James VI, June 1594

Pages 355-366

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

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James VI, June 1594

274. Sir Robert Melvill to Burghley. [June 7.]

By your letter it appears that you are satisfied by my former answer made to that part of my commission from her Majesty touching the Papist lords. I wrote the very truth at that time to your lordship, like as hereby I may give you full assurance that his Majesty was neither "brocht" to have intelligence nor to hear of their offers before the unnatural behaviour used by Bothwell, at whose coming two of them, being long before straitly joined with him in league, having "place" by his means to send to his Majesty, assured themselves of favour. His Majesty's estate being "thus wayes" distracted, he, thinking to win them by clemency, was moved to hear of their offers, albeit no ways of intention to conclude anything until the Queen, your sovereign, and his own Estates had been made "foirseen" thereof. Your lordship may easily consider if I have now good occasion to confirm that which I wrote before concerning his sincere and upright meaning in this work. For his intention (which, as I showed, was first to convict them by law, and thereafter to prosecute them by force until they were either apprehended or expelled the country) is now in this Parliament so effectually uttered, that his zeal, I may say, is known to have been above all his subjects', being so forward and earnest that by his own wisdom and presence "condamnatour" was moved against them, and that not without straight reasoning and controversy of votes. This I have thought meet to notify to your lordship to the effect that false reports and slanderous speeches of his Majesty "tak na place," and that the Queen, having good proof on all occasions of his loving affection to her above all other princes, might be moved to embrace at this time his honest and "fettfull desinct," (fn. 1) tending to both their weals. It were meet that he should be encouraged to proceed to the overthrow of them and their associates. The time is proper and should not be delayed, for since the arrival of the "Flanderis pincke" at Montrose they are so puffed up that they have disdained either to "sute" his Majesty's favour or the benevolence of any who had credence in Parliament. Thus it appears that dangerous practices are in hand, and for preventing the peril which these may breed I beseech your lordship to entreat her Majesty for the advancement of such sums as the bearer has by mouth to crave, or at least of what is owing of the annuity. I am directed to "sute" your assistance to present him to her Majesty that he may declare what he has further to speak by tongue. My "auld familiaritie" with your lordship and the dutiful affection I bear to the continuance of sincere amity betwixt our sovereigns have moved me thus to "inquiet" you by letter, being well assured that you will "lay to sic helplie offices" that the King may be encouraged to follow forth this good and godly course. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Melvill.

Postscript.—I doubt not but your lordship will take care to give her Majesty good advice to prevent the dangerous practices in due time "quhill honester will not be so easelye quenchit; and seyng the Kinges Majesty my mester hes syndre his particular tourns of importance to be done, quhilkis now concernis hym forder in honour thene at oneye tyme heirtofore," induce her Majesty to advance the whole annuity as well of all "bygane restis" [i.e. debts] as of this year.

2 pp. Postscript holograph. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

275. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [June 9.]

At my last audience, on the 5th instant, I let the King understand, according to your letter of 24th May, that the two thieves who stole the Queen's jewels came secretly to Shields, and that Bothwell coming thither to them took away part of the jewels, which Mr. Power, Constable of Tynemouth, misliked, and nevertheless left them in his hands in regard that the Earl said that he would send them to the King and make his peace by them. The rest of the jewels, found afterwards remaining with the prisoners, the Constable received, and sent the prisoners to Newcastle. Her Majesty, greatly offended with this fact, has commanded that the prisoners and jewels should be sent to Mr. John Carey at Berwick, and by him delivered to such as the King shall appoint; for the receipt of which two prisoners and jewels the King has appointed John Hume of Hutton Hall. In this I signified that her Majesty, finding hereby that Bothwell had been in Newcastle since the proclamation against receiving him, had given order to punish sharply the receivers of him and the owners of the house, which order was duly executed. Therewith the King showed himself well pleased, wishing that her Majesty would continue that course.

Secondly, when the King recounted to me the negotiation of Mr. Edward Bruce, and took occasion thereon to speak of the money wherewith he trusted to be furnished by her Majesty for the gratuity and to enable him to prosecute his rebels now forfeited, I answered that upon sight of his sincere progress in this action her Majesty might be moved to yield him reasonable support, wherein her mind was that the money should not be reckoned for gratuity or support for the prosecution of his rebels or other "distinguished" [i.e. specified] use, but should be employed by him in the common affairs for suppressing his rebels, Papists and Spanish factioners. In this he opened his present great necessities, trusting only to be relieved therein by her Majesty. He protested solemnly that he had never consented to or entered into any course with Spain, and that he would never do it without extreme cause first given by her Majesty,—quod absit omen. In which case also he vowed deeply that he would first acquaint her Majesty with his cause and purpose, that he might receive remedy by her own hand and address, like as he had written (he said) to her Majesty by his own letter to be sent with Mr. David Foulis; and he concluded that her support at this time should come in best season to enable him to follow forth his course against his rebels and for the advancement of the common affairs, and most deeply bind him to her Majesty. In like manner Mr. Edward Bruce severally by himself and sundry ministers (commissioners here for the Church) have earnestly solicited me to recommend this money matter to her Majesty's gracious consideration. Whereupon I have laid before them the great and continual charges sustained by her Majesty in France, the Low Countries and on the seas for defence of religion, proving the burden to be "importable" by her own power or with supply of her subjects; and yet if she withdraw her aid therein thereby the weightiest causes shall fall and perish. Nevertheless, if the King shall now sincerely proceed wisely to dispose the possessions of the Earls forfeited, duly prosecute their persons, timely cut off the Spanish faction and Papists, with seasonable reformation in the state, and establish such perfect order for the execution of all the same that the surety of the good success thereof may be evident to her Majesty, then she might be well moved to strain herself to bestow on the King for the uses and in manner before mentioned such convenient portion as might be provided without excessive prejudice of the other weighty affairs in France and the Low Countries. To this they alleged that the King's actions at this Parliament put them in good hope of his sound performance of all these things mentioned by me. They remembered many benefits growing thereby to both the sovereigns and realms in this isle, and they heartily wished her Majesty to be bountiful to him at this time, as she had been before. This matter will, I think, be further solicited by Mr. David Foulis, and therefore I leave the same to her Majesty's good pleasure and Mr. David's travails.

Thirdly, I sought "indelate" redress to be made both to Sir John Foster for his own bill against the young Laird of Edmondstone, and also to Sir John Selby for the three bills of West Newton, Wark and Tynemouth. He readily granted his letter commanding his Warden of the Middle Marches to satisfy Sir John Foster. This letter I have sent to Sir John that he may take the best order for his own satisfaction. And albeit he [the King] alleged that West Newton and Wark had received and entertained Bothwell, giving him just offence and transgressing her Majesty's commandment, yet he likewise directed his letters to his Wardens of the Middle and East Marches and to their deputies with commandment "indelately" to appoint and keep their meetings with Sir John Selby for administration of justice, and also to give him full redress in the three bills of West Newton, Wark and Tynemouth. This letter I have likewise sent to Sir John Selby.

In the end he showed me that, as her Majesty misliked some parts of his last letter, (fn. 2) presented to her by Wemyss and Bruce,—especially in that he had noted her to be a seduced Queen and had inserted Virgil's verse, viz., Flectere si nequeam superos, Acheronta movebo,—he thought it meet, for her satisfaction, to explain his true meaning by his letter with Mr. David Foulis. For the first point, he told me that, forasmuch as her Majesty's commandment prohibiting the reception of Bothwell in her realm had been many ways broken against her will and ordinance, and that the same was still kept from her knowledge, therefore he might well think her seduced, and therefore he used that term in his letter. Next, he recited the poet's verse as spoken in the person of Juno and in passion, and he did not intend to try such violent remedies in his distressed case, chiefly towards her Majesty. He would, he said, satisfy [her] more largely of this by his own letter, and nevertheless required me to certify also his declaration of his meaning in the behalf recited; which I wholly leave to the view of his letter to her Majesty, by Mr. David Foulis, who has already entered on his journey towards the Court in England.

Being informed confidently that Mr. John Leslie, Bishop of Ross, has returned into this realm, I have made diligent search to try the same, and by many circumstances it is confirmed that he has returned and has lately been in the house of Lindores, as some of the chief in that house have signified to their near kinsmen. Nevertheless the Bishop's being in this realm is not only flatly denied, but also it is alleged that if he has come hither, then necessity only, and not practice, has constrained him to seek refuge amongst his kinsmen and friends in this nation. Yet many of experience and good affection are fully persuaded that his return and lurking here (being true indeed) are full of practice and treachery, which short time will evidently discover.

I have heard that the rebellious Earls had prepared a ship to be in readiness as they shall direct, and that Thomas Sutherton, an aged man, should take the charge thereof, and that Sutherton, in regard of his weakness, is loth to undertake the burden, craving to be assisted by some able and skilful person. Therefore I have found means that an expert skipper (and ready to do good offices) should be commended by a brother of their own stamp to assist Sutherton; and it has so far proceeded that this skipper is directed to provide another ship to be ready at Banff or Cromarty upon warning. This skipper is told that the Earls will either thus pass themselves into Denmark to sue the King and his mother to entreat the King he[re] to be good to their wives, children and friends, or else they send back in one of the barques the persons lately arrived at Montrose with letters and gold. If the Earls shall entertain this skipper then I shall be acquainted with their preparations and diets, and the skipper may be drawn to perform as he shall be directed. Therefore what shall be further done in this matter and what course taken with the skipper may it please you to give me speedy and perfect order and advertisement.

I cannot yet certainly discover the effect of the letters, the sum of the treasure, and the names and qualities of the persons brought in at Montrose and carried to Huntly and the other forfeited Earls. Angus has written that some honourable priests have come with only such portion of money as may serve their own expenses.

Whereas some Irishmen have made suit to have licence to be transported out of this realm for Spain (as before I have advertised), I am informed that one gentleman, one priest and their three servants of Ireland have remained some time with Huntly, seeking passage to Spain or to the Low Countries, but finding that they could not obtain the King's licence (for restraint whereof I had laboured with the means of the Chancellor and Secretary), and that none of this nation would transport them without leave, therefore they are now purposed to pass by sea to Denmark either with or before the Earls, and thence by sea or land to Spain, to seek aid for the rebels in Ireland against her Majesty.

The Parliament, continuing for three or four days, for particular causes, against the King's pleasure, and with suspicion of evil results, is now ended yesterday and fully dissolved. By it Angus, Huntly, Errol and Auchindoun are forfeited by the King's labour and means only, and notwithstanding that sundry of the nobility (as I am credibly informed) had given their hands and promises to oppose the forfeiture, against which some of them have not only voted but also busily and secretly travailed to stop it. It is ordered that the Chancellor, Treasurer, Vice-treasurer, the Prior of Blantyre and the Provost of Edinburgh, or three of them, with the Bishop of Aberdeen, Mr. David Lindsay, Mr. Robert Bruce and Mr. Patrick Galloway, ministers, or two of them, shall take order as well for the disposition of the lands, livings and possessions of these traitors forfeited, as also for the provision, time and manner of the King's prosecution by force against them. It is presently alleged that for many urgent reasons the King cannot enter into his raid before the baptism of the Prince, and some think that at that time the King shall be pressed earnestly with the requests of the ambassadors in favour of the rebels; wherein the King seems greatly resolved to grant no greater grace to them than the nobility, Council and Kirk shall allow, and than her Majesty shall well like of. It is likewise thought that the Earls will make some fair offers before the baptism, and that if they cannot prevail by their offers nor by the requests of the ambassadors coming to the baptism, then they will retire and depend upon the aid and support of Spain, and in the meantime reserve themselves in Denmark or elsewhere. Yet they remain in great bravery and comfort, as the Countess of Angus's speeches lately in this town have well verified; and some of their own crew have secretly assured some of their especial friends that the Earls are not comfortless, and that surely this whole isle shall be mightily troubled with flame and fire in every corner, as one very religious and honest has confidently affirmed to me.

By the King's forwardness in this Parliament and open discovery of the hidden secrets of the rebels disclosed by their letters, solicitors and their own confessions, the Kirk and well affected have conceived great hope of his sincere purpose to proceed effectually against the Earls, Papists and Spanish factioners, and for the good reformation of the estate. They think that he has so openly and strongly bound himself by all christian means and outward profession that he cannot retire or be negligent without the uttermost dishonour and shame that may fall upon a prince, so that now the pulpits sound with his renown. Nevertheless the Kirk and well affected still earnestly persuade and attend upon the King's further progress by action to ratify and approve this honourable and happy beginning, and upon experience of defection herein they shall be occasioned to change their opinions and in time to provide for preservation of religion and the realm from violence of foreign forces.

The Earl of Huntly convened the other day with his friends to deliberate for such course as should be best. It was advised by Gight (Geythe), Clunie and others to enter ward and submit himself to the King and Kirk, but Auchindoun and Mr. Walter Lindsay persuaded him "to be loose and livinge," that he might have the benefit of his friends' help. It is generally believed that all the three Earls have made infeftments and conveyances of their lands and possessions, with the King's allowance and confirmation, to their wives, children and friends, so that their forfeitures shall strike only on themselves during their lives. Yet it is alleged that by act of Parliament all the feftments are void. Suit has been made severally for their wives and children, but hitherto no ear is given. Many courtiers seek sundry parcels of their livings, yet these suits are stayed for a while. Errol made means [by] his friends in Court to stay the forfeiture against him for twenty days, in which time he would either satisfy the King and Kirk or else yield that the forfeiture should proceed. But his friends thought it not meet to move the King therein. Huntly has also written (as I hear) to the King, the Duke and Mar; the King would not receive the letter, yet it was delivered to a courtier.

Lord Hamilton, understanding that the Laird of Johnstone had come and lodged near this town, rode forth in the night to have surprised him. But the Duke gave Johnstone warning thereof, whereby he escaped. Nevertheless Hu[me] would have followed Hamilton with part of the guard in the aid of Johnstone. On the next day Johnstone came into this town, where the Duke, Hume, Carmichael and Dunipace (rising from the Parliament) met and conferred with him. Hamilton was advertised not only of these doings, but also that his life was sought. Whereupon he departed in the night before the end of the Parliament, being malcontent in all things in this Parliament touching his own particularities. Nevertheless he tarried to advance the forfeiture of the Earls and the good causes, wherein he showed great goodwill and forwardness. He thinks that Dumbarton Castle shall be called for, which he purposes not to render up hastily; and by this occasion his former request for the supply of gunpowder has been renewed to me, and I perceive that a letter from her Majesty with some comfortable words will be very acceptable to him, and bind him and all his friends to remain steadfastly at her devotion. He desires to understand her Majesty's pleasure with speed, and at furthest with the ambassadors coming to the baptism. I therefore pray your lordship to direct me in my further course and proceedings with him.

Lord Forbes has compounded with Sir George Hume for the slaughter of Sir George's wife's ancestor, and thereby Forbes is received to the King's grace, and yesterday, before the end of this Parliament, presented himself there and voted to the bills. Atholl and Ochiltree shall also be received to the King's favour upon conditions. The former forfeiture against Bothwell and his friends is ratified and no further forfeitures are proceeded with against his other friends. I enclose the notes of such bills as are passed in this Parliament and touching some causes of the same.

The Chancellor, having done many good offices in this Parliament, promises his uttermost endeavour for the further prosecution of the rebels and for preservation of religion and the amity, which he affects to nourish and advance with all his power, and with best concurrency and intelligence, especially with your lordship, like as I have partly touched in my particular letter sent to you by Mr. David Foulis, to whose report and sufficiency I recommend this matter.

Lastly, my service is "worne out at the croune and elbowes" now that this Parliament has ended, the Papist rebels been attainted, etc., and the estate is to be reformed with her Majesty's advice for preservation of religion and the amity. I can neither serve with profit nor live with comfort until I shall see her Majesty's gracious face, therefore I pray her to have compassion upon my long suit for my return, and for your lordship's favourable furtherance thereof, together with pardon for this tedious letter. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

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

Enclosure with the preceding. (fn. 3)

(Acts of Parliament.)

[June.] Printed in Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, iv. pp. 56 ff.

"A shorte note of th'acts passed in this Parliament at Edenburgh, 1594."

pp. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed.

276. The Form and Probation of the Summons of Treason against Huntly, etc. (fn. 4) [June.] Printed in Calderwood, v. 332–6.

"The forme and probacion of the sommondis of treason contra William Erle of Angusse, Georg Erle of Huntley, Francis Erle of Erroll and Sir Patricke Gordoun of Auchendowne knight, quhilk sommondis conteynes three severall reasons sufficiently proved and verefyed in manner followinge."

"In primis": the King's Advocate produces eight Blanks in paper; two subscribed by Angus, two by Huntly, two by Erroll, and two by all three and Auchendoun.

Item: they produce sundry seals of the said Earls "imprent in paper."

Item: an act of Parliament, subscribed by the Clerk Register, anent punishment of those who traffick against religion.

Item: sundry depositions of Mr. George Carr, noted by letters.

Item: sundry depositions of Fintry.

Item: the process and doom against Fintry, which contains the first reason of the said summons, and verifies that trafficking against the religion is treason.

Item: to produce a letter of commendation written by Mr. James Gordon in favour of Mr. George Carr, together with two obligations of Gordon and Abercromby to prove their "feyned subscripcion" to be their own hand writ, and to prove that Carr was to sail to Spain with the Blanks, as he himself also confessed.

Item: they produce the interlocutor given by the Lords of Session, finding that infamous persons, bairns, or fellows or companions in the same crime, may be witnesses in the cause of heresy or treason.

Item: they produce sundry letters written by Gordon, Abercromby and Fintry under feigned names.

Item: they repeat the depositions of witnesses both anent the principal summons raised for recognoscing of the hand writ and subscriptions of the Blanks and of the seals, likewise of "mutacion" and alteration of the feigned subscriptions.

They repeat the third reason of the summons in modum probacionis of the first reason thereof, because the said Earls and Auchindoun, being suspect of treason and disobeying the charge to enter ward, have incurred the pain of treason by reason of their contumacy.

They repeat the act of Parliament of 5 June 1592 against Jesuits, seminary priests, etc.

They produce the sentence of excommunication against Mr. James Gordon, Mr. Walter Lindsay, Mr. Alexander Leslie of the Peile, umquhile David Graham of Fintry, reset and maintained by the said Earls and Auchindoun, to prove the said Mr. Walter and others to be Papists.

They prove (fn. 5) the said Mr. Walter and others to be traffickers against the religion. The Advocates produce letters of horning, whereby the said Mr. Walter and Mr. Alexander Leslie are put to the horn for not finding caution to underlie the law for trafficking against the established religion. Likewise they repeat the doom of forfeiture against Fintry.

They repeat in modum probacionis the act of Parliament of James II. anent warding of persons suspect of treason.

They repeat the King's letters charging the Earls and Auchindoun to enter in ward.

They produce the decreet of the Privy Council, published on 12th May, ordering the said three Earls and Auchindoun to be pursued as traitors.

They produce the doom of forfeiture pronounced on 5 September 1598 [sic] (fn. 6) against umquhile Archibald Earl of Angus, Sir George Douglas and Archibald Douglas for not entering their persons in ward at the command of James V.

They produce the old summons of treason to prove that the accused were delated and suspect of the treason libelled.

Item: the said Advocates repeat all and sundry the writs above mentioned for probation of the summons, and the manifest notoriety of the crimes libelled, and that of the law sufficit allegare notorium et non probare, together with the public voice and fame which by the law of this realm is a sufficient accusation and probation in the quiet and high (fn. 7) crime of treason. Also they repeat all and sundry depositions, probable conjectures, and suppositions and presumptions which are manifest in this cause, and are relevant probations. For verification of the said presumptions there is herewith produced a catalogue of feigned names of these traffickers.

Item: they repeat the second reason anent the receipt of traitorous Papists and the third reason anent the contumacy of the accused for probation of the said summons. Moreover they repeat the notoriety of the treason committed at the Brig of Dee and in the resetting of certain strangers lately arrived at Montrose and who are raisers of sedition against the state and religion.

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

277. Robert Bowes to [Burghley]. [June 20.]

Having occasion to move the King the other day for redress for the late outrage done at Mindrum, in the East Marches of England, by Liddisdale and other broken and fugitive Scottishmen, he agreed to address his letter to Buccleuch and Cessford to redress this bill speedily. Hereon he told me that, hearing the Countess of Huntly had come to Kinghorn with purpose to pass over the water to Leith to seek access to him, he sent the Laird of Dunipace to stay her; but she, being on the water before the coming of Dunipace and passing him without knowledge, came to Leith, whereupon he sent her new direction to retire. I hear not of her retreat as yet, and it is given out very confidently that on the next day, after the King rode to see his buildings at Stirling, the Countess was seen passing out of the Court gates in base array and alone until she came to one man attending on horseback for her, who took her behind him on horseback to Leith. At this time the King seemed to intend to send shortly to her Majesty some person known to love the religion and the amity, to be free from faction and particularities, and so well acquainted with the true state of the King's affairs and present proceedings that he may sufficiently inform her Majesty in all the same. For this service and at that time Sir Richard Cockburn, the King's Secretary, was named. But the matter rests upon the advertisement of Mr. David Foulis, presently at London.

Further, the King let me understand that the day of the baptism of the Prince was to be prorogued from 15th July until 1st August, at which time he now looks for the coming hither of the ambassadors, on whose assembling the baptism will be prescribed with certainty; whereof please advertise her Majesty's ambassador. It is here looked that Mandropius (now one of the four Regents in Denmark) shall be sent hither by the King of Denmark, and that he and his company will be ready to embark at the end of this month, or before.

Bothwell has been moved lately, and very earnestly (as it is pretended) to join with Angus, Huntly and Errol, wherein my advice has been sought whether he shall directly reject the offer or else entertain it for such purpose only as may yield advantage both to the good cause and his own relief at the King's hands. For it is verily thought that if those Earls shall be certainly known to the King to be banded with Bothwell thereon the King will readily and surely withdraw his goodwill and shake them from him, and that by wise and fit means his wrath against Bothwell may be abated and place given for intercession for him. But because I have often written for direction touching Bothwell and have not received any answer, I deem the delay to be meant for a restraint of my meddling in those causes, and therefore I have forborne to deal therein until I may do the same with warrant and order, which now (I trust) shall be addressed to some other in regard that my abode here shall not be long. The King has been informed that Bothwell came lately into Edinburgh with a burden of bricks on his back and disguised, attending for advertisement from Atholl by Mr. Jeromy Lindsay, and that he speedily departed and passed over the water to Atholl. The King seems to be thus informed by one of the two persons who only accompanied the Earl at this time. In this I have also been confidently advised that he was here indeed, but I have not been very inquisitive, for the causes "remembered," and chiefly that others can best report the same.

By some councillor and credible means I have been warned that Dumbarton Castle shall be taken out of the hands of Hamilton, unless very speedy and good provision be made for prevention of the same, whereof Hamilton is not unadvised. Because he had heard that the King was partly privy to the late proceedings of the Duke, Lord Hume and others against him, therefore he sent Captain Hamilton (as it is told me) to open to the King the great discomfort and griefs that he has conceived thereby; wherein the King has not only denied to have been any wise privy therein or liking of these doings, but also for his "recomforthe" has put him in hope to receive contentation in his desires, and therewith he is made to think that the King will charge him with the office of the lieutenancy of the Borders. This office will be full of troubles, pains and charges; nevertheless he will accept it, that he may do service to his own sovereign, to her Majesty, and for the peace and amity of both realms. In this, and as occasion shall require, he desires to find concurrency in all her Majesty's Wardens of the three Marches, and wishes her Majesty to yield him support for the entertainment of some forces for a short time; with which he offers great services and effects as well for the surety and quietness of the Borders, which presently are many ways threatened, as also against the Papist Earls, Spanish faction, flatterers in Court, and otherwise. He looks to receive her Majesty's good pleasure and disposition by her ambassador coming to the baptism; and because I have written oftentimes in his behalf and am still left without direction or answer, therefore I hold the same sufficient warrant to me to cease to renew those matters, trusting that these presents shall be favourably accepted and the nobleman and his good devotion duly considered.

The King and Council have resolved and put in readiness several charges to be given to the ordinary officers for delivery of the houses of Angus, Huntly, Erroll and Auchindoun, forfeited for treason, and of Mr. Walter Lindsay, the Laird of Bonnington and Mr. Alexander Leslie, excommunicated for Papistry. On return of the officers certifying the success of their labours, further order will be taken for the keeping of the houses delivered; wherein it is thought at this present that little further will be done before the baptism of the Prince and the King's raid to Aberdeen. It has been advised (as I hear) that the King will come into the north in September and remain there for three months and pass through Caithness and Sutherland to subdue all rebels and Papists in those parts, a matter to be found painful to the King's person (as many think), and not void of great danger to arise by many means.

Order is further taken that persons in the north, suspected to be aiders and assisters of these forfeited Earls or known Papists not excommunicated, shall be charged, super inquerendis, to appear before the King and Council, and to give caution for their good behaviour. It is accorded that the parties guilty of the murder of Murray shall be called upon and "put at," wherein the King promises his assistance in regard that this cause is chiefly to be prosecuted by the kinsfolk and friends of Murray.

Huntly has lately convened his friends as well to resist Argyll's forces, suspected to intend to invade him and wreck his friends and tenants, as also to provide for their future defence. In all these matters, and in their resolution for their abode [in] and departure out of this realm, they depend wholly (as it is told me) on the success of the Countess of Huntly, sent to entreat the King to take into his protection the friends and tenants of the Earls and of others following them. It is said that if the King will agree to receive into his protection and defend, in their absence, all their friends, tenants and followers, then the Earls and sundry others with them will depart out of this realm, and that for this purpose they have a ship already in readiness (as I have already certified).

Mackonoquhy, in Rara [Campbell of Inverawe], with some of Argyll's forces, has come into Huntly's bounds and taken some prey of cattle, which was rescued, as is newly reported. It was an exploit of no such importance as had been reported for some days.

Upon bruit of the wars betwixt the Emperor and the Turk some captains here (living without pay) have "motioned" to levy bands of footmen to serve the Emperor. The number spoken of, far exceeding 5000 men, will be hardly raised or transported without greater imprest than wise men here think that the Emperor will send, and some say that one Lindsay is sent to Duke Ernastus with offer of this service. Colonel Stewart seems to hearken to this motion, and by some is thought meet to govern a regiment. Some wish that Crawford may be the general, and others think that Errol is fit for the chief government. It is not openly known that this matter is broken to the King and estate, but rather begun and affected by captains and soldiers seeking pay. Yet what may be hidden under this strange device many well affected much doubt and little like. This estate for the present is calmed, pretending to yield much to her Majesty's advice for their further progress in important matters, wherein they say that they depend most on her support. What the end or satisfaction of their expectation or desire either is or shall be, I leave to better judgment than my own. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. No fly-leaf or address.

278. David Foulis to Burghley. [June 24.]

Being of mind to have written before to your lordship for a further supply after so hard a resolution, of which I accepted more for continuing of the amity and to please the Queen (whom I understood to be grieved at my first refusal) than for any hope I had to content my master, I am forced to add to my former "thame" [theme] my just griefs and great astonishment at the staying of your lordship's precept to proceed for the sum specified therein, as the bearer who should have delivered the same will testify together with his letter. Therefore I earnestly desire that the sum granted may be with speed delivered for his Majesty's most necessary "adois." Consider that his Majesty's satisfaction in some measure will be in the receipt of such sums as your own note will testify to be "resting" [owing]. If I may obtain this by your lordship's means together with the copy which you promised me of the receipts preceding, it will doubtless bring forth a greater joy and contentment to the best affected and no less profit at length to both our sovereigns than the manifold doubling of such a sum can reach to. What arguments can be used for this effect, you know better than I. "In end I am forced to latt the cause procuir for it selfe, vho promeises yet sum more confort rather than any diminissing of that vhilk is allreadie granted." London. Signed: D. Foulis.

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

279. Elizabeth to James VI. [1594, ? June.]

May it agree with my deserts that what hath been should ever be so forgotten as not to be acknowledged, or so neglected as if aught were foreshown that were [? not] meet for the season ? Was it my guilt or your error that your rebels had so strong a hold in your favour that for many months you so dandled them that just merits could scarce crave more ? What needed an army to pursue such as might so soon be had ? Why put your person to such a laborious voyage when many a day before you might with less pains and more honour have had them ? Who was then in deep lethargy and bred doubt by his plain "oversight." And I must for all my warnings, for all my presents, for all my watchful, hourly care be rewarded as one that "overslipt" matters. For the first, I never knew you at other need than what your will made you, and so shall their (fn. 8) might easily be borne with less than what I sent you to neglect causes. Would God that you cared for your diseased state as much as I have watched to see it preserved. That many months have passed since my letters visited you, lay not the burden on the shoulders that deserved it not, but remember what courage was given to proceed further when no thanks were given for what was last bestowed; and well it were if that were all. Do you suppose that such a long reign as mine hath so few friends or such narrow intelligence that complaints and "meanes" to foreign states, made by such as ought most to have helped you, could be kept secret from my knowledge ? But if you should be asked what you would have done more than pursue them to your confines, I think you would have answered them at leisure to make them suppose more than could be said. Now, dear brother, think with yourself what way this is to get a new or keep the old. I am sorry that they [the rebels] may have cause to doubt your true measure to them, when by my example they see that better and firmer [persons] have had so ill requital. There is no king or potentate to whom I need yield account of my actions; yet they shall ever be known as sincere and honourable. Judge, then, whether my silence have had just ground, or whether any of my rank, if I had used them so, would have forgotten so unseeming a past. And yet, for all this, if I may perceive that you regret such a treatment and will abide such a one to me as you affirm, you shall be sure that if any of your traitors with their combined faction shall any way assail you, you shall find me awake when your affairs need speedy assistance. At your enemy's hand I expect no less than the most and worst they can do. If you also had believed this your lords would not be "in place for ayde" nor out of your control.

pp. Copy with a pencilled note that it is in the hand of the Earl of Essex. Endorsed in the same hand: "Her Majesties letter to the King of Scotts sent by Fowles." (fn. 9)


  • 1. i.e. faithful design.
  • 2. See No. 248. The Letters of Elizabeth and James VI. print the text of the letters exchanged upon the subject, Nos. LIV-LVI.
  • 3. The enclosure has become detached, and is bound separately, Vol. 53, No. 67.
  • 4. Perhaps also originally enclosed with the preceding.
  • 5. To prove in Calderwood.
  • 6. 5 September 1582 in Calderwood. See A.P.S., ad indices.
  • 7. hid in Calderwood.
  • 8. i.e. the power of the rebels.
  • 9. A modern endorsement in pencil has "Scotland, Royal Letter, about October 3, 1596"; and the document is bound among those of August 1595. But the tenor of the letter indicates the period when, in the summer of 1594, Foulis was sent to the English Court for money and support against the Papist Earls.