Procedure: trial of Patrick, master of Gray and others for the raid at Stirling Castle

The which day, in presence of the king's majesty, his nobility, council and estates presently convened, Sir William Stewart [of Monkton], brother german to [James Stewart, earl of Arran], late chancellor, declared and affirmed that Patrick [Gray], master of Gray, confessed and declared to him of late, amongst his other speeches, that he, together with Sir John Maitland of Thirlestane, knight, secretary, Andrew Wood of Largo, comptroller, Sir John Bellenden of Auchnoull, knight, justice clerk, Walter [Stewart], prior of Blantyre, keeper of the privy seal, and William Keith, master of his highness's wardrobe, were art, part and upon the foreknowledge of the raid and incoming of the noblemen and others at Stirling in the month of November the year of God 1585. Which persons, being personally present and hearing the said declaration and affirmation, touching them most highly in honour and duty, craved and desired most humbly of his majesty, his said nobility and estates, least they or any others should be persuaded that the same in any way was true, that they might be presently tried, and to that effect that the oaths and declaration of the noblemen and others presently convened who repaired to Stirling at the time foresaid, together with the said Patrick, master of Gray, alleged speaker thereof, might be presently taken, through which their innocency or guiltiness might be known and order taken with them as appertained. The king's majesty, his said nobility, council and estates, finding the desire of the foresaid persons to be very reasonable, required John [Hamilton], lord Hamilton, Francis [Stewart], earl of Bothwell, lord Hailes, Crichton and Liddesdale, John [Erskine], earl of Mar, lord Erskine, and certain others who came to Stirling at the time foresaid, to declare the truth; and they, being all sworn, declared by their great oaths that the foresaid persons were in no way art, part nor upon the foreknowledge of their coming to Stirling, neither had they nor any of them, nor no others being with them in company, so far as they knew, any intelligence with them by letters, messages nor no other manner of way, directly nor indirectly, at any time before they were received to his majesty's favour. Likewise the said Patrick, master of Gray, being also sworn, testified that he at no time made any such confession or declaration to the said Sir William as he presently affirms, neither did he know of any such form of doing to have been used by the said persons or any of them, but that they behaved themselves as honest, faithful and true to his majesty in this and all other things, as become them of duty; and farther, that he spoke not of having any letter of the said Walter, prior of Blantyre, in a black box, that would disgrace him at his highness's hands, as the said Sir William likewise affirmed, neither had he any letter of the said prior's sent to him at any time, saving one direct missive, advertising him of some ill-will and malice borne to him by the late chancellor, proceeding, as he then and yet does suppose, of a goodwill towards him, and that he would not at any time have wished any inconvenience to have fallen out beside his majesty. With the which declarations made by the said noblemen and others foresaid, his highness being well and sufficiently satisfied, has esteemed, and presently and in all times hereafter wills and does esteem, the foresaid persons and every one of them to be honest, faithful, true, and to have behaved themselves in all things towards his majesty to his highness's honour, contentment and satisfaction.

  1. NAS, PC1/12, f.97v; RPCS, first series, iv, 164-6.