A DISCOVERIE OF THE VN­NATVRAL AND TRAITE­rous conspiracie of Scottish Papists, a­gainst God, his Church, their natiue Coun­trie, the Kings Maiesties person and estate:

Set dovvne, as it vvas confessed and subscribed by Maister George Ker, yet remaining in prison, and Dauid Grahame of Fentrie, iustly executed for his treason in Edenburgh, the 15. of Februarie. 1592.

Whereunto are annexed, certaine intercepted Letters, written by some of that faction to the same purpose.

First Printed and published in Scotland, at the speciall commandement of the Kings Maiestie.

LONDON Printed by R. F. for Iohn Norton. 1593.


MAny and dangerous points (good Reader) of vnna­turall and treasonable practises of Scottish Pa­pists, or (as they vvill needs be styled) Catholicke Romanes, against God▪ his church, their natiue coū ­try, and the Kings Maiesties estate and person, be­ing discouered by Gods great and mercifull prouidence, partly by the depositions & confessions of some of the practisers them selues, & namely, Maister George Ker, vvho for that cause is imprisoned: and Dauid Grahame of Fentrie iustly executed for the same, in Edenburgh, the 15. of Februarie. 1592. and partly by diuers letters of sundrie of the practisers inter­cepted at diuers times. It is thought good by the Kings Maie­stie and his honourable Counsaile, that the most substantiall poynts of the sayd depositions, should be faithfully taken out of the originals, vvhich vvere deposed and confessed by the said M. George, and Dauid Grahame of Fentrie, before the honourable persons deputed by the Kinges Maiestie and his highnesse Counsell to that effect, and subscribed vvith their ovvn hands, & for the greater ease of the memory of the Rea­der, should be summarily gathered into this forme follovving, vvhich otherwise vvere scattered here & there in their depo­sitions, according to the occasion of the diuerse demaundes at diuerse times: for the readier taking vp vvhereof, the times of the depositions and persons deposed, seuerally and coniunct­ly [Page] as the matter craueth, should be set dovvne in marginal quo­tations: As also, that some of the most remarkable Letters of the practisers, should be ioyned hereunto word by word, vvhich vvere intercepted vvith Maister George Ker, and the rest decyphered and translated as after shall appeare, and so the vvhole togither to be imprinted, and set forth vnto the vievv of the vvorld, to the glorie of Gods Maiestie (the only reuealer of these secrets) to the comfort & edification of his Church, & the perpetuall detectiō & shame of the vnnaturall enemie. All vvhich things are so faithfully done in this volum folovving, that no man how impudent soeuer he be, can iustly challenge it vvith any falsifying, forging, or chaunging one thing for ano­ther, to the vvresting of the original depositions in any the least substantiall parts thereof, as by conferring this extract vvith the first records, vvhich are in the Clerkes hands, most euidēt­ly shal appeare, if any list to looke vpon them. Thou art therfore (good Reader) greatly to consider the goodnes of our God in this case, so vvatchfull ouer his church, for the good and safety ther­of, by discouering such deep & dangerous practises of the dead­ly enemy, euen thē, vvhē as we thinking nothing lesse, are rea­die to be surprised by their close courses so cunningly & crafti­ly conueied, as vve may vvel say vvith the Prophet, our soule is escaped, euen as a bird out of the snare of the Fowlers, &c. As also, thou art to be vvakened vp, to the earnest consideration of the diligence, force and crueltie of our enemies (vvhich yet is nothing abated, but more eager presently then euer heretofore, to atchieue their diuellish intent) & no vvaies to trust them or be secure, as though they vvere sleeping, & minding no danger to vs, vvhile in the meane time, so deeply and deadly they con­spire vvithin & without, vvith so great force & craft against our religion, landes and liues, that they dare be bolde in their [Page] pride, to assure the Spaniard of no resistance here to their cr [...] enterprise, as by their ovvne bragging vvords hereafter in their letters euidently shall appeare: yea all kindly natiue Scot­tish men, & true louers of the Christiā religion, ought speedily & substanciallie to concur, to the vvithstāding & ouerthrow­ing of this our cōmon enemie, vvithin our ovvn bowels, whose vnnaturalnes, barbarisme & high attempt, cā be matched with no example domesticke or forrain, that we read of, whether vve consider the cruel barbarousnes of the Spaniard, to vvhom they haue sold their countrie, K. and people (vvhereof let the monu­ment vvrittē by one of their ovvn Friers against the Spanish crueltie, beside experiēce vvher they be maisters, beare witnes) or vvhether vve cōsider their most deceitful dealing, couering their most bloody purposes with cloak of most tēder friendship, vvhich most closely they haue coūterfeited by subscriptiō to the true religion, by hearing of the vvord preached, and common profession thereof vvith vs, and participation of the Sacra­ments, by bands finally, affinities, othes, and all attestations & lavves sacred and humane that might seeme to procure credit amongst men, and many other things to be enlarged in time and place, as mens callings in Church and pollicie craues. Con­sider, and consider againe (good Reader) vvhat should be the e­state of all honest and godly men, their vviues and daughters, the estate of Church, Common vveale & Prince, yea and of the miserable vvretches themselues, if their purpose to make the Spaniard our maister (for no mans seruaunt nor fellovv vvill that proud beast be) should take effect: O miserie, miserie, mise­rie vnspeakeable, especially to themselues, if their vvofull pur­pose succeed to their mind and far proceeded practises. VVher­fore yet againe, it is high time and more, that all good men, and louers of their natiue countrie be vvakened vp to true re­pentance [Page] to the Lord, vvho so heauily threatneth, and in a part alreadie striketh: and to a diligent and substantiall concurring euery one according to his calling and place, both in land and Burrovv, to vvithstand these desperat attempts before they passe remedie, and timely to preuent the farther danger, by as­sisting the execution of Iustice vpon the rest of the detected traitors vvithout respect of persons, that so vve labouring to take euill out of Israell, the Lord vvho hath so notably begun the vvorke, may bring it to an happie end, to his glorie & our comforts, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

A DISCOVERIE OF THE vnnaturall and traiterous practises of the Scot­tish Papists, against God, his Church, their natiue countrie, and the Kings Maiesties person and estate.

BY the confessions and depositions of maister George Ker, Deposed by maister George Ker 3.5. and 6. of Febr. 1592. and Dauid Grahame of Fen­trie, it is discouered, That in March 1591. Maister William Creichtoun (who hath re­mained these two yeres past in Spaine) sent to maister Iames Gordoun Iesuite, brother on the fathers side to George now earle of Huntlie, a Gentle­man called maister William Gordoun, sonne vnto the Lord of Abiryeldie with letters, to let the Catholikes here vnderstand what trauell maister William Creichtoun had taken with the king of Spaine since his comming thither: and that the said king had opened vnto him that he had bene deceaued by Eng­lish men, and would from thenceforth, embrace the aduise and way which the said maister William would shew him, both for inuading of England, and alteration of religion with­in this realme. And for that purpose the sayd maister William craued by this Gentleman, to be sent to him so many blanks and procurations, as could be had of Noble-men here, for the assurance of his traffique.

Vpon the sight and receipt of the which blanks,Deposed by maister George Ker the 3.5. & 6 of Febr. 1592. sent with some other discréet gentlemen, hauing the Noble-mens com­mission, to be filled vp with such conditions as should be capitu­lated and agréeed vpon, betwixt the king of Spaine, & maister [Page] William Creichtoun, And deposed by Dau. Grahame of Fentrie, the 13. of Feb. 1592. which should haue serued as pledges and suerties for the subscribers part, at the landing here of the Spanish armie. It was concluded that there should haue bene sent out of Spaine about the latter end of the spring, in this present yeare 1592. an armie of thirtie thousand men,Deposed by maister George Ker the 3. of Febr. 1592. to haue landed either at Kirkcudbricht, or at the mouth of Clyde, accor­ding to the oportunitie of the winde, where they should haue intrenched and fortified themselues for the assurance of them and their ships.

Deposed by maister George Ker the 3. of Febr. 1592. And by Fentrie the 14. of Feb. 1592And first of all, money should haue bene sent to the Catho­likes here, for raising of forces to supplie the sayd armie, wher­of, foure or fiue thousand should haue remained within this countrie, who with the fortification and assistance of the Noble men Catholikes, their friends, and such other forces as the spa­nish monie would raise, should haue immediatly after their landing, begun to alter the religion now professed within this realme,Deposed by Fentrie the 13 of Feb. 1592. or at least procured libertie of conscience, and Pa­pistrie to haue bene erected here:Deposed by M. George Ker 3. of Feb. 1592. and the rest of the armie should haue past toward England the nearest way from their landing to the border.

Deposed by Fentrie 13 of Feb. 1592.These letters sent from maister William Creichtoun, being giuen in credit by maister Iames Gordoun to maister Robert Abrecrumby, were shown by him to Dauid Grahame of Fen­trie, at Abirnethie, in Aprill 1592.

And for effecting of this matter, it was once thought most conuenient that sir Iames Chesholme, Deposed by Da. Grahame of Fentrie the 13 of Feb. 1592. who was then one of his Maiesties chiefe seruaunts, should haue gone to Spaine with this commission, in respect, he was otherwise to passe towards his Vncle maister William Chesholme (called Bi­shop of Dumblane) for sir Iames had the first credite of this errand with the Noblemen, as he declared to Dauid Gra­hame of Fentrie, that he had dealt with the Earles of Huntlie and Errol, and conferred with maister George Ker about this matter, about the time of the last Parlement holden in Edin­burgh in Iune 1592. as also communed againe in his owne house with the same maister George Ker, in October 1592. touching the whole heads of this dispatch: but sir Iames [Page] not being able to be so soone readie, and maister George Ker being bound off the country, it was thought best,Deposed by Fē rtie 13. of Fe­bruary. 15 [...] that the same Commission should be giuen to him, and that he should vnder­take the carrying of the said Letters: And so he was imployed in that errand, the rather, because both his grandmothers were Creichtouns.

Afterward, maister George being bownd to this iourney, and readie to make saile out of Fairly Roade at the West sea banke, vpon the 27. of December. 1592. Then (by Gods pro­uidence) the said maister George was apprehended in the Ile of Cumray, and with him there was intercepted sundry missiue Letters directed to this purpose. Amongst which, there was eight blankes, whereof one is subscribed.

De vostre Majestie tres humble & tresobeisant seruiteur, Guil­liame compte de Anguss.

An other blanke is subscribed.

De vostre Majestie, tres humble & tresobeisant seruiteur, Fran­coys compte de Erroll.

And these two blankes were both procured of them,Deposed by Maister George Ker. 3. of Feb. 1592. by Syr Iames Chesholme, in their owne lodgings in Edinburgh, at the time of the last Parliament in Iune. 1592.

An other blanke is subscribed.

Guilielmus Angusi comes.

An other blanke is subscribed.

Franciscus Errolli Comes.

Which were both procured of them by maister Robert A­bircrumby, who was the chiefest traueller in that matter,Deposed by Fē ­trie 13. of Fe­bruary. 1592. Deposed by master George Ker 3. of Febr. 1592. in October. 1592.

[Page] Another blanke is subscribed.

Georgius Comes de Huntlie.

And another is subscribed.

Georgius Comes de Huntlie.

Which were both with the whole blankes proposed, first to the Earle of Hunlie, by maister George Ker in Strathbogy, Deposed by master George Ker, 3. of Februarie. 1592. at his passing there.

Deposed by master George Ker 3. of Febr. 1592. and by Fentrie, 14. of Fe. 1592.Which six seuerall blankes before specified, should haue bin all filled with missiue Letters, by the aduise of maister Willi­am Creichtoun.

And the other two blanks, making out the number of eight, were both subscribed in the midst of two open shéets of paper in this maner.

Guillielmus Angussie Comes.
Georgius comes de Huntlie.
Franciscus Errollie Comes.
Patricius Gordoun de Auchindoun Miles.

Deposed by M. George Ker, 3. of Febr. 1592.Which two last blankes, were first subscribed by the Earle of Huntlie, and Patricke Gordoun in October 1592. And af­ter being sent with maister Robert Abircrumby, to ye Earles of Angus, and Erroll, were subscribed by them in the same mo­neth of October 1592. And these two blankes should haue bin filled vp with procurations, and whatsoeuer should haue bene thought méet, by the said maister William Creichtoun, for the auouching of that which maister George Ker had in direction and credit of the subscribers,Deposed by M. George Ker. 5. of Feb. 1592. which credit he receiued from the Earle of Huntlie, by the report of maister Iames Gordoun, and from the Earles of Angus and Erroll, by themselues in Edin­burgh, in the beginning of October. 1592.

And the summe of this his credit, was an assurance, that these Noble men should raise a power of horsmen, & méet the [Page] Spanish Armie at their landing, and reciprocally to assist, ac­companie, and conuoy them in their passing to England,Deposed by M. George Ker the 5. and 6. of Fe­bruary. 1592. by all the forces they could procure vpon the King of Spaines char­ges: And these Noble men subscribers, tooke the burden on them, and interposed their bandes, for the concurring of the whole Catholikes of Scotland in this cause, & thought it méete amongst themselues for the better secrecie, that none other should be craued to binde for this errand, but they thrée.

With these eight blanks subscribed, as is said, there was in­tercepted stamps in wax, of the Erle of Angus seale of Armes six; of the Earle of Huntlies seale of Armes foure; and of the Earle of Errolles seale of Armes thrée.

Dauid Grahame of Fentrie deposed,Deposed by Fē ­trie 13. of Febr. 1492. that he met sundrie times since this purpose was in hand, with maister Robert A­bircrumby, as namely, that the first knowledge he had of this purpose was by the said maister Robert in Dunfermling: and afterward in ye Castle of Striuiling, before maister George Ker his preparation to his iourny, where M. Robert shewed him,Deposed by Fē ­trie 14 of Febr. 1592. that this Cōmission was to be giuen to the said maister George, to cause the blankes to be filled with maister William Creich­touns aduise, and that he was to deliuer the same blanks, with the other Letters to him, who was to depart and carry with him all this message.

Like as the said blankes and Letters, which were procuréd for that errand, were all deliuered by maister Iames Gour­doun, and maister Abircrumby, to maister George Ker, to be carried by him to maister William Creichtoun Iesuit: And to be filled vp at the discretion and direction of the said maister William, and of maister Iames Tyrie, who was best acquain­ted with the affaires there.

For the vnderstanding of the borrowed & counterfaited names, that occurre in the Letters following, (good Reader) thou shalt finde them interpreted on the margent, where they are pointed out by this Marke, * which interpretations are con­teined in the originall depositions of the practisers, and in some of their intercepted Letters.

A Letter directed from an English Iesuit, and intercepted with M. George Ker, the 27. of December, 1592.

Good father, the inclosed to my Lord, I pray you reade, and take it as written to your selfe: what I write to him, I write to you; what I craue of him, I craue of you; what I hope of him, I hope of you, as of my Patron & Pedagogue in spiritualibus; as of a man, whose discretion and moderati­on I haue well experimented, in all cases, and at all times. If I had so far ouerlashed, & gone beyond my compasse, as some good fellowes would imagine, yet I wonder that some good men, both in their owne conceits, and other spirituall means, will admit no excuse, no satisfaction, no purgation: when S. Paul to the Galathians, in most euident terms setteth downe this rule amongst the perfect and spirituall: Fratres & si prae­occupatus fuerit homo in aliquo delicto, vos qui spiritua­les estis hujusmodi instruite in spiritu lenitatis, considerans teipsum, ne & tu tenteris. If I had spoken with you at my last being in Italie, as I well hoped, I had perhaps made a bet­ter conclusion of my businesse there, then I did to my own con­tent and all my friendes satisfaction, which hope, for all these stormes, I will neuer giue ouer, and when I leaue by your meanes to be vnder the good habering, I wil write to you of that subiect. The Lord Seytoun, in whose house I soiourn some­times [Page] salutes you. Of the affaires of the Catholikes here, I leaue it to them to write and relate, by whose meanes these letters shall be conueighed. My Lord Seytoun hath a hauen of his owne, which may be hereafter very commodious for our purpose. Commend me I pray you to F. Barth. Pere &c. mai­ster Dudley Iipher knight, and Iohn Thules, which vpon some sudden pushes of persecution, haue made their repaire hither, are in health and salute you. And maister Syall a priest dyed here lately in Edinburgh. Loue me and pray for me I beséech you all, solito. And if you send any into these parts, let them come furnished with as ample faculties as you may. Let them enquire for one maister Ionas, which will be a token betwixt vs. Our Lord blesse vs and send vs to méet once ere we die. Seytoun this 2, of October 1592.

Yours euer most assured, Ioan Cecilio. Blanke on the backe.

A letter directed from the Earle of Angus, all written and sub­scribed with his owne hand, intercepted with maister George Ker, the 27. of December, 1592.

MY most affectionat commendations premitted, this pre­sent is only to know of your welfare and friends, and of the estate of matters where you remaine, and to shew a te­stimonie of my good affection towards you. For God be praysed if you were in this countrie, I could doe you greater pleasure then I was able to doe before, albeit good will lacked not at any time, as you know. The M. George Ker. bearer hereof can informe you of such things as occurre with vs: for we are here dayly subiect to alteration. You may credit him as my selfe, for so his vertues do deserue. It is not needfull that I trouble you with his recommendation, séeing he is to you that he is, you know his honestie and good intention, and the causes of his departing, to whose sufficiencie referring the rest, my hartie [Page] salutations, and my bedfellowes with all our companie young and old, remembred vnto you and your good company: com­mits you with them to the protection of God. Edinburgh the tenth of October after our count, 1592,

Yours euer to his power, Anguss. To M. William Creichtoun.Blanke on the backe.

A Letter directed from maister Iames Gordoun to maister Wil­liam Creichtoun, intercepted with maister George Ker, the 17. of December, 1592.

TRustie friend, after most hartie commendations, your friends that are here, haue directed this present bearer M. George Ker. to you, for full resolution of all your affaires in these quarters, we haue delayed ouer long I graunt, but he wil shew you the cause of all. The best is first ye vse all expedition in time com­ming, against the next summer, otherwise you will lose credit here with your factors. If ye come, ye will find more friends then euer ye had, but otherwise ye will find fewer: because the next summer manie are bound to other countries, and wil not abide on you no longer. Hast home hither some word to your friends, that we may put them in good hope of you, and they will tarrie the longer. The bearer is an honest man, and very sufficient, ye may credit him as my selfe. I should haue come with him my selfe, were it not I was persuaded that you would remaine satisfied with our answere, and because I had a let out of Flaunders. As the bearer can shew you, ye haue gotten all that ye desired,Relation to the blankes. therefore make hast. The bearer is come vnto you on his owne charge, therefore ye must haue re­spect to him. The last bearer that ye sent, came behind hand here, and hath gotten no satisfaction as yet, because nothing could be gotten here, and we could find no man but this, that [Page] would passe on his owne charge, and I feare, that if he had not come on his own expenses, ye should not haue receiued answer so soone, therefore ye should intreat him the better. We looke for your selfe here shortly, and I would you brought the rest of your friends with you that are beyond the sea: The Spanish armie. for if your purpose passe forward, they must be also present, otherwise we must come and visite you. All other affaires of this countrie, I will commit to the bearer, who is faithful. Your wife and your childrenThe Catholike Romans and their confe­derates. commend them vnto you, and looke to sée you shortly. If I or Sandesoun M. Robert Abircrumby. your friend receiue any siluer from the bearer, you shall be aduertised by an other ticket, how much it is, and subscribed with both our hands. The rest I will refer to the bearer. God preserue you euer from all euill. At Dundie the 20 of Nouember, 1592.

Your most affectioned to his power, I. Christesoun. M. Iames Gordoun. Directed on the backe. To his assured friend George Craufurd. M. William Creichtoun.

A Letter directed from maister Robert Abircrumby to maister William Creichtoun, intercepted with maister George Ker, the 27 of December. 1592.

AFter my due and humble salutations and offer of seruice, I gréeue and lament heauily the slouth and negligence your merchands haue vsed in answering of your last sute you proposed to them. For apparantly, if they had made answer in due time, our wares had bene here in due time, with our great profit and consolation. The stay and stop of the matter appa­rantly, was lacke of expenses, that no man would of his owne charges take that voyage in hand: yea, some craued a thousand crownes for his expenses. So the matter was once wholy gi­uen ouer and almost cleane forgot, vntill it pleased God of his diuine prouidence to stir vp this bearer, to take the matter in [Page] hand on his owne expences: as hée hath bene euer bent in that cause, not onely to spend his goods, but also the thing which is more deare to him that is, his life: therefore I thinke he should be the more acceptable: as also for the affinitie of blood, [...]or both his grandmothers were Creichtones And as for wit & abilitie, in treating of those affairs, he is not inferiour to any of your merchands which you desired, as ye wil perceiue by experience God willing. And albeit that he of his couragious liberalitie and zeale to the cause, hath takē the matter in hand on his own charges, yet all your friends in these quarters thinke it verie reasonable, that al should be repaied to him againe, cum vsurs, with promotion till any other accident should fall out, for the weale and furtherance of this cause, &c. But now I will say one word of him, and so come to some other purpose of our own: If I had a thousand tongues,The hyperboli­call and ridicu­lous commen­dation of M. George Ker. with so many mouthes, with C [...] ­ceroes eloquence, I could not be worthie ynough to commend this Gentleman, to you and all your company, as I shall let you vnderstand, God willing, if euer we doe chaunce to méet face to face: and therefore whensoeuer ye may, preuent him with any benefit, either by your selfe or any other, abide not till he craue it of you, for he is the worst asker in his own cause, that euer ye conversed with, Sed nunc ad alia. If you be well remembred, at your departing out of this countrie, you gaue maister Iames Makcartnay a procuratory to intermeddle with maister Alexander Homes little liuing he hath here in East Lowthiane, the which he pleaded and obtained in law, and tooke vp the yearely rents therof to his own behoofe, & giues his none of it. In the mean time there falles out such incumbrāces touching that land, that we are like to loose the whole. The sayd maister Alexanders nearest friends and heires, haue in iudge­ment prooued him to be dead, and so enter as heires to him. In the meane time, the Land of Spot his chiefe lord is forfeited, and so the land wairds, so that we are like to lose al if remedie be not found. Wherefore, falling in consultation with mai­ster Alexander King, he thought best to sell the land vnto him, and we to vse the siluer in a more sure manner, of the which ye shall receive some writings These writings intercepted with the rest, are a charter and obligation to be past by M. Alexander Home of Paly­well to M. A­lexander King his heires and assigns of foure teame lands in the Lordship of Spot, with a missiue letter directed by him to that effect. from this bearer, the which ye [Page] will vnderstand better then I. Onely I thinke if some meanes be not vsed, we shall loose all, & better it is to haue some thing, nor loose all. As for the price set ye it downe, for he hath mentio­ned none as yet; but he will giue as much as any other, because as he saies, he hath some land lying neare to it. I pray you answere vs with spéede. I doubt not but ye haue heard, how the yong man, whose father was slaine by the Laird of Ruthvenis slue him againe, whose Ladie is married to one Iames Reid. Camnay is come into the Constables hands; and your Nephew is priuie of it, and that by the meane I trow, of Abraham your brother: but your Maich is litle better thē beg­gred. Drumkilbo is dead, and Thomas Tyrie is Tutor. I pray you aduertise me by what manner, maister Stephen Wilsoun came by my Lord Leuingstons Obligation, the which you had of the fortie Crownes his L. owed you: For maister Stephen hath gotten the fortie Crownes, rendering the Obli­gation which ye had: I durst neuer make mention of the hun­dreth Crownes from the father, and fortie Crownes from the sonne, which ye left me authoritie to aske, &c. My Lord Le­uingstone, is departed out of this world. Ye heard before, that Dauid Forester Dauid Gra­hame of Fen­trie. had one sonne, and now hath an other borne in the Castle of Striueling, where he is in ward, hardly hand­led. There is but one of our Nobilitie here, which hath of the King of Spaine any pension well payde of twelue hundreth Crownes. The which apparantly are euill bestowed: For he nor none of his as yet, hath euer done any kind of good in the promotion of the Kings matters: wherfore such pensions were better bestowed on others, who trauell daily and hourly, put­ting in hazard both their goods & liues,Enuy amongst the Papists themselues. as this bearer hath done and daily doth: and others, as he can shew you, &c. Because I haue no other thing to write, and haue bene long inough, I commend me to your praiers, and you to God. At Scotland the 15. of December. 1592.

Yours at his power Robert Sandesoun. M. Robert A­bircrumby. Directed on the backe. To his trustie friend George Cranfurd. M. William Creichtoun.

A Letter directed to the King of Spaine, by three Noble men of Scotland, whereof, two haue since returned to the profes­sion and defence of the truth, by their oathes and subscripti­ons, wherfore their names are suppressed, the third his name expressed (to wit, the Earle of Huntly) because he continu­eth as yet in his former wicked course. This Letter writtē by them in the name of the Catholicke Noblemen of Scotland, cyphered in French, was intercepted in Ianuarie, 1589. lately before the time of the Rode of the Bridge of Die, afterward was decyphered word by word, and translated into Scottish as followeth.

They are sory that the Spa­nish fleete past by, without lan­ding in Scot­land.SIR, we cannot sufficiently expresse by spéech, the great griefe we haue conceiued, being frustrate of the hope we haue so long had to sée this yeare past, the desired effects fall out which we attended of your Maiesties preparations. And our displesures haue bin so much ye greater, that your naual armies should haue passed by so neare vs, vnuisiting vs, who expec­ted the same with sufficient forces for the peaceable receipt and assisting thereof, against all enemies, in such sort, that it should haue had no resistance in this Country, and with our support should haue giuen inough to do to England. At least, if it had come here to refresh it, it had preserued a number of vessels and men, which we know haue perished neare our Iles, and vpon the coast of Ireland. And had discouered an incredible number of friends,The Spaniard should haue had great as­sistance in Scot­land. in full readinesse to haue run the same fortune with it, in such sort, as we dare wel affirme, it should not haue found halfe so many in England, for all that is spoken by the English Catholikes refuged there, who by emulation, or rather by an vnchristian enuy extenuate ouer farre our meanes to ayd you, to magnifie their owne only, and make themselues to be estée­med able to do all, to aduance themselues thereby, in credit [Page] with your Maiestie, & such as are about you: but the experience of this their passage, hath sufficiently testified, they haue not showne themselues in such number to assist your forces as we haue done. And therfore your Maiestie, as most wise, as ye are, shal if it please you, make such account of the one, as ye neglect not the other, and so serue you with them both, to the end ye pre­tend, without hazarding your forces for the particular of the one or the other.They haue in­formed the K. of Spaines subiects wrac­ked here, of the meanes to do good by lan­ding in Scot­land. We remit to the declaration of some of your own subiects that haue bene here, the commodities and aduan­tages of landing in these parts, where the expenses bestowed vpon the equippage of one Galliasse, shall bring more frute to your seruice, then ye may haue of ten vpon the Sea. And we may assure your Maiestie, that hauing once sixe thousand men here of your own with mony, ye may leauie here forces of this Countrey, as fréely as in Spaine, who will serue you no lesse faithfully then your owne naturall subiects. And albeit we cannot without blame of presumption, giue your Maiestie ad­uise in your affaires there: Alwaies in that,Aduise to the king of Spaine how to assault this Iland here­after. that may concern your seruice here, we may speake more fréely, as being vpon the place, and knowing by ordinarie experience many things vnknowne to any of yours that are not here. The ouer late ar­riuall of your Armie in our waters, tooke from it the commo­ditie, to retire it selfe in such safetie, as it might haue done com­ming sooner, by reason of the great windes that are ordinarie here in haruest: as also lack of Pylots experimented vpon the coasts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, appeareth to haue bred great harme to the sayd Armie, whhich we could haue re­medied concerning Scotland, to haue sent Pilots from this if it had liked your Maiesty to haue serued your self with them. Likewise (sauing better aduise) it séemes to vs altogither vn­profitable to fetch the Armie by sea, it may be eschewed for manie causes: And amongst others, because such as shall haue fought by sea, shall be vnable, being wearie to fight againe by land against new forces: so the best should be, to shift by one way or other, for sparing of your men and vesselles, and so the English forces staying vpō ye sea vnfought with, shalbe dis­appointed and shall not come in time, to assist them that shalbe [Page] assailed by land.Aduise to the king of Spaine, how to assault this Iland here­after. After, sending hither a part of your forces, be­fore the other which should go the right way to England, and that secretly by the back of Ireland: Your Maiestie should com­pell the enemie to diuide their forces, & it may be, should cause them send the greatest part hither, where ye might make them beléeue the greatest part of your forces were arriued, at least should cause them disgarnish as much of England, and draw a great part of their forces, which would resist your landing and inuasion on that coast. And we may well promise, that hauing here six thousand of your men,With 6000. men sent from Spaine, & mo­ney to leauie a power in Scotland, they will in sixe weekes be far in Englad. Bruce is the mouth of these Lords, to the King of Spaine and Duke of Parme. and mony to ayd others here, we should within sixe wéekes after their arriuall, be a good way within England, to approach and assist the forces which your Maiestie shuld cause to enter there. The knight William Sem­pill colonel, can shew your Maiestie the whole to whom we leaue it. Also, we haue caused to write both before and since his departure, our many such aduises, by maister Robert Bruce, and caused to addresse the same to my Lord Duke of Parme, to whom your Maiestie remitted vs from the beginning in these affaires. And séeing we hope your Maiestie is duly aduertized and enformed, we will end the present, kissing most humbly your Maiesties hand. Praying God with all our affection, to graunt you full accomplishment of all your holie enter­prises. From Edinburgh this 24. of Ianuarie. 1589.

Your Maiesties most humble and affectioned seruitors. G. Earle Huntlie, &c. In name of the other Lordes Catholikes in Scotland.

A Letter directed from the Erle of Huntly, to the Duke of Parme, intercepted in Ianuarie, &c.

MY Lord, I haue receiued from Iohn Chesholme, Letters recei­ued frō the D. of Parme by Iohn Che­sholme. Support of 10000. crownes from the Duke of Parme. the Let­ters it pleased your Highnesse to write, the 13. of October, full of most Christian affection to the welfare of our cause: for [Page] the which, I giue your highnesse most humble thanks. The sup­port of ten thousand crownes sent to that end, is receiued by M. Robert Bruce, which shall not be imploied but for helpe of the most vrgent necessitie of the sayd cause, as it hath pleased your highnesse to direct. After the departure of Colonel Sempil, I haue found my selfe so beset on all hands, and pressed in such sort by our King, that it behooued me to yéeld to the extreame difficultie of time, and subscribe with his Maiestie, not with my hart, the confession of their faith,He dissembles his religion for feare and pollicie. or otherwise I had bene forced immediatly to haue departed the countrie, or to haue taken the fields for resisting his forces, and such as he might haue drawn out of England to his aide, which I could not haue done, speci­ally then, when by the returning of your armie into Spaine, all hope of helpe was taken from vs, but if on the one part I haue faulted, by the apprehension of dangers that threatned my ruine, I shall on the other part endeuour my selfe to a­mend my fault (whereof I repent me with all my heart) by some effect, tending to the weale & aduancement of the cause of God, who hath put me in such credit with his Maiesty, that since my comming to the Court, he hath broken his former Gards, and caused me to establish others about his person of my men, by the means of whom and their captains, who are also mine, I may euer be maister of his person,He hath esta­blished gards about the king at his own de­uotion, to be maister of his person, when occasion shall offer. and your support being arriued, spoile the hereticke of his authoritie, to fortifie and as­sure our enterprises: wherevpon I beséech your Highnesse to send me your aduise, & to assure your selfe of my vnchangeable affections in my former resolutions, albeit the outward acti­ons be forced to conforme themselues, sometime to necessitie of occasions, as M. Robert Bruce will more amplie write vnto your Highnesse, to whome I remit me farther. Praying God after I haue most humblie kist your Highnesse hand, to giue you accomplishment of your holy enterprises. From Edin­burgh the 24 of Ianuarie, 1592.

Your highnesse most humble and affectionate seruitour, G. Earle of Huntlie.

A Letter from the Earle of Erroll, to the Duke of Parme, inter­cepted in Ianuarie, &c.

MY Lord, since God of late by the cleare light of his holy Catholike faith, hath chased from my vnderstanding the darkenesse of ignorance and errour, wherin I haue bene here­tofore nourished: I haue bene as soone persuaded in acknow­ledging of so great an effect of his diuine grace towards me, that I am chéefly obliged to procure, sith I know the enterpri­ses of his Catholike Maiestie and your highnesse tende prin­cipally to that end,The causes of the Papists are inseparable, for the king of Spains seruice. as also to the aduancement of some ciuile cause which hath verie great affinitie & coniunction with ours here. That I may testifie by this present, the affection that I haue to the weale of the one and the other, hauing euer before my conuersion bene one of the number of your friends and ser­uitors for the respect of the last, to the which, the first of religi­on, which is the greatest & most important that is in the world, being ioined thereto, I am also become altogether yours, which I most humbly beséech your highnesse cause to be signified to his Catholike Maiestie, and to promise him in my behalfe, that he hath not in this countrie, a more affectionate seruaunt then I, neither yet your highnesse, as ye shal vnderstand more am­plie of my intention in particular, by him by whom your high­nesse shall receiue this present. To whom, after I haue most humblie kissed your hand, I beséech the Creator to giue you the accomplishment of your holy desires. From Edinburgh, this 24 of Ianuarie 1589.

Your highnesse most humble and most affectioned seruitant, Francis earle of Erroll.

A Letter from Robert Bruce to Monsieur Francisce Aguirre Spaniard, &c. intercepted in Ianuarie, 1589, written in French, and translated into Scottish, as followeth.

MOnsieur de Aguirre, I haue receiued your Letter, dated the ninth of Nouember, written from And werpe, wher­by I was glad to vnderstand of your arriuall there and health, and that you haue guided your selfe so wisely in the execution of all that I committed to you. Your maister, who at my re­quest hath giuen you entertainment, hath giuen me the like testimonie of your behauiour, and hath promised me by his let­ters to haue you in the fauourable commendation I desired, and to employ you in good occasions. If he send you hither a­gaine into these parts cause your selfe to be set on land néere Seytoun, where I pray you to enter secretly, and there you shal be kept while I may come and find you, &c.

The rest of this missiue being set downe in obscure terms, is to be seene in the originall.

A Letter from Robert Bruce to the Duke of Parme, intercepted in Ianuary 1589. Lately before the Rode of the bridge of Die, ciphered in French, deciphered afterward, and translated in­to Scottish as followeth.

MY Lord, Monsieur Chesholme arriued in this countrie fiue daies after his departing from thence, and with re­quisit diligence came to the Earle of Huntlie in his own house in Dunfermeling, Letters sent by Iohn Che­sholme frō the Duke of Parme to the Harle of Huntlie, and receiued by him at Dunferme­ling. where hauing presented to him your high­nesse letters, of the 13 of October, be declared amplie vnto him [Page] the credit giuen him in charge, conformable to the tenour of the letters from your highnesse, wherein they perceiued your high­nesse great humanitie and affection, to the aduancement of the glorie of God in this countrie, with other consolations most conuenient, to moderat the dolour & displeasure conceaued by the harts of the Catholikes, by reason of the successe of your ar­mie, against their hope and expectation. Also some dayes af­terward,10000 Crounes receiued from the Duke of Parma by Bruce, to be im­ploied for the king of Spaine his seruice in Scotland. as the commoditie offered to me to receiue the mo­ney, the said Chesholme deliuered to me six thousand two hun­dred thrée score & twelue crownes of the Sun, & thrée thousand seuen hundred Spanish Pistolets, and likewise hath caried himselfe in all his actions since very wisely, and as becomes a man of God: chéefly then, when vpon the suspition conceaued of his so suddaine returning, the king sent to take him. I shall behaue my selfe by the grace of God, in the kéeping and distribution of the monie last sent and of that which resteth yet of the first summe, according to your highnesse prescription, and as I ought to answer to God in conscience, and to your highnesse in credit, and to the whole world in the reputation of an honest man, and will mannage it in such sort, that by the grace of God there shal be fruit drawn therof pleasant to your highnesse.The mony is to be distributed among the Ca­tholike Nobi­litie of Scotlād. It is true that I find (as all others would doe, that would enterprise such a charge here) my self inuolued in great difficulties: for on the one part I am in great danger of the he­retikes, & of them of the faction of England, by reason of the o­pen profession that I make of the Catholike religiō, and of the suspicion that the last hath of my secret practises and dealing a­gainst them. On the other part, I haue much ado to moderate the appetite that some Catholike lords haue, to haue the mo­nie presently, for the hope which they giue of some pretended occasions, which will neuer fall out as they promise. The Earle of Huntlie made instance to haue the third part of the summe which was sent hither as soone as it was deliuered to me,The Earle of Huntlie would haue a third part to himself. but he hath not toucht, nor shal not touch herafter a half pe­ny but vpon good tokens. I haue paied him in the meane time with inexpugnable reasons, wherwith in the end he is cōtēted. I beséech your highnesse, by the first letter it shall please you to [Page] write into their parts, to the Catholike Lordes, to remoue one errour from thrée, who haue written there in name of the resi­due, that moues them to thinke, by reason they were the first that made offer of their seruice to the King Catholike, that all the money that comes hither, should be parted in thrée, and im­mediatly after the arriuall thereof deliuer it to them, without giuing part to others, which beside them are in great number to the King Catholikes seruice, and yours; and also deliberate to hazard after their power for the aduancement of this cause, as they are; of whom the others will not depend in any sort, in the accepting of the means that comes from your liberality, both acknowledge them as comming directly from your High­nesse, to whom onely they will be bound and obliged, and not to the other thrée. Of the which, the Earle of Mortoun, hath hi­therto contented himselfe with reason: As also the Earle of Huntlie, hath neuer showne himselfe subiect to money, but since he hath bene induced by the third, to wit, my Lord Claud Hammiltoun What euer this Noble mā hath bene, at this time it is not to be obiected to him now after his faith and subscription gi­uen to the con­trarie. his vncle, who is somewhat couetous of gaine, and thought vnder such pretext to make his profit. The sayd Earle of Huntlie, is constrained to remaine at Court; he is fallen from his constancie in his outward profession of the Ca­tholike Religion, partly, for hauing lost all hope of your support before the returning of the said Chesholme, because of his long staie there, partly by the perswasion of some poli­tikes, partly to eschew the perils imminent to all them that call themselues Catholikes, partly to kéepe himselfe in the fauour of his King,The Earle of Huntly, dissem­bles his Religi­on first, for feare and pol­licie, after to worke his mat­ters the better. who pressed him greatly to subscribe to the confession of the heretickes, and to be at league with England. But for all this, his heart is no whit alienated from our cause: for he hath the soule euer good, albeit he haue not such vigour to perseuere and execute so as is requisit in so great an enterprise: but they may helpe the defectes, ioyning with him a man of credit, resolute to assist him, as we haue aduised to do, since the Baron of Fentrie is put in ward by the King, in the Towne of Dundie: So that he durst not goe out of the gates thereof, vnder the paine of a great summe, vntill occasion may be of­fered to depart the Countrie, within the time limitted. And I [Page] by the Kings Commandement, am forbidden to come neare the said Erle: because they haue attributed to the said Laird of Fentrie and me, his constancie in the Catholike Religion, and his absence from Court against the Kings will: His warding hath somewhat hindered our course, and permits me not to moue him, as it hath pleased you to command me, and as I de­sire to dispence the money coniunctly with me: so that for sup­plying of the default of him, I haue associated to the same end, a verie honest man, & verie wise called father William Creich­toun Iesuit, who was deteined some yeres in the Citie of Lon­don, after he was taken vpon the sea, comming hitherwards from France. Likewise, I shall helpe my selfe by the prudence of Sir Iames Chesholme, Sir Iames Chesholme, brother to Iohn Che­sholme a con­federate. The mony is in my L. Le­uingstones chiefe house, and at Edin­burgh, to serue the Catholike Noble mens turnes that are shortly to as­semble. More money promised by the Duke of Parme. eldest brother to the said Iohn, who brought the mony from your Highnesse: For he is a man confi­dent, wise, one on our part, and verie litle suspect. In the mean time, the one part of the money, is in the principall house of my Lord Leuingstoun, a verie Catholike Lord, the other here in Edinburgh, in suretie inough, to helpe as it shall néed the Lords Catholiks, who will come verie soone hither to resist, to the purposes of them of the faction of England, who in the same time, are purposed to remaine at Court, with forces to raunge all things at their fantacie. As for the like summe or greater, which your Highnesse will is to cause follow the last sent hither: it is good in al euēts, it were very soone sent hither, secretly to help the necessitie that may fal out, & to cause things incline to our side, when they are in ballance, as there is great appearance they will be, by the occasion aforesaid: And in case that necessitie requires no distribution, the said summe shall be kept, and reserued to better occasions, or till the arriuall of your forces in this Ile.It is ment that Spanish forces should arriue in this Iland. There is suspition, as also arguments probable inough, that Thomas Tyrie, who hath brought hither your Highnesse Letters to our King hath not behaued himself according to his dutie: For he hath accommodat himselfe in his behauiour, more after the affection of our Chanceller (who is of the faction of England, and abuseth the credit he hath with the King) then according to the instructions giuen him there. He hath not presented nor made mention to the King of Colo­nell [Page] Sempills Letter, whereof I haue caused the copie to be pre­sented to his Maiestie by the Earle Bouthwell, as if it had bene sent to him with another of the said Colonells to himself, which he receiued from Thomas Tyrie at his arriuall, who hath re­ported to the said Chanceller all that Seigneur don Bernardi­no spake to him in Paris, to the disaduantage of the said Chan­celler. Also, he hath reported to the King, that my L. Bishop of Dumblane, being returned thither, spake to your Highnesse, and to others many things, to the great preiudice of his High­nesse: And it is beléeued also, that he is the cause of the suspitiō which is conceiued of the comming of the said Iohn Chesholm, newly to the said Bishop. How euer it be,They count our King a­mongst the heretickes. the other reports a­foresaid, which he hath made, haue not serued to conciliat, but to alienate the affection of the King, of the Chanceller, and many others Heretickes, from the said Siegneur don Bernardino, the sayd Bishop, and Catholikes here, that haue had to do with them. As for me, albeit I speake not willingly to the dis­aduantage of any whatsoeuer, chiefly of them whom I haue recommended, as I did the sayd Thomas Tyrie, to the said Don Bernardino, yet I will preferre the loue of the truth to men, and would not in concealing thereof, bring preiudice to the publike weale, nor to the fidelitie yt the one oweth to the other; and specially to that we owe all to the King of Spaine, and your highnesse, to whō I am presently seruant, particular­ly addicted by the Obligation of fiue hundreth crownes of fée, and fortie for monethly entertainment, which it hath pleased your highnesse, to giue me fréely in name of the King of Spain, not being required for my part,Bruce seruant to the King of Spaine, and to the D. of Par­me, hath one pension of 40. crownes in the moneth, and 500. crownes of ferill. nor other thing for my particu­lar to this present: by reason whereof, I am the more bound to giue your highnesse most humble thanks, & to endeuour my selfe to deserue by my most humble and faithfull seruices, as well the said entertainment, as the recompense it hath pleased your highnesse to promise me of your grace & fauour. The said gift of your liberalitie, came well for my purpose, séeing by reason of the danger of my person, it behoued me to augment my ordinarie traine for my greater suretie, which I was not able longer to haue borne out without helpe. For from all the [Page] Lords of Scotland, Bruce hath ne­gotiated in Spaine with the K. and in the low countries with the D. of Parme. A haue not retained but a part only of the mony, which I spent trauelling, for the weale of this cause in Spain with his Catholike Maiestie, and with your highnesse in the low countries. As for the foure hundreth crownes, imployd for the deliuerance of Colonell Sempill out of prison, I haue put it in coūt with the residue which I disbursed of the first sum, according as it hath pleased your Highnesse to commaund me. The Earle of Mourtoun Whatsoeuer this Noble man hath bene, at this time it is not to be obiected to him, now after his oath and subscripti­on giuen to the contrary, if he remaine con­stant. to whom I haue giuen consolation by writing in prison, hath instantly praied me also by writing, to remember his most affectioned seruice to your highnes. Fin­ding himself greatly honored, by the care it pleased you to haue of him. By the grace of God, he is no more in danger of his life by way of iustice; It not being possible to his enemies to proue against him any thing which they had supposed in his accusati­on: As also the Kings affection not so far alienate from him, as it hath bene heretofore: And incase they would noy him, or that it were presently requisit for the weale of our cause to de­liuer him, we haue euer meanes to get him out of prison, and attend in the meane time, but the Kings will toward his libertie, onely to auoid all pursute that they would make, if we deliuer him extraordinarily. When they offered him in the Kings name his libertie, if he would subscribe the Confes­sion of the heretikes Faith, he answered, he would not do it for the Kings Crowne, nor for a hundreth thousand liues, if he had them to lose; And hath offered to confound the Ministers by publike disputation. I shall solicite the Lords his friends to procure of the King, his libertie verie soone: For he imports more the weale of our cause, thē any of the rest, by reason of his forces which are neare England, and the principall Towne of Scotland, and the ordinary residence of our King; As also he is a Lord the most resolute, constant, and of greatest executi­on of any of the Catholickes. It is no small maruell conside­ring the meanes the heretickes haue to hurt vs, and their worldly wits so far passing ours, and their euill will and in­tention against vs, that we subsist. Truly, we cannot but at­tribute the effect thereof to God, who (then when the certaine newes of the returning of the Armie of Spaine by the backe of [Page] Ireland, were dispersed through this countrie, & the heretikes of the faction of England triumphed, and the constancie in the outward profession of the Earle of Huntlie and others was altered) caused the Earle of Angus to die, who was chéefe of the English faction, & the selfe same time grew some dissention a­mongst the heretikes, by reason of some offices that some pre­tended to vsurpe aboue others at Court, and by the instant prayers and holy persuasions of two fathers Iesuits, conuer­ted to our holy faith, two heretike Earles of the chiefest autho­ritie amongst them, the one wherof is called the earle of Erroll, Constable of Scotland, conuerted by father Edmund Hay, the other called the Earle of Craufurd, conuerted by the said fa­ther William Creichtoun. They are both able and wise young Lords, and most desirous to aduaunce the Catholike faith and your enterprises in this Ile, which they are determined to te­stifie to his Catholike Maiestie & your highnesse by their owne letters, which by the grace of God I will send by the first op­portunitie.The king of Spaine & duke of Parma haue enterprises to be executed in Scotland. In the meane time they haue required me to make you offer of their most humble and most affectioned ser­uice, promising to follow whatsoeuer the same Iesuits and I shall thinke good to be done, for the conseruation of the Catho­likes, and to dispose and facilitat the execution of your enter­prises here,The Iesuits and Priests do great hurt in Scotlād. which they may do more easilie then they that are knowne to be Catholicks, whose actions are euer suspicious to the heretickes for their religion, whereof these two Earles haue not yet made outward profession: but in that as in the rest, they submit themselues to our will,Hereby it is e­uident that the declining of papistrie draws with it defectió from our natiue kings obediēce. to the seruice of the king of Spaine and D. of Parme. and to that we think most expedient. The said Fathers of that companie do profit verie much in Scotland, and so soone as any Lord or other person of importance is conuerted by them, they dispose and incline in the very meane time their affection to the seruice of the king of Spaine and your highnesse, as a thing inseparable conioined with the aduancement of the true Religion in this countrie. If I had commandement from your highnesse, I would giue them some little almes in your name to helpe them & eight others, whereof foure are also Iesuits, and the other foure are semi­narie priests of Pontawmoussone in Lorraine, which are al the [Page] Ecclesiastikes that produceth so great spirituall fruit in Scot­land, and acquires to you here such augmentation of your friends and seruaunts. After the parting of Colonell Sempill from hence, the Lords sent letters with the said father Creich­toun and other Gentlemen after the armie of Spaine,The Popish Lords did send by Chreichtoun to moue the Spanish fleete to land in Scotland. to cause it land in this countrie, but it had taken the way to Spaine few daies before their arriuall at the Ilands, where it had re­freshed it selfe, so that it was not possible for them to attend on it. They of this countrie that are of the faction of England, were in a maruellous feare during the incertaintie of the lan­ding of the sayd armie, and confessed plainly, if it had landed here they had bene vtterly ouercome. The Earle Boithwell, who is Admirall of Scotland, and as gallant a Lord as any is in the countrie, albeit he make profession of the new religion, yet is he extremely desirous to assist you against England, ha­uing waged and intertained all this summer (vnder pretence to go daunt the Isles) some troupes of men of warre, which togither with his ordinarie forces, should haue ioined with yours if they had come hither. He suffers himselfe to be peace­ablie guided by me, notwithstanding the diuersitie of our reli­gion, and hath often times sayd, that if the Catholikes would giue him suretie to possesse, after the restitution of the Catho­likes religion, two Abbies which he hath, that he would euen presently be altogether one of yours. He intends to send the Colonell Halkerstoun, to accompanie certaine Captaines and gentlemen to Spaine, and almost foure hundred souldiors, all safe from the Naufrage in our Iles. And because they are in great necessitte, he is purposed to furnish them with ships, vit­tels, and other things necessarie, to testifie thereby to the king of Spaine the affection he hath to do him most humble and af­fectionate seruice. And if we thinke it good, hath offered himself to go out of the countrie, and to go offer himselfe to your high­nesse in the low Countries, and by your aduise afterward, doe the like to his Catholike Maiestie in Spaine. But here vpon we will aduise what is most expedient. If we may alwaies be as­sured of him, he will be as profitable for the weale of our cause, as any Lord in Scotland, for he hath great dependance about [Page] this towne, which is the principall of Scotland, as also vpon the frontiers of England. He hath offered to maintain and de­fend me against all that would attempt any thing against me. We haue chosen for euery Catholike Lord,A counsell of chosen men, for euery Catho­like Lord are erected by Bruce, for the execution of Catholike en­terprises. a gentleman of the wisest and faithfullest Catholikes, and best beloued of their friends, to serue them in counsell, and to meete at all occasi­ons, to resolue vpon the most expedientest courses that may concerne the weale of our cause, according to the will and in­tētion of their Lords, who haue obliged themselues to approue and execute their resolutions, and in no wise to contradict the same: and by that means we hope to proceed with greater se­curitie and effect then we haue done heretofore. Alwaies they shall know nothing of our intelligences there, nor our finall intentions, but according to the exigence of the affairs which shal be in hand, and that superficially, and without discovering our selues ouer far. Your highnesse shall vnderstand by the particular letters of the Lords that which resteth to be sayd to you by these presents: by reason whereof I will make an end most humbly kissing your highnesse hands, and praying God to giue you all the good hope and felicitie you desire. From E­dinburgh, the 24 of Ianuarie, 1589.

Your Highnesse most humble and most affectioned seruitour, Robert Bruce.

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