Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 11, 1593-1595. Originally published by Edinburgh, 1936.
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James VI, June 1595
554. [Dr. Macartney] to Robert Bowes. [June 1.]
I find that by the Catholic faction now "resuscitat" the King's mind is likely to be alienated from England. Great preparations are "devysing for thair peax," but they cannot yet find out "a condigne quomodo." The man whom I wrote of last is presently "upon the poynt of his jurnay" towards Flanders. Edinburgh. Signed with a trefoil leaf.
¼ p. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "(Trefoil cipher) Edenburgh primo Junii, Grenewich ix° ejusdem, 1595."
555. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [June 2.]
On Friday the Queen fell sick as she was riding to Linlithgow, yet she held her journey, and on Saturday she sent for the King, as by Mr. Aston's note to me you may perceive. Whereon the King came that night to her, and is yet there. She is so great with child, some say, that they blame those who moved her to that journey. Nicholas Cairncross (Grand) assures me she returns hither as soon as she can, and that Mar will yield to her motion if she insists still therein; which that party will do if the advice of Buccleuch and that party be followed; and to comfort the Queen it is thought the King will also yield thereto. Thus the Chancellor's party are in great assurance of their purposes. What Mar is in I cannot tell, yet I hear that he will agree that, when the King or Queen come to where the young Prince is, he will yield that place to them, but on their departure enter into it again; and so from time to time. But as to this castle, Mar will not leave it; neither, say some, will the King otherwise agree. Having nothing from Mr. John Colville, I refer that party's purpose to his advertisements, which shall be speedily sent. These matters are dangerous, and your presence was never more required here by the good than now, which they say will now be if her Majesty continues her good favour towards the country. Yet without contentment to the King you will do little good, I hear. I have sent her Majesty's safe-conduct to Stirling to Murray, from whom I have yet no word. Edinburgh. Signed: George Nicolson.
Postscript.—After the writing hereof, Lord St. Colme, uncle to Murray, told me that the Earl had received her Majesty's safe-conduct. He stays for the marriage of his aunt to Lord Lovat, and thereafter will repair to England, so that it will be ten days yet ere he goes from hence.
1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Georg Nycolson. Edenburgh 2° Junij, Grenewich ix° ejusdem, 1595." Names partly in cipher deciphered.
556. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [June 3.]
The Queen remains still sick at Linlithgow, and, as the common bruit goes here, "is parted with childe" by reason of her journey. But so far as I can learn there is no such matter. Now she is well amending, yet purposed either to return hither, according to the Chancellor's "platt," or to stay yonder, but not to go to Stirling. The King has been very sorrowful for her sickness and careful to comfort her, and some think she takes advantage thereof to move him to her purpose.
On Monday last Mar came from Stirling to the King and returned that night. They had long conference together wherein (I hear) Mar declared to the King that his Majesty moved him to take charge of the young Prince, that he himself never sought for it, and that the King should commit it to any at his pleasure, with goodwill. To which the King replied in great anger, willing him to speak no more thereof, and assuring him that he should still have that charge, whoever said "na." Mar said they had banded for his life without any offence on his part. The King said it could not be true, wishing him to trust no such thing. Mar said it was true, and prayed the King to ask Lord Hamilton whether such a band was presented to him to subscribe or no (and which Hamilton refused). He said that he would therefore be on his guard and let them see that he had as many and as good friends as they had, and that if the King would give him leave he would chase those out of Scotland who had so banded for his life. To which the King said "no, he wold do it him self." Having thus conferred, Mar has gone with good contentment, and on Tuesday, as they say quietly to me, the King sent Sir George Hume to tell the Chancellor that in these courses neither Buccleuch nor Cessford should save his head if he were a dealer therein [In the margin: Buccleuch and Cessford have returned home again]; and the same day a very strait charge was sent to the Master of Glamis to pay the 5000l. which he borrowed of the Exchequer (Extougher), and also order was given for commanding of him to ward over the water, all to remove him from this place as a man suspected to be the chief deviser and haster of these apparent troubles. Yet I hear this day that the charge of his appointment to ward is stayed, and that the King does not mean to "put at" the Chancellor, but that he has comfort also from the King. So the King may defer or pacify these troubles, and I think he will do so, unless by accidental meetings some mischief fall out, which I look for, I assure you. I hear Mar has sent the Chancellor word that, seeing he bands to take his life, he will do what he can to get his. Thus, if all be true, this estate is subject to present troubles. [In the margin: The Laird of Wemyss commends him to you.]
Colonel Stewart, for certain, has brought nothing to the King, and he is sore "straited" at present, so that I now perceive her Majesty's favour will be much rested upon and the welcomer when and if it comes. Yesterday Captain Andrew Gray set forward, as I hear, with his despatch to pass through England for foreign parts with no great errand but to look to Bothwell's doings abroad. The gentleman is "of great frendship" here, and, going the King's errands, there is no doubt here but that he will be careful to give good testimony by his behaviour of his honest course to clear all former suspicion of him.
The depositions of Lawe (Lawis) and the other Jesuit are earnestly looked and wished for to be sent hither for the help of trying out of all matters anent Father Myreton (Morton) and these two men last come in, Seaton and Cecil, over whom great suspicion is taken, albeit Cecil was here before, "judged to have ben thrust in of pollicie to trye out matters."
Young Lawers sent Mr. John A. (fn. 1) to inform me that he hears that Argyll is drawn by persuasion of Angus MacConnell and by some about himself, bribed for the purpose, to intend to send out a number of such men as will voluntarily go into Ireland under the charge of Duncan Campbell of Danna and others in hope to receive great commodity by them, and young Lawers will keep watch if this purpose holds, when they gather and go, what number and of what quality they shall be of, and where they shall land; and make true advertisement thereof; and on your return, if you please, he will go in person into Ireland and prevent their landing; and this he may the better do because Argyll and his friends are not yet agreed, and his friends do not like such course in him, as Mr. John A. assures me. Further, seeing young Lawers and he "kepe dealingis still thus," and young Lawers has let MacCondochy have land of his own and gotten him also land of Glenlyon to keep him for the service that he shall appoint him in these causes, and by which he has stayed him from going hitherto, young Lawers trusts that this shall be considered reasonably to him, as also his further dealings, or else that you will not further look for any more dealings therein at his hands, but plainly give him leave to trouble himself no further therein. Argyll and his wife have gone into their country, but [there is] no discord with Mr. George Erskine. It is confirmed here that Tyrone accounts if he can by any means hold out till Michaelmas he will have the whole country yield to them. But I cannot assure it for truth. Edinburgh. Signed: George Nicolson.
2 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes. "Georg Nycolson. Edenburgh v° Junij, Grenewich xi° ejusdem, 1595.
557. James Colville of Easter Wemyss to Robert Bowes. [June 6.]
I have received your letter from James [sic] Colville and give thanks for your pains taken for me. But because you wrote nothing concerning the King, it seems to me that he will not receive such contentment as he looks for and believes he merits. You will do well to "hauld it in memorie." For news here of late, the demand of the Prince begins to kindle, and it is hard to judge what may fall out, for there is a number banded against Mar, which band Hamilton refused, and showed to Mar. Mar is highly moved, and the King says he is also. Seeing they go that way to work, he assures him that whoever meddles in that shall have his disfavour. Mar "myndis" no more to be so used but to let his enemies know what he may do. The Queen is sick in Linlithgow, where his Majesty remains. Edinburgh. Signed: James Colville of Est Weimes.
½ p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes. "Larde of Wemes. Edinburgh vj° Junij, Grenewich xi° ejusdem, 1595."
558. Duncan MacDougall to John Cunningham. [June 6.]
Forasmuch as I have heard that you were "the last day" in Argyle speaking with MacLean of the Isles, I marvel that you "wald" not advertise me of your being there and of your news, for I wrote to you sundry times at your being from home. I am most content "of" your welfare and of your good voyage, as I have heard. Write to me of your news, and of the estate of the Kirk in these days. As to your "selver," I grant you want the same "witht the langest," for silver is very scant to be had in this country. Nevertheless you shall receive from this bearer 40l "money," and anything that you want you shall be "thankfullie payitt therof schortlie." I have heard you have brought home certain bows and I desire you to write to me how I may have one dozen or two of them. Write to me the price of the dozen of them, and if I think them reasonable for me I will buy two dozen from you.
As to news in these parts, the "haile men" of the north Isles are gathered together and they will be this night in the Sound of Mull, passing forward where Angus [MacConnell] is, for they are a great army. Angus was in Bute (Bouith) the last day, and Argyll sent the Provost of Kilmun (Kilmowne) to desire him and the rest of the Clan Donald to come to an appointment with him and MacLean. But Angus gave but a "sleicht" answer and "ewill vordis" to the Provest "and said that he would never with his will appoint with Argyll or MacLean; but let them do for themselves," and he would do for himself. The Provost and Angus "cast" out in such a form that they appointed a day of combat "hand for hand." They have sworn to meet and fight together "at the singular combait," on Tuesday next in Skipness (Skeipneishe). Argyll's "haile cunterie and boundis" are warned to be present, and both the Clan Donalds, south and north, will be there, "all that thai may mak." Truly there is great appearance of trouble betwixt the Campbells and the Clan Donalds. I hope MacLean will prevent that the Clan Donald will "gett the waie." If you brought home "ony bonie smal thing that ye think for me out of Ingland, send me the sam and I sall send yowe ane better thing in the commone (fn. 2) therof." Commend me to your "bedfallowe." Dunolly (Dunollycht). Signed: Duncan M'Dougall off Dunollycht.
Postcript.—"The barnes commendis thame to yow. I pray you commend me hartlie to the ministeris. Send me your discharge upoun the resett of this."
1 p. Holograph, also address: "To his treu frend John Cunninghame, burges in Edinburgh." Endorsed: "MacKowle of Lorne. Copie of his letter to Jo. Cuningham. Dunnowycht vi° Julij, London 18 ejusdem, 1595."
559. Roger Aston to Robert Bowes. [June 7.]
Matters here are so uncertain that no man can set down a perfect course to be followed forth. For this present there are two factions, "the thred neutrales." For the factions, there is one in Edinburgh and another in Stirling. The course of those in Edinburgh is to get the Prince out of the Earl of Mar's hand, who prepares himself against them by making himself strong by his friendship, [so] that when it shall come to the utmost he thinks to double out his course against all whatsoever, and to "stike" with that he has. On the other side they are persuaded that by the credit of the Queen she will draw the Prince and castle of Edinburgh out of his hand.
The King is "forsene" of all these courses, but because there is no mention made of these matters directly to himself, he seems to misken [i.e. be ignorant of] all, and yet is not idle to prevent the plot-layers from any alteration; for that is the thing he cannot abide to hear, but says plainly whosoever would be movers of any alteration, chiefly for the removing of the Prince, seek nothing but the cutting of his throat and he will esteem them greater enemies to him than Bothwell. Such as depend upon the Queen are fully persuaded they shall come to their intent. Although the Queen has a special misliking of Mar and would have her son from him, yet there are so many perils that I am of opinion she will not be able to attain to her intent. For, first, the King is fully resolved that the Prince is to abide where he is. Next, Mar provides for the worst. This town is "fol" that the Prince shall be presently removed to the castle of Edinburgh. But no such matter [is] either moved to the King or meant by him. The King pressed the Queen to have met him at Stirling, which she had no liking of, yet to show her obedience, "being evel desspost," she took journey and by the way was constrained to stay at Linlithgow. Not being able to travel she sent word to the King, who came "att the post." Since that time they have both remained there. The Queen never stirred out of her bed since she came thither. The bruit is up and down the country "she is parted with child." But there is no such matter. How these matters will fall out I know not. Whether my labours have been taken in the right sense or not I know not, but I have had no other intent but to serve her Majesty faithfully. I fear that I am "crost" by some malicious ill-willers, or else I am assured I had received some comfort to have relieved my weak estate. "Alwayes" I am resolved (whether there be consideration or not) to discharge the duty of an honest man to my sovereign and country. Edinburgh. Unsigned.
2½ pp. In Roger Aston's hand, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Roger Aston. Edinburgh vij° Junii, Grenewich xiiij ejusdem, 1595."
560. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [June 7.]
The Queen remains still sick in her bed at Linlithgow and the King with her, giving her all the comfort he can. Some say (but not I) that she is awaiting the opportunity thereof to move him to agree to her intention anent the young Prince and this castle, which she may not move unless she finds him in some extraordinary good mood. "Allwaies" she will never give over travailing in that point. Yet it is thought that if she were any time from this company, who are suspected to be her chief onsetters to requite the Earl of Mar for his intention to have wrought the displacing of the officers of estate and give him something else to do, she might change her mind, and for that purpose, if she had gone to Stirling, she would have been persuaded to stay some time there. As soon as God gives [her] health, the King will persuade her to go and lie at Stirling, for the Queen's faction is master here and banding, as I hear, to make themselves strong, having first had "in purpose" to have moved the Duke to have taken the keeping of the Prince and this castle, and now moving Orkney, from whom they might afterwards take the charge better than from Mar, and also of purpose thereby to cast suspicions and discords between them and Mar. Mar is warned, I hear, and has now betaken himself to band and make himself strong as well as they, and will get friends enough, the rather because the King is seen to hold the "platt" for removing of the Prince to be treasonable and danger to his person; and Mar is not resolved to let them go "unquit of a common [i.e. unrequited] for shooting at him" and his life; which is denied by the Chancellor and the rest, who think, if there were such a band, that nevertheless it should pass Mar's power to "try" it. So these two parties will hardly meet in peace, I assure you. The Kirk dislike it and would gladly have the worst prevented, yet they dare not meddle between them. Sundry great men are yet holding off as neutrals, saying they will lean to no factions, but follow the King. Thus they forbear to travail to do good, and yet in the end they will be drawn to the one party or the other if this matter comes to extremity. The Kirk and all good men wish you here for "attoning" of these parties. The King, who has most power and in whom both parties have hope,—Mar to keep him in the mind he is in, the other to get his mind altered,—takes no order as yet nor outward knowledge of these displeasures, seeming not to believe these things, whether by reason they are so hard that he list not venture to deal in them, or for what cause else, I know not.
I have spoken with Mr. George Erskine, who has but newly returned from my lord [Argyll]. He shews me that Donald Gorme and sundry others had forces at sea on the 5th instant, and he expects that they are "at some purpose" ere now. He speaks as if Argyll had no dealings that way, but stands yet clear, and that the rebels seek but to win time. I cannot tell what to think till word [comes] from MacLean or Auchinross. The depositions of the Jesuits are daily desired, and your intelligencers and others look also to hear from you. Edinburgh. Signed: George Nicolson.
1⅓ pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Georg Nycolson. Edenburgh vii° Junij, Grenewich xiiij° ejusdem, 1595."
561. [Dr. Macartney] to Robert Bowes. [June 13.]
If either Cecil or Seton had come to Scotland be assured I would have got knowledge ere now; and to be better resolved "I askit my lord Seytoun for Cecile, bot he is not, and a brother of Seytons in whome he trustis muche bot he knawis no thing," so that by these appearances none of them is here. Indeed, Fyvie is expected, "for so hes Mr. William Bannatyne advocat in Pareis tauld me, wha is reddie upoun his returne to thais partis." If Dickson's uncle shall come into Scotland cum sacco parato I shall be vigilant. But I fear they shall meet at some other part.
I remember an old proposition of mine (the "oblivioun" whereof was imputed to Christopher "Ship" [Sheperson]) about two rugs, one orange, the other incarnate red. I trow there may be good commodity for their transporting by ship among great confluence of Scottish merchants resorting to London. Besides all this I have lost my knife that I got of you at departing.
What other pleasure "on the auld maner" can be performed by me shall nowise be forgotten from time to time. Edinburgh. Signed with a trefoil leaf.
¾ p. Addressed by cipher. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: (Cipher) "Weathouris. Edenburgh xiii° Junij, Grenewich xix° ejusdem, 1595."
562. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [June 14.]
Yesterday I asked the Chancellor if he had any certainty of Cecil's being in this country, and where he was. He assured me that he was here with Angus, but he knows not where he is now. Neither can I learn other ways anything of him than as the Chancellor told me, who still expects the confession of Lawe (Lawis) for their better light in those things here. Dr. MacCartney (Tertius) says neither Seton nor Cecil is here. Yet they may well be here, for Errol, I think, has not gone, but keeps very quiet, as does Angus, and these persons may be with them. I assure you they are in comfort. Huntly has written with his own hand from the Jesuit College in Antwerp giving comfort to his friends here that all will be well with them. I hope to get a copy of the letter. It is in the hands of those that Huntly would not have it in.
Mr. Dickson (fn. 3) has taken his leave of the King, to whom he "made motion" of his service done to the King's mother and requiring his consideration thereof, and had the Chancellor as a speaker for him. But, as I hear, the King answered, "The devil a penny. Let him gange to Bowes and the mynisters,"—accounting as if he had been your man and theirs in revealing things to you and them. So Mr. Dickson (fn. 4) has gone from hence with purpose to serve abroad. Yet I cannot see that he is furnished with money for his journey to France, as he intends, so as yet I cannot deal with him anent the casket, wherein I hear he will do what he can, and were not to be doubted if he had money to go about it.
I still remember to hasten John Cunningham; and he promises very shortly to go to MacLean and with speed return his answer. He had gone ere now but that he expects that MacLean shall come into Argyle, and thereon he intends to go thither to him. This estate is uncertain. On Sunday last the Master of Glamis was at Linlithgow and had good countenance from the King, yet "was gently demaunded" the 5000l. In all these dealings he is "the butt that the King shooteth at," albeit he is so backed by the whole officers of estate, Lord Hume, and the two Lairds and his other friends that the King cannot yet cast him with ease. He had long conference with the Queen and returned well contented, looking that she shall in time prevail to get this castle and the Prince into the hands of some of that side; and for this purpose the Chancellor intends to go this day or to-morrow to Linlithgow to persuade the King's return hither for his affairs, trusting, if he were here, that the Queen should prevail. But the King intends to go to Stirling as soon as the Queen is well (as now she is almost), or else to remain at Linlithgow or go to Fife to keep the Queen from the company of those who move her to this motion. None dare deal with him therein, "but thrust it into the Queen's heele," who attends opportunity. You will see it will be assayed as a reasonable and meet way that there be motion made that Mar shall have fellow-assisters for the keeping of the Prince, and all to dispossess him by little and little. If other means do not prevail this will be assayed; and if this does not serve they intend harder means, accounting themselves strong enough. On the other side, Mar means by like means to encounter them, and surely he has the King's favour, and so has the Chancellor in particular; between whom the King will make the best or prevent the worst. I think this matter will lie over for some time, but quicken with more danger than ever. The ministers have fair words on both sides and are mightily dealt with. But they keep free, purposing to make choice upon sight of their actions, looking verily that if it comes to extremity the one side shall draw in the Papist lords and wreck all, marvelling that her Majesty sends none hither, in these dangerous times, when there are reports of 18 millions of gold "commed" home to Spain; of great armies and navies ready in Spain (for avoiding the discovery whereof some Scots ships are stayed in Spain till the King's fleet be at sea, as by now they account it to be); and of the comfort amongst the Papist lords' friends at this present. "Allwaies" if her Majesty sends, it will little prevail for her service unless the King's contentment comes withal. Edinburgh. Signed: Geo. Nicolson.
2 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: George Nycolson. Edenburgh xiiij° Junij, Grenewich xix ejusdem, 1595."
563. Mr. John Colville to Robert Bowes. [June 16.]
Her Majesty's sickness is interpreted as men like or dislike, but she is "convalesced." The ill-will betwixt the innocent Earl of Mar and others seems to be nothing quenched, his Majesty holding himself, to all appearance, very indifferent.
I have received all yours, especially one from my cousin of a very old date and open; but neither of us needs to be ashamed who sees our writing. I am ashamed to write any more "in my particular," but my deserving shall ever speak more than my tongue or pen in that behalf, yet my great necessity, being held "abak" [from the embassy], (fn. 5) makes me importune, and you may easily consider if the man who shall be employed be my friend. If I myself had been employed I needed not other recommendation. Therefore I look for this favour that, in part or all, my former recommendation may be admitted by her Majesty. However it be, I have laid that ground which I can not alter for any disaster. Stirling. Unsigned.
1⅓ pp. In Mr. John Colville's hand. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "John Colvill. Sterling 16 Junii, Grenewich xix° [?] ejusdem, 1595." Parts obliterated by ink.
564. Roger Aston to George Nicolson. [June 17.]
The King is resolved not to alter any matter of estate either concerning the Prince or any other thing. The Queen is mending very well. She has made no motion to the King as yet concerning the Prince, neither will she, as far as I can perceive. The King is in such rage that such news is in the country that I believe that motion will not be made again. The Queen bears a great grudge against Mar and would not give him her presence. He was here on Saturday very well received by his Majesty. The King is "mynded" to take away all jealousies between the Chancellor and him, that all things may proceed in good quietness, and such as are suspected to be stirrers-up of sedition shall be commanded to remain at home. Linlithgow. Signed: Roger Aston.
1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes. "Roger Aston, Nycolson. Lithgw xviij° Junij, Grenewich xxiiij ejusdem, 1595."
565. William Crichton to James Tyrie. [June 18.]
Pax Christi. Reverende in Christo pater: postremas dedi ad vestram reverentiam Treveris in principio Junii, ubi fui ut comitem Huntleum et P. Gordonum convenirem, cum quibus venit comes Errollius. Scripsi tunc ad patrem nostrum. Verum est omnia fuisse generalia: ad magis specialia destendetur, sed hac vice fieri non potest. Per proximum intelliget quid et ad quid velint 102. Heri venimus huc et non potuimus cogitare de negotiis ut par esset. 106 est in hac urbe pro negotiis quibusdam suis particularibus, et venit in hanc urbem, sed secreto et propter negotia quedam sua particularia. Hic 106 gemma est naturalium præcipua. Venit huc ex Scotia post aliorum discessum junior baro de Purye Ogilbie, qui Italiam cogitat ut ex proximis intelliget reverentia vestra. Baro de Sacher hinc infra 6 dies est in Scotiam migraturus. 105 heret diu anti [sic] inibitur consilium et quid expediat aut petendum videatur consilio 105 et 106 et aliorum expertorum isthuc brevi mittetur; et hec de publicis. Satis abunde intellexi ex literis reverentiæ vestræ quid de seminarii negotiis fiat et quid sit collectum et quid speretur. Accepimus 60 scutos [?] collectos Bononiæ quibus adjunxit reverentia vestra alios 40 sc. quibus facta est summa 100 sc. Prius accepi 100 sc. ex redditibus seminarii. Per has postremas reverentiæ vestræ accepi literas cambii 240 sc. collectorum in Sicilia. Accepi quoque 56 sc. collectos Mediolani per patrem Joannem Laurini. De spe recuperandi 300 Ubertini, et alios 300 Cardinalis [?] a Sancta Severina opera patris Bruno, gaudeo. Servient hi aurei ad domum quam emimus reficiendam et instruendam suppellectile. Solus d. Thomas Cheyneus videtur per precipuas Italiæ urbes idoneus qui mittatur. Postea poterit cogitari an expediat ut in Hispaniam mittatur. Prius erit instandum apud illustrissimum Cardinalem Cajetanum ut ad Patriarcham scribat ut obtineat quæ potest, si non ex episcopis saltem ex spoliis defunctorum ecclesiasticorum poterit nos juvare, sunt enim in Hispania ditissima singulis annis. Verum est rationem debere reddi suæ sanctitati et cameræ apostolicæ. Mittam ad dominum Hieronymum Garcio [?] rationes. Sed modo non possum quia sunt Bruxellis. Ego jam ter misi rationes Missipotanas et bis signatas manu Chevalii. In Januario 1593 Pater Murdo mihi dixit fassos plus satis fuisse illis solutum et se nobis debere aliquid reddere nihil amplius illis solvat d. Hieronymus. Ego enim tenebo rationes cum illis et ostendam eos plus accepisse quam debebatur. Habent adhuc magnam partem suppellectilis seminarii quam commodarunt suis convictoribus, et postquam usi sunt stragulis, linteaminibus et culcitris jam 7 aut 8 annis, dicunt parum valere, et ita nobis solvunt. Sed agemus ratione cum illis. Interim reverentia vestra suaviter hoc poterit illis scribere.
Jam dudum accepimus literas pro abbate sancti Bertini Audomaropoli, sed nihil nobis dedit. In his partibus nihil eleemosinæ est sperandum, ita sunt omnia afflicta bello. Doleo d. Thomam Tyrium ita affligi morbo, sed nunc vix expedit ut in Scotiam eat donec melior occasio elucescat. Pater Morton male tractatur in Scotia et periclitatur de vita, in vinculis detinetur, et urgent ministri ut ei adhibeatur oculeum et alia tormenta. Dicunt reginam Angliæ obtulisse multa millia ut occideretur, ea sola ratione inducta ut illa morte summus pontifex deponat omnem spem quam conceperat de rege Scotiæ et ab eo tollat omne auxilium pontificis.
Anglus qui hinc in Scotiam profectus est in Februario ultimo fuit captus et Londinum ductus una cum magistro Davide Law nostrate, de quo nihil habemus certi. Descenderant in partibus septentrionalibus Angliæ et illic capti. Multum laborarunt mecum dominus de Sachar, dominus de Purie et Philippus de Aiala de pace inter Bruce et me componenda postquam emomuit et fecit quecunque potuit mala. Ego me submisi illorum judiciis. Solo metu nobilium quos gravissime libellis famosis et calumniis offendit fingit pænitentiam. Sed finis probabit quid de eo fiet.
Quod scripsi de obedientia et licentia ut ego eam in Scotiam non fuit quod . . . . aut cupiam ire aut occasionem videam presentem, sed quia ex Hispania aliquoties fuerit scriptum expedire ut ego irem si occasio daretur quam dixerunt imminere. Sed ego lubenter hic manerem donec res aliquem haberent progressum, quia jam ego non possum sustinere labores quos solebam, quamvis sim paratus in istis laboribus mori, et nihil formidare aut recusare adversi. Non sunt res dispositæ ut nobiles Angli eant in Scotiam, sed si parata essent omnia multum juvarent causam communem.
Scribam ad patrem Gordonum juniorem. Habet hic fratrem cum comite Huntleo. Pater Christi studet casibus conscientiæ Audomaropoli. Pater Georgius Elphingston ibit Lovanium ubi superintendet seminario quod illuc transferetur. Omnes tam patres societatis quam nostratium unanimis est sententia seminarium melius esse Lovanii quam Duaci, et est res certa sine ulla comparatione. Venerunt alii duo ad seminarium, saltem video quod statim seminarii impensis vivunt. Sunt magistri in philosophia Scotica, sed iterum sunt hoc anno incepturi cursum, videlicet magister Franciscus Douglas, frater comitis de Angus, et magister Morison Domblanensis. Ut aliqui sint Romæ robusti et eminentis ingenii qui disputent et specimen dent ingenii est bonum, sed de novo seminario instituendo in contraria sententia sunt reverendes patres principalis pater Oliverius, quibus ego assentior propter causas quas alias scripsi. Sunt in Scotia idonei qui veniant ad seminarium, sed unde alentur ? Vivere spe et contrahere debita, et vitam trahere et languere in eis sustentandis, esset mihi mors. Duodecim hic habebimus hoc anno; si modus esset eos nutriendi haberemus bene 20 aut 30. Omnino non expedit ut magister Archibaldus Hamylton eat in Scotiam. Vix possunt in ea vivere juvenes incogniti; quo grandevus magni nomini si posset aliqua pensis pro illo isthic obtineri esset bene Lovanii et nobis gratissimus donec melior occasio oriretur.
Magister Marcus Ker vobis erit isthic gravis et omnino illi erit contrarius aer. Romanus [?] est vir querelus, et cui difficulter satisfit. Nolit laborare sed vivere in quiete. Fuit vicarius pastoris Lugdunensis, ubi omnia illi abunde suppetebantur. Sed velit esse canonicus et vivere sine labore. Tantus amor sui illi oberit et aliis non proderit. Est tamen vir bonus et prudens. Misit ad nos pater Robertus Abircrombye nepotem reverentiæ vestræ Thomam Lyon . . . quasi cæcum ut visum recuperaret, quod sine miraculo fieri non potest. Est bonus juvenis sed ad omnia inutilis non minus quam prorsus caecus. Propter constantiam in fide catholica pater ejus eum domo exclusit jam aliquot abhinc annis. Frater ejus major natu, qui uxorem duxit ac domum habet propriam, non potest eum nutrire: nihil habet nec scit quo se vertat. Velit ire ad reverentiam vestram, sed non expedit. Ego curo ut medicus adhibeat suam artem in purgationibus et cauterio. Sed parum proderunt nisi ad nova tormenta et expensas faciendas. Si solum nutriendus hoc fit minoribus expensis in Scotia quam alibi, quare illi consulo ut redeat in Scotiam, et illi dabimus viaticum, et fortasse juvabimus aliis mediis saltem ut juvetur a comitibus de Angus et Errol quam charitatem compensabimus erga eorum fratres. Nam Errolius huc evocabit duos ejus fratres. In causa communi et fine satis convenit inter 105 et 106 et aliis 102, sed in mediis parum quia 105 velit aliquas preeminentias et nolit communibus consiliis subjici et facile mutat consilia, quod alii ferre non possunt. Velint enim esse equales, et 341 cum 105 est ejusdem opinionis et ingenii quod 106 et aliis 102 displicet. Non sum opinionis quod expediat 341 ire 464. Sed post consilia habita cum aliis scribam clarius; aliud non occurrit. Antwerp. Signed: G. Creyhton.
Postscript.—Placeat reverentiae vestrae significare 181, 105 et 106 ac 102 brevi ad eum missuros aliquem alicujus authoritatis, qui referrent res magni momenti, et nobis ex 415 est scriptum quod 38 multum laborabit ne 181 det auxilium 100 nisi conjunctum cum suo, quod non esset promittendum donec veniret is quem 102 mittent et rationes rerum.
2¾ pp. Holograph, also address: "Reverendo in Christo patri, patri Jacobo Tyrio assistenti societatis Jesu, Romae." Wafer signet.
566. William Crichton to James Tyrie. [June 18.]
I wrote to you last at the beginning of June from Trier, where I went to meet Huntly and Father Gordon, with whom came Errol. I wrote then to our Father. It is true that everything was in general terms to be amplified in detail, but for the present that is not possible. By the next 102 will learn what and to what they wish. Yesterday we came here and were not able to discuss business, as might be fitting. 106 is here secretly on his own private business. This 106 is a gem of the first water. The young Laird of Pury Ogilvie came here from Scotland after the departure of the others. He is thinking of Italy as you shall learn from the next [letter]. Lord Sanquhar [Sacher] will depart for Scotland within six days. [Refers to the doings of 105 and 106.] So much for public business. I have learned clearly from your letters what is being done about the seminary affairs, how much is collected and what is hoped. We have received 60 scuti collected at Bologna, to which you have added another 40, raising the total to 100. I have before received 100 scuti from the revenues of the seminary. By your last I received letters of exchange of 240 scuti collected in Sicily. I have also received 56 scuti collected at Milan by Father John Laurini. I rejoice at the hope of recovering 300 Ubertini and other 300 Cardinalis, thanks to Father Bruno. These sums will serve for putting in order the house which we have bought and for constructing furniture (instruendam suppellectile). Only dom. Thomas Cheyne seems suitable to send through the chief towns of Italy. Afterwards one may decide whether it is expedient to send him to Spain. First one must importune Cardinal Cajetan to write to the Patriarch that he may obtain what is possible; if he cannot help us out of episcopal incomes, at least out of the spoils of deceased prelates, for there are great riches in Spain in any year (sunt enim in Hispania ditissima singulis annis), but an account ought to be rendered to the Pope and the Apostolic Camera. I shall send accounts to dom. Hieronymus Garcio [?], but I am not able because they are at Brussels. I have three times already sent accounts to Missipontani and twice signed with the hand of Chevali. In January 1593 Father Murdo confessed that more than enough had been paid to them and that they ought to restore something to us. Don. Hieronymus pays nothing more to them. I shall not hold accounts with them and shall show that they have received more than their due. They have hitherto a great part of the furniture of the seminary, which they have made over to their mess-mates, and after they have used the blankets, sheets and pillows for seven or eight years they say that they are little worth, and they pay us accordingly. But we will settle the account with them. Meanwhile you can write this to them tactfully (suaviter). A long time ago we have received letters for the Abbot of St. Bertin's at St. Omer, but he has given us nothing. No charity is to be hoped for in these parts which are everywhere suffering from the war. I regret that Thomas Tyrie is ill, but it is scarcely expedient for him to go to Scotland until better opportunity offers. Father Morton is badly treated in Scotland. His life is endangered, he is kept in chains, and the ministers press that the boot and other tortures be applied. They say that the Queen of England has offered many thousands that he should be put to death for the sole reason that thereby the Pope would lose the whole hope which he had conceived of the King of Scotland. The Englishman who set out for Scotland last February was captured and taken to London with Mr. David Law, our colleague, of whom we have no certain knowledge. They had landed in the north of England and were captured there. Sanquhar, Pury [Ogilvie] and Philip de Aiala have worked hard to make peace between Bruce and me, after he had done me all the ill he could. I have submitted to the decision of their judges: he feigns penitence solely through fear of the nobility whom he has gravely calumniated. But the end will show what will come of it.
What I have written about obedience and licence to go to Scotland was not because I desire to go or see present occasion, but because they have written repeatedly from Spain that I should go if occasion offered (which, they said, was imminent). But I would gladly remain [manerem] here until matters have advanced somewhat, because I am not now able to sustain the labours that I once was, although I am ready to die in these labours, and to fear and refuse no hardships. The time is not ripe for English noblemen to go to Scotland, but if everything was ready they would much help the common cause.
I shall write to Father Gordon, junior. His brother is here with Huntly. Father Christie [?] studies cases of conscience at St. Omer. Father George Elphinstone will go to Louvain as superintendent of the seminary which was transferred thither. It is the unanimous opinion that it is incomparably better for the seminary to be at Louvain than at Douai. Other two came to the seminary, Francis Douglas, brother of Angus, and Mr. Morison of Dunblane. They are masters of philosophy in Scotland but are to begin their course afresh this year. It is good that at Rome there are others of strong and outstanding intellect, who hold discourses and give proof of their intellect. But as for setting up a new seminary, the reverend fathers and especially Father Oliverius are of another opinion with whom I agree for the reasons which I have written elsewhere. (fn. 6)
In Scotland there are suitable people to come to a seminary, but how are they to be maintained ? It were death to be sent to live on hope, contract debts, and languish in sustaining themselves. We have 12 here this year. If we had means of supporting them we might have 20 or 30. It is certainly not advisable for Mr. Archibald Hamilton to go to Scotland. Young men can scarcely live there unrecognized. If some pension could be obtained for him, he would do well at Louvain and be most acceptable to us till a better occasion arise. Mr. Mark Ker will be a burden to you here, and the air will be altogether against him. Romanus is a quarrelsome man, (fn. 7) and is difficult to satisfy. He does not want to work but to live quietly. He was vicar of the pastor at Leyden where everything was abundantly supplied to him. But he wanted to be a canon and to live without working. Such great love of himself is prejudicial to him and does not help others. Nevertheless he is a good man and a prudent. Father Robert Abercromby sent to us your kinsman [nepotem] Thomas Lyon, who was nearly blind, to recover his sight, which could not be done short of a miracle. He is a good young man but entirely useless in everything, as if quite blind.
On account of his constancy in the Catholic faith his father turned him out some years ago. His elder brother, who is married and has his own house, cannot maintain him. He has nothing, and knows not where to turn. He wishes to go to you, but it is not advisable. I shall see that a doctor gives him purgings and cauterisings, but it will lead to little except new tortures and added expense. If it were only his maintenance it could be done at less cost in Scotland than elsewhere, so I advise him to return there and we will give him a viaticum, and perhaps help him in other ways, at least that he may have assistance from Angus and Errol, whose charity we shall compensate in respect to their brothers, for Errol will summon hither his two brothers. [There are quarrels and emulations among the party]. 105 wishes certain pre-eminences and does not wish to be subjected to common councils and easily changes his plans, which the others cannot suffer. [References to 341, 105, 106, 102 and 464.] (fn. 8)
I shall write more plainly after taking counsel with others. Antwerp. Signed: Gs. [Guillelmus] Creytton.
Postscript.—Placeat reverentiae vestrae significare 181, 105 et 106 ac 102 brevi ad eum missuros aliquem alicujus authoritatis, qui referent res magni momenti, et nobis ex 415 est scriptum quod 38 multum laborabit ne 181 det auxilium 100 nisi conjunctum cum suo, quod non esset promittendum donec veniret is quem 102 mittent et rationes rerum.
2¾ pp. Holograph. Addressed: "Reverendo in Christo Patri P. Jacobo Tyrio assistenti Societatis Jesu, Romae." Wafer signet.
567. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [June 18.]
On Saturday last Mar was at Linlithgow and had very good assurance of the King, who asked him what needed he to fear ? When the Queen sought the Chancellor's disgrace he preserved him in grace, and he would also preserve Mar notwithstanding any devices to the contrary. So he returned with good countenance after very long conference with the King. But he got no presence of the Queen. On Sunday last the Chancellor rode to Linlithgow and cleared himself with the little conference he had with the King, showing his Majesty that as he was advanced [by] and always followed him, so he would still, whatsoever any should say to the contrary. So the King intends the preservation of the Chancellor and Mar as most fit for his service. But with the Queen the Chancellor had long conference, by which it is thought she wants no new advice to leave this matter for this time, unless she finds opportunity at the King's hands by his own motion, because the King holds the devisers hereof as odious as Bothwell to him, and so some think will "kiethe" [declare himself] against Buccleuch and the Master of Glamis, as practisers thereof, as soon as he can have means to do it. But that side, some say, is provided for the worst, and Mar [is] not sleeping. I cannot foretell the end of this matter; here is such practising on both sides and the King so loth to overthrow either of the chief parties. Yet though for this present it is, as it were, calmed in hope of the King's mediation, "looke for no other but the next renewing thereof wilbe in fyer in dede"; for, when he sees his own time and advantage, Buccleuch thinks that he will have amends "of those that have thrust into the Kingis eares that matter which maketh the King so offended with him." The Queen has not yet found opportunity, neither dare deal with the King anent the young Prince. The next course they have will be the association of others with Mar in that charge to do their turn.
Here are wonderful rumours of the greatness of Tyrone's forces in Ireland and of their prevailing, which, if it be not true, is to encourage the islanders to assist them. [In the margin: "Junior sendis me worde."] Angus MacConnell has received money to assist them, and yet it is said that some for the Queen have so dealt with him that he intends to let his forces steal to her aid and that he himself will be with Tyrone because of the money received. "Allwaies" upon John Cunningham's return from MacLean I shall know more. A little would have done good service for her Majesty "by meanes" here. But how things now stand I cannot tell; but I shall learn what I can at Stirling, whither I ride this day.
This day Sir George [Hume] has promised me that his Majesty will faithfully deal with her Majesty anent the stay of any from this place, and Sir George will take care thereof. I think the King will go to Stirling this day. From the Borders I hear nothing that is good, but great rumours of an unfriendly meeting between our borderers and them. Many "longe weapons" and other provisions are sent from hence to Buccleuch, Cessford and Johnstone. In the conclusion of a book in England called "Rich. his Farewell," printed by V. S. for Thomas Adams at the "Signe of the White Lyon," in Paul's Churchyard, 1594, such matter is noted that the King is not well pleased thereat, so that "one greif comes in th'end of an other." It would please the King, some think, that some order were taken therewith. He says little, but thinks more. Edinburgh. Signed: Geo. Nicolson.
2 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "George Nycolson. Edinburgh xviij° Junij, Grenewich xxiiij ejusdem, 1595."
568. James Hudson to Sir Robert Cecil. [June 19.]
The Lord Sanquhar of Scotland, who has been long in Rome and most parts of Italy, and in very truth a confirmed Papist, has sent to desire me to procure him a passport to be sent to him at Campveere (the Camphire). The merchant who brought me this request says his chiefest reason to pass this way is to yield her Majesty satisfaction touching reports made to her [that] he has used the company of Jesuits and seminaries and all the archpapist traffickers beyond the seas, with whom I know he has been very familiar, and also has in manner "altogither" been entertained and maintained by them. "Patter" [Father] Crichton who was prisoner in the Tower here is his kinsman and of his house, and Father Tyrie is "of his greatt frendship," and it is now a year since he wrote to me for the like matter, wherewith I acquainted Lord Burghley. It rests to be considered whether he shall have passage granted or not, and whether by his coming this way anything may be gathered from him; or if he shall be advertised by me or not either of a grant or a "reffues." If you signify to me your pleasure, I shall obey.
The Laird of Logie commends his service to you in a letter to me, and writes that because Bothwell is rejected by the French King he is sent for by Huntly and is to join with him and Errol and to abide the coming of the Spanish armies; also that he willed Mr. Archibald Douglas to inform your honour that if it be her Majesty's pleasure he would deal with Huntly and Errol to deliver them from Spanish hopes and advise them to seek her gracious favour in all humility, and that she would intercede for them to their King. He seems to doubt that Mr. Archibald has not discharged this much on his part, and also upon what course he himself is likely to fall. He has passed to Holland with Mr. Andrew Hunter in his company. Thursday [19 June] in the morning. London. Signed: Ja. Hudson.
12/3 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk: "24 Junij. Mr. James Hudson to my master."
569. Roger Aston to Robert Bowes. [June 20.]
That which occupies the minds of men here is this emulation between the Queen and Mar, which gives occasion to such as would have changes and alterations to encourage themselves with their own conceits. The mark that is shot at is the keeping of the Prince, which the Queen thinks to possess. Because Mar stirred at the first motion and thereby prepared himself for the worst, the Queen since then has borne him a great evil-will. This is foreseen by the King with the daily bruits that come from Edinburgh that the Prince shall be transported thither. These have caused the King to send for some of the Council whom he most confides in, namely the Chancellor, the Prior of Blantyre and Sir Robert Melville. Although the Chancellor is judged to be the plot-layer of this course, because there are great jealousies between him and Mar, yet he has declared his free opinion to the King in that point, laying before him the dangers that may ensue in case of any alteration of the present estate. His reasons were, first, he could not see any of the nobility either worthy or able to discharge that burden, and if any sought to have the Prince it was but for their own commodity. If the King would charge others with it, where were they to be had ? [As] for the nobility, they were either young, or banished or not worthy of that charge. Therefore for the King's own surety and weal, and for the surety of the Prince and greatness of the realm he could not be in so sure a place as where he was. His reasons were, first, the nobleman was of an honourable house and such as had given great proof of their loyalty heretofore; the house where he was was strong and in "a good gere" [state of upkeep]; and, lastly, the Earl had all his friends about him, which might always be a strength both to the King and the Prince. This counsel was wonderfully well taken by the King, who was of the same opinion himself; and in this doing the Chancellor has won himself greater credit than ever he had. This conference was here on Sunday the 15th, whereupon the King sent for the Prior, who was here yesterday conferring with him at great length. The substance of all their conference contained two heads, the one concerning the Prince, the other the taking away of all jealousies between the Chancellor and Mar, as also to persuade the Queen of that purpose. The Prior conferred long with her, declaring his opinion freely, and yet found no other but that she was of mind to come to her intent. I would think this might happen if I knew not the King's resolution. In the meantime he entertains the Queen very lovingly and uses means to draw her off that course, preparing himself if she further insists. She, on the other part, entertains the King in all love and obedience, thinking thereby to come the sooner to her intent; and thus stand all matters here for the present. The King knows the ground layers of this course and yet bears with all, thinking [it] not meet time as yet to "chope" at them.
This day he goes to Stirling to see his son "whoo is to be spentt" within three or four days. The Queen will not be persuaded to go thither, but would rather be in Edinburgh or Falkland, where I think she shall meet the King within five or six days. Mar was here yesterday, but could not get presence of the Queen. The Prior of Blantyre is directed by the King to travail to take away all jealousy between the Chancellor and Mar, that there may be nothing among us but quietness. They are "in avising" whether the King shall send any this year to her Majesty or not. Some motion is made that Sir Robert Melville shall be sent.
The Earl of Caithness shall have his remission and peace [for] 10,000 marks. I doubt not but you hear better what has become of our Papist Earls than we do. We are advertised that Huntly is in Antwerp and Errol in Lübeck. I have received yours of the 5th instant, whereby I perceive you have moved for her Majesty's picture to be sent hither to the Queen. I pray you leave not to insist till the request be accomplished. I would be glad of your return if it might be for her Majesty's good service and your own credit. [He commends his services.] Linlithgow. Signed: Roger Aston.
Postscript.—The Earl of Atholl is in great danger of his life by sickness.
1¾ pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Roger Aston. Lyghquo xx° Junij, London xxvii° ejusdem, 1595."
570. John Auchinross to George Nicolson. [June 22.]
Hearing of the coming home of our merchant, John Cunningham, my master has directed the boy, my servant, to him. As for present news in these parts there is none, except [that] the preparations for passing to the aid of Tyrone are in readiness, but as yet they dare not venture to leave Scotland through the want of security of my master's friendship. Many persuasions have been offered to him to go forward in their doing or to send with them his forces. All is continued [i.e. procrastinated] by him and will be till he hears of the answer to his letters and mine directed to Mr. Bowes. We marvel at the stay of that answer and think that the bearer has failed in his duty by not delivering the letters to you.
My master was written for divers times by the Earl of Argyll to repair to him, to the bounds of Argyle, but being occupied in his other "adois," specially attending on [i.e. watching] his neighbours and their preparation for this voyage, he could not go till now, when he is come to Argyll, leaving his captains and friends to attend on his neighbours till his return. Argyll, "heifing to do in Court," left command behind him to entertain MacLean well till his return. So he is passing his time "at hunting." Dumbarton. Signed: Johnne Achinros.
Postscript.—I came here to do some "turnes" of my own till the return of the Earl.
½ p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Nicolson and Robert Bowes: "John Achinros. Dunberton 22, Edenburg 24, Junij 1595."
"Rec. in Geo. Nycolson's packet. Edenburgh 25 Junij, London 20 July, 1595."
571. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [June 23.]
On Wednesday last I rode for Stirling. The next day I spoke with Argyll, persuading him not to be hasty to hearken [to] any offers of the rebels, but to show his goodwill to her Majesty, whose favour was better and more honourable for him, with such other reasons as I could use. Hereon he told me that 2000 good men of Donald Gorme and others were ready in arms to pass into Ireland, whom he could not now stay by any commandment or force unless by wiles, which he would do his best to do for her Majesty's service and your request. He showed me that the rebels yet prevail, taking towns and castles, which they burn and utterly rase and pull down, that her Majesty's forces may thereafter have no safety or "harbory" by those strengths; [and] that "the second person in the feild" for her Majesty, undertaking to take Tyrone, rode out of the camp with only eighteen horse; whereon Tyrone, judging it had been some who would have spoken with him, rode out from his camp with nine horse; on meeting, the man of the English side "tooke Tyrone in armes," bade him be taken and offered to carry him to the English camp. The Earl resisted in such sort that both fell to the ground, and therewith the Earl "sticked" him; and his company, perceiving the matter, broke at our men and have overthrown many of ours and intend nothing but the depriving of her Majesty's authority there. "Allwaies" [nevertheless] Argyll promises his best to stay these men now going; but he cannot undertake to do it now that they are together in arms. They were ready and would have gone to the sea on the 5th, as I advertised, but that Donald Gorme and his "maughe" [brother-in-law], MacLeod Harris, fell out. Argyll tells me that MacCondochy has gone from him and intends to go to Ireland. The Earl sent for him, but he would not come till he gave assurance that he would not hurt or stay him. Whereupon he came to the Earl and received armour and other things "on" him, so that the Earl thought he had won him. But suddenly he sought to have some lands. The Earl not granting these, he departed without leave or farewell, insomuch that the Earl means, if he can get him, that he shall neither hurt us nor him. He is a most brave governor for the Highland service, and Argyll thinks these men "making over" have "tisted" him from the Earl to lead them. It may be young Lawers keeps him for his use. But that I know not, though I am sure they are very "inward" and kind together.
Yesterday Argyll and Mar (who, with his mother, commend themselves heartily to you, as the abbots [In the margin: "Cambiskinnell, Camskey"] and their friends at Stirling also do) and Lord Lovat came to Linlithgow to wait on the King to Stirling, whither he rode yesterday; and I also returned to Linlithgow to speak to the King in that matter, acquainting Argyll therewith and showing him that, albeit I would procure his Majesty's order to him, yet his help was also specially rested on, and he would receive thanks and see that her Majesty was a most thankful prince. [In the margin: Sir George Hume was not with the King, yet I found good Mr. Aston.]
On coming to Linlithgow I showed Mr. Aston that I was to speak [with] his Majesty in that cause, praying him to tell the King so, which he did very kindly, and was means that his Majesty of himself spoke to me, I standing off and forbearing to speak to him, as I perceived that he had no will to speak with me nor to regard that matter more than we regard his contentment, as by Mr. Aston I also perceived. Yet by good Mr. Aston's means the King of himself spoke to me. Wherein I broke the matter to him at length, requiring his order to Argyll and others who might stay those men. The King knew no such thing "he semed," saying Donald Gorme, Angus MacConnell and those men were his rebels, not at commandment, and Gorme claimed to be King of the Isles, showing me further that now that he had taken good order for repressing the "thift" of the highlanders some defaulters would still be going over, do what he could. For them I told his Majesty it was no great matter as long as the great forces preparing were stayed. Which he protested he would stay as far as he could, adding that he will ever do anything to pleasure her Majesty, howsoever he be dealt with by her; and so I prayed him to speak [with] Argyll therein. Whereon he called on him, and so, we three [being] then together, spoke to him therein very forcibly. Argyll told him of the number and goodness of those who were ready, and under whom; and much reasoning they had how to stay them, being in arms together and not at the King's or Argyll's obedience.
The King said Lord Hamilton was suitor for the remission of Angus MacConnell and others of them, wishing Argyll to write or send them word that his Majesty will not pardon, but assist her Majesty in the pursuit of them, and that Argyll must do so too in case they go any way to trouble her Majesty. Argyll thinks that not the way, because they and our rebels little care now for her Majesty, the King or himself, except for their own advantage. So I saw them at their wits' end how to give assurance to me. Argyll said [that] not fear but wiles must do it, and he thought he should for some time by some wile yet stay them, which the King prayed him to do; and so, both of them promising to do their best, Argyll protesting it by his troth twice or thrice to me, I left them, both taking their horse for Stirling. These good words and care of theirs in this matter should be speedily acknowledged for their further encouragement, for they are very earnest therein; and the King, if he could, would have Donald Gorm's pride suppressed, and Argyll has Angus MacConnell in distrust for Huntly, and MacLean is an enemy to Tyrone. So there wants nothing here to make a party for her Majesty against her rebels but some money and the good dealing of some fit person to travail in this matter, which has been over long deferred already and will be too soon, I fear, past remedy in reasonable sort. Let not her Majesty think that nothing will do anything here, nor trust to friendship here before she be in covenant for it.
Argyll, upon raising of any matter against him (as oftentimes there has been), suppresses it in time by money, casting such bones amongst the parties intending his hurt that they "discorde" and leave his hurt, and yet he is never seen therein. Next week he goes to Argyle where MacLean is staying him, and whither John Cunningham will go and return answer to his trust. Mr. George Erskine will "remember" the Earl, but Argyll, I suspect, cannot do good but by MacLean. O'Donnell has frequent intelligence with Argyll and "labouris" him still. Mr. George tells me that now the rebels are besieging a town wherein sundry English bands are; that Tyrone sent for counsel to O'Neil, [and] that O'Neil said there were "ky" [cows] enough in his country for the Earl to live on, which he willed him not to spare, nor to leave till he had got the town; for he said, "Wynn that, wynn all." Tyrone has taken Newry (the Nury), but the castle holds out. He is 6000 good shot and pikes in pay and will be 16,000 strong within this month. He has long prepared for this war, training children as he does now with wood shaped like "peces" [guns] for lightness, and training them for shooting and giving pay for it. I demanded how he got it. It is answered he has enough and pays well and much beforehand. What with him and the men making from the Isles to him, "muche furnitures" are gone out of this country. Tyrone had lead long ago out of England, which he cast into "webbs" as if he would have covered a house, but it is converted into bullets. Some think some of the Papist lords are with him. He aspires to have an Irishman King of Ireland, himself or O'Neil, grudging, as it is said, that Englishmen should tyrannise over them; and some say this malcontentment is general amongst all the Irish, and that the old Irish blood are banded to help and free them therein; and this they make their quarrel.
I hear that four great ships have been on the west coast of Ireland, [and] that some gentlemen in good numbers landed and sported themselves in O'Connor's (Connoyes) country (or such like name it has), and afterwards took ship and have sailed. These are suspected to have made Tyrone thus able to pay, and some say some of our great rebels, as Westmorland, are with him. "Allwaies" they make account to prevail, and are in great comfort. These things I hear. How true they are I know not. But I suspect some of them [are] too true. If I do not always write truth, yet I never write but as I hear; and you are to thank Mr George [Erskine]; and Adam Fullerton (Morlace) wishes well; and I will refuse no service in Ireland or elsewhere. I would serve with any party to be made in Scotland for her Majesty, having such "moyen" with those of Scotland; yet, if any were to be used, such as "have" the language of Ireland were best.
[As] for the Borders, all rumours are here now quenched, and the two lairds seem to honour her Majesty and be bent for peace. Neither are the nights yet of that length that the riders can do much hurt. The King is to return to Falkland on Tuesday; the Queen[ is] then or the next day to be here. The Chancellor [is] pleasing the King and the King labouring for agreement between him and Mar, who will not agree with the Chancellor before trial be taken on the band which Mar has said is made for his hurt only and not by words for his life, (fn. 9) and which he will prove by way of combat by a "landed man" against the Chancellor or any of his fellows. Mar and Hamilton are neither in fair nor foul terms, but indifferent. [In the margin: Lord and Lady Hamilton are now courtiers, "and the King and Queen like them fearfull and not to be dealt with."] Hamilton will deal with neither nor cares for their displeasure. The King will not have the young Prince in any other hands, and the Queen had rather the devil kept him than those who have him, yet she dare not plainly deal in it because the King says if he were to die and could not speak it should be his last will and he would make it known by signs that Mar should still keep the young Prince; and the Chancellor pleases the King's humour therein. If the King can work reconciliation he will. But "the next wilbe worse." I know not yet who shall go up for the gratuity, or how. Sir Robert Melville is in hope. God forbid, but whoever goes Mr. Colville should be remembered. He is too true for her Majesty to be "cassen" for the King's purse and on his charge.
At Stirling I looked to have seen "a broken meting" between Montrose and Sir James Sandilands, the Sheriff of Ayr being for Sir James; but it was stayed by the Council. They were 2000 at least "on a syde." The coming in of Herries (whose son has married Lord Maxwell's sister against Herries's will) and of Johnston for their cautions is yet respited. Atholl is very sick and in danger. Lord Gray and the Constable of Dundee are near "entring into blude," but mediators are dealing to stay them. They are erecting more kirks here, but come but small speed. Many witches are taken and burnt in the Merse, some for mean, some for greater, matters. Edinburgh. Signed: George Nicolson.
Postscript.—All others to Mr. Aston's letters, which were sent hither when I was at Linlithgow, by reason whereof he wrote not of Ireland (Es.).
4¾ pp. Holograph, also address. Some names in cipher deciphered. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Georg Nycolson. Edinburgh xxi° Junij, London xxvij° ejusdem, 1595."
572. John Cunningham to Robert Bowes. [June 25.]
I enclose letters directed to me from MacLean and John Auchinross (Aiceinroiche). I have been to Argyle (Argayill) to speak with MacLean, as I promised. The time will be right meet, for Argyll and MacLean will be together, and I shall show MacLean the commission I had of Sir Robert and yourself, and shall haste his answer to you "in wreitt" along with my own letter. I would "weis" [advise] you to write your mind to MacLean and good counsel, which, I doubt not, will be heartily received and used. You may perceive by the last part of MacLean's letter that he craves Argyll's assistance, which is very needful; for these two being of one mind and purpose can do much in our Highlands. I shall do what lies in me for the furtherance of MacLean in all these turns. The sooner you make him yours the better, and also Argyll. Edinburgh. Signed: Jhone Cunynghame, burgeis in Edinburgh.
¾ p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "John Conyngham. Edinburgh xxv° Junij, London secundo Julij, 1595."
Enclosure with the same.
(John Auchinross to John Cunningham.)
I have received your letter here in Dumbarton (Dunbertane) by the convoy of MacLean, my master, who directed me in some of his "adois." I am glad of your good return and of the honour and pleasure received by you in the parts where you were. Will God the same is but a beginning, as you shall know at meeting. My master willed me in his letter to haste my servant to you with this his other letter, [and] desired me to cause you to haste to him. He will be in Dunoon, or else Inveraray, Carrick or Ardkinglass. Presently [he] is "at the huntinge of Benbeby," passing his time till my lord's return.
As for the passing of Scottishmen to Ireland, great preparations are made to that effect, and through uncertainty of MacLean's favour are stayed as yet, which is to his great charges by holding of forces together. This he has done "for his auyn honestie" to Bowes and for his credit to Queen Elizabeth. We wrote to him [Bowes] "vith" your man MacIlreoch (M'Ilrewich) and desired him to deliver the same to George Nicolson. Therein we touched specially the "cures to meittinge." These men of the Isles have got much silver and silver work from Ireland, whereof my master would get "his large part," and much more, if he liked. All is "continewit" as yet awaiting answer. We marvel at the stay, and if your man has played his part in delivery. True it is that for all the expense her Majesty and her successors may expend in Ireland against their rebels, they shall never be "out of cummer" unless the rebels be pursued in the north of Ireland by Scottishmen. I refer this to further occasion, and my master has done his part by my persuasion and "conssait" [opinion] in this action, as he will shew you at meeting. Come by way of Glasgow, for you will find me there. I am forced to remain with Mr. Van there the time of this Justice Court, for he is clerk there and he makes me successor to him in all his affairs. I enter Glasgow with him on Monday night. My master is made privy hereof long before now, and is well content. "Mary, I man ansuer him quhen as he vill haif to do in principall caase," which is concluded. My commendations to George Nicolson if he be in Edinburgh: "and becaus I haif ane chalmer [room] of Mr. Van in Dunbertane quhilk I mak my auyn housse, vill requeist yow that I may haif of yow twa broddis (fn. 10) to decoir the chalmer vith, the ane of the Kingis, the uthir of the guid counsall, vith ony uthir thing that ye think guid to vair [spend] on me in rememberance of yow," and, God willing, I shall remember thereon as I best may. The bearer will carry them with him. As to your "particular" to my master, I believe he has written to you thereanent. "Alvayes" at meeting you will end the same to your contentment. My commendations to your wife, bairns and brothers. Dumbarton, 22nd June 1595. Signed: Johne Achinros.
Postscript.—If you will haste here, you will overtake the Earl of Cassillis in your chief's house [Glencairn's] of Finlayston, for he came there last Friday late, and we look that matters will take effect now or never. The effect is most looked for.
1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "John Achinrosse to John Conyngham. Dinbertane xxij° Junij 1595. Received in Geo. Nycolsons packett. Edinburgh xxv° Junij, London secundo July, 1595."
On the back of the letter is written in John Auchinross's hand: "My maister in his vryitting to me ernistlie desyrit yow to bring him ane pair of guid plait sleifis quhilk he forzet in his letter to yow. Vaill [choose] thame lange."
573. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [June 25.]
By MacLean's and John Auchinross's letters to John Cunningham, and by Cunningham's letters to you and to me, you may perceive the things certified that way. According to MacLean's advice I have sent word by Mr. George Erskine to Argyll to deal with MacLean in that matter, and Mr. George has promised me to move him accordingly at this meeting with MacLean, and also to learn the state of things. Mr. George can do much with the Earl and would be thanked at least for his favour. But none of them knows of the dealings with MacLean, and at John Cunningham's going I shall write to put Argyll in memory of his promise, letting him understand that, hearing he could do much with MacLean and that MacLean may do much to stay the islanders, I have thought the time proper for him to take order in those matters, and so pray his help as he has promised.
I perceive John Cunningham's commission does not extend so far as to move MacLean to any chargeable action for the stay of others than his own, yet I perceive MacLean intends to make England and Scotland "speake of" the passage of those men by him, upon such grounds that it shall not be seen that he does it any way for her Majesty's "perticular." As I advertised you at first he has his "perticular" against Tyrone, Angus MacConnell and the Clan Donald, yet very fair offers are made to win him to them for the advancement of Tyrone's affairs. Look not for full assurance of favour and service at any of their hands unless it be upon conditions to their liking. The men ready to go I look shall be stayed some eight or ten days for certain, and perchance till advertisement comes from you. That may stay them flatly, if thereby they see assurance of consideration to their liking. Otherwise I am afraid the other side will not want [i.e. lack] them, if money or lands will "compasse" Argyll and MacLean; for so they will have relief, retreat and safety at pleasure, and hardly shall her Majesty ever then get order of them.
As to young Lawers, I see no progress "as he begann," I suppose for want of consideration of his travail already taken; and MacCondochie is to go over, I hear, with very great credit. He might, if he would, do good; and for certain Lawers has especial interest in him and in Angus MacConnell's sons.
This estate stands as it did. The Queen came hither yesterday. The King [is] to stay at Stirling till Friday, then to go to Falkland, whither the Queen is to go to him, the King purposing to "agree" the Chancellor and Mar of purpose to join both for pursuit of Buccleuch, the Master of Glamis and others; wherein I do not see that the King will have assistance of the Chancellor, who is in inward friendship with them and does not speak of Mar as he has done but with the advice of Buccleuch and the Master for further mischief in the end to Mar. [In the margin: Atholl is now won to the Chancellor's party.] Yet I look not but that matter will calm for a time yet "renew in fiere." The King has deadly hatred to Buccleuch and Sir George Hume, as is thought; and [has] no great goodwill to Cessford. They look for hard storms unless the Queen and the Chancellor stay it. The Chancellor is in hope that the Queen shall prevail with the King, and Mar rests secure in assurance that the King shall be constant.
As to the Borders, here are daily such reports that England is entering to pursue Buccleuch, and he to enter England, and such provisions are made and sent to the Borders, and such musterings there, that, not knowing what they mean, I rest in fear that "of nothing these brutes can not rise." This much for my discharge therein, for I fear ill shall rise on the Borders.
The ministers are now at the General Assembly at Montrose (Monrosse), and Lord Hume "frequenteth the Kirk and ministeres here to satisfie them towardis him" and to prevent any matter being handled by the Assembly against him. Crawford is "agreing" Lord Gray and the Constable of Dundee. Cassillis, I think, shall marry Glencairn's daughter. Buccleuch has not been at his own house three nights this fortnight (as is said quietly) but abroad in unknown places with only one or two servants. No man knows his purpose or what he means. Yesterday, upon the quarrel between Dunipace and Garden, Dunipace has slain Forrester (Forster), one of the bailies of Stirling, as he was riding to Kirkliston for Stirling [In the margin: "This will make a stirre, I thinck"]; and on Sunday Cuthbert Hume, coming up the street, was assaulted by James Richinson (whom he had hurt before in Leith) and [by] the craftsmen who offered to break up doors and pull down houses for him, but, Cuthbert being in Mr. William Hart's, the matter was stayed with much ado, and the next day he departed this town homewards.
Erroll is "tryed" (fn. 11) to be out of the country by some ministers and the skipper that carried him, and Angus is again travailing to have the benefit the other Earls had and to depart. As to Seton and Cecil I hear no more than the Chancellor told me. If they be here they are marvellously quiet. Some of your friends affected that way cannot hear of them. It is said that for all the eighteen millions brought to Spain, the King is borrowing upon interest; he is so hasty till the bullion brought home be coined. [There is] too much talk here of his great forces, of the troubles in Ireland and of attempts on the Borders. Edinburgh. Signed: Geo. Nicolson.
Postscript.—The young Prince is "spayned." The Laird of Johnstone came hither yesternight and has gone this night, having given me no other caution than before, because Herries has not given his caution.
2 pp. Holograph, also address. Some names in cipher, deciphered. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Georg Nycolson. Edenburgh xxv° Junij, London 2° July, 1595."
574. Mr. John Colville to [Robert Bowes]. [June 28.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 161–162.
Because Mr. Archibald Primrose is even now on his journey, I remit all secrets and my own "particular" to him, only asking that it may be alleged that something is already furnished by your lordship there to merchants to whom I was "addetted" upon his Majesty's first recommendation. All things here are in suspicious quietness, for the ill-will betwixt Mar and the Chancellor increases much and cannot long continue without destruction of the one or other, and this slaughter on the 24th of David Forrester, who was Mar's servant, perpetrated at Kirkliston by Dunipace and young Airth, who are thought to be "foyisted" out to that work by the Queen, the Chancellor, the Master of Glamis and the rest, has set all on fire. His Majesty promises to assist and maintain Mar, if he will pursue them by order of law and justice and not seek revenge upon innocent persons. So I think Mar will first use form of law and then his power, as he did against Luss [Colquhoun]. But the secret of this and all shall come with my "gossep."
Young Lawers's advertisements are herewith sent, and Murray's letter. (fn. 12) His Majesty rides this day to Falkland and will not return hither till the middle of next month. By all appearance, although he studies to keep himself indifferent betwixt Mar and the Chancellor, he must shortly appear against the one and for the other. Stirling. Signed: Y.
Postscript.—Archibald knows my mind in all saving in one thing which I delivered to yourself at "our last departour," and that I would wish he nor any other know "bot sa many as we agreed on." The 4th instant is assigned to all Mar's friends at Stirling, viz., Lennox, Morton, Argyll, Tullibardine [and] Glamis (who I trust will be agreed with Crawford) and other inferior barons, to consult upon the revenge of this late slaughter, and perhaps there may be other consultation also.
2 pp. In Mr. John Colville's hand. No address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Mr. John Colvill. Sterling 28 Junii, Grenewich vjto Julii, 1595." Names in cipher, deciphered.
575. Earl of Moray and Henry Stewart to Mr. John Colville. [June 28.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 282–283.
To the end that neither we be thought inconstant nor you and George Nicolson over sudden (who by means of Mr. Bowes have procured for us so favourable a passport) we thought good to advertise you of the delay of our journey for the present. The causes moving us are, first, the advice of the Earls of Argyll, Marishal and Morton, and other friends, who think the time not proper for us to visit foreign countries; next, the time to choose our curators drawing near would force us to return, besides other reasons that we cannot write. We pray you therefore to be "meanis" to Mr. Bowes to hold us in the good favour and grace of her Majesty. Likewise we will to our power in all "lesum" manner follow out the good course our goodsire and predecessor was "into," and shall be grateful to Mr. Bowes, you and George Nicolson for your kindness. Doune. Signed: J. Murray. Hary Steuart, tutor. (fn. 13)
¾ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Th'erle of Murray to Mr. Jhon Colvill. Downe, xxviii° Junij. Sent with Mr. John Colvills letter. Sterling 28 Junij, Grenewich, vi° Julij, 1595."
576. Mr. Archibald Douglas to Burghley. [June 30.]
By this letter and enclosure you may understand that some part of the news received from the minister called Hunter, that met the Laird of Logie at Middelburg (Middilburhc), is not to be believed, specially the said Earl's disgrace and sickness. As to the "remainant," one of the captains of the said Earl's company, called Captain Forrester, is sent to the Low Country to give answer and to confer with Huntly and Errol, the Bishop of Ross and some of this country. He departed from Dieppe on Tuesday last, after he had sent some letters to Scotland, and rode towards Calais, where and at St. Omer I believe he shall be found for some time. As it will appear that his "derection" is of importance, I forbear to write anything thereof until such time as your lordship's leisure may serve, when I shall "attend to inpart" as far thereof as is known to me, and be glad to understand what answer I may give to this letter. Signed: A. Douglas.
¾ p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "Ult. Junij 1595. Mr. Archinbald Douglas to my lord. With a letter of Earl Bothwels to him from Paris."
Enclosure with the same.
(Bothwell to Mr. Archibald Douglas.)
The good advice given at all times by your lordship has now induced me thereof to crave continuance, entreating that by you I may learn the estate "of theis countrayis ther" and how you wish me to "ouis [use] me and my affairis heir." I would also "beseik" your lordship if any of mine shall pass through England to employ your "moyen" for their safe and speedy despatch, and especially to such as shall bring my hounds and horses which are for his Majesty's use here, at his earnest request; or if you find they will be stayed, let me be "forsein" and I shall therewith acquaint his Highness, whose credit I doubt not shall be sufficient in a greater matter. Paris. 17th June, 1595. Signed: Bothuel.
½ p. Holograph. Addressed.
577. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [June 30.]
I have heard, but in very great secret, that at Linlithgow the Queen, thinking she had the King in a good humour, told him that it was "opened" in Scotland, England and Denmark that she had sought to have the keeping of the young Prince, and that therefore it touched her honour and credit to have the same. The King replied that he regarded her honour and the safety of the Prince as much as she, and would, if he saw cause, yield to her, adding that he would satisfy any of this land, as she should please. But she earnestly dealt with the King to convene his nobles for their advice therein, with purpose to effect the plot that other noblemen might be joined with Mar in that charge. But he has utterly refused her motion and continues his promises to Mar. So this matter is "merveilouse secrett" and for the present dead in such manner that I cannot tell what it will come to in the end, or how long it will rest thus quiet. The Chancellor, the Master of Glamis and the two lairds are here, often and long with the Queen, some think still devising the pursuit of the motion for taking the young Prince out of Mar's hands.
The King came to Falkland on Saturday last, where he is expecting the Queen's coming to him. But some say she will excuse herself going thither that the King may come hither, where he may be more boldly dealt with in the motion for the young Prince, the Queen's faction being masters here and the King at Stirling and Fife and other places that way.
Mar takes the slaughter of David Forrester (Forster) very heavily and has moved the King for justice therein. The King is very well pleased, praying Mar to follow no other course and promising to use his authority for the punishment of young Airth, Dunipace and the rest, and Mar intends to do so. Yet thinking that that slaughter was devised by his "unfrendes" either to dishonour him by passing it over or to bring him into mighty troubles with the Livingstones and Bruces, and seeing, as he thinks, that they are plotting this on purpose to bind the Livingstones and Bruces to the Chancellor's party (wherein the Master of Elphinstone is a great dealer here, some think upon device to make such troubles that the Papist lords may be taken in as fair players on the one side, or that these troubles may so occupy this estate that they may be free from any pursuit), Mar has the Duke, Argyll, Morton and sundry others of his friends to meet him at Stirling on Thursday next to advise for the pursuit of this slaughter. But what will be resolved I know not yet, neither can I say how this matter will end, though I fear it will very suddenly burst into bloody actions, for all sides are busy packing up all small feuds for their advantage, as by others you will afterwards know. Mar and Hamilton may agree inwardly, I hear, by this means, and presently they are in fair terms. As to the Borders, I have spoken with Buccleuch, who thinks himself evil used by the Gingills' (Chingles) (fn. 14) receipt in England, for on Friday night they came into Scotland and on Saturday burnt Erckilton, (fn. 15) a town of his, which he intends to revenge on them. But it seems to me that he will do nothing to "danger" the peace or offend her Majesty, for I assure him of justice at Lord Scrope's hands if he will "frendly" call for it. He and Cessford "have" their very hearty commendations to you. "I shall have good tyme nowe, and see if I can do good, and accordingly I shall advertise you"; and if matters be not ordered you will see much riding when the nights grow longer. "Lawe Liddisdale is to give up, I heare, with some of our borderers on the west."
I cannot certify for certain who shall be employed for the gratuity; but unless there be other errands than that, Mr. David Foulis or some other of that degree shall go for ease of charges. Lady Mar is delivered of a son. The Queen is to be here on Wednesday at the banquet of the marriage of young Pitfirrane (Pettferren) and the Laird of Blackbarony's (Blackbarronryes) daughter. John Cunningham has gone, and I have written to Argyll and look for good answer or discovery of further matter. Edinburgh. Signed: George Nicolson.
12/3 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "George Nycolson. Edenburgh ultimo Junij, Grenewich vi° Julij, 1595."
578. James Fullerton to George Nicolson. [June 30.]
I have dealt with my eldest brother, a man of good credit and estimation in this country, for the passing of our letters to and fro. His name is John Fullerton, Laird of Dreghorn (Dregarne). He dwells six miles from Ayr and three from Irvine. If he chance to come to Edinburgh, and your master be there, I wish you to take some notice of him and entertain him kindly, and let the ambassador show him good countenance, and he will deserve it well, for he is well affected our way and in religion. He and I have agreed to direct our letters to you or your master under the name of Mr. William Oliphant, which is a lawyer's name, that if men intercept them they may be thought to be instructions for the lawyer in matters of law.
Five ships and five pinnaces keep the coast of Ireland [so] that our men cannot pass and therefore some who were ready in Kintyre, not daring to venture, have returned again, and, as I think, are stayed this season. Donald Gorme and the MacLeod (M'Clyd) and Angus MacConnell all meet in Kintyre this week or next. Powder and bullets are daily to be conveyed thither; which course I wish were some way stopped.
I heard say since I left you that when I was in Edinburgh 1000 spears were carried towards the Border to Buccleuch. See if it is true. I like no such preparation. I heard this from a Border man. I can signify to you no news from Ireland. I received your letters and the ambassador's, but they were both opened before they came to my hands. Henceforward seal with hard wax and let me know your seal. Doubt not to write by this bearer. Ayr. Signed: Ja. Fullerton.
At the foot of the page, in Nicholson's hand: "Browne hill."
1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by George Nicolson: "Mr. James Foulerton. Ayre ultimo Junij, Edenburgh 11° Julij, 1595. Per Gilbert Hawe in Ayre."