Elizabeth: November 1565

Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 2, 1563-69. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1900.

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'Elizabeth: November 1565', in Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 2, 1563-69, (London, 1900) pp. 233-241. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/scotland/vol2/pp233-241 [accessed 18 April 2024]


In this section

296. Randolph to Cecil. [Nov. 7.]

I received the Queen's majesty's letters on Sunday last, and have travailed with this Queen, as commanded, finding her conformable in anything required touching the matters in question between her majesty and herself, as she may with her honour. The safe conduct is granted, and any it pleases her majesty to send shall be welcome. To-morrow, Thursday, I must be at Court to receive her grace's letters to the Queen's majesty. As this bearer the "courriar" came before her majesty's letters, and gives me not sufficient time to write at length, I "scribble" these few lines. Edinburgh, "this Wenseday." Signed: Tho. Randolphe.

Mr Killigrew writes to me that no man is to be paid. I beseech you he may have liberty to pay what is due me till the end of this month.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Indorsed (by Cecil's clerk):" . . . by the French currour."

297. Randolph to Elizabeth. [Nov. 8.]

The next day after receipt of your Highness letters on Sunday the 4th instant. I required audience of this Queen, and being "incontinente" sent for, delivered your majesty's letters, which she read herself, and I finding she wished rather to hear somewhat from me. than to speak herself, declared the sorrow of her friends to see the state of her country, then uttered my special charge "as nere as I coulde in the selfe same wordes I receaved from your majestie," and required her answer. She began iu this sort— I thoughte' says she, to have complayned to you of my good systars unkyndenes, that havinge writtin and made suche offers as I have done to have her good will, coulde gette no answere, but nowe you have taken awaye that occasion, and geven me some esperance that we shall enter agayne into our accustomed familiaritie, from which we are fawlen I knowe not by what misfortune, full sore agaynste my will, and looke what hathe proceded from me that maye justlie move her my good systar to displeasure, I will do no les then I have said to satisfie her that we maye lyve good frendes as before tyme we have done.' I said I trusted to return with good assurance thereof. 'What thynges ' says she, are theie that my good systar is greved with ?' I said I knew not all, but they must be great so to move your majesty. "What is it,' says she, 'that wolde content her?' I said I knew not your mind. 'Howe maye it be knowne' says she? I said I thought it would be best treated of by their commissioners. She said that would please her best, and so Monsieur de Foiz had advertised her, and desired me to procure what I could. I besought her, in case my words were called in question, to give me some testimony under her own hand. She said she would be advised and speak with me tomorrow: and to be more assured, desired me to let her hear again what I had said from your majesty, which I did. She found nothing strange, except naming her husband "the Lord Darnlie," whom above all things she desires to be called King. Next day at my return, she said she was minded to write to your majesty, and whoever came from you should be welcome—and the safe conduct should be made as I would have it. Hereon we stood long. She would have it subscribed by her husband as by herself, whereto I would not accord, seeing your majesty only acknowledged him as a subject and offender. It was concluded that it shall pass under her seal subscribed only by herself. I let her understand how your majesty had dealt with the lords, specially Murray, of whom also the ambassador had written. This she liked well and in many "sore and greveus" words uttered her impatient mind to hear him spoken of, or that anything could be in him why he should be beloved or favoured. She will rather lose half her realm than have him in the state he was in this country. Of the others she hears with more patience, and as I believe, by your majesty's means, or to gratify some in France, they may in time receive favour. The whole burden is laid on Murray: "butt wolde to God the reste that were participant of this action, had had the selfe same regarde to the honour of God and amitie of bothe the countries that he had." Edinburgh. Signed: Tho. Randolphe.

4 pp. In Randolph's Court hand and address. Indorsed.

298. Randolph to Cecil. [Nov. 8.]

Of the state of the noblemen out of this realm, I may say that I cannot see how it can be brought to good, "where nether God is sought nor trothe mente. What so ever passethe in wordes, the harte repinethe, and to be playne. I cane not fynde one yote of good meaninge." I fear that so much shall be yielded to this Queen, that if she can won, the Queen my mistress shall have double loss of the hearts of those that loved and honoured her above prince living, for no other cause than that her majesty favoured God's word and had well deserved of them. This mischievous bruit is also cast amongst us "that the Quenes majestie is so afferde of her owne estate, that she dare gyve no suporte—that ther are no mo that favour this action but my lord of Leicester, bycawse he enviethe the felicitie of this Kynge: Mr Cicill for another respecte, 'you knowe what I meane'—the Earle of Bedforde to have some what a do: Mr Throkmorton that cane be content with no estate." It is also said that a great controversy is lately risen between the Duke's grace and my lord of Leicester, "growne to verie sharpe wordes." Such things as these "feede well our fantasies, and of these prettie intentions I knowe that the late courriar brought a budget full, and here are nowe so thycke, that my men here them tolde in the streete"! It is said that my lord of Sussex and lord Lumlye should be the commissioners, and great inquiry made what they are ? but nothing but that tends to her advantage, if she forbear innovation for her majesty's time. If "your care be suche as you wryte of, in what happie case stonde I, that have daylie those thynges in my eares, and maynie thynges worce spoken more dyspytefullye than shame wyll suffer me to wryte, and had rather end my lyf, then indure yf yt laye in my power to revenge yt?" These two are the personages she desires, the godly would have others, in special yourself; but I know what will move you to the contrary, the same that makes me many times wish I had dwelt still in "Douche lande" when first I came here: yet if you can come, you shall do more good than man else I know. If it could be Lord Sussex and yourself, I should have hope. I will give you what is said to me: that some here who may do most, will be "playne" with you, but with no others. Lethington will seek all means to enter again in credit, "and is right sorrie that anye man amonge you knowethe that he hathe byne a medler in this mater." Thus much I have written, not to be laid up "in store for any monniment," but fitter for the fire. "Wrytten as my other lettre." Not signed.

pp. Holograph, also indorsed: "To Mr Secretaries owne handes onlie to himselfe."

299. Randolph to Cecil. [Nov. 8.]

I have written to her majesty the whole effect of my negotiation. As it has pleased her to take that way, God turn it to a good end to her content, "at the leaste that God maye be whollye pleased." It is here known to all, that her majesty is determined to give no support to the noble men, which was published by this Queen immediately after receipt of the French ambassador's letter by his courier, and is now written to all parts of Scotland, "for comforte to their frendes"! Her husband being that day "a hawking" and not intending to return for 5 or 6 days, was sent for that night "in poste." He came at 11 o'clock at night, and hearing these joyful news, went back next morning Sunday, by 7 o'clock to his pastime, and will not return till to-morrow, Friday. All the contrary faction are utterly discouraged, think religion overthrown, and whatever amity be made between the princes, the subjects' hearts will be sore against it. Please you to know whosoever shall deal in these matters must bring something "plausible" to the Protestants and favourable to Murray, or you shall find as much ado to make a good end, as yourself had at the last peace at the departure of the French. For Murray, some think he should rather live in "Allemayn" for a time, and not be beholden to England: others that he seek with the rest to come home, and will be received. Lethington is of this mind, and already making his way, and meetly well looked upon; he said to myself, "that seinge ther was no better, he wolde rather do so then undo hym self." Oaths and bands are taken of all that are suspected, to take part against the old enemies, and acknowledge Darnley king, and liberty to live as they list in religion. I had much ado in the safe conduct for the commissioners, and very sharp words from the Queen to myself, and Lord Bedford for refusing to keep the truce days in Darnley's name; and stood so long in it that I nearly lost my former travail, but at last it was concluded in Council that I should have my "obstinate wyll" notwithstanding all former promises to the King, that his hand should be at all public instruments. I send the form agreed on, which I only received conditionally on my Sovereign's approval, and the principal signed and sealed shall be sent to Berwick. The letter which I delivered from the Queen's majesty to this Queen, was shown to the whole Council "for the plausiblenes ther of." Edinburgh. Signed: Tho. Randolphe.

The names of the new chosen councillors:—

"The Earle of Huntlie: the E. Bothewell restorede: Mr James Baufoure person of Flyske: Mr John Lyslaye person of Oune: The La. of Cragmillar."

3 pp. Holograph, also address. Indorsed (by Cecil's clerk).

300. Randolph to Leicester. [Nov. 8.]

Lamenting that the noble men now in England receive so little comfort, and the common bruit that they shall be chaced back or forced to seek another land. Suspends his judgment, but thinks some day it will be found that greater account might have been made of their good will. For if there lives a more mortal enemy to the Queen his mistress "then this woman is," he desires to be reputed "the vileste villayne" that lives. Murray has warned him not to incur further suspicion for his sake. It is bruited that Leicester alone in the Council favours the lords, but his commendations sent in the French ambassador and Mauvisier's late letters, make this Queen think otherwise, as she has published, and makes advantage thereof. The Duke, (fn. 1) it is vaunted, is her great friend, and all men speak of new discord between him and Leicester, whereon "one worde" shall suffice. Other matters he will write of "boldlyer" at Berwick. Prays him to charge Harrie Killegrewe, who is harder unto him than ever was Browne the treasurer. His life is so miserable that no complaint can help it. Edinburgh. Signed: Tho. Randolphe.

2 pp. Holograph, also address: "To my singuler good lord the Earle of Leicester, etc., his owne handes." Indorsed.

301. Randolph to Bedford. [Nov. 9.]

To write in commendation of this bearer Mr. Goodman I need not, he is as well known to your lordship by "the longe good brute" of him as if he had lived all his life in your company. I find this no convenient place for him, and counselled him to repair to England, "whear I dowte not but God wyll provide; but I am assured myche the better throughe your lordshipes favour and good advise." Edinburgh. Signed: Tho. Randolphe.

This Queen has been written to from England, that there has been a great controversy between the Duke of Norfolk and my lord of Leicester. I believe no word of it, but pray to hear if you have heard it. It is thought my lords of Sussex and Lumlie shall come hither: though I love both well, they are not fittest for the purpose, for the good account this Queen makes of them. Your visitation of Ayemouth makes you spoken of through all Scotland: "whearof I am well apayde." I have licensed my man to visit his wife, not to remain above 2 days.

1 p. Holograph, also address. Indorsed. Wafer signet (as before).

302. Randolph to Cecil. [Nov. 12.]

Since I wrote last, it is known that Murray is come to Newcastle and how he sped at Court. His enemies lack no matter for triumph; his friends think him unhappy to have put so great trust where so little hope was of any good. They are now resolved to provide as best they can for themselves. "and had as leave receave yt gratis at thys Quene and Kynges handes, as to come by hym by anye other meanes or sute of other." James Ormeston is come from the Duke with his submission, and I think it shall not be hard to have his pardon granted. I know many other do the like: Murray and Graynge stand in worse terms—yet I believe they shall have liberty to live out of the country and enjoy their livings, and about this Lethington earnestly travels. Argyll may make his peace when he will with better conditions than any of the rest: it has been long sought of him, but nothing could move him to "dyscente" from them. From him I received these letters inclosed by a trusty friend, whose credit was, what earnest means had been made to him to offer service to the Queen and King, with free remission without reparation of any thing done by him or his in these troubles. That his answer was—in all things he acknowledged his duty to her majesty his sovereign, and "the other beinge lawfully chosen and admitted kynge," he would obey them both next to God, to maintain whose word received in Scotland, he and his brethren were determined to adventure land, life, and goods. He had no other quarrel or end, wherefore whatever his brethren did, he would do the like, and without them, consent to nothing. Wherefore he desired me to advertise their state in England, and advise what I found best for him. Though I was perplexed what to say, I did not "dyscomfort" him by saying all support was refused them, but left him in suspense till further knowledge of Murray's return to Newcastle: said I feared little good could be done this winter, and meantime ambassadors were to treat of these controversies, either to the lords' contentment, or give my mistress better occasion for war than yet she has, seeing their Queen's large offers for her good will. Letters have since passed to Murray at Newcastle—I conjecture with advice to provide for himself. This is the miserable state of all the partakers in this cause. Now are their goods, more greedily taken up than ever, and sold for ready money for half the value. On Saturday last a charge was sent to the Laird of Lochleven to deliver his house, hitherto spared as it was thought, as he had given the Queen sureties it should be at her command. The bruit is now common she is with child, and the "norice" already chosen. There can be no doubt, and she herself thinks so. Men judge my lord of Arran not like to live long. Lethington has charge to collect as many things as he thinks his mistress shall be charged with by the ambassadors, and provide answers thereto: so I think they that come need be well instructed, or they may find more to do than they look for. This is "rounded" unto me by a friend. I would pray you to be a suitor for me to her majesty that this may be the end of my travail in this country, and with her good will to be quit of this "rowme, whear I have spent vj of my yeares and more, gotten graye heares, not so hable a boddie for travaile as I brought with me, nor farther inriched in substance—that your honour knowethe, of whome I have byne a contynuall begger and shameless craver." Edinburgh. Signed: Tho. Randolphe.

3 pp. Holograph. also address. Indorsed (by Cecil's clerk).

303. Passport for Ambassadors. [Nov. 19.]

"Marie be the grace of God Quene of Scottis": on the Queen of England's letters and declaration of Mr Thomas Randolph her agent, grants safe conduct to such persons of good quality and estate as the said Queen shall send to confer and treat on all matters between them. Given under her Great Seal, &c. 1565.

Broadsheet. Copy by Hay. Indorsed (by Randolph): "The coppie of the Quene of Scottes sauf conducte."

304. Randolph to Cecil. [Nov. 19.]

Whereas I wrote of the common bruit in this country that the Queen was with child, the contrary thereof is known: but she is of late fallen sick of her old disease that commonly takes her this time of year in her side, but has somewhat more grieved her than any time before; wherefore these five days she has kept her chamber, but most her bed. On Friday (fn. 2) Mr George Chamber came home: I heard no more of his news, but that the French king is greatly grieved to see the controversy between her and her subjects, and sees nothing more convenient for her than to receive them into her good grace; and that his good will may appear, he is content to send hither M. de Sansacke to labour to accord her and her subjects: to which end the Queen's majesty will also send ambassadors. I am assured the French king is as loath to give her any support, as the Queen's majesty is to help the poor noblemen now out of this country. She is "stroken" with great sadness I hear: whether it be the nature of her disease or the news from France, I cannot yet learn. I know she is ill contented that the French king should be a suitor for the lords, and their handling by the Queen my mistress pleases her much better; which here is so far blown abroad, that the Papists have no other talk in their mouths, nor the Protestants so great cause of sorrow as to receive so little favour, where they looked for so much. They are now void of all hope, and what grieves me not a little, is that her Majesty has lost her whole credit in this country. Divers honest and godly men complain of these noblemen's case and to see so much yielded to this Queen's will. "(whoe is all togyther ennemie to my sovereigne)"—not that they would that she should not have full power to do what she likes "in all godlynes, but that her inordinate appetites agaynste God, agaynste faythe and promes, sholde be brydeled by suche agaynste whome she hathe fayled." [Here he repeats Mary's offences to Elizabeth in her marriage—treatment of these lords, &c., and trusts God will more Elizabeth's heart to act decidedly.] There is no small expectation as to the noblemen to be sent by the Queen: Mr David Chamber said my lords of Sussex and Lumlaye, all "interprited" to this Queen's advantage; but I doubt not they will show themselves more earnest Protestants than here reported. Their safe conduct I have sent to my lord Bedford, subscribed only by the Queen under her broad seal "worde for worde" to the copy I sent you. I have heard again from Argyll, who now knows what her majesty minds to do in this action, also the usage of Murray. He finds all very strange, and laments sore their fortune with his own, but is determined to run the same course they take. I am required to write to her majesty on his behalf, that if on farther advisement since she spoke with Murray, she is determined (if no good issue come from her commissioners' conference with his sovereign) to give them aid or support, he promises (notwithstanding the large offers made to him if he acknowledge his duty "and this man to be kynge") never to make any other accord with this Queen than that he will receive through the Queen my sovereign; and by no persuasion will be induced to alter his mind. He therefore respites his answer for 10 or 12 days till he learns her majesty's advice, whether he shall accept conditions alone, or wait the issue of the ambassadors' conference? Know for certain that Atholl seeks accord with him, whose servants and tenants are in such fear of Argyll that they refuse to serve against him. The hurt he has done this year is very great to the town of Glascowe on one side and Stirling on the other. He only is not yet put to the horn of all those judged enemies. He looks for some answer as soon as may be. "I speake yt to this effecte "—I know that Shan Oneill seeks earnestly a league with him, and believe an overture is made to this Queen to acknowledge him her subject "etc." Argyll may do much either to keep him from his purpose here, or anything he intends elsewhere. He sent me word of a "shrewde ruffle" lately given by a son of "Adonel" to "Onel," I know not the number slain. Edinburgh, Signed: Tho. Randolphe.

This day the Queen's husband passes to Fife for pastime for 8 or 10 days.

5 pp. Holograph. Addressed. Indorsed (by Cecil's clerk).

305. Mary to Elizabeth. [Nov. 23.]

Requesting a passport for her born subject James Stewart, archer of the French king's Guard, to return through England to France—to endure for a year. Palace of Holyrood House, 23rd of reign. Signed: Your richt gud sister and cusignes, Marie R.

Broadsheet. Addressed. Indorsed. Wafer seal (Scotland).

306. Mary to Elizabeth. [Nov. 24.]

Desiring her to give immediate orders that the Earl of Sutherland, detained prisoner at Berwick on his return to his native country, be set free. Palace of Holyrood House, 23rd year. Signed: Your rihct gud sister and cusignes, Marie R.

Broadsheet. Addressed. Indorsed.

307. Murray to Cecil. [Nov. 24.]

I received your letter by Mr Melvill, and thank you heartily for your good counsel, which I intend to follow, being assured that my suits not having taken effect, is no less grievous to you than myself. When I first arrived here (as you advised) a suit was directed to our sovereign for us all in general, "but place of audience only granted to the Duikis grace in particuleyr"—who has directed my lord Kylwinning, and is in good hope shortly to find "dres." To myself and the rest here, I find as yet little good appearance—but have employed my friends there to see if I may send "ane of myn" to my sovereign; as I have also written to her majesty here, trusting you will remind her "how the occasion of this my greate trowble, and utheris that suffer with me, hayth proceadit only upon the action of the religion of God, and her majesties service": and therefore trust as heretofore you will most earnestly move her majesty to travail with our sovereign that I and the rest of these noble men may be restored to "rowmis and natyive cuntreyth," which I hope in God shall be obtained, if men fearing God and "wele willing to our action," be employed in that negotiation. Touching present relief of the noble men's necessity here, I understand by "Maister Melwill" your honor's great good will to myself in particular; "quhairof schir I thank you frome my verray hart, and as I sall haif neyd, sall imploy you as evir I haif doyn sence our first acquentance, to this hour maist haymlye." But truly before God, my grief is greater for these others than for myself, and especially for the Earl of Rothes, "quhais present stres dois perse my verray hart," and recommend him with the rest to your good remembrance. It may please you to let me know "sa far as apparteynis, of the Quenes majesties resolution towardes our dres," with your good advice, which I shall not fail to follow. My hearty commendation to your lady, and thanks for her good treatment to "ane banyst man"—with my commendations also to "Nane," (fn. 3) beseeching God to have both you and "thayme" in his protection. Newcastle. Signed: James Stewart.

Post script:—After I had directed this, a licence arrived for Melville to enter Scotland and speak with the Secretary. He departs 26th instant; as I hear, I shall advertise.

2 pp. Addressed. Indorsed (by Cecil's clerk).

308. Elizabeth to Randolph. [Nov. 26.]

Signifying that on "good consideration," she thinks it not meet to send commissioners to the Queen of Scots as the case at present stands between them, but would rather have it compassed that Mary sends to her, or that commissioners from both meet at "some indifferent place." He is commanded to say that he mistook the Queen's message, and take this "defalt" on himself.

3 pp. Draft by Cecil. Indorsed: "M. xxvj Novembris 1565. To Mr Tho. Randolph from her Majestie."


  • 1. Norfolk.
  • 2. 16th November.
  • 3. Cecil's daughter Anne.