Robert Bowes.

The correspondence of Robert Bowes of Aske, esquire, the ambassador of Queen Elizabeth in the court of Scotland online

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tarrying in Berwick, unless he should be staid there by some
matter from hence, therefore I hasted speedily to the court,
both to acquaint the King, and some especial persons about
him, of La Mothe's coming towards him, and also to work his
stay at Berwick ; and finding the King and lords gone abroad,
I was driven to attend their return, and thereby to defer the
dispatch of these presents unto you longer time than other-

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wise I should have done. After some good mean made to pre-
pare the King herein, I took the King and the abbot of Dum-
fermUne together, letting them know that La Mothe had ob-
tained her Majesty's leave to come hither ; putting the King
in mind with what dishonour to him the French king had
refused and with open reproach had cast back his ambassador
sent into France, because he was sent thither from him as
absolute King, and not as Prince only. I advised the King in
part of some requital, and for the best progress of his present
affairs, to give some order to stay La Mothe a while at Ber-
wick ; to the intent he might understand from whom and in
what manner he is addressed to the King, and upon considera-
tion thereof, and the present condition of this state, to resolve
on the choice of his stay, or licence to enter this realm. And
because I thought it not mete to discover at this time the man-
ner how La Mothe is addressed and sent by the French king
to the King here, least the untimely knowledge thereof might
hinder the open pubHshing of the matter ; and seeing that the
common understanding of his manner of address to the King
(not as absolute King, but associate with his mother,) shall both
procure the determinate stay and denial of La Mothe coming
in that sort, and also give very great advantage to the progress
of all things against the duke, with approbation of the most
chief point in his accusation, and of which he laboureth most
to clear himself, therefore I have hitherto forborne to let the
King or any other know any thing of the manner of La Mothers
address to the King ; nevertheless it appeared that the King
gathered some conjecture that La Mothe should be directed to
him as Prince, and not as absolute King, affirming very reso-
lutely that if he came not to him simply, and as to an absolute
King, he should not enter into his realm, nor return with an-
swer, to requite part of the French king's dishonour showed
towards himself, by the repulse given to his ambassador aforesaid.
And albeit La Mothe shall come to the King in the best manner
that he can, yet he is like to be stayed a while ; and peradventure
he shall not be suffered to enter at all, until the duke shall be
either departed out of this realm, or else be suppressed in his re-
bellion. The advancement of which purpose I have laid before
the King and Dunfermline, that seeing the duke hath taken
boldness to disobey and contemn the King and his authority,
in hope to be relieved and brought to his desire by the medi-
ation of La Mothe, to whom he hath sent an especial messenger
into England, whereupon it may be gathered and thought that
La Mothe hath returned answer, giving to the duke therewith
this assurance and encouragement to deal with the King in this

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proud and contemptuous manner ; therefore it shall be both
honourable and most profitable for the King and prosperity of
these actions in hand, to stay La Mothe for the said time ;
whereunto the King seemeth to give good liking.

In this conference with the King and Dunfermline, (who by
the aid of Blantyre is ever a good mstrument for the expedition
of good causes,) the King hath resolved and given to me his
letter, to be sent to Alexander Hume of Huton Hall, deputy
Warden of the East Marches, to command the said deputy to
attend the coming of La Mothe to Berwick, and thereon to re-
sort to him, and let him know that the King his sovereign hath
given charge and order to him to restrain aU strangers to enter
his realm, before the Kin^ shall be advertised of their desire to
repair to his presence, or into his realm, and shall resolve with
his council, and signify to the party his pleasure in the same*
This letter, with some further order for the execution thereof, I
have already sent to Mr, Hume, who dwelleth within four miles
of Berwick, and being right well affected to this cause, and to
the amity betwixt the two crowns ; and I have also written to Mr.
Marshall of Berwick, to give speedy advertisement to Mr. Hume
aforesaid of the arrival of La Mothe at Berwick, and to entertain
him well there until Mr« Hume shall come unto him : wherein
as further effects shall succeed, you shall be further advertised

I have been credibly informed that the duke, about nine or
ten days past, sent into England an especial messenger to La
Mothe ; moving me to open the same to the King and Dun-
fermline in manner before expressed.

Albeit Mr. George Young and the officers at arms were
dispatched with an express charge to the duke, then at
Dunbarton, for his departure, according to the act before
sent unto you, and that the King and lords here are persuaded
that the duke continueth in Dunbarton; yet I am informed
that he is passed to Atholl or Dunkeld. Nevertheless the
charge shall be given and published this day, either in his own
presence at Dunbarton, (if he be there,) or else at the marlcet
cross in the town of Dunbarton, according to the ordinary
course of the law, and to the act aforesaid. After this charge
he shall be denounced rebel, and thereon be pursued with
forces ; against which, it seemeth by some advice latfely given
me, that there shall be resistance.

For it told is me that the duke will be at Atholl or Dunkeld
this day, where he looketh to meet with the earls of Huntley,
l^utheriand, Montrose, Atholl, Rowthous, Crayford, and Mor-
ton^ with sundry barons of great power 5 and that ArgylTs good


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liking of their enterprise and his messengers shall be there with
them ; that they intend to gather their forces and be in readi-
ness on the xviij hereof, purposing thereon to come hither to
the King to set his person at liberty, and to establish reforma-
tion in Uie state by public convention of the nobility and states ;
that for the better credit and manner of their enterprise they
will shew the King's own hand, commanding them to assemble
for this purpose and to repair to him.

In this part touching the warrant under the King's hand, it is
said that they had sundry blanks signed by tlie King, which
they have filled with such matter and contents, and put such
dates as best liked them. Herein I have not spoken with the
King sythens this information was given me. I cannot there-
fore write with any certainty in the same ; but I shall, upon
further knowledge of the truth, give you further understandmg.
I have been also advertised that the Mr. of Livingstone and
others, having an intention of some sudden action or sur-
prise, have sent sundry men in the night about the King's
house ; and albeit they could not effect their purpose by the
impediment to their execution thereof, yet they have not given
it over. I can hardly persuade these lords with the King, that
any such thing hath been intended, or that thereby there
needeth any increase of their watch. Of this also I shall
further advertise you, upon better intelligence to be gotten

It may appear to you by these that the duke will disobey
the charge, and remain still in the realm against the King's
commandment; and it is likely that he doth presume and
taketh boldness to adventure the same upon some secret
assurance or hope of the King's favour towards him, and to tike
rest of the nobility ready to assist and take open part with him.
And albeit that the King pretendeth to be very earnest against
him and their action, promising and protesting earnestly to her
Majesty, and to myself for her Highness, that he will continue
constant in this profession and mind, adding many arguments
to approve the same, yet being thus oft warned and seeing such
signs and circumstances, I dare not lean more on his promises
and fair words than the necessity of the time and cause moveth
me thereunto, and therefore I have thought it my duty timely
to open and signify thus much to you, to the intent I may not be
holden to be further abused or deceived with his fynes [finesse]
upon any success insuinc in these causes than worthily I may be
charged withal. And for the better prevention of the evil, and
to direct my course to be most agreable to her Majesty's
pleasure and service, I do right humbly pray you tiiatwith go<)d

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srpeed I may be directed both what to do in all these matters
likely to descend into troubles, how to deal with the King, and
how far to trust him^ and what surety I shall seek for perform-
ance of his promises given to me ; which order and direction I
shall duly observe and put in execution. And in the mean
time I shall still entertain and continue the King and these
lords in the best course I can, seeking to keep them together in
the maintenance of this action ; which, upon sight of the King's
starting aside from it, will be in danger of overthrow. And
finding, notwithstanding, that sundry noblemen^ barons,
brouffhes, and ministers, being a ^ood party, will still maintain
and d^end this cause for preservation of rehgion^ the King, and
pubUc weal, I would be glad and do likewise pray to be also
directed, what I shall do touching both the comforting of them
in their purposes, and also any direct promise of aid and support
to be ministered therein by her Majesty to them.

Lastly, that Mr. Colville may bring report of the full success
of all tliese matters, as they shaU further fall out, for her Ma-
jesty's best satisfaction and contentment, therefore I have stayed
his repair to her Highness for some time, and until it shall
be known what resolution and end shall be taken with La
Mothe ; whereupon Mr. Colville may happily be addressed to
her Majesty with some earnest and more large instructions
touching that and other affairs, which at this point are not
known. And because Col. Stuart continueth so weak by his
late sickness, whereof he is now partly recovered, therefore the
xepHir of him and Mr. Colville to her Majesty in the intended
eznbassage cannot be performed with[such speed as was purposed.
And it is not, I think, inconvenient to be stayed, until it be
seen what end these troubles arising shall receive.

Thus leaving all others to the sight of the further sequel in
these troublesome causes, and oftsoons praying timely and full
direction and order in all the premises to be with speed sent
to me, to lead and make my doings and service agreable to her
Majesty's pleasure^ and for the benefit of her Highness's ser-

And with mine humble duty, &c.

Edinburgh, xvj December, 1582.

u 2

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CXLIIL— *' The Private. To Sir Francis Walsingmam,
xvi. Decemberi 1582/* From the Letter-Book, p. 91.

Sir, upon receipt of your last and private letter, I have taken
occasion both to stay the repair of Mr. John Colville, being in
readiness to have departed tomorrow towards the court in
England, and of whose coming to you or full stay I pray your
own advice 5 and also to delay the coming of the two ambassa-
dors from hence, until I shall receive from you better hope of
good fruit to grow thereby. And for the causes moving me to
do the same, I have laid down and certified such reasons
and grounds, as by mine other accompanying these, will

And considering the wise and friendly warnings given to me
by yourself, and others in the court in England, as also the
strange circumstances appearing daily here,and giving good cause
of suspicion of the King's steadfast and plain dealings in this
action, therefore that I be not found to be overtaken with the
crowing of this chicken, nor that the cause be not any way pre-
judiced by my oversight, I have prayed direction and order to
be speedily sent to me for my better instructions and warrant in
all the same, and to the intent I may discharge myself against
any hard or evil success that shall fall out in these causes ;
wherein, if I saw surety of backing with us, I durst promise
more largely. And where unto, if strong hand be not i^till
holden, both by her Majesty and also by the King, this small
company will soon be overthrown ; with the ruin of the
action, and all the well devoted to religion, her Majesty, and
the amity.

Lastly, seeing Mr. Davidson is thus far entered, and is in
every behalf so sufficient for this service, it may please you
therefore to be meane that he may be employed in the same,
and that my neck mav once be deHvered out of this halter. It
is high time that 00 be rewarded and comforted ; whatsoever
shall further be resolved to be done.

Thus resting on your favour and good help herehi, and with
mine humble, &c.

Edinburgh, xvjth Decembris, 1582.

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CXLIV. — ^^^To Sir Francis Walsingiiam^ sixth Decem-
ber." From the Letter-Book, p. 92.

It may please your Honour. Upon late advice come to the
duke of Lennox he hath, by his letters brought yesternight to
the King, advertised and promised the King that he will be this
night in Lithgow, and so to pass forwards to Berwick, to be
there on Saturday, or Sunday next at the furthest. He ex-
cuseth still his late departure from Callender to Dunbarton,
affirming that the same proceeded of the fear that he conceived
that the earl of Marr intended to surprise and hurt his person.
But now having received the King's promise and assurance for
his safety, (which was offered before as largely as now it is
given to him,) he seemeth resolved to keep the time and jour-
nies prescribed, or very near the same. By his sudden change
and resolution in this manner, he hath deceived the expectation
in a manner of all men. And some of his friends, having be-
stowed a good portion of money, in provision of armour, weapons,
powder and shot, are as far defeated and deceived also as others.
It is not yet known from whence, and upon what cause, this
sudden alteration is happened in him ; and some suspect that it
is not fallen without advice from the French ambassadors coming
hither, whereof I do not understand any certainty.

Mr. George Young and the officers at arms sent to him, are
not yet returned ; nor any report nor advertisement is hitherto
sent from them, how they have executed their commission and
charge against the duke. Thereof, and of the duke's entry into
this journey, and obedience given to his charge, I shall shortly
advertise you with better certainty ; and with the same I shall
likewise give you further understanding in the parts least
doubtful in my last before these, and wherein I promised to give
better [ J* upon knowledge in the same, after I had spoken
with the King ; wherein since the dispatch of my said letter,
and by the daily exercise and business of the King, I have not
yet found apt opportunity. The bailiffs of Edinburgh, having
intercepted letters sent to David Chambers, (a man highly sus-
pected in practise and papistry,) came to the court to have pre-
sented the same to the council ; but the provost, understanding
their purpose, required to see the packet, which being delivered
to his hands, he carried the same presently to the King ; who,
after reading of some of them, did cast them into the fire, re-
serving some others that are of no great weight or effect. The
[ J* of the contents of the letters burnt are not known to

* A blank ipace ia here left in the original.

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any other but the King. One Forbusse, a man of mean call-
ing, and of the French king's guard, presented yesternight
to the King a letter from the duke of Guise ; to such effect
as by the true copy of the same inclosed will appear unto you.

The duke hath given advertisement to his friends of his reso-
lution to depart, seeking to satisfy them in the same, and to
retain their good wills against another time. He hath promised
to be this day in Lithgow, as before; to-morrow at Dalkeith;
Friday at Dimbar ; Saturday at Berwick. • He is in such com-
fort to find favour and credit at her Majesty's hands, as sundry
well affected, being put in some doubt of the same, have been
with me, to prevent the danger. But for as much as it pleaseth
him to threaten me, signifying to the King that he will cast me
as far from her Majesty's grace, as I have brought him out of
the King's good conceit, and knowing testimony of mine own
actions and conscience, and the great equity and wisdom of my
judge, I leave him to himself.

'Die earl of Gowrie, finding that he cannot keep Arraine
within the limits of his ward appointed, and fearing that upon
sight of matters likely to arise here, Arraine shall presume to
break his ward further, to the peril of Gowrie, that hath the charge
of his custody, therefore he hath moved the Kin^ and counci
that some order misht be taken for Arrain's safe keeping, and
that Gowrie might he delivered of that burden. Whereupon
sundry commissioners were chosen and named to consult and de-
termine thereon ; who have advised that Arraine shall be commit
and charged to ward in Dundee, to remain there and not to de-
part from thence, until further order be taken for him, nor a
mile without the said town at his own peril. For it is tiiought
that if he shall depart and break his ward, as before he hath
done, that the same shall be very dangerous for him; so as this
order is not misliked of the chief adversaries to him.

After this, the earl of Gowrie showed his griefs to the council,
and signified that some untrue bruites had been whispered to
his slander and dishonour, with suspicion that he should intend
to leave this action, affirming thereon, that as he entered tiie
same with the first, so he woidd tarry in it with the last, as
his late actions have, to his great honour and with the satis-
faction of many good men, lately approved. Herein, upon the
understanding of his offence conceived, I had appeased his
passion before he entered into council, so as the matter is laid
over with less trouble and displeasure than was looked for.

Thus with mine humble duty, &c.

Edinburgh, the sixth of December, 1582.

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CXLV. — "To Sir Francis Walsinoham, xix. Decembris^
1582." From the Letter-Book, p. 93.

It may please your Honour. The duke^s sudden alteration
and resolution to depart through England, contrary to his
former purpose and against the advice of the most of his
friends here, (that sought a composition in all causes before his
departure,) and the great hope he hath lately, and with like
suddenly received, to find especial favor in England upon such
large oners as he is still resolved to prefer to her Majestv,
trusting assuredly to come to her Highness presence, so greatly
trouble many, and of the best devoted in this realm to religion,
to her Majesty, and to the amity betwixt these two crowns,
fearing that his large offers, promising surety without charge to
her Majesty, shall be accepted, with the rejection of good men,
to the great danger of the good cause; and it is marvel to
them to see the duke thus suddenly altered, which they think
proceedeth from some matter and comfort received from La
Mothe, or out of England; therefore sundry of them have
dealt earnestly with me, to be a mean to prevent this danger,
wherein my power little prevaileth to do any furtherance, other
than to commend the same to your good knowledge and help.
And being advertised by the King that he hath conceived good
comfort to cast me further from her Majesty^s grace, than I
have shaken him from the King's favour, I hold it best for me
to leave him to his own humour therein.

And knowing the good testimony of mine own actions and
conscience, and the great equity and wisdom of my judge,
(being her Majesty,) I little care what he do or work against my
self; and I am persuaded that the memory of his former doings
and sight of the qualities in him self, and his present condition
and conceit in this realm, shall suffice to cut off the horn of
his power to work any great effects with her Majesty. Never-
theless, to satisfy these good men, perplexed with this fear, I
have thought it my duty to signify thus much to you ; trusting
it shall please you thereon to do as to your good discretion shall
be seen best for the benefit of the cause and contentment of
tiiese persons resting at her Majesty's good devotion.

All causes touching mine own particular, (as here it is
termed,) I leave to the credit and suflSciency of this bearer,
John Aleyn, to whom I beseech you give credit in the same.
Becaujse I perceive by my said servant, that the reading of my
letters written in my scribbling hand is troublesome to you^

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therefore I pray pardon therein; and for amendment in the
same I shall from henceforth commit them to the writing of my
servant^ whom I have trust with the contents of the same.

And thus with mine humble duty, &c.

Edinburgh^ xxix. Decembris^ 1582.

CXLVI. — ^^ To Sir Francis Walsingham, xxijnd Decem-
ber, 1582. Private" From the Letter- Book, p. 94.

It may please your Honour. By my other with these, it will
appear unto you that this great work for the duke's departure
is with no little diflSculty finished at the length. Now other
matters, as hard and great as this, • are to be taken in hand.
But seeing the chief instrument (I mean the liberaUty of her
Majesty towards the King and some others,) promising hope
in this labour is like to fail and be wanting, I look for such fro-
ward end as shall much grieve all them that have to do with it,
or wish well to the same. And therefore I harp still on one
string, humbly praying you to be mean for my discharge, and
chiefly at this time when one more able and^uflScient than my-
self, (which is truth in very deed,) shall be thus ready to be
employed, and with such advantage to ease her Majesty's
purse, which by mine abode in this service shall be either bur-
dened, or else some great personages here shall remain mal-
contents towards us.

As nothing hath prevailed more with the King, nor drawn
him more forwards in these actions, and to hasten the duke's
departure, than the bond of his promise made to her Majesty,
and desire he hath to entertain and keep her Highnesses good
will and opinion towards himself, so it is thought mete to
nourish the same in him, and to increase the strength of this
bond by further promises to be renewed and made to her Majesty.
For which purpose chiefly, and to do other requisite offices be-
twixt her Majesty and him, it is advised that Mr. John Colville
may be presently dispatched to her Majesty, as by mine other
with these is likewise certified. And albeit in my former I have
signified my purpose to stay his journey, praying your private
advice in the same, which is not yet come unto me, yet seeing
the good meaning of such as persuade and advance his journey
with this speed, and the good fruit that may well spring thereon,
(if God shall open our hearts to take the benefit of His blessings

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ofiered,) I can now agree to his repair to her Majesty. And
yet I strive not to hasten the same with great expedition, until
I may receive such advice from you in this behalf as you think
good to give me and as before I have craved at your hands.

The note of the time of the nativity of 91, so near as I can
learn the same, I send inclosed to you.* When you give order
to use any cypher in your letters to be sent to me, I beseech
you give warning thereon, that due regard be given to write the
words truly, in the right cyphers set down in the alphabet ; for
I have been sometimes troubled in your last, by some errors
eschaped therein.

Thus with mine humble duty, &c.

Edinburgh, xxiind Decembris, 1582.

CXLVII. — ^^To Sir Francis Walsingham, xxii. Decem-
ber, 1582.'^ From the Letter-Book, p. 95.

It may please your Honour. Yesternight I received your
last of the xvth hereof, looking now daily for the coming of La
Mothe to Berwick, where he shall be stayed, (accordinff to my
former,} until it shall be known in what sort he shall be ad-
dressed hither. If his address be not simply to the King, as

Online LibraryRobert BowesThe correspondence of Robert Bowes of Aske, esquire, the ambassador of Queen Elizabeth in the court of Scotland → online text (page 33 of 64)