Letter: the chancellor and three estates to Henry VIII of England concerning the custody of the kingdom of Scotland during the minority of James V
De custodia regni durante minoritate regis Scotorum responsoria

To the richt excellent, richt hie and richt mychtie prince the King of Ingland. Richt excellent, rycht hie and michty prince, the third day of Februare instante, we ressavit youre patent lettres under youre prive sele datit at Greynwiche, the xiiij day of Januare last passit, bering in effecte that, howbeyt in consideracioune alsweill of the proximite of blude betuix the king, our soverane lord, youre nevoy, and youre grace, as of his minorite and tender age, ye have hitherto bene aggreable to lyff in tranquilite and peax with him, his realme and us. Nochtheles, ye now understand that the Duke of Albany is heir arryvit, furnist in maner so[wning] to hostilite and weir, taking apon him as governoure the custody of oure said soverane, and, as ye ar informyt, hes committit the keping and governance of him to ane strangeare of small reputacioune, procuring dampnably divorce of the queyne, youre syster, and hir husband, intending [tharethrow] to contracte mariage with hir, quhairby oure said soverane lord, as to youre grace apperit, is in dangere to be distroyt and youre sister in poynt of perdicioune, quhilk inconvenient to eschew ye be youre grete laubour causit lang or now the King of France faithfullie promyt to keip the said duke in France and thinkis that he is cummyn heir for accomplesing of his dampnable interprisis in covert manere and without knawlege of the said king, lyke as he hes expressly declarit to youre ambaxatour resident in his court, and that howbeyt the said duke laitlie desirit at youre grace prorogacioune of trewis. Yit regarding the dangeris abovewrittin, and that giff he wer establit at rest in this realme he suld abuse ws and sua aspire to the croune of the samyn, ye have refusit to grant ony trewis or peax at his requeist during his residens heir, howbeyt he, being excludit fra ws, ye culd have bene aggreable tharto gyff the samyn had bene demandit be ws, desiring ws heirfor that we nouther ayed, favore nor assist the said duke in his perverst purpos, nor suffer him remane in this realme, assuring ws that giff we utherwais do suffering his remanyng, ye will thairthrow tak provocacioune with youre confederatis to do ws all displesour and dampnage at youre power, as forther in youre saidis lettres mare at lenth is contenyt. Richt excellent, richt hie and michty prince, in oure maist humyll maner we thank youre grace of the favore ye bere to the king, oure soverane lord, youre nevoy, and gude mynd that, quhill now, youre grace hes had to lyff in peax and tranquillite with his hienes, his realme and ws, in quhilkis we beleiff fermlie ye will yit continew, ye being als largelie informyt in all behalffis of the treuth as ye have bene of the contrare be sic personis as we weill persave nouther luffis youre gracis honor nor weill of this realme, howbeyt we mervell gretely that youre hienes, being sa verteous ane prince, suld giff ony faith or credence to thaim, specialie in the poyntis contenyt in youre saidis lettres apon quhilkis the informacioune maid to youre grace is sa litill apperance or liklyheid to be trew. For in the first, quhair it hes bene reportit to youre grace that the richt illustre prince Duke of Albany, tutoure of law to oure said soverane lord, chosin and ofttymes callit to ws to the governance of this realme, suld now be cummyn heir in maner of hostilite, takin into his handes the custody of oure said soverane lord and deput the governance of him to ane strangear of small reputacioune, pleys youre grace understand that we perfytlie knaw thir informaciounes maid to youre grace contrare to the veryte, fra it is weill knawin how desyrous he has at [all ty]mes bene, and is, to the procuring and keping of gude peax, and that he never wald intromit in ony maner with the custodye of the king, oure soverane lordis persoune, nor constitut ony servand or officiar in his hous bot all wais hes referrit and referris all sic thingis to be ordorit be ws, and we with avise of the quenys, his made baith afore the first cummyng of oure said governor and sensyne have sa substancialie providit for the sure custody of his persoun, deputing thairto certane of the maist agit, famous and honorable lordis of this realme, quhilkis yit continuallie perseveris, awayting on the samyn and all utherwais in maner as we will ansuere to God and to the warld quhat ever be colourit or allegit in the contrar, mervelling nocht litill that [youre grace] suld reput ws of sa small honoure, conscience and provisioun that we, for ony plesour or proffit in this erde, wald oureluke the suryte of oure naturale prince and soverane lord, or that ony utheris suld be maire attentif to his conservacioune then his proper moder and we as trew subdytis. Forthir, richt excellent, richt hie and michty prince, we se nane apearance quhy youre grace suld belieff or giff credence that oure said lord governoure, quha hes bene nuryst with sa grete honoure and had sa tender familiarite with [pap]is and gretest princis in Christindome, wald safir neglecte his fame and conscience as to ymagine or think ony harme or displesour to oure soverane lordis persoun nor to induce ony princes to leiff hir lauchfull husband for his cau[se, nor he] to seperate himselff fra his aun spousit wyff, being ane lady sa verteous and be quham he has sa grete lordschippis and possessiounes, and in gude faith we fermelie beleiff that the quenis grace, youre sister, nor hie, nouther ar, nor hes bene, myndit tharto in ony maner.

Richt excellent, richt hie and michty prince, quhareas youre grace, for avoding of the dangeris above expremyt be youre lettres, ye with youre laubouris and instance persuadit the King of France faithfully to promytt that he suld nocht suffer oure said lord governors return in this realme; quhat promiss or conventionis ar passit betuix you thairapon we knaw nocht, howbeyt we weill understand quhat is betuix his hienes, oure soverane lord, and ws. Bot of ane thing plessis youre grace, be informyt that, considering how verteously oure said lord governoure had himself during all the tyme of his residence heir, trewlie serving oure soverane lord, how weill myndit he ever stude to the augmentacioun of peax betuis thir realmes, how deligent he wes in repressing the dampnable interprise of oure soverane lordis untreu liegis, quhilkis tresonabillie attempt to have put handis in his maist noble persoun and transportit the samyn furth of this his realme, quhairof thai wer convicted in plane parliament, we dout nocht, [bot it] will cleirlie appeir to all Cristin princis that youre grace suld have schewin mair evident takynnis of luff and amite towart oure soverane lord, procuring and solisting at the King of France the haisty returnyng of oure said governor to the keping and interteynying of this realme in polecy and justice than to have gevin impediment to the samyn, suffering, and as is planelie allegiit be youre command, youre wardanis and officiaris on youre bordouris continualy to ayed and favoure and resett the tratouris, rebellis and brokin men of this realme, incitant thame to the contempcion of thare and oure soverane lordis autorite, ryding with convocacioun of theiffis, traytouris and mysdoaris, thair complicis, samony as thai micht be, and als fer within the land as thai durst, rubbing, spulyeing and ourethrawing the trew liegis of this realme at thare power. And mairattoure, be youre gracis lettres foirsaidis, it apperis that quhatsumever gude service be done by oure lord governor and ws to the king, oure soverane lord, youre nevoy, and common weill of his realme is litill regardit bot rathar tane ane evill part be youre grace, and quhatsumever licht report is senistirly maid be ony Scottis traytoure or fugitive for his demeritis fra oure soverane lord, youre nevoy, and his lawis hes ferme credence be the principalis of youre gracis counsaill, quhairapon giff sua continew we se nocht how amite and gude luff may increas betuix oure said soverane lord, youre nevoy, and you. Nochtheles, may it pleis youre grace [to] withdraw youre credence fra sic fals reportis, nocht suffering the Bischop of Dunkeld nor utheris, oure soverane lordis rebellis, [to] be resett within youre realme and be contentit that with oure said lord governouris presens, we may have abstinence of weire for ane tyme quhill an ambaxat may be maid reddy. The king, our soverane lord, sall in the menetyme, with avise of his tutoure, oure governoure, send unto youre grace his ambaxatouris for establissing of forther pece. Quhair, be the contrary, youre grace standing sa impidit that ye can nocht be aggreable to have pecs nor trewis with the king, oure soverane lord, nor ws without we avoid and caus depart oure said lord governoure furth of this realme, we may as inforsit thairto and to oure grete displesour mak knawin to all Cristin princis, and specialie to oure soverane lordis confederatis and freindis, quhat necessarely is enseu apon this youre deliberacioune, that is to say, outher ye will that we, without ony relevant cause, tak fra oure said governoure, he never offending, the tutele of oure soverane lord pertenyng to him of law, and deprive him of his office of governoure to the quhilk he is chosin be ws all and sa lovabilly hes [exercit] the samyn during all the tyme of his being in this realme that na creatoure may of ressoun lay reproche nor dishonour to his, the quhilk thing and we sua did wer expres agane all equite, justice and common weill of this realme; or be the contrary, we assisting to him ye will move were and do unto ws all the dampnage and displesour that may by in youre power, and giff this youre querell be just or resonable God be the juge, sen it may be na better for we have alwais desirit and [desires to leiff] with youre grace in gude amite and pece, giff we may have it without extreme inconvenientis, howbeit we ar resolute that, or we suld consent, to do sa grete hurt to the king, oure soverane lord, and common weill of his realme, sa grete dishonor to oure [selff] and sa grete [wrang to oure] said lord [governoure as to amove him forth] of this realme and leiff in division and dailie truble amang oure selff as this lang tyme bipassit we have done, he being in France, we will, with his presence, tak oure aventure of pece or were as [sall pleys] God to send it, assuring youre grace that for the caus above specifyit and utheris enew, quhilkis we sall schaw in tyme and place, we nouther may nor will at requeist of youre grace, nor ony uther prince, consent nor suffer in ony maner [that oure said lord governoure depart furth of] this realme during the king, oure soverane lordis minorite and lesse age; and giff for this cause we happin to be invadit, quhat may we do but tak God and oure gude querell in defens and do as oure progenitouris [and forbearis has bene constreynt] to do for the conservacioune of this realme heretofore. Gevin under oure soverane lordis prive sele at Edinburgh, the xj day of Februare, the yeir of God jM vC and xxj yeris.

Youre humile oratouris and servandis with all lauchfull service, the chancellar and thre estatis of the realme of [Scot]land.

  1. From APS, xii, pp.38-40, which gives the source as PRO. Original not yet traced.