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the same.

Dec. 6. — The Lord Advocate of Holland was commissioned
and authorised to treat with Colonel Balfour, as to the pay-
ment of the outstanding salary of the same, for the sum of
1500 guilders ready money, and 1500 guilders a year till said
salary be paid in full. 1

1 See States of War supra, and also p. 245.



1588] CLAIMS OF STEWART AND OTHERS 115



PAPERS RELATING TO THE CLAIMS AND EM-
BASSIES OF COLONEL SIR WILLIAM STEWART
OF HOUSTON, SIR WILLIAM MURRAY, AND
OTHERS, AND REPORTS OF THE DUTCH EM-
BASSIES TO ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND IN
1588, 1589, and 1594.

1588-1595

Transactions with Colonel Stewart. 1

1588, August 20. — There appeared before the assembly a council of
person claiming to be an ambassador of the King of Scotland, a e "
, and after preliminary greetings and compliments on the part
I of His Majesty, he briefly intimated that he was charged to



1 Colonel William Stewart of Houston, by whom this claim was made, was

(according to Douglas) the second son of Thomas Stewart, fourth Laird of

Galston, in Ayrshire, descended from Alexander, brother of John, first Lord

\ Darnley, and first Earl of Lennox of the Stewart line. But it seems doubtful

! whether he was legitimate. Sir Walter Scott describes him as a relation of

Captain James Stewart, created Earl of Arran in 1573, whom he seems to have

! succeeded as Captain of the King's Guard. He must be distinguished from

! Arran's brother, Sir William Stewart, who was dead before Stewart of Houston

became Sir William. The Earl of Arran was the second son of Andrew, third

I Lord Ochiltree, and it is a curious fact that, obnoxious as he was to the party of

the Kirk, his sister was the young wife of old John Knox.

The first record of William Stewart's military service is a request in October
! 1575 t0 purchase arms in England, having received a captain's commission under
ithe Prince of Orange. After the Pacification of Ghent, he is said to have served
the town of Dantzick against Poland with a regiment (or some Scottish com-
jpanies), which he brought to Flanders on the resumption of hostilities with Don
John of Austria, and which was taken into pay by the associated provinces,
iln June 1577 he is described as 'captain of two companies and L t -colonel
iof the Scottish regiment.' In one list of 1579 his regiment is said to consist of
(eight companies (Balfour's being given as of eight also), and in one of 1580 of



116 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE [1588

speak in reference to the debt due to Colonel Stuart for his
past services rendered to these Lands, and since he could not
very well lay that matter before them in a speech, he intimated
that he has drawn up a statement in writing, which he had |



five — Balfour's regiment being stated in the same list as consisting of eighteen I
(Renom de France). In one document the establishment of his regiment as :j
from 1st March 1579 to April 18th, 1581 is given as ten companies, of which one :
was latterly commanded by Patton, and in December 1586 the command of !j
the Scottish companies was re-arranged, Barthold Balfour being given ten and
Patton four. Stewart's final settlement with the States in 1593 was made for five |
companies, apparently the strength of the regiment on passing from the employ- j
ment of the associated provinces to that of the Northern Union in 1579.

Stewart apparently married when serving in Flanders, for in noticing some of
the good things that fell into the hands of the foreign adventurers, Lettenhove
says, 'Le Colonel Stuart obtient la main de la veuve du Comte de Manderscheidt.'
He afterwards married, in Scotland, the widow of Halkett of Pitfirrane.

Mr. James Melville describes Colonel Stewart as ' a pensioner of the Prior of
St. Andrews ' ; and Calderwood says that, having been a colonel in Flanders, he
was ' brought home and in credit with the king by the Earl of Gowrie's moyen,
of purpose to counterpace the greatness and credit of James Stewart, Earl of
Arran.' When the Duke of Lennox approached Edinburgh in November 1582,
'Colonel Stewart, with the men of war lately taken up, watched in the abbey.'
He went on an embassy to England in 1583, and subsequently accompanied king
James in the sudden move to St. Andrews which emancipated the king from the
control of the Gowrie faction. In August 1583 he had been made Commendator of
Pittenweem. It was to him that the plain speaking of the Rev. David Ferguson
was addressed in one of the interviews of the Presbyterian ministers with the king:
' Assure yourself if yee counsell him to place and displace the nobilitie as yee
please they will not bear it at your hands, who is but a meane man.' ' The
Colonel,' says the narrator, • stormed at first, but grew calm incontinent.' The
Commendator of Dunfermline is said to have sent him a purse with thirty gold
pieces. The colonel informed the king, and gave the pieces to thirty of the
guard, who wore them in their hats as they marched from Perth to Falkland,
with the purse upon a spear-point. In November 1583 he appeared before the
Presbytery of Edinburgh, and ' purged himself of having carried a double message
to England,' and in the following month an alteration was made in the coinage,
'to get silver to Colonel Stewart to pay the waged men of war.'

In February 1584 he was ' sent to St. Andrews as a spy to entrap Mr. Andrew,'
and alleged to the king that Andrew Melville had ' compared his mother to
Nebuchadnezzar, who was chased from the kingdom.' He subsequently appeared
as Melville's accuser, ' wha bruikit that name for ignominie many yeares after,
" Wilyeam Stewart the Accusar," ' and two months later rode with some horsemen
to arrest the Earl of Gowrie at Dundee. Upon the earl resisting he promptly
' bringeth ordinance out of the ships,' and with the assistance of the town ofi
Dundee besieged the house and secured his prisoner. On the demonstration by
Gowrie's friends at Stirling, Stewart at once rode there with five hundred men, and
the army of the Lords melted away. He was with the king at Dirleton in May



1588] CLAIMS OF STEWART AND OTHERS 117

handed, together with an authentic copy of the commission and
charge given him by the King. This being in Latin was read,
and it was found to conclude with a' protestation that, in case
of failure to pay, His Majesty would consent to grant letters



1585, where ' they passed the time with the play of Robinhood.' On the return
of the banished Lords in October, he went against them with a hastily raised
company to Jedburgh, but fell back, finding them too strong. At the taking of
Stirling he ' made some shew to have resisted,' and 'was followed so hardlie '
by Mr. James Haldane, that Haldane, ' as he was laying hands on him was
shot by the Colonel's servant.' The king's stipulation for his life on the surrender
of the Castle of Stirling was not assented to, and Calderwood gives this account
of him : ' Colonel Stuart was, as is constantly reported, first a cloutter of old
shoes. He went to the Low Countries, where he served in the wars, first as
soldier, then as a captain, at last as a colonel. He returneth home, and was
employed by the king to apprehend any subject in any corner of the kingdom
that the Court had any quarrel at. He wanted not likewise his reward, for he
was gifted with the Priory of Pittenweem, and married the Lady Pitfirrane, not
without suspicion of the murder of her former husband.' Both the Earl of
Arran and Colonel Stewart were obnoxious to the clerical party, and the state-
ments of the ecclesiastical historians in regard to them must be taken cum grano
salis. Mr. James Gibson, minister of Pencaitland, had a lively interview with
King James for having said 'he thought it had been Capt. James Stewart,
Colonel "William Stuart, and Ladie Jesabell that had long persecuted the Kirk,
but he saw that it was the king himself, because he passed forward in that cursed
course that they began.' In 1585 he was suspected by the English of being
' the principal dealer in Scotland ' between King James and the Jesuits, and on
his dismissal in the end of that year his movements were closely watched. He
was preparing shipping ; was expected to go and serve the King of Spain ; was
again in great favour in February, and expected to be ambassador to Denmark
(St. Pap. Border). He had previously obtained an Act of Parliament (1584,
c. 49) deputing a commission to the Estates, urging them to make payment
of the arrears due to him, ' having served during the space of ten or twelve
years'; and in December 1586 he was with the King of Denmark, who was
' urging the States to make him satisfaction for injuries and restore his wife's
provisions.' In April 1587 he was said to be 'in great credit with the Prince of
Parma, who had restored him to all his wife's living again.' The movements of
his messengers were reported on. He had sent a ship for one Nisbet, and one of
his friends had boasted that ' within two months the Colonel would himself be
with the king at whose return other news would be known than were yet ' (Border
Papers). But a little later it was acknowledged ' so as where we thought it was
Colonel Stewart that had been the doer of these matters, it is Colonel Sempill
that had been the doer with the King of Spain.' Stewart returned by Den-
mark, and kept himself very quiet, but in the eventful year 1588 was credited
with ' very boldly and openly ' urging King James to accept the King of Spain's
offers, and declaring that he would ' find more dalliance than gain ' from Eng-
land. 'But it is said that the king's answer hath little pleased him ' (Border
Papers). In 1588 Lord Huntly, then in favour, recommended his restoration as



118 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE [1588

of marque ; he, nevertheless, not having any intention to break
any point or clause of the accord and treaty of peace existing
between His Majesty and the Lands. Whereto the reply was
promptly given that he had addressed himself to the wrong
quarter, and that he ought to apply to the States-General, to



Captain of the Guard, and he was specially mentioned along with Lord Huntly
as one of ' the papists and apostates which shall happen to resort to Court or to
the town of Edinburgh,' who were to be proceeded against by order of the
Assembly. Restored to favour, he obtained the letters of marque against the
Dutch ships, which were to prove far more effectual than the representations of the
monarchs of Scotland and Denmark. In 1589 he went to Denmark along with
the Earl Marischal, the ambassador, in connection with the royal marriage, and
was again sent to sea to search for the Queen's fleet ; and in the following year
he again took over a ship to bring the King and Queen home. In 1590 he ' took
^500 from the Queen of England to the King of Scots,' and went as ambassador
to 'the partes of Almany,' and in 1591 had a lawsuit with John Shairp of
Houston. In 1592 an act was passed acknowledging 'his great services in
foreign parts,' and he was warded in the castle because ' the Queen used him as
an instrument to disgrace the chancellor.' He was again, in August 1592, warded
in reference to an accusation brought by him against the Laird of Spynie, who
' offered the single combat,' for which a day was assigned. In 1593 he went on
an embassy to Holland, and succeeded in getting his claims settled, and on
19th December he was present at one of Mr. Robert Bruce's sermons. In 1596
he received a commission of lieutenancy in the Highlands and Islands, obtained
authority in August to levy 1000 men, and in November reported his proceedings
in Kintyre. In January 1597 it was reported that 'the king would have him
Constable of Dumbarton,' and in 1598 he acted on a commission for erecting
towns in the Highlands, went as ambassador to Denmark, and was one of the
' undertakers for the Lewis.' — P. C. Reg., passim.

His son, Frederick Stewart, was created Lord Pittenweem in 1609, but died
without issue.

The substantial question between Colonel Stewart and the Estates was as to
whether the Northern Union was liable for all the arrears, including those for
services to the whole United Netherlands, in the campaigns in the time of Don
John of Austria. The States contended that the Colonel had had a commission
from Holland and Zealand in 1576 as a captain, that after the Pacification of
Ghent he had been commissioned by those States 'among others,' and that
afterwards he was in the service of the States-General of the other provinces,
from whom he received his colonel's commission. They complained also that
he demanded payment of Colonel Patton's debt, who had betrayed Gueldres.

The ultimate arrangement was that Stewart was to give up his claims for
services beyond the Meuse, reserving his action against the other provinces, to j
demand nothing for services prior to March 1579, to assign certain claims
which he and his officers had for the period from 1st March 1579 to the date
when 'they were licensed,' which the States might recover from the reconciled
provinces, to surrender the letters of marque, and to deliver the ' record made I
at Delft in January 1581,' and the States to pay him 56,000 florins.



1588] CLAIMS OF STEWART AND OTHERS 119

which his commission was addressed ; that it was not in order
to produce a protestation of that kind here. Notwithstanding
he persisted, saying that his orders -included a special instruc-
tion that, in case the States-General were not in Session, he
was to address himself to the Council of State, and he wished
to show this instruction, and desiring that his declarations
should at all events be taken down in writing and minuted.
Which the Council refused, being unwilling to take any cog-
nisance of it. Whereupon he desired Captain Blayr, and two
other persons who had entered with him, to bear witness of
how he had done his duty, and of how he had been treated ;
and on that footing he left. The secretary Zuylen being sent
to the States-General to inform them of it, reported that he
found nobody there.

Thursday, August 25. — A summary was given of the
copy of a mandate brought here to this chamber some days
ago by a Herald of the King of Scotland, and of how he
received his dismissal, and the matter was taken up at a
meeting of the States-General, where it was in place, and also
the resolution taken thereanent by the States- General : it was
agreed, as to said nobleman, that all the documents that can
be got that are in anyway connected with the accounts of
Colonel Stuart are to be placed in the hands of the Lord
Chancellor, so that a reply to His Majesty thereanent may be
drawn up, in which, above all, it is to be proved that the
Herald in his procedure has greatly exceeded the powers given
him by His Majesty, that also the States of these Provinces
are not aware that they owe anything to Stuart, and should it
be the case that they owe him anything, he should take legal
proceedings to recover it (a refusal of which was never made,
though His Majesty^ mandate is founded on that), and no
potentate or prince could, so long as the war was going on,
fully satisfy the soldiers 1 claims of arrears, nor had any of
them up to this time consented to grant open reprisals or
letters of marque, that they prayed His Majesty, in this acting
according to the true Christian religion, not to grant them,
... as shall be more fully and minutely fixed and resolved in
the Council, nevertheless they agreed to summon the Assistant
of the said Herald, and inform him of the irregular procedures



120 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE [158&

of the said Herald ; and that he had as little requested audi-
ence of the States-General as caused them to assemble for that
business ; that he would have been well received both by them
and as well by this Council.

Van der Vochfs proposed visit to Scotland.

1588, Tuesday, September 27. — Mr. Lenert van der Voecht,
Pensionary of Delft, having been summoned and appeared,
was informed that, in spite of the written representations of
his principals, he cannot be excused, and he was requested and
ordered, accordingly, to prepare himself for the journey to
Scotland with all diligence, the business being of great import
to the Lands ; and after consultation it was agreed, on the
advice of Advocate Barneveldt, that he is to go by way of Eng-
land ; and the Agent Ortel is to be charged to assist him there,
and to travel with him to Scotland, so that together they
may bring matters to a favourable issue ; and the Recorder
Aerssens is ordered to seek for, and extract from the registers
of the previous business of the allied States, all such minutes
and duplicates as may have some reference, and be of service,
to the said business with Scotland, to prevent the issue
of the letters of marque; and similar orders shall be given
to the Recorder of Holland, de Rechtere ; for which purpose,
likewise, the Master of Accounts, de Bye, and Advocate van
der Necke, might also be heard and examined as to their
knowledge of past transactions, as they were at that time
Deputies of Holland and Zeeland in the Assembly of the
Allied States.

Resumption of the business of Colonel Stuart.

Friday, September 30, afternoon. — Minutes were read in
reference to the business of Jan de Jonge, Scotsman, agent of
Colonel Stuart, and the advice of the Advocate Barneveldt
having been communicated by Counsellor Valck, it was resolved
to summon said Scotsman to the Cleves chamber next to the
Council's, and inquire of him through their notary and wit-
nesses, in presence of Secretary Zuylen, whether he does not
possess, in addition to the mere copies handed in by him,



1588] CLAIMS OF STEWART AND OTHERS 121

some original, authentic, or other copies of the obligations,
accounts, or specifications whereby the said Stewart might
authenticate his pretended arrears for services alleged to have
been rendered to the Lands, and whether he would be willing
to produce the same. Also thereafter again to try and per-
suade him to take to the King the letters written by the
Council containing a full reply to all the requests made by
His Majesty's Herald in regard to the said pretended arrears :
the said notary was instructed to draw up in writing, from the
answers of Jan de Jonge, a statement thereanent, with inser-
tions of all documents that the said agent has already delivered,
or may yet hand in.

October 1. — Resolved that Mr. Voocht, who shall travel to
the Majesty of Scotland, may take with him three servants,
and that there shall be given to him one thousand guilders for
travelling money, and an act of security that he shall be freed
in case of captivity.



1588-1589. First Report of Pensionary de Voocht, sent to
England in connection with the case of Colonel Stuart.

Honourable, Noble, Wise, Learned, most prudent Sir : — In accord-
ance with the charge and Commission given me by the my Lords
Councillors of State, on the part of your Highness, I, Leonard Voocht,
Pensionary of the town of Delft, on October 18th last travelled from the
Hague to Zeeland, and after having waited there, in the town of Middel-
burg, for favourable winds, betook myself on the 29th of the same month
to England, where I arrived at the Foreland, on the last day of the
month, and having taken the ordinary post to Marigat [Margate?], I
entered the city of London on the 2nd November, and after I had
addressed myself to Mr. Ortel, and shown him my aforesaid charge and
Commission, went next day in pursuance thereof, accompanied by the
said Mr. Ortel, to the house of Mr. Douglas, the King of Scotland's
ambassador to the Queen of England, and there I handed over to him
the letters of Your Hon., and informed him very fully of the situation of
the business of Colonel Stuart, together with his pretended [arrears]. I
also showed my further orders to repair to Scotland, and on behalf of the
States to kiss His Majesty's hands, also personally to inform His Majesty
of the said business in such a manner, that the connived-at execution of
the letters of marque granted to Colonel Stuart might be averted from
the states and that all good friendship and unity between His Majesty
and the States might be preserved. Whereupon His Excellency declared



122 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE [1588

that he, having been informed some time ago by Mr. Ortel of the situa-
tion of the said business, had notified His Majesty about it, who in
a certain missive of September 14th last (which His Excellency showed
us) had charged him to declare to the said Mr. Ortel, that nothing
would be more pleasing to His Majesty than to maintain all good friend-
ship with the States ; but that His Majesty could not shut his eyes to the
manifold complaints, made not only by the said Colonel Stuart, but also
by many others, and among them divers widows and unfortunate people
who had risked their persons and lives in the service of the States, — that
some citation be granted in virtue of which Your Hon. might be
summoned to give some satisfaction to the persons aforesaid ; charging,
however, the said Mr. Douglas to settle the matter by the best measures
possible. But when, on the contrary, I had shown that from various
reasons, the States, and especially those of Holland and Zeeland, were
not involved in the said debts ; and that I was not the least in the world
authorised to enter into any composition or agreement about them, but
only to offer remonstrance to His Majesty in regard to the great wrong
done by Stuart, His Excellency declared that if I had no other charge
from Your Highness to the King of Scotland, it would be unnecessary
at this time of the year to proceed on the journey to Scotland. But that
His Majesty, on being rightly informed by letter of the reasons adduced
by me, would, doubtless, suspend the execution of the said letters of
marque ; and to that end His Excellency also in fact offered to write to
His Majesty, but, as I explained, I was minded to give effect to Your
Highness's commission, and so for that day I took leave of His
Excellency.

On the 4th of the same month, accompanied as before, I waited on
Lord Borlay [Burleigh], First Lord of the Treasury, and Lord Walsyngam,
first secretary of Her Majesty, etc., ... I very earnestly requested their
Lordships graciously to use their best endeavours, that in furtherance of
my intended journey to Scotland Her Majesty might grant me suitable
letters, both of passport, and especially of petition, to the King of
Scotland, so that, by Her Majesty's intercession, the execution of the
said letters of marque, wherewith the States were threatened so unjustly,
might be averted from them.

This having been promised me by their Lordships, thereafter, on the
6th of the said month, Lord Walsingam requested me to put the
principal points and motives, in justification of the States against the
pretensions of Stuart, into writing, in order that having been handed to
their Lordships they might be communicated to Her Majesty, and that
a resolution might be arrived at concerning them such as Her Majesty
might find most serviceable to the interests of the country. In accord-
ance with this request, I arranged the said points in writing, and
delivered them to His Lordship on the 7th of the same month, and also
strongly recommended him to lose no time in the matter.

Having been summoned on the 9th to Court, Lord Walsingam there
announced to me the resolution of Her Majesty and of the Counsellors



1588] CLAIMS OF STEWART AND OTHERS 123

of Her Majesty, regarding the said points handed in : namely, that Her
Majesty having perceived that Colonel Stuart was in the wrong, had
resolved to write with her own hand a strong letter to the King, in order
that the connived-at execution of the said letters of marque might be
cancelled and suspended ; that also the members of the Council had
earnestly charged His Lordship to write to Mr. Absky [Wm. Asheby],
Ordinary Ambassador of Her Majesty to the King in Scotland, with full
instructions to remonstrate to His Majesty about the wrong done by the
said Stuart ; and that I should abandon my proposed journey till the King
of Scotland should answer the said letters of Her Majesty and should
have declared his intention regarding the remonstrance of the said
Ambassador, not doubting that the King would come to such a resolu-
tion as to said matter that the States need expect to suffer no loss or
prejudice from the said Colonel Stuart.

On the same day I had also access to Her Majesty, and after I had,
with all due respect, on behalf of your Highnesses, kissed Her Majesty's
hands, I briefly recounted the principal causes of my embassy to Scotland



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