Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 11, 1593-1595. Originally published by Edinburgh, 1936.
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James VI, July 1594
280. Elizabeth to James VI. [July 3.]
My good brother, you have so well repaired the hard lines of menacing speech that I like much better the "glose" than the text, and do assure you that the last graces you far better and fits best our two amities. You may make sure account that what counsel, advice or mislike my writing can make you, ever proceeds upon what is best for you, "though my interest be least in them " (fn. 1); and therefore, having so good foundation, I hope you will make your profit of my plainness and remember that others may have many ends in their advice, but I think only of yourself.
I render you many thanks for your bond of firm and constant amity, with assurance of never entering into treaties or goodwill with my foes until I myself cause the breach. This assures me a perpetuity, for never shall my act deserve so foul an imputation. "But I muse what such an Horace his but should need to me, whose solyde deedes have never merited such a halfed suspition." Put out of your breast, therefore, so unfit a thought for a royal mind; think instead of the unfeigned love that my deserts have craved, and make a great distance betwixt the untried love of others and mine, so long approved. It gladdeth me much that you now have falsified such bruits as "forepast" deeds have bred you; for tongues of men are never bridled by kings' greatness, but by their goodness; nor is it enough to say they will do well when present acts gainsay their belief. We princes are set on highest stage, where all beholders pass verdict on our works; neither can we easily dance in nets so thick as may dim their sight. Such, therefore, our works should be as may praise our Maker and grace ourselves. I trust you will make a prince whose facts shall tend to strengthen yourself, "who so you feeble, and count it best spent tyme to governe your owne and not be tuted" [sic]. And since no government [can] last where pain and grace be not duly inflicted, I hope no partiality shall sway you. Stand princely to your own estate, without "prising" others' lewdness, and comfort yourself with this laud, "that so much the more shyneth your cleernes thorough the foyle of dimer clowdes, as their spot will hardly be blotted out when your glory remaines"; and by this dealing you shall ever so bind me to be your faithful watch and staunch sister, that I will both warn and ward in such sort that your surety shall be respected and your state held up.
Postscript.—Such remembrance of my affection as I send, take in good part as being worth more in the present state of my affairs than millions sent from a richer prince and "fraughted" with fewer foes.
1⅓ pp. Copy. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk: "June, 1594. Minute of her Majestes letter with her owne hand to the King of Scottis."
281. Henry Lock to Mr. J[ohn] Co[lvile]. [July 3.] Printed in Colville's Letters, p. 260–1.
I received your letter of the 24th ult., with which I acquainted your Mecænas [i.e. Cecil], by whose favourable relation her Highness has notice of your constant care of the amity and preservation of the good cause; and your continuance in this course, with frequent letters to give mature notice how things pass, is nothing doubted of. As for N. [Bothwell's] courses, howbeit by sundry relations they might be suspected, yet her Majesty does not look for any action from him prejudicial to the amity (however his private estates compel him to embrace different means for his relief), since her carriage towards him and his has not been altogether unfriendly; much less does she think he will join in amity with the King's rebels and God's enemies, from intelligence with whom in former more extreme necessities his own honour and Murray's particular had so precisely restrained him. Your Mecænas has now bestowed on you 40l. sterling, which Mr. Deane or some there shall forthwith convey to you. From Court. Signed: Henry Lok.
Postscript.—Mr. Governor will convey your letters, being discreetly conveyed to him; for furtherance of which I will crave Sir R[obert] Ce[cil] to give him further direction for receipt of this money. I pray you by the next after the payment thereof give notice.
1 p. Holograph. Copy. No fly-leaf or address. Endorsed by Henry Lock: "My letter to J. Co. the 3 July, Grinwich, 1594."
282. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 6.]
At the hands of Christopher Sheperson, I have received your letter of 24th of June, and perceiving that by your lordship's favourable means her Majesty is purposed to send hither with the Earl of Cumberland (coming to the baptism of this Prince) Sir William Bowes, or other meet person, to succeed me in this service, I shall, therefore, with all diligence provide to leave all things in the best order and for the most profit I can, humbly thanking your lordship for your goodness, and praying you to send to me her Majesty's further pleasure and order for my discharge.
The King returned hither from Stirling on Monday last, 1st July, being still occupied with such weighty causes in Council that I could not obtain audience before yesternight at 9 o'clock, and thereby I have been occasioned to delay these presents thus long. This day the King has departed towards Stirling, leaving here the Lord Chancellor and Council to dispose of the affairs of the state and Borders and to provide all things requisite for the baptism of the Prince, which (as he told me) he intends to solemnize on the 11th of August next, wishing that the Earl of Cumberland may be here on the last hereof, and that the ambassadors of France, Denmark, the Low Countries and others may meet about the same time. He has by his letters directed Sir William Keith to acquaint them severally and speedily with his mind therein.
Upon this audience he promised to give order to the commissioners for Border causes to confer with me for the expedition of the redresses demanded as well for an old and new bill called on by Mr. Ralph Gray for the two several attempts done against his tenants at Mindrum (wherein the Lords of her Majesty's Privy Council have written to me) as also for the bill of Gilbert Park, of Warton, complaining against William Ellott, of Hartscarth, as by Sir John Foster's letter I am advised. For the last bill of Mindrum, he had commanded young Cessford to give redress to Sir John Selby, to whom I sent the King's letter in that behalf, as I have certified the Lords of her Majesty's Privy Council.
Upon discovery of the outrage done by William Ellott against Gilbert Parke on the 1st instant, he said Ellot durst not attempt any such enterprise in England against the will and privity of Bothwell, and that William Ellot and all the clans in Liddisdale had aided Bothwell to put the King out of his palace, and did still so "partye" him and offend England that he should be compelled to ride [sic] both secretly and in public, whereupon he must require the concurrency of the English Wardens. He added further that now he saw plainly that her Majesty had dealt very kindly and sincerely with him towards Bothwell. He looked that Bothwell shall be found unthankful to her Majesty, and still threatens (the King says) to pull him out of the castle at Stirling.
He took occasion to speak of Mr. David Foulis's doings at the English Court, affirming that he did not employ him as his ambassador, but sent him with a letter wherein were set down such arrears as he and some of his Council thought to be payable by her Majesty to him, and he directed Mr. David only to move her to help him in this time of his distress. I told him that I marvelled that he would take that course, or forget the sums delivered indeed to him, as myself could well witness, thinking that he would have regard as well for her Majesty's great charges at this time for the affairs in France and honouring the baptism of his son, as also for the friendly and liberal portion offered by her Majesty to answer his necessities. He seemed to allow of my answer and to depend on the next advertisement from Mr. David, whereon he would send the Secretary to inform her Majesty of his own estate and of his purpose to prosecute the traitorous Earls; in all which he intends (he says) to take and use her Majesty's advice. He noted to me some hurts arising by the emulation and differences betwixt sundry of his Council and others of the Queen's council, and that by evil advice the Queen was drawn lately to give over-great countenance to the Countess of Huntly, who, he thought, should retire on the morrow. He regretted much the slackness in his nobility and Council to assist him in the execution of important matters.
By my letter of 9th June, and partly touched in that of the 20th, I advertised your lordship of the intention of the rebellious Earls to sail for Denmark, and also of the readiness of their skipper, for reward, to give me knowledge of the certainty of their embarkment and voyage, and to agree and be directed for their surprise on the seas in case the same shall be thought meet to be attempted. Since this time their ship has departed by order of the Earls, who have sent away (as I hear) the three persons who arrived with the gold at Montrose. Nevertheless Huntly has called again this skipper to be employed for them, pretending still to pass to the seas. This skipper thinks, and will undertake, that any of her Majesty's pinnaces or other fit vessel furnished with forty men and two "caste" pieces shall suffice to take them. Therefore direct me speedily whether I shall entertain this bargain, or let it slip without further dealings.
The Provost of Edinburgh being at his house at North Berwick was advised (as it seems, by some "familliar" of Bothwell's) that Bothwell, Ochiltree, Colonel Boyd, Josias Stewart, Captain Forster and others had been fourteen days together, and were presently in Edinburgh, and that their horses were kept in a house at Deane Mills, a mile from the town. Hereupon the Provost returned on Sunday, 30th June, and first he took six of the horses of Bothwell and his company, and after closing the ports of this town sought to apprehend themselves; but, being warned, they withdrew secretly from their accustomed lodgings and haunts to other quiet places in the town, tarrying there all that night and the next day, and on Monday, at night, escaped and passed, some over the walls and some out of the ports of the town. Many gentlemen, gentlewomen, lawyers and burgesses in Edinburgh, Leith and other places adjoining are discovered to have received and accompanied Bothwell and his company. Some of them have fled; others upon examination are committed to prison; some to free war[ding]; and some bound to be answerable. Before this accident some councillors intended (and my advice was partly asked therein) to move the King to grant some ease to Bothwell that thereby he might be drawn out of this realm, and the state during the abode of the ambassadors for the baptism of the Prince might be peaceable. But because the King is given to think that Bothwell had intended to have surprised him on Saturday or Monday last in the way betwixt Stirling and Edinburgh, and because his wrath is thereby increased, it is thought meet to suspend this motion touching Bothwell to better opportunity. Yet I hear means shall be made in favour of Ochiltree, and that there is good hope that his peace shall be obtained, with condition that he shall abandon Bothwell and depart some while out of this realm.
It is commonly given out, but with what truth I know not, that, with the advice of Mr. Walter Lindsay and the privity of Huntly, the Abbot of Inchaffray has been sent to Bothwell to work reconciliation betwixt Bothwell and Huntly, at least until the Prince shall accomplish the age of fourteen years. But how far Bothwell has embraced this motion I know not. Neither has he nor any for him acquainted me with any of his proceedings, nor further dealt with me in the matter in which he before required my advice touching his joining with the three Earls, whereof I have advertised your lordship. I hear that he does not use Mr. John Colville's advice in wonted manner, and that he had cast himself into the guiding and company of such as will hazard to endanger him and his life, as before these late troubles I prophesied and warned some of his near friends. Yet I forbear to seek to deal with him, trusting still that by others privy to his course and doings your lordship shall be best advertised.
Albeit the Duke has been very unwilling to resign the lands and possessions of Bothwell, which the King gave him and seeks again, yet now the King has drawn him to agree to this resignation, with proviso that these lands shall be kept only in the King's hands and for his own use. Nevertheless the King (as I hear) intends to give liberal portions of these possessions to Lord Hume and the Lairds of Buccleuch and Cessford, with condition that they shall either take and bring Bothwell quick or dead to the King, or else chase and keep him out of the realm. But many think that Bothwell's storms are not yet clean "overblowen."
The Earl of Montrose and Mr. Patrick Galloway, employed to offer fair conditions to Atholl to leave the society of Bothwell and Ochiltree, have drawn him (as I hear) to agree to enter into free ward in Fife and Strathearn and to promise to take no part with Bothwell or Ochiltree. He was very loth to be drawn from Ochiltree, yet for his own peace and surety he has received the conditions offered, and this will work (as some think) advantage to Huntly, in that Atholl shall not come against him, as was looked for.
The Earls of Glencairn, Mar and others have gone to the Earl of Argyll to reconcile him and Glenorquhy. It is told me that they have compounded the variances betwixt these two for the murder of Calder and the practice of the murder of Argyll himself by Huntly and others; that Glenorquhy shall be at liberty, whereupon he will wholly "partye" Argyll and utterly abandon Huntly; and that Argyll's forces have slain and spoiled Huntly's tenants in Lochaber, and have retired home. It is said that Mar labours to persuade Argyll to stay from prosecuting Huntly further, yet he is esteemed to be of such courage, constancy and mind to seek revenge, that Mar's persuasion shall little prevail.
Angus, Huntly and Errol, convening together at Towye, Errol's house, on Midsummer even last, there made great bonfires, drank so deeply and danced so long that it is reported the wine showed "the force in ther bodyes and openlye in ther tryumphe." I am informed that Huntly, hearing that the minister of Elgin had newly excommunicated him, sent a gentleman to await on the minister and revenge his quarrel. But the minister let the gentleman know that he had before excommunicated Huntly by order of the General Assembly only, and had not published any new or other excommunication, whereupon the matter was stayed. Angus counselled Huntly and wished that they all (as I hear) should take away some of the ministers to put them in fear of crying out of them as they do. These Earls wholly depend on the advertisement of the Countess of Huntly, as yet "resyant" here, and who has lately written at great length to her husband. Whereas the Papists excommunicated and sundry aiders and abettors of these Earls, especially of Huntly, were charged to appear before the King and Council on the 4th instant, now further time is given "to him," but upon what ground or cause it is not commonly known.
The other day the Countess of Huntly exhibited her petition to the King and Council seeking possession of her husband's lands to herself and her children, and for their uses, as has been used and granted before in like circumstances. She fortified the equity of her petition in respect that the King had given her in marriage to Huntly as the King's own daughter and with promises for advancement of her and her children. Yet she was answered that the King would not hear or take consideration of her suit before her husband had given full obedience to the King and his laws or had departed out of this realm. It is credibly told me that she caused two signatures to be made for the King's grant of her husband's lands to herself and children, and that the Queen offered one of the same to the King, pressing him to sign it; and when the Queen could not obtain it for the Countess and her children she sought it for herself, with what intent I know not.
Lord Hume was ready to have left this realm, whereupon many thought that he was "layde of Bothwell" and would not be charged with any of his actions. But the King has now so satisfied and won him that his mind to travel into foreign nations is changed. I hear that Thomas Tyrie still remains in this country, and that one Sutherland has gone into Flanders with the errands before committed to Tyrie. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—After I had closed up these and delivered them to the hands of the post, and before his departure, I received a letter from Sir Robert Cecil. But the King had departed, and thereby I am occasioned to suspend my negotiation until I shall have better opportunity, whereupon I shall give advertisement to Sir Robert.
5¾ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by clerks of Burghley and Cecil.
283. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [July 6.]
I received your last letter, of 30th June, this day, having then closed up my letter to Lord Burghley, wherein I have advertised him of my last negotiation with the King and of the present state of this realm, which letter shall (I trust) come to your view; and therefore I forbear to trouble you with needless report. Before the receipt of your letter the King had the same day departed to Stirling, whereby I am occasioned to defer my travail with him until I shall have access to his presence, whereupon I shall advertise you of my success with him. He wishes the Earl of Cumberland to be here on the 31st of this month, and has appointed that the baptism shall be solemnized at Stirling on 11th August, whereof I have given notice to Cumberland by the enclosed letter which I beseech you to cause to be delivered. I heartily thank you for your last advertisement of her Majesty's pleasure to send hither with Cumberland Sir Thomas Parry or other to succeed me in this service, which gladly I shall render to him and put all things in readiness for his coming. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2/3 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
284. Robert Bowes to the Privy Council. [July 6.]
Upon receipt of your letter of the 23rd June directing me to move the King for redress to be made to Mr. Ralph Gray in his two several bills for Mindrum, I have, at my first access to the King, sought "indelate" justice and satisfaction for same. The King has promised to give order to his commissioners (appointed and left here for Border causes) to confer and agree with me for the expedition and best means to be made in the old bill; wherein I shall with the next opportunity and all diligence travail with the commissioners for the timely execution of this redress; and before the receipt of your letter I had obtained the King's letter (which I sent to Sir John Selby) commanding young Cessford, Warden of the Middle Marches, to give "indelaite" justice and contentment for the new bill and last outrage done by Scottishmen at Mindrum. The King trusts that Sir John Selby and Mr. Gray shall be timely satisfied therein. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
½ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
285. Sir Robert Cecil to Robert Bowes. [July 13.] Vol. lii. p. 84.
Lord Scrope has sent word to the Queen that Lord Herries has been sent from the King to be Warden of the Borders and that he importunes a meeting on 20th instant. What the Queen has willed me to write you may see, and she also requires you to negotiate with the King, letting him know how little hope she has of this man's sincerity towards her country, since he had been the instrument of such practices before. She was and is persuaded that, if the King did but remember, he himself confessed to the Queen by his letter, when she expostulated with him for sending one to the Low Countries and named Hume as the "doer," that what was done was contrived by Herries. These reasons, therefore, make her much worse disposed, for she cannot think that the King means so kindly to her as he professes, if he suffer him to come so near and in an office of authority. You must inform the King hereof and send word what is his answer; and her Majesty requires you to continue your course of writing until another comes to you, which shall be very shortly. The Queen, nevertheless, you may tell the King, had commanded her Warden to meet with him on the 20th, hoping he is but a commissioner appointed "for the sodayne," and shall not be established a Warden. The Court.
1 p. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of my masters letter to Mr. Bowes uppon the nomynation of the Lord Harrys to be Warden of the Marches."
286. Sir Robert Cecil to Lord Scrope. [July 13.] Vol. lii. p. 85.
I have acquainted her Majesty with your letter concerning your meeting with Herries on the 20th of this month about the causes of the Borders. It seems he pretends some purpose of reformation, of which her Majesty's expectation is very slender in regard of the experience she had of him when he passed through her country into the Low Countries, pretending to do good offices, and contrariwise was a principal instrument in the practices of the Duke of Parma against England. Of all this her Majesty needs no better author than the King himself, who, to excuse another whom she charged withal, confessed that it was none but he. Out of these just occasions for dislike of him her Majesty has written to the King to stay him from having the commission, but only to meet you (if it be so obtained) about some matters, but not as a man in whose choice she takes any great contentation. Therefore hold your day appointed, for so it is her Majesty's pleasure, that thereby such disorders may be timely redressed and the Queen receive the King's answer in what sort he means to establish Herries, whether for the present or further time. The Court at Greenwich.
1 p. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of my masters letter to the Lorde Scroope concerning the same matter."
287. Mr. John Colville to Mr. Henry Lock. [July 14.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 105–106.
I have received yours of the 4th, with signification that Cecil (Mycenas) wishes me to continue intelligence and sends forty pounds as token. I shall strive to deserve this undeserved bounty, if my hard fortune suffer me not to repay the same. I am presently to ride to Liddisdaill, as this morning early N. [Bothwell] did send for me to come to him with all diligence. What his errand is, and what new action he is upon, till I see him I know not. My abode with him shall be two or three days at most, and certainty (fn. 2) shall be sent up immediately thereafter. He is in great poverty, which leads him to great impatience; yet he must not be lost, for he is the best enterpriser among them, and he frets the more that this realm is closed on him. I ever assure him that if he would be contented to live privately, as his uncle the Earl of Murray, and Morton, did, when restrained in this same sort, he would have connivance. If I may say this safely or not let me know by your next, and it shall be offered to him as upon my hazard and upon no assurance from you.
He is not agreed with the Papist lords, but some crafty men travail therein, only for his perdition, that the Church, seeing him go that way, might be irritated against him; neither is it to be thought that they will lose the King's favour for him, or that we shall lose our conscience for them. The Church begins to speak out again. There is no better thing than to behold us a little, for there are so many contrary tides among us that of necessity there must be some shipwreck. But if I durst, I would still insist that some mean thing might be impetrated for holding N. [Bothwell] "in good tremp," leaving this to your own travail and discretion. The other day, in presence of some that love neither you nor me, N. spoke very honestly of you and of your labours, to their displeasure; whereof Whitelaw (Quhyitlaw) advertised me. I think, if you could get licence, you would do well to come down once again—if not before Cumberland (as I should wish) then at least with him; and I, knowing your "dyat," would bring Ochiltree to you. He, assure yourself, with Atholl and the rest, remains honest, albeit outwardly they entertain Q. [the King] with fair speeches and show of quietness. The Baron of Fingask is again to come up. I cannot advertise his errand, because I shall be absent at his bygoing. Let me know of Wemyss's return. Mr. Forret has been in the north trying what he can. He is to be there within two or three days. Some bruit begins to rise that Huntly and his crew look for more Spanish money. Signed: Jo. Colville.
1¾ pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk. Most of seal remains.
288. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [July 14.]
Like as by my letter of 20th June last I advertised that Bothwell was dealt withal to be reconciled to the other party, so the same is again confirmed both by the former informer and also by others of credit; yet it is confidently assured me that he has not entered into any band or reconciliation with that party. Wherein, by the occasion given me by your own letter of 30th June and by the late conference with the same party, who, for the Earl, sought my advice in that motion of reconcilement, I have let this party understand that if the other party shall still press for agreement, and if the matter shall be only entertained by the Earl without purpose to bind with them, then his progress in that sort cannot be disallowed. But if it shall be otherwise, then he and his proceedings shall be justly condemned and turn to his shame and utter wreck, as I proved by many reasons which this party conferring with me well approved, concluding that only this course thus advised ought, and, so far as he could, should be embraced and followed. This party sought to understand whether I knew if her Majesty would give order to the Earl of Cumberland to intercede for Bothwell, and prayed in Bothwell's name and by his direction (I saw the letter), that if her Majesty had not directed Cumberland to intercede for him at this time of baptism, she would give him order and power to do so. Hereupon I showed him that means were otherwise made to persuade the King to give some ease to Bothwell, provided that he would depart out of this isle without any condition; and it was likely that the King would either thus favour him upon this motion to be secretly pre sented to him, or else that he would not hearken to any intercession at all. Further, I added that if by this secret means Bothwell might obtain this grace and therewith depart out of this isle, then her Majesty's intercession, upon view of his obedience and submission, might prevail and restore him to the King's favour and the realm. This was well liked and allowed, yet it is still required that if the King will not be won to grant Bothwell this favour by this secret travail, then her Majesty will authorise Cumberland to intercede for him. For my warrant that the King would be moved in favour of Bothwell, I was informed very credibly that he had given leave to one of his servants to speak with Ochiltree, and that it appeared that he would in time be gracious to him, if he would leave Bothwell's society and immediately depart out of this isle without condition; [and] that Ochiltree agreed to depart as enjoined, but he wished that the like favour might be showed to Bothwell that they might both depart. With this answer the party employed has returned with hope to work good effects for both these two noblemen. But I doubt partly of the wished issue herein, for the Chancellor lately sounded the King's mind in favour of Bothwell, in sweet terms and offers, but the King sharply answered that his wounds were still green and his anger against him should not cease. It is still thought that Bothwell shall find friends, and that albeit Atholl has accepted the conditions offered to him and has entered into his free ward, yet his goodwill towards Bothwell and hatred against Huntly are not dead.
The Duke is earnestly pressed to resign Bothwell's possessions in his hands simply to the King, and without any condition; for whereas the King purposed to entertain Buccleuch and Cessford with the gift of parcels of Bothwell's lands, they refuse (as I hear) to accept the gift unless the Duke's resignation be made simple and without condition. Buccleuch, being sent for to take Bothwell's lands and the office of Liddisdale, has answered that it shall be in vain, and not good for the King that he shall farther deal in that matter unless the Duke will make his resignation without condition. Some think that some new emulation and dryness is rising betwixt Buccleuch and Cessford, promising no disadvantage to Bothwell.
Since the receipt of your last letter I have not spoken with Lord Hamilton nor opened to him any part of your letter to me. He has now plainly discovered the intended surprise of Dumbarton Castle, which he alleges to be utterly unfurnished with powder, shot, armour or weapon, and for which some portion of powder was once offered to him by me (as Lord Burghley, I trust, remembers), and thereon he presses me daily, opening his great charges and his present dangers. He seems to depend wholly on her Majesty's support, for which he intended to have written expressly to her, but herein I dissuaded him; whereupon he has written to myself. (fn. 3) Some favour in this necessity and in his earnest desire may retain him and his devotion to do many good offices. The office of lieutenancy of all the Borders will not be offered to him as he expected. But the lieutenancy and wardenry of the West Marches are proffered to him, and albeit he is contented to accept this, yet he demands it with such additions that the King hitherto is loth to grant it. I have written to Lord Burghley to remember the good services of Mr. James Murray. Please you to refer to that letter and to tender the estate of the honest gentleman. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
289. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 14.]
After the King's departure to Stirling on the 6th, I sought conference with the Chancellor, Clerk Register and other commissioners for Border causes to receive their order for redress for sundry attempts done by Scottishmen in the English Marches, the particularities of which attempts I put in writing and delivered to the commissioners, as they required. In the end they have let me understand that Lord Hamilton [Note in the margin in Burghley's hand: "He is a good man for the place"], being chosen lieutenant and Warden of the West Marches of Scotland, is not yet sufficiently established in those offices, and that they will send the Secretary to the King to provide that both Lord Hamilton, upon the perfecting of this commission, may give redress for all offences done in the West Marches, and also that the Wardens of the Middle and East Marches may be directed to satisfy the other opposite Wardens in England as well for the bills exhibited by me as also for the general administration of justice for preservation of the peace of the Borders. As they shall proceed further herein with me I shall advertise the Privy Council and also your lordship.
The Countess of Huntly, on the 6th instant, was charged (as I am informed) by Sir Robert Melvill in the King's name to depart out of Edinburgh beyond Forth, within four days. Hereon she resorted to Seton, and on the 10th passed the water into Fife, showing to some conferring with her great hope of success. Some would make me think that on the 6th, before the King set out for Stirling, he signed the gift of her husband's lands and livings to her and her children. Yet having made search at the privy and great seal I cannot find it "comed thither." She has called for the skipper before notified, pretending to intend to "carye" him with her to Strathbogy, where he shall receive further directions. It is told me that these Earls have, besides this skipper, put David Hay in readiness with a ship to serve as they shall direct. I therefore expect your lordship's timely advertisement in these behalfs. [Note in the margin in Burghley's hand: "He may without direction do his best to have the passyngers known."] The traitorous Earls continue in "exceidinge jolytye" and show of comfort, "bostinge" the ministers with no little cruelty and pretending to care "small" for the King's threatenings. They have made (as I hear) disdainful and scoffing proclamations, shaking off the Laird of Findlater, and rent his arms openly in despite (and after all his travails for them), and have stayed the Gordons from appearing before the King and Council, and they surely look for foreign aid. In the meantime Huntly proceeds in his charges and hastens the building of his hall and gallery at Strathbogy. Findlater and others (thus shaken off, as they pretend) say that before the coming in of the gold at Montrose they were careful and humble to have provided for their peace, but now they feel assured of their hearts' desire. William Leslie, a Popish priest, giving himself out to be a gentleman and a soldier, came lately out of France and Flanders and passed hither through England. He has brought to these Earls in screnio pectoris (as it is told me) full answer and advertisement in all things.
The Laird of Pollard lately moved the commissioners appointed for disposition of the rebels' possessions to have their consent for the King's grant to be made to him of the castle and lands of Tantallon (Tomptallon), parcel of Angus's inheritance. But it was considered (as I hear) that it would not be meet to dispose of any part of the Earl's possessions before they had resolved for the order to be taken for the whole, and, further, because the disposition of the Earl's lands touched earls and noblemen of higher degree than any then present saving only the Chancellor, it was thought meet to refer this suit to the King and such noblemen as he would add to these commissioners.
Argyll has lately taken and executed Patrick MacAulay og (Mackalla ogg) and Patrick, (fn. 4) his brother, the murderers of the Laird of Calder. One other of their companies is slain. Glenurquhy "is tryed cleane" of this murder, therefore he is set at liberty upon caution. But Ardkinglas (Arkinlace) is found to be foul, and therefore shall be brought hither that the King's pleasure and the penalty of the law may be executed against him. The band for the conspiracy of Argyll's death is now smothered and suppressed, whereby many suppose that the same matter touches persons of good quality and not meet to be discovered. The Earl of Mar has (as I hear) travailed earnestly to bring Argyll to the Court, and Argyll is contented for the present to come.
On the 11th instant Adamus Crusius, ambassador for the Duke of Brunswick, and Joachimus Kesswick, ambassador for the Duke of Mecklenburg, with twenty-six men in their company, arrived at Leith, and the next day Hans Birnego and Steno Belde, ambassadors for Denmark, came to the road there. I hear that Sir William Keith is purposed to return through England, (fn. 5) and I think he is there before this. He can inform your lordship better than I can of the diet of the ambassadors to be sent hither by the States and Count Maurice.
The Presbytery of Duns (Dunce) have again informed the Presbytery of Edinburgh and complained against Lord Hume for sundry faults noted in him since his subscription to the articles of religion. Whereupon Hume is to be cited to appear again before the Kirk to answer to this information.
Mr. James Murray continues still in free ward for Bothwell's cause. He prays her Majesty to give order and warrant to the Earl of Cumberland to move the King in her name for his liberty and deliverance upon trial of his innocency, and also for his restitution to his office of the King's Wardrobe upon the like trial of his right to the same and his faithful services many ways done to the King. Your Lordship knows so well the good services and deserts of this honest gentleman (always devoted wholly to her Majesty and her service), that I shall not need to trouble you with further commendation of him and his suit to her Majesty. Advertise me what comfort I shall give him in this behalf. Because Sir Robert Cecil has written to me on sundry matters touching Hamilton and Bothwell, therefore, in answer to his letter, I have commended to him the occurrents concerning these two noblemen, whereof he will acquaint your lordship.
The King on his way towards Stirling on the 6th was credibly informed that Bothwell lay in Pentland Hills with 100 horsemen, intending suddenly that day to surprise him. He thereon took occasion to make some stay in Linlithgow and to send for Lord Livingston and others. Yet Bothwell was that day in Liddisdale, from whence he has written to Mr. John Colville showing his readiness to be advised by Mr. John, and promising deeply to remain faithfully at her Majesty's devotion. By the good means of Mr. John, and by his travail and charges, many good offices are done, and sundry personages of quality kept bound to her Majesty, as at my access to your lordship I shall further signify to you. In the meantime may it please you by some comfortable means to cherish and encourage the gentleman. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2¼ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
290. Mr. John Colville to Mr. Henry Lock. [July 17.] Printed in Colville's Letters, 106–108, with textual variations.
On the 17th [i.e. day of writing], I am returned from my Lord [Bothwell]. I found that men, as Hakerston and Cranston, had been busy with him for the Papist lords; but one, Dickson, now secretary to Errol, whom I think you know, advertised him not to trust them. He has some intentions, both ordinary and extraordinary, as a dealing with the Chancellor, which can take no effect, both because the Queen has "inhibit" it, having conceived a new hatred against him, and also because in the said Chancellor daily some one or other "schifit" appears to trap my lord. "The extraordinar formes ar sum houses he hes about Edinburgh and Lythgo, wharin to plant men and tak sum occasion be the vay of his Majestis passage." But his Majesty, for avoiding all shame that might fall to him that way so long as the ambassadors are in Scotland, permits the Chancellor and some others to hold Bothwell in hope of favour. Nevertheless, he is determined, if it be her Majesty's pleasure, to take no peace but by her mediation, for he had already what security his heart could wish, but, lacking "vadimony" of a foreign prince, all his security "hes provin nocht."
The misery of this country still increases by the poverty of the prince and quarrels among the subjects. The "moyens are so meane" to bear out this baptism, that his Majesty shall have great shame before the end. The three or four ambassadors already arrived from Denmark, Brunswick, and Mecklenburg [Maderburg] have but homely entertainment, and they with two others from the Low Countries must all the time be entertained on the King's purse. Those already come are thought persons of small account, and our treatment shall be meeter for such than for men of greater calling. The day after they arrrived the Queen retired by the "Quenis Ferrie" to Falkland lest they should see her at the Abbey where she lay not like a princess of such birth and virtues. The Chancellor and rest of the Council at Edinburgh have sent to solicit his Majesty that the baptism may be at Edinburgh, as the ambassadors cannot be furnished at Stirling, and the great Temple of Solomon which is abuilding cannot be completed before the day "prefixt."
Bothwell will remain upon the Scottish Borders until after the baptism, and, as I wrote before, is in hope of some enterprise before that time; but I do think he can not effectuate [anything]. Some advise him to lay an ambuscade for the murder of Sir George Hume, whom I have cause to hate as much as any man; but let the Lord work His pleasure with me, to a murder shall I never consent. I think you will shortly receive your bond and mine from Mr. Jaksone. Tweedmouth. Signed: "Y."
Postscript.—Report for certain that the Bishop of Ross is quietly at Lindores (Lendors), for Mugdrum, our friend whom you know, did see him.
2 pp. Holograph. Addressed: "To my loving brother, Mr. Herrie Lok, esquyer, and to be opinned by my honorabill Mecenas."
Endorsed by Cecil's clerk: "17 July 1594; and by Henry Lock: "Mr. Colvyll to me."
Three prints of red wax seal.
291. William Dundas of Fingask to Sir Robert Cecil. [July 20.]
At my last being at London, it was told me by Mr. Lock that your honour liked well to have for a gallery of yours there some pictures "of suche toyis" as he had seen painted here at Edinburgh during his abode in this country. I have taken the boldness to send you some by this bearer, whom I found going thither. Please receive them from him without giving him anything at all for "fracht" or other respect, which is already satisfied. I wish that my country was able to yield me the means to show my loving mind towards your honour in some more sufficient matter, hoping that it will please you to accept of the same in the meantime, howbeit so mean a thing, as an earnest of a greater goodwill. Finding no matter of state or other thing worthy of writing, "I war to blame to trouble your honor with longre lettre." Edinburgh. Signed: William Dondas.
1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
292. News from Scotland. [July 21.]
The King addressed the Lord Hume, as one of that faction, to the rest of the Catholic lords, to borrow 10,000 crowns, but they returned him with a fair answer and "white hand." Argyll has 4000 men in arms at Lochaber, whom he will not discharge, notwithstanding the King's message by Mar. Argyll has within these ten days hanged the murderers of the knight of Calder (Cadwell), his kinsman, and he intends shortly to behead one of the three barons who conspired his own death. The other two will escape. Atholl dare make no stir at this time. On Tuesday, last week, there landed a Flemish ship at Aberdeen, wherein were the Bishop of Ross, Mr. James Gordon, Jesuit, Doctor Hamilton, and another servant. They came all booted and spurred out of the ship and went on foot so to the old town of Aberdeen, where many Catholics are thought to dwell. There they took horse immediately, and the ship, speedily hoisting sail, set to sea.
It is said that twelve "galeasseas" and four other ships with men and provisions are to come thither with all speed. The King, upon intelligence thereof, purposing to pass to Stirling quietly, took Leith on his way, where he secretly had conference with a man unknown to others. The magistrates and ministers here having got perfect intelligence went yesterday to speak with the King, intending to crave licence to raise his subjects with all speed in arms till the King may be ready,—who, they suppose, will delay and excuse himself by reason of the baptism.
Two great men are directed from the Estates in two several ships, and two ships of war to guard them. But the Dunkirkers prepare to set upon them, so that we are in doubt whether they will come hither or not. Edinburgh.
1 p. No endorsement.
293. Mr. John Colville to Mr. Henry Lock. [July 21.] Printed in Colville's Letters, p. 108.
This I write in great haste, referring fuller discourse to my next. On the 16th a ship arrived at Aberdeen with Mr. James Gordon, uncle to Huntly. Some coffers are come with him; what is in them we know not yet. Our Secretary is to come up for accusation of Bothwell and seeking of more money upon large promises to go soundly against these Papists. But it is folly to think that any pursuit shall be made, for the barons of religion have offered to furnish him to that errand, if he will accept it, on condition that they chose the captains and officers. But they will give no money in his own hands, seeing they know it shall be "used to ane other use." You may give what you list, but it will not be used to the end you would. His Majesty the other day openly fell out in speech against the Treasurer and Sir Robert Cecil. The cause I shall express at length in my next; "and he is reduced to that extremite finding his indigence at this tyme that no man dar almost spek to him. God give him grace in tyme to see from whence this malheure procedis." Signed: [Jo.] Colville.
1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk. Three red wax seals.
294. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 21.]
On the 14th, soon after I had sent you my last letter, I received your last of the 8th, together with the two notes enclosed, expressing the several sums of money delivered in eight years for the King of Scots. These notes I shall use as you have prescribed. Because I found by your letter that Mr. James Gordon, the Jesuit, had been well entertained in Rome, received a good round sum of money at the hands of the King of Spain's officers, and was on his return by sea to Scotland with another Scottishman and a Spaniard, therefore with all speed I acquainted some ministers with these effects, taking order with them that the magistrates in the havens, ports and creeks and also the ministers about Aberdeen should await for and apprehend Mr. James, the ship, men and freight; but this was prevented by the untimely arrival of this ship at Aberdeen on the 16th, as will appear by the enclosed copy of a letter sent by the brethren and presbyteries in Angus and the Mearnes to the Presbytery of Edinburgh. After the Presbytery of Edinburgh had received this letter and communicated the contents to me, they resorted the same day to the King, showing him this letter and suiting to him to provide "indelate" remedy for the dangers appearing. Soon after, the King (then ready to depart towards Stirling) gave me access. Whereupon, after some motion for redress in Border matters, I fell into this strange novelty of Mr. James Gordon's return, which at great length he opened to me, showing me that he had appointed his Council here to ride with him that day, the 18th, to Linlithgow, where he would confer with them and other noblemen, warned to meet him then, as he had imparted to the ministers; and he asked my advice in this cause. Wherein, first, I laid before him the dangers which any evil success in my advice might bring to me. Nevertheless I adventured to persuade him to set forward with all expedition sufficient force either to disperse these forfeited Earls or else drive them to take the field, and discover themselves, their party and course. But the manner of the levy and government of the forces I left wholly to himself and Council. He seemed to allow of my advice and [? said he would] "propone" the same to his Council at Linlithgow on the next day, and thereon he departed from me that afternoon with his Council to Linlithgow, where I came to him again on the next morrow by occasion of a letter which I received that evening from Sir Robert Cecil touching Lord Herries, who, the King has promised, shall be removed from the office of the West Wardenry.
Upon renewing the matter for the suppressing of the rebels the King told me that he was not only ready personally to prosecute them immediately after the baptism, but also, in case of necessity, he would suspend the solemnities and without delay take the field; that proclamation should be speedily made for a general muster on 15th September next for the King's raid against the forfeited Earls on the 20th; and that in the meantime all men should be ready upon 24 hours' warning to attend upon him if any new or just occasion should move him to enter into any action against these Earls. He told me further that commission shall be immediately given to the Kirk to convocate the barons and burgesses in every shire to deliberate upon the dangers appearing and to be "carefull uppon" some course of remedy, [and] that they shall advertise him of the remedies advised, setting down what they themselves will do for the execution. Besides, Argyll and Forbes are named to be lieutenants in this expedition; wherein also the King offers to go forward in person if the Kirk, barons and burgesses shall think the same necessary and convenient in present conditions. He has been advertised that there are on the seas eleven ships and two "galliasses" with Spaniards coming to the aid of the Earls, but of this I can hitherto learn small certainty. With this I returned hither last night, and this day "Sanders" Forbes, one of the bailies of Aberdeen (sent to inform the King's Council and Kirk), came hither and showed the ministers here that on Tuesday last, the 16th, a little barque arrived at Aberdeen early in the morning before sunrise, and with their boat set two men on land on the sands. One of the men was Mr. James Gordon, met with and known by a sick man walking on the sands for his health, who informed the Provost and bailies of the arrival of this barque and coming of Mr. James. The other was Mr. Robert Abercromby, Jesuit. These two persons went to Old Aberdeen, where they were soon well furnished and sent with company to Huntly at Strathbogy. The Provost and bailies of the town that day took the barque and men in her, purposing to have her and the company in her [sent] to Leith to be delivered to the King, but the wind turned and thereby they were driven to take forth the men and commit them to the Tolbooth. They found in this barque, besides the mariners, two Englishmen, one Spaniard and a Scottishman, with five barrels of salt, and without any other merchandise or freight. The mariners said that they were of Calais, and, being bound for Norway, they took in these passengers at Calais. One of the Englishmen was greatly honoured amongst them. Some of the town think him to be the Earl of Westmorland, and, being asked if he knew me, he said he knew me very well; but he will not see or speak with me. The Scottishman said that Mr. James Gordon took with him one "budgett," but what was in it he knows not. On the 6th instant Angus and Errol with 200 horsemen came near to Aberdeen, demanding delivery of the four persons in prison, namely [i.e. particularly] of the Englishmen, saying they would rather lose their own lives than that the Englishmen should be endangered, and they threatened to burn the town if they would not deliver the prisoners; which the town utterly denied. Afterwards Auchindoun came to the town persuading the Provost and bailies in Huntly's name to deliver these prisoners to him to be carried to Huntly, who had assembled his forces and would forcibly take the prisoners and burn the town if they should deny his request. Yet the town still detains the prisoners and this messenger left them in the Tolbooth on the 18th instant. But he heard that Huntly and the other Earls were coming to the town with forces, and that the town could not resist their power. They have no little interest or favour in that town, and it is deemed thereby that these persons detained have not been narrowly examined or straitly dealt with, neither shall they be brought thither, as is required by the Kirk. This have I written at more length that in the variety of many reports you may understand the effects opened by this messenger to this Council and the ministers here, and I have been driven thus long to defer the advertisement of the first arrival by the occasion of my journey to Linlithgow.
The King is now minded to send the Secretary with greater speed to her Majesty, notwithstanding that I have covertly with the King and the Secretary wished the stay thereof in regard that the especial errand will be to seek more money. The King and Council affirm that they cannot by any possible means in their power seasonably suppress these Earls and their parties without her Majesty's support, whereof, nevertheless, I have given little comfort.
I have been informed that Donald MacConnall Gorme (Mackonell Gorham) has gathered great forces in the West Isles of Scotland and has passed to Mull, there to receive "of" the people of that isle under MacLean to pass into Ireland to aid O'Neil in his rebellion.
[In the margin: I am newly informed at this present that Donald Gorme remains at Mull and Jura (Dura), that his company does not exceed 800 men, and that he is there for other purpose than for Ireland.] By some I have been advised that O'Neil was in person "at" O'Donell, making very large offers, and thereon O'Donel in person has gone with 80 "lonfaddis" (fn. 6) carrying 1500 shot and 2500 bowmen and other footmen to the number of 4000. But hereof I cannot learn any certainty, notwithstanding that I have conferred with sundry of the Council and many others of good intelligence, by whom I am given to understand that O'Donell with some forces passed to the Isle of Mull, wherein his purpose is not yet known whether he remains at Mull or not, or whether he seeks (as some suppose) revenge for the late "heryshipp" done in Lochaber by Argyll's forces. In this your lordship will be shortly and certainly advertised, if he has gone indeed into Ireland.
Bothwell, Argyll and Atholl have not besieged the King and Mar in Stirling, as by wrong information and by the late and sudden repair of Lord Hume to the King it has been advertised, as I perceive by your lordship's letter. I am informed that Bothwell has been some while quietly in Liddisdale before and after the King's return to Stirling on the 6th. His future course and purposes are not known to me. Neither can I learn perfectly that he has assented to join with these forfeited Earls, as some report, and wherein the King told me that Bothwell lately spoke with Angus and Errol in Fife and concluded to "partye" and join with them and their friends, and to concur with Huntly, whose society the other two Earls wholly embrace. Albeit I showed that at the time when Bothwell was bruited to have met with Angus and Errol [he] was in Liddisdale, yet the King would not be satisfied therewith. Further, whereas the party before licensed by the King to travail with Ochiltree was in good hope to have obtained some ease for Bothwell [see p. 374 ], now he has found the King so resolute against him that his hope is clean frustrated and he has given over dealing further in that desperate cause. What this shall work in Bothwell and others is not yet known. Some other will, I trust, inform you more largely and certainly in Bothwell's affairs.
Argyll is partly persuaded by Mar to come to the baptism of the Prince, if he shall not be stayed by new troubles. Atholl is contented with the limits and condition of his free ward, and Mar has returned from Argyll to the King. Lord Hume (as I hear) has been at Lord Gray's house at Fowlis, where it is said that he met with Huntly and others of that crew. Some suppose that he has got a share of Spanish gold, and by sundry he is noted to be lately much perplexed in his mind, but for what cause I have not heard any certainty.
It is certified by letter from the north that Huntly has levied 600 footmen in Caithness, Sutherland, and Strathnaver (Stratnaverne), and for their sustentation has appointed every plough under him to maintain one man. He threatens the ministers thereabouts so greatly that few of them dare lodge in their own houses, but seek refuge at the houses of religious barons. Herewith it is certified that Huntly looks to receive his greatest strength and force out of the south parts of Scotland (whereby Hume is had in the greater suspicion), and that the Earls will first take revenge on the ministers at Edinburgh and thereabouts before they deal with the ministers in the north, who they think lie always under their feet and at their pleasure.
Lady Huntly has retired to her husband. It has been thought that she obtained the King's hand to some confirmations of grants before passed, but the King plainly denies the same, and it is assured me that no such signature has been presented to the privy or great seal. The King of his own accord has deeply protested before the Council and sundry of the ministry that he is not under promise with any of these Earls in any manner, adding such large assurances of sincere proceeding that the ministers are much possessed therewith. Many of the Gordons and other suspected persons charged to appear before the King and Council have come hither after the day of their appearance, and remain here with such companies that the ministers persuade that good regard may be given to it. Such of them as are known to be well disposed shall be dismissed upon caution: the others shall be detained here until it shall be further known what course the Earls shall take.
The King returned from Stirling on the 15th, giving presence at several times to the ambassadors, first to those for Denmark, next to the ambassador for Brunswick, and lastly for Mecklenburg. Albeit the Council here and this town have earnestly moved the King that the baptism may be solemnized in Edinburgh, yet he will not draw it from Stirling, continuing in purpose to have it celebrated on 11th August. (fn. 7) Yet it is verily thought that the castle at Stirling cannot be well prepared before the end of August.
For the redress demanded by me in Border causes he has again referred me to the commissioners, and they being ready to repair to him, suspend their answer to me until they shall be further furnished with the King's own pleasure and mind herein. The Secretary was mistaken in the names of the four ambassadors arrived here, as will appear by comparing his note enclosed, (fn. 8) with my last letter. Mr. David Foulis returned hither on the 16th and has given out high praises of her Majesty and of her great kindness and love towards the King. I wish that his former services had been rewarded with some token of good acceptance for his encouragement, for he has place and power to do especial offices for her Majesty. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—Bothwell (Argonartes) protests the continuance of his devotion to the Queen of England (America). I send enclosed a copy of the French King's letter to the King of Scots. By one coming to me after the writing of this I am newly advertised that the Englishman taken to be the Earl of Westmorland is Sir William Stanley.
5¾ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk. Notes in the margin in Burghley's hand.
First enclosure with the same.
(Andrew Leitch, Moderator, and the Presbytery of Angus and the Mearns to the Presbytery of Edinburgh.)
Being credibly informed by our brethren of the Synod of Aberdeen of the present danger wherein the Kirk, especially in these north parts, stands through the desperate plots and bloody attempts of the forfeited lords, disclosed by some privy to their counsels and confirmed by the arrival at Aberdeen, on the 16th instant, of Mr. James Gordon, furnished with such things as have not a little animated them, we advertise you hereof that travail may be taken with his Majesty to put present remedy to their imminent danger. If this matter be "overpassed" till his Majesty's own presence be obtained, we fear that the delay will prejudice greatly the good cause, and therefore we advise you to travail with his Majesty to establish some well affected nobleman in the north parts with power of lieutenancy to repress their attempts and fortify our brethren, for the present in great distress. Brechin, 17th July. Signed: Andro Lech, Moderatour.
½ p. Copy. Endorsed by Burghley.
Second enclosure with the same.
(Henry IV. to James VI.).
Since the arrival of Wemyss he has found me so much hindered by the siege of Laon and in preparing for a battle with which my enemies threatened me from day to day (empeschu tant au seige . . . . lue apourveoir a une battaille dont mes enemes me menassoyent) that I have not yet been able to despatch him. I was infinitely glad to hear your news by him, and will despatch him as soon as my affairs permit along with a gentleman of my own to assist at the baptism of your son. "Escript au campe devant Laon." 11th July.
⅓ p. French. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Unsigned. Endorsed by Burghley.
295. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [July 21.]
Your last letter, of the 13th instant, touching Herries [No. 285], I received here on the 20th at 6 o'clock in the afternoon, after the King had departed to Linlithgow, towards Stirling. Whereupon I followed timely "on the next morrowe," and, finding the King at Linlithgow, I had access to him in the afternoon, and opened to him the full contents of your letter, concluding that her Majesty looks for greater kindness than to suffer Herries to come so near and have authority in that Wardenry. Wherein he first acknowledged that by his letter to her Majesty he had indeed discovered Herries to have been the person practising with Parma, and that Herries had dealt earnestly with himself in that matter; further, that Hamilton had moved him to give that office to Herries, and thereon he had put him in for some time and at the King's pleasure; and because he perceives that her Majesty cannot "lyke" of him, he will therefore discharge him and put in another to her contentment. All other matters and occurrents here I have certified by my letter to Lord Burghley. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2/3 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
296. Arrival of Jesuits in Scotland. [July 23.] Printed in Register of Privy Council, v. 155–6.
"Act of secret counsell maid at Edinburgh the 23 (fn. 9) daye of July, 1594." The King's Majesty, finding that the Jesuits have returned accompanied by strangers, and supplied with money to stir up war even at the time of the baptism, wills and requires all ministers to labour with his subjects for the resisting of the same; to move them to convene to deliberate on the best means to repress the enemy; and to prepare themselves with armour and victuals to pass forward with the King upon warning.
1 p. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed: "23 July 1594, act of Secret Councell at Edinborough."
297. Robert Bowes to Burghley. July 23.
Yesternight I received advertisement from Aberdeen that on Friday last, the 18th, Angus, Huntly, Errol and Auchindoun, with 700 horsemen and some footmen, came before Aberdeen, and demanded the delivery as well of the three strangers then detained in the Tolbooth as also of the barque and all her company; and because the town made some difficulty in making delivery, therefore these traitors sent a letter in such proud form as by the copy enclosed will appear. Hereupon the town resolved to make delivery on the "next morrowe at six of the clocke in the forenoone." But the rebels would not be satisfied without immediate delivery, and thereon with their whole forces they came to the links adjoining the town, causing the horsemen to put their horses from them and with the footmen to assault the town. Upon the first sight whereof the town agreed to deliver the prisoners and all things; which was then presently executed to the full contentment of the rebels.
Yesterday the Council here was both made acquainted with these actions and also pressed by some of the ministers here to persuade the King to levy and send with all possible expedition a sufficient force against these rebels. The Chancellor showed himself very forwards, granting that of necessity force must be employed, and wishing every one of the Council then present to manifest himself and what assistance he would give in this action. He offered for his part to attend upon the King with 50 horsemen, whereof thirty should be furnished with muskets, and at his own expenses to remain in that service until it should be finished. The Master of Glamis persuaded immediate employment of forces, but he thought it dangerous to hazard the King's person, as it is told me. Sir Robert Melvill followed the Master's opinion, and the residue of the Council spoke little in the matter, passing it over without any such particular offer as was made by the Chancellor. Yet it is intended that some determinate resolution shall be taken herein before the despatch of the Secretary, who prepares to set out on the 26th or 27th; in which, as before signified, I give little or no comfort in regard that before prosecuting any action against these Earls this ambassador shall be employed chiefly to seek money.
Mr. Robert Bruce, Mr. Robert Rollock, ministers in Edinburgh, and Mr. Patrick Galloway, one of the King's ministers, are sent by this Presbytery to move the King to proceed with force against these rebels without delay. I am informed this day that a Spaniard of good quality came in the company of the persons arrived with gold at Montrose and has remained ever since with Huntly, who used to give him very high honour; that this Spaniard is sent as ambassador by the King of Spain to the King of Scots [and] to entreat him to suffer the Earls of Angus, Huntly and Errol to be present at the delivery and opening of the commission given by the King of Spain to this ambassador, who had prepared rich apparel for himself and to have therein done his services; and that now he shall be returned into Spain without further progress in his embassage. It is given out in Aberdeen (as I am advertised) that the three strangers arrived there are ambassadors to the King in favour of these rebels, whose letter partly confirms this report. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
Postscript.—One of the Englishmen now delivered to the rebels is called John Carr and the other Robert Wilson, but their true names or persons are not yet known here. Some think that Morgan, noted to be a great practiser, is one of them.
2 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
Enclosure with the same.
(Angus, Huntly, Errol and Auchindoun to the Provost, Bailies, etc., of Aberdeen.)
Printed in Calderwood, v. 340–1.
Considering that, against the laws of nations and without any order of justice, at the desire of some of our enemies, or of malice undeserved by us, you have taken and imprisoned three strangers, gentlemen who have come into the country, as we are informed, from other Christian princes to sue most humbly of his Majesty some ease of our distressed estates, therefore as we have travailed by all honest and fair means "thir dayes bypast" for their relief, so now we certify you by this present that unless the gentlemen, with their whole equipage, be put to liberty and delivered to us, we will not only esteem you as our enemies in all time coming, but will instantly pursue you, your bodies, goods and gear with fire and sword and all other kind of hostility and it shall be a perpetual quarrel so long as our houses or posterity shall last. Thus remitting the rest to your judgment, unless we be instantly satisfied we send you these presents for a discharge of all assurances by past and bid you be "at your advantage." 19th July 1594.
¾ p. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk. Another copy, with slight textual variations, is given separately as vol. 53, No. 78.
Another copy, Cott. Calig., D.ii., fo. 199.
298. News from Scotland. [July 24.]
The Catholic lords have imposed upon their tenants either to furnish an armed man on horseback for half a year or a footman for a whole year, or else to give so much ready money as will wage either of these for such time. The King sent for twenty merchants of this town and ten men of law to resort to him to Stirling with all diligence, each man being commanded under pain of highest displeasure not to depart without licence. He has "proponit" to each of them in particular to lend him 1000l. of our Scottish money. After common consultation among them they were severally called and have all answered nolumus. The King, angry, called again to the number of thirty and desired fifteen of them to furnish him with 30,000l. within eight days, and the other fifteen to be sureties to the rest for him to repay it within a year and a day. They also refused unless he would cause the one fifteen to swear never to recal it until the time that the King should have that sum ready to give them, for their safety, which they "suppoine" will be ad Græcas calendas.
The Danish ambassadors have been so sumptuous in their householding since their arrival (which has all been upon the King's charge) that he, finding himself "superexpended," has devised secretly to cause the lords, barons and gentlemen of Lothian to invite them each one after the other to their houses till the very day of the baptism.
The magistrates of Aberdeen apprehended all the men accompanying Mr. James Gordon, but on the morn the Catholic lords demanded the men, which they refused. Afterwards came the knight of Auchindoun and desired the men to be delivered to him, in the name of the Earl of Huntly; otherwise the Earl would come in person to burn the town. Then they rendered the men by a "pollicie." They desired the lords to pass to their lodgings in peaceable manner and they should keep no watches in the town that night, to the effect that they might enter in at the prison door more easily at their own pleasure. Which they did, and carried the men away. There is among them one man of reputation, who is a councillor to Duke Ernestus, for certain, and Father Holt, Englishman. The lords are presently in Aberdeen: they raise many forces and scour along all the coast side, expecting the subsidy of strangers. The Duke of Lennox is deadly sick. Edinburgh.
1 p., last four lines written on the back. No signature, fly-leaf or endorsement.
299. News from Scotland. [July 26.]
Sir William Stanley has come to be general of the companies to be taken up here. He is going to Ireland for forces from thence. There is a Fleming, one of the Council of Spain and to Ernestus, by whose directions all must be conducted. He is a perfect pilot. The Catholic lords have already 1000 horsemen, 500 "hagbutteres" and 500 bowmen, with steel cap and coat of mail. These Catholics have their messengers presently abroad among their friends seeking support of men, and like to obtain many. The remedy of this has been debated these four days in Council. The ministers were earnest to have the people raised. The King seeing no other remedy, all his "exceptiones" failing him, devised these two shifts: one, to give them power by a decree of Council to solicit their parishioners to know their zeal and readiness in this purpose, the other, that presently an ambassador should be sent to England desiring aid of money and men. The King's "exceptiones" were these; first, the urgent necessity of the honourable entertainment of the ambassadors for the baptism of the Prince, at which it behoved him to be present in person. Secondly, the approach of harvest, when it would be pernicious to a commonwealth to convocate an army to the field before the corn was "inned," for fear by destruction thereof of engendering a dearth, which is already too extreme here. Thirdly, the storms would increase immediately after harvest and be an impediment for any army to pass through these mountains of the north, and, therefore, if his counsel were followed, all should be deferred till springtime. The burghs of Scotland are directing men northward presently, but no notable chieftain of experience or zeal can be had. Lord Hamilton was moved to accept the lieutenancy, but he has refused simpliciter. Some have nominated Lord Lindsay for his great zeal and affection to religion, but others esteem it ridiculous.
It is supposed by some, and openly spoken in Council, that the Catholic lords increase so fast in their forces that they may some morning carry away from Stirling the King and young Prince without great impediment. Some hold this an evil "presaginge," esteeming Stirling unfortunate, in respect of the old proverb of that town, "Sterling ab initio nequam." The Catholic lords expect good assistance from the Earls of Caithness and Sutherland, Caithness being by the mother full brother to Francis Earl Bothwell, and brother-inlaw to George Earl of Huntly, Sutherland having to wife Huntly's aunt, both of them Catholics. Their forces were not joined with Huntly's and the rest on Wednesday, but they are certainly in readiness to join "with opportunitie of boatinge," which is scant and "langsum" among these ferries. Edinburgh.
1¼ pp. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
300. Mr. John Colville to Sir Robert Cecil. [July 26.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 109–110.
These few lines I put only in your hands, to go no further than her Majesty and Lord Burghley. It is certain that the King has conceived a great jealousy of the Queen, which burns the more the more he covers it. The Duke is the principal suspected. The Chancellor casts in materials to this fire. The Queen is forewarned, but with the like cunning will not excuse till she be accused. Hæc sunt incendia malorum, and the end can be no less tragical than was betwixt his parents. The Prior of Pluscarden (Pluscardy), President of the Session, the Queen's greatest counsellor, is by her indirectly stirred up to counterpoise the Chancellor, whom she blames "of" all these slanders, and the Chancellor is indirectly supported by the other, both the Princes holding the wolf by the ears; "for which soever of thame prevaill, or if the destruction of one bring on the destruction of th'other, boyth the Chancillour and President have apperant evasions; for the governement thai look sall fall of the young Prince to the hous of Hammilton, and the Chancillour hes maried the Lord Hammiltons niece, and the Presedent is to the Lord Claud Hammilton brother in law."
The young Baron of Fingask is either there or to be shortly. I think he will, as his duty is, say his best for the King and excuse his hard speeches of Lord Burghley and yourself, and seriously "say for" his sincerity towards religion and amity. But, being a "religius, honest gentill man," and one that I hear has reported very honourably of yourself, if you demand his opinion what factions are in our court, he cannot, "being a litell twiched tharon, deny the former jelosy, with mony moir emulations;" and if you demand how far men may of honesty affirm his Majesty's sincerity I think he shall not wish protestations to be trusted on the King's behalf, "till tyme, the parent of treuth, try the same."
If support be sought against the Papists, let it be demanded: What support did the King need to take, imprison and torment some of Huntly's most secret servants, daily haunting at Court, till they reveal the verity of these foreign practices ? In so much as at the last Parliament the barons and landed men of Fife, Angus, Lothian, Strathearn and Mearns offered to furnish his Majesty "to" the journey against the Papists, and to hazard their lives with him, why did he refuse their offer or prolong the said pursuit ? Why, hearing of this frigate at Aberdeen, rode he not with such zeal as he does against Bothwell, seeing they, having the universal hatred of the Church and people, would be more easily overthrown ? The gentleman, being both honest and religious, I hope can not but resolve you herein. All other matters I have written apart, according to my former custom, to be also perused by your lordship. Signed: Jo. Colville.
2½ pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
301. Henry Stewart of Whitelaw to Mr. John Colville. [July 26.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 261–262.
My lord [Bothwell], going to Edinburgh (Ednbrowche) on the 20th, specially commanded me to pray you to keep "forwart intellegence" there in England according to the conclusion betwixt you. For the dealing with that estate he "leyis" [relies] only on you, promising that what you say in his name shall be as if he sealed and subscribed it; and as he deals at home with others, he will advertise you from time to time by me. He understands that sundry ill reports will be made of him, to which he prays you "oppone" yourself, since you know his "mand" in all things. Liddisdale. Signed: "Your lowing sowne, H. Stewart of Qwhytlawe."
¼ p. Holograph. Addressed: "To my father, Mr. Johnne Colwille."
302. James VI. to Burghley. [July 26.]
Being informed that "umquhile" Richard Bowes, Captain of Norham, was taken prisoner in the last wars betwixt England and Scotland, and that for his liberty "umquhile" James Lawsoun of Humby, "upoun courtessye," became caution and gave band for his re-entry under the penalty of 1000 crowns, which, through violation of that band, he was constrained to pay, as the decreet given thereanent will bear record; for relief whereof, although oftentimes suit has been made at the hands of the said "umquhile" Richard, his heirs and successors, yet could the same never be had, which has moved us hereby to request you to give order for refunding that sum to the said "umquhile" cautioner's heirs, who has [sic; ? have] a friend there with commission to attend on that suit and to receive your good answer thereanent. Edinburgh. Signed: James R.
2/3 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
303. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 27.]
Forasmuch as this bearer, Sir Richard Cockburn, Knight, Lord Secretary to the King here, has given approved testimonies of his sincere affection in religion and for preservation of the happy amity, and is free from all and any faction in this realm, and also so familiarly acquainted with the King's present affairs, estate and mind, that with best surety and sufficiency he can inform her Majesty in all the particularities thereof for her good contentment and the advancement of the King's desires, and forasmuch as during this time of my service here he has showed his affectionate devotion with performance of many good and fruitful offices to and for her Majesty, yielding daily and profitable benefits and aid to myself, therefore by these presents I commend him to your lordship's favourable courtesies, that agreeable to his worthiness he may receive her Majesty's gracious and good countenance. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2/3 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
304. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [July 27.]
Commends Sir Richard Cockburn to him in the same terms as the preceding.
2/3 p. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
305. Sir Robert Cecil to Robert Bowes. [July 27.] Vol. 52, p. 86.
Lest you think your letters miscarry or are neglected, I will make some answer to that which I have received, and my Lord [Burghley] has directed me to answer yours to him. Her Majesty is very glad that Hamilton shall have that office of wardenry of the West Marches of Scotland, the accomplishment whereof she wills you to further by all good means. But where he desires to be helped by the Queen with some provision for Dumbarton, I find her Majesty not willing so to deny him as if she neglected him, but according to your discretion [she wishes you] to make him some dilatory answer, wherein you may use this reason for one, that she finds the King so jealous of her that she would be loth to be discovered to have any inclination towards the strengthening of any place in his realm. You have often written desiring to be certified whether the divers offers made to you for the apprehension of men passing to and from Flanders may be allowed or not; wherein I am commanded to answer that those services shall ever be well interpreted and warranted, being carried with discretion and moderation. As to mediation by the Earl of Cumberland or any other for Bothwell, her Majesty is not minded to deal with the King, for she will give him no cause of jealousy, especially now, "being to see" an issue of his promises. Nevertheless you may advise him to use all good means to recover the King's favour; on condition that it be wrought without her disclosing herself as a dealer for him, she would be very glad. Sir Thomas Parry shall have order to deal with the King for Mr. James Murray, when he comes to the baptism for your relief, as is thoroughly resolved. According to your desire Mr. J[ohn] C[olville] has had some remembrance by my means, whom indeed I find both honest and wise. The Court at Greenwich.
1¼ pp. Copy in the hand of Cecil's clerk. At the head: "A copie of my master's letter to Mr. Bowes the xxviith of July concerning the Lord Hambleton."
306. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [July 28.]
By the persuasion of the ministers sent to Stirling (whereof I made mention in my last), the King returned hither to Edinburgh to deliberate with the Council here for the time and order of his pursuit against Angus, Huntly, Errol and Auchindoun. It is concluded that the King in person shall enter on his raid on 26th August, and proclamation shall be made to attend upon him at places and times limited, as may be seen by the enclosed copy of the proclamation. Because the Kirk, barons and burghs have with great earnestness pressed that sufficient forces may be "indelatelye" sent under the conduct of fit persons against these rebels, therefore the King has given commission of lieutenancy to Argyll, Atholl and Forbes jointly and severally, in such form and substance as will appear by the enclosed copy. Albeit this commission of lieutenancy is already formed and is to be speedily carried to Argyll first, and afterwards to the other two, yet the King by his letter (as I am credibly informed) has directed Argyll either to enter on his journey before 11th August, on which day the King is purposed to solemnize the baptism of the Prince (which peradventure, and as many think, shall be deferred until the 18th), or else that Argyll, Atholl and Forbes shall stay their raid personally against the rebels and keep their forces in readiness to attend upon the King in his expedition. For this purpose another commission shall also be given, as warrant to these three noblemen, that they may make their choice to go forwards in person at the time prescribed, or to suspend their raid and attend on the King at his coming forwards. The King has sent (as I hear) William Elphinston, his servant, with his letter to Argyll with his mind and pleasure herein. At this time Argyll is in the far parts of Argyle and has in readiness 2000 footmen, which he intended of his own accord to have sent forth (as it is told me) against Huntly. The King has been earnest to have him present at the baptism, which he is loth to perform, yet it is thought that by the condition and straitness of time prescribed he will choose to stay his journey until the King shall take the field. It was moved that two ministers of especial quality should be sent to persuade him to accept the lieutenancy with the other two noblemen, and without delay to prosecute the rebels. But the King did not hearken (as I hear) to that motion, which had beginning with my privity. Besides, the King has sent Mr. Patrick Galloway, one of his ministers, to Atholl both to take order with the Earl that he levy his forces in the north parts and forbear to come within thirty miles "to" the King, and also give caution for his good behaviour thereafter. It is said that Huntly has lately harried some part of Atholl's possessions in Balveny, and that albeit the same may justly prick him forwards against Huntly, yet, in regard of the King's letter and message to Argyll, and this kind of dealing to himself, he will stay himself and forces to attend on the King, agreeable to the commission given in that behalf. Further, I perceive that Forbes will accept the office of lieutenancy with Argyll and Atholl, but only if they both will do the like. Thus, for the present, it is verily looked that the pursuit against these traitors shall be referred wholly to the personal expedition of the King, who surely shows great forwardness herein, offering to do all and every thing that shall be thought expedient, yea, to lea[ve] the solemnities of the baptism and immediately to ride with his forces against the rebels if necessary. Nevertheless the pursuit against those traitors is so long prolonged, and the memory of the fruitless raid made by the King at Aberdeen against the same persons works such suspicion and distrust, that some of the barons and gentlemen lately convened at Edinburgh have plain enough uttered their distrust of any good success or profit likely to follow on the King's personal action herein. Some (as I hear) have been of opinion that if Argyll, Atholl and Forbes refuse to proceed "indelatelye" in the office of lieutenancy, then the action against the rebels must be taken in hand after the manner of the Scottish Reformation. For the advance whereof some wished that, if any aid should be required of and granted by her Majesty, it should not be given in money, but "with" men and forces to be sent into the north of Scotland to daunt the insolency of those proud traitors and to rase their houses without regard to feuds, as was done both by the Earl of Sussex against divers noblemen in Scotland and also by Sir William Drury and the English forces against the Hamiltons. (fn. 10) It was further there wished that if her Majesty would yield support to the King at this time with money, the same might be used only to increase the number of the mercenary soldiers to be levied against those rebels.
By the advice of the Chancellor (Menelaus) it is thought very requisite to cause her Majesty to give especial instructions to the Earl of Cumberland to persuade the King effectually in her name to hasten his journey against the Earls, agreeable to his own promises to the Kirk, and for the common benefit of all the common causes. This advice your lordship may "expeid" as shall be seen convenient. The Chancellor's late and open actions have won him great favour from the Kirk and hatred of the attainted Earls. He has engaged himself and credit very far both for the furtherance of the cause against the Earls and also for some ease, with conditions, to be granted to Bothwell, wherein he has been esteemed to have been very prodigal of the King's life. Thereunto he has answered that the King's life is more precious, yet his own is dear to himself, who in the journey with the King will adventure life and all that he has, knowing well that his life shall be earnestly sought and not spared if it may be gotten.
Sundry of the barons and burgesses of Edinburgh and of the sheriffdom thereof have convened at Edinburgh upon call of the Presbytery and session of the Kirk, and have frankly showed their readiness to ser[ve] in person or contribute in money against the traitorous Earls. This assembly chiefly desired sufficient forces to be raised and sent with all speed. It is accorded that the burghs shall send forth 600 footmen, and the noblemen, barons and gentlemen 300 horsemen, whereof 100 horsemen shall be employed for the defence and service of Edinburgh, which burgh is contented to furnish and keep 300 shot and 100 pikes for this service.
On Friday, the 19th, Huntly entered Aberdeen with sixteen persons to testify that he so trusted the town that he looked for no great guard. He received the prisoners, the ship and equipage "at xen in th'afternoone," and with Angus, Errol, Auchindoun, Mr. Walter Lindsay and others returned that night to Old Aberdeen, and on the morrow departed, directing the ship to come to the mouth of Spey, where she lies at anchor with one other barque before prepared by the Earls. Their number by the report of Saunders Forbes was esteemed to be 700 horsemen with some footmen, but they are now found to exceed very little 200 horsemen in all. they are levying men in all places, and I am informed that they have sent to noblemen and friends in the south parts of Scotland to wage for them horsemen and footmen. None of the Gordons, save only the Laird of Buckie, accompanied Huntly at Aberdeen. The Earl of Caithness's youngest brother was with him. The Provost of Aberdeen, suspected to be a confederate, is charged to appear before the King and Council, but it is generally thought that he shall sustain little hurt, notwithstanding that his actions are manifestly seen to be evil. Huntly has sent hither William Troup, his old and busy solicitor, and Alexander Duff, his servant. They have both been with the King, as it is told me. It is informed that Duff brought hither in a "budgett" of sealskins a good portion of gold, and that it has fallen into some coffers in Court. The ministers prayed that he may be well examined, and, albeit it is readily granted, yet he passed freely without further check or trouble.
I have not yet received any certainty of Donald Gorme's passage into Ireland. This day Anthony Deringe, Englishman, newly come hither from Ireland, has showed to me that James Brady, an honest burgess of Irvine (Urwin), told him that he was in the Isles on the 17th instant and saw Donald ready (as was there said) to sail to Ireland with 4000 footmen to aid O'Neil, whom Donald Gorme called King of Ireland. I have made diligent search herein and conferred with some of Argyll's followers, some islanders and of the north. I have spoken with the King and sundry councillors herein, yet I cannot find forth the full truth.
Bothwell (Argonartes) has written to me (Antonius) to such effect as you will see by the enclosed copy. By other means I am confidently informed that there is no such band or confederacy amongst those persons as has been generally given out, and the informers seek earnestly to persuade me in the same, offering to endure all shame and punishment if their information shall be justly disproved. They have alleged some circumstances directly condemning some parts of these reports of their conjunction. Therefore I leave this to your experience and consideration.
I am credibly informed that the ambassador for the Duke of Mecklenburg will both move the King earnestly in favour of Bothwell and also travail with others of the ambassadors to join with him, and that they will not only require that Bothwell, his wife and children may be restored to lands and livings, in regard that the King receives no profit thereof, but that he also offers to "carye and intertayne" Bothwell with the Duke and his friends in honourable estate during the King's pleasure; further, that they will exhort the King to proceed "effectuouslie" against the rebellious Earls and other Papists; that one of the ambassadors for the King of Denmark is already purposed, with apt opportunity, to assay the King for Bothwell's relief upon honourable respects to the King; and it is thought that the ambassadors of the Low Countries shall join in both the behalfs expressed. All this I wholly commend to the sight of the sequel and to the consideration of the Earl's request that Cumberland may have direction to travail with the King for him in her Majesty's name.
At my late access to the King I "entred" to call for redresses for the attempts on the Borders, wherein again he has referred me to his commissioners for Border causes. After this I persuaded the continuance of his abode in this town with the Council until he had fully perfected the resolutions to be taken for the pursuit against his rebels, wishing that he would send to Argyll and Atholl persons well qualified to exhort and draw them to proceed with all speed in the commission of lieutenancy, and that he would by timely actions perform his promises given to the Kirk and people. To all which he answered: first, that he had already furnished all things to be concluded by himself, his Council and the ministers for the cause against the rebels. Secondly, he had "determinately" resolved to prosecute this cause in his own person, by his lieutenants, by all means in his power, with all expedition, and as soon as sufficient forces could be gathered to attend upon him, being determined to go forward with the forces coming to him, be they never so small. He had timed his raid in the end of August, to the intent he may then find corn and forage for his army. Thirdly, to hasten the employment of forces to be "indelately" sent against these forfeited persons he had given his commission of lieutenancy to Argyll, Atholl and Forbes jointly and severally, and by his letter and message by William Elphinston he had sought to draw Argyll to execute the office with all expedition. Likewise, he had sent Mr. Patrick Galloway to induce Atholl to take this office, to levy his forces in convenient places, and to draw them northwards only against the enemy; upon the good accomplishment whereof he would pass over Atholl's faults and extend his favour to him. Fourthly, according to his promises he would enter into immediate action, assuring me that he would leave nothing undone which with his power might advance this cause.
Whilst I was thus with the King the Secretary came to him. Whereupon the King told me that the Secretary was ready to enter the next day on his journey. After I had wished that his errands might make him as welcome as his qualities merited, I recounted the heavy burden of the present charges sustained by her Majesty for religion in France, the Low Countries and this Isle, concluding that any request for money at her hands at this time might therefore be deemed unseasonable. He answered that her Majesty was well enough acquainted with the errands of the King of France, of himself and of other princes seeking her support in cases of necessity and for the common causes, and that the Secretary should show her important causes to move her to tender his need and request. He had written to her Majesty, and his Secretary should both enlarge the same and also inform her of the designs of these traitorous Earls, of the names and qualities of the persons arrived at Montrose and Aberdeen, and of all their doings and intentions. He seemed to me to be of opinion that the late Earl of Westmorland or Sir William Stanley had not come into Scotland in the barque landed at Aberdeen or in any other place, but that Philip Morgan was one of the Englishmen therein, and that the Earls chiefly honour the Fleming and, next, Morgan. In the particular certainty and truth of all this the Secretary, who purposes to be at Berwick to-morrow, will so fully satisfy her Majesty and your lordship that I, wanting the assurance thereof, refer all to his report. Yet I cannot omit that some wise men here, by the information of their friends in the north, think that this Fleming or Spaniard is sent hither to be ambassador for the King of Spain to the King here, and that Sir William Stanley is with Huntly, and, having given direction for the order for the levy of armour and weaponing of the forces to be gathered in this realm (of all which it is said that he shall have the leading), he is to repair to the west coast of this realm and from thence to put over into Ireland to amass there and bring hither such Irish forces as can be drawn together, and therewith to return to the Earls within twenty days. It is further added that Alexander Duff and William Troupe have at great length opened to the King all the secrets of the Earls, and that thereon the King, by means, has made it known to some that golden hills are offered to him, and that large portion of gold is proffered to be delivered to him at his pleasure and time to be assigned for the same. In all which particularities your lordship shall, I trust, be sufficiently satisfied by the ambassadors for the King, together with the certainty of all such further enterprises as the Earls shall hereafter intend to attempt.
At the conclusion hereof I was confidently informed that Huntly bargained with the Master of Gray for the keeping of Borthwick (fn. 11) Castle, near Dundee, and has given him 10,000l. Scots for the same. It is since advertised by honest burgesses in Dundee that, this bargain coming to the ears of some of the magistrates, they are in fear that Huntly will fortify the same place near the town wherein the Englishmen before built their fortifications, (fn. 11) and that afterwards the Spaniards shall be received in the same.
Finally, as by my letter commendatory I have written in favour of the ambassador, having indeed received by his means great help for the profit of her Majesty's service here, therefore I beseech you so to honour himself, howsoever his errands shall succeed, that he may find that I have had thankful memory of his goodwill, and that his good offices are also thankfully accepted by her Majesty and your lordship. Some good countenance likewise to be given to Mr. George Douglas, servant to the Queen here and a gentleman of good quality and approved devotion to her Majesty, will much profit the service of any of her Majesty's servants in this realm. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
6¾ pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil. Notes in the margin in Sir Robert Cecil's hand.
First enclosure with the same.
(Proclamation by James VI.)
Abstract in Register of Privy Council, v. 157–158. Inventoried in Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, ii. p. 257.
Proclamation summoning a muster of the lieges at times and places stated for proceeding against the traitor lords on 31st August, with faculty to Sir Robert Melville, the Prior of Blantyre, and Sir James Melville to grant compositions to aged and infirm persons; the money to be spent upon the wages of horsemen. Edinburgh, 25th July 1594.
1 large page. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk.
Second enclosure with the same.
(Commission by James VI.)
Abstract printed in Register of Privy Council, v. 157.
Commission appointing the Earls of Argyll and Atholl and Lord Forbes his lieutenants in the north with power for repression of Jesuits and traitors, and ordering all lieges dwelling within the bounds of the commission to assist the said commissioners. Edinburgh, 25th July 1594.
1 large page. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk.
Third enclosure with the same.
([Bothwell] to [Robert Bowes].)
Innumerable reports have come to my ears, to my no small regret, of your honour's misconstruction of my true and most sincere intention, in so far that your honour should already have almost fully concluded my conjunction with the Papists, with some hard speeches to the prejudice of her Majesty and her estate. Therefore, by these presents I certify the contrary, offering upon your lordship's warrant to enter into your house at Edinburgh, there to be tried by your honour and the ministry to the uttermost. Wherein, if I be found culpable, let me be delivered into his Majesty's hands as a traitor to both your estates, and, if innocent, it is hard "for so small benifittis to underlay sic aprobreys." Yet shall I be willing to abide patiently so long as hope may be, and as I have promised to her Majesty. If I find not some "soulagement" before that time, let not my subsequent proceedings be accounted as "unhonestly" done or undutifully, but by enforcement. Thus far I have thought good to acquaint your honour, promising during the time aforesaid to rest free of faction, as since my exile I have done, ever carrying the mind of a faithful servant to her Majesty so far as lawfully I may, and to your lordship [the mind] of a special friend. 26th July.
½ p. Copy in the hand of Bowes's clerk.
307. Mr. John Colville to Mr. Henry Lock. [July 29.] Printed in Colville's Letters, p. 111.
I write now with certainty that Mr. James Gordon has brought in money and that he has put these Papist lords in sure hope of strangers before the end of harvest. For preventing whereof, as I wrote in my last, the ministry has been at his Majesty, and it is concluded that, as he cannot go against them himself before the baptism, Argyll, Atholl, Forbes and MacIntosh shall be lieutenants, that the burghs shall furnish 600 hagbutters and the barons 400 horse, and that the King shall follow immediately after the baptism. This conclusion has well pleased the Church, and they think it shall content you. It is true that Edinburgh is busy to furnish out their extent, but it is all men's opinion that the baptism will be past before the barons can convene and lift their men. The Secretary will come up with these and other plausible promises, providing you will give him money, as though the cause were properly yours and not his [i.e. the King's]. Let him not think he would be out of danger of King Philip but for your cause; but rather urge that, since they are like to arrive first in his realm, where a great part of the nobility are ready to receive them, he is in the first danger, and so should rather invite others than be invited. Winning this point of him, he can then crave no more help of you in money or men than is contained in the League; or rather, it should persaude him, if he requires your help, to indent with you as the Protestants of France once did, or as the Estates of Flanders have lately done,—which is to put in your hands some strengths most fit to resist the enemy. Be not afraid that such coldness may move the King to take another course, for, assure yourself, his mind is with the Papists already, but that he seeth the crown pulled off his head and his son established if he join openly with them. If his country furnish him with 1000 men for two months (as is set down), and the power of his rebels prove more than this supply of his country can overthrow, then it were unkindly on your part to see him succumb in so just a cause. By that time, both his actions and our privy intelligence will make you sure of his meaning; if within these two months he alter for the better by importunity of his people or otherwise, I will know it. But presently the Abbot of Lindores, the great Master of Ceremonies at this baptism, and Patrick Murray have letters going weekly betwixt the King and Huntly, and a man has promised me to do much to intercept one of the letters. By this man at least I shall know how soon the Papists are "degousted of" the King; and before that time money given him is but lost.
This morning I was informed that the baptism is "continued" [i.e. postponed] until 16th August. Bothwell, at his last going in, caused his brother Hercules write the enclosed letter. He is presently in Edinburgh; no end betwixt the Papists and him as yet. He is desirous "to spek" your ambassador at his bygoing; whereof let us know her Majesty's pleasure. Because his people of Liddisdale are prepared to make great incursions, I have dealt with him to stay them from doing any harm to her Majesty's people, and he has promised that they shall be restrained by the request of any of her officers. It would not be amiss, therefore, to inform Mr. Governor to send Cuthbert Armour to him with a letter to that effect. Signed: Y.
Postscript.—I cannot hear where Mr. Dane is, therefore I pray you advertise me.
2½ pp. Holograph, also address. Red wax seal. Endorsed by Henry Lock: "29 July 1594. Colvyll to me."
308. James VI. to Lord Scrope. [July 30.]
Being informed that one Andrew Rome, our subject, being apprehended and detained in captivity for some offence committed within your bounds and jurisdiction of the Borders, offers redress and satisfaction and to set sufficient caution for that effect, we "effectuuslie" desire you to set him at liberty upon his band to be given in manner aforesaid. Stirling. Signed: James R.
¼ p. Addressed. Endorsed: "The Kinge of Scottes lettre to the Lord Scrope for release of Andrew Rhume, Scotsman, a prisoner at Carliell."
309. Robert Bowes to Sir Robert Cecil. [July 30.]
Since my last letter to Lord Burghley some of the Council have informed me that since the King's return to Stirling he has "referred" the solemnization of the baptism to the 18th of August, and thereof given notice yesternight to the Council here. May it therefore please you to acquaint your father and the Earl of Cumberland (to whom I have written thereof) with this change.
By my last to your father I have at large and in tedious manner certified the present condition of this estate, and since then little memorable matter has come to my knowledge. The King has quietly delivered to Lord Hamilton (as I hear) commission for the lieutenancy of the West Borders of Scotland, notwithstanding that the Council denied the same. He has called his friends together to know their minds for assistance in the execution of this office and on his journey into and abode in the West Marches, where he is sure to find very strong resistance by Johnstone and his friends, whom he purposes to pursue for the slaughter of Maxwell. His friends have agreed to furnish him with eight score horsemen for three months at their own charges, and to accompany him with all their other forces at his first entry. Yet some wise friends, and also myself, foreseeing his great danger in those parts, have earnestly persuaded him to stay his journey for a time. I have written sundry times that conside[ration] might be had of him and his good devotion to her Majesty. May it now please [you] to be a means that the resolution therein may be commended to Cumberland or to Sir Thomas Parry or other succeeding me in this service ?
I have been informed that by Huntly's means offer is made, in the name of the King of Spain, to give 40,000 crowns to the King of Scots to grant liberation in religion and remission to the forfeited Earls and their accomplices, and, in case his subjects shall thereon rebel or "disquiett," to give him 12,000 crowns monthly for a convenient time to enable him to subdue them. Further, if her Majesty shall assist and support his subjects against him or the Catholics, then the King of Spain will employ all his forces and uttermost power, with hazard of all his kingdoms, to aid him. These things have been distilled into such ears as are known to be likely to bring them to me, "and of which" I cannot sufficiently judge and discern. But thinking verily that the ambassador will open the particularities hereof with larger report, therefore I refer the same to his negotiation and leave the censure [i.e. judgment] thereof to the wise; Sir Richard Cockburn, presently ambassador, justly deserves honourable and thankful entertainment, howsoever his errand for money shall be liked. He is accompanied with George Douglas of Long Niddry, servant to the Queen here, and in great credit with her and with the well affected in this realm, and also with Mr. James Bellenden, a young gentleman of good expectation. These, "namely" [i.e. particularly] George Douglas, have ready will and good power to do good offices in this service for her Majesty; therefore yield them some token of thankful acceptation. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.
2 pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk.
310. Sir Robert Melvill to Burghley. [July 30.]
Finding my Lord Secretary to be directed ambassador to those parts, I recommend him to you as my special friend and a gentleman of good commendation. The care that your lordship has ever had for the weal of both the realms will, I doubt not, be now sufficient argument rightly to consider the weighty affairs committed to his charge, and to move you to give your "helplie" offices to his good expedition. Edinburgh. Signed: Sir Robert Melvill.
½ p. Holograph. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.
311. Mr. John Colville to Sir Robert Cecil. [July 30.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 113–115.
In respect that I am willed by Bothwell to impart the following matter only to yourself, please let me have your own answer apart after knowledge of her Highness's pleasure. Let other demands and "occurrentis" be answered by Mr. Lock. Bothwell has lain this while at Edinburgh and thereabout. He has been marvellously "sollicit" by these Papist lords, their instruments being Sir James Chisholm and William Drummond, who "has gret intres in him of old acquentance." Hereupon arose all these bruits that he was appointed with them, which yet is not. At length they offered him (bringing in with him his "felowschip of Atholl" and the rest to be conjoined with them) the present delivery of 25,000 crowns, with the proviso that I were not put in the counsel thereof. He answered that if he "endit" with them, he should neither put me nor any unfriendly man on that counsel; but he would advise with indifferent persons and give them a "peremptory" [i.e. decisive] answer on 25th August. This he thought better than to give them plain refusal, for two causes: first and chief, to know her Majesty's mind before he embarked with any; the other, lest, if he refused, the money might be given to some of your enemies. Hume is gaping for it, and has been in the north for that same effect, but Chisholm and Drummond, loving Bothwell more and knowing him to be of better action, would rather that it fell into his hands. On the 29th he returned and sent for me and opened this matter, regretting much his hard estate, being in heart and conscience tied only to you, and by necessities pressed other ways. He willed me to proffer to you his humble demands, that answer may be returned before 25th August; the rest of the demands to be set down apart, only the following to be put in your own hands, viz.:
That if her Majesty thought meet, he would receive of them the money foresaid and give his bond either to join with them at such time and with such numbers as they agree upon or else to refund their money; and with the money he would list men for possessing of the estate and pursuit of the said Papists; craving no more than that he may have as great a sum from her Majesty by one of her own (being sent to see "that money" bestowed for the service of religion and the amity), that he may reimburse them for saving his credit, together with some present consideration of his necessities until he may compass the matter. The cause moving him is that the Papists, reposing on him (for by his means only they mind to lift their horsemen, if this hold), may be the more easily overthrown, and he strengthened with their own weapons to do her Majesty service which by his own means he cannot do, and her Highness [may be] "excusabill" in his enterprises in that she may affirm that he was not furnished by her.
This purpose Bothwell delivered to me with such request of secrec y th once he would not have me to write it but go up with it, but I alleged that without commandment or permission I durst not. Next, said he, "Because it may appeir somewhat unhonest on my part, lett it only be proponed in generall,—what if a nobill man wold do suche a turn, how wold it be accepted ?" But I deliver it in hypothesi to be answered as her Majesty thinks fit, thinking, till it be seen whether the King be sincere or not, not unmeet to keep this man "to be ane wage (fn. 12) of his awin wood to ryis him"; a man, to speak truth, though youthful and unsettled, yet, where he is "oblist" and promises, honest and loving, and the best enterpriser we have.
The King will mask himself well, if I "dismask" him not within a month. Craving pardon for my boldness, I expect your own answer to this letter with speed. Berwick. Signed: Jo. Colville.
Postscript.—Answer this demand in thesi, that Bothwell may think I have proponed it so.
The King repents that he has made such convocation to the baptism, for, "upon" the jealousy mentioned in my last, he begins to doubt of the child. I think he had not been baptized at this time if so many Princes had not been invited. That matter takes deep root on both sides.
"Nocte dieque suos gestant in pectore fates.
Incautos perdet tacita flamma duos."
3 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil.
312. Mr. John Colville to Mr. Henry Lock. [July 30.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 116–117.
On the 29th Bothwell returned from Edinburgh. He is now in Liddisdale. The Papist lords by means of Chisholm and Drummond offer him money and great conditions, but he has deferred answer till 25th August. I have herewith sent his own letter for confirmation of all that I have alleged in his name; and also the petitions to which he craved answer before the 25th, together with my own opinion how he may be answered in some points.
As for our estate, as I wrote before, the King has satisfied the Church by directing commissions to Argyll, Atholl and Forbes against Huntly, etc. But Argyll must be at the baptism as Great Steward, and Atholl is limited within his own country under bond of great sums, which are not yet discharged, and Forbes lies so far off that he can hardly be advertised before the baptism; so all this is superficial. The King, to give occasion to the ambassadors of sudden departure, will pretend a sudden going against the Papists, but none of their houses shall either be demolished or put in their enemies' hands; for he will annex all their lands to his crown, and in their houses put his own officers, who will be as careful for their weal as their own servants, as there was example the last time his Majesty took Huntly's houses.
A great deal of money is come in, and more to come. The number of Spaniards expected is but 3000 or 4000, to come from Dunkirk. To haste them, one is again sent.
Mr. Forrett (who is even now returned from a dangerous journey, for he went to Aberdeen, thinking to have found his brother) would be hasted over to try this: by him you will hear many things which I cannot write.
The ambassador, "Mr." Richard, will mightily insist for money; but, as I wrote before, let not the King win that point of you, as though the cause were more yours than his. The King must go against these Papists or lose his crown, therefore you may behold without peril. I still recommend to you my lord's necessity more than my own. Signed: Jo. Colville.
Postscript.—The three Earls have offered privily to the King 10,000 crowns upon some conditions; whether they be accepted or not I shall learn. My lord says "from" Chisholm that it is Stanley and Morgan that are arrived here. (fn. 13) Mr. Forrett takes journey on 3rd or 4th August. If Mr. Dane be there, have me commended and excused; and let me know where to address my letters to his worship. Argyll has some men together, but it is on the old feud against Ogilvie, and not Huntly. Huntly has now with him M'Connell, M'Lean, Glengun, M'Leod, M'Kenzie, the principals of the Isles, who have promised, if they get money, to find 20,000 or 30,000 men [upon] a month's warning. This war (says Chisholm to my lord) in Scotland shall be sustained by the Pope, King of Spain, Duke of Florence and another Duke in Italy, whom I have forgotten. They count to furnish 20,000 for three years, but I hope parturiunt montes: nascetur ridiculus mus.
2½ pp. Addressed. Endorsed.