James VI, March 1593

Pages 65-76

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

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James VI, March 1593

34. Lord Burgh to Burghley. [March 5.]

There is as yet no answer from the King to his Council's letters where I might repair to him. I thereby remain here and cannot avoid this "forslowing" of her Majesty's service, and in my "particuler" suffer much discommodity. What may avail to strengthen me in the execution of my charge I enquire after by all means. Mr. Bowes assists me with his understanding; which is more than I could expect from a stranger, knowing how often one man obscures another's work to give his own greater glory. But I find him very upright; and, since he perceives that your lordship is willing to grace me (having used your letters of recommendation), I think he is thereby more forward to work with me for the success of this negotiation, which otherwise might have purchased his own reputation. We shall, therefore, howsoever induced, concur in the common service.

The King sent letters to this town, received the 3rd of March. The contents, copied out by Mr. Bowes's man, I enclose, though of no great consequence. "More is ther not yet of the King's journey." But even by the sound men of this town, in spiritual and temporal calling, the King stands much suspected, for he is much led by those who are tied in alliances to these traitorous Earls; and if he dispose of the lands (for their persons he cannot come by) according to the mediation of those who are about him in this credit, he "dissembleth" a confiscation, but leaves the rebels in full strength. Upon this point I purpose to insist with him, and I hope that, whatsoever he does, if it answers not with that which may stand with the securing of her Majesty from Spanish footing here, Mr. Bowes and I shall so travail that, if he declare himself, your lordship shall be timely acquainted in order to deliberate upon some expedient course, or we shall undertake a way whereby these things may be better disposed.

I was charged by my instructions to advertise some services done here which Mr. Bowes recommended. I dare not write their names lest by any casualty in my letters the poor men be endangered of their lives. Some of them have been with me: they presume of much they have done and promise many profitable services. The taking of Carr and Ladylands was by one of these means. Others discover the practices of the ill-affected, amongst whom they intrude themselves with peril and with expenses, as some of them have told me. In respect hereof, consider if a thousand French crowns were not well given amongst them. Edinburgh. Signed: Thomas Burgh.

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

35. Proclamation against the Earls of Huntly, Angus, and Errol and Others. [March 5.] Inventoried in Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, ii. p. 255.

Apud Abirdene quinto die mensis Marcii anno Domini jm vc lxxxxijo.

"Forsamekill as, albeit the tressonabill practizes and conspiraceis of George erll of Huntlie, Williame erll of Angus, Francis erll of Errole, Sir Patrik Gordoun of Auchindoun knycht, Sir James Cheisholme of Dundorne knycht, Maister James Gordoun, Mr. Williame Ogilvy, Maister Robert Abircrumby and utheris, Jesuittis, seminarie preistes and trafficquing Papistis aganis the state of the trew religioun presentlie profest within this realm, his Majesteis persoun, croun and libertie of this thair native cuntrie, is and hes bene planelie discoverit and maid maist manifest be the depositionis and declaratioun of the careare of thair credeit and certane lettres and blankis apprehendit, subscrivit be thame, and be the lyke declaratioun and subscriptioun of umquhile David Grahame of Fintre, that laitlie sufferit for the same, his affirmatioun at the latter hour of his executioun, the not denyall thairof be the erll of Angus the tyme of his warding, vanting proudlie in thir terms, quhat howbeit he had writtin or subscrivit sic lettres and blankis, and lastlie be the contumacie and not comperance of him and of the saidis erllis of Huntlie and Erroll and utheris foirsaidis befoir his Majestie and Counsale to have answerit thairupoun, and accepting thairby of the said tressonabill cryme upoun thame, sa that few or nane of his Hienes liegis can pretend ignorance heirof, yit his Majestie being informit that sum personis inhabitantis of thir north partis wer movit be the craftie perswasioun of sum of the saidis Erllis and utheris thair freindis and favouraris, assistaris, as appearis, with thame in thair tressonabill practizes, to doubt of the trewth heirof, his Majestie, for removing of the same doubt, and thair resolutioun and satisfactioun, causit the saidis blankis laitlie to be brocht and presentit befoir certane barronis and utheris inhabitantis of thir partis be quhome, at the leist a greit nowmer of thame acquentit with the saidis conspiratouris hand writtis, thair subscriptionis being cognoscit, his Majestie and thay ar movit not a littill to wounder at the unnaturall and unthankfull behaviour of sum of thame maist obleist to his Hienes be mony benefecttis, that thay being sa oft pardonit, and eftir samony solempnit aythis and promeissis, vowis and subscriptionis, sould schaw thame selffis sa tressonabill as to procure the owerthraw of his Hienes and all professing the said trew religioun with him, and the rewyne and conqueist of this auncient kingdome, thair awn native soyle and libertie quhilk the same hes enjoyit samony aiges, that it may be subject heireftir to the slaverie and tyranne of proude and mercyles strangearis, to quhome thay profes thame selffis be thair hand writtis, freindis and factouris, cheiflie to the Spanyeartis, quhais actiounis in all cuntreis quhair thay reparit, quhidder under cullour of ayd and freindschip or utherwayis, tendit evir to a conqueist and utter exterminioun [sic] of the native inhabitantis of the same, and of quhais crueltie thair is na end, as the signis and monumentis thairof extendit to all rankis and degreis of personis, man, wyff and childrene, auld and young, in all partis quhair thay repairit, testifeit and is abill to testifie to the posteritie to cum. And thairfoir, that nane of his Majesteis subjectis heirtofoir abusit and dissavit be the craftie illusionis of thir pernitious and wickit spreittis sall remane ony langar doubtfull of the trewth heirof, his Hienes with advise of the Lordis of his secreit Counsall ordanis officearis of armes to pas and mak publicatioun of the premissis be oppin proclamatioun at the marcat croce of this burgh of Abirdene and all utheris places neidfull, and to foirwarne all his Hienes subjectis of thair awin dangeare gif thay sall suffer thame selffis ony langar to be led in errour be sic dissavabill spreittis, to the perrell of thair saullis, bodeis, landis and gudis; and thairfoir to abstene frome ferder harkynning to thair tressonabill perswasionis and fra resset, intercommoning or havinge intelligence with thame under the pane of tressoun, and gif ony sall preis to perswade thame in the contrair heirof or to doubt of the unnaturall behaviour of the saidis conspiratouris or utherwayis to declyne frome the said trew religioun or his Majesteis obedience, to notifie thair names to his Hienes, quhairthrow thay may be persewit and puneist therfoir as tratouris and unnaturall subjectis to God, his Majestie and this thair native cuntre, certifeing thame that failyeis heirin thay salbe alsua persewit and puneist indifferentlie with thame with all rigour and extremitie."

1 p. Broadsheet. Endorsed by Burghley.

Copy of the same.

Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 67.

36. Lord Burgh to Burghley. [March. 6.]

This day the town is filled with desired news of the King's good progress. Mr. Bowes has had particular advertisements thereof, and, as I wrote in my last, is willing that the information thereof "pas my pen." I have hastily directed this letter, especially for some respects which the King (by com mandment to one who wrote to Mr. Bowes) willed should be carefully regarded, and that it might be speedily advertised, to the end that the same might be foreseen.

All the rebel Earls have fled, slenderly accompanied, to Caithness and the Isles. The King has directed commission to "the Erle (fn. 1) Bender" [sic], Lord Doun, and certain others to "convocate" the forces of the country and to search out and pursue the rebels with fire and sword. The Earl of Atholl comes to the King with 1200 foot and 300 horse, the rest of his forces having retired through the hardness of his passage. The King purposes to make him his lieutenant and to annex to him a discreet and well-affected council over these unquiet parts to debar the conspirators from any possession in the country. All the ill-disposed shall be sent southward, towards Edinburgh, and great penalties are imposed on those who shall relieve these traitors.

"A private Act that the King shall kepe all the exchets in his owne hands. That which the King gave in chardge."

Two barques are preparing in Caithness to transport the Earls by the west seas. If expedition be used he thinks they may be intercepted. Great store of gold coming out of Spain. These things are discovered by some who have been privy to all these practices. I refer to your consideration what means may be used by her Majesty's ships or pinnaces for this service.

From another part this advertisement following came to Mr. Bowes: "The inhabitants at Kirkowbray daylye looke for the comming of the navye of Spayne, and lately hearing some sayles to lye of Ireland, were fully perswaded that the Spaniards were nere there coasts." All things are so doubtful, and they so mistrustful amongst themselves, that I know not whereupon to to be assured. Edinburgh. Signed: Thomas Burgh.

Postscript.—I beseech your lordship forgive this scribbling.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

37. Instructions to the Earl of Huntingdon from the Privy Council of England. [March. 7.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 166. Printed in Acts of Privy Council of England, new series, vol. xxiv. pp. 103–7.

Although by your commission [23rd February, (fn. 2) 35 Elizabeth, 1592–3] you are directed in large manner to proceed in the mustering and viewing of the strength of the frontiers towards Scotland, as well for men able to serve as horsemen and footmen as for the strength of the castles and houses of defence, and although her Majesty has by her said commission named twelve persons of sufficient knowledge dwelling out of the counties of the frontiers to assist you in this service and in the other points of your commission for reforming and repairing of the great wants on the frontiers of England, yet because it is likely that you cannot yourself presently repair thither, being now occupied in the sessions at York, and because some of your assistants are also of that Council and therefore cannot be spared speedily to repair to those parts, we advise you to direct letters to the three Wardens of the frontiers to have the said commission diligently executed, commanding them or their deputies forthwith to take views at the appointed places of all the horsemen and footmen serviceable in every barony or seigniory within their wardenries; to admonish those found defective to use some speed for the repair of defects; and after this view and muster, to have books or rolls drawn up of all the said persons, both horsemen and footmen, according to their places of dwelling. You shall also direct the Wardens [to set down] what houses of strength remain extant, and what houses are decayed since the beginning of her Majesty's reign. They shall also certify you how many horsemen and footmen every barony and seigniory ought to find, and how many of them are now wanting and by what occasion. After you have been certified of these things, you may make choice of three out of the twelve persons named as your assistants to repair to every wardenry to confer further with the Wardens. Things being thus prepared, you shall repair at fit and convenient time to the frontiers to take view of the strength and number of the men and of the state of the castles and houses of strength, and do all things necessary thereanent. We enclose "abstractes" of all the crown lands in Westmorland, Cumberland and Northumberland, whose tenants are bound by their tenures to serve as horsemen or footmen; also a note of the horses and nags that ought to be found by certain tenants. Send copies to the Wardens, and command them to take measures that the tenants shall be equipped as bound by their tenures, under pain of eviction.

Item, before you repair thither in person, you will do well to inform yourself who in late years have been commissioners upon these frontiers and what measures they took for the better defence of the same. When you repair to the West Borders, you should take a view of the frontier where the Graemes inhabit, part whereof was heretofore accounted Debatable Land and divided in King Edward's time between the Scots and the English. Since the Graemes have increased into many families, and great numbers of them live disorderly and idly, spoiling her Majesty's subjects and the subjects of Scotland, and since there is no special officer or keeper of that country, you would do well to confer with the Warden or his deputies and some of the gentlemen of the Borders how the Graemes and other inhabitants of those parts may be governed and reduced to better order. If expedient, you might commit, the charge of that country, under the Warden, to two or three of the heads of the chief families.

Finally, we shall be ready to impart to you any further directions required.

6 pp. Copy.

38. Earl of Bothwell to Thomas Musgrave, Captain of Bewcastle. [March 7.]

I am sorry that through my default you should be so long a prisoner, but my late learned virtue of patience doth enforce me to content myself, trusting thereby to gain more than otherwise I could. Take comfort and lean "to" her Majesty's accustomed clemency. God willing, she shall find that any courtesy she may show you your faithful service can requite, "yit not the les that I be joynit therein." Fear not to promise as much in my name as in your own; and perhaps her Majesty shall shortly find your promises more effectual than she expects.

Since the "directing" of your servant, John Watson (Vatsune), I have "spokin" Mr. Lok, by whose answers, though more favourable than I am worthy, I suspect some delay. Therefore I must bid you certify that, if matters were well considered, neither her Majesty's estate nor my poor case doth require any such form; but, rather, greater speed, if possible. Deal, therefore, that with all diligence one of my own may be admitted to her Majesty, assuring her that what she has learned either by me "or anay Scotis intelligens" is but dregs compared with what she will find from him. I shall say nothing further until I learn from you what I may expect herein.

I shall write nothing to my Lord Chamberlain till matters grow riper and I learn what effect your ambassador's commission shall take. Beseech him always to believe that he has no son of whom he may more frankly dispose than of me. Have me recommended also to my lady, his wife.

I would be sorry to speak anything that might induce her Majesty to take any hard conceit of my master, yet being by divers of his Highness's "calumners" enforced to speak, I say I shall in the end "tray (fn. 3) mor honnest then anay Scots subject ever in my tym hes doune to hir Majestie and hir estet," neither shall it in any point exceed the duty of a true Scotsman, carrying respect to his God, his King and country. What I shall say shall be visibly seen and sufficiently proven at my friend's "doune coumming." [Name of place cut out]. Signed: Bothuell.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

39. The Act of Caution. [March 13.]

"At Abirdene the xiii day of Marche, 1592."

Caution found by certain of the principal barons and other inhabitants of the north parts that they and all for whom they are obliged to answer shall behave themselves as dutiful and obedient subjects, observe the King's peace, and attempt nothing in hurt or prejudice of his Majesty, the present estate, realm or lieges, or of the established religion; and that they shall not aid or assist or take part with George Earl of Huntly, William Earl of Angus, Francis Earl of Errol, Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindoun, Sir James Chisholm of Dundorn, Mr. James Gordon, Mr. William Ogilvy, Mr. Robert Abercromby, or any other Jesuits, seminary priests, trafficking Papists or other traitors and conspirators, or any persons at the horn for the burning of the place of Donibristle and murder of umquhile James Earl of Moray; and that they shall not reset, supply or intercommune with them in any manner of way; but that they and all that will do for them shall rise, concur and assist his Majesty, his lieutenants, or other authorised persons in pursuit of them to their uttermost power at all times as they shall be required thereunto by proclamations, missive letters, or otherwise; and, lastly, that they shall compear personally before his Majesty and Council upon eight days warning under particular pains besides the ordinary pains prescribed by law and statute. Caution found at the same time by certain barons of the north parts that they and each of them should enter in ward within the burgh of Edinburgh, upon the eleventh day of March, and remain and keep ward therein "ay and quhill" they be lawfully freed by his Majesty, with advice of his Council, under the pains particularly following.

2/3 p. Copy. Broadsheet. In a Scottish hand. Endorsed: "1592. The Acte of Causion, the 13 of March."

Copy of the same.

Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 69.

40. General Band of the Nobility to the King. [c. 13th] [March.] Cott. Calig., D.ii. fol. 62. Transcript in Harl MS. 4648, p. 87. Printed in Calderwood, v. 233.

We, the noblemen, barons and others undersubscribing, being fully persuaded of the treasonable practices of sundry of his Highness's unnatural subjects against the established religion, the King's majesty and the liberty of the realm, and finding his Majesty's good disposition to resist the same and suppress the chief authors thereof, having concurrence and assistance to this effect, therefore by these presents we promise and oblige ourselves, each and all of us, to concur and take part with his Majesty for the maintenance and defence of the established religion, the crown and country from thraldom of conscience, conquest, and slavery of strangers, and for resisting and suppressing the chief conspirators, especially the Earls of Huntly, Angus and Errol, Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindoun, Sir James Chisholm of Dundorne, Mr. James Gordon, Mr. William Ogilvy, Mr. Robert Abercromby and all other Jesuits, seminary priests and other traitors. And to that effect we shall put ourselves in arms and pass forward with his Majesty or his lieutenants at all times when we shall be required, and shall never absent ourselves for any particular cause or quarrel among ourselves. We shall not assist or take part or have intelligence with the above traitors, nor with persons at the horn for the burning of Donibristle and murder of Moray. With our whole forces and to the uttermost of our power we shall assist each other; and, if any variance fall out amongst any of us, we shall submit to the judgment of two or three of the principal subscribers of this band. Moreover, his Majesty, by whose command, with advice of his Council, certain barons and other gentlemen are directed to remain in the south part of the realm, promises that the said barons shall not be licensed to return home again to the said north parts; nor shall any favour be shown to the above conspirators, nor any order now taken be dispensed with without the advice of the lieutenant and commissioner for the time and at least six of the principal subscribers of this band. In witness of the above, we have subscribed these presents with our hands, like as his Majesty has subscribed the same.

pp. Copy.

41. Lord Burgh to Burghley. [March 19.]

The King returned to this town on the 14th [and] gave me audience on the 16th. I declared my commission to him and prayed his answer. He took ("in seming") the negotiation in good part, vowed much against the Spanish practices, and confessed he had heretofore used too great lenity, but now he both must and would use the sword without favour. He has promised to give me under his hand (to be sent to her Majesty) his resolution how he determines to proceed; wherein he need expedite better than yet he has done; for the Earls yet lurk and are neither driven away nor can be taken. Neither are any more [conspirators] discovered; yet sure it is these have not undertaken alone.

The King says he will draw to himself a trusty and sound council for his better progression, and therewith I hope will grow a strong association. The "occurrents" of his journey I sent your lordship. Now I send them again as they are truly gathered. (fn. 4) The moment is not great. He pretends the power of his enemies, and I suspect under colour thereof he would draw her Majesty into some expense. Your lordship "shall best consider when he hathe delivered his order in writing." (fn. 5) I have not spoken of Bothwell yet, nor of the portion of money expressed in my instructions. I thought best not to fill him with too much at one time, but to await what satisfaction he will give in the principal points. My next repair to him shall end all.

On the 18th of this present I had access to the Queen. I was never more out of countenance. I spoke all, and received but ill grace both of words and looks. I cannot, therefore, write to your lordship what place my speech had. You know the sufficiency of the ambassador resident. He may be left to [perform] her Majesty's other services. I hope you will procure my speedy return. I have declared my message and shall bring contentment (so far as hence it is to be trusted) with me. Edinburgh. Signed: Thomas Burgh.

1 p. Holograph. Also address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

42. Abridgement of Lord Burgh's Propositions to James VI. [March.]

"An abridgment of my propositions to the Kinges heighnes accordinge to the instructions given me by the Quenes Majestie my soveraigne mistris."

That her Majesty was informed of sundry practices discovered in this realm for the "receyt" of Spanish forces into this land for the alteration of the estate here and invasion of her kingdom of England, the same being confessed likewise in England by some "examynates" there; that her Majesty wished the King in the dignity of his place to prevent the danger by due justice and example; that she advised him that, if he could not execute justice against their persons, he should confiscate their livings; that he should fortify himself with a wise, sound and well-affected Council, to the end these conspiracies, or the like, might be revealed, and means of remedy applied; that the King's highness would by his handwriting resolve her Majesty in these points, whereby she might assure other princes of the religion what providence is used in both their Majesties' dominions for the resistance of the common enemies' proceedings; that his Highness would depute such ministers upon the Borders as should favour the common tranquillity; that her Majesty would not be deficient to the King in any accomplishment of affection "in her habilytie"; that she had punished those who gave the Earl Bothwell countenance in England, and prayed the King to consider what, for his own benefit, he would determine of him in any course which her Majesty left to his discretion.

¾ p. Copy in the hand of Burghley's clerk. Endorsed by Elizabeth: "The Lord Bowros answers to his propositions."

43. Occurrents in Scotland. [March 19.]

At Edinburgh xix° Marcii 1592.

In the King's late journey against Angus, Huntly, Errol and Auchindoun, their possessions were seized into the King's hands, their houses are committed and bestowed as hereafter is specified, but the inheritances are reserved until the owners shall be "forfalted" by act of Parliament; which Parliament shall be adjourned until the 1st of June next. The house and castle of Tantallon (Tomptallen), parcel of Angus's possessions, are given to the keeping of the Laird of Pollard; Bunkle (Bonckle) and Preston to William Hume, brother of Sir George Hume; Douglas and the rest of the Earl's lands are arrested for his debts due to the Provost of Lincluden (Clanclowden). The house and castle of Strathbogy, appertaining to Huntly, are delivered to the custody of Archie Carmichael with sixteen of the King's guard. The Countess of Huntly has obtained Bog-of-Gight (Boggigeithe), being the chief and greatest part of Huntly's possessions, for her jointure: the rest of his lands are appointed to the Earl of Athol. The Earl Marischal, near kinsman to Errol, has bought the escheat of Errol's forfeiture for 1000 marks Scots, and he has the keeping of the house and castle of Slains. Errol's mother-in-law holds Logie Almond for her jointure, and Athol has gotten the "factorie" of the rest of his lands. The house and barony of Auchindoun are given to Sir George Hume in regard of the jointure of Auchindoun's wife, mother of Sir George's wife: the rest of his lands are committed to Athol. From the disposition of those lands it is thought that the rebels shall severally find favour at the hands of the "committers," and albeit all these possessions are to be united to the Crown by an act of Council ordained before this raid, yet it is said that the King has promised to grant the greatest part thereof to sundry persons.

This day these persons were summoned to be forfeited by Parliament; to-morrow they shall be relaxed from the horn that they may be attainted orderly by the next Parliament. Hitherto they lie hidden and do not attempt the recovery of their houses, as was looked for. Sir James Chisholme, for the treasons discovered, M'Lean, M'Donald "Donelgoran," (fn. 6) for other treasons and murders, are summoned to be forfeited by the next Parliament, and thereon the King has appointed to pass in June next to subdue and bring the west isles of Scotland to obedience. The Lairds of Urie (Eurye) and Newton, Henry Drummond and Thomas Menzies, charged with the hearing of mass and papistries, have put themselves in the King's will. The King purposes to call to the Court the Chancellor and Spynie, yet the present courtiers labour busily to stop their passages. The Chancellor has been lately comforted by messages from the King, but he shall find little safety for himself in Court until he recovers the Queen's favour and is reconciled with the Duke; which effects the King will "expeed"; and nevertheless the Chancellor may think to walk in danger. Spynie, outwardly agreed with the Duke by the King's commandment, has appointed to come hither to-morrow, yet many blocks are laid in his way to stay his coming, which might work great danger in this Court.

Some "instrumentes" are employed to "attone" the Chancellor and Master of Glamis, who stand so firmly by their old friends, occupied with many quarrels amongst themselves, that this "attonement" is thereby hindered, yet likely in the end to take effect; whereupon some new form of council about the King and course in Court are like to be established. Lord Hamilton, in right of Claud, his brother, has appointed to keep court in Linlithgow next week. Since the Duke takes part with Sir James Sandilands, who claims that seigniory and purposes (as it is said), with the assistance of the Duke and other friends, to stay Hamilton's progress herein, troubles are like to arise and the griefs smoking in the hearts of the Duke and Hamilton are like to burst hastily into flame unless speedy remedy be provided. Herein Lord Hamilton is the more pricked forwards by a tale that has lately made him think that his own life was sought when the friend, with whom he was talking in Edinburgh streets, was slain by the King's guard discharging their pieces in their going to the watch.

The King has earnestly deliberated with his Council to find out fit and sure means to be quiet from Bothwell and his troubles; wherein hitherto he has not received answers and advice to his full satisfaction and assurance. It is meant that this service to apprehend or drive away Bothwell shall be cast on the Duke, who, as many think, shall not hastily give the King full contentment therein.

pp. In the hand of Bowes's clerk. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

44. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [March 19.]

Since the receipt of your letter of the 7th Lord Burgh has had access to the King, who has taken his doings in very good part, commending highly the eloquent delivery of his speech, with his courtly and discreet carriage and behaviour. The matters communicated by him are found worthy of grave deliberation; whereunto he intends to add the residue of his instructions with all expedition so that he may receive the King's resolution in the same and "expede" all things.

In conference with sundry councillors here, I perceive that the King will engage himself by all means to prosecute this cause against the conspirators with Spain, and will bind himself to establish a fit and constant council to assist him in all his progress in this cause and in government and reformation of the estate: wherein it is alleged that, in respect of the forces of his open rebels and hidden traitors, and the general distraction amongst the nobility and others, he shall be enforced to levy and keep for some time a strong guard of footmen and horsemen for the guard of his person and execution of the ordinances of the King and Council; and that his power does not suffice to make this provision without her Majesty's assistance. To this Lord Burgh and I have given, and are minded to given, deaf ears, seeking in fair manner and terms to pass it over; but it is like that the King and Council shall much stand thereon and press the advancement of their desires in this necessity by sending an ambassador to her Majesty. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

45. Roger Aston to Robert Bowes. [March 21.]

I have received your letter of the 17th instant, and imparted the contents to his Majesty, who has taken the same in very good part, as also her Majesty's letters to the Wardens for the apprehending or restraining of his rebels in England. This has given sufficient contentment to his Majesty and others in that behalf. Concerning the employment of the Laird of Poury Ogilvy, I have satisfied you therein by my letters of the 18th, whereby you shall take no further regard in that matter, for I shall be answerable that it shall proceed no further.

Yesterday Huntly passed out of the Blackness accompanied by Crawford, Spynie and the Master of Elphinstone. He passed to a house of Crawford's, where he is to remain till he sends for a better convoy. We are now rid of him here, for were the King ever so fain to have him, he dare not come. Besides the great party he has against him there are some gentlemen who have solemnly avowed to "kuf" lives with him, which was very near performed at the coming through St. Johnstone by one Robert Stewart, a brother of Innermeith, who entered his house disguised in highlandman's clothes; but before he could come to his intent was "put to the dore," not being known what he was or what intent he had.

Those who take this quarrel upon them are the Earls of Argyll, Atholl, Mar, Morton, Erroll, Lords Lindsay, Innermeath, and Ochiltree, the Master of Glamis, and the Master of Gray, with the whole surname of Stewarts.

The Chancellor, finding himself greatly slandered for the slaughter of Murray, only upon the familiarity between him and Huntly, thought it most convenient for his own standing to "apend" himself to that deed, and so he has rather chosen to "geve" himself with the best sort than to run a course against God and good conscience. The ministers and he are well agreed, and "the hole offeseres" and he run one course. Mar is here, thereby satisfied with the Chancellor's proceedings. Here is no danger of any foreign course. Suppose [i.e. even if] things have not proceeded so surely against Huntly as they should have done, "men must nott leve the good caues desperattly." God works all for the best; He will punish that deed in due time; and I will assure you that, but for the regret which was made for Bothwell by the town of Edinburgh, the whole Stewarts and many others, Huntly had been more surely handled. The King can in no sort digest the proceedings of Bothwell, neither will he be thoroughly satisfied with the Stewarts till they by some actions "apend" themselves to him; which the Prior of Blantyre has undertaken to be put in execution for this time. Linlithgow. Signed: Roger Aston.

Postscript.—The King would fain have you here.

2 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Bowes.

46. Lord Burgh and Robert Bowes to Burghley. 1593. [March 25.]

At the hands of this bearer, John Porterfeild, Scottishman and burgess of Edinburgh, we have received by way of exchange 100l. sterling, parcel of 300l. appointed to our receipt by your letter of the 16th hereof, or within two days next after the same (fn. 7); and for the further surety of the payment at the day and place limited [[i.e. appointed] we have given him our bill to be delivered to the party paying this sum of 100l. to him. Therefore we pray your good lordship to give order that this money may be thankfully repaid, agreeable to our bill in that behalf. Edinburgh. Signed: Thomas Burgh, Robert Bowes.

p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

47. Lord Burgh and Robert Bowes to Burghley. [March 29.]

At the hands of Thomas Foulis (Fowles) and Robert Jowsye, Scottishmen and burgesses of Edinburgh, we have received by way of exchange 200l. sterling in full payment of 300l. appointed to our receipt by your lordship's letter of the 16th hereof, and to be repaid to them at London upon the view hereof, or within two days after. And for further surety of the payment at the day and place limited, we have given them our bill to be delivered to the party paying this sum of 200l. to them, or any other for them. We therefore beg you to give order [as in the preceding]. Edinburgh. Signed: Thomas Burgh, Robert Bowes.

p. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

48. Lord Burgh to Burghley. [March 30.]

Yesterday I was with the King to receive answer in writing according to his promise. He has deferred the same till my next repair. The effect I know, and it tends to satisfy her Majesty with all promise on his part; but he "disableth" himself of means [to proceed] against the purposes of the Spanish faction. The particularities I will bring with me, and your lordship shall consider what is requisite. As for any present danger, I hope it is not much to be feared, for the King is already thrust so forward that his honour is engaged, "and wou[ld] crack of that he can not fall of." As for the nobility of this land, they are so interallied that, notwithstanding the religion they profess, they tolerate the opposite courses of the adverse parties, and excuse or cloak the faults committed. (fn. 8) The assured party is of the ministers, barons and burghs. With these the King is so bound that he cannot suddenly run another course apparently [i.e. openly] but yet by his secret hearkenings (by the mediation of those who are in special credit with him) he is suspected. At my repair home I will say more than I will commit herein. He complained much of Bothwell, and though I have placed before him all such excuses as may free her Majesty from any connivance of his "receyte" in England, yet he argues much against those who have received him, inveighing that, though Thomas Musgrave is imprisoned, his brother openly accompanies him. He further says he will prove that Bothwell holds correspondence with the rebels. Edinburgh. Signed: Thomas Burgh.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk.

49. Robert Bowes to Burghley. [March 31.]

On receipt of your letter of the 16th Lord Burgh and myself have "taken upp" by exchange, to be repaid at London, 300l. sterling which we have "defrayed" to such persons and in such sort as Burgh at his return will declare. The parties rewarded are well pleased and sundry of them are entering into "newe attemptes." We have taken of Thomas Foulis and Robert Jowcye, burgesses of this town, 200l., and of John Porterfeild 100l., to be repaid at London [as in No. 46 and 47]. Because French crowns "are here currant and valewed at vj's. iiijd. sterlinge, and that we have diffrayed the wholl summe of one thousand crownes, which amountethe to cccxvj li. xiij s. iiij d., therfor I, Robert, have disbursed the xvj li. xiij s. iiij d. over and besydes the 300 li. receaved in manner aforesaide."

For redresses to be made in the complaints and bills of the Borders the King has appointed Sir Robert Melvill and the Clerk Register to confer with me. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

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


  • 1. A corrupt rendering.
  • 2. 24th February in Acts of Privy Council.
  • 3. tray; try, i.e. be proved as the result of trial.
  • 4. Cf. No.43.
  • 5. i.e. his resolution how he determines to proceed.
  • 6. i.e. Donald Macdonald of Sleat, known as Donald Gorm.
  • 7. sic; cf. following document.
  • 8. i.e. the ties of kinship are stronger than religious barriers.