James VI, August 1595

Pages 664-691

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

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James VI, August 1595

620. John Auchinross to George Nicolson. [August 1.]

This is "to schow yow of" a letter I have written to you from this burgh on 31st July by one named George Johnson, dwelling near the Kirk of Strathbrock (Straithbrok), who promised to give it to John Cunningham on Monday next, for to John all is directed. This former letter must be sent to your master, to make our friends there acquainted with our doing, and to "curage" them, for my master is not idle. By your deliverance to my servant I have received "threttie fyif lib. peces of gold." By chance I was speaking in this town with a friend of mine dwelling in Glasgow, named Robert Rowat, merchant and bailie of Glasgow, and through some late "conseit" [plan] conceived since the directing of the former letter I was "speirand" [enquiring] for someone going to Edinburgh. This friend of mine having in his company one who appeared to me to be of your nation, I demanded of him whether he knew you, and how soon he was to repair to where you were. He answered that with expedition he was to visit you and that he was well acquainted with you, [so] I took the more boldness to write to you.

Your proclamation of staying of furnishing to the rebels and their assisters is well done. "Mary" it is most true that Tyrone has [men] in this town at this Lammas fair, and his servants, dwellers in Strabane (Traybane) in Ireland, are continually in Glasgow and furnish him with all merchandise that is desired. One of them is named "Patrik Conuchur," servant to John Ba, a great merchant of Strabane, born "of" the English part of Ireland; [others are] John and William Wilson, brothers, and another is with them, whose name I have not got. Use hasty "moyan" to take them before they go home with furnishing; for, albeit the command was given that none should transport them from Glasgow, assure yourself that they and their goods shall be transported by sundry men that dwell not in burgh, for there are men that travel to Ireland from Arran, Bute and sundry other parts. The taking of these men will terrify all others, and if they be not taken and warded the proclamation serves for nothing. The taking and warding of them until further trial be had is very necessary, for there are sundry others in Glasgow that for gains will furnish the Earl's merchants, yet transport nothing themselves for fear of the proclamation. If I were once in speaking with your master and yourself, busy service would be done in these lowland and highland parts of Scotland, for I can not be idle when anything touches my master or when he "hes to do." When we meet, as you desire, we shall have quiet doing of our own without others. These men are going home with furnishing. If charge be sent to take these men, write "Connuchur, servand to Johnne Ba in Traybane in Yreland"—without surname (for I am in doubt whether they call him Patrick Connuchur or not, but at least "he is Connuchur to surname")—and "John Villsoun and Villiam Vilsoun, merchandis thair"; and cause take the other man that is in company with them, but these are the principals. On Monday next seek John Cunningham for the letter delivered to George Johnson in Strathbrock. He will be in Edinburgh on Monday selling horses "at viij or ix houris affoir nune." Dumbarton. Signed: Johne Achinros.

Postscript.—Let charge be sent to the bailies of Glasgow to apprehend the gear as well as the men. They will get favour, but others will "schaw me of" the same hereafter. None knows my dealing in this action, and I would be unknown as long as possible. Wafer signet.

1 p. Addressed. Wafer signet of MacLean. Endorsed by George Nicolson: "John Achenros. Dunberton 1 August, Edinburgh 2 ejusdem, 1595. Per William Milburne."

621. George Nicolson to [Robert Bowes]. [August 1.]

Yesternight very late I received your packet of 24th July with her Majesty's letter to Argyll, and yours to his lordship, MacLean and others, all which shall diligently be disposed as you have directed. The person I sent to Kirkcudbright (Kirkowbray) found there a boat of Man, to "whom" the letter is delivered to warn that place. But they of the boat told him that the islanders had been already offering to land, but retired by reason that the people there were ready for them. It seems also that for this time they shall be forced to retire. But in regard of such contrary bruits I can write nothing with certainty. For convoy of this packet of Mr. Aston's I chiefly address these presents to you, seeing nothing here but appearance of great troubles, which surely will serve the Papist Earls' turn. Buccleuch, Cessford and the Master of Glamis hold themselves in as evil a case as they can be in at the King's hands, especially Buccleuch. The Chancellor seems weary and would be held indifferent, but he cannot nor will not leave them. But they all and the rest certified in my last have made a great friendship (I dare not nor can say "bande," whatever I suspect) for backing the Queen's faction, and some who see themselves marked to be for the King, in fear of the worst keep out of the way of Buccleuch and Cessford. These things will cause more dearness and love to be between the King and Mar, who sure will prevail if he prevent sudden attempts and if the King stand. Mr. John Colville will then rise, and is in comfort thereof, as I hear.

I heard that Buccleuch said that his goods were stolen again, and therefore he would send to the King to discharge himself of his promise to him and thereon "repaire himself." Thereupon I went and spoke to him, who has agreed to send his own servant to my lord [Scrope] for justice within two or three days. Whereon I cannot perceive but he will either enter into action of friendship and frank justice with Scrope, or else his people will run loose. Yet I look he will "temper" these things and regard that at this time he has other ways enough in hand. Edinburgh. Signed: Geo. Nicolson.

Postscript.—The Chancellor and the lairds and all will sooner leave this place now that "the Sessions" are ended, so matters may, perhaps, "put over" yet awhile.

1 p. Holograph. No address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Edenburgh primo Augusti, Grenewich vii° ejusdem, 1595."

622. Mr. John Colville to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 2.] Printed in Colville's Letters, pp. 171–173.

My meaning was to have spent some days in the country on my private business, but I see matters go on so quickly and so many new and different occasions, that I am forced to leave all to wait on this service. I have written how courageously his Majesty behaved himself in Edinburgh, especially to the Master of Glamis and the Chancellor, in such sort that I think Glamis shall not see his face hastily. But the Chancellor "at th' intry," fearing nothing that the King had been for Mar, entered into proud speeches, comparing himself with Mar. The King answered (after he had "remembred" the Chancellor that he was but a cadet of a mean house) that, if he should vaunt his preferments, Mar had a dozen following him of as good rank; and so at length asked whether he would be specially for him or the Queen, saying, though he would love and entertain the Queen as became him, yet he would have none "to stear thame to any doing" (fn. 1) without his special command, especially him who was his creature. Upon this the Chancellor said he was only the King's servant, but the King, notwithstanding, would have him plainly to renounce all other private doing with the Queen and that fellowship. Whereupon the Chancellor desired leisure till the next day; and so on the morning he came, offering himself to be most willing to renounce all friendship that might offend the King, and presently to discharge himself with the Queen, Glamis and the rest. "But," said he, "it sall not be sa good for your quatuor (service) that this be done presentlie, because it is best to leif thame when I have knawin all thair intentions." So by this sleight he pleased the King. Whether he will fulfil it or not, God knows. Sed lupum auribus tenet; for if he reveals all the Queen may justly reproach him, because he and Glamis steered them to all this business; if he does it not, the King will think him an abuser. But I think he will rather satisfy the King and make steppingstones of his fellowship. Now upon the King's hope to have this conspiracy revealed by him, and one part of them to accuse the other, he has thought good that Mar shall stay the pursuit of his enemies till this be ended first. So the "dyat" of the 19th hereof will not hold till new consultation be had thereon, and for another reason mentioned in Mr. Primrose's letter which, with all written to him, he will impart to your lordship; for what I forget in the one is in the other letter.

Blantyre, Michael Elphinstone and Thomas Erskine have well escaped at his Majesty's last being in Edinburgh, and since he went away the Prior (fn. 2) was forced privately to leave the town for fear of their practices, and the Chancellor was his advertiser. So if they who are at Edinburgh knew the Chancellor's part they would think him a fine man. The Prior is presently here with Mar since he escaped the last danger.

His Majesty begins his buck-hunting on the 7th at Falkland. About the 20th he comes to this town to that game, from thence to Inchmurrin, and from that to Hamilton, and then here again. The Queen, I think, will "fra" [after] they come here remain for a good season. The islandmen have all dissolved, and young Lawers would have gone to them were it not that his marriage is to be on the 5th.

3 pp. In Mr. John Colville's hand. Addressed: "To 5." Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Mr. John Colvill," etc. Some names in cipher, deciphered.

623. John Cunningham to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 4.]

I enclose letters from John Auchinross (Acheinroiche) to me and George Nicolson, which letters will show you that MacLean has begun as he promised to me to do. I will assure your lordship that MacLean will be found faithful, true and honest in what he takes in hand, and, as I wrote in my last letter, the sooner that he be remembered with a token the better. Let the token be sent to George Nicolson and I shall convey it myself to him to Mull.

Assure Sir Robert [Cecil] that I shall be ready [to do] all service as it shall please him and you to employ me. Further, I have written away this same day to MacLean "seik heidis" as George Nicolson has given me in direction, first, to have him made "forsein" that some of her Majesty's ships are "comein to hes boundis," and, if he can hear of them, to acquaint himself with them. The next is about the receipt of his token, where he desires to have it delivered. Edinburgh. Signed: Jhone Cunyghame, burgeis in Edinburgh.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: Grenwich, 10 August.

First enclosure with the same.

(John Auchinross to John Cunningham.)

MacLean has taken by honest and bold onset and a pretty feat of war the whole Clan Ranald, MacIan of Ardmuich (fn. 3) and sundry others to the number of nine hundred or thereby. This he did in the Callow of Mull where they took rest in the night. It is a little island "na space" from the mainland of Mull, and is a very good harbour for ships. He is now "cummir[it]" with the taking of order, with their warding in his castles and "strenthis," and with putting of guards on them to make them to take ease in patience. None are detained but those of the principals whom he "lyikit of" worst. Other principals are put to liberty upon their oaths and promises, with caution "ilk ane for uthir," and the rest are "put hame." Their vessels and galleys, which are of great value to my master, are "stayit."

We know that Angus MacConnell and Donald Gorme will rage at this doing; but for all their number and force convened together these [prisoners] must rest where my master shall think good till he be further advised. These men were following the rest to Ireland, but this year they must remain in Scotland. If my master be employed, the persons you wit of will esteem him honest and worthy [etc. as in following enclosure]. He doubts not "to help the turn" in Ireland as well as in Scotland, and this much he has begun for his part, which is no small matter. "As he gettis ane meitting sa sall he follow." I have written this other letter to George [Nicolson], which you shall deliver to him that he may make his master "foirsein" hereof, whereof he will be glad. Our King should "lyik of" my master the better and esteem this as good service. I think he will be shortly in Argyle, for my lord has written for him, but the "ordour putting" to these men stays him. I received your letter from my man and so do according thereto when he comes. I shall also remember "on our speiking" at departing. Commendations to your wife and bairns. Dumbarton July 31st, 1595. Signed: Johnne Achinros.

¾ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Robert Bowes. Wafer signet.

Second enclosure with the same.

(John Auchinross to George Nicolson.)

I received your letter and thank you for the entertainment my man had from you and for your goodwill offered, as you shall know by my next letter, which now I postpone through uncertainty of your receipt thereof. By the receipt of your master's letter and the commission directed therewith by Sir Robert Cecil with John Cunningham, my master found himself desired to do further for the stay of the Scotsmen from Ireland. Being at that time unable to stay them, he therefore offered the next remedy—to compel them to return to Scotland. After the passing south of a great number of them (as I wrote to you), he convened 300 of his "fyne" men to remain with him in household and guard, one hundred of them in armour of coat of mail, as we use, with twohanded swords and iron head-pieces, another hundred of "fyirmen," and a hundred of bowmen. In this time there "restit" [remained] to our knowledge 900 [men] with many principals to follow on the rest. These came forward and by the way late in the evening took landing on a little isle called "the Callow" on the coast of our great isle of Mull, there to rest the night time, being weary all the day by sea. My master, hearing of their landing, took purpose to pursue them in the morning and to use "sik craft and hardie convoy as he ducht," first to be master of their vessels (which were galleys, birlings and boats), and then "to haif na dout of" [to make sure of] themselves—for if any defence should be offered, all his men would convene to their pursuit. As he devised, so God of His mighty power has "concludit," and all the said number [have been] taken captives, of whom the principals are—the Captain of Clan Ranald and three of his father's brothers, the Laird of Knoydart, the Laird of Ardmuich, Donald Gorme's brother and many gentlemen. (fn. 4) He has committed them to ward in his castles "as lyikit him," and has spared no irons to "inuis" [accustom] them the better to take ease in patience. He has ferried the rest out of his land to the mainland nearest their dwellings. I knew that this was to be enterprised and also other turns that are in hand, but would not write boldly thereof, but only that my master was "bissie," as now is seen and heard. I believe you will hear of [this] in Court to our honour, [but] you shall "misknow the same." My master is acquainted with these pretty onsets, finding "vantage" without respect to number, for divers times he played this dance here against his enemies. I assure you that these men that are in captivity are the most "douttit" [feared] and able men in the Isles. Let your master and Sir Robert comfort themselves with this good luck done by a valiant man of war and a man of honour in the beginning of her Majesty's service, and as she and her Council like to employ him he shall show goodwill to accomplish all that ever he wrote.

As I wrote before, these matters being of great importance should be "condiscendit on and concludit be vritt," which my master looks for. The rest of her Majesty's "unfreindis" here and assisters of Tyrone and O'Donnell will rage against my master, but because of the good success of this "veyaige" (such special men being "in handis") and of our own ability they must perforce oversee all that is done here in Scotland; and, if our service be desired in Ireland, must "oursie us to do the vrak of the Erle and of O'Donill also." This morning's work ("this mornyng veyaige") shall prevent Angus MacConnell and Donald Gorme and their assisters from rendering any service or comfort for all the goods received from Tyrone and O'Donnell, and so the desire of Sir Robert and your master "is obtemperit."

The proclamation was proclaimed here for the staying of all furnishing from these persons. (fn. 5) As you hear in Court of the allowance and miscontentment hereof, make me acquainted therewith. We regard not [these opinions], except only his Highness's good countenance to us; for those that are "in handis" must remain where they are; and I think his Majesty should esteem this as good service. Send this letter to your master for their further information. Dumbarton 31st July, 1595. Signed: Johnne Achinros.

1⅓ pp. Addressed. Wafer signet of MacLean. Endorsed by George Nicolson: "John Achenros. Dunberton ultimo July, Edenburgh 4 August, 1595. Per John Cuningham.

624. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 4.]

Now "the Sessions" are ended and the Chancellor, the two lairds and the rest returned to their own houses, saving the Master of Glamis who, in regard that Lord Glamis and he are not now friends and that Crawford and he are at feud, thinks it not good to repair home amongst them, except in sure sort, and therefore he yet stays here, for what other purpose I know not. The Queen is to ride to-morrow or Tuesday to Falkland to the King, who this week begins his hunting there; from whence he goes to hunt at Stirling, Inchmurrin and Hamilton.

Yesterday the Kirk began their fast, which holds and is very straightly looked to in this town this whole week. The reasons thereof are these causes, as they plainly declare in pulpit, viz., the division of this land into two factions almost to the parting of the King and Queen, if it were possible, as they hope it is not, but assuredly, if God prevent it not in mercy, to the bringing in to the one or other side of the Papist lords, to the danger of religion and trouble of the country in greatest sort; the great preparation of the great enemy, the Spaniard; and the extreme dearth here and appearance of the increase thereof through the continual rains; with sundry other causes of the vices of this land.

It stands very hard between the King and the Queen, "suppose [although] they make faire shewes." The King would have the Queen to leave the motion, especially not to hearken to Buccleuch's advice, nor yet to Glamis, Cessford or any others that so advise. But finding it not prevail, the King intends after the Queen is with them to keep them a good while from such company, and so by little and little to win them. But it will be in vain, for the Queen goes not but upon counsel of Buccleuch's side and to advance their purpose. The Chancellor seems indifferent and for the King, and does petty offices that way. But I hear that albeit he has not been at "every of th'other of his parties counsells" himself, yet he had his commissioner with them, and upon occasion of letters Mr. Foulis has sent the Secretary to the King to hold the Chancellor in favour and to do that side also pleasure. Buccleuch, Cessford and Glamis hold themselves in as evil a case with the King as can be, and if the Queen does not prevail for them, then they intend to enter into hard course against Mar or to surprise the King and "make them do their turne." That side have especial men in readiness for some course "upon advantage." I pray God to bless the King, for if Mar perish he cannot but fall into their hands. "Allwaies" [nevertheless], I assure myself Mar shall prevail and Mr. Colville grow great and be found thankful to her Majesty, and freely and frankly for her service.

I return you good news and a good beginning in MacLean. Let him be assisted and he will do more than is judged against Tyrone and O'Donnell. You may perceive he would have the favour of the King, and further agreement for further service, which he will deserve. For these causes, as also for this estate, I am not enabled to deal. But some of account and authority to deal herein should be employed, and it would please the good to see her Majesty continue her former care over this land. On Saturday, when I was ready to ride to Argyle, I received advertisement that these letters were coming. For the sending of them to you I stayed here till now, "being" to ride with her Majesty's letter and yours to do what I can, as upon my return on Saturday your worship shall further hear. In haste. Edinburgh. Signed: Geo. Nicolson.

Postscript.—If you were here in good credit from her Majesty we should make the plough draw freely every way for her service. MacLean shall have word of the token and of your directions both by me and John Cunningham, and we shall procure answer, which will be according [to] the present state of things. I shall see John Auchinross at Dumbarton, God willing. John Cunningham says it will "pleasure" MacLean that the token be delivered, and the sooner the better. I have many irons in the fire "which troubleth, na almost overchardgeth, me to looke to."

pp. Holograph. Also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: Grenewich 10 August.

625. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 4.]

After the directing of my last, I understood from Mr. George Erskine's letter, which I have but this night received (for which I have stayed this day), that the enterprise by MacLean is valiantly done, but the army of those people yet consists of 4000 very good men, most of them good "shott"; and but some 700 or 900 are taken. Above 3000 of them are gone forward, so that now the next course to take will be for forcing of their speedy return, which will "muche stand in my lord of Argile and M'Layne," for they must do it, and it is meet to be regarded in time. Whilst they rode near the coast of Argyle there was great watch for them. But they sent to Argyll to excuse their lying there and to crave his goodwill; whereto the Earl has given "the referringe answer," so that the chief of these, "being" to leave their forces with Tyrone and themselves to return, intend at their return to deal with my lord for his allowance and help for them and Tyrone and to offer great offers to him. In the meantime he "resteth" to see how her Majesty will deal with him and consider him, since he refuses [their offers] for her cause, and has sent to know his Majesty's advice and pleasure what to do, accounting that if he cast them off they shall still keep him in troubles; and yet in his heart he hates them and Tyrone, and if he shall entertain friendship with them, being his Majesty's rebels, he shall incur the King's displeasure. So I see it is time to make him sure, and he has been overlong left loose and unbound to her Majesty.

These things, not set down in Mr. George's letter, I have from a person employed therein from the Earl to the King. As yet I cannot say what contentment is in her Majesty's letter to the Earl, but both the King and he should speedily be acknowledged, and a little in comparison of so great a matter would do good and keep all still for her Majesty. MacLean will surely take his token in good part, and will be the frankest man against Tyrone that I can hear of, for he will venture life and all he has, and I perceive he hopes that by her Majesty's help he shall live to be revenged on him. Edinburgh. Signed: Geo. Nicolson.

1 p. Holograph. Also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: Grenewich, 10 August.

626. Roger Aston to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 6.]

Since my last I have been at the King in Falkland, where I have discharged some commission given to me by the Prior, but in such sort as I might keep myself unsuspected by the contrary faction. What I durst not say myself I put others awork that might better bear out the burden. The King is altogether ignorant of these violent courses that have been intended, and therefore matters pass over unpunished. The King and the Chancellor parted in these terms: the Chancellor has undertaken to advertise the King upon his life of any practice that is to be intended, whereupon the King reposes himself and gives the less credit to others. No man dare deal plainly with him, chiefly in such matters as concern the Queen, and that makes him to have the less intelligence. The matter begins to be more divulged in such sort that all men speak of it. Mr. John Davidson spoke plain language on Friday last. Mr. Patrick Galloway has been something plainer with the King than others durst be for fear of the Queen. Whereupon the King has sent to the Chancellor to understand the truth of all matters. But I know he will not be plain, for he dare not offend the Queen and such as brought him into her favour. He is at this time in great strait, for if the King get matter against him (as there is, if the truth were known) it will be his overthrow. He "houldis in" with both and thinks to stand, and so does Sir Robert Melville, "whoe ples on both handes." He spoils all, for the King has great trust in him, and when his counsel is sought he seems to pacify all with temporising, not letting the King know the substance of matters or the peril of his own estate or the violent courses intended; so that his peril shall come on before he shall be "forsene." Such as are earnest and known faithful to him are "bosted" from him and in peril of their lives.

The Queen has told the King that Thomas Erskine and Michael Elphin stone are not her friends and therefore would have had them away. For the Prior, she says plainly he is "the crosser of her tornes" and she would have obtained her intent but for him. This is the misery of this time. The King bears so great affection for her that no man dare deal with him in what concerns her, and so he "perrels" both himself and such as love him. Because I have been here with Mr. William Hume and am surer this letter will be safely delivered to Sir John Selby, I have written the plainer. The Queen goes over the water this day with great difficulty. For this time I cannot see there will be anything done. The guiders of all are gone home. Lord Hume is at Court to see how all things go there. The King is going on progress to the west country. He has sent for the Prior to meet him at Stirling. His intention is at the Queen's coming to Falkland to send for Mar and there to agree all matters. But I look not that it shall be accomplished. I see no other but there will be a faction for the King and another for the Queen. If any matters fall out that I dare not write myself I shall cause George [Nicolson] to write them. The troubles are now begun again between the Maxwells (Maxfildes) and the Johnstones (Gonstones). Johnstone has taken the house of Ross pertaining to Drumlanrig. Bassendean. Unsigned.

22/3 pp. In Roger Aston's hand. Addressed. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Roger Aston. Bassendyne vjto Augusti, Grenewich xiij° ejusdem, 1595."

627. News from Scotland. [Aug. 6.]

The Earl of Angus is imprisoned within the Castle of Lochleven. The Earl of Morton "requyris" to be caution for him that he shall be a good subject to the King in time coming and that he shall make satisfaction to the Kirk for his bygone offence under a great "pecuniall sowme," and the answer hereto is referred to a Convention to be holden at Stirling for this cause.

The Chancellor and Treasurer have devised this petition for Angus to make their party strong on the Borders, because the strongest party of his manrent is on this side of Scotland. This country is now constantly divided into two factions, one for the King and another for the Queen, and all the parishes of Scotland now presently celebrate a fast for amendment of this apparent danger. It began on 1st August and must endure till the 10th, and all men attend for a great change.

The King has withdrawn the Queen to Falkland, first by request and then by "boste" [threat]. She passed from Edinburgh on Tuesday last. The Laird of Johnstone has sent the Goodman of Kirktoun to the Queen on Monday, the 4th, desiring her to travail with the King that commandment may be given to the Maxwells to make no incursions against Johnstone, and he attended all the way on the Queen's journey and gave to her a goodly hackney. The town of Geneva is "belayd" by the Duke of Savoy to the number of 12,000 men.

2/3 p. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk: "6 Aug. 1595. Advertisement from Scotland. E. Angus imprisoned in the Castle of Loghlevin."

628. Argyll to Robert Bowes. (fn. 6) [Aug. 7.]

I received her Majesty's letter together with your own, by which I find a greater favour of her Majesty than my "travells" have merited. The islesmen are passed to Ireland. The impossibility to stay them I have made known to George Nicolson—how I used myself for that purpose, and how little I prevailed—also every particular that is expedient to be done for drawing them back and dissolving of their forces. Dunoon. Signed: Ar. Argyll.

½ p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes. Faded.

629. Argyll to Queen Elizabeth. [Aug. 7.]

I give your Highness all humble thanks for such great favour and goodwill mentioned in your letters and will endeavour to merit the same by all dutiful services, specially in employing myself against the rebels of Ireland, and, according to your desire, shall not only use MacLean but all my other friends and my whole "moyen" to effectuate the same. Dunoon. Signed: Ar. Argyll.

½ p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Cecil's clerk. Wafer signet. Faded.

630. Mr. John Colville to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 7.] Printed in Colville's Letters, p. 173.

Receiving the enclosed from young Lawers (Junior) yesternight late, I thought good to haste it up, wishing to know what he or I shall do further in that matter. It is thought that her Majesty went yesternight to Falkland, "for so wes hir diat peremptorly." (fn. 7) The great numbers convened at Edinburgh are "skaled," awaiting some better occasion; but they are divided, for the Chancellor has sold the rest. Betwixt him and the Queen a new strife is like to fall, for the Queen now affirms he steered them to all this late "inquietnes." But the Chancellor washes his hands as Pilate did, and trusts to make stepping-stones of the rest, especially of the Master of Glamis.

The day of law will not hold till the King may be in Edinburgh, which cannot be till the Queen is well settled, which is a principal thing we muse upon. Unsigned.

Postscript.—I have received yours of the 23rd, for which I thank you. The highlandmen cannot be yet landed, and they are but a naked, disordered company. Gilbert Mestertoun is to be there [at London] one of these days from Mar, and with him I mind to write, but generally.

1 p. In Mr. John Colville's hand. Addressed. Endorsed by Robert Bowes. Names in cipher deciphered.

631. John Archibald to George Nicolson. [Aug. 9.]

I have learned from MacLean that there is no such thing as any "debait" [quarrel] between Angus MacConnell and him [which] can be composed, but MacLean's only intention is to take advantage with diligence of Angus, his country and friends. At the directing hereof he is certified that some English ships have convened with the navy of the Isles, by which all the islesmen that were to resort towards Ireland are defeated. If this be, MacLean is of intention that they shall find no favour with him as they come back to their own countries.

Message is lately come from Ireland for MacCondochy's (M'Koundocheis) repairing there. For this cause I am upon my journey towards him that by the advice of young Lawers we may deal with him in what good office he will please her Majesty at his passing there, and as we resolve Mr. Bowes shall be speedily advertised. MacCondochy shall be moved to follow his counsel, and shall stay in the country till he learn the same. If any new army of highlandmen or islesmen pass over again in respect of this late defeat, you shall be duly advertised that like advantage may be taken of them as of the others. Stirling. Signed: Filius.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Mr. John Archbald to Geo. Nycolson. Sterling viij° Augusti, London xvj° ejusdem, 1595."

632. Mr. Alexander Dickson to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 9.]

I have received your courteous letter. Your loving regard and friendly endeavour on my behalf are no new thing to me. I have known it well, and for my part have followed it as I might. Neither need I deduce it here to you, whether in truth and heart I have professed the friendship. Yourself, some others, my whole proceeding and present condition are witnesses with me of my intent; and as for proof, whereof you wrote, the lack has not been mine. I have attended upon your motion and others' advice, and their answer. The pleasure of her Majesty and my affection to serve your state have drawn with them all my other thoughts to the great hindrance and interruption of my other interests. Neither wanted I in the meantime other thing to think upon if I had pleased to give myself thereunto. "Alwayis" at last you offer the means, whereby you pretend that I shall yield a sufficient testimony of my goodwill and power to do good offices, advising me therewithal to make it known there [i.e. at London] by such means as I think best whether any such writings as are sought to be got by my labours are in the hands of any person with my privity and knowledge, and that therein I bestow my endeavour for the possession thereof; upon the performance whereof (with my readiness to proceed in the affairs) very thankful and seasonable regard will be given to me, like as in due time you shall make further known to me. I accept the condition, shall clear the matter and presently perform it; only [I am] sorry in this, that it has not pleased you to make the assay "in a gretter importance." Know, then, that after I had travailed in the studies of the schools (which I then esteemed as Plato his Deum, except [that] they were fashioned to the civil life) my genius and youth inclined me much to the knowledge to the affairs of the North. So when I was in your country I "gave me" to follow my Lord of Leicester, Sir Philip Sidney and divers other persons of honour, courtiers for the time. I liked much for the same cause to be "acquent" with strangers and ambassadors, which was the ground of my resort to De l'Aubespine. Thus inclined and thus acquainted, I sought to have all such discourses (published or unpublished) as might advance my knowledge of the times that I lived in. There were relations made by the ambassadors of Venice, of the Court of France, England, Spain, Germany (Almaine) and other countries adjacent. There were instructions to Sir Thomas Smith, employed by her Majesty in France, and some of his negotiations there. There was a written copy of his "Republic," which was not then come to light; a dialogue of his anent the marriage of her Majesty; a discourse of Sir Philip Sidney anent the marriage with the brother of France; a letter of his to his brother anent the use and end of travelling; his answer and challenge to the pretended scholar of Cambridge in defence of his uncle; a discourse done by one Norton, as I was informed, entitled The Five Periods of the Fire; revelations of the state of England; certain tables of the whole genealogy and branches of the house and Earl of Normandy; the Duke of Norfolk's process; a discourse of the Chancery; some scrolls concerning the Duchy of Lancaster; a report of the musters of all the shires of England; a scroll of the charges her Majesty is at for entertainment and furniture of some strengths within the realm, as the Tower, Dover, Berwick and others; a minute of her Majesty's ships, their number, names and charge. These are the writings, and only these; this is the casket which is pretended to be in the hands of De l'Aubespine, wherein I affirm in the presence of God and on "the perrel never to have the purchase of her Majesty's favour" (which I were not wise to forfeit, as the time now runs, for many interests wherewith even yourself, as I wrote before, have not yet been acquainted) that to my privity and knowledge there is no other kind or piece of "wreit," save only a copy of the pretended scholar of Cambridge's letter, with my own answer thereto, done by the advice and order of my lord and his nephew, Sir Philip. Now, if you believe me, all service is done, for if there be no other thing in it than I alleged—and so, nothing of the nature, quality and weight that have apparently been "instructed" by them who gave information thereof—it follows to think no more of it, as a thing of no importance. If, otherwise, you believe me not in this, how will you believe me when I have brought it to you out of France, for when it comes into my hands I might accord and fashion it as I have here alleged. The only means, then, to clear the matter, if I must still not be believed, is that you pen a letter from me to De l'Aubespine, which I shall subscribe, to be sent as from me by the diligence of one of your own. But how shall you be warranted that I have not forewarned him of such a letter and willed him to confirm the casket as I here pretend; so difficult a thing it is to employ the man whom you will not believe. But you must believe me if you use me, and for my own part I affect not otherwise to be used by any. This being thus, methinks I see the approach of a new assay, and I required to decipher a packet pretended to have been intercepted here by Mr. Asheby before his return from here to the Court. It is of truth that since I came into this country I never had any kind of intelligence by word or writ with any manner of man in England or any other of her Majesty's territories; neither while I was in that country did I ever (whatsoever my enemies suggested to the contrary) traffic or deal with any person in any kind of thing concerning the state or any member, place or circumstance thereof; neither was I ever privy or had liking of any intelligences, purposes, drifts or deeds, directly or indirectly intended against the prince, estate, religion or public peace of the realm. I loved and honoured the poor Queen, (fn. 8) and in that love I hated and abhorred them, as much as any, whose counsels and courses brought her to the end which of necessity was to ensue thereupon. Of my behaviour and where I embarked after I returned into this country I dissembled nothing to you at other times, like as I presume you will bear me witness with some other honest men as to the form and manner of my retreat and of the sincerity and good intent thereof.

Now for the packet. Mr. Asheby, informed belike, but falsely informed, that I had some intelligence at London, suborned a goldsmith here at Edinburgh to pretend a going to London and to offer to carry my packet. The matter was discovered to me. A packet was made for his troth; he had a "scorne" and the other had his recompense; and this is the very simple truth thereof. You see how plainly I deal in everything, and that, if her Majesty and Council use me, there merits "no more gradation in this kynd of essayis." Since my intention has always been, and is, to proceed in this course with all sincerity, I pray that, as I have long "attendit," either I shall be used or licensed to follow my own affairs, which will occasion me to go beyond sea within this month. Errol. Signed: Alexander Dicson.

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

633. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 10.]

On Tuesday last I rode to Glasgow, and on Wednesday night I came to Dunoon where Argyll and the most of his friends were in bed, but I was well received and made much of by such as were up. On Thursday, after his lordship's rising, I delivered her Majesty's letter, which he kindly received, and also your own. After reading them he told me he was much indebted to you for showing his goodwill to her Majesty, and rested at her service, protesting that he would promise and perform whatsoever he could, showing me that the islesmen prepared to go had all gone to Ireland, but he heard nothing of them since their going, saving 700 or 800 whom MacLean had taken and stayed. Before their going they wrote to him "having" their service to him and signifying that they were come to the coast [of] Argyle "to take their pastyme and pleasure" and would gladly have seen him if he had been in those parts, and that from thence they would go to Ireland and soon after return, wishing that on their return they might see and confer with him. At their being near Mull, before they came to Argyll's coast, they sent MacLeod of the Lewis, sister's son of MacLean, as MacLeod of Harris is also, to MacLean to persuade his aid or "oversight" at least. But MacLean not only drew him to agree to leave them and to go from them with his forces, but also learned their whole intentions and counsels: and they, perceiving that MacLeod had not prevailed with MacLean, took suspicion of him and carried him captive with them, so that he and his forces should not leave them. So far as Argyll perceives of their counsels by MacLean (having had but letters from him, leaving especial matters to their meeting, when MacLean will come within eight or ten days), "their nowe going" is to agree with Tyrone that they may have their parts of such lands as shall be won from her Majesty to plant their friends on, to accord an agreement for mutual aid in all extremities and against all persons, and thereafter to assist Tyrone for his establishment and afterwards to have his help for their establishment in the Isles. MacLean by letter assures Argyll that they intend not to see him even although they write so, and Argyll will not see them, but take his advantage as he may. They could not be stayed now, because they were convened in arms, and in that case will not dissolve without some action.

My lord used sundry means to stay them, especially by MacLean, who trysted them in the Sound of Mull and would have persuaded their stay for some time to have dissolved them "ones," (fn. 9) but did not prevail, Donald Gorme showing his company that Tyrone had written to him that he was advertised by a friend with the Deputy that there was kindness between her Majesty and Argyll and that Argyll had promised to stay all his own and such others as he could; and Gorme said to them "it manifestis it self to be true," for Argyll had not suffered any yet to go over, but indirectly sought their stay, and apparently MacLean's persuasion was to that end. [So they] concluded [to take] their passage over, intending to have assaulted Man (but the wind served not at that time), and to have entered my lord's bounds. I saw Dunoon had been fortified to resist them, and I heard and am sure that all the country was under warning and watches kept.

After the "diett" [date] of their return be known, Argyll would have her Majesty's ships advertised to wait and take advantage of them. He accounts Rathlin, or thereby westward, the meetest place for the ships to lie for them. His galleys and boats are preparing, and MacLean will have another "cast" at them on their return, which they think will be within one month. But "missinge sure advantage to defeit them in dede," I perceive Argyll will keep himself and MacLean, if he can, indifferent under hope to be won to them, the better to effect their purposes, for they will overthrow them if they can.

On their return my lord would have some solid course to be taken to dissolve them, which, as far as he can, he will do. But money must do it, I see, and must . . . (fn. 10) certify, leaving it to better consideration. [In the margin: "My lord doth his owne turnes by mony and is in very good healthe I can assure you."]

After "disjune" [breakfast] Argyll told me that there was a banished man come out of Tyrone's camp to Dunoon, with whom he had not spoken, but who had told some of his servants that Tyrone would fight our men with some of his army upon the coming of the islanders, for Tyrone says still he will not yet venture all on a day; for if they be overthrown or scattered once, God have mercy on them, he says, for they will never meet again, and therefore [he] will not fight till he may do it with spare forces. For the Queen, he says, if she lose all can send as many more, but he cannot do so. Argyll conceives by reports that the Lord Deputy "hathe foule play amonge them," both by Tyrone's privy friends giving advertisements of his secrets and also because the great men of the country do not personally countenance his service, but are quietly sending some of their people to Tyrone, who still triumphs.

The combat between the Provost of Kilmun and Angus MacConnell should have been with six more on either side, and for surety of fair play Argyll had caused 2000 to be with the Provost, but they dissolved seeing Angus not to keep his tryst. Soon after Angus and his friends came and called for and offered the combat.

I have delivered the token, 20l. sterling, to Mr. George Erskine, who is contented and gives thanks, and I have entered into an inward course with him, praying you to return all his former letters and all others which he shall afterwards write; and he wi[shes] under warrant of sight of her Majesty's letter to visit our ships if he comes near them, and shall have matter worthy their knowledge. I enclose my lord's letters [of] answer to her Majesty's and yours. [Nos. 628, 629.] At my return through Dumbarton I left your letter, mine and John Cunningham's with John Auchinross (Fluour) to be sent to MacLean. He told me that he heard that Captains Thornton and Bigge h[ad] met and sunk, near the Isle of Rathlin, thirteen of the islesmen's galleys and taken only one man, who by swimming held himself above the water; and, learning by him that they were going to Tyrone and were the hindmost of all the rest who had spoiled Clandeboy's (Clanobwy) country and had gone with the spoils to the isle of Copeland (Coiplan), they made presently to the isle and there have with shot broken their galleys and boats, and by advice from Carrickfergus (Craggfargus) have taken the principals and given the rest leave to repair their vessels and return upon promise that they serve as her Majesty pleases. Auchinross hopes that they are overthrown and fully stayed, and in joy thereof we drank wine freely. There we heard that the Spanish galleys had burnt Penzance (Pinsand) and two or three other towns at the Land's End, in Cornwall, and made cruel spoils of all they could get. I trust I have again fully certified Mr. Aston that he and Sir James Sandilands may have the benefit of the men of Strabane (Traibaine) as something will be done now, when the Duke's countenance when he sits in justice ayre at Glasgow may help the matter.

John Auchinross says the only way to "wrack" Tyrone is to pursue him in the north with a force of Scottish islesmen, and that MacLean will undertake this on condition that he may have 500 or 600 good soldiers of her Majesty's with him, and certain ships to keep his galleys that he may pursue Tyrone on one side and the Lord Deputy on the other, and he "looketh" many of Tyrone's company shall come to him; and if Captain Thornton has got his victory MacLean may go presently to Ireland, otherwise he can [not ?] leave Scotland till he has some surety of the islesmen by pledges to Argyll or himself, which (as "of himself" and not for her Majesty's service) he will persuade Argyll to seek for and help him to them. Argyll does not know that her Majesty has intelligence with MacLean, nor that MacLean has his purpose to seek the subjection of these men for her service, albeit her Majesty's letter does, as it were, touch and persuade MacLean's employment therein. MacLean does not care plainly to enter into action for her Majesty [? except] upon surety there, or yet of the King and Argyll; and surely he can do much. John Auchinross accounts the charge to be but small, saying MacLean will almost endure his own charge and find our men beef enough [in order] "to have suche a partie and doinge against Tyrone." MacLean is to be dealt with at Glencairn's house by Blantyre for a course for helping the King to his duties out of the Isles and Kintyre and will set it forward little to these islanders' profit; and with regard of her Majesty's service I am like to see him quietly there and hear further, and so [shall] advertise to you. The matter is of such importance and will be of more if Spaniards go to them (as it is said they are daily looked for), that some that had power "to condition at the rebounde of the ball, for her Majesty's advantage," might do much good here in this matter. Edinburgh. Signed: George Nicolson.

3 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes. Names in cipher deciphered.

634. Money for James VI. [Aug. 11.]

Mandate under the Privy Seal of England to the Treasurer and Chamberlains of the Exchequer to pay to David Foulis (Fowles), esquire, Clerk of the Chamber to the King of Scotland, or to such as he shall assign, 3000l. to be by the said David conveyed to the King or disposed of as the King by his letters has authorised him.

p. Endorsed by Sir Robert Cecil.

635. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 15.]

To accompany and convey the other letters to you I write the things following as I am given to understand them, viz.: the King and Queen are lovingly together now at Falkland. The King is to go to Stirling to-morrow and so to his buck hunting in Lennox and Clydesdale, and afterwards to return to the Queen to St. Johnstone, there to receive the communion together. The Queen first goes to Sir Robert Melville's house, and Rothes's house and other places before she goes to St. Johnstone. Mar and she have spoken by the King's means. At first she was very sharp with Mar, but in the end gave him good countenance.

Mr. Patrick Galloway in his sermon was "occasioned" to teach of the duties of man and wife towards each other, and spoke so persuasively for the keeping of their duties therein that the Queen spoke and conferred with him and gave good ear to his advice and promises to follow the same, and has said that she will have him with her. The King caused Mr. David Lindsay to travail with the Queen to see what he could "try out of them"; whereupon Mr. David and the Queen had long conference, and in the end the Queen said "Lett 4 (The King) be plaine with E. (the Queen) and E. should be plaine with 4," which Mr. David Lindsay "shewed" to the King, causing him to receive the same even then out of the Queen's own mouth. Whereupon there was good and kind countenance and behaviour between them, both of them agreeing to satisfy the other; so that Mr. David looks that ere this the King knows who has persuaded the Queen to these former courses, and the Queen, who has moved the King to the strangeness with her; and that some will be found to have dealt doubly and dangerously with them both. The King intends by little and little to draw the Queen to where Mar is, and there to stay her from these parts and the company of Buccleuch, Cessford and the rest. Mr. David holds the Chancellor to be very honest between both parties and to be for the Queen; but whatsoever he does, it is with consent and leave of the Master of Glamis, Buccleuch and Cessford, who, if they should know him to do otherwise, would be his greatest enemies and most dangerous, as I conceive. Mark whether you ever see him give up with those men or no, "but still directlie or indirectlie do for them."

Lord Hume has promised to follow the King and is presently with him, so that it is held that the Queen's faction is breaking. Nevertheless some think that as the King intends by policy to win the Queen, so the Queen intends to win the King for the advantage of that side; and I pray God that this prove not too true [and] that "in these faire flowers there prove not yet sharp prickis."

As to the slaughter of David Forrester, Mar, I think, shall give assurance and keep in fair terms with such of the Livingstones and Bruces as were not executioners of David's murder; the murderers are to be banished the country by their own friends, and that matter shall, I trust, calm, and thereby Mar be the freer to do his other great affairs for the King, towards whom he is most honest [as] the King thinks and most good men say.

The King, hearing that Mr. Walter Balcanqual (Balquhanquill) has in pulpit spoken as if Captain James Stewart had been at Court and were to be brought in again, is offended and intends to cause him to give up his author [i.e. name his authority]. But by former notes you know Mar will not deal with Captain James. Mr. David Black of St. Andrews, having preached some things of the late Queen of Scots' contempt of the Word and of the punishment that God laid upon her for it, making her end a spectacle to the world, the Laird of Burleigh, being in displeasure with the town, "delated" Mr. Black to the King as having called the Queen a whore and a murderer; whereon the King was at first marvellously offended, and by reason of hard reasoning with Mr. Andrew Melville his anger was the more. Yet Mr. David Lindsay and Mr. James Balfour and other commissioners for the Kirk (being with the King to give him advice for the choosing of two ministers instead of Mr. John Craig, being old and now almost past teaching, and of John Duncanson, appointed to wait on the young Prince's Court at Stirling, and which yet is deferred) have taken examination of the matter and pacified his Majesty, being much furthered by Mr. George Hume; and Mr. Black is hereafter to be more circumspect in his words and Mr. Melville more reverent in his reasoning with the King, and Burleigh taught to be more wary in his information, "suppose" [even if] some say he now informed but the truth.

Angus's friends are dealing for his bringing in "and satisfieng of the King the Duke for his goodwill, wherein they offer, I heare, 2000 crowenes, and with the Kirk" [sic], and it is thought in the end he shall prevail. But I persuade myself the King will also have her Majesty's allowance thereof before full agreement thereto, for still more and more he becomes more frank and frank for her Majesty's causes here. Upon my letters to Mr. Aston and his dealing with the King, his Majesty has written earnestly to Argyll for Irish matters and given commission to Mr. Aston to arrest and take the benefit of the men of Strabane in Glasgow, of whom I have also given advertisement into Ireland, that if they be missed here they may be hit there. The King was very glad to hear that our ship had hit upon his rebellious islanders.

After the King's return to St. Johnstone he and the Queen will go to Falkland and there stay some time, and after that they are both to go to Stirling. The King, as by the minute enclosed you may perceive, is to go to Dumfries for taking order with his Borders, which are far out of order, for Johnstone has surprised a house of Drumlanrig's and defaced it, and the Maxwells and he are entering into troubles. Edinburgh. Signed: George Nicolson.

Postscript.—I do not touch upon the matters certified by Mr. Robert Bruce, but leave them to his own to you, praying you to return his again in any case, for you know he loves and prays for her Majesty's estate and will never leave anything undone that may profit the same; as also the rest of them pray for her Majesty much to my comfort, therefore I would that still their goodwill should be quiet and secret and nothing arise by us to their hurt.

21/8 pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes.

Enclosure with the preceding.

(Proclamation of James VI. (fn. 11) )

Printed in Register of Privy Council, v. 228–229; inventoried in Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, ii. 258.

Proclamation for a muster at Dumfries on 20th October to attend the King for taking measures for the preservation of peace on the Borders; inasmuch as some pledges promised by broken men for their good behaviour have not come in, and others have gone home from their place of ward. 24th July, Edinburgh.

Copy. Small strip of paper. Endorsed by Nicolson: "Proclamation for the kingis jorney to the bordors." "Mynute of the procla[ma]cion for the Kingis rode, 20 Octobris next. Bot it is not like to h[o]ld."

636. Roger Aston to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 15.]

Since my last I have been employed to the Chancellor upon some privy affairs of the King's, chiefly to understand of him what knowledge he had or whether he was privy to any course to have been attempted either against the King or any other at his last being in Edinburgh, as also what was the conclusion of the Master of Glamis, Hume, Buccleuch and Cessford after the King's coming out of the town. The Chancellor seemed to deny he knew of any such thing, but I know it was rather for fear than any other "wayes." He has undertaken upon his life and credit that nothing shall be attempted but the King shall be "forsene" of it in due time. Our great storms have become calmer than they were. Our great champions have gone home. The Queen has come to Falkland and seems to be very obedient to the King and promises never to meddle with any thing that does not stand with his good liking. There was never greater appearance of love between them than at this time, and "she hath promest fer" [? far, or fair].

On Sunday last Mr. Patrick Galloway preached before the King and Queen in Falkland, having for his ordinary text the creation of women out of the side of man. He handled the matter in such sort that he plainly set down the duty of a woman to her husband in very wise and loving sort, keeping the Word for his warrant. After noon the Queen sent for him and conferred with him at great length. He dealt both freely and plainly with her, which she took in very good part and has promised to follow his counsel, and has desired that he may be continually with her.

The King understands it is but the practice of such as care not how the world goes that has moved the Queen to these courses of the Prince. She says the cause of her earnest suit was that she thought she should not be crossed by any subject, but that she had as much credit as might countervail any; and she now says, "Seing it is the King's wil, I am vere wele contentt," and so has left off that purpose and is willing to go to Stirling or where the King pleases. Mar and she are very well reconciled by all appearances. She was "something hard" in the beginning, seeming rather to do it for the King's pleasure than any goodwill to him. Since then it is better and better. Some will say all this is but policy, and that it is the counsel of such as were in the former practice that the Queen should yield to the King's will and thereby the better attain to her purpose, seeing the peril was great to attain to it by any other means. Their violent courses were refused by sundry of their confederates, chiefly the Chancellor, who thereupon grew into some suspicion with them; yet he handles the matter so that he keeps credit with both.

All things are now quiet. Lord Hume is in Court attending as watchman to the Queen with others joined in that commission; also there are others attending Hume to keep him sure, knowing his nature to be inconstant, although the Master of Glamis has confidence in him. The King does not understand the substance of all, neither does any deal freely with him since the Prior's departing. For the avoiding of all inconveniences the King is determined that the Queen shall remain where he is himself, that others shall not have such access as they have had. At his return from the west country he goes to St. Johnstone and there receives the communion. From thence he and the Queen go to Stirling for a while, and then to Linlithgow, where they will remain most part of the winter. As the King has to do he will come to Edinburgh and return to the Queen, so that by this there shall not be access to practise. This course is "led" by the King and none knows of it but myself and one other.

Advertisement is come that a pinnace of her Majesty's has overthrown Angus MacConnell's men, whereat the King rejoices as much as if Bothwell were there. There has been at the King within these four days a servant of Argyll declaring that he has stayed sundry of the islanders from going to Ireland. Whether it be true or not, I know not. But this I know: upon his advertisement the King wrote a loving letter to him and gave him great thanks and granted him a suit which he was before refused. It was a tack of the herring customs, which Ardkinglass had before.

George Nicolson wrote me for the obtaining of a commission to stay certain furnishing of her Majesty's rebels out of Glasgow. I have obtained the commission accordingly and am minded to put it in execution at the King's coming to Dumbarton. I have purchased a commandment to the Duke to see the said commission "efectuatt," as he is going thither to hold ayre court, where I shall be for that effect.

Some information has been made here that Mr. David Black, minister of St. Andrews, had exclaimed against the King's mother, "bringging her in for an exampel" [in] that, being reproved by Mr. Knox (Knokes), she contemned the Word, for which she was banished and died miserably. Upon this he was sent for "with" one of the ministers. The matter is so handled that they have all departed good friends and the King is very well satisfied. To-morrow the King goes to Stirling, and from thence to Dumbarton.

Mr. David Foulis has written home that he is very well used by her Majesty and in good hope to accomplish all things to his contentment. I came this day from Court on some affairs of my own. To-morrow I meet the King at Stirling. There has been a constant bruit that Captain James Stewart had come to Court, as was said by Mr. Walter Balcanqual (Macankel) in the pulpit; but no such matter is either thought or meant.

Lady Logie has come out of Denmark and she brought the Queen a commission from her mother, to obey the King's will in all things, as she would have her blessing. It seems this and other things shall work effect. In short time it will appear. I am in good hope that all matters shall succeed well, and yet many are doubtful. If her Majesty and the King sort well others will be the lother to deal. Here is nothing to be hoped for but only in himself. Edinburgh. Unsigned: but bottom of the page cut away.

pp. In Roger Aston's hand. Addressed in the same hand. Endorsed by Robert Bowes.

637. Mr. John Colville to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 18.] Printed in Colville's Letters, p. 174.

Yesternight his Majesty came hither from Falkland accompanied with the Duke, Mar and Hume. He remains here till the 20th, then goes to Inchmurrin and Hamilton and returns here about the beginning of next month. The Queen has promised to come to Stirling, but so unwillingly that I doubt thereof. Yet nothing will be done in trial of the last matter till they come thither, and Hume and Linclouden are busy to have all composed and "mitigat."

The Master of Glamis went out of Edinburgh on the 14th or 15th and sent one to Hume to see if the King would suffer him to see him in his by-going; which was refused.

Cessford has "gevin wp" with the Abbot of Melrose and is to lead certain teinds pertaining to him and his father, the Earl of Morton, which will also make a great stir, and we think it will put Hume and Cessford by the ears; for it is thought that Morton will desire all his friendship except the Master of Glamis—that is to say, the Duke, Argyll, Mar, Hume, Lindsay, Rothes —to give up in like manner with Cessford. If this be, you know what may ensue. Unsigned.

1 p. In Mr. John Colville's hand. Addressed: "To 5." Endorsed by Robert Bowes.

638. Mr. John Colville to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 20.] Printed in Colville's Letters, p. 175.

This unseasonable weather stays his Majesty here two days more. But his journey "holdis out" on the 22nd to Inchmurrin, then to Hamilton and back here about 3rd or 4th September. The Chancellor is ordered to meet the King at Hamilton for revealing all promised, which if he "schift" or delay more the King will take offensively, inasmuch as yesternight he said (but privately) that he should be dis-chancellored if he used subterfuges.

I think that Hamilton and Mar shall enter into sure friendship, for Hamilton's son was here for that same effect, and I am like again to fall into credit with Hamilton. Mar spoke with the Queen at the King's earnest request— but it was so "coldlie" that it has done more ill than good. Sir George Hume and Sir Robert Melville think to labour a reconciliation betwixt Mar and the Chancellor, but I think it will not be.

Orkney is now at Lindores upon his journey home, repenting that he has spent so much time and substance in vain. The Queen is there also, wherewith the King is nothing content. Mr. Primrose can tell more of this than can be written. [There is] nothing but lurking hatred, disguised with cunning dissimulation, betwixt the King and Queen, each intending by sleight to overcome the other.

The Duke is in Glasgow holding Justice Court, which will breed him great unkindness, as ordinarily such things have done. Mr. David Foulis has written home that he is "crossed thair." It were good to learn what he meant. There will be a great stir this harvest betwixt the Abbot of Melrose and Cessford about the leading of some teinds there. Stirling. Unsigned.

pp. In Mr. John Colville's hand. Addressed: "To 5." Endorsed by Robert Bowes. Names in cipher deciphered.

639. Roger Aston to George Nicolson. [Aug. 20.]

The overthrow of the highlandmen is confirmed by the Earl of Argyll. The manner of their overthrow,—they foregathered with a merchant ship laden with wine, who gave them four or five tuns to pass away with the rest. That night they drank freely. The merchant passing from them met with some of her Majesty's ships and gave them knowledge where the highlandmen were. In the morning they got "a waking." They have slain many of them and drove them to a little isle, where they landed. But the island being little and wanting covert they slew them there out of their ships, as well as on the water. Such as escaped unslain they have given as pledges to the Deputy. MacLeod Harris landed with his folks and was charged by a company of horse. He was driven back to his boats and many of his men slain. The King is very sorry there were any pledges taken, and that all were not put to the sword. The weather here is such that no man may stir out of a house; which has stayed the King here two days longer than he meant. This day I follow the Duke to Glasgow about the business you wot of. Stirling. Signed: Roger Aston.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes.

640. James VI. to Elizabeth. [Aug. 20.]

At the supplication of the complainer, our subject, George Pedie, we desire you that now at last, seeing that by his poverty and age he is not able to remain in further process, you would give command that he may have reason able redress of his goods wrongfully taken by your subjects; as we have not denied equity to sundry of yours. Holyroodhouse. Signed: James R.

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

641. Lauchlan MacLean of Dowart to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 22.]

I have received your letter to which John Auchinross made answer in his letter [No. 602]. Being desired by my cousin, Argyll, to repair to him at Dunoon, I appointed Auchinross to meet me there, and he had received from George Nicolson your letter of 24th July from Greenwich. For the honourable token that her Majesty has commanded should be sent to me I render my duty of humble service. John Cunningham "schew" me that the token should be 1000 crowns. Let them be sent to George Nicolson, whom I perceive to be careful and diligent in the affairs committed to him, and when he makes me "foirsein" thereof, they shall be received by myself or John. I did light on eight or nine hundred that were following the rest, stayed them and yet have some of them. You may perceive from this letter from Angus MacConnell (which you shall receive) that they were of mind to "persew" the Isle of Man, therefore he wrote to John MacIan (M'Eane) of Ardnamurchan (Ardinwich)— who may command 200 men of his own—to follow him; and wrote also to other commanders of the rest that were to follow, whom I stayed. The bearer of this [Angus's] letter was apprehended in his going to MacIan of Ardnamurchan by one of mine and brought to me. Your captains on the coast of Ireland could never have better advantage than they had of our Scotsmen after their "heirschip" south of Carrickfergus and return to Coiplan Isles with the plunder. They might have broken all their galleys and made them all to perish in that isle; yet they spared their lives and have received but four servants in pledges whereas indeed they would have rendered principals if desired, such was their danger. Some that were there have shown me the same. It is most true that after the rendering of their pledges they are bound by writ to Tyrone's service and have received largely of his gear, even more than was promised before their going over. Angus MacConnell received 400l. sterling more than the rest, with six horses "that is in cuming," only to move the rest forward in this action.

After all, MacLeod Lewis's men "buik" him, for he had there 800 of his own, and neither Angus MacConnell nor Donald Gorm commands as many of his own. These men would not suffer their master to remain, where through "thair in camp was lyiklie to slay utheris." In the end MacLeod Lewis has returned home to Scotland, for he was at Douart since my coming here, and has sent his special servants to me. Angus MacConnell and Donald Gorm are also returned home, and Angus, thinking shame that "materis ar nocht keipit to the Erle," has sent his son, named Angus, with 600 men. Well I know that three hundred are better than the six hundred, for there remained with him not a hundred of his father's men.

As Auchinross wrote that I made "moyan" among them in their going to Ireland, so now the same is come to perfection by MacLeod Lewis. Angus MacConnell's son will return shortly, for the work is in hand to move that company to "skaill." MacLeod Lewis by my "moyan" and my "melling" with their men have moved them to return, and not the pinnace and pledges made to your captains, of little foresight, as appears, for they [the islesmen] might easily obtain better men of yours than those whom your captains have, and thereby relieve their own men and serve against you. Yet I would they were not delivered without my counsel, for, although the men be "sobir" [inconsiderable], the shame is great to our Scottishmen to lose them. It is "in handis" that Argyll shall have pledges of all them that passed to Ireland, whereanent I once used such "moyan" that pledges were offered to him, which through "unskillit doing" he "oursaw." We must enter to our former "convoy and moyan" to have pledges of them all, wherein I shall spare neither gair nor craft.

MacLeod Harris, in some wrath with the Clandonald and with Donald Gorm and Angus MacConnell, has remained with O'Donnell with 600 men, who are better than any thousand the Earl has. It may chance that if these men come home I may make them serve you against him. Tyrone is presently to pursue your lands on the one side and O'Donnell on the other. They think to harm you much by this way. If my opinion be followed Tyrone and O'Donnell shall be pursued on both sides, to wit, by your Irish force on the one side, and by Argyll's and mine, with myself present, on this side. I wish that you would move Argyll to furnish 2000 men. I shall furnish other 2000 and I would have six or eight hundred of your "fyirmen" with hagbuts and 400 pike-men. If I were once landed in Ireland with this company, having three or four ships to keep our galleys, I hope in God the Earl should lose that name before our return. If you think "to follow out ane doing" against the Earl, your own coming to Scotland is very necessary for taking order hereanent, for we shall lack no goodwill to make her Majesty's service go forward, and shall not spare the venturing of ourself and friends therein.

Your presence is most necessary that you might "speik" Argyll herein, for I understand that he will do much "for" your request. Also I have two young boys, the sons of my cousins that were cruelly murdered by Tyrone, and if they of Ireland once knew that I had landed there, I "tak opinioun" that sundry of them would leave him and assist me "in his contrair." I know that there are sundry gentlemen who follow him against their will.

I send my duty of humble service to her Majesty and commendations to Sir Robert Cecil. Let me know of anything in Scotland that may pleasure Sir Robert, or I shall think that you dissimulate with me. I am here in Argyle at pastime and hunting with the Earl. I have respect to other kind of hunting than this present hunting of deer. As you have begun to pledge your credit for me therein I desire you to insist that I shall serve her Majesty in Ireland and do her service there as "trew as ony he that serves her." Garvie in Argyle. Signed: Lauchlane M'Lane off Doward.

Postscript.—Your presence here is very necessary, for by your "moyan" and mine Argyll would follow our counsel in this action. I think the token shall be sent to George [Nicolson] shortly. If you would have me send someone to you for it, upon your advertisement I shall send John [Auchinross].

12/3 pp. In the hand of John Auchinross. Addressed. Endorsed by Robert Bowes. Wafer signet.

642. John Auchinross to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 22.]

Since my first letter I have been careful and diligent in the affairs committed to me, and shall not fail to continue to the final end of the action in hand. I perceive by your former [letter] to my master that John Cunningham "did mistak Sir Robertis speiking and did use ane uthir speiche" before my master than was committed to him. Of truth he spoke according as my master wrote, [No. 581] "quhairin necligentlye he hes procedit." My master had opinion that it was "uthirvayes nor he spak" when he saw his neighbours make for Ireland. We were not idle in causing of return, and are presently working turns for the weal of the cause. Your presence here would do much, therefore consider the same, as the Council think the matter of weight. You know well the Earl (fn. 12) is not idle. Garvie in Argyle. Signed: Johne Achinros.

p. Addressed. Endorsed by Robert Bowes. Wafer signet.

643. John Archibald to George Nicolson. [Aug. 22.]

Late advertisement has come that Angus MacConnell has retired from Ireland with the loss of the most part of his best men. The occasion for his sudden return is not so much the loss that he has sustained as that certain conditions that were promised to him by O'Donnell and O'Neill he did not find perfected when he came there. Argyll has lately by letter acquainted the King that Angus has come home to his own country, and is presently in determination to invade MacConnell's country if he does not condescend to such conditions as are to be "proponit" to him, and especially for repairing of some injuries done to his friends. MacCondochy is lately sent for by direction sent to him in Angus MacConnell's company. "Alwayis" he is stayed by young Lawers (Junior) as yet, and shall stay until he learn of Mr. Bowes's mind.

The sons of Sorley Boy are these that most specially conduct Donald Gorme and his company in Ireland, and by whose advice he does all his turns there. "Junior" is presently in Angus MacConnell's country and will shortly advertise me of Angus's whole proceedings together with the certainty of Donald Gorm's return. Stirling. Signed: Filius.

Postscript.—About Monday next you shall learn of "Junior's" advertisement and proceeding.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by Robert Bowes: "Mr. John Archbalde to George Nycolson. Dalling [sic] xxii° Aug. 1595."

644. George Nicolson to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 22.]

As yet I hear nothing from Argyll or MacLean further than Mr. George Erskine wrote to me, which in my last, of the 19th, I sent to you. (fn. 13) I hear that on the 16th MacLean came to where I had been with Argyll, and I having gone from there he followed me. I look still to hear of his "dyatt" and to see him at Glencairn's house; yet it is not good to defer things, but with speed to give Argyll and MacLean comfort and good deed, for the matters of Ireland are said here to be but beginning to trouble the estate of England. The King is glad of the news which I certified before, and is sorry that they of Angus MacConnell's party were no better rewarded, as by Roger Aston's letter you may perceive. [No. 639.]

There is speech here now that the King of Spain has another fleet coming home with more treasure and more forces to be sent abroad, and that there is a stay of all ships in Spain for keeping close the King's purposes. Mr. Robert Bruce is advertised that the King of Spain has directed Huntly and Errol especially, and others of that faction, to return to Scotland either upon agreement with the King and Kirk upon any condition whatsoever or by force if other ways they cannot. Otherwise, the King of Spain says they can do him no pleasure. Huntly and Errol even in places where they are seem to reject all overtures and offers from Spain, and to rest on the hope of favour from the King and Kirk here in case of their good behaviour to the estate of Scotland according to their bonds and promise at departure. But all is feigned, the better to establish them in Scotland for the King of Spain's advantage and for the receipt of his forces, which Mr. Bruce thinks shall come this year.

Forbes has written to another of the Kirk signifying that ("for suche like platt") some are to be employed out of the bounds of Huntly and Errol to the King and Kirk for Huntly and Errol, and wishing the Kirk not to suffer their return to be granted; and "sure" the Kirk will never agree that they shall return. The King, it is thought, shall be won with their fair offers, but if he does it I am deceived, provided that her Majesty do any thing for him (not as importuned but of her own accord and love); I mean if any consideration be had of his charges against the Papist Earls. I write something plainly. But I protest my duty leads me to this, thinking it at this time a matter of no small moment, if these things be true, as I cannot say but they may be.

The King is still at Stirling, but is shortly to go hunting. Mar for certain is now most dear to him and I look that Mr. John Colville shall be shortly able to do good service to her Majesty. I find he has best knowledge now of things here, for he knows what Mar does and also has intelligence of the Chancellor's actions.

The Chancellor is sick, as I hear, and some say thereby will be excused from satisfying the King's turn anent the leaving of the Master of Glamis, Cessford and Buccleuch and discovery of their intentions, which the King means to punish if found to have been evil. Some say that the side of the Chancellor are preparing for favour in England if they be "straited." But if that be, you will know better than they that say so.

As concerning the receiving of Captain James [Stewart], there is no such matter meant in Court; neither will Angus's suit be heard, which now is hushed again. Cessford and Melrose (Morton's son) are likely to disagree, which will do Mar good. The Master of Glamis is at home, and sought to have spoken with the King, and lay at Newhouse awaiting thereon when the King was at Falkland; but, finding that the King was not very willing "thereof," he has gone home. Some say he had contentment by message from the King. The Queen is now, I think, at St. Johnstone and thereabouts, and some say that she is not going to Stirling for all this. All other things must needs yet stand quiet, but how long I know not. Edinburgh. Signed: Geo. Nicolson.

Postscript.—In any case let the least matters I write as well as the greatest be kept secret.

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

645. Mr. George Erskine to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 24.]

Since my last the Clandonald are come home and MacLeod of Lewis. MacLeod has passed home by persuasion of my lord [Argyll] and has left the Clandonald. MacLeod of Harris (the Heariche) is still in Ireland in great anger for revenge, if possible, for such scathe and dishonour as he has gotten. Sixteen gentlemen of his house, two or three of them very special gentlemen, are slain "to him" in an encounter. Argyll's messenger is returned, without availing to withdraw MacLeod of Harris from these parts. He and his whole people are so stirred to anger by their last dishonour that they have vowed never to leave Ireland if it be not repaired to their contentment.

This people is of all the islesmen the most courageous and of best spirit; of his chiefest men there remain only 800. Now, I think the 600l. I mentioned in my last letter shall not be necessary in that behalf, in respect that MacLeod of Harris is not yet returned to Argyll's devotion; but send with diligence what her Majesty thinks good to bestow on MacLean, MacIan, the Captain of Clanranald and such others as he has already devoted to his obedience.

MacLean has been here these eight days bygone with Argyll. As yet they have resolved on no solid course. Both the chieftains of the Clandonald are in Islay. They have given pledges to the captains of her Majesty's ships, but they "pas" [? panse, think] not of their pledges. If they take purpose hereafter to stir, their natures are such, and so naughty of themselves, that they account not of men's lives.

The Clandonald has directed anew to Argyll, desiring a meeting, which he means to satisfy only for staying them from further enterprise "off" Ireland. If they will not stay he proposes to make war against them, and presently is to lay grounds with MacLean and the Captain of Clanranald (who is to be at him within two or three days) for that effect, provided her Majesty bear the best part of the charges, which is but reasonable.

There is amongst the islesmen great grudge and regret for the loss of their two ships and many counsels how to redress their dishonour. Of their greatest secrets I hope within few days to be participant. Now a most proper occasion is offered to disburden her Majesty of these islesmen's further doing against Ireland and should be embraced. A little "travell" and expense now will do more than twenty times as much at another time. I hope the last experience may make her Majesty wise enough, for it shall not be possible to Argyll to dissolve their council and forces if again they assemble themselves. We have abstracted one of their number—MacLeod of Lewis—and we doubt not that, if he find some commodity by Argyll such as he had of the Clandonald, he shall become soundly for him and enemy to them. Also, we have assured friends already—MacLean, Captain of Clanranald, MacKinnon, MacNeill of Barra, MacLean of Lochbuy, and (we believe) MacIan, to whom Argyll is to promise contentment from her Majesty, for they are people that love only their own profit, without which they are no ways sure. It is his intention to cause them make war upon the Clandonald with his own assistance. Already he has put between them and the Clandonald suspicions and jealousies, which we foster daily, as the importance of our business requires. If her Majesty will abstract these people from further passing into Ireland, let money be sent with diligence according to the importance of these affairs. But if she believe that she is sufficiently assured by the Clandonald's pledges (which, I certify you, they little respect), let me be advertised with all possible diligence, that Argyll may not continue in making of great expenses upon what is already well enough settled. For, if she only entertain him with words and put him alone to make the charges of her affairs, when at any time coming she shall have to do with his friendship perhaps it will not be so ready as at present. I will expect answer with diligence, for I suppose no solid course shall be followed until it be known what "moyen" her Majesty will give to prosecute this business. Roseneath. Signed: George Areskyn.

pp. Holograph, also address. Endorsed by George Nicolson: "Mr. Geo. Erskyn. Rosened 24 August, Edenburgh 1 Sept., 1595. Per Ro. Erskin. This was sent to me when I was gon to the King, and I founde it at my returne." Faded.

646. Mr. John Colville to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 24.] Printed in Colville's Letters, p. 176.

On the 22nd his Majesty rode to Inchmurrin. On the 23rd he "beis" in Hamilton and remains till 3rd or 4th September, then returns to this town, and then to Falkland. I think there shall be much ado to bring the Queen to Stirling, and the King will go first to them to Falkland, but "determinatlie" all stays till the Queen comes to Stirling. Heart burning enough increases betwixt the King and Queen though both dissemble marvellously, and there lack not wicked ones to blow the bellows, especially the Chancellor, who has advertised the King that nothing "spillis" [? corrupts] the Queen but Edinburgh, and therefore wishes him to hold them out of Edinburgh. By this ruse he pleases the King and causes the Queen to think that Mar has given this counsel, the more to irritate her against Mar.

On the 22nd the Chancellor sent one here desiring that the King would not call "on" him till he came to Falkland, which is with great difficulty granted. If he makes any more delay or be not plain at his coming, as he has promised, the King affirms to dis-chancellor him, as I wrote before. Of the act "fraudfullie" deleted in favour of Cessford and a new command given for inserting again thereof I have written at length to Mr. Archibald Primrose. The lords and lairds suspected for the late murder are to give in offers to Mar, thinking thereby to mitigate matters. There is appearance of a good friendship to be made betwixt the Duke, Hamilton and Mar, which is a matter that I labour much "into." There was appearance at his Majesty's going out of this town of a trouble betwixt Lord Glamis and the Master, for which cause one Walter Neice was sent to charge the Master to render the house of Glamis to the young lord. But this day we hear that the Master has received him within the house kindly, and so they are likely to agree. There is yet nothing done for Angus, for though the Church favours him because he is thought the most innocent Papist of all, yet, lest his favour be a preparative to Huntly, I think he shall receive no condition at all. Stirling. Unsigned.

Postscript.—This winter the King minds not to "haunt" much in Edinburgh, but at Stirling, Linlithgow and Falkland.

2 pp. In Mr. John Colville's hand. Addressed in the same hand: "To 5." Endorsed by Robert Bowes. Most of the endorsement is torn off.

647. Queen Anne to Elizabeth. [Aug. 25.]

Being touched with a pitiful regard towards the miserable condition of this poor, aged man, "damnefyed" and impoverished twice by the piracy and "receate" of your subjects and twice by your own ships (as is specified in his complaint), we beseech you that by your strait commandment he may have redress of his losses with speed, in respect that after his eight years' suit his decaying strength will not permit him to await upon longer process. Holyroodhouse. Signed: Anna R.

pp. Addressed. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk. Red wax seal; blue silk fastening.

648. George Nicolson to [Robert Bowes]. [Aug. 25.]

This day I received your letter of the 18th, with her Majesty's to the King, for the delivery whereof I shall ride towards him to-morrow, and the next day hope to be with his Majesty at Inchmurrin or Dumbarton and deliver it in manner and with such declaration of the need of order to be given to Border causes as you have directed, and wherein, even although the time be unproper and troublesome to his Majesty, I doubt not but he will take present order, for of his own nature he dislikes such "thifte" and misrule. It is well that this care is taken to prevent the worst, otherwise as the nights increased so apparently would theft and disorders. "Allwaies" you may see how needful it is that some of account were here for Border and Irish matters and the causes of this estate, and to look to the proceedings of the Papist Earls.

I hear that the most of the islesmen are indeed broken and returned, saving the tutor of MacLeod of Harris, who is in hope to revenge his losses and that the men taken by our ships were not the chief persons, but the meanest of their companies. So it is thought our men are deceived and have no sure hold of them. Young Lawers's marriage keeps him from this service, but he will now again attend it. What Mr. John Archibald writes I leave to his own letter. But it seems to me that these matters are too long deferred with words and require more haste.

As to this estate, it will rest as it did till the King's return. The Chancellor is well again, the Secretary tells me. The Maxwells, Drumlanrig and their whole friends are suiting to "lay of" Buccleuch from partying Johnstone, and how it will go between Morton and Cessford about the tithe of Langmerston, I know not. But I hear Morton, thinking much that the Chancellor has discharged Cessford's bond by act of Council given for Andrew Ker of Newhall (without Morton's privity and to the casting loose of Andrew to the taking up of that tithe from him), has given up kindness with the Chancellor. All other things I leave to the others herewith from Mr. Colville, who, I see, will "ones be on foote again." Edinburgh. Signed: Geo Nicolson.

Postscript.—I beseech you to consider that I cannot look to these troubles likely to arise here, and get me discharged.

1 p. Holograph. No fly-leaf, address or endorsement.

649. News from Scotland. [1595.] [Aug. 25.]

"From Edinburgh the 25 of August."

The Queen and Mar are agreed de novo that the Prince shall not be transported from Mar's custody unless the three Estates of the realm allow thereof. Angus shall be banished from Scotland. He shall pay to Lodovic, Duke of Lennox, 3000 French crowns, whereupon his children shall be restored to his lands and he shall have the just half of the rent for his lifetime. Captain Gray has returned from France with a "literall" answer (fn. 14) to the King. I have spoken [to] him myself, and he says that a French ambassador shall be directed to Scotland shortly. When this letter is delivered to the Secretary I shall advertise the contents.

The King has directed an . . . ed that Buccleuch shall be banished. The . . . and Lord Hume are afraid at this . . . secretly spoken that new . . . fficer . . . to the Borders. All help is refused to Johnstone. The ministers are now presently . . . Mar dissuading him to introduce the [Chan]cellor, James Stewart, in Court, for now they preach publicly that he will pervert omnia divina et humana. But in the meantime he is very privy with the King.

The Lord Chancellor is sick of "the fevar terse," as he gives out, and therefore he passes daily from place to place in divers companies, "of policie" that in case the King should send some sudden charge against him it shall not be known at an instant where he may be found. Lord Hume these ten days bygone does the like. It is supposed that the King shall not go to Hamilton at this time in respect of the aforesaid matters.

1 p. In a Scottish hand. Endorsed by Burghley's clerk: "Advises out of Scotland." Edge decayed.

650. Roger Aston to George Nicolson. [Aug. 26.]

I have been in Glasgow, where I caused to be apprehended the two men you gave me the names of, viz., William Wilson and John Wilson, with John Ba, the factor of Strabane in Ireland. Afterwards they were examined by the Prior of Blantyre and the Laird of Minto (Mentoo), Provost of the town, the Duke being present. They confessed there was some wine and "accavity" (fn. 15) to be transported to Strabane and that it was already in a boat. Whereupon I seized the boat and arrested the goods. All I found was but two hogsheads of wine and some "acarity." The factor confessed he thought to have transported powder and halberts and other "fornesing," but finding the King's proclamation to the contrary durst not hazard.

I caused the man to give in surety that he would not transport any kind of provision. The Provost of the town, with all the honest men, has promised nothing shall be transported from thence. I have sufficient surety both of the men of the town who trafficked with him and also of the man himself to be answerable [that] they shall not transport any forbidden goods, nor any thing to any of her Majesty's rebels. Seeing that town stands chiefly by the trade of Ireland we have bidden them to transport their wares either to Dublin (Deueling), Waterford, Limerick (Lembricke) or any other town where her Majesty's good subjects dwell. The King is at present in Inchmurrin hunting. I am here in Cardonald (Cardonnel) with the Prior making merry. We look for the King here within three or four days after his coming out of the Isle [of Inchmurrin]. From hence he goes to Hamilton and so to Stirling about the 4th of September. No other thing here but hunting and hawking. Cardonald. Signed: Roger Aston.

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

651. John Auchinross to Robert Bowes. [Aug. 29.]

MacLean has been received by his Majesty of Scotland on Tuesday the 28th in the presence of Argyll and Mar, with many other noblemen. George Nicolson was present, and if there be "ane going fordvart" on your part against Tyrone, MacLean assures you that, if he be "desyrit" in her Majesty's service, he shall make the trouble and wars in Ireland to have no continuance after your meeting with him. In his name spare not to pledge your credit for his true service. As the same has been "quyetlie usit be him," [so] in the presence of her Majesty's rebels he will" profess him hir servand." Dumbarton. Signed: Johnne Achinros.

½ p. Addressed. Endorsed by Robert Bowes.

652. Money received by James VI. from Elizabeth. [Aug. ?.]

The King of Scots has received In anno 1592, 2000 li. In anno 1593, 2000 li. 10,000 li In anno 1594, 6000 li. which is after 3000 li. a year and 1000 li. over.

"Yf nowe in anno 1595 he have 2000 li., then hath he had in iiijor yeres 4000 li., which is but 3000 li. a yere."


  • 1. He would allow none to undertake any enterprise.
  • 2. This name is interpreted to denote Argyll by the editor of Colville's Letters, but the word is here used as the ordinary designation of the Prior of Blantyre, as is clear from p. 663.
  • 3. MacIan of Ardnamurchan.
  • 4. See Tytler's History of Scotland.
  • 5. The structure of this sentence is involved. "As ye heir in court the allowance and miscont[ent]ment heirof mak me acqwentit thairvith, quhilk ve regaird nocht only his hienes guid and princlie countenance to us being except for thayis quha ar in handis man rest quhair thay ar, and I think his Majestie sould esteym of this as of guid serwice."
  • 6. Nos. 628, 629, were enclosed with No. 633.
  • 7. i.e. the date peremptorily fixed for her journey.
  • 8. Mary Queen of Scots.
  • 9. ones: once: once for all.
  • 10. Page destroyed along the margin.
  • 11. This document is bound separately as vol. 56, No. 69; but it is clearly the "minute" enclosed by Nicolson in the preceding letter.
  • 12. In Thorpe's Calendar, this is taken to refer to Argyll. But quite probably it is Tyrone whose activity—a matter of weight—necessitates the presence of Bowes in Scotland.
  • 13. This letter is not here preserved. Erskine alludes to it in No. 645.
  • 14. An answer by letter.
  • 15. accavity: acqua vitæ, brandy.