to Parliament, and also that their forfeiture pronounced by Parliament upon their non-compearance was good in law; which is now denied. Besides, I laid before them the novelty and unaccustomed manner of the prorogation of this Parliament, whereby the summons and judgment growing thereon against the offenders were now questionable, and I concluded that her Majesty now could not but deem that these continuations and delays, after such firm promises and assurances, should tend wholly to protract time for the safety of the traitors, whereby religion and the estate shall be endangered. By their reply they fortified their reasons for forfeiture of the rebels before further prosecution, affirming therewith that the reasons and causes recited had not been sufficiently and seasonably foreseen and weighed. Further, Sir Robert Melvill and the Provost (present at the last prorogation of this Parliament) assured confidently that it was done agreeable to the accustomed order, and to be plainly warranted by record, so that the forfeiture of these parties by the next Parliament shall be clear and perfect in law. After long debate, I differed in opinion with them; whereupon they prayed me, according to their commission, to weigh well these matters and on the 29th to give my advice herein to the King.

Yesterday afternoon I again had access to the King, who, first, "remembred" to me how he had showed his own readiness to accomplish the prosecution of the Earls; nevertheless his Estates and Council, presently convened and moved with sundry weighty reasons, have advised him first to forfeit them by the next Parliament. Hereupon he recited the reasons before alleged by the four commissioners. All which reasons, except the last, he repeated and amplified much, with persuasion that it was most profitable and necessary that the forfeiture of these Earls should go before the further prosecution of them. They might be easily prosecuted (he said) after they were forfeited; and therein he called for my advice. For answer, I put the King in remembrance that in the first and second articles in the writing delivered to the Secretary by me (and which I saw then in his hand) her Majesty had signified that she liked very well the course which the King promised to take in hand to pursue the lords (etc.). I stood firm both upon this course approved by her Majesty, and also on my former opinion showed to the four commissioners, letting the King know that these manifold and sudden changes will be thought very strange to her Majesty. He travailed to prove the necessity of this change and stay of his raid. But without any approbation of the advice given to the King by the Estates and Council, or of his own disposition to incline to the same, and with "memoriall" of former defections and changes, I showed myself ready to receive from the King and to send to her Majesty these matters thus propounded to me, that they might be considered and allowed as she best liked.

Afterwards the King, seeming not satisfied in sundry parts of the articles delivered to the Secretary, desired to know whether her Majesty's meaning at the end of the third article is to provide only that none of her subjects shall aid Bothwell in the behalfs "remembred," or whether she will restrain and detain him, agreeable to the request delivered to Lord Zouche, and according to the King's desire to be signified by the Laird of Easter Wemyss and Mr. Edward Bruce. I "referred" the declaration of her Majesty's meaning herein to her own answer to be given to the ambassadors, adding that her Majesty, by the usual custom of Borders and Marches, could not arrest and detain Bothwell (or any of his degree and quality) before they should be orderly called for by the King's own ministers, and that a demand for things not seen in practice before ought to be well considered before it be granted, chiefly when the honour of the prince is interested by the same. Nevertheless he prayed that he might understand by me her Majesty's full mind herein, which he trusted to receive shortly by his ambassadors, to whose report I left the same. I told the King "as of myself" and without warrant that if Bothwell with good advice shall be persuaded to attempt nothing to endanger the King's person or impeach his prosecution of the rebels, then the King should avoid all particular prosecution of Bothwell's friends for the time, lest they shall be drawn to stand to their guard for their own defence, which may be a colour for other purposes and a disorder to the King's affairs. This I did in the execution of the direction given by Sir Robert Cecil's last letter, and to prevent the inconveniences likely to fall on Atholl by the King's forces, suspected to be shortly bent against him. But the King readily rejected my advice, saying that thereby he would show himself no King, and further that he would follow the course lately taken by the French King, who, when the Duke d'Aumale sought to treat with the King for his peace, answered "that uppon his [James's] sute to him as his kinseman he would give eare to his requeste (fn. 12); and the King (as me thought) semed pleased to doe to th'Erle Bothwells frindis."

Secondly, he pressed much for some certainty as to what aid in money her Majesty would give him to prosecute the rebels, and at what time he might trust to receive the same, marvelling that in the fourth article no perfect offer and order were expressed for his satisfaction herein, and alleging that the aid ought to be with him before his return from the pursuit of the rebels. I told him that, when her Majesty shall see his prosecution against the Earls thoroughly prosecuted in due season to their suppression, and their lands and livelihoods forfeited, without hope of their recovery to breed more troubles in the two realms, she may in reason be moved to yield to him some aid for his charges. I earnestly persuaded that the prosecution might be sincerely and seasonably executed, which the King agreed to do, on condition that he might be enabled by her Majesty to accomplish it, and still urged some certainty for the portion to be granted by her; and offered to leave to her Majesty's own pleasure the disposition of the sums and the choice of all captains and their officers serving in this expedition, as by the articles delivered to Lord Zouch he had, he said, already promised. I have also left this to his ambassadors, who have instructions to solicit the same. Yet the King very earnestly pressed me to procure speedy advertisement of her Majesty's resolution therein, which I wholly commend to her pleasure, chiefly in regard that the King's present expedition against the rebels is "put over" until new occasion and warning.

In the fourth article he noted that albeit his people are bound to serve him in martial services without wages, yet he ought to be supplied with aid in this behalf because his charges will grow most in keeping the houses and possessions of the rebels after he has taken them, which charges his subjects are not bound to bear.

Secondly, in the same fourth article he said her Majesty was not well informed, for he affirmed that he gave no commission to Huntly or his friends after Huntly was published traitor. But he ackn[owledged] indeed to have given commission in nature of lieutenancy to the Laird of Pitlurg to preserve Huntly's tenants from the slaughter of Mackintosh. This commission was granted before Huntly was denounced traitor, and has been revoked.

Thirdly, [to] the fifth article the King said that he expounded the necessity of his case, and that he did not suit for aid, but made it known that without it he could not prosecute the Earls with good effect, wherefore he sought that the blame, then coming without his default, might not be imputed to him.

Because I saw that the King laboured to excuse himself and his actions in these behalfs, I made several answers, fortifying the effects in the articles; and so, as he was in haste to confer with his Council then assembled and tarrying for him, I left him, wrapping up all things with this note, that if her Majesty should see his proceedings to be sincere and without delay, she would perform all reasonable offices of love and friendship to him.

The Parliament is appointed to begin at Edinburgh on the 27th of May next. Sundry persons of good experience think it likely to get further prorogation, and some look that Angus and Errol will yield to enter ward upon secret conditions, and that Huntly will pass by sea to foreign parts, whereby the Parliament shall not need to be holden. Missives of [summons for] the lords and others are presently in writing and to be sent forth with speed. The charge against Atholl and process to put him to the horn proceeds speedily. The Master of Gray is directed and has passed in great haste to Atholl, to persuade him (as I am told) to enter ward in Edinburgh Castle, the Isle of Bute or in Galloway with the Laird of Garlies (Garlishe). Atholl's servant departed towards his lord some time before the Master of Gray, whereby it is deemed that Atholl will not agree to enter ward. Many think that the King will turn his forces from the Papist Earls and send them all against Atholl. It is said that Montrose has showed the King Atholl's letter requiring him to meet Atholl and Bothwell at Leith at the same time that Bothwell came hither with his forces. But Atholl still stands on his former ground that he agreed to "partye". Bothwell against Huntly, and not for other causes "objected" against him.

Upon some bruit that Colonel Sempill and the brother of the Laird of Beltries (Baltres) had arrived in Scotland, I made search and found that Beltries has indeed arrived without any great matter or credit of importance, but Colonel Sempill (as I am informed) remains in Spain with his wife, having lately married.

It is said here that Anderson, Scotsman, late preacher at London, has been sent hither to entertain some secret intelligence and course for England, and his coming hither and behaviour "occupyethe manye with great jelousyes." Huntly (as I am informed) has lately made a great raid against Macintosh, and with slaughter of many people has burnt many houses and carried away great prey of cattle. This fact is passed over hitherto without provision for redress or punishment. The King sends forth nightly some bands of horsemen of his guard to apprehend and surprise such of Bothwell's servants, friends and followers as have "partyed" him in his actions. They have taken Lawrence Wardlaw (Vardlawe), James Murray, brother of John Murray, one poor man of Kirkcaldy and two or three more, whereof the poor man of Kirkcaldy has been executed in Edinburgh, because, contrary to the King's proclamation, he received imprest (fn. 13) and entertainment to serve Bothwell. It is verily expected that sundry of Bothwell's friends shall shortly suffer great extremities, and it is much noted that the rebellious Earls with all . . . (fn. 14) together with their own great outrages are thus let slip without any correction or check. Cessford has been with the King, and after long and secret conference was dispatched home with great speed. Buccleuch is presently here, and to be returned with the King's favour upon his promises to serve faithfully against Bothwell. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Postscript.—After the writing hereof I was advertised that some of the King of Spain's instruments have arrived at Montrose and passed to Huntly with good store of Spanish gold. I enclose a copy of the letter advertising the arrival and doings of these Spanish instruments.

7 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

First enclosure with the same.

(Answer by Elizabeth to a writing subscribed by the Secretary of Scotland.)

Copy of No. 251. Against that part of article 3 commencing: "And thoughe her Majesty cannot restrayne him within the boundes of his owne countrye," there is the marginal entry: "All this clause is omitted in the writinge subscrybed by me and delivered to the Lord Secretary at Edinburgh 27° Aprilis, 1594, and I have done the same by derection in Sir Robert Cicills letter of the xxth of Aprill foresaide to me."

Opposite the last sentence in article 4, there is also a marginal note thus: "This addition is inserted to manifest the certentye of the Kingis graunt alleidged."

pp. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

Another copy of the first enclosure as revised by Bowes, omitting the words with regard to assistance to be given to the King of Scots against Bothwell. There is a note at the end as follows: "Memorandum that I subscrybed the double hereof and delivered it to the Lord Secretary, at Edinburgh, 27 Aprilis, 1594."

2 pp. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "1594. Aunswere to the writing delivered by the Scotishe Kinges Secretarie," and by Burghley: "27 April."

Third enclosure with the same. (fn. 15)

(— to Robert Bowes.)

"Remembring our last conferance how Sir James shewed you gif it was trew the Papiste Lordis for (sic) they wald get eyther men or money before May, and trewly I suppose they are satisfyed with ane; (fn. 16) for upon Saturday the xxvjth of this instant, about x or xj houres at even, and arrey[vit] ane Flemming bark on our watter, wha comes one grownd upon Langanners and incontinent, after she was on ground, their landit thre men, one Scottis man and one French man, and ane uther Inglish spokin, wha came to John Wilsones house, and tymelye in the morning, before we knew any thing, departit with ane hyred horse, whairupon they laid ane pakit of great weyght, which we juge to be gould, and past to Aberden. The Scotis man only accompanyed therewith. The other two we suppone to come south. I examined the skipper, wha sayes he is ane man f[rom] Midlebourghe, and that he was fraught be ane French merchant to Aberden or Montrois; wha hes na coket bot ane writting sett downe bet[u]ixt him and the merchant, wha bears to be suggit to Dundie, and fra thence to Callis, New Port to Domkirk or Grienling, but na mentione what lodeing she tooke in, which I trow be but feyned, as I beleif the skipper to be ane Dunkirk man. But I shall stay him whill I be better informed. They are not lyke to be merchantis wha left their shipp sa suddenly, nether wald they rest them selves after they came on shore. They had nether kist nor clathes in the shipp mair nor was upon their backes. They past furth in the morning fra John Wilsones house, in the morning upon Frydaye [sic], and promissed to come again to their diner, but are nocht yet seene. They left ther toome bulgetis [empty bags] and surdis behind them. They left ane peace of gould avaid to xxxc. They had na small money. They gave to ane fellow they take in at the May two peaces of gould to be their steirs man, wha sayes they wald nocht land whil nyght, and they might have gane in to Dundie or ony towne with fair day, and wald not suffer the skipper while night. Thir thingis are suspetious, and I trow I may assure yow is lyklie to be money to the Papistis Lordis, for merchandis wald nocht have left their shipp sa sudenly. Their money is of the King of Spaines straik, his armes on the one syde and his face on the other syde, ane crowne upon the head. I thought good to advertyse yow of this inconvenience, quhilk may informe you of the estat of thingis to fall out. 29 April 1594. Montrose."

1 p. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil: "The letter to Mr. Bowes concerning the money sent to the north. 29 of Aprill."

258. Bothwell, Ochiltree, Atholl, Gowrie, Murray, the Master of Montrose, Forbes, Innermeath and others to the Pastors convened at Dunbar. [Before April 13.]

"In respect your daily sermons declare your grief in beholding the deplorable estate of this realm and the danger that religion, his Majesty's honour and person and the amity betwixt the two crowns are cast into, if these lewd practisers for embracing the Spaniard with impunity be suffered to practise and negotiate, it were superfluous prolixity to inform your wisdoms herein; but perceiving by many arguments (as by the late sending away of pledges and other messengers to the Low Countries and using of mass in sundry corners of the realm) the approaching arrival of the Spaniard (a matter to no estate more dangerous than to yours), we were forced (not without testimony of upright conscience) to put ourselves in arms for pursuit of the said lewd persons "ther inbringers," to the end that the said Spaniard, hearing his agents [were] either apprehended or thrust from his Majesty, may be discouraged, if not altogether "impeshed" to make his descent amongst us, and his Highness, being freed of such pernicious company, may, according to his natural sincerity, "utter" himself religious, just and clement; and, therefore, as you are the persons within this realm, next his Majesty, having most interest in this matter, inviting daily from your pulpits all men to this christian service, we implore your christian concurrence, with offer to hazard our lives and all our "moyens" therein, protesting that no particulars move us hereunto, but only the respects aforesaid, insofar as we forgive all our enemies as we would be forgiven, bearing no enmity but against such as would bring in the enemy of religion and amity aforesaid. For declaration whereof we require that some of your number may remain with us to bear record if our actions do not agree with our protestations, and suitably to comfort us who are called by God of His mercy to this dutiful, necessary and christian service. We were indeed "mynded" in peaceable manner and by way of admonition to have implored his Majesty for prevention of these inconveniences, but your wisdoms know into what peril we should cast ourselves if we should, unarmed or unprovided, fall into the hands of the said abusers now guarding his Majesty in great troops, and seeking our blood day and night in such barbarous form as heretofore was never heard within this realm; and therefore their cruelty on the one part, and on the other the present approach of the stranger, shall excuse the extraordinary form which this inevitable necessity has compelled us to. And whereas we are enforced, for our safety, to admit into our company some borderers, which perhaps might be a cause of slander to us and of fear to the common people where we travel, we promise upon our honour, that none of them shall plunder any person that can clear himself of the imputation foresaid; and if they chance to transgress it shall be on the hazard of their lives. We specially desire to know your mind by this bearer or some of your own.

"Sic subscribitur:

Bothwell for my selfe and my Lord Ocheltree with the remnant of all our societye on this syd Forth. Atholl for my selfe and for these Erles, Goury and Murray, Master of Montrose, the Lords Forbes and Inner-meth and remanent of our societye on the north syd of Forth."

1 p. Broadsheet. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. [Originally enclosed with No. 245.]


  • 1. See Warrender Papers, vol. ii. p. 230.
  • 2. battle: body of troops; cf. modern battalion.
  • 3. "Quhilk forme he is to intend schortlie."
  • 4. Literally: "it sall try to proceed"; i.e. be found upon trial.
  • 5. The letter is printed in Letters of Elizabeth and James VI., No. XXXVIII.
  • 6. i.e. the substance of the answer that he was to carry was to be left to the King's own determination. Cf. No. 213.
  • 7. These words have been added by Sir Robert Cecil in the draft in substitution for a paragraph to the effect that: we think it reasonable that we may be assured by the King's promise that Bothwell and his followers may live quietly during the prosecution of the rebels, for otherwise they may justly allege that their attempts, if any should be, were for their own defence. The last clause is altered to: for otherwise the King may justly impute his stay of prosecution to such attempts, if any be. This amendment is apparently meant to stand, and to follow after more than in his own defence.
  • 8. This [undated] document has been bound under April 1594. (Vol. 53, No. 32). But Cf. pp. 171, 178.
  • 9. Blank.
  • 10. Blank.
  • 11. Hole in the paper.
  • 12. The sentence is cryptic. It seems to mean that the French King would listen to the intercession of the King of Scots on behalf of d'Aumale, James's kinsman; and James would be pleased to proceed thus with Bothwell.
  • 13. Imprest. An advance of money, particularly to public officials; compare the impressment of soldiers who are waged with the King's money as a token of enlistment.
  • 14. Page torn.
  • 15. Bound separately as vol. 53, No. 43.
  • 16. i.e. with one of the alternatives, namely, the coming of money before May.