Legislation: private act
Act regarding [Sir Walter Scott], laird of Buccleuch etc.

Regarding the demand made in name and for the king's majesty's dearest sister, [Elizabeth I], the queen of England, by Robert Bowis, her ambassador here resident, for redress to be given to her of the alleged outrageous fact done by Sir Walter Scott of Branxholme, knight, and his accomplices at the castle of Carlisle, purporting that forasmuch as the said Sir Walter, known to be a public officer, with his said accomplices, upon 13 April last, in war-like manner and hostility, invaded her majesty's realm of England, assailed violently her castle of Carlisle and subjects and committed other heinous offences contrary to the league and amity between the two realms, giving thereby a just and manifest occasion of violation of the same; therefore, requiring the said Sir Walter to be both duly convicted for his fact and delivered to his said dearest sister to suffer the pains to be executed upon him for the same, as the said demand at more length purports. The said Sir Walter being lawfully warned and compearing personally before his majesty, his nobility, council and estates presently convened, and the said fact being heavily laid to his charge by the king's majesty for justifying of his own part, denied that ever he had any intention to invade the realm of England or to assail any of his said dearest sister's houses; likewise no deeds of hostility, such as slaughter, depredation of goods, fire-raising or taking of prisoners, nor yet the actual taking or his intention to take the said castle is relevantly qualified against him in the said demand, but that he only simply recovered William Armstrong of Kinmonth, one subject of Scotland, out of that part of the castle of Carlisle where most unjustly he was detained for the time, as most wrongfully he had been taken of before within the realm of Scotland by Thomas [...], depute to [Thomas Scrope], lord Scrope, warden of England, accompanied with a force of 600 armed men within the time of a general assurance, taken at a day of truce, to the which the said William had repaired at the special command of the said Sir Walter, in whose name as keeper of Liddesdale the said day of truce was kept. By the which breaking of the assurance, the said Sir Walter received an open and manifest injury, to the dishonour of his majesty, his sovereign and of the realm of Scotland; which dishonour and wrong cannot justly be excused by pretence of the said William's stopping of the following of a lawful trade, seeing the said form of following was in no way lawful; and albeit it had been lawful, yet the stoppers thereof could not lawfully have been taken by the said English depute at his own hand within the realm of Scotland, whereby it is evident that the only wrong which was in all this matter was committed by the said Lord Scrope and his depute by invading the realm of Scotland in war-like manner and taking of prisoners within the same in time of peace and under assurance of a day of truce as said is, in which the said wardens continued by his wrongful detaining of the said prisoner and refusal of redress after lawful requisition made to him for that effect by letters sent to him by the said Sir Walter, and also by the said ambassador at his majesty's request, after that the said Sir Walter, upon the said warden of England's denial of justice, had made both suit to the said ambassador and also his humble complaint to his majesty. Which wrong and denial of justice moved the said Sir Walter to attempt the simple recovery of the said prisoner in such moderate a fashion as was possible to him, being only accompanied with 80 horsemen and under silence of night, without any other deed of hostility done by him for the time; which simple recovery of the said prisoner must necessarily be esteemed lawful, if the taking and detaining of him was unlawful, as without all question it was and must be so esteemed by all reasonable and disinterested persons. For the which reasons, the said ambassadors demand to convict and deliver the said Sir Walter to suffer pains for the said fact is altogether unreasonable and would tend greatly to the dishonour of his majesty and his whole realm. Which reasons being at length heard and considered by his majesty, his nobility and estates foresaid, it was thought most fit and convenient by them that according to the ancient treaties of peace and custom observed between the realms, this matter of mutual allegiances of notorious injuries done between the officers of the two realms ought and should be entreated by commissioners, which his majesty is most willing and promises for his highness's part with all possible diligence to send to meet upon the border for trial of the said alleged wrongs and making of redress for all extraordinary wrongs which shall be tried to be done by his majesty's subjects at such time and place as shall agreed, the said ambassador being ready to cause the same be done for the part of England. To which commissioners his majesty shall give express command to cause make full satisfaction and redress according to the ancient treaties of peace, to the effect that now in so necessary a time, when the whole isle is menaced by the common enemy, there be no just occasion for his majesty's part of breaking off the happy amity which so long has continued between the two realms.

  1. NAS, PC1/16, 453-454.